There’s an age-old question that once in a while pops in a manager’s mind:
Should we hire a freelancer or go with a specialized agency?
Here are six reasons why it’s better to go with an agency instead of a freelancer.
Number one: you save money in the long run
Freelancers are quite popular nowadays simply because they tend to charge less than a full agency but as the old saying goes, “you get what you paid for”. Unfortunately, the price factor is often decisive in the freelancer vs. agency battle, leaving some customers unsatisfied with the work they receive. This is not necessarily the fault of the freelancer or the manager; it’s a combination of factors that can lead to dissatisfaction, such as quality of work, time necessary to complete the tasks, dependability and general return of investment. One of the most important aspects to consider is the project itself: Is it a big project? Does it require multiple skills? How fast do you want it to be implemented? Pound for pound, you get a bigger ROI by working with an agency than working with a freelancer when tackling bigger projects. For example, small changes to a website can be done by a freelancer but if you want to build a website, it’s always better to go with an agency.
To sum it up: Go with a freelancer if you have smaller tasks like a simple logo change, go with an agency if you need multiple specialized services
Number two: you save time
Working with an agency instead of a freelancer can save you valuable time, simply because agencies tend to have 5 or more employees working together to achieve a common goal. Most freelancers have regular 9 to 5 jobs and freelance on the side during the weekends. Agencies can ensure that different portions of your project are tackled simultaneously by different employees with appropriate skill sets.
To sum it up: If you have a time-sensitive project, it’s a good idea to work with an agency. If time’s not an issue, you can hire a freelancer.
Number three: You can expect better results
All agencies, big or small have a reputation to live up to. A freelancer doesn’t need that because he can jump from one project to another without any loss of image. That being said, you can expect better results from an agency than from a freelancer. Another aspect you need to keep in mind when getting a price quote from an agency is that you’re being offered talent from multiple experts in one place. Sure, you can hire multiple freelancers as well but in 90% of the cases it’s better to work with an agency with integrated IT services and their own project management.
To sum it up: If you don’t want to become a project manager for three or more freelancers, it’s better to let the agency handle the extra work in managing teams so you can simply sit back and enjoy the results.
Number four: Delays are rare when working with an agency
Most agencies have five or more employees and use clever management to ensure they respect deadlines. On the other hand, freelancers work only when they are able to – this can often lead to hiccups along the way and as we all know the speed of delivery can either make or break a project.
To sum it up: Agencies always respect deadlines; freelancers are not always able to.
Number five: You get more talent for your buck
At a glance your average website will require multiple talent or multiple experts from different fields of work: you’ll need a programmer, a graphics artist, a copywriter, a content writer, a SEO expert and a marketing expert. You want to get the most out of your investment and as such you want to hire people that are talented and dedicated to their work. Of course, you can find freelancers which are talented in one or two fields but in the end this will leave wide gaps in your project – a graphics artist may not be a great SEO expert and a marketing expert may not be a very good programmer. If you’re thinking of hiring all these separate experts for a project then you’re in for a surprise: digital project management is difficult and time consuming.
To sum it up: As a rule of thumb, it’s better to work with specialized individuals. If you don’t have ample time to spare on project management, it’s better to let the agency handle it for you.
Number six: You are a client, not a side job
As mentioned before, most freelancers have regular nine to five jobs and do other projects on the side or in the weekends. Sometimes they will be unavailable to answer your calls or e-mails, sometimes delays can happen due to their regular job. A freelancer will never abandon his or her regular job for your project; you won’t be a priority to them. On the other hand, for an agency you will always be a priority, from quote to completion.
To sum it up: If you want priority and quick delivery, talk to an agency.
Both agencies and freelancers have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to online projects but in the end it all depends on what your ultimate goals are and the size of the project.