Marketing Agency or Freelancer? What is Best?

Picture this: Your operations team has far too much with which to occupy themselves; they’re swamped. In your executive position, you have neither the required experience nor a surplus of time to take on marketing yourself. So, you decide the best course of action is to outsource your marketing efforts. The next big decision is whether to go with a marketing agency or instead work with a freelancer. What is best?

You’re not alone. In the modern, fast-paced professional ecosystem, it’s nearly impossible for a management team or individual owner to take care of every single facet of business ownership. All those tasks. From customer service to communication and marketing, the best course of action is to leverage a variety of solutions. Doing so will propel your business toward the level of efficiency, productivity, and profitability you desire. 

One of those solutions, where marketing is concerned, is outsourcing. 

Getting back to that big decision: would it suit your business’s needs? Marketing Agency or Freelancer for your digital marketing needs?

Read on for an objective and unbiased guide! We aim to show the differences between engaging the services of a marketing agency as opposed to a freelancer. 

What to Know Before Working with a Digital Marketing Agency and a Freelancer

1. Financial Outlay

To be brief, the fact of the matter is that freelancers are the far more affordable option. More often than not this is the case.

Freelancers don’t all charge equally for their services. One choice that often determines how affordable or expensive a freelancer’s services are is whether they work for a freelance agency or whether they work independently. Usually, freelance agencies charge a fairly uniform price depending on the experience of the individual freelancers. This rate is often lower than those of independent freelancers. When striking out on their own, freelancers can justify higher rates for the same services. 

As mentioned before, the price also has a lot to do with the individual’s portfolio and professional experience. Freelancers with less experience in the direction of marketing you need will often be cheaper. 

You’ll need to explore the market to select a freelancer that fits your requirements. When researching overall, freelancers are still more cost-effective than a marketing agency. 

However, a freelancer’s capabilities for the task at hand may be limited by the tools they have. 

Freelancer at work
A freelancer at work

2. Tools

There’s no need to beat around the bush: digital tools usually come at a massive financial outlay. 

Unfortunately, for that reason, it’s rare to find the perfect freelancer. That is to say, someone with the experience you need and the best tools of the trade, like AHREFS or Moz, within your budget. Freelancers who are just starting out are cheap but lack the tools. Freelancers who are experienced may have the latest tools but can also justify charging you far more. 

Here’s where digital marketing agencies become a contender again. The majority of the more established marketing agencies have the resources required to invest in the best tools. Therefore, they are able to provide a far more efficient, varied, and comprehensive service to their clients. 

3. Urgent Requests 

‘Error 404: The Page Cannot be Found’ the nightmare dream sequence of every business owner. 

Addressing a crisis as dire as your website crashing or losing its ranking on Google cannot be put off. Your immediate reaction needs to be to troubleshoot. 

You don’t have time to sit around waiting for an agency to assign a technician. In this case, it’s a good idea to have a freelancer who can spring to action immediately and get the problem sorted out. 

One thing to note about freelancers is that, generally, they are far easier to contact than a digital marketing agency. Agencies often have calls waiting, overburdened assistants, and fixed working hours. A freelancer keeps whatever hours suit them best and are therefore usually easy to get a hold of. They also generally respond faster. 

Freelancers also typically complete tasks a lot faster than individuals working for agencies. For a freelancer, the phrase “time is money” has far greater implications. They also typically are willing to extend their own working hours to accommodate clients, which means you don’t always have to wait till the following day’s business hours for the problem to yet again be someone’s priority. 

It wouldn’t be right to say that all digital marketing agencies take too long to fulfill project orders, but you should always remember that more often than not, agencies have multiple clients, more so than an individual freelancer. 

4. Turnaround Time

Marketing agency
A team at work at a marketing agency

If you have projects on hand that don’t quite fit the description of “urgent,” you’d likely benefit from hiring a marketing agency. 

Particularly if the projects in question are more complex and require higher levels of expertise and content knowledge, as digital marketing agencies typically have a support team on hand. For this reason, they’re more likely to complete complex tasks to a higher standard. 

To that end, you’d likely have the project completed faster due to the sheer amount of hands-on board, something that a lone freelancer cannot compete with. 

Not only are agencies often far better equipped, but they’re also teams of experts with numerous perspectives and hands involved in one project. 

5. Innovative Ideas

If your business or marketing strategy is in need of a breath of innovation, choose a freelancer. 

This statement is based on the widely known premise that most often, freelancers are able to provide a fresh perspective that career strategists and marketing agencies struggle with. This is because while an agency works within the confines of what has been tried and tested and proven to be effective, freelancers think outside any preconceived notions about the task at hand. 

Digital marketing agencies, in this regard, can sometimes be a little too corporate-focused for their own good. This working within clearly defined parameters sometimes breeds stagnation where growth and exploration should be encouraged. However, this is not true of all agencies, and some are known for their out-of-the-box thinking and clear intentions toward innovation. 

6. Result-driven Strategies

Here, the digital marketing agencies take the baton from the freelancers. 

The reality is that many digital agencies have been around for far longer than the concept of freelancing. Therefore they’ve experienced more and are able to carry that experience over to your business in ways that are proven to work. 

Agencies typically have far greater shared expertise than an individual freelancer would, and having an agency to complete tasks for you would thus set your mind at ease that you’ve got the right people for the job. 

Freelancers, on the other hand, can enter the workforce at any time. This means they may not have the kind of wealth of knowledge and experience in the field that an agency with its shared knowledge would have. 

Keeping this in mind, freelancers may not be the right choice for a long-term project or partnership. If you choose to instead go with an agency, you have the workforce, wealth of knowledge, and expertise of the entire agency and its support systems behind you. You also have surety in the form of the agency’s in-house legal procedures, so you can rest assured that you’ll receive the services you paid them for. 

Final thoughts. Who Should I Work with? Marketing Agency or Freelancer?

At the end of the day, this depends on your business’s needs, constraints, and ultimate goals. 

Before opting to hire an agency or freelancer, take an objective look at your budget and your business’s needs, processes, and constraints. Isolate the regions within your professional ecosystem that require support and what the breadth of that support is. Also, keep your long-term goals in mind. Once you have all of this information laid out, examine your options and see who would fit your business best.

We also invite you to review some of our services such as SEO, Reputation Management, and Social Media. This could also help in better understanding what an agency such as ours can offer you. Also, we offer a no-obligation consultation if you would like to discuss using an agency or freelancer.