If there’s one thing about marketing that I can tell you, it’s that words aren’t enough on their own to bring in sales, or even traffic for that matter. Whether it be blogs, a website, or even an app, good design is essential.
With billions of websites already crawling into the wormhole of Google’s algorithm, your best shot is to have a high-quality designer on board.
So, where do we start?
That’s a good question indeed. Now, for most people, contacting a digital marketing agency is the simplest solution to driving more traffic. Hiring an individual might sound like a more hassle-free and convenient option for others.
I’m not against anyone’s way of doing things, but since we live in an era where engaging content is key and every piece of design is expected to tell a story and be unique, choosing between an agency or a freelancer will be necessary. The only way to decipher the correct choice is to take into account the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Advantages of Hiring a Freelancer or an Agency
To begin with, freelancers are some of the most skilled individuals (in their field) you might ever meet. Freelance business owners scout talents with expertise in designing and give them projects to complete. There are over 2 billion such businesses in the U.S alone, as of this writing.
Or you may also just find one on a platform such as Fiverr.
Another thing to note about freelancers is that they even specialize in industry-specific niches. If you’re looking for someone who’s designed eCommerce websites for years, there’s a very good chance you’ll find them.
Freelancers usually charge per hour, which can be more beneficial for you if you have a task that can be done within a couple of hours. Every designer has a different set of skills and experience, so it’s only natural that you’ll come across a wide range of costs when browsing for them.
Quite probably, the best thing that freelancers have got going for them is flexibility. They set specific hours working only for you and can give an update at any time of the day.
Agencies function according to business hours and might not be able to communicate outside business hours for any updates or last moment changes.
Good design agencies don’t rely on a single person alone and have multiple hands working on a single project. This results in a much more consistent and polished output.
Agencies also invest quite a good amount in tools that help their teamwork on projects simultaneously, breaking down responsibilities to ensure high-quality work.
If things go south and you realize that your current design won’t work, agencies can easily suggest better alternatives for the moment.
No matter what happens, an agency will never leave your project mid-way. In fact, agencies also work with big brands and are accustomed to handling pressure at any given time to get the job done.
Since communication with the customer is a top priority, an agency can always ensure to have someone doing your work in case of urgency too.
This is a given, but agencies usually sign properly stated contracts before starting the work to ensure both parties deliver and receive as decided. On the other hand, Freelancers may not always sign an NDA or any other type of contract.
Disadvantages of Hiring a Freelancers or an Agency
As much as the expertise freelancers hold, they can also be too specific to the extent you cannot find the one you need. In fact, a past survey revealed that getting a gig in the first place is one of the biggest daily challenges that freelancers face.
At the end of the day, if you hire a remote freelancer, you’re simply trusting a random stranger on the internet to do your job. There’s no guaranteeing that a freelancer won’t disappear and ghost you in the middle of completing your project.
In addition, you may even have to deal with further bottlenecks such as different time zones and sudden health issues. This is why it’s crucial to do your homework before hiring one.
This could be the biggest problem for every brand owner hiring a freelancer. You see, the thing is, freelancers may not always sign a contract to give you the absolute rights to their work.
If you see the same design as yours on someone else’s website, you won’t be entitled to take legal action there and then.
Well, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Paying an agency to get just one project done is going to cost you a lot more than a freelancer.
If you’re new to doing business and have many projects in line, agencies may offer a bulk discount, but you’re going to pay a hefty amount under most circumstances.
Agencies require being near your office or headquarters to facilitate good communication. While agencies have started implementing communication through virtual mediums such as Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet, you’ll find that location is an aspect you might have to sacrifice.
Another downside to working with an agency is that the details (of the actual project) are conveyed to project managers and not the people working on it.
However, you can get your exact thoughts and plans right through with a one-on-one conversation with freelancers.
Factors to Consider Before Hiring a Freelancer or an Agency
Before making any decisions, you’re going to want to consider some factors and your current needs. You can do this quite easily by asking a few questions that I’ll list down below:
- Is the design a long-term idea? Or something that may change in the span of a few months?
- Is your brand established or needs more marketing?
- Do you need a design from scratch or edits to an existing one?
- Is the design being used on launch or as an update?
The Best Choice
To be fair, there’s no definite answer as to whether freelancers or agencies are the better choices in general.
However, it can be looked at this way; If you’ve got a small project that basically involves simple editing or fixing a couple of things, hiring a freelancer will be the ideal choice.
For longer projects, however (especially if you’re a new brand), selecting an agency will be your best bet to get some good designs ready and even bring over some traffic to your website.
Wrapping Things Up
To wrap up, designing your business requires skilled professionals; however, multiple factors help a company decide whether they should approach a marketing agency or freelancer. The main facets include the budget, number of projects, and scale of the business. In short, new businesses should go for agencies, whereas established companies should go for experienced freelancers for the task.