Over the last 21 years we have often heard the debate on the pros and cons between contracting a freelancer and working with a creative agency. Fresco Creative is clearly going to be on “Team Creative Agency” however there is value in using freelancers, it really depends on the project requirements. To help you navigate through the world of freelancers VS creative agencies we’ve outlined the main reasons for choosing an agency over a freelancer for your next project.
Fundamentally there are very strong 2 points on the added value of using an agency – cost and best outcome.
1. Cost – This is the number one reason why most businesses choose a freelancer over an agency, it’s perceived that using a freelancer will result in lower fees. Although this may seem to be the case initially very often in the end its not the case, it will always depend on your situation. Freelancers are ideal if you need minor graphic design work completed and have a fairly flexible timeline to work within, but you have to remember that freelancers usually only specialise in one or two areas. Very few designers will have all the skills necessary to deliver on all the facets of a complex project like company branding or a campaign roll out. An agency on the other hand will have a team with multiple skills sets that can collaborate and work on your project. Different parts of your project will be assigned to different team members that specialise in their respective roles. This means you will have a cohesive team working and supporting each other to provide the best outcome which in the end will result in your design budget going the furthest. In many cases, you will have to hire multiple freelancers to work on multiple aspects of your project. This process can get very messy, not only complicated and time consuming, you’ll end up having to be the project manager. Hiring multiple freelancers can also cost you more in the long run due to delays and revision costs due to not having a cohesive team who “own” the project and work consistently from concept through to roll out. There is also the issue of having access to a reliable, available, skilled freelancer, you will always be taking a risk with using freelancers for the first time as you will be solely relying on that person from start to beginning. If that particular freelancer doesn’t gel with the project requirements it can be very costly to have to recruit another freelancer to step in and pick up where the unsuitable freelancer finished. With an agency creative team working on your project there’s far less chance of that happening. There’s nothing wrong with going with a freelancer if you have a small project but when it comes to more important and multi faceted projects, going with an agency is always the better decision.
2. Best Design Outcome and Streamlined Project Management – By going with a design agency, you know that there is an account manager and a creative director in studio to make sure every aspect of your project is making progress, and to ensure that the project is on brief and on brand from a visual perspective and importantly on budget. These team leader’s fees are covered by your design quote so is not an additional cost. By having a team that’s supporting each other, you can expect to get the project completed quickly in a streamlined fashion, with minimal stress to yourself. With so many different eyes on the project there is far less room for errors to slip through, quality control is a lot tighter. This is not only more economical by reducing revision fees it increases the speed in which designs can be rolled out due to having the additional resources. Importantly this also results in the best design outcomes based on a team effort that brings together multiple skills sets supporting and complementing each other. “Two heads rather than one” will always provide a superior output. More boutique creative agencies, like Fresco Creative, focus on teamwork & creativity to compete with the larger agencies. In our case, our team is carefully recruited and consists of talented individuals that excel in their area of expertise that work together to achieve the best outcome. For this reason, we’re able to deliver outstanding results in a shorter amount of time for the most economical fees. In the case of a freelancer, it’s often at the discretion of the business owner to choose and recruit the best candidate. It’s a real skill set to recruit talented and trusted designers, and can take years of experience to be able to successfully decipher between a number of applicants. Freelancers also tend to move around quite a bit, so building a relationship with a freelancer for ongoing projects can be problematic.
So next time you think of choosing a freelancer over an agency consider all the implications and risks to your project by taking this option, especially if your project involves a number of different communication platforms and has a tight delivery. In saying that if you are happy to be the project and account manager, have a fluid and loose time line and only require minimal design output there can be benefits in using a trusted freelancer who has a positive track record in this space.