Agency Vs. Freelancer: How To Decide

Agency vs. freelancer. It’s a question many businesses have asked themselves when planning out their goals, and what needs to get done to achieve them. Unfortunately, it’s not such an easy question to answer.

Today we are covering the topic of agency vs freelancer, why you should care, and some information about each that will help you decide which one to hire. 

Agency Vs. Freelancer: Why Does It Matter?

Understanding the difference between agency vs freelancer can have big implications for your own business. While there are similarities between the two, you need to also understand the differences 

Here’s an example. If you needed your grass cut but didn’t have the time to do it, would you schedule a meeting with the city’s largest landscaping contractor to map out your needs? Or would you simply hire the kid next door?

Similarly, if you needed help with your business’s 2023 content plan, who would you be most likely to go to: some guy that had written a few blog posts back in 2010, or an agency that was a content marketing specialist?

It’s the same with your own business. You have a variety of needs and jobs that need to be done. An agency typically has a certain set of skills that might help you that a freelancer might not….and vic versa.

Main Differences Between Agencies Vs. Freelancers

While you can work with both an agency and freelancer to fulfill your business’s needs, there are differences between the two that you should keep in mind. Here is a list of the most important distinguishing factors between the two. 

Agency:

  • More expensive. An agency will often offer some sort of “done for you” service. While this will cost more in the short-term, the expense is usually worth it over time.
  • Less focused on you. An agency will likely work with a number of clients besides you. 
  • More diverse set of skills. An agency will likely have an entire team working on your account (depending on the service). This is good news if you are looking for a finished product with minimal work on your part.
  • Less communication needed. Because of their extensive experience with bigger accounts, an agency will often know exactly what it is that you are looking for. 

Freelancer

  • Cheaper. While this isn’t always the case, an individual freelancer will often be less expensive than an agency. This is important to consider if you have a limited budget.
  • Often hyper-focused on you. This obviously depends on the freelancer that you work with, but individual freelancers
  • Skill-specific. A freelancer will likely do one thing, and one thing only. This isn’t a bad thing, as expertise is what drives results, but it is something you need to consider.
  • More communication. This is especially true if you are entrusting more than one task to a single freelancer.

While there are a number of differences between the two, thinking about the roles that both agencies and freelancer can fill is perhaps best summed up like this:

Freelancers perform best when they are hired to perform a very specific and well-defined task. Agencies, meanwhile, are best at delivering complete (or almost complete) “end products.”

Once you understand the comparison like this, it’s easier to pick the right one. So, when it comes to the question of agency vs. freelancer, which one is the right fit for you?

Agency Vs. Freelancer: How To Decide

Like any business decision, the question of “agency vs freelancer” is only one that you can answer. Reflecting on your needs and longterm goals is really the best way that you can determine which one is better for you.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be so black and white. Many businesses work with a mix of agencies and freelancers, depending on their needs. For example, a company’s relatively complex SEO needs might be better left to an agency, whereas an individual freelancer might take care of editing their weekly email newsletter. 

Lúgh Studio, for example, is a full agency. While we have helped multiple non-profit organizations, some of our largest clients have come from the private sector. That said, here is how we see it:

For most businesses that want results, hiring an agency is going to be the biggest bang for your buck.

The reality is, most projects you hire outside help for are going to be multifaceted. This means that a freelancer will typically not be able to provide you the services that you need. An agency, meanwhile, has both the experience and expertise needed to give you results. 

Interested in hearing how we can help you?

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