Agency or Freelance? Which you should use and when.

Which one?

There are clear advantages and disadvantages to working with an advertising or creative agency, but is it always what you need?  Probably not.  In fact, you may even find it hard to get an agency to take on a project if it’s not a good fit.  Typically that means your project is too small for them to devote a portion of their time and resources to it.  But don’t fret!  There are plenty of wonderful, professionals out there who are ready and willing to take on your smaller projects. I’ll go over when you should work with a freelancer and when you’d be better off going to a creative agency.

The benefits of going through a freelancer:  For one, you’ll probably pay less than you would going through an agency.  However, I would only recommend going through freelancers for smaller projects such as the following:

Small design projects like business cards & letterhead, shirts & hats, a menu, pamphlet, or poster.

Your website – but be sure to ask the right questions and know what you’re getting into.  See my post on web design.

Photography – it’s a great idea to get your company profile pictures and any product photos done professionally.  Freelancers are great for this. 

The benefits of going through an agency: You’ll have more people working on your project which means there will be more creative power working on your behalf.  The designers and copywriters will get consistent feedback from their creative director and team members and their work will have to meet specific standards. 

I’d recommend working with an agency to establishing your brand, or re-branding yourself in the marketplace.  They’ll design a logo, give you a style book which others, freelancers for example, need to follow in order to keep your branding and messaging consistent.  Having all your communications look cohesive and consistent is huge and goes a long way towards perceived credibility and level of professionalism.  The big guys do it, but so can you!

I’d recommend going through an agency if the project you’re working on will affect anything foundational about your company or organization.  It’s just logical to have more people working on your behalf in that situation.

Hopefully this has been helpful.  Please leave a comment or shoot me an email if you have any questions.


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