Many business owners wonder which is the best for them when they need to choose between hiring a freelancer and a branding agency to help with branding their business.
Having been a freelancer creating websites and doing digital marketing before working in a branding agency based in Singapore, I have been on both sides of the spectrum.
When it comes to hiring for branding purposes, companies and individuals seem to have the struggle of choosing between branding agencies and freelancers.
The differences between these choices as well as the benefits and drawbacks may not always be well-understood though.
Freelancer Benefits and Drawbacks
Many freelancers are excellent at their craft. If they support themselves, they are likely talented, responsible, and wonderful to work with.
However, they are just a single person. (LIKE ME!)
If they don’t meet the needs of the business, develop an illness, or run into other problems, they won’t be able to deliver their work.
In short, a freelancer brings a wealth of expertise to the table but that’s all that provided.
It’s the unspoken secret of freelancer life that the responsibility comes down to a single person. If I start feeling tired or burned out, I don’t have a backup plan and most other freelancers are the same.
This is a challenge for many reasons but the most impactful is that freelancers don’t have other trusted voices in their work processes. Most people know from experience that a good idea often becomes a great idea through discussion and critique.
Freelancers miss out on this advantage and oftentimes when I was freelancing, I felt alone with no one to give me constructive feedback or criticism.
Another challenge when hiring a freelancer is that this professional will likely be juggling multiple projects and deadlines. It’s something that I have gone through before.
They may not have the flexibility to work with companies that experience their own changes in scheduling. This can be a problem if there is a delay or if the project needs to be delivered faster than originally anticipated.
Additionally, choosing a freelancer may end up being the more expensive option.
If the project requires multiple aspects, then the company may have to hire multiple freelancers. This process is not only time-consuming, but it can also end up with a higher overall cost due to delays and revision costs.
In conclusion, freelancers are not always a bad choice. They can be cost-effective and provide great final output.
Where it makes sense to use freelancers is often small projects. They may not be ideal when it comes to larger or more complicated projects.
Branding Agency Benefits and Drawbacks
One of the benefits of using an agency is that they’ll likely assign a team to work on projects.
Different parts of the project will be assigned to team members that are specialised in their respective roles.
For example, if the project is a web design piece, Sarah may be in charge of graphics while Ferdaus may focus on visual branding, and I usually handle the development. We get to work on our strengths.
Throughout the process, the team members will share their work and discuss as well as critique each other. This often results in projects coming together faster as well as requiring fewer revisions.
The primary disadvantage of working with an agency is usually the cost factor. When people ask for a branding agency to quote a project’s cost and compare it to a freelancer, they’re often tempted to go with the least expensive option.
While the cost savings may not end up being significant in the long run, especially if multiple revisions are required for a project, choosing an agency is likely going to come at a higher cost.
Another area to consider is shifting deadlines and project adjustments. When making a branding campaign, the project will likely undergo some changes.
Deadlines are often changing in this fast-paced world. Although there will always be limits on how rapidly a project can be completed, a branding agency will likely be able to speed up their process and meet a tighter deadline. Of course, this depends on our availability as well.
Making a Choice
When it comes to making the choice, companies should consider a few factors. The size of the project, the deadline and turnaround time, their budget, and if the project is likely to expand.
Small projects can likely be managed by freelancers but for any complicated projects or ones that need a significant amount of expertise in various areas, choosing a branding agency just makes more sense.
Companies may want to think about their projects as being an investment in their success. If they’re going to spend money on these projects, it’s worth having the best team on their side.
These are the primary considerations when choosing a branding agency or a freelancer and what factors should guide the decision.
You may also read this article at Neu Entity’s blog: