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How to Decide Whether to Hire a Marketing Firm or Freelancers

Consider the Option of Freelance Copywriters & Designers

marketing firm vs. freelancers

A marketing firm may be more than you need. Working with freelancers is often a more affordable option.

Agency vs. Freelancers

  1. Quantify your needs
  2. Create a timeline
  3. Determine specialities required
  4. Establish your budget
  5. Seek a match for your corporate culture
  6. Choose local, national or international providers
freelance professionals

Freelance professionals are an economical alternative to hiring a costly marketing firm and paying a monthly retainer fee.

You know you need help with your marketing and promotions. But the idea of soliciting digital marketing firms or ad agencies and picking the right one to do your work is daunting. Not to mention your concerns about committing to pay a monthly retainer fee.

If budget is a priority, you might want to look into the option of working with freelancers as they can offer a high quality but economical alternative. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

What are your needs?

Do you have just one or two isolated projects like a brochure or a web site, or do you need ongoing help with marketing? An advertising agency or marketing firm can be the right choice if you plan to have a steady high volume of work.

ad agency

Quantify how much work you need and how fast you need it done as part of your decision process of ad agency vs. freelancer.

If you don’t need a full team dedicated to marketing your company, consider a freelance copywriter or marketing consultant.

Do you have tight deadlines?

If you have short timeframes, then you may need the resources of a marketing agency. An example might be a deadline for launching your business or a specific campaign.

If, however, you don’t need to rally an entire team of players to get the work done on a crazy-rushed timeline, a freelance copywriter and other freelance professionals can probably handle your turnarounds.

Is there a specific line of work that you intend to focus on?

Perhaps your firm depends heavily on the Internet for marketing, or direct mail is what generates most of your leads. Marketing firms as well as freelance copywriters and graphic designers often do have specialties.

marketing agencies

Marketing agencies as well as freelance professionals have different specialties.

Be sure you align yourself with an agency or freelancer that has expertise in the areas you need.

What is your budget?

Marketing firms can be costly. After all, you’re not only paying for their creative; you’re also helping to cover their overhead. That translates into higher project costs for you as well a monthly retainer fee.

If your budget is tight, consider a freelance copywriter or freelance designer. Most freelancers carry significantly less overhead than ad agencies, and that savings is reflected in their pricing.

What type of advertising agency or digital marketing firm will mesh with your company’s corporate culture?

Just like companies in your industry, marketing firms have personalities. Some are conservative bordering on stodgy; others are young and hip. Some are big and bureaucratic; others are fast-moving and responsive.

Choose an agency or freelance copywriter whose personality will be compatible with the culture of your company.

Do you need more than one specialty? No problem.

If you think you need a full-service marketing agency because you need a variety of services such as copywriting and web design, that’s not necessarily the case.


You can hire multiple freelancers to assemble a team of qualified pros.

Most freelancers have partner relationships with other freelancers offering complementary services. So, for example, a freelance copywriter likely has a graphic designer and web designer/developer whom she can bring in on any project requiring multiple disciplines.

Is a local freelance copywriter or agency your only options?

Absolutely not. These days, thanks to e-mail, instant messaging, productivity platforms like Slack, video conferencing tools like Skype and phone technology, it really doesn’t matter if you work with a local agency or freelancer.

Most meetings can be handled over the phone, or on conference calls if more than two people are involved, or Skype, and most work is submitted by e-mail or Google Docs rather than presented in person. You should therefore choose the best people for the job, regardless of where they’re based.

I am a freelance copywriter located in Orlando, Florida, but I work with clients all over the world. Within the past year, I’ve written websites and brochures for companies in Russia, Hungary, England, Germany, Canada and Italy. Near or far, I get the job done!

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Contact Susan Greene

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Creators Bounty
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