As a freelance copywriter, I often get asked by prospective customers how my services differ from those of advertising or digital marketing agencies. It’s a fair question. After all, the marketing you do for your business can be the difference between failure and enormous success.
The answer is multi-faceted. As a freelancer, I offer specialized services. I am specifically, a copywriter. While many of the projects I do incorporate graphic design, website design, photography and printing, I specialize in the writing aspect. The other components I either outsource or partner with other freelancers. With a marketing firm or ad agency you get all services under one umbrella.
Sounds smart and convenient, but it comes with a price. Compare my rates as a freelance copywriter to what you’d pay for copywriting if you go through a digital marketing firm or ad agency, and you’ll see a big difference. Freelancers have lower overhead. Many choose to work out of their home and most don’t have employees. Therefore, freelancers generally charge less than agencies. The savings you realize means you’ll get more bang for your buck out of your marketing budget.
If your business requires a wide range of advertising and marketing services, or you have an exceptionally large project you need completed, you may require more than a single freelancer can offer. ollectively, an ad agency can offer a broader skill-set all under one roof.
Of course, you can always work with several different specialized freelancers, but be prepared to act as the project manager in that case. As project manager, you’ll need to assemble the team, delegate the assignments, create a timeline and follow through on the myriad of details that culminate in a job well done.
Most ad agency clients have annual budgets in excess of $500,000. The bigger the ad agency or marketing firm, the bigger the budgets of its clients. Determine if you’re a fit and are willing to pay a monthly retainer fee in addition to project costs.
On the plus side, you’ll have a resource you can easily call on at any time to assist with your marketing projects. Once the people at the ad agency know your business, you won’t have to invest time getting them up to speed every time you need something done. You can expect a certain style of work as well as a big-picture plan regarding the development of your brand.
Many companies, especially small to mid-sized businesses and startups, don’t want to work with a marketing firm or ad agency. Instead, they’d rather assemble a team of specialists for each assignment, such as a freelance copywriter, graphic designer, web developer, SEO expert, etc. They also don’t want to pay the higher fees usually associated with agencies and marketing firms.
Freelancers are a good and cost-effective choice if you have occasional marketing projects as opposed to a large, ongoing need that would be too much for a solopreneur to handle. They’re also a good choice if you have a specific project you’re looking to have done versus handling the branding and marketing of an entire account.
If your project happens to require multiple talents, most freelancers have a network of professionals they can bring in to round out the team. For example, as a freelance copywriter, I often call in a graphic designer for print work and a web designer/developer for website production. These other professionals are people with whom I’ve partnered many times and trust will produce quality work for my clients.
Consider these benefits of using freelancers:
With an ad agency, you essentially get the style of the agency as a whole. You may or may not like the talents (or personalities) of the individuals.
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Susan Greene is a freelance copywriter located in Orlando, Florida. She treats all her clients like “big fish.”