What are the benefits?
Many clients overlook the benefits of hiring a freelancer because of their low visibility in search results compared to agencies with large marketing budgets. A quick Google search will almost certainly lead you to the biggest agencies in town. Some clients are also sold on the agency route because of the comfort factor associated with hiring a company that has a large office space and multiple employees. While this route can make sense for larger companies, smaller clients may be better off going another way. Consider the following reasons you may want to consider hiring a freelancer your next design project:
Let’s start with the most obvious point. Many freelancers, including myself, work from at home and don’t have anywhere near the amount of overhead costs to contend with that a large agency does. This allows us to offer more affordable prices without a reduction of quality.
2. Time & Attention
Agencies tend to have more clients and prioritize their schedule based on client size. If you’re competing for attention with a multinational corporation paying a six-figure retainer, it can become very easy for your “smaller” project to get overlooked. Freelancers on the other hand tend to work on a limited number of projects at a time so they can give you their full attention. You’ll feel like your job is the most important thing they’re working on.
3. Quality of Work
One of the toughest things for a freelancer is growing their business and keeping their schedule full. This means they are typically strongly motivated to offer the best service possible and go the extra mile to ensure their clients keep coming back. It’s not uncommon for a freelancer to throw in a freebie or value-added services to sweeten the deal.
If you’ve ever hired an agency you’ll know that most of your day-to-day communication will be through an account manager (AM) who then relays your requirements to a designer. This slows down the process and can sometimes lead to a “broken telephone” scenario where designers receive incorrect or incomplete information. When you compare this to the process of communicating with a freelance designer directly, you’ll see it saves time and allows you to discuss the job with an expert who understands the full scope of the project.
Freelancers are a different breed and often work very unique hours. They are very flexible and it is not unusual for them to work late into the night or over the weekend to finish your project. You’ll find they are accessible by e-mail almost any time of the day. If your website is down or you have an emergency, there’s a good chance they will be able to resolve it quicker than an agency employee who may have clocked out for the day.
6. Well-suited Experience
When you hire a freelancer you know exactly who you will be working with. You can select them based on the experience and skill set that is right for your project. When you hire an agency, it is difficult to tell who exactly will be working on your job. You’re paying for an experience, sure, but you won’t know if your project is being handled by a team of senior designers or a single intern.
7. You’re Hiring Us Anyway
This may come as a big surprise to some clients, but just because you’ve hired an agency doesn’t mean that they are doing the work. Agencies frequently contract freelancers to handle their overflow. It’s very possible that you’re getting the work of a freelancer with the markup of an agency. It’s not a bad idea to consider cutting out the additional middleman cost right from the get-go!