Should I Hire A Freelancer or Agency for My Design and Development Projects?

Design

Should I Hire A Freelancer or Agency for My…

Jess Walrack
Jess is a writer and content strategist at Brightscout. She is passionate about innovative and disruptive ideas in marketing, tech, and design.

Did you know that 36% of the U.S. workforce is now composed of freelancers? As revealed in the Freelancing in America: 2017 study, the number of freelancers is up 30% from 2016 and, by 2027, more than half of the workforce is expected to be freelancing!

When managing a business and looking for web design, development, and marketing, you now have a competitive pool of highly skilled individuals offering to contract out their services at affordable prices.

The question is, will it be more advantageous to hire a freelancer or is it better to stick with an agency?

Here’s what you should know.

Option 1: Hire a Freelancer

When you hire a freelancer, you get an individual expert with a specific skillset which can be great for completing specialized projects. Being that the freelancer is a solo worker, they will be in direct contact with you which simplifies communication and enables you to stay involved in the creative process. You can monitor progress through milestones and provide direct feedback. A single worker also has lower overhead than an agency which often results in better pricing.

On the flip side, working with just one person can have its drawbacks- no matter how good they are! For one, if they get sick, overwhelmed, or have other difficulties, it will cause delays in your project because there is no one else who can pick up the slack. Another factor to consider is that the freelancer may be an expert in certain areas, but not others. This can leave you needing to hire and manage multiple freelancers to complete a project, a sizeable task in itself. Additionally, finding a good freelancer takes time and possibly a few tries. The person not only needs to have the right skill set but also must have good communication and a strong work ethic.

In summary, here’s a look at the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Direct contact enables a high-level of involvement
  • Specialized expert in the particular field
  • Cost-effective pricing

Cons

  • Limited bandwidth 
  • Often expertise is limited to select areas
  • No back up if the person gets sick or becomes unavailable
  • Work overload can affect performance
  • Managing multiple freelancers can be difficult
  • Requires careful vetting

Option 2: Hire an Agency

When you hire an agency, you get a team of experts rather than just one person. As a result, you gain access to a set of skills and knowledge, more bandwidth, and greater resources. Further, the individuals within the agency have experience working together to complete projects successfully. As a result, agencies can typically handle multi-faceted projects that freelancers can’t, and in a shorter amount of time.

Due to the nature of having more than one person on board, it’s much less likely that your project will get delayed due to something like an illness or overbooking. Agencies also have a reputation to upkeep for the success of everyone on the team, therefore, there’s more on the line if they don’t complete your project to your standards.

The downside is that they are often more expensive than freelancers due to the increased overhead. Additionally, with multiple people working, there is often a project manager in place which can provide a barrier between you and the person working on your project. This can result in a more hands-off process.

So here are the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Wider skillset
  • More stability
  • Better accountability/dependability
  • Can work faster
  • Can handle larger projects

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Indirect communication

Let’s Recap: Freelancer or Agency

Freelancer vs. Agency Comparison Table

So which is better? Well, it depends on your needs. If you have a one-off project and find a great freelancer that comes highly recommended, they may be able get your project done perfectly and at a fraction of the cost you’d pay an agency. However, you are taking on some risk by going that route and face limitations.

If you need to achieve many goals, an agency will come at a higher cost but can offer more bandwidth and a wider range of skills. Gain access to an experienced and skilled team ready to get to work on your project.

The Best of Both Worlds

WIth each option having its pros and cons, the team at Brightscout has blended the best of both approaches to create our service model. By providing you with a Creative or Technical lead, you get one point of contact that is your go-to-person for all your needs. They work directly with our specialized team of graphic designers, branding experts, illustrations, UI/UX designer, Javascript developers, well.. you get the point. This gives you the same feel as working with a freelancer but with all the added benefit of working with an agency with a deep bench of resources. Most importantly, since your talent is split up fractionally between senior level management and “individual contributors”, your cost are averaged down to a rate that is often similar to a senior level talent.

 

Get the Best of Both From Brightscout

How do we work? In terms of price and mechanics, working with Brightscout is exactly like working with a single freelancer or U.S. remote employee. You have a single Creative Director, Technical Lead or Product Manager who is your point of contact and is highly proficient in every aspect of your project.

However, instead of existing on an island, he/she has the full force and backing of the entire Brightscout world-class design and innovation team. This enables them to seamlessly leverage specialized talent as-needed, such as graphic design, illustration, isometric design, animation, UI/UX, front-end development, dev-ops, and web design.

By embracing the benefits of these two approaches, Brightscout has the ability to deliver a work product that is unparalleled by even the best individual you might otherwise consider. Further, we offer benefits that other agencies sacrifice.

To get personal service, affordable pricing, and an agile, world-class team that’s ready to create awesome products, contact us today!

 

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