Hiring a Digital Agency vs. Freelancer: How to Make the Right Choice

The current global situation has left businesses with major cost-cutting decisions. Marketing is often the first to get pulled out of the expense planning as business priorities shift to retaining cash flow. Businesses, however, fail to realize how this can affect them in the long run. 

While it’s important for your businesses to secure cash flow to ensure continuity and stability, digital marketing shouldn’t be in the backburner. After all, your customers are still online and looking for your business to cater to their needs even now. If you retain your digital marketing initiatives, you’re still giving your brand a head start in the competition. 

There’s a way to maintain marketing while continuously scaling your business despite the current situation. The smart way is to have it done for you.

Now, here’s the question – do you hire a digital marketing agency or a freelancer?

The success of your digital marketing strategies will depend on who will be executing every initiative, which is why you need to choose wisely. 

Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency

1. You have a team working on your campaigns.

Sometimes, recruitment costs businesses more – in terms of expenses and talent dependency. If you lack the bandwidth, time, and resources to look for in-house talent who will handle your campaigns, getting digital marketing services from an agency can be your best option. 

By hiring a digital marketing agency to take care of your marketing campaigns, you get more work done without going through the daunting recruitment process – no interviews, no need for extra training, or no need to set up payroll. 

With an agency working on your campaigns, you already have an entire team behind you. You have access to industry experts who know how to develop marketing strategies so you can focus more on keeping your business afloat. 

2. Work is consistent. 

Most digital marketing agencies set up their services in a way that allows you to get more work done for the long-term. This provides you with the consistency to execute campaigns, depending on your goals and timeframe – monthly or quarterly. 

Consistency, however, isn’t just about how your campaigns are delivered. It also refers to the quality of work you’re receiving. As agencies often have access to more tools and resources, they have the capacity to provide consistent quality for larger projects. This means an enterprise is more fit to work with a digital marketing agency if scalability is the goal. 


3. A system is in place to get things done. 

With your attention focused on getting more business, do you have the time to develop new methodologies or experiment on marketing initiatives? Highly unlikely. 

Hiring a digital marketing agency takes away the need to reinvent the wheel. Most agencies already have a process or a cadence in place to execute digital marketing campaigns. What they can do is fine-tune these processes to fit your business needs. 

This setup works if you don’t have an in-house marketing team that will take on the work required. But in case you have a small team, having an agency as a digital marketing partner provides you with a structure to get things rolling. 

Hiring a Digital Agency vs. Freelancer

Hiring a Freelancer

1. Costs are lower than outsourcing to an agency. 

Freelancers often charge lower than agencies because they often work on smaller, short-term projects. Most freelancers also charge for ala carte services for specific tasks, such as SEO, PPC management, and content writing. 

While hiring a freelancer may provide your budget with some breathing room. You need to do so with caution – you get quality that’s worth what you paid for. More than that, ala carte services may cost you more in the long run if you decide to run a monthly campaign. Freelancers are ideal if you have a one-off project. 

2. Flexibility is not an issue but scalability might be. 

Most freelancers work on campaigns one at a time – especially those who run a solo gig. This allows them to give their full attention to a project and accomplish it within your discussed timeframe. 

On your end, you have the flexibility to adjust based on what they can deliver. You can try them out for a project and if their work doesn’t align with your goals, you’re not tied to keep working with them. 

The downside to this, however, is scalability. If you want to replicate a process, a one-man crew might not have the capacity to pull it off for multiple campaigns. Plus, it’s likely that you have to manage the project yourself, which takes away more time for what’s supposed to be dedicated to growing your business. In the end, you’ll have to hire another contractor to take on the additional workload. 


3. Freelancers are skilled – but not all can wear multiple hats. 

Let’s say you hired a freelancer to optimize your website. They may have delivered the strategies to help you rank, but they may not have the expertise to work on your paid ads – that’s a completely different discipline of digital marketing. 

Unlike agencies, most freelancers work as independent consultants, which means that most of them have a specific specialization. They can be well-rounded and have knowledge of other digital marketing disciplines, but it may be a tall order to expect them to have in-depth expertise on multiple arenas. The workaround is to find a freelancer who has experience in executing digital marketing campaigns for your niche – or hire more freelancers. 


Hiring a Digital Agency vs. Freelancer: Which Do You Choose?

The answer isn’t set in stone, but there are a few things that can help you make the right decision: 

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • How big is the project?
  • What is your marketing budget?
  • What is their track record?

We’ll leave you with this tip: lay out your options and see which fit your goals. If you’re working on rebuilding your brand one project at a time, freelancers may be the best. But if sustainability is what you’re after, go with a digital marketing agency. It’s best to look at the bigger picture before you decide.

With major cost-cutting decisions. Marketing is often the first to get pulled out of the expense planning as business priorities shift to retaining cash flow. Businesses, however, fail to realize how this can affect them in the long run. 


Author Bio

Itamar Gero is the founder and CEO of SEOReseller.com, an SEO service provider that empowers agencies—and their local business clientele—all over the world. When he isn’t working, he’s traveling the world, meditating, or dreaming (in code).