As a digital agency, it is probably quite obvious which side we’re on and that we’re about to go into why agencies are the better option for your web design, development and marketing needs, rather than working with someone who is freelance. While that is, of course, correct, we want to provide a deeper insight into why, rather than a fluffy spiel about how we’re your only solution.
Agency vs freelancer is a common dilemma for companies to find themselves in. In the early stages of your business, working with a freelancer can feel like a more appropriate choice, as your needs are likely to be minimal, but as your business grows a nagging sensation of which direction to pursue is likely to coming up more regularly, and with good reason.
What do you need?
For every organisation engaging outside help, whether freelance or agency, what you expect from them is generally the same. Let’s explore how they differ between freelancers and agencies.
When working with one person, you’re limited to the knowledge of that one person. What an agency brings is an experienced team with lots of combined knowledge. For our humble agency, that is a combined experience of over 50 years in branding, design and development. With a team on hand, agencies can add to your services as needed, without the inconvenience to you having to add or change providers.
When your business has requirements, you need to know they’re going to be met. Working with one individual presents a challenge: if they’re unwell or unavailable, your needs will get pushed back, or worst case, they drop off completely. Working with an agency solves this problem. With established Service Level Agreements, if someone is ill, goes on holidays or suddenly decides to quit, we are committed to finding a replacement at no cost to our clients. A replacement who is able to be briefed by existing staff, meaning you aren’t inconvenienced with the change.
Processes that are built up over years, enable agencies to make guarantees about what they’re offering. Our processes have been established to make us accountable for what we do and allow us to make commitments to clients which we know we will be able to deliver on. As independent workers, it is difficult for freelancers to establish to same processes and make the same guarantees.
Networks and resources
With access to a range of experts, comes an expanded network to help answer questions and find solutions. If you have a question, you have a team able to add insight. If one of our team doesn’t know, we have an extensive network who will. What’s more, agencies, ourselves included, invest greatly in attending training events and courses so that staff are always up to date with the latest tips, tricks and trends in all things digital and WordPress. Taking time off work to network and attend events, is a luxury that is not available to all freelancers – particularly if they want to be available to respond to your requirements.
Agencies invest in the latest technology across their entire range of services, meaning we have the best equipment, platforms, subscriptions and most up-to-date technology to enhance our capabilities across our areas of expertise. Freelancers are often forced to cut corners in order to cut costs.
Working with one person limits you to one perspective and one core capability. Working with an agency allows you to see your digital practices holistically; looking at best practise design and development, but also excellent user experience, coherent and effective branding, and strong content that works with an inbound strategy, ensuring all activities work to support the business and optimise your digital strategy.
One significant and regularly overlooked benefit of working with agencies is that you have a dedicated contact who ensures that your project runs smoothly; someone who is skilled at understanding your business needs and translating them to creative and technical tasks for the rest of the team. At Preface Studios, this person is one of our three Co-Founders. Freelancers rely on you for this direction. If you don’t know how to express your technical needs in the language your freelancer understands, you risk endless back and forth, with neither completely aware of how to get through to the other.
The take away is this, your business will not look the same in 12 months as it does today. Growing companies need digital services that can grow with them. Working with an agency gives you the ability to stay ahead without having to re-hire freelancers at every stage of your evolution. When we take on a website project, if a component of that is photography or copywriting or shooting a video, we would handle the relationship with the supplier. From briefing to meeting to executing to delivery. Meaning you don’t need to learn how to brief a photographer, draw a storyboard, or appoint a script writer. You have one point of contact for all services.
If you’re currently wondering which direction to go, or now know it’s time to upgrade to a more comprehensive digital service for your website design, development and content marketing, get in touch with our Surrey based team today.