Whom to hire for your business growth: Agency vs. Freelancer?

Every business has a set of shared priorities; how a freelancer or a digital marketing agency fares on these priorities will tell you which one to choose.


Digital marketing has become so multi-faceted that in-house IT and digital marketing teams may not be sufficient to deal with all the issues a business may encounter. It's also very critical for the profitability and growth of an online business.


As a result, businesses often hire top IT services companies to run their digital marketing affair effectively and smoothly. But before we get down to working out the pros and cons of hiring freelancers or top IT services companies, a small discussion is required to understand the context in which their services are required.


The case for freelancers is quite strong as more and more workers choose this option, and freelancing statistics are becoming more impressive. For example, the number of freelancers has grown to 57 million in the US, and 46% choose this option because it offers flexibility.


Digital agencies are at the forefront of online marketing, and together with online advertising, it was estimated to be a $350-billion market in 2020 and was projected to grow to $786 billion by 2026.


High-potential opportunity


Online marketing is the next level of marketing which has the potential to grow your business to unbelievable levels quickly. The high degree of scalability in the lowest possible time makes companies choose digital marketing over any other form of marketing. It's not essentially a high-stake choice, but it's a high-potential opportunity.


Given this, knowledge of various available technologies and software options is necessary. For example, developing a Magento eCommerce site calls for choosing your partner from the available top Magento development companies.


Given the importance of digital marketing, businesses often grapple with issues like freelancers vs. agencies, best digital marketing agencies, top Magento development companies, and others. The whole idea is to find a one-stop solution for the huge, complex, and ongoing task that online marketing is.


Need for information-based decision


The issue is not yet settled if an organization is debating whether a freelancer or digital marketing agency should be hired. It's still on the lookout for the best option in this space.


In such circumstances, every piece of information and advice contributes to the decision-making process, finally settling the issue in favor of either freelancer or a digital marketing agency. Or maybe both!


Let's look at the possible scenarios a little differently. First, should a consultant be hired to understand the fundamental dynamics and structure of the workflow before an agency is employed to implement the plans? 


Most business organizations follow this model. Businesses must learn to leverage available resources on the market. In this context, a widespread dilemma is whether a business should hire from the top IT services companies or reach out to a freelancer's platform to pick and choose the best fit for the job on hand. That is – should you hire an agency or a freelancer for various digital marketing needs, including web design and development?


Digital marketing - A high-potential opportunity


The progress of a business depends on quick and sound decision-making. And, it's impossible to decide unless adequate information is available about a topic. In this context, it's essential to compare the relative advantages that the best freelancers and best digital marketing agencies bring to the job.


Analyzing all the available information on these two options can help you know which offers more advantages and should be hired for any digital marketing task or project.


In this light, no option that supports and aids digital marketing initiatives is worth giving a miss. You got it right! There is no point in having a rigid answer to the freelancers vs. digital agencies debate. It's good to benefit from both on a case-by-case basis and keep an open mind to this issue. 


Whether or not a freelancer or consultant is hired to map the scope of the work and give a price estimate, it's the process most followed. Businesses may have a key person who understands which job should go to a freelancer and which ones to the agencies.


Which one to choose - freelancers or agencies?


For a complex digital marketing project, a freelancer consultant from Upwork or Fiverr can be hired to initiate the process. Every business has a set of shared priorities; how a freelancer or a digital marketing agency fares on these priorities will tell you which one to choose. For this post, we've chosen six common business priorities to see how freelancers and the best digital marketing agencies perform on these counts. These are:


  • Availability
  • Turnaround time
  • Expertise
  • Cost 
  • Ongoing project
  • Experience


How Freelancers fare in common priority areas:


A freelance digital marketing expert can be helpful if the task is limited and well-defined. The case for the freelancer becomes all the more compelling when the job requires a niche-level solution rather than setting up a process and maintaining it over a period, which top IT services companies can perform. 


Here is how a freelancer, instead of, for example, a partner from top Magento development companies, performs on some key parameters:




Depending on how successful a freelancer is, he may or may not have enough time for a new project. A freelancer works individually or, at best, may have a small team of support staff or associates. Once the freelancer is recognized for high-quality work, chances are that he'll have more work than he can process in the limited time as an individual. In this case, the freelance would increase his fees and may become unavailable for low-budget projects.


Turnaround time:


A digital marketing project can be time-sensitive, and the client may want the project to be completed on time. Else, it will not only lock up the capital but also miss the opportunity to earn revenue and establish itself in the market as part of the broader marketing strategy. Given that a freelancer will work alone, he can't take on bulk tasks. It makes freelancers a good choice only for small projects where the deliverables are well-defined and limited. For large projects, they can be used as consultants rather than as part of the execution team.




Freelancers may have some core expertise in their niche. While they may have an overall idea of different digital marketing concepts, they may not have expertise in all of them. The very choice of pursuing a career as a freelancer shows that the individual is exceptionally motivated may be due to some unique expertise. But beyond that core expertise, the freelancers can be, by and large, average. It makes them suitable only for selected jobs, not all of the planning and implementation of a digital marketing campaign. 




A digital marketing freelancer may be less expensive when it comes to cost. It's because he may not be involved with everything about the project. As his involvement in a project is limited to what he is good at, his fees may be less than what an agency may charge. However, if you add up all the project costs, hiring a freelancer may not prove to be a less expensive option.


Ongoing partnership:


Digital marketing operations are labor and tech-heavy exercise that needs the involvement of key technical personnel regularly. A freelancer can offer case-by-case support and may not be available at short notice. Therefore, ongoing partnerships with freelancers can be successful only in specific areas where his expertise is required. A freelancer may not be an ideal choice where his presence is needed on a reliable basis. 




Successful online marketing campaign calls for experience and expertise. A good freelancer may combine these two essential requirements, and companies can benefit from such resources. An ideal digital marketing professional should have at least 4-5 years of work experience, as a lot is learned and understood on the job in this profession. But experience shows that freelancers become more expensive and not readily available as their success graph soars. Finding experienced freelancers at an affordable rate is a difficult call. Although finding fresh freelancers with sound knowledge is possible, lack of experience limits their utility.


How agencies fare in common priority areas:


Digital marketing agencies are meant to provide a full range of services required to bring a business online and make it successful. The scope of work for top IT services companies will include branding, web design and development, SEO, and growth hacking. And all else that one can think about. For example, it will consist of keyword research and content writing. 


Here is how a digital marketing agency fares on some key parameters:




A digital marketing agency is set up to provide reliable services in its field. It has an office and a team of staff members. In addition, there is a shadow team and a network of ecosystem players among its resources. And this space is highly competitive. Given this, agencies thrive on swiftly working on customer leads and calls. Since they have adequate staff in every department, they can promptly deploy resources to the customer's project when requested or required.  


Turnaround time:


Agencies and top IT services companies are better tuned to the customers' needs. To this end, timely delivery of projects is a priority area for them. They are also better at estimating the time required for a project. It's because agencies work as a team, and critical and cross opinions from the team help them foresee the roadblocks and delays. In addition, since they have more resources at their disposal, they can manage any disruption or delay more efficiently, ensuring that the customer doesn't suffer because of the time overrun of a project. 




Apart from the latest cutting-edge innovations, proficiency is reflected in the collective skillset of a team that can be deployed from project to project with a minimum degree of performance certainty. An agency employs a team of IT and digital marketing professionals that cover all critical skills required in the profession. Since an agency works with many clients, it has adequate exposure to common problems and solutions. In a crisis, an agency can respond faster and with more efficient solutions, making them indispensable for medium and large online businesses.     




An agency will provide a full range of services. Its quality of services in terms of solutions and after-sales services is also more reliable than others. Also, an agency will have various pricing models, such as hourly billing, fixed time and price, and a dedicated resource model. It will offer a monthly and annual package where a defined range of tasks can be undertaken for a fixed rate. Considering everything into account, an agency will be more cost-effective. It means customers get good value for money.  


Ongoing partnerships:


When you work with an agency or top IT services companies, you choose reliable services in an ongoing arrangement. The agency will have an office and staff and will not change abruptly or frequently. For a business, it means an ongoing relationship. For example, agency staff working on a project at your company will likely remain available until the project is on. Even if there is a disruption, the agency is better positioned to find a suitable replacement. 




In digital marketing, experience is essential. It concerns technical problems and market bottlenecks as it's about the proper branding and business relations. An agency benefits from its staff's individual experiences in all these matters and can pass on the benefits to its clients. In large and complex projects, the experience of working collaboratively with several domain experts is the key. An agency has better exposure to these situations and is, therefore, better placed to solve them. 


In conclusion


Both freelancers and digital marketing agencies offer necessary and project-critical services. Businesses looking for solutions to minor problems or projects can hire and benefit from freelancers. It is more so because they may bill as per the tasks and hours spent.


Digital marketing agencies or top IT services companies can be a better choice if the company is looking for a long-term and reliable partnership. Digital marketing agencies offer a complete suite of solutions at cost-effective prices, something a freelance might not offer. However, a choice between the two depends on the task and what it calls for!

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