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Agency vs Freelancer

by Bluestep Solutions

on 16th November 2018

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It seems to be an age-old question that many people and organisations are faced with. Do we go freelance, or do we bring on an agency?

We’ve put together some key differences and information into what both can offer, to help you make a more informed decision. Both are great avenues to go down and neither are a bad choice, it depends more on the nature of your project.

The perk of freelancers is you can be pretty confident they are somewhat of a specialist in their field. If you are seeking some advice on a project, or dedicated help, reaching out to a freelancer is a great idea. In addition, the involvement you take in the creative process is greater. By cutting out project managers and other parties, working with a freelancer means you can closely oversee your work directly with the person bringing it to life.

Using an agency means you will get a team effort and collaborative approach to your project. If it’s creativity and innovation you’re after, the perk of agencies is the diversity of the workforce with different eyes on your project providing a range of opinions and guidance.

Where a freelancer may experience creative blocks and struggle from time to time, an agency has the ability to bounce ideas off each other to come up with a range of creative solutions.

Agencies often provide dedicated account and project managers, allowing for stellar organisation throughout your project. What’s more, with an agency, you have the freedom to go back at a later date and add to your campaign in different areas. The agency will be familiar with the brand, tone of voice and how it fits into what has been done previously.

Ultimately, our advice is to do your research and weigh up the considerations needed to make your project a success.


1. Size of project

Agencies will often come with dedicated account managers, so you know that the project is in safe hands. We recognise that with a large-scale project, such as a full marketing campaign, it can be very time consuming if you try and manage this through freelancers. On the flipside, if you need a quick-fix or a very specific project, a freelancer is a great choice to provide you with what is needed.

2. Project deadline

If you are on a tight turn around and need the work fast, this can influence the  decision between agency and freelance. Being reliant upon a solo freelancer does come with its risk if you have caught them in a busy period. That’s not to say that agencies don’t have busy periods, however the higher number of people involved means that of ten others can pick it up and it can be managed better in a short amount of time.

3. Your Budget

Freelancers will often be more cost-effective and flexible. If your budget is super tight, a freelancer may be your answer. However, that is not to say that agencies won’t be flexible in their pricing, they just have more elements, like overheads, to consider. Even with agencies, there can be a sizeable difference between a large and small organisation when it comes to how they operate. Larger agencies may result in them outsourcing the work themselves, so you end up paying for the freelancer work and the middleman!

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