The first step in design and creative execution, is figuring out who should do the work. Questions you might ask yourself: Who can provide quality work? Who will be able to understand our industry and target audience? What can we afford?
Ultimately, it comes down to choosing between a
Freelancer or a Creative Agency.
A common belief is that these two are similar, but that is far from reality. Let’s walk through the difference in the two and how your company should choose which route to go…
When you hear this word, your mind jumps to “saving money.” Oftentimes, hiring a freelancer will save you money, because you are paying hourly for the completion of specific projects. Freelancers are typically specialized in one or two areas, but not all marketing disciplines. For example, you might find one that is great at graphic design, but not so great at video or animation. If your company is in need of sporadic creative projects, freelancing might be a great option for you. However, there are few things you want to consider before hiring your freelancer:
- Typically, freelancers work day jobs, so be sure they are great at communicating and meeting deadlines despite their split time.
- Be sure they have experience in many design areas and aren’t fresh out of school, unless you are able to guide them with very specific creative and art direction.
- Ask if they will be working with any other designers (this is where your marketing direction and brand image can get lost in translation).
A creative agency will, unlike freelancers, have a team of experts to work on your project. The advantage here is that each member typically specializes in a different marketing discipline, allowing projects to be completed faster and requiring fewer revisions. There is a natural assumption that using a larger creative agency will provide you with higher quality work. However, larger agencies will oftentimes outsource more of their client’s work to smaller agencies or firms due to their high volume of business, further separating the team and direction.
Small creative agencies are a smart choice when you are in need of quality work while balancing a tighter budget. Advantages of going this route include:
- A smaller and tighter knit agency allows for a focus on teamwork and creativity to achieve your company goals
- They are able to offer competitive pricing due to the lower overhead costs
- Typically, the CEO or owner of the smaller agency is very hands on and involved in each client’s project. He/she understands the importance of growing a company, because they are trying to do the same thing!
In the end…the decision to choose between a freelancer or agency is up to you. If your limitation is budget, just remember that paying for design work ONCE is better than having to revise and re-do incorrect work MULTIPLE times. Do your research and find the person or team that will fit your company and understand it’s needs the best.