In today’s ‘Gig Economy,’ you’d think marketing agencies would feel threatened by the growing use of Freelancers right? For many Agencies working at the SME level that’s broadly true but for the top digital marketing agencies,  a beauftiful partnership can result in much better digital marketing solutions for the end Client where the best attributes of both end up creating a perfect service.

The truth is – both parties complement eachother perfectly and this means a better service for their end Client. Unfortunately, no agency (except the tremendously large) can have expertise in every business area. Every client an agency works with has it’s differences and the chances of them having an expert to hand who’s seen it, done it and got the Tshirt is low. And at the same time, Freelancers are just one person, often with very little process that scales. They find it difficult to work in larger teams that require several skills that agencies typically provide such as account management, design, tracking and platform (Facebook, LinkedIn, Adwords etc) knowledge. There are just too many things to keep in one brain (That is if you want to do Marketing correctly) and it’s not clear how to get many freelancers working together, let alone whether that’s viable at all.

By working together an Agency can call in the strategic heavyweights for a given campaign to provide guidance and the benefit of their specific expertise in the business area and the agency can use its efficient and scalable processes and people to implement it methodologically and comprehensively.

Here are some other reasons why working with Freelancers makes so much sense to many agencies:

(Also: if you’d like to weigh up the benfits of hiring an internal marketing team instead of an agency at all then read our article Benefits of digital marketing agencies Vs internal marketing teams)

1) Freelancers are flexible

It’s no good hiring someone full-time with a specific skill set for one niche area of business as the chances of having several repeat clients in that very same domain are low. Freelancers are used to jumping in and out of projects on short time-scales and keep the agencies costs down by only charging per project rather than sitting on the bench all year round.

2) Freelancers upskill the team

Freelancers work directly with the team and through interacting with them, they often unload their tips and their methodologies which augment the team’s capabilities long term.

3) Freelancers ‘get’ small and medium-sized businesses

Because they often work on Start-up projects they pick up a lot about how to build start-ups properly and how things ought to be done. Some agencies focus on work with established c orporates whereas the freelancer is more of a natural fit with the Start-up SME. After all becoming a freelancer is sort of like starting a business in many ways. This gives freelancers a unique perspective that can be extra valuable during an SME campaign.

freelancers

4) Agencies will hire the ones that really rock

When the relationship works particularly well, top digital marketing agencies will often make full-time job offers to Freelancers. In many ways working with Freelancers is like ‘try before you buy’ in that you get to deal with someone and truly see their skills in action before committing to a long-term arrangement. As an agency owner knows, some freelancers are so good you’d do anything to have them on your team. So often, after some wooing, this hopefully happens.

Watch out for over reliance on freelancers

A recent trend is for agencies to simply outsource all their work to freelancers but this is shown not to work for the reasons outlined at the beginning. Freelancers working around the world find it very difficult to work together, the logistical challenges are a nightmare and chaos usually always ensues. It’s worth clarifying with an Agency before engaging them that they have a strong core team. If that is the case then reliance on experts to advise on specific business areas is a real plus and we believe the future belongs to Agencies that have found this balance and get the both out of both worlds. As a business owner you want the best service for the best price and if you look out for it, you’ll notice the top digital marketing agencies are all structured in this way.