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Sep 22, 2017

Should you hire a design agency or a freelancer?

What is the difference between hiring a design agency versus a freelancer? What are the pros and cons? We can answer this question from experience because our founders Emily and Louis both had successful freelance careers prior to starting Bellweather. We also hire freelancers to come onboard and collaborate on our projects (many of whom we call our friends). Because we’ve been on both sides, we can speak to the design agency versus freelancer experience.

The biggest challenge with a freelancer: it’s just one person.

That one person can be incredibly talented, kind, responsive, and smart. They can be wonderful to work with. But they are just one person. If they get sick, or burnt out, or don’t hit it off with a colleague, there is no one else to send in. A freelancer brings their expertise to the table but that’s all you can count on. It’s the unspoken secret of the freelancer life: it’s all you. If you have a bad day, or are tired, or feel like you’re not nailing the project, there is no one else to fall back on. This is a challenge for lots of reasons, but the most impactful is that freelancers don’t normally have other trusted voices in the process. We all know from experience how a good idea becomes a great idea through consensus, discussion, and critique. Freelancers do not have the benefit of working closely with others to get them out of a jam or to push their ideas further. Emily and Louis know this first-hand. Another challenge in the freelance life is juggling shifting projects. Because it’s just you, if one project gets delayed and runs into another, you’re left working double-time. It can cause barely-made deadlines and sometimes unnecessary stress in the process.

Design agency or freelancer?

The biggest benefit of hiring a design agency: you’re hiring a team.

There are uncountable benefits to working with exceptionally talented people on a daily basis. More smart people = more smart ideas = better work. This is one of the main reasons why Emily, Jessie, and Louis started Bellweather together. Our work is excellent because of our shared and different experiences. Jessie is trained as a lawyer (graduated top of her class at UCLA) and has a deep bench of knowledge when it comes to contracts and intellectual property. Louis has built publications from scratch and brought huge events to even larger audiences. Emily has consistently delivered brands that stand above trends and last for years. We are all committed to pushing ourselves and our clients forward, and helping the process and the final product be the absolute best.

We can also handle shifting deadlines and project adjustments without missing a beat.

Would you like to discuss social media strategy alongside a new brand? We’re ready. Considering a rebrand with a new publication for a niche audience (and want us to handle and manage the printing)? Let’s go. Working with talented design agencies makes the most sense. You benefit from a highly functioning team of committed individuals working with you (working with diverse teams is also a better business decision). The investment is worth it, because you get so much more support.