I have been chatting to some of my regular agencies about their use of freelancers, and if they tell their end client that they employ freelancers to work on projects with them. I am curious as to how many agencies out there are happy to use freelancers to take on extra or overflow work, and if so, are you open with your clients about it?
I think most agencies use the term of ‘digital consultant’ when referring to me and what I did on their projects, it makes things sound much more professional than ‘a freelancer’ – but it amounts to the same thing.
Chatting to an account director friend of mine, we decided that on the whole, there are more pros than cons of using a good freelancer for your work – but what do you think? Please leave your comments below as I would be interested to know.
- Lower overheads as you have an extra resource without a salary
- You can take on more work than usual and still manage it all
- You get a fresh perspective at any job
- You expand your business network – many freelancers know other freelancers in different areas who can help you out when things get busy.
- New skill-sets – you get a whole new skill by bringing in a freelancer, this can lead to other financial opportunities with your clients that you may not have thought of before.
- Reliability. Some (not all, and certainly not me) freelancers are flakey. Let’s make no bones about it, you hear horror stories of people not delivering on time, on budget or simply disappearing on clients. It is very important that you research your freelancer – what have they done before, can you get a recommendation.
- Price. Ok, so you’ll pay more for a good freelancer delivering a site than you would if you had someone in-house, on a salary doing the same job. But the whole reason of bringing in a freelancer is that you haven’t got the resource to complete that job – so it is better to get the job, and make a profit rather than turn the job down and make nothing.
- Reputation. Bit of a weird one, but one agency in the past asked me to never show any of the work I did for them on my folio and never tell anyone I worked for them. They want their clients to believe all work is done in house, by their salary staff. I prefer an agency with a transparent and honest approach, if you want a job done properly, you get the right tools in – if a freelancer is the right tool, what is the problem?
So it seems we have 5 Pros and 3 Cons – if you can think of more, please do drop them into the comments below. I’d love to hear from agencies and freelancers alike on this.