14 minute read

You finally got your business up and running, or maybe you have been established for a while. Now, you need to market it.

Here’s an interesting fact to take into account when considering your marketing budget:

11.2% of overall revenue is the average marketing budget for startups or businesses just beginning marketing.

Don’t have the budget or time to hire and train a full-time employee or staff to handle all your marketing? Maybe you handle the marketing yourself, or assign marketing tasks to the people you do employ, but there are only so many hours in the day. Besides, you’re better off working with people who have actual experience marketing so you and your employees can concentrate on running your business.

The average return on investment marketing yourself is for every $1 spent, you can get back $1 to $2. While hiring a marketing company generates on average $10 per $1 spent. Freelance marketers fall in between, returning around $4 to $5 for every one dollar spent.

The question then becomes, do you hire a marketing agency or a freelancer?

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both hiring a marketing agency versus hiring a freelancer. Which is the best option for your marketing spend?


Why Hire a Marketing Agency?

Marketing Agency Pros

Tap into Range of Skills and Experience

A marketing agency employs a number of people with different, if related, skill sets. These include graphic artists, copywriters, SEO specialists, and social media managers. So you can take advantage of a single-point-of-contact and one-stop shopping depending on your needs. On top of that, the marketing agency already knows, if it hasn’t already itself developed, your brand strategy. There’s no need to re-explain or re-familiarize the social media team about your goals after you’ve finished a website refresh; different people might be involved, but they are all on your account team.

We know what you are thinking. Isn’t this going to cost a lot of money with getting all these people involved? Not really.


Save Time and Money

As Gregory Reyes points out, “Hiring a marketing agency will not only save up time but also money. Working with a marketing agency is a cost-efficient way to create tangible results within a specific time frame.” Unlike if you were to hire a dedicated marketing team for your business, you only use the marketing agency for specific projects. You’re spending considerably less than if you had to pay the loaded salaries of employees.

Given that a marketing agency has a broader perspective of branding, content creation, sales, website design, SEO optimization, email campaigns and marketing strategies, you get to tap into the experiences of experts in multiple disciplines to achieve your goals. And not use them once those goals are achieved. Until you need them again.


Proven Track Record of Success

An agency presents a proven track record of experience, process and track record. Working with clients to achieve their marketing goals is a process refined over time. An agency knows your industry in having worked with similar clients. With that experience, the agency can ask the right questions clarify what you want to achieve, set and manage multiple pieces of a moving marketing strategy in action and deliver measurable results. And do it relatively quickly.

It’s like throwing fuel on a fire. This is their business, and their experience launching marketing campaigns pays off in a positive client experience.

Here are some of the things a marketing agency can do for your business:

  • Develop a marketing plan
  • Identify results-oriented strategies
  • Manage and implement your marketing campaigns in support of those strategies
  • Provide data analytics that measure campaign success, including such metrics as campaign ROI, website conversion rates, lead conversion rates


The Advantages of a Remote Agency

One thing you might want to consider in reviewing potential marketing agencies for your business is whether or not they maintain brick and mortar offices. Since the pandemic, more businesses have been working remotely. However, some agencies continue to believe that physical offices are important to meet clients face-to-face and for the creative team to collaborate in-person.

To which we say, hmmm, maybe. While the days of Don Draper-era office extravagance may be long past, still even the most austere office space has carrying costs that get passed on to you. For the average small-to medium-sized business, a remote agency is in most cases preferable. Employing a remote agency with an existing infrastructure and demonstrable record of success lowers overhead costs that otherwise are passed onto you, the client, keeping services more affordable and your ROI high. Besides, aren’t we all used to Zoom calls by now!

Which brings us to the cons.


Marketing Agency Cons

Since you are hiring a marketing agency’s team, even if you are only using certain members of that team at certain times during your marketing campaigns, this can be expensive. When the agency quotes a contract price, they are figuring in their overhead costs for all the people on their payroll.

Also, marketing agencies have other clients besides you. In some situations, if the agency has to decide whether to allocate its top talent to you or to another client they’ve had a longer relationship with and/or spends more with them, guess who is going to get the junior copywriter and the webmaster just out of college? The lower budget, newer client would.

That said, the better marketing agencies always work to satisfy your needs and your budget. Which is why they are the better ones. Less than better ones may try to pitch you programs and ideas that mean more to their bottom line than yours.

As one of the better agencies, we here at Tag Marketing work to attain your marketing goals efficiently and cost-effectively. We are 100% results-oriented, believing that our success is heavily reliant on your success, like a partnership.


Why Hire a Marketing Freelancer?

Freelance Marketer Pros

Less Cost Over Short-Term

In most cases, a freelance copywriter is going to cost you less than an agency copywriter. Freelancers work for themselves; while they may figure in their health insurance costs into their hourly rates, it’s not going to be anywhere near the overhead of an agency employee. Even the best freelancers typically cost less than an agency.


Negotiable Rates

You might also be better able to negotiate rates with an individual freelancer versus a contract with a marketing agency. While, for example, according to FreelancingHacks content marketing writing is particularly hot and rates are likely to be high as a result, if someone doesn’t fit your budget and isn’t willing to negotiate, there is no shortage of freelancers out there.


More Personal and Flexible

You also might get a more personalized relationship with a freelancer because you are working with an individual. Even small marketing agencies may have bureaucracies you have to navigate. The freelancer is always the person who answers the phone.

They may also be more responsive, flexible and motivated to satisfy you as a client. While they may have other clients, people on salary at an agency aren’t depending on you for their bread and butter. Maybe you take your business elsewhere, they are still getting paid regardless.


Freelance Marketer Cons

Limited Skill Sets

Although a report by Slash notes that most freelancers claim to have two to three skill sets, it’s unlikely you are going to find a good copywriter who is also an excellent graphic artist/web designer, and vice versa. Which means you are going to have to deal with multiple freelancers to handle different aspects of your marketing campaign.

That’s time consuming enough. But you also have to connect that freelance copywriter to that freelance web designer and sometimes the chemistry and personalities don’t quite mesh. Not only do you have to deal with a freelance team that isn’t coherently focused, but the results you get from that team could be less than optimum.


Limited Work Capacity

Another consideration is that an individual freelancer can only handle so much work. An overloaded freelancer is a freelancer whose performance suffers. Or, work is subcontracted to another freelancer, perhaps without your knowledge, and work product quality that you don’t directly control may suffer.

There’s also the possibility the freelancer gets sick or has some family emergency, and your project has to wait until those issues are resolved. Worse, freelancers could just disappear without notice, due to either personal reasons or you just did something to irritate them, leaving your marketing project in limbo until you find a replacement.


Not Suited for Large Marketing Initiatives

Finally, there’s only so much an individual freelancer knows or can do. Might be good for a small “once-and-done,” low-budget marketing initiative. For a more complicated, multi-phase project requiring a broader range of expertise and high-quality deliverables with fast turnaround times, not so much.


Why We Think a Marketing Agency is Your Best Choice

Tag Marketing is a remote marketing agency, specializing in small- to medium-sized businesses such as yours. As a family-owned company, we treat our clients just like part of our family. As a smaller agency with a tight knit team, we pride ourselves on taking your brand and business to the next level through successful, proven inbound marketing strategies.

If your business is a small or medium-sized organization and you don’t want to hassle with freelancers, let’s talk. Click here to book me on my calendar BOOK CONNECT CALL

Hiring Marketing Agency vs Freelancer


Compare Hiring A Marketing Agency Vs Freelancer

  1. Experience
  2. Processes
  3. Project management
  4. Return on investment
  5. Skills
  6. One agency vs multiple freelancers
  7. Perspective
  8. Infrastructure
  9. Workload
  10. Cost
  11. Long-term verse short
  12. Scalability
  13. Relationships


Marketing Agency

  1. Industry Experience
  2. Proven client processes
  3. Ability to implement sophisticated multi-phase projects
  4. Higher ROI over long-term
  5. Range of skill sets
  6. One-stop shopping, single-point-of-contact
  7. Broad perspective with marketing experts in multiple disciplines
  8. Remote working infrastructure is more flexible, more affordable
  9. Better agencies treat clients like family
  10. Contract may be required, but you are better able to set conditions and expectations
  11. Good to develop long-term projects and build effective brand strategy
  12. Easy to scale up as your needs require
  13. Maintain relationship even when projects complete and further work is on pause


Marketing Freelancer

  1. Limited industry experience
  2. One-on-one interactions, requires more management by client
  3. Good for small, one-off projects only
  4. Less expensive short-term
  5. Has only one or two skill sets
  6. You may need to manage multiple freelancers
  7. Limited perspective
  8. Remote, but no marketing infrastructure to tap into
  9. Could get overworked, risk of dropping you suddenly in a variety of circumstances
  10. Hourly rate may be negotiable, you may not be able to control open-ended hourly billing
  11. Good for short-term, one-off projects
  12. Not so easy to scale
  13. Easy to terminate once a project is finished; may not be available when needed for future projects and you have to go through process of finding a new freelancer