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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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Agency vs. Freelance: How do they stack up?

Words // Belinda Pratten, Senior Designer at Adllins Media

How amazing would it be to receive all of your business’s marketing requirements for as little as $5 a piece?! Brilliant, you say, where can I get that?

Well, the truth is you can get your marketing needs fulfilled at little to no cost, and there are a multitude of freelance design platforms offering such services. However, the real questions should be: why utilise such a service rather than utilising a traditional agency, and what is the real cost?


Agencies traditionally utilise a retainer style payment structure allowing you to spread the cost of your marketing needs throughout the year. For smaller businesses and start-ups, hourly rates are often available depending on the project. The agency’s team of specialists earn a traditional salary backed by Fair Work agreements with all of the Australian standard employment benefits. Work is defined by briefs and scopes of work that you (the client) sign off on and agree to. Projects are presented via mock-ups and proofs and any feedback is reviewed and applied to be congruent with your marketing strategy until approval is achieved.

Freelancers (predominantly from countries where English is their second language, which poses additional risks) that sell their services via Freelance Bidding Platforms are required to either work for free or at a low cost to ‘win’ work. These platforms are entitled to capitalise up to 20 per cent of the revenue from all work. That relationship has me asking, how can this be a positive arrangement for anyone aside from the large corporations taking a clip of the tag? And what effect does this have on the marketing industry as a whole?

The cost of hiring an agency will of course be more expensive than a freelancer; overheads alone tip the scales. And if cost is the deciding factor, then a freelancer is certainly a good option. If a holistic approach is what you need then an agency is your best bet.

But the message I’ll leave you with is to please support our industry in a positive way that doesn’t devalue our industry, the creative work and the people who do the work by choosing an unethical auction-style environment to fulfill your marketing needs.

Connect // adllinsmedia.com.au


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