Freelancer vs. Agency: Pros, Cons and What To Consider When Choosing


Owning a business can be overwhelming at times. There are various things that you need to take care of and getting help is one of the best decisions that you can make for the future of your business. But in the battle of freelancer vs agency, which one should you hire to take things off your plate? Read on to find out what’s right for you!

Freelancer vs. Agency: What’s the difference?

First things first, it’s important to know what the difference between a freelancer and an agency is. 

An agency: An agency consists of full-time employees that can carry out various services for you. Depending on the type of service you need, this can include marketing, design, development, and much more. 

A freelancer: A freelancer on the other hand is an independent expert who specialises in a certain niche. If your company should require a specific skill set, you can easily find a professional who has spent years perfecting said skill set. 

Let’s take a look below at what the pros and cons are of hiring a freelancer and an agency and what steps you can take to make sure you choose correctly.

Freelancer vs Agency: Pros & Cons
Freelancer vs Agency: Pros & Cons

Freelancer vs agency: Pros and cons of hiring a freelancer

Freelancers are typically professionals who are experts in their field of work and passionate about what they do. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of hiring a freelancer for your business.

Pros of hiring a freelancer

#1 Skills and expertise

One of the biggest advantages to hiring a freelancer is access to specialised expertise and skills. You can easily add a freelancer onto a certain project based on their skills and experience, thereby streamlining projects smoothly.

For example, if you’re looking for a web developer or a graphic designer, you can easily find a freelancer who is up to the task. 

#2 Costs

Freelancers in general have much less overhead expenses when compared to professional agencies. This is because freelancers don’t ask for a full-time salary and instead have a standard per hour or per project price. 

In addition, because freelancers work on their own time, they tend to be far more productive than workers in an agency.

#3 Flexibility

Freelancers are qualified professionals who can accommodate your needs and priorities within their work schedule. This means that in case of emergencies or deadlines, freelancers are available to meet with you or work outside of normal work hours.

This of course is not a standard for all freelancers. Which is why it’s important to set clear expectations right from the start.

#4 Quality

As stated above, freelancers are experts when it comes to their field. And because freelancers focus on building long-term relationships with their clients, they ensure that any and all work they provide is of high-quality.

Prior to onboarding a freelancer, take a look at their past work, reviews and recommendations. More often than not, you’ll find a history of high-quality work because of their range of experiences and skills.

Cons of hiring a freelancer:

#1 Management

One of the biggest drawbacks of hiring a freelancer is management. You’ll need to act as a sort of project manager to your freelancer because unlike full-time employees at an agency, freelancers don’t have fixed working hours and so managing them can get a bit tricky. 

Also, because most freelancing is done remotely, you can never be 100% sure that the hours billed by your freelancer were actually spent working. 

#2 Scalability

In most cases, when you hire a freelancer, you have a specific task or project in mind. But unexpected changes do tend to happen and when they occur, they can put both you and the freelancer at a disadvantage. 

Minor changes may be handled, depending on the freelancer in question, but if you need full-scale changes and solutions, your best bet would be to hire an agency with various team members.

#3 Reliability

Even if a freelancer is professional and committed, unexpected disturbances such as personal emergencies or illnesses can put a damper on your project. And because a freelancer is just one individual, and not a team that can make up for the loss of one of their members, your entire project deadline can go off the rails.

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When should you hire a freelancer?

Based on the information above, the best time to hire a freelancer is when:

  • The project in question is relatively smaller sized
  • You have the time to manage one or more freelancers
  • You are not financially ready to hire an agency
  • You would like to be more involved in the project
  • Your project can be carried out by a remote worker with ease

Freelancer vs agency: Pros and cons of hiring an agency

Now that we’ve covered the pros and cons of hiring a freelancer, let’s take a look at how an agency can help you with your business needs and if it’s something you should consider. 

Pros of hiring an agency:

#1 Access to resources

An agency has access to tons of resources – something a freelancer may lack. This means that your project can be completed quicker and with expertise and precision. 

And because an agency comprises a team of specialised individuals, you’ll have access to people with diverse skills and who can handle the complexities of your project with relative ease.

#2 Urgency/Speed

As stated above, an agency consists of team members who are skilled and able to work on complex projects. Due to this reason, and because agency members work in an organised manner, your project can be completed much quicker than if you hire a freelancer.

#3 Communication

Unlike freelancers, an agency will be available to you for any queries you may have or support that you may need. 

Professionals at an agency are expected to follow an adequate communication and service strategy and so you can expect regular check-in meetings.

#4 Management

When hiring an agency, you don’t need to worry about managing anyone. The right professionals are assigned to your project by the agency and are all managed and guided in-house – meaning you don’t have to do a thing!

#5 Reliability

This is perhaps the biggest advantage that an agency has over a freelancer. An agency is a more stable and reliable choice because, as stated above, in case of emergencies, your project will not be affected. 

And since it is a grounded business, it is more professional in most circumstances.

Cons of hiring an agency:

#1 Cost

High costs are perhaps one of the biggest disadvantages of hiring an agency. Not only is an agency liable to pay its employees, it must also consider overhead costs like equipment, tools, insurance, etc.

In addition, the higher the quality of work that you desire, the greater the cost. After all,the best teams come with a cost.

#2 Lack of choice

Unlike the choice you make when hiring a freelancer, an agency has its own professionals who will be assigned to you rather than the other way around. This means that you won’t get to pick who works on your project or is a part of the team.

#3 Flexibility

Due to more traditional working hours, agencies lack the flexibility offered by freelancers. Plus, your project will be competing with other projects and so you may not always be at the top of the agency’s priority list.

When should you hire an agency?

The best time to consider hiring an agency over a freelancer is when:

  • Your project is large and complex
  • Your project requires professionals from several areas of expertise
  • You have a tight deadline
  • You don’t have the time to manage one or more freelancers
  • You don’t have a desire to be overly involved with the project

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Stefania Volpe

Stefania joined the international team at freelancermap in 2020. She loves marketing, the digital world, foreign languages and meeting different cultures. She moved from Italy to Germany thanks to an exchange program at the university and worked as marketing manager for several startups. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at

By Stefania Volpe

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