Freelancers are great. But hiring freelance for your brand development can be a big mistake.
Hiring a full design agency consistently produces stronger results that pay off time and time again.
How do we know? (And why should you believe we're even being truthful? Isn't this just some kind of clever marketing ploy to suck you into hiring us and snubbing individuals?)
Absolutely not. We are in no way bashing freelance designers.
Because that's been each of us here at Hoot at some stage in the past. And that's exactly the point: We know the benefits firsthand because we've experienced both sides of the coin.
We know the many benefits working with a creative agency offers because we've been on both sides of the coin.
We've seen the results of each system. We created those results ourselves, each time, in each different work environment. And we've witnessed the process behind both approaches. We know what's going on behind the green curtain in each case – because it's been us back there. And I can tell you for a fact:
Collaborative design agencies produce consistently higher-quality results than individuals working alone.
Why? Here are 4 major benefits to hiring a full, collaborative creative agency over an individual freelancer you can't afford to overlook:
Here are the biggest differences to keep in mind:
1. Teams can afford to specialize
A team's wider range of specialties means you get the best results in each area
You can't be a baller at everything. You just CAN'T.
When you're hiring for brand creation, you need to keep in mind the full scope of what you're seeking for your business: It's not just a logo. It's not just a color palette, font pairings, and a business card. You need strategy driving your branding to achieve success.
So designing a great logo? Many individuals are great at that.
But infusing long-term strategy throughout everything you create for a business? It's extremely difficult for one designer-for-hire to be able to handle the wide range of expertise that calls for.
A strong design studio provides a collaborative environment for each member to embrace a valuable specialty – and channel that specialty into YOUR business's brand strategy.
A team's wider range of specialties means you get the best results in each area.
And this is true for Hoot: Beyond just graphic design experience, our team packs a punch with specialty areas that include content creation, SEO experience, web design, UX design, copywriting, advertising, film production, marketing, social media strategy and even fine art backgrounds.
2. Teams explore more options
We all think in different ways. We all approach problems uniquely.
If you hire an individual freelancer to create your brand, you'll be getting just one line of thinking – because the concept they deliver is the product of one person's unique approach.
But turning to an agency means you're getting a collaborative approach that pulls the best elements from many creative minds to build the most comprehensive, highest quality result possible.
Teams consider more than just one creative path.
Here at Hoot, between 3–6 team members contribute to every project. That's 3 to 6 rounds of independent problem solving, alternative viewpoints, creative energy and novel ideas collaborating to deliver the best product.
We're able to pull the best elements from each member's work and create even more robust designs. And in doing so, we consistently produce stronger content than any one way of thinking could produce alone.
3. Teams are more prepared for surprises
This one is more or less simple math: when 3-6 individuals unite behind one project, our work is being informed by three to six times more experience than one person working alone. That's three to six times as many chances to have run into issues we know how to address. Three to six times more lessons learned, and three to six times more up-front strategy to avoid them.
A team's combined experience helps protect against costly surprises that can throw you off schedule and off budget.
4. Teams execute with efficiency
How do we manage to keep a full team of six collaborating seamlessly? You can bet we've got our working systems in place to maximize efficiency. We won't be billing you for an extra 10 hours of inefficient workflows that could have been avoided.
It's a fact that trying to switch between tasks constantly slows down your progress. And we all know that time is money. When were able to divide the workflow up into parts, each person can get in the zone for what they're working on.
Teams work together to get more done better than an individual working alone could achieve.
5. Teams don't burn out and quit
Freelancers notorious for completely burning out on individual clients. The stress of doing everything by yourself and working so closely with a client who's constantly critiquing your work (that's what clients do – that's how we get feedback) can really get to you.
Oftentimes an individual can only take so much before they say Gahhhgg! Okay! Good enough. I quit. I'm done trying to work through this. The final result of a burnout situation is a low-quality product and an irritable designer who doesn't really want to see you again.
But working with a team is different.
Teams provide essential stability and structure to a working relationship. They don't just burn out and quit.
Our structured workflow diffuses the weight of feedback and hands-on management. The result is that teams don't burn out and quit the way an individual can. Instead, choosing to work with a team instead of a freelancer offers a strong, stable relationship that's in it for the long haul.
You can't afford to overlook these key facts that make agencies a more stable, reliable choice than freelancers.
But there are times that choosing an individual freelancer might be the right choice for you. This might be the case if:
- Your budget is too small to hire an agency. The greater amount of combined experience, wider and more in-depth range of skills, and more efficient work systems agency teams offer does come at a higher price. In my experience, the greater security is absolutely worth the cost. BUT if your budget is too small to afford an agency, you might start out hiring an individual freelancer. And that's okay: you don't have unlimited funds. But it's important to be aware of the differences you'll encounter by choosing this path.
- You're in love with their individual style. It can be easy to forget that graphic designers are, essentially, artists at heart. It's easiest to see this when you look at a single designer's body of individually-produced work: There's an individual touch that carries across each designer's creations. If you're in love with the individual style of a single freelancer, well, no one else will be able to produce exactly what they create! It might be worth, however, seeking out a full agency for the areas individuals often fall short in: brand strategy and implementation.
It's important to always make the decision that's right for you. If you have any more questions, please send them in! You can also check out our services page for more info on exactly how we bring our clients the best strategy and the best experience possible.
Until next time,
Hoot Design Co. is a marketing, branding, and design agency located in Columbia, MO. We specialize in creating a custom and comprehensive marketing strategy centered around your business's unique strengths and educating you with the tools you need from day one. From logo design to brand identity and social media marketing strategies in-person and through online courses, we're focused on your business success every step of the way.