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Fresh takes can help stir up new ideas and revisit old ones, but depending on your needs, where you get these takes can vary greatly. A quick Google search can link you to a freelancer scrounging for gigs, an ambitious agency looking for its next creative endeavor, or even someone’s Uncle Jerry spewing hottakes on YouTube – wich path you pick is up to you. (Though I recommend avoiding most Uncle Jer’s and their YouTube channels for marketing/branding advice…)

Pros of using a freelancer

The cheapest of cheap A freelancer is a solo artist. They don’t employ others, they don’t work in a brick and mortar office, and there are essentially zero startup costs to be one, it’s a pretty sweet deal, actually.  This means they have low overhead and can choose their own prices – but an increasingly competitive environment for clientele often means they undershoot their price points. Cheap doesn’t have to mean it’s a knockoff, just cheap enough to knock off a few bucks.

Past work is their calling cardSure, plenty of freelancers rely on word of mouth referrals, but with companies like Upwork and Hubstaff Talent, you won’t have to rely on knowing someone who can vouch for someone. Freelance work history has to be transparent because it’s what they use to land the next gig. Getting a peek at the full arsenal before hiring means you’re not just basing your decisions off a resume.

Your calendar is their calendar Freelancers often get typecast into the free-spirited, world traveler and couch surfer roles – which to a point – is true. They aren’t always working 9-5 jobs and their schedules usually revolve around the work they are doing and not the other way around. Bonus points if their calendar isn’t stacked with other work… you’re priority numero uno.

Hyper-specialized Let’s be honest, Freelancing is a saturated market and the people working in this manner have to stand out. It’s become a world of niches and specialized work, which is great for you because it’s a lot easier to find someone with a narrow focus compared to a agency. If you need copy for your custom kitten clothing line website, or editing for your 1980s themed garage punk band music video, there is probably someone out there just for you.

Cons of using a freelancer

One lonely brain– Groupthink is bad, but on the other hand, single-mindedness is equally as much of a creativity soul suck. Freelancers tend to get in a rhythm and work jobs they are comfortable with/know how to do well. Which is all well and good when you’re trying to fulfill a specific niche but not so good when looking for that new and striking creative push that’ll set you apart from the competition. You want and need creative differences in your work, not just one person’s vision.

Under and overwhelmed work– In your pursuit of the best freelancer the Internet has to offer you’ll quickly realize two common stereotypes. The first, the Side Hustler, this one works a regular job and seeks freelance for that “treat yo self” money. This means that you might not always be the priority, they might miss a deadline or two, and they may not always give you grade-A work. Number two would be, the Overdoer, this one does this as a full-time job and often takes on more than they can handle. Which can lead to rushed work and missed deadlines.

Agencies are teachers– Agencies just straight up have more resources and know how (at least… the one I’m thinking about). A team of creatives from an agency has more knowledge to offer you, and they’ll teach you, because that’s their job. You’ll get the why and how they came up with strategies and not just the work; you walk away from an agency knowing more about your brand, how it got here, and where it’s going.

When it doubt, source it out! Sometimes your business needs an outside perspective to shake things up, or refocus on creative goals. Hiring a freelancer is an option many are weary of, but when it comes to creative work, there are two sides to every story – so do your research, ask plenty of questions and make sure the fit feels right before venturing out in any random direction. And will someone please disable Uncle Jerry’s comments?