As a freelance copywriter, my prospective customers often ask how my services differ from those of a copywriting agency. Will I be able to handle a large project all by myself? Will they really get more bang for their buck when they hire me?
Whether you’re looking for someone to write your marketing emails or you’re after monthly blogs to improve your SEO, read on to find out the pros and cons of both options.
(I’ll also let you in on a secret that the copywriting agencies don’t want you to know!)
Copywriting agency benefits
There are several benefits to using a copywriting agency, which we’ll look at below:
- Broader skill-set – If you have an exceptionally large project, or you require a broad range of marketing services, a marketing agency providing copywriting services in-house may be a better option for you. Larger digital marketing agencies tend to offer a broad range of specialisms under one roof.
- Better for companies with large budgets – If your business has a sizeable budget (i.e. tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds a year to spend on marketing), then it’s highly unlikely that a freelance copywriter, working alone, will be able to accommodate your needs. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the copywriting agency, the bigger the average budget of their clients.
- Project management – Lastly, a marketing agency will manage every aspect of your project. If you choose to use a freelance copywriter, SEO guy, web designer and graphic designer, be prepared to project manage everything yourself.
Copywriting agency drawbacks
Opting for a copywriting agency also comes with a few drawbacks. For example:
- Monthly fees – Many copywriting agencies charge a monthly retainer in addition to project costs. You may also be tied into a contract. This could leave you in a bit of a pickle if you decide you don’t want to continue using their services.
- Inconsistency – Copywriting agencies usually have many copywriters on their team, whose quality and style can vary considerably. You could be thrilled with your content one month and finding yourself asking for several rewrites the next.
- More expensive – Firstly, marketing agencies have higher overheads – heating, electricity, building maintenance and staff to pay can quickly add up. These costs are passed on, at least in part, to their clients.
Secondly, and more importantly, onto that secret I mentioned that the copywriting agencies would rather you didn’t find out about.
Many digital marketing agencies actually use freelancer copywriters to write for their clients. Sometimes, they use freelancers in addition to their own in-house copywriters, whereas other marketing agencies use freelance copywriters exclusively.
Very frequently, they don’t inform their clients of this fact. And there’s a good reason for this. They don’t want their clients to know that they could be getting the exact same quality content by approaching their freelance copywriter directly, at a significantly lower price.
Freelance copywriter benefits
Now, whilst as a freelance copywriter I’m bound to be somewhat biased, I’ll take you through the benefits of using a freelance copywriter (preferably me) to write your content.
- Same quality, lower price – As I mentioned above, marketing agencies frequently use freelance copywriters to write content for their clients. The freelancer only gets a (usually small) percentage of the money that the agency charges the client. I know this because I’ve done freelance work for several digital marketing agencies. If those clients were to approach me directly, I’d provide them with the same quality content at a much lower price.
- Consistency – Choose me as your freelance copywriter and you’ll be guaranteed the same high standard of content and the same brand tone month in, month out.
- Cost-effective – A freelance copywriter is the most cost-effective choice for most small to medium sized projects. They’re also usually the best option for regular content, taking just a few hours each week. If you don’t need a fully project managed team including individuals from a wide range of specialisms, you don’t need to pay top dollar for a copywriting agency.
Additionally, freelance copywriters generally have fewer overheads than copywriting agencies, as a lot of us work from home – myself included.
As a final point on cost-effectiveness, whilst some freelance copywriters do charge a monthly retainer, I don’t. You’re free to pause or stop my services entirely whenever you fancy it. As long as you’ve paid me for any work I’ve done so far, we’re all good!
- Cherry-pick your specialists – Want the best graphic designer in town? How about that SEO and web development guy your networking friend keeps raving about? And to top your fabulous team off, a great copywriter who writes engaging and informative content, on time, every time? Opting to work with freelancers gives you the opportunity to cherry-pick your own team of specialists.
- Supporting a small business – When you choose a freelancer, you’re usually not paying for some top dog in a fancy suit to buy his second or third home in the Maldives. You’re helping a mum to send her kids to rugby training, learn the guitar and tick some much-longed-for presents off Christmas lists. (Yep, that’s me – I have three young and expensive kids!)
Freelance copywriter drawbacks
There are none.
Just kidding. But we’ve pretty much covered them anyway. In summary, a freelance copywriter isn’t for you if you need a big, fancy team with a broad range of skills. Nor am I likely to be your first choice if you’re planning on spending £100,000 on marketing each year. And if you choose to use a team of freelancers with different specialisms, you’ll need to undertake some degree of project management.
But other than that, I absolutely recommend freelance copywriters over copywriting agencies! Then again, you may argue, I would…
Get in touch
Okay, so hopefully by now I’ve convinced you with my witty banter and beautiful, flowing style that hiring me as your freelance copywriter is the best decision you’ll ever make.
If so, I’d love to hear from you! Give me a call on 07821 873 861 to tell me all about your project. Alternatively, send me a message using this handy form and I’ll get back to you pronto.