A freelance writer or a copywriting agency – which should you choose?

freelance writers

Professionally written content can make a huge difference to the effectiveness of your communications. But who should you choose to produce it? A copywriting agency or a freelance copywriter?

Your decision will partly depend on how much content you need. If it’s a one-off article, a freelance copywriter may well be best. If it’s a very large volume project, only an agency will be able to handle it. But requirements usually fall somewhere in between.
So what are the pros and cons of freelancers vs agencies?

Using a copywriting agency

Advantages

  • You can be certain your work will be done, as it won’t be dependent on a single writer.
  • The agency will manage the writers, so you’ll have more time to get on with your own work.
  • Copywriting agencies are well resourced to handle large volume copy projects.
  • A copywriting agency will be able to proof your work to a high standard.

The agency may well be able to help you with other aspects of your project, such as guidelines and audits.

Disadvantages

  • If the agency isn’t well managed, you may find communication difficult.

The costs will almost certainly be higher than those of a freelance copywriter – but you may save in the long run.

Using a freelance copywriter

Advantages

  • Because they have so few overheads, freelance copywriters are usually cheaper than agencies.
  • It can be easier to establish a business relationship with a freelance copywriter, as you’re only dealing with one person.

Disadvantages

  • If a writer is charging a very low rate it may be that their work simply isn’t good enough to command a higher one, or that they are rushing work through very quickly – or both. At worst, this could mean that although the initial cost is lower you end up having to pay a copywriting agency to do the work again.
  • You’ll have to manage the writer yourself, which can prove very time-consuming.
  • If the writer is sick or unable to work for any reason, no work will be done.
  • Proofing the copy will be largely down to you. It’s very difficult for a writer to accurately proof their own work.
  • It’s unlikely that a freelance writer would be able to handle a large-volume copy project.

What to look for when choosing a copywriting agency

Copywriting agencies vary in quality. It’s important to choose one that has the expertise to handle your work, and that will work with you in a way that suits you. Make sure that:

  • the agency has writers who specialise in your sector. It you’re in financial services, for example, you’ll need this sort of expertise.
  • writing for the web is a specialist skill. If it’s online content you want, look for an agency that specialises in this area.
  •  you have a single point of contact who is in charge of your project.
  • the agency takes time over taking your brief. You need to be sure they understand your project and how it fits in with your business objectives.
  • the copywriting agency is credible – look at who their clients are and what they’ve done for them.
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