30 Oct Copywriting agency or freelance copywriter? Our neutral and totally unbiased opinion.
So you’re looking for a pro to handle your copywriting. Good shout.
But, on your journey to find the perfect writer, you hit a fork in the road: freelance copywriter – or copywriting agency?
If you’re on a tight budget, no question. A freelance copywriter is likely to cost you less. But if you’ve got a little more to invest, you might be wondering if the bang is worth the buck with an agency.
As an objective third party with no horse in this race, we say yes. But let’s talk about why.
One quick thing before we start
We don’t say ‘copywriting agency’ because it sounds cool (it sounds cool, right?). We say it because compared to a digital agency, it’s a whole different kettle of fish.
A digital agency is one that offers the whole shebang. Everything from search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click advertising (PPC) to digital design and social media management.
And if you’re lucky, it might also cover copy and content writing too.
But even if your digital agency does list copywriting as part of its service suite, it’s likely they’ll only have a single copywriter on their team – or outsource your copywriting to a freelancer themselves (whether they tell you this or not!).
A copywriting agency on the other hand, is teeming with people who want nothing more than to perfect your words. A place where all the kids who loved grammar finally found each other. Punctuation paradise, where no apostrophe goes astray.
There aren’t many of us out there either. If you can believe it.
Now that we have that sorted, let’s explore when or if a copywriting agency is right for your business
More brains in the room
Look around a room of copywriters. You won’t see a bunch of robots that’ll only turn on when you insert a brief into their… brief slot?
Nope. Instead, you’ve got Kevin who used to be a lawyer and has three snakes, and Priya who knows how to make lace for some reason.
In other words, a group of diverse people – who are also cracking writers.
The person leading your project is usually the one with the most relevant skills and experience. But in an agency, your project will also pass by a handful of other brains. All coming at the writing task with fresh eyes. All helping to nail your message.
While a freelancer might have a stack of experience under their belt, they don’t have the same kind of access to people who can help them crack a brief.
It’s the classic tale of one plus one equals three. And your business is the beneficiary.
A backup plan
One thing about being human is that sometimes, you get sick.
If it happens to your freelancer, first of all send them our regards. Then, get your Googling fingers ready, cause if a deadline looms, you’re going to need another writer. Stat.
Not so with an agency.
If someone goes down, there’s another writer ready to swoop in and save the day. For you, yes, but for the glory too.
Think they won’t know your business? Remember the point above. They’ve probably already done some proofreading for you, or participated in a team brainstorming sesh about your Hawaiian wellness juice.
It means you won’t have to brief in the work to someone new, have another meeting, or dig up the latest version to get things rolling again.
Less for you to manage
Deciding between a freelancer or agency also comes down to how you like to work with your writers.
If you want your writer to be part of the team – maybe even come in to work with you directly – a freelancer has more flexibility.
They can effectively become your inhouse writer, working side by side with you and other teams to develop your copy like another employee. And like an employee, you’ll be responsible to some extent for managing their time and projects.
But if you’re running a larger project and prefer to be more hands-off, an agency lets you brief in your work and walk away. They’ll work to your deadlines, do the edits and proofreading – and even get more writers on the job if you need things done more quickly.
A second pair of eyes. And a third. And a fourth.
We all know typos are a bad look.
So are misplaced commas, uncomfortable formatting and out-of-the-blue capital letters. Copywriters live for this kind of awkwardness – when it comes to fixing it, no comb is too fine.
So once a writer’s done with it, they’ll pass it to another, and another, and then someone will look over their shoulder and add their two cents, just for the rush.
And that’s why when you get your work back, it’s not just better than the first draft, it’s as close to perfect as it can be. It’s mostly about making you happy, but rest assured the person who found the errant semi-colon got a real kick out of it too.
More time for you, more of the time
If you’ve ever met a freelance copywriter, you’ll know they’re not just a writer.
They’re sole traders with an enviable hat collection: accountant, lawyer, operations manager, facilities and marketing.
Yup, they’re not just doing work for clients – they’re running an entire business too.
It’s impressive, but it also means they might not always have the time for your need-it-yesterday job – or the brain space. And if they’re good at what they do, they’ll likely be booked out months in advance.
Agency copywriters are blissfully unaware of any of this.
They stroll in and dive headfirst into your brief with all the cheerful determination of a kid with a box of Lego. And if you need your 2,684-piece Star Wars Imperial Light Cruiser done by this afternoon, they’ll sure give it a crack.
So, what’ll it be?
Freelancer or agency, copywriters love getting your words just right.
But take it from a bunch of former freelancers: if we had a penny for every time a colleague made our work better or helped us in a pinch, we’d be writing this from a modest yet charming private island.
If you like the idea of more people caring about your business copy, get in touch with Refresh Marketing.