Today, anyone hiring marketers needs to think rigorously about the trade-offs between freelancers, full-time hires and agencies. Below we outline situations where freelance marketers make more sense than full-time employees or agencies.
1. You need a marketer who can start promptly.
A freelance marketer is great for an urgent project. They don’t have to give notice with their current employer; they’re available promptly. At MarketerHire, once a client requests a marketer, it can take as little as three days for a freelancer to start work.
Hiring a full-time employee takes an average of 42 days the Society of Human Resource Management reports*, and for early stage startups, hiring a first marketer can take even longer — think three to six months, long-time marketer Arielle Jackson told the First Round Review**. And that’s not including onboarding. Agency hiring and onboarding typically takes closer to one to three months.
2. You don’t know how long you need the marketer.
No one knows what their business will need in the future — and no one needs to. With freelancers, employers don't need to state a contract endpoint or make a long-term commitment.
A freelance engagement can be as long or as short as you need — six weeks or six months. If you hire through MarketerHire, there are no long-term commitments or cancellation fees.
Agencies tend to prefer contracts (six months or longer), which can make severing ties tricky, even if you know their executions aren’t working. With full-time employees, you’ll need to consider the costs of onboarding, benefits, and severance. Not to mention the emotional baggage that comes with firing someone.
3. You need someone with premium (and relevant) marketing experience.
On a freelance basis, companies can often afford top marketers who have made major, measurable impact with recent, high-caliber clients — and can use the latest marketing technology, too.
“A much better marketer will freelance for you than will work for you at 99% of companies,”
- MarketerHire CEO Chris Toy
Agencies are notorious for churn. Expect your account to be passed around. And while big tech companies don’t have issues attracting top full-time talent, startups and small businesses often have to settle for “meh.”
4. You're budget-conscious and prefer flexible expenses.
Freelancers are often the most affordable of the three types of marketing talent. When you don’t have essential work for them, you can cut their hours (or let them go entirely). In other words: You only pay for the work you need.
Agencies factor in non-billable hours spent on pitches, RFPs and employee benefits into billing. And because 24 million Americans*** think about quitting their full-time jobs for self employment, you may need to pay extra for an expert to choose full-time employment over freelancing.
Still skeptical? Check out our deeper dive on this topic:
Worried about onboarding freelancers? Grab our Freelancer Onboarding Workbook free.