So a few weeks ago, I made and posted this meme and it seemed to take off. I was pretty proud of my efforts but most of all, I was happy that it resonated with so many fellow freelancers.
I see it in the industry a lot. Businesses going with big agencies because there’s a belief that big = better. I’m here to argue that we’re just as good, if not better than a big agency.
Often, us freelancers are dismissed when there’s a comparison between us and a big agency. Whether that’s a PR firm, a marketing and comms agency or even a business consulting firm that does a bit of everything, somehow freelancers get chucked out as the risky option.
For some reason we’re seen as the low status option; the service provider you get when you can’t afford better; the home brand to your organic, vegan moisturiser. We don’t have fancy boardrooms or snazzy branded marketing material; we’re just doing our thing quietly, trying desperately to remember to write a blog for our own websites.
But us freelancers have so much more to offer; not only in terms of what we produce, but how we work, what it costs and how we can specialise.
The beautiful thing about working with a freelancer is that we naturally have lower overheads. We might not have the fancy office and 30 staff, but we also don’t have the bills associated with a fancy office and 30 staff.
I am writing this from my ‘office’ (spare bedroom) while my ‘employee’ (my cat) ‘fixes’ (sleeps on) the printer. Nothing flashy here.
That means we can offer you better value for your dollar. And when you’re running a business, stretching those dollars is essential.
While any in-house copywriter or marketer is likely an employee, when you work with a freelancer, you’re dealing with a small business owner. I’m not punching the time clock and going home at 5pm – I work the hours I need to work.
I don’t work, I don’t eat. That is powerful motivation.
Just like you, freelancers understand the pressure of running a business and how hard it can be to concentrate on the proactive marketing stuff when you’re deep in the weeds. We get it. I get it!
We don’t need to coordinate six other people to get to a meeting and we don’t need the managing director’s approval to change the direction of your project. Between you and me, we’re in charge of this project and we can work together on setting the direction, the timeline and the outcome.
Call me and I’ll be there, ready to blow your socks off with whatever you need.
I do a fair amount of work for marketing agencies and part of the deal is having the agency mark up my rate before it gets to you. In some cases, you might be paying the fee of a senior consultant or a director but actually getting a graduate fresh out of uni or brand new to the company and the Territory.
if I’m good enough for the big agencies to outsource to, then why wouldn’t you cut out the middle man? I can give you my price without the mark-up and you know, unless I tell you otherwise, I’m the one doing the work.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with marketers; they’re often the brains behind great campaigns. But hiring a marketer to do the copywriting is like hiring an architect to build your house. Their strengths are in other areas – the strategy, the messaging – not necessarily in the execution.
Marketing and copywriting go hand in hand but they’re not the same thing. Get yourself a specialist copywriter – either one who understands your industry and/or the type of project you’re doing. There’s no time or money spare in business to be generic.
Despite popular opinion, it's not just the big agencies that government accepts to be providers for their grants anymore. There's lots of us little guys getting recognised as strong businesses who can deliver.
I’m a registered provider in the Northern Territory’s Business Growth program and the COVID-19 Business Recovery Grants. I'm also on the Department of Chief Minister Communications Panel Contract. They would not have let me on there if I was crap. True story.
Let’s take that value for money proposition for a spin.
That’s it. That’s the dot point.
And if you’re really smart…that freelancer should be me. 😉