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Freelancer or digital production studio – who should you hire? 🧐



Do you have to prepare materials for a digital campaign, but your team has no capacity for it? You're probably considering working with a freelancer or a digital production studio.


But which option will be better?

Below you'll find the pros and cons that will help you decide.


Both options have specific benefits and challenges, and which one you choose should depend on your needs and expectations. It turns out that it's not just about the budget.







Start time [availability] ⏱


The first advantage of a digital production studio are regular working hours. Regardless of the number of projects, holidays, and unexpected events, there will always be someone to take on a new project. What's more, you don't have to wait too long for an answer about cooperation – you'll usually be contacted on the same day by the Digital Manager coordinating your project. In good studios, this process takes a maximum of 2 hours.


The availability of a freelancer depends on many factors: the number of current projects, holidays, additional activities, or sick leave. You may find that the next available date is not until the following week or month. You can't be sure when the freelancer will be able to start working on the project, so you need to contact them and ask about the details of cooperation.


So, if time is of the essence, cooperation with a digital production studio will be much faster. However, there is one significant advantage of working with a freelancer: availability outside standard working hours. Only a few studios (including ours) work in the evenings or on weekends, which is standard for a freelancer.





But can you get it done "yesterday"? [timeliness] 📅


Due to a large number of employees, a digital production studio should have no problems meeting the project deadline. Managing the work of the designers is much easier because the Digital Manager monitors the deadlines. The freedom this provides also means a better chance of managing ASAPs effectively, especially if the project needs to be done for tomorrow or even the same day.


If you are working with a freelancer, deadlines depend on the number of projects and additional activities (e.g. a full-time job).






We'd like to make a few changes... [amendments] ✏️


The issue of timeliness is closely tied to the time it takes to make amendments.


If the freelancer has taken on more projects between the submission of the first version of the project and the client sending their comments, the deadline for making amendments will most likely be extended.


Due to the large number of specialists available, this problem is practically non-existent in a digital production studio. What's more, the amendments are already included in the price in this case, so you don't have to worry about new quotes for making minor changes to the project.





Who does what? [skills] 📚


Good freelancers usually have one or two hard skills. This is preferable because only specialization allows for the level of in-depth subject knowledge required.


It would be extremely difficult for one person to achieve and maintain an expert level in all digital areas. Such a one-man army has its advantages, but it can also quickly become a bottleneck in the project.


The digital production studio also focuses on specialization in specific areas. The difference is that you have a variety of specializations available at your fingertips.


Many people with a variety of skills play on one team. You just need to contact one person (the Digital Manager) to carry out a project requiring, for example, 5 different skills.


An added bonus is that they all work in one place at one time. Even if it's remote work, online communication is secure (for your data) and efficient – because employees are available at the specified times.








What have you done so far? 🤓 [experience]


The number, size and variety of completed projects translate directly into experience that can be leveraged when working on subsequent campaigns.


It's no secret that freelancers complete far fewer projects than digital production studios – after all, working alone comes with time constraints. Equally importantly, these projects are usually small – big brands prefer to work with agencies or production studios due to the volume of projects.





How well do you know us? [knowledge] 🧐


A digital production studio gathers information about the client and creates a structured knowledge base. This makes it easier to work on subsequent projects for the same company. Even if your team changes, the guidelines for cooperation and information about the specifications will be readily available to new employees. The results?


Projects completed quickly and efficiently.

Low risk of making the same mistakes.

Repeatable quality.

Time saved – both for the client and the production studio.


Concentrating knowledge about the client in one person – as in the case of a freelancer – makes it difficult to work on the basis of a previously completed project. This is mainly due to less experience and no active gathering of information about the client. In practice, cooperation starts from scratch each time, and if the freelancer is absent, it's difficult to hand the project over to another person.




We have a few questions... [technical consultations] 🧰


Technical consultations are included in the costs and working time of a digital production studio. So, in case of any doubts or unexpected errors, you don't have to worry about being left alone. The scope of the consultations is very wide and covers the diverse specializations of all the team members. This means that the next stages of the project will go faster, e.g. it will be possible to implement the concept in accordance with the specifications, and the necessary changes will be known at the very beginning.


If you hire a freelancer, this element will likely be priced separately. The project ends with the approval of the materials – free and ongoing support after this is rare. However, if offered, it applies to one specific area (as opposed to the comprehensive consultations of a digital production studio).





When every detail has to be right [quality] ✔️


In a digital production studio, several versions of the project are created before it goes to the client. Additionally, quality checks are performed at several stages, ensuring that the risk of dissatisfaction with the results is minimal. The person responsible for managing this process is the Digital Manager, who keeps a close eye on the materials before they are sent to the client, eliminating errors and reducing the number of amendments.


A freelancer completing a project alone doesn't have this option, and working on one project for a long time creates the risk of so-called error-blindness, i.e. a situation in which we don't notice the mistakes we're making.









We called a few times but ... [communication] ☎️


It's definitely faster and easier in a digital production studio, where the Digital Manager is responsible for communication, and the designers can focus on the project work. You'll probably receive responses to your messages within an hour – so effective communication helps you avoid any unexpected downtime.


Freelancers working on a project usually don't have much time for meetings, calls, discussing the brief or exchanging e-mails, which may have an impact on the quality of cooperation, especially in the case of challenging projects.





How do you get it all done? [project management] 💻


When you work with a freelancer, you need to prepare for the need to manage the project. It's you who will oversee the work schedule, check that the materials comply with the brief, control the quality, and communicate directly with the contractor.


In a digital production studio, this role is filled by the Digital Manager, who has the necessary technical knowledge but doesn't participate directly in the production of the materials.


This way of organizing the work means that you can take care of other tasks.





How does it work on your end? [processes] 🔁


A production studio operates on the basis of continuously improved processes and often also using its own technologies. Years of experience in project management and working for a wide variety of clients have enabled us to create workflows that contribute to the effectiveness, speed and stability of cooperation.


As a rule, freelancers don't have a fixed way of working, so each project may be implemented in a completely different way.










Confidentiality and white label [anonymity] 🖋


This is a matter of professionalism. You can count on confidentiality both when working with a freelancer and a digital production studio, but with the latter, there is a more restrictive approach to confidentiality (right from the contract drafting stage).


Project information will not be disclosed to third parties without your consent. Nevertheless, it's worth considering this issue when signing the contract.





Let's talk money [costs] 💰


A freelancer has an advantage over a digital production studio in this department: the prices are usually more attractive. This is mainly due to low fixed costs – for a studio, these include salaries for employees, rent for an office and the need to provide all employees with the appropriate hardware or software.


The quote for the project from a production studio is usually higher but more accurate – you know exactly how much you're paying and for what, so you can control your expenses easily and even predict them. The costs also result from the high quality of the projects completed, extensive experience of the employees, and all the elements that make up effective project management.





Is the invoice the final stage of the project? [CSAT survey] 📝


With a digital production studio, one of the stages of the project is evaluation. After the work is complete, you'll be asked for feedback and comments on the cooperation. This information will allow for process improvements in the future, which will have a direct impact on the quality of subsequent projects.


One of the quickest ways to evaluate the project is the CSAT survey. The way it works is that the client rates their level of satisfaction with the project or cooperation on a five-point or seven-point scale, where 1 is the lowest score and 5 (or 7) is the highest.


Freelancers use this option less often: the feedback mainly concerns the results of the work (materials produced) rather than the form of cooperation or how it progressed. However, these have a big impact on your satisfaction.





Freelancer or digital production studio? Which is right for you?


Whether you choose a freelancer or a digital production studio depends on your expectations regarding the project. If you're still unsure what decision to make, we have a few final tips for you. 👇



Choose to work with a freelancer when:


● the lowest possible price is what matters to you,

● you prefer to coordinate work on the project yourself,

● the project does not require a wide variety of skills,

● the project is not too big for one person given the required deadline,

● you have a very detailed brief prepared and you know exactly what result you expect,

● time for completion of the project does not play a key role


A digital production studio will be a better solution when:


● guaranteed availability and timeliness are what matters to you,

● you prefer to appoint someone to coordinate the work of the specialists and save a lot of time,

● the project requires a variety of skills,

● you want the option of consultations because you want to better understand the technical aspects of the project,

● you prefer to rely on experience and not reinvent the wheel,

● you like structured cooperation,

● responsiveness is crucial for you,

● the project is too big for one person to complete it on time,

● you take a very restrictive approach to confidentiality,

● you want effective and fast communication,

● you want to establish a long-term relationship based on trust, and not just outsource individual projects for completion,

● you want reliability, peace of mind and confidence that the project will be delivered on time, even if unexpected problems occur along the way.




Take advantage of our expertise and never worry about the production of digital materials again



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