What would I want if I were looking for a web designer to design my site? Would I be focused predominately on price? Or would the quality of previous work by the designer be the overriding concern? Well in truth it should probably be a combination of both.
There is no doubt that if you were to approach a web design studio in London then you will be quoted an astronomic figure (give it a try). Of course there is a good reason they charge so much, overheads. Running a “design studio” in London and employing staff is an expensive business and as the client you have to pay the uplift. The design agency or consultancy have their premises to pay for and add to the bill and also employ directors, account managers, senior creatives and junior designers each with their own ideas, spins and interpretations (which can end up confusing the concept).
But what “extras” are you getting for the money?
Economies of scale, strength in numbers, expertise and access to resources can be viewed as the benefits of employing an agency over a freelancer. However the benefits of dealing with a team rather than an individual do not, in my opinion, justify the massive difference in cost (but then I would say that wouldn’t I?)
To quite a few people the word “freelancer” can have certain negative connotations and bring to mind a maverick that ignores guidelines and overlooks work deadlines. The truth is freelancers have usually been around the agency block already and know their stuff. After all nobody actually starts out as a freelancer.
When a customer enlists the help of a creative freelancer they are developing a one-to-one partnership with a specialist. They now know who to phone or email about the project and will be assured of a rapid response without getting stuck in the corporate labyrinth of discovering the right department. Last minute changes to a job before it goes live can be quicker and cheaper with the freelancer.In a word they are flexible.
The bottom line is the freelancer has his reputation on the line with the job and it means so much more to him than to the individuals in an agency.
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