Every business hits a point of growth where it must decide which type of marketing department to build. Will you begin with a freelancer or a full-time employee?
Without a doubt, the internal struggle between these two options is valid. Are you ready to bring someone in fulltime? Can you trust a freelancer with your account logins? And the pressure is mounting as you struggle to manage the marketing efforts with a little help from an intern… You need to make a decision.
As a marketing professional I have been on either side of this debated topic, and have seen firsthand the benefits and drawbacks of hiring an employee as well as a freelancer. I am going to clearly break down the pros and cons of each decision.
Hiring a Marketing Employee
A Marketing Employee works alongside you in your business, as a part of the team. This person is responsible for all avenues of marketing. Their duties can range from inbound and outbound marketing to internal marketing, as well as traditional and digital marketing.
– The employee will be immersed in the daily activities of your business, understanding the lingo and processes more easily.
– The ability to create a culture with their internal marketing processes.
– Rather than feeling like a “piecemeal” marketing department, this person will handle/manage all marketing efforts.
– Generally more expensive to hire a full-time employee, plus benefits.
– You may not have enough work for 40 hours a week of work. This means there will be wasted time.
– As with hiring any employee, you will need to accommodate another desk/office.
– Being a “well rounded” marketing employee can mean there isn’t expertise in one particular area.
Hiring a Marketing Freelancer
A Marketing Freelancer works remotely, sometimes from across the world! The freelancer will work on an hourly or per project basis to achieve your marketing goals with plenty of communication.
– The freelancer charges for the work they do, not for filler hours or lunch. Whether this is hourly or per project, you aren’t paying for someone to chat at the water fountain.
– You are able to piecemeal skill-sets together to create a “dream team”, often for the salary of 1 full-time employee.
– The freelancer should be extremely efficient in their areas of expertise, getting results quickly.
– You don’t spend as much time managing a freelancer, since they are often autonomous as they work through their projects.
– If you don’t choose a freelancer wisely, the experience could be less than perfect.
– Giving out your account logins to a freelancer you don’t know can be a nerve-wracking process.
– The initial “on-boarding” takes a little longer as you share industry specific lingo or processes that the freelancer may be unfamiliar with.
While I see value in each of these decisions, I highly recommend going with a Marketing Freelancer. The key is to find someone trustworthy, who communicates well with your style and preferences, and to over-communicate expectations.
It can also be helpful to ask to see their work, see a website with proof of deliverables, and be specific in your contract with a freelancer. Above all, trust your instincts.