Agency or corporate: Who would you rather freelance for? 13.04.2017 : 12:17pm
As a freelancer, the world is your oyster in terms of who you want to work for. And just because you may have worked for one type of company in your “previous life” it doesn’t mean that has to be the way going forward. You have options.
Obviously your two key choices are to go either with agencies or corporates. You certainly don’t have to pigeonhole yourself but a lot of freelancers do tend to end up one way or the other. And we love them all so it’s totally up to you.
However, with all that in mind, let’s look at a few questions that may pop up in that crowded brain of yours if you’re finding your way with it all.
Who is going to excite you the most?
No this isn’t a dating app, but if a client, be it corporate or agency, doesn’t float your boat you can happily swipe left. You’re a freelancer no doubt because you want excitement, variety maybe, and projects that actually interest you. So which client is likely to give you that? Agencies, given they themselves have a mix of clients, may be able to offer more variety over a corporate that is solely focussed within a certain industry.
Where can you stamp your mark?
Following on from the opportunity for some cool work, you’ll need to think about where you’ll actually be able to make your mark. Where can you totally get creative? With both agencies and corporates, there may be a tendency to get you to work the way they’ve always done it, or you may have to conform to some strict brand guidelines. However, both have the potential for ideation and letting your imagination run wild. Agencies are there for that very reason, but a corporate may be turning to you for a bit of a fresh perspective as well.
Who will give you more regular work?
This is a tough question to answer as it can very heavily depend on the company and the seasonality of the work. Given agencies have multiple clients, normally, you’d expect they would have a higher workload. However, some big corporates can throw loads of work your way if they like you too.
Agencies have staff on hand so you may find they only tend to bring freelancers in when they are overrun for short contracts, so they may not have regular, ongoing projects to send your way. If heading down the corporate line, you can try and get a feel for the likelihood of ongoing work, the length of projects and what not before you set out which will allow you to make more long-term decisions.
Who will pay more?
Some will say it doesn’t matter so long as you’re enjoying your work, but quite often it does matter, especially if you’re new to the freelancing world. Agencies may deal with freelancers more often and as a result, have more standardised rates they are willing to pay. Corporates aren’t stupid, they won’t pay over the odds, but some may be more flexible and willing to negotiate if they really like your work. If they’re big too, what may seem like an amazing hourly rate for you may be chump change to them.