So, you're trying to decide whether to work for an agency or be a freelancer. Freelancing might seem like an ace card like you're cheating life - you've seen Brett From DesignJoy make a killing as a "solopreneur," and think "how hard can it be, eh?".
On the other hand, you're painfully aware of your lack of skills in particular areas - perhaps you're a solid dev but you're unsure how to get clients. Perhaps you have never freelanced nor worked in an agency before and so you're unsure what the client process even looks like. Questions are potentially flashing your head around accounting, networking, marketing and more. So what are the pros and cons of both freelancing and working for an agency? And is there a clear choice for you to pursue? We'll get in to the weeds, in this article. I'll also reference Webflail episodes in which we go in to a lot more depth about this so you can further explore this stuff if you want to.
Ok, let's go.
Webflow Agency Work:
Depsite a lot of Webflowers getting in to Webflow keen to remote work from anywhere, live life on their own terms, work whenever and however they want etc (and we'll discuss whether that's entirely viable in a sec), working for an agency has it's advantages.
- Steady Paycheck: Obvious but worth highlighting. You get a consistent salary even during slow periods. You don't have to worry about whether you're going to get paid at the end of the month, like a freelancer has to.
- Focus On The Creative: Rather than doing ALL the stuff that comes with running a business (accounting, project management, client calls, diplomacy etc), you just do the thing. The design. Or the dev. Or the animation. Or whatever you are getting paid to do within the agency. Obviously, this depends on the size of the agency/business but as a freelancer, you do it all! Recommend listening on Josh Jacob's episode Why Freelancing Loses Its Shine: Finding Financial Stability In The 9-5
- Collaboration Opportunities: Working with a diverse team can lead to creative breakthroughs that you might not get to on your own! This is fun.
- Human Interaction: Of course you're going to have client calls as a freelancer but working alone all the time can be lonely. An agency automatically provides you with a network of people to interact with. You need to choose the agency carefully for this reason - "I'm Quitting" - Why This Webflower Is Leaving An Agency Because Of THIS Major Red Flag is Andrea Morgan's episode and she speaks a lot on this topic.
- Understand what your good at: People bang on about niching but before niching, it's worth trying things out and learning what you're actually interested in/good at/can provide value in. Working on a variety of projects gives you the chance to know what you want to focus on if you do want to freelance. Recommend listening to Connor Finlayson's episode to learn more about this idea The Truth About Niching.
- Learn While You Earn: You can learn a lot from experienced colleagues and through various projects while also getting paid. As a freelancer, you may just learn from YouTube tutorials while trying to earn from projects while in an agency, you are learning from real people in real time!
- Established Reputation: Agencies often have a well-established reputation in the industry, which can open doors to bigger and better projects.
- Networking Opportunities: Being part of an agency means you're consistently interacting with a broad range of clients, partners, and other industry professionals. This can greatly expand your professional network and open doors to future opportunities.
- Complex and Interesting Projects: Being part of an agency often means you'll get to work on bigger, more complicated projects. These don't just look great on a portfolio, they also present fascinating challenges and scopes to stretch your skills to the maximum. It's like leveling up in a video game - tougher tasks, but bigger rewards!
- Understanding Business Operations: Working in an agency can also give you a front-row seat to how a business is run. You'll get a glimpse into accounting, sales, marketing, and many other facets of business operations that you might not experience when working solo. It's like getting a crash course in Business 101, all while doing what you love - designing and creating.
- Less Flexibility: You may not have as much control over your schedule. This can/will drive you mental if you have been a freelancer (I find). We talked a lot about this in Breeona Nechole's episode entitled How To Find A Mentor
- Lack of control: You can't choose the projects you work on so much. While you can learn a lot from doing all sorts of projects, if you know that you don't want to work on a law firm's website, you can't choose as an agency worker.
- High-Pressure Environment: Agencies can be fast-paced and demanding.
- Less Freedom: You may have less creative control compared to freelancing.
- Office Politics: Just like any office environment, there may be some politics at play which could affect your
- Flexible Schedule: You can work anytime and from anywhere.
- Higher Earning Potential: You can set your own rates.
- Creative Freedom: You generally have more control over the projects you take on.
- Inconsistent Income: Earnings can fluctuate depending on the number and type of projects.
- Isolation: Working solo may lead to feelings of isolation.
- Admin Work: You're responsible for your own taxes, paperwork, and finding clients.
When comparing Webflow freelancing and agency work, it's a bit like comparing apples and oranges – both have their unique flavor and benefits.
As a freelancer, you have the freedom to choose projects that align with your interests and skills. You can work at your own pace and build direct relationships with your clients. It's a more personal approach and can be rewarding in its own ways. You're essentially your own boss, shaping your career path as you see fit.
On the contrary, working in a Webflow agency means you're part of a larger team. You have colleagues to brainstorm with, learn from, and share the workload. You get to work on diverse, large-scale projects that you might not encounter as a freelancer. Plus, there's a sense of stability, with a regular paycheck and set working hours.
So, whether you choose to freelance or work in an agency really depends on your personal preferences and career goals. Are you a solo player who enjoys working at your own pace, or do you thrive in a team setting? Would you prefer the security of a regular paycheck, or the flexibility to set your own rates? It's all about finding what works best for you in the Webflow world.