Drop the Agency! 5 Reasons to Hire a Freelance Coder

Whether you’re at the start of your business, or in the midst of success, there are many options when it comes to hiring a freelance coder.

Although the agency model continues to thrive, a shift towards remote working has increased the number of workers opting to go freelance. Essentially, this is great news for business owners who have an unprecedented choice from a burgeoning talent pool.

Coding is one area in which freelancers make perfect sense. Unless an entire business revolves around writing code – in which case full-time staff makes the most sense – then the broader skillset and lesser commitment involved with freelancers leads to an ideal working environment.

If you currently utilize the agency model for your coding needs or are unsure of the best way to bring the required expertise into your business, we have five great reasons to make a freelance coder your next port of call.

Note: Check out Twine‘s talent pool of freelance coders and programmers here.

5 Reasons a Freelance Coder is the way to go…

1. Greater Project Flexibility

Not all coding projects are created equal. It is vital to have the right skills available in line with budgets, deadlines, and everything else that applies to successful development.

Agencies rarely work on a per-project basis, preferring retainers and ongoing work. As they have salaries and overheads to pay, this makes sense for them. However, the flexibility of your approach to any given project is subject to the constraints of the agency itself…

A project may perform best if coded in a specific language, with anything else considered a compromise. Critically, neither your business nor the agency may even know about this potential optimization.

If you are committed to an agency already, then their limitations become yours. The budget around project development is likely already spent, and business owners are discouraged from looking elsewhere as they must justify their spending and verify a return.

Enter: the freelancer.

By utilizing a service such as Twine, you can not only pick from a broad pool of coding talent but understand the opportunities available. In addition, freelance talent wants to work with you as much as you want to work with them, and you are free to discuss the project and ask for their approach with no obligation.

You can also ask a freelancer coder to adopt your working culture rather than having it dictated by agency policies. For example, if you want your hire to only access internal systems while using a VPN, that’s your call to make.

Likewise, if you need them to be available during certain hours, you can make this clear from the outset – without agency staff having to contend with client schedules and lunch breaks.

If the price and skillset line up perfectly, you can move on to production. Crucially, you can utilize as many or as few freelancers as required to create the perfect code with no agency commitment.

When you’ve built a team you can trust, everyone involved will be happier, and you’ll find you can be more productive too. Overly busy schedules that affect your personal life and health can become something of the past when the freelancers working with you complement your mindset and ways of operating.

2. The Opportunity to Build Your Own Team

Whether you use agencies or freelancers, one of the main reasons for doing so is that you do not need an internal, on-site team. However, there is nothing to stop anyone from bringing together a curated shortlist of freelancers to tackle jobs as required.

This is another significant advantage over agencies: reputable, reliable code agencies rarely experience rapid turnover. What constitutes the right team is completely out of your hands.

If you are not fond of a particular individual’s work or struggle to build a rapport with some team members, you have relatively few options beyond requesting that they no longer work on your projects. However, in doing so, you may significantly weaken output quality from your agency partner.

With freelancers, they do not even necessarily need to know they are part of a team – although they certainly can if that works with your chosen approach. You have the opportunity to focus on specialists and empower them to do what they’re great at.

Most importantly, your team can change direction and personnel at any time, and you can call upon a freelance coder you trust as and when it makes sense.

3. Lower Overall Costs and Retainers

Most people assume that agencies are always more expensive than freelancers. On an individual basis, this can seem untrue, but based on hourly or daily rates, this generally proves correct.

However, to the business working with freelancers or agencies, the total cost firmly favors the individual freelancer. In the least complex terms, this is because they are compensated directly. Unless you decide to split the tasks, they are the planner, manager, coder, and quality assurance specialist.

With agencies, these roles are often split among several people. They all expect a salary, and the cumulative cost adds up.

Agency overheads also play a crucial part in rising costs, but, the most significant enemy of any business that requires only occasional coding support, is the retainer.

Retainers are certainly not exclusive to agencies. Indeed, finding a coder where everything clicks from the outset to the point that it becomes worth pre-booking their time each month can make sense in many scenarios. However, booking that time is often far less expensive.

If you prefer to operate by project, then freelancers over agency staff represent a no-brainer. Retainers come with an obligation on the part of your company to find tasks to fill the time. Anything less represents an expenditure that many businesses cannot afford to waste.

4. Specific Expertise for Specialist Projects

One of the best ways to assess your requirements as a business is to have a robust understanding of what can be done in-house.

If your business wants to launch an app or a WordPress plugin to complement current operations, there may potentially be no coding expertise on the team at all. You may have project managers, writers, marketing specialists, and more, but without the individual that makes the idea into a reality, you’ll need someone who can deliver to a brief.

Conversely, suppose you have an individual or team that specifically looks after the company website, and you wish to add new functionality. In that case, the chances are that you can get the project part of the way towards where it needs to be. From there, you can select a freelance coder that can pick up the baton at any stage and drive the project towards completion.

Agencies rarely like to share the workload. They have their own internal processes and procedures to adhere to. Freelancers, on the other hand, are diverse and have their own goals. Again, some will only work on projects they can tackle from concept to completion. However, just as many will happily join a project part-way through to take it to the finish line.

Once you know what you can and cannot do with your existing team, you can embark on your efforts to find the perfect freelance coder to complement the resources at your disposal.

This could mean a freelancer with extensive coding credentials and also a project management certification. They can work with your team to oversee the entire project. It could mean a coder with marketing experience who can contribute to the overall project plan with an eye on making the finished result easier to take to market.

The most important aspect of selecting expert-level coders is understanding how broad the role is. Someone that claims that they can write code is not enough.

There are over 700 programming languages, each with its own benefits and limitations. Nobody knows them all. However, most coders are incredibly passionate about what they do.

For a significant number, once the day’s work is complete, they move on to their primary hobby – coding. Most professionals know more than one, and the ideal freelance coder will be open and honest about the best ways to achieve your project goals, whatever they may be.

Given that you are not subject to the limitations of an agency agreement, you might even consider hiring a freelance coder with a broad knowledge of various languages, but that lacks the specific skills for an impartial insight into how a project may produce the best results.

5. A Personal Stake in Your Success

When it comes to agencies, their priorities are usually their brand and their success. They work with you as a client because that’s what they do, but the fact that they have their own brand results in the diminished importance of yours.

Building a relationship with a freelancer is often different. They also want to be successful and will always have an eye on the next opportunity. However, most freelancers often adopt the mindset that every job is an opportunity.

If you can meet their rates and provide somewhat regular work, you become an anchor client. Their pride in their work drives them to deliver the best job possible and what they produce for you reflects on them as an individual rather than a more prominent brand.

Agencies do still have a place in the modern corporate coding landscape. However, businesses that find themselves with less say in how their coders work than they would like or who struggle to fill the available time in a retainer contract will appreciate the ability to work more flexibly.

If coding is not your main business and you find yourself looking for external assistance, dropping the agency and opting for a freelancer coder makes perfect sense.

The additional time investment is negligible, as freelancers are every bit as capable of following briefs as agency staff. Ultimately, businesses that make such a change can expect better results at lower costs and in a far more agile environment should they decide to switch.

Twine is on hand to match every business with the specialist coder that can take their projects to the next level.

Ready to hire? Our marketplace of over 410,000 freelancers has the skills and expertise needed to skyrocket your business to the next level. From marketers to designers, copywriters to SEO experts – browse the talented bunch here!

Rick Herd

Rick writes extensively about the latest marketing and social media trends and how they can help small and medium-sized businesses to get the most bang for their buck in their online operations.