The Secret Life of (Companies Who Contract Content Worker) Bees

There's been a few things written here and there about ever-growing "gig economy", a small legion of non-employees (but highly employable people) that are doing more and more work, from design to HR to marketing and communications work. Harvard Business Review estimates that 150 million people are "leaving the confines of organizational life" in North America and Europe alone, to make a go of it as a freelancer or contractor.

We're a wee bit biased, perhaps, but having been on both sides of the content coin - the agency side and the company side - we can add a perspective that's somewhat unique.

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Why hire a company to do your content marketing and communications?

  • Ruthless execution - no sick days, no political drama or baggage with an employee who may or not be very good or motivated. The freelancer or agency is inherently motivated to just do the job, and do it well.
     
  • Friends with(out) benefits - employees need to be compensated for medical, dental, and vacation-al benefits, whereas the contractor needs only an occasional "great job!". And maybe a timely invoice payment.
     
  • Trust - developing a long-standing relationship with a solid (even, ahem, great) agency or freelancer offers a level of trust that might not even be possible in the modern office environment. Employees sometimes have agendas, and managers might have hidden pressures that inhibit the ability to simply get the best product out the door. 
     
  • Expertise - an agency has - or should have - the latest and greatest trends and tactics for content marketing and communications at the ready. The employee? They might, but they're also likely buried with the day-to-day workload to the extent that they don't have the time to keep up. It's the rare company that has the foresight or luxury to use the Google 20% option. Agencies-slash-contractors-freelancers, on the other hand, need to keep the saw sharp at all times.

Any other benefits to going external that we're missing? Any downsides that we overlooked? Feel free to comment below.