Freelance copywriter vs copywriting agency – which is best for your business?

Every business needs written content. Website copy, blog posts, white papers, case studies – the list goes on. In a startup or micro business, this copy is often written by the founder or another member of the team. But eventually the need for either quality or quantity – or both – means it’s time to hire in a freelance copywriter or copywriting agency.

The question is, which one is right for your business?

In this article, we’re going to look at the advantages and disadvantages of freelance copywriters and copywriting agencies. This won’t help you select an individual writer or agency – you can read more about that in this post on how to hire a copywriter. Instead, we’ll go through some of the factors you should be considering in order to decide what will suit you best.

Why use a freelance copywriter?

A good freelance copywriter is worth their weight in gold. As well as our in-house writers and editors, we have a small but brilliant team of freelancers who are an integral part of the agency.

So we’re not here to suggest that copywriting agencies are in any way better than freelancers. In fact, there are many situations in which we would advise that you go down the freelance route.

Here are some factors that make freelancers appealing.


In most cases, a freelancer is likely to be less expensive than an agency simply because they don’t have the same overheads. They’re also unlikely to be earning over the VAT threshold, saving you a chunk of money if you yourself aren’t VAT registered.

Freelance rates vary widely depending on experience and even location (London prices tend to be higher than Bristol prices, for example). A junior might start out charging as little as £120-£150 a day, whereas someone more specialist or experienced might charge four times that.

There is likely to be some crossover between the highest freelance rates and the rates charged by the smaller agencies though, so don’t be afraid to get a range of quotes. Just make sure you’re comparing like-for-like in terms of what’s being delivered.


Where agencies will have their processes in place, a freelancer may well have more flexibility. For example, they might be happy to come and work in-house at your offices for a period of time. They are also unlikely to have minimum fee or retainer terms.

Retainer relationships do make sense on a number of levels. First, there is a degree of work to be done upfront in getting to know a client and understanding their industry, establishing tone of voice, messaging and more. Also, in the case of content marketing, it takes time to see results.

But you might not want a long-term relationship. Perhaps you only need someone to do a small, one-off piece of work, or perhaps your budget is too uncertain to commit to a monthly outgoing. Or you might just be testing the water. In which case, a freelancer may be a good bet.


When you work with a freelance copywriter, they essentially become an extension of your team. You’ll manage them directly rather than going through an account manager, which may give you a greater sense of having eyes on all stages of the content creation process.

This is great for founders who are naturally close to their business and feel protective of anything that gets written on their behalf, or marketing managers who are used to managing a team, setting strategy, giving feedback and generally running projects.

If your business is growing and your copy requirements are likely to grow with it, then you need to be sure that your provision will be able to expand to meet that.

Why use a copywriting agency?

This is not where we do a big old sales pitch. As we’ve demonstrated above, there are many reasons why you might need a freelance copywriter. And if you find a good one, hold onto them!

But there will be times when getting an agency on board is going to suit your needs better.

Consistent capacity

One key issue is capacity. An agency will not only have internal resources but access to a pool of tried and tested freelancers, plus processes in place for managing availability and consistency of quality. As a result, you shouldn’t have to wait weeks before they can fit you in and you’ll never have to worry about what happens if your writer gets sick or wants to take a holiday.

Likewise, if your business is growing and your copy requirements are likely to grow with it, then you need to be sure that your provision will be able to expand to meet that. One person can only do so much work, whereas a team has potentially infinite capacity.

More experts

With a freelancer, you’re relying on one person to have a number of different skillsets. With an agency, you’ll get a team that brings together a variety of specialists.

For example, you might have a brand consultant to help you with your brand voice and messaging, a content strategist to help you create your editorial calendar, an account manager to interview your experts, a writer to create the draft content and an editor or proofreading to ensure it’s polished before it reaches you.

Project management

As well as accessing a variety of creatives, using a copywriting agency means you’ll have to do less on the project management side of things too.

An agency will provide a fully managed service, handling everything from brief creation through copy drafting, editing and proofing, managing the writers and even liaising with other professionals like designers or developers. That’s a lot less for you to sort out at your end.


We’re not suggesting that agencies produce better work than freelancers. But the reality is that there are plenty of bad copywriters out there. Choosing an agency should give you at least a minimum standard of quality.

A not-so-great freelancer might be able to get by on good luck but a substandard copywriting agency won’t last long. It’s just too competitive out there and running a business – with employees to pay, office space to rent, insurance, accountancy fees and a million other expenses besides – means there’s no room for slackers.

Is RH&Co right for your business?

Everything we’ve written so far has been designed to give you a broad brush and unbiased view of the copywriting market. Of course, not every freelance copywriter or copywriting agency is the same. So what about us?


Because no two projects are alike, we create proposals on a bespoke basis, taking into account factors like the type of work involved and the complexity of the subject matter. New projects start from £1,750+VAT, while retainers start at £950+VAT.

We put our prices up every January as standard, to reflect the increased cost of living, our commitment to pay our team and freelancers fairly, and the increasing value we aim to deliver year on year.


Our specialism as an agency is in working with expert-led businesses to help them clarify and communicate their message and establish their expertise through content.

Our services include:

  • A range of consultancy services around developing brand voice and messaging
  • Creation of copy for websites, pitch decks, corporate brochures etc
  • Ongoing content creation including blogging, white papers, case studies etc.

Our writing team pulls together experience across a wide range of industries, primarily in tech, healthcare, sustainability and B2B services, and we are particularly experienced in working with complex subject matter to draw out the elements that readers will find engaging.


As a relatively small copywriting agency, we like to think of ourselves as being pretty agile in the way we work with our clients. However we aren’t able to provide writers to work in-house on your premises.

We do work on both a project and a retainer basis, with retainer SLAs being set for a minimum of six months to ensure that we can provide the most value. In reality, most of our clients stay with us for much longer!

Team and capacity

With both in-house copywriting resources and a team of handpicked freelancers on our books, we always have capacity to work with new clients. We also have processes in place to cover sickness and holiday absence.

We can usually book in an onboarding or briefing session within a fortnight of you making the decision to work with us and we’ll always be clear with you about our project timelines to help with your planning. As a guide, website projects tend to take a minimum of six weeks, while retained blogging clients have their draft copy delivered with 7-10 working days of each month’s briefing.

Every project, whether one-off or ongoing, has – at the very least – a dedicated account/project manager, a writer and a separate editor to ensure that the quality of the copy we produce meets RH&Co standards. You can find out more about the in-house team on our About page here.


Hopefully by now you’re feeling a lot more confident about whether or not you should be aiming to work with a freelance copywriter or a copywriting agency – and whether we might be a good fit. Let’s sum up the main points.

You should choose a freelance copywriter if:

  • You have a small, one-off project such as a single flyer
  • You have a limited budget for a bigger job such as a website
  • You want the writer to work in-house in your offices
  • You’re not ready to commit to a longer term relationship

You should choose a copywriting agency if:

  • You want to ensure sufficient ongoing capacity
  • You need the support of an experienced team
  • You want be sure of a minimum standard of quality
  • You’re committed to using copy strategically on an ongoing basis

Whether or not you should work with us is something you won’t fully be able to decide until you’ve had a chat with us. After all you want to know that whoever you choose, you’re actually going to get on with them, right?

If you want to get to know us a bit better, drop us a line to arrange a call. In the meantime, feel free to have a look around the site, and why not connect with us on LinkedIn?

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