Building your brand means wrangling a lot of moving pieces. If details like logo design, developing brand guidelines, and creating a website make your head spin, you’re not alone. The good news is, there are professionals who can help with the heavy lifting. But should you hire a specialist for each piece of your branding? Or turn to a full-service creative agency for solutions? The answer, as always, depends on your business goals and needs. 

Specialist vs. Full-Service Creative Agency

When we use the word “specialist,” we’re referring to either a solo professional or a boutique agency that specializes in a single aspect of marketing. Examples of specialists include logo designers, branding agencies, web designers, SEO copywriters, social media managers, and more. 

On the other hand, a full-service creative agency often has one or more of these specialists working together in-house. An agency has the capability to handle multiple aspects of your marketing plan, often taking projects from concept through launch. Some even offer post-launch, ongoing support. 

So, which is the best option for your brand? Here are some questions you can ask to decide between a marketing specialist and a full-service creative agency. 

Hiring a specialist

There’s someone out there who specializes in every single element of your brand—from branding experts to niche TikTok marketing experts. Whether you’re just launching your brand or looking for a refresh, these specialists can play a crucial role in helping to shape your efforts.



Freelancers often have a smaller client list than agencies. As a result, they can operate more agilely and work more efficiently with abbreviated timelines. AKA, if you’re looking for fast turnaround times or need something urgently, a freelancer might be your best bet. 

Lower Cost for Services

In general, freelancers and specialists have lower overhead costs than a full-service creative agency. If you’re looking for just one service (ex. A new logo), it could be more cost effective to work with a logo design specialist. But, if your project is more complex and has more moving pieces, you’ll need to factor in the cost of working with several different freelancers. And those costs can add up quickly for full-scale brand launches. 


It’s no surprise that specialists will, well, be more specialized in their approach. That means offering expert service on a particular type of project. This makes them a great option if your business needs a one-time specific role filled in their current project. It’s like going to a taqueria for tacos instead of ordering them off the menu at Applebee’s: they do one thing and do it really, really well.  



Wait, didn’t we say this was a pro already? Well, specialization can be a double-edged sword. Because specialists often have a narrow scope of service, they may not be equipped to handle multiple aspects of your project. For example, a website designer can deliver a beautiful website, but might not know the first thing about SEO copywriting. Or a strategist can tell you where, when, and how often to post to social media, but can’t create the assets you’ll actually need to reach your target audience. 

Reliability Risk

Often, when you contract a specialist you’re working directly with just one person. And, unfortunately, life happens. If that person gets sick, has a family emergency, or decides to change careers mid-project, your project could end up in limbo. 

The Rundown

If you’re on a budget, a quick timeline, or just have one clearly-outlined task you need completed, a specialist could be your best bet. However, they do come with higher reliability risks and might not be able to help with complex or evolving projects. 

Working with a full-service agency

Today’s full-service creative agencies do more than ever before! And the word “creative” in the name doesn’t mean they’re just designing concepts. They put creativity to work. Most agencies offer a vast array of services that includes strategy, design, and implementation. This might include things like running Google Ads, managing social media accounts, and one-time projects like branding design and website creation. 


More cohesion

Think back to your last potluck. When each guest is responsible for one dish, you might end up with a delicious but disjointed smorgasbord. The same can be true if you’re hiring different specialists to work on various aspects of your brand. But when you partner with a full-service agency, you have a cohesive team working together to create something cohesive. 

Multi-faceted approach

When you work with a full-service creative agency, you have a whole team focused on your brand’s success. That means you get unique insights from strategists, designers, writers, and developers. Because these teams take a multidisciplinary approach to each project, they’ll likely have a bigger-picture view than most specialized service providers. 

Larger teams, more skill sets

Because creative agencies tend to have a full, in-house team of strategists, writers, designers, and developers, they can leverage more skills to keep your project on-track. Plus, each member of the team benefits from the expertise of their colleagues. This collaborative approach can make a huge difference when it comes to the final outcome. 


More expensive

Creative agencies tend to have larger teams and more overhead costs than freelancers and solopreneurs. As a result, the hourly rate tends to be more expensive. But, because they can handle multiple aspects of your project, it may be more cost effective to work with an agency than to hire multiple specialists. Again, it depends on the complexity of your project and end goals. 

Longer timelines

Full-service creative agencies tend to have more formal onboarding and review processes, which can translate to longer project timelines. We’re going to note this as a con with a grain of salt, though. Because their process tends to be more rigorous, the final product has almost certainly been more thoroughly vetted.

The Rundown

Full-service creative agencies can be a significant investment in your brand’s future. If you want a long-term partner who can dedicate the time and attention required to know your brand fully, they’re the way to go. Their multidisciplinary teams can offer valuable insights and handle complex challenges more efficiently than a specialist. 

So, which should you choose?

In the end, your goals should drive the decision. Whether you work with a freelance specialist or a full-service agency team, you’re getting a marketing expert who’s committed to the success of your project. 

At Savy, we’re proud to work with clients across industries and offer a customized suite of services to meet you where you’re at right now. From small-scale projects like logo design to custom website development and brand launch campaigns, we do it all. Plus, our comprehensive intake process allows us to get to the heart of your brand’s marketing needs and create custom proposals that support your goals. Want to know if we’re a good fit? Get in touch!