In-House vs. Freelance: Why Freelancers Win

When companies choose to assign their writing projects in-house, it's their loss. Freelancers are the better choice.

Sometimes companies try to sway you on rates or other terms by saying they could handle their writing projects in-house but were considering your freelance service for convenience. Don’t believe the hype. Stand your ground.

Sure, a company can sift through the staff and find someone to do their writing. It just won’t be as good. A lot of people take the DIY route when doing things, and a lot of them end up with inferior, if not disastrous, results.

Unless a company has hired creative professionals, freelancers are almost always the better choice for writing and creative projects. I don’t care which employee a company is going to pick. I don’t care how important that person’s job title sounds.

I’m not saying this because I’m Team Freelance. I’m saying this because I’ve seen firsthand the horrible communication and dull creative efforts that come from professionals. I have seen it from lawyers, geologists, C-suite officers and a wide range of other intelligent and talented people.

I used to write for a marketing firm that catered to industrial clients, and the proof was provided on a regular basis. I saw pet food companies that couldn’t communicate with pet owners and building supply companies that couldn’t connect with the designers and contractors they supply.

Doing one thing well does not mean you do all things well. And as a writer, you should feel very confident knowing that your talent isn’t one that’s easily replicated.

Keeping The Project In-House

Writing from the inside is problematic, and there are several reasons why. For starters, a lot of professionals don’t have the writing skills they think they have. And, furthermore, companies have a problem finding and delivering a message that will resonate with outsiders. They tend to tell people the wrong things and to say things the wrong way.

When writing projects are assigned in-house, the upper beings, meaning the managers and the executives, will often decide what the message is before they select the writer. The individual who gets the assignment is just supposed to add meat to someone else’s ideas.

That meat is often stiff and stale because insiders are too inclined to focus on corporate image and technical details. The things that seem most impressive and important to them are things that bore everyone else.

On top of that, employees are fed too much corporate chatter—mission statements, company culture, pep talks, quarterly performances, letters from the chairman. People start to regurgitate all that noise. It clouds their logic and obstructs their speech.

And then there’s vested interest. An employee’s priority is being an employee. When given projects, employees may know there is a sharper message or a more appealing approach, but most won’t pursue it. And even if they can tone down or turn off the corporate chatter, most won’t do it, because people with jobs are usually driven by two things—the fear of getting fired and a desire to impress colleagues and superiors.

An employee’s priority is being an employee. When given projects, employees may know there is a sharper message or a more appealing approach, but most won’t pursue it. And even if they can tone down or turn off the corporate chatter, most won’t do it, because people with jobs are usually driven by two things—the fear of getting fired and a desire to impress colleagues and superiors.

Most people have no intention of bringing honesty, creativity and fresh perspectives to work. Their objective is to look, talk and work as closely to the status quo as possible so they can stay employed, feel included and get raises.

When the employee is primarily focused on personal motives and the company is focused on corporate image, the audience is really just an afterthought, a target for selfish aims. That’s why so much of what’s written by corporate America is ignored.

Why Freelancers Are The Better Choice

Freelancers are the better choice because we walk in the shoes of the unfamiliar. Our curiosity, objectivity and point of view are on par with the audience. We’re all outsiders.

Freelancers are the better choice because we can take a no-BS approach to getting the job done. Our heads aren’t filled with corporate babble. We don’t have to worry about fitting in or doing what’s best for the next evaluation. We don’t have to pretend to be impressed by the people we deal with or the companies they represent. We can deal with our clients eye-to-eye, professional to professional.

Freelancers are the better choice because our vested interest is in providing quality service and quality products. That’s a motive to design the best strategy for each project we take. We offer the skills that are needed along with a fresh set of eyes and fresh perspectives. That’s what you call a value package.

Freelancers are the best choice because we offer the skills that are needed along with a fresh set of eyes and fresh perspectives. That’s what you call a value package.

So when clients try to make you feel like they’re cutting you short by doing a job in-house, realize they’re actually cutting themselves short by doing it in-house.

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