Specialist Agency vs Big Agency

Specialist Agency vs Big Agency

With affordable technology and a large network of collaborators, is there a reason to go with a big agency over a smaller, more specialist agency?

I’ve been on all sides of this equation for 17+ years in the biz. I’ve worked at large and small firms, freelancing, worked in-house, worked with outside agencies, and now I have a small firm competing against big agencies. There are many reasons why an independent designer or small firm is much better for your business; let’s take a look at some of the best.

Bigger is Not Better

If an agency uses size as a differentiator, run away in my article titled “The Full-Service Fallacy” I detail positioning and why size doesn’t equate to good. In summary, bigger is not better, better is better, and different is better. With a large agency, much of the cost goes toward their massive bottom line. Pay for great work to help your business, not a fancy office you visit once or twice during sales.

Build Dream Teams

Smaller firms, like Propr, have extensive networks that allow us to build teams based on our client’s budgets and needs. I have other indy dev shops and freelance developers I use on web projects. Often, Propr is hired to design, with no marketing, PR, or advertising. But if the need arises, we can build the perfect team and deliver great work. I have marketing people, content creators, photographers, videographers, production artists, etc., to pull into a project as needed. There is a huge benefit to this model. My clients aren’t stuck with my team and staff, and I’m not stuck with big overhead. Instead, I build the perfect dream team for my clients’ needs.

No Bait & Switch

One of the most frustrating things a big agency can do to a client is the bait and switch. The B+S is when the agency puts a fancy creative director (I’ve been that guy) in front of you during the sales process and meetings, but a junior-level designer does the work. Agencies that bill hourly do this because it is how they make more money per project. The young designer is likely making $25 per hour while they charge you $175 per hour, and you get junior-level creative. That sucks.

Hiring a small firm like Propr gets you a senior-level designer, creative director, and consultant who will work closely and directly with your business and actually do the majority of the design. This is one of the reasons why we don’t prescribe solutions until we make a diagnosis. On the contrary, agencies want to sell the project and figure it out from there.

Value > Cost

If your business needs a new website or brand identity work, you can hire a full-time creative to join your team at over six figures a year. Or you can hire a large agency focusing on the sale more than the service. Or you can partner with a small firm or independent designer who will bring greater value to your business and a larger return for your investment.

Propr Plug

I started Propr to offer expertise in designing brand identities and websites. We work with businesses per project and on retainer to bring creativity, dialogue, and results to your projects. I have a user-centered design process that focuses on the people in your audience while ensuring the designs help achieve your business goals and brand aspirations.

Are you looking to grow your business with a stronger brand?

Bobby Gillespie


With 24 years of creative experience in leadership, planning, and executing performance-based branding and web design strategies, Propr and I help small and medium-sized companies and organizations grow revenue, attract new customers, manage and scale their brands, and improve marketing performance.

I’m also the author of Build Your Brand Like You Give a Shit.
Connect and follow me on LinkedIn.

Schedule a call to learn how we can help you transform your brand for consistent and better performance.

About Propr

Propr Branding and Web Design Best of Maryland Awards

Propr is a boutique brand strategy and creative agency. We help companies and organizations grow through high-performing brand strategy, graphic & identity design, messaging & custom WordPress website design & development. Performance and results drive our passion for service. Let’s do great things for your brand together.

Ready to transform your brand for consistent and better performance? Contact us today!

By: Bobby G


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Propr, the growth advisory & creative services firm.
Performance & results drive our passion for service.
Let’s turn your vision into reality.

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