Blog > Designity > Designity vs. Freelance Marketplaces

Which Creative Service is Right For You?

April 20, 2023
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10
min read

The creative market is an exciting place to be in 2023. At a time when marketers from companies of all sizes are looking for alternatives to in-house, full-time design teams, it’s likely that they will look into the freelance marketplace for quality freelancers to complete their projects.

We are here to tell you that there are other options that won’t require you to come up with your own screening process or search endlessly for the best freelancing site in order to find creatives with the right skill set.

Instead, why not look into a service that’s disrupting antiquated creative models?

This is Designity vs. freelance marketplaces.

What Are Freelance Marketplaces?

A freelance marketplace is an online platform that connects freelance designers, writers, and a wide range of other creative talent with clients or companies looking to hire them for remote jobs. It allows anyone to sign up as freelancers, create a profile, advertise their skills and services, and bid on or apply for job postings from potential clients. 

Clients can search these freelance platforms for talent that match their specific requirements, whether that’s logo design, social media ad creation, web design, software development, or more, and hire them for part-time or project-based work. 

These marketplaces usually handle the payment process and provide a means of communication and dispute resolution between the freelancer and the client. 

Examples of freelance marketplaces include Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr.

What is Designity?

Designity is a US-based creative platform for the top 3% of creatives from all backgrounds, experience levels, and specialties. The variety in specialties allows them to cater to companies with a wide variety of design and marketing needs. 

All of the creative teams are supervised by a designated Creative Director who has at least fifteen years of experience in their creative field. Creative Directors combine the artistic skill of a veteran Creative with the administrative skill set of a project manager.

This means that a top Creative Director can lead and mentor a team of Creatives across a variety of disciplines, along with ensuring quality and fast turnarounds. At Designity, our Creative Directors represent the top 3% in their field and are clients' single point-of-contact, bringing strategy and reliable management to every project.

A Comparison at First Glance

<div class="c-superside_table"><div class="c-superside_table-top"><div class="c-superside_table-row cc-first"><div class="c-superside_table-main cc-top"><div class="c-table_column cc-main cc-empty"></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-top cc-designity"><div class="c-superside_card-top"><img src="https://global-uploads.webflow.com/61cdf3c5e0b8155f19e0105b/63058740cc06661a40651e77_Logo%20Designity.png" loading="lazy" alt="Logo graphic for Designity at the head of a table showing how we are different from Freelancers, In-House Design teams, and traditional creative agencies." class="c-superside_card-top-image"></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-top cc-superside"><div class="c-superside_card-top"><div class="c-superside_card-top-circle"><div class="c-text-marketplaces"><strong>Marketplaces</strong></div></div></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-row"><div class="c-superside_table-main cc-left"><div class="c-text-2"><strong>Pricing &amp; Plans</strong></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-designity"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">Plan prices range from $3,150 – $8,495 per month, depending on whether you select monthly, quarterly, or annual pricing.<br></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-superside"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">Inconsistent pricing varies wildly depending on the freelancers you work with. Often cheaper for a reason!<br></div></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-row"><div class="c-superside_table-main cc-left"><div class="c-text-2"><strong>Creative Direction &amp;&nbsp;Project Management</strong></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-designity"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">A designated Creative Director with 10+ years of experience in creative strategy, project management, team leadership, and quality assurance.<br></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-superside"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">You’re on your own. Hopefully your freelancer will also be a project manager, but you’ll need to be your own creative director.<br></div></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-row"><div class="c-superside_table-main cc-left"><div class="c-text-2"><strong>Guaranteed Deadlines</strong></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-designity"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">Yes! Plus transparent timelines to show all the steps and phases the goes into your projects.<br></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-superside"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">Varies. It all depends on the personal policies and work ethic of the freelancer(s) you choose. Good luck enforcing deadlines.<br></div></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-row"><div class="c-superside_table-main cc-left"><div class="c-text-2"><strong>Skill Limitations</strong></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-designity"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">More than 100 design and marketing categories covered thanks to the vetted community of Creatives. Includes graphic design, digital marketing, copywriting, website, video production and more.<br></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-superside"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">Limited to the freelancer’s innate skill set. You will need to source and manage additional Creatives to meet needs outside of scope.<br></div></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-row"><div class="c-superside_table-main cc-left"><div class="c-text-2"><strong>Quality Control</strong></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-designity"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">24/7 Quality Assurance provided by your designated Creative Director. Designity’s tech-enabled design platform empowers transparency and effective communication.<br></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-superside"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">You are the quality control. You’re responsible for proofreading, brand alignment, creative direction, and project management.<br></div></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-row"><div class="c-superside_table-main cc-left"><div class="c-text-2"><strong>Creative Team</strong></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-designity"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">Your Creative Director collaborates with qualified Creatives based on your projects. Enjoy access to a pool of interchangeable US-based Creatives to fulfill any need.<br></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-superside"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">You will need to assemble and manage your own team of internationally-based freelancers.<br></div></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-row"><div class="c-superside_table-main cc-left"><div class="c-text-2"><strong>Collaboration</strong></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-designity"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">On an ongoing basis, your Creative Director will conduct weekly status calls, monthly check-ins, and 90-day formal reports. This way you always know your ROI.<br></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-superside"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">Depends on the freelancer. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, email, and Slack are all possibilities.<br></div></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-row"><div class="c-superside_table-main cc-left"><div class="c-text-2"><strong>Trial Period?</strong></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-designity"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">Yes. Two-week trial for available for monthly plans, three-week trial available for quarterly plans, and a four-week trial is available for annual plans.<br></div></div></div><div class="c-superside_table-column cc-superside"><div class="c-superside_table-content"><div class="c-text-2">No trial available! Pricing is typically done on a per-project basis, with deposit payments required upfront.<br></div></div></div></div></div></div>

Want to see a more in-depth comparison to creative marketplaces? We built a page for that over here >>

The Client Experience

A potential client looks on a laptop for freelancers. She is viewing a 4-star applicant.

One of the most important things to remember when trying to decide between working with a freelance marketplace or with Designity is that the overall client experience is very different. Let’s dive into both and try to determine which one fits your needs best.

Freelance Creative Marketplaces 

The client experience when working with a freelance marketplace can vary depending on the specific platform and the client's specific needs and preferences. However, in general, the process may involve the following steps:

The client will need to create an account on the marketplace, which typically involves providing basic personal and professional information and creating a user profile. The client then either posts a listing on the job board or browses the marketplace to find freelancers who match their needs based on factors such as skills, experience, and ratings.

After this, the client can review proposals or bids from freelancers who have applied to their project and select the freelancer they want to work with.

One thing to keep in mind when working with the freelance marketplace is that clients are left almost entirely on their own, to not only source and vet creatives, but also to set timelines, create project briefs, and follow up on project deadlines.

Designity

With Designity, the client experience is a lot simpler from what you may experience in the freelance marketplace. Designity’s clients are onboarded by speaking with an account representative who guides them through the process, as it is new for most marketers.

After that initial call, clients are directed to a detailed questionnaire where they explain their project needs, scope of services, and what exactly they would want in a Creative Director. 

After this, they are matched with the right Creative Director who fits their needs. Once they’re matched with a compatible Creative Director, this becomes the clients’ single point-of-contact.

This is one of the things that sets Designity apart in the creative landscape. Some creative marketplaces offer a project manager, but none provide the combination of project management and creative direction that we do. 

Along with our tech-enabled design platform, which offers a fully managed design process, plus access to only the top 3% of US-based Creatives, most of our clients put Designity in its own class.

Quality Control

A big seal of approval indicating excellent quality control.

One thing that a lot of marketers may overlook when searching for the right solution for their creative projects is quality control. Let’s see how Designity differs from the hiring freelancers from the freelance marketplace.

Freelance Creative Marketplaces

Quality control is one of the biggest concerns and a sore pain point for marketers who have experience working with freelancers. 

Varying levels of quality: The quality of work provided by freelancers can vary greatly, and it can be difficult for clients to know what to expect.

Difficulty in verifying qualifications: It can be difficult for clients to verify the qualifications and experience of freelancers, which can make it difficult to assess their suitability for the project.

Difficulty in assessing language and cultural differences: If a client is working with a freelancer from a different country, it can be challenging to assess the freelancer's language skills and cultural differences which can affect the quality of work.

Miscommunication: Miscommunication can occur easily when working with freelancers remotely, which can lead to confusion and dissatisfaction with the final product.

Limited control over the process: Clients may have limited control over the freelancer's work process, making it difficult to ensure quality standards are being met.

Designity

Quality control with Designity is a seamless process, and here is why:

Matchmaking process: Designity’s matchmaking process is the relational secret sauce that matches every client with a compatible Creative Director. It starts with a carefully crafted questionnaire where you tell us how you work and what your expectations are. We use that, along with company research, to hand-pick an expert Creative Director who can become your new collaborative partner.

Creative Directors: At Designity, every single client that signs up for a package is assigned a designated Creative Director no matter the package size. The Creative Director is much more involved than a simple account manager, but this is because the Creative Directors are meant to act as an extension of your team. 

The Creative Directors in this case go beyond simple project management and setting timelines. You are actually encouraged to bounce ideas off of your Creative Director, work through creative struggles, and keep an open line of communication via weekly video calls. 

Designity’s Creative Directors also source and manage the entire creative team so that you don’t have to. 

US-based, fully vetted creative pool: All of Designity’s Creatives are not only US-based but highly vetted. This means that no matter what your package size, or the type of project that you have, you can always expect a high-quality result.

Timelines and Collaboration

Two hands about to connect two pieces of a puzzle.

Freelance Creative Marketplaces

When working with the freelance marketplace, one of the main challenges is managing timelines and ensuring that deadlines are met. It can be difficult to coordinate schedules and ensure that all parties are on the same page when working with individuals who may be located in different time zones or have other commitments.

Another challenge when working with the freelance marketplace is collaboration. It can be difficult to effectively communicate and work with individuals who may not be familiar with your company's specific processes or tools.

Additionally, freelancers may not be available for impromptu collaboration or addressing urgent issues as they often juggle a multitude of clients at once.

It is important to have good project management tools and processes in place to minimize these challenges and to be clear on the scope, timelines, and deliverables of the project since you are the only one providing creative direction.

Designity

Designity’s model, along with the Creative Directors, ensures that collaboration and setting timelines are always seamless processes.

Our unique creative model makes it so that Creative Directors are in charge of setting client expectations and determining realistic timelines based on the project's needs. Clients have regular calls with their creative director to touch base and make sure that every aspect of the project is meeting client expectations.

In addition to this, all creative teams are interchangeable, so if a client needs to add a copywriter to the creative team, or a motion graphics designer, they can do this quickly and efficiently without having to dive back into the creative pool to find new Creatives.

Cost

Giant dollar bills floating in a field of yellow Designity-branded blobs.

Freelance Creative Marketplaces

There are several pricing models used by freelance marketplaces, which vary depending on the platform and the type of services offered. Some of the most common models include:

  1. Hourly Rate: This is one of the most common pricing models used by freelance marketplaces. Freelancers set their own hourly rate, and clients are charged for the number of hours worked on a project. The clients do not have control over the hours that the freelancer works or charges for.

  1. Project-based: In this model, clients and freelancers agree on a fixed price for a project, regardless of how many hours are required to complete it. This model is often used for well-defined projects with a clear scope and deliverables.

Designity

Unlike freelance marketplaces, Designity’s pricing is very simple and straightforward. There are three packages to choose from and the higher the package, the bigger the scope of services, and the more Creatives you can add to your team.

Every package, no matter the size, automatically comes with your designated Creative Director. Another thing to note is that even if you sign up for the Essentials package (the introductory package), your creative team is always interchangeable. So, you may have only one Creative on your project at a time, but you are able to swap them out as needed to complete whatever project you need to complete.

The pricing for Designity starts at $3,495 per month for the Essentials package.

While Designity’s pricing sounds higher than what you might spend using freelance websites to find talent, it does even out in the end.  When you consider the amount of time and money saved on sourcing creatives or needing to have a project redone because the deliverable was below expectations, it’s worth it.

Trial Period

A tilted hourglass, indicating the passing of time.

Freelance Creative Marketplaces

Asking freelancers for a trial period can feel like asking a restaurant if you can taste a spoonful of every course before committing to a full meal. 

The vast majority of freelancers do not offer an unpaid trial period which makes perfect sense as they are usually solopreneurs whose entire paycheck comes from the work that they do with clients. Time is literally money for them which is why you’d be hard-pressed to find one who would grant you a trial period.

The problem is that, with freelancers, you don’t always know what you are paying for until you start receiving deliverables, and if those deliverables aren’t up to standard, you still have to pay them unless their contract stipulates otherwise.

Designity

No matter what your package commitment is, Designity always offers a two-week trial period so that clients can test out their model and determine if their approach is the right fit for them. 

Clients are able to meet their Creative Director, start a new project, and make their final decision with a tangible deliverable in their hands. This way, clients are not signing up for a package, blindly hoping that Designity will be the right fit.

One thing to note about the two-week trial is that the deliverables will not be available for use unless the client signs on to a package. If they do, then those two weeks are absorbed into the first month. 

While it is a two-week test run, it isn’t free unless the client cancels before the fourteen days are over.

<div class="c-blog_comp-cta cc-component-1"><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-left"><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-left-wrap"><img src="https://global-uploads.webflow.com/61cdf3c5e0b8155f19e0105b/6369722e59155470b6840033_Potential-clients.png" loading="lazy" alt="" class="c-blog_comp-cta-left-img"></div></div><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-right"><div class="c-blog_comp-content"><div class="c-text-wrapper cc-mb-32"><div class="c-title-4 cc-bold"><strong>Want to save money without sacrificing the quality?</strong></div></div><div class="c-text-wrapper"><div class="c-text-2">Say goodbye to traditional, expensive agencies and unreliable marketplaces. Say hello to Designity.<br></div></div></div><div class="c-blog_comp-wrapper"><a href="/pricing" target="_blank" class="c-button cc-primary cc-inverted w-button"><strong>Get Your 2-Week Trial</strong></a></div></div></div>

The Verdict: Designity vs Marketplaces

There is no ‘wrong’ answer when it comes to choosing the best creative service for your needs. Whether you choose to go the freelance marketplace route, or the highly specialized and customized route is completely up to you.

Because Designity and freelance marketplaces are so different when it comes to pricing, scope, and approach, making the choice between the two wholly depends on a client’s specific needs. 

If they need a more hands-off, cruise control approach with a wide array of service offerings and don’t want to manage or assign creatives, then looking at a platform like Designity would be the right choice.

For companies that don’t mind steering their own creative ship and have the bandwidth to support sourcing and vetting creatives, freelance marketplaces would be a great place to begin their creative journey. 

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About the author:
Kat Calejo
Senior content writer- Designity
Interested in content collaboration? Email at press@designity.com
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