Top Freelancer Alternatives for Design in 2024

Jumping from freelancer to freelancer can often lead to hidden costs and brand inconsistency. Here's what you can do about it.

Written by
Alex Stewart
Founder @ Teamtown
Published on:
June 2, 2023

Are you a marketer or business owner tired of the never-ending headache that comes with working with freelancer platforms or freelancers?

You aren't alone. Marketers are frequently taking the heat for delayed designs and inconsistent branding caused by working with multiple freelancers at once or only relying on one.

We've heard it time and time again. Inconsistent brand experiences, hidden costs, and the hassle of finding and hiring freelancers will hinder your creative production process.

Luckily, we've already cracked the code. Five deep breaths!

In this blog post, we'll introduce you to the best freelancer alternatives to choose from and the perfect freelancer alternative that some of the top brands are using to keep branding and designs consistent. 

Common Freelancer Alternatives for Graphic Design

Before jumping directly in to what company, service, or provider you want to use as an alternative to freelancers, take some time to think about what category of freelancer alternatives work best for you and your brand. 

Let's start with the 4 most common alternatives:

1. Creative Agencies

Working with a creative agency can be a reliable alternative to using freelancers. These agencies often have an in-house team of skilled designers who specialize in different areas of design. When partnering with a creative agency, you gain access to a dedicated team that can handle all your design requirements while ensuring brand consistency across projects.

That said, creative agencies often come with sky-high price points and hourly bills, preventing businesses from planning expenses or affording the expense in the first place.

Pros

  • High quality (most of the time!)
  • Wide scope of services available, such as web design
  • Traditional; time-tested

Cons

  • Extremely expensive
  • Hourly bills are hard to predict
  • No control, design team is miles away from the customer

2. Design Studios

Design studios are another viable option for businesses seeking an alternative to freelancers. These specialized studios typically have a team of talented designers with expertise in various design disciplines. Working with a design studio allows you to tap into their collective skills and experience, ensuring high-quality designs tailored to your clients specific needs.

Design studios often have a well-defined creative process, ensuring efficient project management and effective collaboration throughout the design journey.

Contracts with design studios are often per-project, and can range in thousands to tens of thousands of dollars in cost. For businesses with a consistent stream of design projects, this is often not the most ideal option.

Pros

  • Specific skills in design
  • Extremely high quality
  • Ideal for large and robust 1-time design projects

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Lacks flexibility
  • No control, design team is far from the customer

3. In-House Design Team

Building an in-house design team is a long-term alternative to freelancers that offers complete control and customization. By hiring designers as full-time employees, you have the advantage of having a team that is dedicated solely to your organization's design projects.

This ensures a deep understanding of your brand and allows for direct collaboration. While it requires an investment in recruitment, onboarding, paperwork, HR, hidden costs, and maintaining a team, an in-house design team can provide unparalleled consistency and alignment with your organization's goals and values.

Pros

  • Full control and customization
  • Dedicated designers
  • Deep understanding of the business needs

Cons

  • Large time-commitment
  • Expensive with hidden costs
  • Recruitment and onboarding

4. Creative as a Service Platforms

Creative as a Service (CaaS) platforms have emerged as a comprehensive alternative to freelancers. These platforms offer subscription-based design services, allowing you to access a dedicated design team for a fixed monthly fee.

With CaaS, you can enjoy the benefits of having a consistent design team that understands your brand and delivers high-quality designs on demand. Designers will also often go through a rigorous screening process before working with any customers.

These platforms often provide seamless communication channels with project managers, streamlined revision processes, and a range of design services, making them an all-in-one solution for your design needs.

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • High quality (with the right solution!)
  • Dedicated design team that integrates with your company

Cons

  • More rigid guidelines
  • Third party service
  • Plenty of low-quality CaaS solutions on the market

Best Freelancer Alternative for Graphic Design

Maybe we're biased, but Creative as a Service (CaaS) is our ultimate proven solution for freelancer alternatives.

With a monthly subscription model, you'll pay one flat monthly fee and gain access to a dedicated design team that works with you consistently each day.

No more jumping from freelancer to freelancer, resulting in brand inconsistency and lost time. Teamtown's services cover all your design and video editing needs, allowing you to focus on what matters most – growing your company and buying back your time.

Time to pick up that pilates class!

Overcome the Challenges of Freelancers with CaaS

Working with freelancers can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you have the freedom to choose from a vast pool of talent.

On the other hand, you face the daunting task of the hiring process, managing multiple freelancers, ensuring brand consistency, and dealing with unexpected costs. This can make finding and working with freelancers harder than communicating with your sales team.

As far as freelancer alternatives go, CaaS addresses these challenges head-on. By providing you with a dedicated design team, they become an extension of your brand, ensuring a seamless and consistent experience across all creative projects.

Say goodbye to brand inconsistency and hello to a peaceful weekend (FINALLY).

Success Stories and Examples

Still not sure on what works best for your business and team? With the number of options on the market, we don't blame you.

Sometimes you just have to see someone else do it. Here's a few brands that switched from working with freelancers to using our top freelancer alternative: CaaS.

1. Bee's and Honey Marketing Agency

Bee's and Honey, a rapidly growing marketing agency, struggled with inconsistent creative production and brand messaging due to working with freelancers.

Once they switched to Teamtown, they experienced a significant improvement in brand consistency and saw their creative production process streamlined. By working closely with their dedicated design team, they were able to convey a cohesive brand message and achieve outstanding results.

2. HostGenius Property Management

HostGenius, Western Canada's leading Airbnb Management company, had troubles finding reliable designers to help jumpstart their creative production on their graphic design projects. Other sites often left them with surprise hourly bills or never-ending paid revisions.

By switching to a monthly design subscription with Teamtown, they were able to work with the same design team on all of their projects, work with a team that learns their brand and what they need, all with one monthly subscription. Using an unlimited design service meant unlimited revisions until they got something they absolutely loved.

Comparing CaaS to Competitors

When it comes to freelancer alternatives, CaaS stands out from the crowd. While sites like Upwork, Freelancer.com, and Fiverr offer access to freelancers, they don't provide the same level of commitment, reliability, and consistency as Teamtown does with a team of dedicated in-house designers.

Unlike a freelance marketplace, Teamtown's CaaS gives you access to unlimited design services for one flat monthly fee, ensuring that you can make unlimited requests and revisions without worrying about unexpected costs. Teamtown's in-house design team is vetted and experienced, saving you the time and effort of finding and hiring individual freelancers and allowing you to work with the same design team every day.

The Future of Freelancer Alternatives

The demand for subscription-based models and unlimited design services is on the rise. Businesses today need a cost-effective solution that allows them to focus on their core competencies while still maintaining high-quality design.

With no end in sight for AI's developments, recent design tools that we've seen developed will only get better. From Adobe's Express product to smaller tools like UIzard, both freelancers and freelancer alternatives will have to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of today's marketing world.

The best CaaS providers, design studios, and creative agencies will quickly adapt to these changes, leaving the slow movers behind.

What does this mean for working with freelancers? Finding qualified freelancers will become even more difficult. Sifting through who is taking advantage of these tools, who isn't, and who is just saying they are will become nearly impossible.

CaaS represents the future of creative services, enabling marketers and business owners to access top-tier design talent without the hassle of managing freelancers or a full-time designer. By embracing this innovative freelancer alternative, you unlock a world of unlimited creative possibilities.

Other Freelancer Alternatives

Remember when we mentioned CaaS earlier? Let's dive a little deeper.

CaaS introduces a fresh approach for businesses to outsource their creative needs without the hassle of hiring freelancers or full-time designers.

Think of it as having a pool of top-notch creative talent conveniently bundled together in one place, all accessible through a single provider and at a fixed subscription cost. From video editing to graphic design, branding, copywriting, and more, CaaS covers an array of creative services that fuel growth and keep up with today's design demands.

With the CaaS provider handling everything from brainstorming to delivery, companies can finally focus on their core activities without breaking a creative sweat.

Sounds like what you're looking for? We've drafted up a list of the top graphic design as a service providers (The graphic design subset of CaaS) so you can make an informed decision on what works best for you and your design needs.

Undecided: Best Choices for a Freelance Marketplace

If you're still skeptical about the advantages of utilizing freelancer alternatives for your business needs, we've got you covered. In this section, we will explore some of the leading freelance marketplaces that have gained a stellar reputation and offer a wide range of talented professionals to choose from.

1. Upwork

As one of the largest freelance platforms, Upwork boasts a vast pool of freelancers with expertise in various fields. From graphic designers to content writers, programmers to virtual assistants, you can find a diverse range of skilled professionals to cater to your specific job requirements.

2. Fiverr

Known for its affordability and quick turnaround time, Fiverr has gained popularity among both freelancers and businesses alike. The platform offers a plethora of services across different categories, all starting at a budget-friendly price of $5. Whether you need a logo design, social media management, or even a voice-over, Fiverr has got you covered.

3. Freelancer.com

With a global community of freelancers, Freelancer provides access to professionals from around the world. The online platform allows you to post projects and receive bids from freelancers, giving you the flexibility to choose the best fit for your project based on their skills, experience, and rates.

4. Toptal

If you're in search of top-tier talent, Toptal is the go-to platform. They have a rigorous screening process to ensure that only the top 3% of freelancers make it to their network. Whether you need highly skilled freelance software developers, designers, or finance experts, Toptal can connect you with the crème de la crème of freelancers.

5. Guru

Guru offers a platform where businesses can connect with freelancers across various industries. It provides features like workroom collaboration, project management tools, and even the ability to set milestones and make secure payments. With a transparent and user-friendly interface, Guru simplifies the process of finding and working with freelancers.

These are just a few examples of the many freelance marketplaces available today. Each freelance platform has its own unique features and strengths, catering to different needs and preferences. By exploring these options, you can tap into a vast talent pool and find the perfect freelancers to elevate your business to new heights. So, if you were still unsure about the benefits of freelance marketplaces, now is the perfect time to give them a try!

Final word

If you're a marketer or business owner seeking a freelancer alternative that offers unlimited design services and eliminates the challenges associated with freelancers, CaaS might be the alternative you're looking for.

With a monthly subscription model, dedicated design teams, and commitment to brand consistency, Teamtown upgrades the way you approach creative production. Say goodbye to brand inconsistency, hidden costs, and the never-ending search for qualified freelancers.