One of the challenges of being a freelance graphic designer is that you have to source for your own clients. Instead of doing what you love — which is design — you have to invest a lot of your time and effort into promoting your services, outreach, and networking to secure clients and projects. What if there’s a way for you to leave such tasks to a third party and just concentrate on your core competencies? Here’s where drop servicing comes in and how it can benefit you as a freelance graphic designer.
UNDERSTANDING THE PROS AND CONS OF WORKING WITH DROP SERVICING AGENCIES AS A FREELANCE GRAPHIC DESIGNER
WHAT IS DROP SERVICING?
Drop servicing is a business model that involves selling digital services to service providers such as freelance graphic designers and packaging them to clients at a higher price — think dropshipping but for services. It can be profitable if done right, allowing you to handle client acquisition and communication, while leaving the execution to a team of service providers that you manage behind the scenes.
WHY YOU SHOULD SHUN DROP SERVICING AGENCIES
Since drop servicing agencies typically upcharge clients and pay their service providers a lesser rate, some freelance graphic designers working under this model might feel that they are not receiving fair compensation for their work.
A middleman being involved between freelance graphic designers and clients means that miscommunication might be an issue. For example, the agency could misinterpret feedback, causing you to waste time and effort doing work that isn’t in line with what the client wants. Similarly, by working with drop servicing agencies you have less control over project management, scope, and client expectations, which could lead to frustration if the agency doesn’t communicate well with those involved.
Some might feel undervalued and exploited as the agency usually stands to gain the most from the success of a project. On the other hand, if you don’t have your own brand you would be left with nothing should the agency struggle with client acquisition or aren’t forthcoming with payments. Similar to working on third-party platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr, relying on an intermediary can make you vulnerable to changes in the agency’s policies or practices.
Many freelance graphic designers value the independence and autonomy that comes with managing their own businesses. The hierarchical structure of drop servicing, with an additional layer between them and the client, may not align with this preference.
WHY DROP SERVICING AGENCIES ARE GOOD FOR YOU
At the same time, working with drop servicing agencies offers several advantages for freelance graphic designers, depending on their preferences or circumstances.
If the agency is good at securing clients and projects, this could provide a steady source of income for a freelance graphic designer, allowing them to focus on what they are proficient in — and the time saved could be put into making more money through ways like passive income. In addition, you don’t have to handle project management, client communication, and administrative tasks, which can be very time-consuming.
Drop servicing agencies often have access to clients from different industries who are willing to pay higher rates, which can help to develop your skills as a freelance graphic designer. Internally, you have the opportunity to network with other freelancers and professionals within your team, leading to potential partnerships down the road.
You may find a level of security in drop servicing models, as the agency takes on the responsibility of securing clients and managing financial transactions. This can reduce your exposure to the risks of not receiving compensation for your work.
Furthermore, you aren’t limited to working with just one agency — by partnering with multiple agencies you can further diversify your income sources and be more financially secure.
MY EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH DROP SERVICING AGENCIES AS A FREELANCE GRAPHIC DESIGNER
As a freelance graphic designer who has been working with drop servicing agencies on their projects as a service provider for the past couple of years, I would say the experience has been fantastic so far. It’s great that I can focus on being a graphic designer and leave everything else to them — it’s a win-win situation for all sides.
For instance, one of my long-term partnerships is with a marketing agency which provides digital marketing and consulting services for small businesses. Most of my projects with them involves designing websites in Figma. They have an effective way of providing feedback through videos — he would go through the design and point out any issues and ways to improve the UI/UX for the client. Until now I believe we have successfully completed close to 20 websites together.
A more recent partnership is a web design and development agency, where we just completed a big project involving the redesign of a website for a university department. I also did a couple of logo designs for them. The agency owner is very communicative and working with him has been nothing but positive so far.
Depending on my schedule I have the flexibility to work with different drop service agencies at the same time, allowing me to earn more income.
All in all the drop servicing business has benefited me a lot as a freelance graphic designer, and I will be seeking out more drop service agencies to team up with from here on.
It’s important for you to carefully evaluate drop servicing agencies and ensure that they align with their values, work style, and financial goals — finding the right agency to partner with would allow you to focus on your core competencies and ensure your long-term success as a freelance graphic designer.