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I am Dale King, a specialist dental copywriter. I love to share my knowledge of working within the dental niche with other like-minded individuals. 

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thinking of working with dental marketing agencies

Should I Work With Dental Marketing Agencies As A Freelance Dental Writer?

Perhaps the best thing about being a freelancer is that you get to pick and choose who you work with. In addition to working with dental clinics and dental businesses directly, you also have the option of collaborating with dental marketing agencies. These are essentially companies that run either some or all aspects of a business’s online activity, including marketing, designing and advertising, plus, of course, content creation. Many agencies hire freelancers to fulfil these roles including the latter. With this in mind, one of the questions I’m often asked by new freelancers is “Should I work with dental marketing agencies?” The honest answer is that it depends. I know it feels like I haven’t given you a definitive black or white answer but the reality is that there are several factors you should consider before deciding whether agency work is right for you. Factors like…

  • Their rate of pay
  • The level of autonomy you have
  • What their expectations are; and
  • What their contract restrictions are (if any)

Don’t get me wrong, there are some great aspects about working with agencies, so let’s take a look at some of the advantages…

Agency pros

Agencies typically have bigger clients on their books – You’ll get to work with some recognisable clients that you generally wouldn’t have access to yourself.

Access to a ton of work – A busy agency always has plenty of work. Do a good job and that’s your funnel to repeat business – As we know, having regular or repeat business, month in and month out is the holy grail of freelancing!

Agencies are great for expanding your network – Once you start, you’ll probably meet other creatives that you can tap into. This can often lead to further work.

They might offer a contract or full-time position – Many agencies will try out a freelancer before making a larger commitment to employment. In these cases, it can be a good way into more stable work – if that’s your thing.

Of course, along with advantages, there are always disadvantages…

The cons of working with a dental marketing agency

Working with agencies isn’t always a bed of roses and sometimes factors come into play that aren’t ideal. Factors like…

  • Lower rates of pay – Some agencies operate a super high mark-up by offering lower rates of remuneration. Don’t get suckered into the “If you do a good job, we’ll pay higher rates on future projects” pitch as it never works out that way. Inevitably, you’ll end up working for chicken feed and hating yourself in the process. Instead, know what you need to earn and stick to it!

  • The level of autonomy isn’t always there – Even though you’re only a small cog in a bigger wheel, it doesn’t have to feel that way, Unfortunately, working with some agencies can make you feel undervalued, particularly when you’re cranking out article after article with no real feedback from the client. If you’re happy with that arrangement then that’s fine. However if, you thrive off feedback and are looking to grow as a writer, working with a dental marketing agency where you have little or no autonomy may not be right for you.

  • They may have high (read unfair) expectations – It’s normal for agencies to have tighter turnaround times for content than your own clients would and sometimes, last-minute projects happen. But what if they occur all the time?  What if the agency now expects a 24-hour turnaround or even the same day? Trust me, it happens! Unfair expectations can be detrimental to you and your freelancing career.

  • They may have contract restrictions – Many agencies expect you to sign a contract with them in return for work. Sometimes this will be fair and straightforward forward but in others, you may be restricted to who you can work with in the future, who you can include in your portfolio, or even where you can work. As a result, if the agency suddenly drops you, it may be more difficult than it needs to be for you to land more work.

So, as an aspiring dental writer, should you work with dental marketing agencies? I would say, a cautious yes as it can get you off the starting blocks but with a caveat that it needs to be the right agency.

Aligning yourself with the right agency means that you’ll have a steady stream of work commensurate with your payment expectations, while working with the wrong agency could scupper your career before it’s even started, not to mention inhibiting your ability to grow.

So, before you jump in with both feet, be prepared to ask the right questions and don’t sign any contractual agreements until you’re 100% happy.

If you’re yet to get your dental writing business off the ground and would like a helping hand, visit my website and download my free guide. It walks you through the process of becoming a well-paid dental writer from scratch, including valuable nuggets of information like where to find clients and how much to charge. Here’s to your success!