Freelance Digital Marketer vs Virtual Digital Marketer: Which One 

A freelance digital marketer is a self-employed contractor who works for various companies offering digital marketing services. As with a virtual assistant, these freelance digital marketers work remotely. Typically, the belief is that hiring a freelancer can be more cost-effective; however, what has been found is that, compared with hiring a virtual assistant, a freelancer can be more costly, and hiring a virtual assistant beats hiring a freelancer. This does not mean that all freelancers are problematic; however, on average, you are better off hiring a skilled virtual assistant ─ and here’s why.

Outsourcing of Digital Marketing

Businesses, primarily for cost-effectiveness and focusing on their core functions, outsource digital marketing tasks to external agencies, virtual assistants, and freelancers. Each of these entities offers different benefits and comes with its issues. Before committing to a workable solution, it is essential to be informed about the potential concerns. However, one thing these various options present is that businesses, especially small-to-medium-sized companies, can reduce overhead costs dramatically by outsourcing digital marketing tasks to a third party.

Typical tasks that digital marketing experts can fill are social media marketing, SEO work, and content creation, which can be used in marketing campaigns. However, suppose your focus is to remain in control but have the job done correctly. In that case, a virtual digital marketing expert might be a better staffing solution than a freelance digital marketer. The latter will focus more on strategic solutions and typically not so much on the implementation of the strategy. This is because virtual assistants would be skilled in the technical and administrative aspects of marketing tasks, and some will be experts in the strategic aspects of digital marketing.

A Breakdown of the Different Roles

Freelance Digital Marketers

Freelance digital marketers are independent contractors skilled in generalist digital marketing disciplines such as social media management and email marketing. These freelancers are strategic partners, helping a business analyze its needs and crafting comprehensive marketing campaigns that drive results.

Virtual Digital Marketers

Virtual digital assistants offer more than simply strategic support ─ they focus on executing specific tasks within a marketing campaign. Virtual digital marketers may specialize in various digital marketing areas, like a freelance digital marketing assistant, such as social media marketing. Similarly, digital marketing assistants are skilled in email marketing and the execution of email marketing campaigns. A virtual assistant will be working within guidelines set by the client or the marketing manager.

Critical Differences Between Freelance Digital Marketers and Virtual Digital Marketers

Scope of Work

Freelance digital marketers act as a one-stop shop. These marketers typically take complete ownership of your digital marketing strategy. They analyze your business needs, develop a comprehensive plan, and handle all aspects of the campaign, from content creation and social media management to SEO and email marketing. All of this will be dependent on their expertise and skills.

In contrast, virtual assistants focus on the work that needs to be executed based on your or your marketing team’s instructions. Therefore, A virtual assistant can be an additional asset to your marketing team without the extra costs of hiring onsite staff members. The benefit is that admin or low-level tasks can be outsourced or delegated to a virtual assistant, thus preventing burnout; your marketing team can focus on their critical tasks. The knock-on effect is that you can boost the productivity of your core team.


Freelance digital marketers typically boast a broad range of knowledge across various digital marketing disciplines. They are generally strategic thinkers who can analyze data, identify trends, and adapt their approach based on results.

However, it can be challenging to determine whether their expertise is accurate and true. You can request examples and a portfolio, but this remains untested. By contrast, virtual marketing assistants also have similar skills; however, their skills have been tested and verified.

Project Management

Freelance digital marketers work independently, setting their timelines and deliverables. They collaborate with clients throughout the process, providing regular updates and seeking feedback. However, freelancers also have multiple clients; many outsource their work to other freelancers. The quality of their work can be questionable. Should problems emerge, it is typically too late; you would have already spent money that could be wasted on the project. Rehiring a replacement is also costly; just as hiring an onsite staffer, you need to go through the hiring process from the start.  

Virtual digital marketers, by contrast, as virtual digital marketing assistants, focus on the execution of specific tasks within a pre-defined marketing strategy. They excel at implementing plans set by the client or a marketing team, utilizing their specialized skills in social media scheduling, data analysis, or email marketing campaigns. For instance, virtual assistants sourced from Aristo Sourcing have already been pre-selected. This means that Aristo Sourcing only presents the top 2% of possible hires, already having filtered out the majority of candidates who are not qualified, especially those who fail the screening process. The problem with hiring freelancers is that the sifting task must be conducted either by you or your hiring manager.

Choosing Between a Freelancer Digital Marketing Assistant and a Virtual Digital Marketing Assistant

You should consider your business needs and budget. Freelance digital marketers are often cheaper for smaller projects or specific tasks because you only pay for the expertise you require. Conversely, virtual digital marketers are ideal for ongoing support and administrative tasks, offering a more consistent and affordable solution for long-term needs.

Additionally, the level of expertise required plays a crucial role. If your business demands strategic thinking and comprehensive campaign execution, a freelance digital marketer with a broad skill set can be invaluable. However, if you already have a well-defined marketing strategy and need assistance with implementation, a virtual digital marketer specializing in specific areas can provide efficient support.

Finally, consider your preferred project-management style. Freelance digital marketers operate independently, setting their timelines and deliverables while collaborating closely with you. Virtual digital marketers, on the other hand, thrive within a pre-defined framework, diligently executing tasks according to your instructions or a pre-established marketing plan.

Conclusion: Freelance Digital Marketer vs Virtual Digital Marketer

There’s no single ‘best’ option for choosing between freelance and virtual digital marketers. The ideal fit hinges entirely on your specific business needs. Freelance digital marketers excel at providing comprehensive solutions, offering strategic planning, and executing entire marketing campaigns. Their broad expertise across various digital marketing disciplines makes them invaluable assets for businesses seeking a one-stop shop for their online marketing efforts.

Virtual digital marketers, on the other hand, shine in their meticulous execution of specific tasks within a pre-defined strategy. Their specialized skills and efficient support are perfect for businesses with established marketing plans needing consistent administrative and technical assistance. By carefully considering your budget, desired expertise, and preferred project management style, you can make an informed decision that aligns perfectly with your unique business needs.


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