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Difference Between Freelancing and Outsourcing

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The main difference between outsourcing and freelancing is that an outsourcing business allows an organization to expand its outsourcing workforce in accordance with its real demands, while freelancing involves just one person. Nonetheless, being well-informed about the potential benefits and hazards of any of these services can help companies select the best business approach to increase their team, enhance their processes, and grow their organization.

What is Freelancing?


Freelancing is a self-employed profession in which an enterprising person makes money on a project-by-project basis, generally for a short-term contract. A freelancer varies from an outsourcing company in that they are not employees of a company but rather operate as a one-person operation and are free to accomplish several assignments simultaneously for a wide clientele of people and businesses.

Freelancers accomplish work as specified in their contracts and are compensated depending on the time and effort required to fulfill the client's required duties. Payment for their services may be made in the form of a flat charge, per hour, per day, or even per project. Individual freelancers provide a variety of services; however, the majority of them often do the following:

  • Editing
  • Copywriting
  • Proofreading
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Computer programming
  • Consulting
  • Web development
  • Video editing and production
  • Language translations

They are persons who are available to be employed for as long as their customers need their skills; hence they are often contracted for temporary employment. Jobs for freelancers may be found via classified advertising or temporary employment agencies.

Others make freelancing their only sustainable source of income, developing and keeping solid working relationships with their clients to be employed again for another job or suggested to an interested party.

What is Outsourcing?


Outsourcing is a commercial activity in which a corporation or organization contracts a third-party team or firm to provide specialized services. These services enhance or augment the former's activities to develop them further.

The outsourcing provider, on their part, offers their own resources and workforce for a certain amount of time to assist their clients in completing specific activities or projects and attaining specific targets.

Outsourcing organizations' services differ based on the sector they serve. They can fill any role. These non-fundamental positions support the company's core infrastructure or aid with day-to-day operations. To mention a few, the following are some of the most common services and tasks that are outsourced:

  • Business processes
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Research and Development
  • Distribution

Why do businesses outsource? Following fundamental economic notions, a lack of local experts and professionals is followed by rising wages, making it harder for certain businesses to acquire and keep talented in-house staff.

Differences Between Freelancing and Outsourcing


In addition to fulfilling activities based on company requirements, an outsourcing workforce may create and manage them. A freelancer works directly with a client to perform all duties assigned to achieve the business's objectives.


The term "freelancing" is derived from the words "free" and "lance." Traditionally, the term "freelancing" refers to working freely or independently. On the other hand, outsourcing combines the phrases 'out' and 'source.' In other words, 'outsourcing' is getting work from a third party.


A freelancer is compensated for his efforts. In other words, you will be paid the same amount as the payment for the task before work. A freelancer is not paid every month. In contrast, an outsourced client pays a freelancer in return for work. In this instance, the outsourced client does not pay the freelancer regularly.


After the assignment, the freelancer works and gets paid by an outside source. On the other hand, outsourced clients pay a freelancer after work and tasks.


A freelancer is a self-employed worker. A freelancer is not required to do any assignment according to time limits. They may work whenever he wants as long as they submit the job by the deadline. They collected their honorarium after the project. If you do not work again, the freelancer will not be paid.

On the other hand, an outsourced client recruits the needed workforce from outside his firm without giving the employee permanent employment inside the organization. Outsourced clients might therefore act as a link between an enterprise and a freelancer. Furthermore, many of these firms supply freelancers for other organizations as necessary.

Comparison Chart: Freelancing Vs Outsourcing

UsageA freelancer is someone who undertakes freelancing workA client is someone who uses outsourcing services
PaymentFreelancers are compensated for their effortsThe client pays the freelancer
SkillsA sufficient skill set in a given sector is required for a freelancerThe client does not need such abilities
CommissionThe freelancing platform receives a 20% commission from freelancers (mostly)The customer typically pays a service charge of 2% to 3% to the freelancing site
ReviewsReviews are important for freelancersClients don't care about reviews in general


Where Can You Find Competent Freelancers?

If you are a client, you may employ freelancers in two ways: via freelancing markets or through direct interaction with freelancers. Most freelancing markets or websites offer several categories ranging from programmers to virtual help and everything in between.

Which Is Better For You: Freelancing or Outsourcing?

If you have in-demand abilities and want to make money from them online, freelancing is the way to go. Outsourcing, however, is appropriate if you already have a successful firm and want more assistance from specialists.

Is It Difficult To Begin Freelancing?

Freelancing does not just imply creating an account on a job marketplace such as Upwork and Fiverr, Toptal, or Flexjobs. The first and most significant component of beginning freelancing is acquiring the necessary competence. You can begin freelancing until you have reached a particular degree of proficiency. Otherwise, you risk being unhappy and wasting time and energy.


Freelancing and outsourcing are two terms that are often used interchangeably. However, these two words are diametrically opposed in terms of meaning and function. Both outsourcing and freelancing as third-party services have benefits and downsides. Companies may benefit greatly from both services since they provide an efficient and effective alternative to employing local talent.

Feel free to comment and discuss about the article in the comment space below if you have any information or remarks to add. If you think we made a mistake, you can also report it there.
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About the Author: Nicolas Seignette

Nicolas Seignette, who holds a scientific baccalaureate, began his studies in mathematics and computer science applied to human and social sciences (MIASHS). He then continued his university studies with a DEUST WMI (Webmaster and Internet professions) at the University of Limoges before finishing his course with a professional license specialized in the IT professions. On 10Differences, he is in charge of the research and the writing of the articles concerning technology, sciences and mathematics.
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