AdWords (Search, Display, YouTube), Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn.
Yes(...he says reluctantly). I definitely have and will manage campaigns on Bing, but it kind of sucks. As such, I typically don't recommend them until someone has maxed out their opportunity on AdWords.
Only if you want. For many of my clients, I work exclusively in the background. Through the various agency accounts provided by the advertising networks (Like the AdWords' MCC), there are ample methods for me to connect to your client accounts without flying a big, bright flag.
Client communication is often done through the account manager, so the client relationship is wholly owned by the agency throughout the process.
I operate through a traditional retainer model. We would agree on a block of hours (typically in 20 hour increments) and those hours would be available to you each month to use as you deem appropriate.
My rates do fluctuate depending on the size & complexity of the work. But even on the high end, they remain reasonable, well below the agency's typical hourly rate. In fact, most agencies mark up my time before passing it along to the client. This allows the agency to retain a healthy profit margin regardless of whether the work is done in-house or outsourced.
Partnerships typically work best with open communication and mutual trust. If you do not trust me (or if I do not trust you), we are destined to fail.
As for the accounts, I have had agencies utilize their block of hours by rotating a steady stream of accounts through my hands for optimization. In my experience this does not generate the best result for the client.
As such, it is almost always better for an agency to 'pass the baton' on a couple of accounts - for me to work with them over an extended period of time. This allows me to get more familiar with the client, their industry, and their objectives. As you have probably seen within your own walls, playing hot potato with accounts leads to a lack of accountability and a lack of results. The same goes with outsourced help. I want to deliver results to your clients on your behalf. I am confident in my ability to do so and welcome the accountability that comes from taking the reigns.
I did not become a freelancer by accident. This is my chosen profession, I absolutely love my work, and I am not going anywhere. Subsequently, I am not secretly looking for a full-time gig, nor do I have plans to skip town as soon as things get comfortable. I take my work seriously and thus will take your work seriously, too.
Absolutely. With a limited number of hours, I will complete the keyword research needed to outline the strategy and ad spend budget for an opportunity. This provides the client with the prospective they need to make an informed decision, as well as expedites the account setup (if the work is awarded).