So you want to start a digital marketing agency? That’s great! Digital marketing is one of the most growing industries in the world, and there is a lot of money to be made – especially with an agency-focussed business model. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2025 the global digital ad spend will be $785 billion per year, compared to $571.16 billion in 2022.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the basics needed to start your own digital marketing agency and take a small piece of that pie. I’ll cover everything from how to get started, to how to find clients, and how to keep them coming back for more.
Step 1: Figure Out Which Services You Want To Offer
Most people think that in order to start a digital marketing agency, they need to be experts in everything digital marketing. This isn’t true! In fact, there are a few key skills you need in order to get started.
First and foremost, you need to up your marketing skills and be able to market yourself/business. This means being able to sell your services to potential clients. If you can’t do this, then you won’t be able to get any clients and your business will fail.
You also need to determine what you want to specialize in. Assuming you’re just starting out and are likely a one to two person shop, you don’t have the resources to offer every digital marketing service under the sun.
So, it’s best to stick to one or two servicable skills and get good at it. A few ideas for skills you could focus on if you’d like to start your own digital marketing agency include:
- PPC advertising
- Graphic design
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing & creation
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Web development
Choose one of two of these skills and learn everything you can from YouTube, online courses, communities, etc. It’s also a great idea to have a repertoire of your own so start a blog or a side project and begin validating that what you’re doing actually works. This will not only help you further refine your skillset but can also serve as a resume to prospective clients.
Step 2: Find New Clients and Market Your Services
Now that you know what skill(s) you want to focus on in your digital marketing agency, it’s time to learn how to find clients and market your services.
One of the best ways to find clients is to network with other business owners. Get out there and meet people, attend networking events, and join online forums and groups related to your industry. When you meet someone who might need your services, be sure to let them know what you do and how you can help them.
Another great way to find new clients is to cold call or cold email potential customers. This involves reaching out to people who you think might need your services and offering them your help. It’s important to remember that when you’re doing this, you need to be polite and professional.
Finally, you can also market your services online. Create a website for your agency and make sure it’s optimized for search engines. Create helpful blog content that will drive high-intent organic traffic to ultimately help improve your lead generation efforts.
You can also create social media accounts and run ads on Google and other platforms like Facebook and TikTok. By doing this, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience of potential clients.
Step 3: Create a Winning Proposal
A proposal is a document that outlines the services you’re offering and how you can help your potential client. It’s important to make sure your proposal is well-crafted and professional, as this is your chance to make a good impression with your potential client.
When creating your proposal, be sure to include an overview of your services, your pricing, and how you can help the client achieve their goals. You should also include some case studies or examples of your work. This will show the client that you’re capable of delivering results. If you’ve done some client work in the past, use that; otherwise, you can use the results you’ve gathered from your own blog or side business like I discussed in step 1.
Once you’ve created your proposal, be sure to proofread it and have someone else look it over as well. This will help you catch any errors or typos. After your proposal is complete, you’re ready to submit it to your potential client!
Step 4: Deliver Results That Keep Clients Coming Back
Now that you know how to find clients, market your services, and create a winning proposal, it’s time to learn how to deliver results that keep clients coming back for more.
The best way to deliver results is to set clear expectations with your client from the beginning. This means agreeing on specific goals and metrics that you will be measuring. By doing this, you’ll be able to track your progress and ensure that you’re on track to meet the client’s expectations.
It’s also important to keep the client updated on your progress. This way, they can see how you’re performing and give you feedback along the way. Finally, once you’ve delivered results, be sure to follow up with the client to ensure they’re happy with the results. By doing this, you’ll be able to build long-lasting relationships with your clients and keep them coming back for more.
Tools and Resources Every Beginner Digital Marketing Agency Needs
There are a number of online tools that you need in order to run a successful digital marketing agency.
First, you need a good project management tool. This will help you keep track of deadlines, deliverables, and client communications. There are a number of excellent project management tools available online, such as Asana or Basecamp.
Next, you need a way to accept payments from clients. A popular option is PayPal, although you could alternatively use Stripe for lower fees.
Third, you’re going to want a tool that allows you to easily track your time. For this, you can use Harvest or Clockify. There are a number of tools that can do this for you and each differs in terms of its pricing/integrations/features. Choosing a time tracking tool that’s right for you is essential in order to make sure you’re billing your clients correctly and also tracking your own productivity.
Fourth, if you’re going to be working with clients, it’s important to have a contract in place. This will protect both you and the client in case there are any unforeseen issues that arise. You can find template contracts online or work with an attorney to create one that’s specific to your business.
Depending on the type of service your digital marketing agency offers you’ll also need specific tools to reliably do your job. For instance, if you’re specializing in SEO you should have access to the best SEO audit tools. If you’re specializing in graphic design, you’d better have a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.
By having these tools and resources at your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to success as a digital marketer.
How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency: In Conclusion
Many digital marketing agencies exist – each with varying levels of success. Starting a digital marketing agency is a great choice for those who want to invest some time and money into creating something that will not only have the potential to earn them much more; but also want to help other businesses grow.
Starting a digital agency is by no means easy but by following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to starting your own successful agency.