Starting a digital marketing agency from scratch without any experience is difficult but not impossible. The digital marketing business established with clients and employees must follow a long process to do nothing.
It’s not easy, but nothing can stop you from making it a reality and entering the wonderful world of digital marketing as a service provider.
During the process, I made a lot of mistakes, but I also learned some valuable lessons that helped me improve my processes and offers and get a healthy and successful online marketing business.
I wrote this guide to start your own digital marketing agency anew, avoid the mistakes I made, minimize your risks and increase your chances of getting it right the first time.
How to start a digital marketing agency
Here are the key steps to follow when starting your own digital marketing agency.
Develop your digital marketing skills and self-confidence
The first step is to develop the skills and self-confidence needed to run a digital marketing agency. It can be divided into three parts:
- Digital marketing technical skills
- Business management skills
- Self-confidence skills
Decide what kind of services to offer
Deciding what kind of digital marketing services to offer your customers is the next step. A full-service digital marketing company typically offers the following services:
- Web design and Development
- SEO Services
- PPC Services (Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, etc)
- Content marketing services (content writing included)
- Social media marketing services
- Email marketing services
- Conversion optimization services
For a start, it will be very difficult to provide these services from the beginning, so it is better to choose the one that suits your skills.
Decide how you plan to run your business
The next decision is how you plan to run your business.
You have three choices:
- Hiring a virtual company and remote crews from home
- ‘Traditional business’ with office and local staff
- A combination of them both
All three options have their pros and cons and should take into account your decision costs and the location of your potential customers.
Register your business
Before proceeding to the next steps, it is time to make it official. By the way, I say:
- Determine the name of your business
- Register your domain name
- Design your logo
- Register your business law firm with the relevant authorities
- Get a tool-free number
- Find an accountant and an auditor
- Find a lawyer
- Create business cards
Even if you have not used it all from the beginning, it is necessary to do it now.
Establish your web presence
Creating a website for your business and establishing your online presence are the first actionable steps on the list.
The website is the ‘front door’ of your agency business, so you need to make sure it accurately reflects your brand.
Your website should look professional and provide potential customers with all the information they need to decide whether or not to hire your company.
Showcase your experience and expertise
One of the most difficult aspects of running a digital marketing agency is finding new customers. But being in a position to convince prospective clients to work with you is an equally important aspect.
Choose the right tools
To run your digital agency effectively, you will eventually need a lot of tools. In fact, paying for tools licenses is your second largest expense after salary.
You will need tools to help you improve your digital marketing campaigns, create customer reports, invoices, accounting, and more.
Define your business model
The next step in the process is to define your business model, i.e. determine how you will pay for your services.
The Most Popular Business Models for Digital Marketing Agencies:
- Per hour
- Per project
- Monthly fee
Get your first client
We have discussed so far how to prepare for your startup agency but to really become a real business, you need customers. A business without customers is just an idea and not a business.
- Friends and Families
- Online Job Boards
Start a Digital marketing blog
When working on your first client, you need to set aside some time to start your own blog. A good blog with useful content is the best leading generation tool for a digital marketing agency.
Build your portfolio and customer testimonials
Once you reach this level, your goal should be to continue to build your portfolio and customer testimonials.
To build your portfolio quickly, you need to provide services at a lower cost, but getting testimonials and positive reviews from customers can help you register more large customers in the future.
Create your processes
As you grow your digital marketing agency and gain more customers, you will come to the point where you can no longer handle all the projects.
It’s time to consider hiring people to help you, but before that, you need to set up your processes.