Digital marketing is one of the hottest industries to get into right now. In fact, it is projected that the amount of total digital ad spending will reach almost $376 billion. You’re probably thinking, though: “Well, it’s probably a densely saturated market already.” The good news is, even so, statistics suggest that 49% of companies and organizations still don’t have a clear cut digital marketing strategy. This simply means that there’s still room for you. After all, it is still an emerging and growing industry.
Starting a Digital Marketing Agency
If you’re reading this right now, then chances are, you’re already thinking about building a digital marketing agency yourself. Very wise. Plus it’s one of those businesses that you can start with a limited budget.
So how does one start a digital marketing agency?
Here are the steps that one should take in order to launch a business in digital marketing:
Acquire Necessary Skills and Knowledge
Yes, while it’s true that you don’t necessarily need a big monetary capital to launch a digital marketing startup, this doesn’t mean that there’s no investment involved. Honestly, the biggest investment it requires is skill.
You need to educate yourself about the ins and outs of the business, especially in web development, SEO, content marketing, graphics design, social media marketing, and more. You don’t need to become an expert in all of them, but it would help significantly if you’re not particularly clueless. Digital marketing requires vast knowledge and confidence that you can’t just speak digital marketing jargon, but you can also deliver the promised results with clear analytic tools.
Determine Your Specialization and Preferred Niche
Once you already have a good grasp of the industry, it’s time to figure out your specialization and preferred niche. You see, digital marketing is a web. You can offer all its entailed services, or you can focus on one strand and gradually expand your service offerings later on.
For instance, you can start with email marketing for now, then offer SEO and content marketing later on, especially once you see your landing pages going off the charts in search results.
Aside from that, you also need to pick a niche. What type of clients are you looking to work with? Do you want to work with social media influencers? How about startups and solopreneurs? Or do you have a specific industry in mind that you’re sure would profit with digital marketing? Keep in mind that each target demographic and niche would require a slightly different approach from the rest.
Determine Your Business Model
Once you have a clear vision of what kind of digital marketing agency you want to be, the next thing that you need to determine is your business model. How do you want to bill your clients? Do you want to provide hourly work? Do you plan on offering different project packages? Or are you considering offering a commission-based approach instead?
Craft Your Business Plan
At this point, you already have all the necessary elements to come up with a detailed business plan. Here’s a pro tip: Make sure that your business goals are realistic, time-specific, and can be broken down into smaller, more actionable items.
Focus on Your Agency First
With a solid business plan and the necessary tools (a computer, a reliable internet connection, and a selection of digital marketing programs with analytical tools), you can finally start your agency. However, don’t offer your services just yet. Focus on establishing your online reputation first. The success of your own agency in terms of SEO and content quality is proof that you really are ready to take on your first clients.
You need to have an impressive website. This is another element that we suggest you invest in. While there are certainly a lot of free website builders online, we still recommend getting your own domain and having your website professionally done. This is also going to be the home of your portfolio once you do acquire clients.
Finally, you need to hustle in order to get that first client. Start by offering your services to your existing network of family and friends. Not to mention that the bread and butter of most digital marketing agencies is client referrals. Don’t forget to add each successful campaign to your portfolio.
Of course, the steps that we have listed above are not the only things you need to do in order to grow a digital marketing agency. Later on, you’d even want to invest in new equipment, hire more people to juggle multiple clients at a time, and maybe even consider getting your own office space. However, the tips that we did share is a nice foundation that even absolute beginners in the industry can start with.