Entrepreneurship has exploded in recent decades, thanks to advancing technologies and a general dislike for being told what to do by a boss all day. So, if you’re sticking it to the man by opening up your own marketing business: good on you! It’s a job you can do remotely in your underpants from a wooden cabin in the sticks (as long as there’s cell signal). Regardless of how you envisage your agency looking, you’ll need to do a few things before taking on your first client and starting to deliver top-notch content:
Source Your Talent
Whether it’s just going to be you in your digital marketing agency to start with, or you have the capital backing to employ a bunch of creative people immediately, your agency is going to need some talent. Graphic designers, copywriters, and other roles are vital in any agency – and it wouldn’t hurt if these creative types are also experienced in account management and customer relations. A good place to scout is on LinkedIn, but approaching recruiters specialising in digital marketing will also yield positive results.
Start Things Small
Wordstream suggests that professionals hoping to start a digital marketing agency should be “contractors before becoming founders”. In other words, you should consider starting your agency as more of a freelance operation and then moving into a full agency environment later. It’s not easy striking it out on your own, and many agency owners started their business while they were still working full-time jobs. Doing things this way minimises your financial risks while you build up your new company.
Build A Model
What is your digital marketing agency’s business model going to look like? A staggering 50% of digital marketing agencies base their operations on a flat-fee/retainer model. This is an ideal situation for most agencies as it ensures a set income at the end of each month. Other digital marketing agencies offer their services per-hour, per-project, and some choose to set their fees as a percentage of spend. However, you want to slice it, make sure you know how you’re billing before going after your first client.
Define Your Niche
Who are your ideal customers? It will be tempting, at first, to go after any and every client you can get face time with. The truth is that almost every digital marketing agency out there throws a wide net – boasting that they can service any client from any industry. Instead, agencies should try and specialise in one or two niche areas that they are strong in (e.g.: hospitality) and use that as their unique selling proposition.
Get Scale Ready
How quickly will your new digital marketing agency be able to scale up if needed? Things change overnight in this industry, and a sudden influx of business can overwhelm an agency that is not prepared to take on all of the new business at once. So, you need to have a plan in place that will see your agency scaling as and when it is needed. Ensure you know the hardware you’ll need, where to find it, who can install it, etc. By getting scale ready, your digital marketing agency is future-proofing itself.
If owning and running a digital marketing agency is something you see yourself doing for a living, you’re in for the adventure of a lifetime!
With an accredited Digital Marketing Course from DSM, you’ll learn the fundamental concepts of marketing management and selling, and how these tie in with digital marketing channels and technology-based thinking.
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