The barrier to entry to starting a business is lower than ever these days. With automation and software, you can get started with far less money and hire a small team to get going. The only thing that you need to do is to find the right business that fits your skills and fills a gap in the market.
The best place to look is in business to business solutions. And of the many different business opportunities available, a digital marketing agency will be highly sought after as marketing is the one thing that every business needs.
If you have experience in the digital marketing field, you could go out on your own and create a scalable business. It will take a lot of discipline and determination to do it, but with the right blueprint, it is totally achievable.
In this article, I will go over the basics to get you going so you know what it takes to build your own digital marketing agency.
1 – Put together the right team
Let’s proceed with the assumption that you already have a degree and some experience working as a marketer at an established company. So, you already know how digital marketing works.
With that assumed, then you need to put together a team to build upon. You can, and should, start out with a skeleton crew so you aren’t spending money that you haven’t earned yet, and then you can grow the team as the business grows.
The idea is to have a member of the team that works within a narrow range where their talents lie. For instance, somebody that is experienced with web design should be focused on the website that you will need, but will also be in charge of setting up client sites with a heavy focus on the user experience.
Another person should be handling sales and outreach to try to find a stable base of clients to get you started. They should have some software at their disposal to be able to do a lot with a little in terms of getting the word out and finding a way to create good leads.
Once your company is growing and you need to expand your team, then use an automated training system to onboard your new employees so your core members can focus on their jobs while the new hires get up to speed.
2 – Choose the right business model
How you get paid is one of the most important things to figure out early. And there are a number of different ways to go about it. How you get paid will be highly dependent on the services that you provide.
For instance, if your business is going to mainly be one on one consulting with clients, then an hourly based model will work just fine. Just make sure that all time is tracked properly and categorized so the client can see exactly what they are paying for.
When you have an ongoing campaign that will change a little over time, then a flat retainer is an ideal way to make sure that you are paid in advance for the services that you provide.
Once you have grown as an agency, and you are working with bigger clients who are also in a growth phase, then a Percentage of Spend model will be the best way to set yourself up. As these companies grow and increase their budgets, then your pay rate will also increase.
3 – Find a niche
It is tempting to be a Jack of all Trades type of company that takes all comers. The problem with this is that it will be hard to be found amongst the competition. There are a lot of digital marketing agencies out there that have a history and will likely get your potential clients first.
That is unless you specialize and become a leader in a certain area within digital marketing.
For instance, if you are known as the best email marketing agency, then people will seek you out to solve their particular problem with their email outreach campaign. This allows you to focus on one area and not spread your resources out too thinly, either.
You’ll also be able to better target your potential leads as it’s easier to find clients based on specific needs. And, then onboarding becomes much easier when you have one role to fill so you can come up with a strategy based on their needs and get started right away.