7 Steps To Starting A Digital Marketing Agency

how to start digital marketing agency

The global digital marketing market reached $350 billion in early 2023, a figure that is set to surpass $800 billion in just a few years. The online marketing industry now is growing at an unprecedented rate, and with that comes opportunity. For those with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for marketing, the cash flow from starting a marketing firm can be extremely rewarding. 

Building a successful internet marketing firm is no easy feat; it takes hard work, dedication, and a lot of planning. If you are considering starting your own marketing firm, here is everything you need to know to get started. 

Reasons To Start A Digital Marketing Agency 

There are many reasons to get into marketing from the agency side of the industry. 

Low Cost: One of the biggest reasons to start your own agency is that you won't need to invest much money upfront. You can run your entire operation from a laptop and an internet connection. 

Flexible: Marketing agencies are highly versatile businesses. They can be run from anywhere in the world, and they're not limited by traditional 9-5 work hours. This makes them ideal for entrepreneurs who want the freedom to set their own schedules. 

You Don't Need An Entire Team: Larger agencies expand their team as they grow, but when you are just starting out, you can get by with a small team of VAs or even just yourself. This makes marketing agencies much less risky than other businesses. 

Little Structure: Unlike other business models which require lots of structure right away, you can start selling your services online for free on platforms like Upwork or doing cold outreach to potential new clients. 

A Wide Range Of Services: As a marketing agency, you will be able to offer your clients a wide range of services. This gives you a competitive advantage over businesses that only offer one or two services. 

It Is Scalable: Marketing agencies are highly scalable businesses. With the right team and systems in place, you can quickly grow your agency to six or seven figures of annual income. 

Things To Consider Before Starting A Marketing Agency 

Requires Hard Work 

You aren't going to be able to sit back and relax once you launch your ad agency. You will need to be prepared to work long hours, at least in the beginning. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to build a successful marketing agency from scratch. 

You Need To Be Talented At Sales 

If you are not good at sales, starting a marketing agency will prove to be a challenge. Since you will be the one selling your marketing service to prospective clients, you need to be confident and persuasive. If you are not a natural salesperson, you may need to brush up on your skills before starting your agency. Pitching properly to potential clients and customers is critical.

Reliant On Clients 

As a digital marketing agency, your business will be entirely reliant on clients. If you don't have any marketing clients, you won't be able to make any money. This can make cash flow a challenge in the early stages of your business. 

Requires Personal Investment 

Unlike a traditional job, which pays you a salary regardless of how well the company does (as long as it doesn't shut down), growing a marketing agency will require personal investment. You will need to reinvest any profits you make back into the business to help it grow. If you want to run targeted campaigns, you will need to create a marketing plan as well. 

You will also need to purchase all the software and tools you use for your business. Over time, this will be seen as trivial. For new entrepreneurs, spending a few hundred dollars per month on business tools is something that takes some getting used to. 

Be Prepared For Ups And Downs 

Any business comes with its fair share of ups and downs, but marketing agencies can be particularly volatile. There will be times when you are bringing in lots of new clients and making good money, but there will also be times when you are struggling to find new business and you're not making as much money. You need to be prepared for the highs and lows and have a solid plan in place for when things get tough. 

7 Steps To Start A Marketing Agency Today 

Now that you know what to consider before starting a marketing agency, let's take a look at how you can get started. 

1. Choose Your Niche 

The first step is to choose your niche. If you have already been working as a freelancer or for another company, you may have a general idea of what services you want to offer. If you are starting from scratch, you will need to do some research to figure out what services you can provide that will be in demand as well as what niche you want to serve. Keep in mind that not every niche is equally profitable. For example, software, information technology, AI, and financial services companies are willing to pay much more for marketing services than small businesses and nonprofits. 

2. Select A Business Name And Register It 

Your next step is to come up with a name for your business and register it. The name you choose can either be reflective of the services you offer or it can be something more creative. To check if your business name is available in your state, you can do a quick search on the Secretary of State's website for the state you live in or want to register your business in. Then, you can move on to the actual business filing. There are a few different ways you can register your business: 

C-Corp: With a C-Corp, you'll need to file Articles of Incorporation with your state and pay a filing fee. You will also need to create bylaws, which outline how your corporation will be run, and elect a board of directors. Because of its complexity, registering as a C-Corp is usually best for larger businesses and not for smaller agencies. 

S-Corp: An S-Corp is similar to a C-Corp, but with a few key differences. First, you will need to file an S-Corp Election form with the IRS. Second, S-Corps are limited to 100 shareholders. S-Corps are only allowed to have one class of stock. In most cases, S-Corps are best suited for smaller businesses that plan to expand their teams quickly. 

LLC: A limited liability company, or LLC, is the simplest way to register your business. You will just need to file Articles of Organization with your state and pay a filing fee. There is no need to create bylaws or elect a board of directors. If you are running a single-person operation, this is by far the best choice for you. And if you're starting it with a partner or two, it is still a good option. 

3. Get A Federal Tax ID Number And Business Bank Account 

Once you have registered your business, you will need to get a federal tax ID number from the IRS. This is also known as an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can apply for an EIN online, by fax, or by mail. Then, you will need to open a business bank account. This is important for keeping your personal and business finances separate. It is also necessary if you want to accept credit card payments. To open a business bank account, you will need to deposit money into it and show the bank your EIN. 

4. Start Selling Your Services 

Once your business is set up, it is time to start selling your services. There are a few different ways you can go about this: 

• Reach out to people via cold outreach campaigns. 
• Create a landing page that you will use to generate leads. 
• Run ads on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google. 
Create content for your blog that will attract potential clients. 
• Get involved in relevant online communities. 

When you are just starting out, you will need to be willing to put in the extra work to get your business off the ground. Once you have a few clients, things will start to snowball and you'll start getting more and more leads. 

5. Keep Up With Digital Marketing Best Practices 

Of course, as a digital marketing agency owner, you will need to stay up-to-date with all the latest digital marketing trends and best practices. To do this, you can: 

• Follow relevant blogs and online publications 
• Attend webinars and conferences 
• Join relevant online communities 
• Hire a digital marketing consultant to provide neutral, third-party insight into your business 

By keeping up with the latest trends, you will be able to offer your clients the best possible services and help them stay ahead of the competition. 

6. Hire A Team Of Experts 

As your business grows, you will need to start hiring a team of experts. You can either hire contractors and freelancers or you can start building an in-house team. If you are just starting out, it is usually best to hire contractors and freelancers because it will allow you to keep your overhead costs low. As your business grows, you can start transitioning to an in-house team. When hiring your team, be sure to look for people who are: 

• Digital marketing experts 
• Able to work independently 
• Good communicators 
• Organized and detail-oriented 
• Creative problem-solvers 

By hiring the right team, you will be able to offer your clients high-quality services and scale your business quickly. 

7. Invest In The Right Tools And Technologies 

As a digital marketing agency, you will need to invest in the right tools and technologies. This will allow you to offer your clients the best possible services and stay ahead of the competition. Some of the essential tools and technologies you will need include: 

• Project management 
• Customer relationship management (CRM) 
• Digital marketing automation 
• Content management system (CMS) 
• Email marketing 

By investing in the right tools and technologies, you will be able to streamline your internet marketing operations, improve your efficiency, and offer your clients better services. 

Endnote 

Digital marketing agencies are a great way to earn a living while doing something you are passionate about. Before you start your own online advertising agency, there are a few things you need to know. By following the tips in this article, you will be well on your way to starting a successful digital marketing agency that lasts long-term.

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