Home » Business » How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency from the Ground Up

How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency from the Ground Up

digital marketing agency office

Estimates show that digital marketing will amount to a $291 billion industry by 2020. As businesses learn the need for digital marketing, the need for agencies will grow.

This means now is a good time to strike out on your own. If you build up a digital marketing agency now, you’ll have the experience to stand out as an expert in the industry.

If this sounds like the perfect opportunity for you, you need to know how to start a digital marketing agency. This requires understanding your skills, forming and planning the business, marketing, and analyzing your results. 

How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency

Despite the growth in the digital marketing industry, 45% of businesses don’t have a digital marketing strategy in place. This means plenty of opportunity for a fledgling agency if you know how to reach these people.

Starting your own agency will require similar steps to starting any new small business. You’ll need to do your research and plan your marketing strategy. This starts with getting your name out there.

Take Things Slow

Creating a new business is a risk. Before you leave your job and jump right in, start with side contract gigs. Learn how to handle the contracts and how to manage the work. Learn the business side as you seek new gigs.

This allows you to build your portfolio for your company. This also allows you to keep the benefits of your day job, including a steady income. Plus, you can build up relationships to help you get more work in the future.

Fill in Skill Gaps

If you’ve never run your own company, there are skills you need to learn before you get started. You’ll need to learn how to run the background of a business, including financing.

You’ll also need to develop your soft skills. Take time to work on 

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Time-management
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership

These soft skills will help you deal with clients and grow your business. You’ll also need to make sure you have all the skills to run a full digital marketing campaign. Make sure you’re up-to-date on 

  • Graphic design
  • Web design
  • Social media and PPC marketing
  • Copywriting
More from Digital Media Thoughts:   The Top 10 Digital Marketing Tactics for Aviation Companies

Also, work on your SEO skills. 61% of businesses say they want to grow their SEO strategies. These skills are necessary for a budding marketer.

Determine Your Area of Expertise

While you need to know the ins-and-outs of digital marketing, you’ll still want to specialize in certain areas or find your niche. This will give you a way to stand out in the industry and help you find the right clients.

Your niche includes the type of client you want to work with. To determine your ideal client answer questions like

  • What industries do I want to work with?
  • What size business do I want to work with?
  • What types of projects do I want to accept?

Once you understand your target customer, you want to determine what areas of digital marketing you want to focus on. Do you want to do social media management, SEO, content marketing, etc? Find a small area to specialize in so you’re an expert in these methods.

Consider Taxes

Your first step in planning your taxes is to establish your business. Apply for a business ID.

This means determining what type of business you’ll set up. Will you have a sole-proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or another business type? This will help you determine how you’ll file taxes on your business.

Also, plan for the taxes you’ll need to pay. Put money aside on a regular basis to cover business taxes. 

You’ll also want to consider finding a tax expert. Find someone who can answer questions and help you file your taxes. This will protect you against costly mistakes.

Complete a Business Plan

As you learn your strengths and begin to understand how to run a business, it’s time to create a business plan. This plan will help you organize your business and figure out how to move forward. A business plan includes

  • Objectives and goals
  • A description of your company 
  • Marketing plans
  • Financial plans
More from Digital Media Thoughts:   Make Caption Happen: What is Closed Captioning & Why You Need It

You want to describe your business fully. Explain the type of business, the location, what you’re offering, and your ideal customer.

Lay out your marketing plans. Determine how much money you want to spend and where. 

Make a list of assets and debts for your financial planning. Determine how you will charge for your services. This means deciding if you’ll charge hourly or require a monthly retainer.

Put all these pieces together as a comprehensive plan. This will help you analyze your business. It’s also good when applying for funding.

Market Your Agency

Now that you have a marketing plan for your business, it’s time to put it in action. Your first step is to create a website and social media accounts for your agency.

Your website acts as your main hub for content. You need to create content for your site. You also need to create a portfolio page so people can see what you’re capable of, like this website.

Share your content on social media and direct people back to your website. Provide contact info and FAQs so people know how to work with you.

You also need to network. Reach out to businesses and build relationships. Participate in networking opportunities to make new contacts. These people can help you build your client list.

You should also build up your industry authority. The best way to do this is to get reviews from clients to show you get results.

Start a Digital Marketing Company

Part of how to start a digital marketing agency is analyzing your business regularly. This includes paying attention to the growth of your company. This also includes keeping up with industry news and updates.

As your business grows, you can start adding to your team. To make this work, you need to keep yourself educated about your chosen industry. To learn more and grow your business, check out our other digital marketing tips.