How to start a digital marketing agency

5 Steps on starting your digital marketing agency. This guide provides step by step for starting a successful digital marketing company.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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What should I learn about digital marketing?

Prior to starting one’s own digital marketing agency, it is necessary to learn as much as possible about digital marketing for agencies. After all, even the most successful businesspeople take every opportunity to learn something new. In individual can advance their career and build their digital skills through the use of resources and online courses from top universities and institutions. Therefore, and entrepreneurs should invest their money and time in learning. It is also important to have a deep understanding of the digital marketing industry.

Some of the concepts that an individual should understand include SEO, PPC (pay-per-click), e-mail marketing campaigns, and building online funnels. It is also useful to know about content marketing and graphic design.

In this article, our business attorney discusses the following steps for starting a digital marketing agency as follows:

  1. Find a niche

After learning about these basic concepts, an entrepreneur should search for their niche. Because digital marketing competition is fierce, it is important that an entrepreneur establishes their own niche to stand out. By doing so, he or she can focus on a smaller audience that is interested in what the entrepreneur offers.

  1. Research competitors

When an individual starts a business, regardless of its industry, it is important that they know how their company ranks against competitors. By researching competitors, a business owner can understand how they operate and will know how to outperform them. To analyze competitors, a business owner should use the same keywords that their own business would use online. Competition should be narrowed down to approximately 10 to 15 companies. After a business owner has identified their competition, they should analyze how these companies are monetizing, or obtaining their money. By studying this, a business owner can figure out what their competitors’ methods are, and if they are successful.

The following are some examples of monetization:

  • selling a digital or physical product
  • donation, commission, coaching
  • affiliate sales, advertising, lead generation

After a business owner has studied how the competition monetizes, he or she can then look at their content marketing strategy. To do this, a business owner should study the competition’s social media, blog posts, and SEO. Is their content in the form of blogging, videos, or podcasts? One should also study how they communicate with their clients or customers. A business owner should think about whether they would like to use a similar content marketing strategy, or if there are aspects that they would change.

  1. Launch a website

Prior to launching a website, an entrepreneur will want to think about competitors and content. They will also need to figure out how to find customers for the business. A hosting service for the site and a domain name will also be needed.

  1. Build a portfolio

When an individual starts a digital marketing agency, he or she should consider offering free services as a way to get their name out there and to get reviews. Once he or she gains trust from clients, it will be easier to attract more potential customers.

A portfolio should include the following:

  • headlines or snippets
  • in-depth case studies
  • upcoming goals for that client
  • client testimonials

An entrepreneur should demonstrate to their audience that they can deliver the results desired. It is important that the portfolio is honest and ethical, and does not embellish the truth.

  1. Create a business model

A business owner has many choices when it comes to the way they bill their client. One option is to have a customer pay by the hour, which is preferable when there are shorter tasks. However, when a business owner starts to grow their business, this model may not be a good fit.

One of the simpler pricing models is a flat retainer. This means that a client pays a flat fee for the month. A business owner should be sure to establish rules in the event a client quits early on in the process or increases the scope of their project.

Another pricing model is known as the percentage of spending. This model ensures that the digital marketing agency will get the proper compensation for its hard work.

  1. Establish a presence on social media

When an individual begins a digital marketing agency, he or she should be sure to establish a presence on social media. Social media accounts are free, so there is no harm in taking advantage of their reach. A business owner can benefit from engaging with their customers and potential clients, generating leads, and turning their business global.

There are a number of ways to generate leads, though it may be hard to do so at first. A business owner will want to keep their ideal customer in mind prior to generating leads. Once an owner knows their target customer, they should consider starting a YouTube channel to generate leads. He or she should make sure to publish regular video content on their channel to attract new customers. Some videos can focus on hot marketing topics, case studies, how-to’s, as well as reviews from customers.

Perhaps a business owner notices that certain articles on their blog are doing better than others. If this is the case, he or she should look at the title of the blog post. They should then test different titles to see which perform better. Titles can always be switched out later.

Affiliate marketing allows a business to expand its network. A business owner can also send cold emails, though they need to be careful not to come across as spam. A business owner should be sure to research every company before making contact, and write an e-mail that is tailored to their needs. This method is especially useful when a business is in its infancy and an owner’s budget is limited.

Remember, if a digital marketing agency can market itself effectively, it can serve as its own case study, serving as proof of its own expertise.

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