Starting a digital agency in 2022 is a lot easier than it used to be. Digital marketing has come a long way in the past decade, and there are now more tools and resources available than ever before. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. There are still challenges to overcome when starting out, like finding clients, building your team and getting new business. If you’re ready to start a digital agency of your own but don’t know where to begin, here are some tips on how to get started:
Start with a plan
- Research the market. Before you start your agency, take time to learn about your market and its needs. What are people looking for? How can you help them?
- Define your target audience. You need to know who you’re trying to reach with your marketing services in order to provide them with what they need—and that means defining exactly who those people are and where they live, work and play.
- Create a business plan that includes everything from mission statements through hiring plans: This will help ensure that every aspect of starting an agency is covered as effectively as possible so that there aren’t any surprises down the road when it comes time for growth (or even just day-to-day operations).
Give your agency a name
- Choose a name that is easy to remember and spell. The easiest way to do this is by choosing a keyword in the industry you are targeting, then adding your location. For example, if you are in Miami, Florida and want to start an agency for digital marketing companies that specialize in social media management, you may choose the name Social Media Management Agency Miami (or SMMA).
- Make sure your company name isn’t taken yet or too long or generic sounding. You want people searching online for their services when they enter keywords related to what you offer so it makes sense that they find your company first on Google rather than another one with similar services but no website presence at all!
Create an online portfolio.
Create an online portfolio.
You need to showcase all of your work, including:
- the projects you’ve done and the results you’ve achieved in each case
- any awards or accolades that speak to your abilities as a team (including client testimonials)
- if possible, actual photos of the office space and team members (even if it’s just a small video)
Identify your niche
When you start a business, it’s important to identify your niche. Defining your niche is one of the first steps in creating an effective marketing strategy. A good niche can help you stand out from the competition and attract clients who are looking for what you offer. By identifying a specific type of client or industry that interests you, you can focus on building relationships within that community and design messaging that will resonate with them—something known as “niche marketing.”
The right kind of niche will vary depending on what type of organization you’re starting: if yours is a startup company selling products or services, then choosing an industry-specific focus will be helpful; if yours is an established firm whose main focus has been working with individual clients (e.g., consulting), then choosing a client-focused approach might be more appropriate.
Set up your website.
To start, you’re going to need a website. The easiest way to get one is by choosing a domain name that’s easy for others and yourself to remember, like “DigitalMarketer22” or “DigitalMarketer Agencies.” Use this domain in your about page, contact form, and everywhere else on the Internet.
Next, make sure your site is easy for people to navigate around in. If you’re not familiar with HTML and CSS (the coding languages used by websites), then hire someone who is familiar with them so they can help build it out for you. Remember: when starting out as an agency owner, every dollar counts! You don’t want any unnecessary costs associated with having a clunky-looking site because then it won’t convert visitors into customers as effectively as possible. If necessary though (and I hope it isn’t!), consider using WordPress or Squarespace templates because those platforms are highly customizable without requiring any advanced knowledge of coding languages like HTML/CSS.
Find your first clients.
To find clients, you need to know what your business is going to offer. There are a few things to consider when choosing a niche:
- You should have some expertise in the niche.
- It should be underserved.
- It should be something that you’re passionate about.
- Your business will be sustainable if it has enough demand and potential for growth.
Find the right tools
To start a digital marketing agency, you need the right tools to manage your clients, projects and team. That includes:
- An online customer relationship management (CRM) system that helps you keep track of all client information, from names to contact information and notes from meetings. You’ll also want this tool to be able to link with your calendar so that when a new prospect enters the pipeline in the CRM tool, you can schedule a meeting on your calendar with her directly from there.
- A project management system will help you keep track of all assignments being done by employees or freelancers under contract. The right project management software should have an intuitive interface that allows each user to create their own tasks and assign them across teams based on skillset and availability. It should also include time tracking functionality so that everyone knows how much time has been spent on any given task — which means they know whether they’re getting paid fairly for their work! This is especially important if one person is working remotely while another works out of office hours—you don’t want anyone feeling like they’re not being valued because of where they work!
Find the right talent
Having the right people on your team is key to a successful business. If you hire people who are good at what they do, and if you’re able to effectively manage them, then it will be much easier for you to scale your digital marketing agency.
Look for talent that has experience in SEO, PPC advertising and content creation. You should also look for someone with previous management experience who can run a team of marketers or writers.
To find talented candidates, start by posting ads on websites like LinkedIn and Facebook (or any other social media platform). Once you have candidates responding to these ads ask them questions about their previous work experiences and how they would handle various situations in an interview setting before making any hiring decisions.
Getting started with paid ads
To start, consider starting with a small budget. You can always scale up later, but it’s good to know how much the paid ads will cost and what kind of return you’ll get for each dollar spent. Make sure that you have a clear idea of who your target audience is and what keywords they’ll be searching for. Once you’ve got this figured out, focus on one type of paid ad at a time—for example: Facebook ads or Google AdWords (or both).
Next comes experimentation! Don’t be afraid to test different approaches; some may work better than others depending on your industry or product/service offerings. It’s important not to give up if results don’t immediately appear in the form of increased sales or leads because sometimes it takes time for people to notice that their search terms fit well with what your business provides them with when they click through on an ad link displayed above organic results in Google searches (we’re talking about PPC here).
Make sure you can deliver
The second thing to do is make sure that you can deliver. This means making sure you are able to provide the services and deliver them on time, within budget, and with a quality product.
It’s no good offering these things if you can’t actually do them. If your agency is struggling because it hasn’t got enough clients or has too many projects going at once, then it will be hard to grow your business beyond this point until those problems are resolved.
If all of these things are in place though, then there’s no reason why a digital marketing agency wouldn’t succeed!
Start building a team.
Now that you have a solid idea of what type of agency you want to start, it’s time to begin building your team. At this point, you may be wondering what kind of people will be on the core team and how they can help with digital marketing. Here are some tips for finding the right employees:
- Look for people who are passionate about their work or who have experience in a related industry.
- Hire people who know how to communicate effectively with clients rather than just blindly following orders from management.
- Find someone who has experience working as part of an integrated marketing team before bringing them onboard your own agency (e.g., someone at an ad agency).
Get marketing materials together
Before you can launch your agency and start taking clients, there are a number of things to get in order. Your first step is to make sure that you have a logo designed. You should also have business cards, letterhead and other marketing materials ready for when it comes time to present yourself to potential clients.
Next, make sure that you’ve got an overall marketing strategy in place. How will you be targeting customers? What channels will you use? Where do your strengths lie as a team? All of these questions should be answered before beginning any kind of advertising campaign or any other form of digital marketing strategy.
Now’s also the time to put together a social media plan so that people know who they’re dealing with if they come across one of your posts online (and so they know how best to contact you). You should include details such as: what types of posts they expect from their social media pages; what content they want posted every week/month/year; which platforms are most popular among their target audience; whether they want their accounts linked together or not (i.e., Twitter vs Instagram); etcetera.
Testing, testing, testing
Testing, testing and more testing.
- Testing your landing pages and email campaigns is a must. Make sure they’re driving people to take action.
- Experiment with A/B testing on Facebook Ads, Google Display Network ads, YouTube videos and other platforms to see what works best for your audience.
- Try out new tools such as Optimizely, Unbounce and AdStage that offer A/B testing capabilities that make it easy for anyone at any skill level to run tests without having to code anything themselves.
Your agency will be successful if you can follow these steps
The digital marketing world can seem a little overwhelming, but if you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to building an agency that helps clients grow their businesses:
- Know your market. In order to know how to market your company, it’s important to take the time and do research into who your target audience is and how they want to be marketed. This will give you useful information about what kind of services they need and what kind of language they use when they talk about business problems. It will also help inform the direction of any content or campaigns that you create going forward in the future.
- Branding matters! One thing I learned very quickly when starting my own marketing agency was that having a name for yourself is just as important as having skills or experience in the field—especially because there are so many choices out there for potential clients who need help with their online presence (I mean…I’m getting overwhelmed just thinking about all those options). A memorable brand will make sure people remember who did such great work for them before—and hopefully lead them back over time!
- Create an online portfolio site where prospective clients can learn more about what you offer as well as see examples of past projects done by other firms working within similar industries (for example: software companies)
Starting a digital marketing agency can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right plan, you will be able to build your business from the ground up. It all starts with you, so get out there and start building!