The future of marketing is digital. The ways in which people consume content are changing, and businesses need to adapt or get left behind.
Digital marketing agencies are one of the top businesses that entrepreneurs are launching. An agency can offer clients expertise in website design, SEO, social media management, reputation management, email marketing and more.
But there’s a lot of competition out there so how do you know if you’re ready?
If you're thinking about starting a digital marketing agency but don't know where to start, this article is for you. Follow these steps and find success!
This guide will help you answer that question by walking through the 7 steps all entrepreneurs need to take before launching their own agency.
Step 1) Figure out what type of agency you want to start:
There are many different types of agencies with some specializing in certain areas like website design while others handle both social media and email marketing; it's important to figure out which niche interests you the most.
Your skill set will also help you identify what type of agency you will be. Are you a social media guru and have 10,000 followers on Twitter, or do you have a good understanding of SEO or content marketing and can help businesses be successful in that arena.
You also want to decide what type of client base you'd like to work with and whether or not you plan on hiring employees in the future.
Your company culture and values are also important to establish in the beginning.
Step 2) Develop a client acquisition strategy:
Once you’ve decided what type of agency you want to start, it's time to create your business plan, and a thorough understanding of your target market is critical for success of that plan. Having an overarching strategy will help you to decide what type of clients are worth pursuing and which ones aren't.
Once you’ve identified your niche, the next step is finding potential leads that would make good clients for your agency. There are many ways to go about this part of the process, including social media marketing and paid advertising.
To start with, you'll want to narrow down your target market so that it isn't too broad; for example if you're focusing on the wedding industry then the pool of potential clients will be smaller than if you were targeting all types of businesses in New York City.
We recommend creating an in-depth buyer persona to help you identify your target market. Your client's demographics, lifestyle, and interests will all inform the types of services that might interest them; for example someone who is older or doesn't use social media regularly probably isn't a good fit for paid advertisements.
Step 3) Develop a competitive analysis:
Now that you've figured out what kind of agency you want to start, it's time to do some research on the competition. You should have a clear understanding of your competitors' before launching your own company because this will help guide your client acquisition strategy.
It's helpful to create a competitive analysis that outlines all of your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, this will make targeting certain market segments easier because you'll know where there is room for growth in the industry. For example, if your competitors are big, well established companies then you might want to target small businesses instead.
Step 4) Develop a marketing strategy:
Once you’ve done your research, it's time to create an in-depth marketing plan. This may seem like something that can be put off until after the company is launched, but having one before you start working with clients will make advertising easier and more cost effective because it will help guide which channels are worth pursuing (and which ones you should avoid).
When creating your marketing plan, it's important to define the right mix of strategies that will help attract and convert new clients. For example if you’re working with a lot of small businesses then paid advertising on social media might be more effective than traditional print ads; however if you're targeting large corporations then you may want to focus more on print ads and direct mail.
Your marketing plan should include your advertising strategies, outreach efforts, and PR activities; this will help guide how successful each one is so that they can be used in conjunction with other channels for maximum impact. For example if a blogger mentions your agency or its services then it might be a good idea to send them some free swag or discount codes in return.
Every business and industry is different, so you'll need to find the mix of marketing strategies that works best for your agency; this will help ensure that none of your efforts are wasted while also helping attract new clients who might be interested in what you have to offer.
Step 5) Create a website:
Now that you've figured out how to attract clients, it's time to create an online presence. Because your services are mainly digital in nature, this is especially important because your website may often be the first impression of you and your agency. Your website should give your visitors a feel for who you are, what you can offer them, and provide a call to action of what they should do next.
If you don't have a background in web design, it's helpful to hire an independent contractor or outsource the work so that your site is built correctly and looks great; this will help attract more potential clients because they'll be able to see at first glance how professional the agency appears online.
When designing your website make sure to include all of your contact information, services that you provide, and the types of clients that you work with; this will help potential customers learn more about what your agency can do for them. It's also critical to include reviews and testimonials throughout the site in order to demonstrate your quality of service to potential consumers.
Step 6) Get the word out:
Now that you've created an attractive website, it's time to get potential clients to learn more about your agency. This is where marketing strategies like social media come into play; for example if you're active on Facebook and Twitter then these are great channels for promoting news articles or industry updates that relate back to your services.
When you're marketing your agency online, it's important to use relevant hashtags and engage with people who might be interested in what you have to offer; this will help attract new customers because they'll see that there are other people talking about the same topics as them.
Social media is just one part of an overall digital marketing strategy; if you're not using other channels like email marketing then it's time to invest in them because they can often be just as effective.
Step 7) Make sure to keep in touch with clients:
This might seem like an obvious step, but it's often overlooked because agencies are so focused on getting new customers. The problem is that if you don't stay in touch with your current ones then they'll stop working with you and go elsewhere; this will hurt your agency's reputation because the news of your services will spread by word of mouth and not in a good way.
To keep your existing clients happy, it's important to send them regular updates about news articles or industry trends that relate back to the work you're doing; this can be done through email marketing campaigns such as newsletters or automated emails like monthly summaries. It also helps to send exclusive discounts and special offers that might be useful to your clients; this will help them see the value in working with you because it'll make their lives easier.
Today's current business landscape is changing at a rapid pace, digital agencies are finding more possibilities than ever before.
Starting and growing your own digital marketing agency is a great way to make money because there are so many potential customers out there who need digital marketing services and might be interested in hiring you.
When you own your agency, you can choose how much or little time and effort that you want to put into it. You control your lifestyle.
It can be a great business for you to start up on the side, or it could even become your full time job.
Starting and growing your own digital marketing agency may not be an easy thing to do, but most will tell you it's worth it!