How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency in 7 Easy Steps
Do you want to start your own digital marketing agency? Then you’ve come to the right place.
In this post you will going to learn about,
- how to start your digital marketing agency from zero.
- how to scale your agency.
- How to get your first paying client.
and much more.
Read: Why you should learn Digital Marketing
Starting your own digital marketing agency and getting your first client sounds really difficult in starting. But today, you will get a seven step process through which you can start your own digital marketing agency. If you have enough knowledge about your niche and your expertise, then it will take you less then a month to start a digital marketing agency.
My 7 Steps formula for you
Step 1: Find your niche and Expertise
If we talk about digital marketing, finding your niche is the most important thing for you. Digital marketing is a very vast field. That’s why you have to start with a very narrow niche. It could be anything. Whenever you will start, you will work individually, and a single person can never achieve mastery in all fields of digital marketing.
So once you complete your digital marketing training, ask yourself this very important question.
What services will you going to offer to your client?
Asking this question will help you to find your niche and your expertise as well. Your expertise could be anything from the following things:
- Social media marketing
- Facebook ads
- Google ads
- Funnel creation
- Email marketing
- Graphic designing
- video marketing
- SEM etc
You can’t handle everything on your own. Try only one or niche in which you are a subject matter expert. And you can outsource rest of the things once your business will expand. You don’t need to offer a 360 degree solutions to your clients in the beginning.
What if You don’t have any of these skills? or what if You are not a subject matter expert in any of these field? What will you do?
The simple answer is, Start with Graphic designing.
If you don’t have any of the above skills then you can start with graphic designing for your clients. That is because, Graphic designing is an art, it is not a skill. You have to include your creativity into your work. That’s why you can start with graphic design.
I’m Not a Graphic Designer, What should I do?
Well, as we said in the beginning, graphic designing is not a skill that you have to develop, it is an art that you have to learn by creating lots and lots of graphics.
You can use some free tools like canva.com to learn graphic designing.
Canva is a free and easy to use tool that you can use to do graphic design for your clients. If you spend only three to four hours a week or on a weekend, you can master this free software. You can also get its pro version for free for the first 30 days as well. There are tons of templates available in canva, so that you can easily create designs for your social media, or anything you want.
The second thing that you can do is, do social media branding for your nearby stores or small businesses.
See, we are in the age of digital media. In this digital age, digital marketing is the most important thing to grow a business. Because people are searching the solutions of their problems in the internet. weather it is a small business or a startup, everyone needs a strong social media branding for their brands. And here’s the opportunity for you. You can do social media branding for your local businesses for free or for a reasonable amount. That way, you can get some experience for yourself.
But remember, in the beginning you may have to work for free. It is a part of your journey. It will help you to gain more experience about your field and to find out your expertise as well. You can manage social media accounts of your clients and help them to make attractive posts for their social media.
That’s how you can start your journey.
Read: How to find out your Niche
Step 2: Analyze Your niche Market
What do I mean by analyzing the niche market?
Well in this step you have to do some research according to your niche and expertise. Let us consider that you are a social media marketing expert. Now what you have to do is:-
Search for Social media marketing for
You’ll see these results
As you can see, Google is giving us suggestions of different industries that are looking for social media marketing expert.
You have to write down all these suggestions into your excel sheet.
You can also do research about multiple niches as well.
Facebook ads for
Google ads for
Email marketing for
Note all these information in your excel sheet because it will help us to find out our target clients and much more.
Step 3: Competitor research
Its very important to know about
- Who your competitors are?
- What services they are offering?
- What is the pricing for the services?
You may have find out your niche and expertise, but still you don’t have any experience about how much should you charge for your services? how many agencies are already their in your industry? And ,many things. That’s why you first have to do lots of research about your competitors.
Since you are a beginner, I suggest you to start from your local area. Because you can not initially enter on the international market without any experience. Lots of digital freelancers do these mistakes and got failed. You do not do the same mistakes.
Start with your local area. Find out how many agencies are there in your city related to your niche and industry. Then you have to do research on them. You can visit to their website and know about the services they offering. You can message them or call them and find out about your their pricing as well.
Make sure to make detailed notes about you competitions.
Step 4: Launch Your Website
Creating your website is very easy though it sounds difficult for somebody who has never been introduced to WordPress and other CMS platforms. There are so many free tutorials available on YouTube that can help you to create your website with the help of WordPress using drag and drop page builders and premade templates and themes. We have created a website and customized it in a single day.
The best thing is that you don’t need to have any coding knowledge for creating a website. We have created our own website using WordPress. The only thing that you need is to buy a domain and a web hosting. Watch this video to find out the top 8 best web hosting providers of 2021.
You can get the best web hosting offers and discounts on our website as well.
Read: How to setup a WordPress blog within 30 Minutes
Step 5: Set a Business Model
Their are mainly three business modes that agencies generally use
- pay per hour
- Monthly retainer
- Percentage on ad spend
when you are just starting our, you should always go for monthly retainer because it is much more secure and you are not experience enough to come up with a cost of your services. Once you get enough experience with working with two to four clients, then you can move towards other business models as well. But initially we recommend you to choose monthly retainer. That means you will charge a specific amount on the monthly basis for the services that you offer to your clients.
You can mention your business model on your website as well.
Step 6: Have a Social Media Presence
Having a social media presence is really important nowadays. But it is not recommended in the beginning when you are just starting out.
But yes, once you start getting a lot of clients, then you can expand your team and make a social media profile of your company. You can share the reviews of your clients and get more clients as well.
Though it is not too important in the beginning.
Step 7: Getting your first client
Getting your first client is really simple, but we insist on making it complicatedSam Rathi – Founder – Socialgram
Everyone believe that getting your first client is very difficult, but it is not as difficult as it seems.
Read: How to start your freelancing journey today
How to get your first paying client?
Step 1: Marketing
- Create your website
- Create a velfie talking about your agency and your services
- Upload it as a story on your WhatsApp, Facebook and insta account with a swipe up link to your website
- Ask your friends, relatives and family members to do the same.
- Do a broadcast message of the velfie with a text on WhatsApp
- DM your friends on facebook, insta and LinkedIn and request for promotion
Step 2: List building
- Make a list of businesses that your family members and relatives are doing, from close relation to long relation
- Make a list of businesses that your friends are doing
Even if they have a small shop or grocery store, make a list of them
Step 3: Find more leads
Ask your friends and family members, if they know anyone doing business and in need of digital marketing services. As you already message this is a kind of follow up, where you are asking anybody who need a digital marketing service.
Step 4: Make more leads
- Go to a business listing website like yp.com or yelp.com and make a list of your potential customers
- These business listing websites charges up-to 100$ for top listings. The companies or local businesses that are paying that much about for their marketing can become your client as well.
- So make sure to make a list of all of them.
- Go to google and type your target keywords with location, then make a list of them as well.
Note: Don’t make a list from free business listing websites because the company you found their may not be convert into your clients. To get your first paying client you need to target businesses that are already spending some money for their marketing.
They can easily convert into your first client.
Read: Business Ideas under 100 USD
Step 5: Compiling the list
You have to Compile all the list in one excel sheet and segregate them based on different sources, List of friends and family members businesses, Acquaintance, Local alliance group, List from google and business listing websites.
By then, you should have a list of at least 100 leads from the above sources. Now you have to approach them based on your connections.
Step 6: Approaching your leads
We have to approach the leads based on our connections. But before we approach them, we have to make sure some basic things to improve the conversion rate.
Tip: Create a local alliance with your local businesses owners, vendors and suppliers if you can.
For example, Let’s say that your target clients are the owners of the restaurants and coffee shops of your local area. Before you approach them, you have to find the top supplier of that particular product that your target clients are using.
So if you are targeting all the organic restaurants of your area, then you first have to find out the top suppliers of organic fruits and vegetable in my local area. Because that supplier is going to supply his fruits and vegetable to all the restaurant of your area.
Now what you have to do is, create a one page website for these vendors. And you have to do it for free.
You can say that,
“I am gonna create a free website for you and in return, you have to give me a referral. You have to introduce me to one of your clients. If I close the deal, I am gonna give you a small percentage of my profit“.
That way you can create a referral network for yourself. You can get your first 3 to 5 clients initially with these referral networks. It will also help you to build trust with your clients which is really important for any marketing agency.
Best order to approach the leads ?
- We have to approach our friends and family first. Since you know them already, you don’t have to push too much for converting them. You will also feel confident and comfortable by approaching them. That’s why I suggest you to approach them first.
- Then we have to approach the leads that we have generated via referral network. Once you approach your friends and family members, you may have got some ideas about how to approach a lead, how to present your idea in a very easy way and how to close the deal with them.
- Last but not least, we are going to approach the leads that we have generated via internet and other business listing websites.
Since you just started your digital marketing agency, you may have to face lots of difficulties to convert your leads into your clients. They may ask you about your previous experience, they may negotiate on your pricing and they may refuse to give you the work. Then what you have to do is, you have to ask them for a meeting, or a presentation meeting where you will share your blueprint on how you will help their businesses to get more clients and how you can help them to get more sales.
How to pitch your marketing blueprint to your Leads?
You have to prepare this part by yourself. But we will give you a blueprint on how you can do it.
First of all, you have to examine your lead’s complete business model. You have to find how the goods and bads of their business. Let’s take an example of a restaurant business. We will show you how to examine them.
You have to build an audit report of their business and You have to mark all the loopholes of their businesses and you will have to give them a blueprint on how you can help them to get more sales.
Where to Start ?
Start with their website. Find out if your leads have any website or not.
If the answer is no. Then you have to explain it to them, How getting a website and running ads can help them to grow their businesses and get more customers. You have to mention how you can help them to get more customers using their website.
If they do have a website, then you have to audit their website and find all the loopholes of it.
Creating audit report of a website
Audit report is kind of a document where you will capture all the screenshots of the things that are mentioned here.
- Do they have https
- Page loading speed, you can check it from here.
- Check if they have google analytics and Pixel installed or not
- Check their website design, do they have a contact details and social media handles or not
Put all these things into your audit report and explain to your client why is it important. Every business owner hates losing from their competition. You have to use it as your advantage by comparing his website to his closest competitors website using this tool.
Once you done with their website audit, Now you have to focus on Facebook Audit
Creating Facebook Audit Report
You have to mention all the points that are given below in your Facebook audit report
- Do they have claimed their username in FB
- Does cover page conveys their brand message
- DP or cover page is properly optimised or not?
- Is their about section complete [ Email, Contact, Website link etc] These information helps audience to keep in touch
- If you client have a physical store, then did they have mentioned their opening hour in their page.
- If it is a restaurant, do they have their menu updated.
- What is their response rate.
- Do they reply to comments, reviews and recommendations.
Mention all the things in the audit report.
Some other things to mention are given below:
- Do they post enough content every week
- What is their content strategy?
- Do they have quality content
- How may videos they post every week
- Do they interact with their audience.
- Do they interact with other pages
Use Facebook watch tool to compare them with their competitors and create a detailed report on it.
Creating Instagram Audit Report
Mention all the points that are given below into your audit report
- Do they have a branded profile picture
- Is their website listed on their profile
- Are they using business profile or not
- Do they have story highlight section properly optimized or not
- How many hashtags are they using [ Minimum25/Post]
- Are they using relevant hashtags
- Are they posting interesting/entertaining and informative content
- Are they using local hashtags in their post
- Are they talking to others/their audience? Are they engaged with them?
- Are they posting stories and posts daily (It’s a Must)
- If it’s a restaurant, are they engaging with people geotagging them
- Use this tool to calculate their engagement
Online reputation Auditing Report
- Search your client’s business name on google and find out all the negative reviews and conversations
- Take it’s screenshot and add it into your report
- You can also use the reviews of any third party website as well.
How to Present the Audit Report to the client?
- You can easily Create report Using Canva
- You can find free report templates and use them as well
- Make your audit report look appealing and Professional for your client
Remember that this is the first thing that your lead is going to see from you. You have to use this chance to convert your lead into your paying client.
Close the Deal
Here comes the final part. You have already generated lots of audit data for your client. But what if the client doesn’t get converted. That will be a nightmare, right?
Even if the lead doesn’t get converted after your first presentation, don’t worry. Just give them a copy of the audit report that you’ve created. Maybe they need more time to think. Maybe they want to analyze the report you have created. The reason could be anything. You have to keep you patience.
You have to look towards the other leads as well. After doing all these research on creating audit report for your client, you may have got a lot of experience. Make sure to keep a record of your first meeting, auditing report and presentations. And try to improve it as much as you can. That’s the key to succeed in this online world.
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