Starting a marketing agency can be a very lucrative business opportunity. There are many important steps to take in order to make sure your business is successful.
Here are the 10 steps you can take to get started on building your very own marketing agency.
10 Steps to Launching a New Marketing Agency
1. Choose Your Type of Marketing Agency
The first step in launching a marketing agency is to identify the type of marketing agency you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- Advertising agency
- Public relations firm
- Digital marketing agency
2. Name Your Marketing Agency
Give your marketing agency an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your marketing agency from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your marketing agency is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that clients will want to work with you.
3. Determine Your Marketing Agency Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a marketing agency including:
- Full-service marketing agency
- Partial-service marketing agency
- Project-based marketing agency
- Retainer-based marketing agency
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the services you offer.
Read more about choosing the right business model for your marketing agency.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your marketing agency, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your marketing agency will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
5. Write a Marketing Agency Business Plan
All marketing agency business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
When developing your marketing agency business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What services does your marketing agency offer?
- Do you have experience in my industry/market?
- How much will your services cost?
- What is your payment policy?
- What are your turnaround times for projects?
- Do you offer a free consultation?
- Will I own the rights to the work you create for me?
Answering these questions in your business plan will give potential customers a better understanding of what your marketing agency can do for them.
Read our article about how to write a marketing agency business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your marketing agency.
You must also register your marketing agency as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your marketing agency business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your marketing agency, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your marketing agency include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a marketing agency to help you determine if funding is needed.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your marketing agency, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in project management software, which will help you keep track of deadlines, project progress and client communications.
9. Market Your Marketing Agency to Potential Clients
Before you start selling your services, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your services and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the marketing agency industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Marketing agency businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Develop an advertising campaign that targets businesses in your niche market.
- Create a social media marketing strategy that engages potential customers on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
- Produce informative blog posts and videos that explain the benefits of working with a marketing agency.
- Develop partnerships with other businesses in your industry to cross-promote your services.
- Speak at events and trade shows to get exposure for your marketing agency business.
- Develop a PR strategy to get media coverage for your marketing agency in magazines, newspapers, websites and blogs.
Read our article about how to market your marketing agency for more tips.
10. Get New Clients & Grow Your Business
When you promote your services, you’ll start to get interest from potential clients.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these clients. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your marketing agency.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your marketing agency to learn more.
Starting a Marketing Agency FAQs
The marketing agency industry is booming. Entrepreneurs are starting marketing agencies to provide much-needed services to businesses that don't have the in-house resources to effectively market themselves.
There are a number of reasons why starting a marketing agency is a great business idea, including:
There's a high demand for marketing services.
You can be your own boss and set your own hours.
You can work from anywhere in the world.
You can make a significant amount of revenue.
You can help businesses grow and succeed.
If you want to start a successful marketing agency, there are a few things you'll need:
- A strong understanding of marketing principles.
- The ability to identify opportunities and target markets.
- Sales and marketing skills.
- The ability to build relationships and network with potential clients.
- The ability to manage people and projects.
- The ability to use technology and software to run your business.
- The ability to market your services effectively.
- The right team of people to help you grow your business.
Starting a marketing agency from home is a great way to get started in the industry. It's low cost and you can gradually grow your business as you build a client base. Establish a workspace and home office. Then, start marketing your services online and offline. You can also start networking with other marketing agencies to get referrals. As you grow, you can eventually hire employees and rent office space.
Starting a marketing agency online is a low cost way to enter the industry. Plus, it's common. You can start by setting up a website and blog to showcase your services. Then, use social media, email marketing and search engine optimization to market your business. You can also start an affiliate marketing program to get other businesses to promote your services. As you grow, you can add more services and hire employees.
If you want to start a marketing agency, there are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Choose a niche or focus on a specific market.
- Develop a strong understanding of marketing principles and strategies.
- Build a network of contacts in the industry.
- Use technology and software to efficiently run your business.
- Market your services effectively.
- Grow your team and expanding your services.
A simple checklist to use when starting a marketing agency is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Marketing Agency: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Marketing Agency: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Marketing Agency Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Marketing Agency Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Marketing Agency to Potential Clients: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the services they truly need.
- Get Clients & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your services.
Starting a marketing agency requires effort, but with the right tools and advice in place, you can make it a success. Follow the steps outlined in this article to get started on the right foot and begin attracting the clients you need to grow your business.