Starting a digital marketing agency can be a very lucrative business opportunity.
There are many important steps to take in order to make sure your agency is successful.
Here are the 10 steps you can take to get started on building your very own digital marketing agency business.
10 Steps to Launching a New Digital Marketing Agency Business
1. Choose Your Type of Digital Marketing Agency Business
The first step in launching a digital marketing agency business is to identify the type of digital marketing agency business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- Full-service agency
- SEO and content marketing agency
- Social media agency
- Email marketing agency
2. Name Your Digital Marketing Agency Business
Give your digital marketing agency business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your digital marketing agency business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your digital marketing agency business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that clients will want to use your services.
3. Determine Your Digital Marketing Agency Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a digital marketing agency business including:
- Charging by the hour
- Charging a monthly retainer fee
- Charging a per project fee
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 digital marketing agency business.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your digital marketing agency business, 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 digital marketing agency business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
5. Write a Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan
All digital 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 digital marketing agency business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What services does your agency offer?
- How do you determine the success of a digital marketing campaign?
- Can you provide me with some case studies or examples of successful campaigns you have executed in the past?
- Do you have any experience working with businesses in my industry?
- What is your pricing model?
- How do you measure the ROI of a digital marketing campaign?
- What is your process for developing and executing a digital marketing strategy?
- What are the most important channels for my business?
- What are some ideas you have for my industry that I haven’t thought of?
- Do you have any other suggestions for my business?
Answering these questions in your business plan will give potential customers a better understanding of what your digital marketing agency business can do for them.
Read our article about how to write a digital 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 digital marketing agency business.
You must also register your digital marketing agency business 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 digital 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 digital marketing agency business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your digital marketing agency business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a digital marketing agency business to help you determine if funding is needed.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your digital marketing agency business, 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 can help you keep track of deadlines, client projects and to-do lists. There are many project management software options available, so research a few to find the one that’s best for your needs.
In addition, consider investing in a CRM system (customer relationship management) to help you manage your clients, sales and marketing campaigns. A CRM system can automate many of the tasks associated with running a digital marketing agency business, which will free up your time to focus on other aspects of growing your business.
9. Market Your Digital Marketing Agency Business 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 digital marketing 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. Digital marketing agency businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Creating a strong website
- Creating valuable content
- Promoting your content
- Doing social media promotion
- Networking with other digital marketing professionals
- Creating an email list
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
Read our article about how to market your digital marketing agency business 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 digital marketing agency business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your digital marketing agency business to learn more.
Starting a Digital Marketing Agency Business FAQs
Starting a digital marketing agency business is a great way to be your own boss and build something from the ground up. It’s also a way to make a difference in the lives of small businesses and entrepreneurs by helping them reach their goals.
To start a successful digital marketing agency business, you need the right mix of skills, experience, knowledge, passion and dedication. You also need a good business plan, the right technology and software, and a great marketing strategy.
You can start a digital marketing agency business from home by following the steps in this article. Then, establish a workspace and home office. Get the right technology and software in place. And, start marketing your business to potential clients.
You can start a digital marketing agency business online by following the steps in this article. Then, create a website and start promoting your business through social media and other channels. Ensure that clients can book your services online. Also, build a website that thoroughly describes your services.
Here are some tips for starting a digital marketing agency business:
- Research the industry and your target market.
- Create a business plan.
- Get the right technology and software in place.
- Find the right people to help you grow your business.
- Promote your business through social media and other channels.
- Create a website that thoroughly describes your services.
- Establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs.
- Train your team members so they can provide great service to clients.
- Market your business to potential clients.
- Grow your business by getting new clients and expanding your services.
A simple checklist to use when starting a digital marketing agency business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Digital 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 Digital Marketing Agency Business: 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 Digital Marketing Agency Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Digital 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 Digital Marketing Agency Business 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 digital marketing agency requires effort, but with the right tools and determination 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.