If you want to start a digital marketing agency, you have probably chosen the best time to do so. There is a lot of demand for this kind of service at the moment, and, if you can deliver results for your clients, you could become successful very fast. It’s also an industry with a pretty low barrier of entry.
But you shouldn’t assume that anyone can build a successful agency. A lot of people fail in this field, and, in most cases, it’s because they had misconceptions about what it really means to run an online marketing agency. Here are some of the things you should know before you start one.
Consider Getting A Formal Education
A lot of people in the digital marketing space are self-taught and many of them are very successful. But you shouldn’t let the few success stories fool you. Most of the people who get into digital marketing fail and it’s often because of their lack of knowledge.
Someone who has an education in a field like e-commerce, analytics, or digital marketing will always have a leg up over the competition. Someone who has a combination of these skills will be nearly unstoppable.
This is why we suggest that you look at digital marketing and eCommerce programs. Emerson College, for instance, has a great digital marketing and analytics program that will give you everything you need to run a digital marketing agency efficiently.
You’ll not only be able to create great marketing campaigns for your clients, but you will also be an expert at monitoring results. A digital marketing agency that can show tangible results to its clients will always have an advantage. So, consider courses like these as an option and explore degrees that could give you a well-rounded skill set.
You Don’t Have To Build Everything From Scratch
One thing you should know about digital marketing agencies is that you don’t necessarily need to do all the work. You can simply pick up contracts and send everything over to a white label team.
The mistake a lot of people make here, however, is that they assume that they can start a white label agency without knowledge. When people ask them about specifics, they become flustered and come across as amateurish. Most of them end up crashing and burning because of confusion and miscommunication with their third-party team.
This is why we have to again stress the importance of having an actual background in digital marketing before you start. You will be able to run a white label agency without giving the impression someone else is doing the work. You’ll be savvy enough to answer questions and you also won’t run the risk of getting taken advantage of by someone who knows more about digital marketing than you.
Your Site Needs To Perform Too
Don’t start an online marketing agency if you can’t market yourself. An SEO company that cannot rank for at least a few important keywords will eventually get called out for it. So, you might have to wait until you can generate results before you can start pursuing serious clients.
You Might Have To Do A Lot Of Free Work At First
Another thing you will have to think about when starting a digital marketing agency is building social proof. Social proof is one of the most important things for any digital agency. Not only will you need to build an initial client base, but they have to be willing to vouch for you.
This is why many people are in a catch-22 situation when they get started in this business. They are trying to build a client base that will give them testimonials but they can’t get clients because they don’t have enough social proof yet.
This is why you have to be ready to do some pro-bono work at the beginning. This is how most digital marketing agencies get their start. Make sure that you get your first clients properly, however. It’s always better to go with someone who was referred to you. Another good idea would be to join your local chamber of commerce and start participating in networking events. Try to build a genuine connection with some people there and ask them if they’d like to try your service. Also, be honest about your situation. This could end up opening a few doors for you.
You could be a jack of all trades type of agency, but that’s not always the best way to go about it. Some of the most successful agencies in the world are those who found a niche or specialize in one specific type of online marketing.
Some firms focus mainly on PPC advertising, while others focus on social media, for instance. You also have people who focus on specific industries like healthcare, law, or the travel industry. All of these industries are facing different challenges and people are looking for agencies that can help them tackle the issues they have to face. They might not be as inclined to work with a generalist agency, but they could consider working with an expert.
This is why you might want to look at different niches and see if you can find one where you could thrive. Try going for a specialty you either have expertise in or have enough interest in to start learning.
Consider Starting As A Contractor
You should also know that you can start as a one-person operation. That would be a good way to learn the industry first and see if you are cut for it. Not everyone is meant to build an agency and some people are just fine staying as contractors. Running an agency is a lot of work, and the results are not always proportional to the work you put in. Don’t assume that being a contractor will limit you and consider the option before you go all in.
These are all things you’ll need to know before you start a digital marketing agency. Digital marketing is a vibrant field full of opportunities, but you have to know what to prepare for first and execute properly.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.