How To Start a Digital Marketing Agency in 2022

In 2021, digital marketing spending has surpassed $300 billion, making it an extremely attractive world for many to enter. But how does one achieve success in the digital marketing space? In this article, we answer this question and many others!

For those of you who are interested in starting and running a successful digital marketing agency, keep reading. By the end, you'll know exactly what you need to do to break into the marketing world.

Table of Contents

Should I Start A Digital Marketing Agency?

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you want to start a digital marketing agency but don’t know where to begin.

However, before learning the how-to Start a Digital Marketing Agency, we believe it is vital to first understand what a digital marketing agency is.

Since more businesses are moving their operations online, demand for digital marketing services has skyrocketed.

Of course, as a space becomes more crowded, competition rises, creating an excellent opportunity for marketing agencies. In fact, increased competition leads to increased demand for digital marketing services.

Furthermore, to start a digital marketing agency allows you to work from home and collaborate with people from all over the world. You won’t even need to pay for an office space!

Everything can be done remotely using tools like Zoom and Slack, which allow you to communicate with your team members no matter where they are in the world.

In 2022, anyone can start a digital marketing agency, no matter what their SEO or digital marketing expertise level is.

Of course, knowing the fundamentals is advantageous, but you can easily take an online course, build your own website, and practice on it before selling your services to clients.

Nothing beats being your own boss and escaping the rat race! So, what better way to achieve both goals than to start a digital marketing agency?

Besides, once you know your way around digital marketing, it is a simple business model to scale. You can help your first two to three clients on your own and then hire a team as your workload increases.

Finally, digital marketing agencies require a small upfront investment. All you need to get started is an internet connection, one or two marketing tools, and a website. You’ll be able to invest more as the company grows.


Running A Digital Marketing Agency

Start a Digital Marketing Agency

The first step to start a digital marketing agency is to work on your skills and mindset. The following are the primary skills you will need to cultivate:

  • Digital marketing technical skills
  • Business management skills
  • Self-confidence skills

Digital Marketing Skills

This may appear to be an obvious step, but you’d be surprised how many people take the plunge without even knowing the fundamentals of digital marketing.

Learn what digital marketing is and how it works so you can confidently discuss it with your prospects. You will also need to understand how to run campaigns in order to boost your client’s traffic and sales!

Digital marketing is comprised of several components, and though you do not need to be familiar with all of them from the start, you should be a good grasp of at least the following:

  • Web Design
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Google Advertising (PPC)
  • Email Marketing
  • Content Marketing

The services listed above are the fundamental areas you should focus on when starting your digital marketing agency journey. Nothing will prevent you from expanding your agency’s services as it grows!

But keep in mind that whatever services you decide to provide, it is important that you understand the process from beginning to end so that you can explain to prospective clients what your agency does and how it can help them.

This article is the best place to learn the fundamentals of running a digital marketing agency. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you can even outsource the work to a white-label agency like ours.

Business Management Skills

Running an agency is not as straightforward as working as a freelancer. Because an agency is a business, understanding how to run a business effectively is essential.

Although a Business Management degree is not required, you will need to learn skills such as:

  • Project management
  • Invoicing and billing
  • Time management
  • HR management
  • Contracts

As a business owner, you will almost certainly have to multitask and take care of all aspects of your agency’s operations in the beginning of your journey. However, as your company grows, you will be able to hire people who are dedicated to specific roles.

Self-Confidence Skills

Accomplishing something always necessitates having the right frame of mind as well as self-confidence. You will lack the confidence to take the risks necessary to start a business unless you have these qualities.

Starting a business without the proper mindset or without understanding how to best serve your clients will almost certainly result in failure.

Therefore, before starting your digital marketing agency or freelancing career, you should create your own website and put your skills to the test on it so that you will know exactly how to drive traffic and sales when you onboard your first client and begin working with them.

Ranking your website and tracking its progress with the right tools will give you the knowledge and confidence to serve others.

Keep in mind that the digital marketing space is extremely competitive, so you must stand out from the crowd to show your prospective clients why they should choose you over someone else.

At the end of the day, your knowledge, skills, and level of experience will make or break your digital marketing agency.


Choosing what You Want To Sell

Prior to getting started, it’s important for you to learn as much as you can about digital marketing for agencies. At the end of the day, if you want to succeed, you should never stop learning!

You may improve your digital skills by taking advantage of online courses and materials from reliable sources.  Having a grasp of the industry is also critical. 

Among the several things you’ll want to be familiar with are:

Start A Web Design Agency

Web design is the process of creating websites that are published on the internet for visitors to view. It mainly refers to the user experience side of website creation as opposed to software development. 

Prior to the mid-2010s, web design was mostly about creating websites for desktop browsers. Since then, optimising websites for mobile phones and tablets has become a must.

As a web design agency, your job will be to provide your clients with visually appealing and functional websites that will attract visitors.

Start A Search Engine Optimisation Agency

SEO is an abbreviation for “search engine optimization”. It is the process of making a website more visible in search engines such as Google and Bing.

This process is an essential part of online businesses that want to boost their visibility in search results, which, in turn, increases their chances of attracting new customers.

The role of an SEO agency encompasses improving your client’s website’s rankings in order to drive more traffic and sales.

Start A Full-Service Agency

There are several facets of marketing that a full-service agency can handle, from strategic planning and creative to public relations, social media management, analytics, and digital marketing.

By choosing this agency model, you will be able to assist clients in scaling their businesses across a variety of platforms.

Now that you have a clear idea of what you want to sell, it is time to choose a niche.


Find Your Niche

When you start a digital marketing agency choosing a niche is critical if you want to stand a chance in the face of so much competition. As a new agency owner, you don’t want to select a niche that is too competitive, so choose one that is in demand but still feasible.

Following your initial research and selection of a niche, it is necessary to learn all about it to ensure success. You want to be able to communicate with your clients in their own language and appear as an authority figure in their field.

For example, if you choose roofing, you will want to know about the most common materials used to construct a roof as well as the most commonly requested services.

When you first start out, it is easy to fall for any niche, but the truth is that unless you are willing to learn everything there is to know about that niche, you will not have a competitive advantage.

Saying no to a prospective client can be difficult, especially if you don’t have many clients yet. However, focusing on a single niche will make you appear as an expert in the field, attracting more clients in the long run.

In order to attract and close new clients, it is critical to stand out from the crowd and have a unique selling proposition.

Not only will specialisation in one industry allow your digital marketing agency to provide the most value to your clients, but there are numerous benefits to concentrating your services on a specific niche. Let’s look at a few of them:

It Makes Onboarding Easier

Taking on any client can make determining whether or not they are a good fit extremely difficult. However, if you choose a specific niche, you will have a clear idea of the type of client you want to work with. 

This is due to the fact that you will know what questions to ask them during the onboarding process and will have a clear understanding of your client’s ambitions and willingness to invest in their business. 

You’ll also learn how these companies operate and how much you can charge for your services. 

It Strengthens Your Skillset Exponentially

If you have mastered the art of digital marketing (especially paid marketing), you can effectively run advertisements for virtually any business.

You must, however, become familiar with your target demographic and understand how to craft effective messaging. When you are working with a company that is new to digital marketing, the process might take a significant amount of time.

If you already know who your ideal client is, you will gain a great deal of hands-on experience working with that client type.

When you work for the same type of client regularly, you develop the muscle memory and intuition that are important for making the right choices at the right time. Because you’ve dealt with the same issues before, you’ll be able to work more quickly and effectively.

This experience also helps you become more skilled at identifying clients with whom you do not want to conduct business.

It Give You A Competitive Advantage

The online world is full of folks that claim to be the greatest at marketing.

In fact, several digital marketing agencies make false claims, promising unattainable results and, in turn, negatively impacting the reputation of all digital marketers. 

That’s why it’s so important to focus on a single industry and demonstrate to your potential clients that you’re capable of going above and beyond the competition. 

When you start a digital marketing agency that knows everything there is to know about a particular niche will provide you with the social proof and expertise to confidently speak to your prospect. Presenting yourself as trustworthy and reputable is critical in today’s world!


Do Competitor Research

It is important to know where you are in comparison to your competition when establishing a new business. The more you learn about your competition, the more prepared you will be to beat them.

Search for keywords relevant to your specific business, for example “digital marketing agency for roofers” and analyse your competitors to see what they are doing to succeed. 

One very important step is to understand how your competitor is monetising.

There are so many way of monetising:

  • Commission
  • Coaching
  • Digital or physical product sales
  • Lead generation, advertising, and affiliate sales

Determine at least one strategy for each competitor.

Now that you know how your competitors make money, you can find out what kind of content marketing strategy they employ. Analyse their blog articles, search engine optimization efforts, and social media presence. 

What are they doing about content? Do they use blogs, podcasts, or videos? 


Set A Business Model

When you start a digital marketing agency, It’s entirely up to you how you want to bill your client.

One option is to be paid on an hourly basis. You can opt for this when you only have to do one or two short tasks.

However, when your digital marketing agency begins to expand, things can get more complicated.

A flat retainer is a straightforward pricing model because it is a one-time payment for the entire month. Despite the simplicity of these flat fees, you should make sure you have rules in place in the event that a client either quits or begins to need additional services.

Another option for when you start a digital marketing agency is to charge based on the percentage spend model. This ensures that your efforts will be adequately compensated.

For more information on pricing models, you can check out our digital agency pricing guide.


Launching An Agency Online

Prior to launching your website, you’ll want to think about the content and your competitors’ websites. Furthermore, you must determine how you will obtain clients for your agency. 

Build A Portfolio

While it is easier for established agencies to attract clients, things may be a little different for new digital marketing agencies.

The problem is that if you don’t have a portfolio, you won’t be able to provide your potential clients with the proof they need to fully trust you.

As a result, you should aim to offer a few free services in exchange for reviews and case studies. These will be beneficial in the long run.

Here is what your portfolio should include:

  • Case studies
  • Design Examples
  • Client testimonials
  • Client future objectives

The goal is to demonstrate to your target audience that you are capable of achieving results and that you will continue to do so. Maintain an ethical and honest approach to your portfolio by avoiding exaggerated claims.

Do you not have a portfolio or any clients at this point in time? Don’t worry! Our ZERPro platform then allows you to tap into our entire portfolio!

Have A Social Media Presence

In order to effectively market your digital marketing agency, you’ll need to be active on social media.

Creating a social media account is free, so why not make the most of the opportunity? Your agency can take advantage of organic lead generation as well as from engaging with current and prospective clients, and eventually expand internationally. 

Generating Leads 

The process of gaining new clients can be challenging at first, but don’t let that discourage you! Identifying your ideal client should come way before generating leads.

For example, creating a YouTube channel is one way to generate leads once you know who your ideal client is.

Your goal should be to regularly post content on YouTube and generate leads by providing your audience with useful information. Case studies, how-to videos, and client testimonials are just a few examples of what you could publish.

You can also generate leads through high-performing blog posts. Analyse what’s working for your competitors or perform keyword research so that you can write content based on what your ideal clients are looking for. 

Alternatively, you can send out cold emails, but be careful not to come across as spamming. Using Legiit Leads is the best way to find new clients in this case.

Prior to actually reaching out to each company, conduct thorough research on them and put together an email that speaks directly to their needs. This is particularly useful when you’re just getting started and have a limited budget.

In order to effectively market your digital marketing agency, you’ll need to be active on social media. Creating a social media account is free, so why not make the most of the opportunity? Your agency can take advantage of organic lead generation as well as engage with current and prospective clients and eventually expand internationally.

Getting Your First Client

Now that you know how to lay the groundwork for ready to start a digital marketing agency, you’ll need clients to make it a real business.

Getting your first digital marketing client might be a daunting task, so what are your options? 

The answer is simple: ask your family and friends whether they need help with marketing their business and getting more customers.

Get in touch with them and volunteer to assist them with their digital marketing strategy. Analyse their website and marketing strategy and think of an effective plan that will increase their search presence, and boost their sales.

This will be your very first digital marketing proposal, so strive to be as specific as possible and include a list of your goals.

Your job as a digital marketing consultant will be to educate them on why they need to spend money on building a website, having active social media accounts and leveraging Google Ads to their advantage.

Feel free to mention any other reason they should hire you!

Make your pricing as appealing as possible. Your goal isn’t to make money right away, but rather to create a portfolio you can use to attract more clients.

The skills you gain from helping your family and friends will be crucial, and they will help you obtain your first real client.

Websites like Upwork can help you find your first clients. It’s a wonderful place to start for those who are new in the digital marketing space.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Always ensure you answer all the questions your potential client may ask. Understanding their requirements is extremely important, as it will allow you to come up with the appropriate plan of action.
  • Don’t leave your prospective client hanging. Answer their questions fast to make sure the task does not end up being assigned to someone else. 
  • Be honest and don’t make false claims.
  • Start off with low prices.


Are Your Ready To Start A Digital Marketing Agency in 2022?

Starting a digital marketing agency can be intimidating, but once you know what steps to take, things become much easier. The information in the guide you just read will make the process as smooth as possible for you.

Starting a digital marketing agency in this day and age is a fantastic idea that can lead to a plethora of opportunities. From working from home to being your own boss, this business model is sure to appeal to a wide range of people.

So, before you jump on the digital marketing bandwagon, make sure you know how to provide the exceptional services your clients deserve!

Before you go out looking for clients, make sure you know what you’re doing and that you’ve honed your skills. Gaining experience will also give you the confidence you need to prospect for clients.

You could create your own website and experiment with various techniques until you know exactly what you need to do to rank a website in SERPs.

Keep track of your results and make a note of what you did to achieve them. Once you know what kind of results you can achieve, you will have the confidence to sell your services to other businesses.

Keep things simple at the beginning, and don’t try to offer all of your services straight away. Building your portfolio one client at a time is the best way to get started.

Ensure that your processes are in place before hiring new employees, and gradually expand your workforce as the need arises. The process of hiring remote personnel is time-consuming, and you may need to test a handful of candidates before finding those that would work well with you as a team.

Remember that creating and maintaining a well-optimised blog should always be a priority. Blogging will assist you in gaining new clients without the need to spend money on advertising.

Last but not least, make sure you always offer your clients the attention they deserve, and they’ll become loyal clients. This will allow you to reduce the cost of gaining new clients, enhance your profit margins, and expand your digital marketing agency faster.

Finally, Order Your Branded Agency Today With ZERPro.

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