Entrepreneurs: How to start your own digital marketing agency
Do you have the entrepreneurial spirit? Do you also love digital marketing? If you have answered ‘yes’ to both those questions, then why not consider starting your very own digital marketing agency? Not only will you become part of a thriving industry (digital marketing is very much a flourishing and profitable industry to work in), but you also have the added benefit of being your own boss. And after all, who doesn’t want to be their own boss? Not only do you get to work whenever you want, but you can also be a leader for others to aspire to and become an industry thought leader who is profitable in their very own right.
Much like starting any other business, though, you need to understand the implications of doing so and how you can be a successful start-up company. Remember, many businesses fail during their infant years, and if you wish to avoid being part of that statistic, then you will need to do your homework and research the best way to build your digital marketing agency so that you can become successful in your field.
If this all sounds great to you and you are eager on finding out how you can start your own digital marketing agency, then read on for more information.
Do you know what digital marketing is?
Perhaps you are just about to enter the universe of digital marketing, or you are a high schooler about to enroll in university and wish to understand what digital marketing exactly is. After all, starting a business is a lifelong commitment. You will (hopefully) be running the business for many, many years to come, and even if you do decide to sell the business at some point, for you to make your business successful in the first place, you have to understand what it is you are selling to the general public.
Digital marketing, also sometimes referred to as online or internet marketing, is the practice of promoting brands and companies via the use of the internet. Digital communication is the common tool used by digital marketers who are trying to advertise a brand to the company’s preferred pool of customers, and in this technology dependent age, this is a prevalent industry to work in.
When starting a business, you will typically be the sole employer and employee. You will be wearing these two hats which can become tiring at times. Therefore, you need to understand the digital marketing industry. Not doing so means you will not know the product, how to sell it, or how to even provide your clients with the goods they are asking for.
Do you have the required knowledge in digital marketing?
As previously touched upon, you need to have some knowledge of the digital marketing sphere and the products that you will be selling. Of course, there are various digital marketing products that you could sell, and unless the company is considered a digital marketing giant, agencies will typically refrain from offering every service under the digital marketing umbrella. Usually, a digital marketing agency (especially one that is small and a start-up) will offer a few services and become renowned for these before expanding their business and offering more products.
Digital marketing agencies will typically offer:
- Email marketing
- Link building
- Social media management
- Product listings/descriptions
If you specialize in one or more of these subjects, then by all means focus on these and offer them to potential clients. As a start-up, however, you need to refrain from offering too many services that you will struggle to handle during the infancy of your business. Remember that a business that steadily grows can be just as, if not more successful, than one that grows rapidly.
Get the right qualifications
Earning the right qualifications can help you become a knowledge professional in the digital marketing sphere, and for you to be able to offer digital marketing services, you need to understand what it is that you are offering and how you can use the tools and provide them with the product that you are selling them. Not being able to do this will mean your business has no product to sell at all!
Firstly, you will want to gain a degree or get on-the-job work experience. A degree in digital marketing and heading into the workplace can be incredibly valuable as they both teach you what digital marketing is, the tools you use, and how you can promote a brand through the internet and digital communications effectively.
Once you have an undergraduate degree, consider furthering your education by applying for a masters. A master’s degree can allow you to specialize in a certain interest of yours, making you more of an expert in the subject that truly interests you. For example, if data and analysis is what appeals to you, then why not consider applying for one of the many marketing and analytics courses from Emerson College? Not only does this type of degree allow you to become a data-savvy digital marketer for other companies, but it can also provide you with interesting tools and knowledge on how you could bring your learnings to your own business.
Know what makes a successful business
What makes a successful business? You may think that profit is what determines a successful business, and while you are not wrong in thinking this, as profit is what allows your business to keep running, there are other elements that are needed to keep a business afloat.
Remember that a great leader is what helps a business stay successful. As the business owner, you will be the go-to leader for when you finally hire employees. You will also need to be strategic, make difficult decisions, and have effective communication skills. The latter is incredibly important as you may need to pitch your business plan to investors but also pitch your products and agency to potential clients who are enquiring about your company. Here are a few more factors that contribute to business success.
Create a business plan
Why should you spend your time writing a business plan when you could spend that time creating a website and getting your virtual and/or physical doors open to the public? Well, to put it quite simply, a business plan is the blueprint of your future business. It allows you to starting bringing together everything you have ever envisioned about your business into one place so that you can see what it is that you are building. For example, you can start to see your strengths, your weaknesses, where you see your business in five years’ time, and how you can get there.
Remember, though, that a business plan is not a checklist. While you will have milestones that you wish to reach and should refrain from adapting your business plan too frequently, a business plan is there to help your business grow. It is unreasonable to think that your business plan will stay the same, because as your business develops, so will your plan. Plus, if the coronavirus has taught businesses anything, it is that you have to be able to develop and adapt to certain situations and unfortunate events.
A business plan will give your business the best chance of success. What’s more, it can also help to secure funding. The latter is important as many entrepreneurs will not have enough capital for them to start running, and without a business plan, you will not be able to attain funding from investors. Investors want to know what it is that they are investing in, and if you are unable to show the products, how you plan on growing your business, and the projected growth your business should experience, then why would they risk their money and put it into your business model?
Do competitor research
Every business has competitors. Therefore, you need to know what it is that you are up against if you are to get ahead of them and win over clients. How can you do effective competitor research? First of all, you need to identify your competitors and examine their websites. What is that they do well? What do they sell? How could you do whatever it is that they are doing, but better? You can also take a look at their pricing, because if there is one thing that is well-known, it is that if someone can pay less money for a service of similar quality, they are going to do so.
Build a website
Every business needs a website, so be sure to invest in a website builder and designer who can not only encapsulate your brand but also create website that resonates with your clients. Your website is your shop (if you are virtual, of course). This is the place customers will come to and look at the products that you are selling. It is also a great way to practice what you preach and optimize your website so that you appear at the top of webpages.
Starting a business is no easy feat, but it can be a lifelong achievement for some. If you have the time, money and resources to become an entrepreneur, then why not give it ago?