It’s challenging, but not impossible, to launch a digital marketing agency from scratch. It takes a long time and a great deal of work to take a business from having no customers or staff to a thriving digital marketing company. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources like this article, to get a start in this industry. Keep reading to learn more about what it takes to launch and manage a digital marketing firm.

Develop Your Skills in Business and Digital Marketing

It’s important to educate yourself and learn as much as you can about digital marketing before you get started with your agency. Online courses and materials from other agencies can help you improve your marketing skills and grow your career. Putting your energy and resources into self-education will help you have a solid understanding of this industry and you don’t need college to become an expert.

The skills you need to develop are divided into three categories:

  • Technical skills in digital marketing: You should understand all of the nitty-gritty about digital marketing, how it functions, and ways to boost your client’s traffic and revenue using one or more digital marketing methods. SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay-per-click marketing), email marketing campaigns, and building online funnels are some of the ideas you’ll need to know. You should also have an understanding of content marketing, website development, and graphic design. in our opinion has some of the best training in the market.
  • Business management skills: Because your goal is to build an online business rather than operate as a freelancer, you’ll need to understand the fundamentals of business management. Some of the skills you need to cover are project management, human resource management, and financial management. If you don’t have an MBA or want to take on the debt, look into IVY league business certificates to ramp up your skills.
  • Self-confidence: You can’t open or manage a business without taking some risks. To do so, you must have self-confidence in the field of digital marketing. This requires having faith in your abilities. Work experience, either with an established company or on your personal websites, is essential before you begin taking on clients. Check out Noah Kagan who has persevered, been fired, and built a largely profitable idea after 40+ ideas.

Choose a Business Model and the Services You’ll Provide

A digital agency can be set up in a variety of ways. The services you offer and how you charge for these services become increasingly important when determining how efficiently you run your business.

Some popular business models include

  • Paying by the hour: This is useful when you only have one or a few jobs to complete. It becomes more difficult as you scale up.
  • Flat retainer per service or services: This is a one-time payment for the entire month based on the work you are performing. Just make sure you have guidelines in place for when a client cancels or increases their demands.
  • Spending percentage: This ensures that your agency receives the proper reimbursement for your labor, but is typically only for paid marketing services like Google Adwords or Facebook ad management. This is a great model if your client grows, but we do recommend you set a minimum for your time if their spend is small to start.

When it comes to services provided, it is tough for a startup to offer all digital marketing services off the bat, so pick services that match your abilities and passions.

Generating Leads 

There are various methods for generating leads, but don’t get discouraged if expanding your client base seems impossible at first. You should have a clear idea of who your targeted demographic is before you start generating leads.

Launching a Youtube channel is one way to generate leads once you’ve identified your target audience. You can do so by uploading relevant video content regularly. Case studies, how-tos, trending marketing topics, and client testimonials are all good publishing ideas. You may also broaden your network and identify potential clients by partnering with affiliates. You can also send cold emails, but be mindful not to craft the emails in a way that comes across as spam.

The Bottomline

Starting a digital marketing agency is a fantastic idea, but it’s important to know that building your agency from the ground up takes a lot of work. While it may appear daunting at first, if you perform great work, your clients will refer you to new clients and that is how you grow.


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Agency Maestro's founder has built two agencies and multiple SAAS platforms. We are now sharing his learnings on our resource blog and newsletter so you can learn from our mistakes and benefit from our best practices.