How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency

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It is pretty easy to set up an agency for digital marketing. Follow this guide to understand how you too can set up a digital marketing agency in no time at all!

Digital marketing companies offer services that range from sensible to plain ridiculous. Some dubious companies also offer service that may get client website penalized in search engines!

Broadly speaking following are the types of digital marketing agencies

  1. SEO company
  2. Online advertising company
  3. Facebook/Google/Instagram marketing agency
  4. Content marketing company
  5. Digital Consultancy services company
  6. Social Media Marketing company

Some companies offer all services and some pick a few services. The list above is not exhaustive and there are services offered that I have not thought of as yet.

First of all, the barrier to entry in this industry is quite low. Anyone with a knowledge of online marketing can do it with the lowest of investment. Hence there are thousands on providers on the internet in the digital marketing space and every day more and more are being added to the number!

But it is not easy to survive and thrive in this space. The competition is fierce and cut throat. It is quite hard to distinguish oneself from the mess created by thousands of providers. Plus, maintaining quality in this market can be quite a concern!

Starting a digital marketing agency requires the following things

  1. Choosing your category and platform
  2. Getting knowledgeable about the domain
  3. Creating company profile
  4. Offering services on your website
  5. Picking a team
  6. Getting licensed

Choosing a specific category and platform

I always advice someone starting in digital marketing space to start small and go niche. Of course if you are brand already and have huge pocket then by all means go general if that is your wish but someone starting out with no or limited money should always start with a niche.

It is always a relatively easy task to establish a brand with a niche. Due to lower number of manpower, the strategy of working with a specific category is easier.

Choosing a category to operate is important because being generalist will invite huge pressure. Clients will be hard to come by due to the immense competition and you will be competing at a global level which is always tough.

Pick up a niche to specialize. Choose something like SEO for Delhi Real Estate agencies or Facebook ads company for lawyers, or Online marketing for music teachers. Go super niche to start. This will reduce the competition.

Along with choosing the category, you can also choose a specific platform to master. That is targeting a super niche. For example – Facebook marketing for doctors in Delhi is a good example of specific category and niche.

I can bet that not too many people are targeting a niche like this and being recognized in this are is relatively easier.

Be good enough at your game

Give yourself some time to master your chosen field. A couple of month’s research should be enough.

Yes you can hire professionals without knowing anything yourself but then you will have a hard time explaining and managing clients!

Create company profile

When you feel that you have the required knowledge to operate then create your company’s profile. Create the services you offer.

Do market research to find out the comparative price points for each service. If something is totally new then price it according to the number of hours needed.

Buy a domain name and create a professional looking website. Website will represent your brand online hence design it with a professional. https://upwork.com and https://elance.com are two good places to look for someone to design your site, if you are not a designer yourself.

Offer few services at start

This is a no brainer but many people start with all the services and then fail to deliver. Do not make this mistake.

Start with the services you can pragmatically handle with the limited manpower you have.

Price the services reasonably. Lower prices will attract bottom feeders and you will have a hard time to upgrade them later. If needed do it for free but never offer services at low prices. It is a race to bottom.

Pick your team

Most digital marketers start solo and that is fine. You can add team members once clients start to roll in. The good time to pick additional manpower is when it is beyond your reasonable limit to handle client stuff.

One thing I would like to stretch here is that – never stretch yourself. I know this sound counterproductive to many entrepreneur. But believe me. It is tremendously hard to keep on working on monotonous client tasks and the soon you can delegate them the better.

Always pick the team based on their temperament. Skills can be taught if temperament is right. But never the vice versa. I learnt that the hard way when setting up my own digital marketing company some 11 years ago.

Typically, get someone who can create content. Internet marketing involves creating a lot of content – text, audio and video. Someone who can write in English is better.

Get licensed

Get a trade license from local municipality board if you are in a city. A lot of businesses operate without a trade license, but this is illegal and a trade license will only boast authentication of your business.

If you are in a semi urban place or rural area then get the license from the local licensing authority which will probably be a panchayat.

Display your trade license number on your website to boast authenticity of your business. Many digital marketers miss this opportunity. It is also a green signal to Google that your business is legit.

Conclusion

Starting an online marketing business is not hard. But to get results you will need to remain patient and keep at it for long periods of time, though if you have chosen to go niche then results may come sooner than expected.

Once you get sizeable number of client it is time to scale. The strategy for doing that will of course be different but then that is another story.

Start your agency today and if you need any help post in the comments below.

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