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How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency

How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency

Starting a digital market agency was a big challenge in the past because there were so many roadblocks like barriers to entry, underdeveloped digital platforms, and high start-up costs. Luckily, times have changed. You can now create a fully functional digital marketing agency in just a few months.

Now more than ever, companies are allocating more funds of their marketing budgets to online marketing. As a matter of fact, digital market expenditure is projected to rise to $375 billion by 2021. Don’t you want to be part of this promising platform?

For you to start a successful marketing agency, you will need a website with impeccable web hosting services. If you’re lost for options, Fortune Lords has a review of some of the best hosting services for you to choose from.

In this article, we have compiled eight key steps to start a digital marketing agency.

Develop the Necessary Skills

First, you will need to conduct extensive research to educate yourself on online marketing for agencies, and, since you want to prosper in providing professional digital services, you have to be efficient. Invest your time and money into mastering different online marketing skills.

Some of the concepts you will need to understand carefully are:

●      Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

●      Email marketing campaigns

●      Content marketing

●      Graphic design

●      Pay-Per-Click marketing (PPC)

In addition, learn verbal and non-verbal communication systems. As your agency grows, you will need to employ more personnel and this is where good communication skills come into play. Good communication will help smoothen your agency’s operations and will help you manage client relationships and social media accounts.

Find Your Niche

When starting a marketing agency, you need to spot a gap that your services will fill as this is what will make you stand out from your competitors. Finding a niche will also help you focus on a specific audience that is interested in the product or service that you offer. Having a narrowed down target audience saves you time and energy that would otherwise be wasted on dead-end leads. Once you have done that, you can conduct thorough market research and decide to work with, whether it be small private businesses or fashion brands, and what niche to go for depending on the business trends.

Conduct Competitor Research

Once you have established your competitors, you will need to take note of some critical details, so that you can learn how to effectively out-perform them. To conduct your research, you will need to identify the strategies your competitors use, ranging from social media and blog posts, to SEO and PPC. When looking at the competitors’ content, take note of the form of videos, blogs, or podcasts that they use. You need to get all these details right.

Launch Your Website

To start generating income online, you need to have a website. Your website should be simple and, most importantly, easy to use. When starting, concentrate on getting the front view of your website ready; you can work on the design later when the agency is up and running.

When launching your website, remember to take target clients into consideration and determine how you will reach clients for your digital agency. Other than that, all you need to launch a website is the domain name and web hosting services for your website.

Build a Portfolio

Seeing is believing, and if clients see that you have delivered excellent results for people you have worked with before, they are more likely to purchase your services. Getting your clients to trust you will attract more potential clients to your agency.

A portfolio is a must-have requirement for the success of your digital marketing agency, so ensure your portfolio is honest and ethical.

good portfolio comprises of:

●      Headlines and short snippets

●      Testimonials from clients

●      Upcoming targets and goals for that client

●      In-depth case studies

Develop A Business Model

The services you offer through your digital marketing agency and how you get paid are crucial factors for your efficiency. You can consider billing your clients in the following ways.


Hourly billing is whereby clients pay you depending on the number of hours you spend on them. If you spend most of your time dealing with your clients on a personal basis or over the phone, this is the best way to bill your clients.

Flat Retainer

Flat retainer is a pricing model where you determine the value of work and time spent on a particular client and agree on a flat monthly rate. This method also helps you minimize unnecessary friction with your clients.

Percentage of Spend

This model takes into consideration the potential expenditure of a client. However, when starting your online marketing agency, don’t embrace this model as it discourages your potential clients.


Commission based billing is mostly used by agencies trying to compete favorably in the market as with this method, you only get paid when a client makes money from a sale. It is often used to gain trust with your clients since it shows them how much you are willing to help them prosper.

Create a Social Media Presence

To start a digital marketing agency, you need to be on social media, and, luckily for you, social media applications and sites are relatively easy to operate. Creating an account on any social media platform is free, so take advantage of this.

Through social media, you will get an opportunity to engage with clients and reach potential customers—all of which are significant ways to improve your agency.

Generate Leads

Your digital marketing agency is now up and running, and while growing your client base can be discouraging at first, it will pay off eventually. Remember to always consider your target clients when generating leads.

One of the ways you can generate strong leads is through starting a YouTube channel and regularly post video content relating to the agency. The content you display can range from reviews from clients, to case studies, to trending marketing tips.

Bottom Line

The business world is shifting its operations online, and while starting a digital marketing agency can be hard at first, it pays off handsomely after a while. Don’t be left out. Follow these few steps to see your business prosper.

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by Dirk DeBie // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.