First, you'll want to gain experience. As the CEO of a marketing agency with virtually no marketing experience, it will be difficult to make interesting recommendations to your clients. And even outside of looking for clients, while you don't need to be an SEO master to create a marketing agency, understanding the basics and why certain things generate certain results can help a lot. And then focus your efforts on one or two social media platforms.
Which ones? The ones where your ideal customers are already hanging out. So, if your ideal customers are B2B SaaS companies, LinkedIn may be the best option. However, if your ideal customers are local businesses, Facebook could be the best platform for you. Now you know how to create an agency.
If you are determined to start an online marketing agency, then your next step is to gain real life experience in serving clients as a freelancer. Only this experience will give you the knowledge of yourself to effectively complete steps 1 and 2 above. As our success stories show, you may first need to complete some marketing learnings before you have the experience, confidence, and connections needed to get started. And it doesn't matter if you just finished college or if you have more than 20 years of marketing experience.
Once you have some testimonials and samples under your belt, you can leverage them to market your agency. Before starting, it's important to learn and understand as much as possible about digital marketing for agencies. Some of the most successful people in the world never stop learning. You can develop your digital skills and advance your career with online courses and resources from top institutions.
So, invest your time and money in learning. You'll also want to have an understanding of the industry. Once you understand it, you'll want to find your niche. Before launching your website, you'll want to consider the content and the competition.
You also have to decide how you are going to find customers for your business. Next, you'll need a domain name and hosting service for your site. Include your agency among industry leaders, promote your work, create original content, find new team members and keep up to date with digital marketing events. Even if they're not looking to hire a marketing agency right now, you can get incredible information and be the priority for them when they feel they need additional help with marketing and may know other people who might use your services.
In this model, your agency functions more as a conduit than as a direct source of marketing strategies or tactics. These are just some of the success stories of Acadium trainees who have founded their own marketing agencies. As you probably already know, starting (and growing) a marketing agency can be a long, painful, exhausting and rewarding process. The irony of all ironies is that marketers are generally horrible at promoting themselves, mainly because they don't follow in their own footsteps.
A digital marketing agency gives you the freedom and flexibility to work on your own, but without many of its limitations. When you establish your marketing strategy for your digital marketing agency, you just need to know what it takes to get organic traffic and what it will take on your part to do so. There are large agencies, small agencies, agencies that focus on only one part of digital marketing (such as search engine optimization), and full-service agencies that do everything from design and development to payment methods, local marketing, social media marketing, content marketing and SEO. Just like when product companies are trying to find a suitable market for your product, you need to find the right market for your services.
Creating a digital marketing agency doesn't mean you have to become the next big company doing Super Bowl commercials. If you have a mind for business but have limited marketing experience, consider partnering with a bona fide marketing expert who has limited business knowledge. What follows is the 4-step approach that David Baker would use to start a marketing agency from scratch (plus an extra step at the end of his own actually). It's not impossible to think that a skilled person or a small team could create a fully operational marketing agency from scratch in a few months (with a little help, of course).