How to Start a Successful Digital Marketing Business

Creating a marketing agency was much more challenging three decades ago than it is today, as the barrier to entry was massive. With an underdeveloped digital landscape, creating such an endeavor would mean putting up with costly overhead and this was nearly impossible for many people to consider parting with the initial investment required. Besides, one had to use traditional media to push the brand.

Marketing agency principal

Owing to the massive startup costs that most people could not afford and the challenges of implementing such a huge capital-intensive project without a guarantee on ROI, many people opted to pursue other business ventures. However, things have changed today, as the proliferation of the internet has somewhat eliminated the barriers to entry. Regardless, here’s how to start a successful digital marketing business.

1. Develop the right skills

Just as with any other business endeavor you would like to pursue, you need the skills necessary to build a successful digital marketing business or SEO Company. You may have good grades from your high school diploma or college degree, but that is not enough to make you succeed in the field of digital marketing; you need to develop practical skills you can apply to propel your business forward.

From managing accounting to building and maintaining customer relationships, you’ll be doing so many things at once, especially in the beginning. You’ll need to develop the skills to help you look for and keep clients to profit long-term from the relationships you have built. You may also have to learn to work with and manage a team, as you cannot achieve much by yourself.

2. Work for someone else first to gain experience

Many people want to start a business one day and perhaps be able to quit their 9 to 5 job without worrying about the bills. However, many people never get to make this a reality. Regardless, taking a leap of faith and banking on yourself can prove to be fruitful in the long run but there are lots of risks that come with it.

To minimize risk, you can start by working for a digital marketing company to learn more about the business before you decide to go private and start your own business.

3. Try being a contractor or a freelancer

All these allow you to get an idea of how having your own business will look like without necessarily assuming all the risks associated with the same. From that experience, you can learn basic business skills like invoicing and setting some money aside for taxes, which are all important elements of entrepreneurship.

You also get to learn how to manage your time more effectively because you’ll still be having your full-time job. You may have to make some small but important decisions such as working instead of watching Netflix.

As a contractor, you’ll also learn to build relationships that can bring you more business in referrals.

Digital marketing agency start-up

4. Develop your business model

Having the right business model can increase your chances for success, as there are several different ways of setting up and operating a digital marketing business. How you provide your services and bill your clients for work done defines how successful your business can become. If you manage to do this efficiently, then your business will generate revenues rather effortlessly.

However, no matter how good your services are, you will not be very successful if you have an inefficient invoicing and revenue collection system. An efficient invoicing and revenue collection system will not do much if you don’t know how to package and sell your product.

As a consultant, contractor, or freelancer, you can opt to bill your clients by the hour or as a percentage of what they spend. You can also bill them on a commission or flat-retainer basis, depending on your business model.

5. Define your target market or niche

To be successful as a business person, you have to identify your target market or niche because you cannot sell to everybody. For many businesses that are just starting out, it is easy to think that they can sell to any prospect and they cannot imagine turning down any prospect because all they want to do is sell and get a bunch of paying clients.

To make any significant progress, you have to specialize. You’re going to have to stand out from the rest by creating a unique selling proposition. This allows you to focus on one area and become better. With a clearly defined idea of your ideal customer, you can begin the process of attaining the information you need from them and know the types of questions to expect from them to solve their problems.

You will also be able to build extensive experience working with a specific niche and solving specific problems. The internet has made it easy for many people to start digital marketing agencies but this does not mean that they’re all high-quality agencies.

A client will have peace of mind when they come to you knowing that you can meet their needs.

6. Decide how you’re going to conduct business

Many people think that starting a business involves renting out a large office space and hiring several people. However, the truth is that if you go down that road you’re more likely going to fail. This is because of two reasons:

  1. You may not have allowed yourself time to understand the different aspects of your business and how they work;
  2. You are going to spend so much money in the beginning before your business even grows to a level where you can break even. So, you might want to keep your expenses low by doing everything by yourself in the beginning until you have a steady number of clients that you have to deal with.

Both reasons above allow you to gain knowledge about every aspect of your business before you can grow and scale. This will also allow you to refine your skills so that by the time you’re hiring somebody you already know the skills and knowledge they need to have to be fit for the job. You’ll also save a lot of money to be able to grow and expand on demand.

Digital marketing business partners

So, if you have decided to start a digital marketing business, following these steps can significantly increase your chances for success. Just remember that you have to decide and get started and keep going no matter what. Persistence, hard work, and determination are the key traits you need to adopt if you want to be successful, as you may not find customers as fast as you may have hoped.


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