Starting Your Own Digital Marketing Agency – Complete Guide

How would you like to start your own digital marketing agency with the basic knowhow and strategies to generate more profits and sales for your digital marketing agency, regardless whether you are focusing on SEO services, website design services, Facebook marketing, graphic designing or even other niche digital marketing agency such as content writing or video production agency, in this complete guide, I will share with you the steps to get it up and running smoothly with minimum cost and time.

Here is a little introduction about myself, I have been doing business for over 30 years and have been running over 15 companies and over 50 websites, considered an “old bird” in the digital marketing arena, I was labelled as the digital marketing guru and SEO Master Shifu which now I am not involving in it as I am getting older and prefer to train and mentor younger generations who are more hungry for success. Personally, I also started 2 digital marketing agencies which are Scotts Digital and 10X Digital Marketing which you can check on the links.

I believe my 30 years of business experiences will be able to make any hungry entrepreneur to be very successful.

The purpose of writing this article, Starting Your Own Digital Marketing Agency – Complete Guide, is to allow people who are new in the digital marketing agency industry to have a good start so that they are able to start a digital marketing agency and make more money for themselves and feed their family.

Why Start a Digital Marketing Agency, you might asked.

The world is trending towards online selling, regardless of whether you like it or not, it had come to a stage where we are being push to do many transactions online, and traditional businesses will have to change their models from offline to online eventually.

There are still a big chuck of business and companies that are not using digital marketing, the potential is tremendously great. With the COVID19 happening around end of 2019, the path towards online marketing is a major shift and people are still changing from offline to online and it will be happening until most of the people are using online as a mode of interaction.

As a digital marketing agency, you are able to provide and create a platform for your clients to generate more sales, have better presences and generate more branding for them.

Even if there are many digital marketing agencies are already in the market, not to worry, there are still spaces available for GOOD digital marketing agencies.

Also there is no need to worry on whether the market will be over-crowded, which will not happen because there are also room for GREAT digital marketing agencies if you were to apply some of the techniques and strategies in this article.

Honestly speaking, many of them are very novice and hardly able to create an impact for the clients and generate enough sales for their client, hence, after some time, those novice digital marketing agencies will close down, some will change their company name, doing the same thing and some will move on to another industry, which is pretty normal.

Hence, when you are reading this article, what I am going to share with you will be more than just starting a digital marketing agency, I will teach you how to create a GREAT digital marketing agency that will consistently generate sales and have returning clients.

Starting a Digital marketing Agency

1. Decide on what sector you want to focus on

You will need to position yourself as THE EXPERT in a specific industry – Whether it is SEO services, SEO consultation, website designing, logo designing, Facebook marketing or others, AT THE VERY BEGINNING, you should focus on 1 sector only.

But..but… I am hearing that from YOU! Haha..

Let me explain the rational behind this.

When you just started a new digital marketing agency, you will have very limited resources, in money, time and efforts, hence, in order to be EFFICIENT, starting from ONE is always the best, do not underestimate the POWER OF ONE, it can create alot of wonders.

It is always better to focus, this makes your value higher and client do respect it. Clients who know the value of specialization will be willing to pay you a higher price too. You will be pereceived to be THE EXPERT in the industry you are going to do.

Read a lot of books, magazines, newspapers, ebooks, youtube, etc. Interact with as many people within the digital marketing industry as much as possible, learn from them, remember that you do not know what you do not know.

Get to know a lot of people. Do not focus on anything else, I repeat, DO NOT do any other sectors. FOCUS on only ONE sector only. Period.

2. Decide on the Name of the Agency

Once you decided what sector to focus on, then you will have some ideas on what names you would like to name your new digital marketing agency, here are some guides you can take references based on marketing and branding best practice and with 30 years of business experiences:

  • It should be short and sweet, and considering how the logo will be designed, a shorter name will be easier to design and remembered by the clients.
  • Be careful if the name has been used by other companies, you can check Google and type the names you desire and it will list out the possible similar names
  • Using your own name for your digital marketing agency is fined, not a big issue.
  • You may consider using “Digital Marketing” or “Digital Marketing Agency” as PART of the name of the company name, this may help in terms of Google ranking next time if you decide to SEO your website. However, if you find it too long or too general, you may choose not to use this suggestion.
  • Consider what the name will mean in other languages, do some Google research and you might be able to get some ideas. I have a case study where a Swiss airline use the name Anxi in China, the name in Chinese means, rest in peace, eventually, nobody in China wants to take the plane in Anxi airline because they do not want to rest in peace. Eventually, the airline closed the company without even knowing why!

3. Register Your Domain Name

Once you have decided on the name of your business or company, register a domain name in any of the available domain registration platform such as namecheap, crazydomains, siteground and others.

Things to consider, if you are going to provide digital marketing services internationally, you ought to register a domain under .COM, if not, you can register your locate domain URL which will represents your own country identity.

One thing to take note is that, do not register your domain or hosting in GoDaddy, many spammers had used it for spamming, hence using it to register your domain or hosting over there will never have good impression with Google, especially if you are using SEO to market your digital marketing services.

Prices for domain registration will be between US$3.90 to $20.00 per annum depending on how premium it is. Do not pay hundreds or thousands of dollar just to buy a domain, it is not worth it.

4. Register your hosting Provider

After getting the domain name, go and search for a hosting provider, hosting is like a “warehouse” to store all your files for your website and email data, you must have it regardless. It will cost between US$50-$200 per annum. Some suggested one are A2 Hosting, Siteground, etc.

As mentioned, do not use GoDaddy for hosting. Once you have purchase the hosting package without domain name, link your domain name to your hosting provider, install wordpress as your platform and you can start to input your digital marketing agency website information.

If you find step 3 to 4 very complicated, you can check out this service package which will help you to register the domain and hosting.

5. Logo Design for Your Digital Marketing Agency

You can outsourse the logo design to a professional which likely will cost $100 or more, there are designers who will charge you a few hundreds or even thousands of dollars, at this junction, there is no need to spend much on logo yet, just a decent one will be good enough.

Of course, there are providers in Fiver that will cost you only US$5.00 for a logo, but remember that it may take awhile and the quality may not be great. Try at your own risk.

6. Website Designing for Your Digital Marketing Agency

Regardless you want to have a ONE-PAGE webpage or a complicated website, you must undertstand that the website is like your representation of who you are and what you are selling, potential clients will likely based on what they see and had that first impression whether they are able to trust you or not.

Do not go for the cheapest website design package or even worst you DIY if you are not a professional website designer, your final output will likely not impress the potential client.

A decent website will likely cost you around US$1,000 or more, depending whether who you talked to and the country too. A top-tier professional website may cost you US$15,000 or more…now you understand why there are so many website designers out there, it can be a very lucrative market to be in if you know how to brand a website design company.

Pro Tips – Do not use Weebly or Wix to build your website, although it is easy to use, the image you are projecting to the public is not so fantastic. In additional, the cost of website hosting and domain name usually are more expensive.

7. Building Your Sales Packages

Alright, your website is done, you are ready to go, what are you selling anyways? What are the prices? Do you have a few options for potential client to choose?

You see, clients are LAZY people, if you ask them what they want, they may not even know, hence, you need to prepare some packages for your digital marketing services so that they can compare and see which package they would prefer.

The cheapest one usually is the standard package, which you will likely sell the most, that is good, for a start, get the numbers in first, the rest will follow suit eventually.

Take for example, if you are providing local SEO services, you SEO pricing packages could be such:

Your sales packages can be uploaded in your website under SEO pricing section (If you are doing SEO services) and prepare a PDF version too. You can download a free PDF converter from MS Words over here.

If you are a more “paper” person, you can always print them out from a laser color printer, use a more quality white paper, (A HP color printer is recommended, my laser printer can last me for more than 5 years and it is still going strong, and HP has amazing customer service, if your printer is spoiled within the guarantee period, they will replace a free one for you!) it is definitely good enough, there is no need to go to the offset printer and ask them to print a few hundred copies….Save the money for now.

8. Your Digital Marketing Agency Name Card

Well, you are almost ready to hit the ground and find YOUR first client….but you need to have your business card ready, you already have your website, your email, your logo, insert your name and title with your contact number, get the name card printer and they should be able to get it ready in 1-2 days.

Some may provide express services if you are willing to pay a little bit more.

Anyhow, for this, outsource to a professional, do not print yourself using a printer and cut the namecards yourself, it is very unprofessional and potential clients will be able to identify your “cheap” activity at one glance.

Below are some samples of digital marketing namecards:

Alright, you are almost done in your preparation work to run your digital marketing agency….but before we move to part 2, which is acquiring the client, I would like to teach you this concept, you may or may not heard of this before, even if you do, refresh it with me and you will be glad you did.

The concept of 80/20 rule – Pareto’s Principle (Important)

The 80/20 Pareto’s Principle states that, for any activity it is estimated that roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of the action. The number 80/20 is not absolute, it can be 75/25.70/30, 85/15 or even 90/10, etc.

If you were to observe this rule carefully, whether you believe it or not, it will likely to happen. (This is level 1 of the concept, we have level 2 and level 3, which I will not cover as it is abit complex.)

Let me give you some illustrations: –

  • 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your client
  • 80% of your clients will come from 20% of the industry
  • 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your efforts
  • 80% of your company sales will come from 20% of the staff, which may include yourself if you are one of the salesperson
  • 80% of your salesperson will only brings in 20% of the total sales of the company…

The list will go on and on and on… and it can apply to many activities you or your staff will be doing.

Remember this formula and as we go along in this article, you will slowly understand the magic it will have and how it will help you to become one of the TOP Digital Marketing Agency in YOUR country.

9. Getting the First Digital Marketing Agency Client

How do you generate your first client, there are 1001 ways, basically, it is unlimited depending on how creative you can be, but bearing in mind that the methods are NOT important, there is something else that is more important. Most of the digital marketing agencies DO NOT use this secret at all, they believe that by just creating a digital marketing agency, build a beautiful website, they are in business.

Nope, it does not work that way….You will not able to get your clients this way.

The important question you will need to ask yourself is – There are so many digital marketing agencies in the market, why should the client have to give you the business? Especially if you have no experience, no testimonials and no credential at all…..

This is a very tough question to answer.

Some of the newbies will answered this way, I can provide a better price, a better service, a better package, I am very reliable, I have a Diploma or Degree certificate in the top University or Digital marketing school, etc, etc, etc.

For a start, I would recommend you to build a relationship with your potential first, many people would said that you need to source for clients and SELL them your services, however, do bear in mind that NOBODYS LIKE TO BE SOLD!

Hence, you will need to come from another direction to get your first paying client, that is to build a relationship with them, a professional relationship with them. You can have lunch, dinner or coffee with them, and understand their business and activities, what are their product features and benefits, who are their competitors, etc.

Your goals is to have detailed information about YOUR POTENTIAL FIRST CLIENT so that you know your potential client inside out and the product knowledge which will be much better than your potential client salesperson!

To be continued….. Bookmark this and come back later.