You have the skills. You have been working in digital marketing for a while. You understand the benefits of digital marketing and you know how to use it to help grow a business. Should you start a digital marketing agency, though? Starting any kind of business is no easy task - but with the right skills and the right mindset, you can build up a successful digital marketing agency.
Why Should You Start a Digital Marketing Agency?
There are many reasons why you should start a digital marketing agency. As there are many reasons to start a business in general. However, in order to be successful in any business, you need the right set of skills, good planning, and realistic expectations.
Luckily for you, the internet is here to stay and so is the digital marketing industry. Almost every business needs some kind of online presence and in a world where everybody is connected to the “world wide web” (literally 4.6 billion active internet users as of January 2021), an online presence can be vital to growing a business. This shows that there is both a need for digital marketing services, and a lot of potential competition.
If you start your own agency, you can:
1. Get bigger projects and bigger clients
Perhaps when working on your own you feel that you are limited to taking on certain types of projects and clients. Owning your digital marketing agency would allow you to address customers with more complex needs or simply bigger brands. If that is something you are interested in, maybe you should start a digital marketing agency.
2. Get a bigger revenue
Taking on bigger projects may also mean getting a bigger revenue. Starting a digital marketing agency will enable you to focus on growing and scaling your business. It can allow you to focus on increasing your profit, without having to take out more work as a “one-person” business. This will definitely allow you to scale your business in the long term.
3. Embrace the benefits of remote work
In the digital world, many businesses operate on a remote basis. This business model represents an advantage for digital marketing agencies. The benefits are many - lower operational costs, more flexibility, access to a bigger talent pool, etc.
4. Do what you love (and scale it)
Let’s face it - doing what you love matters. And if you are passionate about digital marketing, you will probably love to start a digital marketing agency. This will also allow you to choose the projects you wish to work on and the people you want to work with.
And having your own company can bring you additional rewards and motivation. Just because it's YOURS. If you are ambitious enough, working towards your long-term goals can be extremely rewarding.
Why Shouldn’t You Start a Digital Marketing Agency?
We are going to be realistic here. Not everyone should start a digital marketing agency. You will need to invest a lot of time and effort in growing your business.
You may think that a factor that can stop you from starting a digital marketing agency is your budget. You may be surprised to hear that isn’t the biggest deterrent. How much does it cost to start a digital marketing agency? If you choose to work on a remote basis and start working with freelancers, the initial costs won’t be that big. When first starting out, you should take it one project at a time and gradually the number and complexity of projects.
However, you shouldn’t start a digital marketing agency if:
1.You can't differentiate your business
In marketing, we talk a lot about “unique selling propositions” and the importance of differentiating your agency from the competition. As you will probably advise your customers to keep this in mind, so should you. Will you be answering the marketing needs of a particular kind of business? Will you be providing some services that your competition isn’t currently offering? No matter what it is - it is important to be unique.
2. You are not a team player
You should only start a digital marketing agency if you are capable of working well with others. Collaboration is key within a digital marketing agency. Even as an employer, you will need to collaborate efficiently with the team, communicate efficiently, and offer proper training.
3. You don’t want to invest too much time and effort
Be aware that should you start a digital marketing agency, you will work more, not less. Owning a business involves time and effort. And since we are talking about your business, you will probably work more than anyone else on the team.
How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency
If you have already decided that you should start a digital marketing agency, there are some steps you should follow:
- Create a business plan
- Calculate your initial budget
- Define your audience
- Define your team
You should not start a digital marketing agency without a good plan in mind. Here are some tips on what to consider when building your agency plan:
- Lead generation. Ideally, you should have a good lead generation plan. Only by constantly generating new leads will you be able to grow your business. Include as many channels as possible, so that you can still count on other lead generation channels, should your first option fail.
- Outsource. Especially at the beginning and if you are working with a limited budget, you won’t be able to hire a big team. There is nothing wrong with outsourcing. There are many talented freelancers out there for you to work with.
- Cover a need. You should start a digital marketing agency only if you are sure that there is a need for your services in the market you are planning to operate in.
- Find a niche market. Focusing on a niche market is a great idea - that will allow you to offer good tailored services to a very particular audience. For example, digital marketing agency BattlePlan is offering digital marketing services to home service companies. This allows it to be “on point” with its services, covering the exact needs of its target-audience.
So, should you start a digital marketing agency? That is a question for you to answer alone. There are of course pros and cons to starting a digital marketing agency and you should consider all aspects when making a decision. If the pros outweigh the cons for you and if you have the skills and dedication to focus on your own business, then you definitely should start a digital marketing agency.
Here's an example of someone who made the leap to starting a digital marketing agency and never regretted it 😉