Hi I’m Praneeth Kumar.
In this blog post I will walk you through everything you need to know about how to start a digital marketing agency with no experience from start to finish step by step.
It is not going to be an easy Journey to start a digital marketing agency without any prior experience but it is not impossible to do it if you follow my steps and recommendations explained in the blog.
So without further ADO let’s get started.
Here is a 30000 foot view of the blog post.
How to start a digital marketing agency with no experience?
There are 11 major steps you need to take in order to start a digital marketing agency from scratch. Let’s take a look at them in detail.
Note: this is the most comprehensive guide to start a digital marketing agency with no experience so I would recommend you to bookmark this article and read it completely in order to learn how you can start your own digital marketing agency with no experience and much investment from scratch and still make money.
So let’s dive into the blog.
1. Get the skills.
Whether you start a digital marketing agency with or without any experience you need to make sure that you are good at what you do since,
our goal is to start a digital marketing agency you need to be good with digital marketing and other important skills required to start and run a business successfully.
If you do not have any knowledge or experience in the digital marketing field before then I would recommend you to consider taking a course online or you can train yourself while learning different blogs, books, listen to videos and podcasts and learn digital marketing on your own.
For more information you can read my ultimate guide on how to learn digital marketing.
These types of skills are hard skills which are very much important for your digital marketing success and you can easily learn them using many resources online or take certification programs from Google as well.
Whereas, there are other types of skills called soft skills which are equally important for your digital marketing success.
- Time management skills so that you can get the work & project done before the deadline
- Communication skills are important if you have a team with your digital marketing agency.
- Creativity is also important because marketing is about promoting a product or service so that people can purchase it. In order to do that you need to Grab the attention of users with new thoughts and ideas using your creativity.
- Leadership skills if you have a team that you have to lead from the front.
- Negotiation skills are important to convert the audience into leads and clients.
- Motivation and flexibility to continue working during the hard times of your business.
Since you are looking forward to start a digital marketing agency most of your clients will probably be business owners and entrepreneurs in general who want to expand their business online and get more customers so
apart from having subject knowledge about digital marketing skills you should also be good at other important skills mentioned above in order to get your business successful.
If you are not that good with the soft skills like time management and communication skills you don’t need to worry about it as you can easily improve the other skills by different methods like practice and
communication and constantly reading new books and having new mentors in your life.
It is more of a mindset and attitude thing when it comes to soft skills and you should be open minded and open to getting feedback from all types of people so that you can improve yourself.
You also need to have a lot of self confidence in yourself that you can do this work and you will get that when you practice your skill regularly.
2. Decide what services you want to sell.
After you get all the necessary skills required, now it’s time to decide what kind of services and strategies you want to offer in your digital marketing agency.
Look, digital marketing is a very broad niche which has a lot of competition worldwide.
If you want to achieve success with your digital marketing agency in terms of revenue then the only way you can do it is by selecting a particular category in the digital marketing field rather than going to Target and offering services of all the digital marketing strategies with your agency.
By selecting a particular group and industry like
- Local SEO & marketing.
- Website design.
- Social media.
- Content marketing.
- Conversion rate Optimisation.
- Email marketing
There is relatively less competition and you can make more money if you become an expert in that particular industry by charging more and you can put a lot of energy in a specific direction.
While selecting the skill that you will later start offering in services around you should select the only skill which you have your interest in and have good knowledge.
The skill also needs to be highly demanded in the world like SEO, web design and content marketing services.
And if you are starting this digital marketing agency yourself without any help and support or team and
large investment then you should think of how you can reduce the cost as much as possible and specialise in only a few or a single skill in digital marketing compared to targeting the whole digital marketing industry.
You can obviously expand and offer other services in digital marketing if you want when you start making some money and getting some profit over a period of time down the line but for now only stick with a single service and skill.
3. Decide who and how you want to run your business.
After you decide what type of digital marketing service you want to offer to your customers now it’s time to decide and understand who your target audience is and what your target customers look like.
Instead of offering your services to all the types of businesses Who need those you should go a little bit specific with your target market and select a micro niche.
If you have expertise and specialisation in running pay per click advertising on social media platforms then you should start offering services to a very specific group and target market like,
- Doctors and hospitals.
- Fashion industry.
- Auto mobile.
- Stores and supermarkets.
- Real estate.
- Educational institutions.
- Small businesses.
By selecting a narrow niche for your target audience, you will dominate that industry.
There are a couple of benefits like,
- You will have less competition.
- Entrepreneurs running those businesses can connect with your agency better since you are offering that digital marketing service to that specific audience compared to other Agencies which offer services to all kinds of people.
- It can also give you a competitive edge and you can become an expert in that industry for that segment of the market and build valuable connections fast.
If you are struggling to find the right market segment for your skill then I would suggest you to go with the audience and the industry which you have some knowledge and interest in like
if you have interest in real estate market then you can start offering services like content marketing service or
anything that you have choose for real estate industry compared to just offering services of content marketing or SEO to all the people which is really competitive and you cannot be good at what you do.
Having a good interest and knowledge is very much important in selecting the right market segment for your skill.
Another factor is that if you already have some existing relationships with established business owners in whichever niche like restaurants,
you can consider that niche, have communication with the people whom you know in that industry and start acquiring clients initially and grow from there.
Apart from that, you also have to decide how you want to sell your services, which is the pricing model.
There are different types of pricing models you can choose like,
- Hourly fee- you charge money based on how many hours of time you invest to complete the project.
- Project fee- you charge money only when you complete the project depending upon the time and energy you invested.
- Monthly fee- you charge money like a subscription basis like digital marketing tools every month irrespective of how much time and energy you invested in the project.
The most profitable pricing model is monthly fee like subscription basis because
you can always schedule your work and get new customers and increase your revenue compared to hourly basis and project fees where you do not know exactly how much money you can make after completing the project.
But since you are starting out as a beginner, you should start from hourly fee and move towards monthly pricing as you get more reviews and customers over a period.
You can refer to this guide to learn more about how you can create the right prices for your Digital Marketing Services.
4. Start your business.
After you get all the things done the preparation, business model and strategies needed, you just have to proceed and start your business.
Here you need to make an important decision.
Do you want to have a physical address and a dedicated office for your agency or you are happy with no address and location or office of the business.
Both of them have their own pros and cons.
I would personally recommend you to consider having a office if you want to acquire lots of local customers and clients to your digital marketing agency from a specific area and location or a city and
if you want to get customers from all over the world then having office and location does not make much sense and it would increase the costs because you might have to pay for rent and
other equipment along with the insurance which will increase your initial investment and people can find and connect with
you from your online presence, even if you have a team you can easily Get Connected and work together virtually serving your clients And Have Team meetings in Zoom call.
If you don’t want a physical address and office to your agency it can drastically reduce the costs and investment required.
Apart from that you need to do a few other things like,
- You need to get a logo for your agency
- You need to register the business name and get all the legal documents required to start the business.
- You will also need to purchase a domain name for your website.
- If you have a physical office you should also consider having the insurance for your business
- You should also consider an accountant to manage all your finances and Taxes.
For more information you can refer to my guide to learn how much it costs to start a digital marketing agency from scratch.
You don’t have to put a lot of time here, just get started.
5. Create an online presence.
Having a website for your digital marketing is the most important thing in order to get new customers and to let people know about your agency.
There are lots of website builders you can choose but I would recommend you to go with creating a website on wordpress using bluehost web hosting service.
WordPress is an open source content management system that manages more than 40% of the websites on the internet.
For more information regarding creating a website you can read my guides below.
- How to start a website on wordpress using bluehost?
- Pros and cons of using bluehost web hosting service.
- Why is WordPress the best website builder?
Apart from creating a website for your business you should also make sure that it looks professional and attractive as well because the fact is that,
- 75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design.
- 83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important.
Hence you should also focus on creating a good website design that is both mobile and desktop friendly.
If you don’t have much knowledge and time or energy to design your website like a professional and attractive one you can easily hire a freelancer on many popular freelance platforms like guru.
Apart from that you should let people know what your website and business is all about my publishing a few important pages like
- About us.
- Contact us.
- Terms and conditions.
- A Dedicated landing page for the service you offer.
You should be able to build trust with the people who visit your website by showing your expertise and experience in the industry so that they can get your service.
Since you don’t have any testimonials, quotes and reviews of people using your service when
you get those important assets you should display them on your website especially on the landing pages of your services you offer which act as a social proof.
Apart from the website you should also create your social media profiles associated with your business on many platforms especially LinkedIn and Facebook.
You should also be active on your social media profiles and keep on posting content related to your business & agency. This will let more people know about your business, build the audience and slowly but steadily help you get more customers when they find you on social media.
Learn more about pros and cons of social media marketing.
6. Start a blog or a YouTube channel.
Starting a blog and or YouTube channel for your digital marketing agency can play a huge role for generating new leads and potential customers and increasing the exposure of your agency.
By publishing blog posts around a specific niche on your blog, like if you offer social media services to real estate businesses then you can publish blog posts on real estate niche and the benefits are,
- You can get free and consistent traffic to your website from search engines.
- You can easily move the traffic from your blog post to the landing pages of your services and get people to buy your services without you investing a single penny on advertising.
- You can give people a reason to stick on your website longer by reading your blogs, blogs build authority and expertise and establish credibility with your clients.
By starting a blog you get a chance to collect the email addresses of your audience by offering them a lead magnet and
then you can start nurturing the audience and build relationships with them through emails and
then offer your services to that audience after you build the relationship with them over a period of time And get more clients.
You can use many popular email marketing tools like mailchimp to collect email addresses for free.
This is the reason why email marketing has an ROI of 44$ for every 1$ you spend on it, that is mind blowing.
You can do that on YouTube as well by sending a YouTube audience to your website and signing up for your blog or subscribing to your YouTube channel.
If you have a digital marketing agency that specialises in offering services related to Search Engine Optimisation and content marketing then publishing blog posts can help you a lot because,
Since you know how to rank on google, people can see that you rank on Google, you don’t need to convince them about your abilities, you will get those people as clients for your SEO agency.
If you offer content writing services as well, if they can read and see that your content ranks on Google they will consider you to do content marketing for their website and business because you have real world experience and knowledge in that industry than most other people.
The stats are that,
- 34% of buyers will make an unplanned purchase after reading quality content.
- 84% of companies have a content marketing strategy.
- Blog posts remain the most effective form of content over email, ebooks, and white papers.
If you are convinced to start a blog then you can read my ultimate guide on how to start a blog for your business.
Here are more helpful resources,
- Blogging mistakes to avoid.
- Important reasons to start a blog?
- Why are blogs important for your business?
- How to write a blog post step by step explained?
- How to research content for the blog?
Apart from that, if you can’t afford publishing content or paying writers to publish content on your website then you should at least use YouTube to generate leads for your agency and build your brand and get more exposure.
The stats are
By publishing videos, people get to know you better, videos are more engaging and fun compared to reading text.
I would highly recommend you to at least start a YouTube channel or hire some freelancer to make YouTube videos on
behalf of your business. It can play a huge role in generating new leads and customers for your business in the long term.
The average lifespan of blog posts and YouTube videos is far more compared to social media posts that you publish on your social media handles like Facebook and Instagram so you can get the maximum ROI of your efforts.
It is completely fine if you don’t have the investment or energy or even time to start a blog or YouTube channel,
you can work on it later on when you start making some money out from your agency and invest it in creating and publishing content.
When you have time, consider first creating a video of that niche topic and uploading it on Facebook,
YouTube and linkedin and transcribing it into a blog post. This will save you a lot of money and time and you can get the most ROI of any piece of content you create.
7. Get the tools required.
Now after you start either a blog or YouTube channel for your business it’s time to get some essential tools for your services in place so that you can start pitching to different people to offer services and acquire clients to your business.
For example if you offer services related to Search Engine Optimisation you need some important SEO tools in order to work properly like
Similarly if you want to offer social media marketing related services then you must and should have graphic design tools like canva in your tool set.
Depending upon what type of digital marketing service you want to offer you have to purchase that particular tool.
You can click here to learn all the important tools you need to purchase and their prices for digital marketing.
8. Do the marketing to get clients.
Now is the perfect time to start marketing for your agency and start getting some views and acquire some clients for your business.
If you have some initial budget then you should probably consider running ads on social media like Facebook ads, linkedin ads, YouTube ads and Instagram ads and also on Google ads.
You can also consider publishing a guest or sponsored post on a reputable website related to your industry to get those initial customers and exposure.
This will give you some initial boost fast and a few customers initially.
Here, your aim is to get yourself out in the public and let people know about you and your service exists.
What if you don’t have any budget and initial investment for running advertisements?
No need to worry, there is a solution for that which I will talk about now.
Here are a few things you can do to get the initial customers for your digital marketing services.
- You can register yourself on many popular freelance platforms like upwork and fiverr and start applying for those jobs related to that service that you offer.
- Join relevant social media groups like Facebook groups, Quora pages of your niche, start having conversations with people in that group, answer their questions and build some good relationship and also post content related to your service so that other people can see that and over a period, you can ask people that you can work for them and help their business grow by offering your service as a solution remember you don’t need to spam the group with your website links and service otherwise you will be kicked out immediately since nobody like spam.
- You can ask any one of your family members and relatives to offer services to their business to anyone who has a business and looking forward to growing online through Search Engine Optimisation or social media which you can help, you can get referral clients from your relatives to your agency.
- You can also find amazing local businesses around your area by searching it on Google my business listings, since most of the businesses that appear in those listings related to your industry either have hired a marketing agency or do their own marketing themselves and you can start approaching those businesses and offer your service which is much better and affordable for the business owner
- You can also find amazing companies and businesses related to your industry you offer on platforms like crunchbase so that you can start approaching them with cold email outreach to offer your service.
- You can also join popular networking groups like BNI, build a good relationship with the people and let them know about your service in that group and get more customers from other businesses to your agency through referrals.
For more information you can refer to this guide to learn more about how you can get customers to your digital marketing agency.
Most of the business owners do not want to handle all the technical work and things related to digital marketing because it is not their interest and expertise so you should be focusing on how
you can add value to their business by helping them grow and you should be able to convince them that you know what you are talking about and you are expert on that topic by showing your credentials and expertise.
Here is a handy tip from Neil Patel,
Before approaching any business for offering your service to them you should prepare a thorough feedback or report on the things they could improve from their SEO performance with their website,
social media handles, you should make a detailed audit of their online presence and how the changes you suggest in your analysis and feedback can help them grow their business with more clients and revenue.
It is all about giving a strong reason and a WHY for the business owners to hire you for that service over others.
When you have got the report ready of the business website and other handles you can approach the top people who are running the particular business like the CEO.
I know you might be wondering how do you get the email or the contact information of the business owner from their website but let me tell you there are a couple of ways like,
- You can use email finder tools like hunter.io to find email addresses of the website owner.
If you don’t find the email address then you can Google my business listings and the contact information of the business. From there you can find the mobile number and you can approach the business owner from that.
You can also find the business owners having a profile on popular social media platforms especially on LinkedIn and you can have conversations with them regarding offering your service there.
In the initial days you should focus on getting those initial customers and get those quality reviews and
testimonials of your work from your clients which you can showcase in your portfolio and also highlighted on your
website landing pages to build some social proof and get people to purchase your Digital Marketing Services from your website as well.
In some cases you should also consider working for very less cost compared to other people to acquire those customers,
if your customers really like your work, if you value your customers time and deliver the project before the deadline then
it can be useful to you as the customers would do word of mouth marketing of your service and get more clients for your service in future.
9. Get clients and do the work.
I know it is going to be very difficult to get the first few clients to your digital marketing business but when you get those initial clients and boost you should give your best and impress the business owners with your work and performance.
Here are a few tips,
- Make sure to deliver the project and show them the result and final achievements instead of the process that you have got before the deadline because time is a very valuable asset for business owners, even more valuable than money.
- Always have constant communication with your client and always keep them updated with all the changes that you make after they hire you and ask them for their suggestions and feedback on your work.
- Make sure to exceed their expectations and go beyond, offer something more, you can do this by positioning yourself in the shoes of that business owner and doing the work which works best and helps them grow more.
Don’t try to charge a lot of money for your service in the beginning because your aim has to be to get more testimonials and reviews of your service and build your portfolio and network compared to making more profit.
Hold on ,in order to maximize revenue while offering services,
you can join affiliate program of tools you recommend for your business owners, for example if you offer website design and development related services then
you can become affiliate marketer for web hosting companies like bluehost and siteground and
you can recommend your clients to purchase hosting for their website using your affiliate links, this will get you more money.
You can do this in any other industry like if you sell social media related services, you can become an affiliate for tools like Canva and recommend your clients to purchase canva through your affiliate link or referral code.
Apart from that you can also consider starting your own reseller hosting services to maximize earning apart from offering your own services to your clients.
10. Strengthen your portfolio.
When you are constantly getting those customers to your business and service you should ask some of your clients to leave positive reviews of your work on freelance platforms and you should highlight those testimonials and reviews of your clients on landing pages of your services on your website.
This is HUGE.
You can even ask your clients to share your work and their experience of working with you on their social media handles.
If people really enjoy your service and you exceed their expectations and work within the deadline which most people don’t,
you’ll also start getting customers from referrals of your clients and word of mouth marketing which is that the clients will refer you to get the service for other businesses.
And after a period of time when you feel you have enough reviews, testimonials and experience in the industry working for different businesses and
you have a good network and connections with people then you can start raising your price and charges and you can start having more customers since you already have a name and experience in the industry.
11. Hire a team & scale the business.
When you are getting more customers than you should think of hiring new people to work for you and build a team and a process and scale your business.
You should only think of hiring new people to your business as long as you know that you will keep on getting customers even if you increase the service charge and you have built credibility and trust in your industry, you know you can take that risk.
I would first advise you to create a process of how you would approach a particular project from start to finish divided in multiple steps and
hire the right people with the right skills and attitude who would fit perfectly in that area.
You can find many people to hire on many popular freelance platforms like upwork and freelancer.
Every time you hire a new freelancer into your team you should assign him a particular project and a role that he has to accomplish.
You should also consider hiring an accountant to manage all the taxes if you don’t have much knowledge about it so that you can save & put your time and energy in other things.
Here are a few tips for hiring people to your business.
- Always try to hire freelancers who are also good at soft skills like communication and team working apart from the digital marketing skills that you look for.
- If you have too many freelancers and Confused in whom you should pick, you can run a test and handover a project to a bunch of freelancers and select the best freelancer who has completed the project with the most efficiency in less time.
- Always take a look at a couple of their work samples apart from the experience and reviews so that you can pick the right freelancer who fits with your agency and service you offer to businesses.
This is how you can slowly automate the process and services so that you can work on the most important part of a business which is expanding and getting more revenue.
This is the exact process and everything you need to know about how you can start a digital marketing agency from scratch with no experience and knowledge in the field before.
With that being said let’s conclude the blog post.
This is the most comprehensive and step by step guide for people to starting a digital marketing agency from scratch with no experience.
Do comment down and share your views on which service you are looking forward to starting with Your agency.
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I will catch you next time till then keep learning and keep growing.