Starting an agency isn’t as tough as it once was. The digital and technological landscape has made it achievable. Offices were a must, staffing was essential, and a website was a glossy and expensive addition to your arsenal.
However, now you can start a digital market agency from the comfort of your own home with a decent internet connection and some know-how. You can go solo, or build a team – even a freelance team will work now too. Marketing budgets see more than 50% heading into digital marketing, and it isn’t impossible to get in on the action. Here are some skills and tips for you if you are planning on starting your own agency.
You don’t know what you don’t know. Which is the unfortunate truth for starting almost anything from home. Although you probably have a fair amount of knowledge, and maybe even a diploma or two in the digital marketing field. Experience really makes a difference. How to navigate demanding clients, how to support your team members – or simply manage your own workload – are all skills. If you are offering a professional service, you need to be an expert. A few skills you’re going to need:
- Designing ads
- Analyzing and making recommendations based on data
- Tracking – implementation, and testing
- Learning tools and software to make this come together seamlessly
- Building websites and/or landing pages
Before you open a whole agency, start taking on contracting work. Agency will then be the next logical step for you. What you need to have is a reasonably steady income, and start building your own network – outside of any office you might be in. And if you are in an office, check that freelancing isn’t going to be a breach. While you are freelancing, you can begin testing tools and systems that you would like to implement in your agency.
Hubspot, Marketo, Salesforce, MailChimp, Google Docs, DropBox, Buffer, WordPress, Squarespace,www.redkeysolutions.com, and more. You need to make your service as slick as possible, and freelancing gives you the chance to do it while writing costs off in your deductibles.
This is really important. Many agencies start off with the wrong pricing structure. Pay close attention to what you are charging and where.
- Retainers – Whenever you can swing it, get a retainer in place. As well as being a simple model, it means that you know for sure you will have an income. That flat fee you agree to make invoicing easy, and you can plan your working month accordingly.
- Hourly – If you are dedicating a lot of time to one client, and your client agrees that hourly works for them, this can be very lucrative. But, clients question hourly billing very often and will begin to ask how long specific tasks take. So only go down this route for smaller projects.
There are other options like a commission-based and percentage of spend, but you likely won’t need to consider these until much later.
What you do and what you are good at will attract the right businesses. If you have a natural flair for growing fashion brands – go with that niche. It might be tempting to work with any business, and of course, sometimes that is what you need to do to get some cash flow in. But companies are more willing to lay cash down for specialists – so position yourself as one.