Starting your own digital agency will need to draw on your business acumen, industry knowledge and well-honed digital marketing skills.
The most proficient marketer will find setting up their own business challenging and highly disruptive. However, on the flip side, it will also be invigorating and fun.
However, starting a business is not for the faint-hearted. It takes more than industry experience and a proven track record to succeed in business, especially if you’ve decided to compete head-on in a highly competitive sector. You’ll need to get out of your comfort zone more often than you’re used to, so in this article, we have 7 top tips.
1. Set clear goals
Having clear goals to work towards is the key to staying focused. By starting with an overriding end goal, you can step back and see the bigger picture.
Use SMART goals as a guide for goal setting. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, aspirational, and realistic and finally, time. Use this model whenever you set goals for yourself and your business.
2. Create a clear brand identity
Your business should have a clear brand identity. This is very important not only for yourself but for your customers too.
Creating a strong brand identity tells the world who you are and what to expect from it, i.e. the results your business can and will deliver on. Over time, your brand can develop and become a leader in its category.
3. Build relationships
Networking is your new best friend. Creating strong relationships in business is a crucial part of the process of setting up any business. Hence, it’s vital for a service provider like a digital marketing agency to work it all the time.
Fostering robust relationships with key stakeholders will help your business grow and receive the recognition it needs to become a market leader.
Reread the first tip – set clear goals and make your overriding goal a big one like becoming the market leader in your category.
To be networking with the right people, join leadership groups, attend industry conferences and networking events. Not every event will deliver immediate results; however, they’re an opportunity to meet and build a rapport with like-minded people, and they will help you get those all-important leads as well as any potential clients.
4. Get your business online
It’s time to build your business brand, starting with your website. Once you have your website online, promote it using all the skills and experience you wish to partake upon your future customers. Your business is your first customer so use all your skills to showcase what you can offer.
5. Decide if you need more capital
To start your own digital agency, all you actually need to start is a computer and a few SEO tools, and you’re ready to go. While it may seem necessary to have every single SEO tool out there, in reality, you don’t need every tool.
Spending unnecessary money on tools, which are not necessary, will, in fact, hinder your business. SEO software can often carry a hefty price tag. When you first start, you probably don’t have a lot of capital. This means you can’t afford to have a lot of monthly outgoings.
6. Plan out if you need more staff
Starting out on your own as a sole operator is how a lot of digital agencies and indeed business start-ups commence. However, plan for growth and taking on staff.
One Agency owner says he only hired his first staff member after 4 months of opening his agency, and it was only a part-time role! It took a further two years before the business needed employees. This goes to show you don’t need to have a whole team at the outset. Build up your team slowly and make sure your hiring for quality rather than quantity.
7. Get social!
In a world where social media really matters, it makes sense to personally get amongst it. Think big and create some profiles across all the popular social media platforms. Read the first tip, ‘set clear goals’ again and have a set of goals for your social media strategy.
Remember, you can reach a wider audience, and in the most, it’s free. Using social media can help you market yourself, your business brand, plus build relationships and engage with your customers. It can even result in some leads being generated for your company via referrals.
By following these simple but effective steps to opening your own digital marketing agency, so you hit the ground running and become a force to be reckoned with in your market.