Lessons to Learn Before Starting a Digital Marketing Agency
People who work in the field of digital marketing for a certain amount of time eventually get tempted to start an agency of their own. Unfortunately, just because you’re experienced in digital marketing doesn’t mean that the success will be delivered to you on a platter. There’s so much hard work to be invested in a digital marketing agency and here are several tips you need to pay close attention to.
Starting a Digital Marketing Agency? Lessons to Learn
1. Set SMART goals for your company
Every company needs to have clear and definable goals, which is why, unless you are already an experienced entrepreneur, it is a good idea to stick with the SMART system. What this means is that your goals are S – specific, M – measurable, A – aspirational, R – realistic and T – time bound. Only by looking at the progress of your company through the spectrum of these goals can you see if you’re on the right path. Still, no matter how easy it may sound, setting these goals the right way around is in no way an easy task.
2. Set a proper infrastructure
The second thing you should keep in mind is the fact that you are, after all, running a company. This means that you need things like a business plan, legal structure, appropriate tax scheme and a budget. Without this, it simply doesn’t matter how good you are in digital marketing. In fact, there is a number of examples of people who are skilled marketers, yet, not that great businesspeople. Needless to say, in order to succeed as a digital marketing agency, the person at the helm needs to be both. Therefore, once you have all these logistical issues figured out, you need to register a company and start dealing with your infrastructure.
3. Figure out your employee situation
Sometimes, a multitude of choice can be just as tough as not having enough of it, seeing as how it can create a false sense of pressure that you are about to make a bad choice. For instance, when it comes to employees, you need to decide whether you’ll hire full-time or part-time employees, or rely completely on freelancers. When it comes to digital marketing, all three options are equally viable, as are their combinations.
4. Start with your own online presence
Imagine a scenario in which you claim yourself to be a world-class dog trainer, yet, your own pet seems wild, rabid and even completely disobedient. What kind of a message does this send about your expertise? Same goes for your own company’s digital marketing. Your digital footprint needs to be impeccable, your website needs to be absolutely flawless and your email marketing needs to be on spot. How can you expect others to entrust you with their own brand if you are unable to take care of your own?
5. Narrow down your focus to gain credibility
It’s easy to claim that you are an expert at digital marketing; however, it might be hard to persuade your target demographic that you are capable of providing the exact set of services they are in desperate need of. In order to get a much easier shot at this, you might want to narrow down your focus. For instance, there are so many legal companies out there, that you could easily just focus on digital marketing for law firms and never run out of work. Needless to say, an offer that narrowly targets their niche is bound to appear more appealing to your target demographic.
6. Networking is crucial to your success
The next important aspect of your business is, of course, networking. In some other industries, people offering the same line of services would be your direct competitors but in digital marketing, this is often not the case. You see, the demand for these services is so high that if two agencies are competing for something, it’s more likely prestige or a spot on a specific rank list rather than work. In fact, an overburdened competitor is quite likely to outsource some of their excess work to you or even recommend you, rather than try and sabotage you.
7. Social validation is your No. 1 proof
If there is one thing that every marketer knows, it is that the word-of-mouth recommendation always serves as the most efficient persuasion tool. Still, in the digital environment, you won’t have the commodity of relying on word-of-mouth 100 percent of the time, which is why you need to improvise and adapt. What this means is looking for the next best thing, which is – social validation. Here, we are talking about all those things that go into your portfolio, starting from testimonials of satisfied customers, case studies that go in your favor and displays of brands that have worked with you in the past.
As we already stated above, in order to run a successful agency, you need to be a businessperson first and an expert second. Think about it, does a CEO of a steel company know more about steel than everyone in their employment? Sure, this comparison is not 100 percent accurate, seeing as how in the early stages, you will also be an active employee in the company. Nonetheless, in order to make it through, you need to learn how to efficiently run a digital marketing agency, not just how to work at one.
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