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Thinking about starting a marketing agency business? With over 428,744 advertising agencies worldwide, it’s no wonder this option is a popular choice.

Whether you’re a marketing expert looking to strike out on your own, or an entrepreneur with a passion for business, starting a marketing agency can be an exciting and rewarding venture.

But with so many things to consider, from the type of services you’ll offer to your target audience, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. That’s why we’ve put together this guide, complete with tips from agency owners, to help you get your marketing agency off the ground.

We’ll cover everything from defining your niche and building a solid brand to attracting clients and delivering top-notch service. 

Let’s dive in.

What Is a Digital Marketing Agency?

A digital marketing agency is a business that specializes in creating and managing digital marketing campaigns for companies. These agencies typically provide services such as website design, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and more. 

By leveraging the power of the internet and various tools, digital marketing agencies help businesses reach their goals faster and more efficiently than ever before.

What Are the Types of Digital Marketing Agencies?

Digital marketing agencies come in all shapes and sizes. So, knowing what is right for you can be tricky. 

To make things easier, let’s break down some of the most common types of digital marketing agencies:

Full-Service Digital Agencies. These agencies offer various services, including website design, SEO, content creation, social media management, and more. They provide comprehensive coverage when it comes to digital marketing needs.

Specialized Digital Agencies. These agencies focus on one or two specific areas of digital marketing, such as social media or PPC advertising.

Freelance Digital Agencies. These are individual freelancers who specialize in providing digital marketing services. They usually work on a project-by-project basis and charge hourly or fixed fees for their services.

How to Start a Marketing Agency Business Step by Step

an infographic showing steps how to start a marketing agency
How to start a marketing agency business step by step. Source:

Step 1: Identify a Viable Target Market

The first step when starting a digital marketing agency is identifying your target market. Think about who your ideal customer is and what services they may need.

Ask yourself what types of businesses can benefit from digital marketing services. Which industries are currently underserved in the digital space? Who are the decision-makers within these businesses?

Ideal customer profile. Source:

Knowing your target market will help you create a tailored approach to developing campaigns and services that appeal to them. Researching current trends and industry benchmarks will also help create an effective business plan.

Step 2: Define Your Niche

Now that you’ve identified your target market, it’s time to define your niche

What services will you offer? How much are you planning to charge for your social media services? Will you focus on a specific industry or technology? Do you want to specialize in certain types of campaigns? Knowing what type of digital marketing services you will provide will help guide your business decisions going forward. 

Furthermore, consider what makes your agency unique and why potential customers should choose you over the competition. This is a great way to stand out in an increasingly crowded digital marketing space.

Plus, when you work within a specific niche, you can develop streamlined processes for delivering services to clients. This means you’ll be able to onboard new marketing clients more quickly and efficiently, and you’ll be able to provide a more consistent experience for all clients.

Step 3: Market Your Agency

Now it’s time to get the word out about your agency and create a successful marketing strategy. There are a few different ways you can do this.

Create a Website

Creating a website for your digital marketing agency is an important step in getting your business off the ground. Having a website gives potential customers a place to learn more about what you offer and why they should choose you over other agencies.

It also allows you to showcase your work and services, which can help build trust with potential leads. Additionally, having a website will make it easier for customers to contact you and inquire about services.

Get on Social Media Channels

Getting on social media channels is a great way to spread the word about your digital marketing agency and reach potential clients. Not only can you use social media to share content, but it’s also an effective tool for building customer relationships

Posting regularly and engaging with users is critical to growing your presence on these platforms. Additionally, consider running ads or sponsored posts to reach even more people and get the word out about your services. With a successful social media strategy, you can build an audience and generate more leads for your business.

Check out our guides if you need help starting your company’s LinkedIn page or establishing your TikTok presence.

Start Cold Outreach

Starting cold outreach is a great way to increase the visibility of your digital marketing agency and reach directly your ideal customers

Cold outreach involves sending emails, making phone calls, or even networking in person with prospective clients who may not be aware of your services.

When reaching out to potential customers, it’s essential to keep things professional yet friendly and make sure that you understand their needs. Once you’ve established a relationship, you can discuss how your services can help them achieve their digital marketing goals.

Step 4: Hire a Team

Once you have your digital marketing agency up and running, the next step is to hire a team. Having the right people can make or break your business, so take the time to find people who are knowledgeable in the field and passionate about what they do. 

Depending on the size of your agency, you may need to hire a team of freelancers or bring on full-time employees. Make sure that you establish clear expectations for each role, provide training, and create an environment where your team can thrive. 

With a strong team in place, you can provide quality services and grow your digital marketing agency even further.

Step 5: Find Your First Clients

Finding your first clients can be a daunting task. The key to success is to be proactive and reach out to potential customers who may need your services. Consider networking at industry events, sending cold emails, or even posting on job boards. 

Once you’ve established relationships with these leads, follow up regularly and keep them informed of any new services or projects you have in the works.

Step 6: Perfect Service Delivery

Now that you’ve got your digital marketing agency up and running and have identified clients to work with, it’s time to nail down service delivery. This is the process of how you will deliver the services that you offer. 

You must have a well-defined process in place so that your customers know exactly what to expect from you at every step along the way. This could include anything from setting expectations upfront to providing regular updates on progress and results. 

Establishing a well-defined service delivery process can significantly contribute to the success of your client-agency partnership.

Step 7: Acquire More of Your Top Clients at Scale

As your digital marketing agency grows, you’ll want to focus on acquiring more of your best clients at scale. This means identifying and targeting potential customers who are most likely to benefit from your services and then developing a plan to reach them.

Consider running targeted campaigns on social media or setting up automated email sequences. Additionally, look into sponsored posts or online ad campaigns that can help you get in front of the right people. By doing this, you’ll be able to expand your customer base and bring in more business for your digital marketing agency.

Tools You Need to Run a Digital Marketing Agency

When running a digital marketing agency, having the right tools at your disposal is vital to success.

From email marketing and project management software to analytics tools and automation platforms, there are many essential tools that you’ll need in order to run your business efficiently.

Email Marketing Solutions

Email marketing is a great way to reach out to potential customers and keep them updated on what you have to offer. Automated email sequences can also help you nurture leads, build relationships, and increase conversions. Popular options for email marketing include MailChimp and Constant Contact.

Project Management Software

Project management software allows you to stay organized and on track with all of your projects. This type of software typically offers features such as task tracking, collaboration tools, and reports so that you can better manage your client’s campaigns. Popular options for project management include Asana and Basecamp.

Social Media Management Platforms

If your agency plans to specialize in managing social media campaigns, you’ll also need a tool to automate the process. And Gain, our tool, can be a solid option, as it allows users to streamline their social media workflows, collaborate with team members, and schedule and publish content across multiple social media channels.

It also offers features like approval workflows to help you manage your clients, content calendars, analytics, and reporting while integrating with Canva, so you can get your visuals approved without hassle.

Analytics Tools

Analytics tools are essential for measuring the performance of your digital marketing campaigns and tracking social media KPIs. Google Analytics is a great option, as it provides in-depth insights into website traffic, user behavior, and key conversion metrics. Other popular tools include native social media platforms or Rival IQ.

Automation Platforms

Automation platforms can help you streamline processes and automate repetitive tasks such as posting blog posts or sending emails. Popular options for automation include Zapier and Parabola.

All in all, having the right tools in place makes running your digital marketing agency much more straightforward and ensures you can deliver results for your clients.

Ready to Start a Marketing Agency?

Starting a marketing agency is an exciting and rewarding endeavor, as long as you are willing to put in the work. By following these steps and investing in the right tools and team, you can ensure that your business will be successful well into the future. 

Additionally, don’t forget to stay on top of industry trends and monitor your competition to stay ahead of the curve. With some hard work and dedication, you can create a thriving business that offers amazing services to its customers.

Looking for scalable software to manage your future clients’ social media accounts? Gain is the tool you need in your arsenal. Book a free demo!

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