How To Start Your Own Marketing Agency
I remember starting my first business in 2014, and it was anything but smooth! I was constantly faced with challenges and didn’t have many resources to get the help I needed! So, we learned the hard way … trial and error!
I remember creating quotes, proposals, and invoices with pen and paper. Doing the admin, bookkeeping, payroll, inventory, AP/AR, HR, operations, sales, planning, and of course the actual jobs! For all new business owners, this is very overwhelming, and the reality is most small business don’t survive.
With a bit of luck, hard work, good people and time, my cleaning business is now fully operational without me in it. I get to meet with this business once per month. With its growth of 60% year over year it’s pretty cool to look back at the challenges I faced to get to this point.
We know our AIO Agency model will enable more entrepreneurs to experience the success we have created without the pains and challenges all new business face. I wish there was a solution like this when I start my Agency.
Starting Your Digital Marketing Agency
As I got into the Digital Marketing industry, we found there were a lot of opportunities and a lot of frustrations in the industry. We found customers had bad experiences and were taken advantage of. We found there was a lot of companies who were contracting to bad contractors, there were a lot of “experts” and not a lot of execution.
With a lack of consistency in the deliverables and a surplus of experts, it is very hard for a small business to know what is good and what isn’t so good when it comes to Digital Marketing results, and best practices.
So, we dived into the proclaimed “experts” and we found there were 4 key components that determined the success of a Digital Marketing Agency.
Let’s start with the first point.
Marketing Experts: Capacity
We found there were a few things that stuck out and were common with small marketing companies. In a lot of these situations, there were one or two individuals in a company that would service anything from website development, social media management, Google Ads, SEO optimization, content creation, graphic design, and the list goes on.
They would work client to client trying to grow their business, faced with the challenges of wearing multiple hats, with not much capacity to scale. The lack of capacity cycle looks something like this…
Joe at XYZ marketing would hunt and find 1 client, he would then have to stop looking for clients as he had to service this one client. Once this client was serviced, he would have to go and search for another client and this cycle was never ending. Joe could never accumulate enough cash to hire internally because he was caught in this cycle making the business very dependant on him.
As you can see, this doesn’t leave much time for Joe to go and prospect new customers. This is a big reason as to why small business’ fail, they do not have the time to focus on customer acquisition.
This is a lot for one or two individuals to handle. Due to the stress and work load Joe’s quality of work started to decline and the client was left under-serviced.
If you have questions on how you can increase your capacity, please contact our office at [email protected]
Building a Marketing Team
Similar to the capacity issue small firms face, building a team is another challenge when growing your team. When we started, and to this day, we hear horror stories from our clients. It sounds something like this:
Our client went looking for a marketing company to build a website. They found a local company to build it. Now that they are doing business with us, they request control of their website from the local company. The local company then tells the client that the website wasn’t built locally and the freelancer they used won’t give control over to the client.
You might ask why does this happen?
When you are a small company, it’s unrealistic to claim to know everything about all the specialties of Digital Marketing. To fill those gaps, small firms need to find freelancers to complete the work. Some outsource, some use other local companies, etc. There are a few issues you can run into when hiring freelancers to supplement your growth.
- No control over the deliverables
- Inconsistency of work
- Flakey freelancers that leave you running around to get things done
- Hard to monitor and manage expectations
As the story goes, a small firm starts to service clients. They don’t have the team to deliver the work, they start using freelancers, then, it becomes unreliable. This leaves that company to put out fires, and we now have a process problem.
Digital Marketing: Process
Process seems to be one of the most important but overlooked items when starting a business. How do you know if a company has a process? Answer the following questions.
- Does the sale cycle the same for every client?
- Does billing and invoicing take place consistently?
- Does the work get done in the same way for every project?
- Are the results consistent?
- Are projects delivered on time?
If the answer is no, chances are there is no process, or the process is very broken. Lot’s of small business don’t have the time to create the process and work on the business. Instead, they get caught up in the problems that arise because there is no process.
The business process should help provide more capacity, consistency, and reliable results.
Lots of marketing firms don’t have a solid grasp on their process making it hard for them to scale and handle more work. Process helps you get more out of your existing resources while delivering consistent reliable work to your clients.
If process is not in place, you get pulled around chasing after fires that you need to put out. This could look like: forgetting to issue or collect payments, forgetting to execute on components of a project, late projects, poor performance, chasing “micro-managing” freelancers or other team members, failing to adequately service or follow up with customers, etc.
If you have questions on how you can develop your processes, please contact our office at [email protected]
As the story goes, a small firm starts to service clients They don’t have the team to deliver the work, so, they start using freelancers. It becomes unreliable, leaving that company to put out fires, and we now have a process problem. We can easily get caught up in this cycle as now we don’t have time to create the process while managing all the components of the business and often times at this stage, we end up delivering a poor quality of work. Maybe you could use a few more resources?
Digital Marketing: Resources
If there was one thing we could all use more of, its resources.
Resources can help you fund a team, implement proper systems and process, automate your billing and invoicing, help you create a clearer path to growing your company and more!
Resources are not just momentary advances, but also experience that can provide great value to a business. Resources and support in our opinion what has been lacking and hinders a business from growing, delivering great results and most importantly enabling the business owner to enjoy the journey to building and growing a great company.
I know for me when starting my first business the one thing I wish I had was more resources and support. Great entrepreneurs suck every drop out of the resources they have, so adding more resources to their arsenal will only ensure further success. To this day we are constantly trying to attain and leverage existing and new resources.
Bringing It All together
As you can see there is a lot to consider when starting or growing your Agency. What we have described in the above sections are, in my opinion, the key components that contribute to growing or starting a successful Agency.
With the success of our Agency, we decided to create a business model that would enable entrepreneurs to start their own full service Digital Marketing Agencies.
Our Digital Marketing Agency model enables the success of new and existing entrepreneurs. We give you full access to:
- Dedicated creative team
- Business model
- CRM/Project management system
- Billing and invoicing team
- Business coach
- Templates and tools
This allows you to sell a full suite of services, focus on your clients, we take care of the rest and you become the hero.
If you want to check out your earning potential with All In One you can view the calculator here https://aiodigital.ca/start-your-digital-marketing-agency/
We work very closely with our agents to build long term success for our partners and clients.
If you want to learn more about what All in One Digital can do for your business, send us an email at [email protected]
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