Those who are great at communicating, have design or other technical skills should think about starting a marketing company. More and more people with the right knowledge and skills are creating their own opportunities in business. Being your own boss doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax, in fact, you’ll often be working more hours than a typical full-time employee.
In this guide, we’ll go through a number of steps that will help you start your own marketing agency. For those that are going the extra mile and investing in employees and office space, saving money will be crucial to help the cash flow situation. Online comparison sites such as Utility Saving Expert can help you save money on business energy bills and commercial insurance. Getting a free no obligation quote shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes and you could be saving hundreds of pounds every year.
What makes you and your business stand out?
If you’ve got the skills and experience, it won’t come as a surprise that digital marketing is a very competitive industry. Think about what sets you apart from others in the space. It may be worth choosing a specialty to begin with and offer this as your core service, with the eventual goal of becoming known as a subject expert in this type of marketing.
As a company, you can offer a range of services that cover online, print, radio, TV and more. Digital marketing is quickly becoming the most popular form, this is where clients want to improve aspects of their websites, social media and online advertising. Here’s a list of digital marketing services that your new business could offer:
Pay-per click (PPC advertising) –Creating advertising campaigns that will appear at the top of a search engine such as Google or Bing.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) – This helps you improve the page rankings of a client’s website, allowing them to organically appear higher on a search engine, attracting more visitors.
Content marketing – Producing content for a specific audience on a given topic.
Event marketing – Promoting an upcoming event.
Email marketing – Creating promotional material that is sent via email to a subscriber list.
No matter what type of marketing you choose to offer, make sure your firm is known for that speciality. It’s okay to offer multiple forms of marketing, but be careful not to overstretch yourself, especially in areas that you’re not particularly strong in. For example, if your specialty is SEO services and your company also provides event marketing, but you have no experience in this, this won’t go down well with potential clients.
Building your agency around one core skill can help set you apart from your competitors. Additional services can always be included later down the line as you expand your business.
Choose a target market
It’s now time to think about who you want to target and for what reason. Although it may be tempting to take on as much work as possible, you need to make sure you can deliver on any agreed work. This approach may take slightly longer, but will be worth pursuing for long term success.
Clients love transparency, and this is no different in an industry that can sometimes be subjective. Think about where your target market is. Are you focusing on local businesses, or large-scale international projects? Look for gaps in the market where your services are underserved.
Create a business plan
Any new business will require a business plan, this is no different for marketing firms. A plan should include the following:
- The business’ goals
- Financial forecast (income, expenditure, investment)
- Business activity
- Who is your target audience and how will you reach them?
This is just a quick basic list; resources are available online which can help you download a free template. You’ll also need to register your new business.
Search for clients
Every company needs customers. Although you may want as many customers as possible, in time you’ll find out it’s likely more productive to have fewer clients that you can build strong relationships with. It isn’t always easy to complete a project and then have to replace that client with another.
You can find new clients by networking. This can be achieved by attending conferences and industry events, contributing to LinkedIn groups and utilising social media. Essentially, you want to interact with as many people as possible and provide value. This won’t help you sign a contract straight away, but it is an important aspect in getting yourself known. After all, people buy products and services from who they know and trust.
Market the marketing business
Use your skills and knowledge to market your own marketing business. Look at this as your first challenge in promoting your company. You’ll need a professionally designed website and be able to confidently use social media to its full potential.
We have now covered the basics of how to start your own marketing agency. The road ahead will present many challenges, and with the right strategy you will have the opportunity to succeed.