The growth of online marketplaces, the decline of traditional retail, and the rise of “influencers” have revolutionized the way we market products and services. While traditional retail still reigns supreme when it comes to brick-and-mortar shopping, the power of the “influencer” has shifted the balance of power in favour of those marketers who best “go viral” (i.e., gain massive reach and credibility for their message).
What is a marketing agency?
Put simply, a marketing agency is an organization that helps businesses market themselves and their products to consumers. While many marketing agencies are still operating offline, the rise of online marketplaces, such as Marketplace CX, has created a new breed of marketing agency: one that is “virtually” based.
Why are people turning to virtual marketing agencies?
Well, for starters, running a traditional marketing agency is no longer practical in today’s world. Offices, phones, and fax machines no longer cut it, which is why virtually all marketing agencies have “gone digital”.
But it’s not just about being “digital”. Running a traditional marketing agency is a time-consuming task, as you’ll have to deal with market research, competitive analysis, and strategy development. You’ll also need experienced marketing staff to carry out your plans. The overhead costs of a traditional agency are also significant, not to mention the fact that you’ll have to pay for all the traditional “brick-and-mortar” space.
By comparison, owning and operating a marketing agency that is “virtually” based is a whole lot easier. You don’t need to rent office space or negotiate with landlords. You don’t have to worry about purchasing desks, chairs, or filing cabinets. You don’t have to fill out paperwork or deal with insurance claims. You can set your own hours, and you are free to take freelance work remotely.
Running a marketing agency is similar to being a general contractor—you’ll be given a project, and you’ll need to find people to assist you in delivering the project. In the case of a marketing agency, you’ll be given a business and will need to assist it in marketing, typically with advertising and marketing communications, social media, and web design.
One of the main differences between a traditional agency and a virtual agency is the engagement of the client. While you may operate as an independent contractor for a traditional agency, working with a virtual agency gives you the opportunity to build long-term, trusting relationships with clients.
You can operate a marketing agency in the traditional sense, doing the same things that you did as an in-house marketer. The main difference is that you’ll now be working for clients, and you’ll need to establish long-term trusting relationships with them.
You can also opt to work part-time or “consultant-style” for a marketing agency, helping clients with strategy and execution while also continuing to operate your own business. In this way, you can serve as a sort of “general contractor” for the agency while also maintaining control of your own business.
The Niche And The Growth Opportunity
If you’re looking for an easy way to make extra cash, you can’t beat running your own virtual marketing agency. As long as you have a laptop, a stable internet connection, and a willingness to work, you can get started for next to nothing. And from there, you can grow the agency as your skills and experience increase. Once you’ve established yourself as an expert, you can land major “client” work and start charging higher fees.
Running a marketing agency is a great way to gain expertise, establish credibility, and work with high-profile organizations. The key is to find the right niche. While anyone can create a marketing agency and charge any price they want, becoming a marketing specialist in your field (such as SEO, digital marketing, or social media) will put you in a better position to land high-paying work.
What niche should you focus on? The answer is unique to you. Figure out what you can bring to the table that no other agency can, and then optimize your approach to finding work. You’ll be amazed at how many people are willing to pay you to help them market their products or services.
Marketing Agencies And Your Employees
One of the biggest differences between a traditional agency and a virtual agency is how they treat employees. While you may need to satisfy an “agency head” with some “bonuses” and “commissions” to get the job done, you don’t have to satisfy a “client” with the work you do. This gives you the opportunity to be more selective with your employees, ensuring they are “good fit” for the position and can deliver value to your “client”.
What this means is you can have the “best of both worlds”: the benefits of working for a prestigious marketing agency with the individual control and accountability that comes with operating your own business.