How to Build an Online Business – An Online Marketing Expert’s Guide

If you’re looking to build an online business, then welcome to the wonderful world of digital marketing. This article will introduce you to the basics of getting started with an online marketing agency, as well as, share some key tips on how to succeed as a digital marketer.

Choose A Niche

An integral part of successfully establishing an online agency is choosing the right niche. Before you begin your agency, consider the following:

  • What do you know best?
  • What skills do you have?
  • What are your passions?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Who will your clients be?

By answering these questions you will have a clearer picture of what kind of business you want to establish, as well as, what makes you different from others. When establishing your agency, it’s imperative that you choose a niche which you are passionate about in order to ensure that you make the right decisions and ultimately, provide the best possible services to your customers. The key is to find your strengths and weaknesses, as well as, those of your competitors.

Choose A Business Model

While you’re taking the time to flesh out your niche, it’s important to consider the various models of business you will need to establish in order to succeed. Before you begin your agency, you may want to think about the following:

  • Do you want to be a traditional agency, or do you prefer to conduct your business digitally?
  • Do you want to cater to one particular industry, or will your services be accessible to any size business?
  • How will you generate your revenue?
  • Are you willing to provide a free trial or paid membership?
  • Do you want to be accessible via phone or email?
  • Do you want a physical presence on social media (i.e. website, blog, etc.)?
  • Do you want to grow your business via social media? If so, which platforms should you focus on?

It’s important to note that not all businesses will be able to operate solely online. If this is the case, then you might want to consider seeking a traditional agency partner who can offer the benefits of digital marketing.

Determine Your Goals & Objectives

The most effective way to approach goal setting is to set multiple goals and objectives, as well as, track your progress regularly.

Setting measurable goals and objectives is a critical step in ensuring that you are making the right decisions and are taking the right action steps towards achieving your desired results. To establish a measurable goal, you’ll first need to establish a baseline for comparison. This baseline can be anything from an aggregated report on website traffic to a completed sales funnel or e-commerce store.

When establishing your website, it’s important to consider the keywords you will utilize, the landing page experience, as well as, the content you will create. Make a note of how you will track your progress, as well as, what results you are expecting. This will be helpful in setting measurable goals and objectives for your agency.

Determine The Best Way To Communicate

Unlike traditional agencies, which primarily rely on word of mouth and advertising, the modern-day digital marketer has at their disposal a wide range of communications channels, from SEO to PPC, that allow them to efficiently and effectively reach their audience.

As a digital marketing agency, it’s important to choose a way of communicating that is both effective and efficient. While it’s good to spread the word about your business via various forms of advertising, the key is to find the right audience, using the right platform.

With the right audience in mind, it’s important to determine the best way to communicate. Do you prefer to write comprehensive blog posts that garner extensive organic search traffic, or do you want to take the time to build a community of engaged followers on social media?

Before you begin your agency, it’s imperative that you consider the various ways in which you will communicate. It’s also important to establish key benchmarks for measuring your progress, so that you can determine the success of your agency.

Where Do You Want To Be Located?

Another important consideration when establishing a business is where you want to be located. While it’s not critical that you have a physical location, you should consider whether or not one would be beneficial for your agency.

If you are deadset on having an office location, then try to find a small office space that is affordable and suitable for your business.

If you are looking to operate from home, consider the various platforms you will use to manage your agency. Are you going to outsource certain tasks to other countries? If so, make sure you outsource only those tasks that cannot be completed from your home office.

The key is to establish a work environment that is both suitable and conducive to your team’s productivity. While it’s great to have a collaborative environment, it’s important to have a space that is comfortable and inviting.

If you’re looking for inspiration on where to be located, consider visiting a digital marketing agency in your area, and paying a visit to their office space. This way, you’ll have an idea of what you’re getting into and whether or not it’s the right fit for you.

Choose A Team

In addition to choosing the right niche, you’ll also want to consider the various members of your team. If you are looking to establish a successful agency, then you’ll want to choose experienced and talented individuals who can bring something unique to the table.

As a business owner, you’re responsible for providing your team with a working environment where they can thrive and feel comfortable. As a digital marketer, you’ll be responsible for coming up with marketing strategies, as well as, executing these strategies to generate measurable results.

Before you begin your agency, make a note of the following:

  • What are the experience levels of your team members?
  • Are you looking for a specific skill set or experience?
  • What are your financial resources?
  • How will you measure the success of your agency?

Ideally, you’ll want to have a combination of experience and expertise on your team. If you don’t have the time to train your team members, then consider bringing on board an outside contractor to help establish your agency.

Learn From The Best

Once you’ve chosen your team and established a physical location for your agency, it’s time to start educating yourself on the various topics relevant to digital marketing.

One of the best approaches is to follow the footsteps of others who have come before you and take a look at what they did and how they did it, in order to establish the most effective digital marketing agency possible.

Start Small

An essential tip on how to succeed as a digital marketer is to start small.

Establishing a brand new agency from the ground up is a daunting task, as you’ll be taking on the responsibility of coming up with a business strategy, creating brand identity, as well as, educating yourself on digital marketing.

If you’re looking for someone to help establish your agency, consider freelancing and consulting for established businesses in your area. This way you’ll have the opportunity to get your feet wet, while establishing your agency.

The small agency approach is effective for several reasons. First of all, you’ll have the opportunity to test the waters, establish your expertise, and build a portfolio, all while working with relatively few people. Second, you’ll have the opportunity to choose your clients carefully, establish long-term client relationships, and ultimately, grow your business efficiently.

Do Your Research

Another essential piece of advice for those seeking to establish a business is to do your research.

Although the above tips should have you well on your way to establishing a successful agency, it’s important to do your research, especially, if you are venturing into a new industry. This way, you’ll have an idea of what you’re getting into and can be armed with the right information, should you run into any problems.