You’ve landed on a popular blog recently. You’re starting to see some traction and are interested in exploring the next step: becoming an online marketing agency. You want to grow your brand, build up a team, and start charging for services.
If this sounds like you, congratulations! You’re in the right place. You can learn a lot from the experts here, and you can become an expert yourself.
But before you dive in, there are some essential questions you need to ask yourself. How committed are you to this? What is your marketing plan? Does the agency market itself or does it work with clients to grow their business?
Let’s dive in and explore these questions in more detail.
How Much Are You Ready To Invest?
One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is how much are you willing to invest in your new agency? You already have a budget in mind, but how much money are you willing to spend on ads, copywriting, and design?
The number one question you need to ask yourself is, “Do I want to spend this much money on marketing?” If the answer is no, then you’re better off sticking with a solo campaign. Think of your budget and how much you can afford to spend on ads and marketing. Then ask yourself if this is worth it. The answer is likely no.
Do You Have The Right Team In Place?
One of the biggest questions you need to ask yourself as an online marketer is, “Do I have the right people in place?”
There are three crucial areas you need to consider here:
- Your team
- Your support team
As an owner, you need to consider how committed you are to this venture. Do you have the energy to build a marketing agency from the ground up?
Then you need to ask yourself, “Do I have the right people in place to help me fulfill this commitment?” Your employees are a reflection of your commitment to this project. If you’re not sure, then you might want to consider bringing on some freelancers or contractors to get some assistance.
What Is Your Marketing Plan?
While you’re evaluating your own answers to these questions, it’s also important to develop a plan. What does your strategy look like?
A marketing plan is essential for any business, but it’s especially significant for a new agency. You first need to lay out your overarching goals and objectives. Then, you can work on specific tactics to achieve these goals.
Do you want to grow your blog to 500,000 monthly views? Develop a content strategy and work on popularizing long-form content.
Do you want to become the go-to source for all your clients’ digital marketing needs? Design a marketing plan with a goal of having 20% of your client base coming from new business opportunities each month.
Do you want to build a brand for yourself by gaining name recognition in your industry? Design a marketing plan with a goal of increasing your social media accounts’ reach by 20,000 followers.
Your plan is a living thing. You need to constantly review and evaluate its progress. Without a clear plan, it’s easy to lose focus and motivation, which could result in you quitting or the agency failing.
How Do You Market Yourself?
The next question you need to ask yourself is, “How do I market myself?”
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many agencies still operate with an offline marketing approach. That is, they rely heavily on things such as print ads, billboards, and radio spots to reach potential customers.
If this is you, then you need to ask yourself, “Do I want to continue in this direction? What else can I do to attract potential customers?”
While those are still significant ways to reach people, they’re not the only ones. You can and should use social media to connect with consumers. Design a marketing plan with a strategy of having at least 80% of your marketing come from online channels.
The most effective marketing, in my opinion, is brand awareness. When a potential customer hears, sees, or experiences your brand message, they have a better chance of remembering it and connecting with it the next time they need a product or service. Brand awareness can be increased by using things like:
- Product reviews
- How-to guides
- Compare the brand to other competitors
- Community building
- Pricing transparency
- Product demonstrations (e.g. webinars)
- Collaborative content (e.g. blogs, news articles, and social media posts)
How Do You Want To Be Treated By Clients?
The last but not least important question you need to ask yourself is, “How do I want to be treated by clients?”
A few years back, I worked for a company that provided services to funeral homes. We’d get calls from families who needed help with cremations and burials. Sometimes it’d be a simple question, “How much does it cost to cremate?” or “How long does it take?” Sometimes it was, “I’m not sure what type of service I need, can you help?”
It wasn’t unusual for families to ask us to work through problems with the funeral home. They didn’t have a clue what was going on and we often had to explain the process and what they could expect from us.
Our job was to educate them and make the process easier, so they didn’t have to worry about asking the right questions or being overwhelmed by the process. To do this, we developed a process that involved gathering all the essential information, writing up a proposal, and following up with a visit. This visit was both a follow-up to the proposal and a way for us to get to know the family better and establish trust. It was a win-win situation.
The point is, every client you work with has different needs. It’s essential that you develop a process for handling all these different scenarios. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself scrambling to get all the information relevant to the situation at hand.
Along with these questions, you should also ask yourself the following to further evaluate the viability of this agency: