Few business types will continue to grow in demand for the next few years, and digital marketing is one of them. As the years go on and as technology continues to advance, more and more people will fancy themselves business people and entrepreneurs, starting new companies from the ground up. These visionaries will need marketing experts that can work with them hand-in-hand in building their empires.
If you have substantial experience as a digital marketing professional and want to start your own consulting agency, here are some tips to get started.
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If you are starting a consulting agency alone, you need to be a contractor before becoming a founder. It’s OK to start everything from the ground up—from a list of clientele to building your reputation as a digital marketing professional that companies and brands can trust. As they say, slow and steady wins the race, and building strong foundations always takes the longest.
Find some contracting work on the side, and don’t be afraid to partner with smaller businesses and startups since they are the ones who are more likely to have smaller budgets for digital marketing. If you’re a beginner working with other upstarts, you can all climb to the top together, slowly but surely. Starting small will allow you to make mistakes without risking too much, and the relationships and connections you build will be deeper and invaluable, too.
Establish a business model
Once you’ve created a portfolio you can be proud of and built a relationship with the right companies and brands, consider developing a business model that will establish how you will bill clients for the service you provide. Here are some examples:
- Flat retainer, or the amount your client is willing to spend every month to keep you as a retainer
- Commission-based, or a business model wherein your clients only pay you when they make money off a sale
- Percentage of spend, which is something you can implement as your consulting agency grows—this one is all about taking into consideration how a client can grow
Get your financial and operational ducks in order
One of the biggest advantages of starting as an independent contractor is that your overhead costs are on the lower end. But as you start gaining more clients and more work, you might need to invest more to ensure that the quality of your service does not stagnate. Consider setting aside a budget for investments such as reliable laptops, tablets, and the best computer cloud backup in the market. The last thing you want is to lose access to your clients’ pertinent information and every type of work you have created for them, and having an online backup will help you feel secure in the knowledge that you can access your work files from any device at any point in time, even if your work gadgets fall apart.
You also need to understand how taxes work. Doing taxes is probably one of the least sexy parts of launching a business, but it’s important if you want to ensure that everything you do in your new consulting firm is above board.
Find a niche
With the rise of so many new businesses also comes the rise of digital marketing agencies across the world. The sooner you accept that you will have plenty of competition, the sooner you will be able to embrace the fact that your agency needs to have a unique selling point to stand out from consulting agencies that come a dime a dozen. Here are the benefits of finding an area of specialization in your agency:
- It boosts your skill set and prevents you from being a jack of all trades, master of none. You may be able to come up with a solid digital marketing strategy, write engaging content, and create excellent graphic design, but being a one-person show will burn you out before you even get to new clients.
- Having a niche gives you a competitive edge over other agencies. Being a digital marketing consultant that knows more about a specific niche will help you position yourself as the go-to person for that specific area of need, giving you another layer of reliability and trust that usually gets lost in the industry.
If you have the skills and passion to help businesses market and promote their brands online and have a keen understanding of trends in the digital world, you might be uniquely positioned to start a digital marketing agency. Research, work hard, and build connections, and you will never go wrong.Meta title: How to Start a Digital Marketing Consulting Company
meta desc: If you have substantial experience as a digital marketing professional and want to start your own consulting agency, here are some tips to get started.