3 Pro Tips to Start Digital Marketing Agency (2022)

3 Pro Tips to Start Digital Marketing Agency (2022)

I’m not going to define what a digital marketing agency means in 2022 or purposes. Well, I’m not writing for search engines. If you were searching for the term, it means you know the basics. So, let’s get started.

You need to have three things in place before starting a marketing agency.

In this article I will talk about agency runway, profit portfolios, and MVA. I will summarize them before I go into the details.

Agency Runway. Ignore or get this part wrong.

It just doesn’t matter how hard you work or hustle. It’s just not going to work out.

Profit Portfolio. Next, you want to start putting together what I call a profit portfolio.

You want to start building this today, right after reading this article. Your profit portfolio is going to be your key to success and is what’s going to enable you to start attracting high-paying clients right away.

Minimum Viable Agency. Lastly, you need to focus on building MVA, the minimum viable agency.

Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of this before. I’ll show you exactly what it means and how you can use it to start building a very profitable digital marketing agency.

So let me tell you how it’s done, starting with the all-important agency Runway.

All Right, buckle up because things are about to get real fast. I’m going to share with you the reasons why most marketing agencies fail that nobody wants to discuss. You can avoid doing all the things that cause them to fail.

3 Common Reasons of Digital Marketing Agency Failure

Outdated Services. The first reason that most marketing agencies fail is very common. Almost all businesses out there fail because they’re offering a service that nobody wants, or at least not anymore. If your marketing agency is planning on helping someone optimize their Myspace or Friendster profiles. You’ve started your journey in the wrong direction.

Less Marketing. The next reason they fail is that they can’t get enough clients. It means they’re not doing enough marketing and not getting in front of the right kind of people.

Financial Mistakes. They fail because of cash flow issues coming into the business, which can be solved by generating more sales but are sometimes also caused by spending too much money on things that don’t result in growth for the business.

For example: Fancy clothes, fancy cars, fancy websites, or other things. Clients only care about results and what you can do for them.

The person starting a marketing agency thinks that most businesses out there need help. But, it also means you will need to spend your time, money, and energy dedicated to building up your marketing and generating your client list.

The good news is that all these potential reasons your agency can fail can be solved by building an agency Runway.

Note: All images credits goes to xvola.com

What an agency Runway looks like

If you’ve ever watched an airplane take off before, you’ve probably seen them spending a decent time on the ground building up speed before they take off and fly. The bigger the plane, the longer they need to spend on the ground to build up that speed, so that they take off.

The same is true for your agency.

Sure, you can just dive in right now and call yourself an agency. That’s actually what most do, but it isn’t the smartest plan.

Instead, here are the few things you want to do right now.

1. Focus on building a network.

There’s an old business expression that says: “it’s not what you know it’s who you know.”

It’s true, though. A better version would be, “it’s what you know and who you know.”

Because you have to know what you’re doing, the point is that relationships go a long way.

So, reach out to friends, family, and other groups you’re a part of, even if just to plant the seed, and let them know what you plan to do.

2. Warm Leads List

Next, use your network to start having conversations and building a warm leads list. A warm leads list will be a list of people in your circle which can be interested in your agency’s services.

These people you know run businesses, work for companies or even thinking about starting a business.

A list of people you can reach out to and get started with is a huge boost when you first launch.

3. Start Saving Right Now

It’s time for some financial advice: start saving now.

The more money you save, the longer your runway will be. It will allow you to build up even more speed and fly, maybe even twice as high.

Depending on who you ask, the amount of money you’re going to need can be anywhere from 3 to 6 months, all the way up to a year.

The more specific number will be whatever you feel most comfortable with.

I wish I had done it when I first got into digital marketing. I was a relationship manager in a bank, and I quit just to dive into marketing.

Unless you’re literally at your breaking point with your current career, there’s no reason that you can’t start to build your marketing agency on the side while still keeping your main job.

This will help take some of the stress out of starting an agency for the first time and give you more time to build up the skills, network, and experience you may need.

That said, it does take some of the pressure out and make things work, which may or may not be a good thing depending on what kind of person you are. (Only if you are not I will do it tomorrow person0

Well, maybe you will procrastinate and never get around to starting the agency you always dreamed of, which is not good.

Whatever the case, there is something else that you want to have before starting your agency.

This one thing has probably made a positive impact for all marketers, and that is:

Building a Profit Portfolio

I want you to think of a profit portfolio as a resume or CV. But for entrepreneur agency owners, it’s essentially a place or collection of places where you showcase your knowledge, skills, experience, expertise, and results.

If you’re just starting and don’t have any of these yet.

I’ll show you how to get them in just a second, but it’s essential to go back in time just a little bit when talking about the only thing your clients care about.

So, let’s do that now.

Clients only care about results and what you can do for them.

The main goal of building a profitable portfolio is to show clients that you can get them the result. 

If you’re fortunate enough to have been doing marketing for any business. The odds are good that you probably have something you’ve done that’s resulted in some kind of positive outcome.

For example:

  • Maybe you’ve added things to a website
  • Optimized a social media profile.
  • Increase the website’s ranking
  • Created some kind of content or anything.

But even if not, you can still do many things right now to start putting the pieces together and building an effective and client-generating profit portfolio.

1. Start Creating Content

First, you need to start creating content. It can be social media posts, videos, podcasts, articles, or anything you can think of.

If you want to shortcut your agency growth curve, you need to put yourself out there and start creating content and talk about the marketing topic sticks and subjects that your potential clients care about.

That’s cool.

We’ll start somewhere where you can still share Ideas, stories, quotes, and things you’ve learned from books, videos, and leaders in the marketing space.

The big thing here is to make sure that you cite the person you’re quoting and give them credit because this is critical for legal issues and helps you leverage the authority that they’ve built.

2. Find Opportunities

You can also start to take a look around for different marketing opportunities.

For example, if you’re currently working a standard 9 to 5 job:

  • Are there any marketing opportunities in the current job?
  • Or the work environment that you’re in, can you take on some additional work to get experience?

Create a Case Study

Create a case study showing the results you were able to get.

Can you take over the social media accounts, look at posting, managing, or doing something else to grow them?

3. Document, Don’t create.

Gary Is famous for coming up with this next strategy, but his approach to creating content is pretty powerful.

It’s all about the document, Don’t create.

I like to keep a pen and paper around with me.

I’m an old-school person, but your smartphones would work fine. The idea is to capture thoughts, opinions, ideas, or anything you come across.

4. Friends, Family, and Free.

Another place to beef up your profit portfolio is the three Fs.

By asking if any of your friends have businesses or know people that have companies that would benefit from marketing.

Same with your family, and here’s the kicker offering to do it for free.

Yes, free.

This is because profit and revenue aren’t the main objectives at this stage. Instead, what you’re after are case studies and testimonials.

You can leverage the results and proof of what you’re doing later to get higher-paying clients once you have that in place.

Minimum Viable Agency

It’s time to move on to the next part, the MVA.

The MVA stands for the minimum viable agency. Let’s talk about that now!

When people start learning, they want to know everything they can and make this new business work.

They don’t like going back to old jobs.

Unfortunately, many books and courses offer outdated suggestions about what is required to start a business.

People waste a lot of time, money, and energy on things that don’t matter, like getting a fax machine, or doing email marketing the wrong way.

As you may remember from earlier, clients only care about results and what you can do for them. 

So, this is where your efforts need to go. First, let’s talk about:

1. Skills

This should not come as a surprise, but if you want to start a marketing agency, you need to know how to do marketing.

You don’t need to be an expert in all things across marketing when you first get started.

But, you need to make sure you’re investing time, money, and energy in mastering the basics, the fundamentals, the principles, and the things that will help you and your agency thrive.

2. Common Mistake

The mistake many people make when they’re first starting agencies is thinking they can outsource everything by hiring a freelancer on Fiverr or Upwork and getting them to do everything.

When you’re first getting started and don’t know what you’re doing, it’s hard to tell the difference between a good freelancer and a bad freelancer.

That’s not a risk that you want to take. This is why the focus here needs to be on getting better as a marketer and focusing on your agency’s sweet spot.

This is where your skills, your interests, and market demand all overlap.

Your interests can be anything in marketing.

From social media to content creation, to analytics to web development, understanding what you find most interesting in marketing will develop skills in those areas. Then, all you need to do is match up your skills with areas that the market, your customers, and your potential clients are willing to pay for.

And right now, there are many marketing areas, brands, and businesses that need help with and are willing to pay top dollar for. So. here’s some advice on that and some places that you may want to consider looking into:

What services is your agency going to offer? It is one of the most important strategic decisions you will make as an agency owner.

I appreciate it when I say it. It makes it sound terrifying, extensive, and scary. So, here’s the good news: what you start offering will likely be very different from what you offer later down the road as you get more skills and experience and end up working with more and more kinds of clients.

Here’s a perfect place to get started. There will always be businesses requiring new leads, calling, clicking, and coming in the door; local service-based businesses like HVAC plumbing, roofing, and solar are good examples.

You can run Facebook ads, and lead generating campaigns can work well.

If you’re more into content creation, video continues to become more and more important.

Skills like scripting, recording, editing, posting, and optimizing videos are valuable. If your thing is writing, then email marketing specifically for e-commerce businesses right now is a huge and very profitable niche.

Another area that isn’t going away anytime soon is SEO or search engine optimization, where you help a business improve its website or content so it appears higher on the search engines when someone is searching for that term.

According to LinkedIn marketers, digital marketing is the most demanded job in the world as shown in image below:


Next, let’s talk about your marketing.

What do you need to get started?

Here’s the deal. When you’re first getting started, you don’t need a fancy website, a fancy logo, or anything.

You need to be presentable and professional, which means having a clean, simple, easy-to-navigate website, and a couple of social media platforms where you are active.

Regarding naming your new marketing agency, there is nothing wrong with giving it your very own name.

Using your name rather than trying to come up with some new and creative marketing agency name can be a significant competitive advantage.

Most people like doing business with people, not faceless mega-corporations.

We view people as more trustworthy than just those giant companies. So, putting your name and face on your business and showing that you’re a genuine person that stands behind your work.

But, whatever name you choose, make sure you get a custom domain name and URL and matching email address to go along with it. This is incredibly important, so you’re not sending potential clients emails from ilovemymom@gmail.com.