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How To Start And Run a Digital Marketing Agency Business in 2024

Picture a business realm that is continuously growing each year with no doubt; without slowing down. Yes, we are talking about the digital marketing agency business.

The digital marketing agency business is expected to grow in the coming years. According to a report by Statista, the global digital advertising market is predicted to reach $1 trillion by 2027. That’s also making 2023 a great time to start your own agency. But with so many digital marketing agencies out there (including AI agencies ), how do you make yours stand out?

Read on to discover how to break into the marketing world and watch those big checks fly in. 

New in Town: How to Start a Successful Digital Marketing Agency?

Ready to join a rapidly growing industry with a lot of potential? Rule one: Starting a new business is never easy, and the digital marketing industry is no exception.

Just after deciding you will set your heart on it, the first thing you need to consider is what type of digital marketing services you want to offer. What industries do you want to work with? It’s a quite crucial step to successfully define your niche early & focus your marketing efforts and attract the right clients.

Next step? Keep reading.

Quick Tips for Success

From carving out your niche to mastering the art of online marketing, you may need some tips before setting up your own digital agency . In other words, before diving in, it’s crucial to cross your T’s and dot your I’s by conducting thorough research and crafting a well-thought-out business plan .

Let’s make it together.

  • Tip #1: Educate Yourself

Before leaping, it’s undoubtedly important to lay a solid basis of knowledge and understanding. Much like some of the most prosperous people in the world, who never quit learning, you may want to prioritize your professional knowledge via education.

dan-institute-digital-marketing-courses-january-2021-banner-2-for -listings

At this point, it’s a good call to begin by immersing yourself in the world of digital marketing for agencies . Explore online courses & resources offered by well-known institutions to enhance your digital skills plus industry know-how. Investing your resources in continuous learning and grasping the nuances of this dynamic industry will pay off handsomely in your journey ahead.

  • Tip #2: Conduct A Competitive Analysis

As you already know, having a clear picture of where you stand compared to your competitors is like having a detailed map to drive your entire journey. When you analyze your competitors, you are discovering how to keep pace and leap ahead.

For a complete competitor analysis, focusing on the keywords required for your business’s online presence is a good call. Think of these keywords as the markers that direct customers to your business & those of your competitors. For instance, in case you’re in the e-commerce sector, consider how often keywords like “online shopping” or “best deals” appear in your competitors’ content.

@shopify want more eyes on your biz on TikTok? get more exposure with these 3 quick SEO tips: strong keywords, user searches, and trends. you can also include keywords in your voiceover, on-screen text, or captions. #TikTokSEO #smallbusinessowner #businesstips #ecommercebusiness #entrepreneur ♬ original sound – Shopify

While doing that analysis, do not hesitate to narrow your focus to about 10-15 key competitors which share the same digital landscape with you. In the same manner, diving into how your competitors generate their income provides you with detailed insights. So much so that, by dissecting their monetization strategies, you gain an insider’s view of what’s driving their success.

Some examples of monetization methods are:

  • Donation, commission, coaching,
  • Selling a digital or physical product,
  • Lead generation, affiliate sales, advertising.

Once you unravel authorized competitors’ tactics, the next step is to uncover their content marketing strategy. Check out their blog posts, social media accounts, and SEO efforts. Are they using podcasts, blogs, or videos to connect with their audience?

Following that, study their communication style with their customer base. Are they adopting a friendly and informal tone, or do they maintain a more professional style? This analysis will give you a sense of how they build relationships with their current & target audience. Take Hubspot as an example when it comes to bold content strategy:

@hubspot It’s not magic. It’s HubSpot. #hubspot #goodbossenergy #corporatetok ♬ Keyboard_typing sound(894890) – keiichiro Akamine
  • #Tip 3: Set a Business Model 

When it comes to billing your clients, there are various methods to consider, and the choice is yours. One option is the hourly rate, which is good for one-off tasks. However, as your business scales up, managing this billing method can become more complicated.

Another pricing model is the balanced retainer, where you charge a fixed monthly fee; it’s important to set clear terms, especially regarding early terminations or adjustments in client requirements.

Alternatively, you might opt for a percentage-based model, tying your compensation to your client’s spending. This approach ensures that your digital agency is rewarded for your efforts. To determine which pricing model suits your business best, you can also refer to our digital agency pricing guide for more insights.

How to Run a Digital Marketing Agency?

Let us start with a fact about running a digital agency: Keeping clients happy and engaged over the long term. So, the efforts to fix it are the actual answer to how to run a digital agency in 2023.

As we mentioned before, the digital marketing industry is extremely competitive, with many agencies vying for the same clients. In this section, we’ll be focusing on the best practices.

  • Network with Potential Clients

Since the very first stages of marketing & sales, networking has been a great way to meet new people and build relationships and position your agency as a thought leader in the industry. It’s still true.

As a “new” agency owner, networking gives you a chance to share your expertise and insights with potential clients. This can also help you position your agency as a thought leader in the industry and attract more high-quality clients. Attending industry events , joining online communities, delivering valuable content resonating with your target audience, and reaching out to potential clients directly are just a few ways of networking.

  • Offer Free Talks

When compared to networking, giving free talks (consultation) is a more indirect way to communicate with prospects; however, it also works!

While running a digital agency, the ultimate goal is to position yourself as a thought leader in the industry and attract new leads. Giving free talks through webinars and other trendy educational content is a great way to do this.

  • Expand Your Service Offerings

As the entire marketing ecosystem knows, prospects and current clients demand a “one-stop shop” for all of their digital marketing needs. By offering a wider range of services, you can meet their needs while differentiating yourself/your agency from the competition.

Expanding your services also helps you increase your revenue potential. At that point, remember that trying to offer a wide range of services can be tricky if you do not have an extended team of professionals.

  • Benefit from Resources for Digital Marketing Agency Owners

Taking advantage of valuable resources for digital marketing agency owners is another great approach to growing your business. In 2023, fortunately, there are several numbers of platforms and associations offering a variety of resources, including the American Marketing Association (AMA), the Digital Marketing Association (DMA), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Additionally, you can find online communities (like our platform, Digital Agency Network – DAN) and industry publications to learn new skills and stay ahead of the curve.

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How to Develop a Winning Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan

In addition to building a team of experienced professionals, focusing on a niche market, and deciding on digital marketing tools and tech that will be used, opening and running an agency requires a clear vision and a solid business plan.

In this section, we will provide you with all the information you need to develop a winning digital marketing agency business plan.

What are the Key Challenges Facing Digital Marketing Agencies in 2023?

(and how can they be overcome through a business plan ).

First thing first: An all-around business plan for digital agencies must address the following components: Vision and mission, target market, competition analysis, objectives, financial plan, team composition, technology infrastructure, and essential tools. Each of these also is linked to the various challenges within the digital marketing industry.

And challenges which digital marketing agencies are up against?

First off, it’s a crowded field, with lots of agencies all going after the same clients. Don’t forget that digital marketing trends and tech are always evolving, and it requires keeping up to stay in the game. Plus, figuring out the ROI for the marketing campaigns can be like solving a puzzle. And yes, measuring ROI is not a picnic; it can be tricky sometimes. However, it is possible to track the progress closely by setting clear goals for each marketing campaign published and using various metrics like website traffic, lead generation, sales conversions, and so on.

When it comes to data privacy and security (another bold challenge in the digital realm), having a bold policy in place and making sure handling data safely is a good call.

Having a well-built business plan helps you find out who your target audience is and how to reach them most suitably and effectively. In the same manner, defining your unique selling points and clients’ pain points sets you apart from the competition. While doing that, it is also important to set realistic and measurable objectives and manage your finances effectively.

And finally, your marketing plan outlines your strategies for reaching new clients, which is vital in a constantly changing landscape. So, with a well-thought-out business plan, you can be better equipped to face the challenges and thrive in the world of digital marketing.

How to Deliver High-Quality Services

Time to dive into tips for delivering high-quality digital marketing services.

  • Staying up-to-date on The Digital Marketing Trends and Best Practices

It’s a no-brainer for agencies to stay in the know about digital marketing trends & best practices, and the reasons are crystal clear. Firstly, the digital marketing arena is in a state of flux, with fresh technologies, tools, and trends emerging. For agencies, keeping a finger on the pulse of these developments is a surefire way to attract new customers. Secondly, prospects today expect their agencies to be not just service providers but also knowledgeable partners who can help them achieve their marketing goals.

Keeping pace with marketing trends also helps you generate leads wisely. For instance, starting a YouTube channel is a great way to generate leads – if it resonates with your target audience (no doubt that you’ll want to have your  target customer  in mind.) In case you have a YouTube channel, make sure to regularly publish video content to generate leads; some publishing ideas are case studies, hot marketing topics, how-to’s, and reviews from clients. 

start a digital marketing agency business plan & documents

Another method is to do affiliate marketing. When you partner with affiliates, you can then expand your network and find potential prospects. You can also do cold emails, but be careful with this method so you don’t come off as spam. 

If you consider all those above mentioned and start generating leads, before things get complicated, you should implement an agency management solution into your system to run your operations more effectively. We have made a good selection of the best agency management software for your agency.

  • Developing a Process for Delivering Services

Creating a smooth service delivery process is another must for digital marketing agencies. This well-structured process ensures that customers receive consistent, high-quality services, no matter who’s handling the project.

Starting by identifying the necessary steps for each service you offer is a good call. After deciding on what tasks are essential to provide top-notch service, try to document each step in detail so that everyone on your team knows what needs to be done and how to do it.

You can also assign specific roles to your team members and develop a timeline for each step to expectations for completion. Additionally, you may want to put quality control measures in place to make sure the work meets your agency’s standards.

  • Communicating regularly with clients and providing updates on progress

Speaking of building trust and ensuring everyone’s on the same page, regular communication with clients is a must for digital marketing agencies.

To develop a regular dialogue, starting by setting clear expectations with clients from the outset is a good approach. In the initial discussions, discover how often clients would like to receive updates and what specific info they prefer to be kept abreast of.

Waiting for clients to request updates is far from ideal; instead, take the initiative to reach out regularly, providing insights into the project’s progress. In case any problems or delays rear their heads, it’s paramount to convey these to clients as soon as they emerge. Honesty is the best policy here.

Absolute Must: Taking Advantage of AI While Running Your Digital Agency

It’s high time to discuss how AI in digital marketing delivers high-quality services. We will cover a variety of topics, including personalization, automation, insights, and creativity.

The talk of the town, AI is a great helper to deliver high-quality digital marketing services. From personalizing campaigns to automating tasks, AI can improve the results and achieve your business objectives.

As an owner of a digital agency, you (and your team) can use AI use to revolutionize your marketing strategy – personalize marketing campaigns and messaging, making them more relevant and effective for individual customers. In addition to the ability to recommend services to customers based on their past behaviors, via AI, you can segment email lists, create personalized landing pages, and more.

What’s more, AI frees up your time by giving you a chance to automate repetitive tasks, such as social media posting and email marketing. As a result, you can focus on more strategic tasks, such as developing creative campaigns and analyzing data.

Speaking of analyzing data, AI also generates insights into customer behavior and market trends. This information can be used to develop more effective marketing strategies.

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How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency

digital marketing business plan

Starting a digital marketing agency can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful digital marketing agency.

Importantly, a critical step in starting a digital marketing agency is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here .

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here

14 Steps To Start a Digital Marketing Agency :

  • Choose the Name for Your Digital Marketing Agency
  • Develop Your Digital Marketing Business Plan
  • Choose the Legal Structure for Your Digital Marketing Agency
  • Secure Startup Funding for Your Digital Marketing Agency (If Needed)
  • Secure a Location for Your Business
  • Register Your Digital Marketing Agency with the IRS
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get a Business Credit Card
  • Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
  • Get Business Insurance for Your Digital Marketing Agency
  • Buy or Lease the Right Digital Marketing Agency Equipment
  • Develop Your Digital Marketing Agency Marketing Materials
  • Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Digital Marketing Agency
  • Open for Business

1. Choose the Name for Your Digital Marketing Agency

The first step to starting a digital marketing agency business plan is to choose your business’ name.  

This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your digital marketing agency:

  • Make sure the name is available . Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
  • Keep it simple . The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
  • Think about marketing . Come up with a name that reflects the desired brand and/or focus of your digita digital marketing agency.

2. Develop Your Digital Marketing Agency Plan

One of the most important steps in starting a digital marketing agency is to develop your digital marketing agency business plan . The process of creating your plan ensures that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.

Your business plan should include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your digital marketing agency business.
  • Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your digital marketing agency and what type of digital marketing agency you operate. For example, are you a Search engine optimization (SEO) firm, Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising agencies, or Social media marketing (SMM) agencies. Each type of agency specializes in a different area of online marketing.
  • Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the digital marketing industry. Conduct market research and document how big the industry is and what market trends are affecting it.
  • Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or target customers are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when purchasing services like the ones you will offer?
  • Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
  • Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
  • Product : Determine and document what products/services you will offer 
  • Prices : Document the prices of your products/services
  • Place : Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
  • Promotions : What promotional methods will you use to attract customers to your digital marketing agency? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
  • Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
  • Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
  • Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
  • What startup costs will you incur?
  • How will your digital marketing agency make money?
  • What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
  • Do you need to raise funding to launch your business?

3. Choose the Legal Structure for Your Digital Marketing Agency

Next you need to choose a legal structure for your digital marketing agency and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.

Below are the five most common legal structures:

1) Sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the owner of the digital marketing agency and the business are the same legal person. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.

2) Partnerships

A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small businesses. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start a digital marketing agency together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business. 

The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.

3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for a digital marketing agency include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.

4) C Corporation

A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for a digital marketing agency is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.

5) S Corporation

An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.

Once you register your digital marketing agency, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.

4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Digital Marketing Agency (If Needed)

In developing your digital marketing business plan , you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business. 

If so, the main sources of funding for a digital marketing agency to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in a digital marketing agency that they believe has high potential for growth.

5. Secure a Location for Your Business

Having the right space can be important for your digital marketing agency, particularly if you’d like to meet clients there.

To find the right space, consider:

  • Driving around to find the right areas while looking for “for lease” signs
  • Contacting a commercial real estate agent
  • Doing commercial real estate searches online
  • Telling others about your needs and seeing if someone in your network has a connection that can help you find the right space

6. Register Your Digital Marketing Agency with the IRS

Next, you need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.

Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.

7. Open a Business Bank Account

It is important to establish a bank account in your digital marketing agency’ name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:

  • Identify and contact the bank you want to use
  • Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
  • Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
  • Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them

8. Get a Business Credit Card

You should get a business credit card for your digital marketing agency to help you separate personal and business expenses.

You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.

When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.

Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.

9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits

To start a digital marketing agency, you’ll need to obtain the following licenses and permits:

  • Business license: A business license is required to operate any type of business. Contact your local government office for more information.
  • Sales tax permit: A sales tax permit is required to collect sales tax from customers. Contact your local government office for more information.
  • Worker’s compensation insurance: Worker’s compensation insurance is required to protect employees in the event of an accident or injury on the job. Contact your local insurance agent for more information.
  • Professional liability insurance: Professional liability insurance protects you in the event that a client sues you for professional negligence. Contact your local insurance agent for more information.

10. Get Business Insurance for Your Digital Marketing Agency

Other business insurance policies that you should consider for your digital marketing agency include:

  • General liability insurance : This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance : If you have employees, this type of policy works with your general liability policy to protect against workplace injuries and accidents. It also covers medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Business interruption insurance : This covers lost income and expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered event.
  • Professional liability insurance : This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.

Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs. 

11. Buy or Lease the Right Digital Marketing Agency Equipment

A computer and an internet connection are essential for any digital marketing business. You’ll also need some software, such as word processing and spreadsheet software, to create marketing materials and track data. Graphic design software can also be helpful for creating website graphics or designing marketing emails.

12. Develop Your Digital Marketing Agency Marketing Materials

Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your digital marketing agency.

The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:

  • Logo : Spend some time developing a good logo for your digital marketing agency. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your brand.
  • Website : Likewise, a professional digital marketing agency business website provides potential customers with information about the products and/or services you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your website will affect how customers perceive you.
  • Social Media Accounts : establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media platforms will help customers and others find and interact with your digital marketing agency.

13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Digital Marketing Agency

You need to have a computer with internet access and some digital marketing software. The most important software is a web browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, and an email client, such as Outlook or Gmail. You will also need some digital marketing tools, such as a search engine optimization tool, a social media management tool, and a website builder.

14. Open for Business

You are now ready to open your digital marketing agency. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.

How to Finish Your Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan in 1 Day!

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With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency FAQs

Is it hard to start a digital marketing agency.

No, it's not hard to start a digital marketing agency. However, there are some key steps you need to take to ensure your business is successful.

First, you need to decide what services you want to offer. There are many different types of digital marketing services, so you need to find a niche that you're interested in and knowledgeable about. Next, create a website and/or blog that promotes your services. Make sure your website is professional and easy to navigate. You should also include testimonials from clients on your website.

Once your website is up and running, start actively marketing your services online. reach out to prospective clients through social media, email campaigns, or telemarketing. You can also offer free consultations or white papers on digital marketing topics on your website or blog to attract attention from potential clients.

Finally, make sure you have a clear pricing structure for your services. You don't want to undercharge or overcharge for your services, so be sure to do your research on pricing before setting your rates.

How can I start a digital marketing agency with no experience?

There are a few key things you need to do in order to start a digital marketing business with no experience. First, you need to research the industry and learn about the different types of digital marketing. Then, you need to create a business plan and determine your target market. Next, you need to set up your marketing infrastructure, including a website and social media accounts. Finally, you need to market your business and create leads.

What type of digital marketing agency is most profitable?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the profitability of a digital marketing agency will vary depending on the services it offers and the markets it targets. However, some types of digital marketing agencies are more profitable than others.

For example, agencies that specialize in search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC) tend to be more profitable than those that offer only web design and development services. This is because SEO and PPC are more complex and expensive to execute than other forms of online marketing, such as website design and development.

Another type of digital marketing agency that is typically more profitable is one that specializes in social media marketing. This is because social media is a rapidly growing channel, and businesses are increasingly turning to social media to reach new customers and grow their businesses.

How much does it cost to start a digital marketing agency?

That depends on a lot of factors, such as the size of your agency, the services you offer, and the location of your business. However, on average, you can expect to spend between $10,000 and $30,000 to get your business up and running.

There are a few things you'll need to get started:

  • A website - This is where your customers will go to learn more about your business and services.
  • A logo - This will help your customers remember who you are and what you do.
  • Business cards - When meeting potential clients, you'll want to have something to hand out with your contact information.
  • A marketing plan - This will outline your marketing strategy and how you plan to attract new customers.

What are the ongoing expenses for a digital marketing agency?

The ongoing expenses for a digital marketing agency can vary depending on the size of the company, the services offered, and the location. However, some of the most common expenses include:

  • Web hosting: This is typically a monthly expense and is necessary to host a company's website.
  • Domain name registration: A domain name is the web address of a company's website and needs to be registered annually.
  • Marketing software: This can be a monthly or annual expense and includes software like Photoshop, InDesign, and Dreamweaver.
  • Website design: A professional website design can cost several thousand dollars, but it's an important investment for any marketing agency.
  • Employee salaries: Depending on the size of the agency, salaries for employees can range from a few hundred dollars per month to several thousand dollars per month.

How does a digital marketing agency make money?

Digital marketing agencies make money through a variety of services that they offer to their clients. These services can include things like website development, SEO, social media marketing, and PPC advertising. Many agencies also offer consulting services, which can help businesses with overall marketing strategy and planning. Additionally, many agencies partner with other companies to offer more comprehensive services that include both digital and traditional marketing strategies.

Is owning a digital marketing agency profitable?

There is no one definitive answer to this question. Whether or not a digital marketing agency is profitable depends on a number of factors, including the size and location of the agency, the services it provides, and the competition in the market. However, digital marketing is a growing industry, and there are opportunities for agencies that are well-managed and provide high-quality services.

Why do digital marketing agencies fail?

Digital marketing agencies can fail for a number of reasons, but the most common are a lack of experience, poor planning, and not having a niche. A lack of experience can be detrimental because it means the agency doesn't have the knowledge or skillset to carry out successful campaigns. Poor planning typically results in inefficient use of resources and can lead to missed opportunities. And finally, not having a niche can make it difficult for an agency to stand out from the competition.

Where Can I Download a Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan PDF?

You can download our digital marketing agency business plan PDF template here. This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Business Plan Template & Guide For Small Businesses

Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan Template & Guidebook

Starting a digital marketing agency is an exciting endeavor requiring commitment and planning, and having a comprehensive business plan template and guidebook is essential for entrepreneurs to succeed. The #1 Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan Template & Guidebook is an invaluable resource designed to help turn your dreams into reality, offering detailed instructions on everything from naming your business to managing revenue. Get ready to hit the ground running with this comprehensive roadmap to success!

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  • How to Start a Profitable Digital Marketing Agency Business [11 Steps]

How to Write a Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan in 7 Steps:

1. describe the purpose of your digital marketing agency business..

The first step to writing your business plan is to describe the purpose of your digital marketing agency business. This includes describing why you are starting this type of business, and what problems it will solve for customers. This is a quick way to get your mind thinking about the customers’ problems. It also helps you identify what makes your business different from others in its industry.

It also helps to include a vision statement so that readers can understand what type of company you want to build.

Here is an example of a purpose mission statement for a digital marketing agency business:

Our mission at [Digital Marketing Agency] is to provide professional and innovative digital marketing solutions that create significant value to our clients, promote their businesses and increase their online visibility. We strive to be the leading digital marketing agency in [geographic area], offering our clients the best possible customer service with results-driven solutions.

Image of Zenbusiness business formation

2. Products & Services Offered by Your Digital Marketing Agency Business.

The next step is to outline your products and services for your digital marketing agency business. 

When you think about the products and services that you offer, it's helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my business?
  • What are the products and/or services that I offer?
  • Why am I offering these particular products and/or services?
  • How do I differentiate myself from competitors with similar offerings?
  • How will I market my products and services?

You may want to do a comparison of your business plan against those of other competitors in the area, or even with online reviews. This way, you can find out what people like about them and what they don’t like, so that you can either improve upon their offerings or avoid doing so altogether.

Image of Zenbusiness business formation

3. Build a Creative Marketing Stratgey.

If you don't have a marketing plan for your digital marketing agency business, it's time to write one. Your marketing plan should be part of your business plan and be a roadmap to your goals. 

A good marketing plan for your digital marketing agency business includes the following elements:

Target market

  • Who is your target market?
  • What do these customers have in common?
  • How many of them are there?
  • How can you best reach them with your message or product?

Customer base 

  • Who are your current customers? 
  • Where did they come from (i.e., referrals)?
  • How can their experience with your digital marketing agency business help make them repeat customers, consumers, visitors, subscribers, or advocates for other people in their network or industry who might also benefit from using this service, product, or brand?

Product or service description

  • How does it work, what features does it have, and what are its benefits?
  • Can anyone use this product or service regardless of age or gender?
  • Can anyone visually see themselves using this product or service?
  • How will they feel when they do so? If so, how long will the feeling last after purchasing (or trying) the product/service for the first time?

Competitive analysis

  • Which companies are competing with yours today (and why)? 
  • Which ones may enter into competition with yours tomorrow if they find out about it now through word-of-mouth advertising; social media networks; friends' recommendations; etc.)
  • What specific advantages does each competitor offer over yours currently?

Marketing channels

  • Which marketing channel do you intend to leverage to attract new customers?
  • What is your estimated marketing budget needed?
  • What is the projected cost to acquire a new customer?
  • How many of your customers do you instead will return?

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start a digital marketing agency business plan & documents

4. Write Your Operational Plan.

Next, you'll need to build your operational plan. This section describes the type of business you'll be running, and includes the steps involved in your operations. 

In it, you should list:

  • The equipment and facilities needed
  • Who will be involved in the business (employees, contractors)
  • Financial requirements for each step
  • Milestones & KPIs
  • Location of your business
  • Zoning & permits required for the business

What equipment, supplies, or permits are needed to run a digital marketing agency business?

  • Computer and other tech equipment
  • Internet connection
  • Office space and furnishing
  • Digital marketing software and tools
  • Accounting and bookkeeping software
  • Business licenses and permits (if applicable)
  • Advertising budget for paid campaigns

5. Management & Organization of Your Digital Marketing Agency Business.

The second part of your digital marketing agency business plan is to develop a management and organization section.

This section will cover all of the following:

  • How many employees you need in order to run your digital marketing agency business. This should include the roles they will play (for example, one person may be responsible for managing administrative duties while another might be in charge of customer service).
  • The structure of your management team. The higher-ups like yourself should be able to delegate tasks through lower-level managers who are directly responsible for their given department (inventory and sales, etc.).
  • How you’re going to make sure that everyone on board is doing their job well. You’ll want check-ins with employees regularly so they have time to ask questions or voice concerns if needed; this also gives you time to offer support where necessary while staying informed on how things are going within individual departments too!

6. Digital Marketing Agency Business Startup Expenses & Captial Needed.

This section should be broken down by month and year. If you are still in the planning stage of your business, it may be helpful to estimate how much money will be needed each month until you reach profitability.

Typically, expenses for your business can be broken into a few basic categories:

Startup Costs

Startup costs are typically the first expenses you will incur when beginning an enterprise. These include legal fees, accounting expenses, and other costs associated with getting your business off the ground. The amount of money needed to start a digital marketing agency business varies based on many different variables, but below are a few different types of startup costs for a digital marketing agency business.

Running & Operating Costs

Running costs refer to ongoing expenses related directly with operating your business over time like electricity bills or salaries paid out each month. These types of expenses will vary greatly depending on multiple variables such as location, team size, utility costs, etc.

Marketing & Sales Expenses

You should include any costs associated with marketing and sales, such as advertising and promotions, website design or maintenance. Also, consider any additional expenses that may be incurred if you decide to launch a new product or service line. For example, if your digital marketing agency business has an existing website that needs an upgrade in order to sell more products or services, then this should be listed here.

7. Financial Plan & Projections

A financial plan is an important part of any business plan, as it outlines how the business will generate revenue and profit, and how it will use that profit to grow and sustain itself. To devise a financial plan for your digital marketing agency business, you will need to consider a number of factors, including your start-up costs, operating costs, projected revenue, and expenses. 

Here are some steps you can follow to devise a financial plan for your digital marketing agency business plan:

  • Determine your start-up costs: This will include the cost of purchasing or leasing the space where you will operate your business, as well as the cost of buying or leasing any equipment or supplies that you need to start the business.
  • Estimate your operating costs: Operating costs will include utilities, such as electricity, gas, and water, as well as labor costs for employees, if any, and the cost of purchasing any materials or supplies that you will need to run your business.
  • Project your revenue: To project your revenue, you will need to consider the number of customers you expect to have and the average amount they will spend on each visit. You can use this information to estimate how much money you will make from selling your products or services.
  • Estimate your expenses: In addition to your operating costs, you will need to consider other expenses, such as insurance, marketing, and maintenance. You will also need to set aside money for taxes and other fees.
  • Create a budget: Once you have estimated your start-up costs, operating costs, revenue, and expenses, you can use this information to create a budget for your business. This will help you to see how much money you will need to start the business, and how much profit you can expect to make.
  • Develop a plan for using your profit: Finally, you will need to decide how you will use your profit to grow and sustain your business. This might include investing in new equipment, expanding the business, or saving for a rainy day.

start a digital marketing agency business plan & documents

Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Marketing Agency Business Plans:

Why do you need a business plan for a digital marketing agency business.

A business plan is essential for the success of a digital marketing agency business. It helps owners, investors, and potential clients determine the direction, goals, and procedures of the business. It outlines the plans for how the agency will operate and grow, as well as its financial projections. A business plan also serves as a roadmap for how to structure, manage, and track different aspects of the business.

Who should you ask for help with your digital marketing agency business plan?

You should seek advice and assistance from a trusted business advisor or consultant who has experience in creating digital marketing agency business plans. Additionally, there are many resources available online that can provide guidance on how to create a successful business plan.

Can you write a digital marketing agency business plan yourself?

Writing a business plan is a complex process and while it is certainly possible to write a digital marketing agency business plan without professional help, it can be beneficial to get input from experts in the field. This can help ensure that the business plan outlines a comprehensive strategy for success. Additionally, if you are applying for funding from an investor or financial institution, it may be necessary to have a professional business plan in order to be eligible for the loan or funding.

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I'm Nick, co-founder of newfoundr.com, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.

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How To Write a Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan + Template

Business-Plan-3

Creating a business plan is essential for any business, but it can be especially helpful for digital marketing agency businesses who want to improve their strategy and/or raise funding.

A well-crafted business plan not only outlines the vision for your company, but also documents a step-by-step roadmap of how you are going to accomplish it. In order to create an effective business plan, you must first understand the components that are essential to its success.

This article provides an overview of the key elements that every digital marketing agency owner should include in their business plan.

Download the Digital Marketing Business Plan Template

What is a Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan?

A digital marketing agency business plan is a formal written document that describes your company’s business strategy and its feasibility. It documents the reasons you will be successful, your areas of competitive advantage, and it includes information about your team members. Your business plan is a key document that will convince investors and lenders (if needed) that you are positioned to become a successful venture.

Why Write a Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan?

A digital marketing agency business plan is required for banks and investors. The document is a clear and concise guide of your business idea and the steps you will take to make it profitable.

Entrepreneurs can also use this as a roadmap when starting their new company or venture, especially if they are inexperienced in starting a business.

Writing an Effective Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan

The following are the key components of a successful digital marketing agency business plan:

Executive Summary

The executive summary of a digital marketing agency business plan is a one to two page overview of your entire business plan. It should summarize the main points, which will be presented in full in the rest of your business plan.

  • Start with a one-line description of your digital marketing agency
  • Provide a short summary of the key points in each section of your business plan, which includes information about your company’s management team, industry analysis, competitive analysis, and financial forecast among others.

Company Description

This section should include a brief history of your company. Include a short description of how your company started, and provide a timeline of milestones your company has achieved.

If you are just starting your digital marketing agency , you may not have a long company history. Instead, you can include information about your professional experience in this industry and how and why you conceived your new venture. If you have worked for a similar company before or have been involved in an entrepreneurial venture before starting your digital marketing agency, mention this.

You will also include information about your chosen digital marketing agency business model and how, if applicable, it is different from other companies in your industry.

Industry Analysis

The industry or market analysis is an important component of a digital marketing agency business plan. Conduct thorough market research to determine industry trends and document the size of your market. 

Questions to answer include:

  • What part of the digital marketing agency industry are you targeting?
  • How big is the market?
  • What trends are happening in the industry right now (and if applicable, how do these trends support the success of your company)?

You should also include sources for the information you provide, such as published research reports and expert opinions.

Customer Analysis

This section should include a list of your target audience(s) with demographic and psychographic profiles (e.g., age, gender, income level, profession, job titles, interests). You will need to provide a profile of each customer segment separately, including their needs and wants.

For example, the customers or a digital marketing agency may include small businesses, medium-sized businesses, and enterprise businesses. Within each of these segments, there may be further subsegments.

You can include information about how your customers make the decision to buy from you as well as what keeps them buying from you.

Develop a strategy for targeting those customers who are most likely to buy from you, as well as those that might be influenced to buy your products or digital marketing agency services with the right marketing.

Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis helps you determine how your product or service will be different from competitors, and what your unique selling proposition (USP) might be that will set you apart in this industry.

For each competitor, list their strengths and weaknesses. Next, determine your areas of competitive differentiation and/or advantage; that is, in what ways are you different from and ideally better than your competitors.

Below are sample competitive advantages your digital marketing agency may have:

  • Strong industry knowledge
  • Proven track record of success
  • Robust marketing strategies
  • Depth of services offered
  • Skilled team of professionals
  • Innovative technology

Marketing Plan

This part of the business plan is where you determine and document your marketing plan. . Your plan should be clearly laid out, including the following 4 Ps.

  • Product/Service : Detail your product/service offerings here. Document their features and benefits.
  • Price : Document your pricing strategy here. In addition to stating the prices for your products/services, mention how your pricing compares to your competition.
  • Place : Where will your customers find you? What channels of distribution (e.g., partnerships) will you use to reach them if applicable?
  • Promotion : How will you reach your target customers? For example, you may use social media, write blog posts, create an email marketing campaign, use pay-per-click advertising, launch a direct mail campaign. Or, you may promote your digital marketing agency via word-of-mouth marketing.

Operations Plan

This part of your digital marketing agency business plan should include the following information:

  • How will you deliver your product/service to customers? For example, will you do it in person or over the phone only?
  • What infrastructure, equipment, and resources are needed to operate successfully? How can you meet those requirements within budget constraints?

The operations plan is where you also need to include your company’s business policies. You will want to establish policies related to everything from customer service to pricing, to the overall brand image you are trying to present.

Finally, and most importantly, in your Operations Plan, you will lay out the milestones your company hopes to achieve within the next five years. Create a chart that shows the key milestone(s) you hope to achieve each quarter for the next four quarters, and then each year for the following four years. Examples of milestones for a digital marketing agency include reaching $X in sales. Other examples include expanding into new markets, launching new services, and hiring key personnel.

Management Team

List your team members here including their names and titles, as well as their expertise and experience relevant to your specific digital marketing agency industry. Include brief biography sketches for each team member.

Particularly if you are seeking funding, the goal of this section is to convince investors and lenders that your team has the expertise and experience to execute on your plan. If you are missing key team members, document the roles and responsibilities you plan to hire for in the future.

Financial Plan

Here you will include a summary of your complete and detailed financial plan (your full financial projections go in the Appendix). 

This includes the following three financial statements:

Income Statement

Your income statement should include:

  • Revenue : how much revenue you generate.
  • Cost of Goods Sold : These are your direct costs associated with generating revenue. This includes labor costs, as well as the cost of any equipment and supplies used to deliver the product/service offering.
  • Net Income (or loss) : Once expenses and revenue are totaled and deducted from each other, this is the net income or loss.

Sample Income Statement for a Startup Digital Marketing Agency

Balance sheet.

Include a balance sheet that shows your assets, liabilities, and equity. Your balance sheet should include:

  • Assets : All of the things you own (including cash).
  • Liabilities : This is what you owe against your company’s assets, such as accounts payable or loans.
  • Equity : The worth of your business after all liabilities and assets are totaled and deducted from each other.

Sample Balance Sheet for a Startup Digital Marketing Agency

Cash flow statement.

Include a cash flow statement showing how much cash comes in, how much cash goes out and a net cash flow for each year. The cash flow statement should include:

  • Cash Flow From Operations
  • Cash Flow From Investments
  • Cash Flow From Financing

Below is a sample of a projected cash flow statement for a startup digital marketing agency .

Sample Cash Flow Statement for a Startup Digital Marketing Agency

You will also want to include an appendix section which will include:

  • Your complete financial projections
  • A complete list of your company’s business policies and procedures related to the rest of the business plan (marketing, operations, etc.)
  • Any other documentation which supports what you included in the body of your business plan.

Writing a good business plan gives you the advantage of being fully prepared to launch and/or grow your digital marketing agency . It not only outlines your business vision but also provides a step-by-step process of how you are going to accomplish it.

If you are seeking funding from investors or lenders, it is especially important to have a well-written business plan that demonstrates the expertise and experience of your management team, as well as your company’s potential for financial success. By taking the time to write a detailed and comprehensive business plan, you will give your digital marketing agency the best chance for success.  

Finish Your Digital Marketing Business Plan in 1 Day!

Wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your digital marketing business plan?

With our Ultimate Digital Marketing Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

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How To Start a Digital Marketing Agency and Secrets for Success Ready to start your own digital marketing agency? Follow along for the step-by-step process and secrets to success.

By Nick Chernets • Nov 6, 2021

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

These days, a profitable business model trying to make it in today's flooded market simply cannot afford to exist without effective digital marketing strategies. This is where starting an actual digital marketing agency can prove to be the right move.

The goal of a digital marketing agency is to help improve a business's digital ranking, reach, and visibility. To succeed, a digital marketing agency needs to be built on a solid foundation.

Digital marketing services include things like:

  • Graphic design
  • Search engineoptimization (SEO)
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Paid advertising

When starting, keep in mind you don't have to do everything all at once. It may be best to begin by specializing in certain areas and grow from there. Find your niche and set your agency up to grow.

Keep reading for steps to start a digital marketing agency and secrets for success.

How to know if starting a digital marketing agency is right for you

Over $571.16 billion will be spent on digital advertising worldwide in 2022. That is a 16.2 percent increase from 2021, which will likely only continue to rise.

If you're ready to join the action, look at these questions below to see if the digital marketing industry is right for you.

  • Can you identify a gap in the industry that you know you can fill?
  • Can you find a niche and produce results?
  • Can you build a team and handle the responsibility of leading?
  • Are you ready for the grind of starting your own business?
  • Do you have a vision for your agency?

If you answered affirmatively to the majority of those questions, then read on for how to get going.

10 steps to start a digital marketing agency

1. keep reaching out to prospects.

It doesn't matter where you are with your digital marketing agency; the thing that can help it grow is continuous prospecting. In this business, there's no such thing as "enough prospects."

The more prospects you target, the more offers you'll get. And the more offers you get, the more money and success might come your way.

Remember that you never want to appear desperate when reaching out to your target market. It's perfectly fine to lose a prospect or decide you don't want to work with them.

Related: 3 Reasons Why You Must Go Down the Rabbit Hole When Prospecting

Sometimes, you have to be selective for the sake of your well-being and the future of your business. That said, if a particular prospect isn't a good match, it's not the end of the world.

There are plenty of different prospecting strategies that you can use to propel your digital marketing agency. Try as many as possible until you land a plan that works best for you and your business.

2. Entice the prospects with a great offer

As you keep targeting your prospects and have some of them reach back to you, it's important to entice them with an offer they wouldn't want to refuse.

Remember that these prospects have plenty of marketers targeting them. Just because you managed to establish a contact doesn't guarantee a closed deal.

The thing about online marketing is that most marketers and agencies today ask for upfront pricing and payment or retainers to do the work.

This is rather logical, considering digital marketing projects take time and effort to show true results. Still, this doesn't guarantee that the business owners will get the work they're paying for.

You can find your irresistible offer right there; for instance, a free or discounted trial period for SEO or paid ads can be an excellent way to show your agency's capabilities. Generating leads for free for a shorter period may be another kind of offer that's also hard to pass.

This can show the business owners that you run a serious, professional, and confident agency. When you deliver on these initial offers, they'll be far more likely to proceed to hire you for long-term projects.

Related: Why You Should Hire a Smaller Digital Marketing Agency

3. Focus on the delivery instead of over-promising

Most people are obsessed with selling themselves to prospects, but doing that by over-promising can set you up for failure. When explaining the strategy to your client, it's best to downplay their expectations.

For instance, you can achieve the desired SEO rank for their website in three months but explain to them that it might take as long as six months to get to that point. And when you make the mark after three months (or anywhere less than six), your client might be impressed with the delivery and happily remain on board with your digital marketing agency.

4. Start by fully mastering one niche

As a digital marketing agency, your goal is to plan and execute marketing campaigns for clients without too much concern about their niche. You'll gain insight into these niches as you go.

But it would be very beneficial for a startupdigital marketing agency to have at least one specific niche fully mastered instead of trying to be a full-service agency from the get-go.

When you speak the lingo of the niche and show your interest in it, the clients of that niche may be more inclined to choose your agency. It also helps you get into the details of that client's specific struggles in the market, thus delivering better solutions.

Related: How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency For Your Brand?

5. Outsource the grunting part

You don't have to do all the work on your own. Even if you have regular employees, they don't have to waste their time and effort on unproductive and menial tasks.

The beauty of digital marketing is that it's all done online. Therefore, you can also find online assistance for some grunt work. Working with freelancers or virtual assistants on matters like these can save you a bunch of time and money so that you can focus on more pressing issues.

Using other companies for your digital marketing APIs or other relevant solutions is also possible to ease and streamline your work.

Related: How to Build a Better Business with Outsourcing

6. Pay attention to what the client tells you

Most of today's business owners understand that they need digital marketing, but they probably need help understanding it. Chances are that they know what they need to achieve their own goals.

So, if a client tells you they want more customers to hire more people and have more free time for themselves, don't try to pitch them with talks about SEO, Google , social media , and Facebook ads.

They are more likely to respond to you positively if you show understanding of their situation and explain to them in their own words that you can make their goal happen.

7. Offer different marketing skills

As mentioned, several different aspects and skills go into the vast space of digital marketing term. It's okay to start your digital marketing agency by offering every single skill, but some are more effective than others when it comes to making a name out of your agency and growing it from there.

For a start, make it a point that your digital marketing agency offers SEO, lead generation, AdWords, and social media ads

Related: Small Business Week: 6 Signs It's Time to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency

8. Maintain long-term relationships with clients

Clients can change their minds at any point and tell you that they don't want you to run ads for them anymore or don't need your SEO services. In these cases, there's not much that you can do unless you prepare a strategy to keep the client long-term in advance.

As you're doing lead generation and ranking the websites you own to boost the client's SEO, you can always keep those leads and websites once they decide to cut you off.

After all, they're your property. You can also create high-quality backlinks that the websites you're working with simply can't afford to lose.

9. Electronic payments all the way

What are you doing running a digital marketing agency and asking for written checks from your clients?

Think about it — if they have to write a monthly check for your services, they'll be more inclined to consider just how much it's all worth. This is a conscious action and thought process on their part, not to mention that a monthly payment via check might seem quite expensive to them at some point.

On the other hand, electronic payments — specifically weekly electronic payments — are far more beneficial for your digital marketing agency and keeping clients in the sales funnel. They're effortless, especially when you have the auto-pay option.

Taking a small chunk with electronic auto-pay every week won't seem as excessive or splurgy compared to writing a big fat check every month, so get in on the Ecommerce game.

Related: 25 Payment Tools for Small Businesses , Freelancers and Startups

10. Always think long-term

There can be instances when your clients are late with their payments or offer a deal that might be less than what you'd normally go for. Of course, you shouldn't make it a habit to go below your worth, but if the client in question is someone you already have good experience with, it can do you good long-term to meet them halfway from time to time.

They'll find you even more pleasant to work with and send much-needed referrals, making the current situation well worth it.

The world of business and digital marketing is not all black and white. Find your little gray area where you can establish yourself as an authority.

Secrets to success

Starting a new business takes time, dedication, and some luck along the way. Below are some secrets to success to help make the startup process go as smoothly as possible.

1. Create SMART goals

Consider creating SMART goals for your new business venture in any industry. SMART goals are milestones you want to accomplish, designed in a clear and concise way.

  • Specific: Exactly what you want to accomplish
  • Measurable : Data-driven goals that can be measured
  • Attainable: Push yourself, but make it realistic
  • Relevant: Make it authentic to your mission
  • Time bound: Create check-ins and specific time frames to accomplish your goals

Think of your SMART goals as your template for success. When creating them, envision your ultimate goal and vision for your digital marketing agency. Then, create SMART action items to hold you accountable for getting there.

For example, say you want to grow your audience for your digital marketing agency to gain new customers. That's a great goal, but how will you accomplish that?

If your specific goal is to grow your audience, how can you make that measurable? In other words, what attainable numbers can you associate with your goal? How will you measure your new goal, and why is it essential for your business? When are you going to check in on your progress?

2. Automate where possible

Startup culture has an all-hands-on-deck feel. As your digital marketing business grows, it is important to ensure that you and your employees are using time as efficiently as possible. Automating your company is more than electronic payments — it can help you streamline tasks and optimize workflow so your marketing team can make the most of their time.

Social media platforms and email marketing play a huge part in digital marketing skills, and it is one aspect where automation can certainly be used. Automation can help you create content calendars, allowing you to "set and forget" social posts and email blasts, which can help you hit your outreach goals without blowing your marketing budget.

Most automation platforms can also provide you with analytics reports on content performance instead of an employee having to collect that information themselves. Automation platforms may also guide you on optimal posting times, impressions, and other valuable data that can help guide your decision-making.

Your business can also use automation for:

  • Tracking leads
  • Human resources
  • Learning management

Related: How to Use Automation (and Avoid the Pitfalls) as an Entrepreneur

3. Stay on trend

The digital world is always changing, and trends are constantly going in and out of style . As a digital marketing agency, your clients likely expect you to be the expert in the digital field.

That means it is your job to ensure the work you produce for them performs well based on industry trends.

Key strategies to stay on trend include:

  • Subscribing to expert marketing LinkedIn pages, WordPress blogs, newsletters, and influencer podcasts
  • Conducting specific research
  • Setting Google alerts for keywords that matter to you or your client
  • Searching for relevant and high-traffic hashtags
  • Keeping an eye on top brands for inspiration
  • Making yourself an expert by becoming a native of social platforms

4. Think like your customer

Digital marketing is a competitive industry. When you enter the sector, there will be bigger and more established agencies than yours, so you need to find the key to entry.

One thing that businesses often forget is to stop and look at everything from a client's perspective. To attract and serve new clients, you must consider how they see things.

Potential clients search for agencies that:

  • Have a specialty
  • Are focused on and dedicated to their clients
  • Can show proven results and positive testimonials
  • Use data-driven marketing plans
  • Can tell a story
  • Produce quality work

What you should know before starting a digital marketing agency

Digital marketing is here to stay, so if you're ready to start your own digital marketing agency, prepare to do the work. As you begin to form your plans from scratch, remember that you should map out your goals and create ways to hold yourself accountable for measuring them.

In addition to that, keep in mind that digital marketing is more than content creation. Running an agency is also about creating and maintaining relationships with different types of clients.

Be the agency everyone wants to work with by creating unique content and making your customers feel welcome and seen every time.

You've got the step-by-step secrets to a successful business. Now it's time to make it happen.

For more informative articles on all things business and finance, check out Entrepreneur's other guides and resources here,

CEO of DataForSEO

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  4. Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan Template Sample Pages

    start a digital marketing agency business plan & documents

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    start a digital marketing agency business plan & documents

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COMMENTS

  1. How To Start And Run a Digital Marketing Agency Business in 2024

    (And How Can They Be Overcome through a Business Plan?) First thing first: An all-around business plan for digital agencies must address the following components: Vision and mission, target market, competition analysis, objectives, financial plan, team composition, technology infrastructure, and essential tools.

  2. How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency

    14 Steps To Start a Digital Marketing Agency: 1. Choose the Name for Your Digital Marketing Agency. The first step to starting a digital marketing agency business plan is to choose your business’ ... 2. Develop Your Digital Marketing Agency Plan. 3. Choose the Legal Structure for Your Digital ...

  3. Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan Template & Guidebook -

    How to Write a Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan in 7 Steps: 1. Describe the Purpose of Your Digital Marketing Agency Business. The first step to writing your business plan is to describe the purpose of your ... 2. Products & Services Offered by Your Digital Marketing Agency Business. 3. Build ...

  4. Writing A Digital Marketing Agency Business Plan + Template

    Start with a one-line description of your digital marketing agency. Provide a short summary of the key points in each section of your business plan, which includes information about your company’s management team, industry analysis, competitive analysis, and financial forecast among others.

  5. How To Start a Digital Marketing Agency and Secrets for Success

    10 steps to start a digital marketing agency. 1. Keep reaching out to prospects. It doesn't matter where you are with your digital marketing agency; the thing that can help it grow is continuous ...