If you’re a digital marketer looking to start your own agency, there are a few aspects to consider to make sure you have the best chance at succeeding. 

This guide will help you get started with your digital marketing company by looking at the following topics:

  • Why starting a digital marketing agency might be a good idea
  • How to start up a digital marketing company
  • How Countingup helps with financial management

Why starting a digital marketing agency might be a good idea

In this digital world, there is a high demand for digital marketing services. Only 23% of businesses aren’t reliant on digital tools and operations. 

With so many businesses operating online and competing for customer attention, digital marketers are in a golden position to help clients win more business — the more competition from companies moving their businesses to digital, the more demand for digital marketing services.

Additionally, you can start a digital marketing agency from your couch if you want to. You don’t need a physical business presence to carry out the job. As long as you have an internet connection and a laptop, you have the foundation you need to get started.

Since you don’t need an office, a company vehicle, heavy machinery, or other expensive equipment, starting a digital agency doesn’t have to be a big financial investment in the beginning. You can worry about expenses for things like office space or employees when the business grows. 

How to start up a digital marketing company

Before you can set out on your new adventure as a self-employed digital marketer, there are a few things you need to do.

Choose your business structure

First, you have to choose how you will legally set up your business: as a sole proprietorship or limited company. 

Each business can run with only one person, but only limited companies can expand to include other owners. Sole traders are also considered one with their company from a legal standpoint, meaning they’re personally liable for any debt their business acquires. 

In contrast, limited companies are separate legal entities from their owners, meaning it’s the company that’s liable for any debts. As such, a limited company offers more protection for your personal assets.

Because of these ownership differences, the tax rules are different for each one. Limited companies pay corporate tax while sole traders pay personal income tax rates

Depending on your business’ total income, you might save money registering as a sole trader in the short term, then transitioning to a limited company in the long term. Learn more about how your take-home amount changes according to your tax and accounting method here.  

Create a business plan

A business plan is like a roadmap or GPS, meaning you can start driving without one but will probably get lost along the way.

Prepare a business plan from day one to avoid driving in circles on your new venture. A clear plan will help you focus on the details of your journey and allow you to do important groundwork before you begin trading.  

Your typical business plan will include detailed insights like market analysis, competitor research (learn more about that here), audience profiles, marketing goals, cash flow information, and an overall strategy on how you’ll grow your business. 

Use this guide to learn how to write a business plan.

Choose a niche

The thought of turning down any work might cause anyone a fair amount of stress when your livelihood is on the line. That said, you need to create a unique selling proposition (USP) to stand out when approaching prospective clients.

Choosing a niche helps you determine who you want to work for and the type of work you want to do and also makes it easier for clients to see what you can offer. Your niche could be social media marketing for eCommerce businesses, email campaigns for consultants, and so on.

Build a portfolio

Your portfolio is key to winning new business. If you’ve worked on projects before, you can select the best pieces that show what you can do. As a digital marketer, you’ll want to include a good mix of headlines, social media banners, paid ads, email marketing campaigns and so on.

It’s also good to explain the brief, your role in the project, how you completed the tasks, and (most importantly) what the outcome was. The key is demonstrating to your audience that you can deliver results so be sure to mention how your skills benefited the clients you worked with.

When starting a digital marketing agency, you might need to offer free services first to get your name out there and earn some positive reviews. This leads us to the next step:

Find clients

Start by reaching out to your existing network of friends, family, former colleagues, school alumni, etc. and ask if they have or know of any opportunities. Another way to find clients is to attend networking events or to use social media to connect with prospects. 

Create a professional website to showcase your work and give people an easy way to contact you. As you probably already know, systems like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace are good for creating websites easily on a budget. 

Leverage your digital marketing skills to come up with a marketing plan that’ll help you attract clients. Use it as practice for when you need to do the same for other businesses.

Charge clients for your work

Once you get your business up and running, it’s time to start charging clients for your work. You want to choose how you want to get paid: per hour, per project, or per task.

Make it clear how you charge for your work and the payment method you want to use. You also need to establish payment terms to ensure clients pay you within a reasonable time.

Learn more about how to make an invoice. If you choose the sole trader business structure, we also have information on how to invoice clients for freelance work and a sole trader invoice template you can use.

Keep your records on track from day one

When you’re starting your own business, it’s important to keep personal and business expenses separate. The Countingup business current account makes it easy to keep on top of your business finances from the start.

The app comes with free built-in accounting software that automates the time-consuming aspects of bookkeeping. You’ll also be able to create customised invoices in seconds, saving you time to focus on running your business. Find out more here and sign up for free today.