I’m going to share a Case Study with you here. No real names allowed (we’ll call him Ron from the Dallas area) and I’m not allowed to tell you his niche, but I can reveal pretty much everything else about starting a digital marketing agency.
As you know, a digital marketing agency is simply a business that works for other businesses, performing one or more needed services. I’ve done this over the years with local business marketing, and many of my former students and mentees continue to be involved in this business model. Starting a digital marketing agency of your own could be just what you need to take your online business to the next level.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a classic example, but the work could be anything a business needs to have an online presence and get leads and sales including email marketing, content creation, advertising, paid search, social media marketing, video marketing, mobile marketing and so forth.
This agency is essentially a one-man operation. Ron does outsource a lot of the actual work* but he acquires all new accounts himself and is the one who deals directly with the businesses.
In other words, you can do this yourself by focusing exclusively on gaining new clients and keeping current clients happy while the actual work is performed by outsources.
Ron just launched his niche digital marketing agency 6 months ago, and he’s just passed $100k in total sales. I’ll outline how you can follow in his footsteps, and keep in mind this will work for you whether you’re building an agency offering SEO, PPC, content, social media, web design, copywriting or all of the above.
Step 1 – Solve One Problem
You already know that a successful business solves problems, but what you might not realize is that a highly successful business goes all in on solving one problem extremely well.
For example, let’s say that you’re craving ice cream.
There are two places in town that offer great ice cream.
One of them is a restaurant that serves all kinds of food including sandwiches, meals and ice cream. The ice cream is really good and the place is always packed.
The second place offers only one thing: Home made ice cream. Really great, awesome ice cream. They have every flavor you can think of and some flavors that are out-of-this-world unique. They use all fresh, local ingredients. They support local farmers and they’re owned by a local family. You feel welcomed like you’re one of the family the moment you get to the door, and every bite tastes like heaven. No one does ice cream like this place.
So where do you go when you want ice cream? It’s not even a close contest, is it?
You want to be the ice cream place, because when people want ice cream, they will come to you and to you only.
Your agency should do one thing, and it should do that thing better than anyone else. Then when people want that exact one thing, they’re not even going to think about going anywhere else.
Step 2 – Copywriting
Your website design doesn’t need to be drop dead gorgeous. In fact, if it looks okay then that’s good enough for now. You can use WordPress if you like, or a service such as Squarespace. Just get a decent theme or page builder and don’t sweat it.
Later you can use profits from the business to design a fancier looking website, but for right now just focus on getting your site up as quickly as possible. This is not the time to win awards for website design.
While appearance isn’t all that important in the beginning, what you say on your website is.
On your homepage, you’re going to create copy that converts on the spot.
Here’s the formula I use for writing that copy: A.I.D.P.G.A.
Attention. Interest. Desire. Proof. Guarantee. Action.
Attention: Quickly grab your reader with the problem and the solution (you). Your goal here is to get them reading the page.
Interest: Get your reader thinking hard about the problem they’re facing and how it’s negatively impacting them. Make them want to solve the problem as fast as possible, preferably right NOW.
Desire: You have the solution they want. You are going to make their life far better. Everything is going to be great if they work with you.
Proof: Prove it. Use testimonials and link to case studies if you have them.
Guarantee: Show them why it’s 100% safe for them and how they are taking zero risk.
Action: This is where you issue the call to action. They need to (insert action here) right now to get this solution and make their life better.
The action you want them to take might be contacting you or it might be signing up right then and there. For most services, you’ll be wanting them to get in touch with you and then you’ll sell them via email or Zoom.
This formula works no matter what you are selling. If you can’t write this yourself, then get a copywriter to write it for you.
Step 3 – Make Sales
Let me say right off that you’re not a salesperson; you’re a problem solver. They have a problem. You want to solve it for them. So don’t think you need to sound slick or use some trick to get them to hire you, because you don’t. You don’t need to manipulate, you don’t need to be pushy and you don’t need to do or say anything cringeworthy.
Let’s say you’re getting inbound leads via email, since that’s exactly how Ron does it.
When Ron gets a lead, he wastes NO time in responding, and he never sends a boilerplate response. He does send a highly personal response that is short in length, friendly and professional, like this:
Thanks for getting in touch. We’d love to (insert service) for your business. I love what you’ve done with your (homepage copy, testimonials, blog content – whatever it is that you can compliment and that shows you’ve spent time on their site.
We can jump on a zoom call if you like (no worries if not), or I can just send you pricing and details if you prefer.
What would work best for you? Thanks Jacob,
The main goal is to get a conversation started. People buy from people they like and are already engaged with. Your competitors are going to send a template response. You’re going to stand out by being down to earth, engaging, accessible, and actually interested in THEM and THEIR BUSINESS, not just talking about yourself and yours.
Step 4 – Communication
Once you’ve made the sale, you’re going to regularly check in and make sure they’re happy. Have a system in place where you track client communications and ensure they feel looked after.
The key is to build relationships, get referrals and get to know them as a person. This will ensure they keep buying from you and no one else.
Step 5 – Testimonials
Testimonials are your digital salespeople, creating interest, trust and sales for you. Ask for testimonials when they are loving working with you and when you’ve achieved success for them.
This works tremendously because everyone says yes. This costs them nothing and you’ll do the work for them.
Write a testimonial that exactly hits the pain point and solution that you offer, then feature their real name, business and photo alongside it. How easy is that?
Starting a digital marketing agency could be exactly what you need to achieve your goals as a mentor, coach, speaker, marketer, or author.
I’m bestselling Wall Street Journal and USA Today author, marketing strategist, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and I would love to connect further with you to help you to achieve your goals. If you are interested in learning how to optimize the syndication of your content, please take a look at my popular Syndication Optimization training course and consider coming aboard to increase your visibility, credibility, and profitability.