Building the Ultimate Marketing Agency

By Deborah Kurfiss, Umbrella Content Marketing Director on Jul 24, 2022

If you have found your way here to the Umbrella blog, there’s a good chance you either have a marketing agency or are planning to  start a marketing agency. For those who think creatively, enjoy problem solving and like helping diverse clients achieve success, starting your own marketing agency can be a rewarding and lucrative path. It can enable you to become independent, make more money and gain more flexibility in life.

In 2020, the global market for digital marketing and advertising was estimated to be $322.5 billion. By the end of the year 2027, it’s projected to about double and reach $640.2 billion. You can grab a piece of that pie, but to do so successfully, you need a plan.

After all, right now there are over 40,000 “advertising and related agencies” in the United States. There are even more marketing agencies that don’t fall neatly under that description. If you are going to start a marketing agency, you don’t want to be one of the almost 50% of businesses that fail within the first five years.

So, whether you plan to start a new marketing agency or the one you already own isn’t producing revenues that match your expectations, step back and consider your path. What’s the best way to educate yourself rather than reinventing the wheel?

There are a lot of resources out there about the ins and outs of the many and varied marketing niches that can help you serve your clients. There are also a lot of resources aimed at entrepreneurs starting new businesses. But starting a marketing agency has its own unique challenges.

Following are some of the areas you must consider to reach ultimate success. You need to find ways to address each of these intelligently to make the most of your time, money and resources.

Build a Brand

Branding is your agency’s image, and everything you do impacts your brand. How do you want to present yourself? What are the most important messages you want your audience to remember about you? Do you present your agency consistently at every touchpoint from your website to your social media to your sales meetings? Do you have processes in place to gather reviews and testimonials to ramp up your credibility? What sets you apart so a client should choose your agency?

When building a brand, one of the first things you need to do is to determine who you are and what clients you serve. Do you want to address a specific niche or just all comers? The advantage to addressing a specific niche is that you can make a much bigger noise with a lot less money faster.

That’s just the very beginning of building a brand.

Determine and Develop Your Products and Services

Before you start generating leads and selling to clients, you must have a solid handle on just what you are offering them.

The more you can learn about marketing the better, and even marketing gurus regularly read marketing literature. But you don’t need to do everything. There are various ways you can offer your clients expert services. Options are

  • Provide certain services in which you are an expert yourself
  • Hire people with the expertise you lack. Of course, there is a practical limit to how many people you can hire and which practice areas they can cover.
  • Partner with an expert or agency with another focus. For example, if your agency specializes in writing content, you might want to partner with a design-oriented firm. In that case, you are usually not presenting the other agency’s services as those of your own agency.
  • Resell white label services. This involves working with an agency that does the work, but you offer the services as your own. You will want to work with a white label agency that respects your boundaries and does as much (everything from A to Z) or as little as you like. This is a good way to rest assured your clients will get the best service possible. There are several key cornerstones in providing marketing services, and it takes years of experience to handle all of these yourself. That’s why white label services make a lot of sense.

To serve marketing clients and start a marketing agency, some of what you will need to consider are

  • T&C Buckets: Marketing requires both traffic generation and conversion generation.
  • Funnels: To produce sales, you must build marketing solutions that flow and work together according to where the customer is in the selling process.
  • Strategy: You must develop a plan for each client/
  • Sales conversions: If the solutions are not enticing, sales are difficult.
  • Profits: If your solutions have low margins, your business won’t succeed.
  • Retention: If your solutions are low quality or your service is subpar, you won’t retain clients
  • Time and Focus: If your solutions are done for you (white label), you can focus on growing your business.

Develop Selling Strategies and Tactics

It takes 16 net hours on average to secure a client when doing manual prospecting, out of which about 80% goes to prospecting. It makes sense therefore, at least for some of your selling tactics, to build funnels that entice qualified clients to come to you as well as increasing the likelihood of grabbing the attention of es you approach.

How do you do that? One tried and true method is to offer the prospect something of value. For example, you could market a webinar that answers burning business questions in order to get contact information and an opportunity to educate them and relay your message. You could then offer them a deal on a related product at the very end. There are endless other ways, such as offering a free report or audit on some aspect of a business.

The main point we are trying to make is to put the client first. Think about how you can help the client rather than how much money you can make. Clients are interested in their own problems and solutions to those problems. They are not particularly interested in your agency, but rather what your agency can do for them. Help your clients and success will follow.

Develop Smart Processes to Build Your Agency

Once you have your brand, your products and services and your selling mechanisms in place, determine how to scale them. There are a lot of little steps, but each journey begins with a single step.

A Practical Guide to Building the Ultimate Marketing Agency

This article barely scratches the surface to what you need to know to start a marketing agency that is successful and makes you mid-six figures. To learn more, a lot more, read Umbrella CEO Itamar Shafir’s recent book, Building the Ultimate Marketing Agency: The Step-by-Step Guide to Starting or Growing a Digital Marketing Agency.

This is a true guide to starting and growing a very lucrative digital marketing agency, without breaking your back or taking forever. It’s filled with practical advice, on-point examples, resources and tools. It’s based on Itamar’s hard-earned experience founding successful businesses, building his own marketing agency and founding Umbrella, which has helped build thousands of successful marketing agencies. The book also contains advice from some of the world’s top marketers who have appeared on The Marketing Umbrella Podcast including Neil Patel, Matthew Pollard and Yanik Silver.

Check out Building the Ultimate Marketing Agency: The Step-by-Step Guide to Starting or Growing a Digital Marketing Agency to learn proven strategies, tactics and steps you’ll be able to use right away. You’ll learn how to fulfill any marketing service, even ones you won’t have to do yourself.

 

 

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