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Should I Start a Digital Marketing Agency?

By Umbrella Staff on Apr 19, 2024

After running your own business or working in the businesses of others, you may find yourself thinking about whether or not to start a digital marketing agency. You may have an educational background in that area or have gained extensive experience and success helping others with their marketing. But in every new endeavor, there are always aspects that can trip you up, aspects you may not have considered. Here are some questions to consider when asking yourself, “Should I start my own marketing agency?”

Is the Time Right to Start a Digital Marketing Agency?

It’s a given that businesses need to market to people where they go, and people are spending more and more time on the Internet. In the third quarter of 2023, the average Internet user was online six hours and 40 minutes each day, an increase of 16 minutes they were online at the same time of year between 2015 and 2022.

If you have been successful marketing for your own business or your employer’s business and are thinking you would like to start your own marketing agency, this could be a good time to do it.

Are You Ready for the Risk of Running Your Own Business?

Running your own marketing agency can mean bringing in much more money because you are getting a bigger piece of the pie since you would own the business. But it can also mean more risk than working as an employee. If you already run your own business, you have a good idea of what’s involved.

Remember that running a marketing agency requires a skill set beyond marketing. Are you good at sales? Can you get clients in the door? Do you have enough to get by until your business kicks into gear? Are you ready to deal with business owner issues such as hiring, managing and paying personnel, customer service, financing needed technology and office space needs? How are your financial planning and management skills?

Can You Set Yourself Apart?

There is a huge need for digital marketing, but there is also a lot of competition. To succeed, you will need to differentiate your agency either through niche marketing, superior service, innovative pricing models, exceptional results or a mixture of all of the above. This requires not just initial differentiation, but ongoing efforts to maintain a competitive edge.

You don’t need to try to be all things to all people, and you shouldn’t at least to start. If you establish some niches, you can more effectively hone in on your target audience.

Consider what services you want to offer:  You need not be an expert in all types of services and channels, but you should be able to intelligently discuss them. For areas where you are not an expert, you can always use high-end white label digital marketing services.

Be aware of the most common digital marketing services that businesses buy: 1) social media (73%), 2) website (73%), 3) email marketing (57%), 4) SEO (49%), 5) video (34%) and 6) content marketing (32%).

Choose some focus verticals: To make a splash much more quickly, focus on some specific verticals. Word gets around to people in the same industry. Also, if you have experience working in an industry, you are that much ahead of the game.

Can You Build and Lead an Organization?

There is a difference between freelancing and building your own agency with team members who perform different roles. Not everyone is cut out for building and leading a team. If you decide to start a digital marketing agency, be ready to spend a good part of your time on administrative tasks such as hiring, training and managing personnel.

Are You Ready Work Harder?

Once you start a digital marketing agency or any business for that matter, the buck stops with you. You will be ultimately responsible for pulling in clients (which may include building a sale team or partnering with a platform that can send you clients), paying your employees, contractors and vendors, setting up quality control and keeping your clients happy.  A recent survey found that small business owners work twice as much as employees. This is particularly going to be true in the beginning unless you rely heavily on white label digital marketing services. Expect to work a lot of nights and weekends in the beginning. And expect to wear a lot of hats.

Can You Keep Up with Technology and Trends?

The landscape of digital marketing is constantly evolving with new technologies, platforms and consumer behaviors. To remain relevant, you and your team must commit to continuous learning and adaptation. This involves regular training and professional development. It also means investment in current marketing technology or joining a platform that can provide such technology.

Are You Creative?

Marketing is inherently a creative field, offering endless opportunities for innovation. Running an agency means continuously developing new ideas and strategies to keep clients engaged and ahead of their competition. If creativity drives you, the dynamic nature of a marketing agency will be deeply fulfilling.

Do You Want to Offer a Wide Variety of Digital Marketing Services Quickly?

Digital marketing becomes more complex every year. It’s impossible for one person to be an expert in all areas, and impractical for a small digital marketing agency to hire employees with anything approaching expertise in all areas.

Allying yourself with a marketing and technology platform that also offers white label digital marketing services can significantly reduce the risks of starting a marketing agency, providing you established expertise and infrastructure. White label services involve a company providing services that you can brand and sell as your own.

Look for a company that not only provides white label digital marketing services but a platform to support you in most aspects of your business.

Here’s some of the benefits:

Reduction in operational costs and advanced tools: White label providers offer access to advanced tools and technologies without the need to purchase them outright.

Immediate access to expert skills and services: One of the biggest challenges for new agencies is building a team that that brings wide range of marketing skills to the table. White label services give you access to expert skills and specialized services immediately without you worrying about hiring, training, management or payroll. This means you can offer SEO, PPC, social media marketing, content creation, and more without having to hire experts in each domain. It enables your agency to provide comprehensive marketing solutions right from the start, enhancing your credibility and appeal to potential clients.

Scalability and flexibility: As your client base grows, your agency will need to scale services to meet increasing demand. Scaling in-house can be slow and expensive, involving more hires, more training and expanded infrastructure. White label services can adjust to the volume of work quickly and efficiently, providing the flexibility to handle client workloads without compromising on quality or deadlines.

Risk mitigation: Starting a new business involves risks, including the quality of the output and client satisfaction. White label providers are experienced in delivering high-quality services that you can rely on. Furthermore, it allows your agency to focus on core business activities such as client acquisition, brand development and strategic planning.

Enhanced brand reputation: Offering a wide range of high-quality services from the get-go can significantly boost your agency’s reputation. With white label services, you can assure clients of professional and expert service delivery under your brand name.

Training: Look for a platform that offers you training both in providing marketing services and selling them.

Lead generation: Look for a platform that provides you with hot leads in your area.

Contact Umbrella to Help You Start a Digital Marketing Agency

Deciding to start a marketing agency involves careful consideration of both the professional landscape and your personal readiness. The opportunity for high profits, creative fulfillment, and business autonomy are enticing, yet the challenges of competition, continuous learning and increased responsibility can seem formidable.

But you don’t have to do it alone. Contact Umbrella for a free consultation about partnering with a supportive marketing platform. Head to our website or call (866) 760-2638.



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