So you want to start a digital marketing startup (agency) as your first start-up in India?
Are you really sure about it?
The statistics of a successful startup are not too convincing.
Only 1 in 10 startups are successful after 3 years.
The Internet says that Digital Marketing is one of the fastest-growing sectors and has tremendous opportunities.
Every day a lot of people get access to the internet and are accessing various social media platforms, shopping online, playing games, getting educated online, ordering food, and many more.
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Also, businesses have started spending more on their paid advertisement. There is a 30% year-on-year growth in the ad spend.
Due to the pandemic in the year 2020, more digital marketing startups and online businesses have cropped up.
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So how do you stand out from the rest ( approximately a few lakhs ) in the same industry and generate monthly recurring revenue to make your startup successful?
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Below is a checklist to ensure your digital marketing agency survives the initial tough years.
- Being 100% Sure.
- Not Wasting Time.
- What Services to Offer?
- Plan out Agency Growth
Being 100% Sure
Only if you are passionate about helping small and medium businesses and have sound knowledge of marketing / then you can start your digital marketing agency.
Otherwise, there are a lot of people assuming that digital marketing is very easy and can easily generate profits.
Honestly, this is not true. There is an insane amount of work involved for you to just get noticed because of the fierce competition.
Most Clients are terrible in terms of the payments, revisions, setting tight deadlines, and often you will find yourself in a position where you are not aware of the right solution to achieve the expected targets.
Don’t get fooled by people selling their courses on “Set up your digital marketing agency in 10 days” or “How to start a profitable digital marketing agency with zero investment”
These courses will not be of any use if you are not the subject matter expert of your offerings.
Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself, mastering the skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur.
If you are not a digital marketing expert I would suggest not to tread on this path. You will for sure end up regretting your decision, feel burn-out, would have to deal with a lot of negative emotions and in the end, you will quit.
Most of the successful digital marketing companies have experienced leaders with at least 5 years of relevant experience.
They would have worked with different marketing agencies handling big accounts, learning how to sell to business owners.
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They would have also learned strategic tactics from their bosses on how to pitch the right services to new customers, understand their requirements, and get them on-board with monthly recurring revenue.
Not Wasting Time
Once you are 100% sure about starting your entrepreneur journey for inspiration take Gaurav Gurbaxani’s journey.
It is important not to waste your initial days thinking about your business name, logo, website, or even getting company registrations.
Focus on getting clients, deliver as promised within the timeline, and get great reviews.
Deliver upfront value to build trust among your clients.
Create lead magnets, nurture your leads, and request them for referrals.
You can start by talking to local businesses in your area and get them on-board as your first clients.
Never offer your services for free. Else people will take you for granted.
Build Case-studies and showcase results to get more clients.
What Services to Offer?
You can offer a lot of services in the digital marketing sector.
- Pay-per-Click Advertisement
- Search-Engine Optimization
- Email Marketing
- Marketing Automation
- Video Marketing
- Web Design & Development
- Graphic Design
These are the popular offerings of most digital marketing companies and hence will have tough competition in the market.
Carve out a micro-niche for your agency. Play to your strengths. If you are an expert in a certain industry like real-estate, healthcare, coaching, e-commerce stick to them.
If you only offer one particular service it will reduce a lot of headaches and you will be able to cater to more clients in the same niche.
Get the right clients for your micro-niche. Make an ideal customer avatar you would like to offer your services.
Picking the right clients will save you from a lot of trouble, anxiety, and stress in the future. Beware of any red flags. Get rid of those clients immediately.
There are different pricing models. The two main options are:
- % of Ad Spend – Charge a certain percentage or a minimum if ad spends is very low.
- Flat Charges – You can categorize into basic, standard, and premium packages depending on your offerings.
The clients will only pay if you are able to make more money for them. Have proactive metrics and conduct weekly meetings with your clients to understand your progress.
Plan Ahead for your Agency Growth.
Have a 30-60-90 plan for your agency’s growth.
Prepare Yearly Plans and you will be good to go.
A sample plan can be like this.
For 2021, my main goal is to hit Rs. 2,00,000 MRR(Monthly Recurring Revenue) with 50 clients at around Rs. 50,000/- per client/month.
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To scale up to this level, I’ll need to:
- Collaborate with 2-3 people
- Better document our processes and create templates.
- Create Great Packages with specific timelines and
- Work with Big Clients
- Improve our Business Automation
These would be the main areas to focus on to start my digital marketing journey.
Until then share this article with your friends on Whatsapp, Facebook, and LinkedIn.