Starting your own digital marketing agency is no easy task and in my recent podcast with Monique Idemudia from Dragon Digital Marketing who in the last year decided to work in an agency in the corporate world was stagnating her learning and growth and decided to take action and do something she enjoyed for her own bunch of clients.
Many Digital Agency owners find themselves as agency owners simply because they had SEO skills, they hired a sales guy or web guy and things quickly scaled up quickly and before you know it you own a Digital Agency but didn’t actually set out to do this, but you find yourself struggling with certain parts of the business such as processes, staff management, delegation, admin alongside client management and all the time and effort that goes into that side of the business.
What I really liked about Monique is that for someone who hasn’t run an agency, she actually took her time to sit back and listen and learn before making the jump into running her own agency and has processes and even things like client contracts all set up from the offset which will have saved her years of time and frustration, let’s be honest most of us have previously made all of these mistakes and learned from them, so for someone young to be able to identify that people do make these mistakes and try and eliminate them before they start an agency is a really smart move.
You can listen to more tips and advice on how Monique started out, how she took her time before jumping ship, how she outsources to keep overheads down and much more.
Tips for Starting your own Digital Marketing agency
I will add to this list as time goes on but I’ve listed some tips that I would strongly advise when setting out on your own things I’ve made mistakes with and hope that you can avoid making these mistakes as they can shave years off your journey and save you a lot of stress and headaches. If you have any tips you think can be added to the list do feel free to reach out to me and we can add them to this list too.
When is the best time to leave your job to start your own agency?
For me, I sat for a while until I earned more than I was in my day job, before jumping ship as I didn’t have the luxury of massive amounts of savings or someone bankrolling me so I had to build up steady clients on the side, so I was working in my day job and managing these clients in the evenings which can take its toll on you, but dont rush into things build up some clients and money. There is nothing worse than taking on the wrong type of clients simply because your backs against the wall and you need the money. Bide your time and do it when you are ready to jump ship. Whilst this is taking place why dont you start to learn the art of delegation and building a team to work for you whilst you are biding your time. Pretty much all of the work you take on can be done by other people and one thing I would say is dont build a business that revolves around you, work on your business not in the business.
One of my biggest mistakes was not using guys all over the world and outsourcing projects to these people, I was a busy fool and trying to be in full control of everything and scaling up your agency will only work if you start to use smarter ways of working, so while you are biding your time start to implement this type of thing as it will help you long term as you take on more work.
But you leave when you are comfortable, but dont wait too long sometimes people need a push over the edge.
Do I need an office to start my own Digital Agency?
Absolutely not, given the recent COVID pandemic it shows that people can work from home and still be very productive, why start out with massive overheads? Now further down the line you might prefer an office and there is nothing wrong with having that but I’ve seen many people pile up the overheads quicker than they have pulled in money from client retainers and that can again cause you a lot of stress. Utilising freelancers and building things up is what I would advise from the outset, dont tie yourself up into massive retainers for offices to show off to your friends and family. The reality is no-one cares if you have an office or not, if you provide a good service you will get more work and earn more money.
Tips for Hiring Staff for a new Digital Agency
As I’ve mentioned a number of times, you can easily use freelancers and build a team of workers online, things to remember are you can get people who have a much lower cost of living working for you, guys in South Africa, Philippines, India, Eastern Europe to name just a few are all places that people go to in order to find low-cost services. Why hire someone local who costs an arm and a leg who has little to no work ethic, that might phone in sick twice per week and have an attitude problem?
Now there are hidden gems locally and it can be wise to have middle management using local people but there is no need to load up your business with local people who you dont need much of the grunt work can get done by someone who costs you a lot less and allows you to keep the overheads down and profits up.
Personally I have some local people who are middle management people who then manage the work that we outsource, as I do like to have local people I can trust and train and liaise with to make sure all of the work is checked and our processes are on point to ensure any campaigns that I do work on are as good as they need to be.
- South Africa ( Gumtree ) is a good place to find low-cost native English speaking writers
- Onlinejobs.ph is a place where you can find people in the Philipines who can do a wide range of tasks for you such as outreach, data entry and that type of thing.
- Upwork, People per Hour: These are websites where you can find people all over the world who have different skills such as web designers, app developers, content writers, social media experts, PPC guys and everything else you might need.
Also remember you can also look to providers on Fiverr, Legitt and so on and speak to those vendors and approach them directly and try and hire these people too, think outside the box when looking for people, remember it’s not easy to find smart people so dig deep.