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Guide to Starting Your Own Digital Marketing Agency

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In today’s digital age, businesses count a lot on good online marketing to do well in markets where there’s lots of competition. Because of this, the need for digital marketing services has shot up a lot, making it a really good time to think about starting your digital marketing agency. But how do you even start? Don’t worry. In this detailed guide, we’re going to take you through all the steps you need to follow to start your digital marketing agency. We’ll cover everything from deciding what services you’ll offer to finding clients and making sure your agency makes money.

Did you know that in 2020, global digital marketing spending hit over $378 billion? That’s a huge increase from previous years and shows just how important digital marketing has become for businesses worldwide. With more businesses investing in digital marketing, there’s a growing demand for skilled professionals and agencies to help them navigate the complex digital landscape.

When it comes to starting a digital marketing agency, one of the first things you’ll need to do is define the services you’ll offer. According to a survey by HubSpot, the most in-demand digital marketing services in 2021 were SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing.

Once you’ve decided on your services, the next step is to find clients. Networking events, industry conferences, and online forums can be great places to connect with honest clients. Additionally, leveraging social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can help you reach a large number of audiences and showcase your expertise in the field.

In terms of profitability, digital marketing agencies can be quite good if managed well. According to a report by IBISWorld, the digital marketing industry in the United States alone generates over $65 billion in revenue annually. However, success in this industry requires a combination of strategic planning, effective marketing, and exceptional service delivery.

What Is a Digital Marketing Agency?

A digital marketing agency is a company that helps other businesses with their online marketing. These agencies focus on services like making businesses more visible online, reaching the right people, and getting more sales or leads. They offer many kinds of services such as SEO, PPC ads, social media marketing, email campaigns, creating content, and more. They help businesses use the internet to meet their marketing targets.

According to a report by Digital Marketing Institute, the global digital marketing industry was valued at $305 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $807 billion by 2026? This huge growth shows how important digital marketing has become for businesses worldwide.

What Do You Want Out of Your Agency?

Before you go into all the details of starting your digital marketing agency, it’s essential to think about what you want to use with it. Take some time to figure out what your goals and objectives are. Do you want to make a lot of money? Do you want to feel personally fulfilled by your work? Or maybe you want to help businesses grow and succeed? By clarifying your goals, you’ll have a clear idea of what direction to take your agency in. It’s like setting a destination before starting a journey. It helps you stay focused and motivated along the way.

The Digital Agency Business Model

When starting a digital marketing agency, it’s important to decide on the business model that best suits your goals and target market. Here are some common business models to follow:


In this model, clients pay a fixed monthly fee to the digital marketing agency for ongoing services. This fee usually covers a set number of hours or services agreed upon in advance. It’s like subscribing to a service where you pay a monthly fee to access many benefits or services. For example, a client might pay a retainer fee to have the agency manage their social media accounts, run ad campaigns, and provide regular performance reports.


With the hourly model, clients are billed based on the number of hours the agency works on their projects or tasks. It’s like paying for a service by the hour, similar to hiring a freelancer or consultant. The agency keeps track of the time spent on each project and charges the client accordingly. This model is suitable for projects where the scope of work may vary or for clients who prefer more flexibility in their billing.


In this model, the agency’s compensation is tied to the results achieved for the client. Instead of charging a fixed fee or hourly rate, the agency earns a commission or bonus based on the outcomes, such as leads generated, sales made, or other key performance indicators (KPIs). It’s like saying to the agency, “If you help us make more sales, we’ll give you a percentage of the profits.” This model aligns the agency’s interests with the client’s goals and performance.

Flat Fee/Fixed Fee

With the flat fee or fixed fee model, clients pay a set amount for specific services or projects. The price is agreed upon upfront and does not change, regardless of the time or resources required to complete the work. It’s like buying a product or service at a set price, where both the client and the agency know exactly what to expect in terms of cost and delivery. This model provides clarity and simplicity for both parties and is commonly used for one-time services.

Steps to Starting a Digital Marketing Agency

Pick a Service/s to Offer

Decide which digital marketing services you’re good at and what people need the most. It could be things like making websites show up higher in Google searches, running ads online, managing social media accounts, sending out emails to customers, or creating content like articles or videos.

Choose a Niche/s

Think about which types of businesses or groups of people you want to help with your digital marketing skills. Maybe you’re interested in working with doctors and hospitals, online stores, or other businesses that sell to other businesses. By focusing on a specific niche, you can become an expert in that area and attract more clients.

Find Clients/Market Yourself

Make a really good website that tells people what you can do for them and shows off your past work. Then, try reaching out to potential clients through phone calls, emails, or by meeting them at events. Show them examples of what you’ve done for other clients so they can see how awesome you are.

Content Marketing

Share helpful information with your audience through things like blog posts, how-to guides, and success stories. This will help people find you online and see that you know your things when it comes to digital marketing.

Build Social Media Accounts

Set up accounts on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, where your potential clients hang out. Share useful tips and updates to show that you’re active and knowledgeable in your field.

Nail Down Service Delivery

Make sure you have a clear process for how you’re going to help your clients. Figure out the steps you’ll take from start to finish, so you can deliver your services smoothly and make your clients happy.

Is it possible to start a digital marketing agency with no experience?

Having experience in digital marketing can be helpful, but you can still start a digital marketing agency even if you don’t have any experience. It just means you’ll need to be open to learning new things and putting in the effort to gain the skills you need. You can also team up with people who already know a lot about digital marketing, or take training courses to help you get up to speed. It’s all about being willing to learn and work hard to make your agency successful.

Tools Required to Run a Digital Marketing Agency



Semrush is a toolbox for improving your website’s visibility on search engines. It helps you find the best keywords to use, spy on what your competitors are doing, and check if your website is working well.

Google Apps

google apps

Google Apps are helpful tools made by Google to make your work life easy. You’ve got Gmail for emails, Google Drive for storing files, and Google Analytics for keeping track of how many people visit your website and what they do there.



Zapier is like a bridge that connects different apps. It saves you time by automating tasks, so you don’t have to do them manually. For example, you can set it up to automatically save email attachments to your Google Drive or post your new Instagram photos to Twitter. is a handy tool for finding email addresses. If you’re trying to reach out to clients or leads, can help you find their email addresses quickly and easily.



Loom is a tool for making and sharing videos. You can use it to create instructional videos to teach your clients how to use your services, give updates on projects, or create presentations to share with your team. It’s a great way to communicate visually and engage with your audience.

Is a Digital Agency Profitable? Which Business Model Is Best?

How much money a digital marketing agency makes depends on a few things. First, it’s about how good the services are and how much clients want to pay for them. Then, there’s the way you set your prices and how well you manage your day-to-day tasks. Also, keeping clients happy and staying with you plays a big part. Each way of running your agency has its good and bad points. The one that works best for you will depend on who your clients are, what services you offer, and how you want to charge for them.

Is Starting a Digital Marketing Agency Worth It?

Starting a digital marketing agency can be good. You get to work with all kinds of different clients, learn about what’s new in the industry, and help businesses do better. But, it’s not always easy. You need to be dedicated, keep trying even when things get tough, and always be ready to learn new things. You have to take care of it and keep learning to make it grow.

Final Thoughts

Starting a digital marketing agency is good. But, it needs lots of planning, making smart choices, and working hard. By following the steps in this guide and using the right tools, you can build a successful agency that helps businesses do well online. Just remember to be flexible, keep your goals in mind, and always be ready to learn new things in the world of digital marketing.

Written by Ronak Ansley

As a seasoned digital marketing and SEO expert, I bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. With a passion for driving online growth and visibility, I have dedicated myself to staying at the forefront of industry trends and strategies. My journey in the digital realm spans several years, during which I have helped numerous businesses achieve their online objectives.

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