How To Start Digital Marketing Agency? (Beginner's Guide)

So you want to know how to start a digital marketing agency right? Then you've landed on the right page.
How To Start Digital Marketing Agency

In this article, we gonna walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to start your digital marketing agency as a beginner with no prior experience. 

We understand that starting a digital marketing agency can be challenging, especially if you have no prior experience. That's why we have included actionable tips and insights to help you overcome common challenges and make informed decisions.
Whether you're a marketing enthusiast, a business owner, or someone looking to enter the digital marketing industry, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and actionable tips to help you start and grow your digital marketing agency.

So, let's get started on your journey to becoming a successful digital marketing agency owner!

But let's see how much it takes to start a digital marketing agency before we start the real work.

How much does it take to start a digital marketing agency?

Starting a digital marketing agency can be a lucrative business opportunity, but the cost of starting up varies depending on several factors, including your location, business model, and services offered. The cost can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on your needs and goals.
So I can't specify the exact amount but you need some amount of money that will help you in achieving your goal like I aforementioned above.

How do I start a digital marketing company with no experience?

How To Start Digital Marketing Agency

In this section, I will guide you on every step you need to take on how to start your digital marketing agency as a total beginner with zero experience. Below I listed the key steps to follow in establishing your digital marketing agency:

1. Develop your digital marketing skills and conscience

2. Determine what type of services to provide

3. Determine how you intend to run your company

4. Register your company

5. Create a web presence

6. Show your skills and expertise

7. Select the appropriate tools

8. Establish your business model

9. Get your first client

10. Establish your digital marketing blog

11. Make your portfolio

12. Develop your procedures

13. Build your team

The aforementioned steps will show you how you can start your digital marketing agency and I will explain them in detail one after the other.

1. Develop your digital marketing skills and conscience

The first step is to develop the skills and self-assurance required to run a digital marketing agency. This can be divided into three categories:

  • Digital marketing technical skills
  • Business management skills
  • Self-assurance skills
Let me explain the aforementioned above.

  • Digital marketing technical skills
To start a digital marketing agency, you must first know how to develop digital marketing skills.

This means you must understand what digital marketing is, how it works, and how to manage campaigns to boost traffic and sales for your clients through one or more digital marketing platforms.
While you don't need to be an expert in every area of digital marketing right away, you should have a basic understanding of the following:

It's crucial to know how to carry out these activities yourself if you're just starting out with no experience or funds. As your agency expands, you may build your digital marketing team and add experts.
This is important for success. You should reduce your expenses and reliance on other individuals in the early stages of your business.

You need practical experience with the numerous methods used in digital marketing so that you can eventually determine what is effective (in terms of money and clients) and where you will require assistance.
The greatest method to become an expert at something is to practice a lot and study the theory and best practices of renowned experts. Knowing the basics is not enough to succeed in the extremely practical field of digital marketing; you also need to get hands-on experience.

  • Business management skills
You must master the basics of running a business because your objective is to launch an online business rather than work as a freelancer.

You do not have to have a degree in Business Management, but you must gradually develop some skills in the following areas:

As a business owner, you'll have to perform these things from the start and perhaps for a long time before you can hire serious workers.

  • Self-assurance skills
You can't manage a business unless you're willing to take chances. To take chances, you must have self-confidence, and in order to achieve self-confidence in the digital marketing field, you must believe in your skills.

You will fail if you start this business without knowing exactly how to boost a website's rating or how to use advertising to obtain more customers for your clients.

Hence, before you begin serving clients (as a digital marketing freelancer or business), you must first get experience by working in an established agency or on your own websites.

When you can use digital marketing strategies to create actual, measurable outcomes, you'll know you're ready to become a service provider.

Remember that there are thousands of digital marketing professionals and agencies on the market, and clients will almost certainly receive multiple proposals and conduct multiple interviews before making a hiring decision.

Self-assurance will help you stand out from the crowd, so make sure you equip yourself with the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience before making the big step.

2. Determine what type of services to provide

The next step is to determine what type of digital marketing services you will provide to your prospective clients. Typically, a full-service digital marketing agency will provide the following services:

  • SEO services
  • PPC services (Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, etc.)
  • Content marketing services
  • Social media services
  • Email marketing services
  • Web design and development
  • Conversion optimization services
As a business, it will be tough to provide all of these services from the start, so pick the ones that match your skills.
For example, if you're an SEO expert, you can start by solely selling SEO services, and then as your customer base and income grow, you can expand your offering.

Keep in mind that your goal at this point is to keep your costs low and rely on your skills. If you try to go full-service from the start, you'll likely get lost.

So if I am to advise you, I will suggest you should go for SEO and PPC because it is a neutral service that every client will love.

3. Determine how you intend to run your company

Here in this section, you will determine by yourself right from the start how you are going to run your digital marketing agency. Therefore, you have three choices to implement which are:

  • As a home-based virtual company that hires remote teams
  • As a 'traditional company with a physical location and local employees
  • A mixture of the two
All three options have advantages and disadvantages, and your decision must take into account the costs as well as the location of your potential clients.

For example, if you intend to serve clients in a specific city, having a physical presence in the area will aid in the establishment of your brand and the acquisition of more local clients.

If you intend to serve clients all over the world, having a physical office will only increase your monthly expenses.
In fact, one of the benefits of starting your own digital marketing agency is that you can work from home with remote employees. This model is used by many online and SaaS companies, and it is the future of business.

You may consider hiring local employees as your digital marketing portfolio grows, but they can also work from home offices, so there is no need to pay for rent and other office expenses at this stage. What you must do is find a location in your home and set up your home office. This can be a separate room or an area of your home where you will work. Furthermore, because you will be working online, you must have the best internet connection possible.

4. Register your company

There are some steps you need to take into consideration in order to make your company official by the followings:

  • Choose a name for your company
  • Purchase a domain name
  • Create your logo
  • Register your legal business entity with the appropriate authorities
  • Have a toll-free number
  • Find an accountant and an auditor
  • Find a lawyer
  • Make business cards

Even if you don't use all of them right away, it's important to do this now and put everything together.

5. Create a web presence

The first actionable step on the list is to develop your online presence, beginning with the creation of a website for your company. Because your agency's website serves as the "front door," you must ensure that it accurately represents your brand. Your website should look professional and provide potential clients with all of the information they need to decide whether or not to hire your company. Aside from explaining who you are and what you do, make sure you explain the benefits of hiring you. Make your website about them, not about you.

Make specific landing pages for each of your services and make it simple for prospective clients to reach you without asking them too many questions or requiring them to fill out lengthy signup forms. Get as many leads as you can, sort them, and focus on the ones with the best chance of becoming customers. In addition to building a website, you must create business pages and protect your brand name across all major social media networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Don't skip this step because prospective customers will look at your Facebook page and learn more about your business before hiring, so you need to make sure that everything is presentable and expert-looking.

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6. Show your skills and expertise

Finding new clients is one of the most challenging aspects of running a digital marketing agency, as we'll see below (step 9). But persuading potential clients to work with you is just as crucial an aspect. Showing examples from your experience and expertise is the most effective way to do this. In actual fact, this means:

  • An "about us" page detailing your backstory and accomplishments
  • Successful stories
  • A case studies
  • Academic credentials
  • Known companies you’ve worked for
  • Previous working experience
  • Customer reviews
  • Partnership agreements
  • Certifications
  • Mentions from other websites
Some of the aforementioned items may not apply to you if you're just starting out now because you lack experience, but keep them on your to-do list nonetheless and work to accomplish them over time. For instance, work on a friend's company website and request a review, or obtain a few digital marketing certifications from reputable organizations. Utilize the outcomes of your own website development and use them as case studies on your company website. Put up some guest posts on reliable websites, and let people know about it on your homepage.

Be genuine about your work experience and only share authentic reviews and case studies. Starting a company relationship with a client based on false online reviews is not a good idea.

7. Select the appropriate tools

You'll eventually require a large number of tools in order to effectively manage your digital agency. In fact, after paying salaries, purchasing licenses for your tools will be your second-largest expense. You'll need tools to improve your digital marketing campaigns, generate client reports, handle billing and accounting, and a lot more. There are many different digital marketing automation tools available, but you should only select those that offer features you'll actually use, not just nice-to-have features.

Choose the correct choice because it's very common for businesses to pay for software features they'll never use. When comparing the licensing costs of each tool, keep in mind that you should sign up for tools you can use on both your own website and the websites of your clients. A digital marketing platform like SEMRUSH, Ahrefs, Hubspot, or Moz is the first tool you'll need. These platforms have tools that can aid you in managing PPC campaigns, social media marketing, SEO, and content marketing.

Although the other tools mentioned above are suitable for the task, I use SEMRUSH because it is an excellent all-in-one platform with great features and affordable pricing.
Other premium tools you will require are:
  • Lead generation software - OptinMonster is the best lead generation software for marketing agencies, bloggers, eCommerce websites, and all small businesses. You need OptinMonster if you want to build your email list, increase website conversions, and decrease cart abandonment.
  • Email Marketing Service - If I am to recommend you I would suggest you should use Mailchimp but you can use any email marketing software you feel you are comfortable with. There are many email marketing tools you can go for.
  • Grammarly - For all online businesses, this is a requirement. When writing anything online, it assists you in avoiding spelling and grammar errors (including emails, proposals, etc.).
  • Canva - Graphic design makes your website good-looking and attractive. So that is where Canva will come into play and it's one of the best platforms for graphic design.
Other free tools you will require are:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Google Search Console
  • Google Data Studio
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Google Docs
  • Google Slides
  • Google Forms
  • Skype
My advice is to choose the tools you'll use and invest your time in becoming familiar with their features and how to use them. Your time will be limited once you begin working with clients, so it is advisable to become familiar with these tools ahead of time.

8. Establish your business model

How To Start Digital Marketing Agency

As a result, in this step, you'll define your business model, or how you'll price your services.
Digital marketing agencies most frequently use the following business models:

  • Per hour
  • Per project
  • Monthly fee
Per-hour - You bill clients on an hourly basis. The rate ranges from $30 an hour to $120 an hour depending on your experience, the location of the client, the type of business, the services you offer, and the degree of difficulty of the job.
Per-project - You and the client come to an agreement on a set sum to finish the project. You make money if your predictions are accurate, but you could lose money if your predictions are off.
Per-month - For the agreed-upon services, the client makes a monthly retainer payment. This usually holds true for social media management, PPC management, and monthly SEO services.

The "monthly fee" model is the most profitable, and the "per-hour" model is the least profitable.

I suggest new agencies start with the "per hour" or "per project" model. Although it's not the most profitable model, the "per hour" model gives you the flexibility to change your hourly rate to draw in new clients. At this stage, your goal is to quickly build your portfolio and acquire new clients.

9. Get your first client

We have so far talked about how to set up your startup agency, but in order to turn it into a genuine business, you need clients. A company that has no clients is only an idea and not a real company.

So, how do you find your first client for digital marketing? Here are a few concepts that initially worked for many digital marketing agencies.

Family & Friends - Your family and close friends probably own work for a company that could benefit from digital marketing services.

Make contact with them and offer to support their digital marketing campaigns. Prepare a strategy on how you can assist them in attracting more customers, enhancing their search presence, and generally increasing revenue by taking a look at their website in advance and their marketing strategies.
Since this is your first "formal proposal," strive to be as clear and detailed as you can.

Explain to them the benefits of Google ads, the missed opportunities from not using email marketing, the need to spend money on improving their website, the necessity of having active social media pages, and any other points necessary to persuade them to hire you as their digital marketing consultant.
Make sure your pricing is alluring to them at this point. Building your portfolio is more important than beginning to generate a profit.

Working with your first client will teach you essential things that will be extremely helpful when working with your first actual client.

Online job board - Using job search services like Upwork and PeoplePerHour is an additional strategy for landing your first client. These websites might serve as a fantastic beginning point because they include hundreds of job listings for positions in digital marketing.

Here are some ideas that will assist you:
  • Make sure that when replying to a job request, you answer ALL questions raised in the posting. Read the job description carefully and explain your plan of action.
  • Respond quickly. Job advertising on those websites generates a large number of answers in a matter of hours, and the work is frequently awarded to those who respond earliest.
  • Make sincere promises that you can maintain.
  • Keep your price low.

10. Establish your digital marketing blog

How To Start Digital Marketing Agency

When working on your first client, make time to develop your own blog. By far the best lead-creation tool for a digital marketing agency is a solid blog with interesting content. It's the most efficient technique to generate new leads while also convincing potential clients that you know what you're doing.
When clients find you through Google search, you don't have to sell yourself because they already know you're capable of ranking websites high in Google, which greatly aids the registration process.

When creating content for your blog, try to target keywords that are related to the type of services you are currently offering and that potential clients may search for. To give you an idea of how effective this technique is, blogging has been the primary source of leads for many agencies for many years.  In fact, growing your blog should be your top priority because as your blog grows, so will your agency. Not relying on advertising will also help you turn your company into a profitable one faster.

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11. Make your portfolio & customer testimonials

When you get to this point, your goal should be to keep expanding your portfolio and customer testimonials. To quickly expand your portfolio, you will still need to provide low-cost services, but gaining testimonials and glowing reviews from clients can help you sign up more and larger customers in the future.
I'm insisting on this point because it's simple to obtain new clients with a low marketing budget, in order to secure clients with high budgets that can provide substantial profit, you need to have a respectable portfolio and glowing reviews from previous clients.

I can tell you from experience that it will take some time, so try not to become discouraged and go forward gradually.

12. Develop your procedures

When your digital marketing agency expands and you take on additional clients, you'll reach a point when you can no longer manage all of the projects on your own. At that point, you should think about employing assistance, but first, you must put up your procedures. By processes, we mean having a collection of SOPs (standard operating procedures) to record each step you take to complete a certain task. This applies to all of the services you provide as well as the client onboarding procedure. If you don't do this now, before you hire new employees, you'll waste a lot of time trying to explain to your team how they should handle client work.

Create email templates, proposal templates, custom reports, and checklists that anyone can use to complete a particular task by using your experience currently working with clients. Keep things straightforward; avoid making them too complicated. You can create your processes using Google docs and Gmail and organize them in folders.

13. Build your team

How To Start Digital Marketing Agency

In order to hire new workers, your business must already have some clients, be profitable, and have established procedures. If you haven't reached this point yet, I advise not hiring anyone right away unless you have the resources to take a chance. It can be difficult to replace yourself with new workers, and many owners of digital marketing agencies struggled to do so.

Here are some ideas to assist you in the process:
  • Start by hiring workers for simple jobs - Explain to your workers what they should do, and make sure all steps are documented. Make sure your processes (which you created in the previous stage) are updated and relevant.
  • Start by hiring freelancers instead of full-time workers - This will increase your flexibility and help you keep costs down. Additional assistance is available as needed and for each specific project.
  • Set up a pilot project for them to execute - The easiest method to determine whether a freelancer is a suitable fit for your team is to hire them for a pilot project before moving through with a full-time job because it's not always simple to understand what skills a freelancer has. This will help you avoid wasting money and wasting your time by hiring the incorrect people.

How to create a digital marketing agency?

To create a digital marketing agency: 1. Define your niche and services. 2. Research the market and competition. 3. Develop a business plan. 4. Register your business. 5. Build a skilled team. 6. Set up a professional website and social media profiles. 7. Network with industry professionals. 8. Invest in necessary tools and software. 9. Establish a pricing strategy. 10. Market your agency through various channels. 11. Provide excellent service and deliver results.

How do I start a digital marketing agency with no experience?

Here's a simplified and concise guide to starting a digital marketing agency with no experience: Learn the basics: Invest time in learning about digital marketing through online resources and courses. Choose a niche: Focus on a specific area of digital marketing to specialize in. Build an online presence: Create a professional website and utilize social media platforms to showcase your expertise. Offer services to non-profits or small businesses: Gain practical experience and build a portfolio by working with these organizations. Collaborate with professionals: Partner with experienced individuals in complementary fields to enhance your service offerings. Stay updated: Continuously learn and experiment with new techniques and strategies. Network and attend industry events: Engage with professionals and seek mentorship or guidance. Offer competitive pricing: Initially, offer competitive pricing or package deals to attract clients. Leverage online marketing: Utilize SEO, content marketing, social media, and email marketing to promote your agency. Seek feedback and improve: Continuously learn from client feedback and adjust your strategies accordingly. Starting a digital marketing agency requires continuous learning, practical application, and a focus on building relationships and delivering results.

Can you start digital marketing agency alone?

Yes, you can start a digital marketing agency alone. Here are some simple tips: Focus on your niche: Specialize in a specific area of digital marketing to establish your expertise. Build a strong online presence: Create a professional website and utilize social media to showcase your skills. Invest in continuous learning: Stay updated with the latest trends and techniques in digital marketing. Collaborate with freelancers or contractors: Partner with professionals in complementary fields to expand your service offerings. Offer competitive pricing: Attract clients by offering competitive rates when starting out. Network and build relationships: Attend industry events and engage with potential clients and partners. Deliver excellent service: Provide high-quality work and exceed client expectations. Leverage automation and tools: Use digital marketing tools to streamline processes and improve efficiency. Seek client feedback: Continuously improve based on client input and recommendations. Scale gradually: As your agency grows, consider hiring additional team members to support your workload. Starting a digital marketing agency alone is possible, but it requires dedication, continuous learning, and building a strong network of clients and collaborators..

How do I get digital marketing clients?

To get digital marketing clients: Define your target audience. Build a strong online presence. Use social media to engage with potential clients. Network and attend industry events. Offer free resources and consultations. Seek referrals and testimonials from satisfied clients. Collaborate with complementary businesses. Attend local business events. Utilize online advertising. Provide exceptional service to generate positive reviews and recommendations.


A wonderful business to launch is a digital marketing agency. Being your own boss, offering services from the convenience of your home, and having a business that can grow without a lot of capital are all benefits. Even though it seems great, there are a few things to think about before choosing to offer digital marketing services. You must first have knowledge of what you're doing. If you're new to digital marketing, you should first develop your skills and working experience before rushing to start a company.

Starting with digital marketing on your own websites, experiment with various strategies until you are certain of what is working and what is not. You'll feel confident enough to offer your skills to others once you've achieved some genuine accomplishments. Start off slowly, don't try to provide every service immediately, and don't grow too quickly. Building your portfolio one client at a time will help you do so. Make sure your procedures are in place before hiring new employees and grow your company gradually. It can take a lot of trial and error to find people that can work well with your team when you hire remote workers.

Your top priority should always be starting and expanding a blog. Without spending money on advertising, blogging will help you attract new customers, which has huge benefits for your company.
Make sure, you don’t forget the motto ‘Your satisfaction is what we admire’.Give your clients the attention they deserve and they will become loyal customers. This way, you may reduce the cost of acquiring new clients, increase your profit, and grow your company more quickly.

So if you're passionate about the digital marketing industry and willing to put in the work, starting a digital marketing agency can be a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor. By following the steps on how to start a digital marketing agency, you can build a thriving business that helps clients achieve their marketing objectives and establishes your reputation as a top digital marketing agency.

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