Do you think you have what it takes to get an internet marketing company up and running? There’s no better time than now to get started. When 78% of internet users conduct product research online before buying, it’s more important than ever for companies to have a web presence to reach these people.
However, creating an online marketing business isn’t something you should do without a plan. Follow the steps below to start an internet marketing business that’s successful.
Build Your Marketing Skills
The world of online marketing is immense. There are multiple ways to get traffic to websites, and the chances are that you won’t become an expert at all of them. When you first start, you’ll need to focus on a specific skill set that you can brand yourself a master of.
Research the common forms of internet marketing to figure out which one you’ll enjoy doing the most. You’ll need to spend some time training to make sure you’re up to date with those marketing methods’ latest trends.
You can do this in a couple of ways.
The first is to find a marketing course to take. It will cost money upfront, but you’ll get a straight path to learning what you need to know to start your company.
Your other option is to find free training online. While this path is less expensive, you’ll also need to do some work to discover all the relevant information you need to know.
Decide on a Niche
Yes, you might be able to get away with branding yourself as a one-size-fits-all operation. However, it’s harder to establish yourself as an expert if people see you as a jack of all trades.
Your marketing expertise isn’t the only thing you can niche down on as a marketing agency. You can also brand yourself as an expert in the specific industries of your customers.
While you don’t need to start this process straight away, keep your target market in mind as you bring in your first customers. You want to figure out which industry you enjoy working in the most and bring the most value.
Once you have successful client results in your chosen market, you can use them as promotional material. Create case studies of your results and use them for marketing yourself as a marketing expert in selected industries.
Pick Your Payment Model
There isn’t a standard business model for internet marketing businesses. There are many tasks you can offer to potential clients. Some will want one-off fees, and others will want to hire you on a retainer.
You’ll need to decide which of these payment models is right for your company.
Take writing, for instance. Writing articles is a perfect example of a marketing task that works well for single payments. You can charge a flat fee per article and move on to the next client. On the other hand, you can also set up recurring payments to offer a fixed number of articles every month.
Other services like paid advertising management will work better with a monthly retainer. These marketing tasks need constant monitoring, so you don’t want to offer a single payment for the job.
Form Your Company
You can do business as a sole-proprietor and be successful. The problem is there’s no way to separate you and your company when this happens. You’ll be on the hook as an individual if something bad happens to your customers because of your actions.
Forming a company helps insulate you from these issues. If problems come up when you do your work, your company will be on the hook for damages and not you as an individual.
You have a few options to start a business as an individual.
The first is an LLC. This company type is a pass-through organization. You have an EIN, but you’ll file your taxes at the end of the year on your personal tax return.
Your other option is an S-Corp. With an S-Corp, your company exists on its own. You’ll file taxes separately and pay yourself a salary as an employee of your business.
An S-Corp is also useful if you plan to hire employees. This structure gives you the tools necessary to hire people full-time without a hassle.
Build Your Toolset
You have a wide array of tools available to you as a digital marketer. It seems like there is something new released every week, so you’ll need to do some in-depth research to find the right tools for the job.
To begin your search, research the standard tools used for your marketing specialty.
For instance, if you focus on email marketing, you’ll need to learn about the different email list providers and how to use them. Other tools can provide segmentation features, so your emails only go to the people most likely receptive to them.
If you focus on SEO, you’ll need to invest in keyword research, competition monitoring, and on-site SEO tools.
There are several sites on the internet like Kartra that provide reviews of these tools. Most software offers free trials, so test out the highest rated ones until you find the tools right for you.
Create a Web Presence
You’re setting yourself as an expert in all things digital marketing. It would be strange if you did this while not having a web presence yourself.
Even if you don’t have excellent tech skills, it’s relatively simple for anyone to get a website up and running in short order. There are several one-click installers available to set up WordPress for your business.
From that point, you need a professional design for your site. Look through the available free and paid themes for your website platform. Pick one that you believe will resonate with your target audience.
Once you have a decent design, you need to develop your content to explain to potential customers why you’re worth doing business with. Start with your homepage and use it to describe the key benefits of working with your marketing company.
You can branch off with other pages if you want into more detail about your services. Just remember, attention is hard to come by on the internet. Make sure your website visitors can find what they need quickly, so you don’t lose them.
Build Your Network
All the work you do might be online, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with not talking to people. Running a digital marketing agency means being a people person. You’re going to need to get comfortable getting in touch with strangers and telling them how you will bring them value.
One of the best ways to accomplish this as a new marketing agency is to build up your network. Check your local area to see if there are any business meetups. These are great places to meet other local businesses and check if you can help each other succeed.
Once you build your network, it can lead to the majority of your sales. Once you establish yourself as a marketing expert, your network will send you referrals as often as they can.
Explore Lead Generation Channels
Networking won’t be the only way you get customers for your business. Companies search the internet for marketing help all the time. It’s up to you to reach out to these companies when they need help.
One of the best ways to get in touch with business owners is through business groups on social media. Often, these groups contain people who are looking for help and ideas to market their business. If you can provide value to them, they might reach out to talk about your services.
You can also take advantage of paid advertising to market your business. If you have a high price point, you can afford to spend a bit of money to acquire customers. Do a few experiments to gauge your average cost to acquire a customer and try to drive that price down to get a decent margin on your marketing efforts.
Plan for Growth
If you plan to stay a solo operation, growing your company will only take you so far. You only have so many hours in the day, so your number of clients will be limited.
Things are different if you want to grow a large marketing agency. You can’t do everything yourself in these cases, so you’ll need to hire a team to help. If you go down this route, you’ll need to prepare for this beforehand.
Start by looking at the most common tasks and create standard operating procedures around them. These procedures should be a step-by-step process detailing how your business works. Anyone should be able to come in and follow your system to accomplish your tasks.
Once you have standardized procedures, you’ll need to look for employees. It’s easy to post job applications to online job boards to find prospects. Use these websites to filter candidates to find the right people for the job.
Do Your Due Diligence When Creating an Online Marketing Business
While creating an online marketing business doesn’t take much capital start, it does require some manual effort on your part. If you want companies to trust you with your money, you’ll need a plan to convince them that you’re an expert in your field. Use the steps above to brand yourself as an internet specialist that gets results.
If you want to find more tips about running your marketing agency, head back to our blog. Our recent posts cover the latest trends that will help you make your company a success.