A marketing business or agency basically plans and implement a client’s marketing strategy or part of that strategy. There are a lot of great reasons to start a marketing agency. It’s a line of business that gives you an opportunity to back great products and services, push them to the market and ride on the success of the value they bring to clients. Some marketing firms do it all – from event marketing to starting a small business as an outsourced marketing department with whole suite of marketing services. How to get started will depend on your target market – the niche you choose, the experience you have, your competence, etc. Take a cue from insiders in the industry – talk with business owners, employees, and clients within your space. This will help you determine how to position your business. Start-up costs could be very low, however, primary steps to take here will include:
Some marketing firms do it all – from event marketing to starting a small business as an outsourced marketing department with a whole suite of marketing services. How to get started will depend on your target market – the niche you choose, the experience you have, your competence, etc. Take a cue from insiders in the industry – talk with business owners, practitioners, and clients within that space. This will help you determine how to position your business. Start-up costs could be very low, however, primary steps to take here will include:
1) DETERMINE YOUR NICHE: To lump all marketing agencies under one identity would be a farce. While some focus on traditional advertising, other niche firms solely offer public relations, digital marketing or social media services. What are you selling and to whom? Start by using skills that you already have, seek out familiar industries.
2) ORGANIZE BASIC BUSINESS ADMIN DETAILS: A business name, bank account, business address, services brochure, and rates, etc. Starting a marketing business for free usually means you initially need to use your home address, personal bank account and your own name for payment purposes.
3) MAKE A MARKETING PLAN & GET STARTED: Create your own marketing plan, a comprehensive approach to promoting your business – take advantage of free marketing plan templates online, or simply use a calendar to write down your objectives. Include the 4 P’s in your business marketing plan: Product, Price, Promotion, and Placement.
TIPS: Make a list of your potential clients, reach out to friends, local groups and places where you do business. If you have doctors, lawyers or entrepreneurs in the family, ask them for a chance to bid on their next web project, brochure, or event. Some very useful things to know about your clients include:
Find a way to exploit specific knowledge gaps: Your prospects likely aren’t lacking smart talent. Rather, they seek outside expertise because they’re exploring unfamiliar problems, markets, or methodologies. They need objective insight that their in-house people can’t provide. That’s where you come in.
Focus on relationships, not revenues: This is a business based on relationships. Never talk costs before first discussing your clients’ specific needs and objectives. For reasons both practical and political, few businesses actively look to hire consultants on a regular or recurring basis. Reputation is everything, and it’s vital to stay on clients’ radars. Remember, opportunities typically come in the wake of new ventures or sudden, pressing issues. That’s when you want to spring to mind as the perfect person to help.
Sell results, not services: Price by the hour and you’ll be viewed as a commodity. Instead, keep clients laser-focused on the lasting value you create, and bill based on the scope of work and end results. Never discuss whether your firm will be used, but rather how, and provide a range of possible cost scenarios and value-adds, starting with your baseline requirements.
Above all, always keep an open mind – be quick to learn trends and new imaginations in your line of business. Persistence and the determination to succeed are the most important skills you bring to the table.