HOW TO START AN AGENCY | DIGITAL AGENCY STARTUP



Do you want to start an agency, a digital marketing agency? Are you a digital agency startup and want to know what it takes to become a successful agency?

People are always asking me how they can stop struggling and grow at a faster rate. I have documented some of the 8 systems it takes to grow a successful agency and develop a digital agency strategy.

1- CLARITY
Think about WHY you’re starting your agency. Knowing your why can help you create your company vision. And a vision is key because you can’t get where you’re going if you don’t have a destination in mind!

The other thing you need is a clear understanding of your niche. Most agencies are hesitant to declare a niche because they’re afraid to turn down work in other areas. That’s not the case! You do not have to turn down other work, but you DO want to declare a niche so you can be viewed as a expert and leader in that category.

2- POSITIONING
Most of the time, we see marketing agencies position themselves as the star of the show. Their website and all their own marketing materials tell their own story of success. It’s like they’re Batman, which leaves the client in the position of Robin (and that’s not good because no one wants to wear those green tights!).

Instead, you should position your agency as Alfred, the trusted advisor of Batman. In the position of trusted advisor you’re looked upon for advice based on your experience and expertise. The right positioning will set you up for success because it makes your client the star of the show, and your agency looked to for support and guidance.

3- OFFERING
Most agencies don’t fully understand the value of the service they’re providing. They want the work so badly they don’t clearly see the value of what they’re providing. You should always think about the client’s expectations and the results you’re going to deliver.

Another mistake is going after the big project right off the bat. It’s like proposing marriage on the first date. Instead, you want to create a service offering ladder that starts with a Foot in the Door offer. Then you can work your way up the offering ladder slowly to continually build trust and authority.

4- PROSPECTING
Once you have the foundational systems of 1, 2, and 3 then you can start going after your ideal clients. I like using a 3-prong prospecting strategy including: outbound, inbound, and strategic partnerships.

Outbound sales: Make a “hit list” of the clients you want to work with and start finding creative ways to go after them. Make a connection

Strategic partnerships: This does not mean referral partners but instead think strategically of businesses who target your same audience. Align yourself with them to find ideal clients within your niche.

Inbound sales: First, build authority within the niche, then you can build your sales funnels and market to the right people.

5- SALES
Make sure you qualify your prospects so you don’t waste time with the wrong ones. Think NBAT:
N = Need (Do the client’s need match your core service?)
B = Budget (What’s the budget?)
A = Authority (Who has the final authority?)
T = Timing (What’s the timing?)

Learn more at

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JASON SWENK IS AN AGENCY ADVISOR THAT GUIDES MARKETING AGENCIES THROUGH A PROVEN FRAMEWORK FOR GROWING THEIR AGENCY FASTER & EASIER.

Fresh out of college Jason was off to work for Arthur Anderson, one of the big 5 consulting firms. He quickly realized that he could never work for anyone other than himself. He decided to change direction, launch a digital agency that quickly grew to a multi-million dollar operation working with brands such as AT&T, Hitachi and Lotus Cars. After 12 years of steady growth, the agency caught the attention of bigger agencies and Jason sold it in 2012.

Now, Jason leads  a unique media company & consultancy helping marketing agencies grow & scale their agencies faster by applying the framework that he used to grow, scale and eventually sell his agency. Jason has helped over 10,000 agencies in 23 countries meet or exceed their business goals.
Jason currently hosts two shows:

The Smart Agency Master Class Podcast, new episodes every Wednesday. and SwenkToday a daily vlog, new episodes every Mon-Thurs.

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Vanessa

Community Volunteer, Hiker, Gemologist, Veteran Startup Operator, 2012 Survivor. I look funny naked.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Solid advice as ever on starting an agency ( marketing or any other type of agency I guess ). Also for us – more importantly – how to grow a digital agency – which is even harder! 🙂 But all part of the fun…..I think lol

  • What a great video. I just left my corporate job to start an agency and this has helped me with clarity. I need to focus on my target market and not be a blanket agency. Add value to that market.

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