I’ve always wondered what Gary Vaynerchuk did for a living. The Wine Library part I understood, but what he does now is vague (for me). His father built a brick and mortar business selling wines, and he helped scale the operations by engaging with their audience using email marketing and YouTube.
My Own History with Agencies
I have employed a local digital marketing agency before. Back then, I thought they were just buying FaceBook and Google Ads for me. I didn’t pay that much attention cause I didn’t understand it. Learning how to start a digital marketing agency wasn’t really high on the list.
I just give them money, and they boost a couple of our FaceBook posts, and that was it. We generated leads from those post and eventually converted them to real-world sales.
And Then I Quit
I quit my job last year to find my path.
Earlier this year I tried my hand in doing filmmaking work, this didn’t last that long cause all I can do is give free work. It got tiring for me and wanted to try something else. This is how I found my way into daily writing and public speaking.
With my experience with film acting, I was able to get a skill transfer and found myself excelling with it.
For a short time, I tried my hand in consultancy — I helped a couple of brands tell better stories. It wasn’t also my thing, so here I am shifting into commerce and selling physical products.
Enter Selling Products
This is how I discovered Amazon FBA and Shopify Dropshipping. I am working on them and still about to launch, and I recently got another chance to learn about FaceBook ads. And it blew my mind. Facebook marketing is powerful beyond measure if wielded correctly.
How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency
I will share with you tips on how to build your digital marketing agency in 2018. This comes from my experience in filmmaking, photography, writing, storytelling and facebook ads.
The target market I have in mind are local establishments such as real estate developers, restaurants, cafes or bars. And service providers such as real estate brokers, tailors, craftsmen, travel agencies, or construction contractors.
I will divide the process into two systems — Marketing and Sales. Marketing is about gaining attention and sales is monetizing a product or service.
And here is the list of archetypes of people you should hire. Some of them can be rolled into one person, but I highly suggest getting someone who specializes in one craft.
1 Head Writer
I start with writing as this will be your pillar content producer. Writing is about clear thinking. This is the birth of great content.
Writers are tasked to flesh out ideas from the client. They interview them and create articles, tweets, and quotes. One article can be repurposed into ten other types of media if done well.
A writer should have a good command of the local language being used. It will help if he has a good grasp of copywriting principles.
2 Media Specialist — Photo and Video Work
It’s now usual to get someone who’s both skilled in photography and videography. But I suggest you get two of them. If you can only hire one, I suggest you get the video guy — video is the future.
Written word is the pillar content, but it’s the least entertaining content. You need to convert words into pictures or videos to make it more engaging. A well-written article can easily be converted to a script. There’s no substitute in seeing someone tell their story through video compared to written form.
3 Lead Storyteller — Editor
This person will oversee the craftsmen’s first draft. He will lead the direction and will need to make everything cohesive. He will sharpen the rough edges.
The lead storyteller should know basic storytelling skills — three-act structure, building context, throwing a strong punchline, and holding the suspense.
Think of him as a lead manager of your team.
4 Producer or Marketer
This person is responsible in getting clients.
They get the stars and the moon to align. The producers/marketers also fix the logistical nightmare of everyone’s schedule. They book the locations, makeup artists, stylists, production designers — for a photo shoot or interview.
They deal with negotiating with clients for your rates and the terms of your contract. Remember that you’re running a digital marketing agency and not a photo or film studio. I suggest charging clients with a monthly recurring fee with a finite number of content to be delivered.
This will vary depending on the amount of content needed, and your team’s capacity.
5 Graphic Designer
This will give the extra oomph in your photos. They will be responsible for making digital posters, product catalogs, or branding bible rehaul.
Visuals are often overlooked, but I suggest investing in a great graphic designer.
6 Facebook Ads Expert
This is the final kicker in the team. This guy should know the ins and outs of FaceBook advertising. There are tons of courses online that can teach you how to wield this powerful engine.
The powers of all your craftsmen will converge in making this work — a well-constructed copy, well-produced photo or video, and killer offer to make your customers click.
Are you planning on building a digital marketing agency? I suggest you start with your personal brand and build credibility as the local social media expert. The industry is young, and there is a massive opportunity waiting to be claimed. Claim your spot and start helping your local business community thrive.
Talk to you soon my friend.