Do you know what looks like healthy financials? A recurring $5000 monthly retainer from your clients to manage their marketing channels. It‘s a given that each and every startup invests in marketing. In almost all cases, it‘s more cost-effective to hire a startup marketing agency.
The beauty of a startup marketing agency is its business model. There‘s one thing to try to sell a product each month, like socks, for example. Yet, it‘s a totally different world to receive a recurring payment for the work you do.
Additionally, you could call yourself a startup marketing agency in less than five minutes. Technically, you only need a name that conveys creativity. Remember, marketing is all about creativity. How about “Monkeys eating bananas? MEB?“ I‘d go for it.
Nonetheless, it‘s your own journey to go through. Don‘t let me stand in the way. Actually, I can be of great help. Consulting Al Anany, our founder who had Albusi originally as a business consultancy agency while growing it to a five-figure and then converting the model to the marketplace it is today, here‘s a detailed guide on creating your startup marketing agency.
Preparing your startup marketing agency
Let‘s prepare for this moment. Creating a startup marketing agency is not something you do every day (hopefully.) The first and initial thing to know is that the word “agency“ is a formality. You are a company that aims to deliver a service to clients. Let‘s start with that.
What services are you going to provide?
Marketing, like tech, is changing every day. There are some sales concepts that are deep in us as humans. However, the channels are rapidly changing, and you must always be aligned with what‘s new and outdated. I like the famous saying here that a master of everything is a master of none. Specializing when it comes to a startup marketing agency could take you to the next level. Let me elaborate.
Say you are a client and you are looking for someone to help you with your SEO (search engine optimization). You have two options:
- A general marketing agency that does everything, including SEO.
- A specialized SEO startup marketing agency that focuses on the niche of SEO.
You‘ll probably go for the second option because it feels like they‘ll provide a better SEO service, which is what you‘re looking for. You might think, “Yes, but then you lost a ton of other services that you can monetize from!“
The thing is, the imaginary client above will start working with the second agency. Then when they need a specific design or so, they will ask the agency if they know anyone as they‘ve already established trust in that area. This is when the second agency will say, “Oh, we have our in-house designers who could help.“
So the first basic question is, what‘s your niche? You need to start with a focus and study the heck out of it. If it‘s technical SEO, for instance, then you need to focus your resources on that.
It‘s vital to pinpoint what you‘re providing to remind yourself during this entrepreneurial journey.
Do you need a business plan?
Honestly, I‘ve witnessed many startup marketing agencies that did not start with a business plan. It‘s never a must. Is it recommended, though? That depends on you.
Some entrepreneurs prefer to keep their hands dirty. Others need to strategize, think of a plan, and then execute it according to their timeline. Both of those executed a business plan; one was thought of, and the other was written.
Hence, what‘s vital is that you understand where you want to reach with your agency. Is there a target of what you‘re doing? Do you want to create a side hustle or some income on the side? Do you want this to be your big break? Whatever that is, understand and be aware of that.
What your startup marketing agency absolutely needs.
You could survive without a written business plan. But there are some elements that you absolutely nonnegotiable when creating a startup marketing agency.
Marketing is very correlated to selling. There is quite a big discussion about each and every logo and font of companies around the world. It‘s expected that if McDonald’s came up with a new logo tomorrow, it would have a deep meaning. They‘ll probably invest millions in it.
You won‘t start off by investing millions in your logo. That‘s just a bad business decision. Yet, you will repel clients if you do not synchronize your branding in all your material, including your website, proposals, logo, font, documents, social media channels, everything…
Hence, take your time in this phase, but do not over-plan. That‘s also quite unhealthy.
You need to create a brand that explains what you stand for. That‘s it.
Whether you like it or not, when you invite guests to your house, they will look around. They will automatically think and start processing information. For instance, imagine if your house is doodled in every tiny corner, like this house.
Your mind will start processing whether you like it or not. In the world of business, your home is your website. That’s the first thing they will visit. If it looks traditional, you’ve lost them. Also, if it looks so complicated, you’ve lost them. If it is impressive, you’ve got yourself some clients.
I’ve looked up the top 50 marketing agencies, and one of them was Ketchum.com (I told you the monkey thing was a good idea). Check out their website, and you’ll understand what I mean by simplicity with a clean design.
Create your perfect home to host your guests. Remember to keep the site speed fantastic. If there’s one thing that pushes clients away, that’s slow websites.
Freelancers or Employees
You might be able to handle a client. But can you handle 100 clients? 1000 clients? Your mind is probably thinking of 1000 clients per month with a retainer of $5000; that’s equivalent to $5 million per month, which is $60 million per year. You feel overjoyed at the moment looking at these numbers. Supposedly this is when I tell you to be realistic.
But you know what? I won’t. You could very much do this. Several in our world have, and you’re no less. But, you have limited time capacity. If you have a 30-minute meeting with your 1000 clients. You’ll need to keep meeting clients for 500 hours in a row. That’s 21 days with no sleeping. Okay, at this moment, I will recommend that you actually do not try to stay awake for 21 days. Hence, here’s what I recommend: hire people.
An agency, as a concept, is a manager or a leader with a team. You need your team. For that, you have two options:
- Hire a team with a payroll.
- Hire freelancers when needed.
The first option costs a lot. The second option does not guarantee availability. The hybrid of those is what I highly recommend. You could start working with freelancers but work with them long term. Do not choose a cheaper freelancer because the one you know requested a slightly hire rate. Work with whom you know for as long as you can.
Of course, eventually, when you are pouring in the $5 million per month, hire a team with a payroll.
This is absolutely not critical, but it could spare you tons of costs and affect your performance. You need to research the tools you will need to use. For instance, if you’re focused on SEO, then you probably need access to Semrush. Yet, if you’re focused on design, for example, then you’ll need to obtain some Adobe licenses for photoshop, illustrator, InDesign, etc.
Analysis when it comes to performance is the key in your startup marketing agency; keep that in mind. So do exert some time in researching this area.
Finally, the bills won’t be magically paid if you have all the above ready without clients. Your focus will be on obtaining clients and retaining them. This won’t be easy as it’s the biggest challenge. However, the good news is that this is the ultimate test. You need to market your marketing services.
Rings a bell? That’s what you’ll do to clients anyway, right? So this phase is actually the best as you will learn how to reach people through different channels. Then you can apply what you learned with other clients.
LinkedIn could be one of your main channels as it’s full of businesses, and your business model is mainly a b2b (business to business) model.
Appearing in Google search using content marketing is also one of those deal breakers that could land you clients forever. Imagine if I search “Startup Marketing Agency,” and you’re on the first page. There’s no better marketing. Full stop.
The secret to a successful startup marketing agency is time.
Finally, millions of people thought of starting a startup marketing agency. But only a few succeed; why? It’s not talent. It’s patience. Every human being learns in time. Some obtain qualities and grasp information faster than others.
But as long as one keeps trying, then the learning process continues, which is proportional to your startup’s success. So be as patient as you can. Read tons of books about your strategies and other firms. Get on a million meetings. Do whatever you can to get exposed to this industry.
A business plan for a startup marketing agency?
The main objective of this article is to help and motivate you with your startup marketing agency. So, if you have any questions, you can comment on the article below. I would love to help out!
As a freelancer, sometimes clients come to me to start a new marketing agency. I always ask them why they’re asking me to help them with their business planning, for instance. I sometimes provide my services if this would spare them time that they want to invest in operations. For instance, here’s an example of the average time and detail it takes me to create a business plan for a startup marketing agency.
If, and only if, this could help you a lot, then do let me know via email.
Finally, I wish you a wonderful entrepreneurial journey.
A typical business plan for a startup marketing agency focused on growth. We’ll go through the whole startup journey, including the operations, team, market, services, and timeline. The final table of contents will be discussed with you beforehand. I could also contact an external financial analyst to help build a financial model that might be useful for you (This is excluded from the below timeframe and budget.)
|Financial Model||Not Included|
The Freelancer Behind This Service
People look for business consultants daily. However, they can’t find the perfect match. I aim to always achieve the perfect sync with my clients.
I’m Anil, an Albusi business consultant. I’ve worked on this website with over 50 clients.
You can easily contact me through my email for any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, if you are looking for a different consultant, I would recommend you check this page.
For further information and updates about our offers, check Albusi’s LinkedIn page.