written by
Bradley Waldrop

How to Start and Grow Your Digital Marketing Agency - Lessons Learned from 30-Years of Hard Knocks

Digital Marketing Local Business 5 min read
How to Start and Grown Your Digital Marketing Agency - feature image

Looking to Grow Your Digital Marketing Agency? After you read this, you’ll be able to launch and grow a successful digital marketing agency - even if you don't have any clients or haven't ever sold services before.

If you're an entrepreneur, or you're struggling to figure out how you can help others, then this could be the most important article you've read - ever!

GOAL: I wrote this article because I thought it would be great for others to learn from over 30-years of experience delivering professional services to customers around the world. My goal is to reveal a time-tested approach to getting your first 5 clients that are paying you monthly for your services & they look forward to the invoice because they are over the moon about your service!

Keep reading as I unpack the process, one step at a time through video, info-graphics, screenshots and telling real stories. In fact, this article may never be "done" because I'll continue adding pieces to it, a little here and a little there.

I'll do what I can to make this article as user-friendly as possible, so feel free to use these links to get to all the sections you'll need.

How to Start and Grow Your Digital Marketing Business - TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Step One - Select Those That You Want to Serve

Grow Your Digital Marketing Business - Step One (Select Those That You Want to Serve)

How to Start and Grow Your Digital Marketing Agency - Step One - Trust
When you create a digital marketing service, it's all about SERVICE.

When you get started, you're going to want to understand who you want to serve, and how they'll perceive your service. But, it's not about demographics as much as it is about you becoming the trusted advisor for your clients. So, if you're going to be the best in your field, you'll want to be sure that your future customers can trust you.

What Makes Your Customers Trust You?

There's a simple three-piece formula that defines trust in your business. The method includes:

The first of three critical elements you need to launch and grow your digital marketing agency - STRONG SKILLS

Because trust begins with your ability to get results, you should be looking for customers that appreciate your skills.

Strong Skills - Because trust begins with your ability to get results, you should be looking for customers that appreciate your skills. Dig deep and understand what skills you have that others will pay to get. Be careful not to underestimate yourself. Most people have skills that others appreciate, and that means you too. We're all still growing and learning, so figure out what you do well and write it down.

If you're anything like me, the list might include:

I write well. I have an uncanny knack for being able to communicate with written words. So, that means that I'm a trusted advisor for those that need written communications (read case studies, white papers, email campaigns, and other general copywriting).

I understand computers. I started programming on my own in 1981. I've automated highly-complex tasks, and I really understand computers. So, that means that I'm a trusted advisor for those that need to connect processes, work on the logic of their funnels, and navigate the processes that underlie customer experience.

I know how to operate businesses well. I started behind the counter of my parent's general store in 1980. I learned how critical customer service, cash flow, and profitability are for any business no matter if it's brick-and-mortar or online. And, I have been on advisory committees for UC Riverside's Graduate School of Management, MountainBizWorks, and Lean Startup Circle. I am a trusted advisor for local business owners needing to grow their businesses or squeeze more out of their bottom line.

I have also been on stage talking to other startups about growing their businesses

I understand how people behave and think. I have been a student of marketing and sales since I started college in 1989. And, over the last 30-years I have sold almost$400,000,000 of professional services to clients all over the world. So, that means that I'm a trusted advisor for teams and leaders that want to grow their service businesses.

(HOMEWORK) GROW YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY

Now, it's your turn! Spend some time listing what you do well. Then, write a simple statement that says...

"I'm a trusted advisor to ___________ because I give them ______________."

Let's face it, it takes much more than amazing skills to gain the trust of your customers.

They really need to know you'll behave well no matter what happens when you're working together.

Rock-Solid Character. Let's face it, it takes much more than amazing skills to gain the trust of your customers. They really need to know you'll behave well no matter what happens when you're working together.

These character traits are usually first exposed through a code of conduct, a list of core values, your mission, or your vision statement. But, be careful, you'll be found out if you post an empty set of words in the hopes that you'll engender trust with those that don't know you.

So, what can you do?

You can get testimonials, invite your customers or prospects to events or insider circles, post videos of you interacting with others, launch a podcast, write a blog, or start a YouTube channel. In the marketing world, this can be understood as social proof, but I see it as transparency. In fact, I invite you to join me and others in a few groups online where you can see how I behave (warts and all).

Samples of Where You Can Learn More About Me.

When you're opening up about who you are and what you stand for, you'll be gathering a following and upsetting others. Be bold! Be audacious! Be real! The more transparent you are, the better you will be at finding customers that appreciate you and how you do business.

How can others find out about you and what you stand for?

(HOMEWORK) GROW YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY

Now, it's your turn! Spend some time listing your core values, your vision, locations where your customers and prospects can interact with you, and take it public - be transparent!

- There is one more pieces to the formula coming soon. Comment on this article and let me know what you think and what struggles you have. I'll send out an update as the next bit gets added here. -

Comment and let me know what struggles you are having!
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