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EXECUTION Finally taking action - Starting a digital marketing agency

DHZ

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Hello all,
I've been lurking this forum for a while and have gone from one idea to another for years but never stuck to one and actually executed until now. I've been following the checklist by @Sean Marshall on How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency & Hit $5K in Less than 90 Days and it's been helping me get on track to start my first real venture. I'm currently still in the Setup phase but I've been making prompt decisions despite hesitation of opening my wallet and investing. I feel confident about the niche I'm going into because I know people in this line of work and they aren't the most tech savvy but there's a need for them to gain online exposure in the local area. I figured I could keep track of my progress through this thread and maybe receive some input from you guys so any questions or constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated, it feels great to share this journey with like minded people. :)

So far I've already done the following:
  • Wrote up a business plan
  • Wrote up packages (Subject to change as I am tinkering around with pricing and what to offer)
  • Had logos created and images/banners for social media platforms
  • Filed an LLC (some issues with the filing process to be fixed) and created a business PayPal
  • Registered my Domain name along with a hosting service and am in the process of creating my website with the help of a friend
The next on my To do list includes:
  • Sorting out the filing issues
  • Setting up my business email with my domain name
  • Setting up accounts on social media platforms
  • Creating business cards
  • Complete the framework design of my website
I'm taking these steps as I'm learning at the same time from the Udemy course I'm taking along with the checklist. By no means am I in my comfort zone, but I suppose that is a good thing because now here's a fire lit under my a$$ to keep me going. Not only that, but I've come to accept that making mistakes is part of the journey and risks have to be taken in order to improve. I'm rather nervous but at the same time, I look forward to where this journey will take me and hearing any feedback, criticisms, or questions you guys may have.
 

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DHZ

DHZ

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It seems you're doing everything to keep yourself from doing the real work; which is finding clients.

How do you plan getting your first paying clients?
I'm only in the setup phase but I have a few potential people lined up including a family friend who is a business owner and would like assistance on social media management. I agreed to help them for a reduced price in order to see the results and traffic it brings in and what can be done to improve.
 

Telamon25346

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In my personal opinion, and as a successful agency owner myself. It's really simple
  1. GET CLIENTS
  2. DO THE WORK/HIRE SOMEONE TO DO THE WORK
  3. REPEAT
This is all you need to work on. ANYTHING else is unnecessary in my opinion. If you want to make your thread about "finally taking action". well, finally take action. It's as simple as that. don't spend hours researching how to file taxes for an agency, worry about that when you actually have an agency and income to file.

Know what you're selling. Learn to sell it. Get in front of business owners and SELL. Do it on the phone, Talk to people you know.

This shouldn't take you forever. I've been in the same position. I spent months "setting up" my agency. I kept working on the website, making sure I knew how to file my taxes, creating a PayPal business account. but once I learned the information above, It took me a few days (of sleepless nights I admit, tried to learn as much as possible) to learn what service I wanted to sell, learn how to sell it, (google it or buy a book, tons of information on sales out there) and then start bringing in money.

In my 1st week of genuine action, I signed my first contract and made $2,000. clean. I'm 17, I'm a senior in high school. I live with my parents. I didn't have my business registered yet, My website only had about 4 hours of information on it. But I had confidence and discipline. And I took an IMMENSE amount of action. that's really all it is. I hope you understand my point here. I didn't even KNOW how to actually do the work, I just knew how to sell it, of course, I hired a trusted team to do the work for me, but I really just had to stop being AFRAID of what could happen.

If you have to, lock yourself in a room, delete all social media on your phone, turn it off, cancel all your plans with friends, and promise yourself you won't leave that room until you get your first client. I guarantee you if you discipline yourself like this in one week you will make more money or see more results than you have in your past few months of inaction.
 
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Andy Daniels

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Hey @DHZ I hope you're well!

First off, I've been right where you are a few times. If you check out some of my older threads, you'll see tons of action-faking. It's very cringy.

I definitely agree with @Telamon25346 that sales is everything! Without it, you don't have income, so you don't need to worry about tax filings just yet. Here's the deal:
  • Finding success with this kind of work takes crazy amounts of discipline. You'll need to hit the pavement, break down the doors and get your name out there. You're doing the right thing by working your own network. Start there. Get experience and real results you can show others! Show, don't tell.
  • GET MORE SALES. Whatever it takes. Worry about the details later, but pick up your first couple clients first. Learn on the fly. There's a common expression on the forum; "Ready, fire, aim".

Above all, use your resources (including this forum) to get you through each obstacle. There will be TONS of obstacles. Also accept the reality that you might fail, but look at failure as feedback for the future. Don't be afraid!

I'm here for you if you need help. All the best!

Andy
 

Telamon25346

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Hey @DHZ I hope you're well!

First off, I've been right where you are a few times. If you check out some of my older threads, you'll see tons of action-faking. It's very cringy.

I definitely agree with @Telamon25346 that sales is everything! Without it, you don't have income, so you don't need to worry about tax filings just yet. Here's the deal:
  • Finding success with this kind of work takes crazy amounts of discipline. You'll need to hit the pavement, break down the doors and get your name out there. You're doing the right thing by working your own network. Start there. Get experience and real results you can show others! Show, don't tell.
  • GET MORE SALES. Whatever it takes. Worry about the details later, but pick up your first couple clients first. Learn on the fly. There's a common expression on the forum; "Ready, fire, aim".

Above all, use your resources (including this forum) to get you through each obstacle. There will be TONS of obstacles. Also accept the reality that you might fail, but look at failure as feedback for the future. Don't be afraid!

I'm here for you if you need help. All the best!

Andy
This. You'll need to build excellent discipline in this because It can be hard convincing yourself work will pay off. You will also need to have the confidence of a lion. pick up the phone, start dialing, know who your customer is, and know how to sell them.

One of the most instrumental resources in learning to get clients interested in my work and signing $5,000 deals with them was Robb Quinn. He is probably the best in sales when it comes to landing Marketing agency clients. He has so much free value on youtube, and he even has a cold call script which is in the description of his youtube videos (you have to get through some click funnels to get to it though). Soak up as much of his knowledge on sales, I wrote tens of pages of notes off of him and his teams work.
 
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DHZ

DHZ

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Thank you to everyone who took time to reply, I'm glad to be hearing from people producing results in this line of work who have been in this situation. Based on responses, it's obvious my priorities are out of line. I've done too much action faking in the past to do the same thing again.
One of the most instrumental resources in learning to get clients interested in my work and signing $5,000 deals with them was Robb Quinn. He is probably the best in sales when it comes to landing Marketing agency clients. He has so much free value on youtube, and he even has a cold call script which is in the description of his youtube videos (you have to get through some click funnels to get to it though). Soak up as much of his knowledge on sales, I wrote tens of pages of notes off of him and his teams work.
I appreciate the resource, I'm going to check it out. I understand sales is one of the most important aspects of this business and I need to learn how to do it anyways.
 

Andy Daniels

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@DHZ What you're currently doing (setting things up, taking courses etc.) all have their place! You should absolutely do those things, but simply grow the business first and tackle each problem as it comes.

I also have courses, books, guides etc. in my back pocket in case I need them. And trust me, as soon as I hit a snag, I'll bust out my notes and start solving!

It also sucks to do so much up-front planning and stuff, just to have the market tell you to go the other way.. customers and clients will tell you what they really want. Maybe you need to adjust course? (You probably will).

Things to learn (in order):
  1. People Skills (meeting new people, socializing, active listening)
  2. Sales
  3. Everything else

You got this!
 

LiveEntrepreneur

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It seems you're doing everything to keep yourself from doing the real work; which is finding clients.

How do you plan getting your first paying clients?
He is probably is but I wanted to mention something that I think is important but correct me if I am wrong. Alot of people say to get the sale but how your website looks is very important. NO ONE is going to buy off of a crappy store front or very little. Of course sales are important but everything else cant be crap still have to put the efforts into all areas imo. I think enough emphasis isnt placed onto things like the logo, background, etc. Just my opinion.
 

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r6203

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He is probably is but I wanted to mention something that I think is important but correct me if I am wrong. Alot of people say to get the sale but how your website looks is very important. NO ONE is going to buy off of a crappy store front or very little. Of course sales are important but everything else cant be crap still have to put the efforts into all areas imo. I think enough emphasis isnt placed onto things like the logo, background, etc. Just my opinion.
Depends on where his sale is coming from.
If it’s people he already knows he doesn’t need a website at all, I think.
 
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DHZ

DHZ

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I should've been making sales by now but got caught up in small things that ended up wasting time. I know how I'll fulfill the services although I'm stuck on pricing and I don't want to offer a package deal where I end up selling something a client doesn't need. I'm not sure how I'll go about pricing an individual service. How would you guys go about pricing?
 

Dr. Fastlane

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I should've been making sales by now but got caught up in small things that ended up wasting time. I know how I'll fulfill the services although I'm stuck on pricing and I don't want to offer a package deal where I end up selling something a client doesn't need. I'm not sure how I'll go about pricing an individual service. How would you guys go about pricing?
I am in the same boat as you. I sell SEO services. One way to price is according to your expenses and time. I just plan to quote 2x whatever it would cost me on a monthly basis (including my time).

Once am more experienced with sales, I plan to do value based pricing. Basically estimate how much revenue your marketing will generate for them and charge a percentage. For example, of I can get a business $20-25k in sales I could charge them say 10% of it.
 

Matt Hunt

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The next on my To do list includes:
  • Sorting out the filing issues
  • Setting up my business email with my domain name
  • Setting up accounts on social media platforms
  • Creating business cards
  • Complete the framework design of my website
This is one day of work, at most. But I think everyone else has already covered it in this thread, to just go get sales! I'm not completely done with all the administrative junk with my agency either, but all I'm doing now is prospecting for leads. I'll worry about the rest later.

P.S. at this networking event I went to last week I met a guy who had just started a consulting company. He did not have any business cards yet! Didn't stop him from networking! :)
 
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DHZ

DHZ

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I stumbled on a great opportunity by accident while talking with someone who's been sort of a mentor to me. We talked about the agency and it turns out he really liked the idea and now he wants to work with me. The catch is he actually wanted me to fulfill some of the work instead of outsourcing everything. But knowing him, he has a lot to offer in regards to sales and a great avenue of future prospects and if done right, much needed social proof. It wasn't really part of my plan but the pros outweigh the cons in this instance.Automating is still a part of the plan but it may have to wait a while.
 

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