How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency

Digital marketing is an industry that shot up over night, well over a decade. It quickly consumed every industry imaginable and continues to change as algorithm updates keep giant tech giants competing for their user's attention. Which in the end, leaves businesses, small and large, race to be the first to adopt those changes and pull traffic from the giants grasp and into their sales funnels.

 In short, digital marketing is a never-ending game where winning means success and failing means bankruptcy for many businesses. The thought of failure hanging over business owner heads often leaves them looking for a guide to lead them to success and command the ship. And if you are reading this, chances are you want to be that captain — guaranteeing success for your clients and your future agency. 

This article is apart of a series that is going to help you go from zero, zilch, nada, to a successful agency owner that is doing well over 6 figures a year, and the talk of the family thanksgiving. So what are we waiting way? Let's jump in. 

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Step #1: Learn what platforms are out there and who they benefit. 

Throughout you agency career you will have the opportunity to work with many brands and clients. You'll become in expert in some areas and will remain a beginner in others. This is simply because the algorithms that these tech giants have are constantly tweaked and once you find your bread and butter, you won't want to switch because that means slower growth and less cashflow. 

To begin, you need to understand the basics of each platform and these platforms are: 
1. Facebook 
2. Messenger
3. Instagram
4. LinkedIn 
5. Google
6. YouTube
7. Tik tok
8. Twitter 
9. Reddit 
10. Snapchat 
11. Pinterest 
and more! 

We'll keep things short in this article, but for a more in-depth look at each platform, check out our platform breakdown here. 

Facebook is probably what most people think of first when they think of social media. They were in many ways the pioneer that brought the world out of html coded MySpace pages and into global connection through likes, shares, and comments. Over the last decade, Facebook has remained constant with all age groups but you could say that their primary audience are older Millennials, Gen-X, and few of the tech savvy Baby Boomers. As for Gen-Z, they most likely have the app installed on their phone but only login after having a mini heart attack when they get a notification that their crazy aunt tagged them in a photo and they need to do personal brand management. 

Messenger is an extension to Facebook. However, Facebook has been trying to separate the two apps for a while now and is starting to see some success as some users will delete Facebook but keep Messenger for communication. 

Instagram is dominated by tech savvy Millennials. Originally looking for a way to escape and avoid the awkward family reunions, younger generations flocked to Instagram where they could be surrounded by their friends and accounts that share interest. This quickly became a place for "keeping up with the joneses" and e-commerce brands have flooded the scene by sponsoring Instagram influencers and setting trends. 

LinkedIn was originally started as a place to help young professionals find jobs and act as their active resume. The platform has sense expanded and taken over the niche of business social media. Here you will find professionals and a plethora of networking opportunities. 

Google, or Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click Advertising, Local Search, and so much more can be categorized as SEM or Search Engine Marketing. Google is the number 1 search engine in the world and currently controls over 86% of the search market. Problem marketing dominates here, and don't worry if you are not sure what problem marketing is, we'll explain that later on. 

Youtube is the second largest search engine and dominates video search. 

We'll leave the rest of the platform descriptions for another time. Now it is time to learn how what type of clients benefit from each of these platforms. Once you understand this, you'll be able to pick your target market & the platforms that you need to master. 

What businesses benefit from social media platforms?

Various social media and digital marketing platforms naturally cater to different types of businesses. The best example of this is when you think of a Chiropractor. Chiropractors can't adjust someone's back if the chiropractor can't physically see the patient, right? That means that a chiropractor could blow up on YouTube but would only make money off of affiliate marketing or ads they are running on their channel and that is not their business model. 

When you learn what types of businesses or patterns inside of businesses benefit on certain platforms, then you can focus on growth instead of learning new business models or new algorithm changes. 

Let's break down the different types of businesses and pair them with a digital marketing platform. 

Urgent Problem based businesses

These are the businesses that solve problems for their customers. Think about chiropractors, pest control, vets, car repair, HVAC, etc. Each of those businesses solves a specific problem for their customers. Now, you could also argue that coaches also solve problems for their clients but typically those problems are not urgent and are more aspirational. 

There are a couple of platforms that cater really well to these types of businesses but remember, these are generalizations and each business is going to be slightly different. the platforms that cater really well to urgent problems are Search Engine Marketing and LinkedIn. 

Now that isn't to say that Facebook can't be an amazing opportunity for various urgent problem businesses but the easiest way to get a customer for these businesses is when someone is facing a problem in the moment. A great example of this is someone is driving and get's into a minor fender bender, no one is hurt but they still need some repairs on their car. Do you think that the people involved in the accident are going to pull out their phones and open Facebook or Google? And that right there, is why every other platform becomes a brand building opportunity for urgent problem businesses but are not the fastest way to get customers. 


E-Commerce businesses are somewhat new and are very different from urgent based businesses. The biggest variable that takes these businesses out of urgent problem businesses is shipping time. Let's imagine that you are 12 hours in on a road trip and you just remembered that you forgot your cell phone charger at home. Are you going to turn around and pick it up? No way! Are you going to hop on Amazon and order a new charger? Nope! You are going to go to a gas station or some other store and purchase it in person because the problem is urgent. 

So e-commerce needs to take a different approach to marketing and that is often creating desire, or playing on emotions. This is where social media really comes into play. Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, Reddit, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. are all perfect candidates for e-commerce businesses. You can also add in Google Ads as people often search for these products. But low conversion rate and high cost per click often make Google Ads take second or third place when it comes to e-commerce marketing. 

Coaches & Course Creators

Coaches and course creators are very similar to e-commerce but different in the fact that the product is often working one on one with a client rather than shipping a product to their home. This is a fundamental change as you need to create a relationship with your audience rather than just get them to swipe a credit card. To do this, the best platforms are Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc. 

Businesses in this category often stay away from Search Engine Marketing because there is often a ton of competition for these businesses and there is a greater pay off with organic or paid social media rather than ranking organically on Google. 

Blogs, Tutorials, & Information 

This category is similar to course creators but instead of selling a course, they are selling ads on their website and banking on affiliate commission. This category of businesses dominate on Google. If they can build their ability to rank, they can virtually show up for any search term that they want and provide solutions to their audience that will earn them a solid commission. 

Of course we didn't cover every type of business out there but the important thing to note is how customers find the services or product that the business offers. 

If you can that, then you know where you need to focus your marketing efforts. 

Step #2 Optimize your LinkedIn & Social Profiles 

I know it may not be sexy but do a full makeover on your LinkedIn profile. Change your banner image, your profile image, your bio, and just about everything else you can think of. Reach out to friends and ask for endorsements that relate to digital marketing — in short, you want to brand yourself as a digital marketer. 

Additionally, in Step #3 you will begin to learn how to actually grow businesses on these various platforms. You will want to document your progress every step of the way. Yes, that even means that you are going to create posts that tell the world that you just learned how to login to a WordPress website. It is going to seem so basic and counter intuitive but what you are doing is building an audience and laying the ground work for your first client. You are inviting your close friends and colleagues on a journey where you will show them how you are going to become an expert marketer. 

When you start posting more advanced posts such as helping a client with a 200K dollar launch, you will have a massive audience who is invested in your success and are your greatest fans. Additionally, you will be able to show future clients that you didn't start out this way, but that you spent time learning and mastering the craft of digital marketing. This will instantly build trust and be the tipping point for clients that don't know if you are the right marketer for them. 

Step #3 Pick Your Platforms & Business

For this step, sign up for a free Zampi account where you will find almost endless tutorials on each platform and the tools to start your first campaigns. 

Then you will need to look at your network or circle of friends and family you have around you. What types of businesses do they own or work for? Are there any that would hire you as a marketing consultant, marketing freelancer or marketing agency? Chances are the first client that you get will be from someone you have a personal connection with. 

There are tons of benefits from having a client that you know, such as they will be more forgiving when you make a mistake, they are more likely to refer you to other businesses, and you can confide in them when you don't know what to do. 

Don't rush this step. Watch a couple of tutorials inside of the Zampi knowledge center and mess around with the tools inside of Zampi. Soon, you'll get the hang of it and know exactly what to do with your first client. 

Step #4 Reach out to everyone you know. 

Just because you picked your first client in step #3 doesn't mean that they picked you. You still need to reach out to everyone you know and see if they or anyone they know needs help with digital marketing. Because you have been posting about your progress, most of your network should know and understand what you are up to. In fact, most of them should be invested in your story and want to help you find your first client. 

The number one role here is to not spam. Do not send out a mass text with 30 people included begging to do marketing for them. Do not send out a pre-recorded video inside of messenger to everyone in your contacts lists. These are all ways to ruin your progress you have made. 

Instead, you are going to want to make a list of everyone you know that owns a business. Then you are going to want to make a second list of everyone you think knows someone who owns a business. These are typically your older family friends that are pretty successful and have been in their industry for what seems decades. 

Finally, you are going to make a short list of about 30 people you know don't own a business and probably don't have any connections with business owners. Think about old high school friends or people that are not interested in business. 

Now is the fun part, your pitch. Create a 30 second elevator pitch that you can use with the 3 groups that you created above. It might go something like this.

" Hey Jessica! I know I am calling you out of the blue here but I have been working on something and I need your help. I want to help businesses grow and over the last couple of months I have been working on becoming a digital marketer. I've taken countless courses and have really honed my skills. I am working on getting my first client to put me on the map. Who do you know that owns a business that I might connect with?"

Then what you are going to is write down any contact that they say, try to get an email or a phone number. Thank your friend and attach their name as the referral and move on down your list. 

It is important to note that you are going to want to start with the short list of 30 people that you know don't own a business and probably don't have any connections with business owners. The reason for this is that you want to get practice before you start talking to the actual business owners in your network. Practice makes perfect. 

Step #5 Reach Out To the Client 

This is the most nerve racking part and it is okay if you get rejected, the important thing is that you put yourself out there and did your homework. 

Once you have a substantial list of potential clients, go to their website and find a contact email. You want to make sure that this is not a generic email such as but the primary contacts main email. If their website doesn't have it, then you can follow this tutorial on how to get their email from LinkedIn using a cool little tool called SalesQL

Now that you have their email, it is time to find out what problem they are currently struggling with. Go to their website, social profiles, etc. And find how you can actually help them. Ask yourself "What are three things that I can do to help this business get more clients?"

Then send them a quick email that says something like this. 

"Hi Bruce, 

I got your email from {{friend_name}}. Your name came up with we were discussing businesses that need help solving {{The biggest pain point from your research}}. {{friend_name}} wasn't sure if you fit in this category or not so I thought I would reach out. 

What are you currently doing to solve {{biggest pain point from your research that you can solve?}}
Looking forward to hearing back from you. 

If they don't respond, send them another email. For this example, let's imagine that bruce owns a Pest Control company. 

"Hi Bruce, 

It's {{your_name}} again. I was doing a little research online and I found this article on how a pest control company tripled their summer sales by {{solving the biggest pain point that you can solve}}. 

I don't want {{business_name}} to miss out on that opportunity. Do you have 15 minutes for a quick phone call this Tuesday afternoon?
Looking forward to hearing back from you, 

Then, you want to wait another couple of days and give them a call. 

If that method seems very direct to you, then you could go another route and tell them that you are trying to get into the marketing business. Your initial email could look something like this. 

"Hi Bruce, 

I got your email from {{friend_name}}. Your name came up when we were discussing what businesses would be perfect fits as my firsts clients. 

You see, I am looking to start a digital marketing agency and I have been getting certified and gaining knowledge over the last couple of months. I am looking to get some experience under my belt before I start pitching potential clients. 

After doing a little bit of research on your business I noticed that {{problem1}}, and {{problem2}} are happening to you. 

Would you be interested in giving me a shot at solving these problems for you? Of course it would be free of charge and if you are happy with the results, we can talk about other ways I can bring you more customers. 

Looking forward to hearing back from you.