Nowadays everyone wants to own their own business, or if you’re like me, own your own digital marketing agency. But a lot of aspiring agency owners either don’t have the resources to grow or they want to automate everything. I believe there are four fundamental areas an agency owner should prioritize when trying to scale their business.

Systems

Long gone should be the days where we record things in Excel or in notebooks. Don’t get me wrong, notes are perfect for reminders and brainstorming. However, when reviewing finances and churn, you need to make sure this data is accessible, easy to read, and trackable. This is where systems come in.

Simply put, the system you use will allow you to efficiently grow by recording, analyzing, and forecasting data. Not to mention, when you go about delegating work, a good system such as Salesforce can allow you to:

  • Assign manual and automated tasks
  • Assign account managers
  • Create reports
  • Record important information
  • Keep a log of what has been worked on

These are just a few things you can do with a good system. You’ll be amazed at how organized and efficient you are with the right system.

Fulfillment

If you have the right system in place to delegate tasks and assign team members to, your fulfillment team should be the next thing on your mind.

One of the main reasons why digital marketing agency owners don’t do the work themselves is because they simply don’t know how. If you are good at sales and need to focus your time in that department you are going to need someone to manage the accounts you onboard.

Hiring someone in-house typically tends to be too expensive for a new digital marketing agency, and the team members tend to be an expert in one thing, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads. My recommendation would be to look for a white label partner that can service you. You’ll have a reliable team of experts at your disposal and pay a fraction of the cost.

Communication

I believe that no matter what system, fulfillment team, or years of experience you have, it won’t be enough if you don’t communicate properly with your client. I’ve heard some awful stories where accounts were performing very well but clients still cancel because they felt they were paying too much. I’ve also heard of accounts that were yielding bad results, where the client got angry because they only found out about it months later.

Communication will make or break the relationship with the client. It’s not just up to your team to clearly set the right expectations and communicate what’s going on with the account — you’re the face of your agency at the end of the day.

You should meet with your client weekly for 30-45 minutes to update them on your most recent results, see if you can add any of their offers or specials, and check in how many of your leads they’re closing. Then create any tasks that come from the meeting, send a follow-up email, and get to work.

Prospecting

A lot of agency owners struggle here because they don’t know how to find new clients. To be fair, this is a difficult job, and difficult to do yourself, but you can. You can try methods like asking for referrals, contacting local businesses, or running ads.

There are hundreds of courses that sell you training and methods, but most of all it’s important that your prospecting strategy is aligned to the services you offer and business you are looking for. Every month you should be getting at least 15 or more appointments to speak to business owners so you can build your pipeline of leads to follow up with.

And A Fifth Thing…The Right Partner

Are you reading through everything it takes to start a digital marketing agency, are you thinking it’s a lot harder than what you first thought? Luckily, there’s a solution. I partnered with Hite Digital and decided to franchise with them because they offer the full package: they gave me systems, prospecting, fulfillment, training, and more. Besides being a full-service partner, our values also align and we all treat each other like family.

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Gustavo Tapia is owner-partner of Hite Digital San Francisco.