Regardless of the industry, starting a business is no walk in the park. That’s probably why the idea of entrepreneurship is often treated as plan B, especially by millennials. Yes, to start a business and be successful in it requires a whole lot of sacrifice.
Most times, the success of any business is determined by the way it was built. Many multinational businesses and governments acknowledge this fact, which is why we now have more SME enabling programs around the world, either as a CSR of a company or an initiative of a government.
For any business to succeed, its foundation needs to be laid right, else, the structure built on it will eventually have no sustenance, hence, it collapses. Coming into the space of digital marketing, it is imperative – especially in the digital industry – to have a solid foundation, be it personal career or business-wise.
This owns to the fact that there will always be daily improvements and modifications to whatever has been in existence. Welcome to the digital world.
Considering the fact that a whole lot more of businesses are yet to integrate digital marketing strategies to their marketing efforts, the world needs more digital marketers, better still, digital marketing agencies.
So, if you are willing to be among the problem-solvers for businesses and influential individuals, you should continue reading this article. This article posits a step by step guide on how to start a digital marketing agency in Nigeria from scratch.
- 1 How to start a digital marketing agency in Nigeria
- 2 1. Acquire the skill
- 3 2. Gain experience
- 4 3. Build a network of influence
- 5 4. Try out freelancing
- 6 5. Incorporate your business
- 7 6. Branding
- 8 7. Build your business a website
- 9 8. Promote your brand on social media
- 10 9. Convert your leads to your clients
- 11 10. Delight your clients
- 12 Conclusion
How to start a digital marketing agency in Nigeria
1. Acquire the skill
Needless to say, but cannot be overemphasized. Other than retail businesses which are basically about buying in bulk where it is cheap and moving it to sell in bits at a higher price in areas where it is scarce, businesses in the digital world require proficiency with the use of tools and adept understanding of the lingos.
The first brick you must have laid or you need to lay as someone who intends to build a digital agency is get trained on the nitty-gritty of digital marketing. Digital marketing is a profession and should be treated as such.
There are businesses and individuals that will not outsource their online strategies to someone with proof of knowledge acquisition or of course, portfolios – which you wouldn’t have without getting trained first.
2. Gain experience
Don’t practice you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.
After the acquisition of skill, you should look for ways to practice. Either by freelancing or interning with an existing digital marketing agency. Freelancing right after training is cool. However, businesses are often skeptical about trusting newbies with their business growth.
Read our article on how you can get digital marketing clients in Nigeria.
Nevertheless, it will be unwise for you to go straight to founding a digital marketing business just after training. It takes more than skill know-how to run a successful business, and there is no better way to find out other things required than experiencing them first hand.
You can draw up an exit plan as well as the standard goal you must attain before you can consider exiting your place of work. This will give you a clear understanding of the things you need to achieve before leaving to start your own business. It will also help you in measuring your actual result at every point in time with your standard and make adjustments when needed.
3. Build a network of influence
Relationship has always been a key factor to success on every level. While you’re working with your employer, make sure to help your employer achieve his goals by doing your best on tasks assigned to you and pushing yourself to unlearn and relearn. This way, you would have assumed the position of running a business on your own even before your personal resources are at stake.
On the same heels, ensure you invest your time and other resources in quality networking. Leveraging colleagues in the industry can go a long way to speed up the learning curve and exposure to better opportunities. The networks you’ve built will eventually be part of your means of generating leads for your business when you launch it.
4. Try out freelancing
Alongside doing all you can to help your employer succeed, it is pertinent that you start a side hustle with your skills set by registering on freelance platforms or reaching out to small businesses in your locale and offering to help them grow their businesses online.
By doing this, you will have started building your customer base long before you decide to start your own agency and you will not be bothered about getting clients in the first few months of starting your business.
Freelancing while you are still actively working will also give you first-hand experience of handling clients. You get to make mistakes and learn from them without the reality of your business suffering from it. Mind you, this should not give you the liberty to mistreat clients as you might learn the hard way eventually.
5. Incorporate your business
In this age of information, an average person can access whatever information they need right in the comfort of their homes. If you are intentional about creating a distinctive business and also have big plans for your business, it is important that you register your business with CAC before pooling investments into branding.
This is because having to pull down a well-structured brand because another (registered) business bears the same name is very expensive, you don’t want to experience that. Find out the steps involved in business registration.
Once your business is duly registered, and you are presented with a certificate of incorporation, you can then confidently proceed to create your brand elements, building a website and other steps which will be discussed later in this article.
After you must have finished registering your business and having the assurance that your business name is yours alone, you can go ahead with carving a distinctive logo, voice and feel for your business. When you launch, you don’t appear unprepared or half baked.
The idea of this orderly arranged actionable steps is to ensure you start your digital agency with a bang. Read on.
At this stage, you are working on the look and perception that your business will portray to your prospects at every contact they make with you. Your brand – beyond the logo, is what will market your business to people even when you are not there. This feel also has to consistently reflect on your website, across social media platforms and on any other brand items you choose.
7. Build your business a website
It goes without saying, in this age, all your efforts as a business will bring minimal results if you lack an online presence. Although, this is a well-known topic for digital marketers. Surprisingly, we still have digital marketers who do not own websites for their business. Perhaps it’s as a result of the size of their dreams.
Your website should proudly bear your brand name, logo, language and feel. It is where all your online marketing efforts are directed to in order to excite and convert your leads. It also covers the art of sharing valuable information with your prospects and existing customers – blogging.
Truly, without a well-structured and optimized business website, it will be hard to convert high paying clients. As a matter of fact, high flying prospects won’t see any reason to pay well when you don’t seem serious. Yes, a digital marketing agency without a website is unserious and unintentional about their mission.
It is important that you understand the concept of meeting clients where they hang out. Social media is perfect for making a wild-fire brand awareness. As a digital marketer, you can leverage this to grow your followership and make your business known to as many relevant people as possible.
You can also identify your (USP) unique selling proposition and run targeted ads to your audience, bringing an influx of leads to your site where you can excite them and make them your customers.
9. Convert your leads to your clients
At this stage, you should already have leads coming in from different sources. Social media, SEO, referrals and more. All these traffic and the influx of potential customers will not pay your business a dime until you are able to convert them to paying customers and that is the bottom line of any online marketing strategy.
Being able to convert leads to customers rests on a number of factors like the landing page, loading speed, content marketing and more. As a digital marketer, you already should be an expert at converting leads to clients. Being able to practice your expertise in your business will also prove your authenticity.
10. Delight your clients
After all is said and done. An incompetent and poor client management business will eventually be out of business. This explains why this article started with learning the skills and gaining quality experience. It is often said that a client is not a client until they have the chance to leave but choose to stay.
This doesn’t happen magically. It entails ensuring that clients’ problems are solved, relationship well managed and above all, consistency.
This is not just in the quest to retain clients. Happy clients are bound to refer your business to friends and colleagues.
When they refuse to do that, your work will make people ask for who handles their online marketing and that automatically leads back to you.
Truly, starting any business is a lot of work, however, when done right, the benefits eventually outweigh whatever sweat put into the founding. We hope you find this article helpful. The points treated include:
- Acquire the skill
- Gain experience
- Build a network of influence
- Try out freelancing
- Incorporate your business
- Build your brand a website
- Promote your business on social media
- Convert your leads to clients
- Delight your clients
Regardless of the stage you are, we strongly encourage that you follow the subsequent to the latter. Feel free to drop questions and opinions in the comment section.