When you’re trying to figure out how to start a digital marketing agency, or what is a creative agency, there are many pitfalls awaiting you. It’s easy to get lost in the storm, and many new ventures crash before they ever really get going.
You need a solid strategy for success from the very outset. Here are seven essential steps that you should take to get your agency off the ground and maybe be one day among the top digital agencies.
If you’re going to brand yourself as an expert in digital marketing, you need to actually become a digital marketing expert! At the very least, you should have a good understanding of the following aspects:
Realistically, you should get some experience as a contractor to develop your skill-set before striking out on your own. This will also allow you to gain valuable experience of entrepreneurial life. It takes time to get comfortable with the many elements of running a business, such as time management, accounting, and creating contracts.
If you build your freelance career with Bonsai first, your fledgling business will have a much stronger foundation to build on than if you just dive in with no prior experience.
Specializing in one small area may seem like it’s bad for business, but it is the smartest move you can make today. Competition is intense, and the need to stand out from your rivals is more important than ever.
With a clearly-defined niche, you can focus on a smaller, but more qualified audience that is genuinely interested in what you offer. You can learn about their needs and interests, and then prove your business to be the best solution for them.When it comes to the niche, sometimes a brand questionnaire and brand identity strategy can help.
If you’re wondering how to start a digital marketing agency, chances are you’re not planning to be a one-man band for long. Make sure you make smart hires and always use proper marketing contract templates.
Here are the people you need to succeed:
Great content needs a stellar writer. From blogs and email marketing to ad copy and landing pages, writing will be the backbone of your content marketing.
And here’s the thing:
“Content marketing is the only marketing that is left” - Seth Godin
Your editor will effectively assume the role of lead storyteller, directing the others to craft your brand direction. The editor should have good storytelling skills, understanding how to hold suspense and deliver strong punchlines.
There’s no doubt that video is the future, with over 80% of all internet traffic expected to be video in the next few years. If your budget can afford a photographer and videographer, that’s great. If not, just get a video expert. Whatever you do, don’t get left behind.
Having a graphics guru will not only give your photos some added zest but they will also produce incredible digital posters, fliers, and catalogs for all your promotions and website branding.
Facebook has undergone a public relations nightmare over the past year or two, but the platform is still a marketing powerhouse. Paid advertising can help your agency build up a customer base in a short space of time. Be sure to incorporate that into your advertising proposal.
Digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) go hand-in-hand. Whether it’s a blog post, a video, or a job listing, you need to check that everything is optimized for user searches.
Research your market, discover what you want to rank for and then make it happen. Good SEO can make all the difference between your content floating around the dark abyss of Google’s back pages, or it being shared by thought-leaders in your niche.
Even if you don’t know how to start a digital marketing agency yet, you’re sure to grasp the relevance of social media today. Social media marketing is important not only in launching your business. Bonsai can teach you the essential skills for social media managers, which can reap great benefits for your business, such as:
SEO and social media are core components of lead generation, but it shouldn’t end there. Consider the following techniques to increase the flow through your sales funnel:
You can bill clients in a number of ways. Here are the best methods:
Whichever model you opt for, get a tax professional onboard. They could save your business a lot of money down the road. Also, with Bonsai invoicing, you can ensure you always get paid on time.
Now you know how to start a digital marketing agency, but how do you really get to the top?
Today, data analytics and ecommerce personalization are integral aspects of online business, and tying these two facets together is machine learning.
Through artificial intelligence (AI), marketing software can collate data on your site visitors and social media followers, analyze it and then adapt. What this means is you can tailor your content, targeting small segments of your audience with a laser focus that they find irresistible.
With data insights and advanced machine learning-based software, your agency can finetune your marketing on all fronts, from your website and social media to SEO and video. A digital marketing agency that harnesses the potential of AI and personalization will be able to deliver a customer experience unlike any other.
Soon enough, you can position your company as a respected brand, and a trusted business in your niche. With such solid foundations, the future is surely a bright one.
Sign-up with Bonsai today to start your agency on the right foot.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?