Trying to start a digital marketing agency - advice needed

12 replies
Hello!

First of all, this is all very new to me. For a bit of background, I only got into marketing by chance. I worked at a relatively small company (in the UK) and since I was the young guy in the group, I was tasked with taking care of the company's Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. This went really well and I grew the following pretty quickly, I then got asked to do the same for my girlfriend's company by her boss, which was a nice bit of side income. After not very long I started to prefer this to my actual work, so thought I would give it a go.

I have since done a bunch of online courses, read books and learnt as much as possible. The only issue I am having is finding new customers. Does anybody else have experience with trying to start a new company like this? I am running ads (mostly Facebook) and they have pretty decent CPC to get people through to the site, but only a couple got in touch. I guess because it may be clear that I don't have a huge backlog of work or customers, that is what is turning people away. I also haven't even started to post on my own company's social accounts because I thought it would be best to build a backlog of work first.

I was wondering if somebody had experience doing the same thing, what was the most effective way that you found to generate interest? Should I start cold calling or sending cold emails? Or keep plugging away running ads and just trying to generate interest by just mentioning it to anybody that will listen?

Thanks!
#customers #finding
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  • Profile picture of the author EddieN968
    Anybody able to share some wisdom?
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    • Profile picture of the author EddieN968
      Brilliant, thanks very much for that. I'll give it a read.
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  • Generatin' intrest is almost excloosively dependent upon havin' sumthin' intrestin' to offah.

    That's why noo customers are rarely WOKE CONVERTS.

    They look in on FB quizzes say CONGRATULATIONS SWEETIE UR THE PERFECT SCORPIO.

    All intrest was pre-existent before most people were born.

    Scientists refer to the so-called "reptile brain" but populists jus' milk the stoopido.

    That's why most 'generation' is actschwlly mere synthesis.
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    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

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    • Profile picture of the author EddieN968
      Not sure if that was a joke, an insult or an actual response. Whatever it was, went straight over my head. Cheers though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Maxim
    Hey there Eddie,
    I hope that this post finds you in excellent spirits, and that you're having a great day.

    It's not 100% clear from the original post what you are trying to find new customers for. Are you starting a new digital marketing business, and are you trying to find customers for the same?

    If you can change the thread title from 'Finding Customers' to something more specific, then many more responses should come in.

    With very best wishes,

    Alex Maxim
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  • Profile picture of the author EddieN968
    Hey there Eddie,
    I hope that this post finds you in excellent spirits, and that you're having a great day.

    It's not 100% clear from the original post what you are trying to find new customers for. Are you starting a new digital marketing business, and are you trying to find customers for the same?

    If you can change the thread title from 'Finding Customers' to something more specific, then many more responses should come in.

    With very best wishes,

    Alex Maxim
    Hi Alex,

    I very well thanks, hope you are too?

    Sorry if the original post didn't describe what I am trying to do very well. For the two customers that I work for already, it is mostly social media management. However, I don't just want to work with social media. I have a friend that builds websites and I am in discussions with him about how he can get involved, but again we need to find customers first.

    But for my current customers, I basically post on their social media accounts, run ad campaigns, write blogs and that kind of thing. They're both very happy with how it is going and they pay a monthly fee. At the minute, this is my ideal customer and I just need to find more of them!

    Many thanks,
    Ed
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Maxim
      Hey there Eddie,
      Many thanks for your kind explanation.

      The new thread title is great - it's a lot clearer now!

      Some thoughts that come to mind:

      1. Can you get your existing customers to refer new ones? If they are happy with your services, ask them if they know anyone else who is need of them. Also: get testimonials from your existing clients, the more detailed the better - and ideally with photographic and video social proof.

      2. Can you make a name in a particular niche - for example, can you become the go-to guy for pet care businesses within your local area?

      3. Depending on where in the UK you are based, you may be able to advertise locally and get customers purely on the basis of your location ('West Hampstead Web Services', that kind of thing).

      4. Try and build a very precise idea of whom your ideal customer is - a detailed customer persona (and variants thereof) - and go to where they hang out. Excellent books on this topic include Copywriting by Mark Shaw and Read Me. by Roger Horberry and Gyles Lingwood.

      5. Spend some serious time working out precisely what your USP is (ideally, you will have more than one). Digital marketing agencies are two-a-penny, and because of the nature of both the Internet and the industry, there are very few barriers to entry - you'll be competing with guys from all over the world, most of whom have much lower day-to-day costs than you (and who are increasingly very good at what they do).

      Ways that you can rise above the crowd include: (i) the quality of your work; (ii) your company's branding - this includes language and its correct, coruscating usage; (iii) your own domain name and Web design; (iv) having special and/or unique combinations of skills which other marketing agencies don't possess...

      Hope this helps...

      With very best wishes,

      Alex Maxim
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  • Profile picture of the author EddieN968
    Hi Alex,

    Really appreciate you taking the time to give such a detailed response. I'll be sure to take a look for the books you mentioned too.

    Kindest regards,
    Eddie
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  • Profile picture of the author abundantliving
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author EddieN968
      Thanks for your advice. I had never really considered the chamber of commerce. I will definitely look into it!
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    So let me ask a question... You were the youngest / social savvy person at your job, so you got the short straw as it were, You grew those profiles. I am assuming your GF talked to her boss and they like what they saw so they hired you. The question is.. how did you get that job? The answer is by Referral. Your GF referred you to her boss. ( if your still dating by the way she is a keeper on a whole lot of levels. A partner that will go to bat for you... just has keeper written all over them )

    Referral has a far greater ROI than any ad campaign you will ever run. As of right now you have basically 2 sources of referral - well 3 if you GF has a new job LOL. But seriously your, I am assuming old boss, and your GF's boss. Meet with them or call them, and ASK. "Hey im wanting to do this, and was wondering if you knew anyone that might be interested in my services".

    A second option.. you grew a LinkedIn and Twitter account for your company.. and you are using Facebook ads? do you see the disconnect here? I would be using LinkedIn for sure.. and probably IG.

    As an example if I was going to hire you.. the FIRST thing I would do is look at your personal accounts. Are they developed? are they on task IE reaching out for work?

    Hope that Helps!
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    Success is an ACT not an idea
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    • Profile picture of the author EddieN968
      Thanks for your advice. She is definitely a keeper, she's due to become my wife next June! It was actually me that spoke with her boss at a company BBQ which they invite partners along to. But, she has just recently got me a lead with one of her old bosses who left to make a brand of his own cider (very random as the company was a print company) but his cider is doing really well selling into stores and bars but they don't use social at all, so I'm excited about that one.

      I have also just told both current clients that if they refer another company, which go on to become a customer, I will do a month of their contract for free. Both of them thought it was a great idea! Thanks again
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