How to Build Your Agency With a $0 Budget

Shane Barker Blog - Zero Dollar Marketing

The marketing landscape keeps changing rapidly. And with this changing landscape, a new category of businesses has been introduced into the mix – digital marketing agencies.

Digital marketing agencies help other companies with their digital marketing initiatives – it’s as simple as that. They can help others strengthen their social media presence and establish long-term relationships with their customers.

Digital agencies can also help brands expand their reach, generate high-quality leads, tap into new markets, and boost the ROI of their digital campaigns. This makes them quite sought after in the field of marketing. So, building a digital agency can be a lucrative option.

However, when you start to build your own agency, you are likely to face many challenges. And one of the major challenges will be your budget. But what if I told you that there are strategies you can use to build your agency that require almost zero budget? Sound far-fetched?

This post will talk about some great ways to build your agency from the ground with a zero budget. Let’s take a look.

1. Market Yourself via Social Media

As of 2018, there were 2.62 billion social media users around the globe. This number is expected to increase to 3.02 billion by 2021.

Social media is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to market yourself, and you can’t afford to overlook it when it comes to promoting your agency. You can easily master the art of social media marketing with some practice. First, you’ll need to create a business profile for your agency on social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Then, start creating and posting content that will attract your target audience. This will help you grow your audience and drive traffic to your website.

You can also create a YouTube account for your agency and work on creating educational videos for your YouTube channel. This will help you raise awareness about your agency among your target audience.

YouTube is also one of the world’s biggest search engines, so if you can get your videos to rank well, you can gain a lot of visibility for your agency. Optimizing your YouTube videos will require that you keep accurate track of their rankings as well. You can do so using rank tracking tools like Pro Rank Tracker.

However, it is important that you invest your time and effort into the right social media platforms. It is easy to get carried away and spend too much time on other social media platforms that are much less popular and will not fetch you great returns.

Identify the social platforms where your target audience spends most of their time, and work on connecting with them there. LinkedIn is definitely the best social media channel for agencies, since it has the largest B2B audience. According to a Content Marketing Institute study, 97% of B2B content marketers use the platform.

But you shouldn’t confine yourself to LinkedIn alone. Other social media channels can help you reach a B2B audience as well. You can understand the demographics of users on different platforms through surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center. Compare these insights against the characteristics of your target audience and determine which social media channel will be best for you.

2. Select and Focus on Profitable Niches

Before you select a niche, you need to answer a few questions.

Whom do you want to work with? Would you like to work with fashion brands, small businesses, or Fortune 500 companies? What’s in it for them? What does your agency specialize in? Once you find the answers to these questions, it will be easier for you to decide on a lucrative niche.

The world of marketing is very competitive. You really can’t afford to second guess your strategies. So, you need to identify a niche which not only stands out but is also profitable.

You can create a front-loading business model by focusing on just a few niches or just one at the beginning. You can then expand as you get better at managing the first few niches. Front-loading is the practice of putting a premium on the initial stages of something so you can eventually build momentum later on.

You should then create an onboarding process template for the particular niche you have selected. This could involve steps like documenting vital information about the client, having an onboarding call, developing a strategy for them, etc.

And you can use this template over and over with a few tweaks if necessary. Your agency can generate money as long as you put in the hard work and make your clients happy.

Also, select niches that are highly profitable – a clientele consisting of dentists, real estate agents, doctors, and/or lawyers can help your agency specialize in working with high-value clients.

3. Build an Email List

When compared to other forms of marketing, email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective and preferred forms of marketing. 59% of marketers say that email marketing has helped them generate maximum ROI when compared to other marketing forms.

Email marketing enables you to establish and build personal connections with your target audience. It also enables you to build trustworthy relationships with your clients. By using some effective email templates, you can motivate your target audience to visit your website.

Prospecting will help you organically build an email list of your target audience rather than buying it. You can also grow your list by adding relevant CTAs to your blog posts and landing pages and creating timed popups with valuable offers. You can additionally leverage your existing email marketing campaigns by encouraging email recipients to forward your emails to their friends.

4. Create Packages for Your Agency

You might start off by offering free services for your clients, ut as you grow, you need to know your worth and create packages. Creating packages for your agency is a very important step in building and running your agency successfully, and at scale.

Create different kinds of packages that suit a variety of consumers’ needs.  Include basic packages and go all the way up to full-service packages that will take care of the entirety of a clients’ marketing needs.

5. Organize Podcasts

Did you know, 73 million people in the US listen to podcasts? And it is projected that by 2021, the number will exceed 130 million. Imagine the amount of potential podcasts carry to help you build your agency.

Podcasts are another effective and low-cost way to help you increase awareness about your agency among your target audience. You need to create educational and informative podcasts to get the attention of your target audience. And they will give your audience an opportunity to get to know your agency better.

To create an effective and educational podcast, you can team up with a niche expert (or several high-profile guests) and conduct an engaging interview. Once your podcast is ready, make sure you share it with your networks via social platforms to get the attention of your audience. You can use podcast hosting sites like Podbean to do this. They have plans for beginners which cost $0, and you can use low-budget platforms like these to build your agency.

Final Thoughts

The digital marketing industry is pretty competitive. When you build an agency, you need to make sure that you stand out from the rest and increase your visibility quickly.

Even if you have a small budget, you can still use the strategies mentioned above to build your agency.

Make sure to identify a profitable niche for yourself. You can leverage social media platforms to market and increase the reach of your agency. You can also start building an email list to establish a connection with your target audience on a personal level. Then you can promote new services via email marketing and motivate your target audience to visit your website.

Once you have figured out the type of services you want to offer, you need to create packages. Ensure that you create different packages wherein the basic package offers basic services and the VIP package offers more advanced services.

Do you know of any other effective ways to build an agency with zero budget? Feel free to share your insights in the comments below.


Shane Barker

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant for 15 years with an emphasis on Influencer Marketing in the last 5 years. He is specialized in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.

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