How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency in India (Major Challenges and Solutions)
Owning your own digital marketing business is an excellent venture if you want a profession that gives you flexibility, full control, and financial independence.
Many believe that to open a business; you need to have a ton of money, a fancy college degree, and top-notch experience.
That’s not true.
In the beginning, all of these do not matter much.
All you need is an original idea, a vision of the goals you want your business to achieve down the line, and the grit and drive to see it through, no matter what.
But there are also a few technicalities that need to be observed for successfully running a digital marketing business, especially in India. These include a proper business plan, a working capital, hiring professionals, marketing and promotion, and of course, constantly updating your skill set to grow your business better.
India is a developing nation with hoards of opportunities to plug into. The Indian market has an enormous consumer base and a rising economy for your business to take advantage of if you know how to play your cards right.
In this article, I am going to list the primary requirements and to-dos to start up and run a digital marketing agency in India (or maybe in any country), the challenges, and their practical solutions to help you prepare for your new business venture.
Develop an Unbeatable Communication and Networking Skill
A strong relationship always comes in handy, especially when you are running your business. And to build that, you have to open up communication channels with your peers, other businesses, and your target audiences.
Keeping in contact regularly has become very easy nowadays, with social media and mobile messaging apps. So, do not be stingy with your time when it comes to building contacts and cherishing them.
Keeping your consumers, niche influencers, and industry bigwigs abreast of what your business is up to at regular intervals is a key to remain relevant on the internet. So, take full advantage of all social media platforms to stay connected.
As for networking, it is more about being a part of the business community. It is where you rub elbows with your fellow business professionals, learn new tips and tricks, create collaborations, be seen, and form a good rapport with your peers that will help further your business. So, attend business conferences and industry events on a regular basis, be visible, and leave your mark in the business community.
The challenges in this regard are none. You have to always keep in mind that it is a necessary part of owning a business and has to be executed consistently.
You can Start Up Your Digital Marketing Agency in India in a Shoestring Budget
The budget is the first thing that everyone stresses about initially, before starting up a digital marketing business in India.
How much does it cost to start a digital marketing agency in India?
How do I start an internet marketing business with no money or in a shoestring budget?
Do we have enough money to back our marketing expenditures?
Do we have enough money for hiring professionals?
Do we have enough money to rent an office?
The list goes on.
Well, you know, for running a digital marketing business startup, you do not need the usual bells and whistles like a fancy office or a bunch of fancy equipment, and a room full of professionals. All you need is your one trusty laptop and an internet connection to get started.
And for the office, you do not have to rent out space at the very beginning. You can start your business in your garage or your basement or even in your own cramped bedroom.
Did you know that Google first started in a garage?
If a small business venture like that can become Google, then there is nothing you can’t do.
No successful business giants in the history of the world had started as a huge organization, who had everything figured out. They worked with what they had and eventually grew their businesses to the powerful organizations that they are now.
Who doesn’t know how Mark Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook from his college dormitory and made the history?
This picture describes everything about Jeff Bezos and how he started up Amazon.
So, start with the basics without overthinking about what you want. Focus on what you need instead.
The most important budget consideration for a new digital marketing business should be the cost of creating a website and paying for the domain and hosting services. If you are technically savvy, then you can create a professional website on your own or use a popular CMS platform like WordPress. And if you need some extra help, you can hire a freelancer.
For hosting services, initially go for cheap deals. You should try to buy the domain and the server during the festive seasons like Diwali, Black Friday, or Christmas when you get hefty discounts on these.
Once you have your website up and live, you are open for your digital marketing business.
Hiring Professionals is Critical and Can Make or Break A Business
Opening a digital marketing business does not make you a jack of all trades. You are, of course, a digital marketer yourself, but you would definitely have limitations on what you can do and what you can’t.
A digital marketing business can be a one-man show initially. But as soon as you grow and start getting new clients and projects that require a variety of expertise beyond the core digital marketing skills, you have to decide to hire a few professionals.
For example, let’s say that you are a social media marketer. This particular job would require written content, visual graphics, etc. In this scenario, you do need to have a professional content creator and a graphics designer in your payroll for an excellent, timely service.
If you are capable of handling all the above jobs on your own, then it’s great, but if hiring professionals increases the quality of your services, then you should always go for that. You should be the best judge of your limitations and make decisions accordingly.
The whole hiring process starting from finding the right professionals who will fit your work style and business, matching their salary expectations, getting the best out of them, and retaining them in this cut-throat competition could be a major headache-inducer. But it is a necessary evil.
The best way to go about it is to hire professionals with whom you have already worked earlier in your digital marketing career. You would already know how they operate, their potentials, and if they would be a good fit for you or not.
If keeping a steady roster of professionals is a little out of your budget, then you can, of course, go for freelancers. Contact those you have already worked with and have faith in. Additionally, you can post your jobs on various job boards online to hire freelancers for your projects. Remember, the quality of the work would not always be steady or on par with freelancers, but you have to work with what you get.
Skill Development Should be the First Priority
Running an internet marketing business means you have to provide a plethora of services to your domestic and international clients. You can’t be choosy while taking jobs.
Maybe you can do that in the beginning, but after some time, you have to open up to more varying online marketing services if you want to scale up your digital marketing agency to the next level.
Hiring professionals to deal with each and every job you come across is not always feasible and also profitable.
A better solution and a proven entrepreneurial hack for a successful business, is to learn new skills and upgrade the existing ones continually.
One can never learn enough in one’s lifetime.
And in this case, growing your or your team’s skillset to keep yourself ready for any contingency in your business would be an invaluable asset. This practice will eventually improve your overall service quality, portfolio, and also will help you gain your clients’ trust along the way.
Don’t limit yourself to a specific skill. There are various learning materials available online, which can be explored easily if you want, or the team needs to learn something from scratch.
Try and expand your horizons by learning new things every day. Make it a priority, and you will notice the positive effect it will have on your confidence level and your overall ability to deliver the job better than your competitors’ digital marketing agencies.
Digital Marketing Business Challenges in India
Scaling up a digital marketing business is challenging in and of itself, but when it comes to starting up one in India, it becomes a huge monster waiting to trample you beneath its big old feet.
Because digital marketing in India is not treated as an absolute necessity by most businesses, till now, the majority of the micro, small, and medium enterprises consider internet marketing as an add-on service and are quite ignorant of its true potential in the real market.
So, enticing clients to hire you for your digital marketing services, and then retaining them for the long term is a tough undertaking.
With the saturation of digital marketing services in major Indian cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi, getting a client in the first place for a budding new agency is tough.
The ignorance of clients also come into play in the saturation issue as they are not apprised of how much work goes behind the internet marketing services. So, as soon as you hike your prices for your services, there is a huge possibility that the client will wash their hands of you and seek a different online marketing agency to get their work continued. And with the numerous businesses available to them, their decision becomes very easy.
Clients aside, the digital marketing profession has not been adopted wholeheartedly here as in other countries. This results in a very small percentage of genuinely skilled professionals among the entire lot of them calling themselves a digital marketer.
This creates a dilemma while hiring professionals who have the updated know-how and drive to get the job done properly.
So, I guess you can tell that there are numerous challenges that will creep up on you as you start up your digital marketing agency in India.
But do you allow them to hinder you in fulfilling your dreams?
Of course not.
You have to push on and move forward. It may not be all sunshine and rainbows from the get-go, but you have to keep up your efforts, redouble them when necessary, and keep providing quality digital marketing services to your clients.
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Mentored by Mr. Soumya Roy, the Founder, CEO of PromozSEO Web Marketing Academy.