Starting a content marketing agency can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful content marketing business.
Importantly, a critical step in starting a content marketing agency is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here.
14 Steps To Start a Content Marketing Agency:
- Choose the Name for Your Content Marketing Agency
- Develop Your Content Marketing Agency Plan
- Choose the Legal Structure for Your Content Marketing Agency
- Secure Startup Funding for Your Content Marketing Agency (If Needed)
- Secure a Location for Your Business
- Register Your Content Marketing Agency with the IRS
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Get a Business Credit Card
- Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
- Get Business Insurance for Your Content Marketing Agency
- Buy or Lease the Right Content Marketing Agency Equipment
- Develop Your Content Marketing Agency Marketing Materials
- Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Content Marketing Agency
- Open for Business
1. Choose the Name for Your Content Marketing Agency
The first step to starting a content marketing agency is to choose your own business’ name.
This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your content marketing agency:
- Make sure the name is available. Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
- Keep it simple. The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
- Think about marketing. Come up with a name that reflects the desired brand and/or focus of your own content marketing business.
2. Develop Your Content Marketing Agency Plan
One of the most important steps in starting a content marketing agency is to develop your business plan. The process of creating your plan ensures that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.
Your business plan should include the following sections:
- Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your content marketing agency.
- Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your content marketing agency and what type of content marketing business you operate. Some of the most common types of content marketing agencies include: Blogging business, Social media marketing business, Online magazine or newspaper, and Video production business.
- Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the content marketing industry. Conduct market research and document how big the industry is and what trends are affecting it.
- Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or target customers are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when purchasing services like the ones you will offer?
- Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
- Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
- Product: Determine and document what products/services you will offer
- Prices: Document the prices of your products/services
- Place: Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
- Promotions: What promotional methods will you use to attract customers to your content marketing agency? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
- Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
- Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
- Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
- What startup costs will you incur?
- How will your content marketing agency make money?
- What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
- Do you need to raise funding to launch your business?
3. Choose the Legal Structure for Your Content Marketing Agency
Next you need to choose a legal structure for your content marketing agency and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.
Below are the five most common legal structures:
1) Sole proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the owner of the content marketing agency and the business are the same legal person. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.
A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small businesses. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start a content marketing agency together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business.
The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.
3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for a content marketing agency include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.
4) C Corporation
A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for a content marketing agency is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.
5) S Corporation
An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.
Once you register your content marketing agency, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.
4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Content Marketing Agency (If Needed)
In developing your own content marketing business plan, you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business.
If so, the main sources of funding for a content marketing agency to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in a content marketing business that they believe has high potential for growth.
5. Secure a Location for Your Business
Having the right space can be important for your content marketing agency, particularly if you’d like to meet prospective clients there.
To find the right space, consider:
- Driving around to find the right areas while looking for “for lease” signs
- Contacting a commercial real estate agent
- Doing commercial real estate searches online
- Telling others about your needs and seeing if someone in your network has a connection that can help you find the right space
6. Register Your Content Marketing Agency with the IRS
Next, you need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.
Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.
7. Open a Business Bank Account
It is important to establish a bank account in your own content marketing agency’s name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:
- Identify and contact the bank you want to use
- Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
- Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
- Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them
8. Get a Business Credit Card
You should get a business credit card for your content marketing agency to help you separate personal and business expenses.
You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.
When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.
Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.
9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
Most states require businesses to have a license to operate, and the type of license you need depends on the business’s activities. For example, if you plan to sell content marketing services, you’ll need a general business license. If you plan to publish content online, you’ll need an Internet publishing permit.
To find out what licenses and permits are required in your state, contact your local licensing agency or visit the website of your state government.
10. Get Business Insurance for Your Content Marketing Agency
Other business insurance policies that you should consider for your own agency include:
- General liability insurance: This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: If you have employees, this type of policy works with your general liability policy to protect against workplace injuries and accidents. It also covers medical expenses and lost wages.
- Commercial property insurance: This covers damage to your property caused by fire, theft, or vandalism.
- Professional liability insurance: This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.
Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs.
11. Buy or Lease the Right Content Marketing Agency Equipment
Most content marketing agencies don’t need much equipment. To start a content marketing agency, you probably only need a computer, phone and internet access. You might also need office furniture.
12. Develop Your Content Marketing Agency Marketing Materials
Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your content marketing agency.
The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:
- Logo: Spend some time developing a good logo for your content marketing agency. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your brand.
- Website: Likewise, a professional content marketing agency website provides potential customers with information about the services you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your website will affect how customers perceive you.
- Social Media Accounts: establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media channels will help customers and others find and interact with your content marketing agency.
13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Content Marketing Agency
To start a content marketing agency, you’ll need some software to help you get started. At a minimum, you’ll need a word processing program to create your content, as well as a graphics program to create any images or videos you want to include. In addition, you may want to consider investing in some marketing automation software to help with tasks like email marketing and lead nurturing.
14. Open for Business
You are now ready to open your content marketing agency. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.
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How to Start a Content Marketing Agency FAQs
No, it's not hard to start a content marketing agency. In fact, there are a lot of ways to get started. You can start by creating a blog, writing articles for other websites, or even starting your own website. You can also create videos, podcasts, or social media posts. The key is to find a way to share your knowledge and expertise with the world.
If you're looking to start a content marketing agency with no experience, there are a few key things you need to do first. Here are some tips:
- Research the industry and learn as much as you can about content marketing. This will help you understand what makes a successful content marketing campaign and how to create effective content.
- Create a business plan. This will help you outline your goals and strategies for your business, and it can be used to attract investors or partners.
- Set up a website and social media presence for your business. This will allow you to market your services to potential clients online.
- Start building a portfolio of work. This will show potential clients that you're capable of producing high-quality content.
- Network with other professionals in the industry. Building relationships with other content marketers can help you learn from their experiences and get advice on running your business.
There are many ways to start a content marketing agency, but the most profitable option is usually to create original content that attracts attention and engages readers. There are many different strategies you can use to achieve this, and it's important to find one that fits your strengths and interests. Once you've established yourself as an authority in your field, you can begin charging for advertising or sponsored posts.
The cost of starting a content marketing agency can vary depending on the size and scope of the business. However, in general, you will need to invest in some basic equipment and software, as well as hire a writer or content creator to help get your business up and running.
One of the biggest expenses you will incur is in marketing and advertising your new business. You will need to create a website, create social media profiles, and invest in online advertising. In addition, you may need to hire a public relations firm to help get the word out about your new business.
All in all, the cost of starting a content marketing agency can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the size and scope of the business. However, with careful planning and execution, you can create a successful content marketing agency with relatively little investment.
The ongoing expenses for a content marketing agency include the cost of creating and publishing content, as well as marketing and advertising the business. Content creation can be expensive, especially if you outsource the work, so you'll need to factor that into your budget. You'll also need to budget for marketing and advertising expenses, which can vary depending on what tactics you use. However, overall, the ongoing expenses for a content marketing agency are relatively low compared to other businesses.
A content marketing agency can make money in a variety of ways. One way is to sell advertising space on their website or blog. They can also sell products or services that are related to their content marketing. For example, a content marketing agency could sell e-books, courses, or templates that teach people how to create effective content. Finally, they could also charge for their services as a content marketing consultant or strategist.
Some content marketing businesses may be profitable, while others may not be. The profitability of a content marketing agency largely depends on the specific business model, the market conditions, and the quality of the content. However, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances that your content marketing agency will be profitable. First, make sure you have a clear and concise business plan in place. Next, research your target market and make sure you are catering to their needs. Finally, make sure you produce high-quality content that is relevant to your target market. If you can do all of these things, then your content marketing agency has a good chance of being successful.
One of the main reasons content marketing agencies fail is because they do not have a clear plan or marketing strategy in place. Additionally, businesses often do not allocate enough budget to their content marketing efforts, which can lead to poor results. Finally, many businesses make the mistake of creating generic content that does not resonate with their target audience.