How I Built A +$10K/Month Online Marketing Agency
Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hello, my name is Mahsun Avci! I'm the founder of Avci ApS. At a fairly young age (15) I decided to start my own business. An online marketing agency, where we help businesses grow their bottom line through paid traffic and sales funnels. By taking a holistic approach to business, we make comprehensive online strategies that take our clients from their current situation to their desired situation.
Our vision is to become Denmark’s best boutique marketing agency, where entrepreneurs and ambitious businesses can come to us and grow their businesses to unimaginable heights.
At the time of writing this, I’m making around $10.000 pm and the goal for 2021 is to hit $175.000 in profit with my marketing agency.
My marketing agency changed my life because of the low cost of starting and the huge income potential. Client retainers range from $1,000 to $10,000 a month and there are many instances where I take a percentage of the added profits from my clients. Since the costs of a completely digital SMMA are incredibly low, most of that is profit. Also, unlike other agencies, I online focus on the core things that will move the boat forward and can help our clients get to their desired situation.
With experience, I learned that our clients needed to improve several aspects of their online marketing. Some needed their funnel to be rebuilt and others had no idea how to run profitable Facebook ads. I had to learn things the hard way regarding Facebook’s strict ad policies, ill-performing ad sets, and creative copywriting. I documented everything, so I could learn and adapt quickly.
After streamlining the process and consistently getting great client results, I knew I was on to something. I not only mastered Facebook ads, but I learned everything I could about personal branding and making it an asset.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
Growing up, I went to private school and was very blessed that my parents cared about my education. Somewhere around 9th grade, my perspective on the education system changed. I realized through books and YouTube videos that the life trajectory of a lot of the people I looked up to, was not aligned with what I wanted in life.
I was never a fan of what was taught in schools. Instead of religiously following what was being taught in high school, I self-educated in business, personal development, and leadership. When I was fifteen, I tried out various online businesses. I failed miserably at first. At this time I was very much into Fitness and I tried to sell training and diet plans. I managed to sell a few plans to my classmates for like $50, but it never really amounted to anything and most importantly it wasn't scalable.
After that, I tried stock trading and the likes. That too didn’t really work for me. One day I stumbled across SMMA. I was so intrigued by the concept, so I went ALL IN. I didn’t care what people thought. I was going to make it big here. I needed some proof of concept, so I convinced my dad to make me run his restaurant's Facebook Ads. I watched 100’s of videos and read tons of blogs, to know how to run successful ads and we were both pretty stoked about the results.
I knew it was the right business for me, but it was not all gold and green forests. In fact, at the start of my “agency journey,” it was so hard getting my feet on the ground and getting my first few clients after my dad.
To do it, I had to focus less and less time on doing schoolwork - to the point, where I was just getting passing grades. I committed myself to do a minimum of 5 outreaches to business owners every day and thought it didn’t work.
You could say that was taking the road less traveled. And honestly, I don’t mind it. I would rather work for myself - pursuing my goals, working till my eyes bleed- than taking the traditional route, going to university, finding a soulless job in Copenhagen, or interning in a major agency.
And as you may, or may not know the saying. “When it rains, it pours”. Naturally, one client referred me to another client and from that, I began building a reputation in the marketplace. Alongside that, I began building my personal brand at the side and began to leverage that to attract new clients.
I looked at what everybody was doing in the market and went on to do the exact opposite. I offered guarantees, I didn’t have a stable pricing structure, and most importantly I gave my life and soul to deliver the best possible service (I.e I didn't outsource the work like every other guru tells people to do). As the saying goes: “Hard work always beats talent”.
Describe the process of launching the business.
Avci ApS started by accident: I started doing digital marketing for my dad’s restaurant and combined it with my passion for content creation.
When I onboarded my first 'real' client I was a bit overwhelmed, to say the least. I realized that I had amassed a lot of knowledge, but I wasn’t sure how big of an impact it would have. I worked my ass off to make sure the client got the desired outcome. PS. The client was so satisfied with the results that I went on to get a video case study in the first month of working with them. You can see the case study here. (They are still a client of Avci ApS).
The agency evolved into its current state over the next year. Lean and results-driven with a small core team and the same aim to become the best at our craft.
After the first client. Everything went pretty slow again. This was because I had put out so many fires from personal issues and delivering the best possible service. It was very time-consuming.
Since I was only fifteen years old with zero credit, I boot-strapped everything from the ground up. Remember: you don’t even need a website! My costs were around creating professional presentation materials, traveling to prospective clients, and subscriptions to a few common eCommerce services: that’s it.
The biggest lesson I learned is that business is not about finding the next big idea. It’s about finding a genuine problem and solving it. You can quickly scale a company if you have the right resources and you provide a service businesses genuinely need in the marketplace.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
I’ve tested nearly everything. Bought every ebook, bought every course, and even went to masterminds to learn more about attracting and retaining customers. I like thinking in systems. So, I actually have different systems for finding new clients.
I’ve tried a lot of forms of marketing. And what still works best for me and my clients are Facebook ads, Google Ads, content marketing, and social media. I like to tell brand narratives and business stories on Instagram that make people think. If they align with that, they align with my philosophy of business. Every time I connect in that manner, I’m building a better relationship that’s honest and value-packed. I hate “hard” sales. I genuinely care about my clients and wouldn’t treat them like a commodity.
Lastly: how I retain customers is by giving them a better service than 99% of marketing agencies out there.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I like to keep my agency expenses low and thus it’s rather a low risk and can run from anywhere in the world. Total expenses change from month to month, but in most cases, they’re less than 20% of my revenue for Avci ApS.
To date, I have over 500 YouTube subscribers. I have over 11,500 people following my TikTok and 3,500 Instagram followers.
The future will be full of new and exciting projects with client projects and the likes. I like to build things and of course, want to give back to the community. Therefore I also help other entrepreneurs and will continue doing so through various mediums.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Early on in my career as an entrepreneur, I made a habit of working out, meditating, reading, and planning. I truly believe that in a world full of distractions, those who get ahead are the ones who can focus on the task at hand and turn everything else off. Naturally, people make fun of me for always having my phone on silent or turned off. Let’s see who laughs last.
One of the most useful things I’ve learned is to establish a morning routine. I believe that people don’t have business problems; they have personal problems that can be seen in their business. Because of this, it’s important to establish healthy habits that facilitate your goals. I.e working out, meditating.
Good mentors and friends are also essential. I’ve been blessed to be mentored by some truly great people. And because of that, I’ve learned to understand people and I have the ability to spot great talent a mile away. My network is now one of my greatest assets. Your social circle is so important and remember that you are the average of the five people you are around.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
I use Stripe, for picking up most client retainers. It’s my go-to bank for picking up international invoices from clients. I use Canva for on-the-fly graphic designs. I use Lightroom for editing pictures. Other than that I’m usually on the lookout for the best MarTech.
If I can find something that can improve my own business or my client’s business, I’m going to try it out. For talent, I use Facebook Groups and connections.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
I’ve been very much influenced by Stoic philosophy. Especially the book ‘meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius. This is the most important book I’ve ever read and I’ve been reading it ever since. Also, as someone who has a huge passion for marketing I’ve been very influenced by David Ogilvy’s and Claude Hopkins’s books. Especially: Ogilvy on Advertising and Scientific Advertising.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
Failure is inevitable and you don’t need a piece of paper to validate your worth.
If there is something out there you want to do, then just do it! Be relentless in the pursuit of your goals and you will inevitably get it. You should also remember to be self-aware and actually get to know WHAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT in life. Trust me. Even though I’m nowhere making the money I want to be making, Money doesn't make you happy. Remember:
“Wherever you are, there you are”.
If you are unhappy with yourself now. You will still be unhappy with yourself. A bad personality can’t be fixed by money.
Life is about decisions and I’m pretty happy that I started my own business at such a young age. More importantly, I’m thankful that I even dared to make the decision. The only thing your future self will regret is never getting started.
I also believe this is the reason for my early success: “While others have tried to do it all, I have tried to do less. In the modern world I believe it’s more about what you ignore rather than what you do.” - Mahsun Avci
A lot of young entrepreneurs try a lot of different business models and I think they suffer from “shiny object syndrome”.
“Try to stick to one and make it work, before even thinking about going to the next big idea.”
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We’re currently growing at a rapid pace and we are currently hiring perfomance marketers, client succes managers and sales reps for my agency. So contact me on via. Instagram if you are interested in hearing more about the positions.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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