36 Tips For Starting A Successful Marketing Agency

Want to start your own marketing agency? Here are 36 tips you should know.
product

We've interviewed thousands of successful founders at Starter Story and asked what advice they would give to entrepreneurs who are just getting started.

Here's the best advice we discovered for starting a marketing agency:

#1: Travis Richardson, founder of Impressions Agency :

We chatted with with Travis, founder of Impressions Agency ($100K/month). In our interview, Travis says:

Just start. You don’t have to have everything figured out before you begin. In fact, to this day we are still figuring things out. Each season of your business will provide a new learning opportunity.

Additionally:

Part of our mission is to build long-term relationships and to truly be effective in this area it requires us to be flexible and to sometimes lose profit. When a customer is hurting, we are hurting.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#2: Emenike Emmanuel, founder of Entrepreneur Business Blog:

We chatted with with Emenike, founder of Entrepreneur Business Blog ($3K/month). In our interview, Emenike says:

When your back is against the wall, you will do everything to survive. Personally, I chose to survive it and I did through the power of blogging.

Additionally:

The biggest mistake I made which I still regret till date was failing to start building an email list immediately the blog was launched. As a result of this, it was difficult to reach people who had visited the blog in the past.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#3: Karl Hughes, founder of Draft.dev:

We chatted with with Karl, founder of Draft.dev ($8K/month). In our interview, Karl says:

Be careful about listening to experts. Experts forget what beginners don't know, so they skip things that are obvious to them. I’m not saying you should never listen to experts but don’t assume that everything that worked for them will work for you.

Additionally:

I ultimately want a business that is enjoyable to run, but you don’t get there by only doing things that you find easy. Struggling into the unknown, scary situations is how you grow.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#4: Anthony Tumbiolo, founder of Jakt:

We chatted with with Anthony, founder of Jakt ($300K/month). In our interview, Anthony says:

I started Jakt from the realization that I loved helping other businesses succeed and in turn help many other people.

Additionally:

Instead of talking with our leads about 1 to 2-month projects, frame them as 6 or even 12+ month long relationships. Framing it like this instills confidence in the buyer that you are really care about their future success.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#5: Alex Albarran, founder of Dream Client Academy:

We chatted with with Alex, founder of Dream Client Academy ($31K/month). In our interview, Alex says:

Always be selling! Maintaining a full pipeline of prospects/deals is extremely critical to the growth of your business.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#6: Kenn Kelly, founder of Never Settle:

We chatted with with Kenn, founder of Never Settle ($100K/month). In our interview, Kenn says:

In a culture that’s insistent on blaming others and finding excuses - ownership stands out.

Additionally:

We put ourselves in our clients' shoes to determine how we can resolve problems in a reasonable way.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#7: Brian Cohen, founder of Visiture:

We chatted with with Brian, founder of Visiture ($900K/month). In our interview, Brian says:

Forget the instant gratification and focus on long term decision making. If you’re an agency, figure out a way to work with well-known brands that you’re confident you can deliver great results

Additionally:

One of the most impactful decisions that we made was to focus on clients with recurring revenue versus project-based work for a few large clients. This allowed us to predict our monthly revenue and make investments

Further:

Don’t start multiple companies and don’t allow anyone else to sway your direction. Pick one company, one core product or service line and be the very best at that

article

Read the full interview ➜

#8: Sam Wilcox, founder of Tribecto Automations:

We chatted with with Sam, founder of Tribecto Automations ($10K/month). In our interview, Sam says:

I should have prioritized my physical and mental health sooner. In the beginning, the business was all consuming. I was working extremely long days and not seeing much of the outside world.

Additionally:

I was able to build up enough cash in the bank to give me plenty of runways to make mistakes and have bad sales months.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#9: Michael Gardiner , founder of Nomads with Solutions:

We chatted with with Michael, founder of Nomads with Solutions ($12K/month). In our interview, Michael says:

I would recommend choosing 1 or 2 skills that can transfer between businesses and getting really good at them.

Additionally:

I personally believe that happiness is far more important than success, fame, or anything else. For myself, I would rather make less money with more freedom to travel than make more money with less freedom to travel.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#10: Matt Tomkin, founder of Tao Digital Marketing:

We chatted with with Matt, founder of Tao Digital Marketing ($19K/month). In our interview, Matt says:

Failures happen! If we didn’t fail we wouldn’t move to the next step. That member of staff, that expense that went wrong. Things just go wrong and sometimes it’s no-ones fault! Just keep going!

Additionally:

Charge what you are worth and charge for the value you bring rather than the time spent.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#11: Oliver Op de Beeck, founder of Interview: Kreatix:

We chatted with with Oliver, founder of Interview: Kreatix ($10K/month). In our interview, Oliver says:

Our mistakes make us what we are. I wouldn’t prevent them. We love experimenting and I think people should stop overthinking and start doing more.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#12: Kathryn & Michael Redman, founder of Half a Bubble Out:

We chatted with with Kathryn, founder of Half a Bubble Out ($98K/month). In our interview, Kathryn says:

When you understand who you are as a company, you start to realize that not every customer is the right fit for your company. We had to learn to not say “yes” to every customer or take every deal that came our way, which was tough.

Additionally:

Just keep showing up and working hard. We know it sounds trite because we thought it was trite when we were younger, but looking back now, we realize just how true it is.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#13: Gilberto Rosas, founder of Maverick Media Lab:

We chatted with with Gilberto, founder of Maverick Media Lab ($10K/month). In our interview, Gilberto says:

Within 30 days I got my first client and it began to take off from there. I realized then that amazing things happen when fears are faced head-on.

Additionally:

Having a mentor will be what I call a “feedback accelerator.” It’ll speed up the process so fewer iterations and less time are having to test and tweak.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#14: Rahul Alim, founder of Custom Creatives:

We chatted with with Rahul, founder of Custom Creatives ($100K/month). In our interview, Rahul says:

That was a bad plan. I did not anticipate all the hats I would have to wear such as paying bills, accounting, sales, fulfillment or vendor management.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#15: JB Kellogg, founder of Madwire®:

We chatted with with JB, founder of Madwire® ($8.5M/month). In our interview, JB says:

We’d often say that a client can cancel for a million different reasons, but let’s not allow one to ever be that we did not do everything we could to “wow” them in customer service.

Additionally:

We have never done any cold calling or outbound sales campaigns. All our leads and customers are generated from inbound strategies. We believe in a multi-channel strategy that extends to social, content, reputation, advertising, email marketing, and beyond.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#16: Bryn Elizabeth Bonino, founder of Bryn Elizabeth Co.:

We chatted with with Bryn, founder of Bryn Elizabeth Co. ($1.3K/month). In our interview, Bryn says:

I’m a planner, and that quality helps me out a lot. But I learned that it saves time and energy to launch something before it’s perfect, sometimes even when others tell you not to.

Additionally:

Creating valuable content for your ideal clients is extremely important. But you don’t have to do that on your own platform. When first starting out, spend your time guest blogging for other publications and linking back to your own website or landing page.

Further:

I recommend keeping a diversified marketing strategy for your business - always. In my networking, I’ve met too many people who have put their proverbial eggs in one basket and then after a year or two, that one source dries up and they are back to the drawing board.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#17: Chris Ciunci, founder of TribalVision:

We chatted with with Chris, founder of TribalVision ($700K/month). In our interview, Chris says:

The leaders that form on your team are going to shape your internal culture which will ultimately decide how successful your business is.

Additionally:

Don't expect results overnight. You don’t just wake up one day and have 7 figure revenue.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#18: Jeremy Kanne, founder of Smart Yeti Creative Agency:

We chatted with with Jeremy, founder of Smart Yeti Creative Agency ($8K/month). In our interview, Jeremy says:

One of the top lessons I’ve learned is being confident in saying “I don’t know” when I don’t know. This honesty and transparency when paired with a great work ethic, creates trust and drives successful partnerships.

article

Read the full interview ➜

#19: Darren Magarro, founder of DSM:

We chatted with with Darren, founder of DSM ($516K/month). In our interview, Darren says:

In addition, get out there and get involved. Don’t join a networking group or chamber of commerce and expect business to come to you.

Additionally:

Being an entrepreneur is difficult enough and many times, you feel alone. Once you have a great team, do whatever you need to do to keep them surrounding you.

article

Read the full interview ➜

Want to start a marketing agency?

See our full guide ➜