Hey, I’m Michael Culp, a business master’s student, and today, I’m going to teach you how to start a PPC agency.
First of all, why should you be concerned about starting a PPC agency? It’s simple, 65% of small to mid-sized businesses have a PPC campaign. This translates into a pretty big market for you to explore.
The question that remains is, how can you get a piece of the cake too?
9 Steps To Start a PPC Agency
So, if you want to start a PPC agency, let me show you all the steps you need to take. Let’s get started!
1. Start As a Side Hustle
If you currently have a job, the best thing you can do is to start your agency as a side hustle. This will take the pressure off by not having to go out there and make things work right now.
There’s no reason why you cannot start building your agency on the side while keeping your main job. This will help you take off the stress of starting a business for the first time. And it will give you more time to build the skills, the network, and the experience you need. Starting a business is a messy process, and it can take time to start seeing results.
It’s also a good idea to have some money saved, so you don’t need to worry about money in the months that you struggle. The amount of money you need comes down to how much is enough to make you feel comfortable. It can be 3 months, 6 months, and even one year of your monthly expenses.
You also need to keep in mind that this is not an excuse to procrastinate. You need to start taking action as soon as possible. The best time to get started is yesterday, and the second best is today.
Once you start being profitable with your agency, you can quit your job to go full-time.
2. Find a Niche
The first step is to find your niche. The worst mistake you can make is being everything to everyone. This is a great way to provide mediocre services and have a hard time keeping clients on board.
Focusing on one niche will help you position yourself as an expert and scale your agency faster. It’s going to help you develop effective marketing communication, a value proposition that speaks to your audience, and it will be way easier to automate your processes.
To choose a niche you should look at the overlap of your skills, your interests, and the market. It’s important to define what kind of services your agency is going to offer and for whom.
There are great niches out there, some examples are roofing, plumbing, commercial cleaning, real estate, and eCommerce websites, the options are many if you are creative.
3. Take Advantage Of Friends, Family, And Acquaintances
Now that you’ve chosen your niche, it’s time to start thinking about how you can get your first few clients. A great way to get your foot in the door is by asking your family, friends, and acquaintances if they have a business or know someone who has a business that needs marketing.
Send an email to them saying that you’re starting this new agency and that you can help them with their business. You can even offer to work for free for the first 30 days.
You can also ask if they know some business to refer to you. To increase the number of referrals you get you can even offer a commission to anyone who makes a successful referral.
Ask if they know somebody and say that anyone who refers a client who signs up, will get X amount of dollars after they pay. This is great because you’ll not need to take this money out of your pocket, you’ll be taking it from the management fee you charged the client.
It’s also important to remember to always send follow-ups reminding people after the first email. People are busy and most of them will not answer the first email, not because they aren’t interested, but because all of us are very busy.
4. Work For Free
Always keep this in mind, the only thing clients care about is results and what you can do for them. So, the goal of working for free is to show your clients that you can give them results.
In your first stages, getting case studies and testimonials is way more important than making a profit. These testimonials and case studies will prove that you know what you’re doing and will help you get more clients.
These materials will become part of your marketing communications to establish trust in the future.
The most important aspect of working for free is to develop your experience, get reviews, and make mistakes in a low-risk environment.
5. Cold Calls
In the beginning, you need to invest time and money to build your portfolio of clients. To find clients you need to focus on doing marketing for your own agency.
In the beginning, most people don’t have money to pay for ads and don’t have the time to wait to start seeing results from organic channels. That’s why cold calling can be your best ally.
Cold calling is difficult and you’ll need to put a lot of effort into it and get used to getting rejected. But cold calls are the best way to validate your idea fast, without spending money. It will allow you to get your first few clients and develop yourself as an expert.
After you have some clients signed in a retainer model, you can start paying for your own marketing and/or building your organic channels.
A great way to find prospects is to look for people who specialize in the services or business model you’re targeting. You can look for them in your specific area or another specific area that you want to target. Google maps are great to find these contacts.
You can also look for people who are currently running Google ads. These people will be easier to close as clients because they already know the value of marketing and you will not need to sell them on the idea of running ads. They already know that it’s important.
In your early days, you can contact them and offer a free 30-day trial so you can prove yourself. And after 30 days, they can choose to sign up or not, if they are satisfied with the results.
6. Ask For Testimonials
Testimonials are gold. If you take a look at any good sales page online you’ll see that they highlight a lot of testimonials from satisfied clients.
You need to proactively ask clients for testimonials, otherwise, you’ll get a very limited number. Tell them that your business relies on testimonials to get new clients and that it would be of great help if they send one to you.
If you’re in the process of offering your services for free, you can set up a condition that in exchange for your free services, they need to give you a testimonial after the first month.
7. Ask For Referrals
Think for a moment… Who is the person who is most likely to know someone who needs your services? Yep, that’s right. Your current client.
The probability of your client knowing some other business owner in the niche is very high and you need to take advantage of this. Keep this in mind and make referrals part of your business from day one.
Referrals work the same as testimonials, you need to proactively ask for it, otherwise, you’ll not get it.
A referral is a very warm lead. A referral-generated buyer is more enjoyable to deal with, more likely to buy, negotiate less, and costs zero.
You can even set up a program in which you pay commissions for your clients for every successful referral they send to you.
8. Invest In AdsInvest In Ads
Once you start making money, you can set up a marketing budget, to invest in paid advertising to bring in new clients. When you have this budget, you can evaluate if you want to continue doing cold calls or not.
It’s not necessary if you don’t want to, but I’d argue that it is good to make a few cold calls each week, to keep your skills sharp.
The beauty of paid advertising is that you can build a lead magnet in the morning, put up an ad in the afternoon, and wake up the next morning with a new stream of leads to which you can get in touch and sell your services.
9. Start a Blog
Building your organic channels is extremely important in the long haul. It’s a slow process and it can take time for you to start seeing results, but once you start to get traction, the effect is like a snowball.
Content marketing is great to develop a new traffic channel and establishing yourself as an expert in your field. Marketers like to say that content is king, and they are correct.
Starting a blog is a great way to start your content creation process. Google can give you a huge amount of traffic.
To be successful in building a blog you’re going to learn the strategies designed to grow your blog. These strategies include SEO, guest posting, promoting your content, and a lot more.
Starting a PPC agency can be a great business model for those aspiring entrepreneurs who want to get started online. Although the beginning can be difficult, you learned 9 steps that will give you a great chance at success.
Building a PPC agency is a great business model that can make you very successful in the long run.
Today, you learned how you can start your own agency in 9 steps:
- Start as a Side Hustle
- Find a Niche
- Take advantage of friends, family, and acquaintances
- Work for Free
- Cold Calls
- Ask for Testimonials
- Ask for Referrals
- Invest in Ads
- Start a Blog
Michael Culp is a Business Master’s Student and founder at Ambition Yard. He is a business enthusiast and on his site, he teaches the best ways to make money online.
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