(8 minute read)
When I first started Social Vantage, my digital marketing agency, I really had no idea that I was “Starting” it. When I acquired my very first digital marketing job online, I was an 18 year old high school senior who needed to make more money. The first client I ever had came from a craigslist listing of a woman who had a boutique shop and needed someone to “Post” to her business’ Facebook page about once per day. At the time, I had a personal Facebook account and was on it frequently talking to friends and family, but until I saw this craigslist job, I never knew the business side to Facebook, or ANY social media channel for that matter.
As an 18 year old kid using Facebook, this got me really excited. I never knew I could make money by sitting on Facebook all day and throwing up a post here or there for this small boutique store in the middle of Kansas. I was able to get her on the phone and by the end of the call…I was hired! Now… I know exactly what you are thinking.. “Grant how did you know anything about digital marketing or what to say to her or how to get her to hire you.” The truth is that I had absolutely NO IDEA what I was doing. Never had I ever “posted” or worked on a Facebook page for any business. In fact, when I read her job and it said “Post to my business page” I actually had to look up what the hell that even meant. Moreover, when I got her on the phone, we talked and connected, I had a very proactive, charismatic attitude and tonality with her and prior to getting on the call I Googled and YouTubed everything I possibly could about this whole “Social media marketing” thing. On that call I said just enough to get her to believe I actually knew what I was doing when in reality, I didn’t even understand half of the stuff that was coming out of my mouth because I was sitting there reading it to her off of Google.
Once I had the job and I began working on her Facebook page, I made it my mission to figure out EVERY angle of this whole “digital marketing” thing. I began watching videos daily, reading books, connecting with other people in the industry and talking to them about the clients they manage. I soon went from having absolutely NO idea what I was doing, to actually being really GOOD at what I was doing in a matter of 3 months. By then I had a business partner (My best friend from 5th grade) and we were both working on her account while also trying to get more clients.
In a matter of 3 months we had 10+ clients each paying us between $250 – $400 per month. This is when we realized we could actually build a full scale digital marketing agency. We were getting really good at what we did and people were starting to take notice. We didn’t have some bullshit “Business plan” or “investment” to get us moving. Hell… we didn’t even have a damn mentor walking us through the ropes. We just grabbed the bull by the horns and TOOK ACTION.
Starting a digital consulting business in my opinion is by far one of the BEST online businesses to build right now. In the beginning there is ZERO overhead! You don’t have any expenses other than your TIME.
If you are interested in starting a digital consulting business you need to know there are a few different service methods you can offer to people:
Done For You
This is where you are actually DOING the work. Someone may hire you to post to their business’s Facebook page, build Facebook ads, make edits to their website, run their Instagram, handle their Google advertising etc. You are the one in the trenches daily doing the actual work.
A few different services you could offer are:
- Social media management
- Posting to their social channels, handling their Facebook ads etc.
- Google advertising management
- Handling their Google ads on Adwords.
- Search Engine Optimization
- Building up links for their website for keywords to get them ranked higher in the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
- Blog writing
- Simply writing blogs for a company for them to put on their website to drive more traffic to their site etc.
Once again I know what you’re thinking …. “Grant I don’t know how to do ANY of this!! I never learned this in college or at my last job or bla bla bla.” Guess what… neither did I 3-4 years ago when I picked up my first client!
How do you think you are going to learn? Well… you are actually lucky because you have ME to walk you through the ropes. But for the basic fundamentals start using Google and YouTube to learn!
Done With You
This style of consulting is where you are doing some of the work on your own and giving some of the work to your client. After you have done a lot of “Done For You” work, you can begin moving up the chain to “Done With You” work where you and the client are splitting up the work. If you are helping someone with their marketing, you will give the client a bunch of work to do and then do a bunch of work yourself.
1 on 1 Coaching
This style of consulting is where you are advising the client on what to do in a 1 on 1 setting. This happens after you have graduated from “Done With You” styled consulting. With coaching, you are telling people exactly what they need to do and they go off and do it themselves. You can’t really offer this service to clients until you are extremely skilled and know exactly what you are doing in your space. I don’t recommend offering 1 on 1 coaching until you have “earned your stripes” and have proven results from tons of people with “Done For You” and “Done With You” styled consulting.
This style of coaching is where you are advising a group of clients on what to do at the same time. This style of coaching is great because it saves you time and is scalable. You can spend the same amount of time as 1 on 1 but with multiple people. You can find a group of 10 people who need help with their marketing and then you can coach them all on one single call. This is a great business model because you can maximize your revenue while spending the same amount of time.
All of these different styles of coaching are possible for ANYTHING you are passionate about, not just digital marketing. I offer all of the above services for digital marketing because that is what I am passionate about and it’s my expertise. But in reality, if you are into fitness / working out, you could offer the same “Consulting” styled services as I do but …. for fitness! So you can offer “Done for you” for the local people around you where you meet them at the gym and train them. “Done With you” can be a mix of meeting in person or even skype calls. The 1 on 1 coaching can be done over skype from anywhere in the world and same with group coaching!
What once started as simply getting hired off of craigslist to post to someone’s Facebook business page, has now grown into a 7-figure, 20+ person digital marketing agency with over 150 clients from all around the world. Since then I have also started two eCommerce companies that have both grown well into the 6-figures. Am I telling you this to brag? Hell no! I am trying to inspire you because I want you to know as you read this, that I am NO smarter than you are, I just took action, executed and hustled my way to where I am now.
If you are reading this and you are interested in starting your own online digital marketing agency, then you are lucky because I would have given anything to have the type of resource you have here at grantcooperonline.com. I am going to be putting out completely FREE (and also of course paid) trainings for people who really want to learn how to build a digital agency. Whether you are a college student looking to make a few extra dollars like I was, or a stay at home mother trying to make ends meet, I can promise you with the right mindset, training and direction you will be able to build your own digital marketing agency and pick up 5-10 clients paying you $500 – $1,000 per month each within the next 6 months.
There’s a lot of hard work involved and it doesn’t come easy. But once you get that first client and feel the momentum things start to roll quick!
So what do you think? Is starting a digital marketing agency for you? Let me know what questions you have below in the comments and I will be sure to answer them!