Mar 20

How to Start an Agency After Successfully Freelancing

Freelancing can be a steppingstone to starting your own creative agency. It's a great idea in theory but starting an agency from scratch will be challenging if you don't know what you're doing. You should know right off the bat that running your own agency is very different from freelancing.

Freelancing can be a steppingstone to starting your own creative agency. It's a great idea in theory but starting an agency from scratch will be challenging if you don't know what you're doing. You should know right off the bat that running your own agency is very different from freelancing. Agency management requires you to think about more than your own financial stability and future when you take on the role of leader. Your decisions will have an impact on every member of your team and reflects big on your brand.

Things to consider

What services can your agency offer

Choosing your agency's offerings is the first step in getting your business off the ground. Figure out who you want to sell to and where they are in the market. Whether you're starting a company or working independently, it's important to anticipate your customers' needs before introducing a single service. Make sure to place a premium on the skills you already possess.

It makes sense to turn your skills into a business of your own. At first, you should zero in on your core competency; then, as business and your team expand, you can branch out. These abilities are your strongest suit. When you're at a loss for what to spell, the first step is to turn your company into a platform that focuses on your existing expertise.

What is your unique value proposition

if you want to stand out of the crowd of hundreds of agencies that are already in existence, you need to specialize in an area, and prospects should know you for something. Firstly, it gives you a competitive advantage over other agencies. There are many agencies in existence, offering the same services as you but not all of them are specialized and some of them offer low-quality services due to unnecessary diversifications.

Having a defined niche will give you the confidence you need when approaching prospective clients, it also enables clients to trust and relate with your brand more. A successful agency is one that has a notable impact on the marketplace and clients.

What is your brand personality

Before starting your agency, it is important to create a brand that will draw in potential clients. Your brand should also have a reputation for being ethical and trustworthy. The word of mouth about your product or service should be incredibly strong as well- with no negative feedback from happy clients to keep your agency in check.

The number one thing that agencies need is great content. Your blog, website and social media accounts should all be filled with great content related to your brand. Onboarding is also easier when you have a defined niche.

Who will be your Target Clientele

Having a well-defined clientele makes your job much easier. When you know your target audience inside and out, knowing what they value and what questions they are likely to ask can help you be well prepared to deal with them. When starting a creative agency, it's important to decide what services you'll provide. As a corollary, consider what kinds of clients you hope to have and what industries you hope to work in. Simply providing the same service you did as a freelancer can help you get more clients.

Knowing when and how to make a decision with prospects is a skill you can develop using your ideal customer persona. You should start thinking about who will pay you to use your skills once you have determined which ones will bring you the most financial and personal satisfaction. Knowing your audience inside and out will help you hone your talents to perfection and zero in on your ideal client.

Things to do

Step 1: Learn about legal and tax considerations

You'll need a strategy for managing your agency's tax obligations and other liabilities. Managing the agency's tax and other liabilities requires careful planning. You can shield your personal assets from a lawsuit by forming a limited liability company (LLC) or a limited liability corporation (Scorp). Not only that but also having your business organized as an LLC will give off a more credible and legitimate impression to both clients and authorities.

If you are tax-savvy and prefer to handle your own taxes, keeping an organized tax record will make the process much less stressful. To top it all off, be sure to have an attorney who manages the agency's legal matters and handles things like contract preparation.

Step 2: Name your agency

After you've settled on the goods or services you intend to market, we'll look at the brand name, which is the single most significant aspect of your business's identity. When choosing a name, keep in mind that it should be succinct, descriptive, simple, easy to remember, and in line with your final goals.

Verify that no other company is making use of the name you've chosen. Call the appropriate office to verify its availability in your region. The next step is to check if the domain name and proposed social media handles are available. If that's the case, claim the handles immediately, even if you have no immediate plans to utilize them.

Step 3: Create your agency account and profile

With a name and domain, you can establish a website. The goal of your landing page should be to make it simple for site visitors to get in touch with you as a B2B company. Consultation from a web design service can be useful in crafting a user experience that is both pleasant and effective in generating new business. Add a blog, work examples, testimonials, and numbers to back up your skill claims.

Social networking sites are another alternative. Every sector has its own social networking platform where businesses and ad suppliers may do business. Joining these communities increases your chances of getting discovered by new consumers.  There is usually time allocated before and after small business networking events for people to mingle and get to know one another, so it's a good idea to attend those as well.

Step 4: Decide how to structure your business

The next thing to do when launching a design firm is to map out your desired organizational structure, this will help you determine which positions are necessary.  Without the need for ongoing micromanagement, systems and procedures may provide direction, establish measurable goals, and guarantee repeatable success.

The organizational framework must be tailored to your management style and the services you intend to provide. Prioritize first-round employees that free you up to concentrate on business development and client satisfaction. In order to expand your firm, you must find efficient ways to handle the additional workload. Expanding is distinct from doubling in size. Being able to include new functions without compromising scalability is essential.

Step 5: Establishing your creative agency fee structure

Creating a profitable freelancing business requires establishing a systematic pricing approach.  High prices may deter some clients, but they also guarantee consistent business from those who can afford them. Pricing based on the scope of work being performed allows you and the client to set reasonable expectations from the outset.

It is crucial to be able to quickly explain the costs of the services you provide so that the client understands precisely what they are paying for. If you can clear up any uncertainty for your client in this regard, you can make them feel like they are getting their money's worth. After factoring in all expenses, a profit margin of at least some percentage should be used to determine selling prices.

Step 6: Hire the right people

As your workload increases, you'll need to bring on contractors who you can delegate work to. There are many factors to consider before hiring new employees. Consider how much oversight you'll need to have over a freelancer's work before you hire them. A team is only as strong as its weakest link, so it's important to fill open positions with qualified candidates.

Find people who have impressive portfolios and expertise that will complement your own, and a solid reputation and work ethic. It's not a good idea to bring friends into the workplace, as tensions between them and you will inevitably rise, and may even find their way into your private life.

Step 7: Market your brand power

Having regular customers is essential to any successful business. The primary focus of your agency's early years will be on sales. A hardworking, emotionally exhausting sales force is the backbone of any successful agency. A partner or referrer from outside your agency will only bring sales contacts and will not be invested in or knowledgeable about your agency's mission.

It's easier to keep the sales momentum going once you've secured your first few customers than it is to start doing other things, so focusing on making sales when you're not tied down is ideal.  When your company has landed a significant client, it will have the financial wherewithal and operational leeway to pursue more business growth prospects.

Things to Remember

Remember: that you cannot please everyone. Successful branding begins with identifying your company's purpose and demographic. It's not impossible to take your freelancing to the next level and establish a successful creative agency. However, keep in mind that enthusiasm alone won't guarantee you or anyone you bring along on the voyage a comfortable living. The remaining bits require a systematic approach, commitment, and perseverance. Results are everything, so make sure you're an expert in whatever it is you're trying to market. Be original and don't fade in with the rest of the stuffy professionals; instead, make your own niche and establish your reputation for excellence in your field. Recognize that this is not going to be an easy road and adjust your mindset accordingly.