Are you thinking about starting a new creative agency? Are you unsure about how to do it? We may have a few answers.
Starting off from scratch is never an easy task. It needs planning and patience, and of course, funding. While every new entrepreneur faces unique challenges on this journey, this basic guide follows through 8 steps you will need to work through.
Step 1: Decide who you are as a creative agency
Every creative agency is different and offers something unique to the client. Your first task will be to show your clients what is unique about you: why your clients should choose you. Creative agencies are a part of a larger creative industry. The first order of business is to decide what services you will offer and to whom. For example, if you have experience in design, you can focus on opening a design consultancy. Streamlining and highlighting your expertise will help you build your target clientele more efficiently.
It is also essential to register your agency and get your license in order. Consequently, it is also important to work out the costs involved. You may need to approach investors. Remember, you are responsible for everyone working with and under you. Always have your paperwork and financial systems in place.
Step 2: Brainstorm your name and branding
This step goes hand-in-hand with the last. Having the right name, a creative design, and memorable branding is the first card you’ll play in the creative sphere. If done well, it will help draw in your target clients.
The name of your creative agency should be timeless. Picking a name based on a passing trend or a meme will only help in the short run. Pick a name that represents your agency well, and make sure your branding complements it. This also helps when you’re approaching investors.
Step 3: Do you need a niche?
Some creative services can flourish in a smaller niche. Decide if this is something for you. Would you like to work with small businesses or large companies? What industry do you specialize in? Does your company provide creative designs for B2B or B2C clients? Test the waters with market research and streamlining. Not only does this help bring in a steady cash inflow, but it can also help you build a pool of clients. Long-term and returning clients are your best source of projects.
Step 4: Recruit the right talent
Essentially, a creative agency is a team of specialists, each with their own expertise. Build a team that can help you set up a smooth workflow. Assign and delegate tasks that are beyond your abilities. For instance, you may need tech support or an SEO marketing specialist. A happy creative agency lets its team drive the project. You cannot be present to micromanage every little detail. So, your team must be driven, skilled and most importantly, communicative. Setting up the proper communication channels and creative support can efficiently help your team work together. For example, an innovative design consultancy needs access to good computers, the best design tools and collaboration platforms. A creative agency that puts its team first is more likely to build better rapport both in and out of the circle. This means happier and empowered employees, better leads and efficient work!
Step 5: Build your work process
Speaking of working together, no team can function without workflow systems. Setting up the processes and work tunnels is the very foundation of your creative agency. It allows your team members to understand their responsibilities and reach out when they need support. Tools that help in collaboration, tracking project development and transparent timesheets help keep your team in the loop. This allows everyone to tackle blocks and delays smoothly. An agency that works like a well-oiled machine can create better content no matter the brief!
Step 6: Plan out your content strategy
Nothing generates leads like a strong content strategy. More importantly, regular, high-quality content helps build your brand awareness and trust. Clients will only approach a creative agency that is good at producing creative content. Naturally, this means you need to work out your SEO strategy. It is highly recommended that every creative agency hire an SEO specialist. Beyond your writers, video creators and design team, an expert on the ins and outs of SEO will give your agency an edge.
Look into writing blogs, engaging people on social media, producing video and graphic content, online workshops, regular newsletters and more! In the creative sphere, it's all about content, content, quality content!
Step 7: Make yourself visible!
How do creative agencies get clients? Any venture depends on networking to build and grow. Use your contacts! Reach out to old friends and colleagues, work with other experts, and participate in community events. Respond to people who reach out to you. Making your agency seem approachable is the fastest way to grow. Referrals and word of mouth are powerful tools for any budding agency. Remember that even your client network is an excellent way to keep the workflow coming. Maintain a rapport with old clients and watch your clientele grow.
This leads to another step. Remember to pay it forward, that is, help other small businesses grow. Creating a supportive community drives the creative industry as a whole.
Step 8: Remote work is the future!
While most guides emphasize the need to have a clear headquarter for people to find you, the game has now changed. The last two years have made remote work easy and accessible. This also means you can hire a team from all around the country; all you need is a proper communication tool. So double down on this! Agencies do not need a physical location as long as their website and marketing strategy is vital. Make your official website user-friendly and informative, show off your old projects and portfolio, and remember to highlight your contact information. It has become increasingly simple to complete creative projects entirely online.
Beyond this, make sure your team has everything they need. You can create a very effective online toolkit for your employees. The google workspace is a popular choice. Use it to put all your resources in one place that can be easily accessible by anyone in your team.
The process of creating a new creative agency is slow and ever-growing. While these steps may not be as distinct and chronologically arranged in real life, they should help you make your checklist. Set your goals, plan your finances, and brick-by-brick, you will build what you set out to. Good luck, entrepreneur!