How To Package & Sell Digital Marketing Services | 6 Tips To Optimize Agency Earnings

April 1, 2024

How to package & sell digital marketing services: 

  1. Identify your core services
  2. Choose a primary business niche to target
  3. Bundle relevant services together to provide increased value
  4. Set transparent pricing
  5. Outline clear deliverables
  6. Offer the option for customization
  7. Formulate a marketing strategy
  8. Contact and qualify leads
  9. Pitch qualified leads on digital marketing services
  10. Respond to objections
  11. Close clients

Digital marketing agency owners make between $74K and $129K/year, according to data from Glassdoor. Therefore, packaging and selling digital marketing services through your own digital marketing agency can earn you well over the average US salary of $59,428. In 2024, there are many established digital marketing channels, like Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, to create marketing packages around. There are also exciting new technologies coming into the market, like artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR), that are disrupting long-standing online marketing trends and creating new opportunities. Whether you choose to offer social media marketing, paid advertising, SEO, or content marketing services, there are many options for packaging and selling marketing services online. 

You can start a digital marketing agency by yourself. In fact, digital marketer and internet personality Iman Gadzhi started his digital marketing agency, IAG Media, by himself at the age of 17. He used his agency as a starting point to inflate his wealth to over $85 million by age 23. Starting an agency to sell digital marketing services is one of the most effective methods to make money online. There are currently over 45,000 digital marketing agencies making money through their marketing services, according to Promethean Research. 

How to package digital marketing services?

1. Identify your core services

The first step in packaging digital marketing services is to identify the core digital marketing services that you will offer to clients. The field of digital marketing comprises a vast array of services. The digital marketing services offered by a digital marketing agency can include:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Email marketing
  • Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
  • Social media marketing (SMM)
  • Content marketing
  • Marketing automation
  • Marketing research
  • Marketing strategy
  • Web design and development
  • Public relations (PR)
  • Video production

These services are just the tip of the iceberg. Many digital marketing agencies sell hyper-focused services within these primary digital marketing service options, such as a PPC advertising agency assisting clients with only Google Ads or Facebook Ads. For example, Link Doctor is a digital marketing agency that focuses specifically on providing link building services, which is a subsect of off-page SEO within the SEO service niche.

2. Choose a primary business niche to target

Before packaging your digital marketing services, you should choose who you’re going to package them for by choosing a primary business niche to target. Some benefits of choosing a niche to target instead of taking clients from any industry are that you can:

  • Build a high level of expertise in a single field for better client service
  • Find clients easier by knowing where your niche is most likely to spend time
  • Systemize your offerings and optimize workflow as you’re doing similar work for similar clients

The niches you should target depend on what services you’re offering. For example, a Google Ads agency is highly suitable for industries with high customer lifetime values like finance and insurance, while a social media marketing agency is highly suitable for industries that rely on more visual cues to convert clients, like personal trainers and fashion companies.

Besides just choosing a specific niche to target, it’s also beneficial to decide on what size businesses you will target. Many digital marketing agencies elect to target small, local businesses in the beginning and attempt to land larger clients over time as the agency’s reputation grows. It’s important to do market research to understand precisely what your target client needs so that you can package your services accordingly. 

3. Bundle relevant services together to provide increased value

Digital marketing packages should be bundled to optimize value for the client. Every digital marketing service has some common tasks that go together. For example, the SEO service of local SEO typically requires tasks like setting up a Google My Business profile, performing keyword research, implementing a content marketing campaign, and building local citations. These services can be bundled together as part of a comprehensive local SEO package because they are commonly performed together to achieve the overall result of ranking better in local search.

Services like an email marketing service and an influencer marketing service usually should not be bundled together because they aren’t related services. Email marketing services can be packaged alone or within a comprehensive content marketing service, whereas influencer marketing is an aspect of social media marketing that can be appropriately packaged with other social media services or by itself. 

4. Set transparent pricing

Setting transparent pricing is an essential aspect of packaging digital marketing services that directly influences your profit potential. Transparent pricing allows potential clients to know straightaway whether your digital marketing agency’s services fit within their operational budget. There are handful of strategies that digital marketing agencies use to set their pricing, including: 

  • Tiered package pricing - Multiple packages of different services at various price points. 
  • Menu pricing - Selling individual services separately.  
  • Project-based pricing - Charging clients on a per-project basis.
  • Monthly retainer pricing - Charging clients ahead of services rendered by guaranteeing access to your time.
  • Hourly pricing - Charging clients by the hour for services rendered. 

How do you set pricing for digital marketing services? 

You set pricing for digital marketing services by identifying the necessary cost to perform the service and then adding a markup. Most agencies charge between a 20% and 50% markup, according to the Digital Agency Network. For example, say you are charging with tiered package pricing. If the costs of a package are $600 and you want a 30% profit for your services, charge $780 for the package. 

5. Outline clear deliverables

Outlining clear deliverables for your online marketing packages sets expectations for clients and provides your agency with clear goals to work towards. Deliverables are an essential component of project execution. By explicitly outlining deliverables alongside your digital marketing packages, you help businesses to better understand the value you are providing while indicating your agency is capable of achieving project outcomes. For example, a social media marketing packaging may include deliverables like a social media marketing strategy outline, a certain quantity of social media posts, and a certain quantity of direct social media messages sent to potential leads. 

6. Offer the option for customization

It’s important to offer the option for package customization because every company is unique and predefined packages may not be suitable for every client. Therefore, customization allows you to open your business to a larger client-base. If you took the time to understand the costs of offering various services and the markup you want to charge while setting transparent pricing, then pricing a customized marketing package is fairly simple because you already have the data you need to set a profitable price point for the custom package. 

How to sell digital marketing services? 

1. Formulate a marketing strategy

The first step in selling digital marketing services is to formulate a marketing strategy because you need an effective way to obtain leads before you can get sales. You can market digital marketing services through a variety of marketing channels, including an agency website, social media, paid advertising, networking events, and many more.

An effective marketing strategy usually contains both inbound and outbound marketing components. Inbound marketing is a strategy that attracts potential customers to a business by using content creation like blogging and social media posts to showcase your authority and attract business. Outbound marketing is more direct, whereby a business pushes their message out to potential customers through channels like cold calling and paid advertising. It’s worth noting that inbound marketing tactics generate 54% more leads than paid outbound marketing methods, according to Precision Marketing Group. 

Oftentimes, the best way to market a digital marketing business is to leverage the same marketing channel as your primary marketing service. For example, a social media agency using a range of social media platform options like TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest to attract potential clients. This enables potential clients to find your business online while showcasing your brand’s ability in the marketing service being offered. However, it’s important to understand where to find your target business owner when formulating a digital marketing strategy because your target business owner may not spend time where their customers do. 

2. Contact and qualify leads

Once your marketing strategy generates some interest in your marketing services, contact your leads and qualify them to assess whether your business can satisfy their specific marketing needs. Taking the time to properly qualify leads for your digital marketing business helps to ensure you’re using resources most effectively. Spending time on unqualified leads wastes time and money while simultaneously lowering your conversion rate.

How to qualify leads?

  1. 1
    Create an ideal customer profile (ICP) of your preferred client
  2. 2
    Establish lead scoring criteria to quantify the importance of each variable (Ex: industry is ranked 1 because it's most important)
  3. 3
    Research leads to find the basic information
  4. 4
    Ask leads qualification questions to obtain the necessary information you need to score leads
  5. 5
    Compare the data you’ve collected from the leads against your ICP
  6. 6
    Make an informed decision whether the leads meet enough of your outlined criteria to continue pursuing a client relationship

3. Pitch qualified leads on digital marketing services

Now that you have some qualified leads, contact those leads and persuade them on why they should pay for your digital marketing services. Unless you’re a naturally adept speaker and communicator, it’s typically best to prepare a sales script ahead of time and practice your pitch before going into your first sales call. The average closing rate in sales is around just 20%, according to lead generation company Pointclear. That means you can expect to close one in every five sales meetings for your digital marketing agency. 

How do you pitch digital marketing services to clients? 

  1. 1
    Jump on a video conference call or phone call with the potential client
  2. 2
    Discover the current status of the client's digital marketing efforts and where they would like to take their business
  3. 3
    Discuss your plan of action for getting their business to where they want it to be by addressing the benefits and features of your services
  4. 4
    Showcase your portfolio of similar projects and customer testimonials to provide proof your agency can improve marketing results
  5. 5
    Discuss your rates and recommended marketing agency packages to fulfill the potential client's intended marketing outcomes

4. Respond to objections

Responding to objections during a sales call is a common aspect of the sales process that even digital marketing agencies must face. Some common objections you’re likely to encounter when pitching business owners on a digital marketing package are:

  • “It’s too expensive”
  • “I don’t understand how this can help me”
  • “I’m not familiar with your business”
  • “I’m not interested in marketing support right now”
  • “I need to think about it”

Sales expert Dan Lok recommends using the 3 F’s method to handle objections in sales. The 3 F’s are:

  1. Feel
  2. Felt
  3. Found

The first thing you should do is feel what the potential client is feeling by having empathy. Then talk about how others felt the same way before working with your digital marketing agency. Finally, talk about what other customers found out after working with your digital marketing agency. Obviously, they should have found out that working with your agency improved their business. 

5. Close clients

Once objections have been handled, you can complete the sales process by closing the client. However, closing the client is just the beginning of the relationship. Now you need to prove you can generate beneficial marketing outcomes in order to keep the client with your business for as long as possible. In fact, client turnover for digital marketing agencies is relatively high. The annual turnover rate for digital marketing agencies is between 30% and 50%, according to digital marketing agency Sakas and Company. 

6 Tips to optimize digital marketing agency earnings

1. Provide value first

Providing value first allows you to build trust with potential customers before selling them your digital marketing services, which can lead to more sales in the long-run. You can provide value through high-quality informational content, such as instructional blog posts or YouTube videos. Or you can offer a free service for potential clients, such as an SEO agency offering a free site audit. Providing value to the marketplace can get more leads into your sales pipeline and increase the prospect of converting those leads because of the trust established through the free value you already provided. 

2. Offer incentives for long-term commitment

Getting clients to commit to your business for the long-term means more guaranteed money for your business. Some incentives you can offer clients of your digital marketing packages include additional bonus services and discounted payments. 

3. Don’t scale too quickly

Scaling too quickly creates many problems for a digital marketing agency business owner, such as not:

  • Earning enough revenue to cover expenses
  • Having sufficient time to put the necessary processes in place
  • Being able to find and hire the right talent
  • Providing current paying clients with a satisfactory level of service

If you want to grow your digital marketing agency into a profitable business long-term, it’s important to scale at a moderate pace. 

4. Upsell and cross-sell clients

Upselling is offering an enhanced version of a product or service for a premium rate while cross-selling is offering supplementary products. By offering upsells and cross-sells along with your digital marketing packages, you increase the potential for your agency to generate more income.

5. Maintain a positive relationship and follow up

In the event that you don’t convert a qualified lead into a sale, you should maintain a positive relationship so that you can follow up with the business in the future. Just because now isn’t the right time for a business to utilize your digital marketing packages doesn’t mean they won’t be interested at a later date. 

6. Sell to the sold

Instead of wasting time and resources trying to convince any business to work with your digital marketing agency, it’s best to focus on only selling to businesses that have already attempted digital marketing. Companies that have attempted digital marketing but haven’t gotten the results they wanted clearly believe in the potential of digital marketing and are easier to sell than those without any digital marketing activity, or those who haven’t invested anything into your particular core digital marketing service. 

What is the most in demand digital marketing service? 

  • Data analysis
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Video marketing

These are the most in demand digital marketing services according to top ranked business school Wharton of the University of Pennsylvania. 

Conclusion: What is the easiest way to sell digital marketing services?

The easiest way to sell digital marketing services is to use the local lead generation business model. Local lead generation is the easiest way to sell digital marketing services because you do the marketing work upfront before pitching a client on your services. Therefore, your digital marketing services can basically sell themselves to clients because you can allow potential clients to experience the capabilities of your marketing services before they even buy, instead of promising future results like typical digital marketing agency services require. 

Local lead generation works by ranking websites on Google that target service businesses in specific locations. When someone searches Google for the specific service your local lead gen website is targeting in the specific location that it’s ranking on Google, there’s potential for that person to click into your site. If that person who is interested in buying the service clicks into your site, you generate a valuable customer lead that you can sell to an actual service business in that location. Typically, local business owners are willing to pay between $500 and $3,000/month to receive leads from a local lead generation website. 

Unlike a traditional marketing agency where owners typically have their hands full implementing or overseeing daily marketing tasks for clients, local lead generation agency owners can earn money without actively working. Local lead generation websites can earn you passive income because once you get a site to rank well on Google and partner with a local business to take the leads, the site requires little maintenance and small business owners will typically stick with you for the long run because you generate efficient and reliable traffic through SEO. Compared to offering SEO services, local lead generation is much better because you own your lead generation websites as opposed to spending time working on the online presence of another company. This protects you from losing clients because they need to be partnered with you in order to receive your leads. You can learn everything you need to know to start making passive income online by ranking websites through this highly reviewed local lead gen training program.    

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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