Is It Worth It To Start A Digital Marketing Agency In 2024? 3 Ways It Can Make You Money Right Now

April 19, 2024

Is it worth it to start a digital marketing agency in 2024? It can be worth it to start a digital marketing agency in 2024 if you’re passionate about helping businesses to grow by mastering technical skills like SEO, PPC, E-mail Marketing and you don't mind dealing with ongoing relationship with clients & doing sales and prospecting. It helps if you worked for a digital marketing company before or you have helped some clients as a freelancer. It is not worth it to start a digital marketing agency if you don’t already have digital marketing experience, you aren’t willing to commit hours of work over multiple years to grow your business, you aren’t willing to engage in the continual learning and development required for a fast paced industry, or you can’t sell. 

It will require passion to have longevity in digital marketing because not all your clients will be ideal, awesome people. Some clients will complain and get impatient with how long it is taking to get results. You will need to exercise ongoing, positive reframing conversations to keep your clients in check. An agency owner on Reddit stresses the importance of enjoying digital marketing work because when you start a digital marketing agency, it will consume a significant part of your life. 

you should have passion for helping businesses to be successful with digital marketing according to a agency owner on reddit

Digital marketing is a highly competitive field, which is why most experts recommend niching down if you want to start your own agency. You will struggle to attract clients over major digital agencies like Spark Foundry, Patel Digital, and WebFX unless you can show you specialize in driving concrete results for a specific niche.

reddit user suggesting digital marketing agency is worth it if you choose a niche

If you already have clients paying you for your services as a digital marketing freelancer, starting a digital marketing agency can be a natural step in scaling your business. You already know how to get and retain clients, now you just need to learn how to hire and train a team to support you in serving even more clients.

It’s not worth starting a digital marketing agency where you charge clients for services if you don’t have any digital marketing service experience. Even if you outsource the actual marketing work to freelancers and concentrate on the sales and project management aspects of your business, how can you determine the timeline for specific project tasks or effectively communicate project initiatives to your client? A digital marketing agency owner on Reddit makes a good point to a plumber asking if they should start a digital marketing agency in that no business is likely to pay someone without experience when there are plenty of digital marketers with proven experience available. 

reddit response to someone asking if they should start a digital marketing agency with no experience

Starting a digital marketing agency isn’t a good idea if you’re not willing to work beyond the standard 40 hour work week. Haydon Churchill of PPC agency SERPWARS claims to have regularly worked over 80 hours a week in the beginning, and even now is still dialed into his business 24/7. 

reddit experience of digital marketing agency owner working 80 hours a week to start

Starting a digital marketing agency isn’t the right business model for those who hate change as the digital marketing industry changes constantly. You need to be ready to learn new strategies and adjust with changes like Google updating their search engine algorithm, new marketing channels emerging, and innovative technologies like artificial intelligence disrupting the market. You should also have strong sales skills to be able to sell your services to clients, or at least be able to hire a competent salesperson to sell for you.  

reddit user suggests sales skills are the key to digital marketing

Many people prefer the digital marketing agency business model of local lead generation because of how relatively easy it is to get sales. A local lead generation agency builds websites that attract customers for service businesses, charging between $500 to $3,000 per month for the leads the website generates. Instead of approaching business owners to pay for your services in exchange for potential marketing results, a local lead generation agency ranks websites in Google ahead of time so that it's generating free traffic, and then you send free leads to a business owner so they already know you got the results they want. This means they don't even need to verify your resume. 

In the following article, we explore further whether it's worth starting a digital marketing agency by looking at factors like the market demand and career outlook. 

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing, or inbound marketing, is an online business model. The goal is to promote brands on the Internet. Digital marketing uses approaches like social media, videos, content creation, and paid ads. But it is unlike traditional marketing, which uses cold calling, billboards, or print ads. As a result, a company can get in front of more people. Consumers find the business instead of the business looking for possible buyers.

But this is how they become a top-of-mind business. In 2023, 97% of people search online for products or services. Research states that 55% of marketing is now digital. A small business owner who employs a digital marketing service can get in front of a ton of eyeballs. Then they can connect with potential clients on numerous platforms, increase interactions, and get the right kind of attention.

Is Digital Marketing In Demand In 2024?

Yes, digital marketing is in demand in 2024. Statista reports that global digital marketing spending will reach $836 billion by 2026. More people are searching for products and services online. Google processes 8.5 billion daily searches. As of July 2023, there are nearly 500,000 new Internet users daily, and 5% are not yet active on social media. 

Studies suggest that there will be a 3% growth (137 million+ users) YOY by the end of 2023. Digital marketing has changed how a company interacts with possible customers. Now it's a non-negotiable to stay relevant, generate higher profits, and reach a mixed audience. The key is to adopt an omni-marketing channel approach. Then a company can target the right people and build brand awareness.

LocalIQ reports that 63% of businesses have increased their digital marketing budgets in 2023. The result is industry growth for this online business model is projected to increase by 10% from 2023-2026 in marketing strategies like SEO services, content marketing, social media management, and PPC ads. 

What Are The Types Of Digital Marketing?

1.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

Search engine optimization is a marketing strategy. The goal is to boost the quality of website traffic from SERPs. SEO services drive organic (free) traffic to a webpage. Then you're in front of a potential customer armed with buyer intent. BrightEdge reports that 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine.

It drives 1,000%+ more traffic than organic social media. In 2023, organic traffic is responsible for 53% of website traffic. HubSpot suggests that SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate. A digital marketer who is an expert in SEO can get more high-quality leads for their clients without relying on paid methods like Google Ads or a PPC marketing campaign.

2.  PPC Advertising

PPC, or pay-per-click, is a digital advertising method. This approach leverages paid ads to get attention. Advertisers pay a search engine like Google or Bing every time an ad is clicked. TechJury states that paid ads have a 200% ROI and yield 2X the number of visitors compared to SEO. 

Agencies that run ad campaigns for clients do market research on platforms like Google Analytics, People Also Ask, and Keywords Everywhere. Data suggests that ads can increase brand awareness by 80%, and 65% of consumers click on PPC ads. Digital marketers who specialize in PPC can get quick wins for their customers through their marketing efforts.

3.  Content Marketing

Content marketing is an online marketing strategy. A digital marketing specialist can build an audience online using inbound marketing approaches like blogs, videos, and social media posts. The goal of content marketing is to get attention from the right people and build brand awareness. Google Cloud says 82% of shoppers want a brand's values to align with theirs. And 75% of consumers will leave a brand over conflicting values.

The key is to have a business plan and content schedule. Then share relevant text. Answer the questions people are asking online. Then stay consistent in your outbound and inbound marketing message. Data reveals that branding has the 5th highest ROI. It is one of the most popular trends in digital marketing in 2024. Include short-form videos in your content; an agency can increase purchases by 144%.

4.  Video Marketing

Video marketing is a method used by a digital agency to connect with buyers emotionally. It's also a chance to get the right people to pay attention to a brand online. Livestream says that 80% of people prefer video over written text. 

In 2023, 3.1 billion people consume videos on the Internet every day. Use videos to share value, stay relevant, and connect with a potential customer by posting a tutorial, showing a product in use, or offering industry hacks.

5.  Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing, or SMM, is a digital marketing method that uses a social media platform like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. The goal is for a marketer to post content and creatives that connect and interact with possible consumers. As a result, they build brand awareness, increase sales, and drive website traffic. Statista reports that are around 4.89 billion social media users worldwide.

An agency might employ social media advertising like a Facebook Ad or a TikTok video. The key is to be transparent and socially conscious. Marketing Drive states that 70% of consumers expect brands to take a public stand on social issues that matter. In 2024, SMM is one of the best ways to collect consumer data. SMM gives an agency a real-time market breakdown and can help create new strategies to drive more online traffic to an offer. 

6.  Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a partnership between a popular social media user and a brand. An influencer is paid to promote products or services for a brand. In 2023, it's a nearly $21.1 billion industry. Oberlo reports that 80% of consumers have bought something after seeing it recommended by an influencer. 

Influencers are a chance to reach a broader audience. They build brand awareness and can increase social proof and offer excellent ROI for a brand. HubSpot suggests that 89% of digital marketers who leverage influencer marketing increase or maintain their investment.

7.  Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is an influential digital marketing strategy. It uses smartphones and handheld devices like tablets and mobile computers to connect with a possible buyer via SMS or text message. Data says that 66.6% of the population uses mobile devices. 84.2% of Americans use their phones to access the Internet. Mobile marketing uses methods like push notifications and ads to get in front of their target audience.

Interactions can be transactional, promotional, or two-way communications. But they're convenient for the consumer and a quick way for a business to share its message. Think With Google reports that 51% of customers use a mobile device to find and buy new products or services in 2024.

8.  Audio Marketing

Audio Marketing is a digital marketing method that uses audio content instead of written or visual text. The idea is to use it to complement other marketing incentives. Audio marketing is a way to broaden your reach and build brand awareness with a unique audience. MartechSeries suggests that audio ads have a 24% higher recall rate than traditional display ads. 

Podcasts are a relatively untapped market. But the industry saw a 20% increase in listenership in the USA in 2022. GWI says that 21% of working-age Internet users now listen to podcasts for an average of 1-2 hours/day. In 2024, audio marketing is a way to engage with listeners and build a loyal customer base. 

9.  Email Marketing

Email marketing is a type of digital marketing that uses email to interact with a possible customer. It's a chance to raise brand awareness, share offers, and boost consumer loyalty. Agencies that leverage email marketing can see an ROI of $36 for every $1 spent. SaleCycle states that 50% of people buy from marketing emails at least once a month.

The key is to share value. Write emails that help solve a problem or make a person's life better. Include a video with a clear call to action or next step. Omnicore states that video content in emails can improve click-through rates by up to 300%. Don't be spammy or focus on the hard sell. Instead, design an email that fosters relationships and creates loyal customers.

How To Start A Digital Marketing Agency?

  • Pick your services and digital marketing agency type: To start a digital marketing agency, decide on the services you want to provide. A digital marketing agency can offer a full-service, multi-channel, or single-channel option. Your agency can deliver only SEO services. Or it can be like a social media marketing agency. Then your team can run paid social ads, reporting, and brand social media management. 
  • Choose your digital marketing niche: Learn everything you can about your ideal client. What problems do they have in their business? Who is their target audience? Become an expert in one niche, one approach, or have one client avatar or target market. Then you can create a plan that you know works.
  • Decide on your digital marketing agency pricing model: An agency can charge a retainer, hourly, performance-based (commission), value-based pricing, or a fixed rate. Agencies that offer flexible or scaled pricing payment options have fewer complaints from clients about the cost. 
  • Promote your digital marketing agency and retain clients:
    • Build an online presence and advertise your agency and your services.
    • Post valuable content on social media platforms, start a YouTube channel, and network on sites like LinkedIn.
    • Tell everyone what you do and how your agency can help their business reach its goals.
    • Consider running paid ads to land a few clients when first starting.
    • Overdeliver and share social proof on your website and social media pages.
  • Get results for your digital marketing agency and build a reputation: Clients only care about results. So your agency needs to show a brand that you can increase online revenue, get them more sales, higher-quality leads, etc. An agency that meets or exceeds KPIs will be in high demand and get a steady stream of high-paying clients. 

What Are The Reasons To Start A Digital Marketing Agency?

The reasons to start a digital marketing agency include creating a recurring income stream and building an asset. The services industry is evergreen. In 2024, more business is being done online. Zippia states that the annual growth rate of new Internet users worldwide is 4.8%. 

Every second, nearly 127 new devices are connected to the Internet. Agencies that can build a steady client base and scale their business produce a product in the long term and create a more consistent income. And unlike working for an agency where you have no recourse if there is a recession, you have full control over your financial situation.

What Skills Does A Digital Marketer Need?

Skills a digital marketer needs is an understanding of how to do effective competitive research and use psychological marketing. Marketers need to be storytellers. Storytelling is a chance to target a customer's emotions. Stories are easy to remember, but they connect with people on a more personal level.

Solve a problem or situation. Learn as much as you can about your ideal client. For example, What issues do they have? What questions are they asking online? Make people feel understood. Consumers buy when they feel heard. Be everywhere all the time. Post content where your people are spending time online. Then do everything you can to get in front of a ton of eyeballs.

Do competitive research and be the better marketer. What kind of content are your competitors posting online? What paid ads are they running? Do they have a better web design? What type of content do they post that gets a ton of engagement? Stay one step ahead of trends. Make your agency unique and stand out. Learn how to repurpose long-form content.

Use video editing tools like Premiere Pro to create snippets you can turn into videos, podcasts, and social media posts. Leverage AI tools like ChatGPT to produce better results faster. Then take the best content and create UGC. Copy that speaks to your target audience and drives online traffic to your call to action.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Digital Marketing Agency?

It costs $1800-$16,000+ to start a digital marketing agency. Costs depend on the types of marketing you want to offer and how you provide services to clients. For example, if you run an agency remotely and work as an independent, you can start an agency for minimal costs. But start-up costs will be higher if you want to hire a team and have an office. You can start small and only offer 1-2 services. Then as you build a client base, consider scaling.

Can You Start A Digital Marketing Agency Without Experience?

You can start a digital marketing agency without experience if you’re willing to work hard and become an expert in a specific service. Consider taking a digital marketing course to learn from an industry expert. The key is to get attention from the right people.

Then remarket them with a call to action. Overdeliver for clients and build a reputation online. Stay on top of current trends and get the best results. Then you can earn an income with the business model in 2024.

Is Digital Marketing A Good Career In 2024?

Digital marketing is a good career in 2024 because the industry continues to see increased demand. More companies are connecting with their customers online, and the digital marketing industry continues to see rapid growth. As a result, they need the skills and expertise of digital marketers to stay ahead of their competitors and connect with their customers. Becoming a digital marketer gives you a competitive edge. It allows you to specialize in one area. Then you can continue learning or diversify to other forms of marketing if you want to expand your skills.

How Much Money Does A Digital Marketing Agency Make?

A digital marketing agency can make around $10,000/month or $250,000/year. However, if your team has a digital marketing specialist and is experienced and successful, you can make as high as 6-figure earnings. How much money a digital marketing agency makes depends on the services you offer and how many people you have on your team. To earn higher revenues, adopt these three ways your agency can make more money right now:

3 Ways The Business Model Can Make Money Right Now

1. Learn the 2 core digital marketing skills:

Learn two core digital marketing skills. First, you must be able to sell yourself and your services. If you can't sell, it will hold back your level of success. Become an expert in one type of digital marketing and excel in one area. Then it's easier to sell yourself, and you don't rely on freelancers who might not know what they're doing.

Next, achieve real results for clients. If you're just starting, do some work for free. Then get reviews and social proof to show paying clients you're worth your salt. If you have tangible evidence that you can get them more leads, better conversions, or increase their revenue. Then your services will sell themselves.

2. Be a niche-specific digital marketing agency:

Don't be a generalist or try to help everybody. Instead, be a super niche marketing agency with one specific offer and one specific client. The idea is to pick a niche or service and become a digital marketing specialist. Then it's easier to sell your service for higher ticket prices, and it's easier to market.

Then you don't need to figure out a ton of different solutions for a ton of problems. Rather you have one equation. Get results and success in one business niche. Next, reach out to similar businesses in different geographical locations. You'll get more experience and can grow long-term success. Then as you refine your services, you can adjust your prices accordingly but stay competitive.

3. Get people to pay attention to your digital marketing agency:

In 2024, the most valuable currency online is attention.  Find a way to get attention or find leverage the algorithms. Then your agency can get in front of the right people. But people have a short attention span. So you need to WOW them in under a second. Then find a way to monetize your video or creative with a call to action that gets your agency more leads, more business, and more paying clients.

What Digital Marketing Tools Do You Need To Operate An Agency?

Automation software:

Tools like HubSpot can streamline processes like email marketing, lead prioritization, and paid ads.

Analytic tools:

Software such as Python or Google Analytics help track, measure, and collect customer data from a website. Then your agency knows what pages are getting the most traffic and where a possible buyer is spending their time on your site. 

Content management systems: 

CMS is used to handle content creation and websites. A CMS like WordPress or Contentful allows multiple users to edit, create or publish content.

Project management software: 

Software such as Asana and help an agency schedule and organize resources and tasks.

Social media management tools: 

SMM tools help schedule and post social media posts. Software like SproutSocial and Hootsuite can also track user engagement, likes, and brand reputation.

Customer relationship management software: 

CRM like Salesforce or HubSpot can help an agency oversee interactions between a business and its customers or a possible buyer. A good CRM analyzes data in real-time and studies user trends. Then an agency knows what strategies are working and which need tweaking.

Email marketing software:

Email software such as Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign streamlines the process. It can send mass emails or newsletters to current and likely customers to share product updates, video tutorials, or new offers.

Graphic design tools:

Software like Canva or Adobe Photoshop can design visually attractive graphics for marketing agencies to use in their social media posts or websites.

Video editing software: 

Tools like CyberLink PowerDirector 365 or Adobe Premiere Pro can be used to create video content for online channels. 

Using the right tools for your marketing services ensures that your agency connects with the right people at the right time. They can also support an agency's objectives and help access data. Then a digital marketer knows what channels to target. Or whether to use paid or free methods to drive online traffic to an offer.

What Are The Pricing Models For A Digital Marketing Agency?

  • Hourly rate pricing model: Hourly is a model where the agency charges clients a set price per hour. The model is easy to implement. But an agency needs to get results or risk losing clients' trust and business. 
  • Project-based pricing model: An agency estimates how much a project will cost by calculating the estimated number of hours multiplied by how long it will take to complete. Project-based pricing is a great option for clients on a budget. The issue is that agencies might under or overestimate how long the work will take to finish. This is the model that many freelancers use in digital marketing to earn money
  • Value-based pricing model: The focus of this model is on value. What service is most valuable for a client? Do they need more leads and online traffic? Or do they want higher conversion rates? An agency needs to deliver real results. They should have a track record with tangible proof to support their claims to make money with this model. The selling feature is that the agency is equally invested in the process. Clients pay a higher price but receive superior service. The downside is an agency won't make money if it can't deliver on its promises. 
  • Performance-based pricing model: This only works if both parties agree on a fair deal. Expectations and KPIs need to be clear. Goals should be measurable and agreed upon before the work starts. But if an agency can't achieve results, it won't earn an income using performance-based pricing.

Many digital marketing agencies offer an a la carte pricing option. An agency can also start a project using one pricing model and then renegotiate with the customer at a later date. 

What Is The Average Profit Margin For A Digital Marketing Agency?

The average profit margin for a digital marketing agency is 7.9%, but an agency can earn more. Digital marketing agency profit margins depend on whether you or not you work remotely. SEMRush suggests that the best digital marketing agency or a firm that works remotely can get profit margins as high as 40%.

What Is The Next Big Thing In Digital Marketing?

The next big thing in digital marketing is artificial intelligence. Blueshift reports that 28% of marketers utilize AI to power their marketing campaigns. AppNexus adds that 86% of digital marketers rely on AI to improve efficiency. Other trends in digital marketing for 2024 include conversational marketing, voice search, and augmented reality. 

User-generated content is still dominating campaigns. Shift4Shop reports that using UGC can increase conversions by almost 74%. As a result, the industry is seeing seismic shifts. Brands are focusing on using the customer's words and phrases to personalize their message. This connection means a more seamless process for lead generation in digital marketing. As brands build better and long-lasting relationships with their audience, they will create a more loyal audience.

Is Digital Marketing in High Demand for the Future?

Yes, digital marketing is in high demand for the future because of increased online purchases yearly and flexibility of the business model. According to, 2.64 billion individuals of the global population are online shoppers. This fact proves the growth potential and profitability of this business model. Digital marketers can make up to $80,000 yearly.

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Why Local Lead Generation Is A Better Business To Start In 2024

Local lead generation is a better business to start in 2023 because you're creating digital assets you own rather than increasing the value of another business owner's online property. Instead, build and rank websites. Those sites produce leads you can sell to a local business owner for profits as high as 85%-90%. You own the website, the tracking number, and the leads.

Local lead generation focuses on the local market. So you can get your sites to the top in under six months. Once they're at the top, they don't need a ton of work (10-15 hours/year). But now, those sites are valuable digital real estate that gets organic (free) traffic. So you don't need to worry about not getting results for clients. Or risk losing money if a client goes elsewhere. Instead, make a deal with a small business owner. Then get paid on autopilot and earn passive income.

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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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