10 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Digital Marketing Company

While a very great tool to be proficient in during this modern, technologically charged point in time, digital marketing can be tricky. This is even true for those running digital marketing companies, as it is an ever-evolving industry that changes at an incredibly fast pace. Let’s explore 10 surprising mistakes that are often made when starting a digital marketing company and see if we can help make the process a little bit easier.

1. Lack of Goals and Tracking

When you have a great business model, it can be easy to just want to jump straight in and get to work. While there is definitely no better time than the present to get started on launching your big business plan, sometimes, it is best to take a step back and make some clear goals and plans. This is also true when working with your clients and ensuring they are creating reasonable, realistic goals that can be tracked to ensure everything is going smoothly.

It is easy to say “I want to earn a lot of money by the end of the year” or “I want to be an effective company”, but a real, trackable goal can help you to ensure you are continually working towards your end goal. Explaining this to your clients and helping them set a goal that is within the realm of possibility for their brand can help them to not get their hopes too high and ensure that you can do your job effectively.

Many people working in the digital marketing industry opt for setting SMART goals. SMART goals are goals that are:

  • (S) Specific
  • (M) Measurable
  • (A) Achievable
  • (R) Realistic
  • (T) Time-Sensitive

These types of goals are designed to be a measurable tool to help ensure you are getting everything done and doing the best possible actions to market your business on a digital platform.

Having these realistic goals that can be followed in realtime to check their effectivity and overall progress is perhaps one of the best things you can do to work towards a stable client marketing program. Your clients will also appreciate being able to check-in and view the work that has been done and the level of engagement they have achieved within the digital marketing project they have entrusted to you.

2. Taking on Debt

When you are starting any business, you will potentially have some debt. Incurring a bit of debt from loans is expected with most ventures but going broke and taking out massive loans that will outweigh your revenue is doing you no favors at all.

Debt is something that can dramatically stunt a business’s progress and can result in a lot of both business and personal life issues should the business venture not go as planned. One of the best things you can do to help yourself is to work on becoming debt-free through investors or other means.

3. Focusing on the Wrong Audience

When starting a digital marketing business, you obviously have to market your own company digitally. This is no big deal for many digital marketing businesses since they can easily reach out to a wide range of customers and clients and reach their target demographic fairly well.

For others, this can pose a very real problem. Sometimes, businesses focus on the wrong demographic and can experience little to no interest. This is a lot more common than you would think, as it is quite easy to get wrapped up in getting the biggest reach possible to contact the most business entities imaginable without really considering what individualized demographics would be most suitable for your business model from a practical standpoint.

This is something to play around with. You may be able to launch your business on an extremely large platform or you may need to research those most in need of your services and pitch only to those people at first to begin a client base. No matter what you end up being able to succeed with, finding your ideal demographic reach is key.

Creating multiple different campaigns can help with this and allow you to create different tones and content to reach out to different types of potential clients, which could prove fruitful for those who do want a broader scope of digital marketing while still creating a successful multi-faceted model.

4. Ineffective Social Media Usage

Those who work within the digital marketing realm know how important social media usage is. As one of the most under-utilized tools in the digital marketing trade, social media, when properly used, can make a massive impact on your overall reach and your business’s memorability.

The issue arises when people are posting often and getting content and basic posts out but without any real substance. You should be trying to engage with your viewers and patrons; this is how your posts get shared and your entire social media campaign succeeds overall.

Right now, live videos are a really popular tool, so try hopping on Facebook Live and doing short show answering questions about common digital marketing avenues. Offer promos, events, and otherwise engage. Make yourself memorable by offering information that is viable and will make people want to come back and read more.

Things like blogs are a great tool, too, as you can reach your target demographic customer and client base while also incorporating SEO and sharing information, spreading your content even further and, in turn, having people come back to your site to read more and potentially beginning to work with you to create their own digital marketing campaigns.

5. Not Optimizing Your Website

No one wants to use a laggy, bare-bones website. This is not 2001, we now have access to an endless array of tools and professionals who can help create enticing and interactive websites that will appeal to a large audience.

A user-friendly website can really make your business seem professional and draw in consumers. Offering simple navigation, easy to use and understand subheadings, and plenty of calls to action to keep your customers and clients enticed is a great way to help communicate with them and spread more information.

Make sure your site loads fast, is easy to use, and is optimized for mobile use. There are a lot of great sites out there that are fantastic for desktop use but are not optimized for use on mobile phones and tablets, making them unusable on the go. With people spending most of their day connected to their mobile devices, this cuts out a lot of potential marketing and makes it significantly harder to connect with your target audience.

Optimizing and upgrading your website is one of the easiest things you can do to ensure you are getting content out to the right people, all the time.

6. Outsourcing Too Soon

If you are extremely new to the digital marketing industry, outsourcing too soon can really hurt your reputation. Yes, outsourcing is an excellent way to get a high volume of work done and is completely a viable and regular part of the industry. That being said, you have to have a way to monitor productivity and keep an eye on the quality of the work being completed.

If you just trust the people doing the work blindly, you are opening yourself up to having an inconsistent quality of work which can be very damaging and can even work to stall your business.

Your clients are paying good money for the services you are providing so having a second line of workers to check over the outsourced work before submitting it to the client can work in your favor as an extra layer of quality control and editing. This helps to catch any errors or inconsistencies before the client sees them, giving your business a more polished and professional look at the end of the day.

7. Skipping SEO

SEO, the abbreviation for search engine optimization, is a way of playing into the algorithm of popular search engines to ensure your content is being broadcasted to potential clients and customers. Without SEO, you are not going to reach anywhere close to as many clients as you potentially could.

Search engines use keywords as part of their method of picking up content to be displayed. Think of it like this: when you Google the phrase, “bathing a cat”, there will be multiple articles displayed on the front page. You are absolutely most likely going to choose one of the pieces located on this first page of articles. It is simply more convenient and if it is on the first page, it has to be good, right?

This is what happens with businesses, too. The reason those specific articles are on the front page is that they had the right keywords in the right ratios to land themselves there, along with other things like adding an effective meta description, having interactive content, and using authoritative backlinking to other reputable sites. If you want your business to land on a high ranking page, you need to play into the algorithm and work to get yourself there through SEO.

8. Skipping Remarketing

Remarketing is a way of reworking your approach in order to scoop up clients who otherwise would sit on the fence about using your service and not make an effective decision one way or another.

Due to the number of potential clients, digital marketing firms are typically going to focus on getting new clients instead of looping back around to old ones. This is a mistake since those clients who did not seem convinced of the essential nature of properly digital marketing their site a few months ago very well may have changed their mind since or would potentially be swayed by your new testimonials and experience.

Launching a digital marketing campaign to remarket yourself to potential digital marketing clients is a great way to open new doors, even if they previously had been closed. Simply sending offers to your previously contacted potential clients with a discount or special offer included can sometimes sway them to give your business a shot. Sending ads targeted to what they were interested in before can help, as well.

Play around with your remarketing options and figure out what your potential client needs. You might end up winning them over.

9. Overcharging

Yes, you are providing a valuable service worth appropriate compensation. This does not mean your clients are going to pay above the industry average. If you have something special that sets you apart from the rest of the digital marketing businesses out there, then by all means do charge a little more, but it is important to recognize that clients are not going to want to pay much more than what the industry standard is.

Overcharging is the fastest way to lose a client, especially if the amount is substantial. Try researching other comparable businesses and find a sweet spot for your fees. It is fair to your clients and will work in your favor.

10. Assuming How Things Will Go

Everyone wants to succeed and wants to watch their business flourish. While you do have a very real shot, it is important to not underestimate how tough starting a digital marketing business can be.

Be realistic and do your research. You need to be willing to put in the work required to succeed in order to reap the benefits of your efforts. Digital marketing is not always an easy business but it can be well worth it if you put in the effort required.

A Pathway to Success

If you are willing to do your research and set up a pathway to success, you have a very good chance of making it. While this industry is not necessarily the easiest to break into, there are some great avenues you can take to ensure a good level of client and customer interactions.

Learn from these mistakes and push yourself to excel!

Jeannie Brouts

by Jeannie Brouts

Jeannie Brouts is a Marketing Manager at SEO Vendor. She has 10 years of experience in White Label SEO and online marketing. Jeannie loves writing about the latest ways to help businesses market and produce results.


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    September 30, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Dang! This is a goldmine of tips. Yes I would agree on the overcharging part, NEVER EVER overcharge if you love your customers and if you plan on expanding.

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    October 1, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    Thanks for the Post! First of all, you really need to stir clear of debts or else your just burying yourself.

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    Gabriel Turner

    March 31, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    You will find endless opportunities to learn and grow through digital marketing. Thank you for your guidance!

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    Adam Hamilton

    October 27, 2022 at 12:29 pm

    This is a great guide for someone who will start a digital marketing company and to not commit to these types of mistakes in order to achieve a growing and successful company.

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