I’ve wanted to do a long term business case study for a while now. One geared around how any digital service business can build a 6 figure agency within one year. We’ve done this previously but wanted to track and see if the model is fully repeatable based on the skills I’ve learnt over the years.
If it is than itâs very likely going to help a lot of people who are looking to grow, even if itâs just for freelancers to get to that elusive Â£10k/month mark. In this case weâll be using Â£10k/month revenue figures but of course the profit is usually very high for digital services, especially if you âdoâ the service yourself as a freelancer you can have net profit figures over 70% in many cases. Although in this case I won’t be doing this.
The basic strategy is going to be to build out an agency/offering style website, pre-selling the audience on your service and what we are offering (content marketing scaled). The offer itself can be anything within reason but of course you have to have a very good offering in place whether this be; SEO, graphic design, branding, PR, software, marketing, web design, content, any online service is applicable, even more specialised ones (potentially shorten the timeline) too.
I’m not going to talk about the agency operations or deliverables in too much detail as it’s going to be different for everyone, but one thing you’ll need is confidence in your closing ability (sales), a way to get paid and ideally some case studies, testimonials and examples of work. If this is in place based on what we will run through in the next 12 months you can build a 6 figure agency. I’m extremely confident about that.
Officially there’s very little costs and you could even build everything out below for less than $1,000, but as we’re looking to speed up the process and a lot of the tasks I’ll be outsourcing instead of doing myself – the cost will likely be in the $5,000 range. If you are on a very tight budget then by all means design the site yourself, purchase a brand new domain and write everything yourself from a content point of view.
The Case Study –Â Content Marketing Agency
Our goal is to build a brand new business and take it to 6 figures in yearly revenue within 12 months. Many agency owners have done this and dozens have probably gone to 7 figures in year one, but there isn’t a live case study/guide that breaks down the exact specifics onto how they achieved it. In this case study that’s what I’ll be aiming to do.
As our current businesses are growing very quickly we wanted to build something that has a lot of synergy with our existing models of digital marketing, technical SEO and link building, but yet start from scratch from the business position point of view.
As a result we’ll be building out a “content marketing agency”. Which will cater to medium sized clients and have a relatively simple offering. ThisÂ is going to offer very similar elements to our SEO agency (because nowadays content marketing and SEO are very closely aligned anyway.)
With this offering we’d be looking to generate around 30 ongoing clients within the first 12 months at an average price point of Â£500-Â£1,000/month = 30 x Â£500 = Â£15,000 in monthly billables. As with everything organic marketing based, this is a very top-heavy strategy.
The Estimated Deliverables are below:
- Content audit – Each new client would receive a full content audit based on their initial condition of the business.
- Content topic creations – Based on a 6 month campaign of 2 or 4 posts per month we’d build out the individual topics, keywords and titles for each piece of content.
- Content writing & formatting – The writing of the content itself either in Google docs or onto the site itself with internal links, external authority links andÂ
- Content syndication through social accounts – Posting to the social accounts of the company once the piece is complete – Potentially just integrating an IFTTT element.
Our core pricing will be Â£300/month for 2 1,000+ word pieces. And a slight discounted rate of Â£500/month for 4 pieces per month with that being the core goal.
The major up-sell is going to be link building. Ghost Marketing is a bespoke specialist link building agency and this is something the content marketing agency (Whatever the name turns out to be) would be closely aligned with. Then of course there is also a number of technical SEO or “full campaign” options which will be upsold where relevant.
- Month 1: Build out the initial site – Using WordPress, a semi-customisable template & a domain name with some power already associated. This helps avoid the lag-time to organic rankings when a domain already has links pointing to it. Including rankings, domain, hosting, conversion elements & design this comes to around Â£700.
- Month 1: Build homepage target keywords.
- Month 1:Â Content selection & on-page optimisation – 20 Content pieces for medium competition keywords, pre-selling the audience about the offering. This is incredibly important as these are going to be where the majority of our leads come from. After reading this initial content we’re looking for prospects to understand the value and get in-touch for a quote or more information about what we do.
- Month 1:Â Initial link building, social account creation, citations, IFTTT set-up and basic online brand creation. Â£300 cost.
- Month 1: FB & Adwords advertising – Â£5/day each. This is seriously important for a number of reasons. The first is we can see if the site converts in any way, even if it doesn’t we want our site to have a very clean look and time on site should be very high, low bounce rates and just general user engagement metrics should be good. As well as this traffic (from these sources) justifies the generation of links at a later date which helps overall rankings.
- Month 2+: Writing of the core 20 content pieces.
- Month 2+ 15 high quality links to the brand’s homepage.
- Month 2+ 3-5 links to each content piece.
- Month 2+ Multi-locational ranking strategy.
I’ll be writing updates on this every month (potentially more).
Hope you enjoy.