I was contacted by Issa, a young Omani entrepreneur who asked for my opinion on the topic of online digital marketing agencies as a business. This column is to share my advice with all those that have toyed with this idea. One benefit of starting a digital marketing agency is you do not have to have a brick-and-mortar business presence. The first step in setting up a successful remote marketing agency is investing in the right tools that will help you connect with your team and collaborate.
As your agency grows, you may want to create your own digital marketing team and hire experts, but if you are starting with no experience and no money, it is essential that you learn to do these tasks on your own. Before you begin serving clients (as a freelancer or agency with a focus on digital marketing), you should get some experience working for either a well-established agency or your own site. It is not surprising, therefore, that many digital marketing agencies started hiring remote employees in order to address the shortage of talent.
Many of the U.S.-based digital marketing agencies that were studied reported hiring remote employees at lower-cost locations; not necessarily abroad, but smaller cities away from Muscat. Often talented Omani choose not to live in the capital city. Commenting could be time consuming, so remote employment could be a great opportunity to balance work and lifestyle. Most of the digital marketing agencies seemed to also agree that remote workers are more productive. Digital agencies save money on their offices and employees costs by hiring remote workers.
Some others agencies ask that their remote employees be available at similar hours to the office in which they are normally employed. That guarantees a stable income for the employee while granting great flexibility. As a strategy for finding top remote employees, some companies implement the same types of technologies workers will be using in their jobs throughout their recruitment process.
With these tools, an agency can continue to reap the benefits of working remotely. In addition to investing in better collaboration and communication tools for our staff, any digital remote agency makes sure that all employees are equipped for a telecommuting essential environment. The more comfort is provided to the remote employees, the higher is the reliability of real time support.
One of the hardest aspects of building a digital agency is making sure that you are managing team members efficiently. Some of my entrepreneur friends that have owned digital marketing agencies have a hybrid setup, in which a local team would operate from one central office, but it is strictly to serve as a liaison with the (remote) clients, while allowing sales and marketing teams to collaborate together in a nurturing environment.
Even though you do not have a brick-and-mortar office, you still might need to incorporate your remote agency and seek specific licensing. With a remote digital agency, the only start-up costs you will need to cover are buying your own laptop — which you probably have already — and paying to create your website. I would recommend that if you have some tech confidence you manage your own website instead of outsourcing that crucial part of your business outreach.