How To Start a Marketing Business

Ed Pronley


February 17, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

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All businesses require strong marketing tactics to improve their brand awareness and to find new clients. That’s why a lot of them often turn to a marketing business to help. If you’re wanting to learn how to start a marketing business, it’s important to understand the different types available and the first steps you need to take to get started. In this article, we discuss:


Types of Marketing Businesses

Image via Unsplash by @campaign_creators

There are multiple types of marketing businesses you can create. Though each type offers similar services, some focus on broad marketing ideas, while others choose a specific industry in which they operate. Whichever type of business you create, it’s important to pick one that fits with your marketing background and experience. The different types of businesses include:

Content Marketing Agencies

Content marketing agencies are companies that focus on creating content to promote a business or client. This content helps boost a brand’s online presence and reputation through things like blogs, videos, infographics, and white papers. This style of marketing attracts people to a company by offering them useful information that relates to the company’s industry or field. Content marketing agencies understand how to create this content in a way that engages with an audience and attracts them to a business or brand.

They also understand helpful practices like search engine optimization (SEO), which helps people find the content on search engines like Google and Bing more easily. These types of marketing businesses often require an expert team of writers, editors, and content creators to meet the needs of their clients. CopyPress is a great example of a content marketing agency. We have a team of creatives ready to help our clients create whatever content they need, no matter the scale.

Digital Agencies

Digital agencies are very similar to content marketing agencies, but they don’t specialize in a single topic. Instead, they have a broader focus on updating any area of a company’s digital presence. That includes its website, e-commerce store, blog, and social media accounts. It can also help with other areas of digital advertising, such as managing pay-per-click ads, remarketing campaigns, and social media advertisements. Because they primarily work in digital content, these types of marketing businesses generally work with companies that conduct most of their operations online.

Branding Agencies

Branding agencies help companies develop a brand identity to increase their customer outreach and develop a stronger public presence. These agencies accomplish this by helping businesses create a consistent style and tone. That can include an eye-catching brand logo and website design. It can also include developing a tone of voice for the business’s content and social media posts. Having a powerful and recognizable brand helps companies attract their target consumers more easily and increases their customer trust and loyalty.

Social Media Agencies

Social media agencies are exactly like they sound. They work with companies and focus primarily on their social media development to generate more engagement and followers. These agencies help businesses create content, including graphics, images, blogs, and videos, to boost their accounts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Though it’s possible that some agencies might specialize in just one or two platforms, others try to have experts on every social media platform available to assist companies with whatever they need.

Advertising Agencies

Advertising agencies are the original type of marketing business. Most of these companies offer full-service marketing to businesses, which includes content marketing, brand marketing, and social media marketing, as well as traditional forms of advertisement, like radio, television, and billboards. Because these agencies offer every marketing service available, they often cost a bit more, which most commonly means they work with larger companies or organizations.

They might also partner with other marketing businesses to meet the needs of their clients. Essentially, that means if the agency’s client requires a lot of written content, like blogs or research articles, the agency might hire a content marketing company to perform those duties instead of hiring all the writers and editors themselves. Using this tactic allows the agency to scale its operations, depending on what its clients need.

Public Relations Agencies

Public relations (PR) agencies handle a company’s reputation in the eyes of the public. This includes helping with news announcements, press conferences, and event management. Essentially, whenever the company needs to address people or make a statement, they might use a public relations agency to help them draft the message to ensure the company stays in a good light.

That’s why companies also use these types of marketing businesses to help with crisis management as well. If a business has a challenge or issue that might make it seem unfavorable to the public, these agencies help reverse that line of thinking and show the public how the business is solving the challenge. They also help to highlight positive stories about the business to boost its reputation.

Marketing Consultant Groups

A marketing consultancy business works with a company’s marketing department to help it develop goals, conduct market research, and improve its marketing strategies. The size of a marketing consultancy can range from a lot of employees, who help in all areas of a marketing campaign, to a small team of freelancers who focus on big picture goals and objectives. This type of marketing business gives companies direction and helps them find innovative ways to market their business and increase their customer outreach.

How Much Does It Cost To Start a Marketing Business?

The start-up costs of a marketing business can vary depending on the type of company you pursue and what you need. Before determining the cost of your business, it’s helpful to create a business plan to help you predict possible expenses. Some items to include on your list of potential expenses include:

  • Office space: Does your business need a physical location? If so, that not only costs rent but also utilities, renter’s insurance, and possibly renovation expenses.
  • Licenses: Every business needs a state license in order to sell its products or services. It’s important to decide where you’re operating and how much a license might cost.
  • Insurance: If you’re renting a building or physical space, you might want renter’s insurance. You might also want to consider liability insurance to ensure financial protection from legal fees or claims.
  • Employees: Does your marketing business require employees? If so, how many and how much are you willing to pay them?
  • Equipment: This can include things like office furniture, but it can also include computers, paper, pens, and other supplies you might need to conduct your business.
  • Software: When starting a marketing business, it might be helpful to invest in different analytical software. This software can help you generate important facts and statistics for your clients, as well as your own business.
  • Website design and creation: No matter if you’re operating in a physical location or not, almost all companies these days require a strong online presence, which starts with a website. You should consider the costs to design, host, and maintain a website with your start-up expenses.
  • Marketing: Believe it or not, your own business needs money for marketing as well. Though you might save some money in this area using your own skills and experience, you still need to add it to your expenses.


Once you have a list of expenses, it’s helpful to keep in mind which costs are one-time versus ongoing. Costs for things like a down payment on office space or a website design might seem like a lot at first, but those payments go down after the initial expense. Keeping that in mind might make the costs of opening a business seem less daunting. A great place to calculate your business start-up costs is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s start-up costs estimation PDF. It provides you with a breakdown guide you can fill in with your own information.

How To Start a Marketing Business

Here’s a list of steps to help you start your own marketing business:

1. Determine Your Area of Marketing

Using the examples from the list above, decide which type of marketing business you’re most interested in creating. Once you decide what type of business you want to create, it’s also helpful to figure out the industries with which you want to work. If you’re hoping to work with multiple industries, that’s fine, but depending on which type of business you create, focus or specialize in certain fields.

For example, public relations agencies can help any business or brand with its reputation and public appearance. But these brands commonly stem from specific industries, like healthcare, education, and politics. Narrowing your focus on these industries can help your company stay competitive and quickly find your target audience.

Related: Target Market and Target Audience: What’s The Difference?

2. Develop a Business Plan

As previously mentioned, developing a business plan can not only help you uncover your general start-up costs, but can also help you organize your business’s future. When creating a business plan, it’s important to think about company specifics such as:

  • Your target audience or market
  • The services you offer
  • The number of employees you have
  • What role each employee fulfills
  • Where you find funding or investors
  • How you plan to charge clients
  • When you plan to collect client payments


Understanding these key areas of your company can help you make a more effective business strategy and help you fulfill your short-term and long-term goals. Business plans can also help you create documents and portfolios to present to investors or bankers to convince them to contribute to your company’s development.

3. Find Your First Clients

Finding your first clients can feel like a daunting challenge, but it’s helpful to know where to focus your marketing efforts. Foremost, one of the most influential advertising practices a new business can try is inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is the act of creating content that gives your audience information in order to entice them to your business and brand. It includes pieces of content, such as:

  • Social media posts
  • Infographics
  • Blogs
  • Research articles
  • White papers
  • EBooks
  • Email marketing


Inbound marketing helps to build your brand awareness and develop stronger trust and loyalty with your target audience. It also helps you show your industry expertise. For example, let’s say you created a digital agency. You can practice inbound marketing by writing blogs and content that discuss how companies can use digital marketing to boost their business’ sales and revenue.

Another great way to find your first clients is through freelancing. Before you officially create your own business, consider offering your marketing services to companies as a freelancer. This is a great way for you to build relationships with other businesses and show your marketing skills before opening your own business. Once your business is up-and-running, consider contacting these companies again to see if they might have an interest in more marketing services from you and your developing company.

4. Have a Plan To Scale

Before officially starting your business, it’s important to have a set of long-term goals or plans to help you grow and develop your company. Essentially, you want to have some idea of where to direct your business, so every decision you make works toward that vision. Are you hoping to hire more staff? Do you want to rent office space, eventually? Are you hoping to expand to new industries or offer new services? Where do you want to see your business go?

Once you have a plan in place, you can set objectives to help you spot when it’s time to scale. For example, let’s say you know you want to offer your services to more industries in the future. You might set a goal of $600,000 in revenue before enacting that. Once you reach or exceed that number, you can start scaling your business and operation.

Tips To Help Your Marketing Business Stand Out From its Competitors

Here is a list of steps to help your marketing business stand out from its competitors:

1. Find a Niche Market

A niche market is one with little competition. It’s a specific industry or area of an industry to which few companies offer their services or products. For example, the gaming industry holds a lot of different niche markets. There are mobile gamers, board game enthusiasts, console gamers, and PC gamers. Though the gaming industry is pretty popular, targeting one of these specific markets might help a game development company stand out from its competitors.

One great way to find a niche market is to develop expertise or skills that no other companies offer. For instance, let’s say your company figures out a way to offer its marketing services to small businesses all over the country using remote tools. You can develop expertise in advertising local businesses and offer your services to them no matter where they live.

2. Conduct Competitor Analysis

Conducting an analysis of your competitors can help you understand how other businesses are marketing their services to clients. It can also help you see how your business is performing so you can make more informed decisions about your agency’s development and help it reach its goals. CopyPress offers a content analysis tool to help you see how your website and content ranks against your top three competitors. Request your free content analysis today to find gaps in your marketing strategy and discover how you can stay competitive against other marketing businesses.

“CopyPress gives us the ability to work with more dealership groups. We are able to provide unique and fresh content for an ever growing customer base. We know that when we need an influx of content to keep our clients ahead of the game in the automotive landscape, CopyPress can handle these requests with ease.”

Kevin Doory

Director of SEO at Auto Revo

3. Focus on Solutions

Focusing on solutions is a great way to entice more people to your business. For example, if you’re starting a social media company, you know people most likely want your services because they’re having trouble creating an online presence or engaging with their audience. Those are the challenges that your clients are facing, so when you market your services, focus on how your business can solve those issues.

If you’re trying to stand out from competitors, it’s also helpful to find solutions they might not be offering. Talk with your clients to see what problems they’re facing and what they’re looking for from a marketing business. Use that feedback to create more effective marketing materials and offer different services to make your brand more attractive to your target audience.

4. Develop a Brand Image

Developing a brand image is important because it can increase your brand awareness and help customers think of your business first when looking for a marketing agency. When creating a brand image, it’s important to create a recognizable visual presence. That includes creating unique graphics and images that match your brand’s color and tone. The more recognizable you make your brand, the more likely it is that people remember you and see you as an authority in the marketing field.

If you’re hoping to start your own marketing business, it’s important to know the steps to developing one and how you can set yourself apart from your competitors. As you create your business plan and find your first clients, it’s helpful to perform excellent inbound marketing to develop your brand image and boost your online presence. Schedule a free call with CopyPress today to see how we can help with your inbound marketing needs and increase your brand awareness.

Author Image - Ed Pronley
Ed Pronley

CopyPress writer

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