4 Best Places to Learn How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency in 2019

If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of the best places to learn how to run a digital marketing agency, you’re in the right place. In this article we’ll discuss the core competencies and where you can find them if you want to run a digital marketing agency.

With the growth of the internet, there are more businesses and business models that weren’t there a few years back. Now, many consumers use the internet for searches like, “restaurant near me”, “contractor near me”, “roofer near me”, and so many others!

As a result, local businesses that don’t have an online presence are starting to feel the opportunity online as their seeing their competitors who are using the internet and thriving. They’re looking for ways to tap into the internet as a source of traffic and leads for their businesses.

Unfortunately, many people (local and overseas) are exploiting the demand. They’re going on places like Yelp, Yellow pages, and other local directories, finding local business information, and aggressively pursuing local businesses with offers: some even very unrealistic. Even worse, they win the attention and trust of many local business owners and disappoint them by either underdelivering or not delivering results at all.

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Why Learn How to Run a Digital Marketing Agency?

There really does need to be more honest digital marketing agencies like you who can serve local business owners well, which is why I’ve created this post. I’m sure there are people out there who want to start a digital marketing agency with integrity, but even those people are being exploited.

I’ve seen and even reviewed several training programs with instructors who have unethical practices, who exaggerate or charge exorbitant prices, and who teach black hat SEO techniques that will get you banned from search engines. I want to help entrepreneurs (like you) to find the necessary information to build the digital agency you’ve envisioned, so I’ve created this post to share with you some good training you can use to build a digital marketing agency.

How I Identified These Solutions

Most courses that teach you how to start a digital marketing agency will go over core competencies including:

Technical skills to help local businesses like:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Web design
  • Paid advertising: Facebook, Google, Bing, and possibly others
  • Content writing
  • Graphic design
  • and, Sales

Once you have these technical skills, you can use them to build digital agencies that sell:

  • Web design services
  • Flat rate SEO services
  • Keyword research or market research services
  • Content writing
  • Graphic design
  • Flip and sell websites
  • Rent websites to business owners
  • or, so many other things…

There are many many options that prove these skills are high-paying skills!

Some courses offer additional software tools that make it even easier to help you as you’re marketing for clients, so I’ve ranked these training programs based on what they offer you. The ones that don’t offer as much are at the bottom and I’ll also mention popular digital marketing agency courses to avoid (with links to my reviews) so you can see why. If that sounds good to you, let’s get started…

1. Wealthy Affiliate (Premium Membership Recommended)

Best Places to Learn How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency | #1 Recommendation

Wealthy Affiliate is a training platform, a social media style community, and a software-as-a-service company. They teach you all of the technical skills required to run a digital agency. Most companies focus solely on teaching you to run a digital marketing agency, but Wealthy Affiliate teaches you several internet marketing business models, so you can decide which you like best, or even, diversify over time. They teach you several monetization methods and also show you several ways to drive traffic to your website or client websites.

Who is this best for

  • Those who need support from other entrepreneurs pursuing various business models online
  • Those who want to stay up-to-date with the leading white hat SEO techniques
  • Those who want to learn how to monetize their digital marketing skills using the marketing agency business model
  • and, those who might want to learn other business models that use digital marketing skills.

What They Offer

– In addition to the core services offered thru Wealthy Affiliate, you’ll also have access to many community members who have run a digital agency (like me), and who share their lessons, so you can have success with the business model.

– You’ll have access to several high-rated digital agency-specific courses

– And, the platform was made so you’ll be supported in multiple ways as you’re learning thru 1-on-1 coaching, interaction with the community of 1.4 million+ people, thru live training sessions with Q&A, and by giving you the tools

What They are Missing

They’re missing black hat techniques (which is a good thing), so you won’t have to worry about practicing something that will get you or your clients banned by Google. If you learn from the wrong instructors, you could implement techniques on client sites, get their sites penalized or de-indexed, and possibly get in lots of turmoil between you and your clients!

Since you’ll be helping people who may not be online, then you may have to go offline to find clients. In the digital marketing agency business model, you’ll have to interact with clients and sell your services. You might need to go places like live networking events, trade shows, or even door to door. It might also be helpful for you to make phone calls to potential clients and send cold emails.

If you’re uncomfortable with sales or if you don’t have a background in sales, you may want to get additional training on call handling, negotiation, and sales techniques to ensure you’re good at converting clients into customers when you’re live.

Costs

There is a lifetime free option which has limitations, and a paid option where you’ll be able to access all of the training, support, and tools.

Reviews

There are hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of third party reviews of Wealthy Affiliate. Most reviews are avidly positive, but there are a few outliers who have negative things to say. You can check out my post on Wealthy Affiliate complaints to see the most common things people complain about.

How to Get Started

To get started, you’d create your account with an email address. No billing information is required. You can try the platform out for free, and your first month of premium membership will be discounted to $19. You can create your account to test out the platform here.

2. How to Start Your Own Digital Marketing Agency by John Shea

If you’re looking for a course that integrates technical skills and sales skills, then this course is a good option. It briefly shares the basic technical skills required to run an agency (not nearly as much depth as my #1 recommendation). It is a good supplement to scrub ideas between Wealthy Affiliate and this course. In the digital marketing training at Wealthy Affiliate, you’ll learn about some great tools that can be used for a digital agency, and in this course, you can learn about even more!

4 Best Places to Learn How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency | #2 Recommendation

Who is this best for

  • This is best for someone who may need a refesher on the technical skills
  • Someone who may already have a primary training platform that goes over search engine optimization, social media marketing, and other technical skills you might be using to solve client problems. The lessons on the technical subject matter is fairly short (many less than 10 minutes), but the technical skills require more depth to really be an expert.
  • Those who want to understand possible services to sell in an agency
  • and, those who want to understad how to set up systems to manage the operations and people as they grow

What They Offer

  • Advice on several sales techniques like cold-calling, email prospecting, meeting clients in person, and more
  • Tips on CRM and managing operations and customers
  • Tips on tools for acquiring clients and fulfilling services
  • High customer satisfaction ratings

What They are Missing

  • They’re missing an engaged community to support you as you build your agency
  • Thorough training on search engine optimization, paid ads, social media management, or other technical skills that would help you to serve clients

Costs

The course regularly sells for $194.99, but you can get a discount by following my referral link here.

Reviews

There are 567 rating and an average of 4.2 stars

How to Get Started

To get started you’d visit the course page, add it into your shopping cart at Udemy, checkout, and you’ll have instant access to the course.

3. Online Marketing Business: Create your Agency Step-by-Step

This is a comprehensive course that talks about many aspects of running an online business: from generating the leads to doing the business plan to sales and growing.  You’ll be able to get some great ideas that can help you to build a marketing agency.

4 Best Places to Learn How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency | #3 recommendation

Who is this best for

  • This is best for someone who wants supplementary education to build a digital marketing agency
  • Those who already have the technical skills, but want to evaluate different options for using them in a digital agency

Who isn’t this for

I wouldn’t recommend this course for those who are looking to develop the high-paying skills to start the digital marketing agency.

What They Offer

  • Proposal examples
  • An inside look at their operations in their agency
  • High customer ratings (999 ratings and a 4.4 star average)
  • Sample proposals so you can see how they’ve bid on previous jobs
  • Help with pricing and creating packages
  • An understanding of the costs to expect in the business model
  • Information to help you with hiring and outsourcing

What They are Missing

This course doesn’t help you with understanding the technical skills that you’d require to fill services for clients. You’d need other courses (like my #1 recommendation) for that.

They also don’t have an engaged community to advise and support you along the way. You can ask questions to your instructor, but the course support isn’t a selling point for the course. Instead, this course is better for those who are okay with absorbing the information independently.

Costs

The course is regularly sold for $199.99, but you can get a discount when you follow my referral link here.

Reviews

The course is very highly rated by students with 999 customer ratings and an average of 4.4 stars.

How to Get Started

To get started with this course, you’d visit the course page here, add this course to your shopping cart, and checkout. After checkout, you’ll have instant access to begin learning how to run a digital marketing agency.

4. How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency from Scratch

Case studies that show how others have managed to run their digital agency can be very inspiring, and teach you different ways you could improve your processes. If you want see a cool case study of how someone could start with a job and wean themselves into running their own digital agency, this course How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency from Scratch is very cool.

4 Best Places to Learn How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency | #4 recommendation

Who is this best for

  • Those who want to see how others are running their agencies
  • Those who want to understand the general operation and workflow of a digital marketing agency
  • And, those who want to get more confident in sales

What They Offer

  • A case study on how the instructor went from his job into running his agency
  • Some ideas to help you start your own agency

What They are Missing

Training on the technical skills required to run the digital agency. This training is more for people who already have the technical skills, and who want to learn how to apply them to the agency model.

Costs

The course is regularly sold for $199, but they give discounts to those who follow my referral link here.

Reviews

This course currently has 4,752 students enrolled (at the time of this writing), 246 reviews, and an average of 4.4 stars.

How to Get Started

To get started with this course, you’d visit the course page here, check out with the course, and you’d get instant access.

Digital Marketing Agency Courses to Avoid

I’ve reviewed several courses that teach you to create a digital marketing agency, and these are some of the ones I’d currently tell you to avoid:

The reason I tell you to avoid them is because they either:

  • Have billing complaints from customers
  • They have arrogant teachers
  • They teach black hat or grey hat SEO
  • They charge exorbitant prices without having the content quality and support to make it worthwhile
  • and, because I think it would be difficult for you to get a return on investment with their methods

The Bottom Line

Learning to run a digital agency can be a very lucrative and enjoyable venture, but it’s important that you connect with a community of like-minded people who can help you out. It’s also important to invest in the training you need to build your confidence, and offer a quality service to the customers.

Wealthy Affiliate teaches you everything you’d need to know, and the other courses offer great supplementation to continue improving your agency, so I’d recommend you create your account at Wealthy Affiliate, and purchase the other courses afterwards if you find additional information those have that you feel would help you build more confidence or make more money in your agency.

Now, it’s your Turn…

Have you run a digital agency? If so, what courses would you recommend? What skills do you think aspiring agency owners need to know that I didn’t mention here? If you have any questions or comments on this, please leave them in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “4 Best Places to Learn How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency in 2019”

  1. Thanks for writing this up. I’ve been considering starting a digital marketing agency for awhile, but never really knew how to go about it. Now at least I have an idea of how to do it and what resources I can turn to if I pursue it! I’ll make sure to steer clear of the four courses you mentioned, though.

  2. Thanks for sharing this!

    in this day and age (and economy) sometimes having one source of income isn’t enough. I think this is where online and digital marketing can make a big difference. I agree with what you said about customers today taking advantage of online services, and the market has really changed because of this.

    1. Tiffany Domena

      You’re welcome Mike! Online and digital marketing can fit how you’d like. For some people (like me), they love marketing online enough they want it to be their full-time business. For others, it can be a side income (like you mentioned). The transformation in how the internet is used in commerce is certainly causing a shift in the marketplace for sure.

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