We will talk about small regional digital agencies and web studios with a turnover of 1-1.5 million per month (excluding advertising budgets, of course) like a digital agency Portland.
I immediately want to emphasize that this is not a theory, and I understand what I’m talking about: I worked for hire in such studios and for two years ran my agency, which is still successfully working, but without me.
Market and players
Those who have studied the proposals at least once understand that there are a great many players in this market even in the regions. There are services for every taste and budget. This market is called low-dispersion – not a single player has even 1% of the market share here, even in the largest metropolitan agencies.
The whole point, in my opinion, is a very low entry threshold and a completely incompetent market. To “become a digital agency” you have to change your VKontakte status and, in general, that’s enough. In fact, anyone who understands at least something “about these Internet of yours” is called an Internet marketer, and with a certain ingenuity, he can easily find a couple of small clients.
Half of these agencies have no office or staff. Simply put, these are good old freelancers hiding behind “beautiful” logos. They themselves are account managers, specialists in contextual advertising, and programmers-developers, and they will bring your dog out.
Business understands that there is a target audience on the Internet, that contextual advertising and social networks generate clients for their competitors, but they do not understand exactly how this is done. Experts, on the other hand, use clever words, shine without hesitation with their CTRs and, simply put, rub into trust.
And on one side of the barricades we have a business, which so far has little idea of how and what to do, and on the other, there are specialists who understand not much better than business what to do, but convince everyone and themselves of the opposite.
I do not want to offend those who are really trying to move the market forward. Who persistently chews on the subtleties of advertising to customers and brings them to the result. But of all the specialists that I know, such a minority. Most are chasing short-term profits – take now, and then come what may.
I know what I am talking about, because being a specialist I myself imagined myself to be an entrepreneur. We rented an office, made a website – this is the rise of the future digital king. I really believed in this and was sure that we were on the right track.
The structure of the agency looked simple, we did all the work ourselves, but the development of the sites was given to freelance.
Development of simple sites
One site cost an average of 20-30 thousand rubles. Why is there such a spread? Here we will sell.
The prime cost consisted of a template purchased from the outbid for 1-2 thousand rubles and the work of a freelance programmer for 2-3 thousand rubles. Sometimes we paid a couple of thousand for content, but in general, that’s all.
The net profit from such a project was, as a rule, 15-20 thousand rubles.
Contextual advertising and targeting
I did this myself, so the net profit for the agency, as we thought, was the whole amount. We sold a target or context for 15 thousand rubles, in our city this is the average price.
What else did they pay for
And this will be like a map: we led groups in social networks, set up CRM systems, SEO-sewed sites, etc. In general, we approached the client’s tasks as comprehensively as possible, the only problem was that we had no resources at all for anything.
I want to stop a little and say that I did not sit with a sly face and did not think how to cheat the client. Quite the opposite: I have always had a spirit of justice, I was sure that we are trying and doing the right thing, because the client needs all these services! Only after some time, after I left, I finally realized the gravity of my actions and the key reason why normal money never came.
Why was there no result for both sides?
Obviously, there will be no result for the client. After all, the policy of the work was as follows: what the client wants is what needs to be done. If you also think that this is correct, that this is what is called customer focus, then I have bad news for you: it is theft.
The client, by definition, comes to you as a specialist. And if he orders Yandex.Direct, then he doesn’t care about your settings – he orders a client stream to his business. By setting up even good contextual advertising on a disgusting site, you kill the result in the bud.
By making a “selling” Landing Page to a client on your knees, you, in fact, simply steal money from him. I have been doing paid traffic for over 5 years, and have seen only a couple of specialists who actually make selling sites. Who draw the structure with an understanding of what and why they are doing.
Always, absolutely always, it comes down to some kind of abstract selling structure of the site that appears from nowhere in the head of a specialist. And most often the structure looks like this:
- Offer with order button
- Description of the service
- What else are we doing?
- Order with us
- Footer with map
I made this selling structure of the site in 5 seconds and for free, I would argue that most of the small agencies will do the same, but for money.
Why am I saying all this? To the fact that if a client pays you money, he does not dictate to you how and why you need to do something. You tell him how and why to do it, otherwise such a specialist is worthless.
Why is there no profit?
The fact is that literally torn from service to service in an attempt to earn all the money in the world, the agency does not see that, by and large, it does not earn anything at all.
Not only does it not make money, it also ruins its reputation with disgusting workmanship. And here I can argue for money that not a single agency of 3-4 people, which makes sites-context-target-seo, is not able to give not only good, even just normal results. None.
When you do everything in a “rush” mode, when you have a specialist – both a targetologist, a directorate, and a content manager – what kind of result can we talk about at all?
After that if you want to change a job read it.