3 Challenges Digital Marketing Firms Must Face in their First Year

Mike Schoultz
3 min readMay 4, 2024

The digital marketing firms industry is a great one to be in right now, and if you can build a solid team around you and deliver quality service to your customers, then you should have no trouble making a space for yourself. With that being said, you can expect your first year to be rocky and demand a lot of adapting if you are coming from another field or working independently. You may also feel a lot of pressure to get your first clients. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest challenges you may have to face as a digital marketing firm in your first year.

Getting People to Opt-in

Selling digital marketing services will be easier if you’re in a market that’s receptive to them. Hopefully, you have done your research already and know that there is demand. If you haven’t, then you need to start looking at how many people in your area could use your services and see how many firms are already serving it.

Being in a small market is not necessarily a bad thing, but you may have to work harder and look at educating your prospective clients first before you start actively selling them. If you’re in a market with a lot of demand but a lot of competition, then you may have to offer your services for free to some of your first customers so you can use them as referrals and get testimonials.

Attracting and Keeping Top Talent

It’s very hard to retain top employees in this field and recruiting is not simple either. One of the reasons for this is that the pool of talent in digital marketing is not the deepest, and the few people who have the expertise needed to be good digital marketers get courted aggressively by the big players. So, you’ll need to be creative with things like benefits and work arrangements.

Be prepared to have to offer things like remote working and hot desking options to remain competitive. You should also try to focus on development opportunities and have a real health and wellness program.

One of the things you could do here would be to offer a healthy food benefit card. A healthy food benefit card that can be used on nutritious foods and different medications will be appreciated by health-conscious employees, and will also allow you to keep them healthier, and happier.

As far as recruitment goes, it could be a good idea to work with a third-party human resources team if you want to get everything right. This will also allow you to concentrate on what matters the most.

Managing Relationships with Clients

This part is one that many people overlook when they start this kind of business, but managing relationships with clients can get very complicated, especially if you offer a wide variety of services.

If you offer SEO, then you have to be able to monitor results for every one of your clients and be ready to answer their questions when they ask. If you have PPC clients, then you may have to handle multiple campaigns for each of them and have campaigns with widely different objectives, scopes, and budgets. This is why you will need to learn how to manage your clients’ expectations, not be outlandish in your claims, and start getting familiar with things like CRMs.

Running a digital marketing agency can be rough at the beginning, but once you get the hang of it and you’ve built a good client base, things will become much easier. Just make sure that you surround yourself with the right people and get familiar with the back-office part before you start.



Mike Schoultz

Mike Schoultz writes about improving the performance of business. Bookmark his blog for stories and articles. www.digitalsparkmarketing.com