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How to Launch an Agency

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Live streamed on: 
September 16, 2020

Episode Rundown:

What I learned this week:

In the beginning, an agency is incredibly simple. There are only two things you need: A website and marketable skills. 

This is because an agency is a service-based business - so you're essentially trading time, and your expertise, for payment. It's just freelancing - the only difference I can find is that there's a legal business entity, or there's a number of people greater than 1 involved.

But, in the beginning, you just need yourself, a small way to show people you exist, and your skillset.

So, let's build that website. To start, give your agency a name, you can change it later if you make it big. Your name doesn't matter. Mine is "UnnamedAgency.com" because I thought it was funny, and we've already worked with a client. Don't overthink it.

Now make a logo. I spent 6 minutes in Canva making mine, then put it through remove.bg to remove the background - you can change it later. I typed out the word "Unnamed", moved the letters up and down, and added a base shadow effect. Don't overthink it.

Now you need to establish what you're offering. It does not need to be unique. It likely will not be, and that is fine, but you still need to solve a problem like any other business. 

So - I live stream. I noticed a lot of live streamers in my network weren't using and clips of their live streams on social media, even though all their live streams are awesome pieces of long-form material. Most of the successful live streamers would do it, but other, usually smaller ones wouldn't. I personally have an editor chop up my live streams, because watching through them, finding the best parts, and clipping them together takes hours and hours. It's not hard, it's just very time consuming, and you need to know a little bit about what works on social media. But that's the problem we're going to solve.

Our agency will help live streamers by finding quality content in their long-form streams and then by breaking it up into digestible clips. Great. I spent half an hour boiling down the tagline to "we transform live streams and podcasts into engaging clips". I figured we should include podcasts - as they're just as easy to edit and the content format is similarly long-form.

There are probably thousands of other freelancers or agencies that do this, but it doesn't matter. They don't have my network.

Now you need a section of the website that discusses the problem, and how you can help. I can't tell you how to do this, but it shouldn't take you long. I used a stock social media graphic and I designed a crummy little diagram in Canva to add to this section.

Now, if you've done some work for a client already, add an example or screenshot to show it exists. Awesome - now just a small professionally branded email and a "schedule a call" button linked to a Calendly or whatever else you use.

FYI, I used Carrd, a super cheap, simple one-page website builder. You don't need extra functionality. You can change your website later. Don't overthink it.

You're done. That's the easy part. Now you have to find clients. That's the hard part, and it depends a lot on the service you provide. But for my agency, I'm going to message every live streamer I see that isn't clipping their long-form content. I'm going to ask if I can do one or two live stream edits for free if the streamer has a decent network and is willing to promote what I'm building. I'm going to call similar agency owners and ask for their advice. (why not?)

Don't do free work for long, if you have to do it at all. Price yourself based on the market - for instance, I would ask live streamers that already outsource their editing how much they're already paying. You don't have to be cheaper, you just have to do a good job and not wildly overprice your work. You can customize payment to each client you find, and you likely will to start. You'll eventually standardize later, don't worry about it right now.

Link your agency to your social profiles, make a LinkedIn page for it, tell all your friends and your LinkedIn network that you've set it up, and start reaching out to potential clients to see if you can find anyone that might be a fit.

That's it. The initial setup process shouldn't take you more than a day. I almost finished it on a 90-minute live stream. Finding clients will be an ongoing process, but you don't have to rush it. Set a reminder every day to find one new person to reach out to, or one new sales tactic to try. Be consistent and steady. Once you get your first client and your first testimonial, you'll be able to begin scaling up - just don't stress about the setup.

I hope you learned something. :) If you think this was valuable, a retweet helps me spread the word, and I would super appreciate it.

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