How to start a digital marketing agency

Show notes from podcast episode 112.

Determination and energy, keys to a successful entrepreneur, can also lead to overcommitment. Letting scope creep get the best of you can lead to clients demanding more of your time for the same price, and may negatively impact the work you’re producing. 

Today’s caller, Nico, is just a few months into his digital marketing agency but has already landed luxury clients like Ferrari and Maserati. He is doing nearly $10,000 a month in revenue all from his bedroom living a lean lifestyle at his parent’s home.

With this newfound business, he’s finding himself struggling with time management and committing to a set direction to grow his business while sticking to what he does best. 

Even though Nico is on a monthly retainer with most of his clients Nick suggests tracking his time so he knows where he is most profitable and what customers may be costing him money to service. 

Customer’s are as needy as you let them become and if they get used to instant responses and drop everything kind of service they will grow to expect it and your life will become a stressful mess. 

Nico is suffering from scope creep – taking on work of all kinds without being sure that it is in his wheelhouse and his highest value per hour work. Nick suggests hiring out and outsourcing the lower skilled work so Nico can focus on his core competency:


Its fine to cast a wide net and dote on his clients. He’s 21 years old and growing something special. But as time passes and he grows his business he will have to pick and choose carefully what kind of work he takes on and what he spends his time doing.

Nico also discusses in this episode how cold calling and walking in businesses earned him these early clients. Connecting and speaking with the clients in person was all it took to convince them to give him a shot.

Nick also discusses getting serious about a morning routine free of distractions. That is when the deep work should happen because you are less likely to get distracted by customers or general surprises of the day.


Tracking time for your own benefit [7:20]

Customers are as needy as you let them become [14:15]

Nick’s podcast, book, and routine recommendations [17:00]

The fascinating story of how Nico’s agency [20:20]

The decision tree of your business’ future [27:20]

Also referenced:

Scaling Up Your Business Podcast: How to Plan Your Week for Success

Tim Ferriss podcasts with Ryan Holiday: One and Two

Tim Ferriss podcasts with Seth Godin: One and Two

Nick’s booklist.

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About Me

I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship.