Digital marketing spending is supposed to amount to $375 billion by 2021 worldwide! In the UAE the same pattern of absolutely phenomenal growth in the digital marketing sector can be observed. The annual growth rate is anywhere between 25% and 40%.
Such significant growth displays the investment potential of the sector to those who have the skills and it also spells out great news for all the entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking to break into this rapidly-growing and highly-rewarding field of digital marketing.
So, If that sounds like you, then here is the ultimate guide on how to start a digital marketing agency in Dubai:
Why Start a Digital Marketing Agency in Dubai?
The million-dollar question: why start a Digital marketing agency in the first place? To answer that we will have to answer the age old question of why start your own business at all?
The obvious pro of diving headfirst into the world of entrepreneurship is — greater freedom, more control over your working hours and higher earnings, which is just the tip of the iceberg of becoming your own boss.
But the question however still remains why should one start a digital marketing agency? And also why should it be in Dubai?
Perhaps the answer to this question varies person to person, as the driving factor behind starting a digital marketing agency solely depends on your skillset and on your knowledge about how the industry works.
If you are working at a digital marketing agency and have ever thought to yourself that you can do all this by myself. In most cases you probably are right and you CAN in fact do this on your own.
All you need to start a digital marketing agency is:
A good understanding of digital marketing – from SEO to PPC to analytics to Keyword research– and nothing else.
Apart from a few necessary tools such as a laptop, a good internet connection and a killer web presence.
The latter is of the listed requirements is incredibly important. Digital marketing is a hyper-competitive space where you have to make sure that you are easily found.
Because, if you are telling your potential clients that you will help them stand out in the (digital realm) crowd then it is only logical that your business does so as well.
And why Dubai? Again the answer to this question is pretty clear because the reasons to set up a business in Dubai are so many that they could fill several articles all by themselves.
A strategic location that allows easy access to huge markets of the world for trade, Free Trade Zones that do not require any local sponsorship, 0% taxation on personal and corporate income and an easy business incorporation process–to name a few.
Starting a Digital Marketing Agency in Dubai:
- Educate Yourself
- Do Competitor Research
- Make a Business Plan
- Build a Portfolio
- Have a Social Media Presence
Before you start a digital marketing agency in Dubai make sure you have a complete grasp of the concepts of digital marketing.
If there are certain areas in which you think you are lacking, then it is a good thing to enroll yourself in refresher classes and crash courses to tie up any loose ends.
It is important that you learn as much as you can about digital marketing. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs never stop learning and neither should you!
Do Competitor Research
When starting any business in any domain it is always wise to check out your competition. You should know how you rank against your competitors. Once you understand your competition only then will you be able to surpass them.
To do a competitors’ analysis employ the same techniques you will use for your clients. Narrow down your competition to top the 10 or 15 competitors.
Once you have discovered your immediate competition, keep tabs on how they are generating their revenue (monetization strategy). Learn their methods and which of these methods are most successful.
Some successful methodologies are:
- Donation, commission, coaching
- Selling a digital or physical product
- Lead generation, affiliate sales, advertising
Make a Business Plan
Draw up a comprehensive business plan. This business plan should outline your financing strategies, your investment plan and your business model.
A business model is how you bill your client. You can choose by the hour payment but it is only good for shorter gigs. When you start scaling up this method becomes trickier.
For larger jobs you can use a retainer method, but make sure you have sound policies in place to ensure that the client pays up especially if the client quits early.
Build a Portfolio
When you are just starting out it will be very difficult for you to get work. Our advice is that at that time you focus on building your portfolio. To do that you will have to do a lot of free work to get your name out there and get good reviews from your clients.
Once you have gained the trust of your customers, you will be able to attract potential customers.
A good portfolio includes:
- Client testimonials
- Headlines or snippets
- In-depth case studies
- Finished jobs according to the clients’ satisfaction
You want to show your audience that you can deliver on your promises and can deliver results and will continue to do so. Make sure your portfolio is ethical and honest, not stretching the truth.
Build a Social Media Presence:
When you are just starting a digital marketing agency, it is a good practice that you create a social media presence. It is free, so why not take advantage?
You can benefit from organic lead generation, engaging with customers and potential customers, and then turn your business global.
How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency in Dubai?
To start a digital marketing agency in Dubai, you need to get a trade license. Before that, you have to decide where you will set up your company in the vast lands of the UAE.
The UAE offers many options to choose from such as, mainland, offshore and free zone.
If you select mainland then you will have to find local sponsorship who will be the owner of 51% of the business. In the case of a free zone you can enjoy 100% tax exemption from custom tax. owner of your
Once you have narrowed down the option that is best suited to your venture you can now apply for your trade license. You will also need a professional service license to start a digital marketing agency in Dubai.
Side Note:If you have decided to start your company in Dubai mainland you will have to get the license from the Department of Economic Development.
Either way,it is recommended that you engage business setup consultants, as the company incorporation process is fairly straightforward but it is not without some idiosyncrasies. A business setup consultant will guide you better.
Whether you are opting to hire company formation experts or are going to do it yourself. The set up process for a digital marketing agency in Dubai usually involves submission of a few documents and some personal details.
The steps are as follows:
- A completed application Form
- Passport copies of owner or owners
- Two colour passport size photographs.
A company formation agent can also manage your visa application for you, as well as those needed for your employees, family, or domestic staff.
What is the Cost of Starting a Digital Marketing Agency in Dubai?
On average starting a digital marketing agency in Dubai costs AED 22,000. This figure can vary a bit but the general trend is that the cost of starting a digital agency in Dubai never jumps the 30,000 digits.
Are You Ready for Starting Your Digital Agency in Dubai?
If you have the skills and have the determination to make your entrepreneurial dream into a reality, then setting up your own digital marketing agency in Dubai does not need to be overly complex.
That being said as said earlier it is a wise move to hire good business setup consultants such as, KWS Middle East with their prior knowledge of license procurement and company formation they can ensure that your paperwork is meticulous and error-free.
At KWS Middle East, we give professional care to our clients so that they can focus on growing their business while we take care of the mundane and the tedious.
Contact us today to book your commitment-free consultation call with our team of experts.