Finding informative answers to “how to start an influencer marketing agency” kind of questions is becoming more critical as 69% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations. The data shared in HupSpot’s 2023 marketing report supports the tendency towards starting influencer marketing agencies: influencer marketing is among the marketing channels with the highest ROI; it is literally #1 nowadays.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through ten essential steps to kickstart your influencer marketing agency. But before that, let’s learn what influencer marketing is and what kind of services you can offer after starting your influencer marketing agency.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is actually all about using the extensive reach of individuals with a strong online presence to promote a product or service. This basically means relying on the genuine trust that an influencer has with their audience.

A well-developed influencer marketing strategy involves meaningful collaborations with influencers who have to share the client’s brand’s values. If they have characteristics in common, your campaign can be a great success.

These influencers don’t have to be worldwide-known ones with millions of followers. When you start your influencer marketing agency, working with nano and micro influencers will be an important part of your marketing endeavors regarding the scale and audience of the clients you are working with, of course.

Another critical point about the various options for influencer marketing that every agency must know is the new, non-human options. We mean AI influencers like Lil Miquela, who has just turned 21 and is shaping the industry by adding a whole new dimension to influencer marketing strategies.

So, the world of influencer marketing is an ever-expanding sea of opportunities, constantly introducing new marketing strategies. But, no matter how dynamic and innovative it becomes, at the core of influencer marketing lies the age-old tactic of word-of-mouth.

What Are the Key Services of Influencer Marketing Agencies?

Influencer marketing agencies provide comprehensive services that facilitate effective collaborations between brands and influencers. Your agency will bridge these parties, ensuring a seamless partnership.

By offering various services, your agency ensures the effectiveness and success of influencer campaigns. You will select influencers who align with the brand’s goals and target audience and manage every aspect of the campaign—from initiating contracts to overseeing its execution and monitoring its performance.

Additionally, when you establish your influencer marketing agency, helping your clients create content that resonates with the influencers’ unique style while aligning with the brand’s message will be crucial. You should employ skilled content creators for this purpose.

We suggest exploring the strategies of the top influencer marketing agencies in the USA, which can offer valuable insights and inspiration before you launch your agency!

How to Start an Influencer Marketing Agency in 10 Steps

As we evaluated the definition and scope of this niche, now is the perfect time to dive deep into the steps of starting a digital marketing agency with a focus on influencer marketing.

Here’s the full list of steps for starting an influencer marketing agency for a quick look:

1. Conduct Comprehensive Market Research

2. Define Your Unique Niche

3. Establish a Strong Network

4. Develop a Robust Brand Identity

5. Craft a Comprehensive Business Plan

6. Ensure Legal and Financial Compliance

7. Create an Agency Culture

8. Recruit and Retain Top Talent

9. Launch Your Services with Impact

10. Go Big on Social Media (Of course!)

Let’s go through them one by one to guide you through the process!

1. Conduct Comprehensive Market Research

To have a strong foundation, you should do market research to fully grasp the current dynamics of the influencer marketing industry, which are as follows currently:

  • Long-Term Partnerships: More and more, brands prefer to establish long-term collaborations with influencers rather than just one-off posts. This strategy fosters deeper connections with audiences.
  • Micro-Influencer Focus: Despite having smaller followings, micro-influencers often achieve higher engagement rates and more authentic interactions.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: The demand for diversity in campaigns is increasing. Partnering with agencies that champion broad representation can set you apart.
  • Social Commerce Integration: Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are enhancing features that allow direct purchases, seamlessly integrating content and commerce.
  • Authentic Content: Platforms like TikTok are seeing a rise in popularity for longer-form content, enabling influencers to connect more profoundly with their audience.
  • Key Cities for Influencers: Concentrate on influencer-rich cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto, which are pivotal centers for influencer activities.

2. Define Your Unique Niche

Whether it’s beauty, fashion, tech, or lifestyle, choosing a niche for your agency allows you to perfectly fine-tune your strategies and better provide services to your clients. Specializing not only sharpens your agency’s focus but also establishes you as an authority, making your influencer marketing agency more appealing to potential clients -as certain as two plus two equals four.

Focusing on a niche also means that you’ll engage with a more targeted audience, often leading to higher-quality interactions.

While influencers in these niches might have smaller followings, their audience engagement is typically much stronger, offering more value to brands looking for genuine connections​​​​.

This specialization enormously helps you craft a brand identity that resonates well with specific customer segments and enhances your agency’s appeal. But please do remember, choosing a niche comes with its challenges, such as a potentially limited reach and the need to find the right influencers who truly align with your brand’s values​​.

3. Establish a Strong Network

In influencer marketing, building a strong network is a must. 

Your network should include a diverse mix of influencers, brands, and other marketing professionals. For example, if your main line of business is in the UK, we suggest you have good relationships with professionals from other influencer agencies based in the UK.

By having a strong network covering numerous players in the influencer marketing game, you will enrich your resource pool, giving you multiple perspectives and access to varied skills that can enhance your campaigns.

Influencer marketing is all about relationships, not just the ones between brands and influencers but also among all stakeholders involved in the marketing process​​​​.

To further expand your network, we suggest actively participating in networking events and utilizing platforms like LinkedIn. 

4. Develop a Robust Brand Identity

A strong brand identity is what you need to stand out and it is your reputation.

So, your brand identity should cover your agency’s values, mission, and unique selling propositions, conveyed through professional and creative visual elements like logos and marketing materials​​.

Brand identity means that you are sending a message to your target audience. And it’s one hundred percent up to you if you send the right one. 

After watching the YouTube video below, you can have a better comprehension of what branding is and to what extent your brand identity is important for your influencer marketing businesses.

5. Craft a Comprehensive Business Plan

You should have a detailed business plan for your influencer marketing agency, as it is one of your strategic blueprints. Your business plan will outline your objectives, target market, and methods for client acquisition and retention. 

Also, with your influencer marketing agency business plan, you should provide a thorough financial projection, such as your pricing strategies for the marketing services you offer. Making your pricing strategies crystal clear to your teams, stakeholders, and clients will help you have a stronger bond with them.

Your business plan will guide your decisions and help you effectively navigate. This is why it should include an exhaustive analysis of your competitors and highlight industry trends that might influence your operations.

Your business plan must also address potential challenges and outline strategies for overcoming them. This perspective and precautions will prepare you to handle unexpected changes in the market. Challenges such as shifts in digital marketing trends or changes in social media platform policies can impact your strategies, and your plan should provide a framework for adapting to these changes.

Last but not least, your business plan plays an important part in communicating your influencer marketing agency’s vision to potential investors or partners. 

Below, you’ll find a comprehensive YouTube video telling you how to create a digital marketing agency business plan and what to consider most:

For any agency, legal and financial compliance is a must-have but also a foundation for trust and professionalism

We suggest you make sure to register your business, comply with all relevant laws and regulations, and handle financial transactions transparently​​.

By adopting accounting practices and ensuring tax compliance, you can handle 

the operation of your influencer marketing business smoothly. This way, you’ll be able to maintain clear financial records while building credibility with your clients, stakeholders, and regulatory bodies.

7. Create an Agency Culture

It is pretty well-known and easy to tell, but often overlooked: How do you actually go about it? 

Here’s your guide to creating your influencer marketing agency’s culture in 80 days (just spend 20 minutes, or 10 if you watch at double speed).

Your agency’s culture encompasses its values, beliefs, and norms, shaping the environment in which employees work and collaborate; this way, you’ll be creating leaders and opening space for proactivity. Also, with a positive and inclusive culture, you’ll immediately foster employee engagement, satisfaction, and productivity, which will lead to better outcomes for your marketing campaigns.

A strong culture also plays a crucial role in shaping your communication and business relationships with influencers and brands. A culture that prioritizes transparency, creativity, and collaboration can help you enhance trust with influencers, meaning to build more authentic, successful, and long-term partnerships. 

8. Recruit and Retain Top Talent

The success of your influencer marketing agency will largely depend on the talent you’ll attract and, maybe most importantly, retain. 

You should prioritize hiring individuals who are not only skilled but also a good fit for your company culture. While you can train those with fewer skills, opportunities to integrate individuals into your agency’s culture are not always readily available.

From the video made by LinkedIn below, you can get the full list of steps to becoming a recruitment pro in an hour. (Yes, a very detailed work it is.)

9. Launch Your Services with Impact

Your launch should pack a punch, making a lasting impression as you introduce your agency’s services to the world. Showcase your expertise with compelling influencer marketing campaign case studies, telling the best success stories and highlighting your agency’s value. 

You shouldn’t forget to make an impact on every and each marketing channel. At some point long after your launch, your potential clients may look for your name on old-dead Facebook or encounter a TikTok again after your launch and when you are not awaiting reactions to what you began earlier. 

Also, use every chance to engage with your audience. Dump information to make your audience save your posts, and create a buzz with entertaining content that they’ll be eager to share with their marketing-minded and brand-oriented friends or colleagues.

Consider hosting networking events or webinars to connect with industry professionals and establish your agency as a thought leader. By being proactive and strategic in your approach, you can position your agency as the ultimate solution for influencer marketing needs.

10. Go Big on Social Media (Of course!)

For an influencer marketing agency, social media means everything. It is the breath you take, the water you drink, and the pulse that keeps your business alive and thriving.

Given its fundamental role, your influencer marketing agency must not only maintain a presence on social media but actually create buzz on it to build community and loyalty around a brand.

A prime example of this strategy in action is the campaign executed by CEEK, a leading influencer marketing agency in the UK, featuring Chuck Bass, aka Ed Westwick, and demonstrating their partnership with their client, Quorn Stone.

They made their audience share it with their friends with the captivating caption, including references to the famous TV series Gossip Girl, which attracted attention and increased engagement. Voila!

What Else You Should Know Before Starting an Influencer Agency?

Besides the ten must-know steps, we’ll address pressing questions on how to start an influencer agency and share additional insights you need to know beyond the steps.

Before you launch your influencer marketing agency, make sure you’ve asked every key question about the legal and financial processes.

Have you registered for taxes? 

Have you set up a dedicated bank account for your business?

You should ensure that you’re legally compliant from the get-go to set a solid foundation for your newborn agency. Plus, having a separate bank account for your business transactions keeps your personal and professional finances organized and makes tracking expenses much easier.

Continuous Learning and Professional Development

The digital marketing world doesn’t stand still, and neither should you. 

You should keep up with the latest trends and technologies; staying sharp helps your agency stay on the cutting edge.

Investing time in continuous learning through courses, workshops, and industry events not only keeps your skills sharp but also demonstrates your commitment to excellence to potential clients. Staying ahead of industry trends positions your agency as a trusted authority in the field.

Client Acquisition and Management

Now, how about growing your client base? Networking, effective digital marketing, and solid referrals are your best friends here. But attracting clients is only half the battle—you’ve got to keep them too. Keep those lines of communication open and really listen to what they need. Happy clients are the key to long-term success.

Fostering strong client relationships built on trust and communication not only enhances client satisfaction but also generates repeat business and referrals. By prioritizing client needs and delivering exceptional results, you lay the groundwork for sustained growth and success for your agency.

You should develop a robust strategy for acquiring and retaining clients to ensure the growth and sustainability of your agency. You can attract new clients by leveraging networking, effective digital marketing strategies, and referrals. Focus on delivering consistent, high-quality results to build a strong reputation and ensure client satisfaction. Regular communication and a deep understanding of your client’s needs are essential for maintaining long-term relationships and achieving ongoing success.

Conclusion

When starting an influencer marketing agency, you should be careful about planning, think strategically, and be dedicated to success without any interruptions. By following the ten essential steps we’ve shared with you in this guide, you can lay a solid foundation for your influencer marketing agency. 

So, now, do you know how to start an influencer agency? Follow these steps with dedication, and the possibilities for great success are endless.