Growing a digital agency may be tough. Most of our 1500 clients are digital firms, and we’ve been lucky to learn a lot from them about the techniques utilized to expand.

In this post, we’ll distill some of this expertise, covering topics like lead creation, utilizing your contacts and tools.

Aside: If you’re just starting out, make sure to check out our tutorial about how to create a digital marketing agency and our Digital Agency Lean Canvas template for planning all areas of your business from your USP (unique selling proposition) to objectives, services, employees, etc.

The opportunity

According to, there are over 55.3K digital marketing businesses globally! It would be an understatement to say the digital agency sector is competitive. But don’t be dismayed since the digital marketing and advertising sector is worth an eye-watering $322 billion according to ReportLinker.

Most of our agency customers are competing for a chunk of this pie. What we’ve observed over time is that smaller and specialty agencies are progressively beating out the major firms. Take a competitive market such as the Australian market, for example. Smaller independent agencies are rising fast and account for roughly three-quarters of the industry. In Australia, brand-side marketers favor working with smaller, specialty ‘indy’ agencies rather to the bigger incumbent networks:

How to develop a digital marketing business

Anyone who operates a digital agency will tell you how hard it is. This is where skills like desire, tenacity and resilience are crucial because when the going gets rough, it gets really, very tough. Perhaps one of the most challenging difficulties facing an agency founder is how to build their agency. Entrepreneur Tim Stodz explains it best:

Going an agency is like running up a down escalator. As soon as you stop moving ahead, you move backward.

Growth and new business not only keep the lights on but help you to grow the agency to raise revenues, recruit more personnel and service bigger customers. Cultivating a consistent supply of high-quality new business leads can assist fuel your agency growth to meet your expansion goals.

2022 digital marketing trends to watch

These first three trends are of a more emergent type in that they may not be possible for your business just yet, but they suggest the direction we’re moving in. So although you’re not going to make a $600,000 NFT gif, you should still keep an eye on them. Plus, the reasoning behind these patterns might assist shape your approach with the methods you’re applying currently.

1. The metaverse

So we’re not referring to Facebook [completely] here. The metaverse refers to the virtual world of augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D holographic avatars, and video—and not just one-off experiences as with gaming, but a constant environment where people work, play, and interact.

2. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) (NFTs)

Beyond figuring out where brands fit in the metaverse, they’ll also have to experiment more with blockchain technology to prepare for Web 3.0—the next evolution of the web, which will be more decentralized, added Zach Passarella, marketing director of nutraceutical brand Supplement Manufacturing Partners.

“This preparation performed will pay off in the near future when the web develops into more of this sort of environment after 2022,” he stated.

One developing component of blockchain is non-fungible tokens (NFTs) (NFTs). Non-fungible implies it can’t be traded for anything of equivalent worth, because it doesn’t have any equals. For example, the U.S. dollar is fungible. You may swap a $100 note for five $20 bills. But you can’t trade your grandmother’s wedding ring—a non-fungible—for anything of equivalent worth, since there’s an authenticity element.

NFTs are the digital counterpart of non-fungibles—uniquely generated digital assets like an animation, graphic design, GIF, audio/video clip, or meme—that live on a blockchain.

3. Cryptocurrency

In a similar line, we’ll continue to witness the spread of cryptocurrencies in 2022 and intelligent marketers will keep their eyes on this trend toward decentralized money.

While currently being utilized by a narrow U.S. population, adopting cryptocurrencies today might help firms attract new customers—but only if the demographic is the perfect fit, said Andrea Chapman, marketing manager at cannabis site Nature and Bloom.

4. Zero & first-party data

Marketers still have another year until Google takes out third-party cookies, which means 2022 will be the most significant year for data and privacy yet.

“A lot of extremely smart marketers still fail to recognize that, in reality, your audience is controlled by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media network you use,” said Brian Snedvig, CEO Jofibo, which helps job seekers write resumes and cover letters. “You don’t have control over them. That is why 2022 should be the year you begin to own your audience.”

That implies marketers must combine data collecting strategies that favor user privacy.