10 Tips How to Start Your Own Illustration Marketing Agency and Get Small Businesses to Hire You

10 Tips How to Start Your Own Illustration Marketing Agency and Get Small Businesses to Hire You

Entrepreneurship is the preferred career option of the 21st century – and with good reason too. You get to achieve financial freedom and be your own boss. You chart your own path, create employment and add more value to the marketplace – and that is just a tip of the iceberg.

Getting up and running, however, is not that easy. No good thing comes easy, and many entrepreneur stories bear testament to this. But with useful knowledge at your fingertips, you can effectively dilute the perils of the journey and sidestep deadly business black holes.

The 10 tips below will elucidate how you can start your own illustration marketing agency and get clients early on.

Have some saved income

It is hard to focus when you do not know where your next meal or money to pay your bills will come from. Under such pressing circumstances, you might make costly business decisions such as liquidating assets to meet basic needs. To cushion yourself against the oncoming hard times, have saved income that can tidy you over for at least six months before your agency gets on its feet.

Jump in

If you have been mulling over the decision to start, hoping that it will get easier: stop and jump right in because it will never get easier. Just start and trust that it will work out. The greatest entrepreneurs of our time quit college, took loans that they had no idea how they would repay, etc., and in the course of time, it all worked out.

Start small

No matter how much capital you have, start small. Do not try to run before you can crawl – or you will only run into failure. Starting small will give you the opportunity to learn and fail when the stakes are still small. More than that, it will enable you to start your entrepreneurship journey immediately with the resources at hand.

Take big risks

Do not shy away from big risks, especially at the beginning when you have nothing to lose, but much to gain. If you do not have the recommended 6-month salary in savings, do not let that hold you back. If you can only manage a month’s rent for your studio, do not let that hold you back either. Rather than look for a safety net, embrace risks and work as hard as you can. A break will come sooner or later.

Choose your partner/s wisely

If you go into business with a partner, choose wisely. The partner you choose will make or break the firm. Go for someone with a similar vision for the agency, someone you agree with. Decide how you will solve squabbles and different points of view beforehand.

Know what each brings to the table, and respect each other. Finally, make sure it is someone you enjoy being with. After all, you will spend more time with your partner than with your friends and family.

Employ a marketing expert

If you are not good with marketing, have a go-to marketing person or go into business with someone well-seasoned in the same. When all is said and done, business boils down to selling products and services, and that cannot happen without marketing. There are cheap consulting firms who can help out with the marketing aspect.

Have a mentor

Having a mentor is prudent. It will nullify the need to reinvent the wheel when faced with challenges other entrepreneurs have faced. Identify someone who has conquered the path you seek to follow and use him/her as a case study. Know how your mentor reacted to given challenges and situations. In other words, ride on the shoulders of someone who has already been successful to enjoy smoother sailing.

Choose a leader

This is particularly important if you go into business with a group of partners. Decide amongst yourselves who will be the final authority on matters. More so, support the leader you choose. Rally behind your leader’s wishes and do not vilify him/her when things go south. Besides, at the onset, the chances are that all you will have is each other and without unity, the agency will be doomed.

Develop a unique value proposition

Conduct competitor analysis and a market study to get valuable data that will help you develop a unique value proposition. Your marketing expert should help with this. Also, with no experience to fall back on, you may have to offer services worth more than the charged rates. You may be forced to overdeliver and go over and above often. However, as your portfolio grows, you will have more bargaining power.


The illustration industry is congested, and failure to evolve and adapt is the surest sign of impending death. In the face of challenges, re-invent yourself. Restructure and change to mirror market trends. Take advantage of cutting-edge tech, emerging management strategies, etc.

In conclusion, be conscious of your costs. Keep in mind that every cent is precious. Furthermore, before your agency stabilizes, brace yourself for lean times. When the rain beats, remember that others have gone through the same and come out victorious. You will too if you hold on.

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