Agency founders spend hundreds of hours researching and planning their business processes–and with good reason! The digital marketing industry moves fast, and scalability is the key to survival. To stay agile and competitive, you need a reliable set of agency tools.
Knowing you need great agency tools is one thing, but finding them–and quickly–is another thing entirely. It’s easy to get caught in a SaaS trap where you’re paying too much for software with features you don’t need.
Fortunately, we’ve got your back, and we’re here to set the record straight about which agency tools are worth considering for your business.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Why use agency tools to grow your business?
- Choosing the right CMS agency tool
- Agency tools for the legal stuff
- Agency tools for project management
- Agency tools for web design and development
- Agency tools for content planning
- Agency tools for social media
- Agency tools for SEO
- How to start an agency with Slam’s tools and masterclass
Here at Slam Media Lab, one of our favorite things about being a web design agency is the chance to participate in a fast-paced industry that’s packed with innovation. The technology and methods we use are constantly evolving alongside the Internet. That’s why we spend a lot of time testing and evaluating agency tools to stay ahead of the curve.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of our favorite third-party agency tools for streamlining everything from content planning to SEO strategy and auditing. We’ll also share links to several of Slam’s in-house tools, designed specifically for digital marketers looking to scale their agencies.
To access our full suite of agency tools, along with 10+ hours of instructional content and over a dozen course modules, check out our How to Start an Agency masterclass.
Why Use Agency Tools to Grow Your Business?
2024 is a great year to start a digital marketing agency. But you should be aware that it’s a competitive industry, and a challenge you should take seriously. To stay ahead of your competitors, you need to stay agile. And with 76% of digital marketers reporting the use of automated agency tools, you’ll need a great set of tested and proven software to scale your agency and make bank.
Here at Slam, we suggest building a digital agency tool kit to optimize your:
- Legal, HR, and accounting processes
- Project management
- Web design and development
- Content planning
- Social media strategy
- SEO strategy and auditing
With a good set of reliable agency tools, you’ll spend less time manually filling out spreadsheets and compiling data, and more time focusing on the creative side of your business.
How to Start an Agency Masterclass
I’m Silvia Li Sam, founder and CEO of Slam Media Lab. When I started my agency over 10 years ago, I had very little knowledge of legal logistics and accounting–let alone how to optimize a content creation strategy! Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about growing and scaling a web design agency from $0 to $2M.
Recently, I created a collection of tools and resources to help other agency founders get started on the right foot–ideally without the same steep learning curve I faced when I launched my agency.
Slam’s masterclass on How to Start an Agency is packed with course modules, learning resources, and 20+ templates. It has everything you need to start the digital agency of your dreams!
Now, let’s explore some of my favorite Slam-created and third-party agency tools.
Choosing the Right CMS Agency Tool
In our world, digital content is the backbone of business. If you plan to join this industry, you’ll need a Content Management System (CMS) sooner rather than later.
A CMS is a web application that helps you create, modify, and manage your digital content.
Here at Slam, we rely on Webflow for our content management. Its no-code interface and awesome integrations make it a good choice for our Webflow blogging, Webflow e-commerce, and Memberstack + Webflow gated content.
But please don’t take our word for it! Choosing a CMS for your agency tool kit is a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If you’re wondering how to select the best CMS for website design, check out our series of guides on the topic:
- Webflow vs Wordpress 2024
- Webflow vs Wix
- Webflow vs Contentful
- Webflow vs Elementor
- Squarespace vs Webflow
- Editor X or Webflow
Our final CMS-related tip: keep an eye out for integrations! In the rest of this article, we’ll introduce you to a variety of great agency tools you can use to consolidate your business operations and accelerate your growth. If a particular tool catches your eye, make sure it integrates with your CMS of choice.
Agency Tools for the Legal Stuff
Figuring out the legal stuff is one of the most stressful–and critical–parts of starting an agency. This isn’t an area where you can cut corners. Failure to follow state and national laws regarding licensing, finances, and privacy regulations can lead to hefty fines–or worse.
Fortunately, there are agency tools available to make the legal stuff slightly less daunting.
To legally incorporate, we think Stripe Atlas is a fantastic service. It helps file your registration and secure a tax ID number from the IRS without too much hassle. With Stripe Atlas, you can incorporate your business in Delaware, which we highly recommend due to the state’s favorable laws and business environment.
For HR and payroll, check out:
Last but not least, you’ll need an agency tool to handle banking and accounting processes. For this, we suggest looking into:
To learn more about the legal and administrative logistics of running an agency, check out our How to Start an Agency masterclass.
You can trust us on most things, but please don’t trust us as a primary source for legal and financial advice. Before launching your agency, make sitting down with an accountant and lawyer a priority.
Agency Tools for Project Management
Once you’ve figured out the legal stuff, it’s time to figure out project management. Alas, we regret to inform you that this isn’t any less complicated than figuring out the legal and accounting logistics!
Managing a digital marketing agency involves keeping track of multiple moving parts. From building an agency reporting dashboard to communicating with employees, freelancers, clients, and vendors, there’s a lot to consider.
If you design and implement your system at the very beginning, you stand a better chance of succeeding.
Here at Slam, we rely heavily on these three agency tools for our project management and communication:
Airtable combines the flexibility of a spreadsheet with database functionality, which is great for organizing data and tracking tasks.
Notion is an all-in-one workspace tool that combines note-taking, project management, and collaboration features, making it a good choice for organizing information.
Slack, on the other hand, is the agency tool of choice for communicating with teams and clients.
Slam Agency Management Templates
As a web design agency that’s been around for 10+ years, we’ve spent a lot of time perfecting our business processes and workflows. Recently, we decided to make our in-house digital tools available to other agency founders.
Here are some Slam-created products you can use for managing projects, deadlines, and more:
- Notion 1-1s and Feedback Tracker Template
- Notion Meeting Notes Template
- Go-to-Market Strategy Template
- Notion Task List Template
- Notion Documentation Template
You can purchase each of these resources individually from our products page. Or, get 20+ templates included in the price when you sign up for our How to Start an Agency masterclass.
Agency Tools for Web Design & Development
Often, an agency’s website is the primary touchpoint for potential clients. Simply put: if a visitor isn’t impressed by your website, they won’t trust you to design theirs.
Whether designing for yourself or a client, keep in mind the three cornerstones of good website design and development:
- User-friendly navigation
- Mobile responsiveness
- Visually pleasing design
Slam Web Design Templates
In addition to third-party agency tools, we also put together two Slam-created resources:
These agency tools simplify the process of launching and auditing your website.
Agency Tools for Content Planning
Content creation and tracking is a big part of running a digital marketing agency. From Facebook and TikTok video reels to Instagram slideshows and optimized blog articles, you’ll need agency tools capable of handling a truly astonishing amount of digital content.
If you aren’t careful, you risk losing track of your content creation process. This could result in less-than-optimal SEO performance, among other things. That’s why it’s important to have a battle-tested content planning and tracking system in place from the get-go.
To plan, schedule, and track your content, check out these two Slam-built agency tools:
We use these two templates to organize our content and keep track of our performance metrics.
Agency Tools for Social Media
If you’re starting a digital marketing agency in 2024, you’ll need a good set of social media agency tools. From planning and organizing content to keeping track of each platform’s algorithms, policies, and trends, managing social media logistics is a big part of running an agency!
For social media management, check out:
Also, since each platform tends to cater to different demographics, we recommend brushing up on your knowledge of each platform’s history, user base, and trends.
Choosing platforms and optimizing your content for different demographics is one of the topics we introduce in our How to Start an Agency course.
Slam Social Media Templates
As an award-winning design agency with a proven track record of helping clients with their social media strategy, we use several in-house tools to manage our content processes:
- TikTok Content Planner Template
- TikTok Script Template
- Instagram Story Template
- Multi-Channel Content Calendar Template
- Link in Bio Template
These agency tools will help you stay organized, collaborate effectively with your team, and adapt your strategy as needed for successful social media campaigns that leave an impression.
If you’re looking for more in-depth information on social media platforms, you may like these Slam guides and courses:
- Why Should You Start a Small Business TikTok?
- The Complete Guide to Instagram for Small Business
- Introduction to TikTok for Nonprofits
We get it: social media can be confusing, and chasing virality is enough to rattle anyone’s composure! That’s why it’s important to do your research, plan your content, and constantly evaluate your strategy.
We’ve learned through experience that a strong set of agency tools is the best antidote to social media overwhelm, so make sure your tool kit is on point.
Agency Tools for SEO
Search engines favor websites that adhere to best practices in search engine optimization (SEO). From page speed and responsiveness to keywords and content structure, a solid SEO strategy is critical for improving a website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPS).
Content creation is a big part of SEO. Your content should be keyword-rich and integrate as naturally as possible with links to internal and external pages.
A few examples of SEO-friendly content creation include:
- Blog post content
- Landing page content
- Meta descriptions and page titles
Regardless of the type of content you create, it should be structured around well-researched target keywords.
With your keywords identified and your content created, it’s time to focus on technical SEO. This involves checking your website for things like crawlability and Google indexing, reviewing the site’s structure, and ensuring core performance vitals are working as they should.
On-page technical SEO is one area where agency tools really come in handy. We suggest monitoring your SEO strategy with these tools:
For analyzing keywords, search volume, and user intent, Keyword Insights is a useful tool to consider.
Google Search Console is a powerful tool for monitoring and improving your website’s searchability with tools designed to address technical SEO issues.
Here at Slam, we use PageSpeed Insights to assess and improve the speed and usability of a webpage on mobile and desktop devices.
We also rely on Ahrefs for SEO strategy–especially its insights into backlink profiles, keyword rankings, and competitor analysis.
Slam SEO Templates
You can use our Keyword Research Template to simplify the process of identifying and optimizing keywords that will resonate with your audience.
For auditing performance and calculating ROI, check out these Slam-created tools:
To learn how to use our audit template, our guide to performing a technical SEO audit in seven steps is a good place to start. And if you’re thinking of diving deeper into the world of SEO agency work, check out our guide on how to start an SEO agency.
With SEO, technology jargon comes with the territory. If you’re feeling lost, check out our course on How to Start an Agency where we go over everything you need to know.
We also offer small business SEO packages to startups and businesses of all sizes.
How to Start an Agency with Slam Tools + Masterclass
As an award-winning B2B web design agency, we’ve spent years documenting our business processes. We know what works and what wastes time, period.
Our templates and digital tools can be downloaded individually through our products page. Or, you can get them all for a fixed price as part of our How to Start an Agency masterclass, along with 10+ hours of instructional videos and over a dozen course modules.
We’ve also put together a helpful series of how-to guides for agency founders looking for a niche:
- How to Start a Lead Generation Agency
- How to Start an SEO Agency
- How to Start a Facebook Ad Agency
- How to Start a Content Writing Agency
- How to Start a Google Ads Agency
- How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency
For the latest industry tips and trends, you can visit our blog. We update it multiple times each week, so it’s a good idea to bookmark the page and check back frequently for the latest content!
Or, better yet, subscribe to our newsletter and receive all things agency-related straight to your inbox.
In addition to offering tools, products, and educational resources to agency founders, we continue to offer our core menu of award-winning services:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Webflow Design & Development
- Content Writing & Strategy
- Brand Strategy & Identity
If you’d like to work with us, you can contact us today to schedule your free consultation with one of our experts. We look forward to discussing your needs in more detail!
Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a recommended agency tool after clicking a link, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.