Here’s How to Start a Content Marketing Agency [+ Why You Should Use Slam Tools]

Content Writing & Strategy
Silvia Li Sam
Founder & CEO

Did you know that 81% of marketers view content as a core business strategy? Thanks to the growth of social media platforms, connecting with target audiences through content creation has become increasingly important for small businesses and agencies alike. If you’re wondering how to start a content marketing agency and take advantage of new opportunities in the industry, this guide is for you.   

In this article, we’ll cover: 

  1. Why you should start a content marketing agency
  2. Legal considerations for starting a content marketing agency
  3. How to start a content marketing agency and land clients
  4. How to manage a content marketing agency
  5. Content planning for your content marketing agency
  6. How to choose platforms for your content marketing agency
  7. SEO strategy for your content marketing agency
  8. How to start a content marketing agency with Slam’s templates and tools 

When Slam Media Lab first launched, our founder and CEO Silvia Li Sam spent hundreds of hours figuring out project management and finding the right tools. All that effort paid off – over a decade later, we’re an award-winning content marketing and web design agency

We provide hundreds of clients nationwide with the following services

At Slam, we’re here to support founders and make starting an agency as accessible as possible. That’s why we’ve decided to share what we’ve learned over the years to help agency owners start and grow their content marketing agencies to millions of dollars. Check out our course "How to Start an Agency."

The course covers 12 modules and 20+ agency tool templates, including:

  1. Blueprint to creating your agency
  2. Slam's journey to starting the agency
  3. The role of an agency CEO
  4. The company setup
  5. Finding your niche
  6. How to get clients
  7. Setting up services and pricing
  8. Crafting a winning proposal
  9. Legal and operational setup
  10. Operations, onboarding, and processes
  11. Tools and software recs
  12. How to use ChatGPT to improve all your processes

And ever since we've launched, we've been floored by excitement from students!!!

In the meantime, this article introduces helpful processes and tools for founders researching how to start a content marketing agency. 

How to Start a Content Marketing Agency and Why You Should Do It 

Did you know that 99.9% of all U.S. businesses are classified as small businesses? Incredibly, around 58% of small business owners launch their business from scratch!  

Ask any small business owner, and they’ll tell you that finding clients is one of the most challenging parts of the job. With the growth of online social media platforms and search engines, digital marketing is becoming an increasingly important way to attract brand-loyal clients. 

If you have an eye for social media trends and branding, starting a content marketing agency may be a great way for you to join the ranks of the more than 33.2 million small businesses in the United States.

Here are a few reasons why you should figure out how to start a content marketing agency in 2024: 

  • High demand
  • Remote work
  • Entrepreneurial freedom
  • Financial stability

The challenge for many small business owners is figuring out how to market their brand – especially if they don’t have any experience in digital marketing. That’s where you come in.

From small business website design to small business local SEO, content marketing agencies help business owners (and nonprofits) find the clients they need to keep the money flowing.  

The only question left to ask is, will 2024 be the year you become a successful small business owner? 

How to Start a Content Marketing Agency: Legal Considerations

Too often, agency founders jump into the content marketing business without thoroughly researching and understanding the legal requirements. Unfortunately, this can result in hefty fines, or worse – not to mention the damage to your reputation! 

If you’re starting a content marketing agency in 2024, here are three important legal aspects to keep in mind: 

  1. Business setup
  2. Legal registration
  3. Data Privacy 

In this section, we’ll take a look at how to handle these legal considerations, along with some recommended tools and resources. 

Remember: the legal logistics involved in starting a business are impossible to fully cover in a blog post. Check out our How to Start an Agency course for a more comprehensive overview of this topic

Setting Up & Registering Your Business

Choosing a business structure is one of the first steps to setting up and registering your agency. This is something to discuss with an accountant. Please don’t make an Internet blog your definitive source for this – even one as authoritative as ours!  

You have several options, including: 

  • LLC
  • S-Corp
  • Sole proprietorship
  • …and more!  

You can register in the state of your choosing, but we recommend incorporating your agency in Delaware due to the state’s favorable laws and business environment. Keep in mind that you may need to apply for state-specific licenses and permits if you’re conducting business in a different state from the one where your entity is registered. 

Regardless of where you choose to incorporate your business, we recommend using Stripe Atlas for filing your registration and getting a tax ID number from the IRS. And when it comes to state-specific insurance and payroll obligations, you can’t do much better than Gusto

Data & Privacy Obligations

As the founder of a content marketing agency, you have a legal obligation to uphold regional, national, and global legislation. It's imperative to be aware of laws related to customer privacy and data ethics. 

An example of a key law to consider is the CAN-SPAM Act, which applies to the United States. This nationwide anti-spam law establishes clear rules for sending email messages, such as: 

  • Including accurate sending information
  • Providing clear opt-out methods
  • Avoiding deceptive subject lines 

In addition to nationwide legislation, you should also determine whether there are any laws specific to the state where you do business. 

For instance, Slam Media Lab is a San Francisco-based design agency. Since we do business in California, we’re required to follow the rules outlined in the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). As a business that sometimes collects personal information from California residents, we have certain responsibilities when it comes to transparently handling data and providing opt-out options. 

How to Start a Content Marketing Agency and Land Clients

Finding clients is a crucial part of figuring out how to start a content marketing agency. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! Simply put: landing and keeping clients is how you make money. 

In this section, we’ll cover: 

  • The proposal
  • The offer
  • Where to find clients 

If you want a steady influx of projects, you need to be proactive about finding and pitching clients. It’s the only way to foster long-term sustainability and establish a strong market presence for your brand.  

The Proposal

The first step to a great proposal is nailing the introduction. This is where you set the tone for the rest of your pitch, so make sure it’s on point. If you want your proposal to land, you need to show the client you understand their needs from the very beginning. 

Next, detail your services and emphasize their relevance to the client’s goals. This is your chance to highlight your prior experience and case studies. You should also provide a transparent pricing structure and a timeline for deliverables. 

The final step is to conclude your proposal with a strong call to action that invites further discussion. A winning proposal starts a conversation, and a strong call to action will open that door. 

Know what you need to do but don’t know where to start? Check out our Marketing Proposal Template

The Offer

Digital marketing is a competitive field, and businesses review lots of offers before making a hiring decision. A unique, personalized offer is the key to standing out from the crowd.

At Slam, we follow a 5-step process when making an offer to a client: 

  1. Define your prototype client
  2. Develop a tailored solution to their problem
  3. Demonstrate expected outcomes
  4. Offer a unique element that sets your service apart
  5. Communicate your unique value 

We also recommend coming up with a unique and detailed name that tells clients exactly what you’re offering in your proposal. 

Where to Find Clients

To find clients, start by leveraging your network and past work. Maybe you’ve created content as a freelancer, or as part of a nonprofit organization. Even work you did as a student is fair game, if it proves you know how to write and create content! 

You can also build your portfolio by doing pro bono work for friends and acquaintances. For example, if you know someone who owns a small business, consider reaching out and discussing a collaboration to build your portfolio. 

With your portfolio ready to go, it’s time to find paying clients. You can do this in several ways:

  • Referrals
  • Word of mouth
  • Cold email
  • …and more! 

The important thing is to impress your first client by doing an incredible job. Getting clients for your marketing agency is much easier once you have a success story on your roster! 

Also, keep an eye out for agency RFPs. Often, businesses will post requests for proposals on job boards like Indeed and Upwork. To get a sense of what an agency RFP looks like, check out our agency RFP guide and template. 

How to Start a Content Marketing Agency and Manage It 

You’ve done it – you’ve figured out how to start a content marketing agency! Your business is legally incorporated and you’ve landed your first client. Now comes the hard part: managing all those moving parts. 

From project kick-off to building an agency reporting dashboard, a project management strategy is crucial for your content marketing business because it keeps your workflows efficient, your deliveries timely, and your clients happy.

Here are a few tools we rely on at Slam for our project management and communication needs: 

Check out this Loom walkthrough for a detailed look at our project management system. 

We’ve documented many of our processes over the years, and we even created several templates and digital tools to help other agency founders start their project management off on the right foot.

Here are some Slam-created products you can use for managing projects, deadlines, and more: 

To access these templates and more for a fixed price, sign up for our How to Start an Agency masterclass

How to Start a Content Marketing Agency and Plan Your Content 

Running a content marketing agency involves a lot of – you guessed it – content! From Facebook reels to SEO blog articles, you’ll be responsible for uploading a truly astonishing amount of information to the World Wide Web. 

Keeping track of your content is a process that can quickly spiral out of control if you aren’t careful, so planning and tracking are crucial things to consider when figuring out how to start a content marketing agency. 

These Slam-built tools are perfect for planning, scheduling, and tracking your content: 

A robust planning and tracking system for your content funnel will ensure your marketing efforts contribute to long-term success and client satisfaction. 

By the way, if you like our digital products, you should know that our How to Start an Agency course has 20+ templates included for a fixed price! 

How to Start a Content Marketing Agency and Choose Your Platforms

The internet has evolved a lot in recent years, and so have the ways we interact with it. If you’re looking into how to start a content marketing agency, you must understand the different platforms available to you. More importantly, you should have a clear sense of which kinds of content perform well on each platform. 

For example, if a client hires you to optimize their personal website for searchability, the approach you’ll take will be vastly different from a campaign geared towards increasing a client’s social media engagement stats. 


A website is the cornerstone of a brand’s online presence. Think of it as the central hub for showcasing services, portfolios, and expertise. 

For great website content, we recommend prioritizing: 

  • User-friendly navigation
  • Mobile responsiveness 
  • Clear communication
  • SEO

Also, a well-designed small business website is a crucial part of SEO strategy, which we’ll discuss later in the article. 

Social Media

Social media platforms are great for connecting with different demographics and building long-term relationships around a brand. From audience engagement to client acquisition, a strong social media strategy is a non-negotiable part of running a successful content marketing agency. 

Each platform has its features and strategies, but there are a few universal principles you should apply: 

  • Engaging and shareable content
  • Awareness of trends
  • Community engagement
  • Content tailored to demographics 

To crush your social media strategy, check out these Slam guides and courses: 

Choosing platforms and optimizing your content for different audiences is one of the many topics we cover in our How to Start an Agency course. Check it out if you need a deep dive!

How to Start a Content Marketing Agency and Slam Your SEO Strategy

As the Internet grows and the amount of content increases exponentially, it’s becoming increasingly important to prioritize SEO (the process of optimizing your content for searchability). 

SEO is crucial for many reasons. From ensuring your website can be comfortably viewed on mobile devices to making your content visible to search engines, if you’re looking into how to start a content marketing agency, then SEO should be at the top of your must-learn list! 

Here are a few Slam tools designed to simplify your SEO strategy and SEO agency reporting: 

In addition to our templates, you should also familiarize yourself with how to use SEO agency reporting software. Tools like Google Analytics and Ahrefs are industry standard and extremely valuable for your content marketing agency. 

SEO is a complex topic that’s impossible to fully cover in a blog article. For example, do you know the difference between technical SEO and on-page SEO? If you need a more in-depth explainer, check out our How to Start an Agency masterclass.

How to Start a Content Marketing Agency with Slam's Templates + Tools

Sure, digital marketing is profitable, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! As a B2B website design agency with over 10 years of experience, we know how hard it is to get things up and running. Of course, for those who figure out how to start a content marketing agency, the rewards are totally worth the effort! 

We hope you found this Slam guide helpful. For more agency founder how-to guides, check out these links: 

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