How To Start An Advertising Agency In Nigeria (NEW)

In this post, I will show how to start your own profitable advertising agency in Nigeria.

Step by step.

Maybe you’ve already acquired the needed digital or online marketing skills or in the process or thinking of getting any of the marketing skills so you can help a business get clients and make sales through your ad agency…

…This post is for you!

Starting an online business can be really rewarding. And setting up an advertising, marketing or digital agency happens to be one of the cool ways to make money online in Nigeria.

Just that it requires handling clients offline and all that. Which isn’t really my thing, to be honest.

But still pays well, even if you have just one or two high-paying monthly retainer clients.

However, starting and running this type of online business is not an easy one. It takes a lot of hard work, learning, and dedication in Nigeria

Especially during the startup phase.

That’s one of the reasons I had to come up with this helpful post to help you layout the steps and give you an idea of how to get to work.

Let’s start!


Steps To Start An Advertising Agency In Nigeria

Follow the below on creating and launching your ad agency in Nigeria from A-Z

Step #1: Decide on The Services to Render

Marketing services

First of all, I see a lot of ad agencies in Nigeria trying to dominate all the industries and at the same time all aspects of online marketing.

Does it have to be that way?

I mean – they’re trying to serve as a PPC agency, content marketing agency, SEO agency, branding agency, social media agency, so on and so forth.

Marketing in this age and time is all about narrowing down to a specific need and becoming incredibly good at serving your people and getting the results they desired and paid for.

Instead of being an average in so many aspects and finding it difficult delivering.

Hope you get my point?

If possible, become known as the marketing expert for realtors, restaurants, eCommerce, fashion, etc. That’s the way it should be – but because due to some circumstances – lots of marketing agencies (Nigeria especially) choose to serve all.

So, before you start your marketing agency, it’s best to know what marketing side to help brands and businesses with.

Here are some of the digital marketing parts you can solve for businesses. Choose only one and become the go-to person for that.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO agency)
  • Social Media Marketing Agency (FB ads, Instagram ads, etc.)
  • Content Marketing agency
  • Web design and branding agency
  • Funnel building and optimization agency

Depending on your skillset and goals – you only have to start with one of the above.


Step #2: Build and Develop the Right Skills

The second step to follow when starting your advertising agency in Nigeria is – developing the necessary skills by taking courses, getting mentorship and investing in learning that will help you in satisfying your clients’ needs.

Which has always been to get more leads that generate sales.

Here you don’t need to complicate things. Because from the first step you just have to choose a marketing route.

If it’s a social media agency – go all in with that by learning from the best Facebook Ads expert, Instagram ads expert or Pinterest expert.

That simple?


Buy a course, connect with someone who already runs a profitable and converting Facebook ads, go into Facebook groups (closed and non-spammy ones) to connect with social media marketers to gain insights, read blogs, watch YouTube videos.

In fact, if you ask me – I’d say you have to be obsessed and deeply immersed in the world of social media marketing and its psychology. Be hungry to learn and implement.

That’s just the best way to be good at something, then you transition into helping others do it and get paid for it.

Whichever path you settle with – it basically requires the same learning and implementation mentality.


Step #3: Forget About Business Plan

Sadly, writing and developing a business plan is still a myth a lot of us still take so seriously. Why bother about a business plan in this century?

Let me tell you:

You don’t need a business plan to build a multimillion business. Please never waste your time doing that.

The only thing you need is W.O.R.K.

I have never for once drafted or even think of coming up with a business plan to run my online business.

And you know the sweet thing about running an online business?

It requires a very tiny capital. The rest falls on your ability to learn, take action and most important condition your mindset for productivity and discipline.

By the way – we can’t really call this part a step in setting up an advertising agency – I just felt the need to include it.

Backing up a bit, you’ll need to register your marketing ad agency business name with the CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) at some point. Not a priority at the beginning.

Doing this kinda makes you a legit deal for brands to be able to handle their marketing campaign over to you. You know the feeling you have when you’re paying into a corporate account?

And you’re also legally recognized as a business owner in Nigeria.


Step #4: Build Your Portfolio – Be Used First

I see people starting out in business both in the online space and offline – trying to hit the big mark without hitting the small ones first.

Don’t forget that count 1 before counting 100. Not the reverse.

“How does this apply to get my first client for my ad agency?”

Great question!

First of all, you need to put yourself out there to be seen, vulnerable and serve. Even if it means working for free.

No, you’re not stupid, my friend.

What you’re trying to do is building your portfolio, earning the trust of people, building relationships and in some way building an army of loyal fans.

You serve before you get served.

Remember people want to be sold to after they’ve gotten value, seen social proof, heard from a trusted friend or colleague.

For example:

Who would you entrust your business, marketing campaigns, and money to?

  • #1: An advertising agency with a portfolio and people talking positively about its services (even though those jobs were done for free of charge).
  • #2: Or an advertising agency with no portfolio, no single testimonial and maybe one or two people recommending their services.

Even if the first agency charges times (*5) of what the later one charges – I tell you – a much number of business owners and brands would confidently still give their money to the first marketing agency.

Social proof alone is a very powerful sales-driving technique.

If I’m happy with your services – I won’t only come back for more. I’m going to recommend you to everyone in my network.

It works.

More reason why you shouldn’t take free or little paid marketing tasks for granted. At least to some extent. Then you can raise your price as you build your client base gradually.


Step #5: Get A Simple Landing Page (or website)

Source: Colorlib

One huge mistake I see a lot of new business owners and entrepreneurs make is bothering about the location and rent of their business before deciding on what to sell and who to serve.

Funnily – this a wrong approach – especially when your business is an online type.

You don’t need an office, shop or bother about your agency location in its startup phase. What you need is a solid online presence.

A website, landing page or Facebook marketing group (not the spammy type) are the type of assets to have. Without an online presence for your business – it is almost entirely invisible for a large section of your target market to find you.

II know getting a website could be a bit expensive but that shouldn’t be a constraint. A simple landing page showcasing a happy client’s testimonials and your offer should be enough.


Final thoughts

If you have gotten to the end of this post, well, congratulations. It’s much easier to be done and have that great idea of creating an advertising agency that’ll help businesses in Nigeria and beyond.

How about the execution part?

No doubt. Implementation is hard, and to build that type of agency takes processes and work. But it’s well worth it if you keep pushing.

That’s why I decided to come up with steps to guide you on how to create your agency.

However, I want you to know and bear at the back of your mind that no matter how much investment or marketing skill you possess – your major top priority as an advertising agency owner in Nigeria should be to help the business make more money through advertising.

That’s why you need to, first of all, learn the skills, get yourself your first clients using your marketing skill, get some testimonials (videos, written), then scale your advertising agency.

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