January 27, 2021

How to Start an Influencer Marketing Agency from Scratch (Full Guide)


So, you finally decided to take the leap and start working on your idea about launching an influencer marketing agency more seriously?

Congratulations and welcome to the world of entrepreneurs – we rarely sleep here and coffee is considered a necessity rather than a regular drink to function.

On a more serious note – starting an influencer business is no joke, even if you’ve been in the industry for a while now and you know all the tricks in the book. When you’re running the show from this side, the possibilities of things going wrong are almost endless.

That’s why, in today’s blog, I’ll share my tips on how to start an influencer marketing agency in 1 month with very low investment!

There’s a lot of info, so be sure to write down some notes.

Influencer marketing agency – what’s that?

To put it like this, an influencer marketing agency builds its business around influencers. The agency acts as a bridge between the influencers and brands – brands need an online space to promote their product or service to their target audience and influencers are the ones they use to complete such goals.

It’s a simple supply-demand equation where agencies are the one highly effective solution.

So effective that in 2015, there were only 190 influencer marketing platforms and agencies, but nowadays, that number is up to 1120 platforms and agencies!

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And, nearly 90% of all influencer campaigns take place on Instagram.

So, as you can see, the Instagram influencer business model holds a great deal of potential and you have a chance to get a piece of that cake.

While all this sounds fairly simple, let’s discuss the exact role of an influencer marketing agency.

What do influencer marketing agencies do exactly?

Being the middleman between brands and influencers may sound oversimplified, but in fact, starting an influencer marketing agency includes multiple complex processes for everything to function properly.

Here are the important key points:

1. The hardest part – finding the influencers

For most agencies, finding the right influencers is the hardest and the most time-consuming part of the job. Most brands want niche-oriented influencers.

But agencies don’t have their own network of influencers, so they need to identify niche influencers right then and there. Also, not only do they need to find the influencers, but they need to reach out to them, either manually or automatically, and that takes time too.

Most agencies use different methods to get their hands on influencers’ data.

Here are the most popular ones:

Influencer Platforms

A lot of influencer agencies have built their business by using only influencers’ platforms like Buzzsumo, Klear, and many more. These platforms can help anyone identify niche-oriented influencers, but you have to find them manually and that will take time. Also, bear in mind that these tools are pretty expensive, so they may be way out of your budget limit.

Scrape Influencer Data Yourself

If you can’t afford to buy it, do it yourself right? Scraping data, which, essentially, means finding the data yourself without the use of any platforms or tools, it’s one effective solution. I even have an entire blog post written on the topic – Instagram Email Finder, be sure to check it out.

But, in order to do this, you’ll need an in-house team of developers, or at least, one highly skillful developer. That’s an additional investment in human resources, so if you prefer this option, be mindful of this fact.

Buy an Influencer Email Database

This is the best option if you ask me. Especially because automated scraping is against Instagram’s ToS, so doing it yourself can give you headache until figuring out to do it right. 

But, our method of finding influencer emails is completely legal and you can take a look at our process here.

We can find the influencer’s contact info, along with their topic of interest, number of followers, geolocation, etc.  

Use the form below If you want to check out a free data sample of 150 micro-influencers with emails and 30+ other data points.

Get Targeted Instagram Influencer Emails

2. Create highly successful campaigns

Every influencer marketing agency has a detailed influencer strategy and highly skilled employees who develop and monitor the entire campaign, from start to finish.

That would include a team of social media experts, content writers or copywriters, analysts, etc. who are responsible for organizing, managing and monitoring the influencer marketing campaign.

The most popular types of influencer marketing campaigns are giveaways, product promotions, contests, advertising, etc.

Here are two examples of successful influencers’ marketing campaigns:


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To promote its new Pixelbook laptop, Google worked with the two girls behind the @thesorrygirls Instagram profile. The girls ran a giveaway contest for their target audience with one sponsored post and were able to earn an engagement rate of 59,4% from their 227k followers – impressive!

Tom’s of Maine

Tom’s of Maine is a company that produces natural toiletries – toothpaste, deodorants, soaps, etc. Their campaign goal was to raise awareness of buying natural personal hygiene products and they collaborated with multiple micro-influencers to reach their goal. The campaign was more than successful – it reached 4.4 million potential customers in the first three months only!

As the number of influencers included in a campaign increases so does the difficulty in monitoring the campaign’s performance. In our experience, you should use tools like Fourstarzz Media, HypeAuditor, or GroupHigh.

3. Make an offer businesses can’t refuse!

Okay, so this is not The Godfather but you get the point – negotiations are a huge deal for an influencer marketing agency.

Influencer marketing agencies work the same way as any standard agency. You’ll make money either by receiving a monthly management fee for running all influencer marketing campaigns or a % fee for a specific campaign.

Aside from negotiating the fees, this process also includes establishing the schedules and deadlines, defining the goals, and campaign specifications – everything is the agency’s responsibility.

4. You can’t manage what you don’t measure

Your team would be responsible for executing, managing, controlling, optimizing, and measuring the results of the entire influencer marketing campaign.

All these must be in line with the first set up goals. Every brand would want to know what they’ve spent their money on and the agency must have this data on display. Compare the desired goals with the achieved ones by using tools that can measure the campaign’s ROI such as NeoReach or TapInfluence and see whether the collaboration provides you with a high ROI or not.

Okay, so far, everything that we discussed was related to the job itself, but what are the key points that you as a business owner should consider if you’re serious about opening an influencer marketing agency?

Key points to consider before launching an influencer marketing agency

As a founder and CEO, I’ve found out that business decisions made at a drop of a hat aren’t the ones that turn out to be the most profitable ones.

In fact, if you’re thinking about different ways to start an influencer marketing business, you might want to take a step back and rethink your motives about it. Here are some questions that I believe will be of great help to you.

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1. Do I have enough industry knowledge to start an influencer business?

Let’s get one thing straight – if you’re planning to work with influencers, but you’re coming from let’s say, an IT background, you might find out that this is not your cup of tea pretty fast.

The influencer industry is a specific one and you’ll have higher chances of succeeding if you have a certain experience in it. If you’re new to the industry there are countless resources you can use to improve your knowledge.

For example, The Influencer Code: How to Unlock the Power of Influencer Marketing is an insightful book that’ll help any influencer marketing agency to grow any business by working with niche-oriented influencers. Instagram Marketing For Business 2020 is a book with a more modern approach to influencer marketing, you’ll definitely benefit from reading it.

If you prefer video, there are tons of excellent courses on Udemy to choose from, but I would start with this one – Influencer Marketing.

If you want to launch an influencer marketing agency, but you have no experience working in this field, it’s essential to have at least some kind of industry knowledge before setting up the headquarters.

2. What’s my unique selling point?

What makes my business unique? What’s the unique value I have to offer to the market?

You need to think from this perspective, otherwise, you’ll get eaten by the sharks in the industry pretty quickly.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you going to have the biggest influencer database?
  • Are you going to offer your service at the lowest price?
  • Are you going to be a one-niche-oriented agency or a multiple-niche-oriented influencer marketing agency?
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If you don’t have ideas for a niche, I can help you out with that – I have a list of 150 micro-influencers in the most popular niches. Pick the niche you feel most comfortable with and start from there.

Pro tip: Be a visioner! Picking a niche that’s saturated like beauty or gym may be the wrong move for a company that’s just about to enter the market. But eco-friendly products or maternity clothing, on the other hand, can be the right choice. Do our research and start by looking for low-competition niches – your niche can make or break your business.

175.000 influencer accounts, how to get there?

By now, you know the what and the why – now it’s time to get going with the how – how to build your own influencer marketing agency.

This part is more strategic – the hard part is to get here. Once you get here, it’s all about writing the plan and executing it thoroughly.

1. Write your business plan!

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I know it sounds boring, but planning is everything when it comes to launching an influencer marketing agency.

You have to define key points here.

Will you be working remotely or setting up an office? Can you work remotely when it comes to influencers or do you want to set up more locally? How many employees will you have, how many of those can you afford and how many of them are actually necessary?

The planning doesn’t end here.

Are you going to cover all social media platforms or just Instagram, let’s say?

If you don’t know where to start, here’s a free, detailed business plan template for starting an influencer business.

2. Make it professional all the way

Nowadays, customers can’t trust a brand that doesn’t have an online presence. But as someone who’s about to enter the business world, you probably know this already.

Create a website and social media accounts, start to work on your personal brand image. Legalize your business entirely, as this will increase your brand’s credibility.

3. Start your influencer’s hunt

When it comes to searching for influencers as an agency, there’s really only one rule to follow – the more, the merrier.

Influencers are your meal ticket and the more influencer contacts you have, the bigger the chances for a brand to pick your agency and go in business with you.

I’ve already shared some tips on how to get this process starting, but this time, I have something even better to share with you.

You know that you don’t have to do this all by yourself, neither do your employees?

What if you can hire an agency to do the searching for you, and you can focus on finding the right brands and connecting them with the right influencers?

If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is – except for this time.

We’ve worked with over 200 agencies and helped them identify niche influencers any brand would benefit from.

And who are we?

Get verified influencer email lists and take up the industry

We’re a pioneer in the Influencer business for one reason only – we are the biggest influencers’ data company with over 55 million contacts.

We can find influencer emails from social media platforms along with 30+ other data points, and by doing this, we’re now able to provide you with large email lists of ultra-targeted influencers.

By now, we have worked with over 200 marketing agencies to help them get their hand on hard-to-find, verified emails, all carefully picked out for specific niches. We reached an impeccable 5% conversion rate from email to collaboration – that says a lot about the quality of our emails!

You, as a potential agency owner, can benefit immensely from our service.

Think about it.

You’ll have contact emails from your end product – influencers.

Here’s what our data look like:

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Besides that, we also handle the whole influencer outreach process: research, copywriting, email deliverability, multichannel outreach, etc. With the help of intent data and engagement metrics, we’ve managed to onboard hundreds of thousands of influencers to our client’s platforms.

For example, we helped Brybe (an influencer marketplace) onboard 128k influencers to their platform by using our data and influencer outreach services.

If you’ve been meaning to outsource the creator acquisition via outbound email, we have an entire team of 20+ people that have been doing that for a while now.

So, if you have nowhere to start, don’t worry – you can always ask us and we’ll find you the emails you’re looking for and handle the entire outreach process.

Take a look at our Partnership program, Give us a call and be prepared to scale your new influencer marketing agency with our emails!


Scale your outreach and pick the perfect influencers for your brand using our influencer database searchable by 30+ smart filters

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