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Start an advertising agency in Nigeria
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14 Tips On How To Start An Advertising Agency In Nigeria

If you want to start an advertising agency in Nigeria, you might have a lot of work to do, especially because of the Nigerian environment. Most business owners do see reasons to advertise, and the market is already saturated for the lesser percentage who would be interested in reaching out to people through advertising agencies like the one you want to set up.

Nevertheless, plenty new businesses are emerging everyday, and that means a better potential for your agency, especially if you provide value for your clients.

By value, I mean trying your possible best to reach out to real users who would be interested in patronising your clients’ so they do not end up securing losses after advertising with you.

Another thing to consider if you want to start an advertising agency in Nigeria is the fact that social media has almost taken over the internet, and aside that, you will be competing with top brands like Opera News, Nairaland, Naijaloaded and Waploaded who already have an established audience waiting to receive advertisements.

These are not mere advertisers, but media agencies and they are more trusted by potential advertisers. If you must succeed, you need to get in touch and work with a few of them, unless you are going for the offline advertisers.

How To Start An Advertising Agency In Nigeria

In starting your own advertising agency, there are a few things you need to put in place.

Some of them include:

  • Make a choice of the type of advertising you want to go into

You need to first make a choice of the type of advertising you want to go into. This will help guide you on what to tell your clients, especially the first set of people when you do not have samples of your works already.

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With time you can divert to other forms of advertising, since there are no limits in the advertising world.

Some of the different types of advertising:- 

Broadcasting ie on TV, radio and others

Outdoor: These are more expensive and mainly used by big brands who just want to create awareness. Some of the examples include rooftop adverts, mobile adverts, events and others

Print media: Print media refer to newspapers, magazines, posters and other sources of information on paper, and you can advertise with them.

Online: This is probably the most popular now, and involves the use of ad networks, sponsored posts on websites, social media and other forms of internet based advertising.

  • Choose a good name for your agency

After choosing a type of advertising, it is time to choose a good name for your agency. The name should define your purpose, and be able to tell people without asking much questions that you offer services like these.

It should also be simple to pronounce and of course, easy to remember.

  • Evaluate your competitors

Spy on people already offering the same services as you, and identify any possible ways to do better than they are currently doing.

You can even purchase an advertising offer from them to be sure of how they manage their businesses, and so you don’t dive into a business you know less than what you should know.

Those things that satisfied you with your dealing with them would serve as a selling point, and the things you didn’t like will be eliminated.

  • Put down a business plan

This is real business, not some thing you are doing for fun. Put down a detailed description of your business, a break-down of costs and how you intent making profit.

You should also include your organisational structure and target market.

This is very essential, and if you will be inviting investors, it is one of the first things they will ask you for.

  • Set up an office

It is one of the ways you will be able to prove to potential clients that you are ready for business, and while it might not look really compulsory if you will be going for the internet-based advertising, it is necessary for all.

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Renting a good office in a nice location might cost you good money annually, but it is one of the essential things you should do to set the advertisement business running.

  • Do all necessary business registrations

If you need help on this, you can check out our previous article on how to do your business name registration in Nigeria.

It will help your business stand out, and you will be able to access other features that will help in the growth of your agency such as getting a corporate account and registering for the Association of Advertising agencies of Nigeria (AAAN).

  • Get a website for your agency

Whether you are going for the internet based advertising, or the other ones, a website is very necessary. While it is compulsory for the first, it is optional for the others but highly recommended for all.

A website will help you reach out to people all over the world, and foreign brands who want to reach out to Nigerians will see you as an authority and

  • Buy gadgets for your business

You will need to invest in some electronic gadgets that will help you promote your clients. Sometimes, they will want to hire you to make their graphics designs, and you might even need to work with a modelling agency to help you make good photos.

Invest in good cameras, graphics design software, scanners and any other things that will increase the quality of your business.

  • List your business on Nigerian based business listing websites

It is very essential to take your business online, and one of such ways is by listing it on business listing websites.

Some are paid, but I will advice you to go for the free ones as a startup, and you can always go for other options. Listing your business on Browse Business Listings is free, and takes less than five minutes.

You can do that by clicking HERE.

  • Create a list of businesses you want to work with

You might not start with big brands like Coca Cola and Pepsi, but the little hotels and schools around you will be a good kick off.

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There are also local companies like drink producers and even telecommunication firms you can approach, and they will be willing to work with you.

Get a list of businesses from a business listing website, then send them an email, or contact them via phone discussing your proposal.

You can even consider visiting their office if that is convenient, but it is best to call first and book an appointment.

  • Contact ad publishers and media companies

Depending on where you want to be placing ads, you will need to contact ad agencies first and discuss their advertisements with them.

This will help guide you on how to bill your clients.

You can contact blogs, newspapers and magazine companies, radio and TV houses and any other places you want to get your advertising on.

You can also check out this article on 10 amazing places you can advertise for free in Nigeria.

  • Hire people to work with you

After setting up the business, it’s time to hire people to work for you. You need to hire good looking and sharp people, since most times they will be needing to visit your clients.

You won’t be okay working with someone who won’t be able to speak fluently, and maybe someone else who cannot look good enough to attract potential clients.

There are reasons banks go for young people, and it is mainly because they deliver value more, and attract customers.

  • Market your agency

You can use other advertising mediums to advertise your agency, and there is no too much budget in advertising.

Reach out to potential clients in their numbers, sending emails, text messages and even calling them.

Not everyone you contact will be interested, but trust me, with good packaging you’ll be able to get an inflow of clients.

Thanks a lot for reading along.

What do you think?

Kindly drop us a comment and don’t forget to share to your friends.

Before you leave, if you have been looking for how to set up a Jumia or Konga store and sell your products online, click HERE now!

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Nigerian twin writer, photographer, FX trader and YouTuber. I focus on biographies, business and tech. You can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @Chimaizuobi!