How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency as a Student

July 12, 2018

In December of 2017, a couple of Harvard undergraduates came together to start a digital marketing agency. Their vision was to harness the youthful energy of college students and create a company that better addressed modern business problems without stuffy, traditional marketing -- in other words, to create Studio 67 (that’s us). Here is our story.

Since our founding in December we’ve had a lot of ups and downs. Here is a quick list of 10 landmarks on our journey.

1) We became one (agency)

The main event that marked our start was the combination of two separately successful companies at Harvard Student Agencies (HSA):

HSA Marketing (est.1975) facilitated the relationship between outside companies and the Harvard community through publications, promotional events, dorm room door drops, and ad campaigns.

Mount Auburn Productions (est. 2012) provided the Harvard community with video and photo content for live events, music videos, and creative theses.

Combining the best parts of Mount Auburn Productions and HSA Marketing into one fully-fledged full-service marketing agency, Studio 67 was formed, allowing us to tackle new challenges with accomplished experience.

2) We hired the right people

Our entire agency is comprised of undergrads between the ages of 18 and 22, attracting the most creative and business-minded Harvard students.

We have done a great job of building out a team of multi-talented individuals interested in taking a different approach to marketing. Our team bonded right away, transitioning from tackling projects together to getting each other personalized mugs. All of us have specific focuses within the company, but our process is very much collaborative.

3) We balanced business and books

During the school year, we are all Harvard undergraduates. However, starting a company, and spending so much time on interesting and captivating projects definitely made it hard to concentrate on math or english class outside of work.

The team kept its balance though, focusing on time-efficiency, developing our brand, and building a client base during the semester - all in preparation for full-time work since the end of school in May.

4) We tripped, but didn’t fall

As students, we love to learn: even if it’s what doesn’t work. As any early venture faces, there were unexpected bumps along the way. We looked at these as learning opportunities rather than setbacks. Each struggle we faced helped us iron out our initial weaknesses and find the right workflow for us.

We’re stronger right now than we’ve ever been and that progress is something we expect for the future.

5) We made the office our own

Our name, Studio 67, comes from the address of Harvard Student Agencies, 67 Mount Auburn Street. The office is located in Cambridge, just ten minutes from downtown Boston. As such, we have a strong presence and pride in the Boston community, allowing us to offer connections in the oldest and largest college town in the US.

On the third floor of the building at the end of the hall, you’ll find the LED lit, music filled office we call home.

6) We became hand models

Our client, Grabanzos, came to us with a request for content creation featuring their new product, a chocolate & garbanzo snack. Turns out, after taking many different iterations of photos, that all of us could have surprisingly successful careers as hand models - I mean look at those gorgeous hands and tell us there isn’t potential there!

7) We found out that we’re cool hipsters who love pizza

&pizza, the hip and “counter-culture” pizza brand, is opening a new location in Harvard Square to much local anticipation and excitement. We’re happy to say that we’ll be working with them to help promote the opening of this new location, before, during, and after its inception.

8) We helped two students fall in love

Our video production team produced a short video for The Harvard Shop, which featured two Harvard students as actors, playing the role of a couple in love through their years at Harvard. The storyline, combined with the ambience of the video, was a perfect way to highlight the special presence that the student-run The Harvard Shop has on this campus.

9) We got close with hottest Mexican restaurant around

Our entire company frequents El Jefe’s, arguably the most popular Mexican restaurant in Harvard Square, at least among college students. They’re located just a block down the street, so it’d be natural that we’d work together on a delicious collaboration. We’ll be helping them market to summer school students when they move in at the end of June.

10) We became professional bartenders (and photographed the process)

Just recently, we partnered with Harvard Bartending (which runs a day-long course that teaches you to bartend) for a social media initiative. The partnership involves content creation, social media management, and sponsored posts. Fitting the brand, we’ve started to create and photograph event-based drinks to post on social media.

Conclusion:

Much has happened since the beginning of our agency, taking us in many different directions both creatively and professionally, but there’s still a long road ahead. This summer, we’re looking forward to building out our portfolio, capabilities, and clientele. If you’re ever in Boston, pay us a visit at 67 Mount Auburn St. -- just ask for Studio 67.

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