Part 1: How I’d start a Zapier agency

Part 1 of 3. Automation is complex making it ripe for you to sell services. Here's how I'd start an agency selling productized-services using Zapier.

For most Zapier users, automation has failed them.  
Only a tiny percentage of new Zapier users end up turning on and running a
successful Zap. Zapier users hardly use Zapier. Why? If you’re a Zapier
expert, agency owner, or freelancer you already know the answer:  
Zapier is inherently complex.  
Connecting apps is just like the digital Tower of Babel—every app and its API
speak a different language complicating anything you try to build.
Automation promises to be a time saver but for most users it’s a time


Automation’s complexity opens the door for specialized agencies and
freelancers to step in to save the day.  

You might already be that hero.

There’s clearly an opportunity for you to sell automation services. But
selling services is hard work that takes a lot of manpower. How can you find
some leverage with Zapier to spend less time and make more money yourself?

Today, I’m going to explore some answers. This is multi-part series where
I’m going to walk you through how I’d start and run a Zapier agency in 2024
using all of Zapier’s products
(Zaps, Tables, Interfaces, Chatbots, Canvas).
Ready? Let’s go start a business.  


Some quick assumptions

I’m using myself as the example here, but for this hypothetical future agency-
owner I’m assuming the following:

  • Already has deep Zapier knowledge
  • Aiming for speed to launch
  • Optimizing for less input more output (avoiding trading time for money if at all possible)

Also: this is a rudimentary way to start an agency (no discredit to the
amount of time and effort it takes for people who have actually started one).
For the sake of today, if you’ll allow me, we’ll roll with a simplified


Choosing a specialization

Step 1: where’s my focus?  
“The riches are in the niches,” right? Sort of. Picking a niche really isn’t
I need specialization. If I choose real estate, I’d better have a
lot of realtor friends (I don’t) and be an industry expert (I’m not). I might
consider app-specialization: Zapier + Pipedrive, Zapier + Airtable, Zapier +
Quickbooks, etc. But that would require becoming an expert in the other tools.  
The quickest way to choose a specialization would be to focus on Zapier and
for specific use cases.
With Zapier’s new products that go beyond automation, a Zapier-only
specialization is more feasible and keeps the scope of my work focused in
order to optimize for less input and more output.  
I'll go with this:

a Zapier agency specializing in complete lead management
systems with custom automation and client portals

Deciding on an ideal customer profile

Step 2: who am I serving?
My ideal client will be a growing small business who has a website with a
contact us form and the need for custom client portals.  
I’ll keep it small and narrowed like this. This will not only help keep my
messaging clear, but it allows me an opportunity to keep clients' businesses
lean, automated, and effective while staying lean myself.

Honestly, I'll probably target businesses running out of Google Sheets. In my
experience, there are a ton of those. They are ripe for "the next step" but
don't want to fork over a ton for a bunch of new tools.  
Perfect for a low-cost, productized service that gives them what they need
plus automation.

Creating an offering  

Step 3: what am I building and selling?  
I’ll offer an automated solution at a fraction of the cost of other agencies
by simplifying the tools and subscriptions my clients need.
I'll just be
building on Zapier.  
Remember, my aim is to avoid trading time for money as much as possible. With
that in mind, I’ll offer:

An automated lead management, CRM, and client portal system with:

  • customized lead capture forms
  • a tailored chatbot for FAQ’s
  • automated notifications and email reach out (optionally with AI)
  • straightforward CRM with AI data enriching
  • an automated client portal for their clients to access documents, information, and submit requests
  • A live diagram showing the entire process

I’ll charge an initial set up fee and a low monthly cost to keep the systems
running and provide support and training materials (all via my own client
portal made in Zapier).  

... to be continued in Part 2.

I dive into building out the specifics of the offering all in Zapier in Part 2: How I'd start a Zapier agency so that you can see how this looks in action!  

To recap:

  • Zapier is complex which creates a huge opportunity for automation services. But agencies need more leverage.
  • To start an agency, I’d specialize in all-on-Zapier automation services with a focus on lead management and client portals.
  • I’d create a productized service which would essentially look like selling customized, automated software built in Zapier.

Happy Building,  

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