How To Start A Social Media Marketing Agency
Are you tired of wondering what owning your own social media marketing agency would be like and ready to actually do it?
Great! But now you’re wondering how you even start…what are the steps…what do you need to do? We’ve come together and created a step by step guide on how to start a social media marketing agency!
However, we must warn you, owning your own social media marketing agency isn’t all sun shines and rainbows…
In fact, there are several factors you are going to need to consider when creating this business so that your work is profitable and respected.
In this guide we’ll breakdown everything you need to know about starting a social media agency and the common pitfalls to watch out for.
At the end, I’ll show you the exact system I used to build my own internet marketing business to over $40,000 a month in mostly passive income.
This system made me swear off SMMA for good, because it uses some of the same skills in a much more powerful and profitable way!
Check Out This Simple Way To Run A Digital Real Estate Empire Online
This is so simple, it should be illegal.
Table of Contents
Starting a Social Media Agency in 2021
Man, could you imagine what it would have been like if you started a social media marketing agency 10 years ago? Talk about easy money!
Google and Facebook created their own ad platforms that allow you to target prospects for your clients services. 10 years ago social media was all the craze and competition was virtually non-existent.
Fast forward to today…
We see social media agencies all over the place. Everyone and their pet dog claim to be social media marketing experts now. So as you can imagine…the business has started to get a bad wrap.
However, not all hope is lost, if starting a social media marketing agency is something you want to do you can in fact succeed. But, you’re going to have to really separate yourself from the competition.
You know what they say, it takes years to build up a reputation…and only seconds to destroy. Bad social media marketers, frankly just scammers, have given the industry a really bad name. You have to rise above it.
But on the positive side, thanks to the fiasco of 2020, every business owner now knows how important it is to have at least some presence with online marketing.
And that my friends is where you should find some strong motivation to get started in anything related to online marketing.
There is a HUGE need for businesses to have jobs booked weeks in advance so they can stay afloat.
Social Media Marketing Agency Tip
Your agency is your number one priority. You need to always be looking for and implementing new strategies to get engagement and new clients of your own.
1. What’s Your Area of Expertise?
The market is saturated with social media marketing agencies. Mainly because this service isn’t limited by geographic location…
So, you need to be able to stand out by offering a unique value proposition / competitive advantage.
Here are some examples of how you can separate yourself from the competition.
Become A Specialist In An Industry
Where most social media agencies fall short is that they advertise as being able to help clients in all sorts of industries.
But what that can do is make businesses feel like your services are “cookie cutter”.
However, if you position yourself as a specialist in their SPECIFIC industry they will feel more confident selecting you as their marketer.
You Specialize In An Area Of Social Media Marketing
Whatever you do, it’s always a good idea to be the expert in one category. We’re not saying to not be well rounded…just that by being good in one specific area you can set your self apart.
One great way would be talking about the results you get for clients in your target market. Providing case studies of how you grew businesses for your prospects specific industries wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
Be Able To Help Clients Uniquely
What is your social media marketing agency good at? Is it brand awareness and growing an audience, or, is it generating leads? It’s a good idea to know how exactly you can help prospective clients.
Social Media Marketing Agency Tip
Remember the knock off, value brand, of famous products like cosmic brownies? Yeah, we don’t either. Point being that weak branding easily makes you forgettable. From high to low in your agency make sure EVERYONE knows who you guys are and what you represent.
You can certainly make money with Facebook Ads, but if you’re gonna put in the amount of grueling work to become a Facebook marketing strategist (which, trust me, isn’t easy), you might as well bring in some REAL money.
The program that helped skyrocket my online business to $50,000+ per month teaches some of the same advertising skills, but shows you how to monetize them in a much, MUCH more profitable way.
2. What Social Media Services Do You Actually Offer?
As an agency owner, you need too be clear on the services you offer and how you implement them. Also, if you are approached with an offer for a service that you cannot provide, feel free to reach out to other agency owners and try to work out a partnership that way!
Here are some examples of popular services offered by a social media marketing business.
Social Media Management
Do you offer social media services for management? If so, you need to be specific with what it involves.
Things like how many posts you’re offering each month, how many videos, responding to DM’s and how you’re going to do that.
Will you offer to write blog posts as well or just social media captions?
What kind of brand story will your build in these social media posts?
What will your pricing model look for that?
Paid Social Media
Will you offer paid social media advertising? How will you bill for that? Will you also provide the content, images, and videos?
Will your social media marketing team offer paid advertising for business owners?
How will you go about working with your clients on branding and positioning? Will you do video conferencing with them as you go over your ideas for positioning, branding, content creation, and social media planning?
Do you think you could handle offering community management? Constantly interacting with their target audience can be difficult. You’ll need to be able to provide fast answers and offer customer support as well. Just know this is often a 24/7 service so adjust your pricing models accordingly.
The best social media activity tends to come from graphic design. It’s a known fact that a cool drawing/graphic/image for a company does wonders for engagement.
But will you provide these services or just outsource?
Social Media Marketing Agency Tip
Before onboarding a client, be sure to draw up a contract. This can include the social media platforms your services will be used on, as well as the data you’re going to collect that shows how your strategy is beneficial.
Also be sure to build strong relationships with your clients. They could lead you to clients in a different niche if you do good work for them!
3. Get That Research Done And Marketing Strategy Written
Before you start running digital marketing services, you have to have a plan of action.
And you’ll need to do a lot of research to create that business plan. What social media services work well for your desired results? What type of social media experiences get users to engage?
So when performing your research, be sure to complete the following.
When you’re creating your own social media marketing agency, it’s important to now what your competitors are offering. The best way to figure this out is through a personal email. Are they using Facebook ads? Is there a way you can outperform them?
Create An Elevator Pitch
If you want to get more clients, you will have to reach out and sell yourself to A LOT of business owners. And this isn’t something you’ll be able to do immediately…you’ll have to practice it quite a bit. We recommend working with a close friend or family member on your elevator pitch.
Define Your Brand
Social Media Marketers know how to do this for other clients, but they fail to do it for themselves. To be successful in signing on clients, you need to know your voice and style. Don’t pretend to be something you aren’t.
Business owners want to work with real people, not those who put on a facade.
Determine The Costs To Run Your Agency
There’s no easy way out for this one, you’ll be crunching a lot of numbers and if not you…someone you hire.
But at the end of the day, you’ll need to know how much it costs for your agency to set everything up and run, on top of your base costs.
If you’re not working from home, these costs could include coworking spaces.
Line all the costs up of who you may need to pay. Assets like an auditor, lawyer, freelancer, company photography etc.
Also make sure you never use all your budget. Keep a small reserve for emergency expenses like office place damage.
What Are Your Service Costs?
This is the fun part. This is where you get decide how much every one of your services cost. How much will you charge for content marketing? What about managing their Instagram and Facebook? How much for a simple blog post?
In your business plan be sure to also include your margins. The earlier you decide prices and profits the better, it’s not professional to make up prices as you go.
Another thing we recommend is creating quote templates. This will be easier for you and your client!
Define Your Roles
If you are partnering up with friends to start all these marketing services, try to work together and figure out who is going to do what. What will accountability look like?
This will help you guys settle potential issues down the road.
And not to like this needs to be said, but make sure the people you go into business with are good people you have trusted relationships with.
Determine Your Payment Methods
Here are the three most popular payment plan options for a social media marketing agency:
- Monthly retainer. This is your basic monthly fee. Typically this method of payment is easiest for both client and agency.
- Project-based. Normally used for special one time occurrences a project based payment plan ensures a payment upfront demonstrating commitment, and a payment at the conclusion.
- Hourly. This model isn’t nearly as popular as the other two, but it is always important to know your hourly rate. Sometimes a client could need training or a project could run over time.
Social Media Marketing Agency Tip
Know your profit margin! Margins vary depending on the industry, but a 10% margin is decent, 20-30% is ideal, and 5% is low.
4. Nail Your Launch
Even if your working from home, your social media marketing agency needs to have a great launch, otherwise you could be digging yourself out of a hole.
Double check these factors before you launch:
- Your website. Does it look good? Is the info accurate? Test your contact forms and all links.
- Social media. Make sure your own social media pages are on fire. It would also be a good idea to run some paid traffic to land some clients as well.
- Google Maps. Every real company has a GMB. Make sure to get started on this as fast as possible because it can a while to get it certified by google.
- Listings. Make sure your agency appears on all the popular listing sites. This could be home advisor, thumbtack, and even yellow pages.
- PR. Having some PR’s wouldn’t hurt either. Interviews and reviews from professional third parties will help customers trust you and your services.
- Gifts or events. Companies everywhere do launch events? Why should your company be any different? Get your audience excited!
Social Media Marketing Agency Tip
Come up with some unique hashtags that really represent your company and are easy for people to remember.
5. Use Free Tools For Social Media Agencies
Even though social media agencies can be highly profitable, you will still need to invest in some tools for your agency.
If you don’t have the right tools and know how to use them, this could lead to you looking like a rank amateur and no one wants to work with someone like that.
Free social media tools for social media marketing agencies
We recommend starting with free tools, but you will need to invest in paid tools at a certain level. Check out some of these!
- Trello. This tool makes it easy to manage projects by organization and adding clients to the boards.
- Zoom. It’s pretty obvious why you need zoom. Video chats will be how you communicate with everyone. The best part is it’s free!
- Dropbox. This tool is great for projects that have a large amount of files.
- TweetDeck. This is a tool specifically for monitoring interaction on twitter. They make it nice and easy.
- Canva. This tool is perfect for simple images and nice, sharp, thumbnails.
Social Media Marketing Agency Tip
As you’re looking to hire people to fulfill certain roles in your agency, it’s a great idea to have a baseline test for everyone in place. Everyone claims to be a social media expert these days, but very few can actually walk the walk.
6. Properly Onboard Clients
After a client has decided to work with you, make sure you have a proper onboarding process. If you don’t spend time in the early phases with this, you could end up with miscommunication, complaints, or even losing the client.
It’s best to onboard over Zoom or Skype. Here are some things to cover in the process:
- Are the right people on the call? Is everyone on the call who needs to be there? CEO’s, managers, wives?
- Have all the documents been signed and returned? Contract, payment, NDA?
- Recap that you are aligned with the client goals and strategy. No strategies here, this is where the rubber meets the road.
- Set expectations How often will you contact each other? How long will meetings be? What is the goal of these meetings? What will you both agree are positive results?
- Leave time for questions. Always keep your line open for questions from your clients. Make sure you always appear approachable and ready to help.
7. Managing Your Workday
When you’re running your own agency life can get really busy. So, it’s important to figure out how you can manage all your time.
No two days will ever be the same, but generally speaking, here is what you’ll find your daily schedule consisting of.
Every morning you should check all your clients presence on social media and make sure things are running smoothly.
If you aren’t actively making changes for your clients and you have your processes streamlined, it is important to stay up to date with the latest trends on platforms. It’s no secret social media platforms change rules over night!
Personally, we like to check our emails first thing in the morning. However if the morning doesn’t work, find a time of day in which you or one of your team members responds to clients.
Invest In Your Marketing
You should always put the most amount of marketing effort into your own agency. This could be investing in new courses, masterminds, and new plans of action. Make this a group effort with different input and ideas.
The social media marketing agency industry has a high turnover rate. Clients can be very impatient. This means you need to constantly be targeting and acquiring new clients to maintain a solid cash flow on your end.
Unfortunately it can get really defeating when you have to constantly pick up clients. You start to worry about consistency….
This model gives you the power back with assets that ALWAYS produce money each month
8. How to Make Your Clients Happy With Your Social Media Agency
Do you love happy clients as much as we do? We hope so! Satisfied clients are always good at spreading the word and helping you land more deals!
Always let your clients know what’s going on…even if it’s not the best news.
If you’re results are taking a little longer, just let them know. Don’t hide it.
If you need to change the strategy because plan A isn’t working, let them know why you’re moving to plan B and what to expect as far as the timeline.
Don’t just give them the results they’re paying for, always over deliver. This doesn’t mean cutting your margins and offering a discount, but instead bringing more results for less.
Make Time For Your Customers
Always make sure that you have time for your clients. Believe us, nobody loves jumping on and having an amazing sales call only to be let down when they can’t talk to you again. This doesn’t mean be a slave to their communication style, but instead have set points of contact where they feel they have access to you as needed.
Be Smart And Strategic
This is the part that they don’t have time for, but wish they did. When you communicate to them, make sure you’re telling them your insights and what you found over the last few weeks. They will always appreciate someone being strategic working on their business in ways they can’t.
It doesn’t matter if you’re tired, it doesn’t matter if you have personal issues going on. Always be friendly with your clients. Extend your team members the same courtesy as well. It’s your social media agency, so make sure you operate it in such a way that people always think of it positively.
9. How to Land New Clients for Your Social Media Agency
So we mentioned this earlier and this section will focus on it, always focus on landing new clients after you have satisfied your current ones.
Here are some things you can do regularly to secure the bag:
- Utilize LinkedIn. Write helpful posts related to social media agency marketing, and network with others in your industry as well as prospects.
- Run events. One of the best way to look like an expert is to host big events. You will be looked at as a leader in your industry and prospects will line up.
- Promote testimonials. Social proof is great when it comes to landing clients. Especially when prospects see that you’re having success in their industry niche!
- Regularly restrategize. Social media is one of the fastest shifting industries right now. It is important to regularly study your approach and make sure its working and if you can make it better.
10. Posts Your Agency Should Make
As a social media agency, your presence needs to be strong and steady. Each platform you use will be different and have different algorithms you need to work with. Creating a content plan for the month will be a great way to guide all your decisions.
Here are some ideas we like to implement ourselves:
- Share a quick catch-up or interview video with some clients or your team members.
- Tag local businesses and clients you have worked with in pictures at events.
- Share insightful content that gives value to your friends with businesses can be extremely beneficial in the long run and a great way to show yourself an expert.
- Share case studies. Sharing all the work and successes that you’ve had is a great way to promote your own business on social media. Doing something like this organically will be better than paid advertising any day of the week and prospects always love to see success before signing on with a company.
So why is organic so much better?
What Is Our Top Recommendation For Making Money Online In 2021?
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Where SMMA falls short is in scalability.
You can’t realistically expect to be able to set up a bunch of different Social Media Campaigns and maintain them throughout all hours of the day.
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How do you get paid and how much?
Simple, after you forward the jobs off to a business owner and he makes some money off of them, you simply ask to make the deal beneficial for each other.
A fair price to charge per lead, depending on the industry is 10-20%…let’s just use the tree service industry for example and go by worst case scenario.
Let’s say you build and rank the site and only 10 jobs a month come in. The average tree service job is anywhere from $500-$2000!
That means at bare minimum you have an asset worth $500 a month!
See why they call it digital real estate now? That’s a rent payment.
The great thing is how easy it is to scale. You don’t have to worry about various CPC’s setting off different campaigns in the red at different times.
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Unlike SMMA, where you’re getting maybe $250 per month, you could be getting 10-20X THAT.
A business will always want more leads and another job. In fact it doesn’t even matter that the job isn’t coming from their website name…they see it as it is…expanding digital real estate.
Unlike SMMA, more people have been able to walk away from their 9-5 job as well.
Now, I know you probably have tons of questions…