Nothing beats owning your own social media marketing agency and working for yourself. You can set your own hours, work with your favorite clients, and the earning potential is unlimited. Needless to say, it can be endlessly rewarding.
Yet running any business doesn’t come without good, old-fashioned hard work, and its own unique challenges. Social media marketing is a competitive space. All up, the digital marketing industry is worth $14 billion, and there are almost 8,000 digital marketing agencies worldwide, all competing for a piece of the pie. Some agencies only provide social media management, while others provide additional services, including anything from video production to advertising services, SEO, and more.
Not only that, social media needs to compete with offline channels, too, like radio, TV, and print. Of course, none of them can offer the same kind of interaction and immediacy as social channels, but these channels are still competing for a chunk of the same budget.
As a social media marketing agency, you need to fight for your client’s budgets, do great work and continually prove the value of social media marketing. Thankfully we’ve put together some ideas on how you can do just that, as well as gain market share and scale your social media marketing agency for ongoing growth, making your agency more lucrative than ever. Keep reading to get started today!
Combat the Challenges Facing Social Media Marketing Agencies
Starting a social media marketing agency is easy, but scaling your agency for ongoing success can be tricky. Agencies face countless challenges and lots of competition, which makes it difficult to expand your scope with your existing clients and retain great talent. Yet you can’t do everything yourself!
Aside from your valued marketing team, there are plenty of other factors that make up a good agency and ensure you’re around for the long run. But first, let’s look at some of the most common challenges social media marketing agencies face, and what you can do to mitigate them.
Refine Your Brand
First off, a lack of clarity around what your brand specializes in can be a major sticking point for prospective clients. When prospective clients are speaking to you, they want to know exactly what you specialize in and how that can help them achieve their goals. What about your agency is special, and why? If you don’t already have a USP or want to improve yours, this is definitely worth revisiting.
On the other hand, agencies that are clear on their service offering, branding, and values are, generally speaking, more appealing to prospective clients. Not to mention, instead of wasting your time on lengthy pitches to a wide range of companies, you’ll end up pitching only to the businesses who matter. You’ll be speaking to those companies that suit your unique set of values and require your specific services.
So, first up, get your values, branding, and service offering down pat. Want to specialize in influencer marketing? Make sure this is reflected on your website, in your proposal deck, and in your branding.
Prefer to champion content marketing and video production? Lead with that when you’re pitching.
Want to focus on your skills with social media strategy and lead generation? Make sure these services are reflected in all your pitch documents and case studies. Whichever way you prefer to sell your services, ensure that it’s crystal clear to prospective clients. Don’t be afraid to narrow down your focus and champion your unique selling proposition (USP).
Take, for instance, London-based branding, design and development agency, Fortnight. Their agency USP is all about agility – they believe that each milestone should only take a fortnight, hence the brand name. It’s a simple, yet clever concept, yet, for business owners and entrepreneurs sifting through endless agency websites, that’s exactly what they need.
Retain Your Existing Clients
So, you’ve found a bunch of new clients are they’re happy with your services – so far. But how do you keep them happy? After all, most great clients are approached by other new digital marketing agencies all time and it can often be tempting to move their business, especially when a new agency is offering to consolidate services or charge lower rates.
The question is, how do you focus on getting new clients while also ensuring your existing clients are happy? Start with the following:
Most importantly, keep your client relationships open and honest. The best client relationships are partnerships – you’re both looking to do great work together and get the best outcome at a price you’re both comfortable with.
Find (and Retain) Top Talent
In the world of social media marketing, your team members are your bread and butter. A great social team will be super-efficient and will understand all the different ways to hit each client’s goals, fast. But how do you find these young social media guns?
- There’s a fine line between utilizing interns for overflow work and exploitation so you need to tread carefully when recruiting interns. Yet internships can be the perfect method for finding new talent – great internships can turn into paid, full-time positions for the right people.
- Yes, we said networks, not network. If you’re looking to fill a new position, speak to everyone in your agency instead of being limited by your own network. Great people often come from referrals.
- If you only have a small team, every single person needs to pull their weight, or, soon enough, you could be operating at a loss. Hiring the wrong person can mean delays to delivery due dates or losing client pitches. A wrong hire can even damage client relationships. So, shape up your hiring process, whether it means doing interviews, assessments, or personality quizzes. With any new employees, refine your onboarding process, too. Set clear KPIs for employees and conduct regular check-ins to ensure they’re happy.
Increase Profit Margins
As a social media marketing agency, you’ll always be looking to onboard new clients. But aside from that, why not aim to increase profit margins from your existing clients?
- Don’t let client scope creep up. Don’t take on extra marketing services unless they’re included in your monthly retainer or you’re billing them on as an additional charge. If you’ve been working with a client for a long time, consider adjusting your rates to account for inflation and/or the increasing cost of wages or insurance.
- Track and review your team member’s hours. See which tasks are taking longer than they should. See which social media marketing services are the most profitable, or which you might need to increase rates for. For instance, you might find that content creation isn’t particularly lucrative and that you’re better off doing more Facebook ads. Or perhaps you just need to refine the way you approach content creation, by outsourcing it, charging more, or adding limits to the way you offer the service, like a reduced number of videos or a limited number of copy changes allowed each month.
- Digital marketing tools are an important part of providing social media service, and they add value to clients. If you’re using four different social media tools, it might be cheaper to condense your subscriptions into one. For instance, Sked Social is an all-in-one social media marketing tool offering scheduling, file storage, image editing, reporting, and more. More on that below!
Optimize Your Systems and Processes
In this day and age, social media marketing is a competitive game. If you’re a business owner wanting to stay relevant (and to keep your business as lucrative as possible), you’ll want to ensure your systems are as streamlined as possible.
Your processes, tools and marketing team need to operate like a well-oiled machine, and they have to stay that way! Remember, the world of social media marketing moves quickly. Blink, and you’ll miss the top tools on the market and the best talent in the game!
Your client’s marketing campaigns need to produce results and it’s your agency’s job to streamline your processes and make that happen as quickly as possible. But all that hard work can eat into your team’s time. So, how can you stay as efficient as possible and bring in those dollar bills while doing your best work as an agency?
Embrace Automation with the Right Tools
Automation is the key to social media marketing success. Like anything in this world, the right tools can be a gamechanger when it comes to increasing efficiency. And social media marketing is all about efficiency. Building any business doesn’t have to be done alone – you should embrace automation and use all the tools available to you. That said, you need to balance the cost of any tools with the potential benefits, in order to ensure that you’re not blowing your costs out.
Here’s what you can automate within your business:
- Why post every single day on multiple social networks for different clients? Not only is this incredibly time-consuming, but it can also lead to posting mistakes. Luckily, there are endless social media scheduling tools available for social media marketing agencies. The best ones are the tools that have several different functions, like Sked Social. Sked is the ultimate social media marketing tool. It allows you to edit images, save files, schedule posts, and report on your progress.
- There are several programs available for collaboration and file sharing, such as Smartsheet, DropBox, and more! You might use more than one of these programs for different purposes. For social media content, you can also use Sked as a collaboration tool. Clients can share feedback on social media content and you can easily track workflows, allowing you to get approval and schedule posts with the click of a button.
- Social media reporting often requires specialized tools. There are so many social media marketing reporting tools out there, but Sked Social is a great one – although we may be a little biased! Sked Social offers advanced reporting and analytics, as well as competitor insights. It also lets you automate your reporting and export reports for each client separately, on the go. It’s super simple.
When a project has endless moving parts, it helps to have tools to stay on top of everything. And let’s face it: Excel can only do so much. Tools like Asana, Monday, or even Smartsheet can help with project management. They can ensure that you stay on top of each project and manage moving deadlines.
Part of being a good leader is understanding when you need to outsource. After all, you can’t do everything by yourself. Outsourcing is especially helpful in small agencies where you don’t need to hire another full-time staff member, but you have the occasional need for contract work at times when the team is at capacity.
This allows you to manage additional client requests and take on more work, if needed. It also gives you a safety net and ensures you can cope in the event that one of your staff members gets sick or can’t perform their role for any reason.
You might outsource to freelancers in your network, temping agencies, or even interns, if you have simple tasks to perform.
Focus on Your Own Marketing
As a social media marketing agency, it can be surprisingly easy to neglect your own marketing! But this is an essential part of your business. Not only can your marketing efforts increase brand awareness and help you find new leads and eventually new clients, but it’s also an important part of building your agency’s digital presence.
Any digital marketing agency should have a fantastic website and social media presence. After all, they need to be able to “practice what they preach” and display their skills. If you can’t create a great social presence for yourself, what hope do you have for other brands? Here’s how it’s done.
Social Media Marketing
It’s pretty obvious that any social media marketing agency needs to have a fabulous social media presence. You don’t necessarily need to have 10,000 followers the moment you launch, but, at a minimum, your social networks should look professional and should demonstrate that you’re testing the latest social media trends and platform features.
And why not? Your own social media account is a great place to test new social media features and trends and see whether they have an impact on engagement with your specific target audience. To make this process as easy as possible, simply create batches of content each month and schedule it all in advance.
By focusing on the optimization of content and testing new things you can beat the algorithm and glean new insights for your client base. But not only that – social media can be a great outreach channel. You can use it to find clients you may not have found elsewhere.
Depending on your specific niche – whether it’s SAAS, education, health, or any other niche – you still have hundreds, thousands, or even millions of potential clients out there. Social media is just another way to reach new clients.
Build Case Studies & Testimonials
It’s very difficult for clients to decide which agency to trust with their digital marketing services. Let’s face it; they’re entrusting an agency to bolster their digital presence and, ultimately, help them boost sales and make money. So, they’re not going to make that decision lightly.
Therefore, the easier you can make that decision, the better. If you have plenty of case studies, testimonials, and a strong proposal, potential clients will be more likely to trust you.
A testimonial is usually just a quote from a client, testifying as to your proficiency as an agency. Testimonials all vary in different ways, but are usually under 250 words. They should make mention of your ability to deliver on client objectives as well as your working style and any major achievements you have helped them to reach.
The best testimonials typically include a client photo, name, and the client’s role within their organization. The more information you can provide, the more legitimate the testimonial appears.
Case studies are a little different. They are typically longer – up to 1,000 words. They include an in-depth explanation of a client’s objectives or goals and how you helped them achieve them. They also often include images of the campaign and specific campaign results. Case studies can be used on your website, in your proposals, and in any other marketing collateral as needed.
When you’re asking your clients to provide testimonials and information for case studies, be sure to get their written permission to use any comments, images, or information in marketing materials. Reach out to your client base after successful marketing campaigns and start building your case studies today!
Guest blogging not only establishes you as an authority in your industry, but it can also help build high-quality backlinks to your website. In turn, this can improve your site’s SEO and help you direct traffic to your site.
Establish a list of high-quality sites and reach out to the site author or content team. Don’t try to blog about topics you’re not confident with – it’s best to write guest blogs on topics you’re very familiar with, but write on a trending subject or offer a different perspective so you can bring something new to the conversation.
Ready to Start Scaling Up Your Social Media Agency?
Is it time to kick things into gear and scale up your social agency? If you’re serious about growing your agency and getting more from your marketing efforts, you need to ensure you’re all prepared with the right tools, processes, and people.
As your client needs grow, you’ll need to find ways to increase efficiency within your agency. This means reducing the time spent doing administrative work. Not only that, but to keep your staff happy and reduce burnout, you don’t want your employees doing boring tasks like scheduling and reporting! By automating some of these tasks you can boost efficiency, maximize bottom line profits, and keep your staff happy!
Now that you know how to get started, why not take your social media marketing agency to the next level? Get started by signing up for Sked’s 7-day trial. Our all-in-one social media scheduler allows you to automatically post images, carousels, Instagram Stories, videos, and more. But it doesn’t just work with Instagram. It also works with LinkedIn, Twitter, your Facebook page, and plenty of other social networks! Our smart scheduler enables you to save hours every week and turn your social media marketing strategy from ad-hoc to amazing.
But not only that – Sked Social also has powerful advanced reporting functionality which can help you prove the effectiveness of your social media marketing strategies, which can, in turn, help you command a higher rate for your work. This will help you grow faster and build your agency into the money-making machine you’ve always wanted it to be!