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Start your own agency from scratch.
Starting a social media marketing agency – or any agency, for that matter – is no easy feat. Sure, it sounds like a wonderful idea, especially if you’re an entrepreneur or a thriving freelancer just waiting to sink your teeth into new clients and better projects.
Starting a social media marketing agency, like any business, can be a way to build a long-lasting legacy. Yet it also requires a lot of hard work, long hours, and a huge amount of determination, especially when you add the “always-on” aspect of social media management.
That said, those who do succeed in creating a social media marketing agency can find it endlessly lucrative, rewarding, and can ultimately turn it into a business that will stand the test of time. All you need to do is set up your agency with the right marketing tools, processes, and people, and you’ll be well on your way to success! Keep reading to find out exactly how to start a social media marketing agency and how to score your first clients – the easy way.
So why start a social media marketing agency at all? And what makes it better than any number of businesses you could start instead? Well, while everyone has their own “why”, let’s start with the basics. Starting a social media agency is:
And if these reasons aren’t enough, don’t forget that running a small business also means you can do everything on your terms. You’ll have no limits on your earning potential, you can (basically) choose your own hours, and you get to work with whoever you want, whenever you want.
If you need to scale up or scale back, you can. If you’re independent, want unlimited earning potential, have a previous background in marketing or just prefer to walk to the beat of your own drum, then starting a social media agency might just be for you.
The best part about starting a social media marketing agency is that you don’t need to be an expert right away. Sure, having some experience in content marketing or working at a digital marketing agency can help, but there are plenty of courses and resources that can help you build your skills and knowledge quickly.
If you can hire the right people, carve out a niche for your social media agency and present it well, you should be able to develop a strong reputation for your business within the industry, even if you only have limited marketing experience.
Keep reading to find out how to do all that – and more!
Your first step when it comes to creating a social media marketing agency is to consider how you’ll differentiate yourself from all the other agencies out there. For instance, perhaps you’ll only work with eCommerce businesses, businesses in the health and lifestyle space, or B2B businesses? Perhaps you’ll specialize in social media accounts from a specific city only? Or, you might specialize in content marketing, consulting, Facebook ads, or offer certain add-on services like graphic design or influencer marketing.
Every digital marketing agency has its own unique niche which helps them cater to companies with different needs, and, ultimately sell their services. So, how do you come up with yours? Well, start by asking yourself the below questions:
These factors will determine how you can structure your business and its unique offering. They will help shape your unique selling proposition (USP) and help you start selling.
If you want more experience in a certain area, now is the time to learn! For instance, perhaps you can see opportunities in a specific area of social media but you’re not trained in that area. You might even want to specialize in a new and growing social media platform, like TikTok. Just hop online – there are plenty of social media marketing courses you can do to upskill, and fast!
Having a solid business plan and a comprehensive marketing strategy from the get-go will be integral to your ongoing success. When you’ve enlisted a few clients and you’re already working on client accounts it can be easy to neglect your own business and its marketing goals, but this will be crucial for long-term success.
It will also help you develop a cohesive and succinct website that shows potential clients exactly what your business stands for and how you can help them.
You’ll need to think about:
Outline your marketing services based on your USP and your strengths, and decide on a pricing structure. You might decide to have different packages or you might choose to create custom packages depending on what your clients want.
To create your service offering and define your target audience and goals, you’ll need to do your research. After all, you can’t just pull numbers out of thin air! Complete a competitive analysis with all your key competitors.
Depending on your USP and your goals, those competitors might, for example, be small agencies in your area who are offering similar services to what you’ll be offering. Analyze the below:
Some of the services that social media marketing agencies typically offer are the below:
For instance, social media and digital marketing agency, The Creative Collective, offers a range of social media services all listed on their website.
The agency also lists a range of package and pricing options according to the needs of different clients. Whether or not you choose to have pricing options listed on your website is up to you. As your business evolves, you may even want to try different packages and see what works best for you.
You don’t necessarily need to offer all the social media services you can think of. In fact, sometimes it’s better to hone in on just a few services and do them well rather than trying to be a “jack of all trades” and do everything.
All of this information will help you build an overarching business and marketing strategy for your social media agency.
The great part about having a social media marketing agency as opposed to just working as, say, a contract freelancer, is that you can hire other people to work alongside you. Whether they’re working part-time or full time, remotely or in-office, having a team (even if it’s just one other person!) can help make your life easier.
Having a variety of team members with different skills also means that you’ll have people to bounce ideas off. Each team member will have slightly different skill sets than yours. This can only give you greater opportunities when it comes time to pitch for new client work. Not to mention, it helps to have someone to take the wheel when you want to take some time off!
The support of a marketing team can give you greater flexibility and help you become more efficient. Yet choosing the right team members is critical. Staff who make mistakes, don’t have the right skills, or are inefficient can be detrimental to your agency.
These tips can help you in the hiring process:
All this will ensure that your marketing team sticks with you for as long as possible. This is ideal because a close team will work together better. You won’t have to spend time training new staff and your company’s morale will stay high.
No matter whether your agency has two people or two hundred people, social media management processes and marketing tools are the keys to long-term success when it comes to running a social media agency! This is especially true if you’re operating a semi-remote or fully remote team.
Sure, processes and marketing tools come at a cost for your agency. But so does inefficiency. In fact, even just a few hours saved per week from just one staff member can represent substantial savings for your business. You need to decide whether saving hours consistently is a greater cost than investing in a marketing tool. Of course, it will depend on the cost of the tool and the number of hours saved, but, for most social media tools, it’s usually well worth the cost!
Not only that, but if a marketing tool can make your team members’ lives easier and means they won’t be bogged down doing boring admin tasks one day a week, isn’t it better to invest?
When you’re considering all the different marketing strategies you could use to attract new clients, don’t forget about your social media marketing for your own business! As a social media marketing agency, you need to practice what you preach, and having a stellar social presence is a big part of that.
To attract clients, think about the following, to begin with:
After a while, you’ll get more and more referrals, build your online presence and refine your marketing strategies so they suit your specific needs.
Once you have built up a network of a few clients and you’ve got consistent work coming through your social media marketing agency, you need to keep it coming! But this will only happen if you do a great job with your current clients.
Assess your pace of growth and ensure you have enough team members to service your existing clients. Remember, this is where your testimonials will come from, so it’s important that they have a great experience with you. Make sure you can grow quickly yet sustainably.
As a social media marketing agency, efficiency is key. Yet how can you improve continuously, maximize efficiency, and still have time to onboard new clients? Here’s how:
The example below highlights how digital marketing agency Saffron & Co has taken a client testimonial and used it to strengthen their online presence via social media.
If you’re just starting your social media marketing agency it might take some time to reach out to potential customers, build testimonials and eventually grow your client base. But you’ve got to start somewhere, right?
Are you ready to start your own social media marketing agency? If so, you need to equip yourself with smart processes, a strong marketing team, and clever marketing tools from the very beginning.
You might not feel like you need to try new marketing tools but you’ll quickly find that, as your client needs grow and you onboard new clients you’ll need to work more and more efficiently. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working with start-ups, local businesses, or enormous corporations, you should never miss scheduling social media posts for any client!
Now that you know how to get started, why not shape your social media marketing agency into an efficient time-saving machine? 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 media platforms!
Tag locations, users, and products, and manage all your hashtags in one place to save hours every week and turn your social media marketing strategy from ad-hoc to amazing.
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