How To Start a Social Media Marketing Agency – 2021 Guide
Starting a new business can be exciting and scary at the same time – it’s the same for building a new marketing agency. You will need all the help you can get, which is why we will show you how to start a social media marketing agency.
With our guidance, you will create a new company with a strong foundation and sturdy frame.
We will discuss the various things you need to know when setting up your agency. From establishing your niches to acquiring clients and monitoring progress, we’ll show you the way.
Before we start our journey to knowledge, let’s quickly summarise what social media marketing agencies are actually about.
What Does A Social Media Marketing Agency Do?
There are many facets to an SM marketing agency but we’ll be brief in discussing this so you can get to why you’re here.
Basically, such an agency creates, organises and publishes content on many channels to promote a brand or company.
The content is aimed at increasing brand awareness, reputation and sales. There are many ways to go about doing this.
All those ways are what a media marketing agency keeps itself busy with every day.
Some of the ways include, but are not limited to:
- Account Management
- Social Media Accounts Growth
- Customer Service
These are the core services that a good social media marketing agency is supposed to offer clients.
Without wasting any more time, let’s get right into it.
Starting A Social Media Marketing Agency
Identify Your Niche
The very first thing you should be doing is getting a clear image of your niche or niches. That will determine the first layer of your strategy.
Of course, you need to know exactly what a niche is if you want to do that. A niche is the focus of your marketing agency.
Knowing what that is will help you have a better idea of what your future goals and key performance indicators.
We suggest that you don’t try and focus on more than one niche. Although it may sound like fun to take on multiple niches, it will make for too much work. Also, focusing on just one niche will help you create more high-quality content.
However, if you are knowledgeable in more than one niche and think you can handle it, go for it! More power to you.
There are three different types of niches that you should be focusing on. Those are industry niches, scopes and platform niches.
Let’s take a quick look at what these niches entail.
These are the industries that you will be working with. Even when they’re on the same platform, different industries call for different campaign approaches.
A doggie parlour wouldn’t use the same Facebook Ads as an events catering company, for example.
When creating your media marketing agency, you should focus on niches which aren’t too technical.
At least at first. Don’t take on fields that you’re not experienced with.
Getting familiar with the ways of an industry takes time – time that would be better spent on your agency.
Instead, it is better to work with the knowledge you already have and make the most of your skills.
The last thing you want when you start your social media agency is to be overwhelmed with too many clients. While the goal to have many clients is universal, you need to be ready to handle them.
That is why your scope is so important.
With your scope, you will determine what you offer to your new clients. You have to define this early and clearly.
By doing so, you protect your agency from being hired for tasks that you are not quite ready for yet.
As an example, you can start your agency and deal only with scheduling and uploading new social media posts. Or you can focus solely on social media advertising
Once you are comfortable, you can widen the services you offer to your clients. Don’t have a super broad scope at the start no matter how interesting the prospect seems.
Gain experience in some services and then work your way up. Your new agency and your clients will thank you for your patience.
We highly recommend that you have a few specific social media platforms that you are focusing on when you’re still building up a small business.
Perhaps you can be focused on Twitter and Instagram to start with. Then, when you’ve built a nice following, you can get started on the other platforms.
It is a good idea to understand the ins and outs of a social media platform and mastering them before trying the next one.
Every platform has its own audience, content types, posting rules and reach. That is why you have to know what you’re doing on each of them.
Don’t worry that this approach will limit your services. As you gain experience, you will be able to offer more to your clients. It just takes some time and patience.
How To Start A Social Media Marketing Agency: Make A Name On Social Media
It is a known fact that even a small business can get big clients if they can show their experience and work.
It can be difficult to show off your skills if you haven’t had any clients yet. But that’s where an online presence comes in.
If you are prominent on social media, it will show prospective clients that you know exactly what you are doing.
But there is a ‘but’…
Your accounts have to be focused and you can’t simply have a presence just anywhere. Keep in mind the industry your in and what you hope to achieve.
It won’t benefit a fishing gear company to be active on TikTok where teens hang out. (However, with the right approach anything is possible!)
Establish yourself as an influencer with knowledge and the new customers will coming lining up. They have seen you can handle their target audience.
Create your Business Plan
Now that you have a better idea of how to approach building a marketing agency, you can start planning it in full force.
Coming up with a proper plan for your small business (that will be a giant one day!) depends on your niche and industry.
But we’ll share some basic steps with you on how you can do that.
You need to make it clear what kind of social media agency you are building. Will it be a partnership or a sole proprietorship? Or do you want it to be an LLC (limited liability company)?
Normally, anyone building a new business will opt for the sole proprietorship as they’re probably starting out alone.
If you’ve got someone who wants to build with you, you’ll obviously choose to have a partnership.
And if you want to scale up quickly, your business will benefit more from taking the LLC approach.
Every structure has its own drawbacks and pros so consider each of them carefully.
This may seem like a natural step in setting up your social media agency but is very important and can take a while.
You’ll want the perfect name that reflects your services as well as your goals and ambitions. A lot of weight is put on the name of a business.
The name of your business must be unique, relevant and easy to say. Take your time with this step. Don’t settle for a name that doesn’t stand out to you. It is unlikely that you will be changing your marketing agency’s name later, so it has to be good.
Look at your competition – what kind of names do they have? Are they fun and silly or more serious? You don’t want to copy what others did but learn from their success.
You have to set up a website for your business. There is no point in being a company in this day and age and not having an official site.
Your name is very important here as your site will have to carry that name. Do yourself a favour and search the name you want to choose and make sure it’s not taken yet.
It is highly recommended that you choose a .com domain for your business. Don’t use .net or .org as people might type .com and not find your site.
The Legal Side
As with any new company, you need to go over all the legal aspects tied to it. There is a lot of admin that needs to be done.
You will have to complete registrations, get documents ready for taxes and any other legalities.
It is very important that you do things right so you don’t get into trouble later on. You should have a separate bank account for your business as well.
A separate bank account keeps your finances ordered more effectively and increases your purchasing power. People trust official bank accounts more too.
There are many more benefits such as tax breaks and subsidies. Your personal assets are safe if something should go wrong.
How To Start A Social Media Marketing Agency: The Right Tools
To kick off a social media management company the right way, you need the right tools. There are two types of tools that any social media marketing model needs to have – An image/infographic maker and a scheduling tool.
Let’s briefly look at what these tools are.
The right visuals are essential for social media management companies so using proper tools to create them is very important.
To make your media marketing less stressful, there are a handful of tools that will help you create fantastic visuals. Most of them don’t even require any graphic design knowledge.
Consider looking at tools such as Venngage, Piktochart or Snappa. These tools all have their own unique features, pros and cons. Take a look at each of them, compare their abilities and decide which one suits your needs best.
It is likely, however, that you will end up using a combination of more than one image creation tool. That’s absolutely fine – whatever works for you.
Your social media agency will be something that will keep you very busy. Managing social media accounts is difficult – for more on this take a look at our discussion on social media promotion ideas.
Business owners have to juggle many tasks to keep things running smoothly. Marketing companies are incredibly busy.
That is why you’re going to benefit by using a really good social media scheduling tool. One such tool is SocialPlanner.
It will help you out by offering a convenient drag-and-drop calendar. With this, you’ll get to schedule posts ahead.
That’s not all that you’ll get from SocialPlanner though. It will find trending content and allow you to share it on multiple platforms.
Remember, these tools are only a few of what you’ll need as an agency specialising in media marketing. As your agency grows, you’re going to need much more.
Running a marketing agency for social media is about more than being active on social media, as you have probably realised by now.
It can be rather expensive to run a good and impressive social media agency. You will need a social media consultant or two (or ten!) as well as lots of time to spend growing the perfect business model.
Here are a few of the costs you will have to cover over time:
- Business overheads
- Setup costs
With that said, you don’t want to be expensive when asking your clients to pay for your services. You have to make sure that you are affordable while also being able to stay afloat.
One option is to give your potential clients free trials. That way, they get to see what you can do and won’t have to pay at first.
In the digital marketing world, free trials are nothing new and actually serve as an introduction for clients and new companies.
Once you’ve shown your clients that you can handle their projects, they won’t mind paying your asking price. Business owners know this kind of practice is common and effective.
Something else you can consider is price models. There are hourly pricing and packages.
With packages, you can clearly state what you can and can’t do as well as how much it will cost.
These can be expensive and many clients don’t like to commit to paying a large sum of money upfront.
The alternative – hourly billing – allows clients to use your services and only pay for work that you have done for them.
For your business, it means that if you’ve been given a difficult project, you will get paid for all the hours you spent on it.
Just make sure that you use a reliable tool to keep track of your work such as Time Doctor.
Start Hiring Your Team
Business owners know that it is possible to run things by yourself, but it sure isn’t recommended.
Running an agency on your own will be stressful so we suggest you hire a team to help you out.
You will be busy with reports, finances, campaigns, proposals and more. You’ll need a few capable helping hands.
You don’t have to start with a team of seasoned professionals at first. Keep it simple and get a marketer, a virtual assistant and an accountant.
These guys will make a huge difference in your workload. The assistant can take on your administrative tasks such as drafting proposals.
The marketer can zoom in on marketing trends, email marketing and SEO, for example.
And your accountant can help keep your books balanced.
Once your business starts growing, you can start hiring more team members. Eventually, once the company has grown notably, you can sit back and relax after delegating all the company-running tasks.
The next natural step for your business is to start getting actual customers. This will likely be the hardest part of setting up your company.
Clients are not going to just magically come to you. You will have to reach out.
There are a few ways you can do this. Let’s look at them.
Spend Time At An Agency
If you work at a media agency for a while before starting your own business, you will be much wiser.
You will increase your credibility with new clients by showing them that you’re not a complete noob (newbie).
The experience you gain there will also go a long way towards building your business most effectively.
By spending time in the industry, you will know much more about how it works. You will be aware of the dos and don’ts. Your understanding of the industry will be greatly beneficial.
In addition, you will get a look at the kind of marketing efforts you will have to make. You will know the standards that are expected and how to meet them.
Another benefit is that you will establish your name and build a strong network. Often, it is not about what you know, but who you know.
Working at an agency will give you an opportunity to connect with current influencers as well as future clients.
Contact Existing Connections
Chances are that you have already built up some connections as you prepared for the creation of your business.
Use those connections.
Don’t be shy to reach out to all the people you know who may benefit from using your services.
Another option you have is to use online platforms to source potential clients. You can search on sites such as LinkedIn to find professionals who need your kind of service.
There are freelancer sites that could be useful as well. Perhaps you can even run some Facebook Ads to reach your future clients.
Keep An Eye On Your Progress
Your new company is growing and your hard work and dedication are paying off. That’s great but now it’s time to keep making sure everything runs smoothly as it should.
You can’t afford to get lazy or complacent. Your work isn’t done just yet – far from it if you want the business to succeed.
Clients have to see that it was a good idea to hire you so you get good reviews. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool.
In fact, word of mouth is one of the most desired marketing strategies out there. That’s no surprise as over 90% of people trust recommendations from people that they know.
One of the best ways to grow your client base is by showing everyone, future and current clients, that you are capable.
The only real way to do that is to deliver consistently and show results. You have to track your progress to be able to do that.
Maintain your productivity and use a great team and you’re halfway there.
If you can maintain productivity in your agency, you’ll have no trouble reaching your goals and growing.
How To Win New Clients Like A Pro
Okay, you have an idea of the clients that you want to approach and where you’ll find them. You know how to start a social media marketing agency.
Now you must have a strong proposition that will make prospective clients actual clients.
You have to make them an offer they cannot refuse.
That is where a value proposition comes into play.
This is what makes you stand out and win those big clients that no one thought you’d be able to. It’s more than a tagline or a slogan, it shows clients the problems that you can solve for them. It shows why you’re perfect for the job.
A good value proposition has three important things: differentiation, relevancy and quantified value.
The differentiation is when you’ve come up with something that sets you apart from other businesses. This can be difficult but isn’t impossible.
Relevancy explains how your services are just what the client needs and quantified value delivers specific benefits.
Show Them What You’ve Got
Start by inviting your prospects to call you so you can discuss business. If you’re using social media platforms to reach out, you have to be warm and convincing to get that call. Social media engagement is very important for this purpose.
Once you have explained during the call what makes your company special, organise a meeting.
Show them your work and how you will go about giving them your best. Have a collection of all the info on your website in a compact presentation.
Make sure you ask all the right questions and be upfront and honest about what you are able to do.
Your proposal has to clearly inform your prospective client of who will be doing the work and how you will deliver your services.
Obviously, you will have all your services outlined and explained in detail. We recommend that you have examples of your work as well. Testimonials are always a good idea too.
Show the client how using your services will benefit the prospect and what the fees are. Include timeframes and all expectations between all parties.
Your contract doesn’t need to be a complicated book of papers with complex jargon. If the contract is written in plain words that are easy to understand, everyone will be happier.
Plus, the client is more likely to sign if they don’t have to ask a lawyer to read the contract first.
There you have it – advice on how to start a social media marketing agency. It is definitely not something that will take place overnight but will be worth all your dedication and time.
Social media marketing can be very rewarding.
Well, we’ve given you a nudge in the right direction, the rest is up to you. Go and get started!
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t be able to build a highly successful marketing agency overnight either. It will take dedication, perseverance and determination.
But you will eventually get there and you’ll be able to celebrate your victory because you didn’t lose hope. Good luck!