There’s never been a better time to start a social media marketing agency. With so many businesses using social media to reach their customers, there’s a lot of demand for skilled social media marketers.
But starting your own social media marketing agency can be challenging. There are a lot of things to consider, from setting up your business structure to creating an effective marketing strategy.
This blog post will outline everything you need to know in order to get your agency up and running. We’ll cover everything from choosing the right business structure to hiring your first employees. So whether you’re just getting started or you’re ready to take the next step, read on for our tips on how to start a successful social media marketing agency.
How to start a social media marketing agency?
Step 1: Identifying Your Niches
One reason why your business might succeed is if you choose a crowded niche. If there are already lots of social media marketers out there, the chance that one of them will leave the market is slim. And once someone leaves their position, you’ll have ample opportunity to take their place.
So how do you identify a busy market?
- Look at which areas are growing fast. For example, more businesses are hiring digital marketing agencies in order to help with their social media campaigns. And according to MediaBistro’s 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 63% of businesses were planning on increasing their investment in social media tools and services that year.
- Research which demographics have the highest buying. For example, Statista reports that the US social media marketing agency industry is expected to grow by 7.5%, driven by small businesses that are expanding their online presence. And according to Social Media Examiner, 90% of marketers collaborate with another company when creating a social media ad campaign.
- Think about which niches have the most demand for social media services. For example, you might start an SEO agency if your clients are asking for more web traffic or an app development company if they need help building apps for mobile devices.
Now that you know how to identify markets with high demand and room for growth, here are some tips on how to choose ones that will be successful for your business.
How to find successful niches for your social media marketing agency?
- Choose markets with high demand. This will help make sure your agency is financially successful, especially when it’s new.
- Know which niches are growing fast. For example, social media marketing is expected to grow by 36% in the coming years, making it a good choice for your business.
- Research demographics that have the highest buying power. If you want to start an agency focused on small businesses, they’re more likely to be able to afford your services than large corporations.
- Think about which niches have the most demand for social media services. You might focus on building apps if there’s high consumer interest in mobile technology.
- Finally, once you’ve identified some promising marketplaces, look at how big each one is and whether your potential clients are already spending money there.
Step 2: Selecting The Services You Can Offer
One of the biggest challenges in starting a social media marketing agency is determining which services you can offer.
Since your company will be new, it’s important to start small.
Make sure you’re able to provide good customer service and excellent results before expanding your offerings.
So how do you figure out what services you should offer?
- Choose services that are in high demand. For example, according to Demand Metric, 73% of digital marketers say that improving content creation for email marketing is their number one goal right now.
- Know which sections of the market have the highest growth potential. For example, according to Statista, mobile app market revenue is expected to reach $693 billion making mobile app development another great choice for your agency.
- Offer services that will benefit your customers in the next few years. For example, according to Digital Trends, augmented reality is expected to become a more than $90 billion industry in the coming few years.
- Take note of your team’s specializations and develop services around those. For example, if you have a content developer who specializes in SEO, create a service that would benefit both you and your client.
- Finally, once you’ve selected some promising services that you can provide, look at how big each one is and whether there’s enough room for newcomers in the marketplace.
Step 3: Undertaking competitor analysis
Starting a social media marketing agency means that you’re competing with other companies in your area. You’ll need to know how much of the market they hold so you can decide whether there’s room for another company providing similar services.
Start with a competitor analysis so you know how much demand there is and who your competitors are in each area.
Here’s how to do one:
- Determine the size of the market for social media marketing services in your area.
- Find out which companies offer similar products and services.
- Research their customer base and discover what they offer and how much it costs so you can decide whether there’s room in the market for another agency.
- Finally, once you’ve done this research, look at how much your competitors charge for their services. If you can offer something comparable or better for less money, you’ll be able to get clients.
Step 4: Establishing Yourself On Social Media
Once you’ve chosen a strategy and created a plan, it’s time to get visible on social media and establish your presence in the market.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Choose three platforms where your potential customers are most likely to spend their time. For example, if your target demographic is young people that like attending sporting events, investing more on Instagram might be a better bet than Facebook.
- Create profiles for your agency on these platforms and start posting content related to the services you offer.
- Begin reaching out to influencers in your niche so they can help increase your visibility online. For example, if your agency is focused on digital marketing for businesses that deal with personal injury, reaching out to local lawyers will help you connect with potential customers.
- Be responsive and friendly when people contact you or like your posts so they can see that your agency is willing to go the extra mile for clients.
- Remember, even though it might feel like a lot of work at first, social media marketing takes time before it starts to produce results. You’ll need to stick with it if you want to experience growth.
Step 5: Creating A Business Plan and Structure
Now that you’ve created your social media presence, it’s time to think about how your agency will be structured.
Here are some things to consider:
- Decide whether you want to run your business alone or bring on other people later down the line.
- Figure out what kind of licensing and insurance you’ll need before opening your doors.
- Choose a name for your agency and look at any trademark issues related to it.
- Figure out your target market – are you looking to work with businesses or consumers? You’ll also need to decide whether you want to focus on local, national, or international clients.
- Create an official business plan so you have concrete goals to achieve.
- Before you start marketing your services, think about the future – what are your plans for where you want your agency to go? What kind of clients do you want to work with and how will it benefit you? Having this vision will help you decide how to market your agency and what type of clients to pursue.
Step 6: Creating your MVP website
Now it’s finally time to build your website!
Use a platform like WordPress or Wix to create a basic page. If you want something more professional, hiring a web design agency can help you put together a sleek, modern site for clients to see – but if you don’t have the money to hire someone, don’t worry! Just use whatever platform you’re comfortable with.
Here are some potential pages your MVP website should have:
- About me page
This should include a short bio of yourself and what services the agency will be offering. People want to know who they’re working with so it’s important that they can find out as much about you as possible.
- Contact page
This should include all of your contact information including your email address or phone number. You can also include a form that people can fill out to request more information, an appointment, etc.
- Client testimonials
If you’ve worked with clients in the past, consider including a page where they can leave reviews of their experience. This will help convince future clients that you’re the right agency for them and that they can trust you to provide quality services they’ll love.
- Contact information
How people can get in touch with you including through email or your social media profiles.
An explanation of why people should choose you as their agency and how you’ll benefit them.
A short bio of yourself. This should be short and sweet – try using an about me page instead.
- Links to social media
Give people as many ways as possible to contact or follow your agency so they don’t have any excuses not to! Depending on the type of agency you’re running, consider including links to your social media profiles, website, apps, etc. This is also where you should include the link to your main website if it’s not on the homepage.
Step 7: Creating Portfolio
Now that you have your main website set up, start gathering potential clients by creating a few portfolio examples. This is where people can see what kind of work you do and how they could benefit from hiring an agency like yours!
Here’s some information about the types of things you should consider including:
- Services offered
Include examples of services you would provide a customer. Include links to the pages where they can purchase these services and explore them in more detail if necessary.
- Projects you’ve worked on previously
People want to know that you’re capable of providing them with the services they need. Show off your best work by including links to some of the projects you’ve worked on previously!
- Clients you’ve worked with
If you have any clients willing to give referrals, consider adding their information so people can see what kind of work you’ve done for them. This will help convince people that you can do the same great work for their company!
Step 8: Determining Your Pricing Models
It’s important to determine what kind of pricing models you’re going to use so you can set your rates and let people know how much they’ll be paying. Here are some potential strategies you can use to let people know how much they’ll be paying:
- Hourly rates
This is one of the more common pricing strategies that agencies will use. Let people know your hourly rate and how many hours it will take them to complete their project or service. For example, you might say “My hourly rate is $75/hour and this will take 8 hours to complete.”
- Flat rates
Let people know that you’re more interested in the quality of their project than how many hours it takes. This can be effective for people who feel like their projects are unpredictable or difficult to determine until after they’ve started working on it. To implement this strategy, let people know that you’re willing to provide flat rates, but they should contact you before agreeing on it. For example, “I’m happy to provide flat-rate pricing for your project. If you’d like, please send me a message first so we can discuss the details together.”
- Project-based fee
Some agencies set different prices for every project they work on. This is likely the most complicated pricing model to implement but it does allow people to choose projects based on their budget. Let them know what prices each service would be and how long you expect each project will take. For example, “My typical fee for logo designs starts at $500 and takes around 1 week.”
Step 9: Acquiring Clients
With everything set up, it’s time to bring in some customers! Here are some tips for acquiring your first few clients:
1. Social media posts
Start promoting yourself and your services on social media by posting regularly and sharing examples of projects you’ve worked on. This is a great way to show off the quality of work you’re capable of providing.
2. Networking events
If you’re able to attend networking events, this is a great way to meet potential clients that might need the services your company provides. Let people know what you do during conversation and ask if they’d be interested in learning more!
3. Cold calling/emails
Not everyone will be able to find you through networking events or social media posts. If you have a list of potential clients, reach out to them via email or phone call and let them know what your company does!
4. Press releases
Press releases are still relevant in the age of social media and are a great way to get the word out about what your company is doing. Approach popular online news outlets, like Huffington Post or BuzzFeed if you have an interesting angle on a story they’ve covered recently.
5. Link in website/blog posts
If people are researching topics related to your industry online, why not place links to your site within those posts? You can do this via email, on your social media accounts, or directly on your website.
6. Pay for ads
This is not an option for everyone, but if you have some money to spare, definitely consider running pay-per-click campaigns on Google Adwords. Not only do these ads show up at the top of the search results, they will also show up when someone searches for your type of service.
Once someone has visited your website, you can use that person’s information to run ads on social media platforms. These ads will only be shown to people who have already come in contact with your brand, so they are much more likely to convert!
8. Word of mouth/influencers
Let the people know what you do in your personal life, and ask them to pass it along. Chances are they know a lot of people in their own networks that could benefit from your services.
Start engaging with communities on Reddit, Facebook groups, or message boards related to what you do. There is a huge potential for incoming customers here!
10. Email lists/newsletter
Growing an email list with interested parties is one of the most effective ways to market yourself going forward. Your current clients can help you build up this list, so try asking them if they’d be willing to receive updates about what you’re doing! Once a customer signs up, put them into a newsletter so they don’t miss out on any important information about your company.
Everyone loves free stuff, so why not try offering a prize to the person who gets the most referrals? You can also create contests where people have to submit their own content in order to win something. This is a great way to build your social media following and email list at the same time!
Step 10: Hiring People
If your business starts growing, you’ll probably need to start hiring people! Start by creating a process for hiring so you can select the best applicants and make sure everyone that joins understands how they were brought on. For example, you might create an application with some questions about the applicants’ experience and attach it to your company email so you can easily forward it to HR.
Here are some things to consider when bringing new employees on board
1. Interviewing process
While setting up an efficient hiring process is great, make sure you take time before actually bringing people on board to do a thorough interview. Be sure to ask tough questions and follow up when appropriate.
The best way to bring new employees on board is by orienting them. This ensures that everyone has the same training, understands company policies, and knows how to operate in their role. Be sure to follow up after orientation so you can be sure everything was clearly understood.
Providing benefits can help you find and keep the best employees. Make sure everyone is aware of their benefits, then be sure to follow up on any questions or concerns they have. You want your employees to feel valued so being available for them is key to keeping them around.
4. Growth opportunities
Growth opportunities are a great way to keep employees on board. Let them know the path to advancement so they can plan accordingly. Make sure all employees understand that keeping customers is the priority, then let them know their contributions are valued.
The best way to bring new employees onboard is to train them in everything they need to know about your business and their role. Be sure to allocate time for this task as it will help you retain employees, but make sure everyone understands the importance of customer service before starting their job.
6. Company culture
Creating a positive work environment is a huge part of bringing employees on board. Be sure to start this early so new workers can integrate well with their team. You should have a friendly, supportive, and encouraging atmosphere where everyone has the chance to contribute.
7. Communication style
Everyone learns differently so be sure to accommodate that as much as possible when bringing new employees on board. For example, some people prefer one-on-one instruction while others learn better from videos or other resources. Make sure you provide all those options and let your employees choose how they learn best.
8. Desired outcomes
Make sure everyone understands what’s expected of them before starting a job – not just in writing but also through examples and demonstrations.
By following these steps when bringing new employees on board, you’ll be able to successfully manage your most valuable resource!
Step 11: Improving your productivity
If you want your business to run as smoothly as possible, it’s important to make sure everyone has what they need.
Here are some ways you can do that:
- Tools and equipment
As your business grows, it might become necessary to invest in tools or equipment for employees to use. Make sure everyone knows where the tools and equipment are and how to use them, then be sure they’re always in good condition.
- Files and folders
Creating files with all the information that is relevant to your business will help everyone be more productive. Be sure everyone knows where important documents are kept.
- Office space
If you need an office space for your employees, make sure they know who to talk to for renting or building out space. Create a layout that makes sense and is easy to understand.
Step 12: Monitoring Your Progress
Monitoring your progress is one of the most important steps in running a business. You need to be able to identify problems and find ways to solve them before they cause too much damage and hurt your bottom line.
Here are some things you can do:
- Determine your key indicators
In order to monitor your progress, you need to know what you’ll be tracking. Determine the key things that will let you know if your company is headed in a positive or negative direction.
- Benchmark yourself
Once you’ve determined the key indicators, it’s important to compare them against where they were at when you started your business and where they were on previous months. This will help you determine your progress and make needed changes if it’s not where you want them to be.
Starting a business is not an easy task. But it’s one that can be extremely gratifying if done right. Following these 12 steps will help you start and grow your social media marketing agency to the best of your ability. Just remember to stay committed, invest in yourself and your staff, and be adaptable to change.
With this guide you should have a strong foundation for starting a social media marketing agency.