How to Start Your Own Social Media Marketing Agency

Thinking about starting your own social media marketing agency but don’t know where to start? 

You’ve come to the right place. 

While social media marketing is certainly a lucrative industry to work in, the competition is also tight. It’s crucial to plan your business carefully and have the right strategy so you can win more clients and grow your business. 

In this guide, we will discuss all the necessary steps to starting a successful social media marketing agency, and let us begin right away. 

1. Choose a Specialty as a Social Media Marketing Agency

A social media marketing agency is actually a pretty broad term, and you can actually offer many different services to different types of clients. 

In general, you can choose to be either a specialist or generalist agency.

A specialist agency offers specialty services in one industry or sector. For example, you can choose only to offer services to fashion businesses or sports businesses. Or, you can choose to specialize in B2B operations. 

However, you can also be a generalist aiming to serve all kinds of clients. 

Both types have their own pros and cons, but if you are just starting out, it’s typically best to start out as a specialist and focus on specific types of clients first. This can help in hiring, so you can hire people that specialize in the services you’d like to provide. 

However, being a specialist might mean it’s going to be harder to attract your first few clients, so you’ll need to focus more on marketing your business. 

2. Developing a Pricing Strategy

How should you price your social media marketing service? There are many different factors that might affect the answer. You should generally consider who your target audience is, your skill/experience level, your unique value proposition (UVP), and your overhead costs when defining your price. 

Some overhead costs to consider: 

  • Labor costs
  • Taxes
  • Business licenses/permits
  • Office expenses
  • Software investments
  • Professional/legal services

A good approach is to perform a competitive analysis and check how much your competitors are charging their services. You can always opt to charge cheaper than them in order to attract more clients, but if you are confident about delivering more value, it’s okay to charge more. 

3. Establish Your Business

Establish your business as a legal entity. 

This is often the most frustrating part of starting a business but is necessary. 

You should: 

  • Register your business. If you are going to start the business on your own, you can establish a sole proprietorship. However, we’d recommend establishing your business as an LLC or corporation so you’ll be more protected in the event of legal disputes, debts, and other issues
  • Set up a business bank account(s) to keep a separate fund for your agency and to start receiving payments
  • Find a legal help to help you in the legal aspects of the business
  • Depending on your location, you might need to get specific licenses, certifications, and insurance policies before you can start the business. Check with your local trade associations for your local regulations. 

If necessary, you can get help from a business consultant or a lawyer to make sure your business is compliant with the legal requirements in your area. 

4. Branding and Marketing: Winning Your Clients

The toughest challenge of starting a social media marketing business is landing your first client, but there are effective ways you can try to establish your credibility and attract more clients: 

  • Have a professional website: build a credible, functional website that showcases your credibility and professionalism. Publish relevant, high-quality content on your social media, and add relevant client testimonials to your website. 
  • Social media presence: as a social media marketing agency, it would only make sense that you have at least a decent social media presence. You don’t need to have millions of followers, but make sure you are using social media best practices in all your profiles. Demonstrate that you know what you are doing in the social media space. 
  • Build relationships: build relationships with other brands and relevant influencers. Network at relevant events, and make guest appearances on other blogs, podcasts, webinars, and other opportunities. Actively engage brands and influencers you’d love to work with. 

5. Improving Your Productivity

The more productive and efficient your social media marketing agency is, the more clients you can work with, and the more revenue you’ll generate. 

A crucial aspect of growing your social media marketing agency is finding the right balance between executing existing clients’ projects and pitch your agency to new clients. As you can see, this can be very challenging in the long run. 

Here are a few tips on how: 

  • Create a workflow that works best for you. This is very important and might need trials and errors before you’ll get it right. 
  • Invest in the right technology. You’ll need, at the very least, social media analytics and management tools (like Buffer, Hootsuite), SEO tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs, Content analytics tools like Buzzsumo, and agency management software and tools like Function Point to maximize your productivity. You’ll also need a complete office suite (Microsoft 365 or Google Suite) and a digital asset management solution like Dropbox. 
  • Content planning. It’s crucial to plan your content in advance so you can batch and schedule your tasks to maximize efficiency. This also allows us to delegate the right tasks to the right people. 
  • Automation: implement automation whenever possible. Tools like Hootsuite, for example, allows us to schedule the posts to minimize manual labor. 
  • Outsource: If possible, outsource some of the more repetitive and redundant tasks to third-party vendors, provided it’s a cost-effective choice. 

Closing Thoughts

Starting a social media marketing agency is certainly not an easy task, but in the end, your hard work will be worth it once you’ll get a steady stream of clients. 

The key here is to really understand your client’s needs and problems and be a viable solution for them. Keep a mindset that you’ll grow by helping your clients grow in social media marketing results. 

How to Start Your Own Social Media Marketing Agency was last updated August 7th, 2021 by Emma Yulini