How to Start a Social Media Marketing Agency

So, you want to start a social media marketing agency?

Well, that’s a great idea. Social media marketing is on the rise and there is no better time than now to start your agency. Almost half the world’s half population uses social media and 89% of people buy from a brand after following a brand on social media. This makes social media marketing a must-have for businesses.

And starting a social media marketing agency to help businesses in doing social media marketing is a great business idea.

But how to get started? What is the first step towards starting a social media marketing agency?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start a social media marketing agency:

  1. Pick a niche
  2. Create your packages
  3. Create a website
  4. Build your team
  5. Acquire clients.

1. Niche Identification

You need to start with defining your niche. In other words, you have to identify the expertise of your agency. Define your unique selling proposition (USP).

If you want to stand out from the crowd, make sure you have identified the following for your agency:

  1. Choose a niche
  2. Define agency scope
  3. Define your expertise
  4. Create USP.

How to do it?

There are three ways to do it:

  1. You can target a few social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter only. Excel in a few selected social media marketing platforms and stand out from the crowd.
  2. Define scope by clearly mentioning what services you’ll offer (and what you don’t). For example, you can stick with social media management only or you can work on social media ads or you can work on social media content creation and posting. This also helps you create packages (discussed below).
  3. Target a few or maybe only one industry such as hospitals or ecommerce. This helps you gain expertise quickly in your target niche and this is best for growth and networking.

2. Package Creation

Once you have identified your niche, the next immediate step is to create packages for your social media marketing agency.

What you’ll offer and at what price?

There are several pricing models that you can choose from:

  • Hourly
  • Monthly retainer
  • Fixed fee
  • Performance-based
  • Commission-based

The monthly retainer is the most used pricing model that’s used by 59% of agencies:

social media marketing agency pricing models

Why is it popular?

Because you get to retain your client for a set number of months or payments. You’ll agree on a fixed monthly payment for the services you’ll offer.

Initially, it is best to try all the pricing models and create different packages for all of them. This has two benefits:

  • You’ll be able to serve a wide range of clients with different budgets
  • It will let you test different pricing models and see what works best for you.

Here is a detailed comparison of different pricing models with their pros and cons:

pricing models pros and cons for marketing agencies

This will give you a good idea of how each pricing model works. But what’s more important than pricing is your packages. How you bundle social media marketing services and offer them to your clients is the key.

Your services must justify your pricing.

3. Create a Website

Yes, this is essential.

Even if you don’t plan to use your website as a primary client acquisition channel, you still need to have one. It has several benefits including:

  • It will make your social media agency look professional and credible
  • Share your portfolio on your website
  • Generate leads and acquire clients.

So how to create a website? Here are the steps you need to follow to create a website for your social media marketing agency:

steps to creating a website
  1. Buy a domain name and hosting
  2. Install WordPress (It is a free and open-source CMS)
  3. Install a decent theme and basic plugins
  4. Publish content.

Read this detailed guide for details of each step.

4. Build Your Team

You can’t run a social media marketing agency alone. You’ll need a team (either full-time or part-time) along with a bunch of necessary tools.

Since you are starting, I’d recommend using freelancers and keeping full-time employees to a minimum. It will save you a lot of resources.

Here are the key people you need in your social media marketing team:

  • Social media marketing assistance and manager
  • Designer
  • Content writer and an editor
  • Photographer and videographer
  • Accountant.

These roles are just the basics and you can add more or less according to your agency’s packages. For example, if social media account setup is your core offer, you don’t need a content writer, content editor, photographer, and videographer.

However, if your core offer is content creation and scheduling, you’ll need content writers and an editor.

You’ll also need access to social media marketing tools that include:

  • Social media management and scheduling tool such as Buffer
  • Project management app like Trello
  • Communication and collaboration tools like Slack
  • Design tool such as Canva
  • Automation tools like Zapier.

5. Acquire Clients

Client acquisition is the most challenging part of your agency.

There isn’t any single best way to acquire clients, you must use a mix of multiple techniques that include:

customer acquisition channels

I’d recommend using social media to acquire clients. This works best because you can use your agency’s case study to get new clients. You can tell them how your agency uses social media to get new clients.

Nothing works better than this.

Besides, you must use social media marketing to acquire new clients. You can’t sell something that you aren’t ready to use yourself. If you don’t use social media for your agency, your clients might ask: Why are you not using social media when you are selling it?

You get the idea, right?

You are free to use any client acquisition channel but don’t ignore social media.

Start Today

Starting a social media marketing agency is easy, growing it is what’s difficult. Once you successfully start your agency, do two things: Acquire clients and retain them.

Acquiring clients is the hardest part so it is best to retain your clients. It costs 7x more to gain new clients than retaining existing ones. And a 5% increase in client retention increases profit by 25-95% mainly because your acquisition cost declines significantly.

Retain your clients. Period.

Featured Image: Pexels

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