This article is the second part in a two-part series. The first article in the series is about how to start an agency in a more general sense — with insights that are applicable to any small business.
Once you’ve built a solid foundation for your social media agency in terms of branding, bookkeeping, and legal compliance, it’s time to think about your long-term growth strategy.
Specifically, how to start a social media marketing agency, you’ll want to start thinking about:
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Here’s how to start a social media marketing agency that can become a thriving business:
Step 1: Pick an all-in-one social media marketing tool
If you’re running a professional operation, you need the right tools operating at the backend of your business. If you want to truly provide value to clients, you need an all-in-one solution for social media scheduling, mentions monitoring, engagement, and analytics.
Another important function of your main social media management tool? Reporting. Your clients will want access to the numbers that demonstrate your ability to get results.
Social media marketing tool recommendation
Traject Social offers so many useful social media agency features conveniently accessible via one connected dashboard. Keep it simple when it comes to providing all of your social media management services so that you have more time to bring on and serve new clients.
Step 2: Create Repeatable Processes for Common Business Scenarios
If you’re wondering how to start a social media marketing agency that doesn’t just exist, but thrives, here’s the secret: documenting repeatable processes.
There are two big reasons for doing this:
- Reducing the cognitive load of executing regular tasks.
- Making it easy to delegate work to employees and independent contractors as your agency grows.
This documentation can take on many forms: written instructions, audio, video, or a mix of these things. Check out this Trello article about delegating complex tasks for more insight into setting up a system to store and share processes.
Then, create processes around the following tasks:
Process-oriented tool recommendations
HubSpot (freemium) for your CRM (customer relationship management tool). Using a CRM will help you keep track of prospects and clients and where you’re at in the sales process with each one. Specifically, a tool like Hubspot also offers useful functionality like email tracking.
Calendly (freemium) for meeting scheduling. There’s really nothing more inefficient than that annoying “What time works for you?” back and forth. Share your calendar availability with prospects and clients and set various meeting types (like a free consultation or client planning session) with a tool like Calendly.
Step 3: Proactively seek out collaborators
While you’re learning all of these important things about how to start a social media marketing agency, it’s just as important to understand this:
Other freelancers and even other agencies aren’t your competition. There really is enough work out there for everyone.
That said, it’s important to specialize. Carving out a niche will also make it easier for others to recommend you when they know people looking for help.
Agencies can make money off each other by white labelling outside vendors’ services and by managing the client relationship — while the other party can set their own pricing and reduce their work around business development. It’s a win-win scenario!
But where can you find these collaborators as a social media marketing agency? Start with Facebook groups like Social Media Managers and The Daily Carnage. Then, look for local freelancer/industry groups if you’re craving an in-person connection with potential collaborators.
Step 4: Always be learning
The only constant in social media marketing is change. If you want to provide the best possible social media management services for your clients, you need to set aside some time (and possibly money) to learn new skills and understand new social network features.
The easiest way to do this is by following social media experts. Read their books and blogs, and follow them on their social channels for timely advice.
As you learn new things, test your knowledge with various social media certification programs (like Facebook’s Ad Certification: Blueprint). If you successfully pass, these certifications can also help signal to clients that you know what you’re doing.
Final Thoughts: How to start a social media marketing agency with the right planning
Now that you’ve read our comprehensive two-part series about how to start a social media marketing agency, all that’s left is finding your clients! We’ll be sharing strategies to help you with that aspect of agency life in a future article.
What would you add to our guide about how to start a social media marketing agency? Share your thoughts by tweeting at @Traject_Social!