In the early 2010s, to start a social media marketing agency was a dream, and competition in the market was also low, so were the client expectations, but now, we will see a large number of social media agencies, infinite tools and platforms for learning, and high client expectations.
Social media started as a fun alternative to connect with family members, friends, and others, but now it also has grown as the business platform for affordably connect to the target audiences which cost is much less than traditional methods of marketing, where was a barrier to entry because of the need of funds for initial investment and large team for implementing on the field.
If you enjoy time on social media by sharing content, tweeting, and doing other things, then this work is right for you. But it doesn’t mean you can still start your social media or any other digital agency easily. Here, you need to first learn things and level up your learning to match other competitors in the market.
In today’s scenario, through the emergence of digital marketing, the cost of opening any marketing company like a social media agency is not much, and work can be started with a small team, who has expertise in this field.
Even big companies cannot ignore social media which is expected to increase to the numbers of 3.1 billion in 2021, according to the report of Statista.
In this article, ‘m going to talk about in details on how to start a social media marketing agency from home and make money money online in 2021. So let’s begin with it:
So First Know, What Social Media Managers Exactly do?
Social Media Managers provide various services according to their expertise in their domain and their client needs. Their service includes:
Social Media Management
Here, you can handle full social media management or do any particular part like uploading photos, videos, or replying to personal messages of clients. Also, it needs to be discussed with your clients that a number of posts need to be uploaded in a particular time frame.
It also demands the stay active in the news and trends related to your clients prevailing in the market.
Social media managers need to help clients with their strategy, positioning, or branding. This includes content strategy, competitor’s research, social media planning, etc. It also includes an increase in the number of followers in the profile of the client.
This involves engaging with the client’s target community on different forums and social media platforms. Be ready as it is 24/7 work and labor intensive.
Social media managers usually write articles on the social media handles of the clients, and also share it to make it on various platforms to make it a trend.
Now, let’s discuss how to start a social media marketing agency step by step:
1) Decide What Type of Services You Want to Offer
To start a social media agency, you need to first decide which services you want to offer to your clients. You can be a specialist in any particular sector like legal, healthcare, or fashion or in any particular platforms like Instagram or Snapchat.
It is because each platform has a different content, a different type of audience, different posting rules, and different reach.
I recommend that while starting, you have to have expertise in a particular niche where you have knowledge as well as experience, then you can expand your work on different platforms, as your team starts getting bigger.
While selecting your niche, try to avoid industries that don’t make money, instead choose where you have a good knowledge base and have some expertise.
2) Decide Who Are Your Target Client
Before targeting any client, check the needs of the clients that you can fulfill from your portfolio of expertise. Your target client should match with the niche of services that you decided to offer before starting the agency. Here, you can help them in providing other services from other agencies too, if needed.
Your client can be any person, brand, or any local businessman who wants to scale up their business. While it is recommended that in the starting, find any local businessmen, local startups, or professionals who want recognition of their work through social media exposure to increase sales and clients foot fall.
It will be easy for you to gather those clients as they have limited budgets, and don’t have any sophisticated demands. Some clients just want to create social media pages, schedule posts, or track customer engagement on their posts.
These tasks are easy to perform and give you enough time to serve more customers at the same time. Through offering discounted prices to the initial customer can help you to reach more clients.
3) Decide What is Going to be Your Business Model
The services you provide and how you charge from your clients are an essential part of making an effective business. The most common most of the agency bill their clients in the following few ways:
1. Percentage of Spending
This pricing model is effective in agencies that have access to big clients in large volume, where they can level up their profitability and scalability of the business. Agencies following this billing method normally turned down clients with a little spending.
This method is not favorable to those who are new to this field, as their chances of getting big clients are almost zero in starting days.
2. Hourly Charges
Many consultants opt to bill their clients on hourly charges. It is helpful for doing work for a short period of time as they have to give service in a limited period of time like maybe on hours or days. But this billing model is complex as the number of services provided to your clients keeps increasing.
3. Flat Retailer
It is the simplest and used method among social media agencies as here you have to take a fixed amount of money by analyzing the worth of work, and time and effort required to complete it.
Here, you can have monthly or quarterly contracts with your clients about terms of work and decide flat monthly fees in advance.
4. Commission Based
This billing method is most liked by the clients because it ensures clients that the agency would give their best in completing their work and showing good results through increasing their sales to earn a commission. It’s a target-oriented method of billing, usually adopted by expertise, not by newcomers.
But, the downside of this method is that you have insights into the company’s sales record, otherwise they can trick you while giving you final payment.
4) Set up Pricing for Your Services
Social Media jobs are continually gaining popularity. But when it comes to the price of social media services you are providing, it becomes confusing to settle on one price.
When pricing your services you have to study some important points that will help you in setting up the price for a particular service.
1. Direct Competitors Charges
The best way to know the price of a service is to do some research from the same service providers. Make a list of 4-5 direct competitors with the same profile & try to know the price at which they are offering the same service. Know your competitors’ details for a better understanding of your service pricing.
2. Consider the need of Clients
After looking at what your competitors are charging, your next step should be to analyze the needs of your best-fit customers.
Study basic needs that your client can have and think about what you have to do to achieve those results. Because the price of service must be equivalent to efforts that you will make to achieve results.
3. Create Custom Packages
When you have an idea about what your customers may need, you can design three packages. You can customize these packages according to you and can set prices accordingly.
You can create a basic package with less prices and basic services. In the second package, you can give some more services with increased prices for clients looking for more services.
Many businesses look for high-quality services so you can create a premium package, in which you can provide social media services with some complimentary services and charges.
By making these packages, you can target every kind of business.
Unless you are a big social media star, you cannot go for high prices initially. You have to set your prices according to your past experience. If you are a newbie, you should settle for minimum charges. And you can increase these prices with experience.
The expenses that go in providing a service are more subjective than the expenses that go into making a product. The price that you charge customers doesn’t always directly correlate with the amount you pay to perform services. Most of the service-based agencies struggle to come up with fair and profitable pricing.
Not like product pricing, you can’t exactly measure all the costs that go into providing a service. That’s why it is necessary to choose your pricing carefully.
5) Building Credibility for your work
Many traits can help you become successful when you start a social media marketing agency. But if you’re going to encourage some specific things within yourself, you might do better by focusing on those that can make you credible.
Being credible means encouraging a set of very specific qualities regardless of your role, your organization, or your industry.
If you really want to establish yourself as credible here is what you must do:
1. Be trustworthy
Win Your Client’s trust if you want to create long term relationships with them. Long term clients will always help you in growing your business.
2. Be competent
When you are starting a new business, you must have the necessary skills to manage your tasks. Being competent will always help you in improvising the efficiency or performance of your work.
3. Be consistent
Staying consistent with your efforts will always aid you in reaching the desired goals. If you stay consistent eventually your productivity will increase & you will stay motivated to do better every time.
4. Be respectful
For a successful business, you have to learn to respect people regardless of their profession or post. Your clients will love you if you are respectful to them.
5. Be sincere
Your sincere efforts will never go in vain, you just have to stay consistent with them.
All these points will not give you very fast results but will gradually help you in building credibility for your work.
6) Find Tools to Aid You in Your Work
It’s always good to get help in your work from a third party. Like if you are engaged in Image/Video Sharing & Messaging Sites then one can use Canva or Adobe to give special look to its posts.
Here are some essential tools that will help you with work-
If you are looking for a complete social media management tool, you can rely on Buffer. This tool is loved by most social media managers as it is easy to use and has the best customer support system.
Sendible is also a social media management tool for agencies. You can manage the social media activities of multiple clients easily.
It is equipped with an easy-to-use dashboard, analytics, social CRM, and a publishing system. This tool will save your valuable time and will allow you to focus on what truly matters.
This tool helps businesses to manage their social media profiles from a single dashboard only. It is a well-equipped tool with user-friendly features and has one of the best customer support. With this tool, you will never miss a tweet, comment, or message.
There are many tools available that will help you in handling all social media platforms but finding a tool that will only focus on a particular social media platform is tough.
If you are facing the same issue then, Commun.it is the tool for you. It helps you in focusing on one social media platform. It helps in identifying influences and interested audiences.
Apart from that it will drive traffic, increase audience engagement, and grow likes & followers for brands.
BuzzSumo is a content analysis tool. You can find the most popular content and resources just by searching a keyword of your niche. Discovering new content ideas, platform insights and passionate influencers will become an easy task for you.
Hootsuite will help you in monitoring and replying to mentions on all social media accounts. It is the best way to enhance your social media management and measure your social media performances.
Additional tools make your work easy to do and saves your precious time.
If you are reading this blog, you already have started to work on your venture, or maybe thinking about it. Starting your own social media agency can be difficult in starting, but not impossible.
Once you start your social media agency, you will learn things about what works and what doesn’t. Managing your business wouldn’t be an easy task and you will face ups and downs, but always stick to basics and take decisions critically because only 3 % of marketing agencies survive their first year.
That’s why it is said to have the right preparation and strategies in the starting, which can save you from a lot of trouble. Commit fully to your business and always be socially active to learn more things.
I’ve curated a detailed article on “The Role of Social Media in Digital Marketing Landscape in 2021“, it’s a good read, make sure you check it out before leaving.