You are a social media marketing expert who wants to turn your skills into a successful business. You can follow this guide to create a SMMA, or social media marketing agency.
To help you along your journey, I have created a guide that will support you in becoming an agency owner. It includes ten detailed steps as well as three social media management tools. Are you ready to launch a social marketing agency? After reading this, I bet you’ll be!
- What is a SMMA?
- Start an SMMA in just 10 easy steps
- Three best tools for running your SMMA
What is a SMMA?
A social media agency is a business type that provides services to help grow and succeed brands through the strategic use of social media platforms and accounts.
The agency’s primary focus is to promote brands, engage with their target audience, and ultimately drive business growth. This is achieved by creating engaging content and running effective advertising campaigns on behalf of clients.
Start an SMMA in 10 easy steps
Starting a social marketing agency can be a great idea for someone who has been doing social media marketing a long time. It is also a good way to challenge yourself and develop your skills. It’s exciting to become a business owner. It can also be a bit scary.
Let’s start with the basics to ease some of your initial anxiety. You can start your own social media agency by following these ten simple steps.
1. Find your niche
Others prefer to build a social media agency using a Jack-of all-trades strategy. We often forget that the second part of “master of nothing” is also true.
In your subconscious, you may feel that catering to multiple fields will increase your clientele and give you more options. As a marketer you understand how important it is to choose the right audience. Start by identifying the niche that you want to target.
You can strengthen your selling proposition by focusing on a specific niche. It will help you to establish yourself as an expert in your field and solidify your position. You’ll also find it easier to attract clients if you know where to look for them and what they want.
Find your SMMA niche and stay with it. If the opportunity presents itself, you can always expand.
Your niche does not necessarily need to be a specific industry. Hollie Hoadley is the founder of Creative Solutions, a marketing agency.
If you only work in one field, I think you will become your own competitor for clients. You also get bored faster. Instead of finding a niche in an industry, I always say that you should find your value proposition and X-factor. You can niche that. Niche it. Then, apply this special thing to any industry. It keeps the game fresh and exciting. You are no longer competing against yourself.
2. Clarify the offer
Let’s now work on your offer. What makes your service unique? You’re better at X than anyone else? Use your X as the cornerstone for your unique selling proposition.
You’re an expert in social media marketing with ten-years of experience working for an IT employer brand. That’s a niche that you have a deep understanding of. You may also have an extensive network of influencers with whom you can collaborate. You may be a master at creating viral TikToks. Show that you’re the best at what you do.
But avoid being too narrow. Your agency may have a USP but still offer other services that are related.
3. Create a business strategy and determine your pricing
It is important to have a viable business plan for any new business, just like a good content strategy for social media. A social media marketing business plan should include the following:
- Mission and goals both financial and ideologic
- Your target audience’s expectations and challenges should be described in detail.
- You can offer social media marketing as a solution to these challenges.
- Strategie: where you search for customers, how and where you explore new markets etc.
- Financial plans including pricing, target profits, and other vital figures
Pricing for social media management is always a challenge. Check out the competition on the market, and use the knowledge gained to combine these things.
- Personal income
- How much money you should invest in your business for it to grow
- You may have to pay for project management tools, social scheduling software, or creative software.
- The number of clients that you hope to attract each month (but be realistic).
It is important to have a business plan, but it’s not mandatory. A new business owner will find it difficult to plan and theorize a market that is constantly changing. So, leave room for mistakes and maneuvers. You can adjust your plan if your new business does not make six figures as expected in the first two months.
4. Build an audience
This step is optional but can be very useful if done correctly. You can create buzz for your new social media agency by identifying a target audience.
You are a social media marketing expert: you have a network of colleagues, clients and content aces that follow you on Linkedin and other social channels. You can use your social media presence to kickstart the lead generation process and lay the foundation for the launch.
You can easily skip this step and move on to the next, which is the actual launch. You can attract customers by building an audience in advance. This will also help you achieve some early success.
New business owners can be demotivated by the difficulty of finding their first customers. Why not start off on a positive note?
5. Establish your agency
Once the foundation is laid, it’s now time to set up your social media agency.
The legal process is highly dependent on where you are located. Research the different types of companies and their limitations, tax laws, and other formalities.
Short story: Choose a name for your SMMA. Launch the company, create a professional website, and update your Linkedin profile to “Social Media Agency Owner”. You now have a successful business!
6. Document your processes
You may have never experienced a lot of things as a member of a team or as an independent contractor before you decide to start your own social media marketing company. Starting a new business can be a stressful endeavor, particularly when you don’t have any established processes or clients.
Document all of your processes to bring order and avoid the anxiety. Use them as guidelines. You might start with the following:
Legal processes: How you collaborate with clients, what documents you need to sign, and how you manage intellectual property.
Outreach Methods: How do you reach out to clients? What are your lead generation scenarios?
Processes related to content: How you edit, proofread, and create your content; where you plan your material; or who designs your graphics.
Customer feedback and approval: How do you get the green light? What are your methods for implementing changes? And how long does it take you to do so, on average,
KPIs Analysis: How often do you collect analytics? What tools do you employ and what stats are included in your client reports for tracking your efficiency.
7. First time clients are the best prospects
The hardest part of running a social media marketing agency is finding the first client. Here are some ways to attract new clients and generate leads.
Word of mouth is a great way to grow a business. Referrals are a great way to increase brand awareness and social proof. They come from happy clients or former employees who can attest to your expertise and skills.
The personal brand of the new SMMA owner can be a great asset. Use it on all social media platforms.
Advertising that is paid
Ads to get paid traffic are also an option. This includes advertising in social media, posting guest posts on Facebook groups and Linkedin Communities, generating leads via landing pages, or appearing in industry-related publications.
You can also post your ads and promos in groups on Linkedin that are relevant. You can also publish your promotion in a group where you might find your clients. Invite them to connect with you or request a quote. Be sure to check with admins before you publish.
Cold calling can be a controversial tool in the B2C market. The B2B segment can have a success rate of up to 10%. So don’t discharge cold calling immediately.
You can also send a direct message or email instead of the phone call. You can still use the same idea: find your target audience and reach out to them by offering your service.
Visit niche events such as conferences, meetups and lectures to find potential clients. Find a local company that needs help with a Facebook page redesign or digital marketing basics and offer to create content for them. This is a great way for you to start your portfolio and get your first clients.
8. Plan your meetings
Set up a meeting with your first potential client and be extra prepared. Create a meeting agenda to make sure you cover all the bases. Use it to gauge the current status of your potential clients. Ask your clients these core questions:
- Their niche, their product and their target audience
- The overarching goals of the organization and the current challenges it faces
- What social media accounts does the person have?
- If they have any experience with social media agencies.
- Budget allocated for agency collaboration
Meetings with potential clients can be stressful. You need to gather information and soft-sell while dispelling any doubts that may arise. You can stay on track by using a well-planned meeting structure. This will help you focus on building the relationship with your customer, rather than worrying about whether you asked a question before.
9. Close the deal
The majority of deals require more than one meeting. It may happen that a client will agree to work with your agency on the spot. However, the decision to hire a social marketing agency is usually made by more than one person. It takes time and multiple discussions to answer everyone’s question.
Follow up on promising leads. Make sure to address all the concerns of your potential clients and ensure they are well-equipped to sell your agency within their company. Send them samples of your work and make sure you include everything in documents which can be shared with internal stakeholders. Send reminders and ask for extras to help you win the contest.
10. Deliver on your promises
The real work begins once you have signed with the client. You know better than me how to manage social media, but you must deliver what you promise.
It is important to build a solid reputation for your business, especially early on. Good reputations and satisfied clients will bring you new business through referrals.
To ensure that service is delivered, keep in mind two things: Don’t overpromise just to get the sale and keep your internal process tamed.
3 best tools for running your SMMA
Starting a social media agency is easy, but running it is another story. With the right tools, it can be less stressful. Three software tools can help you.
Smegoweb is a collaborative content management software that simplifies the lives of owners of social media marketing agencies. Smegoweb allows you to collaborate on any type of written content.
Your team can approve and create both internal and external content, including social media posts, Instagram stories, emails, briefs and blogs. The dedicated workspaces are a game changer. You can create a customized ecosystem for every client, with custom approval workflows, social accounts and content libraries.
Smegoweb has many features that can help you manage multiple social media channels.
- Features for extended collaboration. Team members can communicate just like they are in the same office. Smegoweb lets them create content together and give feedback immediately through comments from both internal and external sources. They can also stay on the same page, at any time.
- Content management. Content management. Create, edit and schedule content all in one place. You can gain a complete overview of all your social media activities with a highly visual calendar. Automated publishing will save you a lot of time.
- Approval workflows. Work with external clients is made 10 times easier. Smegoweb’s custom approval workflows help you to get green lights from clients faster, without lengthy emails.
- External collaboration. You can divide your team into different workspaces by setting roles and permissions. Share notes that your clients will not see, and share external links to give decision makers a quick glance.
The tool supports all major platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin Facebook, TikTok YouTube and Google My Business.
Smegoweb’s lack of analytical tools and its ability to only publish content automatically on social media platforms are two downsides. Smegoweb is best for managing social media content.
v’s pricing system is very flexible. Smegoweb allows you to customize every aspect of the system, including the features and the number users. It is a great benefit for young agencies: You can start as low as $11/month, and then expand as new clients and budgets come in.
Smegoweb is an intuitive tool that allows you to create, approve and receive feedback on your content. Smegoweb is all about collaboration, which means that your agency and client will be on the same page at all times. Smegoweb offers 50 free posts for you to try out and see how it can help your business.
Socialinsider helps you understand your competitors better and gain a stronger foothold in the market. This tool brings competitor data to the forefront, making it easy to refine your sales proposition, establish benchmarks and gather detailed analytics.
Socialinsider is a tool that social media marketers can use to manage their TikTok accounts, Instagram, YouTube videos, Facebook pages, Twitter profiles, and Linkedin profiles.
- Reporting on campaigns Reporting on campaigns.
- Analyse your competitors. Compare your social media metrics with your competitors.
- Smart benchmarking. The platform analyzes performance in your field and provides benchmarks relating to your industry or niche.
Socialinsider has powerful tools for competitor and analytics analysis, but lacks features to create content. It is a powerful tool for analytics, but it lacks content creation features.
Pricing starts at $149/month with the Competitor Plan, which focuses on business analytics. $199/month is the Strategy Plan, which aims at campaign management.
Socialinsider does not offer a multitude of tools, but rather a solution that focuses on comprehensive analytics and reporting. Socialinsider offers many benefits if you use a data-driven strategy for your digital marketing.
ActiveCampaign, a digital marketing tool and sales automation software, allows you to move your clients through the sales funnel in an automated manner. ActiveCampaign is a digital marketing and automation tool that allows you to push your potential clients down the sales funnel automatically.
ActiveCampaign is a great tool for managing social media.
- Automated emailing. Automate trigger chains and follow-up emails using the customer journey map.
- Track your leads with CRM. ActiveCampaign automates the contact management process while tracking deals and estimating probability of winning a lead.
- ActiveCampaign offers support at each stage of the sales funnel. ActiveCampaign provides automation tools at every stage of the sales funnel, from reaching out to nurturing leads and converting them. This allows you to keep track of your potential clients throughout their entire customer journey.
- ActiveCampaign, like Socialinsider is more of a tool than a solution. Automating the lead-following process, the most delicate aspect of the sales cycle, takes a lot of weight off your shoulders.
Plans differ in terms of features: the lowest Marketing + Sales bundle is $93/month while the highest Marketing plan costs $49/month.
ActiveCampaign automates the tedious part of lead generation, allowing you to convert more people into customers. It allows you to track and convert every potential customer before they lose interest.
It can be overwhelming to start a social media agency in Auckland. It’s an excellent way to move from a management position to one that involves more hands-on work and to apply your years of experience in social media to a larger scale.