Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Social Media Marketing Agency


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It’s easy to see that more and more businesses are relying on social media. It’s where the customers are on a daily basis. In 2019, over 3.4 billion people worldwide used social media. What’s more amazing is the projected growth in usage is expected to reach over 4.4 billion by the year 2025.

In other words, businesses need social media. It can no longer be ignored and a task that is put on the back-burner.  But how is a business supposed to keep up with the rapid changes among all the platforms, while also taking care of their daily tasks?

This is where a social media marketing agency comes in.

A social media marketing agency is part of an in-demand field with tremendous growth potential. According to Payscale, a Social Media Marketing Manager can expect to earn an average salary of $51,742 as a full-time employee.

But you don’t have to work for someone full-time to start a social media marketing agency.

What does a Social Media Marketing Agency Do?

A social media marketing agency does more than come up with witty captions for someone’s Instagram account (although that can certainly be a part of a marketing plan). The marketing agency is responsible for managing a business’ online social media presence, either as a whole or specific to platforms such as Facebook.

In addition to creating a company’s marketing plan, the agency can be involved in the daily tasks to support the larger goal. Tasks such as running analytics on campaigns, monitoring the trends among social media platforms, creating engaging content and building overall brand awareness.

The agency can specialize in specific platforms or specific tasks, such as creating Facebook ads.

Which social media platforms businesses need help with each day? It’s mind-boggling how many places consumers go for content. Here are the more popular platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

A social media marketer might not be an expert in all platforms, as a matter of fact, you might only choose to focus on services for one or two. But this illustrates how much content and brand-building must be created across numerous sites to reach consumers.

In addition to these duties, a social media marketing agency can focus on handling the advertising within these specific platforms. Advertising campaigns require careful planning and execution, and a social media marketing agency can handle this.

Laptop Empires has a course specifically teaching you how to run Facebook ads for clients.

Who Uses a Social Media Marketing Agency?

The genius of social media is how almost every business is dependent upon it in some way. But it’s not only large companies that need a carefully crafted message distributed. Think of all the other professions who might rely heavily on a social media strategy:

  • Solopreneurs (bloggers, writers, influencers)
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Medical offices
  • Gyms
  • Home improvement stores
  • Boutiques
  • Financial experts (financial advisors, personal finance advisors, accountants)
  • Restaurants and bakeries
  • Health and wellness
  • Children’s products (clothing, shoes, tutoring, extra-curricular activities)

This list of potential businesses barely scratches the surface. As you can tell, there’s no shortage of companies (of all sizes) that could use the help of a social media marketing agency.

But it’s not only the type of business that can benefit from a social media presence. A social media marketing agency gives business owners back their time.

Business owners are often happy to outsource this task. It’s rarely in the business owner’s skill set and it can take hours to create posts, follow-up with messages, and analyze the results of campaigns. An agency can remove a large burden from a business so the business can focus on what they do best.

Benefits of Starting a Social Media Marketing Agency

Owning a social media marketing agency doesn’t only benefit the businesses you’re targeting – there are multiple benefits for you as the agency owner. You can:

Be your own boss. Let’s face it, if you’ve ever worked for someone else then chances are high you’ve at least considered working on your own. Owning your own agency is one way to achieve this goal.

Work on your own schedule. One of the best perks of a social media marketing agency is the ability to complete tasks outside of a 9-5 schedule.

You can choose to work two hours a day, or go bigger and work all day. It will be up to you to manage time in order to meet client obligations, but your schedule is yours alone.

You control your growth. Perhaps you can’t commit to running an agency full-time in the beginning. You can control the number of clients you take which means you are responsible for your own growth.

Unlike a corporate job where you are forced to apply for growth opportunities as they are made available, you can decide how much you want to work.

Earn additional income. Whether this is your side hustle or your bread-and-butter, a social media marketing agency can be lucrative and help you achieve your financial dreams.

Lower start-up costs. There are so many benefits to running your own company, but one of the greatest benefits of a social media marketing agency is the low start-up cost. You absolutely need a reliable computer and strong internet access but those are the two main requirements.

Another investment to factor in are classes to sharpen your skills, a website and help with legal aspects of setting up a business. Later on, you can invest more, but these costs are quite low as you begin.

Be a part of a constantly changing industry. If you’re someone who thrives on innovation and constant change, then the social media world will not disappoint. With new platforms and programs coming out faster than you can say TikTok, there will rarely be a shortage of work.

Work with amazing clients. At the heart of an agency is the chance to work with local businesses, small – to – medium – to big clients and whoever else you choose. No matter which niche you choose, running an agency gives you the opportunity to work with people you might not otherwise cross paths with.

Getting Started

So maybe now you’re sold on the idea of starting a social media marketing agency, or it’s at least piqued your interest enough to want to know where to begin.

Getting started with your new social media marketing agency is often the most overwhelming part of the process. Fortunately for you, we’ve been there so we know what it takes to hit the ground running. Here are the best practices for getting started the right way.

Here is a summary of our full article on how to start a social media marketing agency. You can read the full article here.

1. Pick a niche. Arguably the most important step is deciding which customers you will target and the platform you will focus on. There are two separate categories and both are equally important.

  • Customers: We listed several businesses who could use the help of a social media marketing agency. You could broaden it slightly by picking a larger group of clients to targets such as the fashion industry, food industry, or small businesses. If you already have experience in a specific industry and still have contacts from there, consider choosing it as a focus.
  • Platform: You can take it a step further and choose your specialty. Since you’re not likely to be an expert in all platforms, pick one or two your customers are mostly using. For instance, if you are targeting businesses in the fashion industry (such as boutiques, shopping services or even salons) then you may want to focus more on Instagram.

2. Up your own social media game. If you’re running other people’s social media accounts then you should treat your own profiles the way you’d treat a client. Not only is it a great way to showcase your skills, but also network and potentially grow your client base.

3. Invest in the right courses. No one is born understanding how social media works and what you can do to yield results with it. Fortunately, there are a variety of courses you can choose from to sharpen your skills and further define your niche. Here are a few courses we highly recommend as you get started:

  • Facebook Side Hustle (FBSH) is packed with everything you need to know about running successful ad campaigns for your own business or others.
  • Facebook Ads for Bloggers is a great choice for those working with solopreneurs, such as bloggers.
  • Pinterest VA Course covers all topics related to the Pinterest platform and how you can specialize in the Pinterest platform.
  • Twitter Flight School teaches you everything you ever wanted to know about advertising on Twitter. This is taught by Twitter and covers a multitude of topics.

4. Define your prices and services. Another common question when starting an agency is how much should you charge? You can set your pricing for either an hourly, package, or project rate. Packages are easy to present to clients and have them choose the bundle best for them.

However you choose to price your services, the best approach is to be upfront about what you charge. The easier you can make it for a client then the more likely you are to build a long-term relationship.

5. Get your legal house in order. We know talking about legal things can be a real snoozefest for some, but it is a crucial step to getting started with your social media marketing agency. The last thing you want is your work not to be properly protected.

You can start by checking out resources such as the SBA or LegalZoom. We covered all things LegalZoom recently in our LegalZoom Review: How to form an LLC with LegalZoom.

6. Create a website. A website is a non-negotiable. It doesn’t have to be a super-fancy site but it does need to make it easy for people to find you.

A website should include important details such as your background, picture, and — most importantly — your services. You can add your portfolio too so clients can view your past work.

You can create a website with our guide (it’s geared towards bloggers but applies to anyone) and you can be up and running within a day.

Plus bluehost gives our readers a sweet discount on their hosting plans.

Or just allow us to set up the basics for you. Sign up for our free and exclusive Launch That Blog service, and we’ll create a website for you in just a few days.

7. Solicit new clients. This can be the toughest part but finding new clients is key. The best place to start is with your friends and family. Let them know what you’re doing and ask if they know a business looking for additional help.

Contact those you know from your industry. Add your information to your social profiles. List your services on sites such as Upwork or fiverr. Before you know it, you can land a few small jobs, build your portfolio, and grow from there.

8. Start tracking your results

Clients will need to see the analytics behind your work. Expect to provide them with information regarding how you’re building brand awareness, engagement numbers, traffic, views, and conversions. These metrics are vital to share with your clients so they can see the results you are producing for them.

After you’ve accomplished these steps, it’s time to focus on growth! Additional steps such as offering exceptional customer service, clear communication with your clients and building upon your successes are surefire ways to grow.

Final Thoughts on Starting a Social Media Marketing Agency

There are few opportunities available that are as unique as starting a social media marketing agency. With low start-up costs, the ability to control your hours and your growth, and all the other perks, it can be an incredible way to earn money.

The key to starting is to pinpoint your customers and platform, build your website, network, price your services the right way, and set yourself up legally. Once you take care of these items, the sky is the literal limit for your own social media marketing agency.


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