There are hundreds of digital marketing agencies around you, but not all of them know how to make a buck-load of money or get high-ticket clients. The main problem is, they just don’t know how to build a scalable business model for their marketing agency.
Today, we will sit down together and discuss how to start a social media marketing agency.
You will learn how to make sure of the NEED before you go ahead and create a scalable SOLUTION. Then we will look at some tasks and tools you will need to get a jump-start. We will also talk about how you can find the right set of clients as well as talent for your brand new venture.
Keep reading …
Step 1. Identify Opportunities And Challenges
Ask any business experts what is the first thing to do before you start a social marketing agency or any other business, and they will tell you this:
Look For The Demand
Let’s step back and break down DEMAND for you.
Demand = Desire for a product/service + ability to purchase + willingness to pay for it.
And how do you know whether what you are offering has a good demand?
Conduct Market Research
You can do it by conducting your own surveys, or you can go to companies that do these surveys on a giant scale.
I. Personalized Survey
Do the traditional one-to-one survey or use tools like SurveyMonkey to conduct online & scalable research.
Find answers to questions like:
- Who are your ideal customers?
- What are their pain points?
- Does your business idea solve their problems?
- How much are they willing to pay for your services?
II. Mass Survey
Alternatively, you can take help from expert companies who conduct large-scale surveys. MarketResearch.com is one such place where you can look for more than 250k research reports collected from hundreds of sources.
Either way, make sure you conduct in-depth market research before you start a social media marketing agency.
Step 2. Define A Scalable Business Plan
Once you are sure your business idea is bound to bloom, it’s time to define a transparent and scalable business model for your digital marketing firm. This step is a must irrespective of whether you are funding yourself or looking for a VC.
It is vital to have a business plan that is open-ended and has room for continuous improvement.
Some Of The Crucial Questions Your Business Plan Must Address
- Who are your ideal clients?
- Where will you find them?
- What products or services will you offer?
- How will you make money?
- What expenses will you need to occur in the next eight quarters?
- How will you find initial funding?
- How will you promote your business?
- What are the possible glitches, and how do you manage to fix them?
Get down to the nitty-gritty of all the possible aspects of your digital marketing agency that you can think of and try to answer them in as efficiently as possible.
Based on the above findings, create milestones for your business. Use the SMART formula to set goals for the next two years of your new venture.
Step 3. Build The Right Skill Set And Find The Right Talent
You should be well-aware of what a social media marketing agency does and what skillset the company will need as a whole. Take up Udemy courses to understand the basics of social media marketing, SEO, blog writing, paid ads, and more.
Read extensively on how to develop your business, manage employees and clients, find and retain clients, and more.
Once you have a basic understanding of what teams you will need, start looking for the best of the talents fit for the roles. When you are just starting, reference can prove to be the best way to source talents.
LinkedIn is a great place to find exactly who you are looking for.
Make sure you hire only top performers. Remember, no matter how great a business plan you have, if you don’t have an exceptional team to work with, everything will fail.
Digital Marketing Company Structure
- A content team – your content writers, designers, copywriters, editors come under this department
- A growth team – Your SEO expert, PPC expert, growth lead, social media manager come under the growth team
- A business development team – your sales, customer service, and marketing members come under this department
- Admin and Account team – Your HR manager, receptionist, and accountant will be a part of this team
You can always start with one person in each department and then grow.
Step 4. Find And Adapt Right Tools
No online marketing agency can thrive without a highly efficient set of tools. You need tools primarily for: marketing needs & organization.
Must-Have Marketing Tools
- Social media automation – Zoho, SocialPilot, Buffer, CoSchedule
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Ahrefs, SocialSprout, SEMrush
- Graphic Design – Canva, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Prezi
- CRM – Hubspot, SalesForce
- Email Marketing – MailChimp, MailTrack, AWeber
Must-Have Organization Tools
- Project management – Trello, Asana, Notion, TeamWork
- Communication – Slack, Zoom, Skype, Google Meet
- Cloud storage – G-suite, Dropbox
- Accounting – Tally, Quickbooks
A marketing team in a digital marketing agency must maintain SWIPE FILES.
A swipe file is a collection of offline and online media that are tested and proven to work. It can include screenshots of headlines, landing pages, price models, lead magnets, ad copy, or anything that encourages a user to take action.
These swipe files can be of great use for all the team members to draw inspiration from while they work on clients.
Step 5. Build A Portfolio And Pitch To Potential Clients
Practice Before You Preach
Get your website in place, start your online presence to warm up your account, and add credibility before pitching your potential clients.
I am hoping you already have a decent portfolio from your experience as an employee at other companies or a freelance contractor. If not, start building your portfolio from day 1 of your organization.
Experiment with your own brand’s marketing to see what works and what doesn’t and use it as a case study.
Here Are Some Ways To Find Clients
Ask your friends, colleagues, or existing clients to introduce you to ONE potential client. That’s all you need, really. Referrals are a great way to find clients as credibility is partially established when it comes from a known source.
Socialize with your target audience through events, conferences, and social networking. Build personal connections on LinkedIn and engage with your target audience. Remember, in B2B services; people like to do business with people and not companies.
This is something that works quite well. You can find out ten companies you are interested in working with instead of cold-calling random businesses for work.
Then, study them thoroughly – their website, social presence, offline presence, ranking, etc. and figure out a list of things they can do better. Bigger the list, the better the chances of you getting noticed.
Find the contact of the CEO or any authorized person (very important) and email them this list saying, “Let me know if you would like us to help you with this.”
Most importantly, use a pull strategy for the long run and scalable business plan. Follow the content marketing funnel to establish yourself as a trustworthy brand for digital marketing.
Be active on all social media platforms and strategically upload blogs, videos, podcasts, and other types of content for pulling potential customers towards you.
Discover all the pain points a company might have while deciding their digital marketing strategy and answer them in a way that leads the visitor towards choosing you.
Starting a social media marketing agency isn’t exactly an easy job. But most agencies out there aren’t abreast of the latest trends and aren’t very good with end-to-end marketing.
You can indeed outperform your competitors and make a name for yourself with the right plan and tools.
Algorithms keep changing every other year. A good social media marketing agency is always on top of all the important developments of the social and digital arena.
Keep learning and keep growing. Be sure to follow our blogs for more such articles where we help you excel at every step of your agency life.