In this online era, social media has become a prime mode of communication, so much so that many social media marketers have quit their day job to start their own social media agency. With everyone trying to jump on the social media bandwagon, it has become a fiercely competitive space. If you are not proactive as a social media agency owner, you may find it difficult to stand out from the herd.
Here are some tips that you can follow to make your start-up social media agency grow and stay ahead of the competition:
1- Leverage Your Personal Network
One of the first steps that you can take as a start-up owner is to spread the word within your personal network. Let your family, friends, and acquaintances know that you have started your own social media agency and need their support. Keep in mind that the best referrals always come from people who know and trust you.
In the beginning, it is crucial that you position yourself effectively. Create a credible story that describes how you stand out from the other agencies under the sun. Let your prospects know what you can provide that other agencies cannot. Project yourself as a problem-solver who can help them overcome challenges.
Describe how your past experiences have sharpened your skills as a social media expert. Showcase your past successes, if possible.
To gain credibility as an entrepreneur, create a simple website with an easy-to-navigate landing page. Do some research and find out the key problems your prospective clients are facing. Mention some of these problems on your landing page and describe how you, as a seasoned social media marketer, can help solve them. The landing page should have a simple contact form seeking minimum information to let you connect with your prospects with ease.
Share the link for your landing page with your family, friends and acquaintances on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and other social networking sites. Ask them to spread the word by forwarding the link to their network. Also request them to provide suitable references, if any.
2- Search For Prospects On Freelancing Sites
Freelancing sites such as Fiverr, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour and Upwork are great places to look for work as a beginner. If you find large, complex projects daunting at this stage, start with simple projects that do not involve more than two or three tasks. You can target more complex projects later as you gain experience and confidence.
3- Look for Businesses to Partner With
Agencies that provide similar but non-competing services in your niche can be a good source of referrals.
To begin with, you can make a list of your prospects and try to figure out the services they might need. For instance, your prospects who seek social media services may have a website that needs design and development, search engine optimization, content to drive traffic and so on.
Once you have a list of services, prepare a list of businesses that provide these services and try connecting with them through email or LinkedIn. Remember to personalize your message and try to initiate a relationship that goes beyond your desire to win clients for your business.
You may come across an SEO agency or a freelance graphic designer with clients looking for a social media manager. Partnering with such service providers will help you win more clients down the line.
4- Conduct Free Training Sessions for Prospects
In order to build a personal connection with your prospects, consider conducting free training sessions, offline or online. One of the most convenient options is to conduct a webinar and make your prospects register for it.
You can use tools like Google Hangouts or GoToWebinar to host your session. Provide the registration form for the webinar on the landing page of your website. Also, share the registration link through multiple channels: LinkedIn, Facebook, Quora and other popular social channels.
Create a hashtag for the webinar (the hashtag should include the date of the webinar) and share it with your followers on Twitter from time to time. You can also run an email campaign to spread the word within your network. It is crucial to keep the webinar registration form as simple as possible. The form should not seek more than two or three contact details. This will ensure more people register for your session.
And do not forget to record the webinar. You can upload the recording on your website and YouTube and later share it on your social media pages. This will help build more credibility for your business.
5- Set the Right Expectation for Your Client
Once you win a project and start working, do not forget to set the right expectation for your client from the very beginning. A client who is new to social media may expect immediate results. You need to make them understand that social media marketing takes time to yield results. And, of course, there are channels other than social to achieve faster results.
Ideally, you should sit with the client and try to get a clear understanding of his goals. Once you are clear with these goals, you can set up a series of realistic steps to achieve them. Each of these steps needs to be specific, measurable and time-bound.
For instance, if your client owns a restaurant and wants to double the number of visitors in the next three months, you can define a series of specific, realistic steps that would augment your client’s social media presence and help achieve the desired results. Some of these steps could include:
- a) Post three photos featuring the restaurant’s food on Instagram daily. Target for at least 20 shares/likes per photo.
- b) Publish two informative blog posts related to food every week for your client’s social media pages.
- c) Gain at least 500 followers on Facebook in the next three months.
- d) Get a minimum of 10 mentions of the restaurant every month on Twitter.
- e) Gain 10 reviews with 4/5-star rating every month on Zomato.
By agreeing on some common goals and setting the right expectation from the outset, you can maintain transparency with your client and avoid any disappointment from his end in later stages.
6- Make Your Clients Vouch For Your Services
Your clients are the cornerstone of your budding business. So it is imperative that you offer them an impeccable service at every stage.
All your clients will most likely have a wide network. If they feel you have done a commendable job, they will happily recommend your services.
Once you realize you have done a satisfactory job at your end, it is time to ask your clients if they are willing to recommend you to their friends and acquaintances. You can consider offering them some kind of discount to incentivize them to do the job. Of course, if your clients are delighted with your service, they will most likely spread the word for free.
7- Employ the Right Tools to Help You Scale
As you grow your agency and gain clients, you may face difficulty in managing your daily tasks. You may need to communicate with multiple clients round-the-clock. This can be a cumbersome task if you are not prepared to handle the burden. It is, therefore, essential to plan how you will provide individual attention to your clients as you scale.
It is imperative that you have robust social media management tools at your disposal to streamline and organize your work. Tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite and SproutSocial are particularly helpful in this regard.
Using these social media management tools, you can manage multiple social media accounts in one place. You can manage and view any likes, shares, tweets or comments that your posts have generated. You can interact with all your clients in one place and track your marketing goals easily. You can also schedule your posts well in advance and analyze the responses in real-time.
With these tools, you can create professional-looking business reports to get an overview of how your social media accounts are performing. You can analyze how well you are performing with respect to various key performance indicators (KPIs) and figure out which KPIs need special attention. You can also monitor how long it takes you to respond to comments, tweets, reviews, messages on social media. With a tool to track all your social media accounts in one place, you can scale effortlessly from a few to multiple clients.
8- Do Not compromuse On Quality as You Scale
It is crucial to maintain a consistently high quality of work as you scale.
Many social media start-ups provide quality service in the beginning but deteriorate later as they scale up. Do not let that happen to your social media agency. Remember the quality of your work will make you stand out from the crowd, so do not let it fall.
A little planning and a proactive approach can help you function smoothly even when handling multiple projects. Therefore, Social media is the best way to increase website traffic.
Article written by Mansi Singh.