The marketing world has been flipped upside down in the wake of the rise of social media. The days of spending thousands of dollars on newspaper ads and billboards seem to be behind us as more companies turn to Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms to reach their target audiences.
With this shift in marketing strategy comes a wealth of opportunity for entrepreneurs. Many business savvy millennials have begun wading into the marketing world, knowing that their knowledge about social media provides them with greater earning potential. By tapping into their understanding of engagement, targeting, and sharing, they realize they may already have what it takes to begin their own social media marketing start-up.
For those who prefer a flexible work schedule that doesn’t require time spent in any one particular office, opening a social media marketing agency may be the ticket to achieving their preferred lifestyle. But it is important to remember that a social media marketing agency is not all about understanding aesthetics and posting times, there is much more that goes into successful online marketing.
The best social media marketing agencies understand the following:
- Customer service
- Modern trends
- Graphic creation
- Marketing analysis
- Community facilitation
If you believe you have what it takes to start a social media marketing agency, keep reading for six tips on getting your business off the ground.
1. Develop a personal brand
Branding isn’t only for your clients. Having a cohesive image of your own will show your potential customers that you really do have what it takes to manage their social media marketing. To create a clear concept of who you are as a business, create a list of adjectives that describe your company. Make sure every graphic, material, and block of text support these adjectives.
It’s also critical to understand who your audience is. Before you do anything else, be sure your branding will appeal to your target market. Choose your company name, voice, logo, slogan, and domain name using this thorough understanding of who you are as a brand and who you are trying to appeal to as potential clients.
2. Build a website
If you plan to create a social media marketing company, hopefully, you already have extensive knowledge about building and designing websites. By now, you likely already know if you’d rather build the website yourself or hire a designer to work on your site but keep in mind that if are tight on cash, creating something yourself will help save capital for other parts of your business.
When building a website, you first need to choose a platform and template. Sites like Squarespace and WordPress make it easy to customize their pre-made templates so they support your brand and showcase your portfolio. Above all, make sure your site is easy to navigate and fully functional. Broken hyperlinks and typos are definite no-no’s as your potential clients will use your presence online as an example of the type of work you will do for them.
3. Calculate costs
Even businesses that are managed remotely still incur some costs. Be sure you have a clear business plan in advance that includes the amount of money you will need to get your venture started. Whether you plan to hire freelancers to help complete your client work, need assistance with your website, or plan to produce your own marketing materials, all of these potential costs should be recorded so you are sure to have enough capital up front.
If you are going from working in an office to working at home, don’t forget that this is guaranteed to affect the cost of your monthly utilities. You will be using electricity and gas during all hours of the day rather than just at night and on the weekends. Make plans on how you will be more energy efficient by monitoring your usage. Be diligent about turning lights and devices off when they aren’t in use, invest in energy efficient devices, and research different energy companies to ensure you are getting the best rate.
4. Create a list of targets
When your business first launches, it’s unlikely that you will have clients knocking on your door asking for your services. This is why you must create a list of people you would like to have as customers and dedicate time and energy to securing them.
A key way to do this is by reaching out to companies you believe could benefit from your services. By spending time each day looking through search engine results and clicking around on LinkedIn, you will create an extensive list of people you believe you will be able to help with their social media presence.
Before you start contacting people, create an email template that clearly explains who you are, your experience, why you are getting in touch and specific examples of what you can do for them. Tailor each email so it feels as though it were written specifically for them. If all you do is copy and paste, you are unlikely to get any bites.
5. Create your own, impressive social media accounts
This one should be a no-brainer. If you are going to be contacting people offering your social media services, every single one of your potential clients will go online to get a peek at your personal accounts. This is why it’s important that you develop and maintain profiles on all the major social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) to show your interest and abilities. In fact, you will want to do this before you do anything else. Get your social media accounts started as quickly as possible so, by the time you start contacting potential clients, you have something impressive to show.
6. Get organized
The key to any successfully managed business is organization. Before you take on your first client, make sure you’ve already established a clear budget for where your income will be allocated. In the beginning, it’s a wise decision to make sure that all the money you make is being put back into the business to help it grow.
Before you launch, do some research on how much other social media marketing companies are charging. This will help you create a price sheet so you can deliver your rates confidently knowing that they are competitive with the market.
In addition to this, be sure to set up a clear method for bookkeeping. This will save you stress come tax time and ensure you don’t let anything important slip through the cracks. Managing a business can be a lot of work but if you stay organized, it will all be worth it.