Remember the flying taxis, anti-gravity hoverboards & robotic police portrayed as a hallmark of 21st-century technology, in earlier sci-fi flicks like Back to the future.
But, guess what? The actual future turned out to be quite different; in fact, it was much less anticipated to go in this direction. It might not be as flashy as flying taxis; nonetheless, we witness momentous breakthroughs in technology at an unprecedented pace, primarily due to the establishment of this new dimension called the Internet. The Internet changed things as we see them, sharing of information, collaborate & even changed the way we conduct our business.
This article is about social media, the brighter side of the Internet, with all the buzz the world can offer & how to monetize from this wonderful place as a professional social media marketing agency.
The market is evolving day by day as we witness the digital revolution. To cater to the needs of this evolved market, companies need a close watch on social media for better engagement with the audiences. Who better to do this than a professional social media marketing agency?
So what does a social media marketing company do? The answer is simple, anything & everything that empowers the companies to better engage their audience on social media including but not limited to:
Know market pulse
Now that we’ve established the place & scope for a social media marketing company in the digital world, let it entail some of the aspects that entail its downside. As they say, that to pursue a venture, one must be well acquainted with its limitations.
While social media exercises massive outreach of active users, it must be noted that there is a lot of noise around & it is difficult to maintain a formal structure amongst the casual masses. If as an agency, you understand this drawback of social media & tread carefully around it. Then all I can say is welcome aboard!
The time may very well never be perfect for any occasion, you just have to go out there, take the reins & gallop towards your destination. It’s all easy once you get a clear picture of how to go on about creating your own social media marketing company. Let us explore the 7 step process towards starting your very own social media marketing agency.
1.Develop the skillset
As is true with any other pursuit, one may not go ahead head-on against a challenge; they don’t know how to tackle. So you’ve to master skills involved in social media marketing if you want to be successful at it. Search & select a good digital marketing academy in your area, by checking their websites & social media, their reviews & web going for the demo classes.
Once you finalize upon an academy, in addition to the rest of the digital marketing skills, master the below areas to the best of your abilities as they will be incidental to your business performance.
Facebook marketing & Facebook ads
Social media copywriting
Digital marketing strategies
Use automation tools
Work on some real-time cases to further strengthen your skillset & understand the end to end business process including the legal aspects.
2.Select your niche
An ideal marketer doesn’t work in a vacuum; rather he works so closely with his Customers that he knows their innate desires much more clearly than they do. So it is essential for you as a social media marketer to figure which kind of audience do you care about or can engage at deeper levels. For instance, if you’re a video game enthusiast, you’d much easily engage & understand gaming audiences, work with higher chances of success as you’d know their motivation & pain points.
Finalizing on a niche gives you clarity & purpose, to work impactfully & in an efficient way.
3.Build a Business Model
A good business model helps formulate your purpose, business processes, & deliverables. As a part of your social media marketing agency’s business model, define & establish the following components for your venture.
The strategy entails your long term planning based on a well thought out value system. You need to establish your ‘unique & valuable market position’ as in your USP. Once you’ve done that then define ‘what not to do’ so as I create focus & not waste time on non-fruitful activities, you create parallel components that work in proper sync.
Your vision & mission statements should be strong to give you a glimpse of the ideal business scenario & how to reach that phase, respectively.
#Branding & Presence
Express the company culture, values, service & quality through well-framed content comprising of all sorts of media. Branding mainly includes:
Now to express these & to allow customers to engage with you, you need a website & your own social media pages… Duh. Now you know how to milk that cow!
As a company, you need to organize almost everything including your pricing strategy. You need to create several variations of services offered & sell as a separate package as part of the subscription model, e.g. Silver, gold & diamond.
You may work on an hourly basis or even flat retainer. It depends on how your client is comfortable working with you.
Setup all the processes required to function as a social media marketing agency, from target market identification, lead generation, sales, delivery & after-sales. Once that part is formulated, check the boxes that you can do & so those that you’re unsure about. Hire experts from their respective fields to take over the process that you’re not sure about. Now that the team is in place, you can go along to get along.
The business model is ready, so there is only one logical way to go & that is forward. So set the sails & start navigating into the deeper waters. You’ll make a lot of mistakes & save numerous rejections but the key here is to keep on moving forward, without the loss of enthusiasm. The 1st customer is often hardest to land, so keep on trying until you find one. You can employ the following strategies to land a customer rather quickly:
#join networking groups
There are always professionals ready to collaborate by sharing business in symbiotic ways. Many local & international organizations enable such collaborations. E.g. BNI, Toastmasters international, etc.
Partner up with such a business that has a similar target audience but are non competing, better yet they offer complementary services. For instance, web development agencies can employ you for their Client’s social media marketing campaigns & similarly you can help them by sharing the Web design project of your client, ending in a win /win situation.
You can find leads easily on freelancing websites like Fiver & Upwork. They work well for initial stages of business as they don’t offer high ticket value but there, you can get regular work, to keep the wheel moving.
There’s also a way to get leads from social media pages of your top competitors. Birds of a feather fly together, hence you’ll find your target audience there & you can easily engage them with your offerings especially if it solves their recent pain point that they have been discussing on some random post.
5.Digital Marketing strategy
At this point in time, you’d be better acquainted with digital marketing dynamics, being in the same sector for some time. You will go through the following points:
Select the target market
Write the ad copy
Set the outreach
Zeroing on the channels that you’d run the campaign on. This usually depends on the service & target audience you’re trying to engage in.
#Create the campaigns
Now you have a wide range of options to select from. You can either go for paid, earned & owned media.
# Convert & engage
Nurturing, retargeting, higher interaction & conversion rate optimization can be used to convert sales. Use up-selling & cross-selling high existing customers with better engagement.
Once you reached a decent flow of business, you can think about scaling the venture. You may hire your replacement & allow yourself a breather from the continuous hustle. Scaling is all about having the right team. Some elements that contribute to scaling business at higher pace:
Vision & mission
Training & development
7.Create an independent system
Dear reader, if you have grown your social media marketing agency into a fully-fledged business. Congratulations on reaching thus far, these are a great not many achieve in a lifetime.
The easiest way to create an independent system would be to incorporate an ERP solution into all the functional processes of your business so that it automates some areas & it not only gives transparency & accountability but it also gives real-time analytics of your high functioning social media marketing agency.
Once you created a transparent system for your social media marketing agency, you can sit back, relax & gift yourself that long overdue vacation, as your business would manage on its own for a while, just not with your level of commitment!