8 Tips to Starting a Winning Social Media Marketing Agency in 2023
So you’ve decided to start a social media marketing agency.
It’s a lucrative and growing industry, and there are plenty of opportunities for success.
It’s also pretty competitive.
To stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to work hard and think big. You’ll also need to know where to concentrate your efforts.
To make sure your agency is one of the winners in 2023, here are 11 tips to get you started:
1. Select the Right Niche
I know that “choose your niche” has been beaten to death already. But you’d be surprised by the number of people who ignore it.
They start a social media agency and become glorified order takers for anyone who’s willing to pay.
That ain’t going to work in 2023.
To stand out from the crowd, you must choose a niche and specialize in it. Take your time to identify the industry that best suits you and focus on it.
Now, specialization comes in three levels:
Level 1: Industry Specialization
This is all about targeting a specific industry or niche.
For example, you could specialize in financial services, entertainment, food & beverage, automotive, real estate, etc.
Level 2: Vertical Specialization
This is all about targeting a specific segment in an industry or niche.
For example, you could specialize in B2B services for financial services or B2C services for real estate. You can also go deeper and focus on a specific service or offer.
For instance, you could specialize in content marketing, social media management, or community building for food & beverage.
Level 3: Functional Specialization
This is all about offering a specific service.
For instance, you could focus on TikTok management for dentists or offer Facebook Group growth services for financial advisors.
Do your research and identify the industry, vertical, and functional area that suits you best.
By doing so, you’re able to offer a unique service that others simply can’t. This will help you know exactly who you’re trying to reach and why.
2. Master the Sales Game
A social media marketing agency without clients is like a trapeze artist with no net.
Forget about automation and time-saving techniques, and focus on what really matters: The sales game.
You must become an effective communicator and a persuasive expert.
You must learn to overcome objections and close deals.
You must make sure you fully understand the needs of your clients and present your service as the perfect solution. Otherwise, you’ll never land your first project.
And if you can’t get clients to pay, how are you going to make money?
Many agency owners make the mistake of thinking that sales isn’t a priority until they’re more established. But the reality is that, if you don’t have client work, there’s no validation that your agency is needed.
And if you don’t have clients to pay for your services, there’s no funding for growth.
Your priority should be to find your first client. Then, you can worry about scaling up and hiring other people.
3. Find a Rock-Solid Lead Acquisition Channel
Many social media marketing agencies rely on referrals and repeat business for their first projects.
It makes sense: If you’re just starting, there’s a lot to prove. And you need a steady flow of projects to do so.
But what happens when all your connections have been tapped?
You need to develop a lead generation strategy.
And no, I’m not talking about cold calling or spamming the hell out of everyone you know. You need to understand the different channels available and use the most effective ones for your agency.
For instance, you could focus on organic growth, paid search, influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, lead ads, etc.
You could also diversify your efforts and try a combination of channels.
I won’t cover all the options here, but you need to understand that there are many different channels available.
Some of the most popular agencies include:
- Facebook Ads: With over 2 million monthly advertisers, Facebook is the most popular ad platform on the planet. You can use it to promote your agency and attract clients. It’s also very affordable.
- LinkedIn: As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn is a great place to grow your agency. You can use it to connect with potential clients and influencers.
- Quora: As one of the world’s top websites, Quora is known for its high-quality content and close-knit community. It can be a powerful lead generation tool if you know how to use it.
- Twitter: Twitter is great for lead generation and user research. You can also grow your following and capture the attention of your clients.
4. Develop a Unique Lead Conversion Strategy
You now have a steady flow of leads, but converting them into your first client is no easy feat.
In fact, it can be a daunting task if you’re not prepared.
That’s why you need to develop a unique lead conversion strategy.
You could spend thousands of dollars developing a sophisticated marketing funnel and hope that it works.
Or you could save time and money by simply applying the strategies that have been used successfully by others.
To start, use the L.E.A.R.N formula to capture leads and nurture them into customers.
L.E.A.R.N stands for:
- Lead: Lead prospects throughout the entire journey.
- Engage: Engaging with leads is critical to the success of your agency.
- Amaze: Help prospects solve their problems fast.
- Respond: Use customers’ feedback to improve your process and respond to their concerns.
- Narrate: Narrate your brand story concisely and continuously.
You need to develop a systematic approach for nurturing leads and converting them into happy clients. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting a lot of time and effort on leads that never end up buying from you.
5. Set Up a System for Handling Chaos
As your agency grows, you’ll start to deal with more projects.
And as you take on more projects, your agency will become increasingly chaotic.
The challenge is that growth is a double-edged sword.
As you take on more projects and bring on more employees, your agency will become larger and more complex over time.
Larger projects become harder to manage and chaotic work environments become a lot less fun.
Now, I love being busy as much as the next person.
But that doesn’t mean I want to spend every waking hour at work.
As your agency grows, you need to develop strategies for handling the chaos.
For example, you could follow a project management methodology or adopt a new organizational structure.
You could also use software to improve your productivity and streamline your workflow.
The point is that if you want your agency to grow, you need to develop strategies for handling the chaos that comes with growth.
Some of the things you need to consider include:
- Project management: As your agency becomes more complex, you need a systematic way of managing projects. You could use a project management methodology like Agile or Waterfall. Either way, a system is important for keeping everyone on the same page and making sure projects move from start to finish.
- Risk management: Your agency will become increasingly valuable over time. As a result, you need to have a plan for mitigating risk and ensuring that valuable data doesn’t disappear. You could use software to back up your data regularly. Or you could go old school and manually back up important files daily.
- Organizational structure: Depending on how your agency is organized, project management can be difficult. As your agency grows you need to have an organizational structure that works for everyone and makes it easier to manage projects and clients.
These are some of the things you need to consider as your agency grows.
You could also decide to stay small and avoid the chaos all together.
Just make sure you know what options are available and how they’ll impact your company.
6. Think Long-Term When Making Business Decisions
In the beginning, you might be tempted to make short-term business decisions because they’ll have a big impact on your bottom line.
Consider the following example:
One of your clients wants a logo for their business.
They want to make sure you quote them a price that’s easy to swallow.
So they ask you if it would be possible to do a logo for a fraction of the normal cost.
Now, designing a logo for this client is easy.
In fact, you could probably do it for about $100 – $500 if you were willing to work for cheap.
But as a small business owner, you need to think long-term.
If you underprice your services, you’re sending a clear message to your clients that you’ll do anything for a quick buck.
You might even damage your brand if potential clients think you provide low-quality services.
And you’ll also spend more time doing work you don’t enjoy.
So rather than focusing on the short-term benefits of this project, you need to focus on the long-term implications it’ll have throughout your business.
What’s more important? Winning this one project or building a business that can handle its own?
There will be times when you need to make short-term business decisions.
But as a small agency owner, you need to focus on the long-term implications your decisions will have.
7. Obsess About Client Results
Client results are scarce in the agency world.
Most agencies focus on the process rather than the results.
They might keep a close eye on how many clients they have and how much money they’re making. But regarding effectiveness, they have no idea if their efforts are paying off.
So how can you ensure your clients are getting the most out of your agency?
Obsess about results.
You need to make sure you’re doing everything possible to help your clients achieve their goals.
Otherwise, they’ll leave.
And there might be nothing worse for an agency than losing a client.
So you need to think about how your agency can help them become better at their job. You can do this by focusing on solving their problems and understanding why they’re struggling.
Then you need to find a way to help them solve those problems.
Here are some ideas to do it:
- Study what successful agencies are doing: Take a look at other agencies in your industry to see how they work. Study successful brands and find out what you can learn from them. Use this information to measure your own success and continuously improve.
- Learn how your clients work: Make sure you understand your client’s workflow. Learn why they struggle and what tasks take up most of their time. Then you can find a way to help them improve.
- Test, test, and test: Test different methods and see which one gets the best results. This will give you a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. Once you’ve found out what works, document it so you have a blueprint for how to do things in the future.
8. Implement Value-Based Pricing
There’s something you must know about pricing: It’s an illusion.
People will perceive price based on their own internal factors.
For instance, let’s say two people are looking at the same product.
One person is very wealthy, while the other lives paycheck to paycheck.
They might perceive that product differently.
The wealthy person might assume it’s cheap compared to everything else in the store, while the other person might assume it’s expensive.
The same applies to your agency services.
This is why it’s important to adopt value-based pricing.
Instead of charging by the hour, you charge based on the value you provide to your clients. This helps you anchor your price to a specific value.
For example, if your average client grows their annual revenue to $10,000,000, charging $100,000 per year might be worth it.
On the other hand, if you’re charging $100,000 per year but your average client only makes $1,000 a month, you’ll have a problem.
Value-based pricing can help you make more money with fewer clients.
Of course, it might be hard to measure your value at the beginning.
So you might want to start with a fixed price and slowly transition into value-based pricing as your agency grows.
Ready to Start Your Own Agency?
Starting a social media agency is no small feat.
You need the right mindset, the right skills, and the right network to ensure your agency can stay afloat.
And this is just the beginning.
Social media marketing is constantly evolving, and you need to evolve with it.
However, if you focus on your clients, be intelligent about your decisions, and obsess about results, you have a good chance of being one of the top agencies in your niche.
Hopefully, the information provided today will give you the edge necessary to start your own agency.