How to start a social media agency from home
You’re finally ready to take the plunge and start your own social media agency, but one big question is holding you back: where do you start?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people have the same question when they’re getting started in the social media marketing world.
The good news is that starting your own social media agency from home is not as difficult as it may seem. With a little bit of planning and some hard work, you can be up and running in no time.
In this article, we cover off seven of the most crucial tips to keep in mind when starting a social media marketing agency from home. By the end, we hope you’ll have a clear plan of action to get your business off the ground.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Tip #1: Make yourself indispensable by specializing
The strongest strategy for attracting clients is to specialize in a certain area and then ensure that your skill set is honed to perfection. This formula will make you indispensable in the eyes of your potential clients.
For example, if you want to focus on restaurants, make sure that you have a strong understanding of the food industry and what goes into promoting a restaurant online. You should also be up-to-date on the latest trends in food photography, social media marketing for restaurants, and anything else that would be relevant to your potential clients.
The bottom line is that you must gain a strong understanding of your chosen specialty and the industry you’re targeting when trying to attract a worthy clientele.
Otherwise, you’ll just be another “me-too” agency that offers the same old social media services. But if you can position yourself as an expert in a specific area, you’ll be far more likely to attract high-paying clients.
Tip #2: Learn about the business side of things
You might be a social media whiz, but do you know the ins and outs of running a business? If not, make sure you educate yourself on the business side of things before diving headfirst into starting your social media marketing agency.
This includes everything from learning how to create a business plan and track your finances to marketing your business and understanding the legal aspects of starting an agency.
Too often, would-be entrepreneurs fall into the trap of thinking they can wing it on the business front. But the truth is, without a solid foundation in business principles, your chances for success are slim.
One way to get up to speed on the business side of things is by pursuing an online MBA or an EMBA — depending on your professional background — with a marketing specialization from a reputable business school. This will give you the knowledge and skills you need to not only start your marketing agency but position it for long-term success.
Of course, an MBA or EMBA is a significant investment, both in terms of time and money. If you’re not ready to commit to an MBA program, you can find plenty of online resources and free business courses to guide you through the basics.
Tip #3: Never forget to draft a contract
Before embarking on any business relationship, a well-drafted contract must be in place. This will ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of their respective roles and expectations.
The contract should cover key aspects such as fees, payment terms, conditions for terminating the relationship, and metrics for assessing its success.
Although it may be tempting to simply skim over this document, taking the time to carefully review and understand it is crucial in setting the foundation for a successful partnership. Otherwise, you may find yourself in an unpleasant — and costly — legal battle further down the road.
Tip #4: Establish a thorough client onboarding process
A streamlined onboarding process is a must for any social media agency, but even more so when you’re starting from home. Why? Because you won’t have the luxury of a physical office or face-to-face interaction with your clients. For this reason, your onboarding process needs to be clear, concise, and easy to follow.
The best onboarding processes typically involve a combination of video tutorials, PDF guides, and email templates. It should also include a detailed onboarding questionnaire that will help you understand your client’s business, goals, and objectives. Plenty of social media agency questionnaire templates are available online that you can use as a starting point.
A personalized welcome packet or video that goes over your onboarding process in depth is also a nice touch. That way, your clients will know exactly what to expect from working with you and they’ll be able to reference the onboarding materials if they ever have any questions.
Tip #5: Invest in digital tools
When you’re running a business from home, you need to arm yourself with the right tools to stay organized, maximize productivity, and streamline your workflow. Thankfully, you’ll find plenty of great digital tools available to help you do just that. Some of our favorites types of tools include:
- Project management tools. Work management apps like Monday and Wrike can take your project management to the next level by helping you keep track of deadlines, assigned tasks, and progress reports in one place.
- Accounting software. QuickBooks and Xero are two popular options that can help you manage your finances, invoicing, and bookkeeping with ease.
- Automation tools. Automating repetitive tasks — like scheduling social media posts or sending email newsletters — can dramatically help you save time and boost your productivity. Zapier and IFTTT are two great options you might want to explore.
These are merely a few examples of digital tools among thousands of options available today. Do some research and find the ones that will complement your existing workflow and help you run your social media marketing agency more efficiently.
Tip #6: Build a value-based pricing strategy
The key to developing a value-based pricing strategy? Understanding the perceived value of your services. This can be tricky if you’re just starting and don’t have any case studies or testimonials to show potential clients.
To overcome this challenge, you can conduct market research. This can be done by surveying your target market or by speaking with industry experts. Once you have a better understanding of the perceived value of your services, you can start to develop a pricing strategy that reflects this value.
Keep in mind that your pricing strategy will likely evolve as you gain more experience and results. For now, focus on getting started and being mindful of the value you’re delivering to your clients.
Tip #7: Set an ethical tone for your agency
As the founder and leader of your social media marketing agency, it’s up to you to set the tone for your company culture — even if it’s just you to begin with. One of the best ways to do this is by consciously adopting an ethical leadership style from the get-go.
Ethical leaders are known for their honesty, integrity, and compassion, and these are qualities that will endear you to both clients and employees alike.
You don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to be authentic. For example, if you make a mistake, own up to it and learn from it. Your clients will respect you for your transparency and honesty, and they’ll be more likely to trust you with their business.
In addition to setting the tone for your company culture, an ethical foundation will also help you attract and retain the best talent. After all, who wouldn’t want to work for a company that values honesty and integrity?
A social media agency can be a great way to earn a living
Starting a social media marketing agency – or any agency, for that matter – from home is not an easy feat. Getting it off the ground takes dedication, hard work, and stress. And even if you get your business up and running, you’re not guaranteed success.
But if you’re up for the challenge and willing to put in the work, starting your own social media agency from home can be a great way to earn a living and build a successful business.