How to Start a Social Media Agency

How to Start a Social Media Agency: A Guide for Freelancers

Are you looking to learn how to start a social media agency? Freelancers, this one is for you!

The rise of social media has revolutionised the way businesses interact with their customers. With billions of active users on various social media platforms, it’s no surprise that companies are investing in social media marketing more than ever before. As a freelancer, starting a social media agency can be a great opportunity to leverage your skills and expertise to help businesses grow their online presence. In this article from Women in Agencies, we’ll talk you through how to start a social media agency and build a successful business.

Step 1: Consider your niche and target market

The first step to starting any business is to define your niche and target market. This is especially important when it comes to social media agencies because there are so many different services you can offer. For example, you could specialise in social media management, social media advertising, influencer marketing, content creation, or a combination of these services.

To determine your niche, consider your personal skills, experience, and interests. You should also look to research the market to identify any gaps and opportunities. Once you have defined your niche, it’s time to identify your target market. This could be small businesses, startups, e-commerce companies, or any other group that you believe would benefit from your services.

Step 2: Develop your services and pricing

Once you have defined your niche and target market, it’s time to develop your services and your pricing. Your services should align with your niche and target market, and should be tailored to their specific needs. For example, if you’re targeting small businesses, you may want to offer social media management services that include content creation, scheduling, and engagement.I

If you are looking to start a social media agency it’s important to remember that this takes time and gradual build up and increase of prices – as this aligns with your delivery. When it comes to pricing, you should consider your expenses, possible costs, and the value you provide to your clients. You can either charge a flat rate for your services or charge agency hourly rates. You should also consider offering packages that bundle your services together at a discounted rate. This is not always right for everyone so be careful to not get fixed on one method – trial and error, research and an open mind is really important at this stage.

How to Start a Social Media Agency

Step 3: Build your brand and online presence

When learning how to start a social media agency, it’s important to have a strong brand and online presence. This will not only help you attract clients but also demonstrate your expertise in the industry. Your brand should reflect your niche and target market, and should be consistent across all your online platforms. Don’t feel like you have to be on every platform, find what works for you and focus on that.

You should also create a website that showcases your services, pricing, and portfolio. Your website should be user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and optimised for search engines (SEO is really important here, good SEO will help you grow from day one!). In addition, you should create social media profiles on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to connect with potential clients and showcase your work.

Step 4: Network and market your services

Networking and marketing are so crucial when it comes to starting a social media agency. You should try to attend regular industry events, join online groups and forums, and connect with other freelancers and business owners in your niche – Women in Agencies is great to get started in growing your network and connections! This will not only help you build relationships but also provide you with opportunities to learn and grow in the industry.

If you can, you should also invest in marketing your services through paid advertising, email marketing, and content marketing. Paid advertising on social media platforms can help you reach your target market more effectively, while email marketing can help you build relationships with potential clients. Content marketing, such as blogging, can help you establish yourself as an authority in the industry and attract organic traffic to your website. Again, keep an open mind and don’t feel like you have to do everything at once! A slow build with a cautious budget is better than going all in and loosing money!

Step 5: Deliver high-quality work and build relationships

This one is possibly the most important! Once you start attracting clients, it’s important to deliver high-quality work and build relationships. Social media is a fast-paced industry, and clients expect quick turnaround times and high-quality results. You should communicate with your clients regularly and provide them with progress updates and reports.

Member Focus  : Emily Williams

emily williams social media agency

Hi, I am Emily and I am the owner of Virtual Emily UK – we are a Social Media Marketing company with me, a VA and 2 social media associates (so far)! I have 7 years of working within the freelance and now agency world and I am a proud Women in Agencies member!
Here are some of the things I have learnt along the way building and now scaling a Social Media Agency.
Mental wellbeing first:
For me, having ADHD and panic disorder has always meant I have been treated poorly in past jobs. In reality, if I had been supported by my peers and managers then I would have thrived personally as well as professionally. I did not thrive personally, my mental health deteriorated rapidly when employed. My aim is to have every associate or employee treated well with an emphasis on being flexible towards how their brain works best to support their wellbeing. It is important to me that I have a long-term, happy team so this is my number one tip for anyone out there building a Social Media Agency. This virtual world and the economic state the world is in unfortunately makes it very easy to manipulate people and pay them poorly and have no boundaries with their time. I want that to never be how Virtual Emily UK is known.
Make connections even when you don’t think you need to:
In my experience, connections make up 75% of my leads. When I first began freelancing, I went totally on recommendation for years before even creating my own Virtual Emily UK social media pages or website. I used local connections, Linkedin and my personal Facebook profile! Those connections I made 5-6 years ago still connect me with leads and more connections. My advice is set aside time each week specifically for creating meaningful and mutually beneficial connections.
Expect ebbs and flows:
The world of Social Media Management and Marketing is very up and down and over the years I have learned the patterns throughout the year where I expect to have more or less leads. For example, most potential clients take long summer breaks from June to August and so I get my least amount of leads then. In my first year doing this in 2016 I panicked and thought my business was definitely going to fail. I realised in 2017, then 2018 and so on, that this was a pattern. Once you know this you can plan for it every year and still grow your business. Expect the ebbs and flows and plan for them and you will be just fine.
Allow yourself to outsource:
As the owner of any business, the thought of handing off tasks to somebody else that were formally your tasks is terrifying. But I promise you if you can find the right associates, you will have so much weight lifted off your shoulders – and you’ll never want all that weight back again as it just doesn’t make sense. Take your time with hiring and I suggest not using Facebook networking groups or Instagram to hire, use Linkedin or hire via connections (this is what I did). I also like to add an interactive element to the initial application such as a short creative task or a video introduction as this helps to sift out people who are not serious about applying and saves you lots of time reading unnecessary applications. When I get to shortlisting, I always pay people for their time (and at their rate) to complete any creative projects to help me in my decision.
Running a Social Media Agency is never easy but it is really rewarding. It allows me to be creative but my associates allow me to set boundaries and also have a great personal life which has helped me manage my ADHD and panic disorder.

If you are a freelancer learning how to start a social media agency we can help you make valuable connections within the industry to learn, develop and grow from your network. Women in Agencies is dedicated to supporting female talent within the agency world! Find out more on our about us page.

Beth Hellowell
Founder of Women in Agencies and co-founder of Signify Digital. Mother, social media scroller and frequent pasta eater.