9 Steps To Starting A Social Media Marketing Agency [+Infographic]

Jun 14, 2021 14 min read

Managing multiple social media profiles across several networks can be a daunting task. It can be hard to consistently push out content, proactively engage with followers whilst managing other aspects of your business.

Being on social media means keeping yourself updated with the never-ending trends and updates.

A social media marketing agency helps such businesses reach their specific goals and maintain the type of social media presence they want. Millions of small and medium-sized companies are looking for a social media marketing agency to help them grow their presence on social media. And that's where you, as a social media marketing agency, can help your clients build the social media presence they desire.

The key to a successful social media marketing agency is adopting the new trend and continuously improving your strategies.

But starting a social media marketing agency isn't just about hiring a team. You will have to get a lot of work done to get your agency on the ground. So it's fine to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start.

This step-by-step guide will assist you in starting a successful social media marketing agency from scratch. So let's get started.

Step #1. List Down Your Niche To See Where You Specialize
Step #2. Select The Services You Can Offer & Figure Out Your Unique Selling Point (USP)
Step #3. Prepare A Business Plan
Step #4. Create Portfolio
Step #5. Determine Your Pricing & Create Packages
Step #6. Develop Your Own Social Media Presence To Stand Out As A Social Media Marketing Agency
Step #7. Start Approaching & Pitching To Win Clients
Step #8. Track Performance Results
Step #9. Hire Staff & Choose A Tool To Help You Manage Social Media Accounts

You can directly jump to a section of your choice or keep scrolling.

Click here to download infographic on 9 steps to starting a marketing agency.

Step #1. List Down Your Niche To See Where You Specialize

The competition is tough out there. Therefore, to start a social media marketing agency, you need to discover your niche. This helps you to concentrate on smaller crowds that are interested and require your services.

While selecting your niche, you should also keep an eye on if people in that industry are actively looking for marketing agency services. At the same time, you should choose a niche in which you can deliver your services effectively. So you need to find a sweet spot between the two to select a profitable niche.

Some profitable niches requiring social media marketing agency services are eCommerce, non-profit organizations, fitness, healthcare, food, and legal services. Companies belonging to these industries need someone who understands their industry well and knows what works best for that industry.

The closer you are related to their target market, the better strategies you can develop to attract prospects.

Instead of being "Jack of All Trades," become a specialist in a specific industry sector. It assists in establishing your brand as a thought leader in that particular industry. Clients are willing to pay a premium price for such industry specialists.

Niching down will help you in your pricing strategy as well. The more you specialize in a niche, the higher you can charge for your expertise.

Businesses are looking for specialized services. As a result, strategies that work for one sector might not work for another. For example, the social media marketing strategies required for eCommerce are different from those for nonprofit organizations.

You might not just select one niche to specialize in (however, that remains the ideal requirement). To get started, you can pick up two/three niches and gain high authority in those sectors, rather than holding little authority in several sectors.

Example - AuDSEO, as a social media marketing agency, offers marketing services for audiology healthcare. They have been in this business for more than 7 years, and in 2019, they were featured as Top 10 Healthcare Marketing Consulting/Services Companies.

AuDSEO Facebook

Image Source: AuDSEO Facebook

Step #2. Select The Services You Can Offer & Figure Out Your Unique Selling Point (USP)

USP for your agency means what is that one thing special in you that no other agency on earth has?

Your USP not just defines you but also distinguishes you from the herd. It will be the foundation of your brand.

USP should be framed keeping the following aspects of your business in mind.

  • Gives you a clear vision of the message you deliver.
  • Reflected on every message that your brand sends across every channel.
  • Identifies a clear direction for your business.
  • Helps your clients remember your reputation as a brand.
  • Helps you to craft compelling pitches for your clients.

No doubt, finding your USP is difficult. But having a ferocious USP will give you a complete view of where you stand, which market you are targeting, and how to reach your potential clients. Hence, take out the time to define your brand's USP to excel further in your business.

Example - See how the digital marketing agency, PASSIONrebel, has listed their particular USP on their website.


Image Source: PASSIONrebel

You can offer several services to several clients. You can also specialize in one particular service. Social media marketing is a vast field that can include services like

  • Content creation
  • Campaign management
  • Pay per click marketing
  • SEO services
  • Online reputation management
  • Lead generation
  • Managing engagements and reviews on social media
  • Increasing website traffic & conversions rate
  • Marketing analytics

Remember: Select a service(s) about which you are confident to deliver exceptional results to your clients.

Step #3. Prepare A Business Plan

To make your venture a successful one, you need to plan each and every aspect of your business. Writing a business plan can help you a lot in this regard. A business plan will guide you through every step of your venture and make things simpler for you by creating a roadmap for the future.

Your business plan should contain strategies, tactics, and action plans for marketing and business promotions. It should also include activities that will help boost brand visibility and widen the market share. It will give you a lot of clarity in terms of which steps to follow.

The critical components of your business plan should include the following pointers.

Executive summary

Explains in brief what your agency does and cover the highlights of your detailed business plan.


Highlight the problem that your social media marketing agency is solving, the exact solution, whom you plan to sell, and how your service fits into the existing business landscape.


Includes the list of your action plans that result in achieving a focused and directed goal. It broadly covers the sales and marketing plans, operations management, success measurement, and the milestones expected to be achieved.

Company overview & team

You will be reviewing your company's hierarchy and who are your key team members. This section is vital to your clients as they want to know who is working behind the scenes and if they get results.

Financial plan

Include monthly sales and revenues forecast for the current and next quarter/phase of your business. Based on this, you can develop the schedule for the next three to five years, giving you the direction to go forward.

Step #4. Create Portfolio

Clients are looking for trustworthy social media marketing agencies and those who will provide a return on their investment. So you need to convince your clients on these aspects and give them a solid reason to hire you. There's one thing that can help build trust and credibility in your clients before you even talk to them, and that's your portfolio.

A portfolio shows the work you've done, rather than just talking about it in front of your clients.

A portfolio will help you in attracting your clients through your past work samples. You can include the details about any unique social media campaign that you have done in the past. But showing the results of your campaign is as important as showing your work itself.

The point of creating your portfolio is to show your clients how awesome you are at the work that you do. That's why you should only include the best of best work samples in your portfolio. Featuring all your work in your portfolio will make it very difficult for your clients to scan through your excellent work.

You need to include in-depth case studies of each campaign that you include in your portfolio. In addition, each campaign needs to have the following details.

  • The headline/name of the campaign and its goal
  • Services offered by you in the campaign
  • The results achieved at the end of the campaign
  • Eye-catching snippets of the campaign like videos, posts, tweets
  • A testimonial from your happy client

Your portfolio needs to be honest and ethical without stretching the facts.

But if you are just starting, you might not have worked with some incredible clients to include in your portfolio. In such situations, you can do two things to build your portfolio without client work.

Pick up a case study

Choose some brands that have achieved excellent results in their social media campaigns in the past. Then, do your research on it and find out what went right, what went wrong, and how you could improve the campaign.

This will form a case study that you can showcase in your portfolio, but you can't get paid for building such case studies.

Offer free services

Offer your services for less price or for free to some brands initially. Work with complete dedication for them and help them achieve excellent results for their campaign. Then include details about this campaign and its results in your portfolio.

Sometimes, your small client might be so happy with your service that they might just pay you more or hire you for a long-term contract with them.

Your work does not end once you create a portfolio. Remember, this is just the first draft. As time goes by, you will keep getting new clients, and you will keep doing some incredibly fantastic work for them.

Hence it's imperative to keep updating your portfolio with the most relevant and highly impressive work samples.

Step #5. Determine Your Pricing & Create Packages

Running your social media marketing agency comes at a cost. There are several expenses under your bucket like setup cost, business overhead, taxes, salaries. So you need to start with making your agency capable of bearing these business expenses. The next stage would be to draw a profitable revenue. And hence you need to price your services to your clients mindfully.

But you cannot charge your services too high to your clients. At the same time, you cannot undercharge yourself as well. Your pricing strategy will depend on your business model and the services you offer.

The two ways in which you can price your services are

1. Hourly rates

Hourly rates are billed according to the time you put into each project. Hourly rates are usually applicable when a project requires a significant amount of time and research to be completed. You will also have to invest in a time tracker tool to communicate the total time invested in the project to your clients.

Hourly rate is usually more applicable to individual freelancers or those who work part-time, whereas it might not be a smart choice for your social media marketing agency.

2. Price by packages

Creating social media packages helps as your clients might not require all your services.

Packages can be customized according to the client’s needs, and the package’s pricing can be determined accordingly. In addition, it will allow you to predict how much time you'll spend on each client's work and know precisely how much money you'll be making in that time.

Packages can be formed by adding or removing your services. Such packages give the flexibility to your clients to find the services that they require within their budget. However, when you bunch your services to form packages, you also charge more than a single service being offered.

By packaging your services, you can make more money with a slightly reduced workload.

While clubbing several services in your packages, you can also include bonuses if your clients opt for a higher-priced package. Like if a standard baseline package consists of creating two social media posts per week and a monthly report, then the plus package can include three social media posts per week with a monthly report and one strategy discussion session for one month as a bonus in the package.

Price your services in alignment with the market rates. You can decide your package prices based on competitor's pricing strategies as well. Understand how the top agencies in your market are pricing their services and how their pricing impact's the client’s expectations. In this manner, you can come up with a pricing strategy that is neither overcharged nor undercharged for your clients.

Have an irresistible offer ready and strategy to keep the client long-term.

Example - See how Changescape Web, a social media marketing agency, decides their pricing package with a proper breakdown and description of each package.

Changescape Web

Image Source: Changescape Web

Step #6. Develop Your Own Social Media Presence To Stand Out As A Social Media Marketing Agency

Your social media marketing agency should have a professional-looking social media presence itself first. Your social media presence will help you create a solid personal brand to support the new business.

Your clients will trust your ability and skills as a social media marketing agency when you become visible to them across various social media platforms. Your challenge is to be seen as an expert in your niche.

Learn more about 10 Ways To Keep Your Brand's Social Feed Fresh

It's not mandatory for your social media marketing agency to have a highly active social media presence, but it definitely gives you an edge to have one. This can help you with organic lead generation, engaging with your clients, and maximizing your brand reach.

Example - The social media marketing agency Disruptive Advertising does not just help its clients win at the social media marketing game, they replicate it themselves. With thousands of followers on their social media page, they currently hold a review score of 4.8 out of 5 on Facebook.

Disruptive Advertising Facebook

Image Source: Disruptive Advertising Facebook

You never know marketing your social media marketing agency on social media will land you your first client, and you might not have to put in the money to find your first client.

Step #7. Start Approaching & Pitching To Win Clients

If you have completed the above steps, you have set up the main components of your social media marketing agency. Now is the time when you need to put your ideas into execution.

Getting clients on board can be challenging and frustrating for your social media marketing agency in the first place. Here's how you can get a set of few clients to build your portfolio and land your ideal clients and kickstart your business.

Talk to your friends and families

Spread the word about your social media marketing agency within your personal circle. Someone in your network might possibly be looking for such services, and they just found you. Do this initially to establish case studies and testimonials to build a portfolio that will attract even more clients.

By approaching your friends and family, you might or might not get some work, but you will get tons of word-of-mouth marketing.

Start outbound marketing

When you start a social media marketing agency, no one will know about you. Hence, you need to approach clients to let them know that you are offering social media services.

First, start researching the requirements of the clients you wish to work with. Then, find their relevant content information and approach them via cold emailing. Drop your pitch and leave it to the rest.

Remember: Building a solid portfolio and attaching it in your cold email will add credibility to your pitch.

Start following some clients on social media who can be your potential clients. Engage with them on their social media post. Initiate a conversation in their DM and present your services strategically.

Offer a part of your service for free

The goal is to present a free taster session of your service to your clients. As a result, it will be easier to convince your clients to get on the first free call with no upfront commitment.

In this way, you can bring a lot of prospects to your discussion table. After that, the game remains entirely in your hand to offer a free audit or strategy report to convince them to opt for your service packages.

Bonus: Since you will be having just a few deciding minutes with your client on the call, present the best of your best services to show your expertise and give them zero reasons to not sign up for the deal.

Example - To bring clients to the table, the social media marketing agency KlientBoost offers free marketing ideas.


Image Source: KlientBoost

Learn more about Client Onboarding - A Must-Have Checklist For Agencies

The benefit of networking with other agencies

The game plan to acquire clients is networking.

Networking will prove to be beneficial to your business beyond your imagination. For example, you can form a community of several social media marketing agencies involved in the same niche.

When you don't have the bandwidth to take up more clients, but still a notable client approaches you, you can refer them to an agency in your network. Similarly, you might find such opportunities from other agencies as well.

The best part is that you will still be building a responsible relationship with your clients as you didn't leave them hanging and referred them to some other agency.

Step #8. Track Performance Results

By now, you have selected your niche, your services, built a portfolio and started working with a few clients. You now need to track your progress for your social media marketing agency's smooth running/operations.

Prepare performance and progress reports and share them with your clients to show them that you were the perfect service provider for them and that they made an intelligent choice by showing their trust in you. They might be so happy with your services that they can even refer you to their network and help you get clients through referral (an effortless way of getting clients.)

Tracking your social media marketing agency progress and results at regular intervals will also help you to discover gaps and take immediate actions to improve upon those aspects of your business holding you back or providing hindrance in your journey.

Example - See how the award-winning social media marketing agency, Lyfe Marketing, displays its victorious results in terms of client revenue and campaigns managed on their home page.

Lyfe Marketing

Image Source: Lyfe Marketing

Step #9. Hire Staff & Choose A Tool To Help You Manage Social Media Accounts

As your social media marketing agency will grow, you will be handling multiple client work. Also, you need to maintain and grow your own social media presence side by side. Since it will be difficult for you to do all the work on your own, you might consider outsourcing your services and onboarding a team of professionals.

Learn more about Proven Tips To Manage Social Media For A Large Number Of Clients

To deliver the best possible services to your clients, you need to hire experienced and creative teammates. Since you need the best of the best people to handle your work, you might consider hiring experts in specific fields.

Example - Forge & Spark Media Ltd., a content marketing agency founded in 2013, has grown their team since then and hired several specialists. They have also included a team page on their website.

Forge & Spark Media Ltd.

Image Source: Forge & Spark Media Ltd.

Incorporating tools will make your day-to-day activities easier by automating mundane tasks. In addition, the analytical tools will help you gain insights into top industry trends and provide detailed competitor analysis, which is essential for your agency's growth.

Statusbrew as a social media marketing tool will help you to eliminate confusion by managing multiple clients from a central dashboard with a unique workspace for each client. It allows you to generate white-label reports as per your client's requirements and focus on the metrics that matter the most.

Know more about Statusbrew's Social Media Marketing Solutions For Agencies.

Statusbrew's Asset Manager gives your team access to a shared pool of client's social content and assets to improve team efficiency and consistency. The configurable workflows and approval permissions enable hassle-free content planning and publishing.

In addition, you can easily collaborate with your clients for real-time approvals for posts. And there's a lot more inside the store!

Want to discuss further? Book a free demo or start your free trial today!

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Statusbrew is an all in one social media management tool that supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, and even Google My Business.


9 steps to starting a marketing agency

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Rushali Das

Rushali is a B2B SaaS content writer who specializes in writing research-driven blog posts around marketing for B2B SaaS brands.

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