There are plenty of real concerns people have when starting a social media marketing agency. What should I charge? Who is my target market? How do I build a team? While these are all worthwhile considerations, budding agency owners often get distracted by worries and doubts about things that don’t matter.
It’s time to fix this.
Today, we’re going to debunk the most common myths about this business so you can understand the not-so-scary reality of building a social media marketing agency. Trust me, it’s easier than you think!
Myth #1: You need to have a LOT of experience.
Facebook has been around less than 15 years, so nobody has decades of experience in social media marketing. Even for those of us who have 5-10 years in the field (yep, I’m a digital marketing dinosaur), our experience has limited value. Many of the “tricks” which worked in the early days of social media marketing are next to useless now.
The game keeps changing, which means social media expertise does not necessarily mean experience. Instead, work on building your knowledge, ability, and creativity. Learn what kinds of tools can give you the best data and results. Staying up-to-date and strategic is what will truly set you apart in this biz (and since you’re on the needls blog right now, you’re already on the right track!).
Myth #2: You need a BIG team to run fully optimized Facebook ads – an account manager, a copywriter, a data analyst…
Marketing agencies are notoriously bloated – downtown offices, big boardrooms, connected studios, and a specialist for everything under the sun.
Your agency doesn’t need to look like that. It certainly doesn’t need to start out that way.
Sure, you might need to hire people as you grow. There’s no question that managing social media accounts for multiple clients can take a lot of time. But if you don’t have a full team of specialists (or you do, but want to use their time more effectively), automation can help fill in the gaps.
For example, our platform needls.AGENCY automates most of the Facebook advertising process. That means our robot will do all your targeting, optimization, reporting, and billing. It will even help with posting through needls.ENGAGE.
Do some research and find out how tools like needls.AGENCY can streamline your process. This will keep your team lean and help you focus growing your agency and developing killer creative.
Myth #3: People aren’t willing to spend much on social media marketing.
I’m just going to let the numbers speak for a second…
Year after year, advertisers continue to spend record amounts on social media marketing with no signs of slowing down. Facebook has regularly seen double-digit revenue increases since Facebook “Flyers” (that’s what their ads used to be called) hit the scene in 2004, and even bigger jumps since 2008 when Business Pages were born.
Every day, tons of business owners look to Facebook advertising as a way to grow their brand and to generate leads. They have a sizable marketing budget. They value digital channels. The question is, who can run these ads for the busy business owner? Hello, your social media marketing agency!
Myth #4: You need to charge clients a TON of money to keep your agency’s head above water.
If you’re a new social media marketing agency, chances are most of your clients will be small and medium businesses. How can you offer prices that fit these clients’ budgets without creating an unsustainable business? Don’t agencies need to charge super high prices to make a profit?
Once again, automation saves the day. By implementing smart systems, a single skilled person or small team can handle more clients in less time. This efficiency will allow you to offer competitive costs to your clients while still pocketing profits for your agency. Plus, people will pay a premium for access to the higher-level insights these time-saving tools provide. Win-win!
Myth #5: Only young people are good at social media marketing.
This one grinds my gears because it straight-up doesn’t make sense. The fact is, more than four in five 30-49-year olds are on Facebook. In the 50-64 bracket, 72% are on Facebook. Even those who are 65 and older are active on the site, with a whopping 62% having active Facebook accounts.
So why would we think that social media is only a kid’s game?
Sure, the gig involves skills which may come more naturally to a person who grew up with computers (typing, for example), but so what? With creativity and some tech smarts, people of all ages can get the job done. If Facebook ads can target people in the 50+ age bracket, they can certainly be written and run by people in that age group!
Myth #7: You need to build a huge online presence to be taken seriously as an agency.
Running your own Facebook ads to promote your agency and building a reputable Business Page are great tactics. You can lose prospects without these things. The problem is that building an online presence takes time, and you still need to pitch clients while you get yours rolling.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to land clients even before you start growing your own social media presence. Why? Because ultimately, people don’t care about you – they care about what you can offer them.
Most prospective clients aren’t judging you on your social media presence alone. Here are a few things you can do to sign your first contract while you’re still building a social media presence yourself:
- Create a stunning website.
- Create Facebook ads for your agency which point people to that website, so you aren’t just depending on organic reach for your new Business Page.
- Share prior work you’ve done for other clients. If you’re new to the game, offer low-cost options or free trials to build your portfolio.
- Gather testimonials from past clients and make sure they’re easy to find online.
- Have conversations! Network in real life and tell people who you are and what you can do.
There are plenty of ways to show people what you are capable of doing for their business. Make relationships, give people proof of your skills, and make sure you deliver great services to encourage client recommendations.
The Reality of Starting a Social Media Marketing Agency
I’m not going to pretend that starting a social media marketing agency is all sunshine and lollipops. Like any business, there is work involved in making it successful.
It is, however, a lot less work than many people seem to think. You don’t need a six-figure loan, a full team, or even an office to start. With the right tools, knowledge, and attitude, it’s possible to start a profitable business that fills this growing need in digital marketing.