How to start and run a Social Media Marketing agency

In the era of internet, a lot of people found their dream job in running social media marketing agency. It’s not a surprise since this option gives you a lot of freedom and good earnings. But is it easy as it may seem? Is it all about travelling, and fun, or there might be some really hard work behind all that? Well, it depends on what you are offering to your clients. Everything quality has some effort and hard work invested in it.

Small-business owners do not often have time or knowledge to handle their social media marketing. The new trends and constant change in that area can be scary. This opens an opportunity for people who have dedicated their time to learn about social media marketing, and are willing to give a try with their own agency. We are bringing you steps on how to do it, with a few great tips. 😉


There is no fake-it-until-you-make-it in this area. Your customers will expect real results, and they will probably want it fast. So, before you even start to think about working for business owners or other people, you should try and learn on yourself.

Here are some ideas where to start:

  • social media marketing blogs, websites and podcasts
  • books and ebooks
  • courses
  • videos and YouTube channels

Most of these resources are for free, so there is no excuse. At sites like Amazon Kindle, there are thousands of free or cheap books. Not to mention some really great YouTube channels like Neil Patel‘s e.g. Set yourself a goal: to read or watch something every day for (at least) an hour.

Meanwhile, during the studying try things on your social media accounts. You can even open new ones for your future agency. Practising is the best way to remember things, and if you mistake there will be no harmful consequences.

learn social media marketing

Pick profitable businesses.

Why? Because at the beginning you will need to invest your money in marketing and you need to earn fast to bring it back. If you start to work with the business that will cope to pay or postpone you, you may end up in debt. Don’t think that you need to accept everything because you are just starting, especially if it will take your time for nothing. And you will need extra time to do stuff at the beginning, also.

We don’t claim that you should be cocky and pick just “the cream”. It will take time to establish your social media marketing agency, and maybe you will have to accept less paid jobs, or even work for free to get some reputation and experience. Don’t be afraid to ask for the reviews when you do that. But also, don’t stop trying to catch some better businesses to work with.

On the list of most profitable businesses in 2020 are

  • handyman
  • auto-repair and car-wash services
  • personal trainers and fitness-related businesses, nutritionists
  • child-oriented businesses, such as newborn or post-pregnancy services, daycares, organising children activities
  • online courses, tutoring services
  • real estate
  • dentists
  • gardening and landscaping businesses, florists
  • vacation rentals

Hope you can find some inspiration there. Try to contact your local businesses and persuade them to give you a try. You can even offer a trial period or a discounted price from the beginning. We will talk about prices in the next section.

Determine prices.

Your clients will want different things. So, the most suitable option is to create at least three packages.

A monthly fee is the best option because it will give you the constant cash flow you can rely on. It gives you a chance to build a team for your social media marketing agency. Also, you can include paid ads in some of the packages which will save you a lot of time and bring good results. Fees can vary widely, depending on your experience and customer’s requests. Typical prices are somewhere between 300$ to 5000$ per month. Here are some examples of how you can create packages:

  • Basic package – you can include two networks in this package, for example, Facebook and Instagram. Limit how much posts you will share through the month and don’t boost posts or pay ads. This is just a basic offer, so approach to it like it is meant for a business which needs just a little help with their social media marketing.
  • Medium package – this should be your most picked option. Include more or even all of your client’s networks, custom graphics for posts and stories, engagement, analytics etc. You can even add a limited number of blog posts.
  • Full-service – consider this package as “expanded medium”. Offer everything your medium package has, but add a lot more of paid ads, which means more followers. Also, you can include hosting chats, contests and events.

Determine what every package offers clearly and keep in mind that too many options can kill sales. Be very precise about what is included and point it on your website (or your social media). If your prices work well, you might keep them somewhere between 3 and 6 months. After that, you will probably notice the signs of being overwhelmed. You may not be able to handle all the work, keep up with everything and feel stressed. That’s the time to raise the prices and employ another team member.

On the other hand, you could also charge per hour. Here are some examples:

  • beginner (0-3 years of experience): 15-50$ per hour
  • intermediate (3-5 years of experience): 50-100$ per hour
  • advanced (more than 5 years of experience): +120$ per hour

All of these are just examples. You need to determine your experience level and test your prices. If it’s not working, change it.

Sometimes you might have to charge a flat fee. If a business needs help to set up their accounts, or launching a new product campaign, this may be the solution. This is not a very common case in social media marketing, but be ready if it happens.

prices for social media marketing

Find clients.

Your next step is to find some good clients. For beginners, the easiest way to do that is through friends, family and referrals. That way you will bypass the struggle when no one is willing to risk with a new agency. After you win your first few clients, it will be easier. You can ask them to do a review of your work. Written testimonials and videos work great. Put them on your website and share on your social media. That will open a lot of doors to new clients.

Another way is to offer a free evaluation of their accounts. You can design a system to do that before you even start. Tell them what is good and what is not working well, and offer a solution.

We advise you to not take any money in advance. Also, don’t make any promises. That way you will avoid the risk of complaints and bad reviews if you are not able to fulfil something. You can not be 100% sure something will work as you think since this is an unpredictable job. And while we’re at advice, don’t tell your clients exactly how you do something. This is your job, don’t go into details, because they might figure out they can do it by themselves.

Track results.

Your clients will ask for results, and you will have to prove that you earn your money. So, tracking your activities and saving analytics is a must. You can create a simple google or excel sheet for that. Do that for every network you manage. Here are a few things you should track:

  • content metrics – that is including link posts, video posts, image posts, text posts, your original content and other content
  • timing metrics – number of posts per week e.g., most common posting time and day
  • audience metrics – number of total followers, new followers, accounts you follow; you can also include age, gender and location
  • engagement metrics – brand mentions, positive and negative comments, likes, shares, messages
  • social traffic metrics – total sessions, bounce rate, duration, total page views

Most of these metrics are available for every social media network. During your learning process, you will stumble upon analytics for every one of them and you should take that part seriously. If you decide to use some of the social media management tools, that will also make your job easier.

metrics in social media marketing

These were the most important steps at the beginning of starting your social media marketing agency. Things you need to elaborate and establish well if you want to succeed. There are few other things you need to think about, like how to name your agency, decide on the structure and go through the legal aspects. Those things depend on your location, so we will not go into deeper elaboration, because they can be quite different for every country.

Another thing you need to consider is which tools you will use for creating and scheduling your content. You will need something easy and fast, like Canva, for creating original posts. But also use some of the management tools (you can check what we were writing about here), because it will make your life a lot easier.

Last, but not least, never stop learning. The worst thing you can do is to get cocky and decide that you know all. Social media trends are changing constantly, and very fast. You need to keep up to date, or your clients will find somebody who will do it better. Read and watch videos every day.

If you prepare well, getting into social media marketing may be the best thing that happened to you. Good luck!

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