Social Media Marketing Agency Business Plan

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How to Start a Social Media Marketing Agency:

$6,205.75 USD
3 Months
How to Start a Social Media Marketing Agency:

A step-by-step guide on how to successfully start a social media marketing business.

1. 

Determine if this is the right business for you.

1.1 

Assess your skills and social media marketing knowledge.

Assess your skills and social media marketing knowledge.

While the need for social media managers is growing, the field is relatively new and as with any business, you need to determine if you're capable of performing the job. The requirements expected from this role include copywriting skills, relevant experience, and solid knowledge of SEO practices.

Do you have an understanding of social media as a marketing tool? Social media differs from other forms of marketing in the sense that it is about having an informative and entertaining conversation with your clients' following. Each platform is unique, and how you promote a client on LinkedIn differs vastly from how you do it on Facebook.

In this industry, you need to have your finger on the pulse of different social media platforms' changes in policies and algorithms at all times.

You need to be able to convey each client's unique voice in their social media posts, for instance, some businesses may choose to have a serious and professional social media presence, while others choose to be lighthearted and quirky.

You need to work together with your clients to make them understand that social media marketing is about building loyalty and trust, not about making sales. Once you achieve this, you need to develop a plan for them.

1.2 

Consider the pros and cons.

Consider the pros and cons.

One of the main benefits of starting a social media marketing agency is low startup costs. In this role, you won't need to immediately hire staff, you can work from anywhere, and most social media platforms are inexpensive.

On the other hand, some notable cons include the fact that many traditional business owners don't see the significance of social media marketing and you will need to manage multiple social media accounts at a time.

2. 

Choose the services your social media marketing agency will offer.

2.1 

Start with the basics.

Start with the basics.

The early stages of your business will require hard work and most of that will be the responsibility of one or two employees, depending on how small your team is. During this time, it's best to start small and only offer basic services that are manageable on a daily basis. This way you can start building your skills to eventually start managing multiple clients.

Think about offering start-up and/or full-service packages. Start-up services create social media accounts for clients and then pass the management back to them. If you offer full-service packages, you create accounts, post content, and moderate communities. It is good to offer a combination of services and a range of packages to cater to various clients' needs.

2.2 

Decide what industry you want to focus on.

Decide what industry you want to focus on.

As a small business, it may be wise to focus on a niche market. For instance lawyers, doctors, or dentists offices. This could also help your business grow within that specific industry.

2.3 

Establish which platforms you are going to focus on.

Establish which platforms you are going to focus on.

It is important to know all the major platforms, but it is good to focus on those that drive results in the industry you are focusing on.

Popular social media platforms for businesses:

  • Facebook.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Twitter.
  • YouTube.
  • Instagram.
3. 

Conduct market research.

3.1 

Establish if your business concept is feasible.

Establish if your business concept is feasible.

Will enough people with enough spending power use your services? Who is your prospective client? Doing market research for your social media marketing business shows who your clients are, reveals if there are enough of them, and establishes how best to make them happy.

3.2 

Determine if you can meet customer requirements.

Determine if you can meet customer requirements.

Evaluate if you will be able to meet your prospective clients' social media marketing needs. If not, consider reworking your concept to ensure it is in line with your potential clients' requirements.

3.3 

Follow social media marketers, influencers, and advocate marketers.

Follow social media marketers, influencers, and advocate marketers.

The best way to learn is by studying the competition and other social media professionals. Don't underestimate what you can learn from your competition.

3.4 

Get accurate facts, figures, and statistics.

Get accurate facts, figures, and statistics.

You could hire a professional market research firm or you can teach yourself to do market research, and use data analytics tools. There are free options available if you don’t want to spend money on these tools.

4. 

Make a detailed list of what you need.

4.1 

Consider your startup requirements.

Consider your startup requirements.

To get a clear idea of what it is going to cost you to get your social media marketing agency up and running, you need to make a detailed list of what you will need. A key benefit of starting a social media marketing agency is its minimal start-up requirements.

What you need to start a social media marketing business:

  • Online course. Invest in an online course to learn more about social media and digital marketing, which could benefit you as a refresher even if you are knowledgeable in this area.
  • Reliable computer, phone, and internet access.
  • A social media following and influence. You need a large number of followers that engage with your posts by commenting, and liking or sharing them.
4.2 

Calculate your startup costs.

Calculate your startup costs.

According to our research, it costs between $1,410.00 and $2,575.00 to start a social marketing manager agency.

Startup costs to consider:

  • Social media marketing agency course: $30.00 to $700.00
  • Smartphone: $800.00
  • Laptop or computer: $500.00
  • Business formation costs: $30.00 to $500.00.
  • Internet services: $50.00 to $75.00 per month.
5. 

Create a business plan.

5.1 

Consider the research you conducted and showcase it in your business plan.

Consider the research you conducted and showcase it in your business plan.

Once you have a clear picture of the social media marketing agency you want to start, you can create a business plan. During this process, you will be asked to present your business plan to potential investors, banks, and partners. Therefore, it's important that your business plan is well-researched and compelling.

Essentials for a Social Media Marketing Agency Business Plan:

  • Executive summary.
  • Company description.
  • Products and services.
  • Marketing plan.
  • Operational plan.
  • Management.
  • Ownership's personal financial statements.
  • Financial plan.
  • Appendices.
6. 

Choose a business name.

6.1 

Think about your brand and services.

Think about your brand and services.

Your social media marketing company's name will become your brand, and it needs to be relevant to your service and your market.

You can either choose to come up with the name yourself or you can use a business name generator like NameSnack, an online-based platform that uses AI technology to generate thousands of names.

6.2 
Perform a trademark search.

When you have a couple of business names in mind, write a list of potential business names and conduct a trademark search with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to ensure your name is available for use.

6.3 

Perform a name availability search with the state.

Perform a name availability search with the state.

Once you've confirmed that your business is available with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, you have to check with your local state department to verify if the name has already been registered. If not, you can trademark your business name and register it will the state department.

7. 

Form your social media marketing company.

7.1 

Choose a business entity.

Choose a business entity.

You have the choice of registering your business as a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or Limited Liability Company (LLC). Because your business will likely not require a corporate office or shareholders, we recommend starting out with a sole proprietorship, which may not require official registration.

7.2 

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

This option is a must if you plan on hiring additional employees. You can register for an EIN on the IRS website.

7.3 

Open a business bank account.

Open a business bank account.

To ensure your personal and business finances remain separate, consider opening a business bank account. This is a great way to establish credibility, obtain accurate statements, and benefit from business perks.

7.4 

Apply for licenses and permits.

Apply for licenses and permits.

To legally operate your business, you may require additional legal permits or licenses. However, this could largely depend on your location and its local requirements.

In most states and counties you won't require a special license to start a social media marketing business. You would need a general business license when you officially start your business, though. Go to the Small Business Administration (SBA) site to check for state licenses and permits you may need.

8. 

Get funding.

8.1 

Ask family and friends.

Ask family and friends.

One of the more common options is asking family and friends to invest in your business. Prepare a well-informed presentation and include your business plan.

8.2 

Apply for a loan with the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Apply for a loan with the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Managed by the SBA, these loans help businesses with limited financial alternatives to access funding at low-interest rates through federally-backed lending.

8.3 

Apply for a small business loan.

Apply for a small business loan.

Small business lending includes microloans, bank loans, credit cards, venture capital, and SBA-backed loans. Your social media marketing agency can use a small business loan to purchase equipment and more.

8.4 

Get a business credit card.

Get a business credit card.

If your business is less than two-years-old and you have a good credit record, your chances of qualifying for a business credit card are good. A business credit card is great for small expenses that need to be handled immediately.

9. 

Search for clients.

9.1 

Reach out to prospective clients in your niche.

Reach out to prospective clients in your niche.

Find out what potential clients are doing in terms of marketing and find out if you can help them with their online marketing. Explain to them how their online presence can grow brand loyalty, which ensures ongoing sales.

Know your prospective client. Research them online, which helps you to prepare your pitch.

Have high-quality and convincing sales-ready messages or call scripts.

Choose your timing carefully when you make contact.

Ask them the right diagnostic questions.

Have a clear picture of the services you are offering.

Have persuasive proposals and presentations.

Ensure your social media marketing agency has an effective and simple sales process.

9.2 

Offer a free audit.

Offer a free audit.

A great way to attract clients is by offering them a free digital audit to show them an overview of their current online efforts and how you can help them improve. Include relevant data and analytics that details their current online presence and their potential brand development if they use your services.

9.3 

Create a company website.

Create a company website.

List all relevant information customers may be interested in, such as prices, services, and contact information. If possible, include testimonials from previous clients.

10. 

Hire employees.

10.1 

Decide if you need to hire employees.

Decide if you need to hire employees.

When starting out, it's not recommended to hire a team of employees. It's best to first establish a solid client base and grow your business. However, as your social media marketing agency grows you may need a personal or virtual assistant, an accountant, and multiple account managers.

You can use hiring software to advertise positions for your social media marketing business.

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • Inexpensive to start.
  • You can have fun while you are working.
  • You can work from anywhere.
  • You don't need staff.
  • There is a growing need for social media managers.
Cons
  • It's a balancing act—you need to balance multiple clients' social media accounts simultaneously.
  • Some businesses don't understand the importance of social media marketing.

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FAQs:

How much does it cost to start a social media marketing business?

It costs between $1,410.00 and $2,575.00 to start a social marketing management agency.

How much does a social media marketing manager make?

Our research found social media managers make around $15.52 per hour, and an average of $49,390 per year.

How much should I charge for social media consulting?

It depends on your experience, and referrals and testimonials will help you to earn more. Our research found social media consultants charge anywhere from $15.00 to $250.00 per hour, and even more. The average cost for digital marketing services ranges from $2,500 to $12,000 per month for SMBs.

How do I calculate an hourly rate for consulting?

Decide what salary you would like to make, divide it by the number of working weeks in a year, and then by 40 for your number of working hours per week. Mark that number up by 25% to 50%.

How do I get my first social media marketing clients?

  • Network, and approach your existing contacts.
  • Offer your services for free, and ask for referrals.
  • Set up a landing page and promote it.
  • Do email marketing or make cold calls.
  • Keep an eye on job boards and freelancing sites.

How do I convince clients to use social media marketing services?

  • Point out that social media marketing attracts traffic that turns into leads.
  • Explain to them that you are giving them access to a valuable customer service tool.
  • Make them aware that your services free up time for them to grow their business in other ways.
  • Tell them that their following may spread their message to their own contacts.

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