How To Start Social Media Marketing Agency in 2022 [Free SMMA Course]

start social media marketing agency

Are you just getting started with SMMA and not sure how to go about it?

Maybe you’ve seen people crush it with SMMA. People signing 2K a month clients?

But you don’t know how to start your social media marketing agency?

Information is getting thrown at you from all directions and you don’t know what exact steps to take.

If that sounds like you right now, I understand what that’s like.

I’ve been there too.

That’s why I want to break this business model down to its fundamentals so you can understand how it works and how you can start your digital marketing agency managing social media for clients.

I’m doing this because I wish I would’ve seen something like this when I was starting out.

A breakdown to get a better understanding of what is SMMA how it works, and why it works so well.

These strategies are the ones that I personally used to start my agency.

And without further ado, let’s get right into

What is SMMA?

What is SMMA?

An SMMA stands for social media marketing agency. It is a business model where you run an agency that provides social media marketing services to clients.

And this can be done from anywhere in the world so you don’t need employees with a social media marketing agency. It is not a formal business that requires an office employee or even a legal corporation.

It’s not this weird hack or trick or tactic. It’s just you have a service-based business that provides services to clients. Pretty simple.

How To Start an SMMA in 2022

smma busienss

The reason why a social media marketing agency is a great business is that there’s simply no better marketing solution for businesses out there today than social media.

Social media usage is one of the most popular online activities. In 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025.

There’s no other place for getting higher returns on investment.

And it’s a lot cheaper and easier to measure than traditional marketing platforms. You’re helping brands grow fast and profitably online through these social platforms.

You’re solving their #1 problem…

And getting paid handsomely at the same time.

Now, you may be wondering, “Why wouldn’t business owners just hire employees or freelancers to do the work?”

“Why would they hire an agency?”

That’s a great question.

And there are multiple answers.

See, as an agency, you’re working remotely, so you can reach business owners around the world.

And there’s going to be more than one expert on your team. This helps business owners solve more and oftentimes bigger problems.

Hiring an agency over freelancers also gives businesses a tax incentive.

#1. Develop Digital Marketing Skills

Now the first thing that I want to share with you is that if you want to run a serious business you need to develop the skills.

There is no way around it. And if you’re just getting started, trust me, I’ve been where you’re at currently.

And there’s so much to learn. That can be quite daunting, right?

I’m talking chatbots, I’m talking funnels, I’m talking copywriting, I’m talking media buy, I’m talking creatives.

There’s so much out there.

I feel like what stops a lot of people is that. It’s the paradox of choice. There’s so much out there that you can fight, and focus your energy, time, and attention on one single thing.

So how to develop the skills to start a social media marketing agency?

Let’s find out.

How To Develop Digital Marketing Skills?

What I like to do when learning new skills is what I call the Elon Musk advantage.

Now, what do I mean by that?

Elon Musk is a very smart guy and he does a lot of things very well.

But one of the things that really stands out to me that he does is he finds a way to surround himself with very, very smart people who far exceed them when it comes to capabilities and knowledge in specific areas.

And he leverages these people to create some of the most innovative companies in the game.

How you can apply this to your agency?

What do you want to do when you first start out is leave your ego at the door and put your hands up and say, “I don’t know much about the service I would expect”.

So what am I going to do? I’m going to go ahead and start learning as much as I possibly can in my free time and sort of solving as much information as I possibly can to become an expert myself.

But I’m also going to seek out other experts who have been doing this for years.

How to find the experts?

Well, there are tons of free materials on the internet that you can learn from. Unfortunately, most of them are garbage.

If you want a deep understanding of social media the only resource that I recommend is Fiverr’s Paid Advertising: Social And Search.

It’s probably one of the most comprehensive social media courses with over 261 high-quality videos led by the top digital marketing expert in the world.

#2. Create a Website

If you’re thinking about starting an SMMA agency, a website is a must. If you run an agency and you don’t have a professional website, sales funnel, and business email – nobody will trust you.

Creating a website for a digital marketing agency can help promote your business, showcase your services, and attract new clients.

Your website must be effective and efficient in communicating the company’s services to potential clients. It should also be visually appealing and organized well.

There are many different options for creating a website, but the best software for digital marketing agencies is GoHighLevel which I’m currently using in my agency.

gohighlevel dashboard

It’s not just a basic website builder but an all-in-one digital marketing platform created specifically for agencies.

GoHighLevel enables you to:

Build websites and sales funnels
Manage your clients with its advanced CRM
Schedule appointments with your clients
Customize email follow up sequences
Build surveys and forms
Create chatbots
And more

But the best part about GoHighLevel is that you can actually white label this software.

They also have ready-made sales funnel templates called GoHighLevel snapshots for nearly every industry including auto dealers, chiropractors, gyms, dentists, construction, and more.

gohighlevel snapshots

These templates are proven to work and help you bring clients to your agency.

GoHighLevel empowers over 15,000 agencies around the world.

So these are the reasons why GoHighLevel is one of the best platforms for SMMA agencies.

You can check out my GoHighlevel review for more details or try it out straight away.

GoHighLevel offers our readers a 14-day free trial where you’ll also get the training once you sign up.

Create a Logo

If you’re looking for premium clients, you want to make sure you have a premium look so you want to make sure you have a high-quality logo.

It also gives you a very easy win when it comes to branding your agency.

And it’s actually very easy to get it done, You can try it yourself, or you can find professionals on Fiverr.

Set up a Business Email

And the final thing is your business email. And for this, I recommend the whole Google Workspace.

It’s going to cost you $6 a month and you get access to all Google tools and features.

And that way you’re not having to invest that money into Dropbox and a bunch of other individual software that combined are come up too much more.

#3. Choose an SMMA Service

“What are some of the most profitable services I can offer?”

“What are the services that will add the most value to clients?”

“What service should I pick and sell to clients?”

If you want the answers to these questions, keep reading.

First, pick your service.

There are a ton of SMMA services you can sell:

  • Tiktok growth
  • Instagram growth
  • Social media management
  • Content creation
  • Facebook

The list goes on and on…

But how do you choose which one to offer?

I like services that have a clear return on investment.

Services that get you a clear idea of how much money you spent and made back.

This way, it’s clear for you and your client.

There’s no discussion on your value. You can both see how much profit you generated them without question.

Let me dig a little deeper and give you two scenarios:

Scenario 1:

Let’s say you’re doing content creation. You take photos for your clients for their social media page.

And that’s great, but the problem with this service is that you can’t attribute a clear return on content creation.

You can’t clearly see how much money you made with each photo or photoshoot.

Scenario 2:

Now, let’s say you go with Facebook advertising.

With each ad you create for them, there’s a clear number of how much you made them. You can easily see the ROAS (return on ad spend).

For example, if you put $100 into running the ad, and you see it’s generating a $2OO revenue, you’re getting a 2X ROAS.

That’s why running ads for clients will give you the clearest look at the return on investment.

💡 Pro Tip

Focus on one single vertical.

Yes, becoming a full-stack well rounded digital marketer is an incredible skill. It really does give you quite an edge over other competitors, but at first, just focus on one single thing. For example one social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

And I think that mastering a single platform actually is going to give you more of an edge than actually being an expert at a bunch of different services.

#4. Pick Your Niche

To choose your SMMA niche you need to answer the question of who will you be serving with your agency?

When I started out, it wasn’t until I became laser-focused on one niche that I started to see results.

Until then, I tried to appeal to too many people that didn’t share many commonalities.

And see, the easiest way to fail with SMMA is trying to appeal to everyone.

By trying to sell to everyone, you’re not going to understand the people well.

And when you don’t understand the people who you’re selling to well, you’re going to have a hard time solving their problems.

You’ll end up having little impact and no one will want your services.

So instead of targeting the masses, narrow down to the specific group of people you’re going to serve.

It’s about learning their common traits. Speaking their language.

Finding out about the problems they’re facing. Their pain points. And the solutions they value.

This way, your offer will be much more valuable. It’ll be easier to sign clients too.

From here, there are mainly 2 routes you can take for narrowing down your niche:

Local Businesses

For local businesses, your main service offering will be bringing leads (people who have the potential to become customers).

The downside about helping local businesses is that there’s no clear attribution to how much money you made them.

E-commerce

With E-com, you get to see a clear dollar return at the end of each month. You can clearly see how much money you’ve made your clients.

And not only that, you can see a clear attribution to sales. Let me explain.

Every time someone buys from a Facebook ad you created, that sale gets tagged under your ad.

Your Facebook ad gets attributed to that sale.

Then it’s easy for you and your client to see how much money you’ve made them directly.

Now, if you’re going down the E-Com route, it’s important to narrow it down to your sub-niche.

This helps you further diversify and stand out from your competitors.

Whether your target niche is a local business or you want to work with e-commerce stores you shouldn’t stop here.

1. Choose a Category

When it comes to finding your online business niche, you want to think about what you’re knowledgeable in and what the demand is for what you’re providing.

Here are some examples of categories to choose from:

Health
Fitness
Clothing
Tech

There are so many categories to choose from!

2. Narrow Down to a Subniche

After choosing a category, you’ll want to go even narrower.

So let’s say your category is fitness. Under fitness, you might think of:

Crossfit
Hit Workouts
Yoga
fitness sub-niches

Or any other kind of workout that you can think about.

Now, you might be thinking, “isn’t this going to limit my opportunities?” Good question.

But no, it’s not going to limit your possibilities.

In fact, it’s going to expand your client opportunities. Because you’ll have a deep understanding of your specific market.

This beats going broad and general every time.

It gives you an edge over other agencies that don’t specialize.

See this chart below for a rough guide (this is an example, there are many more sub-niches out there!)

subniche chart

#5. Create Your Unique Selling Proposition

Why is it important to have a unique selling proposition?

What drastically changed things for me when building my SMMA agency was clarity.

Often the answer is not downloading more info into our brain, but stripping everything down to its bare bones and having total clarity.

Clarity about the value you offer businesses and clients. Clarity about what it is that your agency is great at doing. Clarity as to how you monetize your agency as much as possible.

And all clarity starts with a mission.

Having an agency mission will not only give you incredible clarity as to what prospects you should be reaching out to, but it will make your outreach much more powerful.

It will indicate to the prospect that you speak their language and that specialize in their niche.

A mission gives clarity to your prospects and how you can help them get to where they want to go.

It shows that you understand their business model. It shows you speak their language. And people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

This will put you ahead of 99% of people who are reaching out and have clients in 100 different niches.

It will also help you streamline your service. It’s of extreme importance that you pick ONE single service. This will reduce operational complexity and will allow you to gain a competitive advantage by being the best agency for that specific service in your niche.

So with that in mind, are you ready to dive into the 4 pillars of your agency’s mission?

Question 1: Who do you help?

Is it fitness brands?

Tech brands?

Beauty brands?

This would be your niche.

Question 2: What do you help them achieve?

Is it to grow sales?

And grow it by how much?

Make sure to be specific on this part. Set your standards so prospects will get an idea of what they’re heading in for.

Think about the ONE outcome prospects in your niche value most.

What is the main KPI that they are optimizing for?

How do they measure success?

Question 3: How will you help them?

This part shows your service.

Pick an in-demand online service. I recommend a revenue-driven service. A service where you’re bringing in measurable value/revenue.

Question 4: What sets you apart from the competition?

This is your competitive advantage over other agencies.

Some examples are creatives. That you’re agile. Or data-driven.

Other pillars you could base this on are time, cost, efficiency, results, quality, etc.

Check out the graphic below for a one-sentence breakdown:

#6. Get SMMA Clients

As an agency owner, there’s no hiding from sales and approaching a business.

If you don’t master sales and outreach, it’s going to be near impossible to grow your SMMA.

I tried running away from it when I first started.

I used to say things like I’m not a salesman, or I’ll never master this thing.

300+ sales meetings later, I can without a shadow of a doubt say that sales come down to practice.

The more prospects you speak to, the better you get at it. The better you’re at it, the more people you close.

Now, you’re going to be picking the most effective methods you’re going to use for outreach.

Ready to get into it?

Step 1. Make a List of Prospects

You want to make a lead list. So you want to start locally, you can go broader later, but start local and just create a Google sheet, Google Docs, or it can even be pen and paper.

And just write 20-30 businesses, their:

Business name
Phone number
Email address
Website
Social media pages

So that is the process of lead sourcing and basically just collecting a bunch of leads that you intend on reaching out to and just collecting as much information about those leads as possible.

So that way you can have the highest likeliness of setting a meeting with them.

And to make your life easier I highly recommend using lead generation tools like Uplead.

With just a few clicks of a button, you’re going to get hundreds of leads with nearly every city and every industry.

All you have to do is just type in the targeted city and industry. This tool is going to save you lots of time.

Step 2. Prepare an Outreach Template

Now, here’s a very simple example outreach message example that you can use:

📝SMMA Outreach Template

Hey,

My name’s [Your Name] and I help restaurants get new customers.

I’ve just had to look at your website and I noticed you’re leaving a lot of money on the table in your business.

I have some great ideas for you to get more customers in.

Would you like to discuss them?

The most important thing is selling the meeting, not the service. A lot of beginners in social media marketing make that mistake.

You are selling the meeting, not the service, so when you’re reaching out to clients, don’t start talking about the benefits of your service.

Don’t talk about your service at all. You are just selling the meeting and how the meeting has infinite upside for them and basically zero downsides.

So that is super important because you need to understand these business owners are busy, respect their time, and make sure that the meeting is an absolute win-win for them.

Step 3. Pick SMMA Outreach Methods

That is the amount that I have seen to be optimal.

Less than that and you don’t have enough room for iteration, and more than that, you’re doing too many things, none too well.

Here are some outreach methods you can consider:

Cold Call

The oldest method in the book but can work tremendously well. This is much better suited for local businesses.

Facebook Outreach

Finding your prospects on Facebook and starting a conversation on the platform.

Before doing so, I recommend you clean up your Facebook profile.

Have a professional profile picture in place, ideally a banner with your agency mission, and in your bio, you should also have the agency mission. Make ‘unprofessional’ pictures (you partying, drinking, etc) private.

LinkedIn Outreach

This platform is particularly important if you’re in the E-commerce niche. Here’s where most of your prospects will be hanging out.

Cold Email

This is the bread and butter of any outreach strategy. If you go about it the right way, with a powerful email copy, it can be very effective.

Video Audit

We will talk about this method later on. One of the methods I’ve had the most success with.

Cold Instagram Video Intro

Cold DMs on IG seldom work. I have noticed that the Instagram video intro is much more powerful. Shoot a 1-2 min video introducing yourself, what you do, how you can help them, and a clear Call to Action.

Walk-in

This consists of literally walking into a business to speak with the manager or business owner. This is of course only applicable to local businesses.

Facebook Groups

This method consists of identifying Facebook groups where your prospects will be hanging out.

Infiltrating them and providing value upfront by answering questions and engaging with the community. Once you are engaging often, you will begin to get inbound leads in your messages.

You can also proactively transition prospects for whom you have answered questions to a DM.

So, what next?

Step 4. Pick Your Best Outreach Method

Once you have picked 4 outreach methods, you want to test them and watch out for feedback and results over 1-2 months.

After having looked at the data, you will realize that some are performing better than others.

This is normal.

Depending on your personality and niche, different outreach methods will be better suited than others.

Now you want to pick the 2 winners and kill the rest. That way you’ll be able to double down on the ones that are working.

Then keep on looking back at the data (email open rate, message response rate, etc.)… And keep iterating according to feedback.

Step 5. Use your Personal Network

Friends, colleagues, acquaintances, classmates, family members, etc.

You’re looking for a business owner and you can now use your network for your personal benefit.

I truly believe that the people that get ahead and get what they want in life are those that are willing to ASK.

Most people go their entire life without using their networks.

A network is there to support you, and for you to support them. So make use of it.

Here’s a script you can use to reach out to your network:

📝 Networking Outreach Template Example

Hey [friend name],

Congratulations on [insert a recent accomplishment /event]. Hope all is well!

I just started a digital marketing agency. Exciting times but as you probably know, the initial phase is always the hardest one.

So I was wondering if you could give me a hand since you have a vast network. Who do you know would be interested in growing their businesses?

Any help is always appreciated.

Let’s grab a drink soon. It’s one me!

Step 6. Arrange a Meeting

Explain to them the benefits of your service and how you can help them.

Be upfront about them being your first client and you needing the experience.

Ensure they know you’re someone who is serious and someone who will work incredibly hard to take their business to a new level.

I also want you to understand that business owners understand. They understand that you’re trying to get your jumpstart.

Why?

Because they’ve been there themselves.

They will have much more empathy if you come across as a genuine person who is real about where they are currently at, than if you try to play it out to be this ‘successful agency owner’.

Transparency and honesty should ALWAYS be top of your list of values as a business owner.

Step 7. Leverage Other People’s Network

Have your network come back with a no? No worries!

It’s time to tap into the exponential reach of a network.

You want people closest to your network to dig into theirs, creating a viral loop effect.

Even if your personal network came back with qualified leads, you should still use this method to your advantage.

We are going for volume at the start as those initial meetings will serve to give you momentum and confidence.

SMMA Outreach – Tips To Get More Clients

“But with so many possibilities for outreach, how should I best go about it?”

“What should I do or don’t do with them?

After sending out hundreds of messages and iterating according to feedback, I’ve come across a couple of simple guidelines for increasing conversion rates.

I’ve boiled them down to 3 easy things.

Understand the typical day of your prospect

Where are they likely to hang out? Linkedin? Facebook? Instagram?

If they’re in the E-com sphere, they’re most likely hanging out online on Linkedln or Facebook.

Play to your personality and strengths

Try out a couple of these platforms and see which one you’re most comfortable with.

For example, if you are strong with writing, go with emails and messaging. If you are stronger on camera, go with the video audit.

And if you decide to go down the video audit route (which I’ve personally seen the most success with)…

I’ve boiled down my process to a simple-to-follow guideline after sending out 334+ video audits.

Would you like to know what it is?

Avoid Huge Instagram Accounts

If you’re reaching out to someone with a huge Instagram following, DM’s may not be the best place to reach them.

It’s important to pay attention to where the business owner will be most receptive to your message.

Make sure the platform you’re sending the message with isn’t supersaturated.

The Video Audit Method Explained

Doing a video audit means sending a 5-10 min screen recording to our prospect.

To go over their current digital marketing strategy and how they are currently doing in our area of expertise.

We are going to be using loom.com for this, which is free for up to 100 videos. I love Loom because it gives us instant URL access to our video recordings. We will be sending this link to our prospects.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

We will pick their closest competitor who is implementing the service we offer and compare it to our prospect’s lack of implementation.

If you’re offering Facebook Ads, you will take a look at both the competitor’s and the prospect’s Ad Library for example.

Here are 4 keys to a killer video audit:

1. Deliverability is everything:

Before putting together the video audit, make sure you can get a hold of the decision-maker.

Otherwise, you risk wasting your time.

This outreach method is one of the most effective ones, but it’s also more time-consuming.

You want to make sure that they are at least going to notice you.

2. Turn a Cold Video Audit into a Warm Video Audit:

You can either start a conversation with them prior to recording or ask them straight away if they would be interested in seeing a video audit of their current digital marketing strategy before sending it.

Going about it in this way might mean you spend a bit more time prior to sending the audit, but it tends to be well worth it as you ensure that they will watch the audit.

3. Get them to a meeting:

We aren’t trying to close any prospect via a message or call.

We need to jump on a Zoom video call with them – that is a high-income scenario.

4. The Intro is King:

Here’s where your prospects will decide whether they want to listen to the rest of the video audit.

You want to make sure you have the first 1-3 minutes perfected.

Below is a script you can use to make sure you master the intro and you start on a good foot:

📝 SMMA Prospecting Outreach Template Example

Hey [business name], it?s [your name] here from [your agency name] and it’s great e-meeting you.

I have gone ahead and created an in-depth marketing audit on [prospects business] where I have included 1-2 pieces of ACTIONABLE strategies?

These are strategies we are implementing right now for all our clients to [the outcome your service produces].

And these are strategies you can immediately apply, right after this quick audit, to make incredible returns and recoup some of the revenue lost at the moment.

So without further ado, let’s get right into it.

#7. Deliver Social Media Marketing Services For Your Clients

So, once you sign your first clients, now is the time to service them.

And as a social media marketer, you have two options, social media management, and content creation.

Content Creation

Content creation includes:

Creating social media posts
Making videos
Design banners, graphics
Writing copy
And more

💡 Pro Tip

If you’re struggling to create content, you can take advantage of some of the AI tools like Jarvis AI to create high-quality copy, or InVideo to create videos for social media platforms.

Social Media Management

This service involves:

Posting on social media platforms
Answering DM’s and comments
Writing copy
Growing the social media platforms
And more

That is the easiest place to start and usually, that is where you’re going to get the highest retention.

So these services, you get the most obvious ROI. It’s the easiest to learn and there are few costs.

If your service is social media management you’re going to need social media scheduling tool. I personally use in my agency Ocoya.

It’s an all-in-one social media marketing platform that enables you to create and schedule social media posts under one dashboard.

ocoya

Unlike most popular social media management platforms with Ocoya, you can design beautiful posts without leaving the app, with no need to open any separate graphics software.

What I like about Ocoya is that they integrate with all social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even TikTok.

ocoya social channels

What’s more?

Ocoya offers a 14-day free trial to our readers as well.

💡 Note

Make sure to out our list of AI social media marketing tools that will help you scale your SMMA agency faster. Below is also a video version.

#8. Scale Your SMMA Business

The next step is all about hiring your expert team and scaling your business.

At this point, you have two options to get results for your clients. Either you outsource, or you do it yourself.

Doing it yourself is easier to start. Outsourcing is easier to scale.

Your team can take care of one of the most important aspects of the agency, which is service delivery. Note that I didn’t say the most important aspect.

A lot of people say, “Oh, well, if I’m just outsourcing the service delivery, what do I actually do? What is my value? “

Your value is creating an incredible ecosystem, processes, reporting, communication, signing clients, which is massive, making sure the clients are.

My point here is your value is not just doing the service. The value of an agency is not just delivering the service for clients.

There are so many other things that come into the picture that are incredibly important, but that’s a whole other topic.

What I want to do right now is I want to show you where and who to hire for your team.

Now, when it comes to where I’m a big fan of Facebook groups or any type of community online around your service which is social media management.

social media management facebook groups

The great thing about the internet is that people congregate online with like-minded people.

And the reason why I liked searching for people there is that it’s not transactional.

If you’re going on Fiverr, which by the way is a good backup option, the person is there for transactional reasons, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

But when you look for people on Facebook groups that are just there to develop themselves, to grow their skillset with the service.

And so that is why I am one of the big fans of Facebook groups.

Other backup options could be Reddit or other freelancer platforms like Fiverr.

By the way, check out my step-by-step guide on how to outsource on Fiverr and learn how to scale your SMMA agency.

What Do I Need To Start SMMA?

To start a social media marketing agency all you need is:

Laptop
Business email
Social media account

And optionally some social media scheduling tools that will make your life way easier. I personally recommend Ocoya.

This is what you don’t need:

Employee
Office
Registered business
College degree

 So, if that’s holding you back, please don’t let it.

SMMA Courses

Here are some of the SMMA courses you can find online:

  • SMMA Blueprint
  • Agency Incubator by Iman Ghadzi
  • 6 Figure Agency by Billy Willson
  • 30 Day SMMA
  • Marketing Agency Program by Kevin David
  • 7 Figure Agency by Joel Kaplan

I highly recommend doing in-depth research before buying any of them because prices reach up to $4,000 so it’s really expensive.

My personal recommendation is free digital marketing training provided by GoHighLevel if you decide to upgrade to any of their pricing plans.

Despite getting access to many digital marketing tools to run your SMMA business you’ll get access to really great training led by digital marketing experts.

If you’re interested in getting started, GoHighLevel offers a 14 day free trial for our readers.

Starting a Social Media Agency Final Words

And that is how to start your social media marketing agency in 2022.

I really hope you guys enjoyed these tactics, strategies, and fundamental concepts in this SMMA course.

Did you find this guide helpful?

If you found this valuable, please share it with other like-minded people. I truly appreciate it!

Please help us grow and share this post

Launch Profitable Sales Funnels

Every Online Business Needs A Repeatable And Consistent Sales Process That Converts Their Visitors Into Leads, Customers, And Advocates.
online business banner