Social media specialists are the brains and movers behind social platforms. They craft strategies, boost user engagement, come up with techniques to turn a lurking audience to loyal customers, and make social media pages into a profit machine.
Over the years, the demand for social media experts has grown by leaps and bounds. Considering how businesses across the globe are tapping the expertise of social media managers to help grow their reach and sales, you might have toyed with the idea of starting your own social media consultancy.
Like any business, building a social media management and consulting agency is no piece of cake. But knowing the foundational steps setting it up will help you get started in the right foot. So in this post, we outline the 4 crucial steps in starting a social media management business.
1. Learn the Basic Skills
You have to show prospect clients that you possess the right qualifications to earn their trust. Thousands of friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram isn’t proof of expertise. At the minimum, you need to have:
- The technical and creative know-how in increasing engagement rates and sales
- A deep understanding of how to create effective posts based on the unique algorithms of every social media network
- The skill in running paid campaigns
- A thorough understanding of a client’s business and customer behaviour
- A working knowledge on the right success metrics and how to track them
To build these competencies, you can take online courses on social media management and get a certification.
2. Work with Small Businesses in Your Neighbourhood as Your First Clients
If you’re building your company from scratch, you don’t need to land huge companies right away for your first clients. Your first few months or years should be spent building your portfolio. That may even mean offering your services for free just to build your experience.
Perhaps there’s a convenience store a few blocks from your place, and you think you can help them set up their business page for added exposure. Work with them. Offer to create their social media pages, make posts, monitor the performance of their posts, and engage with people commenting on their posts or sending inquiries. If you can, get as many clients as you can handle to harness basic social media skills.
3. Name Your Rates
Be clear about your rates and financial policies, including your mode of payments and your payment schedule. Social media managers charge by the bundle of services they provide or by the hour of service. This will depend on your preference and level of expertise. Consider giving early payment discounts, or charging a late fee for every day of delay to enforce on-time payments on your clients.
Eventually, you may need to hire an accountant or buy software that enables you to issue invoices and take care of your taxes in a timely manner. Set this in place before landing a number of clients to ensure smooth operations moving forward.
4. Get Into Freelancing and Pick a Niche
Once you’ve gained experience and determined your rates, you can now start a freelancing career. Some common places to look for gigs are UpWork, Fiverr, and Freelancer. By then, you’ll probably have a sense of what aspects of social media marketing you want to focus on and getting clients for.
There are a number of specializations in social media management. These include:
- Marketer – Brainstorms on campaign concepts and manages promotions on different social media platforms with the goal of building customer base, maintaining customer loyalty, and increasing sales.
- Data analyst – Evaluates and interprets data from campaigns and creates strategies to improve future campaigns.
- Community manager – Engages and interacts with the audience and customers and builds brand awareness.
Generalist – Has knowledge on creating social media content, managing online communities, and managing paid ads.
Some social media managers often wear all these hats, while others focus on just one of these roles. After deciding on which area/s to concentrate on, the next step is to determine the industry and company size you want to work with.
Maybe you want to serve restaurants, healthcare practices, or home services companies. Start with serving one niche then grow your reach to other industries as you gain more knowledge and experience.
Starting a social media management business requires work. You need to acquire the necessary skills, determine your specialization, and get the right clients. It will need time and effort from the get-go, but it can be a profitable business in the long run.
If you need help with setting up a social media management and consulting business, HomeAnother is here for you. Contact us today and our social media gurus will sit with you to teach you all you need to know to run a scalable business.