Solomon Thimothy is the Founder of Clickx, where he works with agencies and clients to develop predictable and scalable growth strategies.
While some of us grew up in the #hashtag era, others cringe at the thought of creating content solely for obtaining likes, comments and a bigger following. Welcome to social media marketing. By no means is it necessary that businesses grow a social media following, but doing so can help a business flourish.
Including a mix of in-house marketers, agencies and freelancers, there are roughly 50 million social media marketing companies worldwide, according to some sources. Each of them claims they know how to grab and hold your audience’s attention better than anyone else.
While this tells us just how easy it can be to start a social media marketing agency, we know that being successful is another story. I want to be clear — and make it simple — for agency owners wondering how they can do the latter.
You might be thinking: Isn’t it just a matter of building branded content and setting up a third-party scheduling tool?
Sure, that will save your team a few hours a week. But social media requires social interaction — monitoring and building connections on a daily basis. If you’re an agency owner running six different accounts in varying industries, the chances of getting your customer stellar results becomes slim.
Below are three things you should seriously consider to effectively grow your agency.
Pick a niche.
Fear of missing out has one too many agencies trying to be the go-to source for every business. In reality, a lack of focus just means that you’re scattered and unoptimized.
A common rebuttal we’ll hear is that agency owners want to move forward, get started and “see what niche finds them.” Instead, you should pick a fairly narrow niche and pivot if it’s not the right one.
Not convinced? Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Would you go with an agency that seems like they’d take money from anybody or one that specializes in your industry?
For example, take an agency that serves car dealerships and attorneys — two different industries with vastly different knowledge requirements. You’re going to make your life a lot easier when you commit to becoming the industry expert in just one of these. By studying the communication channels and motivations of the target audience, you’ll know how to attract audiences through each social channel.
Accept that you can’t be all things to all people. It’s true: There are riches in the niches.
“Productize” is simply a verb for taking service-based tasks, such as running a social media agency, and turning them into specific products.
When a client asks what you do, the answer is never: “I run social media accounts.” Rather, you’re giving them specific packages based on their problem, budget and solution.
Look around at any scalable business and you’ll see that products or packages can be purchased by the buyer. This allows agency owners to create standard operating processes that create cohesion throughout the entire process.
This also helps the customer make easier decisions. Remember to keep your customers’ needs in mind when creating packages as well. This specifies the deliverables and avoids buyer confusion.
Find a white-label partner
For those unfamiliar with the term, white-label providers create a product or service to be rebranded by a reseller company so they can resell it as their own product to their end consumers.
The main difference between hiring freelancers and partnering with a white-label provider is that with a white-label provider, you should be considering long-term partnerships. Freelancers come in handy for one-off projects, but if you want to grow a reputable agency, finding a fulfillment provider is a necessity.
So, what do you want to consider when evaluating white-label partners? Top of the list for us? Communication. More specifically, you’ll want to find a provider that can communicate with your clients on all levels. From customer service to reporting to creative direction, a fulfillment provider should be an extension of your team. It will also pay huge dividends to your social media agency’s growth.
In All Things, Simplify
Discover your niche. Become an expert in that field and build the relationships that will last.
Next, create products from your services. Think of it as a Starbucks menu: tall, grande or venti. Easy for your client to read and easy for you to execute on. Lastly, find a trustworthy white-label provider that can do it all — with your brand name on it.
Your social media agency will scale if you find ways to implement protocols and standard operating processes. After that, all you have to do is execute on time. Just remember to set a high standard of work for your clients, and the rest will take care of itself.