⚡️ Your Ultimate Guide on How to Start a Social Media Marketing Agency

Starting a business takes grit and determination. So how do you start a social media marketing agency and make it a success?

With all the content creation and social media management to worry about, the first hurdle to overcome is finding new clients without having much social proof to back you up.

In our guide, we’ll take you through all the necessary steps to starting a successful agency – from building a strong foundation and packaging your services to winning clients and managing their profiles effectively.

COVID-19 update: If you're looking for advice on how to manage your agency in times of crisis, follow our guide with the three stages of decision-making: Pause, Prioritise, and Plan. This guide will act as a starting point to help you work through the challenges in the next few months.

This guide includes

  • Chapter 1 Choosing a niche as a social media marketing agency
  • Chapter 2 Deciding how to price and offer your social media services
  • Chapter 3 Gathering social proof and building credibility as an agency
  • Chapter 4 Winning over your clients - from discovery calls to managing expectations
  • Chapter 5 What you’ll need to know when managing your client’s social media
  • Chapter 6 Improving your productivity as a new social media agency
  • Chapter 7 Advice on keeping a good work-life balance and avoiding burnout
Chapter 1

Choosing a niche as a social media marketing agency

Brands can’t afford to ignore social media as more and more people use the various networks. According to Statista, the number of social media users is estimated to increase to almost 3.1 billion in 2021 – around a third of the world’s population.

Data and projections from Statista on he number of social media network users worldwide
Data and projections from Statista on he number of social media network users worldwide

Specialist vs generalist - who should you be?

Hundreds of agencies provide social media services, so your first decision is to choose your niche.

Are you going to be a specialist agency operating in one sector; e.g. IT, sports, fashion, healthcare, legal, etc.? Or, are you going to take any opportunity that comes your way?

There are pros and cons to both, and it’s a common discussion point in forums for those just starting a social media marketing agency.

The most savvy advice is to start as a specialist. And then as your business grows over time, expand your portfolio to include other sectors. By that time you can hire team members who specialise in the areas you want to encompass.

However, if you’re struggling to get your first clients and picking the right niche is slowing you down, you may want to opt for simply getting started!

Social media management for clients

As well as the steady growth in social media users, there’s now a plethora of social networks. While it’s safe to stick with the most popular networks – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – there might be a case for using lesser-known networks depending on the region, industry, and sector you’re serving.

The general rule to follow is to market on the channels where your clients’ audience hangs out. You can use our free guide to social media channels to quickly evaluate which networks are right for each client based on their goals.

But even if you know you can use the mainstream social networks, you also need to decide whether you should offer social media marketing as a whole or only on specific networks.

Again, this comes down to how you want to position your agency, and the skills and resources you have available. For example:

  • If you’re starting solo, then it might be more prudent to offer marketing on a section of networks you feel most comfortable with.
  • If you’re working exclusively with fashion clients, then it makes sense to offer visual marketing services on Instagram and Pinterest.
  • If you’re working with clients in the B2B sector, then you could focus on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Social media advertising for clients

As the reach of organic (non-paid) social media marketing declines, more businesses are investing in paid social media advertising. Research from Statista shows social ad spending will top $98,247m in 2019, and is expected to grow 17% year-on-year to $187,633m by 2023:

Data from Statista on ad spending on social media

Advertising is a specialist marketing skill. Some agencies specialise purely in advertising while others specialise in advertising on one platform.

So you have a decision to make:

  • Will you offer social media advertising, and if so, in what networks can you specialise?

For example, social media agency owner Cathy Wassall clearly states on her LinkedIn page exactly what her agency does and doesn’t do:

Socially Contented is a Social Media Marketing and Facebook Ads Agency offering expert social media and Facebook Ads management. We offer social media management of all the major platforms, social media training, and audits of your channels as well as Facebook Ads.”

Each social network offers different forms of advertising, so it makes sense to specialise in one or two platforms and offer those as a service.

Creating bespoke video or other types of content for social

One other area you may wish to niche down in is the type of content you produce.

For example, Creative Moose offers a range of bespoke social media video packages so clients can produce regular monthly video content.

bespoke video services by Creative Moose agency

While RedPepper Marketing creates and curates bespoke animated GIFs, short adverts, and memorable cinemagraphs to grab the attention of social media users.

video marketing services by Redpepper Marketing agency

Chapter 2

Deciding how to price and offer your social media services

Now you’ve chosen your niche, it’s time to decide how you’re going to price and offer your social media marketing services. But first, you’ll need to create your value proposition.

How to create a strong value proposition for your agency services

Your value proposition is your unique identifier – it’s what makes you stand out from the crowd and gives prospects a reason to choose your services.

But, it’s neither a tagline; e.g. Nike: “Just do it,” nor a slogan; e.g. MasterCard: "There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's MasterCard."

A value proposition goes deeper into the problems you want to solve for clients, and why you’re the right agency for the job.

As ConversionXL puts it, a value proposition is a clear statement that offers three things:

  1. Relevancy. Explain how your product solves customers’ problems or improves their situation.
  2. Quantified value. Deliver specific benefits.
  3. Differentiation. Tell the ideal customer why they should buy from you and not from the competition.

The tricky part is coming up with something unique when there are hundreds of social media agencies to choose from. Prospects will check several agencies before they make contact, so your value proposition has to hit a chord straightaway.

Your prospects must understand what you sell within 5 seconds after they land on your homepage.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

Social media marketing agency, Socially Contented

Socially Contented value proposition

  1. Relevancy - offers a range of services, including training, strategy, and management.
  2. Quantified value - drives more enquiries and sales on social media.
  3. Differentiation - helps business coaches and consultants.

Social media marketing agency, Olive and Milo

Olive and Milo value proposition

  1. Relevancy - offers social media services, including consulting, strategy, management, and measurement.
  2. Quantified value - helps business owners find their creative voice and tell their story.
  3. Differentiation - helps local businesses grow.

Remember to convey your message clearly and concisely:

  • Who (a person) or what (an organisation) are you?
  • What do you do and for whom?
  • How you do it (if it’s not clear from above)?
  • What is the benefit?

Bundling your social media services into profitable packages

One of the best ways to sell your services is by offering different packages. Clients want different things, and if you only have one service offering, you risk losing a prospective client. But if you offer several packages with varying amounts and types of work, new clients will have the power to choose the package that’s most suitable to them.

Note: Be careful not to offer too many packages as this can also have a negative impact, and you end up losing prospects through too much choice.

Offering three packages seems to work best.

Socially Contented offers three social media management packages:

Socially Contented services

These packages are differentiated by the amount of work – i.e. the number of channels that a client wants managing. 

Onlinedrea starts with a strategy that includes an audit, optimisation, and action plan:

Onlinedrea Strategy package

Before offering a choice of three monthly maintenance packages:

Onlinedrea monthly packages

Here the packages are differentiated by the type of work – i.e. they have additional services; e.g. the “Everything” package includes extras like Paid Growth Strategies and Video Content.

Deciding on payment options

You’ll also need to be clear on how you’re going to charge for your services. Here are three options:

#1 Monthly/recurring/retainer - used for delivering regular monthly services (as we saw in the examples above) with payment on a set date each month.

#2 Project-based - used for bespoke services, often a one-off, like consultations, strategy sessions, audits, or training. Payment is usually in advance, at agreed milestones, 50/50 advance and completion, or on completion.

#3 Hourly/daily - used when there is an unknown variable, for example, on-going consultation, mentoring, or training, that will be billed as time is consumed.

As well as the payment options, you’ll need to be clear on the currency you’re using and whether there is an additional sales tax or VAT.

Chapter 3

Gathering social proof and building credibility as an agency

The road to landing your first client

37% of marketing agencies say getting new clients is their biggest struggle:

Biggest challenges for agencies according to research by Wordstream

So imagine how tough it is to land your first client when you’re starting. But there are ways and means of building credibility and showcasing your talent.

#1 Announce that you are opening your agency to your network

Where better to start spreading the word that you’re open for business than among your network! We’re talking first-degree connections on social media, contacts from previous employment, plus friends and family. (Because you never know who your Aunt Gladys knows 😀)

Seriously, you can’t under-estimate the power of your closest connections. These are the people who already know, like, and trust you, and will either engage you or happily recommend you to their network.

#2 Build a credible website and add client testimonials

Potential clients are going to take the time to check you out before they even contact you. And one of the places they’ll check first is your website.

They’re not checking your design skills, although your website should load quickly and be easy to navigate. Instead, they’re more interested in reading your content and checking what previous clients have said.

One place to start is your ‘About’ page.

Prospective clients want to know who they’re dealing with, and more importantly, what you can do for them. Remember your value proposition from earlier? This is where you can expand on that and include testimonials from clients to support your claims.

But what if you’re just starting, and don’t have any client testimonials?

It’s a fair point, but you have previous experience before starting your social media agency that you can use. For example, passion projects, unpaid jobs, and work you’ve done for a non-profit could all potentially be used if they’re relevant.

Your ‘About’ page is also the place to tell the story of how your agency started and the challenges you’ve overcome – people love reading stories. And then introduce the team members, including their relevant skills and a photo – people don’t want to work with a faceless organisation.

To see this in practice, take a look at the Socially Contented 'About' page:

  • It starts with what the agency can do for clients. There’s also a short intro video for those who prefer to watch and listen rather than read:
    Socially Contended agency About Us page
  • Followed by the story of Cathy and why she founded the agency:
    The story of social media marketing agency, Socially Contended
  • Next, it introduces the team members with their bio and photo:
    Marie Evans - the Facebook Ads Strategist at Socially Contended
  • And finishes with a selection of client testimonials:
    Socially Contended customer testimonials

It’s comprehensive and hits the mark perfectly!

Aside from your ‘About’ page, you’ll want to create a page where you can showcase your work and include case studies. Some agencies create a dedicated ‘Portfolio’ page, while others intertwine examples on other relevant pages.

For instance, Onlinedrea created a series of 'Client Showcases':

Client showcases by marketing agency, Onlinedrea

While Socially Contented has a page dedicated to case studies:

Socially Contented case studies

Whichever option you choose, make sure you include:

  • The client’s brief
  • The work you did
  • The measurable results you saw
  • And a testimonial from your satisfied client

Case studies and testimonials provide powerful social proof to prospects and are a great method for gaining credibility as a new social media marketing agency.

#3 Demonstrate you know what you are doing by acing your own social media marketing

If there’s one thing you absolutely have to nail, it’s acing your own social media marketing as an agency. This is the place where you can demonstrate what you could do for clients in real-time.

And let’s face it, prospective clients are going to check your social media accounts as well as your website.

For example, Keystone Virtual specialises in Facebook and Instagram Marketing and Advertising. So you’d expect their Facebook Page to be spot on.

And it is.

Here you can see founder Carly Stringer sharing tips about ‘Audiences’, the third in a mini-series designed to help independent businesses get started with Facebook Ads: educational video series from Keystone Virtual agency
video source: Keystone Virtual on Facebook

Julia Bramble, from social media marketing agency Bramble Buzz, says, “I practice what I preach,” having doubled her own business off the back of her social media activity.

Check any of her social media accounts and you’ll find her sharing tips, news, updates, and videos:

Julia Bramble's relatable tweet
image source: Julia Bramble's tweet

5 tips on prospecting and finding more clients for your agency

#1 Reach out to your second and third degree network

LinkedIn is a great place to source new clients for your social media services/agency. Assuming you have your current network as first degree connections, you can see second and third connections. And because LinkedIn profiles show job titles and seniority levels, you’ll be able to pitch your message appropriately.

#2 Follow and engage with brands you’d love to work with

Prospecting, reaching out to potential clients, and sending cold emails can all seem too much to do at once! 😱 Since it’s proven people want to work with people who understand them, your best bet is to create genuine relationships with your prospects.

You can start by simply following a handful of brands whose content or products you genuinely enjoy. Engage with them on a weekly basis and connect with business owners directly or the members of their marketing team. Once the time is right, send them a message to see if they are looking for any help with social media or invite them to a free discovery call.

Once you work out this process, you can purposefully look for new, lesser-known brands that fit your niche.

#3 Use Facebook Groups and other social media forums

Facebook Groups offer a good way into the industry and niches you’re targeting. While it’s okay to join social media marketing groups to get support from peers, it’s more beneficial to join groups where you can offer value and demonstrate your skills and experience.

You can also find other social media communities and forums like Reddit and Quora where you share relevant knowledge and promote your brand in a non-salesy way. (Warning: If you go over the top with self-promotion, you’ll get blocked!)

#4 Network at coworking spaces

When you’re starting your agency, it’s more than likely you’ll be working from home to keep costs to a minimum. One way to bridge the gap between home and office is to use a coworking space for a few days a week.

As well as mingling with like-minded entrepreneurs, you might find you can offer your services to a coworking partner. Additionally, these spaces usually run free workshops and you could host one to gain more exposure for your agency.

#5 More ways to market your agency

  • Network at social events – social meetings in the local pub.
  • Attend semi-related events and meetups – Startup Meetup, PR Meetup, Design Meetup.
  • Help run events rather than just attend – e.g. run a local ‘social media for small business’ type meetup or speak at larger conferences.
  • Make guest appearances on Podcasts, Webinars, Twitter Chats, and Facebook Lives.
Chapter 4

Winning over your clients - from discovery calls to managing expectations

Converting a prospect into a client has several phases. Let's take a look at each step:

Discovery call > Pitch > Research into the client > Social media proposal > Signing the contract

Invite your prospects to a discovery call

The way you secure a discovery call is totally dependant on your outreach process. If most of your prospects come through referrals, you can almost immediately send them over an invite to the call, while colder approaches (e.g., messages on LinkedIn or Facebook) will need some warming up.

Create an agency pitch deck to win more clients

Growing your social media agency and winning more clients means you’re going to have to pitch your business to prospects. 

Don’t fret! We’re not talking Dragons Den or Shark Tank.

All you have to do is present your work and show prospects what you can do for them through an agency pitch deck.

This involves collating all the information you already have on your website, and then presenting it to prospective clients in a logical way to prove your agency is right for them.

Ask all the right questions for a better onboarding experience and social media proposals

If your pitch is successful, then you’ll need to create a proposal for your prospective client. But there’s an important step in-between: Fact-finding.

meeting between an agency and client

During your meeting or call, you need to gather as much information about your prospect as possible, including:

  • What do they hope to achieve on social media?
  • Who is their audience and what are their pains/desires?
  • What is their brand all about? (dig deep for their “why”)
  • What type of content has and hasn’t worked in the past?
  • What social profiles are they active on?
  • What tools and reports will be required?
  • What are their expectations of your service?

Check out our extensive social media questionnaire where you can choose from a list of 42 questions to pick the right ones for your clients.

Is COVID-19 having an impact on marketing agencies and prospecting?

Definitely. Among worrying about adjusting your content strategy, you may find it more challenging than ever to find potential clients and closing them right now. It's important not to get discouraged and remember that everyone is experiencing this event on a global scale, whether you're just starting or have been offering your services for years.

As a quick example, we asked the VP of Marketing from one of the most esteemed content marketing agencies in the world to tell us how COVID-19 has impacted their business. To no surprise, they also saw a decrease in the number of opportunities coming their way:


If you're looking for more guidance on how to manage your agency during COVID-19, make sure to check out our guide which will help you adjust your approach when offering your services.

How to create a social media proposal that clients will want to sign

A social media proposal is a document that you present to your prospective client outlining how you can help them achieve their goals. It’s a key part of the client acquisition process that converts a prospect into a customer.

preparing a social media proposal for a client

At this stage, your prospective client is aware of your agency and is considering using your services. So the proposal forms part of the final nudge to convince them that you’re the best option!

Based on all the information you’ve gathered so far, your proposal needs to address the following questions:

  • What service are you going to provide?
  • How are you going to provide it?
  • Who’s going to do the work?
  • How are your proposed activities going to benefit your prospective client?
  • How much is the service going to cost?
Preview of the Social Media Proposal Template by Sendible
Preview of the Social Media Proposal Template by Sendible

Preparing and signing a contract with the client

If you’ve reached this stage, then you’re almost home and dry! All you need now is your client’s signature on the contract.

The contract doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. In fact, you’ll find both parties will appreciate a contract that’s written in plain English (or your preferred language).

Base your contract on the proposal and any amendments that were discussed previously. This way, nothing will come as a shock to your client and they’ll be happy to sign on the dotted line.

You can use a service like Hello Sign or DocuSign to get your contract signed.

Timeframes and setting expectations – how to create a great relationship with clients

Finally, with everything signed, sealed, and delivered, it’s time to start working with your new client.

At this stage, it’s worth having a call or video conference to kick-off the project with the team members from both organisations so you can put faces to names.

Agenda items to consider:

  • Explain your process and KPIs
  • Share your plan of action
  • Demonstrate how your agency works
  • Set your boundaries (working hours, response times)
  • Agree on a schedule for approving content
  • Discuss regular review meetings

Use the meeting to manage client expectations – and remember, it’s always better to under promise and over deliver.

Chapter 5

What you’ll need to know when managing your client’s social media

Emphasise the benefits of social media to the client to keep reinforcing the value you provide

Sometimes it’s easy for clients to forget why they hired you in the first place.

So once you’re up-and running, it’s worth mentioning the benefits of social media as a way to reinforce the value you’re providing through your services.

the eight social media benefits

Here are some of the reasons why social media can prove valuable to your client's business:

#1 - Social media is free to use, apart from paid ads. But it can become time-consuming, and that’s probably one of the reasons you’re managing your clients’ accounts.

#2 - Consistent posting on relevant social media channels helps shape the personality of a brand.

#3 - Social media is a future-proof channel for your marketing, as statistics show the continuing growth in users.

#4 - Social media allows you to participate in two-way conversations to build engagement with your community.

#5 - And as a by-product of engagement, your audience become advocates of your brand, adding micro-influencer power to the marketing.

#6 - Social media provides one of the softest conversion points you have, as it’s easier to join a conversation rather than sign up for a newsletter or make a purchase.

#7 - Social media can help you get an SEO boost, especially when content receives a high number of shares. Plus, higher engagement on social media will drive more users to click and read your blog or website thanks to social proofing.

#8 - Social media can become a stable source of traffic – if you get it right. As your client’s social media presence grows, the more people will grow to trust the brand, share their content, and recognise it as awesome stuff.

How often should you publish on social media?

As a social media agency, you want to achieve the best results for your clients from each social media post. So how do you decide on the optimal publishing frequency?

First up, there’s no magic formula. Each brand you manage is different, so what works for one won’t necessarily work for another. That’s why each client you manage requires a custom plan on the back-end.

So, instead of seeking magic formulas, inform your clients that their customised marketing plan will focus on these proven posting strategies:

  • Posting consistency is more important than posting frequency.
  • Content quality is more important than content quantity (and social media networks are letting us know with all the changes).
  • Without having an objective for social media, you won't know if your posts are successful or not.

Tip: All three strategies should be woven into your proposal to set the right expectations and shift your client's thinking towards the "quality over quantity" mindset.

How far ahead should you schedule social media posts?

There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to scheduling your social media content. But if you do it right, you can make it work for your clients.

Scheduling your clients’ social media posts is an excellent way to maintain a consistent stream of content across multiple platforms. Plus, it allows you to post content when you're offline; e.g. outside of office hours or working in different time zones.

how far ahead should you schedule social media content

But if you schedule too far ahead, you can lose track of what you’ve planned. Plus you need to be flexible enough to react to spontaneous events or trends.

Different niches and industries move at different speeds, so you’ll have to factor that in for each client.

For example, the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries are fast-paced and time-sensitive, so scheduling one week in advance is far enough. But the travel industry moves much slower, so you can schedule weeks in advance.

But remember, however far ahead you decide to schedule your social media posts, you need to be able to:

  • Ensure the content is relevant.
  • Pivot quickly if circumstances change.
  • Track the performance and adjust the campaign if required.

Social media scheduling, when done right, is a great time-saver. But it's not a replacement for human interaction! You still need to be present on each social network day-to-day to engage with followers and ensure your clients’ content remains fresh.

How to create an effective social media plan for clients

Having considered how often you’d like to publish content and how far ahead to schedule the posts, you’re in a position to create an effective social media plan for your clients.social media calendar in Sendible

Here are the key things to consider:

Step 1 – Make sure you know the goals for your social media plan. Your proposal should have outlined this already, but make sure everyone on the team knows what the overall objective is.

Step 2 – Audit the social media networks you’ll focus on so you have a benchmark to compare against.

Step 3 – Plan the content and create a social media calendar. Make sure you have the right mix of content – original vs curated and different types.

Step 4 – Nail your client’s branding and voice as you create each piece of content and populate the calendar.

Step 5 – Schedule the content with approval and engage with fans and followers.

Step 6 – Monitor and measure your results.

Step 7 – Adjust your plan accordingly.

Tip: The terms “social media plan” and “social media strategy” are used almost interchangeably. However, if you wanted to get picky about it, the strategy focuses on high-level goals (similar to what you outline in the proposal) whereas the plan is the methods and activities to achieve said goals.

How to make sense of social media data and prove ROI to the client

A big part of managing social media marketing for your clients involves reporting. Each client is investing money in you to deliver results, and they’ll expect to see a progress report each month.

Providing a raft of social media activities is one thing, but how do you actually prove they're beneficial to your client?

According to eMarketer, the toughest challenge for social media marketers is measuring ROI.

It's not that there's a shortage of social media insights and metrics. It’s the challenge of making sense of the data and reporting on it in a meaningful way to clients.

what social media data to record for your reports

Before you dive into the various sources below, make sure you know what you want to measure and how you’re going to measure it; e.g. growth in followers, increase in traffic or leads generated.

#1 - Each social network provides insights and analytics to help you understand how your brand is performing. Tap into those first.

instagram insights and data

#2 - Google Analytics allows you to extend your data capture by tracking website activity. For example, you can see which social networks your visitors came from, how long they stayed on your site, check which content they downloaded (lead generation), and much more.

data available in Google Analytics

Pro Tip - You can enhance the Google Analytics data by using UTM values, so you can prove that your clients are getting a return on their social media investment.

#3 - Consider using a social media analytics tool that combines the best of the previous sources in one place.

social media analytics available in Sendible

Once you've decided on how you're going to track and report growth for your clients, you can extract the correct data from the appropriate sources and report on your performance.

Celebrate small wins and keep clients in the loop

Every time you achieve a milestone, it’s a cause to celebrate. Here’s why:

  • It makes you and your team feel proud of your achievement.
  • It makes your client aware of the progress you’re making to help grow their brand.

These don’t have to be limited to big wins. Keep chipping away at the overall goals with small wins along the way, and make celebrations a part of your regular client review meetings.

Here are some ideas on what you can share with your clients:

  • Positive reviews
  • User-generated posts
  • Mentions by other brands
  • News in their industry
  • Tips on social media in general.
Chapter 6

Improving your productivity as a new social media agency

There’s always room for improvement, and as your new social media marketing agency starts to grow, one area to focus on is productivity.

Here’s a selection of tips and tools you can use to improve productivity.

7 time-saving social media management hacks

Running your social media agency involves balancing your time so you can serve existing clients and pitch to new ones.

But how do you prioritise your time?

We asked a group of agency owners to share their best time-saving social media management tips to help you on your way. Here are some of the highlights:

carly stringerSocial Media Strategist Carly Stringer advises:

“I recommend sitting down weekly to create and schedule content in bulk, so you’re free during the week to post real-time, time-sensitive content and engage with your audiences.

sophia rabeFor Sophia Rabe, the Founder and CEO of Olive and Milo social media agency, having a designated and organized routine for content creation helps her to divide her time more effectively:

I have a pretty streamlined process when it comes to creating content for my clients. About two weeks before the next month starts I do a months worth of content for all my clients in bulk. It’s a crazy week for me and my team but the process works well and allows us to spend the rest of the month engaging and optimizing once the creation and publishing is out of the way.

ayesha ambreenIt’s how social media strategist Ayesha Ambreen saves time in the long run:

“I have found that knowing your audience is the key to building successful and effective social media campaigns. To save time, I use a content calendar for each client. Once you know what works and what doesn’t, it’s easier to plan content ahead of time, allowing you to focus on the things that need immediate attention.”

Main takeaways for agency marketers to manage their time effectively:

#1 - Create a routine that works for you

#2 - Focus on the best platforms for your client’s business

#3 - Plan your content in advance

#4 - Batch your tasks

#5 - Automate tasks

#6 - Outsource some of your tasks

#7 - Invest a little time every month to experiment and do more

For more social media management tips from agency owners, head to our blog to see all of the quotes.

Business admin tools you’ll need to run your marketing agency

As well as social media management tools, you’ll also need some business admin tools to run your agency.

business admin tools for agency owners

Here’s our selection of the essential admin tools and services to help you run your business more efficiently, so you’ll have more time to grow your agency and win new clients.

The complete office suite

Most likely, you’ll need access to standard office applications, including email, word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. Google’s G-Suite or Microsoft Office cover all these options and more.

Business email

If you don’t need the whole office suite, you’ll definitely require email, so try Google’s Gmail for business.

Video conferencing

Having one conference call to discuss your proposal or review performance can save time with email exchanges. Zoom and Skype both offer video calling, screen sharing, and call recording.

Project management

Organising and managing tasks for you, your team, and your clients is an essential part of running your agency. Two of the best tools available to create, assign, and categorise tasks are Trello and Asana.

Appointment scheduling

Tools like Calendly or HubSpot’s Meeting Scheduler allows you to share your available time slots for invitees to book a mutually convenient time. Both sync with your Google or Office 365 calendar, so colleagues, clients, and prospects can always check your current availability and easily book a meeting.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Capsule CRM or HubSpot’s free CRM let you organize, track, and nurture your clients and leads in one convenient dashboard. Plus, when you sync with Gmail or Outlook, you can capture every call, email, or meeting as it happens:

Accounting and finance tools

Managing your agency’s finances is an essential part of running your business. There are plenty of cloud-based apps like Wave, Xero, and FreeAgent to help ease the burden.

File backup and storage tools

Although most computers have ample built-in storage, it’s wise to back up and store your files in other places.

Cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox allow you to store selected files online so you can share them (internally or externally) and access them whenever you wish.

Backup apps like Backblaze or Carbonite allow you to back up all your computer files and quickly restore them if your computer is lost, stolen or malfunctions.

Time management tools

When you’re working on client projects, you need to track how many hours you’re spending on each activity so you can see what’s making you money, and what’s costing too much. Try Toggl or Harvest for time management.

Password management tools

Online password management tools like LastPass and Dashlane are invaluable for generating and storing all your passwords. Plus, you can also safely share passwords with anyone without revealing the details, which is ideal for keeping clients’ social media accounts secure.

Chapter 7

Advice on keeping a good work-life balance and avoiding burnout

Our final piece of advice is about looking after yourself.

All too often, entrepreneurs become engrossed in their venture and become more likely to run themselves and their business into the ground.

What we know is that to be successful, you, as other high-performers, must find a way to organise your day that works for you.

habits of highly effective marketers timetableImage source: 7 Habits of Effective Content Marketers

So how do you avoid burning out and keep a healthy work-life balance as a marketer?

We reached out to seven agency owners and asked them to share their tips, tools, and techniques for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Here’s a summary of key findings you can take away today:

Plan your time

  • Plan your day the night before
  • Prioritise tasks
  • Identify your most productive time
  • Delegate or outsource tasks
  • Block your time
  • Take a break

Develop good habits

  • Turn off notifications from apps on your phone
  • Organise your filing system
  • Take regular exercise

Manage your relationships

  • Trust your staff
  • Choose the right clients
  • Invest in yourself

You did it!

Well done on reaching the end of our guide. And congratulations once again on taking the leap and starting your social media marketing agency!

Once you’ve started your agency and landed your first clients, you’ll learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t. And sure enough, as you build a strong foundation, your next thoughts will be how to grow and scale your social media agency.

In the meantime, follow up with social media news when you can, and keep focusing on serving others and solving problems for your prospects!

It's your choice where you want to go from there. You can share our guide on Twitter and mention @Sendible or, you can explore our free resources library for more content!


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