[MISTAKES TO AVOID] Starting Your SMMA the Right Way
If you’re thinking about starting your own digital or social media marketing agency, or have just set up shop online, then you’re probably in some stage of planning the set up and plan to make your agency a success.
There are many amazing reasons to start your own social media marketing agency, including the ability to be your own boss, the flexibility to work whenever and wherever, and the opportunity to have a great work/life balance and make a TON of money doing so. However, the job doesn’t come without its challenges, and unfortunately some agency owners fail to get their business off the ground.
Too many business owners focusing simply on ‘making’ a business instead of ‘building’ it, and that includes agency owners. This small shift in the way you view your business can actually make a huge difference and could be the difference between your agency succeeding or failing.
It’s small differences like these that can have a huge impact on your success. And that’s why in this blog I’m going to go through some of the common mistakes most new agency owners make and let you know what you can do to avoid them!
Build a Client Base First
The first rule to building a successful business is on focusing on your client base first. Too many agency owners spend too much time and money building a website, printing business cards, and creating social media pages for their new agency before landing their first client. While these elements are very helpful when it comes to marketing your business, you have to remember that you don’t have a business unless you have clients.
When you’re starting out, you need to develop a plan and strategies to attract and land clients. Find out what the prospective customers in your chosen niche need and offer your services for FREE or give incentives for prospective clients to meet with you or engage your services. Do research on businesses you want to work with and contact them so you’re dealing only with qualified leads, and then build a relationship with these customers.
You can also use your personal brand to get your agency noticed. Get your name out there and reach out to friends and family to see who might be interested in your services. Once you’ve built up a client base, then you can focus on building your digital footprint.
If you’re starting off as a Passive Income Entrepreneur then you do not need a website until or unless your agency grows over time and becomes large enough to have a brick and mortar business with a staff, etc. Focus on getting clients. The rest comes later.
“So many new Agency owners focus on building a website, getting business cards, setting up their business email, Social Media accounts etc. …without a client all this doesn’t matter.”
Have a Meeting Strategy
So you’ve put in the hard work to finally land a meeting with your qualified lead—now you want to seal the deal. Many of the failures associated with starting a new business can be boiled down to the fact that there was no planning and foresight. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but having a thoroughly thought out meeting strategy can keep you on the path to success.
When heading into a meeting, make sure you’re calm, confident, and have a plan! Most importantly, you have to keep control of the conversation with your potential customer. People buy on emotion, and while presenting yourself as a trustworthy partner is essential, it’s also important that you listen. Find out what problems the customer needs solved and offer the services that are best in line with resolving those pain points.
Another big mistake that new agency owners commit is letting the client steer the conversation to price in the first meeting. Don’t offer price in the first meeting, but keep it focused on the customer’s needs. Set up a second meeting where you can present and submit a proposal along with price points.
Invest in Yourself
Too often, new agency owners think they can do everything on their own. Unfortunately, you will NOT find the answer to being the best social media marketing agency owner by watching hours and hours of YouTube.
While YouTube videos and other content can be helpful in staying on top of trends and discovering what tools and resources might be helpful, but you need to take a more proactive approach to increasing your knowledge.
Find and hire a coach or mentor to teach you what to and what not to do while building your business. When you’re running your own business, you need to remember that you are your number one asset. The business succeeds if you are good at what you do, so don’t pass up opportunities to improve. If you need to pay $1000 a month for that knowledge, it is an investment in your future and the success in your business. Online courses are also a great way to learn
Time and Hard Work
The number one mistake to avoid when starting your own social media marketing agency is thinking that this is an endeavor that will help you ‘get rich quick.’ As such, you need to make sure you set realistic expectations and goals, and don’t give up as soon as something doesn’t go your way.
To be truly successful in this path, it takes time and hard work. The promise of making a million dollars the first year is not realistic. Most small businesses don’t show a profit within the first three years. Set a realistic goal, create a business plan, do the work, and in time your business will begin to show a profit.
Building your own digital or social media marketing agency may not be easy, but it can be incredibly fulfilling, profitable, and exciting, so long as you’re committed to putting in the time and work. Growing any business into a success requires patience and perseverance, and being able to pick yourself up and get back on track whenever mistake are made or setbacks occur.
The important thing to remember is to learn from your mistakes and avoid them in the future, and utilize any and all resources that can help you avoid making mistakes in the first place.