In this current global financial crisis where small businesses are suffering the most, offering social media marketing services is the light at the end of the tunnel. Although the title is focused specifically on Pakistan — except for the legal part explained at the end of this blog post, the procedure is exactly the same anywhere in the world, so read on.
The global usage of social media has drastically increased since the beginning of COVID-19. As many countries have enforced partial or complete lockdowns, people are forced to stay at home and therefore spend time on the internet, and social media precisely.
On the business front, there’s no open secret that small business sales have dried up. Because their brick-and-mortar presence is closed, they are finding it hard to make ends meet. One suspects, the situation is only going to get worse in many countries.
In this tough situation, social media marketing can help small businesses get back on their feet.
In order to get started, you need to upscale your social media presence first if you want to offer the service to others.
I started using social media in 2008. Scaling up my presence to become an influencer was a pre-requisite — if I were to offer this as a service to my clients. Here is how I upscaled my presence online in a very short time.
As a social media marketing agency, the experts can lend service to these small businesses by advertising their business on major social media websites, primarily Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and help them get new potential customers.
In Pakistan, social media marketing services are on a rise too. This is a good time to set up your social media marketing agency, also known as (SMMA). The idea is fairly simple, as a marketer — you help small businesses get leads for their business that could help them sell their product and services on social media websites.
The best part of setting up a social media marketing agency in a country like Pakistan is, you do not need a full four-year-college degree to ace the game. All you need is to learn how to advertise efficiently on different social media websites, build up an organic presence, and offer this service to struggling small businesses in your local area.
The process is simple. Here are some action steps you need to take right away to land a struggling client in your inbox today.
Setting up your social media marketing agency:
The first step is to create your website. You can easily create a website in WordPress. If you do not know how to set up a WordPress website, watch this tutorial.
Creating your own social media accounts:
As a digital marketing company, you need to set up your own presence on different social media accounts. I would recommend creating accounts on different websites with one name and keeping uniform branding. Here are the websites I recommend creating accounts on.
1- Facebook Pages
The first step is to create a Facebook page for your business. If you wonder why Facebook, the answer is simple. Facebook is the biggest social media website with over 2.6 billion active users. Today, billions and billions, tens of billions of dollars worth of goods and services are being sold on Facebook because of its huge user base.
Even if it is your business or a client’s, creating a Facebook page is actually the first step in social media marketing.
The page needs to be populated with graphics, videos, and text posts talking about services.
If you click on the picture below, you will be taken to my Facebook page. Take a look at the engagement of posts, and branding done on my page. People like uniformity, they do not like surprises. Your Facebook page needs to talk about your business.
I reiterate, as a social media marketer, you need to have a good online presence to convince your clients to give you their business.
2- Instagram Business Account
About 4 months back, the news broke on the internet. Instagram has dethroned Facebook as the King of Social Media.
Just like Facebook, Instagram is highly popular, especially in specific niches. The power of hashtags on Instagram lets you reach out to hundreds of thousands of people instantly. The next step after creating an Instagram account is to convert it to a business account from a personal account (it is usually set up as personal by default). Also, connect Instagram with the Facebook page you have created for the business.
Just like on Facebook, start populating your profile with pictures and videos. The most important thing that sets Instagram apart from other social media websites is “Instagram Stories”. The stories gain good engagement.
Also, Instagram’s IGTV is gaining huge popularity. By default, Instagram lets you put a video up to one minute long. If the length of a video increases over one minute, the video is posted to IGTV (Instagram Television) section. Here you can put a description as well as put an external link to a website.
If you have more then 10,000 followers, Instagram allows you to put any website link to your story. This is one great way of increasing traffic on your website.
If you want a quick cheat sheet, let me give you a step-by-step guide to growing your Instagram profile. Click here to learn 4 ways to grow your brand on Instagram.
3- LinkedIn Presence
Apart from Facebook-owned companies, not many social media marketers pay attention to LinkedIn. This website is very popular. It is mostly used by professionals to make connections, similar to the lines of Facebook but for professional connections only.
LinkedIn is a great way to reach out to people from a specific industry and pitch them a product or service. As you can see from the image, I have over 11k connections on LinkedIn. I have used it successfully to bring tons of traffic to my YouTube channel and to the BeingGuru website.
As a social media influencer, if there is a lucrative offer worth talking about, I post it on LinkedIn. It fetches some good traffic to my client’s business.
As a marketer, you can also advertise a business on LinkedIn. It’s an amazing professional place with lots of active users. The ROI is actually very high for some selective niches.
4- Quora’s Questions & Answers
Quora is an amazing website that is filled with huge data of questions and answers. I doubt, there is any topic you won’t find on Quora.
It’s basically a social media website that emphasizes questions and answers, giving a lot of knowledge to the users, therefore the website gained huge popularity in recent years.
If you want to advertise a business, be it your own agency or a client’s product or service, you can use Quora to search relevant topics, and supply an answer that contains a link to the business you want the traffic to be driven to.
I use Quora for driving traffic to my clients and to my blog. Take a look at my presence on Quora, pretty decent right?
I initially thought Pinterest doesn’t work well in Pakistan because of a lack of awareness and people do not use it. I was wrong. Pinterest is one amazing way of pinning your posts and letting the audience know what are your preferences.
You should signup on to Pinterest and create your profile and start building followers. The more active you are on the platform, the higher the chances of people following you. I’ve just started here and pinned posts related to my work on BeingGuru.
YouTube, my newfound love. It is a separate world different from the other social media accounts. It is huge and why it should not be, it’s Google-owned.
YouTube is an amazing website to upload videos and reach out to a huge audience. As a marketing company, you should create your YouTube channel and start talking about your services as a social media marketing agency that helps clients with leads and sales.
Videos with animations, voiceovers, and client testimonials prove to be instrumental in the client’s decision-making on Youtube.
As a YouTuber, the latest hat I proudly wear, I quickly aced to 100k subscribers this year after I started doing SEO on my channel.
Identify the services you offer to the clients:
As a social media marketing agency, it is imperative that you clearly define your scope of work on your website as well as on different social media accounts. If you can only generate leads for clients, talk about lead generation services.
Similarly, if you also offer Digital marketing services that essentially include search engine optimization (SEO), then my advice would be to change the headlines from social media marketing to digital marketing services.
Here is a typical list of services that fall under social media marketing.
- Lead Generation.
- Marketing outreach.
- Sales Generation.
- Social media accounts management.
- Copywriting services.
- Email marketing through lead generation by capturing emails in a newsletter.
- Creating eye-catchy videos with a call to action. This could lead to a social media account inbox or to a landing page of your website.
- Claim your local Google listing.
Building up a portfolio:
The million-dollar question is, how can a beginner create a portfolio to attract clients? As a social media marketing agency, my advice to you is to start offering limited-time free services to the first 5 clients.
Here is how you can do it:
- Reach out to small businesses in your local area and ask them to allow you to do social media marketing for them.
The picture is a marketplace right in front of my house. I reached out to each one of them and asked them if they would let me do their social media marketing. Out of 12 businesses operating in this market, 2 are my clients — I have signed up for a monthly retainer to help them with regular lead generation.
The pitch was simple and initially, I told them I am doing it for free but they will pay for the Facebook, and Instagram video advertisement. The 2 client’s I have signed up for are a Hair Stylist and a Food home delivery.
- Create social media accounts for the small businesses you are targeting. Create their Facebook pages, connect them with an Instagram business account and WhatsApp number, and then, also create accounts on other websites as mentioned above.
- Put pictures/videos on their account to populate the space. No potential customer will contact you if there is no activity on your social media account, even with paid advertisements.
- Take screenshots of the engagement of their posts before paid advertisement.
- Take screenshots of the engagement of their posts after the paid advertisement. You will notice a significant rise in engagement and that could be shown as a (Before & After) picture that tells the result to the potential client.
- Put these screenshots of (Before & After) on your social media accounts to tell potential clients that you know your work. They are highly inclined to hire you after seeing the engagement results of your work. This way, after you have created your social media marketing portfolio, you can charge future clients because you have proven results in the part to show them. Remember, showing progress sells.
Train a team:
Running a social media marketing agency alone could be hectic. If you want to do more business online, you need to train a team to assist you in facilitating clients with the process explained above. You can set up a commission-based business relationship with other social media marketing experts who get paid when a client is secured.
You can also hire them in-house, and pay them monthly salaries if you are securing a good number of clients who are looking to hire your agency for social media marketing.
How to find clients who are looking for social media marketing?
My number one methodology to get new clients is to go out, identify small businesses in my local area, and pitch them with a simple one-liner “Are you looking to get more customers?”
Anyone with the right frame of business mind would not refuse this offer. I have won many new contracts with this simple strategy and many clients are now my long-term clients. Remember, social media marketing is beneficial if you can retain the client.
Grabbing customer’s attention to your paid advertisement:
Here is a screenshot of a recent web development service ad I posted on Facebook and Instagram. I am also sharing the result of the advertisement.
The copywriting is instrumental in grabbing a potential client’s response. Moreover, scarcity is important. Tell clients, you are busy or the product you are selling has a limited stock. This formula works like crazy in landing more leads.
In this ad, I have tried to put together a nice copywriting with a call to action. I have created scarcity and have used emojis as they grab attention on social media.
If you notice the ad, there are 88 message conversions.
In my ad, I’ve chosen customers to contact me in the Facebook inbox. The message conversation formula is by the best way of landing new leads in your inbox.
All things considered, what’s the purpose of setting up, propelling, and running a social media crusade if it won’t bring in cash?
If you want to grow your business as a social media marketing agency that provides services to local clients, you have to pay heed to client retention. It requires you to spend advertisement money to get new clients but if you can signup a quarterly or annual contract with your existing client, you can focus more on better execution rather than worrying about getting new customers.
Client retention is the best way to grow your business in every field.
I grew my freelancing business just because of the client’s retention. A returning client pays better than a new client.
To set up your social media marketing agency legally, you have to signup with FBR.
If you do not know how to do it, I would recommend Google “lawyer in your area”. You will be able to find contact numbers of lawyers offering their services.