You want to start your own social media agency in New Zealand? It sounds easy, in fact that’s because it sort of is. The hard part is getting clients.
If you can do that, then you can make a lot of money as a SMMA.
SMMA stands for Social Media Marketing Agency.
How does an SMMA work?
In a nutshell, you’ll be working with local businesses, creating ads and driving new traffic, leads and sales to them. In return you’ll get a monthly retainer and/or a per lead commission.
A typical ad would redirect to a special offer which encourages visitors to enter their email or phone number in return for something incredible.
Take a local gym, who would say no to a 30 day trial.
You’ll probably also manage their brand on social media such as answering questions, responding to complaints and dealing with negativity.
You see, business owners are great at running their business, but probably don’t have time for social media, or they simply have no idea how to utilise it in their business.
I can’t think of a single business that doesn’t want more traffic, leads and sales, so if you can find clients, it’s a simple way to make money for everyone involved.
So you’re already half way to finding clients, you just need to sell yourself.
How To Start A Social Media Marketing Agency
If you’re going to do things professionally from the start then you’ll want to register a company for your agency. If you’ve already got one, you could trade under that name.
You could also be a sole trader but as you grow your business and get more clients, showcasing Joe Bloggs trading as XYZ Agency doesn’t quite have the same effect.
Starting a company in New Zealand is cheap and affordable. Every week thousands of new companies are started. Just remember your tax and annual account filing fees.
Your company could be called anything, you can then have a trading name too. Alternatively call the company the same as the business name.
I’d say you should deposit $500-$1000 into your business bank account to start with, however this business model doesn’t require any capital to start.
Create Your Website
I recommend creating a basic website, showcasing your services. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy but please don’t use a free Wix account.
You can get WordPress hosting and a decent theme for less than $5 per month with Bluehost.
Make sure you buy a .com or .co.nz domain name for your business.
Ensure you install a SSL certificate. Most web hosts give you this for free so you should just need to enable it.
Choose a professional theme, add a few pages. Usually I’d add the following:
- About Us
- Case Studies
You can really sell yourself by creating a case study. If you don’t have clients yet, you can think outside the box and create one for yourself. Include screenshots and images, clients love those.
Create A Business Card
Create a simple business card. You can use a company such as Moo.com or Vistaprint.
If you’re a creative person then use Canva.com or Photoshop and create a unique design. If you’re not then you can use the free ones those companies offer, or if you’re clever, pay someone $10 on Fiverr to create one for you.
You need to include the basic contact information.
- Phone number
- Email address
- Job title – Call yourself a consultant.
You definitely don’t need to include an address but if you want too then you can get a virtual address from a company called Clevver.io for $10 per month.
I always recommend calling yourself a Consultant, or Social Media Consultant.
Create Social Media Profiles
Funny enough, you need to create your own social profiles. I’d recommend starting with the major ones such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Youtube and Pinterest.
You should claim as many social media profiles as you can. This will stop copy cats from stealing your brand name on other networks that may become big in the future.
You definitely don’t need to use each platform but atleast claim your free online real estate.
Make your Facebook page awesome, as that’s the number one platform you’ll use to promote other businesses, so ensure your own page looks good.
Buy some fake Facebook likes and comments to make your page look popular.
Create Your Contracts/Terms
When it comes to managing other peoples business interests you want to ensure you cover your ass and ensure you aren’t held responsible for any issues that arise from working on their social media.
Make sure you draw up a contract that you’ll both sign. Usually this will include the monthly rates, ongoing fees and work you’ll be doing.
Ensure you have terms and conditions, privacy policies and non disclosure agreements.
If you’re unsure on this section, I’d definitely recommend seeking professional advice. While most small businesses probably wouldn’t care, as you grow it’s highly likely you’ll have one bad apple signup with your agency.
Get Local Citations
You want to get your website, name and brand out there. I recommend creating as many local citations as you can about your business.
Directories such as this can help get exposure. You can also create a Google My Business listing if you want to get featured on Google Maps.
You can pay other people to create local citations for you.
Find Your First Client FAST
The best way to find your first client is to get out there and brand yourself. Give your business cards to friends and family. Tell everyone what you do and what services you offer.
You’ll be surprised how quickly someone gives your details to someone else, who might be a small business, or a multi national.
The next best way to get clients fast and free is to head over to Meetup.com and look at all the free events in your local area. Try and find ones related to IT, marketing, business first, but any type of event will do.
Take a wad of business cards and dress smart and head over. Make an effort to start conversations with randoms and tell everyone what you do.
It won’t be long before someone knows someone who needs your services. Heck you might even find a client at the meetup.
Another way I recommend finding clients is putting on your own free event.
Offer a free 3 hour social media masterclass in a local venue. Find another speaker to share the content. Buy some drinks and nibbles and get a projector. Promote your event and have friends show up pretending they don’t know you in case only a few people show up.
Here’s an example of someone doing the exact same thing in SEO niche.
Closing Clients, What To Charge
The best way to get your first clients is to go and meet them face to face. This will give you confidence to sell yourself.
As you grow, you’ll be able to close deals over the phone.
I always go for a monthly retainer for providing the services. This is usually $500-$1000 for a small client, $2000 for medium and $3000 for large.
You need to look at what hourly rate you’d like to be on and how much time you’re going to be spending on their ads each month.
I opt for $100 per hour which means I’ll spend 10 hours per month for $1000.
If you registered for GST, then you’ll add 15% to the top of these prices.
You can then decide how to charge clients:
- Per click, per lead or per sale
- 20% of monthly ad spend
- No additional fees.
The best option comes down to the business model your client uses. If they are selling something then the best money to be made is per pay lead.
So if you send a click and that person buys a $1000 product, you’ll get a commission.
If you’re unsure you can track those customers clicking through then a percentage of the monthly traffic might be a better option.