Written by Anna Sonnenberg

How to Build a 7-Figure Social Media Agency

 

Get the scoop on how to transform your social media agency into a seven-figure powerhouse. 

For many agency owners, creating a seven-figure business is the ultimate goal. But how do you turn this dream into reality, especially if you’re just getting started in the agency world?

With a clear strategy, a talented team, and a little number crunching, you can build a seven-figure social media agency.

Clarify Your Agency’s USP

Not just any agency can generate a seven-figure revenue stream. To build a successful agency, you need a little something that makes your business stand out from the competition. In other words, you need a unique selling proposition (USP).

What makes your agency special?

Your USP could center on:

Niche

Rather than working with any and all clients, become known as the agency for a specific niche.

Focus on an industry that you already know well or a sector with tons of growth potential.

For example, niches like e-commerce, pet supplies, and sustainable goods may offer some promising opportunities.

Services

Instead of offering the same services as your competitors, focus on an area that other agencies lack.

For example, your agency might specialize in lead generation or social listening rather than comprehensive social media management.

Location

Why pour energy into seeking clients across the country or around the globe when you can stay local?

By becoming the go-to agency for your city or region, you can build a dedicated local client base.

Approach

There’s more than one way to design a social media strategy or develop a lead generation pipeline. By pioneering a new approach or using advanced technology, you can set your agency apart from those that rely on generic tactics or tools.

Establish Your Brand

After clarifying your agency’s USP, it’s time to build your brand.

First, get clear on your mission and services. Then do customer research and define your target audience to a T.

Next, create a content marketing and social media strategy that lets you connect with potential clients.

Content elements for your brand

  • Social media content that speaks your audience’s language and helps them solve common problems
  • Blog posts that explain the benefits of your services and outline solutions for your target audience.
  • Podcasts and guest posts that position your agency team as thought leaders and innovators in your niche

Productize Your Services

Setting an hourly rate might seem like the easiest way to work with clients. But when you’re aiming for a seven-figure revenue stream, this pricing approach can be a hard sell.

To reach that goal, you may have to set a rate so high that it scares away clients or work an unrealistic number of hours.

packaged social media services - Babbl

via Babbl

Instead, productize your agency’s services.

By selling services as packages, you can easily communicate their value and benefits rather than focusing on time and labor.

Many successful agencies offer one or both of these options:

  • Monthly Packages: For ongoing services, provide a set of easy-to-understand deliverables for a recurring fee. For example, offer a monthly content calendar with daily Facebook and Instagram posts and community management with a one-hour response time. Allow clients to add on more social platforms or faster response times for an extra fee.
  • One-Time Projects: For individual campaigns, offer start-to-end management for a one-time fee. For example, design and optimize a Facebook Ads campaign for a flat fee, and tack on a percentage of the advertising budget to account for the extra oversight.

Optimize Lead Generation

After laying the groundwork for your agency, you’re ready to grow your client roster.

Although cold outreach can help you get clients, it requires a lot of individual attention.

To generate leads at scale, follow this formula:

  1. Create an offer. One of the most effective ways to win new clients is to offer something of value at no cost. For example, you might provide a free initial consultation, a sample content calendar, or a campaign checklist.
  2. Launch a campaign. Write blog posts and publish social media posts that mention your free offer. When prospects click through to claim your offer, request their contact information prior to downloading or signing up.
  3. Follow up with leads. After prospects have shown interest in your agency, follow up to close the deal. Learn more about their needs, pitch relevant services, and explain your agency’s value.

Create a Retention Strategy

When you first get started, signing new clients should be your top priority.

Once you’ve begun to build a client roster, however, focus on retention. After all, seeking out new clients can cost four times more than retaining your current clients.

That means keeping your clients for months or years can help you reach your revenue goals more quickly and consistently.

To decrease your agency’s churn and encourage clients to stay on, use the following tips.

Set clear expectations

This simple strategy has two big benefits. Telling clients what to expect from your work gives them a realistic idea of how many leads they’ll receive or how many followers they’ll gain.

It also allows you to set goals and avoid major surprises when the time comes for month- or quarter-end reporting.

Show your value

Social media return on investment (ROI) is notoriously tough to communicate. You can make the process easier by providing reports that clarify the value of your work.

Every week, month, or quarter, share reports with key metrics like brand mentions, awareness score, or audience size to reflect what you’ve accomplished.

Communicate clearly

A little communication can go a long way toward making clients happy.

Aim to respond to all client communications within a set period of time, such as 12 or 24 hours. When you reply, be as transparent as possible about how, when, and what you’re doing so clients can maintain some sense of control over the process.

Ask clients for input

Rather than assuming client satisfaction, ask them directly.

Send periodic surveys that prompt clients to rate your service or state whether they would recommend your agency. Use their feedback to reward your team or improve your service.

Ask for Client Referrals

In addition to retaining existing clients, you can leverage connections to drive more revenue. In fact, for 90% of agencies, client referrals serve as their main source of new business.

When you ask clients for their input, prompt them to recommend your agency to others in their network. To show clients that you value their endorsement, offer an incentive.

For example, provide a referral fee that clients can apply as a credit on their next invoice.

Leverage Your Agency’s Data

The more clients you add to your roster, the more data you can collect. In addition to incorporating this information into client reports, you can use it to improve your agency.

First, analyze social media data and apply findings on a larger scale.

If you serve dozens of clients in one industry or local area, your results from one client may apply to others, too. For example, the lead gen strategy you tested out on a new client may work just as well for existing clients in the same niche.

Next, use the data you collect to demonstrate your agency’s value. Did your team achieve amazing results for an important client? Did your agency develop an innovative strategy that you can easily replicate?

Incorporate the data and your analysis into case studies. Then share them with new prospects to help them understand the value your agency can deliver.

Set Up Scalable Systems

If your team spends a lot of time on individual outreach or one-off client services, you’ll have trouble gaining traction.

To generate a seven-figure revenue stream, it’s essential to systematize your processes and scale your agency. Identify areas like internal systems or client processes where you can streamline and scale:

  • Create conversion funnels. Limit time-consuming individual outreach and set up funnels instead. By automating your social ads, landing pages, and email follow-ups, you can generate consistent leads that keep your pipeline full.
  • Design an onboarding process. Your agency’s onboarding process should instill confidence in your clients and allow your team to work efficiently. Create a step-by-step system for requesting account access, getting passwords, performing audits, and collecting brand assets.
  • Adopt automated tools. Stop publishing Facebook posts in the moment and start scheduling them in advance instead. With an all-in-one social media tool, you can plan your content calendar, respond to engagement, monitor hashtags, and produce reports like clockwork.

Grow Your Agency’s Team

As your agency grows, there’s a good chance you’ll need to expand your team.

Think carefully about how to address any talent gaps so you can hire the right people at the right time. For example, you may need to hire social media experts to handle client needs first. After that, adding to your sales team or bringing on specialists may take priority.

To help your team level up, look for ways to enhance their skills. For example, Agorapulse’s Social Media Manager School can improve your team’s social media skills, and Google’s Digital Garage can help you learn a wide range of online marketing skills.

Diversify Your Offerings

When your steady stream of new leads stops flowing or your clients stop increasing their spend, you’ll need a new tactic to keep growing. Consider adding related services or diversifying your offerings to generate more revenue:

  • Service more social media platforms. Does your agency currently focus mainly on Facebook and Instagram? Bring in YouTube or Pinterest experts to give your clients more options.
  • Manage paid campaigns. Does your agency prioritize organic social media? Increase your team’s social ads expertise and start creating paid social strategies.
  • Offer related services. Does your agency provide social media services exclusively? Add on related options like pay-per-click (PPC) ads, design services, or email marketing to become a one-stop shop for your clients.

In Conclusion

With a systemized approach, you can grow a one-person freelance business into a thriving agency. Use these tips to build a seven-figure social media agency, whether you’re starting from zero or you’re ready to take your small business to the next level.

Anna Sonnenberg

Anna Sonnenberg is a digital marketer who specializes in paid social strategy, social media management, content strategy, and email marketing. For over six years, she has run Sonnenberg Media, a digital micro agency that works with small businesses in the natural food and beverage industry, health and sustainability market, and travel space.