As a prerequisite, you should already be quite knowledgeable with social media. And it helps if you have passion for this area. There's nothing worse than working in an industry you don't care about.
Create a Website
Next, you're going to want to setup a website for your new business. Now this is a multi-step process, and there's many different ways to do it, but this is typically how I like to do it:
1 - Pick a Business Name
Make sure it doesn't already exist. Try to choose something either memorable, brandable, or that clearly says what your business is all about (like Social Media Management, LLC).
It's normally a good idea to choose a name that has an available .com, but with so many new domain extensions coming out, this is becoming less and less critical.
2 - Buy a Domain
Maybe you have a favorite domain registrar, maybe you don't. I like using NameSilo.com myself as they have very competitive pricing and free WHOIS privacy.
3 - Get a Logo Designed
- Hire a graphics designer on oDesk
- Do it yourself using PhotoShop or Gimp or Paint.net
- Use a crowdsourcing service like 99Designs or CrowdSpring. I feel like these aren't the best value, and not smart for a startup, but some people love them.
4 - Pick a Theme for your Website
I lean towards WordPress as a CMS for a business site. It's easy to install, easy to configure, and easy to maintain. Plus, there's thousands of free plugins and themes, so it's basically the cheapest solution out there.
To find a suitable theme, Google "free business wordpress themes" and limit the results to the last 6 months (so you ensure the themes are up-to-date).
5 - Get Hosting
Hopefully you already have a host, but if not, I'd recommend:
6 - Install WordPress, Install Theme, Configure WordPress
There's plenty of tutorials out there on how to do this :)
7 - Add Content
You should also add a blog area where you can write posts that are relevant to social media management. This builds your authority.
Now decide what you want to sell. Perhaps it's a monthly consulting service. Perhaps it's a package of posts to your client's social media accounts. Perhaps it's a "social media audit", where you analyze your client's current state of affairs and make recommendations on things they can improve upon.
Now, this is the tough part. The social media management space is fairly competitive. How can you set yourself apart from all the other companies trying to attract customers? Be creative. Do some research and see what your competitors offer. Maybe offer something that nobody has thought up yet. Or maybe offer what they offer, but cheaper and faster.
You can also consider offering something for free, such as a social media "audit", to help attract people, and then converting some of them with an upsell to a paid service.
Some ideas for attracting customers to your new business:
- Fiverr gigs (with "add-ons" you can really build a profitable business with Fiverr nowadays)
- Bidding on oDesk/Elance jobs
- Pay-Per-Click ads (AdWords, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, etc)
- Banner ads in forums
- Guest blog posts (contact authority blogs in the social media niche and offer to write free content for them)
- Solo ads (renting an email list)
- Writing regular, unique, quality blog posts for your own blog (this can be huge for organic traffic)
- Social media marketing (harnessing the power of Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, etc. for building your reputation as a social media expert)
- Cold-calling (or cold-emailing) - contacting businesses directly and offering your services
- Offline networking (attending business / entrepreneur / startup meetups and chatting people up)
- Hosting your own offline seminars about social media, trying to educate business owners
- Partnering with other companies who offer complementative services (SEO companies, graphics designers, web developers, hosting companies, etc)
Hopefully this will help you start your new social media management business. Good luck!
Kane Miller from DoSocial
Kane has a background in computer engineering, but now focuses on creating new and interesting web services. His passion for social media and marketing encouraged him to create DoSocial.
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