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RANT The problem with "social media marketing agencies"

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James Klymus

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So "social media marketing agencies" have been discussed on this forum before, and it's actually a great way to start making a full time income.

But theres a bit of a problem with the term "social media marketing agency" (SMMA)

When I think of an agency, I think of a company with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of full time employees and contractors inside a big modern office space in a high rise building in Chicago, LA, or NY city. They probably have an incredibly large over head, fancy coffee machines, Mac computers on every desk, and a ping pong table.

That's all well and good for companies who do that. BUT the thing is... nobody starting out will have those things.

It more than likely is just you, a laptop, a cell phone, and your bedroom in your parents house or 1 bedroom apartment. And there's nothing wrong with that. All that matters is that you're able to help someone get a result.

So why are there courses popping up telling you how to start a SMMA when in reality the people teaching the course probably have never even started a real agency?

Well it's a good marketing tactic. Agency sounds very sexy, because agencies have all the fancy things I talked about above. What ISNT so sexy is the dude working from a laptop in a bedroom in the suburbs.

Both can get results, I'd even argue that the one man or small team can get better results. The fancy offices, dozens of employees and ping pong tables just cause inefficiency and distraction for the most part.

So at the end of the day when you hear someone say "SMMA", what they really mean is they want to become a glorified freelancer.

Again there is absolutely nothing wrong with either of these, as long as you can get clients results. This is the business that I'm in, and I always thought it was strange calling it an "agency" when i work from a bedroom most of the time.

The beautiful thing about it is you can take the business as far as you'd like. You can stay a one man team, or you can scale it up to a real fastlane business that follows "CENTS" commandments, and is separate from your time.
 

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SolopreneurGrind

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Some very good thoughts in there. I read some of the previous thread on the influx of marketing agencies as well, but my overall thinking is that people are over-thinking this and turning it into more of a problem than it needs to be.

Why?

Because there are tens of millions of businesses in the US alone... and most of them either don't do any social media marketing or it sucks. So if people want to start out as a digital marketing freelancer, or "agency", is that really a problem?

Are there too many "gurus" selling too many courses on how to start an agency? Probably.

Are there too many people without enough experience trying to get into the market? Probably.

But in my humble opinion, there is a HUGE need for the service and supply/demand and quality of service will dictate the outcome here. If freelancers or agencies suck, they won't be hired again and will go out of business, just like in any other industry. If there aren't enough businesses willing to pay for the service, then the freelancers/agencies won't last.

As long as there are millions of businesses out there that need or want the service, I won't lose any sleep over people trying to get into an industry with low startup costs and the potential for solid, consistent revenue.
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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Some very good thoughts in there. I read some of the previous thread on the influx of marketing agencies as well, but my overall thinking is that people are over-thinking this and turning it into more of a problem than it needs to be.

Why?

Because there are tens of millions of businesses in the US alone... and most of them either don't do any social media marketing or it sucks. So if people want to start out as a digital marketing freelancer, or "agency", is that really a problem?

Are there too many "gurus" selling too many courses on how to start an agency? Probably.

Are there too many people without enough experience trying to get into the market? Probably.

But in my humble opinion, there is a HUGE need for the service and supply/demand and quality of service will dictate the outcome here. If freelancers or agencies suck, they won't be hired again and will go out of business, just like in any other industry. If there aren't enough businesses willing to pay for the service, then the freelancers/agencies won't last.

As long as there are millions of businesses out there that need or want the service, I won't lose any sleep over people trying to get into an industry with low startup costs and the potential for solid, consistent revenue.
Exactly. The market for quality service will never be over saturated.
 

Johnny boy

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Business is two things.

1. Acquisition
2. Obligation

You get customers, then you do a thing for them. Most problems are fixed with better acquisition (better marketing).

Example: a lawn care company that isn't profitable and has annoying customers.

Fix: Drop the bad customers and raise prices

"But then I wouldn't have a full schedule"

"Because your marketing sucks".


Social media is a fundamental shift in how money changes hands because it has the attention of nearly all people non-stop and it's pretty much free to create content. It's bottom up instead of top down.

The companies of tomorrow are going to eat up the companies of today because of this.

The lawn care company that masters social media and realizes they need to focus nearly all of their energy on getting attention and marketing in this new economy by using social media will take over the country. The restaurant that brands themselves locally for each specific location will take market share away from the monolithic brands like Denny's and Burger king. Ever notice most chains are similar to commodities? They're finished when Amazon starts making burgers that are delivered to you for $4 and are there within 20 minutes. The only thing left will be the locally marketed restaurants that offer higher quality and atmosphere. Now it's a question of who will be able to properly scale their brands through local marketing without diluting their brand. I'm excited to see who will do it right.

The key is branding your company and using social media to do that. The companies that understand this will take over the world. This is the time for going on the attack and businesses that fail to execute on this opportunity are DONE.

Knowing this, don't you think it's quite important to do this as a business owner? You can only do so much to optimize the "obligations" side of your business. You can get robots to replace your workers. You can outsource customer service to India. You can do these things but it gives marginal returns and there are real barriers to entry. The real opportunity is in the acquisition of customers through getting their attention. That's much more important, easier to change, and gives massive returns. Having all the customers and leads in the world for cheap will fix nearly any problem in your business.

If you realized the many, many billions of dollars are going to change hands from old dogs that can't learn new tricks to the new companies that are savvy, you would think "there's not nearly enough agencies to properly accommodate the lack of effective marketing going on by these businesses".

I'm not exaggerating when I say that 80%+ of physical products businesses are going to lose when Amazon replaces them, 80%+ of traditional media companies are going to lose when places like Complex and Barstool Sports replaces them because they understand the value of social media and how to really harness it. Blockbuster was first. ToysRus was second. It's already over. The rest is just the clock running off as a formality for many more companies.

I met with a writer who writes romantic novels. I told her to start an instagram page of pictures of hot guys and to sell her books to the audience of girls who like pics of hot dudes. There's a reason they use those models for the cover every time. She needs to post short romantic stories on facebook as text posts and then use ads to build an audience.

I spoke with an accountant in San Francisco and told her she needs to record and film a podcast show of everything going on in San Francisco including interviewing local business owners, allowing her to siphon their local audience towards her, as well as land huge clients who she would otherwise have to cold call and not get through because of the secretary gatekeepers.

I spoke with a rapper in the pacific northwest who wanted marketing help. I told him to become famous. Use instagram and make skits that blend with his character and type of music. A rapper named 'pimpinpat' is kinda figuring it out. He's getting attention for putting girls on leashes. Most of his fans come because they heard about the guy with a crazy a$$ instagram. He needs attention and instagram is gold for rappers if they seize the opportunity. Then he can let them know about his music after they find him for something else he posted. It just takes G-easy watching his funny video and then seeing he also raps, listening to his music and liking it and then he's got a colab that will put him in the spotlight.

Adapt or die. My lawn care company films videos with local businesses for our podcast show. I'm going to host a church event and get other businesses to sponsor it so it's free or close to free marketing for me to a largely elderly and local audience. Perfect for my business.

I think there should be MORE social media companies helping these businesses. I do it a little differently though.

I charge for consulting. Knowing what to do from a 2 hour phone call for $1000 is exponentially more valuable than me "posting" for your business account in a useless way for $1000 a month and having to deal with you as a client over time and handle your calls and questions.

As time goes on, things will get better. Right now it's a bunch of clueless kids saying "we will post for you and do your SEO" and they set up buffer posts and outsource content creation. That's for idiots. It doesn't do anything for these people. They need real solutions. It will change because people offering real solutions will take over. As what always happens. The market isn't saturated, it's just full of garbage. As always has been and always will be. There's no saturation of blogs, youtube channels, SMMA's, gurus, or anything else. There's just a mob of shitty wannabes that trend hop into low barrier of entry businesses but it doesn't change who wins, it just makes it FEEL saturated. Good is still good and it will always win. Businesses are going to be screwed and if you can help them, you deserve lots and lots of money. Lots.
 

Patrick Hughes

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So "social media marketing agencies" have been discussed on this forum before, and it's actually a great way to start making a full time income.

But theres a bit of a problem with the term "social media marketing agency" (SMMA)

When I think of an agency, I think of a company with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of full time employees and contractors inside a big modern office space in a high rise building in Chicago, LA, or NY city. They probably have an incredibly large over head, fancy coffee machines, Mac computers on every desk, and a ping pong table.

That's all well and good for companies who do that. BUT the thing is... nobody starting out will have those things.

It more than likely is just you, a laptop, a cell phone, and your bedroom in your parents house or 1 bedroom apartment. And there's nothing wrong with that. All that matters is that you're able to help someone get a result.

So why are there courses popping up telling you how to start a SMMA when in reality the people teaching the course probably have never even started a real agency?

Well it's a good marketing tactic. Agency sounds very sexy, because agencies have all the fancy things I talked about above. What ISNT so sexy is the dude working from a laptop in a bedroom in the suburbs.

Both can get results, I'd even argue that the one man or small team can get better results. The fancy offices, dozens of employees and ping pong tables just cause inefficiency and distraction for the most part.

So at the end of the day when you hear someone say "SMMA", what they really mean is they want to become a glorified freelancer.

Again there is absolutely nothing wrong with either of these, as long as you can get clients results. This is the business that I'm in, and I always thought it was strange calling it an "agency" when i work from a bedroom most of the time.

The beautiful thing about it is you can take the business as far as you'd like. You can stay a one man team, or you can scale it up to a real fastlane business that follows "CENTS" commandments, and is separate from your time.

Great post and I agree.

This guy Mikeal Dea from Funnelytics is a really smart "agency" type guy and yes, he has done it.

I use his software to make sales funnels and holy crap its so good.

I honestly think the internet is going to keep growing, and being in business online in some way is a massive benefit.

The fact of digital information and products lasting forever is crazy. If I make a solid podcast and interview with someone that makes a huge impact, that podcast can garner views for the rest of my life. Nuts.
 

Marry Smith

New Contributor
Feb 26, 2019
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14
Ave San Jose
Individual should have knowledge of social media and should run it self , I know sometime it requires some extra skills and this is where social media agencies comes in to play.
 

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