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How to Start Your Own Social Media Marketing Agency in 2019

When you picture an agency, you likely think of fancy offices with catered lunches and open work spaces. That’s certinaly one kind of agency, but what if I told you that you could set up your own one-person social media marketing agency today with just a smell set of tools and the right knowledge?

While many of principles apply to more than one social media platform, we’ll be focusing mainly on Instagram. This is because, according to the data, Instagram is where businesses should be heading:

  • Over a billion users now use Instagram
  • 60% of users find new products on Instagram
  • 75% of users take action after seeing a post (visiting a website, for example)

Read on to learn how you can offer value to clients as your own one-person social media marketing agency:

Know how to conduct hashtag research

You could be creating the most incredible content in the world, but if it isn’t reaching your target audience, it doesn’t matter.

On most social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, hashtags are your main form of distribution. Think of any one of your posts as a store. Hashtags essentially allow you to pick up your store and place it where ever there are potential customers.

Read this article on ‘How To Identify the Best Instagram Hashtags

So, if you are wanting to start your own social media marketing agency, knowing how to find the best hashtags for your clients that are likely to produce results for their posts is essential.

You can read how to do that by reading this article or by watching the video below:

Here’s the gist of it:

  • take a main keyword related to your business and search it on Instagram
  • choose a hashtag that best suits your keyword
  • after choosing a hashtag, look at the “Related hashtags”
  • repeat this process as many times as you need

The specificity of your hashtags is going to change depending on the needs of your client.

For example if your client runs a lifestyle page and just wants to gain new followers, you have more leeway in terms of the hashtags your client can use. However, if your client is a local dog food company, the hashtags which are likely to produce results are going to be more specific and less plentiful.

Know how to find and best engage with your client’s target audience on Instagram

It’s unfortunately not enough to post stellar content with the right hashtags and expect to grow and maintain your followers.

To grow your social media presence, you need to be engaging with your client’s community. Engagement means Liking, commenting, DMing, following, sharing, and so on.

AiGrow allows you customize the speed of your Liking, Following, Unfollowing, Commenting, and DMing.

What’s more important is knowing who to engage with to produce the best results for your clients.

For example, returning to the example of the local dog food company, if you leave a thoughftful comment on someone’s post on behalf of the dog food company and the owner of the post turns around and follows the dog food company, that follow is only fruitful if that new follower is someone who is likely to buy from the dog food company.

In other words, you want to engage only with people who fit your client’s target audience, and the best way to find your client’s target audience on Instagram is through hashtags.

AiGrow allows you to engage with people using a specific hashtag to fine-tune your targeting.

People post what they find interesting. If someone posts a picture of their dog, especially if they do it consistently, you know that person would have a reason to be interested in a local dog food company.

With this in mind, if you are engaging on behalf of a dog food company, you want to find and engage with people who are posting about their dog. You can do this through hashtags.

Using your hashtag research above, begin engaging with people using those hashtags. While you can do this manually, engaging with every new post one-by-one, you can signficiantly speed up the process by using a smart automation tool like AiGrow.

With AiGrow, you can provide the hashtags from your research, and AiGrow will begin automatically Liking, following, and commenting on posts of people only using the hashtags you provide. You can even send custom DMs to groups of people in bulk.


AiGrow gives you the full Instagram DM inbox experience on your desktop.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to handle customer service is through social media. It not only eliminates the need for customers to take the extra step to email you, but with 89% of messages to brands on social media being ignored, responding to a customer’s message is an easy way to stand out from the competition.

Where handling customer service from social media platforms can become a hassle is when you start receiving hundreds of messages a day. This is because, with Instagram, for example,  you are only able to send and receive messages from your phone. This is okay for smaller companies receiving a small number of messages, but for larger companies receiving hundreds of messages a day, having to respond to each one from a small phone screen is simply counter-intuitive.

Therefore, a good social media marketing agency should take the responsibility of handling most, if not all of their client’s messages. This might include sending mass messages for lead gen, answering common questions, welcoming new customers to your client’s business, making public announcements, providing discounts to your client’s followers, and so on.

No more sending messages from your cramped phone screen. Send DMs (with attached photos) from your desktop with AiGrow.

A tool like AiGrow provides you with a full Instagram DM inbox on your desktop and is the perfect tool to handle all of your client’s DMs from your desktop. You can send and receive messages, filter your messages (read, unread, sent, and all), and search for messages from specific people. In addition to having a functioning desktop inbox, you can also send automated DMs to current followers, new followers, users using specific hashtags, users following a specific account, and specific users on an excel list.

Help your client understand the kind of content they should be creating and make it easy for them to post consistently

You’re using the right hashtags, you’re engaging with the right people, now it’s time to create awesome, on-brand content.

As a social media marketing agency, your clients should retain most, if not all creative freedom, especially if they’ve already developed a following. This is especially true if your client already has a following. If you begin creating and posting content that is different from what your client’s Instagram following is used to, you risk losing the loyal fanbase your client has already developed.

Having said that, if your client is struggling for content ideas, it’s your job as a social media marketing agency to help your client with their strategy. To help them do that, read this thorough article on creating engaging Instagram posts.

One easy source of inspiration is your competitors. What are they posting? How are they engaging with their followers? Are they using Instagram Stories?

The idea is not to steal your competitors content, but rather to understand what it is that’s making them successful on Instagram and to implement that understanding into your own strategy.

To find what competitors you should be paying attention to, read this article on performing an effective competitor analysis on Instagram.

Is your client away for a week? Make sure they don’t miss a day of posting by scheduling their content for days, week, or even months ahead with AiGrow’s scheduler.

Even if your client creates the content, you as a social media marketing agency can still do the reserach and schedule their posts for the best audience reception. To find the best times to post, you can manually look at the performance of your client’s posts and see what times produce the best results, or you can use a tool like Iconosquare.

To schedule their posts for days, weeks, or month ahead, you can use a tool like AiGrow.

Optimize your client’s Instagram page as a whole so that it best converts their target audience

Theme is the message your Instagram page as a whole sends to someone when they visit your page.

Your theme takes into account such things as:

  • name
  • profile picture
  • bio
  • color palette
  • how your posts work together as a grid

If you follow the tactics outlined above, your client’s theme should develop naturally. With that said, it’s helpful to consider the following questions:

If someone were to quickly scroll past your Instagram name and profile picture, would they get an idea of what you do?

Does your client’s bio convey essential information about their business? Is there a call-to-action in their bio? Is there a link included in their bio?

Answering yes to these questions can help your client create a page that best converts the kind of audience they are trying to target.

Theme Case study – Frank Body

Username: @frank_bod

The word “body” in the username alludes to the fact that Frank is a skincare/makeup company.

Profile picture

While there is nothing shown in their profile picture that immediately identfies them as a skincare/makeup comapny, Frank is now a known brand throughout the makeup community and can rely on just their logo to communicate to people what they are about.

Bio: Get clean the dirty way. #thefrankeffect. Shop my natural, caffeinated skincare online ? or at Mecca Maxima AUS, Sephora EU & Ulta USA. ?

The words “clean” and “dirty” in the first sentence of their bio help visitors quickly identify what Frank is all about. After visitors gain an understanding of what Frank is all about, they are then immediately given a CTA in the second sentence of Frank’s bio – “Shop my natural, caffeinated skincare online.” and told where exactly to do that shopping – “online” (through the link below) or “at Mecca Maxima AUS, Sephora, EU & Ulta USA”.

Color palette: brown, pink, and white.

They sell an all-natural coffee scrub, so dark earth tones make sense.

Type of content:

  • satisfied customers and/influencers using Frank’s products
  • branded product photos and videos
  • memes related to skincare


With the knowledge and tools described above, you can be well on your way to starting your own one-person social media marketing agency.

Know of any other tools or tips that could help people thrive in the social media marketing business? Drop your wisdom in the comments below!

Start growing your client’s Instagram pages, scheduling their content, and getting more real Likes and comments for their posts by signing up for AiGrow for free today.