Day 19: How to Start a Social Media Marketing Agency in 2021

FREE 30 Day Course


What is a social media marketing agency and is it really possible to make 6 or 7 figures doing it?  Let’s find out!  

We’ve talked about almost every side hustle out there — dropshipping, affiliate marketing, flipping, you name it! — and today we are going to talk about SMMAs.  As mentioned, SMMA stands for social media marketing agency.  I actually own a marketing agency myself!  In addition to social media though, we do other types of marketing such as traditional, architectural/design, and of course, digital.  

I often get asked, “Adrian, should I build an SMMA?”.  In comparison to when I entered the marketing agency world, the script has been changed.  Apparently, there are these courses that are being sold that will teach you to sell to a business. Don't get me wrong, that's important!  But what good do these courses do if they don't teach you how to actually do the marketing itself?

These popular SMMA courses don't sit well with me because the customer, or student in this case, should never be tricked out of value.  These courses may teach you how to get the client but they fail to teach how to meet the client’s needs.  The marking business is a people industry.  You cannot automate real relationships and connections with customers.  

Lucky for you, I’m here to teach you the right way.  

First, we need to have a serious talk; with great power comes great responsibility.  What I’m about to show you how to do works.  In fact, it is the most reliable type of business model I use.  As long as you do a good job, you’ll have happy clients and a nice payout.  

I want you to make a promise to me if you decide to do this side hustle.  If you get to the point where a local business is offering to pay you $1,000 a month to run ads for them (which is pretty realistic), I need you to promise me that you won't take advantage of them.  In fact, I want you to work your butt off and deliver them even more value than you are being paid to give.  This way, you will always have clients and we can change the negative feelings about SMMAs into positive ones! 

Step 1: Learn to Market

If you want to open an SMMA, you need to know marketing!  There are tons of video resources out there on how to run Facebook and Google ads, how to create a website, etc.  We will actually talk about both of these in later posts!

If you're brand new, don't turn away from this side hustle just yet!  No offense to all of the marketers out there, but the internet has really disrupted the marketing industry; marketing trends change very quickly.  Many large agencies train their employees incorrectly and fail to keep them updated with the latest social media or optimization tricks.  

Just by being in touch with my course, you probably already know a little more than the average Joe about social media and digital marketing.  If you can commit the time it takes to learn about new trends and algorithms, you may be better off than someone who has a legit marketing degree!  

Step 2: Create Your Master List of 100

Creating your master list of 100 potential clients is key to success.  At the first SMMA I worked at, the annual revenue was around $120,000.  By the time I left 2 and a half years later, I worked their annual revenue up to $600,000 all because I implemented this tool.  

Your master list should include 100 possible clients who you believe would spend $1,000 a month on marketing.  I like to stick with local businesses that are all in a similar niche category to start out.  On a black spreadsheet, list the company name, contact information, and website.  

To see whether or not a client qualifies for your services, you will need to take a peek at their website and evaluate certain criteria.  The more components a website has wrong with it, the better candidate it makes.  For example, take a look at the screenshot below.  

Right off the bat, this site looks like it's from 1990! It is clearly outdated and needs a refresh.  

When evaluating a website, look for the criteria listed below…


1. Analytics.  

Do they have analytics installed?  To check, you’ll need to install the Tag Assistant extension.  Once installed, it will show up right above your bookmarks bar on the right-hand side.  Click the extension and it will tell you which plugins a site is utilizing.  


2.Tag Manager

Do they have Tag Manager?  To check if Tag Manager is installed, follow the same steps listed above.  


3. Facebook Pixel

How about a Facebook Pixel?  Again, follow the step above to check. 


4. Google Ads

Are they using Google ads?  One last time, check Tag Assistant to verify. 


5. Speed

There are a few different ways you can run a speed test for free; one is more advanced and one is simple.  For the simple option type in “PageSpeed Insights Google” or click the link here.  Next, enter the website domain into the search bar and hit ‘analyze’.  A speed and diagnostics will pop up. 

For the more advanced speed test, you must be on Chrome.  Using your mouse, right click anywhere on the page.  Click ‘inspect’.  Next, click on the ‘Lighthouse’ tab, select the correct device, and generate a report.  An audit will give you insights into lots of data.  Keep your eye out for weak categories that are usually marked in red.  


6. Responsiveness

One way to check if a page is responsive is by shirking a tab over to one side of the screen.  If the content moves to fit the new window size, it's responsive!  If not, then it's not.  You can also check if the site offers both a mobile and desktop version.  Responsive sites have both.  


7. Modern

One of the greatest ways to get in the door with a company is by educating them on how much missed opportunity their website is causing them.  When a website has all of the infrastructure listed above, it will turn from a brochure into a conversion machine.  


8. Current Outside Marketing Company

Many companies hire an outside agency to create their website for them.  Sometimes the said agency will leave a note along the lines of “website created by x” on the bottom of the page.  If it is obvious that an outside source created the website, fill in this box with the name of that agency.  If not, type in N/A. 

If you find an outside marketing company that did a really bad job, look into their other work as well.  There is usually a portfolio or gallery of other websites they have done work for.  Chances are that if one site is bad, all of their other clients are also going to be up for grabs.  



Under the errors section of your chart or in your notes, jot down and problem areas you notice.  In the screenshot above, you can see that a flash message pops up.  This would be considered an error.  


Note that just because a website doesn't look out of date at first glance doesn't mean it won’t make a great candidate.  A website is more than just looks; it needs to work on the back end.  If it isn’t acquiring leads or making sales, it’s useless.  

If a website checks off all the boxes but you still feel like they could benefit by working with you, ask them how their current marketing is going.  Ask them about their conversion rate, lead stats, or cost per acquisition.  Chances are they will have no clue what any of those things mean.  This uncertainty is great for your sales!  Now your job is to inform them on how you can help them determine each of these values and how they can increase sales due to them knowing said data.  

Step 3: Message the Client

When reaching out to a potential client, be sure to speak in a language they understand.  You have to assume that they have no clue what Google Analytics or a speed test is.  Hit them in the heart but still converse with them professionally.  You can do this by going through their website as a customer would.  Be sure to take notes along the way.  Then in your email or call,  mention real examples of broken components on their site followed by what they are missing out on because of these malfunctions.  

My super easy non-salesy script:

Hello, (insert business name)!  My name is (insert name) and I’m at the very beginning of building my marketing agency.  I’m currently offering (insert whatever skill you're focusing on; i.e. running Facebook ads).  (Insert skill again) is one of the main ways to help businesses and because, transparently, we don't have many clients, I actually wanted to reach out to you to see if we can do this for free for you!  We want to do this to help get feedback on the service that we provide and to grow our portfolio.  We would love to do a trial run of 14 days! 

Final Tips

  • When looking for outdated prospects, flip through the Yellowbook or any mail advertisements you get.  Companies who still advertise via print are great prospects.
  • Pick a niche that you can talk confidently about.  If your background is in the medical field, try checking out local dentist, doctor, or chiropractor offices.  
  • Look for local companies that provide a high ticket service.  Its usually easier for these businesses to justify investing in marketing.  

This side hustle is so great right now because we are still within the shift of traditional to digital marketing.  Technology is changing so fast that marketing from 10 years ago just won’t cut it these days.  There are still so many businesses that aren't utilizing the internet to its full advantage.  You can be the one to change this for them! 

I hope you feel inspired by this amazing opportunity.  Is building an SMMA for you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts. For more on marketing agencies, check out my agency’s website at or take a look at my full marketing agency course here!

Thanks so much for reading!

Peace and God bless. 

For the complimentary worksheets and resources, go to 

I make new content every single week, so be sure to subscribe to my Youtube and follow my Instagram @brambilabong and TikTok at @AdrianBrambila. I also have tons of resources and courses on my website that you won’t want to miss. Head over to to learn more about what I do and how I live a financially free life. 

Leave a comment