N-Centive Start Free Trial

Social-Media Management Reimagined

How to start a Social Media Agency in the Real World with Realistic Expectations



15k per month, no better even 20k per month in just 30 days with your own social media marketing agency.
Outsource the entire service, hire a cheap sales team, sit back and you'll be a millionaire by next year.

Those are pretty tempting promises that you can hear on Facebook, Youtube, etc. these days.

Do you know what else they are?

They are wrong.

Of course it is theroretically possible to achieve these results and many of the "course sellers" who advertise with these promises actually speak from experience and provide a lot of great free content.

Nevertheless, the chance of achieving these results without experience, existing contacts and a good portion of luck is extremely low.

And another secret ..

The number of ecommerce stores, info product manufacturers and real estate agents whose sales are so high that they can afford to pay a Facebook ads agency $5,000 per month may not be as large as it is often claimed.

Don't get me wrong, these customers definitely exist.
But with the amount of knowledge which is freely accessible nowadays and the fact that social media is around for almost ten years by now, these customers are either already in steady hands or have already organized the topic of social media "in house" in order to save money .

One more secret?

When many self-proclaimed gurus throw around terms like whale customers or success stories like "$10,000 per month clients", the most important thing is mostly forgotten.
These are almost always Facebook Ads contracts in which the advertising budget is included in the price.
As a rule of thumb, a percentage fee of ~ 10% is charged for managing such a campaign, resulting in a profit of $1,000 per month which is then usually split 50/50 between the agency and the media buyer.
A good result for a fair service, but it doesn't sound nearly as sexy as the original statement.

So what to do

Is the dream of a lucrative career in social media marketing destined to die?

The "gold rush" is definitely over, but that does not mean that it is no longer worthwhile to get started in the social media sector.

It should only be well planned and approached conservatively.

Let's be honest, would you really feel confident enough to present a total stranger with a contract of $5,000 per month for 6 months and then to outsource the entire work cheaply to a low-wage country, without any experience yourself?

That's just unrealistic, especially for beginners.

Therefore, today we would like to introduce you to a possibility how you can start with a tried and tested strategy on a small scale and slowly but surely build up a solid income as a freelancer, which you can then use to slowly but surely grow into an agency.

Not through outsourcing and wage dumping, but with employees from your city, your community who like to work for you and with you.

Why are we doing this

When does the pitch for our "Mega Mastermind Program" or our "Hyper Incubator Seminar" come?

Not at all.

Granted, we also have an agenda of course.

To use this strategy you need software, which we happen to sell.

Not to you, though.

If you decide to follow this strategy, your customers use our software and you manage their accounts.

If you also register for the affiliate program, you will even receive a monthly commission on the accounts of your customers.


Ok, let's start slowly with the explanation.

If you're reading this, let's just assume that you know what a social media marketing agency does.

Nevertheless, one more definition.

"Social media marketing is the use of social networks for marketing purposes. The creation and sharing of certain content and maintaining customer relationships."

From our definition here you can see that we clearly do not want to ride the dead horse "Create a Facebook ad in the business manager, lean back and watch the cash roll in".

As part of this guide, you will provide actual services like scheduling posts and interacting with the customer's community.

So your work will not be that of a Facebook ads marketer, but that of a social media manager who, as an editor, manages the customer's entire profile.

But with a special twist that your competitors don't offer.

You enable your customers to seamlessly transition their online marketing to their offline business.

To do this, you use our software N-Centive and create cloud-based loyalty programs for your customers.

These loyalty programs work in a similar way to most e-mail marketing tools, except that the end customer has his own (of course anonymous) customer card on which he can collect points for certain actions (purchases, online reviews, referrals, etc.) then redeem them for discounts or rewards on site at your customer's.

Your goal is now to enter as many customers of your client as possible into this program by cleverly posting offers.

Fortunately, this is not difficult at all, because the main task of the N-Centive software is to control the actions of customers in a targeted manner through incentives.

In addition to the possibility of rewarding customers for registering with a small starting credit or a discount on their next purchase, one of the main functions of the software is to grant existing participants rewards for recruiting new participants.

With this function, the program spreads organically, or ofte even virally, relatively quickly.

An effective 30-day launch plan (including 30 sample posts) is included in the user manual for each account.

After the 30 day launch phase is over, you are of course not on your own either.

As a basic framework for your work, we have put together an evergreen marketing plan that, by cleverly combining the loyalty program with wonderfully effective social entrepreneurship elements, delivers content for a whole year.

This evergreen plan provides a post calendar with 42 completed posts for a 90 day cycle. Then it can simply be repeated.

If you are now thinking: "What should the customers pay me for if I copy everything from the account?" then we have to briefly explain your mistake in thinking.

Your job as a social media manager is not a creative design service for your customer, or a coaching with no measurable success, but a hands-on service for which you get paid a good hourly wage.

Ideally, of course, you charge for fixed hourly packages, i.e. monthly pre-paid fixed prices, but in the end, life as a freelancer is just handling many part-time jobs with high hourly wages in the shortest amount of time. (And in the best case to automate your work)

Your advantage when working with N-Centive over regular social media managers is that you can actually prove a return on investment for your clients through internal tracking of referrals and sales. (The reports, including the export function, are of course an integral part of the software)

But now back to the topic.

You can probably already see what your day-to-day work will look like.

Due to the possibility to plan posts, i.e. to create them and only publish them on a desired date, your expenditure of time is relatively low, and since you do not have to worry too much about design, etc., since your post calendar is already there, it should be possible to handle at least 5 to a maximum of 10 clients at the same time.

We recommend fixed price packages, but most companies want to know how much they are paying for what. As they know it from your employees.

That is why we recommend the following example to get you started, if you do not have a lot of experience in calculating.

You should plan 5 hours of work per week for each client. You won't be busy 5 hours a week, but you mustn't forget that in addition to your actual work, you will also be in contact with customers via chat or email.

Sometimes a customer will have a question, sometimes you just give an update on the current successes or send the statistics of the week.

These little jobs add up.

As a consequence, your service package should look like this:

5 hours per week at $25- $40 per hour for managing the social media channels and the loyalty program.

All in all, for 5 customers at $25 per hour, this equates to $2,500 per month and for 10 customers at $40 per hour a total of $8,000 per month.

Of course, it takes a certain amount of time to build up a customer base, but thanks to the good reporting with which you can regularly prove the success of your campaigns and the sensible pricing strategy that you have just learned, these results are absolutely achievable.

And the best thing is that you don't have to rely on acquiring huge e-commerce brands or hard-to-reach real estate firms.

Your social media loyalty campaign with N-Centive works for brick-and-mortar retail all over the world.

Exactly the industries that the big "gurus" of the marketing world advise against are now interesting for you.

And much more important.

You are now of interest to all of these customers.

Your advantage of offering a small monthly retainer for little work makes it possible for you to work with small and, above all, uncomplicated companies.

With many of these family businesses, you can reach the manager directly with just one phone call or email and present him with your offer.

And that brings us to the most important cornerstone of your success.


Sales remain the most important thing

Because the best service is of no use to you if you cannot generate customers.

In the following, we will now introduce you to two strategies with which acquisition should be as easy as possible.

The first option is to focus specifically on a small group of customers.

In the business world, people often talk about finding your "niche".

Especially because of the internet and the infinite range it offers, more and more entrepreneurs are making the mistake of positioning themselves too broadly and selecting the target group "everyone" for themselves.

The problem here is, a product for everyone is, in the end, a product for no one.

The biggest obstacle shortly after N-Centive was founded was that the software could be used in so many ways that it was almost impossible to generate a perfect customer avatar.
The product can be used for almost any company in the world with just a few adjustments to the campaign. The only requirement is that goods or services are sold to end consumers at a fixed point of sale on site.
This description applies to almost every company with a shop, from ice cream parlors to swimming pools to fashion boutiques.

Only when our sales team began to concentrate on very special niches and generate advertising messages specifically for these users did the previously low conversion rate go through the roof.
Positioning is a huge cornerstone of success, especially in marketing.

So remember, if you position yourself like this: "I help retailers in California to generate more sales per customer through loyalty programs and social media", not a single customer will feel addressed. Not even a retailer.

However, if you formulate your advertising message like this: "I help up-and-coming florists in South-LA to increase their sales per customer by linking cloud-based loyalty programs to their social media", no florist, no matter where in California, can resist getting more detailed information about you .

And no, that doesn't mean that you can only limit yourself to florists in South-LA. If you also want to address florists in other regions then you simply have to adapt your advertising message accordingly.

Here are a few sample niches to stimulate your creativity:

Salons, restaurants, hotels, gyms, bars, tanning studios, swimming pools, tattoo studios, chiropractors, jewelers, etc.

The easiest way to do it is of course if you choose a niche that you know your way around, or to which you already have good contacts, for example. through friends and family and find your first customer there too.

How much "work" do you have to put into your acquisition?

Especially in the beginning, if you don't have a customer yet, you should really be aggressive and contact at least 25 potential customers per day in the first weeks by phone or email. (If possible even more)

That makes a total of 150 contacts per week, or 600 contacts per month.

And because this guide should be as honest as possible here, we also reveal very transparently that you will probably only find your first customer somewhere after the 200th contact.
It's tough, of course, but it gets better after that.
Nevertheless, always keep in mind that 1 customer per 100 contacts is a good statistic that most professional agencies use for calculation. This is why you should start asking for referrals right from the first customer.


At first glance, the second strategy seems to contradict the first, and this is partly true.

The second variant is to concentrate on a narrow geographic area from the start.

For example your place of residence or the next larger municipality.

Ideally, you should choose a city or municipality (5,000 - 40,000 inhabitants) and build your own "marketing hub" for this economic area.

For every big city there is a separate "Buy-Local" group on Facebook, in which local companies post special offers, which the residents who are naturally in this group can then take advantage of.
This is a great way to advertise for free that a lot of people will see.

Of course, this strategy doesn't only work in big cities. Small communities, especially in rural areas, can also benefit from this type of group.

The best thing about it? It is of course no problem at all to get companies excited to join this group for free and to advertise their offer.

Since you create this group on Facebook, of course it does not cost you anything.

It takes some time to get the residents into this group (we have described how this works in a separate article in the user manual), but the basic idea is that companies that join your group share the group on their profiles and invite their customers.

In case you haven't noticed it yourself, you have built an ideal lead magnet for yourself with this group, which immediately puts you in a good light with your target group.

After this positive getting to know each other, it is much easier for you to offer your services to the entrepreneurs in the group.

If you've set up your Facebook profile professionally, then some of them will likely even come to you on their own.

Of course this is possible to do without the Facebook group and to write to the companies directly, but it is always easier to make contact if you already bring something of value with you. "Lead with Value", like the old saying goes.

With these two strategies you should have your first 5 customers under contract pretty quickly. And from there it is no longer a big step to customer number 10.

How to Scale.

How you scale your company from then on is entirely up to you.

You could hire people or freelancers yourself, increase the hourly rate to + 60$, of which you could keep 30$ for yourself and thus take the step to your own agency.

Another possibility would be to share your knowledge with other freelancers and social media managers and to receive commissions via the two-stage affiliate program on campaigns that these new users buy or manage.

Although this option is not as lucrative as the agency route, it also does not involve any administrative effort.

Maybe you just combine both variants, but you can think about that when the time comes.

That brings us to the end of this short guide and we hope you were able to learn a thing or two.

Something else on our own behalf.

As we already mentioned at the beginning, the use of our platform is absolutely free for you as a manager.

Anyone can create a free account at N-Centive and use it without a time limit.

In this free account you have the opportunity to create up to 10 demo campaigns as demonstrations for potential clients and to explain exactly how your service works and what they can expect from it.

The clients then creates an account themselves and you manage their campaigns.

We are now introducing you to another way of making this process more effective and professional by upgrading your free account to a power user account.

If you are not interested in this, you can also jump straight to the registration form for the regular free account using the following button

Free Sign Up

Ok as Announced ...

In principle, the use of our Software is absolutely free for you as a consultant or manager.

Nevertheless, it can make sense to consider upgrading to a power user account.

As a power user, you have many additional functions that can make your life as a campaign manager easier and, above all, more convenient.

For example, you can easily log into a client's account via Manager Access (of course without admin rights) and help them set up their account.

This is much more pleasant for the customer and saves you a lot of time, as you can have all your customers' accounts listed in a separate dashboard.

You can save even more time if customers register directly on your own landing page. They then start directly with you as the registered manager and you can even take over the entire setup process for them. When signing up via your landing page, your affiliate ID is of course automatically stored in the customer's account.

Another advantage is that you can list a consultant profile in the public consultant database.

Not only are existing customers in your area automatically referred to you, your profile is even listed in major search engines such as Google, Bing, etc.

That alone is worth more than the price, but the integrated lead capture engine automatically forwards inquiries from interested parties (leads) to you free of charge.

So you see the power user account could make things a lot easier for you, but this decision still has time.

First, you should familiarize yourself with the general account functions and complete the user manual and the Marketer Boot Camp in the free account.

It is up to you whether you then want to start immediately as a power user or first want to work with the free version and finance your upgrade later when you already received your fees from your first customer.

Thank you for taking so much time to read this entire article.

Our whole team sincerely wishes you every success in your career as a social media manager.

Start your Free Trial

N-Centive needs your email address to activate the service. By clicking CREATE FREE ACCOUNT you accept the terms of use, privacy policy and anti-spam policy.

Is this article also interesting for a friend? We would be glad if you share it. Just use one of the following links.


Start your Free Trial

N-Centive needs your email address to activate the service. By clicking CREATE FREE ACCOUNT you accept the terms of use, privacy policy and anti-spam policy.