What now? : Black man’s journey for starting an agency

Authored by Beka Yahya

and Contributions by Robbin Ward

So you started a social media marketing agency and you’re having a tough time growing your business?


Are you fresh out of college or even high school? Is your ethnicity or gender hindering the growth of your business?

Let’s talk about the dinosaur size elephant in the room.   How do you find clients? Cold callings? Family and friends? Door to door at local businesses or even pro-bono? You maybe have a natural-born skill to market and great understanding of social media marketing analytics but the reality is you will still struggle to find clients if you answer yes to the questions above.  Even those clients that seem like a done deal might still somehow fall apart at the end. Well, there isn’t a single formula for signing a client that you can copy and paste client to client.

There is one thing you must always remember, without a paying client YOU ARE NOT an agency! Just a hobby. 

During this post, I will discuss the key challenges facing minority-owned social media agencies.

Let’s dive into some possible reason you are having a hard time closing deals:

  • A young person of color
  • Low barrier to entry social media marketing
  • Lack of funding for proper office and other business essentials
  • Lack of true understanding of what social media marketing is to the prospect. 
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With all these obstacles in your way, should you still move forward? look below:


There is not a better way to get your product or service into more people than social media in today’s climate.


1. A young person of color

Don’t allow your background to be a hindrance to your dreams. Target clients who are in need of diversifying their brand.

2. Low barrier of entry

Anybody with a phone & a laptop can start a social media agency, which causes an issue for customers. How do you differentia yourself? You as a brand must build trust. Start with people you know, friends & family are great starter clients and are more than likely to support your dreams. Advertising pro-bono work to attract new clientele with low risk for the business owner to create a buzz & build a portfolio. 

3. Lack of Capital 

Without clients (revenue) or collateral, how do you secure a business loan to cover your personal expenses? How do you sign a lease at an office to impress & legitimize your brand without money? Simply put you won’t, unless you have a rich uncle ready to fork over his wealth. DO NOT QUIT YOUR DAY JOB UNTIL YOU HAVE CLIENTS! There are different ways to support your business. One mistake would be leaving you 9-5 without enough security to sustain you for six-eight months. If you are the far & few that have saved up enough money for six months, read this book called:

  “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries

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                                          Thank me later

4. Customer lack of true understanding of SM Marketing

Your customer might now know what you are selling; they might not know they need it. Educating your customer on why they need social media marketing by almost becoming a teacher in the field. Make flyers, posters, video, etc. to have content for your prospective client. Most customers only associate Facebook with something that lets them know Auntie Wilma got her cat a new play toy. You must be able to dumb down the Facebook tools & benefits into simple business terms. A tip would be, try selling to your oldest relative & that would be an indication on how to tailor your pitch.