1) Start with a vision of what you want to work for that is bigger than you. It can be for God, a better earth, a new house for your mother, your wife, your children, your country, or anything else. This vision is what keeps you going when you fail which you will. Working simply for a new car or a bigger house may be enough to get started but having a vision looking back from the end of your life to where you are at now should help you find what is truly worth working for. Most people are only working for money and you have the opportunity to work for an idea. Take it.
2) Setup your own social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogger, Google+, Instagram, and any others you have an interest in working with. Perhaps use a social media tool such as Hubspot to sync them for simplicity.
3) Get a custom domain including either your name or your company name. Combine it with a free, do it yourself, or low cost website to act as your business hub. Wordpress, Google Apps, and GoDaddy website tonight are perfect ways to get a website setup that you can easily change which will allow you to act as your sales point. Sign up for a payment processor at the same time. I prefer PayPal but Amazon payments, Google wallet, square, and authorize.net offer simple solutions for accepting payments online.
4) Start trying to promote yourself on as many social media channels as you can handle. For me, this included Facebook ads, Pinterest posts, Twitter tweets, blog posts, and a bunch of YouTube dating videos. Put out whatever content you feel like regardless of the relation to any business purpose. The funnier, stupider, and more useless it is, the more likely you can promote it easily. Find areas where you are successful in promoting yourself and where you enjoy it. Using white hat methods that are scalable such as Facebook ads, Google AdWords, and mobile ads are recommended for maximum effect.
5) Start reaching out to others and offering to help them build their accounts. I first was successful in building my Facebook and YouTube following. I then reached out to other Facebook page owners and YouTube channel owners with an offer to do the same for them before I even had a website. What I got was money in the door immediately which is the hard part for most people. The first two customers I had literally sent money straight to my PayPal account just through messages on Facebook. How sketchy is that? The key was that I had a service in high demand with little competition at the time. Your goal is to find these services that are on the cutting edge of what people want and offer them. If you think this is easy, you may be wrong or you may be right. The best way to find it is remember the problems you had in growing you social media presence and the solutions you found to solve them. The more problems you have, the more solutions you will find and the better your system will get for delivering the same experience for other people.
6) Build a scalable system for obtaining the clients and document your work. Make copy and paste messages. Figure out what your clients like and ask them how they think you could find more of them. Ask others that you find doing what you are doing for advice and offer the same in return. I got a great SEO tip from a fiverr gig I sold from the buyer who told me that registering my domain longer was a simple way to get a better search ranking for hardly any money or work. A guy on LinkedIn showed me how to send messages to group members for free which got me business and landed me here in the warrior forum based on the advice of one guy that responded. Focus on learning what you need to know and making a system that delivers the same result over and over again. I now have a system that guarantees Facebook likes using Facebook ads. This sure is hell not what I began with but the more I learned, the more I continued down the path to making the system I have now. I listened to what my clients said and understood that what was not available were white hat services bundled with a simple sales approach. In other words, people wanted the simplicity of the black hat fiverr type services where they would get guaranteed results but they wanted it done in a legit manner that would not get their Facebook page banned. What you learn like this is where you make your business go from a startup to enough money to support a life on your terms.
7) Reinvest the growth you have into promoting yourself further. The best part about building a social media marketing business is that the competition is so bad that you can literally get paid by people you have never met to learn your own business. The better you get at it, the farther you need to push yourself. I got my first company page 100,000 likes using about half fake profiles and half Facebook ads on the later part. I made my second company Facebook page with only Facebook ads for half the cost of the original page and it has over 500,000 likes. I pushed the limit on the ads so much I got the page banned from running ads. My new company page is on the way up and it will have over a million likes for roughly the same cost as the last page and I will be able to keep it from getting banned from running ads by using only stock photos. Promoting myself is where I learn best how to push the limits which allows me to stick with tried and true approaches for clients. Figure out how to promote yourself effectively, use that social media account as proof for potential customers of what you can do for them, and then reinvest what they pay you into growing yourself further.
8) Refine your business system to enable you to handle bigger and more clients. Often doing anything will work in the beginning as you experiment with subscription models versus one time payments and different prices. With the smaller opportunities, these make less of a difference because you usually are not going to get yourself into back work situations since your clients are not likely to be that big yet unless you are lucky. By the time you have bigger clients, having a system that is fair for you in pricing and workload is critical. If you charge someone to get 1,000 Facebook likes $100 less than you should have, this is an acceptable loss. Charging someone $1,000 or $10,000 less than you should have can do major damage. One of the first big clients I got had spent over $30,000 on Facebook ads and wanted me to manage all of the ads for all of his pages. I spent hours emailing him and talking on the phone. As this was the biggest Facebook order I had and presented an opportunity for regular income, I negotiated too much against myself and allowed him to get my services for half off. I did not have enough confidence or experience with my pricing system to understand the workload I was taking on in addition to a PITA client. What happened was that I ended up dumping him as a client within two weeks and refusing any more of his business despite him both first offering to get his attorney involved if I did not keep managing his ads for the next two weeks and then begging me to continue managing his ads indefinitely which I did not do. All of that could have been avoided with a better system in place and this is why you need to make a system that scales for any size client. If you can do one Facebook ad campaign setup for $200, doing 8 means it is $1,600. Your confidence in your pricing will be noticed by your customers and by only working with people you like to work with, you can minimize the pains of growing.
9) Accept the repeated failures you will suffer and aim for even bigger successes. Many people can take it to this level but few get past having the bigger failures. Watching the NBA playoffs and seeing one of my clients on the floor is awesome. My sales team manager seeing our client's book on the self gave him a great laugh. Having ten thousand people see every post I make for free is hard to comprehend. Speaking with the CEO of a billion dollar advertising company and winning a national social media contest for a client is pretty sweet. Seeing my revenue double three months in a row was hard to believe. What have these wins cost me? Getting my Facebook page with a half a million likes banned from running ads because I submitted one picture of the equal sign in an ad showing my page's support hurts. Getting my third AdWords account suspended for using the phrase "likes" as a keyword hurts. The first account that got my website banned from AdWords literally ruined my entire month as I was getting a 4:1 ROI on my ads. Seeing several clients that were really happy with my services and had bigger goals run out of money to spend on growing their Facebook page hurts. Having one of my clients pages do so well that it showed up under a big page in the search terms only to get taken down by Facebook on a BS trademark issue hurt a lot. The more you succeed, the more you will have failures that make you ask yourself why you do it. Failures often hurt more than successes feel good. On top of the outright pain, the better you get at what you do, the more people will want to use you for advice for free and poke around acting like a potential client only to try and find out your methods. In April I was taking 20 to 40 hours of phone calls each week with nearly half of them being of this nature. The problem was I could not tell which was what until the money came in the door. My solution was to just have an automated response telling people they should go to my website and read my FAQ. If they wanted a phone chat, they could email me to setup a time. One guy on this forum sent me a nasty message saying I should answer my phone. He was trying to get me to lease his website for $20,000 a month which is not exactly a call I am sad to have missed. The bigger your system gets, the more important cleaning the crap out of it is. One person spitting gum out on the sidewalk is annoying. A million people doing it is Paris. Your business will not be successful if it looks like a Paris sidewalk.
10) Love what you do and continue to make plans to grow! The moment you stop moving forward, life begins to pass you by. Note that the beginning of this guide starts with a completely mental step and it concludes with one because making a great business as with almost anything in life is all in your head. The work you do is what you decided to do. What happens to you is a result of what you thought about and what you decided to do. Loving what you do is why starting a business like this is worth doing. My wife is an attorney with a 8:30 to 5 job that highlights for me how awesome it is to get up when I want, work at home the same as I work at my office in the local tech incubator called the HuB in Sarasota, dictate my own schedule, and truly have a passion for what I am doing. For the first time in my life, no boss or system is holding me back. I can do whatever I decide to. I am writing several books now with one nearly to publication. I have time to play some Call of Duty Black Ops zombies a few times a week. I spent every weekend with my wife. In ten years, I will be in the position to offer a way for everyone in the world to contribute simply to our world. I have had bad days where I wanted to quit my business and great days where I loved every minute working. Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life!
Thank you for reading this far and I will answer any additional questions you have!