Agency work isn’t easy. Strategizing, managing and executing a brand’s social and digital marketing initiatives requires a deep understanding of your client’s industry and audience.

This week at #SproutChat, we were joined by Sprout All Star, Brooke B. Sellas. In addition to starting her own boutique agency, B Squared Media, Brooke is a marketing and social media consultant and an adjunct for consumer behavior at The City University of New York (CUNY). During our chat we discussed how to grow, scale and achieve your entrepreneurial goals.

When Is It Time to Be Your Own Boss?

Deciding when to make the jump from working for someone else to being your own boss is the first step in starting your own social media agency. It’s also one of the scariest steps of your new business venture. There may never be a “perfect” time to make the leap but if you’re passion and driven it’s important that you try. Before taking the plunge, meet with other entrepreneurs, budget accordingly and really understand what you’re about to get yourself into.

Finding & Securing Clients

So you’ve decided to quit your day job. Now what? If you want your agency to be successful, you need to find and secure clients. Start by doing your research, listening to the experts, networking and playing to your strengths.

Know When You Need Help

As your agency begins to grow, you’re going to need to enlist the help of others. During our chat, Brooke said it best when she said that learning to hire people that are smarter that you is a win for your business. But once your ready to hire someone, how do you find them? Asking for recommendations and reaching out to your professional networks is a good place to start.

Recognize Your Agency’s Value

Setting boundaries and understanding your agency’s value is critical to driving a profit. Make sure that you’re logging your work and clearly communicating expectations and pricing with each of your clients.

Invest in the Right Tools

Keep your team of one or 100 on track by investing in the right tools. That’s why we asked our community what software programs they rely on to complete their daily tasks and meet the needs of their clients.

Remember Why You Started Your Agency

Being your own boss is a dream but the reality isn’t always as glamorous. Take time to reflect on what you’ve built and always remember why you started your boutique agency in the first place. From collaboration and relationship building to a diverse and evolving professional skill set–agency work is worth the hustle.

We’ll be back for our last #SproutChat of 2016 on Wednesday, December 21 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST. Get ready to for trivia on Sprout Social and social media trends. In the meantime, stay connected with other industry experts by joining our Facebook community.