Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to work with over a thousand agencies and digital professionals. These partners come from different backgrounds from all over the world, but the most successful agencies have one thing in common that sets them apart from their peers: They don’t just know how to market their clients, they know how to market themselves. These are the partners who invest in their own marketing strategy, and as a result, don’t find it difficult to find their next client. And almost all of these agencies do this by focusing on a particular niche.
If you’re still in the process of starting your digital services business, now is a good time to decide what niche to focus on, and formulate your lead generation strategy from there. Here’s a step-by-step guide (and some tips) on how to use niche marketing to generate leads for your agency.
Step 1: Choosing the Right Niche
The first and most important step is identifying a niche suitable for your agency. Try to think of the kinds of clients that you could provide the most value to. The trick is to balance a clear focus with a large enough market to justify focusing your entire business on.
Agencies that are already familiar with a particular industry have the advantage of knowing how their prospective clients think, what their main pain points are, and the general landscape of the industry as a whole. And because they know who’s who in the industry, they will also find it easier to find leads and build rapport with potential clients.
Deciding where your clients will come from is also a good way to narrow down your niche. Will you only cater to clients in your city or state, or are you casting a broader net and catering to clients all over your country? Find out how many agencies are already working in that space, and determine whether you can compete with those agencies and corner the market.
By Business Size
Lastly, decide the size of the businesses your agency will be working with. Working with a particular business size will have it’s own advantages and disadvantages. For example, it’s often easier to work with small businesses especially if you’re just starting out. Finding leads won’t be as difficult, since there are hundreds of small businesses that could benefit from your services, and it’s easier to diversify your revenue stream by working with several smaller clients rather than a few large ones. However, this could also mean managing more clients. The time it takes to maintain these business relationships could keep you from finding new leads.
Focusing on larger businesses, on the other hand, could net you more revenue per client, and you won’t have to spend too much time managing campaigns. The downside of course, is that these are often few and far between.
Remember that there’s no one way to go about deciding your target niche. The important thing is that you find one that you’re comfortable and confident working in, and carve out a profitable space for your agency.
Pro-tip: To make it easier for your agency to find prospects in a niche and location, use online lead generation tools.
Step 2: Creating a Network
Once you’ve decided on a niche, the next step is making your agency known in that niche. And the best way to do this is to put your agency out there and create a network. But don’t make the mistake of only networking with businesses that you think can become potential clients. Create strategic relationships that position your business better in that niche by joining organizations and events.
Chambers of Commerce
Several of our partners who focus on a local niche have benefited tremendously from being active members of their local chamber of commerce. But even agencies who don’t focus exclusively on a local niche can gain from joining this and similar organizations. It allows you to stay updated on the local business landscape, learn about the the big players, and help the local community by volunteering your services.
But most of all, it allows them to get in touch with local small businesses looking for SEO services. Many chambers of commerce will have a trade directory, and host networking and business matching events where agencies can find their next client.
Industry associations and conventions are ideal networking opportunities for agencies that specialize in a particular industry, and are great ways to get in direct contact with potential customers. Joining industry associations or participating in their events allows agencies to glean insight into their target market, and position their services as solutions to the industry’s business problems.
Other Business Events
Lastly, don’t confine yourself to joining organizations within your target niche. Attending (or participating) in trade shows, conventions, and business forums are valuable opportunities to connect with other businesses and leads that you might have missed from the obvious places. Let’s say you’re doing SEO for car dealerships. Visit the events page of your local area to look for car trade shows.
Ultimately, the goal is to create a sense of prominence in your niche, and be everywhere a potential client will be.
Step 3: Establishing Expertise
Now that potential clients know about your agency, it’s time to gain their trust by establishing your expertise. Business events are potential avenues where you can demonstrate thought leadership in your niche, and stimulate interest in your agency’s services. Make it clear that you have something that could be of value to them, and help them grow their business.
One way of demonstrating the value of your services is by educating your network. Present a talk at a conference, and furnish your audience with case studies, white papers, and other material that piques their curiosity. If you’ve done things right, people will soon be coming to you to ask for help for their business.
Pro-tip: Let your website do the talking. As someone working in the digital industry, you should know by now that your website can be a great tool for generating leads. Optimize it for your target niche, provide them with valuable information, and see how this drives more business for your agency.
The agencies that go on to become established businesses didn’t try to be everything to everyone. By choosing a niche to focus on and cornering the market, you can put your agency in a trajectory of deliberate and predictable growth.
SEOReseller provides its partners with brandable White Papers, Pitch Decks, and other agency resources to help so they can establish their expertise. Find out how your agency can benefit from these by calling our toll-free number at 1-800-250-6106