Small and mid-sized agencies looking to increase their revenue and client base certainly have options. Unfortunately, when you’re in the throes of everyday operations, it can become difficult to track down quality clients with whom you can build a long-term partnership. For many agencies, that translates into taking whatever work comes down the pipeline.
Whether you’re concepting a creative direct mail campaign for a hospital, building a website for a construction company, or managing social media platforms for a new business, the wide array of industries your team has to juggle stretches the boundaries of their expertise—and their capacity to retain new information—daily.
While not every solution is right for every business, many agencies combat the mental strain of working with clients in multiple industries by serving a specific niche!
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- The benefits of serving a niche industry as a creative agency
- Various niche markets to explore and who you’d work with
- How to start the process of finding your niche
- How Growth Suite helps agencies better serve the needs of niche clients
Benefits of serving a niche
Choosing to serve a niche market can increase your potential for growth. This fact almost seems counterintuitive—how can limiting your client pool increase your revenue? Well, for starters, it’s easier to showcase your skills to potential clients when you can clearly illustrate your team’s effectiveness within their industry through case studies and real success stories you’ve facilitated.
This hyperfocus on a certain market sector also helps you navigate the highly competitive marketing landscape. For example, if your agency works almost exclusively within the education sector, your expertise will set you apart from other, less focused teams when you’re pitching an idea to new education-focused clients. And often, the clients you’re helping will be even more likely to refer your services to other organizations within their industry.
Your team members also get the benefit of learning and ascribing to specific industry trends. When you’re deeply involved with a certain industry, you’re more likely to notice market changes, understand client messaging needs, and cater your services to that sector.
So if you’ve got a copywriter who’s crafting copy for websites, it’s much easier for them to write three websites for home improvement companies offering similar services than it would be to learn, understand, and write about companies in three unique sectors. When your team is focused, they can often move more quickly and effectively—and, therefore, more profitably.
Additionally, serving a niche gives you the ability to bundle, create, and optimize a list of service offerings and create processes that garner the best results for your clients. Creating a streamlined process and knowing exactly what works within your industry means you can take on more work without sacrificing quality.
For example, an online retailer who needs new products uploaded and sold-out products removed from their website every month may benefit from you bundling those costs into their standard website maintenance fee and proactively doing the work. However, charging that higher cost to a client whose website needs less maintenance wouldn’t make sense.
Once you’ve decided that serving a niche market is the best growth strategy for your agency, it’s time to identify your prospective customers by deciding which industry you’re going to serve.
Common niche markets agencies serve
You’ve probably dipped your toes into a lot of these industries through your work, but narrowing down the right niche for your agency can help you fine-tune your offerings and speak more directly to the clientele you want to reach. Your business development team will thank you, as they’ll have more success at finding—and winning—new clients.
Below, we outline a few of the common niche industries that agencies serve, as well as some of the individuals and businesses they could pursue to discuss potential partnerships.
Construction & home improvement:
Drywall installers, painters, basement waterproofing companies, remodeling companies, electricians, plumbers, HVAC installation and repair companies, concrete & masonry contractors, general contractors, roofing companies, landscaping & lawn care providers
Communications & media:
Public relations firms, book publishers, periodical publishers, broadcast media companies, radio stations, movie theatres, directory publishers, sound mixing and mastering companies, recording studios, internet publishing & broadcast companies
pre-k & daycare centers, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, parochial schools, uniform retailers, colleges & universities, technical & trade schools, school administrative offices, specialty schools (e.g. schools for the deaf & blind), online schools, charter schools, learning centers, tutoring services, manufacturers of educational tools and products, educational content publishers, education investment services & policy specialists, education consulting firms
electrical distribution companies, electrical generation companies, gas companies, propane providers, fuel extraction, fuel transport, fuel sales, oil & petroleum manufacturers, gas station franchises, nuclear power producers, renewable & sustainable energy companies, alternative fuel companies, solar panel manufacturers & installers, energy policymakers
banks, independent accountants, accounting firms, insurance agents, credit unions, check cashing institutions, lending companies, credit companies, stock brokerages, consumer-finance companies, investment banks, venture capital firms, financial analysts
boutiques, salons, nail artists, hair colorists, makeup manufacturers, clothing & merchandise manufacturers, social media influencers, retail stores, online retailers, textile manufacturers, purse & handbag companies, embroiderers, designers, fashion magazines & publications, tailors, wig makers, non-profit clothing organizations
hospitals, independent doctor offices, dentists, medical specialists, nursing homes, assisted living homes, travel nursing companies, medical schools, daycares, medical devices sales companies, medical device manufacturers, healthcare logistics companies, blood banks, plasma donation centers, dialysis centers
Hospitality & transportation:
hotels, resorts, restaurants, concert halls, arenas, caterers, party venues, wedding planning companies, party planners, car rental companies, cab companies, alcohol & food distributors, spas, government transit systems, airports
Manufacturing & packaged goods:
companies that manufacture textiles, food, beverages, tobacco, leather, rubber, plastic, wood, paper, chemicals, metals, machinery, computers & electronics, transportation, furniture
independent agents, real estate companies, new housing developments, HOAs & community centers, brokerage firms, mortgage lenders, property management companies, professional home services, home inspectors, land developers
hardware manufacturers, software developers, technology companies, phone and computer repair shops, electronics retailers, cloud computing companies, technology consulting firms, artificial intelligence research & development companies
The takeaway here is that choosing a single industry doesn’t have to mean putting a chokehold on the number or breadth of opportunities you have. Instead, it better positions you to capitalize on the opportunities that are right for you.
How to choose your niche
Finding a niche industry to serve is easier than you might think. First, take a look at the clients you already serve. Do you notice a theme? If so, follow that path for a great place to start on your hunt for the perfect niche. Your already happy clients will be more than willing to spread the word about their awesome results to others in their network.
If your grab-bag of clients is still too varied to narrow down, talk with your team and see what clients they like to work with, what clients they find easy to work with, what clients they dislike, and what clients they find hard to work with.
You may notice, for example, that your team loves how it feels to help nonprofit clients but finds them difficult at times, while real estate clients are easier but less enjoyable projects for the team. Take these considerations to heart as you decide what direction you’re headed.
Then, take a look at your services, and decide whether or not they’d be a good fit for the industries you have in mind. Certain market sectors will need services that others may not require, and it’s best to focus your energy on industries that rely on services you already excel at. So, if you’re great at social media marketing but less adept at email campaigns, fashion and real estate may be more lucrative sectors for you than construction or energy.
Finally, look at which industries are spending the most on their marketing efforts and which are the most underserved. You may decide that you’re going to fight for clients in high-paying markets—or you may find that you’re better off spending your time taking care of an underserved market sector that pays a little less but has lots of work to be done.
It’s simply a matter of taking in all the information you can find to make the best decisions for the future growth of your agency.
Using Growth Suite to tailor your services
Growth Suite allows agencies and independent website designers and developers to manage multiple clients and their sites all from one platform. There are also a few unique ways you can optimize your Growth Suite account to better serve clients within the same industry.
Growth Suite’s client management tools make it easy to understand and keep track of all the small yet important differences that make each client unique. Say you’ve chosen to serve the home improvement market, and you’re making websites for three waterproofing companies. For the sake of this example, let’s say one focuses on residential work, one focuses on commercial work, and one does both but in a different state.
Client profiles within Growth Suite allow you to enter and save specific notes about each of these three clients. This feature helps you keep track of the differences that make each unique and help you foster relationships with them, whether it’s remembering key project details or a reminder to send your point of contact a gift card for their birthday.
Growth Suite also gives users the ability to create and bill for unique, tiered service offerings. Service creation capability means you can tailor your services to the specific needs of your clients and their industry.
Finally, the ease of use your clients will find through the client portal will make you an asset to them as opposed to another arm of their business that they have to manage. It’s easy for them to jump into the portal, look over and pay billing statements, and review their client reports to see all the things you accomplished for them over the last billing cycle.
Because every report, as well as the portal itself, is branded to look like it came straight from your desk, your clients will never forget what an asset you are. And while they’re happy, you’re free to take on more clients, make more money, and take a bigger piece of your niche market share.