Do you want more clients? Thinking about increasing your offering to attract more clients? Truth is, the opposite strategy is what helps a lot of agencies grow. Scale back to scale up! That's what this agency did when they took the scary approach of cutting back on their service offering and niching down. However, the results speak for themself. That is how one PR agency went from functioning as a full-service to niching down and focusing on just one area. Learn the motivation that led to making this transition and how he prepared for it.
Matt McAllister is the Managing Director at Candor Content, a content marketing agency that helps technology companies grow by driving organic traffic and generating inbound leads. Their content programs turn websites into organic traffic magnets by publishing content that attracts visitors, builds trust, and forges enduring relationships. With a team so passionate about writing and content marketing, it’s hard to believe the agency was first focused on PR. Matt offers some insight into that transition process and their eventual success.
In this interview, we’ll discuss:
Simplify your agency service offering and say no to the wrong clients. Going all in on niching down. Is the emergence of AI affecting content marketing agencies? Subscribe Apple | Spotify | iHeart Radio | Stitcher | Radio FM
Sponsors and Resources E2M Solutions: Today's episode of the Smart Agency Masterclass is sponsored by E2M Solutions, a web design and development agency that has provided white-label services for the past 10 years to agencies all over the world. Check out e2msolutions.com/smartagency and get 10% off for the first three months of service.
Shifting Focus From PR to Content Marketing Matt started his agency 12 years ago, initially focusing on the PR side of the industry. At that time, he believed that most companies allocated a budget for public relations and that he would find clients easily. He did not consider content marketing because it was not yet a big thing. However, he had a content-centric approach to doing PR, offering to publish articles, research reports, and take over clients’ blogs.
Around 2015, HubSpot became popular and many companies realized the power of inbound marketing. They needed content to fuel their inbound engines, so Matt and his team focused more on creating content. However, in the early days of his agency, they fell into the trap of trying to be all things to all people. They gave clients a full-service offering where they would do anything needed, including branding, design, and positioning. This approach proved to be very stressful because they were a small team and had to rely on freelancers.
Simplifying the Agency Offering and Saying No to the Wrong Prospects Eventually, they realized that it was time to strip down their services and focus on what they enjoyed doing the most. Niching down and saying no to the wrong customers is a natural part of growing an agency. But it's not as simple as it may sound. You have to consider possible risks and start implementing it with some clients first to assess the response. The hardest part will be drawing a line in the sand and start telling clients you will only work on a specific space. This involves offering referrals for all those wanting other services outside that expertise.
It's important to take the time to feel well-prepared for the shift. Too many agency owners pull the ripcord too early and go back to what they feel is safe before seeing results. Fortunately, they started to see results right away. Existing clients responded with more budgets for content creation, something they already knew his agency was good at. Additionally, new prospects trusted them in this area of expertise. They figured they must be really good at that if they were willing to focus on that one area.
Going All In On Niching Down to Attract More Clients Realistically, you may go through a few rough weeks where you lose