Should Your Web Agency Niche Down?

By Ariel Rule

should your digital agency pick a nicheThere are nearly 28 million small businesses in America, and an additional 543,000 businesses being started every single month. Now, more than ever before, people recognize the need to get their businesses online and market it.

Perhaps, like many others before you, you saw this type of economic growth and perceived an opportunity for yourself to start a web design or digital marketing agency that could serve these new businesses that are popping up left and right.

However, you’ve likely discovered that you weren’t the first person to have this idea.

Even if you’ve been in the web design business for a while now, with more businesses out there offering similar services to your own, it’s easy to see your own efforts drowned out by the noise.

How can you rise above and keep your agency afloat?

Through the art of value and specificity.

Why Becoming a Niche Agency Could Be The Right Move

For many, singling out a market and focusing solely on it feels counter-intuitive. I mean, why market to only one or two industries when there is a whole range of people who need what you have to offer?

To businesses, this may feel like a backward way of thinking, but when you consider possible situations in your daily life it starts to make sense.

If you needed surgery, would you feel more comfortable in the hands of a specialist who knew every little thing about the procedure and had done it hundreds of times before? Or would you go with a doctor who had a general knowledge about a lot of procedures but isn’t experienced in the exact kind of care you need?

My guess is you would go with the specialist, right?

The list of examples doesn’t end here. Even here at Duda, we’ve gone the route of specificity and built our website builder to become an incredible asset for web pros like you.

Everywhere you look, there are businesses who specialize in a particular industry. But let’s dig a little deeper to see why this works so well and why it could be a good move for your agency.

People Pay For Expertise

If you could have an all day 1-on-1 style session with top marketing experts like Gary Vaynerchuk, Arianna Huffington and the like, how much would you pay?

Even if the price tag were into the tens of thousands, there would still be people ready and willing to whip out their wallets and shell out the cash. Why?

Because people will pay good money to work with experts. And while you may not be Gary Vaynerchuk, the same principle can apply to your business. The reason why specializing works so well is because it adds to your perceived value.

As you position yourself as knowledgeable and helpful about a topic to a particular audience, that audience will view you as the go-to person in that niche.

Take, for example, Nifty Marketing

They’re a digital marketing agency ran by well-known SEO expert, Mike Ramsey. While this agency does work with a wide range of clients, they have also selected to work in some niche industries, including legal marketing services.

picking a niche for your agency

The screenshot above is of their legal marketing site called Nifty Law. Now here is what’s interesting about this.

The services they offer on Nifty Marketing and Nifty Law are nearly identical — web design, SEO, paid advertising services, etc.

However, on their legal marketing site, the messaging and overall content is speaking directly to a specific customer — lawyers.

Imagine there are two lawyers who both need digital marketing services. One lands on the more general site of Nifty Marketing and the other comes to the Nifty Law web page.

Which site do you think would convert those leads better?

The one that talked about how they help a lot of people? Or the one that is about how Nifty specializes in legal marketing and know what they’re doing?

Once again, specificity wins.

In studying how Nifty Marketing has split up their sites like this, you see how well thought out this is.

Legal marketing is known as a smart digital marketing niche because:

  1. Lawyers usually have the budget for a variety of services, and…
  2. If you know what you’re doing, proving ROI is much easier than in some other industries.

This is just one example of a digital marketing agency that has chosen to market their services to a specific industry and seen the benefits of doing so.

Scalability Is Faster and Easier

Growing a small agency is almost always easier said than done. However, one of the ways to make it easier is through choosing a niche.

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When you work in the general realm of marketing, there will be an assortment of businesses coming to you as leads. Some will have a low budget, others will have a higher one, and each of them will require a different approach when selling.

Though this approach can work for some, smaller agencies are usually spread too thin when attempting this type of process which adds a lot of sticking points to the process.

Choosing a niche can help to alleviate this headache.

Time and time again, marketers hear about studies that show how conversion rates are affected by personalized messaging.

When choosing a specific industry or offering a certain service to a precise customer persona, you can almost instantly make your message more personal.

Everything in your marketing funnel will be affected by this, and it’s usually for the better. Web copy, content and paid advertising will finally start to speak to your best customers.

Not to mention, your sales and web development efforts can become standardized and thus a much easier process to execute.

The Downsides Of Picking a Niche

While the argument thus far has been to show why picking a niche can work so well, there can be some drawbacks.

First of all, you could very well choose a bad niche. And by that I mean, you could land on an idea where perhaps your offering is too specific, i.e. there are not enough customers coming in to be able to scale up and justify staying in it.

Another potential downside is that you may find a niche that does well in bringing in premium leads but only converts towards a few of your service offerings.

For instance, perhaps you find a niche that you can land high tier clients, but you find that they are only interested in mainly your web design services and not SEO, paid advertising and so on.

So while you have likely found a good paying niche, the other types of services you could offer just don’t convert for this customer.

While this isn’t something to complain about, it could narrow your upselling opportunities.

However, the great thing about this sort of work is that you can have more than one niche.

Going back to the example of Nifty Marketing. They have landing pages and websites that market to multiple industries, you can follow their lead and do something similar.

Part of finding a good niche is testing out a few and seeing where it takes you.

As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to choosing a niche for your agency. Here at Duda, we’ve worked with many DudaPros who’ve paired our website builder with their niche services and done very well because of it.

In switching from WordPress to our website builder, we’ve helped agencies, large and small, save more than $200K in annual expenses and cut development time by 75%, thus helping them scale their business faster.

If you’re considering a niche for your agency, but don’t know where to start, be sure to check out our Templates page which is full of niche templates to help you get the ball rolling.

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About Ariel Rule

Ariel is a long-time blogger and Duda's Social Media Manager. When she's not engaging the social community you can often find her hiding behind her Mac sipping on coffee, writing Duda's next blog post or strumming on her guitar.
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