When I started my online marketing agency, I was just like everyone else, I didn’t have a differentiator. The only thing I could do better than most was write. So I studied the best copywriters that I could find and I found ways to tell stories that would captivate an audience and sell services or products.
I found some success. I could write blogs and I could build Facebook pages and I found ways to drive a good amount of traffic to my website and therefore, I found myself with some clients.
I did the best work that I possibly could. I provided the best service possible, but I ran into a problem which a lot of media agencies run into. I tried to do everything. I took on every client, even if I didn’t know anything about the business. I worked with every person who would work with me, even if our philosophies didn’t align.
It was the early days. I did whatever I needed to do to keep my business running.
Over time, I discovered that story telling was effective, but still wasn’t a differentiator. I needed something that would make me really stand out from the crowd.
Differentiating Yourself from the Pack
Years ago, I was reading an article on Moz. I forget what the article was called and who wrote it. I wish I knew because this article changed everything for me.
In the article, the writer was talking about an experience that he had while talking with one of his mentors. The mentor said to him “there are 30,000 marketing companies in the country, what makes you different?”
The writer said that this was the moment he decided to work within a specific niche. He wanted to work exclusively with local marketing.
That was also the moment when I realized what I had to do. I had to work specifically within one vertical.
I first got my experience with online marketing with a website I created called Sober Nation. It was the first site I ever started, and I started it as a way to write about my experience with addiction recovery. It’s a long story, but if you have to ask I have been sober for almost 8 years.
I knew how to speak the language. Sober Nation was turning into a huge website and I was gaining a lot of experience in the addiction treatment industry. With that success, I also found a way to make myself “different from the rest.”
So Stodzy Internet Marketing became an online agency that worked specifically with addiction treatment centers.
It was easily the best business decision that I have ever made and one of the most important choices I have ever made in my life.
The Benefit of Being a Master
There is no one else who has the skills or the systematic approach that we have in marketing treatment centers online. We do this, and only this. Therefore, we do it the best.
This allows us to charge premium prices. It allows us to be picky with the clients we want to work with and it also gives us something to hang our hat on. We won’t work with just anyone. We aren’t “pretty good” at digital marketing. We are THE BEST at digital marketing for treatment centers.
Something for You to Think About
If anyone reading this is thinking about starting a service marketing agency, I want you to first think about why you are doing it.
Are you starting an agency because you think it’s cool, or do you actually feel passionate about the work you plan to do?
I will tell you this. If you want to succeed, you need to be properly motivated. Nothing will motivate you to come to work every day like feeling passionate about what it is that you are contributing to the world. For this reason alone, I highly suggest that you pick a specific industry to specialize in.
As you grow you can expand, but you will be in a much better starting off point if you allow yourself to become great at one thing rather than pretty good at a bunch of things.
Do you love fashion? Then you could specialize in ecommerce and fashion branding.
Do you love art? Then you could specialize in working with art dealers and art galleries to help them grow their online presence and sell more art pieces.
Are you passionate about crypto currency? Basketball? Sneakers? Hats? Books? Cookies, cake and pie? You can build a successful marketing company around any one of these areas.
The key is to be able to go to work every day and have passion and a love for what you do.
Tim Stoddart is the CEO of Stodzy Internet Marketing. He is passionate about writing and about helping people find ways to make a living while doing work that they enjoy.