What is Your Agency’s Competitive Advantage?

By Jason Swenk on May 20, 2020

Are you looking for more predictability in your business model? Do you find your agency is barely treading water and are looking for a way to thrive? No matter what sector you’re in or how much experience you have, most people have a competitive advantage — the one trait that sets them apart. The sooner you can recognize yours, the sooner you’ll be able to find success.

In today’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • How to find your agency’s perfect niche.
  • Do you capitalize on your agency’s competitive advantage?
  • 3 Ways to win over committees and boards.

Today I sat down with Yareli Esteban, CEO and president of Strategar, a full-service advertising agency. Yareli started her career working with a lot of big-name companies. But after 14 years, she knew she wanted a change. Yareli is here to discuss why she chose the niche she is in and how she discovered what sets her agency apart.

How to Find Your Agency’s Perfect Niche

When you start an agency, you have to make a lot of decisions. What do I stand for? Who’s going to join me? Where do I want to end up? But one of the most important questions is, “Who do you help?” In other words, what is your niche?

I talk about niche all the time. Declaring a niche sets you apart and makes all the difference in the type of clients you attract. So how do you find the right niche for your agency?

One of the most important things you can do is figure out what type of client you want to work with. For Yareli, she liked the idea of long-term contracts and predictability. She also wanted to break away from the blue-chip industries and focus more on non-profits and smaller corporations. Now she works largely with government agencies.

The more you work with new clients and talk to your network, the more you’ll discover how different industries work. Focus on what your priorities and goals are and pay attention to what type of companies and what type of industries will help you get there.

Do You Capitalize on Your Agency’s Competitive Advantage?

Everyone has a competitive advantage, whether they recognize it or not. The sooner you capitalize on your competitive advantage, the sooner you will be able to stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Anyone who has ever worked with the government knows they deal solely with RFPs. If you’re like me, the simple utterance of RFPs makes you run in the opposite direction. But for Straegar, they’ve figured out their own system and can hammer out an RFP in no time. The fact that they easily do something many agency owners run away from is their competitive advantage. It not only helps them when they deal with government agencies but similar agencies as well. Find out what you are good at and run with it.

3 Ways to Win Over Committees and Boards

One of the reasons so many of us avoid working with the government is they have a strict and rigid structure. Generally, in order to get something approved, it has to pass through waves of red tape and various departments. The same goes for committees. When you have a board of 5, 10 people, it is a lot harder to get them all on the same page.

Whether you are working with the government, a committee, or a team of executives, there are going to be many times when you have to convince a group of people your agency is the right choice. The key is finding the common denominator.

  1. Active listening. Bring your whole self to every meeting. Pay attention to what prospects are saying and what they are asking.
  2. Context cues. You can tell a lot about what someone is thinking simply by watching their body language. If they are staring at their phone instead of looking at you, you’re losing them. Time to switch gears.
  3. Provide 3 simple goals. Humans can process about three things at a time. Come in with an action plan of 3 things you want to do for the client right off the bat. When you have a plan in place and can show your clients the path moving forward, they’ll have an easier time getting on the same page.

As an agency owner, you’ll quickly find that everyone is fighting for the same thing. Often, it’s not about who’s the best, it’s about who stands out. When you can find your competitive advantage and capitalize on it, you’re less likely to get lost in the crowd.

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