How One Agency Doubled Revenue Becoming Specialists in a Unique Niche

By Jason Swenk on August 16, 2023

Are you resisting the advice to niche down and become a specialist? Do you think niching down means losing opportunities and turning down clients? It’s normal to fear a change like this but when you understand your ideal audience, you can’t lose. Your ideal prospects will notice that you speak their language and understand their challenges. That leads to building trust and authority as well as a pipeline full of prospects. For one agency, everything changed once they realized they already had tons of success in an uncommon niche. It took time but this agency doubled revenue when they went all in.

James Kaye is the co-founder of Big Games Machine, a video games PR agency with unique experience in delivering consumer and B2B PR campaigns for clients worldwide. Although it has tons of experience in the gaming industry, James’ agency wasn’t always marketed to that niche. The decision to speak to its ideal audience changed everything for its business. He discusses how this small change helped them double their revenue.

In this episode, we’ll discuss:

  • Doubling their revenue by positioning themselves as a specialist agency.
  • Struggling to fill his agency’s pipeline.
  • Why choosing a niche doesn’t mean you’ll turn down all other clients.


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Like many, James and his business partner are accidental agency owners. They had both worked at different agencies before reuniting to create Big Games Machine. They started as just two consultants working from their kitchen tables on different sides of the country. Growth was slow, but it snowballed into an agency little by little as they started to take people on.

Overall, just learning to run an agency was a bumpy road that led to many failures before starting to see the successes. Now even after nine years of growing the agency, he’s still learning and making mistakes. For instance, new business remains a constant problem that he’s still figuring out. On the other hand, one of the most valuable lessons for him has been the importance of finding the support of a coach to guide you and trusting his agency could grow in a specialty niche.

The Biggest Inbound Marketing Mistake

Many agency owners struggle to build a pipeline after growing on referrals in the beginning, which is not scalable. This is actually still a struggle but James has learned his pipeline is his lifeblood so he’s always willing to try something new.

In terms of the work they do at the agency, they divided it into two segments:

  • Consumer, where there’s a lot of competition with many agencies doing consumer PR,
  • B2B, where they’d really found their footing.

At his agency, they work in video games PR, which is a pretty small niche. Luckily, they are pretty good with SEO, which has become a big part of their inbound marketing strategy. The problem James has found, however, is that as a unique specialist, it becomes very difficult for a third party to represent you eloquently and passionately.

Over the years, he’s tried pretty much everything in terms of building the pipeline. He partnered with a LinkedIn agency to give cold emails a try and found this did not work for his agency. Of course, some things take 6-12 months to start showing results. Looking back, he thinks they were too generalist in their inbound marketing approach.

How Seeking the Help of an Expert Changed Everything

There are a lot of options out there for agencies trying to accelerate their growth; it might seem like you’re simultaneously drowning in options and starving for good ones. Loads of bad options are out there and it’s up to agency owners to decipher which ones are legit.

James found a good fit and started integrating systems for agency growth. One of the most impactful was making the decision to become a specialist.

Up to that point, his agency was called Big Ideas Machine and was more of a general Tech PR agency. They served B2B and consumer customers but hadn’t managed to book a consumer client. The feedback they were getting was that the agency didn’t look enough like a games agency. He decided to create a different brand called Big Games Machine hoping to attract consumer clients on the gaming side.

Stop Resisting the Shift to be a Specialist Agency and Pick a Niche

In James’ experience, it was a big mess trying to run two brands and two websites at the same time. It came to the point where he and his partner sat down to consider their choices. They had 25 years of experience in the game industry and that was their area of expertise. In fact, looking at their B2B clients, they were all in the games industry. They had resisted the idea to niche down even though they were getting no traction as a generalist agency. That was the lightbulb moment.

The big shift came when they finally decided to get rid of Big Ideas Machine and consolidate Big Games Machine as their main brand. By doubling down on that niche they occupy a very unique space. No one else does B2B in the gaming industry quite like they do.

Now that they do B2B and consumer work for the games industry, people quickly understand what problems they solve. With this change, James understood it’s not only about picking a niche but also about how you position yourself in the market.

Additionally, he recently hired a new head of new business marketing with experience and contacts in the gaming industry that has been getting very good quality leads for the agency.

Does Choosing a Niche Mean Turning Away Other Clients?

When pushing to remain a generalist agency, it was because James was thinking about the business they would lose as specialists. What if a client from another industry approached them? Would they have to turn them away?

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re choosing a niche is thinking they’ll need to say no to other clients. The idea is that you’re only marketing to ideal clients in a niche, but can still take on projects outside the niche.

The Best Advice to Fill Your Agency’s Pipeline

James best advice to fill your pipeline is to play the long game and go all in on content. He feels this is the best way to gain your prospects’ trust, which you’ll do by solving a problem for them. How can you do that? Start by creating amazing content, whether it’s a podcast, blog post, or newsletter. It’ll be the best thing you can do for your agency.

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