The “Easy Button” For Agencies

There is an “Easy Button” for agencies that makes everything easier. 

It’s a magic bullet in a world with no magic bullets.

To tell you what it is, I’m going to use a story that illustrates it brilliantly.

When I worked at OMG Commerce they were split into two divisions: Online Marketing Giant (for lead gen) and OMG Commerce (3 guesses what their focus was). 

They had about 125 clients and were making about $1.5M/yr.

I started as an Account Manager and was working with many smaller accounts and a few big ones. The big accounts were fun and a great learning experience.

The smaller accounts were super frustrating. I tried to treat every account like they were my own business (a core part of the OMG culture), but I ended up suggesting that many of them be fired as they frequently questioned our value while ignoring the reports we sent.

After a while and some project management training, the leadership ran everyone through a behavioral assessment and had a leader consult on the results.

I was approached and asked how I felt about a position in sales and strategy.

My only sales experience was cold calling, so I was mortified. They explained that they had a good amount of inbound leads, would be getting more at IRCE soon, and that I would be auditing accounts and presenting strategies to people who had already expressed interest in working with us.

I.e. I was teaching people how we could help, not trying to sell them.

Naturally, this sounded better to me. I accepted and transitioned away from my role as AM for all but a couple of the bigger eCommerce clients.

As I took on leads (admittedly, the lower quality leads), I noticed a pretty wide variety of companies that wanted to work with us. From auctioneers to razor-blade companies, we had a wide variety of leads from different sources.

Thankfully, we had both divisions to help with small local businesses, national lead gen, and ecom.

But was it really a positive thing?

We took on a lot of smaller clients (I had the highest close rate in the company), but the work each one took outweighed the revenue they drove and we came across several situations in which we thought we could help the company, but couldn’t really get results when we got started.

Shortly after I left OMG to start consulting, I heard that they were starting to help their smaller accounts transition to other agencies. (They offered me about 6-figures of franchise accounts and I graciously declined since I had an insider’s experience with running those accounts).

Less than 2 years later, they hit the Inc 5000 (the 5k fastest growing companies in the US). They hit it again the next year. And the next 2 years after that.

When I asked the owner what the key to such rapid growth was, he boiled it down to focus.

They stopped doing what they were good at and focused on only what they were great at.

Over the years, in my consulting with agencies, I’ve noticed this as a trend.

The best agencies work with bigger clients that are already doing well and the agencies that struggle work with anyone.

Working with clients who have great businesses and are already doing well, then helping them do better, means you get great results all the time because you’re marketing a proven offer.

The clients have a better understanding of their business, customer, and solution, and are easier to work with.

They also stay longer, as you can consistently generate good results for them and they’re aware of all the seasonality and slow times.

So I know what you’re thinking…

“Great, Ryan. Thanks. I’ll just work with bigger clients that have great businesses. Why didn’t I think of that?”

Just hear me out.

Here’s how you can make it happen for you:

1. Start by identifying clients you help now, and clients you have helped in the past, for whom you absolutely crushed it.

  • Are there any commonalities?
  • Maybe they all had a similar offer?
  • Maybe there are several from the same industry?
  • Maybe you or someone on your team had deeper industry insights?
  • Maybe most of them have the same strategic approach to a similar problem?

2. Find the themes that resonate with you and see if you can find similar businesses with a search on your favorite database or social platform.

This is where you’ll find that industries are much easier to find than businesses with a specific problem or based on their offer.

One element of a good market is how easy they are to find, but we’re specifically looking for your ability to get them amazing results so we’ll take what we can get.

If you manage to find a type of client for whom you’ve crushed it and they are easy to find in groups online, you can market more easily with paid advertising, cold outreach, finding association conferences, etc.

If you find one that is harder to find online, you may have to go the ABM route and/or pick a social platform on which they’re likely to spend time so you can start cranking out relevant content and case studies.

Either way, the next step is…

3. Pick One (if you have multiples) & Develop A Growth Strategy

This is something shockingly few agencies do anyway, so it’s a great way to get ahead.

You’ll want to tailor it to your newly-selected niche, of course.

My blanket recommendation would be to choose a short-term strategy and a long-term strategy.

Short term:

Do you have a marketing budget for your agency? Consider Facebook ads if your niche can be easily targeted.

No budget? Pick the most relevant social platform or find email addresses with a month’s subscription to and start practicing your cold outreach. You can also try calling companies in your niche who are looking to hire marketing directors or similar roles on

Long term:

Develop a content strategy for the social platform on which you’re most likely to get in front of your niche. YouTube should always be a strong contender, but you may find yourself creating for TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook (although the organic reach on FB is super nerfed).

As a bonus mid-term strategy, consider building a community on Facebook or Skool and write content a few times a week. Offer growth strategy calls every couple of weeks and give them everything they need to get results and grow their businesses.

They’ll see you and your strategy as the reason they’re growing and the ones you’d want to work with will be very likely to pay you to implement for them you after you’ve proven you can help.

Then we have the next step…

4. Raise Your Rates & Start Saying No To Prospects

This is the hard part.

In the story earlier, OMG’s President was a super nice guy (still is).

He wanted to help everyone with everything and he didn’t want to charge much for it. He’d be taking on clients for web development, seo, even reputation management.

One of the things that hockey-sticked their agency, though, was when they raised their rates and started saying no to anyone who wasn’t an ecommerce brand looking for Google or Amazon ads.

They found their superpower and they charged like superheroes.

They had to have some tough conversations.

They had to let some legacy clients go.

But they’ve been one of the 5000 fastest growing companies in the US 4 of the last 5 years, so the pros seem to outweigh the cons.

As you can see from their story, this isn’t the same as niching down to a single vertical, although it could be.

In their case, they chose to focus on Google Ads and Amazon Ads for Ecommerce companies.

Maybe your superpower is leveraging the power of Google Ads when combined with email follow-up.

Maybe you’re world-class at writing landing page copy and driving Facebook ads to it.

Maybe you know how to grow a B2B manufacturing company better than anyone else.

Wrap Up

Regardless of the niche, narrowing your focus will help you in a lot of ways.

It will help you catch their attention better when marketing so you stand out from all of the other agencies pushing their general marketing services.

It will help you close sales more easily as you understand them and their problems more deeply.

It will help you get better, more consistent results for a larger percentage of your clients, which will help you:

  • build more and better case studies
  • confidently charge higher rates
  • retain & attract better talent
  • get better testimonials
  • retain clients longer
  • get more referrals

Yeah, there are a lot of benefits to crushing it for most of your clients.

It’s a positive flywheel effect when you narrow your focus and apply it to the things you’re best at.

I call it the easy button because once you press it, everything gets better (not easier, but better).

Next week is going to focus on a topic we briefly discussed in today’s edition: Marketing Your Own Agency. I get asked about acquisition a lot and how to make it work for agencies, so get ready for the gloves to come off; I’m not going to pull any punches.

If you know of someone who may benefit from this newsletter, please don’t hesitate to send them to so they can start receiving them.

All the best,

-Ryan Baker
Founder, Kingly Consulting