Expand Your Agency By Narrowing Your Focus

social media makes new business easier

Social media makes positioning and new business easier.

Most ad agencies have an unfocused new business strategy. They try to be everything to everybody. Tim Williams, in a recent article titled, “Focus to Grow”, says,

“In turbulent times … The natural response is to “try a little bit of everything”; to expand your services, broaden your capabilities, and try to appeal to more clients. It seems like common sense, but it’s exactly the wrong response. The best growth strategy — in good economies or bad — is to decide what not to do.”

Tim sites these five benefits for the agencies that are willing to expand by narrowing their focus:

  1. The greatest earning power. It is a no brainer, a specialist will always earn more than the generalist.
  2. The largest geographical market area. “Focused firms draw clients from all over the globe, not just from their own Zip code.”  
  3. The fewest competitors. “The easiest way to narrow your competition is to narrow your focus.”
  4. The greatest degree of respect from clients. “Knowledge and expertise = respect.”
  5. The most sophisticated clients. “A quality value proposition attracts a quality client.”

There are a lot of agency principals that agree with Tim’s thinking but they are afraid afraid of positioning. They don’t think about the opportunities and strength it provides, all they can think about are missed opportunities. I understand their hesitation. But, there is a way to take the initial steps without the perceived risks through the use of social media.

Here are some of the ways that social media makes positioning and new business easier:

I would encourage you to read Tim William’s book Take a Stand for Your Brand. Here are some additional articles to help you get started:


About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. Another great post Michael, it’s 100% true-agencies have to define who they’re going after. Many think that strategy can be too confining, but our experience also shows it’s the path to more wins. (BTW,what I really like is the sheer amount of information you provide in the form of follow-up links. Now, will I be able to get through all of them?)

  2. Thanks Lee. You kind words are very much appreciated.

  3. A perfect match to your great “narrow your focus” advice is the companion fact that there are times to amp up your energy level. Most people can’t seriously maintain a peak throughout the year especially with what we all have gone through.

    But in a word, now is the time. Nearly half of the 25 TV stations Ambit has placed in over the years have told me that July was pretty good, August was better and September looks great. So the turn around is coming, even if you don’t quite feel it in new business yet. Now is the time to make a big different for your next year.

  4. Absolutely great insight. Trying to be all things to all companies will result in being nothing to anyone. The shotgun approach to new business in this environment is a very inefficient approach and will not yield the desired results. Thanks for keep us on task Michael.

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