How To Establish Yourself as the Premier Agency in Your Niche

How to Establish Yourself as the Premier Agency in Your Niche


Your agency’s reputation within your niche is a massive driver for new leads–that’s why establishing yourself as the premiere agency within your target market has the potential to nudge you into the next level of success. In this article, Jan Kaufman, lead account manager at digital marketing agency :Delmain, shares the strategies their agency used to deeply entrench themselves within the dental marketing niche.

As the lead account manager at :Delmain, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing and contributing to our growth as a dental marketing agency. But we weren’t always specialized in this niche. Not too long ago, we worked with all kinds of small businesses, helping them with their marketing needs.

The turning point came when we decided to focus exclusively on digital marketing for the dental industry. This wasn't an easy decision. We had to shift our strategy, learn a lot more about the dental world, and step out of our comfort zone. This strategic pivot proved to be transformative. 

It’s probably not all that surprising—plenty of business leaders tout the benefits of niching down, such as minimizing competition and increasing profit. This was true for :Delmain. Aligning our team towards a clear audience and specific purpose helped us become a recognized expert in dental marketing. 

An unexpected (but valuable) benefit has been the more efficient use of time. Since our dental-forward website launched in 2022, our sales team has fielded 0 leads from businesses outside our niche, which means no wasted time and better service to our target market. 

I’d like to share some insights from our journey to help agency owners establish their agency as the go-to expert in their field. These are the things I wish we had known at the start, and the most important guidelines we refer back to today. 

Foundational pillars for your agency graphic

5 Foundational Pillars for Standing out in Your Niche

1. Research

2. Expertise

3. Learning

4. Adaptation

5. Innovation

Deep Dive Into Your Niche—Stay Current and Relevant

A driving force behind our success has been our commitment to authenticity. Fake it until you make it? That’s just not an option for ambitious businesses. Marketing agencies need a genuine understanding of their ideal client and the pain points they need to solve for them.

Further, what agencies know about their niche today might not be true tomorrow. Client needs shift, and new trends emerge. If agencies don’t stay updated, they risk becoming obsolete. 

Regularly revisiting your niche helps ensure that your agency continues to meet the changing needs of your clients. It keeps you adaptable and ahead of the curve, allowing you to refine strategies and maintain your position as a leader in your field.

Your clients are your best source of research—start there.

How To Collect Feedback From Your Clients

Implement a feedback loop that helps inform your decisions and keeps you up-to-date and confident. 

  1. Regular Feedback Surveys: Gather direct insights from your clients. Ask specific questions about their needs and how your services can better serve them. 

  2. Client Advisory Panels: Establish a panel of key clients who provide ongoing feedback and insights through regular meetings or informal check-ins.

  3. In-Depth Interviews: Conduct one-on-one interviews with clients to dive deeper into their needs, challenges, and expectations.

  4. Exit Interviews: Get to the heart of their reason for leaving. This feedback helps end on a positive note and provides valuable insights into areas for improvement.

How often should you touch base for feedback? Try this schedule:

  • Regular Feedback Surveys: Quarterly (every 3 months)

  • Client Advisory Panels: Biannually (every 6 months)

  • In-Depth Interviews: Annually (every 12 months)

  • Exit Interviews: Whenever a client ends their retainer, call them on the phone!

Examples of Using Client Feedback To Refine Your Approach

At :Delmain, I’ve learned that what we think we know doesn't always match our clients' reality. I’m not afraid to admit this to you or our clients! That’s why we’ve established a feedback loop—to identify and address these discrepancies.

Here are a couple of real-life examples from our experience at :Delmain that demonstrate how we used client feedback to pivot our strategies:

Misguided Messaging

I remember when :Delmain first niched down, our initial research led us to emphasize our team-wide HIPAA certification as a selling point. But feedback from dentists revealed that while they expected compliance, it wasn’t even in the top 5 considerations when selecting a marketing agency. This insight prompted us to shift our focus to areas that truly mattered to our clients.

The Communication Gap

After one series of feedback surveys and in-depth interviews, :Delmain got a reality check. We underestimated how much dentists wanted to hear about the “mundane” digital marketing knowledge we applied to their strategies and were keeping it to ourselves. Honest feedback led us to flip this mindset and make big changes in our client communication strategy—for the better!

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Don’t Expect To Hire Experts in Your Niche (Take Advantage When It Does Happen)

Hiring niche experts is challenging. Marketing agencies must decide which roles absolutely need that background and which can be trained.

In some roles, hiring someone who has worked directly in your niche is a better way to stand out from competitors than hiring someone from another or even competing agency. These professionals bring firsthand insights and a deep understanding of the industry’s unique challenges and opportunities.

This was the situation for me. I joined :Delmain right before we transitioned to a dental marketing niche. My background was in the dental industry—I previously worked for a dental practice in a front-office role working with patients and providers. Even without experience in the marketing field, my industry-specific knowledge provided a unique perspective that helped us differentiate ourselves in a crowded market and continues to benefit our clients today.

Read More: How To Differentiate Your Marketing Agency From Competitors 

By strategically hiring and integrating niche experts, agencies will enhance their team's capability to deliver specialized, effective solutions that truly meet their clients' needs.

Create Structured Training as Part of New Employee Onboarding

While hiring niche experts is beneficial, it’s not always possible—or, to be honest, even necessary for many roles. There’s a caveat here—when hiring individuals without prior knowledge or background in your niche, don’t skimp on comprehensive industry-specific training. Here’s why:

1. Builds Expertise

Comprehensive training programs help an agency team develop a deep understanding of the industry, making them more effective in their roles. This ensures that all team members have the same foundational knowledge and feel confident in client interactions.

2. Enhances Client Relationships

When an agency speaks the same language as its clients, they build trust and strengthen client relationships. This alignment helps you better understand and address client needs. Overall, you’ll deliver more consistent and quality service.

3. Unifies the Team

Training puts everyone on the same page, creating a unified team focused on common goals. A cohesive team is much better equipped to collaborate and suggest innovative solutions to client challenges.

Read More: How To Create an Agency Mission Statement That Employees Actually Care About

Thinking about revamping your employee onboarding process? Download our convenient checklist to get started: 

Download the Agency Employee Onboarding Checklist Now!

:Delmain’s Dental 101 Employee Training 

One of the first initiatives I took as lead account manager was to develop a "Dental 101" course for everyone at :Delmain. This training is now mandatory for all new employees. The goal is to ensure that everyone at the company can "speak dental"—a huge selling point for our clients. 

A peek inside :Delmain’s Dental 101: 

  • Overview of Dental Procedures: Basic to advanced dental procedures to help our team understand what our clients do daily.

  • Financial Aspects: Insight into the financial side of running a dental practice, including common challenges and opportunities.

  • Industry Terminology: Familiarization with dental terminology so our team communicates effectively with clients.

  • Case Studies: Real-world examples and case studies to illustrate common scenarios and best practices.

a sample of :Delmain's dental 101 training for agency employees

Image: A sample of :Delmain's Dentistry 101 Guide for agency employees

Invest in Outside Training To Deepen Knowledge

Structured training programs are essential for laying the foundation. To truly excel and become the premier agency in your niche, look beyond your company to outside experts. This allows agencies to gain deeper insights and add even more value to their niche with a strong value proposition.

Identifying Training Needs

You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken. 

Find out where additional training may be needed for the team. Here’s how:

Client Feedback: I’ve mentioned this before. Regularly gather feedback from clients to understand their pain points and needs. This feedback will pinpoint where team members might need more knowledge or skills.

Holistic View of Operations: Examine a particular client's operations to identify gaps in understanding or efficiency. These areas are often overlooked!

Internal Assessments: Evaluate employees’ current knowledge and skills. Where do they feel less confident, or where are repeat mistakes happening?

Industry Trends: All that research you’ve been doing to stay updated on your niche? This is one area where it will pay off! Ensure employees are knowledgeable about the latest developments and best practices.

Next, take all of the learnings and find an outside training source to address these gaps. This will enhance an agency’s knowledge and significantly improve client satisfaction.

A Practical Example from :Delmain

By digging into the tiny pain points of our own clients, we recently identified a gold mine for team education: front desk dental office management. 

What could we do to address this? Partner with a dental management training company! This provides incredible benefits specific to our niche.

1. Enhanced Knowledge of Front Office Management

Our team learned common patient FAQs before booking an appointment and how the front office handles these inquiries. Training covered rebooking patients who didn’t show up or canceled, following up on treatment plans, and managing insurance questions. This built confidence in our team when discussing lead management and using dental jargon.

2. Bridging Knowledge Gaps

We discovered that doctors/owners often lack full insights into how the front office handles new patient phone calls. They tend to focus on high-level metrics like production and collections. When these goals aren’t met, marketing is often the first to be reconsidered. This training helped us educate our dental partners on where our marketing efforts end and their internal processes begin.

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3. Supporting Front Desk Teams

We learned where we can support the front desk team with managing incoming patient calls—from phone scripts and email templates to strategies to close the sale (book the appointment) on the first call. 

The goal of outside learning is to uncover insights that allow you to provide better service. For us, this means achieving better ROI and attracting more new patients for our clients. By deeply immersing ourselves in their niche, we can ensure that every dollar spent on marketing translates into real, measurable growth for their practice. 

Our clients trust us with their money because we know how to make it work efficiently. Expertise and dedication to understanding day-to-day client challenges are why :Delmain stands out to dentists as a premier marketing partner.

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Build Learning and Change Into Your Agency

Want to be a premier agency in your niche? Marketing agencies must embed learning into their company culture. Let me tell you how we did this at :Delmain and the difference it made.

A few years ago, we realized that to truly excel in the dental marketing industry, we needed to become lifelong learners. We had to stay flexible and responsive to the evolving needs of our niche.

One of the pivotal moments for us was when we decided to formalize our commitment to learning by adding Adaptability as a core value. This wasn't just a buzzword for us; it was a real shift in how we approached our work. We wanted everyone on the team to feel comfortable with change, and to see it not as a challenge but as an opportunity. This had immediate and lasting benefits.

For example, we noticed that some of our clients were struggling with converting patients over the phone. Instead of assuming we knew best, our team took a step back and adapted our processes and services to include an AI-driven tool to analyze patient calls. This provided feedback to our clients' front desk teams to improve their performance while also offering insights to enhance our marketing strategies.

Curiosity is another one of our core values, which encourages everyone to ask questions and seek out new information. This leads to some of our most innovative ideas. One of our team members, inspired by a webinar on dental practice management, suggested we create a Dental Promotions Guide. This guide has since become a valuable resource for our clients, helping them (and us) identify the most effective promos for their practice. 

Read More: 19 Lead Magnet Ideas for Your Digital Marketing Agency

By fostering a culture that values learning and change, we stay ahead of industry trends and continuously improve our services. This dedication to growth has kept us at the forefront of the dental marketing industry and built stronger, more trusting relationships with our clients. They see that we are a partner committed to their success.

You can do this for your own agency, whatever your niche. It will probably look a little different for your business, and that’s how it should be—keeping your team ready to meet the evolving needs of your clients. 

The Key Takeaways

If there's one thing I hope you take away from this article, it's that becoming the premier agency in your niche is all about deep education and immersion. 

Focus less on becoming #1 and more on truly understanding your clients and their problems. It’s a simple concept, of course, but one I can’t stress enough. 

It's this dedication to understanding and caring about your clients' needs, and building a team that shares this commitment, that will set you apart and establish you as the go-to expert in your field. 

By continuously learning and immersing yourself in your niche, you will provide top-notch services that truly make a difference for clients. And that’s what’s going to make you the agency your niche just can’t resist.

Jan Kaufman headshot

Written by

Jan Kaufman

Jan Kaufman is the Lead Account Manager for :Delmain, a digital marketing and web design agency for dentists. She specializes in identifying and implementing proactive solutions to the challenges dental practices face, helping them book more patients and grow with confidence.

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