Niche specialisation

Resources for agencies looking to niche or are already niche specialists:

By January 17, 2020 February 7th, 2020 No Comments

Finding your niche

Bill Gates “Inside Bill’s Brain” Documentary

Inspirational documentary about Bill Gates and how he approaches finding problems in the world to fix. Both as part of Microsoft and the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation.


A great approach to problem solving and identifying which problems to fix

Business Model Generation book 

A great framework to easily map out all key areas of a solid business model. You can create multiple ones of these and compare them against each other. There are 100s of canvas templates available online.

Market analysis


A great resource for all sorts of analysis tools to templates for approaches to leadership, team management, decisions making, time management, etc. There are 144 Strategy tools documented on the site.

The McKinsey Mind

Packed with insights and brainstorming exercises for establishing the McKinsey mind-set, this book is an in-depth guidebook for applying McKinsey methods in any industry and organisational environment.

Strategic Problem Solving Model by McKinsey

Strategic Problem Solving Model by McKinsey

SWOT Analysis

Strengths, weaknesses of your business. What are you good at, what are you not good at and needs serious improvement.

Opportunities, threats in the market. Identifying where you could take advantage of a gap in the market. What are the threats of other competitors that may be able to take your market share.

PESTEL analysis

This is a tool to analyse both the micro and macro economic factors that impact a sector you might be interested in.

Porter’s Five Forces

Another great tool to analyse how competitive the market is. How much power current players possess in the market.

Competitor analysis

Blue Ocean Strategy

A differentiation tool to help gain competitive advantage over other players in your sector or skill niche. The Blue Ocean Strategy is the thing that has the highest opportunity value, but does not exist in the market.

Advantage analysis in commoditising markets

Advantage analysis framework in commoditising markets

Customer research

User Is Always Right

A solid book that explains the process of conducting both qualitative and quantitative research.

Rocket Surgery Made Easy

Simple to read book. A classic amongst UX folk. How to do user research effectively with little budget, no time and no research PHD.


Extreme Ownership

Author Jocko Willink – former navy seals lieutenant commander – provides a really practical list of ways to lead your team. By starting with extreme ownership. It’s a great way to lead your team through big changes. My favourite quote in the book: “No person is bigger than the mission!”

Radical candor

A book that will help you have those direct and honest conversation with team members and clients, as you transition into your niche. Needing to make tough decisions who will go on that journey – and who will not.

Getting clients

What I learnt about new business from speaking to 3,000 agencies

A talk I did on all of my findings of what the top performing agencies in the UK do to get their new business. 

Testing processes

Lean Startup

Eric Riess wrote this book to find a way to no longer fail big at his startups. It’s a simple method to test what he calls the minimum viable product (MVP). Lots of great practical examples in the book too.


A short book that explains how to run sprints as part of agile development. Again a lot of the techniques used in this book can be applied to service innovation.

User Stories Applied

A term that is more commonly used in the app development space. However, a concept that can be applied to any project management. It’s an agile way of improving your service. Including breaking down all the components of your offering for your clients. 


How diverse do your clients need to be to be lucrative? – David C. Baker

A great article that will help you put stats behind the percentages of client over reliance or too small to sustain an agency. David C. Baker who is co-host of the agency podcast 2Bobs has conducted a lot research to come to his conclusion.

Masters Of Scale Episode: Infinite Learner

Barry Diller on this episode with Reid Hoffman. They talk about, no matter how much you know, you always keep learning – the “infinite learner”. This challenges all specialists to avoid complacency and continue to innovate.

Niche agency examples


Design and build agency for the public sector

Verb Brands

Performance Marketing agency for the Luxury sector (Lifestyle, Leisure and Beauty Brands)


A popular culture experiential agency 


Service design for the public sector

We Make Websites

Pure Shopify agency

FX Digital

Voice, Smart TV and Alexa tech agency

Raw London

Video production agency helping charities


PR agency for the food and drinks sector

Havas Lynx

Healthcare focussed agency

Inspirational books and documentaries related to the topic of specialisation


Masters Of Scale

Reid Hoffman’s (LinkedIn Founder) podcast that features interviews with some of the most successful tech entrepreneurs in the world. Lots of really practical advice on scaling your business.

Win Without Pitching

A fantastic book. written by Blair Enns, that not only teaches agencies to be in a superior position so they don’t have to pitch anymore. But also talks a lot about choosing a niche specialism.

Pricing Creativity

A great book to help you price your services whatever niche you are going to.

Peak performance

This book is the result of analysing 100s of top performing people in the world. From the record holding memory masters to the perfectionist piano player. What do they have in common. Does innate talent exist? Or is it all a result of more practice than others?

Say No podcast by DanTheAgencyMan

Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to speak to over 3,000 agencies about how the best grow so quickly, stay relevant, and dominate their niche, and the one thing I found they all have in common is the confidence to say no. In this podcast, I’ll bring you some of those conversations to inspire you to take the leap towards going niche, help you overcome any obstacles and give you the confidence to just SAY NO!



Jiro Sushi Of Dreams

Inspirational documentary of the founder of the first 3 Michelin Star sushi restaurant. 


Adam Smith (Wealth Of Nations): No Man ever saw a dog make a fair exchange of a bone with another dog.

Peter Drucker: All Profits Derive From Risk

Bruce Henderson (Boston Consultancy Group): “The logic was that market leadership, expressed through high relative share, resulted in sustainably superior returns. In the long run, the market leader obtained a self-reinforcing cost advantage through scale and experience that competitors found difficult to replicate.”


The Agency Collective

The Agency Collective

A peer support community for agency owners. A safe place to talk about your challenges openly – when you need the help most. An opportunity for you to build new long lasting relationships with people who can provide support and leads for future work.

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