Choosing a Niche is the Key to Growth and Scale, with Nicole Mahoney

Episode 5:

Choosing a niche for your agency might seem counterintuitive at first. In this solocast, Nicole Mahoney explains how niching down creates predictable growth. Hear insights about:

  • Nicole’s journey into entrepreneurship in the travel and tourism industry
  • How Nicole chose to pivot her business in response to the pandemic
  • How choosing a niche saved Nicole’s agency during the pandemic
  • What we can do to build a position of thought leadership and authority within our niche
  • The most important financial lessons Nicole has learned from building an agency
  • Nicole’s take on the most common financial mistakes agency owners make

Choosing a Niche for Your Agency

Nicole Mahoney is the Founder and CEO of Break the Ice Media, a Rochester, NY marketing communications agency focused on the travel and tourism industry. Entrepreneurship is in her DNA, and she has an immense passion for helping small businesses excel through the use of creativity and collaboration. In this episode of the Progressive Agency podcast, Nicole joins us to share her entrepreneurial journey and explain why choosing a niche to build thought leadership is something every agency owner should consider doing.

Thriving Against All Odds

Travel and tourism are central to the hospitality industry. This includes restaurants, hotels, live events, and virtually every other subsect that was devastated by the pandemic’s protocols and regulations. When the world stopped turning, all of the businesses relying on the traveling public lost significant amounts of revenue. As an agency that serves those businesses, Break the Ice Media was forced to pivot. Q2 and Q3 were extremely difficult, but Nicole and her team persevered by focusing on their niche. Even though travel and tourism was at a standstill, Nicole continued to bring her clients value by any means necessary. This paid off in the long run, and BTI grossed its highest net profit since its inception.

Building Thought Leadership

We have talked a lot about building a position of thought leadership and authority. The reality is that it’s much easier to become a thought leader after choosing a niche. When you niche down and embed yourself in a particular industry, you begin to see patterns, form opinions, and develop expertise that your generalized competitors can’t offer. Nicole looked for ways to give voice to the things she was learning about travel and tourism, which started with a blog and developed into a full-blown digital platform with a podcast and live events. When you become the go-to expert in your field and you’re focused on adding value, business will come knocking on your front door. Niching down is a great starting point as you develop a growth strategy for 2021 and beyond.

Choosing a Niche

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About Nicole Mahoney:

In 2009, Nicole founded Break the Ice Media, a Rochester, NY marketing communications agency focused on the travel and tourism industry. Whether it’s a destination adding to the economic impact of their community, an attraction enhancing the visitor experience, or a business creating jobs for the travel & tourism industry – Break The Ice Media helps their clients create impact!

As CEO, Nicole is responsible for working with clients to understand their marketing needs, developing strategic marketing plans, and leading a team of professionals to execute those plans. Her dedication to the tourism industry keeps her team informed on current trends and best practices, regularly attending tourism conferences and travel shows.

In 2016, Nicole launched the weekly podcast Destination on the Left, interviewing tourism professionals from around the globe on creativity and collaboration in the industry. In 2019, she introduced the Destination on the Left Virtual Summit for tourism marketing featuring presentations from previous podcast guests in a new and innovative format. Nicole was recognized as 2019 small business-person of the year by the Small Business Council of Rochester.