[Live Training] 9 Strategies to Build Recurring Revenue in your Digital Agency

E128: Find success by niching with Chris Bates

We’re excited to announce that SEO Brothers and Opteo have partnered with UGURUS as sponsors of our show.

Chris Bates is President & Founder of Agora Company. His agency started in traditional marketing for retail and various industries but more recently has moved into strategy and digital services for community banks and healthcare clients. They have 5 FTE’s plus 2 others working remotely and a couple of white label service partners.

Chris was a nonprofit administrator for 10 years, then owned a large retail operation for almost another decade before entering the marketing agency world. He’s been a published columnist and writer for several years and regularly presents to statewide trade associations on digital marketing strategies. Agora Co is now in the process of merging with another comparably sized agency.

Episode highlights:

  • How to build a  thriving agency within a specific geo and industry niche.
  • Chris used to fear boredom in a niche. Here’s what he thinks now.
  • What happened when Chris started from scratch and built an agency.
  • How Chris found motivation through the fear of starting an entrepreneurial venture.
  • Chris and Brent discuss the value of support at home for entrepreneurs.
  • Why Chris avoids using debt to build his agency.
  • How keeping an open and abundant mindset for connecting with others has changed the future of the business.
  • Run time: 37:53
  • Best advice ever received: There are two times that you need to show up – when you want to and when you don’t want to.
  • Habit that contributes to success: Routines – workouts, time with wife, faith group, daily work life.
  • Recommended tools: Teamwork for project management 
  • Recommended book: Fiction to check out! For business – Why We Buy by Paco Underhill and Gino Wickman’s Traction



  • “We loved to work with anybody that had a checkbook.”
  • “They have a long way to go in their marketing.”
  • “Some of what replaces that is scalability.”
  • “I’ve gotten clients that look exactly like you results.”
  • “Brent, that wasn’t the plan. I was starting over at zero.”
  • “Maybe it was some induced humility.”
  • “I was running on faith and fumes.”
  • “I can’t underscore (the value of spousal support) enough.”
  • “I used to describe myself as Atlas – I felt like I had the world on my shoulders.”
  • “Gosh, everybody’s gonna know my secrets.”


  • Open up to the possibility of connecting and sharing with others. A guarded mindset doesn’t serve to help you or your business grow.




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