Hey Neil – I’ve used some of these strategies myself to build up a 7 figure agency at Powered by Search. As the business has built up we don’t tend to do a lot of ‘free’ work anymore but we do quite a bit of pro-bono work for non-profits who need our help.
The easiest way to do to this is to get in touch with your existing customer base and see if they’d be interested in leaving you a review. You could perhaps offer them incentives in the form of discounts to leave a good word about your business. If you do happen to get negative reviews, don’t ignore them! Acknowledge negative feedback and respond to them nicely. Your aim is to diffuse the situation and possibly make an offer to make up for whatever their dissatisfaction was. This lets potential customers know you’re sincere about improving your business to serve them better.
People love to brag about new companies they are working with. It’s a good and exciting feeling about their future. Take advantage of this. Give each new client a referral letter that offers a cash reward for sending and referring any new clients that your agency signs. This is similar to the partnership program, except I don’t believe you have to pay 10%. A simple fixed amount or small percentage of the first contract is good enough.
There is a huge community of search professionals. They need software tools, data, advice and other services. Obviously, SEOBook follows a hybrid of this model. We provide premium tools, while also engaging in consulting through our community forums. Those who don’t value their time are not a good fit. But those who do value their time can get a lot out of the community in short order, without the noise that dominates so many other forums. The barrier to entry is a feature which guarantees that the members are either a) already successful, or b) deeply understand the value of SEO, which in turn increases the level of discourse.
Web analytics are the key to understanding what’s working, what isn’t and where the biggest opportunities are. Reporting and presentation skills are integral to communicating data driven insights and recommendations to clients and company decision makers.
the difficult thing here is that when you start… then you are a startup as well. An established company does not want to work with you most of the time for the same reasons you want to work with them. Therefore you have to work with the B-players at first until you gain some momentum. Also it is very important to know your own value and price appropriately. But that is not when you start. When you start you work your ass off for nothing. Thats just the nature of things. It is dangereous to be too selective at the start in my experience. you need to eat shit before things begin to run your way
Entire books have been about business plans, but unless you’re chasing bank financing and/or need to present formally to an external agency, it pays to keep business plans brief, clear and simple.
or even a fee that you would have to cover if you already have a corporate job, but if you work for a small business (or own your own business) almost no health insurance plans will cover maternity, or will only do so at a significant cost increase … and whenever you get any health services in the US without having health insurance they charge you 3x 5x or sometimes even 100x what they charge insured people, basically trying to bankrupt you through a sleazy program of cost shifting.
SEO is a knowledge-based game and you can’t start a successful business around it if you don’t understand how it works. To succeed as an SEO service provider, you must invest in learning everything you can about SEO; and that definitely takes time / resources. But you will definitely smile to the bank in the long run if you stick to it.
BONUS: As an additional bonus, I’ve included a tiny sample of 25 New York lawyer leads scraped using Power Leads Pro X in the bonus download at the end of this tutorial. This is to show you just how much valuable info Power Leads Pro X gathers and to give you some more ideas as to how you can use this powerful tool.
Use sites like Upwork.com to find inexpensive admins that will send cold emails to your target market. This is key because cold emailing is far below your pay grade. An admin level person should be doing this, not you. If fact you can find someone in Asia or India to cold email for a couple dollars per hour.
In this weak and unstable economy it is really hard to reasonably project out 5 years on a life changing decision. There are so many variables to take into account that it’s difficult to give a tailored answer to each situation.