In reality, it’s likely to be somewhere in the middle at first, however be wary of going in too low. A low price often means low quality so be sure you set a price point which reflects the level of service and quality which you’re offering!
I’ve chosen to focus my own personal brand on keyword research, which has allowed me to build products like my book, and more recently my keyword research training course, but in addition to develop specific services.
Two places where you should focus on getting reviews are your business’s Facebook page and Google My Business page. These are big ones. Many people turn to social media to see what their friends and family think about a business, so having good reviews on your business’s Facebook page can help to draw in prospective customers. Getting positive reviews on your Google My Business page is crucial because these reviews show up on Google when someone searches for your business.
One of the biggest transitions from a regular job to running your own business, if you’re not used to working in sales, is that you will need to negotiate deals. Those working 9-5, especially in technical roles, don’t tend to negotiate directly, at least not with prospective clients and suppliers.
According to Google, roughly four out of five consumers use search engines to conduct local searches. Yet many small businesses have not claimed even a single a local business listing online, which is a huge missed opportunity.
What creating any SEO business, it’s vital that you start with developing your personal brand. The first thing I would recommend is to decide who you want to be in this industry and how you want to differentiate yourself.
Help out bloggers – the last method I used to gain new customers was to reach out to Technorati 100 companies and offer them free SEO. Most of them didn’t take me up on the offer, but a handful did. From TechCrunch to Gawker Media, I did free SEO for these companies in exchange for a badge on their sites that said “SEO by…” That badge would link back to my site and drive leads. If I lucky, they would also do a blog post on the results they received from me, which typically led to over $250,000 in new revenue as those blogs had a large following.
The most important lesson I learned was to set the proper expectations with my clients right off the start. I found myself answering too many calls and wasting so much time dealing with needy customers. Now I simply let all my customers know how MY process works. Now I will answer any questions over email and we can have a monthly call to discuss progress if scheduled in advance. Eliminating the sky is falling calls.
Ryan, thanks! My breakdown of in-house vs. agency was done in broad brushstrokes, and exceptions always exist, but the general point is solid. I’m glad you found the post interesting. Keep coming back to this blog — we have big plans for more in the near future!
Regardless, a “local search profile” is simply a searchable listing for your business as indexed within a geographic/local directory or search engine. When I say “indexed” though, I don’t mean as in “waiting for directories to find and list your website” (which directories do not do). Instead, a local search profile is something you generally must create and add to the directory database manually.
It’s easy to assume the buyer has all the power, but this isn’t true. If they’re talking to you, they have already indicated they want what you have. You are offering something that grows their business.
Until you have built your business into a known brand, you will need to do some extra work in order to attract customers. Develop healthy relationships by networking with other SEO professionals, content developers, programmers, graphics designers, social media experts and content marketers.
I’ve struggled with this when clients have moved to another agency. Especially when I’ve done such a great job. Sadly, it’s just part of the agency cycle and can be for many reasons, such as a new marketing manager that has worked with a certain agency in the past and had good results.
Great post Kristi! I have recently started in SEO and this article has really given me a clearer perspective regarding the basics. Many articles I’ve read have a tendency to talk around the topic. Your clarity on the matter is highly appreciated.
The smartest thing to do would be to starting whittling down your household bills now and start slowly building your business. Keep your day job and work at night, you’d be working 15 hour days if you started from scratch anyway so why not do it now but get paid (with benefits) for your time?
By showing potential clients how much more money you can make them versus how much you are charging, you can help make their decision to go with you pretty easy. The only thing they have to worry about is whether you can actually provide the results. To combat this, you would use testimonials and case studies to show what you have done in the past.
Thank you Neil, this post is full of nuggets! We will take what we are not doing now and change. One question, what’s your advice on signed agreements with Clients? Is 30 day, mth to mth good? On one hand you don’t want to make people feel trapped and on the other you don’t want them to quit on a whim without at least being with you for 6-12mths. Is the industry standard of 1-2yr good enough? What’s a good balance between sustainable revenue for agency, and good commitment & partnership between an agency and a Client?
Many of these are interrelated disciplines. For example, PPC advertising is now growing to cover paid ads in Facebook, the ultimate social media venue. PPC requires effective keyword development, as do many SEO disciplines. Social media marketing often ties in with local and mobile search. Analytics can now be done with Facebook pages as well as with websites and PPC campaigns.
At any rate – thanks for creating an (otherwise) fawsome quick SEO Page Auditor Tool for lil Freelance SEOs like me! Overall, MySiteAuditor.com really performs quite well and I haven’t come across a compeitive reporting tool that can also beat the economical pricepoint of MySiteAuditor! Excited to be upgrading to Pro here in a matter of weeks… Much appreciated and thanks again!
The nature of SEO is changing. Trends for 2013 – which are also highlighted in the SEMPO report – show that whilst lead generation and traffic acquisition are still favoured, areas such as brand awareness and reputation management are on the rise:
It is good to start earning money once you get clients. You, however, need to start outsourcing your work when you are burdened with work. That’s when you need to outsource. Outsourcing is crucially vital to help you succeed as a freelance SEO. Initially, you can start outsourcing your work to selected people. But once you start getting more, more work, you can register your firm.
And this explains why the demand for SEO services and experts is on the increase. If you have a good knowledge of SEO, you can make a lot of profit by starting a local SEO, which would cater to the SEO needs of individuals and businesses within your city, state, or country.
You’re probably asking yourself now, ‘What should I be saying in the meeting???’, glad you asked, let’s cover what you need to do and say in the meeting to ensure you give yourself the best chance of closing the deal…
Cool to hear your story Neil! You getting that first company such great results is what catapulted your SEO career. So many so-called SEO companies are robbing small businesses and not producing results. Good to hear you’re not on the “dark side” my friend.
All you have to do is type in the URL of the business’s website in to the software and hit go. The software then compiles a professional, custom SEO report for that site. You then simply take the report, add a quick introduction at the beginning, include the keywords and search volume they are missing out on and a call to action at the end to get them to contact you, voila!
I loved what you said about the advertising companies. We actually do an advertising companies Listings and social media for free and they helped us grow from doing 10k in our first month by our selves cold calling, to 50k our second month. We still have that deal with them.
Split your goals into short term, medium term and long term. Where do you see yourself in five years time? How about this time next year? In the case of search marketing, who knows if it will be around in five years time, and if so, in what form?
I spoke at local places and those have gotten me a ton of leads and clients, I believe I e-mailed you about that once. Speaking is definitely the best thing to get business, build credibility, and networking. I’ve never been to and SEO conference, but I can imagine how a non-SEO conference would be better to get leads.
I’m same with you when I started my business , I also less than $100 in my bank account, 0 in saving , 0 income , my car was towed because I didn’t have any money pay for the installment, my parents didn’t understand what I was doing that time, deceived by customer T_T……..etc.I’m deeply understanding the bitterness of an entrepreneurs. After few years when you see your business growing up , the public sour things of the past is worth paying ^^
SEO is a vital skill in the modern business landscape. Hiring SEO managers, or bringing in digital marketing consultants, can be expensive. Luckily there are some great tools out there to help you get started with SEO.