E.g., I remember a project – the client had some money to spend (a government agency) and had some very vague idea. There was no clearly defined scope with clearly set expectations of deliverables. I took it. Man, it backfired. It turned out there were several other people in the picture, “stakeholders” as they would call them in my field, and they all had strong and loud ideas for what they wanted to be done, and there was no consensus. I ended up spending endless time facilitating endless discussions with them of what should be done etc etc etc, all of which after the contract was already in place. The end result: I spent ridiculous amounts of time, nobody was happy, the amount of money was small and totally not worth it, and I was to blame for everything. Man, I learned a lot from that one project.
The most important thing you need to know is the verified information about your company means that it will help your brand to get on the first page of the extended search results. Alternatively, users will be able to find your company right on Google maps and build the route in a matter of seconds.
The first college class I took was Speech 101. The professor asked us to give three speeches on any topic of our choice. One of the topics I chose was on SEO… It was called “How search engines work”.
Create an online venue where you can promote your products and services, share information on the industry, and establish your authority as SEO provider. If you don’t have a website yet, we can help you create one that is catchy, navigable, and search engine-friendly. If you already have one, we can audit your site and help you optimize it, both for the web and for your targeted niche.
If you’re new to the business, you might think you need a great website to start, not true. While an excellent looking website helps, I’ve seen many SEOs sell their asses off with rough-looking websites or no website at all. So don’t let this be a reason to hold you back from starting initially, it’s just not a core factor to your success.
One of the gentlemen sitting in the room during my speech was a sales rep from Elpac Electronics. He approached me after my speech and told me that the company he worked for was looking for an SEO person. He introduced me to the marketing manager of the company, and the company hired me as a contractor for $3,500 a month.
Include any Market research you have done. Outline your distribution channels. Outline any strategic alliances you have. Outline your promotion plan. Prepare a Marketing budget. How will you appear credible in the eyes of your target market?
I can’t stress enough the financial burden you carry, especially if you are a single-income household with a family, in a volatile industry that is further impacted by a recession; and oh yeah, often unrealistic clients 🙂 and competitors trying to make SEO a commodity through pricing & crappy solutions. To minimize your own stress, you need to already have a rainy-day fund (which you should keep building for when the $h#% hits the fan), an accepted family budget that you can stick to, access to credit or cash when you need it, and a well-defined profit margin for your services. Flying solo, YOU are the inventory — you have to be able to SELL yourself & services — then be prepared to change hats & deliver the goods…..day in & day out. Oh yeah, you have to somehow keep a pipeline of new opportunities b/c we all know there is a life cycle with SEO client work. Your rainy day fund helps bridge the gap in between work. I highly recommend 6-month+ contracts that yield you recurring revenue — this gives predictability and consistent cash flow you can manage.
Depending on how you go about the business, you might need to spend a lot of time to get started. I have listed below the 5 things you really need to focus on when starting and then continuing your SEO business that earns you profits.
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.
Starting your own business is a thrill. It’s liberating. However, in order for it to work, you must approach it with the same rigor and planning you do with your search marketing campaigns. Keep in mind you’re swapping one boss for many bosses.
I am always trying to give information out, even though I often feel that I’m working for free (my FD certainly thinks so!) as it just builds your reputation as the go to expert when people have a problem that they cannot solve.
I do offer one caution about learning SEO from the Internet. There is an abundance of information out there, some good, and much bad. You must quickly become aware that not everyone who proclaims themselves to be an expert is really an expert. (Tip: If they claim they know “the trick” to getting #1 rankings in Google, overnight, guaranteed no less, they are NOT the experts you want to follow.)
It’s worth mentioning that this doesn’t just mean Google reviews. You’ll also want to focus on getting reviews on your Yelp page (they’re used by Apple maps), along with other local directories. Your first priority should be Google reviews though.
It can big a huge change for you, understood. It could be costly, also understood. It could also be the difference between you succeeding and failing in the not-to-distant future. Do you understand that?
We will understand these three factors but before let’s look at the stats shared by MOZ – as per MOZ survey “ 4 billion desktop queries in United States are about local businesses, products or services”.
“SEO isn’t the future, it’s the present. Anyone not doing this is already behind” – This is a favourite of mine. It is an absolutely true statement and also acts to instil a sense of urgency and fear in the client as if they do not act now they risk falling even further behind to their competitors.
Make sure you don’t negotiate on your prices because I bet other SEO agencies won’t go into this much depth to lock in a potential client. Yes, you may be more expensive, but at least the company will know what they getting with you versus what they will get with competing SEO agencies.
I have been constantly improving that audit throughout the last 4 years of doing full-time SEO consulting. You should find it super helpful and can tweak it however you like. I would charge $500 for a micro audit (8 pages) and $900 for a full audit (15 pages). This is a simple pricing structure and will be affordable for any serious client.
I could list the many examples of emails I have sent out to businesses in the past using Power Leads Pro X but to save this guide from turning in to a never ending story, I’m not going to bother… Don’t worry though! I’ve included one of the emails I used which got me a number of enquiries from business owners in the bonus download at the end of this article. It’s in there beside lots of other priceless goodies I’m giving away to you guys today absolutely FREE! Keep reading to find out about the other bonuses I’ve got in store for you in the free download…
Not too long ago the primary means for consumers to discover local businesses was through flipping open a Yellow Pages catalogue, then turn the pages to the relevant category, find the nearest business of interest, focus in on the address and phone number, pick up their home phone, and call.
“What is the lifetime value of every new customer/client you gain?” – This can be a brilliant question as if they do know the exact number then you can then look at the potential monthly search volume for all keywords and say something like; “Well, once we’ve got your website to number 1 for all these keywords, you will be receiving roughly around 40% of the total number of people searching which would be around [X amount] new visitors every month. Even if you only converted 1% of these new prospects in to new customers/clients, you’ll still have gained [X amount] new customers/clients. Based on the lifetime value of each new customer/client you get, that should be new customers/clients every month you will be gaining which have a lifetime value to the tune of [X amount]… And that’s not even including the future customers/clients they will recommend through word of mouth!”. One thing about this example is that you need to have proficient arithmetic skills, if you don’t then just take a calculator with you to meetings. If the business owner doesn’t know how much the lifetime vale of each customer/client is, then still do the calculation of visitors versus a 1% conversion rate and present them with the final number that way, it’ll still be effective.
Really great post. I am currently in the process of structuring my SEO Digital Agency name Fancy Apples Digital Agency. However, I am stuck on a few things, such as how to register the name of the company, Corp S, LLC, ect? If possible i would love to get your expertise on structuring my business to see which works well for a SEO AGENCY. Thank you I appreciate your time.
What’s so good about this is that your only real responsibility in this ongoing transaction is answering any questions the client may have from month to month, emailing out the monthly ranking reports (which the SEO reseller company will create for you) and dealing with invoicing and payments every month.
If you’re going to be telling everyone else to get them, shouldn’t you have some yourself? It’s amazing how many SEO companies don’t have Google reviews. People know SEO companies can be sketchy which is exactly why they’re that much more important in this industry. Plus if YOU are doing local SEO, it will obviously help you.
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.
Optimizely is an A/B testing tool that businesses can use to better their websites. A/B testing is a method used by digital marketers and web designers to analyze two types of a webpages, landing pages or websites and determine which one is better received using live analytics. Even if it’s a subtle change, like adjusted colors or differing design elements, A/B testing can provide worthwhile insights. Optimizely plans start at $17 per month.
P.S. The eHow article was published last summer, but I got a handy pointer to it from someone in my Twitter feed this week. (I can’t remember who shared it, and can’t find it due to Twitter’s cruddy search capabilities.) Whoever it was, thank you for changing my life!
I am thinking with an agency, if someone charges 1k a month on a retainer (I know you charge more but I’m using that as an example) and gets 10 clients that’s 10k a month… but with an authority site some people are earning the same amount.
Design agencies often like such arrangements because they get to add an additional service without having the overhead of another staff member. They also get to click the ticket on your services. Your billing is also more streamlined, as you’re likely be billing the agency itself.