Thanks for the comment! I agree will all of that! I took on plenty of undesirable clients when I started out. You definitely have to hustle in the beginning, but get more selective as you bring on more clients. To be honest, realistic revenue for client SEO is in the six figures per year. That is, if you are doing strong work and have effective lead generation channels.
Hi Gotch, this is like a manifesto of my life! So much of what you write resonates with me it’s scary. Of all your points I think the one that is THE most liberating, as a local SEO, is getting rid of clients who are demanding, time wasting, blood sucking leaches. Once I had the first “sacking” under my belt life as an SEO became so easier.
The biggest mistake aspiring SEO company owners make is thinking that the SEO industry is like the web hosting affiliate market. As with any other business, you need to work hard to start an SEO agency from the ground up. Our industry is one that requires you to go out and talk to people, print and hand out business cards, and do a lot of convincing to gather clients. You have to be willing to do that work in order to succeed.
Mostly business plans may help you in getting investments for your projects or SEO business if required. As you may know, everyone may not have a potential to keep investment, some may run to banks and ask for loans, and some may run for investors. So it’s good to have business plans for primary requisites.
Whether you have literally only learnt the term SEO for the first time reading this article, you’re a beginner, intermediate or super star SEO practitioner, one sure fire way to get leads and enquiries from business owners actually coming in to YOU is to rank your own SEO website for high value SEO keywords.
Having an SEO contract written up by a solicitor would be a costly endeavour for anyone starting their own SEO business so I’ve included the full contract I use in the free download pack at the end of the article alongside all the other goodies I’ve mentioned throughout this guide.
Maybe if I search for “Why you should not be self employed,” or “The Risks, Debt, Decisions and Distractions of being Self Employed,” perhaps I’d find an article at SEOBook that gave a checklist and explanations of things to do
Streamline your service into a product and offer that to a specific set of customer types. It will take some trial and error but you will eventually get to the point that you can delegate… which brings us to…
Unless you plan on doing this all yourself, you’ll end up needing writers, designers, link builders, and other specialists to keep the wheels turning. Get your systems put in place before you need them because you don’t want to start putting together these processes at the last minute. Shameless plug: At Marketer’s Center we have a lot of these systems already cranking, scaling can be plug and play if you want to use our services as well.
Before starting your own business, it is advisable to work at least one year offering SEO solutions. In this way you can improve your expertise by attending conferences (such as Pubcon, MozCon and SEMPDX), optimizing your websites, write a blog and even an eBook. This is particularly useful for the marketing process, but you can also practice your research and get to know more about SEO.
SEO is an inbound marketing strategy that drives organic search traffic from search engines like Google and Bing. This means that your business interacts with potential customers while they’re actively seeking your services (like when you search for “Nike running shoes” and Google shows you ads for exactly that).
I own a product photography business and i’m getting ready to start a huge content marketing push. I’ve been following your blog for the last 2 years and this article stuck in my head. I’ve noticed that in my keyword research that ‘how to’ photograph it yourself keywords make up a huge portion of the traffic looking for our primary keyword term “product photography”.
After working for other people for so long, you might feel that 2018 is the right time to venture into the great unknown of self employment and entrepreneurship. While this is a laudable move, you need to be sure you are getting into the right industry, and that you have the right tools to succeed in it.
Lots of people want freebies, and I’ve been reluctant to give away too much…I will give clients a quick overview of their site/competitive environment as a way of justifying the need to hire an SEO agency; but I find that some have no intention of buying because they see this as a freebie and hope to get more freebies…I’m wondering how much one should ‘open the kimono’ during these early stages, and if one realizes that the company isn’t going to be a client, whether it is worthwhile to say: ‘Look, I’ll make you a deal, we’ll do x for you as a free service in return for allowing us to wear your logo on our site.’?
That’s more than enough promotional methods to get you up and running, even using a couple of the Power Leads Pro X methods alone should bring you in a steady stream of leads. It’s time to move on to how you should prepare yourself once your promotional methods have paid off and you start arranging meetings with potential clients…
Google continues to perpetuate a world where they encourage the exact type of behavior they are trying (supposedly) to stop. Why is there so much spamming, deceptive advertising, affiliate desperation and gray/black hat SEO? Simply because they have ceased to foster any sort of fair or open environment where legitimate businesses can compete- so people get desperate. It’s harder than ever to get your business seen in Google- even if you’re willing to pay for it.
Starting an SEO consulting business is a very creative business whereby you can earn unlimited income while helping business owners and individuals attract more visitors to their websites. The service you provide will consist of analyzing client’s websites and letting your clients know what could be done to get their sites to rank higher.
Walmart, KMART, Victoria’s Secret, etc. did not build their empires on dodgy backlinks from link networks, but on the basis of understanding how they were different, gaps in the market, what the customer needs and providing the solutions they need.
Starting off this way has risks too (might not be as stable as a large corporation for example) but you can learn a lot about the overall and day to day processes that make that particular person or group successful. I’m not for the idea of building your personal brand on the back of someone else’s brand equity but if your brand develops from the hard, quality work you do for someone else then that’s great.
On-page SEO for local businesses conforms to some pretty old school SEO tactics. There’s quite a large weighting towards the on-page content in the local search listings, so it’s important that, where possible, you squeeze the most value out of your content.
The fact is that its impossible to guarantee a move up the Google rankings except by the documented ways that you would expect – get more incoming links etc. There are no ‘secret tricks’, so essentially SEO is based on hoodwinking old company bosses who have no idea how the internet works.
Great post. Most of my SEO clients come from referrals and they are converted from leads to clients by, as you say “giving away the farm” (I like to call it consultative selling). Once they see what can be done its a no brainer. I now need to get some bigger clients to turn my agency from 6 figure to a 7 figures.
Find out the most common keyword searches for your product/service and write separate blog posts for each of those keywords. Also write blog posts on less common long-tail keyword searches where there may be no local competition.
Take time to price your services, or mention your price when a client contacts you. Pricing your services at the higher cost at the start of the business is the bad practice as the customer will not show any interest in your services, so try to lower the rate. After your work is appreciated, you will get a brand name in society; then you can charge higher rates if required.
As you are done with learning SEO, now it’s time for the site. This is the crucial step in setting up an SEO business, as everyone will first have a look at your website, there is no way that clients will come to you directly and give the projects to you.
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 got 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.
They don’t get into work and think: “You know what I should do today?? I should go and leave the SEO company working for us a testimonial! I should spend my day trying to find referrals for this SEO company!”
Power Leads Pro X is a piece of software that automatically searches Google Maps listings for businesses in any niche that you specify using the business name. It can also gather businesses on a country, state or city level! If I decide I want to promote my services to lawyers in London for example, all I have to do is select London from the UK section of Power Leads Pro X, type in the keyword ‘Lawyers’ and hit the search button.