SEO

Como iniciar uma empresa de SEO em 2019 (processo A a Z)

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Deseja iniciar uma empresa de SEO?

Você está no lugar certo.

Não importa se você tem zero clientes de SEO ou quer mais.

Este guia fornecerá a configuração exata em que eu tinha o hábito de passar de US $ 0 a seis dígitos em apenas 6 meses, obtendo clientes de SEO.

Vamos fazer rápido.

Precisa de um nicho para segmentar? Aqui estão 52 nichos de SEO lucrativos continuar.

Visão geral do sistema de referência do cliente

O sistema de referência do cliente mostrará:

  1. Como escolher um nicho para atrair clientes de SEO
  2. Como obter resultados reais de SEO e criar seu portfólio o mais rápido possível.
  3. Como usar o sistema de saída para obter rapidamente clientes de SEO.
  4. Como empilhar o sistema de entrada com o sistema de saída para levar seus ganhos a outro nível.
  5. Como converter seus clientes em potencial em clientes pagos de SEO
  6. Como garantir que seus clientes o amem para que fiquem e continuem pagando por anos.
  7. 35 lições de start-up de uma empresa de SEO

Lembre-se:

A chave para o sucesso com o sistema de referência do cliente é agir de acordo com o que você aprende.

Dou-lhe a estrutura e as etapas, mas você é responsável pelo seu sucesso. Acredito em você e estou muito feliz em ajudá-lo ao longo de sua jornada.

Agora, vou mostrar como escolher um nicho e garantir que a concorrência não seja relevante (dica: a maioria das pessoas pensa que há apenas uma maneira de se encolher, mas existem quatro técnicas diferentes).

Escolha um nicho

Escolha um nicho

A primeira pergunta que devo abordar é se você precisa se concentrar ou se tem uma visão geral.

Não há resposta errada aqui. Mas, geralmente será mais fácil se posicionar, porque haverá menos concorrência. Também torna seu processo de marketing e vendas mais direcionado.

Isso não significa que você não pode receber clientes em outros nichos. Significa simplesmente que a identidade da sua marca se concentra apenas em um ou mais nichos.

Agora, a maioria das pessoas não percebe isso, mas existem muitas maneiras diferentes de vencer.

Por exemplo, a maioria das pessoas pensa que escolher um setor como HVAC ou encanador. É uma boa abordagem, mas como você saberá em um segundo, você pode assumir diferentes ângulos.

Vamos começar com a maneira mais comum de reduzir o número de pessoas no nível da indústria.

1. Nicho no nível da indústria

Eu recomendo segmentar nichos com alto valor para o cliente.

Precisa de um nicho para segmentar? Aqui estão 52 nichos de SEO lucrativos continuar.

Por exemplo, um único cliente para um advogado de danos pessoais pode valer centenas de milhares de dólares. Isso significa que você pode cobrar um prêmio por SEO, porque o retorno do investimento do advogado em lesões corporais é enorme.

Por outro lado, empresas com baixo valor para o cliente não podem obter retorno do investimento com serviços de SEO sem poder compensar o baixo valor para o cliente gerado pelo volume de vendas.

Por exemplo, uma empresa de suplementos com a qual trabalhei tinha baixo valor para o cliente, mas o volume de vendas era suficiente para justificar seu investimento em serviços premium de SEO.

O principal benefício aqui é direcionar os setores que podem realmente obter um retorno do investimento usando seus serviços de SEO.

Aqui está uma lista determinados setores com alto valor para o cliente.

Agora, vamos falar sobre a segunda maneira de se posicionar: segmente locais específicos.

2. Nicho por localização

Em vez de escolher um nicho, você escolherá os locais.

Quando comecei, escolhi cidades menores que estavam entre as mais ricas. Por exemplo, em vez de mirar em Los Angeles, lidei com Santa Monica, Glendale e Beverly Hills.

Santa Monica SEO

Essas cidades têm muito dinheiro, mas a concorrência é mais fraca que Los Angeles.

Uma maneira de determinar a riqueza de uma cidade é determinar o salário da polícia e dos bombeiros.

Por exemplo, de acordo com o fato, policiais em Beverly Hills ganham uma média de US $ 80.000 por ano.

Salário da polícia de Beverly Hills

Está 37% acima da média nacional.

As compensações para policiais e bombeiros são geralmente registradas no registro público. Você pode encontrar essas informações fazendo algumas pesquisas rápidas no Google.

Dito isto, se você é novo, inicialmente deve segmentar cidades menos caras e de alto valor.

Então, quando você começar a criar uma autoridade de portfólio e site, poderá se aventurar em cidades mais competitivas.

A terceira maneira de se posicionar é tanto no nível da indústria quanto no local.

3. Nicho por setor e localização

Por exemplo, você pode direcionar advogados em Beverly Hills. Ou até mesmo obter advogados mais específicos e direcionados apenas em Beverly Hills.

Agora, é claro, seu pool de possíveis clientes será muito menor com essa abordagem, mas poderá ser eficaz quando você estiver iniciando.

Em geral, o foco é sempre o melhor caminho.

A última maneira de nicho é o nível de serviço.

4. Nicho de Nível de Serviço

Em vez de oferecer como solução principal uma solução completa de SEO, você pode dividir seu serviço em microsserviços.

Por exemplo, você pode se especializar em SEO técnico, criação de conteúdo de SEO, construção de links ou SEO local.

O interessante dessa abordagem é que os microsserviços podem ser usados ​​como uma tática "walk-to-door" para obter contratos maiores de SEO com serviço completo.

Como você descobrirá em breve, esse é um dos meus métodos favoritos para atrair clientes.

Você também pode se tornar conhecido como "cara construindo links" ou qualquer que seja a identidade de sua escolha.

Muitas agências de SEO conseguiram usar essa abordagem.

Um bom estudo é o poder da página um.

One Power Page

Eles são especializados na criação de links e são muito bem-sucedidos porque seus materiais de marketing e processos de vendas são simplificados para a celebração de contratos de construção de links.

Lembre-se:

O foco é bom.

Portanto, existem quatro maneiras de se posicionar:

  1. Por setor. Escolha um setor com altos valores de clientes
  2. Por localização. Concentre-se nas pequenas cidades mais ricas
  3. Por setor e local
  4. Nicho no nível de serviço, desassociando microsserviços do seu serviço principal.

Chegou a hora de mostrar como criar um portfólio de resultados reais de SEO, mesmo que você não seja um especialista em SEO.

Obter resultados

Obter resultados

Aqui está algo que a maioria dos gurus não lhe dirá:

Você precisa obter resultados reais de SEO antes de receber clientes.

Aqui estão três razões pelas quais você precisa provar que pode fazer SEO antes de receber clientes.

3 razões pelas quais você precisa de resultados antes de levar clientes

1. A primeira razão é ética

As empresas que investem com você sentem que sabem o que estão fazendo.

Isso não significa que você precisa ser um especialista reconhecido no setor para enfrentar os clientes. Você só precisa de alguns resultados para provar sua habilidade.

E se você ainda não tiver resultados? Não se preocupe, vou explicar como criar seu portfólio o mais rápido possível.

Dito isto:

É extremamente antiético fornecer serviços de SEO se você nunca classificou ou obteve resultados.

Pense desta maneira:

Deseja contratar conscientemente um suposto encanador para consertar seus tubos, se eles nunca repararam tubos antes? É improvável e muito arriscado para você.

Quando você contrata um encanador, assume que ele (A) sabe mais sobre o encanamento do que você e (b) que ele realmente praticou o encanamento e tem experiência.

Agora, imagine que você contratou um suposto encanador sem experiência ou conhecimento e que ele destruiu seu cachimbo ou inundou sua casa?

Você ficaria furioso se descobrisse que essa pessoa mentiu para você e fez você acreditar que ela era competente.

Isso me leva à segunda razão pela qual você precisa de resultados antes de contratar clientes:

2. Proteja sua reputação

Se uma empresa paga para você fazer SEO, mas descobre que você não tem experiência e nunca obteve resultados, sua reputação estará em risco.

Obviamente, é possível que você encontre o resultado e obtenha os resultados do cliente, mas isso representa um alto risco para você e para eles. Se você não obtiver os resultados esperados, eles podem prejudicar sua reputação.

É por isso que você precisa aprender a obter resultados de SEO.

A melhor maneira de pensar sobre isso é a citação de Warren Buffet:

citações do buffet de warren

O buffer implica que sua reputação significa tudo e que você deve pensar nas ações que deve ou não fazer para protegê-la.

A terceira razão pela qual você precisa de resultados antes de tentar obter clientes é:

3. Isso facilita seu processo de vendas 10x

Não há melhor maneira de persuadir do que demonstrar que você realmente sabe o que está fazendo.

Construir um portfólio profundo de resultados de SEO deve ser uma prioridade se você planeja trabalhar com clientes a longo prazo.

Agora, deixe-me mostrar alguns métodos que você pode usar para criar rapidamente seu portfólio de SEO.

Como criar seu portfólio de SEO (rápido)

O método mais odiado é:

Trabalhe de graça

Eu sei que você provavelmente revirou os olhos com essa ideia, mas me escute por um momento.

Primeiro, é fácil fechar alguém se você simplesmente disser: "Ajudarei a classificar algumas palavras-chave menos competitivas de graça, porque estou tentando criar meu portfólio de SEO".

Depois de obter resultados para esses clientes, você poderá convertê-los em clientes reais.

A chave é escolher um pequeno número de palavras-chave não competitivas.

Seu objetivo neste processo é obter resultados rapidamente (para que você possa adicioná-los à sua carteira) e mostrar ao cliente que você sabe o que está fazendo.

Se o cliente tiver um site decente, você poderá classificar rapidamente palavras-chave de baixa concorrência e palavras-chave de microempresas.

Depois de obter alguns resultados, recomendo que você peça referências. Você pode dizer algo como, eu vou ajudá-lo a classificar gratuitamente por x, y, z se você me enviar referências.

Esta é a maneira mais rápida de ganhar bola de neve com sua carteira e sua renda mensal.

O segundo método, que leva muito mais tempo, consiste em:

Criando um site de nicho e classificação para palavras-chave não competitivas

Isso é semelhante ao exemplo acima (e essa é a abordagem que eu pessoalmente usei).

Tecnicamente, você sempre trabalha de graça, mas tem controle total e será o único a se beneficiar do sucesso do seu site de nicho.

Não esqueça que cada palavra-chave para a qual você classifica é um sucesso que você pode adicionar ao seu portfólio.

O objetivo é demonstrar que você é mais proficiente em SEO do que as empresas que oferece. É isso.

Se você fizer isso, conseguirá clientes.

O terceiro método consiste em:

Criando um site local e classificação para palavras-chave de baixa concorrência

Em particular, as palavras-chave para as quais seu mercado-alvo deseja classificar.

Por exemplo, se você estiver segmentando empresas de HVAC, poderá classificar uma frase-chave de longo prazo como "a melhor empresa de HVAC da Califórnia em Beverly Hills".

É um método poderoso, porque você realmente demonstra em seu mercado-alvo.

Essas são as melhores maneiras de criar rapidamente seu portfólio. Concentre-se em demonstrar habilidades de SEO, obtendo resultados tangíveis.

Agora, deixe-me mostrar meu sistema de saída para obter novos clientes. Esses métodos são poderosos para quem tenta alcançar seu primeiro cliente rapidamente.

Use o sistema de saída

Use o sistema de saída

A primeira pergunta é: o que é marketing de saída?

O marketing de saída costuma ser chamado de push marketing, mas isso significa que você é o único a atrair novos clientes. É você quem entra em contato com clientes em potencial qualificados e tenta convencê-los a se tornar um cliente.

Isso é diferente do sistema de entrada (ou às vezes chamado de marketing puxado), que envolve atrair leads para seus negócios com a ajuda do marketing de entrada.

Em termos simples:

Saída significa que você está procurando clientes e entrar significa que está vindo em sua direção.

Agora, antes que eu possa mostrar os métodos de saída, tenho que mostrar:

Como encontrar as coordenadas do cliente em potencial

Como você enviará e-mails, isso é essencial.

Hunter.io é minha ferramenta pessoal favorita.

Basta entrar no domínio da empresa-alvo e deixar Hunter.io jogar sua mágica.

chasseur.io

Às vezes, isso não funciona e é por isso que você precisará do Voila Norbert como uma opção de backup.

Abra o Voila Norbert e digite o nome, o sobrenome e o domínio do cliente em potencial que deseja alcançar.

Voila Norbert

Se essas duas ferramentas não funcionarem, recomendo usar o LinkedIn para encontrar o ponto de contato que você está tentando alcançar.

Essas três táticas devem ajudá-lo a encontrar informações de contato para a maioria das empresas.

Agora, deixe-me mostrar o processo.

Estratégia 1: identificar um ponto de alavancagem

Aqui estão alguns pontos de alavancagem possíveis que você pode usar:

  • A empresa está na página 5 do Google ou pior, para as palavras-chave mais importantes.
  • A empresa paga pelos anúncios do Google, mas não tem visibilidade nas pesquisas orgânicas.
  • A empresa não possui um certificado SSL instalado
  • O site da empresa não é compatível com dispositivos móveis
  • O site da empresa está carregando lentamente
  • O Google Analytics ou um pixel do Facebook não está instalado no site da empresa.
  • A empresa não reivindicou ou configurou corretamente sua listagem do Google Meu Negócio.
  • A empresa possui informações do NSP-W (nome, endereço, telefone ou site) inconsistentes.

Agora, o que você fará é:

Reúna uma grande lista de perspectivas

Em seguida, revise cada um desses elementos. Em seguida, indique se o site ou empresa exibe um desses pontos de alavancagem.

Então você irá:

Desenvolva um terreno personalizado

… com base no problema que eles têm.

Por exemplo, suponha que a empresa classifique pelo menos na página 5 as palavras-chave de destino.

O que você faria é uma auditoria de vídeo gratuita para ajudá-los a identificar o que está prejudicando o desempenho de SEO. Depois, quando estiverem de acordo, você realiza a auditoria.

Serviço completo de upsell

Depois de realizar a auditoria de SEO, basta perguntar se eles desejam que você gerencie a campanha de SEO para eles.

Sua abordagem ao campo dependerá do seu nível de experiência.

Se você está tentando criar um portfólio, faz sentido trabalhar de graça ou por um valor modesto, como descrevi na seção anterior.

Você também pode iniciar um micro-serviço ANTES de tentar obter o grande contrato completo de SEO natural.

Isso transformará seu cliente em potencial em um cliente pagador, sem ter que se comprometer muito desde o início.

Encontrar alavancagem é a chave.

Isso o diferencia de 80% dos SEOs, porque você dedica um tempo para analisar essas atividades e desenvolver um argumento inteligente e focado.

Aqui está um modelo de planilha do Google você pode copiar para prospecção, identificar pontos de alavancagem e acompanhar seu alcance.

Agora vamos falar sobre a segunda melhor maneira de atrair novos clientes e essa parceria com outras agências de marketing digital.

Estratégia 2: Parceria com agências

Em resumo, você fará SEO para os clientes da agência em etiqueta branca.

Isso significa que você fará o trabalho e obterá os resultados, mas eles creditarão os resultados e se comunicarão diretamente com o cliente.

Você simplesmente trabalha no back-end.

Este é um ótimo arranjo inicial porque:

  1. Você não precisa se concentrar nas vendas (exceto a venda inicial com a agência) e …
  2. Você não precisa ligar para o atendimento direto ao cliente, você somente se comunicará com a agência.

A desvantagem é que a taxa mensal será menor por cliente, pois a agência deve obter lucro.

A boa notícia é que isso geralmente é compensado pelo número de clientes que uma agência de SEO enviará a você.

Eu usei esse método exato quando comecei.

Na realidade:

No começo, eu tinha acordos de marca branca com várias agências e era uma ótima fonte de receita. Isso também levou a todos os tipos de outras oportunidades na estrada.

Eu recomendo combinar marcas brancas e comunicação direta com os clientes para maximizar o crescimento da receita.

A questão é:

Como você realmente consegue acordos de marca branca?

Empresas direcionadas que oferecem serviços de SEO

Primeiro de tudo, você precisa saber quais tipos de negócios segmentar. Eu recomendo fazer uma lista de todas as empresas de marketing digital, marketing na internet, SEO, PPC, design gráfico e web design.

Ou qualquer tipo de empresa que possa fornecer serviços de SEO.

Segundo, você precisa entender por que uma agência terceirizaria seu SEO.

Entenda por que eles estão dispostos a associar

A principal razão pela qual eles estão abertos à terceirização é que economizam tempo e não os forçam a contratar e treinar funcionários. Se uma agência tiver mais tempo, poderá se concentrar mais no recrutamento de novos clientes.

A parte mais importante para eles, no entanto, é trabalhar com um SEO competente que possa realmente obter os resultados de seus clientes.

A última peça do quebra-cabeça vai depender do seu nível de experiência.

Crie sua proposta de venda exclusiva

Se você é novo, recomendo que informe à agência que você estará trabalhando em uma de suas campanhas de clientes gratuitamente para provar seu valor.

Você deve enfatizar que eles não têm nada a perder contratando você.

Acredite em mim:

O valor a longo prazo dessa abordagem vale a pena trabalhar de graça por um tempo.

Se você fizer um trabalho sólido, apenas uma agência poderá enviar a você clientes suficientes para substituir sua renda diária de trabalho.

Pelo menos foi o que aconteceu comigo.

Existem alguns outros lugares onde você deve assistir e tentar pontuar clientes.

A primeira é a seção Concertos Craigslist. Consegui vários clientes via Craigslist quando comecei.

Craigslist Gigs

Você pode usar os mesmos métodos operacionais que eu forneci para avaliar os clientes aqui.

Também recomendo configurar um perfil no WeGrowth, UpWork, Freelancer e até mesmo Guru. Fique de olho nesses sites para novas oportunidades e aplique-o ao maior número possível de pessoas.

Upwork SEO Jobs

Você não tem nada a perder aplicando e aprendendo o que funciona durante esse processo de inscrição.

Eu vou lhe dizer isso:

Contratei muitos freelancers no UpWork e quase sempre contrato a pessoa que tem mais atenção aos detalhes.

Por exemplo, na minha oferta de emprego, injetarei algo como "escreva a palavra banana" em sua proposta.

Publicar trabalhos futuros

As pessoas que não o fazem são desqualificadas automaticamente pelos seguintes motivos:

  • Isso mostra que eles não tiveram tempo para realmente ler a oferta de emprego (o que implica preguiça ou eles não têm tempo suficiente para servir adequadamente meus negócios)
  • Isso implica que eles não podem seguir as instruções ou têm pouca atenção aos detalhes.

Essas são más qualidades e é por isso que elimino essas possibilidades no começo.

A principal conclusão é que fazer um pouco mais de esforço do que o freelancer médio produzirá resultados muito melhores. A maioria das pessoas nesses sites independentes é orientada pela quantidade.

Eu recomendo focar na qualidade.

Pense desta maneira:

Se você enviou uma única proposta de referência detalhada e ponderada por dia durante três meses, enviou 90 propostas de qualidade.

Se você convertesse apenas 3% dessas propostas em novos clientes, teria três novos clientes, o que é muito cauteloso em relação ao rendimento e à taxa de conversão.

Acredite ou não:

Às vezes, aumentar sua clientela nada mais é do que implementar um trabalho coerente e de qualidade ao longo do tempo.

A melhor maneira de ilustrar isso é ler rapidamente um artigo do livro de James Clear.

Em 1993, Trent Dyrsmid, 23, foi contratado por um banco em Abbotsford, Canadá.

No momento da contratação, as pessoas não esperavam muito dele, mas começaram a perceber o quão rápido ele estava progredindo. Drysmid usava um método simples todas as manhãs para se destacar em seu novo trabalho.

Ele simplesmente colocou dois potes em sua mesa. Um estava cheio de 120 clipes de papel e o outro estava vazio.

Depois de cada ligação de vendas, Drysmid pega um clipe de papel e o move para o pote vazio. Ele não para até que todos os clipes de papel tenham sido movidos.

Isso significava que ele havia passado 120 ligações durante o dia.

E, usando esse método simples e consistente, Dyrsmid ganhava US $ 75.000 por ano (equivalente a US $ 125.000 hoje) em apenas 18 meses e, em seguida, conseguiu outro grande trabalho logo depois.

A principal conclusão aqui é que a consistência compensa.

A maioria das pessoas não é consistente e não fará esse tipo de trabalho. É a sua vantagem.

Faça o trabalho e seja consistente.

Essas duas qualidades são a chave para produzir resultados usando o sistema Outbound para atrair novos clientes de SEO.

Agora é a hora de aprender o meu sistema de entrada comprovado, que faz com que clientes em potencial e clientes de SEO cheguem até você. Ao empilhar isso com o sistema de saída, você nunca precisará se preocupar em obter novos clientes de SEO.

Empilhar o sistema recebido

Empilhar o sistema recebido

Apenas para ver novamente:

O marketing de saída é sobre encontrar e alcançar clientes em potencial.

O marketing de entrada ocorre quando clientes em potencial pesquisam e abordam você.

Você deve empilhar os dois métodos para obter os melhores resultados.

Isso ocorre porque a saída é eficaz para obter clientes rapidamente, enquanto os métodos de entrada levam mais tempo para causar impacto (e exigem muito mais trabalho).

Aqui estão as boas notícias:

Quando seu marketing de entrada ficar mais forte, você terá novos clientes em potencial e clientes 24 horas por dia, 7 dias por semana, 365 em um piloto automático.

E, eventualmente, você pode optar por interromper completamente o marketing de saída se gerar leads suficientes a partir do tráfego recebido.

Por exemplo, eu usei apenas métodos de saída durante os primeiros três a três meses da inicialização da minha agência. Desde então, minha empresa obtém 100% de seus leads por meio do marketing de entrada.

Acredite em mim:

É muito mais fácil desenvolver um negócio dessa maneira.

Antes de começar as táticas, preciso explicar como o processo de vendas para transferências de entrada e saída é diferente.

A grande diferença entre os dois reside no fato de que, com a entrada de entrada, você responde às perspectivas por meio de um formulário de contato ou de uma ligação telefônica direta.

Eu recomendo os dois tipos de opções de conversão quando você se concentrar em SEO, mas discutirei isso mais na parte de vendas deste curso.

Vou mostrar três tipos de métodos de entrada:

  1. Geração de referências
  2. Marketing de Conteúdo
  3. Publicidade paga

Para entender completamente o marketing recebido, é essencial entender como funciona um funil de marketing de conteúdo e como ele funciona.

O que é um funil de marketing de conteúdo?

Um funil de marketing de conteúdo é dividido em três seções: a parte superior, a parte central e a parte inferior do funil.

Funil de marketing de conteúdo

Estes são freqüentemente chamados de ToFu, MoFu e BoFu. Em resumo, você deve produzir conteúdo em cada estágio do funil.

Meu processo para fazer isso é o seguinte (e isso se aplica a produtos e serviços):

  1. Crio o conteúdo do ToFu, que geralmente é uma postagem de blog detalhada que visa uma palavra-chave relevante.
  2. Crio um imã gratuito para converter tráfego em assinantes de email. Dependendo da oferta, também pode ser um incentivo para o tráfego enviar uma solicitação ou enviar um formulário de contato. O objetivo no estágio MoFu do funil é transformar seu tráfego em trilhas.
  3. Puis, dans la dernière étape de l’entonnoir, je produirai du contenu BoFu qui vise à persuader le prospect de devenir un client.

Cela peut prendre la forme de témoignages, d'histoires, de résultats, etc.

Pour vous montrer cela dans la pratique, laissez-moi vous expliquer l’un de mes processus de vente pour Gotch SEO Academy.

N'oubliez pas que cela varie d'un service à l'autre, mais le concept général sera éclairé.

Voici comment mon processus de marketing de contenu et de vente prend en compte 30 000 pieds.

Exemple d'entonnoir de marketing de contenu

  • Au sommet, vous avez du trafic. Cela peut provenir de la recherche organique, de la publicité payée ou d'autres sources de parrainage.
  • Au sommet de l'entonnoir, j'ai un contenu de blog.
  • Ensuite, dans le contenu de ce blog, je fais la promotion d’un aimant principal gratuit sur lequel mon cours de référencement 101. Ceci est mon contenu MoFu.
  • Puis, après avoir suivi le cours, je leur offre un essai gratuit d'une durée limitée de Gotch SEO Academy. Cet essai gratuit est mon contenu BoFu.

J'empile également des témoignages, des questions fréquemment posées et d'autres types de contenu BoFu.

L'objectif à ce stade est de transformer les pistes en clients, de sorte que tout votre contenu doit être structuré pour atteindre cet objectif.

Remarquez comment le contenu change au fur et à mesure que vous avancez dans l'entonnoir.

  • D'abord, vous éduquez.
  • Deuxièmement, vous ajoutez plus de valeur, mais vous leur demandez de prendre un petit engagement.
  • Et enfin, vous vendez.

Croyez-le ou non, la partie trafic de cette équation est la moins importante.

Vous pouvez obtenir d’énormes quantités de trafic, mais si votre entonnoir est mal structuré, ce trafic ne sera pas converti en clients.

Et au bout du compte, c’est tout ce qui compte.

C’est pourquoi investir du temps dans le développement d’un entonnoir de marketing de contenu et d’un processus de vente efficaces en vaut la peine.

Alors, laissez-moi maintenant vous montrer comment vous pouvez développer et exécuter un processus de vente et d'entonnoir de marketing de contenu efficace afin que vous puissiez obtenir plus de clients SEO.

La première méthode est ce que j'appelle la méthode de l'étude de cas.

La méthode d'étude de cas

Voilà comment cela fonctionne:

Vous allez créer une étude de cas sur les résultats obtenus avec le référencement. De préférence, celui qui correspond à votre marché cible.

Ensuite, vous allez ajouter une incitation à l’action dans cette étude de cas pour permettre au lecteur de demander un audit de référencement gratuit.

Ensuite, tout ce que vous devez faire est de générer du trafic vers votre étude de cas sur le référencement.

Dans la plupart des cas, vous devrez utiliser du trafic payant.

La méthode n ° 2 est ma préférée, mais c’est aussi la plus difficile.

Classement des pages géo-ciblées

C’est le processus de sélection des emplacements, puis de création de pages de destination géo-ciblées que vous classerez dans Google.

Par exemple, si vous recherchez «St Louis SEO», vous trouverez Gotch SEO.

St Louis SEO

Cette page unique a été l’une de mes plus grandes sources de génération de leads lorsque j’étais encore en train de traiter des clients.

Si vous êtes nouveau, je vous recommande de cibler les plus petites villes, comme indiqué dans la section relative à la réduction du nombre de personnes.

Sélectionnez des villes de grande valeur, puis travaillez pour classer ces pages.

Croyez-moi, cela en vaut la peine. Cela prend juste du temps et de la patience.

Ensuite, sur ces pages, vous pouvez utiliser un formulaire de candidature traditionnel ou effectuer un audit gratuit.

Si vous ne possédez pas de clientèle existante ou si vous n’avez pas beaucoup d’autorité dans l’industrie du référencement, je vous recommande d’utiliser un audit de référencement gratuit pour vous mettre la main à la porte.

Ces deux premières méthodes peuvent également fonctionner ensemble. Par exemple, vous pouvez promouvoir vos études de cas sur vos pages géo-ciblées.

La méthode suivante consiste à cibler les mots-clés d’information dans le secteur du référencement.

Mots-clés d'information ciblés

Maintenant, je vais être honnête, c’est un défi en raison de la concurrence.

Mais c’est extrêmement utile une fois que vous êtes classé car il n’ya pas de meilleure forme de démonstration des compétences.

Vous construisez des preuves sociales et faites confiance à l’avenir et inconsciemment avant même de parler à un responsable.

Pensez-y… s’ils cherchent Google, consultent votre page et soumettent un formulaire, que vient-il de se passer?

Vous venez de démontrer que le référencement fonctionne sans parler ni avoir à les convaincre du tout.

C’est pourquoi je ris toujours lorsque certains gourous (qui ne sont classés dans aucun mot clé) prétendent que le classement de mots clés liés au référencement est une perte de temps.

99,9% de mes prospects sont directement attribués à des mots-clés de référencement pour lesquels Gotch SEO se classe.

Ne les laissez pas vous tromper.

Si vous adoptez cette approche, commencez par cibler des mots clés plus longs.

Par exemple, essayer de classer des «backlinks» ou d'autres mots clés complexes en tête de corps nécessitera beaucoup de liens, de contenu et de patience.

Je recommande d'attendre que votre site Web fasse plus autorité pour cibler ces types de mots-clés.

En attendant, recherchez les mots clés à longue queue et dominez-les. Vous n’avez pas besoin d’une tonne de trafic pour obtenir des pistes qualifiées.

Créer des audits de référencement public

La méthode entrante finale qui est incroyablement efficace consiste à effectuer des audits de référencement public, puis à les publier sur YouTube.

Je recommande de regarder la chaîne YouTube de Chase Reiner car il a fait un excellent travail en utilisant cette stratégie.

Chase Reiner YouTube

Les audits sont un excellent moyen de démontrer votre expertise et ils ne vous coûtent presque rien à produire et à publier. Juste ton temps.

YouTube en général, en tant que chaîne, est, à mon avis, une source inexploitée pour générer des leads de référencement.

Il n’ya que quelques SEO qui poussent très fort sur YouTube, il ya donc beaucoup de possibilités là-bas.

Vous pouvez produire des études de cas ou même du contenu vidéo informatif général.

L’objectif ultime de votre contenu YouTube devrait être d’éduquer, d’informer et de vous établir en tant qu’autorité.

En réalité:

Le but ultime du marketing entrant est d’éduquer et de renforcer la confiance de votre marque.

La confiance est la clé des ventes.

Chaque canal devrait être considéré comme une opportunité d’ajouter de la valeur et de renforcer l’autorité de votre marque dans le secteur.

En plus de votre site Web et de YouTube, vous devez également ajouter de la valeur à Quora, aux forums, aux sections de commentaires de blogues sur les blogs du secteur et même aux groupes Facebook.

Quora Answer

Les gens ont construit des carrières entières en ajoutant simplement de la valeur aux groupes Facebook et aux forums.

Si contribuer aux communautés ne génère pas toujours de trafic direct sur votre site Web, c’est un moyen de renforcer votre marque.

En conséquence, les gens commencent à reconnaître la valeur que vous apportez, ils vont commencer à rechercher votre nom et votre marque sur Google.

CTR de recherche de marque

C’est un avantage du point de vue du référencement, mais aussi du point de vue des affaires. Cela n’est possible qu’en ajoutant des quantités énormes de valeur sur plusieurs canaux.

Maintenant, gardez à l'esprit:

Vous n'êtes pas obligé de faire cela pour toujours. Mais au début, vous devriez tester tous les canaux et les valoriser de manière constante.

Donc, ce sont les meilleures méthodes de marketing entrant à mon avis et je les ai personnellement utilisées.

Il existe d’autres tactiques telles que les webinaires, mais ce n’est pas quelque chose que j’ai personnellement utilisé pour obtenir des clients en référencement, je ne vais donc pas en parler.

Cela dit, examinons le système entrant:

Étape n ° 1 – Créer le haut du contenu de l'entonnoir

Il peut s’agir de contenu informatif, d’études de cas, de vidéos YouTube ou même de contributions à des communautés.

Étape 2 – Création du milieu du contenu de l'entonnoir

Il peut s’agir d’un audit de référencement gratuit qui demande à un utilisateur de soumettre une application ou d’un téléchargement gratuit qui demande à un utilisateur de soumettre son adresse électronique.

Quoi qu'il en soit, l'objectif à ce stade est d'amener un pourcentage d'utilisateurs à franchir une étape supplémentaire dans la poursuite de la relation avec votre marque.

Étape 3 – Créer le fond du contenu de l'entonnoir

… Conçu pour persuader vos prospects de devenir des clients SEO.

Cela se présentera sous la forme de témoignages, de classements de mots-clés, de captures d'écran de la croissance du trafic, d'études de cas, de questions fréquemment posées ou même d'une liste de vos clients satisfaits qu'ils peuvent appeler.

Et la dernière étape consiste à créer une proposition de référencement et à en assurer le suivi.

Laissez-moi maintenant vous montrer comment convertir vos prospects en clients SEO payants en utilisant mon processus de vente simple, étape par étape. La meilleure partie est que vous fermez les prospects sans être trop commerciaux ni trop abusifs lorsque vous utilisez le système que je vais vous montrer.

Ventes 101

Ventes 101

De nombreuses techniques de marketing entrant vous obligent à capturer des prospects par courrier électronique ou via un formulaire de demande.

Je recommande d'installer les deux. Commençons par le courrier électronique. Je recommande trois fournisseurs de messagerie:

Mailchimp

Mailchimp est parfait pour un petit budget, car vous pouvez obtenir gratuitement un bon nombre d'abonnés. I started out with Mailchimp, but then outgrew it and needed some more advanced.

Leading me to number two, which is Drip.

Goutte

Drip is more focused on email automation.

I don’t recommend jumping into email automation when you’re new because it will likely be a distraction and there’s a big learning curve.

But once you’ve mastered many of the other skill sets, it will be worth looking into.

One other respected email provider is Aweber.

Aweber

It doesn’t have a big learning curve and is quite similar to Mailchimp.

After you’ve selected a way to capture email addresses, then you need a way for leads to apply or contact you. You can use Contact Form 7 to embed forms directly on your website, but I also love using TypeForm.

It’s free and it has some really amazing functionality. You can also use Gravity Forms, which is a more advanced version of Contact Form 7, but it’s paid.

What do you do after you’ve collected a lead?

Well, your initial outreach will depend on what they are requesting by filling out a form.

For example, if they fill out your SEO audit application, your outreach will vary compared to if they submitted your full-service SEO application. This part is common sense, so I won’t bore.

If they applied for an SEO audit, then reach out, thank them for their application, and let them know when their free SEO audit will be completed.

Believe it or not:

I recommend the same process even if they’re a full-service SEO lead. Once again thank them for applying and then ask if you can perform a free SEO audit.

What do you do after you’ve completed the audit?

This is the most important stage of the process, so listen carefully. You need to turn this lead into a paying customer.

That means you’ll send them a simple email about the completed audit and you’ll say something like:

“Hey NAME, I’ve complete your SEO audit and {attached | here’s the link}. The biggest actions you need to take to improve your SEO performance are:
1. HIGH IMPACT ACTION
2. HIGH IMPACT ACTION
3. HIGH IMPACT ACTION

These actions will have the biggest impact on performance, but there are many other actions/issues you’ll need to tackle (as you’ll discover in the audit).

Do you have a few minutes to discuss the audit this week?”

Or:

“Hey NAME, I’ve completed your SEO audit. Do you have a few minutes today or tomorrow to go over our findings?”

This method is a sneakier one because you’ll send the audit right before the meeting. So in a way, you force them to get on the phone with you.

The previous template is a value-first template, but it won’t drive as many phone calls as the second one.

You can vary these templates if you don’t want to talk over the phone.

I highly recommend you get on the phone because your close rate will be substantially higher.

Let’s assume you get them on the phone to discuss the SEO audit findings.

You don’t need to do anything complicated here.

Just talk about what you found and what they would need to do to make the changes you’re suggesting.

The only method I recommend here is to discuss how much work goes into the actions.

Remember, companies hire SEO experts because

  • It’s too technical for them to execute and…
  • they don’t have an enough time to execute

These two factors should naturally be demonstrated through your discussion.

Then, towards the end, just ask the lead if they would be interested in letting your company do the SEO for them (so they don’t have to waste time or effort to figure it out themselves).

If they “yes”, then tell them that you’ll develop proposal and get it over to them by the end of the week. And that’s it.

Now if they say “no”, then you should counter with a downsell.

Say:

“Ok, no worries. I know it’s a big commitment. Would you be interested in us fix your technical issues? This won’t require a monthly commitment or anything. It’ll just be a one-off project and we’ll make your website technically sound.”

If they say “yes”, then you’ll send them a mini proposal.

Remember:

The goal is to get them to pay your company money.

That’s when the relationship changes.

It may seem like they’ll never become a full-service client, but once there’s an exchange of value, everything changes.

Now let’s talk about proposals.

First, let’s talk what tools or software you can use to deliver proposals.

There are few different ways to create and send proposals.

My personal favorites are:

  • Google Docs
  • PDFs
  • Pitch Decks using Google Slides or Powerpoint
  • Proposal software such as Proposify, PandaDoc, and Nusii

I recommending testing each to see what works best for you.

But listen:

The vehicle for your proposal is by far the least important part of the process.

What matter most is the substance of the proposal.

19 Qualities of Effective SEO Proposals

Here are 19 elements you need to produce successful SEO proposals

1. They’re Personalized

There are some pieces of the your SEO proposal that can use templates, but the key to a truly successful proposal is to personalize it for the prospect’s situation.

The best way to accomplish this goal is by performing an SEO audit upfront before you send your proposal.

That way you can add your findings from the SEO audit in the proposal and create a personalized roadmap based on their situation.

2. Successful Proposals are Efficient

No one wants to or is going to read a 100 page proposal. The best way to think about this to use a quote from someone way smarter than me, Albert Einstein.

Einstein said that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” That means your proposal should be efficient and gets to the point, but don’t go overboard and make it thin.

3. Use Opening Testimonials or Data

Think of this section as a quick hook to get the prospect to read your entire proposal.

Testimonials from successful clients, data proving your value, or data proving the value of the industry/service will work here.

4. Write Your Opening Statement

Your opening statement is nothing more than a big thank you and way to express gratitude to the prospect for them giving you the opportunity to work together.

It doesn’t need to be more than a sentence or two.

5. Outline a Scope of Work (Overview)

The scope of work section defines what you’re offering the prospect. Think of it as an overview of the service offering.

For example, you may something like: “Gotch SEO will conduct an extensive SEO campaign to increase traffic and customer volume through organic search.”

6. Define the Objectives

Outline the goals of the SEO campaign here. Be as specific as possible.

Some common SEO campaign objectives are: increase organic search traffic, increase the total keyword ranking positions, and drive more customers through organic search.

7. List the Deliverables

“Deliverable” is business lingo for what things are actually going to be done/accomplished during this service.

A simple deliverable is: “We build a keyword database of at least 1,000 potential keyword targets.” Be specific in this section.

Also, it’s a good idea to mention what deliverables will be dependent on the client. For example, if the client needs to approve content you’re creating, then make sure that’s listed.

8. Emphasize the Benefits

You should be emphasizing the benefits of your SEO service throughout your proposal, but it’s also a good idea to dedicate a section to it.

The one question you need to ask yourself is: How is my service going to make their business and lives better?

Some of the biggest benefits of hiring an SEO company are time savings, expertise, and most importantly, revenue growth.

9. Establish Realistic Expectations

Most SEO proposals skip this part because it’s not a “cool” topic. What you want to do in this section is be incredibly honest about what they can expect from an SEO campaign.

This section alone will eliminate a lot of headache down the road.

For example, you should outline how long it takes for an SEO campaign to pick up steam. In other words, how long it takes to see results.

I typically say 6-12 months.

Although this may seem like a “bad idea” on the surface, it’s actually genius because you’re eliminating prospects that don’t understand how much work goes into an SEO campaign and how long it actually takes to see results.

On the other hand, you’ll close the clients that understand that SEO is a slow burning customer acquisition strategy.

You’ll also get validation that your client understands the importance of patience. Croyez-moi. You do not want clients breathing down your neck about results within the first couple months.

This section eliminates most of these issues upfront.

10. Outline the Timeline

This section is simply setting deadlines for when the deliverables will be completed. I recommend outlining the timeline by months.

For example, in month #1, you could say that you’ll finish the keyword database, you’ll finish the competitor analysis, and you’ll complete a deep SEO audit.

This will depend on your offering, but the key takeaway is that you’re giving them an idea of what to expect every month of the engagement.

It also holds you and your company accountable for delivering on what you promised.

Sometimes it’s good to have this type of motivation to avoid any possibility of slacking.

11. Establish the Project Lead

This is a very short section, but just write out who is going to be managing their SEO campaign. Explain who this person is, their accomplishments, and ultimately why they’re qualified to run the SEO campaign.

12. Reveal the Investment

Notice that I didn’t say “pricing”. You have to angle your service as an investment, not a cost.

The good news is that this is true. Investing in SEO can produce a return on investment.

It’s not like buying a car. You’re investing in a marketing channel because it’s going to make your company more money in the future.

That said, this section will show how much they need to invest to work with you.

I recommend offering three different pricing options. This is also known as tiered pricing.

How you price your services is up to you, but I recommend having a super premium option because it will act as a price anchor for the other options.

For example, in my SEO proposals, I’ll have a $3,997/mo package on the low end and a $14,997/mo package on the high end.

You know that most people won’t choose the premium option, but anchoring is a powerful method. $4,000 on it’s own looks pretty huge, but it doesn’t look that big if I showed you $15,000 first.

That’s the power of price anchoring.

One other tactic I recommend in this section is to itemize the deliverables in each tiered pricing section.

That way you can negotiate by removing unnecessary deliverables.

13. Inject Social Proof

Dedicate this section to testimonials, results, and case studies proving that you’re capable of getting this prospect SEO results.

14. Use a Action-Based Guarantee

While you can’t guarantee SEO results, you can guarantee that the work will be completed. I highly recommend that you do this.

15. Thank You & Call-to-Action

This might seem obvious, but you need to instruct the prospect to act. First, thank them again for the opportunity and then ask to sign the proposal to get started.

16. Use Scarcity

I recommend adding an expiration date to the proposal along with a special offer.

So, example, your proposal may say: “This SEO proposal is valid until December 14, 2019.”

Then, I like to add a special offer like: “If you sign-up by Friday, we’ll give you 20% off your first three months of service.” The goal here is to get them to act.

Remember:

The fear of loss is stronger than the possibility of gain (loss aversion).

17. Add a Signature Section

In most cases, you’ll need to discuss the proposal before a client signs on. That’s okay, but there are some prospects are ready to go, so give them that opportunity.

18. Check Your Grammar and Spelling

Your goal is to be as professional as possible and that starts with your grammar and spelling. Use Grammarly and Hemingway Writer to optimize this.

Hemingway Writer

And last, but not least:

19. Optimize Your Design

You can use Canva templates to create well-designed PDFs or you can hire a designer on Fiverr or UpWork. Either way, it definitely helps to have a presentable, well-designed and professional proposal.

20. Add a Credit Card Form (Optional)

I’ll typically add a credit card form on the proposal to push the envelope, but it’s not necessary. I recommend testing it to see how well it converts.

Now there’s one other big question:

When should you send your proposal?

I recommend setting up a phone call or screenshare BEFORE you send the proposal.

Then on the day of the conversation, send the proposal right before. That way you can guide the client through the offering.

As opposed to sending it to them and them scrolling to the pricing section.

The way you win over clients is through perceived value.

Pricing means nothing.

Your goal is to amplify your perceived value and the best way to do this is through the strategy I just outlined.

That’s all you need to know about developing effective SEO proposals.

Now it’s time to learn how to retain 95% + of your clients. Most people think retention is about customer service, but they’re wrong. There’s something far more important.

Make Your Clients Love You

Make Your Clients Love You

No matter what anyone tells you, the key to making your clients happy is to get results.

There are some other factors that will determine their happiness level, but results are the lead domino.

Get them results and most clients will love you forever.

Keep in mind that there are some clients (probably less than 1%) who will never be satisfied. These clients are extremely rare, but you’ll know it when you encounter one.

That said, here’s how my client SEO process looks. You can replicate, modify, or add to this process.

I’ve tried to make this process as lean as possible so that A) you can get your clients results fast and B) you get turn a profit.

At a high level, the client SEO process is as follows:

1. Perform an SEO audit to find existing issues and research to analyze their competitors and find keywords and link opportunities.

2. Prioritize actions based on your findings and what will have the biggest impact on their performance. For example, making their site mobile friendly would be a level 1 action because it would have a big impact on their performance. Compare this to writing image ALT tag descriptions, which would be a level 3 action because it would have a low impact on their SEO performance.

3. You need to take action on your priority list.

4. Repeat critical actions such as creating new keyword-targeted content, optimizing pages, and acquiring backlinks every month.

This is the 30,000-foot view of an SEO campaign, but here’s what you might do month-to-month.

Let me show you how I would structure a 6-month campaign. Keep in mind that some of these actions will vary based on the client’s budget.

In month #1, you’re going to do the following:

  1. Perform an SEO Audit
  2. Conduct Keyword Research
  3. Analyze Competitors
  4. Find Link Prospects
  5. Fix All Technical/UX Issues

In months 2-3, you’ll:

  1. Optimize Existing Keyword Targeted Pages
  2. Create New Keyword-Targeted Pages
  3. Create Linkable Assets

Then in months 4-6, you’ll:

  1. Acquire Backlinks
  2. Create New Keyword-Targeted Pages (if the budget is available)

But now I need to cover something very important.

Should you do all the work or should you get help?

When you’re starting out, it may seem wise to try to do all the work yourself. But in reality, you should begin the process of getting help and building systems as soon as possible.

That’s because it’s only way you can scale your services and take on more clients.

Think about this way:

You can either spend more time working and retain more profit on a low scale.

Or you can have more time, but have less profit on a high scale.

Here’s how that looks from a numbers perspective:

Let’s say you have 10 SEO clients paying you $500 per month each and you’re doing all the work.

Technically, you’ll have a 100% profit margin in this scenario.

However, it’s not that simple when you consider your time investment. Let’s say your hourly rate is $50/hour.

That means you would spend 10 hours a month per client, which equates to 100 hours per month.

That means you’re working 100 hours to make $5,000/mo. This is a nice amount of money, but there’s a problem. You can only go so far until you’re maxed out. Let’s say you took on 10 more $500/mo clients.

That would put you at 200 hours per month or 50 hours a week.

It would be nearly impossible to bring on new projects at this stage.

Sure, you’re making $10,000/mo, but at what cost? This all assuming you’ll have incredible efficiency and you’ll work like a robot, which doesn’t happen.

In this scenario, you’re nothing more than a highly paid employee because you’re being paid based on the amount of hours you’re working.

This is okay in the short term, but in the long-run you want to flip this equation.

You DO NOT want to be paid based on the amount of hours you’re working.

Think about this for second:

Would you rather make $10,000 per month in pure profit and work 200 hours…

Or…

Would you rather make $5,000 per month in profit and work 50 hours?

I would take the latter any day of the week. But how is it possible?

It’s possible to stop being paid by the hour when you either outsource or hire employees.

As you probably know, I’ve done both and I prefer outsourcing.

Pretty much every single SEO task can be outsourced.

That means instead of spending your time servicing clients, you can spend your time selling new ones and keep your existing client base happy.

So, how do you do it?

It’s very simple.

Let’s say you have $1,000/mo client. Take 25-50% of your revenue, $250-$500 and invest into a service or individual freelancer. Then every time you take on a new client, you just repeat this process.

You’re still going to profit, but you’re going to be able to scale and have much more time.

Then, at a certain point, you’ll have so many clients that you’ll need to raise your prices.

But in the beginning, just take a small amount of your revenue and get help immediately.

This is exactly how I was able to get up to grow my monthly income so quickly with client work.

It wasn’t because I was a guru SEO. It was because I started looking for help right away. Don’t try to do everything yourself.

Take less profit and get help.

Ironically, doing so will actually produce more profit at scale.

For example, 100% profit at $10,000/mo is $10,000 profit.

But 50% profit at $50,000/mo is $25,000 profit. You see how that works?

Less margin at scale destroys high margin on a low scale. Not only that, you’ll be working less in the second scenario.

Review everything I just outlined because it will change your life and business.

The last big piece of client work that I need to cover is reporting and client support.

My recommendation is to:

  1. Send a monthly report outlining what deliverables were completed
  2. Send a performance report, which may come in the form of individual keyword ranking performance, total keyword positions according to Ahrefs, or Google Analytics organic search traffic growth.

Aside from your big monthly report, you should be updating your clients at least bi-weekly. Weekly is even better. Report positive changes in rankings and report big actions that were completed.

Clients want to stay in the loop and if they believe you’re working hard on the campaign, they won’t breath down your neck as aggressively. Lastly, don’t keep clients hanging.

If they send you an email, respond within 24 hours or less.

BONUS: 2 Powerful Client Acquisition Tactics

2 Powerful Client Acquisition Tactics

But wait, there’s more! Here are two my favorite (untapped) SEO client acquisition methods:

1. The FOMO Tactic

Let me start by defining what “FOMO” is… FOMO stands for fear of missing out. I won’t get too deep into the psychology of FOMO, but it’s a powerful principle that works almost all human beings.

The way you are going to leverage this principle is by finding influencers who don’t have a strong organic search presence. Then you will reach out to them and give them data showing how much traffic they are missing out on. Obviously, the end goal is to do SEO for them.

So, let me get a little more specific about these steps:

1. Develop a list of influencers (Instagram, YouTube, etc) who aren’t getting much organic search traffic. The key is to find influencers where the follower to organic search traffic ratio is way off.

For example, let’s say a fashion influencer has 100,000 followers on Instagram, but you estimate their organic search traffic is less than 10,000 visitors per month. This would be a prime candidate to reach out to. Ultimately, look for unbalanced ratios or little, to no organic search traffic.

Now you’re probably thinking, how do I do that? Just throw the prospects URL into SEMRush or Ahrefs to see their estimated organic search traffic.

Take note because this will be primary leverage point when reaching out.

2. Do some basic keyword research to get search volume.

3. Reach out to the influencer(s) to gauge their interest. Use a template like this:

Hey [NAME], love what you’re doing on [Insert Platform]. My name is [Your Name] and I’m the head of SEO at [Your Agency]. I noticed that you have a large following on [Platform], but I wanted to give you a heads up that you’re missing out on approximately [INSERT TRAFFIC ESTIMATE] website visitors every month. Can I send you a quick video showing you how you can capture this traffic you’re missing out on?

4. Send a follow up sequence if they don’t respond.

5. If they do respond, then you need to show them the keywords they could rank for + how much traffic they could get from ranking for those keywords.

6. Send pitch email or get on the phone.

Just make sure your offer is “special” and that there is a deadline attached to it. If you don’t have a ton of credibility, then you use a free or ultra low priced offer just to get your feet in the door (free SEO audit, free keyword research + a SEO content strategy, free competitor analysis, free link prospecting, etc).

The key is add massive value upfront and remember that lifetime value is what really matters.

2. Client Thief Method

Strategy #3 is the most risque method because you are calling out low performing agencies.

The truth is that businesses pay to get results. They aren’t a charity and they want to see a return on their SEO investment. If an SEO agency isn’t achieving that goal, then there is no reason that a business should continue to pay them.

Of course, every SEO agency needs a fair shot. Which means that they should be given enough time to be properly evaluated.

To put that in perspective, most SEO campaigns pick up traction around the six month mark, but this can vary greatly based on website authority, website age, and various other issues that are encountered. So, in essence, the Client Thief Method is designed to attract businesses who are unsatisfied with their existing SEO campaign.

Voilà comment cela fonctionne:

1. Create a landing page using Leadpages or some other platform that streamlines the process.

2. Create a Facebook ad. Here’s are some ideas:

“Does your SEO agency suck?” or “Is your SEO agency not getting you results?”… we will audit your website and SEO campaign 100% free. No commitments. We will tell you if your agency is on the right track or if they don’t know what they’re doing. This analysis is 100% free and private (don’t worry, we won’t tell your agency). Your business deserves to get results when you are paying an agency. Don’t waste another day wondering if your SEO agency actually knows what they’re doing or not. Secure your free assessment today.

3. Send a video or text-based SEO audit (pdf)

4. “We can help” pitch. Nothing complicated here. You showed them the issues in the audit and now you are simply emphasizing that you know how to fix them.

5. Categorize your prospects based on sales cycle. For example if the prospect is locked into a contract, make sure you note that in your CRM. That way you can follow up in the future.

35 Lessons from Starting an SEO Company

If you are thinking about starting an SEO company, then stop what you are doing right now and read this.

Let me tell you a quick story:

in 2013, I packed up my stuff and drove from California to St. Louis, Missouri.

I wanted to be with my girlfriend (now fiancée) and I also wanted to pursue my dream of running my own business.

My girlfriend’s parents were kind enough to let me stay at their house until I found a job.

Or, until I was making enough money in my business to move out.

Since I didn’t want to be a moocher, I made a goal that I would be out of their house within a month (max).

So, here are the advantages I had when trying to start my business:

  • Less than $100 in my bank account
  • $0 in savings
  • $43,000 of student loan and car loan debt

But in all seriousness, the real advantages I had were:

  • A laptop
  • I knew how to do SEO
  • One credit card with a credit line of $1,000

I knew this would be more than enough to get my business off the ground.

And within one month, I achieved my goal.

I secured several clients through hustling on Craigslist and ranking pages on my site. These clients gave me enough revenue to move out my girlfriend’s parents house.

In two years, my SEO agency has grown from a single freelancer (me) to two full-time employees.

The experience and knowledge I’ve gained from these two years is beyond comprehension.

I want to share these experiences with you so you can avoid many of the mistakes I’ve made along the way.

What I have learned can help you with three things:

  1. get through tough times
  2. make sure you are maintaining the right mindset
  3. help you grow your business.

What I’m about to show you can help ANY business.

I may get “self-helpy” in this article because I’m speaking from real experience.

If you are cool with that, here are the 35 lessons I have learned running an SEO agency for two years:

Marketing Lessons

1. Practice What You Preach

Believe it or not there are SEO companies that don’t even rank their own site in the search engine.

If you are running an SEO business, then you should be getting the majority of your leads through SEO.

What’s a better demonstration of competency?

An SEO company that blasts businesses with cold calls? Or, an SEO company that’s rank well in the search engine?

It’s a no brainer.

I get 99% of my leads from the search engines.

The best part about practicing what you preach is that it makes selling easier.

All you have to say is “Well, how did you find us?” – BOOM.

Proof is in the pudding.

The idea practicing what you preach applies to ANY service business.

You should be able to prove you know what the heck you’re doing.

Don’t say you’re an SEO “expert” if you have never ranked a keyword.

Don’t say you’re a social media marketing “expert” when you only have 50 likes on Facebook.

Don’t say you’re a PPC “expert” if you have never made an ROI on ad spend.

You get the point.

Pratiquez ce que vous prêchez.

Go out and get results on your own.

It will not only build credibility, but it will make selling WAY easier.

2. Testimonials & Referrals Won’t Come Organically

It doesn’t matter how well you get can results and how happy your clients are.

They will not go out of their way to give you a testimonial or send you a referral.

Think about it: they are either A) running a business or B) acting as marketing director for a company.

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!”

Pardon.

Doesn’t happen.

You need to push your happy clients to get testimonials and referrals.

Believe it or not, sometimes asking isn’t even enough.

To get your clients to act, you should incentivize them.

For example, we offer clients a free month of SEO service when they send us a referral and we close them as a client.

A free month of SEO service is pretty valuable considering they would likely be saving $2,000 +.

Sales Lessons

3. Be Responsive to Leads (Or Lose)

It’s easy to sit back when you see an inbound lead.

But every second you waste is a second the prospect gets less interested in you.

It gives your competition another second to call before you.

Oh, you thought you were the only company they’ve reached out to?

Lol.

Don’t fool yourself.

For a big investment like SEO, businesses are going to reach out to least 3-5 different companies.

Being the first to respond is sometimes all it takes to win contracts.

I have had clients tell me that they picked my agency because we responded the quickest.

Here’s a strategy you can use to become more responsive to leads:

  • Setup a separate email address just for web leads.
  • Configure Gravity Forms or whatever form you’re using to push new web leads to that email.

Remarque: if you are using Gravity Forms, make sure you use a @gmail.com email address. Otherwise your leads will get delayed or you won’t get them at all because of the filters.

  • Enable push notifications on your computer or phone only for that inbox.
  • Respond immediately

4. You Don’t Have to Be a Car Salesman

Don’t forget, if you are using inbound marketing to generate leads, there is no reason to be pushy.

You aren’t making a cold call.

The lead has gone out of their way to contact YOU.

Call them, be calm, cool, and collected, and explain what your service is and what it can do for them.

Keep in mind:

You should always try to close over the phone.

Just understand that most businesses will need time to discuss and review proposals.

If you are speaking with a smaller business, you can often close over the phone. If you are speaking with a marketing director, then it will likely take weeks for them to come to a decision.

5. Follow Up

This feels like sales 101, but following up is key.

I wouldn’t have some of the clients I currently do without following up.

Marketing directors and business owners have a lot on their plate.

It’s your job to stay on top of their mind.

Do not allow your company to become an afterthought.

6. Always Be Prepped For Sales Calls

I was clueless when I first started out and would take on sales call without getting prepared.

I learned from this and developed a set of questions to ask every single prospect.

These questions allow me to see if the prospect is serious and whether they are a person I would like to work with.

I recommend that you develop a set of questions you ask every prospect.

Think long and hard about these questions.

Some of the questions I ask every time are:

  • Are you targeting a local or national market?
  • Have you done SEO in the past?
  • What are you currently doing to market your business?
  • Have you ever considered (Insert service like social media, PPC)?

There are many others, but if you are starting a marketing agency, these can help you out.

7. Be Smart With Your Sales Language

Get used to using embedded commands in your conversation. Here’s an example of an embedded command I would use on a sales call:

“Alright, so what’s going to happen when you sign up is….”

See what I did there?

I’m implying that they are going to sign up.

Aside from proven psychological principles, you need to let the prospect SPEAK.

Great salesmen are also great listeners.

Mindset Lessons

8. You Are Disposable (No Matter How Good You Are)

If you take anything out of this article, then please make sure this is it.

No matter how good your service is, you or your agency are ALWAYS disposable.

The client is always going to value THEIR business over yours.

If they are having financial issues, SEO will be the first thing they cut.

It doesn’t matter how “buddy-buddy” you were with the client.

When it comes to their business, they are always going to do what’s best for them.

Knowing this, you need to always have the mindset that your client could leave you tomorrow.

9. Be Selfish

I’m all about the client-first mantra, but why are we in business?

Many of us are in business to achieve financial freedom and live a better life.

So, why do so many of us work ourselves to death over a single client?

I’m not implying that you should do poor work.

I’m saying that you need to stop acting like you are a commodity.

HAVE BOUNDARIES.

Let says a client is paying you $500 a month and your rate is $100 an hour.

Then you should only work 5 hours a month for that client.

Do not let the client convince you otherwise.

If you work a single second longer on that client, it will take away from other clients.

Not only that… It will also take away precious time for you to work ON your business instead of in it.

10. Be Cheap

When I first started my agency it was just me and many VAs. I outsourced everything and paid stupid amounts of money for link placement. Some of these vendors scammed me and many of the link placements sucked or got removed.

Just like the previous section, you need to set a budget for each client. If you want your profit margin to be 70%, then you have a budget of 30% to spend on any client.

Do not exceed it.

11. Never Get Complacent

You must focus on growing YOUR business every single day.

Never think that your clients are going to work with you forever.

Always work with the mindset that you could lose all your income tomorrow.

Will this happen? Pas probable.

But never EVER get complacent with what you have.

Always keep pushing and trying to grow.

Clients will come and go, but your business is your life.

If it’s not, then you might as well give up now.

Half ass dedication doesn’t work.

12. Never Stop Trying to Grow

Grow or die.

It’s challenging in service-businesses to have a growth mindset.

That’s because you have to fulfill the work.

If you don’t fulfill the work, you lose clients.

But this goes back to one of my original points: “Be Selfish”.

You have to keep trying to grow your business.

No matter how many clients you have.

No matter how much money you are already making.

Focus on growth like you don’t have a single client.

Have the mindset that you could lose it all tomorrow.

Complacency will kill your business.

13. Stop Being a Commodity and Become an Asset

Commodities are disposable.

Assets are hard to let go.

Give your client so much value that it would actually be painful for them to stop paying you.

When you reach that stage, you become an ASSET.

You can demand prices YOU think are fair.

Instead of the prospect telling you how much you should get paid.

Always remember that price is nothing more than perceived value.

The more valuable you are to a company, they more they are willing to pay.

14. Avoid Startups/Young Businesses

As a general rule of thumb, I recommend you avoid any type of “startup” company or young business.

Many young businesses are not making money and likely cannot afford your services.

They think it’s easier to hire someone to grow THEIR business.

But in fact, all they are doing is creating an environment where they rely on other people to be successful.

When you don’t get results in the first week, they will be calling and questioning your every move.

This isn’t because your service doesn’t work or because you are doing something wrong.

It’s because:

  • they know they can’t afford your service
  • they don’t know how to actually grow a business
  • they would rather talk on the phone than actually hustle

Do yourself a favor and avoid these businesses.

At least until they take accountability.

AND recognize that the growth of their business is their responsibility.

SEO is the long-term game and it should SUPPLEMENT a business’s other forms of marketing.

Productivity Lessons

15. Don’t Let Email Control You

I am a recovering email inbox checker.

I used to have Gmail open in a tab ALL DAY and would check it hundreds of times a day.

Por quê?

Because I craved distractions.

Thanks to Tim Ferris, I learned how much of a killer this can be.

I changed my habits and I only check email twice per day.

This had a dramatic effect on my business.

It was liberating.

It gave me the confidence that I was in control, not the people emailing me.

I decide when to respond.

I decide how much time to spend on my emails.

I eliminated the feeling of anxiety and stopped rationalizing.

My thoughts used to be:

“O-M-G… I wonder is (insert client name) has email me… I better check..”

…or “I  wonder if I have a new lead”

…or “That vendor said he would finish today, let me check…”.

After you set a boundary, you no longer have to think about these things.

Did my business crumble because emails weren’t answered immediately? Não.

Stay out of your email inbox.

Set a clear boundary of how many times you will open your email inbox everyday.

I recommend you use Inbox Pause when responding to emails to avoid getting trapped.

16. Create Systems & Processes

If you don’t have systems and processes, then you agency will live in chaos.

You need to have clear processes for:

  • lead gen
  • Ventes
  • service fulfillment
  • rétention client

Many service-based business will have many moving parts.

Systems will bring clarity and end the chaos.

Use templates and all available software to make things easier.

We use Google Sheets, Dropbox, Excel, and Basecamp to run my agency.

Always try to keep things simple or you will suffer from decision fatigue.

Bringing me to an important point..

17. Avoid Decision Fatigue (At All Costs)

Decision fatigue is when you have to think about “what to do next”.

Fatigue sets in every time you must to make a decision.

How do you solve the problem?

Limit how many decisions you are making throughout the day!

Plan your day.

Keep it simple and know that most tasks almost always take longer than expected.

I keep it super simple with my agency.

We usually only work one project per day.

This keeps us focused on the task at hand and removes mind wandering.

18. Live and Die by 80/20

Now that I have employees I can spend 80% of my time trying to grow my business. I used to be a solo artist, I spent 80% of my time fulfilling the work.

I now have the ability to act as CEO.

Acting as CEO requires a different mindset than being a freelancer.

You must train and educate your team.

But the most important part is to teach them how to get clients results.

Without YOU.

I love using VAs, but nothing beats having employees who you can speak with in person.

As you know, I was a college baseball player, so I love having a team atmosphere.

You need to get to the point where you are spending 80% of your time trying to grow your business.

Don’t worry if you are on the wrong side of this equation right now. It doesn’t mean you can’t flip to a growth equation.

Here’s what you do to start making the transition:

Every week you should examine how much time you are spending on clients. Then compare that to “growth” based activities.

Begin the process of flipping the equation.

Try changing the equation by 1% each week. For example, you may be 80/20 for service fulfillment/growth right now.

Next week, you should try being 79% client fulfillment and 21% growth.

At this rate, you will be at 68/32 within a year. 68% of your time will focus on growth and 32% on client fulfillment.

You can be more aggressive.

Changing your mindset from scarcity to growth is beyond powerful.

You begin to act like a CEO.

You stop worrying about whether a client is going to leave you or not.

Your business grows because you stop spending the bulk of your time on maintenance tasks.

Stop being an employee and start being a CEO.

19. Leverage VAs

To achieve the goal of 80/20, you will have to use VAs or hire an employee.

You can’t do it alone.

Unless you want to feel like an employee for the rest of your life… I don’t think that’s the goal for 99.9% of self-employed individuals.

You started your own business because you want to be in control.

You left the 9-5 because you don’t want to be an employee!

You have the opportunity.

You just need to be willing to delegate tasks.

There are only so many hours in a day and you need to cherish every single minute.

You can delegate almost every task in one way or another.

Lessons Clients Have Taught Me

20. Your Client’s Success is Your Success

Clients want results!

If they are successful, then your business will be successful as well.

The opposite is true.

If they majority of your clients are NOT successful, then it will bring your business down.

Before you start taking clients on in ANY industry, make sure you have a clear understand of how to get results.

Remember what I said earlier?

Pratiquez ce que vous prêchez.

21. Some Clients Will NEVER Be Happy

There are always going to be bad seeds.

There is a small percentage of clients who you will never please.

In the beginning, they will critique ever small detail of your work.

They will be ones complaining about communication… Even though you spend more time on them than any other client.

They will complain weekly, sometimes daily about the results.

Once you get them results, they will complain about not being #1 for every single keyword.

Sounds fun right?

These types of clients will make you lose sleep at night.

That is, if you let them.

I’m extreme and I will straight up fire clients who are time-sucks and unreasonable.

Just realize one unfortunate thing:

No matter how good your discovery/vetting phase is, you will end up with a bad client or two.

All you can do is have a strong discovery phase to avoid it becoming a regular occurrence

22. Your Most Unreasonable Clients Will be Your Cheapest Clients

I’m speaking for my business and in general.

In my experience, my worst clients are almost always my cheapest clients.

Remember, price is relative.

Someone who is paying $500 a month may think that’s a colossal amount.

They may think they deserve the world because they are paying $500 a month.

But in reality, we know that $500 a month is pennies for a real SEO campaign.

23. Always Have a Contract

Contracts are good for both parties. If a prospect doesn’t want to sign a contract, then run for the hills.

Croyez-moi.

If they don’t sign a contract, they will be a problem down the road.

You will be kicking yourself (like I have), asking “why didn’t I have this person sign a contract.”

24. Set Clear Boundaries With Clients

At the onset it’s super important to set clear boundaries. What are your agency’s hours of operation? How often are you going to be updating and speaking with the client? How much communication will be over the phone vs email?

Set these boundaries early on.

Otherwise, you will have clients calling you at unexpected times. This disrupts your teams workflow and hurts productivity.

Remember:

As much as some clients would like to believe, they don’t own you.

25. Know That Most Clients Won’t Pay On-Time

Invoice goes out of the 1st of the month.

Days, weeks, and sometimes a month goes by with no payment.

Although you haven’t received payment, the client believes you should still be working.

That’s fair right?

Imagine going into a traditional 9-5 job and your boss told you he wasn’t going to pay you for 30 days.

He MIGHT pay you within 30 days, but it could even end up be 45 days.

That’s cool right?

You would raise hell.

Please listen to this word of advice:

Clients who don’t pay on-time, will never pay on-time.

Don’t waste your breath and struggle to keep clients like this.

They are selfish.

Fire them because there are many others who will pay on-time.

26. Beware of BUYER Scam Artists

There are some major scam artists in the B2B world that you need to watch out for.

You have likely heard many stories of how SEO companies screwed people over.

But how many times have you heard about buyers screwing companies over?

It’s happened to my agency.  On a couple of occasions.

Here’s how it happens:

In the beginning everything’s cool and they join your service.

You do everything that you said you were going to do, and BOOM, after a month they open up a PayPal dispute for no reason.

Do you see what’s going on here?

You do all the heavy lifting for the first month and then they can open up a PayPal dispute and get your service for free.

The good news is that as long as you have actually done the work, you will win the PayPal dispute (I have).

To avoid this you need to have a contract and consider not accepting payments through PayPal.

Serious businesses will have a business credit card or will be willing to send you checks.

Try to avoid the PayPal game as much as possible.

27. Never Negotiate on Price

I made this mistake for well over a year. I would send off a proposal with one price and hope they would accept it.

While this worked a lot, it also costs me several thousand dollars in contracts.

That’s when I discovered that I needed to have three pricing options.

“DUH”, right?

Here’s what I discovered after researching it further:

When you have one option, they forced to choose “Yes” or “No”.

When you have three options, they forced to choose within the three options.

Sure, they can still say “No”, but it decreases the likelihood.

28. Stop Saying “Yes”

I’m going to be honest, I get a lot of leads and I say “No” to 99% of them.

At this stage in my business, I can tell who can and cannot afford my services.

I also have standards.

As you know, I won’t work with startups. But I also won’t work with any business that I believe has morality issues.

Some examples are gambling, escorts, porn, or anything illegal.

Why would I ever want to associate myself with such businesses?

That’s why I say “no”.

I also say “No” to cheapskates.

It’s easy to lured into what seems like “easy money”.

You have a client willing to pay $500 a month for SEO.

How could you turn that down?!

Simple.

You say “No”!

I’m not trying to scale my business with cheap clients.

That’s not my business model.

There are other SEO companies who can take on cheap clients and are playing the quantity game.

I’m not.

You need to be realistic with yourself.

Do you have the capacity to scale a business of cheap paying clients?

Or would it be easier to take on less clients who paid more?

You need to consider these questions.

If you don’t, you will have tons of cheap clients who expect the world. Cheap clients who will hold your business back. Remember what I said?

Be selfish. Say “NO”.

29. Take a Profit-First Approach

What’s the point of being in business if you aren’t making a profit?

There are companies like Amazon that don’t make a profit, but I’m not Amazon.

I started my business to escape the 9-5 and be my own boss. I also did it to make money.

You should structure your service and fulfillment to turn a profit.

What I do is simple.

I have a profit percentage goal. Everything I do is to reach that goal.

30. Fulfillment is Hard

Every results-based business struggles with one thing: getting results 100% of the time.

It doesn’t matter how good you are.

I’m willing to go out on a limb and say:

There isn’t a single SEO agency with 30 + client who hasn’t struggled to get results.

At LEAST once.

I have struggled to get a client results before.

It’s not because my strategy doesn’t work or because I don’t know what I’m doing.

It’s because I didn’t screen the client well enough.

I ignored obvious red flags in the discovery phase because I was chasing money.

Here are the two biggest mistakes I’ve made:

  • Underestimating how long it would actually take to rank
  • Underquoting how much it would actually cost to rank

These two combined lead to frustration on both sides.

To avoid both of these situations, make sure you screen every client down to the last detail.

Do not sign any client on until you know 100% that they are

A) paying enough to get results

B) and you are 110% confident that you can get them results.

Don’t chase money because it will end up hurting you.

Basic Business

* I’m not a tax, law, or financial advisor. Everything I’m going to show you in this section is from experience. Consult with an expert.

31. Learn About Taxes

If you don’t understand taxes, you will get destroyed.

I’m speaking from experience here.

In my first full year of business, I didn’t adjust my quarterly tax estimates. Even though my business was much larger than the previous year.

Guess what happened?

I owed $25,000 in taxes and had to contribute $36,000 to my solo 401(k) just to avoid MORE tax burden.

The worst part is that I had to give up that amount of cash in a small amount time.

It sucked, and I pledged that I would never let it happen again.

The next year, I changed my LLC’s tax status to an “S-Corp”.

I also made sure to contribute to my retirement account on a monthly basis to avoid having to give up one lump sum of cash.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I don’t want you to make the same mistakes!

Learn about taxes and talk to a CPA.

32. Structure Your Business Right

I started my business as an LLC, but got taxed as a sole proprietor. As I explained above, I got killed on taxes because of this.

In 2015, my business is still an LLC, but is now taxed as an S-Corp.

In essence, I pay myself a reasonable salary like an employee. After I’ve paid myself a reasonable salary, I can take distributions from the business.

The reason why the S-Corp is awesome is because:

  • My salary is tax deductible
  • I don’t have to pay self employment or payroll taxes on distributions

I recommend research and find out if your current business structure is benefiting you.

33. It’s Easy to Spend, It’s Hard to Save

When money’s coming in, it’s hard to be frugal. Just remember that every dollar you spend, is a dollar that could have grown your wealth.

Basic personal financial principles also apply in business.

Don’t spend more than you make. Save money. Etc.

34. Diversify Your Income Streams

If 100% of your business revenue is coming from one source, then you need to sit down and think about that.

What if that one revenue source disappeared tomorrow you had no income?

That’s a loaded question, but you get the point.

You need to have more than one income stream.

You need to have the confidence that if every client left you tomorrow, you would still be fine.

Trust me, having more than one source of revenue gives you incredible leverage. When you have many revenue sources, you don’t have to play the price game with clients.

You can decide how much you want to work for and what clients you want to work with.

You will stop chasing money.

If you run a service-based business, then there are many options for you to explore.

For example, in addition to client-side of Gotch SEO, we offer SEO training.

The point is, one revenue sources ties you down.

Think long and hard about how you can diversify your revenue.

35. Invest in Yourself

As cliche as it sounds, you have to invest in yourself.

It’s crazy to think that I have become such an avid reader and learner.

In school, I repulsed at the idea of learning anything more than I had to.

Now, I can’t learn enough.

To get more, you have to be more.

As I mentioned before, you need to become an asset.

YOU have to worth paying money for.

That’s All!

Starting an SEO company isn’t easy, but the rewards are worth it.

If got a lot value out of this guide, please share it.

Talk soon!
– Gotch

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