Start an SEO Business
Start an SEO Business
Want to Establish an SEO Business in 2023? You’re in the Right Place. 

This comprehensive guide will demonstrate the step-by-step process to initiate and develop an SEO business. Indeed: I will reveal the methodology I employed to transform from financial struggles to earning $20,000 per month within six months of running my SEO enterprise. Are you prepared to commence? Let’s delve straight into it.

FREE TRAINING: Initiating an SEO business and scaling it to seven figures, even without prior business experience.

Initiating an SEO Business: A Simple 6-Step Approach

The Client SEO System is designed to elucidate:

  1. Selecting a Profitable Niche
  2. Achieving Tangible SEO Outcomes
  3. Implementing the Outbound System
  4. Leveraging the Inbound System
  5. Mastery of Sales Fundamentals
  6. Cultivating Exceptional Client Relationships

Before we immerse ourselves, let’s address the most pivotal query:

What Constitutes an SEO Business? 

An SEO business aids other enterprises in augmenting their rankings and organic traffic via Google. Businesses are eager to invest in SEO due to its potential to generate superior leads, sales, and customers sans the necessity of paid advertising.

Now, I’m poised to divulge techniques for niche selection that render competition inconsequential. Hint: While many believe there’s a singular approach to niche specialization, there are, in fact, four distinct methods.

Selecting a Niche 

Should you narrow your focus or maintain a general perspective upon embarking on your SEO venture? There’s no definitive answer. Nonetheless, opting for a specialized niche often proves simpler owing to diminished competition. Furthermore, it enhances the precision of your marketing and sales strategies.

This doesn’t preclude you from accommodating clients outside your chosen niche. It signifies that your brand’s identity predominantly centers around one or a few select niches. Many are unaware that various avenues exist for narrowing down your focus. For instance, a common misconception involves associating niche specialization solely with industries like HVAC or plumbing.

While that’s a valid tactic, as you’ll shortly discover, there are several alternative approaches. Let’s commence with the most prevalent method of niche narrowing: industry-level specialization.

Narrowing Down by Industry 

It’s advisable to target niches that exhibit substantial customer value. To illustrate, a solitary client for a personal injury lawyer could potentially yield millions in worth. Consequently, considering the immense return on investment for personal injury lawyers, this allows you to command a premium for your SEO services.

Furthermore, this field is fiercely competitive on the local SEO front, warranting a more substantial investment. Crucial takeaway: Prioritize industries capable of reaping significant ROI from your SEO services. Certain industries encompass legal, medical, dental, HVAC, plumbing, video production, and more.

Now, let’s proceed to the second method of niche specialization: geographical targeting.

Narrowing Down by Location 

Instead of adopting a niche-based business model, you’ll center your approach on specific geographical locations. During my initial phase, I opted for smaller cities with substantial affluence. For instance, rather than targeting Los Angeles, I set my sights on Santa Monica, Glendale, and Beverly Hills.

These cities enjoy considerable economic activity, yet face less intense competition than Los Angeles. A method to assess a city’s affluence involves examining the earnings of police officers and firefighters. To illustrate: As per Indeed, on average, police officers in Beverly Hills earn approximately $80,000 annually (37% above the national average).

Having said that: If you’re new to the field, your SEO business should concentrate on cities with lower competition and higher value as you begin. Subsequently, as you develop a portfolio and bolster your website’s authority, you can expand into more competitive urban centers.

Narrowing Down by Industry and Location 

An alternative strategy combines both industry and location for niche specialization. For instance, you might target lawyers specifically in Beverly Hills. Alternatively, you can further narrow your focus by concentrating solely on personal injury lawyers in Beverly Hills. Bear in mind: While this approach yields a smaller pool of potential clients, it proves effective during the initial stages.

In general, maintaining a concentrated approach is invariably advantageous.

Narrowing Down by Service Level 

Instead of offering comprehensive SEO services, you can fragment your offerings into microservices. For example, you could specialize in technical SEO, SEO content creation, link building, or local SEO.

Embracing microservices also offers an additional significant advantage: It can serve as a “foot-in-the-door” strategy to secure more extensive full-service SEO contracts. As you’ll soon discover, this approach ranks among my preferred methods for acquiring clients. You could even establish a distinct identity, such as the “link building expert,” or any other role you wish. Numerous SEO agencies have found success using this approach.

Remember: Focused specialization is beneficial. In essence, there are four avenues for specialization:

  1. By Industry: Opt for industries boasting high customer value.
  2. By Location: Concentrate on smaller yet prosperous cities.
  3. By Industry and Location: Combine industry and location for a refined niche.
  4. By Service Level: Break down core services into microservices.

Now, it’s time to unveil the process of crafting a portfolio showcasing genuine SEO achievements, even if you lack extensive SEO expertise.

Generating Results 

Here’s a vital piece of insight that many experts omit: Before launching your SEO business, it’s imperative to showcase tangible SEO outcomes. Three reasons underscore the importance of demonstrating your SEO capabilities prior to engaging clients.

3 Reasons Why Demonstrating Results is Crucial Before Taking on Clients

1. Ethics: Companies that invest in your services expect you to possess the necessary expertise. While you don’t need to be a top-tier SEO expert, having concrete results is essential to showcase your competence. If you lack results currently, I’ll guide you on swiftly building a portfolio.

It’s unethical to initiate an SEO business without any proven rankings or outcomes. Consider this analogy: Would you hire an unproven plumber to fix your pipes? Such a move is both improbable and risky.

2. Reputation Protection: If you accept payment for SEO services without experience, your reputation and your SEO company’s credibility are at stake. Even if you manage to achieve results, the risk remains. If results aren’t delivered, your reputation could suffer severe damage.

This is akin to Warren Buffett’s wisdom: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

3. Enhanced Sales Process: Demonstrating your competence makes persuasion significantly easier. Prioritizing the swift creation of your SEO portfolio is thus critical for your business’s success.

Methods to Quickly Build Your SEO Portfolio

1. Working for Free: Despite its initial unpopularity, offering free services can be beneficial. For instance, targeting low-competition keywords for free to display your abilities is a viable approach. Once you achieve results, you can convert these clients into paying ones.

2. Niche Website Ranking: While more time-intensive, building a niche website and ranking it for low-competition keywords is another effective way to showcase your skills. Each keyword ranking represents a success you can add to your portfolio.

3. Local Website Ranking: Focus on ranking for low-competition keywords relevant to your target market. This approach demonstrates expertise in the specific industries you’re targeting.

Concentrate on demonstrating your SEO capabilities through tangible results to establish your credibility.

Also Read-What are the Major Components of Digital Marketing?

Using the Outbound System to Attract Clients

Outbound Marketing Defined: Outbound marketing entails proactively seeking new clients. You’ll be reaching out to potential clients and persuading them to engage your services.

I’ll introduce you to effective outbound methods shortly. However, before that, it’s important to understand:

Finding Prospect Contact Information

To facilitate your email outreach, obtaining accurate contact information is crucial. Here’s a strategy to assist you:

  1. This tool is highly recommended for gathering contact information. Enter the target company’s domain, and will provide contact details.
  2. Voila Norbert: Use this as a backup option. Provide the prospect’s first name, last name, and domain to retrieve contact information.
  3. LinkedIn: If the previous tools yield no results, utilize LinkedIn to find the point of contact.

These three tactics should help you gather contact information for most companies. Now, let’s delve into the cold calling process.

Strategy #1: Identify a Point of Leverage

Leverage points are essential for effective cold calling. Potential leverage points include:

  • Poor Google rankings (page 5 or worse) for crucial keywords
  • Investment in Google Ads without organic search visibility
  • Lack of an SSL certificate
  • Non-mobile-friendly website
  • Slow website loading
  • Absence of Google Analytics or a Facebook pixel
  • Unclaimed or incomplete Google My Business listing
  • Inconsistent NAP-W (Name, Address, Phone, or Website) information

Here’s how to proceed:

  1. Gather Prospects: Compile a list of potential clients.
  2. Identify Leverage Points: Assess each prospect based on the above leverage points.
  3. Develop Custom Pitch: Craft a tailored pitch based on the identified leverage point. For instance, if a company struggles with rankings, offer a free video audit to pinpoint SEO issues.
  4. Upsell Full-Service: After delivering the audit, propose handling their SEO campaign.

Your approach may vary based on your experience level. For portfolio-building, consider offering free or discounted services. Alternatively, pitch micro-services before pursuing a more significant SEO contract, allowing clients a lower-risk entry.

Leveraging these leverage points sets you apart from others by demonstrating in-depth analysis and targeted pitches. Utilize this Google Sheet template for prospecting, leverage point identification, and outreach tracking.

Strategy #2: Partner with Agencies

In this approach, you provide white-label SEO services to other digital marketing agencies, allowing them to take credit for your work. The benefits include minimal sales effort and less direct customer interaction.

Although individual retainers may be smaller, the cumulative value of the agency relationships is significant. This strategy can be paired with direct-to-client offerings for optimal income growth.

Landing White Label Agreements:

The key question remains: How do you secure white label agreements?

Targeting Companies Offering SEO Services

To efficiently acquire clients, knowing which companies to target is crucial. Follow these steps:

  1. Build a Target List: Create a list of companies that fall into categories like marketing, digital marketing, SEO, PPC, graphic design, and web design. Also, consider any businesses that could potentially provide SEO services.
  2. Understand Their Motivation: Recognize why SEO agencies would be interested in outsourcing to you. The primary reason is time-saving, allowing them to focus on client acquisition rather than training new employees.

Their pivotal aspect is collaborating with a skilled SEO expert capable of delivering results.

Develop Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

If you’re new to the field, consider offering to work on one of an SEO agency’s client campaigns for free to prove your competence. Highlight that there’s no risk for them in hiring you.

The long-term value of this approach often outweighs the temporary effort put in for free work. A successful execution might even lead to an influx of clients from a single SEO agency, potentially replacing your current income.

Other Avenues to Explore

  1. Craigslist Gigs: Score clients through the gigs section on Craigslist. Utilize the leverage methods mentioned earlier to attract clients here.
  2. Online Platforms: Establish profiles on platforms like WeGrowth, Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru. Regularly check these sites for new opportunities and apply to as many as possible.

When applying on platforms like Upwork, attention to detail is key. Demonstrating your thoroughness and ability to follow instructions will set you apart from others and increase your chances of landing clients.

Consistency and Quality Yield Results

Putting in consistent, quality work over time is the foundation of growing your client base. Think of it this way:

  • If you submit one thoughtful SEO proposal daily for three months, you’ll have sent 90 high-quality proposals.
  • You would acquire three new clients even with a conservative conversion rate of 3%.

Consistency is a powerful asset, and many won’t put in the effort required. This is where your advantage lies – in doing the work and maintaining consistency.

Proven Inbound System

Combining both the outbound and inbound strategies can lead to a steady stream of clients. Your outbound efforts reach out to potential clients, while the inbound approach brings clients to you. This synergy is a highly effective method for securing clients consistently and sustainably.

Stacking the Inbound System

To recap, combining both outbound and inbound marketing methods can yield optimal results. Outbound tactics provide quick client acquisition, while inbound methods have a longer payoff. With time, your inbound marketing efforts can result in a continuous stream of leads coming to you.

When inbound marketing gains momentum, you might be able to reduce or stop outbound efforts, thanks to the consistent flow of inbound leads. A balanced approach is essential for sustained success.

Inbound Marketing Strategies

  1. Referral Generation: Encourage satisfied clients to refer others to your services. Word-of-mouth referrals are powerful and can lead to a steady stream of leads.
  2. Content Marketing: Develop a content marketing funnel with three stages: Top of the Funnel (ToFu), Middle of the Funnel (MoFu), and Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu). Create content for each stage to guide potential clients through the conversion process.
  3. Paid Advertising: Invest in paid advertising to drive targeted traffic to your content and lead generation assets.

Content Marketing Funnel Explained

  1. ToFu Content: Create informative blog posts targeting relevant keywords. These attract initial traffic.
  2. MoFu Content: Offer gated content as a lead magnet to convert visitors into email subscribers. This content is designed to turn traffic into leads.
  3. BoFu Content: Develop content that converts leads into clients. This can include case studies, testimonials, success stories, and results.

Effective Inbound Methods

Method 1: Case Study Approach

  1. Create a case study showcasing your SEO results, ideally relevant to your target market.
  2. Include a call-to-action for readers to apply for a free SEO audit.
  3. Drive traffic to your SEO case study, often using paid traffic sources.

Method 2: Rank Geo-Targeted Pages

  1. Target smaller cities and work to rank pages for geo-specific keywords.
  2. Promote a free audit or application form on these ranked pages.
  3. Patience and persistence are key to this approach’s success.

Method 3: Target Informational Keywords

  1. Target informational keywords within the SEO industry to demonstrate your expertise.
  2. This approach builds social proof and trust, helping establish credibility.
  3. Start with longer-tail keywords and progress to more competitive terms as your website’s authority grows.

Create Public SEO Audits

An additional method to consider is conducting public SEO audits and sharing them on platforms like YouTube. Here’s a breakdown of this approach:

Method: Public SEO Audits on YouTube

Step 1: Conduct SEO Audits

Perform thorough SEO audits on websites. These audits should showcase your expertise and provide valuable insights into areas of improvement.

Step 2: Share on YouTube

Create videos showcasing the SEO audits you’ve conducted. These videos can include:

  • Case Studies: Highlight specific clients’ successes and improvements resulting from your SEO efforts.
  • Educational Content: Produce videos explaining various SEO concepts, strategies, and tactics.
  • General Audits: Provide insightful analysis of websites to demonstrate your expertise.
Advantages of YouTube:
  1. Demonstrate Expertise: Audits serve as a powerful way to showcase your skills and knowledge.
  2. Low Cost: The investment is primarily your time.
  3. Untapped Potential: YouTube is an underutilized platform for lead generation, offering ample opportunities.
  4. Establish Authority: Consistent, informative content helps position you as an industry authority.
  5. Educate and Build Trust: Inbound marketing’s core goal is educating and establishing trust, crucial for successful sales.
Leverage Additional Channels:

Extend your reach beyond YouTube:

  • Quora: Answer questions related to SEO to showcase your expertise.
  • Forums: Participate in industry forums and contribute valuable insights.
  • Blog Comment Sections: Engage thoughtfully on industry blog posts, demonstrating your understanding.
  • Facebook Groups: Join relevant groups and contribute helpful information to build your reputation.

Remember, each channel presents an opportunity to add value, enhance your brand’s authority, and foster trust within the industry. Trust is a pivotal factor in successful sales and long-term client relationships.

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