I’ve worked with quite a few people now, providing coaching, consulting and other various forms of training and many of the problems I see are quite similar. SEO’s not getting paid, chasing overdue invoices, no processes, not being able to get clients and signing anyone up that comes along.
I posted about this recently over at SEO Signals Lab on Facebook – you can read the thread here – and shared a few key insights into what I’ve done within my own SEO business that has helped me do very well. That damn post blew up and 2 days later it’s still going strong with almost 700 likes and near 400 comments. Needless to say I’ve been absolutely slammed with messages from people asking for help and advice.
Anyway, you may not be able to access that group (or the post for that matter) without joining – so here’s what I posted below. 10 key things I’ve done within in my SEO business that has made a tremendous difference and provided me with great success.
I always get paid first
1. Always get paid first. I don’t care if I’m charging $2500 a month for SEO, or $10,000 for a website. I always demand payment in full, in advance. If you’re not getting paid first, you’ll be constantly chasing late payment and outstanding invoices.
I don’t undersell myself
2. I quote what I’m worth. I’ve spoken to a number of members here as well as my coaching clients and I’m amazed at how many are charging as little as $200 a month for SEO. This is absolute madness. Start charging what your worth. No discounts, no mates rates, no performance based nonsense.
I’ve built out processes for everything
3. Get processes in place for absolutely everything. You should never be “winging it” Your campaigns should flow like a checklist – do this, do that, etc etc. Everything you do should be built around set processes.
I don’t work with just anyone
4. Prequalify your leads. I turn at least half of my leads away. Why? Because they’re not a good fit. Their business is broken, they’re not making any money, they have unrealistic expectations or no marketing budgets. I don’t take anyone on unless I know they’re a good fit, and I am confident that I can get them an ROI.
Revenue, not rankings
5. I don’t track rankings as a performance indicator. Instead I track conversions. (customer enquiries, sales) This is KEY. I focus my efforts on dollar in, 3 dollars out – and helping the client make sales and get customers. That’s it. When you’re tracking conversions it changes everything – especially when a client can see they’re making $80,000 a month from a $2,500 a month investment. They’ll just keep throwing money at you.
I charge hourly
6. I charge an hourly rate for SEO. Why? Because its an easy upsell and its quantifiable (the client understands it too). One of the most common questions we all get as SEO’s is “how can we get results faster?” You can answer this question easily by saying “I can do 12 hours a month, or I can do 20 or more, of course the more time you put in, the more work we’ll get done and the faster you’ll see results” This is how I take a $2,500 a month client and turn them into a $4,000+ a month client.
I leverage the shit out of web rebuilds
7. Web rebuilds allowed me to go from $20,000+ a month to $50-60,000+ a month. If a prospect comes to me and their website is broken, then I’m not interested in working with them unless they fix it. I charge $8,500 for web builds (entry level)
I don’t do PDF proposals, or any proposals for that matter
8. I don’t do proposals, and haven’t done one in years. If you’re sending PDF proposals to leads you’re done for. Instead I prequalify on the phone following a script, then if the prospect is a good fit, I pitch them over a Powerpoint sales presentation where I cover everything and demonstrate massive value. My close rates doing this are 100%
I’m completely upfront with my rates
9. I put my prices on my website. This puts a stop to all that bullshit we get “how much does it cost” “that’s too expensive”. Anyone that picks up the phone and calls me is already prequalified.
I want fewer, higher paying clients
10. You can do half a million dollars a year, with less than 20 clients and 4 virtual staff. I do, and have done for years. Aim for fewer, higher paying clients, because in my experience, the loudest boos always come from the cheapest seats.