Should I run an agency or just freelance as an SEO soloist?
This is a question that you might be asking yourself over and over once you start working in this space. Should I build out an SEO agency, or am I okay to just work from home as an SEO freelancer?
It’s not an easy decision to make, and it really comes down to the individual – what they want, what their end goals are, where they are in their lives, and just how much time, effort, and money they want to put into this venture.
When I first started, I knew, (relatively speaking), that I was only ever interested in working from home.
My background is government, working in the IT industry. Over a period of about 8 years, I had two government jobs, working both at state government and also local government. I worked the corporate environment, so the whole point of me getting out of the 9 to 5 thing was to escape the rat race. I’d had enough. I was mentally spent and exhausted, so the thought of just jumping straight back into that corporate lifestyle and running an SEO agency with 50 staff – it just seemed too stressful for me, and it certainly wasn’t anything that I believed I had the energy for.
Knowing what you want is vital
I have close friends that have gone in the other direction. They started small, and they chipped away at it for a number of years, and they’ve gone on to build large SEO agencies with 30, 40 staff, and they’ve been very successful. I take my hat off to them for their accomplishments, but for me, it just wasn’t what I wanted. It’s interesting to note that although there is more money in running a large scale agency, there’s also a lot more stress associated with it too. Admittedly, my friends that started these agencies in the inner cities have really put in a lot of hard work, and they’ve undergone an incredible amount of stress to make their businesses work.
So which way do you go? Agency or just freelance?
Again, it was a question that sort of kept coming back to me over a long period of time – especially when I got busy.
I’d occasionally find myself busy with a lot of clients, and I’d think, “If I hire two more staff, I could handle this a lot easier,” That might seem attractive on the surface, but for me, with where I am I my life – I mean I just turned 45, I’ve lived that corporate lifestyle, I’ve just moved away from the city. I really have no desire to bury myself in that amount of stress and work.
At this point in my life, I’m very, very comfortable having a work-life balance that I can live and enjoy.
I make good money, but at the same time, I don’t have to get up at 7:00 a.m. every morning, Monday to Friday ironing a shirt and putting on an uncomfortable suit. Nor do I have to be stuck in traffic or sitting through long bullshit staff meetings all day or running from one client meeting to the next.
My aim, my end goal, rather, was to establish an environment where I could have a comfortable work-life balance, where I could go and spend an hour or two sitting at the beach with my girlfriend or sitting at a café or enjoying a nice lunch without having to worry too much about managing staff, or dealing with hundreds of clients. This is something else that I wasn’t necessarily attracted to, the thought of having hundreds or even thousands of clients. That in itself can be incredibly hard to scale.
But I can only speak for myself.
I certainly know of people that, as I said, have built large agencies, and they’re more than happy with the choices they’ve made. But for you, wherever you might be in your journey, whether it’s a full blown agency with 45 staff, or starting a small operation as a soloist, an SEO freelancer working from home, and you only want half a dozen clients, then there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.
But it’s a decision that at some point you’re going to have to make, and it’s a decision that will probably come around much, much sooner than you anticipated.
Want to learn from me?
I can show you how to run a profitable SEO business from home in your pyjamas making more than half a million dollars a year – without having to answer to some asshole boss you don’t like.
Get in touch and let’s do this.