Module 01 – Earning potential


In this first module, I want to talk about earning potential because I think it’s a good starting point. Of course, if you’re wanting to get into this business or you have some interests, I have no idea where you are in your journey, whether you intend on freelancing or you’ve already been freelancing and you’re looking to ramp up your income or if you’re interested in … if you’re running a digital marketing agency and you’re looking at providing SEO services. Of course, the earning potential and how much money you can make in this space matters.

I know after having provided SEO services for longer than I can remember, this space is absolutely massive. I read an article just recently where they spoke about SEO as a whole being worth something like $80 billion. I know this for a fact. Business owners are just throwing money at search engine optimization in order to get leads, sell product and get customers.

Most business owners that I work with pay anywhere between my entry level staff, which is anywhere between $1,600 to $1,800 a month up to $3,000, $3,500 a month. All of this equates to great profit margins. Of course, it’s all recurring income. In terms of the earning potential and as to whether or not providing SEO services has the ability to bring in or be a profitable business, absolutely.

My earnings for myself personally last financial year was just under half a million dollars, $477,426. I did this comfortably. In fact, I hit that mark and just recently made the decision that, hey, I’m living quite comfortably. I don’t say this to brag. I just share these figures to show you what’s possible. I guess when you break it down, I think $477,000 a year equates to about $39,000 per month, which is very doable. I’ll be showing you exactly how you can go about doing that.

Again, I don’t know where you are in your journey, whether you’re making more money than this or if you’re just starting out and you’re looking to get your first client. In any case, and typically this is true for what I see most of my coaching clients that I get to come on board, are the freelancers or they’re running a small digital marketing agency.

They might be looking to get their first client or get their first lot of clients and they might be doing small numbers, freelancers in particular. A lot of my coaching clients that do start with me, they might be making $1,000 a month and they’re trying to get to $10,000 a month. If you follow exactly what I show you in this training course, I’ll show you how you can really ramp up your income. Most of my clients that start with me get to $10,000 a month very, very quickly. In fact, I’ve got a few coaching clients that have gone on to make a lot more money than me, which is fantastic.

A couple of misconceptions that I just want to touch on before getting into this is that when I share those figures, especially with a lot of my coaching clients, they have this misunderstanding or assumption that I must have a lot of clients. John, you’re doing half a million dollars a year. You must have a couple of hundred clients. That’s just not true. At the time of shooting or preparing these slides, I currently have 13 clients.

I’m doing some pretty good numbers monthly with a very small client base. I think that’s really important for you to understand. This is not about volume. I guess another way to what it would be, it’s about quality, not quantity. I’m not interested in having hundreds of clients in order to make more money because it just gets too stressful.

Again, it should be noted that I work from home. I’ve got a home-based office. I work as a freelancer, so I’m not running a large digital marketing agency. Let’s face it. For someone working at home, half a million dollars a year, nothing wrong with that. I’ll take that any day over working a regular 9-to-5 job. That’s typically where I started. I worked in IT for nine and a half years and just had enough of the whole 9-to-5 thing and got out and decided to provide SEO services. Just in summary, you can make great money without needing to have hundreds and hundreds of clients.

Here’s a typical screenshot that was taken a few months ago. This is pretty typical of what I say month in, month out, recurring income, of course. These payments come in every single month. You can see they’re anywhere between 1,600 to just under $3,000 a month. I’m sure if you crunched the numbers, you’ll probably fall well short of that number that I quoted just a moment ago, which is about $40,000. I’ll be explaining how I make up that additional income usually each month by providing an additional service. It’ll all fall into place and it’ll make sense once we move our way through this training course.

Rule number one, and this is really important. If you’re taking nights as you’re working your way through these slides, write this one down. You want fewer higher-paying clients. This is really, really important because a lot of the coaching clients that start with me, they come on board, especially freelancers. They’re offering SEO services for 300 bucks a month, $200 or $300 a month. When you’re doing that, you’re going to be constantly chasing your tail. You’re going to be scrambling for clients because you’re not making any money. You got clients that bail. They cancel out, and you’re going to be looking for more clients. It’s just this never ending cycle of poverty that you’ll never get out of.

Rule number one. Depending upon where, I’m not sure what your pricing points are at, but I know for myself personally, right now, I’m charging $2,500 a month, and I’m still getting the same number of inquiries as to when I was charging $1,500 a month. This is really important. Always, you want to fewer higher-paying clients. One thing that I’ve learned within this business is the clients that pay the least amount of money are the ones that make the most amount of noise. Again, fewer high-paying clients.

I guess another point worth touching on, this is another assumption that a lot of my coaching clients ask me when they first come on board. How are you managing all of this work? You’re making so much money. You must have a lot of staff. Again, that’s not true. I currently have full virtual staff, not including my girlfriend that helps out from time to time. I’ll be touching more on this in an upcoming module.

Typically, for the work that I do, I handle the high-end stuff. I offload the tedious stuff like content and web stuff to my virtual staff that handle all that stuff. You don’t need a lot of staff. This is something that I think is, for me at least because I have no interest in starting a large agency and having hundreds of clients and dozens of staff, and this is I guess … and I’ll speak about this in an upcoming module, but this is a decision that you’ll have to make at some point as to how far you want to scale this thing. For me, making the money that I’m making, I’m quite comfortable and I really have no interest in having 30, 40 staff and hundreds of clients.

I guess the other thing is scale. It gets really difficult to scale once you start growing and you get more clients and you need more staff to service those clients. I used a really great analogy during a discussion recently with a coaching client. I said you want to go higher into orbit. In order to project that rocket further into orbit, you need to add more fuel. It gets to a point where you’re just adding fuel to carry the fuel so you reach a point of exhaustion, and that’s true with what I found when I start ramping up my client base.

I had to put on more staff, and you reach this ever diminishing returns where your profit … The workload goes up with the profit margins are becoming smaller and smaller. For what I’m doing, making the numbers that i’m making, brings in great returns without the stress and all the headaches.

This is what it is. This is really the bottom line. This is what it’s all about for me. I make good money. I work my own hours. It’s about enjoying life. When I worked my IT job for government, 9:00 to 5:00. I did it for years and I was just miserable. I wanted out. I’ve got a really great work-life balance, which we’ll speak about in an upcoming module. For me at least, it’s about making great money and being able to enjoy that money and have time away. This is a slide taken with myself and my girlfriend.

Just recently, we went up to Queensland in Brisbane. I spent some time with family and friends. This is what it’s all about. It’s pointless making all this money if you’re just going to be working 24 hours a day. It’s about having a good work-life balance.