Updated: March 1, 2023.
Here are my tips on how to get SEO clients and my story of how I’ve been doing it successfully for the last 2.5 years.
Over the past 2.5 years, I’ve built my own online SEO consultancy, SEOSLY, without ever having to pitch to a single client.
In this article, I’ll be sharing my story and the strategies I’ve used to become an independent SEO consultant, and how you can do the same.
Ready? Let’s get started!
My tips on how to get SEO clients
You are probably here to learn about how to get SEO clients instead of learning my story, so I will start by simply sharing the tips that will help you and that helped me.
Here are the tips on getting SEO clients:
1. Build a strong online presence through your website and social media. For SEO, this would be mainly Twitter, LinkedIn, and Mastodon.
2. Share your knowledge and expertise through blog posts, tutorials, and videos. Reshare and repurpose your content through the above-mentioned social media.
3. Network with other SEOs and attend in-person SEO conferences. Attending live SEO provides opportunities to make face-to-face connections with other SEO experts.
It also allows for exposure to new ideas, techniques, and approaches in the industry and provides the opportunity to learn from the best in the field and stay ahead of the curve on the latest trends and developments.
P.S. I have not leveraged this tip yet since SEOSLY is a pandemic project and I will be attending an in-person conference for the first time this year (2023).
4. Start an SEO newsletter and keep your audience updated with the latest SEO news and tips. It does not matter if you have only 10 subscribers at the start. Keep providing value and you be slowly building your subscriber base. If you are at the very beginning, at least start collecting e-mails.
You can subscribe to my SEO newsletter using the form below. 😁
5. Offer free quick SEO audits to potential clients and showcase your skills. I publish a weekly free live SEO audit on my SEO YouTube channel. Of course, this applies to you only if you offer SEO audits as part of your services. Here is an example audit.
6. Focus on providing high-quality, value-added services to your clients. Approach each client individually and ALWAYS do your best. Remember, you are not an agency and you should have enough time for each client. A few hours per month and responding once a week is not enough!
7. Utilize search engine optimization techniques to improve your website’s visibility and attract potential clients. That’s your top skill, after all. Isn’t it? I started my website by doing thorough keyword research and simply writing articles based on the topics/keywords I selected.
8. Offer transparent pricing and clear, concise pricing packages. That’s OK if you don’t want to show your prices on your website. In that case, make it clear to potential clients that they need to request an individual quote if they want to know the prices of your services.
9. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and provides a clear, concise message. A potential client landing on your website should immediately know what you are up to and what you offer. As you can see below, I am very straightforward with my message and what I do/offer.
10. And of course, make sure you DO have a website. That’s a must. If you don’t have your own website yet, stop reading now and go create a website. I am not kidding.
11. Use online tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to monitor your website’s performance and get ideas for the next topics to write about. For example, these tools can show you the questions users type to find your website. If you are not directly answering these questions on your website, this is a huge opportunity to create content that will rank.
Check this article: How To Use Google Search Console For Keyword Research
12. Regularly update your website with fresh, valuable content. If you don’t have time (or resources) to create new in-depth articles, you can at least publish a summary of the recent SEO news.
13. Utilize pay-per-click advertising to drive traffic to your website. For example, if your competitors bid on your brand name, you may think about bidding for your brand name too. The cost per click will be way lower for your than for your competitors.
14. Collaborate with other businesses and websites in your industry. You can be a guest on their show or they can be a guest on your show. This exchange of ideas is really awesome. I got a lot of leads from being a guest on someone else’s show.
15. Utilize email marketing to reach potential clients and keep your existing clients updated. Once you have built your e-mail subscriber list, you can offer your services or special deals directly to people who are interested in your brand and what you are offering. These people will be converting SO much better than people who have never stumbled upon your brand.
16. Specialize in one area of SEO so that your potential clients will see you as an authority. You heard the proverb “a Jack of all trades is a master of none”, have you? For me, this area is SEO auditing and SEO strategy planning. If I were to offer all things SEO or SEM like link-building, PPC, etc., I know the quality of my work would be so much lower.
17. Offer customized, tailored services to meet the unique needs of each client. Each website is different. Each client will have different needs. Your task is to adjust your approach and strategy so that your cooperation with the client is a win-win for both you and them.
18. When creating proposals, always share some of your initial findings, such as top SEO issues you identified and possible ways of fixing them. Draw an outline of an SEO strategy for a prospective client and they will be more than happy to hire you.
19. Offer free consultations or discovery calls to potential clients. This is super important. Not only will it let you decide whether the client is a good match for you, but the client will also see your goodwill and willingness to provide something for free without only focusing on making money. Money, of course, is super important but this should not be the only motivating factor for you. Creating value and helping others are what should be the driving force for you.
20. Continuously educate yourself on the latest SEO trends and techniques to stay ahead in the industry. This is probably one of the most important steps (if not the most important one). If your potential client sees that your knowledge is up-to-date and you are willing to adjust to the changing landscape, they will be so more willing to hire you.
Below are exactly the steps I took to be able to get new SEO clients without ever pitching to a single one.
What I did to get SEO clients (and what you can do)
Here is exactly what I did step by step to get where I am today. You can do some or all of that too.
Where am I today? I am fully booked and I don’t have the capacity to take on more clients if I still want to have time to do the SEOSLY project. 😊
I am not saying that you need to do all of what I did but I hope to get you inspired with some of the “tactics”.
Create your own website & start sharing
Starting your own SEO website and sharing your knowledge is a great way to showcase your skills and attract new clients.
When I first started my website SEOSLY, I had already been working in the SEO industry for 8 years, honing my skills and gaining valuable experience.
I didn’t have any expectations, I simply continued doing what I loved – working at an SEO agency during the day and in my free time, writing content, and sharing my knowledge on my newly created website (SEOSLY).
I wanted to share my processes and resources with others, and my website became the perfect platform to do so.
Before creating the SEOSLY site, I had created lots of (a bit thin) affiliate websites or websites to only host ads.
However, it wasn’t until I created SEOSLY that I felt that this is the project I am fully passionate about. That was because I was finally writing about something I am actually knowledgeable about.
Once I had my website set up and a few in-depth SEO guides already written, the next step was to start sharing my content and SEO knowledge on social media.
- I set up my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and started sharing my insights, experiences, and expertise in the SEO industry.
- I began following other experts in the field, engaging in conversations, and learning from them.
This not only helped me reach a wider audience but also allowed me to connect with other prominent SEOs and actually get noticed by them.
By consistently sharing valuable information, I was able to demonstrate my expertise and attract potential clients. A good portion of my clients came to me saying “I saw you posted this article on Twitter and I liked it”.
I’m now at the point where it is hard for me to keep up with the messages I receive on LinkedIn and Twitter (I do apologize if I have not answered your message)… 🤯
Help other people solve their SEO problems
Together with starting my own website, I began participating in the Google Search Central Help Community, where I could help other businesses and individuals with their SEO problems.
I spent a lot of time there every day, answering questions and providing possible solutions. This not only allowed me to further demonstrate my knowledge but it also gave me a lot of valuable experience. I still remember a few very interesting cases from Google Help Forums.
However, as my business started to grow and I started to get more and more SEO clients and leads, I had to step back from the forums and focus on SEOSLY only. But, I still plan on getting back there and posting regularly in the future just for the sake of helping others and doing a nice mental SEO exercise.
By helping others and sharing your knowledge, you will be able to build your online presence and attract potential clients without having to pitch to them. It really works.
Become obsessed with SEO
As my passion for SEO grew, I became obsessed with learning and improving my SEO skills. I started reading about SEO every day, listening to SEO podcasts, subscribing to SEO newsletters, and reading books on the topic.
My goal was to become the best SEO consultant I could be, and I was willing to put in the work and effort to get there. Every day, I was consumed with learning and improving my knowledge of SEO (SEO auditing in particular).
I became a sponge, soaking up all the information I could find, eager to put it into practice and help businesses and individuals with their SEO needs. I strongly suggest you do the same! This will make your work and life so much fun!😁
As my passion for SEO grew even further and I became more obsessed with becoming a better SEO consultant, I realized that I wanted to share my knowledge and insights with a wider audience.
That’s when I decided to start an SEO newsletter. I wanted to provide valuable insights and tips to my subscribers, help them stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends, and provide them with a resource they could rely on for their own SEO needs.
I dedicated myself to writing high-quality content for my newsletter every week. I sent the first issue of my newsletter to around 100 subscribers. Over two years, my newsletter grew to almost 5000 engaged subscribers who are interested in my offers and deals!
Get interviewed by other SEOs
As I continued to share my knowledge and expertise in the SEO industry through my website, social media, and other resources, my online presence started to grow.
People started to take notice of my skills and passion for SEO, and I started to receive invitations from other SEOs to be interviewed for podcasts, YouTube videos, and webinars.
This was the start of the snowball effect for me, as my exposure and reach continued to grow, and I became known as an experienced SEO consultant in the SEO industry.
The more I shared my knowledge, the more opportunities came my way to showcase my skills and expertise, and the more I was able to attract new clients without having to pitch to them.
Set up a YouTube channel
The next “natural” step for me was to set up my own YouTube channel. I started by recording my own SEO audits, showcasing how I approached each site and pointing out the tips and tricks that I used.
I didn’t have any expectations, I just wanted to share my knowledge and help others in the SEO community. My SEO channel is still in its infancy but it keeps growing slowly and sending valuable leads my way.
Out of 100+ videos I recorded, the ones that perform the best are “over-the-shoulder” videos where I show how to audit a website or interviews with other prominent SEO experts.
Check: 40+ SEO YouTube Channels To Follow
Launch an SEO podcast
As an avid podcast listener, I could not continue my SEO journey without launching my own SEO podcast. It is thanks to my passion for SEO podcasts that my SEO podcast – SEO Podcast by #SEOSLY – was born. I launched my first episode in October 2022.
The podcast is also in its infancy, but growing slowly and steadily. The most important part is that I have so much fun recording the episodes.
This is so motivating and so call to get messages from people saying that they love my podcast and that they learned something actionable from it.
I am still a podcasting newbie but this does not discourage me from sharing my knowledge this way.
Attend SEO conferences
I started SEOSLY during the pandemic so I have not been to any in-person SEO conferences yet. However, this is going to change this year (2023). Attending live SEO conferences is the next logical step for me.
So far, I have only participated in online conferences such as the SEO Mastery Summit and SMX Advanced, but I plan on attending in-person conferences like Brighton SEO to network with other SEO professionals and continue learning and growing in my field.
Attending live conferences will not only provide me with new knowledge but also opportunities to make connections and build relationships with other SEO experts. I will finally get to meet all those cool SEO people in person.
I’m excited to see where attending conferences will take my SEO journey.
Final thoughts & tips on how to get SEO clients
Getting SEO clients without having to pitch to them is achievable by following the right strategies and taking the right steps.
By implementing the tips outlined in this article, you can build a strong online presence, showcase your expertise, and attract potential SEO clients.
Personally, I have found success in creating my own website, sharing my knowledge on social media, helping others solve their SEO problems, becoming obsessed with SEO, starting an SEO newsletter, getting interviewed by other SEOs, and setting up a YouTube channel and SEO podcast.
However, remember that it is not about just following a set of tips, but also putting in the hard work and dedication to achieve success.
If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. If you don’t love what you are doing, then find something you love, start doing it, and you will be successful.
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