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Questions About Starting an SEO Company

July 28, 2010
Hi Jill,

I am a stay-at-home mom of two children who has been working for an SEO company for the past year. SEO is something I really enjoy and picked up on quickly. In fact, I was managing a team of 20 people but the company I was working for is now going out of business. I'm considering starting my own SEO company and working with local businesses and I was wondering if you could offer any advice.Photo Credit: kodomut
  1. How do you go about getting most of your clients?
  2. What do you charge clients?
  3. Do you recommend a certain program to expedite the process?
I would really, really appreciate any help you can offer. I'm sure I won't be any competition for you. This is just a simple part-time job I enjoy doing and am trying to gather information about.

Thanks in advance!

Alicia


++Jill's Response++

Hi Alicia,

I got my start in SEO as a stay-at-home mom over 15 years ago and can attest that it's a good career choice if it's something you really "get." It sounds like you do, so you're off to a good start. Back when I was first in the biz we had to figure everything out for ourselves, so you have a leg up in having previously worked for an SEO agency.

When reading my answers, please keep in mind that the way I get clients and charge them may not work for you. I've had 15 years to build my reputation, expertise, business, knowledge and relationships.

1. How do you go about getting most of your clients?

A good portion of them come from this newsletter either directly or indirectly. Over the years I've found that building a relationship with people through this newsletter is typically my best form of marketing. While most newsletter readers will never engage with me for any SEO services (there are 25K subscribers) many long-term readers do think of me and High Rankings if the opportunity ever arises where they need some SEO help. So the idea is to get as many targeted people to subscribe to the newsletter as possible.

The subscribers come from a variety of sources, including Google, Twitter, the High Rankings Forum, my SEO columns published on other sites, events I speak at, word of mouth, newsletter forwards from existing subscribers and the like.

It takes an assortment of marketing initiatives to eventually get clients. My goal has always been to be everywhere online when people are seeking out SEO information. That way they can't help but find me one way or another – and ideally sign up for the newsletter!

2. What do you charge clients?

I'm pretty open with my SEO pricing, with most prices shown on my SEO Services pages. I do this to avoid wasting time with "tire kickers" who in the end will never pay the amount I charge.

3. Do you recommend a certain program to expedite the process?

I'm not quite sure what you're asking here. If you mean do I use any SEO software, then the answer is no, I'm not a fan. That said, there are many tools that I use every day to keep my company running smoothly.

Here are the main ones:
Hope this gives you a good start!

Jill

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Jill Whalen is an SEO consultant and CEO of High Rankings, a Boston SEO company.

If you learned from this article, be sure to sign up for the High Rankings Advisor SEO Newsletter so you can be the first to receive similar articles in the future!
 
 
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 Vicki said:
Thanks so much for the radio link!!
 giles said:
Great advice and good luck in starting out.

Pricing transparency is a great tool for putting off tire kickers and also being legitimate about pricing right from the start.

It's what i am trying to do in printing also with a clear published price list.

How do you get on with offering a fixed price service? Does this generate objections from people?
 Bill Treloar said:
I'd suggest Alicia look into a local networking group.

I joined BNI about 8-9 years ago, early in the existence of my own SEO business. I may get as much as 25% of all my business either through BNI referrals directly, or as referrals from delighted clients I originally got through BNI.

I also participate in our local Chamber of Commerce; if Alicia is hoping to do SEO with local businesses, those are two excellent ways to get her name known locally.

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