How to Get More SEO Clients
Gaining clients is the trickiest part to any business where you’re selling a service, and things are no different for SEO consultants. With such a niche-based business, how do you build your business and brand name? How do you get enough clients to make money, let alone expand your company?
For one, the demand is high. Potential clients are out there searching for SEO consultants while more and more consultants fill their schedules to the brim. The questions, then, are simple: How can you be one of those consultants with a client list so full you can’t even take on new people? We’re here to help.
Tips and Tricks to Gaining New SEO Clients
1. Start simple and keep things updated.
Do everything you can to make sure you’re ready to handle an influx of clients. You may think you’re ready now, but there are always small steps you can take. Two questions you should ask yourself when getting started:
- Have you updated your resume lately? If not, do that first, and update your list of references and past SEO consulting work. These may be the first two things a new client will ask for and you’ll want to make sure everything you have is up-to-date.
- Have you updated your website lately? If you don’t already have your resume/references up on your site, make sure to do that as soon as possible. And make sure everything you have on the site is up-to-date, with the latest trends, statistics or information. Potential clients may come across your site just through simple searches and be turned away if your site looks – or is – outdated.
When everything is updated, you have a perfect place to point to potential clients where they can check you out and see examples of your work in action with other companies and sites.
2. Setup a referral program.
It’s another simple step, but one many consultants overlook. Set up a referral program to give discounts to clients who send more business your way. This doesn’t have to be recent clients, either. If you haven’t worked with a client lately, but things went well the first time around, touch base with them. If they don’t need SEO services themselves, maybe they know of other people they could pass your name and information along to. It doesn’t hurt to ask and if you’re already on good terms with those people/companies and you did good work for them in the past, they should be happy to help get your name out there.
For SEO consulting, you wouldn’t typically think of email blasts, but it’s an option available if you’re willing to put yourself out there. Email blasts can be annoying, sure, but they can also be an effective means of getting your work out there and letting other contacts know that you are open and interested in getting some work. You can even reach out to friends, family or former schoolmates, co-workers, etc. It doesn’t have to be just clients. Send a message asking them to pass along your contact information to anybody who may need some SEO advice and cross your fingers that something works out. It may not be the best way to accomplish your goal of obtaining more clients, but if you can suck up your pride and get past that, it could produce a few leads.
3. Go public and get out there for meetings and conferences.
Even though everything is online nowadays, there’s still nothing that can match a meet-and-greet in person, especially when it comes to identifying and introducing yourself to potential clients. Partake in SEO events around your area or even consider hosting your own, inviting local businesses out to see how SEO can help take their company to the next level. Even if these companies aren’t ready to sign on as a client immediately, you can make a good first impression and showcase your knowledge and skills.
You can also offer your services up to other events as a guest speaker. Any chance you have to get your name out there and showcase your expertise, jump at it. It’s like a snowball effect – you never know what it can lead to.
4. Get your name out there online through social media and other channels.
While you can showcase your knowledge and get your name out there in person, you can do the same online. Signing on with multiple sites to be a guest blogger can help get you established in the SEO community while also increasing your visibility.
At the same time, you can establish a name for yourself on every social media avenue possible. Get on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, anything that can help, and make sure you’re active on every channel. They could be a great way to find clients or could act as a perfect resource to point to for potential clients when they come calling. If you are set up across a number of social media channels and you’re showcasing your expertise on each one, a client wouldn’t have to go far to see that you know what you’re talking about.
5. Don’t turn away free work.
It may seem counter-productive, but doing some good faith work free of charge can go a long way, especially if you’re just starting out in the SEO field. Most established SEO consultants would refuse pro-bono work, but you can use it as a great way to pad your resume and build your brand and portfolio.
So much of the business world is built upon relationships and SEO consulting is no different. You should care about your reputation and how you’re perceived and talked about. If you’re cast in a positive light, it can help you gain clients down the road. But, don’t be disingenuous. People can see right through that. You should care about any potential client on a personal level, and not just because they can do something for you or provide you business.
Also, be sure to follow up with everybody. Whether you meet in person at a social or online, make sure to follow up with your conversation. It will keep your name and your conversation with this person fresh in their heads and ensure they won’t forget you, especially when it comes time for SEO work that they either have themselves or would like to pass along.
What tips or tricks have you found for picking up potential clients? Anything we didn’t cover? Feel free to let us know in the comments section.