More threads by kevinjwiles

Feb 25, 2014
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Hey All.

Hope all is good with everyone?

I was looking for some advice I am trying to grow my own brand and business this year and win some local clients to do SEO for and maybe go freelance full time.

I have some questions though, how do you guys do citations and link building with clients with tiny budgets?
Hi Kevin,

I moved your post from the Local Search forum which is for search discussions, to the "Consultant's Corner". I also changed your title which was simply "Local" to "How to Expand My Local Search Business". Hoping that having a more descriptive title and putting this in the right forum will help you get more and better replies.

Look forward to hearing the ideas our community has for you.
This is a huge hurdle to jump, but clients who have tiny budgets have tiny expectations and tiny goals. Therefore, they're likely a waste of your time.

That took me two years to learn.

My advice before you get into the technical work: find your niche.

Read books like Book Yourself Solid and The E-Myth.

To do citations and link-building at low cost, you have to build repeatable processes, which either means outsourcing the work to an agency that has already done that, or trial and error on your own.

Apologies for not directly answering the question but hopefully you find it helpful.
I've learned a few major things:

1. Don't go after really low budget clients ($1500/mo or less). They very rarely become high budget clients and there are more than enough high budget clients out there if you know how to market to, sell to, and service them.

If you need examples to sell higher budget clients, do some free work for a high-profile client or two and be sure they're willing to be examples / referrals.

2. Partner with people who are really good at other stuff. Higher budget clients expect a lot more. You can't have a below-average designer work on their websites. Find and partner with excellent people that do the other things SEO is so dependent on nowadays.

3. Decide what you want. Are you looking to be a 1-man shop or grow much larger? As someone who built a one-man shop to $300k+ /year (and I'm a pretty bad salesman), I can tell you, growing past one person is an insane challenge without help. Plus, $300k/yr gets eaten into real quick with expenses, taxes, etc... If I was content being a one-man shop and consulting and making a decent income I could sit and do just fine, but I want to grow, and so the challenges, and long hours, just keep coming.
...but hopefully you find it helpful.

I've learned a few major things:

Thank you Tony and John!

I think it's amazing that we not only have such knowledgeable members, but ones that are always SO willing to share with others.

We appreciate you!

Anyone else? Please share your thoughts as well.
I've asked similar questions as I've found smaller businesses who just don't have the marketing dollars. It's a tough proposition but you have to find an area that you are comfortable with and start leveraging. Networking is great. Get into networking groups, local associations, etc. where you can meet prospects, find people who share similar interests or people who you can work with and vice versa. I can't really add much more then what was already said. Very solid and great advice IMO.

Love the idea of offering free SEO to create case studies for yourself. As I've been told here, it's about building value in your service offerings. Bigger clients = bigger ROI. At the end of the day, the client needs to make at the bare minimum, enough money to pay for your services. They will certainly expect more then that.

If you have the confidence and skills to take on the big dogs, throw the bait in the water and see what happens. It will be a learning experience for you if nothing else.
E Myth is a great little book to read to understand how to not get stuck as a technician in your business...

Great advice as to finding higher level clients that are able to pay what you are worth. Doing free case studies for those type of clients is an excellent way to go. But also keep in mind the type of client you want to work with, and how you feel about the niche you go into. Those things relieve the amount of stress you will go through. There's plenty of money to be made out there, but sometimes working with people you really like, who you jive with, and in an industry that really gets you excited about, goes a long way.
Hi All,

Thanks for the advice I do appreciate it. My main obstacle is that I am not a good content writer so there will always be that overhead there.

I always seem to only be able to land clients at around ?150-?250 PCM range who then expect a lot.

I can do the citations, Google optimizations etc
Coming back to this thread because I completely forgot to mention the tied for #1 thing I've learned (aside from find higher paying clients).

We are in the service business first.

We do SEO/PPC/design/whatever second.

If you've ever seen Hotel Impossible where he visits really high rated 5-star hotels...that's the level of service I'm striving for, because that's what I've seen much larger agencies do.

The book, "The Art of Client Service" is pretty awesome and gives some great tips related to this.

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