So you have taken the best SEO courses and have proven results on a number of test cases. You are confident in your ability to help others develop their SEO and want to start your business. But what steps do you need to think about if you want to sell SEO services? And how do you start getting those customers?
There are hundreds of quotes about being prepared that can be applied to your new business – you’ve heard them before. Thing is, they are right. If you don’t prepare for your new business and the clients, you will get then you are likely to fail or at least to find it takes a whole lot longer to build your business. There are a few things you need in place before you start approaching paid clients:
- A good CRM system – whether this is a dedicated tool or a system that uses things like Trello, you need to organise your client relationship management process. It helps you track leads, see what needs to be done next and watch those potential former customers who could become live leads again
- A professional email – you need to have a domain email such as [email protected] rather than relying on a free Gmail or Yahoo address. Not only is it more reliable but it also portrays a much more professional image for potential customers
- A website that uses what you do – you not only want to have an SEO friendly website design but also have some content on there that demonstrates what you do in action. This helps people to see you really do know what you are talking about.
Understand your prospects
With your foundations in place, you can start to do some customer research and find a niche that you want to focus on. You want to know the potential customer’s business and have a system to quickly get this information when a lead comes along. By knowing what they do and need, you can better tailor your services to them.
You should also look at their competitors and use them for inspiration. If it works for them, there’s no reason you can’t tweak it and make it work better for your customer. Also, look at any general trends in SEO that will have particular relevance to your target customer.
Start to understand the right fit
When you start out, there’s the temptation to grab every customer that comes your way. But you do want to be a little discerning and establish if they are the right fit for your agency. The reason for this is simple – when they are, you do your best work. When they aren’t the right fit, it is a struggle and the results will often show this.
There are four factors to consider when qualifying customers:
- Budget – ask them to prioritise between time and budget and if they pick the latter, that’s a good fit
- Authority – do they have a work email address for proposals and other materials?
- Need – is their business digital ready and therefore your services will have an effect?
- Time frame – how soon do they want to see results? Make sure this is realistic and if they want things too quickly, this can be a negative sign
Prioritise who to sell to first
Once you have a firm picture of who you want as clients for your business, you can start to prioritise who to sell to first. This will make it easier to create customised proposals and approaches and also means you will better understand their businesses without any research to make that instant connection.