How to get clients into your agency is the #1 SEO question I hear.
Of no surprise, referrals are the best way because of the implicit trust that the sale starts with. However, we all start with the same number of clients, and that is zero. So what do you do when you don’t yet have anyone who can refer clients to you?
Following are a few practical methods for client getting.
#1 – Write a blog. You should be continually posting information about SEO, social media marketing, digital marketing tactics and PPC. Add value and write in a way that will draw interest from the clients you want to be doing business with. Promote it, and you will be surprised how qualified clients will come knocking on your door. Why? Because they have been reading your work and already see you as an SEO expert. Read about how to build your online presence with SEO and brand authority.
#2 – Talk at seminars and conferences about SEO and digital marketing. When you get out in person and talk about what you do in a way that adds value to the hearer, you’ll begin to build an audience. Do not worry whether this audience will ever be your direct clients; most won’t be. But, they know people who will be! There is no better advocate to sell on your behalf, than a “fan” of what you do. Even other SEO company owners can be a source of referral as they may be too busy or have some other reason to refer you leads. Meetup.com is also an excellent way for you to build your following from the ground up. Check out this awesome article on how to get booked to speak at events.
One important note: SEO clients will churn, so you must always have a pipeline. One of the biggest challenges individual owners face is that when they are busy doing work, they forget to refill the pipeline. Thus, when the agreements end, they suddenly find themselves confronted with no sales leads. On average, my clients stay for 10-14 months, but your mileage may vary based on the competitive nature of the keywords.
As the saying goes, “Never stop selling!”
Even while you have a client on active retainer, don’t forget to communicate with them. Just because they aren’t “bugging” you, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve or even feel the need to get regular updates. I like to use Pro Rank Tracker as a powerful reporting tool which sends automated reports to my clients so they always know where their rankings are.
I have discovered that the more you correspond with your clients, the longer they are likely to stick with you. It may feel the added overhead of regular client communications is not worth the time investment, but let me assure you, the effort of retaining a client is less than winning a new one. Value your customers and not only will they return more value to you in added billings, but they will be that much more likely to refer you to their fellow business owner friends.
One method I’ve found effective for keeping in touch with clients is to make small videos that add value or give important information. Following is one on PPC Click Fraud which has proven useful to my clients.
Don’t take clients where you can’t deliver results
This seems obvious, but frankly, it is foundational. Many in the SEO industry will take a client even if they only think they can get 2-3 months billing. This is crazy, don’t do it! If you don’t have the experience, or if the project will pull you too far outside your systems, just say NO!
I am always surprised at how powerful the word no is. Frankly, it’s so refreshing to find integrity in business, that then a business owner experiences it, they nearly always return it back. Again, maybe that client was not a good fit for you, but perhaps their friend is.
Another point about not taking clients is to understand what their objectives are. If the company is about to go under and needs 100 extra leads in the next 60 days to survive, then you are far better off explaining that SEO is not the right solution. Perhaps it’s PPC they need, which if you don’t do this may tempt you to offer them PPC. But again, refer they to a specialist, and when their business get’s healthy, they’ll likely seek you out. I’ve seen this play out first-hand dozens of times.
I trust these tips are useful as you build your agency. The rewards can be great if you establish your plan and keep your customers inside the velvet ropes of your process.
Check out this video on the OMG coaching program that is endorsed by Tai Lopez.