Getting SEO clients is easier than you may think!!!
Everyday I get asked by some of my associates and friends "how do you get your clients?", is there a sure fire way? Nothing is sure fire. NOTHING. All we can do is try and learn. The first and most important step is actually getting up and doing it. It may take days, weeks, months or years to actually get into a position where your offline business is making a profit. Do you really want to put it off more by procrastinating? I didn't think so. Let me tell you this one major part, if you are not prepared to work to get your business up and running then stop reading now and go back to your day job. Harsh, I know, but the biggest step of all is ACTION!!
I'm going to assume that you already know what services/product you are going to offer and how, so this will be solely for the purpose of client acquisition. I will list some of the ways I use for attracting new clients and the only thing you have to do is jump and try them. If you fail, figure out why, was it your pitch? Your price? Maybe it was just a bad day for the owner. Not all failures are going to be your fault. Some people just don't know the value of offline to online marketing yet. Not to worry, there are still many who do and are willing to pay for it.
First and foremost, the cold call. I know there are many of us who just hate calling a company out of the blue and offering a service or product. Many others have made their entire company built off of the cold call. Some pros and cons are:
Cons: Dont like talking to strangers.
Have no idea if the owner actually even needs your services.
Many people are rude to cold callers.
Most cold callers give up after enough rejection.
Pros: You can outsource it. I do.
More calls made could mean more deals closed. Numbers game.
With a thick skin, nothing can slow you down, even rudeness.
It's a fast and simple way to introduce yourself and service/product.
Cold calling can be scary, however, it can mean the difference between having one client, or having fifty. If you have the tolerance for it, this may be one of the best ways to start.
Walk ins are another way to create interest in a product or service as well as build a relationship with the owner. Stopping in and saying hello and simply asking how business is can work wonders. Most owners, if not all, want to make more money. Who doesn't, right? Well talking to a business owner in person shows them a few things. First off it shows that you have made the time to come in person and may have a genuine interest in what you can do to help. Secondly, I have found that by walking in and simply talking to them about their site, which I have already researched, and maybe giving a few tips can help. Business owners are people to, treat them like so and you could see a huge response to your ideas.
Cons: Even walking in cold can get a no.
Some people just don't have the time or money.
Some owners still don't know the value of marketing online.
All of the gas and time wasted.
Pros: You get to actually meet the owner and hear his/her issues.
You could be viewed as a local hero, getting them more business.
You get to see the business in action. Might have other ideas.
You show you actually care enough to take the time to come in.
Still a form of "cold leads" walking in and meeting with the owner can be hugely beneficial. You are in a position right then to tell them what your services could do for them, bring them more money, who wouldn't want that. It shows a bit of commitment, not everyone would take the time to go in and talk to them in person, most people prefer the cold call method rather than spending the money to "hopefully" get a strong lead. Be careful of the time you approach as well. Never go during a busy time, it shows the owner that you don't really care about their schedule, only your own, and this is a massive turn off. Make sure you dress the part, clean yourself up, iron your clothes, be presentable. Think business casual, doesn't mean a suit and tire, but jeans and sleeveless t-shirts are a no no.
Friends, family and associates are another good way to find prospective clients. We all have them, or should, and by utilizing our relationship with them we may be able to get the attention of businesses. For example, your mother is really good friends with the owner of a florist shop. Find out what you can about the business and see if the owner can do better. Most florists rely on word of mouth, except for the big ones, and word of mouth is good, but slow. Maybe you can send her a burst of new clients by utilizing social media, or maybe her site is ranked on page ten and a few simple link building campaigns can get her on page one. You need to be able to utilize all of your assets.
Cons: The family member may not want to jeopardize the relationship if the service is not what it seems.
Even the best of friends, and family could expect a "finders fee" if your ok with that, then its not a con.
Friends and family may expect to be a priority. Not just a client.
They may take advantage of the situation.
Pros: Potential for a huge list of contacts.
Could be easier to land do to the relationship.
Could be very willing to "explore" new ideas.
More likely to be long term if the service/product is good.
All in all the friends and family route is definitely one way to attract new clients. The pros indeed out way the cons, however when the cons come into play, they come in big. Making sure to treat every potential client the same, whether they be friends, family or just the guy down the street, everyone is equal. Make them happy and you stay happy. However, make one big mistake and it could not only mean the end of your business dealings with them but your personal relationship as well. Personally, I know longer do this, but it was a big help when I started. Believe in your service/product and others will to.
Now time for my personal favorite, and the one method I still use to this day, local media. Media comes in all types and forms, newspaper ads, television commercials, radio ads, yellow pages, and even Google ads. This type is simple to find and can be considered a "warm lead". We know they are already advertising, which means they are looking for more business. These businesses are ripe for the taking. By taking a look at their current ad, and seeing what it is that they offer you can tailor your prospective services to match their needs. Watching television, jot down any local businesses you see a commercial for. The cost of these T.V. ads is horrifically huge, but ask yourself this, what is it that you do when you see a commercial? If your like me, I turn the channel. How many others in the local area are the same. Convincing them to spend that money in a little more targeted fashion could save them thousands a month and bring in just as much business.
Next, open up your yellow pages. I'll wait. Ok, now go to the dental section. How many full or half page ads are there? Tons, and they are all a ridiculous amount of money as well. You can do that for literally any type of business. Call them or send a social letter, explain what it is that you do and how you can help them without them spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on yellow page ads that no one uses anymore. In my first year I did this and have had the same clients for nearly 6 years. They have swore never to go back to yellow pages again.
Another one of my favorite ways is by using Google. Go to Google and type in any business, for example, Detroit dentist, now this step has to different methods. Now see the ads on the side of the search box? These are mostly local businesses that are paying Google to advertise on the front page and "hopefully" get some traffic. How many of you click these links? Yea, me either, I normally go through the pages of sites and pick one I need. You can do a little research and if your good at it you can find out how much they are paying for their ad and clicks. Call them up and offer them something better. Another fabulous way is to go to the lower pages, page four through ten, and find a business website that could use a huge improvement. Contact them and give them some ideas on what you can do to help. I have found that many businesses would gladly pay several hundred dollars a month to get to page one and stay there. Page one to businesses means more money.
These are just a sample of some of the ways I get new clients, and best of all they are virtually free in every way if done right. Getting out there and doing it is the hard part. Rejection is part of the game, its going to happen. Find what businesses want and need and you are better off. I started almost 7 years ago with a computer and phone and now have something I can be proud of. I took the leap and landed on my feet. I did have many, many, many, rough patches and rejections, but lets face it, all the rejections in the world pale in comparison to a single YES! I hope this helps those of you who need it. These are not new techniques, nor are they the end all be all, but having them explained may be of help to the absolute new offline marketer. This is just a sample of my upcoming "Business in a Box" which will have these as well as some more "secret" methods. That coupled with types of services to offer and how to do those services should make for some pretty interesting reading. Keep in touch and be on the lookout for the "Business in a Box"!!!!