Help Getting Clients for a Start Up SEO/SEM Company

39 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Hey Warriors,

So I have recently started up a search engine marketing company to help get some cash flow coming in to help pay for my Affiliate Marketing ventures. So I have created a website, established my services and packages, and got my outsource team in place. The only thing I am missing are clients. So my question is, what would be the best way for a brand new start up SEM company to get clients?

Essentially I have developed this business to help local businesses market their services online. Today was my first day marketing my business offline, by using cold calling methods. I know it's been only one day, and I only called 25 businesses (law firms, dentist offices, plumbing, etc) however I feel kinda discouraged even though I shouldn't when getting clients.

I understand using the local chambers of commerce is a great way to get clients, and being part of small business groups and seminars to network my services. However I need to get clients fast, and start making some cash flow immediately, I am getting laid off at work and next week is my last week of work so basically I need clients.

Any advice would be appreciated.
#clients #company #seo or sem #start
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Smith
    Hey Asim,
    I have been doing "offline" SEO and Web Design service offerings for almost 5 Years and I can tell you that what you described that you have done already IS "the" single BEST way to get clients.

    It's just a fact that getting Real people to pay you and to hire you is MUCH easier.
    What I found was that the less "complicated" I made our conversations, the better it got.
    What I mean is, I used to go into detail about EVERYTHING until one day I was a little discouraged and I didn't have the energy level I should have and I told the client about the results I could achieve for them and depending on their budget (for example) how long that would take, as one option would be more work, but the outcome/result would be quicker or better etc, you get the idea. The price was of course dependent on their budget and motivation, soo I always had two or three price points and I let "them" qualify themselves, instead of trying to guess that magic number they had in mind.

    I also learned a few truths and they are:
    - You'll be able to see RIGHT AWAY if someone is genuinely interested in what your offering because they are excited and are asking you questions. (no questions= No interest)
    - The more people you talk to the better you'll get and the more buyers you'll find.
    - If you don't stop doing what your doing right now, (getting out there and talking to small business owners) you'll make money, becouse the truth of the matter is, you ahead of most of the competition as they wont/dont want to talk to the people.
    -Your honest with yourself about your shortcomings and do what's appropriate to fill the void, either by outsourcing or self-improvement.

    Please feel free to PM me with any questions, I'll be happy to help!

    Good luck out there!

    Steven
    Signature

    Add Your Blog to The Internet Marketing Directory & Get Your Free Authority Link!
    Visit The Other Internet Marketing Forum Right Now!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2344863].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2348919].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    If you're selling SEO services, why not just get your site to rank high in the search engines for SEO in your area?

    Nobody trusts SEO cold callers, the offline businesses we deal with often call them scammers. Which is true if you're selling SEO to others but unable to generate income for yourself through your own methods.

    Sometimes the rest of us SEO's get lumped in with the bad crowd who think selling sub-standard services to offline businesses is a shortcut to riches. It gives us all a bad name.
    Signature
    IMPORTANT MESSAGE: I'm currently on vacation & will answer all messages when I return - Happy Holidays!!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2348935].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Smith
      Originally Posted by Louise Evans View Post

      If you're selling SEO services, why not just get your site to rank high in the search engines for SEO in your area?

      Nobody trusts SEO cold callers, the offline businesses we deal with often call them scammers. Which is true if you're selling SEO to others but unable to generate income for yourself through your own methods.

      Sometimes the rest of us SEO's get lumped in with the bad crowd who think selling sub-standard services to offline businesses is a shortcut to riches. It gives us all a bad name.
      I have been doing this now for 5+ years offline, I don't just talk about it in forums and offer advise based on a fictional wish list of how the world "should be" In my case, I do have a high ranking site that is listed for my area for SEO Services Web Hosting and VPS Offers, BUT I can tell you that while I have made sales from my website, real life professional people always appreciate it, (and actually respect it) when I go to them and talk to them about SEO or web design and that is the way I make $xxxx every single month "part-time" and I don't think "scammers" (as you put it) have the nerve to show their faces at an office building or local business.

      If you put up a website, promote the heck out of it and wait to make sales from that website, you will die a slow and lingering death in this industry, but hey, that's just my opinion : )
      Signature

      Add Your Blog to The Internet Marketing Directory & Get Your Free Authority Link!
      Visit The Other Internet Marketing Forum Right Now!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2349015].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
        Originally Posted by Steven Smith View Post

        I have been doing this now for 5+ years offline, I don't just talk about it in forums and offer advise based on a fictional wish list of how the world "should be" In my case, I do have a high ranking site that is listed for my area for SEO Services Web Hosting and VPS Offers, BUT I can tell you that while I have made sales from my website, real life professional people always appreciate it, (and actually respect it) when I go to them and talk to them about SEO or web design and that is the way I make every single month "part-time" and I don't think "scammers" (as you put it) have the nerve to show their faces at an office building or local business.

        If you put up a website, promote the heck out of it and wait to make sales from that website, you will die a slow and lingering death in this industry, but hey, that's just my opinion : )
        If you want to whip out a ruler and messure some things, I'm all for it. Our office is bombarded with cold callers every day, a lot of them offering us SEO. Any SEO worth their salt doesn't need to bug people.

        We've been providing SEO for close to a decade and the only time I had to cold was in the first week of starting, I saw how desperate it looks and had to rethink things. And that was back when nobody knew what SEO was.. now it's most of the businesses that we speak to who receive calls from SEO "companies" regard them as scammers. That's from working B2B in the industry day in day out.

        Any SEO worth their salt gets more than enough work through building a SOLID repuation, understanding which keywords mean profit, and optimising your site(s) to rank where 80% of people click.

        Do you honestly think that turning up at an office building without an appointment is the way to present yourself as a professional entity?

        It comes down to this.. bad SEO's who are desperate for sales need to cold-call. The rest of us let our work, experience and reputation speak for itself.
        Businesses call us, we don't need to call them.
        Signature
        IMPORTANT MESSAGE: I'm currently on vacation & will answer all messages when I return - Happy Holidays!!
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2349076].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Steven Smith
          Originally Posted by Louise Evans View Post

          If you're selling SEO services, why not just get your site to rank high in the search engines for SEO in your area?

          Nobody trusts SEO cold callers, the offline businesses we deal with often call them scammers. Which is true if you're selling SEO to others but unable to generate income for yourself through your own methods.

          Sometimes the rest of us SEO's get lumped in with the bad crowd who think selling sub-standard services to offline businesses is a shortcut to riches. It gives us all a bad name.
          Originally Posted by Louise Evans View Post

          If you want to whip out a ruler and messure some things, I'm all for it. Our office is bombarded with cold callers every day, a lot of them offering us SEO. Any SEO worth their salt doesn't need to bug people.

          We've been providing SEO for close to a decade and the only time I had to cold was in the first week of starting, I saw how desperate it looks and had to rethink things. And that was back when nobody knew what SEO was.. now it's most of the businesses that we speak to who receive calls from SEO "companies" regard them as scammers. That's from working B2B in the industry day in day out.

          Any SEO worth their salt gets more than enough work through building a SOLID repuation, understanding which keywords mean profit, and optimising your site(s) to rank where 80% of people click.

          Do you honestly think that turning up at an office building without an appointment is the way to present yourself as a professional entity?

          It comes down to this.. bad SEO's who are desperate for sales need to cold-call. The rest of us let our work, experience and reputation speak for itself.
          First of all, I have a web design company Not and SEO company, I have done SEO extensively for many years, in fact the site in my signature ranks on all the serps for multiple (competitive) keyword terms including a page two listing (at the top) for "keyword software" (on Google) which has 47 "million" competing pages!

          I've been playing with that for a month and If the mood takes me to get it on page one...it will be!
          When I mentioned I had a site that ranked for SEO it was strictly because that is what you were discussing and my answer was pertinent to that question or point you were making. (in regards to SEO) I also have never show up at an office building without an appointment, if anyone could show me how to cold call on "office buildings" I would tell them they are wasting their time. Again, I'm not sure why your taking every word I say and making it the Gospel, but that's your prerogative to be that way, not mine.

          There are many way to get business, I'm just offering my opinion on what I find works For me. If your NEW at this, it really is the only way to go, you'll die a death waiting for the phone to ring!

          In one form or another you will have to get out there and talk to some business owners. Some people have a stigma when the phrase "cold calling" is used, they picture your "out there" trying to talk to anyone that will listen and it's those people that have never done it. You have to, like most things in our professional lives and be someone smart about it, "cold calling" simply mean talking to business owners is a sensible, common sense way.

          Now, at no point did I insult how you make your living and I would certainly expect the same from ever member on this forum, especially when I'm just trying to be a good guy and help someone out! So I'm not sure why your being so defensive and calling people (like myself) "scammers" who do present themselves in a professional manner, and who are anything but desperate.

          What we ARE are well adjusted business people, whom have NO problem talking to real people on a daily basis in a professional way, not desperate, just making a very nice living, thank you very much.

          The real truth about most of the SEO industry, which is your biggest credibility issue is most of the people that proclaim to be professional SEO's are pimple faced kids pushing article marketing and have first place rankings for phrases like "west Baltimore Painters", or "South Seattle Carpet Cleaning".

          Any more on this subject of "scammers" is completely redundant.
          Signature

          Add Your Blog to The Internet Marketing Directory & Get Your Free Authority Link!
          Visit The Other Internet Marketing Forum Right Now!

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2349159].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author pearlydean
    I agree you need to talk to people to get the business.

    The best way I have found is to ring round some businesses and tell them that I can increase their website traffic which will get them more orders - they understand more turnover!

    I offer them a free article to show them how I can get traffic to their website and then use Article Marketing Robot to spin the article and get it out to around 100 networks. I then make an appointment for a week's time to discuss further and in the meantime email them my menu of services and price list.

    It works a charm for me as I am offering them value at no cost or risk from the outset so they are more likely to deal with me when they see results from the article.
    Signature
    SEO and Reputation Services

    Need SEO Advice? Happy to help just get in touch.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2349032].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Hey Asim,

    I'm with Louise on this. (seems to be a trend lately).

    I've been doing this for over a decade too and I agree with everything she has said.

    Cold calling is NOT - 'THE' best way to get clients.

    In fact - I'd put it very low on the list of preferred ways.

    In my experience referrals are the best customers - but since you don't yet have any customers that won't come until later for you.

    Also I can appreciate that louise's advice might sound to you like something you aim to do but is not immediate so I can accept that you might still want more advice.

    I've found that it's very easy to get business from people who like you and trust you - that usually requires some form of relationship.

    If you're completely new to this and don't have any local business contacts then I would suggest 2 things:

    1 - Think about what type of businesses you think you can really help effectively and then look at your local Yellow Pages and local papers and see who's advertising.

    Go out and visit the businesses in your area and have a prepared 'elevator pitch' you can speak to them with.

    So for example if you decide that there are a lot of restaurants in your area that pay for advertising but that don't have websites - their website is hard to find.

    Go have lunch there and tell them you were looking for their website and you struggled to find it - you'd like to help them out and tell them what you can do for them.

    I've had a lot of business from this type of low-key networking.

    2 - Go the other way and design a flyer/leaflet that focuses in on a specific group of people and get them delivered (or deliver them yourself) to all the houses/businesses in your area.

    This works well if your message is well targeted - for example if there's a lot of students then you might be offering a 'student website starter package'. If it's families then you might be offering a special for people starting or running a home business.

    The leaflet method works but is a lot less personal but can be very cheap, so it can be a no brainer to give it a go, but I would focus on getting out and personally meeting business owners in your area.

    But don't be random about it - pick a specific type of business or businesses so that you have something relevant and thoughtful to say. You can do a little research and be able to tell them how many people search for their type of business online and run some example numbers of what that might mean if they were visible.

    I don't know what else you're offering but you could just hook them up with email systems for automated customer relationship building, or create a video for them etc..

    The biggest hurdle you'll face is that they've been cold-called by a LOT of people and if you just go in saying you can get them in Google most of them will switch off right away.

    The short answer is - you can choose how you do your business, but my advice is to start building relationships rather than treating it like a numbers game and cold-calling strangers to try and convince them they need you. Find people that need you and then make it easy for them to feel good about you doing it.

    Andy
    Signature

    nothing to see here.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2349151].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    Awesome advice there Andy. That's the way to do it.. from the ground up.

    Steven, it's my customers who call those type of SEO's "scammers", I happen to see their point. I never called you a scammer. No point making things about you when they're not.

    By the way, the examples you've given have very low search volume but each to their own, what works for you might not work for me and vice versa.
    Signature
    IMPORTANT MESSAGE: I'm currently on vacation & will answer all messages when I return - Happy Holidays!!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2349184].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Smith
      Originally Posted by Louise Evans View Post

      Awesome advice there Andy. That's the way to do it.. from the ground up.

      Steven, it's my customers who call those type of SEO's "scammers", I happen to see their point. I never called you a scammer. No point making things about you when they're not.

      By the way, the examples you've given have very low search volume but each to their own, what works for you might not work for me and vice versa.
      Actually you said it about scammers, no mention of your "customers" saying it. (until now) that rebuttal has less sustenance than your reply above.

      The example I gave you was for the phrase: "keyword software", PLEASE tell me that's a "low search volume" phrase...and I'll hire you right now!

      Your right Andy, you do give good advise:

      -"Go out and visit the businesses in your area and have a prepared 'elevator pitch' you can speak to them with."

      -"So for example if you decide that there are a lot of restaurants in your area that pay for advertising but that don't have websites - their website is hard to find."

      -"Go have lunch there and tell them you were looking for their website and you struggled to find it - you'd like to help them out and tell them what you can do for them."

      -"This works well if your message is well targeted - for example if there's a lot of students then you might be offering a 'student website starter package'. If it's families then you might be offering a special for people starting or running a home business."

      -"The leaflet method works but is a lot less personal but can be very cheap, so it can be a no brainer to give it a go, but I would focus on getting out and personally meeting business owners in your area."

      THAT is called.......... "cold calling".
      Signature

      Add Your Blog to The Internet Marketing Directory & Get Your Free Authority Link!
      Visit The Other Internet Marketing Forum Right Now!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2349211].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
        Originally Posted by Steven Smith View Post

        THAT is called.......... "cold calling".
        The best thing about your own business is that you can do it however you want.

        There are a lot of different types of customers and requirements so I don't think it's really that helpful for people to try and tell others how to run their business or say that their way is the 'best' way.

        As for cold-calling - I don't do it but I appreciate that someone getting started that doesn't know anyone and is not confident in networking might be better of just running an ad in their local paper so I'm not going to argue about the virtues of cold calling - for some people it's right, for others it's not.

        Most of us who have been around online a while and involved in marketing tend to have a lot of our own sites - I've had thousands in the past but down to a few hundred now, and those are great assets as we can instantly get lots of new links with our clients keywords in.

        A newbie won't have that network of aged domains to use, but that doesn't mean they can't do just as good a job for a new client, it just means we have one extra tool in our options for helping clients.

        I know some people here like to think that their business model is the right way - but in reality it's a personal choice.

        Some people like to hire a sales team to sell their services and outsource all of the work - that's fine.

        Some people just want to do it themselves and just be efficient in the way they run their business - that's fine too.

        There is no 'one' best way.

        The 'challenges' coming up in this thread between posters are a distraction from helping the OP.

        If we have something constructive to say - let's say it. Arguing about who is more qualified or experienced is irrelevant and just causes negativity.

        This forum is great for making new friends and business partners - trying to make someone else look bad or put them down doesn't make sense.

        ANdy
        Signature

        nothing to see here.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2353184].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    Scroll up and read the comment I made (which you quoted), you'll see that I clearly pointed out that my customers call cold-call SEO's scammers. And I still agree with them.

    Keyword software has 40,000 monthly searches. while keyword tool has 823,000.

    And back on topic.

    Most SEO's that I know build their repuation as they go, through learning and testing, which takes years. Meanwhile they are building their private networks for when they are confident enough to start up with their own business. Ya gotta sow the seeds before you harvest.
    Signature
    IMPORTANT MESSAGE: I'm currently on vacation & will answer all messages when I return - Happy Holidays!!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2349230].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Smith
      Originally Posted by Louise Evans View Post

      Scroll up and read the comment I made (which you quoted), you'll see that I clearly pointed out that my customers call cold-call SEO's scammers. And I still agree with them.

      Keyword software has 40,00 monthly searches.

      And back on topic.

      Most SEO's that I know build their repuation as they go, through learning and testing, which takes years. Meanwhile they are building their private networks for when they are confident enough to start up with their own business. Ya gotta sow the seeds before you harvest.
      That's a quite a statement coming for an SEO expert. I have many clients who's keywords are more that 6600 monthly searches and I have many who's keywords are less than that, it's the "competition" on phrases we should look at first, not discount it like you have. Perhaps I should tell those clients they arnt worth my time?

      My phone does ring, but I "don't wait for it to". (but nice dig there)

      Everything I have stated in the thread is ethical and true. I have also NEVER had a client call any other company "scammers", they don't talk about them at all, why would they?

      back on topic.

      My experience has shown you have to get out there and talk to people, some don't do it that way and that's fine, but to say one way is more professional than the other is arrogant and very inaccurate as outlined in Andy's post!
      Signature

      Add Your Blog to The Internet Marketing Directory & Get Your Free Authority Link!
      Visit The Other Internet Marketing Forum Right Now!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2349272].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
      Gotta agree with Louise.

      My (young) 6 years old private network is my best business card: top ranking sites in serious competitive keywords allows us to show whats the deal with working with us.

      Why?

      When biz owners look up for SEO services they often ask quotes from different SEO providers. 3 of them. 5 of them. Especially big companies.

      Some people show backlink tools, we show them top rankings websites in our (large) network, traffic numbers, potential buyers.

      Believe it or not, it makes ALL the difference.

      Market differentiation 101.
      Signature
      People make good money selling to the rich. But the rich got rich selling to the masses.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2350301].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Steven Smith
        Originally Posted by Fernando Veloso View Post

        Gotta agree with Louise.

        My (young) 6 years old private network is my best business card: top ranking sites in serious competitive keywords allows us to show whats the deal with working with us.

        Why?

        When biz owners look up for SEO services they often ask quotes from different SEO providers. 3 of them. 5 of them. Especially big companies.

        Some people show backlink tools, we show them top rankings websites in our (large) network, traffic numbers, potential buyers.

        Believe it or not, it makes ALL the difference.

        Market differentiation 101.
        He Fernando,
        I agree with that, I have some clients in my portfolio that get me sales all the time, as soon as I show people what we have actually achieved, I quickly dismiss the competition and get the all important sale, that's what I do, SELL!

        I have a personal blog network with over 50 websites, I also use those and their rankings to get sales as well as several commerce websites I have that produce a nice income for me.
        I NEVER give quotes If I know there are more than three prices being considered, I just don't have the time to "quote" people, there are simply too many people that are ready and willing to do business with my company once I show them what I have actually achieved, I get sales that become happy customers and to me, that's what it's all about.

        I always enjoy a good discussion as long as it makes sense to me, I'm not sure this thread is doing that any more? but again, that's' just my opinion!

        Steven
        Signature

        Add Your Blog to The Internet Marketing Directory & Get Your Free Authority Link!
        Visit The Other Internet Marketing Forum Right Now!

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2350445].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author McBrett
          Hi @Syedasim786

          This one has already been mentioned plenty of times, but I thought I'd toss my opinion into the ring as well.

          Referrals are the best way I've attracted new clients. Even if you've never done SEO for someone, you can still ask for a referal and I've found that most people like saying that they "know a guy who does SEO" and share your name with others.

          I've spoke with a number of consultants outside of the SEO world and they have a similar strategy of leveraging referals. Also, be sure to bake in asking for referals from your existing clients. Make it part of your monthly strategy.

          Good luck!
          Signature
          www.500aMonth.com - This is my blog.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2353145].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    If we must do this... you're missing around 96% of the potential search volume (please double check my maths, it's not my strong point, that sounds like very high loss of sales, let me run those numbers a few more times).

    Besides, you're on the second page for your target keyphrase. Your business is your business, if you're happy with it then who am I to question. Not bad for a 3 year old site. Good luck to you Steve, there's nothing personal in a professional debate.
    Signature
    IMPORTANT MESSAGE: I'm currently on vacation & will answer all messages when I return - Happy Holidays!!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2349299].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Smith
    I'm not missing any traffic, I didn't tell you what the other keywords are I rank for, nor the competition for those keywords. (which is somewhat important)

    As you seem to be consistent at missing my point, let's not do this and agree to disagree.

    I have also never sold anything on this forum because I'm busy, You know, I just don't have the time.
    Signature

    Add Your Blog to The Internet Marketing Directory & Get Your Free Authority Link!
    Visit The Other Internet Marketing Forum Right Now!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2349322].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    I naturally assumed you were leading with your best foot forward.

    What's the point I'm missing? You optimise for the number of competing pages, I optimise for ROI. Many ways to skin a cat right? Ahh. this forum is a great place to get more folks into your sales funnel, but that's just my crazy business sense at play or something.
    Signature
    IMPORTANT MESSAGE: I'm currently on vacation & will answer all messages when I return - Happy Holidays!!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2349330].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sdiener
    Well here is a thought. It doesn't MATTER what you are selling. First you have to be able to sell. How good are you at that? ---- and by selling, I don't mean cold-calling. I mean, going out and building relationships.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2350168].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author steven-brandon88
      louise and steven, what can i say, the two of you are like cat and dog lol.

      But i must say that Steven has a point (your are quite dismisive of his "cold calling method" and i question if your clients really would have gone on and on about "scammer cold callers')!

      If you have a very professional way ofcontacting local businesses and address their fundemental need (attracting new customers) then there is nothing scammy about this.

      Oh yea i also most forgot, actually delivering results for the client, which i am sure Steve is doing.

      Louise i am not taking any cheap shots at you, just stating the facts that there are many ways to skin a cat.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2350287].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2353313].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Smith
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      cold calling.... rofl

      {click}
      Somehow, I don't think that the thread starter will find that tidbit very helpful.

      ...sigh
      Signature

      Add Your Blog to The Internet Marketing Directory & Get Your Free Authority Link!
      Visit The Other Internet Marketing Forum Right Now!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2353870].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
        Originally Posted by Steven Smith View Post

        Somehow, I don't think that the thread starter will find that tidbit very helpful.

        ...sigh

        Okay, then put the flameproof suit on and sit back.

        This is yet another example of a "pseudo marketing" person who really isn't a marketing person at all - but a technical person who understands the structure and system of the organic search algorithms and how to game the system to produce certain results.

        But in the end, it's not marketing and they're not a marketing person.

        Period.

        So why should any business buy non-marketing from a non-marketing person?

        The don't and they won't.

        That's why business people hang up on cold callers pitching SEO.

        SEO isn't marketing.

        It's not even lead generation.

        It's a technical-level tool that produces certain results on a 3rd party technical platform, that under the right circumstances can bring traffic to a specific web destination.

        That in and of itself doesn't sell things (contrary to what a large percentage of visitors and members of the Warrior Forum believes). And guess what? That's the only damn thing that any business that intends to stay in business cares about. Selling things.

        Learn the actual fundamentals of marketing itself as a business function and you won't have any problems either 1) figuring out very quickly the best, most profitable way to sell any product or service; or 2) figuring out that the product or service that you're offering isn't selling and substituting it for something that does sell.

        But let's call a spade a spade here... shall we?

        My intention here is NOT to be mean or be inflammatory, but rather to help the original poster understand the gaps in what they're doing and how they're going about doing it -- and more importantly -- WHY.

        But people are sick and tired of cold caller SEO hawkers for a very good reason.

        Is that a little more helpful?

        I don't hand hold and coochie coo, so if you don't like straight talk then disregard this post and go find someone that will blow smoke up your skirt and tell you what you already wanted to hear before you even asked.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2353989].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Steven Smith
          Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

          Okay, then put the flameproof suit on and sit back.

          This is yet another example of a "pseudo marketing" person who really isn't a marketing person at all - but a technical person who understands the structure and system of the organic search algorithms and how to game the system to produce certain results.

          But in the end, it's not marketing and they're not a marketing person.

          Period.

          So why should any business buy non-marketing from a non-marketing person?

          The don't and they won't.

          That's why business people hang up on cold callers pitching SEO.

          SEO isn't marketing.

          It's not even lead generation.

          It's a technical-level tool that produces certain results on a 3rd party technical platform, that under the right circumstances can bring traffic to a specific web destination.

          That in and of itself doesn't sell things (contrary to what a large percentage of visitors and members of the Warrior Forum believes). And guess what? That's the only damn thing that any business that intends to stay in business cares about. Selling things.

          Learn the actual fundamentals of marketing itself as a business function and you won't have any problems either 1) figuring out very quickly the best, most profitable way to sell any product or service; or 2) figuring out that the product or service that you're offering isn't selling and substituting it for something that does sell.

          But let's call a spade a spade here... shall we?

          My intention here is NOT to be mean or be inflammatory, but rather to help the original poster understand the gaps in what they're doing and how they're going about doing it -- and more importantly -- WHY.

          But people are sick and tired of cold caller SEO hawkers for a very good reason.

          Is that a little more helpful?

          I don't hand hold and coochie coo, so if you don't like straight talk then disregard this post and go find someone that will blow smoke up your skirt and tell you what you already wanted to hear before you even asked.
          I'm not sure how that post of yours above: "cold calling.... rofl" was NOT to be inflammatory, but OK, sure it was very helpful to the thread starter if you say so.

          My original post was a "suggestion" of how I did it when I started, which I honestly thought was being helpful to the thread starter.

          Since that post, I have been asked via PM for help from two people and I'm very happy to do that, but I shouldn't have to keep coming and defending how I do business, (which I will every time) I don't think it's in the spirit of the forum and I don't understand the language that has been used nor the manner in regards to my suggestion to the thread starter.

          You clearly DIDN'T read the thread and reacted only to my post above because not only do I not phone cold call, I hate it and have NEVER done that.

          I'm going to not comment on the rest of your post, but I'm sure my three employees will find it interesting that they (we) are doing it all wrong.

          I do like straight talk, again if you read the entire thread, this would have been clearly evident.

          I would also like to say to the thread starter, that the suggestion I made about going out and physically talking to people was how I did it when I started and if you do decide to do it that way, you will find it does work. It's not easy, but it DOES work and if (when you call on those small business) have a brochure of some sort, and simply say you'd just like to drop this information packet off, guess what? they will ask you what it's about ....and your off to the races!

          I also have done mail-out's with the chamber of commerce and that has worked out nicely too, but that takes money and you have to wait for the return on your investment. You can do a direct mail option, but you need some printing done, or my chamber of commerce has an email they send out every quarter, that has also worked very well, there are MANY other ways to do this, but these are JUST suggestions.

          Best of luck to you!
          Signature

          Add Your Blog to The Internet Marketing Directory & Get Your Free Authority Link!
          Visit The Other Internet Marketing Forum Right Now!

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2354090].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
            Originally Posted by Steven Smith View Post

            I'm not sure how that post of yours above: "cold calling.... rofl" was NOT to be inflammatory, but OK, sure it was very helpful to the thread starter if you say so.

            My original post was a "suggestion" of how I did it when I started, which I honestly thought was being helpful to the thread starter.

            Since that post, I have been asked via PM for help from two people and I'm very happy to do that, but I shouldn't have to keep coming and defending how I do business, (which I will every time) I don't think it's in the spirit of the forum and I don't understand the language that has been used nor the manner in regards to my suggestion to the thread starter.

            You clearly DIDN'T read the thread and reacted only to my post above because not only do I not phone cold call, I hate it and have NEVER done that.

            I'm going to not comment on the rest of your post, but I'm sure my three employees will find it interesting that they (we) are doing it all wrong.

            I do like straight talk, again if you read the entire thread, this would have been clearly evident.

            I would also like to say to the thread starter, that the suggestion I made about going out and physically talking to people was how I did it when I started and if you do decide to do it that way, you will find it does work. It's not easy, but it DOES work and if (when you call on those small business) have a brochure of some sort, and simply say you'd just like to drop this information packet off, guess what? they will ask you what it's about ....and your off to the races!

            I also have done mail-out's with the chamber of commerce and that has worked out nicely too, but that takes money and you have to wait for the return on your investment. You can do a direct mail option, but you need some printing done, or my chamber of commerce has an email they send out every quarter, that has also worked very well, there are MANY other ways to do this, but these are JUST suggestions.

            Best of luck to you!

            Hey great Steve!

            I actually didn't read your posts at all and was actually responding to the original post that said...

            Today was my first day marketing my business offline, by using cold calling methods. I know it's been only one day, and I only called 25 businesses (law firms, dentist offices, plumbing, etc) however I feel kinda discouraged even though I shouldn't when getting clients.

            Although you took exception to my initial response, it pretty much sums up my entire opinion of cold calling for SEO. I didn't feel the need for verbosity.

            cold calling.... rofl

            {click}
            cold calling <--- that's the topic at hand...

            rofl <--- that's my expression of amusement

            {click} <--- that's the sound of a business owner hanging up on an SEO cold caller.

            Sorry that didn't fit into your pre-determined conception of what an appropriate response on an internet forum should have been.

            I clarified my original post after your {sigh}

            If the shoe doesn't fit, then don't worry about it and quit taking things so personally on the internet.

            Incidently, I happen to know a little bit about "offline marketing" myself.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2354307].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Trapped
    Interesting thread..however I am not willing to give a long detailed response as others have done so far. The fact is, you are willing to offer SEO services to "fund" your "internet marketing venture" ... i don't know about you, but that doesn't make much of sense to me.

    If you don't have the budget to fund your own ventures, how will you then promote my site? Offer me some crap stuff that I have done like 4 years ago? Why instead you don't use those crap stuff on your marketing venture and try to make your money from that, instead of wasting peoples time and money...the essence AND the reason you are willing to offer your services are simply backward and I doubt you will make any success but just waste time to others and to your self.

    However, thread is asking for advise, so I will also give you an advise. Since making a website rank won't be something you would consider, as you just want to get into this business to fund your internet marketing venture, then just try to look for clients on forums, keep your promises to your "future" clients low and the price as well. But my real advise is to stick off of it as I believe it will distract you from your main goal.

    Just my 2 cents.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2353787].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Smith
    The Topic is: "Help Getting Clients for a Start Up SEO/SEM Company" NOT cold calling...you and another poster made it that, not I.

    Here's a thought though, why don't you offer some suggestions to the thread starter instead of trying to prove something to everyone, ....give the guy "some advise".

    Talk about being defensive, most of you gibberish is self-serving and you haven't contributed anything to this thread.
    Signature

    Add Your Blog to The Internet Marketing Directory & Get Your Free Authority Link!
    Visit The Other Internet Marketing Forum Right Now!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2354368].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Originally Posted by Steven Smith View Post

    The Topic is: "Help Getting Clients for a Start Up SEO/SEM Company" NOT cold calling...you and another poster made it that, not I.

    Here's a thought though, why don't you offer some suggestions to the thread starter instead of trying to prove something to everyone, ....give the guy "some advise".

    Talk about being defensive, most of you gibberish is self-serving and you haven't contributed anything to this thread.

    Hey thanks for that input Steve.

    Speaking of self-serving gibberish, let's review, shall we?


    Originally Posted by Steven Smith View Post

    Hey Asim,
    I have been doing "offline" SEO and Web Design service offerings for almost 5 Years and I can tell you that what you described that you have done already IS "the" single BEST way to get clients.
    ...
    Originally Posted by Steven Smith View Post

    I have been doing this now for 5+ years offline, I don't just talk about it in forums and offer advise based on a fictional wish list of how the world "should be" In my case, I do have a high ranking site that is listed for my area for SEO Services Web Hosting and VPS Offers, BUT I can tell you that while I have made sales from my website, real life professional people always appreciate it, (and actually respect it) when I go to them and talk to them about SEO or web design and that is the way I make every single month "part-time" and I don't think "scammers" (as you put it) have the nerve to show their faces at an office building or local business.

    ...
    Originally Posted by Steven Smith View Post

    First of all, I have a web design company Not and SEO company, I have done SEO extensively for many years, in fact the site in my signature ranks on all the serps for multiple (competitive) keyword terms including a page two listing (at the top) for "keyword software" (on Google) which has 47 "million" competing pages!

    ...
    All before my initial response in your effort to be completely disagreeable with the majority of the others who responded to this topic.

    And then, of course, the best part of your self-whatever gibberish to me...

    Originally Posted by Steven Smith View Post

    ...

    I'm going to not comment on the rest of your post, but I'm sure my three employees will find it interesting that they (we) are doing it all wrong.

    ...

    Steve, it seems that you've done nothing but try to prove something in this thread from the beginning (not to mention be argumentative with anyone else that disagreed with you - me being just the most recent).

    Then you've taken this incredibly arrogant tact with me over how I happened to choose to respond to the original poster - who most certainly made the entire second paragraph of their three paragraph post about... what was it????

    Oh yeah... COLD CALLING.

    Originally Posted by syedasim786 View Post

    Hey Warriors,

    So I have recently started up a search engine marketing company to help get some cash flow coming in to help pay for my Affiliate Marketing ventures. So I have created a website, established my services and packages, and got my outsource team in place. The only thing I am missing are clients. So my question is, what would be the best way for a brand new start up SEM company to get clients?

    Essentially I have developed this business to help local businesses market their services online. Today was my first day marketing my business offline, by using cold calling methods. I know it's been only one day, and I only called 25 businesses (law firms, dentist offices, plumbing, etc) however I feel kinda discouraged even though I shouldn't when getting clients.

    I understand using the local chambers of commerce is a great way to get clients, and being part of small business groups and seminars to network my services. However I need to get clients fast, and start making some cash flow immediately, I am getting laid off at work and next week is my last week of work so basically I need clients.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    To which my reply was...

    Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

    cold calling.... rofl

    {click}


    Nowtherefore, since you've simultaneously promoted yourself as the titan of web success while debasing others with your flippant quips of "self serving" and "defensive", I'm going to go ahead and take my liberties with you and school you a little bit.

    I have been selling "offline marketing" since 1987.

    In 1994 I started a web dev company that did work for a few little outfits with names like Chrysler, P&G, Champion Window, Reynolds & Reynolds.

    I sold that company to one of the largest direct marketing companies in the US - the owner of 30% of the nation's Val-Pak franchises... where we do 200,000,000 direct mail pieces a year. Since I fufilled my consulting agreement with my partner post-acquisition, I have continued to consult in the marketing business, leveraging our customer list of over 200K business owner CUSTOMERS all over the USA. I employ 8 full time graphic designers alone and presently manage $500K a month in PPC campaigns for clients (I have 3 people managing just the PPC campaigns). We do $5 million a year in strategic marketing consulting and sell that much per year in CRM system implementation to business owners all over the United States.

    I didn't need to introduce myself to this thread with my resume and assertions of my authority. That's because I have the confidence that comes from knowing that I was quite successful before most of the members of this forum even heard of the internet. I'm only doing so now in response to your direct insults, your flippant arrogance, and your attempts to dictate that which is a proper reply from others - apparently rooted in your self-aggrandinzing sense of authority that was displayed prior to my first post.

    So thanks for your lessons in how to conduct a forum discussion and I've sincerely enjoyed you and your three employee autobiography.

    p.s.

    Should you doubt the veracity of my statements, here's a link to an archived article from Editor & Publisher magazine (that would be THE defacto trade journal for newspaper publishing) that I was quoted in with my full credentials in 2000. Not that it particularly means anything special, but simply providing 3rd party verification.

    http://www.allbusiness.com/services/...4676725-1.html
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2354420].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Mike, I wasn't going to bother reading this thread until I saw that you jumped in. Didn't learn much that I didn't already know, but I enjoyed the read...

      To the OP...

      Here are a couple of suggestions...

      1. Get your fanny off the phone. Traditional cold calling will wear you down and is a PITA to the people you are interrupting.

      2. If you have to work cold, talk to people face to face. Go to their place of business and try a conversation - that means both sides get to talk - as opposed to a presentation. If they say they don't have time, take them at their word and ask for a better one, and leave something behind that might pique their curiosity.

      3. If you want access to the real movers and shakers in a local community, get involved with local charities. Apply your skills to the benefit of a local food pantry or animal shelter, and use that as a case study to prove your abilities. DO NOT measure your results in "serp position", measure it in increased contributions to the charity, increased coverage as a result of local media picking up on your output, something relevant to the charity and the business people who support the charity.

      4. The only people who give a damn about 'search position' and rankings are SEOs.

      Good luck to you...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2354513].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Smith
    Mike,
    I wont list my clients on this thread in a 5 paragraph post, it's just of no benefit to the thread starter unless he wants to hire you.
    All the quotes you made, make perfect sense to me and I think your the one that's being defensive.

    I will from this point on, certainly think long and hard about offering advise on ways people can go out and get business as it's seemed to have sparked unnecessary fodder and despite my best efforts I will raise the white flag!

    If ANYONE cares to read this entire thread, they will see that I haven't been defensive Nor have I been rude, nor have I attacked anyone's way they feed their families. I have simply responded to what were unnecessary comments directed at me, you have show to be prolific in that ability.

    Anyway, Please feel free to quote away, at the end of the day, I merely offered someone my input to what I have done to make a living online.

    Mike, I'm unsure why your so upset, when your attitude from the outset has been what it was. Anyone can go back and read it if they wish too, (without all the quotes) although like me, it all just seems a little silly now, doesn't it.

    Best of look to you all in your offline endeavors! (however you choose to do it)
    Signature

    Add Your Blog to The Internet Marketing Directory & Get Your Free Authority Link!
    Visit The Other Internet Marketing Forum Right Now!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2354620].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
      Originally Posted by Steven Smith View Post

      If ANYONE cares to read this entire thread, they will see that I haven't been defensive Nor have I been rude, nor have I attacked anyone's way they feed their families. I have simply responded to what were unnecessary comments directed at me, you have show to be prolific in that ability.

      Nice try. You're now the victim? come on.....

      Perhaps YOU should re-read your own comments.

      Your arrogant and offensive tone is what got pushed back against.

      Things like "I can tell you that what you described that you have done already IS "the" single BEST way to get clients."

      Most people would not presume that 'their' best method was 'THE' best method.

      That's just your opinion - nothing more. It comes across as very arrogant (especially if it's NOT what other successful members have experienced).

      and then things like "I also learned a few truths and they are:"

      Again - just opinion. Some of which I disagree with. They're not "Truths" and saying they are is just your ego.

      And to top it off....... Less than 50 minutes later you posted:

      "I don't just talk about it in forums and offer advise based on a fictional wish list of how the world "should be" In my case"

      Which considering really only Louise had posted apart from you was just a blatant insult to her and a slap in the face to other members let alone unnecessary.

      That was all BEFORE anyone even mentioned anything you had said.


      So - you're now the victim? to people calling you out on your arrogant and insulting position.

      You surely didn't assume that none of us have been doing this more than 5 years? or that your experience was likely to be so superior that no-one else would be likely to have found anything different?

      There are a lot of people in this forum who are very successful and just don't run around quoting the details of that success - to assume otherwise is just ignorant with so many members and such a long-standing forum.

      Hey - This was all unnecessary.

      The OP has had some useful responses from many people who know what they're talking about.

      Most of those responses are free from ego and simply share what that poster has experienced to be useful.

      Without the posturing and trying to be the authority on the subject it's easy for your helpful advice to be taken in a positive way.

      The response you got was based on the way you posted more than what you were trying to say.

      Don't go off in a huff thinking that all these people are idiots and you're the victim - just accept that your communication didn't have the response you had hoped and see what you can learn from that for the future.

      It would be a shame if you took a little challenge to your posting in one thread as something more than feedback on your posts in the thread.

      People wouldn't push back if they didn't care about helping others.

      Andy
      Signature

      nothing to see here.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2359523].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Look, when you deal with as many bricks and mortar clients as I do, you understand the average business owner's attitude towards SEO and SEO marketers. Internet marketing in general has a pretty bad reputation overall, and SEO marketers are like the bottom of the dung bucket. Business owners think it's a joke, a scam, and they believe the people who engage in the practice to be shysters - FOR A REASON.

    Anything that I can do to discourage anyone from cold calling business owners to buy SEO services is doing both the SEO provider and the business owner client a favor.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2354695].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author perpetualmike
    Hi Asim,

    I think a good way to start the ball rolling would be to do some free seo for

    a non-profit and get a testimonial from them
    Signature

    The money is out there. You just have to go get it.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2354832].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author vitto
    Asim,

    I agree with perpetualmike, the best way to get the ball rolling is to start doing some work for free or at cost... because even if you do get a meeting with one of the businesses that you are calling, they will want to see your portfolio do you have one?

    Another tidbit, as you can see seo is getting pretty thick, so think about the other ways that you will be able to provide value to your future customers and think about what makes you different from the other seo camps.

    As far as making money right now, here is an idea that you might not like... Call up the major SEO firms in your area and apply to work for them. Doesn't sound ideal, but you never know+ you might learn a thing or two.
    Signature

    Most people are constantly looking for another way to transfer responsibility for the outcomes in their lives to someone else. You can ignore it, try to change it, or profit from it - Dan Kennedy

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2355624].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      # Talk to all the business owners you already know.

      # Talk to the owners of businesses where you're spending your money.

      # Talk to the business owners your friends and family know.

      # Ask everyone you talk to (especially the business owners you talk to) who they know. A referral from one business owner to another is like gold.

      # Go to business networking meetings and trade shows.

      # Become the speaker at as many business networking meetings and other groups which have a high proportion of business owners.

      # Use the phone (yes cold calling can work...it's easier if you think through and test some different strategies).

      # Use direct mail (we have a letter at offlinebiz.com that gets around 20% of the business owners you send it to to call you back). Regular brick and mortar business owners read their mail. Key tip...personalize the mail you send out.

      # Use email. Again personalize the email you send out. Spam is illegal and ineffective. Personalized emails are perfectly legal and effective.

      # Go talk to business owners in their businesses (again having some strategies you can use helps).

      # Do anything else you can think of that puts you in touch with business owners.


      Any one or two of the methods above should be enough to get you a nice long list of paying clients.

      Which one will work with you is going to depend on a lot of different factors and one key is not to get hung up on thinking one method will work or won't work and just run with anything that seems to be working for you.

      Most important when you're starting out is to take a lot of action and to learn to take the time and listen to the business owners you talk to.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2355699].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Adam Nolan
        I haven't read any of the other posts... but speaking from direct experience to where we are continually generating high quality leads this is what I'd recommend.

        #1. Hire an assistant that can do daily tasks full time ($250.00 usd / month)

        Get them to do the following every day, all day.

        1. Look up niche's in local areas. ie: New York Plumber.

        2. Send a mass email to the New York Plumbers on pages 2-4 of Google..

        2.1 The e-mail will briefly explain your services and offer them a limited time deal that is just a sample of what you do. Include a free "30 minute" consultation. Include all the e-mails in the "To:" field of your email client so that everyone can see each others e-mails. So they know you're not bluffing when you say that only 1 person / area / industry can work with you and you're contacting everyone in the area.

        3.0 Ask them to get back to you if interested within 2 days. Hint that their competition is calling while they're waiting to make a decision.

        4.0 When they call have it route to an e-voice # and sent to voicemail. Get your assistant to respond via e-mail and book the appointment.

        Lather rinse repeat... The $250 you'll spend on the VA is paid back 10x to 20x each month.

        Cheers
        - Adam

        P.S. The other added benefit of doing it this way is if you land a "New York Dentist" and want to expand your marketing area. If you go to a dentist in New Jersey with proof of what you do working in his industry it adds a ton of credibility to your name. Also, make sure and get references from EVERYONE.
        Signature
        Marketing Hacks Workshop Tonight at 8PM EST.

        Tonights Hack: The incredible hidden traffic source you haven't heard about that can send thousands of targeted visitors to your website for 1.9 cents per click.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2355730].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author hommi_16
    Hey everyone,

    As a person who has been following this thread for the past few days, I have been trying to "bite my tongue" not to respond but I just can't do it anymore.

    I don't know why Steven (whom I never dealt with before just so you know) is being attacked when all he did was post his own experiences as to what he thinks is a good way to attract clients.

    I've been doing offline for the past year now and guess how I got my clients... cold calling! For some one to come here and write that anyone who cold calls is a scammer/spammer is ludicrous in my eyes!

    What do you want a person who is starting out to do? Create and optimize a site catered to people looking for SEO services and wait for the calls to pour in... come on!!!

    From the get go, Steve has posted an answer to what has worked for him (and others), offered to help and sprinkled his messages with smiley faces, an indication of a well intentioned post and eagerness to help.

    You may not agree to his methods and that's okay and you have every right to come here and post what has worked for you. But to call out all SEO "cold callers" scammers and then attack him and call him arrogant is absolutely ridiculous.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2360541].message }}

Trending Topics