by NBSEO
38 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Hey everyone

I recently launched a company offering SEO services. I'm having a really hard time landing clients. I've been running facebook ads, placed ads in online classifieds and have contacted local businesses...still nothing.

Anyone have any tips?

Thanks!
#clients #seo
  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Facebook ads are probably not going to land you what you are looking for.

    When you say contacted local businesses, how did you contact them? Please don't say by email. And how many did you contact?

    Online classifieds are pretty much worthless. You are better off answering ads that others place looking for SEO services. Even then, most of those are going to be tough to get. They'll get bombarded with emails from "SEOs" in India and the Philippines promising they can rank their website for $50-100. Unless they are familiar with how SEO works, it is sometimes tough to convince them how bad those services are.
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    • Profile picture of the author JRJWrites
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      They'll get bombarded with emails from "SEOs" in India and the Philippines promising they can rank their website for $50-100.
      I'm sick and tired of imbeciles on the forum and their racial bigotry.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by JRJWrites View Post

        I'm sick and tired of imbeciles on the forum and their racial bigotry.
        Online classifieds are pretty much worthless. You are better off answering ads that others place looking for SEO services. Even then, most of those are going to be tough to get. They'll get bombarded with emails from "SEOs" in India and the Philippines promising they can rank their website for $50-100. Unless they are familiar with how SEO works, it is sometimes tough to convince them how bad those services are.
        If you are going to try accusing me of being racist or bigoted, do not take the quote out of context. Please tell me where there is any untruth in my entire comment.

        Have you ever placed an ad on Craigslist looking for an SEO service? If you have not, I do not see how you are qualified to make a statement about it.

        You cannot do the kind of quality SEO work most people are looking for on a shoestring budget.

        If you are an SEO provider placing ads or answering ads on classified sites like Craigslist, that is who you are competing with. That was my point.

        I await your apology.
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  • Profile picture of the author patadeperro
    Banned
    Depending on what is your marketet I created a couple of documents some time ago and none of them is about cold calling

    For the entrepreneur that knows cold calling sucks, but does not know other way to get clients

    How to Generate B2B Leads Without Cold Calling

    Hope it helps Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author linkbuildr
    Please don't be offering scammy and spammy SEO ie directory, blog comment, blog post junk as there are enough of that already.

    LinkedIn groups -> booyah
    Meetup.com -> Hit up local networking events and make yourself known
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  • Profile picture of the author Dokemion
    Originally Posted by NBSEO View Post

    Hey everyone

    I recently launched a company offering SEO services. I'm having a really hard time landing clients. I've been running facebook ads, placed ads in online classifieds and have contacted local businesses...still nothing.

    Anyone have any tips?

    Thanks!
    You're at the right place at the wrong time dude!

    Penguin 2.1 was rolled out last Oct. 5 I'm pretty sure you've expected that clients who got hit by this new algorithm is focusing on spending less because they are earning less. And currently for all business online who wants to acquire SEO services they'll pretty much wait until they know that there are SEOs out there that have manage some strategy or campaign that is Ok with Penguin 2.1 and can help their business.

    I myself postponed my plans to launch my very own seo service company and I am not accepting any clients even if they themselves are e-mailing me and acquiring my services. Until I'm pretty much sure that my seo knowledge/skills/strategy/campaigns/approach are at 90% effective and matches my future client's expectation that will be the right time to launch my seo service company.

    And oh I forgot to include that business in the last quarter of each year $ucksS not all but for MOST businesses!
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      SEOwizard's suggestion about snail mail can work really well. It can also be costly. I've had some success with postcards in the past. When you add in printing and postage you are usually looking at about $1 minimum cost for each mailing. You will probably need to send at least 100 to generate 1-2 phone calls.

      If you really want to dump some money into, you can use FedEx packages. This will get really expensive really fast. I think last time I did it each delivery was around $15. That was before printing costs. I only used it on top end prospects, but EVERYONE opens a FedEx package. Great way to stand out and actually get some material in front of a decision maker.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dokemion
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOWizard417
    Try some traditional snail mail marketing campaigns. Much better than email wit a decent copy, you can put together a list using yelp or yellowpages.
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  • Profile picture of the author andrewkar
    Hey NBSEO,

    Just go to Elance and contact some people! Make good looking profile and YOU WILL get clients! Good luck

    P.S Always ask for at least %50 upfront!!!
    P.P.S Make your minimum at least $400 for even the smallest thing... !
    P.P.P.S If you do, you will have a chance to actually survive and make some BETTER money...
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    Do what you want to do!
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  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    Banned
    Getting new clients ain't easy, I see it myself with the SEO companies that outsource to me, they get a new client like once a month or once in 2-3 months (sure I don't know if they outsource every single one to me but the new influx is real low from all fronts).

    Even when advertising at IM forums it doesn't catch on like wildfire, it takes time but once you deliver good results it can go fast when you run into people that are credible and that have lots of connections.

    It's important not to give up too fast.

    When I contacted local clients a long while ago it amazed me how much people were aware of risks or simply scared so prepare with a good story to calm them if needed.

    Instead of doing PPC, mailings and that kind of stuff I would instead rank for local SEO terms, then you have at least proven that you are able to rank sites effectively and local SEO terms are not that hard to rank.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dokemion
      Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

      Getting new clients ain't easy, I see it myself with the SEO companies that outsource to me, they get a new client like once a month or once in 2-3 months (sure I don't know if they outsource every single one to me but the new influx is real low from all fronts).

      Even when advertising at IM forums it doesn't catch on like wildfire, it takes time but once you deliver good results it can go fast when you run into people that are credible and that have lots of connections.

      It's important not to give up too fast.

      When I contacted local clients a long while ago it amazed me how much people were aware of risks or simply scared so prepare with a good story to calm them if needed.

      Instead of doing PPC, mailings and that kind of stuff I would instead rank for local SEO terms, then you have at least proven that you are able to rank sites effectively and local SEO terms are not that hard to rank.
      That's why I wanna say to the Thread Starter that he is at the right place at the wrong time. With all the heat that is going on right now in-terms of Google new Algorithm as well as the year is coming to an end.

      And my advice is not to look for a possible client on the last quarter of the month they have so many reasons not to hire at this time, the best job hunt is on the 1st and 2 quarter of the year. Basic Economics 101.

      You're right instead of trying to get clients by e-mailing etc. etc. better rank your business own domain first as a proof that your seo services are worth the penny they'll pay. Pretty effective, I rank my blog at #1 and #2 for local keywords then I brag about it and... you know what comes next... hehehe..
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      • Profile picture of the author BigChris
        Thats the best way to start by ranking your own site/s. Show the proof that your services are valuable. People want proof that it works. Take the time to get good ranking on your own domain/keywords and show them the strength of your services.

        Also, I have gotten clients from Linkedin just by adding new people and updating my profile at least 2 times per month. People have been contacting me for my services, rather than just me scouting for business.

        Another thing that has worked for me is simply finding a group like Realtors for example, that are complaining about leads/marketing they currently have and offer free advice at first, then when/if they respond you can let them know what you do. In other words, search for specific questions/topics like: " Has anyone used (xyz ervice)?"... I promise you there will be a ton of people complaining about the service that need your help. It may not be limited to SEO, so if you offer another type of benefit, you can offer that too...

        Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

      Instead of doing PPC, mailings and that kind of stuff I would instead rank for local SEO terms, then you have at least proven that you are able to rank sites effectively and local SEO terms are not that hard to rank.
      In all honesty, you should do both. Ranking is going to take awhile, especially if there are any decent SEOs in your town. Plus it is a very passive way to bring in clients. It will never bring in as many as pounding the pavements looking for business.

      Pick up the phone. Knock on doors. Get your business out there.
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      • Profile picture of the author nik0
        Banned
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        In all honesty, you should do both. Ranking is going to take awhile, especially if there are any decent SEOs in your town. Plus it is a very passive way to bring in clients. It will never bring in as many as pounding the pavements looking for business.

        Pick up the phone. Knock on doors. Get your business out there.
        Nothing wrong with doing both of course, when he has no clients and nothing to do, it's better to spend the time productive of course.

        I didn't mean to rank just for 1 city though, I would focus on many cities, with separate sites, perhaps you can even get a virtual address so that it looks that you're really located in their city, to connect better (or maybe that's over kill, I don't know).

        Most medium sized cities in the US with 100k visitors are not that competitive though but yeah it does take some time, and time = money.

        I easily pick up the phone, now a bit different as I'm in Thailand (way too expensive and often poor connection, especially over Skype or that kind of cheap alternatives), but knocking on the door is not really my thing, however when I run into people I mention it, so far got 3 clients that way. One I met in a casino, another one in a bar and the third one was my real estate agent here in Pattaya who had some side project going on.

        Calling people and inviting yourself in at companies should work though, it's easy to do a few dozen phone calls a day.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dokemion
          Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

          Nothing wrong with doing both of course, when he has no clients and nothing to do, it's better to spend the time productive of course.

          I didn't mean to rank just for 1 city though, I would focus on many cities, with separate sites, perhaps you can even get a virtual address so that it looks that you're really located in their city, to connect better (or maybe that's over kill, I don't know).

          Most medium sized cities in the US with 100k visitors are not that competitive though but yeah it does take some time, and time = money.

          I easily pick up the phone, now a bit different as I'm in Thailand (way too expensive and often poor connection, especially over Skype or that kind of cheap alternatives), but knocking on the door is not really my thing, however when I run into people I mention it, so far got 3 clients that way. One I met in a casino, another one in a bar and the third one was my real estate agent here in Pattaya who had some side project going on.

          Calling people and inviting yourself in at companies should work though, it's easy to do a few dozen phone calls a day.
          I agree.. Utilizing whatever resources you have at hand is very important, specially for a new business. And since time is money you have to find ways to convert the suppose to be wasted time into something to be of valuable when the right moment comes.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    @Dokemion

    No offense but I would never hire anyone with a blogspot sub-domain, it just doesn't look like your serious (blogspot). I'm not sure why you have the blogspot URL in your forum sig. when you have a paid domain name on the blogspot.

    I think all the SEO talk about algo. updates on a SEO sales page would be confusing for a small business client, I don't even think it's something a client would want to know about.

    Put yourself in the clients shoes, what would you want? Traffic, nothing else.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dokemion
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      @Dokemion

      No offense but I would never hire anyone with a blogspot sub-domain, it just doesn't look like your serious (blogspot). I'm not sure why you have the blogspot URL in your forum sig. when you have a paid domain name on the blogspot.

      I think all the SEO talk about algo. updates on a SEO sales page would be confusing for a small business client, I don't even think it's something a client would want to know about.

      Put yourself in the clients shoes, what would you want? Traffic, nothing else.
      It "was" a blogspot...

      I careless changing the way it is... are you bothered by it? You want me to change it, I'll do it if you want it to stop bothering you.

      No offense Yukon, Clients NEED traffics but they WANT sales! Nothing else.
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      Contact me for any SEO Services you need I'm glad to be of your service.

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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Dokemion View Post

        It "was" a blogspot...

        I careless changing the way it is... are you bothered by it? You want me to change it, I'll do it if you want it to stop bothering you.

        No offense Yukon, Clients NEED traffics but they WANT sales! Nothing else.
        Change it, it's bothering me.

        Sheesh...
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      • Profile picture of the author Hitman777
        Originally Posted by Dokemion View Post

        It "was" a blogspot...

        I careless changing the way it is... are you bothered by it? You want me to change it, I'll do it if you want it to stop bothering you.

        No offense Yukon, Clients NEED traffics but they WANT sales! Nothing else.
        We do cold calling to get qualified leads for services like you. I sent you a PM! See if you are interested and message me on skype.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEODollz
    @ OP

    I have had a lot of success getting clients off of facebook but not with Facebook ads. (Everyone hates ads.) Here's how I launch a new niche SEO brand on Facebook:

    First start a company blog, fill it with lots of free information, stuff people can really use. Make yourself a resource for your potential clients. You have to give before you can get, you are the new kid in town so this is paying your dues.

    Get your fan page up and running, schedule posts in advance for peak times, three times a day at least, start populating your page. Use relevant hashtags, if you are going after local clients use your city hashtags if you are going after a niche use industry hashtags.

    Now, as yourself (not as your page) start seeking out local businesses on Facebook. Like their pages, leave a nice comment (nothing salesy.) Join some local Facebook groups or industry one depending on who you are targeting. Join in the conversation there but never selling still. Watch as they post questions you know the answer to and be the hero. This is the "social" part. Make friends, be helpful and position yourself as the "goto" person for questions about marketing/websites etc in these groups. Small businesses owners talk a remarkable amount about lead generation and marketing techniques.

    As you make friends, add friends (as yourself.) Invite them to like your page. If in a conversation in a group you see the opportunity to answer a question with one of your blog posts go for it, drop the link. Same goes with any other assets you might create, video tutorials work great.

    Watch your feed, like things they post, leave nice comments and share their stuff often. They will love you for it because small businesses a lot of time struggle to get good engagement on their posts on Facebook.

    What will happen then, is that pretty soon you'll be explaining something to a business owner and he/she will say "Geez can't I just hire you to do that for me?" You do a great job for him, pretty soon he's sending you more business and it snowballs. Or the people that liked your page notice all the great tips you are posting and they hire you based off that. Or your blog readers hire you based off that. That's howto sell SEO on Facebook without looking like a creep. I've done this several times from the ground up and get more business than I know what to do with very quickly (give it a month.)

    This is also extremely easy to do on industry (niche) forums or even local forums. Just be helpful, gain their trust and they will pick you over the guy spamming their inbox blindly. Plus it's free so not like you need a big budget to implement. HTH

    Also.. offline, nuff said
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesse Kemper
    A lot of SEO Work can simply be gained by connecting through other offerings. I typically cold call with the intention of selling them on Web Design, then after creating a great web design, explain to them the importance of SEO so that there great web design can be seen, and typically they understand how important it is to rank high, therefore they go for it. I rarely ever approach clients with the intention to FIRST sell SEO, at least thats my personal way about it.
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    • Profile picture of the author michaelgoldstein
      Originally Posted by Jesse Kemper View Post

      A lot of SEO Work can simply be gained by connecting through other offerings. I typically cold call with the intention of selling them on Web Design, then after creating a great web design, explain to them the importance of SEO so that there great web design can be seen, and typically they understand how important it is to rank high, therefore they go for it. I rarely ever approach clients with the intention to FIRST sell SEO, at least thats my personal way about it.
      That's exactly how I do it too. Additionally you will also notice (once your first clients have success), that YOU will get calls from companies! Just make sure to add something on those websites that you are doing the SEO for them.
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  • Profile picture of the author anoopsparx
    First make your Brand value and start giving few thing in free that help to clients. After that start PPC and other campaign. Then it will help in lead generation. i am working in same lead generation process.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
    I got 3 clients within my first month of my SEO business and it's very easy. Let me share with you...

    Ask your friends who owns a business.

    Ask your friend have a business and a website. Offer a special rate in exchange for a testimonial when you rank their website. Use a few these testimonials to pitch for new jobs, whether it is online or offline.

    People being sold SEO services will always ask, "So where's your reference?" so this method can help.
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  • Profile picture of the author salmansafder
    Do seo for ur own seo site first, bring ur site on top in search engine by seo and you will get hundreds of clients then simple formula.
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    SS

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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Nguyen
    Join your local business networking group and gain trust there. The easiest way to get SEO clients is do work on a client site for free or for cheap and once you deliver, word will spread.

    I've been doing this for 20 months and 90% of my clients have been through word of mouth. 10% through cold call / direct mail.

    Make the right connections and you'll have a good extended network that will promote your business.

    Of the top of my head I have:
    4 people that actively keep an ear out for any SEO opportunities for me and
    15 others that will do the same for me (and I do the same for them)

    This alone has built my business. It's ironic though, I offer SEO but I don't even have a proper business website and I've never generated a lead through my own SEO work
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  • Profile picture of the author danb12
    Check out Odesk for new clients. Sell yourself good and you will get good high paying clients if you can provide the results.
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    UK Coupon Website PR1 making £300+ per month - QUICK SALE - CHEAP SALE - CONTACT ME
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  • Profile picture of the author hipeopo02
    Put your SEO biz at the top of your resume as PART TIME.

    Apply for menial jobs.

    When they call you in for an interview and you are finally face to face with a decision maker and they start asking you about your SEO business...

    I think you know what to do here.

    Good luck.
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    A crappy product or service by people that disappear from the forum for a long period of time to make it look like they were working on something so when they come back you will want to click on their crappy product or service link

    CLICK HERE! LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author koubain
    PM me and I will tell you the secret
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  • Profile picture of the author OutSourCed
    I'll say it again and it's worked for me. I'm making a decent living doing SEO. I now get referrals but I initially got busy when my own website made it to the top of local search for "seo company, my city". The work just came. I even have national accounts.

    Still though, making the sale is not always easy. SEO has a major distrust factor. I offer a no questions asked money back guarantee and I still don't close every sale. I put my good name on the line as well because my confidence level is just that high. Also make sure you can do the work before you start making claims. Prove it by doing it. First for your self and others for free. That's what I did just so I had a few "singers".

    Word of advice. If you spread out your fee over several months, expect the client to reneg on the final payment or two. GET A CREDIT CARD NUMBER from your client to cut down on this phenomenon. Most of my work is done the first month and the the effect percolates so when customers don't or won't pay there's not a whole lot I can do about it. (I never deconstruct).

    Many of my customers think that being on the first page of Google will make them successful. It won't. They still have to do the work, or make the sale, or offer great customer service. Something not everyone can do. I have many clients well entrenched on the 1st page of Gooogle and they're not answering their phones because they are not cut out to be in business for themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dimitris
    How I did it in local some while ago:

    I contacted the local importer and reseller of Kids Toys, who has been nowhere for his keywords, but by its reputation deserves much better SERP.

    I make an appointment and offered to double his online sales made only by his branded keyword.

    I presented him how his competitors are doing SEO and made a projection of how much they earn in relation to his earnings from his current SERP.

    After several meetings and a bit of haggling, we made a deal to do SEO for only one(main) keyword.

    I made him first on SERP with really a little, but quality work (that's how it works on local).

    He had a nice profit after Christmas and New Year holidays, and now he wants more SEO for more terms. It is now my turn no negotiate about the conditions.

    You can repeat this in any niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author nettiapina
    There's couple of references to offline stuff. I'd recommend some form of networking. Can be a outright networking event where everyone's trying to get contacts or leads, or something more subtle like your local entrepreneur's association. I'm introvert and very poor at this, but I've gotten good partners, clients and deals this way.

    Not a quick fix, though. People seldom order when they see you the first time.
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    Links in signature will not help your SEO. Not on this site, and not on any other forum.
    Who told me this? An ex Google web spam engineer.

    What's your excuse?
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Local business networking events have worked very well for me.

    Get out from behind your desk and go meet people. Face to face is powerful.
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    BS free SEO services, training and advice - SEO Point

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  • Profile picture of the author Google Local SEO
    I would request you to kindly sit back and place everything together and then move forward.

    I can suggest you to kindly visit your local dealers and explain them about SEO and how that could help them to increase the ROI. Then you can appoint a marketing guy to do that for you and I think it will help you to first have a good number of clients from your local and then approach people from the other places with good portfolio.

    This has worked for me in past and also you could do promotion in linkedin too for making yourself recognize to the whole world
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  • Profile picture of the author GyuMan82
    Do good work and make your clients money.

    When you are making money for clients, word of mouth gets around and new potential clients will go out of their way to come and find you.
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    • Profile picture of the author lerxtjr
      I myself postponed my plans to launch my very own seo service company and I am not accepting any clients
      yep, that's me too. I'm not actively seeking new seo clients for sure. Just became too much of a full-time job to do for anyone else but my own websites.

      But, I'll say something else about lead gen...that getting seo clients is the EASIEST part of web marketing to get new clients for. All you have to do is find what meetup group, association meeting (usually monthly), or conference your target market is attending. Then sit in the audience with your laptop, take a picture of the first speaker (usually the keynoter). Then make a blog post. If you're good, you should be able to get that blog post near the top of google by the time the speaker is done speaking. Then, start showing people in the audience. One of the people you tell will usually get around to the keynoter or the event planner that you now have a post with their name in the title for "[speaker's name] speaking". At one association meeting, it only took attending two meetings for me to be brought up on stage to present 'how' i did it. I had to beat off prospects with a stick!

      Best advertising is getting in front of people and showing them proof.
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  • Profile picture of the author massiveray
    Short term -
    Cold calling, I this is how I started, call local businesses, tell them what their problems are and how you can help them, tell them how much you charge.
    Freelance sites, You'll get cheaper people on these and have to beat out the competition but if you have a quality proposal then you'll get a lot of interest and some work.

    Long term -
    PPC, I generate clients through facebook and adwords, adcentre doesn't do anything for me. You need to learn how to do these things though, and then learn how to conversion optimise your landing pages.
    SEO, this is the business, you're selling right? so do it for yourself, nothing better than a prospect calling you and asking for a reference and replying with "how did you find me?".

    Focus on long tail terms that people actually type in who don't know what SEO is, stuff like, "need more customers to my website", "more clients to my surgery" etc etc these are what will bring you business and the competition will be weak.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gabby12
      Join a local chamber of commerce and participate and attend meetings. Great way to meet business owners.
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