When I built my first SEO agency 5 years ago, I was incredibly keen, full of knowledge and desperate to be successful. I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve, but then quickly became frustrated by my lack of progress.
Despite my best intentions, I made an awful lot of errors. I am pleased to say that I learnt from these. During some reflection I decided to create a list of 7 pieces of advice that I would have offered myself when starting out.
The hope now is that this may well just benefit someone else on their journey. Whether that is in the form of finances or time, these were some of my learning’s.
My 7 pieces of advice
1 – I knew that I wanted to write a blog to help show that I knew my stuff. I wanted people to know that I was the real deal.
So I wrote…. a lot.
After my first 30,000 words of blog posts I was incredibly proud of my achievement. I had done something that would really hep my business. However there were only 3 readers of my blog; myself, a friend in the industry and a family member. I was spending my time creating content that no audience was going to read.
I had missed out the critical factor of actually building an audience. If I had to do this again, I would spend at least 80% of this time actually promoting my work, and only 20% creating it. This would have saved me an incredible amount of time and frustration; and made my content a lot more valuable to my agency.
2 – I would focus on just one niche and one service that I would offer.
I can recall now creating my first homepage. I listed all of the services my agency would offer:
- Social Media Management
- Reputation management
- Website creation
- Website optimization advice
These services were available to everyone. I tried to offer everything to every industry; and as a result I got very little in terms of clients. Now I am very specific about which niche I target and what services I offer. I target one niche with one service.
It is so much easier to be viewed as an authority this way, rather than as just another agency.
3 – Know your pricing structure and stick to it.
I recall being nervous the first time I was asked for my prices, but I had no need to be. I knew I would provide value above and beyond what I was charging, and I knew they could afford it; however I had created a self-doubt. So when I told them my price they tried to haggle. It was clear they believed in me, and wanted my services. However I must have given a sign that there was room for maneuver.
I would never ask a professional if their fixed prices are negotiable. So I always charge a fair price, and stick to it. As long as you know your worth and what you will provide; I don’t believe you should sell yourself short.
4 – Make client acquisition your number one priority.
This will make or break your business. You can have a beautiful website, a strong PBN and a stunning logo. However without clients it all means nothing.
I still today make reaching out to leads a daily practice. This is how I will continue to grow and scale my business. Previously I seemed to think that if I built the site, the customers would come.
This was certainly not the case and it took me a little longer than it should to realize this.
5 – Don’t spread your social media usage too thinly.
I had previously tried to be a valuable resource on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. It was too much to try and manage as well as the day to day running of my business.
I decided to focus on one platform only, and give it my all. As a result of this recent change I feel I have more concentration and give better interaction with a higher quality of social media content.
6 – Avoid shiny object syndrome.
I studied a lot about SEO previously. I also went through a paid course, and then another. I was feeding my knowledge and almost waiting for one gem of information to jump out at me.
I already knew exactly what I needed to do. I simply lost focus. I would highly recommend that you decide on one direction, one course of action and stick to it and become successful. Continue to drive to succeed.
Once that is achieved you can expand your horizons and grow further. However it is so easy to become distracted and lose the end goal.
Knowing what I do now, I am so much more efficient in my working day. I work smarter than I ever have done, and achieve a lot more. Hopefully these tips will help someone else on their journey.
About the author
Alan Allsopp is an internet marketer, and the founder of expropria.com, providing SEO for estate agents.