You might be a SEO genius but if you are doing SEO for a living and you donít know how to acquire clients, not only nobody will appreciate yourskills but you will soon find yourself starving. In order to avoid this, here are some tactics you need to know, if you want to acquire SEO customers.
Think Twice, If You Really Need to Grow Your SEO Business
First, before we start with the tactics themselves, one other issue needs to be clarified - do you really need new clients? It might look like new clients are always welcome but this certainly isnít the case.
You might be thinking, the more, the better. Not so. When you grow your business, quality issues start to popup. For instance, will you be able to service all the new clients you acquire? If not, what makes you certain you will be able to hire the right people to provide the service your clients expect? Business growth is good but the list of companies that drowned because of poorly managed growth is miles longa nd it makes no sense to join it, so before your rush hunting for new clients, do think if you will be able to handle them.
1 Get Referred and Recommended
After you have made sure you do need new clients, letís see how to find them. The first tactic is to get referred and recommended. You can ask friends and acquaintances to do it but your best referrals are your past clients. Sometimes satisfied clients will refer you anyway but you might also ask them explicitly to do it. You can even ask them for written testimonials/recommendations and put these on your site.
2 Check SEO Job/Gig Boards
SEO job/gig boards, such asCraigslist, are huge opportunities to find new clients. You can place an ad offering your services, or you can check ads of people who are looking for SEO services and respond. Also, in addition to general job boards, you might want to check the ads at the most popular SEO forums, such as WarriorForum.
3 Get a High Quality Site
Your site is another tool to find clients. You need to have a top-notch site because no matter which channel you use to find clients, they will always have a look at your site before hiring you. If they see a messy site, donít expect they will do business with you. It probably goes without saying that your site needs to have good rankings, too. If your site is nowhere to be seen for your keywords who will hire you Ė if you can't do proper SEO for your very own site, who is mad to trust you with theirs?
4 Partner with a Web Designer/Developer
A tactic that can bring you really a lot of clients is to develop a partnership with a Web designer/Web developer. They can send you clients directly and you can do the same with your clients, who need a new design/coding for their site. Additionally, if you know the designer/developer and are certain of the high quality of their work, you won't have problems doing SEO for a poorly designed/coded site, which we know is always a nightmare.
5 List Your Services and Rates Onsite
You can't imagine how magnificently this works! When clients are looking for SEO help and they see a concrete offer rather than the standard ďWe are the greatest!!!!Ē blah-blah-blah (and if your rates are normal, of course), they are really eager to contact you. So, donít be shy but put your rates onsite.
6 Offer Package Discounts and Subscriptions
You can also consider offering package discounts and subscriptions. For instance, you can offer reduced prices if a client orders SEO for two sites. Subscriptions are good because they bring you a monthly fee and since SEO is an ongoing activity, it makes sense to offer subscriptions for letís say 5 or 10 hours of work a month and ask for extra payment if in a particular month you worked more hours for a given client.
7 Get As Much Free Publicity As You Can
Free publicity is not a direct shot at clients but it helps to build your reputation, which in turn helps a lot to convince clients you are their person. The opportunities for free publicityare numerous and you donít have to try them all. One advanced tactic here is to join a site such as Help a Reporter because it gives you exposure to really high quality publications.
8 Guest Post and Comment on Top Ranking Sites
Again, guest posts are not a direct shot at clients but they also help to build your reputation and gain more exposure. Look for SEO/Web sites, or if you specialize in a niche SEO, for sites in that niche, contact the webmaster, write a post and little by little you will gain a substantial Web presence.
For instance, back in the day when the site was at its prime, a friend of mine used to write for SEOchat. She told me that on days/weeks when she published a popular article, she was getting multiple emails, a large portion of which offered some kind of SEO gig or even jobs and this continued for years after she stopped writing for the site.
9 Be Active on Social Media
Social media also give you a lot of exposure, so explore them, especially the SEO channels and/or niche channels on them. While Facebook and Twitter do work, the best place is LinkedIn because it is a business-oriented network. Take part in forums and channels there, answer questions, ask for recommendations, etc. and sooner or later you will see clients pouring in.
10 Do Followups of Past Clients
Past clients are not past! They can bring you new clients. Maybe this was a one-time client who was pleased but has forgotten about you, so if you remind him or her gently about your services, you might be lucky to land a new client. Just make sure you are not spamming - donít mass mail all your past clients, or donít send multiple emails to one client.
These tactics can bring you new clients but actually it is more important if you can retain these clients. It makes no sense to acquire new clients, if they leave you dissatisfied. So, in addition to wondering how to find new clients, do some effort to retain them- this is the key to a successful SEO business.