Search engine optimization and marketing is both a modern and established business that every successful company utilizes in order to get better positioning, market share and revenue. I have always been attracted by the magic of SEO and the thrill to compete for better ranking and outsmart Google by providing high quality service to my clients. You know that you have to turn your passion into a job and eventually it will start paying back in real money too. Therefore, I have opened my own SEO and marketing start-up about two years ago and I can say that I have already started picking the fruits of my hard work.
How did I do it? Simple – with hard work and persistence. And I would like to share, which were the 7 most important tips that can help a SEO, and almost any, start-up become a well-established and successful company.
Start with passion and patience
In order to start any business, regardless of your age, you must be passionate about what you are doing. It doesn’t matter if the job includes physical or mental work, if it is going to be local or global, if it is currently fashionable to work this or not. There are many tips on how to turn your hobby into a job but the two most important words in this undertaking are passion and patience. You need to really love what you are doing in order to be ready to do it for free or even at a loss for a certain period of time before you establish yourself as a reliable pro in the field. And you need to be patient. Very patient. You are probably aware that the results of hard work in the area of SEO are not immediately visible. Stay confident in what you are doing and keep going.
Learn to advertise yourself
Once you have decided to start your own business, you need to learn how to advertise yourself. This can be a bit tricky as you might have to overcome some restrains that are a result of your upbringing, nationality and personality. Not all people feel comfortable saying “I am the best for this job!”. However, you need to do that in order to promote yourself and find customers. You cave to back your claims, of course, with proof of your education and skills. Assemble a good portfolio that can act as your most powerful add – do not be shy to show the potential clients what you are capable of. In our digital world and especially in the career of the SEO marketing manager, your nationality, sex or current location are of no importance. Your skills, however, are. So, learn to advertise yourself and don’t be afraid to state “I can do it and I can do it better than my competitors!”.
Make use of freelancer’s sites
As a start-up company, you do not expect to have hundreds of clients suddenly requesting your services. Therefore, you have to actively search for customers. You can make use of the different freelancer’s sites either to find jobs or to present yourself as someone willing to take a job. My advice will be to try both local and international sites. At the beginning, you will need to do some jobs, that are not that well paid but look at them as an investment in your future development. Remember the passion and patience tip. Eventually, you will build up a network of repeated customers, who will start recommending you and you will establish your company on the market. Be ready to work in various fields – show the same dedication no matter if your client is a bankruptcy attorney, hair extension salon, home tuition agency or online shop selling tiles. Diversity is great for your development.
Hire the right people
Most probably your start-up will include only you or one-two other people in addition. As you take up tasks, your work assignments will grow and so will your company. Now, you need to find the right people for your start-up. Don’t look for education but for experience. Search for people who do their work with passion and dedication not just for money. The best thing is to find like-minded professionals who share your values and are ready to back you up. Be open and honest with them about your company being a start-up and the limited possibilities you can offer at the beginning. However, make sure to point out that they will grow with you. Promise only things that you can deliver. If you find loyal and dedicated employees, your business will grow much faster.
Provide and encourage training
Let your employees undergo various training while at work. You can have a talented marketing specialist with great ideas but no knowledge or skills in certain areas. Let them undergo an AdWordstraining, for example, while at work, instead of requiring just the certificate. Thus, people will feel much more motivated and committed. If you are not making them purposely work outside working hours, you will see how much more dedicated to the job they are.
Keep high but realistic standards
A very important part of growing your business is consistency in the quality you offer. Keep your standards high but realistic. If you are offering blog posts or link building to your customers be sure to offer what you can provide. Never promise something that you are not able to deliver due to lack of time or employees. On the other hand, do not agree to undertake jobs or clients that are too demanding for the price they pay, who will make you do things twice or three times without clear explanation what is wrong and refuse paying for your time and efforts. Do your best but then simply say that obviously you are not able to deliver what they need and carry on. Being a start-up doesn’t mean that you should agree to do something that is below your standards.
Last but not least comes the hard work. A lot of people dream about being their own boss, however this power comes with a lot of responsibilities and work. You should be ready to work extra hours and not only in the beginning. While your company is still a start-up, you need to dedicate time and efforts to find your niche. Once it grows and you are already an established player, you need to keep up the high level of services that you offer. However, since the work you are doing is something you love, you will finish the day with a smile and a feeling of satisfaction.
Those were the seven tips that helped me establish and sustain my SEO company. Hopefully, they will be useful to you too and encourage you in your undertaking.