Freelance SEO work is simple at first glance. To begin with, to define SEO we can say in broad strokes that it is a search engine optimizer. You learn SEO, find clients and charge them for services rendered. But, as with all things in life, it's the execution that matters, and it's not always easy. Below, we'll share some lessons to help get your freelance business started as an SEO expert.
1. Grow your network
One of the most important things when it comes to getting into freelancing is to create a database of contacts who are in the same industry as you. They don't have to do what you do, but they do have to be in the same industry because eventually you will need them. After you have this general list, you can identify 10 people you can ask for a favor or sell your services to. Send emails to those people and, whatever they seal, the information they can give you is of great value. That's just the beginning, but always think about growing that network of contacts so you can conduct business in the future or simply establish relationships.
2. Grow your online presence
You can be the best SEO ever. But if no one knows about it, it will be hard to succeed. Remember something key in the freelance world: if you're not on social media, you don't exist. Your service offering is all about getting your clients found online, and if they can't find you online, it could be a big negative when it comes to closing deals. You may be asking yourself, "where or how can I start? Our answer is by posting on other websites. One tool you can use is LinkedIn to build that presence; or on the other hand, a great tool to promote your services is Twitter. With a large digital footprint, it's easier to get clients to trust you. And, who knows, that's where you could get a lot of leads. This is not the time to be spammy; you're looking to provide real value and associate your expertise with your name.
3. Treat yourself as a business
When you start your own business, you are now an accountant, a marketer, a social media manager and a legal department. You also pay your taxes (yes, terrifying)and that's something you definitely need to take into account when pricing your services. It's not enough to just calculate the hourly rate, you'll need several times more to cover all the other expenses. Remember that you are no longer a student selling candy at recess thinking you are a businessman, you are a freelancer who counts on himself to make a living.
4. Learn to sell
SEO and selling skills are completely different, but one can't live without the other; you need both in order to succeed as a dedicated SEO freelancer. Don't think that selling is something that has to be annoying, it's not about going door to door, but it is about constantly selling in a subtle way. For example, every time you go on a call with a potential client, you're selling. When you are talking to new friends, you are selling. These can be ideas, results, yourself as a professional, or simply your services. Any conversation can become a potential client. It's just a matter of grabbing your way of selling and adopting it as quickly as possible.
5. Create processes and systems
If you still don't have a clear path to follow when doing your SEO tasks, don't worry, you're in good time to do so. Creating these processes to follow will help your business become more efficient and get better results. If at some point you want to expand your business from one to a larger team, it helps to have these processes to be able to delegate activities; it doesn't need to be anything sophisticated, just a simple way to have a checklist to be able to accomplish what is necessary and have happy clients.
6. Build assets
Selling products in addition to your services can make you a better SEO, since you learn a lot of marketing skills that, at the end of the day, end up serving you for SEO. For example you could make a digital book about your knowledge, a paid membership, an online course, etc. whatever you can manage under your own time and capabilities. Besides the passive income they bring you, they keep you busy always researching on how to improve SEO, therefore it is an investment for the services you offer.