$200-$500 budgets. You can do directory listings, some social media, on-page SEO, and some website development… And you need to outsource this otherwise you aren’t leaving yourself with anything.
I mainly work with companies that have a larger budget for marketing. I have numerous clients at $1500 and some that spend over $3000 a month on marketing, web development, social media, and everything else online related. The key is to not just be a 1 trick pony and be able to handle all of the other important aspects of online marketing as well. They are related after all… The big 4 are SEO, website development, Social Media, and PPC.
Small stores just starting out cannot afford SEO. They will almost always try to get your services for free. If you are new and looking to gain experience then it is a great place to start. Anyone can offer SEO that gets results within 1 months time if on a $150-$200 budget if they outsource the work. Things such as manually building NAP citations (yelp, foursquare, yellowpages etc), creating Google business listings, creating some content, performing on-page optimization can be done and these aren’t penalized. For more advanced SEO there is almost no way you can do it for a smaller business with a limited budget as they need business now and not in 6 months when they might be out of business. It is a well known fact that most business owners make less than they would at a low paying job.
One of the things I do with clients is demonstrate my expertise while also building trust. If they don’t see you as an expert or don’t trust you then they won’t let you handle their marketing simple as that. One easy way to start out in the industry is creating short youtube videos for your client (agreed upon firstly). The video contains some photos and positive reviews of the company along with their contact information. Rank that for the company’s brand name which should take less than a few weeks. If it is a larger client you can spend a few dollars on youtube video ads to drive some views to it.
There are other tricks I use that can get the clients phone to ring quickly. I’ll then call the client back and ask them if they would like to see more of that.
Good SEO’s don’t have time to sit 1 on 1 with a client and teach them SEO. They can direct them to a beginners SEO course online (FREE) on YouTube but providing 1 on 1 consultations to for example a barber is just a waste of time. The barbers expertise is in cutting hair. He/she should be spending time learning new tricks and trends on hairstyle not on SEO or social media. Spend your time where it is deserved – not where it is needed. Everyone NEEDS your services so you should work with the ones willing to pay. If a client says they will do it themselves you didn’t do a god job of demonstrating your expertise. If you try to talk a business owner who has no money for marketing into marketing, you are not spending your time wisely. Still, help the person with free advice that will help them and maybe down the road they will refer some clients to you as has happened to me.
When you are working with a $3000/mo+ client then you can afford to educate them on what you are doing and why it will work as well as what doesn’t work. This is to further build trust with them. Never build a reliance on your services or lock clients into a neverending contract. Keep detailed reports on your work!
If you aren’t outsourcing your work, you are doing a disservice to your client. There is a reason why countries import products from China. It can cost much more to produce locally. The world has gone global. Digital marketing companies that aren’t regularly screening new skilled freelancers offshore in other countries and outsourcing work will become irrelevant/extinct trying to do everything on their own. Data entry tasks are best outsourced along with many other things. Don’t trust your worker? Use screensharing! There are many tutorials online that teach you how to hire VA’s. I have a great team of workers and this took many years to build the relationships. I’m still adding to my list everyday.
Good SEO agencies are the ones that can also do website development, branding, some PR, social media, search engine marketing (PPC), content marketing and so forth inhouse. How do they do all of this? They outsource effectively. I’ve been doing this and achieving great results for my clients charging a quarter of what people who do everything themselves charge per hour. If you want to build a long-term relationship with a client, make sure their profits increase while working with you.
To all those who think outsourcing is bad. I urge anyone to try and provide more services doing everything themselves vs 10 highly trained MCA graduate freelancers in say India… There are good people out there. Recruiting is a skill. Good luck.