Apr 182024

Starting a search engine optimisation business from scratch can be an extremely overwhelming and daunting task, especially if it is your first time. Establishing contacts and connections can also be extremely time consuming if you have no prior marketing and sales knowledge.

Below is a useful guide to help you get your first clients and to get your SEO / SEM business off the ground. Before I begin, please keep in mind that “word-of-mouth” is king, get the word out, talk and mention your business to whomever, whenever and wherever. Remember, the more exposure you offer your business, the more chances you will have landing that first deal.

Search engine optimisation marketing and offline selling tips:

1. Target your market and know your customers, i.e. do some background research. It helps to initially concentrate on one industry, e.g. travel websites, and know the terms, your clients, their line of work and their competition.

2. Localise yourself, concentrate on a local area. Try not to tackle too much at first, focus and concentrate on local businesses and gain their trust. Remember “you are a local” and share similarities.

3. Meet with them, form a partnership and more personal relationships.

4. Assess your advertising options (depending on your budget), consider using the following advertising tools:

a. Local newspapers – place a catchy add.
b. T-shirts – they create great advertising on the street or wherever you go. Also, choose an eye catching slogan.
c. Business cards – choose an appealing and aesthetically pleasing design, trust me professionalism and great design go a long way.
d. Billboard and brochure advertising for those that have the financial means.
e. Taxi advertising: Taxis can be seen all over town by motorists, many of who may happen to be company executives looking to increase their online sales.
f. Radio is also not a bad way of reaching out to people, however this can be costly.
5. Join your local chamber of commerce, meet business people and discuss your SEO business. Offer them a FREE brief website analysis / proposal on their website and show them how you can increase their online traffic and sales.

6. Referrals, referrals, referrals and partnerships. Speak to web design / web development and ISP companies, form partnerships, offer them commission if they refer companies to you.

7. Last but not least: There is nothing like cold calling. Go straight to your source, bypass the marketing manager, do not collect $200, and head straight for the decision maker. Again, as in tip #5, offer a FREE SEO website analysis.
Follow these steps and you can be sure that you’ll be on your way, just stick to your guns and persevere. Deals and contracts may not rush in overnight, however you can be sure sales and new clients will come about in a short period of time. Best of luck!

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