If you haven’t already read part 1 of this article, then be sure to do so by clicking here.
Here's part 2 of my article titled, "50 Ways to Find More Clients in Your SEO Business".
26. Build a list
This really is another no brainer. If you aren't building a list then start now! Having a list is essential in terms of establishing ongoing relationships that can bring about new business. This revisits direct email marketing, where it's possible to follow up with existing clients, by perhaps sending seasonal greetings such as christmas and easter well wishes, and of course asking for referrals. Myself personally, I recommend aweber.com for its simplicity and affordability.
27. Send thank you gifts or cards to your clients
For what it's worth at just a few dollars, a thank you card, christmas card or even a birthday card can have a significant impact on your business. I've also given out gift boxes to clients that have launched new sites. I mean, it might be just another job to you, but for clients that have invested a lot of time, money and effort towards their online prescence, the overall experience is one that should be congratulated. I've often given out thank you cards and small gift boxes containing a bottle of wine and some chocolates and clients have been absolutely blown away. This of course brings about repeat business and plenty of referrals.
28. Go to seminars and workshops
There are literally hundreds of events, seminars, seo training courses and workshops happening right now in your area. These events are a networkers dream, in that you get to meet new people, exchange business cards or even in some cases, have a dedicated area where you can showcase your business and services. Often times, even if the event sucks, it’s the people you share a coffee with during the breaks that you end up establishing the best relationships with.
29. Run a competition
How motivated would business owners be if you offered free search engine optimisation or another incentive for them simply entering into a competition? Competitions can be another excellent way of not only acquiring clients, but also building a list. I've often seen simple newspaper column competitions and also competitions being held in local corner stores for businesses promoting their services. Prizes range anywhere from a weekend away to a gaming console. The end result however is the same. Building a list of prospects. When you give people some form of incentive or reward for participating, then they become much more motivated and likely to contact you.
30. Billboard advertising
Billboard advertising although somewhat old school in its approach, can still be extremely powerful, especially with the right creative. Believe it or not, billboard advertising is quite affordable. I recall looking into this out of curiosity some time ago, and found that for a 6 week campaign, the costs were around $1,200. Not too bad considering the positioning of the signs. All 3 of them were positioned on a major highway, and according to statistics, over 100,000 cars pass through there daily!
31. Build relationships with other seo firms
A good friend of mine works in a rather large seo firm and he quite often send leads my way. Not because he doesn’t want them, but moreso because they don’t necessarily fit the profile of the company. Most often than not the clients are seeking entry level campaigns that are below the minimum budget of which they offer. Either way, I don’t mind, I get the lead, the customer gets what they want, it fits their budget and everyones happy. Of course I also return the favour by redirecting clients his way when possible. By establishing relationships with other seo firms, you can really tap into the work that’s readily available.
32. Credit your work
You might already be doing this, but for those that arent, be sure to plug your work on each clients website. This should include something like “SEO by Johns SEO Company” or something of that nature. In most cases, this is done by placing a link within the clients website, typically the footer, but if possible, try to work a deal with your client so that you can place banner ads onsite as well. I've done this in the past, and offered the client a discount in exchange for the favour. Of course, by placing contextually relevant links, this will help boost your own site within the rankings.
33. Write some kickass articles and promote them onsite
Articles really have the potential to draw a following, and with that following comes leads. By publishing articles on your own site, you can not only demonstrate your expertise and knowledge but also use those articles as reports, case studies and examples of why seo is beneficial for online business owners. It can also help draw traffic to your site and improve your own search engine rankings.
34. Create free tools or software
Another excellent way of generating interest towards your business is through way of creating free tools, or software that you might consider giving away or providing access to on your actual website. A great example of this would be Google’s Keyword research tool. This tool is used extensively amongst seo professionals worldwide, and whilst it's entirely free, it does provide Google with excellent exposure and of course, attracts more people towards pay per click advertising. Remember to always brand your free tools or software with your company or business logo and or website.
35. Public transport advertising
Millions of people commute daily to and from work using public transport. This in itself provides an excellent advertising opportunity for those looking to generate more business and capture more leads. Where I live in Sydney, public transport advertising is huge, with advertisements placed on buses, ferries, trams and trains. Whilst I’ve never actually tried public transport advertising, I can certainly imagine how powerful it would be, especially since most people are sitting playing with their smart phones during travel.
36. Consider doing charity work
I've mentioned this method in this article here. Charity work, even though it's unpaid, is an excellent way of building up your rapport with potential clients, because by performing unpaid work, you're demonstrating good will, credibility and integrity. All of these things work towards building trust, which can be a huge factor in terms of building a client base. Don’t be afriad of contacting your local salvation army, red cross or family support groups and offer to help them out.
37. Advertise within a niche specific magazine
Here's an interesting one – magazines. Believe it or not, a few years ago I was approached by a rather popular real estate magazine who requested that I write an editorial for them outlining the benefits of seo within the real estate industry. The effects of this were huge. I wrote the article, they published it, and the enquiries came hard and fast. I quite literally couldn’t keep up. The entire experience was awesome and I highly recommend you consider doing the same. For those just starting out, it might be difficult to get a foot in, so consider sending them links to some of your articles you’ve published onsite as a means of demonstrating your expertise.
38. Business cards - professional cards, keep em on hand at all times
I hate to admit it, but honestly, I don’t know how many times I got asked for my business card when I first started as a freelance consultant. People will ask you at the least expected times, so be sure to keep a handful in your wallet or purse at all times. Trust me, it’s a great way to lose a potential client, when you respond with “Oh sorry, I don’t have a card on me at the moment”. It just doesn't look as though you're really serious about doing business when you don't have business cards on you.
39. Throw a barbeque
Who doesn’t love a good old barbeque in the park? It's amazing just how many people get involved when you keep it simple. I remember some years ago going to an event like this in a local park, where a newly launched business decided to host a barbeque. They had free burgers, sausages and other finger food available, and were handing out flyers and business cards. The whole concept of keeping it informal and just chatting to everyone whilst enjoying some food and drink made it very relaxed and took away that “hard sell” approach.
40. List yourself in business directories or the Yellow Pages
Whilst the yellow pages is slowly dying out, you’d probably be surprised just how many leads still originate from this method of advertising. The yellow pages is relatively inexpensive and offers both online and phone book style advertising in which case, provides a way of capturing both online and offline enquiries.
41. Cold calling
I don’t know how I feel about cold calling. If you asked me in person, I’d probably respond with “It’s not for me” I know when I have telemarketers call me unexepectadly its extremely annoying, and in most cases I just hang up, but for some, cold calling is a powerful way of securing clients. I don’t know how effective this method would be in terms of landing more clients for seo, but its certainly a strategy that needs to be mentioned. I guess if you kept it short, sharp, friendly and to the point, it might open up some opportunities to organise an initial consultation or meeting.
42. Attend trade shows and expos
Trade shows, much like seminars are another fantastic way of not only showcasing your business, but also networking with other business owners and potential clients. Whilst this method might be more suited to medium or large scale businesses, it can still be considered amongst freelancers that are new to the industry as a potential marketing angle once more established.
43. Post controversational content on your site
As they say, any form of publicity is good publicity, and whilst that may not always be the case, it certainly does bring about a level of public interest. In my training course, I talk about using a method of which is commonly known as “link bait”, which in essence is simply publishing controversial content such as a funny article, a survey, or perhaps a series of short videos that are likely to be shared heavily on the web. Instead of simply posting your everyday article, that might get a few reads, post up something that is a little left of centre, that might attract a flood of traffic to your site. This in itself can bring about new clients alone.
44. Sponsor events
Perhaps for the larger, more established firms, sponsoring events or seminars is an excellent way of getting your name out there. What better way than to provide a level of funding for an upcoming event in your area in exchange for the promotion of your services? The benefits of doing this is that you’ll be targeting a highly focused group of people, who you know will most likely be interested in engaging your services.
45. Video Marketing
Instead of just writing content or submitting a press release, think about shooting videos. These are a great way to build a level of trust with your viewers, in that, they can put a face to your name. It's also another way of introducing yourself, and providing an insight into your business and it's services on offer. Be sure of course to brand your videos with either your web address or contact details before you begin uploading them.
46. Snail mail
Don’t write off actually typing up some letters and licking a few stamps. Snail mail will most definitely have you stand out from the crowd because most other SEO firms will be emailing, texting and calling. Snail mail is still powerful in that it demonstrates you being proactive and actually taking the time out to send a personalised letter.
This is an age old marketing strategy that still seems effective, even after all these years – and that is printed stationery. Pens, calenders, notebooks, fridge magnets and more. For such small costs, it's definitely worthwhile considering this as a means to capture more referrals. The best option is to either direct mail them out, do a letterbox drop or send them within client gift boxes.
48. Run naked down the street with your web address written across your bum.
I tried this once and got arrested. The fine was $180, but I landed 2 clients, both paying $500 a month, so it turned out to be profitable.
49. Showcase your portfolio
This is another no brainer. If you’ve already performed SEO for clients, then show off your work! Provide testimonials and links pointing to your existing client base and provide examples of how you helped those people improve their rankings. I know when I'm looking to hire a service provider, that I usually always ask to see examples of their work, or at least see what work they’ve performed.
50. Look after the clients you have!
The best customers are the ones you already have. These people have decided to work with you, have handed over their hard earned money and have entrusted in you with the well being of their online business. Instead of constantly seeking out new clients, don’t forget those that have already worked with you. It’s a lot easier at times to gain repeat business than it is to find a new client altogether.