Note: This post was submitted by one of our longtime reader. The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding an unlikely case of hypnosis) and may not reflect the views of SEtalks.com.
SEO is awesome.
And doing it to for a living is much more exciting.
This is because SEO is one of those always in-demand skills for which people are ready to spend thousands of bucks every month. In fact, companies who are trying to accelerate their sales or expand their online reach are always in need of quality search engine experts who could help them accomplish their desired goals.
Now the thing is that you’re reading this article most probably because you are either an SEO consultant already, or you’re just a rookie who’s trying to get into SEO.
No matter who you are and what your primary goal is. If you’re reading this, I can bet this post is going to show you step-by-step actionable strategies that you can steal and put to work right away once you’re done reading.
See, this is how you need to get rolling. No BS. Just dead simple steps in a systematic order that you pick and implement to start generating recurring revenue from your SEO business every month.
So let’s begin!
The 5-step client acquisition framework or as I call it the ‘Pentagon Strategy’ is one of my earliest and most powerful strategies that will surely help you rapidly structure a rock solid service-based business.
Using this strategy alone, I was able to land recurring contracts from multiple high-value clients around the globe including CEO of Clarity – Dan Martell.
Below is the visual representation of what Pentagon Strategy looks like:
The concept is quite simple…
Step #1 – Pick out
As we’re talking about selling SEO as a service every month and we know that’s the only thing we’d be offering, so let’s skip the step 1 and quickly move on to the second step.
Step #2 – Pitch
Pitching shouldn’t be just conveying your idea. It’s something more than that. I believe that pitching is not just conveying your idea to the relevant people but engaging them and making them follow your call-to-action.
And that’s exactly what you’re about to learn.
The first thing you need to figure out is whom you’re looking to sell your SEO services to. Is it a mommy blogger with lots of original content and audience? Or is it a SaaS startup needing more search traffic? The choice is yours.
For now, I’m supposing bloggers attracting at least 15k a month unique visitors as my ideal customers whom I’m going to reach out to. Here’s a similar pitch email that I had used to close many deals:
Notice that I’ve directly talked about a problem with my prospect’s business and how his competitors are outperforming him. In short, you just need to hit hard the pain point of your prospect.
Moreover, as I mentioned earlier that pitching should also make your leads follow the call-to-action as well, there’s nol ‘Thank you for the opportunity’ fluff in the last part of this email. Instead, I’ve encouraged the prospect to just say Yes or No as a response to make him qualified for the service.
Step #3 – Propose
Once the prospect has showed interest in your ideas, it’s time to hook them up with a beautiful and highly-relevant proposal of your SEO service.
This could be an interactive presentation or a video, but shouldn’t be a generic sales proposal that talks about your values and company mission. Highlight the benefits and results the potential client can achieve working with you.
For example: Don’t just mention “Increase in search engine traffic”. Show them the estimated numbers and figures to prove your point like “6.3% increase in search engine traffic within first month”.
(Note: I’ve put up one of my agency’s original client proposals at the end of this post that you can steal and tweak it for your own SEO business.)
Step #4 – Perform
This is where you need to show off your SEO magic. However, at this stage usually, many clients expect you to perform a demo of your service for free. And many consultants do it for free as well.
In our case, we won’t lift a finger for free even.
Reach out to your qualified leads and ask them:
“Hey, I’m super-ready to show you a demo of my service for only $$$. You can experience yourself if our service is a good fit before you opt for our full fledge plan. Shall we start?”
This single technique alone has made significant differences. Asking for a small fee for the demo task is an indicator whether the prospect you’re working with is even able to afford your service or not.
Believe it or not, this little technique has saved me hours of work and helped me to focus more on clients who were seriously interested.
Step #5 – Partner
This is the final and most interesting step of the Pentagon Strategy.
Now the idea here is to retain your existing SEO clients and partner up with them for a longer-term engagement.
This is because it’s much easier and a better idea to work with your existing clients rather than working for a one-off job and start a new client search from scratch every time.
Once you’ve performed a demo task for your qualified buyers and impressed them with the outstanding results, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and offer a monthly retainer.
An advantage you have here being an SEO consultant is that even if a few of your clients are hesitant to sign up for a recurring plan, you could explain them that SEO is a long-term game and produces best results only when consistently implemented.
The last two steps of Pentagon Strategy are inter-linked. If the results in step #4 are impressive, serious buyers won’t hesitate to sign a monthly retainer in step #5 to continue getting better results.
Promoting your professional services in internet’s increasingly noisy atmosphere is a common problem these days, as consumers have learned to ignore online advertisements that results in poor conversions and fewer sales.
So what’s the fix? If traditional advertising or social media promotion isn’t driving more SEO clients, it’s time to start leveraging influencers network to get instant exposure and a lot of business.
Influencers are those people in your industry that influence others to perform an action. In short, these people could be CEOs of big corporates, leaders, top-level bloggers, and notable media figures.
For example: If I want to get a spotlight on my new SEO agency, I would look for connecting with SEO influencers like Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin, Brian Dean, and of course, our very own Moosa Hemani.
So think about influencers in your respective markets. You could narrow down your niche as much as you want to.
Let’s say you offer SEO services primarily to organic food companies. In that case, you need to look out for popular bloggers writing about organic food and those who have a very large fan following.
It’s important to understand that influencers are people like us – they have a social life, a family, friends, inspirations, and they too have mentors whom they look up to for guidance.
When I started Freelance Supremacy, where I help freelancers build a better freelancing business, I quickly realized that highly-engaged communities aren’t built with advertisements but with effective, honest networking.
In fact, I’ve seen some really cool results from getting influencers sharing my stuff. Last month, 74 people subscribed to my email course within an hour from one Facebook post written by the founder of a popular SaaS app. And that single post still continues to send me subscribers over the time.
And that’s just one of the results I’ve gotten.
I get recommendations, referral projects, collaboration opportunities, and lots of exposure for my business each time I tap my influencers network.
Now let’s just dive right in to see my easiest strategy that you can use to reach out to the experts in your industry and get them to bring more SEO clients to your business.
The only rule you’ve to follow here is to BE ORIGINAL. Just don’t be a fake. If you don’t get results using their content in the first attempt, let them know and ask how you could get it right the second time.
Most influencers are very open to sharing and highlighting their student’s or reader’s success story. So let’s suppose if an influencer has over 100k active Twitter followers, a tweet recommending your SEO service can put you right in front of a massive audience (all relevant to your industry) ready to take out their wallets.
If you’ve got existing clients that have a large and trusted following, keep them in your circle. If your favorite mentor has a raving audience, include them as well. The bigger and a nurtured network you continue to build, better your end-results would always be.
Now as you know how to leverage influencers network and build a strong connection with leaders in your industry, it’s time to activate your referral engine. This strategy involves your existing clientele as well.
Simply put, referrals are your most effective form of marketing.
I’ll start with a question.
Whom do you think would be more likely to become your client?
Well, the answer is very easy.
It just makes sense, if you get awesome results for your clients, then they’ll tell their friend and colleagues about your business.
You see, when you acquire a new lead, (no matter if it’s an inbound) you have to run it down all the way through your sales pipeline nurturing and educating it, even though it’s a targeted one.
However, when one of your clients whose happy with your service, recommends you to one of his friends or colleagues, that referral has much higher chances to becoming a client.
In fact, all consultants and agencies out there would agree to my point – Referrals are one of the best source of recurring clients and revenue. Period.
If you do great work and have satisfied clients, then this strategy should offer you instant results to help you grow your sales pipeline. Thus, resulting in more recurring revenue every month.
So let’s begin…
The first thing I must clarify is that typical clients that come from a referral are:
And this is the exact reason why referrals are always amazing!
… the only drawback is that referrals are hard to predict.
For example: I did a same design job for two different clients of almost same level, charged the same fee, and both of them were satisfied with my work. But one of them sent me 3 referrals while the second sent me none.
Initially I thought that was only my bad luck and one of the two clients is socially more active, but I still felt I was doing something wrong.
This was a matter of frustration for me for months until I analyzed how I was getting referrals and the tweaks I need to make in that process.
I found two important things that made me realize mistake from my end:
No one’s going to send me clients and give me projects in a silver platter!
I’ve to go and ask myself for work if I want more work. Simple as that.
And I decided to fix this.
Before beginning a project, I always ask my clients to complete a project survey – you know a typical ‘tell us more about what exactly you need’ type of form.
So the first tweak I made to the process was that I added a simple check box at the end of this project survey that ask clients whether they’d be happy to refer us to a friend or colleague? If they would, then about how many referrals can we expect?
This was a smart tactic. It let me predict how many referrals I could get a month and based on those predictions, I would prepare a substitute client acquisition plan.
Every time I landed a client, I would ask them to fill out the project survey and check that sweet little checkbox at the end of the form.
In some cases when new clients would do cha-cha-cha on how they won’t be able to refer someone as they ‘don’t think there’s anyone in their circle related to this industry’, I would bribe them with heavy discounts and value-added services if they refer more clients.
That’s the second tweak I made to the process.
The last and the third change I made was very simple. At the end of every project, I used tweak 1 and 2 together to ensure that every single client of mine refers at least one referral.
After every project reaches the finalization, I email my clients a feedback form that not only asks for a testimonial, but reminds them that they should refer relevant leads to me in return of a value (discounts etc.).
The best part… It WORKED!
However, there are tons of other strategies and ways out there that you could use to land more clients and generate recurring revenue from your SEO business every month. I’ve found these three strategies to work for me and my students who’re doing SEO as a service.
To date, I haven’t been short of work. Last year, I was able to build a remote team of designers and developers. I’ve now got recurring projects and consulting gigs lined up every month. In fact, I do bookings in advance for clients who want to secure their spots.
And I did it by following this exact plan.
I want you to do the same thing.
So, I’m giving you several bonus resources to help.
First, I’ve put up one of my highest-converting PDF presentations that you can use to close SEO clients.
Second, When you download the PDF, I’ll also send over my word-by-word email templates that I’ve used to land projects with influencers like Dan Martell.
Third, one person reading this will get a one-on-one chat session with me. I’ll personally help you make implement this plan.
To get all the bonus goodies, enter the bonus page by clicking here.
Moosa Hemani stands out for many reasons, but one is simply for his exceptional desire to contribute to the SEO community through his writing and participation in social media. You would be hard pressed to find a highly-visible SEO site that he has not contributed to in way. He is also a truly nice guy, which always impresses me. There’s no ego, but there is confidence. I’d be honoured to have the chance to work with Moosa.