I’m passionate about SEO and love to share my own experience
How can a small business use social media to market them selves? I find they often have little idea of how, what or even realistic expectations. Instead it’s the dream of going ‘viral’ as if that brings feet in the door and bottoms on seats.
If they decide to reach out to a SEO Consultant they may not know how to find someone who’s effective. Instead they might hire someone who buys bots so they don’t see any benefit and decided it’s all a scam so they go back to the marketing that isn’t effective or do nothing at all and hope for the best.
Right now if you are looking for someone either a one-person office, a niche SEO consulting services provider, or a large-scale marketing operation with 50+ employees well it can be overwhelming to find the right person. UpCity ranks 56 reputable SEO companies within a 45-mile radius of Chicago alone. In most large metro markets like Los Angeles, New York, or other cities, this number is often inflated even further by a sizable quantity of people who do SEO as a part-time gig. Taking all this into account, you could be looking at 75-100 SEO companies in one single market. Setting yourself apart from the competition is increasingly difficult because, put simply, there’s just too many people offering the same service.
A lot of small business owners just don’t understand SEO and think it doesn’t bring any money into the business. It’s especially hard with small business that are doing ‘OK’ so don’t see any reason to change from the tried and true. So you have to educate your prospective client on why it’s effective, what SEO is and understand other misconceptions that you must work againstto convince them of your value. I find that most believe it’s a ‘do it once’ and that will be forever not realizing it’s an online community and relationship. It isn’t the fast buck but more of the rabbit vs the tortoise. It’s a slow and steady work to create a natural engagement not one with bought fake followers/comments/likes that go against Google and other search engines’ approved guidelines. These types of tactics often promise quick wins, but the potential consequences can be disastrous. Many black hat tactics can lead to a site being completely wiped from all search results.
So when working to pitch your services I recommend the following:
1. Do Your Research
I use the same philosophy I learned working in development and on campaigns. RESEARCH RESEARCH and MORE RESEARCH! You have to come with a thorough knowledge of the business, look at them online, business goals, competitors and a general idea of what you want to do (don’t give details they might think they can do it themselves) with the website/social media channels.
2. Know Yourself
Sell yourself and be confident. Don’t hesitate to correct them (diplomatically) and show off your skills. I always like to show other clients and tell them about my successful campaigns. It’s a great way to connect and get them excited about what you can do for them.
3. Distinguish Yourself
When talking with your prospective client tell them what makes you different and why it makes you the best candidate to work with them. It might be personal familiarity with the business, language skills or experience working with the targeted community. Make sure you have 2 to 3 positive professional experience or success stories you can discuss in your backpocket to bring up naturally in conversation.
4. Prepare for Their Questions
Make sure your ready for the pushback of ‘does this work’ ‘why should I spend money on this’ or just reassuring them that you aren’t out to scam or trick them. Always keep in mind this is an interview so be prepared for questions and don’t be condescending when explaining.
One example of showing the value behind SEO for a prospect would look like this:
A local bistro in the Hancock Park a Los Angeles neighborhood wanted to drive more traffic to daily specials on the webpage. The bistro will also benefit from SEO in ranking high for searches such as “food in Hancock Park” and wants to outrank their competitors for the search “Los Angeles Bistro”. These are now two avenues in which the bistro can benefit from SEO.
They have two issues: they want more traffic to daily lunch specials page and rise above competitors. What you bring to them is experience from past clients so a track record of helping small business with local SEO for LA, and you can assure the owner that your bring value for the expense. You now can show him/her that you ‘Know Yourself’ and ‘Distinguish’ skills that make you a benefit to the business.
Now let’s make sure to highlight the mistakes that will make them not want to use your service:
1) You’re worried about making a sale so much that you neglect to understand your clients’ needs.
2) You think that since you’ve been doing this for years that you don’t have to “know yourself”. This is when you start missing the little things that make your company unique.
3) You downplay the competition. Come to realize that your competition is in business for a reason; bad mouthing the competition can come back to bite you.
4) Never act is if your client doesn’t understand. Don’t be that person who says, “you wouldn’t understand” to a client. That is the quickest way to lose a client.
Now that you have what to ‘DO’ and what ‘NOT TO DO’ your ready to find new clients for your SEO business. Be prepared, be confident and be yourself!