Had a meeting with a potential client today thru my new Charlotte SEO agency job with LukeHot Leads. It took me back to the days when I first started my SEO gig and all the horrible memories of trying to land that first client.
Don’t get me wrong. It was a good meeting. But we left some major details and decisions up in the air. It wasn’t one of those easy deals that just closes right when you meet the guy for the first time. I could tell he wanted to really make sure I could deliver on my promises to get him ranked and send him leads. (Even though we’ve already sent him around 50 leads in the last 2 weeks…)
Needless to say, I’m a little frustrated, but motivated all at the same time. Like I really want to impress this guy. I hope to close the deal by next week, but in the meantime, I figured I’d spell out some tips for any aspiring SEOs who are wondering how to land that first client. So… here you go. You’re welcome.
1. Deliver upfront results. Everyone and their mother’s uncle is out there trying to close SEO deals by promising they can “get you ranked.” Newsflash: businesses are tired of hearing “we can get you ranked on page one of Google.” Well I’d sure as shit hope so, if you’re gonna charge me $1-5K a month for your services.
Don’t be like every other company out there and charge thousands of dollars out the gate and then over-promise and under-deliver. Do the opposite. Deliver great results before they even give you a dime. Start sending them leads. If they start closing them and making more money, they’ll likely want it to continue. And they’ll come to you to make sure that happens.
2. Be confident. If you walk into your business meeting with confidence, like you actually know what you’re doing, you’ll have a much better chance of landing that client. My very first prospect was a limo company in Charlotte called Queen City Limo. I was scared to death when I first met the owner, but I decided to put my fear behind me and walk in with confidence. We ended up having a great conversation and I landed a deal that was a win-win for both parties.
3. Make more offers. Don’t rest your entire business on one prospect. The more lines you have in the water, the more fish you’re likely to catch. So pitch your services to multiple leads each day. By the end of the year, you’ll have built up a pretty decent client list.
I use Screencastomatic to create short videos for my prospects, showing them exactly what I do and how my services can move their website to the top of the search engines.
4. Outsource when necessary. There are always parts of the SEO process we don’t like doing. And the more clients we take on, the harder it becomes to manage them all. That’s where outsourcing things like content creation and local citation building comes in handy. I guess this is more of a long-term tip, and not so much relevant to landing your first client – but it still applies.
5. Don’t turn down money. If your first prospect low-balls you, take it. You can always go to his competition, get a better offer, and renegotiate later, once you’ve proven your worth. At the same time, know your long-term value, and don’t settle for less if you can help it. If a client wants to be a cheapskate after you’ve made him thousands of dollars, it might be time to move on and look for someone else to work with.