A Few Action Tips to Dramatically Scale Your SEO Income
This is a guest post and does not necessarily reflect the views of ScopeRush. The author details can be found at the end of the article. Enter Seth:
Before getting up to that point where I felt comfortable going out and getting clients, and even having a real service I could offer to provide value, I supplemented my income in various ways, as I learned SEO. Here’s how I did it and how you could do it as well:
Learn Everything You Can
This is a huge one. If you’re first starting out in SEO, learn everything you can. Overload yourself with information, take notes, make process maps, whatever you have to do to quickly understand all the nuances and intricacies in your business, do these things.
Join a mastermind group, or several groups, follow good blogs with people who could become your mentors, such as Lior with ScopeLeads, network with other people doing what you’re doing and learn from them, and also take courses, read books.
In order for you to advance to any of the following points I’m going to make in this article, you must be the most knowledgeable person in your field. Knowing it so much, and feeling so comfortable with what you’re saying that it actually gets exuded from your very being.
I mentioned that I have clients I meet in person, and also clients that I have never met, and only exchanged emails and phone calls with. You might be thinking, oh, well I could get clients by emailing them only, and then they won’t be able to tell that I don’t really know everything there is to know about SEO.
That’s just false. By the way you talk, and the things you say, it will be evident across any mediums of communication that you either know your sh*t, or you don’t.
Some potential clients will have some knowledge of SEO and will be able to sniff out someone who knows just as little, or even less than they do, some people might actually have no knowledge of SEO, and some might also be doing SEO themselves, so you would really need to know your stuff to work with these people. But more on this later.
Take Action Beyond What You Learn
Everything we talked about above is to learn everything you possibly can. This is because then you’ll understand the entire process of how you’ll deliver value, or create value for yourself, from A to Z – the theory behind it. When learning the theory, of anything in life, it’s often a picturesque version of the real thing, meaning, you won’t learn all the bumps and potholes you’ll meet along the way.
This is why it is imperative that once you have that baseline understanding of the process, you go ahead and apply it. It doesn’t matter if you feel you could understand the process even better, or if you feel there is so much more to learn – take action anyway.
Because you’re right, there is so much more to learn, there always is. But a lot of that learning, like I said, can only be done by diving head first into applying the theory and seeing what happens.
Something I hear a lot of you saying, and something that I myself used to say, is that you want your knowledge, or your actions you take based on your knowledge, to be perfect. If you feel that or think that ever, then let me be the first one to tell you… Blow that mentality up to smithereens right now!
NOTHING is perfect – ever. Even if your first iteration, or your first action of anything comes out really good, there is always something that can be done better. And you’ll only learn how to take these better actions through taking initial action.
Once you take massive action and implement the process over and over and really observe the results, you’ll begin to see the theory you learned bring you tangible results. Whether it be, ranking your 1st website on page one, properly optimizing a page, finding some awesome high volume low competition keywords, etc.
The cool part is, while you’re doing this, you can make money by providing value in performing parts of your process for others. This doesn’t require much, just sign up for a freelance account on a site like Fiverr, or Upwork, make a gig and watch it grow as you do good work.
You can have zero recurring SEO clients, and still make a decent income by freelancing. I remember when I first started out in my first year of SEO, I was still learning the process, the ins and outs of content optimization and honing in my link strategy, but while I was doing that, I knew one thing I was really good at, was keyword research.
I had learned some methods that I felt would allow me to add significant value, and I freelanced doing keyword research for others doing SEO. This is why I said you have to know your stuff in the first lesson above. When you’re doing work for other SEO’s, they’ll know whether or not the service you’re providing is valuable, or if you’re clearly a novice who’s uninformed about the intricacies of the very service you’re claiming to be an expert at.
So when you provide your initial service, make sure you’re providing things that you can feel good about actually providing value to others in, and that you really feel you know what you’re talking about. As a result, you can make a sizable income doing part time freelance work as you scale up your primary means of achieving full time income via SEO.
For example, the first summer I was proving my keyword research gig, I made over $12,000. Just by providing keyword research on a freelance basis. And while in the grand scheme of things this isn’t a lot, for a single summer, as a high school student to be making a 5 figure income without leaving my house was pretty cool.
But more importantly, as you take this massive action, because you’re human, some individuality through your perspective will be added to the process.
Connect the Dots in Ways Others Aren’t
As I said above, as you take action, you will begin to see things through your lens. When you start to learn and use a lot of different information from a lot of different places, there is a process of making that information “cumulative”.
Imagine your learning as a Venn diagram. Circle 1 is resource one where you learned from. Circle 2 is a second resource. When you combine the knowledge from these two circles, there is some similar information, that is overlapped.
Then, there is new information from the outsides of the overlapping area. When you first start out, that won’t mean anything to you, but as you apply the process and dig in to see how these seemingly separate pieces of information fit into your process, you might come across a new theoretical circle, in which these two separate parts of the circle begin to overlap.
However, because on the surface they seem separate, not many, if any, people will have realized how these two separate parts of the process can be used in conjunction with one another, to add value in a completely different way than what is being done as a standard practice.
And this is really where you can start to add massive value. When you perform your process and take action, you will begin to see issues, or stumbling blocks that you come across where you say to yourself “wow, this would be so much easier if “X’”…
And for me, this is how I built my first truly massive passive income stream that I used to supplement my primary Client SEO business. About 3 years ago, I was taking several different courses, and I had a moment where the whole ‘Venn diagram” illustration I laid out before, actually occurred for me.
In one course, I learned about PBN’s – setting them up safely, specifically. In doing so, I learned how to properly use proxies to cloak my location and make it appear as though the PBN’s being built were from alternate locations of my own.
In another course, I was introduced to the importance of having Google reviews on your local Google Business page for two reasons. One, because it helps convert viewers into potential customers by adding trust to my brand. And two, because when done properly, can provide a significant SEO boost.
The issue was, nobody had a reliable way of actually getting these reviews on a consistent basis. A lot of local businesses are uninformed on how to get their customers to reliably leave them reviews, or they have a lot of email testimonials or hand written testimonials on their websites that aren’t being put to good use, and they want more.
In a third program, a mentorship program, I learned where to find people with access to Google accounts that actually are aged for a long time and have a good standing in Google.
Around the time I realized that Google reviews are important, there were small groups that decided to try trading reviews within the group, all leaving reviews on each others pages, but this ultimately didn’t work because of various reasons, simply summed up by saying that Google noticed a massive footprint trace of unnatural reviewing patterns amongst those users, thus leaving all the reviews to be filtered from the profiles. Not to mention that the reviews were from locations that didn’t really make sense for the businesses. Because of all that, the process was fleeting and most likely not worth the time investment to even carry out.
This is where I came in, and thought, what if I could create a service that provided other people SEO [and their clients] a reliable, safe, bulletproof way to get new reviews for their Google Business pages?
And this is when the whole Venn diagram came together, and I would take aspects I learned from all the different learning avenues I had, and put them together in a way that others in my industry had yet to figure out.
I would take my knowledge that Google reviews are very important, and figure out a way to get them for myself. I then took my knowledge from where to get real, aged Google accounts and apply it to the process. Most other people would use these accounts just for burner emails that they could sign up for things, but I was using these to set up and customize accounts that looked indistinguishable from other “real” reviews to Google, and to people reading the reviews.
I found the proper types of accounts that tended to leave long lasting reviews, as well as what traits of a Google profile tended to show up in reviews that stuck on other Google pages through extensive research. Just testing, testing, testing, until I came across something that consistently worked.
I would take my knowledge from safely setting up PBN’s and apply it to the process by realizing that if every review I got on my page came from the exact same location, that wouldn’t look too natural. So I was able to vary the locations by choosing to cloak my location in relevant, nearby locations to the client’s page location. In addition, I was able to use this to actually customize the profiles for that location specifically, so that the account leaving the review looked like they actually live in that area.
In addition, each account I used would only leave reviews in that specific area. So for example, if I have a client who wants reviews in Miami, Florida, they would be getting reviews from an account that only has reviewed other places in Miami. Again, this just seemed more realistic to me that the person would leave reviews for places in Miami, rather than having an account leaving a review in Miami one day, then a few hours later, leaving a review in Los Angeles, followed up by leaving a review in New York shortly thereafter.
Realizing all of these tiny little quirks about what would make my reviews actually stick on your Google Business pages created such a significant value skew compared to anything else available for getting Google reviews, a significant value skew that I believe still exists today, despite the competition for people running knockoff versions of my service.
Keep Your Eyes & Ears Open
At first, once I realized I had this process working, I really only intended for its use to extend no further than on my own business page, and my clients’ business pages. However, as I said before, I came across more and more people who wanted to figure out a way to deliver Google reviews to their own pages & their client pages.
At this point is when I realized, that as a result of investing a lot of time and action into a process, upon realizing these certain nuances I feel can be addressed via a new service or value add, you can feel certain that there are others who feel the same way.
It was at this point I reached out to some of my mentors who I had learned various parts of the process I mentioned above from. I would go on to tell them how I had this service I believed to be a significant value add, and that I would offer it to them for free or even do a revenue sharing type deal, if they thought it would be worth promoting to a larger audience to provide my service at mass.
Become a Liaison
After the service was launched, it become a massive success. I had so many orders that I had no idea even how to fulfill them at first. I had to hire two employees just to handle the demand. Mind you, I had no idea where to find employees, how much to pay them, how to train them, etc. This is all stuff I figured out on the fly by just taking action.
However, what I really learned when the service grew so fast and so quickly is that, in any pursuit where a lot of people are trying to learn to perform a service for others or make money in some way, (in this case, by carrying out the process of SEO) there are opportunities to be the person that either teaches them SEO, or assists them in carrying out their SEO.
I effectively became one of the people that assisted people in carrying out their campaigns by providing value that they could pass along to their clients.
Automate & Reinvest
If you scroll back up to the title and opening remarks of this article, you’ll see that the primary focus was to teach you how you can also supplement your primary SEO income by doing other things while you scale up. My keyword research gig, and my Google reviews gig are two examples of that.
But what’s important is to realize that, these gigs are supplementary and not the focus of your SEO efforts, or your income goals. Therefore, there are two things to remember as you start making money from side gigs as you scale up your SEO business.
The first, is to automate. If you believe money is the greatest asset you could have in your life, you’d be mistaken.
The greatest asset we truly possess, is time.
Which is why it’s a must that you automate your side businesses.
While the keyword research and Google reviews services helped provide me some intermediary income, and at their peak, very good intermediary income, they weren’t getting me to my ultimate goals – I still had a lot more scaling up to do.
In order to do this, I needed to find competent people to help run the service. As I said before, I did hire people, but because I wanted the quality of the service to remain very high, I felt reluctant to give up authority in performing daily tasks, meaning, I’d spend hours and hours almost every day working on these things, when I really needed to focus on acquiring high end recurring SEO clients.
Therefore, I ultimately created detailed processes that allowed me to train others and essentially have the gigs run themselves without my involvement pretty much at all.
The second thing to remember, is to reinvest. Like I said, your goal to scale up your SEO business to whatever income goals you have will happen much easier as you have cash flow.
Cash flow to use for things such as learning new things, testing new methods, spending money in advertising, or even investing in your client campaigns so they grow faster and your time to ROI is much shorter.
All of those things become much harder to do if you’re taking 50-75 cents out of every dollar out of your business to spend on alcohol, partying, or unnecessary material items. What’s more important to you – having a “lavish” Saturday night out in the club with bottle service a few times a month right now, or getting your business to your 6 figure income goals?
The latter is accomplished a lot easier when you re-invest everything.
Another benefit of re-investing is when your taxes roll around. Would you rather pay the federal government $X in taxes that is essentially just lighting your money on fire, or would you rather re-invest it in your business, which will help you grow quicker, reach higher income goals, all while lowering your effective tax rate?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
If you’re relatively new in this business, or even if you’re not, there’s a good chance you underestimate the importance of your mindset in your success. The capabilities our minds have is so vastly underappreciated by most people, and I urge you to take full advantage of yours. It really is the key to your success.
My first introduction to mindset came in my coaching with Lior several years ago, when he suggested I create myself a “mindset pack”.
In looking at my mindset pack daily, I would see things such as images of things I envisioned wanting or doing when my business reached my income goals, such as places I wanted to travel, cars I wanted to own, etc.
You really need to figure out why it is you want to have a successful business. And “making money” isn’t sufficient. Your goals need to be internal values that you strive to constantly achieve. These are things that will ALWAYS be there for you.
For me, two of my primary reasons I have my own business are to provide myself the ultimate freedom that I cannot get from a standard job, and also being able to provide value to other business owners and their businesses and being able to really impact them in a positive way. Focusing on those things allows the money to come naturally.
There’s so much more I can say about mindset, but I really think that is the most important thing above, because if you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing, you will lose focus, motivation, or interest when things get tough and you need to figure stuff out and just get things done.
Thank you for reading this article and if you’ve made it this far, I really hope you have learned something actionable that you can apply to your life right now that will make it easier and/or more clear as to how you can scale up your SEO business and change your life, starting right now.
About the Guest Author
Hey what’s going on ScopeRush viewers? I’m Seth Kaufman and have my own SEO company, Vine Concepts. I’ve been doing SEO for nearly 10 years, and my focus with my business at the moment is on Client SEO – both with clients in my local area, New York, as well as across the United States, with people I’ve never even met before.