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Twiizlar

Twiizlar

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I never understood why people want to be a “freelancer” and not an ageny. If i were a business owner, i would much rather hire an “agency” than a “freelancer”. It just sounds a lot more professional and concentrated.

Thank you for the posts, this is very inspirational. I will work on my own PowerPoint template :p


r j
I have actually talked to many people that specifically want a freelancer and not a big agency. I've worked in a digital marketing agency before and I was stretched really thin and couldn't get good work done. Also, agencies tend to be pricier since they are more structured and established usually.

With a freelancer, you get a personal approach and not a random account manager that you have to deal with. Freelancers also usually come with a cheaper price.

That being said, I think the benefits of being an agency outweigh the benefits of being a freelancer. Although, it's not like you should be choosing as they are different. I define myself as an agency because I do work with a lot of different people (content writers, gfx designers, etc.) and I plan to expand in the future. I do not want to be a 1 man shop and the power of the internet makes it so I can hire other people when the time comes easily.
 

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Twiizlar

Twiizlar

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So, a little update. I am still focusing on those 2 clients. I aim to build case studies out of these to add to my portfolio which will help me land more clients in the future. Both clients are benefiting from my work, one even had a 91% increase in organic traffic month over month. Considering I only had them for 1 month that is good since SEO does take some time so seeing fast results is motivating.

I have a quick questions.

I started this business with an action first mindset and didn't want to register the business until I had decent revenue. As we are a little over halfway through my 2nd month I figured I should start looking into that. I am leaning towards filing for a LLC. I was wondering if people do it themselves, use an online service (legalzoom), or use a lawyer. I know using a lawyer would be the easiest method but I would like to save money. I don't mind spending my own time going through the process. Any thoughts?
 

Darius

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I use them for different tasks and each have their own strengths. I like to keep them all as imo it's a necessary expense in order to get the best research.

Ahrefs is best for backlink building and competitor research.
SEMRush is best for keyword research.
Screaming Frog is best for technical website audits.

I use a mixture of these 3 tools daily and I don't want to rely on just one.
I've been a daily user of Screaming Frog for about 5 years and I'd recommend giving Sitebulb a trial. It's basically just a prettier screaming frog (more expensive too) but it's helped me speed up my workflow when auditing a site - and they have a 'crawl map' feature that's helpful for restructuring websites (and creating silos)

Once your revenue gets higher ($4-5k per month) - reach out and I'll give you recommendations on desktop software you should grab (and how you'd use them) that will speed up getting results for your clients.
 

Darius

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So, a little update. I am still focusing on those 2 clients. I aim to build case studies out of these to add to my portfolio which will help me land more clients in the future. Both clients are benefiting from my work, one even had a 91% increase in organic traffic month over month. Considering I only had them for 1 month that is good since SEO does take some time so seeing fast results is motivating.

I have a quick questions.

I started this business with an action first mindset and didn't want to register the business until I had decent revenue. As we are a little over halfway through my 2nd month I figured I should start looking into that. I am leaning towards filing for a LLC. I was wondering if people do it themselves, use an online service (legalzoom), or use a lawyer. I know using a lawyer would be the easiest method but I would like to save money. I don't mind spending my own time going through the process. Any thoughts?
Depending on your state, it can be as easy as filling out an online form and paying a fee.

I've only filed an LLC in Ohio so I'm not sure how difficult it will be in your area. I feel like a simple Google search will tell you though.

I wouldn't hire a lawyer to file an LLC if I was in your position. I would consult with a CPA that specializes in taxes that could give you suggestions on what tax structure to go with for your LLC. Then you can file it yourself or using LegalZoom. (this isn't legal/financial advice though)
 
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Twiizlar

Twiizlar

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Depending on your state, it can be as easy as filling out an online form and paying a fee.

I've only filed an LLC in Ohio so I'm not sure how difficult it will be in your area. I feel like a simple Google search will tell you though.

I wouldn't hire a lawyer to file an LLC if I was in your position. I would consult with a CPA that specializes in taxes that could give you suggestions on what tax structure to go with for your LLC. Then you can file it yourself or using LegalZoom. (this isn't legal/financial advice though)
Thanks for the reply. I meant to say accountant and not lawyer that was my fault. I am wondering on how they can help me with my taxes. I am still starting and don't have too many moving parts. Down the line I will 100% hire an accountant for my taxes however I am considering just doing them myself right now.

That being said, I have never done taxes for a business and have no idea how all of it works.
 
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Twiizlar

Twiizlar

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Update:

Signed my third client. This client is through UpWork. My 2nd client I took off of UpWork but I am keeping this one through UpWork so I can build my work history on the platform. I managed to sign them for $499/month for 2 months.

While this isn't ideal as a short term money solution as I could have taken them off UpWork to keep the 10% fee that they charge, I want to build out my experience on the platform for future clients.
 
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Twiizlar

Twiizlar

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Update:

Now that March is over, I figured it's time for an update. To make things short, I have gotten VERY complacent these past 2 months. After working very hard to secure my first clients I just have gotten very lazy. I was slowly wasting time, leaving the coworking office early. Now that I work completely from home I get distracted very fast. It got as bad a only working 1-2 hours a day.

I didn't even realize it but I got back into an old addiction. I have been slowly playing more League of Legends (PC game) this past month and yesterday I ended up doing 0 work and playing for the whole day (12+ hours). At the end of the day I realized I was not happy and that I was wasting so much time. I had the same addiction my freshman year of college and almost failed.

I realized I still felt sad/awful after a full day of playing (the game is very toxic) and I was wasting so much time. I got complacent on my current clients which should never be the case.

Anyways, I have snapped out of it and have deleted everything and am going to get back on the gym grind to keep my mind fresh. I still have all 3 clients with one ending this month. One of the clients said he wanted to extend his contract (3 month contract ending this month as well) as maybe even upgrade his package to a higher priced one so I talk to him next week.

I now have 3 months of solid data that I can use in my pitches of my current clients (they gave me permission) so it should be easier. I already created a proposal/case study to show clients. I never took a step back until now but I have managed to grow organic visitors by 143% and 291% for my first 2 clients in 3 months! I'm really proud of this.

I'm still sitting at around $2200/month revenue and will aim for $4000 in April. Let's get this bread!
 
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Twiizlar

Twiizlar

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Update:

April is now over and it has been a good month.
  • One of my clients upped his package from $699 to $1000.
  • I got a small client for $499 on a month-by-month basis. April went good and he is on holiday but will most likely continue for more months
  • I have contracted $130 worth of work to another agency (really easy work)
  • I have just signed a client looking to white label my work at $50/hour on UpWork. I just completed his first test project where he wanted me to give him a year SEO plan for one of his own websites. I knocked it out of the park in my opinion. I have made $250 so far and will be getting more work from him soon
Those are the main updates in April. May I have guaranteed revenue of $3k + whatever more the 2 agencies need (I predict somewhere between $400-$500).

It has been a good month and my UpWork profile is now beefy with the $499 client and the $50/hour client. Before this I only had 2 projects done of $50. I now have $1k earned which looks good.

I am really proud that I have reached $3k/month. I have high profit on that revenue since it's digital work. I don't include any budget that my clients give me for backlinks ($400 and $100).

I'll be going hard again in May looking to sign more clients. The client that has upped to $1k said he has a friend who needs SEO help so he sent me his website. I sent back a proposal and I should be hearing back from them soon.

Things are looking promising!
 
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Ocean Man

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Update:

April is now over and it has been a good month.
  • One of my clients upped his package from $699 to $1000.
  • I got a small client for $499 on a month-by-month basis. April went good and he is on holiday but will most likely continue for more months
  • I have contracted $130 worth of work to another agency (really easy work)
  • I have just signed a client looking to white label my work at $50/hour on UpWork. I just completed his first test project where he wanted me to give him a year SEO plan for one of his own websites. I knocked it out of the park in my opinion. I have made $250 so far and will be getting more work from him soon
Those are the main updates in April. May I have guaranteed revenue of $3k + whatever more the 2 agencies need (I predict somewhere between $400-$500).

It has been a good month and my UpWork profile is now beefy with the $499 client and the $50/hour client. Before this I only had 2 projects done of $50. I now have $1k earned which looks good.

I am really proud that I have reached $3k/month. I have high profit on that revenue since it's digital work. I don't include any budget that my clients give me for backlinks ($400 and $100).

I'll be going hard again in May looking to sign more clients. The client that has upped to $1k said he has a friend who needs SEO help so he sent me his website. I sent back a proposal and I should be hearing back from them soon.

Things are looking promising!
Do you have a plan on how you’re going to separate yourself from the actual work/business eventually? A lot of things for example, web development companies often times you have to do the web development. If you’re not developing, you’re not earning money.

What’s your plan?
 
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Twiizlar

Twiizlar

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Do you have a plan on how you’re going to separate yourself from the actual work/business eventually? A lot of things for example, web development companies often times you have to do the web development. If you’re not developing, you’re not earning money.

What’s your plan?
No plan, like I always have been doing.

I worked a digital marketing internship for 3 months. There I found my passion for SEO and studied it religiously. When it ended in December 2018, I decided to commit and try to make it in the world of SEO freelancing (instead of getting a job).

I had no plan but I worked my a$$ off. Being that I had little experience and no portfolio, I just had to work 3x harder than the other freelancers. I had 5-6 potential client meetings before I finally landed my first one. I would spend 4-5 hours preparing for these meetings. I had no experience so I had to give away a lot of value and show them what I could do for them. All of this for free.

I finally landed one in January 2019 and I have been slowly snowballing since.

I kind of rambled on but my point is that I have no plan. I know I can eventually hire good freelancers to do everything I am doing but for now I am learning. I am learning how to freelance for my own clients and also learning SEO. After I reach $6k in revenue I'll start creating systems and hiring other freelancers to help me out.

Right now I am just enjoying the ride.
 
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Do you have anything, other than this thread and perhaps your existing clients, keeping you accountable? Do you have anyone in your life who will call you out when you fall off the path or slip into old habits? If not, you might spend some time finding an accountability partner to push you through the moments of low motivation.
 

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Twiizlar

Twiizlar

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Do you have anything, other than this thread and perhaps your existing clients, keeping you accountable? Do you have anyone in your life who will call you out when you fall off the path or slip into old habits? If not, you might spend some time finding an accountability partner to push you through the moments of low motivation.
No I currently do not. I do need one.

I'm a very strong believer in the saying that "you're the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with". When I am in an entrepreneurial environment I was working well. This was at my coworking space but once I started working from home I started to slack off. I am back on track.

I am thinking about either joining the coworking space again or finding a mastermind/accountability group. I am looking for entrepreneur meetups and stuff in person but I feel like most are general BS stuff. I wish there was a meetup of real entrepreneurs who just want to work on their business (and not sell stuff to the group lol).
 
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Twiizlar

Twiizlar

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Update: As May is coming to an end, I wanted to post some screenshots.

24763

I have been seeing growth for these past couple months. While these may seem like really small numbers (they are), I am proud of what I have accomplished so far. Still no where near my 2019 goals but we are getting there.

24764

Upwork profile is starting to look good. I have just received the Job Success Score and it's at 100% so far! I currently have one client on Upwork at $500/month. I've earned about $1600 total so far on there.

The $1000/month client seems to be on the fence about continuing work and we have a meeting in the middle of June talking about if he wants to continue going forward. My hunch is no but I will stay optimistic.

The $1350/month client is very happy with my work. The initial 6 month contract ends in the beginning of July so we have 1 more month. I'm fairly confident that we will continue working together as his is very pleased with the results I have been getting for him.

I'm feeling really motivated lately. I have been listening to some podcasts about growing agencies. I'm fairly confident in my process and how i'm slowly growing. A lot of people started like me with freelancing and slowly grew to hire and bring on more people. I'm still in the beginning phase but will keep at it.

Lastly, I have figured out my niche that I want to focus on. I want to focus on small to mid-size ecommerce webstores as those are currently my 2 biggest clients. I have seen great success with them and want to only focus on that niche. I am just having trouble on how to go about prospecting and generating leads from that niche. Where can I find them?
 
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Twiizlar

Twiizlar

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Update:

Lost my biggest client. $1350 which is like 40% of my revenue was gone. The initial 6-month contract ended and I assumed we would renew since I have been killing it for them. Unfortunately they are shifting their focus away from SEO.

I felt sad and this is the first time I really doubted myself. I've been cushioned for 6 months with this contract and got too comfortable.

Hell I even started to apply for jobs and thought about quitting freelance altogether.

Then my current client contacts me and wants me to take on his other website as well. Would change from $1k/month to most likely $2k/month.

We're back in it. This time the fire is back and I won't get comfortable.:fire:
 

adaltorrero

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Excellent! You are starting young and that is an advantage. Keep it bro! Remember to re invest your earnings from the business in passive income. You will multiply your income. Thanks for the inspiration.
 

Jon L

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can you ask your old client and your current client for referrals?
 
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Twiizlar

Twiizlar

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Yes, I plan to ask my old client for referrals soon. We just ended the contract the other day so I want to wait a little.

I bootstrapped so far and don't have too much money to reinvest. I am living very frugally. While I do have savings I do not want to tap into it at all. I want to keep growing this business so I can start investing heavily into marketing for myself.

What I am willing to invest is my time. Time to work hard!
 

ownyourtime

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Great job on your current accomplishments. I’m not entirely familiar with SEO, but after reading this I am sure to read up.
 
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Twiizlar

Twiizlar

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Great job man!
Don't wait too long to ask for referrals tho.
For sure, also the client I lost has asked me to keep posting monthly articles for them. While it isn't as much as the big SEO package at least it's something.

July revenue i'm looking at so far:

Monthly SEO Packages: $2000 + $500
Monthly Articles: $120
One-time projects completed (Upwork): $400 + $100 + $60

Total: $3180

My monthly revenue is technically $3980 as the client is giving me a $800 budget for buying links but I do not count that since I make 0% from it. Not sure if I should?

Also will be taking on more Upwork tasks. I'm at $50/hour on there and my profile now has excellent reviews as I have taken 2 jobs that I over-delivered for.

25670
 

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Danny Sullivan

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Good stuff. Thanks for sharing your journey, including your up's and down's.

Might be a good time for writing a "How to" thread for the community to keep things sorted and maybe share some insights of which youtube channels might be interesting to watch, podcasts are worth listening, blogs are worth reading, which tools are handy to use and so on and so forth.

Keep rockin'.
 
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Twiizlar

Twiizlar

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What's up guys, figured i'd give an update as it's been 6 months.

I have failed.

I was profiting around $2-2.2k a month before taxes and this isn't feasible. I am going to have to get a job and my contracts dried up.

There were 2 main problems I had:
1. I was working in my business and not on my business
2. I got comfortable (even though it wasn't much money) and wasn't constantly trying to get new clients

I also in general started to not like the work. When I say work, I mean the freelance part not the marketing work. I hated clients and especially at the beginning there are a lot of penny pinchers. Instead of 1 boss I had 5-6 bosses.

Although I have failed, I would still not change my past year. I have learned a lot about business, freelancing, agency and marketing. I am qualified for jobs I wasn't before due to the results I have achieved for my clients.

At least I have a strong portfolio as I'm applying for jobs! This isn't the end of my entrepreneurial journey. I have failed so many times since I first started when I was 15 (23 now). Time to get a job, stabilize and then go at the entrepreneurial dream again :)
 

MaxKhalus

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As you can see by my join date, I am approaching my 7 years on this forum. I joined this forum when I was 15 and a lot has happened since then. I joined in high school and have graduated college. Now, I have my own business.

I can't even begin to count the number of businesses I've "started". Everything from dropshipping, marketplaces, blogs, local services and the list goes on. I cringe when looking through my post history on here :D

I was the biggest wantreprenur and I was really comfortable during college. I didn't take much action and the little action I did take would only last 2-3 weeks. I was simply just too comfortable.

I graduated and got a job. Surprise, I didn't enjoy it. Even though I didn't enjoy it, I learned a lot. I got a job in digital marketing and found my passion for SEO specifically. I studied and learned about SEO 24/7 and practiced all on my own. I was simply obsessed with it. It fascinated me and really captured my interest.

That job was temporary and it ended on December 5th. I had some money saved up and gave myself a 3 month period to try to start my own SEO agency (which is basically freelancing in the beginning). I was very confident in my ability and the value I could provide. I worked my a$$ off and managed to sign my first client after 26 days. I would spend a lot of time prospecting and preparing for meetings. Since I didn't have a previous track record I would have to show the value I could bring in the meetings. I would prepare for 3-4 hours for each meeting basically giving away my strategies for free. After about 6 meetings like this, I signed my first client and have recently signed my second a couple days ago!

If you're curious about the numbers, the first is a 6-month, $1300/month contract and the second is a $630/month, 3 month contract. This is a start I am more than fine with and it is only up from here!

I'll be updating this thread periodically. Time to get to work :D

Edit: Maybe I should double check my title next time lol
that's awesome
 

Jon L

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I think there was another problem you had in your business ... you were working for the wrong kind of clients, and probably charging them too little. Low-dollar clients tend to be more demanding than high dollar ones. A company that is able to spend $1000 on a website is going to be a pain in the butt. They don't have much money to work with, and they must be successful with what you do for them. They can't afford slip ups. Someone willing to spend $10-$20k on a website will be much easier to work with.

Each niche has its sweet spot in the price/ease of client/amount of work curve. Mine, custom software, is right around $20k. Less than that and they're generally wanting too much for too little. More than that and they take up all my time, and I don't end up making any more per month.

If you were only making $2500 a month, I'm betting your clients were way too small and you were trying to provide $10k/month level of service to them.

At 23, you might not have the experience necessary to charge more. However, you might actually be very valuable in the market and you're just undervaluing yourself. You'll have to make that call for yourself. One way to know is to gauge the effect you have on your clients' businesses. If they doubled their revenue because of what you did for them, then you're quite valuable and you need to charge more. If you didn't add any revenue to their top line, maybe take a job and learn some stuff before you go back out on your own.
 

PapaGang

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Tremendous. Congratulations!
 

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