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GOLD! Moved to Scottsdale, Growing a Web Design Firm

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GuitarManDan

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Hey All,

Been offline for a while resting up after the surgery... seemed to have gone well just hoping to rest up from it and have no complications in the future. Got a few leads from referrals that I need to follow up with and also need to reach out to other leads that I had in my pipeline for potential SEO clients to ramp up outreach/bringing on new clients again.

I received some monthly recurring payments too so wanted to update the numbers below (monthly clients that are signed up to pay for $1500, 1500, 333.33, and 1000).

2020 Revenue Tracker: $43,198.99 Revenue / $150,000 Goal

Monthly Recurring Revenue: $9,033 Per Month / $15,000 Per Month Goal
 

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H0bG0blin

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Good to hear that the surgery went well and that you are resting up. Im sure you will be back to the hustle in no time.

Your thread has provided a lot of inspiration as well as some great pointers, so just wanted to show some appreciation. Heres to your speedy recovery and you being able to reach your targets this year!
 

GuitarManDan

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Hey All,

Haven't posted as frequently as I'd like to - the quick update is that it seems like the recovery is still on the right track and I've been really busy with all of the new clients I brought on last month + delivering for the existing clients. I started to outsource Month 1 of SEO (which is the biggest headache month and the most time consuming) so really excited about that.

The creator of the course that I learned SEO from has been using the 3rd party company for all of his clients for 10+ years to do Month 1 of SEO so it's great to get that solid recommendation.

It's been tricky and a lot of long nights, but it's fantastic that I'm basically forcing myself to build a system as I can't physically do all of the work myself. Still a decent ways to go, but already I've found trusted partners to offload a decent amount of the work to, so in the spirit of treating this as a business owner and not as a freelancer, I've made the following changes with my process:
  • For any new website design project that comes in, I'm going to basically act a project manager and outsource all work, whether it's a simple site or a complex e-commerce platform
  • I will be outsourcing all Month 1 work for SEO clients (on-page SEO, mainly)
  • A friend of mine who is fantastic at Google Ads agreed to manage my ads for free (I'm just paying the ad budget for the actual Ads platform)... set a budget of $500 per month and already landed that $2k per month client from it. This is going to save me time doing less personalized outreach. This and referrals have been my main source of leads at the moment.
Here's a quick update to the numbers... it's crazy to see that it's only June and I've already almost surpassed all of the revenue I made last year - big things coming!

2020 Revenue Tracker: $46,949.99 Revenue / $150,000 Goal

Monthly Recurring Revenue: $9,033 Per Month / $15,000 Per Month Goal
 

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Looking at your goals Dan and the current figures it looks like you are right on 100k if nothing else changes. So to hit the overall goals you only need to create 50k of additional income on top of that.

If that was fully linear it would take around an extra 2-2.5k of reoccurring SEO income each month stacked up on top of each other to hit 150k.

But I think you can do this a lot faster when you get things ready so you can sell nearly fulltime. I really hope this outsourcing goes well first time around so you can step it up as fast as possible.

Keep on the systems for now even if the initial gains aren't there right away (but hopefully they are). As soon as you can focus your efforts fulltime on selling/relationship building the progress will be massive.

Can't wait! Great work man - especially on top of what has been going on.
 

GuitarManDan

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Looking at your goals Dan and the current figures it looks like you are right on 100k if nothing else changes. So to hit the overall goals you only need to create 50k of additional income on top of that.

If that was fully linear it would take around an extra 2-2.5k of reoccurring SEO income each month stacked up on top of each other to hit 150k.

But I think you can do this a lot faster when you get things ready so you can sell nearly fulltime. I really hope this outsourcing goes well first time around so you can step it up as fast as possible.

Keep on the systems for now even if the initial gains aren't there right away (but hopefully they are). As soon as you can focus your efforts fulltime on selling/relationship building the progress will be massive.

Can't wait! Great work man - especially on top of what has been going on.

Hey man - thanks for the feedback and advice here. Including a few different updates below since I last posted:

  • Went to my surgeon for another follow up (last one) and he said that everything was healing right and basically that I'm all set with no restrictions so that was a huge relief. Still will be a little beat up for a few more weeks, but nothing too bad and slowly getting back into normal activities.

  • One of my SEO clients I brought on earlier this year... after working for a few months with them, I found out they paid another SEO company last year and they did some insanely shady stuff that really hurt their rankings. To keep it simple, they legitimately just copy and pasted content from the highest ranking competitor and changed the company names. I had an honest conversation with the owner that he needed to strip the site and start from scratch because not only was it bad SEO, but I'm pretty sure he could get in legal trouble for that. I offered to put together a simpler site for them and he agreed at the same rate I was charging for SEO, but he became a big hassle to deal with. Kept saying he didn't like the style of it and he eventually said a friend would make the site for him for free. He asked to pause the SEO services and said we can start back up again when the site is ready (not sure if that will happen to be honest, but that was a difficult client to work with so I'm not too upset about losing it temporarily). Lowering the monthly recurring below by $1k per month.

  • Have a really promising financial services company I've been speaking with based in Chicago that may lead to an SEO deal shortly and I met in person with a local financial company here in Scottsdale today from an introduction from a friend. Both businesses seem like solid connections to have and would be great clients to work with so I'm just focusing on moving those forward in the right direction to set up more sales.

  • Quick milestone - so far at the end of June of 2020, I've almost made as much money in 6 months in 2020 as I did in all of 2019, so it's been great to see that positive momentum with my business. Just going to try to put my head down and work my a$$ off, focus on building systems so that I can keep bringing on new clients and work to scale this. The focus in 2020 has been treating this as a business and not just as a freelancer.
I haven't updated the revenue numbers in a while, so this is including some one-off projects for current clients billed hourly and a few other one-offs for the business:

2020 Revenue Tracker: $49,199.98 Revenue / $150,000 Goal

Monthly Recurring Revenue: $8,033 Per Month / $15,000 Per Month Goal
 

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Love your 2020 revenue tracker and your process since you started this thread! Keep cranking. If you can thrive during this downturn, imagine what you can do when everyone is spending money again! Keep pressing.
 

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I hope you know how much you inspire others on the journey. I haven't kept on the reading, but I'm glad it sounds like you are on the mend.
 

GuitarManDan

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I really like your "nose to the grindstone" approach. Take action and keep cranking!

This is what it takes...

Thanks Steve! It was great to meet you at the summit, you'll have to let me know next time you're in the Scottsdale area - hope all is well with you and the family
 

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GuitarManDan

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Amazing success - I am at the start of my journey and struggling to find any potential clients. Mainly tried cold email and social DMs. Guess I need to pick up the phone and keep plugging away.

Hey man - in the beginning it's really just about not raising flags that people see as spammy (impersonal cold emails, DMs in their inbox, etc) and to build as much trust as possible to make your outreach more time efficient (reach out to local businesses, industries where you've had experience in, personal connections you know, etc).

Best of luck!
 

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Love your 2020 revenue tracker and your process since you started this thread! Keep cranking. If you can thrive during this downturn, imagine what you can do when everyone is spending money again! Keep pressing.

Thanks Vigilante! It's been a strange mixed bag - at first I figured every industry would be scaling back, but it seems like certain industries are putting a lot of money into digital marketing with other more traditional in-person events not available. It's been a good lesson in adjusting to changing times though.
 

GuitarManDan

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I hope you know how much you inspire others on the journey. I haven't kept on the reading, but I'm glad it sounds like you are on the mend.

Thanks man, appreciate the kind words here. Hope that you're doing well - once the pandemic is slowing down we'll have to get our AZ fastlane monthly meetups going again.
 

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Hey All,

I want to hold myself accountable to a 2020 goal that I didn't meet. At the beginning of the year, I said by June 30th, I would have my next business idea that I would 100% commit to and start executing on.

There are a million excuses I could use to say why I didn't complete this, but what's the point of goals if you don't hold yourself accountable, regardless of what's happening in the outside world. Instead of beating myself up over it (since I know that isn't productive), I'm going to use it as an opportunity to hit the reset button and think about why I didn't hit this goal and learn how to adjust going forward so that I can be more decisive on what the next move is for me.

What I can improve on to pick out the next business venture that I want to pursue (whether that's e-commerce, a SaaS company, etc):

  • I'm spending too much time working as a freelancer in my business at the moment. Fortunately, over the last month or so I've started outsourcing and giving up the reigns as I've had the budget to start handing off work to other individuals/3rd party companies who can help with tedious parts of web design & SEO. Of course with the main focus being not losing the quality and the results I've been getting for my clients. I need to continue with this trend and get my time back so that I can have capacity to work on the next venture.

  • I didn't make it a priority - at first I was just trying to survive what I assumed would be a tough few months with the pandemic, but when business started really taking off, then I was overwhelmed with the amount of work on my plate. This was because I didn't have those systems in place to hand off work. I'm going to dedicate time each day (I think I'll block off a certain part of my schedule) to do research into what I feel would be the best next step for me. I feel like there's so much amazing info on the inside and gold threads that I could start with those and work to leverage the skills I've gained running this business to jump into a new venture/area.

  • I'm not being proactive enough - one client I recently brought on told me that he's sold 3 businesses (one to a publicly-traded company) and him and his wife basically started this real estate business because they're bored (which I'm helping with SEO). I know times are different now, but I need to be proactive and find a way to sit down and learn from people like this in my life who have so much amazing info to share. After the fastlane summit, I joined a fantastic mastermind with a bunch of other members and we've all seen fantastic progress so far so that's definitely been a great positive.
I'm going to grab a new notebook, spend some time each day and just start formulating ideas. From what I've seen/learned from the summit and all of the successful members on the forum... the key is not trying to perfect everything and just taking action, so I'm asking that you guys can keep me accountable if I'm wasting too much time coming up/executing on an idea. Appreciate all of the help and feedback as always!
 

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Hey All,

Things have been so busy just realized I haven't posted in here in a few weeks, that will change going forward and I'll be back on a more regular posting schedule.

Updating the revenue numbers below - a large majority of this is from the recurring SEO clients but I've also worked on some one-off projects for new and previous clients. Most of these smaller projects are lining myself up to move into SEO packages.

A few notable highlights since my last post:

  • When outsourcing part of the SEO work, something went absolutely disastrous... fortunately, I was very cautious working with this company and the second I saw the error they made I was able to take it down from my client's site before he saw it. It was extremely stressful, but luckily I was able to fix it with no damage to the client relationship and I learned from it and know exactly what I can do next time to ensure it doesn't happen again. Now the question is just do I trust this company again (they came highly recommended by several people I trust and their operations head called me and kept apologizing saying they never make mistakes like this) or do I look elsewhere. Definitely a bit of a setback, but if it was easy than anyone could just snap their fingers and have a system in place for their business.

  • Started some aggressive outreach, as I have the capacity to bring on more SEO clients at the moment and I want to keep ramping things up. It's been a combo of running Google Ads for my business (that way less time on my side to actually do outreach and such) and following up with promising leads from the past. I have a few potential leads at the moment that I'm working on closing and will keep everyone posted on how that goes.

  • New SEO clients - I brought on 3 new SEO clients back in mid/end of May and so far I've gotten them some fantastic results which has been a big relief. Just need to keep this momentum going and keep grinding away.. realistically to hit my 150k goal for the year, I need to really step up my game for these last 5 1/2 months or so left in the year.

2020 Revenue Tracker: $58,433.14 Revenue / $150,000 Goal

Monthly Recurring Revenue: $8,033 Per Month / $15,000 Per Month Goal
 

GuitarManDan

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Hey All,

Closed a new SEO deal yesterday! This one just shows how persistence / follow ups can be key for selling something like SEO where the buying cycle is typically a bit longer - started introducing the idea of SEO to a previous web design client (CPA in Arizona) back in March of this year and he was interested but wasn't sure of the timing...so I'd check in every month with a value-adding email showing him some new data or info about his rankings and what the competition was doing.

He finally agreed to move forward yesterday and he just paid the invoice for a $1,000 / per month deal. Updating the numbers below:

*Sidenote*: One of my finance SEO clients just sent me an email that they just got a new client who invested $800k with them from an organic search so they're really happy with me - it's awesome to be able to deliver for clients that I'm working with. Finance SEO can be great like that where one or two new clients even in one year can easily provide an amazing ROI for them.

2020 Revenue Tracker: $59,433.14 Revenue / $150,000 Goal

Monthly Recurring Revenue: $9,033 Per Month / $15,000 Per Month Goal
 

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One of my finance SEO clients just sent me an email that they just got a new client who invested $800k with them from an organic search so they're really happy with me

1st, congratulations for your steady progress ! So....I don't know much about how the SEO biz works, but can you write a deal for a client something like.... If you don't make money, I don't make money. I take x% of the increase in your revenue above your baseline after I initiate my SEO work. Forever. ??

I know people in other lines of work that do this.
 

GuitarManDan

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1st, congratulations for your steady progress ! So....I don't know much about how the SEO biz works, but can you write a deal for a client something like.... If you don't make money, I don't make money. I take x% of the increase in your revenue above your baseline after I initiate my SEO work. Forever. ??

I know people in other lines of work that do this.

Thanks! I've considered it, but it seems like there are a lot of variables out of my control and it could backfire. I could be wrong, but this is what I'm thinking:

1. The reason I love SEO for my business model is the safe recurring revenue. Web design was too volatile and all over the place month-month, adding in this model would bring it back to being unstable again.

2. I'm mostly working with service-based businesses so there would be no reliable way to know which clients came in from SEO and which came in from other marketing channels - I would have to rely on the client to pay me what I deserved and they would have all of the incentives to downplay the clients I brought.

3. I'm at the point now with this business where I want to use the cashflow I'm getting to fund the next business idea that's more inline with Fastlane principles and can scale up easier and help me make life-changing money. Once again, that would potentially go away if I changed up the model to make my recurring revenue less secure

4. I’m relying on their ability to close. I could get them all the leads they need but if their sales people aren’t good at closing or if their systems aren’t in place then I wouldn’t get paid for no fault of my own.

With financial services, even though $800k seems like a large amount of money, they only receive a fee from that so I'd assume they have a setup/onboarding fee and a yearly fee a % of assets managed. Once I got my cut from that, it wouldn't be worth the work I've been doing for them unless they were getting several multi million dollar clients in the door.

The reason this client is significant for them is because trust is so key in financial services, especially when you're handing over your life savings. This means that when they do a great job for this client, their wealthy friends, family, etc will be on board as well.
 

BenNguyen

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Hey everyone,

It's been about one year since I joined the forum and thanks to the great advice of some members of the community, I've been able to completely change my life and move in a better direction.

To keep it simple, I was working at an investment bank in NYC and absolutely hated my life / how I was treated.

This week I just moved into my apartment in Scottsdale after making the cross country drive solo. A few months back I started my web design business with the help of Fox's course which has provided tremendous value and I've already closed a $1250 and a $4000 sale so far (a few other possible ones in the pipeline too).

When I was trying to find my way, I probably cold emailed 250+ businesses and cold called 150+ with lots of rejection, but it was a great learning experience.

I know a lot of members are from the Scottsdale/Phoenix area, and as I'm new to the area, it would be great to meet up if anyone is interested to grab a coffee/drink sometime.

Thanks!
Hey Guys, I'm Ben Living in Philadelphia for past 6 years, Always wanted to move to Los Angeles, however it is crazy up there during these times and I'm still not making that much money to afford rent there.
My friends lives in Mesa Arizona, 20 min from Phoenix,

how do you like this area ? are there lots of young people ? Also how many of you live in there? I would like to connect with some like minded people.

I've been working a slave jobs for past 7 years,been dabbling with online businesses for past 2 years, recently read Uscripted and reading Fastlane now, I wanna make a change in my life and just move west, Thinking about learning to code and start a web design frellancing.
 

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GuitarManDan

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Hey Everyone,

Decent amount of updates since I last posted in here. July was my best month so far this year (ended up doing around $11.5k) and it's looking like August will be another great month as well. Here are some notable things that have happened since my last post and also updating the numbers below:

  • Closed a new SEO deal this week! A financial services firm (met with the owner a few times in person) agreed for a $1k/month deal for a minimum of 6 months. He seems like a really great person to work with... the more I scale this up I'm starting to see the Pareto principle in action where 20% of my clients are taking up 80% of my time and causing 80% of the headaches so the goal is to bring on more clients that are great to work with. Less headaches means less time spent on random tasks that take away from my ability to grow and scale the business.
  • One of my SEO clients who is a 1 man shop wanted to scale back from the $1500 per month deal we discussed so I decided to go hourly and he said he could do $500 per month so he agreed to that where I'll be providing around 7 hours per month to help him out with SEO. Since that's a loss of $1k per month but I just brought on a new $1k per month client I'm still at the same recurring.
  • I have a few promising leads for SEO that I've been in discussions with for a while now. I have a really good feeling in the next few weeks I'll close at least one more SEO client.
  • Unless someone comes to me through referrals I've basically just been focusing almost 100% on SEO and not on web design at this point. It's way too time consuming with how I personally take on web design projects and my capacity is so much smaller for web project clients due to that personalization... additionally if I'm being honest I've always been more of a logic-based person vs. artistic and the artistic side of things with web design has always been a hassle from my perspective. With SEO it just deals with results and rankings and there isn't pushback from decision makers about their artistic visions. Additionally, from a biz perspective, SEO scales so much easier as the process follows a similar progression for all clients as opposed to web design there's always different functionality and other items that make it much harder to scale up.
My focus these last few months has been on building out systems and it's making a huge difference. My clients are still getting great results and I'm personally working much less on the ins and outs of the daily tasks... it's really nice to treat it like a business and not just be a freelancer. I still have a long way to go though, and call it the imposter syndrome but I still feel like I really haven't done too much. It's been a bit overwhelming thinking of the next business to start and to put my time and efforts into, but I know the key is to not try to have the "perfect" idea and to just jump into it and learn/act/adjust as I go.

2020 Revenue Tracker: $65,166.64 Revenue / $150,000 Goal

Monthly Recurring Revenue: $9,033 Per Month / $15,000 Per Month Goal
 

Pero123

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Hey Everyone,

Decent amount of updates since I last posted in here. July was my best month so far this year (ended up doing around $11.5k) and it's looking like August will be another great month as well. Here are some notable things that have happened since my last post and also updating the numbers below:

  • Closed a new SEO deal this week! A financial services firm (met with the owner a few times in person) agreed for a $1k/month deal for a minimum of 6 months. He seems like a really great person to work with... the more I scale this up I'm starting to see the Pareto principle in action where 20% of my clients are taking up 80% of my time and causing 80% of the headaches so the goal is to bring on more clients that are great to work with. Less headaches means less time spent on random tasks that take away from my ability to grow and scale the business.
  • One of my SEO clients who is a 1 man shop wanted to scale back from the $1500 per month deal we discussed so I decided to go hourly and he said he could do $500 per month so he agreed to that where I'll be providing around 7 hours per month to help him out with SEO. Since that's a loss of $1k per month but I just brought on a new $1k per month client I'm still at the same recurring.
  • I have a few promising leads for SEO that I've been in discussions with for a while now. I have a really good feeling in the next few weeks I'll close at least one more SEO client.
  • Unless someone comes to me through referrals I've basically just been focusing almost 100% on SEO and not on web design at this point. It's way too time consuming with how I personally take on web design projects and my capacity is so much smaller for web project clients due to that personalization... additionally if I'm being honest I've always been more of a logic-based person vs. artistic and the artistic side of things with web design has always been a hassle from my perspective. With SEO it just deals with results and rankings and there isn't pushback from decision makers about their artistic visions. Additionally, from a biz perspective, SEO scales so much easier as the process follows a similar progression for all clients as opposed to web design there's always different functionality and other items that make it much harder to scale up.
My focus these last few months has been on building out systems and it's making a huge difference. My clients are still getting great results and I'm personally working much less on the ins and outs of the daily tasks... it's really nice to treat it like a business and not just be a freelancer. I still have a long way to go though, and call it the imposter syndrome but I still feel like I really haven't done too much. It's been a bit overwhelming thinking of the next business to start and to put my time and efforts into, but I know the key is to not try to have the "perfect" idea and to just jump into it and learn/act/adjust as I go.

2020 Revenue Tracker: $65,166.64 Revenue / $150,000 Goal

Monthly Recurring Revenue: $9,033 Per Month / $15,000 Per Month Goal

Keep it going man.

I noticed one thing regarding SEO services. People tend to scale down after a while. It's like they take value you provide in the beginning and just ditch you later on until their page goes south again and they need SEO again.

Shouldn't you be tieing them to longer contracts? After all, most of the job is done in the first couple months.
 

CoderSales

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Hey Everyone,

Decent amount of updates since I last posted in here. July was my best month so far this year (ended up doing around $11.5k) and it's looking like August will be another great month as well. Here are some notable things that have happened since my last post and also updating the numbers below:

  • Closed a new SEO deal this week! A financial services firm (met with the owner a few times in person) agreed for a $1k/month deal for a minimum of 6 months. He seems like a really great person to work with... the more I scale this up I'm starting to see the Pareto principle in action where 20% of my clients are taking up 80% of my time and causing 80% of the headaches so the goal is to bring on more clients that are great to work with. Less headaches means less time spent on random tasks that take away from my ability to grow and scale the business.
  • One of my SEO clients who is a 1 man shop wanted to scale back from the $1500 per month deal we discussed so I decided to go hourly and he said he could do $500 per month so he agreed to that where I'll be providing around 7 hours per month to help him out with SEO. Since that's a loss of $1k per month but I just brought on a new $1k per month client I'm still at the same recurring.
  • I have a few promising leads for SEO that I've been in discussions with for a while now. I have a really good feeling in the next few weeks I'll close at least one more SEO client.
  • Unless someone comes to me through referrals I've basically just been focusing almost 100% on SEO and not on web design at this point. It's way too time consuming with how I personally take on web design projects and my capacity is so much smaller for web project clients due to that personalization... additionally if I'm being honest I've always been more of a logic-based person vs. artistic and the artistic side of things with web design has always been a hassle from my perspective. With SEO it just deals with results and rankings and there isn't pushback from decision makers about their artistic visions. Additionally, from a biz perspective, SEO scales so much easier as the process follows a similar progression for all clients as opposed to web design there's always different functionality and other items that make it much harder to scale up.
My focus these last few months has been on building out systems and it's making a huge difference. My clients are still getting great results and I'm personally working much less on the ins and outs of the daily tasks... it's really nice to treat it like a business and not just be a freelancer. I still have a long way to go though, and call it the imposter syndrome but I still feel like I really haven't done too much. It's been a bit overwhelming thinking of the next business to start and to put my time and efforts into, but I know the key is to not try to have the "perfect" idea and to just jump into it and learn/act/adjust as I go.

2020 Revenue Tracker: $65,166.64 Revenue / $150,000 Goal

Monthly Recurring Revenue: $9,033 Per Month / $15,000 Per Month Goal
Have you considered increasing your rates? Couple that with increasing value, that will give you the resources to make everything happen. Generally, the 'easier' clients have budget and have been through the process before... it's the low paying, high maintenance clients that are a pain.
 

GuitarManDan

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Keep it going man.

I noticed one thing regarding SEO services. People tend to scale down after a while. It's like they take value you provide in the beginning and just ditch you later on until their page goes south again and they need SEO again.

Shouldn't you be tieing them to longer contracts? After all, most of the job is done in the first couple months.

Hey man, I've definitely noticed this too. This is what I've found what my side and my thought process - long-term contracts are definitely the best, but especially with the pandemic going on still going crazy in the US a lot of business decision makers are hesitant to sign up for longer SEO contracts. It's a bit riskier on my side, but I'm confident in the results I can get them and I know that I go out of my way to deliver for the clients I work with.

I do A LOT of pre-screening to make sure they are in the same mindset as I am and that they fully understand this is not an overnight success and it's going to take several months to really see some results for their business, but if done in the right way... it basically becomes an asset vs. temporary success from Google Ads or other temporary forms of marketing that disappear once you stop paying.

The way I'm working on balancing this is that for clients that have a larger budget or seem to be more invested in the idea, I typically pitch longer-term contracts and for those with a smaller budget or who are a bit more hesitant I offer month-month packages to stand out from the competition who are all trying to lock people into 12 month contracts. It's been working well so far, but I agree I'm taking on a bit of risk. I'm cautiously optimistic but I'm always thinking of worst case scenario to make sure I'm ready for anything with this business.

Have you considered increasing your rates? Couple that with increasing value, that will give you the resources to make everything happen. Generally, the 'easier' clients have budget and have been through the process before... it's the low paying, high maintenance clients that are a pain.

You're 100% right on this one, still kinda funny how it works out that way where the higher-paying clients are also the lowest maintenance. I've basically decided I won't bring on a client for less than $1k per month for new clients in the SEO space and I think to increase even more than that may price me out of some good clients that I've worked with in the past.

I know I could definitely increase my prices, especially as I niche down as it has to be extremely rare for a financial services client to work with someone who provides SEO that knows the financial services industry inside and out and also knows all of the regulations/rules so that I can avoid getting them in trouble with content updates and other items like that.

Definitely a good thing to always question components of my business like this. People were telling me I was crazy for turning away bad low-budget web design clients in the beginning but that made a huge difference for me, so no reason to not consider the same for SEO as well.
 

CoderSales

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Hey man, I've definitely noticed this too. This is what I've found what my side and my thought process - long-term contracts are definitely the best, but especially with the pandemic going on still going crazy in the US a lot of business decision makers are hesitant to sign up for longer SEO contracts. It's a bit riskier on my side, but I'm confident in the results I can get them and I know that I go out of my way to deliver for the clients I work with.

I do A LOT of pre-screening to make sure they are in the same mindset as I am and that they fully understand this is not an overnight success and it's going to take several months to really see some results for their business, but if done in the right way... it basically becomes an asset vs. temporary success from Google Ads or other temporary forms of marketing that disappear once you stop paying.

The way I'm working on balancing this is that for clients that have a larger budget or seem to be more invested in the idea, I typically pitch longer-term contracts and for those with a smaller budget or who are a bit more hesitant I offer month-month packages to stand out from the competition who are all trying to lock people into 12 month contracts. It's been working well so far, but I agree I'm taking on a bit of risk. I'm cautiously optimistic but I'm always thinking of worst case scenario to make sure I'm ready for anything with this business.



You're 100% right on this one, still kinda funny how it works out that way where the higher-paying clients are also the lowest maintenance. I've basically decided I won't bring on a client for less than $1k per month for new clients in the SEO space and I think to increase even more than that may price me out of some good clients that I've worked with in the past.

I know I could definitely increase my prices, especially as I niche down as it has to be extremely rare for a financial services client to work with someone who provides SEO that knows the financial services industry inside and out and also knows all of the regulations/rules so that I can avoid getting them in trouble with content updates and other items like that.

Definitely a good thing to always question components of my business like this. People were telling me I was crazy for turning away bad low-budget web design clients in the beginning but that made a huge difference for me, so no reason to not consider the same for SEO as well.
When you charge a client $1000, what does that client get? As in how much keyword research, how many landing pages etc?
 

MJ DeMarco

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Any ideas for the conversion to a more Fastlane space, from a skilled specialized unit (selling websites) to a legacy value system? It's nice to see you ramping up, just want to be careful of getting comfortable in a direct time-for-$$ trade.
 

CoderSales

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Any ideas for the conversion to a more Fastlane space, from a skilled specialized unit (selling websites) to a legacy value system? It's nice to see you ramping up, just want to be careful of getting comfortable in a direct time-for-$$ trade.
So...... how would one set this up? Potentially with automation tools like Zapier for when invoices are taken care of, it alerts the team via Slack, creates a new job in Asana and assigns tasks to VAs. Just a thought that I'm putting out there. I would still have a VA (or pm) want to oversee everything. But at that point, how would you automate the lead sourcing? There's tools for that too but you'd have to vet/pitch the interested parties. MJ, I'm all about the Fastlane world, but how would that be done with an SEO agency? :/
 

GuitarManDan

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Any ideas for the conversion to a more Fastlane space, from a skilled specialized unit (selling websites) to a legacy value system? It's nice to see you ramping up, just want to be careful of getting comfortable in a direct time-for-$$ trade.

Hey MJ - completely agreed with that take, things have been going well with this business but at the end of the day it's more of a traditional time for money tradeoff.

This year I've been systematizing the mainly SEO work (stepped back from web design a bit) I've been doing now to handoff most of the tedious parts so that I can get my time and capacity back to start working on the next thing.

I see this business as being able to fund my expenses and lifestyle as I focus on the next business venture that will be more in the Fastlane space. I've spent too much time trying to think of the right next move/idea instead of just taking action so that's definitely on me to adjust for now.

What I'm doing to make sure that happens sooner rather than later is setting a deadline for the next two weeks with a mastermind I'm in (met them all at the fastlane summit) to start executing on the next business venture. I'm going to stick with one idea and move forward with that. Even if it isn't the "perfect" idea - I will learn so much more jumping in than just waiting around.
 

GuitarManDan

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Hey Everyone,

Some quick updates since my last post:
  • An SEO client of mine referred their husband to me as he owns a business also. We agreed to move forward to just update his on-page SEO and basically do month 1 of SEO work for $1500. Just sent him over the invoice and waiting on them to review/pay that. We agreed to review how we could work together after that so it may be a smaller amount monthly to do off-page SEO after that's all set.
  • Getting closer to closing another SEO lead that would be for $1500 per month. It's a jewelry business in AZ that reached out to me because my website ranked #1 overall for some SEO related keywords in AZ. They basically told me it was down to my business and a much larger national one, and it was nice to have that abundance mindset where I'm pretty indifferent if they sign up or not. I've always been a naturally laid back and upfront person so keeping that same style has worked well for me to close deals and it seemed to resonate with the owners of the biz. Not sure when I'll hear back but I'll keep everyone posted.
  • Although I've been doing almost entirely SEO, still have a few web design leads. One e-commerce company in AZ reached out to me and their site is absolutely brutal. They told me their conversion % and it's really really low to the point where I know I'd be able to step in and help them increase conversions and sales massively. They reached out and said they've been too busy to review my proposal so I'm going to pivot off of that and talk about automation and ask what they've been spending the most time on.
  • It seems like an overwhelming process to think of the next biz idea, but just like it was originally overwhelming to leave my job and completely uproot my whole life from NYC to Scottsdale... I know it'll be worth it in the long run. For now I'm just thinking of what ways I could add value in different industries and writing down ideas in a journal of mine. I want it to be something that more closely matches the CENTS framework but also something where I know I could skew value and not just be another person in the industry.
It's already looking like August will be my best month yet so far with the whole business so just trying to keep that momentum going! Updated numbers below (I've been getting recurring payments from different clients on different days of the month so I haven't been posting the exact source of each part of the revenue additions but on top of the recurring clients I still have one-off projects and sources of income if there seems to be a discrepancy):

2020 Revenue Tracker: $72,666.64 Revenue / $150,000 Goal

Monthly Recurring Revenue: $9,033 Per Month / $15,000 Per Month Goal
 

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