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Not sure if I should offer SEO, web design or social media services

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Daniel Clemente

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Hi everyone. I'm moving to Miami around January to start a program at a college and possibly work part-time. I've sadly been a lurker for about a year (but read both books) and occasionally "started" things like setting up a social media marketing agency (SMMA) but didn't get far, as you can see from my post history. I'm sick of being just another statistic of someone who's in analysis paralysis and doesn't take action. My main worry about start something is whether or not the services in the title are completely saturated and competition cutthroat. I don't how many marketers are already calling, emailing and visiting businesses daily, especially in Miami, offering these services, and I want to avoid being the 1000th person to call a business offering the same thing. I basically just don't know what service to start learning about so I can offer it. I may have posted about this before but don't remember.

I actually subscribed to Fox's web school and watched the intro videos but I keep questioning whether I should really try selling websites or if I should include SEO and social media in the package or just focus on one or two or what. Does anyone know what service is in highest demand among U.S. companies or what service people on here and in general are having the most success getting clients for? I want to get ready for the new year and make major but manageable life changes. Also, if this post classifies as a stupid question, then I'll obligingly remove it. Thank for reading!
 

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Chris25

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Hey Daniel, you can get a better idea about the Miami market if you do some reaserch online. You can use Google to find out because I'm sure if there are any significant marketers or agenices they have their services posted online. And you can also figure out what they're offering at the same time. You can also filter Craiglists postings to see what people are looking for or offering in Miami.

I bielive that website developement and SEO kind of go together. Social media marketing is a completely seperate category. Start with the one you feel more comfortable with, and go from there. You won't be the 1000th person to contact companies, and even if you are the worst that could happen is they won't go with you. And this depend on how good you are compared to those others, not how many of you there are.

Good luck!
 

The Abundant Man

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"Don't think...feel! It is like a finger pointing to the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory!."-Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon
 

Darius

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Hey Daniel, the market is saturated but honestly, it's full of people doing poor work / bad communication.

I have a digital 'agency' (me + freelancers when needed) that I grow when trying to get seed money for other projects & scale back when the time commitment gets high.

Here's what I'd recommend for getting started:

Don't sell services to individuals in the beginning. For the amount of work you're going to put in trying to make a sell for 1 project - you can put in that same effort and go after an agency and get multiple projects from 1 sale.

Search several marketing agencies in your area and reach out with a genuine email/message seeing if they need help with building websites, with SEO, or PPC (if you have this skill). At this point, you're selling yourself, not your agency.

You won't make much money, but you will be able to build a portfolio, get a testimonial, and build a connection for possibly getting referrals.

It's a +EV decision.

==

Once you've built a decent portfolio (If you're building websites) or have a few case studies - I'd start reaching out to medium-big sized businesses.

If I'm doing PPC, I like going after eCommerce stores because it's easy to show the value you bring to the business.

If I'm doing SEO, I like going after local services (plumbers, electricians, home inspectors, real estate agents, etc..)

Most of my website building work is on Wordpress for individuals. If you do good work for your clients, you will be able to upsell a website change if their current site is trash.

I'd stay away from trying to sell small businesses as a 1-man show due to the time commitment required. However, I will work with small businesses if they come to me as a referral.

==

Once you have more work than you can complete on your own - hire someone to help.

If you can't afford to pay that person what they're worth - you've charged too little and need to raise your prices.

Once your employee/freelancer is hired, focus on having them take over as much 'technician' work as possible - instead of taking on more work immediately. This will give you time to train them well and develop a good process.

This means you will be pocketing less money after you hire them, but only for a short amount of time.

Once they're situated and working well, open up your availability and start taking on new clients. Once you get too much work, you repeat the hiring process.

It's easier said than done, of course.

I like doing PPC campaigns with new clients to gain trust (it's more straightforward and easier to explain for me than SEO). Then recommend SEO when I have their trust.
 

AgainstAllOdds

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No.

Don't sell social media services.

You're competing against people in third world countries and first world "digital nomads" that are happy to make $20k living in Thailand.

Does anyone know what service is in highest demand among U.S. companies or what service people on here and in general are having the most success getting clients for?
Development. Learn to code.
 

Paladin

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You want to sell a single service that you can explain in great detail. I started my online journey selling SEO on craiglist. Just master ONE pitch and explain how you can get them more customers.

While web design is cool, selling SEO is the best of your options. Web Design only gets paid once, the client will nitpick and call you all the time, and it's a slower payment schedule.

If you're really good at web design, you can overcome these challenges.

HOWEVER.

When selling SEO, you can demand the first month's payment in the first meeting. Grab a PayPal or Square device so you can swipe a credit card using your phone. People think that's very cool.

SEO clients don't call as much, they stay longer and there is plenty of software to generate auto-reports. Focus on businesses that have a high customer value (chiropractor v massage therapist.) You want a client that just one extra customer per month covers your fee. When you get one of those, they won't even answer when you call.

That's the dream baby!
 

Burton

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Even if there is a big competition in social media market there is also a huge need in my opinion. Take a look at businesses social media channels just in your local area, most of them are bs. The main problem especially at the beginnings is to know how to approach clients to close the deal. If they know you can bring customers to their doors, they will stay with you no matter what.

As AgainstAllOdds said there is a big money available in development but from my experience as software dev it is really stressful job. Lots of problems for example with clients, time and sometimes also with other devs. It's just my opinion, maybe I have cooperated with wrong companies. :)
 
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Daniel Clemente

Daniel Clemente

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So I looked at the make $1000/week freelancing post. I'm thinking of offering local SEO since it doesn't take a while to learn. I lurk an SEO forum too that explains how to do it.
 

Garf

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Does anyone actually know how to do SEO anymore? I mean, besides good content marketing that naturally gets shared. Are people really promising potential clients "You'll be #1 on Google" and delivering?
 
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Daniel Clemente

Daniel Clemente

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You want to sell a single service that you can explain in great detail. I started my online journey selling SEO on craiglist. Just master ONE pitch and explain how you can get them more customers.

While web design is cool, selling SEO is the best of your options. Web Design only gets paid once, the client will nitpick and call you all the time, and it's a slower payment schedule.

If you're really good at web design, you can overcome these challenges.

HOWEVER.

When selling SEO, you can demand the first month's payment in the first meeting. Grab a PayPal or Square device so you can swipe a credit card using your phone. People think that's very cool.

SEO clients don't call as much, they stay longer and there is plenty of software to generate auto-reports. Focus on businesses that have a high customer value (chiropractor v massage therapist.) You want a client that just one extra customer per month covers your fee. When you get one of those, they won't even answer when you call.

That's the dream baby!
Pick one and stick to it. You can do well in any category if you stay laser focused.
Possible dumb question, but is it a better idea to get SEO clients via Upwork and then outsource or do the work myself? I'm fine with working myself; I just don't know how I should go about with it.
 

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Sebastya

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Does anyone actually know how to do SEO anymore? I mean, besides good content marketing that naturally gets shared. Are people really promising potential clients "You'll be #1 on Google" and delivering?
Some do, some don't. It's constantly evolving so you have to stay on top of it (thus my advice on sticking to doing one thing).

You can't promise #1 but you can promise results. Most clients are happy to get a positive return on their investment which doesn't necessarily mean they need to be #1, just high enough on the right search terms.
 

Darius

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Does anyone actually know how to do SEO anymore? I mean, besides good content marketing that naturally gets shared. Are people really promising potential clients "You'll be #1 on Google" and delivering?
I'd say none of us know how to do SEO well 100% of the time, but can get better results than a poorly SEO'd site relatively easy.

Different industries / locations require different combinations of "tools in the toolbox".

"Best practices" don't work across the board.

I think what separates good SEO's from great SEO's is having a wide array of experience at their disposal in order to know their options (basic on-site, basic link building, pbns, silos, tiered link building, dynamic keyword density, cloaking, etc), what might bring the best gain with the least risk, and how to investigate when something isn't working as expected.


No one reputable should be promising #1 on Google. Can't promise what you can't control.
 

Ecom man

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I would love to hire someone who brings in more money than they cost me... that’s ultimately what you need to do...

IMO they will always be demand for someone who knows how to optimize Ecom websites to increase conversion rates and someone to optimize ad campaigns. Learn those skills and you can easily find work/ run a business.
 

ZF Lee

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No.

Don't sell social media services.

You're competing against people in third world countries and first world "digital nomads" that are happy to make $20k living in Thailand.
Its funny that I was considering to look into it as part of my VA freelance service today.

But I didn't see any substantial value or hard problems I could solve in that department, so I didn't tick that box.

And it was hard for me to sell based on results (I tried to bid for FB copywriting gigs). Sure, the client might want more follows or likes from my work. But I really wanted to correlate them with increased sales (that's how we help businesses better that way), and I might safely say that many times, the likes or follows don't convert quickly to sales.

Possible dumb question, but is it a better idea to get SEO clients via Upwork and then outsource or do the work myself? I'm fine with working myself; I just don't know how I should go about with it.
If you already have a portfolio of sorts, then, its fine to go onto Upwork. You can work your way up in Upwork from no portfolio, but it works better when you have already something that clients can look at. You can kill off the $1-per-gig freelancers that bid on the low quickly. And freelance platforms are generally a decent start.

But outsourcing....do you plan to stay in the game long-term as a solid firm? If yes, then you would need more help.
 

Castillo

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Wait wait.. Are you already looking to sell services, which you know nothing about?

First, decide the service you want to sell.
Second, become a F*cking master at it.
Third, differentiate yourself from your competition and F*cking kill it.

Pick one, stick to it, and don't keep hyoothesizing as you'll be stuck there forever.

Good luck!
 

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