99% of SEO businesses fail to reach $1 million per year.
Mistake #1 – Not Niching Down
When you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one.
My friend Chris Dreyer understands this, and it’s why he’s built an 8-figure SEO agency.
Before he struck gold, Chris was like everyone else.
He tried affiliate marketing, niche sites, and taking any client that came along.
Then, one day, he focused 100% of his effort on attracting personal injury lawyers as clients.
And now his agency, Rankings.io, is the go-to option for personal injury lawyers who want SEO help.
Here’s the deal:
It’s a red ocean if you start a generic SEO agency. But it becomes a blue ocean when you focus on a specific niche.
Think about Amazon.
You see it as the monster that it is today.
But don’t forget where it started.
They only sold books.
Or how about Loom, which just sold for nearly a billion dollars?
It does one thing really well: screen recordings.
Now, you might be wondering:
What niche should you get into?
I’ve got something for you, so you don’t need to guess.
Keep reading to learn more (it’s free).
Mistake #2 – Acting Like a Big Agency
Never pretend to be bigger than you are.
I see this mistake too often, and it eliminates the biggest opportunity you have.
Here’s the truth:
When you’re small, you have advantages that big agencies don’t.
The biggest is a personal touch with the actual expert.
Most agencies get so big that they assign inexperienced interns or entry-level people to SEO campaigns.
That’s why you need to double down on the fact that you’re small.
Show your face and tell prospective clients you will work directly with them.
Assure them that you’re the one who’s leading their campaign and that they’re in good hands.
Mistake #3 – Focusing Too Much on Getting New Leads
Here’s a catch-22:
You need new leads and clients to grow your business.
But you also need to get these clients results, or they’ll cancel.
So, what should you focus on?
You need to focus on building your SEO portfolio as fast as possible.
That means you’ll need to do work that you might believe is “below you.”
This is called eating dirt or paying your dues.
And it’s a requirement if you’re trying to break into a niche.
But once you’ve landed a handful of clients, you must retain them as long as possible.
You may have seen this statistic before:
According to Harvard, getting a new client is 5 – 25 times more expensive than keeping an existing one.
That’s why retention is the key to long-term success in an SEO agency.
The question is:
How do you retain your clients?
You need both to keep clients from churning.
Mistake #4 – Thinking You Can Outsource Everything
I love outsourcing, but it’s the worst move when you’re early in your SEO business journey.
You already know that client retention is the #1 variable for long-term success.
And 50% (or more) of that equation is based on your ability to drive SEO results.
You can outsource it, but you’ll be chasing your tail, bouncing from one contractor to another.
All of which have their philosophies, systems, and theories.
And guess who suffers?
If you’re serious about building a long-term cash-generating machine like an agency, you must build SEO systems.
Systems are the only way to get consistent outcomes for your clients.
Mistake #5 – Endless Posting on Social Media
Are you trying to be an influencer, or are you trying to get clients?
If you’re here, I’m going to guess that you want more SEO clients.
And I can tell you this:
Endlessly posting on social media to rack up vanity metrics is the worst path.
Here’s the secret that most successful agencies will never tell you:
The best SEO leads come from referrals.
And how do you get more referrals?
You guessed it:
By getting your clients incredible results.
You don’t need social media to build a successful SEO business.
There are dozens of other lead-generation techniques that are far superior.
Mistake #6 – Thinking You Need Tons of Experience to Start
I’ve spoken with hundreds of agency owners, consultants, and freelancers.
And what is the #1 roadblock?
It’s imposter syndrome.
Most early entrepreneurs think they need tons of case studies, testimonials, and years of experience to start taking on clients.
There is nothing further from the truth.
When I started taking on clients, I only had a portfolio of results from my niche site projects and only about a year of SEO experience.
You don’t need tons of experience.
All you need are some results to prove you know what you’re doing.
Then, you need to price your services based on your experience level.
It’s embarrassing to admit this, but my first SEO retainer was for a whopping $100/mo.
I took eating dirt to a new level in 2013.
But that small sacrifice now allows me to charge $10,000/mo for SEO services.
Mistake #7 – Superhero Syndrome
Each of these mistakes I’ve shared today will decrease your odds of success.
But the most devastating mistake is having superhero syndrome.
And I only know that because I’m guilty.
I was the biggest bottleneck in my SEO business when I started.
Instead of getting help, I tried to squeeze every penny and convinced myself that “hard work” was smart.
I was wrong.
I discovered that working hard and struggling to figure things out yourself is a massive waste of time.
Here’s the truth:
You are not rewarded based on how many hours you work.
And you don’t get a medal for struggling to figure things out.
You get lots of stress, bad results, and a business hanging on for dear life.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
You don’t need to work any harder.
You don’t need to figure it out on your own.
Here’s what to do instead:
Find someone who has already achieved your desired goal and learn from them.
This is the biggest secret to success.
Learn from someone ahead of you to skip ahead and avoid many mistakes.
Like one of my students, Jared Tangir, went from working a 9-5 job to building an SEO agency, making over $50,000/mo in only a year.
It took me almost three years to get to Jared’s level because I was trying to be a superhero.
Don’t be like old me.
Instead, find a coach and mentor to guide you.
Speaking of that:
I’m Nathan Gotch, the founder of Gotch SEO Academy and author of The SEO Entrepreneur.
I’ve sold millions of dollars worth of SEO services and led hundreds of successful SEO campaigns in my agency.
And my SEO expertise is featured on Semrush, Ahrefs, and Search Engine Journal.
But don’t worry:
I’m not here to sell you anything.
I want to give you a gift.
Let me ask you since you’re still here:
Do you want to build a successful SEO business this year using a proven process instead of throwing stuff at the wall and hoping it works?
This free book teaches you how to build a successful SEO business from scratch.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve failed in the past or don’t have much experience.
I’m proof that it can work.
I built my 7-figure SEO business without experience, and my only funding was a credit card with a $500 limit.
If I can do it, you can too.
The total value of this offer is $5,808.99, but you can get everything today for free (just pay for shipping).
But act now because we sell out fast.
Thanks for reading this!
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