Have you ever thought of becoming a professional SEO freelancer? It may sound like the ideal career path for some people but the reality is, competition is fierce and SEO freelancing requires a lot of hard work, organization and discipline.
When freelancing, you are on your own and often wasting time with quotes and bids that are not bringing any customers to the barn at the end of the day. It can also be hard for some people to keep their focus while working from home. Distractions are frequent and financial pressure can often feel like a cold breeze blowing in the back of your neck.
So what can you do to be successful? While there are many aspects involved in the success of a SEO freelancer, there are some basics you should understand and focus on. Hopefully this Start-up Guide to SEO Freelance can provide you some helpful information.
Your Freelance Work Environment
If you are serious about SEO freelance, your work environment should be taken seriously. Make it functional and avoid distractions as much as possible. If you can’t afford an extra room for your office and you have to work from your bedroom or living room, turn the TV off and pick the right time to get your work done, especially when living with other people.
Book-keeping & Accounting
Keeping good track of your expenses and revenue is something that should not be taken lightly. Neglecting this aspect of your business will only make things worse when comes the time to pay bills or fill-out your income tax report.
Not many people like having to worry about taxes but those understanding the system and using it in their advantage know that it is not necessarily a bad thing. Governments want successful businesses so they make a lot of programs and tax credits available for them. Keep all your bills and receipts well organized. They can make a huge difference with having to pay or receive taxes at the end of your fiscal year.
Being sick or having an accident that keeps you from working won’t be any help to your SEO freelance career. No matter how well you are doing, remember that your health is more important than anything else so make sure you have health coverage.
Insuring your equipment would also be a wise thing to do. You need it to work!
Government Programs & Financing
Depending on where you live, there might be some government programs available that could help you get started with your SEO freelance career. Some will offer you training while others will provide financing that could be vital to the success of your business so make sure you know what is available and apply to anything that could help.
The legal aspect of your business is also very important. Not only you need to know the regulations in place in your area but you should also protect yourself from any client abuse.
Well-organized and hard working SEO freelancers are usually the most successful. Every hour you waste on tasks that are not providing any income is an hour you could spend working for a client. Try automating some tasks and make good use of your calendar.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is important. Once you start getting more clients, consider outsourcing some work to other SEO freelancers so you can focus on what you are doing best.
It can also be in your advantage to exchange services with other people. For example, you can write an article about a product while in return you get free access to it.
No matter how good you are with SEO, your professionalism will often make the difference between getting a freelance contract or not. You want to look well established and organized, not like you could be closing doors in a month. Get back to your clients, partners and prospects within a reasonable time frame, treat them with professionalism and be well prepared when meeting with them.
In business, referrals are very important to your success. Think ROI! Going the extra mile to keep your clients happy is sometimes worth more than any advertising campaign you could be spending money on.
You can also build some credibility with award nominations or by writing articles in popular publications.
Business networking can also play a big role in your success. Attend SEM events when possible and get involved with your local chamber of commerce. Meeting people in person is always better than giving them a cold call or sending them an unsolicited email.
Networking is also very important on social networks such as Digg, Stumble Upon, etc. Taking the time to get in touch with your contacts can often make the difference on whether or not you will get their support when needed.
SEO Freelance Networks
There are several freelance networks out there on which you can offer your SEO services and bid on projects. Take the time to register with them and evaluate their profitability. Here are a few of them:
Marketing & Advertising
SEO is marketing so keep in mind that if you can’t do it well for yourself you won’t be taken seriously. Don’t neglect your own search engine results, advertise wisely and work on improving your conversion rate.
Never Stop Learning
Finally but not the least, always keep learning and stay informed on the latest search engine developments.