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Rakesh Bandari
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How to Start and Succeed with your SEO freelancing Business

July 8, 2022

As an SEO freelancer based in Hyderabad, I often get asked by aspiring digital marketers how to start an SEO freelancing business and make it successful. SEO freelancing is a great way to make money from home while helping businesses increase their visibility and get more traffic from search engines. However, like starting any business, it requires proper planning, commitment and excellent execution.

In this blog post, I’ll share my tips for Indian freelancers looking to get started with SEO freelancing and grow their business.

Develop In-Demand SEO Skills

The most critical step is developing expertise in SEO skills that are in high demand right now. Some key abilities needed include:

  • On-page optimization: Analyzing site architecture, optimizing page elements like titles, headers, URLs, content, etc. to improve rankings.
  • Technical SEO: Ensuring site is indexed properly, fixing crawl errors, improving site speed and security.
  • Local SEO: Optimizing Google My Business listings, citations, reviews, local content to improve local search presence.
  • Link building: Outreach to acquire backlinks from relevant websites to build domain authority.
  • Content strategy: Creating pillar content, blogs, videos to target and rank for key terms.
  • Keyword research: Identifying low competition keywords aligned with client goals and creating optimized content for them.
  • Reporting & analysis: Tracking rankings, traffic, leads and preparing reports to demonstrate ROI.

Focus on gaining extensive experience in these core areas to stand out as an SEO expert. Continuously expand your skills as Google’s algorithms evolve.

Build a Compelling Personal Brand

As a freelancer, your personal brand will make or break you. Prospective clients need to see you as a trustworthy expert.

Here are some brand building tips:

  • Create a professional looking website showcasing your SEO services. Include testimonials from happy clients.
  • Build an audience on platforms like YouTube by sharing educational SEO videos.
  • Post regularly on LinkedIn showcasing SEO projects and insights.
  • Create optimized SEO portfolio pages highlighting successful client campaigns.
  • Participate in forums and groups to establish yourself as an SEO thought leader.
  • Publish guest posts on popular blogs in your niche to grow reach.
  • Attend local marketing events and network with business owners who may become clients.

An authoritative personal brand will give you an edge over the competition and make clients more confident in your capabilities.

Deliver True Business Value

At the end of the day, clients care about results – not SEO jargon and technicalities. They want more leads, sales and ROI.

Position yourself as a business growth consultant who uses SEO to generate tangible value. Listen closely to understand each client’s goals and craft strategies tailored to their needs.

For example, for an ecommerce site, focus on driving organic traffic to high converting product and category pages. For a local restaurant, prioritize boosting visibility for their name, address, menus and contact info.

Deliver solutions that impact their bottom line, not just move up keywords. This focus on client success will get you more referrals and business in the long-run.

Master Professional Processes

Running an SEO freelancing business requires professional processes and documentation – from proposals and contracts to reports and invoices.

Make sure you have iron-clad service agreements and scope documents. Using tools like Hubspot to send professional looking proposals will inspire confidence in potential clients.

Send your clients regular reporting on the efforts taken and results achieved. Back up your work with verified data from analytics platforms.

Streamline client onboarding by creating templates for key documents so you don’t start every project from scratch.

Implementing standardized processes will make you look like an established agency rather than an amateur freelancer.

Provide Ongoing Value

The best way to retain and grow accounts is by providing ongoing value beyond the initial project scope. Check in frequently with clients to share optimization tips and ideas. Send them a monthly SEO newsletter with actionable advice. Offer discounts on expanded services.

Make them feel like they have a true SEO partner invested in their long-term success, not just a one-time service provider. This leads to recurring business and long-term relationships.

Continuously Learn & Improve

SEO is constantly evolving. New techniques emerge while existing tactics get outdated or ineffective.

Commit to lifelong learning. Regularly read blogs, forums, and listen to podcasts to stay on top of algorithm changes and industry best practices.

Analyze your campaigns to figure out what is working well or needs improvement.

Never get complacent. Always look to expand your knowledge and upgrade your skills. This mindset will serve you well as an SEO freelancer.

Start Small, But Think Big

When starting out, many freelancers make the mistake of trying to go after big clients right away. I recommend starting small – offer discounted services to a few local businesses to build your portfolio and get testimonials. Reinvest your earnings into improving your service offerings.

Once you have momentum, aim bigger. Cold email potential clients explaining how you can help grow their business. Partner with agencies to subcontract projects. Hire employees to build out your own agency. The possibilities are endless if you build a solid freelancing foundation.

SEO freelancing requires hard work, but following these tips can help Indian digital marketers build a successful business. Stay persistent and don’t get discouraged by initial setbacks. Over time, you will gain more clients through referrals as long as you maintain a reputation for delivering real outcomes. If you ever need any mentoring or advice, feel free to reach out to me!

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