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 Starting A New SEO Business (Part 3) - 
5 Ways To Separate Yourself From Competing SEO Firms

By John Alexander

If you have not set up some goals and objectives for your new SEO business, then read Part 1 first.

So learn how to deliver first so that you have a comfort level and know for a fact, EXACTLY what you can do.

Be sure to gain Personal confidence through experience.

This is probably the next most important step. The sooner you build your confidence then the sooner you will realize the potential for what you can perform. In the beginning, start with a few of your own sites where you have full creative liberty without the demands or pressures that come from a client.

Experience build's confidence. Set some benchmarks for yourself. As you get comfortable competing at a certain level, then you can progress to take on bigger challenges. It's surprising how fast you can grow your skills with a little daily practice on a regular basis.

Part Three - 7 Ways To Separate Yourself From Competing SEO Firms

The ultimate thing you are building is your reputation now.

1. Set Your Clients Expectations well - Under Promise but Over Deliver

It sounds so simple and maybe a bit old fashioned, but it still works extremely well. So many people are operating under the auspices of being a skilled search engine optimizer and yet they feel the need to over promise (and often under deliver.) These days people are cautious about exaggerated claims of being promised that they can appear in Google's top organic results in a matter of hours or a matter of days.

Have you ever taken time to explain to your client why they would not want to be found in Google first?

Not many take the time to educate the client. For example, one reason you would not want Googlebot to be the first search engine visit, is because if it is the first to a new Web site, obviously when it comes in, it will not be able to find any link reputation, link popularity, link diversity because there are no other directories or search engines linking to the new site. Set yourself apart, by helping to educate your client and teach them a few basics along the way. Instead of offering high promises of quick results, even if you are capable of delivery, you want to set normal, moderate and average expectations. Then you'll have plenty of room for good news when you excel on the client's behalf. Why this is important is that it separates you from all of those who make exaggerated claims for a quick sale, but are only interested in making a quick buck instead of winning a new client for longer term relationship. Under promise and over deliver is one of the simplest ways to set your SEO services apart from the rest.

2. Perform your Keyword Forensic Research on the client's audience first, before accepting them as clients.

These days, many professional and non-professional SEO people are all to ready to celebrate when they make the sale. Instead, you want to save the celebration for after you actually make a difference to the clients bottom line. One of the easiest ways to have some quality assurance about this, is to do your keyword research, before you choose to accept the client. Once you explore the client's customer behavior with keyword forensics, then you will know how easy or difficult it will be to get the qualified traffic. Don't be so anxious to close the sale that you skip exploring the marketplace first. The ultimate result is that you take on each new client with some piece of mind knowing, you have a potential action plan. This is one of the quickest ways to build your reputation sometimes in just weeks, instead of months or years down the road.

Remember to use all of the principles you learn in your training along with good old fashioned customer service excellence. Eventually what occurs, as you choose your clients wisely (as opposed to going for a fast buck) is that your new clients will literally become your sales people. If your work makes their business really sing, they tell literally everyone they know. Ultimately, in a short period of time, this generates genuine referral business for you. 

Now instead of you chasing the prospects, the prospect is seeking you (based on referrals and the excellent successes that you have brought your first clients.)

3. Apply Yourself to Your Inner Hidden Talents or At Least Be Sure to Develop Awareness of Them.

As you took your SEO training, did you notice that there is one aspect of Internet Marketing that you really enjoy more than others? Perhaps you enjoy optimization itself, or maybe it's writing copy. 

Perhaps you are an idea generator and notice that you have fun coming up with creative original newsworthy ideas? It will be something different for each person, but this tip is to simply pay attention to the type of work you find enjoyable. If you enjoy writing articles, then write them more often. If you are into creative newsworthy content, practice writing press releases for your clients. If you are like me, maybe you find one of the most fascinating aspects to be keyword research. Why you want to focus on the favorite aspects of your work is simple. When you are enjoying your work, you tend to excel at it and in time you can become one of the very best by reason of practice. 

Plus when you do work you enjoy, it don't really feel so much like hard work, because you enjoy what you do. It's just one more way of separating yourself from the rest.

4. Network in the Community and Go Places Where You Can Meet Other Business People.

Of course lots of people will join their local Chamber of Commerce, but try not to fall into the typical habits of just promoting your business and handing out business cards. Some may think that this is the whole purpose of networking and be wondering, if I don't promote myself who will promote me?

What I am suggesting is to get more involved as a volunteer on one of the committees. Get to actually know the members of your group and also take an interest in their businesses too. Once you get involved with groups like the local Chamber of Commerce or for example the Rotary Group, it's your opportunity to get involved and take part in the community events. This type of networking will result in you getting to meet other business owners who care about similar causes and they often have a story to tell about how their business survived the early days. It don't really take much time or that much effort to become involved in your community and you'll be working right along side other businesses. Try to resist the urge of becoming what some people call a "knife and fork" person, or someone who shows up for a luncheon, then disappears right after and then goes home to complain how they did not get any new business.
Be different - take an interest in the other members and they'll take an interest in you.

5. For many more ways to separate yourself from the competition, be sure to register for this free Webinar coming up on

November 23, 2011 at Search Engine Academy.

In this 30 minute Webinar, How to Start an SEO Business, I'll be sharing such things as:

  • Who makes an ideal first client and why
  • Original strategies that I personally used (to separate myself from the competition)
  • Ways to Find Win/Win Partnerships in Your Community
  • Methods of outperforming your client's expectations
  • Questions and Answers

All seats for this Webinar are 100% free, but register early to ensure you get a spot.

Check out our whole list of upcoming free Webinar topics 

Where can you build your SEO skills?

We actually teach students how to set up a new SEO business right from scratch, as one of our sessions. What I'd like to share here are some simple steps you can consider, as well as the sequence of those steps to be most effective in launching your proposed SEO business.

It sounds odd, but many people have the challenge of just getting started at all. Often it's due to a fear of some sort. It's easy to be busy all the time, but are you busy doing the right things? 

Some people begin to work with SEO from a self-taught perspective. They may buy all of the popular tools. They buy all the latest e-books or hang out in the local forums. They may subscribe to various resources, 
always looking for next great thing to sign up for. 

But for some reason or other, they seem to have difficulty in actually getting started.

Grab a few hundred Free SEO Tips (one tip each day.)

A few hours in obtaining new SEO knowledge can deliver a huge return for your online business - for life! 
Your local Community Search Engine Academy teaches SEO Mastery Workshops across the United States, Canada, Asia and Australia.

About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with his Associate Educators at Search Engine Academy. John
has taught SEO skills to people from 87 different countries world wide. John is CEO of Search Engine Academy with localized Search Engine Academy training centers where the Complete SEO Mastery Workshop and 6 Month Mentoring program is taught locally to business owners and individuals in communities across North America and Internationally in Asia

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