I want to come out and tell you how much you need to take the SEO Audit Guide course and how it will change your life forever in a good way. But, I used to sell property & casualty insurance, along with life and health insurance. I know from my previous career, I can’t tell you what to do. You need to make the decision for yourself. What I can do is to tell you how the course benefited me, thus giving you a glimpse behind the curtain to see how it might transform your life. Check out the photo below.
The photo is of me, founder of Wooster Media Group LLC, an SEO and digital marketing agency, giving a presentation to members of the Wooster (Ohio) Area Chamber of Commerce members about their websites and whether they are helping or hurting their businesses and organizations. How was I able to do it? Because of a chance meeting of Claudia Pennington at a blogging conference and taking her SEO Audit Guide course. I wrote about this in the first of two blog posts about starting a digital marketing agency. You can read the first post here.
How would you like to be in a position to have business and nonprofit leaders attend one of your sessions as you tell them how to improve their companies and organizations? How would you like to position yourself as an authority on search engine optimization and digital marketing? You can, like I did. Here is how I did it in a nutshell (some is restated from part one):
- Took the SEO Audit Guide course;
- Hustled to find that first client;
- Established an LLC (did it myself online via the Ohio Secretary of State’s website);
- Secured an IRS employee identification number;
- Registered with the state of Ohio to collect sales taxes (Ohio taxes most services);
- Contacted anyone I knew who might need my services;
- Built a website myself to save money;
- Created a Facebook page (along with Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn); and
- Spent an average of a dollar a day in Facebook ads.
Is it worth it to start a digital marketing agency?
For me the answer has been a resounding, “Yes!” While I sold insurance at one point, I was a full-time journalist before launching Wooster Media Group. Before I left the newspaper, my wife crunched the numbers. If I made only half my salary, then we would not have to sacrifice our standard of living. Attacking our debt would be hampered, some of our charitable endeavors would be decreased, but our day-to-day lives would remain the same.
So, is it worth it for you to do what I did? You will have to sort that answer out for your particular situation, but here are some thoughts to consider:
- What would your life be like if you had the ability to control your calendar? You work when you want to work. Most of your clients will work during normal daytime hours, so your need to work late at night or on weekends will be minimal.
- How awesome would it be if you could take your work on the road with you? There was recently a family wedding in Florida. I couldn’t very well ignore my existing client base, but because I have a digital agency, I can work remotely. Even though I was gone for 10 days, I made more in that month than I did previously.
- Where are you in the pecking order when it comes to vacations? At the newspaper, after 15 years, I was still in the middle of the pack. By the time the vacation calendar reached me, there were six weeks already out of reach, and you know most of them: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, New Year’s, and Easter. I could never get Christmas off, making it nearly impossible to see my mother in Boston during the holiday. What would it be worth to you to be able to take your vacation when it suited you and your family (and not have to work around coworkers’ schedules)? Remember, you can always bring work with you and do it on the road.
- What about the money? Can you really charge those kinds of fees? What you are really asking is whether you can leave a job where you get vacation days, insurance, a 401(k) plan, sick time and other benefits to launch your own SEO audits and digital agency. I would not have done if the money were not there. And, yes, you can charge those fees and businesses are willing to pay for it.
- Whether this is the right choice for you will be determined by how you answer these questions: Are you willing to work hard? Are you willing to work afternoons, even though you closed a big client in the morning? Do you have a servant’s heart? We provide a service, and if you don’t have a servant’s heart, then do something else. While you can schedule meetings when you want and go on the road when you have to, are you willing to put in the time, to do what it takes to provide the absolute best service to your clients? There’s a lot of flexibility, but it is only there when you take care of business.
Digging into the numbers
- One of my mentors told me not to expect any money for 60 days, so he recommended I set aside $5,000 … this was in case we needed any money before revenue started coming in it would be there. Think of it as a safety net. We could have set aside the $5,000, but we opted to do $3,000.
- At the end of the first month, I was $300 shy of earning half my salary. While I was short of the mark, I was also quite pleased because I was told not to expect any money for 60 days. Also, I didn’t launch my business until the second week of January, so I did it in three weeks instead of four.
- At the end of the second month, I was up about $120. Not much, but ahead of my projections. It felt really nice.
- March was a weird month. I started off strong, then I was down to my last two projects by mid-month. Almost as if a light switch was turned on, I started getting work left and right.
- In April, I decided to change my billing. Instead of invoicing a client when a project was completed, I would bill on the first day of the month. Instead of giving them 30 days to pay; I shortened it to 15 days. Come May 1, the invoices I sent out nearly matched what I made at the newspaper. I was just $400 off my full salary. And, I charge $50 an hour for content creation; and $75 and hour for SEO audits.
Is SEO Audit Guide for you?
I hope you are able to start your own business if that is what you want to do. If you want to do what I did, then a good place to start is with Claudia’s SEO Audit Guide online course. You will learn how to conduct SEO audits, do keyword research, learn about content marketing, and more.
Back around 2000-2001, I started my own business. I produced a weekly newsletter for free. It was ad-supported. It was geared toward providing great advice for families. I failed. I figured with the equipment I purchased to do the printing in-house, the computer, the paper, other items, and lost wages, the amount my wife and I lost was about $16,000. By 2010 or so, we finally erased that debt.
With the digital agency you can start with Claudia’s course, you are talking about a small investment for the class. You probably already have a computer you are using, and you already have Internet service. The software it will take will cost around $200-$250 to do the audits. Then, you will need other software. You can subscribe to a suite of applications that will get you started for $50 a month.
So, for less than $1,000 you can have a full-fledged, home-based business … just like me.
If you want this, then I have to ask: Are you willing to forego some nights out, some weekend trips away and other non-essential purchases to make this happen? I did, and I couldn’t be happier. Start your new life today with the SEO Audit Guide course.