Another wall of text post, expect a more actionable post in the next few days, sneak peak:
“How To Scrape Expired Domains & Web 2.0s”
The amount of new agencies, niche marketing firms and local freelancers I’ve seen pop up in the last 3 years is absolutely crazy. Especially when I think how much I hate client SEO after working in 2 agencies and running my own for 6 months – I know for a lot of the people who’ve started these businesses it seems like quick, easy cash.. A way to escape the rat race with little risk, but before you jump into making your own agency (like the million others out there) have a little listen to my story, first.
It’s Not All That Easy
Acquiring clients isn’t easy at all.. If you don’t have any reputation, any case studies, any current clients then it’s pretty hard to land that first client, and even when you do, to be able to complete the work for them is going to require you to have a lot of knowledge OR a good budget OR a lot of time.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to do local SEO but the work only makes up 1/10th of my dislike of doing client SEO.
The Cons WAY Out Do The Pros
In my time, I’ve done work for over 250 clients.. That’s not a small number by any means, and it’s given me a pretty good insight into why I can’t stand working for them.
Con #1 – You Aren’t REALLY Your Own Boss
If someone else is giving you money to do a service for them, their expectations can be wildly different from the ones you have.
$500 a month can be a serious amount of money for a small, local business and they then require a load of nurturing and re-assurance that their $500 is being well-spent, which means they can take up a considerable amount of your time just dealing with reporting, phone calls and emails that’ll start annoying you after the 2nd week and 50th phone call.
Con #2 – Limited Income
Once you have an agency, to be able to scale your income you require being able to scale the amount of work your agency can do. As you grow, your profit margins per client get lower and lower due to you having more costs when it comes to tax, staff, office space, software, acquisition marketing and so on..
You also don’t have the kind of easy scaling you can do with things like affiliate SEO.
Con #3 – You Aren’t Free
As a full-time affiliate, blogger, consultant and author.. I can go on vacation tomorrow if I want to, I can decide to not work tomorrow if I don’t want to and if I suddenly get an illness, then I’m not required to lug myself out of bed to the office like agency owners have to.
You’re still stuck doing the 9 – 5, except this time it’s more like 7 – 7 if you want to grow big enough.
Con #4 – It’s Not Passive
Unfortunately every month you actually have to do work to get a paycheck, in comparison some of my affiliate sites haven’t seen a new page, a new link or a design update in months.. Yet still bank a considerable amount of money every week.
There Are Some Pros
Despite all the negativity in this post so far, I will say that I have a few bonuses from being an agency, though as I said earlier.. They’re pushed rather far down in comparison to the cons.
Pro #1 – Different Industries
For me, getting to learn about a new industry and how it all works was a load of fun – It also helps with your overall business skills as you learn how different people and businesses communicate, do marketing and (something that is very undervalued) say things = KEYWORDS!
Pro #2 – People
Being a solo entrepreneur can be extremely lonely, and sometimes depressing. Having a consistent amount of people around you to just have a human relationship with can be a big bonus for your mental health and working ability – Seeing an employees face everyday means you have to work for not just yourself, but you’re feeding someone else and quite possibly their family too.
Selling My Agency
I’d had enough, I couldn’t stand people’s consistent, unrealistic expectations… I couldn’t stand having to explain the same processes over and over again to different people, only to have to explain it again 3 months down the line to the same person.
I had 18 clients, all over $500/mo and refused to spend 12 hours a day building someone else’s business and having to put my passive income properties on the back-burner whilst I provided value worth in excess of 10x what they were paying, only to get a yet again unrealistic response back of wanting more, when I’d tripled their sales in a matter of months.
I decided to sell my clients off at a 20% revenue share per month to an agency and dedicate all my time to my passive income projects – I haven’t looked back since, and my business is doing better than ever.
I’d always suggest initially working for an agency or building a small one (3 -5 clients MAX – Clients you hand pick) yourself, just to get access to tools, capital to invest in projects and learn whilst on the job – Working a different job to SEO and trying to build a solid SEO business is very difficult, SEO requires an extreme level of dedication.
My agency still gives me some extra spending cash every month, and consulting is a great way to gain capital from a one-off occasion, it doesn’t require you to do dedicate time away from the projects that’ll build you a life, rather than take it away from you.
I’m the kind of guy that’d rather work 10 hours a week and earn $100k/year than work 50 hours a week and earn $1 Mil/year though.
I respect people like Ryan Stewart, Diggy and others in the industry who’ve built very profitable agencies off hard-work, but I guarantee you they prefer the cash from their own projects in comparison to doing it for clients.
Thanks For Reading
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