As Daryl Rosser once called Mads: literally “Management whisperer” for all leading SEOs out there. Almost whoever comes to your mind. Some of them are talking at SEO Mastery Summit – https://seomasterysummit.com/.
While I had a pleasure to talk to Mads for 2 hours accompanied by Alexandra Khilova and Vlad Polyansky (thanks for your help!)
A Few Takeaways
SEO is often difficult to sell because you are selling results down the road vs when you are selling PPC when the results can be seen tomorrow.
Why So Many SEOs Struggle to Become Successful Business Owners
The problem with most SEOs is that they usually are starting out as freelancers and quickly adopt individual contributor mindset. Which means they are stuck in doing everything themselves and cannot delegate.
What Is the Way Out? If you are that SEO-specialist, you need to learn how to become a business owner and overcome delegation barrier. And that is not by developing SOPs for every micro-step you make. You need to train your team so that team members learn how to do things on their own and not make yourself the end for everything. Otherwise, you won’t become a business owner and won’t have time to actually run a business.
Another challenge many of SEOs face, is that they start to do everything at once. It may be a better decision to niche down when you are only beginning. For example, if you are starting an SEO agency, you may focus on particular clients only, such as dentists and make everything around that niche just perfect. Or you may sell some small service, such as writing 1000 words informational content and build all the process around it until it’s perfect and then start and develop other services. A perfect example is Jonathan Kiekbusch with his SEO Butler.
When You Are Growing
When you’ve built some of your business and scaled a bit, it’s time to try and make more money on your existing clients (or properties). That way you can add and develop new processes and scale more. But don’t try to do too much all at once!
Charging More Can Be a Good Solution. Just Don’t Be Afraid & Here’s Why
There’s no such thing as getting too many leads: be more picky or increase your prices.
The more you charge, the more you can deliver!
You can afford to invest a lot more to make your client be more successful.
Most people want amazing results no matter how much they pay. Another aspect is that if you have lower paying clients, they talk about you with the same lower-paying-potential-clients friends. Whereas higher-paying-clients usually network with other higher paying potential clients friends.
The more you charge, the more higher level clients are coming after you.
Major Difficulties SEOs Face When Doing Client SEO
Most SEOs struggle at:
- Client management
- Expectation setting
SEOs are often not good at communicating.
What you should know though. Most good business owners (except for those curious in SEO) don’t care about SEO metrics that much. They care about money. For them, there is the simplest report: money spent and money earned.
What Motivates You? Are You Really That Much About Money? Does It Really Make You Happy?
You should also understand if you want to grow your business at all. Some people, especially in SEO industry, are way better of if they are given direction as they don’t necessarily care about growing business and making lots of money that much.
In entrepreneural community, there’s lot of shaming for those who are working for someone else. But there’s no harm for you in working for someone else if that’s your thing. You can also make partners with entrepreneurs and just continue doing your SEO.
You Still Want to Be a Business Owner? Learn Management!
Management is a skill just like an SEO. People are even less predictable than Google.
When you learn management, you can now build businesses that achieve amazing results without anything to do with yourself.
You should start managing by understanding people and understanding their behavior so that you could put right people to right jobs. Most people hire people like themselves. It’s wrong thing to do.
When you hire people it’s about finding people with right mindset and right attitude.
What You Should Delegate
3 things Mads recommends to delegate:
- What you hate doing
- Easy things to do
- Things that take you the most time
What If You Are Hiring & Think You Need to Build Processes
When you are hiring the first person may be building the processes out is OK:
- Record videos how to do that
- Let the person do that for some time
- After some time, let them document it
No business owner has time to run and update all the processes within the company.
Another thing to consider: in order to become good at something, one needs to learn and figure out something by themselves. Less adhering to the processes, more taking ownership of what they do. You don’t learn SEO by following processes. You learn SEO by having room to explore, by figuring out how to achieve the needed result yourself. Set the people you are hiring the end goal they need to achieve and let them figure it out themselves and learn along the way.
You want people who want to do what it takes to achieve the desired results.
Don’t Create SOPs, let people figure out themselves what to do and how to do that:
- Show people how to do what they need to do
- Watch how they do that
- Verify that they are doing it right
If you work for me I want you to become the best person you can become. Both because it helps me but also because it helps you.
In terms of motivation, Mads prefers bonus tied to performance.
Networking Is Essential for a Business Owner
Your network is your net worth. The more people you know the more you are likely to know someone who is good.
Fundamental things to look for when choosing to work with people: Positive attitude!