So, you successfully picked your niche, started your SEO gig, and learned how to attract and retain customers. You’ve been doing well for yourself and are now thinking of scaling up your business.
But how do you go about doing that?
1. Take on more projects by improving your efficiency
As a freelancer, if you do not want to outsource anything, the only way to scale up your business is to work more. Since this can lead to possible burnout, we recommend improving your efficiency so you can be more productive without putting in more hours:
- Keep a close eye on how long it takes you to perform specific tasks
- See if there is a way to get the same thing done in less time
- Remove any distractions that may be causing you to slow down
- May be set a timer for each task and reward yourself every time you complete a task before the timer goes off
One of the primary benefits of the freelance lifestyle is flexibility – you can work when you feel most productive, you don’t have to change out of your pajamas, and you don’t have to travel to work. However, that is why most freelancers don’t have a fixed routine. Most freelancers work from home and everything at home is there so we can relax and distract ourselves.
To be more efficient, you have to have a routine.
Identify the most productive time of the day for you and build your routine around that. Also, maintain a list of action items and break big projects down into small tasks. Make sure every task has a deadline attached to it.
You can also take some online project management courses to, well, improve your project management skills. In short, you should first learn to better manage your time, so you can take on more projects without putting in any extra hours, and thus grow your career as a freelancer.
2. Take on more projects by hiring other freelancers
Hiring other freelancers makes sense when it’s difficult for you to manage your workload alone. On one hand, it can help you take on more projects and increase your income, but on the other hand it will require you to use an entirely different set of skills to make sure you still keep your customers.
As an SEO freelancer, your process of taking on a new customer and then working for them goes something like this:
- You meet with the customer and understand their requirements
- You create an SEO plan for on-page and off-page SEO for their website
- You start executing on all the action items mentioned in the plan
If you want to scale up and take on more projects, you will have to hire people for the execution part. You will probably have to train them in accomplishing said tasks and make sure they are meeting deadlines and maintaining the level of quality you expect from them.
So far you have only been dealing with customers, i.e. people you report to, but now you will be dealing with people that report to you. You will need to change gears and put your manager hat on when dealing with freelancers that you have hired.
Of course, we completely understand if working with and managing others is not for you. It’s only safe to assume that you chose the freelancing lifestyle because you’re drawn to the flexibility it offers, or you simply prefer working on your own. You may feel like you produce your best work when working by yourself. In this case, you should consider the next strategy.
3. Make more money by increasing prices
One of the quickest and easiest ways to scale up your freelance SEO business is to increase your prices. Of course, this may seem like an obvious step, but you’d be surprised by the number of freelancers who are reluctant to increase prices in the fear of upsetting and losing their clients.
There is some merit to that sentiment, but if your customers are doing great in terms of rankings and organic traffic, it may be time to negotiate better prices. By raising your prices and managing to keep your customers, you will have successfully scaled up without hiring anyone or taking on more work.
When raising prices, make sure you do the following:
- Send a personalized email to each customer 20-30 days in advance
- Set up a meeting with each customer to discuss any concerns they may have
- Explain to your customers why the price hike is justified
- Remind them, with facts and figures, about the good work you have done for them and assure them that this will allow you to do even better
You’re already an expert in the SEO business and know how to work your way around the freelancing game. So, all you need to do is clearly define your goals, create a plan based on those goals, start leveraging SEO tools that help you scale your business, lighten your workload, and increase your income.