How To Acquire Clients For Local SEO
We all know that when you first start out it can be quite challenging to get a new client. Who would work with you if you can’t show some proof of work, reviews or social proof?
In this blog article I’m going to show you My Top 8 Methods To Get Local SEO Clients in 2022. They’re field-tested, bullet-proof, and easy-to-implement.
What are you waiting for, time is money! You better inhale this piece of content and get started!
8 Surefire Ways To Acquire Local SEO Clients Right Away
1. Freelancing Platforms Strategy
For this strategy example, I’m going to use Upwork, but you can use any other freelancing platform as well. Upwork is a freelancing platform where you can offer your local SEO services to potential clients. When you create a new profile on Upwork, make sure you fill it with relevant information. Your goal should be to persuade prospects and attract the ideal local SEO client.
How to get local SEO clients on Upwork
First of all, optimize your profile. That includes uploading a professional profile picture, create a well-written bio and select your skills. Try to be as niche as possible, meaning focus on a hyper-targeted market instead of a broader, big market. In our example, you want to target clients for local SEO, not website coding, not ecommerce SEO, not web design. If you target everyone in digital marketing, chances are you’re going to target no one.
As you haven’t gotten any work yet it’s unlikely someone would choose you for their next task. That leads us to step 2 – which is to enable notifications for work you’d like to take on. Here’s the clue: most clients send out their job offers and get dozens of applications from potential workers. The Upwork system allows someone who sends out a job offer to see 10 applications per page, categorized by date. So the faster an application is sent to the client the more likely it is to be seen by the client because it will land on page 1, not 2-10 right at the beginning. Even though the listings are sorted for “Best Match” by default it’s not unusual a fast application from someone that optimized their profile will be seen by the system as a great match.
Fast lane: Pay for a listing boost to make it instantly visible.
Your job now is to make your application letter visible. No one who sends out a job offer checks out applications on page 3+. If your application makes it to page 1, your chances of getting the job increase tremendously.
The third step is to customize your application letter. Most people make the mistake of standardizing their texts. They don’t refer to what the actual job is about. When I’m looking for someone who can take on a job, I want someone who really wants to work on MY project and not on any project. So make sure you’re reading the job offer and then reply in a personalized way, addressing the job offer’s problems and facts.
If you’re following this guide it’s very likely that you’ll get to work on your first project very soon.
2. Facebook Groups Strategy
This is my favorite strategy to acquire clients for local SEO. It’s because I used the exact same technique when I started doing local SEO more professionally. Here’s the greatest of all techniques. (at least I think so 😉 )
Before you start, be sure to optimize your private profile on Facebook. Make it crystal clear that what you’re doing is understood by the people visiting your profile. Create a great banner, upload a professional profile picture where people can see your face. Add your real name to the profile and try not to be misleading.
How To Acquire Local SEO Clients On Facebook
To prepare the actual strategy it would be good to fill your feed with relevant content. Upload a few relevant local SEO related posts that show your local SEO expertise.
The first step is to join a few (3-5) relevant local SEO groups with your personal profile. Most groups won’t let you join with a business profile.
After you’ve joined a few groups, turn on group notifications so that every time someone creates a new post, you’re the first to see it. Most people in these groups have questions about local SEO-related topics. Whenever someone asks a question, you’re supposed to be the first to answer it. Try to answer it in a very detailed way so you get a maximum of attention from other group members.
Here’s an example comment I wrote a couple of years ago:
Sometimes you may not know the answer. Especially when you’re just starting out you may not have the knowledge and experience to provide an accurate answer. In this case, go to Google and search for the answer. Do your own research, form the answer into your own words and write a comment in response to the post with the question. This tactic sounds ridiculous at first, but will make you an expert in lightspeed. Maybe not lightspeed but definitely sound speed 😉
When you can explain a problem to someone else with your own words, you’ll learn much faster than having someone else doing the research for you. It’s important for you to reflect on the content you provide. If you don’t understand a specific concept, don’t post about it. Try to understand the problems you’re trying to solve first before you help others to solve theirs.
Consistency is King
One answer might not get you a client right away but if you do this for several hours a day, every day for a few weeks, you’ll see your inbox flooding including valuable work requests. I had been doing this for 14 hours a day, got my first client after day 9, closed the deal on day 11. It’s no joke. People will see your valuable comments everywhere and so start to trust you. Your comments and answers don’t have to be 100% accurate. It’s ok to make mistakes. The consistency will eventually bring you success. Start now by joining the biggest local SEO Facebook group.
This tactic works on almost all social platforms such as: Quora, Reddit, online forums and the like.
3. Social Media Strategy
This is one of the most reliable methods to get local SEO clients. It will take time and effort to be successful, but at the end you’ll get clients on autopilot without ever having to worry about new clients again.
Here’s what you need to do to get started: pick one social media channel, optimize your profile, start posting regularly, engage with other people’s content, don’t make excuses and be consistent with it.
How To Get Clients For Local SEO From Social Media
What I did to get clients for local SEO when I started out was, I created my own private Facebook group. You can use LinkedIn or Youtube as well. In order to get people to join my group, I needed to attract them somehow. Please read the chapter Facebook Groups Strategy to understand what this is about. So I joined other Facebook groups and did the commenting strategy. Whenever someone read my comment they would often check out my profile on Facebook. On my profile I had a banner saying “join my private Facebook group for more local SEO secrets”, or something along those lines.
The more you post in other groups, the more members you will attract for your own. Please don’t make the mistake and post your group link in those groups – that will get you banned right away. I even got banned for providing too much value, so don’t even think about promoting your group! It works anyway.
Example post in my Facebook group:
In addition to the member acquiring, tactic you need to provide the members in your group with great content. What’s the point in joining a group if there’s no content and nothing in it for the members? My advice is to post to your group every day. Develop a habit. This social channel is your new business, treat it as such. Don’t skip a single day and post consistently for the next months/years. Social media works best if you keep your members engaged.
It’s easy to start a new channel – you’re mostly motivated at the beginning, so it feels nice. What’s hard is to keep the consistency high. That’s where most people fail. That’s why my group is highly engaged as it got more than 50k members, which is more than the majority of general SEO groups have.
After a few months of acquiring new members and posting every day you’ll see a dramatic increase in leads coming in. All you need to do is improve your content – do it every day.
4. Google Ads Technique
I used this technique to acquire my first client on the internet. It wasn’t a huge retainer back then but it showed me how powerful this method actually is. What you need to do is use Brightlocal’s unbiased search results checker and search for services in specific cities. You can basically pick and search for any niche you want.
Search for “dentist near me” in a city of your choice and check out the results. Many people that run Google Ads waste a lot of money through targeting the wrong audience. This is especially true for geo-targeting. Meaning, the Google Ads campaign targets wrong cities or countries.
When you look at the above image you can see that the company advertising on Google is wasting money on two occasions. First, they target the wrong country. Second, they target areas that they don’t serve. This is the perfect target as they’re most likely wasting a lot of money.
How does it work
Let’s say you’re looking for a dentist in NYC and when you search you’ll get ads from a dentist in LA. That dentist from LA is wasting money on ads shown in NYC. Whenever you see something like that, it’s an opportunity for you to get a new client.
All you need to do is reach out to the company that wastes money on their ads and tell them about it. Describe the problem and provide a solution for free. Altruistically! Also provide them with a way to contact you if they have any questions. Many of these companies, absolutely speaking, want to return that favor and hire you. You’ve already proven your worth, you’ve shown your expertise, a solution and you’re not a random person that just wants to pitch their services.
A big plus with this strategy is that the businesses you’re going to reach out to already spend money on ads. That means they’re investing in their business and they’re not some broke businesses that just started out. It’s easier for someone to pay you if they have money 😉
I got a positive response from only 5 emails when I did that. It’s seriously a great way to get new clients without putting in too much effort.
This is the response I got:
This doesn’t only work with Google Ads. You can basically search for flaws in businesses’ marketing strategies everywhere. This could be broken links or 404 pages on their website, mobile issues on Facebook ads, etc… There are so many ways to provide value to businesses.
You can also have a look at search terms and whether they’re relevant to a Google ad. You can analyze titles and meta descriptions and search for flaws in them. There’s lots of methods you can apply without having access to any of the ad accounts.
5. Partner Up With Marketing Agencies
This is a great way to get clients if you haven’t got any yet. You basically gain leverage from other people’s networks and provide value at the same time. Many people reach out to me about local SEO services, but what they also want is web design, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, social media management etc… While I can’t do all of this myself, I refer them to people I know are more knowledgeable in their areas than I am.
So if you want to get some clients, partner up with people that offer complimentary services. They’ll be happy if they can satisfy their clients’ needs and you get a new client’s door open. The easiest way to connect with other agencies is by following them on social media or walking in to their business. That’s how you can engage with their content and chat about marketing.
It’s the companies that on one hand do online marketing and on the other hand create billboard ads, make car window stickers and invest in whitelabel stationery like pens and notebooks.
6. How To Get Local SEO Clients From Google
Create a Google Business Profile for your agency. Who would have thought of this? Why not gain leverage for your daily business and get customers from your local area through Google?
This should be the easiest task of all to perform. Sign yourself up for a new Google Business account, follow the Google Business Profile checklist guide and increase your visibility in the local area around you. It’s important to turn on messaging – people predominantly use the messaging feature to reach out to digital marketing agencies. I got a few calls, but many more messages.
7. Walk in Your Favorite Local Business
This is probably the most underrated tactic from this list. No one seems to leave their home anymore to get things done. However, if you do it, let the world surprise you at how easy it can be to get new clients for your local marketing agency.
If you’re like me and you’re regularly using local services and products, it should be easy for you to get in touch with local businesses and their owners. I’m always talking about business with them. Everyone struggles from time to time and they love to talk about their baby. If you visit them anyway, why not be nice and ask about their business?
How To Get Clients For Local SEO Through Walking In
All you need to do is start to communicate with them. A typical opener could be: “how is business going these days”? And what’s most important is that you really listen to what they’re going to tell you. You can then use this information to make them feel understood and pitch your services without being aggressive.
If they tell you about their struggles and that they’re not satisfied with their current marketing guy or agency, you can ask them to have a chat about it. Since you’re a regular customer of their business, you can understand their needs better than an overseas agency might. This is your advantage. This is your opportunity.
The more often you visit the business and talk to the business owner, the easier it is for them to trust you. That’s how you get a foot in the door. I know it’s more comfortable sitting on a chair in an office or at your home desk than actually going out into the real world and trying client acquisition methods, but it’s worth it. It’s a numbers game. Not everyone wants to work with you but there are certainly business owners that’d give you a try.
Remember, only local marketing experts can leverage this strategy to get clients. It’s like approaching women/men on the streets, there’s no competition.
8. Advanced Not Advanced Methods
There’s a couple of methods you can try which promise great results while you won’t face a lot of competition. One thing you can do is send out sales letters via mail to potential local SEO clients. Barely anyone sends out real letters anymore so it’s going to be a unique marketing tactic that makes you stand out. Don’t send sales letters that were sent 20 years ago. Send freshly designed letters that provide value (as mentioned in other chapters above).
Another old-school method is to search for newspaper ads where businesses are looking for marketing agencies or freelancers. Just like the companies that invest in Google Ads, these companies have already spent money on the ad so they’re likely going to be well paying clients.
There are dozens of local SEO client acquisition tactics. This article showed you field-tested and very practical methods to get local SEO clients on a regular basis. If you put in some effort and use these tactics I promise you’ll get the clients you want.
I’d love to hear about your experience with local SEO client acquisition. Leave a comment below. Thank you!