Here’s How You Can Get Your First Client According to the SEO Experts

Here’s How You Can Get Your First Client According to the SEO Experts

Are you new in the SEO industry? Are you feeling disheartened because you don’t have any clients yet? The thing is every SEO went through this. Everyone had their first client and things started to get rolling from there. Even the SEO experts had to start somewhere.

If you do not know where to start, these stories shared by SEO experts could inspire you! They recall the time how they got their first client. Those who are starting in the business can learn from the experts’ experience. Check it out and hopefully this would inspire you!

1. Umair Akram is a Digital Marketer and SEO Consultant with having more than 4 years of professional experience in the industry. He have worked with more than 30 companies and helped them increase their sales and profits. He is also the author of his blog "MyTechMag" and write about Blogging,Digital Marketing and SEO Tips.

My First client as a digital marketer is a friend on facebook who is the head of marketing team of a company which sells "Teeth whitening device" in the UK. He asked me to optimize their sales funnel. I accepted the offer and started working for them and the results were awesome. As their sales were increased by 167%.

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2. Paul Johnson runs the leading blog for luxury travel, simply named A Luxury Travel Blog. Winner of Best Travel Blog in the Travelmole Web Awards as well as Best Travel Influencer in the Innovation in Travel Awards from WIRED magazine, Paul has worked in the travel industry for 30 years and has had his blog cited as "one of the best travel blogs in the world" and "best for luxury" by The Daily Telegraph.

In the early days of my business, I simply wrote to people and followed it up with a telephone call. Not everyone was used to handling emails back then, and even less so those people who were still yet to go about getting a website for their business.

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3. Suzanne Baran is an industry-leading Content Strategy and Digital Marketing expert. During her 18-year career she has driven digital strategy for the world’s most beloved brands such as Yahoo!, AT&T, Intel, Toyota, Cisco, Scottrade, DirecTV, FIJI Water, Sony, and other Fortune 500 and 100 companies. She helps brands become better, more efficient publishers.

​My first official freelance client was a Disney.com’s Family page. They requested research and written snippets on all competitors in the space. It was offered to me during an interview with the company for a position I didn’t receive.

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4. Chris Dreyer - I began my Internet marketing journey sometime in 2004 working at a small high school in Southern Illinois when the allure of making money online took hold. In the time since, I have been developing the skills and acquiring the experience that have allowed me to build one of the premier SEO agencies (Rankings.io) dedicated solely to attorneys and law firms.

In the very beginning I started out doing a ton of blogging. I was very active on social media as well. I got my first client from the blogging I was doing. It was for search engine optimization services.

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5. Nate  Dame (@SEONate) has led SEO, content marketing, and influencer marketing campaigns for national and international brands. Now a regular speaker and columnist, Nate oversees client strategy and thought leadership for Propecta when he’s not too busy being husband and dad in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Propecta is a leading SEO consultancy and agency trusted by B2B companies, including a few of the world's largest technology brands. With proven people, processes, and tools, Propecta partners with companies to develop and execute comprehensive strategies to build an organic search presence that generates significant revenue.

My first big project was Sketchers. I was just starting to work with Steve Wiideman, who started as a partner and has since become a friend and mentor, when he secured the project. It was an amazing experience to work with Steve and a fast-moving company with aggressive, nation-wide goals—especially so early in starting my own company. The Sketchers project was a wide range of SEO work, but mostly SEO strategy.

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6.​ Niklas Laninge is a Psychologist, entrepreneur, learning and education enthusiast, he runs dailybitsof.com a startup making learning fun, frictionless, and bite sized.

So, I'm more of an idea man with no patience. The first seed of Daily Bits Of was planed and shipped in just 24hours with no intention of making money.

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7. Carla Johnson helps marketers become storytellers. She works with companies to develop frameworks and build teams to tell better stories in order to develop deep relationships with customers and employees, create delightful experiences for audiences and generate top-line revenue.

When I started out, I told everyone I knew what I was doing and that I'd appreciate them either considering hiring me or sharing my name. I sent letters to everyone I knew and let them know I was in business. It was one of these letters that brought me my first client, for whom I did writing.

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8.  Jeet Banerjee is a 23 year old serial entrepreneur, digital marketing consultant, TEDx speaker and best selling author. Jeet began his journey at the age of 17 when he launched a multimedia agency before selling it two years later.

Since then, Jeet has launched a handful of success tech ventures while helping numerous other entrepreneurs find success with their own businesses. When Jeet isn't in the office working on his tech projects, you can find him speaking at events all around the world sharing his experiences and insight on entrepreneurship.

I obtained my first client from just aggressive marketing. I was looking up websites that were lost in the back of Google and didn't seem to have a really good marketing strategy and I would just approach them with an honest pitch. I'd let them know how tough it was for me to find them and how easy I could make it if they decided to hire me. My first few clients that I hired, I actually did a lot of SEO, PPC and Social Media marketing for them.

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9. ​Eric Enge is the founder and CEO of Stone Temple Consulting. A prominent SEO and digital marketing industry thought leader, he has been an entrepreneur for most of his 30+ year career.

Eric is also emerging as a recognized expert on content marketing.

He is the lead author of the book The Art of SEO; a columnist and contributor to publications such as Search Engine Land, Moz, Copyblogger, Marketing Land, and Social Media Today; and a regular speaker at industry conferences such as Search Marketing Expo, Pubcon, ClickZ Live, and many others.

I used to be a solo consultant offering business development consulting services. A friend of mine asked to to help him do that for a business he was running which was a DVD e-tailer. After working with them for 30 days, I told him that he should try to get traffic from search engines. Then he came back to me and said “great idea, go make it happen”. A year later, we were doing $3M per year in search and we were off to the races. That was back in 2002.

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10. Tadeusz Szewczyk has more than 15 years of experience in online publishing.

For 5+ years he’s been known internationally for writing here on SEO 2.0 and blogs of Datadial.net, Positionly, Ahrefs, Hubspot, Google Blogoscoped among others (from About).

I encourage you to connect with Tadeusz through Delicious, Twitter and Google Plus.

I just looked up job boards online and found that one. Back then they weren't even specialized sites for freelancers. As I was already a blogger before I tried to sell the client a blog and regular content creation, but SEO especially in Germany, was all about manipulation during that era so the client wasn't really interested in all that “useless” content. I guess I was a bit ahead of the time.

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11. Zeb Welborn is the founder of Welborn Media and The Tutoring Solution, he is the host of The Defining Success Podcast, author of The Social Golf Course and creator of the Sharing Your Passion Essay Scholarship contest.

My first client was a parent of one of my tutoring students. She kept asking me how I was doing the marketing things I was doing, so I finally asked her if she'd like me to do some of them for her business and she said yes.

I then emailed everyone I knew and told them I was becoming an online marketer and had three big clients in the first month. The work I did for them was social media via Facebook and Twitter as well as search engine optimization.

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12. ​Mary Green is a full stack marketer with 12 years of expertise in digital marketing. She specializes in inbound marketing but have experience across almost all avenues of online marketing.

I contacted websites that I found and asked them if I could help. I provided writing services.

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13. Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

I hate to say how easy it was. I had a client who told me he’d be my first client if I ever decided to go out on my own. So, when I did, he stayed true to his word. He was a client for the first eight years we were in business.

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14. Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama to two precocious toddlers from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s a professional writer and an online business marketing consultant with a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

Gina enjoys helping other freelancers gear up to quit their day jobs and take their side hustles full-time. If you’re interested in starting a freelance career, take Gina’s FREE writing course to kick-start yours today! Click here to get the first lesson sent to your inbox.

My first client was my informal mentor. I pitched his job board ad for freelance writing and he hired me to write WordPress theme reviews of all things!

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15. ​Adam Steele - At 22, with no previous business experience, Adam left his day job to chase the dream of business ownership. He started out by peddling Gmail address’ by the bundle. Today, he leads a team of 30+, remote team members, runs 2 successful companies (is currently building 3, 4 & 5) and hosts The Steele Entrepreneur Show.

When not working his face off, he can be found rolling on the Jiu Jitsu mats, tinkering in his garden or with his nose in a book. Adam's mission is to share his experiences, past and present, with anyone audacious enough to want to be great.

​I believe it was a referral from a colleague. A little SEO and web design. We didn't do a great job to be honest.

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16. James Norquay founded Prosperity Media in 2012 after working in the SEO & Content Marketing space for over 10+ years in Australia and the US.

James started working in digital marketing by developing his own network of content websites which went on to generate well over 22 million unique visitors from organic search with a strong focus on the US market. These websites were later sold on to a US media company.

James then moved into enterprise level consulting working for large businesses such as Virgin Mobile, Optus, David Jones, Woolworths, BWS, Apparel Group, Maurice Blackburn, Slater & Gordon, Travel NT, Citi Bank and many more large scale Australian and global businesses to drive SEO and inbound marketing growth.

When I started my agency Prosperity Media one of our first clients was actually via a internet forum, where I shared some blog content on my personal blog and they reached out and asked if we did consulting work.

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17.  John McElborough (@johnmcelborough) is one of the UKs most in demand digital marketers. He has delivered on search, paid media and conversion optimization campaigns for some of the UK’s most recognised brands as well as helping thousands of smaller businesses and start-ups succeed online through his writing, training and consultancy. He currently runs the online advertising agency Inbound360 and blogs at johnmcelborough.com

Well I started off in an agency and they had some good clients so I cut my teeth on some big brand projects pretty early in my career. When I went out on my own I worked out that even big companies and agencies had a real problem when it came to delivering links for their SEO campaigns.

I had a pretty robust process for doing this so I could sell that in surprisingly easily and that got me in the door with some decent clients early on. I was punching above my weight in that sense but they saw I could deliver on what I promised and that opened other doors for providing them with wider consulting services.

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18. ​Mike Ramsey is the founder of Nifty Marketing and Niftylaw. He also is a founding member of LocalUniversity and spends a lot of his time writing and speaking on digital marketing. He has a wonderful wife, 3 crazy kids, and does it all from Burley, Idaho

While in college, I was introduced to a few companies through friends and families. I largely focused on web design with really basic SEO. I got into maps because most of the clients were small businesses and I saw this local map pack showing up in the search results. I started to tinker with it and here we are.

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19. Evgeniy Garkaviy is an SEO consultant, Adwords certified specialist and blogger. Online marketing strategist, he is also the co-owner of www.temi.co.uk, MarchesHour Directory, Marches Hour

​To be honest, I’m still not sure that it is possible to fully recover from the Penguin update, but according to the most popular hypothesis; if you clean your backlink profile, the next Penguin update will allow you to recover site rankings. This happened a few times with me, but not all positions ever recovered.

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20. ​Matthew Yeoman currently writes social and online marketing articles for the Bytion family of websites, manages a successful online privacy and security website, and very bad fiction.

I got my first client(s) through my first ever blog post at KTS. It was a case study about the first ever site I’ve done SEO and link building to (a gambling site – from the AUS agency who fired me, even though I did good work, just kidding).

It was a 2-part case study, where I’ve shared almost everything I learned in 2 months of working as an SEO. Luckily, some people in the SEO blogging space found it valuable. I received 2 inquiries on the week I’ve published the case study (I’ve closed both inquiries). - Jason Acidre

The first client I ever got was through a friend, Kimberly Fowler. We had been friends since high school, and we had been discussing my writing over the last little while (I have a lot of unpublished fiction) before I was hired. She recognized my desire to write, and brought me in with the company she was working for when they needed a freelance writer. This was about five years ago.

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21. Corinne Kerston is a freelance writer and blogger for hire. She specializes in online marketing, business branding and B2B and B2C content. Her goal is to help businesses boost their exposure through engaging, well-written content. Connect with Corinne on her website or Twitter.

​​​Like I said, I started as a writer. I built my website, a pretty basic one at that, put some samples that I wrote on it, and just started applying. I landed a couple of clients and took off from there. In fact, I still work with one of my earlier clients today.

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22. Rey Baguio is the CEO of Zarangola Media. For a couple of years now, he has been helping out businesses and companies in achieving their business goals.

By utilizing social media, SEO and content management tools and strategies, companies are able to boost up their branding and engagement with their customers.

I got my first client through UpWork (formerly Odesk). I was writing articles for this client who paid me 50 cents per 500-word article. Looking back, I'm glad I started from the bottom.​

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23. Christi Tasker is drawn to luxury marketing by the rich, vibrant imagery. She loves the stunning photography and the attention to artistic detail that sets it apart.

A lifelong devotee of style, she knows instinctively what the luxury consumer wants to see and hear, and from her experience working with high-end designers, artists and manufacturers, she knows how to deliver it in a way that keeps people talking. (from: About)

Good question. And a surprising one that I don't think I've ever been asked. My first client (outside of the venture capital groups) was an interior designer by the name of Dann Foley. Dann came to me seeking new revenue streams and ways to maximize his name.

I rebranded him, connected him with the appropriate parties to facilitate his dream of licensing along with supporting his social media efforts during a successful NBC celebrity design competition television show hosted by Nate Berkus.

Dann's social presence was by far the most pronounced on the show and ratings quickly fell after he was voted off by Nate and his producers. Specifically, we pitched Dann to the media, transformed his spoken words into specifically timed and published social media content.

Watched the American Dream Builders show with him to produce content on his exact words. Outside of television and brand creation we built events around Dann's brand and introduced/advised him to the manufacturer's that he works with today.

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24. Danny Dover is a passionate SEO, influential writer and obsessed Life List completer.

He is the author of the best selling book Search Engine Optimization Secrets and was the co-founder of Making it Click, a marketing training course.

Before starting his own company, Danny was the Senior SEO Manager at AT&T and the Lead SEO at SEOmoz.

​My first independent client was the University of Washington (which I had dropped out of). They had many departments and that was in need of SEO services and my name (through a couple of free lectures I gave there), started to get passed around.

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25. Fitz Gerard Villafuerte, RFP is a civil engineer who decided to quit the corporate world back in 2003 to pursue entrepreneurship.

His blog Ready To Be Rich, has won several awards, including the Best Business and Finance Blog at the Philippine Blog Awards.

He has also been recognized by Moneysense Magazine as among the Top 12 Most Influential People in Personal Finance in the Philippines.

He is a Registered Financial Planner and a resource speaker for corporate and socio-civic organizations in the country where he actively promotes entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

My first client was from a referral and I created an optical scanner software for them so they could easily check college exams. This was when I was a freelance software programmer.

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26. ​​Zac Johnson has been making money online for nearly 20 years now and would love to help you do the same. That's the reason why he created his own blog at ZacJohnson.com.

With over 1,000 original and real life experience based articles, He will continue to walk you through the ups and downs, and in and outs of affiliate marketing and how others are making money online.

Zac Johnson

My first dollar was actually through designing and selling graphic banners for people in the AOL Web Diner. This was way back before Paypal was around, so they had to actually send me a physical dollar in the mail. Now most clients are big brands and done on a lead generation or pay for placement basis.

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27. ​Ian Brodie teaches consultants and coaches how to win more clients and build a thriving business online.

As a marketing speaker and coach, he has been named as one of the “Top 50 Global Thought Leaders in Marketing and Sales” by Top Sales World magazine and as one of the “Resources of the Decade” for professional services marketing by Raintoday.com.

His book “Email Persuasion” has been the #1 selling book on email marketing for the last year or so on Amazon globally with over 100 five star reviews.

Ian Brodie

My first clients came from referrals from people who knew me from when I was doing consulting for big firms. Frankly, I’d do whatever they needed. It was only later as I began to establish my own reputation and track record that I was able to specialise in the elements of marketing that I wanted to do.

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28.​​ Jan Koch helps entrepreneurs set up systems grow their business online by leveraging today's technical capabilities, and free them from technical obstacles, so that they can focus on their main business.

My first client was a friend of mine who runs a mortician’s. A friend and I maintained his PCs and after a few weeks I built a WordPress site for him. That was my first custom-coded WP site (it’s not live anymore, otherwise I’d link to it).

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29.​​ James McAllister - Blogger. Marketer. Entrepreneur. James McAllister teaches bloggers how to build their businesses by telling them what works instead of what they want to hear. Check out what he has to offer at HelpStartMySite.com

Some of my first sales actually came from web hosting affiliate programs to my peers who were also interested in making money online. From there, I agreed to mentor them in exchange for a share of the revenue. I believe we are always marketing and branding ourselves with our words and our actions. I let the world know what I was doing and this generated not only interest, but attention for myself. From there it was easy to get other people onboard.

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​30.​​ ​​Dragos Roua is a serial entrepreneur, personal development fanatic, author, ultra-runner, father, tanguero and risk taker.

He blogs at dragosroua.com about entrepreneurship, how to live a better life or his challenges as an ultra-runner.

They actually came because they knew me. In this case, it was a direct result of the personal brand, they knew me before.

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​31.​​ ​​​Fabrizio Van Marciano is a passionate website designer, graphic designer and professional blogger.

He blogs at Magnet4Blogging.net where he loves to share tips, strategies, ideas and advice on blogging, web design, conversion optimisation and marketing.

Here’s the story that lead me to my first ever web design client. Back in 2006 I wasn’t really blogging or doing web design as a business. I was totally in ecommerce and creating and selling arts and crafts online, through a website that I’d built.

Marketing actually lead me to start blogging for my business in 2009. In 2010 I launched my first real blog (Magnet4Marketing), and at the same time I was also learning to code, and discovering WordPress in a whole new way.

Combining my passion for art, I also began showing an interest graphic design, and I started working with a variety of tools, Photoshop and Adobe Illustrate which it was at the time. I started to combine my graphic design work with website design, and began offering this as a service on my blog properly in 2013.

So my first real web design client came about at the start of 2013, and the rest as they say was pretty much history.

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​32.​​ ​​​​Devlin Duldulao is a workaholic and insomniac and if he had his way, he’d try to convert anyone to be like that also. He may not look at it, but he’s really a nerd at heart or maybe he’s a late bloomer when it comes to the latter.

He can get along well with most people, but he can be quite opinionated and stubborn on his ways.

Even though Devlin’s days are mostly spent on being an SEO consultant, web designer, conversion rate optimization specialist, and an Adwords expert, he still has not yet completely left behind his passion for a cause.

So, if he’s not in front of his laptop, he’s mostly likely away on a medical mission.

He co-founded Outsource SEO Philippines Ltd. Co. and SEO Training Philippines in 2013.

​​Outsource SEO Philippines’s first client back then was a known fast-food chain here in the Philippines that we got through our friend’s referral. We were glad that they were not only looking for SEO service, they also wanted someone to redesign their website and do their online marketing which gave us opportunities to explore the side of social media marketing, email marketing, and web designing.

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​33.​​ ​​​​Aditya Nath Jha is a blogger, vlogger, wordpress speed optimization expert and music lover.

Featured on NDTV, Microsoft's official blog and few other notable places, he is the founder of Inspire2rise, Cacheable and runs a technology YouTube channel for his own brand Inspire2rise.

​​​I run a website speed optimization service: Cacheable.co and when we started we gave a lot of free website optimizations to people for a month and then the good word about us spread out and back in August 2012 we had the first earning from a customer who wanted their website's speed boosted up!

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​34.​​ ​Maxwell Ivey is a 49-year-old blind gentleman who grew up in a family of carnival owners. All he ever wanted to do was to continue in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and be part of the family business.

He did help in the business over the years, but couldn’t sustain it after the early death of his father (who had lung cancer). He then turned to helping people sell their amusement equipment. (from About)

My first several clients were all friends or family members. They were people who knew me or my dad and who were willing to take a chance on me. Now, I stand out from my competitors by encouraging if not insisting that people submit long detailed equipment descriptions, multiple full sized photos, and quality videos.

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​35.​​ ​​Felix Tarcomnicu works with Monitor Backlinks. He blogs about SEO, content marketing, traffic growth and more. You can connect with him on Twitter.

Most of my first websites were small, content based and were monetized by Adsense. I always felt that I could work on bigger projects. Therefore, in 2011, I decided to start offering online marketing services to others. I got most of my clients from forums.

That’s where people were trying to learn about some new techniques but also buy services. Some of the forums that worked best for me are DigitalPoint, WarriorForum and WickedFire.
I was simply checking what other service providers were offering and I tried to give my clients something better for a more affordable price. At the beginning, my focus was mainly on SEO and content.

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​36.​​ ​​Joy Hawkins has been working in the Local SEO industry since 2006 and enjoys making trips to Google as a part of their Top Contributor program.

Joy currently contributes to many online communities in the Local SEO world including the Google My Business forum (Top Contributor), the Local Search Forum(Top Contributor), and the Local University Forum (Moderator).

She is also a columnist for Search Engine Land, a speaker at SMX & Local University, a contributor to the Moz Local Search Ranking Factors survey, a Google MapMaker Regional Lead, and has been certified in both Google Search & Display.

In her spare time, Joy also loves to blog about things relating to Local SEO and Google My Business.

​Cold-calling! I don’t miss those days. At first it was just AdWords but then Google Places came into existence and all my clients were obsessed with how to get ranked in that “ABC” area so I shifted my focus towards learning SEO.

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