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!
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%. – Umair Akram
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. – Paul Johnson
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. – Suzanne Baran
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. – Chris Dreyer
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. – Nate Dame
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. – Niklas Laninge
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. – Carla Johnson
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. – Jeet Banerjee
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. – Eric Enge
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. – Tadeusz Szewczyk
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. – Zeb Welborn
I contacted websites that I found and asked them if I could help. I provided writing services. – Mary Green
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. – Gini Dietrich
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! – Gina Horkey
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. – Adam Steele
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. – James Norquay
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. – John McElborough
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. – Mike Ramsey
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. – Evgeniy Garkaviy
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. – Matthew Yeoman
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. – Corinne Kerston
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. – Rey Baguio
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. – Christi Tasker
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. – Danny Dover
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. – Fitz Gerard Villafuerte
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. – Zac Johnson
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. – Ian Brodie
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). – Jan Koch
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. – James McAllister
They actually came because they knew me. In this case, it was a direct result of the personal brand, they knew me before. – Dragos Roua
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. – Fabrizio Van Marciano
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. – Devlin Duldulao
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! – Aditya Nath Jha
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. – Maxwell Ivey
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.
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. – Felix Tarcomnicu
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. – Joy Hawkins