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Going Solo - The Survival Guide for Freelance SEOs (Present & Future) | brightonSEO Sept 2021

Going Solo - The Survival Guide for Freelance SEOs (Present & Future) | brightonSEO Sept 2021

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On Friday 10th September 2021, I gave a talk at brightonSEO Sept 2021, which was held in-person (the conference's first in-person event since restrictions eased following COVID lockdowns).

The talk gave advice to aspiring, new and established freelancing, covering topics such as the pros and cons of freelancing, what you should do to prepare going into freelancing, how to do networking and sales, and much more. There's also community, podcast and book recommendations near the end.

Links to bonus content:

https://anti-sell.com/brightonseo/ - 6 fellow freelance SEOs give their tips and advice as well (note: it's dated Oct 2020 because this talk is a redo of a talk that I previously gave virtually).

https://anti-sell.com/seo/ - 15 ways to find SEO clients as a freelancer.

Original talk description:

More and more people are getting into freelancing – whether as a side-income alongside their day job at an agency or in-house, or as their dedicated full-time income. Freelance life is amazing, but it can also be very challenging. Whether you’re considering going freelance, have only just started out, or have been in the game for a while, this talk will give guidance on how/when to ‘take the plunge’ and how to prepare for it, doing sales & networking, the business side of things, how to keep sane and involved in the industry, growing into an agency, and more. While mostly focussing on SEO freelancing, the tips and advice will apply to all industries. so there will be something to take away for all. Steve has been freelancing in the SEO industry since 2013, and has been asking other SEO freelancers for their pearls of wisdom, to make it as relevant and useful as possible.

On Friday 10th September 2021, I gave a talk at brightonSEO Sept 2021, which was held in-person (the conference's first in-person event since restrictions eased following COVID lockdowns).

The talk gave advice to aspiring, new and established freelancing, covering topics such as the pros and cons of freelancing, what you should do to prepare going into freelancing, how to do networking and sales, and much more. There's also community, podcast and book recommendations near the end.

Links to bonus content:

https://anti-sell.com/brightonseo/ - 6 fellow freelance SEOs give their tips and advice as well (note: it's dated Oct 2020 because this talk is a redo of a talk that I previously gave virtually).

https://anti-sell.com/seo/ - 15 ways to find SEO clients as a freelancer.

Original talk description:

More and more people are getting into freelancing – whether as a side-income alongside their day job at an agency or in-house, or as their dedicated full-time income. Freelance life is amazing, but it can also be very challenging. Whether you’re considering going freelance, have only just started out, or have been in the game for a while, this talk will give guidance on how/when to ‘take the plunge’ and how to prepare for it, doing sales & networking, the business side of things, how to keep sane and involved in the industry, growing into an agency, and more. While mostly focussing on SEO freelancing, the tips and advice will apply to all industries. so there will be something to take away for all. Steve has been freelancing in the SEO industry since 2013, and has been asking other SEO freelancers for their pearls of wisdom, to make it as relevant and useful as possible.

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Going Solo - The Survival Guide for Freelance SEOs (Present & Future) | brightonSEO Sept 2021

  1. 1. Going Solo: The Survival Guide for Freelance SEOs (Present & Future) Steve Morgan | Morgan Online Marketing & Anti-Sell SLIDESHARE.NET/STEVIEPHIL @STEVIEPHIL
  2. 2. Steve Morgan Freelance SEO Consultant Author of Anti-Sell Going Solo The Survival Guide for Freelance SEOs (Present & Future)
  3. 3. @steviephil #brightonSEO SEO = 12+ years Freelancing = 8+ years About Me (read: who is this guy?!)
  4. 4. @steviephil #brightonSEO SEOno (SEO blog) Cardiff SEO Meet Anti-Sell.com About Me (read: who is this guy?!)
  5. 5. @steviephil #brightonSEO J-rock D&D About Me (read: who is this guy?!)
  6. 6. @steviephil #brightonSEO The Pros of Freelancing Be your own boss! Flexibility! Freedom!
  7. 7. @steviephil #brightonSEO The Pros of Freelancing Choose your work/projects/clients
  8. 8. @steviephil #brightonSEO The Pros of Freelancing More money (potentially)
  9. 9. @steviephil #brightonSEO The… Not-So-Pros of Freelancing Erratic, irregular income
  10. 10. @steviephil #brightonSEO The… Not-So-Pros of Freelancing Lonely / lacking camaraderie
  11. 11. @steviephil #brightonSEO The… Not-So-Pros of Freelancing You have to do more than just SEO: sales, finance, admin, etc…
  12. 12. @steviephil #brightonSEO The… Not-So-Pros of Freelancing Hard to take time off (e.g. holiday days)
  13. 13. @steviephil #brightonSEO Try to have ‘safety net’ savings by (3-6 months) Before Going Freelance…
  14. 14. @steviephil #brightonSEO Try to get a head-start on marketing yourself: ▪ Social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. ▪ Website / landing page ▪ Networking Before Going Freelance…
  15. 15. @steviephil #brightonSEO Before Going Freelance… Try to have work secured before the leap ▪ Dabble part-time first (evenings/weekends) ▪ Go full-time when you have enough work on
  16. 16. @steviephil #brightonSEO Before Going Freelance… If going freelance from an agency (and working with an old agency client), check your contract! ▪ Some agencies have ‘poaching’ clauses
  17. 17. @steviephil #brightonSEO All-round SEO …or Technical SEO specialist …or SEO for the financial services sector …or Technical SEO for financial services Going Niche
  18. 18. @steviephil #brightonSEO Sales & Networking This first tip is bloody important: Business networking ≠ Business networking events
  19. 19. @steviephil #brightonSEO Sales & Networking Other (actual) tips: ▪ Go to non-SEO events! (Sorry Kelvin) ▪ Facebook groups! ▪ Twitter chats!
  20. 20. @steviephil #brightonSEO Sales & Networking Other (actual) tips: ▪ Try out coworking spaces! ▪ Run your own [podcast / event / whatever]
  21. 21. @steviephil #brightonSEO Sales & Networking Self-promotion is not a dirty word
  22. 22. @steviephil #brightonSEO The ‘Business’ Side of Freelancing Finance: ▪ Get an accountant (seriously) ▪ Get a separate business bank account
  23. 23. @steviephil #brightonSEO The ‘Business’ Side of Freelancing Finance: ▪ Keep on top of income & expenses as you go ▪ Keep expenses low as much as you can – do you need [the new shiny thing]…?
  24. 24. @steviephil #brightonSEO The ‘Business’ Side of Freelancing Finance: ▪ 7 or 14 day payment terms (not 30) ▪ 50% upfront, 50% upon completion
  25. 25. @steviephil #brightonSEO The ‘Business’ Side of Freelancing Finance: ▪ Only allow bank transfer (BACS) payments ▪ HMRC’s ‘payments on account’
  26. 26. @steviephil #brightonSEO The ‘Business’ Side of Freelancing Legal: ▪ Get business insurance ▪ Get a contract ▪ Get everything in writing… EVERYTHING
  27. 27. @steviephil #brightonSEO The ‘Business’ Side of Freelancing Legal: ▪ See also: screenshots! ▪ Be careful working with clients outside the UK
  28. 28. @steviephil #brightonSEO Growing Into an Agency (if you want to) Important note: you don’t have to (if you don’t want to)
  29. 29. @steviephil #brightonSEO Growing Into an Agency (if you want to) …But if you do: ▪ Use freelancing as a stepping stone ▪ (Safer than jumping straight to the agency route)
  30. 30. @steviephil #brightonSEO Freelancer Facebook Groups ▪ Freelance Heroes ▪ Being Freelance ▪ Doing It For The Kids (DIFTK)
  31. 31. @steviephil #brightonSEO Freelancer Podcasts ▪ Freelance Heroes ▪ Being Freelance ▪ Doing It For The Kids (DIFTK) (…not a copy/paste error)
  32. 32. @steviephil #brightonSEO Freelancer Books ▪ Survival Skills for Freelancers - Sarah Townsend ▪ The Future is Freelance - Kirsty Hulse ▪ Anti-Sell - Steve Morgan
  33. 33. @steviephil #brightonSEO More! From Other Freelance SEOs! Anti-Sell.com/brightonseo Andrew Cock-Starkey (Optimisey) Sarah Tamsin Ahmed Khalifa Stacey MacNaught Natalie Mott Luke Carthy
  34. 34. @steviephil #brightonSEO “15 Ways to Get SEO Clients!” Anti-Sell.com/seo
  35. 35. @steviephil #brightonSEO Obligatory Outro Slide! Anti-Sell: Marketing, Lead Generation & Networking Tips for Freelancers Who Hate Sales ▪ Paperback | Kindle | PDF Audiobook (self-narrated) ▪ 4.7 / 5 (avg. across all sources) ▪ Winner of 5 book awards Anti-Sell.com/book

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