How to Start an SEO Business - Step by Step Guide

Want to Start an SEO Business? – Here’s Why You Must Start With Local SEO

Hey  guys,

Dino here.

Are you considering starting your own SEO business?

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Good, because SEO is not as tough as you might think. It’s like anything else. Study SEO for a quick moment, then take massive action and begin doing it right away so you’ll learn hands on.


There is one caveat.

It is important that you start by focusing on  mastering the right “Type” of SEO so that you can minimize start up costs, make money, and work on easier SEO projects where you’ll be able to deliver results for your clients.

And the right “type” of SEO for starting out is Local SEO!

No fluff here, we’re dishing out what you want and need to know right now, to start your own SEO business.

Whose excited? Besides Rivers…. That dude is always pumped up.

You’re Telling Me I can do the Marketing for Nightclubs, My Dentist, and my Realtor? What is this Local SEO Treasure?

For super new internet marketers local SEO is the practice of helping local businesses get to the first page of Google for city specific searches. Examples of local keyword searches include:

  • surf shop San Diego
  • shooting range Texas
  • San Francisco sex shop
  • Los Angeles acting school
  • Las Vegas gambling anonymous
  • Phoenix swimming pool installation
  • Manhattan italian restaurant

You see, these are search terms that people type into Google when they are looking for a local business in their city.

Local SEO is thus the art form of helping your client (the local surf shop owner) appear in the top few organic search results for a similar keyword search.

Local SEO is Like Stealing Candy From a Baby

Local SEO is where you are going to make a lot of money! (Just don’t let the word “search engine optimization”scare you away before you get started.)

SEO as a whole is a rather simple concept and becoming a local SEO consultant is extremely easy to do.

We’ll show you right now how easy it is.)

You see local SEO is much easier than national SEO or ecommerce SEO because your competition is limited to other local businesses that are within your city of focus.

That means with the right strategies, the right clients, and the right target cities you can very easily get your client more exposure on Google and make easy money doing so.

Yup, pound it. Welcome to the glory that is  local SEO.

Big Fish, Little Pond Works Everytime – And The Riches Are Always in the Niches

Local SEO is exactly where you should start if you are just entering the SEO industry and actually it is where many SEO experts prefer to operate.

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You see it is better to be the biggest fish in a small pond and that’s it.


Even if you decide at some point in your SEO career you would like to take on national clients; your best strategy to landing these national clients will be to become the go to specialist of a particular industry or city first and then to approach the national clients as the very best in your niche.

But lets not get ahead of ourselves here….. right now we are talking local SEO and we are talking about making you 2-3k a month on the side of your current day job doing minimal work.

Lets continue.

The 5 Perks of Local SEO

Local SEO is very easy to understand as a concept, easy to implement, easy to report on, easy to outsource, and it’s easy to sign clients.

As a recipe this adds up to the start of a successful and profitable consulting business with limited startup costs, a great beginning portfolio of clients, positive testimonials, 2-3k a month in passive income, and a boost of self confidence.

Lets look at these perks in detailmore closely.

Perk #1 – No Financial Risk To the New SEO Consultant

Compared to affiliate SEO (affiliate SEO or performance based SEO – where you have to pay money to build a website, pay money to build links, and convert traffic into paid customers for a product you are promoting….before you ever get paid any commission), local seo implies that you are going to get paid for your services at the start of each month before you provide results for your client and even if you don’t provide results for your client.

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——–> (Check out our free SEO beginner’s course if you have no idea where to start)


Imagine that… free money! Well not exactly…. but there is absolutely no risk to you (besides your reputation as a good SEO consultant) and truthfully there is not much risk to your reputation even if you don’t provide great results…. unless of course, you are a dick, and somehow upset your clients and they go and broadcast your failures to the world.

FYI don’t be a dick, get your clients results, grow your client’s business first and foremost and should you fail to get your client results; issue them a partial refund (your cost for link building)… so that you simply break even all said and done and they aren’t 100% pissed at you.

So with local SEO you are going to get paid $500 – $1000 a month from a local business owner at the start of the month before you do any work.

Your plan is to allocate 1/3 of that budget to your cost (link building) and other business expenses.

All in all you will profit $300-$700 a month on autopilot (outsourcing the work) per client.

Perk #2 Easy to Sign Local Business Owners to SEO

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years, chances are good you know somebody who owns a local business.

And unless you’ve been playing World of Warcraft non stop for the last several years, chances are great you know somebody who has a direct personal relationship with a small business owner. An example would be your friend whose dad owns a restaurant.

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In other words you have several local business owners in your social network that you can approach to offer local SEO services to.


If  for some reason you don’t, don’t worry. We show you other client attraction strategies below and in other videos here on Dynamik 365.

Now when it comes time to sign local SEO clients all you need to do is follow our 5 point action plan at the end of this post and you’ll be on your way to making a great side income and one step closer to leaving your day job.

But for right we just need to realize is that you are surrounded by local business owners (whether you directly know them or not) who are looking for your help marketing their business on Google.

If you know this, then you know that you are a valuable and highly sought after consultant. Mindset tips come as part of this guide for free too!

Perk #3 Limited Competition & Lazy Competition

Here’s the scenario: You are a local SEO consultant in Tucson, Arizona and your client is named Ed’s Tire Center. Your client owns a local auto shop.

Your client wants to show up for the keyword “oil change Tucson”, “auto center Tucson” and “Tucson tire rotation”. Your competition is the other 50 auto centers in the city.

But wait…..

Your competition is actually the other 25 auto centers in the city. (Because of the 50 competitors; 15 of them don’t have a website and 10 of them don’t do SEO.) That leaves 25 that are competing with you for search results.

Google traditionally has between 13 and 17 organic positions on the first page for any local keyword search. So you have 17 opportunities to get your client to the first page of Google.

You are competing against 25 which means 8 companies will be pushed onto page 2 of Google.

You see 17 of 25 companies will make it to page 1 (which is most often the goal in the client’s eyes) which means you have a great chance of getting there even if you do just a little work.

Local SEO implies limited competition and great opportunity.

You should be feeling like Tony Stark right now just as another genius idea comes to mind!


Perk #4 Easy to Outsource Local SEO Work

There are easily over 100 different companies to outsource your local SEO work to. As an SEO consultant starting out, I advise you play middle man and outsource the fulfillment of citation building, setting up a Google plus page, and verifying a Google local business page.

Put the results and time consuming tasks in the hands of a local SEO agency or link building consultant and white label their work as your own.

We will get to some recommended citation building resources later in this guide so hold tight and just know that outsourcing local SEO requires minimal ongoing maintenance on your part.

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Actually in case I forget to provide you citation building resource, make sure to check out this video on the only local SEO Tool you need.


You just deliver the ROI reports, collect paychecks, and make friends with business owners with fun companies like the guy who owns the local brewery or the Lasik eye surgeon where you would like to have your surgery done…..

Perk #5 Working with Aged Domains

One of the hardest things about affiliate SEO or even ranking a website that you just built for yourself is that the domain is new.

Google loves aged domains and aged companies for that matter that have been around five, ten, or 15 years.

An aged domain is trustworthy to search engines merely because it implies the business is legitimate and that the site is well maintained.

Thus aged domains have more authority, are easier to rank for keywords, and are less likely to get penalized.

This provides you as a new SEO consultant a golden opportunity to rank keywords easier and provides you more room for error.

Alright great you say so how do I sign Local SEO Clients? Well that part is easy here’s exactly how you are going to do it.

Getting Clients….. Yes Your Friend Counts

When I was an SEO consultant at 23 years old, I counted any organization that had a logo as a client.

That meant if I built 1 link to my buddies rock band website that I was taking their funky logo and putting it on my site under active clients.

What you need first and foremost starting out in local SEO are clientele and experience. It doens’t matter if you’re an SEO rockstar and are considering moving into local SEO from ecommerce SEO or if you are a 65 year old businessman looking for a post retirement income.

When you’re new to local SEO or any business for that matter, you need the leverage of having current clients, positive testimonials, and you need the experience to make things flow seamlessly.

That’s why your first client is going to be a friend or family member’s business.

Every Local Business Owner Needs SEO – Provide a Discount to Get Your 1st Client

Go ahead and find yourself somebody you know well that is a local business owner and provide them SEO services at 50% off. So literally charge them $250 per month for local SEO services for which your cost will probably be $150 tops.

What do you say to them initially? Say this…..

You: “Hey Mark, So I haven’t spoke with you in a while but I was thinking about you the other day and was curious how business was going?”

Mark: “Going well… yada yada yada …. small talk…

You: “The reason I ask is that I’ve been studying SEO for a while now and did some research on your site and keyword rankings last night. What I found out is that Mark’s Auto Center is not on the first page of Google for the keyword, “Tuscon oil change”….. (Pause)……….

Mark: “Yeah I’ve been wanting to get us there a while now but we just haven’t found the time or wanted to expend the energy finding a company to help us out.”

You: “You know I’m starting my own SEO consulting business and would love to register your business with Google, make some positive website changes, and get your business to the first page. (Pause)

“In fact I would do it for something cheap if you would be my first client?”

Mark: Yeah I might be interested. How much?

And from here you negotiate with Mark but no matter what, you make sure you sign this first client by offering a great price on your service, offering a partial refund without results, and by guaranteeing that you will be working in the client’s best interests.

And remember this client two years from now when you’r on a new level and charging 5x as much money per client because they were the first one to give you a shot! You might come back and offer them your expertise for FREE later down the road as a thank you.

Hire Your Friends & Clients As Commission Based Sales Reps

Congratulations you got Mark onboard as a client and with the help of your SEO reseller agency and consultants (the team who does your work…. you’re just the middleman) you got Mark’s Auto Center to page one of Google and his business is seeing an increase in revenue and profit.

Mark is very pleased with your service, you’re feeling a bit of confidence, you have a little bit of experience, and you’re ready for another client. But, how will you find another client?

Referrals, referrals, referrals. You see nothing is stronger than a referral. Literally there is no stronger marketing. People trust people’s recommendations and that’s it.

So when somebody vouches for your Local SEO service to another business owner seeking an SEO consultant, you are going to have a great chance to land the deal. Way better than if you approached them or even if they approached you.

Of course the first step is to receive a referral from a current client.

But how can you consistently receive referrals for new work?

What I like to do is offer a 10% monthly (on-going) referral commission to any clients or friends that refer me new business.

It’s fairly simple and very straightforward.

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I’ve tell all my clients, friends, and acquaintances that if they refer me work I will send them a check every month for 10% of that new deal.


By doing this in essence you’ve just signed several outside sales reps for your business.

The more people you tell this to, the more sales reps you have working on your team.

It’s a win – win for everyone to be honest.

As it is right now I have a buddy who I gladly pay over $700 to each and every month because he has brought me 7k work of monthly business alone simply by referrals.

I love it, it’s provided me 7k profit of work each month.

He loves it, he receives a fat check each month without having to do any work.

Again this is a risk-FREE business model for hiring a sales team.

I don’t know about you but I like to minimize my financial risks while maximizing my potential for financial gain.


How Do I know What To Charge the Client?

We get this question a lot. How much is local SEO worth? How much should I charge?

How much is the client willing to pay? The answer, it depends.

I know not what you were hoping to hear but put it this way; a local surgeon is willing to pay a lot more for first page rankings than a local hair salon.

It has to do with the value of a lead to the local business.

So consider who your client is and how much a lead is worth to them. If you think your keywords are going to bring them 3-4 new customers a month then price accordingly.

But to give you some numbers to go by here our some pricing ranges by industry:

  • Car repair = $500 – $1500 month
  • Restaurant = $500 – $1250 month
  • Dentist = $1000 – $2500 month
  • Plumbing Contractor = $500 – $1500 month
  • Roofing Contractor = $1250 – $3000 month
  • Surgeon = $2000 – $5000 month
  • Network Marketer = $200 – $500 month
  • Health Club = $500 – $1500 month
  • Hotel = $1000 – $4000 month

These are just a few examples… you get the idea. First consider the industry and then price accordingly.

Turnover Sucks, So Do Awesome Work & Provide Value

You know what the most time and labor intensive portion of local SEO or I should say client based SEO is? Yup, you guessed it, it’s signing a new client.

Here are the steps involved with signing a new client:

1). You have to be introduced to new client
2). Have to get client on phone/ meet in person to explain your services
3). Have to conduct research on client’s website, competitors, & industry (unless you know how to outsource this work for free)
4). Have to assemble a proposal (takes about 2 hours unless you have my cheat strategy to do it in 10 minutes)
5). Have to review proposal with client
6). Have to update proposal to meet objections of client
7). Have to exchange contracts (fax, sign, email)
8). Have to obtain login info
9). Have to obtain correct login info (client’s never know this basic shit and it may be a week before they hunt down their webmaster for correct logins)
10). Then you can start

That entire process is literally about 8 hours of work when you are just beginning not to mention it may include driving to and from the client’s place of business and expending cash, business cards, cost of documents, etc.

You won’t enjoy this part as much as you will enjoy the monthly reoccurring revenue you rake in for 6 months or even a year after signing a client.

My Point??? Do not drop a client ever if you can avoid doing so… in your first year of business!!!

There are actually some great strategies and ridiculously cool tips I have to share with you on how to re-sign clients after an initial contract but that I will share another time ( it’s an entirely separate tangent).

Just know that once you have a client, do incredibly amazing work for them, put yourself in their shoes each month, and ask yourself is this service growing my business?

Make sure you do enough that your answer to that question is, “Yes” because by the time you finish explaining to the client their results and everything you have done for them in the previous month, their response should look like this:

Ok maybe that’s a a bit of a reach. But you get our drift… it’s all about over delivering for each and every single one of your clients!

Keep Your Clients Impressed, Provide Tangible Things, Keep Communication Up

People like things they can hear, see, feel, smell, or touch. Especially if they are paying thousands of dollars for it. So make sure you provide your client tangible and visible services such as:

  • Updates to their website (they can see this)
  • Updates to their social accounts
  • Blog Posts
  • Bi-weekly and monthly reports
  • Weekly emails
  • Monthly phone call report recaps

When a client can see the blog post you wrote for them, see the social updates you made on their Facebook fan page, receives emails and reports from you, hears your voice on the phone, sees photos of you on your website or via your Facebook page of you working…. they are a lot less likely to question your value.

You can be have all their keywords on page one of Google, be responsible for driving 20 new customers to their business weekly, and be the reason why they are profiting an extra $3500 a month……

BUT, they will attribute all this new found business success to the direct mail campaign they ran, the extra networking event they went to, or simply justify somehow by universal powers that this increase in revenue comes from somewhere else if they don’t know and see that you are working for them.

Always and continuously show clients your work.

How TO Be Perceived as an Instant Expert & Target a Niche

Remember when we talked about big fish, little pond. That’s what you’re aiming to do when you first starting out with local SEO.

There are other SEO experts in the space that have been here for years so in order to instantly be perceived as the Top of the top best of the best, navy seals awesome SEO expert; you should niche up as quickly as possible.

Ask yourself, what do you love to do locally? Do you love going to different local gyms, do you have a fetish with going to the dentist, do you love dogs, beer, hotels, high end restaurants, e cigarettes, cars, science, healthcare, politics, or wine?

If so go get vertical and become the go-to expert of this industry. This eliminates competition (other seo experts) super fast because you are now the expert of not just SEO but of SEO & online marketing for breweries specifically.

Still not sure which industry or niche you should choose? Ask yourself, “Do I have any speciality knowledge that makes me more valuable?”

Remember people like people that are like themselves (more FREE sales psychology…. aren’t you glad I read so much?) So your chances improve of signing a client ten fold if you can prove you have similarities to your client and that you have specialty knowledge of their industry.

Try this on for size.

Do you love tattoos? Do you have tattoos? On your neck or forehead? A local parlor would prefer to have the guy with neck tattoos do their local marketing than the white collar nerd in khakis. (nothing wrong with khakis I wear them just sayin)

Because people like similar people and like attracts like. So don’t fight or conform to normal but rather embrace what you love to do, who you are, and find work there. It’s much easier.

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Turn An Experience Into an Expertise – Instant Niche Authority

For example, lets just say you recently had lasik eye surgery. Before surgery you always had glasses, couldn’t play sports without them falling off, and simply couldn’t see street signs when you were driving.

You researched different lasik eye surgeons day and night before you settled on one that you felt confident would return you better eye sight than you currently had rather than ruin and or remove any chance of you ever seeing anything again. (I’ve heard Lasik surgery can be extremely terrifying to people who worry about losing their sight with a mishap).

For you, lasik eye surgery went swimmingly well and not only do you have 20/20 vision but gaining this perfect vision has completely changed your life for the better. (without the glasses you have newfound confidence, can enjoy distant sunsets, and have noticed colors to be much more vivid.)

Because you went thru the entire consumer buying cycle for getting Lasik, researched local experts, can provide a testimonial for your surgeon, understand which online review sites are most popular for eye surgeon consumers, understand what convinced you to choose one surgeon over another; all of this insight becomes an expertise for you.

Now you are a consumer buying lasik eye surgeon expert and you can connect emotionally & thru first hand experience with local surgeons.

You can explain to them how eye surgery changed your life, why they need to increase online reviews, why their website isn’t converting sales (& scared you away from choosing them), & how a follow up phone call from another surgeon converted your sale.

Share your Story, Connect, & Close Your Dream Client

This section will touch ever so slightly on , “How to Land a Dream Client” and is actually nothing about landing a dream client but we do allude to the possibility (dream clients are once you’re an established SEO, right now we just want to get you clients).

Ok so referencing the Lasik surgery example above….

….Because of your experience first hand getting Lasik, now you are primed to approach any local lasik eye surgeon local to your city or even located in a vacation destination city (see what I did there – local SEO doesn’t mean they have to be in your city – it just means they are a brick and mortar business. So why not choose a client in a city you want to visit or vacation in. Now you have a reason to actually go to Vegas, San Fran, New York, San Diego, Phoenix, LA, Boston, or Miami & you can write it off when you do!We’re about the lifestyle here guys. It’s a short life. Let’s make it awesome. Rant concluded.) and you’ll be able to connect with that surgeon, tell them your story, explain your SEO service, & equate it to how it can help them land more clients.

Your experience getting Lasik can now become your expertise & a high end client like that will be willing to pay you a lot more for your local SEO expertise than say a local hair salon.

How to Get Started Right Now in 5 Steps

Ok so now you know local SEO is the cat’s nip. It is lucrative, easy to outsource, easy to sign clients, & provides zero financial risk (receive payment at start of month regardless of results…. but make sure you get your clients results!!!)

The people who read this and then immediately start taking MASSSIVE ACTION right away by emailing friends and family to line up potential first clients will make the most money and undoubtedly be successful!

If you don’t look like Jim Carrey after reading this post, you’re doing it wrong.

Watching our local SEO training videos will also help you master the art of local SEO quickly.

Then as results come in for your client; be sure to save reports, screenshots of keyword rankings, & ask for a testimonial or even better a referral.

Business owners know and network with other business owners so asking for a referral when your campaign is performing well again is the best way to gain another new client. Of course incentivize your current client to actually give you a referral by offering them a discount should their referral sign with you.

Also as you get results for your clients be sure to share your stories here at Dynamik 365 with our team.

We are looking for success stories to share, other SEO experts to interview, local SEO experts to invite to join our team, & new experts to give additional free tools to.

Be honest now, what are your immediate thoughts after reading this? Think this could be an opportunity for you?


Jesse Murdock - June 29, 2016

Thank You Mr. Gomez. I appreciate this post. You can believe I am going to read more of your posts. You have by far the best free content that I have come across. Other blogs talk about SEO but not quite as in depth or “ready-set” as yours. I hope to be one of your successes and when I make my first successes, after I reinvest my profits, I’ll buy a nice video camera and make a video about how much you’ve helped me, what I learned, and what I’m doing.

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