How To Turn SEO Relationships into 6-7 Figure Deals with Gary Morris

This episode features Gary Morris, a long term listener to the show and member of the community. Gary runs an SEO agency, sells software solutions, and has found success in leveraging his relationships for creating 6-7 figure deals for his clients.

In this episode, we cover:

  • How to build highly lucrative relationships
  • A simple deal you can put together for some clients, to potentially add an extra 6-7 figures per year in sales
  • 3 examples of deals Gary has put together
  • How to find great guest posting opportunities (and how this is connected to these deals)

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Links and Resources Mentioned:

Transcription:

Daryl Rosser: Welcome back to another episode of the Lion Zeal show. On this episode, I brought on Gary Morris, who is actually a listener and a member of our community. It’s pretty cool to have him on the show today. What we’re talking about is next level relationship building. See, a common thing that people miss out when they get into client SEO, especially me as well. I’m not like this outgoing person. That is all about relationship building.

When you go out there and you build great relationships with people, then you get clients. You get clients, then you get referrals and lots and lots of other stuff, because you’re good at building relationships. But more than that, there’s a whole other dimension really of opportunities out there when you’re building these relationships correctly.

That is what Gary is doing. He’s really brokering, if anything, these different relationships that he has and making deals with them. These two different people have no idea who each other are. He’s putting a deal between them that’s going to be mutually beneficial for them and charging them off each side so he’s making pretty good money out of that and it’s a pretty awesome way of leveraging what he’s already doing with client SEO.

It’s a very interesting episode. It’s not something that I’m personally doing. It’s not something we’ve discussed in any of the previous episodes. It’s a little bit different and it’s pretty awesome content. Let’s get right into it. I hope you enjoy the episode.

Hey man thank you for coming on the show. It’s pretty awesome to have you here.

Gary Morris: Hey Daryl, it’s beyond an awesome opportunity for me because I’ve been watching your show for … how long has it been up now, over a year right?

Daryl Rosser: I think it’s like six months. It’s just every week so it seems like a long time.

Gary Morris: Okay, okay yeah so it’s been phenomenal. Undoubtedly the industry needed something like this. It was very brass knuckles tactics. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Daryl Rosser: Thank you man. Do you want to start off with the whole basics we do for every episode and give a little introduction as to who you are?

Gary Morris: Sure. I’ve basically been in the marketing industry for 16 plus years. I’ve been in SEO specifically since 2014 so not terribly long, full time SEO where I quit my job and just run SEO for about 12 months now. It’s really been full steam ahead for the past three months mainly because we had a couple of clients where you know, you’re learning the ropes, you’re trying to get some scalability to all that.

That’s really what’s been going on so now we’re full steam ahead and we’re trying to implement everything we’ve been learning over the past year and go from there.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome man. When you said you’re into the internet marketing industry for 16 years, what was that before SEO?

Gary Morris: Yeah you know it’s funny because I was going back to high school when the internet first came out so that ages me a little bit. I remember my grandmother and she bought a web TV. Web TV was basically like Apple TV just like the Atari version and I remember starting back then trying to rank websites, trying to build websites and it was exciting. Back then it looked pretty interesting, a little bit like Donkey Kong.

In reality though it was more of a marketing niche where I was in and it was interesting because we worked with Fortune 500 companies like Pepsi and not Coke because they would be a competitor but different brands like that. I got to have a mentor during that time. I’m not sure he would see himself as a mentor but he was the owner of the company and when you work for somebody for 14 years, you naturally begin to pick up some qualities that they have and he was a wonderful man in terms of being able to brand and make connections within Fortune 500 companies.

There would be things like one day we would be with one company and the next day there would be another huge company that would come into play. He made the connections that nobody else would have seen and I watched that from the background and that is a wonderful quality because it was very organic. These guys were flown in, he would have good relationships with them and it would just jumpstart the business for another era, another five years of great contracts. Trying to take that mind set into SEO has made some really profitable opportunities for us.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome some of the smartest guys I know in business online, offline, whatever are like those types of guys, like connectors that seem to really do well with relationship building and stuff like that.

Gary Morris: Yeah absolutely. Just because … websites have people behind them and a lot of times it’s so easy. This is why people that don’t know a language of maybe a nation that they’re trying to inundate like maybe if you’re American and you want to get into the Mexican, Spanish, Mexico area, you have to bridge that relationship gap, not just the language gap. A lot of people say well we’ll just hire somebody else, outsource them, get up a website and you can do that but it’s shallow. It’s just a website, there’s no relationships.

If you want to build real depth to your SEO agency, you have to build relationships. You can’t do it any other way. If you don’t know the other language, you have to at least know somebody who does and learn how to get behind that metaphysical aspect of our business that’s just words on a screen because it’s much more than that. It’s much more colorful than that. It’s much more exciting than that and I think a lot of times people are missing the boat on what SEO can bring.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah for sure. Could you say some lessons you learned specifically in the art of relationship building from that mentor?

Gary Morris: Yeah so there’s numerous ones. I would say positioning yourself as an authority and don’t do that in a way that’s non genuine but really position yourself as if you know what you’re talking about and you can only do that by knowing what you’re talking about.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Gary Morris: There’s a problem, there’s a lag there. You’re like I don’t know if I know what I’m talking about. I think I know what I’m talking about. Over time as you begin to communicate with people, you can identify what they need, think in terms of servant hood rather than in terms of primarily leading the conversation. If you’re going to be serving in those conversations, you’re going to be providing value for them and when you do that, it just happens very naturally and Daryl, you do this in your show.

This show is kind of a very good example of what that kind of thing is. You’re bridging the gap between those of us who are in the SEO industry and we’re somewhat uncomfortable with do we know what we’re doing? Are there people out there that know it?

You’re bridging that gap and you’re bringing these two parties together. Those of us who aren’t quite sure and these people who have done it and they have evidence that they’ve done it and you’re sitting back as the middle person but in many ways that now presents you as an authority just because you’re able to bridge that gap.

Daryl Rosser: I literally teach that in one of my courses.

Gary Morris: Do you really? Okay I’ve got to pick that one up. I do have … the only one I’ve bought so far, which I’ve loved and we used for our VA’s is the one on PBN building. It was fantastic. It’s extremely thorough in ways … and we’ve literally spent thousands and thousands of dollars on SEO courses as you can guess. Yours is uniquely positioned. This isn’t a plug. I don’t get commission from this. Maybe I should have negotiated that before.

Daryl Rosser: Too late now.

Gary Morris: In reality your PBN course and I know you just had Immersion come out and we’re going to have to take a look at that one. The PBN course was by far the most thorough presentation of how to build a PBN because it included the mundane tasks that most people would overlook so good job on that.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome man thank you. With that business that was marketing, was it marketing for Fortune 500 companies?

Gary Morris: Yep, yep.

Daryl Rosser: Did you go from that into eventually getting into SEO and eventually leaving from that business or was it a step?

Gary Morris: Yeah so I grew up with that mindset that you get a job, you work for somebody else and you do that your whole life. There’s security there. There’s a presumed security. In 2014, the summer of 2014, the company burned down literally. The building caught on fire, like literally. They recovered but it was at that moment that I realized the security I though was there was not quite as secure as I thought. It’s one flicker away from destruction. I knew at that point I needed to pursue some of the things that I had on the back burner and one of those things was web design and search engine optimization.

I was really lucky. I got a client that was a former NBA star here in Michigan. Just happened to work with some volunteer organizations and they had brought in learning disabled individuals into our company and we had random jobs that they could do. It was through that connection. Made that deal and after that there was a local hip hop artist who was doing pretty well and made a deal with him. Quickly I learned this is where I wanted to go. This is undoubtedly where I wanted to go.

After that I connected with a friend from high school and came on board with his company to do marketing and his company benefited from that. They grew, last I checked I think it was over 30% that first year. It was at that point I knew okay, I think I’ve got something here. There was a good transition. It wasn’t just go into SEO, quit my job. There was a transitional period where I went from the marketing job I had to SEO specifically for a company and then for the past 12 months, really the past three months, fully focused on growing my business.

Daryl Rosser: Gotcha. How long were you with the agency that you were doing SEO for?

Gary Morris: A little over a year and a half.

Daryl Rosser: Okay. Was that relatively went you just started properly diving into and learning SEO?

Gary Morris: Yeah absolutely yeah. It was when I began to practically apply the techniques that I had been learning.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Gary Morris: Obviously you’re learning as you go, you’re reading as you go. As you’re testing and you’re doing everything, it really began to take off from there.

Daryl Rosser: It’s really interesting as you go through the story and you’re explaining it, it’s all about as we’re going back to that whole relationship topic again of this friend did this, this person … I was volunteering here and met this person. It all comes back to relationships.

Gary Morris: Yeah, yeah and it’s so easy in this industry to just sit behind your computer and do things from the ease of your home and I get the comfort level. I heard a guy say once that fishing is only fun if you have something else to do meaning you know if after retirement, it’s really boring because you have nothing to do.

I don’t look toward retirement and I think a big aspect for us in this industry is really to open up our eyes and look for relationships. There’s a lot of benefit, there’s a lot flavor that it will add to your agency and things just organically happen more than I think we give credit to if we don’t look for those opportunities.

Daryl Rosser: Gotcha yeah. That makes sense. You’re into SEO, you have your agency set up and I presume it started off with pretty standard … I know you’re doing some different stuff now, which we’ll get into. I assume you started off with standard monthly SEO services and whatnot?

Gary Morris: Yep so it was standard client contract, flat fees. Our fees started at $1500 a month when we first started. They’ve grown from there. You can begin to unfold from there. When we get into some of the other stuff, there’s different strategic partnerships where it’s not an SEO contract per se but you can definitely scale down in terms of the monthly budget.

How that really works is if you have … it really depends on where you’re at. If you don’t have the connection, then you have to start where you have to start. You can’t start at $1500 a month if you’re just getting your feet wet. You can if you find the right people but you may have to give and take a little bit on that.

We started where we knew we could have a strong point in and found some strategic partners. A couple different websites that I knew would basically cover my yearly salary and made sure I secured them, made sure that their websites ranked well and then at that point, it was time to move forward from there.

Daryl Rosser: Okay that’s interesting.

Gary Morris: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: These days obviously you still have the clients and you’re still doing SEO with them but you’re doing some other stuff, which I thought was kind of interesting, kind of took on as a result of the SEO clients.

Gary Morris: Yeah. Can I start with an example?

Daryl Rosser: Yeah go for it.

Gary Morris: Yeah, yeah so the one company that I have the transitional period from, there was a competitor in their industry that was the state’s largest company for this industry and I noticed that they had some very interesting backlinks and those backlinks were actually from museums so it was kind of weird. Interestingly I kind of understood why given the nature of the industry that they were in but I also noticed the owner of that other company was a very friendly guy.

When you do competitor analysis you should be looking at the company, if possible look for the owner of the company, check out their LinkedIn, check out their Twitter, check out their Facebook and just see if you can get an idea for who they are and how much influence they have because that will give you an idea of what you’re up against.

I noticed he was a friendly guy, seemed very open in conversation. I reached out to him just asking some advice on how he got those back links to these museums and I said, “You know I recognize we’re competitors. You don’t have to give us that information. I’m just kind of curious as to how that works.” He emailed back and we built up a relationship over about a month and at one point he tipped his hat to a part of the business that he didn’t like do because you had to work with insurance companies and everything else. It happened to be my client’s most profitable part of their business.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Gary Morris: Yeah these are things where literally you can make $50,000, $60,000 per sale. I noticed right away that this is obviously a gap that needs to be bridged so I invited the competitor to come into the office of my client who I was working for at the time.

They sat down and realized that it would be an obvious win if he didn’t have to do it anymore and my client who I was working for at the time said you know what … and there’s another aspect of the company we do that we don’t like to do, easy trade off and within about I would say two to three months, they made at least $250,000 on that call.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome.

Gary Morris: That’s an example of … really good stuff. A great win for both of them. The struggle I had is and I’ve done this before is not understanding how to negotiate your worth in those kinds of things. We get into that a little bit but really the tactic, the exact tactic is looking to bridge relationships and websites. We do guest posts, we do white hat SEO, we also do PBN’s.

One of the things that we do is we’re looking for unique industry relationships between different websites. When you do that, when you begin to look for those different relationships and you connect those dots, you’ll notice very quickly some huge opportunities for a win-win situation for both people.

Daryl Rosser: That makes sense.

Gary Morris: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: I think it’s a cool strategy. I think what’s really cool is that it wasn’t … often I think some people may think as they go through this is, because you only had one example is it’s just luck. It just happened to come up when you’re speaking with different people but the fact that you’re redoing it over and over again shows that it isn’t.

Gary Morris: Right let me give you another example. Is that okay?

Daryl Rosser: Sure go for it.

Gary Morris: Okay so this example just happened this week. One of our clients is an extremely large real estate company, well not extremely large, growing. They’re a large real estate company and buying and selling homes and I was naturally looking for guest post opportunities and I came across a niche relative site on how to redecorate homes and this website gets over 180,000 unique visitors per month in basically the home remodeling industry and she has a lot of Pinterest followers. There’s a lot of photo shares. There’s just a lot of traffic and the only way she was monetizing this website was by ad words.

Instead of just looking for guest post opportunities, which we did get the guest post opportunity. We posted on our website. It was a huge help. Obviously it’s a huge domain, great domain authority. I figured well let’s get an ad that pays out more for her than any AdSense ad will give and how do we do that?

We create an ad for our client that buys and sells real estate to put under her website the fact that they buy and sell real estate and guess where that ad goes? On the homepage. So you can imagine in her case it’s in the 40’s or 50’s but with 180,000 visitors per month and it’s getting great traffic with an ad on the homepage. Subsequently on all the sidebars on the website, which is instantly beneficial for our client which they saw and this just happened last week. It already indexed. They already had a record. This week has already been a record week.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome.

Gary Morris: This is one of those things where literally it changes businesses. It changes both people’s lives potentially. We’re talking 10X, her monthly residual from AdSense. You don’t stop there. Here’s what’s exciting about this. When you start with people that are strategically high up, they have a lot of visitors, you can negotiate into that website and you can get that homepage backlink from that ad and she’s getting paid out by percentages, guess what that does for the rest of the industry?

It’s your foot in the door for everybody else to do the very same thing to get the very same ad on their very same homepage. It’s a win-win. They’re getting paid percentages. It’s kind of like affiliates, but it’s working more with real people, real connections and very niche-relative websites.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah what you said about affiliate is it’s basically you’re an affiliate network even. Like you’ll go into the advertisers directly. You’re going into the publishers, the companies that want the … you’re going to both people directly and then you’re setting up pay per lead basically.

Gary Morris: Right yeah absolutely. Here’s the wonder of it. I don’t … what you want to do is two things. One, you want to negotiate a percentage from the company that you’re getting the ad on. You don’t want to just negotiate the percentage from your client because one, they’re already paying you a residual but two, you don’t want all your eggs in one basket. You want to diversify your portfolio.

If you’re getting paid 10% of whatever they make from those times 20 sites, it’s a very passive income and guess how many SEO contracts you have? You only have one SEO contract. You only have one person you have to report to. It’s really exciting in that sense because it becomes very passive, easy to manage, easy to handle.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. How would you go about deliberately creating these? Let’s say somebody has got a new client. What approach do you do? How do they start looking for these opportunities?

Gary Morris: Yeah that’s a great question and really it comes down to white hat SEO. It comes down to looking for guest post opportunities. It comes to knowing the industry. When we get a client on board, we have to know their industry really well. We have to know the competitors. Like I said, we want to know the owners.

We want to know the followers. We record all of that. You’ve had Ryan and Dan Ray both on your show talking about white hat SEO and backlinks and they did a great job. I wouldn’t add much to what they’ve already said with the exception of doubling up your efforts to look for niche-relative guest posts.

It’s kind of like keyword research. You want to spend more time doing keyword research when it comes to when you have a client, you don’t want to throw ten keywords out there. You want to check and know what keywords you’re going to be going for. The same thing is true in guest post opportunities.

There is a sense in which guest post opportunities from industries that are very far out there in terms of their relevancy but if you can find very specific niche relevancy to your client’s website and these are websites where they’re not competitors but you can see in terms of the client that they get, the customers that are on their website, or their readers that are on their website, you can think this is a very good connection to their readers. It’s an obvious win for the people that you’re looking for.

Just to say you want to look for guest post opportunities. You want to go back and listen to Ryan and Dan’s interviews that you had and you want to use search queries to look for those opportunities but don’t think of the fact … don’t stop with the guest posts. Don’t just get the guest posts and think yeah, I made it. Think in terms of is this a potential partnership opportunity?

Then just write it down, note it. Then what you want to do is you want to go to your client and you want to negotiate with them and ad or an opportunity for pay per lead then you can get another niche relative sites. You go back and then you negotiate with the other company or website.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. Breaking it down a little bit more. You start with your guest posting and you want to find sites that you can – are you talking about paying for guest posting or just like creating awesome content that they’re happy to share?

Gary Morris: Both. I would say first you just want to find websites that allow guest post opportunities. You’re using very specific search queries for the like brand name with guest post in quotations and then you’re just scanning all of that material and then what you do is you find a couple of big ones, a couple of well-known industry ones and then you plug in their domains into SEMrush and then at that point you look at the competition in SEMrush. You can get a list of 10, 15 websites that are on the same level as them and then you have a great opportunity there.

Because one of the things with guest post opportunities is if you’re only relying on search queries. The problem is there’s a lot of websites out there that don’t even know what guest posts are. They just don’t do it. They love their blog. They post on their blog and that’s what you want to do. You want to find the one that does.

You want to find somebody that is very niche relative and then you want to plug that into SEMrush and get an overview of their direct competitors or organic competition and then begin to reach out to those people as well.

Daryl Rosser: Okay. Initially … that makes sense looking at their competition and things like that. You’ve got a whole spectrum of different businesses or blogs or whatever to reach out to for guest posts. How do you turn that into something else? What do you do from there?

Gary Morris: Sure yeah so what you would do from there is once you have both sides negotiated … you’ve gone back to your client and you say, “Hey I’ve got this opportunity. There’s this person that gets X amount of traffic from your website.” Basically at that point you go back. Once you go back to the other individuals and you’ve negotiated with them that, “Hey we’ve got this opportunity.”

Specifically I look for things like AdSense. If they already have ads popping up, I already know that they’re in the industry to monetize their website so it’s an easy win. With our client, you just basically make sure that you have something that’s going to beat out whatever that AdSense ad is because they’re not going to want to put something in that space that they could put AdSense in and make more money on it.

You email them or you text them or whatever you’ve got to do and with this we figured an SEO contract for $600 basically per month and 10% of the profit that she makes from our efforts, which has a much more substantial growth aspect to it. The reason why we did this is because we knew a little bit of her background.

We did a little bit of research on the individual and we understood like they’re not struggling, but they’re not capitalizing on their website the way that they could. Knew a little bit about their job background, they’re still trying to work. Their website should be fully paying their yearly salary. We knew we had to come in low and just basically make profit off of margin percentage increase.

Daryl Rosser: Okay that makes sense. With the bloggers and stuff that you’re going to negotiate the advertisement for your clients, so you’re going to buy the ad space off of them or whatever is on a per lead basis, when you approach them and you make the offer like, hey we’re going to pay you this amount and this per lead or not, do you have an existing relationship aside from buying a guest post? Do you keep in touch with them? Do you chat with them?

Gary Morris: Yeah absolutely. That’s a very good point. You essentially want to build relationships because you want to build trust. Trust is a huge factor when it comes to long term strategic growth. If you just come in and you’re kind of cold and you’re like I just want a guest post opportunity. I usually never approach somebody just asking for a guest post opportunity.

I usually spend a little bit of time looking at their website. If it’s very clear like they’re pumping out guest post opportunities every other day, I know they already know what their site is worth. They already know the value of their website. They’re already in a system.

If it looks like it’s sporadic or if it’s just one author and I can just tell by the content that it’s really that individual then I know that I have some opportunities there to explain to them the worth of their website. We’ll start with doing … I usually just say, “Hey I’d love to have a guest post opportunity on your website. I want you to know that your website is doing great.

I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at the stats, if you’ve ever had an SEO person work on your website, but I’d love to just chat maybe in the future about some other opportunities that I see.” Usually that’s a good foot in the door of building trust because in reality what you don’t want to have happen is you don’t want let’s say a single mom who has one child and she’s struggling but she’s spent 10 years building this website for somebody to come in and take advantage of her. That doesn’t help the economy. That doesn’t help build relationships and it definitely doesn’t help our industry.

What you want to do is you want to provide real value by explaining to her the actual … or him, the value of their website, the value that they have placed in the market and then you want to reward them accordingly. You don’t want to take cheap shots. You don’t want to take advantage of them. By doing so it builds lasting relationships and they become an advocate for your agency.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome that’s good stuff. You start with a guest post and obviously many times it just stops with a guest post. Like you just buy a guest post from them. It doesn’t become anything more than that.

Gary Morris: Sure.

Daryl Rosser: In some cases you end up setting up these more advanced deals. Does the guest post give you an indicator as to whether you’d want to do anything more like if you’ve seen traffic from it and things like that?

Gary Morris: It can. Typically, where that is seen is you have to begin identifying some clear aspects of the other website in terms of the buyers journey of the people on that website. For instance, if they’re looking at redecorating their home. If they’re looking at sprucing their house up, at some point, retargeting that audience with hey, do you want to sell your home is very obviously a win. You want to start with where are these people? They might be a little bit early on in their buyer or seller journey but at some point that may happen and very likely at least a percentage will.

You start that kind of in the opening sector as you’re beginning to do analysis on the website. You’re looking at the traffic. Then once you get … before you actually get analytics, you can get into their Google analytics or anything, there are some ways to tell but really guest post opportunities don’t provide the real data that you would need to make that decision. It has to come from you knowing how to identify where these people would be at in that buyer’s journey and according to your existing client.

Daryl Rosser: Okay so really have a deep understanding of that industry how that client works and everything.

Gary Morris: Yep absolutely.

Daryl Rosser: Okay so let’s create a situation where you’ve got a client, you’ve done some guest posts and you’ve found one site that would be a perfect match for them to partner up. You set up a meeting with them. What happens?

Gary Morris: If this is going to be the influencer meaning the one that I really want to secure because that one opens up the door for everyone else, I basically do a video overview of their website before that meeting happens and I basically go through their stats, keywords that they’re ranking for if I know they haven’t had this already and I can just tell either they’ve had it or the person that did it was shoddy or didn’t know what they were doing. I want to give them a thorough overview of A – what their website stats are like and then B – what potentiality that this relationship has in the long run between my existing client and them.

Once that video is there … it’s usually about a ten minute video and it’s just going through the stats of their website, going through areas that I think they can improve, going through areas that I see a lot of growth in in website, basically pages that they need to optimize a little bit better or if their page speed is really slow. If you get into these influencers a lot of them are unaware of how different things impact their website and so you want to begin to inform them. You want to begin to help them see the value of their website.

You want them to understand the value they place in the industry and then you set up the phone call and essentially you just go over any last minute questions they might have regarding the ad. If it’s just an ad … a lot of times I’ll try to negotiate a contract with the influencer, because that’s going to be higher percentages.

We can have a little bit more nuanced authority over the website, we can come along and make some maneuvers and changes within that. We come in low on these contracts because the money is really in the percentages not in the monthly residual. Essentially what you want to do is you want to get all the information presented to them, inform them of the value of their website, get the ad up and then at that point you just begin keeping an eye on the ad. You keep watching out for what the ad is doing. You watch the traffic. You see the percentages and you just monitor the progress.

Now if you’re not going to sign a contract, you don’t have to do all of that. At that point all you really want to do is just say here is essentially what the percentages are. We’d love a spot. You have to know basically what they’re getting. SEMrush helps in this. Get an idea of the volume … maybe ask them the volume that they’re getting and then you can kind of figure it out from there and then you want to negotiate accordingly.

Daryl Rosser: How do you determine the percentages you pay like how much you’re going to take off each site and how much the influencer, the blogger is going to get paid? It’s not just a fixed fee is it? It’s like a percentage or a pay per lead deal?

Gary Morris: Yeah it’s not always a fixed fee obviously because some influencers are bigger than others. If they have a lot of SEO knowledge and they want to negotiate every dime, you don’t want to spend a lot of time doing this so you just come in at a reasonable rate. It’s really easy to just go to somebody and say listen, I can make you a dollar and all I want is a quarter from it. From that point, once you begin to negotiate very simple applicational ways, it’s a win-win for them. Usually there’s not a whole lot of fight back.

If you’re going to make me a dollar, I’ll give you a quarter and we haven’t had to go back and forth yet on a lot of these deals. In the event that those things happen, you can pull back and wait for a little bit and then come back again and say listen, client X’s influencer is making X amount or saw their monthly growth from AdSense to what we’re doing grow by three times the amount. I’d love to do that for your site. The offer is still on the table. You’ve got to understand you’re coming in … the problem here is even though you’re in between … am I cutting out a little? You got me okay?

Daryl Rosser: Yeah it’s okay.

Gary Morris: Okay. What you want to do is when you’re going to these people is you want to understand your own value because as you’re bringing in this value, you’re bringing in growth for these individuals that could double their income and the hard part for me early on was to see the value that seeing this business analysis aspect of these websites, seeing my own value in that. I really thought woo this is exciting. I’m going to bridge these guys. It’s going to be happy and then you watch them all walk together off in the sunset all making more money.

Daryl Rosser: You sit on the sidelines watching.

Gary Morris: Yeah and then maybe three months later it hits you like you know I probably could have made some money off of that. What you want to do is you want to be thinking. You want to make sure that you have contracts.

You want to make sure that you’re negotiating with these people in a way to where it’s very obvious to them that you’re in it for them as well because if they make more money, you make more money. That’s one of the trust building aspects of this. It’s not you are an in between individual but you’re in between in the sense that you’re not just working for your client, you’re working for them as well.

You want to make sure … that’s another reason why you want to negotiate percentages with them so they know if they make more money, you make more money.

Daryl Rosser: Okay that makes sense.

Gary Morris: To answer your question, there isn’t really a fixed percentage. It really depends on the job. It depends on what you can do for that website. One other example is a website in which a lot of people were looking for the value of a specific product and so what you can do in that situation lets say they have 100,000 views, users per month is you want to negotiate … we have an in house software development team so they can develop software within a few short weeks if need be but in this situation there’s a website.

Mainly people are looking for the values of specific products. We introduce a calculator that can basically give them that value and give it to them either in a short form for free or a long form for $5.99. We negotiate a percentage of that. The client stands to make at this point roughly $150,000 per month with less than 10% of the traffic, which means that we get $10,000 per month passively.

Those are other aspects so negotiation factors are different based on the item. On some items, if we actually have to build the software, in that case we didn’t but in the case where we do, we just have to introduce it. When we do build it, we negotiate higher percentages. I know not every SEO guy has in house software developers but if you’re going to have to put in more work, you’re going to have to ask for a bigger percentage.

Daryl Rosser: Sure. On this software deal, you didn’t create the software or you did?

Gary Morris: Well we didn’t for the original website we’re going to introduce it to. We are going to replicate it, build it for an existing client.

Daryl Rosser: Oh okay, gotcha. That makes sense. I mean I think I understand everything you’re saying but let me go for it again just so people can definitely be clear on it. You have a client that you’re doing SEO for, white hat SEO, you’re doing PBN’s development maybe but you’re going out there and trying to find guest posts for these clients and while you do that every so often is it a by-product of the guest post or is it a deliberate action now that you’re looking for the potential partners?

Gary Morris: Yeah it’s definitely deliberate. We’re looking for guest post opportunities but we’re looking for those more in terms of partnership opportunities.

Daryl Rosser: Okay. You find a partner and build a relationship with them as well as your client and you come up with the idea of how they can work together, how they can be partners together and you introduce them but on the basis that it’s through this deal that you’re setting up so you’re negotiating both sides. It’s not just like an introduction, okay bye, have fun and leave them to it.

Gary Morris: Right because what happens is as soon as you get to that website and you look at the clientele that they have, the readers, the subscribers, you can pretty much bridge the gap. Does this group of people in any way equate to sales for my client? If so, this is a win-win for both people.

Daryl Rosser: Okay that makes sense. With the influencer, the blogger, the person you’re going to buy the ads from, you want to set it up in like a pay per lead deal I guess?

Gary Morris: Yeah basically it’s a paper lead. It’s a percentage. There’s two ways; there’s impressions that you can get paid per impression from their website to your client’s website or they can get paid per lead that actually goes to the website and does a specific action. It depends on the quality of the traffic. If you’re going to get a bunch of people to the website, your client’s website and they’re not going to fill out whatever that end goal is, then you probably want to negotiate per lead. On the other end, if it’s just impressions and brand awareness and you know that it’s going to benefit either way, you want to go the other way.

Daryl Rosser: Okay that makes sense. What’s interesting is it’s basically directly approaching bloggers and influencers to buy adverts and you can do these like an affiliate or something, you can have a high paper lead off or something.

Gary Morris: Yeah and you know the reality is one of the big benefits of this is home page back links so they begin to snowball and they’re very secure and they don’t go anywhere. Not only is there the percentage but your client is making a lot more money, which typically equates to … like our client just recently doubled our monthly residual, our retainer without our prompting. It becomes a very quick win for them as well.

Daryl Rosser: Nice.

Gary Morris: Because their site gains an authority, gains in leads. Not just leads from making the connections on these but from the back links on the homepages as well.

Daryl Rosser: That makes a lot of sense. Cool. Okay you have the client and they’re paying you a monthly SEO retainer or whatever that is and then you say hey, I’ve got this new idea that you could partner up through advertising on this site and also you just pay this fixed amount per lead say $25, just making it up on the spot and I’m just going to take 10% of that and you go to the influencer and say the same sort of thing; hey, we’re going to pay you this amount per lead and you’re just taking a percentage.

Gary Morris: Yep, you’ve got it exactly.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome.

Gary Morris: That’s it yeah. That’s the aspect of SEO that a lot of people miss. We miss it because we miss the relationship aspect, we miss the organic growth aspect. This is the way sales was in the past. This is what people did, they bridged brands, they bridged industries, they made connections. You saw whole cities built. You look at Ford.

Henry Ford was building these vehicles but he needed other people to make parts and I live in Michigan so we have seen whole cities built based on relationships. An auto company needs this piece of plastic or this piece of metal or whatever it is and in many ways that is happening online but a lot of guys are missing the boat on building up those communities.

Daryl Rosser: Cool let me ask you a question then. Would you say your primary business is SEO or these basically deal making, these connections that you’re building?

Gary Morris: You know that’s a good question. I think if I had a choice, it would be more of the business analysis and relationship building because you have a lot less contracts. You’re just optimizing a handful of contracts for a larger return. You are doing SEO. It is SEO because you have to do all the same work, you have to act like this is my only client.

There’s no other aspect in which I can go bring anybody else in. You have to think about them in terms of this is it. I need this client and as you do that, you begin to make those relationship building aspects come a lot quicker.

Daryl Rosser: Okay that makes sense. Which side do you think is going to be more profitable for you and your clients?

Gary Morris: I definitely … in terms of security because this is why I lost money or this is why I had some learning lessons. I thought the success was securing my client, which it is and that’s what you want to do but at the same time, that’s not all it is. You don’t want to end there because you’re making these opportunities that they didn’t have before and because of that you play an instrumental role in making it happen.

It’s all because of the data that you have access to that they don’t. The skills of SEO are knowing and being able to find these industries and doing the research of these industries in a way that nobody else can because we have real data now that in the past 50 years has never been accessible. Because we have access to that data, there are so many more rich oil fields ready to be tapped than what I think we were aware of.

Daryl Rosser: Absolutely. What I meant was, which side do you think is going to be more, in your business, the client SEO side or the deals you set up, like these lead gen deals and stuff like that.

Gary Morris: Yeah I would say it all depends because there are some industries where it’s very difficult for these opportunities to happen so you have to have the right clients, you have to know how to look for the right clients. It really depends I think for us specifically, it’s more profitable in terms of the relationship building aspect of it than it is simply just an SEO contracts.

Daryl Rosser: Okay let’s do a few sort of last questions and stuff. Is there anything that you wanted to share that I haven’t asked you a question yet so you haven’t had an opportunity to say anything about?

Gary Morris: No I think you’ve hit it all. I can’t think of anything we didn’t go over. I have questions I would love to ask you but that can probably happen off camera. I just appreciate what you’re doing. I think it’s interesting. It’s exciting. You’re opening up windows for this industry that position you as an authority. I’m just excited on that.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome and thank you. A couple of last questions then. Let me think up some things and you can kind of wrap it up. What stops the influencer in a company from just saying directly hey, why are we paying him 10% every time? Why don’t we just cut him out?

Gary Morris: Yeah you know the hard part there is you have to know your client. Our client has access to buyers and sellers that is in the 1000’s, so this specific client that I used the illustration for, they have a unique place in the market to where you couldn’t just do this. A blogger couldn’t do what they do. Yeah I think you have to look strategically for the right people to know that they can’t do this on their own because if they can, you’re right, they can cut you out and say we’ll do it on our own. You want them to be aware of the profitability isn’t them starting a new company.

We had a potential franchise contract that recently fell through and the reason why it fell through is because they wanted us to handle the distribution of the product. Our percentage was going to be based on a retainer, a monthly retainer and a monthly percentage of their eCommerce sales because they weren’t selling any of their product online but it was a hit, the market is wide open, there’s no competition.

The owner is about 80 years old and he said, “I love the idea but I don’t want the overhead. I don’t want the headache. If you guys do the distribution, I’ll make the deal.” I don’t want to be a distributor you know.

I looked into it and it was just way too much of a headache. There is an aspect of when you’re working with these other clients and say hey, I can do this on my own. You have to let them be aware that it’s not as easy as they might think. Just understanding the complexity of the industry that your client is in as well helps.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah that makes a lot of sense. I think it helps just basic client SEO if you really have a deep understanding of your client’s business and the best-selling products, the ideal customers, stuff like that.

Gary Morris: Right absolutely yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Cool. One final question that just hit my mind I was just about to ask you. Okay let me think of it again.  You have a while while I think of it. What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into this sort of relationship making that maybe they’re just starting out, just starting to get clients? What should they be thinking about to get into this?

Gary Morris: The primary thought pattern that you want is adding value. I want to add value in this industry. I want to add value to this individual. There is a huge opportunity just to come alongside of companies that are struggling. They’re already leery about SEO. There’s a lot of reasons for them to be leery about SEO but you want to bridge that gap and let them know, not only do you not have to have that with us, we’re going to be able to do more for you than just rank ten keywords. We want the entire health of your website to go up.

A lot of times I’ll position when it comes to client getting, one of the shoe ins that I utilize and this is a good technique for the listeners is that you want to be thinking about the overall health of the website not just ten keywords. I can make your website worth more having us come than it was before we stepped on.

Even if you were to cancel the contract, your website is worth more having us been a part of it than before we came on. Clients need to know that their website is a salesperson that works 24 hours a day that’s ready to get to work, but they’re not punched in most of the time. They’re just sitting on sidelines and they need to be put to work and we can do that.

Daryl Rosser: Absolutely. I think a big takeaway of this episode that people should really think about is that there are so many opportunities out there and this relationship stuff really shows that you can basically sell to everyone. While you’re buying a guest post, you’re selling it straight back to the same person, turning them into a client of yours.

Gary Morris: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Everywhere is an opportunity.

Gary Morris: Everywhere, it’s a lot like the wild west and there’s just a huge … what we thought were opportunities is really just the tip of the iceberg. I think the industry as a whole is going to go more toward relationship building in the future than it had in the past just because the internet isn’t stagnant. There’s connections all over it so you want to be a hub of making those connections happen.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. Okay final question and we’ll wrap it up. I said that two or three times now but it’s genuinely. What are three tips you could give people for building relationships better online?

Gary Morris: Great question. The one would be, know the industry of your client. Know your client’s industry.  Understand it, dive in, listen, read their website. Don’t just think in terms of keywords but think in terms of how the process works, how people are finding the website.

Look at those search queries and think man there is a real person that typed in that search query. What were they thinking? Know the industry, know the clientele of that industry not just your client’s perspective, but from the buyer’s perspective. Third just know SEO enough to do competitor analysis. Do really good competition analysis and by doing so you’re going to uncover a ton of things. You’re going to uncover just an enormous amount of material that you can use.

Daryl Rosser: Absolutely the data from SEMrush and tools like that these days is just incredible.

Gary Morris: It is, it is absolutely.

Daryl Rosser: All right management thank you for coming on the show. This has been pretty fun.

Gary Morris: Yeah I appreciate the opportunity.

Daryl Rosser: All right guys thank you for tuning in. This has been cool hope you got lots of value out of this and I’ll see you in next weeks’ episode.

Daryl

About Daryl Rosser

Daryl runs a six figure SEO business primarily focusing on local clients. He's extremely analytical, and his favourite ranking strategy is using PBN's.