How Lior Closes UpWork Clients On $1,500+/m SEO

In episode 4 of the Lion Zeal Show, I’ve interviewed Lior Ohayon on how he’s simplifying outreach with his new software, and how he closes clients from UpWork for upwards of $1,500/m.

You’re going to see…

  • How to reframe your services on freelancing sites to avoid using $20 tripwires, and go straight for $1,500+/m deals
  • A new tool to automate your follow up and speed up your prospecting and outreach
  • What to put in your outreach messages when trying to sell SEO services
  • How to run your business smoothly while you travel

Watch episode 4 now:

Struggling to close your SEO prospects? Download and see the 3 Sales Hacks Lior Uses To Close Clients Every Time

Click here to visit Lior’s website and get the details about his new software

Have you used freelancing sites to get clients before? Or did you have any takeaways from this episode? Let me know in the comments below.


Daryl Rosser: Hi guys. Welcome to another episode of the Lion Zeal Show, where every week I interview a different SEO about what they’re doing in their business to get to the level that they’re at today. In this week’s episode I’ve interviewed Lior Ohayon. Now Lior is doing some pretty interesting stuff with clients. He’s got a pretty popular blog at ScopeRush and he’s doing some really interesting things.

Now what was interesting to me was that he was going out there and he was getting clients on sites like Elance which is now Upwork, obviously. Not only was he getting clients on these sites, he was getting clients on these sites to pay him upwards of $1,500 per month.

I always thought these sites were low-end clients that if you got someone to pay you $100 for some links then you’re doing well. That’s about the best you’re going to get. Getting $1,500 per month clients off of this site seemed pretty insane to me.

I just didn’t see … It wasn’t really my reality, hearing him talk about how he does this, just completely changed my mind to how it can work and I’m sure you guys are going to get some interest out of this. I’m going to stop talking now, and lets go straight into the interview.

Hi man, thank you for coming on the show today.

Lior Ohayon: Thanks man, how are you?

Daryl Rosser: I’m good, how about you?

Lior Ohayon: Good, good just waking up around now.

Daryl Rosser: What time is it over there?

Lior Ohayon: 9:30 a.m.

Daryl Rosser: Okay, so 8:45 pm here, so quite a difference. Do you want to give people a little background of who you are just in case they don’t know who you are yet?

Lior Ohayon: Sure, my name is Lior and I take on many faces online, and I guess I could be the dropout kid, the traveling SEO guy, the SEO Coach and that’s pretty much what I’m doing over at my blog.

Just teaching that unique angle to SEO, because I noticed a lot of people were discussing how to rank and stuff like that. I saw there was a gap in teaching how to get how to get SEO clients or growing SEO businesses, and that’s really why I started blogging about that specifically.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. So how long have you been doing SEO stuff, how did you get into … how long?

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, so it’s only been since the end of the middle of 2013, it’s pretty much three years. Hasn’t been a long time and …

Daryl Rosser: It’s actually around the sort of time I got started as well, I think, yeah.

Lior Ohayon: It just started like any other person, I guess, started with a search like ‘How to make money online?’

Daryl Rosser: Really?

Lior Ohayon: You just have to sort of look past what you’re seeing online. A lot of the times you’ll see the instructions, but then you’ve got to look at who is giving the instructions. For me it was these gurus giving the instructions, then I realized that they’re doing something one up than what they’re actually teaching.

So what I would do is really study them, then I had a lot of successes in their groups and stuff, and then they started to reach out to me saying, “Hey you want to teach in my courses.” That’s sort of where I decided to start doing my own thing.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. Learning a lot from what they’re doing as well as what they’re actually teaching?

Lior Ohayon: Exactly. Why can’t I be teaching that?

Daryl Rosser: Gotcha, yeah. So you got straight into client SEO when you got into SEO stuff, or did you start with something different.

Lior Ohayon: Yes, it was actually Amazon eBooks. So it was how to rank, how to write these eBooks that everyone buys on their little Kindle devices and then I realized okay, I’m learning these algorithms and it actually led to learning about SEO, instead of doing SEO for my own sites, why don’t they just offer it to people who have businesses already? And I literally stumbled into client SEO without even knowing that there were agencies that already did that.

Daryl Rosser: Nice. Awesome. So how did you get your first client – I guess that would be interesting – from first coming across that accidentally – I actually got into it accidentally myself as well, it was really interesting – to actually going out there and getting that first client? What do you do?

Lior Ohayon: I keep forgetting who the first client was because there was different ranges of clients. The first was on a forum from Pat Flynn, he was doing one of those niche site battles and I’m like “everyone here is trying to rank a website, this is the perfect place to sell SEO to.”

So I just started asking people and I started taking unique methods like ‘only pay me if you rank’ and all this stuff and I got a couple of people from there and then I started to go to freelance websites and I got other types of clients which were just sort of audit clients and then my first big monthly retainer client was from Elance, using the same sort of process.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. That’s cool that you used Pat’s forum thing. I’ve seen someone get a client from Reddit doing the same sort of thing.

Lior Ohayon: Oh, for sure. I’ve been on other marketing forums … There’s different people you can attack in SEO, there’s either other SEOs or local businesses that don’t know better and there’s forums for both of them.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, exactly. So you mentioned your proper client was Elance and, from what I’ve seen, that’s one of your main strategies that you like to use, isn’t it?

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, that’s correct.

Daryl Rosser: So, everyone that already knows you is going to know everything you teach about this stuff probably, but for someone who doesn’t know, do you want to give a little basic overview of using Elance?

Lior Ohayon: Sure. So if you think about it this way. Trying to get SEO clients is like trying to convince a baby to eat broccoli, you know? It doesn’t work, there’s too much friction but what if there was people out there who already wanted broccoli or wanted clients, or rather SEO’d onto their site.

So, I’m like “where does that exist?” And then I realize oh, there’s actually freelance websites where they post little odd, small jobs or they post … They actually want to hire someone full time for this stuff. So I said to myself “why don’t I just go there and pitch them at higher amounts and be able to forget about just getting a couple of links or a couple of stuff done on their site and just go for the full thing.

And so, what you really have to do is just stand out like crazy. So that’s what I focus on. The only way you can really stand out is by making your profile pop and by making your proposals stand out from the crowd. You speak a lot about standing out on your blog and that’s pretty much what you have to do. It’s that same thing, just on a different website.

Daryl Rosser: Sure. Actually, I’m kind of curious – because you mentioned it – because I teach a way of doing proposals is completely different to everyone else’s proposals. Every SEO in the world has the exact same template almost, it looks like and I’m actually curious – what do you do to stand out in a proposal.

What to put in your outreach messages when trying to sell SEO services

Lior Ohayon: Sure. So, first of all, when I say proposal, it’s very important to understand that I don’t do proposals in the traditional sense of you have a consultation with the person, you spoke for an hour on the phone, you ask for permission to send a proposal and then you make a whole big PowerPoint and you try to impress them.

When I say proposals, in terms of the freelance websites, I mean that first message that you’re allowed to send someone in order to make contact about their job. So, that being said, you can’t send a really fancy proposal and then follow up with the person also.

So, my proposals are actually just a really unique message to get a response from the person because if you can get a response from a person, it opens up that channel where you can then speak to them for the rest of your life. You can keep following it up.

So, some things I would do is either question their approach. So if they say “we want five PR links” and I’m like “you know, PR’s dead, you know, why do you want that?”

So I’ll question their approach or I’ll say I’ve done an audit for them, or I’ll show them a really big mistake on their website, you know? Anything that makes you stand out that’s not just a templated response will do.

Daryl Rosser: That’s awesome. That’s actually the same stuff I teach people to do and people already do anyway for like cold email outreach or lump email outreach, where you focus on an issue or a competitor, or something unique that’s going to stand out and then it gets your attention way better than saying “hey, we can do that for you, here’s the price” – or whatever most people do.

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, exactly.

Daryl Rosser: So, what other stuff are you working now? You mentioned some stuff before we started recording about what are you working on, so I’m kind of curious. Aside from clients, what is your businessy things?

A new tool to automate your follow up and speed up your prospecting and outreach

Lior Ohayon: So you just mentioned teaching people about cold email and I noticed everyone’s doing software in this sphere now, why don’t they help on software game but I don’t really want to do technical SEO – ranking plugins and stuff – so I thought what tasks can I automate that help you get clients?

There’s actual ROI on them or instead of hiring someone to do cold emails, maybe with just software I can do it. So that’s what I’m focusing on, making software that automates regeneration on your client-getting tasks.

So the one I’m working on now is called ScopeLeads and it’s really powerful. It shows you everyone in a niche, in your local city or wherever you’re searching that has bad social media, bad SEO rankings or bad AdWords or they might not have a website at all and then what it will do is it will actually get their email address for you and … By the way, this is all done within thirty seconds, so …

Daryl Rosser: Really?

Lior Ohayon: … Back in the day, yeah, I wold have to spend the whole day on an Excel spreadsheet, second page of Google, writing down a person’s name, phone number, email … Finding the email was super hard … And then manually sending it out. Now I just literally type in the niche, boom, you have the whole list.

And then there’s a lot of tools that have already found emails for you, based on certain criteria, but none of them automatically emailed them for you as well or gave you the option to manually email them and track it all. So that’s what we do.

So, basically, you have that list now. They all need your help technically and you can either run an audit and send it to them, or some people are downloading the list and sending mail to them, some people are cold-calling them, but what it’s really built to do is to email them all and make them all seem personal.

So you’ll have a merged field that, unless you actually knew about their website, you wouldn’t have known about. So the merge tag can be anything like their name, phone number and stuff like that. So anyways, that’s what we’re doing in a nutshell.

Daryl Rosser: All right. That sounds really cool. Having cold email is a really solid approach to getting clients. It’s not fun or pretty but if someone commits to doing it, especially personalized ones … So you said you can send manual ones – I think you said – for it?

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, so the whole idea of personal is either they get something unique to their business or it has to stand out in some way. So by including their name, maybe like a custom audit for them only. So we’re really working to making each one seem personal.

So even if you send a hundred at once, they’ll each be personalized – even though I recommend manually still doing them – at least that will cut your time in half if you want to test it.

Daryl Rosser: Have you done much cold emailing and stuff yourself then, is that why you got into creating software?

Lior Ohayon: Yes. I used a software called Rebump, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it?

Daryl Rosser: Don’t know that one, no.

Lior Ohayon: But let’s say you’re using Gmail to send cold email, so I would have that whole list in Excel I told you about. If the prospect didn’t look so good to send a lump email to, I would send an email to, but how do you follow up with that? If you’re sending a hundred emails, how do you follow up?

So Rebump would connect to your Gmail and then you would track if the other person – rather the recipient – opened it or not, or responded or not and it will just send the next in the sequence. So, we built that feature into ScopeLeads so you can send four emails and if they open the email, if they clicked on a link in the email, whatever the condition is, you can send the next one in the sequence.

Daryl Rosser: Nice. That’s how most order responding stuff is these days, but basic plugins and stuff is pretty difficult to do.

Lior Ohayon: Exactly, yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Cool. So do you want to give an idea of how used cold email then? I’m kinda curious. So what software were you using, for example?

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, so, it’s pretty much the same as what we’ve been speaking about. You have to stand out in one way or another. So, for me, it depends on how I got the lead. If it was a list of people that had bad AdWords, what I would do is have a template of video and it’s me standing against the wall speaking and then what I’ll do is I’ll take a screenshot of their website and put it in the corner where I’m pointing to, so it looks very personal …

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, sure.

Lior Ohayon: … And I’ll do a whole audit about how they’re wasting money with their lining pages, the clicks are going to the homepage instead of the lining page, showing the problems with their marketing.

Daryl Rosser: But it’s a generic video?

Lior Ohayon: No, it would then transition into a two minute screen recording of me showing the problems on their website.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Lior Ohayon: But to do a lot of those is a problem. So I noticed … it was actually a really unique way of doing all that without doing all the work. I don’t know if you know about this but let’s say you want to send a hundred a day, you can’t do so many of those audits, what you do instead is …

You can even do the screenshot or you can say you’ve done the audit, but you’re not sure who to send it to, or you want their permission before sending it and then if they respond, now you know you’ve got a responsive person, you know they’re interested and they’re more likely to acceptance to hearing your sales. So then you actually go out and do the work. There’s a couple approaches you can take.

Daryl Rosser: I’ve seen that approach work as well, where you email them first and it makes sense because you don’t have to go out and do the work, but I’ve seen both work, I can’t really … I don’t know if you’ve done testing on it to see which one’s better – I haven’t, so I can’t really recommend one particular one. Also, that software you mentioned, where can people get that? I don’t think it’s out yet, is it?

Lior Ohayon: Well, it depends on the time of recording. No, we’re in beta right now, they’ve been carefully selected, but it should be launching July 13th.

Daryl Rosser: I think this one might be out before that, but I’ll include a link if you send me a link, whatever. What else are you working on then? You’ve got some clients right now, you’re still doing the client stuff aren’t you?

Lior Ohayon: Correct. So, doing client stuff, doing software and, I guess you can call it coaching. The way I even got into all this is that first three months of me doing that Elance stuff …

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Lior Ohayon: … Was huge. I don’t know what it was but I was just on a roll, so I grew really fast and I realized I had this method where I could start teaching people. So these gurus, whose groups I was in, started to pay me to teach on their courses and they still pay me to be honest – teaching their courses and stuff and I connected with one of them and we made a course teaching that specific method and that did really well, and that eventually evolved into …

I needed to start reaching out to these people myself instead of depending on others. So that evolved into coaching people … I get a message at least like once a month like, “hey can you coach me?” I want to be someone who’s really into …

Someone that I really connect with – my personality, the way I teach and that went from taking on one to two people privately, just showing them everything I know on on-on-one calls, and then very recently converted that into a group coaching where everyone receives the content at the same time, the webinar and then it’s sort of the course now.

Daryl Rosser: I actually did a very similar approach myself. Here’s an interesting subject. So, we both travel a lot – from what I can see – a lot. So do you still take on new clients today?

Lior Ohayon: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, so you’re taking on new clients … I’ve temporarily retired … I’ll take some more later but I’ve temporarily taken a break from clients.

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, I’ll take on a new client but the prospecting I’ve done to get them has gone down dramatically since I’ve been focusing on the software launch.

Daryl Rosser: Okay, that makes sense. So another question … The travel one … So you were taking on clients anyway, very recently, and you’re still taking them on if they come to you, how do you manage that with all the traveling and stuff that you do?

Lior Ohayon: Well, right now I’m not really traveling but it would be just a matter of … I’ve written a couple of blog posts on this … It’s just a matter of your timezone and if you’re really traveling or if you’re just on vacation because, like you said, right now you’re traveling but really it’s just living remotely right?

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, basically.

Lior Ohayon: So there will be times where I’ll travel. I did a bus in New Zealand for three weeks and I was literally in another city every single day and …

Daryl Rosser: Nice.

Lior Ohayon: … Every morning everyone’s like “what are you doing” and I’d just be like on my iPhone checking emails …

Daryl Rosser: Hiding in the corner.

Lior Ohayon: … And I was zooming in to check rankings and copy and paste them into reports. It was hell but … I did that. Then there was traveling, where I would get an Airbnb for a week or two in a certain city and just dedicating three hours at least to just sitting and doing work. So being remote at least you have the flexibility to do that.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, exactly. If you just live in another country, it’s not that big of a deal. Do you meet your clients or anything?

Lior Ohayon: Nope, I’ve met one.

Daryl Rosser: Okay. I’m pretty much the same. I’ve met very few of my clients, so that’s another thing that ties into it. I think a lot of people are interested … If you’re not meeting your clients, you speak to them on the phone, very rarely … How often do you speak to your clients?

Lior Ohayon: Only one request, that we have one phone call a month.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah. I’m usually the same. I have clients that I haven’t spoken to in like six months now, I forget to invoice them and they still pay me – I have no idea why they pay me.

Lior Ohayon: Well, the truth is it’s on … It should be on recurring …

Daryl Rosser: Yeah it is, it’s recurring and they still rank it number one but I forget to send them invoices and all sorts.

Lior Ohayon: The truth is I don’t think it’s the best. I think proper businesses follow up and show value but I have heard and have even seen where the guys are just like “I don’t want to hear about what you’re doing, you’re the marketing guy” and they’re so busy.

Daryl Rosser: That’s my ideal clients. That’s the clients I go for.

Lior Ohayon: But then they could wake up six months later and be like “what am I paying this guy for?” So you really have to show them what you’re helping them with and what are their defects.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, if you’re ranking at number one and the site’s converting well and stuff, they’re getting like – it depends on the business – like fifteen esquires a week or whatever, they can see the value. Especially if they know that’s deliberately from that. If you have tracking or anything in place, they can see that, then it makes sense.

Lior Ohayon: Yeah. What are you using to track them?

Daryl Rosser: It depends on the client. You can do Twilio and stuff if you want to but it’s different.

Lior Ohayon: You mean like tracking phone calls?

Daryl Rosser: You could track phone calls …

Lior Ohayon: Okay, I did that…

Daryl Rosser: I don’t always do that, just sometimes. It depends on the client. What else? How are you managing the work between all your different businesses, so what’s your work day looking like these days? So you have the clients and all that sort of stuff?

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, so I hired a full-time developer and that’s taken a lot my time because – I’m trying to not let it but it’s so fun building software, some days, so it would just be everything on Trello and then you see things being completed and get a tester right away and it’s like something’s being born.

Daryl Rosser: How fun was it hiring a developer? I’ve had a lot of issues in the past.

Lior Ohayon: This has actually been in the making for a year-and-a-half – if not more – and I’ve had launch dates that passed and I’ve been through like, a dozen developers and some were good, some were to be like …

Another guy wrote code like a baby and it was just a mess and then finally, instead of going on these freelance sites or whatever, why don’t they just go to Facebook and find the specialty groups? Because I was recording a note and it’s like a really niche language and then I just posted a job and it got taken down, and I’m like “okay, let’s take another angle.”

I said “how can I interview someone who’s a programmer, how do I ask good questions,” because I’m not that tech savvy in code? And then someone responded “oh, you can ask this and that,” I’m like “wait, are you for hire?” He goes “yeah, it depends” and I hired him and he happens to be the admin of the group.

Daryl Rosser: That’s awesome, something I have to look into – I have to decide – I’ve had some awful problems with developers in the past.

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, but through the bouncing it’s like … I’ll wake up, I’ll just be on Slack with the developer, I’ll see what’s happening with some client stuff and then a lot of my day is dedicated to coaching as well, so preparing video content, recording stuff – that can take a really long time. So yeah, that’s about it.

Daryl Rosser: What about your client stuff then, do you have VAs, do you outsource at all?

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, that’s the other face I take – is the outsourcer. I really enjoy the onsite side of things. So when we first onboard a client, I’ll do the on-page SEO, I’ll do the cured research and the competitor research, after that, I don’t want to be involved.

So pretty much systematized it where it’s a contractor that does a lot of the link building and the ranking power and myself that would step in and fix on-page stuff as we go. So, with this point, it could be like an employee, but I would say that part’s completely automated, that’s why I was able to travel.

Daryl Rosser: Totally. That’s awesome.

How to run your business smoothly while you travel

Lior Ohayon: Well, you’ve got to check, you’ve got to keep checking and seeing what’s going on and getting on the phone sometimes, but a buddy of mine who has a pretty big agency recently said “some of these courses or even some of these SEOs, they jump into becoming a better SEO, when really, they’re not learning how to be a better salesman.”

So for some of these courses it’s like – let’s say he gave you an example of giving a course on plumbers, how to make more money, yet you’re teaching them how to be a better plumber, right? So you’ve got to stop teaching them how to rank stuff and do this stuff because who said it’s all about selling SEO?

I started selling a lot of adverts and you’ve just got to focus on sales. I learned a lot of sales and just doing a lot of sales as well.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah. I noticed a big issue a lot of SEOs take – you’ve probably seen this exact same thing – is they’ll spend like six months building up a PBN and learning all the perfect PBN strategies without picking up the phone once, they didn’t do prospects or anything.

Lior Ohayon: I didn’t have a PBN for like a year-and-a-half.

Daryl Rosser: Nice.

Lior Ohayon: You don’t even need a PBN. If you dedicate yourself to sales, just go and make less margin on your first client. Get the first client and just maybe use a link network that you can rent from and if it doesn’t work out, now you have a sales skill, go sell something else. You can grow any business, practically, with sales.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah. Actually, a friend of mine, he said something quite interesting in the East. He was making like 30, 40K a month or something before he quit his real job and he was worried that this SEO, this PBN stuff might all fall apart and the final thing that made him finally make the decision to quit was that he realized that he could always sell something, no matter what. He had that skillset now.

Lior Ohayon: Yeah. I think what’s good about clients is even if everything crashes – which I don’t really think it will …

Daryl Rosser: No neither do I.

Lior Ohayon: … It’s still a business. You’re not running an affiliate site where the profits go away, right? You still have clients that, you’ve shown that you’re smart, you’re adaptable and you can start offering them something else. So you can’t just focus on I do great at SEO.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, exactly. You mentioned you sell other stuff. Now, I’m kinda curious, what do you sell aside form SEO? You said you do AdWords.

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, it’s just AdWords.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, I sold Facebook stuff but I think it’s already getting too non-niche, but even to say I just do SEO is not really niche-specific enough, right?

Daryl Rosser: No.

Lior Ohayon: But you do have to think like a digital marketer, that’s what I tell people. You can’t walk into a console and then you only know SEO. So even if the guy – SEO is not the perfect solution for him – you still try to sell for him.

I wouldn’t do that, I’ll be like “listen, I honestly think that you need to hire a PR agency or you need to AdWords which I have as offer, Facebook ads would be great for targeting, but I don’t do that” and saying no to more people than I’m saying yes to.

Daryl Rosser: It’s interesting you said that because I think that is one of the reasons that a lot of people are doing well with clients, as you get more clients.

When the needy guy goes in and says yes to everything, they actually get turned down more because people don’t want to work with that needy person that will just say yes to everyone. They want to work with the expert.

Lior Ohayon: And it’s amazing how many people come back months later and be like “yeah, we tried that, we still want to try it with you” …

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, exactly.

Lior Ohayon: … And it’s because you gave them that line.

Daryl Rosser: It’s also good just to care about your clients, or prospects even, enough that you just tell them the truth first and try sell them something, even though it’s a terrible solution.

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, you’ve got to go in with the diagnosing mindset as opposed to being the consultant. Even though you’re giving the free consultation, you shouldn’t be consulting people on a call. You should be there to listen and diagnose, not judge and then if your offer matches what they need then you sell them.

Daryl Rosser: Sure. Okay. So, you said you use Elance – I think you use other stuff as well, but Elance specifically … Because we’re talking about what you actually sell, do you just – from Elance – pull them straight into $1000 per month SEO thing? I’ve never used Elance to get clients, I always thought of it as like lower-end sort of stuff.

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, that’s the whole thing. It’s convincing people who post their budgets of $500 to pay you $1500 or $2000.

Daryl Rosser: Okay. Is that the biggest challenge of it?

Lior Ohayon: Not really. I think the biggest challenge is just getting them on the phone because once they’re on the phone then … The way that these sites work is they’ve already seen your ranking, they’ve already seen your profile, they’ve already seen your portfolio, they’ve seen your reviews, so they’re sold on the idea of you – especially if they’re agreeing to give an hour of their time – they just want to hear the price.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

How to reframe your services on freelancing sites to avoid using $20 tripwires, and go straight for $1,500+/m deals

Lior Ohayon: So I won’t include a price in the bid or the proposal. They’d have to speak to me about it and then, at that time, their mindset completely shifted to hiring someone to help them with ranking or an ROY as opposed to just hiring someone to build a couple of links.

Daryl Rosser: Okay, perfect. So you are going straight for $1000 per month. I wasn’t sure if you sell them sell them some lower service first then upsell them later.

Lior Ohayon: No. I’ll give you a review of a little goodie right here. First of all, it’s never a thousand, the minimum I would do is 1500 US dollars. When I first started, I was just faking it until I made it. So I would just get on the phone to people and like “yeah, it’s $1750” and they’re like “okay” and there was one week I closed like four $1750 per months …

Daryl Rosser: Nice.

Lior Ohayon: … And I was like “I don’t understand” and then later on I started to introduce tiered pricing, so it’d be like $1200, $1800 and all that and I noticed that I wasn’t doing as well and I think it was because of that lower price point. So I’m starting to shift back to just like, I only charge at super high for a freelancer. But back to your original question …

So some people will try to do a small up-sale first but you’ve got to remember, these people are here for the service already, they don’t need a tripwire, they don’t need that little service to up-sell them to. What you can do is if they say “no,” you can then offer them what they originally wanted.

So let’s say he was a bunch of links or whatnot, you can say “listen, you don’t want my $1500 dollar per month package, but I do have a $500 dollar, one-off service that’s going to include a whole bundle of juicy links and it’s the same links that got these clients ranked. They’ve already seen your stuff, they’re like googly-eyed over it and those sell like hotcakes, but you can …

Daryl Rosser: That’s actually a really clever idea, over any type of clients

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, the reason is because you’re shifting … They have something called ‘feature-brains’. So the whole time they’re thinking “features, features, how many links am I getting, how many of this” and on the call I explain, “listen, you’re not going to get a link report, you’re not going to get any of that stuff.

I’m here to be your partner in the return and giving you value and rankings, you’re not going to get these” but they’re still focused on “well, what does it include, what does it do?” And then you’re going back to that for them and say “okay, you want something that includes all that stuff? Here it is” and you can outsource it or whatever you want.

Daryl Rosser: That makes sense. I was speaking to someone in one of the other interviews. He was saying about how he’s using a one-time service and stuff that really, effective way.

Lior Ohayon: What expensive?

Daryl Rosser: Yeah like 3K plus sort of stuff because it’s easy to sell because it’s like one-time. It’s funny, because … I don’t know of you know this off the top of you head, but how long does your average client stay with you?

Lior Ohayon: That’s a good question. I would say eight months.

Daryl Rosser: Okay. So that is the raw truth of it, whereas a lot of people think they’ll get a client and it’s like, oh if I can get like $1000 per month – just an easy example because my math is terrible, then that’s 12K a year in just like eight months.

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, well first of all, you have to keep in mind, I’ve only been doing this for three years, so I don’t have that much data. In the beginning I sucked. So when I really started to get clients, like halfway through, so only that data is starting to come in now and there’s just so much attrition, especially when you charge high.

And I think part of it is my fault and taking on clients that can’t really afford it, but they love the idea of SEO and that’s why they’re on these freelance sites. So you take them on, you get them decent results, but at the end of the day, there’s always going to be attrition in any business you do.

Daryl Rosser: For sure, Yeah, even if you’re getting results, like sending me testimonials saying how great the results are, how they’ve got an awesome business, then they’re saying “yeah, we’re going to cancel it.” It’s like, “okay.” It happens.

Lior Ohayon: I have locked in around three or four people to a year-long contract so I guess that brings the average up a bit more but …

Daryl Rosser: Generally speaking, is it just monthly?

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, that’s my unique angle. I don’t do year-long contracts, or any of that stuff.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, I’m a big fan. I’m the same. Awesome. So we’re already over fame here, so let me ask you one more question. What is your plans for the future? What are you focus on mostly? Are you still going to keep scaling for your client stuff and if you are, then how’s that going to change?

Lior Ohayon: Yeah. To be honest, I think … Well, I know that coaching is more profitable, so I’m going to try scaling that as much as possible. Teaching people how I do or have done client stuff and I’m just building that audience, so software is a good thing to build for them.

I have a free software developer now that just gets me a ton of leads on my website and yeah, after that, I think it’s just using cash flows to start investing in other stuff like real estate and what not but hopefully that will come within the year or next year.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, cool. So you’re clients got you that start, gave you that cash flow and everything like that and then you could evolve into all the other stuff?

Lior Ohayon: Yeah. To be honest, if you look at most of the big SEO guys out there, they’d start with SEO but they’re either making okay money with it, but they use that as a springboard for something else. So starting like a software startup, or starting to sell PBN links to other people or whatever it is.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Lior Ohayon: It’s just a good cash flow business to start another business to …

Daryl Rosser: Definitely. Especially clients. You get a few clients and you earn decent money. It sounds easy but you have to still go out there and do the work which most people don’t, but it’s not as difficult as some other things.

Lior Ohayon: Yeah. I mean with like two clients, depending on your lifestyle, you can just sit on the couch and do nothing.

Daryl Rosser: Pretty much. I know guys that do that, that’s their passion.

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, the summer’s coming up man, so I gotta make sure that doesn’t that but it’s definitely tempting.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. Where can people find you then? If your software’s not out yet and they want to check out your blog or whatever, where should they go?

Lior Ohayon: Yeah, so they can check out … I have another FIRST software, ScopeReveal combines all the SEO metrics for domains, so if you want to buy PBN, but you got like twenty tabs open & stuff, so combines it all onto one dashboard and that’s completely free. You can see that at the website

Daryl Rosser: Is that for your own API details and everything? They plug that in?

Lior Ohayon: They plug in your credentials and it just posts on all it’s services.

Daryl Rosser: Nice. Convenient.

Lior Ohayon: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Anything else? Or …

Lior Ohayon: That’s it man. I’m not going to keep promoting myself but and yeah, I bust out some articles a couple of times a month. That’s about it.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. So it sounds like you’re doing some pretty interesting stuff to me, actually. So thanks again for coming on the Lion Zeal shoe and I don’t know if you have any final words or anything to add?

Lior Ohayon: Not really. I think a lot of the stuff we spoke about has to do with mindset. So I always like to push people to fix in their mindset. Like you said, all they have to do is do the work but people have that mindset – they’re comfortable.

They want to retreat back to being comfortable. I think working a lot is going to be the most important aspect of growing for your audience. I don’t know if you speak about that or not but …

Daryl Rosser: Too much.

Lior Ohayon: … If anyone needs help with that …

Daryl Rosser: Pretty obsessed with it.

Lior Ohayon: … Yeah. Read your stuff or reach out to me on Facebook, I ask for friend requests and give me a chat.

Daryl Rosser: All right man, that’s awesome. I’ll link up your stuff below so everyone can check it. Thanks again for coming on the show and thank you guys for tuning in. Hope you enjoyed this interview.


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.

6 Responses to “How Lior Closes UpWork Clients On $1,500+/m SEO”

  • Lior Ohayon  June 2, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks for hosting me Daryl! Had a ton of fun doing this one.

    • Daryl Rosser  June 4, 2016 at 3:17 am

      Thanks for coming on the show! Was fun, hope people got some nuggets from it.

  • Stu Davies  June 9, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Another great show Daryl. Lior, nice methods – clearly thinking outside the box! Thanks for he Rebump tip. I was looking at the Boomerang plugin for gmail, but seems Rebump may be better. Not sure if you have used Boomerang?

    • Lior Ohayon  June 15, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Hey Stu! Yes I use Boomerang as well. It’s more for reminding yourself than followups though.

  • Luke Mitchley  June 15, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    EPIC!!!! Thanks guys.

  • Fredrik  August 17, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Great podcast.

    I am not sure I correctly got the name of the CRM tools Lior mentioned.

    Would you mind putting a link below the video, or letting me know the name?