How Rachel Partners with Web Design Agencies to Sell SEO Services
In this episode, I’ve brought on Rachel Mazza, an SEO and copywriter running a client consulting business.
What’s interesting about Rachel’s business, is that she’s focusing entirely on partnering with web design and graphic design agencies to send her clients. On top of that, she’s also running the business remotely while travelling the world full time.
In this episode, we cover:
16:57 – How Rachel got her very first web design client (inc. the exact email)
29:56 – How to setup a deal and price your services when dealing with agencies
41:27 – How to hire great writers for your affiliate sites
08:11 – How to get your very first client even if you have no experience or confidence
Watch it here:
Links and Resources Mentioned:
- Rachel’s website for SEO and copy services
- How to write content that converts (Blog post on Rachel’s site)
- Project Quoting Spreadsheet and system (Inc. special discount for LZ readers)
- Sample video audit (Example video Rachel sends to web designers)
Rachel’s First Email
I run an Internet marketing company called _ and just wanted to ask if any of your clients have asked you for SEO or digital marketing help.
I’d love to pay you 10% of their first month’s payment, and also help you out with any Internet marketing you need done for your business as well.
Of course, I’m more than happy to send any of my clients who needs design services to you. Often my clients need new logos, signs or marketing materials created and I’d be glad to send them your way.
Would you be interested in partnering with me on this?
Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you!
P.S. — I’m from Penfield but currently traveling through Europe 🙂 – so if you’d like to chat on the phone just let me know the best number to reach you at and I’ll call you via Skype
Daryl Rosser: What’s up, guys? Welcome back to another episode of the Lion Zeal Show. In this episode, I put on Rachel Mazza to talk about client SEO, specifically in the form of working with web designers, graphic designers, different agencies and consultants basically that already have business to business clients. You’re working with someone that already deals with these different clients.
They are businesses themselves, so it allows you basically to get one client and turn that into two, three, four, five, six, or potentially more clients as a result of that, just by getting that one client. Since you get one client, let’s say a web design agency, then they send their clients over to you, and so you have multiple clients out of that one relationship, so there’s a lot about relationship building, and it’s a very specific process you can go through.
Through processes should I say, to go through to get these types of clients and build up an agency basically that directly works with web designers, and graphic designers, and agencies, rather than directly going out there and finding all these different businesses and clients yourself. Let’s get into the train, let’s get into the interview. I hope you enjoy the content.
Rachel, hey, thank you for coming on the show. How is it going?
Rachel Mazza: Absolutely, good to see ya.
Daryl Rosser: Awesome. Do you want to start off with an intro for the second time, since our recording just cut off? But here you are.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, we got chopped off there. Sure, I’ll just let everyone know real quick who I am. I’m Rachel Mazza, and I do both client and affiliate SEO, mixed with content marketing. Basically SEO to grab all the traffic for clients, and then content marketing to convert all that great traffic that we get for those guys.
Daryl Rosser: Awesome.
Rachel Mazza: I met Daryl, I think, officially in Samui, at a friend’s birthday party, and we’ve known each other online on and off just from Lion Zeal and chatting about SEO.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, sure. Did you start with content marketing and go to SEO? How did those two things come together?
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, absolutely. Actually, that’s a good question because that kind of explains how I got to where I am now. I was … wow, a long time ago, 2010, 2011, I was living in Melbourne, Australia, I’m originally from the States and I was doing technical writing for a government-funded training organization. They call them tapes, or RTO’s are called Registered Training Organizations, and basically they hire technical writers to write all their training manuals, for everything from children’s services, to meat processing, to aviation security.
I had this little freelance technical writing business, and there was a lot of red tape because everything was government-funded. I had a really hard time scaling because it was really hard to find quality writers, and so basically, when I left Australia, I did that for a little bit and then decided that I didn’t want to do it anymore. It was just too little money for too much work, and some friends convinced me to start learning SEO.
I already knew how to write, so I knew how to write content that converted, and then it was just about learning the SEO side of things. I had some awesome friends that helped me out with learning the basics. The long and short of it is I ranked this really terrible affiliate website that was so ugly and I have no idea why I ranked, essentially just because it was in a niche that had very low competition. I ended up flipping it for a couple of grands which …
Daryl Rosser: Nice.
Rachel Mazza: … gave me the confidence and the level of skill to do it again. I did it with a couple more sites, and that gave me the confidence to think that I could do this for other people. I had ranked a couple of sites at that point, and so figured that I knew everything there was to know about SEO. All I really knew how to do was rent some links from Matt Diggity and write great content.
Daryl Rosser: That works. What sort of time span was that from starting off?
Rachel Mazza: That was probably … Yeah, I built the site, I think it was like January 2015. I built the first site, and then had no idea what I was doing, so I just like sat there and would like put a bunch of content on for a couple of months. I think after about six months, it made the first sale. Now I know that I could have been making money probably within a couple of weeks in that niche, but I didn’t know what I was doing, so …
Daryl Rosser: Hindsight.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, exactly. I did everything in the book that I could find online. I went and duplicated competitor back links, did a bunch of blog posts, did a paid press release, went and posted in forums. I did everything that I could think of that we know now is … a lot of it’s a waste of time.
Daryl Rosser: A lot of it, yeah.
Rachel Mazza: Basically, it had this really good foundation for the site. After that, I had a little bit of income coming in from that, but I didn’t really have a lot of clients because I was just starting out in SEO, but it was good because that pushed me to go approach people about doing SEO for the companies.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. That’s interesting that you got started in affiliate, then moved into clients. A lot of people start with clients, regret it, then get into affiliate.
Rachel Mazza: Well, it wasn’t making that much money, so I was like, “Okay, so obviously I need to learn more,” but … I think … I forget. I think it was Curt who you’ve interviewed before, who said, “Well, you still need to eat,” I think is what he said. I was trying to build these affiliate sites, not making a lot of money, and he’s like, “You still need to eat.” That was basically, go find some clients that can pay your basic bills.
Daryl Rosser: Definitely, yeah.
Rachel Mazza: That will basically pay you to learn, and so that’s what I did.
Daryl Rosser: That’s a good approach, that makes sense. With the client stuff … sorry, the content stuff, do you add that on because you enjoy it? Or because it’s a logical extension to the work?
Rachel Mazza: Both. While I really like SEO, I really think content is fun because it’s like manipulating people’s brains into doing what you want them to do. In the nicest way, of course, but it’s just … I find making that personal connection with people, and then moving them towards the direction that you want them to go, whether it’s purchasing something, or contacting you, I just find it really fascinating how you can make a personal connection over the internet without even speaking to someone.
I really love the content, but also I think a lot of SEO’s forget how important content is a really good conversion copy. Because what’s the point of generating tons and tons of traffic if you can’t capture it? I just think they go together and I think that’s something that’s really kind of forgotten in the SEO world.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, that’s huge. SEO is basically just a traffic source, if anything else, so-
Rachel Mazza: Exactly.
Daryl Rosser: Tie that in with understanding conversion optimization, content and stuff. That makes a lot of sense.
Rachel Mazza: Yep.
Daryl Rosser: Going back to, I guess, the first client, so you got the affiliate site set up, you flipped the first one. Was it the first site that you flipped for a couple of grand?
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, it was the first site I’d ever built or done anything with.
Daryl Rosser: That’s not bad, the first one.
Rachel Mazza: It was pure dumb luck, to be honest. I just stumbled upon this niche that had very low competition, and so I was able to clumsily walk my way through ranking this site. I think I got it up to about $500 a month, and I was like, “Wooh, living the dream.”
Daryl Rosser: That’s not bad, my first sites weren’t that good.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, it was just … really I had a lot of friends. I was living in Chiang Mai, Thailand at the time, and I just had a lot of friends that were really, really good at SEO, and I just I thought I was being sneaky. I’d go to coffee and be like, “So, this SEO stuff … ” like trying to glean information, where now I know that it’s basic common knowledge, if you do anything in SEO, what they were telling me, and I just had no idea where to start.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, everyone starts that way.
Rachel Mazza: With the clients, I just wanted to have a regular income so that I could stop doing any of this technical writing I was doing which was kind of soul-sucking at the time.
How to get your very first client even if you have no experience or confidence
Daryl Rosser: Okay, yeah, so you hated what you were doing with the writing stuff, and you needed some consistent cashflow, which you got into the idea of the client SEO was. How did you go out there and get that very first paying client? Was it as easy as it sounds when you say it out loud?
Rachel Mazza: Okay. I’m gonna say, yes it’s as easy as it sounds, if you … this is gonna sounds so woo-hoo, but you really have to have the mindset that you can go get a client and that what you’re offering is valuable.
It sounds so silly and I’m not a very airy-fairy person, but it just comes to you. If you have that mindset, and you focus 100% on, “This is where my energy’s going, and this is what I want,” it’s gonna come to you because you’re just gonna act and speak and make decisions in a way that’s gonna bring things full circle.
For me, I was kind of desperate at the time. I had fired all of my technical clients and either … It was one of those situations where I was living overseas, and it was either like, “Okay, you need to make something happen or you need to go home and live in mom’s basement.”
Daryl Rosser: Oh wow, okay. It was like the only choice.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, because I had flipped this site, and I had a little bit of income from a second affiliate site I had built, but it wasn’t enough to live on. I was very fortunate that I was in Chiang Mai, which is a very low-cost of living, where I could have a little bit of cushion.
What I did is I had talked to Stinus, actually, who had given me some advice about reaching out to clients, making them a video, like a screen capture video. I used this super simple software called Jing, J-I-N-G, and it’s free, where I just basically … I did the exact same thing for every single site I looked at, because I would just search for a key word, go to page two or three of Google, because I figured those people would be easy wins for SEO, but aren’t on page one yet.
Then take the screen capture software, click around their site, and tell them exactly what I would do to rank their site. Basically I gave away what I was gonna do and how they could do it, as well. As we know, most people are either too busy, or too lazy to do it themselves and it’s easier to hire somebody else.
I started doing that, but I didn’t do that for clients, I did that for web designers and graphic designers. I think that’s really a kicker because I had zero contacts in this industry, and I had no idea how to approach people about SEO.
I remember when I was doing freelance web design and graphic design, I would make these awesome websites, or a logo for somebody, and then the client would say, “Okay, great, this is great.
How do I make money with this website? How do I make money with this logo?” I had no idea what to tell them, so I figured other graphic designers, or web designers would have the same issue where clients were asking them for marketing and it was outside the scope of what they provide.
Daryl Rosser: Absolutely. Yeah, that’s an awesome approach.
Rachel Mazza: That’s why I say it’s easy, because I actually didn’t do any of the prospecting. I basically offered these people free money and referrals if they brought me business, so they did all the hard work for me and that also removed me from the situation where I couldn’t mess it up because someone else was going and selling people for me.
Daryl Rosser: Gotcha, so you’re basically … Is it like white label? Or is it they would just refer them to you?
Rachel Mazza: I didn’t even know what that meant at the time, white labeling your services. I basically … I can read you the email, if you want, that I sent out. I went and found it, the first email that I sent out to graphic designers.
Daryl Rosser: Go for it, yeah, that would be interesting.
Rachel Mazza: I’m happy to send it to you.
Daryl Rosser: Can you send me a copy, as well, and I can show people?
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, I’ll send you a copy as soon as we’re done here. Let’s see if I can find it. Okay, so basically there was a couple of things. I reached out to these graphic designers and web designers and I offered them a commission, or a percentage, depending on if they wanted to handle the client relations or not. The most important thing was I made a personal connection, and made myself a real person. All right, so here’s what I said.
I said, “Hi Sherry, I run an internet marketing company called Hard Hat SEO.” That was my awesome business name at the time, “And just wanted to ask if any of your clients have asked you for SEO or digital marketing help. I’d love to pay you 10% of their first month’s payment and also help you out with any internet marketing you need done for your business, as well. Of course, I’m more than happy to send any of my clients who need design services to you.
Would you be interested in partnering with me on this? Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.” Then after my signature which was just my name, Skype, and my website, I said, “PS: I’m from Penfield but currently traveling through Europe, so if you’d like to chat on the phone, just let me know the best number to reach you at, and I’ll call you via Skype.”
I think there’s two things in this email which really worked well. First, I was really, really straightforward, didn’t ask them for anything, offered them money for partnering with me, but then I used terms like, “Are you interested in partnering with me on this?”
Which basically indicated to them that I wasn’t looking to sell them anything, I was looking for opportunity for both of us to grow and make money. I think that’s how you stand out from a lot of internet scammers who … because these people get messages all day every day, just like all of us pitching them SEO.
The second thing was, I only approached people in areas that I knew well or returned to often, so that I can make that personal local connection. Basically, Penfield’s a tiny, tiny town in upstate New York, and I said like, “Hey, I’m a Penfield girl, I’m real, I connect with you, I’m from where you’re from.”
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, relatable.
Rachel Mazza: Relatable and then also like, “Hey, there’s an opportunity that we could meet in person so that you know I’m not some wacko scammer on the other side of the screen.” I think those were the two big things, was like partnering together terminology, and then also making a local connection, where you could actually go and meet in person.
I have to be adamant, the success that I got and the clients that I got, came from actually meeting the designers in person when I showed up. I think her response to me was, “Great to know, when you return to Penfield, I’d love to meet with you and discuss.” She didn’t even give me any work until we met up.
Daryl Rosser: Okay, but you did, in the end.
Rachel Mazza: I did. Yeah, yeah. I got my first client, and I think it was $1,000 a month for my first client.
Daryl Rosser: Nice.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, and so I was like, “Okay, I could do this.” It worked well.
Daryl Rosser: What’s the subject line on that email, by the way?
Rachel Mazza: Good question. It was, “Looking for a design partner in Rochester.” Whatever the city is, looking for a design partner in your city. Good question, because I thought about that, I was like, “Okay, what would make me open it?” Basically, if anyone was trying to approach me about marketing, then I wouldn’t open an email, so I was trying to do the same.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, you’ve gotta hook them while still not being too misleading that they … yeah.
Rachel Mazza: Exactly.
Daryl Rosser: Okay, cool. How did the video audit things tie into that? Was that a later thing you added?
Rachel Mazza: Yeah. What I did is I did these video screen captures where I just kinda clicked around designers’ sites, and told them everything that they could improve. That was giving them free value, and also they could hear my voice. If you can figure out …
I have not updated my computer in forever, so I know there’s a way that you can screen capture and also show your face in the bottom of the screen. If you can do that, that’s even better because you show that you’re a real person. The screen capture video allows you to have your voice in there and show that you’re friendly, you’re real, they can trust you. That’s a lot better than just sending a list of things that they could change on their website.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, absolutely, it’s a little more trusting when it’s a real person, not some weirdo behind a computer.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, because you know … I get messages on my SEO site, try selling to me SEO.
Daryl Rosser: Everyone does, yeah.
Rachel Mazza: People are ridiculous scammers and spammers, and it’s like people want to just know that you’re a real person. That’s your biggest battle.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, for sure. Building up that trust, I think, is probably the most difficult part of sales when it comes to this stuff.
Rachel Mazza: Yes. That’s why reaching out to the designers and web designers works, is because they already have a relationship with their clients. You only have to make a relationship with one person to get multiple clients out of it. It’s like, choose your battles.
Daryl Rosser: Okay, so with that first email then, I presume it wasn’t as simple as email like one company, then suddenly you have loads of clients and it’s all simple. How many did you have to send to get … like roughly, it’s a while ago. How many did you have to send to get that first client?
How Rachel got her very first web design client (inc. the exact email)
Rachel Mazza: Wow, this is back in 2015, so it’s a while ago, but I think I remember the number … I think I emailed about 40 people before one person actualized. A lot pf people responded, where like, “Oh, thanks, but I don’t do SEO.”
Or some people were like, “Yeah, if I have anything I’ll let you know,” or some people were just rude about spamming them, which I kind of was, I guess. I had like two or three people actually interested, and then this one person actualized into real work after about 40 emails, I think.
Daryl Rosser: Okay, that’s not bad, 40 emails to get a client.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah. I don’t think I did videos for all of them. I think, after a while, I got really impatient, and if they responded to me, then I would send them a video. That’s also how I got to work-
Daryl Rosser: What about the one that converted? Did you send them a video?
Rachel Mazza: I don’t think I sent her a video. No, I didn’t. No, I think I sent it to her afterwards. Oh, because she didn’t have a website. She was a website designer that didn’t have a website.
Daryl Rosser: Oh, the irony.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, so I just made this huge list, like a spreadsheet of the town that they were in, their name, their contact details, and when I contacted them. Then I would only follow up once, so I’d send them a follow-up email and be like, “Hey, just wanted to know if you got the information I sent over. Let me know if you’re interested.” I would send a follow-up a week later or something.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. That makes sense. What about the … because, obviously, that first client is a web designer, you said, so I presume that you later ended up getting more and more clients out of that very first client.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah. There was a couple. I think I ended up working with three to four designers because this lady also hooked me up with a traditional marketing agency, and so they do a lot of print and some website stuff, but they didn’t have anyone doing SEO, or a lot of internet marketing. Then I actually got connected through her with a marketing agency who had corporate clients.
That’s happened more than once, where I’ve reached out to a designer and they, obviously, have their own network and their own business, and they want to provide more value to their clients. If you can do a good job for them, then they’re happy to basically like pawn you off to their clients, so that they look better, as well. That they can provide more services, as well.
Daryl Rosser: That’s awesome. With this first client, is this the one you said that they said, “Let me know when you’re in town, and we’ll meet up.” Is that the first one?
Rachel Mazza: That was the designer. Then I did end up meeting with her just over coffee, and then she took me to a meeting with a client.
Daryl Rosser: Gotcha.
Rachel Mazza: I have had success not meeting up with designers, like there was a dude in Florida, and I wasn’t going to Florida, but I did the same personal connection where I knew the suburbs that I had been to and that I spent a lot of time to, and I mentioned them, and told him where I lived, not in a creepy way, like the general area. We just talked on the phone. I think the most important thing is getting to being a real person as fast as possible, whether that’s meeting up, talking on the phone, having a Skype conversation. You don’t have to meet up, you just have to get your face in front of them as fast as possible.
Daryl Rosser: Okay, would you say there’s a lot more about … it’s a lot slower sales process because you gotta build a relationship first before anything happens?
Rachel Mazza: Yep. It’s definitely a lot slower sales process, but you’re going to get a lot more long-term work out of it.
Daryl Rosser: Sure.
Rachel Mazza: What I was doing is, I think the very first clients I had … I stopped doing this immediately after I had one or two clients, but I would offer the first month for $1, and so there was zero barrier to entry. That also helped me out, because since I had never had clients, I was like, “Oh, well, if I screw it up, at least they didn’t give me any money.” It kind of gave me the confidence to just go out and do it because I didn’t feel guilty about messing up because I didn’t invest anything, except a buck.
The $1 does a couple of things. First of all, it gets them on a PayPal subscription, where they’ll be automatically billed, so you’ve started this payment relationship. It also makes them engage in a real business relationship with you, where if you’re like, “I’ll do your SEO for free for one month,” and they haven’t actually hired you, they’re like, “Sure, do whatever you want, you crazy person.”
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, it’s a different dynamic when they’re a customer.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, whether it’s $1 or $1,000, now they’re your client. Now they’re your customer. Basically, I would set up a payment subscription on PayPal, where it charged them first month $1 and then after that our normal fee. I was very transparent, I was like, “You can cancel at any time, but you have to cancel it on PayPal.”
I would even send them a reminder like, “Look, we’re gonna move into our first paid month,” and you don’t have to get them page one in that first month, but that gives you an opportunity to show results. You’re like, “Look, it’s going up. Let’s keep working together.” That’s how I got the first one or two clients and after that I stopped doing that because no one wants to work for $1.
Daryl Rosser: That makes sense. It’s good confidence, but it’s probably not the best model for scaling up, though.
Rachel Mazza: No, no, no. It’s not, no. It basically lets you get your foot in the door with a couple and have some cashflow, because … That whole thing was about … when you talk about if it’s a slow sales process, you can speed it up by getting the first client, or two in the door with a low barrier to entry, and then invest in the slower sales process that’s gonna give you long-term clients. I still get clients and referrals from these very first designers and agencies that I talked to.
Daryl Rosser: Awesome. Yeah, that makes sense.
Rachel Mazza: Most of my work probably comes from the original people that I built relationships.
Daryl Rosser: With the web design agencies and graphic designers and stuff that you work with today, are most of them managing the clients for you, and white labeling it? Or are they referring them to you and getting a percentage?
Rachel Mazza: All of that, actually. I have a couple that just don’t like dealing with people, which is probably why they work as a developer, or a designer. They will basically give me the client and I will handle everything, and I’ll pay them. I’ll just give them a referral fee, a commission fee. Usually it’s like 10%-
Daryl Rosser: Is that recurring?
Rachel Mazza: I’ve never done recurring. It’s a great deal for them but no one’s asked me for that, so I just give them one-time payment.
Daryl Rosser: Nice, it works better for you.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah. That also encourages them to send me content work, as well. If I’ve got a big content project that they send me, then I’ll just give them a one-time payment. Then, also I’ve white labeled my services, as well, and they handle everything. Basically I just quote them and they mark up what they need to make a profit. That’s the other way that we do it.
Daryl Rosser: With delivering the service, when it gets to that side, are you just outsourcing most of it?
Rachel Mazza: A lot of times they’re outsourcing it to me. A lot of times clients will call me their SEO specialist on their team, and so that way I can actually talk to the client. They don’t have to deal with any of the technical stuff. For me, I do most of the work myself.
Daryl Rosser: Okay.
Rachel Mazza: I just started building my very own PBN, just to build some redundancy into my business, but I broker links, and social signals, and press releases. Other than that I focus … so basically, my SEO strategy involves around building URL and brand links, generating social signals, and then PBN links. Other than that, I’m really a big advocate for just having really high quality content, lots of it that adds real value, and then onsite optimization.
Daryl Rosser: A lot of work is on your end that you’re not brokering is getting the on page done, adding a lot of content, and building up a really good site.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah. I do all of that myself, or my VA is now really great with onsite and content. Onsite and content comes first before anything else, and it’s what I focus on before doing any offsite stuff.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. What about pricing, then? If you’re working with web design agencies and stuff, how do you … do you have to lower your price if you’re white labeling?
Rachel Mazza: The best thing about growing your business is the more business you have, the pickier you can be. When I started off, I way underquoted, like way underquoted.
Daryl Rosser: Everyone does, yeah.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, I was not making any money. I think that’s a confidence thing, right? You’re like, “Again, if I screw it up, at least they didn’t give me too much money.” It’s just a self-limiting belief that you have to get over, and the only way you get over it in … what happened to me is just the more that I did it, the more confident I was, so the more I could charge. At first-
Daryl Rosser: I think most people are the same, yeah.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, yeah. I don’t know, some people are just born with this ability to go out and do things. Yeah, so I quoted pretty low at first, and then I think people probably marked up and made a lot of money off of me at the very beginning.
Now I’ll quote legitimately what I think that I need to be paid. Since I’m paying out a percentage of the first months to these affiliates, essentially, they get more money, as well, so they’re happy for me to quote high because they get a bigger referral fee.
Daryl Rosser: Sure, that makes sense.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah. If I’m white labeling, I try and knock off … I don’t know, a hundred bucks or a couple of hundred bucks, so that there’s room for markup a little bit more.
Daryl Rosser: Sure.
Rachel Mazza: Also, I have a very, very low overhead for my business. I don’t have an office and a real traditional business, and so I’m able to quote lower, where they quote higher and their clients expect that as corporate agencies.
Daryl Rosser: That makes sense. With, the say like white label clients, in terms of the pricing, do they just come to you and say like, “Here’s the client that we got,” and you make up the pricing on the spot? Or do you have some sort of templatized … if that’s a word … template pricing style?
Rachel Mazza: Actually, so my whole time I was running this … any business, I’ve always, always underquoted myself so actually my boyfriend Bronco is awesome at business operations, and he built me a spreadsheet, which he sells now. I can send you the link, if you want. It’s a quoting spreadsheet, and so basically … wow, it’s changed my whole business. I’ve basically took the quoting out of my hands.
What it is, is it’s basically got algorithms in this spreadsheet, where you plug in who needs to do what. Like Rachel as the project manager, Sherry as the content creator. Joe as the offsite guy. You put their hourly rate and then how many hours it takes, and then it spits out a number. Then it also accounts for overhead, fees, taxes, PayPal fees, and if you’re quoting in a foreign currency, there’s also a formula for what you actually need to quote in that foreign currency, as well.
Daryl Rosser: Wow, nice.
Rachel Mazza: You can put in hosting, domain registration, if you have to buy a WordPress theme, it’s got all these spots for subscription services, and then one-time hourly services, and it basically spits out a number of what the job actually costs …
Daryl Rosser: That’s cool.
Rachel Mazza: … so that you aren’t forgetting something, or that you’re not underquoting and either shorting yourself or one of your contractors or team members. That’s how I quote now. I have to do it religiously. If I ever am just like, “Oh, I know how to do this, I’m just gonna make up a quote,” I always underquote and end up losing money. I have a rule no more quoting without the quote spreadsheet.
Daryl Rosser: That’s awesome. On top of that, that spits out the cost, then do you have a set of markup info?
Rachel Mazza: It’s built into the spreadsheet, so there’s built-in like a cost to cover your overhead, there’s also built-in 10% contingency fee. Let’s say … I don’t know, someone runs out the door with all your content and never finished the job, if you outsourced content, or something. That’s a contingency like, “Okay, now I need to hire another content creator.”
Anything happens, stuff always happens. There’s also a profit percentage built into the spreadsheet. You get paid for your hours, but you also get a profit for your business. I don’t mark anything up because it’s just all built into the quote.
Daryl Rosser: That’s awesome.
Rachel Mazza: Again, just take it out of my hands because I just shouldn’t be in charge.
Daryl Rosser: I think a lot of people actually struggle with that, a lot of people were asking me how do I price stuff, and it’s … I’m not that scientific, I just make it up. Like I know roughly, but I don’t have anything like that.
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Rachel Mazza: Yeah, you make it up and then you’re usually wrong because we are the worst as entrepreneurs at valuing ourselves. You have to quote for your hours and a profit for the bushiness and the amount it takes to run your business. Yeah, that’s the biggest thing that’s made me more successful.
I just started using this spreadsheet at the beginning of the year, and already I’ve doubled my revenue and my profit from the last year, just by not allowing for human error. Because you put everything in there, and you’re like, “Oh, this is what it actually costs,” and then you feel guilty about charging so much, but you’re like, “Wait, this is what it actually costs.” It’s not like you’re screwing someone over, it’s what you actually cost to run your business.
Daryl Rosser: Gotcha, yeah, it’s very scientific, that’s cool.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, yeah it’s cool. Again systems, right? Create a system for everything.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, exactly. Today, are you actively taking on new clients? Do you actually go out there and take on new clients today? I mean like web design clients and stuff, or is it just like the referrals and stuff or the ones you already got? The relationships you already got?
Rachel Mazza: Yeah. I do take on clients, but I’m a lot more selective now because now I refuse to underquote. There’s lot of people that I turn down, or usually pass off to friends in the SEO industry who are still getting started, or building their business.
I no longer take like $300, $500 clients, just because … I like to go above and beyond and provide tons and tons of value for my clients, so I know that I’m just going to spend tons of time, more than I think I’m going to spend on a client. Therefore, I quote accordingly now, and that allows me to provide great service, but also get paid for my time.
Daryl Rosser: Makes sense.
Rachel Mazza: I do take on clients, but it’s very selective in terms of I just won’t accept anything for less than I think I’m worth, and then also I build affiliate sites, as well. I’d love to move 100% affiliate because who actually wants to work with clients forever? Some people do, some people love working with clients, but-
Daryl Rosser: That’s what I was gonna ask, actually. Do you enjoy working with clients and stuff?
Rachel Mazza: I enjoy working with content clients. I don’t necessarily enjoy working with SEO clients as much as I enjoy affiliate marketing, because I just feel like there’s a lot of misunderstanding of how SEO works and how it’s a cumulative strategy over time.
As you know, I’m sure, as anyone that’s worked with clients know, everyone wants results yesterday, and I just feel like I spend a lot of time justifying why it’s a good investment, and I don’t like doing that because I want to work with people that understand why SEO is a good investment and are willing to put in the capital investment to do that.
A lot of people are, and a lot of people understand it, but usually the people that we’re approaching just heard about this SEO thing and know that they need to do it because Google rules the world now. I do enjoy working with clients, but only clients that really have a good understanding of SEO, which I know is opposite of what you do. You like to work with people who don’t understand SEO.
Daryl Rosser: It’s easier, I find, because I don’t need to break everything down. It’s very easy to sound smart. It’s like, “Here’s what I do,” and they’re like, “Whoa, that’s amazing,” like, “Okay, I’ll just leave you to it.” Really, really busy people, so they don’t bother me.
Rachel Mazza: Yes. That’s the key, is working with real businesses, not like Joe Schmo who sells underwater basket weaving in his basement, I don’t know. We work with a real business who has a budget.
The worst thing is someone’s like, “Well, how much is it gonna cost? And how long is it gonna take?” You’re like, “Well, that depends on a lot of things.” If someone’s like, “Okay, my budget is this and I want to target these keywords.” That’s a really easy client and I love working with this client.
If you work with a real business who understands marketing and understands investing in marketing, your life’s gonna be so much easier. I do enjoy working with those clients, but I feel like … Maybe my marketing systems are terrible, but I feel like it’s hard to find those clients.
I think a lot of that has to do with, though, I’ve never worked in a corporation, and so I feel like I don’t know how to approach corporations a lot of times, where I know people that only work with corporate clients, and they’re like happy as clams.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. I see people that aren’t, so I guess its different people.
Rachel Mazza: Of course, of course, yeah.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. Do you do anything with the web design agencies and stuff to vet the people they send to you, so they’re not just sending people to you that are like $200 a month budget and stuff?
Rachel Mazza: Basically, I’m sure I do. I think more just by quoting higher it gets rid of a lot of the tire kickers kind of thing. People who are wasting your time, or are gonna take up a lot of your time. It sounds counterproductive, like quote higher to get less work, but the work that you’re gonna do is gonna be way better for your business and …
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, that’s more smarter.
Rachel Mazza: … your ability to go get more work. Yeah. When I say quote higher, a lot of people are like, “Quote higher, just add a zero on the end.” When I quote higher, it’s like, “Okay, this is what it actually costs,” so you’re just not underquoting. Just by quoting realistically, then you’re gonna get better clients. I think the vetting process is more just like, “Say no to low budgets,” is just the vetting process.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, okay. What about with choosing the web designers and stuff that you’re gonna contact? If you look at what sort of pricing they’re offering? I see people from my hometown that sell £100 websites. I’m like, “There’s no way I would deal with them because there’s no one that’s gonna spend £100 on a website than $1,000 a month on SEO.”
Rachel Mazza: When I initially approached people then I just talked to everybody, but now that I have business, I value my time a lot more. If I’m gonna approach people, I try and vet them a little bit to make sure that they … what kind of clients they work with.
A lot of times, that’s just looking on their website, or asking them what kind of clients they’ve worked with, and going to see who they’re working with. If they’re making websites … and you know, when you look at a website, you know if it was a $100 website, or if someone actually put in work.
For example, I’ve even asked. I was like, “Oh, do you mind if I as your rate so that I can send you people who need logos or websites?” I ask their rates, both so that I know what they charge, and so I know what level they’re at, but also so that I know if I do want to refer them work, then I know how to quote out my markup, so that I can make money referring them work.
Daryl Rosser: That makes a lot of sense.
Rachel Mazza: If someone’s like, “Yeah, I work for $15 an hour,” then I know what kind clients they work with. For example, one of the website designers, she’s like, “Yeah, I just made, uh, this WordPress website for this company and I didn’t even customize the theme, and they paid $25,000.”
I was like, “Whoa, I’ve definitely been way underquoting for websites that I’ve made in the past.” I know then, if they just paid $25,000 for a basic WordPress website, I should definitely be quoting way above a grand a month for SEO.
Daryl Rosser: Absolutely, yeah. Okay, that makes a lot of sense. I’m curious to ask about content writing, I think a lot of people struggle with that.
Rachel Mazza: Sure.
Daryl Rosser: Before we get into it, I’m kind of curious, with the video audits, what your process is. You get on the video, you explain some issues, some things that you would change to improve their rankings, and how does it end? What do you offer them?
Rachel Mazza: Sure. Yeah, it’s really simple. It’s actually great because Jing, the free version, I don’t pay for it, I use the free version, is a five minute limit, so it forces you to go through this quick thing.
Daryl Rosser: Nice.
Rachel Mazza: I literally jump on there and I say like, “Hey, Greg, um, just taking a quick look at your site, here. I see some things right away that can improve your rankings.” I basically say the same things every time, because anyone that needs help with SEO basically doesn’t have great onsite. Usually it’s like, “You have pinned content on this page, you can do social media, you can do video SEO.” I go through titles and metas. I’m happy to send you one of the videos that I did, if people want to see.
Daryl Rosser: That’d be awesome, I think people would like it.
Rachel Mazza: I have to give props to Stinus because he was the one that taught me how to do it, and then I just made it up as I went along. Basically, I just tell them a couple of things. Usually it’s like titles and metas, get more content, optimize your content for these keywords, and then improve your CTA. I talk a little bit about conversions and content marketing on the site. Then at the end I say, “Yep, okay, so I think that you should implement these things right away.
Um, I think that you’ll have a really … they’ll have a really great impact on your rankings right away. If you have any questions, then feel free to- to give me a call, or I can call you sometime next week. Just let me know the best number to reach you at. Um, and of course, if you want me to do this for you, we can talk about that, as well.” And I say, “Have a great day.” I don’t sell them anything.
Daryl Rosser: Very soft.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, yeah.
Daryl Rosser: The idea is-
Rachel Mazza: It’s basically like, “Hi, I’m friendly, I’m a real person, no pressure.”
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, okay. That makes sense. Have you had people just call you straight up after that? Or do you usually have to follow up again after that?
Rachel Mazza: Usually, when you’re approaching anyone over the internet, with cold email, or cold call, even cold video, I guess, you’d call it, people are gonna be skeptical. People usually respond, and they’re like, “Hey, it sounds interesting, how does it work?” Or like, “How much do you charge?”
Then I’ll either prepare a more in-depth video, or I’ll give them a call, or I’ll make them a quote. What I tell the designers is I’m like, “Just why don’t you … for an example, why don’t you send me the URL of one of your clients, and I’ll do a quick video for them and tell you what it would take to rank them on page one?”
Daryl Rosser: Yes.
Rachel Mazza: I try not to say how much it costs, I try not to say, like, “I’ll tell you what it would cost.” I try to say, “I’ll tell you what it would take,” to get them on page one. Then people don’t feel like you’re just trying to squeeze money out of them.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, I like what you said about like you earn a lot of trust with them, building up a real relationship and just genuinely helping them, obviously, just getting on the video and you’re showing them.
Rachel Mazza: It’s so worth it, yeah. I try to talk a lot about transparency, because people are afraid that SEO is like a magical thing that they’ll never understand, and so if you understand SEO, you’re a magician that’s gonna take advantage of them and you do your internet marketing magic wand and they lose all their money. If you talk about transparency and like … I try not use SEO-speak. I do, but then I break it down. I’m like, “Oh, so onsite optimization, which just makes your … which just means making your website look great too Google and customers.” I try and break down these terms so they feel like, “Oh, you’re so refreshing, it’s such a real … nice to talk to a real person.”
Daryl Rosser: Yeah. I think also everyone’s been screwed over by an SEO at some point-
Rachel Mazza: Everyone. Absolutely. Yeah, so it’s reassuring them.
Daryl Rosser: Content creation. A lot of people have, I guess, issues, questions and stuff with hiring content writers. As a content writer yourself-
Rachel Mazza: It’s so hard to hire a content writer.
Daryl Rosser: Exactly, so do you have any advice for someone as a content writer, how you can hire someone that’s actually good at writing, especially if you’re not good at it yourself?
How to hire great writers for your affiliate sites
Rachel Mazza: Yep. My first thing that I instinctively want to say is you get what you pay for, but having said that, I’ve definitely charged $10 for articles and I was a great content writer. I just didn’t know any better. I definitely now get what I pay for. I can’t hire writers for 10 bucks, because then I have to spend just as much time editing their article as if I wrote it myself.
Daryl Rosser: Sure.
Rachel Mazza: For hiring content writers … I know this is gonna sounds really terrible, and this is probably a great generalization, but I just don’t hire anyone that’s not from the U.K., the United States, or Australia.
I just find that I just end up wasting so much time trying to hire writers who have English as a second language and say that they’re really great with English, and then realizing again and again and again that it doesn’t sound like a native English speaker. That’s the first thing.
I found a lot of success hiring uni students, college students, in Marketing or English departments because they work for super cheap, and they also have been studying either Sales, or Marketing, or Writing, so you know that they’ve got a little bit of technical knowledge under their belt.
Daryl Rosser: That makes sense, yeah.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, and so now I provide content that converts, conversion content as part of my SEO packages. If I’m writing it myself, I mark it up, like, I’ve charged as much as 250 bucks for 500 words, just for like a …
Daryl Rosser: Is that like a setup fee?
Rachel Mazza: No, I charge basically … I provide the content and I’m like, “The content costs this much,” and I just hand them over the content in a Google doc and they handle all the publishing and everything.
Daryl Rosser: Okay.
Rachel Mazza: I provide content that converts as part of an SEO package, as well as standalone. I write a lot of it myself, just because I’ve had so much trouble hiring writers. I am in a mastermind with several content marketers, and also I’ve worked with a lot of content marketers and this is like a general problem across the board.
I feel like SEO has its unfilled gaps, like it’s hard to find a good press release, paid press release services, and then same, like content world has its same gaps where it’s like, “How do you find content writers?”
I think the biggest thing to remember is there’s different types of writers. There’s copywriters, who write ad copy that converts people and makes people think in a certain way, and then there’s content writers, who just make words on a page. Those are very different things, and I think it’s important to differentiate between them and just understand that you can pay 10 bucks for great content, but it’s not copywriting. I think that’s one of the biggest things is hire a copy writer over a content writer.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. That’s a really interesting distinction. Yeah, that makes sense.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, because everyone who speaks English and a teacher gave them an A on a paper one time in school thinks they’re a writer. It’s not the same thing. Just because you speak English and can type on a keyboard, you’re not a writer. You just have to be aware of the difference.
Daryl Rosser: Is there anything you can look for, or is it just like testimonials to recognize if they’re actually any good at writing?
Rachel Mazza: I used to try and do that, and then I realized that it’s … Every job is so different and I need a different thing than the last person they wrote for. What I do is I give them a sample piece of … super short, so you don’t waste anybody’s time, but like anywhere from 200 to 400 words, even 500 words, if they’re willing to do it, and I say, “If it’s great then I will pay you for your time.
If I can use it, then I’ll pay you for the time.” I always pay them for their time, but if it’s terrible, I’m like, “Look, I just don’t think we’re a good fit, but I really appreciate it and if I have anything that comes up that better fits your experience, I’ll reach out to you.”
I actually give them a sample and I create outlines for all of my writers, so I never say, “Write about teddy bears.” I break it down because I have marketing knowledge, where I know the sales cycle that customers go through.
I was talking to Matt Diggity about this the other day, about the sales cycle, about addressing people’s latent pain versus acknowledged pain and I just didn’t know that’s what it was called, but that’s like a basic marketing cycle.
I create outlines that it’s like a headline for each section, that forces the writer to write what I want them to write. That’s another big thing, is don’t just give your content to somebody and hope that they give you back something that you want.
Basically, make it stupid-proof. I learned that from the technical writing. It’s just like, they are a contractor, they are a technical operator of this task, so you have to be the strategic thinker and you have to give them an outline that’s gonna force them to just fill in the blanks with everything you want. It’s gonna save you so much time and money just to-
Daryl Rosser: Gotcha. In an Amazon review, don’t just say, “Write a review of this product.” Say like, “Have these specific sections.”
Rachel Mazza: What I like, what I don’t like, my ultimate conclusion, what I would do better next time. Best place to buy it. Put those headlines in there. You don’t even have to write the headlines, just write, “Headline about what I like, headline about what I don’t like,” and then … I even break it down, I’m like, “Okay, under the headline, 200 to 300 words about what I like.” I just break it down as far as possible, so that there’s no mistakes.
Daryl Rosser: Awesome.
Rachel Mazza: Basically make it so that they can’t mess it up.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah. I do the same with VA’s and stuff like that. Really just remove all thought from the process.
Rachel Mazza: It sounds redundant and like it’s a lot of work, but the fact of the matter is, the more that you work with someone and train them to do what you want, then they’re gonna know how to work with you and it’s gonna be super easy and they’re gonna be able to run with it, but you have to put in the training upfront. Training can be as simple as giving them outlines of what you want.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so how much does it cost … I know it varies massively. What’s your rate, if someone were to hire you as a content writer?
Rachel Mazza: I try to work on a retainer basis, so basically right now I charge … I think it’s around $1,000 a month for 4,000 words a month, so basically 1,000 words a week. Or I think I did … Actually I’ve got them written down. Yeah, so $1,000 a month for 4,000 words, or $250 per 500 words. Basically, I hate prospecting, even though I’m really good at it. I hate it. Everyone hates prospecting and sales, if they’re gonna be deep-down honest with themselves.
I try and set up relationships where I’m on a retainer basis, and if they’re not gonna do a retainer basis, if they’re gonna do a one-off project, then they’re gonna pay a premium. The way I’m able to do that is I’ve had lots of success and I’d be like, “Look, we increased this guy’s conversions 80%. Look, this guy made … uh, doubled his revenue after he published our content.”
Daryl Rosser: That makes sense.
Rachel Mazza: People always say like, “Send me some examples of writing,” and I’m like, “I’m not gonna send you examples. That would be revealing people’s niches, and you can just go look at the testimonials.” Yeah, I …
Daryl Rosser: That makes sense.
Rachel Mazza: … try not to cater to people’s …
Daryl Rosser: That also takes confidence to get to that stage. I’m curious then, because it sounds to me like content writing, copy writing, is even more difficult than SEO to represent value and to charge a decent amount when there’s so many people that are like, $1 for 100 words, like really low rates. Is it difficult to position yourself as someone that’s worth being paid decent money?
Rachel Mazza: Having some case studies and testimonials under my belt has certainly made it a lot easier. Up until then, I just … Again, it was about finding the right types of clients, so just like SEO, any good SEO doesn’t take on a client that they know they can’t hit out of the park. You only take on the clients you know are really good wins for you.
Same with content. If I approach a company that’s making $300,000 minimum in revenue annually, I know that they’ve probably got a marketing budget and have spent money on marketing before, and they understand that blogs are important. I will approach the right kinds of companies so that I can …
Daryl Rosser: Get the best results.
Rachel Mazza: … know that I can have a quick win. The best results, yeah. That way then, every single one is just about getting that badge on your website, or on your portfolio where you’re like, “Look, I did great work for these guys, I did great work for these guys.”
At first, I was willing to sacrifice a little bit of money and do work for less in order to get testimonials. A great way to do it is like I did offers … I’m part of this group called the Dynamite Circle Online, which is like an online entrepreneur community.
I put an offer, when I was trying to get more testimonials, I said, “Look, I’ll- I’ll be glad to take a- a look at your content and do content at like half price, or a quarter of the price, um, in exchange for a testimonial.” I didn’t ask for any fake testimonials, though, this is like, real, where people are like, “This is great.” I didn’t push anyone to give me testimonials.
That was the big thing. You want them to be real, so that you can be confident when speaking to people about your work. I sacrificed quoting higher at the very beginning, so that I could get some real testimonials and real results that I could show to people.
Daryl Rosser: Gotcha. Okay, that makes a lot of sense. Last few questions, then, because it’s getting quite long now. Do you have any advice for people, like quick … regards to content, how they can improve their content if … I don’t know, they’re on a tight budget and they’re doing it themselves, like some …
Rachel Mazza: They’re doing it themselves.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah.
Rachel Mazza: I’m sure, as you know with anything, that’s a huge topic. Don’t talk around a subject. Just like think of when you’re going through like, “How can I say this in less words?” Which is counterintuitive, counterproductive for SEO because SEO, you want tons of words, but don’t talk around a subject, be really direct, so that you’re using active voice and you’re making a personal connection with people in a direct manner, and you’re not making them filter through tons of fluff to find the information they need.
Then, the biggest thing with content that converts is like think of the audience that you’re speaking to and then think what kind of message they need to hear. Take yourself out of completely. Don’t ever talk about yourself. When I say don’t talk about yourself, I mean don’t talk about the company you’re writing for. Don’t talk about the product. Just talk about people. Instead of saying, “I can give you the best hair restoration tonic in the world,” say, “You can get your hair back.” You want to talk about them. Make everything about them.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, absolutely.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, so that’s the biggest thing. People are like, “Oh, well, I’m just gonna tell them how great I am, and then they’ll wanna work with me.” The biggest thing in content to realize … and this sounds so harsh, is that no one gives a crap about you, or your credentials, or how awesome you are, or what you’re offering. They only want to know what they’re gonna get out of it. Everything that you write, just make it everything about them, and just answer the question, “Why me? What are you gonna do for me?” Just from their perspective.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, so true.
Rachel Mazza: That’s gonna change your content a lot, yeah. Same with your CTA’s, is like the CTA shouldn’t be like, “Work with us today.” The CTA should be, “Get what you want today,” that kind of thing.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, yeah. It’s such a simple change, just make it about them.
Rachel Mazza: Right, and people forget, because we’re trying to justify why people should give us money, and it shouldn’t be about that, it should be about what they’re gonna get, what they’re gonna get. That’s the biggest thing, probably.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, that’s huge.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah. For the love of god, use white space, make it easy to read. Just make it easy for people to-
Daryl Rosser: You still see those sites today where there it’s like 1,000 words and there’s no paragraphs, like it’s just all together.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, who reads that? Just think about it, would you read that? No way, it’s just ridiculous.
Daryl Rosser: It’s crazy. Okay. What about travel, you travel a lot.
Rachel Mazza: I will admit like … Yeah, I do, yeah. I travel a lot. Right now, I am in the States applying for my visa for Portugal, because I want to create a home base next year because I’ve just been traveling so much, so …
Daryl Rosser: Nice.
Rachel Mazza: It’s hard to build a business on the road, for sure.
Daryl Rosser: Do you get a lot of benefits out of … like in Chiang Mai, especially, I imagine. Do you get a lot of benefits out of that?
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, absolutely. When people ask me, “Oh, how do I do what you do?” Because, you know, you go home, and people are working their nine to five’s and they’re like, “Man, I wish I could do what you do.” My one piece of advice, and this is probably terrible advice is like, “Oh, yeah, just go move to Chiang Mai and sit in some coffee shops and you’ll figure it out.”
Daryl Rosser: Probably will, as well.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, it’s like how can you spend any amount of time in Chiang Mai and not walk away with a thousand business ideas? And then just execute, right?
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, there’s so many people like if just go around and meet some people, there’s gonna be ideas and stuff.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah. It’s just about basically whatever you do right now, you already have skills that you can turn into an online business, and so it’s just figuring out the best way to structure it, and market it.
Daryl Rosser: Okay, definitely.
Rachel Mazza: Travel’s definitely given me that opportunity to see people already doing that in different ways.
Daryl Rosser: How about with the client management side of stuff? Does the travel matter too much? I presume they know.
Rachel Mazza: They know. A lot of times I don’t tell them if I’m leaving, because most people … Again, it’s about working with clients that are really busy, where it shouldn’t matter to them, right?
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, exactly.
Rachel Mazza: They’re not calling you every five seconds. I do try and get Face Time with my clients, at least one time a year. If I go back home to the States to visit family, I make it a priority to meet with every single client at least once or twice before I fly out again, and that’s usually enough time to remind people you’re still a real person. Also, I think that traveling and not working in my own time zone has probably been the biggest productivity success of my life.
Daryl Rosser: Really?
Rachel Mazza: Because you send off an email and no one answers you for like 12 hours. Where I’m home right now, I’m in the States right now, and people are like … I sent an email and someone sends one back, I’m like, “How does anyone get anything done?” People are expecting an answer.
Daryl Rosser: There are actually plugins to delay when the email goes out for that exact reason.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, exactly. People have to create software to manipulate themselves into not doing things. That’s automatic is when I’m doing all my work, and then I send off all my work, I end my work day, go enjoy my life, when I come back tomorrow for the next work day, everything’s there for me to deal with at one time, at one moment.
Daryl Rosser: Gotcha, yeah, that makes sense.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, but you gotta understand, once in a while you do have to jump on the phone at 11 p.m.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah. That’s, unfortunately part of it, but I like that. I prefer working late.
Rachel Mazza: Exactly, exactly. You sleep in the next day, it’s fun.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah exactly. Okay. Big lessons you’ve had, two or three big lessons you’ve had over the last, say, 12 months?
Rachel Mazza: Oh, so many. This has been a big year of lessons for me.
Daryl Rosser: Really?
Rachel Mazza: Yeah. One thing is just quote higher. Quote higher because you’re probably underquoting, unless you already feel successful in your business. Just quote higher. Also, learn to say, “No.” Say, “No, I’m not gonna answer your email within five minutes of you emailing me,” in a nice and polite and diplomatic way, of course. Saying, “No, I’m not gonna work for less than $500,” and this is about setting boundaries and expectations with yourself and with your clients.
Daryl Rosser: I think that’s huge.
Rachel Mazza: That’s huge, it’s huge. You have to do it upfront. If you underquote, and then a week later, you’re like, “Oh, by the way, I decided that was too low,” that doesn’t work very well. Clients don’t like that, so you have to be upfront.
Then also things like clients messaging you on the weekend, and then they send you an email the next weekend day, and they’re like, “Oh, I didn’t hear from you,” you have to say straight upfront the first time that happens, “I don’t work weekends and I don’t work after hours.” You have to, very politely say, “Yeah, I’m not available on weekends.”
Daryl Rosser: Train them, basically.
Rachel Mazza: Train them. You have to train your clients. It sounds so silly, but you are not their employee, you are a business person and they are doing business with you. They don’t own you and you’re not their hire. You’re not their team member. That’s a big thing, is treating each other as professionals and demanding that you get the same treatment. Quote higher, set boundaries, sleep more.
Daryl Rosser: Really?
Rachel Mazza: It’s good for you and your business, and also take time off. Taking weekends off has probably been one of the biggest wins for my business. I get way more productivity out of myself each week by taking Saturday and Sunday off.
Daryl Rosser: Interesting. I don’t.
Rachel Mazza: I’ve never tried that before, I’ve never done that before. This is like the first time I’ve ever done it, and I get so much more done by taking weekends off. I always have like … a lot of times I’ll walk … like don’t just sit in front of the TV, but go walk, or read a book. It took me a while to figure out what to do with time off the first time.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, I wouldn’t …
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, just go walk. You just have awesome ideas about your business and directions you want to take your business when you’re not working. Think of it, don’t you get awesome ideas when you’re in the shower or somewhere equally inconvenient?
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, when you’re not thinking about work.
Rachel Mazza: Exactly. At least try one day a week first.
Daryl Rosser: That’s a lot.
Rachel Mazza: You can be productive in other ways. What if you go exercise and go for a walk? One of my favorite things that I started with, because I felt guilty about taking time off, is doing activities that would still further my business, so going and socializing with people in my industry, or people that I could potentially do business with.
Then I still wasn’t … When I say, “Take time off,” I basically deep down I’m saying like, “Get off the computer. Just like don’t be on the computer.”
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, my idea of time off on the weekend is spend the weekend doing systems and stuff.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah. I do that, as well. I’ll sit down and write and plan. That’s okay, it’s okay for your brain to be doing stuff, but just try not to execute work, try to just let your brain do other stuff. It’s good.
Daryl Rosser: I’m actually gonna experiment-
Rachel Mazza: You should try it. You’ll like it.
Daryl Rosser: To try it, especially me.
Rachel Mazza: Come to the dark side of weekends.
Daryl Rosser: I’ll consider it.
Rachel Mazza: It can be like a social experiment. You can try it out.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah. Now everyone’s heard it, so they may make me do it.
Rachel Mazza: Exactly. Everyone, message Daryl on Saturday and be like, “Are you taking time off?” If you respond, then everyone will scold you.
Daryl Rosser: Yikes. Okay. I think that should about do it. Any last words of wisdom to wrap it up?
Rachel Mazza: I guess, the best thing I can say is create a process for getting business that you enjoy and that makes you confident enough to ask for what you’re worth. If it’s about doing the first month for a dollar, so that you’re confident enough to throw yourself into it without being scared of disappointing someone, then do that.
One of the best things you can do is if you don’t know how to start your business, is get a job, a part-time job, so you can pay the bills, while you work on your affiliate site, so while you work on getting clients, because then you’re not making decisions out of desperation, you’re making decisions out of what’s good for you and your business.
Either create a situation where you can easily get work and feel good about it, or find another source of income, so that you can develop the skills and confidence you need in order to ask for what you’re worth. You don’t have to underquote and you don’t have to work for pennies, and you don’t have to be that person that feels like they’re killing themselves all the time and ends up with no money
Daryl Rosser: Awesome. That’s really good advice.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, just find other ways to make money. Again, you have to eat, so figure out what you can do to pay the bills while you’re building your dream business. Yeah, I guess that would be my biggest advice, is just start off on the right foot and start off with good systems and good boundaries, instead of being like, “Oh, I’ll fix it later.”
Daryl Rosser: Okay, no, that’s really awesome advice. All right, awesome. Where can people find you, if they want to message you? Or get in touch with you? Or hire you, maybe?
Rachel Mazza: Yeah, absolutely, and if anyone needs, I do coaching now for anyone that needs help with SEO, or content, if they want help with content marketing, or you want content marketing training to do it yourself. I do content for affiliate websites mostly, because everyone in the SEO community needs help with content.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, it’s the thing now.
Rachel Mazza: If you need conversion content, I think I posted one in the Lion Zeal marketplace that I’m happy to do half price for the first one for Lion Zeal guys, because I get so much value from this group, so thank you. They can go to rmmediaandmarketing.com, and I’m happy to post it, but that’s my website. Or just hit my up on Facebook, that’s okay. Then I can send you stuff.
Daryl Rosser: All right, awesome. Thank you. I’ll put the links below us so you can go check it out and …
Rachel Mazza: Absolutely, yeah. You’re like, “Right there, they’ll be there.”
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, the problem is when you forget to include the links, and you’re like, “They’re below,” and then you forget.
Rachel Mazza: Then you’re like, “Oh, no he’s just pointing at the screen.” I think we talked about a couple of resources, and so I’ll try and remember what we talked about and send you the links. I’ll send you the email that I sent to the first graphic designers and web designers.
Daryl Rosser: Okay, awesome.
Rachel Mazza: And the link to the quoting spreadsheet, as well, so I can send that over to you.
Daryl Rosser: All right, awesome. All right, thank you for coming on the show. This has been fun.
Rachel Mazza: Absolutely, thanks a lot, Daryl. Hopefully we’ll see you … Are you in the U.K. or are you in-
Daryl Rosser: I’m in Saigon right now.
Rachel Mazza: Okay, all right. Well, hopefully we’ll see you in Southeast Asia this winter.
Daryl Rosser: At some point, probably yeah.
Rachel Mazza: Yeah.
Daryl Rosser: All right. All right, guys-
Rachel Mazza: Have a great day.
Daryl Rosser: Hope you guys enjoyed the show, and I’ll see you guys in next week’s episode. Thanks.
Rachel Mazza: Awesome, thank you.