How Venchito Went From VA to 12 Person Agency Owner
In this episode of the Lion Zeal Show, I’m joined by Venchito Tampon, a 23 year old SEO agency owner from the Philippines.
Venchito is a SEO that’s been featured on SearchEngineLand, Ahrefs blog, SearchEngineJournal, and a number of other blogs. He currently runs an agency in the Philippines dealing with clients all over the world, providing white hat link building.
In this episode, we cover:
- How to get your first client from just 10-15 minutes per day of work
- Advice for hiring Filipino virtual assistants (and treating them well)
- How to get clients coming to you so you can demand higher fees
- How to overcome the “obstacle” of being from a country like the Philippines when selling to western companies
Watch it here:
Enjoy the show? Venchito is doing a survey to learn more about PBNs, and would love your feedback.
He’ll be sharing the results in the group afterwards.
Links and Resources Mentioned:
- SharpRocket (Venchito’s agency)
- Venchito’s Twitter profile
- Venchito on Facebook
Daryl Rosser: Hey, what’s up guys? Welcome back to another episode of The Lion Zeal Show. On this episode, I brought on Venchito, who has an agency in the Philippines with a team of currently 12 people. They’re doing white hat style, outreach style SEO and they’re doing pretty well with it.
He has some pretty interesting strategies for getting clients that is a little bit different to what most people in the outside of the industry are doing. He’s not doing cold emailing or basically any outbound sales type strategies. He’s doing blogging and content creation, stuff like that, really putting himself out there and positioning himself as an expert.
It’s very valuable to learn from this style, this type of approach. I think it’s a great way of getting clients. There’s a lot of good nuggets in here for someone, especially if you’re just starting out, especially if you’re, say, living in Asia and you’re not really sure how you’re going to get clients, you have this advantage of positioning yourselves and next getting clients to pay you with money.
We covered exactly how to overcome that and what exactly you should be doing so you ultimately get some client and get some results. Let’s get to the interview. It’s a cool one. I hope you enjoy the content.
Hey, man. Thank you for coming on the show. It’s cool to have you here. Do you want to start off with a little introduction since we’re quite newly meeting each other as well. I’m sure many people want to know who you are.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah, sure. I’m Venchito Tampon. I’m the CEO and co-founder of SharpRocket. We are based here in Manila, Philippines. We are startup company. We’ve been around for more than a year, but we’ve been doing SEO for three to four years already. We are a team of 12 Asians. The thing that interesting here is we’re all Asians. It’s really good to see Asians coming into the international SEO scene. Yeah. I guess that’s all with introduction.
Daryl Rosser: Awesome, man. That’s really cool. With the whole, you’ve made a point of it, about being Asian, is that dealing with people within the Philippines or is that as well as the companies in the US and different countries? Which countries are your clients based in?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. We have a diverse set of clients. We have clients mostly in US. We also have clients in UK, also in Australia, in Canada. We also have from Europe nations. We have client from Poland, client from Italy. But we’re not doing any international SEO since we’re pretty much working with English bloggers.
Daryl Rosser: Okay.
Venchito Tampon: Even if we work with European sites, we build links from English websites.
Daryl Rosser: Gotcha.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah.
Daryl Rosser: You’re not doing anything in the Philippines?
Venchito Tampon: Say it again?
Daryl Rosser: Okay. You’re not doing any work or any clients in the Philippines?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. The thing here is that local companies here don’t know pretty much about SEO. Though we have a few local conferences and seminars purely on digital marketing, there’s just a few and it’s only big brands who can afford to invest in SEO. Around $1,000 to $1,500 per month is pretty big for them. Yeah.
The thing is we don’t cater to any local companies. But we partner with SEO agencies internationally who have their own headquarters here in the Philippines. Yeah. That’s one of the set of clients that we have here.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. That makes a lot of sense. How was it then going out initially, because I imagine that there’s a lot of almost negative bias towards you because you’re not from the US, because you’re not from the UK, was that a little bit more difficult getting that first clients?
Venchito Tampon: Yes. The thing is that most of the Western clients, we already have this impression on the way Asians work. The thing is we really have to deal with a lot of arguments, a lot of conversations and really give them the big shot that we are the best in link building scene. The thing is that when I entered into the SEO arena way back in 2013, that’s the time that I’ve been following Jason Acidre. He’s known for his blog Kaiserthesage. I’ve been following that guy, he’s also from the Philippines. I think he’s producing a lot of great content on SEO.
The thing that I learned from him is it’s more on the authority or expertise that will bring in or that will generate new clients to the company. It’s not just about the age, the race, or the continent that you are in. It’s more on the expertise, it’s more on how you deliver the value to your existing clients so that your client-based already will refer their colleagues, friends, and that will add up to your client base.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, absolutely. With the first ever client, I presume you weren’t starting out as like this expert or anything like that. How did you get your first client and position yourself so they trusted you?
Venchito Tampon: Okay. I never started as an SEO. I started as a freelance content writer. I’ve been doing content writing way back in 2011 to 2012. Since then I’ve been curious about how SEO works since most of our clients before were really discussing about keyword density.
Way back in 2010 and 2011, all of the black hats stuff that you know still works, so those article submission, directory sites, and all of those things really work. I really got interested into how that specific task that I’m working on, the keyword stuff, content writing is helping their websites rank high in search. I became interested, got curious on how it works so I started learning more about it.
I’ve been hired by a prominent link builder. His name is John Cooper. I’m sure you’re familiar with him. I worked for John Cooper for almost six to eight months. I learned all about SEO and link building from him.
Daryl Rosser: Were you like a virtual assistant? Is that you full-time or …?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. Full-time virtual assistant.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. Nice.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah.
Daryl Rosser: I guess that’s a pretty awesome opportunity to learn.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. The thing is that we can never learn simply just on reading a lot of books and articles online. You need someone who can say to you, “Hey, here’s the thing that you need to learn. Hey, here are the tactics.
Here the strategies that are really effective in the SEO.” You need someone who can mentor you, who can teach you almost everything in SEO. That’s one way for you to be an expert or to be an influencer in the industry.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah. I completely agree. You worked with him as a virtual assistant for eight months. Did you get interested in SEO by doing that? Did you actually start become passionate while doing that work?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. The thing is I’m just interested into how relationships help build links.
Daryl Rosser: Okay.
Venchito Tampon: It’s never about the whole SEO stuff. That’s reason why our company is just focused purely link building. It’s because I’m really interested into how marketing, on how online relationships, email conversations can turn into actual links. That simple thing got me interested into knowing more about the link building as a whole and also the other areas of digital marketing.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. That’s cool. How did you go from being a virtual assistant to today having an agency where you said 12 people working for you?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. I started a blog way back in 2013. That was April 2013. I started my blog DigitalPhilippines.net. I started writing more on digital marketing as a whole, and then dig into SEO, and then dig into link building. I just focused on link building, creating new content almost every week. I had a blog post around 10,000 or 15,000 words.
Daryl Rosser: Nice.
Venchito Tampon: The thing is it’s a long form type of content so the only thing that I need is to promote it to influencers and to bloggers in the industry. That is when I started working with a few clients on the side while working for an agency as a virtual assistant, and then move on into managing an in-house SEO team also based in the US. Then from that, I started acquiring new clients and that’s when I decided to start my own.
Daryl Rosser: That’s cool. You kind of work your way up from first just a writer, then learning more about SEO, then virtual assistant, and then building your way up basically in that.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. It’s never an easy thing. Yeah. First thing is that we’re Asians, so there’s already an impression on us that we can’t do work, can’t do quality work, can’t give results. That’s the number one thing, number one barrier that we have to conquer or we have to break the wall. From marketing blogs, from producing great content on my blog DigitalPhilippines.net, I was known to be one of the top link building experts in the world producing only white hat links.
Daryl Rosser: Okay.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah.
Daryl Rosser: Is that where those first few initial clients came from?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. The first set of clients came from the blog, some from the guest posts that I did Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Cognitive SEO, so some of the top SEO blogs. Then from blogging, I also went to answering forum discussions, Warrior Forum and Inbound.org. The thing is over time I built the authority, I built the brand awareness. That’s when the time the next set of clients, around 10 or 20 is adding up to our lead generation list.
Daryl Rosser: Gotcha. What is the time between starting the block and getting the very first client as a result of it? What’s sort of timeframe for that?
Venchito Tampon: Actually, yeah, just one month.
Daryl Rosser: Really?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. Since I started my blog, I produce long form type of content and then promote it to the massive audience. That’s where I get the first client. Yeah. It was never an easy task. The thing is I had to promote it really bad to influencers so that when they share it to their audience, their followers and their readers will also come across to our site, and then that’s where we get our client.
Daryl Rosser: Gotcha. You essentially did white hat SEO for yourself. You created a very good content and reached out to influencers to get it shared and stuff.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. It’s all white hat stuff, all manual work from prospecting, from creating the content, and to creating that promotion list, all of those things. They’re all manual works. The thing is it’s all about the grit, it’s all over the hard work that matter.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah. That’s cool. Would you say most your clients today in the agency are from the same sort of thing where you’re doing outreach and creating great content? Is it like inbound lead generation?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. The thing is we work with a different sets of clients, so not just per country or per industry based. We work with marketing teams of big brands. We have a client today that’s one of the biggest e-commerce platforms on the web. Sorry, I can’t disclose the brand name. We also work with medium-sized businesses, we also partner with SEO agencies, and also a few consultants and agencies that were recommended by Moz are also contacting us for link building needs.
The thing is that the link building is already a demand, a big demand, high demand in the world. Even SEO agencies, even top SEO agencies, even top marketing departments of big corporations are looking for ways on how they can scale their link building campaigns. That’s where we take advantage of and that’s where we really penetrate and get them as our clients today.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah. That makes sense. It’s cool. I’m interested and because a lot of the leads you say are coming from your blog and these outreach methods. I’m kind of curious, how does it convert from traffic, just visiting your site, your blog to becoming a client? What process happens from them reading the article to them becoming a client?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. The thing is since I only knew about link building, I also wanted to, I really dig also into the conversion rate optimization since that is also very important in the whole lead generation process. There are many ways on how we generate or how we convert those traffic into leads.
One way is really creating service pages that have social proof. We have a recommendations or testimonials from Razvan of CognitiveSEO, we have a testimonial from by Brian Dean. Those social proof really matters in helping those traffic, helping those visitors convert into customers, into clients.
Also, we created free guides, such that those free guides are targeted to different audiences. We have a guide specifically for marketing tools. We have a guide for SEO agencies. We have a guide for bloggers, niche bloggers who have big budgets on their niche website. Plus, we also engaged with …
The thing is not all marketing strategies or branding awareness will just make you add more traffic to your website. Some can really just turn into clients already. One is when we speak to local companies, local seminars, or conferences here in the Philippines, international SEO agencies here are contacting us right after the event and they get us as an outsource partner in link building, right after we spoke to that event.
Daryl Rosser: Nice.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. We have a variety of lead generation tactics also. The thing is with converting those visitors into your clients, you need to have a sales process. We revise, we improve our sales process. Once they contacted us for link building or for content marketing needs, we already have an email template, it will be sent one or two hours after they sent their message. Then from that, we’ll take our calls, we close the deals. We also have a presentation. In order for you to convert those leads into actual clients, you need to present something.
Daryl Rosser: Sure.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. We know human beings are visual people. In order for them to see the results, they need to visualize your work. In that particular presentation, we include case studies, we include testimonials. We also include all of our services, as well as the package and pricing. Since we work with SEO agencies, we have a customized pricing for each of those. We have a pricing for SEO agencies, we have a customized pricing for marketing teams. That’s the thing. You need to have a system, you need to have a strategic work with dealing the clients with closing the deal.
Daryl Rosser: Absolutely. I pretty much agree with everything you said. I think it’s very important to have those systems in place. The presentation spin, again completely agree with that. I think that’s a very good advice to kind of show them properly, like case studies stuff, examples. Educating them basically and what it’s going to do for them I think is huge.
Going back to something you said, you said you have services pages on your site so they can check out the services directly from your website, but you also have different guides and stuff. I’m presuming they download the guides in exchange for their email address like a typical opt-in form or is it different?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah.
Daryl Rosser: Okay.
Venchito Tampon: No. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a lead generation activity. Once they subscribed to the email list, they’ll get that free guide. Then we’ll be engaging those email addresses or those email subscribers and that we will get them follow through the process of our sales.
Daryl Rosser: Gotcha. Is there a specific strategy for converting email leads into calls, into prospects for your services?
Venchito Tampon: From email list?
Daryl Rosser: Yes.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. The thing is, with the digital marketing space, especially for B2B, in my own experience, is that it’s more on the awareness, it’s more on the trust and authority that will bring them into your lead generation process. Even though they subscribe to your email list, it doesn’t mean that they are already your target client because some of them are just consuming most of the information that you provide on your blog. You need to know who among them are really your target clients.
The thing with the guides is that it separates those who are agencies, it separates those who are marketing teams, it separates those who are freelancers or niche bloggers. From that we engage them based on their persona. Yeah. That’s how we really filter and then lead them into the sales process.
Daryl Rosser: It makes sense. They’re getting relevant emails at that point to the type of business they are.
Venchito Tampon: Yes.
Daryl Rosser: To get them into the sales process, are the emails designed, I presume there’s a focus on it, was it designed to get them to request a consultation, designed to get them to call you? How does that work.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. The thing is, when they sent an email and a service inquiry, we’ll be replying just an email to set a schedule for the call.
Daryl Rosser: Okay.
Venchito Tampon: That’s the initial call. Then from that initial call, proceed to the visual presentation of our work services, knowing their goals, knowing their needs. Then another email for a follow-up email, if they haven’t respond to that specific, to that first or initial call. Then after the follow-up email, that’s where we really close the deal during another meeting where we present our proposal, where we present what we’d like to do for three to six or 12 months period. So it’s really customized from beginning to end.
Daryl Rosser: That’s awesome. Okay. It’s three separate calls then. That’s the initial consultation, that’s the presentation, and then that’s the proposal.
Venchito Tampon: Yes. The thing is with SEO agencies and with most companies today are really looking for customized proposal. They’re not just looking for generic template full SEO or the template. The thing is there are many variables, the size of the website, how big or small the company is, their available resources, if they have in-house designers, SEO agency. There are many variables and you can’t box them into just one SEO template, into one SEO service. You need to customize everything, according to their needs, according to their goals.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. That’s cool. It makes a lot of sense. I think it’s a good approach. What I like about your approach is that you generate leads through, I don’t know if all your leads come from your blog, but a lot of leads come through like inbound marketing strategies like that. I think, I’m sure you’ll probably agree, that that kind of positions you better as an expert immediately because they’re consuming your content and seeing that versus a lot of approaches which are cold email list and stuff which is very hard to get that trust especially if you already at a disadvantage. Would you agree with that?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. The thing is that, as a business owner, when you approach inbound marketing strategies is that you can set the pricing, you can set how much you would like to earn from a specific service compared to cold emailing a lot of businesses and then hoping and praying that there will be someone who will contact you or who will agree to your service. Yeah. As a business owner, that’s a more strategic in terms of getting more profit from your services compared to the outbound sales or outbound marketing strategies.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. How would someone go about doing what you did? Would they start a blog, create some super long form content and start reaching out to people? What would you suggest someone who wanted to do the same today?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. This is a little, small and untapped strategy to get leads even if you don’t have a blog.
Daryl Rosser: Okay.
Venchito Tampon: You can go to Quora community threads and you answer relevant SEO questions specific to your services. There are question about, what are different types of backlinks, what is an anchor text? Those type of questions in Quora can give you a few leads. You can also answer conversion-related or conversion-oriented questions, such as, what is the best link building services company or what is the best SEO agency in US, SEO agency in UK?
It’s because those type of questions, when you answer them, these people and these community users, they will be curious about you. They will be curious about what you know about and they will start contacting you. As a company, we get a few, two to five clients simply by answering Quora questions. Even if you don’t have a blog, you can still generate leads. It’s not just … Yeah, you rank for competitive keywords, it will take time. It will take around six to nine or 12 months in order for you to rank in the SEO space.
The thing is start with simple things. Start answering forum questions, start with answering questions in Quora. Those things will matter and you will have your first step of clients simply by doing that.
Daryl Rosser: That’s cool. Actually, yeah, I agree. I’ve seen a friend of mine got a client, his very first ever client, from answering a question on Reddit, which most people would kill to be able to sit around Reddit and make money.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. The only thing is that you don’t want to just comment simply just “thank you” or “great post.” Yeah. “You can check out this post and you’ll learn more about this.” You really need to provide value even in that simple answer. You can easily get their interest, capture their interests, and then it will drive traffic to your website.
In our Quora strategy, we have around 5,000 to 10,000 views in Quora and it drove us around hundreds of visitors. Those visitors aren’t just visitors who would like to consume all of your content, these are visitors who would like to convert as your client. The thing is it’s really simple, it’s really strategic. You just need to answer just one question a day and that will give you your first set of clients.
Daryl Rosser: That’s really good advice. With Quora, do you answer them personally yourself?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. The thing is you need to have an expertise.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, exactly.
Venchito Tampon: I can’t get all my staff members here, all of my employees to answer any of those questions. There’s something that you need and that is expertise.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah. I’ve read quite a few Quora answers before and it always seems to be kind of a long form content, like you’re talking about when you started your blog. Are you doing that sort of thing where it’s really long, detailed answers to help people out?
Venchito Tampon: Not really. I think that you can’t answer it in a brief way, in a short but meaningful, with value. You don’t need to write as if it is just already an article. You can answer it straight forward with value. As I said, the more you answer questions the more people will see you or will view your profile, and that’s where you can acquire clients.
Daryl Rosser: Cool. Is there any other sites like Quora and stuff that you’re doing the same sort of thing?
Venchito Tampon: With answering questions?
Daryl Rosser: Yeah or like engaging people and getting clients without having to have a blog or anything?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. One thing that I did is also engaging in Inbound.org. When there are new posts published by influencers and the first person who will share it in Inbound.org and that’s where I get their attention. I upvoted those posts and then I also take some time commenting on their threads. That’s where the manager of Inbound.org contacted me if I would like to have Ask Me Anything forum discussion on Inbound.
The thing is when that happened that, I acquired almost 30 to 40 leads, simply by doing that Ask Me Anything. It took time, around three to six months, but all efforts are worth it. Simply by engaging with participants in just one community site.
You can also go to GrowthHackers.com. The thing is, with Growth Hackers, they have broad areas in digital marketing. With Inbound.org, the same thing goes, but you need to really be specific with engaging. You need to just look for areas where you can service or you can really provide value.
Daryl Rosser: That’s awesome. Yeah. Basically produce an outlet where your ideal clients are and just helping them out and add some value.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. Most of the leads that come into our lead generation base are just a few people who looked at our profiles in Quora, in Inbound.org and in our guest posts. I also do a lot of guest posts these days. Yeah. It’s more than just building awareness. You don’t need to be pushy with your services and then sell your services on those discussions. You just need to provide value. Answer them, give good value, and that’s it. You can acquire clients simply by doing that.
Daryl Rosser: Awesome. How many leads do you generate, if you can share that, on average per month these days?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. This season, from September up to this date, we generate around 50 to 75, 50 to 60 leads a month.
Daryl Rosser: Okay.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. We close almost around five to 10. But since we raised our service pricing, we produce only around two to three a month.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. What did you raise it to?
Venchito Tampon: Pardon?
Daryl Rosser: What did you raise it to? What’s your minimum?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. I can’t say it. I customize all the pricing based on their … Our minimum pricing is around 1,500 per month. Okay. We raised it to around 3,500 or 5,000 per month, purely on link building needs. It’s not really SEO, it’s not content marketing, just for links.
Daryl Rosser: Alright. Cool. One interesting topic, especially because you’re in the Philippines, which is like the hub for hiring virtual assistants, and you have a team yourself that you built there, do you have any advice for people that are going out there and trying to hire some virtual assistants or even real team members that you’ve learned?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. I think here in the Philippines, there are many distractions when it comes to freelancing. Most of the freelancers here do a lot of stuff. They take care of their babies. They really have a lot of stuff to do. The only thing that you can do it, in order for them to properly work is to give them a task and to really make sure that you at least micromanage them.
Micromanagement here in the Philippines is really important. Unlike with other countries that you don’t need to micromanage your staff. Here in local companies, most of the companies that I know and most of the businesses owners that I know, they do a lot of micromanaging. Not to the point that you really do it in every minute or every second, but the thing is you can do it, tell them, “Hey, at the of this day or end of this morning, you need to send me a report.”
Daryl Rosser: Yeah.
Venchito Tampon: Most of the freelancers and virtual assistants really want to become productive and the only thing that hinders them is all of those distractions. You need to micromanage them in order for them to work effectively.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. They like being micromanaged like that?
Venchito Tampon: Some, but others don’t. You need to know also their personalities, you need to know their attitude, their working styles. That’s where you can see how you can work together.
Daryl Rosser: Okay.
Venchito Tampon: In my own experience, I want to be micromanaged and that’s how I deliver the work for my clients.
Daryl Rosser: Okay. As you were a virtual assistant yourself at some point you probably know this better than anyone else, do you have any tips for people to treat them well, like hiring a virtual assistant in the Philippines? Aside from keep them productive is there anything they can do to keep them happy. I think from a lot of people I have seen is that a VA will work for them for, say, a month or two months or three months then they will disappear and go somewhere else.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. There are a lot of incentives. Number one is you can actually take their two days off for a vacation. Once they delivered to you an output or delivered to you the service at the end of the month excellently, then you can let them have their two days off from work. Also, you can give them bonus.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah.
Venchito Tampon: Since most of the freelancers and virtual assistants here that don’t have their proper government benefits, since it’s mostly voluntarily. The thing here is you can actually add, let’s say, $100 or $200 as a bonus since Christmas is coming. You need to at least incentivize them for good work.
The thing is we are in a third-world nation and the currency or the economics here is not that good, as far as I know. You need to really, the number incentive is really about money. You need to provide bonus, you need to provide two days off for vacation. That’s it. I guess that will help them motivate to do great work.
Daryl Rosser: Awesome.
Venchito Tampon: Also, one thing is that you need to mentor them. You need to have at least 15 minutes or 30 minutes every week at least to know them better since most of the virtual assistants, and I was before also, would like to work with Americans who are really likable in terms of work. I wanted to work with people who can at least ask me more on the personal stuff that I’m doing. It’s more on engaging me, it’s more on really sharing my thoughts and also feedback. You need to ask for their feedback and suggestions. All Filipinos here are very creative. They can actually suggest to you out-of-the-box creative works. You need to really ask for further suggestions.
Daryl Rosser: Awesome. That’s a lot of very good advice. Awesome. I really like that. Final few topics, I guess, your team, what roles do you have in your team today?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. We’re 12. Okay. I’m managing 11 staff here. We are urgently hiring for more since we’ll be on boarding new clients, new set of clients this January. Yeah.
Daryl Rosser: What do the different members do?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. Okay. With link building, there are only three things that they do. Number one is prospecting, second is qualification, and then outreach. I also have a few of them who do content writing for our blog.
One is doing graphic design for the featured blog post images that we have on our blog and also for the eBooks or guides that we have that we provide on our website. Prospecting, qualification, outreach, content creation, that’s pretty what we do.
Daryl Rosser: Awesome. That’s cool. Are there any big lessons you had going from doing it for yourself initially to managing a team of 11 people, you said?
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. I guess I’d like to cater this for Asians who are listening or who are watching today. Don’t look at yourself as a discriminated person or you’re just an out of this world in the SEO scene. You can do better with work, you can provide quality service even if you are an Asian. For all the listeners out there, the thing is, with starting an agency, you really need to provide value and that value can generate you clients, can give you the profit that you want.
Yes. Business is all about profit, but profit will just come if you can provide value to your clients or to your customers. When you get this right, when you make sure that your clients are getting results from your work, you can also have case studies that you can post on your blog. That’s an advantage also on your part. The thing is it’s more on that five-letter word: value. I guess that’s the lesson that I’d like to share.
Daryl Rosser: I completely agree. I think when you prioritize actually, just your first focus is on helping businesses increase their leads and the second focus is on making money, then you make more money just from the result of having value as your first focus.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. You don’t need a lead generation strategy once you get your first set of clients since your existing client base will refer more clients to you. No need to do hard work on marketing, just purely the operations, and that will make your work faster.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah, absolutely. Would you recommend working for free or having low prices initially to get those first clients?
Venchito Tampon: That’s a tough question. My take on that is there are few instances where I would take the client in a less pricey service or affordable price. If that client has the capacity to refer more clients or I guess that client already has a good network of businesses, business owners.
Let’s say, that person is really a good influencer in an industry, so I would take that client for free for the first three months and then ask him if he can refer more his colleagues or his friends out there. The thing is you can only get that specific client for a free service if you know that that person can give you more clients right after the three months period.
Daryl Rosser: Yeah. Okay. That’s good advice. Yeah. I’ve seen people do the same sort of thing where they say, “We’ll take you on and we do it for free as long as you refer, say, three people,” and it’s like first exchange.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. If you look at it in a business perspective you’ll get more profit from that since one free client can really give you around five to 10 high-paying clients. The only thing is that most of the time those referred clients will also get you in a low price. The thing is you need to deal with it and really gauge if there’s something wrong with that. Yeah. That’s the strategy and that’s simply my advice.
Daryl Rosser: Awesome. I like your advice and I like your approach of really just positioning yourself as an expert and getting out there creating content and becoming basically known as an expert so people come to you and that allows you to basically demand any prices you like within reason. I think that, would you say that’s what allowed you to kind of overcome the obstacle of being Asian, which isn’t really a good way say, but yeah I guess it’s that.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. There are thousands of SEOs and agencies out there so you need to build the brand by doing the hard work that others don’t like to do. One hard work thing is blogging. Most SEO agencies owners don’t like blog since they know it will consume most of their time since they can just simply do the work for their clients.
Yeah. The thing is you need to do all the handwork that others don’t do. That blogging, that building of your brand authority, that building that awareness, that you are capable of providing valuable services. Yeah. Those simple things that I shared earlier will really make wonders for your business.
Daryl Rosser: Absolutely, man. Thank you for all the awesome advice that you’ve shared with everyone and the nuggets, and you have a pretty cool story, man.
Venchito Tampon: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for having me. I hope every Asian out there will kick their ass off and then build their brand online.
Daryl Rosser: I hope so. Cool. Where can people find you before we wrap it up?
Venchito Tampon: Okay. You can find my blog at SharpRocket.com. Also, you can follow me on Twitter.com/venchito14. Add 14, 1, 4 and then Venchito, Venchito14. You can also follow me at my Facebook page, Venchito Tampon. I’m also a corporate training and motivational speaker. I do speaking on the side while doing business here. You can also follow me for inspirational advice on how you can make your work faster being productive and do your business. Yeah.
Daryl Rosser: Awesome, man. I’ll link you up below so everyone can check it out.
Venchito Tampon: Thank you.
Daryl Rosser: All right. Thanks again for coming on. This has been fun. Thank you guys for tuning in. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. This has been pretty cool episode. I’ll see you guys next week.