Why You Should NOT
Start an SEO Agency
Written by Daryl Rosser
If you have any interest in business, you've unquestionably seen the hype about the digital marketing agency business model over the past few years.
From endless guru-style YouTube videos...
To famous entrepreneurs starting or investing in agencies like Lord Alan Sugar, Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone, and Neil Patel.
And to add irony to the title, I've even got an SEO agency myself.
Yet, I'm going to go against the grain here and explain why you should NOT be blindly following the agency trend, hoping to cash in on some goldmine.
"I want to get away from client work"
As a business coach, of sorts, I receive this message a lot. Usually from someone making multiple six-figures, working their a- off for a bunch of clients.
Decent money, tidy profit margins, but full of constant frustrations - not so dissimilar to the lack of control that comes with a typical job.
The solution is fairly simple, hire additional help. A client manager. But that's where the flaws in this model begin.
The fact is digital marketing agencies are extremely difficult to scale beyond multiple six-figures. For those that do, they'll usually have even less profit than before, until hitting multiple seven-figures.
And that's presuming you reach multiple six-figures.
Something that is usually overlooked in the hype is the fact that this is a skill-based business model. Though I guess, what isn't?
Meaning, it is relatively easy to scale to six-figures fast provided you have the skills to do so.
Sales is the first priority. Put a sales rockstar up against a SEO expert with no experience, and I'll put money on the sales guy landing more deals.
But you'll also need to know how to fulfil the results, the better your knowledge here, the more you can charge.
If you want to cold call or cold email businesses, you'll need to know how to do that too.
That isn't a bad thing. It's just misunderstood.
Put simply, you need to put in the work.
Even more so when you realise that digital marketing is extremely difficult to sell.
"Everyone needs more traffic... don't they?"
..Yeah, about that.
It turns out there's a lot of smaller businesses that don't need more traffic. Their problem is actually operations, they couldn't handle more work if they wanted to.
But even if they do want more traffic, leads, and sales - then they've got to decide between the dozen pitches a day they're receiving on how to do that.
Radio Ads? Yellow Pages? Lead Generation platforms?
Or when it comes to digital marketing:
SEO? Facebook Ads? Google Search Ads? Email Marketing?
A quick search for "start a social media marketing agency" on Youtube brings up videos with as many as 441,000 views.
These are all your competitors.
And worse, SEO is about the worst sales pitch in the world.
"Pay me for 6 months and I'll hopefully get you great results, if Google don't screw anything up for us"
Thankfully there's a way of solving all these problems. It weirdly comes down to thinking smaller.