How Sam Went From Working For an SEO Agency To Running One

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SUMMARY:

Aleksander: Hi, it’s Aleksander Vitkin and I’m here with Sam, who’s a member of the Business Mentor insiders. Now, Sam has been sitting down and getting some work done lately and his business has started to grow to the point where I’m quite happy about his results so I decided to get him on here to share his results, just tell us how he’s doing and which results he’s achieved and how you can potentially achieve the same results. So hopefully, we’ll learn some stuff from Sam, welcome Sam. So Sam, what type of business do you run?

Sam: I run an SEO agency, I have a bunch of different clients and I help them get their website higher in the Google results.

Aleksander: What did you do before this business? So before you started the business, what were you doing?

Sam:  I was still an SEO but I was working as a freelancer for a bigger agency just doing the work they wanted.

Aleksander: So you went from working for an agency as a freelancer to starting your own agency essentially, is that right?

Sam: Yeah that’s true.

Aleksander: How was it working for the agency? How did you like it? What were you getting out of it? What was it like?

Sam: Well, on the one hand it was low stress they gave me a certain amount of work at the beginning of the week and as long as I did it by the end of the week and everything was fine. So, everything was remote so I could travel a little bit, it wasn’t too bad to be honest with you, as far as jobs go. But the pay was pretty bad, it was like a little bit above minimum wage in the UK just because I took a pay cut in order to have it remote and it wasn’t really a long term thing it was very much a temporary kind of a job.

Aleksander: What is your business like now? Like, what are you getting out of your business? And what is it like running your business right now?

Sam: What it’s like running my business now is much more stress but much more reward. So the work I’ve got going on, there’s you know, I’m doing a lot more than I was as a freelancer but because I own it everything I’m working on and building is something that I’m doing for me. So there’s very much more of a sense of I guess pride and satisfaction from the work but yeah, no it’s a lot higher stress.

Aleksander: What’s the trade off? So there is higher stress and okay, you’re responsible for your own business and you’re getting all the rewards what is that like?

Sam: Pretty awesome, because you know, you’re working on lead generation and you’re working on sales and the more retainers I sell to people the higher my income goes, right? So it’s not like you know, however much work I do I make the average UK wage or anything it’s you know, if I sell another retainer then my income goes up by that retainer. It’s very rewarding in that sense.

Aleksander: How many clients are you working with right now? That pay retainers, essentially.

Sam: Sure, so I currently have eleven clients. It’s very difficult to manage but I’ve figured out how to do it I’ve hired an assistant and everything and yeah no everything is yeah, it’s a lot of stress but a lot of rewards, like I say. One of the major benefits of having your source of income being completely online is that you can choose to travel and live wherever you want. You can’t just like travel around because it takes away a lot of focus from your business but I, in January I’m moving to Taiwan just because yeah I have friends there and I want to learn the language but yeah so that’s my plan at the moment. I’m just gonna be heading out to Barcelona and a couple of other places in Europe.

Aleksander: Now it’s October and in the next two months you’ll be traveling to Barcelona and other places in Europe and then in January you’re gonna go and live in Asia for  What do your friends do, that are going to travel with you?

Sam: Honestly I’m not sure what they actually do I think my friend who I’m moving to Taiwan with is Taiwanese so you know, she lived there already. But the people I’m traveling with, I’ve actually never had that conversation with them. I’m assuming they’re just taking a week off work or something.

Aleksander: And you’re gonna stay, how long are you gonna stay in Taiwan when you go there next year?

Sam: I’m not sure, maybe three to six months, something like that. I’m there mostly to study Chinese so I guess it just really depends what I feel like when I get there, maybe I hate it.

Aleksander: Okay, so you’ve learned how to run a business after being a freelancer. What are some skills that you’ve learned while being a member of Business Mentor Insiders? What are some skills that you’ve learned directly?

Sam: Biggest one for me by far was lead generation. ‘Cause I have tried and failed to start my own business before but the reason it failed was because you know, lead generation is not something that is widely taught, so I had no idea how to get clients and to generate leads was huge for me. Apart from that, sales is something that I had zero natural talent for but you know, learning a little bit more every day I’ve become okay at and business processes and the concept of developing business processes was huge for me, so being able to kind of like you know, plan out in advance how you’ll react and you’ll do certain things that was big because when I first started I was kind of tailoring everything to every client and it was a huge amount of stress I think I do about the same amount of work now at eleven clients but like highly processized as I did when I first started and I had like two clients and I was tailoring everything to them.

Aleksander:  What are your plans now? So obviously you’re gonna travel, that’s all lifestyle stuff right? But what are your plans for your business now?

Sam: I’d really like to, well right now I’m taking care of sales and customer relationships and managing the projects and things like that so I’d really like to get somebody on board who can take that from me and kind of, I’d like to move more towards automation I’m getting other people in who can do my work and also raising prices and yeah just generally bringing in more money and automating a lot more.

Aleksander:  Interesting. And in terms of your business, so before you were doing 100% of the work yourself as a freelancer because obviously you were a freelancer. How much of the work are you doing yourself now, currently? And you said you’re gonna still gonna outsource a lot but how much is in that right now already? What are you at right now in terms of percentage of total work in your business, how much are you responsible for personally?

Sam: How much am I responsible for as a percentage of the total? Somewhere around 20 or 30%. Of total, as delivery is almost completely outsourced but yeah it is mostly like the structural and behind the scenes stuff that I’m doing. if you wanna put exact figures out there (laughs). As a ballpark figure, a thousand dollars a month plus or minus a few hundred.

Aleksander: So obviously that’s gonna change, so anyone watching this, it may be different at the time you’re watching this so just so you know (laughs). We always recommend members and masterminds increase prices over time as they get better clients, better results for clients of course. But good to hear your business is going really well, Sam. So what are you excited about now that you’ve achieved this level of business now? What are you excited about moving forward?

Sam: It’s a little bit cliche, I guess, but what I’m excited about is the freedom that comes from having a lot more money and time than I had before. You know, up until probably about three or four months ago I was working long hours for pretty just, like low amounts of money and now I’m making much more and hopefully gonna be doing a lot less real soon. I’m gonna be able to do and see a lot of things that I wasn’t able to do before. So I’m excited about that.

Aleksander:  Well, you sound like you have a little bit of stress but it sounds like you’re growing and improving things and hopefully as you outsource, the current 30% of the work that you do, your stress is gonna go down and you can focus on more of the fun stuff.

Sam: Sure, but also I am very much a believer in if you don’t have a little bit of stress then there’s nothing pushing you and you’re not challenging yourself. I think stress…

Aleksander:  So, in my opinion at least. Well we’re procrastinating one of those two, learning and you’re progressing as causes of stress but I think since your business is growing, it’s definitely leaning towards learning more than procrastinating (laughs). So yeah that’s awesome. Well thanks for sharing, Sam. Very honest discussion so thank you for sharing all that, it’s very valuable for me and other business owners watching this. 

If anyone’s interested in finding out more about what Sam is doing and how he’s done it, what we actually started to do is we have strategy sessions that we’ve created to help freelancers and other professionals with certain skills, learn how to build a true business out of what they’re currently doing and go from basically, what Sam was doing which is charging small amount of money hourly as a freelancer, to running a business where a lot of the work is automated and where they can learn new exciting skills. And sure, it’s a lot of work, obviously. Obviously you’re gonna have to hustle and build real processes in your business before you achieve the results like Sam just achieved but it’s possible.

So if you’re interested in learning how you can get on one of these strategy sessions, just go to businessmentor.com and click ‘apply’ and then you can talk to me or one of the other instructors who’ll help you figure out a four month plan for what to do with your business, or your future business.

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