With a full year of independent SEO consulting under my belt, I’m happy to say my business is doing quite well. In fact, I had too much business: I was unable to to accept new clients the last three months of 2010. How did I get to this position in less then a year in business?
I didn’t cold call. I didn’t advertise. I didn’t submit proposals. I didn’t even market myself. 100% of my clients came purely from unpaid, unsolicited referrals/recommendations.
Most of my referrals came from people I’ve worked with before and a few came from people I had SEO discussions with at a conference. What I’m learning is that the greatest way to sell yourself is to not sell yourself at all. Simply deliver for your existing clients or employer. If you are good at what you do, people will notice.
So for 2011, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is: I will not seek or accept clients unless they are referred to me by someone within my network. If you are hoping to work with me, you must find someone who is connected to me.