by Jason Brown on 19th Aug 2014
Jason Brown


Win More Digital Marketing Clients Starting Today

Want to know a simple secret to winning more digital marketing clients for your consultancy?

Capella SERP Sightings

What Doesn't Work

For years I struggled with cold calling, emailing, reaching out via LinkedIn, and writing blog posts as my main method of trying to "get noticed" and gain clients when I was a freelancer.

If you're like me, none of that stuff EVER worked.

The problem is too many freelancers and agencies approach business development with a shotgun trying to spread their generic message to many people at once. This not only is a waste of your time, but a waste of everyone else's.

The secret to winning new clients for your consultancy is very simple... do the opposite of the shotgun approach.

How I Began To Win More Clients

After developing the MVP of SERPWoo, I started to change how I approach potential clients. I realized I could offer intelligence and data to potential clients that no one else in my marketplace knew existed. I could offer something extremely valuable that was unmatched by my competitors.

This gave me an unfair advantage over everyone.

So, what did I do differently? I started stalking my potential clients within SERPWoo.

Instead of the short term game plan where I would blast out an email or phone call to anyone I could reach in the phone book, I started carefully selecting and hand-picking my clients in different verticals. I decided to go after niches instead of individual business owners.

Let Me Give You An Example

The old me would look up potential customers on Craigslist or within my local Chamber of Commerce and proceed to craft an email all about how great I was at marketing and how they just had to hire me for their next project.

Not only was this a lot of bullshit, but I wasn't providing value to my potential customer for them to read past the first few lines of the email. No one is going to respond to these emails unless they want OFF the email distribution list.

Realizing I was hitting up cold customers that got no value from my emails, I decided to become an expert in just one vertical of business and provide value for just those customers instead.

One vertical I have spent a lot of time in within my career is education. If we examine just 1 keyword in the education degree space, we can find potential clients that are in dire need of help.

Lets take a keyword I have used previously in other tutorials that fits the education vertical, "rn to bsn online".

RN to BSN Online
RN to BSN Online

As you can see from the last 2 months of SERPWoo data, the top 4 placements have been largely dominated by the same domains. There is some bouncing around within the top 4, but the same domains appear over and over in the different positions the majority of the time.

Do you think that a school like ASU or Scared Heart would love to have some extra help getting into those top placements? How about Franklin, who use to be ranked 2nd and got dropped to 20th on July 6th 2014?

As we scroll down, we can see that SERPWoo has 244 days of data on ASU concerning this one keyword. We can also see the PageRank of the ASU domain and URL, the MOZ metrics, Alexa rank, and the fact they have been ranked as high as 4th and as low as 16th.

We can even see these numbers for their competitors that are ranking along side them for this keyword.

RN to BSN Online 3rd party Data
RN to BSN Online 3rd party Data

At this point, you wouldn't know how to really help ASU if you did reach out to them. What really caused them to fall from the 4th ranking to the spot they are at now?

Digging Into The Data

This is where our new SERP Sightings tool can hep and shine some light into what is going on with ASU's domain as a whole.

Look below at what I found after plugging in their domain:

ASU SERP Sightings
ASU SERP Sightings

See how the domain took an interesting dip on June 12, 2014? SERP Sightings shows you the average ranking of a domain for all keywords it is being tracked for within SERPWoo. ASU's domain as a whole (for all keywords we track on the domain) dropped in rankings on this day.

So, whats special about this day?

The Payday Loan 3.0 updated rolled out from Google on this day. Does this mean ASU was hit by the update? No, we would have to dig into more data to be sure and also rule out other variables that might have caused the drop.

Take a look at the exact same image, but with a different date highlighted.

Payday Loan 3.0 Google Update
Payday Loan 3.0 Google Update

Anyone want to guess what happened on May 16th, 2014? Anyone? Bueller?

May 16th was also a Payday Loan update, this time for version 2.0.

These drops convince me that ASU was hit by the Payday Loan updates as the domain dropped on both dates. Not only did it drop, but it dropped below currently ranking URLs that were already in the top 20. No new URLs or domains magically popped in and above ASU to push them down which would show me ASU simply moved down to new competitors.

Instead, it's a classic case of getting penalized and shoved down the SERPs because Google frowns upon you.

Comparing Ranked Competitors

Putting the penalization aside for the moment, lets see what we can take away from competitors that ASU could be doing better.

When we compare Capella's domain to ASU's in our SERP Sightings tool, we can see that Capella has enjoyed a slow rise to 5th over the last few months. We could even make the argument that when you compare Capella to ASU, we find that Capella is making huge strides in social media with higher Facebook metrics and less outbound links from their domain.

SERP Sightings Tool
SERP Sightings Tool

Could this be something that ASU should take into consideration?

I would suggest looking into Capella and other steadily raising competitors and at least matching their efforts and metrics.

Getting The Client Won

If we now reached out to ASU with a phone call or email and presented to them these findings within a PDF, how do you think they would respond? Do you think they would ignore you and give you the cold shoulder?

Granted, the marketing team at ASU have plenty of awesome folks who already have stumbled upon this data for themselves. However, what if YOUR future client hasn't? What if they are sitting around with no idea why they lost rankings and exposure in the first place?

Even better, what if you took the time to devise a new game plan for ASU and sent it to their President via FedEx?

Listen, people LOVE opening FedEx boxes.

If you packaged up your sales pitch, the supporting evidence and data from SERPWoo, and the revised game plan / proposed changes your consultancy would make to improve their rankings.. I could guarantee that you would get their attention and possibly land a huge contract with them.

Why not take it a step further and open a new SERPWoo account for them so they can examine the data themselves? Since the keyword is already being tracked by you (Me in the case of this tutorial), you could open a free account for them and load it with "rn to bsn online" as 1 of their 3 free keywords and allow them to log in and see the data for themselves.

^^ Thats going the extra mile, and that IS what wins contracts.

Going Further Into The Concept

You can also expand on this idea and simply try to "snipe" known algorithm updates (http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change) and view the day before AND the day after the updates in SERPWoo to find out who dropped in the rankings and send them the same FedEx package.

This is a favorite tactic of mine, but it does require that you set up the keywords and niches ahead of time that you want to play in. Remember, you're now targeting niches, not individual companies.

If you positioned yourself as a digital marketer that had an expertise in the EDU space, the "rn to bsn online" keyword would be a great choice. However, you can also set up niches and keywords in the insurance and financial verticals that you could be monitoring going forward and simply wait for the updates to roll in.

Want To Extend This Even Further?

How about adding a $5 or $10 Starbucks gift card to the FedEx box?

You can write down the card number and security code before sending it out and track the usage on Starbucks' website. If you don't hear back from the potential client, you at least know the package wasn't lost if the card ends up showing usage.

You could also have the client visit your site to obtain the proposal after opening the box. This way you can grab the VP/CMO/President's IP address and drop a remarketing pixel on them that you could later use to target them with different remarketing messages and campaigns.

Conclusion

When trying to win over clients, being able to stand out and provide value is what wins contracts.

Giving your potential clients data that no one else can provide helps establish yourself as an expert and authority. You demonstrate that you understand their problem AND their industry which helps you stand out as a trusted source.

When you add on proposed solutions and a revised game plan for their marketing department, you essentially make yourself irresistible to your potential client who has no choice but to listen to everything you have to say to help them get back on track with their rankings in Google.

With everything I have shared today, what ideas can you share in the comments below that will help others win over more clients using SERPWoo?

To The SERPs!

eLiquid & CCarter

Testimonial From "Pheasant":

Complete game changer. This is like going from 2d to 3d. Why would you use any other rank tracker? Do you enjoy being blind? ... Serpwoo lets you see what's actually going on. It's the difference between squinting when you look at the rankings, or having your eyes wide open. Why wouldn't you want more data? It's an absolute no-brainier. Cancel your other rank trackers or hand them down to your children to play with, they're toys and they don't matter anymore.





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