Think about all the big name SEOs, the ones who are big on the speaker circuit at a variety of conferences, the ones whose blog posts get retweeted and commented on, the ones with about a zillion followers (and who only follow a few themselves). Basically, the so-called SEO experts. They talk the talk and seem to make it known they pretty much know everything about anything SEO, Google and how to rank. But if they are so freakin awesome at SEO, what the hell are they doing trying to round up clients? If they are the hotshot SEO they make themselves out to be, why aren’t they simply hiring people to work on their own properties, rather than working for other people’s web properties?
Now really think to all those SEOs you look up to in the industry. Are they selling a consulting service or some type of service package? I bet nearly all of them – if not every single one of them – are selling some kind of service, whether it be link building, social media campaign management, paid search, or straight up SEO. What big name SEO can you come up with that doesn’t either work for a company they don’t own or work to gain clients in some compacity? I struggled to come up with two.
Unless you work for a company pre-IPO like Google or Facebook, working as an employer won’t make you rich. And those you work for as a client or contractor seldom if ever give perks afforded regular employees. So why invest your time to make someone else rich, merely for an hourly fee or a set project rate?
Could these hotshot SEOs be hiding something more sinister – like the inability to get their own stuff indexed and ranking, so they hide behind “fixing” client’s websites where they could blame poor performance on “prior issues” or “management issues in getting things changed”. Yes, how many times have we heard some big name SEO complain that having to get approval from management for every little change is the reason they weren’t able to fix a site? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at a site and be able to tell the potential client that “those backlinks are bad” and “we need to remove the spammy footers”.
Granted, some SEOs just aren’t that creative and coming up with a site idea is akin to torture. But you would think somewhere along the line, they visited a site and thought “Damn, I could do this site so much better AND rank for number one.” Or they could ask friends for input (and pray they don’t steal the idea). But they don’t, even when they have the resources to hire writers or link builders, or whatever it is they need to get the job done. Heck, they could outsource the whole thing and just oversee its creation, then manage the SEO end of things, they don’t. So why? Probably because they are trying to hide the fact they actually suck at SEO and would never be able to get a brand new site anywhere near the top ten in Google.
So if you are an SEO, stop trolling for clients and start trolling your own properties to grow them, monetize them, create them and rank them. Because nothing shows an SEO’s skills more than building a site from scratch, especially when that scratch will line your own pockets instead of a clients.