Leave Your SEO Job Employer and Then Be a Fully Independent SEO Consultant!

How many people here work a job in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry, and want to leave your job to become a fully independent SEO consultant?
70 👍🏽 73
[filtered from 239 💬🗨]


I started out working for Google directly then hated it drove Lyft for a bit hated it then worked for a guy doing SEO then he died and now I own a business doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO). So I am pretty sure I did this. I didn't want to own my own business but it was work a low pay long hour job or become an owner. The biggest struggle since you've asked others is that you have to come up with a price that you're comfortable with. You don't want to charge so little that you resent getting new clients but if you charge too much you're constantly under scrutiny and fear of losing clients. I find honesty during the sales process gets better clients than promising the world for a small amount. Break down what you're charging them for and why and they will pay more. That's my answer.
Nah no deal. Not a fan of the "agency grind".
Finding clients, loosing clients, working with opinionated clients, doing case studies, doing client reports, meetings, slide-decks, time-logs, deadlines, pre-sales, convincing devs your not a scam, incorrectly budgeted campaigns, working with client-side dev/content resource constraints, clients that are obsessed with the wrong metrics like daily keyword changes.
^ I can do it, but doesn't fill me with joy. To me it feels like distracting overhead not actual SEO work.
Having worked in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) at a couple agencies I like the workmates and the banter. Also learning off each-other and bouncing ideas around is way faster than trying to figure out stuff for yourself sometimes.
When I do my own thing in future, I really don't want anything to do with consultancy or agency. I'd rather keep growing my side-gigs and turn them into fully fledged businesses that use SEO as a primary marketing channel.
But for now, I feel as though working internally in SEO I get good resources, more trust, buy-in and I can just get shit done.

Ryan » Kieran
Well, I didn't say start an agency, I just said become a consultant
just branding and scale differences. similar problems though.

My advice for anyone that's wanting to quit their job is to go part time. Get a part time or casual job where you can work 3 or 4 days a week to cover your expenses, and spend the rest of the week working your face off to get out permanently. When I quit, I just walked out and it was quite stressful. I wouldn't recommend anyone do that, especially if you have a family, debts etc.
I did the opposite… I had my own consultancy but went back in-house. Love being an entrepreneur but with a family it was really hard to balance for various reasons. Not to say I wont go back eventually, but right now I work for a Fortune 500 and I get paid well plus stock. I already had a ton of experience working at agencies, Google, other in-house roles so I was prepared to get a Director-level salary. Gotta deal with politics and other lame corpo stuff, but overall it's not the worst thing like people make it out to be.


Here's my exact strategy of what I would do to make $10K in 30 days if I had 0 team, 0 brand, 0 money.
Dear friend,
I have no idea what kind of cell phone you have… but I'm going to ask you to share with me a very specific number on an app that you have installed on your phone.
That number is going to tell me three things about you.
1. Is it even possible for someone like you to make money online?
2. What's the best way for you to do it?
3. What's the fastest way for you to get paid?
Because let's be real, that's why you're reading this right now.
So let's just get straight to it…
If you need to make money ASAP, here's exactly what I would do in five easy steps.
Step 1: Read every word on this page.
Step 2: Do the exact opposite of what everybody online is doing.
The reason why most people think making money online is too good to be true, or too hard, or a scam is because they approach it backwards.
They first start off on the big idea or what they should be selling.
And that's a mistake.
What you should be focused on is who.
"Who" is greater than "what". Who are you going to sell to and what do they need?
And that's when selling becomes effortless. (Even if you suck at it)
Step 3: Decide on who to sell to.
Now, how would you make that decision?
My recommendation is you ask an expert. Someone who has already done eight figures in sales last year, somebody who has close to a 100,000 customers in 75 countries.
Oh wait, that's me
And I recommend that you focus on selling specifically to entrepreneurs because they're the perfect W.H.O.
I'll prove it to you right now.
Wide audience – There's over 30 million plus small businesses in the U.S. alone
Have an immediate need (which I'll explain in just a moment)
Open to being pitched – Because they're pitching people all day and that would be hypocritical for them not to be.
Step 4: Offer them what they want and desperately need more than anything.
And what do all entrepreneurs on the planet need to survive?
In a good economy to scale, they still need customers.
In a bad economy to survive, they really need customers.
That's why this market is recession proof and the perfect "who" because entrepreneurs always need customers.
Step 5: Give them customers in exchange for money.
Well, here's where you struggle. You don't know how to do that yet.
In just a minute, I'm going to make you pretty uncomfortable because I'm going to intentionally exploit your biggest financial weakness that's putting you, and everyone you care about, at risk.
Then I'm going to help you fix it.
But first, let me show you an unbelievably easy way to get motivated to solve this problem.
At the beginning, I told you, you had an app on your phone with a specific number on it.
I'm talking about your mobile banking app and the number I'm referring to is your account balance.
You don't need to log in right now because you know how much money is in your account or how much isn't in your account.
And when you think of that number, how does that make you feel?
Maybe angry?
Maybe extremely frustrated?
Maybe extremely anxious and stressed?
And the biggest one… fearful?
So are you ready to do something about it?
I say this with love because here's the truth about your current financial situation…
Unfortunately, you're probably making exactly how much you deserve.
Let me explain.
Here's the "secret to how money works" in its simplest form.
Here's two people, person one and person two.
Person two gives money to person one.
When person one does something for person two, the most common trade is solving problems.
When person one can fix the problem for person two, they are happy to give money.
And this is the trade of money.
But here's the kicker… the bigger and the more unique a problem is, typically the more that you can charge.
For example, take a house cleaner.
House cleaners don't typically make a lot of money because a lot of people can clean a house. That's a small problem.
Doctors, on the other hand, save lives.
Which is a big problem and few people can do it.
Lawyers protect our freedom.
Big problem solved = big paycheck
So let me ask you the real question…
What problems in this moment in time, can you currently solve?
That number in your bank account is a reflection of your ability to solve unique and significant problems.
So if you want a bigger paycheck, solve bigger problems.
Doctors keep people alive.
Lawyers keep people out of jail.
But if you can be the person that keeps businesses from failing by giving them customers so they can thrive and scale… guess what just happened to your earning power?
BOOM it skyrockets!
So if you got really good at getting customers, what would happen to your bank account balance?
Well, that's exactly what over 41,000 people did – all different
so what you wating for

Nadir » Wrenn
What’s up bruh


Wrenn » Steve Toth
A penny for your thoughts for this guy?
I did a stint at an agency before going back in house – I'm team in house personally. Here are some tidbits from my experience that I hope help you:
– how much do you love your independence/hate politics? That driver can get you through a lot of BS, and that's where you see plenty of people arguing for it so passionately. Totally makes sense for them and their personality, but may not be as big of a driver for you
– how strong are you at scaling processes and businesses? Client SEO gets difficult when your bread and butter is bespoke, for several reasons that go beyond the scope of this comment. If you're good at operations and strategy, you can find what you do well and repeatedly and scale that – the peak example of this you see most often is with local SEO providers. If you aren't good at that, you may get burnt out fast
Steve Toth 🎓
I did this. Spent 7 years between two agencies. Was a star at the first one, got fired at the last one. Quickly got a job in-house for an incredible company. Spent 2 years there, built a lot of relationships during my time at FreshBooks that helped me launch my SEO Notebook. Didn't hurt that we had a lot of success, either. About halfway through my in-house is experience I launched seonotebook.com. It was a big leap of faith. At the time we had just ranked #1 for a 200,000 MS keyword. The simplest thing I did was change my LinkedIn headline to "SEO @FreshBooks / SEO Consultant." I started getting leads pretty fast along with regular / creative posting on LinkedIn. I also told my employer upfront that I worked with clients on the side. You need to do that because it makes it possible to be public about your aspirations while being on payroll. One huge benefit to being salaried is that you shouldn't give a f*ck about charging large. The first recurring client I signed while working at FreshBooks was 6300 USD /mo. You need to do it this way because you can't be working on 6, $1000 /mo clients on top of a full-time job. Do this until you are losing money to keep your job. When I left, it was either keep my job or say no to more work. I ended up making FreshBooks a client since they were happy with me and they knew what I was doing based on my LinkedIn activity. It's pretty rare, but I was able to do it. In short: do content marketing and stay in your job as long as you can. The transition was super smooth, even though my fist day solo was 2 weeks before covid.
SEO Notebook: A Page from Steve Toth's Notebook Emailed Weekly
SEO Notebook: A Page from Steve Toth's Notebook Emailed Weekly
SEO Notebook: A Page from Steve Toth's Notebook Emailed Weekly

Steve Toth 🎓
and read https://www.amazon.com/Go-Giver-Expanded-Little-Powerful-Business/dp/1591848288
and https://nav.al/rich
Cravy » Steve Toth
Have been watching your journey as a lurker for past year. Congrats on your success! Hopefully it inspires more entrepreneurs like yourself
Wilson » Steve Toth
Congrats, Steve! I really like the content you put out, speaks volumes about your experience and legitimacy as an SEO. Cheers
I'm still training my team, and almost ready to scale, good tips Steve Toth


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