Pick His Brain, Eric Siu, for SEO and Marketing

Steven Kang 👑

Pick His Brain

Eric is an angel investor, podcaster, and author of the book 'Leveling Up.' Eric started out as a junior SEO and today oversees multi-million dollar agency Single Grain, content marketing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ClickFlow, and more.
If you have any questions about agency growth, launching SaaS, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies, please feel free to pick his brain.
Here are the rules.
1) I'll let the thread go on until he asks me to stop. Theoretically, this thread can continue until the Facebook stock value goes to zero.
2) Please, no snarky remarks. I will not tolerate any intentional negativity. We are here to learn from each other's successes and strategies.
3) Please do not PM him and bother him. If you have a private question, ask for his permission on this thread when appropriate.
Please subscribe to our new Twitter account for the latest updates. https://twitter.com/SEOSignalsLab
#PickHisBrain

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74 👍🏽17 💟91 80 💬🗨

Cameron
How did people outside of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) start to join the team? What did that process look like? Did you have investors so you could hire those people? Or did you have clients with money to spend and then went and hired those people?

Eric » Cameron
I prefer raising money from customers all day. Unless I'm building a moonshot business like SpaceX, I don't really need to raise money from investors.
Getting $$ from customers proves that I'm adding value and also gives me more control to run my business.
In terms of hiring, we reached out to our network and used LinkedIn to find the best people. The best are usually not looking for a job.
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Qureshi
How was the journey from junior SEO to your current role? What path, learning, resources to grow yourself and reach at the position where you are today?

Eric » Qureshi
The main thing for me is I wanted to level up every single day. I was constantly hungry for more.
That took me from reading blog posts and watching videos to talking to people a few levels higher than me. Then I found mentors a few levels higher than me.
Then I joined peer groups with people a few levels higher than me.
Being a learning machine will take you far.
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Tomasz
What is the most impactful strategy (practices) to increase conversions in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?!

Eric » Tomasz
A really good offer goes a long way. HubSpot's freemium product totally changed the game for them once they made that shift. 99% of the company was against that move initially.
Now look at their stock price. 😉
Tomasz » Eric
Thank you 🙂

Marco
Hi Eric! thanks for being part of this! Here is my question :
How would you add more value to a content? I mean let say you are a content writer, what would be the 3 key input to make your content the most valuable?

Eric » Marco
https://Backlinko.com/skyscraper-technique
Link Building Case Study: How I Increased My Search Traffic by 110% in 14 Days
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Davi
What SEO concept holds true from when you started to this day?
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Eric » Davi
I used to focus more on the technical aspects more, but then I learned that genuinely helpful content goes a lot further.
Get that part right first, and the rest will follow. Most people just end up giving up too early. Build for 3 years or if you have some money, buy a website that has good authority.
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Ali
From where to get Unique SAAS product ideas? How do you price different packages? What are the things you consider while creating different pricing plans?

Eric » Ali
I'd first start looking at the products that you use. Then you can look at software review sites like g2.com.
In terms of pricing, I recommend reading this post from Tom Tunguz: https://tomtunguz.com/three-part-tariffs/

Greg
Hey Eric, thank you for taking part here. I've enjoyed seeing Single Grain over the years. My Q as a fellow agency owner, and now newer to SaaS spinoff as well:
What are your thoughts on doubling down to focus on the new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)? Do you keep the agency to have multiple revenue streams? Or, are you that much out of operations that you're not "distracted" by it anyhow?

Eric » Greg
I think of Single Grain as a university. It's a place for us to learn new trends + implement new ideas. It's a place for us to train people up.
I like taking the cash flow from that business and deploying it into more exponential or durable sources of income. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) would be a good example.
I'm not really in the day-to-day on Single Grain or ClickFlow. That allows me to think more strategically and jump around and assist/make introductions/etc.
Greg
Thank you for this generous reply, Eric. That's a really fantastic lens to view Single Grain. We're fortunate to be opening our eyes to the benefits of cash flow, and just beginning learning how to optimize the (as you wrote, more exponential or durable) opportunities that provides.
Take care and I appreciate your time here.

John
What changed in your life/head/carrier so from "average" you became very successful?? Thank you.

Eric » John
1. I never try to think of myself as 'successful' or else I'll become complacent. That's just my personality though.
I studied a lot of self-development resources + biographies and the thought patterns from those resources became my own.
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John » Eric
Thank you.

Pia
What would be your advice for startup agencies (who are struggling with resources and industry connections) trying to compete against bigger agencies?

Eric » Pia
1. Niche down
2. Make a no-brainer offer to your target clients (study $100M Offers from Alex Hormozi)
3. Aim to reach X amount of people a day with this offer
4. Rinse and repeat
You will make mistakes, your first offers will suck, you will eat dirt.
But that's par for the course.
Keep going.
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Pia » Eric
Thank you! Will definitely follow your advice.

Casarez
What do you see as the biggest shift/hurdle for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) within the next 5 years, and can SEO users adjust? Also, what up my dude?

Eric » Casarez
Long time 😉 IMO all SEO users should become t-shaped marketers. Adds a lot more perspective. I generally find that the SEO industry (at least on Twitter) complains instead of finding solutions to problems.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a very strong foundation because it teaches people to be adaptable. Now take that adaptability and apply it to learning other skills.
The SEO game is still content and links right now, but I don't think links are going to be one of the top 2 signals in the near future given all the new tech coming.
The more well-rounded you are as a marketer, the more indispensable you are.
And the best marketers I know end up starting their own businesses.
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Fidelis » Eric
Thanks for this.
I'd like to ask, what SEO strategies would you recommend for a brand based in "Nigeria" to take if they plan on competing on a global level.
Let's say the plan on competing in the US Market for digital marketing services and products.
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Steven Kang 👑
What's the secret sauce for successful SaaS?

Eric » Steven Kang
Low churn, high Lifetime Value (LTV) and high Net Promoter Score (NPS) = time to scale.
I don't know that there's one 'secret sauce' for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), but I do believe that the 'product-led growth' movement will continue to grow. That is, giving a crippled or free version of your product and then having them stick to it because it's so damn good.

Steve Toth 🎓
What was the impetus for creating ClickFlow?

Eric » Steve Toth
I thought that I had an interesting intersection between my SEO background and my SaaS growth marketing background.
That blog post about how Pinterest did SEO A/B testing caught my attention and that kickstarted ClickFlow (although CF is pre/post testing).
Now ClickFlow has a bunch of new features designed for content teams.
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Steve Toth 🎓
It's a great tool. Kudos

Aquilino
When your starting out your career in SEO, what is the most effective strategy you used in order to get clients in SEO? How do you deal with them?

Eric » Aquilino
I posted a ton on Quora in the early days and made a lot of screencasts for people (outbound sales). I also worked with a lot of people on Elance (now Upwork).
Although the tools may have changed, the fundamental strategy hasn't:
– Be helpful
– Take advantage of distribution
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Chong
Most underrated marketing channel for agencies?

Eric » Chong
The offer matters more than anything. read '$100M Offers' by Alex Hormozi.
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Chong » Eric
Thanks. I will read it 🙂

Aquilino
What is your biggest challenges in SaaS and how did you resolve it?

Eric » Aquilino
Churn is usually the biggest issue for SaaS. A lot of customer development and adjustments will solve this. Read 'The Mom Test'.

Pant
What does your most investment goes in when launching a new product, service or business?

Eric » Pant
The team 😉

Sharma
When you get 50+ ideas to test, how do you prioritise them?
Why most of businesses give up on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)SEO even though they know the fact that SEO takes time?

Eric » Sharma
Which test will have the highest impact with the lowest lift? We usually go after those first.
Most people give up on things in general because they aren't willing to go through the 3+ years of pain. And that's why most people are most people.
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Deepak
what are the backlink strategies that work in 2021?

Eric » Deepak
https://Backlinko.com/skyscraper-technique
Link Building Case Study: How I Increased My Search Traffic by 110% in 14 Days

Qureshi
Since click Flow is content marketing, what should be the content strategy for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?

Eric » Qureshi
I'm not in the day to day of ClickFlow BUT if I were, I'd say that we should be targeting a lot of MOFU/BOFU content that is intent based.
For example, instead of writing a piece on 'what is content marketing?' (TOFU), we'd have a piece on 'how to instantly add more SEO traffic to all new blog posts that you create' (MOFU). I'd then mention ClickFlow as one of the tips.
You can also do comparison posts e.g. 'hubspot vs. salesfore' (BOFU).
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Chong
Difference between scaling to 7 figures and 8 figures?

Eric » Chong
Many people can get to 7 figures without much structure. Doing good work consistently can usually take care of things. Usually, the owner is still working 'in' the business.
Getting to 8 figures means starting to build out a strong leadership team so the owner can start to work 'on' the business (be out of the day-to-day).
People are heavily underrated. I learned that the hard way earlier in my career.
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Chong
To niche, or not to niche?

Eric » Chong
Niche = focus. Good idea for most people because your messaging because clearer.

Neeloy
How to convince foreign clients for SEO related job when someone has 0 experience but good knowledge and ideas on SEO?

Eric » Neeloy
Offer those ideas in a well-formatted e-mail and offer to chat on the phone to explain. on the phone call, offer to implement for free for at least a month. then at the end of the month, negotiate a paid engagement.

Joshua
What are the best SEO tools for automation (excluding project management or reporting). Auditing and implementing specifically.

Eric » Joshua
Check out conversion.ai

Steven Kang 👑
What's your favorite SEO strategy?

Eric » Steven Kang
Creating 10x content and then promoting the hell out of it.
80/20 rule when it comes to promoting vs content creation. Perhaps more when you're starting out.
If you have resources, buying websites would be an SEO strategy that's underutilized. Find a site with strong authority and then you have a platform to deploy content that will rank (and much more).
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Steven Kang 👑
What was your journey like?

Eric » Steven Kang
Was a 'failure' in HS and college. Got fired from two jobs. 'Failed forward' on my first 3 businesses. Single Grain almost failed (dropped all the way down to 1 employee).
Stuck with it, hired amazing people to build it back up, started to build or buy other businesses, continuing to produce content.
Because I stuck with it, my audiences started to compound.
I operate with Jeff Bezos' 'Day 1' philosophy. Having a startup mindset keeps me hungry. Success breeds complacency.
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