5 Steps to Launching a Side Business

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Today I’d like to welcome my friend and fellow FinConPgh-er, Claudia. Back in March, Claudia presented on SEO at one of our meetings. She absolutely blew my mind. I’ve been working through her course, SEO Audit Guide, and have been seeing noticable results since. (My website is large as it’s 5+ years old, so reform is taking a while, but the process is well worth it.)

Claudia knows her stuff when it comes to SEO. If you’re going to FinCon, be sure to catch her presentation. She also knows the struggles of starting a new business as she’s just been through the process herself. I’m so glad that she’s sharing her new-found wisdom with us today. Take it away, Claudia!

Totes need to take this course! Have been thinking about launching my own side business for sooo long...

Starting a business isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds.  Trust me.  I thought that starting a business would be a challenging, difficult, and time-consuming process, which is why I waited until 2016 to launch my first business.

For years, I worked the 1099 life as a freelancer in SEO out of fear that starting a business would be difficult and that my business would fail.  If you believe what you read in the news, most businesses fail.  However, I’d argue that the failure isn’t the business itself, but rather, the business system that fails.

With the doors officially opened, the SEO work continues to pour in.  Our latest endeavor is in teaching others how to start a side hustle or a side business in SEO.  Our online course provides everything you need to learn the four core SEO services as well as the supporting documents you need to find clients, pitch clients, report on your work, and more.

Step 1: Research side business ideas.

Making a decision is the hardest part.  Selling products often requires a significant investment of capital to purchase inventory, build a platform, build an audience, etc.

Selling services often requires very little capital to get started beyond that which you need for training and business formation (if desired).

Why do I love SEO as a side business?

  1. It’s a service that’s needed across the world, so I’m not bound by geography.
  2. It’s a low barrier to entry so anyone willing to invest the time in training can get started.

Spend some time researching the type of business you want to start, but don’t wait too long to decide.  If you’re like me, you’ve been thinking about starting a business for some time, but you haven’t moved forward.  My only regret is not starting sooner.

“Don’t wait.  The time will never be just right.”

– Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich!

Step 2: Create one SMART goal.

Once you’ve decided on a business, set yourself up for success.  You want your business to be a success.  I want your business to be a success.  Having SMART goals and making progress toward those goals will help your new business be successful.  What do I mean by SMART goals?

S: Specific

M: Measurable

A: Actionable

R: Realistic

T: Time-bound

Set at least one SMART goal that you want to achieve in your side business.  You can always add more goals later!  If you’re interested in SEO as a side business, set a goal to complete training by X date.

Being clear about my personal and professional goals helps me stay motivated while having SMART goals help me make progress.  Knowing what I want to achieve and when is the reason why my side business has been profitable.

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”

– Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich!

Step 3: Find your first client.

Find a client before I’ve learned SEO or launched a business?  What?!  Yes!  Find your first client.  Your first client is the most difficult to find (or at least that’s what you might be thinking to yourself).  SEO is something that every small business owner needs, but they may not have the time to do it themselves.  Consequently, small business owners outsource their SEO efforts to the experts.

Of the top concerns my SEO students discuss with me, finding client #1 is consistently at the top of the list.  Many students fear that they have to cold call or go door to door to find SEO clients, so they don’t move forward on starting a side hustle or side business because of their fears.

To put any concerns you may have to rest, find your first SEO client before you launch your SEO side business.  You’ll start your business with confidence and the money you need for business formation (if you choose).  Additionally, your first client can be your best referral source.  Do an excellent job serving your first client and you’ll soon find more clients beating a path to your door.

Your first client can be a friend, family member, neighbor, a former employer, or even the owner of a local business you frequent.  Tell everyone you know you’re launching an SEO business.  Add a note in your social media profiles.  Put a signature line in your email account.  Update your LinkedIn profile.  The channels for getting the word out there are endless.

“Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.”

– Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich!

Step 4: Complete the online SEO training courses.

Our online courses accelerate the pace at which you can learn SEO.  We cut out all of the SEO theory you might read about in various blogs.  Our online courses focus on only the fundamentals of SEO, why SEO works, and how to complete the four core SEO services: the SEO website audits, keyword research, content audits, and content marketing.

Our online courses also give you more tips on finding and pitching clients for your business and reporters for content marketing.  We provide the report templates you need for the various services you choose to offer.  We even provide an invoice template so you can bill your clients.  Everything you need to get started in your side business is included.

Step 5: Get to work!

You’re ready.  You have your first client.  You’re a trained SEO consultant.  If you took swift action, chances are you completed the SEO courses in the same week you found your first client.  You’re ready to get to work!

After completing our SEO courses, you’re not left to wander.  You are one private Facebook group away from connect with other students who completed our online courses.  If you ever have a question or you just want to connect with other side business owners, the Facebook group is the place to go.

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5 thoughts on “5 Steps to Launching a Side Business

  1. FInance Solver

    I WISH I would have started my blog at least a couple months sooner as well when I was in school. I had so much free time in college, who knows where I would be today if I had started a couple months earlier! I’m learning the SEO right now and it’s really tough. My SEO score on Modest Money did improve from 0 to 8 so I think I’m doing something right!

    1. Claudia @ Two Cup House

      Hi Finance Solver! Kudos to you for taking the time to learn SEO. There is a lot of old content out there about SEO that can make it appear more complicated than it is. If you’re ever interested in learning more, feel free to reach out.


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