Happy Friday!

My favorite post this week BY FAR is from Brian at ScoreBoard Media.  The post is all about how SEO consultants should easily pull in $500k a year for consulting – but most aren’t.

I started doing Search Engine Optimization for my own business about seven years ago.  About three years ago I decided to help a web development firm build up their drowning Search Engine Marketing department.  Since then, we’ve spun the department out as its own business (SEM agency), and we’ve grown our client roster (and revenue) significantly.  Then came the brick wall…

I won’t go into details here cause I want my job for now 😉 – but lets just say the sales model is not where it should be, and some decision makers simply won’t listen to good business advice.  Can you imagine someone in your agency saying that Andy Beal’s advice on growing an Search Marketing firm is worthless?  I think the folks at SEOMOZ would disagree – along with all the others that pay him $2k+ a day for consulting.  Hmmm, he might just know something about what he’s saying.

So – I’ve decided to take the high road, do things on my own and build my own brand – hence, finally starting this blog (something I should have done a long time ago), and working to get to know a lot more people.

Brian’s post had a ton of great information – but something that really stuck out to me and has helped me build the agency’s business as well as my own brand – Networking.  Get to know people.  Share your knowledge.

The question becomes, what is your own plan?  Do you want to work for an agency or for yourself?  Here’s a few pro’s and con’s of each:

Agency Pros:

  • Steady income
  • Incentives
  • Health benefits
  • Extended contacts through agency sales force

Agency Cons

  • Your working for someone else (‘nough said there!)
  • Restrictions on white/grey/black hat strategies
  • Bureaucracy
  • Financial ceiling

Working for yourself pros

  • Freedom to build the business to your vision
  • experimentation (white/grey/black)
  • Unlimited income
  • Personal satisfaction of success

  Working for yourself cons

  • Contacts are harder to come by
  • Financial instability (if you’re not getting business)
  • Endless work hours
  • Need to excel at many disciplines (marketing, business, accounting…)

There’s a ton more that could be said about each category I’m sure – but of the above items, which fits you best? 

If you’re a true entrepreneur, the working for yourself cons won’t scare you at all – in fact, you’ll likely see each as a refreshing challenge.

If this is not the case for you.  Specifically if those cons scare you – think hard before you commit yourself to building your own business.  The stress can kill you, literally – and you can do great things with an agency…if you don’t mind the limitations.