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Be realistic about your own SEO skillset

The whole reason you must feel that you are at a stage in your career to go it alone as an SEO freelancer is because you have an amazing track record of (in some way) helping businesses, companies and brands to increase their organic exposure.

I really do get annoyed when SEOs go freelancing and start selling (giving promises) on things they do not have any knowledge or experience on. I see this all the time. They get a new client and then post in a private SEO group something like…

“I’ve just got this client who wants xxx, what do I need to do?”


Do NOT sell promises that you cannot personally achieve.

It’s OK to say…

“Unfortunate, that is not my area of expertise but I know just the person who will make that goal a reality.”

Now, don’t get me wrong…

It is perfectly fine to ask for help or advice when you come across an SEO related problem you have not seen before, as we are all learning all the time.


> do not sell a technical SEO service if you do not have a clue how code works.
> do not sell eCommerce SEO if your experience has been devoted to Local SEO.
> do not sell a large website migration service if you have never migrated a large website before, as one wrong step and you could potentially destroy that business.

You get the idea!

Find YOUR SEO thing. As a freelance SEO, what do you want to be known for?

Make a list of all the individual SEO tasks you can easily do and have a lot of experience doing.
As an example…

> Keyword research and mapping
> Implementing on-page optimisation on each page
> Making basic website edits
> Structured data/schema creation (I now personally consider this a basic SEO task)
> 301 redirect mapping and implementation
> Setup of Google Analytics
> Setup of Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster
> Setup and management of Google Business Profile
> Understanding the data within SEO tool suites
> Ability to create SEO reports
> Speed optimisation
> Internal linking structuring
> Writing local based content
> Technical SEO auditing
> Link building & outreach
> Etc…

Take a good hard look at the reality of YOUR SEO skillset list. When you are working as an SEO as part of a team, you can get sucked into the glory of thinking you have helped the client to achieve a 513% organic growth when in reality…

You were just a tiny piece of the whole puzzle and there was actually a lot of other factors contributing to the achievements that you were not aware of.

You also need to be mindful of…

As am SEO freelancer, you are no longer part of a team. You are a lone wolf and cannot just nudge your colleague to help you out if you get stuck.

Being totally realistic with yourself about your individual SEO skillset is such an IMPORTANT factor when it comes to running a successful SEO freelancing business (one-person agency).

If you feel that your personal SEO skillset is not where it needs to be, you have two choices…

1. Carry on in your full-time job whilst building up your individual SEO skillset.
2. Be realistic about who you are and the level of work you can take on as an SEO freelancer.

Do you want clients to come to you because they have heard that you are amongst the best at technical SEO, eCommerce SEO, website migrations, or Local SEO?

Yes, as a freelance SEO, you need a great understanding of the whole SEO landscape, but that does not mean you shouldn’t be better at one specific area of SEO than another.

A lot of very successful SEO freelancers I know all have something in common…

They all specialise in one specific area of SEO.


As a freelance SEO, what do YOU want to be known for?

Once you understand who you are as a freelance SEO, make a list of all the missing gaps and team up with a fellow SEO freelancer who you can work with who can fill those missing gaps.

SEO freelance skills

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