SECTION THREE of the ULTIMATE SEO FREELANCER GUIDE - THE REALITY!
Being a full-time SEO freelancer is a business, not a hobby
If you have never run a business before and have just been employed as an SEO in-house or agency-side, you might not be aware of all the costs associated with running a business.
From here on, get into the mindset of thinking as though you are the owner of a one-person SEO agency.
I am an SEO Mindset Coach and trust me, you need to be in the right mindset in order to overcome all the many challenges you will face as an SEO freelancer.
Thinking as though you are an agency owner, with just you working within the agency will make a massive difference.
Trust me, it will allow your mind to open up beyond just getting clients, doing the work to fund your life.
As a one-person agency owner, what do you need?
As mentioned above, it will ease the pressure if you have a bank of money saved up prior to you leaving your full-time job to go freelance. I’d personally recommend that being able to sustain your life and making sure you can pay all the business associated costs for a six-month period will be a fantastic position to be in.
If you cannot make freelancing life work after six months, then you have to question if freelancing is really for you.
You now have a mini goal to achieve even before you go freelancing full-time…
To have six-months’ worth of funds.
This amount will be very different for each person depending on their personal situation. If you are living at home with parents with no dependents, you won’t need to build up as much funds than someone who needs to support a family of five.
Your personal situation will without doubt determine if you make the move to full-time freelancing…unless you are pushed, that is.
So, how much do you need to save up?
Start with making a list of all your personal outgoings (rent, mortgage, food, utility bills, credit cards, car, fuel, private health cover, etc…). This will give you a figure of your MINIMUM wage/salary you MUST earn each month.
On top of this, you then have all the expenses associated with running your one-person agency. Things like…
> Accountancy fees and software.
> Personal / business taxes for paying yourself a salary.
> Fully licensed copies of software/tools (Ahrefs, Semrush, Sitebulb, ScreamingFrog etc…)
> Hardware – PC/Mac/Laptop (you may already have these)
> Business insurance - Professional Indemnity Insurance (covers the cost of potential legal action if you’re accused of defective work or inaccurate advice.). You can also get Public Liability Insurance if you are physically going to go and do any work within a client’s business premises.
> Other software, such as a paid subscription to Adobe Creative Suite, Canva & Zoom. The last thing you want to do is your important meeting being cut off after 45 minutes because you are using the free version.
> Legal fees.
> Added costs towards your utility bills.
> Virtual office address (Do you really want your home address being public?).
> Costs of maintaining your freelance website.
> Marketing costs such as, networking groups, LinkedIn Premium etc…
> Travel costs if you need to meet a client in person.
> Plus any other monthly business costs your specific SEO freelance (one-person agency) business will need.
Add your monthly personal outgoings to your monthly business costs to get your…
Yes, this is how much per month you MUST earn just to survive!
This may be a reality check for you.
I speak with a LOT of employed SEOs who contact me asking questions about going freelance and when I ask them “how much do you need to earn each month?”, there is always something they have not taken into account when coming up with a figure. Usually, the figure they ‘think’ they need to earn is actually just what they need to cover all their personal bills.
What are the steps between the employed SEO job and going full-time freelancing?
Hungry for more?
Re-visit a previous section:
Section 1: SEO freelancing stories