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It’s easy to look at a thriving business and assume they’ve always had it figured out. But, that’s very rarely the case. After all, every venture starts somewhere. And making your venture a success is all about doing the little things consistently and relentlessly — even if the results aren’t representative of the time and energy you’re putting in.
That was the case for Keval Shah — founder of Inbound Pursuit, a 7-figure SEO agency that focuses on delivering custom-built campaigns for their e-commerce clients rather than cookie-cutter strategies.
But how did he get here? What were the little things Keval did to scale his SEO agency to 7-figures?
Let’s take a look.
Relentless Dedication to His Goals
With service-based businesses, in particular, it’s all too easy to give up early after not seeing results. You send out a few hundred cold emails — or LinkedIn connection requests — and yet, you’re still struggling to get clients.
Might as well throw in the towel and put your energy into a new project, right? Wrong.
According to Keval, it’s paramount that you keep pushing forward even when things don’t appear to be going so well.
“When you’re first starting out it’s really easy to give up when you’re not seeing immediate results”, explains Keval, “But it’s pretty typical for things to start slow. I would say that you should expect that — expect to be putting in a whole lot of work with close to no return for a while. It took me several months to close my first client. Then another 7-months to hit $10k/month. And then another year after that before I felt like I had hit my stride and was running an actual business. These things take time. But if you don’t have the patience and dedication to see it through, you’ll have a hard time succeeding in the business world.”
Keval’s relentless dedication to his craft and his goals served him well: A little under 3 years ago, Keval had no clients. Now? His agency has over 50 clients on retainer with more and more businesses booking calls with him to reserve an onboarding spot.
Focus On Client Results First, Growth Second
What good is client acquisition if you can’t get them to stick around for the long haul? If you’re constantly chasing new clients to offset a high churn rate, your business will never scale. You’ll be stuck treading water — a slow death for any service-based agency.
That’s why, according to Keval, one of the most important things you can do to scale a service-based business is to focus on client results first and growth second.
“I’m obsessed with client results,” says Keval, “I treat all of my client sites like they’re my own. I personally spend time custom-building each of my client’s campaigns, so they’re put in the best possible position to see organic traction. I then regularly monitor progress to make sure their campaigns trend in the right direction and ultimately begin generating organic traffic. And by doing that — by making results your focus, you actually end up making client acquisition 10x easier.”
Those results you achieve allow you to publish case studies and gather positive testimonials, which improves your business’s reputation and notoriety. And those clients who you generated results for become your #1 fan, recommending your services to other business owners in their network.
Focusing on client results creates one giant positive feedback loop that ends up growing your business anyways.
Invest in Ongoing Coaching and Mentorship
If you aren’t continuing to learn and get better at what you do, you’re falling behind. This is especially true in the SEO space where algorithm shifts can change the effectiveness of strategies.
That’s why Keval makes it a point to invest in ongoing SEO coaching and mentorship from some of the smartest, most experienced SEOs in the game.
“To be the best, you have to learn from the best,” says Keval, “It doesn’t matter how good you think you are, any master of his or her craft knows that the learning process never ends. And if you’re not constantly learning and getting better, you’re doing yourself and your clients a massive disservice.”
This has allowed Keval to ensure he’s implementing the most up-to-date SEO strategies for his clients, and achieving the best results possible.
“That’s what separates Inbound Pursuit from most SEO agencies,” says Keval, “We don’t have strict, cookie-cutter processes that we abide by. Obviously, we have a general framework of strategies that work. But because we’re not so process oriented, it’s easy for us to quickly make adjustments and pivot our strategies towards what’s working best today. And that’s important because SEO is always changing.”
Build an Authentic Network
They say it’s all about who you know, and in the agency space, that couldn’t be more true. Keval accredits much of his success to building real connections with clients, service-based business owners and others in the SEO industry.
As a result, Keval has quickly built-up a reputation as the go-to SEO person amongst his vast network. That means that when someone in his network stumbles upon someone in need of SEO — whether it be a client, a friend, or an acquaintance — they are quick to refer them to Keval and Inbound Pursuit.
Having a network to send you leads is incredibly helpful if you are planning on scaling your business, so focus on building real connections with people (people can tell when you’re being fake) — it will pay incredible dividends in the future.
Build a Rockstar Team
Building real connections is important, but perhaps even more important is building the right team.
While Keval certainly started his agency as a solopreneur, he didn’t get to 7-figures alone. At a certain point, he realized he needed the right people on his team to help make his vision a reality.
He worked tirelessly to build a rockstar team that allowed him to spend less time in the trenches, and more time on higher level tasks. This also freed up some of his time so he could actually enjoy what he’s built.
Because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. Your goals should be ever growing, but it’s also important to enjoy the fruits of your labor.