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Tag: Agency

NEW: Claim Your Agency Directory Listing


Claim your listing on the new BrightLocal Agency Directory to begin generating leads from businesses that are searching for help with digital marketing right now.

Every week, BrightLocal’s Customer Success team receives requests for recommendations of top-rated agencies that can help our local business customers with their digital marketing. And, just as often, we receive requests from agencies and consultants to be added to our legacy lists of Top SEO Agencies.

We wanted to help bridge this gap between businesses in need of digital marketing assistance and the many talented agencies and freelancers operating in the US and actively seeking new leads. 

Introducing the Agency Directory

 

Today, we launched the Agency Directory – an in-depth directory of digital marketing agencies and consultants offering services including local SEO, PPC, SEO, and web design, in 1,000 cities in the USA*. 

A listing on the Agency Directory allows you to show off the key business information that potential leads need to know about when searching for services, so you can start generating leads right from your listing. 

Getting listed on the Agency Directory means you can feature on up to 5 lists of the top-rated agencies in the nearest city to ensure you’re being seen by businesses at the time they want to buy. Whether a business is looking for a local SEO agency in New York City, the best web designers in West Des Moines, or a great PPC provider in Portland, we have local lists aplenty!

*We plan to extend the Agency Directory in the near future to Canada, the UK, and Australia later this year.

Becoming an Agency Directory Partner

It’s free to claim your listing and enjoy the benefits of appearing in local lists for the services you offer.

However, if you’d like to improve your chances of impressing potential customers, you can upgrade to become an Agency Directory Partner. 

Becoming a Partner allows you to:

  • Get priority positioning on local lists to help your agency be seen by local businesses in need
  • Show off your key clients and case studies to tell the story of your agency’s best work
  • Remove links to Similar Companies on your listing to make sure searchers are only focused on you
  • Select and display the industries that you specialize in
  • Link through to your website to help potential customers learn more your business
  • See daily updates of your latest Google reviews, so your reputation stays up-to-date and your listing remains fresh! 

And, of course, it also means you can enjoy the whole BrightLocal toolset – including our brand-new grid tracker, Local Search Grid!

Partner status is reserved for BrightLocal users on a Multi Business, SEO Pro, or Enterprise plan. You can also enjoy these bonus features during your 14-day free BrightLocal trial.

So, how do I claim my Agency Directory listing?

We wanted to make sure the Agency Directory was helpful for local businesses from day one, so we’ve added a number of agencies to the Directory to get started. But this is where you come in. 

Whether you’re already listed or not, if you’re a digital marketing agency or consultant based in the US, you can claim your listing right now. It’s entirely free to join the Agency Directory – all you need is a BrightLocal login. This applies to both BrightLocal customers and non-customers, with no purchase necessary to claim and maintain your listing.

1. Head to the Agency Directory to search for your agency

Browse the list of local agencies in your city or state, or search for your agency to find your listing. 

No listing? No worries! Head straight to the brand-new Agency Directory Details section of your BrightLocal account to add in all the information about your agency.  This lives in Account Details – Agency Directory Details. 

2. If you find your agency is already listed, click ‘Claim Your Listing’

This will connect the listing to your BrightLocal account.

If you’re completely new to BrightLocal, you’ll take a short pit stop to register and get your account set up and ready to connect.

3. You’ll be taken to Agency Directory Details to edit your details

Whether you’re adding a completely new listing or claiming one that’s already live, Agency Directory Details is the central hub of all the information displayed in your listing.

Agency Directory Details

Here, you can manage a number of key elements of your listing, including your contact details, information about your agency and clients, Google reviews connection, and links to your social media profiles. 

Once you’re happy with your information, hit ‘Submit For Verification’ at the bottom of the page. 

4. We’ll verify your listing, and email you when it’s live

To ensure the Agency Directory is as useful as possible for businesses (and free of spam!), we manually verify every listing to ensure they are in the correct location, are legitimate digital marketers, and belong to the person claiming the listing. 

During particularly busy periods, this may take us a little bit of time, so please bear with us. We’ll email you once your listing has been verified.

5. Relax!  

Once your listing is live, you can sit back and rest assured your listing is in safe hands. 

If your agency catches a lead’s eye, they can email or call you from the details supplied on your listing. Emails will land in the inbox of the directory contact you designated in your Agency Directory Details. 

In the near future, we plan to introduce additional functionality to our Agency Lead Generator to help you keep track of the number of calls, website clicks, and views your listing gets – as well as to help you see all of the email leads you get in one place. Watch your inbox, as we’ll be sure to update you when this is live. 

You can update your listing details at any point in your BrightLocal account, and update your clients, case studies, and industry specialisms to reflect your latest work.

Reviews also update automatically to help ensure your listing stays fresh – you don’t need to touch a thing!  As an added bonus, any time you update your listing, you will be featured on the main page for your city to be even more visible to potential leads. 

Want to know more? 

To find out more about the Agency Directory, visit our Help Center: 

If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to BrightLocal support or share your thoughts in the comments below. 

A Staffing Agency with Remote-Friendly Listings


There are a number of great ways to find remote jobs online. If you work with me or read the blog regularly, you know I constantly recommend remote job boards and LinkedIn for remote job seekers.

But, a less common outlet for remote job seekers are staffing agencies.

That’s because most staffing agencies deal with local companies who need local candidates for short periods of work. Not exactly conducive to remote work, right?

However, there is one staffing agency that happens to be pretty remote-friendly. It’s called Kforce.

What is Kforce?

Kforce is a professional staffing agency. It specializes in placing job seekers with companies within Technology and Finance & Accounting fields.

If you’re not familiar, a staffing agency acts as the middleman between job seekers and companies. That is, a staffing agency helps match job candidates with companies that need to hire someone.

For example, a company will go to Kforce and say, “Hey. We need to hire someone to fill our bookkeeper position.”

Kforce will then get to work to find the ‘right’ candidate to fill this bookkeeper position.

(As an aside, if you like the idea of becoming a bookkeeper, you NEED to read my how to become a bookkeeper with no experience post!)

Kforce connects job seekers with companies

How does Kforce help me find work?

It’s pretty simple. As a job seeker, you have to create an account. It’s free and takes just a few minutes.

Once you have an account, you can browse jobs and apply directly to ones that interest you. When you apply directly, you have to go through a questionnaire to determine whether or not you are a good fit for that particular position. Be prepared to answer questions about your education and work experience.

If you don’t want to apply directly, that’s okay. You simply upload your resume to be added to the Kforce talent pool. From there, a recruiting expert will reach out to you. Your recruiter will want to get to know you better so they can place you in the best opportunity for you.

How kforce partners with you

What kinds of jobs are available at Kforce?

Remember, Kforce specializes in Technology and Accounting & Financing. If you have a background in these industries, you will find the most success using Kforce.

However, you don’t specifically need Tech or Accounting experience to use Kforce. That’s because Kforce welcomes candidates with a variety of backgrounds who are interested in working for companies within these specific fields.

For example, Kforce might need to a hire a customer service representative for a large technology company. The person they recruit doesn’t need to have a tech background. The recruit needs to have customer service experience and be comfortable working for a tech company.

What about Kforce Remote Jobs?

Kforce definitely has options for remote workers! The best way I found to narrow down the jobs to remote options is to simply search for “remote” in the “search by Job Title or Skill” box on the Kforce Job Search Page:

Simply type remote into the first box to find telecommute positions

As I type this, there are 511 remote-friendly positions listed with Kforce. Some of the different job titles include:

  • Customer Service Representative
  • Mortgage Processor
  • Operations Coordinator
  • Accounts Receivable

Once you conduct a “remote” job search on Kforce you can create a Job Alert. Now you’ll get an email notification whenever a new remote job is posted.

Does Kforce cost money?

Nope. Kforce is free to use for job seekers. You won’t have to pay a penny to apply to jobs or submit your resume. Instead, Kforce charges companies to use their website as a way to quickly connect with qualified job seekers, like you.

Are these temporary positions?

Not always. Kforce has both temporary and full time positions listed. It really just depends on the company that’s hiring and their current needs.

Like any job search site, you will have to filter through the types of jobs — full time, part time, contract, temporary, etc. — to find those that appeal to you.

What else should I know about Kforce remote jobs?

While Kforce does have remote jobs listed, you will need to carefully read the job description. With the disruption of COVID-19 many companies are in need of remote workers right now, but plan to transition back to in-office work in the future.

Each job description will indicate whether a position is fully remote or only remote for the time being.

How can I make the most of my experience with Kforce?

Good question! Working with a staffing agency comes with a learning curve. Some people love them. Others not so much. To give Kforce a fair chance, be prepared to work with a recruiter. To do that you should:

  • Keep your resume current
  • Be honest about what you want/need/are looking for
  • Keep interviews they set for you
  • Trust them

It’s a recruiter’s job to help place you in the perfect position. They want both you and the company hiring you to be happy at the end of the day. The only way a recruiter can do their job is if you are open, communicate with them about your goals, and trust them to find the right fit for you.

Is Kforce right for you?

Good question. You have to go into a staffing agency with an open mind. Just because you submit your resume to Kforce does not mean they will place you in a job.

Remember, Kforce works with 4,000+ companies to help them find candidates, like you. While there are plenty of jobs available, not all of them will be right for you. This is especially true for remote job seekers using staffing agencies.

However, Kforce can certainly help supplement your job search. In other words, don’t solely rely on Kforce to make your remote dreams reality. Instead, conduct your own remote job search AND use Kforce to fill in the gaps.

The more you put yourself out there, the better your chances of getting hired.

The Bottom Line

Overall, I think Kforce is a solid way to come across new remote job leads. If you like the idea of working for Tech or Finance/Accounting companies, Kforce is worth a shot. And, since it won’t cost you any money, you don’t have anything to lose!

On the flip side, Kforce doesn’t have a whole lot of remote job listings. And, many of the remote jobs they do have are only temporarily remote during COVID-19.

My recommendation? Use Kforce as a way to supplement your remote job search, but certainly don’t rely on it as your only source of job leads. Best case scenario you get a job offer you accept! And the worst? Well, you never end up getting anywhere with the recruitment process. But, since it’s free for you to use, the only thing you’ll lose is the time it takes to fill out applications.

Make Extra Cash with Kforce

Ever look at a job lead and think, “OMG, So-andSo would be PERFECT for that position!” Well, Kforce makes it super easy to search for jobs on the go AND refer your friends/family to positions you think they’ll love. All you have to do is download the KFORCEconnect App.

From there, you can easily share job leads with others. You can even receive a small cash bonus if your referral turns into a hire. How’s that for a win win?

Help! I’m still on the fence…

That’s okay. Career decisions are tough, especially when you go them alone. As a Certified Professional Career Coach, I help provide career clarity and direction. My primary focus is to guide remote job seekers toward strategic career moves. I offer personalized service, factual resources, and practical help.

Interested?

Work with me! I offer a limited number of one-on-one coaching sessions. To learn more, check out my services page.

Happily,

Ashlee Anderson, CPCC

PS This post contains affiliate links. Check out my disclosure statement to learn more.

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How to Scale Your SEO Agency [Webinar Recap]


Running an agency is no piece of cake — something our panelists know well. But once you’ve conquered the day-to-day running of one, how do you progress?

Making the decision to scale up can be tricky, and there are a lot of obstacles to contend with. That’s why, on March 18, 2020, we united a panel of agency veterans to discuss the key turning points and processes needed to grow your SEO agency.

Both of our panelists — RicketyRoo’s Blake Denman and Nifty Marketing’s Mike Ramsey — have been through this exact phase and carry the bruises and rewards to show for it. So why not take the opportunity to learn from these priceless experiences and, hopefully,  avoid some of the missteps that our panelists might have made along the way?

In this BrightLocal webinar, we cover the key steps to take when scaling up, including targeting the right customers, scaling up efficiently, how, when, and who to hire, and overcoming obstacles.

P.S. You might notice our webinar panelists are dressed a little, uh, unusually. But, we’ll leave it to them to explain why at the start of the webinar. Want to skip straight to the juicy content? Jump right in at the 4-minute mark.

Contents

Recording

Summary

Where they started

Once the panelists had finished explaining the intricacies of “dressing to impress”, they jumped straight into talking about current events — acknowledging that, in a time when businesses are talking about scaling back, rather than up, the webinar agenda and SEO landscape was changing right beneath our feet.

Interestingly, each panelist (including host and BrightLocal CEO Myles Anderson) has been running their business for 10 years.

Mike begins by explaining that he started building Nifty just after the housing crash in 2008. He doesn’t gloss over the nitty-gritty details, candidly saying “It was really hard and I wasn’t able to pick up very much business right out of the gate”. But what sparked the success that led to where Nifty is today? Mike shared his new website in the SEO Book forum, offering SEO services, pay-per-click, and website design.

“I put it out there and [people] said, ‘You look like everyone else. What do you do that’s different from somebody else in this space?’” Mike claims that this is the piece of feedback that helped Nifty to transition from trying to be everything to everybody, to finding a focus.

So, Mike found the one thing each of his (few) clients were looking for and honed in on that. At the time, it just so happened that everyone was looking to get listed on Google as a business — what we now know as Google My Business.

“I started to put all of my energy and resources into sharing, talking about and studying things happening within this Google Local realm […] which helped to differentiate our company at that time. We became known for local search. And I think without that, we wouldn’t have gotten off the ground”.

Similarly, Blake started his business back in 2009, when the recession was at its height. After some of his friends were laid off from an agency that had been hit by hard times, Blake shortly decided to brave it on his own. Blake told us that he and his friends were hanging out that same evening when he threw the idea of starting their own company out there. “[My friends] got excited and we started to come up with business names. The name RicketyRoo popped into my head, I threw it out there, they loved it, so I bought the domain name that night. Six months later when I decided to go out on my own I needed a company name, well, people seemed to like RicketyRoo so I went with it.”

At the time, Blake says, “I was only doing pay-per-click and I had a couple of clients. 90% of my revenue was coming from one big account”. When that big account eventually left, Blake once again found himself in a “tough place”.

Blake soon realized he’d need to alter his path if he wanted to achieve his goals. He became more engaged in the community, performed more outreach, and like Mike, began to specialize. Now, Blake works with a team of four people all specializing in local search.

Myles questions how Blake managed to stimulate that growth to get to a point he’s now happy with (and continuing to grow!) His response? “In the past few years, I’ve become a lot more active in the community. I’ve started to speak at conferences — which doesn’t always turn into revenue right off the bat but it’s something I’m investing a lot of time into.” In fact, Blake actually met his largest client to-date at a conference.

Coronavirus

Given the current circumstances and challenges facing local businesses and SEOs at this time, it would be amiss not to at least briefly cover the affect coronavirus is currently having.

To begin, Myles asks Mike what —if any — impact he’s seeing on clients right now as Covid-19 begins to have an impact in the USA. “This isn’t the first recession I’ve been through as an agency owner, but this is a very unique one for anybody.”

Opening up about the real effects coronavirus has had on his business, Mike tells the audience that, so far, Nifty has lost approximately $17,000 MRR (monthly recurring revenue). While that’s not a substantial number in relation to the company’s ambitious $5 million revenue goal, it’s still hard-hitting.

Mike mentions that, when he got into the internet marketing business, he thought it would be more or less recession-proof. But, as we’ve seen, nothing seems to be entirely safe in our current scenario. Mike’s lost out on his conference clients, who have been hit hard by the cancellation of public events and large gatherings. Nevertheless, Mike says he feels fortunate that the effects so far are few and far between.

“As marketers, we know that it’s so important to continue to market in hard times. And those that find a creative way to do that, will end up coming out ahead. Yet it’s the last thing that people want to do — to spend money on this question mark when they have fear”.

At Nifty, Mike says they’re tackling the situation by working with clients to discover their personal fear. If budgets need to be cut, that’s okay. But it’s about making people feel secure on a personal level, as well as a business one. It’s also important if you can, to provide some goodwill for loyal clients. If they need more support during these tough times, it’s worth weathering the storm to ensure they make it through the other side. Not only is it a good thing to do, but it means your business will likely reap the rewards on the other side of this.

“The most important thing I think you can do as an agency owner is to understand and have your pulse on what reactions your clients are having.”

Similarly, Blake says that the first thing he did when “everything started going south”, was to contact his team and make sure they were in the loop about the current situation — “This is where it’s at, and here’s our runway”.

In terms of Blake’s MRR, he says so far the pandemic has affected around 4.5-5% of it. Again, it’s clients in the events and travel spaces that are feeling the burden right now.

Blake mentions the importance of providing additional support as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters.

Targeting the right customers

Moving onto a more positive topic, Myles asks Blake how the profile of customers has changed and how you target the “right” customers for your agency. “Typically, we’d discuss that in the initial discovery call”, says Blake. For example, if someone’s really fixated on cost versus goals, that’s not a good sign. Blake also recommends looking out for anything you’d consider a red flag, during those initial conversations you’re having.

“If I feel like it’s going to be a real tug-of-war relationship, then they’re probably not the right fit for us”.

Importantly, it’s good to be in a position where you don’t have to let everybody “through the door”, as it were. Whether or not you can afford to be picky, however, really depends on your current personal situation. As Blake says, if bills need to be paid you may not be able to be so selective.

Meanwhile, Mike speaks to the benefits of hiring, saying that his Director of Marketing is very skilled at being able to “sniff out” who’s a good fit for Nifty and who’s not.

Making sales

Transitioning into the topic of sales — something Mike and Blake are both passionate about — Myles asks what sales channels tend to bring in the best quality leads.

In terms of the inbound versus the outbound balance of sales, Mike says Nifty is “almost 100% inbound” at this point. But looking back, Mike can’t pinpoint just one channel that led to quality leads and sales. In a general sense, “sharing information”, whether through blogs or conferences, is what provided Nifty with the best sales opportunities.

Scaling smoothly

Scaling an agency is one thing, but doing it smoothly is a whole other kettle of fish.

Blake is keen to emphasize that like with many aspects of agency work, how to scale painlessly really depends on your goals. While RicketyRoo has had some bumps along the way, there were also large stretches where everything was smooth sailing.

One thing that helps the scaling process, Blake says, is documenting processes as you grow — whether that’s writing them up or creating training videos for new hires.

It’s also important to have the right tools and platforms to help you along the way. For example, Blake gives a big shoutout to project management platform Asana: “It’s been a game-changer for us”.

Hiring and training staff

In regards to hiring, Mike says Nifty operates with a couple of different approaches in mind. Depending on the level of seniority, Mike will hire with short-term or long-term goals in mind. So hiring for a senior project manager position, will take around a years’ time, versus a “doer” or associate-level role which will take just a few months.

Speaking on who to hire, Mike says “The number one thing we hire on is personality”, as it’s far easier to train someone up in SEO than it is to make someone fit into the existing company culture.

Mike mentions Nifty also used to struggle with the training of staff. Previously, each new hire would spend a month or so learning the ins and outs of their department. As the company has grown, however, Nifty now has a Director of Search, whose main role is more or less to train up these new hires and get them up to speed. This approach, Mike says, leads to a good level of consistency. In contrast, Mike says when they didn’t have specific trainers “it was a little Wild West!” So it’s definitely worth investing in training people thoroughly, as it will save you time in the long run.

On this topic, Myles jumps in to speak of the importance of catering to different employees’ unique learning styles. For example, some people love videos, while some people just want a manual to read. So how you train should be flexible depending on your team’s learning styles.

Making mistakes and getting advice

When scaling an agency, some pitfalls are inevitable. But what’s the biggest? Blake says “relying on too few clients” — something he mentioned he was guilty of in the past. Otherwise, it would be not keeping your pipeline full.

And even in the stages of success that Mike and Blake are both at now, there still comes a time when you need to reach out for advice. Blake gives a nod to the importance of having a network of friends or colleagues in the same industry. And sometimes you just need to someone to tell you to “Shut up and focus on one thing”.

Even if you don’t have a network nearby, there’s nothing stopping from you starting a Google Hangout. Especially if you’re a solo entrepreneur, having a community to lean on is vital. Blake also mentions he has a business advisor which really helps him out, too.

On the other hand, Mike sources advice and support from the Agency Con group on Facebook — “that’s the first place I go to [for advice]. Similarly, the group involved with Local U (Joy Hawkins, Mike Blumenthal, et al) provides a great place to bounce ideas back and forth. For Mike, “there are certain people for certain issues and there’s probably not someone who can be the master of all things”. So it’s worth having a catalog of resources.

As the webinar comes to an end, Myles questions what Blake and Mike’s biggest headaches are right now. For Mike, it’s “How to continue to attract sales. Always.” Despite having a full pipeline, it’s still an issue you need to continue to solve on a daily basis. As Mike says, “If you don’t solve [that problem], you won’t have any other problems to solve”. He also claims to always be thinking of the best, most efficient way to tackle things.

Blake agrees, “Making sure the pipeline is fresh.” He also recommends looking at projects and timelines with a birds-eye view, so you don’t find yourself overloaded and understaffed.

Resources

Have your own tips, success stories, and challenges to share? We want to hear them in the comments below!


Our Expert Panelists

Blake Denman

Blake Denman

Owner, RicketyRoo

Mike Ramsey

Mike Ramsey

President, Nifty Ventures