Do you think that having a website is guaranteed to bring you in business? Well, there’s a little bit more to it than that! SEO Expert Phil Gregory from Peak District SEO shares a day in his life.
I set up Peak District SEO 2 years ago, although I got into SEO in the early days of the web(1998) after building a website in my Uni days…I wanted to rank on the many search engines (pre-Google), so I spent all my spare time obsessing about how to do that.
Ever since then I’ve been doing stuff on websites, building them, design, databases etc. I built lots of sites when I worked for Stoke Council and then focussed again on SEO working for a web agency in Derbyshire.
I left school with no GCSE’s initially but went back the year after. I lose track to be honest, I honestly don’t believe school qualifications are of any use in the wider world. They simply serve as keys to the doors of the next phase, such as college, Uni or vocational courses.
In terms of professional qualifications, I have a copywriters certificate, and regularly take Google and Other SEO related exams. You have to renew them every year, but I don’t find them all that relevant. The best qualification is doing.
My days vary. Mostly I start between 8 am and 9. One day a week I do networking either via BNI or client visits.
Working at home and being the boss gives you the flexibility to work when you’re in the zone. The 9-5 job is an anachronism and restrictive in practice.
Sometimes I’ll do client work in the mornings and then come back to it in the evening. That gives me a chance to work ON the business, instead of just IN it.
Work is divided up into blocks and segmented across the month, as all client work is done on a retained basis.
If I have a creative block, I’ll go for a walk. That gets the blood pumping, stops me staring at a screen for 12 hours straight and refreshes me for the next piece of work.
I enjoy working when it’s quiet and often work into the small hours.
Flexibility is the key to success here. So, I make sure I’m accessible for clients, I’ll talk to clients on the phone beyond the normal working hours of 9-5.
The best thing is simply being able to make decisions that drive change. It’s totally liberating but can be daunting at times.
For anyone feeling underutilised in their day jobs, self-employment is the way forward, but only if you’re ambitious and determined.
My mum says, ‘Pride’ comes before a fall’, but I’m proud of starting and maintaining a business. Two years is a short period of time, but it’s running well, the client base has expanded, and the clients are getting bigger and paying more.
I’m just generally proud that I’ve taken control of my life and am steering it in the direction I want to go in for the first time in years.
Before I set up Peak District SEO,I wish I knew to invoice upfront, and have short payment terms. Waiting for money is a killer when you’re just starting out.
It’s unreasonable for clients to make you wait 30+ days for your payment. Set your terms and enforce them, you are not a credit agency. Most small businesses could depend on cash flow.
For someone who’s thinking of working in SEO, I’d give them the following advice;
- You can’t ponder too much. Crack on!
- Get your ideas down on paper, then brainstorm the crap out of it.
- Don’t break your business model to please the customer.
- Planning is key.
- Prioritise the tasks.
- Set clear terms and conditions.
- Invoice upfront.
- Listen, to yourself and the clients.
- Back yourself. If you don’t believe in your ability, why should anyone else?
- Doing is the most important thing.. …Do nothing, get nothing.