In this article, let’s go over how you can build a team for your SEO agency.
I’m here to tell you that this kind of thing can actually be quite complicated.
I mean, if you make a wrong decision, you might mess things up, and hire the wrong person.
You will end up with a poorly performing agency, and you might then be ready to call it quits on SEO and SEO YouTube videos.
This article will go over some tips that I’ve found to be very useful when hiring people for an agency.
I just wanna say most of these tips work really well for both contractors, and full-time employees.
This one tip is super important, as it might just protect you from hiring someone that’ll tank your agency!
Let’s get started!
Section #1 — How Much Can You Budget?
The first thing you need to think about is how much you can afford to spend on new hires.
I just want to say that I can’t really give you an ideal budget here, as the answer can be quite specific to your agency, and its financial standing.
And, you need to review your accounts to figure out how much you can put towards building a team.
Section #2 — What Do You Need Help With?
Right, once you know what you can afford, you then need to think about what you need help with.
This is key because, if you don’t figure this sort of stuff out, you won’t be able to write a good job description that attracts the right kinds of individuals.
Plus, later on, we’re also gonna cover certain hiring platforms such as “Upwork.”
On these platforms, you can search for specific kinds of people.
This feature is helpful. It makes it easy for you to find someone that’ll be a great fit for your role.
…And that could then make it difficult for you to find good candidates on a platform like this.
Section #3 — Does Experience Matter?
If you’re hiring someone for a technical role, it’s a good idea to hire individuals that have relevant technical experience.
If you focus on hiring someone with relevant skills, you won’t have to spend a ton of time training them.
But, on the whole, things will just be easier if you hire someone with the right kind of background.
Plus, when you hire someone who has relevant experience, they might bring more to the role than you expected, or even asked them to.
After all, they might have some knowledge from previous jobs, that improves your current processes.
This might then mean you can achieve better results…
In a shorter amount of time
Or even just with less money.
If you want to take things to the next level, you might want to consider hiring a person that has experience that’s super specific to your agency.
For example, imagine you have a link building agency, and you offer HARO links.
If that’s the case, you hire someone that’s actually built these kinds of links in the past.
Of course, your ability to do all of this, though, will depend on how much you can afford to spend.
After all, specialists tend to charge more/demand higher salaries.
I mean, if you’re on a bit of a budget…
Just hire SEO generalists, and you may then need to train them up so that they understand how to get results with a specific tactic.
And…if you’re on a really strict budget,
You will need to settle on hiring individuals that have little to no experience with SEO, and you will need to just train them up.
However, expect that the training period might take a little longer when compared to someone that has general SEO experience.
You should still make sure they have relevant experience when it comes to the kinds of tasks you’re gonna be asking them to do.
So, that might include basic things like knowing how to use Word, Excel or Slack…
…Though it could also include slightly complicated things like understanding how Zapier works.
Section #4 — Where to Hire People for Your SEO Agency
There are loads of websites that can help you with this, and they generally fall into two categories —
Websites that help you hire full time employees…
… and sites that help you hire contractors.
If you’re looking to hire full time employees, you might want to use a site like Indeed or LinkedIn jobs.
If you want your job posting will reach as many individuals as possible, consider using a “job posting service.”
These services can be a bit costly, but…
They’ll put your ad on every major job site, and this will increase the odds of the right candidate finding your ad, and putting themselves forward for the role.
If you want to hire contractors, perhaps the best option is to use a site like Upwork.com.
Of course, that’s not the only freelance platform out there…
But… loads of freelancers use this site…
In fact, I’ve even used this platform to get clients!
On a side note, if you’d like to learn more about my journey with Upwork, you can check out this video.
Many freelancers use this site, it might be your best bet if you’re trying to find someone that’s both affordable and also good at what they do.
…I mean it’d be hard not to find the right person on a website with so many users!
You also need to make sure your job description clearly describes what you want from candidates as well as some of the things that would disqualify someone.
So, that might include…
- certain skills
- years of experience
- familiarity with specific tools
- timezone requirements
If your job description doesn’t explicitly describe what you want as well as what you don’t want, you might end up attracting the wrong kinds of people.
… and if that happens…
You will then waste time sorting through candidates that would never have been a good fit for your position.
If you need some help when it comes to writing job descriptions, you might wanna look at existing job descriptions.
If you do this, you’ll get a sense of what separates a good job description from a bad one..
…And you can then maybe create your own template, based on what you’ve learned.
For example, here’s an example of a fairly basic job description on Upwork.
This is pretty broad, and so if you created something like this…
You might get tons of applications but it will take a ton of time to sort through all the people that apply.
Plus, good candidates might not even apply in the first place…
It’s because the job description doesn’t provide any specific details when it comes to the scope of the work that’s involved.
As a result, good candidates might be wary of putting themselves forward for a role like this.
On the other hand, this job ad is a little bit more specific…
This one is quite detailed and there’s a good chance that will attract someone that can actually deliver the kinds of results this person is after.
Section #5 — Interviewing People
Once you start to get applications, you then need to think about conducting interviews.
Lots of business owners tend to have their own way of doing things when it comes to running interviews.
However, if you’re a bit clueless here, and you’re feeling a little nervous, here are a few key points you wanna keep in mind.
Right, so you basically just wanna use the interviews to figure out how competent a certain person actually is.
After all, it’s easy to lie on your CV, or freelance profile, right?…
…Because of this, you need to verify that the person has actually told the truth about the things they’re claiming.
The best way to verify someone’s claims is by asking them to talk about one of their previous SEO projects.
So, for example, someone might’ve said that they’ve built links for a certain website.
You can then question them on this link building campaign, and how they achieved these results.
On top of that, you could also request ideas on how they’d improve things if they were to work on a similar project in the near future.
If they can describe everything in detail, there’s a chance they’re actually telling the truth.
Of course, if you wanna take things one step further, you might also want to consider asking for references.
After all, the main thing you’re trying to work out here is if the person is “teachable.”
You might wanna give them some instructions, and then ask them to complete a small task, before the interview.
If they do a good job, they probably won’t have issues when you ask them to follow your SOPs.
Section #5 — Consider Trial Periods
If you’re nervous about hiring the wrong person for your agency, remember that you can make use of trial periods.
So, if you bring a new person to your team, you can try things out for a certain period of time.
Based on how things go, you will decide if you’re going to keep working with them or if it’s better to let them go.
How long a trial period lasts? It is up to you, and the way you wanna do things.
I mean, if you’re going to work with a contractor, you should try them out for a couple of link building campaigns.
If that’s the case, the length of the trial period is gonna be determined by how long these campaigns take.
Either way, you wanna give the person a good chance to showcase their talents, and you also give them enough opportunities to act on feedback.
If you’re too harsh during the trial period, you might end up letting go of someone that might’ve been an amazing hire, after receiving a little bit of training and advice.
Section #6 — Do You Have SOPs?
All agencies tend to have their own specific way of doing things and I’d be willing to bet that your agency is no exception here.
For example, you might have certain preferences when it comes to sending outreach emails or even when identifying prospects for link-building campaigns.
Whatever your preferences are, you should try to formalize everything by creating an SOP.
SOP stands for “Standard Operating Procedure.” This is basically a document that details all the things that need to be done, when completing a certain task.
If you’d like to see some generic SOPs, you can go to templatelab.com. They have a huge library of SOPs that you can check out.
Now, these SOPs aren’t really related to SEO…
But, they do offer you a rough sense of how you should approach things and the way you should structure this kind of document.
Either way, the level of detail you go into when creating your SOPs will depend on your situation.
For example, some agency owners like to create super detailed SOPs that basically standardize every part of a specific process.
If you build HARO links in your agency, you might catalog all the steps that are involved in creating HARO links.
You might do this by creating a simple Word doc…
Or you could even create a video that records your screen, and goes through the whole process.
This is what we did in our agency, and it’s one of the main reasons we’ve been able to consistently build high DR HARO links for some of our clients.
Without good SOPs, I don’t think we would’ve been able to take this client from 0, 145,000 visits per month, using HARO links.
After all, it was the SOPs that allowed me to scale this process so that I could build enough links to actually deliver this result.
Creating detailed SOPs might sound like a lot of work, and you might not be ready to do this.
That said, if you’re hiring specialists, you might not really need to give them a super detailed SOP.
Sure, you might need to give them a document that details how you do things in your agency.
But, you probably don’t need to give them a thorough rundown on how a certain tactic should be done from start to finish.
They already know this stuff, and their experience/past results show this to be the case.
By the way, if you want your SOPs to be really good, you should review them regularly so that you can improve them.
If different team members are making the same mistake, there’s a chance you might’ve missed something on your SOP.
If you notice something like this, you need to highlight this issue in your SOP so that future team members don’t run into the same issue.
When you’re reviewing your SOPs and updating them, ask team members if they have any advice on how things can be improved.
They might have learned a few tips and tricks whilst working for you, and they might be able to make some good suggestions that’ll help your SOP deliver better results.
Section #7 — Building a team through outsourcing
Something else I just wanna touch on here is that you can also build a team by using outsourcing services.
You could probably argue that this doesn’t technically count as building a team…
But this approach does help you achieve all the benefits of having a team…
Without having to deal with all the stress that comes with hiring and managing people.
So, how do you approach this kinda thing?
Well, if you do things this way, you basically need to identify a need within your agency.
You then need to find someone that offers “whitelabeling services,” based on this need.
This isn’t that hard to do, as there are tons of companies out there that offer white labeling services for all the various tasks associated with running an SEO agency.
So, you’ll find that there are…
Link building services
Technical seo services…
…and just basically anything you can think of.
By the way, if you’re interested, we actually have a whitelabelling service for agency owners that want to outsource link-building.
If you’re intrigued, go to juliangoldie.com to book a free consultation with us. During the call, we’ll go over how everything works.
Hopefully, everything we’ve covered here should help you build a solid team for your agency.