Get SEO Clients – Proposal Sample Template (Converts 60-90%)

By | August 31, 2019

– What’s up, everybody? Welcome to another
episode of 100 Days of SEO. My name is Brendan Hufford. I help SEO clients
ranging from $90 million venture-backed startups
to local window washers and real estate agents
and interior designers. I’m so excited ’cause
today I’m gonna share with you the proposal
tactics that I used when I was
getting started in SEO. It’s not what we use
at Clique Studios anymore ’cause we usually
work a lot in tandem with web design and web
development and everything, but I’m gonna show you
exactly what I used from a proposal standpoint to land
my first big SEO clients. We’re gonna go
inside right here. That’s my house. We’re gonna go inside the house, we’re gonna hop in my laptop,
I’m gonna explain all of that. Let’s do it. (whistle) What’s up, everybody,
Brendan Hufford here. We’re in my computer now. I’m gonna share
with you a template that closes 60 to 90%
of new SEO clients. Now, you don’t
even have to have any current SEO clients
to use this template. It’s perfect for
newbies for that reason, but also, if you’ve
been using the same old, tired templates
to do pitches forever and you are ready, you know,
maybe you have some clients, maybe you have a good
thing going in your consultancy or agency and you
got a great track record, but you’re looking to
close bigger enterprise, bigger SaaS clients. This is perfect for you. It’s also perfect, and
we’ll get to this at the end, for people who are
bad at math, like me. So with that said, make sure
you stick around to the end. I’ve got something
pretty awesome for you. Here’s what it is. Today we’re gonna talk about
why a proposal like this works, why it’s scary effective,
what it taps into inside of humans that
makes it so effective. Where I learned to
create such a good proposal. How I use it to
get more SEO clients. And a bonus at the end is like
how to really close a lead. A proposal’s wonderful,
but we all get to that awkward phase where
you say how much money it’s gonna cost and they
sit there and look at you, and you’re not sure what to do. We’re gonna take
care of all of that today. I already know I
did a brief intro, but name is Brendan Hufford. I’m the founder of SEO for the
Rest of Us and 100 Days of SEO. I am the SEO Director
at Clique Studios, the best design
agency on the planet. I get to do all sorts of amazing SEO stuff there
for our design clients, but also for
strictly SEO clients, and I am a former teacher. I spent 10 years
in the classroom. I was an assistant principal. I have three little boys, shout out to all
the dads out there, shout out to all
the teachers out there, but trust me, I am as
regular as it can get. I am just like you. If I can do this, so can you. First tip, we gotta start here. Be a professional. Go on Canva, if you
don’t know how to design, I don’t know how to design. If you think
these slides look good, it’s just Canva, Design sells your work. It sells more
than anything else, more than any
sort of informations or spreadsheets or salesmanship. You have to have well-designed
proposal templates. It has to be solid. So let’s start there
and get grounded there. Now, I want to start there, but now I wanna
introduce you to Andy Raskin. Andy is a messaging
and positioning expert responsible for crafting
some of the most successful sales, marketing, and investor
pitches in Silicon Valley. Now, I didn’t
describe Andy that way. Somebody way smarter than me
and way above my pay grade did. Here’s what Andy figured out. Andy talks a lot about this
thing called the hero’s journey. You’ll recognize
the hero’s journey. It’s present in
everything that you love. Harry Potter, Star Wars,
The Matrix, Spider-Man, Lion King,
Lord of the Rings, but also, Indiana Jones, Finding Nemo,
Inside Out, Back to the Future. Every famous movie and most
of the famous books out there, including The Hunger Games, like everything follows
the same hero’s journey, and when you can figure
out how to leverage that in your presentations and
in your proposal templates, you are going to win. Here’s what I mean. A lot of people don’t
give credit where it’s due. The hero’s journey,
I would credit it definitely
to Joseph Campbell. He put together a couple ideas, but he wrote this book
back in the ’40s called The Hero With A Thousand
Faces where he figured out that all the stories
around the whole world follow this same
template called a monomyth where you have this hero
gets a call to adventure. They meet a mentor,
they go from their normal world into
this unknown world. They have trials
and tribulations. Something happens and they’re
reborn as something else. They have a revelation,
there’s more changes, they get a gift, and
they return changed to share what they know
with everybody else. You’ll recognize
this as Neo, as Frodo, as Harry Potter, as Marty McFly in
Back to the Future. It’s all the same stuff. The more we can tap into this, this is something that’s
hard wired into us as humans. The more we can tap
into this, the better. What I’m gonna do is
I’m gonna walk you through, this is a break down
that Andy did of a sales deck. I’m gonna help you
connect this, don’t worry, but we have to understand the
why before we get to the what. So I’m gonna walk you through
this sales deck from Zuora. Zuora is a subscription
payment processing company, and Andy said this was the best
sales deck he had ever seen. So the first thing that
they do in this sales deck, and I’m gonna make
each of this so the hero, each step of this to
the hero’s journey here. The first thing they do is they kind of just give this big goal. The people who
would work with them, their ideal client,
their ideal customers, want to turn their
customers into subscribers. What they’re doing here is
they’re crossing the threshold. The normal world is
the world of customers. The unknown world is
the world of subscribers. Next what they do
is they put on here, this is kind of like the five,
what Andy talks about, the five, and I’ll summarize
this again, so don’t worry. Make sure you take notes
while you’re watching this, but don’t worry, I have this
all on some slides at the end. Make sure you
watch until the end. The first thing that Andy
talks about is you have to name a big relevant
change in the world. Don’t kick off like
every other SEO proposal deck I’ve ever
seen where it’s like, here’s an executive
summary and here’s us and here’s how great we
are and blah, blah, blah. That’s a huge mistake. Don’t talk about
where your offices are and the awards you’ve won. None of that. Just make sure you talk about
a big, relevant change in the world that applies to your
business, SEO, and your client. Will this work
for everything else? Will this work for dev
proposals and writing proposals and content marketers
and design proposals? Of course, of course. But those will be
separate videos, I guess. Like let’s keep this focused
on SEO, Brendan. (laughs) The next thing
that they do is they chronicle an
outline of the change. Now, I’ve put
together two slides. There’s two different slides
they’ve used in the past. This is the first
one where they talk about how we’re living in
a different era now, and it chronicles that change
into a subscription economy. Here’s the second version of it. If you notice the
subtle important difference, what most pitch
advice tells you, which is to
start with the problem, but when you assert
that they have a problem, you’re gonna put them on
the defensive, Andy says. They might be unaware
of the problem or admitting that they’re
suffering from a problem. So let’s look at the
difference between these two. The first one says we are
living in a different era. It puts us all together. And then, the
next one says a shift from products to relationships. They’re really doubling down. The second version is the
one they use officially now. It’s the updated version. They’re really talking
about this change, right? Instead of saying we’re
all living through this, it’s like, look,
this shift has happened. They talk about the way,
how this change is permanent, how it’s not gonna go back,
this is not a fad. And what they’re doing here
is they’re going from crossing the threshold into the
trials and into the failure. They are
positioning themselves as the guide for the
person they’re pitching, the person they’re selling, we will guide you
through this change. Look, we’ve already seen it,
we’ve mapped it all out, we know what’s going on. They talk about this global
phenomenon that’s happened. I love the statistics here. I love how grounded
it is in just like facts and numbers and you
can’t disagree with it, it’s right there
in front of you. They talk about how
everybody’s doing this. In education, in cloud services, media, healthcare,
communications, everybody is shifting
to this new business model. What they’re doing here
is they’re talking about the growth and the
new skills you’re gonna need to succeed,
and I love this next part. The best companies
have reinvented themselves away from products. If you’re still on products,
you are going to die. What they’re establishing
here is that in the future, this is big point number two, showed that
there will be winners and losers based on this change. Look at that, 1955 average life expectancy of a
company was 75 years. 2015 the average life expectancy is 15 years for a
Fortune 500 company. That’s incredible. All prospects suffer from what economists call
loss aversion, Andy says. And like they just
want to avoid a possible loss by sticking
to the status quo. They don’t want to
risk something to gain. Change is scary, but we have
to show them that this mass extinction is happening if
they are not willing to change. We want to talk to
them about like, it’s gonna, you know, it’s gonna
beg the next question. Well, who’s winning here? Who’s losing? What’s going on? They like to cite
General Electric has moved from light bulbs
to digital services. They talk about IBM and Watson
and machine learning and AI. They talk about
Unilever and buying Dollar Shave Club
for a billion dollars. They also talk about
Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook, like these are
the relationship makers now, even Salesforce in there. Uber and Spotify, Box, Airbnb. They talk about
the new disruptors are moving into
this model, as well. Now, what is the common
thread between all of them? What are they doing? They’re bringing
you into the revelation. They’ve gone through,
they’ve guided you through the death and the
rebirth that’s happening. They want you to see the
changes that you need to make. Again, I have two
slides here for this. These slides do number three, which is called
teasing the promised land. This is the point
now where you wanna, it’s so easy to just slide into. Here’s how SEO
solves your problems. We tease the problem,
we’ve told you, but we’re not really teasing it, we’re teasing the promise land,
we’re teasing, if we go back one slide, we’re teasing
this return of change, like you come
back changed from this. Things are different now. The two slides, now, again, like let’s look at the
difference ’cause, again, you wanna dive
into your services. You’ve gotta resist that. If you introduce
your stuff too soon, they won’t have the
deepest level of context. Now, these slides don’t
have to take 10 minutes, but look at the difference
between these two slides. “Customers now expect
the subscription experience” to, “They understand we want
the subscription experience.” Big context change. This slide is
focused on customers. This slide is focused on the
companies who are winning. The people we’re
pitching wanna ally themselves. They want to see themselves. We can talk about
customers all day, but we also have
to talk about them. The original
slide was on customers, this slide’s focuses
on the companies that are winning
in this new era. They also walk through like how this is a new way of thinking. The old way versus the new way. They start to move into this. This changes everything. Again, old ways to new ways. What they’re
doing is positioning themselves as giving the gift. We are the product. Our product is a
gift to you to overcoming the obstacles for
the promised land. Getting the gift could be Harry Potter getting
Gryffindor’s sword, Luke Skywalker getting
his father’s light saber. Like all of these different, like learning to use
his father’s light saber. Like all of
these different things. If it’s not clear by now,
the most successful sales decks follow this
same narrative structure that I’ve been kind
of outlining, right? They’re Frodo. They are the hero here. You are Gandalf, right? You are Hagrid or Dumbledore,
I don’t know, whoever the mentor is there. My point is like
they are Cinderella. The prospect is Cinderella,
you’re the fairy godmother trying to cast these
spells to get them to the ball. That’s how we have to
position ourselves here. We are not the hero, they are. Now, these gifts in
the terms of the Zuora deck is they talk about it, again,
what are we doing here? We’re beyond a CRM. We’re gonna say
exactly why we built Zuora. Here’s our platform,
here’s what we offer, et cetera. This is the part of the pitch
where you get into your offer. Now, they return changed. We gotta, you know,
really double down on this. How would we return changed? Well, these other people have. This is where we
get into social proof. Again, I’ll summarize
all of this in a second. Don’t worry, I’m gonna
talk to you here in just a minute about
how to close these clients ’cause this doesn’t
get you to the close, this is just sales,
this is just getting them to the point of having
the sales conversation. But they walk through like,
here’s a testimonial. Here’s a testimonial,
here’s a testimonial. Boom, that’s what we got. Now it’s time for you
to start to take over. It’s time for you to
start your hero’s journey as we’ve walked you
through all of this. Now, like I said, if you
just hang on a second I’m gonna show you
exactly an exact like pay or exact slide of
how to close these people ’cause you’re
asking yourself, “Brendan, “what the F does this
have to do with SEO clients?” I wanna tell you, this stuff,
this way of presenting, this hero’s journey and
following the sales deck model, is dangerous. It is dangerous,
and here’s what I mean. If you use this on people that
are not prepared to pay you, they will become
a pain in the butt. I tell you this
with all honesty. If you use this on people,
they will wanna, and they don’t have
the money to hire you, they will ask you
a million questions, they want to work with you,
but if they don’t, if this is not under the guise, if you’re just doing this to
be helpful, don’t use this. Use this on people, use this
with people, not on people, with people that
you want to sell to. They have to know
they’re being sold. If you use this unwittingly
on somebody just trying to be helpful they
will not understand why they so deeply
want to work with you, and they’ll never in their head connect I should
pay this person. They will just
become a burden of endless questions
and everything else. The thing is like
this is extremely powerful. Here’s what makes
it even more powerful. Here’s what takes it up a level. I like to combine it with Russell Brunson’s
perfect webinar. He does an intro,
some open loops. He talks about these
three secrets, and then, he talks about the offer stack. Now, let me run
you through these. The three secrets we’re gonna
talk about here in a second. The offer stack just looks like all the things we are offering. It’s not just this, it’s this
and that and that and that. So we wanna make sure that we stack all of
our offers together. So for SEO, you’re not
just providing them with SEO. You’re not just
providing them with content, just with links. Outline every part of that. You’re gonna
optimize their analytics. You’re gonna hook up
Google tag manager to make sure everything’s
tracking correctly. You’re gonna
make sure that we’re able to show an
ROI directly from SEO. It’s all of these things,
and stack all of those things
together to help the close. Now, in theory how
does this look, right? We’re gonna follow, and feel free to screenshot
this or write these down, they’re also in
the description below if you wanna
copy and paste them. In theory, this is
following the five most important parts of a
sales deck narrative, right? The big relevant change. Show there will be
winners and losers. Tease the promised land. Give them the magic gifts
in the form of your product. And then, present
the evidence that you can make the story
come true for them. Mix it with equal
parts hero’s journey, little blend in of
the perfect webinar, and then, close
with the offer stack. That’s great theory, Brendan, but like there’s
nothing to take action on. Now, here’s what it looks like. This is an intimidating slide,
but let me run through it. This is exactly how I’d run
through slide by slide by slide. This can be
11 slides, that’s it. It doesn’t have
to be more than that. Just ’cause I have like 50
something slides to explain it doesn’t mean that, this
can be 10 slides, right? And they can be 10 slides that you reuse over and over again. We wanna name the big
end goal for the client. Now, this should come from a
paid audit you’ve already done. Nobody should be getting sold to without doing a
paid audit first. If you’re just getting started,
by all means, I’ve got a video on how
to get your first 10 clients, do audits for free to get people to be your clients for free, to do testimonials and
put together case studies, but eventually, you
should not be doing any audits, first of all, you
shouldn’t be giving anybody a price before
you’ve done an audit, and you have to do
the audit in order to know what their goal
is with those things. Number two, position
yourself as the expert guide to take them
through this journey. Share a little bit,
just briefly, of how you are the guide. How you’re Obi Wan Kenobi. Qualifications or awards. Remember, they’re the
hero in this story, not you. You have to focus
on your qualifications and awards only in
how it helps guide them. Then name the big,
relevant change in the world. Track that change over time. I love keeping the
relevant change to something in their industry and
how things are changing, whether it’s how they get
leads or how they close sales or how people decide who to
work with, things like that. Track that change over time. Explain why the
change is permanent. I love statistics here, you can find tons
of public statistics. Number six, like
give ’em the feeling that like
everybody’s doing this. Show the people who are winning. Show who the winners are,
show who the losers are. Tease that promised land. Number eight,
summarize what those businesses are doing right. I love doing a little bit of
competitive analysis here. Number nine, start tossin’
out those magic gifts. What SEO services are you gonna
offer and recommend to them? I love a six-month
strategy here. Just say, it can
be boiler plate, but just something to show
like I’ve thought this through and here’s what I think we
could do if we work together. Number 10, present evidence
you can make it come true. Again, a testimonial,
a case study. We increased leads
by this percentage, we increased sales
by this percentage, get to the bottom line,
and then, hit the close. When you get to the close,
here’s what happens. You say all right,
here’s my price, and it’s hello darkness,
my old friend. It’s just silence. You say the price, the
client wants to just do this. They’re like, see ya. You’re just
praying that like they say yes and you
can make it rain. It really doesn’t
have to be that way. Here’s what we’re gonna address. In one slide, one easy Google
sheet, we’re going to address, and this, again,
comes from Russell Brunson. If you’ve not bought his book Expert Secrets
you definitely should. He does a lot of like, he’s very over the
top with his sales, but it’s one of the
best books ever in business. He walks through,
there’s three real objections, three false beliefs.
Number one is the vehicle. In our case, this
would be SEO is the vehicle, and they would be saying, “I don’t know how
SEO will work for me,” and we have to address that. Number two,
their internal beliefs. I’m sold on SEO at this point,
they’re sold on number one, we have to do ’em
in this order too, but there’s
something about me that makes me think
this wouldn’t work. I’m not technical,
I’m not creative. We have to address that too. I’m gonna show you
how here in just a second. And then, number three, I’m not sure this will
work for my business, right? I’m not, they, ah,
people love to say that. They love to like
pursue SEO and then be like, well, I’m not really
sure people are Googling this. Well, maybe not,
and that might be true, and I’m gonna give you an
example of that in a second. Let’s take a look at this. So this is a
simple Google sheet. What I’ve put together here is
on the left is some keywords, the monthly average searches,
the click percentage, this is where you
know you’re dealing with a real SEO if they put the
click percentage in there. These are just pulled from
ahrefs, they’re pretty simple. But the idea that 100%
of the traffic is going to organic clicks
and you can use the same like 35, 25, whatever,
it’s not gonna work. Sometimes less
than 30% of the clicks are going to organic, right? So we wanna make sure we put
the click percentage in there. Tell them that,
this is you positioning yourself as the expert guide. Show the cost per click, show
what the monthly value is, put together this
total addressable market. There’s a great article by
Nick Eubanks From the Future. It’s is their
website. Go check it out, total addressable
market From the Future. Google it. I’ll also try to put a link in the description
below to that article. Put together the
total addressable market. This could be
thousands of keywords, right? Average your
traffic capture percentage. Estimate the traffic per month. Here, bring my mouse
over here, the cursor. Traffic per month is simply,
you know, estimated ranking two to three, let’s just be so
conservative with this. Let’s say they have a 5% lead
conversion on their website. Super conservative. They’ll end up, based on this,
these kinda rough numbers, these are just for
like local shredding, I didn’t even check a lot of
these keywords on the left, free shredding probably
shouldn’t be something we rank for,
but it is an opportunity. Good result in around a hundred, that’s why we’re
conservative with this, right? That’s why we’re
conservative with the 17%, conservative with 5%. 196 leads per month. The client said they could,
you know, convert 40% of those. Cool, that’s 78
new sales per month. I know that the
average revenue provided by the client per close for
a shredding client is $500. Great, so that means
a lead is worth $200. Again, that’s
based on average revenue divided by the
client conversion rate. A lead is worth 200 bucks. If I do my job,
what does that mean in terms of revenue for them? That means $39,143 per month. Now I’m gonna jack this
up to a year because I want them to see the big
picture of us working together for more than just the
initial six month engagement or more than
just month to month. In a year this could mean a
half million dollars in revenue. That could be very
significant for them. Now, what’s the ROI for them? Now, investment,
I love to take a number of, anywhere from
5 to 10% of revenue, again, that’s very, it makes
it just kind of a no-lose deal. This is, I’m trying to remember
who I learned this from. I’ll figure it out, I’ll link
it in the description below. But this is, it just,
I love the idea of like look, we’re just gonna work on
a percentage and we think this is enough money
to actually do the work, but we wanna give
you a 2000% ROI, right? And the break even here, you don’t have to
put this quote in here, this is a reminder for
me to tell you something, but the break
even point is four. If I can get them
four new sales per month of the 78, they break even on me. My services are
free after that, right? Now, can we get four of 78? This gives me a good benchmark. Hey Brendan, we only
closed five this month. Cool, you’re in the positive. You’re in, you know,
we’re in the green. Month two, well, we closed,
we only closed, we closed two in month
one and four in month two, great, we’ve broke
even by month two, awesome. Now, let’s see where we go. This is the question of,
I love asking clients this. If all this did was
get you four new clients, if all this did was get
you four new sales per month, would this be worth it? And the answer for
them should be absolutely ’cause once they hire us once, they’re gonna hire us again
the next time they need us. They know that the, you know,
the average revenue from an initial like they
may not be lifetime value. A lot of people don’t
have lifetime value numbers, and maybe some
SaaS companies do. Enterprise companies do. But then, you can
talk to them about that. But even just average revenue we know this is an
easy win for them. Now, this doesn’t
always work, right? Here’s another client. I kind of took
out the keywords so you wouldn’t know
exatly what they did, but if you look at this, the
numbers don’t make sense. They’re kind of a local client. Here’s the best we can do. Our minimum
engagement is $2,000. We’re not even gonna consider working with
somebody under that. I think that’s still really low, but like here’s what, you know, we’re only
conservative again, right? But like they sell
tickets to their events, and we could only probably bring them 18 new sales per month. At $90 apiece,
that meant monthly revenue’s gonna be about 1,600
bucks, yearly revenue 20K, but at 2,000,
we’re less than 100% ROI. That doesn’t make sense. We told them,
this is not the best use of your money right now. Here are some other options. We should not take
their money knowing that we cannot
get them a good ROI. We should not lower our budget. Now, if you’re just
starting out you desperately need clients,
do it for 500 bucks. Do it for a grand. My first like 10 clients
were all $500 a month. Where I think I, I mean,
I was ready to take clients for $200 a month
and be grateful for it ’cause I was
just getting started. I had no business trying to
close a $10,000 a month client. So my point is, we’re addressing these three core beliefs here. If we jump back really quickly, the vehicle, the internal,
and the external. The vehicle. Are people Googling this? Will SEO work? Yes. Sometimes I even like
to take their competitor’s keywords and show here’s
what they’re winning with. Well, it definitely is
working for them, right? Then we have the
internal in the bottom right, the number two. Will this work for me? Now, I’m coming
in as a partner here. I’m your trusted partner. I’m your guide to walk
you through all of this. They trust you by this point. We’ve gone through
the hero’s journey. We’ve gone through the five
steps of the sales process. We understand all of
these things and they trust you and now, when we
show ’em the ROI, they know this will
work for their business and, you know, the external belief
here, I’m not, or sorry, the internal belief was I’m not sold on SEO for whatever reason, we know we’re a good partner. The external belief will this
actually work for my business? Sure, here’s some real,
actual revenue numbers. Now, I only have two slides left and I wanna share
with you something. What do you say,
if I client says no, you’ve done everything right,
and they say no, what do you say? I love this line. I learned it from Joel Klettke. I’m gonna link up his website
and his sales training below. He’s an amazing copywriter. He says to them, maybe somebody more junior
would be a better fit. Maybe I’m a little bit,
I love this, he says this too, I didn’t put it on the slide, maybe I’m a little
bit overkill for you. Maybe you want
somebody more junior. Well, nobody
wants anybody junior. I don’t want a junior SEO. So maybe all of the sudden I’ll find some
budget for this person. Here’s what I want you to do. If this video is helpful, hopefully you’ve
taken a ton of notes, we got a bunch of stuff
in the description below, but I want you to comment. Comment below what is
your biggest personal struggle with finding, pitching,
or closing SEO clients? If you comment below,
I swear to God, I will answer
every single comment. Some of my videos I only
answer the first 10 ’cause it’s so much work to
like dive into somebody’s website or help them
with keyword research or search intent. I’m gonna answer every single
comment that this video gets ’cause I want this
to absolutely blow up. I think this video is
easily worth, you know, $500. It’s a $500
training put into a video. I know it’s going to help you, so I want you to do two things. If you’re struggling,
by all means, but here’s what I would love. If this helps you
actually close a client and you figure out like you
use this and implement it, come back, comment below,
just say like I just closed a client with this, wow,
love it, et cetera, let me know,
give me some feedback. Gimme a little bit
of love on this video and let me know it
was helpful for you. Looking forward to
talking to you in the comments. I’ve been Brendan Hufford. Don’t forget to work hard,
be nice to people, and don’t get too lost
trying to create something that matters, and of course,
always be closing.

2 thoughts on “Get SEO Clients – Proposal Sample Template (Converts 60-90%)

  1. LinuxOne Post author

    He Brendan quick question that is not related to this video.

    But do you use the related search tums in the subheading with the full keyword or only the related part. Like fun things to do in Chicago in winter or only the in winter part? I ask this because in the other case it will see like kw stuffing.

    I ask this because this topic was not very clear to in this video and in your free course.


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