Apple is a brand known the world over, but it did not experience instant success. Much like other businesses, it started out small. It started locally, with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak at the helm, armed with loans and a plan that was, at that time, too dire for investors to imagine.

Easy as it may seem to decompose Apple into the core parts—an innovative idea, enough cash, perseverance, and perhaps an iconic name—that made it successful, the Cupertino company had its struggles, too. This story is perhaps why small businesses today should aspire to be the next Apple. Or Amazon. Or Google. Or Facebook.

Think Big, Grow Locally

At the risk of offering cliché advice, there really is no place like home. Start a small business in your garage if you must, as initial interest from neighbors can set the stage for your success. It is not enough to stay small, however.

Think big. Companies of all sizes aim for the next big step. No one settles, because settling does not leave you with a steady revenue. Rather, as the businesses around you progress and offer something better, your sales decline—and steadily, if you do not make a move. To SEO marketers, the next big move is to get more clients.

SEO services do not only cater to the big names. Truth be told, it is the small businesses that need help optimizing websites, because it is easier for the bigger and more recognized brands to take the local market easily.

Connecting with Small Businesses

connecting with clients

Connections build business structures; it is the fuel of any brand. Connecting with clients, staying active on social media platforms, communicating with business partners—it takes interaction to make a business work.

Leverage this connection to encourage small businesses to turn to SEO. After all, any SEO marketer has humble beginnings to talk about. A story about offering SEO services (and using SEO yourself) can inspire.

Pair this with realistic yet innovative goals, and the pitch sells itself. Cite information about the competition, find the strengths of the company and work on building the brand. In the local scene, uniqueness is as important as creativity.

Think of it this way: Napa Valley vintners offer the same thing—wine. But products from the region achieved international recognition for quality, with each winemaker earning a sizable income because of a different take on wines.

Building from the Ground Up

A small business has to earn its wings before it can fly, so to speak. Owners will be cautious of where every penny goes. The challenge is to convince them that paying for SEO services is worth it. PPC Advertising, Google AdWords, SEO services—all these cost money.

The hesitant business owner will ask, “Why do I need these?”

The short answer: “To boost your rankings and sales.”

The answer they want to hear: “Because your business can do better.”

The idea of improvement builds up the need, and in simple terms prospective clients can understand. Build a better case by providing facts, showing the target changes and the methods involved with each process. Understand that you are dealing with investors, and they will spend money on the essentials.

Highlight success, but set up milestones. Rather than promising an all-or-nothing approach, target gradual improvements. This offers them a way out, which they will not want to take if the results are favorable. Build trust and work on their terms. After all, with the Google algorithm changes and market trends, SEO experts know how to adjust.

Marketing SEO to small businesses starts with the acknowledgement that you, too, started small. Offer insights on where they can be in a few years and explain that you are not taking over the business. You are simply a tool to help them reach success—just as SEO helped you prosper.

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Itamar has been on the net since the days it was still in black and white. Born and raised in Israel and now living in the Philippines, founder of SEOReseller.com and recently launched Siteoscope.com.