Getting your first SEO client as a self-employed marketer can be difficult initially. This guide offers some advice on everything you should do to help you get clients for SEO. 

This guide will cover everything you need to know, including:

  • Defining SEO
  • Creating a portfolio
  • Building a website
  • Using social media
  • Searching freelance sites

Defining SEO

SEO (search engine optimisation) is a popular term within digital marketing. It refers to improving the position of a web page when someone searches organically. 

Searching for something ‘organically’ means that someone has explored a specific topic without being prompted by adverts. As a result, your page can appear higher in the search results list without paying for a particular ad, using SEO tactics. For example, if you searched for ‘how to get my first SEO client?’, this article would appear higher in the results list if it uses effective SEO tactics such as keywords, headers, and links.

Creating a portfolio

You have to be able to show off the work you can do. You can still do this even if you haven’t yet had paying clients. . First, start a blog and demonstrate your abilities with SEO through that. Use passion projects for topics you enjoy. As long as you can make it look professional, it will be a bonus to your portfolio.

When using your portfolio to impress future clients, make sure you include the following:

  • Name and contact information — make sure that you are as accessible as possible through your portfolio.
  • Search phrases used before — even for your web pages, share the best-optimised keywords you have used and the number of results the term had returned.
  • Website performance — using your site as your first example, you can demonstrate how your SEO ability improved statistics. Do a before and after, for example.

The main draw of your portfolio should be your abilities to improve site traffic, so make that clear to potential clients. 

Building a website

If you have a portfolio, try to create a way for potential clients to find it. Having a website allows you the opportunity to show off what you can do, outline your services and introduce yourself.

Using your website, you can write SEO articles that help you fill the portfolio, but you could also use this to attract potential clients. If you think of relevant articles that clients would likely search, you can use your SEO talents to get them to your site. There is no better way to prove that you know what you are doing than use your marketable skills to draw in clients.

When creating a website, there are some free and paid options for most site builders, some of the most popular include:

  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • WordPress

Using social media

Beyond the search engines like Google, you can spread the word about what you do through social media. Different platforms offer advantages for attracting clients for your SEO marketing offering.


The most professional social media platform is LinkedIn as many people within commercial industries use it. LinkedIn lets you connect with clients and directly message them to offer your services.

The platform allows you to craft your profiles like interactive CV’s showing off your past education, licences, certifications and work. LinkedIn also can offer the opportunity to connect with other SEO marketers, so you can build a network of people for professional advice. 

For more information, see: how find freelance clients on LinkedIn


If your portfolio includes infographics that visually show your work statistics, Instagram is the perfect platform to show it off. It is entirely image-driven, but it is full of brands aiming to market themselves.

Creating a solid presence on the platform may help you build a reputation that attracts clients. In addition, showing that you can use both SEO and social media well makes you appear a well-rounded marketer.


If you would like to communicate your services to smaller or local businesses, you might want to consider using Facebook. This platform has become a hub for small-scale businesses by allowing localised communities to reach each other through groups and business pages.

You can join local business groups and advertise your services within them. When dealing with these clients, it may be helpful to explain what SEO is and why increasing their search relevance will be beneficial for them.

Searching freelance sites

Creating a presence on social media and space for yourself through a website may not be enough to attract clients initially. You may also need to search for roles using freelance websites actively. These offer you the opportunity to list your service and bid to do work listed by clients.

Some of the most popular freelance sites for SEO marketing are:

  • Upwork
  • Freelancer
  • Guru
  • People Per Hour
  • Fiverr

These sites are updated regularly with new jobs, and if you decide to make your services cheaper at first, you should be able to start adding work to your portfolio. After completing good work, ask if clients can leave you a review. Eventually, you will grow a reputation and, as a result, improve your business.

Following this guide, you could become a successful self-employed SEO marketer. So, you have to start doing all the relevant finance work that comes with that.

Gaining clients in SEO? Countingup helps invoice on the go

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re a self-employed marketer. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. To start your three-month free trial today, find out more here.

It can sometimes be challenging to stay motivated as a self-employed marketer, so if you need some advice read this article.