This is an interview-style post with Itamar Gero, Founder
Hey, Itamar. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m Itamar Gero, an entrepreneur, a technophile, and an adventurer.
Computer programming is one of the things that I do best—I programmed and sold my first commercial software when I was 16. My passion for technology and software development continued when I went to serve in the Israeli army as an IT specialist.
I’ve started several successful digital marketing companies, the white label seo agency SEOReseller and startups. When I’m not in the office, you can find me meditating or embarking on an adventure in one corner of the world.
What’s your background and how does it affect the businesses you’re running now?
The experience and skills I’ve learned in Israel combined with keen business strategies and strong leadership became the foundation for the success of my venture and of my business partners.
As a serial entrepreneur, my goal is to strengthen the Israeli-Philippine business relations. I’m currently the President of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
How did you decide to start a digital marketing agency?
Digital marketing and software development
So after traveling around the world, encountering some the brightest minds, I made the choice to start my own digital marketing company in the Philippines.
What networking strategies work best for finding new clients?
Finding new clients can be broken down into a simple process, but deciding how to find new clients depends on your business’ capacity. The last thing you want to do is over-promise and under-deliver.
If you’re just starting a digital marketing agency offering professional
Think friends, family, friends of friends and even your former colleagues.
Tap into your personal network, discover their pain points of growing their business online, and enable them with solutions that are part of your services.
For those who are more experienced, your biggest asset will be understanding how to work a room.
Practice when you can at local business networking events.
Focus on the pareto principle of 80/20, where 80% of your leads come from the 20% of actions that matter the most.
Before you step out of the office and into an event, know who is attending, understand their needs and have a checklist of what you need to bring to the table.
What are your best tips for a solid local SEO strategy?
Ironclad your business name, address and phone number (NAP) across business directories and Google My Business.
Think of Google as a machine that reads and distributes information, the more precise the information that you feed it, the better your chances are of boosting your visibility online.
Once you’ve setup your foundation, your next implementations should be focused on improving the content on your website both on-page and structurally.
Google likes clarity with content, and ease of direction as if someone entirely new to the internet was viewing your website for the first time.
Thirdly, it’s time to think about your reputation online.
Reviews across the internet on multiple business directories such as Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages and Google My Business will help if you manage them correctly.
Start by applauding your positive reviews. But the impact is in how your business respects and acknowledges negative reviews, especially if you’re a local business in any service or sales industry.
How do you counter negative SEO to protect the reputation of a business?
Negative SEO is an ugly frog to deal with.
It’s not uncommon and sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether or not you’ve been hit with negative SEO or if it’s just a case of bad markup.
Protecting yourself comes with having a squeaky-clean SEO strategy that has the intent to benefit the visitor.
Your reputation online can be tarnished as easily as someone putting up a fake or negative review based on experience.
How to turn this “bug” into a “feature” of your business is by responding in a timely manner, with the right attitude and perspective.
People trust businesses that are transparent and honest. It’s the only way to do business.
Managing your respectability online can be achieved through services such as online reputation management.
What’s the hardest part of outsourcing aspects of a business?
Trust and communication. It’s always about trust management, and setting expectations between yourself and your service provider.
If a promise to deliver is broken, it’s difficult to recover from for both parties.
Set up regular touchpoints, set clear expectations, and define precisely what you need, and what you can provide.
Read also: 4 Tips for Outsourcing Your Blog’s Marketing Efforts
What’s your advice for freelance marketing consultants who want to start their own business?
Clients need a strategist to help them define what steps and actions they need to take in order to grow their business.
If you’re just starting out, you’re likely to try to manage everything on your own. But real growth comes from focusing on sales and developing relationships with partners who pay you, and partners who you can trust to deliver results from a process.
If you’re growing your freelance consultancy and looking to acquire more clients, build your business into a structure that allows you to scale up and down as you need, and search for predictability in business.
Automate as much of the “grunt work” that you can, even if it means writing it down into a process and having someone execute the task for you from a checklist.
Focus on your brand, your persona and seek perpetual clients.
When you’ve hit capacity of clients and a standard of service that you know you can deliver without compromise, then you will know it’s time to start looking for your first employees to help manage your accounts and communicate between accounts and partners.
Stock Photo from Rawpixel @ Shutterstock