One question that has provoked a valid argument in my mind based on a question an acquaintance asked me a few days ago is, do SEO’s really need clients?
The answer obviously depends on your skill set and what type of personality and SEO you are.
If you have a great network of resources with a content team in place, a project manager and savvy business types to use as a mastermind group, then the answer is no (you could strike out on your own and develop your own sites) from a pure marketing perspective and succeed. If you are interested in simply offering services in exchange for a fee then that personality type and SEO is better off sticking with optimizing, managing and monitoring other web properties for a living.
Inevitably, with the web being such a vast resource, if you have the propensity to understand what search engines award and elevate in the rankings and you know what stages are involved, then closing the doors, raising your prices or being more selective about the clients you do take on is always looming in the background as a viable alternative.
Search engine optimization, internet marketing, affiliate marketing and the use of Google adsense and adwords makes it possible for many entrepreneurial webmasters to thrive. Most are individuals who transitioned from offering SEO services into successful strategic owners of multiple web properties that yield positive cash flow.
Many SEO’s will in fact be faced with this dilemma as advertising budgets shrink, competitive verticals yield the perfect mountain like summits to test their SEO skills for a lucrative venture and multiple markets entice them with the call to take action to hit the top.
Aside from the hosting, the set up fees, the design and the promotion of a site (the last three things can be done with sweat equity) the real investment is time. The advantage an SEO has making the transition is, the understanding or organic cycles, how site architecture, content and links have an impact and the proper rate in which to develop a successful site.
This is not a moral dilemma as much as it is a simple equation. So, to finally answer the question, do SEO’s need clients? no, or not as much as they used to, the fact is, there is more than enough profit to go around in virtually any online niche. What it really boils down to is, do you have the time to produce quality content, build the popularity or a site and manage it?
In closing, to propose another analogy for context, under the same token a professor could toil away his whole life for a pittance of a salary or he could write a book on the topic that they are a specialist in and create a best seller which could support their lifestyle indefinitely. The choice ultimately resides in the hearts and minds of the specialist and what it is they receive by giving or offering their services to others.