recommendation from those that have succeeded


Choose your status, find your first customers, create your network, train continuously … So many imperatives for anyone who wants to start as an independent SEO.

Do you want to start your own business and work as an SEO freelancer? Do you develop yourself outside the salary framework while you have control over your time? But what does that imply? Are we really alone? To find out more, we met two SEO freelancers. The first is called William Moulin. 25 years old and self-taught, he is now a digital nomad and travels the world as an SEO manager for e-commerce sites, a freelance SEO and a speaker at an SEO school. Olivier Pruvot, 40, based in Nice, is second. After more than 15 years of experience in the agency, three years ago he co-founded Freedly, a group of freelancers that brings together experts from all digital professions.

Becoming a freelancer has many benefits when you succeed:

  • Choose your customers
  • have more freedom
  • Ensuring a better balance between private and professional life
  • Get a better salary
  • I have no more working hours
  • Self-manage on weekdays

Disadvantages exist. First, you will be alone when it comes to starting. Because a new life begins: the life of a business leader with responsibilities:

  • Search and find new customers
  • Set up administrative and accounting management
  • Be subject to capricious incomes that vary from month to month
  • Grow in a very competitive environment

That didn’t stop William Moulin from starting: “I started SEO in e-commerce at the age of 21. I didn’t have SEO training. All my knowledge is from AB testing and many discussions with people who do SEO. It has become a passion I’m learning new things all the time. ” Olivier Pruvot also wanted to live off his passion: “I was thinking of embarking on this adventure for a few years. At first, I very quickly formed a team with Nicolas Ricci to be surrounded by passionate people like me.”

At the beginning of your activity, you will first have to choose your legal status. You have three main choices.

  • Micro-enterprise or EIRL (limited liability company): This status is the easiest to run and allows simplified accounting with simplified traffic reporting. Fees have been reduced and you will be subject to a maximum turnover of € 70,000 without the opportunity to join.
  • Company in SARL, EURL, SAS or SASU : No traffic restrictions and the ability to join at any time. Your liability will be limited to your contributions if you opt for SARL or EURL. Formalization formalities are longer and more expensive, while day-to-day management will be more difficult than for micro-enterprises.
  • Salary transfer: It is a status that allows you to be self-employed while receiving a salary from a transport company. You benefit from all the benefits of being an employee with no restrictions in your business. Quick status to set up, your fee may be less important due to the fees applied by the payroll company.

Once you choose your status, you will need to launch yourself into the market and potential customers. And in that sense, your network will be important for word of mouth to work. For many, registering on platforms that connect freelancers and companies such as Malt.fr, Codeur.com, Freelance.com, and even Dilga.fr will be a starting point. Professional social networks will also allow you to cultivate it, while at the same time giving you a boost in terms of visibility.

“For me, what has succeeded is Malt and recently Linkedin”

As for William Moulin: “I use Linkedin because it’s a social network where you have time to develop legitimacy. On LinkedIn, implementing a strategy to build a solid network can count in months. If we start from scratch, it takes three to six months or even a year. Then we have platforms for freelancers like Malt.fr. Once initiated, word of mouth works well. The reality is different for every freelancer. Because what has worked for me is Malt and recently LinkedIn. “

For Olivier Pruvot, the creation of the Freedly Collective allowed him not to move forward completely alone and to surround himself well to develop his network: “After 15 years at the agency, I built a network on the client side and I was surrounded. the number of contacts, but the team allowed me to quickly be surrounded by experts from other fields and to see further. “

Each of the members of the team who has their own expertise, it is easier to offer their services knowing that they can bring a programmer or graphic designer if the client’s needs require it. “In this way, I can expand the project by proposing complementary solutions and providing a more global vision. Everyone has their clients, but in some cases the client seeks several service providers on the same project. In this case, one or the other of us project manager and pilot by activating the profile of our team when the time comes while retaining their expertise. This means investing everyone and good cohesion. At the end of the project the client will then receive 2, 3 or 4 different invoices. “

“It’s very rare for a freelancer to work alone on a big project”

A way of living entrepreneurship by being surrounded and staying in touch with other professions and professionals. This is important when you know that it will happen – on certain files – that you will have to call other SEOs or even be invited. Thus the network takes on its full meaning. But Olivier Pruvot wants to reassure: “We are never alone. Even if a freelancer does not have his own team, even if his network is not very developed, he meets people of different expertise on projects. It is very rare for a freelancer to work alone on a big project. On the other hand, you need to know that we are alone in our expertise. “

Expertise that must be constantly reviewed and developed. Also, like Olivier Pruvot of the Freedly Collective, William Moulin believes that meetings with other freelancers are essential for progress. Just like continuing schooling. “As an SEO freelancer, I can’t fall asleep from my knowledge. I need to update it. Thanks to the diversity of my projects, I evolve into many different topics and feed on this diversity. I am also constantly discovering new, exciting and dedicated people through my collaborations as well as through my social media activities. “

The life of an SEO freelancer therefore consists of meetings, exchanges and collaborations that will make you a professional who is all but not alone. Your radius of action will develop at the same time as your skills. You will need to take care of your brand image. In that sense, William Moulin reckons Linkedin will make people talk about him. He publishes daily posts there, sometimes in an unusual tone, often pedagogical and focused on feedback or SEO checklists. Above all, he organizes “live SEO” once a week. To become famous first, but also to contribute to SEO discussions. “It was quite promising since I received suggestions for SEO missions through this channel, but also suggestions related to teaching and transferring my knowledge.”

“You have to know yourself and above all assume your level of expertise through your prices and announced time”

Regardless of his network, the freelancer will be left alone in the day-to-day management of his activities where time management is essential. A freelancer must be able to move from one project to another and respect their time and cost. For Olivier Pruvot, it is even essential: “You have to succeed in knowing your limits and mastering your time. You always have to know if you are in trouble or you have exceeded your estimates. You have to monitor this for all files. It is the only way to achieve accuracy and sell your services at the right price with the right calibration. You need to know yourself and above all assume your level of expertise through your prices and announced time. “

Final recommendation for the future freelancer in you, formulated by William Moulin: “I try to diversify myself by developing my own projects to be less dependent on others. I am developing specialized e-commerce sites. This feeds my experience and experience in SEO. Creating something like an e-commerce site, a blog or something like that, it’s very important that we can show something. ” It’s up to you!

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