Hey All! My goal is to get out my experiences, my frustrations, my successes, my failures, and my thoughts on this business I'm building here internationally but based in North America. I'm trying to build an Internet Marketing Agency, using both local and outsourced teams. One of my goals from the beginning of my Internet Marketing days was that I did not want to do all the steps and keep up to date on every single tactic myself. I wanted to gain a strong understanding of the the general concepts, and use my IT background to analyze and figure out the best strategies and solutions, and work with a team of specialists to achieve amazing goals. So remember, while I am always learning and understand a lot of IM to a good degree, I am not trying to actively sit and do SEO myself, nor the PPC campaign etc... Because I want to build an empire! And to build an empire you cant do everything yourself!! Therefore remember: I am trying to avoid the situation where I try to do everything myself. I am trying to build a team. I am trying to successfully get campaigns ranked! What makes this cool is that I'm not starting from day 1. I'm already a few years into this! I currently make $6000+ a month on average. But I hit a wall last year after nailing my big fish- no new clients for 1 year. Just broke it by luck 2 weeks ago. So hopefully with the above in mind some nuggets of gold will be found in these pages!! My first IM experience was with a client I got through a friend of mine. I had learned in some courses that to start you often want to contact friends and family. Let them know the cool stuff your learning and just itching to try out. Eventually someone will talk to one of these 'feelers' who will remember "Hey! My friend just told me he is doing IM and is looking for a client! You should call him!". So this client was unfortunately the know it all. He came to me with a website basically ALREADY ranking for the top spots in Google (#1-#3) which was easy at the time in his city. He had horrible keyword stuffing and it was just a mess. Even though it was a mess though he WAS ranking. He came to me and told me he is doing alright and wants to widen his scope. Get more keywords ranked, get more longtail out there... So at the time for some reason I already forgot, I decided that the best approach would be to generate hundreds of PHP pages with slightly different wording based on pages geo, brand and type. So we ended up with literally hundreds of pages that after a lot of work with this Indian based programmer finally started to look almost like a real website. We ended up scrapping that entire site because it was a huge mess. We went a different way - We build a classy beautiful site with powerful content (hired a copywriter from elance for that..) and lots of testimonials along the sides of the page... You know what happened?? The client was a very difficult one to work with and around the time we were preparing to launch the site this guy decides he does not want it anymore!! This was around the time a new Google algorithm came out and he got wasted in the SERPS. I wasn't even doing SEO for him yet, just site development. I told him listen the site is ready just put it up and watch the leads flow. He never did it. to this day I see he is still running the old site. For some reason he still has my analytics code sitting on his site somewhere and I still see whats going on! I told him along time ago to remove me from his site.... But the data shows a steady drop over the years. A terrible type of client to get and sadly it was my first in the IM world. I just did Web Development and a short but highly successful PPC campaign (35% conversion rate - not a big deal in this industry its an 'emergency' industry...) that had people either fill out a form that went to email, or call. People seemed to like the idea of "if you fill out this form you will get a callback by a real person within 15 minutes!" Moving on............ How about one of the LARGEST telecom companies in Europe??? YES would you believe somehow I got in contact with one of their consultants who was the liason between me and this massive international corporations VP of marketing amongst others??? It was a shocker for me to say the least. Budget of around $10k US. They sent me a prepared proposal which was recycled from another firm that ended up withdrawing from the project last minute. So we had a fixed budget with serious time constraints for an international telecoms facebook app!!! I was prepared to do a good job... But sadly I learned a new lesson here. Do not take really high end jobs without having your own in-house team for Quality Control!!! I hired a team from Germany to begin working on this facebook app for this telecom company. But they were not able to produce the level of quality we expected. They oversold their skills which I would of known had it been my team but it was another team outside of my control. Anyways... this corps app was stupid. Terrible idea. They were playing follow the leader with the other leading telecom company... I tried to get the message through to the channels above that this app will not be a good idea. A bunch of the features they wanted were not even possible with the facebook API at the time! Suddenly a few weeks into development senior execs wanted to see the progress and the team had trouble just wrapping up their bits and pieces of work into something to display for these senior execs. It was nightmarish back and forth with having to prepare something to show, then -oh forget it just finish it. In the end there was a serious internal battle in the senior marketing divison between a few execs on what direction to go in with their online marketing. They ended up dropping the facebook app like we told them to do, but didn't pick up the really cool idea for an app we gave them instead.... After these events around april 2011 I took a break to continue focusing on developing my skills internalizing everything I experienced and just plainly didn't have any clients. Was also going through a very rough personal time with wife and mother in law (heh) which was killing my ability to focus... Shifted around that time to a new city. Thats when we enter modern times... Around July 2011 unexpectedly I caught my big fish! A client that would give me the freedom to work and try out new ideas to get them leads and sales and they had a decent budget as well! Sometime in the near future I will post more... and try to get into more detailed situations about my experiences. I will end with one question that is ringing in my ears... How in the world do you successfully find, and recruit awesome talent related to IM? I would assume by definition someone who is awesome at IM would never need to work for anyone!!! Therefore hiring someone means you will always only get less qualified people... Am I correct?