Apr 6 • 45M

Patrick Rice: I Went Freelance ONE YEAR Into My SEO Career

Nick LeRoy sits down with Patrick Rice to discuss his SEO career and his decision to go out on his own freelance after his first year in the SEO industry.

Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

Nick LeRoy
Each month Nick LeRoy interviews a freelance consultant about their experience generating over six figures in annual income.
Episode details

Get notified when any new episodes of TheSEOFreelancer podcast go live

Introducing Patrick Rice

In this month’s SEO Freelancer podcast, Nick LeRoy talks with Patrick Rice, owner of Patrick Rice Co. Patrick has been in the SEO industry since 2018 and has a unique story in which he made the decision to go 100% freelance after only one year of SEO experience.

How to connect with Patrick online

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-s-rice/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatrickRiceCo

This Months Sponsor: BrightLocal.com

BrightLocal is the all-in-one local SEO platform designed to drive traffic and leads from local search.

Its focus on local SEO gives you what other SEO platforms can't: local ranking tracking, local citation monitoring, Google Business Profile auditing, local competitor insights, and review monitoring - it’s all here.

BrightLocal offers review generation campaigns, a low-cost local citation-building service, and even helps you convert your site visitors into piping-hot leads. Perfect for any freelancers looking to scale up.

The best part? It's super-affordable, with agency plans starting at just $49 per month and a white-label option to keep your reports professional and on-brand.

Podcast listeners can take advantage of an exclusive offer. Sign up at brightlocal.com/SEOfreelancer and receive $75 in Citation Builder credits immediately. 

Don't miss this opportunity to level up your local SEO. Head to brightlocal.com/SEOfreelancer now.

If you are a freelancer interested in joining me on a future episode of The SEO Freelancer podcast Please email me directly at nick@nickleroy.com


Welcome to the SEO Freelancer podcast. I'm your host, Nick LeRoy. And today I'm excited to be talking with Patrick Rice, who has also been an SEO freelancer for a little bit longer than I am for going on five years. Is that right, Patrick? That's correct. Fantastic. Well, thank you again for joining us. We're very excited to talk to you today. I'm excited to be here. Thank you for having me. Real quick. Before we get into this month's conversation with Patrick, I want to do a quick shout out to this month's sponsor bright local, bright local is the all in one local SEO platform designed to drive traffic and leads from local search. It's focused on local SEO gives you what other platforms can local rank tracking local citation monitoring Google business profile, adding local competitor insights and review monitoring. It's all here.

Nick LeRoy 

Bright local offers review generation campaigns a low cost local citation building service and even helps you convert your site visitors into piping hot leads perfect for any freelancers looking to scale up. You know what the best part, it's super affordable with agency plans starting at just $49 per month and a white label option to keep your reports professional and on brand. Our listeners can take advantage of an exclusive offer, sign up at Bright local.com/seo freelancer and receive $75 and citation builder credits immediately. Don't miss out on this opportunity to level up your local SEO, head to bright local.com/seo. Freelancer today. Thank you again to this month's sponsor bright local. Appreciate you guys very much. And let's get right into this interview. So first and foremost, for anybody who isn't familiar with you, can you give us kind of the elevator pitch of you know, who is Patrick rice? Yeah, so

Patrick Rice 

I kind of have a strange story. But essentially, I've worked at an agency for about a year, so really not not long. And then I went off and on my own. My boss at the time was a mentor. And he kind of mentored me to, you know, having my own company and, and doing things solo. So I've been doing that for five years, as you mentioned, and it's just been a roller coaster. I worked with a lot of E commerce companies. When I started out I was very much a link builder. So kind of link building an E commerce is what I'm known for. And yeah, so it's a it's an adventure. But I've been freelancing for a while now.

Nick LeRoy 

And that's amazing. I think you bring a unique angle that you're not a freelancer that had been doing agency or in house for 10 years, like I had and took that knowledge, you know, is it fair to assume you you probably had even just kind of scratched the surface? Excuse me, you know, you're probably you're continuing to build up your skill sets while you're venturing into freelance and figuring out the business side of SEO as well.

Exactly developing the business skills alongside the actual SEO skills. Because of course, I was young and ambitious. So I thought I knew it all. But that just you know, one after another I found out Miss found out that sometimes the Guru's aren't telling you the truth.

Nick LeRoy 

To at the very beginning, like you almost have to have that false sense of like, I know it all to be able to go in. Yeah, I feel like 10 years into my career jumping in, I was kind of having the, you know, the pretender syndrome was like, do I really know enough to be able to do this on my own? And that was 10 years into it. So I say good for you.

Yeah, I appreciate that. And, and now I know I also have the imposter syndrome sometimes and stuff. So it's, yeah, the more you learn, the more you don't know. It's great, though.

Nick LeRoy 

Yeah, what and before we jump into my my first question, I will just say, I've talked to quite a few people that will spend quite a bit of time talking about kind of like impostor syndrome, you know, pretending all that kind of stuff. And, you know, I've kind of come to the point where I feel most comfortable saying, when I have days where I'm no longer concerned, or that I'm not learning anymore, is the day that I'm probably truly going to be in trouble, especially in our niche.

Yeah. constantly growing, you need to be

Nick LeRoy 

absolutely, it's like if you're not just a little bit nervous about that deliverable, or what you're saying, you know, that means you probably haven't thought through it enough, because we all know, it depends. So it's like really trying to think through it as much as you can.

You're exactly right. Like, it's so nice. And that's one thing about being a freelancer that's difficult is you don't have as much as that back and forth between like a team and an agency, because it is nice, and sometimes I'll just call up a buddy call up a mentor and just throw around ideas. So Hey, I was thinking about doing this or I had this deliverable, what do you think? Cuz that can be so helpful to just run it by someone that you respect and that you know, that knows more than you

Nick LeRoy 

absolutely know, I do the same thing. There's still days, and I'm sure you've had this as well, and anybody who's in house or agency piezo, as well, it's like, some days, you jump on the computer. And it's like, you just kind of a brain fart. It's like, Why isn't this working? Right? Or you're just staring at a site? Or you're looking at the code? And you're like, I know, this isn't right. But for the life of me, I don't know. But if you send it to a friend or a buddy, you know, he or she might be able to be like, oh, yeah, Patrick MC with the heck's wrong with you, you know, it's right here, like, yes. Okay, thank you, like, I just need someone to help me out. So it's always good to get that second opinion. And without belaboring the point, I agree with you. It's like that can be one of the challenges as a freelancer.

It is in it's a reason to build your board of advisors, as I was speaking with Noah Lerner, who you may know him on Twitter and stuff. And he did that really well. And that was his biggest advice is, you know, really build connections with people just ask to go on Zoom calls, you know, ask to do podcasts, like, get to know people. And then you can have this little board of advisors where like, Oh, I know, Nick is really good at this. I might, you know, call him up. I know that. This is the link building guy. This is the Econ guy, whatever. So it's really nice.

Nick LeRoy 

Yeah, I love it. I think we'll jump into that more your networking, I think is one consistency across all of freelancers. But before we go deeper into that pattern, I got to roll back just a little bit to the very beginning. One thing that I like to ask all my guests here is just to give us an understanding of how you started your career. You know, I know you mentioned previously, you had a single year before going out, but can you walk us through a little bit? What was kind of that venture to getting into it. And if you feel comfortable, this may be a little different before like, I always love to ask people what were they getting paid the first job that they had? And then obviously, you have to share what you're making now. But I'm assuming it's more.

Yeah, yeah, it's a bit more. Yeah, I loved I love my journey into SEO. And honestly, like, at times, I, I do recognize that it would have been even helpful to spend more time like an agency and other things like that, because you do learn a lot. I was really lucky. So it started way back, I had a really good friend whose dad was an SEO agency owner. And so he had an agency and I was actually had a Minecraft youtube channel at the time. And I hit 5000 subscribers. And I had one video with like, a million views. And so I was telling him all that I was like, Yeah, you can like post on forums, you can do this and that like, and he was impressed. He was like, okay, okay, this is kind of interesting. So he told me to come by the office, in just a small town in Georgia. And and I did in the story goes from there. He, he introduced me to SEO, he taught me it. And his name was Craig Lawson of click ready marketing. Okay. He's going but before that I had like, of course, I had, like, I worked at Pottery Barn, and I worked at like, all kinds of like, random jobs. But that was my first really agency job. And in marketing job, and I spent a year there, I learned keyword research, content marketing. And then at the end, I was really going deeper into link building with a content and outreach sort of perspective. And so when I, when I initially left that company, I was freelance, but I would still do some jobs for them. Sure. And I had a couple of people that I knew that I would do jobs for. So very much freelance at first, you know, building links here, doing some keyword research here, content stuff. And so I had a couple of years where it was very much kind of that you don't look, I have, you know, one or two clients of my own, and then a lot of freelance work. That's like pure, you know, like hourly. Well, now I do mostly just client work where it's on monthly retainers,

Nick LeRoy 

right. So a lot of people that are looking to just get into the SEO space are kind of debating do you need to go to school or not? Did you go to college? Did you jump in SEO right out of high school? What was kind of the journey on the education side?

Yeah, so I jumped in, right after high school. And I spent two years in college but I didn't finish my degree because I was everything was going really well with SEO. So I was

Nick LeRoy 

can't argue with that. Right?

Exactly. So I was like, I kind of want to put my foot focus on this, rather than, you know, diversifying. And yeah,

Nick LeRoy 

and I think that's such an interesting conversation. You know, I certainly am a personal fan of like going to school, I think there's things where a lot of us learn, just critical, you know, people skills almost. But when it comes to like, how much of that transfers to SEO, like, oh, you can save yourself six figures in student debt, and start making, you know, a pretty respectable amount of money to,

exactly, it seems like, I don't know what college programs are like for SEO, even digital marketing in general. I feel like it moves so fast, you would just be way better off getting an agency job if you can. And it seems like you can get an agency job if you're willing to do like the grunt work, and you're ambitious. And then luck, especially if you know, some people, you can get an agency job without a college degree. That sounds my intuition. Yeah.

Nick LeRoy 

I've always told people that if I were to go back and get the ODU college over again, and it wasn't an option to not do it, that with SEO, I would actually probably go back and like get a psychology degree, like thinking about like outreach and how people react and share and interact with your website, and all these things that are so critical, you know, maybe I'm overthinking it. But I'd like to think that maybe some of the training, and you know, materials on that end would help us in our role versus, you know, I did two years of you know, General's accounting and then marketing and, you know, various coding classes that I probably don't remember any of it, but it helped me get the first job. So what do I know?

Yeah, Nick, that's, that's very true. Because I have a very deep interest in psychology. And I was in college, I was going for philosophy of mind, which is psychology. But and I took quite a few classes in psychology. And and yeah, I think it's hugely important for SEO for for digital marketing.

Nick LeRoy 

Yeah, I just think anytime you have an opportunity, not necessarily to read each other's minds, but to better understand why somebody may react or choose to make XYZ decisions. Yeah, I can just put you in a better position to react accordingly. So with that said, so I mean, you did this full year, your your friend's dad on an agency gave you the in, you obviously kind of start from the beginning ramped up pretty quickly. But what made you decide like, what, why one year, I would say, one year in a lot of people that I know, and I've had a lot of junior resources that have trade off the year, one year in, there's kind of this T in the road of like, do I like SEO or not? And I've seen people take both directions. But I don't think I've ever met someone that has said, I'm one year into it. Heck, I'm gonna go out on my own. What was the thinking there?

So really, just because I'm an entrepreneur, so I had that in my blood. And, you know, you mentioned what I was making, and I wasn't making too much. Like, I was like, if I get to clients at 750 per month, I'd be making, like, considerably more than I am now. Like, I'm like, why not? You know, try to, and it's really about personality, because I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and I just felt like, I could do it, you know, I felt like, whatever it took, you know, if I have to, you know, go into buildings and cold call whatever else, like I was going to do it. So I was very ambitious. And just, I really wanted that for some reason. I guess, just personality.

Nick LeRoy 

I absolutely respect the the ambition, like I said, you know, it makes me jealous, because I went through 10 years of working for somebody else before I truly pulled the trigger and convinced myself but I do think there's something to what you were saying of the risk is lower, when you're younger, if we equate cutting younger with your earnings, because a lot of people that I talked to, and I'm sure you've had these conversations, too. A lot of people think going freelance is, you know, working the four hour workweek and making six figures. So a lot of it's the inverse, especially at the beginning. So, a lot of times I do ask people, it's like, Hey, I'm not trying to be nosy, but what are you currently making? Because starting as a freelancer trying to make up a six figure salary, versus Hey, I make 30 grand, you know, working 40 hours a week for somebody, the opportunity to make that back plus more is significantly greater as a freelancer.

That's very true. Very true. Because you can get Sleep makes six figures, as a freelancer, as you mentioned, it's not going to be the four hour workweek, that'd be a lot of stress, it's going to be some late nights, it's going to be all kinds of stuff. But yeah, compared to like a general 30k 40k job, the opportunity and freelancing is really big.

Nick LeRoy 

Absolutely, and like you said to a lot of it is just being able to show your value. And once you get some of these retainers, you know, even if it's 1000 or $2,000 a month, again, when you're trying to make 25, grand, maybe even 50 grand, it adds up pretty quickly, you know, you may not have to work 80 hours a week to be able to do that. In a perfect world, you know, maybe you're working 30 hours, or you're working more, because you know, you don't want to be capped at 40 5060 grand, you know, and I think for me, that's one of the parts of freelancing I've loved and hated, is like, I never want to have a cap on my earnings. But I'm also somebody that's very rarely happy with what I've got. So, you know, there's always a balance of, you know, how much do you work? How much do you play?

A really is, yeah, cuz I've had that too. Just kind of being too ambitious, and then kind of stressing myself out in and working a little bit too much. So it is a balance, for sure.

Nick LeRoy 

Absolutely. So Patrick, one thing I want to press just a little bit, because I think you're gonna be able to help others where I have never been able to, I get a lot of people that come to me, they're interested in freelancing, maybe they've even made the leap. And one of the first questions I get, and it's every single time is, how do I get clients. And for me, I've been so fortunate and blessed that I had 10 years of working in the industry, networking, I built my newsletter, I kind of got to flip the switch and start freelancing. I was very fortunate. And I don't take that for granted. But it makes it very difficult for me to turn around and tell somebody, oh, well just go back five years into your career and start a free, you know, a newsletter. So what did you do when you started? You know, day one, you're like, Okay, Patrick rice, I'm freelance, SEO? Yeah. How did you start? And what kind of advice do you have for people looking to start?

Well, so it is difficult, you know, there's no getting around that it's difficult to do sales, especially if you're just starting out, and you don't have a huge track record. But there are, I think of it as there's really three ways that I've found to get clients, which is content. So as you mentioned, with like SEO for lunch in this podcast. So creating content is great. If you can do that, within an agency, that's definitely the move to do, you know, that's definitely smart, you know, build up some sort of profile for a year before you you drop out, or whatever. So I didn't do that. So actually, I wish I started creating content way sooner. But I really did it through the two other ways. I'm so content is great. And I'm publishing now on LinkedIn, and some on Twitter and stuff. But other than content is really cold sales. And so everyone hates that, but some form of sales. So whether that's cold email, sending out videos, so like, even this morning, I was sending out videos on just companies that I really see an opportunity, just send them a quick video recorded in 10 minutes. And you know, the success rate isn't high. But if you do that five times a day, for a month, you know, you might get one, so.

Nick LeRoy 

So that'd be it for a second. So when you say you're doing these, so this is so completely different than how I've done it. But like I said, I don't even pretend to say that I don't have an advantage from the things that I have. But when you say you're doing like these cold outreach, even with video, is it through LinkedIn? Are you kind of identifying local businesses to you and reaching out to them? Walk us through just a little bit more?

Yeah, so I haven't gotten, you know, a huge number of clients from cold outreach, and I don't think it should be your number one source really, it can be though it especially if you're good at it. But yeah, so that's typically I'm reaching out on all platforms. So I'll if they have a LinkedIn, sometimes they don't they have a LinkedIn, LinkedIn is strong, especially if you have a profile. So if you built up a profile, you can connect with them, you can foster that lead, so you can just connect with them just you know, chat them don't pitch right away. And kind of over time, they'll they'll see some of your content, you can start some conversations, if it makes sense. And then you can send a video, which video worked really well for me, because you can show your expertise and the opportunity there actually is one. So that works really well. I also just cold email. So just you know Using tools to get the email seeing if they have a content, a contact area, and go in that way. So like building, it's like BDR sort of work, you know, like creating a spreadsheet, getting the emails, the contacts, the LinkedIn, and just doing it at some level of scale, because that's what people get wrong. And it's very hard because natural human tendency is do you do it like, two, three times, four times, and then you're like, This isn't working.

Nick LeRoy 

I can see already, Patrick, why you have success with like the link building side of it, because you're so focused on the scale, and finding just a little bit of a unique angle. And I love that you said that you do video, because I will admit, and hopefully, people won't do it here. But when people on LinkedIn, when they spam me, I don't think anything of it, just delete, and I don't move it. But when people send a video, I open it up 99% of the time. But what I am really looking for is to see if they actually make it unique to me. Even if it's saying like, Hey, Nick, how's it going? Yeah, I want to pitch you on my services. Because you know, what drives me more nuts. And you probably see this too, is it's like people are getting lazy. And it's the same video. And they're just sending it to everybody. It's like, Hey, I'm Nick, I sell SEO, I've realized that your company needs help. And it's like, yeah, like you got my company. Yeah, exactly. It's like, boo, you had my attention. You could have made your pitch. I don't know if it would have worked. But you got a heck of a lot further than the standard. Here's my list of links, you know.

Exactly. And we get so much spam in the SEO industry from LinkedIn. It's terrible. Hopefully, I think some clients in some industries get less. We haven't particularly bad spam. I think we backlinks.

Nick LeRoy 

Yeah, I was gonna say that SEO pie one of the features I paid for most on LinkedIn, if there's a way to mute anybody who says like backlinks or you know. Yes, exactly.

It's like, that is that is a true category. But it's

Nick LeRoy 

well, so you're talking to us a little bit through that. So I'm sorry. So that's the cold outreach part.

Yes. So really, you need to be if you're going to go freelance, you need to be posting on social media, and trying to figure out somewhat how that works. Don't get over, don't get obsessed with it, you know, just post your posts every week. And, and don't worry about it. Second, you need to be reaching out to people don't expect everyone to come to you. So you can sometimes get away without doing that. But especially if you're new and you need clients, you're gonna have to grind to kind of reach out to people, you know, call your network and, and see, see if you can get anybody that you know, and so that goes into the third part, which is networking, and referrals. And so we mentioned this at the start, it's hugely critical relationships or financial stability, you know, if you have, if you have relationships, and they can send you leads, they can send you work, I mean, if you have an hourly, they can send you a job here and there. It really, really helps to, to create that stability over time. So, those are the three

Nick LeRoy 

ways. See, that's where most, if not all of my work comes from it's referrals, or other clients that have worked with me that I've talked or gotten to a different place, it's, it's critical, but the amount of people as you know, it's like every project that comes through isn't necessarily going to be a great fit for you. Or, you know, it might be a conflict of interest. So just even that working within like freelancers is great, because you never know when you might be able to help somebody out. And it typically comes, you know, full circle.

Yeah, I found it has for sure. Plant as many seeds as you can, and some of them will grow.

Nick LeRoy 

You know, I really like that analogy. I just like that is so critical. So we talked a bit about how you reach out to people why you went out on your own. But let's talk a little bit about your service offerings. How did you decide that you want to do SEO and link building, you know, versus, you know, SEO, local SEO and maps or, you know, any other angles?

Yeah, so at the agency, we're doing mostly local SEO so I think to a degree I was I was listening to all the Guru's I was watching the, you know, reading the blogs, watching the YouTube so I was like, Oh, I have to like, I want to do this this big stuff with like ecommerce and SAS because those are kind of the two exciting fields. I feel like as a young SEO, so you see, like Zapier and you see, like, some of these big ecommerce websites just generating huge traffic numbers. And I still I think that was the killer. So I really wanted to kind of grow my skill set In start playing at the national level,

Nick LeRoy 

sure. I love. Honestly, not only did you jump your wine essentially out on your own, but you were also like, I'm not going to take you, whatever meat is laying on the bones, I'm going straight for the Porterhouse. Like I want to make these big, you know, massive websites, ecommerce, Seo was some of the probably the trickiest, dirtiest SEO you could get. That's great.

I appreciate that. Yeah. And I definitely had some some, you know, obstacles on the on the road for sure. Like, at times, there's problems I couldn't solve, I had to get help. For example, I've had a lot of good mentors. So another one is Emory Rowland. And so he's been in SEO, you know, since the late 90s. So he's a tech SEO. And so if I have a hard question I like to call him. And so again, relying so much on your network is, is really crucial. But yeah, for my service offering, I started as a link builder, pure and simple. And so I worked with some agencies I worked with, with a pretty big ecommerce store, and just building links month after month, that gets a little bit tiring, I still do it for clients, because I've found really good results from it. And I think that's some of my competitive advantage is, is putting in the grind to like, find these really nice links that competitors don't have, and that most people just don't have the time to try to get. Yep. And so I do love to link build into into get some quality links that can that can really move the needle. But then I just kind of started moving towards highlight clients needed other stuff than link building, you know, like my link building wasn't working because they didn't have on page, or like, there was just easy content opportunities. So I just kind of started to expand my, my areas of a guest service. And then ecommerce was always a pretty big client base for me, in terms of, I got referred to a very really big E commerce client near the start, so like four years ago, and so I've always kind of, you know, played around in E commerce and, and so that's become a little bit of a passion.

Nick LeRoy 

And the one part that I've always enjoyed about e commerce and tell me if you agree is because the whole point of an e commerce website is to sell, it's pretty easy to be able to then show the value that you are providing, you know, let's say you're charging five grand a month, but you're helping them drive and incremental $100,000 in SEO revenue. Yeah, it's pretty easy to build that narrative versus if it's lead gen or needing to do phone calls, you know, there's ways to be able to kind of sniff around the quality of those, but you don't get that raw numbers easily.

Yes, connecting it to revenue is so nice, you know, just connecting the landing pages to revenue to traffic. Yeah, that's a really nice aspect of E commerce, SEO is just being able to prove your worth like that really quickly.

Nick LeRoy 

Well, and I think that's one of the like, the biggest mistakes that I see from not just freelancers, but SEO is as a whole, you know, we all look at the very beginning as traffic as a success metric, because you obviously need the traffic to come for them to then have an opportunity to convert, which then means, you know, making money. But I think so many of us get caught into worlds where it's like, hey, I can only drive the traffic, I can't help the quality of the product or your conversion as a whole. But I think if you are a freelancer and SEO, who's thinking with the business acumen of I want to retain this client, you need to always be looking at success from a dollars perspective. Because the new thing that I love telling everybody is like traffic does not pay the bills.

I love that. You're right, Nick. It's so important.

Nick LeRoy 

Absolutely. So one thing I want to ask you before we jump in just going back a little bit is one thing I didn't hear from you about how you're getting clients or even from the beginning or currently is have you used any network places like are using any Upwork? Are you working with agencies, you know, kind of white labeling? What success have you dealt with? Those are do not do that?

I don't do that. But I have in the past like so I've done a lot of white labeling type of stuff near the start. It definitely works and it's a great way to get your foot in the door and get started. Get easier clients. But what I had happened to me, especially with Yeah, with white label clients, is that then you don't have that one on one relationship. And so that client is actually Much less stable than if you have your own client, it's much less stable. So you almost should just consider it like a three to six month engagement or something along that line. Because even if you're getting that monthly payment, the agency is paying you, unless you have a really good relationship where like you can speak to the client. Typically, those engagements are much shorter. So like, typically like five or six months, while if you build a true relationships direct to client, you can have them for years. So that was the issue I found with white labeling, or any kind of like, partnership type thing. Yeah, it's just really, it's hard when you don't have that direct relationship, there's so much out of your control. So like, there was an instance where I lost a client, because that client left a web design agency that was giving me the client. But then, so then it's always kind of where you're like, Oh, well, I didn't do anything, but I lost his client. So right.

Nick LeRoy 

Now, I really liked how you kind of broke that out, because that's kind of my approach as well, you know, and what I've seen, and what I've told people before, is, white labeling is great in the beginning, in the sense of like, you're still chasing enough money to be able to pay your bills. And there's a certain amount of value to being able to do that. However, all of that work is a temporary solution, because and I'm kind of echoing what you've already said, these aren't your clients. So you don't get to use them as like a testimonial, you don't get to use them as a referral source. And you can't even make a case study because again, these are not your clients. And the whole point of being white label is most of the time the clients aren't even aware that you're either on the account, or that you're not employed by the agency, or whomever is hiring you. So that's the big thing that I like to say is like, a lot of people will say just strictly, don't do that at all. And I'm kind of a little bit more on the side of like, if you're going to do it, just be cautious of what the upside is. Because the other thing that I found is when I freelance, I kind of started over with my rates. And when I was charging, say 100 $125 an hour, agencies can pay you that. But once you get up and pass like $150, or over 200, you're gonna your hourly rates gonna be more than the agency charges. And there's never a mathematical situation where they're going to pay you more than what they're being paid, unless there's some extreme situations, which I've seen, but those are indeed, extreme situations. So Patrick, I think, I love that you really went into how you started this business, especially being, you know, younger at the time with not as much experience as you do now. But let's talk just a little bit more. And maybe it's just reiterating some of the things you've said, but people want to go out on their own. They're worried, you know, what were you post pandemic, at the end of the pandemic, however you want to call it? Like? What are your words of wisdom? Like, what would you recommend to people that are just interested in freelancing, but don't really know, they're kind of stuck in that? Do I go? Do I not? What kind of advice do you have for them?

Yeah, that's, that's a hard one. Because, as a member of this, who been on this podcast, Ryan Derani, he recently posted, and he's been fairly open about this, freelancing is hard. You know, like, there's, you're going to be working late hours, in most cases, you're going to be working more, especially near the beginning, or within the first couple of years, you're going to be working more than a normal job, and you're going to have more stress. And, and so first, like, definitely be aware of the drawbacks. Like, if you lose a client, you might have to, you know, do cold sales, you might have to, you know, call everyone in your network and see what kind of work is available. So you got to be just aware of that. And then I would real, really, I mean, mainly, just the things I've said, like you can make a better income, and you can have more freedom. And especially if you're in a job that you don't like where you feel like you're spread too thin, because that's easy in agencies, where you feel like you're not even providing too much value to these companies. Then I definitely think you should, you know, start start considering the freelance route. You just need to start building up a profile, start building up a business case, an offer all of these kinds of things. And and learn the business side of things because that's really is going to be if you can speak well if you can articulate yourself and your offer. That's going to be really what makes the difference.

Nick LeRoy 

So the very last part you said, is so critical. And I think it's one of the biggest gaps in the SEO industry. People can tell you what canonical tags are, we can even go through server logs and go through each one of those lines. But can you build a narrative that someone in the C suite that doesn't know and almost doesn't care about SEO, so that they would understand and take the right actions. And if you can't do that, that puts you at a significant disadvantage to the other individuals that can. So I think that's just a big opportunity. And one thing, Patrick, I'd be curious, your thought is, I'm always a big proponent of telling people not to jump into freelancing, you're kind of cold turkey, it's like, keep your nine to five and try freelancing on the side. Because as you had mentioned, freelancing is not for everybody. And I know plenty of people that I've given them a lead, and they've checked it out. And they're like, Wow, okay, I did it. Freelancing is not my thing. I'm done. Like, I'm gonna double down on my nine to five career, because this is more my path. Or it's like, you know, giving someone just a taste of something that they absolutely love and crave. They're like, I need to do more of this.

Right? Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I think that's the right path, for sure is start started, like thinking ahead and play the long game, you know, like, start building more of a profile, start taking on like a client or two, probably like a single decent client and and see how you like it. Don't Don't rush things. But at the same time, be brave and take the leap of faith of when it's the time, right, so So as people, you know, you'd be surprised how many people like me, like Nick, like all these people on LinkedIn, and Facebook, they're really open to replying to your messages, if it's authentic, and, and jumping on calls. And so like I said, I've had amazing calls with people in the industry. And you can you can straight up ask them like, Hey, this is this is what I'm thinking, this is how I've been this is this and that. Do you think this is right for me? Do you think I should make the leap now? Or should I keep on my job and build up? You know, my assets?

Nick LeRoy 

Yeah, that's a great response. So I think with that said, you brought up Brian durante and one of the biggest conversations that we had. And I was just completely shocked that he wanted to talk about this, as he said, I may one day consider going back in house or agent, he said, probably not agency, but in house, you know that he wasn't 100% committed to freelance being his kind of forever solution. You said early on that, you know, you're an entrepreneur at heart. So do you see a situation where you go back and work for somebody? Or do you think you're gonna be doing some sort of consulting or entrepreneur, entrepreneurial adventure your whole life?

So that's a great question. So I do think I'm, I'm building a company right now. And I don't really want it to be a typical SEO agency where you're servicing all these clients. But um, I am building a sort of consultancy right now. And I'm gonna stay on that path. But like Ryan said, I mean, I think the right company could probably convince me to go in house, I think agency is a, it's less appealing to me. Because you typically are so spread thin, right?

Nick LeRoy 

You're gonna do all your freelance tasks anyways, you're just not gonna get paid as well.

Right? Exactly. Like, it feels like if you're able to get freelance clients, it's pretty much st similar to agency, but better. But the exciting thing about in house, where if the right company came to me is that you could be working for a company doing very innovative cool things that you might not be able to get as a client. You know, maybe a very, you know, like Zapier type, you know, big SAS company, or this or that active campaign, you could be on a really cool company. And you could have massive impact, and way low stress. So in house could definitely be an option at some point. But I don't see it for the near future.

Nick LeRoy 

And I think you echo pretty much my same sentiment, too, I'd be very, very hard to give up. The control, at least for me controls a big thing, whether it be my time or my earnings. But for every reason that you just said if you could do something really cool where you're learning and upskilling yourself from other smart people getting paid well and are not stressed out every day. I mean, isn't that ultimately what we all want if we have to work?

Exactly. And that's a good point, too. It's like the education in it too. Because like if you're at an interesting company, there's going to be all kinds of it new people to learn from. So we know there's, there's definitely some benefit there.

Nick LeRoy 

Well, it'll be interesting as we all continue to move forward, it's like one year after another, the best part about freelancing is you don't necessarily have to do it forever, fairly low entry, you know, the overhead is, is low. And, you know, what, as our goals continue to shift, you know, so can the solutions to meet those goals? Exactly. So, Patrick, this has been awesome. I want to leave you here with two last questions. The first one being, for anyone who is continuing, you know, they're listening to you, and they're like, Okay, Patrick has convinced me I really got to start looking into this freelancing more. Do you have particular like resources? Is there any books or newsletters or anything along those lines that you say, you know, what, check these out, they were helpful for me.

So I actually would say no, none that are huge. Now, there's, you should keep up to the industry. And you should keep up with, you know, SEO for lunch. Of course, you should, SEO FOMO. All kinds of the, you know, standard, great resources available. But I think that one thing I found is, you know, like, I've purchased courses in the pack past, I've watched a lot of people I've, I've over consumed. And so you've got to actually be mostly careful with that is that no course is going to fix your life no course is going to, you know, do this or that. They're all selling you something, you know, every every LinkedIn post, every Facebook post, they're all selling you something, even if it's just selling you on this person's, you know, career and like them as an influencer. So, to a certain degree, you have to tune a lot of it out and just focus on what is my core offer? You know, what do I sell? How do I communicate, and talk to your your ICP, so ideal customer profile, talk to them. So if you're wanting to work for Home contractors, call them up and just say, Hey, I just I'm a young entrepreneur, or a middle aged entrepreneur, and I want to I want to talk about your business and just kind of run a pitch by you, or just ask you questions. You'll find some people won't be about it. But a lot of people are very open to helping out people. So I would say that's been something for me is like have have some trust and faith into yourself and into what you're doing. And to your own notes and your own thoughts. And then you should, you know, you should consume content. But my problem was consuming too much content. And I think a lot of people find themselves in that area, especially if you're very afraid of taking that leap. You might have just read and consumed too much stuff. And now you're kind of all over the place. Yeah. And Patrick,

Nick LeRoy 

I think that is probably the best advice that anybody could give, and especially to that question who I ask everybody, ultimately, it's doing, you don't get paid to read, you don't get, you know, paid to learn. All of that is important. But I can tell you, at least from my experience, it's really easy to get into, you know, Twitter or LinkedIn threads into kind of that rabbit hole, it can get it's fun to get into chat GTP, you know, or, you know, whatever the newest thing is, but ultimately, you have to keep moving forward. And by doing SEO, in my experience, that's always the best way to learn SEO. So it's making sure that you're always kind of balancing it.

100,000% Exactly. Last but

Nick LeRoy 

not least, Patrick, if anybody wants to reach out to you get in touch, how can we best get in touch with you?

So you can you can reach me on LinkedIn. Patrick s rice. I'm also on Facebook. I have a website at Patrick rice co.com. And, yeah, those are probably the best ways to reach me. And you can we can start a chat and I'm always happy to talk to young people, young entrepreneurs, whatever you're thinking and you know, see what's best for you.

Nick LeRoy 

Fantastic. Thank you, Patrick. So much. So I will make sure to put all those links in the transcript below. But again, Patrick, really appreciate your time, your story and just your your positive attitude towards freelancing. So thank you so much.

Thank you, Nick. Yeah, I really appreciate my time on here. Yeah, thank you.