The simple local websites that earn a thousand dollars a month each

What's up? What's up Nick? Oh, loper here. Welcome to the side house of show part of the entrepreneur

Podcast network because you're nine to five maybe two living

But you're five to nine makes you alive. It's one twenty one

We aired an episode called rank and ranked and it was one of the most popular episodes of the year and

15-second summary of that side also is you create a website for a local service business like

Dallas carpet cleaning as I think the example we talked about you get it ranking well in Google and then you rent it out to

A qualified local service provider that is hungry for more

Now today's guest is a side hustle show listener who heard that episode and took action on it in a big way

Since then she's built out 45 of these local sites that once they have a tenant in place

So it's be earn an average of a thousand to fifteen hundred dollars first site per month from blackbird

Meow reos welcome to the side hustle show thanks Nick for having me here

I am excited for this one stick around. We're talking niche in a location selection for this rank and rent business

We're talking now is a local SEO process and I had to find reliable suppliers because after all those are the businesses that are paying

The rent here and your listener only bonus for this week is a list of 25

Nitches that could be ripe for a rank and rent you can download that for free at the show notes for this episode at side hustle

slash meow it's m-i-a-o

Or just follow yes is that right? Yes, okay

Am I a or just follow the link in the episode description and you get right over there

So where I want to start is so you hear this episode with Luke Vandervere

I think it's 448 rank and rent and

You say okay, I'm gonna give this a shot. It's just three months in this is crazy your site first or second local site starts to gain some visibility

And this local government reaches out and say hey, we need you to bid on this project

Can you talk about what happens now?

Yeah, well that was a kind of a surreal experience and there was a three month in one off that builder site and

Yeah, like one day I've just got a

Quot requests saying that hey, you're invited to this government tender project is demolisher building of a school

Yeah, there was at the Ministry of Education

So when I got this request I was like I have no idea how to even start a tender process

I don't know what to prepare that just seems too big to do it. Yeah, you don't have a defolition company

I don't know if I can talk halfway around the world. I know I just built this site

So I reach out to look and I said hey look, I've got this lead

What should I do? Should I just leave it like I don't know what to do? Yeah, look said

Wow, you should go for it. I just got some sort of a confirmation the confidence

Maybe I should give it a go

So what I did is I reach out to a local contractor that of course is fully qualified

We actually probably spoken on a phone before so and he's all in on this project

And he didn't mention that maybe the chance of success is not that high, but we will give a go

So I just actually my English is actually not my first language, so my writing sucks

Imagine me submitting the government tender so I have to hire someone

Ask my VA to help me out to sort of tidy up the older document

Lots of like safety or the thing like a kind of a formal process

Yeah, it's very tedious having said that I got a dumb and we submit the application and three months later

One day just out of the blue and I boom I received email saying that

Well, congratulations. You are the successful

Better for the school project for the Ministry of Education

Wow, yeah, and of course we did finish that project. I think for that particular lead I got paid for

over five thousand dollars just for that

Yeah, that's really a cool story of like creating something out of nothing

And really a win-win for everybody because this company now got this big job

Big enough that they were able to pay you a five thousand dollar commission for sending them that lead

That was it typical to structure

It as kind of like on a commission basis

You know, we'll pay you a percentage of the total billing or a flat fee based on whatever work we book

Or I think what Luke was describing was more like look

500 a thousand fifteen hundred bucks a month like we'll just send you all the leads that we get through the site

Just to make it like easier and more consistent and like not have to track on a performance basis on the stuff

So I do both I prefer the flat fee

So actually majority of my website that I do a flat fee deal is just so much easier

There's no tracking there's only a few side I do commission one is the demolition

Only because is high ticket because each job could be over hundred K

complete and

Sometimes the sales cycle are super long because imagine if you have to demolish a building

And that involves like a console consent this connection or the service it's just very

Sometimes we can complete a job that the leads actually came in last year

So and that's how long the sales cycle can be so usually it's a lower volume a higher ticket

So for that particular niche I do the commission base

But the rest absolutely I do flat fee it just so much easier

Okay, yeah this is similar to we did an episode with Link Moser who was doing high-end lead generation for real estate agents

And the drawback was you had to have a real estate license to be able to legally earn a commission on those referrals

But it was similar like hey I don't need to do a ton of these because one multi-million dollar property

It could be worth 40-50 thousand dollars in commission

But this is a way to kind of broaden that idea and no real estate license required

So it sounds like you like the demolition niche something I never would have considered

What makes a good niche for the rank and rent model?

I like something that's service-based that you don't have a storefront

Basically like a plumber, the concrete guy or rurfa you go through the client side to work

So it's not that people come into your office

So service-based business the second one is I really like those high ticket type of work

Like concrete driveways, pedios, earthwork, demolition, roofing

Nothing sexy nothing sexy but those niche work they work

And that's because the value of these jobs is worth quite a bit to the service provider

And so they're just like if we can get more leads in, if we can book up our calendar

Then yeah it's worthwhile we'll just add this to our monthly marketing budget

Yeah exactly I've done this smaller niche like handyman

I probably would not do handyman again having said that I have a handyman side that's producing lots of lots of leads

And business has been with me since the beginning when I started business

And sometimes like a smaller niche like a gather cleaning can be good because it's high volume

So you get like a 60 to 90 leads per month

But the thing with a gather cleaning is sometimes you start a job with gather cleaning

And you find out that gather needs a repair, the roof needs a repair, the roof needs a repaint

So a small job can turn into a bigger job

You just never know so my personal favorite is still a bigger ticket niche

Do you like to go deep in one location or deep in one niche or like really a matter like

trying to find the sweet spot of I'm going to do carpet cleaning in Dallas

And then I'm going to build out all these other niches for Dallas

Or I'm going to go do carpet cleaning in 100 different cities

There's two way to tackle this

So if is a big city like with a population of a million and above I like to go either niche down

So for example if it's concrete I don't do or concrete

I just specialize at certain type of concrete either as a stent concrete or concrete resurfacing

Or concrete driveway so you have to be the specialist in the service that you provide

I found you get a lot more success than just do something in general in the big city

Now the bigger the city the more niche down for big city

And if it's a big city also you can let's say for New York City

It's just too big so you have to niche down to a different boroughs like Manhattan

Or Brooklyn or Queens Long Island

So you either niche down to the specialized area or niche down to the local area

So that's a general rule I found anything above 50k should work

The population wise I'm talking about 400k population wise seems to be a very sweet spot

So it's not too big city your local competition is not that strong

And you have enough volume the population produce enough leads

Enough search volume that is going to help you to rendecide out

Okay cool and I swear I was on Wikipedia at one point

Like here's a list of cities with population you know 100,000 to 250,000

Or you can probably just ask chat GPT at this point

Like come up with this list for me and there's a potential starting point

Anything else they go so I'm trying to cross reference these cities

Am I looking at the local competition yet or am I?

Yes one thing I'm doing I'll just actually give you an example

That just shows you the initial research

Sometimes it's not about what you provide has to be good enough is about your competition

So I'll give you an example of two side I built when I say

That's in Wellington the capital city in New Zealand

On the data shows that the landscaping business has a huge demand

Very high volume the keyword difficulty is medium

So you have to local competition

So I thought given that how much demand I'm going to build a site for landscaping

A few months down the track the site is ranking however the quality of leads

And the number of leads are not great so we still have producing the leads

But it's just not ideal

So what I did is I built a specialized so I work this landscaping company

And they do all the paving concrete artificial grass retaining

And then what we did is we found the concrete driveway in the local area

There's no company just do concrete driveway

There's a lot of landscaping company there's a lot of concrete company

Just does a very general general contractor

But no company does concrete driveway

So I built a site for concrete driveway in Wellington

And that site blew up is completely blew up

So what happens is this contractor if a client wants a concrete driveway down in front of the house

Sometimes they're going to do the backyard

They need a retaining work again they need a paving work again

So it's finding the right market to get into therefore dominate

So you're still providing the same service

However it is extremely important to actually pick the niche

That was very little competition

Interesting so was the landscaping company that was doing the driveways?

Yes so that's the same is it's the same company

The local landscaping company there are few big ones that have a good name

So they dominate the market so it's very helpful

Someone small to medium business to just get into the the market

Because when people think about landscaping there's a big name out there

But if you change your arena to the concrete driveway

Well no company is doing that like specializing that

So it's just really easy to get into

And you ended up getting all the landscaping work

But through the right channel

That's really interesting trying to find that back door

That side door into the place like well it's maybe it's number six on our menu of service offerings

But if I try to rank for general landscaping it's really tough

But if I try and rank for concrete driveways

I mean paving yeah a different just

Yeah okay

Special also niche yeah

More with Mow in just a moment

Including the tools she's using to evaluate the search competitiveness of a market

And her local SEO ranking process right after this

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Are there any tools or metrics that you're using to quantify that level of

Local competition?

I use tools, so I use SEM rush

So I would looking at the keyword difficulty

Even though the data is saying

Anything above 20

It is still rankable and is still doable

It should put like a moderate

But I don't like to go through those niche

Because if I'm going to spend the same amount of time and money

I want to go for the easy target

So under 20 on the metric?

Under 20

Yeah, under 20

Is there a minimum search volume that you're looking at?

Yep, I would look at the combined search volume to be 150 and the bath

At least 100 bath

So let's say if it's a bigger ticket niche like a diminishing

Then I think 100 is enough

But for a small ticket niche

And I would looking at a higher volume probably 200

But maybe 150 combined

He would volume is a criteria

That's surprisingly low to me

Like only 100 people are searching for this every month

But if the jobs are $100,000

Like if they're searching for it like a break

Well qualified lead if it does come through

So that does

Yeah, you don't actually need that much of search volume for a bigger ticket

Yeah, and maybe companies are ignoring it because it is low volume

And telling you the Wellington, the Conquered Driver Company, Wellington

Sometimes the search volume is not really reliable

Especially in a smaller country

Maybe in the US is more accurate

That Wellington Conquered Driver, there's only 30 search volume

As extremely low

But sometimes you just have to use your intuition

Like looking at the city's population

Yeah, it's impossible to have that low volume

And something's wrong

So just do it anyway


Yeah, there's a value of ranking at the top of Google

In whatever small niche it is

Whatever small city it is

Like if you can get to the top

Good things can happen

And so that's kind of the next phase of this conversation is like

Okay, I find the niche and city and competitiveness combination

That looks attractive

And then what happens next in terms of securing a domain

And like building out that site

So we were talking about the keyword research

And knowing your local competition

I believe that's the most important step

So I don't actually give this job to VA

I actually do this research part myself

The rest is pretty streamlined

So the next is you find a domain

That is the most

I prefer to use the domain name that contains the keyword

So whatever the niche you're doing if it's roofing

You would have the roofer or roofing

Those keyword in your domain

So it's more of like a partial match of the niche you're doing

So you find your domain

In the city name too or just service

Yeah, absolutely

I make sure all the domain name contains the city name

And niche name

And I got to imagine for a lot of smaller towns

Those domains may be more readily available

Or maybe they're cheaper on the second hand

Market versus New York roofing

Or something like that

I got to imagine that's like super premium

Already claimed

But it's like wellingtonNZ concrete driveways

Like probably available for 10 bucks or whatever

Yep, I'm surprised

Because every time while I'm using that domain

Trying to search for domain

And it's always available and I was shocked

Why not?

Yeah, they're like never happened

It's like all the domains I want are already taken

So that's a cool element of this niche

Or of this state hustle

Yeah, but the regional country level domain is easier to get

Okay, so what happens next?

Next you get domain

And I use WordPress

I fail WordPress is easy

I started with a Weebly

But when I decided to scale

And I switched to the WordPress

I use a template

And you just upload a template

Swap all the content

Find the photos

Don't get any photos from Google

Because those photos are not

Maybe have a copyright

So I make sure all the photos are either purchased

From a photo stock website


Their copy rights free

And then you build a site

I contract all the building part to my VA

And she's really really good

So she actually taken care of the building process

So you build a site

And the after you create all the social media

Like Facebook

Building the citation

And just started ranking process

And I do have a people that's helped me

With the link building

Making the block comments

Building the backlinks

That's all the technical part

All right, well let's unpack each of those steps

Because there's a lot there

On the content side

So your VA is building out

The content side

Like these are the services we provide

Like this is about the company

What do you put on this page

When realistically there is no company behind it yet



What I do actually that's what I love from Luke

I did not create this process

I just follow someone that's already had the result

And start doing it

Now in terms of content

I would basically

Found out

All the local

Like I would put a keyword in

For that business

And the city's name


Collect the top 10 competitors

That's already ranking well

And I pull the data into SEM rush

And then

Get all the key within

Then you analyze it

For example let's say

Stamped concrete

Or roof repair

Has a very good search volume

And I will put that in

As one of the service


So we create content


It's work out better that way

So I found lots of business

They like to write about how good they are

What they provide

But without knowing the market

So what we do here is

We research the market

Find out the service that's really highly demand

People need it


Pick the one

And throw to the website


Yeah and then your website

Literally become a Wikipedia

Of everything people need to know about that


Okay so if I'm understanding this

It's looking at

Plugging my top 5 or 10 competitors

Into an SEO tool to see

What content of theirs

Is already ranking

And like what are they created content around

And then just trying to match that

Like doing the same or better

To build out this site

Yeah and it's about finding the service

That people

Are interested

And lots of people searching for

And have a relatively

Lower difficulty to rank

And through all the business

Onto your site

Because you can say

Okay this competitor

Have offered a few services

But not others

But the other competitor

Has a certain service

That this one doesn't provide

So your site become the Wikipedia

Like your website become

The one stop shop

For everything that people are looking for


Whatever the search comes to your site

You have to skip the about page

We're like

We're a third generation family owned company

And here's the picture of

Me and my dad

And we run this thing


You have to

Can I leave all that stuff blank for this time?


Personally I don't like to provide light

Like you can say you're like a family

Local fan

You can say you're locally owned business

But personally I don't want to put any

Information that's false

So I like to keep the website

Pretty generic

Unless I found a local contractor to work with

And then we can tailor make the content

To be more specific to that business

Writing a story

Because a story a personal branding

Always works better than generic content

But just to start with

Something very generic would work


And is there a call to action on the site

Book a quote, contact us now

You know call this toll free number

What happens if somebody lands on the site

So very big call to action

So that's the whole point right

You want to convert the clients

Whoever clicking to your website

So big numbers


Numbers on the top

And I want to make sure every page

Because then we search you from

They made and found you from a

Service page not your home page

So every page would contain a quote request form

So it's easy for the potential clients to

Just send in query

To us

So definitely quote form

Court of action numbers

Make sure every page have that

So people can contact you

What are you used for the

Phone numbers and

Or the phone answering

There's lots of phone company provider service

So I use Twilil

And lots of people use Quarral

I think there are just so many

Company provider service

You can get a virtual form number

And then just using that

And I would program the form number

And with a bit of a sort of a welcome

To the business and press one to connect

Or press one for Roofer

Yeah you can program and make it

Looks at least present like a real


Okay so you have a like a virtual

Answering service would say

Concrete driveways

Wellington how may help you

How may address your call or something

Yeah so I just program the welcome message

In the beginning I answer the phone call

So I just pretend I'm the office lady

I'm the reception

Okay and so you can you but you can tell like

What site because it's going to be probably

Different phone number for yeah

Yeah okay sorry yeah now I got it

Yes there's a function

Nellity that you can set up

What we call a whisper message

So if I get a phone call

I would hear a little whisper message saying

New leads from Wellington

Oh okay okay so you know how to answer the phone


Otherwise with a 40's site I have no idea

Where is this caller coming from

But yeah you can identify

Where's the call coming from

Everything's tracked recorded

It's easy


And then you have to

Become a very good actor actress

In saying

My guy who does our bids is out right now

Let me get back to you or

Sorry we're booked up on that date


So you kind of have a critical mass

Then you got to go find

Service provider supplier to go out and fulfill the work

Yeah sometimes it's a general rash

So like people calling

Oh I've got this urgent job

Like for example tree

I have a few trees that

Yeah then he's someone doing the job urgently

So I immediately have to drop everything I was doing

And look for a trying to find the contract

That's can provide this work

It's fun

Yeah actually yeah he don't want to get a bad review

Is that so this person blew me off

Or they were available

Yep it's so easy actually

Yeah people read bad reviews this days

More with me now in just a moment

Including her surprising link building strategy

And how she connects with reputable suppliers

For these services

There would be tenants for these rank and rent sites

Right after this

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Okay, I do want to circle back to the finding reputable, reliable, qualified suppliers in a second

But go back to the SEO process we're talking about

Building out first this library of content becoming the go-to authority in the space

By going broader than anybody else in the niche

Next thing you mentioned was creating social handles and citations

Can you explain what that is how that works?

Yeah, so if you can

So every site I would have a Facebook page

I think in New Zealand it's slightly different

By in the US you want to create all the citations like Yelp

or Google my business

And lots of like a business directories

So that would help with the ranking

Because you are telling the internet that your site is legit

Like you're operating and you've got lots of

social signals from a different site

That's supporting that

And therefore build a local relevance and trust authority

So that's the best thing I do for every site

But going down a little bit deeper is to rank

So is the backlinks

That's a part that I personally really hate doing

Because super super tedious

And time consuming

Yeah, you have to outreach

I know

Who wants to just randomly link to a copy driveway?

Say it, you know

No, that's the thing

And like you have to outreach to the different like a blog

Some business

I think that's the hardest part

There's so many people out there saying that they can do it

I hired probably 10 different people

A claim that they know how to do this

But they really have no idea and not producing any results

So finally I had a few

Yeah, it took me a long time to find them

But once you find them

They know exactly what to do

That will help your website to rank

Are there one or two link building tactics that you're finding effective today?

Yeah, I like blog comments

Because there's a few


2024, we're talking blog comments

Like is this for real?

Yes, yeah

And who's there read the blogs

But lots of blogs still have a very high authority


Even those probably like no follow

Because it's user generated content

Like that still has some weight

There still has some value

Yeah, yeah

And usually they're free

The key is you want to make sure that your comments are not spammy

So yeah, it's actually relevant to what they blogged about

And write about your opinion or your suggestions

Yeah, and usually if you do that

The comments actually will stay

It's just one of the easiest

A way to build a backlinks

All right, that's surprising

But what else have you got?

Yes, every

Yeah, and then attach your business at the end

Therefore you get a link

All right, anything else on the link building side

That's working today

That's actually my favorite

So I do lots of blog comments

But the thing is the key things

You want to have a variation of the keyword

Or what we call anchor tags

You can't have the same anchor tags

That's not enough

So you kind of want to have variation

For example, if it's concrete driveway

In Auckland

I would say

Auckland concrete or concrete contractors

Or just some URL

Random URL

You really want to keep

Like under the name field

Because that's what we ended up being linked

Yeah, yeah

Keep it a little bit of a trend

And rather than just completely

Like an exact match of your business


All right

That's really surprising

That's a second

It's still work

Still works

I want to go back to the Google by business things

For a while

I don't know if they still do

But like they

You had to mail a postcard

To this physical address

To verify

You were

Who you said you were

And you were doing business at this location

Is that still a thing or how do you get around that

Yeah, that's a part

I think Google actually made it so much

More difficult

For people that's doing recurrent

Because it's a lot harder

So in old days

We just need to find a address

And the Google will mail you the postcard

And your Google business profile

Become live


Google does lots of video verification

That's a part

When expression of a stage

You don't have any contractor

To work with

So you can't really create a video

And especially the niche

I'm doing lots of them

Are like a

You know

Like a hardcore

Like an ex-veasure

Or concrete

Sometimes you have to show the tools

The vans

I don't have them


I think it's definitely got

A lot more difficult

To create a business profile

Having said that

That has not stopped me

Ranking the site


You still got the organic search result

And that brings lots of business

And what I do is


This site is already producing the leads

And I find the local contractor

To work with

And like I work with them

To create a Google business profile

With the real business name

And everything

And that would work

Okay, got it

Yeah, so you

You mean I'm able to get that early on


So it just orders changed


On the link building front

Episode 534

Was with Jeremy Poland

A really popular episode

They got great feedback

On some creative

Link building strategies

In that one

So if you're wondering what to listen to

Next you can go check that one out

That's really fascinating stuff

I'm going to forego the map listing

But even just with the organic text

Based listings in Google

That could be enough

But now you gotta go out

And find a supplier

Here's what I found

It's like the service providers

That are any good

They're not necessarily hungry for business

They're like, dude

We're booking a month out

Like, are you getting line

We've raised our rates

They're not necessarily hurting for leads


If you're trying to

Now cross references with an area

That's a low competition

It's like, are there enough players

In that space to even

Pay you and like, would do a good job

If they went out to a customer site

Like, this is like the other piece of the puzzle

Is like finding somebody to go fulfill the work

I have to say that

All the technical side building

Ranking to the number one

Right now this is

Because we know all the process

We know exactly how to get it on top

This is the easiest part

The hardest part is actually

Finding the business

That's a right fit

Like you said

If a business already very established

Yeah, they don't need your leads

They're booked up six months in advance

And those one that's

Like the cowboys doing a bad job

They may be hungry for a job

But they're not the right person

That you need to partner with

Right, right

It is tricky

I have to say

Not every niche and location

You can find a right fit

And that takes a lot of trial

In error

That's why I'm going back to

I personally like the city that's

400k above that

Because you have enough business to test out

Okay, they'll have enough different players

Yeah, yeah

And especially I think in the US

The situation is slightly better

But in Australia and New Zealand

There's such a shortage of labor

I think it's true everywhere

Like just a few more people going into the trades

Yeah, I was just talking to a business owner yesterday

He's in a roof painting business

He wants to scale the business

He wants to hire like a

Seven new guys

And that those younger guys

They're just not reliable

And he have to

Sort of make sure he's not

Grow the business so fast

Because just you can't find a reliable person

To do the work

But the thing is once you find the right one

It just work perfectly

I literally was an interview

A business owner yesterday

He was the gothic cleaning business in Auckland

There's a matter of finding

The right business that provides good job

But not yet

Bit expert in marketing

And you actually help them grow

I'm like I get lots of joy out of this

So he was saying before using our service

And he has to compete with other competitors

With the price

So he is immigrant

He's Chinese

He works really hard

He's potential customers

Or the inner Chinese community

But since he's using the site

Like all of sudden

He's got people from everywhere requesting a service

Because he actually provided a very good service

So he's now not only has to chase for the service

But the clients find him

And he raised the profit margin to 20%

Therefore he can provide a better service to the clients

And he makes more money and he can grow the business

So I think it's a matter of finding

You will find a contractor that's a perfect match

And also I have I think one of my concrete


I found this contractor

I've been working with the sky since the beginning

He does amazing concrete work

So all the reviews that he complete

Like the customer pulls the pictures

Very super happy with the result

But he was working for a bigger company before

And not getting paid that much

But he has amazing skills

And he treat like a good customer

Good manner

It's the right match

Once you find a person

And you are helping them so much

And of course they're helping me as well grow my business

I think it's definitely the winged situation

If you find right person

It sounds like it's a matter of finding that person

Who maybe is

Or that company that's maybe early in their business

They know the skill

They know how to provide the service

And they have good reviews

From whatever business they've been able to get

But just don't have the time, energy

Or expertise to do the marketing side of things

And it's like okay if we could just get more people

In the front door and more people in the top of the funnel

Like we could do really well

And so that's where they turn to a service like yours

And so what is that outreach pitch

Or maybe like the tree example

Like I got a hot bleed on the line

I got to go find a service provider

And it's like do you want this lead

Do you I got more where this came from

How do you set up that

Initial outreach and kind of explain

What it is that you do

And how much it costs and all of that

It sounds very scary in the beginning

So you just caught quoting people

But what I realized is

I've got the leads on hand

It's very hard for the business saying

Well I've got a tree remover job

And do you want it

It's very hard for them say

No we don't want it

If you get the answer which means this business is really

Doing well they don't need your leads

So most of the business will say

Actually yes

I think it makes the conversation

Or the code call so much easier

When you get something in hand

Some value to offer

And I usually would send them a few free leads

As a good faith

And I don't want to ask for any money or anything

I want them to test out

See this is working for them

If they made money and they like the leads

They know the leads are real

They are generally more open to have a conversation with you

Like do you want to continue to get the leads

And then I invite them to the Zoom meeting

To explain to them exactly what I do

And how is the fee or the structure

The deal works with everything

Okay it's like the free samples at Costco

Hey you had a taste now if you want to hold back

Yeah if you like it

Yeah bye-bye more

Or sign up for the monthly package

And I tend to not talking about

Like I'm not worried about whether I have to make money from the business

I could even maybe send them a few more

Like I'm not super clinging on the money part

I think to me

Finding the right business, the right partners is the most important thing

Having the trial period sending the leads to them

It is also an opportunity for me to know

How they handle the customer

Are they the right fit

So it's not that they choose me

I have to choose them as well

It's a matter of finding the right fit for both sides

Right and because ideally you want somebody

Where it becomes

Hopefully more hands off

Where it's just like yeah they just you're on auto pay for your $1,000

A month and like the phone now directly rings their phone

So they can handle it

And you don't have to be involved

I imagine if everybody is happy in that relationship

That could be a really sticky customer

I know you've been at it for two and a half years

Like do you have a sense of how long a service provider sticks around

Or like is churn a thing here

I have a so much majority probably 80% of my customer

They've been with me since the beginning

I started business and they never like it

Because if you provide so much value

Why they would stop

However the turn does happen

So I had a business they actually just got a few big commercial jobs

And they want to focus on that

I'm gonna say good on you

Glad that it can help you get big jobs

And help you grow

I'm happy for them

And I don't do any like contract or anything

Just month by month

Because I feel

If I'm not providing value

They don't find the value of my service

Why I have to pin them down is just not how I believe the relationship would work

What do you use for the payment processing or the recurring billing

Stripe make everything so much easier

Do you ever get the feedback or maybe the customers would be

Or the service providers would maybe be on the receiving end

Like would they show up wearing the polo shirt that says

Like they're pre-existing company brand name

But like well the website said something else

Like does that mismatch ever happen

I would tell the business owner in advance that may happen

So what I tell them to do is when they answer the phone

Or when they returning the customer's phone call

You say something more generic

Like for example New York City roofing

So it's not really branded name

Or they answer the phone call with

Yeah something really generic

Because when people calling you

They expect the same name

That they calling the website on

But then when they set up the estimation

Ready to send the invoice

And the contractor can actually explain to the business

That the website they call that is their marketing site

Or they can say

This is our company

And that I'm in partnership with the Legion site

Usually if you're providing good service

Build a trust

People don't really care

It's really weird that people say

Oh that's not going to work for me

This is the deal breaker

I have not come across with that situation

Yeah we had kind of a similar conversation with

Johnny Robinson who had this

Window cleaning business largely built on the back of subcontractors

And the feedback was like

Dude you're going to trash your reputation

Like you're going to show up

Like we're in their own

Window cleaning company

Not orange window cleaning

And it's like so much of

Your reputation happens online now

It's the booking experience

It's the website experience

It's the reviews that you have

If they show up and do a good job

I don't care what you're doing

I'm sure what their truck rap says

Like it's like is it a good work

It doesn't really matter

Since you mentioned that

Maybe this business model works better in the

Business that's no so brand driven

Like who cares about who does your window cleaning

Doesn't have to be a specific company or name

As long as you're doing good job

So a business like that might be easier

But let's say

Maybe if you have a side for orthopedic surgeon

That may I don't know

I haven't test out that

Particularly niche yet


Imagine it could be a little bit difficult


So then you're not gonna trust just anybody too

I slice of you but that makes sense

Is it 100% organic for you or you do anything

With paid ads in partnership with larger companies

Or like we really want to monopolize more of this

Page one real estate, anything like that

No I have tried

So people doing two different ways

So some people that are not doing ads

And therefore is so much faster to scale your business

Yes you can do it

I guess they are a good and bad side

I think doing ads you will go to business faster

However you really have to be very very good at sales

I was not in the beginning

So I just go by everything organic

And I feel like I have the time to

Just take the time to build my side

Until the size that to produce in the result

But having said that is a paying ads a good idea

I think yes

It would work for some people

Yeah especially on those

Commission based jobs

Where if the service provider is happy paying you

A thousand bucks a month just for what you get an organic

I guess that would probably be an extra layer of complexity

Like we are also going to manage ads on top of that

For an additional fee or you have to work that out

But the reason I ask is we get this magazine

I don't have one

I mean it looks like a magazine

But it is like the Seattle area homeowners guide

And there is no content in this thing

It is like just pure ads

That is like this bathroom renovation specialist

Or this backyard patio specialist

And I am wondering a lot of them have kind of like

Very generic sounding names

Or sometimes they have like almost a templatized little

Half-page ad

I was like I wonder if these are

The Legion yes


That is possible


So there is the offline Legion happening as well

If you have these local nailers

So you know you got dozens of these sites

Running at this point

What's a day in the life look like for you today

Well the great thing about doing this

Is you are not limited to the location

I could be in New Zealand

I could be in New York

Last week I was in LA

I could be in Miami doing this

in Australia

So I love traveling that is the reason I love what I am doing right now

Are you actively building out new sites

Or is kind of a matter of like I am going to

Trans-rank the ones that aren't quite to page one

Yeah like where is the time go that is spent on work

Yeah right now I am not

Since I have already got so many

Not as many as I wanted

But I have already got some website

Some site is still a ranking process

So I definitely want to get those sites up to speed

And therefore for me to be able to rent it out

I feel like I have tested quite different niches

And I would like to stick to the niches that I know

I would definitely have the success

And be able to rent it out

I am still building a few other sites

That seem completely different

But those sites that

I feel my own contact that they already have the business

They want me to help out with SEO and lead generation process

So I am not as actively building more sites

At the moment

Unless the business owner want me to

And this became a full-time thing for you

In terms of me full-time income

I don't like it

There is no other day job that is expecting you to call in

Yeah I was working a full-time I have to say

To get a started is not easy

Nothing is easy

So I started doing this when I was working a full-time

And then I really just have to make a lot of phone calls

Replying to customers, doing lunch break, doing all the studies

To this point, I don't have to work a full-time job

That's great

Was there a point where you felt comfortable calling a quits?

I think when I made enough money to replace my full-time work

That's the point that I feel okay

Yeah, that's a fantastic place to be

I think last year I spent like two and a half months in China

Spending time with my mom, I'm Chinese

My mom was like

When are you leaving?

Like you're just hanging around here

Don't you need to work?

Like you know

She felt like I'm like a bum

And I said, well, mom, actually I worked really hard to get to this point

That's just funny because she said, oh

Before that you can always visit

Have a time for like two weeks holiday

Now you're staying for two months

And you're still hanging around here

That's funny, it reminds me of my friend Dustin Heiner

Has these shirts that say successfully unemployed

And I try and make a point to where that

Whenever I'm going skiing like in the middle of the week

Like oh successfully unemployed

I feel like you would be a match for that as well

Anything that surprised you over the last couple of years of doing this?


Initially when I signed up, looks cool

I started doing it and I thought okay, I'm just gonna learn

All the marketing as your kind of skills

And that's what I expected in the beginning

To this point I realized

Well, I actually learned so much more than just the technical process

I have learned, yeah, it's just maybe sales, maybe communication

And also hiring because it's impossible to do everything yourself

How to hire people, how to be resourceful, how to solve the problems

And I realized the word is never lack of talent

Because every time when you actually post a job

On artwork or some sort of a platform

There's hundreds of people applying for it

That makes me realize the skills important

But the most important thing is actually to generate the clients

Have the business

Then you can find someone can fulfill the work

The hardest part is to actually create a job

And create the clients, have the demand

That actually change my perspective

Yeah, it feels good to be on that hiring side

Yeah, I feel like there's so much skills that I've learned

Through the way that way more than just the technical skills

Yeah, that's really cool

What's next for you for Blackbird SEO?

What's got you excited these days?

I definitely want to grow my company bigger

I do have a big dream

The other things that I realized is

I think for the experience for the past few years

I do get lots of joy out of talking to the business owners

See a business starting from maybe one-man operation

But very honest business that you can see them grow so much

And I do enjoy that process to talk into them

And also especially for the immigrant

I'm an immigrant, I went to New Zealand, was young

And lots of contractors are their immigrant

They don't know how to get a business

And I particularly enjoy to help those people actually

How to grow the business, how to actually get

They are not just limited to their own community

They actually opened themselves and to the bigger audience

The mainstream client-based

That's really fulfilling

Yeah, really rewarding to be able to turn around and help

Like, hey, I learned the stuff

And now I can help other people go and implement it

And make a bigger impact on their own lives

And the lives of their customers

I think that's really cool

So get Blackbird

Check me out over there

Let's wrap this thing up with your number one tip for side-house automation

Just get us started

Thinking about it is not going to get you any result

And take action

Isn't that true?

Thinking about it won't get you there

But if you don't think about it, probably not going to start it

So make sure to just take some action

So now again, really appreciate you joining me

It's Blackbird

A couple of notes before we wrap up

Number one, I thought it was interesting

Was to think international

Like you had some on-the-ground experience in New Zealand

But like, I think a lot of US listeners, US entrepreneurs

Like are very focused

And to be fair, there's a lot of opportunity here

But hey, maybe it's lower competition

Somewhere else or maybe you have some connection

To a different international market

And that could be an interesting way to go

The other one was to look for those side doors

I thought that was really unique

Like, hey, landscaping is too competitive

But concrete paving or driving or driveways

Was less competitive

Even though it was the same

You know, I'm pulling from the same pool of service providers

I thought that was a really interesting way to go

As a way to

Shortcut your...

Your time would just make it an easier road

To get to the top of Google on that

And then the third thing was, you know, really

You know, the meat and potatoes of this business

Is the long-term partnerships with the service providers

So like, doing the vetting and the diligence

And being a trusted marketing partner

On that front really is what drives this

You want to make it passive?

You want to make it hands off?

You have to find somebody who is good

At what they do really understands the value of this relationship

So those were my takeaways

Again, your listener only bonus

For this week is a list of 25 rank and rent niches

We probably covered half of those

So I'll add maybe a lot some more

Maybe we'll up that number

But rank and rent niches to kickstart your research process

You can download that for free at the show notes

For this episode at

Or just follow the link in the episode description

You'll get right over there

Big thanks to Mao for sharing her insight

Big thanks to you for supporting the advertisers

That help make this content free for everyone

As always you can hit up

For all the latest offers from our sponsors in one place

That's it for me

Thanks so much for tuning in

If you find any value in the show

The greatest compliment is to share it with a friend

So fly her off a text message or two

Hey, we should totally start this

Until next time let's go out there

And make something happen

And I'll catch you in the next edition of the side hustle show

Hustle on