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Hi, I'm Mark and I am just getting started


#1

Hey all,

I’ve been lurking here pretty much since day 1 and figured since I am making the move into the “actually doing something” space that now was a good time to finally reach out to you all, say hell, introduce myself and see how I can help any of you.

Long story short unlike a good deal of you I come from a marketing background who is learning development rather than a developer who is learning marketing. My background has been working in fairly high end (read: expensive) marketing consultancy firms for a wide range of international clients across a different range of industries.

About a year ago, I decided to walk away from working purely as an employee and do something a little different. I spent a good chunk of the year living in Singapore / Thailand while taking on a very small amount of freelance work. However if I am honest I more or less took a year off to travel while I spent my spare time teaching myself everything I could about web development.

I have always suffered from the problem of too many ideas but never enough skill (web dev) to actually make them a reality (without spending a lot of cash in order to get a developer to put it together). However, in the last couple of months I have started to take the freelance stuff slightly more seriously in order to put some cash together to create my first SaaS / mass service offering together.

I’ve done my research, I am ready to go and am currently in the process of building my first semi-serious offering which is aimed at work online marketing (SEO specifically) consultancy agencies (since it is a crowd I already know well) and somewhat savvy site owners who are concerned about the possibility of “negative SEO”.

The problem for my target market is that they spend a considerable amount of time and effort working to improve the website from an organic search perspective, however they are constantly worried about Google’s updates that seem to be constantly changing set of rules as to what they consider to be “genuine” or “potentially harmful” link building efforts. In addition, many site owners worry about their competitors attempting to intentionally harm their organic search rankings by pointing a large quantity of low quality links at their website.

If you don’t have the time or relevant knowledge to monitor this kind of thing correctly on an ongoing basis then you are potentially walking into a world of hurt.

However, this just happens to be an area of expertise where not only have I worked with a large number of clients of all shapes and sizes to resolve exactly this issue but I probably have enough specialised knowledge that I am in the top 5-10% of most qualified people in the world.

Given this is the kind of thing that can make a very serious and very unpleasant impact on the bottom lines for many businesses I decided to create an offering around it.

Essentially, I will be launching a service where the basic premise is that for a flat monthly fee I will personally monitor and inspect every single new link to your website against a set of criteria similar to what search engines such as Google use in order to ensure that you never have to worry about this problem again. If a link looks like it will potentially hurt your business, I will take the necessary action to prevent that from happening. I will also send you a monthly report that outlines exactly the kind of action we took each month in order to demonstrate our value.

While there are some tools out there already which allow you to do this, they all seem to require that you personally have the right knowledge in order to make the correct kinds of judgement calls.

This means that right now businesses are faced with either two options, either they are proactively taking that kind of action themselves and building the required knowledge in-house or they are waiting until it is too late and engaging an agency to retrospectively perform a cleanup operation for them while they continue to lose money in the mean time.

I feel this fills a nice gap in the market that no one seems to have really captured yet (however if you know of anything I’d love to hear about it). Given that this is more of a “service” offering than a traditional SaaS offering, there is considerably less work involved for me in putting together an MVP.

I’ve started work already in making this a reality and will ideally have this launched in some form before the end of the month and will continue to test and iterate from there.

Any questions? Let me know, happy to answer! Otherwise, thanks for reading and I hope to get to know you all better over the next few months.

Mark


#2

Hey Mark, that sounds like a really interesting idea for a service-based startup.

It sounds like you’re still honing your pitch. To me, my takeaway from all that you wrote is:

for a flat monthly fee I will personally monitor and inspect every single new link to your website

…which is a great start for the elevator pitch for your landing page.

many site owners worry about their competitors attempting to intentionally harm their organic search rankings by pointing a large quantity of low quality links at their website.

I would be curious to see how you can help a business owner thwart those types of attacks.

Best of luck with your new endeavor! Looking forward to following your progress updates.


#3

Welcome Mark! I look forward to seeing your progress, and it’s nice that you bring a strong marketing background. I think many of us wish we had more of those skills.


#4

Welcome Mark! Thanks for posting. Like you I’ve got a marketing background, and like you I’ve got a service that I sell as a product.

Would companies buy your service to protect themselves or will agencies buy your service to resell to their clients?

From my own experience of launching Greenlight, I’d suggest getting a domain and landing page up with the ability to capture email address and contact you sooner than later. 1) it will “feel” more real to you 2) it will give you a place to point people as you talk to them about it. I used Kickoff Labs product and while it costs more than you’d probably want - it has A LOT of nice integrations out of the box that you’d have to add manually. So it’s a time vs money choice.

I could potentially be in your target market, so I’d love to hear more.


#5

Welcome Mark and thanks for sharing. You mentioned that this is something you will have to monitor personally and as such it is more of a concierge service. Is it possible for your to come out with a formula/list of criterias you can automate to package it into a SAAS app, at least the part of discovery. For me personally, it would be a very strong selling point if I could:

  1. Click on a free trial
  2. Enter my website URL
  3. Get a LIMITED list (5 of 100) of potentially harmful links with a score of how much harm they could be causing (maybe green/yellow/orange/red to keep things simple)
  4. CTA to upgrade to a premium account to see all links and to have you take action

Just a thought. I am looking forward to you going live with this idea!