This week’s Freelancer Interview is with Paul Teitelman from Toronto, Canada. With over 10 years of experience helping hundreds of businesses succeed online, Paul is one of the top ranking SEO consultants in Toronto & across Canada.
A true SEO expert, tech entrepreneur, lifehacker, blockchain enthusiast & real estate investor – read on for our interview here!
1. Hi Paul , we are delighted to have you in our Insides series! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what are you up to?
Towards the end of my first job I got very frustrated with the inefficiencies and lack of client dedication you get with big growing agencies and knew in my heart I could service clients far better by going freelance. Took the jump to full time SEO freelancing back in October of 2011 and I haven’t looked back since.
Currently offer freelance SEO Consulting services and built up my own link building company with over 15 employees. We service clients directly and also partnered up with several Search/Digital Marketing Companies across North America providing white labelled link building packages.
2. What exactly made you want to work with Search Engine Optimization? And how long have you been freelancing?
In the final year of my Bachelor of Commerce Co-op Program at Dalhousie University I decided to take an HTML Web Development class to improve my internet marketing skills. The course was supposed to be an Introduction course… but actually it was pretty intense. Our professor taught us how to hard code websites from scratch among many other valuable lessons. So, I was pretty much taught the fundamentals of SEO before the term phrase ‘SEO’ was even coined.
After school, I was very fortunate to get hired by the SEO Agency I worked for and have a ton of respect for the management team over there. My brother was my first full time team member and we’ve been working side by side for over 5 years now. Something I’m extremely proud of and grateful for.
3. If you would search for your profile on Google, which are the three keywords you would type in the search bar?
Great question and happy to showcase some top rankings! On Google.ca my site tends to rank very well for many keywords, so here’s a few:
Link Building Expert
Link Building Consultant
If you add Toronto before/after to any of the keywords above we’ll also appear at or near the top!
4. How do you set yourself apart from your competitors? What makes you special?
This is an easy one! 100% ethical and fully transparent link building services. There’s a negative cloud over the entire SEO industry as so many companies and agencies rip their clients off. The first question I ask any potential new client that’s worked with another vendor is to send me three months of SEO reports which should be broken down into Keyword Rankings and Link Building reports. We are fundamentally different as we offer guaranteed link building packages at different pricing points, so there’s a ton of value we offer our clients.
We set ourselves apart from the competition with 100% ethical and fully transparent services.
5. How do you find new clients? Are there any marketing tips you could give to fellow freelancers?
SEO is really the only service that you engage in the service in order to find the best service provider. So focus on your keyword rankings and the leads will flow. That being said; top rankings will always generate leads, although I will admit not always the best quality of leads.
My honest advice is to say that nothing will ever beat referrals or word of mouth recommendations from existing happy clients. Be good to your clients, be good to be people who ask you questions. Most importantly though don’t rip people off, show them respect and they will (most of the time) reciprocate.
My honest advice is that nothing will ever beat referrals or recommendations.
One other thing you can’t ignore is making the right strategic partnerships and alliances, no one can grow big without having some industry friends along the way or the right teammates on their side.
6. Was it difficult for you to start freelancing?
Freelancing is NOT easy haha. Seriously though, you need to be a big dreamer and risk taker and believe in yourself. No one is paying your bills or responding to emails if you get sick, it’s a grind and you need to love it in order to succeed.
The other biggest challenge I faced in my early years is not being able to disconnect from the business. SEO, digital marketing, ‘making money online’ is extremely addictive and the internet never sleeps. In my first couple of years, I was working from home, and the lines between work and home life get blurred fast.
My number one advice to fellow freelancers is to get an office, work in a shared space, even go to coffee shops if that’s your thing. Do something early to separate work time from leisure time and believe me it will pay huge dividends both short term and long term.
In my first couple of years the lines between work and home life get blurred – do something early to separate work from leisure time.
7. What does your working routine look like? Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work?
In my earlier years, I was a bit more all over the place, especially in the summers as I definitely did my fair share of travelling and having a good time!! Nowadays my working routine is pretty fixed Mon-Fri 10-6 as I have guys in the office I need to be there for. As a freelancer be prepared to work overtime, nights and weekends are very common. The good part though is that your direct input usually equals your direct output, so burning the midnight oil or coming in to work Saturdays is well worth it for the next big payday ☺
I’ll tend to wake up pretty early, go through my morning routine of meditation, journaling/daily goal setting and then hit the treadmill for at least 30 minutes. Depending on how I’m feeling that day I’ll blast some tunes or throw on a podcast or audiobook. I’ve dabbled with various productivity planners like the 5 Minute Journal or the SELF Journal by BestSelf. Figure out what works best for you and stick with it!
8. Do you have any hobbies?
I always tease to clients that I’m pretty much the ‘coolest SEO guy you’ll ever meet’ haha. I’m not your typical SEO personality, I might be an SEO nerd by day sure but in my leisure time I have a lot of fun.
I’m a massive music fan; love to play the drums and jam with my buddies. Bit obsessed with my favourite band Phish, and quite proud that I’ve had the opportunity to see over 130 shows and counting so far! As a good Canadian Boy I live, breathe, eat and sleep hockey. Proud to ‘bleed blue’ for my beloved Toronto Maples Leafs, and am excited for the day our boys lift the Stanley Cup. When that glorious day comes, I’ll be the first one heading downtown to party and celebrate!
Beyond music and hockey, I love to spend my summers up north in Muskoka at the family cottage. Bit of a travel addict as well which was the main reason I got into internet marketing in the first place – so I could work from anywhere in the world.
9. What tools are essential to your life?
Regarding the SEO business first, as a hardcore link builder I couldn’t live without Ahrefs.com and Majestic SEO. For accounting efficiencies and organization go with Xero or Freshbooks and automate your invoicing early, it will save you big time when you start growing down the road.
I’m a big Apple fan, so syncing up my personal laptop/work computer/phone on iCal saves me. I’m meticulous with my scheduling and bit OCD with journaling and goal setting so I’ve always got some journals lying around my extremely neat desks.
Typing all day causes serious strain on your forearms, neck and shoulders. As a result, I have one of the most advanced ergonomic workstations around. Here’s some highlights of my setup:
L Shaped Steelcase Sit-Stand Electronic Desk
HumanScale Keyboard Tray
Kinesis Freestyle 2 for Mac Split Keyboard (love this bad boy!)
Microsoft Ergonomic Mouse
Two 22” Dell Monitors on HumanScale Adjustable Monitor Arms (one vertical, one horizontal!)
HumanScale Desk Lamp
Bose Companion 5 Speakers
Mac Mini (decked out specs)
10. Last chance! Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
On a professional level, make sure you love what you are doing. Work hard, work smart. Treat your clients like good people (even if they annoy or frustrate the shit out of you) and always stay positive and professional.
On a personal level, always strive to be the best version of yourself. Dream big, believe in yourself and have fun! Don’t take yourself too seriously and always practice gratitude for where you are in your life and career.
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein
For some great SEO tips, be sure to check out my SEO blog. When it comes to SEO or link building services, be sure to reach out anytime and set up a chat with me. Thanks for having me here and all the best!
Where to find Paul Teitelman
Paul Teitelman’s website
Paull Teitelman on LinkedIn
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