Today, I’ll be talking about how I foresaw future demands in the market. And this is about SEO and how I started SEO Hacker.
I only have five points for this episode, and the first way that I actually foresaw that this was going to be a demand is this: I needed it first.
You see, during that time—around 2009, 2010—I started a blog called God and You. It’s still existing, but it’s under my website, sean.si/ideas, where I publish my blogs now. And with this blog, I needed more readers and more subscribers.
Now I was trying to figure out how to get them. Because, though I was writing my heart out, not a lot of people were reading my stuff. And this was disheartening—because I love writing. That’s really the gift that God gave me as a human being, and I would just write the entire day.
But without readers, I felt like my writings were not really complete. It was not really as fulfilling as it should be. So I searched around on how to solve this, and this concept of SEO kept popping up. And it turned out that you can learn it online during that time, way back in 2010.
You just needed to do your own experiments. You just needed to figure out which ones were ethical and unethical.
And I figured it out by myself, by running tons of experiments during that time. I made a lot of mistakes for sure, but I also figured out a lot of new things that worked.
Turns out, SEO—Search Engine Optimization—was the art and science of ranking a website for its target keywords. So I applied this in the God and You blog during that time and it worked, and it ranked.
And a light bulb moment appeared at the top of my head. And I wondered if other companies might need this, which brings us to our second point.
So how did I foresee future demands in the market? In terms of SEO, it was an obvious solution for a market that didn’t know it needed it, during that time.
Because way back 2010, here in the Philippines, a lot of companies were still doing traditional marketing, meaning billboards, TV ads, radio ads, newspapers, magazines.
Very, very, very few companies were looking into digital marketing websites and SEO. And whenever I would be asked to pitch for a certain company, they would always ask me what SEO was.
There’d be someone in the room, in the board of directors or the board of marketing managers that they have right there that would ask: What again is SEO? What does it do? Why is it important for us?
And right there and then you know that it is something the market needs, but it doesn’t know that it needs it yet. A lot of companies were still hell bent on doing traditional marketing.
The next thing that I looked at to be able to foresee the future demands in the market was in other countries. I took a good look at other countries, and what they were doin.
You see, first world countries are at least ten years ahead of us here in the Philippines. And a lot of them were digitizing. A lot of them were already doing SEO. A lot of them were doing social media marketing. They had websites—really nice looking websites.
And we didn’t. So many companies here haven’t yet gone the digital way of doing things. They haven’t digitized. There’s no digital journey. There’s no good user experience, no website. A lot of companies only had Facebook pages.
Most importantly, they had no idea what SEO was. So I figured that it’s going to happen at some point in time, so I have to better prepare for that. So I had to build my website, I had to build my brand.
I had to make sure I rank for very, very important keywords in my niche and industry like SEO Philippines, SEO services, SEO Company, things like that. And be visible and be known in the industry here in our country.
And if you think about it, everything that I’ve discussed so far leads us to this fourth point where how I foresaw that is going to be a future demand is actually a result of a series of divine interventions.
Some people call it accidents. It’s a series of accidents. Right? Because I didn’t really know what SEO was during that time, but I needed that solution myself.
And then I figured, “hey, maybe someone else or some other companies need this as well.”
It was a series of divine interventions, because I believe God ordains everything for a purpose. And how I was able to turn all of this into a good and successful business is because I followed the trail of evidence that He left me.
And I did what had to be done, and I started the blog and I started hiring people and I started serving these clients. Which leads us to our fifth and last point. How I foresaw that SEO would be a demand in the market is I got proof of life.
I got a customer and then two customers and three customers. Now, there was not not a lot to go on, and they came in slowly. They didn’t flood in, they didn’t come in one after another.
And the first people that helped me out were freelancers during that time because I didn’t have enough revenue or money to get my first office, hire my first full time employees.
So we worked scrappily, and we only were able to do some few really good things at a time. But we were excellent at these things, and that’s what catapulted us to be the number one SEO company we are today.
I hope this helps in figuring out what the market needs right now. If you’re still trying to figure it out, I hope these insights that I gave you helps you to think.
But I know It’s not easy.
There’s always a lot of barriers—emotional, mental, physical—for you to overcome before you’re able to decide what kind of industry you really want to get into.
But then there are also so many problems, so many undeveloped markets that are waiting—plus, it’s now actually the easiest time to get into a business today than at any point in history before.