Today marks the completion of our first ever external funding - $1.1million (sorry, no Shoemoney shot here). I wrote about this move twice before, asking in August for your feedback on whether to take venture capital and in September about our decision to move forward with the deal. 5e drow names
At that time, I also promised that we'd have a recap of our financials for the year-to-date, much as we did for 2006. Sadly, this will be the last time I'm able to share this much about the inner workings of SEOmoz this publicly.
However, we're moving away from the traditional consulting model and thus our numbers are probably less relevant and interesting than, say, Jim Boykin's (just saying, Jim, if you feel like sharing, I'm sure the folks would appreciate it). And, in good news, talking with Michelle today (with the Seahawks game on pause), we will still be sharing lots of cool stats and keeping true to our moz-ethos post-investment.
This means the sharing certainly isn't over, it just probably won't be this all-encompassing again (with regard to finances, that is. We'll still reveal way too much about everything else).
Without further ado, here are our financials from January 2007 - November 16, 2007. Don't forget that these are estimates, not audited numbers and should be taken with a grain of "~."
Current Status (pre funding):
· Cash in the Bank: $80,000 (not counting the investment, obviously)
· Full time Employees: 7
· Contract Employees: 4 (and Mel should be full time in just a few short days)
· Interns: 1 (go Danny!)
· Clients Served in 2007: 16
· Pitches Made in 2007: 8 (other clients were from pre-2007)
· Clients Referred to the Recommended List: 225
· Clients Referred to the Marketplace: 20 (and it's only been live for 10 days!)
· Earnings from Referring Clients: $0.00 (we've never taken kickbacks and we never will)
· Having your fiancee call you the "golden boy of SEO": priceless
Number of Premium Member Signups by Month:
· January - n/a
· February - 61
· March - 116
· April - 205
· May - 244
· June - 261
· July - 370
· August - 290
· September - 260
· October - 263
· November (16 days) - 152 (USA! USA!- MG; "I don't think our international readers will appreciate that" - Rand)
Content Currently in SEOmoz Premium:
· 10 SEO Tools
· Term Target
· Geo-Targeting Detection
· Backlink Anchor Text Analysis
· Popular Searches List
· Juicy Link Finder
· Rank Checker
· Term Extractor
· Page Strength
· Crawl Test
· Keyword Difficulty
· <Burgundy> Are You a Monkey Quiz </Burgundy>
· 646 Posts in the Q+A Knowledge Base
· 4 Premium Guides
· Social Media Optimization Strategies
· The Illustrated Guide to Building a Search-Friendly Website
· The Professional's Keyword Research Guide
· The Professional's Guide to Link Building
· 125 Sources in the Link Directory
· 13 Providers of Services in the Discount Store
· 63 Entries of Strategies & Tactics in the Premium Tips List
· SEOmoz Premium Content: $401,187
· SEOmoz Seminar: $32,977 (123 paid attendees)
· New Clients: $187,000
· Clients from pre-2007: $140,000
Total Earnings (YTD): $761,164
Breakdown of Expenses (through Sept. only):
· 45% - Salaries
· 12.5% - Travel (oh those SMX shows)
· 11% - Outsourcing
· 8% - Rent
· 5% - Utilities (incl. hosting & analytics)
· 5% - Events (SMX Seattle After-Party + SEOmoz Seminar)
· 5% - Marketing/Advertising
· 4% - Miscellaneous (i.e., Pixie Stix. Lots of Pixie Stix)
· 2% - Medical
· 1.5% - Legal
· 1% - Supplies, Hardware & Software
Additional Points of Interest:
· Total Number of SEOmoz Members (free & premium): 53,439
· The New SEOmoz Marketplace is rocking after only a week in operation - case in point:
· Number of Companies in the Marketplace: 173
· Number of Job Posts in the Marketplace: 32
· Number of Resumes in the Marketplace: 34
· Number of People who've already emailed me because they got contracts from the Marketplace: 3
· Number of People who've already emailed me because they filled positions from the Marketplace: 2
· Outstanding Debt: $0 (woo hoo!)
· Rand's Total Personal Earnings (through November, including bonuses): $41,000
· Rand's Single Largest Expenditure: An Engagement Ring (Best. Bullet point. Ever.)
A few more notes on the investment and on SEOmoz's plans for the future:
· As I've mentioned in the past, the focus of the investment is to grow the premium content module by offering more tools, features and content.
· Stuff coming soon includes 7 hours of video footage from our training session here in Seattle (broken up into 7 modules), a complete redesign of premium (including visual graphics to accompany the tools), 3 new premium guides (on linkbait, legal issues in search, and blogging) and our super secret project, which has a beta launch just in time for Christmas.
· Stuff coming later (March and beyond) includes a few new tools, downloadable legal contracts & forms, rank tracking and smaller additions like comments in premium Q+A and tips, thumbs in the premium content sections, & literally hundreds of new ideas.
· At this time, the board of directors will include only myself, Michelle, & Gillian. Vanessa's plenty busy with a million other things.
· We're planning to have our first ever booth at SMX West in Santa Clara. Scott will be posting more on that in the future to help us solicit ideas of how to make it as fun and interactive as possible.
· We'll be growing to ~15 people over the next 6 months, and probably more after that, but we'll be staying right here in Seattle at the mozplex on Roosevelt Way for at least the next year, which means I still get to walk to work (yay!)
· Although the switch to premium content has made us less active in taking on clients, we're not planning to completely stop consulting work. This decision is primarily to make sure we never lose our edge or our ability to relate to the job of SEOs. However, we'll probably be taking on only 1-2 new clients every 2-3 months.
As ever, I owe a great debt of gratitude to the incredibly gracious search community. This industry continues to attract not only an incredible level of talent, but a remarkable group of open, friendly, generous people and it's these qualities that make me proud to be counted among the ranks of search marketers. Hopefully, this information can serve to once again provide knowledge and value to others in the world of search marketing consultations & services.
p.s. Anyone want to bet a million dollars that no fewer than at least one "respected" journalistic publication will make drastic errors when covering this information? No, seriously - we can bet that much now :) (Glad to see you are using your newfound resources wisely.)
p.p.s. In anticipation of a few questions around the numbers, I figured I'd provide some background. If you love addition, you'll note that we've actually had 2222 signups for premium content, yet only have 1580 current members (I'm really bad at math. I think my brain just exploded). Some of those are obviously folks who sign up for only a month or 6-month stint, but our cancellation rate is still higher than we'd like.
However, when we actually studied these folks, we found, remarkably, that more than 50% of those who canceled their membership have renewed again with 4 months (obviously this only counts the months for which we have this data). You might also wonder why July was such a stellar month - that's when we raised the cost of premium membership. Finally, the expenses numbers only ran through to September, so 3 current SEOmoz staffers aren't included (and thus the percentages are off a bit).
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