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“Pro-Partnership, Anti-Agency” Digital Marketing

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Digital marketing is essential for any business owner. To handle this responsibility, you have to either hire a full-time, in-house employee or outsource to an agency and run the risk of hoping they’ll do what’s best. Agencies are often a poor investment in many regards. We know this because we’ve worked for several.

After years of witnessing clients in the traditional agency environment get taken advantage of, be subject to unethical business practices, and seeing where large portions of their marketing budgets actually go, we saw a great need for something different.

IndieSEM was founded to give business owners a wiser, more profitable, and much-needed alternative to outsourcing their digital marketing efforts.

Traditional search engine marketing agencies will take on anyone who wants to pay them, regardless of whether or not they have the personnel to handle the extra work. A client stays with an agency for 6 to 8 months, on average. That’s a pretty short relationship. Your ROI is secondary to an agency’s profits which explains the rather short business relationships and why their client retention rates continues to plummet.

When billing a client for PPC services, agencies will charge somewhere between 10% – 15% of your monthly ad spend as their management fee. This doesn’t incentivize the agency to focus on lowering your CPA, boosting your conversion rate, or improving other key metrics. The more you spend on clicks, the more money the agency makes in fees paid by you.

When it comes to SEO, agencies tend to offer a “one-size-fits-all” package that may produce some short-term results, but at the cost of neglecting the long-term strategy. Continually analyzing and tailor-fitting optimization plans based on the specific needs of the website is what’s necessary. Unfortunately, that’s just not something that occurs often in an agency environment.


Have you ever wondered where your monthly fee really goes when you hire a traditional marketing agency? Here’s a real-life scenario: Let’s say you pay an agency $1,500 per month as a retainer for SEO or PPC optimization services. You might have some idea about how many “hours” of attention your website will receive for that fee you pay each month. In reality, agencies generally will take that fee and figure in a cost for their services – often upwards of $200 per hour. That works out to be just over 9 hours per month dedicated to the online marketing of your business. The agency rep handling your marketing efforts, who’s often a lower-level employee or potentially even working overseas, is compensated maybe 20% of that amount. This leaves the remainder of your budget largely unaccounted for.

Typically, an account manager working for a marketing agency is compensated with roughly 15% – 20% of the revenue they’re responsible for. The other 80% – 85% is just wasted on things that have literally nothing to do with improving your online marketing. Instead, it goes towards funding commissions for salespeople, rent for office space, building utilities, big salaries & bonuses for owners, company picnics, corporate retreats, and so on. You get the idea.

How does any of that translate to greater marketing results for you? Well, it doesn’t.

The IndieSEM business model allows us, and our client partners, to avoid the many inevitable costs inherent in a traditional agency environment. Since there are no “agency-related costs” to pass along to our clients, you can be 100% certain that your marketing budget is going exactly where it should be – to work for you. In turn, you’ll enjoy more attention, less fees, and a higher marketing ROI than any agency could ever offer. We don’t require contracts like most agencies tend to do; and for good reason. It incentivizes us to continually innovate, revise our ongoing strategies, and do the very best job to continue as your marketing partner for a long time to come. Your success is our success, and we purposely developed our business model with that in mind.

We empower our client partners with 100% transparency. While most agencies are still in the habit of sending archaic excel file reports containing only the best hand-picked data to make themselves look as good as possible, we provide a customized client portal; featuring a marketing data and reporting dashboard you can access 24/7.

Your reporting dashboard can be integrated with data from virtually any source. You’ll no longer need to login to several different places to pull reports and try to merge them all together, hoping the end result is at least somewhat digestible. Consider it a one-stop spot for all your marketing data from all sources – right at your fingertips. You can view organic keyword rankings, metrics from Google Ads and Analytics, social media campaigns, email marketing, call tracking, and much more – all in real time, anytime you want. If it exists, odds are we can integrate it into your dashboard. Even if it’s data from a marketing effort we aren’t directly handling for you, that’s ok. We still want to provide you that convenience of having everything in one place. It just makes life a lot easier.

We’re very selective about who represents us. IndieSEM is a group of highly-skilled and independent marketing experts that view you as an actual partner – not just a “client”. We don’t post job opportunities or accept unsolicited résumés. We headhunt. Every potential member of our team is carefully considered, vetted, and then approached with an invitation to join our team due to their superior accomplishments and expertise in the world of digital marketing. They’re masters of our industry and your direct partner from day 1. They solely handle all of your digital marketing efforts and will be your main point of contact for any and all needs throughout your partnership with us. No middle-men, no tracking down information from various departments, none of the headaches you’re probably used to if you’ve ever worked with an agency.

When it comes to giving sales pitches and doing or saying whatever it takes to get your business, agencies are the best in the business. But when it comes to actually achieving results? That’s usually a different story. 9 times out of 10, every call we get is from a business leader who’s currently working with an agency, unhappy with their progress, and exploring other options. We’re happy to offer them, and all leaders of businesses – (both large and small; from startups to multi-national corporations) – our unique, “anti-agency” approach to digital marketing.


To find out more about IndieSEM and how we operate, get in touch with us today. You can also request a complimentary marketing plan here. We’ll perform a full audit of your website and send you a detailed proposal outlining just what we’d do to help.

We look forward to partnering with you!

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