This Couple Left A Flooring Company And A Government Job And Started A $1M SEO Business

Lark Begin
Profit Parrot Mar...
from Ottawa, ON, Canada
started January 2009
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This Couple Left A Flooring Company And A Government Job And Started A $1M SEO Business

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi, I’m Lark Begin, one of the founders of Profit Parrot SEO. We help our clients get their business ranked on page 1 of Google. Whether they’re a local doctor’s office or a roofing company, we can help make their website visible to their clients via SEO strategies.

We started off with a vision of growth. We made $150/month from our first client in 2009. With our great results, hard work, and referrals, we have been able to expand on our services, grow our team and turn a dream into a profitable 1 million dollar per year business.

Customers regularly tell us that they are happy with our responsiveness, quality of work, and overall professionalism. We strive to better our business and services each day. There is not a day that goes by when we don’t think about how we can include more clients in our day-to-day schedule.


Quality work and relationships are what help grow this business. We don’t try to make a quick buck or sell everything to everyone. We try to make long-lasting relationships with our clients.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

My husband JM owned a flooring company when we met in 2008. He signed up for an online marketing course to generate more leads for the business. I ended up doing the course with him while also working full-time at my government job in downtown Ottawa.

We traveled to San Diego and Boca Raton to follow leaders in the digital marketing industry and learned some top marketing strategies from a wide variety of experts.

I fell in love with the course material and the psychology of marketing. I started to DIY the lead generation for the entire flooring company. The company did well, and we ended up selling it to a competitor in 2013.

Since we learned how to market our own business successfully, we decided this was a great opportunity for us to capitalize on our digital marketing experience.

We started helping our friend's businesses become visible online and grew our company client by client. We now have monthly clients all over the world in many different niches.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

We started by selling overall marketing packages, from logo design to social media and PPC campaigns. As we grew, we decided to stay laser-focused on content writing and SEO. It was the most rewarding service for our clients and the most profitable.

We knew we needed to make our services affordable. We came from a shoestring budget as well, so we decided to come up with monthly plans and services at different price points. Our plans work for a start-up as well as an established global B2B company.

Luckily, the marketing was taken care of, and we knew how to generate leads ourselves through freelancing platforms, Kiji ads, and organic SEO tactics. Since we were able to DIY this part, we were able to save our marketing dollars and put them into growing our team and our business.

Hiring our first team member to take some of the work off of my plate was the hardest decision but the best thing I could have done. I doubled my profit by making that change.

Describe the process of launching the business.

We initially named the business 5656Media. When we streamlined into SEO, we wanted to focus more on letting our clients know that they could profit from being with us. The name changed to Profit Parrot Marketing in 2011. (and yes, sometimes people call us to help sell their Parrots for REAL).

In December 2009, once the business was generating a stable income, my husband JM was able to quit his job running the company he sold in 2013 and joined the team. He continues to be the lead in sales, project management, and business development side.

I was happy doing the manual work myself, but the sales side is where I struggled. Luckily, my partner has a background in sales and loves working in this space. Our skills complement each other very well.

There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t discuss business. Sometimes we have to make it a rule not to. We both have very analytical entrepreneurial minds that are hard to turn off.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Since we started in 2009, we’ve learned that quality work and relationships are what help grow this business. We like to build trust with our clients and even go above and beyond to offer free advice or include website changes for free to help their business grow. We don’t try to make a quick buck or sell everything to everyone. We try to make long-lasting relationships with our clients.

We have found that our time is best used on client campaigns vs. doing monthly SEO/marketing ourselves. We have a very qualified North American remote team that helps us with our day-to-day content writing, link building, and overall analysis of each of our client's campaigns.

We’ve used our knowledge of SEO to help gain new clients for our business for over a decade. Being on freelancer sites like UpWork has also helped us grow our client list.


It’s important to have a good reputation and a long list of happy clients and testimonials. You need to have those trust signals to gain new business.

We also always try to keep our clients happy, even months after they’ve started working with us. SEO is long-term, and our plans are adaptive. We need to stay on top of the latest Google algorithm changes and keep our clients informed of when our strategy needs to change based on market trends.

We’re only now just starting to put in some more advertising dollars into our business to branch out into new locations and grow the business even further.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We continue to see stable growth and profitability in the near future. The plan is to continue to keep our team small, as we love the responsiveness and the quality of work we can provide our clients now.

We find that larger companies tend to be more impersonal, and clients can get lost in a sea of other clients. Our clients are not just a number, and we want them to know that. In our niche, quality matters.

We plan to expand our advertising options and run new campaigns on Google Adwords to target specific niche-related clients.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

It’s been hard to give work to a team when I can do it well myself. Trusting others to provide the best service possible will always be difficult for me. I might be a bit of a control freak.

Hiring our first team member to take some of the work off of my plate was the hardest decision but the best thing I could have done. I doubled my profit by making that change.

I’ve learned that my time and expertise are better spent working on client relationships and building new ones. I still manage 80% of the workload and day-to-day activities myself, but I also enjoy doing it and seeing the results it brings.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

I wouldn’t get very far in my day without a task manager. I love using ToDoist to prioritize and schedule my tasks.

I love using Ahrefs for analyzing new keyword positions, traffic, site health scores, and more. I use this tool daily for SEO health checkups for my client's websites.

SE Ranking: I use this keyword ranking tracker for reporting and SEO site audits. It also allows me to run competitor reports, and ranking history, view competitor backlinks, see stats from our niche and adapt our campaigns strategically.

GSC: Google search console is another tool that I use daily. It allows us to track ranking positions, site errors, the indexing of new URLs, and most importantly, organic traffic improvements.

Topic Generators: I also use a series of tools for coming up with topics related to keywords I need to target. Coming up with 50 titles that all relate to the same keyword can be time-consuming, so getting some assistance here is a huge time saver.

AnswerThePublic is a great free option to use.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I frequently Google the top business books and put a few on hold in my library app. I’ve enjoyed some books on copywriting to help with sales writing and blog post writing.

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy was also a great read.

Simon Sinek - Start With Why was also impactful.

My husband and I listen to the Tim Ferris podcast, 4-hour work week + 4-hour body.

I’m a lover of self-improvement and business-improvement books.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

A lot of people think they don’t have the time or money to start a new business. I made the time to learn about marketing and SEO, but I was on a shoestring budget. Invest in the right type of education, and be sure to check out free courses on Youtube and webinars from companies you admire. You can learn so much for free if you know where to look.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get started. Start with your friends as your first clients, then let your work show others that you are one of the best in this industry. Your portfolio can be small, but show off your qualities. If you truly care about your clients, your client list should snowball from there.

Time management is key. We have two young children, and the business seems like it’s our third. There is a lot to do each day in so little time. Balancing work and life is a struggle and all days do not go as planned. We make sure to adapt and prioritize what’s most important.

You will make mistakes, and you will most likely try to take shortcuts. Those are all parts of the process. You will not be able to please everyone, and miscommunications will happen. There are a lot of tough love lessons to learn, but the next time you come across that issue, you’ll be able to deal with it from a better frame of mind.

We got here by taking very small stepping stones, and each one was scarier than the last. What does get easier is knowing that more stones are coming and having the confidence that you can face them head-on as you’ve done many times before.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We are currently looking to hire remote positions for top talent in this industry to grow our team. PPC marketers, SEO experts, and content writers would prosper well by working with us. If you feel like you’d be a good fit, please contact us.

Where can we go to learn more?

Be sure to also check out our blog posts, they get updated frequently with free SEO content.

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

Lark Begin, Founder of Profit Parrot Marketing and SEO
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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