Like any Internet marketing professional…I can make a poor judgement call – although I try my best at due diligence – when taking on new clients. As inbound marketing professionals, we have to try our best to feel out our prospective clients to ensure they are indeed committed. The reason for this is that at the beginning stages of any inbound or solo SEO campaign, the bulk of the workload comes at the start. There is planning and setup which amounts to a large amount of time. Therefore it is not uncommon to pay a month to 50% of the term of the contract in advance.
Why? It’s important to understand that, as professional SEO and inbound marketers we have to first become intimately involved with our clients business and the particular niche they are in. This requires time – and time is money. Additionally, almost all SEO campaigns are top heavy — meaning that the lion’s share of the workload happens in the first couple months.
To give you an example: typically the first 1-2 weeks of any contract is spent researching the money keywords and LSI phrases that accompany them. In the SEO world there is no room for guesswork.
As a professional SEO and inbound marketer, I’ve been around the block. In fact, I’ve been doing this since before Google. And let me tell you that when it comes to keyword research…I NEVER guess. This is because I’d be 100% wrong. As is anyone that simply bangs up a website and guesses at the keyword phrases people might be searching for. It’s lunacy.
Anyone who does not perform the necessary research is wrong. SEOs are wrong (when guessing). Business owners are wrong. Colleagues are wrong. WE ARE ALL WRONG!
The sooner we all accept that in the SEO world there’s no room for guessing…the better we’ll all be.
Now what about being consistent?
Through the years I’ve had my share of less than honest clients. Despite doing my very best at protecting not only myself from them but also them from themselves…I still make bad judgements.
I’ve heard it all too:
You can trust me, I’m a man of my word.
We’re the greatest thing since sliced bread and backed by investors with millions. We’re not going anywhere.
I’m a religious man who’s lived the life of a saint – you can trust me.
…example #1 jammed out of a 6 month contract after 90 days by saying, “I don’t want to continue it’s over. By the way…I don’t want to talk about it either so just go away.” I bet you don’t want to talk about it after defaulting on a 6 month contract.
Second one was a joke. More money than sense and before you could say…”Paragon Properties”, they were broke and investors out millions.
The third one – and most recent – was hilarious. Claimed to be such an honest church going man that lived the life of a saint. A man who’d never gone back on his word. 60 days in to a 6 month term he’d stop returning calls and just went MIA.
Each and every one of these experiences has taught me a lesson and over time I’ve learned the importance in consistency when it comes to marketing online. Put it this way – if you drop the ball your competitors aren’t going to sit back and let it be. Nope. They will grab your fumble and run right to the goal line leaving you standing there with your **** in your hands and not much else.
Great marketing starts at the ground floor. So from the moment you set out with your business, you’d better include a sufficient marketing budget or else you’re bound to fail. Sure you might flounder around awhile like a fish out of water but over time you’ll fade to obscurity while your competitors rake in the fruits of marketing labour.
Something that needs to be said about anyone considering online marketing.
The whole…”I’ve got a million dollar idea with $20 bucks in my pocket.” won’t fly. In fact, your marketing results are directly proportionate to your market budget. Minimal budget = minimal results.
So if you’re in a niche that cost $2.50 a click with Google Adwords, don’t think for a second that you can get away with hiring an SEO for $300/mth and expect the same results.
It’s not going to happen.[/message]
Ok so maybe this blog post ended up being more of a rant than anything…I’m entitled to it from time to time am I not?
The message may have been convoluted throughout my drivel but what I am trying to say is that, once you’ve decided you’ll be retaining the services of any type of online marketer – whether SEO, inbound, direct marketing or even PPC & CPC and social media – please enter with the understanding that this is not some kind of golden ticket.
Any online marketing worth it’s salt requires a lot of preparation and research and therefore if your chosen agency shows you the courtesy of commitment…shouldn’t you do the same?