Two rules of SEO: Confident in yourself | Interview the clients, don’t let them interview you!

Anthony
Two Rules of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
1. Learn your trade.
No2. Never stop learning
Two rules How you do SEO to Your clients.
Rule number 1. Never tell them anything.
Rule number 2. Did you not read no.1.
Two Rules for getting SEO clients.
1. Be confident. If you are not confident in yourself, the client wont be either. Go back to Rule no1 of Rules of SEO.
2. Interview the client, don't let them interview you!
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Palmer
"Rule #1 Never tell them anything" …elaborate?
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Anthony ✍️
Never tell them how you do your job, tell them the problems by all means and a solution, but never a list of things you have done, once they think they have learnt enough they will think they can do it themselves.
I have had many clients ask me for a list of tasks done, i tell them straight away, they are either hiring me as a consultant or the agent. My consultancy fees are much higher but services rendered are generally a much shorter time span.
Palmer » Anthony
, interesting take. I imagine it depends a lot on the clients you serve. Mine, for example, would have zero interest in attempting to do effective technical SEO themselves. That's why they pay us 👍🏻
Anthony ✍️
This is more aimed at the people in here just starting out. It's not an easy journey getting started with new clients, clients that are generally trying to save money themselves. Of course, once you have been around the block a few years these are the clients most of us would give a wide birth, but everyone has to start somewhere.
Anton » Anthony
how do you feel about doing free technical audits? Most business owners can't do this themselves even when outlined
Anthony ✍️
I don't do free audit's. In fact, I don't advertise. All my clients are WOM so once they mail me i generally have them on a plate. Those I don't land have been tied into contract but come back nearer the time so it's basically a 90% conversion rate. Lose 1 out of 10 because i haven't had a website up for quite a while.
I suppose i am similar to a landscape gardener, does all his neighbors but never his own. Im actually in the middle of breaking it all up into sections for easier marketing. Hosting/Marketing/Consulting.
Might have imine done by the end of next year but i am not holding my breath, I have just set up a few online shops, hopefully have 10 more by the end of the year.
I am sticking to 10 VIP SEO clients and then all focus on my own stuff, sick of making other people millions. For the last 10 years i have worked off 10 clients, traveled Asia for 10 years volunteering and enjoying life…Isn't that what it's all about!
Leonardo » Anthony
This is weird. You are against your employer having a log to account for what they have paid?
You must be very charismatic, not many workers can get that kind of free trust
Anthony ✍️ » Leonardo
That's because my clients only care about results and i am getting them results like they never had before.
Leonardo » Anthony
Sure, that can work for small sites that get marveled for a couple of steps in rank
But seasoned employers, do need to know if they are paying you for watching tv all day and make a change here and there once in a while, or an asset that earns his money
Actually, if you fear they might "do it themselves", a bible long list of all you done would do better. If not, than any bs blog they read online, might be better than your services.
If you are not an asset to their eyes, they don't really need you over the next freelancer
Anthony ✍️
I suppose that's also the good thing about being a consultant, they don't ask what i do, they just wait for me to tell them what to do.
Olsen
Why should another company care about how many hours I put in? They don't. They care about results. That's what I give them. They never ask about what I do, how much time I use etc. They only ask "Can you do this now or do I have to wait?" (Knowing that I have set a time limit for each client per month.) The results speak for themselves. Last client has gone from position #143 to position #7 in 2,5 months. For his definite best keyword, nationwide. He just smiles. Never asked what I do or how much time.
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Anthony ✍️
Now that's when you are getting the clients you deserve and the client is getting the service they expected…or more *edit* and more!!
Joe » Palmer
everything is about asking the right questions of the client early in the process.
There are some clients who want to know the detail and whatever results you give them they won't be happy if they don't understand what is being done.
There are some clients who want results and are happy to work like this. They don't care about the detail.
The issue is most SEO users can't consistently rank so this is where the pressure is.
Some would prefer to produce a list as it stops the client from asking why am I not ranking?
Then there are those that run a team and need coaching.
In my experience 2 and 3 are a joy to work with.
But if client is type 1 and you communicate and work like they are a type 2 or 3 you will lose them.
Same goes with treating a type 3 like a type 2.
There is of course the type 4 client. These are just dick head clients. 🤣 They want stuff for free and never pay on time.
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Cristine » Palmer
I know quite a bit of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) myself as a small business owner and done a few websites myself but won't be doing it as 1st I don't have time and 2nd I can't compare to a guy that does this full time. I'll say very few will try to do it themselves and with good results. I totally disagree with not telling the customer what work you've done at least in may case 😁.
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Kay
As a small company we have used a SEO company like yours. We couldn't see what we where getting for our money and results didn't seem to be amazing. They got the boot and went with a company that gave full reports.
Anthony ✍️ » Kay
I do provide reports, progress reports, not a list of explanations with all the tasks completed. I tell them for instance the 2000 missing alt texts have now been done but i would not tell them the reasons behind each one. People are mad, i said don't tell them what you do not show them any reports LOL
For example say i send targeted traffic to the website at a steady rate of 50 sessions and 2500 page views a day using a bot (of course i am not going into detail about this just yet but i will produce a video, after all i thought this was a grey hat group???)Then i am obviously not going to tell the client me and a friend built it, why, i can then charge for it as an extra service.
I think the lockdown has got to quite a few of you here no reading right, where have i ever said DO NOT SHOW THEM REPORTS 🤣
Anthony ✍️ » Cristine
At least you are honest, there is also a difference, you are here, you are prepared to learn for yourself not have it all gifted on a plate.

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Bharath
I'm an SEO client actually and as a business owner, for me its never ok for the SEO guy to hold information. If my question is "what steps are involved" and if my SEO guy says, "I can't tell you", then to me obviously we are not a good fit. Quite to the contrary I'd not expect my SEO guy to give me every topic header in the operational plan (not the task name). But definitely an approach on what, when, how.
SEO to me is many moving parts and is not easily replicable. Right now, I'm doing exactly what you are asking. But I'm doing stuff on my own not to save costs. But to test and be sure I know what I need to know. Once I'm confident on the process, outsourcing and measuring becomes easy.
To me as a biz owner, if my SEO guys wants to act as a consultant, then I'd hire him/her only for strategy and not implementing it. My first question to him would be how do I measure you?
No. of tasks done or outcome of tasks completed? If outcome, what is the metrics to measure? For instance increase organic impressions from 0 to 1500 per month for keyword A in a span of x months etc. If he says he or she can't guarantee it, then they better be ready to explain tasks. Coz the last thing id want as a business owner is to spend 9 months and then figure I've been working with the wrong person.
I do believe the problem with most biz owners is that we don't know to measure the SEO performance. If that is clearly established upfront, then the confidence level stands well above 90%. Personally I prefer someone does SEO for me than I do it on my own since there are lots of parts to it.

Davidson » Bharath
I see both sides. On the one hand I feel a business owner should be empowered. On the other hand, your employing them to get results, not to train you.
Leonardo » Bharath
This.
If what you do is so simple for me to copy and your only leverage is secret, then the message i get is that i'm overpaying.
I don't like to micromanage, but i do like to be informed of what happens with my property, and with the money i've paid
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more than 1, 2, 3 recipe. Don't be scared to log your work, since you're better than me for that job. If not, then what am i paying you for?
Leonardo » Davidson
there is a big difference between "today I've written 20 mails to get more backlinks" (results), and "you should start by telling them this and that, and the benefits they would have if backlinking us" (training)
Bharath » Davidson
Absolutely. Which is why knowing how to measure outcome is important. Even if the biz owner doesn't ask for it. Most SEO guys don't have the ability to measure outcome similar to how most biz guys don't have the knowledge to know the process.
Bharath » Leonardo
Exactly. And I also feel most SEO guys themselves are in the grey area lot of times. I'd work blind with an SEO guy who has set measurement criteria upfront, sets targets rather than say it should take 3 to 6 months to start seeing initial ranking. That don't cut it anymore.
We all know it takes 3 to 9 months or more depending on keyword competition and strategy deployed. But having a map upfront and helping the biz owner understand that they are measured by outcome would be a game changer for me. We biz owners know if a target is set for say 50,000 visitors/month in a span of 12 months means its a lot of work. But seeing progress against the target of 50k and moving the needle from month 3-5-6, would imbibe a lot of confidence if things are run right. I believe most SEO folks don't have the confidence to do this.
I think SEO folks really need to get a pulse of what biz owners want and biz owners need a pulse on how to measure SEO results and not be nit picky about quick results.
Anthony ✍️
Guys, i have a client for example, that after 6 months he no longer even cares about the reports. Why, because i have told him i will have to put the price up as it is now extra work or a can just send the invoice and keep it as it is, even through these times. He has a 5* holiday retreat. He was using agencies. I took over the website and handled the Search Engine Optimization (SEO), after 6 months his bookings have increased through organic listings and getting more bookings than the agents put together. Hence 3 years later he is still happy to keep paying as long as them bookings are coming in, no questions asked. Perfect, all because they would rather save £100.
PS, i have no interest in back links for ranking websites.
Chas » Anthony
no backlink strategy? Hmmm I'm curious and wanna learn this from you.
Anthony ✍️
All my clients external links are created organically. So for example, create well written content and other websites will automatically share it with a referral link so I don't worry about them, the only reason to check for me is because the amount of bad spammy links, or for me any link that points to any place that has absolutely no relation to its source, although its sometimes impossible to get webmasters to remove them then i just use disavow. I have emails all the time asking to pay for links on my clients sites, i totally refuse. I also do not let my clients run ads on their sites either if they are truly interested in sales or leads conversions.
Lees » Bharath
You don't pay good money for your SEO services. How do I know? Because the clients that want to know all the details are ALWAYS the worst, low budget, pain in the ass clients. What, are you an SEO expert or a client? What do you need to know all the details for?
If you know all the details and get no results, will you continue to pay forever? No.
If you know absolutely no details, but you get a good Return on Investment (ROI), will you continue to pay forever? Yes.
Bharath » Lees
Rule 01 in life. Never jump to conclusions coz you got no clue what I pay who. My reasoning is well defined. I need to know or they need to measure. Simple coz activities without outcome and measurement doesn't result in visibility nor scope for optimization. BTW your definition of good money is highly relatively to the overheads the SEO professional is carrying. So I wouldn't suggest speculating the way you are right now. If I know all the details and if things ain't going per plan I have a recourse to correct action in the middle. To use prudence and judgment from my intellect to track and ask your questions. If I don't know I would just hand over to my SEO professional and wait for a result with the "HOPE" that he or she knows what she is doing. I've been running my product business for a while. Whether I know SEO or not, I know my business can't run on hope.
Jack
This is the guy that leans over his mechanics shoulder, while he works on his engine, and every 30 seconds says: What are you doing now? I need metrics! 😅
Bharath » Jack
lol. Again. Everyone knows everything about everybody except Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Jack
Nope. But what we do know, as clearly evidenced by your post above, is that you're a micromanager. Glad I don't do SEO work or work for you. I'm the boss 🙂
Bharath » Jack
Lol. Feel free to give that little pat on your back to feel good about yourself. Sure works.

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Anthony ✍️
This is where you are getting confused, there is no way to really calculate the ROI i agree but the SEO guys job is to get traffic to the website. I prefer organic traffic as all the pages are well structured to pull the right kind of traffic to the website, with ads you could get a lot of clicks if they are badly placed but if done correctly you can measure traffic and leads.
Done with SEO and a good internal linking strategy you can build your own funnels to direct traffic segments again. What the SEO guy has no control over is once he has generated the lead he has no control of. This is down to the design the User Experience (UX) and is down to the web developer not the SEO guy if the funnels and SEO is done correctly. If all this is done right then its the clients job to close the deal
Jeremy
This doesn't look like the playbook of anyone I would want to do business with.
Maybe a gentle suggestion : Change "Don't tell them anything" to:
"Avoid getting too deep into the weeds with technical details,, speeds and feeds, et cetera; remember, there is always a bigger firm that can do 'cheaper.'
Rather, differentiate your offering from your competitors by showing them in simple, results-focused terms, how your service has changed the game for similar customers, and, if asked specifics, point out that in your industry, the secret sauce of exactly how we rank so highly is in the details, but you can show them a website you own that is ranking high on a certain keyword search, or a few if you have them, and/or provide referrals if there is any question that your 'trade secrets' are ones that really get results."
And if you don't have any sites that rank top or first of the Search Engine Result Page (SERP), then maybe you aren't ready to be doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for other firms and you should go back to square one – master your trade.

Fadil
I agree with that.

Jeno
I walk my clients through my entire process. I've lost only 1 client due to them thinking they could take what I said and do it themselves but I have got other clients that I may not have otherwise because I was fully transparent. The person who thought they could do it themselves failed miserably and I told them when they cut ties that I would call them back once they realized they made a mistake. I called them back a few month later and they trusted me even more once they realized the job isn't easy.

Aquilino » Jeno
Hi can I ask if where did you get your SEO clients? I've done several free SEO Audit to clients and they ended up not hiring me. Do you conduct email marketing to get your clients? Thanks

Anthony ✍️
The post was meant to be a little tongue in cheek fun an generate a little bit of engagement. Only joined today and just thought i would open the can of worms and see who else was lurking in here. I actually read a few of the later posts and it just seemed like a lot of people on here think there is a short cut to everything without fully understanding the basics. DON'T LEARN TO HACK – HACK TO LEARN.
Nice to see there are some people that know their stuff.

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Mohamed
when i tell the clients the results would take at least 3 month to show i lose them and they feel like I am going to cheat them, how to handle that?

Triston
Quick wins. Run some email campaigns to any existing lists they have. Set up some ads to help generate traffic for them while you optimize the site. Show them press releases and how they're in the news.
Then show progress. Not necessarily what you're doing or how, see rule #1, lol, but show increases in traffic, leads, or whatever key performance indicators (KPI)s you choose.
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Mohamed » Triston
what if they are just starting out and have no budget, they are basically bootstrapping everything.
What I concluded is that I should be looking for clients somewhere else.
Triston
Yeah, definitely avoid clients that can't pay you. It limits your ability to provide a good service and a real problem that I've run into is that a business that can't afford real marketing usually isn't capable of handling the increased leads/sales we provide.
If it's a client or project that you really want to take on, then you have to get creative.. check it guerilla marketing techniques and find (or create) something that works.
Also, at least for ads, Google usually gives out credits on ads for new accounts. You might be able to do something with that.
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Mohamed » Triston
Thanks a lot for the info
Anthony ✍️
Hey we all start out somewhere and the easiest way to get new paying clients is by showing them results, getting testimonials, word of mouth. That's how i started way back. I asked friends who have online websites that are struggling, if i could help them, they made money then they paid me. Put my money where my mouth is. For the first year I relied on another source of income. Once my portfolio was building it was much easier to switch jobs permanently.
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Mohamed » Anthony
it seems that the beginnings are the hardest
Anthony ✍️
So instead of looking for clients start your own website up, plenty of options, drop shipping, or affiliate links. Why wait for clients.
Mohamed » Anthony
yeah am working on that but thought that clients would speed up the process
Anthony ✍️
Theres no time like the present, if you have something running, don't waste time on here unless it is strictly business or learning and focus on what is in front of you.
Mohamed
Anthony alright, thanks a lot
Adrian » Mohamed
I suggest you sell them a package not just Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so they get immediate traffic from some Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and start building SEO slowly. This way the client will slowly shift to an SEO believer
Mohamed » Adrian
Yeah I guess this is a good strategy to implement
Jeff
Some things take time, some things do not. It really depends on the starting place. Definitely PPC is more or less immediate, but before then usually the website has to be rebuilt/fixed. I've never had a client who didn't have a serious problem with on-site SEO and usually a theme and plugins that made the site painfully slow. In many cases an entire redesign was needed (there was no clear brand, so we had to do brand design first). Clients need to be patient, as some of this stuff takes time but is done once and benefits accrue thereafter. Some stuff takes time and is ongoing. It really is a matter of being very clear with a client and managing expectations. The best way is to show how things worked with other clients. What was the monthly spend, what was being done (and why, aka "Google likes this"), and when results can be expected. The old "SEO takes time" is not a great answer, since it is only partially true. The super-impatient clients are ones you don't want and won't work out. Either they don't have the money or will be nervous about spending it, or they don't know how to work with a professional consultant. Move along.
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Mohamed » Jeff
thanks a lot for your informative reply

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Tapia
I've found the more I bring clients into the weeds, the more they want to stay away from trying it themselves. You have to convince them they are more dangerous having a passing knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), than helpful. Often they write spammy titles, keyword stuff, do 2016 style pages. In 10 years I've only had 1 client never come back after trying it himself and honestly he was kind of a genius and probably did just teach himself.

Anthony ✍️ » Tapia
Well lets be truthful here, its not rocket science 🤣

Mucha
This is beyond dumb.
Small clients, regardless of the type, always want to minimize expenses. If they want to level up on their own, it really isn't hurting you. Lots of small businesses learn accounting, book keeping, and so on to help mitigate expenses. I can't see how this is any diff. If they want to learn, point them in the right direction and move on.
^^ this group is trivial ^^
– new sites, new businesses
– low volume, low revenue or none
Outside of the above, everyone else is running a business and generating revenue. I can't think of a single f*cking person I know who gives two f*cks about doing any of this shit themselves, worrying about learning it, worrying about teaching it to someone else, worrying about outsourcing it, managing that outsourced shithead, and so on.
^^ this group rarely gives a f*ck ^^
– does not have time to ask dumb questions
– high volume, high revenue
– SOPs, KPIs
I know 2,000+ people who could care less about any of this bullshit. We make money, hire the right people, we use standard operating procedures, we absolutely measure KPIs and yes real SEO users know exactly how to do this and do it well. And beyond that they get results!
If your crying about owners asking questions, you are onboarding the wrong clients. And sadly the client isn't at fault here at all.
If you are unsure how to measure performance in your own profession, do not expect to work with real long-term clients.

Anthony ✍️ » Mucha
I actually totally agree with you on helping new starters, new companies, even do it for free build their port folio. I have never said do not show them reports. Once you get to mid level clients then the fun starts. The bigger companies that have money only ever care about the reports. Why would i tell them or any one unless i was teaching them all the little tricks there are, i am sure you wouldn't just give them all that information for free, especially if you are getting results and to them, that's all that's important.
The fact is, most of these people here asking about getting clients are obviously starting with small local businesses. Do it cheap, make money on the promise of a recommendation. If the guys here are just starting out and they just told the smaller businesses how to do it then they will never get anywhere 🤷Local SEO is the easiest of all, just follow Google guidelines and they wont go far wrong.
Afroze
Totally agreed

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Annah
If my SEO expert would "never tell me anything", he'd be gone in less than 5 business days.
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Fadil
Only bad clients "wants to know anything". The majority of good they don't have time and energy for details, they just want results with no or minimal risk
Annah » Fadil
What an idiotic logic. If I client doesn't have time, it doesn't mean they don't want to know what the heck you are doing to the site!!! Are you telling me, clients are idiots who are giving their sites back and forth to the "geniuses" from the internet and forget about it? Wake up!
I myself am a client, and I have a full time SEO expert. Action plan and reports are essential.
Fadil
I have 15 years experience in this field and hundreds of clients.
If a prospect ask me "how do you do anything" he usually a super small business owner anxious person that I don't want to work with.
Usually bigger clients want to know only the necessary to have results with near zero risk. That's all
Jeff » Fadil
I think I understand what you mean, but this can come off sounding condescending. Some clients want more information, some less. The bigger ones (bigger companies, more money) usually are more accustomed to dealing with consultants and give them more space and focus on results expected and performed. However, in any case it is a consultant-client relationship and it is not wrong for clients to want to know more about what one is doing. Here the consultant is an expert and that expert should be able to answer questions professionally, and get the client to a point of greater understanding. I have found that in most cases the clients are very happy to grow their understanding and it builds trust in the client for the consultant. Working closely together usually increases the volume of good ideas from both sides.
Szymon
The bigger the client the less he caress about any details. He cares more about who you are than how you do your job.
You've asked if we think that "clients are idiots who are giving their sites back and forth to the "geniuses" from the internet and forget about it?". No. Good clients make an effort to find an expert with proper portfolio, established brand and experience.
When I need a doctor, I look for a good doctor instead of interviewing "geniuses form the internet" about how they do their work. If you need your car fixed, do you interview the mechanic or look for one with reliable reviews etc.?
I mean, there is nothing bad in being interested in the process, but to be honest, if someone runs a serious business usually doesn't have time for that because he would have to get mid-professional knowledge in field of FB Ads, SEO, e-mail marketing, web-development, HR, accounting, programming, AI, web security etc. You always should hire people who are much better than you to make their job on professional level. So they can trick you anyway, if they want to. That's why you need reliable people, with recommendations, portfolio. People who know that if they screw their job it will stick to their name in the industry.
Annah » Szymon
You guys do realize, that middle sizes and small businesses are the majority of the market right? From your comments, I get an impression that we are all surrounded my Pepsi, Amazon, and Coca-Cola and other companies just don't exist, and you are lucky enough to work only for the big guys. I am not talking about details, I am talking about action plans and reports. Please read my comment. If a client asks you how you are going to do this and that, and why, it's a normal question that needs an answer. If the expert is unable to answer the questions, there may be trust issues and questioning of one's expertise. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a secret wizard recipe and the questions clients ask are not rhetorical. You may not be reporting directly to the client, but to the marketing department or elsewhere. When I say client, i do not mean the owner of the company or the shareholders. There will be SOMEONE that will require answers and results, and I don't know what type of company would let you do the freestyle without questions.
Szymon
When I say "serious business" I don't mean Coca-Cola but someone who has attitude and resources to already be or to become a leader in their niche. This is how you do SEO – you play to rank on Google's first page, in top3/ top1 in longer perspective. I don't see any sense in doing otherwise.
I work with big and SME's clients as well. Some of them are 1-10 people companies. Like dietician who ranks in top3 for terms like dietician, dietician online, diet online etc. (and hundreds of other long-tail and money keywords). Like home loan expert who ranks on first page between bank's websites for juicy phrases. Like real estate advisor who sells trainings for other investors.
Of course it's important to be in touch with the clients. He needs to know what's going on. Reporting is important, of course. I really do discuss strategy with my clients. But it's more like interviewing the client to find out what are their business goals precisely, not explaining in details all my tactics. He wouldn't get it anyway so it's wasted effort. Clients usually don't read our monthly reports 😛 So we prepare them semi-automatically with Google Data Studio. We discuss the business not the details how we are going to deliver it.
My client has to know that I have knowledge and readiness to deliver at the very moment he sends inquiry. The effort I make to build my brand (portfolio, recommendations, invitations to conferences, trade press etc.) should always be enough so I don't have to convince anyone personally that I'm not a fraud. It should work like that on hardly any market that requires knowledge and experience.
That's probably where's the difference between the "geniuses from the internet" and reliable professionals 🙂
Carter » Annah
I'm happy when clients ask questions and want to know what's going on; it means they're interested. I've dealt with many who don't give a s**t, and they're just as bad as the ones who want to micro-manage everything.
Lees » Fadil
Good post.
Holgate » Annah
When you go to the mechanic, do you ask him/her, how they fixed it, what tools they used and the type of training they had?
When you go for a meal, do you ask the chef, what the secret ingredient that made the meal special is or the exact method on how they made that amazing dish?
When you buy a house, do you ask the real estate agent, how they run their team and if you can have info on their techniques to market the house, their SOP's, types of training and software they use?
Mikula
Thus about sums up this conversation 🤷‍♂️
two rules of seo confident in yourself interview the clients don t let them interview you
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Annah
These rules are a definition of a person I would not hire, lol.
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Szymon » Annah
remember that hi end professionals also pick their clients and run projects on their own terms (or at least negotiate them if the stake is worth it). When there are more projects than experts on the market, you need to be more flexible or you risk that you will work with mediocre people. I don't want to sound cocky but me and my team reject potential clients on daily basis. Partly because of low budgets and partly because of their attitude. If I see that prospect is suspicious about everything and treats me as a potential cheater I say thank you, goodbye. I don't need that attitude in my business and life in general 🙂
Annah » Szymon
Well I 100% agree here! Sides pick each other, and it should be so. There are some clients with really bad attitudes, and/or with extra high expectations and low budgets. No doubt, reality.
Anthony ✍️ » Szymon
correct, the people who come to me are WOM and already heard all about my services. Once you reach the high end clients then there is no bigger pleasure than turning down snotty clients. The reason why i get high end clients is because i deliver.
Annah
So, i see you run an Agency, are you here to teach people for free or to pick up clients? ermm not in the way it sounds …sorry lol
Szymon
Actually I do both – I rely on WOM and direct recommendations and I also do care about filling the early level of the funnel (like ranking top3 for "SEO" and similar phrases in Poland, participating in conferences as a speaker, writing a blog every now and then, submit guest posts on other specialists blogs etc.). If someone finds me in Google he may do some other research about who am I. If he asks about me anyone from industry or my portfolio, there's a big chance I'll get a recommendation. If I've been already recommended to someone – they can also check what LinkedIn, Youtube, Facebook groups and industry media are telling about me. They can find me in Google as well. The more you do to establish your brand, the better marketing you do (and I don't consider spammy PPC and traditional advertising as good marketing in our niche) the less "sales" you have to do and less time you spend convince client to your ideas.

Fadil
These rules are gold. I agree 100%. Good post.
But the truth that when you share more they will not replace you, they understand more the complexity of the job and you get more respect
I have to add one thing: you have to be obv fully transparent with your clients. But you have also to be sintetic and don't get too much technical, because you will confuse them.
Say the necessary and I repeat, always be fully transparent.

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Jeff
These days of bullshitting the customer are thankfully on the wane. This is an era that seeks and values transparency. I've never found it to my advantage to keep information from the client. It takes judgment to know what to tell the client and what not (high level vs. low level technical detail). Someone who is afraid that they won't get or keep clients if they explain what they do either doesn't communicate well, or knows very little and is trying to hide that fact. I've found that an overabundance of ideas, and good judgment clearly communicated, is something the client wants, and is paying for: a professional consultant.

Anthony ✍️ » Jeff
ok, so do you provide a list of jobs done, visited this page, added this because, added this because, did this because, wow. i bet the report takes a week to write in itself LOL
Jeff » Anthony
Reports don't take weeks. One learns to document as one goes. Distinguish between high level report and low level detail. It is all about being organized in a project management way. For people who only work solo and never developed skills to work with others and keep them up to date (in a written format) it can take a bit of learning and doing to establish good practices. Documentation is valuable for oneself as well. In the future it can act as a template for others, helps bring people on-board, and is good for bringing in new clients.
Anthony ✍️
I don't want to bring in new clients, like i said, i have top end clients and my own businesses starting, I don't want to be sat in an office with 100 staff and 2000 clients i cant take care of and only interested in getting companies signed up to a contract. I have seen these sweatshops and its not the way i want to live my life. I prefer the Nomad life.
Sitting on a beach drinking cocktails, nah joking. I have been in Asia almost 10 years, setting up free schools for kids, clean water wells in villages, raising money for emergency food supplies. All done by funding from Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Real SEO. So although us solo entrepreneurs prefer to work alone and in a different way it makes us wrong… I would say i am doing pretty good thanks, you are welcome to run your business the way you want to, If it works who am i to judge.
And to all you guys who do know how to do it and ar JUST STARTING OUT, forget working and making other companies money showing them how to do it …do it for yourself!!

Ravi
Never tell anything to Clients
Hmmm…So i can take my car to a garage and they should be able to tell me a price without telling me what they will repair…
NO THANKS
Transparency And openness is the most important trait to build trust. If they pay for it, it belongs to them…Simple

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Anthony ✍️
If you took your car to the garage you would pay for the work, get the receipt. You can not go over and stand next to him while he does it just because you want to learn…
It took that mechanic a few years to learn, he shows you then you don't need him again.

Kevin » Anthony
that auto mechanic answer you presented is of very poor reasoning skills. They say experience is the best confidence builder.
A GOOD mechanic would care less if you watched him. In fact he would encourage you "Wanna get your hands dirty?"
He would smile and giggle to see how you do it FOR THE FIRST TIME.
They are being paid, AS YOU SHOULD BE, for performing the task with exceptional skill.
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Anthony ✍️ » Kevin
if I see man and he is hungry I will sell him fish. Why do I want to sell him a fishing rod so he can catch his own 🤔
Anthony ✍️
And I do love a spot of fishing now and again ☺️
Kevin
That's a great example. Anyone can fish but, as you pointed out, an expert fisherman makes ease with the task while producing a high yield. Any fisherman will hand you a pole and giggle. Okay well maybe except UNSKILLED fisherman since simply handing them the pole puts them on your level. Maybe that's why you believe this? Expert indeed.
Anthony ✍️
Well let's be real about this. It does look like there are some skilled people in here and others that call themselves SEO experts because they can do some keyword research and add it to a few graphs but can't actually implement anything, except run a bullshit audit to make themselves look intelligent. In fact, I have been in this group less than 12 hours and already had loads of inbox messages trying to sell me services or help get them their first client. Sure I will send them some to practice on …
Kevin » Anthony
spot on about the group but the fact remains if you educate your clients and it puts them onto your level than it's not you but the, I don't know, open source tool you are not discussing. If that is the extent of your expertise, that sets you aside, than you aren't really exceptionally skilled at it.
Ravi » Anthony
I think you are mistaken bro. You said if you sell him fish he will go fishing himself. That would not apply to almost all business owners. They already have a skill or a product to sell. That's what they want to do. Even if they learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a good business person wont do it himself or herself as that's not the best use of their time. Showing then the details will give them more confidence in you and your skill. Just my 2 cents

Lees
Finally, some sound advice based on experience.

Anthony ✍️ » Lees
I had a client a few years ago, i tied him into a 1 year contract because i knew in time he would have an idea what i was doing and i would have to show him(he was a programmer himself). At the end of the contract i showed him what helped improve his rankings so much. The time learning and studying was worth at least a year contract. It paid for itself at least 10 times over. If they make money then so should you!!

Anthony ✍️
So lets face it, in reality if you have to show your clients what you have done because the results aren't what you promised then you're probably not doing a very good job 🤣
Kevin
Open communication, strong engagement with your clients, and the biggest one for ALL COMPANIES… Intent towards others, not your self. This is how you create a powerful interaction.
Give them a reason to pay you.
This post directly reflects a business lack of industry success.
What's the opposite?
A hermit, in a cubicle doing code for a educational site or something that is upset that he offers so much, in fact more than the rest of his team, but they get recognition and promotions for their contributions. Then he quits and develops psychosis from disassociation from his family and peers. All originating from a lack of open communications alienating his contributions from others.
Good luck with that. Bear in mind the example above is obviously an extreme but the fact remains someone performing tasks with exceptional skill is happy to tell others about it for recognition of their value and let them try it. Unless: 1. It's so easy anyone can do it. 2. Or regardless of what you show them, they are not skilled the way your business is. Hence you DESERVE the monetary value.
Cristine
You want to have customers that trust you and appreciate you for your honesty and your professionalism not customers that are scared of you or that have the feeling that you don't share things with them intentionally. Those who trust you will pay you double and will be your customer forever. That's how I see it and that's how I am. I'll pay someone $100/h instead of his $50/h fee if I knew that he's like my right hand always looking after me and bring in money…if I had the feeling even for 1 second that I can't trust him he'll be out the door in not time.
This is why the SEO industry is where it is… Because everyone hides things from their customers or they do real outreach via the Private Blog Network (PBN) shortcut and ask for hundreds or 1000s or $/month. I'm really curious how many customers you have with your "hide things from customers" strategy?
Kenneth
Regardless of skill or lack therein, this guy sounds like a jackass.
Anthony ✍️
[funny image]

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