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The Brass Tacks Of The Business
Posted 29 August 2003 - 03:33 PM
You have the tools
a love for writing
you don't have
So cut the normal fee in half which would be $100-$150 for 200-400 words and as you gain more tools add more money.
Posted 30 August 2003 - 02:32 AM
I am working full time as a Web Manager - I've been doing this 4+ years, and I have just finished my first private job (my boss is fine with me doing a bit of private work). I am aiming to build up my number of clients so I can leave my full time employment eventually and concentrate on my business.
I am about to do quite a large project for a customer. Part of the project involves redesigning their website and part involves SEO (I have been doing this in my current job for 2+ years).
The question I am facing (and I see others here are talking about how they are billing for SEO) is how to bill for the SEO work. I am considering charging a one off fee to cover initial costs (eg, submitting to the Yahoo Directory, setting up the pages, and to cover my time), and after that I am thinking of charging on a results basis to cover the work I will spend on a monthly basis to ensure his site ranks well.
The billing model I am thinking of is to charge on a results basis (definition of results would be agreed to in a contract with the client) eg, if I get a top ten ranking for a keyword that has over 3 million hits when searched on I might charge X$ per month. If I get a top ten ranking for a keyword that has over 2 million hits then I might charge Y$ per month. (Y$ being less than X$).
That way I feel the client is getting a fair deal as I only get paid if I get the results he needs. I am also confident in my ability to get him good results (using reputable methods!).
I would be interested in other people's feedback. I need to do some more thinking on this - I really have only come up with the idea in the last day or two and I have yet to identify all the pros and cons.
Does anyone else bill this way?
Thanks for your time.
Posted 30 August 2003 - 09:52 AM
Welcome to the High Rankings Forum!
I must admit, results based billing has a lot of draw. It gives the customer a higher level of confidence than just being told "best efforts", and it allows you to charge more than you ordinarily could in the case of hitting the hardest target you have agreed to. I have a coffee roasting client who has offered me free coffee for a year if I can get him to number one in Google. It's a handshake deal, not part of the contract, and it's not for money - if he never pays up, I won't care (much).
As a matter of fact, it's so popular with clients that scammers sending mass emails "guaranteeing top ten placement" are making themselves lots of money on a worthless product. Logically, if you can do the same with a product that is actually worth something, then life is good for everyone.
You can do it. My advice is to watch for the following:
- You MUST have a formal written contract - this is one time where a handshake is not good enough
- You should be very, very specific - no wiggle room.
- The verification for the results should come from independent sources - ie logs
- The goals should be reasonable - if you have one that is unreasonably high, it is likely to make your client think you didn't do as good as you could have, and give them the impression you just tricked them into paying you for substandard work.
- Your methods should be outlined clearly, along with risks, if any.
If you can buy your way to the top or simply do something that does not require much skill, just industry standard basic knowledge (like SE submission or PPC campaigns) then in my opinion you should not get "paid for performance". Why should you get paid a bonus just for showing up to work?
On the other hand, things like keyword research and copywriting take skill and knowledge that can vary dramatically from person to person, then pay for performance is a reasonable thing, though very hard to measure
My suggestion would be to use a "Bonus" structure rather than a pure pay per position structure. Charge a reasonable amount that will not put you into the position of screwing yourself if you underestimate the job beforehand, and then offer a bonus structure that rewards specific goals (and possibly gives discounts for not reaching specific ones).
One notorious company charged people for page rank. You paid $100 if you got PR 1, and $500 if you got page rank 3, etc. Google found out and penalized the company and, do to the link farm type setup they had arranged, most of thier customers as well. The company sued and lost. Then got sued by their customers. Not the best company to be in.
You can do this ethically and properly, but be careful. Sight unseen, the more pressure someone puts on themselves the more likely I am to think there might be shady dealings going on, even if there is not. Be open and outline everything clearly. Good Luck!
Posted 30 August 2003 - 10:31 AM
$1800 for a company that will do nothing to her web site except to add a page with shopping cart for 5 items. and make an account with google adwords.
I about choked, I told her for the same price I will optimize her site, add the shopping cart while I host her site, give her a free domain name, create an adwords account, submit her site as needed, keyword research and up to 10 relevent links. I told her she would have to pay for the extras like professional copy and any other expenses that we negotiate.
I get $250 up front and the ballance when I do what I say I can.
I wouldn't recommend this with everyone but this is a long time customer. If I didn't know the person I would have them put the balance in escrow someplace.
Posted 30 August 2003 - 07:18 PM
I am finding this forum extremely useful.
Thanks for your reply and welcome Ian. There are some very useful things in there. I like the bonus idea you suggested - that makes more sense and I think you are right - I shouldn't put so much pressure on myself.
I think I was suffering from that starting out in business syndrome where you feel that because you haven't got many clients yet you can't charge much, hence why I was considering the results based payment option.
But I am leaning more towards the bonus idea you suggested instead...
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