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Posted 20 August 2003 - 11:54 AM
I just wanted to make everyone aware of this website that offers a package that addresses these concerns for immediate download:
Now, I am not an affiliate, advocating it, or bought it myself...I am hoping that maybe some in the audience is familiar with or purchased it and could provide some insight.
At the very least it could also be a resource for Ian's contract endeavor!
Posted 20 August 2003 - 07:18 PM
I'm working on 2 versions - the first is a standard word-type style, and the second is a wizard that allows you to type in some info, check off the stuff you want or don't want, and then prints it off. Before I spend any time on the second, is anyone interested in that? I'd hate to spend time doing it for nothing!
Posted 23 August 2003 - 07:25 AM
I was wondering if it would be worth it to make an SEO Legal Kit or some such, with sample contracts, invoices, and so on. Would anyone here be interested in this, or would it be a waste of my time? And what would you want in it?
What a generous offer! And I like the fact that you are based in Canada Ian ;-)
The ideal kit for me would include a proposal template and a contract template, both of which could be modified. I have several samples of each that I have used as well as various weblinks that I could share.
For proposals, I basically create a two column table in Word - first column is a description of the service and second column is the price. My proposal word template has many more services listed than most of my customers use - I simply delete those rows from the table when I write the proposal for a specific customer.
Message me if you would like more info Ian :hehe:
Posted 28 August 2003 - 09:05 PM
Much to my surprise a famous artist found my site with spelling errors and all - still hired me. Wants me to be his full time promoter on and off the web.
My next guy gave me a free trip to vegas this new years he liked me so much.
My biggest problem is I have all this stupid random content that is poorly written and formatted.
Now I am going to do it right. I think it is important to learn at least a little about non SEO stuff. I have been reading a ton about website usability, copywriting, and general marketing.
Today I actually turned another customer down. I think it is important to learn to reject bad business. Many people do not understand this concept.
I think the most important thing to do is learn (as much as you can). Although I "started" a while ago I am still wondering when I should reformat my site. Do I wait until I read one more good book?
I am going to see Seth Godin next month at his office and that is all I have been thinking about.
As I type today I still have no official price structure but I am learning and have a couple life long customers.
I guess the way I would recomend doing it is
1.) start out with something ANYTHING
2.) educate yourself to satisfaction
3.) reformat and OWN the WORLD
I do not believe in a legal kit. I just think if you do a good enough job it will speak for itself.
Posted 28 August 2003 - 10:11 PM
There are 2 reasons to have a contract: 1 ) Eliminate doubt and misconceptions, and 2 ) provide a basis for 3rd party intervention (courtroom or arbitration)
Lets look at the first, since everyone is familiar with the second.
Eliminate Doubt and Misconceptions. A contract defines what is going to happen and how it's going to happen. I like to use this example: lets say you ask a guy to paint your house. He's a good guy and you trust him to do a good job. You tell him you want it white with green trim and then leave town for a few days so you don't have to deal with paint fumes. You come back, and sure enough, the house is white with green trim, and the work is excellent. Unfortunately, the "green" is bright day-glo and looks horrible to you. Your complaints will fall on deaf ears both to the painter (he likes that color) and to a court. After all, it's your fault you didn't tell him what shade to use - if you leave the choice up to him, you are stuck with his choice.
A good contract eliminates this. It outlines the fact that (for example) you are allowed access to logs, or that payment is in advance, or that you don't guarantee top placement. What if your customer has been reading spam emails about what these SEO guys can do (ie submission to 1000's of SE's, top 10 placement, etc) and thinks that is what you are going to do, as well. If you take his money and he thinks you are going to do this and you don't, you may very well be accused of fraud!
Does it matter that it's in his best interests not to? NO! If you go in to get your tonsils removed and the surgeon decides while you are under to remove your infected testicles - there is big trouble! (this really happened BTW - The doctor was able to show that it really was in the patients best interest, may have saved his life, and that the operation was perfectly done, but that wasn't the point, there was no consent, and the doctor lost his license and the lawsuit.)
There is no contract unless there is consensus ad idem, or Meeting of the Minds. If your client is thinking one thing while you are thinking something else, the agreement can be held invalid, or only partially valid. You may not get paid anything, or get stuck with a payment plan that amounts to $1/month (yes, this happens too - my mother is paying her lawyer this and since he didn't specify the payment terms he can't do anything, and he's a lawyer! He hates me, by the way).
A contract outlines what law is applicable, what happens if the server crashes and you can't do the work, what happens if the client decides to "help" by signing up to some FFA's, what happens if the client wants their money back because he's not at the top and therefore doesn't believe you did your "best effort", what happens if you don't list him in Yahoo! as part of your original quote when that's what he thought you were doing, etc. It's highly unlikely that you will be able to remember to tell them all of this everytime, and if you did it's unlikely the client would remember or understand it.
The bottom line is, the less the client knows about SEO, the more necessary a contract is - not just for disagreements, but also for education and customer service. You can fly by the seat of your pants, of course, but it's a pretty rusty airplane that won't survive an air pocket or bumpy landing.
Posted 28 August 2003 - 10:48 PM
I beleive everything that has to do with money should have all the i's dotted and so forth. Without some kind of contract you have no proof of anything. I keep every scrap of paper between myself and my client. Even if it was written on a napkin it goes in a file. If it's a friend I get two copies to cover myself, friends and money don't mix.
Ian, I will be bored if you need another reader.
Posted 07 September 2003 - 12:08 AM
First decide what your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is. As Scottie said, What is unique about you? Why would someone buy from you?)
What is your "elevator pitch"? Can you describe your business to someone while you're going from the first floor to the 10th floor on an elevator?
These things sound simple and basic, but most people can NOT do this. Learn to do these two things and you will be WAY ahead of most of your competitors.
Just my two cents worth. Good luck.
Edited by jerry, 07 September 2003 - 12:23 AM.
Posted 07 September 2003 - 07:32 AM
I'd be willing to have a look through your draft version of the contract, give it the Brit point of view. This is of course a beg for a freebee.
I, myself, have not yet ever needed more then an email of conformation, this is because all my clients are long standing customers.
It wouldn't hurt to branch out a bit, though, and I wouldn't like to do it without a contract.
Edited by air-dog, 07 September 2003 - 10:17 AM.
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