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Giving Seo Clients Exclusivity Or Not?
Posted 13 January 2009 - 10:01 AM
Have a questions for search engine optimization professionals. Do you offer exclusivity when working with clients? Some clients ask for exclusivity because they don't want to create more competition on the web. But if you give them that, you reduce your income source at the cost of satisfying your current client.
How do you handle something like this? Thanks in advance!
Posted 13 January 2009 - 10:11 AM
If you give exclusivity , then they have to pay the exclusivity premium.
You're a contactor not an employee, so they cannot expect you to work soley for them, moonlighting is not a standard clause as is with normal employment law.
Some may express the requirment that you don't work with other clients in the same field / industry sector, which might be a fair compromise and they should be wiling to pay a little extra, but not much as it isn't stopping you form SEOing other industry sector clients.
It's also relative to industry sector and potential ROI / Revenue , if your SEO is performance based, your reward will reflect this, if there is a potential for you to make a lot of money for them and you, then exclusivity might be a bargaining chip which is actually yours to play
Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:26 PM
For instance, if you were doing only one-time link building I wouldn't expect any sort of exclusivity. Same goes for small account PPC management. Or just site design with no SEO component.
Back when I did this for other folks I took on the whole shebang, from site design/functionality to keyword research to link building to PPC to copywriting to all of the organic SEO development. They paid a pretty penny for the whole package so I didn't mind giving them exclusivity in their market sector. My reasoning for offering it as a standard part of my contract was mainly because I knew from experience that when you dive headlong into such a project you're bound to learn some things that would make success considerably easier to accomplish with a second, competing site.
If you put one in your contract do make sure you have a stated end on the exclusivity though. eg if you've got 'em under a maintenance contract where they pay each month or quarter or whatever, make sure the contract clearly states the exclusivity ends immediately if/when they breach the contract by not paying. For contracts that ended up being totally fulfilled or ended by mutual (written) agreement I used to give 'em an additional year on the no-compete after the contract term. Though I can't remember ever seeing or hearing about anybody else doing that. A year isn't all that long honestly.
I guess the key is to be fair. Or really for both sides to be fair.
If someone were wanting to pay me peanuts I'd not even discuss any sort of exclusivity. And if they demanded something like that in such a situation I'd simply cut 'em loose right then and there. On the other hand if they're paying me several thousand or 10's of thousands over the course of a few months and an ongoing maintenance fee, then they deserve some type of protection that I won't take what I learn about the sector by working on their site and start handing it to competitors. Or worse yet, starting my own site in the sector and cleaning up.
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