Are you a Google Analytics enthusiast?
More SEO Content
Posted 17 September 2003 - 03:31 PM
My reason is that they are former clients and if I continue to provide free advice, I'd never have any paying clients ;-) It is my hope that with some basic answers to their questions I create goodwill and they would consider hiring me on a monthly retainer - ie. the opimization is "complete" but will require ongoing tweaks.
It especially bothers me when it is a client who did not want to pay for "consulting" so purchased instead a "report". I am sure to have my reports read by a colleague that is not web savvy - she checks for the usual grammar, etc. but more importantly to see if my information makes sense to a person who is not familiar with SEO. I do this to avoid a client coming back for free consulting on the guise that they don't "understand" the report.
Others philosophy on this? I guess I could recommend Jill's newsletter *grin*
Posted 17 September 2003 - 03:45 PM
Of course it's a good idea to provide some free information. Keep yourself in their mind as the person to go to for their SEO issues and there's a good chance you'll get more paid work through them, not to mention references. But there has to be a limit, especially in the case you mentioned in which they specifically chose a report instead of a consulting service.
I can't tell you where to draw the line, though.
Posted 17 September 2003 - 03:54 PM
We have web design clients as well that if they host with us, we provide 1 hour of free updates to their sites so long as it does not involve programming, creation of graphics, things like that. They use more than an hour, they are billed the hourly rate.
If you do not have your client on a ongoing type of SEO campaign where they pay your something and you are getting nothing else out of them at all, I would recommend that you develop a policy of charging for phone or email consulting time, such as $75 an hour or whatever, with a 1/2 hour minimum and billed in 1/2 hour increments.
Our time is valuable and we should be compensated for it.
My 2 cents!
Posted 17 September 2003 - 04:22 PM
I think you're right to try to get SEO clients to commit to a regular update. I find that, with the smaller B2B clients I work with here in the UK, I can usually persuade them to sign up for a fixed rate quarterly update, but not monthly.
Once you present them with the quarterly update option, it's easier to say 'No' to those who try it on for free work: 'If you were on my quarterly update program, I'd gladly do that for your for free. But, it's going to take me the best part of an hour to do this properly for you, so I'd need to charge you for it'.
Just like our clients, we SEO consultants have to earn a crust too!
Posted 17 September 2003 - 05:03 PM
Furthermore, free advice is no better than anyone else. You are a professional consultant. If you want your suggestions to be taken seriously, don't give them away for free!
Posted 17 September 2003 - 05:09 PM
Thats good, Really good. I'll use that if its OK by you Vertster.
Thanks for the free advice
Posted 17 September 2003 - 05:25 PM
You'll probably get an invoice from Vertster at the end of the month that says: "No charge- thanks for your business." !! <g>
Posted 17 September 2003 - 05:46 PM
idrive - In terms of advice I tend to follow along the lines of offering people options for taking ongoing services for a monthly fee and start with a basic level where I will be available for advice over the phone/email,
Nevertheless clients inevitably try and avoid that and so any follow ups will get a brief answer to their query (after all we English are terribly polite) and just a reminder that should they need ongoing advice they can sign up to a monthly "plan" for want of a better word.
It seems to work OK for me.
Posted 17 September 2003 - 06:49 PM
I don't normally charge colleagues... I wonder how many others have a similar policy??
Posted 17 September 2003 - 07:03 PM
It's those that have rejected my maintenance plan...I would like to be able to send them the odd email with a tidbit that pertains directly to them - something interesting in Jill's newsletter, an interesting piece of info here, etc. I do this because I want to, but also they might realize how quickly the SE world changes and decide to retain my services to keep their website producing!
I don't steer my clients to SEO chat forums...if they find them on their own then that is fine. I haven't seen Walmart post a sign on their front door reminding you that you can find many of their products for less at Ebay *grin*
Very interesting conversation. It appears to be leaning towards "charge 'em baby!" *grin*
Posted 18 September 2003 - 04:09 PM
Like Jill, I use an email newsletter to keep in touch with clients and prospects, though on a MUCH smaller scale than Jill's!
I've found that there are two types of website clients: Those that believe in the internet as a good marketing channel and those who, if truth were known, really only want a 'brochure on the web'.
The latter don't usually go for an SEO maintenance contract at the outset and very seldom convert later either, so I don't waste too much time giving them free advice. I'm polite, but I usually email them back and say that I can help, but it will cost them. They soon stop asking!
I reckon that if a client wants to take me for a ride and ask for constant freebies, then they're not really worth having as a client in the long run.
Posted 18 September 2003 - 06:04 PM
I do answer just about anyone's email questions about SEO. If it's very specific and I'd have to actually look at their site, that's another matter. But if it's just a general SEO question, what's it take...5 mins. to answer it or send them to an old article or post where it's already answered.
I don't generally do free phone calls, however, unless it's a current client.
Feel free to send all your past clients to my newsletter and the forum. There would be nothing wrong with saying to them, "Hey you know, that Jill Whalen is good at answering stuff like this, why not sign up for her newsletter and see if she can help!"
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users