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7 Reasons Why I Don't Want Your Money

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 07 November 2007 15:55

I don’t want your business! Really, it’s true... That is something I have said, not in so few words, to many prospects that come to me for SEO (and other) services. Truth be told, I probably turn away some 90+% of the projects that trickle in. Am I having some sort of an adverse reaction to more 000’s in my bank account? Have I finally No SEO for youflipped out from being a rant-o-holic? No - on all counts; You see, I have long been a proponent of the 80/20 rule, which for our purposes we’ll state as ‘20%  of your clients are responsible for 80% of your grief’. A liberal interpretation, but I am sure Pareto won’t mind.

What is important to get digested, is that you can lose a vast amount of time dealing with those ‘clients from Hell’ and other less than palatable situations. This can be cured through simple diligence and pre-qualifying of potential donors (to my bank account that is).

When it comes to qualifying clients you are trying to establish the best scenarios in which you have the highest likelihood of not only being profitable, but being successful. By that I mean leaving behind a legacy to be proud of, a client gleaming with joy for having known you and a website that purrs like a kitten snuggled up to a warm bowl of milk.   

There can be a variety of reasons that a prospective SEO client is shown the door;

  1. Improper budget – Champaign dreams and a Kool-Aid budget.
  2. Technically handicapped – they know jack about their website operations not to mention SEO.
  3. Lack of enthusiasm – a single line enquiry or a general lack of passion about their site.
  4. Poor business model – if they are riding the repression train and are doomed to failure, I am not coming on board.
  5. Site Suckage – they have made a Spammy mess out of their site and link profile ( I do fix these once in a while if the budget is there)
  6. What an Idiot – sometime personalities clash, never work with anyone you don’t get along with.
  7. Conversions – the site is about as likely to convert visitors as Matt Cutts is going to start selling links on his Blog.


You didn’t hit my G-Spot

Did you catch that last one? There is no easier way to ensure a luke-warm reaction to your SEO prowess than to have a client that didn’t achieve their (emotional/profitable) desires. Sure, I know that for the most part, conversions are not part of the job description, but rationality don't enter into it. The fact that SEO can only go so far in achieving higher conversions, may be a foreign tongue to the unsatisfied client. Who wants to get ranked for a bunch of target terms only to see minimal revenue generated? In my humble opinion, there is no reason to be worrying about SEO if the site is not prepared to maximize the conversion potential.

This holds true obviously of any marketing endeavour that the product offering should be (reasonably) polished prior to the campaign initiation. You can do all the optimization you want and it won’t mean squat in the end analysis. What is the point of SEO without a chance of converting?

Simply because a project walks in the door doesn’t mean one should grab it up in a desperate attempt to appease the gods of commerce. All too often financial pressures have us making decisions we otherwise wouldn’t. An unchecked ego can pull us into a sense of false security. A lack of foresight makes us wish we could go back in time. I try to create the best possible situations in the hopes of avoiding that 20% that can cause so much havoc.

On the road to success I choose the path of least resistance – qualifying clients makes my work life far more enjoyable and that is what it’s all about for me.




0 # waveshoppe 2007-11-07 17:51
Right on Dave, I love it when you tell it like it is. Rant on bro!
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0 # Dave 2007-11-07 18:03
Well, you said I should be writing about some 'business' related stuff.... that was the first thing (rant) that came to mind.

You and I have covered this ground more than a few times... I also get peeved when those; 'I want to rank in Google' inquiries float in... many times they don't even send the URL.... just a single freaking line... grumble mumble....
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0 # waveshoppe 2007-11-07 23:49
I think it’s a great thing to grumble about because there is a lot of truth in what you posted. I have a good friend that saw how well one of our sites was doing. So much that they rushed out and made their own crap Yahoo site and then ran out and spent money on product, which almost a year later is still sitting in their garage.

They were basically unable to digest just how much dedication and hard work it takes to grow an on-line business. They asked me about 6 months later why they have not had a sale and I asked them something like “how much effort have you put into it” and the response was something like “oh we just don’t have time for that”.

We are still great friends but I refuse to spend one second of my time advising them on their site.
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0 # Aaron 2007-11-08 04:38
Let me add one to that. I turn down some fairly lucrative offers simply for the reason that they won't give me the resources and staff to do what they ask. They want to create something in a highly competitive niche then they have to provide the resources to do it.

Friggin frackin frockin. whatever than means :zzz
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0 # Dave 2007-11-08 05:04
Gee..look who's still with us... G'day Brother Hat....

...and yes, that would be part and parcel to the 'Champaign dreams and a Kool-Aid budget'. As for the fick, the frack and the frock...I HAVE NO FREAKIN IDEA man.... I am sure it will pass in the morning light.
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0 # Aaron 2007-11-08 05:52
It was a rough week last week. I know you understand. Anyway, I'm back in the pretent world of the interweb and looking forward to your Thursday Bud Light Break :D
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