I dont want your business! Really, its 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 000s in my bank account? Have I finally flipped 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 well state as 20% of your clients are responsible for 80% of your grief. A liberal interpretation, but I am sure Pareto wont 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;
- Improper budget Champaign dreams and a Kool-Aid budget.
- Technically handicapped they know jack about their website operations not to mention SEO.
- Lack of enthusiasm a single line enquiry or a general lack of passion about their site.
- Poor business model if they are riding the repression train and are doomed to failure, I am not coming on board.
- 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)
- What an Idiot sometime personalities clash, never work with anyone you dont get along with.
- Conversions the site is about as likely to convert visitors as Matt Cutts is going to start selling links on his Blog.
You didnt 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 didnt 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 wont 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 doesnt 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 wouldnt. 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 its all about for me.