(the following is a guest post from Todd Mintz)
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you -- tripping on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as Leif the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and as I may say, the whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness.
Hamlet (Shakespeare, not Batista)
Recently, I was chatting on the phone with a potential SEO client about some gig work. The conversation was going along fine until (in a roundabout way) he asked me for my sales pitch aka why he should use me as opposed to someone else. I dont think my answer was particularly compelling
not because I didnt have a good answer for him but because I had several answers that got jumbled together in a form of verbal mush. Since blogging gives me an opportunity for a do-over (a technique Ive used before), I would like to recast my answer in a more powerful manner
let me count the ways..
You asked me whether I might be a better SEO consultant than the other folks youre considering. Since I dont know who those folks are, Im not able to give you much of an answer to that question. I do know that Ive been doing SEO since the Year 2000 and I have no doubt that with an in-depth look at your analytics, I will be able to figure out your website pain points that you see as critical to the future health of your business.
You asked me about cost. I told you my hourly rate which is (I believe) comparable to what others with my background and experience charge for their services. One of my selling points is that Im perfectly willing to sell you as little or as much of my time as you feel you need and I have no desire to lock you into any sort of long term contract. As busy as I am with multiple engagements, Id gladly give you some flexibility in your working relationship with me
because Id like the same flexibility in working with you. I think I can provide excellent results for you quickly and if you feel you got good value from me at an aggressive hourly rate, youll more likely to give me the referrals that I would desire.
I think you did a good job in documenting for me via analytical snapshots and explanations the incidents that you find of concern. I believe I do know what happened with your sites just from seeing your documentation. However, there isnt any way I could possibly begin to estimate the cost of taking corrective action because I have no way of knowing how long it would take me to discover the information that I need to help you.
Its like going to the doctor. If you tell the doctor you need a wart removed, he could tell you what the cost will be. If you tell the doctor you have a stomach pain, he cant tell you the cost of treatment in advance of the appointment. He needs to examine you and run tests to make an accurate diagnosis which could range from indigestion (cheap) to a heart condition (expensive).
You can view me as website doctor. I can diagnose your website problem(s) in great detail but I dont know how long the diagnosis will take me (and I charge by the hour) nor do I know how long it will take to fix the problem (and I charge by the hour).
Also, its hard to know in advance the type of client you might be. A certain level of client communication is part of every consulting engagement and this time isnt billable. However, I dont know if youre the sort who will demand more phone time than is necessary for the job nor whether you are the sort who will try to increase the scope of the project without increasing the cost. Thats why prix fixe SEO scares me
every time Ive done this, the time spent on the job doesnt pencil back to my hourly rate.
One more thing
SEO advice should be given Straight, No Chaser. Based upon this blog post I wrote a while back, I created a sales page at http://www.toughloveseo.com. In all my relationships in my life (not just professional ones), Im brutally direct and honest and I dont mind hurting someones feelings if the end result will be to that persons advantage. I will not tell you what you want to hear about your web presence, but what you need to hear. I will also treat your site as if it were my own
I will rejoice in its success and take any failure personally.
My objective in working with you is to have you feel youve generated significant positive ROI from our engagement and I will do what it takes to assure that will happen. If my directness scares you away, Im glad because it means we wouldnt work well together.
Finally, I would tell you to Google Todd Mintz and read some of the things I wrote as well as what people have said about me. If you feel comfortable with what you see, we would likely have a positive relationship.
If you have any questions, feel free to call or
email tends to get answered quicker :.)
Todd Mintz is the Director of Internet Marketing & Information Systems for S.R. Clarke Inc., a Real Estate Development and Residential / Commercial Construction Executive Search / Recruiting Firm headquartered in Fairfax, VA with offices nationwide. He is also a Director & Founding Member of SEMpdx: Portland, Oregon's Search Engine Marketing Association.