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How often do you meet with SEO clients?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by christianbed, May 18, 2015.

  1. christianbed

    christianbed Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Just got a text from a local client who wants to meet in a couple days....no context about the meeting. They've been with me for about 3mos now, and we met in person once during the 'pitch' phase...everything else has been conference call or email.

    Anyway, I called and asked for an agenda, saying that I usually don't meet in person but I might be able to do 30min sit down. The marketing guy gets a bit huffy, and says, 'You don't meet with clients? Well, we're paying you...so...' I just told him that I have a number of clients and allot a certain amount of time to do SEO work for them / month, so I can't just meet up with everyone.

    Anyway, he said they want to talk about conversions (they are now ranking in the top 3-5 for a number of competitive keywords and are getting good traffic, but few sales)...I think the market just isn't keen on their product, but my guess is that they expect me to have some magic 'instant conversion' formula...even their very targeted mailer to 20k addresses resulted in only 1-2 sales.

    Still, I'm wondering how you handle in-person meetups...seems to me that every 6mos is reasonable, or if they are a big client, perhaps once a quarter, but for just over $1k/mo, I'm not terribly keen on the 'well, we're paying you...' attitude. Perhaps I'm fortunate, but I've never had clients want to meet with me in person after the first few months...tons of stupid emails, yes, but not face-to-face.

    How often do you meet your clients in person?
     
  2. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Well, since most of my clients are 5,000+ miles away, I guess their only solution is to buy a plane ticket if they wanna see my beautiful eyes.
     
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  3. givensia

    givensia Regular Member

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    Who wouldn't buy a plane ticket to see those eyes after all?

    OP, I think they are just going to try to get some free marketing tips from you so that they can convert better. As you said, the market isn't keen on their product after all
     
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  4. netmoney1

    netmoney1 Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Cut your losses...tell them to pound sand and find another one to replace them.

    Clients like that suck. You do your job and rank them then they get bent because they aren't selling shit.

    Their website sucks.
    Their offer sucks.
    Their product sucks.

    They suck.

    Don't even waste your 30 min. Seriously. You bend over for them once they will mount you in that position every chance they get.
     
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  5. PJones69

    PJones69 BANNED BANNED

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    Who are the SEO clients?
     
  6. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Pretty much almost never meet them face to face unless they happen to come by my office for some crazy reason and that has happened all of two times.

    I did have one very high end client that had an office in his place that I would go to and work periodically (big client down in Mandarin) but that that was a very unique situation.

    Meeting them face to face is a time killer for sure.

    As to his site not converting, is he paying you for online business advice or just SEO?

    Sounds like he wants some advice on how to turn his visitors into clients and that is an entirely different dog and an upsell for me when I serve someone as it is not part of the usual package.
     
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  7. christianbed

    christianbed Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yeah, that's what I don't like about local clients....95% of my clients are far, far away. Skype/phone/email gets it done and has for years.
     
  8. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Go meet and upsell them a funnel you'll control. Upfront fee + 50% net from all new sales. If they take it, good. If they don't, good - they won't call you again for a meeting ;)
     
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  9. christianbed

    christianbed Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Exactly man, just for onpage/offpage SEO...I'm helping with some conversion suggestions here and there, but just to be a nice guy. The webdev guy is non-responsive, slow to implement and very guarded, so frustrating. The CEO has other irons in the fire, and I don't think this business is his top concern (has talked about closing it down)...the marketing guy, however, this is his only gig, so he's sweating bullets and my guess is that he's trying to pass the buck.

    The thing is there is a strong CTA, good design, decent funnel, etc...all the basics are there (except an email capture)...I just think the market has spoken because they're outranking some HUGE companies in similar verticals.

    BTW, we've got to meet up for lunch/coffee sometime when you're free. :)
     
  10. christianbed

    christianbed Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    LOL...that's a great idea...I'm going to do it. The 'control' has been a problem...web guy and marketing guy have been in the way, but the CEO is a decent chap, just a bit reluctant to keep spending on what looks like a sinking ship. It took me MONTHS of haranguing the site designer to get it mobile friendly...still not done.
     
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  11. christianbed

    christianbed Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Nice try, CEO Sam. ;-)
     
  12. christianbed

    christianbed Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Seriously...when I first started, I'd do anything for clients...what I learned over time is that the big clients expect the least and the smaller clients are too needy. I don't mind bouncing ideas around once in a while via email/phone, and even if they'd said, 'Hey man, we're trying to rethink this thing...we're going to grab some gourmet burgers and craft beer for a quick lunch on Friday to make sure we're all aligned, it's our treat, could you join us?' that would have been another story.
     
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  13. SEORasta

    SEORasta Senior Member

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    Let us know how it goes. Sounds like he thought SEO = $$$ and since he is not seeing $$$ he thinks you are not doing the best work. Been there done that with clients. They think this is all magic and when the magic does not happen they blame the one they are paying. Never question their product or service.

    This meeting should either do one or to things. Upsell AND have a clear indication on what to expect OR cut your losses and fire yourself as their SEO guy. Nothing else should happen.
     
  14. christianbed

    christianbed Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Fortunately, the CEO is clear that the product isn't being validated by the market...the others, well, not sure where they're coming from. I think the fact that the very expensive and very targeted mailer (I mean super-specific and from an industry source) only resulted in a handful of sales says it all. People visit the site, but don't want to buy...even the most targeted leads.

    Forgot to mention, that while they are local clients, they are competing/ranking on a national level...and still ranking in the top 3-5 against multi-million dollar businesses. I'm absolutely crushing it given the budget and competition level, and I don't think they have a clue.
     
  15. netmoney1

    netmoney1 Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Exactly. Someone that valued your time and input would approach this way...the 'You don't meet with clients? Well, we're paying you...so...' bullshit they tossed your way would have led me to send them a termination notice...firing a client is a great feeling. Try it sometime...if you have a pain in the ass client that is a drain just fire them...the energy you get from that will enable you to sign 2 more faster than you imagine.

    Make sure to remind them of that within the first 5 seconds of your meeting. I would also walk in and drop something like "OK, I've got 15 minutes, let's get this started." Control the meeting from start to end. If you get any crap for their end clip them :D

    Unless it's a huge payday...but it sounds like they could develop into a pain in the ass...good luck!
     
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  16. thisismymp3

    thisismymp3 Power Member

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    if my clients are local i meet with once a month, i call it "fluffing the balls", tell them every things great, show them a few graphs/keywords in the up direction, usually try to squeeze some more money out of them, i can usually bang out 2-3 client meetings in a day so out of my 10 local clients i only have 3-4 meetings a month. Of courses i try my best to tell them they do not need to see my ugly mug every month and we can do it over the phone that only worked on one person (the highest paying client).
     
  17. growmyinsta

    growmyinsta BANNED BANNED

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    I agree to meet my clients once a month, it helps me add value to my service. I admit it add time to my day but i limit myself to 3-5 clients a month.
     
  18. archon10

    archon10 BANNED BANNED

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    lol this is funny because it's so true. I'm currently thinking about blowing off a small job because the guy wants a phone convo and it's 6 landing pages, his phone number is in PA, his IP shows Texas, but I'm pretty sure he's in India, so red flags everywhere. Cheap job and not worth the hassle.

    I've had a couple of small jobs where the guy hires me because I'm local but then asks for me to go there. I tell them no, but when I was desperate I would give in.

    The people who want to waste your time are annoying since most stuff can be a quick Skype/phone call. You said it though. People who are cheap and don't have any money don't understand that time is money and just want to waste your time because they want to feel like they are getting their pound of flesh from you. It seems like people with no money want to feel like you're working hard for them instead of just focusing on the product you deliver. Real businesses have shit to do so the more you limit your face to face with them, the happier they are cuz they have shit to do.

    I even had one asshole who didn't want to pay my hourly rate, but he would pay me less for more hours. The total billed amount was more than what he would have paid if he paid the higher amount for fewer hours. Same job but just ran the clock because he felt like he needed more work I guess but my rate is my rate.
     
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  19. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    My biggest client hardly ever contacts me. They're honestly just happy that they have a nice maintained website (they hired me for SEO and web design).

    On the other hand, my smaller clients are always needy and expect more for less. In addition to what I'm contractually obliged to do, they want me to basically operate the Internet for them and some call me sounding like Gilbert Gottfried when they ask this.

    OP, I'll meet with my local clients if they ask me to, but if they expect me to do some black magic and fix their entire marketing and design issues when they only hired me for SEO, then I would either get rid of them or upsell them.
     
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    Last edited: May 18, 2015
  20. SEOking222

    SEOking222 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Clients should spend money to meet their workers :) SIMPLE!