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How to keep clients from nickel and diming you?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Nauthiz666, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Nauthiz666

    Nauthiz666 Senior Member

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    So I got a potential client in the paralegal industry. It's relatively low competition but some of the top rank sites are 5+ years old. I offered to provide SEO for $495 a month. I told her generally its feasible to hit page one in 3-4 months if not faster but in rare cases may be slower since it's a brand new site and up to Google. She then sent me a email asking if after 3-4 months she could lower her fee after hitting first page. I explained to her all contracts are based on a ramp up plan over 6 months.

    Are these generally just not great clients who ask these questions? I am dubious about doing business with someone who is already asking about price reductions on something like this before we even start.
     
  2. twistedtrick

    twistedtrick Power Member

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    Maybe we just sell/offer SEO wrong, but normally we will do a 3-month initial higher price ("Primary Campaign") since we are much more aggressive with the campaign in the beginning, and after the first 3 months the rate will drop ("Maintenance Campaign") frankly because we do considerably less work after the first few months.
     
  3. Nauthiz666

    Nauthiz666 Senior Member

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    That's basically how we do it but based off of 6 months. We can always drop it lower after that to our $297 maintenance.
     
  4. Comic

    Comic Regular Member

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    This happens. Here is my response.

    Thanks for asking. Yes we can. That's actually a different pricing plan and I would be happy to set that up. It's $3500 up front and then $295 for the remaining months.
     
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  5. Nauthiz666

    Nauthiz666 Senior Member

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    Well for me, I don't find much point in selling anything lower than $500 a month with my time constraints and what I do. (very white hat as well). I work full time as a in house SEO director, so with what time I do have left, $297 a month isn't really worth it for me since it's not all profit.
     
  6. assphuck

    assphuck Senior Member

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    Bill using two methods - one for your time and one for actual link purchases. Set minimums on both and you are good to go. No promises on being number 1 in Google in x months, etc. and you are fairly compensated for what you do. Fixed monthly pricing is ok, but your clients need to be educated on how their budget directly impacts the results and speed of results. Should your clients want to lower their spending six months down the road, they will fully understand upfront that with a smaller budget you will do less work and acquire fewer links.
     
  7. Adam718

    Adam718 Senior Member

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    If this is one of your first clients, make them happy with pricing and results, because it WILL lead to referrals and more business for you. If you already have a decent portfolio of clients, you can stick to your guns as an experienced SEO expert with plenty of happy clients ;)
     
  8. yinka

    yinka Newbie

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    Price negotiations is a part of business (all business, not just SEO) --- get use to it if you're trying to be a business owner or handle business.

    With that said, I would say stay within your profit margin. If you can lower the price and still profit then do it for the referral benefit. Ask the client for a referral after the 3-4 month period, in exchange for a campaign discount. Next time I'd suggest starting with a higher rate if your target is $500. For example give a price of $750. This will do a few things --- it sets you up as a higher end consultant, it get rid of non-serious prospects, and it gives you larger negotiating room.

    Clients are just people looking for a service, most don't know pricing for SEO and those that do usually have a general idea of what they are willing to pay. Small businesses commonly look for $500-$1K/mo., mid-sized companies usually $1k-$5K/mo. and large brands will pay $5K/mo and up for SEO consulting. Sometimes more, sometimes less. It's all subjective, but you get the general idea.

    Always put yourself in the client shoes, when you look for services (whatever that is, graphic designer, home improvement specialist, lawyer, etc.) you would normally look for a competent service provider who gives you the best rate. Just because the client is looking for deals doesn't make them a difficult customer, it makes them a wise spender. I'm sure you wouldn't spend $500 without understanding everything involved and trying to squeeze the penny if you can. As a business owner you can make the decision not to accept any discounts and just tell the client "NO" --- "No discounts." Although I wouldn't suggest it, but you have every right and the client has every right to look elsewhere.

    Anyway, I found if you spell things out for the client it helps. Example

    Keyword Research: $50
    Google Analytcs Installation & Monitoring: $50
    On Page Optimization: $100
    Social Media Marketing: $100
    Content Marketing: $100
    Natural Link Building: $100

    Then in 3-4 months you can tell her we can subtract the keyword research because you've done that. Cut the Google Analytics cost in half since its now installed and you're just monitoring. Then cut the on page optimization in half since the site is now optimized and you're only optimizing new pages with minor changes to existing pages. And everything else stays the same. So now instead of $500 per month she'll pay $375 per month. Both parties happy, because she's paying less and you still are getting paid for your labor. Since your workload has lessened by this point, it's only right that your pay decrease. Less hours, less pay but more savings for the client. Everybody happy!!
     
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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  9. Ztak07

    Ztak07 Regular Member

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    Nickel and dime back :D