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Potential Goldmine Client ~ Could Use Advice

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by ibmethatswhoib, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. ibmethatswhoib

    ibmethatswhoib Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    So I have a potential great client at least for me and could use some advice. To make a long story short, I needed some part-time work went in for a job interview for a regular job at $14/hr. They found out I do SEO and marketing and said the boss was just talking about it. I then had an instant meeting with the owner and this guy was awesome. They're a growing company, starting to have some serious money. They have a couple of offices and are buying up another one. He said they're phone is starting to ring off the hook but they don't have any marketing guys and want to do the internet thing. I talked to him about SEO and marketing and asked what kind of level and amount of work he wanted done, he said full-time and whatever it takes to grow. He wants me to send him an offer.

    I guess I'm a little torn on what to charge him, I don't want to go too high and don't want to short myself. It sounds like they make bank off of clients, I know they're paying $2 a lead through another service and just heard they charged a client 1,200 for a night (services). He wants full blown SEO, Social, PPC and the works and he wants to pay me per month. I'm thinking of giving him a flat number like 3,500/month to start which isn't great for a lot of people but for me that would be good for a solid job, do you think that's short for a full-time SEO marketing gig. I see a lot of potential with this company and want to give him more value and not scare him away with a high number, which is probably just high to me but not a lot to him.

    Any advice from others that have been through this?
     
  2. 7878

    7878 Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Moved to Offline Marketing.
     
  3. Dawgtown

    Dawgtown Junior Member

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    I would take this kind of job if I were you. In the Bay Area (I live in San Jose), there is a ton of hungry competition and an opportunity like this does not come all that often. In the least, the experience can be used to gain future clients should you decide to create an entire marketing firm. This type of client could even offer a recommendation for your future clients in trade for some of your services.

    Of course, that would be if the owner accepts your offer. Don't be afraid to shoot high, especially if you have a good feeling about the guy and the company. Use this as a part of the 'sale' by offering what benefit you can create for their growing business. I would sit down with the owner as soon as possible and also ask questions about what research and budget they have come up with for SEO, Marketing, PPC, etc.

    Good Luck with this!
     
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  4. Scripteen

    Scripteen Elite Member

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    What is the industry/niche? And what was the job you originally applied for? To charge 3.5k/mo do you have a laid out plan of what will you do every month to justify those 3.5k for the client? Or more over, Do you have any idea about the ROI your client gets to his business paying you 3.5k/mo? If you can answer these then you will get the deal.
     
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  5. Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage BANNED BANNED

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    You'll need to figure out what "success" looks like, and set up salary + commission. How are your results going to be measured.

    Also consider that if you are constructing their whole SEO strategy from "0", they will continue to make money off that infrastructure long after you are gone, so that $3,500 may look like peanuts in 2 years. You'll want a contract also, as the value of the business you'll be bringing in. My predecessor billed a very small office $10 K for setting-up a very basic website and doing NO SEO at all, so your $3,500 / month looks like chump-change to me, as you could probably do what he did in about 2 weeks, meaning you'll be doing $10,000 worth of work for $1,750. You need heavy payoff early in the process and a percentage of the business generated later in the process.

    You might set-up a sliding scale, where you get $7,500 the first month and no commission, $5,000 the second with commission, then $2,500, and then some kind of "maintenence" salary and basically be full commission (something small but still significant like say maybe $700 / month, to be "on call" for when the site gets hacked, server goes down, etc....

    Another thing. Don't get wowed by all that owner's charisma. Better he should be an anti-social toad that pays you well, than a movie star with shiny teeth that pays you peanuts.
     
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  6. CEPI

    CEPI Power Member

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    Coming from someone who consults CEOs and other executives let me tell you what he has in his head right now. He is thinking that you came in for a $14/hr job and he is mentally expecting you to do this full-blown internet workload for something similar. Which sucks. If he isn't experienced in how much effort and cost is involved and he thinks you are going to throw it all together for your same $14/hr rate your guys' numbers are going to be far apart in negotiations.

    However, I don't know the full conversation you guys already had but the pricing situation in this one is going to be very difficult to tightrope. A CEOs mind, lets say myself for example I am thinking, "OK if he is so awesome at what he does, why would he be in here for a $14/hr job, on second thought if he IS good and can do a full-blown web package at $14/hr that's a risk worth taking, but if he comes back at a $5K a month salary I will already know I have leverage because he came to this company with a $14/hr job in mind"

    I say all of this with complete respect, and I hope you land him good and hard, but keep in mind, you said they are a growing company and expanding, NOW is the time to "make good" and keep in good graces because you never know how big this company could get, or if future stock options, buyout possibilities, et al could be happening, and you dont want to look back in 3yrs and say, "I really shouldn't have pissed them off with my high quote, I would be banking and managing a web team of 50+ guys"

    Just food for thought.
     
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  7. CoyoteAssassin

    CoyoteAssassin Elite Member

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    Are you confident enough with your skills that you are certain you can make a difference with his online conversions within 90 days or so? If so, make an offer and tell him that it is for 90 days and at the end of that, you both will evaluate the success and adjust the fee accordingly.

    Have you considered making it a percentage/commission based agreement? I've worked with companies that will (literally) land 25k-500k+ jobs simply based on the success I do for them online. Knowing that, I am willing to do the SEO for free as long as I receive a percentage of each job. Needless to say, its a low percentage (1-10).

    The client feels good about this because they are not out money when they do not land jobs and when they do, they have the funds to pay me.

    It's also a plus to not share all of your secrets with them and instead, make them think that SEO is something you can turn off like a switch in the event they decide that they are being very successful and no longer need you.

    Having said all of that, think of a monthly fee and get an idea of what you will provide but try to find out more about the company and talk to him about making it based on commission. Often times those will provide better earnings because it causes you to work harder so that you can earn much more than the 3500.
     
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  8. ExecutiveCloser

    ExecutiveCloser Regular Member

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    TO OP:

    Does he know you were willing to work for $14 an hour? or did that not come up?

    I think you can go for 3500 as long as he is willing to spend that kind of money. You need to have everything drawn out as much as possible pricing wise so that he sees why it costs so much. Just don't give him enough information where he can to do it on his own (or think he can do it on his own). Explain that this will yield high results over time and that once hes there he will likely stay there with little effort.

    Showcase him proven results you have done already. He already wants the service so hes SOLD already. The only thing left is for you to sell yourself.

    Best of luck mate
     
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  9. ibmethatswhoib

    ibmethatswhoib Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Sorry about that.

    Ya thanks, good points. I don't want to pass this up cuz I know the competition, that's why I'm thinking I shouldn't go too high but ya getting his ideas on budgets was my next plan.

    Would rather not give away the niche but yes probably 2 to 3 new clients a month would pay for the 3.5k.

    Those are some great points but he was showing me the previous guy's office they had. He had the chalk board all setup with all these plans on SEO, Social ect and supposedly he just sat in front of the computer and didn't do anything he planned for 6 months. So I think the owner might feel a little burned by the last guy that promised him the world and didn't show any results. So I'm thinking I should go a little lower than higher and gain his trust and move higher from there. The owner actually isn't a guy with great charisma, he's pretty laid back and just wants someone to get him some results online and doesn't seem demanding at all.

    Ya that's exactly what I'm thinking, I did come in for $14/hr but it was plus tips/commission so that gets me a little higher. He also knows I have a couple clients and have a growing but small marketing company. I have a plan and know I can get him results but I think I'll go somewhere in the middle, get him results and go from there because I think there is a lot of opportunity for growth.



    Thanks for all the advice guys, some good things to consider.
     
  10. CEPI

    CEPI Power Member

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    Don't forget to lock him up in long-term deal, good for results proof so he doesn't quit halfway through, and steady income for yourself. ;)

    I'm sure you already thought of it though.
     
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  11. Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage BANNED BANNED

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    If you want to look at this is on-the-job training, a learning experience, and opportunity to develop and prove your SEO skills, than getting paid $14.00 an hour to go to school is a really good deal.

    But that is at the opposite end of the spectrum of a real job, and it's important for you going into the relationship to keep that firmly in mind.
    As a "student", you and your employer can make up any relationship you want, and the ambiguous nature of the learning experiences will always balance off the other side of the equation.
    But never forget that it IS an equation, and there is always a balance.

    Here's some reality:

    $14.00 / hour X 40 hours a week X 4 weeks a month = $2,240 / month, minus 22% for taxes, FICA, etc... = $ 1,750 take home pay.
    Unless he is paying you as a Contractor, in which case you are working for about $8.00 / hour after the smoke clears from paying your taxes and both sides of FICA, etc...

    There are several things about your post that have raised some red flags with me, and it is my hope that you do not have to learn the lessons that I have learned "the hard way" which is almost always money. Mistakes in business are punished as financial losses, and while they are painful they are also "gifts that keep on giving" because actually the best way to learn a lesson from a financial mistake is to have an extremely clear recollection of the pain. If you forget that pain, you risk making the same mistake again.

    So I am divided at this moment in my desire to help you to avoid that pain. The "other side" to the argument is that the earlier that you feel it, the more money you will make later as a result. So with that in mind, here's where I would be if I were presented with your situation as you described it.

    1) Looking for a $14.00 / hour job has forever pigeon-holed you as that level of employee. If the owner makes you feel otherwise (due to his charisma, etc...) well maybe that's how he got rich.
    2) Accepting any kind of job at $14.00 / hour permanently limits your upward mobility. They will ever pay you $30.00 an hour, even if you deserve twice that amount.
    3) There is an "opportunity cost" to taking any kind of job. Once static momentum sits in, you are much less likely to move on and into a better situation. You will have to overcome your own comfort and your own fear in order to do so.
    4) It is always a bad idea to let the failure of someone else's previous relationship form the foundation of the new relationship with that person. You become in extension of that previous individual and they will always treat you as if they are doing you a favor for being there, given what the "other you" did before you got there.
    5) If Mr. Charisma knew so much about business, he would have taken responsibility for the fact that he hired someone to do SEO that did nothing. Where was Mr. Charisma when the "nothing" was happening. It was his responsibility to know what Mr. Previous SEO was (and was not doing), and it sounds to me like he still doesn't take responsibility for being a poor Manager.
    6) It was a bad idea to share any of this with you, as it exposes what I just said, above.
    7) The fact that he DID tell you, says something about him and,
    8) Chances are good he will repeat his mistake(s) again, only this time you will be the one he blames. It's your turn.
    9) And you are volunteering for this.

    People value things based on what they pay for them. If you pay nothing, it's worth nothing. If he pays you little, then that is what you are worth. You name a fair price on the high end, he counters with a fair price on the low end, and you meet in the middle and then you have a relationship based on mutual respect. You grovel and whine for a mediocre job and he'll expect gratitude each time he kicks you. People respect people that name a price and are willing to WALK. People that are willing to WALK over what might be an insignificant difference in price are also willing to WORK once that price has been paid. It has to do with the certainty of your own value, and that I think is your primary problem. If YOU don't know (and you don't for obvious and understandable reasons), then you cannot possibly convince someone else.

    Finally, there is the cost of finding someone else Mr. Charisma finds acceptable. You have a certain level of (for lack of a better word) "desperation", and so does he. It's no accident that the guy that came in to apply to be the assistant chief bottle washer suddenly is escorted under armed guard for an audience with the King. The King is desperate, there is unrest in the forest, there is trouble with the trees. and the timing of your arrival could not have been more fortuitous. You've arrived just in time to save the kingdom, and there is value in that. My point is that "value" in this case means money. The fact that you got out of bed that morning instead of sleeping in means you've already given him value. The fact that you breathe is of value to him. He can call you on the phone any time he wants to, and you'll take that call. That also has value.

    My point, and hopefully you take it in the spirit in which it is delivered, is that you need to KNOW all of this, down to your very marrow, otherwise when the negotiations get tense, you betray your own sense of self-worth and (frequently) not only do you not get the job at a reduced-rate, you don't get the job at all. And (here's the pain part), you've created that dynamic yourself. Or, at least in my case, I created it MY self. Your experiences may be different, but I doubt it. I read a lot of anecdotes from other self-made people, and much of what I've learned the hard way has also been learned by others "the hard way", and again, I'm ambivalent about whether or not it's really a good idea to try to "nudge" you off those catastrophic failures, given the direct financial value those lessons have had in my own life.

    It's late. Gotta run. Good luck.
     
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  12. GuinnessMan

    GuinnessMan Junior Member

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    I totally agree. Looking at the math though, you're not too far apart for negotiations. You came in for a $14 an hour job, which would be, a 40 hours per week for a month = $2240. So, now they're asking you to give them an offer to do something more sophisticated. If the first number that came to mind was $3500 you're basically asking him for the equivalent of almost $22 an hour. That's a total bargain for him and a great learner for you. Not to mention it's not going to take you 40 hours a week to do the work, especially if you outsource.

    Based off of that math and some recommendations in this thread - I would charge him $4800 for the first month ($30/hr to do research and set up) and then drop it to $3500 a month (~$22/hr to maintain and run their campaigns). Make sure to discuss a base hourly rate for bigger new additions - like if they want you to design a Facebook page and an opt-in campaign and run a mailing list - outside of maintaining what you're getting paid monthly to do anyways. Also, and this depends on how good you feel about the relationship, you should work on 3 month (6 month is better) contracts. So you always know you're taken care of.

    Oh yeah... don't go out immediately and get more clients. Spend some time and learn how to work with one client that likes you before you go find other clients with different personalities. The service will show as you build a business rapport with them.
     
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  13. GuinnessMan

    GuinnessMan Junior Member

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    I agree with everything you said but this point...but I get the cynicism. I read once that you should never ask for a raise because you need it, but because you deserve it. Maybe that's sound advice to color how the first meeting should go, but it's also sound advice to get good and dedicated to what you do. The last job I had I started at $13/hour and within 3 years I was at just under $50 an hour. I guess there is a psychological aspect to it as well.

    If you know you're worth it it's easier to get in and sell it at the higher rate. You should check out the epic 7878 thread. Toward the end of the thread (I think it was part 3) he talks about some of the signs to look for in a negotiation. (Whether your number is too high or too low)
     
  14. Spawn

    Spawn Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    good ideas, subscribed
     
  15. pirondi

    pirondi Power Member

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    If you are good i would try to go to as low as i could,and would say that the raise of my salary will be on the results from the company gets.

    If you offer a too cheap price to a major company they probably would not hire you because you are cheap and they want someone good and with experience,and if you offer too much,they would prefer to pay this amount to a experienced company.

    If you are good and the company has budjet,in short time you can be receiving a good salary.
     
  16. Dropdown

    Dropdown Regular Member

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    I'm interested to know how you would track the amount of customers/revenue the company has gotten from your SEO and such, what kind of tools did you use for this?

    TO OP: Take the job, but make sure you show him the ROI first. Show him the amount of searches, show him what kind of results companies usually get, etc. Get him interested, show him he can make lots of money from SEO and PPC. If you do it right, that 3500/month job can turn into something much bigger. If I were you I'd start with just SEO, to show him you can get him results. Ask 3500/ month for that, and start upselling afterwards. If you show them you can give them extra business from SEO, then hell they'll be interested in PPC and all that other kinds of business.
     
  17. jibjabber

    jibjabber Newbie

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    I think this coupled with what CEPI makes a lot of sense. Your $3100/month is about $10,000 more per year than $14/hr assuming 40hrs/week for 50 weeks a year. That said, you're also offering a much more valuable service, so I don't think the price is unreasonable. Just be prepared to be negotiated down.

    That's where the 90 day review comes in. Figure out a nice month and/or incentive/bonus structure that you'd like and get it in writing. I made the mistake of taking a $40k/yr job with a "3 month review" that never happened. Ended up leaving after a year because I was losing money working for him instead of for myself.
     
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  18. azizsalim

    azizsalim BANNED BANNED

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    I guess, offline marketing has potential for build strong business in market, I need to get start but don't know exactly where to start & how to start. Is there anyone who can give me some tips !!