Online Marketing: My Favourite Clients are Bored and Lazy
Having been on both ends of the freelancer “stick”, as a Professional SEO Service and also as someone looking to gain new clients in my early days as a freelancer, my two most important takeaways for any freelancer in any industry would be this.
Be Totally Transparent
No stock answers, no stock letters and no jargon. Tell your prospect what you can do and be totally honest about what you can’t do. I have had to sack a number of clients in my life and many of those sacking weren’t their fault — they were mine.
I wanted the work and thought I could fudge my way through. I couldn’t and so I had to let them go. It was unsatisfying for me and no doubt annoying to them.
People are not fools, they can smell a half baked apple pie from fifty paces. If your prospect gets even a whiff of dishonesty, they will simply move on to the next freelancer.
One of the ways you can engender trust is to use your real name, a real photograph and market only your real skills.
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” — Albert Einstein
Better to win 5 clients based on your true skill set — no matter how narrow — than to have 10 unhappy customers because you never learned how to say no to an offer.
Always give away a Genuine Industry Secret.
If you are really good at what you do, then don’t worry that it will cost you work. It won’t. It will build trust and authority like nothing else.
I spent a lot of years in the dairy industry milking cows. One of the things that surprised me was that — unlike other cut-throat industries — local farmers would share their best secrets on how to produce better milk, or how to overcome certain cow-related diseases with each other.
They were competing on price at the co-op as farmers, but they felt no need to keep their best farming secrets to themselves. As a result the entire farming community prospered.
I took this attitude in providing expert SEO and Marketing Services and transparent pricing for Mallee Blue Media and it gets noticed. I tell my clients my best web marketing secrets. Apart from anything else, it’s ethical, and in Marketing and Search Engine Optimization, Ethics matters.
Having spoken to other SEO professionals, they quickly notice that I am giving way more value — I am giving them gold — by divulging my best web marketing strategies.
It’s no longer seen as a virtue to be private. Whistle blowers and hackers are hailed as celebrities, and less are being maligned as traitors.
Privacy is on the decline, and transparency is the new virtue du jour.
Do I lose them as a result? Do I become redundant now that I have given them my best tips and tactics? Rarely. The consistent feedback is that I must know what I am talking about and that I can be trusted to do the job well.
Now, in the interests of transparency, let me put that honesty in to practise….
Why do I tell my clients my best tactics and strategies without fear of losing them — even before I have won them over? It’s not just so they will see me as an authority in my industry.
And it’s not because I can’t help myself….
It’s because I’ve noticed that, by and large, most of my best clients are bone lazy. So, even after I tell them exactly what they need to do, they still hire me to do it because they can’t be bothered.