In the marketing world and certainly in the SEO world, it can be an obscure concept to state that there are some clients that you need to toss back. If you remember back in college, we all learned that every client is important as they can lead to another client and another connection and so on and so forth. While many of the clients that you have might harp back to you that the customer is always right, spending enough time working in this industry will make you realise that some of clients are just not worth fighting for.
SEO is at it’s core a service industry. We all know that there is marketing and technical aspects of it but at the base of it, it is a people industry. While that frightens away a lot of people to SEO, that is actually why I got into it in the first place. I like the give and take, the fight to get that connection, and the relationship that results because of it. you could say I like a good struggle but honestly, don’t we all in the SEO world? We are the types of people that can work without that steady normal life because we like living on the edge. There are a lot of benefits to doing so but there are also a lot of problems.
We have all had that client. The over demanding, forceful, prima donna of a client that demands everything from you. Whether it be the individual that times exactly when they need to pop to the front page or the demanding of content, you know the type. They might be the ego maniac person, always trying to impress you with their knowledge and cutting you off mid sentence because they know what is best (of course, they don’t work in SEO but that’s beside the point to them). Or perhaps they are the micro managing type that always calls. You could set a watch to when they are wanting an update or a report back or what is going on with my site as they call many times a day. They could know exactly what it is that they want and be telling you what to do at every step of the way. While not always a bad thing, they don’t work in the industry so what they want and what is possible is not always the same thing. Then there is always the negotiator. They always want things for free because they feel that they deserve it or that what you are charging doesn’t make any sense for what they are getting. Haggling is an art for them and they are certain that they can make a better deal with you even after signing documents.
How you deal with these types of clients and how much you are willing to put up with is totally based out what you think as a company. Personally, if I have a client that calls me several times a day, demands a lot of my time, and yet, doesn’t pay that much, I see no reason that I need to be the one to continue that relationship. And there are many other people that will jump on those clients and be willing to deal with them.
Truth is, there are a lot of SEO companies out there. If you want to be the type that gets bossed around by clients, I personally think that you should make it worth your while. Keep in mind that a client that seems to be bossy or seems to be micro managing you might be the type that just doesn’t understand. Try reasoning and explaining to them the terms that were agreed upon before giving up on them. An ego maniac or over exaggerator honestly might just have low self confidence in their work. Ironically, though they feel the need to boast to another person, know that it might be because they are over compensating for what they think is their lack of ability. You can easily put some confidence in them. If you have someone constantly telling you what to do, make sure that they understand that they are requesting your expertise and that you know what you are doing.
Above all, know that if you make the decision to keep a bad client you will wind up paying for it more then just in time and money. Taking a bad deal means that in the long run you will be put through the wringer trying to please someone and feel in a way in debt to them because they are your client. Constantly feeling like you are in debt to someone and feeling like you need to do more for an individual just because they are your client will leave you feeling exhausted emotionally and physically.
There is no need to kill yourself and lose the passion that you have for the SEO industry over one person or a small handful of clients. Sometimes getting rid of what is negative can bring you a lot of clients and by taking the cream of the crop, your business all together will improve. Not that you shouldn’t try to please all your clients but remember that there is a price to pay outside of money and you need to please yourself as well to maintain that ever important balance.