Well, I did…
This month alone I’ve turned down nearly $10k in client work… and I actually feel really good about it.
I’ll tell you why in a second, but first, I want you to understand something…
I’m not telling you this to brag about how I make so much money I can afford to be super picky, take month long vacations and just throw caution to the wind. It’s actually the total opposite! But there’s a good reason I had to say no to several new clients this month.
Actually 3 good reasons:
- I’m honest
- I’m loyal
- I want long term results
Let me explain each of these in a little more detail…
Honesty – I’ve been getting a lot of potential clients coming to me saying they’ve been burned by another SEO that used shady tactics to get short term results… and that they want a guarantee that I can get them their desired results (which is always to rank #1 for a bunch of keywords) within a certain amount of time and they’ll gladly pay my fees.
I’m very honest and up front with these people in that I (even at my level of SEO awesomeness) can NEVER make a guarantee like that. There are just too many variables (one of which is cleaning up someone else’s mess) that can change at any given time and I think any SEO that’s worth a damn would say the same thing.
Of course a lot of the time I DO see the desired results, but I just can’t make that guarantee. I’d rather tell someone this knowing they won’t do business with me than take a risk, and have to resort to some of the old school shady tactics I’ve used in the past to get the results they want (and yes, these shady tactics DO still work – but usually very short term).
Loyalty – One of the choices I made early on was that I wouldn’t take on clients competing in the same geographic area. This isn’t really something I advertise (though now you know) but more of something I do to avoid internal conflict and any potential issues that could arise from it. Truth is, you’d never actually know, as I’m pretty secretive with my clients (which presents a whole ‘nother problem in itself when people ask for client references) but that’s just a choice I make and I hope my clients appreciate that.
So this month I’ve had to turn down a local client because I’m already working with someone else in this area AND someone that thought the fact that I wouldn’t reveal my current list of clients was “borderline deceptive”. If being loyal and protective of my clients is “deceptive” in some way… then color me guilty I guess.
Oh, by the way… if you’re a client, feeling generous and don’t mind people knowing we’ve worked together, feel free to leave me a recommendation on my LinkedIn profile. It’s greatly appreciated.
Long term results – I’ve done some “grey hat” manipulative SEO in the past. Yep, I’ve spammed the shit out of websites to get to the #1 spot for some ultra competitive terms. It still works too. But it’s not a good long term strategy and I literally REFUSE to do it to client sites (regardless of some rumors apparently floating around).
Sure, I still test some of these methods on my own personal sites, because I like to always have a finger on the pulse of what works and what doesn’t. But going back to the honesty thing above… I’d rather turn someone down knowing that they have unreasonable expectations instead of taking their money, using a shady tactic to get the result in the desired time frame and then having their site crash and burn as soon as I stop spamming it to death (or Google slaps it into oblivion, which is WAY more likely).
I like to sleep at night know that the people I help are going to have long term success.
So here’s the deal…
There are a lot of SEO companies out there that are more than willing to give you unreasonable expectations and fill you up with promises they most likely can’t fulfill without “bending the rules” a little. But, if you want to work with someone that knows how to bend the rules, but refuses to do so because they know it’s not the best thing for YOU as a client… you know where to find me.
Oh, you don’t know where to find me? Well, here’s the page: Hire Jeff