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We've probably all had good clients and bad ones, clients we love working with and others that we didn't. Let's talk about the good ones. In this week's "Discussion of the Week," share the trait or traits that make a client great to work with.
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from JulieJoyce 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I just posted about this actually...the number one thing that makes a great client for me is niceness. I can tolerate most things but I cannot tolerate a rude, disrespectful client. I currently deal with someone who is NOT a client but did come to me for services, and it didn't happen but I continue to go above and beyond for him because he makes me realize why I love this industry. He asks me fantastic questions that have actually caused me to implement a few new strategies in my office, and most of all, he is just a nice, nice guy.



Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 1

For me, the main thing I look for is commitment. If the client is really committed to what needs to be done, I don't mind if s/he's totally green about online marketing, doesn't have a lot of time, doesn't have a ton of money -- whatever. If we come up with a plan and the client knows what s/he needs to do and is committed to getting it done, that means the world to me.

The clients that are gung-ho one week then unavailable or disinterested the next week ... I find that very frustrating. And if I sense a lack of commitment during the pre-contract stages, I won't even bother going further.



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from incrediblehelp 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 0

One word, ACTION.  Taking action on your SEO recommendations and implementing quickly and accurately is the best feeling in the world.



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from nickfb76 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I agree with Julie 100%.  In addition, a client that will act upon your suggestions ranks extremely high for me.  I have had too many people sign up for a service and assume that top rankings occur just by writing a check.  I realize a budget is always in the back of the mind but you need to realise that most SEO's don't make suggestions unless they think it will help you in the long run.



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from hugoguzman 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 0

For me, a good client is an educated client.

The more the client knows about what it takes to succeed (regardless of the marketing channel) the more of a facilitator that client becomes.

More specifically, a client that understands how important timely implementation is as well as grasping what is and isn't realistic in terms of realizing positive ROI.

Without those two things, problems are bound to manifest themselves quickly and often.



Avatar Moderator
from JulieJoyce 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I'd like to add that a great client is also someone who triggers you to think differently and make what you do for all your clients even better.



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from Jill 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I absolutely loved Julie's article on the topic (which is here by the way:

How To Sell Yourself As A Client I don't have much to add beyond that.  In fact, I am wondering if one of the client's Julie mentioned is one that also worked with me! :)

Avatar Moderator
from toddmintz 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 2

All the above is true of course, but I'll add the following:

PAYING INVOICES IN FULL ON TIME!!!!!

Clients who don't treat their financial obligations to you like the phone bill / power bill etc. aren't worth dealing with.

After all, you're making them money...they should pay you promptly with some of what you made for them.



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from DrPete 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This is tied a bit to Matt's comments on commitment, but for me it's buy-in. I'm amazed how many clients seem to want to prove something that they paid for doesn't work, just to be right - not just SEO, but even usability and testing. If you want to shoot yourself in the foot to prove your gun works, be my guest. I'll be working with people who believe that what I do is actually worth doing.



Avatar Moderator
from Realicity 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Here are some of the attributes that I appreciate in Great Clients:

  • A desire and commitment to reach and receive great results.
  • Showing enough trust to listen to professional advice.
  • Providing feedback on said advice so that conversations are never one sided.
  • Providing appreciation for positive results.  (also see toddMintz comment above)
  • Holding search marketing accountable while still showing flexibility when unanticipated situations arise.
  • Making sure that internal resources are provided as initially commited.

  • Bonus - Understanding that budget and commitment can and usually does play a role in campaign progress.


Avatar Moderator
from ajkohn2001 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Resources.

Clients that have the resources to follow-through and implement SEO recommendations are at the top of my list. Those resources can be dollars (getting paid is always nice) as well as people (those who can implement various strategies from technical to on-site tactics) and even power (the ability to get SEO prioritized on the roadmap.)

It can be frustrating to find a client who doesn't have engineering resources to implement at all, or a client who can only implement a fraction of what you recommend.




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from JimSpencer 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 0

So much has been covered already.  Trying not to repeat, I add the following:


1) Clients that refer you to client's like them (more good clients)

2) Trust - Clients that ask for services without shopping around for 6 quotes and then beating you with them. I have this one client that I love. He just makes his requests and pays his bills. Never asks for a quote. But, he's been a client for 4+ years. That's the gift that keeps on giving.

3) Projects where everyone clearly sees a difference and correctly attributes it to the project. Celebrations are fine too. ;-)

4) Talk and Listen. It's awesome when a client knows what they want. Also aweseom when they can be taught that they have in backwards and proceed accordingly.

5) Clients that don't refuse a proposal, but instead tell you what they can do and requests an appropriat revision of the proposal, that will be signed.



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from clavoie 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 2

My favorite clients are those who recognize that when they hire us for Internet Marketing, they are signing up for a partnership.  They are active participants, share their marketing ideas and brainstorm openly with us, respond to our information requests, actively discuss results & next steps, and are open to trying new approaches.  In short, they understand that Internet Marketing is, first and foremost, MARKETING, and we can't do it without their active involvement. It often takes constant prodding from us to get there with clients, but the ones who understand this instinctively...gotta love 'em!



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from RaeAlton 1426 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It sounds like trust is a common issue! When a client shrugs off all input, who gets the blame for their failed campaign? Although it's not nearly as interesting, it feels like a thunderstorm or a racy scene in a horror movie: things are about to go downhill very quickly and you're powerless to do anything but watch it happen from the audience.

To a link builder though, and not a whiny one, a good client requests reasonable keywords. How can anyone write a link for licorice strawberry affordable? I dare you to make that work in a sentence! Keywords can tell a lot about a client's grasp on link profiles which in turn indicates how the rest of their campaign will be for you. Also from a link building perspective, a good client has resources (as AJ mentioned) that allow you to do more for site owners who have been so kind as to host a link, such as product in lieu of compensation. Namely licorice.



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from junosama 1425 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think it's important for a client to understand how SEO works and that it is longterm. It's also important for me that a client gives me the tools I need to get things done quickly.



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from SEOAhmed 1425 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Excellent points,

As clavoie and incrediblehelp mentioned, Clients that participate and take action and share ideas are great to work with. Although many of us have worked in the industry for many years, there is much to learn and sometimes discussing SEO with a client gives you ideas for new techniques and processes. And like many have mentioned, a client that implements our suggestions quickly also win a few bonus points in my book :P



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