If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about working in the SEO industry, (and this probably applies to the online marketing space in general), it’s this –
It can be incredibly frustrating trying to help clients that don’t understand the basic fundamentals of technology.
For example –
- Most clients have no idea what a domain registrar is
- Some clients don’t understand the difference between a domain name and an email address
- Some clients don’t even have their fucking domain name registered in their own name
- Most clients don’t understand that hosting and domain registration are two different things.
- And on and on and fucking on
Now, when you take this lack of understanding about technology and how it all works and what it means, and you tie that in with the fact that most clients are completely disorganised and have shit spread around all over the place you’ll often find yourself wasting an enormous amount of time, buried in their problems.
They’ll have 6 websites all hosted across different hosts. 10 domain names all at different registrars, email accounts all over the place, and fuck knows what else going on. In addition to that, they’ll have absolutely no idea what any of their fucking logins are.
This is where you can find yourself going back and forth via email with a client who just keeps dumping shit in your lap, and asking stupid shit like –
- “John, is this it? Is this what you need?”
- “I don’t know what you mean by domain registrar?”
- “I don’t know where my domain is registered”
- “I don’t have the logins for that”
- “My domain name is hosted with Godaddy”
- “All this technical stuff is beyond me”
I mean, fuck. If you don’t know what the fuck you’ve done up until this point, how the fuck am I supposed to know?
It’s incredibly frustrating, and you can waste an enormous amount of time going back and forth with this sort of bullshit.
How to get it under control
Now, there’s a couple of things that you need to be mindful of here.
Firstly, you’ve got to get this shit sorted right away. The first thing you’ve got to do when you start dealing with a client, whether you’re working in the SEO space or as a freelance web designer – you’ve got to get fucking logins early on in the process. Because if you don’t, you’ll find yourself going back and forth via fucking emails, and this can just waste so much time.
So what I do, I use a password inventory, and it’s a simple document in Word that I send to the client, and I say, “Listen, fill this fucking thing out, put in all of the logins that I’ve requested, along with any additional logins that I might fucking need.”
Now, there’s something you have to stress here, you have to stress, in the email when you attach it and you send this document, you’ve got to say, “Make sure that you double check these fucking logins before you fill this thing out and send it back to me.” Because in most cases, again, clients won’t have a fucking clue what they’re doing and they’ll just fill it out with whatever, send it back to you, and then you’ll end up going back and forth in fucking circles again because the logins don’t work.
So you’ve got to send them that password inventory, and you’ve got to make it clear – make sure you double check this shit, make sure you check these logins first to make sure they actually work, and most importantly of all, don’t be sending me fucking 85 emails full of confusing information in them. Put all the account information I’ve requested in this document, then send the document back to me – in one email.
So that’s the first thing you’ve got to do. Get user account information early on in the process, not when you’re up to your armpits in alligators 3 months into a campaign and you’re struggling to figure out what the fuck is going on, because there’s some weird server conifiguration or setting somewhere that’s screwing everything up.
Knowing what you DON’T fucking do
Now, secondly, you’ve got to remember why you’ve been hired in the first place. You’ve been hired to help with SEO. Not everything else.
You’ve got to know what you DO and what you don’t fucking do.
- “John, can you please setup our server” – NO
- “John, can you please setup our staff email accounts” – NO
- “John, would you mind contacting our hosting provider and working with them to sort this issue out?” – NO
- “John, is there any chance you could see why our email server keeps timing out?” – NO
It might seem easy at first to just take care of this stuff quickly, but it’s never quick. You’ll end up going down a fucking rabbit hole and wasting an enormous amount of time mucking around with bullshit you shouldn’t even be involved with.
If you’re not careful, you’re going to be sitting there doing a whole heap of shit that’s not even relevant to the fucking service that you’re providing. And that’s not cool for a number of reasons.
Firstly, you’re going to end up on a call with a client, and they’re going to be saying, “John, we’ve been at this for 6 months now, and we’re not getting any calls.”
Well, it’s no fucking wonder why, when I’ve been sitting here doing all this IT shit.
And secondly, it’s going to chew into time that should be spent working on other, more important stuff – like other campaigns. You don’t want to be sending emails to clients saying “Sorry Bob, Im behind with your work because I got buried in another problem that held me up for a week”.
Bob’s going to be pissed.
So be very clear about what it is that you do, but more importantly, be really clear about what you don’t do.
You’ve got to be upfront and clear and fucking direct with clients when you first start out, because clients will just immediately assume that because you know something about technology that suddenly you’re their “IT support team”. I make it very fucking clear at the beginning of the campaign, before I’ve even sign the client up, “Hey, I do SEO. You’ve hired me to help you get customers through search. I’m not here to do fucking IT support or any of this other nonsense.”
So you’ve got to make that clear right at the fucking start. Otherwise, you’re going to sitting there til 2:00 in the morning mucking around neck deep in shit that you shouldn’t be.
So in summary here’s a few keynotes
- Make it clear before you start working with the client what you do and don’t do
- Get all usernames and passwords ahead of time
- Don’t be afraid to say no.
Just one thing here – if a client is desperate and they need help with something, then do your bit to help. Even if that means saying “Listen Kate, this isn’t really my thing, but here’s a number. Give these guys a call they can help you”
Want to work with me?
Give me a call, and let’s talk about how you can get out of that shitty job you’re in.
PS – Don’t forget to share this post on social media, so people can send me abusive emails and what not.