Stop Giving Fucking Discounts for SEO

I want to talk quickly about discounts and why they suck.

It can be really, really easy in this business, to have a client persuade you to give them a discount.

  • “Oh, come on John. Surely it won’t take too long.”
  • “John, this is only a five minute job. Can’t you do this a little cheaper for me?”
  • “John, I’ve been with you now for five years. Can’t you give me some sort of discount?”

Fuck that. Don’t ever give anyone discounts.

I don’t care if its for your mother. No discounts. Ever.

Figure out what your rates are and fucking stick with them and don’t let anyone try and persuade you into giving them a discount.

Use the Jedi mind trick – it works every time

It’s interesting, I often use what I call the reverse Jedi Mind Trick. Want an example?

Electrician – “John, c’mon mate, can’t you just get me some sort of discount? This is twice as much as I wanted to pay. Can’t you help me out?”
Me – “If I asked you to come and install some lighting at my house, and you quoted me $2,000 and I asked you to do it for $500, what would you say?”
Electrician – “I’d tell you to fuck off”
Me – “Exactly”

Solicitor – “John, I don’t understand why this is so expensive, surely this only takes a few minutes?”
Me – “Give me an example of something it is that you do”
Solicitor – “Business liability insurance”
Me – “Okay, and how much does that cost?”
Solicitor – “It costs $3,000”
Me – “Really, why is it so expensive, surely that is relatively straight forward?”
Solicitor – “But its a lot of work and it needs to be right”
Me – “Exactly”

I could seriously go on and on using different types of clients as an example, but you get my point.

The minute you reverse it back onto them, is the minute they realise just how rude they’re being.

For some reason, business owners have this mentality that what we do in the online marketing space, whether it’s web design or SEO or graphic design or video marketing – whatever it might be, that it’s fucking easy. It’s simple. Anyone can do it, and everything only takes “5 fucking minutes”.

“How hard can it be? All they do is sit in front of a computer and click a few buttons”.

Get lost.

The work is always usually, relatively complicated and very fucking time consuming.

When a business owner asks you for a discount, just be firm. Be firm and remind them and say, “Listen, I can either do this properly at the price I’ve just quoted you, or you can find someone else to work with”.

Simple.

Don’t ever feel pressured into giving some kind of bullshit discount.

Occasionally, even I still get it wrong

I also want to point out that just recently, even at my level, having worked in this space for as long as I have (and I’ve been running my business for quite a long period of time now) I had a business owner that’s been with me now for three and a half years ask, “John, listen. I’m under the pump here. I really need to push this through quickly. Can you prioritise this, but reduce the cost somehow?”

I agreed to it, then reduced my initial quote by 30% then ended up instantly regretting it.

As it turned out, the job ended up taking a week and a half instead of just two days. So I ended up sitting here having to not only do all the work, but also having to deal with an extremely tight deadline, push all my other work aside, and deal with angry emails. “How much longer?”, “Can you please do this?” “Oh there’s something else I need”.

It was bullshit.

I also recently called one of my coaching clients as he was about to land one of his first gigs, and I asked, “Dude, did you get the job?” He said, “Yes. I got the job but I offered a discount because they’re going to send me referrals.”

Big mistake.

This in itself is a huge problem because firstly, you’re giving discounts with the hope that you might get some referrals which is nonsense, and secondly, you’re just encouraging that “discount bin” mindset.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with rewarding a client in exchange for referrals. I do it all the time, but I only do it once I’ve closed the lead and been paid.

In other words, I’ve spoken with the referral, they’ve accepted, I’ve sent them an invoice and they’ve paid it.

Giving discounts upfront in the hope that you’re going to get more work out of them is just asking for fucking trouble. Instead of that I go back to the client and say, “Listen, thanks so much for the referral. I really appreciate. I can offer you one of two things –

  • I can either pay you for the referral (and for that, I usually pay 10%. So if it’s a $2,000 a month client, I pay them $200 and that’s it), OR
  • I can give you some free credit to use towards your own campaign

100% of the time, clients will always take the free time.

So there’s no loss, no huge discounts or any other bullshit.

All it comes down to is negotiating the a few extra hours that you have to spend on a clients campaign – and of course you can have your staff perform this work at a standard hourly rate ($30 or so)

What you need to remember is that at the end of the day, it costs money to get leads. If I can cut that cost and just spend an hour or two of my time, doing a little bit of extra work as thanks for the client, for sending the referral, then I’m all for it. Clients appreciate it and its mutually beneficial.

In summary

I want to say this again, and I stress this big time because I see this nonsense going on everywhere, (not just in the SEO space but also the web design space). “I decided to give old mate a discount. I really should have quoted $8,000 for the job but he couldn’t afford it – so I’m going to do it for $1,000.”

This is just absolute fucking nonsense.

Make sure that you quote hard. If anything, you should be over quoting so you’ve got some wiggle room incase things take longer, or there’s scope creep or stupid change requests – which lets face it, always tend to happen, even with SEO.

Stay firm with your fucking quotes. If a client can’t afford your rates, then that’s their problem, not yours.

Want to work with me and start your own SEO business?

Great, get in touch and lets jump on a Skype call and have a chat. I look forward to hearing from you.

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