Working as an SEO consultant is not an easy job and you need more than just good SEO knowledge. Good communication skills are the key to success if you you are an SEO consultant. Here are some tips that will help you establish a good and productive working relationship with your clients.
Be honest to them
SEO is a complex topic, so it is pretty easy to not tell the whole truth about things. An SEO consultant should always be honest and, most of all, should be able to say “I don’t know” when he or she just doesn’t know. Never, ever, lie to your clients, even if it hurts you! Your clients will trust you a lot more if they realise that you always tell them the whole truth and that you do not hide things from them.
Manage their expectations
Tell them that SEO is hard work. Don’t try to make it look like magic. Tell them that they will probably not reach the goals they have set for themselves, but that you can lead them on other ways to success. Don’t ever promise them things they can’t achieve. Tell them that you cannot guarantee for anything, because SEO keeps changing and what’s working today might not work tomorrow.
On the other hand, don’t make them more afraid of their SEO future than they have to be. It might be tempting to play with your clients’ fears, but this is not the right way to go either. Just try to find a good mix of realism and pessimism when you talk about future expectations.
While you work for your clients, teach them everything you know about SEO. Don’t be afraid, they won’t fire you once they know how to do it themselves. They will learn to appreciate your work and they will value your opinions that are based on your years of experience. Remember that an SEO consultant can only be as good as his client lets him be, so make sure your clients become good SEOs too.
Make them look good
In most cases, your clients will hire you to improve their own performance and they will also have to report to somebody. Help them shine. Send them slides they can show to their boss to prove they are doing good work. Be a back-up for them in important meetings, when they have to defend their online marketing strategies or present their new ideas. If you receive good feedback for your work, always stress the point that it was a team effort and that your client himself played a major role in achieving success.
Think outside the box
If you are an SEO consultant, you also have at least a basic understanding of paid search, social media, conversion rate optimization, user experience, web analytics, and many more. Don’t keep it to yourself! Your client might need support in one or more of these areas. Keep your eyes open and look out for dangers and potentials. And even if you can’t provide high-level services in any of these areas yourself, you probably know somebody who can! Make sure your client gets the supports he needs in all subdisciplines of online marketing.
Be damn good at what you do
Your clients rely on you. They put a lot of trust in you. They make changes to their websites and online marketing strategies that they might not fully understand or agree with, but they feel that you are leading them the right way. Don’t disappoint them.
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