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Old 05-22-2007   #1
dbarkett
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New Client Checklist

Hello gang!

Does anyone care to share their checklist they use when signing up a new client? By this I mean, we each need a specific set of information from a client when we've sold them on our services. What information do you feel is vital to starting off your SEO campaign? What should a good SEO'er know before starting out? And how do you determine when a client might not be worth the effort involved?

Thanks everyone in advance! The advice and opinions in this forum have been quite insightful and helpful.

D. Barkett
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Old 05-24-2007   #2
weslinda
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Depends on the job quoted...

well, I don't think there is any short list on this, however I think that you as an SEO should have a very good idea of what the project is, and have it scoped out well before a contract is signed.

if you do your due diligence up front, then you won't run into many "worthless" clients...

basically, sit down when putting together the quote and walk through what the clients expectations are, what your abilities are, and see how well those match up. if your client expects more than you can deliver, you are in trouble out of the gate.
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Old 05-24-2007   #3
dbarkett
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matching abilities to expectations

I like what you said about matching one's abilities to a client's expectations. Starting out I simply wanted to get any client I could. Now I'm becoming painfully aware that some clients will be more trouble than they are worth...

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Old 05-24-2007   #4
weslinda
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Quote for leeway...

The big key, especially for those just starting out is don't underquote. Don't feel like you have to chince yourself just to get any client. But don't sign a contract you can't deliver on either. There is no quicker way to go under than to perform less than effective work and get a bad reputation in your market.
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Old 05-24-2007   #5
caugas
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dbarkett, hey I went to UNCA, and live in Asheville for 3 years, I loved it!
However, I never imagined any emarketing gigs down there, accept for freelance work, and I know there are a ton of small companies down there that are inching to get on the web, or at least optimize further. Good luck.

My only advice would be make sure the client understands that SEO's are not Miracles workers, weslinda talk about expectations, and that is right on point, but even if you are a great SEO, the client needs to have sturdy content, SEO without good content is moot! IMO.

Expectations - SEO work? Press? In Bound links? Code? Copy? What does the client have to work with, by listening to their needs, and then research where they presently stand, will best be able you to position your services, benchmarks, hurdles, and possible shortfalls. I hope this helps.

Last edited by caugas : 05-24-2007 at 02:11 PM. Reason: edit
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Old 05-29-2007   #6
dbarkett
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new client's expectations

You're right in that Asheville's got mostly freelance gigs, but where I'm at right now, that's perfect. I teach middle school Language Arts and service my clients when I get home from school so I don't have huge amounts of time to devote to major clients. The handfull I've got right now keep me plenty busy. I'm just looking forward to the summer so I can grow my business. Then maybe I'll be able to SEO full time...

Two clients I have are total opposites in their SEO knowledge and expectations. One has done quite a bit of SEO on his own site and is happy that I can take his SEO efforts to a deeper level. He understands the turnaround time and is very appreciative of my efforts. The other knew very little about SEO, wanted everything to happen today, and didn't want to wait to see results. As my understanding of the sales aspects of SEO grows, I am becoming better able to predict future trouble spots from potential clients.

I've received a good bit of business from web designers. Has anyone else utilized partnerships with designers? Any potential problems with these sorts of partnerships?

D. Barkett
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Old 05-29-2007   #7
weslinda
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Get Expectations In Writing

My #1 thing when doing outsourced work is to make sure you get all expectations in writing, this saves a lot of headaches in the long run.
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Old 05-29-2007   #8
BlackMax
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It's also important, especially if you're working in partnership with a web design firm, that you either sign a contract with them and/or the client that they will not do things to their website without informing you of them.
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