Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Why "FREE" works for you and not for me...

In the space of 5 years I have found that the SEO industry seems to be different to a lot of other businesses and industries that are out there.

I'll give you an example.

I was asked recently to visit a prospective new client to discuss an internet marketing strategy with them. It was not a fact find nor was it for me to find out about their actual business, it was a call for me to go and specifically help them put together a strategy for them to achieve higher levels of traffic on their website.

Now in my book that's called consultancy and is a chargable service.

In the clients view they wanted me to "spill the beans" on SEO/SEM on a potentially false promise of doing further work for them down the line. They did not seem to understand that my time, knowledge and skill has a value and rejected my request that I would charge (at a competitive rate) whilst on site with them. The prospective client called off the meeting, which suited me anyway due to the current workload I am under.

Now this is where I find it strange. I know people are curious and want to know about SEO but I do not go out handing out my knowledge on a free dinner plate to just about everybody. You might, but I do not as historically it does not lead to work and people think because its "free" something is being held back.

The Internet is there for those who want to know about SEO for free, not me. Google does a great job and even I have page on how to get listed in Google's SERPS - so do me a favour and go look there.

And yet I thought if I wanted someone to carry out a building job for me I wouldn't have them over on the pretext of "finding out more about them" only for me to then drop it on them and ask "how to carry out the building work" in great detail over the course of at least a few hours. I'd just ask for previous examples of previous work, experience in the field (in years), costs, timeframe, brief plan of what they think they need to do to check their competence etc... and this would be just the same if I went to see a heart surgeon - I'd ask them what would be done (and, er, survival rates!), not exactly how in detail they would do it. And in both cases I would not expect a detailed answer from either the builder or the surgeon, I'd just let them get on with the job.

Thankfully someone at the end of last week called from London and did get it that I am entitled to fairly charge for my web marketing services and consultation time. For the price they will get me on-site for the day taking them through their website, page by page, in detail on what is required and the tools for them to use to help achieve higher rankings specifically on Google.

So free web marketing may work for you but it definitely does not for me and I intend to keep it that way and actually bring added value to a website.

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