Stand back, please form an orderly queue. I have recently put myself back on the market. Similar to dating, the early stages of client relationships are filled with wooing, excitement and so many enthusiastic nods of approval that your neck hurts. BUT just like love, it is hard to find that special person. Along the way you have to face some challenging and unsavoury matches, but just like relationships they equip you to deal with the next one better. I’m sure many of you have encountered clients that are unreasonable, over demanding or used to inhabit caves and are unaware of the internet and any new forms of marketing post 1960. Dating, just like client relationships can be overwhelming. Over time, character traits, which were originally blurred by the excitement and eagerness to begin courting, start to become more visible…. See if you recognise any of traits below: Interference from Outside: Other people interfering are one of the biggest causes of turbulence in your relationship. Design or branding agencies begin to tarnish and dilute your efforts. The client feels it is better to go with page elements such as flash because it looks pretty rather than have room for content. Laid Back: They take forever to reply to messages and proposals (which are seasonal and time restrictive). Sometimes you don’t hear from them for so long you wonder if you have broken up. Moving too fast: The client wants things too quickly. They want results and they want them now. Even when you have explained the competitive nature of the keywords they are targeting. Clingy: The client needs your reassurance and attention ALL the time. Even though within the cost estimate it clearly stated that you would assign 4 days a month to them they continue to contact you via email, work phone and mobile. The Split Personality: Clients say they understand and you have spent a vast amount of time educating them on the best practises of SEO and the benefits. You then wake up one morning to see they have redesigned the site in Flash – “Sorry, was we suppose to involve you in that?” Stalker: They call you on weekends or follow you to work by interfering with your title tags, adding new groups to PPC campaigns, and rewriting your recommended copy. All suggestions which they think would be good but would really set you back half a day by correcting them. And finally… Meeting the Parents: Annual or quarterly board meetings feel like dinner with your girlfriends parents. You feel like you have to justify why you are in a relationship and why you are good enough for their baby. I would love to hear any real life success stories and whether you are still together? Or any bitter break ups? Air your dairy laundry here! *Credit and acknowledgement goes to www.cartoonstock.com for the reproduction of an image.
Sam Murray graduated from University with a BA (Hons) in Marketing in 2007 and wrote his 10,000 word dissertation on Search Marketing. Sam is a freelance search manager.
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