How to Be a Great Client

Filed in Featured, Small Biz Marketing by Matt McGee on January 30, 2011 6 Comments

two-togetherSmall business owners: You want/need to find a great marketing consultant. You interview several people/companies and choose the one that best fits your needs. But finding a great advisor is only half of the equation. The other half? You need to be a great client, too — someone that consultants want to work with, want to move mountains for, and want to have fun in the process.

There was a great discussion on Sphinn this week about what makes a great client, with 12 contributions from successful online marketers around the world. Here’s what they said:

Traits of a Great Marketing Client

  1. Niceness. Says Julie Joyce: “I can tolerate most things but I cannot tolerate a rude, disrespectful client.”
  2. Commitment. This was my contribution. I wrote about this some time ago on this very blog.
  3. Action. Says Jaan Kanellis: “Taking action on your SEO recommendations and implementing quickly and accurately is the best feeling in the world.”
  4. Education. Says Hugo Guzman: “The more the client knows about what it takes to succeed (regardless of the marketing channel) the more of a facilitator that client becomes.”
  5. Paying on time. Says Todd Mintz: “Clients who don’t treat their financial obligations to you like the phone bill / power bill etc. aren’t worth dealing with.”
  6. Buy-in. Says Pete Meyers: “If you want to shoot yourself in the foot to prove your gun works, be my guest. I’ll be working with people who believe that what I do is actually worth doing.”
  7. Trust. Among several other things, James Svoboda says, “Showing enough trust to listen to professional advice.”
  8. Resources. Says AJ Kohn: “It can be frustrating to find a client who doesn’t have engineering resources to implement at all, or a client who can only implement a fraction of what you recommend.”
  9. Talk and listen. Says Jim Spencer: “It’s awesome when a client knows what they want. Also awesome when they can be taught that they have it backwards and proceed accordingly.”
  10. Partnership. Says Cindy Lavoie: “They are active participants, share their marketing ideas and brainstorm openly with us, respond to our information requests, actively discuss results & next steps, and are open to trying new approaches.”
  11. Reasonable. Says Rae Alton: “…a good client requests reasonable keywords. How can anyone write a link for licorice strawberry affordable? I dare you to make that work in a sentence!”
  12. Patience. Says Juno Sama: “I think it’s important for a client to understand how SEO works and that it is longterm.”

That’s a pretty good list right there, and you really should read the whole thread because there are additional commenters emphasizing certain points.

Comments (6)

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  1. I keep trying to write my version of this very post…

    So true and don’t you just love it when so many smart arses say “…I heard that….” and so on


  2. Dan says:

    I think you’ve written what many of us think and feel many times. I would have to put 2, 3, 10 12 as my top hitters.


  3. Rae Alton says:

    Thanks for quoting! It’s a great article and so true… the more truth we publish about realistic, day-to-day SEO, the more our clients will understand the hard work we do for their benefit. Especially the Mom & Pop shops venturing online, because they have a lot more heart invested and entrusted to us.

  4. Kris says:

    I’m tempted to send this to a client right now taking aim at his foot, but I think I’ll just let it go.
    We are having a failure on #9 which is leading to a misunderstanding on #12. But he is making good on #5, so that kinda makes up for it 😉

  5. Joshua Chan says:

    If only it was as easy as passing this list onto clients!

    #12 is a huge one for web and SEO industry, need a lot more understanding from the general public before most potential clients will understand i think.

    Great read, much appreciated.

  6. Jason says:

    Patience is key, since many of us know that results can take a little time. That also ties into the commitment one as well.

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