Fair warning, this post may come off as a bit of rant. However, all of these tips stem from real experiences I’ve had with real potential SEO clients (usually with more than one).

There are a lot of blog posts out there about how to hire an SEO firm (I freely admit that I have written some tips myself!), but most of them deal with what a potential SEO client should be looking for in an SEO provider. I decided it was time to take a different approach and instead and am focusing on what potential SEO clients should be doing (or not doing) during the hiring process.

Here goes nothing!

Dear potential SEO clients, please don’t send a 50 page RFP and expect a small to medium SEO firm to reply. Be realistic with your RFPs. An SEO company like mine doesn’t have the time or energy to tackle a document that big. If you really want that form filled out, you should probably focus on large, national agencies.

Dear potential SEO clients, please don’t
schedule 5 calls with me and then just vanish. My time is just as valuable as yours. If you’re serious about hiring an SEO firm, don’t string us along! I won’t be offended if you decided not to hire us, but please let me know.

Dear potential SEO clients, please don’t
blow me off when we have a scheduled meeting. Life happens, I completely understand. Sometimes you can’t make it to a scheduled phone call and it’s out of your hands; just shoot me an email and give me the heads up. I’ve reorganized my day to make time for our call, so please don’t leave me hanging with no warning.

Dear potential SEO clients, please don’t call if you aren’t looking to hire. I can appreciate that you’re shopping around, but please don’t waste my time or yours if you aren’t serious about hiring an SEO agency.

Dear potential SEO clients, please don’t call ask for client references, to call some of our existing SEO clients, waste their time and never get back to us again. This is not a good use of anyone’s precious time!

Dear potential SEO clients, please don’t forget that I’m here to help you! You should enter into a contract with your SEO provider like you would with any other partner. I promise to treat you with the utmost respect and to provide the best customer service I can. I hope you will try to do the same.

Dear potential SEO clients, please don’t turn crazy on me. We can fire you too. :)

I think you could substitute “SEO” for any other service based industry and a lot of these guidelines would still apply. I know that every industry has their fair share of not-so-pleasant clients.

I would love to hear from other SEO providers about their experiences with trying to land a client. Do you have any horror stories you’d like to share or do think I’ve just had a string of bad luck?