Boost Your Business!

How To Keep Clients (and keep them coming back for more)
Webinar Transcript & Video

For your convenience, we transcribed our Boost Your Business: How To Keep Clients (and keep them coming back for more) webinar below.

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Webinar Transcript

[Downloadable version of this transcript, the presentation deck and other materials are also available in the Dashboard Resource Center]

Bernard:

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Boost Your Business webinar and again my name is Bernard San Juan. For all of all you first timers here welcome. For all the second and third timers, you know welcome back.

{slide: Meet Our Panelists}

So with me today I’ve got Time. He’s our newest business developer and he’s been a project manager with us for a couple of years. I’ll let Tim do his own introduction. Tim?

Timothy:

Hey there guys, name’s Time and I’ve been with SEOReseller.com for about 2 years now. I’ve done project management and I’m now doing business development for SEOReseller.com. So I’ve in the digital marketing industry for about 5 years already. I’ve built relationships in the, partner relationships with our key partners and I’ve retained about 500 projects already in my course of experience in the digital marketing realm.

Bernard:

And of course, again, I’m Bernard. I’m a web professional of 18 years and I work for you at SEOReseller. Now just for a bit of background. The reason I asked Tim to join me on this webinar is among our project managers Tim has some of the highest retention success rates. He retains at an average of about 14 months which is pretty impressive. And I think the perfect person to discuss the challenges that face what you do in order to retain a client month on month on month would be perfectly discussed with the person that’s got the art down [inaudible].

{slide: Recent Dashboard Feature}

Before I move on to meat of the conversation this is the period for Bernard’s shameless plugs. And I’m going to do a few quick ones. We have a few recent dashboard features up. Right after the previous webinar a few minutes after the previous webinar we launched the Mockup Builder and the Proposal Creator. The Mockup Builder is a web design mockup creator and it allows you to incorporate client feedback in real time. It works hand in hand with the proposal creator because the mockup that you build can be added onto a proposal creator with a contract, an sla and so on and so forth. That allows you to provide professional looking documentation to your clients after a conversation and all you have to do is get them to sign on the dotted line. Remember that we’re regularly adding new design sets for business categories for more mockup options and soon we’ll be deploying the web design project in a way that allows you to launch one with us in as easy as a click of a button.

{slide: Recent Dashboard Feature cont.}

Now my second shameless plug is the resource center. Now in the same way that we advise you guys, we were teaching you guys to add value first, the Resource Center provides you access to templates, brandable documents, client management materials and allows you to train your own sales team by providing them with guides, methodology explainers and product sheets. We’re constantly adding new material to the resource center and now it’s available in US, UK and Australian English. So be sure to check that out right after the webinar.

{slide: Coming soon}

Last plug, I promise is, and I believe Tim will have one in the webinar, is the dashboard feedback module. Coming soon we will be enabling small businesses, your customers to gather their positive reviews and grow their online reputation from the dashboard. The feedback module is just one component of our complete online reputation management suite. And it’ll include online reputation monitoring, citation listings and review management. As soon as that’s up, we will make sure to communicate it with you guys post haste.

{slide: Boost Your Business Webinar Recap}

Before I get into today’s Boost Your Business webinar I just wanted to briefly cover what we discussed in the previous Boost Your Business webinars in case some of you missed it. On the first Boost Your Business webinar the one that I did with Itamar, we talked about becoming a Powerhouse in less than a year. And there are just a couple of key points I wanted to highlight. First one being knowing when to take it seriously. When do you moonlight being a digital agency and when do you treat it like your career, like your business. You need to know when it’s that valuable to you. The next one is begin with your close network. Once you decide that it’s more than just moonlighting, more than just freelancing, where do you get your first set of clients and we’ve been getting these questions a lot. The answer is your first set of clients are closer to you than you think. They would be people that are either within your close proximity, within your personal network or within your personal network’s close personal network.

The next one is automate as much as you can and that’s really just you using the dashboard because when you start out you will be a one man show but you don’t need to appear like a one man show. Automate as much as you can because it’s hard balancing being your own salesman, your own project manager and your own business owner. And then educate yourself. We understand that some of you guys are pros, but some of you will not be. Feel free to educate yourself on the material that we’ve got on the dashboard and if there’s any material of interest to you ring our project manager. We are more than happy to educate you ;guys in terms of the industry. Also, know when to get help. When are you larger than a one man show. And know when it’s time to hire help; an assistant, a partner, but something, because again, you can’t be your own business owner, sales and project manager for a prolonged period of time. The next one is a growth hack and it’s simply, niche. It is easier to be the master of one niche than to be a jack of all traits. And then of course use a system and methodology that works or work with us.

On the second webinar we talked about acing your next sales pitch. And there’s really just a few bullets here. First one being be an instant expert. Know the little bits and bites of data that you can call of the top of your head in order to appear like an instant expert. Know the little tid bits, the little facts, the latest news. Last article discussed on the Google Webmaster blog in order to build your credibility in the industry. The next one is look big, by thinking big. Meaning everyone starts off as a one man show. You don’t have to look like a one man show. Use the dashboard, show them that you’re invested in the technology. Do not report with Google Docs, do not report with Word documents. Leverage the technology to make you look like you are well entrenched and well invested in the digital marketing space.

The next one is know your prospect. And I’ll coin Eric Schmidt here. In the internet century if you’re not Googling them, they are Googling you. Respect the time of your prospect. Know who they are and prepare for what their needs might be. And listen while you’re in the pitch, make sure you’re listening to them. The last bullet point I wanted to discuss on acing your next sales pitch is about creating desire. And creating desire, you know more than just adding value, meaning giving them a service that actually works. You have to give them something they’re not paying for. And that’s you educating them on the industry; why you’re doing certain things. Give them educational material; give them access to the dashboard. All of this before they spend the first dollar with you. People like to reciprocate goodwill. You can use that to your advantage to close the sale.

{slide: Stats}

Now, let’s get onto the meat of this conversation. Before I do, let’s dig into some stats. Did you know, our beginner agencies have an average retention rate of about 4.25 months. In contrast our powerhouse agencies, our powerhouse partners have a retention rate of a year and a half to two years. That is stark contrast. A factor of more than 5 in terms of retention capability. Some of our accounts here at SEOReseller are over four years old. Some of them have a tenure that’s longer than mine. And SEOReseller’s retention rate averages over a year and that’s considering we intake hundreds of month 1 campaigns every month. They sort of drive the average down, but our average retention rate or average batting rate once we take on a campaign, most of the time we will retain them for a year or better. And powerhouse partners execute a growth hack in order to retain their customers and this is by putting them in a contract. Tim and I will discuss this a bit more as we move forward through the presentation. But I guess I’ll start us off by asking Tim a question. Tim, your regularly in touch with clients. What do they usually face in terms of retention challenges?

{slide: Discussion Overview}

Timothy:

Wow that’s really question Bernard. I’ll answer that question based off on my recent conversions I’ve had with partners. One of the biggest challenges they encounter on their retention is actually client fallouts, sudden cancellations of their campaigns. And you could factor those into some issues. One of which is not being able to put them on contracts. They take you by surprise. They cancel after month 2, month 3 and they’re gone. The other issue that I usually get from our partners is that they have not set their expectations properly with them. Meaning they didn’t see eye to eye. They weren’t on the same page. So those are some of the reasons why they are having problems with their retention.

And this is great, because what we’re about to discuss with you in this webinar is some key pointers on how to keep your clients and keep them coming back for more. Like what it says in this slide in this webinar we want to share you some insights and tips on how to retain your clients and foster loyalty to your business. Know your baseline, set goals, highlight success, add more value to your clients and never stop looking for ways to drive more business.

Bernard:

At the end of the webinar we’ll have a Q&A session, but I just wanted to remind everyone. Feel free to send your questions in advance using the WebEx chat. You don’t have to wait till the end of the webinar to starting typing in your questions. You can do that at any point in time in the presentation. I promise Tim and I will not be interrupting.

{slide: Know Your Baseline Cover}

We’ll move on to the next topic which is knowing your baseline and I want to start it off with a case study.

{slide: Know Your Baseline | Case Study #1}

For our first case study we want to talk about us and our history and when SEOReseller started in 2011 we wanted to grow. But we didn’t want to be lucky. We didn’t want to grow incidentally, we wanted to grow deliberately. Meaning we wanted to be consistent, we wanted to be predictable, we wanted to be successful by design. What we needed to do was we needed to figure out where did we stand in terms of our ability to retain our customers and let me tell you. We were shocked to realize that whenever we took someone’s business we were able to work on their campaign for about an average of three and a quarter months only. It was a real eye opener and then we had to figure out strategically what’s the ideal life cycle, what’s the ideal life span they should spend with us in order to achieve the best results for SEO and we all mutually agreed it was 6 months. And so we set out a goal for ourselves to hit a lifespan goal of six months for every campaign. Within the same year our average retention rate went from three point twenty three months to seven months. And so we beat our goal and that meant a hundred and fifteen percent increase within the same year. As of today our average retention is whenever we work on a campaign we will probably work with them for a year or better. That is nearly triple an increase from our initial year. Actually that’s about four time, almost four times increase from our initial year. And we’re very proud of that.

{slide: Know Your Baseline}

Timothy:

More about knowing your baseline. Bernard was discussing earlier how you need to know what you’re starting point is. The first bit to this is you have to calculate the number of clients that signed up and remained with the agency. On the previous webinar we discussed about identifying and establishing the niche you want to target. This is also important in being able to identify how you are going to be able to retain your clients. Because you have to know where you’re going to start before you retain you need to know a baseline of your clients. Every business has a closing ratio. If you’re not closing a certain percentage then you don’t know what your baseline is. So you need to know which clients you want to take care of and retain grow with you. The second bit is. Actually this is an important question that everyone should ask themselves. Especially small business partners out there. How do you avoid client cancellations and fallouts? I’ve sort of answered this earlier in my answer to Bernard. But there’s three things you need to know. You have to put your clients in a contract. Now I know some clients get scared when you present them with a contract, but the truth is it’s actually, it costs seven times more to gain new clients than it does keeping your existing clients so you better get them on a contract.

Bernard:

Now more than that I think we all also underestimate that most businesses that you engage, they will expect to be put in a contract. That’s first things firsts. There’s nothing bad about making customers easy to enter and easy to exit. But the reason we try to teach you guys to put clients in a contract is it’s a growth hack. It is far easier to learn how to sell a contract than it is to become an SEO expert, or a digital marketing expert over night. After 18 years of experience I can’t even claim I know everything in digital marketing. But I can teach you how to sell a contract in one to two sessions. It’s way easier to learn how to get clients to sign the dotted line because contracts offer security and commitment. I’ll let Tim move on to the next one.

Timothy:

Set expectations. This is what I was saying earlier about you and the client or your customer meeting eye to eye or being on the same page. You have to know what your client’s goals are. You have to be on the same page with them and so you don’t promise them the moon and the stars, you have to tell them exactly what you’re going to deliver and what they should expect at the end of the campaign. The last bit would be constant campaign updates. We will expand on that later There’s a lot of things we provide here at SEOReseller.com that actually helps you provide your clients status updates.

Bernard:

Now if you’ve not set a goal for yourself before, it would be fair for you to set an acceptable average retention rate of six months for you because this is where the effects of SEO can really be felt. Now, pro tip. You can’t improve if you don’t know where you are. You cannot move forward if you don’t know where the starting point is. And the other thing that we wanted to put is that it costs seven times more to get new clients in the door than it does to keep the ones you’ve got happy.

{slide: Set Goals Cover}

On setting goals. We’ve got another case study to discuss with you.

{slide: Set Goals | Case Study #2}

And this one was with a budding agency that we were working with in Australia. They began as an exclusively as a web development solutions provider. So they were a web design company. The problem with being or with offering only web design is that it’s a revolving door. Revenue comes in, revenue comes out. You’ve got to have salesman on the field. If they’re not closing, you don’t make recurring revenue next month. And they needed a model that secured and made the revenue predictable and so they moved onto an adjunct industry which is SEO. Now when they got in, there was no in-house SEO expert and they frequently got themselves into hot water by over-promising because again, they were trying to learn how to become experts over night. In order to solve the problem, we had to go into a program with them to teach them how to get clients signed into a contract. And it wasn’t an easy conversation because they weren’t used to it. They were used to web development SLA’s which lasts all of thirty days. But getting people to sign a relationship with you for the next six months they thought was going to be difficult. When we taught them to overcome their own mental objections and they started implementing contracts with their clients, they grew and their average retention increased from four months to six in the next hundred days. As of today they are an 80% SEO revenue generating company. Pro tip, know the strengths of the methodology. Don’t try to be an instant expert over night. Learning how to sell a contract is easier than learning to be an expert in a span of a few days. Know what the methodology can do. Understand the goal and marry the goal to the expectations that you set.

{slide: Set Goals}

Timothy:

Let’s talk more about setting goals. First thing you need to understand is that you have to know the methodology that you work with. In essence this is also being able to communicate directly with your project manager and being on the same page with what they’re recommending to your clients. You have to make sure that this translates to the proper setting of expectations with your customers. If you understand what your client’s goals are for their business, for example we’re talking about revenue; we’re talking about return on investment or even conversions, then ask the expert. You will then know what type of strategies needed on your end or our end so we can execute based off of our set goals.

Bernard:

One thing I wanted to add on goal setting is. If you’ve set a goal for yourself of let’s say twelve months’ retention, in a book by John Maxwell called the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership he talks about the law of Mount Everest. And the law of Mount Everest is quite simply breaking down one ginormous goal into several smaller, soft goals. You need to figure out the activities you need to do to accomplish incremental wins. If you’re current average retention rate is somewhere around 5 months and your ideal target is 18, you’re not going to get from 5 to 18 overnight. You’re going to have to implement strategies that get you from 5 to 6 to 12 to 18. And each of those soft goals have different activities involved. So putting clients in a contract is just one hack that you can execute to do that. Meaning quickly win the six to twelve month tenure. But it isn’t the only solution to you being able to retain clients. And we’ll show you some of the other tricks you can do to do that. Work closely with your project manager to make sure you’re choosing the correct campaigns in order to fulfill those goals.

Timothy:

That’s what I’ve been… I keep on saying this earlier. You have to work closely with your project manager in order to make sure that you understand what your client needs and you understand what we are recommending. So for those of you who have recurring accounts with us already, you already have your project managers. Whether that’s Gary, Carlo, CJ or Eric, whoever that may be. You can contact them directly if you need help. We are available for you guys twenty four hours a day, five days a week, so give us a call. And again, here’s my shameless plug. As Bernard pre-empted you guys earlier. For those who don’t have one yet, you can give me a call. Contact me directly. My numbers are 415 625 9700 ext 1013. Add me up on Skype or LinkedIn.

{slide: Highlight Success Cover}

Bernard:

We’ll move on to the next topic and we want to discuss highlighting success, and this is really you now, getting the contract signed and then nurturing the relationship. Before I move onto the next case study I just wanted to remind everyone. I’m seeing that the chat is very active, but I wanted to remind everyone, feel free to send the questions as they pop in off the top of your head.

{slide: Highlight Success | Case Study #3}

On highlighting success the case study that we wanted to discuss is one of the banks that worked with us and started a campaign. The campaign ran for a period of 12 months and when they began with us they had only 64 keywords visible on the first page. Through the duration of the 12 month period, they increased their first page rankings from 64 to over 2000 ranking keywords. Guess how many times we were there to tell them take a look at what we’ve put on the first page. We did it every time. We made sure to do it every time. Because this is precisely what we were trying to do. Highlight success. Highlight the effect of the work that we’re doing and show them how it was adding value to their business goals. So here’s a pro tip. Be the bearer of news. And I’ve said this as early as the first webinar. You have to be the bearer of news, good or bad. In our experience in dealing with hundreds and hundreds of websites month in and month out what we’ve discovered is that customers and clients, they don’t really care so much about you bearing bad news. What they mind is when they have to discover bad news by themselves and then they have to chase you up for an answer. You have to proactively offer information. The reason we retain so well is because we’re always the bearer of news. Good or bad. Customers mind a lack of input more than they lack bad input. Make sure that you’re there, that you’re always the bearer of news.

{slide: Highlight Success}

Timothy:

I’ll dive deeper on highlighting success. The first key point to this one is you have to establish your client’s business goals.

Bernard:

Agreed.

Timothy:

You have to know what they want in order to achieve their goals in their business. You have to know what the method would be. It’s not a one way channel. You have to make sure that this actually makes sense. You’re not going to over-deliver or under-deliver. You’re just setting them the proper goals.

Bernard:

It’s also the right way to start. Like Covey says in 7 Habits, begin with the end in mind. You can’t set proper expectations; you can’t manage expectations if you don’t know what goals you’re trying to manage.

Timothy:

Manage the expectations from the start so that there are no surprises. A good example for me is when you’re trying to select keywords for a SEO campaign. You know for a fact that about 70 – 80% of your keyword selection influences the success of your campaign. If you’re not able to manage your client’s expectations on what to rank in terms of your keywords then you’ve already failed at the start. On to the next bullet point. Create desire continuously by communicating the following. Progress, milestones and project status.

Bernard:

I just want to jump in here quickly. The way you distinguish the three is, progress is what you’ve done better than this month than you did last month and whether it’s traffic, referrals or better rankings, better visibility. That’s progress. Milestones would be how you’ve progressed through the work that’s getting done, meaning did you complete all the onpage, what results did it drive, have you begun doing link acquisition, have you begun improving their digital footprint. And then project status is really your opportunity to hold your customer equally accountable to the success of the campaign. That’s all we mean when we say progress, milestones and project status.

Timothy:

Much like you’re in a relationship with your partner, you have to create your desire continuously with them. It doesn’t stop in month 1. It has to be month on month. Another thing you want to remember is you have to spot opportunities for your client to leverage. This is why you have to be the bearer of the news. We’re not telling you to lie to your clients. We’re telling you to tell them the bad news if there is. There’s bad news, tell them. Clients appreciate transparency between you. It’s a business. You have to let them know. The last bit would be keeping your clients on board with the process and this is more effective if you have a really close relationship between you and your project manager.

Bernard:

Also observe the progress of the campaign. Observe the progress of the project and if it’s trending well, this is an easy win for you. This an easy way to keep them on board with the process. Going back to the concept of a business relationship because that is what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to solidify your relationship with your client in order to retain them. All of these bullets are just meant to do one thing. Create opportunities for increased engagement. Relationships are fueled by communication and all of these bullets encourage one form of communication or another with clients. Pro top here quickly. Highlight the previous success to show the campaign is building momentum. And if you guys have seen what our executive summaries are like, what our reports are like, this is precisely what they’re designed to do. All those little nice green numbers, those little green arrow up icons, what they do is they show you the incremental increase from previous month to current month. I’ll move on to adding more value to clients…

{slide: Add More Value to Clients Cover}

…and remember feel free to add any questions and I’ll start us off again with another case study on adding more value to clients.

{slide: Add More Value to Clients | Case Study #4}

This one I’m particularly proud of. We had to execute a campaign for a website for a prominent figure and his initial goal was more visibility. His idea of more visibility was creating a second penguin proof mirror website. This is a difficult conversation. I think if your customer’s were all experts, then yes go ahead and do what they ask you to do. But the reality is if they were strong digital marketers themselves, they would not hire experts. In order for you to do justice to your relationship with your customer, you have to be the expert they need and sometimes that means being the expert that tells them they’re wrong. In this situation it was going to put us in a tough conversation because if any of you are SEO savvy, you already know, duplicate content is a bad idea. It’s a bad idea. I can’t even stress how bad enough. It’s a bad idea. How could we add value to a guy that wanted to execute a strategy that was obviously a bad idea. We had to wear the expert hat and have the tough conversation and guide them into the right way to drive that. We began with the end in mind, we asked the customer, we asked the partner. What are they really trying to do? What is the end in mind? What is the business goal? And what we realized by asking the right questions was they really just wanted more traffic. More traffic, more leads, more sign ups. And of course the customer had tactical goals of having another website. The wrong way to have executed that would have been to do exactly what they said so we changed gears a bit and we told them. Why don’t we instead of building a mirror site, build you a complementary website.

And of course we didn’t want that website to cannibalize the rankings of the original branding website. Instead of driving leads and making this second website more on page relevant for the same terms, we focus on their social presence. Did they have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, a Youtube channel. And pointed all of these now onto the second property. And eventually what we found was that we retained the campaign for a total of 14 months and in 4 months it earned so much equity for its brand name that when you looked for the name of the prominent figure, the second website appeared on the second result next to the primary website. And it started gaining incidental rankings for terms that were similar as the main website. More than that, it drove referral traffic to the site coming from the social engagement. And so the strategy was to engage strangers, engage potential customers from social channels and then conclude that experience in the website.

{slide: Add More Value to Clients}

On adding more value to clients, here’s a pro tip. And before I jump into the pro tip, there are really two concepts that I want to point out. There’s a social concept called moral imperative. And in Rolf Dobelli’s book called, The Art Of Thinking Clearly he highlights a thinking bias we’ve got called reciprocity. A moral imperative means you always mean well and people tend to reciprocate good intentions, good behavior. It is so important that you change your agency’s internal language from; how do I make more money off my client, my customer to how do I add more value.

Timothy:

One of the things, especially for SEO savvies out there. You know for a fact that you can check your client’s website’s Google Analytics data. You have to look into it and see where the traffic’s coming from. Is it coming from Organic traffic, is it paid search traffic, is it social, is it referral? You can spot opportunities right there where you can leverage and add more value to their campaign. This is you not saying to your client how I can get more of your money. No. In the pro tip it says, change your agency’s internal language to how can i add more value to my client. You’ve got to ask the right questions. It’s not about you getting more business out of them. It’s you growing with the client. Another thing is you have to be flexible; you’ve got to modify your strategy if you can add more value. Remember that SEO is not the end game of the digital marketing realm. There’s a lot more to it. There’s social media, there’s pay per click. You can even consider trying to redesign the website to improve conversions. There’s a lot of things you can do. Third thing is, be proactive with your clients. I want to use the keyword proactive because we have instilled this in our company. It’s one of our core values. Being proactive. In the same manner that our project managers, all of us here, are being proactive with you when it comes to reporting, when it comes to providing status updates with your clients, we want you to translate that being proactive to your clients as well. And the last bit is highlight positive results, compare with past reports. We have executive summaries; we have ad hoc updates to give your clients. If there’s a big jump on their rankings, be the one to tell them. If there’s an upcoming algorithm update from Google, be the expert, tell them right away. They would appreciate that.

Bernard:

Going back on being proactive. You guys have to understand that most of the time, and when I’m saying most of the time, I’m talking 90% of the time; we don’t have direct access to the website owner. We have to be extra proactive; we have to be extra proactive because a digital marketing strategy only works when it’s truly collaborative. But we never get to collaborate with the website owner at any point in time in a reseller relationship or in a partner relationship. Therefore our employees have to be extra proactive, especially our project manager. Going back to highlighting positive results, I’m going to mention again something I mentioned before. The executive summaries, all the reports that we send you guys, they are engineered to highlight positive results, positive trends. They are comparative in nature. Allowing you to draw from the previous success or from the current success of the current month compared to previous months’ achievements.

{slide: Add More Value to Clients cont.}

Timothy:

More to adding more value to your clients. Always stay relevant and find ways you can add value through channels you haven’t explored yet. This goes back to you exploring other options in the marketing realm for your client and I think one tip I would advise everyone is that you have to be in the know. You have to know what’s going on with the digital marketing industry. Read articles online, subscribe to our blog, it’s even better. We keep ourselves up to date with eh latest trends in the digital marketing realm. You can always talk to us, talk to Bernard, we’re here to talk to you guys. The next bit is a holistic marketing approach, more than just SEO. Like I said SEO is not the end game of the digital marketing strategies. We have other options out there. I know that some of you guys may have been doing this for years now and you might consider yourselves, I would say, SEO’s, but there’s more to just SEO. You have to explore your options. Last but not the least is adjust campaign recommendations relevant to the following. Visibility or SERP rankings, website traffic, leads or goal conversions. This is where I would like to site an example of a campaign that’s reached about 6 months already with you. You may know that you have to revisit the keywords in order to find more opportunities or more products and services to cover instead of the one you’ve used. Or in terms of leads and goal conversions maybe it’s time to redesign the website in order to improve your conversions.

Bernard:

I know we’re called SEOReseller but unlike Moz, we can’t drop just drop the SEO and be called Reseller. [laughing]

Timothy:

[laughing]

Bernard:

Talking about holistic marketing approach and more than just SEO. This goes back to the previous presentation, the previous slides in the presentation where we were talking about understanding the marketing goals. And it’s about visibility, traffic and leads. You also have to understand what is the time frame. If the customer you’re talking to is looking to generate a massive amount of leads in a short span of time against a relatively young website, then you already know SEO is not the right strategy. But you shouldn’t be apprehensive about talking to them about alternative means of accomplishing that goal. Social media campaigns, Adwords, Google Display Network. You can’t be afraid to discuss these adjunnkdigi9tal marketing strategies with your customers. Remember you’re the pro. If you’re walking into a conversation and you feel that this is where the conversation might lead to, and you’re not entirely comfortable, call us. Call us. We will train you to be comfortable discussing these topics. There are experts in digital marketing galore people in the office. And we’re ready to take your call. Even on your off hours because we’re here 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. The most important bit is, understand the goal and offer a strategy that delivers the goal.

{slide: Never Stop Looking For Ways To Drive More Business Cover}

Now, one more bit, and I personally am really attached to this section of the presentation. It’s about, it’s talking about never stopping to look for ways to drive more business.

{slide: Never Stop Looking For Ways To Drive More Business | Case Study #5}

We’ve got the fifth case study in this situation, and this is not the same bank we talked about in the previous slides. In 2013 we acquired a billion dollar bank as a client and they had an annual budget of $24 000. Now you know, $24 000 sounds like a lot of money. But, they’re a billion dollar bank. [laughing]

Timothy:

Whoop di doo [laughing]

Bernard:

So the reactions really go [pen clicking]. But we understand that in spite of SEO being a particularly old industry, it’s almost two decades old, for those of you guys that didn’t know, some people just need to see its initial impact before they become financially and emotionally invested in digital as a strategy. Show them that SEO can increase traffic, bring in new visitors, drive better engagement, increase brand visibility and you will see results similar to the results we saw with this specific client. They increased their annual budget from $24 000 the previous year to over $300 000 the following year.

Timothy:

There you go.

Bernard:

That is an 1150% increase in their budget or, in short, that’s an increase in budget by over a factor 10.

{slide: Never Stop Looking For Ways To Drive More Business}

SEO is older than 2 decades, in fact another tid bit of here is, I’m not sure if you guys are aware but, Bruce Clay is credited for coining the term SEO. And he supposedly coined the term as early as 1996, that’s 2 years before Google was Google. And SEO is still relatively unknown in a marketing study it was discovered that 90% of the websites on the World Wide Web belong to small to medium sized businesses and 91% of them are not optimized. This is why sometimes you will walk in into businesses that are established or mom and pop shops that have been around for decades and when you start talking about digital, it either looks like you’re pulling a rabbit out of a hat or it looks like you’re staring on headlights. SEO is still relatively unknown. You have to be the educator and sometimes all it takes is to get their proverbial feet wet and once they do, they start feeling the financial justification to spend more on digital as a strategy. This is precisely what happened with us and the bank. Never stop finding ways to help your client. People reciprocate goodwill, good intentions and people invest in results.

{slide: Never Stop Looking For Ways To Drive More Business Cont.}

Timothy:

I’d like to just add what Bernard has already established on looking for more ways to drive more business. You have to make sure that you are evolving and growing with your customers. It’s not a one way communication, it’s not a one way relationship. You have to grow with them as they grow. Focus on more than just one marketing channel. I can’t emphasize more how much I believe that more than just SEO is what you’re client’s main need in terms of driving more business to their company. You have to understand your customer’s business and marketing goals. This is you and the client seeing eye to eye on what needs to be done and has to be accomplished for their business. If they’re after traffic, you have to make sure you’re implementing the right strategies. The same goes with other goals. You have to intervene in a campaign when it means achieving better results. Now this is you not antagonizing the client. This is you wearing the expert hat and saying to the client, this is what’s going to work with your campaign. We know the battles we can win and we know the battles we can’t win.

Bernard:

Sometimes that even means changing gears. When I say changing gears I mean change up the keywords, because the initial keywords are incredibly difficult to rank for. It is significantly better to drive relevant visits from long tail keywords today than invest 12 – 18 months worth of work to try to gun for an incredibly competitive keyword. The visitors that they drive today add more value to the business today than the customers that will come to them one and a half to two years down the road.

Timothy:

That’s true. One last bit. Digital is a great medium because everything can be measured…

Bernard:

Everything.

Timothy:

Yep, when I say everything I mean it with all my heart. Everything can be measured. Some data bite on the right hand side of your screen. The average ROI on SEO is between $14 – $22 per dollar spent. That’s according to Marketing Sherpa’s 2014 report.

Bernard:

But we will personally attest to this. In fact we have a small family owned, well not we, we have a client with a small family owned hotel in Australia. And they attest to the effectiveness of SEO. They were saying that their return on investment was over 2000%. Whenever we see feedback coming like that, I know that I’m doing the right thing and it reinforces why I come here every day. I like making a difference. To me, I really believe in this Marketing Sherpa report because it is consistent with the experience that we see with customers and with clients.

{slide: Never Stop Looking For Ways To Drive More Business Cont.}

We’re just going to sum up most of what we’ve discussed, but before I do that. Last slide on never stopping to look for ways to drive more business. Remember that SEO is one cog in the component that is digital marketing strategy. And digital marketing is just a component in the big machine that is marketing. That’s what SEO is. Remember that it’s there to fulfill a marketing objective and there are several marketing objectives and there are several marketing strategies. But four of the broadest strategies that your customers will approach you for to help them grow their business with is they’ll need your help either growing their client base, meaning more customers. If they are a mom and pop shop it’s growing the visit frequency meaning growing the number of, or the number of times a specific customer walks in into the store. The other one is growing the average dollar spend and we showed you an example of that. The bank that worked with us that increased their budget over 10 fold. They grew their average dollar spend with us after getting their feet wet in terms of what digital can achieve for them. And then they could also ask you to help them differentiate from their competition and this is a branding strategy that SEO, PPC, Facebook, all of those campaigns could help achieve. But the bottom line is, you need to come up with a strategy and set expectations for something that addresses where there’re priority is. A word of caution. Don’t try to hit all of these in one go. Don’t try to hit all of these in one go. Gun for the ones that either add the most value or the ones that are for the lowest hanging fruit. It might be growing their client base and helping them differentiate through SEO. These might be a residual objectives. And if it’s visit frequency or longer retention or more customer faithfulness. It might be social media, it might be your strategy. But these are what you need to help them achieve in the broadest of strokes.

{slide: Summary}

Before we wrap up I would just like us to be able to summarize the things that we covered in this webinar.

Timothy:

We discussed five pointers about how to keep your clients and keep them coming back for more. The first one we discussed earlier is knowing your baseline. This is you identifying what’s your starting point. You need to be able to set your clients whether they are going to be in a contract or not. But most of the time, and this is what we recommend, get them on a contract. Get your retention rate higher. Second is setting your goals. You need to see eye to eye on what you need to establish and what you need to achieve on the client’s end. Highlighting success is you simply being the bearer of the news, whether it’s good news of bad news. Adding more value to your clients is exploring other options, more than just SEO, there’s other channels out there. Try doing social, try doing pay per click and maybe a redesign. And the last is never stop looking for ways to drive more business. We’ve talked about how to actually gain the client’s trust and strengthen the relationship by trying to drive more business to their clients.

Bernard:

And get them to reciprocate goodwill.

Timothy:

I hope that the baselines or the pointers that we’ve discussed pretty much gave you enough arsenal to re-strategize and maybe revisit your methodologies on retaining your clients.

{slide: Partner Progress Tracker}

Bernard:

Because we’re talking about adding more value to clients incidentally we built the Partner Progress Tracker and I really want to say koodos to our marketing team and our developers for developing this in time for the webinar. Tracking the growth of your Agency is easy using the partner progress tracker. You can follow the bit.ly link or you can go into your dashboard and take this from the Resource Center. It is now available. All you need to do is enter your baseline, set your goals in the spreadsheet and then see your progress month over month over month. It is incredibly important to hold yourself accountable to whatever your baseline is and whatever your retention goals are. Sometimes all it takes to achieve a goal is to have a goal. That being said, we’ve occupied 45 minutes of talk time and it’s time for us to go to the Q&A session.

{slide: Q&A Session}

We’ve got one comment from one of our attendees and it just says, I absolutely agree. The comment says the beauty of the internet, we can measure everything. And we absolutely agree. As we go through the questions I just wanted to start off with one of the starting questions. The first question we have is:

Which industry would you say is the best in terms of retention? Have you guys identified any trends?

This one, a little difficult to answer, but I’ll answer this based on my experience. Tim feel gree to add in which industry you think is yours.

Timothy:

Yeah, absolutely.

Bernard:

For me the easiest industry to retain is real estate. Anything that has to do with, including hospitality. But when I say real estate, brokers, people that sell houses, people that sell management rights and these guys. They are easy to retain because the industry is incredibly competitive. They are either doing their digital marketing or their competitor is out-digital marketing them. It’s an incredibly progressive industry. The other industry that I’d day would be easy to retain are incidentally dentists and chiropractors. They are very enterprising. And they also know that it’s very competitive. I’m constantly surprised at how savvy dental clients are in terms of looking at their digital visibility.

Timothy:

To me, I don’t know if you’ll agree with me or not, or some of the attendees right here. Based on experience and this is me taking account for the experience I have with the key partner, we have here at SEOREseller.com. I guess law firms or lawyers would be one of the industries I’d say, key industries which has a great retention trend.

Bernard:

Also because it is incredibly competitive.

Timothy:

The competition is really high and besides the fact that these guys have enough money to invest on digital marketing, they also know that the traditional marketing is not the end game for their business. They want to engage on competing with the other lawyers in their area for digital marketing. And a lot of them are using that today.

Bernard:

I think just to jump into that quickly. Most of the lawyer websites that we deal with have a strategy of offering information up front. Like take for example they know off the top of their heads. People that are planning divorces start doing their research months ahead prior to them needing a lawyer, so them being the ones that offer that information up front makes them resource people. That’s incredible insight into their industry. Lawyers are also incredibly insightful in terms of their digital presence. The next question is:

Is it possible in your opinion to form meaningful relationships with clients that are far away? How do you guys manage to do it?

Obviously for us, the answer is a resounding yes. A lot of you guys are far away from us. A lot our existing partners are far away. Because we can’t shake hands with them, we have to simulate the love and the love that we simulate is by being available on Skype, on chat, on LinkedIn, on email, on the phone.

Timothy:

Yeah.

Bernard:

Five days a week, 24 hours a day. That’s how we manage to do it. We try to simulate the care, we try to simulate the trust. Because we can’t shake your hand, we have to be there for our partners all the time. This one is, I’ll leave Tim to answer this one. And the next question is:

How do I balance setting expectations with closing the deal?

Timothy:

Well, the truth is, the expectations has to proceed the close of the deal. You can’t, again I think I mentioned this earlier in the webinar. You can’t promise them the moon and the stars. You have to make sure that what you’re delivering to them is something that’s realistic. It’s actually something we can deliver. Setting expectations is very important before you close the deal and this actually plays a major role in even retaining your clients. It builds your trust with the client and also establishes your credibility.

Bernard:

I’m moving on to the next question:

How do I get my foot in the door with a bank or similar enterprise? How did you do it?

I think this is a great question. For us we executed a growth hack. What we did is, we went and married a media agency. And when I say we went and married them, not really marry, marry them, but we partnered with a media agency that had large enterprises in their pocket. Because digital was not their forte and it was our, we decided to leverage each other’s strengths. They began introducing us to the larger industries, the other companies that were competitors of the people we were working with started taking notice and before we knew it, people started walking through our door. The two banks I talked about earlier, by the way, they literally walked in through our door. That’s amazing. There is a question here and it says:

I work with smaller manufacturers. Sometimes they don’t know how to either access their analytics, or it’s not setup properly. Only on several pages. How can you help in this case? Will you assist in fixing this or setting up the code properly on their site?

Great question. Great question. And the answer is yes. We are SEO’s. For better or for worse. This is our bread and butter. If a site that you enroll with us does not have analytics, we will create the analytics account for it. Because we need to see it. We can’t help customers if we don’t see the data. Most people say Google is their oracle. We sort of takes this a few steps further. When we say Google is our oracle, we’re not just talking about the search network. We’re talking about Google, and Analytics and the Search Console and the Webmaster Guidelines and all of that. We need to see the information about the client’s site. And we don’t just help you setup Analytics or set it up correctly for you that exists, we also do that for the Search Console. I hope that answered the question. The other one is:

Where do our margins come into play?

Your margins are, and I guess these were discussed in the previous webinars. What we recommend is for you to charge double to triple what the rates are inside the agency dashboard. They seem to be competitively priced and they seem to be industry standard. The reason our pricing is priced the way it is, is because it seems to be the most feasible. One thing that I always wanted to say is that we’re not the cheapest provider and that you get what you pay for. We try to offer a premium experience and we try to offer premium results. And this is why we charge accordingly to those experiences as well. Plus running an office with 131 digital marketers, not cheap.

Timothy:

I want to just pick up on what Bernard said about margins. That’s true you have to mark your prices up about 2 – 3 times the price we’re offering you. But I guess in my opinion, if you’re offering your client a service like a one off service meaning it’s not SEO, it’s not pay per click, it’s not a recurring campaign. Let’s say website design and you don’t have any guarantee whether the client is going to continue after that or not. I’d say go as high as 400%, you don’t have any leverage for them to continue after that unless you put them on a contract, which is what we discussed earlier.

Bernard:

Another fairly interesting, probably a sensitive question too. The next question is:

Have you had the situation where you couldn’t deliver for a client and had to let them go? When do you let go?

This is a great question. I’ll take the time to answer this and I think Tim has a way to answer this based off his experience. To be perfectly honest, these situations have happened a couple of times and I believe that they happened because we didn’t do the right thing at the start of the relationship. We did not choose to become the expert in order to obtain someone’s expert, we prematurely said yes. And decided to engage without a clear understanding of where our ability to deliver was. We realized this very quickly by the way, and then we do a revisit with customers with clients at the 3 – 6 month tenure of the campaign and we tell them; we need to revisit the goal, we need to revisit the keyword, or whatever it was that wasn’t done correctly. Because we want to be able to achieve results for you today. We don’t want you to wait, one, two, three years down the line in order to earn rankings for that incredibly competitive keyword. When we can’t see eye to eye, and I don’t just mean this to highlight the moral imperative. But people in this office will literally lose sleep if we’re taking anyone’s money without adding value. It’s just not something we believe in. And so there are times when that has to lead to a parting of ways. We try to do it as amicably as we can. We try to deliver value for whatever anyone pays for.

Timothy:

For me I think it’s when we think on the onset of the campaign, upon our analysis or upon our research we actually, we make sure that we can actually deliver results for the client. There are some unforeseen events or maybe algorithm updates or actually affects the strategy we’ve put in place, we’ve had to change it drastically. There are times that we are not able to deliver and this is because we have not foreseen what’s going to happen. There’s always sometime where you have to throw the towel in and say; we did the best we could and it’s time that we pause or we cancel this campaign because we don’t want to be taking our client’s money for something we are not able to deliver.

Bernard:

Another tough question. You guys are asking tough questions:

Some of my clients have a pr person who controls some of the content creation, news, press releases etc, but they don’t understand SEO. However they’re very critical of the quality of content for blog posts and so on and so forth. How scalable is the quality of your content creation? Can you handle technical, medical content, which is very specific to that vertical space?

Great question. I’ll answer them point by point. The ideal way to do it, is to be in constant contact with the pr person. Remember because we are the agency that executes the work, we don’t talk directly to the clients, to the customers or their agents. And this is why you, as the partner, this is what you as the partner, this is your accountability. This is your responsibility. Being sure that the pr person is collaborative with you at every step of the way. There are ways to overcome the disconnect. This is the intake forms and the customer briefs that need to be filled out. If there are specific instructions, those can be filled out there. I’ll move on to the next question, which is, they’re very critical about the content created for blog posts etc. And they should be. Blog posts, news releases, is ghost writing for the client. It represents the business. It must sound like their voice. One of the things that we try to remind clients is remember we don’t live and breathe those brands. The better that the briefs are filled out, the more we are able to simulate what it’s like being in the shoes of the business owner or the people that are in that business. More than that, in terms of blog posts, they’re free to send it back for as many revisions as they need until we get it right. We frequently execute calibrations between our project manager, our editors and our content writers. In order to get the content as perfect, or as near perfect as we can. But I think it’s proper that the pr person is meticulous when it comes to the content that’s posted on the client website. How scalable is the quality of your content creation? It’s pretty scalable, it’s pretty scalable. There’s an army of writers in the office and we produce over 6000 pieces of content varying from product descriptions of 50 words to in-depth articles of over 2000 words. It’s very scalable. Then how do you handle technical medical industry content which is very specific to that vertical? We have writing rules. Technical and medical, so to get a bit technical, we make sure that the readability score and the reading e-score are compliant with how technical the industry is. Our writers do a lot of research. Our project managers proof read these. Our editors proof read this and then we submit them to the client for approval. all articles are very well researched.

We’re going to wrap up the webinar after one more question and I’m just trying to decide which one I should use because these are really amazing questions. I guess I’ll start with this:

I don’t always have the time to spend on building my client relationships because I’m out there trying to sign new deals. Are there any hacks to overcome this?

I’ll answer this. There is a way to hack it. Use the dashboard. The dashboard is meant to simulate love and caring. It’s meant to simulate caring. That’s what we designed it for. That’s why it’s visible with your branding on it, with no trace to us, with a white label URL, visible from their mobile or from wherever they are. They can view the performance of their campaign while they’re waiting on a delivery truck to replace a flat tire or something. But it is designed to simulate love and caring. The reports are automatically generated and sent to your mailbox. This sort of goes back to one of the pointers we discussed. In terms of the first Boost Your Business webinar. If you’re out there getting more clients to fall in love with you and your business and what you believe in, you need to know when to ask for help. It might be time to have a VA, it might be time to hire a VA, bring in a partner, but something that allows you to scale your business. Initially, you’ll be able to be your own business owner and salesman and project manager, but that’s sort of got a low lid or a glass ceiling that you’ll hit. In order for you guys to scale properly you need to know when to ask for help. Whether that’s in the form of a virtual assistant or not, we also have solutions in the office that can help you. Feel free to talk to a project manager and ask about it.

Timothy:

Or talk to me.

Bernard:

Or talk to Tim. With that I just wanted to say thank you very much for spending another hour with us. We’ll keep doing these webinars for so long as you guys keep coming in. Feel free to schedule a call with us through the bit.ly link. They’re on the screen which is bit.ly/getsked and feel free to call us at any time if you guys have any questions. Those are our US, and Australian numbers. You can also email us at info@seoreseller.com and ask for Tim.

Timothy:

Yep. You know my extension is 1013, just give me a call and I’d like to say thank you Bernard for having me in this webinar. It’s been a blast.

Bernard:

My pleasure. It won’t be the last time I’ll have you. And thank you very much to everybody that joined us. I’ll see you guys on the next webinar.

Timothy:

Thank you guys.

Bernard:

Your time was appreciated.