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Published on October 18th, 2012 | by 011100110110010

14

The Breakup Shake-Up: Dumped by a Client

Hey dudes & dudettes, guest post time again :)

Today we are with Dustin Verburg a writer and musician based in Boise, ID. When he’s not playing guitar, Dustin writes about good blogging practices, white hat SEO and internet ethics. He writes for Page One Power, a relevancy first link building service.

You can also find him on Twitter.

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An SEO – The Ultimate Online Soldier

As SEOs, we pretend that we wear invulnerable exo-suits of internet armor. We’re unstoppable machines that navigate the minefields of Google and wage war on spammers. We put targets in our crosshairs and get direct hits, rising cost of ammo be damned. In reality, though, we are fragile human beings underneath our hardened HTML-shells.

When we put in hard work and get amazing results, we expect a loyal client. And then the sad trombone plays. We’re tossed out into the wilderness, a crumpling bouquet of roses and a melting box of chocolates clutched in our shaking hands. Inevitably, we get dumped.

Getting Dumped: The Horror Movie

You’re sitting at your desk, minding your own business. Maybe you’re checking a Twitter feed or two for “research purposes” or to “get some good ideas.” You hear a little beeping sound or see the telltale ‘(1)’ on a Gmail tab. Pure adrenaline! Unfortunately, when you actually read the email, it turns out that you and your client are done professionally. They persist that it’s them and not you, but you know the truth. You did an awful job and you’ll never work as an SEO for the prosthetic goldfish fin industry again. Or, even worse still, the client got everything they wanted from you and it’s time to move on.

To Hell with your feelings! You put your client firmly on page one and now they no longer require your services. Either way, you’ve been dumped and all of that selfless work you put into the relationship didn’t change a thing. You feel cheap, used and unappreciated.

Getting Dumped: The Reality

Our fragile egos aside, getting dumped is inevitable. I am not a hardened SEO veteran like some of you are, but even I’ve found that it usually has very little to do with me or the work I’ve done when the axe falls. I do my best and I work for an ethical company—that’s all any of us can do. Most times, when we get dumped by a client, the cliché is true: it was them, not us. These clients have much more to consider than an SEO they’ve hired. Budgets are finite, and sometimes SEO has to be the first thing out the window. You’re not the center of their universe, and sometimes they have more pressing concerns. Maybe they got hit by Exact Match Domain, maybe their on-site SEO is awful and requires some real work, or maybe they’re just focusing their money on some local marketing strategies.

There is a tiny chance, though, that you did screw up. That whole “Return On Investment” thing you promised them with a roguish grin and a jaunty tip of your hat just didn’t happen. The numbers weren’t there. That’s okay. You learned from it and you’ll do better next time. And, quite possibly, they just did you a favor.

I’ve made this point before, but we’re involved in an ever-changing industry. We’re blazing new trails, and sometimes all we have to go on is some good research, a gut feeling and an educated guess. We can’t win every battle, but we can learn something from every bullet wound. Even if the worst has happened and you never will work in the prosthetic goldfish fin industry again, take heart—there’s always the SCUBA tanks for dogs business. As long as you’re doing good work, and as long as ecommerce exists, the internet requires your services.

Getting dumped just shows the professional world that you, as an SEO, wear those dings on your armor with pride.

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About the Author

One day I will make a living out of this industry, until then I'll carry on writing here.



14 Responses to The Breakup Shake-Up: Dumped by a Client

  1. Yo Dustin, cheers for taking the time out to do this post.

    I wish I could understand your torment and pain… I just don’t think I’ll ever lose a client :(

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    • Dustin Verburg says:

      Haha, Sean! I am sure you feel my eternal melancholy in other areas of your life, so we’ll call it even.

      Thanks for posting my little article. I have not yet been fired for writing it, so that’s a good sign.

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      • Oh, I sure do…

        No worries, I think a lot of people will understand the feeling! I’m slightly surprised you haven’t been sacked yet though :/

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  2. Dug says:

    Wear those dings on your armour with pride, or alternatively, just shrug and move on. Contracts end – no-one should expect something like that to last forever. Your contract makes you a contractor and that is an inherently temporary arrangement (unless you somehow manage to sneak-in a “this contract never expires and has no get-out clause” clause – now there’s a business model).

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    • Dustin Verburg says:

      That’s a good point, Dug. Contracts and money both run out and I guess that’s inevitable. It’s never an Alphaville song!

      I always try to sneak the “this contract if 4EVER” clause into contracts, but it turns out no one takes my ‘contracts drawn on a piece of cardboard torn from a Froot Loops box’ seriously. Which is totally their problem, not mine.

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      • Dug says:

        It’s the Fruit Loops that does it. Try a more serious cereal like Bran Flakes and they will sign without even reading.

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        • Dustin, I know you’re not a ‘hardened SEO veteran’ but I have to agree with Dug. Always go with Bran Flakes!

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  3. Anthony Pensabene says:

    “I got to second base with a client once, but I still haven’t, you know, landed one.” (cheery-cheeked boy sips Mountain Dew while eating Charleston Chews on curb adjacent to urban convenience store)

    Next scene, Rand Fishkin (played by Sean Revell) comes out of store, smiles, and ruffles the boy’s hair.

    Epilogue: Young boy grows up to read Sean Revell’s (played by Sean Revell) blog

    THE END

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    • *claps* Truly beautiful.

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    • Hilarious! I think Anthony should get the opportunity to turn his story into a full post :)

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      • +1

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        • Dustin Verburg says:

          I will compose the soundtrack on a number of different child-sized Casio keyboards. ‘The Ballad of 01100111011001010110010101101011 (Dot Co Dot UK)’ will top the adult contemporary charts in no time flat.

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  4. Anthony Pensabene says:

    In my head, it’s already been a long-standing, interactive-Broadway musical; I’ve spent time amid numerous shows, dressed in disguise, languishing in my creativity’s triumph; and, reserved my final days drinking Johnnie Walkers on a remote island suited with automated Google golf carts and local theater troops, which reenact the musical every Wednesday after proper homage to my effigy..

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    • That’s because it has.

      What do you think you’ve been doing the last couple of years? Writing about online marketing and making pizza?!

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