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.
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.