How do you convince your boss or client that the SEO services you offer are truly valuable for their site and their brand? This is a question that all SEOs have to answer at multiple points in their careers. Whether you’re working in an agency, an in-house department, or as a freelancer, the ability to persuade others is a key ingredient of a successful career as a digital marketing professional.
Why are persuasive skills important? We’ve seen a lot of talented SEOs reach a dead end because they’ve been unable to convince prospective clients or even their bosses about the value they bring to the table. We’ve also seen many others destroy website after website yet still find willing clients or patrons because of how well they present themselves.
Naturally, at SearchWorks we believe SEOs and other digital marketers should be capable of both performing to high standards and persuading others. In the video, starting at 2:44 we’ll simulate what we do when we’re contacted for SEO services.
Step 1: Give a Short Overview of Your Digital Marketing Practice
In the first part of the pitch, it will be critical to highlight your relevant experience and qualifications not just as an SEO but also as a professional that understands current digital marketing practices. As with a normal job interview, the goal here is to confidently establish your credibility without coming across as arrogant or condescending. This is also the time to briefly mention the service scope of your SEO practice.
Step 2: Share Your Client Portfolio (if Possible)
Sharing your portfolio is not strictly necessary and you may not even have a client portfolio to share if you’re a freshly-minted freelancer or belong to a new agency. If you do, however, it will be good to include it early on.
Your prospects want to be reassured that going with you is the correct choice. If your prospects see any brands that they recognize or admire, they will know that you really do know what you’re talking about, which can potentially shift the whole pitch in your favor as early as this stage.
Step 3: Provide an Overview of a Typical SEO Campaign Run By You
After you’ve reassured your prospect that they’re in safe hands, it’s time to give them an overview of the services you offer. You’ll want to keep things very simple because business owners and department heads have a lot of things on their plate and some of them may not be knowledgable in SEO — which is why they need your help in the first place.
While you should present your specializations, it’s good to be flexible as well. Your prospect may require help in other areas outside your specializations or they may only need your help for a very narrow area of SEO. In either case, you’ll have to make judgment calls about the service scope that you offer.
Step 4: Explain Various Areas of SEO that You Work On
After your initial overview, it’s time to get into the details. Again, be mindful of your prospects’ needs and backgrounds. Not all of them may understand SEO or even basic-to-intermediate digital marketing concepts. Your job here will be to further explain in plain language your specializations as well as the basics of each.
This is also a good time to bring up any key limitations of your service. For example, SearchWorks primarily optimizes for markets that use various forms of English, and we’re not yet capable of optimizing sites that serve major non-English speaking markets.
Step 5: Explain Your Reporting Process
Clients will naturally want to track your progress. However, if your prospects are not familiar with SEO or digital marketing you want to be able to explain what success looks like for different types of SEO campaigns. Explaining your reporting process can also help show that you’re committed to transparency — something that is tragically uncommon in digital marketing.
This part of the pitch is also a great time to segue into explaining the proposed nature of the engagement. While there are exceptions, SearchWorks typically engages with clients for 6 months at a time, circling back with them after this period to discuss continuations or pauses in our engagement.
We prefer 6-month contracts because many SEO activities take a very long time to bear fruit. If the client prematurely ends the engagement after three months and they start to benefit from your initial optimization, you might not be able to spare any resources to help them maximize these gains should they decide to contact you again. However, you’ll want to make it clear that the client can end the contract whenever they wish so they don’t feel trapped or disadvantaged by the proposed arrangement.
Step 6: Wrap Up the Pitch
At the end of your presentation, offer to send your prospects a quote if they’re interested. To further pique their interest, inform them of discounts or other considerations given to clients. Also, be ready to answer any questions they may have. If you can’t answer the question on the spot, offer to email the answer at a later time, and don’t forget to deliver on that promise. Lastly, offer to continue the discussion elsewhere or even offline if needed.
We don’t claim to be the best at delivering sales pitches nor do we even claim to be the best at all areas of SEO. There are certainly digital marketers out there who can close the sale much faster than we can.
However, this approach has consistently worked for us by allowing us to properly set expectations and also keeping us in the front of our prospects’ minds — even if we don’t close the sale today. We find our approach lets us offer the transparency necessary for building trust and beginning a fruitful long-term relationship.
If you want to discuss our sales process or are interested in a pitch for your business website, feel free to get in touch with our team and schedule a meeting.