The sweet sorry before I became an SEO Reseller
When I was a young boy, perhaps I was 7 or 8 years old then, I was inured to believe the almost-inscrutable words the local candy merchant used to say whenever I went down to buy some sweets from his flamboyant candy store below our two-storey apartment. He said that his triangular menthol candy had powers, something that was a hundred times better than Vicks candy had.
Having the innate ignorance of every kid made me so accustomed to his entrepreneurial arrogance. Not really knowing what Vicks candy was, I let his sugary product melt in my mouth, thinking that it would give me powers as he described it. Whether it was Captain America’s power or Jonah Hex’s, I didn’t know. The result, neither of these two came into me, and the only thing I had gained was a fervent habit of visiting our cute family dentist, given that my molars and incisors suffered from my obsession to glucose.
That wasn’t really a disturbing experience. Besides, I was just a kid then. My molars are back in their shapes, my incisors are now sharper, and so does my brain. That story isn’t really one divine and life-changing experience, and inserting it into my marketing talks and conference speeches isn’t really too alluring an anecdote to say, nor it will bring people to tears, to have their feet following my steps.
But this story has shaped me, the entire me, to who I am now.
Encountering “SEO” and the SEO Reselling Concept
Growing up, I had this habit of scrutinizing people’s words. And since it was as early as 15 when I started believing that one day I would have a trade I could call my own, I had put a special eye on entrepreneurs and on how they played on words just to gain people’s approval. Through the years, I’ve learnt that most of them would lie to people, tweak truths, and bend realities about their products and trade to make people buy, both their services and their altered words.
I had my own business when I was 16, an NBA card reselling business. Back then, factory damages, not-so-famous NBA player’s card, and duplicates were every small-time card reseller’s problem. Therefore, if you had these kinds of NBA card dilemma, the only thing you could do to avoid profit loss (the money you invested from buying a pack of NBA cards) was to sell it to kids, to those poseurs and wannabe NBA card dealers like me. Just create some lies and have your damaged or “weak” cards sold or exchanged to better cards, perhaps a not-so-special Detlef Schrempf to a Karl Malone or a limited edition Larry Bird. That is why I quit that business. I was not into bullying kids, and of course, lying wasn’t my forte.
Jumping from business to business, I end up being an SEO reseller. We are all aware that this type of trade involves tremendous amount of lies. Let us all be honest. Attend an SEO conference and you’ll hear men in crew cut talking as if they’re connoisseur of this business, talking how great they are in convincing people how great his service is though they’re just delivering a second rate approach to it. I also encountered would-be business partners who wanted to abridge some optimization process through certain Black Hat method just to have more optimizations and clients in a year. Frankly speaking, I can’t get it. Why should businessmen lie if it would just cause some troubles in the near future?
Perhaps it is a question of heart. Not of integrity, but heart.
The hardest thing is breaking a bad news
This is where deep and true business relationship comes in. We all know that in any business, say it’s a cow milking trade or a Tootsie Roll delivery services, problems are inevitable. In a cow milking trade, or to sound more professional, in a dairy industry, one unhealthy cow can cause you a problem, a shortage in supply for instance. In a Tootsie Roll candy delivery services, a flat tire can mean a thing. But these or any kind of problem is solvable. If the business owner has invested a true business relationship with his clients and customers, everything is just one meeting away, perhaps a phone call or text message away.
In SEO, however odd it may sound, honesty is like a farfetched idea; well, to some it is. I was an optimization client as well before I owned my own firm, and I’ve been victimized twice or thrice by people who have keenness to dishonesty. Believe it or not, there are optimization providers who can’t just say a piece of truth to customers whenever there is a problem along the way, and opt to cover it with lies, with never-ending series of lies, instead.
Thoughts and Insights of an SEO Reseller
Having mentioned all of these, there are some things we should do as SEO firm owners if a great problem occurs, and we don’t have to patch things with unending lies just to retain our clients.
• Don’t panic as if Armageddon’s coming to town
First, don’t panic as if today is the end of the day of our lives. Okay. That sounds like rubbish Australian soap. Anyway, the key here is being cool. And being cool, or calm, would also let you think in the most proper and sane way. If the site has been victimized by Panda, shouting and crying the entire day won’t help you. Asking for help from an SEO expert or resellers who do White Label SEO might be the answer to your problem.
• Don’t break the bad news without a solution at hand
You want to be honest, right? And you want to tell it right away to your client because it haunts you every night, right? Okay. That’s a good emotional start from a “trying-to-be-honest” business owner, but sending the message without a believable, plausible, doable, and rightful solution in your hands is like passing the “panic torch” to your clients.
• Learn to “Tell it All”
The problem with most search engine optimization people is they tend to “romanticize” and “edit” the problem just to avoid a transaction being pulled out of their hands. If you really want to say the truth, say it. Condensing, altering, and hiding pieces of that truth is still not being truthful. Besides, it’s your client’s right to know what is happening on his optimization.
• Remember Professionalism
I can’t get those people who still act arrogantly as if nothing happened, as if it’s not their fault, or as if losing a customer because of that fault committed by their own hands is just nothing. Professionalism, most firm owners do not have this. If a business owner really cares about his business, he will care for his client’s business too, as well as with their feelings, emotions, and situation.
• Customer isn’t always right, but it is their prerogative to feel “right”
Literally, they hired us because they don’t have the precise knowledge and expertise of what we do; thus, they can’t always be right when it comes to our business. However, as clients, as paying customers, they have the right to demand, to say what they want to say, to declare deadlines and time lines, or even to scold us regarding the problems our own hands have committed.
When Panda first attacked several months ago, explaining this “almost-impossible” thing to non-techy and non-SEO knowledgeable customers was a challenge. Who would believe a virtual Panda attacking websites like Godzilla and King Kong? I personally gained and accepted harsh words, questionings, yells, and unfathomable un-alluringly composed jargons when this happened. But, as a business owner, it is my duty to accept all these things, and it is my responsibility as well to explain it to them in the most acceptable, understandable, and honest way. I always try to put myself in their shoes.
• Don’t Promise, but assure them that you will do everything you can to solve the problem
In this ever-democratic country, we are used to ignore politicians and public servants who’s been habitually inventing promises that look like a blurry image of a childhood dream. We hate liars, those who wrapped their political plans with saccharine words just to convince us that we need them. On the other hand, we still see our hopes to people and political leaders that show real guts and cojones to bring our nation to a higher level. We tend to put our hopes to those who show real actions beyond words, to those who assure us that however limited they are as human beings, they are willing to commit the entirety of themselves just to solve every piece of the problem.
And that translates to owning a business too.
Honesty is a lifetime practice, not a per-situation deal
Some men in tie and suit treat honesty as an entity of a deal, or as if it’s given only to people that interest them, especially to those who pay well, to those who can give them a promising financial future. Concisely, they only give honesty to those customers that benefit them and their entire business.
Honesty is the first step to building a real and deep entrepreneurial relationship with your client. And having this kind of relationship with them is the key to your trade’s longevity.