Freelance Creatives: how to keep your clients from being bamboozled by so called "SEO experts"

If you one of the many freelance creatives in writing, graphic design, or another of the content specialties; you work with clients of all skill levels. This changing landscape of interests and skill is usually rewarding, but can occasionally have drawbacks. One of these potential issues is dealing with inexperienced people who become brainwashed by a so called “SEO expert”.

Identifying the Problem

If you allow your client too much time to for research; you may end up with someone who is ‘certain’ they need keyword stuffed articles and terribly ugly blinking ads above the fold of their site. Knowing that their strategy is a mistake can leave you cringing during the project. You could even end up with an unsatisfied customer at no fault of your own. The ideal solution to this problem is to educate your client before they do too much searching.

Education is Key

If you’ve worked with enough people, you know that most are reasonable. Even the customers who have been misinformed are willing to lend an ear to reason, but can freelance creatives save their clients from being bamboozled by all of the junk?

Yes (most of the time).

Begin early on in your dealings. Educate each new client by building a case against the lies. Be sure not to leave out the other side of the argument. State the claims of the ‘experts’ followed by case studies, statistics and other reliable evidence proving the results of your methods.

Don’t Go Too Far

Remember, it’s important to not to overwhelm potential customers. If you throw out terms like Penguin, Panda, or de-indexed, you may have your client thinking that Google is some deranged zoological experiment not worth the time. A brief description of what they may find in their search along with real world results of your work should be enough to help them steer clear of most snake oil dealers.

Taking a little time at the beginning of the relationship with a new client can have a tremendous impact on taming unrealistic notions. In a sense, you will be helping them publish better content that makes the Internet a better place for us all.