Why I Turn Down 90% Of My Exclusive SEO Leads
Now here’s something you don’t hear about every day. Believe it or not, I actually turn down many of the exclusive SEO leads that contact me. No, it’s not because I’m swimming in business, but rather a few reasons that many freelancers and self-employed individuals don’t take into account when choosing their clients. In fact, because I take these reasons into account when I’m analysing my exclusive SEO leads, I’ve avoided the “bad clients” I used to have back when I first started my company. So let me go over the 3 reasons why I turn down 90% of my exclusive SEO leads and why I think you should, too.
3 Reasons Why I Turn Down 90% Of My Exclusive SEO Leads
In the beginning of your online marketing career, you may be so eager to receive your first client that you just about take on anyone who contacts you. You might allude to them that you have more experience than you do, or you might even lower your prices hoping that they’ll be more likely to hire you. This, right here, is a common mistake that many others, including myself, have made in the past.
#1 They Don’t Fit My Buyer Persona
If you don’t know what a buyer persona is, just think of it as what you would imagine your ideal customer to be. I personally created a buyer persona in order to determine whether or not I want to work with certain leads. Now, I have a specific buyer persona, which is how it should be, based on my first few clients (which were and still are my best clients), and most people unfortunately do not fit this persona. As an example of what my buyer persona looks like take a look at the example loosely based on my own below.
An Example Buyer Persona
- Job Position: Owner
- Age: 25-60
- Income: $40,000/year minimum, $400,000/year maximum
- Location: Western United States
- Education: High school minimum
- SEO Knowledge: Preferred
- Employees: 1-30
- Goals: To receive more clients and customers
- Needs: Online marketing and a redesigned
- Company Age: 2 years old or more
- Behaviour: Calm, polite, well-mannered.
Alternatively, if one of the exclusive SEO leads who contacts me fits my negative buyer persona, which is the opposite of the persona I want to work with, then I would refuse to work with them as well. A loose example of my negative buyer persona can be seen below.
An Example Negative Buyer Persona
- Job Position: (Recently) Self-Employed
- Age: 18-24
- Income: $0/year
- Location: Everywhere except the Western United States
- Education: High school dropout
- SEO Knowledge: None; wants 1st page rankings for short keywords in less than 2 days.
- Employees: 0
- Goals: To make a lot of money, get rich, and buy lamborghinis (note the plurality)
- Needs: 1st page rankings
- Company Age: Less than 1 month
- Behaviour: Rowdy; refers to me as “Dawg”
#2 They Can’t Afford My Services
There are people who find that my services are outside of their price range either because they can’t afford it or because they’re looking for the cheapest prices (If you read my article titled “Beware Of The SEO Guru: 10 Signs Of A Fraud, you’ll know that many shoddy SEO companies do this to get more temporary clients).
In some rare cases where I find that one of these SEO leads is close to fitting my buyer persona, I’ve actually accommodated for them and either lowered my prices enough to fit in their budget, or I’ve offered to put some of my own money into their campaigns, so there are exceptions.
#3 I Can’t Help Them
Sometimes, it just comes down to whether or not I can help these people. After all, i’s better to be honest about what you can and can’t do rather than waste everyone’s time just so you can make a quick buck. I’ve had all kinds of people contact from e-commerce site owners to small local landscapers, and I unfortunately have to turn them down. Now, there are various reasons why I turn them down, but it’s usually one of the three below.
A. I don’t have experience in their niche
Some site owners want you to have experience in their niche. If I don’t have the experience they’re looking for, I’ll simply let them and refer them to someone who does.
B. I don’t have experience in their industry
There are some industries where it’s important to understand the basics in order to properly build a website or do SEO. These are usually business-to-business (B2B) industries, where you need toput more of an emphasis on conversion rate optimisation (CRO) in your SEO campaigns, as the process of converting businesses is a bit longer than converting consumers.
C. I don’t have enough experience with their type of website
Because I mainly work with self-hosted WordPress websites and formerly with Bloggers and custom-coded HTML websites, the CMS’ I can work with are limited. However, I also don’t have much experience with e-commerce websites as I only work with B2B and personal websites. This basically translates to unfortunately having to turn down some web development and SEO leads, even if they fit my buyer persona.
Why You Should Be Selective About Who You Work With As Well
At the beginning of the article, I mentioned how I also made the mistake of working with whomever contacted me. This led to . However, once I created a buyer persona and started being more selective about who I worked with, I never encountered that problem again. You don’t need to be as picky as I am for this to work, but creating a simple buyer persona is a start.