SEO is a highly specialized field that is far above the knowledge of the average person. Clients that want their websites optimized may have an idea of the industry of SEO, but as a consultant, there are qualities you’ll need to employ to better accommodate those clients and succeed.
First of all, know your game. You know the past and present SEO tactics and tools and you will have to translate them to your clients in a way that they will not only understand, but be able to engage in. There are many terms regarding SEO and if your client doesn’t understand the definitions of these terms, they’ll be confused and cause chaos for both of you. Make a list of the terms. Sit down and define these terms for your client so they have a full understanding of these terms and can communicate fluidly and act up on them. This is the foundation of your consultation relationship. You’re showing that you’re concerned about their education and that they have to take some responsibility by learning about the fundamentals of the field.
Next, you need to establish a rapport based on mutual respect. They have to understand that you’re a professional. A business that prides itself on excellence in service. You must also respect them for being proactive as a professional in their field but they need your help. A friendly and cordial atmosphere must be established and maintained and you’ll have to shut up sometimes and just listen to them, don’t cut their communication and don’t try to finish their sentences. Let them ramble on to a degree and glean from their comm what it is they don’t understand and what they want and need. Once this is done, then you can establish to them that when you issue suggestions, orders, and actions, that they are clearly understood and to be followed to the letter.
Never engage in politics or religion or hot button topics. You’re conducting business not running the United Nations Assembly Committee. Keep opinionated nonsense out of the conversation no matter what unless the company does delve into such matters and even then keep your opinions to a minimum. Nothing will spark turmoil like a debate about politics and religion and controversial news. You’re here to get things done right, not wrong.
Establish realistic goals. Your client may be running on misconceptions regarding what SEO is and what it can do. Make sure they know clearly the reality, the time frame, the responsibilities involved so that you avoid disappointment and confusion from the start. It will save them and you a lot of frustration, time, money, and effort.
Clearly state remuneration. How much you charge and for what. Let them know that your time is money and that the more they study with you and listen to you, the faster and more efficiently things will run.
Finally, be friends. Be in a working relationship that will carry on for as long as it can. This will bring further business and the client will recommend you to others thus building your brand.
It takes a lot to be an SEO consultant and the qualities therein are generally simple. Keep a smile on your face and you’ll do just fine.