[thought] we were getting pretty dialed in on what works, and what doesn’t.
That’s where we were all wrong. We had ignored one simple, but essential element. I have to admit, though, we came to this realization after a pretty big blunder by an experienced employee (who shall remain nameless—I don’t want to embarrass anyone here =)). Here’s how the initial pitch and subsequent conversations went:
Here’s where we messed up. We left an old blog name in our template and didn’t update before sending our pitch to a different blog. We didn’t expect to hear back.
The blogger ACTUALLY responded, and to our surprise was a happy customer!
Now we offer apologies for messing up, and begin negotiations.
Our client got back to us very quickly with what we could offer, and gave double what the blogger was looking for. This definitely helped sweeten the deal.
The negotiations continued, and within a few short days, the blogger produced an excellent review, provided a link, and shared the giveaway and blog post on all of their social channels with 54k+ followers!
Work Your Magic
Did you catch that? We totally messed up and referenced the wrong website, but the blogger wasn’t even phased – and we got a stellar review and link out of it! So maybe, just maybe, all of this worrying about the perfect pitch doesn’t really matter. Rather, it’s who we are connecting with that matters most.
Think about it. How many companies hire an SEO firm just to build links, expecting them to work their magic? Don’t get me wrong, magic can certainly happen without help from the client, but the magic consistently happens when the SEO company can act as an extension of the client’s company.
Work Smarter… and Harder
I submit that existing relationships are much more important than how we word our email pitches. Now, that doesn’t give us the license to say whatever we want in a pitch—we all know a carefully worded email can work wonders—but I am proposing that we all become more integrated with our clients.
From the initial sales pitch, clients should know that we need their involvement and cooperation. This could include: lists of current and past clients, information on businesses they partner with, access to experts for interviews, access to post on the blog, an email address on the client’s domain, etc. If we as SEO agencies operate as or in conjunction with our clients’ marketing departments, everyone would benefit greatly.
Have ideas for working with clients as an extension of their marketing department? Leave them in the comments or send us a tweet!