If you have followed my instructions up to this point, you should have a handful of clients who are on the hook to you for a lot of money once you have done what you promised and linked their sites all the way to Page One of the Google Search Results for their key word or phrase. Once you get the site to move onto Page One, and the Google Dance is over, every day you want to send them an email telling them where they can be found on Page One for that Search Term.
Aside from bragging on how smart you are to pull off this amazing feat in such a short time, you are also documenting the 14 day period that is part of your contract. Once their site has shown up on Page One for 14 consecutive days, you are entitled to get paid. So how do you go about getting the cash out of their hands and into your bank account? You have several options at your disposal. The first is for you trusting sorts (like me). You wait until you ve proven yourself for 14 days, then you ask them to cut you a check and mail it to you (assuming you are not in a position to drop by their office and pick it up).
Again, if you ve chosen your niche wisely, you re dealing with someone who is already used to dealing in big money, and your demand for payment is not going to prompt them to grab their secretary, empty the bank accounts and flee to the Bahamas. It may take a day or two, but your check will appear in your mailbox, and as long as it clears the bank, consider yourself paid for a job well done.
A second way (which is equally valid, but forces the client to trust you, and frankly will never get as many clients to sign up with you) is to have the client cut you a post dated check (say, 30 days in advance) which you promise to hold until such time as you have satisfied the 14 Day requirement in your contract. Once you ve hit that milestone, you simply deposit the check into your bank account, and once again, assuming the check clears the bank, consider yourself paid in full.
I don t operate that way, simply for the reason stated above. I want to put 100% of the risk in this transaction on me, and if I ask to hold on to a post-dated check, now I am transferring some of that risk onto the client, who is forced to trust me to do the right thing and hold on to the check. Yes, the check is post-dated, meaning the bank shouldn t honor it until the date on the check has come and gone.
And yes, the client can always call the bank and place a stop-payment on it should he fear we are simply trying to rip him off. But the entire idea behind getting all the clients you can find to sign up with you as soon as they get your email is that they don t have to even begin to worry about any of that.
All they have to do is sign the contract, and you do all the work (and all of the worrying) from that point forward. Don t screw this up for yourself. Trust that legitimate businesses will pay you for your services in a timely fashion (and if they don t, I cover exactly how to fix that in the next section).
Make hiring you the easiest decision they ever made. Don t ask for payment in advance, not even a post-dated check. There are times when your client will run into a cash-flow problem and cannot cut you a check, but can pay you by credit card. In an effort to make getting paid as easy as possible, it s imperative that you be able to take credit cards as payment. That means you need to get a merchant account, or find a way to take credit cards using a 3rd party. I m not going to discuss getting your own merchant account. If you already have one, great.
You re good to go. If you don t have one, simply Google merchant accounts and start applying to the vendors you find on Page One (or for grins, pick one on page 4, then when your transaction is done, ask them if they d like to jump to Page One!) What I want to introduce you to is a 3rd party vendor who can accept amounts up to $2,500, and do so without all of the pain and suffering (and paperwork) you ll go through establishing your own merchant account.
The vendor is called Plimus (http://home.plimus.com/ecommerce/) and again, I am NOT getting any kind of affiliate money from Plimus for making this recommendation. Like the earlier reco I made, I don t think they even have an affiliate program for their company (which is funny, considering what they do for a living). With Plimus, you can set your price for goods or services all the way to $2,500, and then pay a 4.5% fee for them handling the transaction. Your own merchant account would probably cost you less over time, and once you get rolling with this business, it will probably be in your best interest to get your own account. But for now, today, use the link above and get set up with your own Plimus account. Then, if/when you run into the client who needs to pay by credit card, you are ready to run the transaction through and get paid.
Along those same lines, get serious about getting your own website from which you will be doing this business. Mine can be found at www.attorneymarketing-seo.com and you are free to follow the style and the format I use to set up your own account. What you can t see on my site is a non-linked, password protected page that I send my credit card paying clients to, so they can click on the button for the services they purchased, and pay me through my Plimus account.
I don t make that page easy to find simply because I don t want someone coming along and buying my services before I have the chance to review their site and see if there is anything I can do for them. You might think that is a strange way to do business, but look back to Step Six. I AM THE ONE IN CHARGE HERE, not the client. I decide who I work with, not the client. I don t want to feel obligated to work with anyone simply because they can t read and paid for my services in advance. You might feel differently, and you might want to leave your payment button open and available for the entire world. Go ahead. It s your business and you decide how you run it. Not me or anyone else.
Getting Paid Annually
Now that you have the client satisfied, their site firmly attached to Page One for their chosen search term, now you need to spend a little time each month making sure they stay happy, so that when the end of their one year contract rolls around, renewing for another $2500 (or whatever price you decided on) will be a no-brainer for them. The way to do this is to identify the other key words and phrases that drive new business their way, and develop a backlinking campaign for those words as well.
You can focus on one word or phrase at a time, or spread the link love around by linking up all the key phrases at one time. Figure out where they are at in terms of positioning for each of the additional keywords, and drop the client a note letting them know that you ve done some additional background work, and determined that they need to improve their ranking for those keywords as well.
Tell them not to worry about payment, that you will address this additional linking in your free time, and hopefully they will see some improvement in their search engine rankings before too long. Then just repeat what you ve already done for them for the original key word. Use Angela s Links to get them some high PR forum links pointing back at them, and make sure you link those forum profiles to a Craigslist post so the links get crawled by the spiders.
Within a month or so they should be ranking well for all their keywords, and their business should be increasing as a result. Once you can see that their rankings have improved, send them another note letting them know that you got all this accomplished for them, and again, at no charge. And it is not like it s costing you anything extra to switch around a few key words or phrases.
After a couple of months of adding Angela s Links for the original key words, you should have enough link juice built up to guarantee Page One ranking for the next decade. So diverting a few of the links to some additional key words is no big deal.
But what you want to make sure the client understands is that maintaining his Page One rankings requires constant monitoring on your part, and that if he wants to keep this prime virtual real estate in his name, he ll need to sign another contract. If he decides against doing that for any reason, explain to him that it s likely his Page One rankings will begin to disappear soon, and there is no guarantee that you can come back later and get him back on Page One. And you aren t lying about that.
There are no guarantees you can get him there in the first place the odds just overwhelmingly favor your ability to do so. But unless you own Google, you can t guarantee anyone anything in terms of placements. Only crazy or soon to be retired clients will turn you down for a second (or third, or fourth or fifth) year of SEO services. So the odds are again very much in your favor that all you will need to do is cash their check and keep adding some links once a month. However, there may be the occasional client who decides he just doesn t need your services any longer, and refuses to sign up for another year. This leaves you with two choices, and they are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Choice One is to go back into the marketplace, and using the work you did for your stupid ex-client, get one of his competitors to sign a contract. You just use the same method as described in Find the guys with the websites that are buried on Page Three or deeper for the money keywords, and send them all an email. For the first one who responds, tell them what you did for the stupid exclient, and that should be enough to get them to sign a contract. Choice Two (which again, you can do along with Choice One, or not do at all your choice) is to go back to the sites that you set up for stupid ex-client and change the links already established into links for new client.
Remember that I advised against telling the client what you are doing to help them maintain a Page One ranking. Once that year is up, and no new contract is agreed upon, you are no longer required to maintain their Page One positioning, and you have no legal obligation to keep your original work pointing in their direction. You might decide that it is not worth the risk of screwing around with ex-clients, lawyers and the like. I seriously doubt anyone would sue if they dropped off Page One after they terminated their contract with you, but I ve heard of crazier things happening. So you might decide to simply leave well enough alone, and devote all your time and effort into moving new client ahead of stupid ex-client in the rankings. Like I said, it s your choice.
HOWEVER If you run into a situation where client decides against PAYING you for your efforts, and you are forced to resort to collection tactics and such to get paid, when it becomes clear to you that you are not going to get paid, you should immediately remove all of your links pointing to that client s website from the various forums where you set up profiles.
If they aren t paying, they aren t clients. And they certainly don t deserve to remain on Page One if they aren t willing to compensate you for your efforts. When I originally started talking about performing the SEO services, I mentioned that there were several on-page items that you or their webmaster could fix in less than a day, and that those items would probably be enough to get them onto Page One without any linking.
You might be best served to wait until AFTER the client pays you for getting them onto Page One before you suggest the on-page changes. I have moved several clients with pathetic on-page optimization onto Page One for their desired search terms, just from my linking campaign. Since most of your competition for these words and phrases are as poorly optimized as your client s site, you should have the same kind of success.