As search marketers, we have a lot to deal with – New keywords, bid adjustments, creating ads, managing landing pages and conversion codes, and preparing reports, just to name a few of our tasks. While it would be unfair to characterize any of these tasks as easy, per se, they all fall in second place compared to the most difficult part Search Engine Marketing – managing your client (note: client can be defined as either an agency client, or even an internal stakeholder within an organization). So today, I’m going to break from tradition in talking about attribution models, analytics, and SEO, and am going to focus on five things that you can do to better manage your clients.
Then set them again. And then again. Even though you may have told your client that it’s going to take time to hit their performance goals, it’s crucial to continuously make sure their expectations are in line with reality. While it’s sometimes tough for you to tell them (and for them to hear) that they are not going to zoom from a 200% ROAS to a 1000% ROAS overnight, your clients will appreciate you keeping them grounded in reality and their expectations in line so that they can avoid being disappointed.
It sounds obvious, but communication really is the backbone of the agency-client relationship. As SEMs, we sometimes are guilty of falling into a black hole of silence as we grind out keyword lists and ad copy variations, and your clients are left wondering what’s going on and questioning why they are paying you. Setting up even a five-minute weekly check-in call can be the difference between a happy client and an unhappy one.
Know Your Client
Again, this one seems obvious, but knowing little things such as whether your client prefers to be contacted by email or over the phone, knowing when they have internal meetings that requires data that comes from you, and knowing when they need deliverables can go a really long way to not only keeping but enhancing your client relationship. Sweating the details and going above and beyond to surprise and delight your client is the best way to strengthen your agency relationship.
Stay in Scope
Most agencies price their client engagements for a defined scope of work, whether it’s a fee for a particular deliverable or service, or a retainer for a set number of hours, or a percentageof ad spend for managing their PPC accounts. While it’s always great to underpromise and overdeliver, you owe it to yourself and to your agency to operate profitably. Sure, it’s fine to give a 20-hour per month client 25 or 30 hours every so often to get them the best results, but when this becomes a habit, your client’s expectations shift toward receiving the higher level of service. If a client’s scope needs to be changed, have the discussion with them as early as possible.
Clients are usually taking a leap of faith by signing on with you or your agency to manage their online marketing campaigns. So, it’s absolutely crucial that you do everything in your power to deliver results and meet their expectations (which, if you follow rule # 1 above, will be properly set). Put your heart and soul into every account, and do the tough work needed to hit their goals. Remember, happy clients breed happy clients, and you get happy clients by getting results. While it’s important to always be signing new clients, you grow by keeping your existing ones and getting their referrals.
Properly managing your clients provides a win-win: The clients stay happy and your agency operates profitably. With a healthy relationship that both the client and the agency enjoy, you can get down to business doing what you do best – Taking their online advertising efforts to the next level.