Clients want results, and who can blame them? However, the results they want should be guided by the goals we set with them from the beginning of a campaign. From my experience with clients, their biggest concern is ranking higher in the search engines for their targeted keywords. Aside from that, they aren’t concerned with how they get there.
As link builders, we have to help them have a broader perspective. It’s about building their online presence within their industry and in doing so, the quality links will follow. Unfortunately, it doesn’t boil down to a numbers game. It just isn’t that simple. If it were, everyone would be a link builder. What does it take for our clients to be successful?
Three Key Ingredients In A Successful Link Campaign
Time: The best link building campaign isn’t a formula (amount of time = X number of links). The kind of links you can guarantee aren’t links of high quality or long-term value. Building relationships is one of the best ways to get valuable links. Another method of getting valuable links is through creating relevant content for your audience. These tactics take time to establish and produce but provide more merit in the long run.
If your campaign is built around a formula, then you are setting the client up for failure as soon as the campaign is over and the links aren’t continuing to be built at that rate.
Resources: How does the client currently garner leads? What are they doing that’s working? This is the best place to start because you can work from their strengths.
To dig further, ask questions to help assess what their resources are. Do they have linkable assets? Is there someone within the organization that is willing to share their knowledge and present themselves as an industry thought leader? Do they have white papers or a blog where they share industry-relevant content? Are they willing/able to give products out for review or for bloggers to use for a giveaway?
Communication: By having a conversation with the client to set goals at the beginning of a campaign, you can avoid some of the misunderstanding that results from having different expectations.
I also recommend communicating with the client throughout the campaign to keep them up-to-date on your efforts. Perhaps the initial goals that were set are intangible and need adjusted. Maybe, if you are a supernatural wunderkind like myself, you reach your goals soon into the campaign and need to create new ones.
Communication also allows your client to know where you are at and what you’ve been working on. If they have questions or concerns, they can ask you right then and you can address it. Plus, it helps build trust and a long-term relationship with your client.
Establishing Expectations From The Beginning
The best way to avoid “red flags” is to catch the signals from the beginning. If you are able to establish your expectations together with the client, then perhaps you will be on the same page at the start. Then your continued communication will help you stay on the same page. As this SNL skit demonstrates, it is vitally important to catch the warning signs and address them, so that both parties aren’t thinking, “They’re !@%$#& crazy!”