A made a 12 month proposal for a SEO services for a website that streams music. It currently has around 5k artists and 50k tracks that need to be optimized. The client told me that they want to sign up a shorter contract and if they see results, we will continue working together. How to explain to them that SEO takes time and I need 1 year to execute the strategy properly?
This is a great question, and one for the ages. Its difficult to run a business on month-to-month revenues. David mentioned earlier that he's run a successful business for over 5 years on with month to month contracts. And while it can be done, its just not stable and reliable. I've had clients for over 5 years before too, on month to month contracts. But its tough to do when you don't have 100 clients. When you have 10 clients and aren't sure if you can count on that revenue next month or the month after it really holds you hostage.
You definitely need to map out a plan for long term contracts. And in my business, SEO, you HAVE to have a long term approach. Because SEO results come over time. The ROI of SEO should be measured in years, not months, because long after I'm done working for a client they are still reaping the benefits of my work, compounding the ROI.
I offer discounts for 6-12 month commitments and find that this works, along with educating the client on why they need to give SEO a 6-12 month shot. It really boils down to educating the prospect or client. And the long term commitments are not just for my benefit. Clients need to commit to SEO and not get cold feet after 2-3 months and move on to a new SEO agency or give up all together. Doing this is sure way to ruin your business.