Hard to believe it’s been over five years since I started this gig.
While on occasion I have tried to share interesting stuff on the blog, this weekend, while depositing the above check, it occurred to me that I had never used this public space to share my appreciation for the people who have made the crazy ride over the past few years possible – my clients.
I picked up my first client – LATimes.com – in fall of 2006. I was having drinks with Jason Oberfest, then LATimes.com’s head of Product. I mentioned I was working on building a technology to automate the analysis of tech SEO issues for big websites. He pulled out some pdfs of a site redesign he was in the midst of and asked if could take a look. The rest is search marketing history. So huge thanks to Jason and his team for being SEO Patient Zero (and check out Jason’s new health app start-up – Mango Health).
Over the years I have had clients of all shapes and sizes. They have been a fantastic group of collaborators and it’s a privilege to have been allowed inside so many different companies. For the most part, I think we’ve done some great work together.
People often ask – if I am such a SEO-know-it-all, why don’t I chuck the clients, do my own thing, make a ton of money spamming Google and go off and live on an island somewhere? To which, my answer invariably is something like:
1. I am doing my own thing
2. No need to spam Google to make a decent living. WWJHD?
3. Islands are nice, but the wifi usually is lousy and I can do without the mosquitoes and humidity
4. I like my clients. A lot. I like that they’re trying to make something out of nothing. I like that they are willing to put their trust in me to help them achieve their goals. I like that I can help them create and sometimes even save jobs (cue The Star Spangled Banner). Most of all, I just like working on interesting things with interesting people.
For all of the other SEOs who read this blog, I hope you agree that we are quite lucky to be in a pretty fantastic industry.
Sometimes I feel like a golf-pro at a party full of amateur golfers. I’ve never met anybody who didn’t appreciate a tip to improve their swing.
And here’s another tip. Check out Dirty Projectors’ Swing Lo Magellan.
Albums like this make me want to start a fan club…
7 Response Comments
You still take checks? 😉 I’m all about some paypal. Seems a few on my clients suffer from the-checks-in-the-mail syndrome.
Nice memo, though!
Not a fan of giving PayPal a cut for doing something that I can easily do myself 🙂
I have searched your blog for any courses you offer to teach the way you do SEO and I must be blind. If you have a course will you supply the exact link so I can check it out? Thanks and I’m a little jealous. =)
I don’t have a formal course Gary, and my site got hacked today so the contact form isn’t working. I’ll ping you to discuss.
I think one of the secrets of your SEO success is what you said in your final point–you “just like working on interesting things with interesting people.” Ideally, that’s what link-building is about: cultivating relationships between interesting people with interesting ideas, and the links/money follow along behind. Thanks for sharing.
“Kicking Google’s Ass” – that just says it all, your client loves you, to death 🙂
Andrew – +1 for Checks! I really do not enjoy paying hundreds of dollars per month to a CC processing company, nor paypal.
Regarding your site being hacked: I had this issue recently. I recommended to my clients and use myself Sucuri. I am in no way affiliated, I just thought I would pass that information along.
Sucuri even sends me a text message every 3 hours with updates that happen on each of the sites we are monitoring. $90 yearly per site, discounts apply for multiple sites.
They’ll even clean out your entire site upon sign up. BOOYA!
Next month I am going to request from one of my clients to send me something special in the “For” line on the check. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂
I love when clients love what we do. It’s like an energizing cycle. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside!