November 30, 2009

How Not to Say No to a Client

“Well, I don’t know as I want a lawyer to tell me what I cannot do. I hire him to tell how to do what I want to do.”
—J. P. Morgan (attributed)

SEO, copywriting, and web design are all service businesses. Nobody has ever hired me to tell them what they ought to want to do; I get hired to do what they’ve decided they want to do. And clients are experts at whatever it is they’ve been doing; if I do SEO for a clothing retailer, it’s a safe bet that he knows more about clothes than I do.

At the same time, I probably spend more time reading SEOMoz, running Rank Checker, or swiping from Info Marketing Blog than they do. Since clients write the checks, they call the shots—here are a few ways I’ve found to make sure that this works out well for both sides.

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September 22, 2009

Paul Arden’s Surprisingly Thoughtful Motivational Tract

It’s Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be is another title that most people would naturally tune out (especially if they’d actually enjoy the book).

Arden’s book is short and tightly edited. The features big text, lots of whitespace, sudden pictures, emphatic headlines—it’s like a really, really good Tumblr.

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September 21, 2009

Hugh MacLeod’s “Ignore Everybody”: How to Be More Creative Than Necessary

Ignore Everybody is Hugh MacLeod’s manual about staying sane while you do stuff you don’t really love, and trying to figure out what it is that you do love. MacLeod wrote the book in New York (of course) where he worked in advertising (of course!) until he was successful enough to stop. He also made comics.

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August 27, 2009

Pity the Bookmarkleteers: Bookmarklets and SEO

If you love to get links, you’ll love this: imagine having an online app users flock to, evangelize, and use on a daily—or even hourly—basis. Imagine that it solves a serious, growing problem, in a pleasant and unobtrusive way.

Now imagine getting a smidgen of a fraction of the attention (and link-love!) you’re due, and you’ll you what it’s like to be Arc90. Read the rest of this entry »