I have a client…

I have a client who has been with me for quite some time now, and last week I got a really strange email.  It merely said.

Call me.

So you know what went down. I knew what was up. When I called him last week, he told me that maybe it’s time to end the relationship. But in a nice way. He told me that business has been way down and I knew that it had been, so it came as no surprise.

No amount of speaking to customers through various means of social media and optimizing websites was going to make their business pick up given the sorry state of the economy in portions of the rust belt. Though they are a national company, a good chunk of their business is in the Northeast. Plus they sell a frivolous type of product.

And yet, as soon as he told me that, the heart skipped a beat and the little sweat you get on your temples started to form and I immediately went into “save” mode. But there’s one problem with this.

He may be right, it might be time to cut the cord with one of my oldest clients.

I know it’s a sobering thought because no one wants to see their favorite client walk, but the reasons it might be time are many. For starters, what I set out to do for them has been 100% successful. I was brought on as an SEO and social media marketing consultant, and I’ve done everything and more for them. I’ve been their tech source for information and I really felt that I have indeed helped them.   Here’s a short list of “some” of things I’ve done for them:

  • Reworked/redesigned website for better customer engagement.
  • Created a major SEO campaign that optimized complete site for hundreds of  keywords all of which now rank organically on first 3 pages of Google.
  • Created a Flickr campaign to optimize their thousands of images and to contribute to Universal search results.
  • Created a blog that drives significant traffic and also ranks organically on first page of Google.
  • Created Facebook Fan Page-nominal success but contributed to overall brand awareness.
  • Created Twitter account that results in10% CTR and 2-3% sales on all links.
  • Responsible for online sales growth and higher average sales ever year except one. 2009…

So though he’s telling me the gig might be up, and he’s probably right, I’m sitting over here wondering what more can I do? Are there things that I have not yet tried that might get me a double, or a triple even, instead of  a weak ass bunt? Something big…Impactfull… I’m not so sure. Maybe…

The last thing I really want to do is take their money for not doing anything, but short of making the horse drink, I have led the horse to the proverbial ocean. Problem is, it’s an ocean, it’s salty and we’re gonna have to look around for an oasis and it might take some time, and might cost some money. Both of which are in short supply right now.

Will my client be better served by someone else with like minded skills? Selfishly I say no, but that might not be the case. I do know this though, they will not find someone with more value than me as it relates to what they deliver and what they charge.

So at the end of the day, as I peel through Peter Kim’s wiki, looking for that “thing” I haven’t done yet, thinking there might be some “other” things I could try, the reality is, as you know, that not every social media solution is the right solution for every client.

I don’t know what else I can do but maybe just shake their hand, maybe give them a hug, thank them for being such a great client, and end it.

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