Push your client back when it comes to content

Push your client back when it comes to content

3 minute read

Push your client back when it comes to content

3 minute read

Push your client back when it comes to content

Jason Corgiat

Founder and Lead Business Strategist, LeapGo

As agencies, we’re programmed to give the client what they want. They ask for a last-minute promotional email, we give them a last-minute promotional email. They ask for a custom landing page, we give them a custom landing page. We’re often too quick to give a quote and too afraid to say ‘hold on’ and risk losing the business.

However, when it comes to content, we need to learn to push back. As agencies, we’re experts at creating revenue-generating websites and often know more about content – particularly, content that produces results – than our clients. What they want is not always what is best for their business and only we can tell them that.

Our client, and how we pushed back

Our agency, LeapGo, recently encountered such a scenario. A specialised software development company had approached us about overhauling their online presence. The biggest problem was that their current website was not generating enough leads. They wanted to solve this with a new website that would make their services, team, and portfolio look more professional. Freeze! Agencies can go down one of these two paths:

  • Take the beaten path and provide a quote that matches the request.
  • Take the road less traveled and push back on the client’s request.

More often than not, I’ve seen agencies choose option 1 and provide a quote along with some design samples. In fact, that’s what many of the competing agencies did in this scenario.

There isn’t a wrong approach here but assuming the quote is within budget and the portfolio is impressive, there is a good shot an agency taking option 1 will get the business. However it’s not necessarily best for the client… or the agency.

It’s ok to say ‘no’

Choosing the second option is, in most cases, the best option. You will have a better chance of understanding the client’s goals and objectives, and be in position to put forward solutions that have a higher chance of delivering results. There were many reasons why our client’s website was struggling:

  • The content was flat and it lacked substance. It’s like they were talking to robots (or search engines) and they just couldn’t see it.
  • There were no problem-solution scenarios or engaging messages that connected with the audience. They were preventing prospective customers from seeing the benefits of using their services.
  • It was missing lead capture opportunities (such as email signups and whitepaper downloads) nor was it optimized for any type of conversion funnel.

Unfortunately, some agencies still worry that by pushing back and asking “Why?” or saying “No, you need better content”, will end with client walking away and taking their business elsewhere. To the client, creating better content often sounds like spending more money. Yet, by pushing back, you’re giving the client the chance to really improve the results they’ll see. You’ll make every dollar they spend work even harder by delivering real and lasting value.

The website you create reflects on your business too. When a prospective client contacts a past client, do you want them to say “Our new website looks great and it’s everything we asked for”, or do you want them to tell the story of how your agency educated them on what’s really important, and now their website is driving a steady flow of sales? You should want the latter, because your clients’ success is your success.

Explain the benefits of going content-first

I don’t need to sell you on the benefits of going content-first. You’re reading GatherContent’s blog, and they’ve extensively covered how content-first agencies win clients, and how to take your clients content-first. Just be certain to explain the power of a considered approach to content.  If that involves saying “no” and persuading your client to re-evaluate their priorities, then so be it.  Even if you have to go as far as not letting the client write the content, the results you deliver will be so much more impactful.

Saying “no” will generate more business

Returning to our earlier scenario, we chose option 2 and pushed back on the client’s initial request, explained the importance of creating great content, and convinced them to work with us. We developed content that connected with their audience. We created content for each step of their sales funnel.  The website has launched and we’re confident it will be a great success because we did so much more than just a ‘redesign’. The moral of this story is that it’s okay to push back when it comes to content. In fact, we challenge you to do it more often.

Our clients expect us to come to the table with new ideas and proven strategies.  We believe that if we lose a bid because we push back, then we’ve lost it for the right reasons.  We all have stories of bad projects or clients that have stemmed from just ‘giving them what they asked for’. By insisting on the best for your clients, your agency will generate more business from the type of clients you want to work with. As agencies, content is something that we understand very well and it’s vital that our clients understand it too.How do you convince clients to put content first?

As agencies, we’re programmed to give the client what they want. They ask for a last-minute promotional email, we give them a last-minute promotional email. They ask for a custom landing page, we give them a custom landing page. We’re often too quick to give a quote and too afraid to say ‘hold on’ and risk losing the business.

However, when it comes to content, we need to learn to push back. As agencies, we’re experts at creating revenue-generating websites and often know more about content – particularly, content that produces results – than our clients. What they want is not always what is best for their business and only we can tell them that.

Our client, and how we pushed back

Our agency, LeapGo, recently encountered such a scenario. A specialised software development company had approached us about overhauling their online presence. The biggest problem was that their current website was not generating enough leads. They wanted to solve this with a new website that would make their services, team, and portfolio look more professional. Freeze! Agencies can go down one of these two paths:

  • Take the beaten path and provide a quote that matches the request.
  • Take the road less traveled and push back on the client’s request.

More often than not, I’ve seen agencies choose option 1 and provide a quote along with some design samples. In fact, that’s what many of the competing agencies did in this scenario.

There isn’t a wrong approach here but assuming the quote is within budget and the portfolio is impressive, there is a good shot an agency taking option 1 will get the business. However it’s not necessarily best for the client… or the agency.

It’s ok to say ‘no’

Choosing the second option is, in most cases, the best option. You will have a better chance of understanding the client’s goals and objectives, and be in position to put forward solutions that have a higher chance of delivering results. There were many reasons why our client’s website was struggling:

  • The content was flat and it lacked substance. It’s like they were talking to robots (or search engines) and they just couldn’t see it.
  • There were no problem-solution scenarios or engaging messages that connected with the audience. They were preventing prospective customers from seeing the benefits of using their services.
  • It was missing lead capture opportunities (such as email signups and whitepaper downloads) nor was it optimized for any type of conversion funnel.

Unfortunately, some agencies still worry that by pushing back and asking “Why?” or saying “No, you need better content”, will end with client walking away and taking their business elsewhere. To the client, creating better content often sounds like spending more money. Yet, by pushing back, you’re giving the client the chance to really improve the results they’ll see. You’ll make every dollar they spend work even harder by delivering real and lasting value.

The website you create reflects on your business too. When a prospective client contacts a past client, do you want them to say “Our new website looks great and it’s everything we asked for”, or do you want them to tell the story of how your agency educated them on what’s really important, and now their website is driving a steady flow of sales? You should want the latter, because your clients’ success is your success.

Explain the benefits of going content-first

I don’t need to sell you on the benefits of going content-first. You’re reading GatherContent’s blog, and they’ve extensively covered how content-first agencies win clients, and how to take your clients content-first. Just be certain to explain the power of a considered approach to content.  If that involves saying “no” and persuading your client to re-evaluate their priorities, then so be it.  Even if you have to go as far as not letting the client write the content, the results you deliver will be so much more impactful.

Saying “no” will generate more business

Returning to our earlier scenario, we chose option 2 and pushed back on the client’s initial request, explained the importance of creating great content, and convinced them to work with us. We developed content that connected with their audience. We created content for each step of their sales funnel.  The website has launched and we’re confident it will be a great success because we did so much more than just a ‘redesign’. The moral of this story is that it’s okay to push back when it comes to content. In fact, we challenge you to do it more often.

Our clients expect us to come to the table with new ideas and proven strategies.  We believe that if we lose a bid because we push back, then we’ve lost it for the right reasons.  We all have stories of bad projects or clients that have stemmed from just ‘giving them what they asked for’. By insisting on the best for your clients, your agency will generate more business from the type of clients you want to work with. As agencies, content is something that we understand very well and it’s vital that our clients understand it too.How do you convince clients to put content first?

Cheat Sheet

Convince Your Clients

A handy one-sheet to share with your clients to convince them to put content first.

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About the author

Jason Corgiat

Jason is the lead business strategist and founder of LeapGo, Inc., a leading professional website development company. He has over 12 years of expertise in ecommerce website development, digital marketing strategies, and business consulting. Jason has worked with small to Fortune 500 sized companies and established a track record for success by offering a ‘no-BS’ consultative approach. Learn more at LeapGo.com.

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