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Search Marketing Becoming Ultimate Bartering Goldmine During Tough Economy


Barter-ppc Hey, we all know things are tough out there and everyone is looking for work to make ends meet. However, the once crazy idea (of course back in the day) where people were paid with Livestock instead of cold-hard cash is not so crazy these days. Now, let's be clear. I have not been asked nor received a "Fainting Goat" or a "Martha Stewart Type Chicken" as payment for a PPC Strategy. However, I have seen more and more prospects and clients feeling more comfortable paying for Search Marketing services with their own products or services instead of a check because it's easier for them to started.

In this article, I will discuss some of the reasons why this payment option can make sense for some clients as well as the PPC Guru. I am not saying all clients should be bartered, however choosing one or two them is not a bad idea. Let's discuss…..

Not all Clients are the same:
As on obvious statement to make, many clients and prospects have had a bad experience with Search Marketing. Depending on the client's industry and their different profit margins levels, PPC can be a very sensitive advertising vehicle to meet and exceed their goals/objectives. With that said, here are some possibilities of why they are nervous to commit:

  • Already been burned by someone or some agency who promised them #1 position and inflated CPC Costs with no Quality Score elements.
  • They tried to do it themselves and just pissed about their money
  • Trusted Google to optimize the campaign for them and it literally cleaned them out (Ouch! Sorry Google, but have seen this happen to frequently)
  • Have poor "Usability" issues on their website and cannot convert properly no matter what they do to drive qualified traffic.
  • I can think of many more, but you get the picture

What Services Could Be Bartered?
Well first of all, many of the smaller clients probably do not have a marketing plan that consists of both online and offline, and especially not one which has them both working together. A good strategy would be to provide a free analysis of the client's website, review their products/service offerings, and have a simple discussion about past failures and/or successes.

Moreover, one of the most important questions you could ask a client is "What makes you different than all of your competitors? Is there anything that you provide that no one else does?" Asking these questions enable the PPC Marketer to identify the QUICK WINS first, because you will want to establish credibility and a sense of comfort with the client. A client may just need some on-going advice to help them do-it-themselves, or full implementation and monitoring. It's really up to the client and the PPC Guru to negotiate what is best.

Star-wars-cast-signed Is It Bad Business To Barter?
In my opinion, absolutely not. If you are starting your own company or consulting firm, you need clients to be happy and provide testimonials, so you can build credibility and create "word of mouth" which is much better than any PPC Campaign and/or fancy, dynamic website. A good Search Marketer needs to fully understand the client's products or services to effectively market them to the masses. Of course, not every client you would want to barter with. For me, I'd rather barter with an Wine Dealer or Aviation Art Dealer, than say a Toilet Manufacturer. But in the end, the client is happy, you have another great reference and you were able to get that very rare bottle of wine "Dom. Romane Conti 1997" or for the Geek side of SemGeek, a Limited Edition Star Wars Photo autographed by the Star Wars Cast. Either way, it's not a bad option. Plus, depending on what is being bartered, you may actually make out better with a barter than actual cash payment.

In Conclusion:

Bartering for services can sometimes be looked at as poor business decision because it's not affecting the bottomline. However, when you are starting a new business, trying to make a name for yourself, or to put food on the table, there are other ways to achieve success. I tend to look at bartering as more of an investment for continued growth as well as put a little fun into the work that you do.

Here's a little suggestion: Find a company/business where you like their products and/or services. Reach out to them and tell them you are a search marketing professional and would like to help them improve their online sales and all they have to do is barter some of their products/services for your expertise. You never know, it may just get you your first client and lead to many more "paying" clients.

Filed under: Paid Search in General

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