This week I “kind of” fired a freelance client I’ve worked with for 12 years. Not because I don’t like him — he’s quite likable — but because he’s stuck in a mindset of outbound marketing and afraid to embrace change, even if it would be easier on his budget.
He’s mentioned the challenges of his evolving industry many times over the years, and I’ve offered inbound suggestions that he was excited about, but there’s never been any movement.
The work I’ve been doing for him over the years has mostly included designing email invitations and blasting them out a few times each month via MailChimp. They’re pretty much the same formula each time, with little variation. The information in the emails is also added to his website, but there’s nothing else to it — no blog, no expert advice, nothing interesting to offer the hundreds of people that click through to his site when they purchase tickets to the events advertised in his emails.
His list has declined steadily with each mailing, and what my (former) client has always said he wants to be known for is not what he’s being found for on Google — something that could be easily corrected through blogging and social media. He also has people lined up on LinkedIn wanting to connect, but doesn’t see the value in the platform or accepting their invitations.
I say I “kind of” fired him because I offered two options to give a final nudge toward Inbound:
- a modest retainer which includes the usual email campaigns plus a simple blogging strategy — which I explained in detail with a current Google Webmaster Tools keyword report, and a snapshot of his website against his main competitors using the HubSpot competitor report
- or the status quo at a much higher premium starting in January
He said he was sorry, but he was electing to go with a local company that actually uses the term “saturation mailings” on their home page.
So his marketing insanity — the act of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result — will continue, but I feel relieved because my insanity is ending. Doing those repetitive emails the last year or so, I felt like I was betraying the Inbound movement. I think a small part of me thought I’d eventually convince him to come along for the ride and see how transformative it could be for his business.
The funny thing is, not an hour after he let me know his decision to go with the “saturation” people, another opportunity landed in my lap that looks like a really good fit.