Business Thoughts

What Entourage's Vinny Chase can teach you about selecting an SEO Company

So what does selecting an SEO company have to do with Vinny Chase? I’ll tell you, but first watch this video then read the inspiration below:

If you were Vinny, how would that experience have helped or not helped you choose an agent?

Here’s how this came to me…

This week we turned down the opportunity to work with a great organization because they required us to come in with a presentation for their selection committee. We don’t have canned presentations for “pitches.” Instead we like to sit down with a potential client figure out who they are, what makes them unique, what their needs are and THEN see if we are a good fit to help. After explaining this, it was still required for “participating firms” to have a thirty minute presentation or the deal was off (yes it had to be 30 minutes). So for now we walked away (remember walking away from deals is one of my ways to grow a stress free agency.)

When I am given the opportunity to speak with people about SEO/SEM, I tell all of them that the decision of selecting a search company is one that will be made with the GUT. Why? Because every SEO/SEM company is going to sound the same, talk the same game, and use the same shtick.

Every company will have slides on:
• The team’s experience
• How they alter on-site factors
• Their linking strategy
• Results for past clients
• Bid management
• Blah, blah, blah

While some may have one or two unique features, most people purchasing search marketing services (especially SEO) still don’t have enough knowledge of the space to know if those differentiating factors mean anything to their bottom line.

At the end of the lineup, most search companies will sound the same, leaving you to scratch your head and say, “What now. They all sound the same, so how do I pick?”

For those of you seeking great search companies, you will need to be Vinny Chase. Look for the company that shows some passion, something different, and is at least somewhat discriminating about the opportunities they take on.

If you want a second or third place search firm, ask them to come in and do a presentation or answer an RFP. The ones that jump at the opportunity without qualifying you are hungry for business.

In the search space where rip off artists are everywhere, the GOOD search companies that you WANT to work with will at least want to speak with you before running off to blindly answer an RFP/presentation. The ones that come on in with presentation in hand without first asking you about your goals and how you plan on achieving them, etc, etc might be dangerous, so do your due diligence on them.

All in all, If you want to make Medellin you need Billy Walsh (), not some suit!

Finally, let’s not forget the lesson learned at the end of this episode: After seeing so many canned, unoriginal presentations, Vinny decided to stay with Ari. When he arrived at Ari’s office to tell him, Ari proceeded to deliver the exact same type of canned presentation as all of his competition, prompting Vinny to can him!

The client may think they want a full presentation at the beginning of their search for a great SEO company, like Vinny thought when he began his search for a new agent, but they’re better off getting a company that doesn’t try to fit themselves into a mold and actually takes a chance doing something unique.

Inspiration for this post:
Rachael Levenson – she brought up this episode while in the car coming back from a results & ROI review up with a current client. Rachael, we gotta take more road trips!

Entourage – please come back soon. Without The Wire, Sopranos, and Sex & the City, the lineup is looking weak.