Enough is enough is not enough blog post hero image

Enough is enough is not enough

During the enforced lockdown we have been busy with appreciative client sites like the recently launched Kristina-J.com and others still in the pipeline, our own plans, and some shall we say less than appreciative people, and it’s the last two I want to deal with this time.

For 69Design we had planned to integrate the directory more closely with our main site here, allowing us to pull content from each site into the other one, but due to the second part of our post today this just simply did not get done, however we have learned some very valuable lessons about human nature the design business (not just the escort side) and the way we need to approach business in the future.

So let’s begin. We were approached by an established agency who asked us for an evaluation of their site in respect of SEO, coupled with this were horror stories about the treatment they were receiving from their then existing designers, who also handled the SEO and hosting. We offered to produce a free SEO evaluation report which we duly did. After this we received numerous calls and emails concerning what we thought the best course of action was, what we could do, what was wrong with the site as it was etc etc. These were probably daily sometimes twice a day, and all without any fee of promise of business. I was very careful during this time not to denigrate any third parties, as I was only getting one side of the situation, although there were definitely SEO issues which needed work.

Eventually, after several weeks of this the agency asked us to make them a new site, host it and to look after the SEO, so we agreed a fee for the site and a retainer for ongoing SEO and started work. While the site design went well, we worked closely with the clients, listening to feedback and making any changes they requested, frankly taking hours of work all being done under our 50% discounted price offer which I pledged to stick to despite being grossly underpaid for the work being done.

What did become clear was that the agencies expectations in terms of SEO and the budget they were prepared to commit would be better served by introducing a specialist SEO firm, a loss in potential revenue to us but the right advice for the clients. It was also becoming obvious that we could not continue to handle this level of non stop interaction without it causing issues with other client work, basically the right advice for everyone. Just as an aside we “lost” another enquiry during this time as we were dedicating so much time to this,

The agency duly went off and found an SEO firm outside the escort business, several Zoom video meetings were held, we pointed out several pitfalls relating to the special conditions of the escort business, created several specialist areas in the content management system and basically went out of our way to be helpful and friendly.

Then it went quiet. Uncharacteristically we heard nothing for a week or so, the site was largely ready so presumed the SEO people were doing their job, it transpired they certainly were. Having introduced this firm to the escort business, they liaised with the agency behind our back, built a site themselves, sidelined us and cut us out entirely all without having the courtesy or guts to notify us. While not entirely unsurprising in hindsight, it does show how unethical people are. Collaboration is supposed to be the way forward, something we have usually avoided and it seems our instincts were right. Let me say I was paid, I lost money, yes, that was my choice to work way beyond the money received, and ultimately I am probably glad to have disposed off the ongoing stress. However it was a lesson learned in how badly some people can behave and how we were perceived in terms of value. I doubt the same lack of courtesy would be shown if we were accountants or solicitors.

So what can we take away from this and make something positive out of it going forward? Well, we have fallen into an age old trap of not valuing our service highly enough, cut prices you attract clients who do not value what you do and possibly put off people who are prepared to pay for a first class service and product. We therefore intend to raise our prices to a level we feel is both fair to the market, and to us. Yes it will put some people off, but really when considering a website for your business price is just one factor, if it’s the overriding factor we may not be for you, that’s fine. However if you are looking for innovative, thoughtful and quality design coupled with hand written code, an excellent support service, and people you can talk to and who listen then please do consider us.

To accompany this we will also in the next couple of weeks be introducing a one page starter site, I refuse to call it a template, this will be a fixed cost basic price, but there will be nothing basic about the designs. We intend to make them unique, in line with modern trends, and to vary the designs regularly. In other words a unique one page site to market your services independently.

OK that’s about it, lessons learned, details to follow on the new sites, meanwhile onwards and upwards as always, and a big thank you to all our clients who do appreciate and value what we do, we truly really appreciate your loyalty and support.

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