More threads by Chris McCreery

Feb 24, 2013
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Just wondering how most handle working with clients who might expect some sort of no-compete clause in your contract. Haven't come across this myself yet but am curious how you offer services across one vertical with out issues or perceived conflict of interest?

Thanks in advance!
I would expect one if I was paying for seo in my market. I think it would be hard for you to serve to masters in a specific market fairly.

Of course the non compete would be limited to specific markets and the industry the client is in. Ie won't work for another plumber in Dallas tx. However I will work for other contractors and local businesses in Dallas Tx and I will work for other plumbers in other areas.
Great question Chris,

When I specialized in Dentists this is how I handled it.

Only one Dentist per city, except in large metros where it would be 2 per city BUT only if they were on the opposite ends of town where they would not compete for patients because a patient in S Dallas would not likely go to a Dentist in N Dallas.

But it never came up for me because I only did 3 month agreements.

But I offered the exclusive, not just for the client's peace of my, but I could not in good conscience have 2 clients competing in the same 7 pack. I personally would feel conflicted about that.

The issue of 2 in the same city never came up and I'm not sure what I would have done if it did. Guess I wanted to leave it as an option, but I'm not sure I would have taken a 2nd client in same city.

I believe Colan and Joy's company offer exclusives too. He'll probably see this and comment soon.
Great Q Chris. We have a similar rule to Linda's. Two clients per industry in one city max.
We do exclusive contracts. One company per industry per city.

I think you'll find the infusion of security and support that an exclusive contract gives a client outweighs the potential that someone else wants your services in the same industry and location.

We haven't had that issue yet.
We do one industry one city or region, and we explain to clients this is part of what they pay for.
Do you think you would be more profitable in one city if you simply offered training instead? Just curious.
Chris, I think it's kind of an apples & oranges thing. The training would be a new kind of service offering entirely and would have its own criteria or factors for being profitable. In other words, to do that in a profitable way we'd have to change our whole approach. Bottomline: we don't want to be a training a company.

Side note, based on my experience to date, the types of businesses/owners we tend to work with are not interested in training. They are paying to have someone else do it for them. From time to time we do provide what I think of as coaching to an internal person, but this hasn't been typical.
Do you think you would be more profitable in one city if you simply offered training instead? Just curious.

We do offer training as our Local SEO product is on the higher end price wise. We give local companies a less expensive but more time consuming (for them) option: we'll teach them how to do Local SEO themselves.

It's been decently profitable but you need to be good with boundaries. Meaning you have to be good at charging for your time.
Thanks Joshua, that was very insightful. I'm great at billing people for my time:). There's always scope creep, if you will.

Chris McCreery
I have actually run into conflict of interest several times.

One time one of my clients referred me to his direct competitor oddly enough. I told him it would be a conflict of interest and referred the competitor to someone on this forum - he was just trying to be helpful, but obviously appreciated this.

We have many clients in a similar niche, with slightly different focuses. But I can't imagine trying to rank two clients for the same keyword. That's kind of like the Olympic figure skater coach Marina Zoueva who coached the US team and then ran over to coach the Canadian team!
We also offer exclusivity to our clients if they are on our full marketing package.

For the smaller package clients we limit it to 2 clients per city.

For just web design, we have no limitations.

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