What To Do When Clients Mess Up Your Portfolio?

Mar 24, 2009 • 7:11 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEM / SEO Companies

A HighRankings Forum thread asks a question that likely applies to most professions on the web, what does one do when a client messes up your portfolio. For example, you provide SEO copywriting services and that content is used on client X's web site. Then a few months later, the client updates the content here and there and forgets to consult you for those changes. Now, when you want to show your work to future prospects, they are reviewing work that has been mangled by your client.

The same issue applies to when clients make design changes to web sites or when they make SEO changes in terms of title tags, content, and even link building. This can apply to other industries, including even building homes.

The big question is, how do you keep your portfolio in order?

The simple answer is to screen capture the work you have done. A local Wayback Machine, if you will. There is nothing wrong in taking a local copy down of the web site and using that to demo to prospects. In addition, it is always good to have a local copy, that you can use for staging the changes you made to the site, before uploading those changes to production.

Personally, I typically demo sites we built to prospects on our test servers. Why? (1) The content is sometimes cleaner. (2) I can safely make changes to the site without impacting the live site. (3) I don't run the risk of sharing real information and intellectual property with potential competitors.

Do you run into this issue?

Forum discussion at HighRankings Forum.

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KJ Rodgers

03/24/2009 01:16 pm

This is a very good point of view. Recently we were comparing some work of a indie contractor SEO and his past work. Well, his past work has either went to shambles from lack of upkeep or he just wasn't that good. But either way this same issue came to mind. I agree with keeping screen shots and keeping a local copy. I think it is the only way around these mishaps.

Lea de Groot

03/25/2009 03:11 am

"There is nothing wrong in taking a local copy down of the web site and using that to demo to prospects" - agreed, provided your contract allows for it. Always remember to check the details of the contract! (and if you are putting a live copy on your website, rather than a screencap,, remember to noindex it, or the client will not thank you ;))

No Name

03/25/2009 07:59 am

I always forget to take the "before" screenshots as well. Before and after shots are great deal closers when you're fixing crappy web sites. All the more reason to make screenshots a routine when every job ends.

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