Clients From Hell is my longest running project. I was initially brought on as an editor, and since then, I’ve become the senior member of the team. I now handle all duties related to content, community management, and expansion among verticals.
Our Fans are our Foundation
Clients From Hell had a strong fan-base before I was brought in, but it was a fraction of what it is now. Considering most of the content on the blog is submitted by our readers, appreciating them while growing our offerings was a unique challenge.
From an outside perspective, the first step was the most unremarkable. Metrics were gathered and analytics were observed. By paying attention to when our fans came to the site and where they were coming from, we were able to schedule our offerings for maximum impact.
A similar strategy was applied to our social media channels. Engaging fans and offering worthwhile content only matters so long as it reaches its intended audience. Besides linking posts via our social media channels, we also build connections with other sites by highlighting content that might be worthwhile to our readers.
Working Well with Others
It’s not easy to say no to advertisers, but as the previous section states, Clients From Hell is what it is thanks to its readers. Listening to them and offering value is why they stay with us.
The site was uniquely positioned for a variety of partnerships. It continues to be important to me and my colleagues that any advertisers, partnerships, or sponsors be in service to our readers before us. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.
As a result of all this, we’ve worked with large-scale not-for-profits, start-ups, entrepreneurs, and businesses that appeal to our demographics.
Strong Roots Support Strong Growth
It’s important to keep focus. Clients From Hell’s initial offering of so-bad-it’s-good anecdotes aren’t going anywhere. They’re what our fans first came here for, and until the fans tell us otherwise, they’ll continue to remain the backbone of our site.
However, once that underpinning is established, it’s possible to build outward with new content.
Growing in All Directions
The Clients From Hell physical product offerings aren’t particularly profitable. We keep them on hand for our readers, but the bottom-line benefit is negligible. My solution was a complete follow-up to Clients From Hell’s first book. In order to avoid the time and money overhead that comes with traditional publishing, we created a completely digital product that was pure profit.
In addition, our initial newsletter push was supported by offering our readers a guide to getting started in freelancing (which I also wrote). The newsletter(s) offer links, services, and stories that keep the community in touch with what’s going on with the site.
With the reader-submitted stories are what the site is built on in mind, I wrote, directed, and produced a 16-episode web series. Unlike traditional web-advertising, viewer engagement is higher and advertising is much more profitable. The new medium also converted numerous new visitors to the site.
My latest push with the site involves educating our readers via regular webinars and workshops. We bring in people that are of interest to our readers and pick their brains via a live telecast. Often, a single product is offered at a discount as well. This kind of real-time engagement has a variety of benefits.
Every project and every client is unique in their needs. I offer experience in a wide variety of services in order to effectively meet those needs.
Here are just a few things I did to help this project find success: