Why You Should Underpromise and Overperform

Hey there. I’m not sure if you know who I am, but my name is Rebecca Kelley, and I was an SEO Chick (here’s where you all drone back, Hi, Rebecca, as if I’m in rehab). When Lisa asked me if I wanted to become one way back in June of last year, and I thought, Yeah, that’d be cool. Girl power, and all that good stuff! I promised to fulfill my SEO Chick duties to the best of my abilities. Those duties pretty much only consisted of blogging, but hey, I can do that, right? No problem.

I wrote a post, and time passed. And passed. And passed. Lisa would casually email me every so often and politely ask if I was going to post again soon. Sure! I said, No problem! Eventually, I wrote another post, a whopping two contributions in the past several months. Needless to say, I sucked. I was not worthy of my SEO Chicks crown, and so I stepped down as official SEO Chick to that of a guest blogger. Aw.

The point is that, basically, I overpromised and underdelivered. I told Lisa that sure, I’d guest blog until the cows came home. I’d be on that blog morning, noon, and night, and I’d contribute the awesomest posts known to man. Well, I didn’t. I sucked it up and disappointed my fellow chicks as a result.

This translates across multiple mediums. It’s tempting to promise your client everything under the sun in order to impress him or her, but you have to be reasonable, too. There are only so many hours in a day and you have X other tasks to do, not to mention a social life. If you overpromise to your client and underdeliver, well, you’re not going to have a happy client. Maybe your contact won’t provide you with a testimonial, or maybe he’ll withhold payment, or maybe you’ll just have that feeling in your gut knowing that you disappointed someone. It’s not a nice feeling.

Conversely, if you set up conservative, reasonable deliverables and deliver on time, or, better yet, deliver the task and then some, your client will think you’re the best thing since sliced bread. Underpromising (or maybe simply promising) and overdelivering will delight your client to no end. And it makes sense, right? Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

Well, here’s my attempt to promise and deliver. I promise to keep guest blogging for SEO Chicks on a regular basismaybe not every week, but at least once or twice a month. The site has accumulated a score of talented writers, so I can patiently wait my turn until it’s time for me to take a crack at the blog. That’s a promise I expect to keep, and hopefully Lisa won’t break my legs. icon_wink-8437638

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