I woke up at 4am this morning, unable to go back to sleep, so I did what I normally do conscious or not, hit the SEO forums. I found an interesting thread from a guy complaining that his client was questioning his methods.
This is a common occurrence. On a daily basis clients question what I do. They do not understand what we do, and since they are spending their hard earned money, they want to better understand what we are doing. It is part of executive management 101.
When I take on a new client I know in advance that 30% of my time will be education. In essence you become a teacher.
I never shield what I know from a client. Let's face it, with enough research and commitment anyone can become an SEM. There is no college course that you can take to learn my profession. If there was, by the time the term was over what you learned would be history. I explain what and why I do everything I do. Your not giving away any big secret, you are doing the job you are being paid to do. With enough research I could become a highly qualified surgeon. The information is there, but I chose not to learn it. But I guarantee you if I am told that I need surgery the surgeon had better know what he's doing because I'm going to question every prick and prod.
The more I teach them the more I earn their respect, trust and appreciation.
The time and commitment that it takes to be a professional SEM is the same as an intern. The difference is that your always going to be an intern.
Clients, especially corporate clientele', recognize how huge having search professionals in their employ is. The good ones are self-funded x 10.
The time element is the only thing that separates them from us. The knowledge element is what separates us from them.
The time it takes to possess the knowledge is what prioritizes everything I do each day.
So I guess what I'm getting at is that explaining and validating what you do is part of my, your (I assume because you are at this forum), and any SEM's job description.
Complaining about the people paying you money for something intangible and misunderstood is not part of the SEM job description. They do not understand. Otherwise they wouldn't question you and your methods.
I said it in the thread I mentioned earlier that spawned this post, but I'll say it again here: The most important thing that I have learned from Search Engine Management is the ability to listen.
Someone said once,"Everyone has two ears and one mouth. They should honor hierarchy"