Words get in the way of communication.
You can create the best package of services, have introductory meetings and spell out a program – and then a client will introduce a vantage point that was never in the original picture.
Shaping client expectations isn’t about what you write; it’s about how well you professionally adjust clients’ thinking.
SEO is a perfect example. Rankings take time for competitive keywords. It’s a long haul, months perhaps – maybe even a whole year (especially if the client is spending just a few hundreds bucks a month for services).
In month two, the client will want to know why he’s not at the top of the search engine results. In month three, he will be dismayed that you have only managed to get 4 of the 10 keyword phrases in the top 20 positions on Google.
It may be crystal clear in the package, but clients clearly need to be told time and time again what they’ve been told in the early going.
Or do they?
Some clients get the process and the potential duration. You don’t need to reiterate everything for them.
But sometimes, you have to frame things different ways for different people.
My advice: document what you say and how you say it (even write up something you did by phone) and save it for the next time a client needs to be reminded about what you promised to do from day one.