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A few of us stood in the shade, watching the guides from Holiday Expeditions put the boats onto the trailer. The two-day river rafting trip was over, and as we were left contemplating it in the 100-degree heat, one impression stuck with me:

Until you actually jump into the Colorado River and float through its raging currents and rapids, you’ll never know what it’s like.

And that has everything to do with helping clients succeed.

Holiday Expeditions, one of our clients at SEO.com, took 25 of us on a Colorado River Rafting trip through Westwater Canyon a few weeks ago. And 25 of us returned with a much more intimate knowledge of a loyal client – not to mention a great weekend on an epic river.

The trip was meant to be fun, and it was, but in the end it made us better marketing partners, too. After a couple days with the guides we learned about the company from a personal point of view, which made us all much better at marketing their services.

As an SEO company, you can’t just sit at a desk, look up a site on the Internet, do some research, talk to someone on the phone, and then put your heart and soul into another company. You also have to jump into the Colorado River, so to speak, to understand and experience the company and its its products or offerings.

Until you jump in, you’ll never really know how powerful the current is, and if it wasn’t for a life vest, how that same current could pull you under the water without any effort. You’ll never know what it’s like to hit a class-4 rapid and emerge completely soaked, only to be hit by another wave. You’ll never truly understand how mystical the smooth, black schist rocks along the canyon walls are, or how it feels to watch a bald eagle watching you from above. You’ll never know what it’s like to camp out on a beach in the middle of the Utah desert while the sun dips below an ancient rock wall and the smell of grilled vegetables and steaks fill the air. You’ll never know what it’s like to be rocked to sleep by the roar of the Colorado River while looking up into a countless mass of stars that spread from horizon to horizon.

You’ll never know what it’s like, and thus you’ll never know how to accurately market that type of vacation or service. As a copywriter, how can I even think about writing copy for their website without having visited their company and experienced their services?

This is not really a new concept, but it’s one that many forget. It’s easier to stay in your office than getting to know our clients on a personal level. It’s easy to just do the bare minimum and then move on to the next project. But, the old adages will always ring true: Customers come first, and principles like honesty, loyalty and commitment will always pay benefits.

Our clients’ success is our success. Your clients’ success is your success. That means we should treat each website, each project, and each organization we work with as if it was our own. Realistically, it may not be possible to personally visit every client. But we should do as much as possible to “jump into the whitewater for our clients.”