“White labeling” is a common practice in digital marketing as well as many other industries.
Essentially, white labeling is when you purchase a product or service from a third-party supplier and resell it to your customers as if you produced it yourself.
For example — an SEO agency purchases content from SEOButler for use in a client’s campaign. As far as the client is concerned, all of the work behind the campaign is conducted by the agency in-house. But, in fact, the content creation is outsourced — or white labeled.
A partnership, in this context, takes place when the agency outsources aspects of a campaign transparently. The client is aware that third-party suppliers are providing certain elements of the campaign, and often the client is billed directly by the providers.
It’s not difficult to imagine why some SEOs and agencies are more comfortable with giving clients the impression that all the work on their account is being done in-house.
But the partnership model has its advantages — so much so that both Jonathan and Jarod prefer it to white labeling.
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The temptation to get greedy when marking up white label services is enormous. But while you may get away with significantly overcharging clients in the short term, you’re putting your long term relationship at risk.
Leveraging and expanding existing relationships is typically more reliable and less time-consuming than cold-calling potential partners out of the blue.
In conclusion, both Jarod and Jonathan agree that partnerships work better than white labeling in most instances — particularly when servicing high-value clients.
Do you have any experiences with white labeling vs. partnerships that you’d like to share?
Let us know in the comments.
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