This is true.
I got into Offline marketing in December of 2009. I got Maria Guidelis's Offline Challenge in November and implemented a specific campaign from it in December. And closed two deals in the first month worth $7,000. Since then, I've brought in an average four figures a month. I didn't have a website for the first 9 months. Here's what I have now - Effective Web Marketing. I only use it as a place to post testimonials so people don't ask to call my previous clients.
Here's what I did from the start:
a. Find a hungry crowd - nothing new here. I went to the yellow pages and looked for the biggest ads. I just took down that addresses of every ad that was bigger than about a 1/6th of a page. Later, I grabbed every print ad source I could find, and wrote down addresses.
b. Make a good offer - My first offer was "Free Website Repair". Again, nothing new here. You can probably search that phrase on the Forum and find ways to do this. I've done other offers since then that work well. I wrote letters until I had used every address in the yellow pages. Then I switched to email. I positioned the offer this way - If you're like most small businesses that call me your website lets you down. I spend my time turning broken sites into lead generating or money generating or client generating (whatever is appropriate for the business) machines. I thought this was hokey and frankly was afraid to say it, but I found people really receptive to it and I have closed international businesses that are sophisticated about the internet using it.
c. The follow up - I didn't chase people. I think I may have emailed people as a follow up - did you see my letter, I offered you free web repair. I don't remember my response rate on the mailing. I think it was pretty good - 5 or 10% from a list of people who are already big advertisers.
When they responded I sent them an email telling them why their website wasn't bringing in business. Later I switched to videos because I could make them much faster.
Generally, I was telling people: 1. no one can find your site, you're going after keywords that are far too general and too competitive, 2. when they come to your site, there's nothing that differentiates you and keeps people from clicking away to some other site, 3. you don't ask them to contact you, so they don't. And I offered to fix the basics - title, h1, description, keywords, etc. And yes, I fixed those for free when they asked. Few ever did.
d. I set up meetings to go over their site. Generally, once I'd gone over it they would ask what they should do. I would make lots of suggestions - you could do this, you could do that - what kind of business do you really want to bring in? Oh really, you have three kinds of business? Do they seem to show up more searching for you or roaming Facebook? Do they see a need for you when they're home or when they're out with their phone? Oh, you don't know, well that would be good for you to figure out, so you don't advertise to people who aren't looking. And then offer to do a marketing plan for them for $500. Most people jumped at it.
e. The marketing plan - I really did a good job on this - looked over keywords, looked at Facebook (can they attract an appropriate audience), looked over Google Places, do businesses like theirs need mobile. I still have testimonials saying the marketing plan I did was the most comprehensive thing a business owner ever received about his business.
f. Use the plan to sell. People trusted me pretty well when they got the plan (I turned it around in one to two weeks and scheduled the review meeting when they bought it). Most of what I sold was doing new sites or reworking them and SEO. But I also sold Google Places and etc. if they needed it.
It's a pretty straight on consulting campaign. Nothing fancy. No cold calling. I think what most people underestimate is the volume. When I was mailing to businesses that advertised in the yellow pages, I think I got 10% to send me an email, something like that. Then I would go back and forth trying to set up a meeting. And I closed 1 of 8 very consistently over months and months. My close rate in a face-to-face meeting was very high, 75 or 80%. If I got a meeting I got a close. Even people who told me they weren't going to buy or people who were actively doing business with someone else. But lots of people emailed me and then disappeared. So the ratio was something like write 100 letters, get a sale.
When I switched to email, my response rate went way down - 1.5% or something like that. So, I'd have to send 500 offers to get 7-10 responses, to get one close.
I hope that's helpful to you guys. I still have many of the accounts I started with. People have been very grateful for good service. And my experience is that it takes setting up a system and being persistent. But my experience is also that it's very possible to start making good money your first month.
To your success,