How I made $7K my first month w/No Site or Testimonials

Profile picture of the author TimD by
OK, I've been reading a couple of threads by guys who've spilled the beans on how they're making money in Offline. I've been really amazed by what they were willing to share openly. I'm thinking of Bob Ross and JohnSpangler. John is a wonder and a continuing inspiration to me. So I'm adding my story as a nod to them.

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,
Tim
#offline marketing #$7k #made #month #site #testimonials #w or no

  • Profile picture of the author Yogini
    Tim,

    Thanks for a great post. When you said you set up meetings- now that you use e-mail and do more that is international, how do you do the meetings? Do you use skype or how do you communicate?

    For the marketing plan, you expand in much more detail than what is given in the initial meeting I assume. Also, are people overwhelmed due to not being familiar with some of the methods you are suggesting? How do you present the marketing plan and do you propose it in the initial meeting which you conduct in some way over the net (I assume it's not by e-mail at that point)? This post is in spirit of John Spangler so it's inspirational.


    Debbie
  • Profile picture of the author RoryF
    Love how the website is optimised to sell the results that you will bring the clients not trying to be to technical with the terminology but rather focus on what they are going to get out of it if you get me.

    Is that a word press template that has been used for the design?
  • Profile picture of the author TimD
    Originally Posted by Yogini View Post

    When you said you set up meetings- now that you use e-mail and do more that is international, how do you do the meetings? Do you use skype or how do you communicate?

    For the marketing plan, you expand in much more detail than what is given in the initial meeting I assume. Also, are people overwhelmed due to not being familiar with some of the methods you are suggesting? How do you present the marketing plan and do you propose it in the initial meeting which you conduct in some way over the net (I assume it's not by e-mail at that point)? This post is in spirit of John Spangler so it's inspirational.
    Debbie
    Hi Debbie, I'm glad this is helpful. I don't do meetings so much anymore. I"m trying to do as much as possible by email and phone. I'm also trying to do much less in the way of web dev and doing more putting up single pages and focusing on web promotion so I have the recurring payment and I can get all the payment upfront. So I use primarily email and phone/skype now.

    For the marketing play: My first meeting is mostly asking questions - who are you trying to target, what's working for you? what's not? how do people find you? what triggers them wanting to use a product/service like yours? That usually suggest different modes of marketing. Then I suggest a marketing plan - Look, I can do SEO for you, and here's the problem, I can't tell you right now whether you're best opening is "commercial printing" or "printing business cards", do you know? That makes a huge difference because with one, you might be able to break in quickly, with another it might take me months to get you on page one. Here's what I recommend - give me two weeks, I'll go over all the search terms, I'll see what's going on in Facebook, .... That's how I sell the marketing plan.

    Then come back with specifics on the plan and give them check boxes, we can do this to get this traffic and that to catch that business, where do you want to start?
  • Profile picture of the author stranger11
    That's awesome. You mentioned you gave suggestions and did a marketing plan and looked for keywords and their did research and such. So did you already know all the SEO and marketing stuff, or did you learn it from somewhere. Are there posts or WSOs that outline the actual technical stuff, I know you can outsource it but you do have to know what you are talking about and what they need in order to help the clients
  • Profile picture of the author RalphManer
    Its good to see meaningful posts likes this. Thank you! I already use most of the tips and they have worked. I will try the other insights as well.
  • Profile picture of the author TimD
    Thanks Rory. I don't really care if anyone looks past page one. I just want a page that a - lets them know we deliver, and b - reflects the concerns of the prospect.

    It's the infocus theme from Themeforest. When I put it up I was looking for a theme that would rotate testimonials and present web pages in a nice view. I though it was the best at the time. I think there are better now, themes that are bit more buttoned down. But it does what I want.
  • Profile picture of the author TimD
    Originally Posted by RalphManer View Post

    Its good to see meaningful posts likes this. Thank you! I already use most of the tips and they have worked. I will try the other insights as well.
    Thanks for the note Ralph. If you can add what you know about how to do these things or others that have worked for you, I'm sure people would be grateful.
  • Profile picture of the author TimD
    Originally Posted by stranger11 View Post

    That's awesome. You mentioned you gave suggestions and did a marketing plan and looked for keywords and their did research and such. So did you already know all the SEO and marketing stuff, or did you learn it from somewhere. Are there posts or WSOs that outline the actual technical stuff, I know you can outsource it but you do have to know what you are talking about and what they need in order to help the clients
    Hi Stranger,
    I knew a fair amount about SEO. What I saw constantly was people going after keywords that were too broad. If you look on my site, you'll see a testimonial from a fellow who says on got him on page one after two days. That was an example. That was a free website repair. He'd worked with two other big name SEO companies in the area (Seattle is a BIG town for SEO. SEOMoz is HQ'd here for example.) They had promoted him on "painting" and "painter" literally. So I said, hey, just pick "seattle painter" and "seattle painting". I rewrote his title tag and h1 and the text on the site to emphasize those. Put up the new page and bookmarked it. Bang. He was on page one for 4 terms over the weekend. He's a client now.

    Now I generally do two things. I look at competitors and put their url in Google Adwords Keyword Tool to make sure I'm getting the relevant keywords. I look them over in Traffic Travis professional to see what I think I can rank for. Then I send a note to my outsource team saying - hey, I want to rank this url for this set of keywords - how long and how much $. From their I see where I can get the client ranked fastest for the most traffic. And mark up the cost. I put together an SEO outsourcer early in the game but had a bad experience. He did a bad job for me and nearly tanked a couple of accounts. So now I have a team that's done great work for me for a year. I know I pay them more than I would my own guy but I don't have to do anymore SEO stuff myself. I can concentrate on selling. I'd rather have 2/3rds of 10 accounts than 4/5ths of 5 accounts.

    Does that answer the Q?
  • Profile picture of the author TimD
    If I wanted to get SEO - the basics - really fast, I would do three things:
    1. Google "seo ranking factors" and read a couple of articles from SEObook or SEOmoz or one of the guys that polls top SEO teams to find out what's working.

    2. Google - Jonathan Leger's "5 Myths of Search Engine Optimization" or something like that. It's a pdf that gives you the Pre-Panda scoop backed up by data. Leger is a national treasure for small business SEO. He tests lots of small keywords to see what's really working.

    3. Read Jonathan Leger's Anchor Text Optimization – How Much Is Too Much? « Jonathan Leger – SEO And Internet Marketing Blog


    That would give me the basics of how to rank the standard simple business site that is already up and I'm just trying to make it better. I still wouldn't be prepared at all to handle complex things - for example, I have a client with the 5th most read blog on the web in his category. His permalinks are set up for month/day rather than category/post title. I just caught that for him last month. We want to change it going forward so he ranks better but we don't want to lose his rankings for the past. For stuff like that - I just go to a pro and mark up their work.
  • Profile picture of the author Yogini
    [QUOTE=TimD;6318005]Hi Debbie, I'm glad this is helpful. I don't do meetings so much anymore. I"m trying to do as much as possible by email and phone. I'm also trying to do much less in the way of web dev and doing more putting up single pages and focusing on web promotion so I have the recurring payment and I can get all the payment upfront.

    Tim,

    Your posts have been very helpful but I am a little confused about how you do seo if you are doing more single pages. Or are you talking about doing seo for an existing site they may have? Can you say more about the single page site? I know that can be for lead generation but are you trying to rank that for something like seattle painter or how does that fit in with seo because I have found generally I need a bigger site for good seo results (though obviously even a youtube video can do well for a local phrase depending on what it is).

    I appreciate that you are giving details and not generalizations which makes your points very useful.

    Debbie
  • Profile picture of the author ZenEight
    Terrific post Tim!

    And thanks for your candidness & transparency (just like seomoz, something in the WAter over there?) The direct mail vs email response rates are particularly interesting. Your persistence and work ethic are admirable. And nice site, testimonials are huge.

    I'm fairly new to Warrior Forums but have dabbled in SEO for ten years. Last week I got a local home services business with zero relevant backlinks onto page one in ten days with the same basics you have (page titles, city in the key phrases). Btw, the client was also using a great looking Themeforest theme, sure makes things easy these days!

    In addition, I did a lot of on-page optimization with keyword repetition, addition of headers, interlinking, directory submissions as well as listings on the big guys (Yelp, Google, dmoz). I surprised myself how quickly and easily I got them up there, so now I'm looking to pursue this further on the side. But this grunt work takes a lot of time, so can you give any more tips on your outsourcing?

    Last question, do you build any niche sites yourself? I'm really interested in this area.
  • Profile picture of the author aaallday2010
    You said for the first 9 months you didnt have a website? How, then, are you marketing web services and Internet marketing and YOU yourself didnt have a website?

    I mean, if you had approached me and offered your services, I would want to know more about you and visit your website, to see your portfolio, testimonials, companies you've worked for, and other info.

    Had you told me you don't have one, I would have hung the phone up on you. Seriously.

    I'm just curious as to how you got away without a website for so long and were still able to bring people into your business.

    Thanks.
  • Profile picture of the author believemarketing
    Originally Posted by aaallday2010 View Post

    You said for the first 9 months you didnt have a website? How, then, are you marketing web services and Internet marketing and YOU yourself didnt have a website?

    I mean, if you had approached me and offered your services, I would want to know more about you and visit your website, to see your portfolio, testimonials, companies you've worked for, and other info.

    Had you told me you don't have one, I would have hung the phone up on you. Seriously.

    I'm just curious as to how you got away without a website for so long and were still able to bring people into your business.

    Thanks.
    i'm not him obviously, but to be honest, this kind of thinking is what really stops people from taking action.... fear and thinking of what if...

    for every person who would say no to you, there is always another person who will say yes... when we show up, there is a 50/50 chance whether a client will sign up with us.... make them to like you, and you are wayyyy ahead...
  • Profile picture of the author TimD
    Originally Posted by Yogini View Post

    I am a little confused about how you do seo if you are doing more single pages. Or are you talking about doing seo for an existing site they may have?
    Debbie
    Yes, sorry I wasn't more clear. When I first started, it was in vogue to suggest that clients put up an exact match domain if you found a searchterm that had 250 or more phrase-match searches. I started dong that and could get them ranked in a couple months.

    Now, I try to discourage prospects from putting up new sites. They take along time, and they set expectations very high. They're hard to live up to. And I can get good/better results by adding pages to existing sites.

    Very recently, I just wrote a page for an attorney and added it to his existing site. The search term has 390 exact match searches. I promoted the page and wrote a press release pointing to it. The page showed up on page 1 position 5 of the serps, then jumped to position 2 a day or two after the press release.

    So, I make less money doing that but I'm finding I can do that much faster and move on to the next thing.

    Originally Posted by ZenEight View Post

    Terrific post Tim!

    And thanks for your candidness & transparency (just like seomoz, something in the WAter over there?) The direct mail vs email response rates are particularly interesting. Your persistence and work ethic are admirable. And nice site, testimonials are huge.

    I'm fairly new to Warrior Forums but have dabbled in SEO for ten years. Last week I got a local home services business with zero relevant backlinks onto page one in ten days with the same basics you have (page titles, city in the key phrases). Btw, the client was also using a great looking Themeforest theme, sure makes things easy these days!

    In addition, I did a lot of on-page optimization with keyword repetition, addition of headers, interlinking, directory submissions as well as listings on the big guys (Yelp, Google, dmoz). I surprised myself how quickly and easily I got them up there, so now I'm looking to pursue this further on the side. But this grunt work takes a lot of time, so can you give any more tips on your outsourcing?

    Last question, do you build any niche sites yourself? I'm really interested in this area.
    That's terrific, good for you! Sounds as though you could really help some small businesses. I don't build any sites myself. I outsource 100% of anything that gets posted to the web. I write custom copy (and charge quite a bit for it), but everything else - standard copy, sites, SEO, etc. - I outsource.
    Originally Posted by aaallday2010 View Post

    You said for the first 9 months you didnt have a website? How, then, are you marketing web services and Internet marketing and YOU yourself didnt have a website?
    Thanks.
    Believemarketing gives the good answer to this. I have this problem with my wife. She just won two prominent national awards for brand communications. I've told her I'll do a press release for her. She won't don it because she doesn't have a site and she'll be embarrassed if someone important sees the press release and can't find her on the web. Think of the business she's passing up.

    People did occasionally ask to see my website but far more rarely than you would guess. I closed 5 figure moths without a website. And I have closed 5 figure deals where they never asked to see my site (even though I had one up). When I didn't have one, if someone asked me to see the site, I said (completely honestly) - I market the way that works in my industry, which is what I recommend you do. You weren't looking for a company like mine on the web were you? None of my clients do. I have to reach out to them. So any site I have wouldn't bring me business. I'm not going to recommend that you do work that won't bring you business either.

    Most of the web consulting sites I see up are just boilerplate anyway.

    Originally Posted by believemarketing View Post

    i'm not him obviously, but to be honest, this kind of thinking is what really stops people from taking action.... fear and thinking of what if...

    for every person who would say no to you, there is always another person who will say yes... when we show up, there is a 50/50 chance whether a client will sign up with us.... make them to like you, and you are wayyyy ahead...
    Yes, I should have just said, read believemarketing. That's it. The small business owners who hire me want someone who will listen to what they're trying to do, who will be open to them about what works and what doesn't. The most powerful thing I say in a sales meeting is "I don't do that, I can refer you to someone who does if you like." My credibility skyrockets. They know I'm not jerking them around, or blowing smoke.
  • Profile picture of the author payment proof
    Congrats on your success Tim!!
  • Profile picture of the author Preeti
    Sending that congrats back your way Tim, awesome share and very inspirational--love these kind of posts!!!
  • Profile picture of the author Eugene Celestine
    Snapping Google search result related to their business is a wonderful way to get the, curious and willing to use your service. Offline Businesses don't want their competitors to dominate them in any form.
  • Profile picture of the author ZenEight
    Good tip, Eugene. I may try that next time and hopefully run into a competitive business owner with a decent budget.
  • Profile picture of the author kateboss
    That's quite a very enlightening one from you Tim..might as well incorporate some in my marketing strategies as I do have a very limited knowledge regarding marketing..
  • Profile picture of the author Eutaw
    Great information Thanks for sharing in great detail.

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