So a few weeks ago I decided I've had enough of traditional IM. It's not for me. So I set up a hosting reseller account on my own domain and effectively had a hosting company. Then I teamed up with a guy who was good at server side stuff. He set up the tech end of things and I did what I do best which is get business in from face to face meetings. I contacted a few businesses and graphic designers that I knew and took on 10 contracts for new websites in 1 week. Here;s how I built things up:
1) I started out with the easy ones, mostly brochure sites.
2) I reinvested the profits from the first couple of sites into developer licenses for good themes that were very flexible
3) I hunted down some big high brow clients that I found out needed sites through contacts or by knocking on doors.
4) My goal was to get these big fish in no matter what so I did them at the cost of outsourced development with little to no profit (any profits were reinvested in more dev licenses and reusable plugins)
5) At this point I am only half way through building my own site but when it goes live I will have some very impressive clients in my portfolio
6) I over delivered on each project. If that meant staying up until 4am trying to get something done across two different tie lines, then I did it. And the clients noticed this.
7) I made communication my number 1 priority. Daily status updates and actual phone calls - yes, people need more than just email to feel confident and satisfied
8) Every site I built was put onto my hosting package for recuring passive income
9) Every client has given glowing testimonials
10) The two biggest fish that I got on board I did for FREE - that's right, it cost me money. I simply put the profits in from another job to pay an outsourced developer to do these jobs. The kudos alone from having developed these sites is worth more than 100 times the investment.
11) I stuck with wordpress sites only
12) I spent 4 weeks interviewing and investigating developers on odesk before I came up with a short list of guys with proven track records. The ones that didn't over deliver I fired straight away. I was very upfront with each of them. If they over deliver on each job they will have a constant stream of work including bonuses.
13) I focus on jobs between 350 and 1500. The bigger ones are too much of a hassle and the cheaper ones aren't worth the time.
14) I focus on real world, real business sites only. No blogs, affiliate site or IM type models. Just real world businesses that don't yet have an online presence.
15} I only deal with developers through odesk - where they are accountable. I had a bad experience on the warriorfoum from someone who wouldnt go through odesk or another - I wont make that mistake again.
18) I traded a website inexchange for legal advice from a lawyer who had a terrible looking website - 1200 worth of advice and terms etc for two days on WP in my own free time.
Bear in mind, I'm not a coder, I do understand what makes websites work. I have a marketing background and I am good at project management but I'm no guru. Week 1 brought in 3K and now I am making upwards of 5k per week in a very short space of time and my list of clients is growing at an insane rate.
I'm not writing this to blow my own trumpet, just to let others out there know that affiliate programs, article spinning and all the other IM stuff is not the be all and end all of making money on line. Look to you local businesses, build sites for those who use gmail addresses - give them their own brand profile and email. Charge reasonable rates and use reusable template based technology.
I hope this inspires someone to try a new approach. It's made a big difference to my quality of life. I'm a,most ready to quit the day job and I actually want to get out of bed in the morning now because I am doing something that I love doing.
To quote the man from Nike "just do it",