Experience Matters Online Too

18 replies
Hi,
I have started a wordpress website design company but where ever I go the client says "You don't have that many testimonials and You don't have a large portfolio" . I don't know how i'm gonna increase portfolio if I don't get orders. It's just like job interview, You don't have experience so we can't hire you. Help me out guys
#experience #matters #online
  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    I have one of these companies - quite a big one - and nowadays I just oversee operations.

    Here's what you do . . .

    1. Make some sites for yourself.
    2. Make some sites for other people and don't charge them.

    Option 2 is better, in my opinion. If you're targeting a locality, or a niche, prospective buyers will be aware of the people that own your designs. This helps conversions. Let's say you live in Wallace, Idaho. You do 3 to 5 freebies. When a local businessman visits your site, he sees designs for businesses he's familiar with. He's more comfortable. More liable to buy.
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    • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
      Originally Posted by Victoria Stone View Post

      I have one of these companies - quite a big one - and nowadays I just oversee operations.

      Here's what you do . . .

      1. Make some sites for yourself.
      2. Make some sites for other people and don't charge them.

      Option 2 is better, in my opinion. If you're targeting a locality, or a niche, prospective buyers will be aware of the people that own your designs. This helps conversions. Let's say you live in Wallace, Idaho. You do 3 to 5 freebies. When a local businessman visits your site, he sees designs for businesses he's familiar with. He's more comfortable. More liable to buy.

      ^^^ This.

      Here's an idea that will allow you to accomplish two things at the same time. Create some themed templates and offer them for sale. Let clients know you'll customize them. Create a half dozen stunning sites clients can choose from. Now you have samples and inventory. People will see them and want custom work.

      Whatever you do, stay away from fiverr.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Victoria Stone View Post

      I have one of these companies - quite a big one - and nowadays I just oversee operations.

      Here's what you do . . .

      1. Make some sites for yourself.
      2. Make some sites for other people and don't charge them.

      Option 2 is better, in my opinion. If you're targeting a locality, or a niche, prospective buyers will be aware of the people that own your designs. This helps conversions. Let's say you live in Wallace, Idaho. You do 3 to 5 freebies. When a local businessman visits your site, he sees designs for businesses he's familiar with. He's more comfortable. More liable to buy.
      If you want to try option 2 and make the world a little better at the same time, make a few sites for local charities, like food shelves, homeless shelters, meal delivery services, animal shelters, etc.

      Use those as your portfolio.

      The first side benefit is that you aren't burning potential paying clients by doing (and becoming known for doing) freebies.

      The second side benefit is that by working with local charities, you get non-sales exposure to some of the movers and shakers in a community who also support the charity. It's a lot easier to get in front of people when they know you helped raise $$$ for their favorite cause.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
    You could use this as your opener. Do you have any pieces of work that you could show someone.

    Show your prospect a very good example of your website design and let them know that you will give them a discounted rate because you are trying to get testimonials.

    Don't beat around the bush just tell them I'll give you this if you'll give me that. Do you know of anyone close to you that needs a service like yours and you could do it. Don't be dishonest getting testimonials but there are ways.


    Bill


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  • Creating your own demo sites is the best way to illustrate to a prospective client that you have expertise to design their site. Don't fall into the trap of doing free work as it will only cut into work time you could be investing into paid work and it won't necessarily result in a good referral as the person you are doing the work for, could just remove your link or any mention that you had worked on the site. Then how would you prove you had created that site? So, take control of your own portfolio by creating a good many demo sites featuring all the things you could do for your customers. Then if a customer asks if you can do a particular kind of work, refer them to the demo site that best illustrates your expertise.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ripster
    Start out on Fiverr or do freelance work to obtain the experience, this isn't rocket science!
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  • Profile picture of the author AffiliateWaves
    Experience always matters ,before going in online business,try with local market .WordPress is opensource so it will not cost you more to give them some websites at low rates .This will help you in gaining experience and also understanding the needs of your clients.Once you have done some work in local market ,then target international market .

    I am full time freelancer with seven year experience in website editing and tweaking codes for various international clients

    Here is my approach that really worked for me

    Try to understand clients need and then provide them sample work (It does not matter they asked for it or not).Providing them sample work makes them aware hat you are really interested in doing their project and this makes your chances much better than most of the other bidders
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  • Profile picture of the author Andre Slater
    2 models to try:

    1. Build the site for free, but charge yearly hosting fee. You can get reseller account with Hostgator and do it that way.

    -or-

    2. Create a generic site and get the site ranked using SEO and then sell it. You should have no problem talking with a potential client and you tell him your selling this website already ranked for their niche or for specific keywords and that if he wants it you will put his name on it or if not you'll sell to one of his competitors.

    I have seen people use Number 2 many times in the offline marketing niche. They usually rent out the sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    I've often had people offer to do stuff for me for free because they wanted to prove themselves. Thinking back more than a decade, I often did things for free for people that then later became customers. The next step up from free is really cheap. I recently hired one person that is doing amazing work for near minimum wage, and the main problem I have now is I need them to work more hours, so I need to increase their wage. You need to position yourself so somebody really needs you, even if it means starting out cheap or free to get the first customers in the door.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vijayaraj
    Thank you for all the advice guys.. As many of you mentioned I decided to do free sites for charity or church so that I can get referral from the followers.. I got my first order through a friend of mine.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Congrats on your first order!

      I have a close friend who was in much the same situation except he designed logos rather than web sites.

      He was having difficulty getting traction. After we talked about his lack of paid experience we devised a plan for him.

      He picked out ten types of local businesses (categories like plumbers, real estate agents, barbers, attorneys, etc). He spent a few days making great looking logos for each category then posted them on his web site using "boilerplate" names, addresses, etc.

      Then for every category, he found just five local businesses, substituted their name and contact info in place of the boiler plate, printed out a color logo with his own business contact info and a large headline like "This logo is yours FREE if you are the first barber in town to claim it!" He then had his kids deliver the logo examples directly to the businesses. (He could have contacted 25 or more businesses, but there was no need. With every logo but one, his designs were snapped up quickly).

      When he delivered the logo product to the business, he was able to get a testimonial from all his happy new customers. So he started with a few give-aways, did great work, got some testimonials and was in business.

      Yes, he worked for a few days for nothing but it got his business off the ground and he is still doing quite well today although he has moved on to other types of graphic design.

      If you don't want to work for free at first, you could always develop some sites as if you had done them for customers, post them on your site as examples of your great designs, then sell them later during your "two day half price sale!"

      The very best to you,

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Vijayaraj
    It's just hard to convince people they need a website. Even big companies are reluctant to pay the minimum amount I ask just to cover the cost. I'm not even charging for my design still they don't wanna do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author figuringmoneyout
    Most companies start out by doing discounted or even free work to get a portfolio. They don't do this long obviously but just having a few happy customers and nice sites in your portfolio will get you paying work.

    I see now you took that advice and got an order! Awesome! Do 2 more and then start selling like crazy!!
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  • Profile picture of the author zimzalabim
    Now you have your first client - if they are happy with what you've done for them don't be afraid to ask them for a testimonial and of course to recommend you to others. They'll no doubt have contacts in the locality which they may be able to point you towards.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vijayaraj
    Thanks for all the advice and motivation guys . I followed your advice on free sites I found a big logo design and printing service in the same complex as my office but their website was pathetic, so I decided to approach them asking if they will recommend their customers to me if i do their website for free. After walking past the office 5 times gaining courage since its a big company I walked in and spoke with the proprietor, he said all his clients are asking him to do their websites but he is too busy to start a web design team so he will outsource the task to me and refer all his clients but on one condition. He said I don't want a free website cos it means I need to do some favor for you and I have a huge reputation which I don't want to tarnish by referring some no skill guy, so design my website I'll pay you and even buy you any themes you want but only if you are skilled else you can walk out. I made a replica mock up design based on a site he wanted and he wanted me to collect some unique portfolio themes so he can decide which to go with, I selected a few and sent it to him and he said he will reply in 2 days time Fingers crossed
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  • Profile picture of the author Vijayaraj
    If you guys know any unique attractive portfolio wordpress themes for a logo design company kindly let me know
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  • Profile picture of the author Vijayaraj
    Even though it took me over a month I finally convinced the guy and He agreed to send me his clients
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