I need feedback on a HUGE business change I'd like to make

5 replies
Dear Cumminity

Before I post the question just some background:

I run an Italian blog super target at Wordpress beginners and intermediates. Site has about 50k visit per month from seo.

Over the last 2 years I got many clients to whom I developed websites at $450 each. I made very good money but this also sucked all my time and could not find anyone reliable to hire and do this for me. My clients need anything: websites in wordpress, content, graphics, consulting, training. You name it. Consider that I currently receive about 10 quotes per week only for sites and I dont actually promote other services such as the ones I just mentioned.

So because I dont want to build an AGENCY nor I want to be a project manager and kill myself following every single project, I had this idea:

I am thinking of adding a sort of elance functionality (more basic) where professionals in all these service categories can place their listings, a profile page with info and portfolios, ads on my site, and all my 50k+ users can go and send quote requests to each one of these professionals as they need to.

I would make money by selling a monthly/yearly membership to the professionals, for example: 1 month free then $49 a month or xx for 1 year for a basic membership.

What do you think? Any thoughts? If I manage to drive enough traffic to their profiles and they start getting requests would they keep on paying? Are there some other things I could do, like charge professionals to display them on geatured sposts of my sites? Could I sell them articles packages, where they me to post an article on my blog under their name and place some link to their profile so to get clients?

What incentives could I give professionals to come to my wordpress niche site to promote their wordpress/blogging/seo/smm/graphic design related services?

or should I charge users to post job requests instead? ))

Thank you for any idea you may like to share!

Andy
#business #change #feedback #huge #make
  • Profile picture of the author jeremy49
    Originally Posted by AndyRocksWar View Post

    What incentives could I give professionals to come to my wordpress niche site to promote their wordpress/blogging/seo/smm/graphic design related services?
    Andy
    the fact that you are giving them work would be a strong incentive.

    To get the ball rolling you could give the first lead free, then charge per lead. You would need top do the sums, but you could end up more in profit than a straight advert model. It also removes risk for the WP professionals.
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  • Profile picture of the author moneyhd
    Agree with Jeremy
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  • Profile picture of the author Mithral
    I also think that charging on a per lead basis rather than a flat fee would be more appealing to the professionals you want to attract, precisely because it mitigates their risk.

    Once you are up and running you may find that your 'heavy hitters' would welcome a flat fee if it meant they saved some money on the fees they would otherwise pay out.

    If you look at the existing models for this type of site, you can have seller 'levels' based on numbers of happy customers the seller has worked for. You could make a 'featured seller' spot for sellers as they attain each of your levels, giving your sellers targets to aim for and reasons to keep selling with you. This also helps buyer confidence.

    I would concentrate on how you give your traffic confidence to buy from your sellers - such as reviews and level ratings etc. Once you are able to give that confidence, the rest will follow quite naturally.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by AndyRocksWar View Post

    I would make money by selling a monthly/yearly membership to the professionals, for example: 1 month free then $49 a month or xx for 1 year for a basic membership.

    What do you think? Any thoughts?
    I think it's a bad idea, personally. Assuming you want to remain in the business, all you'd be doing is strengthening your competitors by giving them access to your hard-won leads. A membership fee would hardly be enough to compensate for that.

    If I were you, I'd be looking to build a long-term asset, rather than be forever reliant on clients for income. To that end, I'd create WordPress templates for the most popular type of businesses and sell these from your site as ready-to-use packages. Other services you mention, such as graphics and WP training can easily be incorporated into generic products with perennial appeal.

    I would also build my advertising base and would test the profitability of a recommended resources section.

    Another advantage of creating your own range of products is the increased credibility it would lend your core business. You'd have the time to pick and choose your clients and could probably raise your prices considerably.

    And you'd be building a long-term asset which would grow in value over the years and one whose revenue, from a potential buyer's point of view, wouldn't largely be reliant on its owner. That's important for any kind of exit strategy you might be planning.


    Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author Rainee
    Originally Posted by AndyRocksWar View Post


    Over the last 2 years I got many clients to whom I developed websites at $450 each. I made very good money but this also sucked all my time and could not find anyone reliable to hire and do this for me. My clients need anything: websites in wordpress, content, graphics, consulting, training. You name it. Consider that I currently receive about 10 quotes per week only for sites and I dont actually promote other services such as the ones I just mentioned.

    So because I dont want to build an AGENCY nor I want to be a project manager and kill myself following every single project...Andy
    You are wanting to change a proven business model that works for a "grass is greener" possibility.

    It appears as though you have enough experience to position yourself as a premium provider. Add a zero to that $450 package so you only need one deal a month to double, if not triple your income.

    As for your current customer base, partner with someone else and get a minimal finders fee of $100-$200 per referral. This will free up your time to focus on high end clients and provide cash-flow to take care of your overhead expenses.

    "But what if they won't pay $4,500?"

    If you have any resistance to charging thousands instead of hundreds of dollars - that the right people are more than willing to pay - then you might want to keep this in mind...

    It sounds like you're a One-Man-Army (like myself) and I understand wanting to price yourself so "everyone" can afford to work with you; however, I also remember being so stressed out, that my business... though profitable...literally, made me sick.


    As in...in the hospital on the verge of having a stroke because the demanding stress of my business shot my blood pressure through the roof sick.

    What does that have to do with you?

    Well, you may have to take a hard look at your current business and make the tough decision to design you're business so it serves your health, finances and relationships.

    You can have the life of your dreams...but you have to take the time to be strategic...and design that life.

    No matter what you decide to do, change is tough.

    But ditching what you know, that's proven to work...under the circumstances you described, appears to be more of an escape...than a solution.


    Hope that helps,
    Rainee
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