Selling Mobile Websites - Without a smart phone...

23 replies
Hey... I'm considering trying to sell mobile websites as a way of getting my foot in the door for other services. I don't actually have a smartphone right now though, which would be the obvious way to check and see who does/doesn't have a mobile site already set up.

Is there a quick and easy way to check for a mobile site without having a smart phone?



I'm thinking I'll probably upgrade to my first smart phone after I get my first couple of clients.
#mobile #phone #selling #smart #websites
  • Profile picture of the author sfullwood
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4947924].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author amanah
      Hi

      Here's a cool free tool you can use from your desktop to check if sites are mobile ready or not: Mobilizer | Springbox

      Amanah
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4948514].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author oogyboogawa
        Originally Posted by amanah View Post

        Hi

        Here's a cool free tool you can use from your desktop to check if sites are mobile ready or not: Mobilizer | Springbox

        Amanah

        Perfect, thanks! That is exactly what I was looking for.
        Signature

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4948551].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author amanah
          Originally Posted by oogyboogawa View Post

          Perfect, thanks! That is exactly what I was looking for.
          Your welcome
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4948618].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author oogyboogawa
      Originally Posted by sfullwood View Post

      I don't think so - you will need the smart phone to determine if the site is structured for smart phones. I recently (2 days ago) found a great program you might be interested in. I've just started learning the program - need to be familiar with word press - there seem to be a "few" bugs that they are fixing. So, hope this helps.
      Special | wpmobilepro.com

      You joined in December 2009 and this is your first post?
      Signature

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4948559].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    There is no method that is 100% effective for determining whether or not a website has a mobile version EXCEPT for using an actual smart phone. Some of the mobile emulators are good and will work for some sites but it is not a 100% effective method. The only way to be sure is to use an actual smart phone.

    Different mobile websites use different methods of detection and redirect and this is why they will not all work on mobile emulators or simulators.

    The best emulator I have found to date is the one listed above by another poster:
    Mobilizer | Springbox
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4948630].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author oogyboogawa
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      There is no method that is 100% effective for determining whether or not a website has a mobile version EXCEPT for using an actual smart phone. Some of the mobile emulators are good and will work for some sites but it is not a 100% effective method. The only way to be sure is to use an actual smart phone.

      Different mobile websites use different methods of detection and redirect and this is why they will not all work on mobile emulators or simulators.

      The best emulator I have found to date is the one listed above by another poster:
      Mobilizer | Springbox

      Yeah, ultimately, I would like to be able to check on a real smart phone. For now though, the emulator should be good enough I think.

      Hopefully I can get the ball rolling with that and once I've seen a little profit, a smart phone can be one of my first business investments for this part of my business... still deciding which one to go with.

      The emulator will actually serve me more than just that purpose. I live far enough away from any decent sized cities that I'm hoping to sell at least a handful purely over the phone with maybe an email - no meeting. For the ones where it goes to an email follow up, I can use the emulator to send a picture of what their site looks like now and examples of what it could look like.
      Signature

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4948795].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by oogyboogawa View Post

        Yeah, ultimately, I would like to be able to check on a real smart phone. For now though, the emulator should be good enough I think.

        Hopefully I can get the ball rolling with that and once I've seen a little profit, a smart phone can be one of my first business investments for this part of my business... still deciding which one to go with.

        The emulator will actually serve me more than just that purpose. I live far enough away from any decent sized cities that I'm hoping to sell at least a handful purely over the phone with maybe an email - no meeting. For the ones where it goes to an email follow up, I can use the emulator to send a picture of what their site looks like now and examples of what it could look like.
        Yeah, if you don't have a smartphone you don't have a smartphone. It's not a huge problem. Thankfully the stats are in your favor in that the majority of businesses do not have a mobile website. Even if you went at this blind without checking their sites first it would be very rare that you come across a business who is already mobile optimized. It might happen but it won't happen very often. If they do you just move on - or you may find the odd person who is not really happy with their current mobile site.

        In regards to using email, I would definitely recommend creating a short video using a free service like Jing. This is definitely a product that is much easier to sell by using a demonstration than trying to explain things with just words. Obviously you shouldn't record the video UNTIL they have shown some interest in the service first otherwise you'll end up wasting a lot of time. Once they have shown some interest you can create a really short video showing them what their current website scores on the W3C mobile validator (W3C mobileOK Checker) and then show them what their current website actually looks like on a smartphone using the emulator.

        Then you would show them how a mobile site looks and the features it has that make it easier to use for their mobile customers. Don't just show them the features but tell them the direct benefit of those features eg: Your mobile site includes a 'Click to Call' button so customers can easily call you without having to remember your number or type in digits while they are on the move.

        (On a side note, the great thing about the Mobilizer phone emulator is you can save png screenshots right from within the program. So you can load up their website, take a screenshot and save it as an image to send to businesses or use in videos.)
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4948922].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author flyinghammers
    I would be interested to know if anyone has actually sold a mobile site without owning a smart phone. I think it's too much of an uphill battle. Most business owners/people have never heard of a mobile site before and in my opinion it is important to put a smart phone in their hands and let them see how it works.

    Most business owners I have approached about mobile sites seem to be more interested in a regular website design/re-design. Why not start with full websites first, make some money and then buy a smartphone to really understand mobile and demonstrate it to clients.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4949704].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jason Fladlien
      You can sell without a smart phone. Here's what you do instead...

      Buy a used ipod touch 2nd generation from ebay.com for like $50 to $80. You won't have cell tower internet but you can either access wifi or just take screenshots to show the business owner on the mobile device.

      That's the simplest solution.
      Signature

      Co-creator of WP Twin. Perhaps the most expensive yet most reliable wordress cloning tool on the market. We've definitely been used more successfully than all other options :)

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4951367].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author oogyboogawa
        Originally Posted by WillR View Post

        Yeah, if you don't have a smartphone you don't have a smartphone. It's not a huge problem. Thankfully the stats are in your favor in that the majority of businesses do not have a mobile website. Even if you went at this blind without checking their sites first it would be very rare that you come across a business who is already mobile optimized. It might happen but it won't happen very often. If they do you just move on - or you may find the odd person who is not really happy with their current mobile site.

        In regards to using email, I would definitely recommend creating a short video using a free service like Jing. This is definitely a product that is much easier to sell by using a demonstration than trying to explain things with just words. Obviously you shouldn't record the video UNTIL they have shown some interest in the service first otherwise you'll end up wasting a lot of time. Once they have shown some interest you can create a really short video showing them what their current website scores on the W3C mobile validator (W3C mobileOK Checker) and then show them what their current website actually looks like on a smartphone using the emulator.

        Then you would show them how a mobile site looks and the features it has that make it easier to use for their mobile customers. Don't just show them the features but tell them the direct benefit of those features eg: Your mobile site includes a 'Click to Call' button so customers can easily call you without having to remember your number or type in digits while they are on the move.

        (On a side note, the great thing about the Mobilizer phone emulator is you can save png screenshots right from within the program. So you can load up their website, take a screenshot and save it as an image to send to businesses or use in videos.)


        Thanks! I like the idea of using a video rather than just pictures to make it way more effective. I had noticed the PNG export feature and was planning to use that in my emails but using it in a video is even better.



        Originally Posted by flyinghammers View Post

        I would be interested to know if anyone has actually sold a mobile site without owning a smart phone. I think it's too much of an uphill battle. Most business owners/people have never heard of a mobile site before and in my opinion it is important to put a smart phone in their hands and let them see how it works.

        Most business owners I have approached about mobile sites seem to be more interested in a regular website design/re-design. Why not start with full websites first, make some money and then buy a smartphone to really understand mobile and demonstrate it to clients.

        To be honest, I don't really want to get too deep into simply building websites. If I approach someone with this and they want their website redone, I'll help them, but I don't want that to be my bread and butter.

        The mobile websites will take less time to put together and I can sell them cheaper to get my foot in the door for the other services that I really want to offer. I don't feel like "really understanding mobile" has all that much too it as far as a simple mobile website goes. Based on posts I've seen on here, I think I understand it better than a lot of people selling mobile sites with a smart phone.

        As far as business owners that have never heard of a mobile website before... that really depends on how you look at it. They very well may not have heard that terminology, but I would venture to guess that quite a few of them (no, not all, you're right there) have smart phones themselves or have at least used them. And if they've gone to a lot of the large/popular sites out there, there is a good chance they have used a mobile site.

        Even if they haven't ever seen a mobile site or at least haven't thought about the difference. So what? If they have a smart phone, they can clearly tell that a lot of sites simply aren't as user friendly on their phone.

        To be honest, it sounds like an easier sell to me than trying to convince business owners that their entire website needs an overhaul. If they're already convinced of that, I'll do the work for them (or outsource it) but the web design work that I do, I want to simply be a way to crack that door open a little farther for me to stick more than just a foot in.


        Originally Posted by Jason Fladlien View Post

        You can sell without a smart phone. Here's what you do instead...

        Buy a used ipod touch 2nd generation from ebay.com for like $50 to $80. You won't have cell tower internet but you can either access wifi or just take screenshots to show the business owner on the mobile device.

        That's the simplest solution.

        I thought of that. Unfortunately, the lack of face to face meetings is not as much because I don't have a smart phone as because I live in a cabin in the woods. It just doesn't make sense to drive 3 hours to the city I'm targeting for a 10 minute meeting. On top of that, I wouldn't be able to leave until at least 1PM (wouldn't get there until at least 4PM), so even if I booked enough meetings to make it worthwhile, I wouldn't have time to squeeze them in before businesses were closing or for restaurants and such, before they start getting really busy.



        I do plan to do face to face meetings in the future though. In fact, a big part of this whole thought process for me is to get clients to meet with that have already bought something from me. I plan to offer them a special price, but to qualify for that special rate, they have to commit to meeting with me so I can talk about other ways I may be able to help their business. This meeting would be after the mobile site is paid in full and set up, so they are already a paying customer and have already seen me do quality work.

        My hope is that meeting with clients like that will make the drive more worthwhile.
        Signature

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4951801].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
          Originally Posted by oogyboogawa View Post

          I do plan to do face to face meetings in the future though. In fact, a big part of this whole thought process for me is to get clients to meet with that have already bought something from me. I plan to offer them a special price, but to qualify for that special rate, they have to commit to meeting with me so I can talk about other ways I may be able to help their business. This meeting would be after the mobile site is paid in full and set up, so they are already a paying customer and have already seen me do quality work.

          My hope is that meeting with clients like that will make the drive more worthwhile.
          I know all about living in the woods.

          Here is a suggestion.

          Put together a luncheon event.

          Find a restaurant who you will offer to give a FREE mobile site to. Make a deal with them to use a room for lunch for a day. Try to find a place that can give you options on how to do a presentation.

          Advertise in the local paper where you want to do the presentation, and see if you can get some interest in clients all coming for a "Mobile Lunch."

          Do your presentation, and sell while they have some lunch. Then provide them all with some goodies - like an ebook/pdf they can take home - and offer a special discount if they order immediately at the end of lunch or commit to ordering.

          This way you can get 30 - 50 all at the same time.

          You can also use as an example the place where the event is being hosted.
          Signature

          "May I have ten thousand marbles, please?"

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4952492].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author flyinghammers
        Originally Posted by Jason Fladlien View Post

        You can sell without a smart phone. Here's what you do instead...

        Buy a used ipod touch 2nd generation from ebay.com for like $50 to $80. You won't have cell tower internet but you can either access wifi or just take screenshots to show the business owner on the mobile device.

        That's the simplest solution.
        You can get a free smartphone with a contract, even an iPhone 3Gs.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4953817].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author EvanBeck
    Some great ideas here. I like the one about buying a used ipod, and yes it does make sense you would want some type of mobile device in order to sell mobile websites.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4956545].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author oogyboogawa
    Alright, I broke down and got a smart phone. I ordered it and it should be here sometime midweek. I may try to make some calls before then anyway, but it just made too much sense to go ahead and get it. I also signed up for SquareUp so I can process credit cards and had them go ahead and send me a card reader.

    I didn't realize it but I had just become eligible to upgrade my current cell phone so I figured I'd go ahead and jump in. I got a Samsung Mesmerize. Hopefully I don't get too distracted by all the new features I'm not used to!
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4959209].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author frujid
      Originally Posted by oogyboogawa View Post

      Alright, I broke down and got a smart phone. I ordered it and it should be here sometime midweek. I may try to make some calls before then anyway, but it just made too much sense to go ahead and get it. I also signed up for SquareUp so I can process credit cards and had them go ahead and send me a card reader.
      !
      Yes I have been waiting to get in and try SquareUp but no go for Canadians. I have to use PayPal at this time but the Square solution is much nicer to look at and a nice wow factor for the client
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4977872].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author pfreelancer
    You can also use some free mobile website viewer online or you can buy mobile emulater/viewer from fiverr.com (i hope its ok to mention this website).

    Mobile website development service is one of the best thing that you can offer to local businesses because it needs less time and effort to make a mobile friendly website. Spend time searching for the best tool to use.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4960466].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JanelleJ
    Originally Posted by oogyboogawa View Post

    Is there a quick and easy way to check for a mobile site without having a smart phone?
    If you understand code and the ways that people make sites "mobile," then it's just a matter of right clicking>View Source to find out. You don't need a smartphone to determine this.
    Signature
    TOP-NOTCH ARTICLES FOR ECO, NUTRITION, & HEALTH NICHES
    Find out why my clients say, "WOW!"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4965822].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by JanelleJ View Post

      If you understand code and the ways that people make sites "mobile," then it's just a matter of right clicking>View Source to find out. You don't need a smartphone to determine this.
      Not true. Some html pages will have no trace of a mobile redirect script at all (for example, those that use htaccess mobile redirects) so the only way to know if they have a mobile version and where that mobile version is located is to use a smartphone.

      It's not something you can just see from the page source. The page source is only showing you the code from their standard website NOT their mobile one.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4968613].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Adrian John
    I often check is domain.com/mobile, or m.domain.com it's live and go from there.
    Only few businesses have mobile websites so there's no loss here.
    And i use WillR recommendation on doing an video.Will see how it goes.
    Signature
    ARE YOU A CONSULTANT? Do you have clients who could use MORE LEADS?
    Get them a MOBILE WEBSITE PLATFORM built to stay up with their clients habits.
    More than 50% of their customers buys from their mobile devices now!

    CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4970961].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jason Fladlien
      Here is something else you can do with an iphone/ipod touch... If you don't care about jail breaking it and voiding the warranty.

      First, jail break it so you can install cydia (kittyra1n.com has the best instructions...)

      Second, in cydia install an app call screenspl1ter

      Third, buy idemo - it's like $14 or so. You can try the trial version free first just to test this out.

      Fourth, connect you apple mobile device to computer via usb...

      Fifth, open safari and view all bookmarks. Then click bonjour, then your mobile device should show up. double click it. It will then connect with idemo and allow you to show your mobile device on your computer. It's real slick.

      This is how we do our webinars for mobile devices. You can do a web meeting with a client without ever meet face to face... and show them exactly what is going on for them via your mobile phone whilst on the web meeting.

      Here is an example of it in action:

      Signature

      Co-creator of WP Twin. Perhaps the most expensive yet most reliable wordress cloning tool on the market. We've definitely been used more successfully than all other options :)

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4971519].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        JF I love you.

        Please let me know when you are ready to have a Nantucket mistress.
        Signature

        "May I have ten thousand marbles, please?"

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4977393].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Alexander
    Or a Minneapolis Mister...hehe. It WAS a useful post.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4977487].message }}

Trending Topics