what do you think of this strategy to attract more customers?

52 replies
hi Warriors,

This idea just struck me a moments ago and I though I'd share it with you to get your feedback before I put it to execution:

I am a web designer and my goal is to persuade local bsuiness to have websites.

Here is my idea:

1 - I will cold call a small business owner and tell him that I can increase his turnover by at least 20% during the next six months.. FREE of charge! (I think most people will answer yes to this)

2 - Next, I will make him a professionally designed website and take care of the basic SEO stuffs to make the site rank in the first page of google search (at this stage, I am the owner of the website).

3 -Once they see the slightest an increase in their customers base and their earning coming from the website (even if it is less than 5%), I think they will more than willing to discuss how much is it worth to keep the website running after the six month period.


yes, it requires a heavy investment from my part at the beginning and I will be very careful in selecting the business that I want to work with.

have any one of you tried this before? do you have any comment /feedback on this strategy?
#attract #customers #strategy
  • Profile picture of the author KateStevensB
    If your target is local businesses, you should attend live events and seminars that focuses in local businesses in your area and market your business there. You can start by giving away your business card of course. Let people know about your business.
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    • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
      Originally Posted by KateStevensB View Post

      If your target is local businesses, you should attend live events and seminars that focuses in local businesses in your area and market your business there. You can start by giving away your business card of course. Let people know about your business.
      I don't have time for that because I work full time and I do this web design service in my spare time (I do it mostly for the fun)
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      • Profile picture of the author David Miller
        Originally Posted by iThinkhard View Post

        I don't have time for that because I work full time and I do this web design service in my spare time (I do it mostly for the fun)
        I think this pretty much sums this whole thing up. It's nice if you can make a living doing something that you enjoy and have fun doing. I'm sure you'll make a bit on money when all is said and done. But you can't make a living at something without a full time committment and professional approach.

        Once again, even though you say you are not, you are clearly looking for validation of your idea. You have argued every comment that suggests you are making an error in judgment with a statement attempting to prove your strategy correct.

        You may be wondering why a few people are getting passionate about this and I think I can tell you, at least in part, why that is so. Many of us in the forum take what we do very seriously. Some of us started part time and worked hard to make it our full time occupation. Some of us are still in the process of working toward that goal. Some of us may have lost our job and have decided that it's best to jump in with both feet and make it happen.

        The one thing that those of us who take our business seriously have not done, is thorougly devalue the worth of our work. In the final analysis, you saying that your business is not worth the full financial consideration of the market place. You are saying this because you simply are afraid to do what is necessary to operate as a professional.

        By entering the marketplace with such a childish and impotent marketing strategy, not only are you assured to fail. In addition, you will be making a profession that many of us take very seriously, seem unprofessional.
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        The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
        -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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        • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
          Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

          Once again, even though you say you are not, you are clearly looking for validation of your idea. You have argued every comment that suggests you are making an error in judgment with a statement attempting to prove your strategy correct.
          you probably know that already, but this is a reminder in case you forgot: The Golden Rule of Marketing is: Test Everything.

          That's exactly what I am doing. I won't be doing this of years if it does not work for the first or the second client.. but it is a risk I am willing to take.

          Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

          You may be wondering why a few people are getting passionate about this and I think I can tell you, at least in part, why that is so. Many of us in the forum take what we do very seriously. Some of us started part time and worked hard to make it our full time occupation. Some of us are still in the process of working toward that goal. Some of us may have lost our job and have decided that it's best to jump in with both feet and make it happen.

          The one thing that those of us who take our business seriously have not done, is thorougly devalue the worth of our work. In the final analysis, you saying that your business is not worth the full financial consideration of the market place. You are saying this because you simply are afraid to do what is necessary to operate as a professional.
          you seem to be too frightened but don't worry, I am not here to steal your clients.

          Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

          By entering the marketplace with such a childish and impotent marketing strategy, not only are you assured to fail. In addition, you will be making a profession that many of us take very seriously, seem unprofessional.
          Thanks God I am still young and my mind is still open to new ideas Be cool man, life is too short :p
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  • Profile picture of the author Perestroika
    I would advise against this. Why would you want to spend 6 months helping them for free. There are 2 outcomes to this:

    1) When you asked about paying for the site after 6 months they might be interested but they are already used to having FREE service for 6 months. Knowing that you offer stuff for FREE will be hard for them to pay you big bucks. Lets say they start paying you $100 month for the next 6 months. So for helping a client for 12 months (6 free, 6 paid) you only made $600 or $50/month. Not worth it in my opinion.

    2) They might tell you that they are not interested in paying any money after 6 months is up. They can use whatever excuse they want but in the end they just got 6 months of FREE service.
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    • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
      Originally Posted by Perestroika View Post

      I would advise against this. Why would you want to spend 6 months helping them for free. There are 2 outcomes to this:

      1) When you asked about paying for the site after 6 months they might be interested but they are already used to having FREE service for 6 months. Knowing that you offer stuff for FREE will be hard for them to pay you big bucks. Lets say they start paying you $100 month for the next 6 months. So for helping a client for 12 months (6 free, 6 paid) you only made $600 or $50/month. Not worth it in my opinion.

      2) They might tell you that they are not interested in paying any money after 6 months is up. They can use whatever excuse they want but in the end they just got 6 months of FREE service.
      but if I made them real money during the first six months, do you think they will quit on this project just like that? (I am 90% sure that they will pay me what the website is worth because I know it will work in most cases and that they will have extra customers coming online)
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      • Profile picture of the author David Miller
        Here is my idea:

        1 - I will cold call a small business owner and tell him that I can increase his turnover by at least 20% during the next six months.. FREE of charge! (I think most people will answer yes to this)

        First of all, turnover is a term concerning how often staff is terminated or quits and new staff is hired.

        Secondly, you have no way knowing if you can actually acheive 20% in a given market for a particular business unless you have intimate knowledge of that business. The only way to have that knowledge is to work closely with them and fully understand their marketing model.

        You assume they will say yes, but you are wrong. Most businesses will see right off that something is not quite right with anyone willing to do this kind of work for free. In addition, to do what you suggest you can do is going to take time away from their daily activities.

        2 - Next, I will make him a professionally designed website and take care of the basic SEO stuffs to make the site rank in the first page of google search (at this stage, I am the owner of the website).

        You having ownership of the site is the first indication to a business owner that you have every intention of holding their domain hostage. It is unprofessional at best.

        3 -Once they see the slightest an increase in their customers base and their earning coming from the website (even if it is less than 5%), I think they will more than willing to discuss how much is it worth to keep the website running after the six month period.

        You promise them 20% but now you're expecting satisfaction at 5%. When you're initial premise is reduced by 75% of what you first promised, why would they want to keep you on.

        The real issue here is that you have no understanding of how business actually works. A successful business is not typically interested in "trying" something out. The first impression you are making is that you have little confidence in your own business. The fact that you say it's an investment on your part means nothing to the business owner.

        If you have something that is of value to a business, and you don't have the confidence to sell it appropriately, you shouldn't be giving it away. You will just be losing time and money.

        If you can accomplish everything you claim, than it's time to start acting like a professional.
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        The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
        -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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  • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
    First of all, turnover is a term concerning how often staff is terminated or quits and new staff is hired.

    by turnover I mean revenues.

    Secondly, you have no way knowing if you can actually acheive 20% in a given market for a particular business unless you have intimate knowledge of that business. The only way to have that knowledge is to work closely with them and fully understand their marketing model.

    20% is just a figure, the most important thing here is the increase of his revenues as a direct result of the website ans seo effort.

    You assume they will say yes, but you are wrong. Most businesses will see right off that something is not quite right with anyone willing to do this kind of work for free. In addition, to do what you suggest you can do is going to take time away from their daily activities.

    you are assuming that most business are doing it right.. I say that's the reason why most of them will be out of business in the next 5 years... (statistically proven)

    You having ownership of the site is the first indication to a business owner that you have every intention of holding their domain hostage. It is unprofessional at best.

    they didn't paid a dime, why should I give them ownership of the web design? I am not that evil to hold their domain name and they can have it if they ask for it.

    You promise them 20% but now you're expecting satisfactio at 5%. When you're initial premise is reduced by 75% of what you first promised, why would they want to keep you on.

    as I said before, 20% and 5% are just a figures, plus who wouldn't be satisfied with a 5% increase in their revenues with no investment?

    The real issue here is that you have no understanding of how business actually works. A successful business is not typically interested in "trying" something out. The first impression you are making is that you have little confidence in your own business. The fact that you say it's an investment on your part means nothing to the business owner
    at the contrary, I wouldn't make this investment if I don't have confidence in my methods.

    If you have something that is of value to a business, and you don't have the confidence to sell it appropriately, you shouldn't be giving it away. You will just be losing time and money.

    my point is to remove all risks and provide a solution based on results, because I know it will works and will benefit my customers.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Miller
      If you're hell bent on doing it, than just do it and return to let us know the results if that's what you care to do.

      But you asked for some thoughts and opinions about your proposed idea and a few people took their time to reply. Each reply provided you with valid reasons to not take that approach. Each has cautioned that you might well be wasting time and money

      So then, what was the reason for your post? You must have been looking for someone to agree with you I suppose. I think you'll be hard pressed to find anyone that could agree with such an approach and that should tell you something.

      What you should have done was go ahead and try your brainstorm and come back with the results. What you did was take advantage of the good will of the members of this forum.

      You may not think that's very important, but what it means is that after you do something like this, people will stop offering advice. I know I will. What's the point of offering advice to anyone who is simply looking for validation. We all have better things to do.
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      The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
      -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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  • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
    You may not think that's very important, but what it means is that after you do something like this, people will stop offering advice. I know I will. What's the point of offering advice to anyone who is simply looking for validation. We all have better things to do.

    nope, I am not looking for validation.. but I am not convinced why such approach won't work and I am looking for feedback from people that tried this before.

    I really appreciate the time and the effort you put in replying to this thread I agree with you on one thing, whaen you said :"Most businesses will see right off that something is not quite right with anyone willing to do this kind of work for free" Yes! when it seems too good to be true, it probably is. But I will explain upfront that the six month period is a trial to prove that they can increase their revenues online, and that they have to pay for it if they like the results..
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    • Profile picture of the author David Miller
      All you are really doing is looking for a way to avoid selling. This is pretty common around this forum, but at the end of the day, it comes down to selling it yourself, or finding someone else to sell it for you.

      Once again you're saying you're looking to see if anyone has tried this and you see the response.

      I don't know what your level of business experience is, but I would guess it's not very deep. So I will leave you with this last thought:

      If you don't know how to establish value for your own business, no business owner will expect you to be able to establish place value for their business.

      Good luck.
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      The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
      -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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      • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
        Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

        If you don't know how to establish value for your own business, no business owner will expect you to be able to establish place value for their business.
        I hate to say this, but I'll prove you wrong :p (wait for my thread in the next few days )

        Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

        Good luck.
        Thank you David, I really appreciate it
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        • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
          Originally Posted by iThinkhard View Post

          I hate to say this, but I'll prove you wrong :p (wait for my thread in the next few days )


          Thank you David, I really appreciate it

          Yeah.. I don't doubt it. I'm sure your thread will attract more garbage for those too scared to enter the REAL BUSINESS REALM. There is a difference between having results, and someone claiming something works. We've already seen it all... Don't clutter the forum with more junk, PLEASE.

          As for your plan... You're asking what we think of your strategy, and I'm not going to bother breaking down your post because it is somewhat laughable.

          This isn't a real business model. This isn't a way TO ATTRACT more customers, it is a way for you to feel comfortable doing something and taking the mythical action everyone talks about, but the action you're taking is purely stupid.

          Your entire outlook on getting new clients is skewed. You're already thinking of this as a way to PERSUADE clients they need a website. You don't want those clients. You want the ones that know they need a website. Why are you going to try and talk someone into it when you will need to educate them, convince them they need it, convince them you're right for the job, and then convince them your price is worth it. No.. that isn't the right way to do it.

          As for your plan for SEO and web design... hate to tell you guys this but REAL MARKETING is not a website and SEO. If you want a real marketing campaign that is going to increase a company's profits and cash flow, then you need to think bigger. SEO is just one small part of a marketing plan.

          I'd strongly suggest you not waste your time with this. Maybe you'll make a post in a couple months saying we're wrong and you're victorious because you're making 3K/mo or something like that. Maybe you will... but that doesn't make you successful. If you want to really run a business doing this, then you need to act like it. I guarantee if I coached someone, starting today, they would be making 10k/mo in 2 months as long as they were driven. You aren't going to be able to do that, because you're too busy working for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanmckinney
    Say you get 20 people this month:

    you are going to do this for 20 businesses, for half a year , for free?

    What if all 20, say thanks but no thanks? Then what?

    Maybe I could see "waive the web design fee, and first month of SEO" or something to that effect, but I am not doing half a years worth of work for anyone for free.

    Ryan
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  • Profile picture of the author gohogs
    Both points valid -

    I landed my first few clients by offering something free to get my foot my in the door. I found local businesses who had a website, but it wasn't ranking, and the site design was ugly. I created a decent web design (2hrs of work per biz), & actually went to the biz and showed them the design. I never had a problem getting passed the gate keeper.

    I then told them the site design was free and that I would upload the files to their site. I also explained that just having a pretty site did NOT result in leads. I offered to do lead generation (remember most biz owners have never heard of SEO) at a massive discounted price for x amount of months, and then the price would be $x a month after that. My reasoning was that I wanted them to sell themselves on my services.

    I think the "hole" .. if you will.. is that you're waiting to discuss price until after 6 months. Be upfront with them and tell them your intentions. David is right in that there is no way around not selling. You're selling yourself as soon as you walk in the door (or if you cold calling, as soon as they pick up the phone). If you can sell yourself and sell them on the idea that you really have their best interest in mind, that's more than half the battle. The trick is... you really have to have their best interest in mind.

    You can make it happen!
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  • Profile picture of the author dtaylor
    If you want to make money giving away free stuff, forget about all the guarantees, etc. Follow the John Bower method (I think it is still available through this forum or from John Durham, or just read John Durham's posts, plenty of info.). It is a lot of work though.

    Or, if you insist on giving stuff away and trying for a bigger paycheck down the road, call a few local businesses that don't have a mobile website and offer to do theirs for free. They don't take you very long to do and you can get a few good references to use for selling to other clients.

    Giving away 6 months of work is crazy, unless you are just allergic to money. There are thousands of businesses out there that desperately need an integrated marketing system. They are willing to pay for it. Sell it to them so you can both be happy.
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    • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
      Originally Posted by dtaylor View Post

      If you want to make money giving away free stuff, forget about all the guarantees, etc. Follow the John Bower method (I think it is still available through this forum or from John Durham, or just read John Durham's posts, plenty of info.). It is a lot of work though.

      Or, if you insist on giving stuff away and trying for a bigger paycheck down the road, call a few local businesses that don't have a mobile website and offer to do theirs for free. They don't take you very long to do and you can get a few good references to use for selling to other clients.

      Giving away 6 months of work is crazy, unless you are just allergic to money. There are thousands of businesses out there that desperately need an integrated marketing system. They are willing to pay for it. Sell it to them so you can both be happy.
      When you plant a seed, that's not free stuff you give to earth but an investment in the future.

      I am more interested in seeing my clients flourish and grow than a short term vision to earn quick money.. that only can be a reward because I don't need the money righ now (I live comfortably from my full time job salary)
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  • Profile picture of the author mstonerline
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    • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
      Originally Posted by mstonerline View Post

      I am learning on this thread, great that people here are unselfish in sharing their ideas. Thanks a lot guys.
      That's good, and don't be discouraged by people telling you that your ideas are worthless
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      • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
        If we forget the rights and wrongs of your so called strategy, should your website not be in French if you are in France selling to local businesses?

        I saw that you had another thread last week with regards to a phone script which again is in English and last year you had a sales letter written for you which also was written in English.

        Do you not see a fundamental flaw here?

        You appear to be targeting the English speaking world from France.

        Dan
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        • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
          Originally Posted by jimbo13 View Post

          If we forget the rights and wrongs of your so called strategy, should your website not be in French if you are in France selling to local businesses?

          I saw that you had another thread last week with regards to a phone script which again is in English and last year you had a sales letter written for you which also was written in English.

          Do you not see a fundamental flaw here?

          You appear to be targeting the English speaking world from France.

          Dan
          My first client was a small company from Texas
          My second client was an independant assistant from Montreal

          but I am focused now on the local market, my most recent project is a small boutique in Paris that sell graffiti accessoires.

          I did also some free websites for charity organisations.
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          • Profile picture of the author David Miller
            You do seem a bit hostile. Just let us know how and if this works.

            Of course, I do notice that everyone has ignored the 900 pound gorilla in the room.
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            The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
            -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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            • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
              Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

              You do seem a bit hostile. Just let us know how and if this works.

              Of course, I do notice that everyone has ignored the 900 pound gorilla in the room.
              I may be a little bit straightforward, but far from hostile and I'm sorry if you felt offended by my words.

              Just a while ago, I had a quick chat over the phone with a local telemarketer; I asked her first if she had experience selling websites to small business?

              She said that she worked before with a similar internet company but she warned me not to expect a high success rate!! (I know why, the market is also over crowded here with comapnies and freelancer that design websities )

              Then I explained the offer to her (I dodn't talked about 6 months, but 2 months trial instead) she seemed very interested ( even herslef do not have a website yet and I expect her to apply for the offer: D )

              I am waiting for a quote from her and I will hire her for a small list to see how it works. I will keep you posted
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          • Profile picture of the author sitefurnace
            If you want to do things this way round. i.e build the site before the sale, why not do it like this...

            Target your keyword i.e 'Restaurants cardiff' and contact businesses not on the first page of Google Places saying "I own a website restaurantscardiff.co.uk and will be promoting it over the coming months to the first page of Google. I am looking to team up with just ONE business in the cardiff area that would like to use this website to improve their Google places ranking for free - when we are on page one it's going to cost you £50 per month"

            Now when you get a bite buy the exact match domain

            Optimise their GP listing and enter your URL as their website. Offer to do this for no charge and they get their GP listing optimised to keep for free.

            A website with an exact match domain linked to a real business with an existing GP listing will rank a lot quicker than one not linked and the partners GP listing should improve in rank rapidly with your optimisation and promotion of your site.

            It's sort of a team effort. They get first page rankings for their GP listing for free, You get the massive bonus of being linked to a GP listing which gets your site ranked higher and quicker. You both win.

            Now when everything is ranking nicely enter back into conversation with them and negotiate the monthly rental to keep things as they are. If they decide they dont want to be on page one just detach the website from the listing - you still keep ownership.

            If this situation does arise just delay things a couple of weeks before parting ways with your initial client and contact everyone in that niche again but this time showing them you new rankings in connection with their competitor.

            You now have a much easier sale, you have social proof because you are working already with someone in their niche/town (You may even be able to get a testimonial from your current partner!) and you can show the ranking site up front!

            You haven't taken any risk at the start because you have found your partner before purchasing the domain. Even if you wanted to buy the domain before hand its only $9 so its hardly going to break the bank.

            All the time you are the owner of this site and could build up a nice portfolio of local exact match domains that local businesses could rent - you just keep up the required SEO to keep them ranked.

            You seem to have raised a few negative reactions on this thread but I understand where you are coming from. It's not about trying to get out of selling it's about having something tangible to sell rather than just promises.

            Just my thoughts Paul
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            • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
              Originally Posted by sitefurnace View Post

              If you want to do things this way round. i.e It's not about trying to get out of selling it's about having something tangible to sell rather than just promises.
              Thank you for your answer, that's exactly my point here.. this idea is not about charity or free stuffs. it's about selling real solutions for real problems.

              I did a website for a customer a month ago, and beleive me he care less about the colors or the graphics on his website.. the one single thing he wants is LEADS.. all he cares about are phone calls and request for quotes..

              I don't know about you, but I will say yes on the spot if someone came to me and told me: hey! I will send you extra leads in the next few months, you can try the service for free in the first months; if you see an increase of your revenues then you can subscribe later to keep leads coming.

              Please let me know if you've seen such offer somewhere because I will subscribe instantly.
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  • Profile picture of the author paul_1
    Free for 6 months work could take a toll on you...
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    • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
      Originally Posted by paul_1 View Post

      Free for 6 months work could take a toll on you...
      I think 6 months is the necessary period for the website to start producing resulats but I will not be doing hard work or money insvestment in ads or PPC campaigns, I will rely mainly on organic seo and minor optimisations (let's say less than an 1 hour per week for each project)
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  • Profile picture of the author terrystanley
    Business owners are skeptical. Telling them you can do this or that, in my opinion, isn't that great of an idea. They want to "see something". I would create some snap shots of websites that you've designed and show them some pictures of what you can do.
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    • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
      Originally Posted by terrystanley View Post

      Business owners are skeptical. Telling them you can do this or that, in my opinion, isn't that great of an idea. They want to "see something". I would create some snap shots of websites that you've designed and show them some pictures of what you can do.
      I agree with you, but they are more skeptical if you tell them give money before I show you result. I think I saw here someone calling 3k businnes and ended-up with 3 or 4 appointments; that's extreme but how skeptical is that?

      I am not saying that my method is the ideal way to do business and may not fit all kind of projects (I might not be able to work on big websites that demands days and months of work with no guarantee that I'll be paid ) but it's worth it for some niches that are not aware that they can increase their profits with a respectable online presence.
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  • Profile picture of the author apurvmat
    I would say this is a really good strategy. Offering someone a service for free doesn't mean that what you have to offer is in anyway inferior.

    However, don't make it such a long term affair of six months... give them a shorter deadline of about a month or two so that you can turn them into customers quickly!

    And the best part is that you're targeting local businesses, so you'll have a lot more credibility than some guy who randomly emails them from another corner of the globe!

    They should definitely let you handle their work. Just be sure to deliver what you say you're going to deliver.

    Hope you test this idea out - all the best!
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    • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
      Originally Posted by apurvmat View Post

      They should definitely let you handle their work. Just be sure to deliver what you say you're going to deliver.
      what If I don't! do I deserve to get paid? of course not. I did a hell of a bad job and I didn't get them any money! I will probably be considering doing somethong else in that case.

      Originally Posted by apurvmat View Post

      Hope you test this idea out - all the best!
      thank you you'll hear from me soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
    The Law of Obligation and Reciprocity is one of the most power laws in real business world. I use it to close clients in the offline world with my services on a consistent basis. I hate to partially disagree with some of my favorite people on the forum, but being successful at what I do I must add some validity to what you want to do here.

    Your idea may need some tweaking and maybe even a lot of it before it can be fully beneficial, but the law of obligation and reciprocity still works. The basic explanation is, when you give someone enough value they feel obligated to give you something back.

    The more value you add to any given situation the more your increase the obligation of the other party. This mostly is due to the fact that we do not like to have things unbalanced. However the more you give the more you should understand your worth.

    My friend I have no problem you giving for free in the beginning to add value. However if you are going to step outside the box and add value for your services above other then charge for it once you get paid. There is a difference between adding value and giving things away free.

    What I like about your approach is this. You seem to be saying “if I don’t produce what I say you should not have to pay for it” If that is indeed your approach I like it. However it also warrants a higher price than those who are not willing to say “my services are so valuable to you that you don’t have to pay if you don’t agree ” It is a rare person who can say that and produce the close, but that person also gets paid more than most.

    I see a lot of tweaking here however the idea in itself is not something to throw away. Example I recently closed a client after adding value over and over. Every time I entered his place of business I gave him something he could make money with. Yes for free.

    However its only free if one sees it as such. I was merely adding value. It took several months to close this particular client, but now he pays me $20,000 a year to come in 1 day a month for my services. He is one of my smallest clients btw.

    The validity I find in some of the other posts is that it is easier said than done. I have spent a lot of time perfecting this art and I feel you have a ways to go. You have the idea in its infant stages but you definitely have the general concept. There will be bumps in the road until you learn the correct balance. But this technique in itself is work. It’s not free for them or you. It is value and how you use it.
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    • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
      Originally Posted by Michael Bucker View Post

      The Law of Obligation and Reciprocity is one of the most power laws in real business world. I use it to close clients in the offline world with my services on a consistent basis. I hate to partially disagree with some of my favorite people on the forum, but being successful at what I do I must add some validity to what you want to do here.

      Your idea may need some tweaking and maybe even a lot of it before it can be fully beneficial, but the law of obligation and reciprocity still works. The basic explanation is, when you give someone enough value they feel obligated to give you something back.

      The more value you add to any given situation the more your increase the obligation of the other party. This mostly is due to the fact that we do not like to have things unbalanced. However the more you give the more you should understand your worth.

      My friend I have no problem you giving for free in the beginning to add value. However if you are going to step outside the box and add value for your services above other then charge for it once you get paid. There is a difference between adding value and giving things away free.

      What I like about your approach is this. You seem to be saying "if I don't produce what I say you should not have to pay for it" If that is indeed your approach I like it. However it also warrants a higher price than those who are not willing to say "my services are so valuable to you that you don't have to pay if you don't agree " It is a rare person who can say that and produce the close, but that person also gets paid more than most.

      I see a lot of tweaking here however the idea in itself is not something to throw away. Example I recently closed a client after adding value over and over. Every time I entered his place of business I gave him something he could make money with. Yes for free.

      However its only free if one sees it as such. I was merely adding value. It took several months to close this particular client, but now he pays me $20,000 a year to come in 1 day a month for my services. He is one of my smallest clients btw.

      The validity I find in some of the other posts is that it is easier said than done. I have spent a lot of time perfecting this art and I feel you have a ways to go. You have the idea in its infant stages but you definitely have the general concept. There will be bumps in the road until you learn the correct balance. But this technique in itself is work. It's not free for them or you. It is value and how you use it.
      Yes, Indeed! Robert Cialdini talked about this in a chapter of his book 'Influence' (I really recommand it to all)

      note that I carefully selected the title of this thread and inserted the word 'to attract', you can use this technique as a fishing bait (in a positive way) to attract customers to you and once they are satisfied with the level of services you provide.. it won't be difficult to sell them on extra stuffs (but always keep in mind your client's best interest)

      Thanks again for putting together that information!
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
        I will have to read that book. I know the law and how it works I have not read any others veiws on the law. It should be interesting.
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        • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
          Originally Posted by iThinkhard View Post

          My first client was a small company from Texas (Zaytec Inc)
          My second client was an independant assistant from Montreal (Meta DocuManagement)

          but I am focused now on the local market, my most recent project is a small boutique in Paris that sell graffiti accessories (Géneration 400ml)

          I did also some free websites for charity organisations.
          Mistake one was posting this thread asking what we think and then being unopen to ideas and advice.

          Mistake number two was posting your client's links for us to pitch to since you didn't optimize their websites 1 bit.
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          • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
            Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

            Mistake one was posting this thread asking what we think and then being unopen to ideas and advice.

            Mistake number two was posting your client's links for us to pitch to since you didn't optimize their websites 1 bit.

            Play nice my friend. I dont think this warrior was not being open he was doing what most of us tend to do when we have a good idea. We defend it or explain in more detail why regardless of oposition we still feel it will work.

            I have seen this with several veteran warriors.

            Also nameless you are a talented as far as what I have seen on here so far. I am sure you dont need anothers clients. Play nice my friend.

            We all gave solid advice in different way and with different focuses and I can see as a result of some of the advice given our friend has changed from 6 months to 2 months free.

            We are her to help build one another not get our feelings all up in things.

            This is not a gab at nameless he has some of my favorite comments I have seen on the forum.
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            • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
              Originally Posted by Michael Bucker View Post

              Play nice my friend. I dont think this warrior was not being open he was doing what most of us tend to do when we have a good idea. We defend it or explain in more detail why regardless of oposition we still feel it will work.

              I have seen this with several veteran warriors.

              Also nameless you are a talented as far as what I have seen on here so far. I am sure you dont need anothers clients. Play nice my friend.

              We all gave solid advice in different way and with different focuses and I can see as a result of some of the advice given our friend has changed from 6 months to 2 months free.

              We are her to help build one another not get our feelings all up in things.

              This is not a gab at nameless he has some of my favorite comments I have seen on the forum.
              Well, I am not here to make friends, but give advice and help people. I don't think the OP is willing to make a marketing strategy that works, and why should he? This is his hobby, as he said.

              In regards to my comments about posting his client's links, I don't think I'm wrong for saying it is a mistake. On a marketing board where there are thousands of people offering these services, it is not a good idea to open up your clients to spam, and solicitations. That is one of the reasons I don't show off work on the website in my signature. I have other websites for that, which I don't post on a marketing forum for other people to harass my clients. Not because I'm worried about losing them, but because I don't want them to have to be solicited by 50 emails a day.

              Do I need his clients? No... Do I want his clients along with everyone elses? For sure.

              To be successful, you need to create opportunity, create value, step outside the comfort zone, and be very dedicated and driven. In my opinion, you need to be greedy too. Not greed as in charging as much as possible for a client, but greed as in not being satisfied with 10 sales... not even 100. Greed as in nothing is ever good enough, so you keep pushing through.

              All in all.. I think this entire plan is a bad idea. Why do work for free when these clients are willing to pay well, and up front?

              I think the OP is creating a safety blanket for himself. I don't think he even believes it's going to work. Working for free is no good.. there are clients I have charged quite a bit, and even then it isn't always worth it for me. The problem with this, is you aren't going to be motivated financially. I think you're going to get burnt out and create negative reputation no matter how you look at it. If you do good, you might get paid, and you might get referrals, but what are those people going to say about you? That you did such a great job, or that it's free? LOL.
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              • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
                Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

                Well, I am not here to make friends, but give advice and help people. I don't think the OP is willing to make a marketing strategy that works, and why should he? This is his hobby, as he said.

                In regards to my comments about posting his client's links, I don't think I'm wrong for saying it is a mistake. On a marketing board where there are thousands of people offering these services, it is not a good idea to open up your clients to spam, and solicitations. That is one of the reasons I don't show off work on the website in my signature. I have other websites for that, which I don't post on a marketing forum for other people to harass my clients. Not because I'm worried about losing them, but because I don't want them to have to be solicited by 50 emails a day.

                Do I need his clients? No... Do I want his clients along with everyone elses? For sure.

                To be successful, you need to create opportunity, create value, step outside the comfort zone, and be very dedicated and driven. In my opinion, you need to be greedy too. Not greed as in charging as much as possible for a client, but greed as in not being satisfied with 10 sales... not even 100. Greed as in nothing is ever good enough, so you keep pushing through.

                All in all.. I think this entire plan is a bad idea. Why do work for free when these clients are willing to pay well, and up front?

                I think the OP is creating a safety blanket for himself. I don't think he even believes it's going to work. Working for free is no good.. there are clients I have charged quite a bit, and even then it isn't always worth it for me. The problem with this, is you aren't going to be motivated financially. I think you're going to get burnt out and create negative reputation no matter how you look at it. If you do good, you might get paid, and you might get referrals, but what are those people going to say about you? That you did such a great job, or that it's free? LOL.
                thank you for highlighting some good points that I'll be considering seriously in my offer
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  • Profile picture of the author DWaters
    First thing is cold calling totally sucks and is a bad way to get full attention of the potential customer. Networking and referrals is a much better approach.
    I would not suggest stating a percentage increase (5% or 20% or whatever). You do not want to get looked into a certain number. You may not want to be locked into a certain time period, such as six months. You may want to say that you can get certain keywords that relate to their business to rank on Googles first page. Once you have done that they should be ready to pay you in some form or another. Google's first page is something that will mean something to most people. They will understand what it means. That is easier to quantifly than saying that their business will increase by a certain amount as that may be hard to prove.
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    • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
      Originally Posted by DWaters View Post

      First thing is cold calling totally sucks and is a bad way to get full attention of the potential customer. Networking and referrals is a much better approach.
      I totally agree, these are the result from a survey on 3200 freelancers (source: Freelance confidential by Amanda Hackwith):

      cold calls are just slightly better than your chances to win a contest.

      Originally Posted by DWaters View Post

      I would not suggest stating a percentage increase (5% or 20% or whatever). You do not want to get looked into a certain number. You may not want to be locked into a certain time period, such as six months. You may want to say that you can get certain keywords that relate to their business to rank on Googles first page. Once you have done that they should be ready to pay you in some form or another. Google's first page is something that will mean something to most people. They will understand what it means. That is easier to quantifly than saying that their business will increase by a certain amount as that may be hard to prove.
      You are right, but I might bring numbers of my past customers and how much they increased their profits by using my services.

      thanks a lot for the great comment.
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      • Profile picture of the author David Miller
        I don't think anyone here is concerned about losing clients or prospective clients. The op is the one that put forth that nonsense.

        I can't speak for anyone but myself when I say I wish more people would adopt this marketing model. It just opens the marketplace to others.

        Still waiting for anyone to comment on the elephant in the room. Perhaps we're all just too kind.
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  • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
    Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

    Mistake one was posting this thread asking what we think and then being unopen to ideas and advice.
    I respect all the point of views here, and they are all valid.. I said it before, there is not right or wrong in marketing; just test everyrhing and see what works the best for you

    Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

    Mistake number two was posting your client's links for us to pitch to since you didn't optimize their websites 1 bit.
    you really made me laugh here (does someone smell scarcity mindset?) when I first started, the first client was worth 99$, the second 0$ and the third was worth thousands (I won't comment on the extra stuffs I sold)

    you think the websites are not optimized? probably yes! did they got their money's worth? it's up to you do juge..

    You think you can provide them with a service that improves their business? please do I will be more than happy if you can help them )
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  • Profile picture of the author BillBert
    Tell you what. Can you build me a professional website for free that I can use for 6 months? Is so, let's do it... And in 6 months we can discuss where to go at that point.

    Let me know

    Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
      Originally Posted by BillBert View Post

      Tell you what. Can you build me a professional website for free that I can use for 6 months? Is so, let's do it... And in 6 months we can discuss where to go at that point.

      Let me know

      Thanks
      Sorry, But I will not! and here is why:
      1. I don't know you.
      2. I don't know what business you are in.
      3. I don't trust you.
      4. I have no idea on your financial statements and not sure if you can afford the monthly payment later.
      5. You don't seem to need a website (or at least you won't be commited to it)
      6. You are not a local business.
      7. I doubt that you will coopearte with me to make this work.
      8. Even if you pass all the above, I am still not sure that I'll work with you (I kinda like to select the business I enjoy to work with)
      9. Still if you passed number 8 and I decided to work with you. There is a high chances that you get fired as soon as you activate my blood suckers sensors.


      I've said it all at the begening of my thread: I'll be studying the business I want to work with and that can benefit the best from this service.
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  • Profile picture of the author wesker123
    It looks like this will require more time and effort in your part than just for a part-time like what you've said.
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    • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
      Originally Posted by wesker123 View Post

      It looks like this will require more time and effort in your part than just for a part-time like what you've said.
      yes, but that depend of your goals.. my first goal is to have 4 clients worth up to 200$/month each. that's 800$ per month extra with little effort
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        • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
          Originally Posted by TollFreeService View Post

          6 months is just too damn long.
          I chose 6 months for a couple of reasons:

          - Commitment: the longer a business used a website for their communication and marketing, the harder for them let go and lost it all.
          - It is not always easy to get high ranks in google and get results in less than 6 months relying only on organic seo.

          but I agree with you. 6 months is too long; I will probably reduce that to 2 or 3 months.

          again! I will not be doing this if it was for the money.. I firmly believe in the saying "build it and they will come" which mean: offer something of value and don't worry about the money.
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          • Profile picture of the author TollFreeService
            So you're going to promise them a significant increase in customers/revenue by having a website, and you're then going to accomplish this in only two months? If you fail to deliver increased revenue in such a short time, when you promised to do so, why would the company choose to pay you?


            I understand that you're not trying to make this a major source of income, but it really seems worth it to sell it to them from the get go. Then you earn money and they stick with you because they want results, which you then deliver.

            At the very least if you want to do it for fun why not ask if they'd be interested in seeing a demo, design the demo for them, and take it from there? Perhaps I'm not grasping your definition of fun, but I do assume that the "fun" part is the designing and the "work" that you would want to be paid for is the seo.

            If you find doing SEO free for 3 months fun, then have fun doing that and just ignore what I've said
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            • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
              Originally Posted by TollFreeService View Post

              So you're going to promise them a significant increase in customers/revenue by having a website, and you're then going to accomplish this in only two months? If you fail to deliver increased revenue in such a short time, when you promised to do so, why would the company choose to pay you?
              "Shoot for the stars. If you fail then you will land on the moon." I promised 20% and I got only 1%!! so what? will they tear me up into pieces because I have increased their profits ?

              Now, what if I got them nothing? they have started with nothing months ago, and they still have nothing!! but the question is: what the hell am I doing in a business offering void services to people?

              Originally Posted by TollFreeService View Post

              At the very least if you want to do it for fun why not ask if they'd be interested in seeing a demo, design the demo for them, and take it from there?
              I've come across this idea before, it is largely used and I may consider using it to test the business owner response.. if it fails I will fire my nuclear weapons
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  • Profile picture of the author quickcontent
    I would say that you have a unique idea at hand. Although it may seem like it might not work practically, who can tell until you try it. So I do appreciate your guts to think something new. Also, I appreciate your attitude when you said "I will prove you wrong" to the pessimistic reply from the other warrior.

    I have only one thing to say. Listen to everyone, but do what your heart says. Sometimes, there's no right and wrong when it comes to your passion. If this is what you think you love to do, then go for it. Once you make a start, you will know what changes you need to make to the business plan and move from thereon...

    Go, take the plunge...

    Cheers!

    Originally Posted by iThinkhard View Post

    hi Warriors,

    This idea just struck me a moments ago and I though I'd share it with you to get your feedback before I put it to execution:

    I am a web designer and my goal is to persuade local bsuiness to have websites.

    Here is my idea:

    1 - I will cold call a small business owner and tell him that I can increase his turnover by at least 20% during the next six months.. FREE of charge! (I think most people will answer yes to this)

    2 - Next, I will make him a professionally designed website and take care of the basic SEO stuffs to make the site rank in the first page of google search (at this stage, I am the owner of the website).

    3 -Once they see the slightest an increase in their customers base and their earning coming from the website (even if it is less than 5%), I think they will more than willing to discuss how much is it worth to keep the website running after the six month period.


    yes, it requires a heavy investment from my part at the beginning and I will be very careful in selecting the business that I want to work with.

    have any one of you tried this before? do you have any comment /feedback on this strategy?
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