You're reading this because:
- You like reading what I say
- You have a business idea
- You want to figure out how to get clients
- You don't know where to start
Let me give you a little background about myself, which not many of you know about me.
I am great at what I do. I truly believe my company is going to dominate the market, not locally, but across the country in the next few years. Think big right? I do well in sales, I provide high quality work with RESULTS. I get a lot of referrals, I have a full blown marketing plan. I still make mistakes and am learning more every day. I'm still trying to adjust, and evaluate where I stand in order to improve and take away more of the market share.
You probably think I had some successful background in sales or marketing. You might think I had a big startup fund to launch, or some secret to success. No.
When I got into this business, I knew web design. That was all, because I had a job with a web design company. How did I decide to do this? My life was a mess, DJ'd at a strip club, which was kind of cool for a bit but it got old. Worked at a computer place doing repair and it paid kind of well but I was living paycheck to paycheck. It was a new startup business and wasn't doing too well. After about 4 months, the owner had to let me go, and he wasn't able to pay me either. I didn't have a computer at home, so we worked out a deal where my payment would be a laptop. I figured, I need a way to apply to places online, find work, etc.
There I am, sitting in my tiny apartment, late on rent because I was literally living paycheck to paycheck.. nobody was calling me for work, I had no idea what to do. My back was against the wall, and the stress was suffocating me. Got an eviction notice, and I had to figure something out not just to have money, but to have enough for another place to live!
I then started thinking about web design, why not see if I can get someone to buy from me. How do I get someone to buy if I don't even have a website?
I cashed in my change, didn't have a bank account, no credit or debit card, so I bought a prepaid card, bought a domain name and a cheap host.
I started working on my own website, getting everything together. If you build it they will come, right? LOL. So I have my site ready and it looks good, good enough to show it off to prospective clients. I had a friend at the time that is good with graphics and he helped me out for free.
Time is ticking, and it's close to the court date for the eviction. I needed to come up with about $1,300 in a couple days. I was calling businesses, sending emails, and advertising on craigslist. I made a sale for $300. Next thing I know I make another sale for $700. I'm short of the money I needed. I was fortunate enough to make a deal with the new land lord of the place i wanted to move to and he took the $1,000 and the remaining amount will be due the next month along with rent.
The next week all I was doing was moving and working on these projects to get them done. I started to think about how awesome it was to make those sales. I wondered how I can get more, DUH, do the same thing and do it more. Scale it up.
I started learning, I started utilizing what was available to me to reach out to clients. I signed up for constant contact accounts, free ones in mass amounts so I can send email blasts to prospective companies. I did this at night, while during the day I was posting ads and calling businesses. I started to drum up some business. The first month I made about $3,500.
It was the start of a successful endeavor! You get what you put in. I could describe to you where I am right now, how much I'm bringing in EVERY month, what all I'm doing NOW, but that isn't going to help you. So many people try to show off what they have right now without telling you how to get there.
Lets sum this up to a few things that I did to get business in the beginning.
- Cold calling businesses
- Email Marketing
- Classified Ad posting (craigslist, backpage)
COLD CALLING - You all read the threads, you all know cold calling is important. You probably have this mindset that we're sales pros, and that is why we succeed with cold calling.
When I first started, I knew nothing about sales.. I called these businesses, in an awkward way, I didn't know what exactly to say, I didn't know how to close a deal.. I just did it. I called, asked for the person in charge of marketing decisions, and told them I've started my own web design business and would like to help them with their website if they're interested. I got a lot of no's.. but I got some yes's.
I didn't enjoy cold calling, and I didn't enjoy the situation I was in. However, I wouldn't change it for anything. What I went through, pushed me to be who I am today. I had no other options, and I feel bad for those of you who have a safety net and just put this on the back burner. You don't NEED it like I did. It was either make this work, or become homeless.
Today, my cold calling has improved..
When calling businesses, don't overcomplicate things, don't even worry about other people's scripts, don't worry about certain techniques or getting passed the gatekeeper, don't even worry about conversions yet. The first step is just doing it, and building up your confidence and being comfortable on the phone.
Having anxiety about calling? Then you don't want it bad enough, or maybe you just don't NEED it bad enough.
Email marketing - You will see me advise against this in many threads. Even though I don't see this as a viable way to build your business, it helped mine. I still do it occasionally.
What I did was create multiple FREE accounts with constant contact. I harvested emails, targeted lawyers, real estate, and quite a few different niches. I didn't know what I was doing at the time, but I did know that an old boss of mine harvested tens of thousands of emails of travel bureaus when he was putting on travel shows across the country. He used it to generate interest and get people calling. It worked for him, so it could work for me.
Of course what I did was on a much smaller scale, but it brought in a couple sales.
I also started looking through ads on craigslist, in every city, and on other sites where people were looking for web designers. I would email them directly (not add them into the constant contact list) and solicit my services with a background of myself. It brought in money!
Classified posting - Craigslist is a gold mine. I pull in a LOT of money just through craigslist. Posting ads in my own local area, and in major cities across the US.
I would go through every city and search the computer gigs looking for people needing a website. I would get sales from this, IT WORKED!
Guys... and girls.. That is how I started. That is how I built my business up from NOTHING. That is how you can replicate it as well.
I'm not telling you that you HAVE to follow this to a T, you don't. You could probably do better than what I did, I made a ton of mistakes and learned a lot along the way.
The most important thing when it comes to success is not the techniques you use to get there, but how bad you WANT it and how bad you NEED it! Some of you aren't where you want to be because you just don't have the motivation. You don't have the NEED to get there.
You have to be willing to step out of your own comfort zone, you have to be willing to work 16 hour days if that is what you need to do, you have to be willing to continue to improve yourself. You need to have DRIVE.
I'm tired of the hype in this forum. I'm pretty sure those of you who have a NEED for this, understand that your life isn't hype, your life is much more than that. No shiny object syndrome, no catches, no quick fix, no magic push button method will exist.
I could sell you WSO after WSO, but in reality you are NOT going to get anywhere from it. It isn't even about "taking action", many people take action and fail. The people that truly need success, and truly need THIS, are the people that have what it takes. You can learn techniques, you can implement certain strategies, but one thing you can't learn, is how to want something so bad that you eat, breathe, dream this business.