Payoman's Offline Business Journal - How I Got, And How You Can, Get Started In Business

10 replies
I figured I post so much in this forum that I should collate the details of my business for those who, like myself, enjoy reading about the trials and tribulations of like-minded entrepreneurs.

Before starting, this post is dedicated to all the David Millers, Iamnameless, John Durhams and Kaniganj's of the forum who have helped me get to where I am today and who continue to help all the newbies around here into the future.


Executive Business Summary

To give some perspective :
When I started in December 2011, I didn't know the difference between web hosting and domain hosting, had never worked with a website in my life and only had a diploma of graphic design to my name in terms of education.

Since December 2011, I have achieved the following :

- Learned my way around Wordpress.
- Became a reseller of web hosting.
- Created about a dozen websites for practice.
- Read dozens of articles, ebooks and watched videos on SEO and finally wrapped my head around it.
- Ranked a website to number 2 in the organic search results in my town.
- Hired 2 team members from oDesk, which have contributed to 2 of my clients websites so far, enabling me to focus on getting more clients.
- Made hundreds of cold calls to local businesses trying to sell web design and SEO.

After about 3 months of work, I finally began getting clients.

As of today, 20/4/2012, I have 4 clients.

I will keep the above list updated as I gain new skills and have new adventures in my business, hopefully in an effort to encourage other people to see what can be done purely by determination and focus.

I want to dedicate a section of this post to HOW I did this, because a list of credentials without a 'HOW-TO' is pretty useless for alot of people. So here it is...



...there you go, my free WSO right here for anyone to see haha.

Follow this 'Get Your Head Around' list for the best tips on doing this kind of business that I can think of.

1. Get your head around web design. This means studying nice looking websites, examining templates and figuring out what makes them look nice. Read some books on modern graphic design. A hint : simplicity is the key. Don't clutter up the screen with fancy graphics.

2. Get your head around SEO. This means studying blogs, forums (this forum is an excellent starting point), WSO's, PDF's, free reports, podcasts, Youtube is GREAT. And I have to recommend it, the Challenge by Ed Dale. Great course for beginners and it's FREE.

3. Get your head around PEOPLE. This means becoming comfortable with strangers, with holding eye contact, with a warm tone and a bit of wit. Don't be a salesy, fake person. Be a warm, old friend. Connect with business owners, because you will be one yourself! I got good with people initially because I was in the dating niche, so I met hundreds of people regularly and have that experience behind me, but I CANNOT RECOMMEND IT ENOUGH : approach random strangers on the street, in stores, in parks and start conversations. In depth conversations about STUFF! Do this, and your confidence will SKYROCKET.

4. Get your head around COLD CALLING. Every one of my clients I got through cold calling. It's a long, laborious process but it IS rewarding. You need to remind yourself: you aren't just being rejected over and over. You are building CHARACTER and CONFIDENCE. Each time you get knocked down and get back up, you REALLY ARE becoming stronger. I still get butterflies on that first call, but it really becomes a habit and you just get better with time.

5. Get your head around Software. This means the Adobe suite for editing images, or Microsoft word for writing documents, or Serif Web Plus X5 for website development (I use this for custom websites, I would still recommend getting good with Wordpress as it is the industry standard at this point). You will need some good software to help you in your journey, so I recommend the following :

- Adobe Suite for image editing/web editing.
- Microsoft Office for documents.
- Serif Webplus X5 for websites.
- Basecamp for organising your business and thoughts.
- Skype for cold calling and for VA's

6. Get your head around SUPPORT systems. This is huge. I would NOT be here today if I hadn't been constantly reviewing this forum, talking with the big wigs I mentioned earlier, but also enrolled in a government program in my country (Australia) that aids small business owners financially for 12 months simply by completing a 6 week course and writing up a business plan. Try to find similar programs in your country/area, there has to be SOMETHING. Also, when starting out, offer to do websites for friends and family. I also did this, just to build my portfolio. Some clients will want examples of your work, but you can also get lucky like I did and some will just buy from you because they like you. Just get out there and TAKE ACTION!


Finally, I just want to finish by saying I will update this thread as new things develop in my business, including how I overcame obstacles and drop in advice now and then. I might start a blog too, so I will keep you guys updated. Depends on the feedback I get.

Thanks again to all the people who have helped me along this journey!


#business #journal #offline #payoman #started
  • Profile picture of the author payoman

    My Newest Client

    So, I thought I'd kick this journal off with my latest update : I have a new client! She is the owner of a beauty salon in my local town.

    I initially called her over the phone to discuss my own hairdressing website that I had ranked in Google, hoping to have a salon owner rent the space for a monthly fee. She expressed interest so we booked an appointment.

    Now I was fully prepared to have this site sold to her, until I did a quick google search about an hour before the appointment to find she already had a website! I realised the most likely outcome : she was interested in redesigning her site. I am always on the lookout for more work, so I wasn't too unhappy, but I figured this meeting would be interesting non-the-less.

    In short, the meeting lasted at least an hour. We discussed my site, her site and everything in between. But eventually I talked her into getting a new site developed AND have SEO ongoing, which resulted in combining the best of both worlds for both of us.

    Challenges I Faced :

    - She initially wanted a 'facelift' for her site, but I explained how that could be more trouble than it's worth (also the fact I have no coding experience and her site was plain HTML, so why not just chuck it all out and start new with a great Wordpress site in my opinion?

    Realisations I Had :

    - I realised that explaining things in a way business owners can relate to (how Yellowpages sucks because of Google, how advertising in newspapers sucks because of untargetted customers, how eCommerce sucks because of shipping and management) really helped build a rapport between myself and my client.

    - That people who sound quite old over the phone can actually turn out to be EXTREMELY attractive in real life! Haha.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    Payoman rocks! You can always tell how he is doing. When he gets a sale he is pontificating and sharing his wisdom and discoveries with us.

    When he goes for a stretch without a deal he is confused and shares his trials and tribulations with us.

    Please dont go away. One day we will turn all your posts into a book documenting your rise to fame and travel the world off of the royalties.
    Promise Big.
    Deliver Bigger.
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  • Profile picture of the author big steve
    Awesome share mate..keep it coming..Look forward to hearing and learning from your experiences!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    It's good that the OP is sharing how he is doing. Too many people either give up waaay too soon and vanish, or feel scared to post when they aren't getting awesome results.

    This guy is in it for the long haul. He means it. He's the 1 in a 100.
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  • Profile picture of the author AfteraDream
    Great story man. Good job!

    P.S. Yellow pages and ecommerce don't suck. You could actually use Yellow pages as a good advertising source, just because trending stuff if Facebook, mobile etc doesn't mean they don't work. It depends on a niche your customer is in and it could end up being a secret weapon.
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    • Profile picture of the author ScooterDaMan
      Yeah, they all have their places and are perfect for the right situation. For a beauty salon, for instance, the Yellow pages are great if you are in a tourist town with lots of transients who may need a quick touchup while on vacation. They are also great if you are in an emergency need business - plumbers, for instance. Newspapers are a bit different - great for branding and there are still a ton of folks out there who don't even know how to use a computer (older folks, to be sure).
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  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
    Way to go mate! Keep us updated
    what about your other three clients?

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    • Profile picture of the author payoman
      Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

      Way to go mate! Keep us updated
      what about your other three clients?

      My other clients are a painter, an electrician and an auto-electrician. They are all taking SEO services (underquoted unfortunately, I may have to introduce a higher fee if I want a decent return on the manpower to do the SEO, only charging $100 /month for these 3).

      Will keep you guys updated, my goal for next week is to get a $500 /month SEO client.
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      • Profile picture of the author sandalwood

        First off, congratulations. Way to keep hustling. Love it.

        I have a suggestion for almost quick and easy clients. Our locality has a paper called the Big Nickel. It is one of those w/only ads. No stories. No pictures. Only ads. I bet your locale has one of those rags too.

        The people who usually advertise in it don't have a website or have one that is so bad my grandson wouldn't look at it twice. We are meeting w/a plumber this morning because I called him right off the front page.

        He had his classified ad staring me in the face so I looked him up. Oops, a yb site. He told me out of the gate he wasn't happy and wanted something professional and done by a local guy.

        I think you can fill in the rest of the conversation. This source is free, you can pick up these papers at super markets, drug stores, convenience stores, etc. Go through it ad by ad. Took me an hour and a half to go through the entire thing.

        BTW, got a call back to make next week out of the same edition. Let's say we only get one of them as clients. What did it cost us? Two phone calls. Go get 'em and remember opportunity is everywhere.

        Get 30% or More Retirement Income If you are serious about your retirement, you'll love this product.

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  • Profile picture of the author mojo1
    Payoman you're simply fabulous!

    I love the way you think out loud and how you've communicated your trials, tribulations and ultimately your triumphs.

    Keep doing what you do and make great things happen.

    Continued success
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