Would you trust a teenager? A YOUNG one?

40 replies
Here's the thing, I'm really interested in doing offline consulting, and I know the process, but I'm 15.

SO I have two questions:

1) Would you trust a 15 year old to do consulting for you business? (Probably not)

2) Is there a way to do work without setting up a meeting? I can speak over the phone I think because I have quit a deep voice, and I can write good Emails.

Thanks in advance.
Tim
#teenager #trust #young
  • Profile picture of the author MaxwellB
    Of course you can setup phone appointments or learn to close over the phone on the first call which is ideal.

    Being 15 shouldn't prevent you from doing anything as long as you know what your talking about and can converse with adults well.

    If you do face to face meetings don't show up in jeans or basketball shorts obviously. Put on khakis and a collard shirt.

    Some people would argue that this isn't necessary but If you don't have a business name, registered legally, and have a website, AND your 15 and they can tell your in your teens you might have a problem with credibility. Only because people want to feel like you've done it before or have some experience.

    Get that first client and you should be fine.
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    • Profile picture of the author alfid
      Originally Posted by MaxwellB View Post

      Of course you can setup phone appointments or learn to close over the phone on the first call which is ideal.

      Being 15 shouldn't prevent you from doing anything as long as you know what your talking about and can converse with adults well.

      If you do face to face meetings don't show up in jeans or basketball shorts obviously. Put on khakis and a collard shirt.

      Some people would argue that this isn't necessary but If you don't have a business name, registered legally, and have a website, AND your 15 and they can tell your in your teens you might have a problem with credibility. Only because people want to feel like you've done it before or have some experience.

      Get that first client and you should be fine.
      I would suggest not revealing the age unless they ask. Even if you have a photo of yourself posted on your website they might not necessarily think you are that young. Just act as professional as possible and keep delivering quality work and it shouldn't be much of an issue.
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      • Profile picture of the author MaxwellB
        Originally Posted by alfid View Post

        I would suggest not revealing the age unless they ask. Even if you have a photo of yourself posted on your website they might not necessarily think you are that young. Just act as professional as possible and keep delivering quality work and it shouldn't be much of an issue.
        Oh absolutely!

        Tim Gold, I'm sorry if you got the impression I meant to say your age do not say your age haha.

        You know that your age has nothing to do with anything but could turn them off.

        If they ask about your age and you look older...well that's your call.
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  • Profile picture of the author PBP Marketing
    You seem precocious enough to give it a shot. The worst thing you could do is start making excuses "I'm only 15.." "No one will listen to me.." "Why would they trust me..?"

    If you make excuse after excuse and never try you will always fail.

    Get out there and take action.

    If you really won't hit the pavement at first, you might want to try one call closing so you get some work experience behind you. Once you can prove you've delivered before I don't see why anyone would have a problem or doubt your legitimacy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    You are going to run into 2 kinds of people:

    1. People who DON'T care that you're 15

    2. People who DO care that you're 15.

    Your job is to find the first kind and ignore the second.

    This is true for any kind of perceived concern (too young, too old, too ethnic, too experienced in one industry, too broadly experienced, etc.).
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      You are going to run into 2 kinds of people:

      1. People who DON'T care that you're 15

      2. People who DO care that you're 15.

      Your job is to find the first kind and ignore the second.

      This is true for any kind of perceived concern (too young, too old, too ethnic, too experienced in one industry, too broadly experienced, etc.).
      ............GOLD!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Edwin Torres
    Im facing the same issues, Im 15 as well

    I dont like cold calling and never do face to face meetings because Im afraid the client wont take me seriously, which is understandable if I was in their position and some random kid came into my office charging me $1997 for a website
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by Edwin Torres View Post

      Im facing the same issues, Im 15 as well

      I dont like cold calling and never do face to face meetings because Im afraid the client wont take me seriously, which is understandable if I was in their position and some random kid came into my office charging me $1997 for a website
      Yeah, damn right I wouldn't take someone seriously who doesn't take themselves seriously. I also wouldn't feel comfortable having somebody work on such a major part of business when they have a curfew and bedtime, and unavailable 8 hours of the day with school. lol.

      Lots of people are going to have a problem with it. You just need to find the people that don't care like Jason said.

      Another major issue with you, Edwin, is that you don't want to cold call, or meet them. What do you plan on doing to get customers? Hope they do thousand dollar deals through email?
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  • Profile picture of the author kaja292
    May be mostly 80% trust young ones
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  • Profile picture of the author HAdrian1239
    When people look at me, they think I am in my teens... when they hear me speak, they think I am in my 40's... so it's not really that big a deal... people will either want to work with you or not... based on a lot of factors so don't setup self limiting beliefs from the start. You'll be fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author Preeti
    Position yourself as a professional...what can you back yourself up with that will make you feel more confident when you're talking to people?

    Perhaps showing qualitative results of your campaigns? A reference from a past client?

    Take your business seriously..and people will take you seriously too!

    Awesome job on starting so young...I think I was still watching Care Bears when I was 15 LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    It's going to be hard for you to inspire confidence, but not impossible. I employ a 15 year old student but only for in-house work. This kid is awesome. He knows Wordpress, Photoshop, Sony Vegas, Flash and pretty much anything else I need. After working with me for 3 months, he's learned a ton of local SEO and would be a great consultant but I don't see anyone believing that just yet.

    My advice would be to work via direct mail and a website. By the time you sell them, it's too late.
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  • Profile picture of the author Abul-Hussain
    If you're a 15 year old who wants to make me a website, facebook fanpage, etc. I'd give you a shot.

    If you're a 15 year old who wants to tell me how to grow my business and you have no real life experience of business development, then no way josé.

    Having said that, if you have no practical experience but really good ideas, then I'd want to listen to you.

    I started offline consulting when I was 20 [didn't know it was called offline consulting!]. A lot of business owners I spoke to were double my age, but knew I had good ideas for them, so gave me the time. However, some of them, gave me hope of a contract, took all my ideas and disappeared...to apply it all by themselves! So be careful that someone isn't just listening to you, just to 'steal' your best ideas!

    Good luck!

    Abul
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    • Profile picture of the author fahadhassen
      Originally Posted by Abul-Hussain View Post

      If you're a 15 year old who wants to make me a website, facebook fanpage, etc. I'd give you a shot.

      If you're a 15 year old who wants to tell me how to grow my business and you have no real life experience of business development, then no way josé.

      Having said that, if you have no practical experience but really good ideas, then I'd want to listen to you.

      I started offline consulting when I was 20 [didn't know it was called offline consulting!]. A lot of business owners I spoke to were double my age, but knew I had good ideas for them, so gave me the time. However, some of them, gave me hope of a contract, took all my ideas and disappeared...to apply it all by themselves! So be careful that someone isn't just listening to you, just to 'steal' your best ideas!

      Good luck!

      Abul
      This is what to expect realistically!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ashley C
    If it's not face to face and you know what you're doing, you'll still be able to get clients who will trust you, so don't worry too much about your age.

    If I needed an offline consultant, I would never hire a 15 year old, but if I didn't know that the consultant was 15, then it's a different story. I don't think it's a good idea to lie, but just withhold such information until asked.
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  • Profile picture of the author swd123
    I've been running my agency since 15, to gain credibility I started with silly low prices but once you start getting referrals and social proof it's pretty much a smooth(er) ride from there. If your main focus is "Im 15" then the client will feel that too.

    I now run a full marketing consultancy but started with use web design - get some credibility before offering services that are "marketing".
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    • Profile picture of the author Edwin Torres
      Originally Posted by swd123 View Post

      I've been running my agency since 15, to gain credibility I started with silly low prices but once you start getting referrals and social proof it's pretty much a smooth(er) ride from there. If your main focus is "Im 15" then the client will feel that too.

      I now run a full marketing consultancy but started with use web design - get some credibility before offering services that are "marketing".
      How did you initially get clients?
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      • Profile picture of the author swd123
        Originally Posted by Edwin Torres View Post

        How did you initially get clients?
        Mainly through family & friends to start then referrals from them
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  • Profile picture of the author Earn.cx
    I sold my first website at 13. And closed multiple restaurant deals at 14. You should have no problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author maxisxjay
    Honestly, if I'm in that position I wouldn't trust a 15 year old. Of course you can setup phone appointments, that's a good thing because they wont know your age. I like what you are doing. Keep it up. You'll be successful someday.
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  • Profile picture of the author anwiii
    yea, i think i am agreeing with abdul on this one. you will need at LEAST a high school education and preferable some college. if you don't have that, then you should know what you are talking about or at least b.s. your way through the stuff you don't. you may have some knowledge to share, but almost no real life experience in business. web pages are one thing where you can just show a client a portfolio, but seo or marketing advice? i would probably listen, to what you had to say but i wouldn't hire you. i may take you on as an intern where if after i listened to you and thought you had some good ideas, we could collaborate while you actually learn some real life marketing.

    abdul makes a great point. be carefull how much you share and who you share your information too. once you share all your knowledge and nothing more to share, nobody is going to need ya anymore. but, you will have to figure out what a good trade off is for you. is getting your ideas stolen by a couple companies worth it if you can gain some real life experience? i would absolutely say yes. getting your ideas stolen might not be such a bad tradeoff.

    when i was your age, the www didn't even exist. just what you would call bulliten board systems(somewhat similar to a forum) i was self taught in 4 programming languages by the age of 17. if the www DID exisit for me at your age, the first things i woulda learned woulda been php and html and css so be able to create some awesome web pages where i can use my skills in real life at an early age. i would then sell my designs part time.

    so that is what i would start doing if i was in your shoes right now. just because i would listen to ya doesn't mean others will. in fact, it's hard enough getting your foot in the door when your 20 like abdul. with that said, i don't want to discourage ya. it's a numbers game just like anything else in sales you can't give up. the way i learned it was never give up. there is a law of averages for everyone which will dictate how many yeses you will get based on the number of nos. i was taught to look forward to the nos because it meant i was that much closer to the yeses based on the law of averages.

    basically what i am trying to say is that even though not a lot of people will listening to you, give it a shot. practice getting your foot in the door and talking to people. this will still be a good experience for ya too even if you don't get your foot in the door right away. don't make excuses about why you might not be able to do this(such as your age) and certainly don't listen to those who say you wont be able to do it and should concentrate more on other things(if this is truly what you want to do).

    i don't know you so i don't know what your skills are. you were pretty vague in your post so i hope at least some of what i said to you today can help you. good luck with whatever you decide.

    p.s. - there is also another option. if you are good at what you say, think about starting your own small business and practicing what you know right now before trying to convince people that you know more about their business than they do. the warrior forum is a great place to start to try and figure out what area of business would be best for you and how to approach it if there are still some things you need to learn
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  • Profile picture of the author Luuk Terhorst
    I don't see why age would be a big deal.. if you know what you're talking about and you have some good stuff to offer, whats the problem?
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  • Profile picture of the author Prashant_W
    Any business who wants (or doesn't want) to hire you based on your age is downright narrow minded.

    The primary basis for any business connection should be based on what you can do for them. Naturally, you have to be able to prove this as well.

    So step number one... Show what you're worth by running a system that makes you money in the first place.

    If the businesses you approach have half a brain, they'd be astounded by what a 15 year old has achieved for themselves (monetarily) through they're own marketing system.
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  • Profile picture of the author masterxm
    Yes just do it
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  • Profile picture of the author Davidtaylor
    You shouldn't conduct any business with a teenage, because
    you can enforce him to enter into a contract...
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    • Profile picture of the author Abul-Hussain
      Originally Posted by Davidtaylor View Post

      You shouldn't conduct any business with a teenage, because
      you can enforce him to enter into a contract...
      Haha nice one - to think nobody spotted that! However, in the UK you can be under 18 and enter a contract, with parental consent! So basically, your parent(s) will be your guarantor.

      Abul
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      • Profile picture of the author KabirC
        Originally Posted by Abul-Hussain View Post

        Haha nice one - to think nobody spotted that! However, in the UK you can be under 18 and enter a contract, with parental consent! So basically, your parent(s) will be your guarantor.

        Abul
        In America you can have your parents cosign with you on contracts. And age does not matter, I started when I was 15 and people seem to be more willing to deal with you because they want to "help" me.
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    • Profile picture of the author CollegeCEO
      Originally Posted by Davidtaylor View Post

      You shouldn't conduct any business with a teenage, because
      you can enforce him to enter into a contract...
      This is what I was thinking. Aside from that I would say you might not have any problems. There are tons of people on here who conduct business with people not even in the same country so they never have to meet face to face. The business world has changes substantially over the years and people are making 7 figure deals with people they have never even seen.
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
    The most obvious approach for you to try is some form of giving value up front, and targeting businesses remotely. If you are concerned about your credibility, what better way to avoid face to face meetings, and having people reject you because of your youth, than simply demonstrating your prowess to people who may never see your face, by doing something beneficial for free.

    For example, send someone leads for free, or make and rank a nice video linking to their site; then tell them afterward that you're just getting started, hope they liked what you did, and you could use their testimonial if they don't mind giving one.

    Almost as an aside, after they agree to provide a testimonial, you could say something like "oh by the way, I don't like to sell, which is one reason I decided to get started by giving away my work, but I should at least mention that since you're helping me out with the testimonial, I would be happy to give you the chance to lock in a 50% discount on [whatever service you're leading with] for the first year, so your whole bill would be only $x per month, if you'd like to become one of my first customers. Even with the discount, the work is still guaranteed [if it is]."

    There are quite a few WSOs that teach you various ways of targeting remote customers. I remember one WSO author who taught a marketing approach that would work whether your customer is next door or overseas, but he said he never goes for clients close enough to meet in person.

    I think he has the right idea; many of us are in this for the freedom, and don't want it compromised by having clients in your area that expect you to make meetings. Anyway, the point is that obviously, that approach would make your age a non-issue, since they don't see your face.
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  • I agree with providing some sort of value up front because this is a good practice. However, I don't think you being 15 is actually as much of a major problem as some imply. Why? Because you are in the age group of folks who pretty much know EVERTHING there is to know about how computers, mobile devices, what have you work!! It's not much of a stretch to think that you probably know more than most about marketing online, as well. I grew up in an era where computers were NOT the norm and I had to learn about them after I was a full grown adult, just like many business owners had to. These types of things came quite a bit harder to us and I don't have a bit of an issue trusting someone who is 15 to know their "stuff" when it comes to the Internet and Computers and all that.
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  • Profile picture of the author ohhugo
    The only problem with age that I see is that you are not legally responsible for your actions so it would be hard for someone to sue you for something you might, potentially, do wrong and I bet you can't register a company name by yourself either.

    You should maybe ask your parents to register a company for you and you would 'work for them' .

    So, basically, they would be responsible legally and you would do the work and reap the benefits.
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  • Profile picture of the author EnzoBlaque
    your age shouldn't be a problem.. But realisticly, some people may be a little put off by the fact that you're only 15.

    Then again, some people wont. The only definite way of knowing is by going out there and having a shot at it.
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  • Profile picture of the author harryhumph
    I'm 16 and close deals without much of a problem.... Just don't shave for 3-4 days before the meeting, does wonders and makes you look older

    Be confident, but not cocky.... Make sure you do your research beforehand.

    What I personally did was my school has their own mini tv channel that plays every friday.... I called up business owners and told them I could get a create a commercial and air it out on our school tv channel for about 1.5k which was a bargain because about 3000 people watch our channel...

    The project that yielded the vest results was in October and may because these are homecoming and prom seasons.... I contacted a local owner if a wedding shop and she ended up paying us 2k(all money ended up going to the school btw....I got nothing except a relationshipwith the owner)

    This one campaign resulted in 60. Extra dress sales in one month, keep in mind that one dress costs 100-500 and you have to add in flowers etc...

    So a few months later I called her up for web design and she gladly paid me 700-100/month for a site with pretty much no selling at all... and I got to keep all the profits on this one

    Hope this helps
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Martin
    The way you market YOURSELF is the same way you market your business. I'm young too. Market yourself as a "student" rather than a 15 year old. Trust me, it helps when you're trying to make a sale.

    For example, if you are doing a cold call in hopes of getting a business to purchase a website, tell them that you are currently a student of whom runs a web design business as well. Sounds much better than saying you're 15 years old. Believe me.

    At the same time, you need to make it known that you put time into your business as well. The last thing you want is leaving the impression that you're doing this "on the side" and that you're unreachable half of the day because of school. Although this true, displaying a great emphasis on your business and making yourself come off as a professional will through some of the pressure off.

    You CAN succeed in this business at a young age. I'm living proof. Just continue to strive to make professional calls/e-mails/meetings. Have confidence in what you're doing. Be an intellectual.

    You CAN do it!
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    "Be the hero of your own movie."
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  • Profile picture of the author infinityplr
    You're 15?! So what? A lot of Internet marketer will envy you for your young age

    You do not have to worry whether you think people will not take you seriously. Prove them wrong and prove to them that age does not matter if you have the skills and the knowledge to go on to any kind of business. As I can see it you are quite knowledgeable and smart enough to venture in this kind of business. And if you have learned all the basics you are good to go!
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    GO. MOVE. Keep GOING! Even with the smallest steps and slower paces, the important thing is you are NOT STOPPING! You'll get there!
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  • Profile picture of the author Carl Fridsjö
    I think you already got your response, just do it. Your age will only hold you back if you let it. I was 19 when I started and still going strong... if you ever want to chat about business, feel free to add me on Skype ( <--- ).

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Martin
    Just a bit of an update for you to PROVE that your age can work to your advantage:
    http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...peechless.html

    The CEO that I got in touch with was actually surprised by intellect for the age I'm at (I am just a tad bit older than you) and saw it as an advantage. Just be a professional, back up your confidence with fact, research, and statistics, and you'll be GOLDEN.

    Best of luck.
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    "Be the hero of your own movie."
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  • Profile picture of the author GforceSage
    Age can be an issue, but not a deal breaker. In my area, the school district was getting lots of work done by High School students because they knew more about how to use software than most of the adults. I know the guys well and they carry themselves like they were in their 20's. You decide that you are going to be professional and grown-up at all costs. No slang, no whining, no mention of my parents won't let me do something. First you need to prove your value to a client. Offer to do something for free, update a webpage, give an SEO tip, bring in a new attractive Logo before they ask for it. When you prove value, age does not matter. Your only problem may be that you cannot enter into any binding contract before you are 18. Some businesses might be concerned because it limits their legal recourse if they don't like something you did. But...I know from these kids in my area, that there is work to be had if you carry yourself with confidence and professionalism.

    Best of Luck to you!
    Go for it!
    GforceSage
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