Been a member of the forum for a while now, but i have to admit i've simply been lurking and not ACTING!! Its the same story you see everywhere here on the forum - people get their first clients when they take action and actually do something.
I recently decided that i needed to stop spending money on WSO's and start doing something. I built myself a wordpress website - Blue Baboon Marketing (yes, thats a shameless plug ) and then i started looking at getting customers. I knew so much about different methods to gain customers and what to do with customers to help them and make them successful from all the months i spent reading through all the threads in here and wso's (big shout out to john durham, iamnameless, willr jason kanigan and a few others for the detail and value they put into their threads/products on here! you guys make the forum what it is!) but the problem i had was i had no idea how to actually make that initial contact and start trying to sell.
For the record i mainly sell SEO/PPC and offer several other sidelines that if i think it is relevant to a business i will let them know about.
I decided i wanted to show a company how SEO could help them and how i can improve their rankings, etc. - this is what i believed would get me the sale.
The first thing i did was start targetting local businesses in my area, i found 10 (JUST 10!) that i wanted to target first. I looked at their website, their rankings, their competition, what i could do for them, EVERYTHING and then i wrote it all down on a several pages long letter and sent it out to each business - guess what happened?
I figured i'd follow up with some phone calls - guess what happened?
None of them wanted to speak and/or didn't bother reading the free report i sent them.
Now i realise i only did this for 10 people, but i took me ages!! i spent a load of time trying to help them for nothing. I was gutted, i was sure that if i showed them how i could help them that i would be right in there with them and it'd be easy to sign them up.
I needed to rethink my strategy. I realised that i'm trying to start a business here and i don't know any business in the world that can be started with ZERO capital (there probably is gonna be some smart arse that replies with one now... :rolleyes. I decided i needed to spend money in order to make money.
I looked at what i was doing and tried to figure out where i was going wrong. I still liked the idea of SHOWING them what i could do for them, but i needed a way to make it stand out. I wanted to rank them on google and then say "look what i did for you" - i know, sounds stupid, huh? They'd just turn around and say "thanks" then say "well i don't need you anymore then!"
But i figured if i can rank them for a keyword that gets virtually no traffic, but is easy to rank - thats my "in". I could rank them for an easy keyword, tell them i'd done it then let them know that if they want to rank for a keyword that will bring them more customers they'd need to sign up to my service....
Whilst looking for a cheap and easy way to quickly rank a website for a none existant keyword, i came across a directory site that pretty much did the entire business model i just laid out - and best thing was they were "leasing out" local cities for people to use the exact same business model for themsleves - it meant i had a 'done for me' directory site with some authority behind it. Bonus.
I signed up for it and started calling all of the businesses saying there was a new local network in town and it was free to join. Yes, i ACTUALLY got on the PHONE and did this amazing thing- TALKING! lol. It came easy as i really was offering a free listing (almost like JD's bower model, but with no immediate charge, so the conversion rate was fairly good).
Now i'm not saying i was calling 500 businesses a day - i've got a full time job to do. I was calling businesses in my lunch hour and an hour after work. Out of my initial 100 calls, i got about 23 businesses to sign up on the directory network within a week. Not brilliant, but i'm still learning sales stuff here! After the initial hundred i stopped counting as it was slowing me down (mentally that is- "only 'x' amount of calls, it feels like i've been on the phone forever..")
Anyways, that was two weeks ago. Today i checked the rankings of the business that i signed up back then and sure enough i found 15 that were ranked number 1 for a keyword that sounded good, but had little value. I phoned up the first one and told him where he was and started putting my plan into action.
Results from today:
- 2 signed up for £300 a month SEO package (thats about $450)
- 5 agreed to get sent out the same report on how i can help their business that i sent at the start of my venture to other business but got no reply
- 3 interviews set up
- 3 call backs
- 2 couldn't get hold of
I realise this is a long winded approach, and many may tear it to shreads and say "why do it that way", but it worked for me and i'm proud of myself!
I think what i'm trying to say here is TAKE ACTION and DON'T GIVE UP - if i had give up when i first faultered, i woudn't have made sales today and have a pipeline stuffed full of potential clients that i'm too excited to even contemplate!!!