Potential Client says "I have $150/month...What can you do?" Suggestions please.

by Vid Yo
20 replies
Hello Fellow Warriors,

I've been communicating with a small business decision-maker about helping them increase their business through online means. I first contacted them with an offer to build a simple website. They already have one. I offered SEO services after finding out they're not too happy with the leads coming from the site, or in general for that matter.

They haven't asked for anything specific, only to get more leads.

They only have a budget of $150 per month. This is after I told them a much higher figure to include a residual for myself after outsourcing the service. I also explained that even with the higher amount, it would take a couple months to see results.

My Goals: 1. Get them more traffic as quickly as possible
2. Make a little $$ monthly

Any suggestions as to how I can help them?
#client #potential #suggestions
  • Profile picture of the author maxrezn
    Originally Posted by ncp63837 View Post

    Hello Fellow Warriors,

    I've been communicating with a small business decision-maker about helping them increase their business through online means. I first contacted them with an offer to build a simple website. They already have one. I offered SEO services after finding out they're not too happy with the leads coming from the site, or in general for that matter.

    They haven't asked for anything specific, only to get more leads.

    They only have a budget of $150 per month. This is after I told them a much higher figure to include a residual for myself after outsourcing the service. I also explained that even with the higher amount, it would take a couple months to see results.

    My Goals: 1. Get them more traffic as quickly as possible
    2. Make a little $$ monthly

    Any suggestions as to how I can help them?
    $150 per month? Maybe buy one of Matt Laclear's $100 1st page packages and let that run until they are on the first page. $150 is very little to do much with.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Williamson
    If you can afford it, do some services to get them more real customers or clients so that they will have more than $150 to give you and then begin charging them a higher amount. If they're looking for a steal and won't budge from that amount, just walk away and chalk it up to them not realizing the potential of your services. Make it clear that your services are valuable and don't tailor your offer to fit their tiny budget.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    They really cant be too serious about getting leads for only $150 per month. Maybe they are just saying this because they are scared or maybe they are just ignorant about business.

    If they are just scared perhaps you can talk to them and find out how much they REALLY can budget for some marketing.

    BTW what is the product/service and maybe I can think of some ideas for $150, but in reality I dont see how you can make any money on this AND help them as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adrian Browning
    Banned
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulKlein
    You can't afford to waste your time with low ball figures. If they are serious, they will want to talk more when you offer them your services at YOUR prices. For $150/month, give them a Google Map upgrade. Not worth the pain for what they think they are paying you for.
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  • Profile picture of the author RiskTaker
    Originally Posted by ncp63837 View Post

    Hello Fellow Warriors,

    I've been communicating with a small business decision-maker about helping them increase their business through online means. I first contacted them with an offer to build a simple website. They already have one. I offered SEO services after finding out they're not too happy with the leads coming from the site, or in general for that matter.

    They haven't asked for anything specific, only to get more leads.

    They only have a budget of $150 per month. This is after I told them a much higher figure to include a residual for myself after outsourcing the service. I also explained that even with the higher amount, it would take a couple months to see results.

    My Goals: 1. Get them more traffic as quickly as possible
    2. Make a little $$ monthly

    Any suggestions as to how I can help them?

    DONT TAKE THE BUSINESS its screams HEADACHE
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Nguyen
    Move on. You don't want this type of client. Say "thank you, but its not worth my time". If you're selling SEO, get $500 minimum, you need to eat after all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vid Yo
    ...so it looks like we're all in agreement here...

    Unless I can make them see the value in my service and up the budget, BIG waste of time. If they see the value already, but simply don't have the money, I saw google maps and a $100 package in this thread. I will keep that in mind when speaking with them.

    I appreciate the responses!
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  • Profile picture of the author kylemarvin
    I would take the 150/mo for very basic maintenance of their site and some slow drip fed link building, but then pitch them a lead gen model. Ask them how much they'd pay for a guaranteed new customer, then build a few lead gen sites, and send them new customers, that they only pay for when you bring them the customer. It's very hard for clients like that to turn that model down, because they only pay if you get them more money. It's like selling a $100 bill for $10. You can't go wrong.
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  • Profile picture of the author focusedlife
    If you don't want to walk away from this one (as in...you need the money) Make them a youtube presentation style video with a voiceover, fully SEO optimized. Should be able to get the whole thing completed for less than $20 in one week on fiverr.

    So hope that helps.

    Or as another bit of advice. Get them $100 worth of PPC traffic. If you sign up for Google Engage you get $2000 worth of Credit that you can use however you like.

    Ultimately, and sadly, as everyone else has pointed out...I'd eventually migrate away from this prospect.

    Good luck on your decision.

    Regards

    Los
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    Get a $100 adwords coupon from Google and run some PPC campaigns for them. Send traffic to a page where you can have a local number that can be tracked. So the first month you'll have $250 to start with. You didn't say what niche the business is in, but $250 in ads should get them some clients.

    I have a catering client that spends about 60 bucks a month on adwords and gets new bookings every week. Prove to them you can deliver and they will probably come up with more money to spend. If the ROI is there, they would be stupid not to once you show them you can deliver.
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    • Profile picture of the author Vid Yo
      Originally Posted by Colm Whelan View Post

      @OP - my advice to you is first try to ascertain whether or not this potential client is cheap or just poor. If he's cheap - run. If he's poor maybe you can work with him but be aware that poor clients are sometimes poor because they won't do what needs doing. If he turns out to be that kind of poor client - run too.
      Originally Posted by kylemarvin View Post

      I would take the 150/mo for very basic maintenance of their site and some slow drip fed link building, but then pitch them a lead gen model. Ask them how much they'd pay for a guaranteed new customer, then build a few lead gen sites, and send them new customers, that they only pay for when you bring them the customer. It's very hard for clients like that to turn that model down, because they only pay if you get them more money. It's like selling a $100 bill for $10. You can't go wrong.
      kylemarvin, I like this idea. I think it would satisfy Colm's suggestion as well. It will tell me if they're cheap or poor. thx!

      Originally Posted by focusedlife View Post

      If you don't want to walk away from this one (as in...you need the money) Make them a youtube presentation style video with a voiceover, fully SEO optimized. Should be able to get the whole thing completed for less than $20 in one week on fiverr.

      So hope that helps.

      Or as another bit of advice. Get them $100 worth of PPC traffic. If you sign up for Google Engage you get $2000 worth of Credit that you can use however you like.

      Ultimately, and sadly, as everyone else has pointed out...I'd eventually migrate away from this prospect.

      Good luck on your decision.

      Regards

      Los
      I don't need the money nearly as much as I need my first client. I'll then know that it CAN be done, if you know what I mean. I'm trying to get away from clocking in and out.

      I will eventually get away from these low-paying clients. OR, work with low-paying clients in high volume, providing a service that is 95% hands off.
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  • Ok, challenge accepted. Let's see what you could do with $150/month and let's assume you want to keep $75 and do 1 hour's work.

    Keeping the costs down is easy, but not over-investing time, that's really difficult. Many providers regularly spend more time on client work than they end up billing.

    Here's a plan for 60 minutes total with a $75 outlay:
    • 10 minutes: setup a Facebook ad with a $25 budget for the month: $25 cost.
    • 10 minutes: hire a blogger to write a short - 150 words - post on their own blog: $25 cost.
    • 10 minutes: hire 3 people on fiverr to do social media: $15 cost.
    • 10 minutes: hire 2 people on fiverr to do link building: $10 cost.
    • 20 minutes: write a short blog post yourself - 200 words - on the business's blog: $0 cost.

    The only slightly tricky one there is finding a blogger, but with "jobs for bloggers" keyword searches you'll find someone (check elance etc).

    There's no one correct answer but hope that helps get the ideas flowing.
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  • Profile picture of the author vgvetter
    A guy told me one time..."there's no such thing as a small order".

    Sounds like you have an order for $150 per.

    Started this way with one of our clients... First thing I did was to set up G. tracking... cost 1 hour
    After 30 days took a look at results... 10% of the traffic came from bogus directory sites to which he subscribed.... "visitors" looked at page for less than 30 seconds and bounced...my cost 1 hour....Cancel subscriptions to directories client savings = $30.00

    Second month, use some of the plans outlined above, and keep up the tracking....

    In 60 days you'll know a lot more about the entire situation, and have a feeling where to go.

    Would like to know the outcome.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      You did not mention what kind of business this is, or if you talked to the owner about the value of a customer (immediate value, i.e, first purchase, and lifetime).

      If immediate value is $500 and lifetime is $2000, for instance, why does he have only $150 (as in why is he willing to only invest $150)? You have credibility/trust issues. Write an agreement where you work for free till you get his site to be on page one or #3 or #1, or whatever benchmark you want. At that point he owes you $x per month (collect his credit card info first is best) with the 1st payment due immediately.

      If immediate value is $1, lifetime value is $25, for instance, then competition can't be stiff, adwords clicks would be inexpensive, you could get him a decent return on $100 ($50 would be your payment). You could get him amazing return if you find him a $75 or $100 adwords gift certificate.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
    The first thing I would do is check the Yellow Pages and other local phonebooks to find out what size their ads are. Then find out what the monthly costs are for that size ads. Now you have a comparison when offered $150/month.

    If the ads are just listings or small display ads, that is probably another indication this person is not someone you want to develop a business relationship with.

    You would also need to research to find out the ROI on SEO vs YP for their type of business. Now you will have something to work with.

    Marvin
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    • Profile picture of the author mattlaclear
      Originally Posted by Marvin Johnston View Post

      The first thing I would do is check the Yellow Pages and other local phonebooks to find out what size their ads are. Then find out what the monthly costs are for that size ads. Now you have a comparison when offered $150/month.

      If the ads are just listings or small display ads, that is probably another indication this person is not someone you want to develop a business relationship with.

      You would also need to research to find out the ROI on SEO vs YP for their type of business. Now you will have something to work with.

      Marvin
      Spot on advice Marvin!
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      • Profile picture of the author JoshP
        As others have said, move on and find someone else.

        The minimum that I charge for any ongoing service is $250 a month, and the clients that I have at that rate are the neediest ones.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    They clearly havent bought into you, learn from it, reconsider how you approached them etc , improve it, are they even seeing this as an investment or an outlay, do they believe in you?

    Sometimes truth hurts, but you gotta do a better 'job' enticing them to you in the first place, somethings gone wrong there , test tweak those areas
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    Mike

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  • Profile picture of the author wally247
    I have a lady I found on Craigslist that I charge $150/month to do SEO for her little niche site, so I can offer something.

    Move on!


    There is literally not any room for profit at that price point unless you want to rank 1 keyword a year or something.


    Also, Adrian Browning's comment about the candy floss stand is funny. I mean come on...I've been unemployed and had more of a budget.
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