I'm 15 and I'm an offline consultant, need help!

37 replies
So here's the deal, at the age of around 10 I got interested in Business, at the age of 13 I had my first business venture of selling sweets at school which made a total profit of £200 in the 2 weeks I was operational, which is a lot of money for a 13 year old! In 2 years I've done this and that to make a few hundred quid here and there.

Now I'm 15 and I have a real passion for business and I decided to go all in a few weeks a go, I started my own website and it looks really good, I started Emailing people with WillR's local video for mobile websites and I've got myself a client, still negotiating but it looks like I'm getting a £200 deal for a mobile site and they might be interested in more services from me!

I'm fine talking to people on the phone that want to speak to me as I have quite a deep voice and I would say I'm quite a confident person but I can't cold call to save my life.

I recently got my hands on Bob Ross' 9x12 method and I love it, there's definitely opportunity in my local area and I can see it selling really well, the problem is, I can't meet people because of my age no one will take me seriously, what methods should I use to reach out to businesses and get the interested?

Any help grateful appreciated.
#consultant #offline
  • Profile picture of the author SeoDudePhx
    you are on the internet.. you do not need to stay "local" in your area.. Expand into other locations, build a portfolio and people will take you seriously specially if they find you and not the other way around.

    use seo, email and social marketing to your advantage and conquer markets not "close" to you so you can use the excuse of not being able to meet up. or you can also tell your future clients you are a Very busy person and if they would like to meet with you they need to pay for your time due to travel and other time invested. if your portfolio and credentials are good enough then you will never need to meet with potential clients.

    i rarely meet clients and 80% of my clients are not in the same state as i am in...
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  • Profile picture of the author TeamBringIt
    If people cannot meet you, due to your age...Then think about, maybe hiring a rep to meet with the clients and you could give a commission, for every sale that is closed. If you look, older than your age, then just wing it and meet with them. Clients, do not need to know how old you are...
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  • Profile picture of the author umc
    I don't necessarily have a great deal of answers for you, but I just wanted to say that you kick ass! I love seeing a young entrepreneur like yourself, and I wish you all the success in the world. You have a great attitude.

    Lots of marketers do business without meeting face to face. Email is a viable way to communicate, and you could have a website with a great sales funnel and drum up interest with mailers if you aren't into cold calling on the phone. I'd just encourage you to think of how you would market to other areas where you can't see and meet people in person, and that will give you some good ideas.

    Also, maybe you could get into lead generation. I don't care if you're a toddler. If I have a business and you have systems set up that are bringing in leads, who am I to question your age? When you do business based on results, I'm trusting your results, not necessarily you based on your age or anything else.

    Just a few suggestions. I'm sure that others that have been in the game longer may have better ones.
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  • Profile picture of the author fandbworld
    I look young for my age so prefer not to meet in person as well. However I have only met 1 client face to face. It is all done by phone and email. My clients are all over the country... As someone else said I wouldnt limit yourself to local
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    • Profile picture of the author HypnoticTonic
      Use your young age as an advantage.
      Do you know how much press, TV, radio time youd get?? "
      teenage tycoon! I'm blind myself, so you can bet that when I get started with this, I'm going to be all over that.
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      • Profile picture of the author GetMoreCustomers
        Originally Posted by HypnoticTonic View Post

        Use your young age as an advantage.
        Do you know how much press, TV, radio time youd get?? "
        teenage tycoon! I'm blind myself, so you can bet that when I get started with this, I'm going to be all over that.
        It doesn't work like that. Trust me. The only way to get any press is to create some lousy app or Facebook clone - "15 Year Old Creates New Facebook!"
        That's what the newspapers want. Sure, the new "Facebook" has 5 members and is a piece of garbage, but that's interesting, mainstream news.

        "15 year old makes money selling SEO services to local businesses" isn't going to be making any headlines anytime soon. Sure, that 15 year old is probably going to make more than the knucklehead with the Facebook clone or the garbage app, but people aren't interested in reading about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author CudaFish
    Tim, you remind me of me when I was 15. I too did the same thing, and I admire what you're trying to achieve. I didn't really have someone to show me the ropes and help me out. I'd like to do that for ya.

    Pm me, buddy, let's chat.

    - Mark Cuda
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  • Profile picture of the author kellyyarnsbro
    A bit complicated I guess, first of all it is hard to have and make deal to people specially if they don't trust you and as to your age I honestly could say that it's difficult for me to decide neither. Kids tend to play more often than of work. But, if you could see them how good and how great you are in this field then some would surely give a try at least so they could see what you are capable of and that you can do good as compared to those that are of legal ages.
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  • Profile picture of the author Emkayu
    I started my design and media career at around 14/15. One thing I learnt is if you can make your clients believe in your work, then you will get more over time. Remember to not give a F*** about your age, have confidence and act like you know your business inside out. If people reject you for you age, so be it, they're missing out on your amazing service. Remember to just be confident, friendly and professional!
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    • Profile picture of the author kellyyarnsbro
      Originally Posted by Emkayu View Post

      I started my design and media career at around 14/15. One thing I learnt is if you can make your clients believe in your work, then you will get more over time. Remember to not give a F*** about your age, have confidence and act like you know your business inside out. If people reject you for you age, so be it, they're missing out on your amazing service. Remember to just be confident, friendly and professional!
      I totally agree with this. It's only the first part that is difficult at your end, it is by gaining their trust in you and once you have overcome that then everything goes your way. just prove to them what you're capable of.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    As people said, you're on the internet so you can get business anywhere without face to
    face. No one gets every deal they bid for so you have to keep rolling no matter what.
    There are plenty of prospects where your age won't matter and plenty who will give you a shot because of your age - as long as you deliver.

    It would NOT hurt to contact relevant members of the local media to let them know who you are and that you're available as an expert in entrepreneurship and offline consulting
    and only 15. Maybe start by following them on twitter. Maybe write an IM tips column for
    a local newspaper.

    Luck to you.

    Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    Hi Tim kudos to you ....however...You are/are you pre supposing other peoples responses. If you can help them they will listen, age is immaterial, the problem with your age is in your mind, not theirs, you're not going in there trying to give them a lesson in life or business, just in what they dont know but could benefit from and what you do know.

    Look a small percentage will use your age as an easy reason to fob you off, but that wont be the real reason, it's just an easy first excuse to give you the brush off, test out your resilience, if this kid comes back then he's got some balls and we can do business, if he doesnt then it proves Im right to brush him off , but if you were 27, theyd still brush you off, just using another canned excuse to test you out.
    Prove what you can do, show them how it will be of benefit, case studies, the usual stuff to get some testimonials etc behind you.

    You know, many of them will more likely want to help you because of your age, respecting you for what you're doing, wishing their own kids could be like you instead of stuck indoors listening to slipknot at full volume, theyll be like 'wow this kid (meaning it respectfully) came in /phoned me today and can do ABC XYZ for us, wow isnt that great, Im gonna give him a try cos he deserves it' .

    At least you owe it to yourself to give it a go first , a real go, its not like you aint got time on your side ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Honestly in your position i would stay local and use my age to get free PR via local radio, TV and papers interviewing me and doing stories on me.

    As others have said many will not care about your age if you come off as an expert and you are priced fairly. Will many pay less to you than someone older? That's likely but who cares you are starting off.

    You are doing something great. I sold the candy and stuff for profit when I was your age but I never took it further due to fear. You have so much time to make it or break it before you have to make it. That is amazing. Best of luck to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    We see young people in your situation every so often, so you're not alone.

    Like with most things, you're bound to run into two types of people:

    1. Those who care about your age, and think it is a problem

    and

    2. Those who DON'T care about your age, and only care about what you can do for them.

    Ignore the first and spend your energy on the second group.

    I had a highschool friend of my sisters-in-law who's a film buff edit my "online resume" video, and he did an awesome job. The video is a couple years old now, and still gets me emails & calls from defense contractor presidents. I sure don't devalue his efforts. I also recommend him when situations come up.

    Age, weight, hair, skin color, etc. all matter only in the small minds of the fearful. Be glad when they identify themselves, and know you are fortunate to know this about them now, and can move on. As for the rest of it...95%+ of the fear is going on only inside your own head. I can remember as a teenager I tended to magnify things way out of proportion. Remember that people are mostly concerned about themselves. They are not thinking about you as much as you think they are ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author vick2011
    Do a joint venture with your father, and make him invest, and reward him with beer money.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      A few people here actually gave you the answer. Your age is an asset.

      When I was in high school (40 years ago) i sold things door to door. I was the "kid that is enterprising". Later, I was the youngest life insurance agent in my company. I was "The Wonderkind upstart that outworks the rest". Then I sold vacuum cleaners. I was "The guy that gets all the easy sales. It must be luck".

      Now, I'm 58 years old. I'm "The wise old guy that knows everything about selling".

      Soon, I'll be "The guy that used to be a legend in his business. Wasn't he great?"

      Your age is an asset. You are "The kid that has all the new technology, all the newest ideas, the willingness to go the extra mile...eager to please. We should get him while he's still young enough to have the energy to get it all done in time".

      See? It doesn't matter what your age is, or gender, or race, or height, or weight.....everything is to your advantage if you just take the time to figure out how.

      Don't hide the fact that you are 15. My best IT guy is 17 years old. I hired him when he was 16.
      I hired him mostly because I could tell that he was smart, and was willing to put forth an effort.
      Now I brag to my business friends that I have the "Freshest newest internet brain" working for me.
      I pay him $25 an hour. He's worth many times that. He has a DJ business, he videos weddings, and has a job fixing computers. He also works for me.
      An impressive young man. Like you.

      At 15, do you see how easy it is to stand out from the rest? Don't hide it. Fortunes are made on our differences.

      I have great hopes for you. Don't quit.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    Hey Claude, who'd be a 30-45 year old nowadays , they dont have a chance ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthem40
    Another element no one has touched on yet:

    By starting now your business acumen will be light years ahead of your peer group in 10 years when they graduate college and join the full time work force.

    Imagine you playing basketball against a 5 year old now. It's going to be like that, but instead of playing a dumb game you will be making money hand over fist.

    Remember what a few have pointed out: your age is an asset, it is an unfair advantage you hold over others. Capitalize on it.
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    95% of IM'ers have great relationships with clients who also advertise offline and with other people. Stop missing out on that cash and leverage into it. PM me if you are an established marketer and want to find out how.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    My major concern looking at it from the prospects side is, what happens if Mother and Father decide that you aren't allowed to do this any longer because, ______________ <--- Enter parents reason here.

    It might be alright now with them but what "IF". and if that happened do you have a way to continue to serve the clients?

    They deserve to be using some one who's isn't at the mercy of their parents.

    Well I replied and then I see he's banned. Good to see the forum abiding by their own rules.

    This isn't a place for minors.
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    • Profile picture of the author umc
      Wow, that sucks. The kid has been here for a while and is just looking for an honest hustle and gets banned, but we have adults promoting unethical ways of doing business and selling them for cash money. I'm really surprised and saddened to see a young entrepreneur turned away, all the while people sell WSO's and then disappear and reappear to sell again. Others spam me constantly and keep coming back for more. Very disappointing, but I guess that must be in the rules to protect the site in some way.

      I guess this just goes to show that your age really does work against you.
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  • Profile picture of the author CudaFish
    Ouch! He got banned? I guess I can understand that, considering business can't legally be conducted with a minor on a contract or written basis like this, so, I guess it's for the best.

    - Mark Cuda
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Never realized you had to be 18 plus to be here but makes sense. Hopefully he got some answers he can use.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    I wonder if they will be refunding his war room membership?
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  • Profile picture of the author ValueSeekr
    I would try to turn your weakness into a strength. The world is full of examples of 15 year old successful entrepreneurs. Try to loosely compare yourself with them. For example, say you are trying to follow in the footsteps of X. Just do the following:

    1) Wear suitable clothing and groom professionally. You should look the part, even if you look young.
    2) When meeting clients in person, bring a leather binder with hard copies of designs you have made. This is your professional portfolio. It needs to be hard copy because you have to be able to show them in seconds what you can do and they likely wont be at a computer when you talk to them.
    3) Once you have some happy clients, ask them if they are happy with the service. If they are, ask if they would be willing to allow you to use their name when you're creating promotional material. Most won't, but some will because its free advertising for them. If you don't ask, you'll never get what you want.
    4) Make a paper brochure and hand it out. Small business owners talk. Even if you can't get one business to buy, they might refer you.

    Good luck in your business.
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    • Profile picture of the author anwiii
      if this kid got banned because of his age, the warrior forum should be ashamed of themselves. i am gonna try and get a hold of this kid to see what the story is. he reminded me of ME when i was a kid and how i got started selling candy at school. heck, i was probably the only 7th grader reading the business section of the paper every day to follow the stock prices.

      the warrior forum is a great resource, but if they are going to discriminate with their resource because of age, then shame on them. sounds like a talented kid. he was also very active in less than a year being a member here. it also sounds like he's made more money than than some members of the warrior forum who have been members longer than a year.

      if this kid is still around somewhere reading this, i want to commend him. i also want to answer his questions.

      age is DEFINATELY a factor. businesses owned by adults don't want business advice from someone who just went through puberty. my advice is to build a portfolio by offering free services at first and build some case studies and proof of your work. the business owners concern is how much money you can make them and their ROI. if you can show case studies and past proof. also, know exactly who you are to sell and market yourself. so many people are so focused on selling their product and service that they forget to sell and market themselves in order to build a quality relationship. it's about trust and credibility. if ya don't have it, then age will definately be a factor. if you have it, then skies the limit no matter what your age.

      did this kid really get banned because of his age or were people just assuming??? i really hope it wasn't because he was an aspiring 15 year old with skills and motivation that anyone here could learn from.....
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    Banned, but isnt the WWW worldwide, what is law in the US might not be where he was considering trading, in the UK (where he is) he can certainly start up in business.

    Hey Tim, if you can see this, visit www.sunzu.com UK based (even though its address is Dublin) , I know the owner , you can get help there.
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    Mike

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  • Profile picture of the author Volux
    I've kind of got the same issue as TimGreen.

    I'm 18 and have been on the Internet for many years doing graphic design, web design, and now Internet marketing.

    I contacted my town's chamber of commerce and they are very interested in what my business can offer and they want to meet with me.

    This could be huge, however, I'm 18.. how seriously will they take me?

    On the other hand, my parents are very well known throughout my town as they own two businesses..so this may be a very big benefit.

    Any thoughts on how I could go about this?
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    • Profile picture of the author CudaFish
      Originally Posted by Volux View Post

      I've kind of got the same issue as TimGreen.

      I'm 18 and have been on the Internet for many years doing graphic design, web design, and now Internet marketing.

      I contacted my town's chamber of commerce and they are very interested in what my business can offer and they want to meet with me.

      This could be huge, however, I'm 18.. how seriously will they take me?

      On the other hand, my parents are very well known throughout my town as they own two businesses..so this may be a very big benefit.

      Any thoughts on how I could go about this?
      As someone mentioned before, they'll take you as seriously as you take yourself. If you dress sharp, stand tall, speak from the heart (and diaphragm) and know your stuff, you'll be golden, no issues whatsoever.

      Truth of the matter is, people don't care about your age unless you do. And if they really do have an issues with your age, well, they weren't worth your time. That's how unlikely I think it'll be an issue.

      I've been meeting with offline clients since the tender age of 15 and I'm not a tall guy, or a super buff dude, but lemme tell you, just by the way I dressed, spoke, and conveyed myself, people knew I was dead serious about everything I said. You won't have a problem.

      Just prepare your pitch, presentation, what have you, and score yourself a great business connection and deal.

      Confidence in your tonality and approach is SUPER crucial. I actually am writing up a post on that for my blog launch too.

      - Mark Cuda
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    You are taken as seriously as you take yourself Volux.

    You don't want to come off as full of ego but you should be confident and show you know your stuff.

    If you look and dress professionally most will not care of your age.

    Fear the age thing? Wear a suit. Hell wear a suit they can't afford. Drive a car they wouldn't dare buy due to the cost (I had my first Corvette at 23). They need you not the other way around.

    Do that properly and you will get clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author Volux
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      You are taken as seriously as you take yourself Volux.

      You don't want to come off as full of ego but you should be confident and show you know your stuff.

      If you look and dress professionally most will not care of your age.

      Fear the age thing? Wear a suit. Hell wear a suit they can't afford. Drive a car they wouldn't dare buy due to the cost (I had my first Corvette at 23). They need you not the other way around.

      Do that properly and you will get clients.
      Some great advice.

      I don't necessarily fear the age of being 18 and having clients 100%; but what I do fear is that because most of my town, especially the chamber and businesses, know my parents, that the won't take it seriously as a business.
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      • Profile picture of the author Anthem40
        Originally Posted by Volux View Post

        Some great advice.

        I don't necessarily fear the age of being 18 and having clients 100%; but what I do fear is that because most of my town, especially the chamber and businesses, know my parents, that the won't take it seriously as a business.
        Not to beat a dead horse, but if you want to be taken seriously then be serious about this. Make sure the bar you are setting is to be the best in your town at what you do. That seriousness will come across and your local notoriety never hurts either.
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        95% of IM'ers have great relationships with clients who also advertise offline and with other people. Stop missing out on that cash and leverage into it. PM me if you are an established marketer and want to find out how.
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      • Profile picture of the author fandbworld
        Originally Posted by Volux View Post

        Some great advice.

        I don't necessarily fear the age of being 18 and having clients 100%; but what I do fear is that because most of my town, especially the chamber and businesses, know my parents, that the won't take it seriously as a business.
        Been there. I went to a BNI meeting when I was 19. Was not taken seriously at all.

        One guy cursed during the meeting and another person said "Don't curse in front of the young guy" while everyone was laughing. They asked me to join after the meeting but I said no thanks lol

        Not to discourage you but you will encounter annoying people like that. However if you can go in there, gradually build relationships, and really impress people you can get a lot of business out of it.
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      • Profile picture of the author anwiii
        volux- if you're getting a good attitude and response from the chambers communications manager, then you are really off to a good start if you can get this person to introduce you. referral marketing is my favorite type of marketing and no doubt this manager is trustworthy and credible in the community.

        the services i always sold offline had nothing to do with age. it always had to do with how good i was at doing what i was doing, showing my skills off to the right people, and proving to businesses that i CAN help them. age is NOT a problem unless you allow it to be by thinking it might be. wrong mindset to get in to because distractions like this can limit people. there is also a huge difference between 18 and 15.

        when i was in high school senior year, i was approached by a few businesses that will remain nameless who wanted to take advantage of my expertise. these guys were were not looking at my age. they were looking at my skills and what set me apart from other people.

        listen. you are on a great starting path. along the way, yea, there will be things that may hold you back, you might make mistakes, but all of those things will be learning experiences that will not only get you to where you want or need to be, but more knowledgeable and a better person. you're young. you have age on your side. don't let it be something negative or set you back in your thinking.

        good job btw by talking with the chanber of commerce. not a lot of people even do that and it looks like it had a positive effect. good job buddy!
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        • Profile picture of the author Volux
          Originally Posted by anwiii View Post

          volux- if you're getting a good attitude and response from the chambers communications manager, then you are really off to a good start if you can get this person to introduce you. referral marketing is my favorite type of marketing and no doubt this manager is trustworthy and credible in the community.

          the services i always sold offline had nothing to do with age. it always had to do with how good i was at doing what i was doing, showing my skills off to the right people, and proving to businesses that i CAN help them. age is NOT a problem unless you allow it to be by thinking it might be. wrong mindset to get in to because distractions like this can limit people. there is also a huge difference between 18 and 15.

          when i was in high school senior year, i was approached by a few businesses that will remain nameless who wanted to take advantage of my expertise. these guys were were not looking at my age. they were looking at my skills and what set me apart from other people.

          listen. you are on a great starting path. along the way, yea, there will be things that may hold you back, you might make mistakes, but all of those things will be learning experiences that will not only get you to where you want or need to be, but more knowledgeable and a better person. you're young. you have age on your side. don't let it be something negative or set you back in your thinking.

          good job btw by talking with the chanber of commerce. not a lot of people even do that and it looks like it had a positive effect. good job buddy!
          Great bit of advice right there.

          I have a brother who is 100% behind me on this and kind of pointed out some thing you mentioned. This includes that if it's something that will help the businesses, they could care less about my age.

          She is wanting to meet up for lunch sometime next week to discuss the business. I think I'll go ahead and schedule the appointment!
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          • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
            I admire your entreprenereul spirit.

            I started my first business when I was 15 too.

            One thing that probably should be mentioned is you're
            not supposed to be a member of the warrior forum
            unless you're at least 18 years old.


            To get clients you can open and build relationships using
            email...then move to telephone contact to get hired.

            You can even get hired using only emails but it is more
            difficult to pull off.

            There are so many ways of using emails to open contact
            (I wrote a full report that includes multiple ways) including
            thank you emails, emails with tips on how to improve their
            sales through a website, contacting centers of influence
            who might send you a steady stream of clients etc etc etc.

            I've had multiple high paying clients who I've never met in
            person so it certainly can be done.

            One tip I would give you.

            Escalate contact as soon as a prospects shows interest.

            In other words when you have email contact with a prospect
            and they start asking about you doing some work for them
            call them on the phone as quickly as possible.

            That will dramatically increase the number of prospects you
            turn into paying clients.

            Kindest regards,
            Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author Volux
    I actually have gotten a great response from the chambers communication manager and she wants to meet up over lunch and discuss my business. So she seems to be taking this quite seriously, although, I don't believe she knows my age.

    I did let her know my parents were members of the chamber and she knows them pretty well so..I guess we'll see how this plays out.
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  • Profile picture of the author successproducts
    Wow - I am in awe -- way cool - Here is my 2cents. Even if you are looking young and few people may turn you down .. so what? Really right? but if you don't do it you'll never know. I would do it - in spite of my fears - And in truth, you only need ONE customer and you will use that one for the next one.
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