I've been doing this for almost two years, making my living. And I'm not selling anything here, nor will I ever. So believe what I say or not, I don't really care. This is me trying to give back...
In order to make money, you'll need to know how to build a good website, how to edit a premium Wordpress theme, or how to hire someone to do it all for you. That's really about it.
First off, sell websites. Forget SEO or selling leads or mobile sites or whatever else for the time being. Business need websites that look great and generate leads. Business owners also understand the importance of having a great website (whether they tell you this or not, they all do). This combination makes selling websites incredibly easy if you can talk their lingo and ask good questions.
SEO is a hard sale if they don't know or trust who. Many of you struggling to sell this service already know this. Plus, most business owners can't wrap their head around the idea of 'seo' in general. But everyone understands the word website.
Secondly, the websites you sell should be great. I package my website sales with an optimized Google+, Bing and Yahoo Local listing, plus minimum 30 citations. This bumps up my value and thus my price. Additionally, a website that hopes to get leads and phone calls NEEDS these resources to perform.
Thirdly, $500+ is your price. Quoting anything lower makes you look like a bad provider. That's not to say you shouldn't accept a $300 payment if they're ready to go today... but don't quote anything below $500 for the project.
Fourthly, write down the package you're offering on paper.
Here's how to start making sales today...
You don't really need your own website or business cards or anything else. They help - and will be necessary if you want to be legit - but they're not needed right away. You will need a phone. If you're too scared to call a business on the phone, go get a job. There's nothing you can read here that will help you. And I mean that in the most sincere way possible.
1) You need a list. My advice? Open up the YellowPages. There's more businesses in there than you can call in a couple months. And it's free.
2) Your approach is simple. Call businesses and ask if their website is generating leads. It should look something like this... Oh, by the way... I learned this from Jason Kanigan and regularly use it. It works.
"Hi, I'm not sure who I should talk to, maybe you can help me out. My name is _____ and I help businesses get more leads and sales from the Internet. Generally I'd talk to the owner or anyone who deals with the day-to-day marketing decisions..." and trail off. They'll tell you who you need to talk to. Also, ask when is generally a good time to reach them if they're not in. Once you're talking to the right person...
"Hi ____, how are things? Is now a bad time to talk? Okay. My name is ____ and I help businesses get more leads and phone calls from the Internet. I'm calling to ask about your website. Do people ever call and say they found you online?"
This is the ONLY script you need. And it's not even a script, it's an opener. The goal is to get the prospect talking. Some common responses...
"We don't have a website." --- Do you think you're missing out on some sales by not having one? People will generally say yes.
"Yeah we already have a site but it doesn't do much." --- Do you want your site to generate some phone calls?
"Yeah they do." --- Would you like to get more?
There's really no way to script out every response without sounding like a robot. So don't bother. These lines will help establish if the prospect is even remotely interested in doing something. If you can establish some type of interest, ask when they'd want to have everything finished and set up. Ask if they have any room in their budget for a new site (don't give price, even if they ask). Ask for a meeting.
3) You should be making at least 20 or so calls a day. Each prospect is LIVE until they give you an absolute NO. So keep calling if need be.
4) Don't send emails. If asked to send an email, tell prospects that you do business by talking one-on-one with each customer to better understand their needs and if you can even help them. If they resist, they're not interested.
5) Don't worry about direct mail or cold emails or anything else. Focus on 20 calls a day... I guarantee you make sales.
6) At this point, just about any business that can use you services is a prospect. Skip the ones who already have great sites. Those without sites will buy if you can communicate the benefits clearly... those with bad sites are generally the easiest sales. But I wouldn't be too picky right now - you're cutting your teeth and looking for someone to give you a chance.
7) Don't oversell. "Our services help small businesses pick up sales they couldn't get otherwise without having a great website. You won't pick up 10 more sales a week... more likely 10 easy sales a year, every year, for the rest of your business's life. And you said you'd be profitable after sale one, right?"
----- that's all I can think of right now. Maybe more will be added later, but this is a great starting point. I can say for certainty that if you make 20 calls a day, are genuine with your prospects, don't oversell yourself, and line up meetings... you will make sales. You'll also get better at web development, get referrals, sell other services on top of 'just' websites, and realize how easy this business really is.
So there's my advice. Hopefully someone out there makes a phone call after reading this. This is truly all you need to know right now. So like I said, whether or not you go out and start getting some results for yourself is on you.