Do you do this offline marketing stuff entirely from home?

19 replies
Hello Warriors,

Just like the thread title goes... Do you build & prospect leads, converse & engage, demo your solution, close deals, send invoices, and follow-up for upsells and/or feedback all remotely... without meeting your clients face to face?

If yes, what are the major objections you face? And how do you overcome these?

Also, how do you start out? By phone or e-mail? If yes, what's your first e-mail template/structure like so as not get reported for spam?

Thanks for reading and any inputs you might have for these questions...
#home #marketing #offline #stuff
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Originally Posted by theultimate1 View Post

    Hello Warriors,

    Just like the thread title goes... Do you build & prospect leads, converse & engage, demo your solution, close deals, send invoices, and follow-up for upsells and/or feedback all remotely... without meeting your clients face to face?

    If yes, what are the major objections you face? And how do you overcome these?

    Also, how do you start out? By phone or e-mail? If yes, what's your first e-mail template/structure like so as not get reported for spam?

    Thanks for reading and any inputs you might have for these questions...
    I am about to share with you everything I wish I had known at the beginning. This could be one of the most important posts on the forum, because it contains a TON of guidance.

    It makes me angry when I see people struggle so unnecessarily. It makes me angry when I see people give up far too soon. It makes me angry when I see people jumping from shiny object to shiny object, without understanding this destroys their credibility.

    It's making me spend less time here. That's why I want to write this post: to have a common place to direct people to for answers.

    First, think about a freelance site. People hire people without meeting them all the time.

    I routinely close mid-4-figure jobs without meeting the client face to face. And I mean 100% payment up front, not split up over a bunch of months. Whether they're in North America, Australia, Singapore or Ireland does not matter. However, you have to have a certain infrastructure to do this, and newbies miss this. And I mean on the marketing AND fulfillment side. People have to see you're serious and legit. You are not going to be able to attract and get sales from clients in this range or higher if you don't differentiate yourself, and show you know how to solve specific problems.

    Whenever people start asking "can I do this?"-type questions, I always respond:

    You will find two kinds of people out there.

    Type 1 > Those who are OK with hiring others to do work without ever meeting them, and don't care where the sub is located

    and

    Type 2 > Those who will never do this, because they are looking for world class talent living down the block from their office.

    Your job as a marketer is to identify which type you are dealing with, and get rid of Type 2 as fast as possible because they are a waste of your time.

    No amount of persuading, cajoling, and convincing will ever make Type 2 hire you. But Type 1 is used to hiring remote workers.

    So task #1 of your marketing is to separate Type 2 from Type 1 prospects, and get conversations started with Type 1.

    Stop thinking linearly. It doesn't work that way. It's exponential. You start small and no one knows you exist. And it appears to stay that way for awhile.

    Use more than one marketing method. I've used phone prospecting, emails, Youtube videos, low and high-end IM offers (guess what, the high end worked better), Kindle/Amazon books, bids on freelance sites (which can be quite valuable when you don't follow the herd, and sort very carefully so you spend your energy on the right prospects), and even made custom membership sites for high-value prospects as knock-'em-over-the-edge presentations. Test. Some will work more effectively than others. Develop a funnel that works.

    As a contractor, your biggest problem (although you probably don't know it yet) is the time required to be both the Sales & Marketing arm AND the Fulfillment arm of your business. When you get work, you will be severely tempted to drop the marketing activities and concentrate fully on fulfillment. This is a mistake. Make sure you are continuing to steadily do marketing activities every day, whether you feel like it or not. You must always be bringing in and processing more leads. If you stop marketing & qualifying, your business will stop. And when you're done doing the job you fought to earn, you will be back to square one. If you had kept marketing, you could have another client all lined up and ready to go--and you'd be much more relaxed while doing the prospecting and qualifying, because you already had work.

    The growth is exponential in this business. Nobody knows who you are for a long time. Nearly everyone gives up or leaps to the next lillypad where the next shiny object is waiting. Remember it doesn't work that way. It appears nothing much is happening for a long time, and then suddenly the results leap up!

    See this?


    Say the vertical axis is your revenue, and the horizontal is time passing.

    People don't think exponentially. So they believe business should grow linearly. Only it doesn't. So when the revenue doesn't grow 2, 4, 6, 8, etc. they get confused, discouraged and quit.

    That makes the line go back to the beginning. 0,0. No, that's not a text face. That's a screw-up. Every time you quit and start over, you're forcing that graph right back to zero.

    Growth actually happens exponentially. Nothing seems to change for a long while. Then suddenly results skyrocket: you pass that critical point. People you've never heard of or talked to before start contacting you. You are known for what you do. But give up too soon and you'll never get there.

    This is the problem with the "What's hot this month?" crowd. They shoot themselves in the foot, resetting their credibility and effectiveness to zero, every month.

    I wish more people understood this about running your own business. They give up almost at the beginning. I've been doing this for two and a half years and only over the last six months, during which I have been entirely focused on pricing and finding the right clients, has it really started to take off. And I'm GOOD at what I do. My business is an OBSESSION. If you're unskilled, lazy and unfocused, how do you ever think you're going to make it?

    Do not neglect Pricing now. Pricing is key to your business. It directs everything: who you talk to, what work you will do for them, how much money you will make. Price yourself small, and you'll find yourself with tons of competition, fighting for lousy little projects that have no impact, and dealing with miserly, whining clients who want the moon for nothing.

    "But I'm new! How can I charge what I'm worth?"

    Positioning.

    And watch this video:


    If you price too low, you'll never escape the month-to-month scrounging necessary to meet your bills. You'll never have money for anything else, like paid advertising or a spruced-up marketing piece. And worst of all, you'll become known (if you stick it out) as the "low budget writer".

    Position & price yourself correctly and you will get interesting projects which can make an impact--and from which you can get case study results--clients who value you and treat you well, and more money than you need--which gives you a feeling of total relief.

    Writing $5 articles won't do that.

    I'll give you a writing example. I do two things for money: copywriting and sales training. I don't talk much about the writing here because sales training is what took off for me in this marketplace. When I moved to the US, I wasn't allowed to work for a long time while going through immigration. When I finally was able to work, I picked up a writing client paying $200 per 600 word technical article. Now the key here, why this was worth so much and why they could afford me, is their product pricing. The equipment they were selling was worth $500+, often many thousands of dollars, so they could easily afford a solid investment in my writing. The key of why I got the work is my technical background: I know a lot about engineering, electronics and how things work, so when I wrote I wasn't copping together BS from other writers that I didn't really understand. I was writing from the authority of knowing exactly what I was talking about.

    I wrote several articles a month for them. It wasn't rent money, but it was steady work and a heck of a lot better than scrounging and competing with bottom-of-the-barrel writers for $5 articles. You'd have to write FORTY $5 articles to hit $200. That's crazy. That lead to a full-color spread in a business directory, that got me regional coverage. Eventually the company got bought by another, similar but larger firm, and I could have done all of their writing, too. No questioning about fees. I did that for a short time but was offered a senior management position with an Inc. Top 1000 firm and took that as my full time role. So there wasn't any time left for article writing. And I don't do article writing anymore; just copywriting, because that's where the real money, impact and results I can get are.

    Now the critical takeaway I want you to understand here while your eyes are bedazzled by dollar signs is this: you have to have some kind of knowledge that puts you above the herd. Am I the only writer who has the technical know-how to write those articles? Of course not. But I'm the only one who had the knowledge AND could write AND contacted them.

    Now that's really not much, is it. But it's more than enough for you to stand out.

    These are all things I wish I knew when I started.

    Go think about Positioning. Niche down. Focus. How can you demonstrate this focus? Who will you solve problems for, and what problems will you solve for them so that you can get paid at the level you desire? This is how you get paid more. It could be a pdf, it could be a video, it could be a direct mail piece, it could be flying an airplane over their building, it could be a giraffe. Go do it now.

    I won an email sequence bid at three times the price of the next bidder's by crafting a response sounding like it was in the voice of the client's BUYER. It took me maybe half an hour, and nobody else would bother to do anything like that. They'd just submit boilerplate garbage. Made my client well into five figures in return over the next month. That lead to a mid-four-figure-priced launch project--yes, that required a signed contract, and that's what scanning and pdfs are for--that netted my client over half a million dollars in one week. And we're doing another launch now. Through a freelance site for the original email sequence job, folks. You have to know how to USE these sites, and spend your energy effectively. Never met my client in person. For the launch project, no competitors.

    It doesn't take much to differentiate yourself. Keep in mind that everyone else, almost everyone else, is totally lazy. (This is something to think about, too: raise the bar of your competition. When your competition is striving, you have to strive...and you'll be gunning for better projects, I guarantee it). Your competitors are sitting around doing nothing, slinging the same boring proposals to every prospect...and then not doing a very good job in fulfillment. When I landed that article writing role, I didn't have anything except a free google sites website...and I'm not even sure they ever looked at it. And when it came to the writing, I delivered. My articles got SEO attention, attracted super-specific buyers looking for exactly that piece of equipment, and they bought because the company was able to present itself with my articles as a group of people who knew what they were talking about--before a salesperson ever got on the line with a customer. If they ever even had to.

    All your credibility stems from YOU, and how you feel about yourself. Whatever head trash you have saying, "I'm only worth $X," that's what the world will give you. Figure out your focus. Use that differentiation to price yourself higher. Attract better projects and clients that way (Yes, they are out there). Fulfill well, and use these results as case studies for future prospects. Develop and continously run an effective sales & marketing funnel that works while you sleep--whether you feel like it or not.

    Look at that exponential curve again. You have to be relentless. The good news: hardly anybody else is. You are in a world of lazy, lazy competitors who can't do what they say they will. It's easy to stand out.

    PS. I forgot to mention one important thing. You MUST have mentors. You must reinvest in yourself. I have talked with several members of this forum, and other experts outside, for growing my business. EwenMack is one--I've had a couple calls with him. Dan McCoy is another. Another fellow named Randy Stuppard is someone I've discussed things with regularly. I also talk with current and past clients who are doing well, to find out what they're doing that's working and exchange info. Some are making more money than I am because they have a better business model, or are picking out better clients. It's smart to emulate what people who are performing better than you are doing.

    Gulp and spend the $197 for the hour call or whatever it is, when you see someone you know can help you. It's a great investment. Thinking you can figure everything out yourself is an error. You are SO close to your business, it's hard to see the forest for the trees. That's what an outside perspective can give you: perspective. If you're unwilling to find mentors and invest--some of these calls WILL cost you money, but it's an investment and tax-deductible--then you will not make it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tawanda Chiwanza
      WOW!!! Jason, thanks a lot for sharing this, I am a writer and just decided I won't scrap the bottom of the barrel anymore! Once I made that decision I landed a client paying $25 for 500 words, (a giant leap from $5 gigs for me). The most important thing for me is the realization that if I believe I am worth more than $5 I can get wherever I want to be. Thank you for sharing this and I will be following your posts closely
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  • Profile picture of the author jamesfreddyc
    That's one heck of a post, Jason -- its very much appreciated. Just packed full of usuable info. I can't imagine what you have planned for your 4000th post!
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
    Jason you absolutely nailed it! Great post. Over the past few weeks I have opened warrior forum with coffee in hand and often left frustrated at all the stupid 5 word thread titles and useless content that followed. A post like this makes my day and shows me there is still value here. If I see your name, EwanMack and a select few others I read the post.

    OP just so you do not think Jason is alone in his experience he is not. Because of marketing I have clients contact me. I have billed in full upfront for a decade. I have never met 99% of my clients in person. Many are in the UK and the USA and I am in Canada. If they trust you can solve their problem and are the type to pay without meeting you will have no issue. As Jason stated you just weed out the ones that have an issue and move on. Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author theultimate1
    Jason... WOW. Just WOW. Yet another massive WOW.

    I'm using Your post and making a checklist of things that I should check against each time/day I get down to work. A lot of things you mention are basic and commonsense, just less used.. by at least 9 in 10 people (OK I made that up). I'm going to read your post a few more times so that every bit of it gets ingrained in my active memory (the RAM bit).

    Thanks a BIG BIG ton. I should now just zero in on what I want to offer as my product/service, and get down to prospecting.

    Having said that, I'll now go off-topic here but I think you might be able to help with my next query... I want to offer web design & development services. No SEO or Social Media Marketing. Just a full-blown website. However, I'm not sure what's the value in just offering a website. I mean... I could have a business and a phone number. But if it's not ringing, the monthly rental is a waste. That's one thing I'm yet to figure out. And while the thought of partnering with an SEO agency seems like the easiest workable solution to my query, it often doesn't work out as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by theultimate1 View Post

      Jason... WOW. Just WOW. Yet another massive WOW.

      I'm using Your post and making a checklist of things that I should check against each time/day I get down to work. A lot of things you mention are basic and commonsense, just less used.. by at least 9 in 10 people (OK I made that up). I'm going to read your post a few more times so that every bit of it gets ingrained in my active memory (the RAM bit).

      Thanks a BIG BIG ton. I should now just zero in on what I want to offer as my product/service, and get down to prospecting.

      Having said that, I'll now go off-topic here but I think you might be able to help with my next query... I want to offer web design & development services. No SEO or Social Media Marketing. Just a full-blown website. However, I'm not sure what's the value in just offering a website. I mean... I could have a business and a phone number. But if it's not ringing, the monthly rental is a waste. That's one thing I'm yet to figure out. And while the thought of partnering with an SEO agency seems like the easiest workable solution to my query, it often doesn't work out as well.
      Glad you found it useful.

      Question: if it's so "basic and common sense"...why isn't anyone doing this stuff?

      Why is this the third consulting business I've run since 2001, and I'm still learning? Am I slow?

      I think it's more "It's easy when someone shows you how."
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  • Jason hit this right on the spot. I won't touch base on anything because Jason did that all on his own. I don't need to add anything except.....

    What Jason says about not meeting customers is more than what I believe in. I don't like it when people complain because they are.....not going to get sales since they are not in the same city, state, or country. If you are confident in what you are offering and you give quality work, you can start landing countless clients. Why? Because it's all about how you present what you're offering. Don't shove it down their throats. Start selling and get out there. Get Jason's training if you have to if you want to get started and grow even more. I have bought almost every WSO of Jason's, and I know that it's all about how you approach clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author PDLaughlin
      Awesome post Jason! Great stuff. Thanks for sharing.

      My two cents... while we all have the dream of getting tons of clients online and never having to leave the comforts of our home, errrr computer, I will say that nothing beats face-to-face communication. Don't get me wrong. We can all be super successful never leaving our office - especially if we're in a rural area or simply don't like talking to people. But in my experience and the experience of many of my customers - who are also marketing consultants - the best success comes when we're out being seen in our local communities. But again, its not for everyone. Nor does it have to be. That's the beauty of it!

      - Drew
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by PDLaughlin View Post

        Awesome post Jason! Great stuff. Thanks for sharing.

        My two cents... while we all have the dream of getting tons of clients online and never having to leave the comforts of our home, errrr computer, I will say that nothing beats face-to-face communication. Don't get me wrong. We can all be super successful never leaving our office - especially if we're in a rural area or simply don't like talking to people. But in my experience and the experience of many of my customers - who are also marketing consultants - the best success comes when we're out being seen in our local communities. But again, its not for everyone. Nor does it have to be. That's the beauty of it!

        - Drew
        If that works for you, great. I do absolutely nothing locally. It's not a fit. The mindset of the people in the town I live in is poor. All they want are free consultations. My clients are in New York, Connecticut, North Dakota, Colorado, Florida, California, Texas. Australia, Singapore. Ireland, the UK. Denmark. South Africa. Not in the dinky little town I happen to reside, where nothing is happening and the mindset is lazy.

        I have never met most of my clients in person. The ones I've made the most money with I have never been in the same room with. I do nearly all of my buiness over skype and email, and it has never been an issue because I find people who are totally comfortable working with remote experts.
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        • Profile picture of the author theultimate1
          Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

          I find people who are totally comfortable working with remote experts.
          Jason, is there are any particular thing you do to achieve that?
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          • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
            Originally Posted by theultimate1 View Post

            Jason, is there are any particular thing you do to achieve that?
            Simple: ask them. "Do you guys hire outside experts?" They'll tell ya. And follow up: "How do you usually go about doing that?" Find out their process. See if it's a fit.

            Build it into your marketing. Tell them that's who you're looking for.

            And sometimes it's really obvious, like if you're bidding through a site like Elance. There, too, you should still filter further, though...find people who have repeatedly bought services, but higher-end services...you don't want clients who are looking for commodity services that come with commodity pricing.

            (And don't knock Elance...I found one of my biggest clients through there by doing a smaller job that lead to a much, much larger one. Some people are looking for competency, not the lowest price, and really value it when they find it.)
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            • Profile picture of the author Natxo
              Now Jason, that's solid advice. Enlightening. Thanks a lot for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    In spite of convincing myself at one point that the convenience of working from home made me more productive, in actuality I found I'm a lot more productive not working from home. Get up in the morning, go to an office - even if it's just you, you can rent an executive suite for a couple hundred bucks a month - and when you go home, don't work. Personally I refuse to ever work from home again, that's my non-work sanctuary. No phone calls, no emails, no responding to clients. Work stays at the office.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

      In spite of convincing myself at one point that the convenience of working from home made me more productive, in actuality I found I'm a lot more productive not working from home. Get up in the morning, go to an office - even if it's just you, you can rent an executive suite for a couple hundred bucks a month - and when you go home, don't work. Personally I refuse to ever work from home again, that's my non-work sanctuary. No phone calls, no emails, no responding to clients. Work stays at the office.
      Heh, I know what you mean. There are always interruptions ready to happen with pets, family, people coming to the door. An office would allow for more productivity; however, you have to justify that expense. I don't know of anyplace that isn't a closet local to me under $300/month--I've looked several times over the past 2 years--and following the rule that it takes $10 in sales to justify $1 in expenses that means having the office has to lead to an additional $3000 in sales each and every month. It's NOT just $300. That would be one additional client. Is it possible, even probable to land that extra client? Yes. Now you have to plan and do the work to achieve that, though.

      Then there's the loss of writing off 1/3 of home expenses if you get an outside office. That's a really nice perk to lose. I guess you could keep doing that and treat the office expense as a throw-away.

      I totally get where you're coming from. Sometimes it's tough to have the "entrepreneurial environment" working from home, and it's too easy to get distracted. I'm sure I'll have some sort of transformational event and make the jump sometime in the next 2 years. Definitely gotten sick and tired of it and come real close to "rage quitting" my home office a couple months ago already.

      Anyhow, the OP's question was more about whether companies actually hire external expertise...and yes, they do.
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  • Profile picture of the author iamchrisgreen
    Wow... that's one mighty response from Jason.

    Just to add that when I started out, I was working in my pants the one day and I heard a knock on the door. I went and answered because I assumed it was a parcel and I could just poke my head around the door.

    Turns out it was a prospect that turned up much earlier than expected.!!

    I had to ask them to stay there while I went and got changed.

    It was shortly after this that I went and hired some office space.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Thanks for the mention, Jason. I enjoyed our phone call and am glad something I said made sense! If I remember correctly we were talking about being 100% authentic, knowing who you are looking to serve, and openly offering your services to them in any way possible.

    That was an epic answer and if people can do the things you are saying, they will see things turn around.

    In relation to the OP -

    You can't be authentic with people unless you are talking to them. Human communication is the very most basic aspect of any business and life in general.

    The bottom line is we have to be talking to people, all the time. When we do, we should be as upbeat and authentic as possible. We should know WHO we want to talk to, and then very clearly offer them a valuable service.

    Whether you do it at home, an office, a coffee shop, or a conference doesn't matter. All these platforms are just a way to facilitate communication with other people.

    If you KNOW who you can really serve, and you can genuinely want to help them, the conversations and sales are much easier.
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  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    I work from home but also from a Co-Working space. Its very high tech and if I need to provide a presentation and high end clients, then I have them meet me at Co-Working location. There are plenty of these popping up all over the USA and other countries.
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  • Profile picture of the author Harry B
    Jason you rock, seriously
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