Pricing Too Low…?

Many people are eking out pennies making websites or offering other internet marketing services when they could be doing so much better for themselves AND their clients.

Pricing too low is a REALLY bad way of doing business.

First let’s talk about why you may not be getting the prices for the services that you really deserve.

If you’re not getting better prices you need to look at:

# Your own confidence in your abilities and what you believe businesses will pay.

It’s usually a whole lot more than what you think. Read the FREE Offline Gold report Breaking The Belief Barrier for more on this topic.

# Your mindset and processes for working with businesses.

If you’re just focused on making them a simple website then your work isn’t worth a whole lot.

But if you focus on adding some strategies that can bring in real sales for them suddenly your work has a tangible dollar value and you can charge based on that.

Even if a strategy you implement brings in just $100 a week in extra profits that’s over $5,000 a year.

# Your process of talking to prospects.

Are you building rapport? Are you asking questions about their business and
listening so you can suggest solutions that they perceive will deal with their real problems?

# Your ability to establish potential dollar value with your prospects.

Many people drop the ball on this. The most common reason people don’t get paid substantial fees is because they don’t effectively establish the value of their service.

If you’re a gold member of Offlinebiz.com you can read this series of articles on the
Secrets To Establishing Value, Getting Hired And Massively Increasing The Fees You Can Charge

You’re not doing anyone any favors by pricing yourself too cheap.

You don’t give yourself the time or the incentive to really help a client when you’re not making good money and you don’t make enough so that you can have a good life yourself.

Everyone loses.

The reverse is also true.

When you charge premium fees you can take the time to make sure you deliver huge value beyond what you’re charging and you get to live a good life.

Everyone wins.

Kindest regards,
Andrew Cavanagh

Get Them In Cheap…?

There’s an old saying in the consulting world: “Get them in cheap then sell them deep!”

The idea is that you sell a low priced project or service with the objective of moving up to higher priced services and projects as your credibility with your client increases.

There is some value to this and it’s certainly better than working free to build credibility.

Also if you’re charging ongoing fees instead of project fees a $300 a month client who stays with you is worth $3,600 a year.

But a word of warning. Generally speaking you have the least problems with clients who pay you a substantial sum upfront.

And your biggest problem clients will often come from those you’ve charged the least. Often they’ll nit pick over everything you do and nickel and dime you to death.

If you’re going to charge less upfront (which can make some sense if you’re charging ongoing fees month after month) you really want to go to a LOT of trouble to let your client know you’re not charging them the setup fee you normally would and how much your service is really worth compared to what they’re paying.

And you want to invest more time in explaining to a client what they can
expect from you and especially what you expect from them.

You need to explain to them when they can contact you and under what circumstances and the limits to the services you’ll be providing for that special fee.

Ironically to create a problem free client when you’re charging less is actually MORE work than just charging a substantial upfront fee.

It may be worth it for you though if your business model makes sense.

An example might be selling a simple ongoing service
you already know you
can outsource easily.

It might make sense to build up to 50 clients paying you $300 a month in that situation because you know the only work you have to do is interaction with the clients keeping them happy.

On a different but very important topic one thing you might want to keep in mind is that many of your best clients have a whole lot less price resistance than you think and they might pay you many times what you’re charging now for more sophisticated services that deliver.

Sometimes our own incomes and beliefs about money can stand in the
way of charging what we’re really worth.

The prospect you sell on a $300 a month service
may not have batted an eyelid if you quoted the service
at $1,000 a month!

Remember you can always negotiate down on price but it’s almost impossible to negotiate up.

If you’re struggling with believing you can charge more for your services read this FREE report Breaking The Belief Barrier.

The Most Profitable Service To Offer…?

It would be nice to have a single service that you know beyond a doubt will be the most profitable to offer to brick and mortar businesses.

Unfortunately it’s not that simple.

What will be highly profitable for you depends on your personal set of skills and experience, the actual businesses you talk to and many other factors.

Generally speaking if you want to make the maximum amount of money with minimum risk look at delivering a service using skills you already have.

That means you can keep all the money you charge your client.

Another factor you might want to look at is whether you’ll charge ongoing fees for a service you deliver month after month ($500 a month is $6,000 a year if a client stays with you…significantly more than charging $2,500 for one project).

Just to complicate things the client who pays you $2,500 for one project will probably be a better client to work with than one who has paid significantly less upfront to work with you.

The more a client pays upfront to work with you usually the more they value your skills and expertise.

If you don’t want to physically deliver a service yourself then the exercise is not so much about a particular service but finding someone you can rely and trust to outsource to.

Whatever service THEY can provide is going to be what you will offer.

Overall it’s not so much the service you provide that will determine your profits but your ability to establish the potential dollar value of your service with prospects and the ability of the business to pay you (there’s a sweet spot in business size…often somewhere between 6 and 30 employees).

Businesses that have higher transaction fees often can and will pay you more to help them bring in clients.

Poor Prospects From Telemarketing…?

One hard working marketer was having problems setting quality appointments (perhaps you’re having the same problem).

He was cold calling restaurants on the phone and setting up appointments to see them.

But when he got there they’d forgotten he was coming or they’d pass him on to an employee or spouse or tell him they didn’t have any money to spend…before he even talked about what he could do for them!

Telemarketing has its place marketing many different kinds of businesses but when you’re not setting up your posture as a marketing expert in the right way it can be a real hindrance.

Think about how you’re being viewed…
what you look like to your prospects.

Ideally you want to be seen as an in demand consultant or marketing expert.

That’s one of the problems with cold calls…it really works against building that persona in your prospect’s mind.

The approach this marketer was using just makes him look like a salesperson and that’s the last thing you want.

If you add a step in your sales process that gets them to call or email you first that is likely to completely change the way your prospects are seeing you.

Since you’re approaching restaurant owners you could create a direct mail piece (or sequence), an email (or email sequence) or a combination of both.

I talk at length about using emails and direct mail
in the Offline Gold Get Clients Now product.

Do this well with good marketing pieces that pre-educate prospects with high quality information on the benefits to them of doing business with you and you should get a good number of business owners contacting you first.

You can also hire someone to follow up on the business owners who don’t contact you by telephone.

The good news is these follow up phone calls are going to be a lot easier to handle because the business owner knows who you are and in many cases they meant to contact you but they got busy or read your piece in the middle of the night and then the day to day hustle of running a business put it out of their minds.

If you’ve sent 3 or 4 letters or emails (or even just one with really high quality information) you’re going to be seen as a marketing expert instead of as a salesperson.

You won’t be wasting time with people who
have no idea who you are or how valuable you can be to them…

If you’re going to go to the trouble of physically meeting a prospect you want to know that they will respect your time and expertise and realize that you’re giving them something of genuine value.

It’s far better to mail or email 100 restaurant owners and get 2 serious appointments than to run around like a chicken with your head chopped off talking to a dozen different business owners who don’t think you’re worth the time of day.

Make business owners commit if they want to talk to you.

A good marketing consultant is worth at least $250 to $500 an hour. They should know that’s what they’re getting before you agree to meet with them.

In other words they should know they’re getting $500 in value to help their business succeed as a personal gift from you.

You need a game changer…

There are multiple ways you can completely change the way any business owner sees you.

The Offline Gold Army product is one of these.

With the Offline Gold Army strategy you don’t even have to approach prospects yourself. You’ll have people they know and trust bringing them to you!

And when you do call a business owner after just a few sentences they’ll be eager to talk to you and send you high quality prospects (I know it sounds crazy but that’s what a game changing strategy does…it changes the ground rules altogether).

Another game changing strategy
is having some kind of directory site…

You call business owners offering to put a free review of them and their business onto your directory website.

You just need to interview them to get some information about who they are, why they’re in business, what they stand for, what they do that’s unique.

The majority of businesses you call with this approach will grant you an interview and because you’ve made them feel important they’re far more likely to set aside a good block of time to talk to you in private.

In fact if you’re using this strategy that’s what you should ask for. Remember you’re giving them free advertising on your website.

It’s a shame for you to struggle in your first contacts with business owners when you could be having so much more fun so easily.

Always remember to keep how prospects see you at the forefront of your mind in your dealings and go out of your way to build your posture as an in demand internet marketing expert.

Residual Income Secrets

Getting paying clients can be a difficult process.

Using the methods outlined in the Offline Gold Army and Get Clients Now will make the process a whole lot easier but when it comes down to it it still takes work to build a new relationship with a prospect.

One foundational principle is to put more effort into selling and servicing the paying clients you already have and getting referrals from them.

Once someone has hired you they already have a relationship with you.

It’s very easy to get them to read your email, your letter or get them on the phone.

So you can sell additional services to them or you can make life a whole lot easier and less stressful for yourself by selling ongoing services.

If you have say 10 clients all paying you $400 a month you’re making $4,000 a month without having to get any new clients.

That takes a lot of pressure off you.

Here’s the biggest secret to
getting paid ongoing fees for a service…

When you’re in the process of getting hired get your prospect excited about the benefits to them of a service that you provide month after month.

That’s not too difficult.

Business owners love new customers and more profits on a more regular basis so any service you can provide that does that will work just fine.

Think email marketing, SEO, social media marketing, marketing with online video, Facebook marketing…the list goes on and on.

If the service helps bring in more customers month after month you can charge a monthly fee for it.

And here’s something to consider…

Different business owners think differently.

Most are trying to reduce their risk and increase their sales and profits.

Some are happy paying substantial sums upfront and some are happy paying less upfront but don’t mind paying you over and over if you’re getting results for them.

You may consider a pricing model where you focus on getting a business to pay you $250 to $2,500 a month for your service rather than charging such a large upfront project fee.

You need to exercise a LOT of caution with this.

Your best clients are nearly always those who have paid you a substantial sum of money before you do any work (by charging upfront you force a client to establish the real value to them of your skill and expertise.)

But this is an option you can consider and any variation of it (for example charging $1,500 upfront then $500 a month after that).

IF a client keeps paying you for a year $500 a month ends up being $6,000 over a year.

If you go down this route
remember to educate your clients…

Some clients will be a pain in the arse thinking they own you for that fee unless you invest a lot of effort in educating them on what they can expect from you, what you expect from them and what the limits of your service are.

Generally speaking the idea of “residual income” where you have money coming in is a bit of a fallacy.

Businesses require ongoing work.

But if you’re smart about how you deliver your services (you can outsource) and how you allow your clients to interact with you or your staff you can get very close to an income that will keep coming in without a whole pile of effort on your part.

10 or 20 clients at $500 a month amounts to an income of $5,000 to $10,000 a month which is not too shabby.

Make A Living Online…?

Here’s a question I’m sure many people have:

“How difficult is it really to make a decent living online? Surely there are thousands of other marketers out there, all making very little. How hard is it really to move beyond that and start making a reasonable income on the internet?”

My answer:
Over the past week I’ve been looking over Warrior Special Offers and it was a stark reminder of the way many people think.

If you join the large number of people who just want to make money you’re likely to really struggle and if you do stumble on something that works chances are it will stop working and you’ll be right back where you started.

Here’s the real key.

If you stop focusing on making money as the first priority and look for ways you can help and serve others the process gets a whole lot easier.

One of the reasons the whole “Offline Gold” thing took off so quickly was not so much because internet marketers found a market of businesses who have money to spend (although that is true)…

It’s because marketers found a way to use their skills to genuinely help brick and mortar businesses.

The key is being of genuine service.

The other side of that is being of service in a way where your dollar value to the person you’re serving is high.

Writing direct response sales letters is great…writing articles for $5 sucks.

You want your service to have a high dollar value to the people you’re serving.

If you really put yourself into this and wrack your brains looking for ways to help others and to be of huge dollar value to them you should be making a good income inside 6 months.

Many people do it in their first month or two.

But if you follow all those crazy schemes chasing traffic from people you don’t care about or arbitrage or other ideas that have no meaning to you beyond trying to make a quick buck you’re really going to struggle.

Kindest regards,
Andrew Cavanagh

Getting To Know Prospects

Here’s a great question:

“What’s the best way to quickly research / learn a target market for a small business client?”

First if you’re asking the question you’re already one in a thousand people.

Most businesses and many of the people they hire to help them simply never think through who their prospects and customers are and what’s important to THEM.

You may surprise yourself with broader knowledge you already have if you simply identify what kind of demographic a business’s customers fall into.

What age range are they in, what sex, what kind of income level?

If you think through the people you know who are also in that demographic that should start to give you some insights.

To go deeper the ideal thing to do is to actually talk to a few prospects and clients (even just one or two is better than none..in fact getting to know just one loyal customer really well can be a very educational experience).

You can even learn a lot with email exchanges with a few customers and prospects.

If it’s possible just hanging out in the business and taking the opportunity to ask some of the people who come in what’s important to them, whey they’re interested in the product or service…that can all be really valuable information.

You can also search online if the business type has forums where prospects and customers would go.

That is likely to reveal a whole pile of information you wouldn’t find otherwise because on a forum your can go through a whole pile of information and concerns people have and what gets them excited just by reading some threads.

At some point you’ll begin to feel like you have a good handle on what’s important to a prospect or customer of this business.

Ideally you would test that by talking to a prospect and seeing if you can hit their hot buttons in a conversation and persuade them to buy (or get to the point where they’re ready to buy).

But doing ANYTHING along these lines will put you way ahead of anyone else who is likely to work with your client.

Ranking High In Search Engines

Here’s a great question:

“Is it still possible for a brand-new blog (literally days old) to rise rapidly in the search engine results by the sole use of non-paid traffic methods such as: Blog commenting, Social media, Forum signatures, Web2.0 properties etc. etc.”

Many people are confused about ranking high in search engines like Google.

You hear about the “latest Panda update”, Google “slaps” and if you go onto an internet marketing forum you’ll see posts with people complaining about how their site, which was ranking so well…has now disappeared from the search results.

I’ll let you in on a secret.

The foundations of Search Engine Optimization have changed very little in the last 5 or 6 years.

What you need to do it think like the search engines do and you’ll quickly discover how to avoid most of the problems people have.

What do search engines like Google want?

They want a good experience for their users. They want people who search for something to quickly find exactly what they’re looking for.

And most search engine algorithms are designed to serve that purpose.

So how do you take advantage of this?

Give the search engines what they want by giving searchers what they want.

Usually that’s HIGHLY TARGETED HIGH QUALITY UNIQUE CONTENT.

The fastest way I know to rank high in the search engines with a website is to have a page of high quality unique content targeting a long tail keyword phrase that has little or no competition.

A page like that can bring in a tiny trickle of targeted traffic for years to come with little or no backlinks.

Expanding this out if you have dozens of pages of high quality unique content on a website…each page targeting one long tail keyword phrase that has little or no competition…then you can build some substantial traffic this way.

And over time as you build more and more pages like this search engines like Google start seeing your site as a quality resource and it gets easier to rank for more competitive search terms…again with high quality, highly targeted content.

Any quality site linking back to pages on your site should also help your rankings so your activities on other blogs, social networks and forums with links back to pages on your site will also help.

Does this work?

I have pages that have ranked at or very close to the top of google for search terms for over 5 years…with no effort or input on my part.

SEO guru Tinu Abayomi Paul has thousands of pages ranking on the first page of google with content she also wrote years ago.

Search engines like quality content.

 

Free Email Marketing…?

There are many different ways of getting clients. Some are very effective…some can set you up for failure in subtle ways.

Here’s question I received today:

“I have come across an offline biz model whereby you approached offline biz owners that have a pg1 google position but do not capture site visitors email etc, and offer to set them up with an effective list capture/opt-in system (inc. free giveaway, autoresponders et al). This allows them/us to build a relationship with people in the market to buy at some point, so hopefully some can be turned into paying clients. Apparently, this works best with higher value goods & services.

“Do you consider this to be a viable biz model?”

My answer:

Follow up marketing is incredibly powerful and will often bring the highest return for effort of any strategy you can implement.

In fact I cover email marketing for retail businesses or businesses that have a lot of foot traffic in the product From Offline Store Front To Online Gold. We also have a whole pile of resources and threads on email marketing in the Gold Members section of OfflineBiz.com.

This video might give you some insights…

Most businesses don’t understand that it is very expensive to attract new clients but costs very little to follow up with prospects and customers they already have…especially by email…and especially using an automated email autoresponder system.

My first recommendation would be don’t do it free.

Clients who don’t pay you are likely to be problematic. You haven’t forced them to establish the value of your service in their minds by charging them a substantial fee upfront.

They will tend to undervalue your service and they have no real commitment to making any strategy you implement really work. When they’re paying you they have a whole lot invested and they’re far more likely to get you and their staff behind anything you do.

Also if you charge upfront for doing something you’re getting paid and that’s the whole point of doing this gig in the first place.

Many people think “free” is attractive to businesses but often it’s more of a red flag to a business owner (as it is to you if you think about it).

When someone offers you something free or really cheap your first question is “What’s wrong with it?” That’s NOT what you want your prospects and clients to be thinking about your service.

The opposite is also true. When someone is charging a premium fee your immediate reaction is usually “he must be good…look at the fees he’s charging…I wonder what’s so special about his service?”

Charge a substantial fee upfront before you do any work on anything. That would be my first rule of charging.

The other problem with providing an email marketing solution free is that email marketing is complicated and takes a lot of work to do well.

You need to create a good incentive for people to join a list (maybe a lead generating report and some kind of compelling email series).

And if the list is going to have any size you’ll also want to use a premium autoresponder service like Aweber.

So there’s a really substantial cost in money and labor in doing email marketing well. It’s just not something you want to be doing free.

Another big mistake many marketers make when they first start serving brick and mortar businesses is focusing too heavily on what service THEY will be providing.

By trying to sell a specific service you’re putting your service first instead of the needs and
wants of the person you’re communicating with.

If you really want to be charging premium fees you need to focus on getting to know the business and its owner, what’s important to them, what problems they need solved.

Then you customize a solution around that.

That will help to build trust and rapport and it ensures that you’re actually delivering a service that is highly likely to get some results based on real knowledge of the unique ins and outs of that business.

Making that first contact with a business can be awkward but in my opinion offering a free service is probably not the best way of doing it.

There are multiple strategies you could be using in the Offline Gold product Get Clients Now.

Selling Offline Services Without…

Here’s a question I got today that I think is quite reasonable and covers a lot of the problems and reservations people encounter when they’re looking to sell their services to brick and mortar businesses:

I would like to make a great living selling offline products or services with these constraints:

1. No face to face – only phone , emails or ???

2. Reasonable continuity rate.

3. Potential to be more than just $44 for hours – although that is okay to start.

4. No cold calling – and strong preference to the client self qualifying by calling or contacting me.

5. If I left anything out – feel free to add – ­čÖé
Here is my answer to this question:

1. What you ask for is possible. I’ve had many clients over the years who have hired me from just emails or from emails and follow up phone calls.

I have found if you want to increase the percentage of prospects hiring you getting onto the phone with the business owner as early in the process as possible does wonders.

2. I’ve found that the people who do best at getting some kind of ongoing fees are those who make an ongoing service the most exciting part of the customized solution they offer to businesses. It’s really that simple.

3. You should be getting way more per hour than $44 an hour. First of all charge for the project or for an ongoing service…never by the hour.┬á If you want to charge more you need to get better at establishing the potential dollar value of your service.

Just thinking through different ways of doing that with prospects will help you. Also we have a whole series of articles on the topic in the Gold Members section at Offlinebiz.com here…
Secrets To Establishing Value, Getting Hired And Massively Increasing The Fees You Can Charge

Probably the biggest keys to charging more are being worth more (in other words making more profits for your clients), being willing to ask for more (understanding the real value of your service to a business) and being aware of your “posture” in your dealings with prospects and clients (being aware of how you come across to them and making sure they see you as an in demand consultant with highly valuable skills and knowledge.

4. I simply don’t do cold calling. I’m not against it but honestly it’s not the best way of getting a client. Outsourcing cold calling to someone else you might consider.

But I have two products that explain in detail multiple ways of getting clients that simply don’t involve cold calling and yes many of them will get prospects contacting you first.

The 2 products are:

Get Clients Now (one of my favorite strategies is the “gratitude magnet” which gets people you would barely believe would communicate with you at all emaling you back…usually the same day sometimes in just hours or minutes). And no the gratitude magnet has nothing to do with providing a service in advance or anything ephemeral…it’s a very solid, simple strategy that takes minutes and it’s may be the most effective icebreaker.

And there are many, many other strategies in the Get Clients Now product where you can get the ball rolling with an email. That is so much more effective than strategies like cold calling because when it comes down to it you’ll actually sit at your computer and send 20 or 30 or 100 emails but only a small percentage of people will sit on their phones and make even a dozen cold phone calls.

If I call someone it’s a person who has already shown a strong interest in what I’m doing, preferably someone who is showing signs that they have money and they’re ready to hire me. In some cases I don’t even talk to them on the phone. I just get them to pay me the upfront fee.

Offline Gold Army
You get a lot of people claiming their product or strategy is a “game changer” but this one really is.

As soon as you contact prospects by email they’ll WANT to talk to you. And you’ll find many who will both be interested in your services, but even more important, motivated to send you high quality prospects.

That’s the power of the Offline Gold Army strategy.

5. The thing that’s likely to make the biggest difference is making┬á a really serious, committed decision that you’re going to make money from this.

Business is not a game and business owners often have their lives and their livelihoods on the line every day. If you’re going to persuade them to work with you they want to see that you genuinely care about them and that you’re genuinely COMMITTED.

Many people aren’t getting hired not because they don’t have skills but because they’ve never made any serious decision to make their own business work.

It’s great to have a service based business with next to no overheads and no real risks but it you want to really enter the business world and be seen as a serious option for helping business owners with their marketing they need to see that commitment in your eyes.