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Creating websites for local businesses is easy, but...

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by Duke of Wellington, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. Duke of Wellington

    Duke of Wellington Newbie

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    I'm hoping to make some websites for local businesses to earn some extra money, but I find that the hardest part is definitely convincing businesses to agree to having a website created for their business. A lot of them just don't see it as worth the cost (~$200, not very much).

    I'm wondering what I can say in my pitch or do in my website creation to increase the number of businesses who pay for a website.

    I'm a full-stack intermediate web developer, so I could do some custom coding for their site. I don't know if this local business website creation is a profitable area though. I can't even find the volume of searches for [town name] haircuts or [town name] car wash. Regardless, here are some ideas I have to increase conversion:
    1. Guaranteeing them at least 100 visits/month (I can ping/spam their website).
    2. Creating a business for free from one known business in town and then getting some sort of "letter of recommendation" in exchange so I gain credibility.
    3. Charging them $20 for the website but $10/month for hosting.
    4. Creating a website for their business before I go there so they're more likely to purchase my service and then fine tune the site once they give me more details (as opposed to me going there and asking them if they want a site created).
    5. Offer a package of the website and marketing services (FB, Twitter, presence on food sites like Yelp and Grubhub if they're a restaurant) and maybe even guaranteeing them some "genuine" likes/followers for an extra cost
    6. Charging them (a lot) extra for creating some sort of online reservation system so customers can see what times are available if they're a restaurant or service that takes appointments (Doctor, barber, etc.)

    Which ideas would work, which ones wouldn't? What other ideas do you guys have?
     
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  2. Jerring

    Jerring Regular Member

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    Im also interested in ideas about this, it would be Awesome to make some kind of monthly subscription.

    Also if I would create sites for business then i would have some kind of page builder included or something like that so they can make changes easier, that feels like a pretty good sales pitch
     
  3. Bleght

    Bleght BANNED BANNED

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    Definitely start with 2, so you have a cool and convincing portfolio of clients that's impressive enough. Make sure that the sites you create for free (and preferably the ones you get paid for) contain your logo and link in the footer. 4 might also be a good idea and it's something that usually increases conversions.

    If you are going with the 3. model, change the design price to $0 and make your money selling them hosting as a reseller, but it's a totally different type of marketing. You can actually do both if you feel like it.

    6. can be very nice if what you build is good and reliable. 1 is kind of BS and 5 might be an upsell, but I don't think it's going to increase your conversions much.
     
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  4. SEMWORLD

    SEMWORLD BANNED BANNED

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    With the current innovation that resonate around technology and the internet, having an online presence for any business is very key towards there success. Most of people are in the digital era and will like to know what the company does just at tthe click of the button. You can therefore, make a presentation of having their business online and how t=it can help them widen the market scope.
     
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  5. diso333

    diso333 Junior Member

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    I'm also interested in this. maybe make a presentation in a hotel in invite business owners to attend it.
     
  6. MoneyEagle

    MoneyEagle Regular Member

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    You need to find towns with bigger population. And work for very less $$ for the very first clients as they will bring a lot of clients through referrals.
     
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  7. MikeyMikey13

    MikeyMikey13 Senior Member

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    All work I do for my clients, I rent to them.

    Explain to them it is less risk as they don't own it etc, then after a year or two of £20 a month, if they want to leave and go with someone else charge them a buyout.

    Depending on the amount of work you can charge alot. My buyout for a two year site with about 40 hours work was £800.So I got (£20x24) + £800 = £1040

    If they don't buy, sell to a competitor.

    Sounds shady but it really makes a killing.
     
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  8. diso333

    diso333 Junior Member

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    @MikeyMikey13 good idea, maybe you can start a thread about your journey with this. and don't forget to send me a link.

    i'm sure a lot of BHW members will adore it.
     
  9. Duke of Wellington

    Duke of Wellington Newbie

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    It's nice to see all this interest!
    I was thinking of just giving them permissions to edit the site on Wordpress or creating a separate account for each client and then giving them the credentials along with simple instructions of how to use the editor.

    Thanks so much for the feedback. The logo and footer are a good idea. I think for 3 I'll incorporate what Mikey suggested.

    But how can I show them the impact of having a website if I can't prove that there are any searches for their site? I was thinking that providing some sort of service on the site that makes running the business easier might help.

    This seems like it would be very professional and definitely increase conversions. I could do this after I gain some clients.

    This sounds like an exceptional idea. If I was a business owner, this would be extremely attractive because of the minimized risk. I would love to here more about your journey. What percentage of clients canceled within the first few months? I'm worried that if they don't see an increase in revenue in those first few months of the website then they'll be less likely to continue paying. Also, does the buyout fee change based on the length of time that the site has been up, or is it consistent throughout the site's lifetime? I don't want clients not signing up because they feel the buyout fee is too high, but if it worked for you then I guess the businesses don't mind.
     
  10. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I have found that a good tactic is pointing out what their close competitors are doing -

    Hey, company A, I noticed that you cannot be found easily on Google, but company b (close competitor) is number 1/2/3 for xyz terms, they are showing off their services on their site, they are in Google local etc etc.

    Do you know they are taking x% of customers from you every month purely because they have a strong web presence?

    Answer 1 - we can't afford.

    Well, we can do discounted rate for £xxx - if you get even 5 customers from the site in the next 12 months you make your money back and you have a lifetime of free advertising.

    Answer 2 - we don't need it, we have lots of work on , we advertise offline etc.

    Well, now is the best time - a website is an investment, it will grow exponentially and indefinitely from the day it launches and for the entire life of your business thereafter. It's like a pension for your business - if you ever hit hard times then you have this great advertising platform to fall back on.
     
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  11. lancis

    lancis Elite Member

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    If there are no local searches then why would they need a website?
    Sell them clients, not a website.

    Clients is a much more convincing keyword. For example:
    - Clients search Google Places, and for Google Places you need a website
    - Clients search for an easy way to make an appointment, not everybody likes to call, and thus you need a website
    - Clients use mobile phones, and local directories are inconvenient when it comes to mobile
     
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  12. MikeyMikey13

    MikeyMikey13 Senior Member

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    Canceled in first few months - a few, but you charge them a deposit of lets say £80 and explain to them that is for the resources to build the site such as themes, plugins or private code for the site.

    That way if you have them on side for lets say 3 months, it is still £80+60=£140, which isn't too bad, cuts your loses.

    However these clients are not the majority, I vet my clients before working with them, to understand if they are going to buy hard work. If I don't like the way they treat me etc I will stop the work. (bear in mind I also do SEO and SMM too)

    My buyout fee changes from client to client, depending on how much they want it (or how much their competitors want it)

    Also, don't tell them a set price for the buyout, give them a ball park figure, but explain to them that this varies on the amount of work put in.
     
  13. Conor

    Conor Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Don't do this. If you're going to run a business, be as legit and honest as possible, and it'll save you a ton of hassle in the long run. Just offer them good value and you'll get work easily enough. For example, you can upsell "regular website backups, malware removal, etc" for a monthly retainer.
     
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  14. MikeJallDay

    MikeJallDay Newbie

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    As a small buisness I would definetely pay for these services.
     
  15. Mon3user0

    Mon3user0 Newbie

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    I'm thinking of doing something similar actually. My thoughts:
    1. I don't think you should do that. It's unethical and unnecessary. If they're a local business, then you don't have to do that much SEO.
    2. I'm doing that now. I think it's a good idea. You've got nothing but a bit of time to lose anyway.
    3. That's actually a very, very good idea. But, then you'd need to find someone who doesn't have a website. I was thinking more in line of finding crappy websites and then contacting the owners.
    4. I think a couple generic websites would be good. I think it'd be a good idea to do a bit of customization. Like, take those HTML templates and do a bit of customization.

    BTW, check this thread out:
    http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/selling-wordpress-themes-as-website-design.430664/

    My big concern is, how do I get the customers? Cold calling? Walking into stores? I don't know man. I'll try this but I'm not too confident.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
  16. Mon3user0

    Mon3user0 Newbie

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    Oh, that's interesting. Do you mind telling me:

    What's your business? How much would you be willing to pay and for what?

    Thanks!
     
  17. loedown

    loedown Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Agreed, thats just dumb business.
     
  18. kittykut

    kittykut Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    make a website that makes you look professional and put some fake testimonials
     
  19. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Agree - you should not gurantee anything to a business - unless you know you can deliver. Otherwise you will just cause issues when you dont deliver.

    I am in the process of doing the same thing OP - targeting small local businesses for website design.

    In more detail this is exactly what I am doing:

    1.Pick an area local to me - makes it easier / more credible.
    2.Pick a niche one at a time (Just so that I can better target my campaign).
    3.Research the niche in detail - I came up with all of companies I could find in my first industry (hairddressers) and then I rank them all - where they come on Google, where they come on local search, what their site is like, when it was updated, if it is mobile optimized, if the content is unique etc. If they have no website at all I also note that. I also make notes on what is not right, how they can improve etc.
    4.Create a custom script / response etc for each group - if tehy rank nowhere in search there is one response about optimizing site, SEO etc, if they have no site at all there is another response - look at your competitors they all have websites, and so on.
    5.Send out campaigns and follow up with phone call etc.

    In this particular niche I found some nice groups with easy targeting -

    1.companies that dont have a website - this is an easy one, they are clearly having a big disadvantage over their competition - they cant be found online, they are missing out on search traffic, they have no communication with their clients (existing or potential), they cannot capture details, they cannot capture reviews etc.

    2.leaders in the industry that come up below their competition - for example I found one client in this niche that was considered the best out of all of their competition, they had a great site, yet it did not appear anywhere in search for popular search terms relating to the niche - again this is a great opportunity - hey guys, you are considered an industry leader, but you are ranking far below some of your lesser competition. We can fix this for you by doing XYZ.
     
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  20. DankHorse

    DankHorse Junior Member

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    Not shady. Smart business. Good on you!