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First potential client has gotten in touch with me

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by thedon23, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. thedon23

    thedon23 Elite Member

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    Hey everyone,

    So, exactly 2 weeks ago, I started my own SEO/web marketing firm.

    Had a nice website set up, ordered some business cards, and was good to go. I put a few ads on Craigslist and already have a local client that is interested in hiring me. He is looking for the following services, quote on quote:

    Now, he has asked me three questions via email. I just want to see what sort of answers I should be leaning towards.

    His questions are:

    1) Do you have references?
    2) What can you do for me?
    3) What are your fees?

    So, as far as references, I don't really have any. I DO have a local dentist website I started last year. Not for a client; just started it, in hopes of ranking it and selling it. It ranks on page 1 and 2 for 5 keywords with around 1500 searches a month total. Would this be something I should show him?

    As far as fees, is this something I should tell him we can discuss once we go over things in more detail? I don't want to overprice/underprice.

    I'd appreciate any suggestions from you guys.

    Here is the full email, just in case anyone asks:
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  2. adsbg

    adsbg Newbie

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    Be honest with him, you have the skills he needs, tell him you are just starting out, offer a good discount in return for reviews, everybody had to start somewhere including him.
    We all respect honesty in the long run:D
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  3. Gold Hat

    Gold Hat Regular Member

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    when i started i just made my references up.
     
  4. JenniFranks

    JenniFranks Junior Member

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    Whatever you do, don't start your relationship off by lying to him. Clients appreciate honesty. If you can admit your weakness, he'll trust you, and recommend you to his colleagues.

    If he's looking for those specific services, he's clearly already competent in SEO, and he may check your references.

    Most of the people seeking SEO are business owners who just say things like, "I need better SEO for the Googles, how much is a half pound of optimization or whatever?"

    Tell him, "You can see an example of my work by Googling [keyword phrase] and seeing where [my site] ranks."
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  5. thedon23

    thedon23 Elite Member

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    I agree. Being honest wins in the long run.

    Yeah, I've been thinking of showing him that website I made (dentist niche), but my only concern is that it isn't as high in the SERPs as I'd like it to be.

    Do you have any suggestions as to giving him an initial price range?
     
  6. JenniFranks

    JenniFranks Junior Member

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    Send him a formal proposal using a service like BidSketch. He knows what he wants, so break down the proposal by each kind of link he's requesting. Google those services to see what your competition is charging for those kinds of services. You'll be tempted to give him a discount because you're "new." Don't. You diminish the client's confidence in you when you undercut yourself.

    If he balks at your prices, suggest that he can give up certain link types to save cost, but don't reduce your actual prices in any way. If he doesn't like your price, then he doesn't value your service, and you don't need him as a client.
     
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  7. Annah

    Annah Regular Member

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    Although I do agree with you regarding the honest approach, I strongly believe that providing poor credentials or a skinny portfolio would get you kinda nowhere.

    I know from my experience that the best deals I managed to close were the ones in which I deliberately involved a mixture of truth and some high non-verifiable lies that boosted the main thing.

    Lie, but be very careful while doing it. Act professional when you do it. Get organized.

    My personal TIP : Use graphic presentations. Put together a slideshow using catchy images. Even if you don't get along with Photoshop very well, you'll manage to create something.
     
  8. thedon23

    thedon23 Elite Member

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    I agree as well. Just wouldn't want to get caught up in a big lie, haha.

    As far as contacting him; he provided his phone number. But he also mentioned you can either email me or call me back.

    I'd figure calling him is more effective, right?
     
  9. Annah

    Annah Regular Member

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    For this I strongly suggest this type of approach :

    First and very fast send an e-mail letting your client know that his application or request or whatever you see fit to put instead of APP or REQ has been received.

    You have the weekend to work out the details and put together the presentation. Send it Monday first thing, wait for 10-20 minutes and then call. Also you'd need a guiding script. Write it yourself.

    Work out the details, prepare during the weekend. IF this goes well he'll forget about credentials and stuff. Anyway prepare some list but be careful when doing it.

    Let us know how it goes! Good Luck!
     
  10. JenniFranks

    JenniFranks Junior Member

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    While meeting face-to-face is most effective when closing a sale, the phone is certainly preferable to email.
     
  11. thedon23

    thedon23 Elite Member

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    Wish I read this earlier, but I'll keep this in mind for future clients!

    Well said.


    He actually called me shortly after I replied, and he wants to meet up next week.

    1) I don't have an office. Where do you recommend is a good place to meet up with him (I mean like, lunch, or coffee, or.. etc)?

    2) What should I bring with me/do before I meet with him? So far, all I know is his niche and what city he is from. He's a professional photographer.
     
  12. thedon23

    thedon23 Elite Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. JenniFranks

    JenniFranks Junior Member

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    1. Meet at Starbucks. As a pro photographer, he's probably already used to doing this.

    2. Give him a ranking analysis of his own site, and a competition report for his local niche. SEO PowerSuite is a good tool for generating such reports.
     
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  14. JenniFranks

    JenniFranks Junior Member

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    The scam is SEO.
     
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  15. Windmill

    Windmill Supreme Member

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    Hey mate, great job! I've just gotten my first client contact too. Its gone well because I've handled it right :) now you need to do the same. In regards to what he has said...

    1) References; you need references. If you don't have real references, get them ASAP. How can you sell someone a product you have no experience with? Or if you have websites but not "professional" ones, find people who you know with businesses and ask them to let you work on them for free. Then get them down as references.

    In the meantime, show him the dentist website, any other websites you have ranked and perhaps even if you're willing to go BH pay someone on here to lie and be a reference. Your choice ;) but in the future you need REAL references.

    2) Since your references suck, give him a full outline of what you'll do for him. I don't mean to go into what you'll technically do, but in very nice marketing terms create a full proposal. My proposal was like, 9 pages long. It impressed my client. Format it very professionally. Google around for examples to copy if you don't have any idea right now.

    3) Tell him that you can tailor your work as per his budget, and get him to tell you his budget. That way you don't have to worry about overcharging/undercharging.

    Hope this helps :D what you do now will make or break your chance. You need to put lots of effort into this client because it'll snowball after your first few :)
     
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  16. Mesach

    Mesach Junior Member

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    if you need references Fiverr has a bunch of people that are selling their services.

    Disclaimer:I am NONE of those people, just had the idea to check fiverr when windmill mentioned using someone here on BHW for a reference.
     
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  17. str8thustler

    str8thustler Power Member

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    Way to0 funny. I need a half pound of optimization.
     
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  18. angelas111

    angelas111 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    please let us know how it goes. best of luck!
     
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  19. thedon23

    thedon23 Elite Member

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    Thank you! :) I'll keep everyone posted.

    BTW, my plan is to not charge him for SEO until he see's results. I know some of you mentioned not doing this, but I feel like no one is going to want to pay someone new upfront for that sort of work. His market is not competitive at all, and I'm pretty confident it will be pretty easy to rank.

    As far as the initial setup and such (which I will charge him upfront)..what do you guys think is a reasonable price? I mean, for the following:

    - Facebook, Twitter
    - Yelp
    - Google Local Listings
     
  20. socialmediaking

    socialmediaking Regular Member

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    Occupation:
    Making The World Mobile
    Retail:
    FB - custom fb page - $397
    Twitter set up $125 (get him to provide image for background and fiverr design part on left side check mine, http://twitter.com/socialmediak1ng use free/paid version of tweetattacks to follow all people in [city] and [photography] also find other local area clients and follow them)
    Google Local Listing $397

    Total: ~$919

    You can discount him on all of those up to 50% and I'd use the twitter money to buy tweetattacks.
     
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