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[Journey] Doubling my Income w/ ORM

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by gold33, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. gold33

    gold33 Registered Member

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    Ah, another ORM journey based on the 7878 method. Don't worry, I'm going to do my best to try some new, exciting things and make this as informative as possible.

    Here's the plan... I live near a popular beach resort area and I'm going to target its hospitality industry. I'll be sending out letters at the beginning of May, right ahead of busy season, to all of the hotels in this area that I've designated as targets. I conducted research using TripAdvisor, Google, and Yelp. My primary reason for choosing hotels is their heavy reliance on the Internet for bookings and because the amount of negative content available is pretty overwhelming. I've also found that it's pretty easy to get TripAdvisor reviews to stick. I have 73 targets and am hoping to convert at least 10% into customers. I've built a website with a landing page I'm pretty confident in, a shop that offers other services for sale in addition to the ORM plans (most additional services will be outsourced), and I've completely re-designed the review funnel. It's pretty similar to what 7878 posted, it's just responsive now and uses iframes to keep the customer on the site while they leave their review. I'll post some pictures if you guys would like to see. I ordered materials for the letters yesterday. I'm getting a little creative here. They will be packaged in large red envelopes and stamped with URGENT in black. The envelopes will include two pages of cardstock. The first page will have the 7878 letter on the front, and bad reviews on the back. The second page will have more bad reviews on the front, and infographics and plans and pricing on the back. I'll also include my personal business card and a 4x9 rack card with my personal bio and more infographics and statistics on the back. The reason for the inclusion of my personal bio is because I'm well known in this area and have an interesting background. I'll be testing this as a kind of relationship marketing tactic. If people know you and see you, they're probably more likely to trust you and buy services from you. I've setup a number through Callfire and will be setting up an IVR so that leads can leave voicemails during the day while I'm at work and I can return their calls when I get off at night. There's lots of other little things I've done to expand upon the method and launch a business, rather than market an individual service. I've put a lot of work into this thus far. My mantra's simple: if you want to do something, do it right. All in, I probably still have less than $300 invested. Selling one monthly plan would reimburse that :)

    Any questions/comments/suggestions?

    Thanks for following my journey!
     
  2. Aty

    Aty Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  3. Resolution10

    Resolution10 Power Member

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    Wishing you a good luck and will be following you. Hope you update your thread often. I've been doing a slightly similar thing so far with the only exception I'm utilizing a more risky approach by creating an artificial scarcity.

    Invested a bit in my project, started promoting it and then rejected my first customers. Sounds weird right? Well, if played right some of them would be more than interested in coming back. Hope that makes some sense.
     
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  4. gold33

    gold33 Registered Member

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    Rejecting customers is pretty ballsy lol. I priced it at $199 for the first X amount of customers. After that it jumps to $299. I have a very small plan for $9.99 that gives you a discount on all the services we offer except ORM (about 30%). Think logo design, articles, social media management, etc. The whole idea behind that was to make it enticing and if you pop you're pretty much guaranteed to spend more money with us when you use your discounts. It's kind of an incentivizer for business's that aren't going to spend the big money. The high-end plan is $499. I wanted to price it up there so that people wouldn't want to buy it and so that it would make the other plans look better. You can kind of tell I only really want to sell the main plan. I've got written in my contracts that it requires a 3 month commitment to start, renews for an additional 9 months if you don't cancel, and then renews at 12 month intervals from there on out. The high-end plan requires no commitment. The low-end only requires 3 months and then just renews every month until you cancel.
     
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  5. gold33

    gold33 Registered Member

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    - UPDATE -

    Things have taken a little bit longer than expected, but the direct mail campaign should finally go out this weekend. I configured my new phone number today and will receive an email whenever someone calls it, so that should help keep track of things nicely. I've also started researching the next niche I'll be targeting. I think it'll have to be restaurants. TripAdvisor is a great site for ORM and there are more restaurants than hotels listed in the market I've targeted. Lots of negative content makes for an easier sell as well. On a side note, I also found a new casino nearby that has a bit of a rep problem. I'm working on sending them a larger proposal at a much higher rate. In my next update I'll post some pictures of what the full packages I'm mailing out look like. Hopefully the next week or so is a busy one!
     
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    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  6. gold33

    gold33 Registered Member

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    - UPDATE -

    The direct mail campaign went out on Monday. Thus far, it's been kind of slow which is a tad discouraging, but it's not like I haven't gotten any calls. I've had two responses. One I'm still playing phone tag with (she seems super flaky) and the other called me twice, but wanted a reference and mentioned that others had solicited him before. That makes me a little worried that the cherries have already been picked off of this market... in which case I may have to get a little more creative going forward. I sent everything Priority Mail, so all of the letters should have arrived. I'm hoping for at least one more phone call today and one on Monday. I don't know though, maybe I'm rushing things. My target was 6 clients and at this point I've only got 2 prospective. I was a little stressed out about the client that wanted a reference, but I had the idea to call a former business partner of mine who owns his own business now and he agreed to give him a call and vouch for me. So, hopefully that works and I get at least one client from this round. Going forward, I'm thinking about changing the color of the envelopes as maybe red is perceived as too negative, switching to the confidential stamp instead of urgent, not hand addressing the envelopes (I know this is a part of the method, but on mine it just ended up looking sloppy and not as professional as it could have), and testing out a new niche. I still haven't sent the casino pack and think I may have to lower my plan prices before I approach the restaurants. The biggest thing I'm considering is REMOVING prices from the package altogether and making clients call to get a price. Maybe they're getting sticker shock and that's why it's a tough sell. Anyone else have additional ideas? If you're doing ORM, how long did it take you to get responses?
     
  7. gold33

    gold33 Registered Member

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    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg

    As promised, here's what my package looked like.

    First picture, right to left: Business card, 7878 letter, bad reviews, rack card with an infographic.
    Second picture: Back of the letter with plans and pricing and other graphics, back of the rack card with my bio and a testimonial.
    Third picture: The red envelope I mailed all of these in.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  8. gold33

    gold33 Registered Member

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    - UPDATE -

    Well, this has been a bit of a bummer so far. The flaky lady finally called me back and just went on and on about how people were targeting her business, BUT she didn't want to spend any money. Yeah, thanks for the call! The other client ended up talking to my reference, but I haven't heard back from him since that conversation. I'm not sure what happened there - I was confident in my buddy (he said the convo went well), but I guess not being able to show this potential client actual results was off-putting. Honestly, I don't blame him. In the future maybe I'll just be more honest - you're my first client, you'll have my full attention and whatnot. I think my biggest mistake was sending plans and pricing in the package. I've read some other ORM threads and will be removing this entirely for the "get your free consultation today, what do you have to lose?" approach. That will also allow me to be more variable with my pricing for larger entities. I decided to keep everything on my website and landing page the same. The analytics I've seen have been piss poor, so I need to find a way to get more leads online to actually see these additional assets. I'm devoting most of my attention to my letters. I'll be keeping the same wording, but have added more sections for personalization. I'm worried the original batch sounded too canned. So, I'll be going the extra mile to provide more personal blurbs, insights, etc. in the next round. I also decided my handwriting is crap and I'm going to switch to Adobe Acrobat and use the text box tool to comment out the PDFs. It allows me to say a lot more, will be faster, and looks more professional. I can even setup a WinAutomation macro to quickly populate a default set of text boxes on each sheet and then manually add to them if it gets too time consuming. Finally, I think I came up with a pretty cool new twist which other black hatters might benefit from who are also doing ORM...

    My first round of letters cost $85 to send. That was for 70. All of the recipients are in four towns/cities all within 20 minutes of each other. This time, I'm going to hire someone on Craigslist and have him or her hand deliver the letters. They can get signatures for me, I can send the letters in whatever I want, and it doesn't matter how much they weigh. I already posted a listing and have interest for $100 and a full tank of gas. The best part is this person can verify the information I already have. For example, they can ask the hostess if who the letter is addressed to is the business owner. If it's wrong they can make a correction on the fly and the chances it won't be seen are dramatically reduced. I just have to hope whoever doesn't dump them all in a dumpster somewhere along the route lol, which btw you can determine with http://www.mapquest.com/routeplanner.

    Right now my biggest question is what to replace the plans and pricing with in my letters. It took up a big chunk of real estate. I'm thinking part of it could be a map with all the restaurants in the immediate area highlighted to show them all of the competition. The other space could show them how competitors are doing compared to their business. I just don't know how I'm going to fit that into the space, or how I want it to look yet. Oh well, I'll figure it out. In the meantime, I'm open to other suggestions if BHW has any.
     
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    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  9. gold33

    gold33 Registered Member

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    - UPDATE -

    Well, I started to feel like I was talking to myself so I stopped updating the thread, but that doesn't mean there haven't been any developments. From the first batch of mail that I sent out I've been able to determine that at least 10 pieces were un-delieverable. This was my own fault for not properly researching the businesses and sending some letters to hotels that were no longer operating. All said and done I had 3 callbacks and was able to close 1. I went on that meeting, everything went excellent, and I had my first check within a couple of days. That was pretty cool. I'm working on a new batch with restaurant leads currently and will update with my deviations from the original plan and how they worked out.
     
  10. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    That's great you were able to close one. Good for you.

    You've already seen you made a couple mistakes. The one I would pay attention to is pricing. You shouldn't carve it in stone, and yes, mentioning the price in the sales letter will definitely thin out the leads to be more serious people. I wouldn't do it, but you can. I rather let them sleep on the fact that "OMG, I have so many bad reviews! I wonder how much it'll cost? What should I max out at?" and let them convince themselves that it could be a big number. You could use a "Starting at $499/month" type promotion, just to make sure they're semi qualified and then try to upwell them to something higher if they have the budget.

    How have you been doing over the past couple months?
     
  11. gold33

    gold33 Registered Member

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    - UPDATE -

    Thanks macdonjo3, since my last post I actually targeted a new niche, restaurants, and closed my second client. Lawyer letters are currently in the works. My new client is actually pretty big and owns another business as well that I up-sold them service for. I just went on a meeting last week too and have a few coming up (hopefully). The thing that's really put me over the top lately was a telemarketer that I hired on oDesk. This lady is excellent. Don't get me wrong, most of these online freelancers aren't worth a crap. Sometimes you just have to get lucky, and in this case I did. She's gotten me a couple of meetings already and we've got a big corporate client that owns more than ten restaurants currently on the line. Hoping to setup a meeting with them soon. Even with the money that I've put in, and with just two clients; my books are showing a $1,500 profit this year. This certainly isn't passive income. It takes a lot of work and a lot, a lot of time and thought, but when things finally start to click it is extremely rewarding.

    As for the pricing, currently my price is actually lower than what you suggested. I also point to other services and show them how affordable my service is in comparison. In that sense, I'm already weeding out the unqualified. I don't think my service has that crazy sticker shock price that most others do.
     
  12. Murcielago

    Murcielago Newbie

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    Gold33. If you don't mind sharing would you PM me a link to the Lady you used on odesk? Were sending 22 letters a week right now and would really like to have her call these people. Thanks!