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[method] My BIG 7878 journey thread. All info covered. All questions will be answered.

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by originalposter, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. originalposter

    originalposter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    SUMMARY:
    I would like to share my side of the journey/experience based on 7878's method. I executed this method around 4 months ago (during the summer 2013), after I read about it right here on BHW. So YES, this method still works despite it has been around for 2 years. I?ve read a lot of users here worried about how it is all saturated and it?s too late and all that. You guys have to also understand that there are a lot of lazy individuals here on BHW that just day dream and never execute. If you were one of those, I hope you will change your mind after reading my journey because it still works quite effectively. All you need to do is take action, dive right in without thinking too much. That?s what I did and today, I?ve enough clients to cover all my bills and living, and a nice client base/foundation which gives me the opportunity to expand my business even further (if I wanted to).

    A lot of people underestimate the power of offline marketing. The real beauty of 7878 ORM method is that:


    1. It doesn?t involve a lot of time to setup (assuming you have a nice system like me)
    2. Unlike SEO, it is a lot of stable (since you are collecting legit reviews here)
    3. Unlike web design services, you client won?t bother you 24/7 for small issues or changes
    4. Small investment. You don?t need any tools to get started (continue reading to find out why)
    5. Recurring payments. YES. You get stable income months after months from your clients. Which means if you get $500 this month, you will continue getting $500 next month and that?s just 1 client. If you get 10 clients, you will continue getting $5000 months after months. So your business can really go BIG overtime, because in theory, you will just continue to grow and grow. $500 per client using 7878?s method is very do-able. In fact, it is an entry price-point for most ORM services with the opportunity to upsell. Which means more money in your pocket. I will explain later on this post what type of services I find working best and you will see it?s really a piece of cake. If I can do it, anyone can.
    This is going to be another ?follow and profit? guide in the offline marketing section here. This is pretty much an expanded version of the original 7878?s thread (proven working guide) but based on my personal experience.

    GETTING STARTED:
    When I first started, I followed exactly what 7878 suggested on his thread, but like most of you, I made changes overtime. I set a goal to myself that I am going to get X clients before I stop. So until I got X clients, I didn?t stop. In the end, I sent a total of 80-90 letter mails, and split them in small batches. Each batch contains no more than 20-25, depending on my mood and availability that week. (Remember - I did this during summer, so staying at home working on this required HUGE self discipline).

    I find huge benefits for sending them in small batches;

    1. I don't have time to sit and do 80 at once.
    2. I believe in 'lean marketing' approach, whereas if something went wrong, I can make changes to my remaining mails immediately without sacrificing the entire batch
    3. If things went well, I don't want EVERYONE to contact me at the same time.
    4. And perhaps, I was hoping that if the first 1-2 batches went well, I might just settle with 40 letter mails and not having to mail out more (unfortunately that didn?t happen to me).

    So those were my general thoughts before I took action. And of course, I also researched before I executed the plan, I took some great advice and suggestions from successful individuals here on BHW by reading their posts including 7878, netmoney1, taktical and others. So that gave me some ideas of what works and what doesn?t which allowed me to minimize the chance of failing terribly (and wasting time).

    RESOURCES:
    Like I said at the beginning, you don?t need any fancy tools to get started ? because I didn?t. Most of the stuff can be purchased from Costco, Staples, Walmart or even the dollar store. I spent roughly around $60 on stationary. It could?ve been a less if I go with cheaper quality, but I don?t feel like it because I know I will be using them for quite awhile.

    This was my list:
    1x Confidential stamp @ $12
    [​IMG]

    1x 250/box Envelopes (white) quickstrip @ $15
    [​IMG]

    1x 12/pack ink pens (red) @ $10
    [​IMG]

    1x ink pen (black) @ $3
    [​IMG]

    So that comes down to $40 + Tax, roughly $47 total.

    A quick tip here is that always get ?quick strip? envelopes. Don?t cheap out on those. The last thing you want to do is using glue to seal the envelope. This is a total waste of time and it?s definitely not worth it. Not to mention that if you suck at glue-ing, it will look very unprofessional.

    Took me less than 1.5 hours to buy all those along lunch. Yes, it really just that easy.

    RESEARCH & GETTING LEADS:
    So as you probably noticed by now, I kept my start-up cost quite low. I didn't buy anything fancy like dice or <object> to put inside an envelope. This is because I did research beforehand and found out that mailing is quite expensive at where I live, so putting an <object> in there will bump my cost up. (I did try a couple with dice in them, but unfortunately, I didn?t get any response from those guys.) Either way, let?s move on.
    I didn?t get any expensive tools or software for my research neither. In fact, I did this manually and on the bright side, it allowed me to learn more about how things work and how they should be done, so I got first hand experience here.

    I was mainly targeting businesses with poor reviews on ?Google+LOCAL? only, using the following query:

    [​IMG]

    It took me around 2-3 hours to collect 20-30 listing with poor reviews. But If I can do it, so can you. So it?s pretty straight forward. I just build a quick list on excel with names, address, website (general info). I usually aim for companies with 3 stars or lower. I also try to aim for businesses that don?t look too shady and have marketing budget.

    After I build a list of potential clients, I visit their website manually, and spend maybe 30 seconds to 1 minute, to see what they are really about. Sometimes, I got lucky and I was able to find the owner's/manager's name and contact info directly on their about us page. Otherwise, I will head over the manta.com or linkedin.com and try to grab the info I needed there.

    TIPS: I tend to skip businesses that I wasn't able to find contact info for, that's because my time is valuable, and I am not a big fan of sending generic letter mail. So reading further, you will notice that my ROI is actually quite high.

    TIPS #2: Like I said, I also aim to approach businesses that are relatively small but with marketing budget, so that it doesn?t have to go thru the different tiers of decision makers to pass me the cheque.

    EXECUTION
    After all info collected and filtering the shady ones, I will go back on their Google+Local listing page, filter the reviews so that it shows the "lowest score? first.
    [​IMG]

    I will then take a screenshot of them and print them out. Sometimes they have so many bad reviews that it may go as much as 4-5 pages. That?s ok. I print them all out! To save time, I print all potential clients at once. Clip them and organize them nicely in a folder, then head over to local Starbucks and....

    Yeah... Now comes the shitty part. I will then write on each printout one-by-one, just like what 7878's method suggested. I drew arrows and used short sentences to draw their attention without making a mess on the entire page, because that could be hard to focus.

    [​IMG]
    I picked the color RED (that?s why I use a red ink pen), to draw more focus. I think RED is a powerful color to catch attention. It?s like your high school teacher writing all over your essays, pointing out the mistakes you?ve made.

    This was very time consuming, but overtime, I got used to it, and most of the time, I was writing the same statements over and over again. It?s boring. Now you know why I headed to Starbucks. Because I was mailing in small batches (20-25 letters each), I can usually finish them within 2-2.5 hours. Despite how it was a boring process, I did spend time writing each one, because I understand that each of these are GREAT OPPORTUNITY. If one converted, it means $500 months after months.

    TIPS: Let?s face it. Spellings and other mistakes are hard to avoid when you have so much to write. But if I made a mistake, I trash it and re-write the entire thing. I find it more professional. I don?t use correction pens. I literally rewrote the entire letter when I made a mistake.

    As for the envelope, I also handwritten them; the company?s name, address and attn to. For me, I tend to find it drives much higher open rates. And finally, I use my ?CONFIDENTIAL? stamp on both front & back of the envelope to drive potential client?s attention.

    [​IMG]

    MAILING
    I was only targeting businesses in my city, and based on my research, it takes roughly 2-3 business days to have them delivered. Therefore, I tend to mail them on Friday or Monday. This is because:
    A: If mail on Monday, they will receive on Wednesday or Thursday.

    B: If mail on Friday, they will receive on Tuesday or Wednesday.
    Therefore, both will allow me to schedule a meeting on Friday or even weekends (if they are okay).

    TIPS: Make sure you ask your post office regarding cut-off time. Let say if your cut-off time is 2pm each day, then you better mail them out before that. Otherwise, it may be considered the ?next day? instead and may ruin your plan.

    To save time, I buy stamps in bulk of 10 ? the sticker type (self-adhesive stamps), so that I can just peel and stick. No glue or moistening needed.

    AFTER MAILING
    I know a lot of users here get super excited after mailing their first batch out, I wouldn?t blame you guys because I was also. But I gave each business at least 3 business days to read and digest, so I don?t quite expect any calls before that. I gave each at least 2 weeks before I started calling and follow up on the letters.

    MY FIRST MEETING
    I have several meetings using 7878?s method, but they were all pretty similar. I am just going to briefly explain what happened on my first meeting: So, I received my first call back 4 days after I mailed out my first batch. It?s a call from a family operated retail store. They are still my client as of today and happily enjoying their success. They had no idea what ORM was about, what I do and in fact, no idea what?s going on at all. Very confused, and very disappointed about those reviews being published. They told me about how they were accused, this and that.

    So as an ORM consultant, I calm him down and we scheduled a meeting. I did not mention anything about price or what I could do for him. All I said was I got a solution. I helped out a lot of businesses like him and told him not to worry. I made it very straight forward that the meeting is 100% free. 100% no obligations. If he doesn?t like my solution, I can just walk out the door. Nothing to sign at all. Won?t charge a cent for the meeting.

    TIPS:
    Your main objective is to schedule a meeting over the phone and NOT to close the deal. I personally find it challenging to close a deal with someone who has no idea how ORM works or what you can do for them.
    In most cases, these technical stuff are way out of their league and it will just drive further confusions. Confusions will lead to no trust, and no trust means no business. No business means no money and you lose.
    After the meeting was scheduled, I did research on his company right away, EVERYTHING ? including his site, competitors, reviews on different platforms, his SEO ? just everything, as much as I could.

    I also prepared a few common questions that I was expecting to be asked (I have posted them here on BHW, so I am not going to repeat myself and just post the link here instead):

    I was fully prepared to the meeting, and I was confident on closing the deal because he really needed help. I can sense it, and hey, he was the one who approached me; so yeah...

    MEETING
    I?ve started a thread earlier in regards to how to close deal smarter and faster, you can read more about it on the other thread. Again, I am not going to repeat myself.

    How to close deals faster & smarter: http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...ng/619034-how-close-deals-faster-smarter.html

    Top 5 ORM Questions You Should Prepare Answering Before Meeting: http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...-should-prepare-answering-before-meeting.html

    But generally, it usually takes me 2-3 meetings to officially close a deal and receive the cheque. Most business owners I work with are apparently a little behind in technologies/internet. Therefore, some clients require a little more time from me to understand what I can do for them and how the ?online reviews? really works.

    I am a hands on type of person, so I like to visualize things and see how things work in action; and because of who I am, I expect my clients to be like this too. Therefore, before every meeting, I setup a demo account on my own private version of the ?reviews funnel? script (positive feedback goes reviews page, negative reviews go than you page), with their LOGO and their STOREFRONT image. I will show them exactly what it will be like if they go with my service and what their customers will see. I will also make it clear how it can benefit their business and show them how they can re-use the leads they collected for other marketing purposes. The demo/walkthrough in person, not only it makes it easier for them to understand, but also impressed my clients how easy it is.

    My review funnel page look like this:

    [​IMG]

    By showing them how I can help them and what my script can do for them, most will be hooked. My script not only filter negative reviews, but also collect customers data ? so this gave me the opportunity to upsell my email marketing and other services (I will explain more later).

    So here is a general breakdown:

    Meeting #1:

    Meet with the business owner/decision maker, explain to him/her how it works, what I can do for them, answer their questions, show them the pricing, come up with an agreement.

    Meeting #2:

    Give them an invoice and agreement/contract. Have them sign, pick-up the cheque and answer questions.

    Meeting #3:

    Deliver ?feedback cards? to them, answer more questions and perhaps, show them how it works again (and upsell).

    TIPS:
    Be prepared to answer a lot of questions over and over again. Don?t be surprised that some clients are a little behind in technologies, and that is why you are hired. You may have to show your clients how things work over and over again and this is perfectly normal.

    ADMIN/MANAGEMENT:

    For invoicing, I am currently using Freshbooks. They are very affordable and user-friendly.

    For monthly report, as mentioned, I am using my own private script that does all that for me.

    For feedback cards, I went with a local printer that gave me some good pricing.

    For contract & agreement, I used some generic contract/TOS and modified it based on my service, city and regulations.

    CONCLUSION:
    I've tried my best to provide as much details as possible to succeed (step by step) and I am too tired to write anymore. I hope this will inspire some of you to start your own offline venture and stop giving yourself excuses. I will do my best to answer questions here. Good luck to you all.
     
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  2. TheUnborn

    TheUnborn Elite Member

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    Excellent,this is the most professional,well organised journey thread ever on BHW. Subscribed and will be following your journey.Good Luck Op
     
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  3. Zso

    Zso BANNED BANNED

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    Call me asap and call me let me help you flops the whole approach.
     
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  4. IamNRE

    IamNRE Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Well done for taking action... don't pay attention to the big dog :p
     
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  5. MafiaBoss

    MafiaBoss Elite Member

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    Nice.Good to see you got success from the method.
     
  6. MadeofSEO

    MadeofSEO Newbie

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    Fantastic post. I remember reading about 7878 method maybe a year ago so it's nice to see that someone actually started doing something. It was a very interesting read. Thanks.
     
  7. originalposter

    originalposter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I just randomly pull an example of one of my letters. Even tho most letters are more or less the same, but some are worded better. You're right, perhaps that's not the best statement I should've made. Will take note, thanks
     
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  8. BrandingBaw

    BrandingBaw Power Member

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    The big dog is right, it's a bit "too much".

    No comments on the rest of your work, you'll land those clients with ease if you're a smooth talker (and if your future clients aren't too stupid to realize the benefits they'll gain from your service)
     
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  9. SocialMediaManager

    SocialMediaManager Elite Member

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    Very informative thread compelling me to try something similar with a twist
     
  10. ant1kan

    ant1kan Registered Member

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    Congratulations and good luck (even though you really don't need it) to your venture.
    Thank you for the detailed thread.
     
  11. CosmicSoundz

    CosmicSoundz BANNED BANNED

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    your funnel looks JUST like.....

    http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/misc/619897-get-legit-reviews-local-businesses-online-reputation-management-reviews-funnel.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  12. originalposter

    originalposter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yup, I've developed my own script for my clients since I wasn't too comfortable with the script 7878 originally shared (with respect, that was shared for free, so we can't complain).

    I want to impress my clients with something more professional and something that will truly benefit them for long term.
     
  13. Beven

    Beven Elite Member

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    Nice detailed method thanks for sharing!
     
  14. jaron002

    jaron002 Junior Member

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    This is going to be Very helpful to the ones who haven't executed. I have a few questions that will most likely come up.

    1. Are you stuffing the envelopes or has just the stamp been getting you by.
    2. When you call in what are some of your tips for getting past the "Gate keepers"
    3. How do you counter potential clients who claim your services aren't in their "budget"


    I executed a couple of weeks ago but I went legit(not saying you didn't) and registered a business name, business bank account, dedicated phone line and An amazing website i applied what i learned from when I stated up a landscaping business on bare bones in a area saturated with landscapers. plain and simple if you look the part you won 90% of the battle we blew up pretty fast and it seemed as if we were a big player in our area but the business was ran out of my home and we just carried our selves as "Big Dogs" (shout out to zso) Im sorry to hijack your thread but the point is to anyone who is on the fence with this method its very doable with bare bones and as long as your carry your self properly the client will sense that.

    I've sent out about 30 letters and have had 2 calls in 2 weeks no meet ups but its in the works.

    /rant
     
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  15. originalposter

    originalposter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I will be happy to answer those questions:


    1. As discussed on my original post, I didn't stuff anything in envelopes.

    2. I don't mail any generic mails. All prospects are well researched with owner's name (based on info on manta/linkedin). So when I call, I simply ask for the owner's name directly. If the gatekeeper asked what's the call about, I would gave her a honest & polite reply, something along these lines "I sent a confidential letter to ________ last week, and I would like to speak to _________ personally".

    3. There are several ways I counter this - depending on the industry;

    A. I will show them how their next door competitors are performing, the number of good reviews their competitors have, and what they have (a bunch of negative reviews). I would ask them, if you were a potential customer, who would you approach? By this time they should have an answer in mind.

    B. I sometimes would also give show them a big picture (zoomed out map of the entire neighborhood) on Google maps, and show them how the 'red dots' represents businesses related to their industry. I will tell them that competitions are tough in the area, and with a bunch of negative reviews, what makes them think potential customers will choose them?

    C. If they love the idea and really don't have the budget, then I will give them certain % off, but a longer contract. By default, all clients go with 6 months contract, but of course, this is business, so there are always exceptions.

    D. Throw in a bonus. What I did for 1 client is that I promise her I will make her a summer-special flyer/ad for her to post on her facebook. Not only this got me an extra gig from her (social media), but it also made her very happy.

    Hope it helps. Thanks.
     
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  16. Melvin

    Melvin Junior Member

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    You definitely will grow fast and get more client in shorter time. From the sales perspective, you have pay very much attention to details and visualize what's going to possibly happen before the meet up.

    Well prepared and took action! Way to go.. Congrats on your success!
     
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  17. originalposter

    originalposter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks for the kind words.

    We all know the SEO/PPC/ORM competitions are tough, especially to business owners who receive calls/emails from foreigners promoting those similar services EVERYDAY. And unfortunately, most of us here can never match THOSE pricing (even know their pricing is BS and probably low quality), but business owners DONT KNOW that.

    So I try to make a better impression by being more professional (at best I can), and be more prepared to answer questions than ever.
     
  18. warjam1945

    warjam1945 Junior Member

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    OP how do you get a customers review to go to a site like TripAdvisor or Google+ if they aren't signed up to this site. P.S great thread
     
  19. originalposter

    originalposter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I always suggest my client to hand out 'feedback cards' (how did we do), and the size of it is just a business card, then staple it together with the receipt, so customers see it right away.

    EDIT: oh i forgot to mention, if you're talking about the URL, you can just create a subdomain/subdirectory on your client's domain, then point it at the reviews landing page
     
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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  20. warjam1945

    warjam1945 Junior Member

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    i meant if a customer leaving a review doesn't have a gmail account can they leave a review on the clients google+ account.