|Quickest route to new clients?|
pros and cons of different sales tactices
Most of the SEO sites out there offer some kind of catch, or value proposition, for the end user, whether they be another SEO person/organization, or an end user potentially looking for a service provider.
I must say that I believe http://www.searchengineworld.com [searchengineworld.com] has some of the best tools and features in this category. While I don't want to discuss particulars of who provides what tools, or what would be the *best* tool to offer, does this seem like a viable path to luring in new clients? Or is this perhaps something to be labeled "showcasing expertise"?
In addition to providing search engine optimization tools, what else should an SEO site provide? Perhaps a newsletter like the Search Engine World Quarterly [searchengineworld.com]? I know I read this one regularly, and some others, but what could one more newsletter offer? I'm not sure there is value there, for either SEO experts, or potential clients, except for more showing of experience.
To get specific, what I'm interested in is sales channel management for new business. I've heard teaching can be good, giving free seminars where one lucky business person gets a free site makeover, which is basically a detailed sales pitch. :) I read in another thread here this was best performed at a local chamber of commerce.
Any experiences with this one? Considering the time to organize, etc. I was thinking just use pages from a site on the subject, (which perhaps might be my own)...and then getting all the business cards, and selecting one as a winner from a hat. That way, there would also be the possibility of following up with the other non-winners.
Postings on free lance sites, such as Guru.com [guru.com] or Elance [elance.com], although one caveat about Elance is that they now require the service provider to pay to bid on contracts, but browsing through the SEO category, they seemed to have more listings than Guru.com.
Finishing a promotional website to showcase services. Is it really important? Do people actually read through all the stuff at informational sites in this business? I find I'm reading more and more of the info here, because it is fresh, but what about a more static site?
Sending out pleading letters begging people...a joke, really, but what other kind of promotional/sales tactic do you find successful? Is it broad enough in application that it could be utilized in multiple vertical market?
Friends, it seems, should have been one of the outlets I mentioned in that first post. Especially friends with connections, or that write software related to SEO.
Feel free to chime in with generic stories of sales tactics and strategies...
One quick way I also didn't mention in my previous post, is say for example you have access to a large database of companies utilizing SEO. The database might not include contact info, but having access to the url of the firm, and the knowledge of what they are currently doing in SEO, would this be a possible approach?
This tactic has never sat well with me, thus I've never used it. Seemed a little too much like poaching. Could be quick though, and what interests me is cutting down the relationship building phase, so that a hiring decision could be made fairly quickly. Thoughts?
A non-active way is by getting rankings for clients. We've had a few clients come in based upon doing searches in their industry and keywords and calling us due to sites ranking well (thanks to the "designed by" at the bottom of the home page).
Testimonials work wonders. Satisfied clients will always talk to their peers, friends and colleagues.
Sometimes they need a little push in the right direction.
Whoa, thanks Jeremy.
You want me to give away the store right?
The tools are a showcase and they were there for clients. Yes, they are a great loss leader.
The newsletter - sometimes great results - other times, why bother. If you can get the numbers and a sponser, you can make a go.
Fresh content is difficult - refreshing stale content is even more difficult. People want whats new and hot Jeremy. It's why news sites see such volume of traffic. That is quite a built in audience.
>>People want whats new and hot Jeremy.
A programmer friend demonstrated this very thing to me a few days ago, after I posted this.
He built some scripts for me over the last while, and we are doing a few projects together currently. On Friday, he decided to open source some of the stuff he's done, I believe it's his way of "showcasing experience." By Monday, the site he put up, just for the downloads, had recieved 700 unique visitors. Every one of them, click, and download. Amazing.
As for quick routes to new clients, he sold me. So in this case new and hot could simply be some open source stuff that's a little better than the rest of what's out there.
He did recieve some business proposals, too. At least one of those didn't sound completely bogus :)
I'm considering some off line print advertising, in a cheap classified ad style publication. Does anybody have experience with this one? Could be interesting, and after reading throught it, I noticed a distinct lack of web services ads. Offline seems so contrary to what we're about here, though, but anybody have stories to tell with respect to this?
Jeremy, we do offline print advertising.
If you are in a major metropolitan area, I suggest you find a weekly magazine that caters to the local business persons. Ask if they have a small business section, or some kind of special edition. Target these issues, and of course, make your ad stand out.
I would suggest that the ad offer a free consultation as a perk, or something along those lines.
I would also suggest that you have the ad professionally done by a designer with print media experience.
Networking works for any biz. I tend to be a hermit and a friend suggested joining or presenting to the local Chamber of Commerce. You'll meet a few local biz folks who will pass your name around amongst other local biz folks. It can produce some surprising results.
Chambers of Commerce generate a large amount of my business.
The more you participate the more contacts you make and the more business it generates for you.
Saturday I will be working at a Rodeo sponsored by one of the Chambers I belong to. It will be fun and I am sure to make some contacts.
You need to get out in the local community, and when you do the business will come. :)