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At the end of the day, when you're making a site for someone, you want to make money, and presumably they want to make money, just like the offline world
not all people are as savvy to the net as us. In light of this, you might want to give some stats touching on the benefits of the net, like potential clients having a 24/7/365 portal to their business sort of thing
after that, i included some stats and illustrations of past work, indicating whats 'so good' about the sites i make
the site im making (for a garage) already has a site, and I left plenty space for me to write about all the flaws of the site, and wrote in Layman's terms what I propose to do to make it a better site.
the guy im doing it for says he knows of many other similar companies who desire a web site, so if all goes well, and you live up to your word, word of mouth should get the ball rolling, and when you get your initial income, advertise locally.
im not experienced in this dept but what I can say is make them aware of what your good at, and at the same time make them aware of why your a cut above the rest :)
not sure if you have already, but a site explaining your design / site making capabilities would offer a doorway for people to investigate your services
hope this is of some use
Thanks for the info. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. It seems that this question or subject is left untouched by most. I posted in another forum 2 days ago and received no response, So I figured it was a dead beat forum. Again, thank you!
Getting the jobs hasn't been a problem so far, Luckily the clients are not insisting on a proposal, just a bottom line price, so the last two sites I have closed were as simple as sitting with the client to gather info, giving them the price and then start working.
Basically, I am trying to be ready for the one that askes me for a full blown proposal, before it happens. I didnt want to be scrambling around at the last minute. I will take the information you provided in to account on my next proposal.
To answer your question about my site. Yes, I do have a site. It is still unfinished but getting real close (digitalfuel.net) I have not had time to work on my own as of late because of the sites I closed early in Jan, but will be finishing up in the next week or two. Feel free the email me your opinion thru the site or my profile here. My hat is off to you sir! Thanks again.
Questions like what hosting is available and how much it will cost, what would be a good domain name, what keywords would be good - the list goes on, and those are actually part of the consulting phase of doing a site. Some people, however, want to know these things in advance. And chances are they won't want to do it, or it may be someone we'd rather not do business with which is very possible in some cases.
I just had a lady doing that - after several long emails over a period of a week she actually sent a detailed list of what she expected - nothing like what she'd been told. I finally put a demonstration contract up and she got scared at the though of making a commitment, even though not even asked to. She responded with saying she'd like to change a few of the points.
This had a lot of value to me. Although it's very seldom that this happens, every single point that was brought up wth this is something that should be spelled out in a proposal, which would be different for a small one-keyword site like this would be than for larger more complicated ones.
There could possibly be more than one proposal made up, geared to different types of businesses that might inquire and for different levels of service.
Someone once mentioned that they tack a 50% PITA fee on top of their regular fees for some clients, and after an email or two it's evident who they are. It's something definitely worth finding out right away, so as much provision can be made in advance. It's amazing how much some people can come up with.
With a proposal (or contract) for straight web design each step is easy to spell out - including having a set number of hours of consulting time, like 2. The potential for email is tremendous - the all time high was 93 and recently the runner-up was 66 in a month - now a former client of course, because I asked her to collect all the emails she'd sent (after explaining how to send update information about three times in detail beforehand) and condense them or I'd have to charge her by the hour for sorting through.
It should all be spelled out in detail so there's no mistaking it. So many graphics, so many pages, so many products, what the consulting will include, so
they know it's AFTER they pay the deposit that questions start and what they'll cover.
With SEO it's a different story. Sometimes they want detailed information so they can go ahead and learn and do it themselves. Other times it's a legitimate concern. There again, it's a matter of spelling out in generalities without giving specifics for a particular site. That can take some practice in doing. Sometimes I'll send people to a particular board thread. I consider people posting at a message board a different thing from giving a one-on-one personalized free correspondence course to a "potential client", which it can turn into if you let it.
It's understandable that people who don't know are wary, but spelling everything out without giving specifics should serve to make them comfortable. Saying you'll do 5 keywords is not the same as telling them which ones, where they go how to link them, how to get links, etc., after which they'll want to know why you're choosing them and why everything else is being done. That's the difference.
Spell it all out as much as you can based on your experence and what you can find, and add to it as you go along. The lady last week gave a pretty thorough updated picture of what needs to be made up - and she won't write it telling me what she'll get. I'll write it telling her what I'll give for so much, and that will be it. These occasions are not frequent, but they're very educational in re-thinking terms and conditions.
This will not go on a site, it will be an email template or a password protected page.
I consulted with his daughter, who is more computer savvy, and without even putting forward my proposals on paper he is happy for me to work on his site.
Its not just because Im a relation :), its just because I sat down and explained it all in Layman's terms about the potential of a site, and how it related to their day to day business.
Im certainly not the most experienced person in this forum, but strong communication and the ability to explain concepts in Layman's terms must be the most essential part of swaying a particular business to do busineess on the web, via you!
Once again, good luck!