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SM/HO Marketing

How to compete

     
3:00 pm on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Let me pick your brains. For many years, I have worked as a consultant for large corporations in the metropolitan New York City area. Now that work is drying up and payments are taking longer and longer to get. I need to adapt.

I am going to offer web design to small business / home office clients and am getting ready to begin to advertise.

What seems to work in the SB/HO market?
- Low Price
- Search Engine Marketing
- Competency

If you have experience with the SB/HO market, I would like to get your input.

A second question is how do you compete against businesses selling 10 page sites for $99?

6:05 pm on Oct 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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A second question is how do you compete against businesses selling 10 page sites for $99?

There isn't really a defense against this tactic to the truly uneducated small business owner that is simply looking for the lowest price and doesn't know why they want a web site except to say they have one. I have been out here for 5 years and I am trying to go the other way to the medium sized business market.

This market is primarily interested in very low price and SEM is also something they like, but pretty much SEO because they think it is "free" advertising as opposed to pay to click which they feel they have to pay forever to keep it working for them.

The competitive advantage I have used is to sell them on the concept that this is a marketing investment and they don't want to invest in crappy marketing. I explain that I provide a lot of insight into how to make the site work for their business and can even provide copywriting services as well as SEO. The problem is this group doesn't always appreciate these talents or want to pay for them.

If you can find a small business that appreciates this argument you can avoid competing on price, but understand from the beginning that this group is primarily motivated by price and with the economy going down the toilet this will be more acute.

6:44 pm on Oct 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Fortune Hunter. I am used to dealing with price with a knowledgible user and generally I get the sale. Many SB/HO users are obsessed with price. The '10 page site for $99' is just an example. It turned out to be bait-and-switch in the end.

My best new busness gamit to date is referrals.

6:33 pm on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You have to compete getting them to understand that you are best value, which is different from cheapest. With your consulting background you can charge a premium and be selective.

You say you are good at closing, my advice is to not close so fast then, build a relationship first or you will find that you will quickly get too much work! Cherry pick, avoid low hanging fruit, its usually there because its bad :0

 

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