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Thread: How to sell?

  1. #1
    Senior Coder Mhtml's Avatar
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    Unhappy How to sell?

    Ok, I have a little web development venture www.m5interactive.com ..

    Now my problem is that I have almost no traffic and not one client!

    How can I turn up some revenue? I've got until December to get a client or I will not renew my webspace and domain, not if it seems this will be yet another in a long line of failures in my life.

    I've enlisted in heaps of search engines but I'm yet to actually get a referal from a search engine.

    Any ideas?
    Omnis mico antequam dominus Spookster!

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    Firstly I noticed a typo - "anything from a signle page"

    I couldn't tell you a guaranteed way of getting customers, except that word of mouth is more powerful than anything.

    I would also say, don't offer price guarantees up front; don't mention money at all anywhere on the site, and don't make any reference to a choice of flat/hourly deal packages. Sure, offer those packages, but let your customers come to you without preconception, and base your charges on what they think they should be paying (down to a minimum, obviously).

    It would also be nice to see some stuff in the your "portfolio" ...?
    Last edited by brothercake; 04-01-2003 at 03:08 PM.
    "Why bother with accessibility? ... Because deep down you know that the web is attractive to people who aren't exactly like you." - Joe Clark

  • #3
    Senior Coder Mhtml's Avatar
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    Ok, will fix typo now and get rid of the money bit .. makes sense to me!

    Word of mouth is good but I don't know very many people lol.
    As for the portfolio, I've no work to put in it. I've only done a logo for www.acjavascripts.com and well I don't want people thinking I designed the site (No offence AC!).
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    It's difficult - but customers will want to see what you've done.

    If I was a potential customer, your portfolio is the first thing I'd want to see; I'd look at some of your work, run it through markup and accessibility validators, and then, if it looked good and validated, I might drop you a prospective email.

    Maybe make some templates with Lorum Ipsum text - just to show a range of things you can do. You never know - the templates themselves might start making cash for you

    Case in point - I never planned to run my dropdown menu as a commercial entity; it was originally just because I wanted a script like that, and I published it because I wanted more traffic to my site and more people listening to my tunes.

    But now it's 75% of my traffic and brings me around $1000 a month.

    What I'm saying is - be prepared to change your plans - make it easy for people to contact you, and be responsive to what they say.
    Last edited by brothercake; 04-01-2003 at 03:14 PM.
    "Why bother with accessibility? ... Because deep down you know that the web is attractive to people who aren't exactly like you." - Joe Clark

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    Senior Coder Mhtml's Avatar
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    Well I am working on a "Ready 2 Go" website which is basically a template with a database backend so no code skills required. Should I put that in my portfolio?
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    I would, yes Depending on the angle you wanna take, you could flag it as a product, or an example of how you can make sites which are easy for end-clients to maintain themselves.
    Last edited by brothercake; 04-01-2003 at 03:17 PM.
    "Why bother with accessibility? ... Because deep down you know that the web is attractive to people who aren't exactly like you." - Joe Clark

  • #7
    Senior Coder Mhtml's Avatar
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    Ok, I'll do that when I've finished it.
    [edit:]Removed redundant links, fixed spelling mistake by removing text about money. Added "Under construction to portfolio (or lack thereof) page"
    Last edited by Mhtml; 04-01-2003 at 03:30 PM.
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    As brothertwinkie said, word of mouth is the most powerful advertisement medium. I haven't advertised in 4 years but I have an endless flow of clients just from word of mouth.

    If you attend a university or are near one try to get a few design jobs there. Usually departments at institutions like that will look for 3rd party web developers to handle some things. And once you are in, assuming they like your work, then word spreads around quickly both on and off campus.

    That is what I did 4 years ago. Got one design job and now I do regular work for like 4 different departments at the school plus several orgranizations affilitated with the school. And often times businesses call up a school's computer science department looking for people to do web development and if they know your name it can get passed on to these businesses as well.
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    What about posting flyers around the neighborhood?
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    I would start small...I would approach some local small businesses with no website, and either volunteer or charge a discounted rate to put something together for them.

    I would then ask for reference letters and also if they knew anyone else that might be looking for my services.

    I'm not sure what type of experience you may have, but when I eventually break away and start my own business, this is what I'll do.

    Also, if you have a business card....hand it out. Everywhere!!
    Last edited by Rylee; 04-01-2003 at 07:24 PM.

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    Maybe do a site for a local organization or company gratis. It sucks doing a site for free but it will definitely get your name out there. Make sure to include a link to your company too! Not to mention it will be another site on your portfolio. I've done 3 sites for free over the past year and a half and I've gotten 3 paying refferals from them.

    Help start the word of mouth!
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    Arrow

    I have a few suggestions for you though some have been said already.

    I can't stress enough how much your portfolio sells. People don't care what you type on your website saying you can do, they want to see results. They want to see your past work to see if it's the style/quality they like. You need a solid portfolio with at least a few good examples of what you can do.

    Word of mouth is another huge plus like mentioned above. I started doing some sites for free to get my name out there and then slowly started charging as my skills got better. I started out doing a few jobs with no website showing off my work. Then I put those sites in my personal website to show off which got more exposure to me. Now I plan on opening a design site dedicated to my services in a more professional way because I'm getting so much work I think now would be a good time to really push it.

    I'd say make free stuff for now while you have time which will showcase your skills. You could make templates and sell them cheap with a 'design by link' in the footer which will help promote your site and get your name out there. Find webmaster forums that offer a forum to sell services such as templates and what not. I know sitepointforums.com offers this along with many others. Search google to find some other webmaster forums.
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  • #13
    Senior Coder Mhtml's Avatar
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    Thanks peeps .

    I'll go and start trying to sread the word, I'll try to get a few free things or cheap things done to put in my portfolio as well. Thanks
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    post in the advertising forums over at webhostingtalk.com and yaxay.com

    Look fow work. Dont let people look for you. Reply to threads in those forums. Also develop a few templates and try to sell them at the above forums.

    I think you would also have more chace of getting clients if you offered scripting or something?
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    There are agencies to help people get going. They basically pont you at jobs that suit your skill level. It's the route I'd take if I wanted to be a web developer.
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