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Andy's Inbound Braindump

Discussion in 'Advertising, Marketing, Social Media' started by Andy Black, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I was asked this a while ago:

    If you were to start your business from scratch, how would you approach prospecting? Given that you don't cold call. And you don't know many people in the business world to "spend your money on diesel and coffee" with. And you've already reached out to your friends and family and done some work for them.

    I've been trying to gather up and arrange my thoughts. It's a bit messy but I'll keep coming back to add to this.

    Feel free to add your comments and twists. Ask questions too. This is what's worked for me to date, and I welcome tweaks that can improve it.
     
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  2. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Let everyone know what you do

    Make it a habit to naturally drop what you do into conversations.

    You want it so that your name springs to mind when people you've talked to then talk to other people.

    Try to be consistent with this positioning, and position yourself as how THEY would refer you on, not how YOU want to be referred on.

    I might want to be "the guy who generates phone calls for tradesmen using Google Paid Search and mobile landing pages". They'll just go "Oh, you do Google Ads / AdWords?". Sigh.... Andy "The AdWords Guy" it is then. (Google have rebranded AdWords to Google Ads which is confusing while everyone transitions.)

    (Note that this general positioning will be a problem later on when you get too many leads, but solve the first problem first right?)

    Want to know how I get so much inbound work? I talk to everyone about Google Ads / AdWords. I help people with Google Ads. I am SEEN to help people with Google Ads. I do this in forums and Facebook groups even though I know that 99%+ of the people reading are NEVER going to hire me. But they will remember "Andy, The AdWords Guy" and the next time they speak to someone who needs AdWords help then my name will pop into their head, not Perry Marshall's name.

    "Oh, I know an AdWords guy. His name is Andy Black. Here's how you find him..."



    I've been doing this for NINE years. Nine years I've been "The AdWords Guy" in my circles. (Not worldwide, but why does it need to be worldwide?)

    I can't turn this machine off if I tried. I have inbound leads pretty much every day. Certainly every week. I have a handful to respond to and line up calls with that I haven't even responded to today.



    What will this look like for you?

    In your circles can you get known as "The Web Guy", "The Facebook Guy", "The Online Marketing Guy", etc?
     
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  3. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    The TL;DR about positioning yourself

    Want to get known as "The XYZ Guy"?

    1) Talk about XYZ.

    2) Help people with XYZ.

    3) Be seen to help people with XYZ.
     
  4. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Things to note about letting everyone know what you do:

    Show, Don't Tell

    Don't TELL people you "do AdWords" or "build Websites" or whatever.

    SHOW them.

    Tell stories that SHOW you do it. Stories are what people remember. Stories are what people will tell other people when they refer you on.

    "Oh, I know a guy who does AdWords. He helped his electrician friend get going by running ads and finding out that 5,000 of the 10,000 searches one month were to do with washing machine repairs. They then built a washing machine repairs website and shutdown his electrican website. His phone leapt off the hook."



    Don't say "PM me"

    Add so much freaking value that people reach out to you instead.

    (Pet hate of mine.)



    Ask about them first

    Him: "So what do you do Andy?"

    Me: "Oh, I work for myself. What is it that you do again?"

    Him: (Reply...)

    Me: "Oh, so you're a plumber? Do you work for yourself?"

    Him: (Reply...)

    Me: “Actually, I help plumbers get more phone calls using those little ads on Google."

    [Branch 1]: Him: "So you do AdWords?"

    (Game on! I didn't call them AdWords...)

    [Branch 2] Him: "I never click on those ads."

    Me: "Haha. Everyone says that, but I think Google makes $200 million a day from people clicking on them."

    blah blah
     
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  5. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    When your back's against the wall...

    Someone gave me this advice a few years ago and it's got me out of a bind quite a few times since. On one occasion I was 2 days away from our mortgage payment looking at an empty warchest. This advice helped.

    The advice?

    Start sending hand crafted emails to all the people you've ever done work with. Make it short, friendly, and non-needy.

    Example:

    Hi Bob,

    Hope you and your family are well.

    Just thought I'd let you know some space has cleared in my calendar. If you need any help with AdWords or know anyone who does then just reach out.

    We must catch up soon. It's long overdue!

    Speak soon,
    Andy


    ...

    The important part is saying some space has cleared in your calendar. This isn't needy, but has them thinking how they can help you fill it.
     
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  6. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Reach out to people who already know you

    Can you say something like "Hi. Some time has freed up in my calendar. Do you need any help with anything?"

    The last few weeks I've had to hustle up a few clients to get my revenue back up to minimum levels.

    The approach of contacting people who have already done business with me has worked very well.

    Also, I deal a lot with agencies rather than end clients. So when they know I am available again, they can bring a few new clients to me in one go.

    The beauty of subcontracting to agencies is that they do the selling for you, because they want to sell in their whole bundle of services, and you're just supplying part of it.

    Are there local agencies near to you? Can you connect with agency owners on LinkedIn and say you've just gone freelance and would like some advice on how to grow your business?

    I know a guy who recently jumped from permie land to setting up his own agency and he's done this. The absolute majority of marketing directors or agency owners he's contacted have congratulated him on the move and congratulated him on reaching out. If they are free they have all accepted his request to meet for a coffee.

    I met this guy for a coffee too.

    When you meet people, be open, be honest, and listen to them. Take action, and let them know you have. Also, manners (please and thank you) go a VERY long way.

    You need to specialise and have them remember you as "The XYZ Guy". For me it's "The AdWords Guy".

    Maybe you specialise in skillset ("The Guy Who Does Google Shopping Ads"), or maybe you specialise in vertical ("The Guy Who Builds Websites & Campaigns For Vets").

    Go into each meet with an open mind. Don't push an agenda. Let them talk and try to find out what it is they need.

    Try to break the "dance" of two people talking formally. Open up and converse with them as person to person.

    If they know what you do, how you do it, what results you get (preferably by telling stories they can remember and retell to others), then your actual work is likely to come from THEIR network, not necessarily them.

    Ideally, they leave knowing you as "The XYZ Guy" so when one of their friends or clients says they are having problems with XYZ, your name pops into mind immediately.

    A few good relationships where you've met and know them is worth way more than 100 cold calls imo.

    Business is all about relationships.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  7. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Talk to *everyone*
    (Similar to let everyone know what you do.)

    When you’re starting out, get into the habit of talking to folks.

    Don’t discount people because you don’t think they’re your ideal client avatar.

    You do NOT know your ideal client avatar yet. Any work you do on this before you engage the market is pure action faking imo, and it’s going to limit you going forward.

    When your barber/hairdresser asks what you do, tell them. Watch where they get confused. Watch where they glaze over. Figure out how to stop talking tech speak so that your barber/hairdresser can understand you.

    I’ve literally been sat waiting my turn in a different barber shop than my normal one.

    The two other lads waiting started talking about their vans.

    When one was getting his haircut I asked about the routes the other guy took.

    Before I knew it I was in the chair getting my haircut.

    I couldn’t turn my head. I couldn’t move my hands as they were under the sheet.

    “So what would someone search for on their phone if they were looking for someone to deliver a parcel from here to Dublin?” I asked.

    My barber started giving the lad things to search for.

    I could see him in the mirror doing the searches on his phone.

    No, he didn’t become a client and I didn’t expect him to, but I got to practice helping folks ... in their language, not mine.
     
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  8. DisLife
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    I see a lot of what you're talking about in what I've been doing, mostly because of your other threads. I think everyone in my circle knows what I do and I remind them on a regular basis. I still struggle with finding people outside of that circle to talk to, since the stuff I do is VERY technical. Even the simplified "I do Oracle consulting" requires a lot of explanation to most everyone I talk to. Not every business runs Oracle either, so true cold calls have been more of a miss rather than a hit.

    I've tried providing help on the technet forums, but those threads get answered by Oracle employees, within one or 2 replies.

    I'm not sure if it's a limiting factor in my head, but Oracle consulting/services is mostly driven by the Oracle salesreps. If you can help them close a sale, you'll be their go to consultant. It's very much an industry driven by who knows who. I've reached out to the few reps I personally know trying to get my company name out there. I remind them every now and then too. I've also reached out to a couple of the local chapters of the Oracle User groups with the same intent.
     
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  9. Tommo
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    Tommo Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Magic :):):)
     
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  10. ManlyMansNegator
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    ManlyMansNegator Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I like this thread!
     
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  11. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I was a contract Oracle (Production) DBA for about 10 years. I actually got out of that because I didn't like that I could only help large businesses. I prefer doing what I do now because I can help exponentially more businesses, and I can choose to only deal with business owners.

    Are you running an Oracle Consulting business, or are you more of a contractor/freelancer?

    I got a lot of my work through recruitment agents. They'd find me via my LinkedIn profile when it was geared to being an Oracle DBA. I'd also do searches on Google for "Oracle DBA contracts Dublin" and send my CV off to the recruitment agents so that I could get on the phone with them. This wasn't to get that particular role (because I knew it was already gone by the time it was advertised), but to get to know the recruitment agents that knew all the clients in Dublin who had Oracle DBAs onsite.

    As you've said, it's an industry driven by who knows who.

    Something else that worked well for me was to get to know businesses that provided complimentary services so that they could send me into their client sites either as a whitelabel subcontractor or just as a referral. One that springs to mind was a certified AIX and SAN shop. They didn't provide Oracle DBA services, but their clients often had a need for an Oracle DBA. I even got through to the interviews in a similar business to setup their Oracle DBA services wing. I didn't follow up on any of this because I wanted out of that industry.

    This thread might be of interest to you:
     
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  12. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    An example of "Show, don't tell"

    A prospective cleaning company contacted me.

    I didn't TELL them about the experience I have of running campaigns for cleaning companies.

    I asked questions that SHOW this experience.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    How I sometimes sell after someone has agreed to speak/meet me

    Here's a 3 min video.

    View: https://youtu.be/TPX85thTqvA



    Here's what I didn't include (I don't think!):

    It's very compelling for a business to "see" the search volumes (from the Google Keyword Planner screenshot), and then "see" the search results page with their competitors listed, but not themselves.

    "Show people their bleeding neck." (Perry Marshall)


    I'm also demonstrating my expertise/knowledge/authority.
    • Again, I don't say "I know my stuff. I've worked for XYZ."
    • That would be a "Tell".
    • Instead I "Show", with the report that's about *them*, instead of waffling about *me*.
    • "Show, don't tell."

    In my rush to get out of the door I forgot to email the report to the guy too. With an email, he can then find it years later if needs be, and he can forward it to friends if he thinks they'll learn from it too.


    I did another vlog after where I explained that I'm NOT going to follow up.
    • I'm only interested in dealing with people who raise their hand.
    • If he wants to engage and take it further, he has to make the next move.
    • IMO, to follow up is wasting my time when there are so many other businesses out there that would bite my hand off.
    • It's an abundance mindset for one thing.
    • It's also a series of tests.
    • They might be looking/testing to find a marketing/AdWords consultant, but I'm also looking/testing for clients who "get" it, and will grow into a regular income stream, and/or partner.


    "The first purchase is a test."
    • Every interaction, or lack of, is a test.
    • It's not about passing or failing these tests, it's just about finding out whether both sides are a good fit.
    • BOTH ways.

    The chances are he'll not become a client, but I've learned another vertical, and there's one more person who knows what I do, and knows I know my stuff.


    Oh, and in case you're wondering why I'd be after a little Kick-Boxing business as a client...
    • Maybe he's a good operator and wants to build a franchise throughout the country.
    • Maybe he knows loads of other business people.
    • Maybe I enjoy doing the research anyway.
    • Maybe I like to help open people's eyes, and giving them a better chance of putting food on the table is reward in itself for me.

    The beauty of running your own business is that you can fire clients, not take on clients, and not "always be closing" if that's not how you choose to run your own business.

    Just my 2c. Hope it helps.
     
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  14. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    An example of getting known as "The XYZ Guy"

    So my salesman friend has been out talking to business owners he knows. I was chatting to him today and he's tickled pink that a wedding venue he's been visiting a few times now know him as "The Internet Guy".

    I told him this would happen. Ask questions about a particular subject.

    Talk about a particular subject. Before you know it people will start associating you with that subject.

    You don't even have to be good at it. This is what's amusing him so much. He's in his early 50s. All this digital marketing stuff is new to him, yet he's starting to get known locally as "The Internet Guy".

    I did this for years when I worked in Dublin. Business owners would regularly email me asking to meet for a coffee. "Brian Brown said you're good at those AdWords. Is it OK to meet up and have a chat about them?"

    I was still working a 9-5, but I did two years of lunchtime meetings with local business owners. They'd buy me lunch, and I'd talk their ears off. I learned a lot about how to explain stuff simply. It was great to watch how this just snowballed.

    I'm no longer meeting people for lunch. I work from home and my working day is 9am till 2:45pm. I'm protective of that time. What I do instead is "jump on a call" at the drop of a hat.

    I remember someone telling me it was dumb to talk to people for free. I think it's been one of the best things I've done business wise.

    People don't ask to speak to me, but I get a lot of inbound queries via email or Skype/Facebook PM. I'll chatter back and forth quite a bit to try and help them. Often I'll suggest a quick chat because that's easier.

    That quick chat often becomes an hour.

    Wow... do I learn a lot in that hour. I 100% try to help and serve that person for the hour. I'm speaking to a business owner, or someone who's trying to become a business owner, pretty much every week or two.

    Here's an example:
     
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  15. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    The "WHO, WHAT, HOW" formula
    (A meh to "elevator pitches".)

    Here's 3 simple questions that can help you when someone asks what you do, or if you want a simple tagline on your website or business card.

    More importantly, they help YOU focus on what your business is about.

    1) Who do you help?

    2) What do you help them with?

    3) How do you do it?

    Example: "We help blacksmiths get more phone calls and sales using Google Ads and mobile websites."

    We don't really have blacksmiths as clients. That's just a placeholder.

    If someone asks what I do and I don't know what they do, then I'll try to find that out first.

    "Oh, you're a plumber?"

    "We help plumbers get more phone calls and sales using Google Ads and mobile websites."
     
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  16. jasoncuellar123
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    jasoncuellar123 I’m probably awake. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable

    Honesty goes a long way in business, and in life.
     
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  17. luniac
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    luniac Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    This thread is so good i got an adrenaline rush yo
    GOLD GOLD GOLD GOLD GOLD
    It feels good someone successful like Andy is saying things i've been thinkin for awhile.

    My most potentially promising app projects came from others who know I make apps, so they approached me with the idea.
    I was never shy to talk about my fastlane journey and app development. I tell anyone who'll listen about my side hustle to get out of the 9-5, and i always ask for people ideas and promise that 50/50 split LOL

    You gotta put yourself out there, your customers are people!
    you're not selling to a flock of seagulls!

    I really like Andy's Mother Theresa approach, in fact this helped me get my motivation back to work on some app projects that I personally wouldn't be interested in.
    I look at it as helping a friend, I'm making the app for a friend, and maybe we'll both make some money out of it.
     
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  18. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Ha. Thanks. I’m good at getting started and helping other people get started. Not so good at scaling - yet.
     
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  19. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    “Follow demonstrated cashflows.”
    (From one of the Tropical MBA podcasts)

    What do people *already* spend money on that indicates they have the problem you can solve?

    Your market is not “all left-handed women who live in New York who like tennis”. That’s a demographic.

    Your market is the people in New York who bought a left-handed woman’s tennis racquet.


    I help business already spending money on Google Ads, or some other marketing channel. That’s a big monthly demonstrated cashflow right there.

    Personal Trainers get clients down the gym. They don’t go door to door trying to convince couch potatoes to hire them.

    “Help the people in motion.” (Amy Hoy)
     
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  20. DisLife
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    Hey

    Thanks for the reply. I don't want to hijack your thread, but I did want to answer you...

    I worked for an Oracle consulting company for a long time (developer/dba/infrastructure) and was privy to the quotes they were sending out to companies. Generally, they would average around $150 an hour. This is the competitive bill rate for consulting companies in the area. I actually enjoy the day to day work. To me it's mostly like trying to figure out a puzzle. My fast lane business is to build my own consulting agency. I spent a lot of years fighting against that, trying to build other businesses, since Oracle was my day job. I've had more success embracing that for the fast lane since I already have credibility in the marketplace and a larger network of people that I've already provided value to in my past as an employee. Those were my initial sales.

    Trying to build up the inbound sales is a timely topic for me, since this is where I've plateaued. I'm toying with the idea of bringing in a sales person that has connections in the industry. I just want to look at what else I could be doing myself before I take that step. The complementary services idea is a great idea and something that I'm going to pursue.

     
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  21. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Some advice on positioning

    A few years ago I hired a marketing consultant at $500/mth to help me position away from being “The AdWords Guy” in clients eyes. It was because they wouldn’t take any heed of my advice about how their landing pages sucked and why they needed to improve them.

    I learned quite a few good things from him, but never succeeded in my initial goal.

    Why?

    Because I realised myself that “The AdWords Guy” wasn’t the label I put on myself, but what other people put on me. It’s the label my market used, so I decided to embrace it rather than rail against it.

    It’s part of the advice I tell to prospects… Paid search can help you find out what people are actually searching for, so you can sell it to them. You might want to sell blue widgets, but if everyone’s searching for red widgets then maybe you should sell red widgets instead.
     
    SparksCW, RazorCut, banjoa and 4 others like this.
  22. calm
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    calm New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Thank you for valuable posts.

    I have a question for you.
    I'm new in marketing and trying to get clients from freelance platform. I really want to help solving their marketing problem, but I'm not sure I can make results. Is it because of my mindset or I really don't know. It would be appreciated if you could give me advice.
     
  23. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    It sounds like you need to prove to yourself you can get results for clients. In which case offer your services for free to someone in your current personal network?

    Move the needle for them and then you’ve got both a case study and the confidence?

    Check out the first radio interview in my signature.
     
    RazorCut likes this.

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