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INTRO Getting a new start - Starting My Digital Agency

Discussion in 'Forum Introductions (Who are you!?)' started by Bru, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Bru
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    Bru Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Hello everyone

    Wanted to introduce myself and to share about my new project.

    ME:
    I m french, 32 years old, 2 kids (a 5y daughter and a 1.5y son), married.
    My wife is working part time.
    I ve been laid off for economic reason earlier this year (following a burn out).
    I was working for a big multinational for several years as project manager.
    I took time for me to recover, feel confident again in my values and strenghts.
    I ve always worked on side projects (website creation, help friends to create their blogs or launch their Ecommerce), but when it was for me, I was afraid of actually starting/launching and putting my project to life.

    Since I ve been laid off, I took time to reflect and I think this is now the time for me to start my project and give it a try.

    SKILLS:
    - Project management: 7/10
    - Wordpress: 7/10
    - SEO: 9/10
    - Adwords: 6/10
    - Social network mktg - 6/10
    - Content marketing - 8/10
    - Graphic and visual design 7/10

    THE PROJECT:
    Ok the title spoiled it, :)
    I m launching my web agency.
    In the past I ve built some websites. A few month ago, when I was trying to figure out what to do professionally, I finally discovered @Sean Marshall through an Udemy course.
    I ve started register my company, to build my website, to work on my services and objectives.

    OBJECTIVES:
    Bring value to my customers
    When reflecting on my previous experiences I noticed that I always been an solution oriented individual. I enjoy helping others and creating solutions. Previously it was either to automate tasks (excel, other tools to simplify tasks) or provide tools to create value or solve an issue.
    This is really the motto of my business, be there to bring solutions and help my customer (companies) to reach their goals in term of productivity or profitability.

    Financial objectives:
    The 1st step is to reach a monthly 3000$ turnover per month by February
    then 5000$ by June and 10 000$ by the end of the year.
    It can sound optimistic but I m committed to work hard to reach those objectives.

    Where am I now?
    Started actively in September.
    I ve done 5 proposals, so far 1 was refused, 2 have been accepted and 2 are pending for feedback from the potential customer.
    Also most proposal were only requested by people from my network, either former colleagues or acquaintances.
    As I was just starting, my prices were very low and I m actually not profitable, but the good side is that I ve learnt a lot thanks to those clients (fine tuning my service packages, improving my technical skills...).

    I m working on my content schedule and I m planning to start communicating actively on my project.
    One of the next step is maybe to start hiring a sales team to get customers.

    PROBLEMATICS:
    Doubt and self confidence, there are some days I seriously doubt and I m afraid of failure.
    Competition: There is a huge competition, I can't even count the number of agencies that are close or distant competitors. I m struggling to find a tangible unique selling point. While some are only focusing on website creation, I also propose web marketing services and business solutions such as services or tool implementation for companies (CRM, virtual assistant...).
    Sales process: I ve defined a plan and strategy for my communication. However I m not confident to handle the sales directly and with cold calling. This is something I need to work on.

    I ll probably come back to this thread shortly to provide updates on my project.
    All the best to all.
     
    emphasize.v1, jon.a, S.Y. and 11 others like this.
  2. Sean Marshall
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    Sean Marshall Independent since 2010 Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Bonne chance Bru! I'm happy to help however I can. Cheers
     
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  3. lowtek
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    lowtek Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Welcome Bru. Cast aside your self doubt. What you'll find is that most of your "competition" isn't really. So many fakers in that space... so many people who don't follow up with the client, provide poor service, can't execute, make wild claims... the list goes on.

    Just be a stand up guy, always show up and you'll make a name for yourself quite quickly.
     
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  4. Isaac Oh
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    Isaac Oh Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for the referral Bru! Just got myself a copy of his Udemy course.
     
    Bru likes this.
  5. Bru
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    Bru Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Quick update on my progression

    I had an important meeting today with a prospect.
    Someone launching a brand in Europe and who needed a website to send traffic to market places (amazon, etsy...) and also deal with B to B customer for wholesales.
    The person originally mentioned the need to have a member area, mutlilingue website, Autoresponder integration and livechat.

    This could have been my biggest project so far.
    However my prospect stated my price was too expensive compared to what can be found on fiver or some other countries in Europe.
    I presented my arguments and how I can help drive value instead of just execute and providing "only" a website (by default I make sure the website is SEO ready with optimized contents, I also implement Google tags scripts).
    Of course I can lower my price but I m afraid it will be at the cost of those things I consider basic but I see often ignored or set aside by some other agencies.

    I m a bit confused between which approach is making more sense business wise.
    1- What the customer want and only see: build a website, nothing more (not the extra work behind the curtain - SEO optimized, optimized navigation, Google tags).
    2- What I feel is right to deliver but that require more in depth work.

    Maybe I m not experienced enough on the sell process.
    Well Work in progress
    :)

    All the best to all
     
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  6. Burton
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    Burton Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    That's why it's often annoying (as for me) to develop software for others especially for someone who doesn't know anything about development process. They have tight budget so it has to be builded as fast as possible, but when there are some bugs at the end they are getting angry because for them it should work perfectly (it's just a simple website, right?).

    I think you shouldn't lower your prices too much, it's better to have less clients but kind of great ones. Also it will be easier for you to manage for example 5 good clients who will pay you the same that 10 lower priced.

    In addition I have already noticed there are definitely less problems with customer who knows why he needs your work and who has a budget to afford your prices comparing to this one who want more clients but without paying much for their attention.

    I'm looking forward to see your next updates, I'm also on my way to start something related in Poland.

    Good luck on your journey and also have fun!
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
    Chapas, Andy Black and Isaac Oh like this.
  7. Isaac Oh
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    Isaac Oh Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Gordon Ramsay kicked a customer out of Hell's Kitchen for asking for two fried eggs
     
  8. Bru
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    Bru Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Hola
    Quick update on my project.
    My kids and myself have been quite sick the whole week so I ve not been able to do everything as expected but I m working on it.

    I ve been offered the opportunity to have a small stand in an entrepreneur event taking place mid Feb.
    I m taking this chance to showcase a bit of my services and, I hope, to get some clients or leads.
    I m working on creating a special offer for the event to motivate the quick and spontaneous engagement/subscription. Fingers crossed ;)

    Separately I ll also try to attend regular events and meet ups in coming months coupled with an intensive communication on social networks.

    Another small thing, the very first customer I signed has the benefit of a very « inclusive » proposal (that was my first one and I stayed too open on terms - meaning not limiting the nb of revisions or this kind of things), and he is actually asking for the moon. I m going to deliver because in the end this is mainly my fault (that was a great learning for the following contracts I did) but I don t really know how to diplomatically sensibilise him on the fact he is also abusing a bit and that most of the things he requests are beyond the original service I offered.

    For your background I proposed to help with the design of his website for very cheap (550$) as he had limited resources . He originally stated he had everything ready and I only needed to do the design and integration but this is not really true and he is asking for a ton. I think I ve spent something like 50h on his websites and logo so far...

    I wish you all the best
     
  9. 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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    Maybe push back on this guy? You can be polite but firm. People don’t really expect others to do unlimited revisions forever. Maybe put a stake in the ground and say that after XYZ change then you consider the site delivered, or have a conversation to agree at what point the work is complete?
     
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  10. Bru
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    Bru Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Hola, Quick update on my agency
    I ve been approached by many people and contacts mainly from word to mouth.
    Unfortunately, so far it s hard for me to scale up by hiring a team as most of my customers are very small and have limited funds so projects are currently small (but I m also building my portfolio at the same time)

    I m planning to attend an entrepreneur and company executives meetup on feb 20th, so I expect I ll be able to get some contacts and to close some deals.

    I m also planning on creating more contents on my blog and social networks to drive more traffic.

    Will keep you posted on the status of my project.

    All the best to all of you
     
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  11. Isaac Oh
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    Isaac Oh Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Great progress! Excited to hear that you are already getting referrals! I'm now looking for my first client.

    I think I'm weak when it comes to sales but I plan on reading up on some mentality stuff on TFF and just going for it.

    I just finished creating my website today and have committed to creating and posting 1 article every week for my niche and creating and posting a helpful video every other week.

    How did things with your pushy client go?

    Have you looked into upwork? You can find people who are willing to work for as low as $5. I created a super in-depth checklist system on asana for all my services (using udemy courses) and plan on operating from there and updating it. So the cost of someone doing my SEO should come to less than $100. I'll let you know if this works in reality!
     
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  12. Bru
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    Bru Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Thanks Isaac,
    It looks you are on the right path.

    I ve prepared my operating manuals on Word but you inspired me to redo it on Asana or Trello, thanks a lot!
    By any chance let me know if you need an external feedback.

    The sales process is not easy, especially because your prices will always be too expensive in your prospect’s mind, the best way I found to handle objections are:
    - be confident, « fake it until you make it », know your subject and a few things on the customers before the meeting
    - really question them about their objectives, reformulate to make sure you get everything right
    - explain how you can concretely help them achieving their objectives, don t hesitate to go in the details, I ve noticed it builds trust and will make them understand they need to outsource it to you if they want results

    Thanks for the advice I ll check more on upwork.
    For the pushy client it works better,now I don t hesitate to flag if his requests requiere extra cost.

    For your first sale let people around you know that you are launching your business. They might know someone that could be interested by your services.
    Join meetup and entrepreneurs events.
    A small technique that works for me was to contact theaters, health practionners (dentists, physio...) and to tell them I can build there website and manage it for xxx$ a month. If I manage to get a meeting, I explain how my work will help them to get xxx new client by month and that I have specialized services (Social media mgmt, content marketing, email...) to grow their business even more.

    Good strategy for the articles, build a content schedule it will help you to organize your content creation.

    Keep me posted on your progression
    Good luck and all the best
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
    BlackMagician and Isaac Oh like this.
  13. Isaac Oh
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    Isaac Oh Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks Bru! You the man. I'll keep those in mind
     
  14. Divine_Joker
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    Divine_Joker New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Great insights. !!!!!!! I am also starting my Digital Marketing Agency and preparing all back end things.

    I joined this forum yesterday only and Now I get one thing for sure.! I will at initial stage can do small projects but after some project I will be a decent polite guy to have guts to say no by telling them the value that I would going to put is not justified with the price. Its may be worth as the great marketing tactic but at initial stage for portfolio building to show I will work for some low budget also.

    Yes the things I have noted down in big words in my Diary "10*1=10" "5*2=10" "1*10=10" and slowly move towards "10*1" to "5*2" & "1*10" where former shows number of customers and latter costs. :devil:

    Hope I will make slowly slowly.. :innocent: :halo:
     
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  15. Bru
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    Bru Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Hola everyone,
    OMG, I ve not been posting for a while but past months has been a bit crazy.

    I ve signed a major contract that allowes me to live fully from my agency work, this is a bit secure as the customer has a real need for a long term period. So far the contract goes until end of 2019 but they clearly mentionned they were really pleased with the results and are planning to continue...this is encouraging but I prefer to stay careful as things can change quickly.
    Only (small disadvantage) is that the customer really requires me to be present on-site approx 2 to 3 days a week. As this is allowing me to develop my agency and take part in smaller projects I m fine with this.

    I m now waiting for the answer from another prospect for an really interesting project that would really allow me to build my team and scale my business up.

    The person is really interested by my service and my quote but asked me for a discount.
    I m ok to reduce it slighlty but in exchange of a commitment from the customer to make at least a 6month deal (for the moment I m proposing quotes for a 6months periods with monthly fees but we renew the collaboration every month, this allowes the customer not to feel engaged).

    Separately, I m looking forward to develop other small projects (affiliation, e-commerce) to learn and have some "passive" business.

    I ve been lucky so far that most of my prospects came from referral.
    My main issue for the moment I think is that I m not making enought marketing on my company (social media, cold calls, networking). Mainly because I m still missing confidence.

    Again thanks to all for the support and wonderful advices.
    This forum is a gold mine and members contributions help a lot.

    All the best to all of you
     
    Isaac Oh, RoadTrip and Andy Black like this.
  16. Isaac Oh
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    Isaac Oh Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Bru!! You rock! Please tell us how it goes.
     
  17. Sean Marshall
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    Sean Marshall Independent since 2010 Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    The more you sell the more your confidence will grow.

    This concerns me just a bit. In TMF, MJ talks about being monogamous to your first business. I 100% agree. I feel that my own success came from being all-in with my business until I grew it to the point where I could literally afford to do other projects.

    Just something to think about.

    Congrats on your success so far!
     
    Andy Black likes this.

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