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Andy Black

Help people. Get paid. Help more people.
Staff member
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
There's been a few threads recently where people want to build directories or build platforms.

And a few other threads asking how to find ideas, niches, or needs.

There are countless threads in this forum that address this. I'll link to some of them below this post.

Want to know my favourite business quote ever?

"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person closest to you." (Mother Theresa)

Mother Theresa of all people.

I read her advice as saying to stop overthinking and go help someone - NOW.

... then keep going.

... and before you know it you might just make a dent in your corner of the universe.

I posted the content below on the inside in response to someone trying to decide whether he should build a business directory or not.

Maybe it will help those who want to build a directory or platform to get started?

Maybe it will help those looking for an idea to just go help people and see where it leads?

Maybe just fleshing out an example might convince a few to go help one person at a time?


A local business owner approached me last month. He runs a really small local printer and toner shop, and is branching out to PC repairs.

He wanted the best price for a landing page and AdWords campaigns.

I told him I was building a local directory for the county, and offered to create a listing for him and run campaigns, for free - so long as he covers the ad spend and he'd be our first case study.

He agreed immediately.

So what's going to happen now?

I'll get a page built on a domain I own.

I'll build AdWords campaigns in an account I own.

He'll enter his credit card details into the account and he'll pay Google directly.

I'll build campaigns to "count impressions" (count how often the ads show and thus tell me what people are searching for the most). Minimal spend at this stage.

I'll discuss findings with him. It might be there's not enough volume to justify going to the next step. Or it might be we find a few high volume segments or angles and go to the next phase.

Maybe I'll rebuild campaigns and/or the landing page. Or maybe I'll just push bids for the areas we identified as having enough potential volume.

Now we're buying visitors, which we hope will turn into enquiries and sales.

I'll work with the business owner to dial this in. I'm sure he'll let me know if he doesn't get enough enquiries, and if the enquiries are poor quality.

He's paying the ad spend, supplying the subject matter expertise, and providing feedback to help us dial it in for him.

We'll get to know the search volumes, impression shares, impressions, average positions, CTR, and cost-per-click.

We'll get to know the way people search, the type of page(s) that convert visitors into enquiries, the click-to-enquiry-rate, the enquiry-to-sale-rate, the cost-per-enquiry, the cost-per-sale, the possible revenue (if he's forthcoming - which they often are since they're not paying me and realise I'm in it with them).

I get to know a local business owner very well.

He gets to know me and my processes very well. Even at this stage it could be enough for him to provide referrals without me asking - that's how he found me after all.

Visitors to the landing page get to know about some new directory in their county. Maybe they're business owners who might be interested in getting one of them pages and them Google ads built for them?

Maybe all his print toner clients get to know of what I do when they come into his shop and he tells them about his new service and gives them the URL? (He's had his shop in my town for 10 years btw... that's a lot of business owners he knows.)

Visitors will end up on my remarketing list for sure - a remarketing list he's building for me.

Maybe he'll becomes a paying customer after a few months?

Maybe he just stays as a case study and champion?

That's how I'd approach this.

I wouldn't create spreadsheets wondering what this would look like at scale.

I'd go help someone first, and start filling out a spreadsheet with actual data collected out there in the real world.

I'd try to build win-wins immediately.

I'd try to build good will whether it works or not.

Focus on helping one person first, *before* building a platform.
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Andy Black

Help people. Get paid. Help more people.
Staff member
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
Reserved to link to loads of other threads related to getting started and helping people.


Gold Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Mar 31, 2014
Thanks @Andy Black, brilliant story.

I couldn't agree more...

If you focus on others instead of yourself, the magic happens.

2 weeks ago I was able to sign up a new client for a monthly retainer to help him with social media.

The thing is, I had never done social media before.

And he knew that.

He needed help and liked how I approach things and is willing to invest in me to wrap my head around it.

Now, I am getting paid to learn something and after that I'll have a case study to show.

He'll get value for a small fee and hopefully results. If not, we tried.

He showed what I have done so far to his contacts and I already have 2 more leads lined up for the same type of work.

If we focus on creating raving fans, the rest will come seemingly effortless.

Happy Monday everybody! :)

Andy Black

Help people. Get paid. Help more people.
Staff member
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014

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