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I've built a strong brand but a weak business

Discussion in 'Hustles, Freelancing, Bootstrapping' started by PJ Pahygiannis, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. PJ Pahygiannis

    PJ Pahygiannis Contributor

    Likes Received:
    Oct 6, 2014
    Olney, Maryland
    Rep Bank:
    For almost three years I've had a business/hustle finding email addresses of CEOs and small business owners. I research/compile lists and sell them.

    I'm 22. Exactly one year ago I was completely broke and in debt. I had 15 cents in my bank account. I live with my parents and go to college online. I have a year left before graduation. A year ago I was a desperate college kid messaging people on Facebook saying I had bills to pay and trying to sell my email finding services for 15 cents an email with my minimum order being 1,000 emails. People ignored me.

    Everything changed in October. I started branding myself as 'PJ The Email Guy' on Facebook. I cleaned out my friends list and added 4,000 online/digital marketers. My business took off. I went from one order a month and struggling to 15 to 20 orders a month. I increased my prices from 15 cents an email to 24 cents and my minimum order to 1,500 emails. I started making more money than I ever had before in my life. My parents were proud of me.

    Now today I have built a brand and business around cold emailing. Most of what I teach goes against conventional wisdom. My brand and branding is mostly on Facebook from my personal profile. I don't advertise besides putting educational content out on a daily basis on my profile and in numerous entrepreneur Facebook groups. I've become the go to guy for all things cold email. Most of my clients come from my friends list of 5,000 people or referrals.

    I have tried to run ads with no luck. My average order is over $600. My main clients are marketing agency's. They are at least 80% of my business. Some spend $2,000 at one time.

    My best month was when I was offering a done for you service where I found the emails, wrote the copy, set up the campaign, and ran/managed the campaign. I started offering it around Christmas 2017. I was doing $7k a day for a few days. From January to March I was doing $20k a month easy. The issue was scale. I had no processes. I hired people my age and younger but they couldn't keep up. I was charging $540 for the service and was guaranteeing 25 phone calls/leads. I took on way to many clients way to fast and I attracted a lot of unqualified clients who were selling the same exact service to the same crowded niches - gyms, chiropractors, dentists, etc. I pissed A LOT of people off. I ended up refunding almost everyone to the tune of $30,000. I've had to work hard to rebuild my reputation.

    I'm back to just finding/selling lists and helping people with their cold email copy/strategy. My issue is that no one just comes to my site and buys a list without first talking to me. I've raised my prices twice this year. From $360 to $449 then to $494. I make good money but it is not scalable. I'm going on a trip to Greece with my family in the beginning of August for two weeks and my business will die without me.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  2. ApparentHorizon

    ApparentHorizon Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

    Likes Received:
    Apr 1, 2016
    Greenville, SC
    Rep Bank:
    Is there a course you spammers take? "Guaranteed $2k/mo/client Email Marketing for Agencies, with a Step By Step Proven System" or something?

    I see this pitch or a derivation of it at least once a week on here, LinkedIn and Facebook.

    "Guaranteed emails/calls" "Only 2k/mo"

    You're being sold outdated courses from some Guru. Cuz none of you seem to be able to bring any actual leads to your clients.

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