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NOTABLE! Made it to Scottsdale and Business Update

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by GuitarManDan, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    You are making me nostalgic! Congrats on the sales.
     
  2. million$$$smile
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    million$$$smile Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Keep grinding. Your going to make it!
     
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  3. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks MJ! It’s been quite the ride so far starting a whole life over here in Scottsdale.

    I have a few sales meetings this week too so hoping to start really bringing in some new business.
     
  4. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks! The main goal is to overdeliver now for these clients and keep focusing on growing.
     
  5. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey Everyone,

    Wanted to stop in and provide another update for what's been going on in my world.

    Haven't closed a sale since my last update but I've been grinding away at overdelivering for the clients I'm working with and going to networking events / reaching out to targeted niches. I'm very close to closing a few different ones at the moment. I'm currently in discussion with a smaller site for a party planner (more of a portfolio/networking piece), a complete redesign and SEO package for a CPA firm in Scottsdale and a complete website redesign for an investment mgmt firm in Chicago that was referred to me from someone I met a networking event.

    What I'm Currently Focusing On: It's great that I've been able to pick up some smaller jobs for people that I've networked with in Scottsdale (most recent sales were for $1200 and $1000) but I understand these types of clients are going to get me anywhere besides breaking even with my business.

    I know that overdelivering for these clients can lead to great referrals down the line and that's why I'm still doing them, but at the same time - I don't want to be known as "the guy who does cheap websites".

    Someone referred me to a small business owner saying "everyone is trying to charge her 2k or more, I know you can beat that price.

    I'm working with Fox and some other really helpful and experienced individuals in his inside group to start heavily targeting and delivering for clients in niches where it makes sense for them to invest $5k - $15k for a website, such as:

    • Financial services
    • Legal services
    • CPA firms
    • Construction companies
    • Doctors
    The good news is that one of my first clients ($4k total for a retirement planner back on the east coast) website is finally online so I've been using that as a portfolio piece to show other professionals in that space my recent work.

    I feel like I'm so close to that cusp of closing a few huge sales and I know I just need to work smart and hard and I'll get there.

    I'm definitely not afraid to roll up my sleeves and hustle, but at the same time I want to make sure I'm constantly reassessing my strategy so that I don't get complacent and end up not meeting my goals.

    I know it helps to put it in writing, so here they are:

    Business Goals:

    2018: $50k total revenue brought in from the business (currently sitting at $10k with around 5 and a half months left in the year)
    2019: $100k total revenue brought in from the business

    Also, I'm sure some of you will enjoy this... I keep having recurring nightmares that I'm back in NYC working in that awful toxic environment!
     
  6. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey Everyone,

    Could use some advice/help on this one. Here's some quick background on what happened:

    • Networking contact referred me to a successful investment mgmt firm in Chicago (owner lives in Scottsdale currently)
    • Owner emailed me saying he liked my other sites and we had a great 1 hour call or so about what he's looking to do.
    • I sent over a proposal for just under $7,000 to do a complete website redesign and some help with other things (email marketing setup for example).

    The owner just responded today saying that the price sounds good to him and that he'll take a closer look this weekend, but he wouldn't be able to get started until end of August.

    So it's great news, but I know to be cautiously optimistic and want to focus on what I can do to increase the chances of this deal closing.

    He lives by me so I figured a personal face to face meeting would be a great idea, but he's traveling and said we can get coffee to further discuss this at the end of August.

    My Question: What are some good ways to keep up this relationship and to stay in his peripherals so that when he's ready to move forward (end of Aug / early Sept) he will want to move forward and not look to other competitors?

    Someone in Fox's inside group made a great suggestion of sending the owner a value-adding email every week or so, maybe an interesting article about email marketing and something that relates to his project.

    Thanks so much!
     
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  7. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Great idea.

    Maybe send some ideas or a few questions on what's important to him and his firm. Something like, "when a potential client visits your website, what's the #1 thing you want them to know? Or do?"
     
  8. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I like this idea too! My main goal was to get a verbal commitment asap but it seems like that'll be a challenge if he's traveling for the next 3 weeks or so.

    My first big client ($4k retirement planner) shook my hand and we agreed upon a price in person and even though he dragged his feet for 2-3 months before we started, he told me when other web designers pitched their services he'd say "I already have a guy for this".

    ^That's the kind of security and relationship I want to build where he sees that my solution is exactly what he needs for his business and he's not even looking elsewhere or fielding other offers.

    But anyway, that will be a project that kicks off in September so it's great to build out high-value contracts in the pipeline... focusing now on August.

    Sending out a lot of cold emails and going to networking events targeting high-paying niches to work on some new projects:

    • Sent out a proposal for a $5k website and in-depth SEO work for a Scottsdale CPA (sent out a really detailed email to show the ROI he would see if we increased his ranking)
    • Sent out a proposal for an $11.5k website for a pretty complex ecommerce website for a doctor that I networked with here - Going to keep following up but I think he thought it was way cheaper than this so he probably won't close. I was originally going to charge around 4-5k but spoke with some ecommerce website veterans and learned how much to actually charge.
    Will keep you posted when I learn more about the current and future pipeline for the sites!
     
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  9. Crexty
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    Hey man! Happy to see you're making progress! Hope you're liking it out here (And this damn heat)

    Definitely keep up the cold emails & cold calls, a huge chunk of my biz comes from doing it. Seems like its starting to work for you.
     
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  10. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    8/8/18 Update:

    I'm all for being upfront and honest, so I'll be the first to say that it's been tough the past 3 weeks or so. I have some good leads in the pipeline but nothing officially closed and haven't had any projects to work on the past 3 weeks besides doing outreach and followups.

    While business has been slow, I asked a handful of past customers for testimonials and updated my own personal business site to have more of a professional appearance and rank better for keywords that people may be searching for in my local area.

    I'll provide a quick update of some things going on at the moment and then where I'm going with the general direction of the business:

    Current Leads:

    1. Chicago Investment Mgmt Firm: Referral came in from a networking event - Chicago Investment Mgmt firm has a terrible website and they're looking for a completely updated site from scratch and to setup email marketing.

    Had an excellent call with the owner, he really liked that I have a background in financial services. Quoted him at $6,950 and he told me that price seemed reasonable to him but he's traveling so we can grab coffee at the end of August.

    This is a really great lead and exactly the type of clients I'm trying to get, but I'm working on doing the best possible job to land this client and not getting ahead of myself or putting myself in a spot where I "need" this one.

    2. Scottsdale CPA Firm: Cold email led to a few different calls back and forth. Owner has a decently successful firm but is looking to move it to the next level (higher net worth clients). I pitched him on a new website and really in depth SEO work for $5,000 - he told me he wasn't sure he could find that in the budget.

    Working with some members in Fox's inside group now to try to send another follow up email to really show him the value of the SEO work (already did an ROI analysis).

    This owner seems to really want to work with me though (kept asking if I could work with him, something like less money upfront and a contingency depending on the results he gets). This could get dicey if I did that but I'm trying to get him to see the value first and maybe go as low as $4,000

    3. Scottsdale Photobooth Vendor: Referral from the weekly networking group I joined - simple $1,100 WordPress site.. doing this one more as a referral source for the future, but she doesn't want to get started until end of August but a great testimonial from another owner I worked with in the group I think sold her on this one. Not going to make me rich with this one, but still pays some of the bills.

    4. Austin, TX Hedge Fund: Cold call actually led to the CEO of a company that manages $300 mil assets had a call with me. They're not looking for a new site but instead for SEO work and maybe some help running their digital marketing campaign. Not the exact type of client I'm looking for, but they will probably have a great budget and it would be a learning lesson for me to really get in depth in SEO and AdWords. Call went well and going to have a follow up in 2 weeks with some people on his management team.

    5. Scottsdale Resume/Career Coach: Referral came in from someone I networked with here in Scottsdale. They told me they need help with SEO/AdWords/Analytics... I have a call with them tomorrow where I'm going to suggest that they get an updated site because SEO/AdWords are going to lead people to their current site which is not going to convert and would be a waste of their money to pay someone to increase the presence of a bad site (obviously I'll say this in a more professional way).

    General Direction of the Business:

    This is becoming a long post but this is my thought process at the moment where I'm trying to take the business:

    • I've built up a solid portfolio and have gotten business owners some results so far (5 paid jobs, 1 of those jobs with a famous comedy central comedian)
    • I want to leverage that portfolio to start targeting higher paying niches and transition from the difficult clients that want to low ball you to professionals who are willing and have the money to pay for $4k+ website projects so that I can get some of my time back and don't have to worry about always hustling to bring in a crazy amount of new clients
    • Although it's great I'm getting referrals, they're coming from clients that I worked with for a low budget $1-2k so the referrals are expecting low prices like that which isn't sustainable for me. It feels like growing pains right now but I have a good feeling I'm on the right track... just stings to keep seeing the bank account dropping lower and lower the past month.
     
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  11. MJ DeMarco
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    So what of you think of your first summer? Another month left and it will be smooth sailing for 9 months.
     
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  12. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    The first few days of 110+ were rough but surprisingly got used to it and it hasn't been that bad at all. I can think of a few days I was running around going to meetings wearing some business casual clothes so that was rough in this heat.

    These dust storms/monsoons have been crazy though, I luckily haven't lost power throughout any of them yet.

    I've heard August is the worst of it, so just a few more weeks until it started to break!
     
  13. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey Everyone,

    Wanted to share another quick update. Still has been over a month since I made a sale but my strategy to start charging a fair amount and not underselling myself has put me in a great position. All of a sudden, I'm in very serious discussions and consideration for 4 deals (all over $4,000). Some more likely to close than others, but I have a really good feeling the next few weeks / September is going to be a huge month for my business.

    I've also been working to track the results past sites have gotten and came to a pretty cool conclusion - every single website project I did in the past, all sites are on the 1st page of google for targeted keywords (usually "niche + city").

    Here are the current deals that I'm in discussions with and a little blurb about where they stand:

    1. Commercial Real Estate Firm: Yesterday at a networking event, this lady happened to speak to me when she heard I did web design and we scheduled a call today. Call went really well and she asked for a more detailed quote. It's a decently large company 10+ people and they are involved with a lot of deals in the 8 figure range so they are doing well financially.

    Quoted them at $12k - $18k (with tiered pricing) with help from Fox to figure out how to structure that and propose my services in a way to differentiate myself from the competition. Curious to see what they come back with.

    2. Famous Fashion Designer: This was my first referral from the Comedy Central Comedian's site that I did. Some really famous fashion designer liked my work with him and this guy is looking for a relatively simple site that I know I can deliver on. Had a great call with his assistant and sent over a quote.

    Quoted them $4,500 and she said she will run it by the fashion designer himself this week so I should hear back later this week / next week.

    3. CPA Firm: After lots of back and forth, finally got the owner to see the value of this one (website redesign and a decent amount of SEO work to get his site to rank higher).

    Quoted him around $4,000 for this one - he's figuring out some other details at the moment but finally didn't object to the price when I worked with him (originally quoted at $5,000). Will follow up next week if I don't hear back from him (he specifically told me he'd get back to me shortly).

    4. Investment Management Firm: This was a referral from someone I met a networking event that I recently spoke about.

    Quoted him at $7,000 and he said that sounds reasonable to him. We agreed to grab coffee late in August and have plans on Friday to meet to further discuss the project. Curious to see how the conversation goes but I've had a great track record of sales meetings going well in person.

    Will keep everyone posted when I know more about these!
     
  14. GuitarManDan
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    Hey Guys,

    Today has been a great day! So I met with the investment mgmt guy this morning for coffee and the meeting went amazing.

    Ended up closing a deal for $6,950 to completely redo the website and help setup/provide training for email marketing!

    I'll celebrate once the invoice is officially paid, but he agreed to the price, we shook on it, and he told me to send over the invoice and that he'd pay the 50% deposit sometime soon.

    Definitely a sigh of relief after a slow few months, but this could all of a sudden be a huge September for my business if I close another deal that I'm in discussions with.

    Will keep everyone posted but this is by far the biggest deal I've closed so far.
     
  15. GuitarManDan
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    Invoice paid for the 7k deal! Feels amazingly relieving and I’m ready to deliver for this client.

    Also have a really promising 4.5k deal call with the fashion designer on Monday so all of a sudden if I close that I’ll make more in one month I would’ve made in a month at the old investment bank job.

    Definitely celebrating tonight... feels so great to see the business really scaling and growing.
     
  16. MJ DeMarco
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    OMG, flashback! This was a technique I used to secure new business... "Hey, look what I did for XYZ, they're on the front page of Google!" (Well back then it was GOTO). It puts you in a great position to advertise an "improvement" to their search rankings. (Not necessarily a first page)

    Yes! Congrats, very existing. Your thread is very nostalgic to me, reminds me of my beginnings.

    Thread upgraded to NOTABLE.
     
  17. GuitarManDan
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    Hey MJ,

    Thanks so much! This whole experience has been so incredible and rewarding (moving cross country to AZ where I didn't know anyone and working on growing out the business).

    I still have a long way to go, but I really like the direction the business is headed and I'm going to work my a$$ off to continue to grow this business and make it work.
     
  18. bilkar1985
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    Was looking for inspiration and just read your thread Dan and I like what I read! :smile:

    Keep it up and updated whenever you can!
     
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    I have milestones and then Arizona was one of my points of attractions. My friend said that their winter is the middle of summer, too hot to go outside. God forbid the power goes out and the ACs stop working.

    Fun night life.
     
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  20. GuitarManDan
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    What a week... the fashion designer's people just got back to me that they discussed and want to move forward! More to come in a more detailed post, but his assistant is calling me in 30 mins or so to figure out the logistics.

    This deal will be for $4.5k.

    When this one goes through that'll be $11.5k locked up in one week!

    This will be my first 5 figure month ever, more than I even made each month at my old investment banking job. Thanks all for the kind words and support!!
     
  21. LittleJohn
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    Just wanted to say Kudos to your hustle, man!

    Im sure as a young man in the Scottsdale area doing his thing its like paradise - keep it up!
     
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  22. MJ DeMarco
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    Awesomely exciting! I remember the feeling, when you realize that holy-sh*t, next month can be much bigger because you aren't trapped into a traditional salary/hourly time arrangement. Gives me a zing remembering...
     
  23. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Completely agreed, it's such a cool feeling that I can just decide to increase my prices by over 5-7 times! (last site before the 7k website was sold for only 1k).

    It's very entertaining the reactions I've gotten when I've told family/friends the great news from the past week. I know my family means well, but all of a sudden they aren't giving me advice like "well.... if it doesn't work out, you should keep your resume updated just in case" and friends are saying things like "I hate my job too, you're inspiring me to start a side hustle and make it work".

    My personal favorite, which I know you talk about in your books, MJ... people have told me how "lucky" I'm getting!

    Next steps now are to keep attending networking events and keep the deals in the pipeline in a good spot to close eventually, but most importantly - really overdeliver and do an excellent job for these two new clients I just picked up.

    Will keep everyone posted how it goes.
     
  24. GuitarManDan
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    Hey Everyone,

    It's been a while so I wanted to post and just provide some quick updates on what I've been up to.

    1. I've been busy just focusing on really delivering for the two big contracts that I locked up in September. Both have been going really well so far - the fashion designer site is almost completely finished and the investment mgmt site I completed the first draft but the business owner needs a few weeks to review with the partners of his firm to share feedback (he also just bought a house so he's a busy man right now).

    2. Continuing to go to networking events, and most importantly continuing to read and learn so that I can keep improving my abilities to market, sell, really deliver for clients, etc.

    3. I created a YouTube channel as a way to try to build that out to get some inbound leads (on top of referrals). I just posted my first video today. I'm definitely a rookie but I'm going to keep thinking of content that will help business owners who want to audit their own website and maybe make some improvements.

    4. Trying to really balance overdelivering for client projects and also making sure I'm doing prospecting so that I don't run into another slow period like I did in August of this year.
     

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