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GOLD! Moved to Scottsdale, Growing a Web Design Firm

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GravyBoat

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I’m fortunately in a place where I don’t need the money so I could just walk away. Realistically, my time is better spent focusing on getting new clients, working hard for the clients I currently have, and planning for the future instead of getting caught in the weeds with this nonsense of this super toxic client.
After attempting and failing to do exactly what you're doing last year, and dealing with exact same scenario from clients, I highly suggest moving on if you haven't already.

It's always gonna be in the back of your mind.

Personally, I realized this business isn't for me, because I absolutely hate these type of interactions. I had multiple in a few short months, and ultimately failed because I couldn't deliver what they wanted at a reasonable price / time combination.

Your time is literally better spent making that $6.4k back on more clients. And you can't put a price on your mental health.

Don't take it personally at all. The guy would have done that to anyone. You just happened to be in the situation. If you went above and beyond and you can look yourself in the mirror and say that, that's all you can do.

Glad to see this thread is still going. Been watching from the beginning.

Keep hustling and set your sights on larger clients.

The people I know who really kill it doing what you're doing, are running PPC and building funnels for medium-large size companies.

Their target audience is over 5M/year revenue, most are over 10M/year. So they got money.

At that level it's all about who you know. They make connections in person, network, go to summits / conferences, meet the right people. They aren't cold calling or spamming UpWork much. They all worked at large agencies before, and poached clients they worked with personally from the agencies they left, then built their networks off of this.

I think for this to really become Fastlane, you're gonna need some breathing room. You godda close a few FAT clients, with big monthly retainers to allow you to focus. Once you deliver results for them, you have access to their network, which will include marketing teams from other similar sized companies (all of which have money).

I'm sure you've seen this guy, but here's a late video of him closing a 20k/mo client. How much breathing room would that give you?

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coFteTzezcQ


The way I see it, if this 20 year old fool can do it, so can you. Even if he's fudging numbers for the sake of selling a course, these deals exist. It's up to you to find them. Start looking where they lie.

Wish you the best with this COVID bullshit going on. There is still money to be made. Keep posting. Great thread.
 

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Fox

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Hey Everyone,

One of my first big SEO clients just sent me an email that as their year long contract is set to expire at the end of this month, that they'd like to go ahead and cancel the services (they were paying $1,500 per month).

I was able to really improve their rankings and get them onto the first page for the keywords we decided to target but they mentioned that they would like to reallocate that money to other parts of the business.

I was kind of expecting this to be honest, in the first 3-4 months they were very engaged and active but after that, even though I was improving their results, they would open the monthly emails but never really engaged with them.

Updated numbers below:

2020 Revenue Tracker: $20,799.33 Revenue / $150,000 Goal

Monthly Recurring Revenue: $4,533 Per Month / $15,000 Per Month Goal
Don't sweat it Dan - a few current clients might drop out but double down hard on sales right now.

Also look to up what you are providing for current clients right now - do a monthly call or something and make sure you understand their situation and what they need right now.

If they don't want to spend $1,500 on SEO maybe you can split between SEO + ads etc.

Find out what do they want to spend on/what is most important and adjust to provide that.

Some clients might not need SEO right now but they still need you - you have given a ton of value and can get people results. So don't feel its "you" - you just need to adjust your services to match the new needs while also upping sales to account for the current situation.
 
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GuitarManDan

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Don't sweat it Dan - a few current clients might drop out but double down hard on sales right now.

Also look to up what you are providing for current clients right now - do a monthly call or something and make sure you understand their situation and what they need right now.

If they don't want to spend $1,500 on SEO maybe you can split between SEO + ads etc.

Find out what do they want to spend on/what is most important and adjust to provide that.

Some clients might not need SEO right now but they still need you - you have given a ton of value and can get people results. So don't feel its "you" - you just need to adjust your services to match the new needs while also upping sales to account for the current situation.
Hey Rob,

It's definitely possible that a few others could drop off due to the coronavirus craziness going on, but I don't think this client was one of those. They also mentioned in the email that they understand I got them great results with the SEO campaign, but they were expecting it to lead to more business than it did.

I want to do what I can to learn from this and the challenge that I see is that I can increase the SEO rankings, but if there's an issue with their online sales system, then there's not much I can do unless they're willing to change that. They were using Wix for their site for a financial services firm that manages over $1 bil USD so in multiple meetings, I was aiming for me to help them design a completely new site that would convert better and rank better as well, but they didn't seem interested.

100% agree with you though that it's key now to be engaged with clients to see how they are doing. I currently am onboarding 3 SEO clients at the same time so I've been going crazy with the first few months of on-page content writing and making sure to be in constant communication with all 3 to show them the value I'm providing.

If I do get an email about the coronavirus and canceling services, I believe I can jump on a call with them and work with them to provide other things like you mentioned that may be more helpful like a combo of SEO and PPC.

Thanks as always for your input! It's crazy times out there, but definitely good lessons to be learned for all business owners.
 
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GuitarManDan

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After attempting and failing to do exactly what you're doing last year, and dealing with exact same scenario from clients, I highly suggest moving on if you haven't already.

It's always gonna be in the back of your mind.

Personally, I realized this business isn't for me, because I absolutely hate these type of interactions. I had multiple in a few short months, and ultimately failed because I couldn't deliver what they wanted at a reasonable price / time combination.

Your time is literally better spent making that $6.4k back on more clients. And you can't put a price on your mental health.

Don't take it personally at all. The guy would have done that to anyone. You just happened to be in the situation. If you went above and beyond and you can look yourself in the mirror and say that, that's all you can do.

Glad to see this thread is still going. Been watching from the beginning.

Keep hustling and set your sights on larger clients.

The people I know who really kill it doing what you're doing, are running PPC and building funnels for medium-large size companies.

Their target audience is over 5M/year revenue, most are over 10M/year. So they got money.

At that level it's all about who you know. They make connections in person, network, go to summits / conferences, meet the right people. They aren't cold calling or spamming UpWork much. They all worked at large agencies before, and poached clients they worked with personally from the agencies they left, then built their networks off of this.

I think for this to really become Fastlane, you're gonna need some breathing room. You godda close a few FAT clients, with big monthly retainers to allow you to focus. Once you deliver results for them, you have access to their network, which will include marketing teams from other similar sized companies (all of which have money).

I'm sure you've seen this guy, but here's a late video of him closing a 20k/mo client. How much breathing room would that give you?

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coFteTzezcQ


The way I see it, if this 20 year old fool can do it, so can you. Even if he's fudging numbers for the sake of selling a course, these deals exist. It's up to you to find them. Start looking where they lie.

Wish you the best with this COVID bullshit going on. There is still money to be made. Keep posting. Great thread.
Hey man,

Really love this post and you're exactly right. The forum has been an amazing resource for no BS and honest legal advice. I don't trust the lawyers I've been speaking with as of course they want to convince me to proceed, but it seems like real people who have been through this all say steer clear and just move on.

The fact that my friend told me he may be having money issues is just the final nail in the coffin for this too. My lawyer mentioned that if he doesn't have any assets to collect, I'm going to rack up insane legal bills and never see any money back.

The most important thing is just my own mental health with this. I don't want to be brought down to his levels of toxicity and go through this miserable and stressful process. There would be days when we were sending nasty emails back and forth that I was so stressed I couldn't focus on anything else - not great for my business to get into the weeds again for only $6.4k.

Will check out that video and I have pitched a few clients for larger monthly budgets which would free up a lot of my resources and time and allow me to focus more of my efforts on my next business that can scale easier.
 
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GuitarManDan

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Hey Everyone,

Hope that you're all staying safe out there with all of the craziness happening right now with covid 19. Wanted to share a few updates since I last posted and update the numbers below:

  • A recurring $200 per month client paid for SEO reporting
  • A friend paid me $200 for a small project that I helped out with
  • Got a new inbound lead that found me from my organic SEO ranking (my site has ranked #1 for a popular SEO keyword in my city and surprisingly hasn't led to too many results but is good social proof to validate my work). They said all of the right things I want to hear - they want web design, SEO help, a long-term business relationship and someone who knows the finance industry well so I responded back to to schedule a call
  • For the large finance client I closed in Feb, finished up their website and it's pending with the owners to review the final draft now. Aiming to go live in the next few weeks (preferably sooner but if it isn't in March, it'll close out in April).
  • Have all of the on-page SEO work done for the newest plumbing company so just working on link building now to increase those rankings. They told me that they want to try this out for 3 months so definitely feel the pressure, in a good way, to start delivering for them.
  • About to start a lot of outreach this week since I am starting to get some capacity back now that I've finished up a bunch of projects
  • A deal I literally closed over a year and a half ago may actually finally finish up - this was before I had contracts and the owner has been delaying it every time I speak with him. He emailed me saying his travel plans have all cancelled due to the coronavirus so he will have time to finally work on the site with me in April (remaining $3,500 on that deal for the last 50%).

2020 Revenue Tracker: $21,199.33 Revenue / $150,000 Goal

Monthly Recurring Revenue: $4,533 Per Month / $15,000 Per Month Goal
 
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GuitarManDan

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Hey Everyone,

Quick update to the numbers below - I've been getting a lot of lower-end referrals for jobs that wouldn't make too much sense to take on now, so instead of just turning them away I've been working to refer them out to people I know who are starting off.

One networking contact came to me with a $1k job and I sent it to someone in a Facebook group I'm in and he provided me with a 10% referral fee so he just paid me $100 when the deal closed. I figure it's a win-win - people in the earlier stages or looking for work get paid projects and I turn those leads into some kind of revenue for myself, even if it's not too much.

2020 Revenue Tracker: $21,299.33 Revenue / $150,000 Goal

Monthly Recurring Revenue: $4,533 Per Month / $15,000 Per Month Goal
 
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GuitarManDan

GuitarManDan

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Hey All,

Feels weird to be posting about business updates with all of the coronavirus craziness that's happening, obviously for anyone following my story they know I'm from the NYC area and lived there my whole life before moving to Scottsdale. Seems like every friend/family member I have back home knows multiple people with the coronavirus. Thankfully my family is ok for now, but I'm still worried as a lot of them are 60+.

Even heard stories of a few people I graduated college with, who didn't just get the virus in NY, but died from it (both completely healthy late 20s athletes). Seems a bit different here in AZ, as I still haven't heard of anyone here that I know with it.

Anyway, the show must go on so I wanted to share a few updates on my side. Work has been a good outlet to distract myself from all of this insanity that's happening:

  • Quick Free Work Leads to Multiple Prospects - Random marketing company reached out to me and the Founders wanted to have a call with me. They do basically everything in marketing except web+SEO. They asked if I could give them a quote to help a financial services client they had (I told them my background in it). They said multiple people quoted them high prices and literally all they needed was to switch a YouTube video on his homepage for another YT video. I didn't charge and did it in a few minutes and they were SO thankful. They now are telling their financial clients about my background and one in particular said he needs to meet me and we have a call scheduled Monday to discuss potential web design/SEO projects. They then asked for one more edit on his site and asked me to bill them this time. It only took an hour and I billed at $100/hr, so adding in that extra small amount of revenue below.
  • Looking Ahead to Revenue Projections - Despite all of the craziness, March was a solid month where I did around $9,500 or so. My financial services client I closed a few months ago's website is basically finished just wrapping up last minute things so with my recurring rev + the 50% remaining on that, April looks to be at least $8,000 (if I don't close any other deals). Still pushing forward and working to keep scaling things up.
2020 Revenue Tracker: $21,399.33 Revenue / $150,000 Goal

Monthly Recurring Revenue: $4,533 Per Month / $15,000 Per Month Goal
 

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