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GOLD! Moved to Scottsdale, Growing a Web Design Firm

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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    $8,000/mo, living in sunshine, setting your own hours, killing your own work... thread updated to GOLD. Congrats man, sorry it took me awhile to catch up on your progress.

    I've so freaking excited for ya.

    And hearing the family coming around as well is great news. Talk is cheap, done is expensive. And you've done done. ;-)
     
  2. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks so much MJ! End of Feb will mark a year since I moved out here... it's been quite the amazing experience so far.

    Not just challenging myself with the business, but taking more chances making lots of great new friends and just making it all work out here starting out from nothing.

    Going to keep pushing myself and working smart to bring the business to the next level this year!
     
    MTEE1985, Sheens and GregDott like this.
  3. InspireHD
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    InspireHD Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Dan, you mentioned doing SEO for a personal training gym. Do you have a recommendation for a course that you use and like? I just finished a site for a friend who does personal training and he doesn’t believe he will get any traffic. I’m trying to prove him wrong and set him up with some good SEO.

    Even an online resource would be great. I was searching around yesterday but wasn’t coming up with anything substantial. I also didn’t have a lot of time.

    Thanks.
     
  4. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey man,

    The one I went with was pretty pricey but it was highly recommended and even one SEO deal would make the course pay for itself 10x over.

    If you don't want to break the bank you could look into some starter ones in Udemy. I'd just filter by top rated ones and go with one that isn't too pricey as a good intro.

    There's a lot of moving parts so I think it's key to put in the work to cover things like how to do keyword research, on page SEO, off page SEO, etc. Feel free to send me a private message and I can explain a little more.
     
    InspireHD and Fox like this.
  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 All,

    In order to hold myself accountable, I want to put down in writing another goal that I was speaking with @Fox about last week as I'm putting all of my efforts into getting monthly recurring revenue SEO clients this year (and will also continue to bring on web design clients as one-off projects too, just will be putting most of my outreach efforts into SEO):

    In addition to my goal of hitting $100k in 2019 of revenue, another goal I'm going to work to achieve and make it happen:

    Hit $10k / month in recurring revenue by June 30th, 2019 with SEO clients

    Here's where I currently stand with recurring rev clients with some quick updates on a few proposals that I sent out last week:

    1. Financial Services Firm: Pitched them $5k/month for SEO, in-depth marketing and a bunch of other services. Sent a quick chaser email as I hadn't heard back (not surprising, they have been pretty slow to move throughout this process).

    The CEO got back to me and said they are traveling across the country to work their team in California and haven't had a chance to review/discuss my proposal. They will review in mid Feb and get back to me from there.

    2. Personal Training Gym:
    Pitched them $1.5k/month for SEO. My tracking extension in my business Gmail tells me that they've viewed it, but I'll give it at least a full week before sending over a quick chaser email.

    Their SEO is currently really rough so I know I could add huge value and help them out.

    3. Other Pipeline: I realized that all of last year with all of the outreach I did for web design... this represents a huge opportunity to sell SEO services to those same businesses.

    I've basically been building out a list on an Excel spreadsheet of businesses to reach out to (starting with the most likely candidates) and doing an SEO audit of all the companies to have concrete facts when I call them and bring this up. Basically reaching out to the following businesses (from easiest to toughest to sell):

    A. Current web design clients
    B. Personal businesses I've been a client of (dentists, doctors, etc)
    C. Close networking business owners I know
    D. Business owners that were friendly/responsive but didn't need web design services

    Will keep everyone posted, but I have a really good feeling about this - now it's time to take massive action and make it happen.
     
    MTEE1985, Eskil, Bdenner64 and 5 others like this.
  6. Exhosa
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    Great progress, congrats! Looking forward to regular updates. Best of luck!
     
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  7. Mr. Wick
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    Hey @GuitarManDan,

    Really inspirational thread - keep killing it out there in Scottsdale. I was born and raised in Queens (still living here) and quit my high paying law firm job to start an SEO/PPC business (I'm actually 27 as well - maybe we can grab a drink the next time you come back).

    Could you share your process for finding contacts to cold email? (i.e. How did you find the financial services firm). For instance, I'd like to target all solar installation companies across the U.S. - is there any method to the madness that you can recommend?

    Also, what CRM are you using?
     
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  8. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks!

    To keep it simple, it's just choosing a niche (like you've already done) and then finding potential clients where you could add value.

    Honestly, I really am not a fan of cold emailing, I probably sent out 500-600 (from my tracking in 2018) and I closed 1 client (would be 2 if I close this financial services firm). It's not efficient and really scalable.

    I'd recommend networking which has worked well for me and cold calling (wasn't a big fan of that too but it did work once I really got into it).

    The best has to be personal connections of people that really know you know. For a CRM, I got a Gmail add on called Streak that's super simple and was actually made originally as a way to track emails but it also has a simple CRM functionality to it that works well for me.
     
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  9. MJ DeMarco
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    Another strategy that used to work for me is to become a customer of your target...

    For instance if you hired a plumber to fix the toilet and their website stunk, you'd have a "IN" to make a proposal. "Hey, I'm your customer and I noticed that..."

    I remember this worked for me way back in the day...

    If you eat at any restaurant, you have this "IN"... "they other day I ate at your restaurant and ..."
     
  10. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey MJ - that’s actually what I’ve been doing too this year.

    Trying to think of any business I’m a customer of and that gets me an easier in with the owner.

    I’ve been reaching out to doctors, dentists, accountants, etc that I was/am a customer of who have awful SEO where I know I can add value and giving them a quick rundown of where they stand and what their top competitors are doing.

    Figured this way my chances improve as I’m not some random guy reaching out and I’ll be way more efficient with my outreach.
     
  11. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey All,

    Quick update from my side in terms of where I currently stand as an overview for the business so far:

    Outstanding Projects:

    1. CPA Website Redesign in Scottsdale - probably roughly 90% completed, it's busy tax season and he wanted to edit some of the copy for the site so once I get that back then it's just ensuring everything transfers over smoothly.

    2. Financial Services Firm in Chicago - provided the first draft months ago but he's been super busy and said we may have to push it until April to get things going again. He also mentioned that he's very particular about the graphic design aspect so he asked if we can bring in a graphic designer for this project.

    Current Proposals

    1. Personal Training Gym in Scottsdale - quoted $1,500/month for SEO services. The owner got back to me and said it was out of his budget but I plan on following back up in 6 months as you never know and we had good rapport.

    2. Financial Services Firm in Austin - quoted $5,000/month for a bunch of services (mainly around SEO and Overall Marketing). The owner mentioned they are getting back from a work trip this week so they will get back to me sometime later in the week I'd assume.

    Pipeline Projects

    1. Current Fashion Design Client - saw a huge opportunity as this client is very wealthy and really is putting a lot of time investment into the site I built for them. They're all really happy with my work so I'm going to draft up a proposal for SEO/general strategy work for them today and then create maybe 3 tiered pricing (all including SEO). Need to really focus on this one and get a solid proposal together as I really see a lot of areas I could add value and they know the quality of my work already and have enjoyed working with me.

    2. Doctor's Office - Networking Connection - went to a BNI group as a guest and one of the doctor's actually reached out to me. They just started their practice and their website and SEO are really rough so he wanted to learn more about my services and how I may be able to help out.

    Already did an audit for them of their SEO, website, and their top competitors in the area that I'm going to go over with the owner over coffee tomorrow and then follow up with a proposal for most likely SEO (if it's a good fit).

    Will keep everyone posted but really excited that big things are happening soon.

    Goal Check-Ins:

    Current goals for 2019 and their statuses

    1. $100k Revenue (currently locked in around over $8,000 in Jan and still have $3,500 outstanding with other projects)

    2. $10k/month locked in monthly recurring revenue by June 30th, 2019 - lots of huge potential proposals out there and will be sent out this week but nothing set in stone yet

    3. First monthly recurring SEO client locked down in Feb - TBD, but still waiting on proposals and a few other pipeline clients.
     
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  12. Alex123
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    Well done. Definitely following this. I'm currently interested in starting my own SMMA and am reading through threads like this to learn the best ways to acquire customers!
     
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  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 a quick update as we're almost near the end of February. I've spent this month almost entirely building out SEO and monthly recurring revenue client leads reaching out to my network of people that I've built up over the past year or so (past clients, past networking connections, etc).

    Last time I had this feeling, I went on to close those two huge web design deals in the same week... but I just know I'm so damn close to a huge breakthrough right now with my business.

    These are all of the pending pitches that I have sent out and with some quick feedback on each unique case.

    Pitched SEO/Monthly Client Pitches:

    1. Doctor's Office from Networking - $500/month SEO
    - met with the owner, got some background on his business. He doesn't have the budget as he's just starting out for a lot so I reduced the scope and offered him $500/month for a 12 month contract.

    2. Retirement Planning Firm, Previous Web Design Client - $1,200/month SEO - I met with him in person as I was back home visiting family. He really liked the pitch and really wants to work with me again, but he asked if we could do the SEO stuff later and for now work together to focus on more short term goals (mainly, building out more content on his blog which helps with SEO anyway and basically getting the systems in place so that he can handle the increased volume of customers that would come with SEO work).

    3. Financial Services Firm, Previous Contact - $5,000/month for Marketing and SEO - CEO just got back from a business trip. Trying to decide when I should send a friendly chaser but obviously don't want to appear to be desperate or anything like that. Will probably wait till the end of the week.

    4. Fashion Designer, Previous Web Design Client - $2,200 to $6,000/month for SEO and other Monthly Services (gave different packages) - they're still reviewing as they have a crazy busy week (the designer's new book is coming out soon and they're gearing up for that). Haven't heard back yet on this one.

    I don't want to ramble on so I won't get into more specifics but I also have some organic web design leads coming in too which is great (since I can place all of my outreach focus on the SEO monthly recurring contracts).

    On top of that, still attending around 2 networking events per week and still doing some client work here and there for current clients and edits (that I'm charging for) for previous clients.

    The revenue number collected is still the same but I will invoice for around $600-800 for additional edits on one client site (I'm getting a great hourly rate and they are a pleasure to work with so I don't mind).

    Goal Setting

    This year I really want to be sure that I'm not just putting my head down and grinding away at the work and not seeing the big picture.

    I want to think bigger, I want to make the most out of this amazing opportunity and I want to really blow the business up this year.

    I still think reaching $10,000 per month locked in by June 30th of this year is solid because when I do that, I can reevaluate and set goals even higher for what monthly recurring revenue number I want to hit before the end of 2019.

    Other Fastlaners in Scottsdale

    Most importantly, this year I want to take advantage of the fact that I live in such an amazing area for being an entrepreneur and even on these forums alone there are so many amazing entrepreneurs who I'd have so much to learn from.

    I know @Eskil does a great job of bringing people together so I want to make sure I really put the effort and time in to meet a lot more people out here and learn all that I can from their stories and experiences of successes and challenges.
     
    Solid Snake, Eskil and BlackMagician like this.
  14. BlackMagician
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    BlackMagician Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    First of All, Congratulations for your success buddy.
    You are very much live example of how to build a business from scratch. Glad to read about your hustle.

    As i read, you could be getting many SEO related work which will be monthly basis. so, have you hired/made a team to handle this or you will be doing it yourself?

    What will you advice a fellow like me who is hustling in the same business, working 9-5 along with that. I have some success, many failures as of now in my 4 months efforts. The difficulty i am facing is being Consistent. Being there. Daily.

    Family, Job, comes in between way too much and i get distracted. Though, making all the efforts to sail through all this. I am just going slowly and steady pace.

    If you shed some light on my progress thread and skim through it and give some feedback and suggestions to do it better, i will appreciate. I will ask to skim through only last two months progress because early posts are just fillers.

    Thanks for reading. I will be following you progress!
     
  15. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey man,

    Thanks for the kind words - and yep, still just prospects but I'm so close to a huge breakthrough with the monthly contracts.

    I will be handling everything myself for SEO. Similar to way I did it with web design, I want to become an expert first with SEO before I really outsource (as then I would know what to look for with good vs. bad SEO contractors).

    Of course if this blows up more than I can handle as just myself I would definitely outsource parts that were simpler, but I want to keep it all in house for now as I really learn and grow.

    I'll take a look at your progress thread but I really wouldn't want to give generic advice (ex. definitely quit your job or definitely go into XYZ business) as everyone's situation is unique.

    It was EXTREMELY difficult for me to quit my job and move out when I had such a "good" setup from outside perspectives. It's amazing how comfortable we all get in bad situations just because they're familiar.

    Looking back, it seems like a miracle that I made it out of that toxic environment. "I can't move away from my family"... "what will people think"... "what if I fail?"... "what if I regret this for the rest of my life?"... "it's really not that bad".

    After months and months of convincing myself it was the right thing to do, I was surprised how dramatic people were (I always thought maybe it was just all in my head). I know I've said it before, but I always crack up looking back now at all of the people saying I was "throwing my life away". And look, I'm not at the point where I can sit around on the beach all day but I have my freedom and I know I'm going to make this work and make way more than I ever did at my old jobs.

    Even after some moderate success, those same people have been saying "I didn't think you'd get this lucky" or "how can I do what you're doing?"

    Point of my rambling is that whatever choice you make isn't going to be easy, I didn't have a family depending on me and it was still extremely difficult for me, so you have to figure out what you really want and make the best decision for your situation.
     
  16. huseyin
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    hey man, I'm already inspired by your journey and would like to start my own. I have a question tho, are you doing everything yourself (webdevelopment/design) or do you hire someone? if you do it yourself, which courses do you recommend to learn the stuff that is needed.

    I would really appreciate your help and advice.

    warm regards
     
  17. BlackMagician
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    BlackMagician Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks Man. Do have a look and give your feedback there. (Progress Thread)
    Yes, my situation is quite unique.
    Bingo! But my questions are little weird. "I don't want to move away from my family and work somewhere else"..."what if i fail"..."what will happen of my family if i don't succeed?"... and so on.

    Haha. I am not there yet. But started hearing from others "Your current job is very easy that's why you can work on side business"... "you have skills of website/seo/digital marketing/ so its easy for you to do business without money" ... "we have pressure in our life, you don't".

    I know, it's difficult. I have family who is dependent on me. Parents, sis, brother and there studies. I am the oldest son, being 25yrs old now.
    Here in India, our tradition is to stay in one family. Very very difficult to leave the job and work on something foreign and have 'risk' because of scripted mindset here. That's why i am trying to achieve some moderate success and recurring clients till the end of the year to assure my family and myself that i can do better on my own instead of typical 'Job'.

    Waiting for your helpful reply in my thread. Right now, working with consistency is the major issue. or so called 'Habit'. Reading Atomic Habit and trying to implement the actions.
     

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