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GOLD! Moved to Scottsdale, Growing a Web Design Firm

MJ DeMarco

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My best friend’s bachelor party is this weekend so I’m back in the NYC area so that’ll be a fun time.
Oh boy, love to hear the "how's the thing going in AZ? Sad you quit Goldman yet?" comments...
 

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GuitarManDan

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Oh boy, love to hear the "how's the thing going in AZ? Sad you quit Goldman yet?" comments...
Haha here’s a rundown I can think of - there will be friends at this bachelor party who work for:

Morgan Stanley, Goldman, JPmorgan Chase, Citigroup... it’s like an investment banking conference, we’re just missing Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank.

I still have a long way to go but the people who at first said “you’re throwing your life away” keep saying how jealous they are when they hear my schedule and the AZ lifestyle haha
 

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Haha here’s a rundown I can think of - there will be friends at this bachelor party who work for:

Morgan Stanley, Goldman, JPmorgan Chase, Citigroup... it’s like an investment banking conference, we’re just missing Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank.

I still have a long way to go but the people who at first said “you’re throwing your life away” keep saying how jealous they are when they hear my schedule and the AZ lifestyle haha
Let me guess... jealous but not going to do anything about it?

You’re so lucky?
 

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Enjoy your weekend :)
Thank you for this highly motivating and fun to read thread. What a process!
Can't wait to see further progress. Your determination is contagious !
 

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"if you screw us over, we'll destroy your business and reputation".
Jesus. How did you manage not to tell them to f*ck off? Reading how you handled the situation and the advice you got, I've realised I'd be terrible at dealing with clients like that. Very sad that 2 morons try to get advantage from a guy who just wants to do a great job.
 

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Hey Dan, didn't know you had a progress thread here - it's truly an amazing read. I had 2 questions:

1) What has been your prospecting plan? You mentioned cold emails didn't work as well, so you said to stick to cold calls - can you share a bit more how you would approach this if your pipeline dried up again? (# of calls/day, what kind of companies, how you would find them etc.)

I am trying to refine my prospecting strategy - in the past I just did 20 calls/day with not great results, so I am trying to learn what you personally are doing. Also 20 calls doesn't take that much time so I am not sure what do I do for the rest of the day? Did you have a prospecting plan?

2) Do you meet most of your clients in person? I don't live in U.S. and I want to start approaching clients there but I feel like it might be a bit tough to sell huge projects if they never meet me. What has been your experience?

Thanks man!
 

GuitarManDan

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Jesus. How did you manage not to tell them to f*ck off? Reading how you handled the situation and the advice you got, I've realised I'd be terrible at dealing with clients like that. Very sad that 2 morons try to get advantage from a guy who just wants to do a great job.
Hey man, honestly it was pretty difficult but I value my freedom from this business 100000x more than getting a satisfied feeling of telling a few idiots off. It bothered me because usually I'm really good at making sure situations don't escalate to this level. Good learning lesson though, should've been 100% truthful and told them I don't work with clients who threaten to ruin my reputation and who outright say they don't trust me (in a nice way).

Someone pointed out in another thread in one of Fox's groups that the reason they probably were so upset was because:
1. They had a bad experience with their other SEO guy and they projected that on me
2. I've gotten so much better at these in person meetings so they were probably excited because I present myself well and gave them honest feedback of what to expect (which I know I could've helped out with if they weren't crazy).
3. They had HUGE egos (how dare he not work with us... we're great... it must be because he wants to steal our money). In all of the long-winded emails I got, they never considered that I just didn't want to work with them or that it was something about them. It was ALL deflections (money, fake health issues, I wasn't qualified enough, I was shady...).

Regardless, no use beating a dead horse, so far it looks like they didn't trash me on any social media platforms. I may lose a client over it, but the fact that this client is friends with these psychos tells me they may be a bad fit as well (and it's a web design client too so not my main focus for this year).

Hey Dan, didn't know you had a progress thread here - it's truly an amazing read. I had 2 questions:

1) What has been your prospecting plan? You mentioned cold emails didn't work as well, so you said to stick to cold calls - can you share a bit more how you would approach this if your pipeline dried up again? (# of calls/day, what kind of companies, how you would find them etc.)

I am trying to refine my prospecting strategy - in the past I just did 20 calls/day with not great results, so I am trying to learn what you personally are doing. Also 20 calls doesn't take that much time so I am not sure what do I do for the rest of the day? Did you have a prospecting plan?

2) Do you meet most of your clients in person? I don't live in U.S. and I want to start approaching clients there but I feel like it might be a bit tough to sell huge projects if they never meet me. What has been your experience?

Thanks man!
Thanks for the kind words - much appreciated.

1. If you're just starting out, what worked the best for me was networking and cold calling. Sometimes going as crazy as 40-50 calls a day but usually I'd aim for like 10-20 a day. Just remember not to look at this as a static activity. There are so many complex parts going on with cold calling and you can improve and tweak all of them to find out what works for YOU. Examples - prospecting, tone of voice, handling objections, how to get past the gatekeeper, how you present yourself, your call to action, etc. Do 10 calls, record a few and post them in Rob's groups if you're in them and you'll be amazed at the feedback you get - don't do this alone when you have amazing resources all around you.

2. Depends where they're located, even some clients right by where I live (who were younger) didn't want to meet in person. Seems to be a generational thing, which makes sense. My target client is usually a decision maker / biz owner so they are usually 40 - 60 or so, so typically they'd want to meet up. Luckily I can leverage my 5 years of Corporate America to really do well in these in-person meetings and handle objections they have.

It may be a bit tougher, but if you're effectively communicating the value you can bring and how you can solve your problems... people won't care where you're located. For you, I'd say the trust factors are the biggest part because from my experience people in the US may be hesitant of someone overseas just because we're all loss averse and we don't want to pay and have someone run away.

If you're really trying to hustle to bring in clients, maybe add in a clause like you don't pay a thing until the project is completed or a 30 day money back guarantee... basically just something to say "I won't run away with your money and you can trust me".
 

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Hey Everyone,

Quick update from my end - bachelor party was a great time, I think my body gave up on me after being out until 5 am in the casinos for a few nights in a row and getting barely any sleep so I was dealing with a nice fever the last few days so I'm finally back on my feet and back to it.

I'll be flying back to AZ later this week so just working from my family's place on the east coast for now.

Only notable update I can think of for now:

1. Fashion designer's people came back to me basically chasing me asking if I could send over the SEO follow email we discussed so she could present to the fashion designer ($2,200 per month for 12 month contract).

Quickly responded back saying it's odd I sent the email back on April 17th but maybe it went to the spam folder.. and I reattached the email I originally sent to them (more follow up details on what I'd be doing and what it would be for the site I built for them and his brand).

I'm going to give her a call later this afternoon just mentioning that I sent it over right after our call and I wanted to wait a few weeks to follow up since she mentioned the fashion designer was traveling internationally for a while.

Good sign though that they were chasing me... this one would be huge if that goes through - that would lock down total monthly recurring revenue that would surpass my expenses which would be a huge relief.

Just need to be smart with this one and keep pushing forward.
 

GuitarManDan

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@MJ DeMarco - I figured you'd enjoy a quick breakdown of what the bachelor party was like with everyone asking about what I'm doing in AZ and with my business. Here's a quick summary of what happened (keep in mind that everyone is basically working for big investment banks in this group):

1. Everyone telling me how "jealous" they were that I could just drop everything and "try this thing out".

2. "Do a lot of people quit (XYZ Bank I used to work for)?"

3. "Wait, how did you learn coding and all of that stuff.. you didn't go back to school did you?"

4. "Starting a business is really risky" followed by some people throwing out stats like "95% fail in the first year"

5. LOTS of complaining about their jobs, which if I'm being honest, I find myself just not caring and not able to be empathetic to anymore. After seeing what the other side is like and the amazing stories of people on here overcoming the odds, I don't like hearing people complain about a problem but do nothing to fix it. I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I've been busting my a$$ to improve every day and am working towards escaping a miserable situation that I wasn't happy in with my old jobs.

6. "Wait, you don't have any employees yet??"

7. "How much longer do you think you're going to try this thing out for?"

And my personal favorite and this brings me back to my glory days working for that last miserable investment banking job...

8. My best friend (whose bachelor party this was) got an email on Saturday from his Managing Director saying he needed to log on (they knew it was his bachelor party). He was obviously really drunk at this point so he ignored it and he came back to an angry email on Monday saying everyone was "disappointed" and that "a leader needs to step up and they're upset he didn't step up on Saturday".
 

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Ecom man

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So not trying to give you something else to add to your plate as I’m sure you’re busy with what you currently have going but I wanted to reach out with an idea for you.

I run e-commerce sites and came across an ad for a conversion optimization company. That company charges 2k a month for a 3 month term to run conversion optimization on your e-commerce site. They guarantee to increase conversions by 20% after that 3 month term or you get your money back.

When I came across this site I immediately thought of your thread and wanted to pass the info on as the idea is a no brainer from a business owners perspective. I’m currently grossing 50-70k a month (on one site during the non holiday season) a 20% bump in conversions is worth 10-14k a month to me so paying 2k a month is obviously a great ROI.

Just wanted to give you a perspective from a business owner and how you could create some monthly revenue pretty fast at 2k a customer. Heck I would honestly pay double that if they can keep increasing my conversion rates by 20% every 3 month period.
 

Andy Black

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@MJ DeMarco - I figured you'd enjoy a quick breakdown of what the bachelor party was like with everyone asking about what I'm doing in AZ and with my business. Here's a quick summary of what happened (keep in mind that everyone is basically working for big investment banks in this group):

1. Everyone telling me how "jealous" they were that I could just drop everything and "try this thing out".

2. "Do a lot of people quit (XYZ Bank I used to work for)?"

3. "Wait, how did you learn coding and all of that stuff.. you didn't go back to school did you?"

4. "Starting a business is really risky" followed by some people throwing out stats like "95% fail in the first year"

5. LOTS of complaining about their jobs, which if I'm being honest, I find myself just not caring and not able to be empathetic to anymore. After seeing what the other side is like and the amazing stories of people on here overcoming the odds, I don't like hearing people complain about a problem but do nothing to fix it. I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I've been busting my a$$ to improve every day and am working towards escaping a miserable situation that I wasn't happy in with my old jobs.

6. "Wait, you don't have any employees yet??"

7. "How much longer do you think you're going to try this thing out for?"

And my personal favorite and this brings me back to my glory days working for that last miserable investment banking job...

8. My best friend (whose bachelor party this was) got an email on Saturday from his Managing Director saying he needed to log on (they knew it was his bachelor party). He was obviously really drunk at this point so he ignored it and he came back to an angry email on Monday saying everyone was "disappointed" and that "a leader needs to step up and they're upset he didn't step up on Saturday".
Yeah, if you’re not going to do something about it, then stop complaining. If you are going to do something about it, then stop complaining.

Point 8) though... smh. If that doesn’t send him in on the war-path with an envelope in his pocket then I don’t know what will.
 

The Abundant Man

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Hey Dan, didn't know you had a progress thread here - it's truly an amazing read. I had 2 questions:

1) What has been your prospecting plan? You mentioned cold emails didn't work as well, so you said to stick to cold calls - can you share a bit more how you would approach this if your pipeline dried up again? (# of calls/day, what kind of companies, how you would find them etc.)

I am trying to refine my prospecting strategy - in the past I just did 20 calls/day with not great results, so I am trying to learn what you personally are doing. Also 20 calls doesn't take that much time so I am not sure what do I do for the rest of the day? Did you have a prospecting plan?

2) Do you meet most of your clients in person? I don't live in U.S. and I want to start approaching clients there but I feel like it might be a bit tough to sell huge projects if they never meet me. What has been your experience?

Thanks man!
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apNXWyB4mcs
 

Pat D. Rick

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I just read through the whole thread in one go. It's like a good ebook with lots of useful insights and has it's gold status well deserved.

Kinda like my own progress, but I'm just staring out (and not living in Scottsdale). Totally agree that networking events is the best way to find new clients. Nothing's better than human interactions. And a good way to get over my shyness as well.
 

GuitarManDan

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So not trying to give you something else to add to your plate as I’m sure you’re busy with what you currently have going but I wanted to reach out with an idea for you.

I run e-commerce sites and came across an ad for a conversion optimization company. That company charges 2k a month for a 3 month term to run conversion optimization on your e-commerce site. They guarantee to increase conversions by 20% after that 3 month term or you get your money back.

When I came across this site I immediately thought of your thread and wanted to pass the info on as the idea is a no brainer from a business owners perspective. I’m currently grossing 50-70k a month (on one site during the non holiday season) a 20% bump in conversions is worth 10-14k a month to me so paying 2k a month is obviously a great ROI.

Just wanted to give you a perspective from a business owner and how you could create some monthly revenue pretty fast at 2k a customer. Heck I would honestly pay double that if they can keep increasing my conversion rates by 20% every 3 month period.
Hey man,

Thanks for sending this over and I completely agree - in the beginning for SEO I want to charge a minimum of $1,000 per month but as I scale up and start getting great case studies... I definitely want to use the ROI approach instead of just offering packages.

For example like you mentioned, if I'm targeting bigger fish and can show them that in theory, if we move them to the 1st page on Google it will increase their bottom line by $50k a month, it's not crazy for me to charge $5-10k a month.

For now though, I definitely want to avoid any guarantees like that or money back guarantees since it's an algorithm out of my control at the end of the day, but I do agree theoretical value-based pricing will be huge down the road!
 

ChrisGav

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Very inspiring story and interesting time that I found this, currently using codeacademy to get a basic understanding of coding and web design. I am curious though, how did you learn web design to begin all of this? Did you just dive in with no clue what you were doing and learned as you went?
 

GuitarManDan

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Yeah, if you’re not going to do something about it, then stop complaining. If you are going to do something about it, then stop complaining.

Point 8) though... smh. If that doesn’t send him in on the war-path with an envelope in his pocket then I don’t know what will.
Andy I completely agree! Is it sad though that it doesn't surprise me at all? My friend has legitimately worked insane hours for the past 6 years working at this huge bank, but it's never enough. He's worked insane hours on vacation, missed family events, all of that fun stuff.

I'm sure I sound like a broken record and it's probably been included on this progress thread before... but this was my breaking point when I worked in Corporate America:

A pretty close family member passed away very tragically (at age 21) and I put it in the team calendar to take off one day (for the wake + funeral)... the second I put it in the calendar I get a call from someone legitimately 3 levels above me.

This guy had a record with HR with 100s of complaints but he was never fired - basically he was a smart guy who knew exactly what he could/couldn't get away with.

He kept asking "do you think this is the right thing to do?" and "you know it's busy season, right? do you think this is the best time to be missing a day". Keep in mind he clearly knew why I was taking the day off (I asked him when he first questioned why I was taking a day off and he knew why).

Anyway, point of my rambling is that in this world the bachelor party story is nothing new - this is the garbage people put up with every day!
 

Andy Black

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Andy I completely agree! Is it sad though that it doesn't surprise me at all? My friend has legitimately worked insane hours for the past 6 years working at this huge bank, but it's never enough. He's worked insane hours on vacation, missed family events, all of that fun stuff.

I'm sure I sound like a broken record and it's probably been included on this progress thread before... but this was my breaking point when I worked in Corporate America:

A pretty close family member passed away very tragically (at age 21) and I put it in the team calendar to take off one day (for the wake + funeral)... the second I put it in the calendar I get a call from someone legitimately 3 levels above me.

This guy had a record with HR with 100s of complaints but he was never fired - basically he was a smart guy who knew exactly what he could/couldn't get away with.

He kept asking "do you think this is the right thing to do?" and "you know it's busy season, right? do you think this is the best time to be missing a day". Keep in mind he clearly knew why I was taking the day off (I asked him when he first questioned why I was taking a day off and he knew why).

Anyway, point of my rambling is that in this world the bachelor party story is nothing new - this is the garbage people put up with every day!
Are they trying to get people to resign so they don’t have to payout a redundancy package? I don’t understand why they’d treat people like that.
 

The Abundant Man

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"do you think this is the right thing to do?"

Me:"Do you think this is the wrong thing to do?



"you know it's busy season, right? do you think this is the best time to be missing a day".
Me: "I thought this was lazy season. You're right though. This isn't the best time to miss my friends funeral. Well, gotta get busy."
 

GuitarManDan

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Are they trying to get people to resign so they don’t have to payout a redundancy package? I don’t understand why they’d treat people like that.
The same way you and any normal person would drop everything for a family emergency... that’s how they view work.

Work is everything - personal problems don’t matter, health problems don’t matter... you’re “lucky” to have this “amazing” job that others would kill for.

It’s just a crapshoot when you work for these big companies. If your manager and the higher ups are reasonable, it’s a reasonable environment.

My first job on Wall Street the executive director for my group was a no BS and tough guy but if you were on his good side and got stuff done he treated you with so much respect.

I’ll never forget my first Christmas Eve working he came to my desk at like 10 am, asked what my plans were, if my work was done and then emphasized “go home and be with family, don’t just sit here for the sake of sitting here”.

Unfortunately those types seem to be a dying breed, but it’s a crapshoot because you can just as easily have a crazy boss that thinks work is everything and everything else comes 2nd
 

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GuitarManDan

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Me: "I thought this was lazy season. You're right though. This isn't the best time to miss my friends funeral. Well, gotta get busy."
Haha yeah seriously I was tempted to tell him off.

Not to get too personal but it was a close younger cousin so it wasn’t even like a distant friend.
 

The Abundant Man

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Haha yeah seriously I was tempted to tell him off.

Not to get too personal but it was a close younger cousin so it wasn’t even like a distant friend.
3 days ago

What is something you wish you had that money can never buy?

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Time. I love meaningful work and meaningful relationships and I never have enough time to have as much of them as I would like.


-Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Hedgefund as part of a Reditt Ask Me Anything
 

Jeff Noel

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Hey man,
For example like you mentioned, if I'm targeting bigger fish and can show them that in theory, if we move them to the 1st page on Google it will increase their bottom line by $50k a month, it's not crazy for me to charge $5-10k a month.

For now though, I definitely want to avoid any guarantees like that or money back guarantees since it's an algorithm out of my control at the end of the day, but I do agree theoretical value-based pricing will be huge down the road!
Just an idea, but you could offer a money back guarantee on the first month only for those bigger contracts. You could also offer a no-fee contract break during the first two months if they are not satisfied with your service. At 5-10K/mo, you can deliver a 100% customized SEO plan for them with a big ad included within that price, if you feel like jumping into SEM.
 

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What an amazing thread! Great story. Well done for smashing it in the face.

I looked up Scottsdale online and I can see why people want to live there. I've been to Arizona before and had fond memories.

Can I ask, why did you go into web design? You've done great going from banking to web design, just curious as to why you chose that over everything.
 

GuitarManDan

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What an amazing thread! Great story. Well done for smashing it in the face.

I looked up Scottsdale online and I can see why people want to live there. I've been to Arizona before and had fond memories.

Can I ask, why did you go into web design? You've done great going from banking to web design, just curious as to why you chose that over everything.
Hey man - I had a few criteria and web design fit it perfectly:

-Freedom/flexibility to work anywhere with Internet connection
-Quick to startup (wouldn't have to wait years to be profitable)
-Overhead is basically non existent, don't have to burn through cash to set up the foundation

It was tough, I think every single new person on this forum has the same question "what do I choose". I read MJ's book, got excited and then it hit me... what the hell do I do now?

At the end of the day, you just have to make an educated decision and stick with it.
 

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Hey Everyone,

OK, time for some tough love for myself. Regardless of what's happened in the past few months (random health issues, surgeries, etc) I have a goal and I need to put my head down and make this happen.

I just flew back to AZ last night and am working on some planning for the week and the next month or so to make this happen. Here's what I'm thinking to make $10k in monthly recurring rev. happen by June 30th of this year.

Here's where we stand:

  • Goal: $10k per month
  • Current: $2k per month (difference of $8k per month)
  • Average Client Value will be around $1,250 per month
  • Client Needed: Approximately 6
Current Pipeline:

  1. Previous web design client (Investment Firm) - verbally agreed to $1,150 per month (have a call with him tomorrow actually) where things should kick off. However, although this is one of my favorite clients because he's a great guy, he is good for his word but he delays things a lot so I'm not going to have my hopes too high that this closes tomorrow.
  2. Previous web design client (Fashion Designer) - this would be absolutely huge, I pitched them to help with SEO for $2,250 per month for a 12 month contract. I completely sold his right-hand man on it, but he is going to present it to the fashion designer this upcoming week. Basically, this guy is absolutely loaded so he flat out told me money isn't an issue, and I know the put myself in a great spot to really show the value. They also know, like and trust me since we've worked together so fingers crossed this one goes through... would be huge.
  3. New prospect (Investment Firm in Scottsdale) - when doing outreach, have had 2 phone calls with a biz owner who said he's very interested in moving forward in having me redo the website (pitched for $4-7k) and SEO (packages from like $1k to 3k per month). No idea when this one would kick off and if this goes through, I'd have to do the website first so realistically it would have to close very fast for me to get this in time for my June 30th deadline.
  4. New prospect (Law Firm in Scottsdale) - when doing outreach, owner responded and said he's be interested in $1,000 per month SEO work for maybe 3-4 months just to see how it goes and then take it from there.

Next Steps:

The above 4 are the most promising but there are a lot more in the pipeline as well that I need to follow up with. I think it's safe to assume that since I need 6 clients, I will get at least 2 from the current pipeline.

That means I will need to get 4 new clients from networking/outreach/referrals/etc by June 30th of this year.

  • So far, when doing batches of outreach, I've gotten probably an average of 1 new client for each batch (typically reaching out to 10-25 businesses). This outreach is highly targeted and I'm using a strategy where I provide a detailed audit for the business that gets a much higher response rate (and takes me way more time).
  • Following that logic, if I do 4 batches of big outreach that should yield me 4 new clients for SEO. Now, I need to get that out ASAP since it obviously isn't instant and the buying cycle is usually a few weeks to a month or so.

Strategic Plan:

  • For the month of May, reach out to approximately 60 more businesses with my highly-targeted outreach approach (and be sure to follow up appropriately) to secure the 4 new clients, plus keep following up with the pipeline to lock in the other 2 clients.
It's ambitious, but I'm so damn close to going from ok monthly revenue to locked in solid 5 figures a month recurring revenue.

I'll just keep my focus on that goal for now, but after hitting the $10k per month mark I'll reanalyze and determine what my goal is to hit in MRR by Dec 31st of this year.

Will keep everyone posted!
 

Zcott

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Hey man - I had a few criteria and web design fit it perfectly:

-Freedom/flexibility to work anywhere with Internet connection
-Quick to startup (wouldn't have to wait years to be profitable)
-Overhead is basically non existent, don't have to burn through cash to set up the foundation

It was tough, I think every single new person on this forum has the same question "what do I choose". I read MJ's book, got excited and then it hit me... what the hell do I do now?

At the end of the day, you just have to make an educated decision and stick with it.
Did you know anything about web design beforehand? I can't imagine a banker knowing a great deal on web design on paper, which makes your story all the more impressive.

To be honest, I have a somewhat similar service to yours. I sell web design services but I outsource it to a friend of mine who knows how to do that. I trust him, he's been doing it for years, but I'm not 100% comfortable with it because I don't have the control, I'm losing revenue paying him, and the sites he can do aren't in the high end range.

I've been mulling over learning coding and web design but wasn't sure if I was falling into action faking when I should be focusing on sales or whatever. But after reading your amazing thread, and just listening to The Millionaire Fastlane where MJ says he learnt to code a site because he had to, I have no real excuse not to myself.

Really enjoying your story. Keep up the good work!
 

GuitarManDan

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Did you know anything about web design beforehand? I can't imagine a banker knowing a great deal on web design on paper, which makes your story all the more impressive.

To be honest, I have a somewhat similar service to yours. I sell web design services but I outsource it to a friend of mine who knows how to do that. I trust him, he's been doing it for years, but I'm not 100% comfortable with it because I don't have the control, I'm losing revenue paying him, and the sites he can do aren't in the high end range.

I've been mulling over learning coding and web design but wasn't sure if I was falling into action faking when I should be focusing on sales or whatever. But after reading your amazing thread, and just listening to The Millionaire Fastlane where MJ says he learnt to code a site because he had to, I have no real excuse not to myself.

Really enjoying your story. Keep up the good work!
Nope, didn't know anything at all - took @Fox 's intro courses and one on udemy. I was so miserable at my job I would leave early (and piss off all of my management) at like 5 pm and spend 3-4 hours every single night learning how to code and other basic business things I'd need to learn (marketing, sales, etc).

I probably did this for easily 3-4 months... people always ask me how I had the motivation to do that, but honestly it was effortless because I hated my job and current situation so much I knew this was my light at the end of the tunnel.
 

Zcott

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Nope, didn't know anything at all - took @Fox 's intro courses and one on udemy. I was so miserable at my job I would leave early (and piss off all of my management) at like 5 pm and spend 3-4 hours every single night learning how to code and other basic business things I'd need to learn (marketing, sales, etc).

I probably did this for easily 3-4 months... people always ask me how I had the motivation to do that, but honestly it was effortless because I hated my job and current situation so much I knew this was my light at the end of the tunnel.
That's really cool. Well done.

And I feel you. That sounds like how I feel about my current situation. Except my background isn't banking but legal. I spent so much time being a wantrepreneur but now I leave work right on 5, come home, and just work. Refuse to let myself go to bed before I've finished my current task.

@Fox's work is really great. His sales video have helped me in the past, so it's no surprise you got value from his courses as well.

Keep up the great work, Sir. :) Hope you exceed all of your targets!
 

Taebaek

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Nope, didn't know anything at all - took @Fox 's intro courses and one on udemy. I was so miserable at my job I would leave early (and piss off all of my management) at like 5 pm and spend 3-4 hours every single night learning how to code and other basic business things I'd need to learn (marketing, sales, etc).

I probably did this for easily 3-4 months... people always ask me how I had the motivation to do that, but honestly it was effortless because I hated my job and current situation so much I knew this was my light at the end of the tunnel.
I am doing right now the same. My supervisors are a bit upset with that, but I am too good at what I am doing, and they have a hard time themselves, because the big boss is angry and there are a lot of problems in the office (caused by that man himself) ... so they never force me to work more at the office.
As a lawyer who financed his education working for EDS (long time ago) I am computer affine and right now learn Programming from scratch again from 9 pm to about 1 am; after I brought my kids to bed.

I think this is the only way to gain "power" over the rat race and to change things if you cought up with responsibilities.
 

GuitarManDan

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I am doing right now the same. My supervisors are a bit upset with that, but I am too good at what I am doing, and they have a hard time themselves, because the big boss is angry and there are a lot of problems in the office (caused by that man himself) ... so they never force me to work more at the office.
As a lawyer who financed his education working for EDS (long time ago) I am computer affine and right now learn Programming from scratch again from 9 pm to about 1 am; after I brought my kids to bed.

I think this is the only way to gain "power" over the rat race and to change things if you cought up with responsibilities.
Right there with you man, I was always one of the top performers (not trying to brag or boast, it just makes my story even more frustrating) because I would get so much crap for leaving at 5 PM (when I finished my work at like noon) and others would get praised for dragging their feet all day and staying in the office until 9 PM.

It would drive my management crazy because I would get compliments all the time from people way higher up at the company than they were so they couldn't get too angry but they absolutely hated that I'd leave at like 5 pm... kept saying I was a "bad influence for the rest of the team"... what a joke.

I've always been a quick learner and I was always a top performer for all of the banking jobs I had... so I looked at it and after reading MJ's books I figured I knew I believed in myself and whatever industry I chose I would kill it, why work for someone else and have a cap on what I make?
 

Twiizlar

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Hey Everyone,

OK, time for some tough love for myself. Regardless of what's happened in the past few months (random health issues, surgeries, etc) I have a goal and I need to put my head down and make this happen.

I just flew back to AZ last night and am working on some planning for the week and the next month or so to make this happen. Here's what I'm thinking to make $10k in monthly recurring rev. happen by June 30th of this year.

Here's where we stand:

  • Goal: $10k per month
  • Current: $2k per month (difference of $8k per month)
  • Average Client Value will be around $1,250 per month
  • Client Needed: Approximately 6
Current Pipeline:

  1. Previous web design client (Investment Firm) - verbally agreed to $1,150 per month (have a call with him tomorrow actually) where things should kick off. However, although this is one of my favorite clients because he's a great guy, he is good for his word but he delays things a lot so I'm not going to have my hopes too high that this closes tomorrow.
  2. Previous web design client (Fashion Designer) - this would be absolutely huge, I pitched them to help with SEO for $2,250 per month for a 12 month contract. I completely sold his right-hand man on it, but he is going to present it to the fashion designer this upcoming week. Basically, this guy is absolutely loaded so he flat out told me money isn't an issue, and I know the put myself in a great spot to really show the value. They also know, like and trust me since we've worked together so fingers crossed this one goes through... would be huge.
  3. New prospect (Investment Firm in Scottsdale) - when doing outreach, have had 2 phone calls with a biz owner who said he's very interested in moving forward in having me redo the website (pitched for $4-7k) and SEO (packages from like $1k to 3k per month). No idea when this one would kick off and if this goes through, I'd have to do the website first so realistically it would have to close very fast for me to get this in time for my June 30th deadline.
  4. New prospect (Law Firm in Scottsdale) - when doing outreach, owner responded and said he's be interested in $1,000 per month SEO work for maybe 3-4 months just to see how it goes and then take it from there.

Next Steps:

The above 4 are the most promising but there are a lot more in the pipeline as well that I need to follow up with. I think it's safe to assume that since I need 6 clients, I will get at least 2 from the current pipeline.

That means I will need to get 4 new clients from networking/outreach/referrals/etc by June 30th of this year.

  • So far, when doing batches of outreach, I've gotten probably an average of 1 new client for each batch (typically reaching out to 10-25 businesses). This outreach is highly targeted and I'm using a strategy where I provide a detailed audit for the business that gets a much higher response rate (and takes me way more time).
  • Following that logic, if I do 4 batches of big outreach that should yield me 4 new clients for SEO. Now, I need to get that out ASAP since it obviously isn't instant and the buying cycle is usually a few weeks to a month or so.

Strategic Plan:

  • For the month of May, reach out to approximately 60 more businesses with my highly-targeted outreach approach (and be sure to follow up appropriately) to secure the 4 new clients, plus keep following up with the pipeline to lock in the other 2 clients.
It's ambitious, but I'm so damn close to going from ok monthly revenue to locked in solid 5 figures a month recurring revenue.

I'll just keep my focus on that goal for now, but after hitting the $10k per month mark I'll reanalyze and determine what my goal is to hit in MRR by Dec 31st of this year.

Will keep everyone posted!
How are you doing the SEO audits for the outreach? Are you using an automated tool like SEOptimer or do you have craft each one.

Also, I heard that people don't open emails from people they don't know if it has an attachment.
 

srodrigo

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@GuitarManDan Sorry if I missed this from previous comments, but I've got a few questions about your SEO monthly services:
  • What do you do exactly? Is that something like making sure SEO keeps improving?
  • How much work/time does it take you? I really like the recurring revenue approach compared to one-off jobs only
  • Related to the question above, are you outsourcing anything at the moment? Sounds like building the websites plus the monthly services would eventually overload your schedule. How do you plan to scale this?
EDIT: Typos.
 

GuitarManDan

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@GuitarManDan Sorry if I missed this from previous comments, but I've got a few questions about your SEO monthly services:
  • What do you do exactly? Is that something like making sure SEO keeps improving?
  • How much work/time does it take you? I really like the recurring revenue approach compared to one-off jobs only
  • Related to the question above, are you outsourcing anything at the moment? Sounds like building the websites plus the monthly services would eventually overload your schedule. How do you plan to scale this?
EDIT: Typos.
Hey man, so to answer your question... my goal is to bring in so much business I force my hand to start outsourcing. I'm basically almost at capacity now (doing a few web projects and a few SEO clients), I could probably bring on 1-2 more SEO clients before I "need" to outsource.

To keep it as simple as possible, at first it's on-page SEO and optimizing their page layout, speed, content, etc and then on a monthly basis it's off-page SEO and link building. That's the way I learned it in the SEO course that I took and that's what I'm implementing.

The way it's structured, it seems to be more work in the beginning which is why you want to set up longer monthly contracts. I will scale it by outsourcing a lot of the minutiae that takes up wayy too much time, most around content writing and link building. Also probably eventually the initial on-page SEO fix ups.
 

GuitarManDan

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Hey All,

Alright, today (and yesterday) was the first day of all out going crazy work to bring in new clients. A few updates from my end:

  1. Called my former finance client, still waiting to hear back.
  2. Called the potential lawyer SEO client, we set up a time to speak tomorrow morning.
  3. Did 15 in-depth SEO audits (takes around an hour to 90 mins to do 5 or so) and sent those out.
  4. Followed up via phone calls with 10 previously-sent SEO audits
  5. Don't want to chase too aggressively with a few potential pipeline clients (fashion designer's right-hand contact said she would speak with the guy himself this week to pitch the SEO services and still waiting to hear back from a prospect who was interested in a site redesign + monthly SEO).
Really glad with how much I've gotten done today, I had to go to a weekly networking meeting and a final follow up with my surgeon so I had to wake up early (and work after those too) to really get everything done that I needed to.

Will keep everyone posted as I learn more, but just going to keep my head down and keep grinding away.
 

GuitarManDan

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Hey All,

In the spirit of being as transparent as possible, this week was definitely a mixed bag. Here's a list of what went well and what challenges presented themselves with the business / leads:

Challenges That Came Up:

  • A really solid promising lead ($1k per month for SEO) lawyer told me he was ready to move forward last week after doing outreach to show him issues with his site. I called him up and finally got in touch and he gave me the dreaded "I have your email, I'll reach out to you" when he was back in the office after taking a trip abroad this weekend. I'm going to handle this one by giving it some time (probably later next week) I'll send a super high value email that shows him a competitor analysis of why his competitor's sites are outranking his and what it means for his bottom line.
  • Another solid lead ($2.2k per month for SEO) former web design fashion design client had a call with me today. It was the fashion designer's manager and their consultant who does social media / PPC for them... and it seemed like the social media contact wanted to really seem like the expert and just grilled me on what exactly I'd be doing for SEO and asked why the price was so steep. Not going to lie, I basically got beaten up on the call.. it's tough when I am still really learning how to deliver for SEO so I can't speak about it as intelligently or as confidently as I'd like. They basically framed it like I didn't have to do any link building at all because "they could do it themselves" and they want me to repitch it with a big "initial setup" and then a smaller monthly amount for basically just doing metrics and such and other keyword research. I'm working with @Fox and a few others for how to really reframe this and have a winning strategy in place to see how I should frame it and what I should charge.

What Went Well:

  • Met with my biggest SEO client ($1500/month) in person. Their office is within walking distance and they asked if I could come in sometime this week to explain a question they had. I wanted to provide amazing customer service and not blow them off now that they were a client so I came in that afternoon. They were really thankful for that and they told me they were getting some leads coming in from the SEO campaign so they were really happy with how it was going. Great to really deliver and know they are happy.
  • My other SEO client ($500/month) got some great high quality backlinks and she's really happy to see her business mentioned and published in these really relevant online blogs.
  • One of my former web design clients basically agreed to move forward with some additional work (setting up email drip campaigns, some site edits, etc) for $1150 per month (things should kick off around May 29th). Not official yet, but seems pretty solid.
  • Although it didn't lead to any solid leads yet, I really put my head down and got stuff down with outreach and follow ups (emails, calls, etc).

Anyway, I'm so mentally drained, I was so optimistic this was going to be a huge week and I really thought I'd make the leap from $2k per month to around $5.2k per month, so definitely challenging but just going to keep pushing forward and accept weeks like this are just a part of the grind.

Going to log off for the weekend, having a party tonight at my place with some friends so that'll be nice to unwind. Back to the grind tomorrow but for now going to give myself the rest of the night off.

Looking like barring an unexpected sale, May will be around $3.2k in revenue brought into the business.
 

Andy Black

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This stuff shouldn’t mentally drain you.

1) They’re not a client till the money is in your account. No matter how promising anything is, it can fall through at the last minute. I accept this as normal and label them a prospect until I see the money in my account.

2) Make sure you spend most of your time helping the clients where they see the value in what you do. This will keep your spirits up, it will delight them even more, and it will pay off when (not if) they start singing your praises.

3) “Always be closing” to me means keep on moving. That lawyer who put it on ice? My reply would be: “Great. Just circle back when you’re ready.” There’s someone up the road who will bite your hand off. You job is to find them.
 

GrandRub

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@Andy Black i really really like your approach just to move forward and be optimistic about your service and the value behind it. that is refreshingly different from that whole "grind,hustle" pushy salesman stuff.
 

Andy Black

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GuitarManDan

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This stuff shouldn’t mentally drain you.

1) They’re not a client till the money is in your account. No matter how promising anything is, it can fall through at the last minute. I accept this as normal and label them a prospect until I see the money in my account.

2) Make sure you spend most of your time helping the clients where they see the value in what you do. This will keep your spirits up, it will delight them even more, and it will pay off when (not if) they start singing your praises.

3) “Always be closing” to me means keep on moving. That lawyer who put it on ice? My reply would be: “Great. Just circle back when you’re ready.” There’s someone up the road who will bite your hand off. You job is to find them.
Hey Andy - I completely agree, it was just a long week haha, but I've found obviously stuff like this is to be expected and like you mentioned, you just need to keep on moving forward and finding the people who are in desperate need for the services that I can provide.

You're right though, it's a losing mentality to be in the "chase" mindset where I'm running after these leads instead of just offering value and seeing who is interested.

I want to be really ambitious and really go after this goal of monthly income that's approaching pretty fast, so cancelled some social plans today to work on more outreach and tweaking my approach a little bit from learning from other's feedback and what's worked / what hasn't.
 

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