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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. DrunkFish
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    DrunkFish Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Do you ever have trouble keeping up with all the work or delivering the SEO results and such? Sounds pretty intense! This is legit my fav thread though. You've been kicking a$$. I think I have trouble focusing moreso than others. Never tried Adderall but I was diagnosed with ADD as a kid and I think its been haunting me lol
     
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  2. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Not yet, but I'm expecting things to really ramp up over the next few months! That being said, I want to bring in so much business I basically force my hand to have to outsource.

    The SEO course and methodology I've been learning is all about how to scale up though so I know I'm in good hands and will be able to figure it out.

    At the moment I'm currently in the early stages of working with 2 SEO monthly clients and 1 web design client (2 other web design clients still outstanding but the projects put on hold for a month or so) so it's been doable.

    I guess I look at it this way, I know I can figure it out and overdeliver for the clients just by working smart and reaching out to the communities (like this one) that I'm apart of in case I run into any challenges. The big thing I need to focus on is to just keep driving sales and bringing on new clients.

    Quick Update is I had a really great call this morning with the fashion designer's people and in a week or so I should have more feedback, but that would be for a $2,200 per month (12 month minimum deal)... combined with the others I have, that alone would cover my monthly expenses and more which would be a HUGE relief.

    Basically, the fashion designer's right-hand manager is completely down and says SEO is needed and I'm the right person to do it.. we just need to show the value to the fashion designer himself. She even told me money obviously isn't an issue for them, the guy reasonably just wants to know what to expect and what I would be providing.

    The goals haven't changed, still 10k/month by June 30th of this year locked in, but just getting to the milestone of knowing I'll have my expenses met and be able to save money will be a huge relief after a crazy ride the past year or so.

    Just need to keep working smart and taking the action and I'll get there!
     
  3. Fox
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    Fox Moderator Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Congrats on that Gold status Dan.

    Can’t wait to see where this all goes.
     
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  4. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Likewise. That's how I'm doing it. Don't solve the problem till it becomes a problem.
     
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  5. MarkusHG
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    MarkusHG New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Congrats on the great thread, it's fun to read and motivating to go through. I also enjoy looking at your beautiful Tele as profile pic ;).
    Maybe you've answered the question the last time and I just missed it - which SEO course did you take?
    If you're willing to share I'd also be curious as to which packages you actually offer?
     
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  6. GravyBoat
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    GravyBoat Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Sorry if you already mentioned it but what CRM are you using to keep track of all your prospects/customers/projects/etc?
     
  7. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey All,

    Quick update, my first SEO client ($500 per month) was really happy with the first month of work we did together when I sent out the monthly report of where we stand and what the game plan is for the next few months.

    Note this client isn't locked into any contract so was happy to see she paid the invoice, but I have a good feeling this one will last at least a few more months!

    Updating the numbers below to add for $500 more!

    A few more quick updates as the week goes on:

    • Have a call tomorrow morning with a really good potential SEO client (referral from another client). He verbally agreed already but obviously it's not final until the invoice is paid. Will keep everyone posted but I'm very optimistic about that!
    • Sent out my email proposal to another SEO referral that came to me (catering business) that needed help with SEO. Will keep everyone posted when I hear back for that one as well.

    2019 Revenue Tracker: $15,530 Revenue / $100,000 Goal

    Monthly Recurring Revenue: $2,000 Per Month / $10,000 Per Month Goal
     
  8. GravyBoat
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    GravyBoat Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    What are you doing to get so many referrals? Referral program/discounts or just straight word of mouth / asking / networking?
     
  9. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I'm not involved in any referral programs or discounts.. honestly just grinding away at it and building out my network of people out here over the past year or so.

    As someone who's an introvert at heart, it wasn't easy at first but I've just been consistently working on it. The referrals have been coming from past happy clients, previous people I've networked with, and friends/family (rare, but once in a while).

    I've been in one networking group for the last 8 months or so that meets once a week and I joined the local chamber of commerce earlier this year. So on a typical week I'll try to do at least 1-2 networking things.

    Most importantly, just keeping an eye out for opportunities. Always having my mind tuned to look for potential opportunities for me to help out with my business and looking at things differently. Something as simple as seeing a giant billboard for a local law firm and seeing they list their website. Using this example... it tells me:

    -This company has a good marketing budget if they can afford this giant billboard
    -They're clearly looking for new clients
    -I should investigate their website and see if there's an opportunity (if it's great, then it's great... but what if it's awful and their SEO rankings are terrible? Then I can genuinely reach out telling them they're throwing their money in the trash with those traditional marketing strategies if they're funneling traffic to a site that isn't converting)
     
  10. srodrigo
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    srodrigo Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Another introvert here. Glad to know that this business model is suitable for introverts willing to improve.
     
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  11. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey Everyone,

    I want to be as transparent as possible and not just make this a highlight reel. I'm sure this is a common mistake people make when they make a progress thread - from the outside looking in, it seems like it's nothing but success after success.

    I know I personally learn the most from the challenges and others would gain some great insights too. That being said, a few quick updates from my end for a few deals that I figured would be sure things but ended up running into challenges:

    1. Referral for the Catering Company Got Back to Me:

    "Your price structure is better suited for businesses much larger than mine. I'll have to struggle on my own for now."

    This one honestly confused me, I gave her a tier of pricing from $500 per month to around $2,000 (she said her budget was around $500 per month). Additionally, she emailed me after our call saying how I really "got it" and we were on the same page.

    My reply (still haven't gotten a response yet):

    "Completely understand, it was great speaking with you and learning more about your business.

    Just to quickly address your last point, typically I work with small businesses that are owned by business owners who view the SEO services as more of a long-term investment, as SEO is typically a long-term play. Whatever they end up paying and whichever plan they select, they understand that the main goal of the whole project is to get them a great return on investment or else I'm not doing my job.

    I think you have a really good vision for your business and you struck me as someone who would rather get it done correctly the first time instead of having to deal with some of the more inexpensive options, that's why I felt it would be a good fit!

    You did mention that you were looking to spend in the area of $500 per month so I figured the silver or basic SEO plans would get excellent results and would be around that budget range.

    Either way, just wanted to clarify the rationale behind the pitch that I sent over and if you had any questions at all please let me know. Otherwise, it was great speaking with you and best of luck!"

    2. Referral from Previous Client (Entertainment Company) Got Back to Me:

    Good news and bad news (kinda):

    -Good is he wanted me to help with some quick fixes on his website. I have been billing at $90 per hour for these so still a decent payout. He said he should have more work too, but after doing the first wave of edits (will be around $400 bucks.. will update when he pays and I send out the invoice), I found A LOT of issues in the back end. Whoever made this site didn't know what they were doing and it's causing a crazy amount of issues.

    I suggested the best thing would be to scrap it and start from scratch, as I told him I didn't want to see him invest a lot of his money into a site that wouldn't get him the results as his business grew.

    -Bad (for now) is he said he'd prefer to put the monthly SEO work aside and not kick that off until a later point.. so still a good chance it goes through but I figured this one had an excellent chance of going through.

    Current Client Work:

    As I'm really getting my feet wet with delivering for clients in the SEO world, it's definitely been a bit overwhelming, but thinking back when I started web design the exact same thing happened... as it's a new skill to learn and even simple things take longer than expected, it can get overwhelming at times.

    I kinda like that as I keep closing more deals this is going to force my hand to start outsourcing and really get my system down so that I can scale this thing up.

    One of the biggest personal characteristics I've had to constantly fight against with running my own business is that I'm definitely a perfectionist, so the idea of outsourcing terrifies me in a way, but I know in order to really make this work and start bringing in the level of income that I'm aiming for I'll need to outsource different aspects.

    I know playing more of a project manager role and focusing on the sales side will really help me get amazing experience that will help me down the road. Will keep everyone posted!
     
  12. Mass
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    Mass It's about time Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Sounds like your making massive progress. Have you thought about outsourcing some of the work? e.g. Focusing on building the websites and then outsourcing SEO etc.?
     
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  13. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey man - absolutely! In fact I had a few really good meetings today so definitely thinking about outsourcing, I see it as the only realistic way I can scale this thing up and make a good income without going crazy (right now I'm working longer hours than I did in investment banking, but funny enough I've actually been enjoying the hustle).

    Quick Update:

    Just sent out an invoice for some quick web edits (been charging $90 per hour, may increase that soon)... did 4.5 hours so $405 more in revenue.

    2019 Revenue Tracker: $15,935 Revenue / $100,000 Goal

    Monthly Recurring Revenue: $2,000 Per Month / $10,000 Per Month Goal
     
  14. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey Everyone,

    A few quick updates on my end:

    1. New Outreach Going Well - More Prospects: Now that I'm back on my feet, started doing outreach again. Got a call today from a law firm very interested in my help with SEO.

    Obviously not official yet, but got a verbal commitment that he wanted to go with my $1,000 a month package for at least 3-4 months. Seems like a good business owner to work with after our first call.

    2. Turning Down a Headache Potential Client: Had to turn my first ever potential client - had a bad feeling all along... they worked with an SEO firm that absolutely screwed them over (and they paid a lot on a 12 month contract). They were extremely rude and short with me and said some crazy things... my personal favorite "if you screw us over, we'll destroy your business and reputation".

    Funny thing is I know I can deliver for this one, but $1,000 to $1,500 a month is NOT worth it if they are the trouble client that takes up 70-80% of my time and causes 95% of the stress.

    I ran it by Fox's inside group and without a doubt, every single person agreed I needed to run as fast as I could haha so I'm going to send them an email today basically in a professional way saying I don't think it would be a good fit to work together.

    3. Great Results for My First SEO Clients! This one is really huge for me, as the first few clients are always stressful. My first big SEO client ($1,500 a month) I just sent over their monthly report and every single keyword ranking went up (tracking 10)... one even is ranked on the top page! The client is happy and I'm excited to really be delivering and getting some great results.

    Will keep everyone posted, need to start acting really smart and need to take massive action to meet the goal I set out of getting to $10k a month by June 30th... with where I am now, that means I'll need to bring in $4k/month worth of clients in May and June.
     
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  15. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Quick update I forgot about - the biggest SEO client ($1500 per month for 12 months) recurs the 1st of every month so updated numbers for 2019:

    2019 Revenue Tracker: $17,435 Revenue / $100,000 Goal

    Monthly Recurring Revenue: $2,000 Per Month / $10,000 Per Month Goal
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
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  16. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Well, ok today has taken a weird turn...

    So that nightmare potential client - I sent them a very respectable email, something like "After reviewing your project requirements, I unfortunately won't think this is a good fit because of my current capacity limits"...

    They responded with this (I definitely dodged a bullet here but how do I handle this?):

    THEIR RESPONSE: "
    Wow...So disappointed in the business person you told us you were..and now we find out you are not ...do not feel you have been professional
    In how you handled this.

    We will be sure to provide feedback to the business group on how you conducted yourself

    Feel free to call me if you need further explanation"

    This is fun haha.. trying to think of how to / if I should respond now.
     
  17. Mass
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    Mass It's about time Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Don't get drawn into it. Any response will just fan the flames. If you recognised that they were trouble I'm sure others will and the words will have very little weight. Kind of like that friend you have who's always complaining so you know never to take his word when he says a restaurant was awful.

    At least you know your judgement was right.
     
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  18. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey man,

    I spoke with @Fox and he gave me an amazing response, basically just stated that it seems like this guy has a huge ego and just play into that to diffuse the situation.

    It worked perfectly - the guy just called me up and said he completely understands and he just misinterpreted my other email.

    Whew... what a mess. I guess being as transparent as possible, after 5 years of high-stress investment banking work, when I got that response back is the first time in a long time that I really panicked for a while.
     
  19. 23Infinity
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    Congrats on the progress Dan. I'd be very tempted to fire back something along the lines of "shitty business owners end up with shitty contractors/services". But as he's in some sort of business group that you belong to, wiser remain professional about it I guess...but what a dickhead.
     
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  20. Patrik14
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    Patrik14 New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Hello,

    first of all thank you for sharing your story with us.
    Second congrats for the progress! :)

    Reading this is more motivation than my friends or family could give me.

    All the best for the future and much success! :)
     
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  21. 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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    Admin Post
    Can you recite how you diffused it? What did you say?

    Without guessing, I would have said something like, "We really wanted to work with your business but feared we didn't have the capacity and human resources to complete it in a fashion that would work for your company, much less satisfy our own standards."
     
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  22. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey MJ,

    I can’t take credit for this one - it was all @Fox he recognized this guy has a huge ego so he drafted up this that I sent over:

    “Hey David,

    Seems like I messed up that email so that is on me. What I was trying to get across was that I don’t feel like my experience is right for what you need at this point. The last thing I would want is to not over deliver on what you need.

    I take feedback like this really serious so I would love to learn how I could have written that better and any other way to improve. I joined the networking group to learn so any insight into this would be of great value.

    Apologies for the misunderstanding - let me know your thoughts and happy to jump on a call if needed.

    Dan”
     
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  23. MJ DeMarco
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    Damn that is good!!
     
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  24. Andy Black
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    Yeah, well done @Fox
     
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  25. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Unfortunately this ridiculous saga keeps going on - the other co owner sent me a furious email making it seem like I turned them down because they didn’t have “an unlimited wallet”

    I’m done with this, I’m not going to reply anymore, there’s nothing I can do or say at this point that won’t set these people off.

    Just hoping they’re not ridiculous enough to try to trash my reputation (bad business reviews on google, Facebook, etc) but my guess is their bark is worse than their bite.

    I’ve covered myself and called the head of this networking group and he’s on my side, I have the emails so people can see how reasonable I’ve been... just chalking it up to a weird learning experience.

    Anyway on a more positive note, my big SEO client sent over the signed contract so he’s officially locked in for the 12 months!

    My best friend’s bachelor party is this weekend so I’m back in the NYC area so that’ll be a fun time.

    On to bigger and better things but man what a weird few days!
     

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