Yesterday as I was sitting at my favorite watering hole, I noticed one of my client’s stores was completely sold out. I picked up my phone and reached out to her. She indicated “that they were closing the website store for a couple of months…to build up some more inventory!”. I warned her, that your regular customers might not come back. I had spent about four months working on her SEO [ Search Engine Optimization ]. She was located on the 1st page of most search engines sites. I had just launched a social media promotion and the site’s analytic report numbers were GREAT! I had put in a lot of work to get the results most clients crave/beg for/luster after…she had her door open, and visitors/customers were flocking to her site. And now, she is closing her store for a couple of months…REALLY!
I needed to find out more, because something was missing. I reached out to her husband. He was the business manager for the store. He recommended me for the position. He was new to business, but was an extremely hard worker. This was not the first time the store’s inventory ran low, but in each of the instances…he just restock the store. No problem. So why would they not just re-stock the store. This was a brainteaser...REALLY!
So how did I connect with my client
I received a call about a year ago. ”Hi I’m Dave Jones and my wife Sally owns a small home interior shop.” We need a website to showcase our inventory. ”Dave are you planning on selling anything from your website?” I inquired. ”Not really…I am not sure…How much does it cost?” Dave asked in a panic. ”Let me find out your scope…what do you do?” I asked. Dave advised that he had been lay off for several years. Sally owned a small home interior store, which was open from 5pm – 10pm Monday – Friday. Sally worked for the city as a clerk. Dave had worked as a sales manager for a carpet company. Their kids were grown up. Dave and Sally would load up his pick up truck and sell items at fairs, events, and neighborhood parties. They would make $400 – 500 selling Ethnic Art. Dave could not find a position, so he wanted more exposure/sales. I advised Dave, that I would design a home interior store and products could be purchased from their site. Dave was very timid, as he put it “I’m not a computer guy…so you have to go slow with me.” I designed a website with an e commerce store. Dave would get an email with customer’s address, item purchased and confirmation email that funds have been received in his business account. I would send inventory updates monthly to Dave. At one point, Dave mentioned Sally was getting inventory at $10.00 an item and they were selling them for $25 – 30 and still could not keep them on the shelf. I had set up an UPS Account on the site, so it would calculate shipping cost. Dave and Sally had customers from the US to Europe to Japan to Canada.
Why would you close shop
Dave called me back. He advised me that the site was doing so well, that it was like working a full time job for him. I stop [ and breathe for a second in frustration ] and explained that search engines do not like e commerce store which are open for a month and closed the following month. More importantly, customers are not going to return…if I place “Closed for a couple months on the site”. A long pause greeted me…I told “Dave…thanks for the opportunity.” Let me know when, they were ready to re-open the shop. I will put up a landing page and strongly recommend that they keep making their monthly concierge service payments. Dave thanked me, several times…I gave him a virtual smile and hung up my phone. REALLY…
Real Moral of this story
I can create a great looking site for you at a reasonable price. My sites come with concierge service, which is mandatory. I will work extremely hard on SEO and Marketing of your site. I will get you recognized. You will need to want to be successful.
As I slip my favorite coffee, I wonder how many websites exist with products and no customers. Probably many…and if you would like to change that about your site, then contact me at JDS WebDesign.
Perspective and Residual Income
Yesterday, I was at my favorite watering hole. I was enjoying my favorite beverage. I was minding my own business and reviewing some potential clients. I had just got word from a large faith based organization out of New Orleans. They needed my services and the treasurer email me that the vote was in. I was their selection. I emailed another potential client. He wanted a professional, non-profit and musician site. I quoted him a two for three price. Three sites for the price of two, he needed to get his finances in order. But I was his designer. I called another perspective client. She had a non-profit organization. They ran basketball camps everywhere. She had some great contacts with National Basketball Association [ NBA ]. I left a message for her. She is very busy, so I was waiting for her to return my call.
As I slip my favorite beverage, which by the way is coffee and my watering hole is my neighborhood coffee shop, I noticed a familiar face. It was Tony. We went to design school together. As soon as we locked eyes, we immediate gave each other the college hug. It had been a couple of years, since we last talked. I asked if he was still designing websites. He stated yes! That was awesome. Tony was very focus. He only wanted to design real estate sites. He was very good at it. ”So how is Antonio [ Tony's wife ] and the kids?” I asked between slips of my coffee. “She is great! and they are getting bigger.” Tony replied. We sat and talked about past and present projects, family and our business models. Tony was focused on tomorrow…he had build a great company with an added bonus of residual income.
Why Residual Income is important?
Tony explained to me that he retired Antonio a few years ago. Let me explain the type of wife, Antonio is??? When Tony was in school and trying to build a free lance business. Antonio worked at Starbucks from 5:00am to 11:00am and then walked across the street and worked in a dive bar from 11:30am to 5:30pm every day. She would come home and deposit her payroll into the family bank account. Some months, Tony did not make enough to buy food… let alone help with any bills. Never once did Antonio complain, she believed in Tony! I told him that it was her strong belief that made him successful. Tony began making real estates sites back in 2007. They were $2, 500.00. His goal was to have 3 – 4 clients each month. He would be lucky to have one. Then he began looking at residual income. He started by getting a hosting account. He could offer web products to his clients. He was able to bring in a little extra money, but not like he wanted. Next he decided to offer his clients IDX, which is the real estate model that showcases the agent’s properties on their sites. Agent needed IDX. Tony offer to pay the Agent’s IDX cost and host their sites for $100 a month. Tony lower his design fees to $1,500. His goal was to design 60 sites per year. This was in 2011 and three years later Tony has over 250 sites. He provides hosting and IDX.
250 sites at $100 a month…okay that’s a nice $2500 a month. I though. Wait! That’s $25,000 a month. Tony had hit the jackpot! He begin every month with a little pocket change. He is not worrying about … whether a potential client can afford his services? or how busy someone is? He is offering a good service at a great price. I thanked Tony for such great information and asked if I could blog about it. ”Only if you change the names and amounts!” Tony asked. So it is not Real Estate and his name is not Tony. He is a web designer and he does offer monthly service to all his clients.
Residual Income allows you to…
*Become FREE from Poor or Bad Potential Clients
*Enjoy Financial Empowerment
*Live a stress free life
*Know what you have on the 1st of the Month, instead of anticipating
*Design your goals, examine what is important to you and your family
The interesting thing is this is not about a web designer or web design. After Tony left… I got a call from a prospective client. She had been lay off. She had been in marketing for several years. She had started a consultant “Start Up”. She wanted a web site. I thought about Tony’s story. I asked her about residual income. She became silent. I explored the potential of have a membership based site. She inquired about cost. I asked if the product could produce residual income, would the cost matter. Again she became silent. We chatted for about 20 minutes. Anyone can create residual income? If you need to find out more …then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I lost a potential client. It was not the first time and probably will not be the last one. However, I always evaluate my process. I used to have my assistant forward an email poll… to figure out, what or how I could have done better??? I do not do that anymore, the responses were so limited that it did not make any sense. A close friend of mine told me that a photographer was looking for a website. The photographer had check out my site, by the way I need to upload some of my recent projects, and like my work. He was not in love with my prices/cost, but who is… We discuss his project. He wanted a dynamic image gallery on the home page. He wanted an about me page, to showcase his passion for taking images. He wanted a blog, to write funny stories. I share my blog with him…he called me a day later, laughing at me and my stories. He wanted a gallery page for his industrial images…besides taking portraits, he truly love taking pictures outside. He wanted to have a membership section, so clients could download their images from his site. His clients would pay $xxx for images, and then could pay $xxx to get into his membership site and download images.
I quoted my standard rate, with a membership and e commerce plugin. I advised all my sites come with concierge service. He was not particular happy with the thought of additional cost. I explained my concierge service give him many features, and the best feature is he can grow his business. Not trying to grow his website. I told him that my concierge services provides four [ 4 ] unique features, including a Virtual Assistant [ VA ]. Those features are…
*VA will take care of all content/images updates and deletions within 1 business day.
*VA will conduct 4 marketing projects to promote the site. I have 7 marketing tools and we used them all to get traffic to my clients’ websites.
*VA will implement a “Threat Plan”, use to ward off malware and hackers. This would included back-up/technical support [ 24/7 ] and daily security scrubs on the site.
*VA would create and monitor SEO Plan. Our goal is not just to get you on the 1st page of google, but to keep you there.
My potential client felt like it was just more $$$. With some training, he could update his site. He was going to pass out business cards, so why would he need a marketing project. Why would a threat plan be in place anyway? And how important is being on the 1st page of Google? I explained to my potential clients, my design process in the past.
When I first began creating websites, there was no content management systems. There were…but you had to be a programmer. I was creating html sites, using dreamweaver. Any change, I would have to change the file and upload it to the server. It was a pain…and I would have to charge my clients. So glad wordpress came along…or I was introduced to wordpress.
About five years ago, I began creating wordpress sites. After creating the site, I would give two training course. These course focused on wordpress and how to update your site. In those early days, wordpress might have an update once a year. It is three or four times a year today. My clients would call me, “My site is a white screen”. I can not log into my site. I uploaded a plugin and now my site looks funny. I was spending more time fixing problems, then creating sites.
I decided last year, that I would design and up keep my sites. This is a huge undertaking. Several of my clients love it! ”I just pay a small monthly fee…email my VA and by the next day all the changes are done”. I do not have to worry about WordPress, and it many changes. My site is up! I am on the 1st page of google for the 7 consecutive month. Life is good!!!
However after telling my prospective client about the advantages of my concierge services, he decided to go with another designer. I sent him an email poll, something I had not done in years. He responded that my presentation was great. My projects look outstanding. He could tell that I had a passion for my work and clients. He just was not sure about how long, he was going to be a photographer. If it turns into something full time, then he will reach out to me again.
Then it hit me!!! I was so busy explaining my process and programs, that I did not tell him… WHY HE NEEDED IT!!!
The concierge service adds so much value to your site. It allows you to concentrate on the most important thing, your brand and services. The concierge service allows you to…
*Sleep at night, knowing your site is up
*Gain new leads, because most of your clients are going to find you on google
*In the end, you make more money…because you are focusing on your craft and not having your craft to focus on you!!!