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Thread: need some advice

  1. #1
    crikey! bvgroote_puppet's Avatar
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    need some advice

    well basically I have decided to go %100, I'm going to find as many local websites as I can, redesign them to look better, send out emails showing the companies what I can do, and hopefully get them interested enough for me to make a whole website for them.

    Has anyone ever done this before? And if so, what was the success rate?

    I pretty much need to know how I should approach them, can someone give me an example of what to write in an email explaining "This is what your old website could look like, for a price"?

    Hope you guys can help, I'm in a fairly dangerous financial rut. .

  2. #2
    crikey! bvgroote_puppet's Avatar
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    anyway, heres my first one, do you think they would make the change from:
    http://www.aft.net.au/index.htm
    to:
    http://www.benvangrootel.com/aft.html

    I only spent about 20 minutes on that one so it's not a very accurate example but it gives you an idea.

  3. #3
    One day older, one day wiser rafiki55's Avatar
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    emails don't work as well as going in person. Put on something nice and hit the road. Print out mock ups if you want to do them. Emails are too easy to put off or delete.

    If you want to go with email, then email and follow up with a phone call. But don't be pushy...everyone hates pushy sales people. Be polite and if they say no, then be polite and thank them for their time.

    I wouldn't even start talking about money in the beginning. You should get a first meeting first. Your goal of the email should be to get a meeting and not to sell them a website. The meeting will lead to your sale. At your meeting talk about how you designing a better website will help them. It will usually comes down to how will a website make/save their business $$. After all, their bottom line is usually to make money. So think about that.

  4. #4
    crikey! bvgroote_puppet's Avatar
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    that seems like a really great solution and I thank you for the advice, but I am only 16 and people find it hard to have a serious business conversation with me although I feel I am quite prepared.

    I should have said I was only 16 in my original post.
    I usually get work through my Dad who owns his own computer company so it's easier that way but I want to be more independant this time hence the effort.

  5. #5
    Retired Mod aversion's Avatar
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    I've never done this but I think it is always a good way of rounding up new clients. The advice above is good, email is such a passive form of communication, printing out the mocks and providing a comparison along with some non-threatening text is a good idea, I've found people react better to having a hardcopy, especially people who aren't web savvy as many of these small businesses aren't. Pick your targets caefully, do some research before spending time on them.

    As an example of how effective this kind of approach can be have a look at the well-respected design company www.37signals.com , they're not a flashy design company but they produce effective and functional sites. Navigate to the '37express' feature. This is a service they provide for businesses wanting to test the water and have 37 signals redesign one page of their current site, for this service 37signals charges $2500 for a PDF mock not a html/css page. It's not exactly the same as approaching clients cold but there's a lot that you can use on there and learn from their approach and wording, take a look at the word doc you can download, it contains some pertinent questions you can follow up to a client.

    cheers

  6. #6
    crikey! bvgroote_puppet's Avatar
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    perfect, much appreciated av.

  7. #7
    The Eror Group Onionboy's Avatar
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    im in the process of going 100% with vectorgraphics and will be trying various different methods. ill then make a post on here for people to see what has worked best for me.

    anyways,
    one method im going with is local advertising, ive done a few deals for people where if revamped bits of thier site at a cut price for me to add a link button to my site.
    also them giving word of mouth has helped me.

    another method is email/phone.
    im sending out several emails and following them up the next day with a phone call just for a friendly chat asking if they have though of updating thier site etc.

    be as friendly as possible... i hate sales peaople, so i daresay they do to!
    try and make it sound as though your doing them a favour by getting them more business rather than them thinking they are just buying something from you.

    if liek you say you feel your too young for calling/meeting then id suggest local advertising in newspapers, free ads, emailing, sending out business cards with an email address and advertisment leaflet to all local businesses.

    all of the above i will be doing over the next few months.
    2004 ad campaign so to speak lol
    fishpiracy
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  8. #8
    crikey! bvgroote_puppet's Avatar
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    thanks onionboy, I think a phone call following their emailed response would certainly be acceptable, thanks for the great advice guys, keep it coming.


    btw av that site u gave me was priceless, definteley gave me an insite as to what I should be doing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    i was just about to mention 37signals...


    actually i dont think doing someones website and then telling them "look what it could look like. now pay me" is a good way of doing it. i tried that once and i didnt even get a response back:
    http://www.primaenergy.com
    to
    http://www.mg315.com/images/primaEnergy/

    after a while i realized that this isnt such a good idea because they could then just get whoever did their current site (either them or some kid) to copy my design and redo their site without ever paying me.

    therefore it would be a better idea to find sites that you'll never contact but redesign them just as examples, like 37signals did. besides, what if the design you did is not what they wanted. they automatically wouldnt contact you to do it. if, on the other hand, you design other sites and show it as examples and experience, you can work alongside the client to get exactly what he wants and not what you think is good.




    what you need to do is build up a portfolio, this will be your examples. if you can't find clients to fill it, do these examples like you're doing now or get a cheap job over at webhostingtalk.com. once you have some experience and sites to show people, print 500 business cards and start passing them out to local businesses.
    Bill Erickson: resume | portfolio
    1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    Great Designs for $100

  10. #10
    crikey! bvgroote_puppet's Avatar
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    what do you mean by "get a job at webhostingtalk.com" ?

  11. #11
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    Another way to get business is to not only show what you want to do to them, but also create a resume of other things that they might like. Make a few designs, let them know what you're capable of. Act as if you were in their place, you don't want just one choice, you want to mix and match a few.

    Also, I don't know any good ones, but job directories are good. Instead of you going to them for work, they are coming to you for help.

  12. #12
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    Originally posted by bvgroote_puppet
    what do you mean by "get a job at webhostingtalk.com" ?
    at webhostingtalk.com, down in employment under related offers and requests theres always a lot of people asking for extremely cheap websites.

    like this. this guy wants his site redone for $100-200. while you're not getting much money, you're getting some designs that show what you can do and will help you get clients in the future. you could do this at many places, its just they seem to be easier to get over at WHT
    Bill Erickson: resume | portfolio
    1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    Great Designs for $100

  13. #13
    The Eror Group Onionboy's Avatar
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    bv where are you based?
    fishpiracy
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  14. #14
    crikey! bvgroote_puppet's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MG315
    at webhostingtalk.com, down in employment under related offers and requests theres always a lot of people asking for extremely cheap websites.

    like this. this guy wants his site redone for $100-200. while you're not getting much money, you're getting some designs that show what you can do and will help you get clients in the future. you could do this at many places, its just they seem to be easier to get over at WHT
    excellent idea, thanks


    im based in Australia - Perth.

  15. #15
    SPAMMER
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    Maybe you could get an older mate who has the gift of the gab to dress up smart and go lookin for work for you, then give him a % of the cut for doing all the sales work, this is what i used to do.

  16. #16
    Hairy Member robbmcaulay's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jaybirch
    Maybe you could get an older mate who has the gift of the gab to dress up smart and go lookin for work for you, then give him a % of the cut for doing all the sales work, this is what i used to do.
    Exactly what I did! A geeks pasty complection can put some clients off!

    It is a great idea and most people will be willing for a good cut, easy money...
    "Wah wah wah Dorothy Parker wah wah wah" - hanratty21

  17. #17
    Part Time Goth TianaKaeSha's Avatar
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    Here is a bit of an insite as to how my company works.

    The sales guys search the web for people who they think will be good candidates (or they get word of mouth from other people about tenders available). They contact the people and instigate a phone meeting, and run them through a demonstration on our website.

    Potential client gets a little excited, but does not understand how it will work for them.

    In comes the tech team who takes their current website, and edits it with our technology (a copy).

    The sales guy then calls the client again and takes them through a demonstration of their new site with our technology.

    This usually results in a sale as we can show them we are beneficial


    Now sure, this is not specifically web design, but it shows that you can actually do work this way.

    Cold call, instigate proposal, mock up site (rough), call again, demonstrate online so they can see the real benefits. Now, if they do not like anything that has been done, or you are worried they will take your design elsewhere, delete the file from the internet so they never have a copy of it.
    <:8O)~~~ RATS! they ate my footer! ~~(O8:>

  18. #18
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    what if they don't like what you did? then they probably wouldnt go with you based soley on that design.

    it is much better to use past work to get clients, then work with the client to create their new or redesigned site. If they have no input on it then you are just hoping they like it rather than developing what they want.
    Bill Erickson: resume | portfolio
    1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    Great Designs for $100

  19. #19
    Part Time Goth TianaKaeSha's Avatar
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    That is true, but if you had a base template where you just insert some stuff and show them what you can do - with their brand, even in multiple situations, you are more likely to have them interested as they can see how it works FOR THEM, and not for some other place.

    The client is not to know that you have 10 templates on had that you just plug and play.

    You explain to them that this is just a folio showing them what you CAN DO, and that it is just a sample of how it could work for them.

    Then let them know that of course you are able to fully customise the entire project for them just the way they want it.

    I know people who have had great success with this method... and, if a client really really likes the template their site has been mocked up with, they have the opportunity to purchase it outright so that no one else can use that one.

    This is not the only way to sell, but it has merit...
    <:8O)~~~ RATS! they ate my footer! ~~(O8:>

  20. #20
    crikey! bvgroote_puppet's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TianaKaeSha
    That is true, but if you had a base template where you just insert some stuff and show them what you can do - with their brand, even in multiple situations, you are more likely to have them interested as they can see how it works FOR THEM, and not for some other place.

    The client is not to know that you have 10 templates on had that you just plug and play.

    You explain to them that this is just a folio showing them what you CAN DO, and that it is just a sample of how it could work for them.

    Then let them know that of course you are able to fully customise the entire project for them just the way they want it.

    I know people who have had great success with this method... and, if a client really really likes the template their site has been mocked up with, they have the opportunity to purchase it outright so that no one else can use that one.

    This is not the only way to sell, but it has merit...
    Thats more of what I was thinking...

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