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Selling yourself to local businesses has a huge return
Recently I started my own writing service here on SEOclerks, but that's not the first time I've ever written for client. I've actually been writing for clients since I started selling my own SEO services about 10 years ago. I quickly figured out that you need to sell yourself and not the service you're providing. You need to sell yourself because people need to know they can trust you before they can trust your service. One of the best ways to sell yourself is with an in person meeting, and if you're not a millionaire who can afford flying all over to talk with clients, you should target local businesses to get the money coming in
Local businesses love working with other local businesses because they can get together at the spur of the moment. I've worked with plenty of local SEO and Content Writing clients to know that they are actually easier to convert into a sale than if I were to cold call, cold email, set up PPC campaigns to capture leads, etc. Being able to sit down and talk with someone over what you can do for their business is much more powerful than talking via email or chat box on your website.
Think of how everything use to work a while ago when your grand parents were young. Most of the time people honored a good hand shake and the business deal was done. Today, being able to call someone and set up a quick meeting is similar to that because you're building trust between two parties. The more the client trusts you, the more likely they will continue working with you as long as you're providing an amazing service
Below I'll be going over a few reasons why you should sell yourself to local businesses and not just sell a service, and those reasons are:
Be passionate without pushing them away
When someone is passionate about the work they're doing, it carries over to the person they're talking to. If you happen to be talking to a potential client, they will see that you love what you're doing and that it's definitely a necessity that they need in their business life. Being passionate can actually backfire though, you can't be too passionate about what you're doing because you could actually push clients away. They want to know that you love what you're doing, but you can't be so energetic that the potential client is only focusing on your energy and not the service you're trying to talk about
Know your worth and price it accordingly
If you know what your service is worth, don't undercut your bottom price just to make a sale. If you reduce your price just to make a sale, your client will expect that price for the remainder of your business relationship. Now, you can start selling your services at a reduced price to get initial clients so they will review you and your work, but never reduce your own price because someone haggles you down. Reducing your price to appease others will just make it so that you're always trying to please people.
A good example of this is my own writing service here on SEOclerks.com I sell a 500 word article for $12 and it should cost more than that. Now, I know I won't be able to continuously sell a 2,000+ word article for $50 so I have to use add ons that will get me to that price. Even I think I'm worth more than $12 per 500 words, but I'm building up my writing profile here on SEOclerks so $12 is the lowest I was willing to go until I get around 50 sales and then I'll boost my prices I'll have all my amazing reviews, which will help me sell more articles at a higher price
Know what your service is worth and stick to it. Don't reduce your prices because someone can't afford what you are asking and don't reduce your prices because someone is just trying to haggle you down. You can reduce your price, when you start out, if you're just trying to build up your profile or website reviews like how I'm doing on SEOclerks, but that's the only time a price should be reduced
Have previous examples of your work
If you're selling a service to a local company and you don't have examples of your previous work, you can pretty much kiss that sale goodbye. If you're selling an SEO service, you need to show previous SEO clients and the work you did for them. You don't need to have contact information on your website, or even link to their website so the potential client can see their site, you just need to show a logo and describe what you did. If you're selling a writing service, and you don't have any articles ready to show a potential client, you're not going to get many purchases. I actually asked a content writer for some writing samples because I wanted to use them for a pet website I was launching, and they said they didn't want to show me because I would just use them on my own website lol. They told me exactly this "I have 10 positive reviews already, that's all you need to know if my services are good!" lol
If someone asks for a sample of your work, show them and don't push them away like they're trying to steal your work. I understand that if you're running a backlink service you shouldn't send them a links list, or even a report that you've generated for a different client, because they can just duplicate those backlinks and not pay you. If you're doing pretty much anything else, you can show them samples of your work.
If you're just starting out, and don't have any examples of you work, you need to make some and use them as "clients" finished projects. Use your own websites, products, images, designs, etc. as your examples of work you've already done. It doesn't really matter if you did it for yourself or if you did it for someone else, if it's high quality, the client will like it and sign up with you. DO NOT use someone else's work and say it was you're own just to get a sale, because you will be dealing with a lot of charge backs.
Give them something for free so they can test you out
When you're offering a free service as a sort of "try before you buy" type of deal, you'll actually get more clients coming on board because they can actually see what you're doing. Of course, this doesn't work with one off things like a web design or if you're selling a physical product, so you'll have to adjust this method to fit your own budget. What I like to do is offer 5 free articles to any local business that isn't currently doing content marketing, just so they can see the quality of content that could be going on their website. They might not purchase right away, but after the content starts to rank for their keywords and they get more sales because of it, they usually come back for more
Give them referral discounts
If you want to skyrocket your profits, after you have a decent amount of clients already, you should offer referral incentives such as a discount or even a free month of work. I like to give out free content to any customer that refers a new client to me. I won't give away a free month of content unless the new client is signing up for all the bells and whistles lol, but they do get something out of it
People like free stuff, and they also like discounted items or services, so they will usually refer their friends and family if you're offering discounts
Targeting local businesses is a great way to build up your client list, and I highly suggest you try it out. You can always look for your local chamber of commerce website and see what websites are listed there. If you're selling a more expensive product, you will likely want to target the businesses that sell something for even more money. Think of it this way, if you're selling a $5 product, you can likely sell it to any company you come across. If you're selling a $1,000 a month service, you'll need to target the companies that already have a work force because they are likely making enough to hire you and not worry about that extra $1,000. Target some local companies and see how many sales you get, but don't judge your success with just a few weeks of work, you need to do a few months of grinding before you see a lot of success in this area of lead generation
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