By now, you should at least have several clients to show off for. I surely hope you get at least five or six clients from your personal relationships with other people, otherwise I must admit you are a genuine geek, which is a compliment from me.
The next step is to pursue getting clients locally from businesses in your own local area where you live. You must be aware that web design companies or ISPs charges a few hundred rands to a few thousand rands for a simple company website. That is the fact. The first thing you need to do is :
-> Find as many large ISP (internet service providers) and web design companies residing in your local area and get the price list for a website design (and hosting if available) from them. Get their official price catalog from their website or from their brochures. This is important.
The next thing you need to do is to create and print out your own brochures or leaflets describing your own company’s services which will certainly be MUCH MORE affordable than what these large ISPs and web design firms has to offer.
On that brochure, provide a side by side comparison of your own company’s services compared to all these other well known local ISPs and web design firms in your city or country, for example:
|1000MB Storage Space||750MB Storage Space||750MB Storage Space||1000MB Storage space|
|Unlimited Emails||25 Emails||5 Emails||20 Emails|
|Unlimited MySQL database||No MySQL database||No MySQL database||No MySQL database|
|PHP 5+||PHP 5+||PHP 5+||PHP 5+|
|Domain Name R100/year||Domain Name R197/Year||Domain Name R85/Year||Domain Name R79/Year|
|Unlimited Domains||1 Domain||1 Domain||1 Domain|
Also, on that brochure you must provide a working sample of your previous clients websites (hopefully you got some from Step 1), give their website addresses and also print out their website screenshots to be presented along with your brochure.
So now you have at your hands a brochure describing your web hosting and design services comparing your company with the some of the largest ISPs known in your city. Don’t forget the website samples/screenshots on these brochures or leaflets.
The next thing you need to do is to present these brochures personally to the local businesses and stores in your area. Pursue these businesses from top to bottom. The top categories listed will most likely buy your services than the bottom ones.
3. Internet Café’s
4. Fitness Centers
5. Bars or Night Clubs
6. Small Hotels/Motels
7. Travel Agencies/Tour Operators
8. Photo Studios
9. Beauty Salons
10. Retail Stores
As you may have guessed, you must target businesses which are in the “hospitality” industry as your priority. These businesses are the ones which need the most public exposures, which is more likely to buy your website hosting services.
You should consider “general companies” on your lowest priority because they don’t really need a website that much, compared to these other hospitality businesses.
THINGS TO OFFER TO YOUR CLIENTS FOR FREE
- Offer these businesses with your free internet marketing package which will allow their websites to come up on page 1 on any search engines when people are searching for their business name on the internet. Include this free marketing package on your brochure! This you can do easily and will cost you nothing but some 30 minutes submitting your client’s websites into popular web directories.
- Offer these businesses a simple card design where they can print out themselves and distribute it to their own clients. Cards design as well as sticker design which they can stick on their menus. Something saying “Get two free drinks by becoming our Facebook Fans” while putting their dot com website address on the bottom. People can become their Facebook Fans as well add testimonials through the restaurant’s website which you made.
- There are so many other small things which you can add into your website presence package which is impossible for me to list it all here. Please visit our blog http://siveict.co.za and I will show you all the little things you can add to make your hosting package very compelling.
- I highly recommend you to use WordPress as your base application for your website package deals. WordPress has thousands of plugins and themes which you can apply to any type of entity. You can even setup a full blown e-commerce enabled website using WordPress, all for free! It just requires your time and hard work. What could be better than that?
SOME TRUE FACTS – WILL THEY GO FOR IT?
I am currently living in the Pretoria Area, in the province where the likes of Hertzner, Afrihost, WebAfrica, and other internet giants call the place where I live their Headquarters. I would also think everybody living here in the Pretoria area would have an internet access. It’s like not having a phone when you don’t have an internet access here.
With these true facts, would you think most restaurants on this area would already have their own website? If you think so, then you are wrong. Most restaurants here in the Pretoria area don’t have their own website, the market is THAT COMPELLING. And here I am talking about the very place where every business is supposed to have a website.
I am not sure why they don’t have one, or maybe when people are offering their services to make a website, it will cost these restaurants some R20,000 or so. What if I go to these restaurants and told them that I would make them a professional looking website, complete with all the goodies where people can leave comments, restaurant managers can issue discount coupons, and other cools stuff for say R2,000 only plus a R64/month hosting fee. Plus when people do a search on Google and other search engine about their restaurant name, their website would come up #1. I would say I could land myself 100 new restaurants as my clients very easily. Now if you do the math, R2,000 times 100 clients would land me a good R200,000 ZAR, plus an additional R6400/month for the hosting fee. How about that? More than that, I would secure my business with 20 restaurants’ websites as my business’s portfolio.
Well that is here in the Pretoria area. It’s the same thing in your city, restaurants and all the businesses I mentioned above would LOVE to have a website which they can “show off” to their clients, stick their dotcoza or dotcom address on their menus, and have people brag about their food on social networking sites. But they would not know a thing about doing that. You on the contrary know exactly what to do my friend. Use that and make serious money out of it. Work hard at this and you WILL succeed.
All you need is a digital camera (your phone would work if it has a camera), which you most probably would already have. You all have digital have cameras these days. You would also need a scanner for you to scan out these restaurants menus if you must. If you don’t have a scanner, just bring the menus to your local printing service where they can scan out these restaurant menus. That’s all you need aside from the hosting platform which you already setup on the previous discussions.
Find a good base website templates/themes or use WordPress and their free third party templates to be a base design for your clients, make a professional looking website for them, and before you know it you got yourself a set of portfolios of your own client base. Once you have this, you can start to charge more to your future clients, but always remember to keep it “reasonable” for these businesses. Their businesses operations are not depended on having a website, it’s just a nice thing to have, but if you give a reasonable price, they would go for it.
Always remember that you are still a no body. Don’t charge unreasonable price, I would even start off my first 10 restaurants or clients FOR FREE.
Also, remember to put up some true hard facts about the statistics of Internet growth in your local country, how people are currently using the internet, how so many young people are currently being totally dependent of the internet and how their businesses can gain advantage from the internet era.
Make it compelling for these businesses to see how having a website would gain them more clients, yet it would only cost them a small amount of investment.
About 30 days later, you would have quite a handful of local businesses as your client base, mostly restaurants, cafes, bars, travel agents, fitness centers, small hotels/motels, photo studios, beauty salons, and other hospitality businesses in your city.
When you have this valuable client base, use these portfolios to offer your services to businesses on the same industry as your existing clients.
Tell your new prospective client things such as:
“WE HAVE SUCCESSFULLY DEVELOPED A WEBSITE FOR SALON-AXYZ ON THAT STREET. NOW AS YOU CAN SEE, IF PEOPLE SEARCH FOR SALON-AXYZ ON THE INTERNET, THEIR WEBSITE WILL COME UP ON THE TOP OF THE SEARCH RESULTS. WE CAN DO THE SAME FOR YOUR THREE STAR HOTEL. SINCE WE HAVE NEVER DONE A THREE STAR HOTEL BEFORE, I WOULD BE WILLING TO GIVE OUT A SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR YOUR HOTEL.”
Then off course, present the three start hotel owner/manager with your brochures comparing your services with the big well known ISPs in your city. They can call these ISPs to confirm the price if they like, it would only confirms them that your services are much affordable than what they have to offer.
See, as you get your first few clients, it would be MUCH EASIER for you to get more clients. Why?
IT’S BECAUSE PEOPLE ALWAYS WANT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE. ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH PEOPLE. ALL BUSINESSES ARE BEING RUN BY PEOPLE. EVERYTHING IS BEING DECIDED BY A PERSON. ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS TO CONVINCE THAT PERSON THAT THEY WANT YOUR SERVICE.
People will most likely think like this: “If that hotel has a website, we also have to get a website! If that restaurant has a website, our restaurant must also have a website! If that internet café has a great looking website, we also need to have a great looking website, and so on”
Get the idea? So do these things and within a few months time, I am sure you will get even more than 100 clients.
Once you’ve secured quite some clients, then it’s time to get some clients ONLINE. By now you should have something to show off to the public that you are a professional business offering professional services to serious businesses.
FRIENDLY WARNING #1: ONLY PROCEED TO OTHER FIELDS BELOW (ONLINE FIELDS) WHEN YOU HAVE TRIED VERY HARD ON FIELD #1 ABOVE. FIELD #1 IS THE ONLY LOGICAL PLACE WHERE YOU CAN LAND YOURSELF A GOOD NUMBER OF CLIENTS TO START UP YOUR HOSTING BUSINESS.
IF YOU GO DIRECTLY LOOKING FOR CLIENTS ONLINE AND NOT OFFLINE, YOU WILL ONLY LEAD YOURSELF TO SERIES OF DISCOURAGEMENTS. YOU MAY GET CLIENTS JUST DOING ONLINE MARKETING WHICH I AM GOING TO SHOW AS WE GO ALONG, BUT IT WILL BE MUCH HARDER FOR YOU TO GET CLIENTS IF YOU HAVEN’T TRIED FIELD #1 ABOVE. TRUST ME OR PROVE IT FOR YOURSELF. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
FRIENDLY WARNING #2: NOW THAT YOU HAVE QUITE A FEW CLIENTS FROM PURSUING FIELD #1, YOU CAN START TO “BOAST” YOUR SERVICES TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC
AN IMPORTANT NOTE, FROM THIS POINT FORWARD, WHEN YOU START TO PUT YOUR BUSINESS IN THE EYE OF THE PUBLIC INTERNET, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE IMPLEMENTED THE FRAUD PROTECTION SYSTEM ON YOUR WHMCS AS DESCRIBED ON THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER.
WHEN YOUR BUSINESS IS PUBLICISED ON THE INTERNET, YOU WILL ALSO OPEN YOUR BUSINESS FOR INTERNET CRIMINALS LURKING FOR WEB HOSTS TO CONDUCT THEIR CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES. THIS IS SERIOUS. DO NOT GET EXCITED WHEN YOU GET AN ORDER WITH A HIGH VALUE, ALWAYS BE SUSPICIOUS, HIGH VALUED ORDER WILL MOST LIKELY TO BE FRAUD. ALWAYS CHECK THE FRAUD SCORE FROM MAXMIND, IF IT IS ANYWHERE ABOVE 2.5, BE VERY CAUTIOUS.