Home – New Forums Starting your journey How can I get my first clients?

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  • #1065314
    Layla
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    Thanks Deb for the words of encouragement and advice! Layla.

    #1065315
    Layla
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    Hi guys, thank you for all the advice!!! It is great to know so many people out there are willing and able to share their knowledge and experience with those just starting out like me.

    I am working in my day job (also concierge, but not for a hotel, for platinum credit card clients) all of Sunday, but have set aside all of Saturday to go through everything you have said properly and start revising the website.

    The Infotainer, I see what you mean. the beach photos etc are because I would like to specialise in travel. I also wanted people to see this and think of relaxing tropical holidays, when they are not stressed and have all the time in the world, which they would be if they used me of course ;-) I guess if I have to explain it, it does not work though. I have to admit, I am intrigued where you got nanny and working in homes from though? It would be great if you could let me know so I can change this.

    CondorCreative, I agree the home page in particular is too crowded. I guess I am just unsure which parts to cut out. do you think I should write the whole site in the first person, so it is clearer that I am a solo owner? I thought it would sound more professional, that I was more established, if I wrote in the third person and implied more than one person?

    King, errand running such as dry cleaning is not in my scope of service. Partly as I do not have a car and partly as I work strange hours with my ‘day’ job. It will be a bit tricky to balance the 2 things I think, and i wish I could resign from the day job tomorrow so I had more time to spend on my company, but financially it is not possible. In the meantime, I will listen to Concierge Connections’s voicemails and reply to any emails in my breaks at work, and then work on cases in my spare time. Also, I have printed some flyers and intend to distribute them tomorrow, but an unsure where to drop them exactly. I will post some near where i live of course, especially the bigger houses, but am not sure whether to travel much further afield and whether to drop them at local businesses too…

    Alex, I would LOVE a business coach, but they tend to be a bit out of the price range of start ups unfortunately. If you know of any which are not, that would be great!

    Hymstrategies, thank you for the links to the books. Will check them out tomorrow. It is 1.14am now & after a 10.5 hour shift in my day job today, I think i will think better then.

    Sorry, if I have forgotten anyone. Getting tired now…

    Thanks again,

    Layla.

    Ps – sorry, i did not reply sooner. I thought I would get an email when there was a new reply but I did not.

    #1065316
    BrettM33
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    Quote:
    CondorCreative, I agree the home page in particular is too crowded. I guess I am just unsure which parts to cut out. do you think I should write the whole site in the first person, so it is clearer that I am a solo owner? I thought it would sound more professional, that I was more established, if I wrote in the third person and implied more than one person?

    Well I personally would cut out all (or most) of the images, put most of your most pertinent information on the left and then put some call to action buttons on the right. Maybe a button like “Contact Us”, or even better, a button that says “Get Back Your Life Now” that leads to your contact page. You could also put your contact number over there as well if you have one.

    As for third person.. well, there is nothing wrong with talking in third person; I was having the same issue myself with designing my current website and decided to go with third person because whilst I am technically a solo owner I work with other subcontractors to get the jobs done and hope to expand the business one day to something bigger.

    Only reason I said it would be a good idea for you to push that you’re a solo owner on your site is because it currently doesn’t look as professional as some of the other companies sites would and hence people might not take your company that seriously. However, if they knew you were a solo owner I think they would understand more that you don’t have the funds of the big boys to get a fancy website; so in the regards I thought a more personalised site would suit you better.

    That is only my opinion though, take it for what you will :)

    Quote:
    Ps – sorry, i did not reply sooner. I thought I would get an email when there was a new reply but I did not.

    If you subscribe to the thread you will get an email as long as you set it to send an email in the drop down box. :)

    #1065317
    Upesh
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    Hi Layla,

    Having worked as a web marketer for 5 years now, my suggestion to you is:

    • Website Optimisation and Design. Firstly, pause any of you active online marketing campaigns and focus only on your website for now – each page needs to be optimised depending on the goal of the page, and have a better design in place. Look up http://www.copyblogger.com/landing-pages to get an idea on some of the key elements to have on a web page.
    • Google AdWords. There are three types of key phrases you can set – for the beginning I’d put my money on phrase match to get an idea whether relevant key phrases are actually being searched. Tinker around with broad match and exact match once you know what key phrases work for you. If you’re getting traffic for the right key phrases then your web pages are probably letting you down. Be patient, keep a close eye on your campaigns and only make adjustments based on hard data. Consider getting an SEM expert to manage your campaigns if it’s not making any sense to you.
    • Facebook Pages. You can create Facebook ads to drives traffic onto your Facebook page and increase likes. More importantly have a goal on what you want your Facebook page to do for your business. Plan and implement accordingly.

    Hope this helps and good luck!

    Upesh

    #1065318
    yourvirtualboard
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    So many posts on FS are about the same thing and that is getting clients – it’s no secret that this is the No.1 issues for most small businesses and after being around many for some time now there is a common theme.

    This is in no way meant to discourage anyone – this is my opinion and if it helps a few prepare better before jumping in then it’s served its purpose.

    So many people start their businesses because they have a skill or service and believe there will be a need. Being good at what you do does not mean that you would be good at running a business (unless of course that’s what you are good at) or that there is a need and because all you need to start a business is an ABN many people running small businesses really struggle with all the facets of running a successful business. The majority struggle on never really getting the dream they had when they started and is why many stop trading (not so much financial failure – but the reality of running a business is that it’s often tough and lonely and for many it’s easier to go back to paid employment).

    How to overcome this?

    For starters people / businesses only buy for 2 reasons;
    i) they want what you do or sell or
    ii) they need what you do or sell.
    In other words there is a demand and the most successful businesses are those that look for gaps or demand where there is an undersupply of solutions. What I am saying here is that you really need to research the market and see if what you propose is really wanted or needed because if not it’s going to be very tough from day 1 no matter how good you are at doing it. The same applies if there is an oversupply in the area you’ve chosen because this usually means there are more suppliers than buyers – also very tough.

    Now assuming there is sufficient demand the next hurdle is how to make people / businesses aware of your product or service (commonly referred to as marketing). Too many people believe a website is the answer to all their needs, when in truth unless you come up high on page 1 of a search and have a brilliant conversion rate, it’s not.

    Marketing takes on many forms but before rushing out to market you really need to be very clear of a few things.

      How does your product / service answer a basic need or solve a specific problem?
      What makes you or your product / service more unique and visible in the market?
      What is your or USP (in other words why would I choose you over someone else)?
      Who are you trying to sell your product to?

    Getting these answers will help you clarify your Competitive Advantage, which is critical in your business having a future.

    As far as marketing – I have a simple presentation which I’d be happy to share, get in touch and I’ll send you a copy.

    #1065319
    King
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    I would like to specialise in travel.

    So concierge is probably the wrong way to describe yourself then.

    Maybe travel consultant or trip planner is more apt.

    Have you checked the need for any licence requirements?

    #1065320
    Layla
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    Hi King,

    My day job is doing concierge also and we get a lot of varied requests. Everything I have read on starting a business says you should specialise. I decide to specialise in travel as that is what I enjoy the most and am best at.

    However, as my website says, I also cover social stuff such as tickets, restaurants and gifts (as these are also things I enjoy, whereas finding a plumber in Wangaratta or a Dentist in Cronulla not so much).

    I do not want to be confused with a travel agent at all, as in my opinion they will try to hardsell you their products, especially those they get the most commission on. In my experience, they do what is best for them and the company’s profits, not the client. And in my experience, concierge are pretty much the opposite. We offer them several options which fit their criteria.

    #1065321
    The Infotainer
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    Layla, post: 81182 wrote:
    The Infotainer, I see what you mean. the beach photos etc are because I would like to specialise in travel. I also wanted people to see this and think of relaxing tropical holidays, when they are not stressed and have all the time in the world, which they would be if they used me of course ;-) I guess if I have to explain it, it does not work though. I have to admit, I am intrigued where you got nanny and working in homes from though? It would be great if you could let me know so I can change this.

    Ps – sorry, i did not reply sooner. I thought I would get an email when there was a new reply but I did not.

    I got nanny from the opening lines about not having enough time, or picking up the kids from school and a nanny would solve those problems.

    I have no idea who told me it- but people don’t read every single text you have, they scan through it looking for words that jump out that they are looking for similar to search engines looking for keywords- users look for words that they understand- now while the word nanny does not appear on the page- a simple scan by me made me think you help people with day to day problems of time. I realise now by re-looking at the site that your not a nanny but (i might be wrong here as well) someone who helps them go on holidays,

    Very important to know that it took me a long while to realise that my customers had no idea what a magician was, as a result I needed to dumb down my sales text, I think you may need to do the same, before asking the header question you need to put down in the simplest terms in the least amount of words what you do, then go on with your questions

    On the trade show floor when consulting and when designing my infotainment presentations- I always use the rule of making my message predigested now what I mean is that they look at it once and they understand it, as apposed to they look at it once and have to think about it to understand it, Make your messaging already chewed up and easy to swallow, there’s a metaphor for you, but it is used in a forum post- don’t use a metaphor as your header or opening statement because people are not smart enough to figure it out

    #1065322
    BrettM33
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    Quote:
    I do not want to be confused with a travel agent at all, as in my opinion they will try to hardsell you their products, especially those they get the most commission on. In my experience, they do what is best for them and the company’s profits, not the client. And in my experience, concierge are pretty much the opposite. We offer them several options which fit their criteria.

    Well that’s one point that you should be using for selling your services on your website. :)

    #1065323
    MrSmithers
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    Hi Layla,

    Just new here as well. I had a look at your website and the thing that got me was that you gave two reasons yourself for leaving the website. You have the vote for A, B, C, D, E, but only invite people who answer A, C and E to use your website. So at this time 3 out of 15 voters have been told that you don’t want their business. Maybe B and D’s are the easiest to sell to because they have more time on their hands to take a holiday and peruse your website. So as some other posters have said, you need to make it clear what you do and who you do it for. Don’t let a potential customer/client assume anything!

    But…A great idea nonetheless, one that others have been successful in and no doubt you can be too.

    #1065324
    Adam Stanecki
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    Hi Layla,

    Some awesome replies here.

    My input:

    1. Network, network, network (both online and offline)
    2. Find thought leaders in your industry and introduce yourself
    3. Offer trials of your product/service
    4. Use writing, audio and video to drive traffic to your site
    5. Invest in training
    6. Spend some time researching basic SEO

    It takes times. Be patient and persistent.

    -Adam.

    #1065325
    Adam Claydon-Platt
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    Hey Layla!

    Congrats for making the first step to get this business started – I hope it becomes a great success for you!

    As someone else mentioned here, I also worked full-time plus after hours on my 1st business for about 2 years before finally generating the income to be able to quit, so keep at it! The moment you finally manage to quit is worth every second of the sweat and tears required to get there ;)

    As others have mentioned, 1st, your website needs to get straight to the point. Apparently they say all website content should be written as if you’re talking to an 8-year old child. So keep it as simple as possible, no frills, straight to the point, and give your audience 1 single “call to action”.

    If you will be providing this service yourself, video is all the rave these days, so you might like to get in front of the camera and give all the above info in a simple friendly 1-2min video intro, smack bang in the middle of the home page. Gaining people’s trust is the biggest hurdle with internet businesses, so they’ll feel more comfortable if they actually see your face.

    I also think some concrete examples of the most common type of tasks you provide would be a good idea. It’s really hard to visualise exactly how you could help me.

    As for payment, Paypal is by far the easiest to start with. Then after you’re generating significant profits, you “might” like to consider other options… though there’s a reason Paypal is so popular. It just works!

    Finally, as for getting new clients, close your eyes and visualise your perfect client. Give them a name. Describe them in as much detail as you possibly can. Once you figure out exactly the kind of people you’re wanting to find, it will hopefully be much easier to figure out how to target them.

    Sounds like your kind of business requires quite a lot of trust up-front, and considering you’re already busy, starting with a few busy people you already know could be your best entry – they’ll be more forgiving if you don’t get things done on time as planned.

    SEO etc. is a good long-term strategy, but in the short-term I’d say your business will grow on word-of-mouth, so give as many free samples as possible to anyone you can, and focus on people you already know that could use a hand… most people say don’t mix friends/family and business, but if you’re helping your friend out to have more free time, and you’re doing your dream job, then it seems like a good thing to me?

    Hope that helps in some way!

    Adam

    #1065326
    Layla
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    Hi guys,

    I took your advice and have revamped my site. I would really appreciate your constructive feedback.

    The domain is still the same: http://www.conciergeconnections.com.au

    Cheers,

    Layla.

    #1065327
    BrettM33
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    Your nav links don’t seem to work?

    #1065328
    The Infotainer
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    the nav links – the link needs to be on the text area, on my browser which is firefox the link area is slightly to the left of the text

    the site looks better- easier to understand what you do

    but I am still looking at the site like it is amateur sorry to be rude, I am not sure what market you are going for but not having a professional looking site will hurt all the SEO in the world, you can advertise “go to my website ” till your blue in the face, but when they get there it is lacking a professional look and trust feel. I assume your clients are not the every day people they are people with money to burn, they drive the expensive cars, send their kids to private school and wear the latest fashion and have those $3000 handbags, the website needs to look like it fits in with all that.

    the website has to ooze class for this market

    White text on black background is not as easy to read so black text on white background woks best

    Get rid of the red boxs, they look bad,

    text should not span over the entire page from left to right- on the testimonials page this makes it hard to read try and keep it 50 characters wide (inclusive of spaces)

    there is no about us page which is good for building trust, I am not a web developer but my own site I have had good feedback from my clients & potential clients which is the only feedback I care about I have about me, Biography I have point of difference and my values, so people who bother to look buy into me

    I could be wrong but what market are you after with regards to business and leisure

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