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  1. #1
    Senior Member MrTeapot's Avatar
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    Hello!

    Me and a friend started a web agency here in southern Sweden. At first we got some customers and things were going fine. But now things are all dead. We haven't had a customer in like half a year.

    For marketing we tried ad words (no results) and we sent out 100 mails(not emails) to companies in our area and followed them up with telephone calls.

    How do you do to get customers? is anyone willing to help and share their ideas?

    Kind Regards
    /Teapot
    Swedish Web Agency
    I hate that all you Americans are asleep when I'm awake...

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    If you're just starting out, and you don't have much of a portfolio for potential customers to see. Something helpful to build your exposure in the community and your portfolio might be to approach some non-profit organizations or organizations that really don't have a large budget for a web site, and offer to do a site for them or possibly a site re-design for free.

    This would give potential customers a chance to see

    1. What kind of work you are capable of.
    2. You and your company are active in your community.
    3. Give you real world experience.

    This strategy has been done by many small design companies in your same situation, some are successful at it and some have not. If you provide a good design, work well with the customers and their site actually provides their business a benefit, then your chances of success are really good.

    Running a good web design business is not just about making web sites... I know several very talented web designers, but they have little if any experience in dealing with clients. Sometimes they have sabotaged their own business interest because they were unwilling to listen to thir clients wants and needs.

  4. #3
    Senior Member MrTeapot's Avatar
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    Thank you very much Webzarus!
    That might work very well for us. A great chance to improve our portfolio, and our own skills.

    Any more ideas that might suit us?

    thanks in advance!
    Swedish Web Agency
    I hate that all you Americans are asleep when I'm awake...

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    The problem with your question is that you won't get anything more than a generic answer to it, which ultimately won't solve it (because everyone else is doing it).

    The best thing you can do is figure out something that differentiates you from everyone else and focus on marketing that to the group of people that will be the most interested in it. This requires some creativity and a whole lot of thinking on your part, though.

    This part isn't actually as difficult as people make it out to be once you establish your unique selling proposition. But without it, it's like applying for a job...you submit 100 applications and they all look the same and they end up in a black hole in space.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

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  6. #5
    Senior Member MrTeapot's Avatar
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    Generic answers would do. Because what I need at the moment is just to know how everybody else do it :P

    The thing about making hundreds of calls. Does it pay off? Do you have any experience on it? I've made 130 calls at the moment. Not a single customer that way... I'm doing it wrong I think. I'm going to change the approach quite radically, like TheGame1264 said. My sales calls will be focused on the part that we are "young students" who would be very happy to make them a website, from now on.
    TheGame1264: Does that count as a unique selling proposition?

    Kind Regards
    /teapot
    Swedish Web Agency
    I hate that all you Americans are asleep when I'm awake...

  7. #6
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    That's just it. Anyone who's doing it well probably doesn't have a generic answer. I don't, for example. My marketing plan, if you want to call it that, is customized for my purposes. It wouldn't work for you because a lot of it is predicated on my own personality and the way I approach things.

    I've never made hundreds of calls to promote myself as a designer/developer, so I can't answer that question. I wouldn't, either...I run the risk of losing my Internet connection (very slight) and/or my VoIP phone service (more likely) just for spamming.

    I'd say your unique selling proposition falls under the "starving artist" category and therefore really isn't all that unique. Unique is something you can offer that no one else can. What can you personally do that I can't, that Webzarus can't, that everyone else can't? Answer that, make sure there's a niche, and you're golden.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  8. #7
    Senior Member MrTeapot's Avatar
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    You have a rich portfolio and I will definetely not question your authority.

    But you've still not really given us any ground to stand on. You say "young entrepreneurs and designers/developers" falls under the category "starving artists". Well most marketing propositions seem to fall under the definition of "starving artist" if so...

    But, you are right. Do you have any idea how we can turn "young entrepreneurs, still in school etc etc" into something useful? xD

    We are going to start working for free on some projects now, like Webzarus said, in order to expand our portfolio.
    Swedish Web Agency
    I hate that all you Americans are asleep when I'm awake...

  9. #8
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    The answer is individualized.

    In my particular case, I have the ability to customize applications for specific industries. I can also mention that I have worked with companies such as GM (their insurance division) and two other large companies recently (just waiting permission before I can include them, but if you're in North America, you've definitely heard of one and probably heard of the other).

    On the other hand, you can't make those claims in your particular case. You're starting out. Therefore, you need to define what makes you...well, you. That's why I'm not really giving you "any ground" as you put it...I can't. I don't know who you are. I don't know your skill set. I don't know if or how you can apply knowledge to a specific situation. The only person who can define that is you.

    The good news is that, if and when you do solve that, you'll see a lot of things online a lot more clearly than you probably do right now. Things like marketing, for example...you'll be able to spot BS a mile away. However, solving it may well be one of the hardest things you ever have to do.
    MrTeapot likes this.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  10. #9
    Senior Member MrTeapot's Avatar
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    Thank you! I appreciate your help. We will work a lot on finding our niche and defining ourselves from now on. We have definately not spent enough time on that!

    /teapot
    abhijit747 likes this.
    Swedish Web Agency
    I hate that all you Americans are asleep when I'm awake...

  11. #10
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Good stuff.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)


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