Your Services to Businesses that don't have a Web Site
by Rachel Goldstein owner of Allfreelancework.com
- 1000s of freelance jobs
you are probably already aware - there are many more
freelancers out on the net than there are employers.
Consequently, freelancers often find that they are bidding
for a job along with hundreds of other web professionals.
For this reason alone, some freelancers are finding
that they have to bid so low that they cannot make a
reasonable living. Why not take your business into your
own hands? After reading this article you will have
a sure fire way of attracting clients to you, so read
many small businesses are in your area? The average
county has thousands of small business. However, only
a third of all small businesses have a web site, and
only a third of these sites can carry out a sales transaction.
What these businesses don't realize is that they can
probably profit from a web site. They are in great need
of a talented web professional such as yourself to not
only bring them to the water but also to show them how
good it tastes to drink. In other words, let these entrepreneurs
see that there are more profits to be made.
you need to prospect local businesses to find out which
ones are potential customers. What kinds of businesses
are most likely to need a web site? Selecting the best
freelance opportunities is a matter of intuition, but
I have found from previous experience that the following
types of businesses are excellent prospective clients:
Real Estate Agencies
Insurance / Loan Officers
Universities and Educational Facilities
Local governments / County web sites
Customized Item Stores
is important to focus your energy on where there is
likely to be a need for your services. Uncovering a
business opportunity often times requires broadening
the range of your skills and services. Since you are
targeting all sorts of different businesses you will
often need to learn about different industries in order
to be useful. You might find that you want to focus
on one industry, for example, only targeting restaurants.
You could create online menus, downloadable coupons,
reservations, take out orders, and any other innovative
ideas to draw in the prospect's interest. In fact, imagination
and creativity are your keys to success. The number
one focus of a successful entrepreneur is PROFIT. Your
goal is to find out how you can raise the prospective
client's profit line ... this takes creativity.
tools for researching local businesses are :
2. Chamber of Commerce
3. Better Business Bureau
4. Department of Small Business Development
5. Trade Associations
6. Search Engines
7. Purchased Lists
information do I need to find out about each prospective
client before contacting them? Slow down, you have some
work to do first. At the minimum, you will need to get
the phone number, company's name, and address. From
this information, you can hopefully gain access to verifiable
details about this business. From this information,
you should do research on the Internet. You will need
to find out if the business in question has a web site.
Use every resource available to access this information.
If you can't find a web site then you found yourself
happens if the company does have a web site? Well, if
the business in question does have a web site then you
have two choices ... either move on or further evaluate
the site. If you choose the latter, this is what you
should look for:
Is the web site visually appealing?
2. Are the site's resources being used effectively?
3. Are there means for a sales transaction?
4. Does the site have a domain name?
5. Is site listed in search engines?
6. Were meta tags used effectively?
7. Does the site load quickly?
8. Is there essential contact information available?
9. Are there broken links or missing images?
10. Do you see a sales strategy that they are missing?
any of the above situations occur, you should consider
contacting the company to setup a consultation. Remember
to always use tact. Never come right out and criticize
anyone's site, in most cases if the site is awful, the
owner himself tried to build it. All you need to do
is show the business owner that he is losing out on
extra earnings. There are nice words that you can find
to express this instead of derogatory statements.
should keep all of this gathered information in a database,
Rolodex, or on index cards. (I recommend writing down
the information on large index cards. When you find
a prospective client, take their card with you and write
down personal information on the back of this card.
This way, the next time you visit the client, you can
ask him how his sick aunt is feeling.)
contacting your newly found lead, you will need to get
your thoughts together. Answer the following questions
How can a new or redesigned site increase the owner's
2. How much money would I need to charge?
3. Are there similar sites on the net that you could
show an example of. You should show the owner how company
XYZ profited from similar steps.
4. What design and graphic choices would you choose?
5. Are there add-ons that aren't necessary, but effective?
6. (If redesign) What changes would need to be made
to better the site?
are not many people that enjoy cold calling, so I assume
that you might be a little worried about this. Believe
me, I hate cold calling as much as you. With the use
of a script, and a lot of practice, cold calling will
seem much less intimidating.
you should have all the information that you need about
the client laid out in front of you. Take a look at
all of this information and make sure that you can remember
it clearly. From this information you should be able
to create a script to use when you call the business
owner. I will outline a sample script that you can in
turn use to your advantage. Take a look at the following
Hello, Can I please speak with owner's name?
This is he. How can I help you?
Is this an okay time for you to speak?
Sure, I have nothing going on right now. Who is this?
(If he says that he is too busy to talk right now then
you should ask what time is an okay time to talk with
Hello, My name is your name from your
How can I help you today?
Well first of all thank you for being so kind to speak
with me. I am familiar with your company and I have
heard many good things about it, for instance share
an example. Well, anyway, I was interested so
I looked to see if you had a web site and I couldn't
find one. Do you have a web site running?
No, we don't need one. I can't really see how it would
do us any good since we are a local company. If someone
wants something from us they just walk on over.
Well, Mr. or Mrs. owner's name, I spent
some time thinking about your business before I called
and I came up with a few ideas that would raise your
profit line. For example, a similar site to yours, name
a domain, started a web site how long
ago and developed your idea into
their site. Within how much time, they
increased their profits by this much.
I don't know, it sounds expensive to me.
I am the most reasonably priced web designer around,
I could design the entire site for only dollar
amount. And if you still aren't sure that you
just want to jump in, I will give you two free hours
of consultation in which I will bring you a mockup design
of what I visualize for your site. We can then talk
it over. You won't have any commitment to continue,
I just want to show you that you can have a profitable
online presence. Is 10 o'clock Monday morning a good
time to meet ... I want to share with you all of the
ideas for your site that I have typed out for you?
11 o'clock is better.
Great, I am excited to meet you.
I am looking forward to hearing your ideas.
Thanks. I will see you Monday at 11:00.
should always create a positive, but assertive, tone
and try not to sound like a telemarketer. The difference
between you and a telemarketer is that you have educated
yourself about the prospective client. You are way above
this level so try to make a good impression. You will
need to be ready for a negative response and rude replies.
Not every call goes this well. Try to figure out ahead
of time what kind of objections you might receive. Always
respond with a polite business response. Never curse
or say rude things back. Negative responses aren't always
a bad sign. If the potential client says " I don't need
a web designer now, I need brochures not banners." Maybe
your expertise includes print design too, go in for
the kill and get the gig. Maybe you want to educate
the potential client on the need of a web site to promote
his or her business. If you think ahead and know your
responses beforehand, you will do great.
Job! You have just landed your first consultation. Now
you will need to prepare yourself for this important
meeting. You will need to take on the role of an expert
in your field. You need to make sure that you understand
that you ARE an expert. Otherwise, if you don't have
self confidence, the prospective client won't trust
you either. Look and feel confident because you can
and you WILL build a great web site for this client
... you WILL knock his socks off.
all of the ideas that you had mapped out earlier and
create a mockup a sample web site in Photoshop. This
is how you should create a professional mockup:
Take a screen shot of your browser.
2. Bring this image into Photoshop and save file.
3. Layout all design elements into layers for home page
of site first.
4. Go to your local service bureau to print out 2 copies
of each design, one for you and one for the prospective
5. Go to a business supply store, like Staples, and
buy black board, a portfolio case big enough to hold
several black boards, Utility knife, Exacto knife, spray
adhesive, labels, and a straight ruler.
5. Use an Exacto knife and straight ruler to cut off
6. Measure width and length of the printout.
7. Cut black board to be about 4 inches taller and wider
than the printout is.
6. Spray the back of the printout lightly with spray
adhesive. After spraying the back of the printout, put
one corner down about 2 inches from the top and 2 inches
from the left of the black board. Then pull printout
taut from the bottom right as you slowly press down
the paper from the upper left. This will keep bubbling
from happening. There should now be 2 inches of blackboard
framing each side of the printout.
7. Place a label on the back of black board with copyright
information, your logo, and a place for client to sign
should also organize your thoughts by creating an organizational
chart. This way you can show the client what rough ideas
you have for their business web site. Take a blank piece
of paper and place your pen in the center of the page.
Write down a word or two that matches the subject of
your previous notes. Branch out with lines to related
topics. Make sure that all navigational routes have
been mapped out. After you have completed this process,
I suggest taking it into Freehand or Illustrator and
clean up the organizational chart. You should also place
this on blackboard the way you did above. Once you have
completed this step and typed out any further notes,
you are ready for your presentation.
is true what they say about first impressions, they
do last. "You Never Get A Second Chance To Make A First
Impression." I am sure you have heard that old saying.
Follow some or most of these rules and you should be
fine. Here are some rules that you should always follow
when dealing with a client or a potential client:
Always address client formally (Mr., Mrs., Dr.) until
client says you can do otherwise
Keep all materials that belong with this project together.
I find that it has worked best to keep all materials
in a huge envelope (And I mean huge). There are envelopes
that are big enough to hold a few binders in them, try
to find those.
You MUST rehearse first. If you mess up a presentation
you are screwed. Why would a client want to hire a freelancer
who can't even explain in a clear manner how he/she
is going to make him money? Rehearse! Rehearse! Rehearse!
Use images to help you through the presentation. It
is much easier to talk while the client isn't staring
directly at you.
4. When speaking to a client, try to weed out the "ums".
This is hard to do, and even I do it all of the time.
"Ums" are used to say something while you are thinking
of something else to say. Your client might think that
you are not a clear thinker. Even if this is not true,
the client might think this.
To separate you as a freelancer from other freelancers,
send a "thank-you" note through regular mail. This is
a good way to set yourself apart from the rest. All
you need to do is send a short note thanking the client
for either considering or accepting you for the job
(depending on whether you have already been promised
the job or not).
Don't answer the phone if you aren't ready to talk.
It is better to have a good, intelligent conversation
with a client when it is less convenient for him than
to have an awful conversation with him when it is convenient
for him. Also, get a second phone line if you have kids,
you don't want to sound like a stay at home mom or dad
when you are talking to a client.
Dress for the occasion. Brush your hair. Wear a suit
or corporate casual if told to do so. Never wear jeans;
you won't be taken seriously in jeans.
Be on time. Never be late. If you are late on the first
meeting, how late are you going to be on the clients'
project? This is what will go through the client's mind.
Bring all presentation materials that you need, including
paper, pen, projector and slides (if needed), portfolio,
and what ever else you feel that you will need.
Look at other individuals directly in the eye and state
your name clearly and the purpose of your visit. Shake
hands firmly. A limp hand shows that you are not confident.
Show these clients that you have what it takes to take
on their project.
Don't sit until a chair is offered to you. It is a definite
no no to sit before the client does.
. Pass out business cards at the end of your presentation
you follow the above rules, I am sure that you will
leave behind a good impression, but will you make the
sale? Being a good sales person doesn't depend on talent,
although this obviously helps. What you need most is
confidence, and portraying that confidence will rub
off on the potential client. Follow these important
points and you will most likely generate your first
Never stop selling. Get used to rejection and understand
that you will eventually make a sale. You should try
to find an average that you can attain. One out of five
people that you talk to will order.
Don't lie about your skills or abilities if you want
repeat business. If you are good, other local businesses
will be knocking down your door in no time.
Open up with an attention-getting statement. Try to
walk in the business owner's shoes, what would be important
to him. Find this answer and start off by bringing this
to his attention.
Portray benefits of building a web site with complete
confidence and excitement. Try to be overwhelmed with
Be ready for objections. Think of any objection that
the business owner could possibly come up with and brainstorm
for answers before they are asked. This should be done
Close the deal by asking when you should get started
working on the web site, this week or next? In other
words, don't give the business owner a yes or no question,
give the customer a choice between two positive alternatives.
that you know how to attract local clients, you should
have no problems creating a successful freelance business.
When working within your community, word spreads like
fire. In fact, once you have a few dependable clients,
you should have no problem finding new clients. Good
- 1000s of freelance jobs, articles, and resources.