I do a good amount of digital marketing (search, social, branding) consulting projects with different businesses and individuals. I’m passionate about showing people how to market their businesses or selves online. Previously I never charged what my time is really worth and focused on things that are not important.
Your time is worth what your time is worth. – Me
You determine how much your time is worth. When I work with a client I spend hours researching their business, competitors and industry so that when we meet for the first time those two hours are entirely productive. We explore what they’re doing now and how we can use my knowledge to enhance, modify or pivot from their current model. We make awesome shit happen and they make money. So what how much monetary value is the information and insight that I possess.
It’s a lot. Even if it’s something easy that you have no problem doing that doesn’t mean it’s the same for your client. The best businesses or consulting firms take the pain out of it for the consumer. When you walk into a restaurant, you aren’t visiting the kitchen to watch your dish being prepared. The restaurant takes the pain out of the process. You should look to do the same and charge appropriately.
One your business is established, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of the value that you can provide. Refine the process, scale it out and charge more. There are always clients that will pay more, just like you can outsource work to someone else who can do it better. You just have to look.
Getting established will take some time. I used to think that leaving after my last company that I was guaranteed success and it would happen quickly. Holy shit was I wrong. Traveling the country and going to music festivals for free isn’t so bad, but I’m still far from being rich. There are a few things we often think that we need right away before we start building a business and I’ll try and clear it up for you.
Your business name instantly leaves an impression in the mind of your customers, investors, competitors and peers. Will yours be memorable? You may strive for weeks or months to come up with the right name and then be forced to pivot later when your business model changes.
The name is important, but before you have a product or any customers it doesn’t really matter. Work through the problem you’re going to solve and understanding your target market before you freak out over your businesses name.
**Name Hacking: **
I use Lean Domain Search to come up with a business name. It automatically checks to see if the dotcom is available for whatever keyword you might type in. Previously this was more relevant as Google gave a lot of preference to exact match keyword domains for SEO, but not so much anymore.
Having a sweet logo is cool, but that doesn’t really define your brand. The WhiteRaverRafting.com logo is horrid. I don’t know what we want to change it to, but in a way I kind of like it. Our blog is rough and edgy, we aren’t like the others so maybe the logo defines us. I used to put a lot of emphasis on this part of starting a new blog or business.
Hacking Logo Design by Ben
- Design-Newz.com and type in logo and look at thousands of samples
- Visit fiverr.com and hire 3-5 different designers for $5 a piece
- Tell the designers exactly what you want based on samples
- Have a logo done for $25 and move on to important shit instead
I didn’t get business cards until months after I started WRR. It’s a good conversation starter at networking events, but other than that there isn’t much use for them. Save the cash and just ask them to put their number in your iPhone. Business cards are probably the last thing that you need to think about. Yes, they are convenient at times but today it’s better to make a lasting impression by shooting a tweet or sending a quick text message. I’ve handed out 500+ business cards and they were barely ever worth it.
If you’re selling something do you need a website to begin? Maybe you can throw up one or two static pages and just go from there. When I started CharlestonSEOLab, I thought I needed this fancy website that ranked on the first page of Google. After building this site out, I lost enthusiasm and the project stalled. You need to focus on generating business and you don’t do that by building a fancy website.
Focus on a market and develop a clear value proposition. Solve their problem, take all of the thinking out of it and make it local. It’s easier to convey value in a face to face meeting. Direct mail marketing is an easy way to reach out to people, but I recommend you spend the time and do your research. A few targeted leads are better than sending out 100 letters that don’t get opened. To make sure your letters get opened, consider putting some packing peanuts, a bouncy ball or dice in the envelope. It will be more expensive, but this usually works.
Song of the week:
Something f*cking awesome:
I will be presenting at the first annual Dig South. It’s a new interactive conference similar to South by Southwest here in Charleston, SC. Submissions were closed, but I wrote this somewhat crazy pitch pleading to be involved and it was approved. Cannot wait for this event and I can’t explain what it means to me to be a part of the first year.
Tickets are available via Kickstarter now!
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