One of the problems of working with brick and mortar type businesses is continually having to work on things like SEO. Sure, you charge a monthly fee for the services, but that makes it harder to sell, too.
But what if there was a quick and easy way to make offline cash, AND generate a monthly recurring income, too?
One gal I know is doing just that. She makes excellent money upfront – generally $1,200 or more before expenses, and she gets a monthly recurring fee, too, paid to her automatically.
Here’s what she does:
She chose a niche – in her case, local contractors who work directly with homeowners – and focuses exclusively on that niche. However, she does this all over the country, not just in her home city. This way she never runs out of prospects.
When it comes to local contractors, she works with plumbers, electricians, handymen services, carpenters, yard care services, roofers and painters.
She’s looking only for contractors that homeowners hire one-on-one. This is important, because contractors that work mainly as subcontractors and get all their work through other contractors aren’t a good fit for her business model.
She picks a city and starts searching for each of the different types of contractors, looking for the ones that have a lousy looking website or even no website at all.
When she finds these contractors, she contacts them and offers them a ready-made website. Now here’s where it gets really interesting – when I say ready-made, I mean the site is already made. She’s already had it built, complete with the contractor’s info, photos, contact numbers and everything.
The contractor, who generally knows nothing about websites, is typically blown away. Here’s a gorgeous website complete with all his info, ready to go. All he has to do is pay for the site and it’s live within 24 hours, ready to send him new customers.
Now here’s the trick: The sites are all built using the same WordPress theme. And even more importantly, every site can easily be switched from one business to another.
So for example, if Bob the plumber doesn’t buy the site, it’s no problem. Simply swap out the photos, name and contact information to another plumber and offer it to him. It takes less than 30 minutes, and probably half that amount of time after you’ve done a few of them.
Let’s talk numbers:
How many contractors buy the website? Usually about 4 to 5 out of 10. This means you might have to contact 2.5 contractors to make one sale. Still, those are excellent numbers.
What should you charge for the website? Totally up to you, of course. It’s going to partially depend on the niche you choose, but $1,000 to $1,500 is reasonable. But even if you only charge half of that, you’ll do fine.
Yes, you can outsource the website building and the website ‘switching’ if a site doesn’t sell. Find someone who can turn these around quickly and pay a little extra – it’s worth it.
If you sell one of these a week, you can profit about $1,000, depending on what you charge and your outsourcing costs.
But of course, who says you should only sell one? Sell 20 if you like.
Yes, you can charge a monthly fee for hosting, and also for the URL if you own it. Keep the fee reasonable – $25 to $50 a month, for example. Sell 100 sites and you’ve got a $2,500 to $5,000 a month residual income.
Remember, what you charge is between you and the customer, and it’s negotiable, too.
How to sell a site:
If you’re comfortable calling on the phone, then simply call them up and let them know you’ve built a website for them. That will get their attention.
If possible, have them go to the URL while you are on the phone with them, and verbally guide them through all the features of the website, explaining how it will grow their reputation and business.
If you’re not comfortable on the phone, then you can use email. This isn’t quite as effective, but it can still work. Email them and let them know you built them a website, giving them the URL.
Be sure to put your phone number in there, so they can call you and you can get it transferred over to their domain. When they call, walk them through the website, explain the features and benefits and close the deal.
Third option: If you are one of those folks who HATES selling ANYTHING on the phone – and you know who you are – then you can visit them in person and show them the website on your laptop.
Fourth option: If you are one of those folks who just plain hates SELLING, then hire someone to do the selling for you. It should be someone already in sales who is looking to make a few extra bucks.
Obviously this won’t be a full time gig – not even close – but for every sale they make you’ll pay them $X amount of money.
If you go with this fourth option, I suggest the following: Build several sites at once for several different businesses. This way you can send your sales person several jobs to sell at once, making it much more lucrative for him or her.
And of course you will still repurpose the ones that don’t get sold, tailoring them for other businesses so nothing ever goes to waste.
Things to Know:
Adding 3 to 5 short articles makes the site even more powerful. For example, for plumbing you might have articles on ‘how to choose a good plumber,’ ‘how to know when you need a plumber and when you can fix something yourself,’ ‘how to do an easy plumbing job yourself’ and so forth.
The articles should be 90% helpful and at most 10% salesy. The point is to make the contractor look like the helpful, honest person he or she hopefully is.
Take photos from their current website and use those on the new website. Yes, it’s that easy. You can also throw in come stock photos, as well.
And of course if they don’t already have a website or a Facebook page, then you’ll need to use all stock photos.
Once you sell them a ready-made website, it’s easy to also sell them things like SEO if you want to.
Niches to consider:
Contractors, obviously. But restaurants are good, too. Any service industry is good – for example, massage therapists.
Some people will want to target chiropractors, lawyers, doctors, etc., but keep in mind that professionals who make a lot of money often already have great looking websites.
Your ideal market is one where the business reaches out to customers, not to other businesses. And where they often have lousy, out of date websites.
Now just imagine this:
You have your website builder make a dozen or more sites each week.
You or your sales person makes the calls to sell those sites, and 6 of them get sold at $1,200 each.
You pay your website builder $100 to $200 per site, and if you’re employing a salesperson, you pay them the same.
At the end of the week you have grossed a cool $7,200 minus fees paid to your website builder (and your sales person, if you use one.) Plus you have six or more sites already built that simply need to be switched over to new businesses.
Of course, you can always build and sell the sites yourself, in which case the entire $7,200 is yours.
The following week, you get 12 more sites ready, plus you have the six repurposed sites. Half of them sell – making 9 sales – which is $10,800 gross. Plus you have 9 more sites that simply need to be repurposed, and so forth.
And you’re also charging small monthly ongoing fees for hosting, too, which adds up over time.
Do you see the potential?
Of course your results will vary. You might only charge $1,000, or you might charge $1,500. You might sell 50% of your sites, or you might sell fewer than that.
Regardless of the details, this is a powerful formula for making excellent money in the offline world without having to sweat things like local SEO.
And of course once you build a relationship with your new customers, you can always sell the other services as well.
NOTE: Some of you might be wondering how difficult it is to sell a ready made website for a business at $1,000 to 1,500, so I’d thought I’d share what happened to me yesterday…
I was talking to this guy who is a professional manager. He wants to start a personal political blog (nothing to do with his regular job) and wanted to know who he could hire to build this blog for him.
I asked what his budget was, and I kid you not… he said he “knew” he would have to spend at least $1,000 to get someone to set up a blog for him. And he didn’t want to go higher than $1,500.
For a WordPress blog!
I told him I thought I knew someone… 😉
Focus your energies on building this business, rather than working IN this business. Unless you are already super fast at building great looking websites, hire someone who is fast and very, very good.
You can use the same one or two WordPress themes over and over again to streamline the operation.
And pick one main niche to focus on. Don’t start out trying to build sites for chiropractors AND plumbers AND massage therapists… just pick one and get really good at it.
Then and only then do you branch out to other professions.
Take careful notes of what works and what doesn’t. Go back to your customers and ask what specifically made them buy the website. Also ask what made them hesitate, too. You want to find out their objections so you can overcome them before your next sales presentations.
Don’t sweat it when someone says no. You are going to get plenty of no’s, but as you do this you’re also going to get more and more yes’s. It’s just part of the sales game.
Don’t focus solely on your local area. You can build sites for any professional anywhere in your country. Don’t go outside of your own country, at least at first, because people tend to have a greater mistrust for anyone outside of their country.
Build a website for your business. Your website should explain who you are and have plenty of photos of you and your team.
Write short articles for your site that explains the importance of having a great looking, professional website if you’re a plumber, or massage therapist, or whatever profession you’re targeting.
Tips to building a great professional looking website:
Have a consistent brand identity. Use their logo throughout, as well using the same colors, fonts and so forth. Let them know you can change the colors, too, if they like.
Capture inbound leads. Many small business people still don’t know the importance of capturing leads, so place an optin form on every page. Then explain to the prospect why the form is there and how it will increase their business. If they choose to keep it, you can even maintain their list for them, for an additional fee.
Be mobile-friendly. This just about goes without saying, but we thought we better add it to the list. Your websites MUST look as good on mobile as they do on other devices.
Tell their story and make them the hero. Perhaps nothing will sell your sites faster than telling their story. Now of course, you might not KNOW their story, but you can certainly take a guess. “I became a massage therapist because I love making people feel great. And when they feel great, they can accomplish so much more. Their interactions with their family and friends are better and more loving, their…” You get the idea. Make your professional or small business person sound like a hero and you will sell the site.
Use as many photos of their actual business as you can. If they already have a website, pull photos from that, as well as their Facebook page and anything else you can find online.
Oddly enough, your first goal is to impress the person you’re selling the site to (your customer) and not their end user. If you keep this in mind, you’ll do fine. For example, use any motto, slogan or headline they already have, such as “McGuiver and Sons Plumbing, Serving Cincinnati Since 1984.” They’re proud of this and they want to see it plastered big and bold on their site.
If you find testimonials online for their business, copy and paste them onto the website. You might find these on any of the review type of websites, such as Google, Yelp, Yahoo and so forth. Obviously you will only use the positive reviews and not the negative ones.
If they have social media accounts, go ahead and link to those on the website.
Place a strong call to action on each page, such as “Call 800-555-1234 to schedule your consultation today.” When you talk to the future site owner on the phone, you can point out how this can increase their inbound calls.
Finally, keep it fairly simple and do it the same way each time. If you’re continuously having to invent a new website every time, it’s going to take too long.
Instead, spend time coming up with the perfect site, and then simply swap out the information each time for each site. Switch the info, the colors, the testimonials, the photos, etc., so that each site looks unique, yet it’s really the same ‘formula’ used over and over again.
This will keep it simple and fast for you or your website builder, and you won’t forget elements from one website to the next.
Now Let’s Make this Business Model Even MORE Lucrative:
I always like to have an upsell. Sometimes an upsell to my upsell, even.
But in this case, what I’m about to suggest can be used as an upsell OR even as a downsell.
For example, you contact a business owner and show them the groovy website you made for them. They decide not to buy. But hey, you’ve established some rapport with them, so…
You offer them something just as valuable, only cheaper. They maybe feel bad that they didn’t buy the website that you spent hours and hours building for them (hey, they don’t need to know it took your outsourcer 30 minutes to do it.)
Plus, you’re offering such a terrific value, it would be stupid for them to say no.
Or… they DO buy the website you built for them. They have visions of how their business is going to take off now because of the website. They’ve agreed to a low monthly hosting fee. They’re definitely in a buying state of mind, so why not offer them an amazing deal that doesn’t cost much, right?
So what is this upsell / downsell I’m talking about?
Okay, first let’s assume that you are targeting only contractors, or only restaurants, or only massage therapists… in other words, you are focusing on ONE niche.
And let’s further say that you’ve done your research on this niche.
You’ve Googled their profession, learned all about them, and maybe even Googled “Contractor marketing advice” or “Restaurant marketing advice,” etc.
You’ve also developed (okay, this does involve some work) an online marketing membership site just for their niche.
For example, “Marketing for restaurant owners,” or “Marketing for massage therapists.”
Mind you, 95% of your marketing advice is going to be the exact same advice you would give to any business or professional. You’ll just be inserting their language and terminology, as well as tailoring it a bit to their niche.
You teach social media, list building, SEO, lead generation, etc. Most of your content can come from quality PLR sources; just remember to customize it.
Add a private Facebook page or forum where they can ask questions and network.
You sell this monthly membership for whatever you want. I recommend $47 – $97 a month, because it’s a good price point for a business. It’s not so much that they worry about it, but it’s big enough that you are making a good profit, even in the beginning when you only have your first handful of members.
You might even make them a deal where if they remain an active member for a certain length of time (a year?) then from that point on their membership is FREE.
What a deal!
You are teaching them everything they need to know about marketing their business at a price that is truly affordable. How can they say no?
Remember, you offer this to EVERY business person you contact, regardless of whether or not they buy the site you built for them.
So even if they don’t buy the site, if they take the membership offer at $97 for 12 months (and then it’s free) you’ve still made $1,164, which is probably close to what you’re charging for the sites.
But wait, there’s more…
What if you approach offline marketers who deal with people in your niche, and let them act as affiliates for your membership site?
They make sales and you split the monthly residual 50/50 with them.
This move alone can put another 5 figures into your pocket each year.
And by the way, you can outsource the entire thing.
Don’t you just love marketing?
I know I do!!!