There are many internet marketing companies in existence today and over the years, I have been highly criticized most of them because I felt they overcharged and provided a lot of unnecessary, bad services and basically things that if I were charging the client (customer), I would simplify, ask for less and frankly do more productive things.
This opened up a lot of opportunities for me to personally start my own company and honestly, I am very close to doing it. I have juggled with this idea many, many times and already have the whole strategy in place, ready to go in case I begin and that strategy is something I want to share with you.
Now this is more thorough and different than the article I wrote about online businesses (if you ever read it) a very long time ago because that one was focused very much on basic affiliate marketing.
Before you start a company, it needs to begin with this:
First of all, the #1 rule before you begin an internet marketing company is that you need to have enough personal and successful experiences with building successful websites such that if a customer came to you with their idea and what they want, that you would be able to meet their expectations. In other words, before you start a company helping others make online businesses, you need to have at least a successful one of your own.
Going from your own successful site to helping clients have the same thing:
From that 1 successful example, you have at least 1 formula you can do make for others, but charge them for it and frankly this is what many personal friends of mine who are in this business have done:
They started with their own websites, typically affiliate marketing ones and eventually wanted to branch out. They then found people that were willing to pay a lot of money to have these types of sites made for them. One by one, they gathered a list of clientele and charged them for things like building a website, building out the content on that website and handling the marketing (such as keyword research) and even article writing.
By doing this, they were able to charge and make anywhere from several $100 to $1,000’s per person for an initial startup fee, and then even started providing things like month to month services at a reoccurring fee that provided a stable monthly income.
But of course this is the very simplified start-end model and don’t worry, I’m going to get into all those details very thoroughly in this article.
The 10 services your company can offer and how to distinguish which clients need what:
I have often though about this and have considered providing many kinds of new services on my site that frankly ANY internet marketing company should use too. The only question is, which clients need it? Here is how I break down the services:
I just look at what it takes for a website to be successful and if I were to name the components necessary, each of those components would become actual services I would offer. For example, no matter what kind of business it is, websites will need the following:
1. A domain name.
You can either ask your client to buy it through your affiliate link and make a commission of this.
You can promote hosting services and also refer the customer to that for a commission. You can also have your own hosting account and have the buyer host their sites on this account.
So far, for these 2 things, you won’t really be earning much, but it’s part of a bigger package to the business you’re helping the customer build.
These are necessary for local businesses and what I typically recommend here is finding citation building websites (Whitespark.ca) which charge about $300-$400 for building them for any site you want, but charging about $100 over that for the customer so you get to keep the $100 as a fee. I do not recommend using citation building services for people who wish to create regular affiliate websites, only for local businesses.
4. Then the person needs to pay for the actual site to be made.
Depending on IF it is a local site or an affiliate site will change the price. For example:
If a local customer came to me and asked to make him a website that promotes his..say bagel store, I would personally outsource that job to a website designer I know. He charges about $500 for this, but I would charge $600 (extra $100 bonus to me and $500 to my web guy).
If the customer has no local business and wanted to make an affiliate website, that would cost a lot more. For this they would need to pay for not just the website (which would cost the same) but also:
5. Content creation services, aka article writers.
For this I would also outsource the job to someone I trust to write. I have an article writer who does work for me at about $30-$40 per article. For a typical affiliate website, you need to have at least 50 articles in my opinion, so at say $40 an article that my writer charges, 50 articles would run the buyer $2,000, BUT I would charge them maybe $50 (if they are a pain to work with, less if they are nice) and keep the $10 for each article while the rest would go to the writer.
It would end up costing the client $2,500 but I would keep $500 and the rest would go to the writer.
6. Extra fees for keyword research.
For local businesses, I would probably charge about $50 for this and for affiliate marketer clients (the 50 articles), I would charge $100. This is a service I’d do myself because I know where and how to find the best terms.
Note: This is also a good fee you can add as a service on your current website, provided it’s a make money online site. For example, on mine, I can easily add this for people who do affiliate marketing but need help in the keyword department. You can make an easy $50 or more for each client.
7. What happens if the customer has a website?
Then I would probably do an audit of it depending on how big the site is. The bigger it is, the more I’d charge. I would consider this a consultation fee and maybe have it either be free or no more than $50.
8. Other consultation fees you could add.
Is your customer on the other side of the world and there’s no way you can meet with them in person or maybe you just don’t want to? Then speak to them on Skype and charge them per half hour or hour.
Whether it’s a physical or digital meeting, during the consultation, go over their website (if they have it)…
Let them know where they can improve and how your services can help or if they don’t have one, give an example of what you offer and provide your existing successful site as an example, then go over the fees. Maybe as a courtesy, do the consultation for free to gain more trust from the customer to pay for more of these services later on, but obviously be fair and don’t charge for things they don’t need…
9. Maybe offer the client a chance to handle their PPC campaigns.
This is more advanced, but if the client has money to spend on this, you can also offer them an extra service where you handle their ads. I have met many, many people who do not know how to deal with Adwords and end up paying a lot more than they should so you charging them to handle this will actually save them money.
The prices here can get tricky because you have to consider what types of keywords you’re bidding on and other factors so I can’t really give a price here. All I can say is that it’ll probably be a month to month fee I would charge depending on how well the ad is doing and how quickly the budget you set is running out, but if you’re not advanced enough to know PPC, do NOT do this for the client and instead outsource it to someone who does understand it and keep a certain fee for referring them to the person who knows the PPC business.
10. Do a month to month follow up with the client.
Do you know how to set up Google Analytics and Webmaster tools for a website? If so, these are required components you’ll have to make for your client and you can use that as a future followup to speak with them and let them know how their site is doing. You can give them reports on traffic and ask how their sales are doing, then from there, you and the client can decide if you want to keep doing business together or not.
11. Optional: Offer any customer you get a commission for each new referral they get you.
It’s a great way to get new leads. I would probably pay $100-$500 for each new lead I get, but only if the lead actually pays for a service/s and depending on how much they will buy, will correspondingly equate to a bigger commission for the person who referred them to me.
Balancing out all the different services and figuring out what should be used:
Now those 10 different services can ALL be applied to 1 customer, provided that 1 person’s business requires them. Let me give you a few example of how I would handle the different types of customer’s needs:
First type of client:
Let’s say one person comes to me with little money, wants to start an online business but is ready to “risk” and pay me several thousands for the services so I can start the business for them.
What I’d do: I would not even take them in. I would just recommend that they join Wealthy Affiliate so they can learn how to make their own business.
I would also refer them there so I get the money. It would not be a lot, but at least it would be a fair recommendation for an appropriate situation the client is in. It would cost them very little and I would make something too.
I am not interested in doing big business with people who risk money they cannot easily lose. To me that creates a future problem where they will think they were scammed if the business I made for them doesn’t work out. It’s much better for me to tell them to learn how to make the business on their own.
Second type of client:
A businessman approaches me and says they want me to build them a full online business from scratch and have at least $5,000 they can invest. This is an affiliate business they’d want. They have NO website, no experience, no local business for this, nothing, just money they want to invest somewhere.
What I’d do: I’d charge them for a consultation fee where I’d try to figure out what kind of business they want me to make. Even though I would be making it, it is ideal that they have a website they like.
After figuring that out, I’d probably go with an affiliate website layout, charge them for the domain, hosting, website creation and the 50 articles with a month to month followup consultation and this would run them about $3,000-$4,000 with a small fee they would pay once a month if they wanted to get a followup with me. I would make about $1,000 in profit on that.
Third type of client:
They have a local business, they have a website, but they don’t have any traffic.
What I’d do: Charge them for citations and a consultation (audit). That would cost them about $400-$500 and make me about $150. If they want to do PPC, that would be great and I’d charge them anywhere from $100-$1,000 a month for advertising services (remember the prices here vary on the advertising costs) which I’d handle for them, and keep the remainder as my profit.
If they do NOT have a website, well then just add an extra web design fee of $500 and keep an extra $100.
Fourth type of client:
They are already doing affiliate marketing, but frankly can’t make it work and need help.
What I’d do: Figure out what their businesses problem is via a free consultation, then recommend to them Wealthy Affiliate. If they are having issues with keywords, sell them some.
Typically the kinds of customers you’ll get will probably be one of those 4.
Starting from 1 customer and building it up to several:
Never take on more clients than you can handle and certainly do not do multiple projects if you’re the only person doing them. You need to have:
- Experience with internet business.
- A writer you trust to write good articles.
- A good website designer (unless you can make them yourself).
But at the very least, your company may need 2 people to help you PER customer, one for the website design, the other for writing articles. If you start to get more and more clients, you may want to look for more writers (website designers can typically handle multiple sites at once), otherwise you’d have to make the customers wait in line until their services would be completed and that’s not usually a good thing since they’ll probably want them done as fast as possible.
I would look for writers through friends that I know write well and/or ask other internet marketers if they can recommend someone, then if I do find a person, ask them how much they charge and charge the actual client a little bit more to make a profit.
If you can make 1 successful business for 1 customer, then you can do it for more than 1 and this is how your company can grow.