The question I have for you today is this: Do you like the Moody Blues? I do. They're one of my favorite bands. They're from the 60's, if you're not that old. I live in Chicago and we have an outdoor amphitheater called Ravinia. I know there's lots of them all over the country. I've got friends who live in Denver and there's Red Rock Canyon. There's tons of different places where you can go see bands. My favorites tend to be the older bands like Aerosmith and Steely Dan. The bottom line is I like new music, but I like old music, too. The old music just brings me back to my roots.
The Moody Blues had a song that was one of my favorites growing up and the name of the song was Question. It starts like this, “Why do we never get an answer when we're knocking at the door, with a thousand million questions about hate and death and war.” Sounds ominous. To me, it also sounds like cold calling. I don't know about you but, luckily, I've never had to do any cold calling in my life – but I know a lot of people that do.
The Questions Are In The Answers
What I'd like to talk about today are questions and why we never get the right answers to those questions. Well, we do – but sometimes we have to dig for them. Let me give you three core examples that I get messaged to me on Facebook and LinkedIn all the time. They're usually from people who I've met and they know I'm an online marketing strategist. They say, “Well, that looks pretty cool. I think I can do that.” Yes you can. They ask, “My friend asked me to start doing their social media and online strategy and I just don't know what to charge. How do you charge them?”
1) How Do You Charge Your Clients & Why?
While, they're asking the question, “How much should I charge per hour?” Really the question that they're asking me is how can they determine how much they're worth? Where's that fine line between overcharging and undercharging? That's a tough question to answer to be honest with you, because it is something that is based on value.
Here's how I normally answer the question. The bottom line is I do not charge by the hour, I charge by retainer. That's something I've learned how to do. Bottom line is I charge you for a month and this is what you get for the month. I don't say specifically what I charge. I don't tell them what I'm giving for that particular price because obviously what I have to offer is going to be different than everybody else, and you cannot match those apples and oranges. It isn't going to happen. I've been doing marketing for 40+ years. I've run my own businesses. I have degrees, I've got experience at major corporations. I'm not singing my own praises. I'm just saying I've got a particular worldview and this particular worldview tends to work really well in B2B marketing as opposed to consumer marketing.
The REAL Question…
The question that they ask again is how much I charge. What they're really asking is what I'm worth. The way I answer that question is, well, it depends on how much you can make for a client. Consider, if this particular client who is hiring you can make an additional $300 dollars a month from what you do, then charge them $100 bucks. If they can make $3,000 dollars a month, then charge them $1,000 dollars.
If you charge them $1,000 dollars and they don't make at least $1000 dollars a month, that gig will not last long.
The key question is how much value can you bring to the table and deliver to that client? Usually it ends there. I do offer them my training services. One of my services is one-on-one coaching. I didn't set out to sell this service, but it turns into a sales opportunity for me. I'm not trying to sell people, I'm just letting them know that's an option in case they want to get there. At the end of the day, there's a big difference between becoming a consultant and running a business.
2) How Do I Get More Eyeballs?
The second question I get a lot is how I drive more traffic to my website. The question that they're really asking is how do I get people to care about what I have to say when they show up at my website? Here's the bottom line – every website is pretty much the same. You're going to get two clicks in two minutes. That's all you get. You have to design the website to meet the customer's expectations. Usually, in the B2B world, the customer's expectations are that your website answer the question they have.
Like in the first example, I did answer the question, but I left them wanting more. That's what your website has to do, too. It has to answer the question, but it has to leave them wanting more so they'll take another action. That is to sign up for an email list, to get on the phone, to text you, and even chat with you if you're into that kind of thing. I'm not a big fan of it because most of the time I go on chat, I put in the chat, they get my email address and I sit there and wait. Then I go somewhere else and I forget that I was even chatting with somebody because it took them five minutes to come back. That does not do much for me and my time and my business. It's not something I like.
So the key thing is, can you get somebody who understands how to write for B2B websites, the kind of content that is not only going to attract the right kind of people, but also engage them and answer their questions, while leaving them wanting more, so that they'll do more and connect with you.
3) Fix Broken Websites?
The third question I get a lot of is if I know anybody who does websites. The truth is I do, but I don't really do websites. I mean, I do B2B consulting. That's what I do. Now, website is part of that, but they'll ask you where do you get your hosting and who do you get to do the website? I hear all the time that hosting is easy. Go to A2. Go to Brianloves.info/A2. If you have a small business, go for the shared hosting, get Swift and you're done. That's it. Cheap. Five bucks a month. Best server out there. Done deal.
The next piece is a little more complicated because again, who are you serving? There's a big difference between consumers and B2B. One of the biggest mistakes I see is that B2B companies will hire people to do pretty websites. The problem with a pretty website is it's beautiful, but it doesn't get the action that they need. I hear this all the time. I tell people you need better calls to action. They reply, “Oh, I've got to call the action. Look, you hit this button, it scrolls down, then it gives you these three choices, then you click on here and you can see the catalog of things that we have, and then click on that one thing and then when they get to that page…” Inevitably, there's no call to action on that last page. More often than not, people will stop after two clicks. How do you consider that a call to action? Well, they did something, right? Yeah, but it didn't end where you wanted.
As the Moody Blues said, “Why don't we ever get the answer when we're knocking at the door?” Usually it's because the answer is more complicated. Your goal is to make people ask more questions.
I'd love to hear your take on these three questions. Comment below and share your ideas or struggles with answering these three questions. Have you already implemented some of the steps shared in this post? Do you have any additional ideas or insight you can share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/