January 27, 2018

Help people before building platforms

A local business owner approached me last month. He runs a really small local printer and toner shop, and is branching out to PC repairs.

He wanted the best price for a landing page and AdWords campaigns.

I told him I was building a local directory for the county, and offered to create a listing for him and run campaigns, for free – so long as he covers the ad spend and he’d be our first case study.

He agreed immediately.

So what’s going to happen now?

I’ll get a page built on a domain I own.

I’ll build AdWords campaigns in an account I own.

He’ll enter his credit card details into the account and he’ll pay Google directly.

I’ll build campaigns to “count inpressions” (count how often the ads show and thus tell me what people are searching for the most). Minimal spend at this stage.

I’ll discuss findings with him. It might be there’s not enough volume to justify going to the next step. Or it might be we find a few high volume segments or angles and go to the next phase.

Maybe I’ll rebuild campaigns and/or the landing page. Or maybe I’ll just push bids for the areas we identified as having enough potential volume.

Now we’re buying visitors, which we hope will turn into enquiries and sales.

I’ll work with the business owner to dial this in. I’m sure he’ll let me know if he doesn’t get enough enquiries, and if the enquiries are poor quality.

He’s paying the ad spend, supplying the subject matter expertise, and providing feedback to help us dial it in for him.

We’ll get to know the search volumes, impression shares, impressions, average positions, CTR, and cost-per-click.

We’ll get to know the way people search, the type of page(s) that convert, the click-to-enquiry-rate, the enquiry-to-sale-rate, the cost-per-enquiry, the cost-per-sale, the possible revenue (if he’s forthcoming – which they often are since they’re not paying me and realise I’m in it with them).

I get to know a local business owner very well.

He gets to know me and my processes very well. Even at this stage it could be enough for him to provide referrals without me asking – that’s how he found me after all.

Visitors to the landing page get to know about some new directory in their county. Maybe they’re business owners who might be interested in getting one of them pages and them Google ads built for them?

Maybe all his print toner clients get to know of what I do when they come into his shop and he tells them about his new service and gives them the URL? (He’s had his shop in my town for 10 years btw… that’s a lot of business owners he knows.)

Visitors will end up on my remarketing list for sure – a remarketing list he’s building for me.

Maybe he’ll becomes a paying customer after a few months?

Maybe he just stays as a case study and champion?

Use spreadsheets to play with data you’ve already gathered – ideally that someone else has bought for you.

Build good will whether it works or doesn’t.

Build win-wins immediately.

Focus on helping one person first, before building a platform.