Or: How I stopped looking desperate in group posts.
If you ever see posts in Facebook groups “I’m looking to get a site done, can anyone help me?” You’ll instantly see hundreds of comments from designers saying “send me a PM” or “I’ve messaged you, I can help”. This post is about how to avoid that trap and still find website work.
We’ve all seen these posts and I don’t want to shame anyone by posting screenshots here. They usually look something like this.
I get why people jump on these posts. It looks like a lead. It looks like someone is looking to pay you for your services. All you’re going to do is throw you name into the hat and see if you get a lead.
We think that by offering our name, sending a PM or tagging someone that we’re generating a new lead that we can turn into a customer. This is social selling at work!
Except it isn’t and you just look desperate.
We’re all told that social selling is “the next big thing”. They way that people find businesses is through our networks and our contacts. It’s true that social media has allowed us to reach and talk to a wider network of people. But it’s still just that – a network. How you talk and communicate with people still has the exact same affect it would online as it does in the real world.
You look desperate
I’ll get this out of the way first. When people need help and offer jobs on Facebook, you get everyone jumping on the comments like sharks to chum. You’re almost going out of your way to show you have no work on and that you need more customers.
A lot of WordPress businesses I know will talk about helping people out. Commenting that they happy to help, or that they’re bored or they can do it for a good rate. Perhaps even getting and feeling a little defensive at me saying that you shouldn’t race to comment on a post offering a little work.
The fact is, if you’re ‘bored’ or just happy to help out. By definition, you’re not busy. You’re adding your name to a literal long list of people competing for the same job and that creates one thing…
You’re creating a commodity
3 things WordPress business complain about all the time.
- Few high quality, high budget prospects, customers and projects coming your way.
- Amateur designers and developers stealing work by just throwing up a theme.
- Other businesses charging too much and pricing others into lower brackets.
As soon as you start commenting, who do you think the poster is going to choose? It’s the person with the lowest price.
“Remember, your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.” #35 on Murphy’s Laws of Combat Operations
If there are multiple people competing for a single job and the only differentiator is the price, you are creating a commodity. That means the website project becomes something that is bought on price, rather than any other value like results or process.
It becomes a race to the bottom for every business on the thread and nothing allows you to show off your difference.
Treating a social network exactly like a business network
If this was a real network, like a business lunch or something and someone said they were looking for a site. Or maybe they were looking for an expert or some help and everyone in the room rushed to talk to them, shouting contact details and prices at them, would you join that crowd?
What have you learnt about the project or the customer? What’s their budget? You don’t know anything about them and you’d only be adding to the noise.
You wouldn’t do it in real life, so why would you do it online?
Instead, if you WANT more WordPress and website customers, start doing the below.
Read this post on winning clients
The Definitive Guide To Winning WordPress Clients. Written by Troy Dean at WP Elevation. This post goes into STAGGERING detail on how to get more high-quality clients. Read it and learn.
Read this post on content
How To Publish Like A Huge Content Creation Team (When It’s Really Just You). Written by Niklas Goeke. This post talks about creating useful, great content even if it’s just you on the team. I’m a firm believer that writing specific, useful content is the most solid long-term option for businesses looking to change who they work with.
Work harder at building a network
Here’s the truth. Most people who say they’re looking for higher paying projects and work don’t really mean it. What they want is more money for the same effort they’re putting in. Can you honestly say you’re willing to put more work into building a path to higher paying customers?
If you are, then read on! Here’s the key. NETWORKS are what makes profitable businesses, profitable. By building a network of customers and suppliers, you can control the content and conversations that take place.
Your email list is a network. Your Facebook group, is a network (more on that below). Getting a few people in the pub in the evening once a month, is a network.
As long as you’re talking to people on a regular basis, you’re creating a network. Eventually, rather than you reaching out to people, they reach out to you.
Talk to your current customers
I’ve never understood why people don’t do this more often. If you want work, assuming you’ve done good work (be honest with yourself, you’ve probably done better work than you’re giving yourself credit for), why not reach out to your current customers.
“We’ve recently taken on new staff so our capacity has increased”
“[Name], if you’re serious about getting more traffic to your website, for your business, check out this…”
You’ve got a couple of easy options here, start reaching out and find customers from customers.
Use social in a different way
I don’t disagree that social is a great way to find and nurture customers. I use it to drive traffic to my sites but I have another method too.
Anyone who is a lead or a customer is invited to my private Facebook group. It’s only for select members and it’s a great way to manage what they’re talking about. There are a range of businesses in there and they can reach out to me or other members easily.
Think about inviting people and growing a group like you would an email list.
Spend your time wisely
I love building small groups of networks and reaching out to them, It’s taken time, but now it’s MY customers who reach out to me and ask me for advice. Just by spending a little time planning out what a group could talk about, I’ve made strong connections that I can rely on.
I know a lot of people reading this will be asking “yeah but I don’t have TIME to build these kinds of connections”. I know how you feel, lots of people have said the same to me, but what we’ve found is that by cutting back on low quality, time wasting clients, you can spend time building relationships with higher quality customers.
Maybe you want to build a network or email list on automation? If that’s true, then you need to get access to our marketing funnel plan below. Every traffic source converted into a lead or customer and more importantly, WHAT to send to your current customers.