Thread: [Journal] Selling Affiliate Software Offline

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22
  1. #1 [Journal] Selling Affiliate Software Offline 
    Administrator Nat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    487
    I'm involved in a number of projects, but I think this one might be fun to journal about. I have no idea if this is going to be successful, but we all might learn something. Well... at lest I will . I've got a spread-out workload and schedule, so we'll see how often I update this thread.

    Goals:

    • Build a small 'local' brand
    • Get experience cold contacting individuals / small-medium businesses
    • Get experience (hopefully) following up with the leads
    • Get 5 clients on a monthly billing cycle -- be successful
    • Minimize the amount of work I actually have to do
    • Keep my personal expenses as low as possible


    Niche:

    I'm going to be peddling a type of management software. I'm not going to disclose exactly what software or exactly what niche. A good chunk of businesses are already using similar software, but there are plenty of openings to get in the market. I'll have to take care of the back end of the software and customize some of it for the clients. Ideally, most of these clients will continue to use the software for at least a year. The software itself will cost me about $100 per month.

    Tools:

    Right now these are the tools I am using / I'll be using



    I'll update the OP when things change with tools, etc, but I'll be posting replies in this thread with what I'm doing. Hopefully we'll all learn something.
    Need a reason to be active on CN?

    Newbies - Get started in affiliate marketing here. Then start generating traffic.

    "You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain..." - The Book of Five Rings
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2. #2  
    Administrator Nat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    487
    I bought an aged domain for $20 from Domain Name Aftermarket - World Marketplace for Domain Auctions - Website Unavailable . Yeah, GoDaddy sucks, but they've got the most aged domains that are easy to snap up. I didn't buy some amazing name, it was just something that was easy to find and worked. I maybe spent 20 minutes scanning the auctions... so boring. I can always re-brand later if necessary. I went with a boring-ish sounding name. Something that sounds like it existed in a brick and mortar office before the domain was registered.

    Why did I buy an aged domain?

    At times, aged domains can be easier to rank in Google. Sometimes they can have salvageable content from Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine . However, that isn't my main concern. I wanted a domain with a Who Is history that is close to 10+ years old. This way you can claim that the 'brand' has been established for X number of years online.

    Set up the website

    I used Grav - A Modern Flat-File CMS | Grav for my CMS. Why? I'm not planning to publish tons of content OR have some tricked out website. GRAV is a flat-file CMS so it loads crazy fast. BTW if you didn't know yet, load speeds help for SEO. GRAV is minimal, and you can get some cool themes. Its super fast to throw up and I had the site looking semi professional in minutes. I think I'll probably be able to avoid having to do much design work since GRAV is far less popular than Wordpress, so potential clients aren't going to recognize a theme as easily.

    Set up an email

    Its just my name@company.com. Simple, does the trick. I also registered the company@gmail.com

    Social Media
    Set up a few social accounts. Will do more later. Right now they've just got super basic profile images, no content.
    Need a reason to be active on CN?

    Newbies - Get started in affiliate marketing here. Then start generating traffic.

    "You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain..." - The Book of Five Rings
    Reply With Quote  
     

  3. #3  
    Administrator Nat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    487
    Direct Contacting -- Research

    I wanted to find some people that I thought might be interested. So, I did a bit of research. I'm going local, so, I explored a variety of niches with "in cityname" after them. I explored their websites quickly, and made a decision if that company was worth contacting. Once I was done with a list of possibilities, I looked into each company a bit further.

    I sent out 20 letters yesterday. Not emails, letters. Each one was somewhat customized although most of them followed a general template. They were typed and then hand signed and the letters were hand addressed. I included a few mini dominoes in each letter -- it made them heavier and should add a bit of curiosity. I included an email address and my cell at the end of each letter. We shall see if I get any emails or calls. I think that if I did my research and the letters well enough I might get one phone call or email out of the 20. If not, I'll do a follow-up phone call at the end of next week, after the letters have arrived two or three days prior.
    Need a reason to be active on CN?

    Newbies - Get started in affiliate marketing here. Then start generating traffic.

    "You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain..." - The Book of Five Rings
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #4  
    Administrator Nat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    487
    Being a Brand

    I think that coming across as a brand is important. Brands are lasting. Brands are also memorable -- not ExactMatchMicroNicheName.com. Of course, a lot is associated with a brand. I haven't finished all of these things, but big brands always have:

    • Fast websites
    • A good logo
    • TOS/Privacy Disclosures
    • FAQ
    • Social Proofs
    • Linked Social Accounts
    • Solid Content


    So today for a half hour I made some more small tweaks to social media accounts attempting to make sure they come across as brands.

    I've got the website up to speed. Missing most of the other stuff, but at the moment my strategy isn't direct contacting, so potential clients wont be finding me through the website. Its there in case I need to provide it or they do some research. Eventually I'll hope to move away from direct traffic, but starting out it should be the fastest route.... We shall see
    Need a reason to be active on CN?

    Newbies - Get started in affiliate marketing here. Then start generating traffic.

    "You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain..." - The Book of Five Rings
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #5  
    Administrator Nat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    487
    More Letters

    Spent some more time today doing quick research in order to create a few more letters. I'm still using the same approach I did in the last batch of letters, although I may start changing a few things up just to see if I get some different results.

    The First Call-Back

    As I was researching I got my first call back. Local business, called be back about the letter he had received... I set up an in person meeting with him for Wednesday afternoon.

    This guy makes enough money to buy ads in local venues, so he should have enough cash to afford whatever I pitch him. The great thing about direct contacting with letters, is that if you get a call back the person is already pretty interested. There is also a chance that I might be able to up-sell him on some additional stuff... We'll see. Looking forward to Wednesday.

    This week -- To do list

    I'll be re-contacting the 19 people who haven't responded back at some point this week. I'm going to most likely try and reach out through phone and LinkedIn.

    I'll also be making some more letters (what I was working on today) and hopefully get them out on Friday.

    I also want to write a few short articles for the 'corporate' website, fill it out a bit in case anyone goes snooping. It would also be nice to rank for a few local search terms -- but that's not a fast process.
    Need a reason to be active on CN?

    Newbies - Get started in affiliate marketing here. Then start generating traffic.

    "You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain..." - The Book of Five Rings
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #6  
    Administrator Nat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    487
    Also on Today's To Do List

    • I should really find a cookie cutter contract to use
    • Figure out invoicing on wave
    • Get my damn logo from Fiverr



    -------------edit--------------

    Just got an email -- the first email-back I've gotten. No meeting scheduled, but it sounds like I've found another potential client . Pleasantly surprised about this.

    Hello ******,

    ******* is working on this and would like to give you a call.

    Is (***) ***-**** the best number to reach you on during the day?

    Looking forward to hearing from you!!
    Need a reason to be active on CN?

    Newbies - Get started in affiliate marketing here. Then start generating traffic.

    "You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain..." - The Book of Five Rings
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #7  
    Administrator Nat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    487
    Wednesday Meeting

    Just got out of the meeting and back to a computer. It went pretty well. I had already 'studied up' a bit on this software and industry before arriving, but I brought some materials with me when I went in and they helped for sure.

    The guy was already using a solution similar, but inferior to what I was pitching. So, it sort of sucked that he already had something, but he was still interested in possibly switching over. He had also just gotten back from some conference and had heard about some great new ****** thing. Except he knew almost nothing about it and had forgotten the name, so he said he was going to email it to me and see what I knew/thought about it. I think there is a 50% chance I'll be able to close.

    -------------------------------------------

    How did I dress?

    I dressed formally, but not too nice. Dress pants, tucked in button up long sleeve, nice-casual shoes, but no tie, no jacket. Usually its a good idea to show up looking about as nice as your potential client. Sometimes if the setting is right you might want to go a different extreme. \_(ツ)_/

    What did I bring?

    I brought a white paper with me, even though the client had probably already read it. For reference in case he didn't, or he wanted to bring his out.

    I brought a list of features for me to glance over as I talked to possibly 'keep me on track.' I also left this with the client at the end of the meeting.

    I also brought screenshots of the software with me, and a few were customized with his business name already on them.

    All the papers were in a zip up portfolio.
    Need a reason to be active on CN?

    Newbies - Get started in affiliate marketing here. Then start generating traffic.

    "You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain..." - The Book of Five Rings
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #8  
    Administrator Nat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    487
    Dumb Mistake #1

    The first dumb mistake I've made... Well, let me make excuses first. I've been in a rush to get this off the ground as fast as possible, just to see if there was enough interest in it... So, I started contacting places before I had an official logo finished (from Fiverr) or even much content on my site (although it was set up). Anyways, it is always a dumb mistake to be promoting anything or starting something entrepreneurial and not have business cards... Well, yeah, I'll just say that I've already looked stupid having to say, twice now, "Sorry, I'm actually fresh out of business cards, my next pack won't be in until the end of this week, how abouts I jot down my phone number and email for you....." Yeah, I had a bit of an excuse because my market research involved cold-contacting and direct-contacting... but still, you look pretty unprofessional if you don't have a card.

    Logo
    About ready to check this one off the list. Fiverr guy has done a revision and is working on another (free) revision. Hopefully I"m happy with what he finishes and I can go ahead and order some business cards with the logo in it, and set up Wave with the logo.

    Follow Up Email
    I sent a follow-up email out several hours ago to the potential client I met with. First I acknowledged what a pleasure it was to meet him for the first time. Then I asked a question. Then I reiterated two of what I deem to be the most important selling points for him specifically, and ended with the classic 'if you've got any concerns or questions, let me know etc....."

    Warm Call
    I called one business that I sent a letter to several days ago. Introduced myself as the guy who sent the letter with bla bla, she immediately knew what I was talking about. Early on in the conversation I attempted to disclose a small amount of casual information that made me sound very familiar with their business -- hopefully moving me away from a 'marketer' and into the category of a 'local' who has known this place for a while and just happened to see *********** in the local news / press release / article, and since I work in ****** industry, I might as well see if I can help out. She had skimmed the letter but hadn't fully read it. She said anything related to software would need to go through the corporate office in Georgia. This sucked because this was a perfect client, but sounds like she doesn't have a ton of control over the business. So, I encouraged her to contact GA people and get back to me before the end of the week. I added a bit of urgency by saying I was only going to be in town for this week before I had clients to meet with at C******. Two psychological triggers at work here. We'll see if she follows up with anything.

    Still Waiting on the Other Phone Call
    I'm still waiting for the call back from this email. Was really hoping it was going to come yesterday or today...

    Blog Post
    I wrote a mid-sized blog article for the corporate website today. Nothing too special, but I'm happy with it. Need to write about 5 more just to look established, and then I might start promoting the website.

    On the To-Do List
    • Follow-ups on the other people I've sent letters to
    • Wait impatiently for people to contact me back
    • Start looking for local websites that I might be able to get a plug-in
    • Try and brainstorm a few people I might know who might be able to set me up with some interested clients
    • Still don't have my cookie cutter contract, but until I get several clients I really don't think I need to worry too much about this
    • Order the business cards
    Need a reason to be active on CN?

    Newbies - Get started in affiliate marketing here. Then start generating traffic.

    "You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain..." - The Book of Five Rings
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #9  
    Administrator Nat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    487
    Following Up - LinkedIn

    I've posted several threads in the Traffic section. The most foundational takeaway should be that your target audience congregates in different areas online (and offline). And, you can use those places to contact your target audience or to drive them to your own website. About half of the people that I contacted had LinkedIn profiles. So, today I sent our connection requests to everyone with a customized message. We'll see if any of them add be back or respond. If they don't respond, I'll likely follow-up again in two days.

    LinkedIn is great because it gives the feel of legitimacy. They can put a face to me/my letter and check out my profile if they wish. Of course, direct contacting strangers is never an easy thing to do. So, we'll see if I get any response/success.

    ---------edit----------

    Business Card

    I'm too damn indecisive to pick a business card out @VistaPrint obviously... cheap, easy, tons of templates. Will be ordering tomorrow.
    Need a reason to be active on CN?

    Newbies - Get started in affiliate marketing here. Then start generating traffic.

    "You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain..." - The Book of Five Rings
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #10  
    Administrator Nat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    487
    Ordered Business Cards

    Ordered 500 business cards for $10 -- hard to beat that deal, even with the $5 shipping. I went ahead and ordered another 500 of my usual cards (no brand, just name, number, and email). Shipping is going to take up to two weeks which sucks. Now that I think about it, I should have paid the extra few bucks and expedited the shipping. Looks like I'll just have to burn through the rest of my personal cards .

    LinkedIN Outreach Update

    I've had two people I reached out to add me back. They haven't messaged me and I'm not going to message them just yet since their invite message stated my 'purpose.'

    Updated To-Do List

    • Add images to website
    • Add articles to website
    • Add logo to header of website
    • Wait impatiently for people to contact me back
    • Look for local websites that I might be able to get a plug-in
    • Look for other online venues where my local professional audience might congregate
    • Continue to brainstorm a few people I might know who could set me up with some interested clients
    • Look into Craigslist
    • Figure out contract (low priority)
    Need a reason to be active on CN?

    Newbies - Get started in affiliate marketing here. Then start generating traffic.

    "You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain..." - The Book of Five Rings
    Reply With Quote  
     

Tags for this Thread

View Tag Cloud

Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •