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How I Got My First Customer

First Customer

My First Win with BidVoice

Ring ring. “Hello,” I said.

“Hey boy, this is Mitch. Have a story for ya. Got a minute?”

“Sure,” I reply.

He then proceeds to tell me what I have been waiting to hear for several weeks:

“I have this customer who calls me randomly every 2-3 months wanting his lawn trimmed. The problem is that I have a heck of a time getting paid on this job. Anyway, today I tell the guy that I need a check before I leave his house or I cannot cut his grass anymore. He said, ‘I’ll pay you when I get a bill so that I have a receipt.’ I said that’s fair, whipped out my phone, sent him his invoice right there, and told him it’s waiting in his inbox. I had his check in my hand 5 minutes later, and all he said was ‘that was fast.’ …”

Mitch is a contractor that used to complain about the complexity in software programs when all he wanted to do was bill customers by email. One day I said, “I’ll make an easy one if you’ll be my guinea pig.”

Simple story, but that is how I earned my first paid customer.

Building something for a specific person and giving out your personal phone number may not scale very well, but it builds the right foundation in the early days. At least I think so.

Do you remember your first customer? Tell me about it in the comments.

Targeted Visitors To Your Website

Targeted Visitors
Why are targeted visitors to your website good?

The reason to focus your efforts on targeted visitors is so that you don’t waste all of your time attracting people to your site that would never have used your service or bought your product anyway. Sure, you can get the word out and hope they know people that could use whatever it is that you are offering, but that approach doesn’t convert visitors into customers very well.

Your goal with a small business is to rank for the easy keywords that avoid direct competition with the giants while still getting a targeted visitor to your site. This process should convert at a higher rate than simply going after everyone with random blog posts. It also keeps you away from a fight that would take forever to win too.

It All Starts with a Marketing Plan

I am going to share with you the what and why regarding my plan for BidVoice as an overview of how I plan to get targeted visitors.

I’m doing it this way mainly because this is a startup journey, but also because we aren’t in some class looking at a business theory. The BidVoice blog is a case study based on real-time experience, so if you’re ready, let’s do this.

My plan for the entire year of 2017 is to market BidVoice, on a small budget, as a foundation for success in the future. The goals I have set for the end of 2017 are as follows:

  • 200 paid subscribers
  • 1000 Facebook page likes
  • 6 YouTube videos completed
  • 800 monthly targeted blog visitors
  • Homepage conversions greater than 5%
  • Subscription conversions greater than 10%
  • 200 domains linking to BidVoice

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A Good Side Business

Do you go through every day feeling like you were meant to be your own boss? Man, I sure as hell do.

The problem for me a couple of years ago was not knowing what kind of small business to start. If you are like me, you have literally been banging your head against the wall trying to figure it out. The answer I came up with won’t make you feel any better, but neither will spending another year kicking your own ass for lacking any ideas that motivate you to get started.

The type of business you start doesn’t matter all that much. Sorry. You can look at popular lists of ideas like this one all day long, but what you will find in the end is that they all come down to one task for success. Promotion and sales.

I Learned This Lesson the Hard Way

Every business is a people business. Period. Promotion, traffic, customers, sales, and everything else that comes with closing whatever type of deal that results in getting paid eventually hits every entrepreneur square in the face.

I know. I sound like a total downer, but you can be the best concrete finisher in the world that nobody has ever heard of. Being awesome at something is art, and being paid for it is a business. Art is what you do for yourself, and business is what you do for others.

Making your business focus on solving problems for other people and your ability to find those people in need are what will determine your success regardless of what else your business does. And that is why the type of business you choose doesn’t really matter.

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BidVoice Startup Journey

The blog finally has a purpose.

Join us for a monthly debate about what I have been up to for the month and see how it is working or not working for the website. Hopefully, you can get some tips on what to do and likely some pointers about what to avoid when you decide to add a website to your own business.

Remember to leave some opinions, questions, and the occasional “WTF” were you thinking comments to help get this party started. Let’s do this.

I am going to start it off next month with my biggest mistake so far when I set out to build a good side business.

September Update 2016

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7 changes were made to BidVoice this month:

  1. Fixed an issue when trying to add a new client that already exists
  2. Adjusted the dashboard to show total client count and display account messages
  3. Changed the color and timings for status messages that fade out after a set time
  4. The system didn’t want to log user out fully, so that was repaired
  5. Removed the dashboard link on public pages as it is not needed any longer
  6. Finished some small tasks on the road towards turning on subscription enforcement
  7. Added a loader icon that shows the site working during PDF conversions

Happy invoicing!