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In this episode, Jason and Bridget will chat about cold calling — the good, bad, and the ugly. How do you do this in the WordPress ecosystem effectively without sounding like a used car salesman?

No-one likes cold calling at first – it feels slimy – how to do it right?

The problem: How do you let people know that you’re accepting clients? How do people know if you’re available? Are you advertising?

For a regular brick and mortar business, people will just stop in and hire you, but if you’re an online-only business, how do you reach people? How do they know if you are accepting business?

Everybody in the WordPress space has the potential to be everyone else’s competitor – how can you reach out / connect? Everyone has a specialty or a focus – you can refer business to friends/connections that you know that handle a different specialty. If you know your limits, you can refer out work to other people you know through your networking/connections and they can do the same for you.

Bridget would see jobs posted on Linkedin, etc. and take an interview with them and when talking to them say “actually, I’d really like to be your vendor” and then have a conversation with them, basically turning the interview into a sales call!

(Bridget sidenote: The salary in our industry is way too low. If you only pay $15/hr for social media, you’re only gonna get social media worth $15)

Bridget sometimes notices jobs for companies listed for 30, 40 days … sometimes it’s good to approach them and see if they would consider outsourcing temporarily. There is a risk in reaching out but even if it doesn’t work out now, chances are they’ll remember you in the future for another opportunity.

You don’t know until you try, and sometimes you just need to ask to have a conversation!

Some people approach their businesses by choosing a niche (Ie. all real estate companies/websites) … Bridget likes to be monogamous in her relationships with clients – only one web host, only one party planner, etc. so she can really focus her attention on them.

Make sure that the way you are cold-calling people fits with your brand. Don’t try to be something your not.

Bridget suggests offering something for free when you cold call – she chooses to offer them an audit for free. Treat it like hospitality – here is a tray of hors-d’oeuvres … but don’t require them to take it! Offer the help but let them decline without feeling bad about it.

Another option is to offer your services at a discounted rate on a limited trial basis, and then if they like your work, they can do a full sign up at full price and if they’re not happy, they’re free to move on to something else.

Jason: How do you send out a referral and know that the person you are referring them to is able/willing to do the work?

Bridget: I refer them, but it’s up to the person I’m referring to decide if they are able to do it. To her, being resourceful is part of her brand. (Sidenote: Don’t pass on terrible clients!)

Jason: If I’m going to be the ‘Angie’s List’ of WordPress, I like to make sure that the person I’m handing clients off to is actually willing and able to do the work.

Bridget used to have a ‘Guru Referral’ page and would ask people if they wanted to be listed. Beyond the referral to the expert, she’s not responsible. It’s up to them and the client to see if they are compatible and can work together.

Bridget: In all business, it’s very important not to burn your bridges – be very careful how you treat your clients and competitors. Jason: It’s okay to put “caution tape” in front of the bridge if you need to maintain the relationship but maybe hold on referring people! Bridget: everyone has a preference, never say never to referring someone!

Have a portfolio – and ask your clients if you can list them on your page! It helps people to know your style and if you are a good fit for them.

What matters to you the most? Bridget: I care about mentoring people – if anyone does well, then we all do well!

Remember that when you cold call someone, you’re putting them in a defensive position.

Sometimes you have to speak up for yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.

Try: I would love to work with you – maybe we can help each other out! (But make sure your website is ready for when they come to check you and your business out). Or say, I love what you’ve built with your brand – I’d love to be part of what you are doing and help grow your brand

Publicly posting your prices gives you a starting place and a talking point, it opens up discussion. Don’t be afraid to post your prices on your website.

Be discerning, don’t indiscriminately reach out to people – make sure they’re a good fit for what you have to offer and what your passionate about. You want your passions to align with your client = synergy!

To find your ideal client, you need to be self-aware – and sometimes that means reaching out to and brainstorming with your friends. We mentor and bounce off each other in order to make each other better!

Find your peer-counselors (and/or friends) and be vulnerable and honest with them. They can help you grow!

4 Tips:

  1. Make sure it’s your ideal client
  2. Make sure you’re doing it in a way that helps them
  3. Make sure it gives them the option to say no
  4. Make sure your website is ready for your clients to check you out

Bridget – What Not to Do: Don’t go randomly follow and contact accounts of people who post about something one time because they were visiting a location

Jason – If you see someone in your area posting a lot about food and you are a restaurant – maybe make the connection – “This person is a foodie!” and follow them, contact them

Bridget: Always be helpful, be polite and be relevant.

TIPS OF THE WEEK:

Jason: Dark Mode on MAC is awesome! https://nightowl.kramser.xyz/ – Automatically toggles night mode at night and normal mode during the day! Can also set by sunrise/sunset

Bridget: https://unionmetrics.com/product/instagram-analytics/ – Instagram checkup is free – get content analytics. Analytics tools are great IF you mix things up – if you only ever post at 11 am, it will tell you 11 am is your best time – the only way to test is to mix it up

Show notes contributed by:
Cheryl LaPrade @YayCheryl
Sherie LaPrade @HeySherie

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