Building a local digital agency is one of the key things we teach our elite students to do at eBusiness Institute. It creates a quick cash flow injection and helps to put those digital marketing skills to good use. In fact, many of our students have now quit their full-time jobs to run their digital marketing business full time.
If you want to learn more of the technical skills around building websites for cash flow, we teach this through our Digital Investors Program, and provide loads of great examples of students doing this at our annual 3-Day Workshop event.
But today, I want to put the technicalities aside, and take a more practical look at the foundations of building your local digital agency business. These foundations are important to attract the clients you want to your business. It will also show you how to increase your business cashflow by adding value in the right areas.
Finding your worth when charging clients for local website builds
If you done our WebDev Accelerator course, then you already have the skills to build a local business website. By learning how to create functional website, you are now able to help someone transform their business. Depending on the size of the business and the scope of the build, you can make on average $3,000 per local business website.
But here’s the question – are you charging $3,000+ per local website build? And if not, why? The only thing that’s stopping you charging $3,000 is what’s in your head. This is exactly what Calem Koek was says (and a lot of our elite students say to us), “I need to learn how to value my skills.”
It’s important to know the value that the website you build is worth to that business. When that website attracts new leads, and converts those leads to sales – how much is that worth to the business? In most cases (again, depending on the nature of the business) hundreds of thousands of dollars actually. When built right, businesses can generate a lot of money out of their website.
Create an edge by out caring your competition
When you know how to build good quality websites for local businesses, you can offer a quality of service and understanding that is unique and highly valuable. Calem Koek from Elevate Websites is a digital marketer from Melbourne. He came up with an awesome term, which says:
“We need to out care our competition” – Calem Koek, Elevate Websites
This is something that he, and the rest of our elite students, live up to now when looking at ways to help local businesses. Really taking the time to understand their local business client, and what they really need from their website to help their business succeed.
A lot of web designers (or people who are quoting on building websites), unfortunately just don’t think about it from this level. They only really think about just getting the job done. But I love that way that Calem came up with his thinking that we “out-care”. Taking the time to sit, listen, and work out exactly what the business wants and then go, “Okay, let’s build a website that does that.” And if you do that, you can also make a lot of money out of your digital marketing business.
How to instantly create connections with businesses
Ok, so now we know how to increase the value of the clients we attract to our local digital agency. But what can we do to reach out to these businesses? The number one way most of our students attract new clients is through creating good quality connections with businesses in their local area.
One of the things I read recently about the secrets to a happy marriage and a happy relationship is committing to making eye contact in the morning. Every morning, making sure that you look your partner in the eye, and say “Good morning!”. Because I think in our busy lives, sometimes we forget to do that, don’t we?
Or even if it’s not in the morning, if you don’t have that time schedule, commit to thinking, “I’m going to look my partner in the eye at some point today”. Setting the intention to make that beautiful connection. It makes a big difference in our human brains. It’s really important to make those eye contacts. And you could also add a small compliment.
So, we can relate this same principal for when you’re meeting someone for business. Say you were going to talk to someone about a website. Perhaps you go to their business premises and you might say something, “Oh, it’s a beautiful shop you have.” Or, “Wow! This is a really great location.” It doesn’t have to be something fancy that you’re saying. It just has to be a little comment about something that’s nice to that person.
And if they have a flashy car, obviously comment on the car, it works really well. Comment if they’ve got nice artwork on their office wall, etc. Even if they’ve already got a nice website, comment on that. Just say, “Obviously it needs some SEO work. But hey, visually it looks awesome!”
The Power of Networking to form great relationships with your clients
At one of our recent Digital Investing workshop events on the Gold Coast, I was chatting to Jeanette Jifkins from Onyx Law. She is one of the leading online lawyers in Australia, and always gives great advice to our students when it comes to keeping their online businesses secure. But today, she also gave us a great insight into why it’s so important to build relationships with your clients when you’re building a digital agency.
Jeanette Jifkins: I was recently presenting to the Project Managers Association, where there are people who do a lot of government work. And one of the last questions I got was, “How do you stop disputes happening in projects?”
And I said, “Okay, it’s not a legal technical answer. What you need to do is take the person you’re doing business with out to coffee and get to know them.”
Because if you can have a conversation with them; if you can talk about your kids, your dogs, your hobbies, anything that, you can relate to them and they can relate to you. Then the chances of a dispute happening (or being unresolvable) are significantly reduced. So, a simple conversation over coffee is so important.
Matt Raad: And this is why we teach our students the power of getting out there and talking to people. It’s the equivalent of developing relationships with your clients. This is how you get ahead in business, and especially if you’re going to be doing bigger stuff as well. You need to connect with other people.
Even when we’re buying and selling websites. We have relationships going with people that we’ve bought websites off 10 years ago. We’re still good friends, we still buy websites off them, we still do deals together in certain niches, and we work together because we get on. While we’ve never physically met these people (so we can’t have a coffee with them, except when we go over to America), we still try to catch up with them.