How John Chow Helped Me Build A Thriving Business
Hello fellow John Chow readers! My name is Brian and I wanted to share my story about how after reading a post on John Chow’s blog, within 3 weeks I was able to make more money in my spare time then I was at my day job. I am less than 1 month into it and have already made over $1000 “working” only a couple hours a week. This is not from some guru crap ebook either.
Its a very simple process that anyone can do.
I am not making any money from this post. I just wanted to pay it forward for all the great advice I have gotten from John Chow.
I know very little about SEO but I do have my own website. I ran the free report and was really impressed with how well it worked. Like I said above I was barely getting by so I don’t have any money for SEO services for my website. The report told me exactly what I needed to do so I downloaded the PDF, printed it out, and followed the step by step instructions. Within 1 hour I had my website completely SEO’d out for my keywords.
A really neat feature Free SEO Report offers is that it allows you to totally custom brand your reports with your own logo and urls. You can also save your design for future use. It occurred to me that I could basically open my own SEO service and resell the reports. So I played around and made a simple header for my SEO company.
With Free SEO Report you get 1 free report, but then the reports are $10 apiece, or you can pay $19.95 per month for unlimited reports. BUT the great thing is for each person you refer to get a free report you get a credit for 1 free report. So I posted on my Facebook about how great the service was and when I logged in the next day I was excited to see I had 3 credits for free SEO reports.
Still with no budget I wanted to advertise my service of providing SEO reports. So I posted in Craigslist in the services section. A simple ad that read:
Title: Want to increase your website traffic?
Body: I will run a in-depth report on your website that will give you step by step instructions on what you need to do to improve your ranking in search engines. *No Money Paid Until You Get Your Report*. Only $50.
I threw the no money down in there because:
- It was free for me to run these reports. So no risk to lose money.
- The reports are fantastic and I can’t imagine someone wanting their money back.
- The people who would pay for these reports are pretty high quality and I doubt they would want their money back.
But sadly after posting every day for a week I didn’t get one taker. I guess small business owners don’t go to Craigslist to look for SEO services (or any services for that matter).
So I started thinking where could I reach local businesses who were of quality. I could always take out an ad in a trade journal or newspaper but those cost money. Money that I did not have.
Then while on Facebook it hit me. I could use the Facebook Marketplace to post my listing and also look for local fan pages for businesses or business owners and hit them up.
So I placed the same ad on the Facebook Marketplace that I placed on Craigslist and the first day I had one local business. I was ecstatic! I did their report and went to their location the next day and asked for the gentleman who hit me up on Facebook. He was blown away by the report and wrote me a check for $50.
Long story short within one week I had three other local businesses and two website owners. Yup I made $300 the first week trying this. I had blown through my free credits, and I purchased the $19.95 subscription to run unlimited reports for my new company.
I took that money and parlayed it into buying advertising in the newspaper classifieds and in the local business journal while at the same time I kept posting every Monday in the Facebook marketplace.
The newspaper classified posted right away but I was going to have to wait 7 days until the business trade journal.
I was pretty bummed about the lack of response from the Newspaper but I was still getting 2-3 new customers a week from the FaceBook Marketplace.
One day I got a call from one of my clients.
This report you gave me is really great and I am excited to get the stuff implemented but I am so busy running my business I just have not had time to implement it. What would you charge me to do this for me on my website?”
Now this was a interesting twist. I don’t even know how to price something like this. So I looked at his report and then at his site. I figured it would take me at most 1 hour to make the changes. What the hell I told him that I normally don’t do it but I would for $100. He responded 5 minutes later and said “Deal!!”.
I realized I should have charged more. But whatever maybe next time. So I got his web hosting information and made the changes.
But then I wondered how many other businesses are having the same problem. Seemed like a no brainer. So I called to “check up” on each person who had purchased a free report from me and asked how they were doing and if they needed any help. Almost all of them said they had not had time to implement the changes so I told them, “Well if you need help I also can do the work for you”. Only this time I quoted $250.00. I think this is a good price. Out of the 7 people I contacted 3 of them hired me to do it. The $250 might seem like its too much but if you do the math if all 7 would have said yes at $100 then it would have been twice the work for less money. This way I only have 3 sites to SEO following exactly what Free SEO Report tells me to do and I make $750.
The business trade journal turned out to be a great investment. The ad was $250 per month and I got 5 people who purchased reports and 2 that had me implement the changes at $250.00.
Fast forward a little bit. I am three weeks into it. I have done 15 reports at $50 apiece and 5 jobs at $250 apiece. I have invested about 800$ into advertising which I refer to as R&D.
As of this morning I quit my “day job” and I finally feel like I am doing something with my business degree.
Things I am thinking about for the future:
Lower point of entry?
Lowering the initial price of the report because the money seems to be in the followup implementing the SEO changes. Thinking about dropping it to $29.95.
Higher point of entry?
On a reverse approach I might raise the initial report to $99.95. It’s possible people who would pay $50 would also pay $99.95 or maybe I will even attract better clients because the perceived value is higher.
I am going to continue to invest in advertising in new places. I think if I can find a way to do a presentation on SEO to like the local real estate board or the local dental board or the local plastic surgeons association and point out why SEO is important.
Hopefully my story will help some of you guys. There is no reason why any of you guys out there anywhere in the world can’t duplicate my success. It takes ZERO investment to get started and the market is wide open.