Marketing Your Services - Is Cheap Always Good?


Breaking into the Internet Marketing scene can be tough for the beginner. Many people have solid relationships with their service providers and are not going to switch, ever. Many more IM pros have a very high barrier for "newbies" to overcome. That obstacle is put there based on experience - all of it bad and most of it their own! Too many newcomers are willing to "overpromise" just to get a job. Then, because they are unprepared, they end up "underdelivering" in the end, which is costly for the customer.

Slightly wiser start-ups begin by offering their services at a discount. They give full service and top quality for a price that undercuts their competition. There's a problem with that approach, however. Once they've set the precedent of delivering at a certain price, it becomes easy for a customer to seek out other cheap sources when they are presented with a higher price for the next order. You can bet that some of their competition will be willing to shave profits to get some of that business back!

You can still give great deals to your customers without discounting your base prices. Add value in other ways that are clearly a bonus, but stick to your planned markup or fees. Some of these benefits can be low or no cost to you, but be an enormous benefit to your customer because they are specific and targeted to their needs at the moment. This means you need to take the time to find out as much as you can about your prospects in advance.

Perhaps the most important benefit you can provide is speedy delivery. If you say it'll take three business days to deliver and you deliver in two, that gets noticed! One of the greatest fears a buyer will have about an unproven provider is that you'll miss your deadline or, worse, vanish altogether. Be willing to set a tight deadline and beat it. If your customer is used to getting it near the deadline, getting it ahead of schedule can make their day!

Another benefit you might provide is a sample or batch of work "on spec" (speculation) for free. Writers can offer an article or short report custom written for the prospective customer. Graphic artists can compose a header illustration specifically designed according to the customer's wishes. Programmers can put together a "bare bones" script that indicates the basic operation desired by the buyer. This may not always apply to your situation, but it can be a powerful inducement when you can take advantage of it.

The more you know about your customer's business, the more you can add value that applies to their specific situation, without mentioning it in your offer. Whether it's adding (ALT) tags to images, SEO keywords to articles, or even pointing out ways to improve something can make the difference between being a one-shot provider or a permanent source for your customer. Pleasant surprises or "Easter eggs" added to a solid product or service increases your value.

Finally, make sure your communication with your customer is excellent. Listen to your customer. Ask questions when you don't understand something - don't guess! You have to do more than just strive to make yourself understood. You need to make sure you are not misunderstood.

If necessary, get help doing this. Some creative people are a disaster when it comes to writing emails, offers or contracts. Don't let your lack of skill in this area cut you off from the best customers. Either take a course in effective business writing or hire an outsource or employee to do this. You'll be glad you did!

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Jo Han Mok is the author of the #1 international business bestseller, The E-Code. He shares his amazing blueprint for creating million dollar internet businesses at:

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