“Weekly” Snip Report, Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Wow! I’ve missed over a month’s worth of posts. Sorry about that.

Kind of a lot has happened in my life since last time I posted, although not a ton with Snip.

I had a situation with a client where they wanted to hire me full-time and I didn’t want to, so I gave them two conditions that I expected them not to go for: 1) I could only commit to a year at most, and 2) I wanted a certain crazily high salary. For better or worse, they called my bluff and met those two conditions. So for the next year, I’m a full-time employee as opposed to purely a freelancer. It’s not a substantially different arrangement from most of the contracting gigs I’ve had over the last couple years, a number of which have been 40 hours a week, some off-site work and some off-site work. It’s a good gig with good people, so I’m not complaining. I just really didn’t expect them to say yes to my two conditions which for most prospective employers would probably be deal-breakers.

For some reason September has been a quiet month as far as sales activity goes. For the first couple weeks I got almost no opt-ins to view my demo video. I suspect Labor Day weekend as a possible culprit. I normally have gotten kind of a lot of phone calls, too, but lately I haven’t. I’ve only gotten a couple, and so far I’ve only done one screenshare demo, although the demo video opt-ins have certainly picked back up to normal levels.

Previously my view-demo-video opt-in asked for name and email, and then I would send an automatic email to the prospect asking what features they were looking for. Almost no one would respond, and those who would respond would usually go dark immediately. (I know, I should be sending each person a million emails to follow up. But I FUCKING SUCK at that and it’s probably never going to happen while I’m the person actually doing it.) So I changed my form to a long dis-qualification form asking for their phone number, what features they’re looking for, and a few other things. I expect this form to have a lower conversion rate, but since every conversion will include a phone number, it may well be better than getting about one email address every day that I can’t effectively do anything with.

I decided I’ll leave this form this way for a solid month to see how it performs. I had tried asking for phone number before, but I got scared after just a week or so and switch back to no-phone. I don’t think I tried it for long enough. Happily, someone actually filled out my form within the first couple hours of its existence, so that’s good encouragement to keep it up.

I went to Double Your Freelancing Conference last week, which was totally fucking awesome. I met a lot of really cool people. One of the people I met was Brian Casel, who mentioned that when he had his longer lead form for Restaurant Engine, it was helpful if he could catch the submissions right away and call them back within a few minutes. When he said it, I was like, “Oh, DUH!” because my form doesn’t notify me when I get a new submission. (Something in my server’s email configuration is fucked up or something.) So I should fix that, ASAP. I also talked to Allan Branch who suggested that I could maybe do “fake” online booking where clients fill out a form, then an actual person handles booking the appointment for them. That would be (as far as I can think) so simple and easy to implement, and I could conceivably double my whole revenue based on that. Those two things alone basically made the whole cost of attending DYFC worth it.

So I guess I’ll have some interesting news to report after a month or so after I let my lead form go for a while. Or sooner, I guess. I just asked my support person to call all my customers and ask them if they would use online booking if we offered it, and if so, how much they would pay for it.

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