Discussion:
Marketing Me
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David Kaye
2015-05-05 20:56:03 UTC
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Okay, I've been doing freelance tech support for 14 years. Initially I used
posters on telephone poles and ads in telephone books. I got a bunch of
business. Then I began to get referrals, so I was able to drop the ads and
stop wandering around putting up posters (which were becoming less and less
effective as time went on anyway).

In time I used Google Adwords, Yahoo, Bing, and Yelp advertising. Only Yelp
brought in enough business to make a profit, but I blanch at spending $500 a
month on a contract for Yelp.

As time has gone on and Windows and the Wintel platform have gotten better
I've been having fewer residential customers contacting me. Now it's mostly
businesses, but not enough.

So, what I'm really looking for these days is an agent. Used to be that you
could offer hefty commissions and get someone to sell on commission-only,
but that doesn't seem to work anymore. It seems that people want guarantee
against commission, and I'm reluctant to do that given my experience hiring
sales people in the past who gladly took the guarantee but didn't bother
selling. Lots of these guys seem to have no problem going from company to
company using up their welcome.

There are companies such as Task Rabbit, but people I've talked with who
have registered with them for other kinds of work such as proofreading,
handyman, etc have had no luck with them at all.

Is there something like a Task Rabbit kind of company that does these kinds
of hook-ups? I guess I'm thinking about a temp agency or something, but I'm
loathe to want to take a contract for 6 months working in an office. I'd
rather go job to job as I've successfully done these past 14 years.

Ideas? Success stories anyone?




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Steve Pope
2015-05-05 22:05:52 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Okay, I've been doing freelance tech support for 14 years. Initially I used
posters on telephone poles and ads in telephone books. I got a bunch of
business. Then I began to get referrals, so I was able to drop the ads and
stop wandering around putting up posters (which were becoming less and less
effective as time went on anyway).
In time I used Google Adwords, Yahoo, Bing, and Yelp advertising. Only Yelp
brought in enough business to make a profit, but I blanch at spending $500 a
month on a contract for Yelp.
As time has gone on and Windows and the Wintel platform have gotten better
I've been having fewer residential customers contacting me. Now it's mostly
businesses, but not enough.
So, what I'm really looking for these days is an agent. Used to be that you
could offer hefty commissions and get someone to sell on commission-only,
but that doesn't seem to work anymore. It seems that people want guarantee
against commission, and I'm reluctant to do that given my experience hiring
sales people in the past who gladly took the guarantee but didn't bother
selling. Lots of these guys seem to have no problem going from company to
company using up their welcome.
There are companies such as Task Rabbit, but people I've talked with who
have registered with them for other kinds of work such as proofreading,
handyman, etc have had no luck with them at all.
Is there something like a Task Rabbit kind of company that does these kinds
of hook-ups? I guess I'm thinking about a temp agency or something, but I'm
loathe to want to take a contract for 6 months working in an office. I'd
rather go job to job as I've successfully done these past 14 years.
Ideas? Success stories anyone?
I'm in a different technical area, but I have had reasonable
success replying to dice.com ads. One needs to create an account
and upload a C.V.

Good luck

Steve
n***@sbcglobal.net
2015-05-06 19:18:37 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Okay, I've been doing freelance tech support for 14 years. Initially I used
posters on telephone poles and ads in telephone books. I got a bunch of
business. Then I began to get referrals, so I was able to drop the ads and
stop wandering around putting up posters (which were becoming less and less
effective as time went on anyway).
In time I used Google Adwords, Yahoo, Bing, and Yelp advertising. Only Yelp
brought in enough business to make a profit, but I blanch at spending $500 a
month on a contract for Yelp.
As time has gone on and Windows and the Wintel platform have gotten better
I've been having fewer residential customers contacting me. Now it's mostly
businesses, but not enough.
So, what I'm really looking for these days is an agent. Used to be that you
could offer hefty commissions and get someone to sell on commission-only,
but that doesn't seem to work anymore. It seems that people want guarantee
against commission, and I'm reluctant to do that given my experience hiring
sales people in the past who gladly took the guarantee but didn't bother
selling. Lots of these guys seem to have no problem going from company to
company using up their welcome.
There are companies such as Task Rabbit, but people I've talked with who
have registered with them for other kinds of work such as proofreading,
handyman, etc have had no luck with them at all.
Is there something like a Task Rabbit kind of company that does these kinds
of hook-ups? I guess I'm thinking about a temp agency or something, but I'm
loathe to want to take a contract for 6 months working in an office. I'd
rather go job to job as I've successfully done these past 14 years.
Ideas? Success stories anyone?
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Good luck! A lot of stuff has disappeared and with so many tech layoffs there are a lot of people out there plying the trade as consultants and contractors. It sure was a lot easier when there was big demand but even a friend you used to have me do contract conversions is using programmers in the Philippines and Spain where the cost of living is much, much lower.
David Kaye
2015-05-06 21:04:22 UTC
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Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
Good luck! A lot of stuff has disappeared and with so many tech layoffs
there are a
lot of people out there plying the trade as consultants and contractors.
It sure was a lot easier when there was big demand but even a friend you
used to have
me do contract conversions is using programmers in the Philippines and
Spain where
the cost of living is much, much lower.
The first wave of competition was when Geek Squad was bought by Best Buy and
spent a boatload of money on marketing. Almost overnight it cut my calls in
half. That's when I began the phone book ads. I developed a fine stable of
customers and I direct mail to them every 9 months or so, but in direct mail
there is always a 20% annual drop-off as people move away, whatever.

I moved from consumer to business tech support where I was able to get some
traction, but now that tier is being eroded by companies that operate like
Geek Squad for small business. And what's more, both Office Depot/Max and
Staples offer tech support aimed toward small business now.

So, when the yellow pages distribution dropped by half and the rates
doubled, in effect quadrupling my cost per thousand, I dropped the yp ads.
It was probably a mistake.

Today I still get good word of mouth and occasional web searches. Last
evening I got a call from someone who needed to fax out something. The fax
wasn't working. She didn't understand the difference between using the
printer as a printer and as a faxer and that they're not related. (Most
people don't know that, I've noticed.) Anyhow, I figured out how the cords
worked (Comcast into a phone jack and the phone and fax coming off another
phone jack), and finally it turned out that the phone cord to the fax
machine was faulty.

Anyhow, she found me by keywords on Google, "housecalls", "San Francisco",
"computer". I was surprised because I didn't think Google cared for me
anymore after I jilted them by canceling their Adwords. I hadn't had a
Google response in ages.

All told, she was mega-enthused that I was able to come out on 2 hours'
notice at 8:30 in the evening, and got it working right. I gave her a few
cards, and it turns out that her husband is a dentist with some computer
issues of his own.

I know that word of mouth is by far the best marketing there is. I just
wish I could oomph it up a bit.




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n***@sbcglobal.net
2015-05-07 18:31:07 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
Good luck! A lot of stuff has disappeared and with so many tech layoffs
there are a
lot of people out there plying the trade as consultants and contractors.
It sure was a lot easier when there was big demand but even a friend you
used to have
me do contract conversions is using programmers in the Philippines and
Spain where
the cost of living is much, much lower.
The first wave of competition was when Geek Squad was bought by Best Buy and
spent a boatload of money on marketing. Almost overnight it cut my calls in
half. That's when I began the phone book ads. I developed a fine stable of
customers and I direct mail to them every 9 months or so, but in direct mail
there is always a 20% annual drop-off as people move away, whatever.
I moved from consumer to business tech support where I was able to get some
traction, but now that tier is being eroded by companies that operate like
Geek Squad for small business. And what's more, both Office Depot/Max and
Staples offer tech support aimed toward small business now.
So, when the yellow pages distribution dropped by half and the rates
doubled, in effect quadrupling my cost per thousand, I dropped the yp ads.
It was probably a mistake.
Today I still get good word of mouth and occasional web searches. Last
evening I got a call from someone who needed to fax out something. The fax
wasn't working. She didn't understand the difference between using the
printer as a printer and as a faxer and that they're not related. (Most
people don't know that, I've noticed.) Anyhow, I figured out how the cords
worked (Comcast into a phone jack and the phone and fax coming off another
phone jack), and finally it turned out that the phone cord to the fax
machine was faulty.
Anyhow, she found me by keywords on Google, "housecalls", "San Francisco",
"computer". I was surprised because I didn't think Google cared for me
anymore after I jilted them by canceling their Adwords. I hadn't had a
Google response in ages.
All told, she was mega-enthused that I was able to come out on 2 hours'
notice at 8:30 in the evening, and got it working right. I gave her a few
cards, and it turns out that her husband is a dentist with some computer
issues of his own.
I know that word of mouth is by far the best marketing there is. I just
wish I could oomph it up a bit.
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And like people are cutting cable a lot of people aren't running PC's anymore but mobile instead. That's another reason you're seeing less interest.
David Kaye
2015-05-08 03:12:42 UTC
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Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
And like people are cutting cable a lot of people aren't running PC's
anymore but mobile instead. That's another reason you're seeing less
interest.
Yeah, to an extent. There are still lots of PCs out there because there are
lots of home and small businesses. Tablets and phones don't cut it when
someone needs to send out a proposal, a government form, an application, a
resume, or that sort of thing. But definitely the graffiti is on the wall:
there is a shift going on.

Myself I've shifted more toward wi-fi networking, security cameras (when
people find out how expensive Dropcams are for what little they do, they
inquire about wired cams and servers), etc. But I'm also moving more into
live music promotion and some other projects that involve the bar and
nightlcub business.

People's jobs and careers may be in constant shift but they will still want
to party. I see the future of the USA as a party economy: The rich have the
parties and ther rest of us set up their parties for them.




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n***@sbcglobal.net
2015-05-08 18:35:32 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
And like people are cutting cable a lot of people aren't running PC's
anymore but mobile instead. That's another reason you're seeing less
interest.
Yeah, to an extent. There are still lots of PCs out there because there are
lots of home and small businesses. Tablets and phones don't cut it when
someone needs to send out a proposal, a government form, an application, a
there is a shift going on.
Myself I've shifted more toward wi-fi networking, security cameras (when
people find out how expensive Dropcams are for what little they do, they
inquire about wired cams and servers), etc. But I'm also moving more into
live music promotion and some other projects that involve the bar and
nightlcub business.
People's jobs and careers may be in constant shift but they will still want
to party. I see the future of the USA as a party economy: The rich have the
parties and ther rest of us set up their parties for them.
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Security cameras for home might be a good thing to add since you already have some experience but you'll need to ride the changing wave of home security cameras and cheaper. I have my Swann wireless system going but in addition experiment with webcams and have one monitoring the street in front at 2 fps using the Linux Motion software.

If you look around neighborhood blogs will frequently post a video of someone grabbing a package left by UPS on someones front steps. And then you'll have people asking in the comments what system they have especially if its an HD camera. Problem is there is quite a gap between the average homeowner who frequently gives a 1 star rating to a DIY system because they're tech illiterate even though the setup is written for dummies.
David Kaye
2015-05-08 20:04:45 UTC
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Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
Security cameras for home might be a good thing to add since you already
have some experience but you'll need to ride the changing wave of home
security cameras and cheaper. I have my Swann wireless system going but
in addition experiment with webcams and have one monitoring the street in
front at 2 fps using the Linux Motion software.
I did one home security camera setup and did a walkthrough for a proposal on
another. Both homeowners were wackjobs. I decided that I didn't want to
work with such people, so I've stuck to businesses and schools. I'm hoping
to get a hotel next week.

As for setup, for us it may be DIY, but for many other folks it's way too
complicated.




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