Client wanted a tax invoice and choose another company not mine

Hi all,

I am currently trying to be a freelancer and i orginally contacted a car parts company in my town and ask them


My name is Will  I'm a professional web developer based out
of New Zealand. I stumbled across your website while browsing around the
Internet a bit ago and decided to send you an email with a few of my
thoughts on it.

I noticed that the counter at the bottom of your website is broken and
your website seems very out dated. I think your business could greatly
benefit from a new website. Just a few advantages of redesigning your
website could be modernizing everything so it brands your company
better,

developing some website goals so you can use your business as a means to
generate new
customers & profits, and offering additional information to potential
clients about your business and things such as current special offers &
products.

I also noticed whoever built your current website used a program called
FrontPage to do it. While programs like that are convenient they arent
overly functional. They can lead to problems with your website not
displaying properly in different browsers and can leave alot of
unnecessary code throughout the site making your website harder for
search
engines like Goggle and Yahoo to find it.The Landing Page is entirely
different than the main "template" your website should have an online
contact form instead of an email just being shown. On Some pages you
have

a back to top page doesnt seem to work at all
I would love the opportunity to talk to you further about your website.
Advice and consultations are always free from me, so if you would like
to know some more please send me an email.
I have
several ideas on your website which i believe can help you make full use
of your website and generate a better return using it. Plus like i said,
advice is always free from me

They replied back saying


hi will,

i wonder do you have any example that you create before? by t he way, are
you also able provided GST recipt for payment? thanks.

My final and last email to them and i never heard back saying



Thanks for your response i have developed a small shopping cart system for
a DJ Entertainer located at
http://www.djrider.net/shop.php which allows him to sell his music files
as for the GST receipt with payment
i cant provide as i am not GST registered.

Regarding your website i can help you. I believe you would benefit
strongly from a custom shopping cart - not card - system which
would tie into your trade-me account safely & securely. This would allow
you to track all of your trade-me purchases as well as be
able to track shipments via your website.

However i have several ideas for your website and i would love to talk to
you about it further. I strongly believe
that i can help your business and make the most out of your website. Is
there anything else you would like to know more about
or do you have any other concerns i should know about. Also having your
website first in Google rankings will also help your website get
sales and to show on the first page and this is caused by SEO (Search
Engine Optimization)

So is there anything else you would like to know more about or is there a
good time where we could talk in person or
over the phone to discuss this further as i strongly believe having a
custom Shopping Cart System would benefit your website
and making it easier manage your business.

im not sure what stopped him form reponding back to me so i know for future clients?
is it because they had another provider already doing it?

Thanks,William

There’s lots of reasons why people do not proceed any further than an initial enquiry, but the only way to know for sure is to ask them (assuming they respond truthfully). Perhaps they don’t actually want a new site? Maybe they are not ready to meet up with anyone. Maybe they already have someone in mind? Maybe they didn’t like the example you showed them.

TBH, if you want a critique, my first thought is to improve your grammar in your emails. Like it or not, people will judge your ‘professionalism’ by your emails, so not capitalising ‘i’, not using punctuation correctly and poorly structured sentences are, in many cases, going to hinder your sales. That said, based on their email back to you, the person you were dealing with doesn’t seem like they would care about that stuff!

In addition to what Shadowbox said about grammar which is hugely important to an initial impression, an important part of the process is deciding on how you pitch someone.

If I have a small business my concern is how I grow, not if my website was built using the most impressive tools. More to the point, someone I know probably built it for me… maybe the front desk staff, maybe my cousin. Do you want to insult them to try and open the frontdoor?

Don’t sell down, sell up – I saw your website, I know your industry/ business because of blah blah blah and here’s what I think we could help your business grow. Want to discuss more? Email me back. Keep it short. Keep it positive.

Cold emailing and especially cold pitching to small businesses without a strong web presence will have a very low response rate and even smaller conversion rate with a lot of work to keep the conversation going. You may find more success with print or in person means but cold is still just that – something you have to consider.

Yea, and I have never been convinced that sending people unsolicited criticism of their website was a good way to gain clients. I could work now and again but doesn’t seem like a worthwhile strategy.

How would you get clients??

William,

First of all, I totally agree with what the others said about punctuation, and also about the implications of trying to sell a service by criticising the client’s existing site.

But my main point is this: If you send unsolicited sales messages (whether email, letter or phone), you must expect that the vast majority of them will lead nowhere. Even if somebody gives you an initial response, the chances are that it won’t lead to any work. I’m not necessarily saying that you shouldn’t do it (although unsolicited email is definitely frowned on, and in some countries is illegal). Just don’t be surprised if you never hear from the prospect again.

If you really want to continue with this type of selling, I suggest you read as much as you can about how to write effective sales copy. And if you’re unsure how to punctuate your messages, get someone to do it for you.

Mike

Advertise your services in places where your potential clients will see you. Work on your search engine optimisation. Try google adwords. Join local business networks. Consider targeting a niche.

BTW, the link to your portfolio just takes me to a domain holding page.

I would also suggest that if this is a local shop, go and meet them. TBH, I’m not much good at salesmanship, but I have a relative who is: he works for a company that sells car repair equipment, and he drives around to supply shops with his company’s products. He regularly drops in on other shops that don’t buy his products and just chats with them, gets to know them, helps them out with things … and before you know it, they are buying from him. It’s very impressive, but has taught me that the personal touch/interaction is very powerful. He could email them till ‘kingdom come’ and it would achieve nothing.

+1 on the grammar issue, too. IMHO, sloppy writing suggests sloppy workmanship, and attention to detail is essential in web design (as well as in many other professions, of course).

Grammar issues aside, as a freelancer you will need to get up to speed on the legal requirements for being self employed.

You cannot just declare yourself to be a freelance web designer and get to keep all the money, it annoys the hell out of people who pay taxes
and the tax collectors so everyone involved with the money has to be registered or they don’t get to do business.

That’s a good point. But just to be clear … you don’t necessarily have to register with anyone just in order set yourself up a freelance.

This will vary from country to country, so obviously you should take advice before starting out. But in the UK, for example, there’s no general requirement to register with anyone. If you want to trade as a limited company, then you must (of course) register the company. If your turnover is likely to be above a certain threshold (which is unlikely for most freelance designers), then you need to register for VAT. But you do not have to register just in order to start work.

What you do need to do is to keep accurate records of your income and expenditure, so that when the time comes to pay your taxes, you will be able to demonstrate that you are doing so correctly.

Mike

I’m afraid there is! If you work and you are not ‘employed’, then you are considered ‘self employed’ and must register within 90 days of starting your self employment. Self employed are required to pay class 2 NI on a weekly basis (normally paid quarterly), so HMRC will be expecting this straight away (unless you can claim small earning exemption). You then pay class 4 NI and income tax as part of your annual self assessment. But you can’t just work as a freelancer and not tell HMRC about it until you submit a self assessment (well, you can, but you’ll probably get the £100 fine for not registering within 90 days, plus interest on the delayed class 2 NI).

Thanks for the correction, Shadowbox.

You say you must register within 90 days of starting your self-employment. I must say I am surprised. I have never heard of that requirement before. My understanding is that the only deadline for notifying HMRC of your earnings is in October after the year in which you accrued those earnings. But you probably know a lot more about these things than I do, so will no dispute your good advice.

Mike

Here’s a link to some information about registering as self employed, sums it up better than HMRC’s own web site.

Thanks everyone whos posted as for being self employeed i have found the following

Would this apply to me? so i can charge with my tax on top of my website design or where do i go from here?

Thanks,William