Do you have any suggestions about seeking out customers that need web sites from your local area? What I am finding is that many people around still don’t have any idea what a web site can do for them. Even when you show them examples of what they can have or what you can do, they have a lot of trouble envisioning how it is going to work for them. I was thinking maybe I should start to offer to set up a sample page for them before I do anything for which I charge them.
which country? have you tried BNI, chamber of commerce?
I would join a local business group for networking - you can then advertise your business through the meetings and hopefully gain customers or referrals.
More than showing them what a website can do for them, if you show them their competitors have websites, that alone may be enough to get them interested.
If you really want to get business from your local area, why not create a simple website for your town/county and offer local shops a free 1 page listing - and of course offer that you can do more for them if they want to list all their inventory or products online?
Get a foot in the door and develop some relationships with these folks, and even if they don’t see the need for a website now, if you keep in touch with them on a regular basis, you’ll be the one they call when they finally decide to get a website going.
P.S. The comments about local networking groups are great too. If you don’t have BNI or LeTip or something similar in your town, you could always start your own informal group and invite some local businesses to take part.
…many people around still don’t have any idea what a web site can do for them.
I believe the hesitation to buy is because far too many of these people you refer to are web designers. When you strip away the buzzwords, their pitch comes down to “have a website to have a website.”
That’s basically the “your competitors have hula hoops” fad argument.
If every competitor jumped off a cliff, it would be foolish to go and follow them …with flash splash pages proven to lose users …with generic drivel instead of copy …with sites that don’t even qualify as brochureware, but are little more than online “open for business” signs. (Spread out over four tabbed web pages)
The bandwagon days are over. If they don’t have a web page in 2010, they made a decision not to. You’ll blow a big wad of money, plus time and effort with an early adopter message sent to a late majority market segment.
Don’t sell the Amish on Blu-ray. It wastes your time and the Amish people look at you funny.
If what you were selling had half the value you’re claiming, you could sell people who already have a website. But you can’t. Because you’re just selling a site to have a site – 1990s style.