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The Trouble with Big Business Digital Marketing Vendors

The percentage of small businesses that do not have a website remains steady at around 45% (cited here), but it’s not because salespeople aren’t trying.

As a company that has conjured up 6 different brand names over the past 14 years, we’ve got a LOT of domain names registered with multiple different domain registrars. And all too often, we neglect to purchase Privacy Protection on some of the domain names, and as a result, we get tons of aggressive phone calls, persistent emails, and persuasive – sometimes scary snail mail at our office. All of this marketing and promotion is pointed our way because the data collectors who must be looking at new domain name registrations are automatically assuming we’re a small business owner who needs their service.

“Need help building your new website?” (Nope, we’re actually a website builder ourselves, thanks.) “Secure your site and get better search results with an SSL.” (Nah, we’ve got that built into our platform at no cost.) “Get your site listed on 100s of search engines all across the globe.” (Ummm, Google & Yahoo/Bing make up like 97% of all search engine searches performed in the U.S. and it took all of 15 seconds to submit the site to them. C’mon!)

Then come the Reputation Management pushers, the Social Media Management pushers, the Review Site pushers, the SEO / SEM pushers, and others. These salespeople are calling up small businesses using terms like “you’re not visible on Google” and “you have negative reviews that need attention” and other scare tactics that are the border of utter and complete misrepresentation.

These overzealous salespeople are often under pressure from managers at large corporations who only care about growing their month-over-month so that their shareholers will leave them alone. And as a result, small business owners are getting used, abused, and annoyed (if not sold, which happens all too much), which muddies the waters and makes it far more difficult for honest marketing professionals who truly want to see the small business owner succeed.

Some SiteSwan resellers have told me that they start the conversation off with small business owners now by identifying themselves by name AND location, to get off on the right foot, and making it abundantly clear that they’re not one of these sell-whatever-we-have-to-anyone fast-talkers who are looking to scam them out of a few hundred bucks from the other side of the country. If a small business owner can mentally put you on the map, and you sound like you’re local, and you’re sincere, for crying out loud, you might just get their attention–not because you’re a stellar salesperson, but because you actually seem to care.

And when you get that client signed up, tell them they can give YOUR phone number to any of those big business digital marketing vendors…so you can offer them a job selling websites for you and actually sleep at night!

What Every Small Business Needs for Effective Local Marketing

Small businesses, in general, have limited budgets. And, generally speaking, most small business owners have clients who are almost all within a very short driving (or walking) distance from them. Since they’re not likely to get customers from far away, their options for marketing their business are fewer than the larger businesses you see advertising on TV.

A typical small business needs a local marketing presence and the tools to manage the message it sends to its local customers. What’s the right mix of marketing tools for them?

Recently I read a great article in the style of a back-and-forth conversation between two local marketing gurus. And in it, they discussed the “Essential Digital Marketing Bundle” and thoroughly exhausted the subject of what a typical business owner should be investing in for their digital marketing.

To no one’s surprise, the VERY FIRST thing they agreed that every small business owner needs, regardless of its size, location, reach, or current client base, is a website. They concluded that a beautiful, mobile-optimized website is central to any business’s digital experience. And that’s just what SiteSwan resellers are offering to their customers.

This goes back to something I often discuss with our resellers and the small business owners in my network: The Marketing Wheel. Think of a wheel with a hub and spokes. The spokes are the different kinds of marketing a business might do – like print advertising, email marketing, social media, etc. There are many different spokes on the wheel. But the website is not one of them. The website is the hub of the wheel – it’s what connects all of the different spokes together.

Also in the article (link above) the pros talk about the average monthly cost of a website being around $80 for the small business owner. This is a small price to pay to have a formidable hub of the marketing wheel. When SiteSwan resellers are at work – they’re not just selling websites…they’re setting up centralized digital marketing hubs that are necessary to make the small business marketing wheels turn!

Enhance Coupons by Adding Images, Colors, and More

Coupons are the lifeblood for many small businesses. According to a report by Inmar, 2.9 billion coupons were redeemed in the U.S. in 2013. For many shoppers, buying decisions are influenced by money-saving coupons that they find on small business websites.

SiteSwan has always allowed you to post coupons, complete with expiration dates, terms & conditions, and some really cool printing functionality. Now, we’ve added a bunch of new features including color controls and the ability to add an image to the coupon to spice it up. In addition, we’ve improved the printing experience and made the coupons just look a heck of a lot better.

Also, if your small business client has some pre-designed coupons that they run in print, or distribute elsewhere, you can easily put those onto the site by embedding them into the Coupon post to capitalize on the expiration date & printing functionality built into the system.

Now you and your clients are in total control of coupon designs…go tell your customers to start creating new, great-looking coupons today!

Updated Content Editing Design

Your Content Editor just got a lot prettier.

Surprise! Next time you log into one of your SiteSwan sites, you’re going to see a much more beautiful content creation interface. It’s been totally redesigned from the ground up to make you and your clients feel more up-to-date.

Check out the new look:

It’s good news all around – because we didn’t change any core functionality. Everything works the same, but it looks so much cooler now. You’re on the latest and greatest platform for building small business websites, and now it looks that way too!

Hide Site Credit From Your Client Websites

Giving yourself credit on the bottom of every customer site is an EXCELLENT way generate referral leads. People see the awesome work you do, they click your name to find out who did it, they see your site, and then they contact you to do their website. Win!

Sometimes, though, you will talk to a client who wants to keep your working relationship quiet. Maybe they have a lot of competitors and are afraid that they’re going to lose their competitive edge. They even offer to pay you more if you remove your name from their site…hmmm. Guess you can’t blame them, right?

Thanks to a new feature release, you can now hide site credit from any of your client websites. To find this feature, access the “Site Details” or “Site Information” page from your SiteSwan dashboard and click “Edit.” Look for the option to uncheck the box for “Show Website Credit in footer”. Done!

Now, not only will you hide SiteSwan’s name from site visitors, you’ll also hide your own brand name. It’s nice to get credit for your work, but sometimes it makes sense to hide that. And now you can.

How do you make money with SiteSwan?

How do you make money as a SiteSwan website reseller?

Charge an Upfront Setup Fee – This is what resellers charge a new client for setting up their website. Charging an upfront setup fee helps cover the cost associated with taking on that client, including building the website, adding their content, and connecting the domain name. Most resellers charge anywhere from $300 – $1,500 and our suggested price is $499 for a basic website. Of course you have complete control over how much or how little you charge and you keep 100% of the sale.

Charge a Monthly Service Fee – The monthly service fee is what resellers charge clients on a residual basis to keep their site live and for ongoing updates. This fee includes hosting, search engine optimization, browser compatibility, a beautiful, fully-responsive mobile site, traffic statistics, support and the ability to login and make updates to their site. Most resellers will offer to make updates and changes on behalf of their clients, adding more value to the monthly service. Generally, resellers charge anywhere from $29 – $99/month, and our suggested price is $50/month.

Here’s a quick breakdown illustrating how much you can make using our suggested pricing of $499 setup fee plus $50/month.

  • If you sell 25 sites – Earn $12,475 in set up fees and $1,250/month in residual income
  • If you sell 50 sites – Earn $24,950 in set up fees and $2,500/month in residual income
  • If you sell 100 sites – Earn $49,900 in set up fees and $5,000/month in residual income
  • If you sell 500 sites – Earn $249,500 in set up fees and $25,000/month in residual income
  • If you sell 1000 sites – Earn $499,000 in set up fees and $50,000/month in residual income

Now obviously, nobody is selling 1,000 websites overnight, but if you continue to grow your business at a steady pace, you can generate a significant amount of residual income. Even if you did this part-time and sell just 1 website per week, you would bring in over $2,500/month in your first year. And that’s “worry-free” residual income every month!