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The Humble Telephone is Making a Comeback … for Bloggers

This guest post is by David Edwards of www.asittingduck.com.

I’m not sure why, but when you start blogging, you forget all about how businesses run.

It’s true that there are bloggers out there who wake up to full PayPal accounts and affiliate cheques flying through their doors. But if you’re in the early days of blogging, this may not be the case for you. What could you use that’s sitting on your desk every day, and could help you make serious cash?

A telephone!

What I have done, which has set me up for a very profitable year, is built a sales funnel to increase the amount of revenue in my business.

I have guest posts and viral videos published, which get me some traffic. Then, I have an email subscription list that lets me build those relationships further—to the point where a phone call from me to a subscriber would not be intrusive at all. In fact potential clients, even if they didn’t buy from me, love to receive a call. Some have said it was great to talk to someone that has a good perspective on how to make money online.

This technique may not be for everyone—I know cold calling can be daunting. It really doesn’t feel like cold calling to you or your subscriber, though! Imagine Darren Rowse phoning to ask if he could help you at all with your blog. What would you say? “Not interested, Darren!”? Probably not!

Do it right, and you’ll enjoy a positive reaction for your call. You may think that because you only have a few subscribers, you’re not worth as much to your fans as a big player. But you have the advantage, because a big player doesn’t have time to call his subscribers.

Here are my tips for making successful sales calls:

  • Work on giving a free gift to subscribers that will whet their appetites for future products. I use a very short PDF on traffic generation.
  • Send out an email once a week or once a month to build your relationship with your subscribers.
  • Offer further free training videos or helpful blog posts and give them a chance to email you directly.
  • Once you have a few emails in, offer to call them.
  • Once you have made the calls and spoken to your subscribers, let them know about your more highly priced services.
  • Repeat the process.

The humble telephone is making a comeback, and I would love to hear that some of you still use it to build businesses from your blogs.

David Edwards is a freelance marketing consultant and the founder of www.asittingduck.com.
His character “Candy The Magic Dinosaur” will be starring in his very own iPhone Game this Christmas!

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Comments

  1. Thanks very much for the iPhone game plug!… Got a busy 8 weeks with the team…

    All the best,

    David Edwards

  2. of course.

    Listen, we don’t engage ANYONE without a phone. You can’t do business with us without talking first.

    There are other ways to do it, and most of the bloggers making less than we do will tell me that my marketing isn’t working.

    But whatever. What we do, how we do it is working perfectly.

  3. Nice post David. I like points 2,4 and 6 about successful sales. Thanks

  4. If Darren called up with an offer to help me with my blog, no, of course I wouldn’t turn that down. If Joe Nobody called up with a sales pitch for his product, I’d hang up on him. There are several differences between the two scenarios, see if you can spot them all.

    Cold calling sucks in all but a very few limited scenarios. I’ve been on the giving and receiving end of them, and it rarely works in anyone’s favor, which is why we have things like Do Not Call lists now.

    If you already have an established relationship with someone (something more than “he subscribed to my newsletter!”) then yes, getting a phone call can be pretty awesome. It’s nice to have a personal touch in an business where so much is done from behind a computer keyboard.

  5. Tom Ewer says:

    Good post David. For me, the telephone (or Skype) still has a huge part to play in business. Email may have killed it off to an extent, but short of meeting face to face, it is still the most effective way of communicating on a more personal level (in my opinion). The personal engagement that you endorse in your article is the kind of stuff that builds up a strong and positive brand for your blog.

  6. Great post, but like you said cold calling isn’t for everyone. It is an interesting idea though.

  7. Tom says:

    I thought about using skype and offering a consulting plan. I just haven’t gotten around to it but it’s on my to do list. Thx for the post.

  8. Joshua Lagan says:

    You bring up a great point, Dave. So many bloggers fall into the trap of forgetting everything they’ve learned from business once they start on the internet. I think one of the reasons for this, is that a lot of internet business owners are running from the traditional business world to the anonymity and mystery provided by the internet. People are hesitant to pop their heads out from behind the computer and actually have a conversation with people. Good post!

  9. Hey David,
    It’s funny how we forget the simple things in life like using a telephone to drum up some business. I guess because we are so used to doing everything online these days.

  10. Tim says:

    On the surface this all sounds good but the majority of people don’t want to be bothered especially with a sales call.

    The other potential problem you have is that you could be technically breaking the law and asking for serious lawsuit troubles. In order to be able to call someone acting as a business there has to be a previous relationship where they opted into that scenario….I’m not quite sure a mailing list would cut it as evidence of opting into phone calls.

    • Not sure about that, I always start with an invitation to email back for more services. Always best to check with someone in the consulting field first though!…

  11. James Greg says:

    I think telephone is somewhat replaced by Skype, but other than that a telephone is no longer used nowadays. Email has taken over it gets easy to write down your concerns in an email and hit send button knowing you will get a reply soon, which also happens. When caught in serious trouble and prompt action is required then only a telephone call is made. I think people nowadays also have grown used to sending emails rather than calling an office. Telephone is certainly dead in this manner but lives on for personal use.

    • Hi James, thanks for the comment. In terms of communicating, email is probably the easiest. To close bigger deals $1,000+ then it is easier to build a rapport over the phone. I know I wouldn’t have handed over $10,000 this month to my developer without talking first. ;]

      All the best,

      David Edwards

  12. Hi David,

    Super tip.

    Picking up the phone and talking to prospective clients or team members makes all the difference. The simple act puts you well ahead of your competition. Many are scared to pick up the phone. These folks miss out on a valuable connecting opportunity, one which you seize each time you speak to someone.

    Many people are actually surprised when I call. Some thought “I wasn’t a real person”. Others never received a phone call from an online entrepreneur, usually hesitating for a few seconds when I identify myself and ask: “How can I help”?

    In a hyper-competitive arena there is no better way to make a solid first impression by picking up the phone.

    Thanks for sharing your insight David!

    RB

  13. Ann says:

    Alexander Bell would be smiling.

  14. suraj says:

    telephone one of most important part of successful business

  15. sid says:

    Its great for established bloggers, but new bloggers have to work real hard to reach this level.

  16. Marcie says:

    It’s time for me to increase my confidence and pick the phone. And you gave great tips about relationship building through giveaways, the email list and the phone call. I’m about to develop a plan to make this happen.

  17. Gregory C. says:

    Good points, and with things like Skype nowadays, it isn’t so uncommon to make a video call with someone that you’ve connected with.

  18. Scott Mackes says:

    David, I like your idea because I think it adds a personal touch to a relationship that you are trying to build. Even if you dont try to sell any products during the call, it will help build loyalty to your brand. A phone call is different and not a lot of people do it in the online world, so I would categorize it as going the “extra mile” for your audience. I also recommend offering your phone # so your readers can call you on their own time with any questions. Now, those calls would be HOT leads and you could probably sell them anything. Great post and thanks for sharing.

  19. Sinea Pies says:

    You make an excellent point. If Darren Rouse called me I’d keep him on the line as long as I could, just asking questions and gleaning knowledge! It would be so simply excellent.

    • Getting questions answered is really satisfying. Most of the time though, the perspective of someone that’s been in the business and lived it is enough!…