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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Texas
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    1,957

    Question Advertising secrets

    The way I look at things is we are all part of the great hosting family and some of you may think man I would not give up my secrets. Well not everything is about money in my eyes, so I am willing to help others out with some useful information that may help them succeed in this highly competitive business.

    First thing you want to do is work on getting your new business in the search engines. Do not pay anyone to do this or use automatic software to submit your site. Do this yourself and submit your site manually. This may take you some time but no one said that starting a business will not require any work.

    Now that you got your site submitted to search engines, it is time to work on your google page rank. Get as many links out there about your site on web design pages, web hosting forums, anywhere you can that has a good page rank. Now make sure you put up a page on your site linking back to the links you have created. This can be done free of charge and will help your page rank increase.

    Post your advertising in this forum and do a search on google for all forums related to web hosting. Almost all hosting forums have a place for you to post about your business. This may not get you many clients but it will get you listed in the google search engine faster. Do this every seven days and plan on about two hours of work once a week.

    When starting out stay away from web hosting directories as far as buying advertising. Just add your link for free. There is way too much competition and most likely you will be wasting your money that you should take and target other areas.

    Find advertising on web master related sites. Most of the time you can get advertising between $10 to $30 a month, Look for sites with a page rang of 6 or above.

    Now that you are advertising on a few sites that have a targeted audience you should be picking up some new clients. If not then you should check your pricing. Take a look at the big guns in hosting and see how they do things. Look at how there plans are set up and how they design their site. This will give you a general idea if youíre just starting out


    Advertising locally: The best way to do this is create a letter with your company name and personally deliver it to smaller companies who most likely do not have a web site or have been interested in getting one. Make it worth their while to get on the net and get them a site up. Donít make the mistake and be too expensive, you are trying to get new clients. Get them up and running and then have planned increases to cover your costs yearly. The best market for you when starting out is locally and requires you to put allot of effort and to be creative when trying to land new local clients.

    I have found out by personally delivering your company letter this works great. Mailing it to them may get pushed aside like I have done with my other business. Get your self a plan! Today I am going to go to these ten places and tomorrow I will take a break and work on improving my ranking and take care of my new clients.

    Stay away from high dollar advertising in the beginning remember, you are trying to build a business not go into debt. Make sure you have your site completed before advertising or hitting your local market. Clients need to see what they are getting into.

    Make sure you have a good control panel that is easy to use. Just do not go for the most popular control panel because most clients do not visit the control panel very much. Get one that fits your business. Personally I would recommend Ensim pro with the nexus skin. You can modify it and looks very professional and easy to use for your clients. Plus Ensim will be adding to their power tools feature with a new release. Allot cheaper than Cpanel and to me more secure.

    Make your hosting company stand out from the rest. Give your clients as many add-ons that you possible can give them. Always look for new ways to improve your business by adding new support features and new software. Remember this is a business and a good business is always finding new ways to improve. Give yourself a year before making any decisions on spending a fortune on advertising. You can advertise here for $2600 and then advertise here for $30 and have better results... Believe me just because the site is popular and has allot of visitors does not mean sales. I have found out the smaller sites with cheaper advertising has a better response.

    Make sure your terms of service are available for all clients to read and watch out for spammers and fraud. Check the IP of the order and call if you need to confirm the order.

    As far as spam goes install software or have someone like cheetaweb.com do it for you to monitor your server. Become active in different hosting forums and watch for posts about known spammers and copy the info into a txt file to refer to. Use Modernbill to block the email and IP.

    Bottom line, start out small and do not think that your company will be a success overnight. It takes time to build a great business and you have to enjoy what you are doing in order to make it work. If you do not enjoy what you are doing then chances are that you will fail.

    Good luck and welcome to the world of web hosting.
    Last edited by anon-e-mouse; 03-09-2004 at 07:07 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,957
    Oh I forgot one thing. make sure you offer phone support. This does not have to be a 1-800 number in the beginning but if you can get it this will work good. Most of our support is done with our helpdesk. We rarely get any calls even when we had a 1-800 number. We probaly get around two calls a month. So save your money and put it towards a good support sytem like kayako esupport.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    749

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,544
    Donít make the mistake and be too expensive, you are trying to get new clients. Get them up and running and then have planned increases to cover your costs yearly.
    This is worse IMO, why not just start out with how much you plan on charging in the long run.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Texas
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    Well if you are running a web hosting business you should have price increases to cover new expensenes or as you get bigger your rates get lower as you get new servers. So it does not matter how you do but i would watch out on being to expensive in the beginning due to the competition. You can always go around the corner for lower prices but usually a local client will stay with you no matter what. I had a price increase last month but it also came with more space and transfer and a few other things.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    18
    Thanks for the tips. I think it's very helpful.

    Just curious, how many clients do you have now?


    -QL
    Quoc Le
    Ares Network
    http://www.aresworld.net

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    31
    Thanks for the advice. I found it all extremely helpful since I am sitll in pre-launch. I will put it to good use.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Texas
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    We have around 90 clients and plan on making the next 90 in two months hopefully if everything works out like planned.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    West Michigan, USA
    Posts
    9,675
    I disagree with several points...and I will try and get some time to put together a counter-view on this.
    ||| 99.999% Uptime SLA!!!
    Plenty of space and bandwidth to fit your needs!
    www.AEIandYou.com - - (WP Friendly - Premium Reseller Hosting and Cheap Dedicated Servers)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Texas
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    I figured you would disagree affordable. Well good it is working. getting some hosts to release thier secrets should not be so hard now should it especially when you guys should take your knoweledge and put it to good use by helping others who are serious about getting into this business. Plus there is plenty of new clients to go around. What I have written above has worked for us and continues to work for us. We have an average of five new clients a day now with hardly spending a fortune on advertising. And our turnover rate is not bad at all.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    West Michigan, USA
    Posts
    9,675
    The one thing I strongly disagree with is cutting your price to get new customers. That can work against you in 2 ways. 1. Its actually easier to sell webdesign if you charge a fair rate, rather than cheap. The reason for this is because the perception is if you charge cheap...you must be desperate and on the edge of going out of business. 2. Start out cheap, you get a reputation for being cheap. Its hard to raise prices later and maintain the same customer base. Also, word-of-mouth advertising will go something like this "Yeah, try them...they are really cheap."

    I also disagree with your bit about customers not using control panels very often. Also, host directories can be a great source of advertising - if you know how to work it. Don't go for the big ads...stick to buying premium search result listings. Those have worked well for us in the past.
    ||| 99.999% Uptime SLA!!!
    Plenty of space and bandwidth to fit your needs!
    www.AEIandYou.com - - (WP Friendly - Premium Reseller Hosting and Cheap Dedicated Servers)

  12. #12
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    Jun 2003
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    Texas
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    when I say cheap I do not mean a Taco bell special. I mean look at your competitors for your area look at what they charge. Dont try to be real expensive when first starting out. I know what I am talking about some folks here think just because it is a business that they do not care about how much they spend. Wrong!! I own a business that has an anual gross of $500,000 a year and how do you think we got this way! Not by going expensive on everything. Business owners do care and will most likely research thier area before making a decision. So my suggestion to people first starting out would not to be too expensive because we business owners do look at price. I own one of the largest construction and painting companies in the Central texas area and before I got into this business I did look at prices and man thier was some expensive hosting companies out there but I chose to go with the one in the middle. We do around $50,000 a year just from estimates we recieve online so going with the cheapest was not in our eyes but going with the most expensive was not either.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Texas
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    Oh also I was not talking about web design. I would not think that cheaper is better on web design But you can find a good web designer for around $500 or so to me that would be a fair price depending on how large the site design is. But that is a whole nother world. Talking about hosting you do want to charge a business owner three times what you would charge a regular client of the internet. as far as control panels go we only have around five or so that actually use the control panel allot. Most of them are PHP-nuke site owners the rest just put there site up and that is it. We did a poll on this because we were going to use cpanel on one server and the response was who cares we do not use it that much. We thought maybe some clients would like the choice between cpanel and Ensim pro but they actaully did not use it that much.
    Last edited by colorteck; 03-06-2004 at 02:02 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Texas
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    I would also suggest Google adwords if you are going to spend the money on hosting directories. Adwords first before any hosting directory. There is allot of competition on adwords as well but if you can find yourself a few good keywords that work you can do great. I just spent last year too much money on host directories and Ispcheck with terrible results and starting advertising with what I mentioned above with a huge response with hardly no money at all.

    If you do choose to go with Ispcheck do not make the mistake and get the number one spot set your limit around .50 to a dollar a click. I have seen some of these host paying up to $6 a click.

    I paid $4 for the number one spot and was a waste of money.

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