I posted some online marketing goodness over at Search Engine Guide yesterday and felt I should share, mainly because the strategies I wrote about are as much applicable to the B2B services web space as they are to ecommerce (the post was regarding etailer price wars specifically).

Recession is no longer “looming.” It’s at the forefront of everyone’s mind pretty much all of the time now. The uncertainty is manifesting itself all over the place and the Internet is not immune. Ask anyone working online right now and they’ll tell you the fear is palpable. Prospective clients are taking two steps backward for every one step forward. It’s both frustrating and understandable. Hey, we all have budgets to mind, and knowing you can Google just about any thing or service you want for your business is an ever present temptation. Now it feels downright necessary. As if you’re somehow being irresponsible if you don’t shop a quote around before settling on one virtual assistant or consultant.

I’ve said it so often it’s become a mantra I’m known for by my colleagues. When I say “it’s never about price” I’m saying that you cannot evaluate how much is too much without first looking beyond the piece of paper the quote is written on (okay, or the email it’s typed in). Some services are worth more than others for sure. The point is, think about not only what you’re paying but what you’re getting in exchange for your money. Is it time, peace of mind, a sense of organization and focus, or a very straightforward task finished and delivered, no strings attached?

Then ask yourself how much you charge per hour and decide if the exchange is a profitable one. If it’s not, maybe there’s wiggle room on either the rate (some VAs do not negotiate and that’s completely acceptable by the way), or how many hours a month you want to begin with (most VAs are reasonable and don’t want to commit long term any more than you do until you’ve had a chance to test each other out).

If you already know the exchange could be a profitable one, then take action and hire the VA you’ve got your sites on. I’m not trying to spend your money by saying this either. I’m saying this is not the time to wind down your marketing effort or let administration slide. This is the time to be proactive, whichever side of the VA-Client equation you’re on. We all want to make money and as such, we’re in this together.

So go take a look at the strategies I ask you to consider at Search Engine Guide, even if you don’t sell widgets, you probably have a service you deeply want to sell and profit from. But chances are you’ve been a wee bit too hung up on the price.

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