I always believe that people cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To benefit, something of equal value must be given away. That is the law of Equivalent Exchange.
That is how I started E-Alchemists: based on the law of Equivalent Exchange. Part of the reason I started EA was because I’ve seen crappy web developers charging thousands of dollars for a crappy website. This didn’t sit well with me. I wanted to provide something of value while charging a fair amount for it.
We see the law of Equivalent Exchange playing out in SEO too – we give Google what they want to see before they reward our website in organic search rankings.
In Social media marketing terms, we give social networks valuable information to share and in return we are rewarded with viral traffic.
I came across SoHelpful from two internet entrepreneurs – Dave, self made business man and Tung Tran from Cloud Living. Both of them are using SoHelpful and it seems to be working out quite well for them.
So what is SoHelpful?
SoHelpful is a web application that allows your potential clients to schedule a call with you. Your user or client can easily schedule a call with you based on your available times on your google calendar, which you have set aside as a block of time just for sohelpful calls.
I actually did a sohelpful call with Kevin Dewalt to understand more about the platform. It was actually my first time doing an online video call with an American entrepreneur & investor.
The call went well and Kevin gave me a lot of tips on how to use the platform and the meaning behind SoHelpful’s marketing.
People who are on SoHelpful believe that being helpful is one of the most effective ways to build our reputations and grow our businesses.
I decided to used SoHelpful for 3 purposes :
- To generate leads and sales for my startup E-Alchemists.
- To build relationship and engage my readers on this blog.
- To use it as a networking tool to meet other business owner
So here is how I configured my SoHelpful call schedule.
After you login to the dashboard and integrate your Google calendar, you will able to set block time for SoHelpful calls on google calender itself. It will then auto sync with the web application.
For me, I know that usually from 10 to 11am , 3 to 4pm and 10pm, I will be at my desk. So I blocked these times for Monday, Tuesday, Thurs and Friday. Here is an example of how my calendar looks like:
After setting up all the blocked time and integration, I put 2 widgets on my business site and blog:
And finally I started my Helpful Marketing campaign.
Here is how I started :-
- I posted 2 threads on my usual facebook group which I am quite active on.
- I started a campaign – ” I want to connect with you ” on my blog.
- I sent an email to all email subscribers on this blog.
Here are statistics as of today : –
There were 226 profile view and 12 calls were made. I will explain later how I managed to make $12000 out of the 12 calls.
Here is the sales process that I am currently testing:
Here is the interesting part, I was not expecting to make any sales during the Helpful marketing campaigns. Here is an example of an unexpected case – a client went into the facebook group where I posted the “SoHelpful Campaign”, because a lot of people liked and commented on it, leveling up my authority. Someone saw this and referred him to me.
The client then sent an email through my startup E-Alchemists website and I emailed him for a meetup. Eventually I did an offline Helpful meetup by offering my analysis and tips to him. I didn’t pitch anything – though he later asked me for my pricing.
He eventually let me manage his SEO the day after the meetup.
Here is an example of a direct case where a sale was made after I did the Helpful call. Someone referred a client to me and asked him to visit my website. He went to my E-Alchemists.com website and then booked a call from the widget.
We had a 30 minutes sohelpful call and I answered all the SEO questions he had. He was quite impressed during the call and he asked for me a meet up.
So we met up and I again presented another helpful session without much sales pitch. Then he messaged me the next day.
The total amount of the contract we were talking about during the presentation was $12000 per year.
The $120 per year I spent on SoHelpful web application eventually turned into $12000 worth of sales. If you were to ask me does helpful marketing work? I proudly say YES. By offering valuable advise to your potential client during the 30 minute call, there is a high chance that sales can be made.
I am now getting about 1 call per week automatically based on my last promotion. While some of the callers didn’t take up my service, they actually do refer me to their friends, which is good news for me. Some of them simply continued to be friends and support this blog.
As a web developer myself I know that a wordpress plugin can easily do the same thing as SoHelpful such as this Bookly which only costs $38 as one time fee rather than $120 per year.
One area where I feel that they can improve is to market their people or topic directory, which will help the users promote themselves as well.
One thing that I do like is their slick looking interface for scheduling, and the ability to use your smartphone to book a call.
Feel free to comment – have you done any online scheduling calls like this before? Share your experience with me!