This month our intrepid reporter learns how to put his business on the internet quickly, cheaply and easily – using spells learned from Austrian Mountain Trolls.

It’s a well known fact that computers are strange, mystical objects.  The are controlled not by the laws of mother nature, but by dark, malevolent forces.  That’s why people who understand them have to be qualified in witchcraft.  Obviously, it’s highly dangerous for untrained mortals to attempt to use anything more powerful than email and Word, as this will open up a door into the spirit world that may unleash foul demons.  I’ve always wanted to know more about putting my business on the net, but I’m well aware of the risks of messing about in the spirit world without proper guidance.  So this month I went to see the wizard Daniel Wagner, who promises to guide vulnerable souls through the process.

As those who know me may be aware, my business is already on the internet.  However, I have of course not been schooled in the magic necessary to perform the spells myself, so I have used a ‘web design company’.  I understand that this is like a coven of witches, who stand around chanting curses and brewing up potions until – hey presto! – my website appears.  I’ve always been fascinated by the dark arts, so I booked myself onto Daniel’s course to find out what was involved.  Daniel has been reared in a small town in Austria, and I understand that every winter’s night Trolls came down from their caves high in the mountains and taught the townsfolk the lore of the internet.  They handed down lessons from the Book of Frontpage, the mystical ‘shopping cart setup’ and the magical FTP.  So, as he grew, Daniel learned the ways of the Trolls and he too was able to summon websites from base metal.

Disappointingly, I did not meet any Trolls on the course – although if you squint at Daniel there is definitely a certain likeness.  Furthermore I was shocked to discover that the course was held not by a stone altar in a misty glade, but in a hotel near Heathrow airport.  (Although sadly not close enough to the airport to be able to use the tube to get there.)  Once I sat down, the wizard gave me a magic potion of ‘mineral water’ and I descended into a trance.  And this is the story of the magical voyage of discovery I went on whilst I was in that trance….

You might think that it’s beyond you to put your business on the internet, but you genuinely can create a website for your property business in about ten minutes if you know what you’re doing.  It takes a day to learn the chants and incantations, but once you know them, you can do it again and again, making different websites for all the things you might want your business to do.  Let’s look at a simple example.  Imagine that you’re running a business letting rooms out in Leicester.  So what will you need to have to put your business on the internet?  There are 3 basic steps.

1)      Search – customers need to be able to find you using Google, Yahoo or MSN.

2)      Website – customers need to be able to see information about your business, which tells them why they need you.

3)      Contact – you need a system for staying in touch with your customers on an ongoing basis..

That sounds very simple to say, but without your potions, you won’t know how to do any of it.  So let’s look in a little more detail at exactly how we might try to rent out a room in Leicester.  (Of course, all these principles apply equally to any other business, such as trying to find barns for conversion, property investment partners or anything else your business might need.)

Search

If you’re trying to find a tenant for a room in Leicester, you need to think about what someone who needs such a service might be typing into a search engine.  For example, they might type ‘rooms to rent in Leicester’.  They might also type ‘flatshare Leicester’ or crucially, ‘flatshare liecester’ (note spelling).  Whilst many people might puzzle over how to make their website appear high up in the Google’s rankings, Daniel can make your website magically appear at the very top.  He will show you how you can quickly and easily set up an account with Google that show your advert exclusively to people who type in these and other phrases you select.  This is called ‘pay per click’ advertising, as you only pay when someone clicks on your advert and goes through to your website.  On Google, this is known under the brand name ‘Adwords’.  If you look on the search results page from Google, these paid adverts are displayed down the right hand side of the search results page, and in blue at the top of the left hand side of the page.  The rest of the links shown are what’s called ‘natural listings’ or ‘organic search results’ and the website owners aren’t paying for these.  The great thing about pay-per-click is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a tiny one-man firm or an organisation the size of Lastminute.com, your adverts are listed in basically the same way.  Just like anyone can put an ad in the newspaper, anyone can be top of Google.  They just need to learn the magic spells.  You can learn them by reading Google’s own spellbook, but sometimes it’s great to be shown by a wizard.

Website

Obviously, when someone clicks on your advert, you need to have a website for them to link to.  Despite what you might think, a website does not have to be complicated.  It needn’t have lots of pages, fancy graphics and lots of clever gizmos and other showing off.  All it really needs is a few words saying what benefits your customer can get if they contact you.  For example, stripped down to its most basic form, your website can look very much like a full screen version of a classified ad.  If I’m looking for tenants in Leicester my site might say:

Rooms to rent in Leicester

Double rooms,

Clean and tidy houses

Easy parking

Rents from £300pcm

All areas of the town

Fill in your email address in the box below for more details….

If I’m looking for a room in Leicester, I don’t give a monkey’s about fancy graphics.  What I want is an easy way to find a decent room in a nice area, that’s not too expensive.  A website like the one above will do the job.  Anyone who’s serious about looking for a room in Leicester will give me their email, and then I can email them full details.  Daniel will help you install a magic gremlin that lives on your computer and will help you create really simple webpages just like the one above.  (You can go out and buy Frontpage instead, which is a lot more powerful, but it’s also quite a bit harder to use.)  The pages you will summon from the netherworld look basic but smart, and the gremlin will guide you through the process of writing the text so it’s child’s play.  You don’t need any clever reading, riting or ‘rithmetic to do this on your own!  Then, Daniel will stand over you as you upload your new website onto his own special server (he gives an FTP gremlin that will help you do this) and then you can watch your new site magically appear on the internet.  I felt so smug when I did this!

Back end

Once your website is ready to put up on the internet, you’re going to have to actually make it do what it needs to do.  It’s all very well putting your phone number and email address on it, but that doesn’t help you run an efficient business.  You might as well just put an advert on the side of your car!  What you need is a way to _automate_ the process of dealing with your customers, using an autoresponder.  You want to be able to make your customers all feel that they know you and trust you, and make them all feel valued and special, without ever needing to talk to them.  In the example of our friendly Leicester landlord, he needs to be able to send out emails to potential customers with details of the rooms available, so that the only customers who contact him are people who are actually ready to go round with a deposit cheque and a reference.  Let’s look at how the emails he might send out could look:

As soon as they’ve given their email address, phone number and pressed ‘submit’, the potential tenant will get an email saying:

Hi,

I’m Bob, your friendly Leicester landlord.  Thanks for asking about rooms to rent.  I currently have a double bedroom in a 2 bed flat just by the station for £370 per month, and a single room in a terraced house in Park Avenue for £300 per month.  You can see pictures below.

If you’re interested, you’ll need a month’s rent and the same again as a deposit, a wage slip and a reference.  I let my rooms strictly on a first-come, first-served basis.  So call me as soon as you’d  like to view.

Bob

Then, every week or so until the customer unsubscribes, Bob will send out an email to the customer saying:

Hi,

I’m Bob, your friendly Leicester landlord.   I’ve currently got a ………………

You get the idea!  This way, Bob can build up a list of hundreds of people who are looking for a room in Leicester.  ‘Wait!’ I hear you say, ‘Those people will just unsubscribe once they’ve found a room.’  You’re right and you’re wrong.  They might unsubscribe, or they might just ignore the emails for a year until they need to move again, and then they’ll start reading them again.  By this time, they’ll feel like Bob is a ‘reliable chap’, who’s been around for a bit, and is the sort of person who they might like to have as a landlord.  Then you’ve got a customer without having to advertise again.  So using this black magic, Daniel’s can summon you a customer list that you can market to again and again.  But that’s not all.  There’s nothing to stop you selling other stuff to this list of customers.  Maybe people who’d like to rent a room might also like to buy a house, if they could afford it.  You could send out an email occasionally saying ‘Many of my tenants didn’t realise they could afford to buy a house until I showed them how.’  You can then sell any responses you get from that email to a local estate agent who’s good with first time buyers, and you’ve made even more money from your list.

You may be thinking, ‘That’s great, but I bet it’s bloody complicated.  I bet I can’t do it.’  Well you’re wrong.  Anyone can learn the magic be an internet marketing wizard.  Daniel will show you how.  The logic to marketing on the internet is simple.  Every business needs to be on the internet in some way, and there’s absolutely nothing to stop you getting your property business on the net in a very short time.  Don’t delay, visit secretshortcuts.com today.