FreelanceSwitch.com Can Do A Better Job At Selling Rockstar Freelancer

I can get my ass on fire for this. I am doing a critique on a big website, with huge followings. Before you know it, I am gonna get my own websites being critiqued with all the mistakes I did. But anyway, I hope those who read this, even the people at Freelance Switch, will understand that my intentions are good… :P

If you don’t know about this, FreelanceSwitch.com is website for freelancers. They have a forum, a blog with awesome content, resources and recently, they released a book about freelancing. The title is How To Be A Rockstar Freelancer. If you are web designer, web developer, graphic designer, etc, you may want to check this website out.

But anyway, back to the book, I am sure the book is great. Honestly, I haven’t read it yet, but this post is not about that… It’s about how well they are selling it from their website. Before I get on with my comments and critiques, I don’t know how well (or how bad) they are selling the book, but at any level, I am sure they can improve.

Let me show you what I mean…

rockstar-freelancer.jpg

As you can see, I have highlighted four areas (five, one more at a screen shot below).

Let me take you through each part.

Number 1. That is supposed to be the headline. But all that you see is “Book”. That is not good enough. In fact, that’s bad because. You can have a poor headline, and I will say it’s not good enough. This is not even a headline. I am not a copywriting guru, but a headline is supposed to attract readers to read more of your content. “Book” doesn’t really tell you anything, and it sure doesn’t attract you to read more. When they don’t read more, they leave… no sale.

I think the book title is good enough for a headline. They should at least use the book’s title as the headline. If it reads, “How To Be A Rockstar Freelancer”, it’ll be a lot better.

Number 2. Here’s the opening line. It starts with “Covering everything from getting started to expanding your business…” Here’s my comment – can you be specific? Everything is not specific.

You may not think so. You assume that many things are self-explanatory and you don’t need to explain everything. You are wrong. People like to know the details, especially if it helps in making decisions.

Think about the benefits of the book to freelancers. When I say specific and benefits, I mean something like, “be more efficient”, “get more work done”, “get more clients”, “get your clients to happily pay more for your work”, “make more money with no extra work”, etc…

And Freelance Switch can at least start by identifying their website visitors with something like, “If you are freelancer…” or maybe “If you are web designer, web developer or a graphic artist…” You see, when you are identifying and qualifying your prospect, they open up to you for the person you address them as. You see, a person can be a lot of things, a designers, a spouse, a car driver, a father, a man, a woman… which one are you talking to?

Number 3. They have a great design for their book cover. But it doesn’t look like a book. What is that? Is that a DVD? Is that a chocolate box? Is that an audio CD? Is that a video tutorial? What they should have is an image of the physical book. They can easily do this with an ebook cover software. With an image of the physical product, visitors immediately understand that the product is a book.

Number 4. Here they have a little section about other titles that they have. Here’s my opinion – it’s distracting. And worse, that other book is not even out yet. Imagine this, you own a showroom selling BMWs and you put ads about Mercs in your showroom together with all the cars. You are not Amazon here. You don’t need to make recommendations. And even if you want to, make the recommendation when customers are checking out… it’ll be something like, “By the way, do you want to get this book too…”

That area on the right can be used to display technical details about the book. You know, how many pages, weight, size, ISBN number, price…

Now here’s about Number 5. Another distracting factor…

rockstar-freelancer-2.jpg

It’s all these affiliate information and banners. When it comes to direct response marketing, a single web page should have only one objective. In this case, which are you trying to achieve? Do you want to sell your book or do you want to recruit affiliates?

I think it should be the objective of this particular page to sell. What they should have is a button that clearly says, “Get This Book Now”. So they should remove information about the affiliate program. If you want to get affiliates, just have a link saying, “Become An Affiliate” and put all the info on another page.

FURTHER COMMENT…

I pity their affiliates. I don’t think that their affiliates can sell the ebook well with this website. Unless the affiliate is doing a really good job at reviewing the book or providing extra bonuses, I don’t think s/he will get much sale. Especially if they just slap the banner on their sites.

Provide More Information

The website also needs to have more information about the content of the book. That one paragraph below “Book” (my Number 2 comment) is the only information they can get about the book from that website. They didn’t sell on the benefits, no bullet points, they didn’t sell the on the authors, no testimonials, they could’ve done a lot more things. They could have provided more information…

With more information, visitors can make a better decision. It’s OK if a visitor decides no. When you get a visitor to decide no, you get a lot more to decide yes. But when you send your visitors to an “undecided” situation… guess what? Yes – no sales. In fact, sales lost.

No Call To Action

A call to action is critical. Visitors need to be told what to do. All that I see is two images with the word “Purchase”. Each image represents two different format of the book, PDF and physical. I said about this earlier, my recommendation is to have a banner which says something like “Get The Book Now”. And below that banner, you can have the format options. But instead of putting the format options one on top of the other, they should put it side by side.

Affiliate Program – What About The Physical Version?

Here’s a thought. I look at their format options, you can buy the PDF or the physical book. But their affiliate program is managed by e-Junkie.com (which manages the PDF sales and affiliate program) while their physical version is being sold via Lulu.com.

Here’s the million dollar question – If you, as an affiliate, send over a visitor and the visitor buys the physical version, do you still get credited? I think not. It’s not really fair to affiliates. I remember one time ago, before ClickBank starts accepting Paypal payments, some vendors put both the Paypal link and the ClickBank link on their website, which upsets quite a number of affiliates because they won’t be credited when customers pay using Paypal.

Where’s The Reviews, Testimonials?

It would be a better web page if they have some reviews or testimonials. Being a very well-known blog/website for freelancers, I am sure it’s not that difficult to get some really good reviews for the book. If it was me, I’d contact some really well-known authors, designers and programmers out there and get them to give a review.

They can even start contacting their customers (advertisers) and give them a free copy for a good review. I am sure they’ll get really good reviews from those. From the top of my head, I am also thinking Steve Krug (author for Don’t Make Me Think), Matt Mullenweg (lead developer of WordPress.org), etc…

Good reviews and testimonials can definitely persuade visitors to get the book.

WHAT FREELANCESWITCH.COM DID RIGHT…

They do have a good design. Not the common mini-sites that you normally see from ClickBank vendors. I am sure the team at Freelance Switch consists of a number really talented designers. So I give them credit for the good design.

Another good thing is that they are using the same theme from their website to sell the book. Same design, same theme. This is good because existing followers, readers, subscribers, members will immediately be sold on Freelance Switch’s brand and reputation. It’s just that new visitors who are not familiar with Freelance Switch, may not get it. Again, pity the affiliates.

Another good thing they did is that they give away a few chapters for visitors to download for free. At least visitors can check them out.

SOME GOOD EXAMPLES…

Before I end this, let’s take a look at how other people sell books online. Examples from those I like. No, I am not going to take any examples from ClickBank. Let’s see how programmers, web designers sell books.

I have always like SitePoint.com. SitePoint.com has a number of books and they always get it right with every title. Let’s take a look at one of their earliest book/kit.

web-design-kit.jpgThe Web Design Business Kit by SitePoint.com
http://www.sitepoint.com/kits/freelance2/

First of all, you see the kit. You see how it looks like. And you immediately understand that this is home study kit.

Further down, you get all the information you need to make a decision. They sell on the author, there are testimonials, there are technical infos (pages, ISBN, price, etc), free preview with sample chapter download, overview of content while selling on the benefits, bullet points, the gist of the guide (see philosophy), money-back guarantee, etc…

And you also see that they don’t cross-promote any of their other books on this page. There’s no info about other books and no affiliate information.

Let’s look at another…

getting-real.jpgGetting Real by 37signals
http://gettingreal.37signals.com

As you can see, 37 Signal immediately identify with their visitors in the headline. The headline reads, “Discover the smarter, faster, easier way to build web-based application. A book by 37signals.” You immediately get it, this is for those who build web-based applications. It’s not for designers, it’s not for freelancers, etc… And there’s a photo of a book on the right, you know that it’s a book.

Though being short, you get a good amount of information whether to get it or not. You learn about who 37signals are, you get to know what the book is about, you read about some buzz (media exposure) and also some information on who should and should not get the book…

There you… I think with all three websites I should you (yes, including Rockstar Freelancer), you will start to see a better design for selling books (or ebooks), more suitable for the Web 2.0 age.

All the best…

Hmm … is Freelance Switch gonna take notice of this?

 

8 Responses to “FreelanceSwitch.com Can Do A Better Job At Selling Rockstar Freelancer”

  1. collis said:

    Hey Kidino!

    Thanks for the review, some really good points here! To be perfectly honest this page was meant to be an interim measure while I built the rockstar website … of course four months later, I’m wishing I’d put a bit more effort into this one ;-)

    Thanks for the feedback, I’ll make sure you start seeing some improvements asap!

    Collis

  2. admin said:

    Hey Collis, would love to see that. I’ll surely do an update when you do … maybe another critique. ;)

  3. andrew goulding said:

    Some excellent points. Well said.

    ADG

  4. Clarence said:

    Hi Kidino

    Great comments on the FreelanceSwitch website. I fully agree with your points. In fact, without an attention-grabbing headline, at first impression I thought the book was for aspiring rockers (pardon my ignorance).

    I’m sure the designers at FreelanceSwitch will be making improvements very soon, thanks to you.

    All the best,

    Clarence

  5. Matt Cole (AffiliateMarketingOffers) said:

    Kidino,

    what a great, in-depth, review!

    I will take these comments and your positive criticism on board, and start thinking about how I also market products in the future.

    You are so right when you talk about all the distractions on the page, it is something I am guilty of too.

    Keep up the great work
    Matt

  6. Robert said:

    Kidino,

    That’s a very good review, but more importantly, it shows things people should consider when putting something together to market on the net and your post/illustrations make it a “mini-education” on what to do and not to do. For those less skilled …just getting started in IM, ie, internet marketing, it’s good stuff to learn.

    3 thumbs up!

    Robert

  7. Safuan a.k.a Sipenglipurlara said:

    That’s another great idea from Kidino

  8. Terry (BuildMuscleBooks) said:

    I think your comments were fair and accurate.

    It is good for an outsider to critique something as it brings an honest viewpoint.

    I am an affiliate for a particular ebook and on seeing a review copy I immediately told the publisher that it needed a serious makeover as it was really poorly presented.

    He took my comments in good heart ,had the ebook redone and it is now much better.

    I sold a copy a short while later.

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