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  1. #1
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Furniture merchant fishing for free advice
    On Valentine's Day, I received an inquiry from a furniture merchant: "We want some one to run our affiliate marketing campaign."

    Since I don't seek out "OPM" work, I called for clarification. The fellow insisted that he was looking for help in making decisions and moving forward with an affiliate program, and when I mentioned that I don't offer long-term OPM services, he insisted that he recognized that in-house management would be the best strategy, and said he wanted consulting help to plan an affiliate program. I made several observations about likely "obstacles and issues" with his web site. We also discussed a number of "issues" with his web site. He asked me to prepare a proposal for my services. The next day, I sent him my proposal.

    A week later, I followed up, and he wrote back: "I just received your proposal. I was hoping you would give us a good look. I will review it and get back to you. I know I need to make some changes to my site for affiliate marketing and I think most issues will be no problem in fixing."

    Today, he sent me another email, which I assume was also sent to other consultants and OPMs. It began: "We want some one to run our affiliate marketing campaign."

    I now believe that all he wants is free advice -- on improving his web site to make it "ready" for an affiliate program, and on the design and launch of his affiliate program. His follow-up comment about "giving [his sites] a good look" was similar to statements during our phone conversation; he realizes that his site needs changes, and wants specific recommendations. But I don't think he's willing to pay a single cent.

    For me, this is just the latest of several dozen similar incidents in the past six months, involving a wide variety of merchants. As I mentioned in an earlier discussion thread, I've prepared many "proposals" for prospective clients who don't hire me -- and who also don't hire anyone else, but keep fishing for advice.

    And then, last week, I found something that really disturbed me: someone was advertising on CraigsList, claiming to be an internet marketing consultant offering to pay $50 for each "internet marketing proposal" that could be obtained from his competitors.

  2. #2
    No Longer Banned!
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    January 19th, 2008
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    marks woes....
    Mark

    I mentioned you on the phone yesterday. I told the caller you are in a tough tough situation. I certainly see that.

    You may be correct about this situation. My question is: Can you charge a minimum fee for the proposal ? Though this might have been mentioned by Rematt previously {not 100% sure here}, I think that Rematt is correct, your intellectual property must be protected.

    I wish I knew a better way to help you out. I hope this at least contributed a little Mark.

    Steve
    DreamLinux.net | Registered Linux User 453976 | PM me to view our sites. It's a Google thing.

  3. #3
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    For those who may not have read it, the earlier discussion thread about "prospects who don't become clients" is at http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=100412.

  4. #4
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Florida
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    3,550
    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    And then, last week, I found something that really disturbed me: someone was advertising on CraigsList, claiming to be an internet marketing consultant offering to pay $50 for each "internet marketing proposal" that could be obtained from his competitors.
    OK, now that is strange and very wrong. Hope it's not an abw opm.

  5. #5
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Cuautitlán, Edo. de México
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    Mark, didn't you charge him for the proposal as suggested in the earlier thread?

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