TFS 342: B2B vs. B2C
In this week’s episode of The Freelancers Show, Reuven Lerner teaches about B2B and B2C business strategies, giving advice and examples from his own life. He begins by defining B2B or business to business, selling your services to businesses. This type of exchange usually happens behind scenes, Sysko being one example of a B2B company. B2B doesn’t necessarily mean businesses, it could be government agencies or non-profits.
Reuven defines B2C or business to consumer, selling a product or service to individuals. This type of business is seen all the time in advertisements and tv commercials, Coca Cola is the example he gives. The first thing to decide is what you want to sell and then to whom.
Next, Reuven explains why most freelancers go with B2B. It is an established and safer route, especially if you are offering something like web development or web design. Companies are always looking for that kind of help, using contractors and agencies. Reuven does Python training for companies, which is a B2B service.
Reuven goes on to talk about how to find B2B clients. There are two ways to do this outbound or outreach and inbound, which Reuven prefers. Outreach, he explains is reaching out to companies and offering them your services. Reuven gives some advice on this but explains that it is very difficult to get in and very easy to be brushed off. Inbound, meaning your clients find you. He explains that inbound is all about making yourself recognized as an authority, which can take years to build that kind of reputation.
Why works so hard for B2B business? The simple answer Reuven gives is money. He explains that if you do get in then you can become that company’s go-to person for years. An example he gives form his own life is a company that purchases trainings from him every year. Reuven gives the most common timelines from making contact to actually doing the job at 6 months to a year and advises listeners to plan ahead.
Reuven’s advice for getting in is to get in front of a head technical person. The way he does this is through speaking at conferences but webinars and blog posts will help with this. Webinars and blog posts could not only catch the eye of a head technical person but will also them you know what you are doing.
Next, Reuven prepares listeners by explaining what businesses will expect from you. B2B will be way more formal, including paperwork and contracts. He advises listeners that businesses will expect them to be incorporated and insured, treating them as a business.
Moving on to B2C, Reuven discusses the types of products developers might offer to consumers, e-books, online courses, training, and coaching. He explains that the main advantage of B2C over B2B is that there are a lot more people in the world than there are businesses. Rueven explains that the key to success with B2C is volume. He goes over ways of reaching people, videos, blog posts, and posts using Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube.
Reuven spends a lot of time discussing mailing lists. He shares the doubts he felt about mailing lists when he first heard of them but strongly suggests that everyone has one. He explains the advantages of using mailing lists. Reuven shares free content with subscribers, getting his name out there, while also including advertisements for his products. Reuven shares some of the specific details of how his mailing list works.
YouTube is the next topic Reuven talks about. YouTubers can get thousands of followers, Reuven himself is currently working on building up his following. In his videos, he shares free python information all while advertising his products and building up his credibility.
One last tip for B2C, Reuven suggests you have multiple products. More product means more for people to buy. People can become very loyal and you could end up with groupies waiting for your next product.
Cross overs between B2C and B2B, Reuven explains is very unlikely. He shares instances where this has happened which were quite rare. He explains a way he is hoping to see more crossover through his mailing list. Considering that both B2B and B2C both take considerable amounts of time, Reuven suggests focusing on one.
When it comes down to it, Reuven, for the most part, suggests B2B. He explains that it is easier to get started in B2B. B2C is very risky because you start out as an unknown and untested resource. Reuven talks about the time that he tried this in the beginning and it did not go well. The only exception he makes is if you have a niche market that fills a hole, a product or course that people are desperate for.
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