Nic and I have been called many things in our lives but recently, we found out someone out there has been posting on LowYat.net and calling us professional cons!
And this person kept copying and pasting the same message into different Low Yat forum topic categories (from web design threads to web hosting threads etc.) and of course, she also had to prove herself by linking to our website.
Here’s a screen grab of that post. And she even decided to put up our logo. 😉
This was why we noticed a spike in our website visitors in the last week or so.
I guess everyone wanted to come and check how the con professionals looked like or if our website design packages are really priced at RM20K.
When I got to know the source of this web traffic (thanks to technology, anything can be found), I also knew at once who the person is.
It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes much time to figure out it was an ex-client who bore an intense grudge against us.
Initially, she left us a one-star rating on Google My Business after we terminated the relationship. I had wanted to reply her review of us but strangely, she deleted the rating after a few days.
The short version of this (you can read the long version over at LowYat which I posted using my real name and elaborating on what happened and why we decided to not continue with this person) – she initially came to us, asking for help.
She knew exactly how much our website package cost and she even read and signed a contract that we gave her.
We outlined everything she needed to know before she became a client.
She willingly paid the invoiced sum in 4 monthly instalments.
We created the website for this person – from interviewing her via Skype, crafting her USP, writing all her website content including keyword research and adding custom SEO to each page. The website was approved by her and launched.
And here’s where things started to go sideways.
She wanted immediate results from her RM20K website. We told her, marketing is like a marathon. The website is the beginning of the marathon (if you’ve read our book you would know we hammer this over and over – there are no quick fixes).
And marketing is about consistency plus she needed to do her part. She had to play her role as the business owner in the marketing of her English-Malay translation services too.
She didn’t want to hear about slow and steady marketing. She wanted people to be her clients then and there. That is why it is important to build up one’s brand way before you need to start a business. Even if you are a freelancer, start working on getting testimonials from clients and start getting out there so that people start to know you exist.
A website that is built right will help you but even so, you need to give things some time.
Early this year, we developed an ecommerce website for a friend, Jet, who imports Liu Pao tea from China.
Initially nothing happened when the website was launched. Fortunately, he gave it enough time to work. We all worked on this – he would promote the website to his customers, we would promote it on our blog.
We persuaded Jet to film videos although he was quite shy.
But what is all this for? Marketing of course!
In the beginning, the website wasn’t ranked (remember, it takes some time to rank especially for organic SEO but to us, that is the most sustainable SEO process there is).
But once Google started indexing the website, it went right to the first page of Google (see screenshot below – all the top spots belong to ChinBeeTea.com, even the images).
But ranking is one thing. Sales is another. Even when the website started ranking, orders didn’t come instantly.
It took a few months before we saw results trickling in – the website recently got the attention of an American and he ordered quite a bit of tea from Jet. Another customer bought 480 teapots from Jet after he visited Jet’s website. And two weeks ago, Jet had an enquiry from a Borneo manufacturer asking of bulk tea and someone from Germany also asked about getting the Chinese tea.
So in the case of the ex-client, it was a pity she didn’t allow herself the time to let her website work and bring in the leads and sales. And we encouraged her and even gave her suggestions on how to market and what to do. But she chose to do otherwise.
Instead of diligently working on marketing her translation business, she chose to spend her energy, time and effort going to Low Yat forums and talking bad about us! Think about it. The energy is the same but the results are vastly different!
She chose to go online to defame us, calling us con professionals.
If we were con professionals, would we still be running our business? This year is our 20th year in business.
If we were con professionals, would we post up our photos everywhere (not just on this website of ours) but on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+?
If we wanted to con her, we wouldn’t even need to design a website or write all the website content or even complete the website and launch it – we’d just take the RM20K and run!
If we were con professionals, would I be recommended to sit on different professional and business committees as I am doing now? Would we still show up at events and conduct talks and promote our book, game and more?
For this defamation, we are seeking legal counsel and we will take action because she is spreading malicious lies online.
However, and I always see the silver lining on any cloud, the upside is, she is making Redbox Studio popular! Because everyone wants to know who the heck are the people who dare (gasp) charge RM20K for a website and what kinds of con we are up to now. LOL.
You can google me or Nic. You can ask around. You can ask people who know us or heard of us or who have worked with us.
And you can always ask our clients who have enjoyed the results of our work.
We have produced results for our clients and yes, they have paid RM20K for our website.
But you can ask them what their ROI on their RM20K investment is.
Most likely they would like to keep us a secret from their competitors. Dr Somas, one of our clients, tells friends that we are the ones who helped him get his BMW. You can call him up to verify this or watch this video where he talks about how he secured his patients via his website. His number is on his website and yes, that’s the website we built for him. Back then his website was RM16K.
We’ve also learnt from this episode. Nic and I are now more diligent when prospects come to us. We do a serious background check and understand their motives for going online. If a person doesn’t want to learn or do marketing (with or without a website), no amount of goodheartedness on our part will ever help.
So take this as a lesson especially for all of us in business: you will always encounter one person who will always be unhappy no matter what you do for them. When that happens, terminate the relationship and walk away with integrity and dignity intact.
If people start defaming you, meet them where they are. Explain professionally what problem is about and never resort to childish name-calling or bashing. Let others be the judge.
And use your real name always. I don’t lurk in forums and use fake names and defame others. To me, transparency and credibility are of the utmost importance.
Because when they go low, you go high (thanks for this quote, Michelle Obama).