Day 16 – How much are domains selling for?

domain sales

We’re in the home stretch, week 3, day 16 of 21 days to becoming a better domainer.  The lesson for today is to simply get comfortable researching what domain names are selling for and also to look back historically at what names were selling for a year a go, 5 years ago, 10 years ago.

Where do you go to find out these things?  Well, you’re already familiar with some of the blogs in this space and probably have noticed which bloggers tend to report this out.  Jamie over at DotWeekly.com does an amazing job of tracking which big businesses are buying and selling which names.  The best blogging resource on actual prices has to be Ron Jackson at DNJournal.com.  Ron has the latest newsworthy prices posted at dnjournal.com/domainsales.htm and a whole history can be found in the archives.

Other than blogs, you can head to NameBio.com and search the various sales venues for what certain domains have sold for.  They have a great search feature there that allows you to enter keywords, old, price, etc.  You’ll even see the history.  For example, here is the results when I search for “cooldomains.”  Someone made a good investment.

namebio

There are other options as well.  If you have explored some of the automated valuation tools such as estibot.com, you’ll see that estibot returns some historical domain sales for you to see as part of the valuation result for the domain you enter.  Not quite and customizable as NameBio, but something to keep an eye on as you search.

There are plenty of other ways to get at this information.  The important thing is that you start to pay attention to it and understand it.  You’ll see patters.  You’ll see randomness.  It’s all there for you to sort out.

There is no perfect formula for coming up with a sale price for a domain, but a little education goes a long way.

Day 15 – Time to sell some domain names

sales

Happy Friday and day 15 of 21 days to becoming a better domainer. It’s been a busy three weeks if you’ve been following along and trying to incorporate these tips into your domaining routine.  We’ve talked about getting information and learning on a daily basis, reaching out to more experienced domainers, building your net work, assessing your domain names, determining your focus, and today its all about selling.

You acquired some names and you’re you’ve done some learning so now it’s time to get those names out there were people can find them.  You have some options as to where you list your names but before you do that, my suggestion is that you create a landing page for each of your domain names, bulleting out some of the benefits of owning the name and  giving potential buyers a way to contact you with an offer.

You have some options here as well.  One option is to create your own landing page.  You probably know a little html and if not, you could learn enough to create a basic page easy enough.  Another option is to use a domain sales theme such as the one developed by Ed de Jong.  I’ve tried a few different approaches, but the one that worked best for me has been Efty.  Back in May, I wrote an article about my early experience with Efty.  Worth reading if you are considering giving it a go.  Just the other day, Omar and Will posted a video about landing pages vs parking.  Which route you decide on is up to you, my advice is to just get something out on that page that allows buyers to contact you.

Adding a landing page greatly increases your odds of being contacted with an offer.  Most end users are just going to type the name in and see what’s there.  If there is nothing, they have no idea how to contact you.  But don’t stop there.  Get your names listed on sites like Sedo, Afternic, and NameJet to name a few popular platforms.  The idea is to get your names where people can find them.  This is an important step that is often skipped.

I also like the premium listings and auction options at GoDaddy.  Having your names available on GoDaddy is great because it’s probably the most popular registrar in existence (I have no data to back that up, nor do I feel like searching for it).

You’ve done lots of homework and learned quite a bit and you deserve to make some sales.  Don’t just sit on the information you have, get your landing pages in place and get those names listed where they can be seen by buyers.  I’m looking forward to hearing which platforms you like the best.

Day 14 – The best domain related post

twitter domainer

Two-thirds of the way through the 21 day journey to becoming a better domainer.  Feeling better already?  Yesterday’s post had you thinking, planning and preparing to grow your network in a meaningful way.  Pretty labor intensive.  Today I’m going to lighten it up without losing any momentum.  You’re mission, today, is to select the best domain related tweet you can find and retweet it.  Simple.

Now, if you are active on Twitter, you probably do this all the time and today is just another day for you.  Good for you!  My kind of domainer.  However, I have found there are a few types of domainers using Twitter.

  1.  The Self Promoter – This is the person who is either a blogger, an author, a domainer, etc. and only tweets about themselves.  The author posts the same book for sale 17 times a day.  The domainer spams us with nothing but his/her own domains for sale.  We all do some self promotion, but my take is that we should all be sharing great content.
  2. The Silent Observer – This is the person who follows and reads the Twitter feed, but never interacts, comments, likes or retweets.  There is nothing wrong with the Silent Observer other than missing out on sharing their opinions and engaging in some conversation about the industry.  Much preferred over the Self Promoter.
  3. The Ideal Tweeter –  This is a person who has found a good balance between promoting themselves, their product or service, and sharing valuable information with others.  These are the people I enjoy having in my feed.  They introduce me to tweets from others that I don’t follow who then, I decided I’d like to follow.  They share information that is helpful to me.

But back to our task.  If retweeting isn’t something you do daily, then today be very selective about what you retweet.  Find that one tweet that made you click through and read the full article, or the quote that meant something to you, or the meme that actually made you laugh out loud.  Take that and share it with those that follow you.

Get in the habit of doing this daily, and commenting on the meaningful tweets or asking questions.  Remember, the goal is to learn and grow to become a better domainer.  Sitting silent or over promoting yourself isn’t going to drum up the business you’re looking for.  Helping others it.

Oh, and there is one other type of Twitter user out there.  They guy that signed up using the Twitter handle you really want and has been sitting dormant since 2012 without posting anything and still Twitter won’t give the name up to you.  You know who you are 🙁

Day 13 – Do this right and your sales will increase

networking

Lucky 13 of 21 days to becoming a better domainer.  There’s one thing you’ve probably heard your entire career, no matter what field you’re in.  It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.  There is a lot of truth to that statement.  The bigger your network, the more prospects you have that may want to buy your domain names.  I’m not talking about “social networks” like Facebook or LinkedIn.  I’m talking about real networking.  Where you get to know people and maintain the relationships.  There are many ways to accomplish this, but you have to do it properly for it to be effective.

Networking

Monday, I wrote about domain conferences as a great way to meet contacts. But it’s not the only way.  Let’s take a look at some other means of networking.  Yeah, there is social media, but that gets enough attention and it’s not the type of networking you need reminding of.  Consider some of the following:

Organized Networking Events – I don’t know how, but somehow I ended up on a few different networking email lists, including meetu.com and networkafterwork.com, and I’m glad I did.  I’ve attended a few of these after work events and I not only had a great time, got some free swag (note: I’m no longer impressed with free swag as much as I once was.  Now it’s just crap I have laying around my office making it harder to find stuff I need) and met people from different lines of work.  I attended one Social Media Day event that was pretty cool.  The best part about that event is that no one was on their phones looking at social media.  We were all talking and mingling and making connections.

Through Friends and Family – A friend and neighbor of mine, lets call him Dave because that really is his name, has introduced me to several contacts that relate to my line of work.  He has done this in an easy, casual way such as over a few drinks at the local bar or at a neighborhood party.  This has given me some good connections and one I am currently working with on some business opportunities.  You don’t have to travel far to make solid connections.  You just need to have the right mindset when meeting new people.

Chamber of Commerce – Your local chamber of commerce holds events and socials that will get you mixing with other businesses in your area.  As a domainer, you’re bringing something to the table there that, likely, no one else is.  Think about the audience you have there.  All business people looking to get more business and you have a way to help them.

 

Steps:

To do something right, there are always some steps you need to follow.  Get good at each step and you have a formula for developing a kick-ass offline network.

  1. Just meet people, don’t try to sell them, don’t ask for anything.  Your initial contact is not a sales pitch.  It’s an introduction.  Don’t blow it by jumping into your pitch right off the bat.  Chill out, chat, enjoy the conversation.  You’re not looking to make a buck here…. yet.
  2. Don’t only focus on people that can help you.  Obviously you want to make connections with people that can help you. It’s important to make connections with people you can help to.  Why?  Because down the line they may need your service or know someone who does.  If you clearly focus only on those that benefit you, you’re going to look like a jerk.  Besides, don’t you want people to help you as well?
  3. Be clear about what it is that you do, in a short and concise way. When you do meet someone new, tell them what you do and how you’re special.  Keep it short and sweet.   Remember, it’s not a sales pitch, it’s an introduction.
  4. Take more time to learn about them than you do talking about yourself. This is pretty much a golden rule in life.  Spend more time listening than talking.  There are two reasons for this.  First, people love talking about themselves.  They’ll walk away thinking, “that Sully is a good guy” when all I’ve done is let them speak, paid attention and asked some probing questions.  Some people are natural talkers.  I’m a natural listener.  Second, you learn about their wants and needs.  This puts you in a position to understand what you can do for them.  To understand what types of domains would benefit them.
  5. Follow up.  After you meet someone, you should follow up with them shortly after meeting them.  A day or two is typically a good spacer.  Some suggest you write a hand written note.  Sure, that’s nice, but a quick text or phone call saying, “Glad we had a chance to talk on Saturday” is usually plenty.
  6. Follow up again. You don’t want that to be the last time you connect before you try to sell a name or get some leads.  I like to follow up with some people in my network monthly.  I’ll send and article on something I come across that might be of interest to them.  If I know I’ll be in the area, I’ll suggest lunch.  You want to keep the connection going and not let it die out in silence.

Tips:

Now you know the steps, here are a few tips to help you accomplish them.  Take them or leave them.  Do what works for you.

Have a good story – I like to tell a good domain story to pique the interest of my contacts when I first meet them.  There are plenty of great stories you can share about successful domains.  Read the blogs and you’ll always have some good ones.  I’ve collected a small handful I like to tell when I meet people.  This is enough material to meet several people in one night and not repeat the same canned story over and over again.

Business Cards – You may have heard of these.  People used to carry them around and hand them out to people.  I still find them useful and yes, I have my own.  When someone gives me a business card, I usually end up snapping a photo of it into Evernote from my phone, but it’s still a convenient way top pass along contact information.

Elevator Pitch –  I mentioned in step 3 that you want to tell them what you do in an accurate and concise way.  Develop your elevator pitch in advance so your not stumbling when someone asks.

Keep Notes – I’ve mentioned notes at least twice in this series.  The fact is, I can’t remember ANYTHING and never could.  Sure, in the moment I think “there is no way I will forget that George’s daughter is studying computer security.”  Sure enough, in a day or two, “Who the hell is George?”  I like to keep records of people I meet and what I learn about them.  It helps me when I follow up to provide some relevant information.  “Hey George, I came a cross this article on computer security and though your daughter Nancy might find it interesting.”

Reminders to Follow up – I don’t do this as often as I should, but it wouldn’t hurt to set reminders to follow up with your contacts.  Not that you need to email Jeff ever second Thursday of the month, but just a reminder that it’s been a while since you’ve talked to someone and it would be a good idea to touch base.

Enough on networking for today, if you are interested in discussing more, let me know.  Always happy to chat.  You can also find plenty of great books (or audio books) on the topic as well.

Day 12 – Contribute

give-and-take-556151__340

You’ve arrived at day 12 of 21 day2 to becoming a better domainer.  You’re over the hump in this series.  Today topic is about giving back.  I’ll accept checks, cash, Bitcoin, and select gift cards.  Alright, sounded funnier in my head than when I wrote it.  We’re talking about giving back to the domain community.  There are many ways to do this and we’ll touch on a few.

You’ve been a domainer now for somewhere between 12 days (if you stumbled onto this series and began to follow along blindly) and 27 years (if you’re the guy that register Symbolics.com).  In either case, you have gained some know-how.  Maybe a little or maybe a massive amount.  The fact is, you have something to share.  Somewhere out there is a person or group of people that know less than you do.  It’s in your best interest to spread the knowledge.

Teach a friend

One day, several years ago, I met an old work colleague for lunch.  We hadn’t seen each other in quite some time and when we were catching up, I was speaking passionately about the domain industry.  It intrigued him and he began asking me all sorts of questions.  Some I had answers to and others I didn’t.  As a result of this conversation, he wanted to meet so I could share more with him.  This time, I decided to prepare.  I wanted to impress and show that I knew what I was talking about.  So I brushed up on some of the unanswered questions he previously had and tried to anticipate the flow of the conversation.  In doing this prep work, I sharpened my own knowledge of what I was talking about.  I filled in gaps I didn’t even know I was missing.

There is an Latin principle, Docendo discimus “to teach is to learn.”  I have found that is the most enjoyable way to learn and an effective way as well.

Comment on Forums and Blogs

Yes, we talked about this a couple of times, but sometimes it’s worth beating a dead horse.  By doing so, you’ll hear from other who disagree with you and some for good reason.  They may cause you to question your train of thought.  At the same time, you may influence others with your opinion as well, sending them down a new path in their domaining quest.   Hell, if you have a simple tip, just share it.  You’ll make other’s lives easier.  I think these two quotes pair together well.

“There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.” – Michel de Montaigne

“Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.” – Desmond Tutu

 

More Ideas

I’m not all new age, but there is some positive Karma in giving back.  One selfish reason is be cause you tend to learn something yourself.  Be inventive and find other ways to give back.  You could start a blog, write a guest post on a domain topic you’re passionate about (feel free to contact me if you have something in mind), create some new software tool or app that serves the industry, write a book, teach a class, start a parking company that makes money for domains that suck, write a top 10 pop song about domain names.  There are may possibilities and you’ll enjoy what ever it is you choose to do.  Just do something.

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.