How To Secure The Best Location For Your Hotspot



You can secure a great loca­tion, but it does take work. Here’s the way I approach secur­ing great loca­tions using a step by step method to rad­i­cal­ly improve my chances of suc­cess. I’ve done this wrong, and I’ve done this right. I’ve watched oth­er peo­ple make mis­takes and I’ve also watched oth­er peo­ple absolute­ly nail this. Want to learn from my mis­takes and dras­ti­cal­ly improve your chances for get­ting a great earn­ing Heli­um loca­tion? Here we go!

Step 1: Find The Right Spot or Area

It starts with find­ing the right spot, or at least the right gen­er­al area. Secur­ing a high earn­ing loca­tion can be a lot of work, so you want to make sure all that effort will be reward­ed. I’ve talked a bunch in oth­er posts about what makes for a great loca­tion, and how to find one. If you want to REALLY improve your skills on this, take my Heli­umVi­sion Mas­ter­class to lev­el up your game when it comes to find­ing great locations.

In gen­er­al, great spots are up high, with clear lines of sight, and wit­ness oth­er hotspots with healthy trans­mit reward scale, prefer­able high­er than .8.

Ok, so you’ve found a great spot (or area), now what? 

Step 2: Identify the Property Owner

You might think, “Duh!”, but you’d be sur­prised at how many peo­ple just look at a spot, espe­cial­ly off grid, and decide to blast in with­out per­mis­sion and place their Hotspot wher­ev­er they please. Yes, that can be a tem­porar­i­ly high earn­ing strat­e­gy. It’s also self­ish, fool­ish, and gen­er­al­ly against local laws. I’ve found that most prop­er­ty own­ers are way more open than you might expect to hav­ing a Hotspot on their land, BUT you’ve got to have a plan for approach­ing them.

First, is it a res­i­den­tial or com­mer­cial spot? If it’s res­i­den­tial, one of the best ways is to drop off pre-print­ed fly­ers to mul­ti­ple homes in the area with a “pre-qual­i­fied” offer. Very gen­er­al­ly, the mes­sage would be, “Are you look­ing for addi­tion­al income/free inter­net just for using a few square feet of your roof? Your home has been pre-qual­i­fied and is eli­gi­ble to receive these ben­e­fits. Call this num­ber if you’re inter­est­ed in applying”. 

As you can see, the gen­er­al posi­tion you want to take is have the home­own­er eager to work with you. Print­ing up a few hun­dred cards is cheap, and you know every­one who calls that num­ber is inter­est­ed in learn­ing more. 

You can do the same thing with busi­ness­es, although I like to have a lit­tle more per­son­al­ized approach there.

How­ev­er you ini­ti­ate the con­ver­sa­tion, BEFORE you do that, think about the following:

  • What do they want?
  • What ques­tions might they have?
  • What might be impor­tant to them?
  • Do you have any rela­tion­ships in common?

That last one is ultra impor­tant. If you already know some­one on site, hav­ing that rela­tion­ship makes this whole thing way eas­i­er. Before you just call ’em up and ask “Hey, can I put a Heli­um Hotspot on your roof?”, let’s do a lit­tle fur­ther preparation.

Step 3: Prepare Your Pitch, Part 1 — Information

Do your home­work, and remem­ber the 7 P’s: Prop­er Pri­or Plan­ning Pre­vents Piss Poor Performance.

Now, this may sound a lit­tle dra­mat­ic, but pre­pare for a hos­tile con­ver­sa­tion and blunt ques­tions. “How much data will this use?” “Is this safe?” “Have you done this before?” “Do you have a license to install?” “Will this effect my inter­net?” “Will this dam­age my roof?” etc.

Think of every pos­si­ble ques­tion under the sun you’ve heard asked, or read on Face­book, Red­dit, or Dis­cord. Prac­tice your answers. There ARE good answers for each one of those. It’s up to you know have ’em on the tip of your tongue and be able to explain each one.

When you go in, know what you’ll need and ask for it. For a high earn­ing Hotspot, you’ll need a cabled eth­er­net con­nec­tion (NOT WiFi), access to pow­er, and access to the prop­er­ty and roof for both instal­la­tion and main­te­nance. Remem­ber to ask for those thing. Don’t just assume that the prop­er­ty own­er knows what you need. 

Final­ly, if this is a com­mer­cial build­ing, know the local aver­age rent per sq ft. That can be a major ben­e­fit you offer, as a Hotspot mount­ed on a non-pen­e­trat­ing roof mount only takes up about 6 square feet. That means even at $30/month you’re pay­ing well over mar­ket prices in most areas. Use that infor­ma­tion to your advantage!

Step 4: Prepare Your Pitch, Part 2 — Framing

This gets a lit­tle bit into sales and human per­sua­sion. When you meet to pitch them, whether that’s on the phone at first or in per­son, you need to present your­self as com­pe­tent, con­fi­dent, enthu­si­as­tic, and the kind of per­son they want to work with. That SHOULD be the per­son you are already, you just need to let that shine through.

Con­fi­dence comes from com­pe­tence. Prac­tice your pitch. Prac­tice answer­ing ques­tions about the deploy­ment. Know your job, your equip­ment, and your line of work. You don’t have to know every­thing, but you do have to know enough to appear worth doing busi­ness with.

Be enthu­si­as­tic. What you’re doing is AWESOME! You are help­ing build sen­sor cov­er­age using a net­work of gate­ways that are easy and safe to deploy and can pro­vide valu­able data to the world. How cool is that?! Know the big pic­ture behind deploy­ing a Heli­um Hotspot, and lean into that expe­ri­ence. We are chang­ing the world togeth­er, and being part of that is REALLY cool!

Frame the con­ver­sa­tion in terms of what’s in it for them; they get an extra pay­check, they get to help pro­vide cov­er­age for an amaz­ing sen­sor net­work, and if you’re will­ing to learn about it and imple­ment for them, they get to ben­e­fit from sen­sors that you deploy.

That last part can real­ly cinch the deal, but it will take a lot of extra effort on your part to imple­ment. If you go into a busi­ness know­ing how Heli­um cov­er­age can help them, you are FAR more like­ly to close a deal for Hotspot place­ment than if you’re just propos­ing a straight mon­ey-for-roof-space agree­ment. Know­ing how to find, buy, deploy, and visu­al­ize the data from sen­sors, whether you’re count­ing park­ing lot usage, the num­ber of peo­ple walk­ing by, or the weight of ingre­di­ents on a scale is hard. It’s also a GIANT advan­tage when it comes to per­suad­ing peo­ple to let you put a Hotspot on their property.

Step 5: Pitch them

I like to start off with what’s awe­some about them. It does­n’t take a lot of look­ing to fig­ure out where some­one real­ly shines, and start­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with an earnest com­pli­ment is a great way to kick things off. Be truth­ful, don’t just look for some bull­shit thing. All you have to do is notice where they’re awe­some and men­tion it. Peo­ple and places shine in so many ways, but that bright light of excel­lence often does­n’t get noticed by the pub­lic. Notice it. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it makes the world a lit­tle bit bet­ter of a place. Go ahead, start the whole thing off by mak­ing some­one’s day.

Be friend­ly. It’s so much eas­i­er to do busi­ness with peo­ple who are friend­ly. Remem­ber, the rela­tion­ship you build is what’s going to deter­mine how easy the whole process is. Build the rela­tion­ship first, and put that front and cen­ter. Any ass­hole can make a dol­lar, but it’s hard for an ass­hole to make friends. Put in the effort to make friends and the fiat will flow. 

Be knowl­edge­able, and have fun demon­strat­ing that knowl­edge. Humans are nat­u­ral­ly curi­ous about the world. We are genet­i­cal­ly pro­grammed to love learn­ing, and being around some­one who will help explain some small part of the world is a joy­ful expe­ri­ence. Share your knowl­edge in a joy­ful way and they’ll appre­ci­ate it tremendously. 

Be enthu­si­as­tic. Look, Heli­um is rad­i­cal! For the first time ever, nor­mal peo­ple can par­tic­i­pate in wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and you and your poten­tial client are a part of that. That is worth get­ting fired up about; you are chang­ing the world togeth­er. Don’t over­look that!

Be con­fi­dent in your pitch. Con­fi­dence is easy when you know what you’re talk­ing about, and peo­ple love being around con­fi­dent peo­ple. This does­n’t mean you should be brash, or aggres­sive, or cocky. Just know your mate­r­i­al, share as much of that knowl­edge as they’re will­ing to learn, and demon­strate your com­pe­tence. Speak­ing of which…

Be com­pe­tent. Prac­tice both your pitch AND your instal­la­tion. If you’re going to be set­ting up a non-pen­e­trat­ing roof mount, make sure you’ve done it a few times at home. Sure, it’s extra work, but you’ll learn an absolute TON by prac­tic­ing, and you’ll get much bet­ter both at the install and at explain­ing what you’re going to be doing. 

Focus on the ben­e­fit to them. They know you’re going to ben­e­fit from this, oth­er­wise why would you be there? Remem­ber ear­li­er, where I rec­om­mend­ed you fig­ure out what they want? Now is the time to demon­strate that you’ve thought about them and their needs. Focus on how they’re going to win by work­ing with you. Peo­ple love to win and Heli­um makes that achiev­able. Focus on the win for them.

Take on all the bur­den of work. Don’t put ANYTHING on them that you should be doing. Don’t ask for a lad­der, or a screw­driv­er, or some­one to help you run cable. Be pre­pared, and when they come up with ques­tions or objec­tions, be ready to say, “I can take care of that.” Now, don’t just say it, be ready to exe­cute on it. If you come in with a can-do com­pe­tent atti­tude you’ll be sur­prised at just how much peo­ple will want to work with you. Awe­some is con­ta­gious. Be awesome!

Final­ly, I’d rec­om­mend talk­ing about LoRa and IoT, at least to start the con­ver­sa­tion. I do NOT rec­om­mend start­ing with cryp­tocur­ren­cy or Heli­um. You can intro­duce those things lat­er if they want to know about them, but from my expe­ri­ence those can kill a deal before it gets going. 

Ok, that wraps up the gen­er­al idea for how to get per­mis­sion to deploy your Heli­um Hotspot pret­ty much any­where. It’s not impos­si­ble, it just takes work. You can do it, and I can’t wait to hear your suc­cess stories! 

If you’d like to join up with a bunch of like-mind­ed folks all work­ing in pur­suit of excel­lence, con­sid­er join­ing my com­mu­ni­ty mem­ber­ship, the Gris­tle Crüe. We meet week­ly on Zoom calls to go through the lat­est in Heli­um and to help each oth­er solve prob­lems. You also get access to the Crüe chan­nel in my Dis­cord so you don’t have to wait for a Zoom call to learn. I’d love to have you join up and learn with us, Heli­um is a ton of fun when you’re in good com­pa­ny. If you’d like to learn more, find us here.

Rock on!


4 responses to “How To Secure The Best Location For Your Hotspot”

  1. James Ferrell Avatar
    James Ferrell

    Hey Nik,
    I’ve been read­ing a lot of your arti­cles and I love how you present your­self, hard-work­ing, friend­ly and knowl­edge­able. I’m think­ing hard on sign­ing up for your two class­es. The Heli­umVi­sion mas­ter class real­ly intrigues me as does the basic class. But I think the best part is join­ing in on your week­ly com­mu­ni­ty calls and being a part of the Gris­ley Crue. Not being a tech has been rough in under­stand­ing all of it, but I’ve been so intrigued that I can­not stop. I’ve stud­ied you a lot , as well as Vosk and Jim­my is pro­mo, but they do not keep up with the lat­est as you do. I look for­ward to sub­scrib­ing soon. 

    James Fer­rell
    Upland, CA

    BTW, I’ve got a Hotspot that I just set up that is being relayed so my next read­ing is going to be Your two posts on how to fix a relat­ed Hotspot. Thank you for being real!

  2. Right on James, come join the Crüe! 🙂

  3. Othniel Avatar

    What would a fly­er look like? I have a bunch of good res­i­den­tial loca­tions (I think) and I’m not quite sure how to pitch this…

  4. Prob­a­bly along the lines of, “Your house may qual­i­fy for a free place­ment with a XX month­ly cred­it towards your inter­net bill” etc etc.

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