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WEB SCHOOL Execution: Building my web design biz

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JHZ

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What's up everyone
I've finally decided to put all my knowledge to use and start my web design company. In this thread I will post all my failures and victories along the process.

Why should you care?
  • You will se me fail, a lot. And maybe seeing my failures can help with your own journey as a web designer
  • You will get a glance at the problems that arise as I get new clients, go trough meetings, build projects and everything in between, so when you have that problem yourself, you will already know how I solved it (or maybe I didn't, in that case, you can see what doesn't work :happy:)
  • We can both exchange knowledge and tips, maybe along the way you want to know how I did something or what resources I used, I will be more than happy to help
Milestones:
I think is important to have a clear objective whenever you start a new endeavor, the following are the milestones that I will use to measure my progress (in order)
  1. Finished and online unpaid project
  2. Finished and online paid project (can be any amount, even $1)
  3. First $100 project
  4. First website that directly impacted the business in any measure (sales, leads, emails, phone numbers, bookings, anything that is actually meaningful to my client)
  5. First $250 project
  6. First $500 project
  7. First $1k project
  8. First $1k+ project
  9. Make enough income from my web design business to be self sufficient
Thats it

I wish that you find value in the posts to come, I'm super pumped. Even if I don't get to the ultimate goal, knowing that I'm finally getting outside of the stands and into the playing ground gets me very motivated and proud of myself.

In the next post I will write about what I've done so far and where I am right now (I have actually been working on this for a couple of weeks, but I felt a little insecure about making a progress thread, but getting uncomfortable and being accountable is all part of the process isn't it)

P.S. I want to take this chance to show my appreciation for the content that @Fox provides on the forum and his YouTube channel, his vids and posts are what made me finally start. If you are interested in web design/sales and haven't yet looked at his content, I would highly suggest you do.

Ok, here we go
 

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JHZ

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Where I am right now:
I've already contacted some people from my direct network (friends and family). That has landed me some projects:
  • First project: A friend of mine started a cold brew company 6-8 months ago, I offered him a website at no cost for his biz. He agreed. I finished the project and he was pleased. Problem is, he only wants to get it online when he is able to sell online, which right now he can't because he hasn't filled for the proper business permits. Good thing is he was really glad with the end result and also wants me to help him set up the Ecommerce store. As for now that project is on hold until he gets the permits that he needs.

  • Second project: Mi mom is a professional photographer. I offered her a website at no cost. She agreed. I finished the project and again, she was pleased. But again, she doesn't want to put it online yet. Because of the quarantine she is not booking sessions for the moment, so she wants to wait until she is promoting her services again to launch the website. As for now, that project is also on hold until she wants to start making photo sessions again.

  • Third project: My dad works in a wood supply company. They are currently in the process of changing their image, I offered him to build a website for the company. He talked with the owner and he agreed. The price was not discussed, we agreed that after the project was completed, we would negotiate a price based on the result. I'm currently still working on this project.

  • Fourth project: My neighbor and her fiancé just started a jewelry business a couple of months ago. I texted her and offered her a website for her business at whatever price she could afford. She agreed to have a business meeting on the shop so we could discuss things further (the meeting was just today). At the meeting, they let me know that they wanted an Ecommerce site to sell the jewelry to the whole country. She also told me that she was quoted a certain price for the website, if I could build the same thing at a lower price, the job was mine.

    At this point, I've never built an Ecommerce store, so I told them the following: "What about this, I will build the Ecommerce store, when I show you the end result, if you like it, then we can negotiate on the price, if you don't, that's ok, you don't owe me anything and you just go ahead with the company that has already quoted you. They both agreed, her fiancé also told me that if a did a good job, he would recommend me to his fellow jeweler friends.

    She also told me that no matter what ends up happening with the project, she would also like some help with her Facebook and Instagram page for the biz. She doesn't have any idea how to manage her page or how to use ads. I happily agreed, after we go trough the project I will see what I can do with the social media. When I was about to go, her fiancé offered me the following deal, I would build the whole thing for free, but I would get a commission for every sale on the webpage on perpetuity, same deal applies if I helped with the Instagram and Facebook pages. He told me to think about it (what do you guys think?).

    Right now, this project is my main focus. I really want to hit it out of the park. I'm right now watching a crash course on woo commerce and I have already located a great Wordpress theme I could use.

    That's it for now
 

PJBuys

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Where I am right now:
I've already contacted some people from my direct network (friends and family). That has landed me some projects:
  • First project: A friend of mine started a cold brew company 6-8 months ago, I offered him a website at no cost for his biz. He agreed. I finished the project and he was pleased. Problem is, he only wants to get it online when he is able to sell online, which right now he can't because he hasn't filled for the proper business permits. Good thing is he was really glad with the end result and also wants me to help him set up the Ecommerce store. As for now that project is on hold until he gets the permits that he needs.

  • Second project: Mi mom is a professional photographer. I offered her a website at no cost. She agreed. I finished the project and again, she was pleased. But again, she doesn't want to put it online yet. Because of the quarantine she is not booking sessions for the moment, so she wants to wait until she is promoting her services again to launch the website. As for now, that project is also on hold until she wants to start making photo sessions again.

  • Third project: My dad works in a wood supply company. They are currently in the process of changing their image, I offered him to build a website for the company. He talked with the owner and he agreed. The price was not discussed, we agreed that after the project was completed, we would negotiate a price based on the result. I'm currently still working on this project.

  • Fourth project: My neighbor and her fiancé just started a jewelry business a couple of months ago. I texted her and offered her a website for her business at whatever price she could afford. She agreed to have a business meeting on the shop so we could discuss things further (the meeting was just today). At the meeting, they let me know that they wanted an Ecommerce site to sell the jewelry to the whole country. She also told me that she was quoted a certain price for the website, if I could build the same thing at a lower price, the job was mine.

    At this point, I've never built an Ecommerce store, so I told them the following: "What about this, I will build the Ecommerce store, when I show you the end result, if you like it, then we can negotiate on the price, if you don't, that's ok, you don't owe me anything and you just go ahead with the company that has already quoted you. They both agreed, her fiancé also told me that if a did a good job, he would recommend me to his fellow jeweler friends.

    She also told me that no matter what ends up happening with the project, she would also like some help with her Facebook and Instagram page for the biz. She doesn't have any idea how to manage her page or how to use ads. I happily agreed, after we go trough the project I will see what I can do with the social media. When I was about to go, her fiancé offered me the following deal, I would build the whole thing for free, but I would get a commission for every sale on the webpage on perpetuity, same deal applies if I helped with the Instagram and Facebook pages. He told me to think about it (what do you guys think?).

    Right now, this project is my main focus. I really want to hit it out of the park. I'm right now watching a crash course on woo commerce and I have already located a great Wordpress theme I could use.

    That's it for now
Regarding your 1st project, Offer your friend to go live with a landing page or coming soon page, or getting notified when launch page, and collect emails.

When he is able to open, you just send the email list one email on Launch day, you might flood his page and he will love you for it...

and after that, you can retarget that mailing list for even more sales.

and you can automate all of this with the right tools...
 

JHZ

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Regarding your 1st project, Offer your friend to go live with a landing page or coming soon page, or getting notified when launch page, and collect emails.

When he is able to open, you just send the email list one email on Launch day, you might flood his page and he will love you for it...

and after that, you can retarget that mailing list for even more sales.

and you can automate all of this with the right tools...

That’s a great idea! I will do exactly that. Thanks
 

TheProcess

Bronze Contributor
Nov 14, 2018
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Where I am right now:
I've already contacted some people from my direct network (friends and family). That has landed me some projects:
  • First project: A friend of mine started a cold brew company 6-8 months ago, I offered him a website at no cost for his biz. He agreed. I finished the project and he was pleased. Problem is, he only wants to get it online when he is able to sell online, which right now he can't because he hasn't filled for the proper business permits. Good thing is he was really glad with the end result and also wants me to help him set up the Ecommerce store. As for now that project is on hold until he gets the permits that he needs.

  • Second project: Mi mom is a professional photographer. I offered her a website at no cost. She agreed. I finished the project and again, she was pleased. But again, she doesn't want to put it online yet. Because of the quarantine she is not booking sessions for the moment, so she wants to wait until she is promoting her services again to launch the website. As for now, that project is also on hold until she wants to start making photo sessions again.

  • Third project: My dad works in a wood supply company. They are currently in the process of changing their image, I offered him to build a website for the company. He talked with the owner and he agreed. The price was not discussed, we agreed that after the project was completed, we would negotiate a price based on the result. I'm currently still working on this project.

  • Fourth project: My neighbor and her fiancé just started a jewelry business a couple of months ago. I texted her and offered her a website for her business at whatever price she could afford. She agreed to have a business meeting on the shop so we could discuss things further (the meeting was just today). At the meeting, they let me know that they wanted an Ecommerce site to sell the jewelry to the whole country. She also told me that she was quoted a certain price for the website, if I could build the same thing at a lower price, the job was mine.

    At this point, I've never built an Ecommerce store, so I told them the following: "What about this, I will build the Ecommerce store, when I show you the end result, if you like it, then we can negotiate on the price, if you don't, that's ok, you don't owe me anything and you just go ahead with the company that has already quoted you. They both agreed, her fiancé also told me that if a did a good job, he would recommend me to his fellow jeweler friends.

    She also told me that no matter what ends up happening with the project, she would also like some help with her Facebook and Instagram page for the biz. She doesn't have any idea how to manage her page or how to use ads. I happily agreed, after we go trough the project I will see what I can do with the social media. When I was about to go, her fiancé offered me the following deal, I would build the whole thing for free, but I would get a commission for every sale on the webpage on perpetuity, same deal applies if I helped with the Instagram and Facebook pages. He told me to think about it (what do you guys think?).

    Right now, this project is my main focus. I really want to hit it out of the park. I'm right now watching a crash course on woo commerce and I have already located a great Wordpress theme I could use.

    That's it for now
Great work up to this point! Best of luck!
 

JHZ

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UPDATE:
Yesterday and all of today has been spent on the learning curve of Wordpress, WooCommerce and the theme that I'm using for the 4th project. So far, I've been able to modify the design, next steps will be to set up the functionality of everything (mainly payment processing, creating and managing customers accounts and a newsletter) and then, the biggest challenge, order their whole inventory, categorize it, and take pictures of everything. As @PJBuys suggested, I contacted my first client and offered to build a landing page to build up momentum for their big e-commerce launch.

I will rest for a bit ant then get back to the grind
 

JHZ

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UPDATE:
The following has happened on the week:
1. I contacted my first client. Did my best to explain to him how his business could benefit with a landing page to catch emails and build up momentum for their big launch, he was skeptical, he only sells by Instagram Dm's an doesn't see how an online landing page could help. I told him that he could think about it, an if he decided that he wanted to go for it, we could work something up.

2. As I mentioned, my third project is for the company my Dad works in, at the beginning of the week I showed him the finished website and his feedback was:"Look, the owner is super picky with the things he puts online, he will probably dislike the site as it is". I made a complete makeover of my first draft, when I showed him the new design, he was much more pleased. He told me that when the company officially changes its name, he will set up a meeting with the owner.

3. The jewelry Ecommerce store is 60-70% done. I showed a glance of the website to the owner and she was supper pleased, literally said that she loved it. I need the complete catalogue and pictures of all the products to keep moving on. I asked the owner for that on Monday and she told me that she would send me everything the next day. 5 days later and I haven't heard a word from her. I will follow up with her on Monday.

Major takeaways of the week
"Normal" learning stands no chance against project based learning. I've learned so much by building all of those projects, there is just something different about learning and researching to solve something specific as oppose to learning a broad subject with no immediate application.

Next steps
So, all of my current projects seem to be on hold. I've used the time to learn a little about Elementor/Woocommerce/Wordpress, copywriting and design. I've also set up a personal freelancer website and an Instagram business account. I will likely begin promoting both on the following weeks on my personal social media. I'm also going to try to get some more projects on Upwork and Fiverr. Lastly I will touch base with the owner of the jewelry to see where she's at with the catalogue and pictures.

That's all for now
 

anubistar

New Contributor
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May 29, 2020
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UPDATE:
The following has happened on the week:
1. I contacted my first client. Did my best to explain to him how his business could benefit with a landing page to catch emails and build up momentum for their big launch, he was skeptical, he only sells by Instagram Dm's an doesn't see how an online landing page could help. I told him that he could think about it, an if he decided that he wanted to go for it, we could work something up.

2. As I mentioned, my third project is for the company my Dad works in, at the beginning of the week I showed him the finished website and his feedback was:"Look, the owner is super picky with the things he puts online, he will probably dislike the site as it is". I made a complete makeover of my first draft, when I showed him the new design, he was much more pleased. He told me that when the company officially changes its name, he will set up a meeting with the owner.

3. The jewelry Ecommerce store is 60-70% done. I showed a glance of the website to the owner and she was supper pleased, literally said that she loved it. I need the complete catalogue and pictures of all the products to keep moving on. I asked the owner for that on Monday and she told me that she would send me everything the next day. 5 days later and I haven't heard a word from her. I will follow up with her on Monday.

Major takeaways of the week
"Normal" learning stands no chance against project based learning. I've learned so much by building all of those projects, there is just something different about learning and researching to solve something specific as oppose to learning a broad subject with no immediate application.

Next steps
So, all of my current projects seem to be on hold. I've used the time to learn a little about Elementor/Woocommerce/Wordpress, copywriting and design. I've also set up a personal freelancer website and an Instagram business account. I will likely begin promoting both on the following weeks on my personal social media. I'm also going to try to get some more projects on Upwork and Fiverr. Lastly I will touch base with the owner of the jewelry to see where she's at with the catalogue and pictures.

That's all for now

Hey JHZ - Great work so far! Super inspirational!
 

Jon L

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1. I contacted my first client. Did my best to explain to him how his business could benefit with a landing page to catch emails and build up momentum for their big launch, he was skeptical, he only sells by Instagram Dm's an doesn't see how an online landing page could help. I told him that he could think about it, an if he decided that he wanted to go for it, we could work something up.

This one sounds like you're not paying enough attention to what the customer needs. You need to have him walk through his current sales process with you, understand it, ask what is working and what isn't and go from there. He needs to come up with the idea for a landing page himself (with you asking questions that help him get there).


2. As I mentioned, my third project is for the company my Dad works in, at the beginning of the week I showed him the finished website and his feedback was:"Look, the owner is super picky with the things he puts online, he will probably dislike the site as it is". I made a complete makeover of my first draft, when I showed him the new design, he was much more pleased. He told me that when the company officially changes its name, he will set up a meeting with the owner.

Have you discussed price yet? If not, you need to. "I've come up with a first draft for you, but this was done without any conversation with you, the owner. I'd like to understand your business a bit more, where you see the company going and how your website could fit into that. After we have that conversation, I can give you a price for the full website. I'm still getting going on my business so I can offer you a really good price. It will probably end up in the $2000-$4000. ($2000-$4000 is cheap as hell for a business that is going to gain market share from a new website. He will likely not flinch, thinking he's getting a great deal.)
 

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JHZ

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This one sounds like you're not paying enough attention to what the customer needs. You need to have him walk through his current sales process with you, understand it, ask what is working and what isn't and go from there. He needs to come up with the idea for a landing page himself (with you asking questions that help him get there).
The landing page would be more of a tool to gain momentum to the launch of his e-commerce website. As for now, the landing page would not really help him, given that he sells pretty much only on Instagram and a little in a couple of local stores. But you are right, I felt like I was pushing the landing page idea a little without him really being sold on it.

Have you discussed price yet? If not, you need to. "I've come up with a first draft for you, but this was done without any conversation with you, the owner. I'd like to understand your business a bit more, where you see the company going and how your website could fit into that. After we have that conversation, I can give you a price for the full website. I'm still getting going on my business so I can offer you a really good price. It will probably end up in the $2000-$4000. ($2000-$4000 is cheap as hell for a business that is going to gain market share from a new website. He will likely not flinch, thinking he's getting a great deal.)
I have not. Thing is this project was going to be a freebie, given that it is only my third one, I thought of it as a way to get a big stablished company on my portfolio that I could latter leverage to get bigger projects. When possible I will talk with him to find out where he stands in paying me for the site.

Thanks for your advice Jon!
 

Jon L

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The landing page would be more of a tool to gain momentum to the launch of his e-commerce website. As for now, the landing page would not really help him, given that he sells pretty much only on Instagram and a little in a couple of local stores. But you are right, I felt like I was pushing the landing page idea a little without him really being sold on it.


I have not. Thing is this project was going to be a freebie, given that it is only my third one, I thought of it as a way to get a big stablished company on my portfolio that I could latter leverage to get bigger projects. When possible I will talk with him to find out where he stands in paying me for the site.

Thanks for your advice Jon!

Been there done that on giving away stuff for free/ low cost. JUST STOP IT! (I wish I could go back in time and yell at myself, but instead, I'm yelling at you.) $2000 is very low cost for someone that is going to interact with the owner personally, knows his employee (your dad), and is going to dedicate his time and effort to improving the owner's business.

...

Your focus on all of this is to do the following:
* understand your client's business, what drives it, where its going, where their marketing pain points are, what works, what doesn't work. The only way to figure this out is to ask questions.
* figure out if a website will actually help. Some businesses don't need a fancy website. An oil and gas pipeline contractor can get by with a $500 website from a guy in India, all while running a $100m/year company. Companies like that run on word of mouth and relationship. They might have 5 clients, one of which is Exxon. A company that could use their website, though, to add additional revenue to their top line will invest a lot of money into their website.
*If a website will help, figure out how it will fit into their revenue pipeline. Show them how that would work: how people would find it, why they would sign up, how much money they would bring in, etc.
* Do all this, and you can sell a website for $50k and farm out the work.
 

JHZ

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Been there done that on giving away stuff for free/ low cost. JUST STOP IT! (I wish I could go back in time and yell at myself, but instead, I'm yelling at you.) $2000 is very low cost for someone that is going to interact with the owner personally, knows his employee (your dad), and is going to dedicate his time and effort to improving the owner's business.

...

Your focus on all of this is to do the following:
* understand your client's business, what drives it, where its going, where their marketing pain points are, what works, what doesn't work. The only way to figure this out is to ask questions.
* figure out if a website will actually help. Some businesses don't need a fancy website. An oil and gas pipeline contractor can get by with a $500 website from a guy in India, all while running a $100m/year company. Companies like that run on word of mouth and relationship. They might have 5 clients, one of which is Exxon. A company that could use their website, though, to add additional revenue to their top line will invest a lot of money into their website.
*If a website will help, figure out how it will fit into their revenue pipeline. Show them how that would work: how people would find it, why they would sign up, how much money they would bring in, etc.
* Do all this, and you can sell a website for $50k and farm out the work.

Haha the screaming is much appreciated. I guess that, due to my lack of experience and proof, I didn't feel comfortable asking for 2-4k, even though that is what I want my work to be valued at in the near future.

You lay out some excellent points. So far I've been selling my web design services as "I'll build you a website", not "I'll help you get more sales", that makes the offer much more valuable. If you don't mind me asking, what tools or processes have helped you to come up with a strategy to boost a business sales with a website? Books, courses, plain experience? Thanks for your time Jon
 

mjb234

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Haha the screaming is much appreciated. I guess that, due to my lack of experience and proof, I didn't feel comfortable asking for 2-4k, even though that is what I want my work to be valued at in the near future.

You lay out some excellent points. So far I've been selling my web design services as "I'll build you a website", not "I'll help you get more sales", that makes the offer much more valuable. If you don't mind me asking, what tools or processes have helped you to come up with a strategy to boost a business sales with a website? Books, courses, plain experience? Thanks for your time Jon


Honestly, any of the free content @Fox has produced will help you create websites that actually get results. This recent video gives a great guide for anyone just getting started with web design.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNqwDMq3E9I&t=220s


Some other resources that have helped me:

  • The book "Building a Story Brand" by Donald Miller - it's a great guide on structuring a website in a way that really speaks to what customers want
  • Wes McDowell's Youtube Channel - this video could be helpful with your wood supply company project:
    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyMx9NYOV6Y
    . But his whole channel is gold for building an effective service business website
Beyond external resources, your best bet is just getting in the minds of the customers. What do they want to see on a website? What problems do they need solved? What pain points can the website address? How can you earn their trust?

When you start asking yourself questions like that, you'll almost automatically make better websites than the majority of web designers out there.
 

Jon L

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Haha the screaming is much appreciated. I guess that, due to my lack of experience and proof, I didn't feel comfortable asking for 2-4k, even though that is what I want my work to be valued at in the near future.

You lay out some excellent points. So far I've been selling my web design services as "I'll build you a website", not "I'll help you get more sales", that makes the offer much more valuable. If you don't mind me asking, what tools or processes have helped you to come up with a strategy to boost a business sales with a website? Books, courses, plain experience? Thanks for your time Jon
I don't do websites. I do custom software, but all this stuff is pretty similar, sales wise. I've been involved with websites though.

A few things have helped me learn this stuff. I started 20 years ago, mesmerized by how my VP Sales boss would talk about stuff in general. I was a complete nerd, and thought that if I said 5 words about some obscure technical aspect of a project, people could infer everything else I meant. This isn't how humans work. ... I went from there to becoming someone who could easily translate technical stuff into Human. What got me there was:

1) Lots of sales books
2) This forum - learning that the main thing in life is to be of service. And, in order to be of service, you have to truly listen to the other person to figure out what they need.
3) Practice, not being afraid of failing

So ... when you're talking to a business owner, listen to what they truly want as the first and main thing you do with them. This will boil down to time and money, but there are endless variations on that. Someone that says, 'my website is giving us too many crap leads and they're stressing out my team' is a different conversation from, 'my website isn't bringing me any leads at all.'

That second issue, I'd start with, "Well what kind of leads do you want? Describe your ideal customer. Do you have more than one type of ideal customer? How much money is each customer worth to you?" etc etc etc

I just got off the phone, actually, with a lady that just had a website finished by a guy in India. The website is awful. She has money, but didn't want to spend it on this website. I asked her what she wanted her website to do for her. She said, 'well its not producing any business, but it shows that I'm a business.' I asked her if she wanted it to bring in additional clients. (duh, who wouldn't, but you never know, and its a leading question). She said, 'yeah I'd love that.' She then went on to talk about how she hates bargain shoppers, but loves clients that value her time and experience. I told her that she a website should to two things: 1) weed out the time wasters and 2) attract people who value her. (I used her words). She loved the idea. She wanted to know price. I said that I'm not a marketing person, but I understand business process. I told her that I partner with a marketing agency with highly experienced people who won't be cheap, but they'll get her the results she's looking for.

Are you starting to see how selling this stuff isn't at all about the bits, bytes and colors of a website, but about the business goals?

Edit:

Selling a website is NOT about the market its selling to, the website design, features, or anything else. Its all about the person you're selling to. If there's a disagreement between the market they say they're going after and the person you're talking to, you need to change the mind of the person you're selling to as part of the sales process. Or, you need to uncover information you're missing.

For example, I said to my prospective client above, "I don't think you should ever discount your prices like you say you do." She said, 'but there's a situation where I have to,' and she went on to describe a third type of client we hadn't discussed yet, that the website needed to handle.

By the way, me saying things like that works because I couch the whole thing in, 'Let me see if I understand your business so far. I'm going to say what I think your market is, and you tell me where I'm right and where I'm wrong.' When set up like that, I'm free to be as direct and confrontational as I want, and its all just a thought experiment in the mind of the prospect.
 
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JHZ

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Honestly, any of the free content @Fox has produced will help you create websites that actually get results. This recent video gives a great guide for anyone just getting started with web design.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNqwDMq3E9I&t=220s


Some other resources that have helped me:

  • The book "Building a Story Brand" by Donald Miller - it's a great guide on structuring a website in a way that really speaks to what customers want
  • Wes McDowell's Youtube Channel - this video could be helpful with your wood supply company project:
    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyMx9NYOV6Y
    . But his whole channel is gold for building an effective service business website
Beyond external resources, your best bet is just getting in the minds of the customers. What do they want to see on a website? What problems do they need solved? What pain points can the website address? How can you earn their trust?

When you start asking yourself questions like that, you'll almost automatically make better websites than the majority of web designers out there.
Yeah, Fox channel has helped me tremendously in learning more about sales and web design. I'll check the rest of the resources you said. As you said, I'm learning that it all starts on solving problems, and how a website can help with solving those problems. Thanks for your advice!
 

JHZ

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I don't do websites. I do custom software, but all this stuff is pretty similar, sales wise. I've been involved with websites though.

A few things have helped me learn this stuff. I started 20 years ago, mesmerized by how my VP Sales boss would talk about stuff in general. I was a complete nerd, and thought that if I said 5 words about some obscure technical aspect of a project, people could infer everything else I meant. This isn't how humans work. ... I went from there to becoming someone who could easily translate technical stuff into Human. What got me there was:

1) Lots of sales books
2) This forum - learning that the main thing in life is to be of service. And, in order to be of service, you have to truly listen to the other person to figure out what they need.
3) Practice, not being afraid of failing

So ... when you're talking to a business owner, listen to what they truly want as the first and main thing you do with them. This will boil down to time and money, but there are endless variations on that. Someone that says, 'my website is giving us too many crap leads and they're stressing out my team' is a different conversation from, 'my website isn't bringing me any leads at all.'

That second issue, I'd start with, "Well what kind of leads do you want? Describe your ideal customer. Do you have more than one type of ideal customer? How much money is each customer worth to you?" etc etc etc

I just got off the phone, actually, with a lady that just had a website finished by a guy in India. The website is awful. She has money, but didn't want to spend it on this website. I asked her what she wanted her website to do for her. She said, 'well its not producing any business, but it shows that I'm a business.' I asked her if she wanted it to bring in additional clients. (duh, who wouldn't, but you never know, and its a leading question). She said, 'yeah I'd love that.' She then went on to talk about how she hates bargain shoppers, but loves clients that value her time and experience. I told her that she a website should to two things: 1) weed out the time wasters and 2) attract people who value her. (I used her words). She loved the idea. She wanted to know price. I said that I'm not a marketing person, but I understand business process. I told her that I partner with a marketing agency with highly experienced people who won't be cheap, but they'll get her the results she's looking for.

Are you starting to see how selling this stuff isn't at all about the bits, bytes and colors of a website, but about the business goals?

Edit:

Selling a website is NOT about the market its selling to, the website design, features, or anything else. Its all about the person you're selling to. If there's a disagreement between the market they say they're going after and the person you're talking to, you need to change the mind of the person you're selling to as part of the sales process. Or, you need to uncover information you're missing.

For example, I said to my prospective client above, "I don't think you should ever discount your prices like you say you do." She said, 'but there's a situation where I have to,' and she went on to describe a third type of client we hadn't discussed yet, that the website needed to handle.

By the way, me saying things like that works because I couch the whole thing in, 'Let me see if I understand your business so far. I'm going to say what I think your market is, and you tell me where I'm right and where I'm wrong.' When set up like that, I'm free to be as direct and confrontational as I want, and its all just a thought experiment in the mind of the prospect.
So much gold... I've bookmarked your answer and will reread it a couple of times. As I mentioned before, I'm starting to see that web design is more about solving problems and helping businesses than the website itself.
 

JHZ

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UPDATE:
1. Yesterday I got a new client. I made a post on my IG offering my web design services. An old friend reached me. He wants a website for a law firm he is launching and another website for a side project he is working on. He asked me for a formal quote, so I spent some time learning and then making the quote. I sent him an email today with the quote, will touch base tomorrow to make sure he got my email.

2. The jewelry store client finally reached to me. I had previously sent her a message to touch base. She said she would send me everything in a couple more days. She later called to tell me she had some urging issues on her store to take care off but she would send me everything this Thursday. I told her not to worry and to just send me everything when she has the time.

3. I followed Lex DeVille UpWork gold thread, got my profile approved, and started applying for gigs. So far I've got no luck. During the week I will polish my profile and add more portfolio pieces to it.

Mayor takeaways:
I was really surprised about getting a client leveraging my social media. I didn't even make a real effort to be honest. Don't underestimate your personal network. Someone out there needs what you have to offer. Also, your acquaintances have their own acquaintances, and it only takes an introduction in order for you to land a deal. In the next week I will begin to really put an effort in promoting my services on all of my social media.

That's all for now, stay safe !
 

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