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WEB SCHOOL GWan's Web Design Progress Thread

GWan

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Hi everyone,

Decided it was about time to start a progress thread for my web design business. I bought Fox's course back in November 2017. Since then, I have completed a few free websites and closed 2 sales for $300 & $1000. Both of these clients were found through cold emailing small businesses.

I'm creating this progress thread because I want to keep myself accountable. Back in November, selling a website for $1000 seemed impossible but I still think I could be moving faster and spending my time better.

Here are some of my goals:

  1. Make $5000/month through helping businesses by February 28, 2019. This will allow me to quit my FT job. I think 6 months is enough time to accomplish this.
  2. Be location independent by September 2019 and move to somewhere in Asia. I studied abroad in Singapore 2 years ago and loved traveling around Asia.
  3. Learn copywriting, sales, marketing and social media management. I chose these skills because I think they are all useful for any business and they will help me the most in the future.
Currently I'm working on completing the $1000 website. I have also been sending a lot of cold emails but it doesn't seem to be working. Instead of focusing on quantity, I will start focusing on quality and sending a few very personalized cold emails a week. I'm also reading Cashvertising and working towards improving my copywriting skills.
 

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I suggest changing this goal "Make $5000/month through web design by February 28, 2019" to...

Make $5000/month by helping businesses by February 28, 2019

Keep it open for changing direction slightly and seeing where you can best add value. Web design is only one way and it can lead to many different things.
 
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GWan

GWan

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I suggest changing this goal "Make $5000/month through web design by February 28, 2019" to...

Make $5000/month by helping businesses by February 28, 2019

Keep it open for changing direction slightly and seeing where you can best add value. Web design is only one way and it can lead to many different things.
Thanks for the suggestion Fox! I totally agree and that's why I want to learn social media management as well. I think it's great for businesses and a way to get some recurring monthly income.
 

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Following. Nice to see this is starting to work out for you.

I made two websites for free recently but the confirmation circle is not spinning for now (they hadn't looked at it because of summer holidays). It's illegal in germany to cold-call or cold-mail so there's a clear advantage for beeing located in the US.

Best of luck to you!
 
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GWan

GWan

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Presented the $1000 website to the client yesterday and he loved it! He just wants to switch out a few images, so I'm hoping I can complete the website and get it online this week. I don't have any work lined up, but luckily I got a reply from a cold email and scheduled an initial call for tomorrow.

This week's focus will be testing a new cold email technique. Previously, I had focused on QUANTITY vs QUALITY. I was sending many template emails with minor changes. This hasn't worked very well, so I will be spending more time finding ideal clients and sending them a personalized cold email that provides value right away. My next goal is to close a sale for $3000.

This week's tasks:
  1. Send 5 personalized cold emails that provide value
  2. Read 70 pages of Cashvertising (10 per day)
  3. Complete $1000 website
 
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GWan

GWan

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Quick update: Still working on sending 5 cold emails everyday and looking for my third client.

Also just wanted to share something very exciting: I sent an email to my first client to check up on how the new website is doing (it's been 1 month since it went live). Got an amazing response back - the new website has gotten them a 200% increase in inquiries, and turned their slowest time of the year (August) into one of their busiest months to date. I think I just got my first market echo! :)

Definitely going to leverage these results to make the process of getting my third client faster.
 
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GWan

GWan

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Hey everyone,

It's been awhile since I last updated, but I've gotten 2 new clients (3rd and 4th). One of them is a previous client who I did a free website for when I was just starting out (I actually met him on this forum!). The other one is from my personal network. Unfortunately these were smaller projects and I wasn't able to go up on prices.

Although I got 2 new clients, I feel like I didn't really do the work to get them... They kind of just fell into my lap. To be honest I've been quite disappointed in myself for not doing more of what I know will grow the business the fastest at this point: practicing my sales skills by getting on the phone and cold calling.

Not sure why but I'm terrified by the thought of cold calling. Everyday during my 9 – 5 I tell myself that I will do cold calls once I get home... After work I give myself every excuse in the world of why I shouldn't do it. I action fake by spending time adding more prospects to my google spreadsheet.

Today I've decided that enough is enough and I'll start cold calling 10 companies everyday after work. I'll post an update tonight or tomorrow of my results.

I've also been able to negotiate a deal with my boss and will start working part time in November (2 days a week)! This should give me a lot more time to work on my business.
 
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DVU

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Quick update: Still working on sending 5 cold emails everyday and looking for my third client.

Also just wanted to share something very exciting: I sent an email to my first client to check up on how the new website is doing (it's been 1 month since it went live). Got an amazing response back - the new website has gotten them a 200% increase in inquiries, and turned their slowest time of the year (August) into one of their busiest months to date. I think I just got my first market echo! :)

Definitely going to leverage these results to make the process of getting my third client faster.
Hit them up again and ask "Do you know anyone else that could benefit from my services?"

Referrals, work them!
 
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GWan

GWan

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Hit them up again and ask "Do you know anyone else that could benefit from my services?"

Referrals, work them!
Thanks for the tip! I sent them an email asking for referrals but didn't get a response unfortunately.
 

DVU

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Thanks for the tip! I sent them an email asking for referrals but didn't get a response unfortunately.
What did you write in the email?
 

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GWan

GWan

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What did you write in the email?
In the email where he told me about the results, he also mentioned that there was one broken link on the website. I fixed it and sent him back an email saying I had fixed it. At the end of that email, I wrote this:

"Also, I wanted to ask if you know anyone who might need help with their website. I'm taking on a few new clients this month and like to help businesses in my private network first. Do you know anyone that could use a little help?"
 
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GWan

GWan

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Just completed my first 10 cold calls! I was super nervous but glad that I did them.

I followed a script that I found on Youtube by a guy named Charlie Light. It goes something like this: "Hey my name is _____ and I'm from *Company*. I was just looking at your website and it looks like it's been about X years since you last updated. When are you planning to upgrade it next?"

I called 10 businesses and reached 3. One business owner mentioned I called at a busy time, so I think I may need to change the time I call. All of the businesses were martial arts gyms. The 3 businesses that I did reach each had a different objection that I didn't handle very well:

"My fiancee built our website and handles all our digital stuff"
I didn't really know what to say here... I also thought it would be difficult to close this person since I'd be competing with someone so close to the owner. I still think I could've dug a bit deeper to find out if his fiancee was actually doing a good job and if he was happy with his site.

"Were super busy right now but we're looking to upgrade in 2019."
I think I handled this one the best, but still not great. After she said this, I explained to her the results I got for my first client (200% increase in online inquiries after 1 month), and if I could send her the case study through email. She seemed interested in seeing it and gave me her email.

"Were not interested because were closing the business."
This one caught me off guard the most. I said I'm sorry to hear that and ended the call. I checked the Facebook page of the business and they last posted 10 days ago... Not sure if she was lying or not, maybe it's her way of getting rid of cold calls. I definitely should've asked more questions to find out exactly why they were closing down.

I definitely feel a bit better about doing cold calls and will continue doing 10 calls a day. I'll also start to write out scripts for each objection I come across.
 
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DVU

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"My fiancee handles all of the web and digital stuff"
You should have asked for a number to contact the fiancee.
 
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GWan

GWan

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You should have asked for a number to contact the fiancee.
I think I may have miscommunicated this, sorry about that. I meant that she is the one who built the website, as well as runs the facebook ads and facebook page. Any idea how I would approach this? Thanks for all your help
 
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GWan

GWan

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Did 10 cold calls again today and scheduled my first meeting! The guy seemed skeptical at first but closer to the end of the call he was already talking about a few problems he was having with the agency that's currently hosting his website.

I'm still super nervous before calling but am definitely seeing improvements.
 
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GWan

GWan

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And i am still nervous and not calling anyone. :( so stupid of me.
I find it's much easier when you have a script and have a general idea of what to say. If not, I just freeze up and end up more nervous. Here are a few videos that helped me:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swOSrp1HQW0&t=

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YKW5cGx0fg


I recommend watching more videos by Bryan Casella (the 2nd video). He does real estate but he's a beast at cold calling, his videos have helped me a lot.
 
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GWan

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Hey guys,

It's been awhile since I last updated. My 3rd client really liked the website I did for him. He wanted to add more to the site, so we've started another contract. The total price of this website will now be $2000 CAD, making it my biggest sale yet. This client seems to have a lot of connections and told me I will be his "go-to guy" for websites. As I'm finishing up this site, he's already started to tell me about the next website he wants. I'm super happy about this since I didn't have anything else lined up, however I'm not going to celebrate until I get the deposit. Don't want to get my hopes too high and have it fall through.

I've also started working a few hours a week for an app development agency. I don't know how to develop apps but I've been designing mobile apps for 4 years now. It's not at all related to my web design business but it's good money for the amount of time I put in.

I'm super happy with this month because the amount of money I've made from freelance is just under my monthly income from my FT job... and the month isn't over yet! Can't wait until next month once I start working part time so I can put more time into my business.

What I still need to work on is prospecting and cold calling. Sad to say I haven't done any cold calls since I last updated. It's difficult to juggle a FT job, client work + prospecting. Definitely going to start doing it more once I start working part time.
 
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GWan

GWan

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Time for another update. I've gotten 2 new clients: 1 from a referral from a previous client and 1 from my personal network. I've started to be more open about my web design business and telling people I know that I do websites.

At this point, I think I have done enough projects to start increasing my rates. Currently I've been charging between $1-2k CAD for each project. From now until the end of the year I'll be working on refining my brand image to target bigger clients. My main goal is to completely redesign my company website by the end of the year. This new website will have case studies on previous projects and clearly show the results I get for my clients.
 

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GWan

GWan

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Any update @GWan ?
Hey thanks for reminding me to update this thread.

I finished off those 2 projects mentioned above before 2018 ended.

Here's what I accomplished in 2018:
6 Website Projects
$7000 in revenue

In 2019, I'll still be focusing on freelance but transitioning from web design to UX/UI design. For those who don’t know, ux/ui design stands for User Experience/User Interface Design. I won’t go into too much details, but put in simple terms I will be designing screens for mobile and web applications. These are much more complex solutions that need custom design work – An example is the interface for a platform like Shopify.

So why have I decided to make this switch? Deep down, I knew I always wanted to do freelance UX/UI design but didn’t believe I could do it without having a few years of experience first. After joining Fox’s course and seeing how many people could go from not knowing anything about web design to making $10K/website, I realized that I can do the same with UX/UI design. Also, tech companies are paying a lot for this type of work. For example, Amazon hires UX/UI designers right out of university starting at $80K-$100K.

Goals for 2019
  1. Make $50000 in revenue
  2. Redesign my website to focus on UX/UI design and increase inbound leads
  3. Post at least 12 articles on my new website blog to increase SEO
  4. Post at least 30 Dribbble posts. Dribbble is the Instagram for UX/UI designers. Clients go here to find freelancers.
  5. Quit my FT job. I'll be switching to PT next week.
CURRENT PROGRESS
I’m currently working on my first project of the year. It’s a simple app design (around 15 screens) for $800. How I got this job: Around Sept 2018, a client referred me to a friend of his who runs a design/development agency. Since then, I’ve been doing some app design work for them. This isn’t an ideal situation since I don’t get to talk directly to the client but it’s a good start.

My main goal is to get my new website up as soon as possible. I’ll be following a similar path outlined in Fox’s course: Do free/low paying projects -> making portfolio website -> leverage portfolio projects to get real paying jobs.

GOAL PROGRESS
Revenue: $800/$50000
Articles: 0/12
Dribbble Posts: 0/30
 

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