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Making Money With Web Design 2017/2018

Discussion in 'Hustles, Freelancing, Bootstrapping' started by Fox, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. Fox
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    Fox Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I am still getting PMs and question daily on how to best get started with web design, scale it, and potentially make some great money. My web design journey has progressed a lot since my original thread on web design.

    While I love that thread my approach and methods have changed a lot also since I first started. That thread is a great primer on web design but I wanted to have a new thread with my most up to date advice. Some of the things I mentioned before I no longer do and others I now do way more effectively.

    So from now on this will be the thread I update with my recent developments and tactics. Also If you feel like asking about a web design topic please ask here from now on. Thanks everyone.
     
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  2. DanielB
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    DanielB New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Hey!

    Not a specific question, but I would love to hear you get a bit more in detail about what changed. What practices you stopped doing, what (and, eventually, if you feel like sharing, how!) changed for the better? etc.

    Cheers Rob!
     
  3. • nikita •
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    • nikita • Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    When starting out, without any portfolio pieces, would you say it's best to just start calling up places even though you have no examples, or get some work in via Upwork? I don't have any friends or family that want a website done. All the business I've contacted (local or not) shot me down. I was first motivated to start on Upwork but all the clients I have reply incredibly slowly, or ask for a full-blown project that would take me 24/7 work for a month for very little pay. I just don't know how I would convince business with a cold call that they need a website when I have nothing to show them besides my business's site.

    Would you say using ads (reddit or FB) for my business website is useless?
     
  4. Fox
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    Fox Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Good topic.

    So in the beginning I was just trying to work with whoever I could. I would target certain types of businesses but at the same time I was quite open about who I worked with. Over time though I have really started to see a strong trend in who got the most ROI and who got a little (or none). Seeing a business get a small ROI is not a great feeling - one it feels terrible and also it is a complete time suck for your business. Generally these jobs pay the smallest amount but the lack of referrals, warm leads, and good visibility afterwards is terrible. This is a straight time for money trade that just never goes anywhere - I always want to avoid this. Leverage your time and work as much as possible!

    Another big area with huge changes is my selling technique. I read at least one book a week on advanced selling and have taken a bunch of courses too. Plus with the school and FB group I can see what hundreds of others are doing and use that data also. The end result is my high ticket sales have gotten way better. I don't do many calls anymore (cause one sale can keep you busy for weeks) but when I do the close rate is very high (if a good fit).

    Also I have started to really fit in web design with the bigger picture. I look a lot more at what a business is doing as an overall system and try link that in as much as possible. A good website is just a cog in a machine but built the right way it can really help a lot of other areas. Even just knowing how to do this can help you sell a lot because it is what business owners really care about...
    ***New cool website*** = "ah okay maybe"
    ***Effective sales and results system*** = sign me up

    Also I now outsource a lot more and have a great team of about 15-20 people I can rely on to do certain jobs when needed. I don't use everyone all the time for the same job cause I like to see what others do and not heavily rely on ONE THING. Relying on any ONE thing is the how to have a full on business collapse when it fails.

    Moving forwards my aim is to now start building business systems of my own since I have seen what has worked (or not worked) for 100s of other businesses. I am reinvesting a lot of what I have made into different projects and I really think 2018 is going to see some huge progress.
     
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  5. Bulgano
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    Bulgano Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Asked you this in PM last night but will ask it fully here so that anyone else struggling might be able to get some guidance in regards to this.
    When you started, before you had a portfolio of projects backing your work up, how did you interact with business owners? How did you manage to get sales?

    Was it as simple as walking into a business you knew didn't have a website and asking to speak to the owner and offer to make one?
    Or cold calling businesses and see if they were interested?

    While I guess the above seems simple, it's a very intimidating thing to think about so would love some elaboration and advice on how to approach this sort of stuff.

    I also agree a lot with what @• nikita • says above and it shares a similar problem to my above text.
     
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  6. Fox
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    Fox Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Good question. The end goal here is to be able to build big profitable sites. So all the initial goals should lead to that (hopefully as soon as possible)

    So working BACKWARDS:

    - Selling big sites for 10K plus: You will need to really understand how this business works and how you can help them, you must be able to sell high ticket sales and understand what will make people buy, you need to have proven results

    So in short: valuable business knowledge, ability to sell, solid portfolio.

    The portfolio is the place to start because the other two you will generally pick up as you go along. A good portfolio consists of things like:

    - Sites look great
    - Preform excellent
    - Are driving results for the clients
    - Great ROI with clear "wins"
    - Visibility, they are active and still churning out all of the above.

    So this is what your main focus should be on where you start. Getting in with the right business and getting them results. Without this the wheels of progress will never start turning. This is how most people get stuck at making $500 websites forever.

    So if I was starting tomorrow again my first focus would be to do whatever it took to get three suitable businesses to allow me to build them a website. Their business profile (type) should be as close as possible to the end profile I want to target for bigger businesses. So if my end goal is massive oil and construction companies I should be starting off with little handyman or oil transport operations. Doesn't have to be directly related but a similar niche (and of course way smaller).

    It will come down to each person how to best tackle that:
    - Use all current connections (family, friends, social, school, clubs etc)
    - Learn how to sell to cold connections
    - Learn how to code to a level where it makes the above two even easier
    - Create solutions like building sample sites and mockups etc

    From your post I looks like learning how to sell (yourself and your product). For another person they might already have all those connections and be able to get started right away. It depends on individual circumstances. That being said though there is great methods anyone can use for each of those different methods.
     
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  7. Fox
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    Fox Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I just answered this a little above but what I now use is a "stack" sales technique. I will show dozens of ways I can add value and remove nearly all of the risk.
    I made a non website (but highly related) business call the other day with someone I want to work with on a project. During the call I showed multiple ways I can add a ton of value through improving their product, increasing their market size, creating a new market, and improving their brand. A not vague promises either - I had done the work and had clear steps they could use. I also reversed all the risk in multiple different ways.
    They can't lose and stand to gain a lot >>> deal was made.

    I would suggest something similar.

    To illustrate this:

    Typical web sales person: "Hey I seen you on google and the site isn't great. I sell responsive web design and wanted to see if you are interested in being the number #1 search result for..."

    My approach: "Hey how are you, I seen you read the email but I will go over the points again quickly: I see a lot of room to improve your current business by doing X, Y and Z. I have seen this work before with _________ and I know because you are doing ______ and probably looking to also get into _______ that this would be great for ___________. How I see this working is something like..." (enter huge value drop with detailed research)

    Bottom line > every owner is sick of generic business messages. A highly tailored, planned out sales pitch with huge, real value gives you ar every high % chance of doing business together.

    It sounds like a lot of work (and it does take some time for sure) but it is the difference between 5 sales calls a month making great money and 50 sales calls a day and scraping by. Once you get how this works it is very easy to make deals.
     
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  8. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I try to get to Skype asap and have a call tailored to their business.
     
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  9. eagleye101
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    eagleye101 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hello @Fox
    Thanks a lot for this thread. I'm following.

    I have worked with some clients that wanted a website as a side offer from another business. My question would be, how do you decide to charge? I mean, what is the difference from $1,000 to $2,000? Also, do you offer your own hosting service or you just buid their websites? I know this is bit detailed question but this has been a pain in the @** because when they wanted to keep their hosting service I had to find out how each service works and many times they do not even offer english version...
     
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  10. Mr. Wick
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    Hi @Fox,
    Thanks for doing a secondary thread. I have read through the first one entirely and am a part of the FB group as well.

    I am just now beginning the web design business and there is one thing that I would like some advice on.

    I feel like the general consensus is that Wordpress is the way to go due to the many plugins available along with built in SEO. Would you recommend going the WordPress route over raw html / css? If not, what kind of framework do you use? (i.e. Are you using Bootstrap? Semantic-UI? an html layout? Could you link?)

    On the contrary, if going the WordPress route is the ideal method for getting the business up and running as efficiently and quickly as possible, what frameworks can anyone recommend? I've heard some great things about Genesis and I am considering purchasing the Genesis framework with all child themes. Knowing a bit of html/css, I feel like I can customize the themes to what I need and take advantage of wordpress plugins for specific features.

    If not Genesis, what can someone recommend? The goal here is for me to efficiently produce quality, business enhancing, result producing websites for businesses. I would like a framework that I could customize based on the client's needs without much trouble.
     
  11. inputchip
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    inputchip Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I smell another gold thread coming. @Fox, thank you for all the dedication you put into teaching others.
     
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  12. erikvm
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    I think I have an eye for design as well, but it's just "all the other stuff" I'm concerned about. I have scanned the web for shitty websites and found a few, for instance this one: HMB Construction AB

    This is a Swedish construction company pulling in over $100 million USD a year (!). Website is awful, yes, but do they care? I don't know. How do you convince these oldschool businesses that they could use an upgrade, website-wise? I have a feeling that they don't really care? Are they even converting anything online?
    What's your approach to tackle this issue?
     
  13. Bdenner64
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    Bdenner64 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Awesome, glad to see your starting up a new thread here @Fox!

    Sitting in class (I'm not very engaged, senioritis? Lack of interest? Both?) I came up with a few questions for ya.

    1.) It seems as if you, not so long ago, were deep in the trenches with coding and copy-writing sites as well as actively finding new gigs. Now that you have managed to scale to a team of 10-15 people how has that changed what you do on a day to day and when did you realize it was time to begin building up a team?

    2.) What would you say is the end-goal for your web design business? And from a more general perspective, how are you going to get there? (I guess this question is just more food for thought but I was still curious).

    As always, thanks for sharing with us!
     
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  14. Huracan
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    Huracan Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Fox mentioned in the first thread to read "Breaking the time barrier - how to unlock your true earning potential" it's free to download and it will answer a lot of your questions on how to price your services.
     
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  15. Fox
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    Fox Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    For a budget you want to look at what will give them the best ROI. If you can get them a quicker and better return on $2,000 rather than $1,000 then aim to charge that. For every job there will be a range where it is best for them to be in that budget. To low and its not built well enough, too much and its overbuilt. It is up to you to advice them of that range and then agree on a price within it somewhere - every job is different. So in this case I would be wondering it an extra $1,000 allows me to hire a copywriter and get some graphic design and if that would result in a better ROI?

    I do mess around with hosting. I have the clients send me their access and I do it for them but I don't aim to make money on it. I have some students who are making great money off monthly hosting plans but it is an area I just always ignored. I prefer the big cash up front and move on to the next job. It is personal preference. If you do it that way make sure you are always getting paid upfront for hosting and try have it set up as automatic payments so you don't have to waste time chasing people up. It only makes sense if you have a good system for it (very little to zero time involved once set up).
     
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  16. Fox
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    Fox Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I usually build with HTML because my clients are best served with static websites that don't change much over time. If you are targeting niches that need a lot of updates (property, entertainment, food) then maybe wordpress is best. Don't get caught up on the technology - focus on why you are doing it that way. What you build a website with is only 10% (if even) of the overall process. Whatever best works for you and your clients is what you should pick.

    Since you are in the FB group you will have seen what a lot of others are working with so that will give some options, but don't get too caught up on this.
     
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  17. Fox
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    Fox Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    They might not care about how it looks but if you can link it to a company goal they will care a lot more.

    - How are they getting new clients?
    - Where are they losing money?
    - What are their next big moves?
    - What is their sales system?

    If you knew the answers to these problems you could begin to start coming up with a solution that might involve a website. All the jobs over 15k I have done was not because the website sucked but because it helped them make 6 or 7 figures on the backend and/or reduced a LOT of workload. You need to find bigger companies problems and goals that you can link to a website. Trying to sell to these types of businesses on how a website looks usually gets nowhere. They are more concerned with bigger goals.
     
  18. Fox
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    Fox Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    The 15 people are not full time, just solid freelancers I can depend on when I need them. My day to day is now a lot more about where I am headed. I have great savings from coding the first year and I now want to work on my business a lot more than in it. I will take what bigger jobs come my way but I am not actively looking for work as much as I used to. My goal right now is to take my 6 figures and make it into 7. And then 8 ;).

    The bigger goals right now are to build up my web school which is a good test of using everything I have learned so far in both business systems and knowledge. And I also want to get into ecommerce. I have found a great niche and product but I am waiting until the next stage of the school is finished first. I like to do one thing fully at a time.
     
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  19. erikvm
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    Would you say these types of companies are a bad fit for what we're trying to do here? Make a website that converts better. Seems like this is a whole different beast to tackle
     
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  20. Fox
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    Fox Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Big businesses with big problems are the best fit. So much potential to add value and get real results.

    This is what I focus on, not what color the CTA should be (although I like that stuff too).
     
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  21. erikvm
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    Thanks for the reply. I'm really overwhelmed by all information from all different sources that I'm stuck in some analysis paralysis. I just end up googling different terms and looking at website, forgetting to take action - it kinda springs in that I don't really know what to do once I find a potential (read: shitty) website.
    These big companies should probably not be my first clients, no? Maybe I should go for John Does towing company..
     
  22. Fox
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    Fox Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Nah start quite small. Once you see success it is easy to move fast. But even when you start small aim for someone who will see real improvement. That might be turning 3 bookings a week into 5 or selling 10 more widgets a week than before. You need that time in the beginning to practice your skills and develop your system. It would be liking sending a boxer right into a title fight > you need to work up the ranks with some easier fights to gain the experience first.
     
  23. erikvm
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    erikvm New Contributor

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    Thanks a lot!
    Last question (for now :) )
    Do you have any books / guides on sales and improving online presence , clearly I wanna make more than a pretty canvas, but in terms of helping generating sales for a towing truck company, I'm a bit at loss. Are there some guidelines / beginner tips?
     
  24. Skyizlimit1
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    In on this thread. I've come a long way since your original thread. Thanks for all the golden info.

    Are you looking to hire an additional coder anytime soon so you can focus on the business aspect of things and less on coding?
     
  25. Thomas_webdesign
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    Hey Fox ! Thanks for the topic.
    You are talking about big problems. I don't remember where exactly, but you gave an example of a big company with a bad design and you told that it was an easy 4K. Because the website was on the 1st rank on google, so don't need lost his time with SEO. And this is normal, my question is, what are others problems (some examples you met in the past) except SEO and the design of a website ? And what we have to learn in priority to fix them.
    Thank you.