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Making shopify websites as a side hustle - how to scale?

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Anything considered a "hustle" and not necessarily a CENTS-based Fastlane

leonft

New Contributor
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May 24, 2022
15
12
Hey guys,

For the last couple of months I've been making shopify websites for people in my specific niche (sneakers) and charging around $500 per store. I've had about 5 clients so far and made about 2.5k which for a 16 year old isn't too bad on top of my other side hustles. It's one of the few online skills I have so I really want to build an actual business model around this.
My question is, how do I scale this?
Most of my clients are just friends of my first clients. I need an actual way of advertising it.
Was thinking of making a nice simple website advertising my service to start with. Also potentially reaching out to sneaker businesses who don't have a website or have a bad one.

I can see this being 'fastlane' if I eventually just outsource the work and employ someone to find the clients - like an agency essentially.

Thanks from Australia!
 
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Andy Black

Help people. Get paid. Help more people.
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May 20, 2014
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Hey guys,

For the last couple of months I've been making shopify websites for people in my specific niche (sneakers) and charging around $500 per store. I've had about 5 clients so far and made about 2.5k which for a 16 year old isn't too bad on top of my other side hustles. It's one of the few online skills I have so I really want to build an actual business model around this.
My question is, how do I scale this?
Most of my clients are just friends of my first clients. I need an actual way of advertising it.
Was thinking of making a nice simple website advertising my service to start with. Also potentially reaching out to sneaker businesses who don't have a website or have a bad one.

I can see this being 'fastlane' if I eventually just outsource the work and employ someone to find the clients - like an agency essentially.

Thanks from Australia!
Can you add a recurring element to your offer?
 

leonft

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
May 24, 2022
15
12
Can you add a recurring element to your offer?
Hey Andy,
What do you mean exactly?

I always offer a similar service.
1. setup website
2. add up to 50 products
3. graphic design for banners/logos etc.
4. help purchase domain and set that up

I need more clients however and I'm not sure if my niche is big enough.
But, then again there are plenty of people making shopify websites online (fivver etc.)
The only reason people choose me is because I specialise in their niche.

I want to build an agency and outsource the work so I'm not just trading my time for money.
 
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hatedsalesrep

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Jul 2, 2017
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By recurring element I believe Andy meant if you have a way to have revenue coming in past the initial offer (ie - maintenance fees, etc).

Also, have you considered expanding to an adjacent service? Figure out what other services your clients currently need and see if you can monetize. Getting new clients is great, getting more revenue from your current clients is even better. That will increase trust and make you more sticky. Read - harder to churn.

For expanding, I am not sure. Definitely have your clients record a video testimonial and share that with potential sneaker brands that you reach out as social proof. The rest is outside of my purview.

Major success already taking action. You'll be an under 30 millionaire story someday.
 

leonft

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
May 24, 2022
15
12
By recurring element I believe Andy meant if you have a way to have revenue coming in past the initial offer (ie - maintenance fees, etc).

Also, have you considered expanding to an adjacent service? Figure out what other services your clients currently need and see if you can monetize. Getting new clients is great, getting more revenue from your current clients is even better. That will increase trust and make you more sticky. Read - harder to churn.

For expanding, I am not sure. Definitely have your clients record a video testimonial and share that with potential sneaker brands that you reach out as social proof. The rest is outside of my purview.

Major success already taking action. You'll be an under 30 millionaire story someday.
Thanks so much, that is some really useful advice.

I currently don't have any recurring elements to my offers, but that is something I'd like to add.
Going to make a website and maybe add some packages which include maintenance, social media marketing, SEO etc. - I could outsource these potentially.

I want to be an agency for businesses in this niche essentially.
Is that a viable plan or would my agency have to be more broad?
Like I know people have agencies for social media, google ads, facebook ads etc. But not sure if only working with a specific niche will give me enough clients.
 

Tifetech

PARKED
Jul 24, 2022
1
0
Hi Leon.
I'm a freelance web developer looking for practical experience with Shopify websites. I have extensive experience with WordPress and other front end technologies. I'm willing to work with you on your next Shopify site to get a Shopify website into my portfolio ( at my own expense).
 
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2dads

The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!
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May 27, 2021
65
74
BRISBANE, Australia
Hi Leonft , a few little things and my 2cents:

Firstly, Try to focus on one “hustle” it is better to have a solid business than to have 3 – ok business going at once. MJ mentions this in his book.

Another great book and has a presence here is @Fox:

MARKETPLACE - AMA: How to Start a Web Design Business and Sell Websites

$1,000,000 Web Designer Guide: A Practical Guide for Wealth and Freedom as an Online Freelancer

I have no affiliate or anything but found his book to be great and his course/academy is next on my list to purchase. The reason I mention @Fox is the prospecting of customers can be difficult and he has an example in which he offends a client but saying something like “who designed this website” – the client did and it kills the relationship in the water (from memory).

As stated above your building the websites, which is normally a once off transaction.

Upsell to the likes of Google Ad word management, SEO, Social Media Management.



Become a one stop shop and have a flow of income and work in which you can grow, scale and build a book of good business. Another book in which I think you will enjoy is $100M Offers – How to make offers so good people feel stupid saying NO!



Best of luck mate, feel free to shoot me a message – I am also Based in Australia – I have tried a few different business and currently doing the same (a few steps behind & a few years older :p )



John
 

leonft

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
May 24, 2022
15
12
Hi Leonft , a few little things and my 2cents:

Firstly, Try to focus on one “hustle” it is better to have a solid business than to have 3 – ok business going at once. MJ mentions this in his book.

Another great book and has a presence here is @Fox:

MARKETPLACE - AMA: How to Start a Web Design Business and Sell Websites

$1,000,000 Web Designer Guide: A Practical Guide for Wealth and Freedom as an Online Freelancer

I have no affiliate or anything but found his book to be great and his course/academy is next on my list to purchase. The reason I mention @Fox is the prospecting of customers can be difficult and he has an example in which he offends a client but saying something like “who designed this website” – the client did and it kills the relationship in the water (from memory).

As stated above your building the websites, which is normally a once off transaction.

Upsell to the likes of Google Ad word management, SEO, Social Media Management.



Become a one stop shop and have a flow of income and work in which you can grow, scale and build a book of good business. Another book in which I think you will enjoy is $100M Offers – How to make offers so good people feel stupid saying NO!



Best of luck mate, feel free to shoot me a message – I am also Based in Australia – I have tried a few different business and currently doing the same (a few steps behind & a few years older :p )



John
Hey John,

Thanks so much for such an informative reply.
$100M offers is on my reading list for sure.
I'll definitely read that web development book you recommended as it sounds quite interesting.
At the moment, before I even start to scale, I'm trying to improve my skills in web development.
I'm doing really low rates in comparison to most developers, and just focussing on getting positive reviews.
I'm also in the process of building a website to showcase my services and testimonials (add a sense of professionalism).
Like you mentioned with the upselling, I'm also learning SEO and Google ads so I can add that to my services.

Keep me updated with your progress and we can help each other!

Thanks,
Leo
 
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2dads

The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
May 27, 2021
65
74
BRISBANE, Australia
@leonft, I used to work in the electrical industry, a lot of electricians do high valued work and a website been designed could be a potential market.

What I would suggest is googling or Facebook searching local electricians, finding one without a site (lots don't have one or an old website) and then offering to do a website at $700. (say 1/4 of what you normally or ideally would charge)

You already have a portfolio, however a static 4-5 page website and in this market would be ideal. Let them know that your starting to expand your offer and that this would usally cost $3000.

Your customer (electrician) are normally easy going blokes (sold to them for 8+ years and socialize with a few) and have $$$ and sell big ticket items.

Home automation is a big seller and solar would be what I would design a website around for a customer (large ticket systems) however it comes down to the customers needs and wants.

Your age may be a hindrance however some of the younger operators and people who want a bargain want care if your 16, 60 or 111!

Best of luck mate, if this works let me know
 

Ela

Freelance Web Developer and SEO Expert
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Mar 21, 2022
19
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Why stop at one niche? Find the next relevant niche that can be better for your business.

Go horizontally, because Vertical growth takes time and low return in the Service based business.
 

DavidePaco00

New Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jul 27, 2022
8
5
Hey guys,

For the last couple of months I've been making shopify websites for people in my specific niche (sneakers) and charging around $500 per store. I've had about 5 clients so far and made about 2.5k which for a 16 year old isn't too bad on top of my other side hustles. It's one of the few online skills I have so I really want to build an actual business model around this.
My question is, how do I scale this?
Most of my clients are just friends of my first clients. I need an actual way of advertising it.
Was thinking of making a nice simple website advertising my service to start with. Also potentially reaching out to sneaker businesses who don't have a website or have a bad one.

I can see this being 'fastlane' if I eventually just outsource the work and employ someone to find the clients - like an agency essentially.

Thanks from Australia!
Hello!

I would suggest You to reach out to all the local business in Your area.

Explain them what You and what an Online Business has to offer,

Make a list of 200 small business in Your town: nearly every business is scalable and can sell it's product or services online.

Don't only try to sell them the realization of the website, instead, sell them both the building and the managment of the e-commerce.

In this way , the business becomes more scalable.

If You need any help, or better, if You're interested in working with me on this project, reach me out omn whatsapp at : +39 3296152039 :)

Best regards,

Davide
 
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Cameraman

Bronze Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Speedway Pass
Sep 25, 2021
132
225
UK
Hey guys,

For the last couple of months I've been making shopify websites for people in my specific niche (sneakers) and charging around $500 per store. I've had about 5 clients so far and made about 2.5k which for a 16 year old isn't too bad on top of my other side hustles. It's one of the few online skills I have so I really want to build an actual business model around this.
My question is, how do I scale this?
Most of my clients are just friends of my first clients. I need an actual way of advertising it.
Was thinking of making a nice simple website advertising my service to start with. Also potentially reaching out to sneaker businesses who don't have a website or have a bad one.

I can see this being 'fastlane' if I eventually just outsource the work and employ someone to find the clients - like an agency essentially.

Thanks from Australia!
It may be worth investigating if there is any mileage in getting yourself added to the Shopify Experts market (Hire Shopify Experts, developers, designers and freelancers). I don't know what's involved or if it's worth it but it could be another source of clients.
 

leonft

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
May 24, 2022
15
12
@leonft, I used to work in the electrical industry, a lot of electricians do high valued work and a website been designed could be a potential market.

What I would suggest is googling or Facebook searching local electricians, finding one without a site (lots don't have one or an old website) and then offering to do a website at $700. (say 1/4 of what you normally or ideally would charge)

You already have a portfolio, however a static 4-5 page website and in this market would be ideal. Let them know that your starting to expand your offer and that this would usally cost $3000.

Your customer (electrician) are normally easy going blokes (sold to them for 8+ years and socialize with a few) and have $$$ and sell big ticket items.

Home automation is a big seller and solar would be what I would design a website around for a customer (large ticket systems) however it comes down to the customers needs and wants.

Your age may be a hindrance however some of the younger operators and people who want a bargain want care if your 16, 60 or 111!

Best of luck mate, if this works let me know
Really good idea. I know plumbers are also a good market, made a few websites for them as well. Definitely want to build my portfolio and currently making a website to showcase this.

Why stop at one niche? Find the next relevant niche that can be better for your business.

Go horizontally, because Vertical growth takes time and low return in the Service based business.
Good point actually. I will look for other niches as well then.

Hello!

I would suggest You to reach out to all the local business in Your area.

Explain them what You and what an Online Business has to offer,

Make a list of 200 small business in Your town: nearly every business is scalable and can sell it's product or services online.

Don't only try to sell them the realization of the website, instead, sell them both the building and the managment of the e-commerce.

In this way , the business becomes more scalable.

If You need any help, or better, if You're interested in working with me on this project, reach me out omn whatsapp at : +39 3296152039 :)

Wow. Great advice thanks, guys. So many potential clients out there. I'm currently working with 3 clients atm, but once I've completed their websites I'm going to start looking in other niches and small businesses in my area.
 

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