1-on-1 with Patrick is a series of web design coaching sessions for wannabe web designers.
In this episode, we have Seyide Hundeyin from Nigeria! We discuss:
- Where Seyide is currently at in his web design journey
- Why Seyide doesn’t have his own website, and why it’s a mistake (obviously)
- Attracting high paying clients
- Reaching out to potential clients
- Building recurring revenue
- Whether or not you should use contracts
- How Seyide is spending time working on his web design business
- How I made that cool animation video
- Conclusion and key takeaways
Give it a listen!
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Tools & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Getting Clients with Google Maps
- Building Recurring Revenue
- Using Web Design Contracts
- Spending Time Wisely
Where Seyide is At in His Web Design Journey
Patrick: Hello! How’s it going?
Patrick: Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself first. How long have you been doing web design for?
Seyide: So I started in the beginning of 2019. So I started like, you know, first of all just to be something good. I thought I would do, like, free. You’re like working for free, and all of that. But not really free because most people are signing up through my affiliate link or post in some group. You know what I mean? It’s all, you know, about six or seven months ago. I was getting, like, 3 to 5 clients every month and I want to go out there myself and get them without having to wait every month for someone to refer me to their family member or uncle or something. So that is my main problem now.
Patrick: Okay. So what you said is… you are using a website builder, what are you using to build your web sites with?
Patrick: Perfect. That’s what I use too. So you’re just getting all your clients right now through referrals? You said you get like three to five a month?
Patrick: That’s awesome!
Seyide: Is it??
Patrick: Yah! You said you started beginning in 2019 right?
Patrick: And that’s only a little over a year. Yeah. So in a little over a year, you’re getting three to five referrals. Are these leads or actual clients every month?
Seyide: You know, like say maybe someone is a woman. She convinces her sister… or definitely is like I don’t need to sell. She just sends me 50% immediately. So I don’t have to pick out whatever.
Patrick: Yeah, like they’re coming to you. You don’t have to pitch them.
Patrick: Okay, and so you want more clients. And I think you mentioned you want better paying clients?
Patrick: What are you charging these people on average?
Seyide: 400 to 500 dollars.
Patrick: American dollars?
Seyide: Yes American dollars.
Patrick: Okay, and do you provide hosting afterwards?
Seyide: Mmmm no.
Patrick: Okay, where to begin… So you’re living in Poland now, right? Yes, okay. So are your clients from Europe or from Nigeria?
Seyide: From Europe, from Nigeria, from all over.
Why Seyide Doesn’t Have His Own Website Yet, and Why It’s a Mistake
Patrick: That’s a pretty extensive network just for referrals. I want to ask you something… We talked about this a little bit before. You said you don’t have a website yourself.
Seyide: I don’t…
Patrick: What’s going on man?? Why not?
Seyide: I don’t know. It’s so difficult. But not difficult at all… It’s beautiful. The thing is it’s so easy for someone to do it for myself. I don’t know why I just can’t find myself doing it.
Patrick: You just haven’t got around to it yet?
Seyide: Exactly. I don’t know why.
Patrick: I’ll tell you one thing man… If you want higher paying clients, you got to have your own website. Like, all of the clients I get that are higher paying… one of the first things they do when they email me or contact me through the form or give me a call… they want to know my website. And they go in, they take a look, and they look at my portfolio, the work I’ve done, they want proof that I actually can do what I say I can do. It’s great that you’re getting leads through referrals. That’s awesome. I get a bunch through referrals, but almost all of my leads come from my website through SEO and content marketing. That is how you’re going to grow your business. It’s how you’re going to get more clients and get higher paying clients. Through your website. And I mean, you’re a website designer, right? Would you buy a car from someone who doesn’t own a car? Because he probably wouldn’t know much about cars. Right? So, for me, if I want to hire a web designer, the first thing I’m going to see or look for is their own website. Because there are many web designers who make all these claims who say they can do this and that. And I said, “that sounds great”. They’ll talk about all the things they do and then I click through to their page as a web designer and it’s garbage. It looks awful and instantly I’m turned off and I don’t want to work with them. Because they clearly can’t back up what they say. What do you think about that?
Seyide: Makes sense. But the main reason why I haven’t built my own website is because… I get on the phone with “Rosen” and she says she wants a website. So what I did previously so they don’t need to ask “show me website” or “show me a portfolio”, or I’ll work to this person or this person and they don’t have any complaints or anything so… yah.
Patrick: Right, but now you’re solely relying on that channel for leads. Your referral network.. So if you do it that way you’re always going to get that type of lead. You’re always going to get someone who doesn’t really care about the work you did before. They don’t need to see a portfolio and therefore they’re not willing to pay as much. They’re in a certain budget range. So if you want a higher end client, someone who’s got more money to invest in a bigger and better website, you will have to adjust which sales channels you’re going to get your leads from. And that starts with having your own website. What’s your biggest challenge with building your own website? Why have you held off so long?
Seyide: Honestly, no reason. There’s no reason why. I can’t make an excuse right now. Like, I already paid for the hosting, for the domain… Paid for everything.
Patrick: You already paid for the hosting??
Seyide: Yeah. But I didn’t do anything since 2019.
Patrick: So you’re paying hosting for nothing right now?
Seyide: Well, I just paid for one year. Yeah, I paid for Siteground for one year. I didn’t do anything.
Getting High Paying Clients
Patrick: Bro… You gotta get on that. That’s my number one suggestion for you. Get your website set up. Make it look good and design it for your ideal client. If your ideal client is a higher paying client, then you want to market and present yourself as someone who is the perfect fit for your ideal client, right? What’s your value proposition? Why should someone choose you? Picture it from their point of view. Why should they choose you? There’s so many web designers out there. There’s so many that offer high-quality services. And if you’re looking for a premium price too, if you want better paying, it’s going to be even harder to convince them. In a lot of ways. So how are you going to present yourself to these leads?
Seyide: How am I going to present myself to these leads? Man, that’s my problem. I don’t know how.
Patrick: Starts with your own website. And then from there you grow. Like I said, it’s good that you’re getting that many referrals this soon because there’s lots of people who listen here that they’ve been trying this for a couple of years and they still don’t even have one client. So you’re already off to a good start. So I’ll give you that.
Seyide: I got my first client nine days after I started.
Patrick: Nine days? How’d you do that?
Seyide: Facebook. Because I joined several groups and I just go there and say “they’re for free, I’m just starting out” and I got a lot… like, a lot… I’m talking 20 to 30 people. So you offered to do it for
Patrick: So you offered to do it for free. For the exposure. For the experience.
Seyide: For “free”.
Patrick: Haha For those who didn’t see that he put air quotes. So did you end up actually charging them?
Seyide: No I didn’t charge them. Well unless they referred me to someone else then I started charging.
Patrick: So you were willing to do the first site or two for free. show experience, build your portfolio a little bit… and then you grew up from there. And then you start getting paying clients.
Patrick: That’s great, man. That’s good. A lot of people don’t utilize their own personal networks enough. Their friends, their family, their professional networks. I mean, you just put it out there on Facebook and you got a lot of responses.
Seyide: And I was in it every day. Literally every day.
Patrick: So what’s your plan going forward now then?
Seyide: Make my own website like you just said. Find another way to get clients. Like, a method or strategy. I don’t know what to say. Without having to rely on just referrals. You know?
Patrick: Did you have a chance to look at any of my other blog posts about getting clients?
Patrick: How did you find me, by the way? I should start with that.
Patrick: Do you remember which video it was?
Seyide: No it was a long time ago.
Patrick: Haha I know. You probably watch a million videos on YouTube. I have a bunch of different videos on getting clients though and one of the primary ways is offering work for free. Like you did.
Seyide: I think it was a video about reaching out to your network.
Reaching Out to Potential Web Design Clients
Patrick: Did you see the tip about Google Maps?
Seyide: Yah I did that also. I sent them emails but no one responded,
Patrick: How did you send the email to them? What did you say?
Seyide: “Hey I saw your website is slow I can help you do this…. I can help you to build it…”
Patrick: Yeah, so the thing is people get a million of those all the time. Like, I’m a web designer and I get emails from my web design website from generic SEO guys saying “hey your website is slow… you should improve this… or call to action that… And it’s very clear that they didn’t even look at the website. It’s just a generic message that they send out to dozens, hundreds, thousands of companies. So the trick that I use is, you know, like you said you’re building with Elementor. The beauty of WordPress and Elementor is that there are a lot of different templates you can start from and you can customize for different niches and different industries. So let’s say you build a restaurant template that you can apply to pretty much any restaurant. Then you reach out to a website on Google Maps or to a company on Google Maps that you notice their restaurant website is not very good. Just pull some of the content from their current website, put it into this new restaurant template and send them an actual preview. Like, a basically half-built website, or a page with the content on it. And send them the link. Say “Listen, I was looking at businesses in my neighborhood. I noticed you guys have a website but you know this, this, and this,there’s issues with that. I took some free time of my own to give it a shot myself and show you what it could look like.” And you’ll get a way better response rate because it’s actual proof. It’s already half done. And I know a lot of people are hesitant because they’re like “Oh, but then I’m putting in work for free. You can’t think that way. For one thing, you get awesome practice to continue to sharpen your skills. Because so many wanna-be web designers aren’t even putting in the practice. Not designing anything because they don’t have clients. So how are they getting better? So you sharpen your web design skills that way. Second, let’s say your conversion rate is 25-30% of everyone you reach out to buys a website. Then you calculate the ROI based on that, right? If you’re reaching out to a hundred different companies with a generic email and say “Hey I can fix this” and none of them contacts you back, you still spent a couple of hours sending out all those emails, right? But let’s say out of every ten websites you make, two or three of them buy and you sell them for five or six hundred bucks each… Let’s say it’s 20 hours to make 10 pages, 10 different sites. You just made $1,500 in 20 hours worth of work. I would say those are pretty good numbers, personally. That’s a lot of money for me. What do you think about that strategy?
Seyide: I never thought about it like this. Actually, I think I saw it on your video. Yeah, saw that in one of your videos. But I didn’t do it.
Patrick: Yeah, I said that in one of my videos too. It’s work, man! No matter what it’s going to take work. It took me time to build my business and I did it on the side while I was doing other jobs. I was a window cleaner and I just learned web design on my own after work. I would come home, dabble with this and that, read some blogs, watch some YouTube videos, do this and that… and then over a couple of years it slowly grew and it got to the point where I could quit my my window cleaning job and just do this full-time. The other key reason I was able to do that is the recurring revenue through website hosting. There’s so many web designers that are not taking advantage of this. They build a nice website for their client, collect the paycheck, and say “see you later was nice doing business with you” and then they never see them again. Never talk to them again.
Building Recurring Revenue Into Your Web Design Business
Seyide: Yeah. Well, right now I have two people I work with that pay me monthly. But, nothing much. You know?
Patrick: You have two clients right now that pay monthly?
Patrick: For what?
Seyide: For putting new content… maybe uploading pictures…
Patrick: That’s awesome! So basically it’s managing their website for them.
Seyide: Yeah, but some months they don’t do anything. And they just pay me.
Patrick: Yeah, isn’t that nice? Yeah, that’s the idea. Right? So how much do you charge for that management service?
Seyide: 100 bucks a month.
Patrick: That’s awesome. So get more clients like that. Do you pitch that service to each website you build?
Seyide: No, these one’s asked me personally though. “I don’t know anything about this. Can you help me do this every month?” I’m like, “oh, yeah, I can. No problem!”
Patrick: Wow. You’re getting some very quality leads, man. That’s really good. It sounds like you don’t even have to do any pitching. They’re coming to you.
Seyide: But that’s the thing though. I don’t know maybe because most of the time I replied very very fast to them. Like I maybe over deliver. Like sometimes they ask me to put their websites on Google and I do it for them for free… Host emails for free… When they message me in the middle of the night, I’m there working on everything. Also, the just really like me a lot and say “oh yah I’ll refer this guy to my friend”. And I’ll do for this other person the same thing for the other person… You know?
Patrick: Yeah. Well, I mean, then you should be pitching that service to every client you build a website for. And even if they don’t want a full service where you’re managing the entire website for a hundred bucks a month, is there a way you can offer them just simple website hosting and management for cheaper? Like 20-30 bucks a month? So instead of referring them to siteground, why don’t you set up your own web host?
Seyide: Well, I’m afraid. I don’t know. I don’t know anything about hosting.
Patrick: Well, I am working on a blog post and a video right now that’s about that. Exactly how to do that. So it’ll be my next one. So keep an eye out for that. But there’s a number of different ways to do it. One of them is to basically resell hosting services. So when you refer them to Siteground you at least get a referring fee.
Seyide: 40 bucks. Yeah. Yeah,
Patrick: That’s pretty good. That’s one way to do it. The only problem is you get a one-time fee and it’s done. Another way to do it is by reselling hosting. There’s a lot of hosting companies that will actually give you a piece of the recurring money every month. So if they charge, let’s say, 40 dollars a month for hosting and management for WordPress, and you refer a client to them, they might give you five dollars of that every month without you having to do anything. That’s your commission. So that’s the second way. Third way is, if you want to keep all the profits yourself, you basically set up your own server, which is what I did. I have my own dedicated server. Now personally, I don’t like dealing with server management and all the tech side of that stuff. I like building websites and making content. Blog, video, podcasts and SEO. I love working on SEO. So I outsource my server management to someone else. I hired someone to take care of that for me. And because server management is not a full-time job, I basically just hired a guy who does that for a living and he probably spends maybe 10 to 15 hours a month managing my server. Which is not bad at all. So it doesn’t cost me too much to have someone taking care of my server for me, but it remains my server entirely and it’s highly optimized for performance. It’s perfect for my clients because they don’t have to share a server with thousands of other websites. They only have to share with, you know, a couple hundred on mine. So it’s highly optimized for performance and speed. Which is super important for SEO these days because Google values performance. So my clients get a great value out of it. I get to keep all the profits. And then I also provide this similar service that you’re offering your clients. You offer management, taking care of updates to content. Images… text… little things. On a recurring revenue model every month. So those are the three main ways to do it. I initially started out doing the reselling route because I didn’t know how to deal with all the server stuff and I just kind of learned as I went and as I learned I got better at it and then I went and moved all of my clients sites to a dedicated server. And that’s what I do now.
Seyide: Yah that’s not something for me right now.
Patrick: Yeah, obviously, you gotta know where you’re at. Take your time and make sure you know what you’re doing before you offer the service to your clients. Because the last thing you need is to start offering hosting and then your client’s site starts crashing. Or they’re getting hacked. There is extra work involved in doing it. So you want to make sure you know what you’re doing with that. But the reward is obviously bigger. Because, it’s more work or more investment. But you get to keep all the revenues and the profits that come from it. But yeah, definitely think of more ways you can offer recurring services to your current client base. A lot of web designers are spending a lot of time constantly trying to get new leads and new customers and it’s exhausting. So I built my client base to the point that now I have enough clients on a recurring model that I don’t actually need to get new clients at all. Any new clients that come are basically a bonus. I still want to grow obviously, but I don’t have to check at the end of every month worried to pay the bills because I haven’t gotten enough new clients this month. You know? So that’s the real challenge. They call it the feast and famine approach. Right? Like, sometimes you get tons of work and tons of revenue and then you get like two months where it’s just dry and no one’s coming and you get nervous about paying bills and that’s exhausting. It’s like a roller coaster. So try to think of ways with your current client base that you can develop additional services. Especially ones that can run on a recurring model every month. Just like you’re doing with the management at a hundred bucks a month. That’s awesome. Do more of that.
Seyide: I don’t do much for them. Sometimes I don’t do anything. Because they don’t have anything for me to do either.
Patrick: Yeah, but they still pay you right? So you got a hundred bucks a month for that. And that’s the retainer. I have clients that I do that for and some months they’ll have tons of work. They’ll be like “I need this and that and this and that” and I might end up spending more time on it than it’s worth. But the two months after that they’ll barely have anything and I make a bunch of profit that I barely had to spend any time on. Right? So that’s the balance. They get the comfort and security knowing that they have basically an on-call web designer whenever they need, and I get the confidence and stability of having a recurring model. Having a retainer. Knowing that revenue is going to come in the same time every month. No matter what. So it works for both sides. Both for the customer and for the designer.
Should You Use Web Design Contracts?
Seyide: Yah. And also, in terms of that contract, how do you do that? Do you give the clients a contract? For me it’s based on word. I just know there’s no words agreement. “Oh, yeah. I’m going to pay this” and I say alright. Yeah. No contracts.
Patrick: I never use contracts. Since the beginning of my business I’ve never used contracts. I actually have a whole video about why I don’t use contracts too. The gist of it is that I think people get too concerned about the nitty-gritty details. The legalities and laws… I don’t like starting a new relationship off on a legal contract. To me, it basically establishes the fact that you don’t quite trust each other yet. I’d rather build a relationship on trust. So I tell everyone that hosts their website with me and manages their website with me: There’s no contracts. I’m not going to make them sign something that says one year minimum hosting, you know? Like Bluehost and GoDaddy. So many of the website hosting companies are known for trapping people. For making it difficult to leave if they need to. And I never do that. And I always say, for whatever reason you don’t like my services, yes, you’re free to go whenever you want. Out of hundreds of customers I’ve had over the years, I think I’ve had one customer leave my hosting services. So that’s a pretty good ratio to me. And I think people just need to have a real connection with someone. They almost like the casual side of it. They don’t want to have a legal contract. It makes people nervous because then they feel like they have to read the whole thing. You know, the terms of services agreements? No one reads that stuff. It’s like pages and pages and pages of stuff. But we’re all signing away our privacy rights and we don’t even know what we’re giving up. But it’s in there. But we always click yes, I’ve read and I agree. I don’t want that stuff. And I’ve only had one issue where I had to refund a customer because we had a disagreement about something and, in the end, I was like, “I’m sorry, we disagree. I’m happy to refund you now” And he was like, “oh…” And he was surprised that he didn’t have to fight me. Because normally it’s, you know, a non-refundable 50% deposit and web designers will fight you tooth and nail about that. And I had already put in some work, and it wasn’t too much but I put in about seven hours of work. And something came up and he had lost his job or had some family issues or something and he asked if he could get a refund because he has to change his plans. And I was like “Sure man. I’m sorry to hear that happened.” People appreciate that. And then you know, he really appreciates it and people remember you for that. And he ended up referring someone else to me because of it. So you just gotta try to make every possible attempt to be more human. To make genuine relationships and connections with people. And you already seem to be doing pretty well. The fact that you get so many referrals means that people like you and your work.
Seyide: Because they see me as a friend, actually. I make jokes.
Patrick: Yeah. They see you more as a friend than just does a web designer, right?
Seyide: Yeah. Well, sometimes they just message me “How you doing. How’s your day?” Um, just regular chat. Not even about website this time. It’s like, “Do I know you?”,
Patrick: That’s great man. You’re building relationships. Like, I know sometimes it might feel like small talk but…
Patrick: Obviously you got to be balanced with it. But the idea is to try to build long-term relationships that are beneficial for both sides and by doing that, in the long run, your business will succeed more because people are going to remember you. They’re gonna like you individually. Because there’s so many web designers to choose from. What you’re ultimately selling is you. Not a fancy WordPress website. People want to know who they’re working with. And if people like you, and if they’re texting you, and being like “what’s up”, maybe it’s a little annoying sometimes but in the long run, it’s great.
Seyide: You don’t have to send me a voicemail at 12am.
Patrick: Haha Voicemail?
Seyide: Voice note. Voice note.
Patrick: But yeah, I think I think you’re doing pretty good in a lot of areas.
Patrick: You don’t think so?
Seyide: For sure I should be doing better.
How Seyide is Spending Time Working on His Web Design Business
Patrick: Well, I can tell you from the amount of time you’ve been spending doing this, the short amount of time, and based on what you’ve told me, the fact that you even already got recurring revenue… That’s awesome. Like a lot-
Seyide: I wouldn’t say short. Because I spent, like… I’ll sit on a chair like every single day… every single day…. so-
Patrick: Yeah, I don’t mean like you haven’t spent a lot of time working on it. I mean… It’s been a little over a year. You’ve been able to condense a big amount of growth in a small amount of time. That’s what I’m trying to say. So what are you spending hours every day working on if you don’t have clients? What are you spending time on to help grow your business?
Seyide: That’s the point. I usually have things to do. So, I’m not like working on Granny’s. I’m just working on their own websites. So basically I’m always just working, working on it and don’t have time… Not like I don’t have time… I’m just not really business-focused you know? It’s new. I’m in this state now as I asked about how to get clients rather than just working on the same clients I have. I need to grow. That’s where I am right now.
Patrick: That’s pretty good. Yeah, so you don’t usually have a lot of time when you’re not working on clients websites. Most of your time is spent working on websites. That’s what you’re saying.
Seyide: Yeah, that’s right. Now I’m working on three. Three people’s websites. And I don’t have time to like, you know, get new clients. Look for ways… but I have time to watch videos though.
Patrick: Yeah, you always have time to watch my videos, right??
Seyide: That’s for sure. But sometimes on 2X speed. Because you create videos about 30 minutes long. Your last video about how to do things that are important or… “Yeah, this is important on how to simplify your phone” or “to make it smarter” See? I remember.
Patrick: Haha Yeah, I made a video recently that was quite long. Yeah, it was my longest video ever. So we’ll see if that pays off. Sometimes I like to dabble with an experiment with different topics. And sometimes they pay off sometimes they don’t. Some videos that I thought no one would be interested in are taking off and then ones that I work so hard on… I’m like “this is awesome”… people don’t care about. So it’s just a lot of experimentation. I try creating different things and see what people respond to. It’s fun. I enjoy it. Alright-
How Did I Make That Cool Animation Video?
Seyide: Last question. If you had animation video about this person… Rapidweblaunch… why you need me… and all that. How did you create that?
Patrick: I hired an animator. Yes. Because I don’t know how to do that. That was really next level animation. I know my limitations and I don’t know how to use Adobe Illustrator to do that kind of stuff. So I hired an animator in the Philippines. I found her off of Upwork and I gave her a couple of tests to see what her skill level was. I really liked it and I hired her to do it. Yeah, so as we wrap up our conversation a nice little tip for you. As your business grows, and you’re looking to expand a little bit or try new marketing ideas, look to hire people internationally as you can get some really high quality work at a better rate. From someone who lives on the other side of the world where the currency is different.
Seyide: Thank you.
Conclusion and Key Takeaways
Patrick: So to wrap up… What’s your top three takeaways? What are you gonna do? What are your top three takeaways from this conversation?
Seyide: Build my my own website…
Patrick: That’s one…
Seyide: Kind of… content?
Patrick: What kind of content?
Seyide: But also maybe like… there’s another person’s motto like… learn, do, teach.
Patrick: Sure, that works.
Seyide: Yeah, exactly.
Patrick: That’s number two. And what’s number three?
Seyide: Build my own website? Yah that’s the main thing to do
Patrick: All right, building your website is so important we will make it two of them. All right, so the first two are build your own website, you have to have your own website. All right? And when it’s done, I want you to send me the link so I can take a look at it. OK?
Seyide: All right. No problem. For sure. I thought if I have more questions I can email you right?
Patrick: Yeah, or comment somewhere. Are you in the Launchers group? Yeah. Yeah, say hi on there. So I have a chat feature on there as well. Email me… or whatever you want.
Seyide: Thank you so much!
Patrick: No problem. Enjoy your day!