1-on-1 with Patrick is a series of web design coaching sessions for wannabe web designers.
In this episode we have “JD” from Australia! We discuss:
- Where JD is at in his web design journey
- How JD is using virtual assistants to outsource client acquisition
- How I got my first clients in the early days
- Why client acquisition is a process that requires a ton of practice
- How to get people to open your cold emails
- Why you need to niche down in order to grow
- The differences between some of the major website builders
- Why you should use preview links instead of screenshots
- [Weird spider intermission]
- Why Patrick isn’t a fan of Squarespace or GoDaddy
- Concluding thoughts
Give it a listen! 👇
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Tools & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- How to get your first web design clients
- How to learn web design fast
Where JD is at in His Web Design Journey
JD: Can you hear me Patrick?
Patrick: Hey, I can. Yeah, can you hear me Okay?
JD: All good.
Patrick: So, its JD.
JD: Yes, that’s right. I got my name from Japanese TV days. I used to be a TV star in Japan, so, they shorten my name to JB two letters. That’s because the Japanese kept me spelling it, you see. It’s sounds very simple but it’s impossible to spell, And it has stuck with me for many years. So, that’s it for everyone for a long time?
Patrick: Interesting, what kind of shows were you doing in Japan?
JD: A wide variety of shows. Travel shows, comedy shows, cruise shows, CNN and tonight show. I did actually report on various trends in Japan, interviewing celebrities but not just TV celebrities, but also [Inaudible00:51] which means…what do you call it? I forgot the English word now. [Inaudible01:19] basically traditional Japanese who made Kansanshi, for example the last cooks in Japan and so on, the last traditionalist. I don’t know where my English is right now [inaudible00:56], anyway, craftsmen, yes. So, I did interview with them, they told me everything they knew over a hundred years. And in one day I was meant to do my best making, for example, Sequoia traditional Japanese cookies or traditional Japanese wedding bands or whatever came up. So, that was a quite a fun show.
Patrick: That’s cool.
JD: And I did a comedy show. It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest running comedy show. So, I was a regular on that show and then I had my own shows of course, I have credit on shows and also taught them how to speak English. It was very fun, and an entertaining show had a few of those as well. So yeah, a lot of fun back in the day.
Patrick: So, what are you up to these days?
JD: Well, one of my side projects is this web transformants because the world has changed, It’s really changed, and everyone’s gone digitize. I’m doing what I love doing, I love building websites. I just enjoy that. I don’t like the marketing part of it, so, I am going to outsource them, but I love the actual building part. But you have to do the marketing part to get new clients. So, I want to set this up as a free running business, so, it’ll go on its own. I will build the systems so it’s scalable and then train other staff to run it for me while I sleep basically. I’ve always been in technology and media. So, my main business is a tech startup where we develop apps for; one is for the Japanese market others were global, so yeah, scalable apps basically. So, TV, mobile, web, it’s all under one right now.
Patrick: Interesting. So, where are you currently at in your web design journey now?
JD: Just started, we just started in December and actually it developed, it’s funny the way it developed because I was doing coaching. So, I was coaching youth entrepreneurs. How they can start their own businesses, how they can grow their business and so on; that was my gig. I love doing that. I love training people. I love coaching. Like, you’re doing a great thing yourself. That’s why I admire your podcast, hats off to you because it’s absolutely awesome, and I was doing something similar for youth entrepreneurs. And then I decided to add a physical product to it, not just the advice, but a physical product, which was the website. And people wanted the website because it’s tangible and it’s easier to depart now with your money for a tangible product, as opposed to an intangible advice or service. So, I’ve decided, hey, what if I did this on it’s own.
So, I said, “Okay, I’ll set up a website.” So, I did that in a day. I put up a website, tested the market and see if there’s any, you know, any biters out there. And I looked around at different people’s websites I started with people I knew. I’ve got the beepers on actually. I was like, wow, well out of mind with the crap that I saw; I go these guys are in desperate need of a transformation. So, I said, okay, why don’t I do it? So, I currently changed everything I said, “Okay, I’ve got a bit of time now to do it.’ So, I thought I’d start with that. And that was blown away. Then I did another one that was blown away. I go, okay, this has got legs so, I got into it.
JD: And this was just in December, obviously January is pretty much a dead month. You know, people got holidays in a way and that sort of thing, or not really a way, but you know what I mean, Christmas mode. So, I expected that to be a slow month. But as of yesterday, the 1st of February, although a couple of days ago starting to get back on full-time. So, I’m now training two of my virtual assistants to bring in new clients. And I’m looking at other ways to source new business as well. So, I can just focus on actually doing it because that’s what I’m doing.
Patrick: Building the websites?
JD: The creative side, I love creativity. So, I have the business knowledge to be able to immediately judge what that particular small business, you know, what they should be doing, what they want to what their goals are basically. So, that’s where that business acumen combined with the web and TV, all this knowledge can be bundled into one. So, I’m not just like a web developer with no business knowledge or no other knowledge of other areas so, that’s one of the values adds, I guess yeah, but I’m not an expert. That’s why I’m coming to you there’s a lot of questions come up with and so, I thought I’d ask you as well.
How JD is Using Virtual Assistants to Outsource Client Acquisition
Patrick: Well, I think that’s a perfect segue. So, how can I help you? What do you need help with?
JD: Okay. Well, I guess there’s a few tech related questions, but before we go into the tech ones, I guess we could start with sourcing new business because that’s the most important, without that you’ve got no one to build websites for. So, instead of going the other way around, we can go to the tech questions a little bit later. I was curious as to ways how you source. Because first of all, I started stage one with, through friends and acquaintances and they got the word out and everyone should know someone or a few people that need a website transformed, I’m doing from a two or three star at a five whips star website into a five-star website. But now I have started as of this month, getting into people I don’t know and that’s a different ball game altogether. You’re then approaching anonymous people, which can be seen as spam and so on, and then probably getting bombarded by others from India and Pakistan. So, you know how to get around how to break through that jungle of spam basically is my next challenge.
Patrick: Yeah. So, you mentioned that you were hiring some virtual assistants to do outreach for you, is that correct?
JD: Well, I’m using my current virtual assistance. So, I’ve got two who did some work and we’re able to look into that. There are not specialists in this field, but they do this stuff or virtual assistants do stuff like this. So, I’ll start with them and then I’ll look to hire a specialist in marketing can deal with the funds and so on. But for now, what I’m asking them to do in a nonprofessional way really, I guess, is just to get the word out to as many companies or businesses that could need their website transformed. And then we’ll expand from there into, like I said, getting a professional marketing person who is used to dealing with funds and so on.
Patrick: So, what’s the criteria you’ve given them for who would qualify as a good lead?
JD: Anyone that has a two or three star at a five website or less.
Patrick: Okay. And how would you define a two- or three-star website?
JD: Well, I can judge very quickly. So, I’ve put together a sample of sites. I said, these are a few examples of one star, two stars up to five stars. So, anything that’s looking four-star, five stars, forget about it. They’re good enough as they are. They don’t need us, but anyone that’s got a one or two star, they need us big time, three star that’s borderline. So, I’ll judge that, right. If it’s a 3.5 or three and I can make the judgment call within seconds basically. And that’ll get to do that as well. So, are they just simply scraped websites, email addresses, we send out the email, but like I said you’re battling in a jungle of spam, so.
Patrick: Yeah. So, have you given them a template for outreach? So, when they find one of these two or three stars, what do they do?
JD: Yeah. I will let them come up with their own thoughts at first. Like [inaudible08:54] I’ve got my ideas so, they’ll come up with a few and I’ll give them mine a couple of days ago as well. So, there’s certain golden nuggets of sources where to source like yellow pages type of database. And they can then, you know, go through sector-by-sector city, by city, looking through websites that are pretty ugly, they will then pass on that to me and we would contact them.
Patrick: By email.
Patrick: That’s the way to do it.
JD: Obviously, that’s the simplest way and probably least effective way. But the most effective way is on the other end of the spectrum where I would take the risk and actually build a mock-up website for them. And the most productive way to do that is I’ll take a sector at a time, for example, camping grounds. I look at this last week; absolutely crap websites, nine out of 10 were absolute disaster. So, I go, okay, these guys are in desperate need of a really nice website. So, I could build one basic template for them and tweak it a little bit for each big ten that I would go for, for example, and say, look, I built a website, maybe shooter on loom and do a bit of a walkthrough, you know, a 32nd video. And people are more likely to look at a video, especially if it’s customized for them. So, that’s on the other side of the spectrum. That’s a lot more time intensive of course, but I’ll give it a shot. And we’ll say, we’ll look at the numbers and if it works out, if it’s productive effective, then that can be streamlined as well. So, my goal now is to build a system and streamline role so that I can scale it down the track and outsource to others.
Patrick: So, what’s the question then?
JD: The question Is, what you would have done? You’ve been at it longer than I have. There must be better ways to, for example, the sourcing so, where’s the best sites to source these contexts from that’s one-way, best marketing methods or anything that’s worked for you. You learn through doing stuff and safe mine learning curve. Maybe you’ve gone through some learning curves, which you can send me at a time, and I’ll be appreciative of it.
How I Got My First Clients in the Early Days
Patrick: So, when I first started out, I was definitely playing the long-term game. I focused a lot of my time and energy on SEO to improve my Google rankings for a very specific keyword. I really want it to have leads coming into me automatically inbound, but that takes time and investment and patience.
JD: When you say it takes time, how long did it take you from the moment you start putting in the keywords for SEO and so on. How long did it take to get people to approach you a month?
Patrick: Probably two years.
JD: Oh, really?
Patrick: Oh yeah. When I say I played the long-term game, I played the long-term game. Now it doesn’t mean I didn’t use other channels for sourcing clients because I needed clients from the beginning. But what I did is I built my business on the while I already had a job. As then I didn’t have the pressure of constantly needing to get new clients. And the other additional thing I did was I made sure that every client I acquired, I was continuing to receive passive income from them via a hosting and maintenance. There are so many web designers who miss out on that crucial source of revenue because what that does is every new website you build; you’re building your automatic revenue each month. So, it means you need less clients each month. So, after two years, I got to the point where I had enough of them that I could quit my job and pursue it full time without worrying about if I don’t get a client this month, am I going to be able to pay the bills? But yeah, it took about two years.
JD: You still think that it will take a year or more to be effective with SEO and keywords and even Google ads. For example, I would have said months, but I don’t know. I haven’t been there and done that.
Patrick: It’s so competitive and Google is constantly changing their algorithms to prioritize. I mean, eventually, honestly, a few years from now, it’s going to get… Google’s slowly getting to the point where they’re basically stealing people’s content and putting it directly within their search browser and they’re slowly making it a pay to play system the same way Facebook did and what they did with Instagram, you know, where they allow you to join for free, you build up all these followers and subscribers, and then one day they say, yeah, we’re only going to show your posts to 10% of your audience. So, what you’re seeing now, when you search Google is, you know, they always had Google ads, but now they have, instead of one or two at the top, they have five or six. And then you start seeing the organic results.
Actually, there was a great example. I searched for something the other day. I forget what it was, but there were five ads. Then there were three map locations. Then there were two featured snippets. And then it was the organic results. The featured snippet is literally then pulling content from your site and just displaying it directly in Google so that people don’t even have to click. So, you have these fights now where like Google in Australia I think it was the government was trying to tell him [inaudible14:17] but other fighting. And you can’t really blame them because Google is just straight up stealing people’s content to answer their user’s questions. It’s a better experience. Yeah. It’s a better experience, but you’re stealing the hard work that people put into making a good content. That’s going to happen more over the next few years.
JD: So, you don’t believe Google ads works in an effective way.
Patrick: It can definitely be effective, but its Google ads is its own beast. It takes a great deal amount of time and financial investment, tons of tweaking, modifying and patience because Google ads is extremely expensive. You’re talking about paying for web design. You’re talking about paying $30 a click. Wow, $30 just for somebody to click your ad not for acquiring the actual lead. So, you have to be really good at your ad Copy, your landing page copy. Usually all I have to say is $30 a click and people are like, yeah, no. So, I like your system but like you said, the challenge is how do you stand out from these millions of spammers? I get dozens of emails every day of these crappy web designers, trying to pitch me their services. I’m a web designer that shows that they don’t even do the research. It’s just [inaudible15:50].
JD: I get it too.
Patrick: It’s a meme at this point. So, when I was first starting out, I tried to be different in the sense that I would build a homepage for them. I would already… I would go through Google maps to a similar system. I think you said yellow pages you have to use. And I would just go through and look at the websites for all these local businesses, restaurants and whatever had a really crappy one. I would just take it, pull the content from the home page, and redesign it for them. And I’d say, hey, this is what I did already. The home page does this interest you. And even if you only get 20%, 25% of them to buy the revenue to the hourly revenue rate is fantastic.
JD: That’s what I was curious about because I’ve tried that as well. I’ll tell you a funny story in a second, but what I was curious about is the return investment. In other words, what percentage you mentioned that 25%, was it really like one out of four that actually said, okay, I’ll buy the website that you built for me.
Patrick: Only once I got better at the system. Once I got into a flow, once I started seeing how people respond, what their concerns are like you learn as you go like anything else in the beginning, it was legit. Probably five, 10% would actually buy it.
Why Client Acquisition is a Process That Requires Tons of Practice
JD: I would say one out of ten, but I’ve only done it for a two like that. But there were people I knew. So, it’s very different if you know them, if you don’t know them. So, that’s why I decided to take the risk. What I did for them is I asked them, Hey, you know, I looked at your website, it looks pretty ordinary. Do you want me to transform for you? they will say yeah, well I guess we do need a new website and we’ll get back to you tomorrow. So, in the meantime, identify them already. So, without them paying a cent or even coming back saying, yeah, we want to get it done, here is it for you. And then were like, wow, blown away. How in the hell did you get this done? So, I did that again for someone else they were blown away. But again, these are people I know so, I could take the risk. To do that, to anonymous people, I’m totally guessing. One out of 10 possibly would come back and say, okay, you’ve done the work. I’ll buy it off you, but I don’t know. Maybe it could be five out of 10 or three out of 10. So, that’s one thing I was curious about whether it’s worth the time investment to go out of the way and build it for these companies that you don’t know.
Patrick: Yeah. So, in like anything else in the beginning, it will be a struggle. But there’s a couple of other benefits to this. The first one being when you’re first starting out, you need to practice and improve your skills and get better at building websites and how do you do that? Most web designers that are starting out, they don’t have the motivation and incentive to just sit down at their computer every night and just build a website for some random, just practice for a website they’ve never heard of. I’ve actually given assignments to people like here’s a, I made up a brand, a logo and say, build a website for this. Is there like a paragraph about who they are, and they love it because then they have specific request, specific goals to follow.
What is a better way to get solid practice in and also have the potential to get paid for it. And a huge aspect of web design is sales. You have to get comfortable with sales and learning who your ideal client is, who you don’t want to work with Because that’s just as important as learning the clients who want to work with, you need to learn which ones you need to run away from. And you’ll learn very quickly, you’ll be able to see just from looking at a Google maps business listing and be like that person, no matter what I do, won’t be interested in a website, and save your time and you move on. For example, restaurants, you need to know what kind of category of restaurants are willing to put in an investment for a proper website. If you’re just going to, for example, like local takeout, like a Chinese restaurant locally about a website, no one goes to a website to order Chinese food there. It’s their neighborhood, Chinese restaurant, like they don’t care and that’s fine, that’s their business model. But if you’re looking at like higher end restaurants where they know that people are searching online for really like premium meals for their Friday, Saturday night date night, they need to have an awesome presentation and show their whole menu.
JD: I totally agree with restaurants. I did that again yesterday looking through, for example, yellow pages and the in certain countries like let’s take Australia, for example, the vast majority had good websites, so, seven or eight out of ten it wasn’t very effective. Let’s take another country like in Czech Republic, for example, it was the reverse seven, seven out of 10 needed a website. It was ugly and It’s like restaurant certain standard, like you mentioned, so, you can judge that pretty easily in a restaurant. Then you’re looking at accountants, lawyers and so on a service such as a lawyer or an accountant, try to sell their financial services, having it totally insanely ugly website is totally unprofessional. It’s in our brain. And we have like a couple of hours of their fees that they would normally charge. It makes sense. So, there’s certain sectors or categories where it makes a lot more sense economically effectively to approach. So, I totally agree with what you’re saying, but the question is, I’ll go through this myself over the next month or two. But if you have done that before, what were the numbers like? How effective was it? Did you find it different in certain sectors or certain cities? Or where did you see the differences in terms of those that said, yes, I want a website transformed.
Patrick: Yeah. Like I was kind of saying, it’s learning as you go. Like, when I first started, I was like, well, what restaurant wouldn’t want a great website. Everything’s like…everyone’s looking up Googling types of food in the area, but that’s when I started to learn, well, no, it’s only certain niches of restaurants. Some don’t rely on their website at all. They don’t need it and especially now with like Uber eats you know, all the takeout, that’s just coming to them. It’s almost, it’s not nearly as important actually for restaurants to have their own website. It’s all listed within someone else’s platform. So, things are constantly evolving. You have to be on top of those things. Lawyers is a perfect one because a, they make great money most lawyers, anyway, unless they’re doing like pro bono, like, unless they’re a good lawyer and try to change the world. There’s not many of those. You know, they’re not going to be too cheap.
And you know, like you said, they have to have a professional presentation, like thorough. They’re a lawyer. So, they’re a great one to reach out to. But yeah, like I mentioned before it’s just part of the process in the beginning, you will just get like one out of 10, but as you start to get more practice, see how people are responding to it, figuring out what types of niches respond more to others, trying to get into the head of who your lead is, who your client is, what are their needs? If you were them, why should they buy this from you? Why would they need it? Why is it so important? And then working backwards from that?
How to Get People to Open Your Cold Emails
JD: Yeah. On that point there, you said get in their heads. That’s always what I try to imagine, when I’m sending these emails, for example. So, from their point of view, Oh my God, another email, spam, crap, whatever. I’m the same. If I don’t recognize the person, I won’t even open it. I won’t even look at it. It’s invisible. So that’s now on the other end of the table where I’m the one sending the email. I want them to open my email. So, if you’ve got any tips and tricks on how to best get through that, you know jungle, that would be awesome, because or maybe email them is not the best way to go around doing this.
Patrick: You’re absolutely right. And that’s exactly why I have something to show them every time I send them an email, I build them a homepage. I literally will put in the headline, I’ll find out their personal name, not just Hey, insert business name here. I’ll find out who owns it. I’ll do research online, I’ll find that personal name, maybe it’s on LinkedIn. And in the headline, I’d be like, hey, Jason, I built you a new website. Like, how do you not click on that? And don’t write a whole thing, where paragraphs of stuff and all this stuff, you don’t just like, explain exactly what you did. Like, I’m looking to get new clients. I know you get tons of these emails all the time. So, I put the work in already. Here’s a link to the homepage. Let me know what you think.
JD: So, you actually put a link to the home page. Do you do it every time?
Patrick: I put an actual link so, that they can see it on their phones on their laptop, whatever device they’re using. And they can see a live version of their new site that if they choose to go forward with it, and you immediately show that you have the skills. People talk they’re like, I could do this, I could do that. And then there is no trust in the web design industry. It’s almost a joke at this point.
JD: So, that is a good way. And that’s why I’ve done it again, on your two examples, though. But again, for them to open the email, you may have built a great website but If they don’t open that email based on the subject name, then you’ve built the website for nothing, and they won’t even know.
Patrick: Well, no not for nothing, you still get value in the practice that you got building that and what you can do, you’ll find they’ll start building systems and processes into your web design. So, if you decide I’m only going to go after lawyers for the next month or two, you can start building out templates specifically designed for lawyers. And that will cut down on the amount of time it takes to do these previews. And your ROI will go up. So, it’s not for nothing, obviously, you want them to buy. But it’s not a complete waste of time. And that is the rub; you have to invest the time upfront, to convince most of these people.
JD: Sure. It’s one thing I was considering is that actually month by month; take a different sector, whereas now I’m doing it day by day. So, today, send out to your real estate agent, for example, tomorrow, cell phones or whatever, right. But you know, it is in the back of my mind, I haven’t done yet to just focus one month, one sector, it’s just like you said you can then really get in and build a template. But that comes back to the question of how effective it was. I was curious as to how effective it was for you. And if you got one out of 10 or three out of 10, who actually buys the website, then you’re actually spending your time on the stuff that you love doing, which is building the website, and not actually the marketing side of things. So, that’s the other advantage.
Why You Need to Niche Down in Order to Grow
Patrick: So, you niche down. I always tell people pick a niche from the beginning. And there’s lots of web designers, they’ll go, I’ll start from the beginning, like I’m only going to build websites for dentists, my whole business will be focused on building websites for dentists. And that niches down that use, it makes it easier for you to rank for specific keywords, for example, dentists that are looking to have websites, and you get to know your market better, your industry better your ideal client and your sales, improve your sales copy improves, like instead of trying to be everything to everyone,
JD: On that point when niche is down, my niche is simply transforming websites. So, I don’t build websites, I don’t just do websites, we transform them. So, they have to fit in certain boxes, which I mentioned before, one, two, maybe three stars to five. If they are less than three stars, we will transform the website, from crap to beautiful. So, that’s the niche at the moment. The niche you mentioned before was sector niche or category niche. That’s something I haven’t really focused on like if you say you this month will be dentists next month, you do lawyers or whatever it may be, you ranking won’t go higher, because the same website as web Transformers dotnet will still you know, offer its niche in terms of transforming websites but not being a specialist in a certain sector. So, that means maybe you’re referring to have a separate like dotnet/dentist, dotnet/ lawyer or whatever it is. That’s one way you try to get higher rankings by having something.
Patrick: Right. So, there is kind of two different channels we’re talking about here. There’s the outreach, and then there’s SEO, for SEO, it’s definitely beneficial to niche down. And I do personally have a separate landing pages based on the industry, but I could only do that once I had a large enough portfolio to represent that industry. Because I can’t just put up a landing page for you know, websites for dentists never having built a website, no one’s disingenuous and no one’s going to buy from that.
So, I only do it once I noticed, I have like five or six from this niche, I can put together a full dedicated landing page and use sales, copy, and messaging that attracts that specific type of niche and that buyer, because dentists will think different from lawyers, from restaurant owners, from carpenters, they’re all different people, they’re different industries with different needs. So, absolutely, that’s viable. But even if you’re just skipping the SEO stuff, and you’re doing just cold outreach, like you said, instead of switching day to day with different niches, go a full month and go in on everything about that industry, and really get to know it and learn it. And you might find that after a few months, you’re like, wow, this industry really doesn’t pay off that well. I only convert like 20%, whereas this one I get 40%. So, I’m going to focus most of my time on this one. For whatever reason, these are either I’m just better at selling to these people, or they have specific needs that I can meet.
JD: Yeah. So, week by week or month by month, what would be the difference? I mean, one difference, obviously, you’ll know them better if you take a full month.
Patrick: I feel like a week isn’t quite long enough. I think a month would be. So, I would say just tell your assistants to only focus.
JD: I agree. If you’re stuck in a career for one month, which is not very effective, you’re losing a lot of time. That is the only reason that I would say do it week by week.
Patrick: That’s the game, that’s the patience, and that’s the challenge, really, because I feel like if you only give it seven days, you’re not really going to invest the time necessary to really get to know it. You might like what if you put in the seven days like, Oh, this isn’t really working. But all you had to do is stick around for another seven days. And it would have worked. There’s this really great illustration that I always go back to basically it’s a guy who’s digging in a cave he’s digging for diamonds. And you see the diamonds he’s digging, and the diamonds are just on the other side and he gives up and he turns around but the guy at the bottom kept on digging, and all he had to do is swing a couple more times. And it was right there. That is the perfect metaphor for starting a business to getting clients.
JD: The other end of the argument is weekly sprints. And in my tech business, we do weekly sprints. But that doesn’t mean you cannot extend that weekly sprint times for the whole month. So, yeah, any other effective ways before we get on to the tech questions; any other ways or means that were proven effective in terms of getting new clients on board?
Patrick: I think we covered that pretty well. Let’s get to the techie stuff.
The Differences Between Some of the Major Website Builders
JD: Okay. So, one of my two questions would be, I started with Squarespace, because I had my own sites on Squarespace. And then I moved on to GoDaddy because it’s got other benefits for Squarespace. Obviously, I could have started with WordPress, but the fact is, I already had a site on Squarespace my profile. So, I started there. And so, now I’ve got two platforms, which I use to build sites for other clients.
However, if I bought a site on GoDaddy or Squarespace, they cannot take that website and hosted somewhere else, which is a big problem. So, my question to you is, is there a way around that? And if not, do I have to use a third platform, say WordPress, which everyone in the world presently using WordPress, which is more flexible in a way, so, they can plug it into any hosting, you know, preference that they may have. So, I guess the question is what are the pros and cons of those three different platforms? GoDaddy, Squarespace and WordPress.
Patrick: Right. So, there’s most website builders, other than WordPress just are exactly like you just said, they’re their own self-contained ecosystem. So, if any point you wanted to export your website and transfer it somewhere else, you can’t. That’s a major drawback. There’s no way around it except I will say I did come across actually had a company reach out to me a hosting company; they claim they’ve built an AI. Everything’s AI these days, but it’s kind of a marketing term, but they built a tool that can automatically export a Weebly website and re import it into WordPress without you having to change anything. So, I’m actually in the middle of reviewing that and testing it out for them. So, I’ll be talking about that soon. But up until this I’ve seen nothing. In fact, when I moved all my clients from Weebly to WordPress, I had to rebuild every single site into WordPress. So, it is a drawback with website builders, but you have to think about your ideal client. The reason why… there’s two major reasons why I started with Weebly one, I was still learning web design, and Weebly was one of the easiest website builders to use. Second, my ideal clients, small business owners were people that were looking for affordable websites, and then a website that they can manage on their own afterwards and make little text changes or photo changes fairly easily. Your WordPress is not like that. It’s not that simple. But Weebly is. So, if that’s the idea of my ideal client, then that’s the right tool to use. Whatever is best for the client is the best tool to use WordPress reports. What’s that?
JD: But you have different types of clients and therefore, you can’t cover all platforms? You’ve got to choose? One, two or three.
Patrick: For sure. So, at some point, I decided with Weebly the cons were outweighing the pros. And I had evolved my web design skills, after a couple of years of using it to a point where I was ready to progress to something else to WordPress to the next level. And yeah, it changes my ideal client. So, I did do that. So, but when you’re starting out, when I say niche down, that is what I mean by niche down because I specifically looked for small business owners who are looking for affordable options. When I say affordable, I’m talking like three to $500. And then we were able to do it. Because Don’t forget… you got to remember the passive income afterwards. That’s the key.
JD: Okay, got it. For your ongoing hosting slash editing offer is it monthly or yearly.
Patrick: Monthly or annually too if they prefer, but most people prefer monthly,
JD: Like RCM. But what if they don’t feel the need to update the website every month? They feel like, okay, I’m wasting money every month, where you know, I only need it once a year, I’m sure you get clients like that.
Patrick: Yeah, sorry. I got a spider hanging right in front of me.
JD: Yeah, I wasn’t sure where it was coming from.
Patrick: Did you see that? Parallels of doing [inaudible32:36] they you hold twists on rapid web launch. Yes, what was the question again? Sorry.
JD: What was the clients’?
Patrick: This is great, great content.
JD: We were talking about GoDaddy Squarespace and all that oh gosh, hold on.
Patrick: Niche, ideal client, and website builders. If I leave this in, people are going to be listening and be like you were talking about this, you moron.
JD: Oh, there’s a spider on the screen.
Patrick: Yeah, see, all it took was three seconds of distraction. And I’ve lost my train of thought.
JD: That’s what happens.
Why You Should Start Building Recurring Revenue Right Away
Patrick: Pricing. We were talking about the pricing and convincing. Okay. So, yeah, you have to convince them that it’s not just about that, even if they don’t need to do their own edits, you have to convince them of the value that’s in it, because there’s more than just doing the edits, If they had then be able to have the ability to do the edits. There’s high performance hosting. And I say high performance because most people cheap out on hosting and they go to Bluehost for like three bucks a month, their website gets stuffed on a server with 10s of 1000s of other websites.
They’re all fighting for resources, and it loads terribly. I know website loads terribly people won’t stick around and get punished by Google. It’s a huge factor that people do not think about maintenance, keeping your plugins up to date keeping your WordPress or your platform up to date, making sure it’s secure from attacks from hackers. People get their websites hacked all the time, because they have passwords that are easy to hack, and they don’t have proper protection. So, all of these things is a list of maintenance, because once a website’s launched and needs to be kept up to date and maintained, that is all included in that service. So, yeah, it’s hosting and maintenance. Yeah. And then I have a separate package for. I charge $39 a month for that now.
JD: That’s like $40 a month, yeah, roughly.
Patrick: When I started it was $29 a month or $30.
JD: So, basically for hosting that I can get on GoDaddy for 10 to $20. Squarespace, I think charges $20 just hosting, so there’s an extra 10 to $20.
Patrick: If you go to GoDaddy and get hosting, they won’t even include SSL certificates all for free. They let you pay for everything.
JD: Evaluate the passive income you can generate from that; make sense?
Patrick: Because you’re meeting a need. There are so many small business owners that know they need a good website but can’t afford it. They don’t have the upfront cash. They don’t have the cash to spend to drop a $1000 or $1500 on a good website. So, you’re giving them basically an option to kind of subsidize it over time, like it’s basically a payment plan. And most people are happy to do that because they don’t have to drop $1500 on a guy that they don’t know if they’re going to get results from right away.
JD: Well, our results are done in one week. So, one week, they’ll get to not only see the results, but use them. So, chump transformation one week. That’s what we offer. One price, one transformation one week; done.
Patrick: Perfect. So, we have about five more minutes to have to get on another call.
Why You Should Use a Preview Link Instead of Screenshots
JD: Okay, one last point with the Squarespace, for example. So, let’s say I’m using that platform GoDaddy or Squarespace and I want to show the client the website, like we’re talking about before, you cannot have an anonymous URL, it’s going to hang off a GoDaddy or Squarespace URL, so the only way to get around that is shooting a video on Hulu and taking them through the website without showing them the URL, in which case, you’re not actually giving them the website to play with, like you mentioned before. So, what do you think about that?
Patrick: Why don’t you want them to see the URL?
JD: Oh, so basically, I’m going to say I don’t want them to see it. But if you send them a GoDaddy URL, or Squarespace URL, I guess they’re going to feel locked into that, which will, I guess, they are right, but they don’t have to be right. So, if I could build a website or another platform, that’s just an example, I’m showing them, so for me, it’s easy to build on those platforms. So, I would love to show them this is what your site would look like. But who knows, they may not want to be tied into a Squarespace or GoDaddy,
Patrick: But your average person isn’t going to know the difference between any of those, they won’t even know that WordPress is the most versatile and you can move your WordPress site to different hosts, like, again, it comes down to what are the needs of your clients. So, if you have clients that are mainly like enterprise level clients high end, then yeah, that’s definitely a consideration because they’re going to want more access to like servers, the back end, like they will have more demands. But for the average small business owner, they won’t care. And if they want to transfer away from you, they could always just go to Squarespace as standard hosting and can be like, okay, like, you don’t want to be with me anymore. That’s okay. So, where’s the option, I can transfer you to this company. They’ll host your website for you. And that’s the price they charge.
JD: Which is what? Sorry, I wasn’t sure what you mean by that.
Patrick: I actually don’t know what Squarespace charges for their hosting.
JD: I think $20 fixed fee. Okay.
Patrick: Yeah. The only downside is Squarespace is as far as I know. And the last time I checked, they don’t have a special dedicated platform for designers where they can resell the hosting.
JD: No, it does not, I don’t think squarespace.com [inaudible38:22]
Why Patrick Isn’t a Fan of Squarespace or GoDaddy
Patrick: I don’t like that about Squarespace at all. Because what I that’s one of the things I loved about Weebly is it’s, you know, their standard hosting was 20 $25 a month. But if you were an actual, if you’re a web designer building website on their platform, they would you could sell the same service for $8 a month, or you would pay $8 a month, and then you can collect the 20 $25 a month and make a profit.
JD: I think that’s what GoDaddy does, isn’t it? I don’t know if you’ve used it before.
Patrick: I stay far away from GoDaddy. I know. They’re one of the worst hosting companies in the world. There a monstrosity, the customer service is brutal. They have to constantly try to lock you into things with automatic auto pay every year. So, you get emails like Hey, you got billed for this again, and they make it extremely difficult to transfer domains away from them. It shows to me it there. I just think they’re one of the worst companies to deal with. But
JD: I don’t like the customer service in terms of the language or the stigma people who don’t speak native English.
Patrick: And it’s obvious it’s brutal, like they’re just too big.
JD: They are well renown company, you know domain, reseller.
Patrick: Branding, very smart marketing.
JD: Branding, right. Exactly, and the one of the advantages with everything is pros and cons. The one of the pros is that they have built in stock picks for free, right, so you don’t have to actually go to another service to buy awesome no photographs. And that’s something Squarespace does not have. So, GoDaddy has that, which is absolutely awesome; all in one spot,
Patrick: What’s the name of the tool or the resource they use?
JD: I don’t know it’s built into their platform?
Patrick: So, you may want to check that because it’s very likely they’re actually pulling from a resource that’s free anyway.
JD: Maybe, but it’s much easier anyway, you don’t have to [inaudible40:28]
Patrick: But it’s a good feature.
JD: Again the question was, you know, to show a client, I would use loom to shoot a video, which takes a bit more time, I guess, you just sending the link,
Patrick: I would just send the a link, keep it simple. And a video still leaves a little bit of doubt there. Like I don’t know where or how he made this video. A live link is like much better you, especially these days where you could fake videos so much like, people don’t know what to believe anymore. But if you send them a live link, it looks like their website is already done. It’s the most effective way I could sell somebody on a cold sale on a first email when they don’t know me.
JD: What about a mockup a level down where it’s not a live link, it’s actually a mockup of the main page, or maybe two pages, something like that.
Patrick: Same thing, though… then you’re sending an image that can easily just be photoshopped on a fire link. It’s not it doesn’t have the same. If you say I built you a website already here’s the link that’s like what it grabs people’s attention. And what you do is you use a link tracker. So, you use like Bitly, it’s free, put the link in the Bitly, and then use that link and send it to them. Then you know if they clicked on it. That’s important because you if you don’t receive a reply, you have no idea if they opened the email at all. Or if they opened it and clicked on it and just didn’t answer like knowing whether they actually clicked to see it that’s huge. And if you know they clicked it reach out to them again in a week or two.
JD: Yeah. So, I don’t see an issue with them seeing a GoDaddy or Squarespace your domain.
Patrick: I don’t at all. I mean, I still recommend you don’t use GoDaddy. But that’s… everyone’s got personal preferences. So, that’s just that’s just mine. JD, I got to get going. I have another call in 10 minutes, but this was great. I look forward to seeing how your business evolves and how your skills, your design skills improve. And yeah, let’s keep in touch. Well, where are you from? By the way, where are you located?
JD: Australia, Prague, Japan. Trilingual tracking countries. So, I was born and raised in Australia and Japan.
Patrick: Oh cool. I thaught you were Australian.
JD: Japanese websites are absolute disaster; they are back in the 90s.
Patrick: Are you still in Japan.
JD: Not now, not today and not this year with the Coronavirus. Normally, I would travel there every month. But since last year March it was all put off obviously. So, now we’re stuck at home working from home. Oh well.
Patrick: The life we live. I’ve been doing that for the last five years. This isn’t new for me.
JD: Get a team you have an office to go to as well you know now, we’re all home gels, but I’ll let you go. You’re off to your next call. So, thanks for speaking and keep in touch.
Patrick: Yeah, no worries. Stay safe. Take care.