1-on-1 Web Design Coaching Session | Episode #6 Philip Marks

Table of Contents

1-on-1 with Patrick is a series of web design coaching sessions for wannabe web designers.

In this episode we have Philip Marks from Kent, England! We discuss:

  • Where Philip is at in his web design journey
  • What types of questions web design clients typically ask
  • The dangers of using old-school SEO strategies
  • Additional features you can use to charge more for your web design services
  • The democratization of web design and graphic design
  • Why old blogging tactics don’t improve your SEO anymore
  • Why websites are all starting to look the same
  • Philip’s experience with Google Adwords
  • Why Patrick never made social media a major part of his marketing strategy
  • Some additional challenges you’ll likely experience with web design
  • Final thoughts


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Tools & Resources Mentioned in This Episode


Episode Transcript

Where Philip is At in His Web Design Journey

Philip:    How’s it going?

Patrick:    I’m okay. Yeah. I can’t complain.

Philip:    Well, pleased to meet you.

Patrick:    Pleased to meet you as well. That’s a pretty sweet home you got there.

Philip:    Oh yeah. It’s um, it’s a 14th century listed building.

Patrick:    Wow.

Philip:    Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Patrick:    Yeah. That’s sweet. How’d you end up with that? Have you had that like your whole life or,

Philip:    I’m just renting. Yeah. I just, just wonder, can you see the window?

Patrick: I can. Yeah.

Philip: Yeah. So right across from the pub.

Patrick:    That’s beautiful. What more could you need? So why don’t we get started, Philip? Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself and where you’re at with your web design journey so far.

Philip:    Okay. I want to start off by being a bit cheeky, Patrick, I’m sixty years old. How old are you?

Patrick: I am 31.

Philip: You’re 31. OK. So in 2005. Maybe it was 2004. That’s the first time I’d built a website. I’ve run my removals business since 2002. Um, so yeah, that’s the first time I built a website and I got it straight to the top of Google, top of the first page straight away.

Patrick:    Really? That’s awesome. So how did you build that site?

Philip:    With some cheap as chips 10 pounds site builder. Yeah, absolutely. So a lot has changed since then. Um, so since then, I I’ve given up on building sites. I’ve got other people to do it. I’ve got frustrated. I can’t get exactly what I want. Um, so I’ve done it myself. And about 14 months ago, I started going back into building websites again. So one, one of the sites I gave you the link to, I built that. I know it’s got some things that are rougher on the edges there, but I built a, and it ranks well. So it doesn’t right now, the top of Google, but it ranks on the first page for about five different search terms. Nice. I’ve got that pretty much sussed that, you know, okay. You can’t give anyone a guarantee that you can get to the top of Google for them, but I know what the difference between two sites that appear to be identical one ranks the other doesn’t I kind of worked out a lot of the differences, um, today.

Patrick:    Yeah. Okay. So yeah, you got the fundamentals down well enough, so that’s awesome. So are you bringing in any customers from that?

Philip:    No, no, no. It was only two months ago that I wasn’t really thinking that I’m going to go for a big change in direction. So two months ago, the second site, the Wolf Designs, when I gave you the link to that didn’t exist, that wasn’t there at all. So, um, I’ve built that quite recently. Um, so my 25 year old son has a business and, um, it made sense to give him a website, but he doesn’t need a website that badly.

Patrick:    Okay. So you’re just kind of toying around and getting some practice.

Philip:    Well, I’ve built him a website. He hasn’t even, um, sorted any products. It’s a WooCommerce site. He hasn’t even sorted the product side, even though the site’s been up about three weeks,

Patrick:    Maybe four weeks, you know, it sounds very unappreciative.

Philip:    Well, he’s doing really well. He’s really busy at work. Um, his business is going great. So, you know, he, he’s not, he’s not worried about that, so you’ll get around to it.

What Philip is Currently Struggling With

Patrick:    Alright. So if you are doing pretty well, you know how to build websites, you even know how to do a bit of SEO, a what do you need me for?

Philip:    The, the biggest thing about starting a new business is getting your first customer. So, and I’m not talking about getting them to phone you and say, can I book you? I’m talking about them leaving a positive review on your page, or your Google, my business page them saying, thank you very much. You did really well, right? Blah, blah, blah. Um, that, that, you know, once you’ve got to that stage, um, you still got the stabilizers on, you know, the bicycle is still got the stabilizers on, but I think what’s going through my mind is I probably work out how to get sales leads that first contact, whether it’s by email or by telephone, that first contact, can you build the website for me, if I’m a moving house for someone as a removals contractor, about 1%, somewhere between one and 5% of the customers are our ideal customers about, you know, about one or 5% of them have got all of their small things, packed in boxes, all of their, they know the deal. They’ve moved lots of times before, and they don’t ask any stupid questions and they don’t phone you 20 times between the time they booked and moving day. But the other 95% are in perfect customers.

Philip:    Well, it’s obvious to me that, you know, I’ve got 19 chances out of 20, probably 99 chances out of a hundred. The first customer is not the perfect customer. Firstly, it occurs to me that he’s going to phone up and say, can you build me a website? Yeah. I’ve looked at your site. I’ve seen that. You’ve got some samples sites. I say, yeah. What about the photographs in the text? And he says, what? And all of a sudden you’re into researching keywords. You’re into writing content, you’re into stock photographs or taking photographs for him. But I might be wrong about that. You might turn around and tell me that no, none of the bill like that they’ll turn up with perfect content and a clear idea of what they want. And so that’s really, my question is, is this hypothetical first contact with the customer?

What are they likely to ask? Are they likely to ask for content? Are they likely to ask for photographs? Are they likely to ask for SEO? It seems to me quite obvious that they’re bound to ask for hosting, but maybe they, they put you get the old one that says, no, I don’t want hosting. I go, I’m on my own hosting.

What Types of Questions Web Design Clients Typically Ask

Patrick:    Yeah. So good questions. Uh, I would say first off, it really depends on who your ideal client is and what type of client you’re going after and how you’re drawing in these leads. So all of my leads come through SEO through, uh, my high rankings and Google for a bunch of keywords. Okay. People find me and they submit contact form request to quote. Now, uh, the keywords that I rank for, and then I targeted are specifically centered around, uh, small business owners that tend to look for affordable web design. So that puts me right away, uh, in the general mindset of most of my leads. So affordability is an issue. Go ahead.

Philip:    Um, so I decided to target, um, small businesses, business startups, and do small affordable websites for them. And then I typed, so you want to be a web designer, question Mark into YouTube and I found your video and I that’s how I found you. So I’d already decided to go for that type of client before I found you

Patrick:    So that you’re going to be targeting a similar client. So, okay. So I’ll tell you a little bit about their mindset. We know affordability is going to be amongst the top issues for them. They don’t have a large budget that tells you a lot because a smaller budget is going to put more constraints on the project. It’s also likely going to mean that they won’t know much about web design, that won’t know a lot about all this stuff. You mentioned the technical details, um, because usually the type of person that knows that stuff already will a either attempt to build their own website or be a, it will be part of a larger company, like perhaps a part of a marketing team. And we’ll have a specific, specific criteria of what type of web designer they’re going to be looking for. So for the type of leads, when you and I are targeting, you’re looking, they’re going to be looking for affordability and they don’t lack of knowledge of web design in general.

So that will be your challenge is really explaining clearly and translating your knowledge. Okay. Just something that they can understand and can basically visualize, because this is a difficult thing to sell web design, it’s all digital, there’s no tangible product. So people don’t know what they’re paying for. There’s a wide range of quotes and prices, and it’s extremely confusing. Um, if I, you know, if I ask you to renovate my kitchen, I, I have a clear result of paying this amount for this, this and this. I see every step of the way as the kitchen’s being, being remade and rebuilt. And then I see the final product. Whereas with the digital side of it, all they see is the final product. They don’t really know all this stuff, that’s going into it, how much work it really involves. So that’s going to be one of your biggest challenges is kind of communicating that and helping them understand if I’m charging you 500, 800, $1,500, this is what you’re getting. And this is the difference between the different prices.

Philip:    They not necessarily likely to ask for anything on the list of things that I put on that email to you. They’re there. They’re not likely to know the difference between keyword research and SEO, and either the difference between hosting and getting a domain name and they really need educating on all of the little fine details.

Patrick:    Yeah. It’s like you said, it’s a difference between 95% of your leads and the 5%, you know, about 5% end up being your ideal client where they’re like, I want this, this, this bang, bang, bang. I can spend this much. What do you got for me? And you just, yeah. Then it’s, it’s like a dream. Those are your dream clients. Um, but that’s not our role as web designers for 95% of people, we have to help them understand what it is they need based on what they’re looking for. What, what, what features, uh, what capabilities calls to action, what would best suit them for what they need? What’s the objective of the website? And reality is what their budget is because you can build a, you can build a lead generating website for a few hundred bucks, a basic one page landing page, and you can also make it a big 10 page website that generates leads as well, but has more additional features and might generate a better quality lead, you know, just as an example. So yeah, go ahead.

The Dangers of Using Old-School SEO Strategies

Philip:    Yeah. I’m with you on that because my removals company website has got about five identical pages and they are landing pages for different towns, well city. So, so they’re designed to rank well naturally in those places and also, you know, not make the customer think, Oh, this is a firm from out of town.

Patrick:    Yeah, that’s good. So you, so you do have a, you do have a more advanced knowledge of SEO than most, uh, web designers or web designers that are starting out that I speak to. So that’s good. Uh, you know, I myself have multiple landing pages depending on the product or service. One thing you want to watch out for is Google is starting to catch onto the location based landing pages. So if you’re getting, if you’re going to do that, just to ensure that there’s enough of the copy of the content itself is different for each page. Like you, you kind of rewrite, rewrite certain wordings or phrases paragraphs, because if you’d just basically duplicate the content and then just change the city name that has worked for quite a while, but Google, I think about six months ago, they’re like the jig is up. We’re going to start. They don’t see that as a valuable context too.

Philip:    I’ve been through loads of mental effort to sort that out.

Patrick:    Oh, you’ve done it already.

Philip:    Well, I’ve got all of those five pages that I mentioned, two of them at the bottom of the page, I’ve got what I’ve called a relocation guide. And that’s basically a link fast. It’s, it’s a, it’s a paragraph saying, you know, if you’re out of town and you’re moving to this town, um, you know, this is a guide and it goes into the, the council, the schools, rubbish collection, parking restaurants, I’ve just really gone to town on it. Um, because you know, I understand that worry and the, you know, that’s done, done really, really well with ranking. That’s great. That’s great. Good job. Well, basically, you know, I’ve just done better than anyone else.

Patrick:    There you go. It’s a, it’s simple, it’s hard work, but it’s, and most people are not willing to put in the hard work.

Philip:    Right? Yeah, I agree. Yeah. Yeah. There’s, there’s a lot, a little bit about it, but I’m getting that person. They want, they know they want a website they’ve owned, seen my advert, or they’ve seen my big, fully ranked natural website and they’ve contacted me and likely to get, and you know, that’s really well, what I’m concerned about is, um,

Patrick:    Are you worried about your ability to communicate these things to your ideal client? Well,

Additional Features You Can Use to Charge More For Your Web Design Services

Philip:    I’ve been going around in circles with this thing, this whole thing for about two months. And about three weeks ago, I discovered scalable vector graphics. I just sort of assumed that mad nerdy people liked making icons in their bedrooms. Yeah. But it used to be the case, not anymore. Well guess what you, you can, um, you can not only I’m downloading, Inkscape make yourself a logo, but you can put, you can, minify the SVG and you can put it in line with the HTML. And all of a sudden you can do a whole pile of really smart stuff that I thought was really smart, but actually it’s quite easy to do. Um, so I spent quite a long time learning that, and it might be useful to know how often that comes up and what do I want, do I want to learn to do it myself? Do I want to have a white label, third party person that I go to to make logos? You know, what’s the likelihood that someone comes to me with, they want a website and they say, Oh yeah, we’ve got a logo. We’ve got pictures. Or what’s the likelihood that they they’re going to turn around and say, actually, I haven’t got anything. I haven’t got a clue. Um, so if they all turn around and say, we haven’t got a clue, well, that’s a huge area of the business that you know, wants to be addressed.

Patrick:    Oh, absolutely. No. You’re going to find that a, there’s a great opportunity to, uh, basically upsell your services and include a lot of these other services. I’ll tell you a bit like 90% of my clients don’t have a logo. For example, when they come to me, they’re, they’re just starting out. So a lot of the additional services that they could use, like graphic design logo design, absolutely. You’d want to have something set up. Even if you don’t want to get into custom logo, design yourself, it makes, it might make sense to have a freelancer on hand to handle that service part of your service for you.

Philip:    So 90% of small businesses are coming to you and saying, we’ve got no brand. We’ve got no image.

Patrick:    Yeah. I would say, I would say 80 to 90% don’t have any kind of logo or branding. And it’s just starting out for me personally.

Philip:    So, so, so that’s a biggie, you know, you, you can, um, you, you can spend 30,000 pounds buying a logo if, if your Cadbury’s no seriously.

Patrick:    Right. But again, we have to think about who your client is. They’re looking for affordability, right? So again, that’s their mindset, that’s what you’re targeting. So if you want to get someone that’s going to pay 30,000 pounds for a logo, you’ve got to target a different, a different type of client.

Philip:    Well, my, my son went on to Fiverr and he got a logo for his website, um, from someone in Bangladesh and it cost less than 10 pounds. It’s great. There’s, you know, I wouldn’t have done any better. He got what he wanted. Not only that, but he was able to say, well, you’ve given me four options. I want a mixture of option two and option four. That was all included.

The Democratization of Web Design and Graphic Design

Patrick:    Yeah, no, there you go. Like the democratization of web design and graphic design, the rise of these online, uh, services has been astronomical, especially in the last five years. Uh, like getting a logo made for 10 bucks was never even remotely possible. Now there’s a very good chance. I can pretty much guarantee that that, that, that designer didn’t draw anything by hand. Like he didn’t create this thing by hand, but what he likely did was took resources and parts from these online tools that you see and put things together, adjust color, like, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Especially, you know, you get what you pay for you get, because you can still pay, like you said, you could pay 30,000 pounds for a logo and get like a full, you know, a full brand basically. And the full, you have a whole marketing team based around. I mean, I still think that’s way too much for any company, but they pay people, pay that companies pay that. Um, but that’s where the range of prices comfort for services, but for the opportunity for small business owners and freelancers and newbies to get online and get this type of high quality work has never been better.

Philip:    Hmm. That’s that’s really worth thinking about it’s, you know, I mean, it’s, it’s only this year that that’s been slowly, uh, you know, going into my mind, I’ve not thought about it, but, um, I’ve come across, you know, I watched quite a lot of stuff on YouTube and maybe the odd hangout and that kind of stuff. And someone on a chat room was saying, yeah, you know, for years, we’ve just been going to Indonesia and getting content written and then selling it to America.

Patrick:    Hmm.

Philip:    And, you know, it’s amazing when you think about it, but yeah.

Why Old Blogging Tactics Don’t Improve Your SEO Anymore

Patrick:    Yeah. So that in particular that has been done for years and that got people’s rankings boosted, uh, that unfortunately is no longer, like that’s gone, that air has gone for SEO. Um, it won’t cut it anymore. If you want to rank for, uh, for challenging or target keywords, like high keywords, high traffic keywords, uh, you gotta be producing really good quality content. And the reality is, uh, it’s not that you can’t find great quality content from those parts of the world. It’s just that they’ve specialized in doing cheap, doing cheap content for a long term and cheap content. Doesn’t cut it anymore. So for me personally, I write all of my blog posts. I create all my content myself. I make the videos I made the podcast because, uh, there is no substitute for your expertise and your knowledge and your voice. You know, I could, I could try to go out there and hire a ghost writer to write this blog post for me, based on the criteria I’ve given him or her, but it’s not going to come across the same way.

And a lot of people tell me the big reason why they found my content or they love my content is that they feel that connection with me directly the way I write sounds like how I talk. It’s very personal people connect to that. And that’s, that’s just coming down to, to developing your skill as a writer and a storyteller. If you can get really good at copywriting, that is the most valuable skill right now, even more than SEO, because you can get a website to rank really well in Google, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Bringing people to your website is just one piece of the puzzle. Once they’re there, you have to find a way to convert them into a customer. So you see lots of websites that get tons of traffic, but they’re not getting any revenue from it or not enough because once you get there, uh, it’s just not optimized for conversions. The writing, the copy is boring. The images are full of just generic stock photos. There’s no custom vector illustrations. There’s no, it’s not visually the user experience. Isn’t very good. There’s a whole other, uh, level to converting customers, not just SEO. So if you can get really good at writing copywriting, especially storytelling, man, people pay a lot of money for that. Okay.

Why Websites Are All Starting to Look the Same

Philip:    Hm. It seems to me that there’s a great big trend of putting up draw on your website. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that draw

Patrick:    Up draw?

Philip:    Yeah. Well, but you will see these websites. They’ve all got graphics…

Patrick:    With people. So typically a graphic of someone sitting on a desk with a computer in front of them drinking coffee. So like an illustration, like a vector. So that’s the thing, that’s the dangers of the democratization of this stuff, right? Because it’s more affordable and accessible than ever before. What you’re going to start seeing is that so many websites they’re going to look the same and they’re going to all, they’re going to start all, you’re going to be able to, you’re going to be able to spot every single website that’s used. Exactly. Which one of these tools or images like I know where you got that. And the problem with that is there’s, that’s the lazy, they’re not, they’re not putting in the effort to, it’s good to use those resources, but use them as a foundation and then customize them and tailor them to the message you’re trying to share on your website.

You can’t just take the image and just plop in your site. And like, even if it’s a really beautiful quality illustration, uh, people are, people are starting to grow numb to seeing the same things over and over. I can’t, I can’t believe how many that’s a good point. Cause I can’t believe how many, um, SAS companies like software as a service, you don’t have the same look and feel the same colors. It’s like white with a bright off color purple or green or something with like the wavy bubble look. And then that illustration of some person typing up their desks with a coffee. Like it’s so generic now. And that used to be a gorgeous custom website like five years ago. But now it’s been, so it’s become so accessible that people are just taking the lazy way out. So that’s gonna, that’ll start to rebound.

And that’ll, that’s why it’s never, it’s never been more important to really get good at looking unique and getting a unique message and getting good at the writing aspect of it. Okay. Hmm. I suppose your, your small local business, isn’t going to be worried about that. They’re just going to be worried about, you know, let’s make a start. How can we make a stop cheaply? Right? So that’s where the disconnect can come. And that’s where you have to, where I tried to tailor my offerings to people based on their budget, based on their current needs and circumstances. And I’ve turned out lots of people, you know, they say, I need this, this and this. And here’s my budget. And I just like, I’m sorry, but that’s not possible. I can’t do that for that cheap. And frankly, you’re not going to get the results you want at that price.

You know, it’s going to require if you want it, that’s the result you want or expect. You’re going to have to invest this much. It’s going to require this amount of investment. So I’m always very honest and transparent. I’ve turned away a lot. I’ve turned away some really well paying clients too, because, uh, either a, I felt like they would be trouble clients that would take up way too much of my time. And when you even be worth the high amount of money I would get, or be even with the significant investment they’re willing to do it still wasn’t enough, uh, for what they wanted to achieve with it. Cause, um, some people want to go after some very, very highly competitive keywords and SEO has never been more competitive than it is now. And it’s changing a lot changing quickly. Google is they’re even slowly starting to phase out organic results in the first place.

If you look at, if you Google anything and look at what comes up, the vast majority of space is now taken up with ads, people that pay to show up at the top and that’s what Google wants because they don’t get any money for ranking a URL for free. They want us to pay to show up at the top, you know, so that’s, that will probably come in the next couple of years, that’s going to be a whole new era of challenge, but that’s why people need to diversify and have content like on YouTube. Cause uh, Google prioritizes video content. Now when you search stuff, even podcasts, they’re starting to show podcast episodes and audio clips in results. Um, Google my business, you mentioned it earlier, extremely important local businesses, especially if you’re a local business, you need to have a Google my business page and get reviews because that is going to prioritize. Google is going to see that and prioritize it for their local search. So that’s extremely important as well. But yeah, SEO is constantly evolving. Google’s changing their algorithm like every six months. It’s not an easy game.

Philip’s Experience With Google Adwords

Philip:    So going back to what you were saying about advertising. I was spending 2000 pounds a month, which is 3,400 Canadian dollars on advertising for my removal company that went to a lead generator who then sent the money onto Google.

Patrick:    Okay. And what was your ROI? Did you get a lot of clients?

Philip: We were a busy company. Yeah. We did lots of, lots of stuff. I’ve got a knack it back to show for it, but there you go.

Patrick:    Hence the change in your line of work.

Philip:    Yeah. But any, any way you, um, I, I get it, you know, advertising is really important and Google just makes money hand over fist. I mean know, yeah. I’m, I’m paying on bidding 20 pounds, which is $34 for a click for a removal company for one click. Yeah. Oh yeah. But that’s the big, that’s not what I pay on average. I would pay about half that.

Patrick:    Okay.

Philip:    But on occasion I would pay 34.

Patrick:    Yeah. As far as you have to be willing to that’s the whole point of the bid. Right. As it gets more competitive.

Philip:    Yeah. And it depends on who’s competing with you, Andy, what the customer types in and, and all of that. So yeah, I really get that. That’s, that’s a big, big deal, but, um,

Patrick:    And that’s okay because like, you know, especially small business owners, they don’t really, a lot of people don’t look at spending money for something like advertising in the right way. You could spend $10,000 a month on advertising as long as you’re making 20,000 from it. Right. The whole point is, is to get a return on it. You can spend a hundred thousand every month, as long as you’re getting 200,000 in rent, like then it’s worth it. You’re making a profit. So it’s not so much the issue of like, yeah, it is getting, I guess it’s becoming less accessible. Like most small business owners can’t afford to do Google ad words anymore. They can’t usually they can’t afford to pay 30 to 40 bucks a click unless they at least have some, it’d be nice to have a guarantee that you’re going to get a return on it. But if they go one or two months spending a thousand dollars each month, and they’re only getting a few hundred dollars in return that would put people, a lot of people under, you know, when you’re first starting out.

Philip:    I think it depends on, on particularly which business you’re in, whether you’re talking about dentists or lawyers or, you know, um, you prob probably someone that’s got a little flourish shop. They’re not going to be spending that much money. But, um, someone that’s a lawyer will be,

Patrick:    Or web design, web design is expensive. Right? Yeah. It’s very competitive. It’s very competitive. Yeah. Yeah. So I decided to go the SEO route when I’ve started out, I decided to take the longterm strategy. Uh, I saw the value for SEO. If you can get yourself to rank for good keywords, it is a lead generating machine that is essentially free. At this point. It takes very little for me to maintain and update, to keep my rankings high. Um, and that’s how my business grew. That’s how I get all my leads. That’s how people find me. That’s how you found me through YouTube. Right? Creating content. Yeah.

Why Patrick Hates Social Media, and Never Made it a Big Part of His Marketing Strategy

Philip:    But you don’t like Facebook.

Patrick:    Hate Facebook. Oh my gosh. I know a lot of people are making money on Facebook. Um, I don’t like social media in general. I’ve kind of sworn off it. The only last tool I still use is LinkedIn because I still get some value from LinkedIn. But even that is becoming, it’s starting to turn into Facebook. It’s supposed to be a professional social media network. Uh, but it’s turning into means and politics and all kinds of stuff that I don’t want to get into. I, you know, um, and so, and with Facebook and Facebook in particular, their business practices and the way they just, what they do with people’s data. And I just, I hate their whole business model. It’s just a personal thing, but I get that there’s opportunities to make money on it. And I also don’t like, I just don’t like how they do things.

I don’t like that. They built this massive user base, no concept of it being free. And they get all of these businesses to get these pages. Are they getting customers to like their page and subscribe to follow their updates? And then one day they just decide, you know what, all those people that already are subscribed to you, you’re going to have to pay for them to see your posts. It doesn’t matter if they already like your pagers just subscribed to you. And so, and that’s what they have the power to do. All of these platforms do Google has the same ability to do that. They can change whenever, whatever they want, but Facebook, Facebook just feels particularly dirty to me. I just don’t. I don’t like it. So that’s me personally. But if you get, if you can get into Facebook ads, I hear a lot of people who are doing quite well with them. Then Facebook makes a ton of money.

Philip:    I think that you can advertise much cheaper than on Google, but I don’t really know. Um, but what, what I use Facebook for personally is specialized groups.

Patrick:    Yes. Yeah. Community.

Philip:    I’m using the oxygen site builder and the, the, the specialized group for oxygen site builder uses, which is run by the people that invented oxygen. Um, that is just gold.

Patrick:    Valuable. Yeah. For sure.

Philip:    You know, you more or less can’t use oxygen without it, because it’s really super versatile. So it’s easy to trip over making something, um, act in a certain way and you didn’t know what went wrong or whatever, you know, once a month there is a, there’s a post on there saying, Oh, I’ve just put a website up and the width is wrong or mobile. What’s all that about, you know, there’s always an answer for that. And so, so you get really good technical stuff. There really good another Facebook groups as well. You know, I get I’m on an SEO one as well. There’s a few people that run SEO ones then because I’ve paid attention to them. I’ve, I’ve worked out, you know, the difference between something that ranks and someone that doesn’t.

Patrick:    Yeah, no, there’s, there’s community groups are fantastic. I a lot from them as well. Um, there’s a lot of different platforms where you can find those things. When I was on Facebook like five, six years ago, I was a part of a bunch of groups. So I get what you’re saying. Those are always valuable. I just wish that you could access those without actually getting the rest of the junk of Facebook. I just want the groups, you know, so I found something similar, like on LinkedIn, I connect with a lot of SEO, high level SEO people. I learn tons of stuff from them and, uh, yeah. Community. And that’s why I built my own community as well. That’s separate from any social media platform. I control everything. I host, I host it. Uh, so then I don’t have to worry about algorithm changes or, you know, the platform I go, you got to pay $20 per post. Now, if you want everybody to see, like, I want it to be free for everybody forever and I have full control over it. So, uh, we have about five more minutes. Do you have any more questions for me? Any other concerns?

Some Additional Challenges You’ll Likely Experience With Web Design Clients, and Final Thoughts

Philip:    Um, no, but I’ll, I’ll go through that email I sent you and, and maybe we’ll quickly, um, just rush through all of this and see what you think. So you’re saying that the small businesses that want websites, 90% of them 80% want some sort of branding logo design, because they haven’t got that yet?

Patrick:    Yes. For our ideal client. Yes. I would say that’s the case, 80, 90%.

Philip:    Do they also want, um, stock photos or have they got their own photos or?

Patrick:    They will never have their own photos. Almost never. So they will expect you to provide those, but they also won’t mention it. It’s not something that they rarely are just like how many, how many photos are included. It’s not really, it’s unlimited. That’s just what every website provides now or should.

Philip:    Okay. So, so you, and, um, hosting, they just expect you to do that and sorta domain out for them.

Patrick:    Not necessarily. I would actually say a large number of clients either already have hosting or would like to host it elsewhere, but that comes down to, because my hosting services are a premium service. They’re more than just hosting, it’s hosting and like management. So it’s like a managed, it’s like managed hosting, they call it. So

Philip:    Yeah, I understand. You’ve, you’ve hosted, not all hosting is the same and some is faster than others.

Patrick:    Yes. Uh, so I have my own dedicated server, so that’s very high performance fast. And I keep the website up to date, plugins, security, all that stuff, daily backups that’s included in it, but some people want the cheapest. So they go to Bluehost for like three bucks or whatever.

Philip:    Okay. So you’re gonna give me the same answer for this, but I’m going to ask it anyway, content writing and keyword research that a small business that comes to you for a website, they haven’t thought about the content and they haven’t thought about, um, what, what their customers might be searching for. Think it’s also

Patrick:    Biggest challenge by far is getting copy, getting content from the client. So I try to make it as simple as possible. They understand their business and their product way better than I could. So I asked them at the very least, if they can send me an outline of what the page would look like a rough draft, so that I can get an idea of the product service, what they’re offering, and then I can fine tune it and make it attractive and interesting. So the base an outline would be great.

Philip:    So perhaps sending them a questionnaire might, might be wise so that you can just glean information about their business so that you can write it.

Patrick:    We could. Yeah. Uh, I’ve chosen not to do that because I find the more documents you send people, the more they get overwhelmed and just don’t bother, apply. Uh, I try to keep it conversational and I just make them, and I take notes myself. So if it takes a 20 minute, uh, call, phone call and you just chat about things and I write things down, okay, this, this, this, and this, you gotta make it super simple for people because otherwise they’ll get overwhelmed and just won’t bother with the site at all. Don’t make them think don’t make them think they don’t have to.

Philip:    Okay. So none of them asked for a set up of their Google, my business page because they don’t know about it.

Patrick:    They don’t know about it. So that’s on you. You gotta, you gotta tell them that’s important. And that’s a particularly frustrating thing because you can’t do it for them because it’s tied to their Google account. So you don’t have access or permission to that. They have to set up the page on their own. So you’d kind of have to just highlight how important it is if they’re, especially if they’re a local business. Right. Okay.

Philip:    And presumably then they’re also not thinking about Google Analytics and tag manager and pay per click advertising, unless they’re a special cookie, unless they’re a special cookie. Yeah. Right. Okay. Right. So that’s, I don’t know how many of the five minutes got used up there, but-

Patrick:    No, keep going let’s let’s finish them up.

Philip:    Well, no, I’m just, just saying that, you know, really, they, they want a sort of everything to do with the website and they just need educating about, so really? Yeah. If you’ve got a small business, if you’re targeting small businesses, you want to educate them as much as you can.

Patrick:    Absolutely. And that’s why all my content is centered around that my blog posts my videos. I try to, to create content that educates people about web design, but also what they will need in their website that they’re going to, that they’re looking to build. So that then I can be like, so this is all the stuff you need. Why don’t you let me do it for you. I have like called the action to do that stuff, convert them. Yeah.

Philip:    But then, then they turn around and say, well, we’ve only got up and saved money to pay you.

Patrick:    Well, then that’s a different conversation. Then I try to help. I also have content about building it for free or do it. Like I have that. You can go that route. I totally, I totally get it. I, when I started out, I had no cash to hire someone. So I learned how to do everything myself. Just like you’re doing you Google you YouTube, you consume a ton of content and then you just practice. And that’s what I did. And so I respect that. Anyone wants to do that.

Philip:    Sure. Right. Okay. Well, I’m super grateful for your time, Patrick.

Patrick:    No problem. Philip. This was fun.

Philip:    Cheers!

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Patrick Antinozzi

This post was written by an organic being with the help of AI. Pretty wild that I have to disclaim that, eh? I'm just trying to provide value. It's not always the prettiest or the most succinct.

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