1-on-1 with Patrick is a series of web design coaching sessions for wannabe web designers.
In this episode we have Trisha Manabat from Baguio, Philippines! We discuss:
- Where Trisha is at in her web design journey
- Why Trisha made the pivot from graphic design to web design
- How online “teachers” can make learning web design very confusing
- Should you learn to code as a web design freelancer?
- How to sell yourself as a web design expert
- The critical importance of content marketing for web designers
- How often can Trisha call me? ????
- Final thoughts
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Tools & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
Where Trisha is At in Her Web Design Journey
Tricia: I’m doing fine. How about you?
Patrick: I can’t complain. Your name is Tricia?
Tricia: Yes, that’s right.
Patrick: And you’re in the Philippines, right?
Tricia: That’s correct, sir.
Patrick: What part of the Philippines?
Tricia: Baguio City, are you familiar?
Patrick: That’s South of Manila, right?
Tricia: No, it’s not. It’s the opposite of Manila.
Patrick: So there you go. I don’t know anything.
Tricia: That’s okay.
Patrick: So why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself, where you’re at with your web design journey.
Tricia: Okay. So to be completely honest with you, I have like 0.01% knowledge about wed design, because I was just starting out. I decided to like go for web design last week because I was really into graphic design and been learning that for almost like three months now, since the quarantine started. Right now, I am just familiarizing myself with the software’s used in wed design. So, I Googled it and watch many videos on YouTube, and I have come across your video which talks about like steps on how to become a good web designer and the fastest way to become a web designer. So I saw there that you discussed that you should start to pick your web design tools, like Weebly, WordPress, Elementor, et cetera. So, yeah, that’s about it for my design journey. I’m just starting that’s it.
Patrick: Okay, very cool. So have you picked a tool?
Patrick: What made you decide to go with WordPress?
Tricia: Well, it’s because according to your videos, it’s because of your video, actually. It said like WordPress it’s like the King of mostly all websites out there. You said that 30% of all websites out there are powered by WordPress.
Patrick: Yeah, WordPress is definitely the most popular CMS or web design platform for sure. It’s the most commonly used. So why did you transition from doing graphic to web design?
Why Trisha Made the Pivot From Graphic Design to Web Design
Tricia: It’s because I’m not really quite sure with my niche yet. So I chose graphic design first because I really think it was the easiest one among all the design niches. But I thought that Whoa, wait a second graphic design is way too broad in some part of some aspects of it– How do I call this one– it’s factors. Well, meanwhile, that web design is much more specific as a niche.
Patrick: Okay, good. So you already know about finding a niche and everything. All right, so then what is your biggest question or concern struggle that you’re dealing with right now?
Tricia: Well, my biggest question right now is, how can I improve myself as a web designer and what should I really do to learn the fundamentals and the technicalities of the design? Because there are many information out there, but I just don’t think that their information is specific enough for me to actually apply it for myself.
How Online “Teachers” Can Make Learning Web Design Very Confusing
Patrick: Okay. Can you give an example by something not being specific enough?
Tricia: For example, I have come across some blogs that says that I should really need to start with HTML and should enroll with some courses. Because even though I know how to design HTML still needs to be there so that I could actually push my designs into its limits, because there are things that– how do I say this one? How can I put it into words? So there are things that we need to incorporate with HTML so that our design will actually or practically work in some aspects that might not work in some aspects. Am I making sense?
Patrick: Sure, yeah. I think I talked about this in the past, I made a video about web design courses and learning web design in general can be very confusing. A lot of people have different opinions, including myself. All I do is speak about how I did it and how I personally recommend it based on how I did it what I’ve learned about learning web design. What I can say about the whole coding thing is that I don’t believe it’s necessary to learn HTML or CSS or any of that stuff because the web design industry has completely shifted from custom coded projects to platform based projects. Whereas, so like picking a web design tool like WordPress or Weebly or Shopify or Squarespace, or even something like Webflow, you know, Webflow is a more advanced tool for web design, but even it doesn’t use coding.
So people who say, oh, you have to learn HTML CSS; I would like to question them as to why. Why is it necessary in 2020 and beyond to learn HTML and CSS? The only reason I can think of is it depends on what your goals are. If you plan on becoming like a developer where you’re doing advanced custom projects, then sure you’re going to want to know how to code. But even that stuff, to me, be better off learning something more about developing, like the backend stuff, like building databases and server management. And I mean, there’s a whole other different– there’s all kinds of different types of coding languages that apply to that. I don’t even touch that stuff because I’m not interested in a developer. But if you’re interested in– let me ask you, are you more interested in doing freelancing, like building your own web design business or do you want to get a job as a web designer?
Should You Learn to Code as a Web Design Freelancer?
Tricia: Oh, I definitely prefer to be a freelancer.
Patrick: Then I definitely don’t see why you would need to learn how to code; there’s no reason to. 95% of people in businesses that you’re going to be building websites for; don’t need high end custom projects for their businesses that you can build anything from template these days. You can even build your own custom templates without learning how to code. So, if you’re asking me “What’s the simplest and quickest way to learn web design in my video about learning web design fast?” I break it down into four simple steps. Really it’s you pick a tool, you learn everything about that tool you can, and then you practice, practice, practice, and then you sell yourself as an expert as that tool and your niche. So you know about niching already, which is great. So you pick a niche, pick a tool, and then it really just comes down to practicing as much as you can.
Tricia: I see, no, no more coding and anything?
Patrick: No coding. No, not if you’re– if you’re looking to build a freelance web design business, it’s not necessarily to learn how to code. And frankly, a lot of those people who say that you need to know how to code; a lot of them are just trying to sell a course on coding, you know? And so, if someone is trying to sell a course, their job is to convince you why that course is necessary, why that information; that knowledge is necessary. A lot of these guys built courses for coding years ago when it was more necessary and are still trying to sell it and trying to convince people that it’s still necessary so that they can make money selling the course. Does that make sense?
How to Sell Yourself as a Web Design Expert
Tricia: Yes, it does. Thank you for that. Okay, so I have this other question that I’m really want to get answers from you. How do you sell yourself as an expert? Like, is there any process that you do to make– sorry to present yourself as an expert to your clients?
Patrick: Okay. If you were looking to hire a web designer to build a website for you, what would you like to see and how would you view a web designer as an expert?
Tricia: Well, I’m looking for their experience and portfolio. And other than that, I think I would ask them how they plan to do this and how they would deliver the results.
Patrick: Good answers. You already know way more than you think you do. You’re farther along than you think you are. Absolutely, so the first one you said was experience portfolio. So you don’t have a portfolio yet, right, because you’re just starting. So your first priority is going to be building that portfolio, displaying examples of what you’re capable of doing; showing people. The second one was– Oh man, I lost my train of thought. What was the second one?
Patrick: Yes. Experience, okay. And how do you get that experience? Like experiences kind of– experience is similar to portfolio; you’re showing people your experience, what you’re capable of doing. But, what people will want to read often are the experiences of other customers in the form of reviews, right? Reviews are very important; testimonials, so it is kind of twofold. You show physically what you’re able to do through your portfolio, and you also show the experiences that your customers have had by reviews and testimonials; happy customers. Now I remember the other thing you said was showing the process. How I do that is through my content, through my blog, through my YouTube through this podcast, like that’s how I’m displaying my expertise. That’s how I’m showing my potential clients what my process looks like; what it is. So, the more content I put out, you know, a lot of people say, well, why are you just giving this stuff away for free; this is how you make money?
But it’s actually the opposite. You give it away for free by showing what you know; what you’re capable of doing. So like in addition to, it’s not just people that want to learn web design that find me such as yourself. It’s people that need a website and they see my channel, my YouTube channel, they see my blog, whatever. And they read or watch some things like, Oh, this guy seems like he knows what he’s talking about. I’m going to contact him to help me build my website. So portfolio, customer reviews, testimonials, and as soon as you can, as soon as you’re comfortable with; try producing content and just, you know, have a blog, have a YouTube channel and show people what you know; what you can do.
The Critical Importance of Content Marketing for Web Designers
Tricia: Well, I think I’m going to have a hard time with the last part.
Patrick: I know, I know everyone says the same thing. I said the same thing and yeah, it does take lots of practice and it takes time because you do have to have something worth sharing. If you’re just starting out, you don’t have that much to share because you’re still learning yourself. But even that is part of the process is, you know, when I first started writing my blogs, they were horrible. Horrible, really bad writing, basic generic stock images, really short, like it wasn’t worth reading, and it took me a couple of years’ worth of practicing with writing. Like, I deleted all my old blog posts. I didn’t even keep them on the internet. They were so bad. But, it’s just part of the refining process. It’s part of growing and improving. And now, after a few years of it, I’ve gotten to a point where I have a flow. I know how to write blogs. I know how to make YouTube. I know how to make some podcasts, and it’s just part of the journey; you get better as you go. But for you, that’s definitely the last part of the process. Like your priority should always be build up that portfolio and then get reviews, get testimonials, get other, they call it social proof basically, from other voices saying, “Hey, this girl really knows what she’s doing”.
Tricia: I see. Okay, all right. So I’m very happy with that. I think all of my questions have been answered.
Tricia: Yes, that’s it.
Patrick: That’s it. That was easy. That was only like 15 minutes.
Tricia: That’s just my biggest question, like the coding and how you present yourself as an expert, because I think the ‘hows’ were already answered clearly in your video and you were able to like back it up more with this conversation with you. So yeah, you have answered all of my questions. Thank you. I just want to clarify; this is like a one-time thing, right?
Patrick: What’s a onetime thing? Oh, this conversation.
How Often Can Trisha Call Me?
Patrick: Yeah. I mean, as of right now, yeah, to be honest, I have so many people reaching out to me to do this, and I have my own business that I have to actually continue to run at the same time. So, I might not be able to do– you know, I love to do something like this again with you down the road, but I can’t be available on call basically. But if you have, you know, a question here or there. Are you in the launchers community that I have set up?
Tricia: Oh, I’m sorry. I’m not aware of that yet.
Patrick: That’s fine. Yeah, so I’ve built a little community where people can sign up for free and talk about web design, ask questions, like, so feel free to jump on there and post some stuff, ask questions, and then I can answer them, or people in the community can answer them. I made that exactly for people like you who have a lot of questions and, you know, I can’t always do a one on one call, but this helps with a lot of it. So it’s yeah, rapidweblaunch.com/launchers.
Tricia: Well, I’m very sorry about that because I just subscribed to your channel like last Monday, yeah.
Patrick: Okay. Actually I love how quickly you moved on this because you’ve only subscribed last Monday. You said you only been doing or practicing working on the idea of web design for like a week, week and a half, and you’re like, you’re taking action. You contacted me like right away doing phone calls. You’re watching videos. That’s great. Keep at it.
Tricia: Okay. Thank you very much for that.
Patrick: No problem.
Tricia: Yeah, all of my questions were really answered.
Patrick: Perfect. Okay. Well, thanks for stopping by Tricia.
Tricia: Thank you for taking time as well, Patrick.
Patrick: No problem and I look forward to seeing you on launchers.
Tricia: Me too. Okay, thank you.
Patrick: All right, take care; stay safe.