In episode 015, my guest Geno Quiroz (a man who needs no introduction in the Divi Community) shares how to successfully White Label Your Web Design Services. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, in short, White Labeling means working under another agency and designing/building sites for their clients. It’s not an approach that I’ve been too interested in or have capitalized on but after this talk, I see that there are loads of benefits in going that route and it’s also ideal for freelancers who are building their business and networks up. It’s also great for folks overseas who are in areas where the currency isn’t as high as the U.S., Europe, etc so you can work with folks globally at a higher margin.

Geno’s white labeling services account for a big percentage if his revenue with his agency at Monterey Premier and gets into the weeds as to how to offer it, what you need to know/be prepared for, how to separate yourself from other designs, how to add more value and more. It’s an in depth conversation that is GOLD all the way through.

For those in the Divi community, you likely know him from his personal site at where he became the godfather of sharing his code, offering free tutorials, etc for Divi and WordPress. He was really an inspiration to me in launching so it was an honor to interview him in this episode of the podcast!

In This Episode

00:00 – Introduction
03:52 – Greeting to Gino
06:01 – Growing organically
12:59 – A back-up business plan
16:13 – Clarify your services
25:55 – Why get into white label
34:31 – Importance of customer service
36:12 – Build relationships
40:43 – A live explanation of builds
45:58 – Benefits
57:35 – Impressing agency clients
59:22 – Discussing the financials
1:05:29 – Growing pains
1:10:28 – Advantage to learning
1:13:31 – Affordable template launch
1:22:40 – Final thoughts

Connect with Geno:

Links mentioned in the episode:

Episode #015 Full Transcription

Josh 0:17
Hey, everybody, welcome to episode 15. And this one we’re talking about white labeling your web design services. And for this talk, I brought in a guest who is I would consider a master at this topic because it’s a very large percentage of his web design agency. And if you’ve been in the Divi community for a while, you know this guy needs no introduction and it is the one and only Gino kiddos. If you are new to Divi or the Divi community and you are not maybe sure who Gino is he is essentially like The Godfather of tutorials for Divi and he created a personal brand

Josh 0:57
And if you’re like me, and you’re an ignorant American, and you’re wondering how the heck to spell that it’s QUIRO I will have that link in the show notes for this episode if you want to check that out. And long story short, you’ll hear in the episode he used that site to give a lot of the information he learned about Divi and code and CSS and snippets away really kind of spurred the momentum for the Divi community being such an open book and such a welcoming community that shares their knowledge and was a big inspiration for me to get started with this endeavor. And then he started a web design agency called Monterey premier since he’s based in Monterey, California. And that is where he does all of his white label web design services. And if you’re not sure what white label means, in short, and we’re going to talk about this more in the episode. But in short, it means that you are designing for other agencies. So you maybe have your own freelance business or web design agency, but you’re actually working for other designers, whether it’s with Divi or just WordPress in general.

Josh 1:54
And then you’re working kind of through them with their clients. Now, I have not taken this approach, I actually only have one white label web, white label web design client, however, and it’s interesting because I was actually very averted to it because I didn’t really see the pros and the benefit of it. However, after this talk, Gino has really opened my mind to the benefits of this. And I know it’s gonna be super helpful for you, especially for those of you who are just starting out, maybe you’re not good at sales, maybe you don’t want to do a lot of that and of the business. Or maybe you’re in a place in the world where maybe the dollar isn’t as much as it is and Europe or US or Australia or more. You know, other other countries who have a different dollar margin, white labeling is a great way to go and it’s a very viable business model. So you’re going to love this talk.

Josh 2:40
Gino was very, very gracious with his time and really got into the weeds about how to do this successfully. So you’re gonna love this. I think it’s one of my longest talks so far, but it’s gonna be well worth it for you. It really covers so many good in depth things before we dive in. This episode is brought to you by my web design process course. And one thing I wanted to mention we talked about this later in the episode is that my courses remember this, you can learn from my courses and take that and it can benefit you in so many other ways, particularly in white labeling. So you can learn from my process my 50 Step web design process on how we have successfully build websites from the ground up and how to submit it to Google webmasters and all that good stuff. And then you can use that for your work when you’re white labeling for other agencies. And then as you’ll find out if you can add value to the agencies you’re working with through white labeling it can really set you apart and you’ll become more valuable to so with that said check out my web design process course it’ll help you in numerous areas as you continue on your web design journey. So without further ado, guys enjoy this very in depth and fascinating talk with my boy Gino kiddo. Gino, welcome to the show, man. How the heck are you doing?

Geno 3:52
Doing Great, Josh. Thanks for having me. I’ve been looking forward to being on this podcast for a while.

Josh 3:57
Well, I’m excited to have you man. We were just talking before we went live that it’s been like, what, at least like a year and a half? Or maybe maybe a couple years since we connected like yeah, it’s been over a couple years since we actually talked last. So I’m really excited to see how things are going into to pick your brain on what is a very interesting and I think hot topic right now in web design. And that’s white labeling, white labeling, white labeling your web design services. And you found a lot of success with that.

Josh 4:25
And it’s interesting because it’s different than my approach. And I’m sure we’ll talk about that because I only have one white label client, but you have many and it’s interesting to see that both paths can work. So really excited to pick your brain and to hear your experience on that and to share that with others. Before we dive into that though, for those who might be new to the Divi community, can you kind of just summarize me just briefly how you got into web design and then subsequently Divi and then white labeling because I think most everyone has been in the Divi community for a while knows you, but there are a lot of new people in the community. I’m sure they’d love to hear, you know, a brief summary of how you got involved with all this.

Geno 4:59
Awesome well Well, first of all, I’ve been a fan of web design for a number of years. But it’s always been a sort of a side hobby, something I did for fun for many years. And it had a business side business, I started a couple of them in my 20s and 30s, but nothing ever took off. And then it wasn’t until about 2012 or so, or maybe even a little bit earlier than 2010, that I really started to seriously consider making it a full time gig. And so I launched out in 2012, on my own as an independent freelancer for a number of different services. Of course, I didn’t have a lot of clients back then. So I did a number of different back office services. I did bookkeeping, accounting, marketing stuff for different small organizations and stuff. And through that, I really pushed website design services. And so in addition to having, you know, a couple of web design clients, I’d have some other type of work to keep me busy to allow me to grow that business.

Geno 6:01
Um, I got involved with Elegant Themes, probably right around the same time, maybe a couple of years before that, right before the release of Divi. And it was kind of my introduction into WordPress in general. And so I had a client that had an Elegant Themes website, pre Divi, and, and they needed some help with it. And so I jumped in and learned WordPress and kind of fell in love with it, and decided that moving forward, I’m just gonna work with wordpress if possible. For me, it was still kind of a new world, I didn’t realize how big the WordPress world was at the time. And Elegant Themes, I just continued using their themes. That was the first sort of theme I ever used for WordPress and decided to just stick with it after trying a couple of other ones after a couple of Elegant Themes built. And when David came out, I had been pretty comfortable with Elegant Themes been had kind of been in the forums, there really wasn’t a great big community prior to the release of Divi as far as the Elegant Themes community.

Geno 7:00
So it was really just WordPress in general. And, you know, I found myself going into the forums, as I was asking questions and looking for answers and ways to do tips and tricks and new things, my websites, I would see stuff that I could answer. So I would just kind of start answering people in the Elegant Themes forums, which are now close, but back then it was kind of where the community was.

Josh 7:20
I didn’t even think about that. Yeah, before Divi there probably wasn’t like Elegant Themes groups, right? Because there’s so many groups that around Divi, now it wasn’t like

Geno 7:28
Not at all. And just like you don’t see a whole lot of groups around other WordPress themes. But for those jumping into the Divi community now, it’s hard to imagine that there was no Divi community, you know, five, six years ago,

Josh 7:42
I don’t even have to think about that. Yeah, cuz when I got into it in 2016, and it was very well established at that point at that point. Yeah, think about that.

Geno 7:50
Yeah, so it was, you know, so in those forums, I kind of started getting familiar with helping people out and like, Okay, this is cool. I learned something from them. Somebody else has asked me the question. It’s not like I’m the wizard, I’m just taking what I learned and sharing it with somebody else. And then shortly after that, the Facebook group started popping up.

Geno 8:09
And you know, I just got involved in there, I started doing what I was doing in the forums in the Facebook groups. And before you know it, it just kind of got to a point where like, I couldn’t remember the things that I learned or did. So I started keeping track of them and an online archive, which started off as a side blog on keto Stuff co which was my agency business. And then that blog became the forefront of the whole keto co site because as that archive of tutorials grew, so that the traffic so did the visitors and before you know it, people were sharing and using my my tutorials with one another and it was sort of self promoting and growing on its own. So I decided to launch Monterey premiere as a separate business strictly website design and development. No more back office services, no more account. Okay,

Josh 8:59
I did I didn’t realize that I thought that Monterey came before keto co so Kira stock was actually first and then you did Monterey?

Geno 9:08
Yeah, yeah. So keto stock CO was first that was my first agency which then I decided, I basically what I decided is I wanted to kind of separate you know, stucco from a business website. I want the business website to be forefront, attracting customers, whereas my blog was really more of a resource sharing. But through that I was still attracted customers and Divi customers, which made it easier for me, because they were familiar with my work.

Geno 9:36
They knew what I did, they knew I use Divi. So it was a great lead magnet tool still still is. But I wanted Monterey premier just to be more clear upfront and target a broader base, not just telling users, but I want people who are just looking for a website to be able to find me whether they know about Divi or WordPress or not. But also I wanted to create a place that if you were to do Have a user needed a DB expert you do, you’re in the right place as well. So how do I differ? So creating a separate entity, I felt was the best option there. So we got moderate premiere, and Keynote co Monterey premiere was launched in 2015.

Josh 10:14
Okay, 2015 Gotcha. Gotcha. Yeah. And that’s a it’s a very smart move. And it’s funny because I’ve actually, I owe a lot to that whole, your whole story and your whole progression because you are really the first person I think of the Divi community. From what I know being that I wasn’t in the community at that time. But everyone says you’re kind of the godfather of sharing and the Divi community, because you were the first one who was super open about like, Hey, here’s the code I use. Here you go, where, typically, particularly in web development and design people are very, very weird about sharing their knowledge. Yeah, it’s one thing that separates you and I from a lot of other designers and developers, it’s also one of the main things that separates the Divi community, from other WordPress themes and stuff is because I think, yeah, you know, yourself, myself and others who are really open about our work and just sharing what we’ve learned.

Josh 11:04
It’s just, there’s so many pros to it, right? Like, there’s so many great it just opens up so many doors and avenues and, you know, I’m sure you thought this too, it’s like if Should I give away my code? Like should I charge for this there’s always that part that’s like, am I giving away too much for free but it definitely pays off in some way and it’s so rewarding, but I say that to say you were really the the first one to initiate that which is amazing.

Josh 11:09
And I’ve kind of I’ve kind of taken that model and applied it to what I’m doing as well because I looked at what you did with kudos Ko and your Monterey premier site and I realized that I kind of needed to do the same thing now I had in transit studios my web design business first but then I was thinking like, should I do my Divi stuff on that site? And I was like you know what, all my Divi stuff is basically people going to me so I’m just gonna go i i went to your website and I was like you know I Plus I Josh Hall comm was not available so I was like Josh Hall co sounds good work for Gino, it’s probably gonna work for me.

Josh 12:00
So I got you know, that’s, that’s kind of what I did as well. And I decided to do the exact same thing. The way your setup is now to where in transit Studios is the client customer facing thing. Most people who go there don’t even know what Divi is. They’re just business owners. And then people who go to Josh Hall co who use Divi, then, you know, if they’re interested in working with us, then I funnel them through in transit. So it sounds like that’s worked out pretty well for you right over the past few years.

Geno 12:27
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And just like you’re describing, you know, the couple of benefits. One of the things I like about it, is with keto, co I am promoting myself, in a sense, you know, I’m free to put by my regular blog posts, courses, opinions, tutorials, it’s it’s, it’s my personal space, whereas moderate premiere, I like that, even though it’s mine as well. As far as like, I like to take ownership of everything we’re doing marketing, promoting, and selling and their services and, and all that stuff.

Geno 12:59
But at the same time, I want it to be more of a team, sort of as we grow or even if we don’t grow to to some large agency, which is not necessarily one of my goals. But what I would like to see is Monterey premier be so whoever is a part of Monterey Premier, it’s not just Gino, where’s keto? CO Yeah, it is. And plus, the whole idea is, if I were to ever sell moderate premiere, I would still have my personal platform of blogging, when it should could change you know, maybe WordPress goes away. And I’m blogging about some whole nother CMS in five years. That so being able to have my platform and not feeling like Well, is it mine? Or is it Monterey premieres? Is it minors?

Josh 13:45
And it’s weird, isn’t it? Because I feel the exact same way with a transit studios. I mean, still, like, half of my clients don’t even know my business name. I’m just you know, Josh, the wet our web design guy. Yeah. But it has been interesting that now particularly since I’ve been scaling my business for the past couple years, as well, it really has become more of a team thing. And now my lead designer, Jonathan, he’s talking with clients directly and they’re working with him and not me, per se on every project now. So it is interesting that like, the the team aspect behind the brand business and how it’s almost like I guess my kids are babies right now. So they’re not into you know, they’re, they’re not adults and doing their own thing. Yeah, but I imagine it’s probably like that to where you’re raising this baby your business and then you kind of have to let it become its own thing, you know?

Geno 14:30
Yes. Yes. You got to let other people if you’re gonna take care of your clients, you got to let smart intelligent intelligent leaders lead and, and that’s not always you know, that’s good. If you’re hired well, that it’s most likely never you anymore.

Josh 14:49
That’s good, you know, and one one really important theme here that I don’t want to overlook before we move on to white labeling and stuff is the idea that you really need to think about The people who are in your customers who are looking at your website, like your demographic, because for both of our situations, if we had just wrapped up everything we were doing in one website, it would be very confusing. It would be confusing for people just needing web design services. And then it would be confusing for people who are looking for Divi related stuff or word WordPress related stuff, because they’re two completely different demographics.

Josh 15:24
And that’s so I guess I say that to say, I’m so glad that you did the route that I was able to kind of look at and model after because I probably saved myself from making a lot of mistakes. Because to put everything on one site, and then get authority, domain authority and all the SEO stuff involved, and then have to separate those two, that’s a whole different ballgame. Because then you’re getting traffic to certain posts on you know, then it can it can be a real mess. So yeah, that’s just one thing important to consider, I think for anyone who has particularly an agency or a business, but then they have something else that’s maybe similar, but not quite the same. Definitely recommend having different brands, whether it’s a personal brand or a different domain to really segregate the two so you don’t confuse your customers or your users on your website.

Geno 16:13
Absolutely. In fact, you bring that up, you know, for a while they’re moderate premiere, even though I had them separately to start off with Monterey premiere I kept throwing new stuff at it, and pretty soon it did get pretty confusing. And it was all about what we who we are our vision how we help people lots of images, lots of cool special effects. And but as I realized that as much as I wanted to avoid Monterey premier being stuck in the Divi kind of shell, the way kiddos CO and the leads coming in through their work. What ended up happening is we just started getting more leads for Divi anyways, you know that they know that they go to keto, psycho, they go to moderate premiere for the services. So I just started throwing in Divi expert services Divi white label and we had the Divi marketplace, which brought in the most traffic for many years, multi vendor where everybody was selling their products.

Geno 17:07
And the thing was, what I found is the bounce rate kept increasing because people would go and not know if that was where they needed to be. To say you know nothing about Divi. It’s like, Who are you you sell products, what’s Divi who’s Divi I guess you’re not a web designer. And then we have wept. Debbie people come in. And my whole front page is, you know, kind of a whole kind of slew of different things back then we’re offering like SEO services, social media marketing services were all over the place. And people just started bouncing away. And so in 20, late 2018 is when I made the big kind of redesign of Monterey premier in general. I remember that. And the key was, how do I let both non Divi users just to standard average Joe looking for a website, and Divi users know they’re both in the right place.

Geno 17:58
And you know what, it was probably one of the biggest challenges because because I have so much different content to point people to, I have to take away all the distractions, all the special effects and all the things that I love doing. So less graphics, less images, less colors, more content. Now that’s a web designers nightmare. Right? How do you make content look good and fresh in him without a bunch of special event? So I use a combination of both. But yeah, that was that was really key. And you know what that paid off big time, because leads in both areas increased right off the bat.

Josh 18:36
And it’s so go ahead didn’t mean.

Geno 18:40
So both the people coming that don’t know anything about WordPress or Divi those leads, incoming leads began to increase, as well as the Divi specialized service leads began to increase by helping them get to where they need to go. And though they were in the right space much faster than digging into the pages really helped convert much faster, much better. And so your point is correct. Be careful that you don’t confuse the visitor by throwing too much out there. So if you’ve got blogs and resources and web design, just make sure you break it up and you get people where you want to go as soon as possible. So know your demographic know that’s coming.

Josh 19:23
Yeah, that’s just 101 for web design in general is you know, make it simple. Make it stupid, simple. Make it failproof just you know, say what you do. Honestly, I think there’s a lot of power in just saying what you do and who you do it for. Because yeah, that’s and it’s so it’s you know, sometimes when you when you stumble onto something like you did with simplifying your message and figuring all that out. It looks on the outside like it was really simple and easy. But you know how much work went in that it is very, very hard for business owners to get out of their own business in their own head and simplify a message. That’s one thing that we did on my business aside, as I just say, straight up, we build awesome websites.

Josh 20:03
And I used to do thing like you’re helping your business grow well, that that’s so vague, like who does that doesn’t even, you know, like, that could be 1000s of different services. And I came up with all these like your digital marketing partner all these like weird phrases that no client is going to understand, you know, they I just had to really, I basically thought about, okay, if I meet somebody in the street and they say, What does your business do? The simplest way I can articulate it is that we build awesome websites. And because all of our clients are, you know, the highest for redesigning or building their website. So I say that to say that’s something to really consider for anyone’s website is simplify and make it very clear what you do, who you do it for.

Josh 20:42
And then you can talk about who you are then you can add in your flair with things and and all that but I think it’s even more important for people who want to white label their web design agencies and figure this is a good point to kind of segue to that because that is a very tricky thing to do. If you if you’re a freelancer or you’re someone who wants to work with strictly, you know, Divi sites or the Divi community, it’s that fine line of like, do you just work with Divi people? Or do you? Do you keep yourself open to just random clients? Like, I guess my question for you analogy now is when you stumbled on to doing white labeling work, which essentially is, you know, working for other agencies and doing a lot of the design and stuff. Did you I guess you have maybe just talk about that progression, like is that something that? Obviously we know that Quito coke started first? So I imagine you probably did that before getting regular clients, right?

Geno 21:38
Yeah, yeah, I was doing that with the few clients I had at the time. As that business was growing, and I was taking on more projects, of course, the more I learned, the more I put on there. They kind of grew at the same time. But you don’t co obviously came before Monterey Premier. But I was getting web design business through ketose. CO initially.

Josh 22:00
Okay. And then were you open to like when you started Monterey Premier, was it a goal to get more just random leads from just people who, you know, business owners who need a website? Or what did that look like when you kind of started balancing the two?

Geno 22:14
Great question. So again, moderate premier was the brainchild of the idea that I don’t want to get locked into just having Divi customers with Divi goes away. This was early on, right? Most of my clients were giving users. So I thought, hey, I live in Monterey, Monterey, keyword premier keyword Monterey Premier, the day basically was simply an SEO, a basically shortcut, moderate Premier, I went to get local, but I kind of did Monterey premier websites, but I use other pages to rank for that. But my goal was, I want to get local customers. This was my initial goal, which I’m glad it became a lot more than this. And this didn’t pan out. But my initial goal was to create a local based business rank high for Monterey, Monterey web design, Monterey Premier, I built a blog, in fact, in Monterey premier initially that basically highlighted Monterey businesses.

Geno 23:07
And it was a way to kind of attract local clients without just a blog on web design. Like you know, CO the blog was on the community, as businesses and b2b. What better way to attract businesses to my website, right? So that was Monterey Premier. And that was the initial goal was to get away from Divi WordPress users, let’s get brand new customers that I can you know, start from scratch, you know, brand new websites. Um, but even though I began ranking really quickly, what ended up happening is we just we still kept getting the Divi users coming over to Monterey Premier and as much as I tried to fight that, eventually I got to a point where I said you know what Elegant Themes is really taking it to the next level.

Geno 23:56
They’re gonna be here a while. Let’s go for it. Let’s promote both let’s let’s open up the multi vendor marketplace. Let’s let’s go all out with Monterey Premier and attract everybody. Divi community users are not so that’s kind of like the flow of Monterey premieres, clientele base, like how it kind of formed basically was a roll over from ketose. Co. But the white label services didn’t come till a little bit later. It was never one of my goals or intentions.

Josh 24:25
Okay, gotcha. Gotcha. Yeah. Because it is, like I said in the beginning, it’s vastly different from like, it’s a different business model. And it’s just everything’s different about it than getting your own client and there’s pros and cons to each you know, each way to go about it whether you want to white label for other divvy agencies and do the work and then you’re working with their clients versus your your own your own clients. Again, I’ve primarily gone the route of doing direct client relations, like all of our websites are our builds, we only have one white label client.

Josh 25:03
And we really don’t do too much with them. We only have a handful of sites now that we either build or update and maintain for them. We did some more previously, but they were more like a, they were like a political, like state level firm. And they weren’t even in web design. They were more like political marketing to like state officials and stuff like that. It was a very weird, like niche kind of thing. And then they hired us to build like a lot of these little landing pages and sites for these people who are, you know, getting getting voted for doing campaigns for like statewide stuff. So that that was my only experience with white label. So it wasn’t quite the same as what you’re doing with Divi white label, but I do see the value in that. So what I’d like to ask is why go white label, I guess it’s a good time to ask, you know, maybe what are the pros and cons between your own clients? And yeah, why go white label web design service?

Geno 25:55
First thing, let me start by kind of giving you a background and how I got introduced to white label, obviously, we, I use a lot of white label services oversee basically you hire a developer, maybe they’re based out of Pakistan or India, you get them off of codable. And you know, you’re able to bring on a developer for a one time project or two. That was my first experience with white level work. And you get it at different rates, different experience levels and different challenges that come with that.

Geno 26:23
Then in 2016, I believe it was after a couple of years of being out launching the multi vendor marketplace, maybe it was 17. You know, having my some of the very first child themes out in the market after Melissa love having the second developer of Divi child themes out there. And having several out there before most people even had one out there besides Melissa love. I was approached by a marketing agency back East. And they were a dental marketing agency, large marketing agency, they went out they do seminars, they helped practices grow into multi location practices traveled around the world, mostly the North America. And websites was just a very small part of their business. It was just part of the $5,000 a month that they were getting okay practices. So they had an in house designer who reached out to us and said, you know, they needed a better developer.

Geno 27:21
They want to use Divi, because they liked the ability to use it. And they’ve been following my work. They’ve saw my child themes, they’re hoping, you know, maybe would you consider being a white label developer of ours, that we just send you the designs, you build them out for us. And I was like, Sure, let’s give it a shot, you know, reduce the rate from my normal rate. Because you know, and then we’ll get into the benefits pros and cons later. And that worked out so well, we got to a point within about three or four months that she created a design, bank page sub page, send it to us, we got to a point of trust, where we didn’t even have to provide estimates, we would just build it out however long it took, send it back to them, their team would flow it in, and we get three or four of these a month. So we’re building three or four websites a month.

Geno 28:06
And at the end of each month, we just build for however many hours we spent on any project that month. So we’d have new builds, we’d have updates on builds we built a couple months ago. Sometimes we flow in new content. So we constantly had six or seven projects going on with this company at any given time. And the benefit was this one client alone, all of a sudden out of nowhere paid for all our bills. So if we got no other work that month, we were covered. No sales calls, no marketing calls, no one’s going out to meetings, no meetings, no explaining what we do, just sending us the word. Now, the downside to that was well, it’s not in our portfolio. It’s not something we could brag about publicly.

Geno 28:49
But you know, at the same time, I could be on a call with somebody and say you want to see some cool stuff that we’re capable of doing. Take a look at this site, take a look at that site, everything, you know, just aboveboard, we’re not putting any credit on it or anything like that. And then what happened was, and that was really our only white label client. We didn’t mark it or advertised or anything like that had a couple of other people developers that the Divi community, so he no free get over it overhead. Can we just hire you to help us with those kinds of projects? Sure. So it’s kind of white label, but we didn’t market it as such. And then what happened in 2018? Is that marketing business, decided to wrap up their web design services, and kind of move away from that. Or if so just use some really basic three or four templates to choose from, and that’s development. And so as that whittle down, I didn’t have the time at the time to go out and dig up new clients.

Geno 29:45
So what I found myself is back in that place of having to, to schedule phone calls, three or four calls a week, new clients, new leads, talk to them do scheduled calls, all of a sudden I’m spending 20 hours with my sales and marketing hat on because I got to bring in new business everyone. And and it just killed us because there goes our billable time with my time before we got spoiled with every area, every hour we put into work was was money versus overhead, like sales calls and marketing calls and going through the leads and setting up chats on the website. So I scrambled to get back to a working place. But my workload increased from like 40 to 60 hours a week almost, because of the sales and marketing half. So I realized, you know, I need another marketing white label partner, but not just one, I need five, at minimum, good partners, good relationships, if more great to balance this out. So that way, I’m not relying my eggs are no longer in one basket, one with one client to with one type of service.

Geno 30:49
And, and three, just like with with, you know, not just white label and me stuff, but the general stuff as well, it just kind of opened up a new revenue stream. So revenue streams, so I redesigned the webpage, really put a focus on that, put some marketing, you know, $100 a month into Google ads, and really push that and in 2000, towards the end of 2018, in the beginning of 2019. A lot of hustle went into building those relationships, and all our leads were coming from that, which was really amazing. And so just talk to them, and basically explaining the pain points that they’re having. I do that everybody who came to me after so many calls, was frustrated with paying cheaper rates, but not getting the kind of professional organization and due diligence and detail orientation that they expected. You know, oftentimes you pay a lower fee overseas, there’s communication gaps, and oftentimes, they’re not business owners.

Geno 31:53
So they don’t really they’re not looking at the end result, they just do what you tell them to do. Not looking at what it’s going to look on this size, monitor this size, monitor this size monitor, yeah, you have to go back and forth with every detail which I experienced. And so when I talk to my white label partners and say, Hey, listen, I’m a business owner, we do this for a living, I’m not just some Freelancer that’s trying to get development gigs. I’m trying to partner with you to take care of those deeds they can do.

Geno 32:19
I know how to manage projects, we know how to manage projects, we know how to organize projects we go, we do a good user experience, we know these things, you’re not going to get with just some developer that you’re going to hire a freelancer. And so the selling points, is really who my clients are there. They’re not massive agencies. But you know, 515 employees, some of them only a couple. But they’ve had that and they’re tired of that and they want they want somebody who’s going to be on a whole nother level partnering with no, oh, but don’t manage the project.

Josh 32:52
Yeah, what a what a good point for those who do want to white label their services to say like, you can’t just be good at designing, I guess you could just be a good designer or a coder. But there’s so much more benefit. If you have that business mindset with that to where, you know, you could get involved with some of the project management do the other things that you know, you don’t have to do the sales or a lot of the administrative stuff. But if you could take a lot of the pressure off during the project during the design development revision feedback phase and all that stuff. Wow, what a valuable Do you just hit the nail on the head, I mean, that really separates you from a lot of other white label services.

Geno 33:28
That’s that’s the key because I tell you what, you know, as developer and most of our listeners know, that it’s a pain in the butt to micromanage your developer, you assign them a task, and you prefer that when the task is done, the client can review it. But don’t you hate when the client reviews it and says, Well, look at this issue, look at this issue. Look at this issue. What about this issue? I’m like, Dude, I would have that that’s a natural, you take care of that when you check out that task?

Josh 33:55
And it’s also Yeah, it’s also one of those I just don’t want to lose this. Sorry, Gino, I, when I started scaling my business, it did not take me long to realize, I hate being a middleman. And Jonathan, my lead designer, when he would design something at first, I didn’t have him in contact with the clients, I would talk to the client, and then they would give me feedback, then I would give it back to him. And very quickly, I was like, You know what? I am, I need to get Jonathan right on board with the client, like, introduce him immediately. And then get me out of that middleman spot as soon as I can. Because it causes so much confusion. I’m sure you’ve seen that too. Yes. Yeah.

Geno 34:31
And so again, that becomes key. So like if our partners want to trust us to do that. They’re not going to trust somebody who can, you know, no offense, but there’s some great developers out there, but communication or sales or customer service might not be their thing. In fact, I would say a lot of developers, sales and customer service and that kind of stuff is just not your thing. And so one of the things a strong selling point for us to be able to charge and believe me working Don’t charge a 2025 bucks an hour like some of these overseas developer, we got to have a decent margin, we live in the United States here.

Geno 35:06
And in certain parts of this country, the cost of living is very high. And so, you know, we explain to them, these are our rates. But this is what you’re getting, you’re getting a, you know, you’re getting a team, you’re not buying a freelancer, you’re buying a partner, you’re buying an agency, you’re buying a professional developer, designer, customer service support salesman, somebody who can upsell on a call somebody who can sell somebody on a design. And so oftentimes, like, what we’re what we’re bringing to the tables, we’re going to help you not only manage the project better, with our experience, our background, help you help point out potential red flags, and what your project managers are asking for committing to, we can help coach them, we can help guide them, we’ll do whatever you guys want us to do. But when we see a red flag, we can tell you, you know.

Josh 35:58
So you’re getting into the the process aspect of things. And a lot of the you know, since you’ve done your own agency, and you’ve handled all the sales and every hat, you kind of know what to expect, you know, during the the web design project process.

Geno 36:12
And the more we do this, and the more tools we work with, and the more experience we get, the more we’re able to offer other agency partners, a better experience and process for doing this. So we’re showing them, this is the way here’s how to make this process even smoother and faster. And it may be that I just learned this last week from another agency, and it may be their process. But hey, it works. So we’re going to do this with every partner now. And for both of those partners, it’s like, well, this is great. You know, I don’t know why we didn’t put you in charge sooner. I mean, I have two large agencies I’ve been working with for a year. And it’s mostly been, you know, task work, because they have have other developers and subcontractors. So the high end stuff requires development.

Geno 36:57
And both of them with the work we’ve done in the last year, have brought me into the management and say, well, we love the suggestions and ideas you’ve been giving to our clients. And, you know, it makes us makes our website look really bad. And both of them at the same approach. What do we need to do to improve conversions? Let’s start okay. And these are marketing agencies. This is what they do for a living, they put together the messaging they put together. And so it’s been wonderful like to be brought into that and be validated. And that sense that hey, this is this guy is more than just a we want to bring him into the team, you know, deeper into the team more integrated, give us feedback input, how can we improve our marketing agency. So we can go get more work.

Josh 37:44
This one’s interesting, what a win win a win win. Those are some things I just didn’t even think about with white label work. I always kind of maybe hate to say assume, but I just kind of pictured white labeling as like up company gets all the details and gets the design and then they hire you to just build the site. Whereas you’re talking about some very valuable points with kind of making your white label company much more valuable because like we just talked about, you’re not just checking off a to do list you’re offering marketing expertise process, you’re learning on every project you’re giving back kind of what you did with with the Divi community, you’re giving back to these agencies what you’re learning what’s working, and that is so valuable. So if anyone is doing white label design, make get to get a notepad and write all this down because there is some seriously good stuff in what you just said, Gino? I’m so like with with your white label partners? Do most of them put you in touch directly with their clients? Or do you still work through their project managers? Or what does that look like?

Geno 38:41
Great question. And that always comes up. And so as I tell my clients on the phone, we’re flexible, and we’re we work with them any way you want us to. So some of our partners, they they give us email addresses with their business name. And we’re able to communicate directly with their clients back and forth. Some of them have their own project management tools. And some of their clients are in those project management tools like Basecamp. And so we can interact with them in there as well. Some of them. Some of the smaller folks. Maybe it’s just one or two in IT company, they get five or six website projects a year. They may just have us work directly in our Basecamp account. They say Monterey Premier is our partner. Okay, you know, Monterey Premier. So some of them it’s not as white label, but these are usually the smaller ones. The bigger ones, we basically come under their umbrella. So I actually have about seven different titles.

Josh 39:37
I was gonna say, man like yeah, like 20 email accounts, right?

Geno 39:42
Yeah, yeah, I do. I do. And you know, when director, director of marketing services, digital development director, whatever they want to call me and my teammates and and so we’ll work on that level. And then there’s some that we really don’t We don’t communicate with the client at all, just the project manager And, and that’s fine too. And so what I’ve learned to do is how to coach for those that we don’t talk to the client, because is one of the great things about us being able to talk to the client is, I know sales, I know customer service. And you know, there’s an ability, when you walk through the first draft design with the client, it’s the difference between how you walk them through it, versus just sending them a link can make to double the amount of time it’s going to take to build a project out. So one of the things I explain to my clients, and what I’ve learned over the years is, I don’t send them a link, I schedule a live call. And I’ll do this with my level partner clients.

Geno 40:43
And I will walk them through every design element from the call to action button item in the header to the way the header shrinks when you scroll, every little detail. And I’ll explain why I did it. Because usually, it’s based off of three or four inspiration sites, the client had three or four special requests, and some other notes. And so I’ll show them a picture of you know, I’ll show them this, the the website they liked, what they liked about it, go to their website, say this is how we implemented those little subtle things. Look at the parallax in the background. So the key is, by the time the phone calls done, you can say, is there any questions or concerns about this layout or design? And then if they do you answer them? If they don’t, you’ve just bought them off on the phone, or don’t have to wait two weeks for updates.

Josh 41:30
You know, what one thing one thing Jenna would that that I did, because I do a very similar thing. But I’m curious to see if this would work even better for you is I take that exact same approach. Because I found the same thing, I would just send a link and then the client would come back with like all these notes and the different stuff. And I’m like, the times that I did sit down with somebody and walk them through or do a call just like you’re doing it really made such a big difference with the amount of revisions. And what I started doing was I do a video, a walkthrough video, I don’t do a call first or any sort of like meeting I do a video, walking them through the design, laying out exactly what you’re talking about why we did this, how we did this, maybe even if it’s something that they didn’t initially, like, initially want or expect. We say like, here’s why we did this, and this and this.

Josh 42:16
And that way, by the end of the video, they can kind of look and even if they didn’t really if it doesn’t look exactly like what they thought they may say, Okay, well, you know what that makes sense. You guys are the experts do your thing. And then I offered to do a call, the only reason I stopped doing a preview calls, as I’d call them is a lot of times it would force the client to like give me feedback, right then without them thinking like having time to sleep on it or think about it. So I don’t know, I just wanted to offer that idea. Because that has changed our life in process. Yeah, this cut down revision time, yeah, over you know, it is cut down our time by 50%, at least on projects, because it gives them a chance to hear our thoughts, then they can sleep on it, and then really articulate the ideas that they had. And then we can do a call and go from there. But either way that the whole idea that is huge for white label or regular design service.

Geno 43:09
Yeah. And I highly recommend and I have this as one of my sort of goals for the white label relationships. In addition to like, you know, responding fast on your typical stuff, how to improve that is use loom often.

Josh 43:27
I use it every day. Yeah.

Geno 43:28
So the cool thing about, we’ve been using that for a while now too. And I typically do the same thing whenever I do some changes or adjustments. And that’s what I was gonna kind of lead into. So like we do those live calls, they work. But for those people where I’m not talking to the client, and I’m not going to get on the call with the client, I use loom to do the same thing I recorded, I’ve highlight on my points, and then I send it to the project manager. That way, the project manager and I’ve had some project managers who’ve never used a little before, turn around and redo the same thing I did in lieu and said that exact same word.

Josh 44:03
Yeah. It’s amazing. Yeah, it’s funny because I have clients who are now using loom to get a feedback. Actually, just today, just this morning, a client wanted to do a call, because they had we build them out a couple months ago for like a retainer of hours. I think it was like 10 hours or something to do these edits. And they’re finally ready to move forward. And he asked about doing a call and I was like, You know what, I’d love to get Jonathan my developer on this too, since he’s primarily doing the main the most of the on site stuff. And I said if you can, you can use loom and you can just give us your thoughts.

Josh 44:35
And then if we need to do a call I’m happy to we’ll probably use Zoom or something to record it. But yeah, a lot of my clients are doing that now to save so much time from emailing things. And the biggest thing is just calls because calls man, they just drained me now. Right? Yeah, me too. Yeah. I mean, clients inevitably will say, Hey, I just want to do like a quick 510 minute call, and then an hour and 20 minutes later you’re like oh, like it just it It does not take long to do an hour call if you could. Yeah, you know, I had a client months ago who was like, I just want to do a quick 45 minute call. But he wanted to talk about like a full website strategy. I’m like, That is not a four to five minute, you know, like, yeah. So anyway, yeah.

Geno 45:16
I Think about it for calls for for one hour long calls takes up half your workday for calls may not sound like much. But that’s typically in our business, four hours right there.

Josh 45:28
And that’s not including lining up the call, catching up. And you know, things beforehand and after and then yeah, you’re just you know, anytime you do a call or high level thinking, inevitably, you’re going to, you need to decompress from that. So yeah, that’s why SEO with white label? Yeah, it’s, yeah, it’s so I mean, you’re hitting on like, the main reason I think, for white labeling is that you guys are focused on focusing on what you want to do, which is designed develop and build.

Josh 45:58
And it’s, it’s funny, because when you were talking and you’re talking about all these different project managers you’re working with, and then the different setups and the different emails, I’m thinking, Oh, my gosh, that sounds like you know, chaos and so much work. But you’re not, when you’re doing that you’re not doing a lot of the sales, the admin stuff that you’d normally be doing, you’re probably not going out to meetings much I imagine, or networking, as much as you know, myself or some other people who are doing every, every position, because I talked about this in my business course.

Josh 46:27
And it’s worth repeating here. When you have a web design agency, whether it’s just you or you in a team, there are at least about 10 main positions. There’s the CEO, there’s the marketer, there sales, there’s project manager, there’s the designer, there’s the developer, there’s customer relations, you know, there’s a there’s all these different roles. And yeah, it sounds like with white label you’re focusing in on or honing in on the ones that you know, you want to do or you can do and that frees the white label client up to focus on what they do.

Josh 46:56
So imagine that people you’re working with, they’re not only are they getting a lot of benefit from your design and development, but you’re giving them the feedback on the processes, you know, all the internal stuff we talked about. And they can just focusing on sale, selling or meeting with people. And, like, it’s interesting, because I would actually almost prefer to do that part of it now then do the actual development stuff. Now, just because of the transitions that I’ve experienced over the past couple years.

Josh 47:21
But yeah, like you can almost when it comes to white labeling, you can almost focus on what you want to do. Like, if you like sales, and you’re good at sales, do sales, get somebody to, to help out with the other aspect. Whereas, like you talked about, if you’re that development guy or gal that is just maybe you’re a little backward, maybe you just don’t like being around a lot of people that is all right, like everyone’s different focus on that in and partner with somebody who does the other aspects, you know, yeah, can be a win win.

Geno 47:47
So crucial. So crucial. And you know, you brought up something earlier, you kind of touched on it now. And when you said getting to work with the clients you want to work with, and you mentioned earlier, like your picture, white label is just somebody putting together a checklist and and the work, you’re just a developer, and there is that we we get that too. And that’s not the ideal client of ours. And so over time, you get to pick and choose. So in the beginning, we would kind of give everybody a chance. And then as we got to learn, you know, who are the folks that are going to treat us? Just like, you know, save every penny we can I want an estimate on every single thing you do. Those just aren’t a good fit.

Geno 48:29
And you get that after the first project. So I always tell my white level partners when they like, how do we get started? What’s the contract, no contracts, no minimums, you get this rate your white label partner, I don’t care if you send us 100 sites a month, or five sites a year, or white label partners, our partners, this is how we’re going to work with them. But like any relationship, we start with a couple of first dates. So send us your first project, we’ll see how it goes. And if we don’t think we’re going to be a good couple, then we can partway there’s no contract, though. We’ll just take it at that, that has allowed us to work with those who do appreciate us, respect us. And think of us as part of the team. And trust us, you know, those who question everything and whatnot are just not a good fit for us.

Josh 49:18
And it’s just like clients, right? Like service clients are the same way you figure out you know, I can almost tell now, within almost like one email, like when somebody sends something in the contact form, I’ve gotten to the point now where I can almost tell like okay, this is gonna be a really good client or total pain in the ass client right away. And I imagine it’s the same with Divi white label stuff. You know, you figure out you know, like you said, you got to kind of go on that first date to see how it goes, see what they’re like and then it may take a couple more dates to figure out okay, is this worth pursuing? Or is this a one and done website design and lack of a better term? But one of my questions is, do you guys have local Divi white label clients are they Over the national global.

Geno 50:02
National, mostly national. We’ve worked with a couple of overseas national developers. But nothing is necessarily been consistent with the international ones. Most of our regular established partnerships are US based at this time. And it’s a wide range. We go from everything from a an IT company in Ohio, with a couple of employees that focuses just on local businesses. And we do the website stuff for them to a couple of these large East Coast agencies with 1015 employees, whether they’re like HubSpot, inbound marketing companies, or just old school marketing, and SEO. And we got some that you know, are kind of like more about content, but they want to offer this as a side or social media marketing services and want to offer this as a site. So it’s kind of a a wide variety, but most of us base but none of it really local. Here in the Monterey area

Josh 51:06
It doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. That’s what’s so cool about white label. And it’s interesting because I, I get questions all the time. And I see it in my Facebook group and all over even not even the Divi community, but just web design in general, it’s how do I find clients not in my area, and it’s really common for people who are in underdeveloped countries, or places where the dollar isn’t as much as it might be in Us or working with, you know, people in Europe or Australia, or whatever. And it’s interesting, because there are a number of different ways you can get clients nationally, like directly. And we’ve done that primarily, we’ve done that by what we started local. But then inevitably, once you start doing work, it expands and and now, clients from all over the nation and globe are finding our work by just seeing other sites like we just we did a barber shop site earlier last year.

Josh 51:55
And they found us by just Googling barbershop sites, they’re in Philadelphia, or in Columbus, Ohio. So you know, there’s the ways like that. But with white labeling, the interesting thing about that is you can be in an underdeveloped area, or a country where the dollar is not near as much as the US. But if you are working with white label, you can work wherever. And that’s one really like I actually one of my students in my business course is launching his business in a few months. And he’s initially shout out to Christian I’m sure he listened to this one, he’s going with the white label model, because he wants to focus on that and work with, you know, white label folks and design stuff like that opposed to going local, where it’s gonna be a lot harder to build up a six figure business that way. So there’s a lot of opportunities like that, too, with white label I didn’t really consider before this.

Geno 52:42
Yeah, absolutely. And a couple of other benefits, something to think about, as I’ve learned. One, here’s, here’s a secret, if you’re not really kind of in the marketing scene, the modern day marketing agency scene, you may not realize this, but a lot of large agencies, they’re all their teams consists of independent freelancers, just like me and you. And a lot of these agencies, they’re the people that they have on their team or their best in their industry. But they’re all, you know, independent as well. They may be chief marketing officer for this agency, but they also have their own gig. And that’s, that’s the economy we’re in right now. We’re in the don’t limit yourself to a local team, expand, find the best players in the field and team up with them. So some of the agencies I’m working for, are not necessarily necessarily brick and mortar, they have a couple of corporate offices.

Geno 53:40
But uh, the folks I’m working with are the best of the game, and what agency they hired me because their marketing person said, You need to go with this guy for these types of websites. They’re like, You must be really in with her because everything she says is golden. She’s everybody knows who this person was. I don’t want to say her name because, but it was like, I had never heard of her. But I’m thankful for her. She was a part of the Divi community in general part of the outside marketing, who was following the Divi community, okay, and but, you know, but now I get to work with her and see what she does. And her work and her work.

Geno 54:20
And several other people in this agency. I’ve seen their work not in the Divi community, but as part of the WordPress website community in general. And it’s like a privilege to work with some of these people. So I’m learning from them. I’m working with teams, this is great. So as a small business and other benefits of white labels, working with people who are better at doing what they do, then you are that you could learn from you work with you. You get exposure to new techniques, new tools, yeah, screenshot tools and stuff like that.

Geno 54:53
And I’m getting to try them out for free because they’re adding me to their account. And so by my knowledge base is expanding working with them, I get encouraged getting some, I, I’m being reminded of what it’s like working with an agency of the team and having 15 people critique your work, right there on the spot, you know, it’s like, okay, I don’t miss that. But it’s kind of cool, you know, to be part of that again. And I could grow from that, or at least learn how to how to explain things to each one to kind of counter their points and just kind of grow by my whole mindset and experience. And so lots of pros, to just the physical aspect of working with the team working with agencies, and building that sort of trust, so.

Josh 55:39
Yeah, I didn’t really I didn’t consider this white labeling what it totally was years ago, actually, it was my introduction to Divi. I did some subcontract work for this company here in Columbus, Ohio, that did marketing. They did mostly SEO and social media and digital marketing. But similar to your situation that you mentioned to earlier. They did where they had website services like on the side, and they had a couple internal web developers, but they needed help. So I knew one of the sales guys there.

Josh 56:07
And I was fairly new in my business. I was just a few years in. And so they hired me as a subcontractor, which is essentially white labeling, like I had in transit studios. And I was designing their sites working, that’s what introduced me to base camp. It’s what introduced me to Divi because I wasn’t using Divi, then and then that’s when I was this was 2014. And that’s when I found Divi, I was like, oh, okay, at first I didn’t care for and then as soon as I got used to it, I never went back. And it was because of that agency that was using Divi that I kind of like saw their process, just like you talked about, I saw their process, I saw what worked. And then I was able to add a lot of my flair. And they they actually wanted to hire me full time.

Josh 56:46
But I wanted to keep on doing and transit. And eventually I just I started making more, you know, working with clients directly that I wanted to move on from that. But it was very valuable. And it was a win win. Like we did some sites that were great together. And yeah, I didn’t really consider that white labeling, but it totally was. And to your point, that’s one of the big pros is if you’re a freelancer, if you’re learning, if you’re in that stage, where you’re good at design and good at development, getting in a position like this, where you can work for a company, and you’re not necessarily an employee or a salary person of that company, you have your thing and you’re paid as a freelancer that is so very valuable. And it just translates to so many things. And and you could do whatever you want. You could you could keep on doing that. Or you could start building your own brand or your own business and taking what you learn. And yeah, there’s so many benefits to that.

Geno 57:35
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Now, it’s been a great experience for us. And especially as this year as we focused on building trust, and building that relationship and getting closer learning what we need to do to be better. It’s been really neat. Seeing that grow and seeing the opportunities. I actually was one client. Because we’ve made the call via we started having some talks about design some changes, availability, you know, basically said this, I’ve been the president of the company, the owner of the companies, like I basically been the marketing guy for a company, I built their site, I try to hand it off to our team takes forever, and I’m not getting the results I want.

Geno 58:20
And I know what I’ve seen what you’ve done, you know, could you do that for us? And I jumped on it. Like, okay, you know, next day, first prototypes done, take a look at this loom walkthrough. It’s funny this guy too, he was so impressed by the little walkthroughs he immediately forced all his team to start using glue to just drive to the clients.

Geno 58:38
And he told me, he’s like, you keep that stuff coming, you know, keep my world right there. That’s great. But His thing was, you know, we can’t afford a full time marketer. But we want to bring you give you that time that we can afford to spend on our marketing for us in house. And that relationship that’s built into watching it grow. Is been like just a real bonus and a booster for us to share.

Josh 59:05
Now do you one thing I meant to ask earlier do you do it sounds like you do mostly hourly type work with this. Do you do any fixed project rate like do you propose a project or estimated project? Like at a Bulk Rate? Or do you just try to stick with hourly do you find?

Geno 59:22
We pretty much stick with hourly we we do have a we’re in the process of revolutionising our product or service for template packages. You know, you pick a set price package, and it’s a set price. So we did something similar with our white label partners where they can still partake in that program. And they have a discounted set price. But you get what’s included in that package. And you might have the five page package at $1,000 We’re all we’re doing is we’re taking a template a premade layout or template, swapping out colors, content images, for up to five pages, and it’s 1000 bucks just counted for one Little partners, so they can mark it up to whatever they want. So we do have those, but with the with the hourly with our white label partners, that gives them we found that it gives them the flexibility to potentially save some money on a project just like we could potentially do.

Geno 1:00:18
So kind of passed that on to just to keep track of their revision changes, sometimes they have more revision changes than the clients gonna have. Because they, because they do they have a large team and lots of not opinions, and styles. And so we can sit there and watch an eight hour estimate on one page turned into 16 hours. And they can always at any time look and see, okay, we better stop giving, you know, change requests, because we’ve just taken eight hours from some other pages. Yeah, so we break everything down like that, we share that with our bigger clients on the bigger projects. So their project renters can jump in at any time, and see where they’re at with total hours up until that day. So some we offer that not all smaller clients, we don’t because they’re smaller projects. But when you’re getting into 1500 20,000 $50,000 projects, you know, they want to keep track and we keep track of every where the money’s going, and time’s going. So that they can make informed decisions throughout the project.

Josh 1:01:15
That makes Yeah, I could definitely see with white labeling an hourly approach be much better because I typically do the opposite. I do the the fixed ray or proposed project and pros and cons of each method, you know, sometimes hourly, you’re limited to what you can make in an hour, whereas there’s been projects where I’ve made 300 bucks an hour. But there’s been projects where I’ve made five bucks an hour. There’s that’s that trade off, you know, with either model, but that definitely makes sense. I think it’s probably more smart, from a white labeling perspective to go that route. Which What’s your percentage of like? Would you say most of your percentage of clients now our white label? Do you still have a handful of people? Who are your clients, local or direct clients?

Geno 1:01:54
That’s a good question. So I would say right now, a majority of our income is coming in from our white label partners. As far as client base, it’s kind of the same, it’s kind of 5050. But the white label, they’re sending in more volume of work. Okay, obviously. So the financial, the income side of things, I would say, our white label revenues are about probably about 70% of our income, maybe 60. And then our direct client work is right now probably about 20. And our monthly and hosting is about 20%. Approximately, there’s some other services of the template packages, we’ve we’ve probably only been about three or 4% of our income over the year, because we really haven’t pushed that or automated the process. Our template packages right now the way it’s set up is you still have to call us, and we got to still have that sales call.

Josh 1:02:58
I was just thinking, like, I’m sure with the white label stuff that’s probably more profitable for you now with what you have going on. Because you don’t have those other hats that you have to fill. You’re just like you’re working with people who already know like, and trust you, you’re not doing sales for those clients. Like once you get past those initial periods of you know, working with each other, I imagine it’s just, it’s gold.

Geno 1:03:19
It’s been great. In the beginning of this year, the first six months, I was spending at least three to four hours, four days a week on sales calls, or follow up calls, building those relationships. And, and, and, you know, trying to bring those in. It wasn’t until about late summer, that the relationships that we have started at the beginning of the year, really started to kick in, as well as our we had a lot of returning clients from three or four years ago, all of a sudden come back this year, big clients, national infratry Museum, IPX 1031 big clients and we built their sites for three or four years ago. I think it’s because of the economy. A lot of the budgets increased over the years with the stock market’s going up fidelity is spending more money again. So they came back to us. And the National infantry Museum, obviously, the military budgets gone up.

Geno 1:04:06
And so there’s probably extra money there, they’ve come back to us. And so that’s all built up. But at the beginning of last year, white label was pretty much all we were depending on at that point. And we only had about three or four good partners at the time, which had three or four projects to keep us keep us busy. But again, for both of those, it was still sort of the dating. These were the first second and third dates. And it wasn’t until we got through those. And with both of them, we realized that the biggest pain point was project management. And it wasn’t until halfway through where we stepped in and said how about if we do this, but you know, I don’t want to offend you guy why don’t we try it my way now that we tried Basecamp whenever we tried this and as things went smoother than that trust the relationship built up so where those handful of clients now I really just kind of really starting to flow us a lot of work.

Josh 1:04:56
Nice. Yeah, I wanted to just talk briefly Because before we went live, you were talking about really honing in on your, your focus in your main goals for both brands for Monterey and keto. CO Yeah, what did that look like for you? Because I’m sure it relates to white label, like, did you just decide that you really needed to focus on white label? And I mean, I know you’re doing a lot in a community that you had to step away from I imagine that sounded like you got into a place in your personal life where it sounded like you may have to step back and focus on what’s what’s most profitable, right?

Geno 1:05:29
Yeah, absolutely. Um, you know, over the course of the years, as Monterey premier has grown and the tutorials, the blog, the website has grown. One of the things I found myself moderate premier when we launched the 25 it was just really successful 25 2015 2016 saw a lot of growth, launched the multi vendor marketplace started doing some of the very first Divi child themes and premium child themes and plugins that were out there. You know, the tutorials and stuff. And with that came a lot of opportunities to grow outside of the business.

Geno 1:06:03
And so starting with I think it was 2016 or 2017, we had our first international Divi camp at WordCamp Orange County, where a bunch of us got together moderate Premier, sponsored the event but bought a rented a house and Airbnb house, and covered like meals and transportation and got everybody out there. Well, we all got to be for the first time for a lot of people that we got to meet. And then from that point on, I started getting more involved in workcamps WordPress meetups setting up those Divi camps that we had the first couple years. And then around the same time getting involved with the Chamber of Commerce, you know, what happened was the business took off, I was able to bring on some people to help me out with that business, so that I can focus more time on these other things.

Geno 1:06:50
And what happened is in time, I wasn’t able to do as many tutorials, because I wasn’t working on as many hands on projects, I was kind of out doing sort of what I thought was the bigger picture thing. Exposure marketing and getting my name out there, the face out there. And then what happened is, the more I got involved in that, the more sort of Monterey premier became less flexible, and responsive, not the website itself, but the company. And more of like, this is what we do. And we’re contented satisfied with that. We’re throwing everything at it, we’re doing more and more Monroe, Mark Devi stuff. But really the business model, the vision, the focus, the preparation. And what happened early on is, you know, we got a white label partner that was became like our number one client, and we just kind of are we rested, we took it easy, and I focused on this other stuff.

Geno 1:07:45
And so what happened was, because it took away from the tutorials, a buy time in that community in the Facebook groups, especially in the 2018, and is when the market shifted and changed. And we went from a couple of vendors of Divi products to like maybe 1020 to maybe 1500 to 2000 developers overnight, selling products, to marketplaces all over and to more and more Divi web designers that we had to we shifted our priorities of vision a little bit later than we should have. So I should have been looking at, you know, how do we step away from some of this stuff and get our company to a place where this is every web designers frustration is having its feast or famine, right common phrase in the web design world, sometimes you got a lot of business, sometimes there’s none.

Geno 1:08:44
And it really shouldn’t be that way. It really shouldn’t be that we’re having to go out and find new customers every single month. Um, you know, there’s even with a brick and mortar business, you rely on the business but you rely on returning business. We don’t get that in the web design world. How do we get that? And so it took just a long, you know, just really deep kind of dive into that. And my here’s the biggest argument is what my biggest opponent to white label as myself, who’s going to pay you to do white label work when you could pay five cents on the dollar somewhere else? No, no, I would I do that. I don’t know. You know what, so I my biggest opponent, and then it really what it came down to is, you know what, your business owner? What would you like? Who would you like to hire?

Josh 1:09:34
I was gonna say it’s probably a really good day that you kind of were at war with yourself because it forces you to be more creative and offer more value.

Geno 1:09:41
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I’m my own worst. Like, I would never pay for that. I would, why would I charge that I would never pay for that. I would never pay that much for hosting. I’m a web developer. I’m gonna go get cheap, you know, hosting you know, right you know, you just the arguments you have with yourself. But it’s good to have those arguments because then you know The response that some of the clients are going to have. And again, that’s that’s what happened to us is, well, what was the pros? And what was the cons? What works with us? What does it what sets us apart? Focus on what sets you apart and explain that to them. You got to be passionate about

Josh 1:10:15
it, you probably just created a whole FAQ section that was ready to go with all your internal dialogue to you know, it’s like, why would I do this? Well, because this Why would I do this? Because that, so yeah, so.

Geno 1:10:28
So yeah, all it all this year, I did a lot of reflecting, and whatever. Now that, you know, we’ve been fortunate enough to kind of have this white label Foundation, take hold, which is what I love about it is it’s not a high margin work. But it’s consistent. So if we get no direct client work, these these projects coming in, will pay the bills still paying the bills. Yeah. So now the balance this year is is is twofold, like one, get back into building. And one of the reasons I like seeing hands on with building is I learned new stuff to put into tutorials. That’s one of the basics. It’s not just that I love building, which I do. But I love learning, and being able to take that and turn that into something that can be shared, which could then be turned around full circle to give us better plug authority and new lead magnet.

Geno 1:11:14
So it’s kind of a full circle type thing that works, it flows. And so that’s why I like to be hands, I don’t want to be reliant on every project, I don’t want to be the bottleneck. But I’d like to have a few projects of my own while everybody else has projects to manage as well. But one of the things is this year, I want to get back into you know, really focusing on the tutorials, got a few courses coming up, not necessarily Divi related similar to what you’re doing. And just taking some fields that I know pretty well, there’s very few of those, but there’s a few and just kind of talking on those kind of like what we’re talking about today, you know, I may have a course on white label business and that sort of thing. But also focus on Now getting back to direct clients. But our big push this year is okay, then we’ve got from the extreme of having these these white label things coming in, we don’t have as many products coming out this year. It’s not really part of our roadmap.

Geno 1:12:07
But we are focusing on product AI services, in addition to white label, which we should probably talk about on another session. But it’s pretty exciting. And the goal here is we’re setting it up so that we have for somebody that has a budget between five and $2,000, they can go through and go through a five step process, and have a website done in two weeks, pick a template, upload the content, pay the price, set up a call, within two weeks, your site’s ready for launch, low touch, no development work, we just have somebody who flows in content, what we’re seeing from the client content required up front productize service. So

Josh 1:12:47
I know that some every web designer agency, I think wants to do that my like, I would honestly love to hear from somebody who works out how to do that. Because anytime we’ve tried to do something similar, it’s you still run into a lot of the same hurdles, which sounds like you’ll probably have to, you know, address or figure out what’s with content collection and clients wanting their own vision or you know, stuff like that. But yeah, like I would love to, to hear more about a successful way to make those 1000 to $2,000 projects, profitable, because that’s, that’s the big thing is making it profitable. And, you know, working nowadays, a lot of pros of that, though, I mean, you could get a lot more people on a recurring maintenance plan and things like that. So yeah, that sounds like a great episode for sure, more like productize.

Geno 1:13:31
Yes, what we love about it. So we implemented the we called it affordable template packages. This year, this was sort of the soft launch, oh, you get a couple of months, you know, so that’s an extra three grand a month. And the key is making it clear, simple. You pick a template, and that’s the template, we’re not going to make adjustments, we’re not going to make changes, we’re just going to flow in your content, you got to provide the content upfront, you know, so you provide the content, the images, the logos, and with that, we’re talking maybe an hour to flow in content. And if it’s a five page site at 1000 bucks, you know, there’s there’s an $800 or $1,000, an ounce project right there.

Josh 1:14:10
Yeah. And imagine you could potentially guide them through the content collection to whereas I’m just like, if I were if we were to do that, which we’ve considered we’ve talked about it for a couple years now. I guess I’m thinking like, I would probably want to set something up to where instead of just saying, hey, send me content, you say like, send me a main background image, send me what you would like in this title text. Send me a paragraph that’s no longer than this amount of words for this like you could I guess approach it like that for you know, say an auto mechanic who has a small shop who doesn’t probably even want to worry about the website design. They just want to you know, get something nice up. I guess that’s a way to approach it too, which can pretty cool.

Geno 1:14:48
The road we decided to go we initially talked about and this is we’re making the big face. In fact, this is what I’m working on today and yesterday and tomorrow. We’re actually in the process of redesigning The actual page and the service and renaming it, it’s going to be kind of a big launch. Probably by the time we, this videos live, the new page will be launched on our website. But the route we decided to go with, you know, once you’ve chosen the template, you click on it, it takes you to the form to the package that you choose.

Geno 1:15:17
So we know the template you want. A, we were gonna initially require the content upfront in the form when you do the checkout, but we decided, you know, that might intimidate some people. So what you do is you place the order, we ask a bunch of questions in the checkout form. So we get a bunch of information, domain name, registration, all that stuff that we have to collect later, before they even purchase it, then they purchase it, we get the deposit, so we don’t even start talking to them until we receive actually, we’re gonna go the full amount.

Geno 1:15:46
So if you’re paying for the $1,500 package, okay, dollars up front, it’s yeah, that’s the, that’s the service. And then, within 24 hours, we send you a Google Drive link in there will have a folder for images folder for background images, and then a page template for each page, just a Google Doc, that says the type of content that should go in here. So it’ll say homepage. And it’ll say, you know, you should have five sections. First section should be client’s pain points, why are they there? What are the guiding, you’re guiding them, guiding them with the content, and so they can give me whatever they have. And then we can work with them if we need to be a little bit creative with some of that, but they get a template, and all they got to do is open it up on Google Drive, and just copy and paste or just type it in there.

Geno 1:16:34
And try to keep it as simple as possible. Figuring that the dropbox with the pages, blank pages with instructions on each page in there will help them again, this is based on what we learned this last year, have the soft trial run doing this. And we make it clear you choose a template, here’s one of the things is you got to make it clear, the template doesn’t change, you know, make it clear the template doesn’t change, make it clear they’re providing the content and images will do will do stock images if they’re fine with it. But for people who are picky about images, they got to provide them so we just kind of by default, provide them. And then on the phone call, we can always say, well, we got plenty of stock images we can use if you want us to.

Josh 1:17:15
And I imagine if they want to get more custom, that’s where you can say we can do that. But it’s gonna be 100 bucks an hour or whatever they are really, really right is to.

Geno 1:17:23
Exactly in fact, in one of our plans allows for a little bit of that. So we call it the ultimate custom. So it’s the same as a 10 page package, which is 50,000. So the ultimate custom is 2000. And it includes five hours of additional customization. And let’s say they got 11 pages that you know, and then we want to use a few hours to customize a few things and make some custom images or add a couple of plugins and events plug in or something like that. So you can have up to five hours discounted. So it’s really only $100 an hour at that point for five additional hours, which would normally be 150 an hour. So anything after that 250 an hour. So if you get 1000, you get five discounted hours with that. So, so cool. We start with the 500 landing page. So it’s one page for 500 bucks for somebody just wants to get started. And then 1000 for the 515 100 for the 10. And yeah, it’s been pretty successful without having pushed it or promoted it.

Josh 1:18:21
Yeah, I was just thinking like, maybe once you’ve really pushed it and promote it. Let’s circle back around on that. And if it works out well, and it’s still profitable, let’s definitely, that would be a very hot episode, because that’s something that everyone wants to do. Yeah, to be able to capitalize on the smaller project, or at least have an option for people who have a smaller budget, but you still want to work with them, or still get a job.

Geno 1:18:43
That’s initially how it started off was people who couldn’t afford a custom package, or custom web development services. How do we offer the existing layout kits at a low cost way? With little effort, that’s still my selling sale. But I learned something this year, and I was telling Ben this, I’m no longer gonna market it as affordable. I believe the key is an affordability. I believe the key is simple ease of use. I want a website. I’m confused. There’s a lot of things out there. It’s intimidating. I’m getting $10,000 quotes. I’m getting WordPress square. What’s the difference between Wix and this? This is overwhelming. So us is we got a simple solution. The simple solution. And in fact, these are some of the keywords are coming up, investing in your website can be a little confusing and intimidating at first. It’s like buying a car, especially if it’s your primary source of marketing for your business.

Geno 1:19:35
So we came up with a solution that is affordable, easy to understand, and produces a beautiful new website in less than two weeks that I introduced him to the five step process. And we set it up so that once they check out, they pretty much provide most of the stuff we need up front before they even send us any money I said so. The whole idea is how do we automate this process? So that order comes in. I get on the call because everything is clear, send it to our junior developer at 5020 bucks an hour just to flow in content, no design work, no development work, just flow in five pages of content. And that’s it an hour to 40 bucks.

Josh 1:20:13
It’s a great marketing strategy and method in the first place just because yeah, these days, first of all, you don’t want clients who are looking for the cheapest deal. So even just taking out the word most affordable is going to behoove you in a lot of different ways. But also, I think most people, particularly stateside are much more like they’ll pay more for a simple, easy process, it’s gonna save them time and people who they like to work with, and a good personal web design experience, they’re gonna pay a little more for that.

Josh 1:20:43
So I think that’s huge. That’s just a great way to market in general. So yeah, well said there, man. Very well said, like I said, like, we definitely want to do a round two, and then talk about that service to see how it’s working out. Because I think that’s something that a lot of people can can take part of. And I might even consider that for our business as well. Yeah, man. So we do you know, we’ve covered some incredible stuff, man, we’ve gotten, we kind of derailed talking about that stuff. But I love that. And I think a lot of that can be applied to white label services, too, on both ends, which is, which is super valuable, which is I love how all web design is interconnected. Yeah, which is what we both found out.

Josh 1:21:19
But we covered some incredible stuff with with white label services. As far as some of the benefits some of the pros and the cons, and then you really opened up my mind into thinking about white label is so much more than just that checklist of like, here’s things to do, like, you know, there’s just if you can add more value as someone who is specifically doing Divi or WordPress, white labeling services, you really can open up the doors for a lot more recurring, consistent income. And I think just the idea of focusing on what you want to do, and what you like to do is huge, with white label services. So it’s really interesting to, to go through all that. And of course, we covered how it’s helped out your business and how it’s, you know, really freed you up I imagine with working less and doing what you want to do, because you’re not doing every hat like the the customer and of the business with sales and everything.

Josh 1:22:08
So wow, yeah, man, I’m already looking forward to going through this talk again, and listen and taking some notes. And it’s something where I may I may even do like, a bullet pointed post or something as to why you might want a white label, because there was some seriously valuable stuff in here, man, I’m excited to see how this is gonna benefit a lot of people who are checking this out.

Geno 1:22:30
I believe it’s good stuff. There’s plenty of room for everybody.

Josh 1:22:32
What would you say to somebody who is considering doing white label, maybe as like a final thought you knew I was gonna ask this.

Geno 1:22:40
I’m glad you were because if you did it, I was going to ask if I could give just a couple of things, I think that the first one is getting over, go ahead and be your own opponent, and argue and ask those questions. So that way, you’re sure you’re passionate about this, what you’re offering to your partner to your white label partner, because you want to be passionate about it, you don’t want to just say the words, you don’t want to throw keywords out there, you don’t want to use jargon, you want to hit the nail on the door, you want to know what their problems are, and relay that to them.

Geno 1:23:16
So go hire yourself a cheap white label, white label developer overseas, worked with them for a couple months. And then those issues you have make it a point to say these are the issues you’re not going to have with us. So that’s the first one. The second one is change your mindset from clients to partners. I think most people in this industry think of white label is just another client. I think the biggest thing for me was getting away from thinking, thinking of them as clients and thinking of them as partners. Because this is a person, if they’re gonna want to work with you on a regular basis, they got to trust you. They want to know that you respect their reputation that you want them to succeed, that you’re going to be consistent your work and your availability. That’s a big one for white label partners is availability. Developers come and go one minute, they’re super busy. One minute, they’re not one minute. They’re freelancing next minute, they’re working for an agency.

Geno 1:24:05
So be available, be consistent, be responsive, I allow a little bit more time between responses between my direct clients and my my white label partners, mostly because I just expect a little bit more lack lead time with my white label partners. I know they’re working in an agency with a team they would love to hear back the same day. So think of them as partners and clients. The next one is help them manage projects and client expectation. We talked about that by being an experienced project manager, business owner, web developer of my own. offer that to them. Offer your experience, offer your secrets offer what you know, give them tips, even if it’s something you did for your website, and it’s going to compete in a way with you. share that knowledge because what you’ll get back will be tenfold and it’ll help you grow your own business and your content marketing might change because of that experience.

Josh 1:24:58
And you can also Sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off, I just want to lose this thought you can also take what you’ve learned from workshops and training, like, you could go through my web design process course see my 50 step process, take that into, you know, sharing that with a white labeled client, you know, there are the maintenance by may display. And course, you could see what works for me with our maintenance plan. And you could take that to see what works for your white label clients. Like there’s so many ways you can utilize information with what your experiences.

Geno 1:25:26
Yeah, absolutely. And it becomes valuable that you’re sharing what you learn in an experience with this partner, then you can take that and use that to prepare you for better results in another situation with another white label partner. And it’s just as it’s a snowballing growing effect, because you’re not dealing with a new client every every single project, right? New Client new problems, then they’re gone. But this case, you’re growing you and the agency is growing, and you’re being pushed to do levels that I’ve never been pushed before. I’m working in HubSpot, CMS now, and Elementor CMS, and I’m not a big fan of those. Or that Elementor CMS but the Elementor plugin, your HubSpot, CMS, which is a whole different beast. But you know what, they’re good partners, and they trust me, and they trust me to do it my way. So I said, Okay, I’ll work in these platforms.

Geno 1:26:18
So I’m working on HubSpot, HubSpot websites now Elementor websites, even a WP bakery, you know, and for the sake, they’re good clients, and I’ll work with them, and they don’t question my time or whatever. And they know, I’m a DB specialist. But hey, if you’re gonna play anything, if your skills to these platforms, we don’t care how long it takes, or what you got to do to do it. So, again, the partnership and then the last thing I would say is, again, communicate frequently, white label partners, and just treat them with a different level of respect, because they’re out there doing all the sales and marketing and the hustling for you. respect that. Honor that appreciate that. Let them know you appreciate that. Communicate your appreciation, communicate your your willingness to be part of the team, respond to leadership, open up channels of communication, like snap, Slack and Basecamp.

Geno 1:27:09
And I think what those those three things, really, I mean, I have a few more but to keep it short, be a partner, manage their clients expectations, help them manage their clients expectations, be a partner, be a specialist, and help them and then communicate, communicate frequently. As if you’re in the office. If you respond as if you’re in the office right next door, they’re not gonna forget about you. They will be thinking about you in their team meetings. And that’s key. Those are my three tips to get started.

Josh 1:27:42
Aliza mic drop right there. Well said and Dang it, man. See, now I knew I shouldn’t have had this conversation with you. Because now I’m starting to think about a bunch of white label services we can do and I know I’m gonna derail myself and have this whole new business model ideas, so.

Geno 1:27:58
I posted something on Facebook yesterday, and and one of the community groups, and this is why every single web designer runs behind schedule every year, all year. And I put me January, so that I do work on my own website. Yeah, we’re on the beginning of the year, man, I’m all caught up. No new projects, it feels good to be ahead of the game. And on time, Tuesday of the new year. I think I need to re overhaul my entire website. Yeah.

Josh 1:28:34
Or yeah, like in this case, like, oh, I can open up a whole new white label wing of my business. Yeah. Oh, man. Well, either way, dude, this was this was an awesome chat. I know this is gonna benefit so many people who are interested in white labeling. And I, I know, we’re going to have some awesome conversations spurred on after this too. So I’m really excited to see where you’re going to man to see that you’ve kind of honed in on what you want to do. And, you know, to kind of see, you know, you’re having some success in that area, and it’s profitable. And I know it’s gonna do a lot of good things for you and your family too. So awesome, man. I don’t know what else to say otherwise, then, you you drop the mic on that those three points and that’s gonna be valuable. And man, thanks so much for your time today, Gino?

Geno 1:29:15
You bet Josh and I do want to say it’s been a pleasure just kind of being a part of seeing you grow and watching in transit and your own personal website and the podcast grow. Keep it coming you’re doing you’re playing a big role in what makes Divi community and the Divi product so successful is the wealth of knowledge, the sharing of resources, the mutual respect, the encouragement and the building up of one another. All those things, I think are more important than the success of our individual businesses. As a community in whole it’s a pleasure getting on a podcast like this with you. Just feeling like old friends and yet we’ve just really met through the community, but we have so much online him just online and you are an inspiration, a lot of your stuff. I love that when I’m looking for something that I don’t have a tutorial on. Usually yours comes up or you know, some of the others out there that are putting out great resources. I could list them all, but it would take us forever. But I appreciate what you’re doing Josh. So keep it up and you have my support. Anything I could do or anytime you want me on, let me know.

Josh 1:30:23
Thanks, Geno. That’s awesome. And I appreciate that man so much.

Geno 1:30:27
Well, you’ve been growing and beautiful family. Thanks, man.

Josh 1:30:30
Yeah, it’s awesome man working from home yesterday, I was working on my bed with my my two girls took a nap to get out for the first time right next to me. So how awesome is that? Mom got to clean the living room and I just did some work and kind of with the baby. So all good stuff, man. Great season in life. Yeah, I’m enjoying it and soaking up every minute for sure. Right on, man. Awesome, Gina. Well, thanks so much, man. We could talk for three more hours, probably. But we’ll save that for round two.

Geno 1:30:56
Yeah, if you need to cut this into two parts. I understand.

Josh 1:30:59
Oh, no, no, I like I like a good old long talk. And the beauty about podcasting is somebody can listen to this for 20 minutes on the way to work and then catch up the next way. This podcast actually might last for a whole week for some people. So hey, it’s good.

Geno 1:31:14
All right, brother. As always, man, it’s been a pleasure.

Josh 1:31:16
Alright man, cheers, you know. Thanks.

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