In this episode I chat with Eric Dingler, one of my web design students, who shares with us the practical steps he implemented to take his web design business from $0 to 6-figures in revenue in one year! These are all practical and tactical lessons that you can apply to your business right now, no matter where you’re at in your journey.

From starting with mindset, to focusing on recurring income, to building a local network, whitelabeling design services and quickly scaling a team, Eric walks us through his exact path that has lead to such a successful first year of business. 

Connect with Eric:

Episode #020 Full Transcription

Josh 0:18
Hey, everybody, welcome to episode 23. I’ve got a very, very special episode for you here. This is my first case study style episode where I’m chatting with one of my web design students, Eric Dingler, who has taken his freelance web design business, from zero to six figures in one year. So it can be done, Eric has just had an incredible start to his business. And I love this episode, because we get to hear his story, how he got started in the practical things that he did to fast track his success. But these are all things that you can apply to your business no matter where you are. Because there are a lot of things you can do to bypass years of learning lessons the hard way like I did for far too long. And there’s a lot of things that you can implement in your business right now, to really expedite that now is it is an overnight success, the best thing in the world, not all the times, it’s good to go through lessons learned and go through the struggle.

Josh 1:16
And Eric has done that in a lot of ways through his short experience with growing his business. But he is still regardless taking it from zero income doing some things on the side to a full growing scaling six figure web design business within one year, so it can be done. So I’m really excited for you to hear about this, you’re also going to get a glimpse into how powerful it is to have a mission behind what you’re doing. And you’ll hear about what Eric’s mission is. And it’s just been an honor and a joy to be able to help him with his business to get to this point already. So you’ll hear all about it in the episode. I’m really, really excited for you. To hear Eric’s story, see what’s worked for him. And then more importantly, apply it to your business, whether you’re just starting out, or whether you’re finally ready to to fast track your success no matter where you are.

Josh 1:59
Now before we dive in this episode is brought to you by my website maintenance plan course, you’ll hear throughout the episode that Eric actually enrolled in my maintenance plan course first. And it really set the tone for him with having a mindset of recurring income, which as I’ve talked about, I think in almost every episode at this point, recurring income is where it’s at. And one of the best and easiest ways to build recurring income for your web design business is through a website maintenance plan. So my course will show you everything that I’ve done in my plan, it’ll show you how to set yours up, it’ll show you how to market it, how to sell it, how to scale it, and it’s got everything you need to be able to build recurring income fast for your business. So check that out if interested. And again, without further ado, enjoy my really insightful chat with my student, Eric dangler, who I’m just so proud of up to this point and really excited and again, more excited for you to hear what’s worked for him. So you can apply all these practices and methods to your business. Alright, enjoy. Eric, welcome to the show, man. It’s great to have you on.

Eric 3:03
Thanks, Josh. This is very exciting, and thrilled to be a part of it. Well,

Josh 3:09
I’ve been really looking forward to this talk. And I’m thrilled to have you on because you have a very impressive first year of business, you have literally, you know, you’re a student of mine. So I got to help you really in the early days, it sounded like with your business. And I’ve just seen you explode that thing. Man, I can’t wait to talk about your lessons learned and what you’ve done to really fast track your success in a lot of ways. I mean, really, you’re at the point right now a year into your business where I was probably four years in. So I mean, you have just you’ve done some really cool things. You’ve got an incredible mindset. And you’ve got a deeper mission with all this too, which is really cool. It’s all I know, we’ll talk about so why don’t we just start off with folks who don’t know, you just let us know who you are and what your businesses and what you do?

Eric 3:53
Sure, absolutely. And I just want to start by saying nobody is more surprised than I am that things have gone so well this first year. So it has been an amazing journey. Um, yeah, so I own coastal city creative. It’s a web design business, and I’m actually a by vocational pastor. So I lead a church and run my business. And that’s, that’s what I do.

Josh 4:20
That’s awesome. And now, let’s talk about like, before you started your business. Can you give us kind of the genesis of that? Like, did you start it to make some income? Wow, cuz you started a church just a few years ago? Right? Did? Yeah. Is that right?

Eric 4:34
Yeah, we launched the church in 2016. So yeah, so I, you know, it’s a story that, uh, is pretty common. I started doing web design. Years ago, when I was writing a summer camp in Ohio. The camp needed a website, and I figured it out and use you know, all kinds of programs. It was a you know, just a Mac program I used and FTP and all that, and then discovered Elegant Themes. And within I, the first week Divi came out, I, you know, downloaded it and installed it and you know, used it, and then I drifted away. And then, about a year and a half ago, I came back and there was this whole universe around Divi.

Eric 5:18
And it was just mind blowing. And I kicked myself for not sticking to it from the beginning days. But yeah, so we moved down here in 2016, like I said, to plant a church in about the same time, my wife came and said, Hey, listen, you know, we’ve got two great kids, but I feel like we’re supposed to do more. And so I’d like for us to adopt. And so we explored that and set out on the adoption journey. And for us, we decided international adoption was what we were supposed to do. And that came with a price tag of about $50,000.

Eric 5:57
And, yeah, so I needed to make some extra money. And somebody asked me, I was talking, he goes, Why need a website? And I said, I’ll make your website. And he’s like, how much? And I hesitate. And I was like, $300, he was like, Yeah, sure. And I’m like, Are you kidding me? You’re gonna pay me $300 To do a website. And off from there, and it just another person asked, and then I started realizing, I think I can charge a little more for this. And then I got probably three or four website builds in and was realizing I was making about $2 an hour. And it wasn’t going well. And I reached out to a mutual friend of ours, actually a guy named Wes and asked him a technical question. He told me I needed to reach out to you. I was a year ago. rest is history. And yeah, I wouldn’t touch a website for $300 now.

Josh 6:53
Right? Yeah. So you guys track that you got past that? Pretty quick, didn’t you?

Eric 6:57
Yeah, yeah. So but it all started out as a to fund our adoption. And so a year later, we have our two kids home with us. We’ve been home, we’ve been a family of six now for three weeks. So we have a an 11 and 12 year old daughter, that have joined our family with our nine and seven year old son and daughter. And we’re debt free on the adoption, which is really unheard of.

Josh 7:24
That is amazing. Eric, man, that’s so awesome. And you still today, you know, I’ve one of the most, one of the biggest joys and privileges of doing courses now is to hear the success stories and testimonials from people, which I encourage people to just, you know, send them to me send those success stories, because they really helped me, you know, keep me going. And yours. I’ll just never forget when you because I think we had talked briefly because you joined my maintenance plan course first, right? Yeah, that was the first one you joined. And then you had sent me a message saying that that helped you fund the adoption for your kids. And it just blew my mind. Like today. It’s still one of my absolute favorite success stories. And I remember telling my wife that same day, I was like, you gotta check this out, like one of my students, you know, this course helped him funded adoption. And that just, it just made our you know, it’s still it’s got me buzzing today from it, man. So I appreciate you sending that to me. And man, that’s just so awesome to hear what a great mission without a grant why?

Eric 8:20
Yeah, well, and what we realized was partway through this as it as we were funding our adoption, we said, well, let’s just keep going with this. And so we have now, now that we’re done, and our adoption is paid for, we’re using the web design business to help fund other adoptions. And so we’re putting together what right now we’re just making kind of direct contributions, but we’ve got some plans of, you know, things to do to help people really, you know, go further faster in their adoption, fundraising, to try to help, you know, vulnerable children that are deserving of a forever family we want we want to help them get into those families.

Josh 8:59
That’s amazing, man, what a great, what a great story and a great mission behind what you’re doing. You know, you’re not just out to make a bunch of money or getting quick wins or anything like that. I mean, you’ve you fast track your business, but I personally think that having that, that really powerful why behind you, I mean, that had to be such a driving force, because it wasn’t like you were just playing around with your business and just taking it you know, one step at a time, you really went full force. And you had kind of a need with your adoption, of course to fund that. But sounds like once you picked up steam with that, man, you haven’t looked back and it’s only been half. So how long have you actually been designing websites? Has it been about a year?

Eric 9:37
Well, as a business a year, a year? You know, before that I had probably done maybe 10 You know, personal websites work related to the church’s website, things like that. So I had done maybe 10 And you know, in the last 12 months, we are well over you know, 70 And we probably have almost all of those, in fact, all the websites we’ve done since we’ve launched all but one is on our maintenance plan. That’s awesome. Yeah. And that’s really my model. What I after I watched, you know, worked work through your maintenance plan, of course, my mindset really became like, I want to build your website, but I really want you to be on my maintenance plan. Like, that’s to me, what, where I want you for the longevity of the business.

Josh 10:33
Good call. Yeah. And it’s huge to for recurring work. I don’t know if you guys have seen that yet, since your business is still so young. But as you stay front and mind with your clients, and as you continue to build that relationship month, because you’re sending the reports and everything, right, you’re keep we’re sending the reports. Yep. Yep. Yeah, I mean, that really, that keeps you in the front of their mind. And then over the next two or three years, I’m excited to see how much recurring work and ongoing work you’ll get through those clients when it comes to edits or additions or updates or revamping a site that they’re ready to redo?

Eric 11:06
Yeah, well, what we’ve done, so we’ve kind of adjusted our maintenance plan we have, we have three tiers. And most of my clients are on tier two, and several on tier three. So it’s one six, it’s 69 169 to 69 a month, 69 a month is exactly what they get in yours, you know, the the maintenance optimization 30, I think we do without when I do 30 minutes of content updates. So there’s that. And then on the 169 It’s all of that, and then unlimited content updates. And I mean, to be honest, like, there are some people what a client last month, I emailed a client and said, Listen, you’ve been on this for four months, and you haven’t requested one thing, why don’t we bump you back down to the 69? Do you get to a point where you need it.

Eric 11:56
Um, and he was extremely, extremely appreciative of that. And, and then we’ve got a 269 We’ve got 10 clients on that right now. And that we call the Forever plan, and that we do unlimited content. And then once a month, I go through and I email a suggestion for an update, because I’m constantly learning new things, you know, or new ways to do things or like when the theme builder came out, you know, I just came, went back and said, Hey, listen, you know, I’d love to redo your footer and make it look like this. And I template, you know, I didn’t template across all of the sites. Um, and then yeah, and so that’s been, those clients are loving it, and their sites are always up to date. And I can manage more the time it takes. It’s really not a lot. It’s super, super low. So yeah,

Josh 12:42
I totally agree, man. And that’s yeah, what maintenance plans. That’s why as you know, I was so passionate about getting that course out, because it changed my life. I talked about that, I think every podcast episode. Yeah. But it did yours too. Like, it’s it’s just amazing. And it’s I don’t want to say it’s easy money. It’s not easy money, but it is the best money and it just like you’re talking about, it’s almost more important to get somebody on a recurring monthly plan, even if it’s a lower cost website, build just to get them, you know, in that monthly plan, because it just it keeps you front of mind, it keeps you engaged, that leads to so much ongoing work, you become their web person.

Josh 13:17
Because the problem, as you probably found out before you launched your plan, I mean, how many clients did you work with? And then it’s like, well, you get done with a site, but they just disappear. And there’s you have to intentionally circle back around or a lot of times, it’s not that they don’t want to work with you again, they just forget about you. So I think that’s a it’s a great move that you started your business with the intention of recurring work, which is awesome. So I’m curious, like, that was a big piece, you know, you sounded like you did some freelance and you realize, Wow, this could be you know, this could be legit. This is actually making some money. Was the web design stuff becoming a bigger part of your income for your family? Or were you still kind of half pastor half web designer? How what did that look like in the early days?

Eric 13:58
Yeah, no, I was full time pastor. And part time, you know, web designer, and it was literally like, before a year ago, it was just, you know, for fun, and you know, somebody needed it. And it really wasn’t for money at all. I didn’t, I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I could charge because I saw you know, you saw the commercials for Wix and Squarespace and all of that. And I thought, who’s gonna pay me now?

Eric 14:23
Well, what I’ve realized is you start getting into making sure that your websites are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and you know, some things like that. And you bring in the experts, once you start to position the expertise, you can bring in, you know, creating your site. So it’s a funnel, and it’s leading people to a next step and helping clients set goals and things like that. It’s great. And the other thing I learned, the people that want to use Wix and Squarespace will do so because they have the time or they’ll force themselves to have the time. But entrepreneurs and business owners and companies, they’re there. There’s more than enough of them. them out there still to provide for web designers.

Josh 15:03
Yes. And I think people are getting smarter now, overall in, like you said, Excuse me, business owners in particular, they’re smart enough to realize that if you’re going to pay $1, for something, and you’re going to try to do it yourself, it’s probably going to come with a slew of issues and problems. And again, just most people are smart enough now to realize, when there is a service or a provider, like a website design company, there’s so much value to that. And I think people are realizing the importance of their website now, because everyone wants to get leads to their website, they want to get conversions.

Josh 15:36
And yeah, it just seems like the people who go for those wicks and Squarespace sites, for one, those generally aren’t the clients you want anyway, because they’re looking for a cheap, you know, and they don’t value their time, if they’re going to do it themselves. They’re not valuing their time, which is probably not somebody we as web designers want to work with. But yeah, I feel like the pendulum has shifted and swung a little bit to where I think people are just overall across the board are recognizing the value of web design, and even more so recognizing the value of having a trusted web person, like their web guy, their web gal. And that’s it. I’m sure you’ve seen this, because you’re in Virginia.

Josh 16:11
I don’t know too, how different it is from Ohio, but you are in Ohio, we’re still we’re Midwest guys, and a lot of the businesses around us, they want to work with somebody they know, like and trust, and they will pay a little more, and I will to like I will absolutely pay more for somebody to work in my house, for example, who I know, like and trust, and I know they’re gonna do a good job. You know, so I think that mindset has really helped us as web designers and business businesses in general. Have you found that to that? You know, like, early, early when you started that, you know, people were you sounds like, yeah, I totally understand, like, why are people gonna pay me, but they get the value pretty early on now. Right?

Eric 16:49
Yeah, and all of our projects are through relationship, you know, in connections. In fact, I decided at the very beginning of the putting my business together, that I was going to experiment with a different approach to my sales funnel. So instead of having the typical funnel, with the wide opening at the top, going to a narrow opening at the bottom, I flipped it around. And I thought, I’m going to start with an extremely narrow focus on where to bring people into the top of that. And then as I walk them through the process, I’m going to expand out the services that they’re going to buy. And I’m going to have, you know, more rain coming out the bottom of this funnel. Um, and so I know that analogy kind of breaks down, but that’s great. Yeah, it was the, the, what I did, and so I went out with with two approaches, and then I’ve got a website. It is never brought me one single client.

Eric 17:50
All of our work has come from two places. One, I was able to develop a white label relationship with a marketing company in Ohio. And so 50% of our websites are through them. And they are loving the arrangement on our monthly report to their clients, we promote a promotion, they sell promotional products swag. So we promote a promotional product and the update and how they could connect it to their website. So it is turned into additional sales for them. And so half of my clients are there. So I just, I’m just radical about customer service to to that marketing company and their clients. And that’s been huge. And then the other is I went to our local business association, build a relationship with the Ocean View Business Association. And then after a couple months said, Listen, your guys’s website, and I’d love to sponsor it and redo it, and give you a showpiece website.

Eric 18:52
And they said, that’d be great and amazing. So I went back a month later and said, Hey, let’s do this to free marketing. Let’s have a podcast, let’s call it discover Ovie and we can promote local businesses and market the podcast locally and through tourism, for which you know, we’re a tourist town. And they love the idea. And so the my motivation behind it was one to help our community for sure. But to I’m now getting to go out once a week and sit down and interview a local business owner, build a relationship. I’ve got four interviews scheduled over the next month, and three of them have asked that we can also talk about a website after we’re done. So it to me that has been it. It’s been gold, I mean, literally it’s been gold. So that’s that’s been really my approach. And that’s what is. So what I did is I started first I think putting together the getting into a right mindset. And then I built my systems following your course. And then I launched my marketing with those two with the Two focuses. And it’s, and in the last 12 months, it’s just been, you know, crazy.

Josh 20:05
Oh, that’s awesome, man. Gosh, I just love hearing that. And what you just said was so important and so, so valuable, which is starting with your mindset. And that’s the biggest thing I tell everybody who’s getting in a lot, because a lot of people email me and they’re asking about courses are asking about, you know, what resources they should dive into first, even what’s not my courses, like, I’ll give them our free articles and places they can start. And they inevitably they’re asking about pricing and how to get clients, I’m like, listen, the first thing you need to start out with is your mindset, you have to be mentally prepared to do this, because it doesn’t take I mean, it does take some work, and you know, some opportunities and things like that. But as soon as you get one or two projects that will snowball into a lot of other work, it’s going to start referrals, and you’ve got to be ready to handle that. So I love that you started out with mindset first, and then systems processes, and then really elevated your business to the next level.

Eric 21:02
Yeah, if we would have landed, you know, our first you know, five clients at the same time, it would have been a train wreck, I had no way to manage that. And I’d have been losing stuff and frustrating them and not delivering on time frames. And so having a system, putting it in place, fighting the urge to redo it, because I I’m hopefully I get very quickly bored. That’s why I love by the time it’s time to deploy a website project. I’m so over it. Like I’m completely bored with the breath. I want to I want to get into sketching the next one. Like that’s, that’s what I get excited. Now,

Josh 21:41
I wanted to ask you to Eric, you’re so when you start when you decided that look, I’m really gonna, I’m really going to go for this business. I’m going to, you know, start my business name, you took my course and you really launched it. Was your headspace as more of the entrepreneur and the owner, or do you like designing like, what where’s your skill set? What did you really you know, pursue when you started your company?

Eric 22:01
Sure. It’s starting out before I heard you say one line. My mindset was, I’m going to you know, sit with my computer and make people websites that would that’s what I was going to do. And then I don’t know if it was in your course or on a Divi chat because I when I discovered the Divi chat podcast, and I binged listen to those and my earbuds, like nice, I don’t even know how many episodes I listened to. And I realized I needed to take a break when I started referencing people in there, like, they were my friends to like my wife, you know, you know what, Dave Blackman and she’s like, I have no idea who the heck is. Yeah, I’m like, you don’t know them? How can they’re around us all the time. And I realized, no, they’re just in my ears. But, um, so we, it was in either in one of those, or in the course, and you said something along the lines of one day, nobody’s going to buy it. Nobody wants to buy your job.

Eric 22:56
You know, they’re people want to buy a business. They don’t want to buy a job. And I was just like, oh, that’s the thing I I don’t want to put all this work into something that then one day is just done. And and then it kind of reminded me of this Henry Ford quote, I heard one time Henry Ford said something along the lines of if the railroad companies would have realized that they were in the transportation business, and not the railroad business, they would have been the first ones building airplanes. And I thought that was so gold. And so I really wrestled with well, what am I really? Am I really a web designer? Like is that really what I want to do? Or do I want to build a business that is building digital hub tools, and that’s what we’re going to do but I’m going to systematize it. So one day I can sell it or bring my kids into it? You know, one day maybe I don’t know yet what that’s gonna look like. And that was the mind shift. That was that that was the hinge point where everything changed for me.

Josh 23:59
That’s awesome. Was that pretty early on? We did Had you already started your business when that mindset really switched.

Eric 24:05
Yeah, yeah, but only that was a probably about a month or two in because I was you know really like I’m gonna do this and then I started researching it and it just you know, for the first six months I was getting up at four o’clock in the morning and I just committed I’m going to get up and every day for two hours I’m going to work on my business and on in it and that’s when you know I started discovering like Divi chat and I just when I decided to get into something I go all in and research it as much as I can find as many podcasts as I can and things like that and that’s what I did with this and yeah.

Josh 24:38
That’s gold what you just said Eric is dedicate time to work on your business. That’s something I wish I would have really taken more seriously over the years and I I definitely have made that more of a priority and even just personal development working on like dedicating time and I did that when I went through my Toastmasters group, which is like the public speaking A group, and I dedicated looking forward to get back getting back into that, because I really want to take that to the next level. But I had dedicated, you know, a certain amount of time every couple of weeks to that. And it made a huge difference in every aspect of my business in life.

Josh 25:13
And to your point, yeah, making sure that you dedicate some time doesn’t even have to be that much per day or per week. I mean, it could be even just like a half an hour a day, just to think about your business to give your time, give your mind time to just switch gears, think about your business. And because thinking is some of the hardest work of all, that’s one of the biggest things that people, particularly web designers, once you get going, you’re going to find yourself with just constant stuff to do, there’s just a never ending list of things to do, you’re never bored. And if you you know, if you have a decent amount of clients, there’s going to be just not again, just non stop things to do.

Josh 25:49
And it’s really easy to get into that trap where you don’t sit back and just think about your business. Think about where you’re at what your services, your offerings look like, where you can improve how you can improve, personally do personal development wise. So I love that man. That’s awesome. I’m so glad you found that early on in your business. Because in the start, you’ve got like a handful of services. Now you’re doing new websites, website redesigns, you’re doing branding like logo and graphics, SEO, you’re doing content services, social media maintenance, hosting, and white label design. So that’s a lot of services. Did you add those on kind of one at a time as your business got going? Or what did that look like for you?

Eric 26:29
Yeah, I found people to partner with that can do all of that stuff better than me first, and then I added it. So just like in the in the church that I lead. Um, you know, we, anytime we launch something, we always find the leader before launching. And so I look for people to find and develop relationships with. And yeah, it because and that’s the other thing I’ve realized, and it’s been the biggest shift, the next big shift, I should say, I decided at the beginning of the year that I was going to really build a relationship with a designer. I enjoy learning about design, but I started realizing like that’s just not where I’m going to bring the best value to the business.

Eric 27:15
And so I’m somebody through the the your Divi group, Christian, I know he’s also taking some of your courses. Hey, now man, him and I are regularly communicating in Slack in Trello. Awesome. He’s, he’s working for me a lot as a designer. So we’ve got, oh, I think four, maybe four projects we’re in the middle of right now. And that is bigger. That was kind of scary, because then I started doing the math. And I was like, Wow, I’m not, I’m not gonna bring home nearly as much money on each of these. But what it did is it created then margin where I could bring on more projects. And here’s, here’s what I here’s what I found out. When I created the margin, the the opportunities and projects came. And so it just it just kind of worked out that way. And so now I’m kind of again going like, what else can I create margin to bring in even more opportunity.

Josh 28:13
And that’s one of the other biggest struggles for web designers, when you get to a point where you feel like you know what, maybe I could start hiring some of this out, maybe I could find a subcontractor, I get it, I totally understand wanting to keep things you’re by yourself because it’s like, well, if I pay somebody to help out, or even, you know, if I split the design with them, even if they do all the design, I’m still only making 50% of the project. But what you just said is invaluable, it clears up room for more margin. And you can do things on a bigger scale, and it just clean, it just clears up more time. It gives you that time to where you can actually invest in yourself and your business. You can add more services, you can create more partnerships.

Josh 28:52
If you’re doing local in person meetings, you can actually literally have more time to meet with clients and say I can sell more. So yeah, that’s huge. It’s and that’s another milestone for every web design business owner, I found is getting to that point where it’s like, you know what, I’m comfortable with not making 100% of this $3,000 website. I’m comfortable with making, say 515 100 And then a 1500. Yeah, it’s like well shoot, but that other 1500 that you would have made, how much time would have been invested in that. And then even just practically, like, when you’re in a position to where you get loaded up with projects, you just cannot there’s there’s so many hours in the day, there’s only so many hours that you can actually work.

Josh 29:33
And that can be a very dangerous position. I know before I started really scaling my business. I had like 23 projects. I think the number was all at once and I was like I don’t know how I’m going to do all this like luckily I just started scaling so I just Jonathan my lead designer, I just threw him right in Amanda Noel a couple of my other subcontractors. I gave them some work pretty much immediately. And this is just before my first daughter was born. So it was just a An absolutely chaotic time. But thank goodness I started, you know, hiring that out. And even though I didn’t make as big as margins, the trade off was I didn’t have to work 90 hours a week, because that’s the other aspect is like, yeah, you can do it all yourself. You can take all those projects, but you’re going to be killing yourself on time. So I love that you had that mindset. And I mean, you started scaling pretty early on. Yeah, I think you and Christian, I met through my business course if I’m not mistaken and.

Eric 30:27
Well, yeah. to the detriment of your fate to your Facebook group. Oh, they found that we were both in the course. Yes. So yeah. And not only that, I’ll just be honest, he’s much better than I am. I mean, the guy’s good. And he’s the first couple of the first project he did. I was like, I had no idea you could even do that. Like, that’s the holy O’s going up? I’m loving it. I’m loving it. Right. Um, and so that’s really beneficial, but I don’t think I couldn’t have afforded it if I hadn’t built in my maintenance plan at the start. Because now I know so I’ve, you know, I have a set salary that I pay myself monthly. And I’m you know, the I follow the Profit First, you know, model by MAC Mike McCalla wits, and that having that set, salary and cost, I know now that if I make no money now, you know, next month, from a website build, I’ve covered all my cost. Because I’ve got the recurring income, I can budget, I know it’s gonna be there, I can meet my payroll, my business expenditures. So all of my fixed costs are totally covered. That I if I didn’t have that, there’s no way I’m not sure how I could do it.

Josh 31:50
And that’s what’s so important for Pete, for web designers is to have that recurring income mindset. I think, you know, I did an episode a few episodes back with John Wooten, I think I’m gonna probably do a solo episode, just recapping the top like 10 ways that web designers can, can can add recurring income immediately. Just because I think that’s worthwhile really diving into for people right from the start, like you are a prime example. Instead of going years with just building site after site after site doing on your own, you build that recurring income, which gave you the time and financial flexibility and freedom to start bringing in Christian and other designers and you’re able to white label through through other businesses.

Josh 32:28
So yeah, it’s huge man. And, yeah, that’s, I totally understand being handcuffed when you’re in that situation where you don’t have that recurring income, because that’s what’s what I like to call the feast and famine of web design. Yeah, maintenance plans on hosting are the probably the easiest way to get recurring income, but you’re dealing with other avenues now with content services, social media, SEO, and white labeling and some other stuff that are bringing that to you as well, which that’s awesome. And now, yeah, quick question on those, like, do you win those clients? You know, you offer all these other services? Do clients? Are you referring them directly to your partners, and they’re giving you a commission or a kickback? Or do you do it under your business? And then just hire out an SEO person or something like that?

Eric 33:11
Great question. I do it all under my business under my brand. And they’re all subcontractors, you know, that come in help. They have the expertise. And I don’t make a very big profit margins on any of them. And that’s okay. Because what it is it the value it adds to my clients in the convenient, like, my focus on for my clients is convenience. That’s the thing we’re focused on. I think a business can really you can you can focus on convenience, price, or, you know, quality that you can do all three. But one of those has to be your thing. You have to own you know, like Walmart a couple years ago, you know, they tried to get into the, the movie, the online movie rental business, and it failed. Why? Because their focus is low price, you know, not not convenience. And so they don’t do great in the convenience market. Okay. So, for me, my focus is convenience for my clients.

Josh 34:17
That’s great, what a really good mindset to have. Because yeah, those all those are important with price and quality as well. But you never want to win the race to the lowest price point. You don’t want to be Wix quality is huge, but people will take a more affordable price or a convenient situation, even if it’s not the absolute most prettiest website as long as it’s darn good and long as it converts.

Josh 34:42
And as you know, it’s interesting how those three balance out I guess is kind of what I’m trying to say. So yeah, they’re important but if you sounds like you focus and you honed in on what you do best, which is apps, like you mentioned earlier, customer service based, you know, you know user friendly, easy processes, it really sounds Like you go above and beyond with your clients, and they’ll look past some of that other stuff, or they’ll pay more like we talked about earlier because they really like working with Eric and his team and you actually respond to your emails and stuff quick and they really like working with you. So that’s awesome, man. I love I love that you have all that place and those partners, did you? Did you meet a lot of them through the Divi community? Or are there any local people you partner with? What did that look like for you?

Eric 35:23
Uh, they would have everybody I met was through the Divi community. Yeah, either through like, you know, Stephanie’s group, the focus on your biz, on Facebook, that her Facebook group, or your Divi group. So yeah, it would have, it would have all been through that community.

Josh 35:47
That’s awesome. And that’s another powerful thing with Divi, in general is just the amazing community around it. Like, you know, it’s not just about getting work, it’s about connecting with other people to where you just never know what doors are gonna open with partnerships. And I just love that. I think it’s awesome. It’s amazing. I mean, you really, you went from being a practitioner, to becoming the business owner, entrepreneur very quickly. But then you started scaling your business immediately, which is super cool, too. I love that you, you know, kind of took that step rather quickly. Because again, where your business is right now, you know, a lot of people would take several years to get to that point. So you know, I think that’s huge.

Eric 36:27
It’s like I said, nobody’s more surprising. It’s staggering. It’s just mind blowing. My wife come in the office the other day, and he’s like, I gotta show you something. And so I use, um, so I know you 17 hats, you’re a big proponent of 17 hats. I landed on dubsado For which is basically does all the same stuff. There were just some things in it that was a little bit different than I liked. So I landed on on dubsado. And I brought my wife and I was like, I want you to see this, our dashboard. And I and I opened it up. And she was like, Holy crap. She’s like, What is that number I like, that’s our current open invoices that we’re collecting on.

Eric 37:07
Um, none of them’s past due or anything. And it was like $20,000 and wait for the month that will close out by the end of next week. And we’ve already added like, 17 on for coming after that. And so it’s just like, you know, I wouldn’t when I was out listening to the Divi chat, you know, binge watching those even go through your maintenance course. I, I would have never even bet money on us being where we are 12 months in. That’s amazing. Yes. So I hadn’t if I hadn’t had the systems and if I hadn’t followed your course, and put together the systems, you know, it we wouldn’t be here because I wouldn’t have been able to take on as many projects.

Josh 37:50
Yeah, in percentage wise. You’ve got let’s say what eight main services with new websites, redesigns, logos, graphics, branding, SEO, content services, social media hosting, flatmate and so white label? What are your percentages look like? Are is most of that money coming? Or is it like half of it recurring with the maintenance plan? Half of it website build slash social media? What are the percentage looks? What are the percentages look like?

Eric 38:15
So let’s see. You know, we’ve done one logo and graphic design project.

Josh 38:23
Okay, so that’s more of a secondary. Yeah.

Eric 38:27
And like I said, Well, I’m probably going to take that off the website. Um, and just realize, like, you know, we can offer that when we land a client that needs it. You know, like, if we’re working with a startup we can we can provide that. And that was really the only reason it’s on there is I wanted, you know, startups and new folks to see like, Hey, listen, for the convenience. We can be your one stop shop and all this. I’m not trying to I know, I’ve no desire to recruit a client just to do their logo.

Josh 38:58
Yeah. You know what, Eric, you should you should talk to Dominic de Sosa, who I had on I think Episode Five. He created the Divi awards. He does branding and marketing stuff. Amazing designer. I know he’s, he’s looking for more partners with that. So I would highly recommend, maybe talk with him about potentially partnering up with that area. Yeah, absolutely. Because yes, yeah, sometimes you don’t want to offer something if you don’t have somebody reliable to fill that because then you’re gonna have to do it all yourself. I felt that same way, which is sexy. Kind of one reason I stripped down my services for my business. Well, the main reason is because I want to devote my time to doing this and courses. But yeah, I kind of felt that same way. I was, like, unless I have a really big need for a service or a really good partner to partner up with that. I’m not gonna you know, I’ll just refer to somebody I’m not gonna oversee it unless it’s worthwhile, because then you don’t want to offer a service and then they don’t do good. And it’s like, well, shoot, that kind of makes you look bad. If you offer a white label service. It doesn’t go so well.

Eric 39:54
Yeah, yeah. So we’ll probably like I said, though, because in right now I’m able to continue That too, because we’re just not getting client that’s like we’re not relying on our website, you know, to you know, coastal, coastal city creative calm is not where I’m, I’m not doing anything really with it even right now to market it. Because I don’t have the margin right now. But because I’ve got this white label client in Ohio, he’s got six salespeople.

Eric 40:24
They’re out regularly with client, oh, yeah, oh, you need a website. Let’s let’s and so like I have an email account with him. So there they are, they think they are working with me as an employee of that company. And like I haven’t, you know, branded email address with them. And I know, some people are like, Oh, but if you do that, then you can’t build your own portfolio? Well, technically, I have two portfolios. Because I made I maintain their website. And so I have a portfolio of projects on their website. And then I’ve got my website. So I actually have two portfolios out there. And not just one. So that that isn’t a concern I have with with being a being a white label provider. Yeah. And so yeah, and it’s now funny, because now I have I work with Christian who’s a white label. And so he’s doing some, some of the projects are my white label clients. So we’re like, double deep, you know, here and white.

Josh 41:22
Yeah, I was gonna say you’re a few rows back now with white labeling. And it’s interesting because you are a white label your white labeling, but you’re also a white label. So it’s kind of interesting that you’re on both ends of the spectrum there, which is really cool. And that’s the power of white labeling, particularly in the Divi community. It’s a very valid model. A lot of business owners just don’t want to handle the design and the project management which is where somebody like yourself or other white label partners, and I did a few episodes back with Gino kudos about I’m not sure if you listen to that one about white labeling a lot of good strategies there too. I mean, that’s such a, particularly for designers who maybe are not ready to build their own business yet, but they just want to design websites and get the industry that’s a great way to go. Yeah. So yes, but percentages wise, I didn’t mean to stray us away from that, what is it kind of like, you know, I’m just kind of, I was just kind of curious, like, where your most profitable services are and what that looks like for you.

Eric 42:14
Web design and maintenance and hosting, you know, hands down. So we’re about $8,000 a month now on recurring revenue. And so I know that’s coming in every single month. And then the vast majority is website builds. The SEO, some of those are recur. I’ve got, I think, three recurring white label SEO projects going on monthly. But I mean, my my keep margin on that is probably $25, you know, per client. So it really is, it’s more of a, I’m your, you know, we’re your place, we got your back, you know, and so we’re able to send them their analytics reports as part of things. But I do that so I can maintain the relationship to keep their website on maintenance and hosting.

Josh 43:10
A great point. And it’s all it’s all connected to, like SEO content services, all my clients asked about social media, it’s just not something I do. I really want it handled just because I don’t have the bandwidth for So inevitably, I just refer them to a couple trusted local partners and stuff.

Eric 43:26
Yep. So now on the social media, the marketing company in Ohio that I white label for, they do swag promotional products, video production, social media, now they do video production in Ohio. So if I need that in Virginia project, I have local folks. But they do social media. So there if I have somebody that needs social media, they’re going to do as a white label. So we have a mutual why you truly.

Josh 43:56
Beneficial. Yeah, how cool is that they have what’s the circle of life for a web design business right there. They’re sending clients to you to white label within your sending clients, and then for their services. What a great relationship.

Eric 44:08
And, man, I would encourage folks, one of the things and I’ve I’ve talked to the owner of this company about it recently, Kirby so like they even have, they have a customer appreciation show every year in October where they bring in vendors. And they invite all of their clients to come in and see all the new, you know, ink pens and coffee mugs and tumblers and signs and T shirts and all that, you know, all the swag and apparel. Well, this last year, I went up, excuse me, and I had a table there. And we booked you know, several projects that way. So that was exciting.

Eric 44:42
So I started talking to him about putting together some mutual presentations to go to some of the industry conferences for promotional products. Because there are a lot of places out there that sell promotional products. And what are they talking about with every one of their clients, Mark can eat? Well, it’s a part of the marketing, web design. And these promotional products were like, hey, yeah, I don’t, I don’t do that, but I’ll sell you a coffee mug. And so we’re willing, I’m willing to take this model and say, Listen, if you’re a promotional product supplier, I can I can, you know, we can be in partnership. And that’s where I decided, how can I help them sell more promotional products? Well, what if I found different ways each month to promote your website with swag, you know, or something like that? And so, um, so I would encourage web designers out there look for look for a local, you know, promotional products supplier.

Josh 45:35
Yeah. Cuz they’re dealing with businesses, business owners, that’s key, you’re not dealing and a lot of those. I mean, some might be startups, but generally, any of those types of businesses they’re working with, like business owners and people who are controlling the money or having to say so which is he or they’re working with a marketing director, which is gonna, you know, be the the gateway to, to landing bigger projects. So that’s cool.

Eric 45:56
Yeah, yeah, we just so we just landed a $12,000 design project for a senior living facility in Ohio, that Kirby’s company has been doing the marketing for four years. And they’ve kept asked because they do video production forum, they’re doing their, you know, they do all their print all that, you know, everything, you know, signs, banners, and everyone’s wanted to ask them about their website and courage, like, we don’t do that, you know, and they’re working with a web design company, they’re having a terrible experience. And they circle back around the Caribbean. criticals. Actually, now we do that. And it was the it was an easy sell. Because I didn’t have to sell myself, I was coming in under the established brand identity of Kirby’s business. Yeah. And so it was, it was a 30 minute phone call, and I had a $12,000 contract.

Josh 46:47
Oh, that’s awesome, man. And one thing I was just thinking about offering these different services is, because there’s pros and cons to offering a lot of different services, some of the pros, well, maybe we’ll talk about the cons. First, the cons are, you’re just, there’s a lot more bandwidth to deal with. And you need to make sure you’re in a place where you have good partners, which luckily you are sounds like you’ve really surrounded yourself, and you’ve gotten into the Divi community, you’ve got your systems and processes in place to where you can handle a lot of these leads. But some of the cons are Yeah, like you, if you offer too much, you become kind of a jack of all trades, but master of none, unless you partner with people, which is huge. So that’s, that’s the good thing about that.

Josh 47:27
And the other, those are some of the cons, the the, the pros are with with having a decent amount of suite of services, like you’re talking about, is while yes, your majority of your profit comes from website designs, redesigns, and maintenance and hosting. The cool thing about the other stuff is like you just said, yeah, the margins may be small, even if it’s 25 bucks a month, or 50 bucks a month, at least you are still that person for your client. And what the cool thing about that too, is all the things we’ve talked about whether it’s SEO, content services, social media, all of our clients have those needs. So to be that person who is like their trusted digital marketing web person, that is huge.

Josh 48:09
And then yeah, if you can keep it on your business and just white label it, that elevates you even more, because any question or any need they have, that’s more money in your pocket, because if they’re like, hey, we want to do social media, and then you either do it internally, or you can sub that out. That’s gold. And again, even if it’s a small margin, it’s still worthwhile. And let’s be honest, if there’s a small margin on SEO, maybe you’re making 50 bucks a month on that, maybe there’s content services, maybe that’s an extra 50 bucks, social media, let’s say that’s 50 bucks, well, there’s an extra 150 a month just in that one client of recurring income. So it all adds up, which I think is a very valuable concept when it comes to offering like a suite of services. Absolutely.

Eric 48:53
And so I have a VA virtual assistant, Kam, she’s amazing. She totally handles everything in manage WP. And we’re so we use that to, you know, for our maintenance plan. And it’s a little more complex, because we have we have two accounts, because I have all of my clients in one account, and all of Kirby’s clients and another. So that was for the branding and the reports there might be a way to do.

Josh 49:21
You can do it now. Yeah, no, okay. Because you probably saw my course like the way I do it with my white label because I only have one white label account one client, but we just have them tagged separately. And those reports still come from us from in transit. I know you can brand those out the reports out I’m not sure if you can bring it with different companies stuff though. Maybe there’s a way that might be worth asking support, but either way, I mean, still cheap, the way.

Eric 49:49
The way their pricing works, it doesn’t matter because it’s it’s a per service per site, pricing model, you know, so it does but but anyway, Kam, she’s in there you know, and she does all the reports and all of that. She does a great job. And I pay her $100 a month. And those little side project things that’s paying for my VA. So it all kind of mean it. It totally works out. Totally works out.

Josh 50:17
Yeah, yeah, that’s great man, you’ve really got a good set of not only the suite of services, which I think are all, probably where most web designers want to get to, to where they can manage this. But again, going back to the pros and cons of offering a lot of services. The trick is, you have some people you can rely on. And that’s the problem I see with one person businesses who offer all this is first of all, they just can’t keep up with that amount of work.

Josh 50:43
And second of all, they just can’t keep up with all that stuff changes dramatically, like web design, as we know, with Divi, there’s updates, stuff changes constantly, SEO changes constantly. blogging and content services is probably the most stable as far as like the way Google wants to see sites with HTML structure and stuff. And blogging, like that’s pretty much that really hasn’t changed at all over the years. But social media, my gosh, social media changes constantly maintenance and hosting, and doesn’t change too much. But I guess that all that to say, yeah, if you’re going to offer a lot of suite of services, really good idea, just make sure you have the bandwidth, either handle it or sub it out, and make it worth your while.

Eric 51:24
Well, and I think then, as the business owner, I can focus now more on tracking with things like, you know, how do I set us up to be able to make a promise, and deliver on a promise that we’re gonna make your site compliance compliant with ADA. I just had my first conversation with Kristian the other day, and we’re starting to talk through like, what’s coming down the line with dark mode? Like, you know, are we gonna have to start, you know, building websites into color variations, like, what’s that gonna look like? I’m also started, like, you know, all the new privacy policy stuff, you know, and then I can look for a solution like, you know, term GDPR, and all that. Yeah, and all that kind of stuff.

Eric 52:09
Well, I can either work and be an in keep up on all of that kind of stuff, and continue to position our business. So we’re competitive and all of those things. Or I can put all of my time into learning how to use every new button and switch and feature in Divi. Well, where am I going to Divi is just my tool right now. It’s all we use for lots of reasons. But I’m not going to die with Divi, if it starts losing the game, it’s just my tool. But all of these other things, really determined the tool I use and how we use it in our brand promises and stuff like that. So as the business owner, for me to be able to hit I need to focus more of that. And I still, I still play around in all the sites, you know, things like that, because I want to know the possibilities. Sure, you know, so yeah.

Josh 53:01
And it’s Yeah, and it’s it’s important to have a pulse on, you know, design and what’s happening and all that. But that’s a really good point you’re hitting on, which is, and this is what I found out with myself, when I transitioned from practitioners designer to business owner is, while I was working on all the sites and doing everything myself, there were all these other tasks and all these other roles in the business as the business owner that nobody could get to that nobody was doing because I was busy designing or I was busy fiddling around with a CSS issue or something like that. And I got to that point, once I started scaling my business, and thankfully, Jonathan, my lead designer did a really good job at really just I mean, again, I just kind of threw him in. And then similarly with you and Christian, I saw one of the designs he did and I was like, wow, that’s really good. Like I gave him the information, gave him some room to just do his thing. And it was awesome. And that really set in motion for me. It’s like, okay, I’ve got my designer, like he is now he’s a better designer than I am. So I’m looking at stuff he’s doing now. I’m like, wow, hats off, that’s freaking sweet. You’re making me look good. You’re making our business look good, like, those designs are better than what I was doing previously.

Josh 54:09
But more importantly, like that is freed me up to work on the business. And that’s just huge. Because yeah, if you’re that practitioner who was just in the business all the time, going back to what you said earlier, if you don’t have time to work on the business, and just client focused customer relationship stuff like now, you can probably you’re probably at the point where you could devote more like email marketing, and doing any sort of like features are the one area my business that I really have not done well at which I am going to start doing better as really circling back around with all my clients with some email marketing and stuff. That’s huge. And you couldn’t do that if you’re designing all the sites and playing around with something on CSS or whatever. Not that those roles are not super important. It’s just you have to decide who’s going to do those roles and who’s going to work on the business and as a business owner, you have to decide what do you want to do like what hats do you want to wear?

Eric 55:01
Yeah, absolutely. And because, you know, this afternoon, I’m going to go sit down and record a podcast. But it’s not for my brand. I’m recording a podcast for Discover Ovie, you know, for the local business association. But the reason I have the time to do that is because I have these other systems in place. But that podcast episode this afternoon is with the owner of a coffee shop, who wants a brand new website. And so there’s a very high likelihood, I’m going to walk out of there with the a new client today, and really excited about that. But I’m going in there to do this other thing that’s helping our community. So it’s just I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was having to build all of these open website projects right now.

Josh 55:53
Good point. Good point. And that’s actually a whole nother strategy. And I think I talked about that in the business course, which is like, how to position yourself not only as an authority, but as a connector with the community and with potential clients, because instead of just calling him up and being like, Hey, do you want to meet about your website, doing a podcast, doing something that benefits community is gonna put you in a better position than you would be? Had you just call them up said, Hey, your website sucks. Can we talk about that? Like, what a valuable way to go about that, as far as just being a community minded connector in a lot of different ways, which that’s always that’s the best sales tool right there. And you get to multipurpose your content, because now you have a podcast that other people are listening. So it’s not like you met with him behind closed doors. And then your whole conversation just happened between you two. And that’s it, it’s gone. Well, now you have something that is repeated over and over and over, which is another great strategy that’s completely off topic than this. But yeah, you know, that’s something else to consider.

Eric 56:53
Well, and the other thing is, like, the business association is great. But being a member of the ocean view, Business Association, as just a member business would actually bring me no benefit, because they do a lot of great events in the community, like, we’re gonna have a big float in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. And they’re like, you know, if so, if you’re a member business, you can bring swag, and, you know, they’ll hand out you know, your ink pens, or cozies, or beach balls or whatever, on the parade route.

Eric 57:20
The average family on the parade route is never going to hire me, you know, because they don’t need I’m a business to business. And they and so while I wanted to be a part of the business association, I looked at and said, Well, what value outside of education and that’s important, and networking. That’s important. But how can I turn that into money? You know, just to be kind of blunt and crass about it. That’s what I needed. Um, and so that’s where it led to, and I think it was it was it was Gino, I heard kind of did he do the podcast, but he had kind of the same thing happened with Chamber of Commerce. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And so that’s where I got the idea when I heard that. And he was also a by vocational pastor. And so I reached out to him on on Twitter, and we talked for a little bit that way. Um, yeah, and just like that kind of was where that that idea came from. And then I just one of my leadership axioms is wrestle with the principle behind the practice.

Eric 58:19
So when you hear if somebody’s having a practice, or a thing they’re doing that’s working for them, you for the first thing you need to do is wrestle with why is it working? And now how do I contextualize that for my unique environment? Instead of just trying to copy it? Because just because it worked for them, doesn’t mean it’s gonna work for you. If, you know, based upon the different circumstance, stuff like that. So I took his idea, wrestled with it and contextualized it here. And I said, it’s been my gosh, it’s, I wouldn’t have I probably have got 90% of my clients have come from both the marketing company in Ohio in the business association here. And that’s and they’re though they’re split 5050. So I would only be 10% of where I am right now. If I hadn’t done this.

Josh 59:10
Yeah. Well, and you’ve, you’ve devoted your attention to those two, like you could do more, you could do more marketing, but shoot, if it’s working with white labeling, and if it’s working with your, you know, local communities, local connections, by golly, go for it. That’s and that’s some that’s a lot cheaper. I mean, it’s more time intensive in some ways. Well, the local stuff may be more time intensive, but face to face is always the best at all. I mean, face to face conversions are gonna you know, Trump doing social media marketing to random people who don’t want to see what you have to say, you know, it’s, it’s just, it’s absolutely the way to go. You can do it. The white labeling is a good way to do things remotely. So it’s awesome to see that you’re doing the kind of the best of both worlds.

Eric 59:51
It’s, it’s really worked out. It’s kind of it’s kind of cool. Somebody told me the other day, they was talking with the business owner, he’s like, so you’ve kind of become the Voice of ocean view. And so I thought, well, that’s kind of cool. And it is neat to be, you know, we’ve reached a point now doing this for a year that I’ve met so many of the business owners and things like that, that we can be out and around in the community. And we’re almost always running into people we know now and we’re building relationships with people that are like minded and you know, there are kids are certain hang out with their kids. And it’s just, it’s just made our the quality of our life here better.

Josh 1:00:27
Oh, sure. Yeah, it’s particularly since you know, you guys are still fairly new there. It’s not like you live there all your life handful of years now. Now, I’m curious, Eric, how are you managing all this? Like, what is your time look like you have your four kids now which again, I mean, that’s just so awesome. I love hearing that the adoption went through. And, again, it just makes it you know, it just completely changed a lot in me with my courses to realize how, you know, I don’t know, it’s just amazing to, you know, to see that come through, and to see how what I’ve learned in my experience has helped you with that was so gratifying. And I just love that you shared that with me. And it’s awesome. And I’m just,

Eric 1:01:06
I mean, I just, I just want to be direct and say I mean, it literally your courses, the material literally has changed the direction of the life of these two kids. Because it positioned us financially, to be able to give them a forever family. And so I we can’t thank you enough. It’s been it’s amazing.

Josh 1:01:26
Wow, thank you for that Eric, man that is just so incredible to hear. And it just makes all the hard work I put into this endeavor worth it. Not only just, you know, providing for my family, but to hear that like this. And that’s one reason I just love what I’m doing right now with this is because it has those much more deeper impacts, I realized what I’m doing now. I mean, I, I felt very fulfilled helping clients because it was growing their businesses and helping their families and stuff. But it’s even more gratifying now to hear that kind of situation where I’m helping other people who are in my situation a handful of years ago and helping their family. So thank you so much, man, I just love hearing that. That really, I’ll never forget that man. That was one of the best days of this endeavor was seeing that come through.

Josh 1:02:08
Yeah, and I’m just like, you know, you’ve got the nugget for kids. You’re a pastor, you’re a business owner, you’re really involved with community? How are you? How are you working? Kind of side note, what’s your time? Like? Do you do you? Uh, do you try to keep to a certain number hours a week? Do you really segment your time? Because that’s a lot of stuff. Man, I’m impressed that you’re you’re able to handle all that. What’s that look like? For you? Sure.

Eric 1:02:29
So yeah, so I divide my time between the two. So with the church, we have a co lead pastor. So you know, our church has gone from about 18 people to you know, close to 300. And so we’ve just been, you know, blessed there. So I’m, I’m the teaching pastor. And so as in so I’ve got this CO lead pastor, so we alternate teaching a series, so I’ll teach for four weeks, he’ll teach four weeks, and then I focus on communications, you know, our website, social media, all that kind of stuff for for the church. So it’s kind of, you know, right, right there. Um, so I give about, you know, 25 hours, 25 to 30 hours to each endeavor, you know, okay, so the business gets about 25 to 30. The Church says, I’m an early riser, though. So except for, you know, Monday morning, because Sunday’s game day, and that just.

Josh 1:03:28
Sure, yeah. That’s all pastors stories. Right. Your Monday’s the Saturday for pastors, right?

Eric 1:03:33
Yeah. Well, for me, my Saturday is still my Saturday. I just I sleep in on Monday, but by sleepin on Monday, I mean to like, you know, 637. But I just developed I’m still between 430 and five. You know, I’m up working for a few hours. The kids get up. We have I work from home. I’m in my home office. You know, so we have breakfast together. And I come back to my office. I do a lot of work this way. remotely. And then, yeah, and so I just have a team of people. And so a lot of my time is managing, you know, Slack and Trello and email. And I take no meetings on Wednesday, Wednesday’s a meeting free day. Nice. And, you know, Friday is kind of saved for cleanup day. And I tend to only do meetings, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Josh 1:04:27
Those are good meeting days, too. That’s the same thing with me. I try to and I actually try to do the same thing with calls like we’re doing this on it was Yeah, today’s Tuesday. So my days are mixed up right now. I haven’t 202. But yeah, it’s same thing with me. I found that Mondays, Mondays can be an OK, meeting day. However, when it comes to our services as web designers, I feel like a lot of business owners are thinking about, you know, like they’re getting caught up at their own clients to where Monday can be a little jumbled. Usually by Tuesday, they’re kind of settled into the weekend and they can focus on their business. Wednesdays are usually okay. But to your point, like it’s good to have a day in the middle of the week to just clear it out if you can. Thursdays are another great meeting day because it’s like they’re wrapping up the week. They have a lot of stuff that they’ve either built up and then they can talk about it. And Thursday is usually good, too, because they’re not completely burnout from the week yet, like Friday, but they’re still like they’re on they’re on fire to kind of wrap up strong.

Josh 1:05:23
And then yeah, Fridays are typically it seems like those the worst meeting days just because people are done. My networking group meets really early on Friday mornings, we meet at 730. Well, really early to me probably afternoon for you at 730 in the morning. But, you know, generally after that, that’s kind of my day to same thing kind of clean up. Sometimes I’ll work on content that I actually love Fridays because I generally try to work a half day I try to stop about one or two to hang out with my family and stuff after that. But yeah, yeah, like those those are, those are kind of the good day to kind of wrap up the week maybe do a little bit of planning.

Josh 1:05:58
I don’t, I tend to kind of jump on on Sundays periodically just to catch up with Jonathan and Jonathan’s 16 hours ahead of me right now in Australia. So he’s got questions Monday morning, I jump on that kind of plan out the week. But But yeah, that’s that schedule. And that idea of kind of structuring your week, in your time segments, I think that’s huge. That’s another big thing that a lot of people struggle with. Because a lot of people in your position are gonna, it’s gonna be hard, it’s going to seem like it’s impossible to build a business like you have in a year. But you’re doing that while being a pastor and adopting so time management, structuring your schedule, obviously, being an early riser, what a pro that is, because the house is probably quiet you can I imagine you get some of your most productive segments in early right?

Eric 1:06:42
Well, yes. And no, the first, you know, hour of my day, is I’m sitting in what I call my thinking chair nice. And, and for me, um, that’s, that’s, you know, I have some personal routine, you know, morning routine. So, I’m going to, I’m going to read my Bible, you know, I’m gonna spend some time reading my Bible and, and just reflecting on that, um, and, you know, reading, uh, you know, using a, you know, a Bible study app or something like that. And that’s not sermon prep time. That’s just me personal. I got to get me better time. Um, and then and then I shift over to am I thinking chair thinking about my business day, and, you know, kind of like, so Monday is very much a church day.

Eric 1:07:28
By the end of the day, Monday, I have my sermon for the following Sunday, if I’m preaching that week, like I have it, you know, done. I have all of our announcements, you know, done. I design all the slides and graphics and all that. So I put all that together. Because then the rest of the week, I’ve got a team that needs that. A proofreader that proves set, a worship leader that loads it all into our graphics, computers and all that. So to set my team up for success, I have to have all of that done Monday. Oh, so So that happens there. And so yeah, so it’s kind of regimented out that way. But my morning time is really it’s quiet, I can think and reflect. And once I, once I crack that first email open.

Josh 1:08:09
My mind that’s going Yeah, yeah, that’s one reason I like going Do you ever work in a coffee shop? Because I know for me, I love going to coffee shops to do certain tasks. And to think a lot of times, particularly like when I’m writing a course and laying out a course. I can never do that in my home office. Yeah, I just become distracted. Yeah, I don’t know whether it’s just because I, I get not complacent in here, but I try not to stay in my office too much. Inevitably, I need and that’s just for anything, you you sit in a place for too long, your mind just doesn’t do as well, creatively, sometimes it’s good to kind of change your surroundings a lot. But yeah, I found like coffee shops really helped me out. Do you get out of the house at all? When you work? I don’t know what your gear looks like.

Eric 1:08:50
Um, sometimes, but for me, so I’m I happen to be legally blind. So I’ve low vision and working from it’s just, it’s just much more convenient to have my large monitor. Okay, work. And so, but yeah, so I’ve got a couple of standing meetings throughout the week. You know, so every, our church is an hour from here. And so I only tend to go to the church twice a week. You know, now this is all seasonal to like, there are times where we’ve, we have another church that we were merging with right now. And this last Sunday was each of our churches last Sunday as individual churches. This coming Sunday is our first Sunday as a new church. And so I’m gonna be over there a lot this week, because there’s yeah, there’s just a lot going on.

Eric 1:09:40
And then like, Easter, Christmas, these are these are busy seasons, and I never know when I’m going to get a phone call for somebody needs me in the emergency room, or I have to do a funeral or something like that. Um, so I always have to have that built in kind of flexibility ready to go. Um, so yeah, so I tend to Just work in work in my office except for when I have standing meetings, and I’ve got a standing desk, so I can raise and lower it. A couple of weeks ago, I got a treadmill added to it. I love my new treadmill. That’s been cool. So yeah, yeah, and I just my doors, when my doors open, my kids can walk in anytime, which has been very helpful during the bringing our adopted kids home. We breakfast lunch and dinner together as a family and I’ll be honest, if it’s a nice day, we may grab the beach chairs and a fishing pole and head down to the beach.

Josh 1:10:34
That’s awesome, man. Do you have a policy like if your door is closed? Your family knows you’re doing a call or a podcast because that’s kind of what we do. Like I let my wife know All right, or she sees the schedule. Okay, got a podcast call. Don’t bother daddy then. can’t quite tell my toddler that yeah, it’s gonna be interesting as she becomes more like, you know, banging at my door. He’s not quite like she knows where I am. But she’s not quite at that point. Where she’s like knocking on my door. Yeah, but I feel like we’re right around the corner from that.

Eric 1:11:01
Yeah, we started out. And I’ve because I’ve, even before I had the business, I’ve been a work at home person. So we started with a little stop sign that I would tape on the bottom of the door and to have that visual, big red thing. So that that helped when our kids were toddlers, but at this stage of life, they know. But I mean, it’s very rare. Do I have to close my door? Unless I’m doing something like this?

Josh 1:11:27
Yeah. Well, Eric, this has been incredible man, I’ve loved getting a chance to actually talk with you. You know, it’s funny, as a course creator, I see so many emails and message a lot of people but getting a chance to you know, even not even not personally face to face, but actually just screen to screen, get a chance to meet you and talk with you has been really, really cool. It’s been awesome to see your journey. I was trying to like sum up your path in this first year to kind of to kind of put a cap on this episode, because we really covered a lot of good information. Is it safe to say, though, kind of the way I’m thinking about this is you started out, did some freelance, you knew there were some Villa validity, excuse me, do your business.

Josh 1:12:07
You started with your mindset, you focused on recurring income, you built your business around that you started adding other services, you built partnerships within the Divi community within your local community. And you really took the next step with offering more services, and then learn, you know, you’re constantly learning leveling up personnel or personal development wise, becoming the business owner. And then you started scaling, brought in Christian and you’re working with other people as far as the white label stuff. I mean, that all combined, you built your business up to six figures in a year. Is it safe to say that? Would you add anything else into your journey? I guess that’s my question. Do you have like a maybe even like a final thought as to what you did to really fast track your business? Or what you would recommend others do as well?

Eric 1:12:55
Yeah, I’d recommend, you know, start with the end in mind. You know, a Stephen Covey would say, you know, get start with get the right mindset, what are you setting out to do? Get your mindset and then build your systems, get it in place? How are you gonna do it and build your systems for the next phase, you know, build your systems for as far down the road as you possibly can? That That makes sense. And some of your system, you’ll be like, this seems like, ridiculous, I have this, I’m not that big yet, you’re going to need that system to be in place to get there.

Eric 1:13:28
So identify the systems, you’re going to need, the ones you can get built, build them phased, phased, up, phased up, and that’s cool. And then go attack, you know, with your, your marketing, and your plan and stuff like that, and decide how you’re gonna do it, you’re gonna be large funnel, to narrow and you’re gonna cast a wide net, and you’re gonna try to do a lot of, you know, marketing and email, you know, campaigns and click baits and, you know, add value to people through a downloadable resource. And that’s all great. That’s just not I just, it’s just not how I’m wired. And so I just, I decided to flip my funnel and find what can I really focus on? That’s relational, and then you and then find your partnerships. And so yeah.

Josh 1:14:19
Which is convenient. Would you say that convenience is kind of your first, like, that’s the start of your funnel is customer care? I would say this that kind of expands.

Eric 1:14:27
Now, I would say the start of my funnel is my my marketing client relationship and the Ocean View Business Association. Okay, gotcha. Like, where am I? Who am I? So here’s the here’s the thing, identify your gatekeepers if, unless you’re going to go directly into your, to attract your ideal clients. That would be a wide funnel approach. A narrow funnel would be you’re gonna work through gatekeepers, you know, so I’m working through gatekeepers, who has the relationships with the people I want as a client, and that’s who I marketed through. So I guess that would be kind of how I would describe that.

Josh 1:15:07
That’s a great description. That’s awesome. It’s the same idea. And premise I’ve had with networking and being involved involved with, like professional groups is there are like, whoever your ideal clients are, whether it’s a certain type of industry or niche or business, you want to be in the places where they actually are, or they’re connected with, which is huge.

Eric 1:15:26
Yeah, absolutely. And asking and asking people, so. And a lot of this I got carried over from being a pastor, you know, being a church planter, and, and growing the church from 1800 300, stuff like that, like, every time I would meet with somebody, when we were building the church up. At the end of the meeting, I would always ask, so who do you know that I should know? And you know, and I just got several great relationships that way and partnerships. So, um, but yeah, so yeah, so I think Summing up, I would say, mindset, systems, partnerships, marketing.

Josh 1:15:58
That’s great. That’s great. It sounds like your experience. It’s another great example of how a completely different experience translated to the web design world, which I’m all about. I love that, that what you experienced as a pastor, you brought that right into your business, whether you’ll be people minded, having a purpose, doing things off of why your business really started out with the adoption, which, again, is just so awesome. So yeah, that’s really, really cool. Man, I think that’s a lot of great takeaways that people can can apply to their business. And you know, a lot of people are going to want to hang on to the Freelancer role. And I talked, as you know, I talked about this in my business course, you’re either a freelancer or an entrepreneur, most people will will graduate from being a freelancer to becoming an entrepreneur.

Josh 1:16:42
But there’s no rush on that. Like, I encourage people like if you’re not ready to become an entrepreneur, big business owner yet, that’s okay, cuz I was in that same boat, I don’t regret. In some ways, I wish I would have done things a little sooner. But I enjoyed being the practitioner my business for a long time, I was never out of control until I got to that like 23 clients at once. Kind of 23 projects at once point. So you know, it’s okay to be that freelancer. But I feel like as soon as you get to that place where you know, there’s a call, or there’s a feeling that you have that, like, I can’t do this on my own, or you’re ready to level up everything that we’ve covered. Basically, I would say, look at Eric’s story and do exactly what Eric just said this podcast, because that it really is I mean, they’re good universal topics that anyone can, can apply, which is great, man. So I’m really excited for Eric can’t wait to see, gosh, what you’ve done in one year, just thinking what’s going to happen at the end of 2021. You know, give it this year, next year, holy cow.

Eric 1:17:35
Yeah, it’s, it’s very excited. You know, our, our kind of long term goals here is, is we’re trying to figure out, you know, if we’re going to set up a 501 C three, that that’s we’re gonna start funneling the financial resources from the business into to fund adoptions or have or you know, my countenance just been like, dude, bring the money home and you and your wife just have fun giving it away. You know, there’s nothing wrong with that. So we just may do it that way. And just try to you know, just have fun, you know, blessing the socks off of people. So we’ll see what happens.

Josh 1:18:09
It could also promote that in a way to have you set up some sort of donation funnel like I know. We need to get some we buy a Honda Odyssey van few months back, and we need to get some new car mats. And we’re looking at shoot, what’s the really it’s like the most expensive car mat forget what it’s called. Uh..

Eric 1:18:31
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, Real hard plastic. Yeah, like it industrial grade or whatever. But people are yelling at us right now the answer just.

Josh 1:18:41
I know that. I’m gonna hear I’m gonna listen back to this and be like ducks. I won’t cover it. But anyway, that company, the owner has a golden retriever. And we’re a golden retriever family. We have a golden we just love her to death. And long story short, they’re going had cancer, they said it was not going to live but they funded some research and they developed a cure and and really helped this goal now and she’s just, you know, new life now. And they put a donation thing on that site. Man, I cannot believe I can’t remember what it is. But anyway, that is a big, it’s a big, you know, corporate website. And they have this little donation thing for the Golden Retriever or you can donate to Golden Retriever research for cancer and stuff. So I donated, I donated and we’re gonna buy some of those mats here pretty soon. So that’s something you could do potentially to his, you know, kind of make it very known what your what’s I think you do you have a giving section on your site. Right?

Eric 1:19:36
Giving Yeah, giving back you know, yeah. Yeah. To let people kind of know so.

Josh 1:19:41
Yeah, something you know, just kind of making it know, like what you’re passionate about. And that can lead to a lot of clients to like if somebody finds out you’re passionate about that. Who knows, maybe there’s a potential client that’s like, oh, we adopted or we’re thinking about adoption. That’s a great way. Not that you want to utilize that just for business or profit purposes, but it is a you know, sharing what you’re interested in And what you’re passionate about, it’s a win win. There’s no reason not to do that and add some personality to your, to your business.

Eric 1:20:06
Yeah. And if nothing else, it my preference would even be it might inspire someone to go, Hey, maybe we should become foster parents, maybe we should adopt, you know, we have the capacity to love a child that needs that. Like we could do that. And, you know, there, there are children that need forever families, and people need to step up to the plate and do it. So we’re, I would rather my story inspire someone to do that.

Josh 1:20:32
Right. And by the way, it’s WeatherTech. That’s the WeatherTech. I just looked it up. And yeah, WeatherTech because they have a bunch of like, if you go to their website, there’s Golden Retrievers all over the place. So I just love it.

Eric 1:20:43
That’s funny. We got a Honda Odyssey a couple months ago, too, so.

Josh 1:20:46
Oh, nice, nice. Yeah. Welcome to the club. Yeah, do it for four kiddos. Now I got to make some room. Yep. Yep. Awesome, Eric. Well, man, thank you for your time today. I know you’re a very, very busy dude. Again, I just want to reiterate what a joy and just a gratifying experience it is for me to see how far you’ve come. And thank you again for sharing, you know, all this. The the benefits of what I’ve offered in my experience to you, it just man. It just makes my makes my day every time I hear that, man. So thanks so much. I think this talk is gonna be really valuable for a lot of people in your position like Eric from a year ago. And man really excited for excited to see where things had to go as he had moved forward.

Eric 1:21:27
Thanks, Josh. And again, thanks for investing the time into putting those courses together to help me go further faster to bring our kids home.

Josh 1:21:37
That’s awesome, man. Absolutely. It’s been a pleasure, Eric. Awesome, man. Thanks for the great chat. I’ll see on the interwebs here. Sounds great. All right, man. See you.

Transcribed by

Web Design Business

The Web Design Business Podcast is available anywhere you listen:

Enjoying the show? Leave a podcast review 🙏

Episode presented by:

Learn how to build recurring income RIGHT NOW by offering your own website maintenance plan!

 Put an end to the "feast or famine" of web design
• Create consistent, stable, recurring income for yourself every month
• See how to craft your own plan that's based off of what has worked for me

"As a new web designer, I understood the power of recurring income and knew I needed to be able to offer a maintenance plan. Even with all the research I’d done on my own, I was struggling to put all the pieces together. Josh laid it all out beautifully in a step-by-step process that’s easy to follow and implement.

Now my maintenance plan is right on target. Not only has it paid for itself but it pays for itself each and every month. It was the perfect investment for my business. Thank you Josh for putting this together and teaching it in a way that anyone could follow!"

Tami K.

“I used the exact training methods, resources and strategies learned in the course and landed 4 clients right away, paying off the initial investment immediately. 4 months later, I have 18 maintenance plan clients with over $1,500/mo of recurring income!”

John Bendever

John B.