The most frequent question I get and see in my Divi Web Designers Facebook group is “How do I get clients?” I’ve talked a lot about this subject over the years through my courses, blog series and recently in my podcast (links below) but I figured it would be really handy for you to hear the actual stories behind how I got many of my best “A” clients. And that’s what this episode is.

I’m going to walk you through briefly how I got some of my top clients so you can hear practically how I did it. I’m hoping this will inspire you as well because, as you’ll see, these clients came about through all types of different methods and scenarios from networking, referrals, SEO, professional networks and many through my personal network.

Just remember to take one client and one project at a time, do a great job and watch the referral train start rolling!

In This Episode

02:06 – Sharing how to get clients
03:16 – Personal network
05:48 – Who friends know
08:00 – Not always a wasted trip
11:17 – No ads
13:10 – Work hard in excellence
14:52 – Building trust
16:48 – Fixing broken sites
21:28 – When research brings clients
23:57 – Utilizing secondary services
26:57 – Donโ€™t burn bridges
28:33 – Network in your industry
31:03 – Take one client at a time
35:28 – Sometimes itโ€™s not failure

Links mentioned:

Client sites mentioned:

Note: many sites might not reflect my initial build as some of these were done years ago and are often tweaked by clients ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Safex and their non profit site Capital City Area Safety Council
  2. Sorry, can’t link my white label client sites ๐Ÿ™‚
  3. Safeguard Risk Solutions and their product, Mobile Emergency Response Plan
  4. 3 in 1 trucking and logistics clients: Silvan Trucking, LCG Logistics and Buckeye Express Logistics
  5. The Retina Group
  6. The Barker Team Realtors
  7. Turner’s Barbershop & Turner’s Barber Co.
  8. Fuze Barbershop
  9. Tarrier Steel Co.
  10. The Refuge Ohio
  11. Wilson National
  12. Kent Smith Photography
  13. Buji Business
  14. Black Tech Columbus
  15. American Paw Partners
Full Transcription #056

Josh 0:17
Hey, everybody, welcome to Episode 56. In this one, I’m going to dish out how I got my top 15 web design clients. And I want to talk about this practically because I’ve released a lot of content about how to get web design clients. A lot recently here on the podcast, I’ve had several different episodes in interviews about getting clients and higher paying clients. I’ve also talked about getting clients multiple times in some in depth blog series that I’ll link to in the show notes on this episode. And I’ve also gone into really big detail in my business course on how to get web design clients. And I still see that question all the time and it’s understandable. You get started in web design immediately you’re curious “Well, how the heck do I actually get web design clients?” So it’s the most popular question. And I see it almost every day in my web designers Facebook group. And I thought I would kind of switch it up in this episode by literally just sharing how I got some of my top clients because I can give you all the strategies, methods and ideas of things that are practical and that I’ve experienced and what others do to get clients. But I think there’s a lot of power in hearing like an actual story about how I actually got some clients. So I’m going to share with you 15 quick stories in quick scenarios on how I get real clients. Now, I am going to name the businesses for these clients and I will link to their websites if you want to check them out.


Josh 1:43
Some there’s actually let’s see, I think there’s only one that I am going to keep elusive because they are kind of a private type of white label client. But every other one of these clients I’m going to link to so you can actually see the websites I’m referring to and you can get a feel for their business. And again, I’m not saying I’m not doing this episode with any sense of vanity, I actually just want to share with you exactly how I got these clients because they come from all different sorts of methods and strategies that I’ve already talked about with getting clients. So it’s going to be everything from networking to personal network to SEO and hopefully it helps you to get a really good idea and a proven path for you to follow to start getting web design clients, or get even more if you’ve already started your business. So without further ado, let’s do this thing. We’re going to start with number one, and I should say too, these are not like my best client from one to 15 these are just all really good what I consider A client’s, for those of you who’ve been through my business course, you know, and you’ve seen that I organize my clients in A client’s which are really good ones, B’s and C’s and kind of go down from there. So these are like A client’s in no specific order. So if you’re a client and you’re listening to this, it’s not like you’re, you know, number 15 out of 15. These are just, you know, I just kind of put these in here as my top 15 in no specific order. So We’re going to start off with one that is definitely one of my best clients. And this is a company called Safex. They’re based here in Columbus, Ohio. Now the way I got this project is, let’s see, this was originally through my personal network. So I’ve talked more numerous times about the power of using your personal network before you even do any sort of advertising or networking or anything like that, because there’s so much power in it. And you never know where some really solid clients can come from. So for example, on this one, my mother and father in law knew of a guy who was working for this safety organization for businesses, and they wanted to build a website for this little nonprofit they had for that worked with businesses for safety. And he just put a request out on Facebook and was like, hey, does anyone know a web designer, my nonprofit that I help out with is looking for a designer to this site. And my mother and father in law knew what I did. And so they I think they either shared it or they just told me about it. And I reached out to them, and we kind of hit it off. And I gave him a proposal for this project that was a fairly simple type of it was like a nonprofit that had events and some basic pages. It wasn’t anything too complex. And so I got that job. But what was interesting is I didn’t work with him, I actually worked with the president of this association. And she ended up being the person who actually was the marketing director for this company Safex. So I work with her for this nonprofit, it went really well. She was thrilled with the website design. And after that project, she was like, I want to get you in touch with my real company SafeX because we’ve, you know, we have a massive website. We have a lot of issues going on with it. And we were interested in, you know, potentially talking with you about redesigning it. And that’s how that all started. So she ended up bringing me in to meet with Safex and It was one of the highest and higher end projects I had ever done up to that point. I did that site back in, I think 2016. And I’m not gonna say the exact price here, but let’s just say it was like three times more than I had ever charged up to that point. So it was awesome. But it was a big site. And we just went so well working with her on this little nonprofit site that she felt comfortable bringing me in for the main Safex site. I got that job and it went awesome. It went great through and through, and they’ve been in A client ever since. And that’s how I got Safex. It stemmed from a personal esteem from my mother and father in law. So it was, you know, a personal network thing. So again, there’s a practical example of the power of your personal network, you never know. They it’s not that your friends or your families aren’t going to be your clients, but it’s who they know who might be clients and it’s who they know who they know who might be clients. So that’s number one.


Josh 5:54
Now number two, this is my hidden elusive client. So I can’t tell you the client name, but this is my own. white label type of client meaning they have a business. And I can tell you the industry they actually do like political marketing and campaigns. And I know this is like the most divided polarizing time. All I’ll tell you on this is they do stuff for like state level official. So it’s not like, you know, terribly to one side or the other. So I was comfortable with working with working with them. And you know, it’s been a great white label client ever since. Now, so I’ve done probably over the past maybe five or six years, I think I’ve worked on 30 or 40 plus sites for them all at all, maybe more than that. Some are like really quick landing pages. Some were like full blown big sites. And at one point, I was managing almost 30 websites for them on my maintenance plan client. At one point, they did remove about 15 or so because they didn’t need them anymore. But they’re still like an A plus client. Now, how I found out about them as an interesting story because I went to when I first started my business, this was in the first year, I heard about this networking event and I wasn’t even in my networking group yet. I’ll talk about that, I’ve talked about that a lot. I was in a networking group for eight years. I wasn’t even in that yet. I had just heard through, I think the Chamber of Commerce because I did join my chamber of commerce. There was like a ribbon, a ribbon cutting for a new business. And he said, it’s a great way to get your name out there and pass some cards out and meet some people. So that’s what I did. I went there. I was decked out in a long sleeve shirt with a tie. Side note, unless you’re cool and trendy, don’t wear a tie. It just comes across wrong. But in any case, it ended up working out for me in this one, because I met a lot of people and I had met somebody that I had, hadn’t seen since the church I used to go to when I was growing up. He was like, oh, Josh, how’s it going? I was like, wow, I haven’t seen you forever. And he’s like, what are you doing here? What’s up? And I was like, Oh, I just started doing website design. He said, Oh, that’s really cool. That’s interesting. Can I get your info on your card, so I gave him my card. I did not hear from him for like six months. So I didn’t think anything of it. I thought it was kind of a wasted trip. I didn’t really meet anybody else. However, he got in touch with me several months later, I think it was probably a good six months later, and was like, Hey, I work with a local print shop. And they’re always looking for help with web design, and they have clients who need web design help, would you be interested in meeting with my contact? So I was like, heck, yep. So I met him at Applebee’s one day for lunch. And he introduced me to this print guy. And this guy was like, well, we have this one client who does a lot of print and they really need some help with his website. And then they have some other websites that do that need help with. And that ended up being the contact for this white label company. So they got me in touch with this company in this contact and we hit it off and that’s how that entire relationship started. So it all stemmed from me going out getting out of my house off my butt to a ribbon cutting, meeting some people eating some free hotdogs, and I ended up making, you know, connection with a guy I hadn’t seen for years from my old church and then he knew a guy who knew the guy who would end up being my big time one of my eight plus clients for years and years, I wish I could say his name, but I’m going to keep it hidden just for for the purposes of this. But in any case, that’s how I got that client all stemmed again, from slightly personal network, but professional as well, because I actually went to an event. So that’s the second one.


Josh 9:19
Now the third one, this is a site called Safeguard Risk Solutions. And they also have a product called the Mobile Emergency Response Plan. So this is kind of a two in one combo style site. Actually, everyone I’ve talked about so far has been some sort of multi site deal. But I met the main owner that I met the owner of this company, through a friend of mine from high school. So my friend from high school knew that I did web design, because when I got into web design, I just let everyone know, hey, I’m doing web design. Now. If you know anybody, let me know. I’d love to help him out. Simple as that. Well, his uncle had started this company called Safeguard Risk Solutions. And he was like, Hey, you should talk to my friend Josh. He just started doing websites. I did this website originally back in 2012. So I was fairly new to the game. I just started learning WordPress. I didn’t even use Divi at that time. So for them for Safeguard originally, I did the WordPress website, and I did their logo and branding. This was also when I did a bunch of different marketing materials and stuff. So they hired me for that. I built a website pre-Divi was like with a theme. And it went great. It went awesome. And eventually they original, they started out with just that one site. And then they came out with this app called the Mobile Emergency Response Plan, which is like an emergency app that schools and other workplaces use. And I ended up doing the site for that as well. And the really cool thing is Safeguard, I’ve worked with him again since 2012. And they’ve been an amazing client of mine for so many years. But I’ve done three different versions now, two different versions of their website, but then all sorts of work for them outside of the website, with ongoing work additions and then also a lot of print work over the years as well, until I stopped doing that. So I Yeah, that’s a great example of, again, it was through the professional or personal contact. It wasn’t anything professional related. There was no ads or anything like that. My friend just knew I did websites and his uncle started this business and they’ve been an amazing client ever since. And they’ve also given me a lot of referrals over the years to which has been great. So that’s number three. Now, number four, this is a three in one combo. I didn’t mean to stack all my multi sites together like this, but here we are.

ย I just worked really hard at doing a really good job.

Josh 11:33
So number four is kind of a three in one now. This is a trucking and logistics company in it started with a company called Silvan Trucking, which is here in Columbus. And let’s see, I am trying to think back, I think this may have stemmed back from my mom. This was actually the owner the president of Silvan trucking actually went to church again with my family from previous to that, and I’m pretty sure this was this was also back in I think 2012 or early 2013. I think he knew or he was he just mentioned that they were looking for some website help. And then or maybe had heard that I did web design through my mom or something, and then reached out, I met with them. And then I got the deal to launch this original website. And it went so well that they said, Well, listen, we have two sister companies under this trucking company, we have two logistics companies that are connected through our main trucking company. So guess what happened. I didn’t do them right away. But I did one of the sisters companies and the project went even better because my design had improved my skill set and improved. And then I did the one for there the third, the third company, the other logistics company. So I over the course of two years did three websites for this company. And I also did multiple designs for their branding and print materials. And then I also back then I was doing photography. So I did staff photography as well. But it all contributed to their website design so this was like a three in one. Again, utilizing personal network, it all stemmed from somebody my mom knew who owned a company. And I just worked really hard at doing a really good job. And then it opened up the floodgates for additional projects. And it’s kind of a three in one combo. So that’s number four. Now number and they’ve been a great client ever since. And they still are. They’re amazing, amazing, amazing group. And when you have three sites on your maintenance plan, they’re kind of one client, that’s when it gets really cool too, because you don’t have to maintain maintain relationships with three different people. It’s just one person. So very cool.


Josh 13:33
Now number five, this is one of my favorites, for sure. This is a company called the Retina Group. And they are based in here in Columbus as well. Now how I got this job with any sort of medical facility, usually it’s going to be a good job because more than likely, particularly like a surgical unit, they have a little bit of a budget. More so than like your mom pop pizza shop. So I had joined my networking group years ago, I joined my co founded my networking group in 2012. And the cool thing about my networking group a lot like other ones is that there’s similar groups in and around that. And what I mean by that is they were like other networking groups that met in different cities and different areas around Columbus, at least, at different times. So they were under the same organization, just different groups within that different chapter within that group. So in any case, I had joined my networking group, and then we had a guest, and she did printing for Staples, and she was like, Hey, I’m in another group that meets on this other day, would you come out to mind and make some new connections? I was like, Sure. So I went to her group. And I had mentioned a little more detail in that group about the fact that I did web design and I talked about my services just briefly since I was a guest. And then that seemed to really spark her. She was like that second time meeting me she was like, You know what, after hearing a little more about you and getting to know like, and trust you, like I just talked about a few episodes back. She was like, I think I might have a good lead for you. I work with The retina group which is an eye surgical place downtown, and she was like I do all their printing and their website sucks. And they had mentioned to me of Staples does websites and she was like, that is not what we do. So I was like, Yeah, I’d love to talk to them. So she got me connected with them, we hit it off. And that is how I got the Retina Group because what was really cool about that is I came very highly recommended with somebody they already liked and trusted. So that was even a bigger benefit was because I didn’t really need to sell myself much they already knew about me. My contact talked me up and that’s how I got the Retina Group and they’ve again been an amazing client to this day.


Josh 15:36
Now, number six here, this is the Barker Team Realtors. This is actually our realtor, my family realtor. So when I joined my networking group, this realtor joined a couple years in and I realized that she was just a great person and she was somebody I just really got to know like and trust myself. And my wife and I had just thought about we were newly married and we were getting ready to, to buy a home to get out of our apartment. And I went with her I felt like she was you know, she had just joined my networking group. I feel like I could trust her. And we had an amazing experience with her when we bought our first house. It was just amazing. through and through. And it was funny, because right after we the the closing and the sale went through for our house she was like, hey, oh, you know, that’s what happened her website got hacked. Like, right after that her website, which was done with a previous WordPress developer had got hacked, and she felt like she was in the dark. She didn’t know what had happened. He did not prepare her or empower her. He didn’t have a maintenance plan. And when she reached out to him, he made her feel kind of stupid because she didn’t update the site when that wasn’t something he offered or didn’t follow up on. And so she was like, our website’s hacked, I don’t know what to do. And I said I can help you with you know, we can help you restore it. I’ve figured out a way with their hosting ticket, the site resort I think we actually used Secury to get it cleaned and everything got it all set. But in any case, she was just thrilled with that. And she was like, you know, what we just redesigned this couple years ago, but I trust you, I would like to work with you. And then we ended up redesigning her site, just like that.


Josh 17:12
So we used her first and then she was a close client and became a family friend of ours, and then helped that she was in my networking group as well. But then she decided, you know what, I’d like to use your services as well. Because that’s the power of networking b2b groups, which is business to business. And that’s how we started off our relationship with the Barker Team. And that site has expanded over the years, and we’re doing a lot more with them with ongoing services. And a new page is specific to certain services and locations. So really, really great start to that client. And it was again, just using them for ourselves. And then I didn’t pressure her about the website. I wasn’t like, hey, since I used you use me. Now I just went about it organically and when the time came, I just tried to shine for her. Particularly it helped that she had a hacked website that I cleaned up. And there we go. The rest is history. So that was the Barker Team. The beginning of the Barker Team relationship.


Josh 18:02
Alright, number seven Turner’s Barber Shop, really, really cool project and a great crew here. So the way I got this site, which is another two in one, because I did the site for Turner’s Barber Shop, which is a really trendy, cool barber shop in Columbus, you guys got to see this website. It’s still one of my favorites that I’ve ever designed. And then we also designed his new location, which is under the same brand, it’s just a little bit different, little higher end. But in any case, the way I originally got this barbershop site was I was involved as a advisory board member for the media group here for one of our high schools. So I have I’ve talked about this in the past. I don’t know if I talked about it too much on the podcast, maybe in my first episode, where I talked about my story, but I was involved with doing some mentoring for high school students. And I found out that they had an advisory board for just the media department so we could oversee like what kids are learning with web design and design. And they asked if I’d be interested in coming on to that. And we only meet twice a year. It’s been a couple. It’s actually been about almost two years since I went to my last one. So it’s something I want to get back to. But I did that for a couple years. And in any case, another member of that advisory board was a video guy. And he was a local kind of younger guy and he did mostly video and he also did websites. It was kind of like website was something he did on the side. But he wasn’t very good at it. He told me he’s like, I don’t really I’m not a web designer. I can do it. Like I can work my way through a WordPress site. But he designed this site for Turner because he did a video for them. And he was like, man, the site just it sucks. I don’t want to do web design anymore. Would you be interested in taking it over? And he’s like, they might want to redesign their site. And I was like, Sure, I’d love to talk with him. So I talked to the owner of Turner’s Barber Carell cool dude kind of looks like me. And so he just has more tats. But anyway, we talked and I told him, you know your site right now, you Just let me know, which is my contact. I told him it’s just not a great site and I you know, your brand is so cool. You’re so professional, I’d love to get the chance to revamp and he’s like, well send me a proposal. Let’s see what we can do. And he went for it. So we redesigned the original site went really well became one of my maintenance plan clients. And then about a year later, he’d let me know that he was expanding so rapidly in his business grew like crazy, obviously, because the new website design and he said hey, I’ve got another location and I’d love to do another site for this one. And that became a two in one combo and one of my best clients still to date. And also one of the funniest ones I’ve ever done because I went into his barber shop while they were doing some trims and stuff. And I took some pictures and it just was a really fun design to do and he was so hands off, he’s like, do whatever you want. As long as I like the look of it. It’s all good. So great A client. So that’s how I got the Turner Barber co or barber shop and the barber barber co which is his other site.


Josh 20:52
Now, this is interesting because this kind of turns into how I got number eight, which is another barber shop but this barber shop, which is Fuze Barbershop, is in Philadelphia. So a lot of people look at my portfolio and my agency portfolio now with InTransit Studios, and they wonder, you know, how are you guys getting like remote clients and clients from different states or in some cases globally. And the way we got this one was the owner of Fuzz Barber Shop in Philadelphia was just researching barbershop sites. So I had done some basic SEO to Turner site which I same strategies I teach to my SEO course and it came up for his search while searching barber shops. And what was really cool was, you know, my contact was in Philadelphia, so he wasn’t searching just Philadelphia basic designs, or Philadelphia specific design companies. He just searched cool barbershop websites and stuff like that. And he found my clients website and what’s even more wild about that is the Turner site is only a landing page. It’s only a one page site. I just I know enough about basic, organic SEO that I can make one page do some pretty good damage, depending on the term. And again, that’s what I teach you how to do my SEO course. So that’s like a practical example of how impactful some basic SEO settings are. That’s all I did. And it was really cool, because he found me through that. And he said, Hey, I saw one of these, the sites that you’ve designed, and I loved it, I’d love to get a quote. And that guys is a really powerful way. Apart from getting like a hot lead from a referral. The next best way is for somebody see your work. And then they’re like, wow, I really like that, because then they’re primed up to talk to you. It also gives you a little more leverage in the conversation, because if they push back on pricing, you can say, Well, look, you know, this is our quality, but this is what it takes, you know, this is what it takes for us to produce this kind of quality, depending on the site. So in any case, that’s how I got that client. And one of my favorite sites still to this day, my lead designer, Jonathan did a great job on this design here. So a lot of these sites that you’re hearing I’ve done, or my team has done with InTransit studios, as well. So that’s how we got Fuze Barber Shop.


Josh 23:01
Number nine. This is also one of my personal favorites. This is actually, if I could boil down to like a top three project of all time, this is one of them. And this is the Terrier Steel Company based here in Columbus, Ohio. And the way I found out about them was in my networking group, one of our members was also a client of mine for a while, and he was an insurance agent. He had to move on because his insurance company didn’t allow custom sites anymore. But in any case, one of his clients was this Terrier Steel Company. And they asked him if he knew anybody who did brochure design. So they were like, he was like, Yeah, actually, I know a guy in my networking group, Josh, and that’s how I got the meeting with them. Now, this was before I changed my business offerings and I was offering branding, photography, print design, as well as web design. Web design was my primary service, but I did the secondary services, which I still recommend you do because they can lead to web design. It can be a really great way to get bigger clients and bigger jobs. So in any case, I went in to talk about their brochure. And then they found out that I did web design. They were like, Oh my gosh, we have this terrible GoDaddy website that I tried to build, like three years ago, and it’s terrible. And then I showed him my portfolio, and they’re like, wow, can we look through this and get back with you? And I was like, Yeah, sure. So they looked through their portfolio and they really liked it. And then that’s when they wanted to get a proposal for their website as well. So for Terrier Steel, I ended up actually doing a logo revamp photography, brochure and their website all in one really fun package. And the reason that was so cool, a reason why it’s one of my favorites is because I went in and went into their steel fabrication shop, and I had to wear my goggles and everything. But I was taking photos of a lot of the workers. So when you go to the Terrier Steel website, a lot of the photography you see in there is from me back in the day, so it’s pretty cool. I wasn’t a great photographer, but I could hold my own with some of that stuff. And it ended up being great content for the website. So that’s how I got Terrier Steel. Again, do my networking group. And then it was a lead on a brochure that turned into an awesome several thousand dollar project.


Josh 25:07
Now to the Refuge Ministries of Ohio This is one of my close to heart type of websites because this is a Drug Addiction Rehab, nonprofit. They help girls and guys who are struggling with any sorts of addiction, get off the streets and they have all these programs in place to help them with different phases of their journey with getting off drugs and acclimating them back into society. So this was obviously one of the most like impactful meaningful projects we’ve ever done. And long story short, I knew through the church I was involved with years ago, I was on the praise band as a drummer, and the worship leader, his dad is the one who founded this nonprofit. So I had known about the Refuge for years. I had actually talked to them back in 2012, about redesigning their But they decided against it, they decided to go with somebody else. And the site was okay. It wasn’t terrible, but it was not great. And eventually they worked their way back to me. They had, I had kind of lost touch with the the worship leader that I knew but their new marketing director, I think I talked to him and he relayed My name back to him. And he reached out, I was like, Hey, you know, we’re, we’re the refuge and we know you, you talked to us years ago, but we’re really looking to beef up our website and want to make it you know, with our mission being so important, we wanted to do so much better with it and to drive up donations and stuff and I ended up doing a quote for them and got it. And we redesigned that site back in, I think, 2019 Yeah, it was 19. We did that site. And it ended up being one of my favorite designs we’ve ever done. It’s still one of my favorites. I’ll link to it below but in the show notes, but that’s how we got that one. I had actually failed on a proposal years ago, but I didn’t burn my bridge. Like, it was Episode 42, I talked about the importance of not burning your bridges. And that’s a prime case of it because it ended up being a great project. And they’re a great client of ours still to this day.


Josh 27:10
Number 11 Wilson National. This is an auction group that was referred to me by another person in my networking group. So a close colleague of mine who had his own video-ography business for a while he was actually on the podcast, Episode 12 Duck Diver, who sold his video business when he created magnify, which is what I actually use to capture video testimonials. He was in my group for a while. And this was one of his clients. So he did video for them. And then at some point they mentioned or asked if he knew of any web designers, because they wanted to redesign their website and that’s how that’s what opened the door to me. And again, it was a hot lead. I didn’t have to sell them. I didn’t need to try to persuade them in any way. They were just like, hey, Doug refer ya, and, you know, we trust him in a really good work. So we trust Do what do you think? And then that’s how I got that project. So, again, going back to the power of a networking group, and also just having personal professional networks that are in similar industries, because I actually did a lot of referrals and back and forth with, with Doug in particular, he would send me clients all the time, because he was doing video. And then inevitably, they’d be like, you know, do we want to put these on our site, and then if he found out that their website suck, he’s like, dude, you guys should talk to my guy, Josh to help you out with your website. And I did the same thing for him. So it also it really pays it’s a good lesson to have back then we called it like a core group, which mean that you had some referral partners that were in a similar industry, not exactly the same, but some that would be really good referral partner. So for me, it was video guys, SEO, graphic design and print or branding, because all those people were working with other clients who were in their same realm. For like a realtor it would be you know, like a banker or a loan officer, or something like that, obviously, it’s going to be a good core group. But that’s how I got Wilson National. It was a close colleague of mine in my networking group.


Josh 29:10
Number 12 Kent Smith Photography. This is a photography studio based here in Columbus, Ohio. And interesting story about how they came about. Alright, so check this one out. You want to talk about a crazy referral train. That same friend of mine from high school that I told you hooked me up with his uncle? Well, he had worked for Okay, I’m trying to think back he had worked for a body shop company. And when this body shop company back in, I think 2012 or 2013 needed a website design he told them about me, I got the job. And after doing that website, I had to work with their IT company and their IT guy ended up being a close colleague of mine and a mentor of mine, and he referred me left and right because he worked with tons of businesses. So there you go, you want to be friendly with your IT folks. But in any case, I the IT guy was really close with this nonprofit in another community outside of Columbus and he hooked me up with them because he heard they he heard they needed a new website. I did the website for them and then this company Kent Smith photography did a lot of work with this nonprofit. And they were like, who designed your website, and they were like, Oh, it’s this guy, you know, Josh, and that’s how I got connected with them. And that’s how I ended up getting this photography studio site, which is a great client of mine to this day as well. And it all stems back from my friend from high school. So a friend from high school or for a company, I did their site, I work with their IT guy that IT guy knew a nonprofit. And then that nonprofit led me to Kent Smith photography, which funny enough in turn led to a lot of other projects. So that is exactly that’s like the perfect example of the SEO tree what I call because it starts here on this branch and then extends and extends and it’s just amazing what can happen if you do a good job. And if you retain really good relationships. That’s why it’s so important that you just take one project one client at a time and just watch that referral train start. So that’s how I got Kent Smith photography.


Josh 31:10
Now number 13 Boji Action Coach. This is actually a division of Action Coach Company, well Action Coach Coaching, which is the coaching program that I went through several years back and funny enough, it was that same IT guy that got me connected with them. Because this IT guy brought me he asked if I’d be interested in coming out to his networking group, which ended up being the same organization of the networking group that I joined in started. And I went to this group and I was like, oh, man, it’s like a half an hour out of the way. I don’t know, I’ll go for it. What the heck it was back in like 2012. I went out to this group, and I had met the owner of this Boji Action Coach Company, and that project didn’t happen immediately. But it did eventually happen. I think it was maybe a year or two later where my IT company the guy my contact, was working with them and eventually they talked about needing some web design services and he had me out to coffee with just them. And they remembered me from that networking group and I was like, Oh yeah, I had visited you know, a few months ago or something, you know, like it’s right yeah, you’re the web guy and and that’s how I got this project. This ended up being a three in one as well because I ended up doing three websites for them over the years and a redesign. I also did a bunch of print work for them over the years as well. So that’s how I got Boji Action Coach and multiple sites for them and I ended up becoming a client of theirs when I decided to go through some business coaching so that’s how it all worked out. All again from my friend so you can see here like a lot of these trends stem from personal relationships or you know a semi professionals last personal relationships.


Josh 32:49
All right now on to number 14, Black Tech Columbus, this was such a fun project to work on, very meaningful to because the this is a nonprofit that helps particularly inner city kids and minorities get into tech fields that would otherwise be very hard to get into. So they’re kind of they don’t i don’t know if they do scholarships, but they have advanced programs that really help kids get off the streets and get into their tech careers, and gives them a lot of hope. So it was a really fun project to be a part of. And we did that one more more recently. Now the question is, how did you wind up working with black tech Columbus? Because I’m like the whitest guy I know. So how did I get in touch with them? How did they end up using me? So the way this worked was my brother who is a software engineer and software coder worked for he was working for Nationwide Insurance and then he worked for this other company. And it was a colleague of his he just overheard him say like, Hey, I’m you know, I have a nonprofit cuz his colleague worked full time with my brother but then also had Black Tech Columbus on the side as a nonprofit. And he I think he just overheard I’m like, say are asked, you know, any web designers and my brother was like, my brother does web design. And he talked to me we hit it off and end up being a great fit and there we go. The rest is history we were able to, to really build a sweet site for Black Tech Columbus, and they’ve been A client ever since. Also one of the best group of people to work with they were like they provide, they provided content on time. Can you believe it? So there you go Black Tech Columbus, they were great to work with.


Josh 34:21
Now, finally, number 15. I thought I’d end off with a lesson about not burning your bridges, because this is American Paw Partners, which is the biggest e commerce project we’ve done to date, like 200 and some projects. But this this was obviously, you know, a huge website. However, this stemmed from a contact from years prior, who shuttered at a quote of 1500 dollars. This so the owner of American Paw Partners, was actually an author. She still is he does some books for kids with like pets and stuff. And that’s how she originally came to me. She just wanted author’s site with links to her books on Amazon. And I forget how she heard about me originally. I don’t remember if somebody had given my name to her because she wasn’t right in Columbus. He was like an hour outside of Columbus. Or she may have just googled web designers in Columbus and found me But in any case, I gave her a quote, and she said, I really appreciate it, Josh, but 1500 is just way too much for my project and I’m going to go elsewhere. And I said, no problem. I said, The door’s always open if you need to come back. And what happened about three months later, she came back and she had a miserable experience with this quote, unquote, cheap designer. And she was like, Listen, it was just an awful it was just terrible. I got what I paid for. She left me a voicemail. I wish I would have saved it to show this to you. So you can hear it but she was like, if there’s any chance you would be willing to honor your quote, I’d move forward immediately. So I did I move forward. We did that site. It went so great. She became an A client. And then when she had the idea for this American Paw Partner site, which This big e commerce site. She was very quick to work with me even though the quo was a little bit shocking to her as far as the sticker price on it. She said, that seems like it’s much higher than I thought. But I understand why. And she ended up moving forward. And that’s how we got our biggest e commerce project to date. Went back to me not burning a bridge.


Josh 36:21
So there you go, guys. That is how I got 15 of my top clients. Again, these are not like my best one through 15. There’s so many others, great clients, but I also put these in here to kind of show you the different ways you can practically get clients because there’s a lot of different strategies you saw here from utilizing personal network to professional network, but then also SEO related and just you can see how the referral train brings in amazing clients because it’s not necessarily who you know, and it’s not even necessarily who you know, who knows it’s who they know who they know who they know. So there’s like several tiers and layers back of amazing clients that can come your way. If you again just do a really good job and focus back on the episode I did a few episodes ago about really focusing on it like it was 52 where I talked about the three keys to getting clients was which is to have them know, like and trust you and that’s what I did for all these clients and all these projects and the rest is history. So hope you guys enjoyed that hope that was a nice fun fascinating look into literally how I got my top 15 clients. Hope you can utilize this to do the same for you and your business.


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