In 2020, every businesses was effected by COVID. Some industries were hit hard and some had to pivot just to make ends-meant. Some industries however, have thrived and are doing well despite a global pandemic.
In this episode, I interview a close friend of mine, Patrick Dichter of Cultivate Advisors who works with businesses all of the states in different industries, on what business are doing well and what personality types have pivoted well during the wild year that has been 2020.
Additionally, we talk strategies on how you as a web designer can help your clients through COVID and separate yourself from your competition and build stable, recurring work and a strong client base through uncertainty.
P.S. I have countless stories of many of my students and members who are busier than ever and have thriving businesses despite the pandemic. In fact, this is the year for web designers to shine because businesses need to get online and build their online presence stronger now more than ever. So if you’re debating whether now is a good time to get into web design, let me and my hundreds of web design students encourage you by saying NOW IS THE TIME!
In this episode:
04:19 – Greeting to Patrick
06:27 – Some business impact
10:49 – Don’t do nothing
11:03 – Partner over vendor
14:47 – Proactive not reactive
16:12 – Comfortable with Zoom
21:23 – Virtual transaction
21:58 – Adding procedures
23:00 – Membership and forum
26:13 – Marketing ideas
29:24 – Share knowledge
33:07 – Things to watch out for
39:16 – Industries doing well
42:20 – Personality traits
47:15 – Planning for red zone
52:28 – Recapping
53:38 – Ride the wave!
You can also view the full transcription of this episode below.
Connect with Patrick:
Featured links mentioned:
Episode #079 Full Transcription
Josh – 0:16
Hey, everybody, welcome to Episode 79. In this one, this is kind of a different and special type of episode because number one, we’re going to talk about a subject that’s super timely right now and is, I think, fascinating in all respects. And that is what businesses and industries are doing well through COVID, and how we as web designers have a big opportunity to help those businesses and to help our clients through it. But I’m talking with somebody who is knee deep in this subject, because he works with a lot of different industries and a lot of different businesses. And on top of that, this is actually a close friend of mine. This is Patrick Dichter, and he is a business coach and consultant. Long story short, he is actually the reason I discovered Divi. A mutual friend of ours years ago, this was back in 2014 had us connect and she was like, Listen, you should talk to my my colleague, Patrick. He’s a great guy. He’s working for this digital marketing agency. And at the time, I told our mutual friend that I was looking to work with more agencies to expand my network and potentially do some more subcontracting. So I met with Patrick, we had a we had a great cup of coffee together. And I just really liked him as a person and he invited me into to the agency he was working with and to get to know them. And then I became a subcontractor for this company, and they use Divi, it was my first exposure to Divi. And then I came around to it. And that’s what really set my whole career trajectory, trajectory. trajectory, goodness gracious in motion was working with Patrick’s company. So long story short, say Patrick is a good friend of mine. And as kind of a reason I was involved with Divi. But I’ve kept tabs with him. And we’ve kept in touch. And we recently just had a catch up call. We hadn’t talked in a while. And then we had a catch up call. And we were talking about what he’s experienced with different businesses through this year in 2020, with COVID and I asked him kind of what he’s seen that’s worked well, what industries were doing well, what industries were not doing well how to pivot, what he’s seen clients do successfully with pivoting and COVID in a kind of a COVID business landscape. And I thought it was so fascinating. And I was like, dude, let’s talk about this again and make it a podcast. So he agreed to that and came on. And here’s the episode. So I’m really excited to to have you here from Patrick, on his perspective with a bunch of different businesses with what’s working well, what’s not working well, and more importantly, how you can help your clients through COVID. Now, I will say, if you haven’t already, you have got to get a WordPress & website maintenance plan going this is one of the best ways to build recurring income and stable income, particularly through a pandemic, I only had one client drop off my maintenance plan when COVID hit and he was kind of a pain in the ass anyway, so you know, didn’t hurt me too bad. But only one client cancelled their monthly maintenance plan with us during COVID. And that really helped us in my web design business through that time, where there’s a lot of uncertainty. And inevitably, clients are a little slower to move forward on stuff and pay on time or pay their full sums if you know there’s a bunch of uncertainty. But one thing that’s always going to be certain is keeping their websites up and no one is going to cancel their website hosting or maintenance, when it’s crucial that their website is performing is online. So having a maintenance plan is a great way to have stable income through uncertain times, like we found this year with COVID. If you haven’t already started your plan, or you’re ready to take yours to the next level, I have a course on how to build a successful website maintenance plan that’s available right now. And it’s open for you to join if you are ready to start or take your plants to the next level. So join that to the day. And I would love to help you build or grow your plan. Alright, without further ado, enjoy my interview with my good buddy and my friend Patrick. And let’s talk about what’s working what’s not and how you can help your clients through COVID.
Patrick, welcome to the show, man. It’s great to have you on my friend.
Josh, it’s good to be here.
So we’ve been friends for several years now, actually a long time, I think maybe dating back to 2014 or so. And you were a big reason I actually found Divi and I’ve seen you progress in your career from working in a digital marketing agency. And you’re doing a lot of work with businesses one on one with consulting. Now, I’m really excited about this topic because we’re going to hear from you about what you’ve seen as somebody who works with a lot of different businesses and a lot of different industries. And I think it’s gonna be really valuable for my audience of web designers to see like which industries are good fits for us to really pursue and to have an eye on to work with. So before we dive into that, man, I love to have you let everybody know where you are and what you do. Exactly.
Sure, it’s great, great to be here. Nowadays, I live in Denver, Colorado. So I grew up in Colorado, did my undergrad an MBA at Denver, and then I was working for a digital agency that was a startup in Columbus, Ohio, where we met. So I spent the better half of four and a half years there and help grow that company. We went from a few employees when I was there up to about 300. When I left, it’s still growing. But nowadays, I work with cultivate advisors. So we do small business consulting and coaching. So we help people work smarter on their business and grow faster. So we work with a lot of web design companies, marketing agencies, construction, lawyers, accountants, and just help them get out of their craft a little bit and work on the business so that they can, you know, get better sales get better at leading into managing people, fine tune their operations and their financials. So that’s what I’m doing now.
Awesome. Well said great little elevator pitch, man. So let’s just dive into it. Let’s dive, let’s go back to like, February or March this year 2020, right at the beginning of COVID. Let’s start there, what did you see what all your clients and the different industries you work with? Did you see some? I guess that’s the question, just What did it look like initially, from your perspective, with all the changes with COVID and the pandemic.
It’s kind of wild looking back now, we had a big company meeting, where half of us went to Vancouver, half went to Chicago. And then two days after we got back was when like, the travel ban happened, and the NBA stopped. And it was kind of wild. So we saw big changes based on the industry. And then also say we saw big changes based on kind of the risk tolerance of the owner. So by industry, we were fairly diversified. But we saw tourism kind of come to a grinding halt, you know. And then for the next 45, 60 days, everyone was trying to figure out what to do, like, you know, the service firms are like, I think I still have these clients, and I think they’re okay. But, you know, then everyone’s trying to figure out the PPP program. So I would say, coming out of that 45 days later, obviously, tourism was just came to a grinding halt, and they’re going to be hurting for a while. But we saw construction carry on, be busy as ever, it just was so many people moving and still wanting to buy houses, or you saw a lot of people getting out of big cities. We see b2b services continuing right along, like marketing, legal software they’re carrying on. And on the b2c side, we saw people pivoting and figuring out how to, you know, continue to operate their restaurant or continue to operate their formal service, or, you know, their their medical practice, or whatever it is. So industry wide. If you’re a tourism related, it just hurt. All the others, they kind of figured out some way to carry on. And then we also just saw, I saw a different dynamic of my clients. So I think everyone was in like a deer in headlights for a period of time. But some people were there for three weeks. And some people were there for like three months, right? I’m just like, I’m gonna wait and see what happens.
Depending on the industry, to if you are the owner of a tourist company, or tour, you know, kind of company, then yeah, that would be a several month ordeal. It’s still going on.
The guys who were, you know, playing offense and like trying to put their head down and leading a trial where they can, they’re growing again, which is kind of wild. – Patrick
But I even saw it with like some marketing agencies that I’ve worked with, where some of them were like, okay, like, we’re gonna go play offense and still figure out how to get new clients, and then others are still just kind of like, paralyzed. And the guys who were, you know, playing offense and like trying to put their head down and leading a trial where they can, they’re, they’re growing again, which is kind of wild. So now, you know, here we are, it’s late October, as we record this. I think everyone’s kind of like, you know, figuring out how to carry on, I think the election is a variable for a lot of people like seeing what will happen there. And then I would say in general, I think people are a little bit slower to make purchasing decisions. So if they’re trying to decide on your website or decide on some other transaction, they might not pull the trigger as easily as it did before, but it’s still happening.
Yeah, well, you said something that’s key right there, which was essentially being proactive versus reactive. And that’s a that’s a little message I put out in March was to like for web designers. Don’t just sit back and wait and see what happens. help your clients through this. What So Eric, who is my CEO Now, before I brought him in, as a CEO of in transit, one thing I saw him do in a Facebook group that were a part of as I saw him do just that. He was like, Hey, guys, I just want to let everyone know what we’re doing. We offered to put like banners on the top of our websites with notices or disclaimers. Have the hours are changed, or the businesses shut down for a little while or, you know, stuff like that. And we were, he was really trying to help his clients through that time. And that was a big key for me that I was like, this is the kind of guy, I want to work with my clients, you know, and it really kind of reinforced what I was doing with my clients. Because I did the same thing, I sent something out, let everybody know, hey, with all the changes, just let us know, if you need to have like a maintenance page on your your website that says, you know, check back soon or, you know, we’re, we’re adjusting our hours or adjusting your information. So that idea of being proactive versus reactive was huge, right that time. And I think for anyone listening, no matter what industry it is, that is crucial in the time of uncertainty, right? Like, just keep pushing forward. Because no matter what happens, there’s going to be no harm in pushing forward, the worst thing you can do is just sit idle and wait.
Yeah, hundred percent agree. And I think it’s, whether it’s COVID, or something else, just looking through the lens of like, I want to make my clients Think of me as like a long team partner, not just a vendor, you know, because whether it’s COVID, or something else, and they make budget decisions, or if there’s like a competitor in their ear, if they think like, Josh is my guy, and like, I just know that he always cares. And he’s gonna extra mile, like, they’re gonna treat you as a partner versus a vendor that they like, switch out, you know.
That’s a great point, partner over vendor. Yeah, that’s a that’s a really good analogy, particularly as a web designer, because we are just that we are partners, we are somebody who it’s an ongoing relationship, it’s not just something they purchase. And you know, it’s a one and done it’s, it’s, it’s very much a partnership. You mentioned something about like risk tolerance and the personality of some of your clients, I think that would be really interesting to dive into, because that would give us kind of a good overview of like, what kind of companies are well versed to risk in which ones are maybe quick to stop services, like stop marketing, stop, you know, certain areas of spending that they have? What did you see, and maybe we could take, tackle this by certain industries, or maybe as a whole, but he said there was a big difference between like, the first 30 to 45 days to the the ones that were, you know, still in panic mode several months later. What did that look like from like that risk tolerance perspective? Like, did you see certain industries that weren’t as affected or weren’t as worried? versus? Or was it just personality type?
Was totally personality. And without naming names, I’ll just give you a two story. So I worked with a, an engineering company on the east coast. And they have a, like AV service related to commercial construction. And they had this huge pipeline, they have a ton of cash. And I was like, you should market. Commercial construction is carrying on, you know, and he pulled the reins in, like he led a couple people furlough, and he pulled in his marketing, right?
Like, right away, like, right when it happened.
Yeah. And then a guy on the west coast, he does software development. So he’s, like, you know, building custom apps and custom software. And, you know, he’s working with startups. And he’s like, I don’t know, if VC money is gonna, like, dry up a portion of our customers, if that slows down, or like, if other people are gonna stop investing in tech. But I was like, well, you got the cash saved up, like we’re in a good spot, like, let’s put the gas pedal down, because other people are probably pulling back their advertising. So he ramped up his marketing, we hired a salesperson, he increases advertising our clutch. And they’re, they’re crushing it, you know, so and it was just their mindset of like, one guy was like, I’m gonna wait and see. And then the other guy was like, well, I could I could take these, these smaller calculated risks now, because he felt comfortable with, with, you know, the position his business was in.
The one on the east coast did he snap out of that? or What did that look like?
He did, it probably took him five months, but he was like, you know, back to marketing and felt like his his clients were stable. I will say both people are paying slower in general. So on the PR side, I think that was part of what scared him is he just he had like, you know, people are normally pay him like, net 45 or 60. And then he was seeing it go longer. So that might be one variable that improved that helped him feel better. So
Yeah, I know, we did that too, during that time period, which was, if you know, typically, we do 50% upfront and 50% upon completion for website projects. But in that case, we were a little more lenient, and I would tell clients like you know, if we want to do a project and you want to just do a down payment of 30%, and then we can stagger the rest. That’s always an option to say it was just the idea of being proactive versus reactive, for sure all around and it was interesting for me as a course creator because the opposite happened with my personal brand, Josh Hall co because I saw such a big influx. People who were being furloughed who had web design side gigs, or maybe they had dabbled around websites years ago, and then they just got laid off. And they’re like, well, now’s a good time to get into web. And I saw a big influx of people. And it made me think, at that time, not only did I want to help those people learn web design as quickly as possible, but it made me realize there is a big need for companies who are taking their stuff online. So I’d love to talk about that. Like you mentioned, some businesses pivoting to how they could continue to do their their businesses online in particular. What were some industries that you saw that did well at that, and I know, nobody made the big changes right away, it seemed like it seemed like it took a couple months for businesses to realize, okay, this pandemic isn’t just going to be two months, we need to have like a more long, long term solution online, whether it’s ecommerce or whether it’s like a community. Yeah, what were some industries that you saw that pivoted online,
It was a, it was kind of interesting, I think it’ll be helpful for a lot of businesses. But like, in residential construction, like we saw a solar company that was normally I call in person quoting, they said, you know, we could hop on a Zoom link, we can get a Google Earth view of your roof. And we can quote solar right over Zoom with you, you know, so we saw that residential even like cabinetry folks, or they said, like, you can do the basic measurements, we’ll give you a quote, that’s probably 90% accurate. And then if you’re comfortable with us going to install, we’ll just double check your measurements. So just making some of those services where it’s kind of an in person, quote, they are able to digitize that a lot. Our company actually worked with a lot of food tourism clients, and we even saw some of them create, like, virtual tour products, where, you know, people are normally visiting Portugal or visiting Savannah, you know, they would, they would create this virtual tour, and then they would go sell it to school. So it was like something even get them, get them through this time. And then on the professional services side, I think some people that maybe felt bound by geography before where you’re like, Okay, I’m that I’m the accountant or I’m the attorney in this city. Suddenly, as more people become comfortable with Zoom, they’re saying, like, okay, I can, I can use this person that’s not in my backyard, and, you know, documents securely and just do things, virtually. So
That’s a good, it’s an interesting point, because as web designers not much changed for us on a day to day basis, like, we’re used to jumping on zoom and working remotely and working with anyone anywhere. But for a lot of clients, it was culture shock. And for a lot of different industries, just the idea of like hopping on zoom for a meeting was very foreign to a lot of people. I know, my networking group, the amount of people that had like a lot of struggle, figuring out zoom initially was was pretty funny. And then of course, there is a whole aspect of like, their lighting and the terrible sound there, you know, I know like everyone adjusted, whereas web designers, that was another area for us to capitalize on, by like, helping clients with that kind of stuff. There was I told a lot of students and a lot of people I’ve networked with online is it even if you like, offer some sort of just basic tips and tutorials on helping with that kind of stuff. It really goes a long way. There were so many areas, I felt like, it’ll I almost honestly feel like thinking back, the beginning of the pandemic was like the web designers time to shine, because, and the good news is, it’s not over like well, not that it’s good news that the pandemic isn’t over, I’m just saying it’s good news that you can still take this opportunity to shine as a web designer, it’s a great time to get into web design, there’s so many industries that are dying, literally need a trusted guy or gal to be their web person. And there’s all these things you could do in and around web design itself, including, like different forms of digital marketing, social media SEO, more important than ever now, because like you just said, a lot of companies are finding out you don’t have to be bound to your little local area, you can actually do a lot of good around your city or abroad. So I still feel like the the iron is hot for web designers to step in, and to make a big impact with our clients and do a lot of good and it could be as simple as helping, you know, creating some resources on how to use zoom effectively and stuff like that. Like it really does go a long way. And I was just thinking, like the start of that because like I said, we really try to be proactive versus reactive. I’d like to ask you for the the companies that did start to go digital. I mean, restaurants were a big one. They realized we’ve got to get our online ordering. Did you see any? Like, did you see any other industries pivot online, other than some of the most obvious ones like I know for example, we want to Our clients is a balloon, like a magic show, balloon event kind of guy. And he started doing virtual events like he figured out how to start. He was pretty tech savvy, credit him. But he was able to kind of pivot during that it did take a while, but he did do it. Have you? Did you see any other good examples of companies pivoting online?
Yeah, I think you know, there’s a lot of those b2c clients that are, you know, it’s just, it’s just pick up, you know, so restaurants obvious, but you’ll get florists they figure it out, like how to just you pick up or maybe out on delivery. I think even some retail stores have added ecommerce and didn’t have it before. I mean, those are the ones that jumped to mind right away. Had a train of thought that are losing… Oh, yeah, Airbnb, if you ever like want to get inspired, or like, look at how many people are going virtual, just go to Airbnb and look at experiences. I was doing that with some other clients, and there’s just, there’s so many offerings out there, and then you can just look at the number of reviews. And that tells you like, at least how many people have purchased that. And it just I think it’s a leading indicator of just how much demand is out there for these things that you’d normally just think of as like an in person transaction that are now that are now going virtual, you know. So if you can, you know, fitness is another big one, right? Like Virtual Training, like doing doing the online coaching versus in person at a gym. But there’s, there’s so many whether it’s like a sliding scale, like you’re doing a little bit virtually to you went entirely virtual. And also thinking that web designer is like, you can also help your clients train their customers, right? Like, my wife’s a veterinarian, and they go out to the car to get the pet to bring it back inside, right. So like, if you can put all those instructions on the website for your client beforehand. Like, here’s our COVID procedures, here’s what the normal process looks like, you know, here’s a video that makes people feel comfortable. And like that new process. I think for the web designer, continues to just make inventory valuable to your client and help them grow. So they can add more services with you later.
Absolutely. It’s also a great time to shine as far as thinking about stuff that maybe they didn’t think of. So just like that, like have your COVID procedures on the website, a lot of business owners, I’m sure had so much to deal with in their own mind. They didn’t even think about that. So that’s another great example. Yeah, and the obvious ones for web designers were e commerce that was a big one, a lot of businesses were realizing I’m gonna start selling my stuff online. So there’s a big one, there’s still a huge demand for that. So again, I’m saying this right now, as I think this episode is going to be out in November. It’s not too late to be the web designer that saves the day. In fact, there, there’s probably not a better time than right now to do this and to capitalize on this. So that’s a big one. I found that memberships and forum based things are really, really crucial. Right now I’m actually launching my own membership right now. And for I knew I was going to do that for a long time. But COVID really made me expedite it because I realized, right now people are more lonely and working from home and by themselves than ever. And that’s, that’s our mo as web designers, we work generally remotely or from home. So it’s a lonely kind of journey. So online community is huge. But more so than ever. Some type of community online is really important. And not even just for web designers. But other communities as well. I got one of our clients is a is a company safety, like a safety type of company. And they we built their membership last year. And they kind of created their own little like curated tribe of clients, you know, and there’s there’s a lot of need for that, too. So I feel like membership sites and forum based things are really good for a lot of different industries. Yeah, I don’t I don’t know what you’ve seen, in particular, from like a networking perspective. I know everyone’s pretty much going on zoom. But when it comes to that aspect, did you see anything like that? Like? I guess that’s a question for you, Patrick, how did networking change with the clients that you knew were involved with the communities and stuff like that?
Yeah, again, it’s kind of easier to like pop in and out of the virtual side. I’ve even seen where it’s been part of our marketing land, some of our b2b clients where strategically we say, okay, like, I have a business attorney, for example. And he knows his best referrals could come from commercial realtor, a banker, CPA, maybe a manufacturing person because of the practice areas he’s in. So because he can’t do in person networking, we strategically handed that off to his paralegal to say, like, find these folks on LinkedIn, you know, reach out to a certain number and we’re just going to try to set up one or two kind of like virtual coffees per week where he can start to To meet these new virtual referral partners, so, I think that there’s ways that you can be proactive about it and you still have your, you know, your chamber meetings or your Europeanized, your networking groups like that, or they’re still meeting in person. And I think we all have some fatigue, but you got to still keep doing it to keep your face in front of people. And on the member side, I want to circle back on one thing, I have a client in Austin, Texas, she does, like a specialized type of like bodywork and massage. And she pivoted to develop an online offering just for people that are working from home, you know, so she’s like, you know, if you’re in tech, or you’re in professional services, you’re sitting at a desk all day, I’m going to basically like coach you twice a month, how to keep your mobility, keep your flexibility, so you don’t lose it. And then it also helps her, you know, create some recurring revenue keeps over clients, and develop a virtual offering that wasn’t there before.
So that’s great. That’s a great idea what a perfect example of just a slight pivot doing what you would do in person. Or even maybe if you did digitally, every once in a while upping that, to do things more consistently, I would love to talk about some more marketing ideas hear during this time, because you hit on it right there being I mean, being proactive versus reactive, you could take to a lot of different areas, being that most networking groups are in person. Now, again, that’s good, I would still encourage anytime you can get face to face is still the best. So I would encourage people still, you know, you can still get out there as long as you follow the guidelines. I know some places are more strict than others with where you can go and what you can do. But I’ve still done in person meetings and stuff like that. We’ve followed all the measures and all the guidelines. But what are some other ideas or maybe examples that you’ve seen from clients who have marketed Well, during this time, as you just mentioned, the kind of the the tactful reach outs, like, you know, maybe a set number of times per month, you want to make certain connections? If you say anything else like that, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, or have you seen companies do like email marketing more? Have you ever seen any good marketing tactics that we could maybe use ourselves or pass along to our clients?
Yeah, there’s a few that come to mind. I think. If I’m a web designer, here’s here’s what I do. A lot of these home service companies that traditional relied only to go home and garden show you in Columbus in Denver, whatever city you can find the list of whoever did the home garden show last year? And you could probably just like, you know, maybe you’re either websites or see, do any of those folks need to refresh? Because a lot of them start in the spring, and then that fills their funnel, you know, through the summer. So you can see, like, you know, Hey, can we help you develop some, some digital offerings, so you could see whatever industry you want to target, look at who did the conferences last year. And then you could reach out via phone or email, I think tapping into your happy clients. So think of like career two, or three happiest clients. And if it’s a realtor, or a roofer, or an auto body place, think of what are the related businesses that they know, right? So auto body, guys get to know a tire shop in paint shop and a car rental place, right? Like who’s in their sphere? And you can say like, you know, would I be able to get connected to them? Or do you mind just send them an intro to see if they ever need help? And just make a soft intro that way? I do think getting involved in some of the groups online is is a good one. Because just see what conversations are happening there. What problems are happening there. LinkedIn can can still work well, I know there’s a lot more just like bad, cold spam, email and LinkedIn. But I think if you if you personalize it and cater it, it’s it’s a numbers game and people still need your help. I’ve even seen you know, some agencies find good leads through sites like ups in the year cloche or bark, just depends on you know, if you’ve got the budget to go ahead and advertise there, but there’s their solid ROI.
Also, you’re making me think like when it comes to the cold leads, and the cold reach outs and stuff like that. It also lends itself to the fact that now is the best time to share what you know, and I’ve always been a proponent of instead of like, cold calling, or just like trying to, to get these kind of leads is to just share what you know, and the leads will come. I’m not against those cold reach outs and stuff like now particularly right now, but there is no better time to differentiate, differentiate yourself from other particularly web designers by sharing what you know, just going back the idea of like doing like a zoom tutorial. Like if you guys are doing meetings and you’re curious, here’s some really cool features. Here’s something that can help for your websites. Here’s it Like we’ve we’ve done some stuff with InTransit for our clients, where Eric has pushed out some ideas on like things you can do during this time period, whether it’s like, you know, five tips for making sure your website is compliant during COVID, or five things you could do to, you know, re engage with your customers during this time. So there’s all these kind of tips that I think are important for us, just to remember, like this episode, just talking to you is making me think and it’s like, kind of like lighting the bulb in my mind of like, Oh, we should do this, we should implement this. So it’s a matter of getting creative. But I say, Now more than ever, web designers share what you know, just do even if you’re not super in front of the comfortable in front of the camera, you can still do some sort of screen recording or something like that. So it really goes a long way.
Yeah. And the beautiful thing is, it’s such a visual business that if you said like, you know, here’s this new website we did for this cabinetry place or like, here’s how they started envelop developed a virtual recording process. Other other people who are maybe in the trades and didn’t think they need a new website, and they see that, that I want them, you know, and it’s just like, you’re you’re you just accelerate like the sales process that quickly because it’s, it’s really comparable polling visual. So if you can share content, this is relevant and show those visual examples, that people that are finding it are going to see you as a thought leader, and they’ll suddenly go, yeah, I think I need that.
And if you can add to that a case study or an example of like some results that you’ve got for clients, that’s even better, like the one that you talked about the the West Coast gal who was like, or I think it was, is that right? That West Coast? software? Yeah, yeah, there are the other guys building software, who they were like proactive versus the one over here who is like waiting. That’s a great example. And like, as somebody who would work with you, I would be like, well, I like that Patrick has an eye on these different types of scenarios. And he’s seen what’s working, so you can pull from that. So web designers can do that with your own clients. If you have one client that’s killing it, and they’re doing okay, right? Now you can take those strategies and pass them on to your other clients, and it makes you look like a hero. So I would just encourage everyone to do that. And I imagine what’s interesting about what you’re doing, Patrick, is that you are you’re seeing for one, you’re seeing a ton of different industries, you’re seeing a ton of different personality types. And you’re seeing like, all these different avenues for success and failure that I imagine you’re kind of able to pick what’s working, and then you know what to steer clear from. And I mean, it’s gotta be pretty cool, right? To be able to help clients because you’re learning some clients and then passing them on to others. And we can do the same thing.
Yeah, I love it. And it’s not just me, there’s, you know, like 25, other advisors and consultants in the company. So we’re always like, sharing best practices. But it’s super fun, because every client is a puzzle piece. And you can see, you know, what’s working, and then share that with others. And you see things really quickly. And see the data well.
So we’ve talked about some some good stuff. I’ve actually, oddly enough, I’d like to talk about some of the things that haven’t gone well, that you’ve seen as kind of like a warning for us, or maybe red flags that we need to look out for. Have you have you had any clients go down completely? Have you seen any industries that are just not like the tourism industry? The airline industry is very questionable right now. Anything in person is just much much tougher right now. I know even like, shoot, like, did you know Men’s wearhouse? closed down? Yes, like Men’s wearhouse some other places that like, no one’s wearing suits anymore.
Where we going to get by 10 suits get 12 free, you know?
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Like, you know, there’s so there’s a lot of luckily for me, t shirts aren’t ever going to go out of style. So I’m set. But for the people who do actually get dressed for work, that’s different now. I guess there’s some industries that you know, are going to be harshly affected by this. So I guess yeah, almost take it down a note. What it is, have you seen any examples like that, or some industries that maybe we should just…
We had a I had a client who did b2b marketing. So he was like a HubSpot agency just for like conferences, and they row new dropped so significantly, like they’re just like, we don’t think it’s worth it and they closed the doors. You did open up in a different business afterwards. Last week, I talked to a new potential client that’s in the event rental space, so he’s catering to like, people are putting on weddings and big conferences. He said he’s operating about 25% of what he normally does. Two of his competitors went out of business. You know, we we’ve had, we’ve had some clients where they’re just looking at this year’s like, just to keep the lights on here where they’re just trying to breakeven or stand the black knowing that like hopefully they can pick up market share next year. Yeah, those are the ones that come to mind right now on the you know, not not going while some of the unfortunate side. Yeah. Which sucks and it like breaks your heart and especially like when I drive around town you see the signs of like people that decided to close and you know they…
Oh, it’s the worst man. Yeah, you know. So we first met at a store, a coffee shop and Grandview here in Columbus. And they’re still they’re still open. But there’s a ton of places in Grandview in particular that they’re all boarded up and closed down. And it just, it breaks my heart going through there to see that because yeah, there’s, there are a lot of these, like you call b2c, right, like a business to customer where customers are coming in to the store. And if they haven’t pivoted, if they haven’t got their stuff online, going back to why it’s so important for web designers to take the lead on this, then yeah, there’s, there’s, I mean, the problem, I think now, too, is that we don’t know how long this is gonna last. And we don’t know the economic effects of all this. So you’re still I feel like you’re starting to see some of the worst of it. And there are some industries, I just don’t know if they’ll ever recovered. Do you have any pulse on that? Like, do you feel like, there’s certain industries, we know certain industries are going to be rocked and changed forever? But do you feel like there are some that maybe we should just not that we should not work with certain clients in certain industries? But I guess the question is, do you see a shift in some of those industries, like, either going digital or maybe just not, you know, doing like event event kind of stuff in tourism, I imagined that’s going to change dramatically.
Yeah, I guess if I’m a web designer, I might be, you know, a little a little careful on working with restaurants, or like tourism related companies for the next six months, until we see how this all shakes out. Or just try not to over invest in a project.
I was just gonna say, yeah, we as well. Yeah, we could be more empathetic to their situation as well. Like, if you can at least cover your costs. But then, you know, like, for example, keep them on your maintenance plan, do their hosting, but just maybe, you know, be lenient with them. I, I did that for one of my clients, which is a skating rink here. And his doors were closed for good for a couple months. And he actually ended up getting a job at Amazon just to cover his personal bill. So I was like, dude, I was like, I’m not gonna bill you for the maintenance plan. While you’re close I said just you know, when you when you backup let me know in the reactivate it, but for right now, it’s barely any cost on my end to do that. He’s been a great client. So we did that for him. And he fired back up when they opened back up. So it was fine. We actually only had one maintenance plan client, stop his plan, but he was kind of a pain in the ass kind of client anyway. And he was a jump ship as quickly as he can kind of personality type. So so it wasn’t a big deal. But but that’s it’s a good, it’s a good it’s a good thought and a good advice just to for us as web designers and just as entrepreneurs to be very vigilant with, like, what the landscape looks like. Yes, there. There are industries that are doing really well right now, like you said, the construction stuff has not changed doesn’t seem like restaurants are hit very tough. But luckily, a lot of them have done really well. I feel like with the e commerce side of things, so any business that needs to get their stuff online, particularly with e commerce, I know not everyone wants to do e commerce. But there’s really such a demand for I would encourage everybody to do it. And then I have a I have a WooCommerce course if everyone is curious, I guide you through how to create online sites with Debian WooCommerce. So there are these these areas. I guess almost going back to the initial question of like businesses that are doing well, and that seemed like they’re going to do well. My next question for you, Patrick would be in the future. Like, I know, it’s probably tough to see exactly in the future here. But what industries Do you foresee, with your experience working with a lot of different people? What type of industries specifically because I’m going to ask you about personality types next year, but industry wise, what industries do you think are actually going to do really well over the next handful of months, maybe six months to a year?
Yeah, I’m not an economist by any means. But there’s even economists, as I say, I keep saying construction is doing well, like sometimes that’s a lagging indicator. So they could be the one that’s struggling if like, people can’t find the housing. Well, in six or four months, I like doing new construction. All that being said, you know, if I were to bid on his industries, I would bet on digital marketing, I bet on education. I bet on devices like Cannabis, Liquor, you know, I bet on entertainment. Those would be those of you industries that I think about. Yeah,
that’s good. It’s good. Yeah. I mean, I feel like some of it’s not rocket science. It’s It’s just, you know, common sense. But I’m curious because you have worked with a lot of different businesses if you see, you know, like, and actually, that’s actually what was curious. Have you seen any businesses that have done really well through this time?
Yeah, the like, some of the specialty foods just crushed, like, you know, meat purveyors, and like, you know, home produce delivery type businesses. They’ve gone gangbusters. A lot of my marketing agency clients have done really well. People that are related to real estate, so property management and moving companies, those types of folks.
Really, they’ve done. They’ve done good to this time?
Yeah, for sure. Just because you see a lot of people that are, you know, making moves to like the suburbs, or maybe out to bigger cities, or people buying investment properties and using a property management company to manage that form. Yeah. Those are the the ones that jumped in mind in terms of people that have just crushed it this year.
Gotcha. Yeah. So let’s focus. We talked briefly about personality types. Just because, you know, you were kind of smirking when we were talking about the different types of people you work with. Yeah. Which in business businesses, people. So if you’re going to be in business, you have to get used to working with different personality types. But what have you seen, like, we talked about the examples of, you know, one, stopping stuff too quick, or just being reactive instead of proactive? But have you seen any personality traits of people who have got through this and seem to be doing really well? Have you seen anything? Like any common personality traits that you would like to take yourself or recommend to my audience as far as like? Yeah, I guess it’s kind of a tough question. But yeah, personality wise, you have any thoughts on that?
Yeah. I mean,
I think it’s like learning how to juggle all this uncertainty, you know, so, like, in your, in your episode, we can talk about, here’s what I’ve learned of managing my business for 10 years, I love one of the things you said was like, personal development and learning. So I think the people right now that are still like, you know, curious, open minded, trying to have some positivity where they can, I think that goes a long way. I think taking care of your, your physical mental health outside the business goes a long way. So if you can, try to keep up some sort of like, routine, or like, get away from the doom and gloom, or the news here and there when you can, or, like, get away from that, and, you know, go for a walk, take your dog for a walk, go for a run, whatever it is, like, just to get the endorphins going. And then, you know, understanding like with your team, like, stuffs gonna happen, like, you know, hard daycare just said, Lego, you know, we’re close for two days this week. And so like, just being mindful, like, everyone has so much going on, if you can, if you can give a little grace to your employees that are like trying to pull through this. And then if you’re leading a team, or if you have contractors and employees, like being the person that’s like, clear in your vision is going this being optimistic that kind of has that like wartime CEO mentality, I think can go a long way just to kind of be that rock for your your team during this time. So those are, those are some of the traits and personality things I’ve seen that can work really well during this. And if you are down, like, have somebody to talk to, like, you know, you can’t be fully transparent with your team or employees a lot of times, unfortunately. So if you have somebody in your networking group or somebody in Facebook group who’s another owner, or you know, a friend that you can just like get some of that stuff out to and vent to you, I think that can really help you and go a long way.
That’s the importance of like a good mastermind or memberships. One reason I’m launching my membership is I want to have a place for people who are serious about their business, who don’t feel comfortable sharing their thoughts in a, you know, in a big 20,000 free Facebook group, but they have close to the people who are going to actually support them and not dog them for, for sharing their thoughts or their concerns. So yeah, I feel like that’s more important than ever, I also hearing you talk about the personality types that are just just the habitual, like the behavior kind of stuff you can do because we’re all going to have ups and lows through this. Our ups and downs, I couldn’t have made that more confusing. All of these ups and downs with you know, some sometimes a really good and then sometimes there are these times of uncertainty, but I feel like most web designers and entrepreneurs were more or more okay with risk than the average business owner. So I feel like, again, going back to the fact that web design is such a great industry to get into right now. We’re a little more prone to that. And it was funny because I kind of felt like that I I didn’t know what was gonna happen February, March, I was kind of thinking like, you know, I was a little worried about Okay, well, are some clients going to drop off completely? Are they going to shut their doors I figured I braced myself for, we’re probably going to see a dip in numbers, because people are going to inevitably delay their payments, or they’re not going to get started on a project yet, or some cases, some clients might have to close their doors, or they might need to pull back. So I prepared myself for that. But I didn’t dwell on that long, I tried to get pretty proactive immediately. And I think, for the people who are like a cautious personality type, I think this time has probably been the hardest. Because if you’re somebody who is cautious and is looking at every cent that comes in the bank account, you’re probably freaking out right now. And and if you want to your point, if you’re stuck on Facebook and watching the news all day, you’re going to be a stressed out anxious mess. So it is so important to step away and to actually do something you enjoy and get your endorphins going. But I say all that to say, now is there’s no better time than ever to have some to feel okay, with risk and uncertainty and to have some confidence in that and have to have some curiosity too. I like that. I think you said curiosity there. I think it’s a really good trait right now is okay, here’s the problem. But as web designers, we all know, when a problem happens, like a website gets hacked, or client doesn’t go for your proposal or the you know, something happens with your design, then there is a solution to that challenge somewhere. So we just need to find it. So I say all that to say, now is the really good time to get creative. And to get curious and to figure out some solutions, because we’re actually seeing some incredible innovations, man, like, the stuff that’s going on with, like some virtual, virtual concerts and virtual meetings. Now, there’s all these kinds of like, high end stuff. That’s, that’s pretty revolutionary. And I think, you know, obviously, we’re not going to do anything crazy as web designers, but there are a lot of like, little things we can do that are going to be game changers, I think in the long run.
Yeah. And it is the perfect timing for those. I will say personally, I’m not like the most like, I don’t have the highest response, right. But I think there was an exercise that we did with a lot of people when the pandemic first hit where we looked at their their profit and loss statement or looked at their budget. And we said, okay, if your revenue dips to X amount, this is the red zone, you know, cut which expenses, it’s, you know, the orange zone, the yellow and the green, right? So, if you sometimes if you just map it map out worst case scenario, something bad, right? So if I’m, if I’m a new web designer, and you’re like, oh, if I only land, you know, X number of projects, you’re right, only have my maintenance plans like to live on like, then what would I do? Well, could I, you know, subsidize income? Or could I do these other things? Sometimes when you look at worst case, and then you build from there, like, okay, that’s not that bad. I got this, you know, so for those cautious types, it might be a good exercise. But I think, if you can, if you can hang in there and this time, innovate, continue to market yourself. Like, there’s, there’s a big upswing that people are going to enjoy, you know.
I’m so glad you mentioned that, Patrick, because the idea of just almost like looking at the worst case scenario, being okay with it. And then figuring out what the plan would be if you got to that point, I think that’s huge. I’m a, I’m a huge proponent of thinking about that don’t stay there too long. Like you don’t have to look eight hours a day at like, what happens if I’m in the red zone, you can look at that plan for but then get past it and never think about it again, move forward. And I always tell students the same thing when they’re because a lot of people have been reaching out. And they’ve asked like, do you really think right, now’s a good time to get into web I’m, you know, like, I’m afraid of failure, or, you know, what if I don’t succeed, and the same was true, even when I got started the idea of like, well, I could go for this business. But what if I fail for me? I always looked at the worst case scenario, which would be, I’d probably have to move in with my parents. That’d be like, you know, like, I’d have to live my mom or my dad. Now with a family, it’d be it’d be very different. But we would never be on the street. You know, like, worst case scenario. I’m never going to live on the street and will always be taken care of. And what I’ve learned, in my experience, I would would translate to a different industry. Again, absolute worst case scenario. But that’s it. I thought about that early on, and I never looked back. And I think a lot of people get hung up and don’t move forward. Because they’re so afraid of failure, but they don’t think about what that failure is. Like. You know what I mean, I think a lot of people just what sucks and what I feel for people who just don’t make the leap is because they’re missing out on so many good things in their life because they’re staying in their their comfort zone. They’re staying what where they where they know or what they do, and they’re never going to experience the true joy of freedom of doing their own thing and really doing something that they want to do if they’re paralyzed by failure. But again, if you look at what the quote unquote failure is, as long as you’re right with that, then go for it and never look back. Now we have had some downtime, like there’s been a couple of times where we’ve missed our mortgage payment years back, but that was it. Like, that was literally the worst thing that’s ever happened to me in my entrepreneurial career is I had to pay the mortgage about 15 days late. That’s literally the worst thing that’s ever happened. So if you’re okay with that, I was okay with that didn’t affect my credit score. I’m all right. And so that’s it. So I love that you brought that up, because I think it’s a huge point, particularly right now.
Yeah. They should go for it. But uh, yeah, if you’re really stressed about it, look at worst case. And then, you know, you could even do pro pros and cons list if you stay in your current job or seeing your current situation. How would that continue? You know, so? Yeah,
I like that.
Action cures fear. – Patrick
One of my one of my old, one of my old sayings, I used to tell myself when I was doing sales is action cures, fear, you know, like, if you’re really fearful about something, like talking to a girl, or like reaching out to that client, or like, going for it, like, so many times, when you take action, like the fear just vanishes, there’s not that big. So if I get my head too much, like, I’ll just tell myself that again, I’m like, action cures fear. Go for it, you know,
that’s great. It’s I feel like, additionally, action also cures like, overwhelm. If you’re like, if you if you delay a project or delay, something that you know, is on your to do list, like, I know, there’s been times in the past where I’m like, man, I gotta do this thing for this client. And I just don’t feel like doing it or you know, that, I get this email, and I feel like it’s gonna be, maybe a client’s unhappy about something. If you sit on it for a long time and think about it too much. It’s gonna be terrible. Just tackle it immediately. Sometimes you do need to sleep on it. But then get to it. And often a big website thing that I would was delaying, I would finally do it. And I’m like, that took like, 22 minutes. Why was I freaking out about this? And I got it, you know, like, there’s still things that I do, I actually, I’ve got a stack of papers on my desk, I need to get to because there’s some tax stuff I gotta go over and some medical insurance documents that I cover. I’ll be honest, I’m telling myself this because I’ve like delayed this may sit on my desk for like, a week, and I just haven’t felt like doing it. But you just inspired me to just get this stuff frickin done right now, because I know it’s gonna take like 10 minutes. And then why did I do that last week? Yeah. That’s great. Action. I will always go action cures.
yeah. Yeah, that’s awesome, man. Well, this has been great, Patrick, I feel like we’ve covered you know, from a practical sense, a lot of industries, just based off your experience here, it’s been interesting to hear from you. With the different types of clientele you have what’s working, what’s not what to be prepared for, I think it’s most of it’s common sense. But industries that are personal person or travel related are gonna be very affected. At the same time, if we have those type of clients, now more than ever, we need to help them and be empathetic with them and get creative. So we talked about some of the logistical and practical things, but also like some of the the mental stuff, we talked about being proactive versus reactive, really taking action and just, you know, looking at worst case scenarios, and what failure would look like and then having the plan for if you get to the like that the orange zone, the red zone, what are you going to do. But more importantly, and more critical than all that is to just be curious through this whole time, and then really be proactive and work at, you know, just helping people and sharing what you know, we talked about different marketing tactics right now. So, so this has been great man, this has been it’s been a good chat with you as somebody who isn’t exactly in web design, but you do work with a lot of different industries. So I really appreciate you being transparent with what you’ve seen through this time. Do you have any, like, maybe like a final thought, for my audience moving forward here, as we’re still kind of right in the middle of this pandemic? We’ll see what happens after election and going into the new year. But, but yeah, what a gift, like a final thought for anybody.
I don’t know, I think the the final thing I would say is like, you’re on the right wave, you know, like, one of my oldest customers, he was telling me, like, in the software business in the 80s, like, some of the top producers would try to find the right software company. And it’s like, once you find the right way, if you paddle as hard as you can, and like ride that wave, you know, like, if you’re in a web design, or you’re, you’re in digital marketing, like it’s a big freakin wave that you’re running and like, you’re in the right one. So like, how really hard and like catch it and like keep your balance, but it could be worse, you know, you could be like, in some ways, industries that are really hurting right now. So like, hang in there, it gets better. And this is going to be a big way for a while ago, and a lot of people are gonna enjoy the enjoy the upside of that and be able to help a lot of businesses out there. So ride the wave, man.
Well said, Patrick, I would have assumed you were in California, not Denver, talking about your surfing waves. That’s great. Awesome, man. Well, Patrick, thanks again, man when you’re in town next, hit me up. Because I’ll take you down the short north or something which looks completely different since the last time you were here. So looking forward to connecting with you again, man.
Great catching up.
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