In this special episode, the final podcast of the year, I wanted to bring you along as I personally look-back, reflect and learn from 2020. It’s something that I highly recommend you do as well in your business. Often as web designers, we get so caught up in the day to day tasks, new projects, troubleshooting problems, etc that we forget to reap the year to reflect, learn from and celebrate our accomplishments. I encourage you to take time before the year is over to do just that.

Additionally, I’ll provide some actionable takeaways from 2020 that you can apply to your business immediately and I’ll give you a lookahead at what to expect in 2021 with the podcast, tutorials, courses, new content, etc 🙂

If you don’t have time to listen to the episode, I just want to make sure you catch my main note of saying “THANK YOU” for listening to the show, for supporting my content and making it possible to do this endeavor full time a special thanks to all my web design students and web design club members who I can’t wait to serve on a deeper level 2021!

In this episode:

00:35 – 1) 2020 Review
02:32 – Launched two courses
06:24 – Selling the agency
07:15 – Update and automate
09:20 – Podcast commitment
12:05 – Getting help to grow
12:35 – Shoutout to listeners
14:38 – Big celebrations
15:31 – Membership launch
16:38 – 2) 2020 Takeaways
16:52 – Be adaptable
20:52 – Trust your gut
23:12 – Listen to customers
25:30 – Focus on good clients
30:31 – Takeaway recap
31:18 – 3) Plans for 2021
34:19 – Focusing on business
35:21 – Tutorials
36:06 – Webinars, workshops
36:55 – Updating, add courses
44:24 – Doing a summit
46:23 – Thank you!

You can also view the full transcription of this episode below.

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #083 Full Transcription

Episode Transcription

1) 2020 Review

Josh 0:16
Hey, everybody, and welcome into Episode 83, which is the final podcast episode of 2020. Gonna take a little break for the rest of the year through Christmas and a holiday break here. I’ve got some really cool things planned for the beginning of 2021, which I’ll let you in on. But what I thought I would do in this episode is to kind of cap off the year is to do a look back and look ahead and I figure, why not take you along the ride with me, I figured I’d share. Because I typically do I always do some sort of year end like look back, I try to look at the lessons learned and take count of what was accomplished just to because I feel like a lot of times, we just get so busy with our day to day. And it’s very easy to neglect looking back and learning from the previous year. In fact, I just recently talked about that on podcast 080 with how to in the year strong, and how to start the year strong. And I did a big presentation in my web design club that goes into detail on that. But I figured in this case, I would at least, you know, look back with you and just kind of recap some of the things that were done in 2020, which was such a wild year. And I’m actually going to break this talk into three phases. Phase One, we’re going to do look back, I’ll just kind of go over, you know what was accomplished this year, not in any sort of like vain way. But I just wanted to share with you you know what crazy kind of year it was. And I just I just thought instead of just doing this by myself, why not do it with you guys. And then phase two, I’m going to talk about some takeaways, and again, not takeaways just to boost myself up. But things that I learned that I hope are going to be really valuable for you that you can apply to your business right now and into the new year. And then we’re going to do a look ahead. So we’re going to look at what we have planned for the podcast. And I’m going to give you just kind of a forecast of what to expect in Q1 quarter one for 2021. And some things that I have planned for the rest of the year as well. So we’re gonna have some fun in this one gonna keep it casual, I’m gonna keep it loose. It’s the last episode of 2020. So starting with the look back phase one here.

Josh 2:19
So beginning the year, as you know, I think most everyone knows who has been listening to the podcast for a while I was essentially doing courses and the podcasts and everything with my brand here, Josh part time. So in the beginning of the year, I launched my eighth course, which was my website design course, one of my favorite courses, still, I probably get some of the best feedback from that one as far as people, I think it’s one of the most fun ones because it’s design oriented. So I launched that course. And then I immediately launched my ninth course after that, which was my SEO course, which is a really important course for the foundations of SEO and kind of demystifies this scary, confusing world of SEO, which I was super excited to do, you know, for the longest time. And I still don’t consider myself an expert of SEO. But what I’ve come to realize, and one thing that has helped me avoid imposter syndrome is that if you’re in web design, very rarely Are you an expert at anything, because the industry moves so fast. And there’s so many different ways to do something, you could be an expert in one way to do something, but it doesn’t mean you’re an expert at like SEO as a whole. Because a lot of people I’ve talked to who are really who I consider specialists and SEO experts, they tell me the same thing. They’re like, I’m not an expert, I just have figured this out. And I know a lot about this. And that’s where we’re at. So launched those two courses, and that completed my course bundle.

Josh 3:44
So if you didn’t already know, I do have all my courses in the course bundle. And those are the nine courses. I’ve been building those, you know, over the past couple years. And I was really excited because I didn’t know how many courses I was going to do in my web design course bundle and total. But once I completed the SEO course I felt like that was really that was the cap I really have of course bundle now that encapsulates all of the main areas you would need to know to learn web design, start grow your business and then build recurring income from it. So really excited about that. I have all the links to this below. But I was really excited to kick the year off with completing the course bundle which talked about timing, I got the SEO course done and launched at the end of February and into March. And of course we all know what happened at least stateside in March of 2020, which was the pandemic is really the beginning stages of the pandemic so I definitely did not time that out. It wasn’t intentional, but by golly, I’m, I’m thrilled that I that I did that just in time because that was really an opportunity for me to be able to help so many people who got affected by COVID because I in March just to be completely transparent with you. I saw a massive influx in people interested in learning web design. I was kind of curious because we hadn’t shut down here because I’m based in Columbus, Ohio, if you didn’t know, we hadn’t shut down at that point. It wasn’t until late March, early April, when we really did like a full shutdown. So I hadn’t really seen it so close to home. But I was kind of wondering why there was so much interest in courses. And then, as people were letting me know what was going on, I saw countless story after story of people being laid off from their job, or they lost, they got furloughed, or they, you know, were doing something in person and they couldn’t work in person anymore, and they had to bring their business online. In a lot of cases. I’ve helped so many students now who had a web design, side hustle. And then once they lost their main source of income or their job or got furloughed, they’re like, you know what, this is my opportunity to take this full time and really learn web design.

Josh 5:46
So I say all that to say, that was the beginning of me really thinking about my web design agency. And as most of most of you know, I’ve talked about this and a lot here recently, I did sell my web design agency, because I knew it was the best opportunity and time for me to go full time, which is going to lead to a takeaway I’m going to share here with you. But I got that was a red flag for me that I realized this was the time to really go for this thing and really take courses and my my coaching here with full time into the next level. So that was the beginning of me selling my agency. I’ve already talked about selling my agency, if you want to go back, that was episode, I think 053 with my now CEO, Eric, and we talked about in depth what that looked like when I decided to sell my agency and brought him in, to take over my clients. And I still have loved being able to keep tabs on Eric and the agency because we did work out an arrangement where it was a sale, it was a sell sale of the business. But I did retain some ownership. So I can stay in the thick of it. And then you know, give my input and advices kind of like a consultant for the agency. So that’s been amazing. It’s been really incredible all year to do that. And it was a big learning process. It was a very heavy season. It was a big decision a big deal. But I’m super excited that I kind of followed my gut, which will again lead to a takeaway I’m going to share here, but what a crazy What a crazy couple months that was through spring and summer of 2020.

Josh 6:08
But that’s what kind of set the tone for the rest of the year because I was able to focus full time. On my courses, I started updating courses, I did a lot of work on my website. Again, I was basically doing Josh Hall CO and running my website and doing all my courses and tutorials and podcasts part time. So I was spending about, well, up until 2020, I was spending about half the time with my agency and then half the time doing this. But then the beginning of 2020, I was really doing more like 75% work with this kind of stuff. So to be able to really focus on a full time was awesome. One thing that I did that I encourage you guys to take some time to do in your business was to automate systems, I automated a lot of systems and a lot of my processes and templates. This would be onboarding type of sequences for my courses. I’m using Zapier now. And I’m still in the process of creating a lot of automation through that. I also did a lot with my processes. As far as putting kind of an SOP a standard operating procedure together for my podcast, which is a lot of work, it takes a lot of work to produce a podcast ongoing, particularly with the rate I’m doing right now, which is on average two a week. So I did a lot of that and then create a lot of templates and workflows for like email templates, I realized, and this is something I preach all the time. Anytime you do something twice, automate it, make it a template, make it something that can be repeatable, that you can either save time on your end or have somebody else do. So I did a lot of that with email templates and all kinds of stuff. So to be able to focus on that was huge. And I really encourage you to do that as well and invest the time in automating automating automate, really, I’m looking at the word automated in my notes, but I’m saying optimization. So either way, automate as much as you can in your business, your systems and your processes. It does take time in the beginning, but before you know it, you’re going to be saving a crazy amount of time, and it’s going to be super beneficial for you. And it’s going to help you grow your revenue and be more profitable by automating as much as you can. So I learned a lot about that.

Josh 9:20
Speaking of the podcast, I did commit, I think it was what late summer for those of you who follow almost every episode, you might be able to pinpoint when I did this, but I think it was late summer that I committed to really giving a lot to the podcast because I love doing the podcast. I love you guys as listeners, I love seeing the difference it’s making it’s brought some real quality, serious professionals to my courses. And it’s been just a joy and an honor to be able to coach people particularly who have gone through changes in their life through COVID. And through this pandemic. And I just want to say I meant to say this in the outset. But I just want to thank you for being a listener of this podcast again as we’re talking about this. It really, it really has been such a rewarding and incredible experience. It’s blown. It’s really blown my mind as far as what it’s done, I knew it was gonna be really cool when I always knew the power of a podcast. But it wasn’t until I actually committed to doing it and to doing it consistently that I’ve realized, like, Wow, it is a long term type of strategy. It’s a slow growth strategy. But man, once it gets to this point, I mean, we’re on episode 83. It is just, it’s been incredible. It’s from every standpoint, just for me being able to not only connect with my audience on a deeper level, because you guys, you know, for you Listen to me on a podcast, it’s a lot different than the videos that you see on YouTube. I know a lot of you are on my YouTube channel as well. But I can’t talk for 45 minutes in a video on YouTube. Generally, that video is not going to do well. But I can do that in a podcast. It’s the podcast really suits me and my personality. And for those of you who like to talk and are curious and really want to dive into the weeds on something, I would highly consider doing a podcast for yourself and for your business. It’s also a great way to bring in customers and really show your authority and your expertise. So I just want to say thank you, because I’m loving doing the podcast. And it is not going to be slowing down in the new year, which we’ll talk about here.

Josh 10:05
So I’ve got some really cool things planned for it. But this just is it’s been awesome. It has been a lot of work. I’m not gonna lie, doing two episodes a week, I committed that I committed to that for the rest of 2020 to do two episodes a week. And this is the last episode here. I guess I’ll talk about this shortly. But I am going to continue to do that in the new year, we are going to keep it this path and this this level with two episodes a week. But I did need to get some help to be able to do it effectively. And I also realized a big need for transcriptions and outlines like timestamps for the episodes because a lot of people I noticed were asking me questions about, hey, when did you talk about this? What episode was that, and a lot of people wanted to read more of the podcast and I know transcriptions not everyone wants to read an entire podcast. But from an ADA compliance standpoint. And for people who really do like to read, I wanted to make sure that was an option. So I did hire Kam, my VA, who is actually the VA for my web design agency in transit studios, and she does all the transcriptions, he helps me publish the podcast At this rate, I definitely could not do it without a great VA. So shout out to Kam for listening to me nonstop every week over and over who’s doing the transcriptions and the outlines and helping me get all the podcasts out. So that’s been huge. That’s another thing I’d recommend for you is if you’re going to commit to something that takes a lot of time, you’re gonna have to get some help unless you’re able to do it full time yourself.

Josh 12:35
So love loved doing the podcast again, just wanted to take this moment to say thank you for being a listener, I really, I have gotten so much out of it. Even from a learning perspective, like me, personally, I don’t know if you guys can tell. But I just, I love learning. And I love hearing other people’s stories and hearing about how other people do things. Because in web design, as you know, there’s no right or wrong way to do something, it can be done a number of different ways. So it’s been awesome. And I can’t wait till next year, because I think it’s going to be even better. I think I’m getting better at interviewing, trying to get better at my filler words, trying to not talk so fast and not jumble my words together, which I know that I do have a habit of doing so. But I also don’t want to sound like a boring monotone science middle school teacher either. So it’s a tough balance to strike. But we’re working on it. But yeah, it’s been awesome. And Kam has been a huge help with being able to distribute the podcast effectively.

Josh 13:31
Just a couple final things as I’m looking back here and 2020 because I want you to do the same thing, I want you to take some time out here, reflect on the year and celebrate to like my wife and I at the time of recording this we haven’t gone out yet. But by the time it goes out, we’ll have just gone on our yearly fancy date night. And we use this date night to connect and to hang out but also to reflect on the year and then we’re going to do a separate coffee shop trip together to do like an official CEO type of day where we’re going to look at the look back at the year and look, look at what’s ahead to do some planning but reflect on the year celebrate it, grab a drink, whatever that drink is whiskey, champagne, sparkling water, water itself, whatever it is, celebrate your wins, look back and make sure you don’t let any really good projects or good clients go by without really thinking about that. And then because, again, particularly in web design, we get so hung up on technical issues and what’s ahead and keeping up with the projects that to neglect and not learn from some really good things and bad things you can learn from the bad things too. But more importantly, I want you to celebrate your wins. I do that. And for me one of the big celebrations this year is I’m closing in on 800 students, which is freaking awesome. I think it’s almost 40 countries like it might be probably more than 40 countries now after look it’s kind of tough to pinpoint that but well over 40 countries maybe close to 50 worldwide and almost 800 students I have full, you know very, very confident that I’ll be hitting over 1000 students by springtime and 2021. So guys, it’s just been amazing. And it’s been an honor for those of you who are students, it’s been an absolute honor to serve you and I the success stories that keep on coming in, just blow me away, blow me away on a daily basis, like I get up and I’m pumped to start working just because it’s frickin awesome. What an impact, to be able to see that that the stuff is making and be able to kind of take from what I’ve learned and be able to share it with you is, is really gratifying. So I really appreciate that and appreciate you guys for listening.

Josh 15:31
And then the final thing I wanted to mention as kind of a final recap was that I just launched my membership, which is my web design club, it’s been talked about for a while, it’s still in the beginning stages, I actually still am doing the founding member launch. So if you are interested in learning more about that as we wrap up 2020, I will continue to have the founding member discount available through January and then I’ll let you know when that’s going to end because I am going to do a big push for that in January because now I’ve got systems in place. And we’ve got a really good feel for the membership. It’s loaded with incredible people, I hang out there way more than I do anywhere else online just because it’s such a supportive and encouraging environment. So I’m interested, you can go to Josh And then I’ll take you to some more details and just message me contact me through my website, see if you have any questions, I’d be happy. I also want to see if you’re a good fit too, because it’s not for everyone. It’s for people who are serious and who are going to be committed to to support on not only to get support, but to support other web designers. And I’ll have more to tell you about that because it’s just been awesome. But guys, thank you so much for this year. It’s been an incredible year, despite some wild things in 2020.

Josh 15:32
So phase two here, I just wanted to issue some takeaways, I wanted to give you some of my takeaways that I hope you can apply right now. And then especially as you lead into 2021, four takeaways here for you…

2) 2020 TakeAways

Josh 16:50
Number one, be comfortable with pivoting and adapting. I’ve learned more and more about this from my guests recently from the podcasts who have talked about what they’ve done this year. And I’ll tell you this, guys, there are people in identical situations who some do really well, and some who go plummeting and lose their business or quit and start something else. And the difference between the two is adaptability and the openness to get out of your comfort zone and to be able to pivot. So and I talked about this with my my colleague and good friend, Patrick Dichter. I think it was Episode 79, who learned the same thing and saw the same thing with his clients. As a business coach, he sees all kinds of industries and even talked about it in that episode. He had some clients that were in identical industries, identical markets, some did really well. And some did really bad. And it was all about how to handle the situation with pivoting and being able to adapt. So I’m talking with web designers here, I get that you guys are all primarily very comfortable with technology. So it’s a lot harder for like a blue collar industry that’s used to doing things the old school way. And then they realize crap, I need to actually have a website or I need to start selling some stuff online. If you’re a restaurant or something like that, it’s a lot harder to have that pivot adapting mindset. So we as web designers, we’re at kind of a or an interesting point. Because not only are we usually comfortable with that, and we’re comfortable with things changing constantly, because they do. But we can help clients with that as well, which can be super valuable and can also be a huge win for you because it can lead to all sorts of strategies. For encore, ongoing revenue and income for you. You can do recurring services, with helping businesses get their stuff online, or helping people take something they were doing in store, and then bring it online or a hybrid mix of both. So either way, number one here with my takeaways be comfortable with pivoting and adapting. And be okay with getting out of your comfort zone that for me, that was the biggie I saw some red flags. For me in the spring that I realized, like wow, I had started I saw some stuff in my web design business where I wasn’t burnout. I wasn’t, you know, drained from that. But I definitely realized my passion had shifted 100% to you guys, with this podcast and with my courses and stuff. And that’s what kind of was the seed for me to really start thinking can seriously about selling my web design agency and getting somebody to take that over to be able to focus on this full time. And it was a big decision. It was a big deal because for my family, we’ve always relied on my web design income in my business. So I I’ve heard this analogy a lot. And I love it and I’ll pass it on to you. It’s like swinging from an income vine to another income vine. Like if you imagine yourself you’re Tarzan swinging from vine to vine. If you’re swinging from this business and you’re getting ready to grab on to another vine, you want to make sure it’s stable and you want to make sure it’s at least secure enough. And I don’t really, maybe I shouldn’t use the word secure but you want to make sure it’s it’s worth holding on to even if it’s not as strong as the other one because you can build it up because you don’t want to grab on to a vine that is going to break immediately. And then you’re going to go plummeting to the ground. So I was actually in full transparency, making more with courses at that point, because that’s where it all my passionate shifted. So it really wasn’t that risky of a decision for me to transition to go and courses and coaching full time. But it was still a big decision. It was a big deal. And I think a lot of my family and friends were like, what the heck, you’re like, I didn’t even know you did online courses, because I did kind of keep it hush hush on the outside. So I think a lot of my family and friends were like, What are you thinking, selling your business? And then doing this like that? You know, like, how are you gonna sell courses and pay your mortgage. So happy to talk about that more in the future, too. If anyone’s curious, maybe I’ll do an episode on what I’ve learned with core stuff. But in any case, be comfortable with pivoting and adapting.

Josh 20:47
And that kind of goes into number two here as far as my second takeaway, which is to trust your gut, like I just mentioned, there were some red flags with my agency where I felt like I just wasn’t, and I just wasn’t enjoying, it didn’t have my full attention. I felt like I was kind of given half assed attention to my clients. And that is not what I’m about. So I immediately recognize that. And then when I brought in Eric to take over my business, he was the first person I talked to, and I trusted my gut 100%, I’ve I kept an eye on him as a student, he was a student who built his business up to six figures in less than one year. So I knew that he was somebody who was competent and capable. He was also a mature guy with a family and had a very entrepreneurial mind, I could tell that right from the outset. So that was a big thing. For me. I also knew that he was super, super committed to really good customer service and great communication, which was key, absolutely key. So I trusted my gut with him. And I, after a couple talks, I felt like he was a good fit. And then we went for and I can tell you in full sincerity, I have no regrets with bringing him on and having him taken over my business. So trust your gut, your gut never lies in your gut is always right. And this can be in business and in relationships and in life. Have you ever dated someone who you knew probably wasn’t a good fit, but you did it anyway? And then six months later, like, Oh my gosh, why didn’t I just freakin trust my gut initially. So trust your gut, big time, especially with big business decisions. But this can be done in a micro level to even like, with services you’re thinking about, if you feel like you know what I want? Maybe yes, maybe I should do social media, because a lot of my clients are asking for social media, but you feel like in your gut, I just don’t like it as much I know, it’s gonna be a lot of time, trust your gut, refer that crap out. And don’t take on something that you’re not ready to. But then vice versa, if you feel like you know what, a lot of my clients are asking about SEO, maybe I should learn SEO, and you realize, SEO is a big part to website design, and even the beginning, it’s it needs to be a big part of the process, you can take my SEO course. And you can start adding recurring revenue through SEO Services, just basic SEO, and you can partner with people, a lot of folks in my network, who are available to help you out with SEO audits and ongoing SEO and copywriting and stuff like that. So trust your gut, your gut is always what you should trust when it comes to micro and macro meaning big and small business decisions for sure.

Josh 23:11
Number three, here, listen to your customers. So like I said, In March, I noticed a big influx and I was listening to people as far as what was going on. And I knew the need was greater than ever to really dedicate to helping people transition to web design this year. So by listening to my customers, I really realized what was important and what was going on. And we did this with an agency within transit, we listen to what kind of challenges different industries we’re having. And then we help them pivot. And we did certain things to their websites and offered certain services and really tried to help them through for a lot of a lot of industries and a lot of clients was a very different difficult time in spring and summer of 2020. So listen to your customers, they will be the best pulse as far as what you should do right now and what you might want to pivot and adapt to moving forward. So just like I talked about with the SEO stuff, if all of your clients are asking about SEO, you might want to consider doing SEO and all of your clients are. If you kind of feel like more and more people are interested in updating their own site, then you can really work at putting some training resources together. That way you don’t have to do it one on one over and over. And getting people access to posting their blogs and doing stuff with Divi if you want or vice versa. If you feel like people are just getting burnout, trying to do things on their own, you can offer more maintenance type services, where you take on more it might be you know, like a retainer of hours a month or something added onto your maintenance plan. And you can just tell your clients Listen, you guys are going through a lot right now. You focus on what you do all focus on the website and we can be available for a couple extra hours or month or something like that. Listen to your customers. Listen to their challenges. I would also encourage you to do some sort of poll as well at the end of this year and the beginning of next year. Get a pulse of where your clients and your customers are Find out what their challenges are find out what they’re interested in and what they’re curious about moving forward. And that will often not only will that show that you are in their corner, moving forward and really thinking about them, but that can be the gateway to a lot of ongoing work. Again, it’s way cheaper to work with people you already have relationships with, as opposed to trying to look for new clients non stop. So that’s number three, listen to your customers.

Josh 25:23
And number four, finally, speaking of maintaining really good relationships with your current customers do exactly that. Focus on your current customers over I mean, I’m not saying don’t get new customers, because that’s a big part two, but put more emphasis, here’s my challenge for you, particularly in the first couple quarters of next year 2021, put some extra emphasis on circling back around with your current clients, your past clients and people that you already have really good relationships with. And this can also be secondary and tertiary to this, not only just your actual paying customers or previous customers, but the people you partner with and really work at growing a network of people who are going to make you feel more confident. This is also one of the big reasons I lost my membership is because when you do web design, if you don’t have an amazing network of people who you can lean on, and actually partner with or refer to, you feel lonely. And it can be actually a very vulnerable position to where Imagine if you’re meeting with a client, but you don’t do SEO, you don’t do WooCommerce. And I’m saying this because I did this for years until I learned this stuff. I felt like the clients had all these needs. And I always just said, I don’t do that. I don’t do that. And sorry, but I just don’t do that. Well, now, there is literally nothing clients will tell us to where we don’t have somebody who can do that, or we have somebody in our network who can handle that. So I want you to be empowered, it’s one of the big reasons I launched my web design club, is because I want people to be able to say, you know what, I don’t do advanced SEO right now. But I have a partner who I can refer you to or we can work together on this. And it will make you look like a boss, it will help you with all sorts of recurring income strategies and passive income as well with that. So there’s a lot of great reasons that you want to focus on your partners and people outside of just your clients as far as maintaining relationships. And just remember, with your current clients, there are so many clients, and so many previous customers that are willing to pay you more, but the only reason they haven’t is because you haven’t asked, and you haven’t put an opportunity in front of them. And I’m telling you that because I realized that with my web design agency, I went years without doing any sort of good email or any good follow ups, I always focused on new customers and new clients. And I felt like a hamster in a hamster wheel just over and over. I was just on this feast and famine, new client new project one and done one and done. And then I dawned on me that why don’t I just focus on adding more value to the customers already have, I don’t need to sell them they already know like, and trust me. And another really important idea and mindset thing here to remember is that 10% of your customers will likely pay you 10 times more than they’re already paying you. So I guarantee you have a handful of customers and clients right now that have the budget and are willing to invest in you and willing to invest in their sights a lot more than you think they are. So it’s up to you to put the offer out there.

Josh 28:22
So that’s the last big takeaway, and I’m applying this with my students, you know, I, I have a bunch of strategies and things I’m going to implement new funnels for, for new students for 2021. But the reason I launched my membership, and one of the reason I’m really circling back around with previous students, is that I want to keep tabs on them, I don’t want to just get a new student and then never hear from them. Again, I want to hear how the course is helping. And once somebody goes through my course bundle and goes through all my courses, the the question I always got was like, well, what’s next, I don’t want them to disappear and never hear from them. Again, I want to keep tabs on them. Now it’s very hard for me practically to do that with almost 800 students, you know, randomly. So the way to do that was with my membership to be able to coach people more directly to have these threads and have people together. So that was for me, one of the reasons I transitioned a lot of what I’m doing now to really invest back in students and you guys who are, you know, gaining a lot from what I’ve learned in my experience, and I want to circle back around with you, I want to hear from you, I want to continue to help you, I don’t want it to be a one and done thing. So I’m encouraging you to do that. And I’m also letting you know, this is my challenge to myself. It’s one of the big things I plan on doing in 2021 is to find a really creative ways to reengage with everybody and help them with challenges. And look web design is something that is constantly changing as we talked about. So there’ll be no shortage of challenges and new things that I can continue to produce content on. So my goal like To be honest, I hear people they’re like, yeah, this person had 100,000 students in there you know, whenever popular like Udemy, or something like that, but that doesn’t interest me, I, I would rather have 1000 students, which I have a high conversion rate with talking with them and helping them further and making them more valuable instead of working, you know, having something for 100,000 people and I never hear like I never hear from him, I have no idea what kind of impact it’s making, I truly mean that I would much rather focus on quality over quantity. And I want to encourage you guys to have that same idea and that same mindset.

Josh 29:11
So just a quick recap of my takeaways. Number one, be comfortable with pivoting and adapting particularly, I mean, we all have, we think you probably learned you had to this year. Number two, trust your gut, big, small decisions, whatever, trust your gut, it’s never going to let you down. Number three, listen to your customers be intentional about getting a pulse of how they’re feeling, it’s going to lead to all sorts of opportunities. And finally, number four, make sure you focus on maintaining relationships with current and past clients circle back around with them, really utilize that relationship as much as possible, add as much value you can to current clients. And then suddenly, you’ll find yourself in a couple months being like, wow, I don’t need to actually get a new project this month, because I can just keep on circling back around previous clients. So those are some of the big takeaways I’ve learned from my look back.

3) 2021 Plans

Josh 31:18
So finally, phase three here, let me take a drink of water. And then we’re going to talk about what is in store for 2021. And kind of a look ahead. So first off the podcast, the podcast is going to continue. The first episode will is planned to go out Monday, July or January 4 right now, and I’ve got a really, really cool interview for that one, you’re gonna you’re gonna love, it’s a good one. January 4 is when the podcast will kick back up. I will maintain the two episodes a week schedule in pattern up until Episode 100. I may continue after that. As far as the say it’s not this podcast isn’t going to end on 100. But I’m just gonna see how the, the my schedule and everything goes with doing two more a week on average, through 100. And then I’m going to reevaluate, I’m going to see is this sustainable, personally, and just to be transparent with you, I feel like four episodes a month is not enough. But eight episodes is a lot. It’s all I realized, like I’m actually kind of curious from you. I’d love to hear from you. Just go to contact, if you want, send me a note on with your feedback on the podcast, because I want to know, is it? Is it too much? Is it not enough? is it helping you I want to hear your feedback because I you know, I hear quite a bit from people randomly. And a lot of my students and a lot of my members. But if you’re just someone who’s just listening, I would value your feedback. And of course, leaving a review that is much appreciated. If you can leave me a review, review wherever you listen. But that is the plan to do two a week through January, February, and then the march and then I’ll reevaluate, to see, if we need to maybe cut back a little bit what I would probably do if we do end up cutting back, I would probably do six episodes a month. Because again, I feel like for just isn’t quite enough, at least me just finding a little more. But a is is kind of tough.

Josh 33:06
And then on a personal note, when I’m doing two a week, sometimes it’s hard for me to really kind of look back and take away what I learned from those episodes, because there’s so much work and emphasis on getting the episodes out and promoting them. And all that work that I don’t want to like forget or lose a lot of the lessons that I’m learning. So we’ll take a look at that. So so bear with me on that. But we’ll definitely keep this same schedule going through the new year. And I will tell you, I have a very special guest for Episode 100. I was going to tell you, I’m going to keep it in the bag until then. But just wait. I’ve got a super, super exciting guest for Episode 100. For it a big deal. We’re getting into the big leagues. So definitely do not back off listening to the podcasts, at least until Episode 100. Because, well, I’m excited. I’m so excited. During the interview in late January, god I’m so pumped anywho new episodes, a lot of cool stuff going on with the podcast, we’re going to continue the same format. We’re going to be doing interviews on Mondays, and then I do solo episodes on Thursdays, I like doing the mix. I hope you enjoy that as well. I think it’s valuable to have interviews and the other people’s perspective. But I’ve got a lot of stuff I want to get out of my head and pass on to you with topics.

Josh 33:18
And we’re going to focus a lot, particularly in the first couple months of 2021 on the business side of things for your web design business. So I’m going to be taking a lot of you know, some things that I’ve talked about, but really dive into certain topics. We’re going to talk a lot about pricing. We’re going to talk about onboarding funnels and weeding out clients. We’re going to talk about project management. And we’re also going to I’ve got some ideas and topics plan for things like design and conversion layout ideas to help you convert stuff like that. So I know a lot of people are focused on their business and the beginning part of the year. So I want to help you with that. And of course I have my web design business course which talks all about that already. So if you’re ready for like a point A to point B start to finish course and guide to follow to build or take your business to the next level, check that out, for sure, go to JoshHall just click on courses and go to my business course you can find out more about that. But I will be giving you some tips and tricks and teasers from a lot of those topics in the beginning of the year.

Josh 35:21
Tutorials. So the podcast is going to continue the same tutorials are going to continue as well, I did back off doing tutorials on my YouTube channel for a lot of 2020. mainly just because of everything we talked about what to look at, look back, I was busy completing my courses for my chorus bundle I sold my web design agency did a lot of work on my site updated a lot of the courses that I’ve got out right now, which I still it’s something I’ll talk about here. And then of course, I launched my membership and grew the podcast tremendously. So that’s kind of one reason I didn’t do as many tutorials. But I will be doing a lot more tutorials in 2021 that are going to be more specific to just Divi just my good old classic tutorials that are 5,10,15 minute technical kind of tutorials to help you in your web design stuff out.

Josh 36:06
On top of that, I do plan on doing some workshops and webinars, these will be a mix of some things that will be done for students and members, but also for everybody. So I’m a I’m going to look at doing some like free webinars and stuff like that. Not sure how many I’m going to do. And I’m kind of planning those out. But I want to create some resources that are more than a tutorial, but not a full course. But at least gives you guys a really good framework to follow particularly for those of you who are just starting out because I realize when you’re just starting out, you probably don’t have a budget unless you are, you know, in a situation where you’re taking care of financially or you have somebody who can support you, I realize it’s it’s really hard to do that. So the pandemic stuff is not slowing down. So I want to continue to help you. And we’ll be doing that with some advanced workshops and webinars.

Josh 36:55
As I just mentioned, my current courses, I do have a lot of updates planned for current courses, all of the courses are still 100% relevant. And what I have done is for anything that updates, I am starting to go back and keep certain lessons up to date. And I’m adding new, updated lessons if something changes, or if it’s kind of like an announcement type of thing. So I am doing that my current courses. At some point here, I will probably do like a whole version two of my website maintenance plan course. And some of the other ones as well, even dB, I’ll probably do a whole version 2.0 at some point in 2021 for a duty course. So updating all those that’s a big thing. And one of the big questions I get is future courses. So I get a lot that I get a lot of feedback on what would be a good course moving forward. And again, going back to listen into my customers and my students, I want to hear you know what the challenge is. The biggest top most requested course I get is a course on how to build a course. So most of you all know I use LearnDash. It’s the Course Builder that I trust, and I’ve used since the start, I love LearnDash. I don’t love the rebrand, they just did kind of bummed about the new look, I actually still have the old logo on my recommendations tools page on my site, because I just don’t care for the new brand. But LearnDash itself is awesome. And I am definitely thinking about doing a LearnDash course the tricky just just to keep you just kind of fill in the tricky thing about a course like a LearnDash course, is there’s kind of two, well, there’s actually kind of three levels to this there is LearnDash itself learning LearnDash in learning the builder and how to connect it with Divi and WordPress and how you know all that stuff. There’s the technical side of things, which I could do pretty quickly. The only problem with that is when things update, I need to keep the course updated. So it’s actually a lot more work for me to do topical courses where I have to keep them updated and up to date. Whereas if I talk about sales and pricing, that stuff has not changed for me at all. And it’s really easy for me to update that because it’s not as frequent. Those are more like evergreen type of strategies. But the topical stuff is a lot more intensive. For me that said, I do plan on doing a LearnDash course. But as I just mentioned, I don’t want to get away from this. There’s like three areas so that there’s a technical.

Josh 39:14
The second part is actually the course, Grace and process. So there is a lot of different ways you can create a course. But a lot of people who try creating a course find out, it ain’t that easy. It’s very hard to put all your ideas together in an outline that can be followed. And it can be very, very time consuming. It’s a big process, even if it’s a fairly small course. It’s a big process. I mean, it took me three months to build my business course. I wasn’t doing courses full time, but it still it took a lot of time. It actually took almost four months at the time, but when I released it and I did some live webinars for it, it was almost a four month process from start to finish. So it’s a big deal of courses are a big deal. So there’s the process side of things.

Josh 39:55
And then the third aspect of courses is marketing. How do you market the course? How do you get it out there. How do you sell them consistently? Are they live all the time? Do they close, there’s all these different marketing tactics, which, by the way, my courses are always open. I never closed my courses, I, I just don’t think that’s a great idea. I understand why people would want to have open enrollments and stuff. But I, I always keep them open. Because if you want to learn DB WooCommerce, but it would be closed, What a bummer. But I just, I don’t like that at all. So that is why I keep them open. But there’s the marketing aspect. So I might do like, now I’m thinking about it, you’re catching me thinking out loud, thinking out loud here. I might do like a three course bundle. Like I might, you could just learn how to learn LearnDash, you could learn the process, which I actually have outlined in my behind the scenes video of your career. I’ll link this below. But if you’re curious, just certs behind the scenes making a course with Josh Hall. Because I do I did like a documentary style video of making my Divi beginners course where you can see me planning it, writing out, working from home, going to coffee shops, how I do the videos, how I build the course how I do the editing, and all that good stuff. So you can check that out if you want. But I could take that into a lot more detail with like a course. And then I might do a course on marketing courses as well. So now that I’m thinking about it, I might do like a three in one type of thing where you could buy, you know, each one individually or all together. So look for that in the new year. I’ll keep you posted of course.

Josh 41:23
The other one that I’ve been more has been more and more requested is of course on video. Again, there’s technical and then there’s other things with like how to get comfortable on camera, which is actually a training I’m doing in January for my web design club. But I have had a lot of requests about how to do video because it’s something I encourage everybody do. Even if you’re not a video person and you’re not comfortable on camera. If you’re going to talk with clients, you can talk in a video and it will separate you immediately from your competition. So that’s something I’m considering.

Josh 41:55
And in the last big course that people have been asking about is a podcasting course, as you know, listen to this podcast, I’m super passionate about it. And it’s something I’m considering. I mean, to be honest, I just didn’t really point people to the course that I went through, which is Pat Flynn’s power of podcasting course, was a game changer. For me, it was the perfect guide for me to follow. As a course creator, I understand the importance of going through courses myself, and the thing with that one, it is a premium course it’s it’s $800 bucks. So if you have zero budget, that’s kind of tough. It was, you know, I I knew it was an investment for me, too. That was a lot of money. That was do I want to pay, you know, a part of my family’s medical bills that month or, or medical premiums? Or do I pay for this podcasting course. So I did pay it was paid for both, don’t worry, but I say all that say it was a big investment. $800 bucks is a lot of money. So I just I knew it was gonna be a big investment because I knew the podcast was gonna be a huge ROI for me. So I do direct people to that. However, I realize that’s a big investment for the average. For me, that’s more expensive than any of my courses. And I also realize I have a different perspective and experience with my podcast. So I’m definitely considering doing one, it will not be that much it’ll be it’ll be probably very similar to what Pat did with his course, except all have my own flair, and probably my own stuff. So same thing with that though. There’s the technical aspect, there’s the process, and there’s the marketing. So who knows, maybe I’ll do a three parter for that too. Maybe I’ll do a three parter for video too, I might in 2021, with nine more courses that are not directly related to web design kind of outside web design. So we’ll see about that.

Josh 43:33
But those are, that’s kind of what I have planned for 2021. As far as courses, as I mentioned with my web design club, for those of you who are members, you already know this, because I’ve talked about this, but I’m doing in depth, monthly presentations, and workshops and trainings. So we do one of those every month. And then when you join the membership, you have access to all of them as we start to build those out. And then a couple last things I have planned for 2021. I do plan on doing some more live Q and A’s. I do this every week for my web design club, and it’s been freaking awesome. Do website reviews and I answer questions live. That’s been really cool. So it’s it’s making me consider doing Q and A’s for students and then live q&a for anyone. Those will be not as frequent. But I am definitely considering it because I’ve got a lot of questions about that. So I’ll probably do those, like live on YouTube and Facebook. So we’ll keep you updated on that.

Josh 44:12
And then finally, my last thing for 2021 that I plan on doing probably not until summer, maybe early fall is a summit. I was a part of the designer boss summit with my good friend and colleague Emma Kate and they just knocked it out of the park with doing an incredible summit. A lot of the guests on my podcast, were speakers of the summit. It was awesome for me to be a part of it. It was an incredible experience for everyone who watched the videos and got so much out of it. So I’m considering doing that as well. It would be something that would be free in public traffic everybody, and then what, uh, what would likely happen is, you know, the videos will be available for a little while, and then I’ll either put them in my membership or, you know, so I’m trying to work that out. But either way, I do plan on doing a summit that would be available to everyone for a certain amount of time. And I just want to help you level up as much as possible in your business. And what’s great about a summit is you get to hear not only my perspective on stuff, but you hear from other legit professionals on certain topics that will really help you out. It’s like, it’s like my podcast, but more like a training presentation, ScreenFlow or screencast, you know, walkthrough and q&a type of thing. So I’m excited about that. That is, that’s something else I’m thinking about.

Josh 45:42
So there you go, guys, I thought this was gonna be a 15 minute episode. shocker. We’re probably at least over a half an hour at this point. So I hope you guys enjoyed this. This is just kind of a brain dump on ending the year here in 2020. And looking ahead at 2021. Again, as I mentioned, I want to hear back from you on what you think of the podcast good or bad, preferably not bad as a review, and save the good for the feedback as a podcast review. But if you have anything your you know, you wish was different, I’m open to hearing, I can’t guarantee I’m going to change anything, but I will absolutely have an open ear. I’m all about constructive criticism. So shoot me an O go to Joshua dotco slash contact, I want to hear how the podcast has helped you out I truly do. And again, I just want to take this time to thank you. Thank you for listening. Thank you for being a big part of what has been an amazing, incredible year of 2020. Despite a lot of wild things, I hope the takeaways in particular from this have helped you out. Hope you’re excited about what’s to come again. Just you wait until Episode 100. Just you wait. And again, we’ll be back on January 4. We’ve got some awesome episodes already recorded. I got some interviews recorded and some really sweet ones plan. A lot of cool stuff that’s going to be we’re going we’re gonna hit the year strong in January 2021. We’re gonna start the year strong. So I’m super pumped. Cheers. Cheers to you again for listening. And thank you for your support. And I’m so excited to help you and your present journey next year until now or until then have an awesome Christmas break Happy Holidays have a have a really intentional good time with with a break with your family and stuff. And I’ll catch you guys in the beginning of January. And until then, what a terrible sign off I didn’t have anything. Well here you go. You’re listening to the worst sign off possible at the end of the year. But I’m gonna end it now because it’s just gonna it’s just going downhill from here. So I’ll see you guys next year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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