​Today we’re going to try something new! I’m sharing with you a live coaching call that was recently taken from my private web design community.

Recently, I asked all my members how their businesses were going and what their biggest struggle or challenge was. And there were A LOT of common struggles including:

  • Finding clients/what to do when leads are dry
  • Content marketing and creating the right content for lead generation
  • White-labeling
  • Conversion rates on proposals
  • Scope creep and content collection

In this live coaching call, I address all of these points and share my thoughts on each based off of my experience and from what has worked well with my agency and other members in my club who are killing it.

Some of this is visual so the video is also below if you’d like to watch it. Oh and pardon the bad sound as I had the wrong mic selected when I recorded my audio 🙂

In this episode:

01:43 – Struggle feedback
03:39 – Club testimony
06:00 – Breathe
06:50 – 1) Finding clients
08:30 – SEO tactics
12:12 – 2) Content marketing
15:01 – Authority building
16:40 – Being strategic
17:32 – 3) White labeling
23:00 – 4) Converting leads
27:48 – Shouldn’t get 100%
29:07 – 5)Scope creep
34:13 – Content Collection
35:44 – Club member John
42:57 – Q&A

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #120 Full Transcription

Josh 0:00
Hey, everybody, welcome into the podcast, this is Episode 120. And in this one, we’re going to do something new, we’re gonna try something a little bit different, I am going to share with you a live coaching call that I recently did in my private community of web designers, which is called my web design club. If you’re not familiar, I launched this private community and this kind of mastermind style club at the end of 2020. And since then, it has become I kid you not the most amazing little corner of the internet. It is I mean this in all honesty, it is filled with the most amazing collection of like minded, helpful and encouraging web designers, web business owners and web entrepreneurs, it really has become the most incredible community I’ve ever been a part of. And something we do every week is I do a live q&a or coaching call.

Josh 1:10
And I wanted to share that with you in this episode. Because if you’ve heard about my web design club, maybe you’ve thought about it, but you’re not sure of the value or what it’s like, I wanted to share with you something we do every week. So in this call that you’re about to hear, it’s interesting because we cover a lot of different topics. And what I did more recently is I sent an email out to all of my members, and I just asked them how their business is going. And I also asked them what their biggest challenge was. And what was really interesting was I got a lot of the same feedback and a lot of the same struggles and challenges. So that’s what we address in this live coaching call. In this there’s five main topics we cover, we talk about finding new clients, and what to do when your leads are dry.

Josh 1:55
That’s number one. Number two, we talked about content marketing and authority building, when you’re thinking about doing content, like blogs, or videos and how to have the right strategy for content for clients versus white label partners that might want to hire you. And speaking of white labeling, that’s number three, I share some thoughts on white labeling the pros and cons, whether it’s for you how long you should do it. Number four, we talk about proposals and conversion rates and how to actually get people to land or actually move forward from a proposal. So you’re actually landing clients and not just sending a lot of proposals. We also talked about conversion rate percentage, what it should be, even though there’s no right or wrong actually found that really fascinating. I think you’ll enjoy hearing that too. And then finally, we talk about the problem that I guarantee you have right now or you have had recently. And that is scope creep in Content Collection.

Josh 2:47
A lot of thoughts on that I’ve talked a lot about all these subjects on the podcast, but it was really fun to to cover a lot of it in an hour. And again, this is just one perk of being in my web design club. This is something we do every week, I want to extend an exclusive invite to you to join my web design club, because I want to get to know you, I want to hear about your business. And if you didn’t already know another benefit of being in the club, is you and I will have a private messaging thread. So you can actually talk to me ongoing I messaged all of my members generally every day. And I love it. I love going deep with my members and I love getting to know everybody’s, businesses and helping them.

Josh 2:54
And actually, one of my members actually sent me a little email, because she recently went full time in her business. And she had this to say and I just wanted to highlight this this comes from Sondra. She says, I’m currently over three times more profitable over where I was last year at this time. I can’t even tell you how awesome having the sport of the club has been. If I had to attribute one thing to my growth, that would be it. It changed my entire mindset and the way I approach things. So that was just a little snippet from one of my members, Sondra who’s killing it with her business after recently going full time. And I want to do the same for you. I’m telling you, you’re going to get to meet Sondra and you’re going to get to talk to me ongoing you also meet another member in this call who comes on briefly, John. And I would love to do this with you. I’d love to be your guide on a deeper level. And you can do that by joining my web design club. I have an exclusive offer for you. If you’re watching or listening to this just go to Josh Hall co/120. Speaking of in this call, if you’re listening to it on podcast, we do go over some stuff visually so just bear with me as we go through some visual stuff.

Josh 4:36
I do have the video version of this up as well on that post. So just go to Josh hall.co/120 there’ll be an offer for you to try out my community to join the club, see what you think and see if it’s a good fit for you. And then you can watch this as well. And as you’ll hear in this episode, I should know I had the wrong mic selected so I’m actually talking out of my air pod so audio isn’t the best but hopefully it’s good Good enough for you. But this is a look at what we do every week. So if you like this, and you think, man, I would love to do this every week, you can join my web design club with a special offer and promotion promotion I have for you in the post for the podcast. And I can’t wait to do this with you and learn more about you and your business. And for right now, enjoy this live coaching call. And hopefully you get some value off of my thoughts and hearing from other members in this call. Enjoy.

Josh 5:28
Alright guys, so let’s talk about these five things. If you just joined us, I had sent the email out the other day about getting some messages and I wanted to hear how things are going. And I did ask about your biggest challenge. There were some recurring ones. Number one, finding new clients landing them once you get them number two, three, white labeling for authority building in five scope creep. So let me give you some thoughts on these. Obviously, I’ve talked a lot about all this stuff and podcasts and courses, but I want to share with you guys some some commonalities. And I’m finding mainly with you guys with with other members as well.

Josh 6:00
So finding new clients, if your leads are dry, they’re the biggest thing that I’ve found to be the most sick. Well, first of all, the most successful thing you can do is not freak out. Because if you start freaking out, you’re going to appear desperate, and then everyone’s going to sense that. So take a deep breath. If things are a little bit dry, or you’re low on clients. Again, like I mentioned a little bit ago, you’re not alone, I want to make sure you know that you might see other people selling or sharing their successes and wins. I want that to inspire you. I don’t want that to make you feel bad about yourself. So not alone. But first things first, take a deep breath. Don’t Don’t freak out. Because that’s the worst thing you can do. If you freak out and then you start doing all these, these strategies out of desperation, it’s not going to work and you’re going to waste your time you’re going to feel worse about yourself. So deep breaths, it’s all right.

1) Finding Clients

Josh 6:50
But here’s the biggie. More than likely finding new clients is really a matter of you just got to get out there. And there’s so many ways to go about that there is the in person kind of stuff which Luckily, I think most everywhere now in person stuff is opening up pretty much everywhere. At least stateside, I don’t know what it’s looking like in Canada right now. But like I went on vacation, it was all everything’s back to normal everything while traffic was crazy. Alabama traffic and summertime, not fun. But luckily, I said at the same networking groups, Chamber of Commerce meetups, any sort of in person stuff is booming right now more than likely. So I know it’s getting out of your comfort zone. But the reality is, and this is important thing to remember, if you are running your business, and you don’t have somebody doing your sales, you’re the salesperson, whether you like it or not.

Josh 7:41
Even if it’s uncomfortable, it is all, it’s all good. And I do want to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone. And you will be so surprised if you do so even if you go to a networking group and you don’t land a client from that, or, or make the best connections right away, you’ll be amazed at the momentum you get from just going out and doing something, it really does go a long way. I’m a social person, I like people. However, I always felt very daunted going to a group I didn’t know or a networking group, like I still get those dinners and butterflies when I go into a group. But I was really shy growing up. And I had to work through all that and doing a lot of networking and kind of, you know, getting out of my comfort zone helped me with that. So I want to encourage you to do that, too. When it comes to finding new clients. You just got to build momentum, one step at a time,

Josh 8:30
I will talk about doing more authority building stuff shortly. Actually, let’s talk about that. Next, I think this could be a good, I think this could be a good transition. So So finding clients, there’s the in person stuff, there’s obviously all sorts of online avenues with helping out and Facebook groups being obviously this this club is a great example, other type of forums and then any other whether it’s free are any sort of premium groups or memberships to just network and make more connections. That is the biggie you really just have to get yourself out there and as many ways as possible.

Josh 9:03
So I’ll talk about authority building next with like producing content, because that’s really content marketing, which is going to lead to the other thing I was going to talk about, which is Seo related. I know a lot of you are focusing in on SEO type of tactics to get your services out there, whether local or in different type of it could be it could be location based or service based depending on where you are and what you’re targeting. That’s always a good way to go to those of you who’ve been to my SEO course, you know the hierarchy of the pages and how to set up your service pages and you can absolutely do location style pages.

Josh 9:04
I’ll show something real quick. I’ve showed this before. I think some of you guys have seen this. But if you’re interested in doing SEO for Legion, our colleague David nor my colleague David who’s actually in the club as well. His brand was he grew 100% SEO, he did not do any networking. Very little in person stuff. And a lot of it came down to this, if you notice, see right here, there’s via forge digital marketing St. Close Ohio. Well, when we notice if you scroll over his logo, it actually turns into a mouse, which means this is a link. And this is a little hidden SEO trick if you guys are considering building SEO pages, if you create a link like because you notice there’s no locations in here, there’s services, but there’s no location pages, well, there actually is a link on the home page that directs you to web design, Ohio, and all this stuff is crafted towards SEO. And you’ll notice if we scroll down here, there’s service areas that take it even further.

Josh 10:42
So there’s Columbus, Ohio, there’s Dublin, there’s Grove City, this is where I am. There’s Hilliard, there’s New Albany, so we hit New Albany, you’ll notice it’s very crafted h1, web design agency serving New Albany, Ohio, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then if we look through this page, it’s all you know, design wise, it’s fairly standard. It’s basically just text. And then there’s service areas here that you can do with a global section. If we look at the Grove City page, you’ll likely see the same layout. It’s just switched out with different texts and stuff. So I’ll drop this in the chat for you guys. If you haven’t seen this before. I showed this in my SEO course and a couple other places as well. But yeah, so

Josh 11:28
Michelle said sneaky of using footer links. But this is a new new one to me. Wow, something new SEO for Michelle, hot dog. So yeah, that’s a good example. David knows, knows what he’s talking about. Now. Good question, John. They’re worried about duplicate content. Doesn’t seem to be a problem with with that. I mean, that’s definitely something to consider. But I think as long as you customized it enough to where it’s not exactly the same. You’d be alright, in that case. Now, what I would say and John, I know you’re doing this in your case, with with your site at graphic kitchen, I know you’re working on more location, basic stuff, or location specific pages, what I would do is just customize all of that to that location where possible.

2) Content Marketing

Josh 12:12
So for example, you might have like, you might have the beginning of a page that’s more like, let’s say, Grove City, for example, if I were to do this, I might have something similar, but I might have more like Grove City specific stuff, if possible, even imagery. And if I worked with an agency or with I worked with a business from Grove City, I would highlight them here. So like, here’s how we help this Grove City business would their website, web design, Grove City kind of stuff. And then what I would do is I would have our services be global, like a global section, and then a service area like this be global as well.

Josh 12:49
So you can really just customize and Look, I know, this probably looks really overwhelming, I don’t want anyone to feel overwhelmed by this. So what I would do to keep it simple, is focus on like six areas, and then build something like this, that’s a little more location specific, I would probably add a little more flair to it with imagery of Grove City, although it’s hard to find images of a city that are copyright free, that don’t look like crap. But get creative with that. And then have a ideally, if you’ve worked with clients in that area, highlight those and then have everything else be global, it’s it’s really it’s fine way to go.

Josh 13:23
Now, if you have some highlighted services that you do want to change the like, for example, relationship to surf Grove, city, Ohio, change it in here. But again, you could have some global areas that are just standard. And that way you only change it once in the global library, and then it goes to the rest of the pages. So and then Steve said, john, Google has said they really don’t care about duplicate content. Yeah, I’ve I so I guess I haven’t looked into that too much. I think it’s probably safe to say you don’t want to have pages that are going to conflict with each other and Michelle can probably shed some light on that. You don’t want to have because because at the end of the day, I think duplicate content. While it is a bit of I’m not gonna say it’s shady, it can be sneaky. The trick is though you don’t want to have pages conflicting with each other, which is where this matters. So if you are going to have an I think where like web design agency Grove City versus web design agency New Albany. The trick is even though it’s structured the same it looks the same. If I search New Albany it’s it’s gonna look a little bit different. Hopefully you guys can see I don’t know if you guys can see this here.

Josh 14:37
Hopefully you guys can see this here. All right, let’s see if we look at New Albany web design via forge is still first page and they’re not even doing that. But so that’s a good example of how that can look. So did I put that in the link for that, but then the show or the chat for you guys? Yeah. So check out before that’s good example. I don’t wanna get too far on this tangent. But if you’re gonna do some SEO related lead gen, that’s a great way to go.

Josh 15:01
Now, let’s talk really quick about authority building because a couple of you have expressed interest in doing like videos and guides and tutorials. And obviously, I’m going to encourage you to do that for every reason you can imagine, I think that’s really, really valuable, you’re going to grow as a communicator, you’re going to build your authority, you’re going to improve your communication skills, everything, everything is going to be great. However, I do want to say this, remember this. Content Marketing is one of the most time consuming things you’ll do as far as sales and lead gen, it does take a lot of time, like, I can put a tutorial and videos together pretty quickly now, but why? It’s because I’ve been doing it since 2017.

Josh 15:43
So it is going to take you some time to speed up your processes. And there is lighting. And if you’re going to do camera, or just screen share, keep it simple at first, for sure. But there’s going to be some more time involved with that. So I would say if you’re going to consider doing any sort of authority building through content marketing, great strategy, I’m gonna hit another point on this. But heads up, it’s going to be a lot more time consuming than it would be face to face relationships, you can go to a networking group is awkward as you may feel or as uncomfortable as you may feel. And you may make a really good connection and the person that you drive with, and you may get a job right away. And I say that in confidence because I have done that. And even if you don’t land a job right away, you might meet somebody who knows of somebody who actually you know, they need a website, or they need some help. And then you’ll likely get referrals more organically, a little quicker in person.

Josh 16:30
So in persons always generally the fastest ROI. The content marketing stuff is great. But I do want to say this too, as kind of a follow up to content marketing and authority building. If you’re going to do that, make sure you are very, very, very intentional about your strategy. And I know Adele is not on the call with us today. But she would back me up and saying this, if you’re going to do content marketing, because this is what I experienced early on, when I started blogging, I started blogging, and then I published it. And the first of all, I was like, there’s two views. That’s a bummer. Well, I didn’t get it out there, I didn’t build an email list. I didn’t share it right. I share it on social media once. But what I didn’t realize and what I didn’t think about was that my clients don’t care. My clients are busy running their own businesses, they are only going to watch a YouTube video, or read the guide, it is extremely important and beneficial to them.

Josh 16:30
So if you’re going to do content marketing, which I do encourage you, you try out if you’re interested, if you’re going to do it for clients, you got to be really intentional about what their biggest challenges are. shocker it’s going to be SEO is probably going to be about the top, it’s going to be about conversion based design. And it’s going to be about probably some sort of client nurturing, or things that can do with your website to boost sales, those are probably going to be your main topics you’re gonna want to hit on now, you The cool thing about that is you can talk about all sorts of stuff that you’re learning here in the club and in courses and elsewhere. And you can share what you’ve done with other clients in those veins. So just heads up, I don’t want you to create a tutorial about Divi, thinking about you know that getting a client when they’re not going to watch that they’re not going to care.

3) White Labeling

Josh 17:32
Now, this does segue us into point number three, which I’m going to move lightly being up to white labeling because if you’re designing sites right now, and you’re just wanting to partner with some other agencies, and I know this is really popular with a lot of you here right now that there’s a lot of awesome relationships blossoming in the club, where some of you are focusing on the business and the sales and some of you are just you know, you’re earlier in your, in your journey. So you’re doing more design and deliverables and fulfillment. If you do client and or if you do content that’s based around more web design specific stuff, that will help big time with white labeling.

Josh 18:53
So all that to say, let’s try to not make this confusing. If you’re going to look for if you’re looking for clients, for your business and you’re growing your business, the face to face stuff, networking Chamber of Commerce’s groups, meetups, all that stuff is huge. Those are going to be some of the best things, SEO is great way to go as well, you can do some in the groups. But in the groups, it’s more like Facebook groups and stuff like that, it’s more than likely that you’re going to dive into more like white labeling territory, which is fine as well, if you’re doing the design and fulfillment. So with content creation, that is what’s going to help you the most.

Josh 19:28
If you’re really just hunting for more actual website jobs where you build the website and partner with folks who are doing the sales, then content marketing is what I would recommend doing first, that’s going to be great. Now, if there are WordPress specific meetups or giving meetups and stuff like that awesome. And of course this club, you know, like we’re all networking with each other. But as somebody who is going to hire somebody to design their sites, I’ll just put it to you like this. When I started hiring Jonathan and christianna and some other folks I want to know What where their expertise is I want to see a website that has a little bit about them and their expertise. And if they had any sort of authority building videos or guides or content, that’s the key, because whether they feel like an expert or not, even if they just share what they know, it’s gonna, it’s going to look like they have expertise and some confidence.

Josh 20:21
So all that to say, if you’re going to be interested in doing white labeling for other business, just to get some more money, get some more jobs and get more experience designing and building websites. Content Marketing is a great way to go on top of utilizing the network here in the club. And then Facebook groups and stuff like that. So that’s my thoughts on white labeling. However, white labeling is generally not going to be a long term career, unless you just want to design websites, I think most everybody here are web entrepreneurs. So I do want to say, if some of you who are hiring folks in the club are like, Oh, no, just don’t don’t tempt them to, you know, build their own business, because I love hiring them. But I want everyone here to really think long term.

Josh 21:02
So if you’re going to be doing white label for other folks in the club, and other agencies, just remember, use that experience. But the problem with white labeling is that they’re likely not going to be in your portfolio, they’re not going to be adding to your hosting or recurring income, it’s it’s really more of a short term type of game, I think you can actually make a lot more money in the short term white labeling, because we charge a grand for a website, you could get, you know, five of those for a white labeling client make five grand right there. Whereas if you’re, you know, building your own business, it might take a little bit longer to get there, depending on the project. You can get projects quicker, because you’re not doing the sales and the and the actual project management often, which by the way, if you’re going to be doing project management while you’re doing white labeling, that’s got to be accounted for as well.

Josh 21:48
I learned that the hard way when I started subcontracting for other agencies, because when I did that, the first couple projects were like, I just did the design, I didn’t talk to the client. But once they found out that they felt comfortable with me talking with the client, then all of a sudden, I became a project manager. And then I was like, Whoa, whoa, whoa, I this is this is a different ballgame. I’m going to need more on my cup, I’d be doing the project madness. So all some thoughts in regards to white labeling. But just remember the strategy behind all that. If you’re going to be doing authority building and Content Collection, either for in like actual businesses versus white label two different strategies.

Josh 22:27
Businesses do not care about Divi tutorials. All they care about is how to set up Google how to get better SEO rank, or how does that their Google My Business, Chris is here with us here, Christopher. He’s got some resources coming soon. And Chris, I’m super excited about your upcoming course, I remember we did a strategy call a while back. So I cannot wait to hear all that comes together. But just remember that, what are business owners focused on the quickest ROI, they’re busy, they’re not going to be likely learning on YouTube, whereas web design, agency owners are going to be much more likely to see content like that and feel good about it. So some thoughts on that.

4) Converting Leads

Josh 23:00
All right, let’s talk about converting leads number four here. So I’m not gonna I’m not gonna call anybody out. But I have talked to numerous people in the club here, who have said to me, they’ve had a lot of leads come through the door, and they haven’t closed and they had like, they’ve had a good, you know, good strategy session. And when they did the proposal, and they didn’t close, inevitably, when I asked how many of those Lee, how many proposals have you sent out, it’s generally two, three or four proposals, and I’m gonna tell you this right now, that is not enough to judge yourself or feel down about yourself, or it’s not even enough to measure the data.

Josh 23:41
What I would say is you need 10 proposals to go out. And that’s what you should judge your your metrics on. So if you have three people that you sent proposals out, too, and none of them move forward. Well join the club. Like that was non stop. I had so many people pass on my proposals. Sometimes it was, you know, I could have done better in the proposal process. Sure. But a lot of it was they were just money, people who they had 1500 in their mind, and that was it. And sometimes people are kept by their position, like, if they’re working for a company, and the company says, alright, yeah, two grand for the website. Unless they can convince the higher ups to invest more. That’s it, you got two grand.

Josh 24:27
So some of that’s the case as well. Sometimes they’re just stuck. They might want to work with you, but they just financially can’t unless you can provide something on that level and build the relationship and nurture it and do things in phases. Sometimes it’s not a great fit, and that’s fine, too. And sometimes you don’t have to be charging too low. I’ve talked about one that I talked about in the last q&a where there was one project that I quoted 2004 and I felt like that was a lot. Well, they ended up going for an $8,000 quote, because I severely underbid it and I severely under valued my services, kind of glad I didn’t get it anyway, because it probably would have been a nightmare at the level I was at that point. But I say that say, your proposals might not be going through because you might not be charging enough.

Josh 25:10
So there’s all these different reasons why something might not move through, do not feel down on yourself, if you get two or three that don’t go through. That is the what that is what it is what it is, that’s going to happen. Now, do you want your conversions to go up over time? Sure. But that’s where I found judging by 10 is key. So get to 10 proposals, if 10 people all passed you up, and then move forward. And they were good qualified leads that you really were really hoping for, then we got some work to do, we need to refine the proposal process, I think most of you have moved in my business course you see, the way my proposals work, my way is the right way. It’s just the way I always did it. But adding personalized videos with that really nurturing that beginning part of the process and making a client feel at ease and getting them excited to work with you. That is key.

Josh 26:00
So all that to say, judge yourself on 10 10 is the metric because you cannot judge yourself on two or three proposals that don’t get through. I had one person say one time that they you know, they just weren’t finding any leads and nothing was closing. And I said how many proposals did you send out? And they said, One, I was like, keep on going like I You can be the best designer salesperson in the world, super charismatic, energetic, give great price and great service, and somebody might pass you up for whatever reason. So don’t let that discourage you get to 10 get to 10 and reevaluate from there.

Josh 26:36
If the conversion rate is under like 30% or 40%, you got work to do now, some people I know is Eric on the call but this year Eric, so Eric, you mentioned was it Mike Mike Michalowicz, which is a team, when you’re doing some coaching with them said like 20% conversion is good. Because if you’re doing more than that you’re charging too low. I find that a little interesting. I’m, I’m gonna say 40. 40 is what I would shoot for. I think that’s in like, when you’re early on even four out of 10 feels like you’re getting you know, you’re failing most of the time. But I guess it depends on where the lead is as far as being qualified as well. So I think if you’re at a really high level, sure, 20% is is probably doable when you’re charging 5 10 15 20k. However, if you’re charging the typical 1500 2000 to three, I you’re gonna want to get I would say over 20. I’m gonna say you want to get at least 40. So 60 70% is great. If you’re at that range. 40%. I think you’re all right. But you also don’t want to be spending too much time on 10 proposals, and only to have four go through, although that’s probably an even out right, right there.

Josh 27:48
So I would say on that note, the Chris says shoot for 100. Yeah, baby. If you’re getting 100%, then yeah, your prices are too low, guaranteed. So that’s the other thing too, you should expect not to get every project. So I want I want everyone to remember that too. If you are getting every project that comes to the door, it’s not night, right? And you’re probably not charging near enough. Or you’re just getting one a month, which can be fine to actually so you don’t want 100 but you don’t want zero 20, I would say you would really have to have your systems in place to where you’re not spending that much time in the proposal process for 20. Shoot for 40 years. So Eric said he said we need to raise our pricing 20% over and over until we get pushed back and drop below the 20% close rate.

Josh 28:33
All right. All right, that Yeah, that’s right, Eric, coming to you saying that. Probably a good method to have, although if you’re just you know, again, I would probably on the on the lower end. If you’re just earlier in the journey, I’d say that 40% is probably a good range. But the same idea applies as far as doing more and more until you get more and more rejections. And then maybe keep your pricing in a certain range once you find your sweet spot. So that’s my thoughts on the landing them as far as actually converting them. So hopefully, you know, I know we’re just scratching the surface on some of this stuff, but just wanted to share some initial thoughts.

5) Scope Creep

Josh 29:07
All right. Scope creep, our most favorite topic that we all talk about I this is funny because I think pretty much everyone who messaged me said this was a problem getting client having or getting client content, having projects be hung up. So I’m going to remind everybody of a podcast I did with our man James Rose, who’s also in the club founder of content snare. I’m actually going to try to get him to do a monthly training for us with some of this stuff and a little more advanced. I’m gonna post this in the chat for everyone. If you haven’t heard this episode, or if it’s been a while, even if you already Listen to this. This is one of the most valuable podcast episodes that I’ve done. I think as far as like some of the best like Oh, yes. Content Collection. This episode is all about collecting content from clients and James shares some absolutely great keys to expediting the process in here’s really what it comes down to.

Josh 30:04
When it comes to scope creep, it’s always going to be an issue and a struggle. I just, why because you’re working with people, I had some clients that were incredible and super organized. Like I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, I love working with military people, because they were like, they bought their buy the books, they loved structure, they wanted guidelines, and then they did it on time. And they probably got up early and did 100 pushups. And rather than sit become semi content was awesome. However, there’s the other people who are just, they’re scattered themselves. So first things first, what I would say is, you’re likely going to get a feel for somebody pretty early on potentially even before you send a proposal. I’m gonna tell you right now, I would have a little hidden line item in your proposals for Content Collection. And it’s kind of what I call it a pain in the ass. What it could be a pain in the ass in any any part of the product project. But I kind of knew if somebody was a little disorganized, and I just got to kind of felt like they were a little over the place, I knew that was there was going to be more hand holding through the process. So I would just charge more knowing that.

Josh 31:14
it’s something to consider. That’s kind of one reason I don’t recommend standardizing all all projects, because not only are all projects different, but all people are different. So you might work with this military gal who’s like, really structured, send your content. And you might meet with this other gal who is you know, she just, she’s, she’s free, she’s maybe maybe in a health wellness industry or something. And she’s all over the place that you just never know, you know. So I would definitely consider that in the beginning, you’ll likely get a feel for that earlier, just trust your gut, you’ll probably know whether this is going to be a big problem or not, because that’s going to help during all this. But that said, when it comes to actually tactically getting content more efficiently, there are some things I’m going to add this, this is tough, because if you’re like me, you’re you want to be a nice person, you don’t want to make your client feel like there. You don’t want to make things feel daunting on them, you also don’t want to make them feel like you’re a Nazi trying to get stuff.

Josh 32:15
But at the end today, for their benefit and your benefit, you’ve got to get stuff on time. So this is where that episodes really going to help you out with setting limitations and constraints and guiding them through the process. I can’t tell you how, like when I created some videos on how to use Dropbox and how we use Basecamp. And I stopped repeating myself over and over and over and over again and just made a video and just had it in the process. That was number one, that was the key that was the turning point for me with collecting content, because it saved me time, instead of guiding somebody through every step of the way. And just having that there for them, you still get questions, you’ll still have people who are like what’s Dropbox, so you’re still gonna get some of that, but that’s gonna save a lot of time. So processes first, as far as collecting content, standardizing how you get your content, if a client is sending you stuff via text at two in the morning, don’t take that content, email them the next day during business hours and say, Hey, just let you know, we have to collect content this way, in order for us to do this project. And this has to go within our system and our processes. This is how we do it. here’s the here’s the resources on how to do it. That’s a that’s a big key, I think that’s something that’s overlooked by a lot of people because and this does depend on the type of project, if it’s a project with a ton of images and videos and a lot of different content. It’s got to be structured, if it’s a portfolio site with just maybe they send 10 images. I generally was pretty lenient on that.

Josh 32:16
Like there were some cases where I had a website where maybe they just had a few images that were custom. And they would email to me, that’s fine. Like, I’m not going to make them go through the entire process for something that’s 100 images on a site versus something that’s three, so there is some leniency there depending on the project. But when it comes to that you got to have those processes in place. And then as far as scope creep itself, because I found the reason I wanted to talk about Content Collection a little bit, or cut, yeah, Content Collection is it kind of leads into scope creep. Generally, if you’re having scope, creep problems, it’s either revisions, or Content Collection, you got to set your limitations. And those of you have been through my business course you’ve seen my contract where we actually have in there, these are the deadlines.

Josh 34:31
This is this. These are the stipulations. And it really comes down to it as awkward as it is. I’ve never had to actually like charge anybody or penalize anybody. But you can reiterate the point that this is this is this is a problem and this is in the contract. We need this by this. And here’s where you could take a couple of different measures. You could have some sort of penalty or an upcharge, which again, I don’t care for as much but it’s it’s almost a good way to like Not waterways, it’s kind of a warning. It’s just a heads up like this. This is this is going to be the next step. We don’t get this in time. Or you can let them know, as James talks about in the episode. If we don’t get this by then your project is now on the backburner, and it’s going to be delayed even further. And there’s going to be an upcharge later on or something like that.

Josh 35:17
So that can get some some clients to move forward as well. I know john had some, some recent. Hey, john, are you? Are you open to jumping on just for a couple minutes to share? Because I know you got a project that you finally got the content from the client, that construction guy. Cool. I’m gonna have john jump on real quick, because I think this is I think this is really, really beneficial to hear kind of what john did, because it was a bit of a different approach.

Josh 35:44
John, what’s happening, man?

John 35:46
What’s up, brother? Give me time to comb my hair.

Josh 35:49
Yeah, I was. Yeah, I was just hoping you had a hat today.

John 35:51
And you look presentable.

Josh 35:56
So yeah, you went through this, like it was just what about a month ago that you finished that project up three weeks ago?

John 32:15
Yeah. It actually just wrapped up.

Josh 32:15
So construction guy, he was a great client. I remember you saying he was an awesome client. Really?

John 36:10

Josh 36:10
But what was the was the problem it was, it was getting actual content, right?

John 36:16
It was actually securing the content. He said to me, pretty much right up front, he goes, I’m not a writer, I’m gonna have real trouble with this. And I tried to be encouraging to him, you know, because he told me the story of his business that was part of my discovery process was to hear him talk authentically about what he was doing. And he went on for like, five minutes. And I’m like, Okay, I’m gonna record this conversation. And there’s your content, right, let’s start right there. Like, that’s a great place to start. And he got kind of thoughtful about it. And he actually ended up writing all his own content. So whether it turns out to be profitable from an SEO perspective or not, remains to be seen. But it sounds like him. You know what I mean?

Josh 36:57
That’s great, man. Remember, because I’ve talked about that with testimonials. Like if a client is terrified to send a video if you just record a call with them, and ask them what they thought, and then you record it, and they’re open to you using that, boom, there you go. Same thing can be done with content collections. And everyone here just saw a great little magic trick on getting good content from a client. Just ask them about their business and record it, because you’ll likely get everything you need right there, at least the main parts, and then you can hire Michelle and go from there with the SEO.

John 37:25
Guess where that tip came from? Was it it was recorded? Yeah. You gave me that tip. I think we had gone through that exercise. I was complaining about what a horrible writer I was, or whatever. And you were like, dude, you just talked about it for five minutes.

Josh 37:41
Oh, that’s right. Yeah.

John 37:43
So it was really good. It worked. Good.

Josh 37:45
So you did we talked about that? Because you asked like, should I? I think you asked me, like, should I like penalize them? Should I charge them and you did something that was you basically just lit a fire under him? Do you just want to kind of share what you did? Like, did you I forget, did you send a video? Did you just were you just open and honest. And just say like,

John 38:05
Yeah, I tried everything. But what worked was, you know, to kind of nudge him and say, I think I said something like, Hey, man, listen, you know, at the end of the year, the prices are gonna go up, you know, like, so, you know, we there’s some urgency here, you know, we got to make sure this gets done, make sure it gets timely, you know, I’m the end of the project. Now, I’m excited about it for you. All you got to do is give me the stuff to work with. And I’m going to give you an awesome website, and then you’re going to dig it, it’s going to be great. And I was just I you know, I never threatened him, you know, or I didn’t want to ever go down that road. But you know, when you start to talk money, you know, especially, you know, Hey, man, we got to get this done, or else, you know, I raised my prices every year, you know, you don’t want to get caught in that net. Then he was all about it. Yeah, got me the stuff. And then from that point, it was all it was all groovy.

Josh 38:57
And it. This is where understanding like disk, the the personality different type stuff is really beneficial. I do encourage everyone to check that out at some point just because it sounds like he was maybe more motivated by like feeling or excitement. Some people are going to be more motivated by money. Some people if they’re more dominant, sometimes they respond to more dominant like, hey, I need this now. And then some people are they’re more cautious. They may need to hear like the like, if we don’t get this, here’s what can happen. So there’s some other strategies there but either way, I love that you kind of just lit the fire on him and it was as simple Did you have an actual like call with him when you talk about that?

John 39:36
Yep. Yeah, I called him directly and I said, You know, I just wanted to let him know there was some urgency we couldn’t just let this thing sort of simmer for six months. You know, let’s go I had my feet. Yes, I wanted to go you know, I was excited about the project so

Josh 39:52
And did you tell him at all like if we don’t get this I’ve got other projects? He did say the pricing thing your prices were going to go up but did you did you highlight Anything like that? Or was it mainly just a matter of the price increase in the.

John 40:04
That was it, I never wanted to feel. I never wanted him to feel like, because I don’t think he was intentionally dodging me or anything like that he was just really busy and you just have stuff going on. Um, you know, but I wanted to make sure that our relationship remain respectful. And, you know, I was trying to be compassionate and helpful when the guy was, you know, confused. And I know, he was putting it off. He wasn’t comfortable writing, he wasn’t comfortable doing any of this stuff. So I kind of had to hold his hand a little bit through it. And so maybe put more time in it than I would have liked. But I got a great Google review. I got you know, these guys kind of my friend, you know, like,

Josh 40:41
Yeah, it’s a great site. Man. I love the site. What didn’t turn out good. I forget what the URL is for a site. Can we share that? It was called quality one homes calm? That’s right, I’ll put I’ll post this in the chat. John did a great site. Great job designing this one. Here we go. Quality homes.com for everyone to check out. So well done. Got some custom imagery. Yeah, and that’s a great way to go. And I would say to just remember, for everyone who has struggles with this, you can always offer to do stuff in phases, and then help out with getting stock photography, or like getting content written from somebody else, that way it’s off the client’s plate, they can pay for it, and then, you know, move forward. So it’s an option as well.

John 41:22
Josh, the other thing that worked good, one of the one of the problems was photography, right? The guy had done a million projects, but he had really taken some crappy photos, you know, with his phone or whatever, they weren’t really reflective of his attention to detail or, you know, the quality of his work. So, in order to keep things moving, I’ve said Listen, man, I’ve got a stock photography library. Let’s get some stock photography up there as placeholders while we find a photographer, real estate photographer to go in and take pictures, and then so now I think all the photography on there is custom photography from the film.

Josh 41:57
I was gonna say, I don’t see any star Well, maybe more, like,

John 42:01
I think like the flooring or something, or the people on the page that one. Um, but that’s part of the, you know, part of the maintenance plan project for him is to swap out that imagery. Right, that’s fine.

Josh 42:12
And an industry like that sometimes there’s legalities with with getting a person on like, you can’t just he probably couldn’t take a picture of his his clientele unless they intentionally sent him a picture. So yeah, sometimes you need crafted stock photography in with real photos, which is fine, particularly for a blue collar type site, you know? Yeah, I think it’s a great call, John.

John 42:35
They’re all good.

Josh 42:36
Christian did want to know John, are you willing to come back and your elf outfit? At any point?

John 42:42
For my peeps? Of course, I would love to.

Josh 42:45
Still have it?

John 42:46
Oh, my God. Yes. Anytime you let me know.

Josh 42:50
Turn the AC on for that one. I know that was toasty. So Alright, John. Well, thanks for sharing that man. Really appreciate it.

John 42:56
You’re welcome. Thanks, Josh.

Josh 42:57
Awesome, guys. All right. So those are some thoughts on scope creep. Mike had a really good question. He said this in the q&a, any official q&a questions you guys have, by the way, I’m going to probably miss them in chat. So jumping to the q&a, as we get ready to wrap this one up. Mike said scope creep cause the reset clients fail on content and decided the homepage that’s almost done is good enough for now. No idea if forever? Or if they would ever come back to the full site later. Maybe this might be it. Any suggestions for a fee adjustment?

Josh 43:28
Okay, so it sounds like Mike, the problem is you did like a, you know, had the full site ready to go as far as the plans and everything. And then if they fail on content, they just want to do the landing page, or a front page to think I had similar versions, excuse me of that. But I didn’t have I think we just reduced the site. We didn’t have one that just went to like a one pager. What I would say, Oh, that’s tricky. That’s interesting. I didn’t have that exact situation happening myself. So I would say in that Yeah, obviously. It’s what’s tricky about that is they did sign on for it. So what I would say is because you don’t want to reduce the fee as far as like, like if they, if they paid for a 10 page website, and they decide to only go one page, well, they already invested in the 10 page.

Josh 44:16
Now, if you took half, and they’re fine with paying that half just for the front page, then that’s probably fine. I would roll with that. Get them on your maintenance and hosting and then say we can add to it in phases, you’ll probably make more doing half of an investment for a 10 page site for a one page site, then you would selling just a landing page site. However, the other option I would do is I would say, Well, you know, this was the agreement. And I want to make sure we do this whole site for you. So why don’t we just do this in a time period, like set constraints as far as how long this would go. Maybe instead of a typical 45 day window, maybe you bump it out to like four months or eight. You don’t want projects to go too long, but you could potentially just give a constraint on that.

Josh 45:00
Because again, they did, it would be like me paying for a new floor. And then like them, planning it all out ordering the parts, and then deciding as they get going, you know what actually just do the laundry room, the rest of it’s fine it no other professional organization is going to do that. So the only time I would be okay with doing that is if they paid up front, they decided just the front page. And then, you know, if you make two grand for 10 hours of work, or 15 hours of work, you know that? I guess it depends on the client too. I wouldn’t advise that typically. But that’s something you could consider. But yeah, it was something like that. As far as a fee adjustment change, I would definitely not go down, I would just say, adjust the constraints and limitations and just say we don’t get the content by this time. And this should be in your contract, hopefully, where it’s, it’s what you paid for this, that that’s it if we don’t get the content that’s on you, we’re still owe this and you could say I can help out with some placeholder content for now.

Josh 46:02
Even if, like, if you feel like that’s gonna save time in the long run, even though you might have some time investment with helping them with some content, it may be faster in the long run to do that, just to get the project done. So hopefully that helps Mike. That’s an interesting one, man. That’s an interesting one. All right, everybody. Well, hot dog. We’re at an hour Can you believe it? Hopefully everyone enjoyed this one. Hopefully, we had everyone had a good chat. Thank you so much for everyone who sent in your, your wins and your your messages and your challenges. I want to encourage you if you haven’t done so again, don’t ever feel afraid to message me hit me up with ideally your biggest challenge because I’m really liking getting a feel for where everyone’s at. And then instead of repeating myself over and over a one on one, you know, I’m going to do, I’m going to make a podcast out of it or resource or something.

Josh 46:50
Well, awesome, guys. I think we’re all set on this one. Hopefully everyone had a blast. Good to be back. Good to see everybody. I see everyone in the club, keep on doing your thing. Keep at it, everybody. If you’re dry on clients, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Just get out there, throw everything on the wall, see what sticks, see what’s working, get out of your comfort zone. And I’ve said this to a couple of you via messenger. I’ll tell it to everybody. Just remember, when you’re in a season of like getting clients and producing a lot and go and go on a getting uncomfortable. It’s just a season, you’re not going to have to do that every day, every week over and over and over. It’s just the season but you do have you’ve got to get the momentum going. Gotta get out of your comfort zone. And I’ll say this too. There are a lot of businesses out there and people who want to work with you and need your services. They just don’t know about you right now. So you’ve got to get in front of them. Anyway possible. Face to face is always the quickest ROI. But if you’re gonna do content, just remember intentional, intentional content. Don’t waste your time doing DB tutorials and little mini courses if your clients aren’t going to take them that’s got the right strategy.

Josh 47:53
So Alright, everybody. Hope everyone had an awesome, awesome. What is it?Wednesday? Have a good rest of the week. Cheers.


If you’ve been curious about my web design club, you’ve enjoyed this call and you’d like to join in, we do this every week! Along with that, you’ll be welcomed into the most amazing web design community and you and I will have a private ongoing chat where I’ll take your questions and you can pick my brain as you progress in your journey.

Use promo code WDC10 to join today and get 10% OFF your monthly or annual membership for as long as you’re a member! Offer only available for a limited time.

I can’t wait to get to know you and your business better and be your guide on a deeper level moving forward!

Episode presented by:

Josh and active members of Web Designer Pro

Web Design Courses + Coaching + Community

Everything you need to build & grow your web design biz fast 🚀

Web Design Business

Subscribe wherever you prefer to listen: