Can you imagine what it would take to be a full time doctor and run a profitable web design side hustle? Well, imagine no longer because my guest in this episode is doing just that.

Richard Zimbalist is a full time optometrist by day and runs a web design side hustle on the side. In fact, he has two side hustle brands, one that is a bespoke, custom web design provider and one that is more templatized for medical practices.

In this episode, Richard pulls the curtain back and shares how he does it and provides all the tips, tricks and strategies for you to run a profitable side hustle as well.

For those of you who are interested in building up a web design side hustle in preparation to go full time, this is your episode!! You’ll be inspired and empowered on what to focus on and the importance of systems, processes and time management when balancing a side hustle with full time employment and family.


In this episode:

04:04 – Greeting to Richard
04:47 – Uncommon path
12:50 – Gathering information
13:47 – Monthly subscription
15:20 – Template territory
18:29 – Niche audience concern
19:00 – Two seperate hustles
21:19 – Multi-services
23:51 – Lease is high end
26:50 – Growing organically
28:29 – Time management
29:42 – The “team”
33:02 – Zone of genius
35:57 – Hiring a VA
37:30 – Social media help
39:54 – Students writing content
41:03 – Pros and cons
44:28 – Custom sites
48:14 – Fake it till you know
50:12 – Can’t do it all
53:17 – Staying informed
57:43 – Connect with Rich
59:10 – Final thought

This episode presented by Josh’s Business Course

Connect with Richard:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #121 Full Transcription

Josh 0:15
Hey, friends, welcome into the podcast. This is Episode 121. In this one, we’re going to be talking about doing web design as a side hustle and how to do it profitably. There are a lot of my students I found who are currently running web design their web design businesses as a side hustle. A lot of folks are doing this in conjunction with a full time job just to have some extra income. And I know a lot of you are creating web design side hustles to get it to a place to where it’s profitable enough. So you can take that leap, and go full time freelance web design. And I’m really excited in this episode to bring somebody in who is a shining example of how to do this.

Josh 0:56
This is Richard Zimbalist. And what’s interesting about rich is that not only does he have a web design, side hustle, we actually have two, you’ll find out in this interview, he actually has two different brands as a side hustle. But he is a full time optometrist. And he found that by designing websites kind of part time, there was a big interest in his work. And he was able to create two different brands, as you’ll find out here. One is more of a templatized type of service for certain medical practices. And one is a little more bespoke, or custom type of Web Designs.

Josh 1:32
And I was so privileged and fascinated to have rich on to talk with him. And he really kind of pulls back the curtain and uncovers what he’s doing. To do this effectively, because I’ll be honest, the idea of being a full time and in any sort of medical practice, and doing web design on the side, I don’t understand how he could not be working more than 90 or 100 hour work weeks. But he uncovers how he does it practically profitably without killing himself. And also while raising a family to so Rich is really an incredible example of how to do this, it really all boils down to processes and systems and systematizing your business, which is what you’re going to uncover on how to do this.

Josh 2:15
Because I will say, if you’re going to do web design, as a side hustle, I highly encourage it, particularly those of you who do want to go full time, eventually, you want to make sure you have a strong base to be able to make that leap. And the analogy I like to use when going full time into web design is it’s like swinging from one income vine to another, you got to make sure that other income vine is strong, so you don’t go plummeting to the ground. The way you can do that is by having a profitable side hustle. Really how to do it is what’s is what we unpack in this episode. So rich was a really great person to talk to about this, I can’t wait to hear how it empowers you, inspires you and gives you a practical roadmap that you can follow to do the same.

Josh 2:54
Now, when it comes to systems and processes. Again, that is key. If you do a web design side hustle, hear me on this, if you just go for it willy nilly, it’s probably not going to work out you have got to follow a proven path. Otherwise, you’re going to spend more time in your side hustle than your full time job, and you’re going to get burned out. So if that’s you, if you want to have a successful profitable side hustle without working an additional 40, 50 hours a week, I want to encourage you to join my business course my web design business course, is all of my systems, all of my processes, contracts, invoices, templates, proposals, how to get clients sales, onboarding. offboarding literally every aspect of business, whether you’re full time or side hustling, the course is going to help you out with that. It’s going to save you so much time you’re gonna have a proven path to follow to get your side hustle, ready to go. So you can make that jump if that’s what your goal is. And without further without further ado, here is Richard Zimbalist. And he’s gonna again, pull back the curtain on his entire process, you’re going to hear how he does it. And I’m really excited to hear how it helps you as well. Let’s dive in.

Josh 4:04
Rich, welcome to the podcast. It’s great to have you on man.

Richard 4:08
Thanks for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity to be on with you guys today.

Josh 4:12
Well, so you have a bit of an interesting dynamic to your business, because you do not do web design full time. And it’s really interesting because I know you’re in the healthcare industry. And you’re doing websites in kind of a niche market part time and you’re using templates. And you have a lot of incredible systems in place. So I’m excited to dive into that rich to hear how you manage that and to kind of hear where you’re up to. So before we dive into that, though, do you want to let everybody know where you’re based out of and if you could kind of summarize what you do since you are doing web design kind of part time?

Richard 4:46
Sure, certainly. So I’m based out of Columbia, Missouri, from New Jersey originally, but I moved out here in 2009 to work at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. So I work for the VA, I serve our veterans As an optometrist, that’s my primary full time job to kind of give you a little background on how I even got into all this stuff years ago. It’s a long story, but I’ll try to keep it pretty succinct for you. Essentially, there was a student that was shadowing us for optometry that wanted to get into the field. And he was going to spend like upwards of $300,000 in loans just to become an optometrist. And you know, we make pretty good money, but we don’t make surgeon money. You know, we’re not making 500 600k a year unless you own your own practice or anything. So I ended up creating a website and putting together all this information about different optometry schools and their specialties and how much things actually costed for in state and out of state residents that got picked up. And it became like this big national thing where it’s got, like 30 40,000 hits within a matter of days, that kind of really kind of started my whole process with all of this. And it was it was a very unusual start. And I never in my life, thought I’d be doing web design and any of this stuff, I have zero background in coding, you know, I went to school to become a doctor not to become a web designer. So it was a very, very unusual path that I’ve taken to get here. But it’s been a very profitable side hustle for me, that I’ve been very happy with so far.

Josh 6:13
Well, that’s fascinating. You just said it is a very uncommon path. I mean, I found that all web designers don’t typically have the standard, you know, four year college degree type of path. They always come from some different background. You are extra interesting, though, because there’s not too many people in your field. I know that I know, who are doing web design, and who are continuing to do it consistently. On the side. I mean, I think a lot of people will take a DIY pride approach and try to build something themselves at some point. But you know, that was interesting to hear that you had a good experience and for you, when did you decide to actually do it consistently? And like, did you do a handful of sites and then eventually realize, like, wow, I could, you know, do this on the side and maintain it? When was the turning point for you that you made this a legit side hustle?

Richard 6:59
Yeah, so I did the initial site that I was talking about, I think it was in 2012, and 13. And that was straight on WordPress, just using some free theme that I found. And, you know, I, like I said, I knew no HTML whatsoever. But I’ve learned how to just do basic columns and stuff like that to create a copy of a site I liked. And then around 20, or 30, around 2016 2017, I started working for a as a volunteer position for a national VA optometry organization, and their website was straight out of maybe the 50s. Before the internet, even it was that old.

Josh 7:34
That is so common in medical field.

Richard 7:38
It was really old. And I told the guys, I’m like listen, look, give me a chance. Let me create a website for you guys. It’ll be a lot cleaner. It’ll be modern, there’ll be responsive and stuff. And so I kind of did some free projects here and there. And then I think it was around 2017 that I pulled the trigger and actually created my own LLC and my own company. When I started charging, you know, upwards of crazy amounts of like, $900 for a website. Since I had absolutely no clue what I was doing back then either.

Josh 8:05
I can I can sense the sarcasm. Yeah.

Richard 8:08
Very sarcastic individual. So you’ll see, I’m probably a lot of that. But unfortunately, you know, whenever I did start out I had, I wasn’t using Divi or anything like that. So I was straight, just free themes I can find online. So I didn’t have a lot of these great, awesome resources, you know, your podcasts and your classes and stuff that I wasn’t even aware of these things. So I had I made so many mistakes starting out that I really wish in hindsight, I could have gone about it a different way. But it was just, you know, it’s one of those situations where you don’t know what you don’t know. So, you know, if anyone listened to this, you know, this can be really beneficial system for you to set up to kind of help make sure you don’t make a lot of these mistakes that will ultimately cost you money down the road.

Josh 8:49
Yeah, a lot of money. A lot of time, a lot, a lot of hair. A lot, a lot of everything. Although you’re looking pretty good up top, so you must be doing something right.

Richard 8:58
Really good genes, I think

Josh 8:59
You’re really good genes. Well, that is interesting. And it makes feeling better. I don’t know. What was what was the first course of mine that you took Richard because I was not doing courses in 2017. So I think you came pretty early on though, right?

Richard 9:15
So I I’ve actually only taken one course so far. But I took the CSS one because I had right. I was that guy on WordPress Facebook group saying, hey, how do you hide this one session? Yeah, I had I had no idea how to do any CSS stuff. And so yeah, that was incredibly great course. And, you know, I’ll definitely be hopping on some more when things kind of shift hopefully somewhat more of a semi part time to web design as we move forward.

Josh 9:43
Well no and that’s what’s great. Yeah, I was just curious when you had come through, you know, some of my content stuff because I know you already had your business going at that point. And he was it was already well could talk about profitability and your systems and all that but I know you were you know, you already had it up and running and going which is which is really, really cool. And I don’t want people to feel like you have to have the perfect path to to get going. Getting going is the biggest thing, you’re going to make mistakes. And for everything that I wish I would have done differently, I am glad that I went ahead and just did it because you learn and the mistakes that you make, the biggest thing is just to not make those again and to learn from it that I found.

Josh 10:21
So, you know, that’s obviously, I recommend courses and trainings and anything you can do to speed up your journey. But at the end of the day, momentum and progress is better than than waiting and trying to do something perfect. So I’m glad you took that approach. And you went for and I’m sure you made all the mistakes that I made early on. But you mentioned Divi and you mentioned templates, which is the key, particularly for someone like you rich, who this is not your full time job. You don’t necessarily have the time like I did to tinker with everything. I mean, I took a very long approach to learn how to building sites and it took me probably I’m sure it took me four or five years to get where you were probably in a couple years. So that said, the template approach is is really interesting when it comes to having a side hustle because I honestly don’t know how you could have a profitable side hustle and do custom sites because as we know, custom sites take a long time. So how did that go about for you to where you did you try doing custom sites? I know you said you did some free themes and stuff like that. But did you find yourself getting too far in the weeds with customizing stuff and decide that you know, Divi and the templates they provide are a good framework, are you using templates based off of your other sites? Yeah, one of the one of the idea of templates really come to light for you.

Richard 11:38
So I’ve actually kind of done a combination of both. I, when I started out in 2017, doing all this, I was doing a lot of custom stuff based on what I would call custom wearables using a free theme and, you know, adding colors and changing tags going hey, this is a brand new custom site for you. But I think around somewhere around 2018 or 2019, I had a client that or potential client that contacted me. And he was I think I quoted him around 2000 2500 for a new site at that time. And he just he was starting out, he didn’t have the funds to get started. And he was asking if we could just do some sort of payment program or if we can just do a low monthly payment instead. I hadn’t had that set up. I had not thought about that at that time.

Richard 12:21
So I said no, thank you, but I appreciate you reaching out. And that really kind of fuel the thoughts of like, Well, why aren’t I doing this? And you know, obviously, like you’ve talked about with other podcast guests in the past, it’s a long, it’s a long burn for this sort of thing. It’s not something where you’re going to make 5k and a few weeks and do this, but you have to be playing the long game for it. Yeah. So what I actually ended up doing was, you know, you’ve also mentioned imposter syndrome in your podcast before, I had quite a bit of that going on. And I started looking on at some of the bigger names in what I do. So there are big companies that do exactly what my model is. And frankly, I just copied them. I didn’t do anything special, you know, I just emulated what they’re doing. I’m not ashamed to admit, I posed as a potential client and tried to find out pricing from one or two of them to find out what they’re charging for different things.

Josh 13:11
Hey, that’s good r&d right there, man,

Richard 13:13
You know, you had to do it. And the funny thing is one of the one of the big companies call me back a week after my initial call, and he said, we just found out you’re a web designer. So do you still need a website? And I’m like, No, I was just actually using you guys to get some information. But thanks a lot. I appreciate you’re time.

Josh 13:30
And were those local businesses in your area. Did you do any sort of national?

Richard 13:34
No, this was all national stuff. No, I wouldn’t do that to a local business. But the national ones, they can take the hit. Yeah. So I started doing all this research on, you know, the template based and trying to find out pricing and everything to find out what a good monthly subscription would cost would be for everybody. And you know, from there, it really kind of blossomed also into not only just doing websites, but then I started kind of doing a little bit of SEO work. And one of my first clients I was charging, I think it was like 250 a month or so, where I would write them two blogs on different optometry topics and you know, eyeball stuff. And even at that point, I had a writer that I was paying on the side 40 bucks per article or something along those lines. So still making pretty good money. And I remember to this day, when he signed up for that 250 a month I was like elated I couldn’t believe someone was gonna pay me that much money to do website stuff.

Richard 14:28
And you know, from there, it just really kind of blossomed and I started not only using not really silly copies of other free themes and so forth, but I would kind of take little bits and pieces and make it my own. And you know, along the lines of what Divi has, I would kind of do some of their things, but I would usually kind of create my own little templates off of it. So as of today, I think I have maybe like 10 or 11, like optometry based or eye care based templates that I use for all my clients, where they basically just pick one that they like and we change the text, the colors, the fonts. We changed it to kind of what I call almost like a semi customization, where we’re not just literally inserting stuff with better search and replace. But we are going to to do a bit more of a semi customized website form, so that they can actually kind of have still the look and feel of their practice. But it’s also more of a subscription based thing.

Josh 15:18
Sure. And then do you. I’m curious, because what template sites I’ve found anytime that I use templates, because I didn’t do template sites, this is this is, you know, uncharted territory for me personally. But what I did do was save sections and save page layouts all the time for my sites, what I found is pages like services pages, or contact or about us, a lot of those can be totally based on something you’ve already done. It was the homepage that I really customized and took my time on. Do you do that same approach? Or do you find that you’ll customize certain sections, depending on the job?

Richard 15:50
Yeah, a little bit of both. For each different template that I created, they usually tend to have a slightly different About Us page or Services page, just so that it’s not looking very similar amongst all them

Josh 16:02
You’re in a niche market to? So I’m sure that could that’s that’s a good, that’s a good kind of heads up approach.

Richard 16:08
Yeah, I mean, the reality is, is that, you know, we have, I think, in the United States, we have 35, or 40,000 optometrists. So there’s not going to be a lot of overlay, a lot of duplicity amongst everybody. But with that, I still want them to still have it as be as semi individ, individualized, I guess, as possible. But I absolutely I save tons of sections and headers and things like that. But my primary process is that I usually create a website and I’ll save it in like ManageWP, or I’ll use all in one migration and create a backup of it. And then whenever we start the new website, that’s the first thing it gets uploaded. And we just kind of go from there. And if people like different things on different of the other demos or templates, yeah, I’ll just, you know, upload it in there. And it’s easy peasy.

Josh 16:52
That’s beautiful. for a lot of reasons, particularly, you know, with this more template based approach, like I said, I think the biggest win is your time, because you don’t have eight hours a day, I’m sure like, a web designer, like I was in my early 20s, where I could just tinker around with stuff. So you’ve, you’ve got to be really stingy with your time and make the use make the most out of it, which is where the template based approach is great. And I do love that, because I’m sure in the beginning, you probably had to create your own sections and found out what worked but is that when you decided that again, I get almost going back to my previous question. Did you was there like a breaking point where you were like, I’m gonna start reusing stuff? Because I know for me, I found myself creating the same contact page over and over. And I was like, why don’t I just freakin save this and just use this as a template? Did you come to a breaking point like that with any of your designs early on?

Richard 17:41
Yeah, I especially do that a lot for landing pages. So besides just the actual website, stuff, I do a lot of SEO work now. That’s kind of where I am really focusing a lot of my time for optometry organizations. And even in the past year or two, I started doing a bunch of PPC and Google ads and so forth. So while I won’t do it as much for the actual primary sites, because I’ll have typically a full site, they’ll be migrated from the demo to the live, I will certainly do that for a lot of the landing pages because I’ve found very much what works. I’ll have very similar headers, very similar sections, all that will be nearly identical from one landing page to another because it works well and it converts really well.

Josh 18:24
And do you find that any of their audiences are overlapping? Like are you ever worried? Particularly if is it actually a follow up question? Are you working with businesses just in your area of optometrists? Or are you working with folks all over the country that may not potentially you know, have a shared audience?

Richard 18:41
Yeah, so I actually have zero clients in my vicinity for medical health.

Josh 18:45

Richard 18:46
I do have I do have several clients in Columbia, Missouri that are what I call is my regular my regular clients but not my medical ones and I’ll kind of talk about that a little bit if you’d like because I actually do have essentially two separate companies that I run. One is more tailored towards local stuff that I use Local SEO For and then one is more than medical one that I target for national stuff.

Josh 19:11
Okay I didn’t realize that let’s dive into that Yeah, cuz I I had thought that you just did the medical sites on the side and probably use your existing network and then you know, as we all find out if you get one job that can lead to another job or to another and referral referral and next thing you know, you got a dozen clients so I did not realize that you had two separate kind of focuses there. Let’s dive into that. And I’m sure this idea of a template style approach and by the way, are you using strictly Divi and Divi templates? Are you experimented with other builders or anything else with your sites?

Richard 19:42
No, I’m strictly Divi, unless a client already has something built that comes to me. Sometimes I’ll take it on. Can I try to avoid stuff like bakery as little as possible?

Josh 19:53
Yeah, yeah, it’s it’s risky. It’s risky business, having too many tools to manage and keep up with that’s for sure. So that’s That’s a great way to go and a valuable lesson for anyone doing a template ties approach, stick with a couple of tools at most, because it’s just too much. So yeah, let’s talk about these two different demographics. Right. So did you start with the medical sites, the optometry sites, and then found that there was a need for local clients? Or what what did that look like?

Richard 20:18
So it was actually the opposite. I started and my primary LLC is called Co Mo Web Designs. And we call I call it como because it’s Columbia, Missouri. So como is kind of like a small acronym for it. And when I came up with the name, I wanted something that was specific for our area, but also didn’t exclude me from other areas of the country. You know, if it was Columbia, Missouri Web Designs, nobody would hire me in Anchorage, Alaska. So the whole premise was to come up with a name that was, you know, necessarily related to our vicinity, but not restrictive to it. But the mistake I made early on was calling it Web Designs, as opposed to like web studios, or, you know, I focus solely on the web design part. And I’ve grown so much more in what I do with SEO work and Google ads and stuff like that since then, the web design doesn’t really necessarily fit that.

Josh 21:12
Yeah, yeah, you’re really more a full full service stack type of agency now looks like with all you offer,

Richard 21:19
Yeah, I’m doing a little bit of everything at this point. But the whole premise of why I actually I so I created another company, or essentially a subsidiary called Ignite Medical, which I created, essentially to focus on all the medical stuff. So I have como Web Designs, which I do a lot of local SEO work for, where I try to get, you know, citations up and running, and Google Cloud links and get all the stuff for Google Maps really set up really well. And that’s worked. Excellent. That’s worked phenomenally. And then the Ignite Medical, I target only towards medical organizations. And currently, I’m only doing it towards optometrists and eye care. But the premise was to eventually branch out into dental, chiropractic, primary care and stuff like that, as things grow. Frankly, I just haven’t had the time to the time or energy to do that yet. But hopefully down the road.

Josh 22:11
Very cool. Well, that’s really interesting that you have the two different brands, I mean, that makes it easier to market for sure. Because I’m sure if a optometrist reaches out, you can send them right to your ignite medical site instead of your your CoMo Web design, even though a lot of the services are the same. And you’re I’m sure you’re using the same tools and the same processes. But that’s a nice clear distinction. But between the two, with the medical stuff, do you because I know you’re doing hosting, and you are doing a lot of different services, which is really interesting. I was curious to see if he limited, you know, certain services to medical versus your typical local clients, but it looks like you’re doing, you know, a really a full stack of services. With hosting, though, do you offer the same type of hosting and same type of maintenance plan for both brands? How do you I’m very curious about that with is it different for the medical side of things, versus the typical Mom Pa local shop, what is hosting and maintenance look like for these two different brands?

Richard 23:06
So generally speaking, a lot of my custom designs will be ones that, you know, it’s a, essentially one time payment, we come up with some some of them out and you say, yeah, it’s going to be $5,000 4000, whatever the number is going to be. and thereafter, I usually put them on a hosting and maintenance plan for usually around 50 a month or something along those lines. And that’s typically just, you know, keeping everything up and running, upgrading all the plugins, you know, the stuff that everyone does, the way I’ve got to go about doing it, though, for the medical stuff, is I instead of actually having a custom create a site, you know, we do the template. And these clients pay a subscription or a monthly fee, which includes the hosting the website, which they essentially lease from me, or not rent, lease is always a better, better word. And our fields are a little bit more high end, then, so the lease that and then that also includes one hour of updates to the website, you know, for pages or adding doctors or text or something along those lines. So the way I kind of marketed with them is that not only do we get all this stuff, but I’m also taking care of everything on the background for you. Plus, you also have this great one hour of work in case you need to do anything where you don’t have to pay an extra dime for it. And the reason this works well is that, you know, the majority of my clients don’t use it. So it’s I’m banking on I get the money from it, and I get the I get all the income. But oftentimes, you know, they just kind of let it go. And granted, I do have several clients that take advantage of it almost every single month, which is great. You know, I’m happy to update all the sites and so forth, because obviously the more content and more information we put out there, the better is going to be for him ultimately.

Josh 24:45
Yeah, that’s very common with maintenance plans. I was so afraid when I started mine that because I did the same thing and I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about that I had the hour a month option and I was like, oh man, if I get like 50 clients, you know that’s 50 hours a month but the reality is a very small percentage of them use it every month. And most people it’s like once every few months or whatever. So yeah, that if anyone’s afraid about that, I want to want to put your mind at ease. Generally, it’s pretty rare that every client is going to be knocking at your door, you don’t have waves, I found that sometimes I had a really busy month, and sometimes it was like nothing. So it kind of evens out. Now, do you take the same approach with your como Web Designs as well? Do you have a similar maintenance plan to hosting for them? Or is that a pretty different approach? Since that sounds like it’s more custom. Right?

Richard 25:31
So that’s more custom. And for those, I basically just put them on a regular hosting and maintenance plan where we do we keep everything up to date, and so forth. And then generally speaking, if they want to make any changes, I just charge them the regular hourly fee there.

Josh 25:43
Okay. Gotcha. Gotcha. Wow, that’s interesting. Yeah, I didn’t realize now, for this these local businesses, are you utilizing your personal network? Or I can’t imagine you have too much time to do like a chamber of commerce or networking or anything like that. So how are these? Where are these local clients coming from for you? Because I could see easily how we’re moving not easily, but I could see very practically how you have, you know, in with these optometry circles and the groups, but yeah, these local clients, where are these coming from for you.

I’m like, Listen, there’s a reason why you found me, there are probably 50 to 100 web designers in Colombia, but you found me for a particular reason. – Richard

Richard 26:13
So I did do a little bit of networking. Locally, I joined some business groups, and so forth, and I went to these meetings every month. I think Chamber of Commerce is a great way of going about it. I’ve heard really good results of doing it. But I’ve never actually done that myself. One of the groups I did join was a such a waste of time, I actually dreaded going to it. You know, there were there was the same like 15 people there every week. And we spent the first 20 minutes talking about what we did. And after the first three months, I’m like, Yeah, I get it. I know what you do by now. But where are my clients, I need to get some business. This thing, I think, you know, so my local stuff, I’m actually getting all my clients from organic SEO and local SEO that I’ve done. So in the reason it works really well from a sales standpoint, too. And that whenever people contact me, and they, you know, everyone wants a website, and they always want to be number one on Google. You know, that’s the thing that they always want. And I tell them, I’m like, Listen, there’s a reason why you found me, there are probably 50 to 100 web designers in Colombia, but you found me for a particular reason. So I’m obviously pretty decent what I’m doing from this SEO perspective. So you know, if you’d like to go this route in the future, we can do it. And that’s like an eye opening situation for him because they realize you’re right, I did find him or did find this other person. So there’s something different about what they’re doing compared to other design companies.

Josh 27:39
Yeah, that’s great. Well, I just I just Google ya on the on the local search the local businesses that pop up first year number three there it by searching Columbia, Missouri web design, so that’s great, man, what a perfect sales pitch right there. Because that’s the proof. You don’t really need to sell yourself after that. You’re like you found me on Google, we can help people find you on Google. So that’s fascinating, man. How the heck are you managing both these businesses? And being a full time optometrist? Do you? Do you have a fairly flexible schedule with that? Or can you kind of make your own hours, I’m curious how the heck you manage all this with a full time job.

Richard 28:13
So I do work for the most inflexible organization in the world. There, there’s zero flexibility with things and I have zero control over my schedule, I have basically a straight 8 to 430 job with the VA, which is nice. And I’m very big into time management, you know, I don’t have things typically marked off, you know, hour by hour. But you know, after I after I go to work, I will usually go to the gym for a little while. And I can get work done sometimes in the evening after the kids go to bed, or you know, if I happen to wake up a little earlier in the morning. But I try to find my time when I can to really do that. And the only thing that I really try to utilize as much as possible is contractors. So I found a few other people. One, it actually is an optometrist in the VA with me as well, that actually has a history of coding and programming and stuff like that. So I you know, I reached out to other people to help me with the a lot of the template sites in particular, because they’re relatively easy to do and to maintain and so forth.

Josh 29:12
That was my next question was What do you have? I didn’t imagine that this was all you being you have a family, you’ve got a full time job that is pretty strict with with the hours and regimented then you’ve got two different side hustles essentially with these different businesses, so yeah, the team. Do you have a certain set of contractors that you you know, always use you How are they just 1099? subcontractors? Yeah, what what is your, what is your team and extended network look like of colleagues helping you with this?

Richard 29:42
Yeah, so I have 2 1099’s that to help with the web design stuff. And you know what, then they’ll typically actually, they’ll tell you that in terms of the template design, with the way I have it set up is that I’ll usually charge a 750 one time fee for the design of the temple. Plain Sight. And I take that entire fee and I give it straight to my designer, I don’t collect a sense of that. Because you know, I want to, I want to make sure that I pay my people well, that they are appreciative of what they’re doing, you know, I know it’s not gonna take them 10 hours to do one of these websites. So they’re still making pretty good money on everything. And you know, my thing is with that income, as I’m collecting that monthly subscription thereafter for that, that slow burn again. But anyway, so I have the 1099 that I do with them. And then I do have some other people that I do for the contract for, for the custom work, too. And generally speaking, when I have someone help with a custom site, I’ll usually pay them about half of my total fee. Because there’s still a lot that I’m going to be involved in ultimately, when it comes to the SEO of the website and setting things up and so forth.

Josh 30:46
I’m sure project management and on and off boarding all the all the other intricacies.

Richard 30:52
And then I do have actually four other people now that I have working with me as 1099’s that helped with the SEO work.

Josh 31:01
Ok so the thing I was thinking too, because with all the services that you’re doing, there’s no way you could possibly manage all this, but just on the side is one person. So yeah, I assume particularly because SEO mean everything can be very time intensive with all these services. SEO In particular, can be really time consuming with research and everything done correctly. And even like like social media, all that stuff do you hire? And do you have partners and the Google ad space and all that kind of stuff as well? Or? Or do you take a hands on approach with a lot of that stuff.

Richard 31:32
So for the SEO I have, I have four or three writers that work for me, that are just 1099. So they produce the blog articles. And then I have someone that also basically takes these articles and puts them onto the websites, then I’ll usually spend a little time kind of going in and work on the internal links and kind of finalizing the important SEO stuff for it. Just make sure everything is set up from a good on page technicality standpoint. From the Google Ads perspective, I actually do a lot of that myself hands on. I think personally, when people are spending several $100 a month in ad revenue, you know, they want to have really good results. And that’s where I usually take that very good hands on approach to that. Because there’s obviously more of an immediate turnaround with that versus the SEO work.

Josh 32:15
Yeah, yeah, good call. That’s a huge differentiation, I always had to tell clients, completely different really, zones of geniuses. When it comes to somebody who knows Google Ads versus SEO, organic SEO, and website design as well from conversion and design, I actually wanted to find out from you rich, where is your zone of genius, like an all this whole process, since you’re doing it on the side, I mean, I imagine that you’re in the medical field, my thinking would be you, you have a keen mind for systems and the business approached to kind of manage your time with all this and to make it profitable. But it sounds like you enjoy some of the more content related stuff. But I don’t know how you feel about design, where is your zone of genius, and the entirety of this, these two side hustles here.

That’s so fulfilling to me knowing that we’re doing things the right way, and that people are getting the results that they want. – Richard

Richard 33:02
You know, I like to kind of think of myself as a jack of all trades and Master of None. That’s, I love that phrase. You know, I originally really, really enjoyed the web design component of it. But I really more kind of translated into the SEO work. That’s where I really kind of done the majority of my work in the past year or two. And that’s what I really enjoyed doing. To me, I just absolutely love seeing the reports thereafter, when I run these reports for our clients, and their numbers are just going up and up for the keywords that we’re tracking. That’s so fulfilling to me knowing that we’re doing things the right way, and that people are getting the results that they want. And they’re going to have the benefit of it. You know, people want ROI. That’s what ultimately it comes down to. They’re spending a lot of money on SEO work and they want to see results. And being able to actually show the report and tell people Hey, this is why this is working for you. That’s fulfilling for me as anything gets. And that’s where my that’s where I’d say my zone of genius says if Yeah, I wouldn’t call myself a genius in any regards. But if I’m going to say something, that’s where it’ll lay, I guess,

Josh 34:04
Zone of minor expertise maybe or some point a new term there. That that’s interesting that that is the key. Like if anyone’s going to do SEO Services reports are a must. Because that is that like it’s easy when you design a new site to show the client the new site and there it is. That’s the win. That’s the deliverable. SEO is such a different ballgame. And it’s much easier to track with Google ads, I’m sure because there’s like, you know, detailed numbers you can like literally look at and there’s tracking codes and everything else. But with organic SEO Yeah, I feel like those reports have got to be the most important thing because clients aren’t going to know where they’re coming up. And they’re not mean they’re not gonna understand like maybe they were on page 10 but now they’re on page three, and they’re maybe they’re going to be disappointed depending on the expectation set. But if they realize they just jumped up seven pages if we keep at it, we’re gonna keep on jumping up and jumping up which, which is key. So that’s really cool man. Do you do that through Manage WP reporting and all the you know, well, I guess the different levels of reports that you do for all your maintenance clients and hosting clients.

Richard 35:09
For the majority? Yes, I do. I do, I do have some clients that are under a local local SEO plan as well, right, do a lot more of the local base stuff. And for those I use Bright Local, because that way I can track the citations better, I can track the on site SEO a little bit better, and so forth as well for the local components. So predominantly managed WP, but then a little bit of local or bright local. Awesome.

Josh 35:32
Okay, so you have kind of this, the subcontract style team with? How many? is that sound? Like? Was it like four or five people that help out depending on the the roles that they’re helping you out with? From site design? You said you had a VA, right? who’s helping out with some of that stuff? Is that right?

Richard 35:50
No, no, I don’t have a VA. yet. That’s I started thinking about that last week, because I’m getting busy.

Josh 35:56
Oh Man, let me tell you, hi… If you really sound saying this publicly to everybody, if you really want to change your life and get your time back, get a VA, there, there is time in the beginning to set all your processes out. But then once they take over it, just like for this podcast, man, as soon as I hired Kam, my VA, suddenly I got all my time back once our process was in place, because all I do now and same with my podcast editor, all I do now is do the interview, write up some of the show notes. And that’s it, everything else goes to them. And they handle like it really, I’m excited for you Rich to take that route. Because that’s when you really start getting some time back. And you can you can take these things, maybe from a side hustle to full time, which I do want to ask you about but so, so interested in the VA, couple designers. couple questions on that, because it’s really interesting that you’re doing a side hustle and working with people, which is totally fine. I do.

Josh 36:47
This is an important point. I think a lot of people feel like they need to be full time and have an agency that they are the the head honcho of, you know full time in order to have a team. But that’s not the case. And you’re a perfect example of that you can have a team of subcontractors helping you out even with a side hustle, which is really cool. And I love your approach of taking care of them. And even you know, with those template sites, given 100% of your initial income away to them, but then realizing it’s the long game. It’s that slow burn of, of that monthly recurring income with hosting and maintenance. What about the Do you partner with anybody Additionally, with like social media, Google ads or anything like that? Are you doing all that directly?

Richard 37:30
So I recently just started partnering with a social media person, cuz I’ve learned that I hate doing social media very much. Yeah. Google ads, I do that all myself right now. Okay. But yeah, I used to try to do social media ads, and social media marketing, and so forth. And personally, I really just didn’t find the ROI for my niche to be that good on it. You know, I think depending on what you’re into, and what you’re selling, and products, and so forth, there can be incredibly profitable, but for getting people to actually make medical appointments from Facebook and from Instagram, the ROI on that just seem to be really poor compared to what I’ve seen with Google ads.

Josh 38:10
Oh, that’s interesting. Oh, that makes sense, too. It’s a whole different. Yeah, I didn’t really think about that. But the strategy for medical places on social media is sort of vastly different from a pizza shop, or, typically, you know, a general generalized industry because people aren’t necessarily they might not be scrolling on Facebook and think it’s time to get my eyes checked. It’s gonna be more intentional, because like, I can’t freakin see everything. So that’s interesting. That’s, that’s an interesting approach. But again, the the lesson remains, you can totally do a side hustle and have some amazing people help you out. Some of these folks, did you meet them in Facebook groups? Or did you do any, you know, looking on indeed, or LinkedIn or anything like that? Where did some of your your team come from?

Richard 38:56
So the one contract employee that helps with the template designs, she’s actually an optometrist, as well in the VA system with me. So I’ve met her at different meetings, and so forth. And we’ve been on some some of the same committees. So I had a pretty good idea she was pretty technical and pretty, pretty much an expert at this stuff. Yeah. Originally, when I started doing the, like, the blog writers in the SEO, you know, I’ll tell you that I spend very little money on advertising. I spend, I think, like $400 a year total for my two companies. And that is solely on one Facebook group we’re on does a sponsor. And what it basically one of the things that I’ve kind of gotten out of that is in being that I’m a sponsor there, they’ve let me post for job positions for optometry students. And that’s how I’ve actually gone about in getting these contract employees for like my blog writers, is I find specialists in the area that are that want to work for money. And you know, I’m not going to hire an optometrist to write an article for me but an optometry student, they love making money and they want to work harder on the side. So I found a lot of my people People on Facebook in particular in these specialized Facebook groups to help out with that.

Josh 40:05
That’s an interesting approach, right? They’re particularly hiring a student to, to write articles, they probably have more time, they’re probably more interested in researching and writing stuff up. I’m sure it looks good on their portfolio or resume, it beats working at McDonald’s while you’re going to school. So that’s great, man. What a cool approach. I’m fascinated by that rich, this is a really, really interesting business model. I’m curious, what’s the long game for you with these? Is it? Do you? You know, I mean, I’m big on lifestyle design, as you know, and balance and not necessarily making an exact, you know, map mapping out your exact plan every year. But where do you see this going? Just I was gonna ask you this at the end, but I’m so curious about it. Now, would you kind of pull back the curtain on your setup? Yeah. Where do you Where do you see this side? hustle going? Do you think you could see this full time eventually? Or do you think this will expand to new new side hustle territory? What do you think about that?

Richard 41:03
I think I have enough side hustles already where I don’t need anymore. But I think my original goal was to potentially do part time for both be a part time optometrist, and part time this, and I that’s still probably my three to four year plan. The hard part of making the conversion over to losing a day a day week or two days a week at the hospital that work at is the benefits there are phenomenal. You know, I get phenomenal health insurance, I get a pension when I’m when I’m done 401k. I mean, I have all these great benefits, where you know, when I’ve done the research and looking at my actual numbers, I’ve learned what I needed to make doing all the website stuff to essentially match what I make at the hospital. So until I’ve hit that point where I can kind of, you know, still live comfortably, where we’re at and keep my family afloat, then we’ll probably just keep going down this road. But you know, I’m hoping within the next maybe year or two, I can at least drop one day a week at the hospital and, you know, dedicate that solely to the web stuff and kind of give a little bit more time in that frame as well.

Josh 42:08
Yeah, gotcha. Yeah, it makes sense that that’s the biggest thing being self employed. Definitely. It sucks when it comes to any sort of benefits and medical insurance. I mean, it’s different for every state. A lot of people asked me about that. But I, I never really, first of all, legally, I can’t really technically advise anybody. Exactly. It really depends on the state and all the variables involved with that. But I will say what I have found, I mean, I’m sure you’ve found this just with with doing the side hustle stuff, even though you’re you know, full time optometrist the freedom that comes with it is is just unmatched like that. That’s one thing that I learned, I valued from early on when I became my own boss essentially, was the freedom to work when I want where I want and and to do basically anything and what would you you’re you’re you’re you’re pretty far into as a side hustle. So I’m definitely excited for you to see what that could look like over the next five years or so because I, I definitely think with a business savvy mind, like you have Rich, you could definitely probably take these two brands, I mean, imagine if you’re given these things like 25% Imagine if you could give them 50, 75 100%.

Josh 43:15
One day, that’s, that’s even though there’s the cost of losing benefits and stuff like that the amount of ceiling that is a, you know, really the sky’s the limit. There’s no ceiling to what you can do as an entrepreneur. So it’s pretty cool, man, I’m excited for you, I’m definitely excited to see where everything goes. Because you’ve come up with some really cool stuff here. This, honestly, we in a short amount of time we covered a lot with, with what you’ve gone into with with how you started this, how you just kind of, you know, fumbled your way into web design, just like all of us do. started the template design route, which is so key for this, you’ve got two separate brands, one for more local, more, more custom style stuff, one for more targeted niche kind of stuff. With it with the niche approach or niches, as I say, I do have a couple questions on like, will you do custom? Because I imagine I would think some of the more some of the medical sites have a bigger budget potentially than some of your local ma & pa style businesses. Have you found that at all? Will you go custom? Or do you stick to your more like streamlined template style approach for for the Ignite medical brand of what you do?

Richard 44:28
Yeah, I certainly have no problem going custom for clients that want it. You know, I just the thing that I kind of tell everybody though, is that when they’re hiring me for these custom sites, it takes a lot longer, you know, with the there’s such a fast turnaround with the templates. When I do a custom site, you know, I give myself three, four months usually, because I don’t have nearly as much time to actually work on these things. But as long as you’re okay with doing that I you know, I’m absolutely fine to do a custom site for you know, medical organizations and so forth as well.

Josh 44:56
Ok,Yeah. I was curious about that. And do you have Any sort of like funnel or weed out process for that site? Like, if somebody comes to you and does have a really healthy budget, and they’re they’re interested in a custom design, I’m sure you don’t want to limit that. What is what is your funneling weed out process look like for that? Or? Or do you? Because I guess my thing is they probably don’t want to see you do like lower end template style sites that could deter them from investing in you if they really want a full campaign that’s highly customized. What does that look like?

Richard 45:29
You know, I honestly, I haven’t really encountered that too much yet. Because I’ll tell you virtually every single medical client I have to date has been the template one I’ve had, I have had a few that we did the custom work early on. But I haven’t really even since I’ve launched ignite medical, I haven’t, don’t think I’ve done a single custom medical one up until now, or if they’re through now, rather. So everyone seems to really like that, that low monthly payment version of things. And especially with the fact that I do kind of like a semi customization on it, when we build it. They’re kind of getting the both best of both worlds, it seems. And, you know, I think if someone certainly wanted to, I would, by all means be willing to take them on for that. But yeah, I don’t have a really good answer for what my weed out process would be with that, because I just haven’t really encountered it yet.

Josh 46:18
Well, that’s all right. If it’s working by golly, don’t Yeah, that that’s Yeah, I don’t want to I don’t want to plant any seeds in your head that’s gonna deteriorate. So just scratch this rewind. And we’ll just chop that out. Because that’s Yeah, I don’t want you to change anything if it’s working by golley, but then sometimes do this is another valuable point with any sort of template or subscription style approach. Sometimes a big old custom site sounds great. And if a medical office comes to you with a $15,000 budget, that sounds amazing. But the reality is, if that takes like six months, and you could have built five $3,000 sites that are now on your maintenance and hosting plan, sometimes the little wins, and the slow and steady type clients are the best way to go. Because it’s less stress. It’s Yeah, it doesn’t look as cool to like, it’s cool to say, Well, I landed that 15,000 job. But at the end of the day, if it’s working absolutely, man, I can’t encourage you enough to to just stick with that. So that’s really cool. Do you What about? Oh, my gosh, I have so many questions on how the heck you manage all this with your full time job. I have two questions right now. How did you learn about all this stuff? Because, again, you’re not like it’s enough work, just to keep up with just web design and conversion based tactics. You’re implementing SEO strategy, Google ads, social media, little I know you have somebody else helping out with that. But I’m sure you learned a lot about that. How did you learn about all these different industries in and around web design? And was it just a one? I mean, I know you I guess you started doing this? You know, what, probably what, eight, nine years ago? You said 2012 was your first site, right?

Richard 47:54
Yeah, I’d say 2012 was my first baby site. 2017 is when I first really started to kind of ramping things up and doing things for real.

Josh 48:02
Okay, so even so, let’s just say let’s just call it even and say five years, make it easy. what, how, where did you learn about all this? And how did you learn about all this kind of part time.

Richard 48:14
So I am the prime example of fake it till you make it. And I had, like I said, I had no idea what I was doing originally in the slightest. And one of the things is doing all everything I’ve done with web design, and SEO work and becoming kind of a name in our field. I actually lecture now at national meetings for optometrists and stuff like this. I do webinars on these things. So and I’ll tell people, I, I’m very honest, I’m an open book, I had no idea when I started out what I was doing how to do things. But what ultimately happened is that whatever whatever web designer says is when I have a client that comes to him and say, Oh, hey, can you do A, B or C? Yeah, sure. Why not?

Richard 48:53
So you know, when I first started out, you know, that’s how I started out with SEO. And when I got my first SEO client, I started doing research, you know, in time based increments about what the best practices were, how to do on page off page, stuff like that. One of my oldest clients, he came to me after doing some SEO work for six months, and he’s like, I’ve been trying to do Google ads, but it’s not working. Can you do it for me? Like, yeah, sure, why not? At that time, I had zero idea what I was doing and I just really fumbled my way through it too. But you know, the processes that I learned things, I learned things pretty quickly. I’m pretty good at picking things up. And just doing little increment based research on how to do things is really made me pretty proficient at a lot of these over time.

Josh 49:37
Yeah. Have you dabbled in anything that you realize was not a good fit? Like, did you ever get into like graphic design or print design and think, man, this isn’t for me, was there anything like that you dabbled into because they were plenty like for me, I did dabble into some stuff. I was like, I like video. I started doing video work. And I just I’m much better with video now but several years ago I, I’m not a videographer. I realized that early on, it took me way too long way too much resources. It wasn’t great. And I realized I had to not offer that. Was there anything like that for you that you found just wasn’t a good fit?

Richard 50:12
Oh, yeah. I’ve got a very recent example to where I have I do logo stuff, or I’ll try to do logo stuff on the side. I am not a professional logo design person. I’m not a design expert by any means. I figured I can usually get my way through most of these things, though. And I had a recent client and the client that found me on Google, and they wanted a logo for a beauty salon, very outside my niche of what I do. And you know, I will talk to him on a video call. And we came up with some ideas about how this beautiful logo should look. And I sent it to him. And they’re like, no, this is terrible. I’m like, Okay, well, you know, let’s see what we can improve and so forth. And, you know, I spent probably four or five hours, my wife spent a lot of time she actually has a really good design eye too. So she spent some time trying to help me. And I think I sent her like 15 logo examples of little variations. And she’s like, nope, this isn’t even close to what I want. So I’m like, you know, what, we’re gonna refund your money completely. And I think I’m stopping from the market to do logo design anymore. I think I’ve kind of learned my lesson here.

Josh 51:17
Yeah. That’s a great example. I kind of wonder just because with how experimental you are with different services, I figured there was something in there that you know, didn’t work exactly. Because because we’re looking at your rates, I’m sure up to this governor, you up to this point in the conversation, people could probably like man, I, I might feel like an imposter, I’m not gonna be Rich, where I can just do everything and crush it, you are gonna run into these situations where there’s just, it’s not gonna be a good fit for whatever reason. And that is, that is okay. It’s okay to let somebody else do something I, I never liked Google ads, I’d never even touched them. I just I knew that was something that was a whole different ballgame. I wasn’t interested in playing that same social media, I agree, I find I find social media. I mean, it really needs to be with, with how platforms are changing so much, they really, really need somebody who knows, and can keep up to up to date on all that stuff to really be super proficient in that and, and if you’re at least gonna dab your toe into it, you need to have somebody who can can be there alongside you, which is why I like that you have some trusted partners and that kind of stuff.

Josh 52:20
On that note, though, of kind of keeping up with things. How so kind of figured out how you how you learn and how you dove and everything, but how are you keeping tabs on SEO and site design? And you know, a lot of things are updating and changing with Divi and I guess how are you managing, keeping up with all these different things? Because it is it’s a lot to keep up with. I mean, you’re offering a full suite of services, which is, which is very tricky. You’re doing basically everything e commerce, all sorts of different kind of stuff. I mean, I’m just looking at your Co Mo, web design, you got web design, which includes, of course, custom and other types of Web Designs, ecommerce membership, websites, marketing, SEO, Google ads, content marketing. You’ve got different services for your retainer kind of stuff. How are you? How do you keep up with all this? Are there Facebook groups, blogs that you follow any good resources other than the Josh? How Web Design Show Of course. How are you keeping up with all this man?

Richard 53:17
Well, this is Josh Hall web design, guys, first and foremost. What’s it What’s it?

Josh 53:24
I said? I threw a softball at you. Thanks for that man.

Richard 53:26
I will crush it out of the park every time. No, so I honestly I listened to you and your podcast religiously. I think when I started listening, I think it was around Episode 3038. Something along those lines. So I listened to you a lot. I love listening to focus on your biz, or just getting a Divi Divi chat rather chat. Yeah. And with

Josh 53:50
Focus, you’re in focus on your biz with with Stephanie’s Facebook group, right?

Richard 53:54
Yes, yep. Yes. So you know, I listened to those two podcasts religiously on the way to work and just whenever I have downtime, I definitely do a lot of stuff with Uber suggest is my primary SEO, keyword analysis prep platform. Personally, I always found sem rush in a rush to be just crazy expensive. And you know, I’m sure they’re excellent. And the probably better than what I need for Uber suggests. But I like stuff that has a good UI UX. And that gives me the information. And the reason I bring that up is you know, not a sponsor of them or anything. But you know, they send out videos periodically and say, Hey, listen, SEO is changing. Watch this quick video. And I just find these little short five minute videos be so informative, that it’s really just kind of helps plant that bug in your head to say hey, I got to really start kind of thinking about this as well. So between podcasts and little videos here and there. I usually kind of get enough information to make sure I’m staying on top of things for for my clients and so forth.

Josh 54:56
Gotcha. That’s great. Well, it even just you talking about Being in Stephanie’s group focus on your biz, which is a Facebook group that I often send a lot of people to. That’s another great little example of an online community and the power of that, because I’m sure you’re seeing stuff in there, you’re seeing project management tools, you’re seeing discussions, even if you’re not active in a conversation, you, you’re gonna, it’s gonna come across your feet, and you’re gonna see Oh, that might be worth looking into our Google just made a change. That’s another great example of the power of being in something online, don’t don’t go it alone and have to Google everything yourself, you can absolutely be in a variety of different communities, both free and in premium to be able to keep up on that stuff. So that’s great, man. That’s a great list of resources. And the Uber suggests little quick videos, that’s a perfect example of out educating your competition. The folks are the guys from Basecamp, who have written a couple books that I just love, which include rework, and it doesn’t have to be crazy at work two books that I really, really enjoyed one thing they said in there, that I completely echo is they’re not, they don’t even know what their marketing plan looks like, like, I’ve never seen an ad from Basecamp. But what they do is they out educate, and they put books out, and they have a podcast, which I haven’t listened to too much at this point. But it’s all about educating. And even those little quick videos, you’ve actually kind of inspired me to potentially do that a little more, because my content team tends to be a little more long form like these podcasts interviews. But I do plan on implementing like a whole new YouTube strategy to kind of have some more shorter content that I that I can put out there and link back to because that is, that’s a great point.

Josh 56:32
And I realized in your case, you’re not necessarily going to have an hour to dedicate to across a lot of different mediums. So for you to be able to listen to my show Rich that is, that’s a that’s an honor for me, because I know you’re a busy dude. So for you to be able to spend, you know, an hour or two a week with me or whatever it is, that is awesome. That makes me feel great. Because, you know, hopefully, the content that’s coming out here in the podcast is, is serving you and others, you know that that because we go in depth, you know, like I didn’t want to do a 10 minute surfacey talk with you, I wanted to dive into the weeds, but how you managed. So I think there is a lot of valuable value there too, with having different types of content, some content that is in depth in nature, and then some that is just kind of like, Hey, here’s what’s happening. So I think it’s good to probably have a mix of all those, which is really cool. So that’s awesome. To to see how you kind of implemented all that. Before before I have one final question here before you Rich, but before we get to that, to wrap this up, where would you like people to go? Cuz I know you’ve got a couple of different brands, but if anyone wants to go to check you out, we will link all this in the show notes. But is there one resource or website that you’d like the audience to my audience here to go to just to maybe feel inspired or connect with you?

Richard 57:43
Yeah, certainly, the names website that I’m obviously talking about today is Ignite Medical. The URL for that is Ignite Medical for ignite medical company comm essentially, you know, feel free to go to a coma Web Designs calm as well. I’ll be the first to say that the design is not novel on that. I took one of the layouts from the Divi Theme packages. And I use that because it’s clean, it’s modern, and it works. So you know, it’s not exactly the prime example of me custom creating stuff. But it’s something that looks nice, and it functions very well.

Josh 58:18
Well, there it is. There’s the there’s the other important tip is you’re doing custom websites, they that is kind of ironic, you’re doing custom sites here, but you didn’t do a custom site of your own. But if it’s functional, it’s clean, and it’s working by golly, don’t change the thing. It’s what I say. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Yeah, yeah. What is to kind of cap this off of the final question, what is maybe the most important lesson you’ve learned with doing these? But well, I guess we’ll stick on the Ignite medical front with template sites, if somebody is interested in doing something similar, and maybe they are offering more template style sites? Is there like one thing you would say that you would have done differently? Or you would tell somebody to do that has been a big help to you, I’m sure there’s a million things. But if there’s like, you know, maybe one thing that you learned early on with doing template sites that you could tell somebody, what would that be?

Richard 59:10
I would say the best thing that I learned is just to do it, you know, I personally, I would much rather have that recurring income income with the template sites over the custom design any day of the week. I love getting the emails from stripe saying, Oh, you’ve got a payment for X number of dollars from Joe Smith. And when you start seeing those come in every day of the week, it really kind of makes you feel good. So you know, do your research on your pricing, make it as an efficient process as you possibly can, because the more of the sites that you can turn through. You may not have that good feeling and like oh, I created a beautiful custom website. But you know that you’re going to be helping the client ultimately because it’s going to help fit their budget, and it’s going to give them what they need. So you know, doing your research, do what you need to do to get your systems in place to make it an efficient process for you. Well All those different things will just make it a really good scenario for you. And I’m a big advocate of the custom or excuse me of the template sites, predominantly just for that reason.

It’s hard to explain how that feels like I remember when I first launched my maintenance plan, which was my first taste of recurring income. – Josh

Josh 1:00:09
That’s a great point, man. It is. I mean, it’s kind of like a, it’s kind of like a common sense, you’d love to see the recurring payment. But until you do it, it’s hard to explain how that feels like I remember when I first launched my maintenance plan, which was my first taste of recurring income. When I had a bunch of initial signups, it was awesome. I didn’t really think about the fact that this day, next month, I’m going to get their next payment. And I’m not going to have to re I’m not gonna sell it again, like it’s recurring. And that those first couple months man of recurring income, yeah, and I’ll never forget, like the second month of my maintenance plan, because I lost with an existing client base, I had, I think, 23 years. So people sign up something like that. And I suddenly had like, a few days was like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, they paid, they paid at all. And I didn’t have to, like, go to a coffee shop and sell them on something that just this was already from work that I did, you know, last month selling them, of course, we’re doing the ongoing work. But Wow, there’s nothing like it.

Josh 1:01:08
So that that’s a beautiful point to end off, I think with just the idea of, you know, long game approach, sometimes these, these slower delayed gratification type services and products, while it does take longer to get going, Man, what a great way to grow your bottom line. And there, there is nothing better than then having that recurring income. So that’s awesome, man, what a great kind of note to end off of what what the template based approach because I know there’s a lot of pros and cons to it. But we’ve been talking about it a lot, which has been really cool. And I do think there’s such a need for and as you’ve articulated throughout this whole conversation, particularly in the medical field, a lot of those folks are interested in more subscription style services that are low cost. And just over time, you get a lifetime client, it may not be that big 15 $20,000 project. But if you can make 15 or 20,000 over the period of a few years, or five years or whatever, that’s pretty darn cool. And we can stack those up. That’s that’s where it’s at. And there’s less headaches than a big custom site. So this has been great, Rich, dude, thanks so much for coming on. And I really, really appreciate you being open and transparent about what you’ve learned with your business model and how you’ve, I did not realize that you had two different side hustles. So this was eye opening for me, and I really appreciate your time. And for for pulling the curtain back for us today, man.

Richard 1:02:24
Yeah, thanks a lot for having me, Josh. It’s been a pleasure.

Josh 1:02:27
Awesome. Well, let’s let’s reconnect here, after seeing what you do here with these two businesses, and maybe maybe we can have a targeted approach on Google ads, or SEO, because I definitely want to have you on again. And maybe we can we can we can target those two realms, because I’m really curious to see how you’re doing that. So definitely don’t think this will be the last time if you’re open to.

Richard 1:02:45
It sounds great. Thanks a lot.

Josh 1:02:46
Awesome. Thanks, man.


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