Wouldn’t it be sweet if you could turn a 2k project into a 5k or even 10k project? And not only get higher paying projects but land better clients who are willing to invest in their web presence?
Well, there are numerous ways to go about this but one of the most practical strategies is to have a “solution based marketing” approach. In short, this means you’re not selling websites, you’re selling what that website will do for your client.
My guest in this episode, Lee Blue of DoubleStack.net, shares his top strategies and expertise in how you can implement solution-first sales and marketing strategies into your business so that you flip the script and showcase the true value of your services instead of just trying to “sell a website.”
No matter where you are in your business and no matter what services you offer, you’ll learn how to apply this technique to make the process of selling less grinding, less imitating and less…well, salesy!
I wish I would’ve heard this one early in my journey 🙂 I would’ve converted better clients and got much higher paying projects with a solution-first sales approach!
In this episode:
04:39 – Greetings to Lee
07:05 – Coaching hands-on
09:06 – Business strategy
13:55 – Reverse engineering
17:38 – Package skills upfront
20:39 – Distinct marketing
21:33 – Setting boundaries
22:46 – Bundle up for niche
26:33 – The premium pay
28:53 – Use what you learn
30:22 – It’s like dating
36:00 – Alignment with audience
37:41 – Outcome levels
39:39 – Upstream mindset
43:44 – Value pricing
47:21 – Fixed price model
50:29 – Reasonable expectations
51:10 – Don’t water down
56:33 – Reprioritize marketing
58:16 – Email marketing is big
1:03:56 – Finding Lee
1:06:31 – Criteria to premium
Connect with Lee:
Featured links mentioned:
Episode #125 Full Transcription
Welcome, everybody to Episode 125. We’re going to talk about solution based marketing. Now, what is that? Sounds like a bit of a corporate cheesy term maybe. But the reason I wanted to focus on this and kind of this idea in this topic is because we’ve been talking a lot about sales strategies and getting clients recently. In fact, the previous episode to this one was about targeted sales strategies for web designers and web design agency owners. One thing we really haven’t got too deep into though, is the path in which you guide leads into becoming really good clients. And this topic, I found to be fascinating this idea of solution first marketing, because what generally happens and what I’ve seen most web designers do, including myself for many years, is you would sell your service first and you would sell kind of what you do, you would sell in the case of web designers, a brand new website.
Well come to find out, you can actually get way better clients, and you can get a higher conversion rate. And you can also take a client who was thinking maybe they just want to spend 2500, and actually find out that they’re open to spending five to 10,000 or so by offering better solutions first. And that’s what we dive into. In this episode, my guest, Lee Blue, you might recognize his name, he is similar to me, he is a web design coach. But he has much more of a hands on mentoring type program for his designers who come through his website at doublestack.net. But I wanted to have him on to talk about this because he has a very interesting and unique approach to solution based marketing. And what was extra interesting about this is originally we were going to talk about how to essentially get clients and leads without killing yourself and having a big grind.
But the conversation really turned around and focused on solution based marketing, which is basically escaping the grind of getting clients as kind of a byproduct of having a solution based approach. So I kind of relabeled this, this podcast episode to focus on that. And what you’re going to learn in this episode is exactly how to implement solution based marketing in your sales strategy. So I am so excited to see what you take away from this because I found the conversation fascinating. Lee was really fun to talk to, and I’m sure we’re going to be doing this again, as you’ll find out there was so many different areas, this conversation could have gone. But we tried to reel it in and keep it around solution based marketing. So get ready to buckle in and have some fun because this one is great.
Now, one thing we do talk about in the episode quite a bit is having ancillary services alongside your primary web design services. For example, let’s say website designs are your main service. But maybe you’re offering copywriting or SEO work or social media or other other services that can you can use in conjunction with your web design services. One of those that I highly recommend you at least have the foundational skill sets in is SEO, whether you like it or not, if you’re designing websites, SEO is going to be a big implication. And it’s best for you as a web designer to at least know the foundations and to be able to do a lot of the on site SEO work. And if that’s you If you’d like to learn more about SEO, and you want to feel confident with it. And if you as you’ll hear in this conversation if you want to have SEO be an upsell for your clients or use it as a solution based strategy come join my SEO course today. It’s open right now for you it is a very foundational type of SEO course that will help you get to know the basics and the most important things you know, need to know with SEO because as we all know, SEO is this crazy, shady scary, spammy type of world. But if you really only need to know the basics, to really do some some good damage with your websites. And if that’s you if you want some help with that, I’d love to share with you what I’ve learned in the SEO world and help you feel confident with the basics. So join my SEO course today, and you’ll see how you can use it in conjunction with a solution based marketing strategy. And without further ado, here is Lee Blue. And we’re gonna have some fun talking about some different marketing tactics you can use by again selling your solution first, enjoy.
Lee, welcome on to the podcast man. It’s great to have you on.
That’s just awesome to be here. I’m really excited. I’m kind of been following you for a while so it’s gonna be fun.
Well, this was it was timely and funny. Like I mentioned before we went live because I had seen you across my Facebook feed a couple times and you have a very very recognizable name Lee Blue is just a cool I’m so jealous because it’s way cooler than my name. So easy to remember. And then some of my students had mentioned you. And then when you came across and we got to chatting, I was like, oh, heck yeah, I want to have you on because what’s interesting about you is, we were saying before we went live, we’re kind of like Co Op petition, although you have much more of a coach mentor approach with the people you take on, it sounds like so just to kick us off, before we dive into this really important topic of, of getting leads without basically killing ourselves. Do you want to start off with First of all, let everybody know where you’re based out of? And then yeah, what do you do with your site at double stack?
Cool. Yeah. So I’m in Virginia, which is a little bit different. You know, a lot of people are in like Florida, or California, maybe Austin, Texas, or something. But I’m over here in Virginia, and I’m not too far away from the Gravity Forms, guys, you know, like, you know, you know, all those, that whole team, and I think he’s based out of Virginia Beach. So I’m kind of halfway between Richmond and where they are. But yeah, so that’s where I am. And as far as DoubleStack is concerned, there’s a lot of free resources out there. But it tends to revolve mostly around like finding leads pricing, kind of kind of taking the next step from being like a freelancer into sort of building like a sustainable business, where the business itself kind of has some value to it, more than just kind of finding just, you know, sporadic jobs, it’s kind of helping people take that step. And there’s tons of free resources on there on the website. And then there’s also a mentoring program behind it. So like, if you really feel like you kind of want me to come along with you for that for like a couple of months and sort of help you with the process, then that’s something that we can talk about, too. But, but that’s pretty much all it is.
So I think you and I differ being that I have I mean, I have a little bit of that with my private mastermind web design club. But most of my stuff is my online courses. That’s and of course, there’s no limit to as many people want to join those. So you take a more hands on approach with your students, right, as far as more of like, a time period based type of guidance mentoring, is that right?
Oh, yeah, it’s it’s super hands on. So like, I help you figure out what to say on your website, we write proposals together. Like if you want to create like your presentation, like say, you’re going to be at a chamber of commerce, and you’re going to give a talk somewhere or whatever, like, we can write that together. And then pricing, we kind of put that together, because one of the big things that we do is we go high ticket. So the average proposal price is over $10,000. In fact, once you land a $10,000 client actually have this trophy that you get this trophy. It’s a it’s like the five figure family trophy and everything. And so a lot of people when they come into the course, they’re kind of selling sites for like 1000 bucks, maybe up to 3000. And then what we try to do is we try to do two things. One is to get the initial build out a little bit bigger, usually around like the five to $10,000 price point for the initial build, because it’s more than the website. Now. It’s like what to say on the site, right, your marketing, positioning, any kind of tools that you need for email list building, or funnels, or landing pages, that kind of stuff. And getting set all that up. And that might take you three or four weeks to do and so you charge like five grand for it. And then you also and really the the bigger part is what happens after you launch the site. And so we try to get a retainer in place for at least 1000 bucks a month, you know, maybe a little bit less, maybe maybe an entry package could be like $850 per month. And that would kind of give you about 10 hours per month to work with your client.
So like in terms of your weekly workflow, you’re spending like two or three hours a week for with one client, and you just keep doing that over and over. And that retainer. Like if you’re doing 850 a month, that’s over $10,000 a year just for the retainer, and then you add it to your $5,000 website. Now you’ve got these $15,000 clients. And then you think Well, what do I want my income to be? Well, what if you wanted to add five grand a month to your business? That’s like 60 grand a year, if you can do like four clients. And then you think, well, what if I want more? What if I want a six figure business? Well, what if you had seven or eight clients? And you’re like 100 120 grand?
Well, that’s one reason I wanted to have you on because I know you focus more on the business strategy, sales and marketing type of things, which are really important. I mean, I focus on some of that as well. Although I have, you know, some design related topics and courses and resources and tech stuff. I kind of mixed the two but I did want to have you on to specifically talk about those type of pricing models, which I know we’re going to dive into and then specifically, one thing you and I were talking about was getting leads with avoiding just again, just killing yourself because it can be such a hustle. It can be such a drain and especially early on. But I’ve learned a lot of things that I’m happy to share. And I know you have as well. So it sounds like we’re going to focus on kind of three main things. And I’ll just hit those right now. And then maybe we can dive into those and just have a chat around us. I think it’s good that you and I have a few points to go over because I know if we don’t, this could be a very, very wide ranging, tangent filled talk. So on my end, not your end.
So number one, we’re going to talk about solution First type of marketing, which I’m really excited to dig into, then we’re going to talk about overcome, driven positioning, or excuse me, outcome driven positioning, will kind of explain what that means. And then value based pricing, which seems like you already kind of hit a little bit into that. And that’s one reason I love web design is because there’s no right or wrong way to bill out for a project or price point, you can really do whatever works best and make sure it’s a win win for you in the client. So let’s start out with that Lee, solution first marketing. I’ve got my own ideas with what I would imagine this would look like from a service on a website or an ad or something. But what are your thoughts on solution first marketing? And why is that so important?
Yeah, well, I’ll tell you, so I’ve been doing this. So I started my web design agency in 2002, which is like forever ago, right. And when I got started, this is like before WordPress even existed. And I like so I got out of college, I had this computer science degree, I started working for the government doing bioterrorism surveillance. And it was kind of a cool job because I was going up and down the East Coast. So I didn’t have to do the whole country. It’s just basically from like Florida to about New York. And I would go to these basically hospitals and collect all this emergency room information, and then try to see if there’s any anomalies and the data that gets collected from all the encounters. So for example, and this is back, I don’t know if you remember, but remember, like when anthrax was getting like, mailed to people in envelopes, and people would open this like powder.
That was surely after 911, right? Or was it? Surely? Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, it’s right around that time period. And then shortly after that, all these random birds started dying. And there’s like this weird bird flu thing going around? And we’re like, well, what is what is all of that. And so they hired me to try to investigate? Well, I wasn’t the only one. There’s a team of people don’t know this. But I was part of the team. And we would go and try to stay is is there, like, Is everyone in New York coming down with some kind of weird respiratory thing, and if so, maybe that should trigger a flag for people to investigate. So that’s kind of how I got started. But, but in 2002, which is after I did this for a couple years, I ended up just opening up my own web design firm, kind of on the side at first, and then kind of going more full time. Because as fun as the bioterrorism stuff was, it’s very dry work. Because behind it is like really exciting. But like the day to day, it’s like you don’t even though the encounters are just the code numbers. And you’re like, does this code shot more than that code, and you’re good. And all these hostels have this ancient technology, where you’re like FTP, stuff all over the place, and trying to connect these old databases that don’t want to talk to each other. And it can be kind of kind of dry, frustrating. And it wasn’t really tapping into that whole entrepreneurial thing that I really kind of have built into me.
So I start up this web design thing. And so all of the In fact, I was listening to your podcast before when you guys were talking about different ways to get leads. And I think I’ve done all of the ways, right. So it’s like, well, I didn’t do Upwork, because I didn’t have Upwork back then. But like just partnering up with agencies, trying to offer different kinds of services and hope that you get hired word of mouth referrals, and all of those types of things. But today, it really, I would say maybe over the past five years, so it’s it’s not brand new. But it’s definitely the case now, that when you go out and try to try to tell people that, hey, I’m a web designer, and I do online marketing and stuff like that. People don’t really know how to, like, refer people to you, you know, it’s like you’re just telling people what they do, or what you do. So like, if you came up to me, and you’re like, Hey, Lee Evans, you know, all this time, like, how are you doing? And I said, Hey, Josh, it’s great to see you, man, I’m doing web design, I got my own business to do marketing for folks, then a really common response would be for you to be like, Oh, that’s awesome. And you congratulate me and how cool the job sounds. And, you know, if you’re, if you’re if you kind of have a boring job, you’re like, Oh, I wish I had a job that was exciting as yours. And so you get a lot of compliments, but you don’t get a lot of leads, you know.
A better approach is to try to say to tell people like, who can you help, what can you actually do? – Lee
So a better approach is to try to say to tell people like, who can you help, like, like, what can you actually do? Like, what what is the solution that you’re offering. And so if you can do that, to have like a solution in mind first, then you can basically reverse the process that most people go through to land clients is a normal process today is you get a lead, maybe it’s a word of mouth referral, maybe it’s from your marketing, who knows, it just comes in from somewhere. So that’s step one, you get the lead. Step two is interview them to kind of figure out what they want. And step three is you come up with a solution to do all that stuff. So that’s kind of solution last at that point. The problem with that is the marketing because if you don’t have that solution until the end, all you’ve got are your services to build your marketing around. So you kind of get stuck you like have to say I do web design, or maybe you niche down a little bit and say I do WordPress development, or maybe you niche down even further to add you Divi development, and something like that. But ultimately, it’s around the services and maybe in you and now it’s kind of like a collection. It’s like I do web design and social media management and video production.
My question I was going to lead into is because I totally agree with this, Lee, it makes a lot of sense to kind of reverse it, you want to show the solution first. I mean, that’s, that’s ideal marketing, it’s the same thing I apply with my courses. It’s like, I don’t talk about the course until you find out what you’re going to get, like, what’s the result you’re going to get by going into this. And then there’s the details, same thing could apply here. However, for folks who have a lot of different services, even just web design itself, could be quite a few different things in regards to SEO, or content marketing, or copywriting, or all these other things in there. That’s, that’s the trick. I would love to ask you this. And maybe we can dive into how to kind of frame these solutions. The average web designer who’s maybe newer and the journey, they’re just building typical brochure type websites, what is the main solution that they are hitting? Is it helping clients grow their business online? Have you found like a great term that would resonate with clients as far as what that solution is?
Yes, that’s this is the hardest part of the whole thing is to try to figure out what solution Do you want to build? And kind of the short answer is pretend like, you get a phone call. It’s your best client ever. It’s like, it’s like, I can’t believe this is the perfect client. And what are they telling you to do? Like, what are they telling you that they want? And what kind of industry are they in? And hopefully, it’s a combination of skills that you’re good at. stuff that you like, doing, like in terms of like the industry, because like, say, for example, I know a lot of people are like, Oh, I want to do like dentist websites, because Dentists have a lot of money, and they can spend it on websites. But I don’t want to work with this.
Yeah, I don’t think so.
I don’t want to put people’s mouths and stuff, you know, that’s true. Like, I don’t have any problem with smile, I love smiles, but I don’t like get in there. I don’t do pixel by pixel. It’s just like, I don’t want that. So you kind of think through, what do you want? Like, what would it be? And then kind of put yourself in their shoes? Like, if you owned that business? What would you do, like, say, My daughter is, is kind of becoming a photographer. So we’ve been thinking a lot about photography recently. And so like, okay, she needs a website, she was a great brand, she’s probably gonna need some social media, especially on Instagram, she’s going to need an email system to kind of say I did a wedding today, next year, it’s going to be an anniversary, or maybe I did baby pictures today. And a year from now it’s the first birthday. And you’ll just get some kind of CRM for that. And you just kind of think about all the different stuff that kind of you pack into, if I were the photographer, what would I need to market my business?
And then you’ve got all that stuff. So like all the things that you just mentioned, like copywriting, and videography, and just whatever your skills are, well, who needs that stuff, and package it together up front. And then you’ve got that solution. So it’s gonna be different for everybody. And there’s a few factors you want to think through, like, there’s gonna be target market. Right? So like, Is it gonna be photography? Is it gonna be real estate? Or accountants and bookkeepers, or maybe it’s not a target market based on a job title. Maybe it’s a target market based on a common problem. You know, like, think about like Angie’s List, or I guess it’s just Angie, now they rebranded they took the list.
Really? Oh, I didn’t know that.
Yeah, that’s just Angie now. But it’s like, you know, there’s h vac repair people, electricians, massage therapists, and all these people are in that one platform, you have to say Why? Well, what’s the common problem? And so they all want local leads? Yeah. So like, maybe you’ve got a solution that, you know, combines like a Google My Business account, different citations, local SEO, and I don’t know just all the different kind of stuff that you need to get local leads to. So that’s my solution. So anybody who needs local leads, hire me for that. And you wouldn’t wouldn’t have a solution really for like e commerce or, or like international businesses, or whatever, you should focus on that.
And I could definitely see how the solution based type of approach would be easier to figure out if you’re going niche. And if you just work with, you know, like, eye surgeons, then it’s fairly simple. I help you know, eye surgeons, whatever, get more leads to their website, whatever. Yeah, the more a generalist approach, which was what I was, as a web designer, I worked with all sorts of businesses, local and all over the US. I did find this tough. And I’ll just say what I did that was really confusing for everybody early on, is that I just said, I help grow your business.
Well, what the heck does that mean? Like, people thought I was a consultant. They thought I was a social media marketing, like it was way too confusing for people. And what I did is I didn’t take this solution based approach Exactly. But I did talk about what I what the deliverable was, which was an amazing new website. And that’s what I always said right away was we build awesome websites. Then what I did was dive down into the solution based stuff per main service. So and I wanted to get your thoughts on this as kind of an approach because it’s still so hard for that hero image that first thing you’re going to say what exactly is the solution? It is, I totally agree. It kind of depends on what you have in your business, but I always felt like having the like what we provide and then once you get this book Here are the additional solutions. And we have SEO, it’s we hope to get better, better rankings on Google. If it’s copywriting. We help you write stuff that actually converts and turns leads into customers on the website, all this other stuff, if it’s designed, it’s giving you a design you can be proud of, and you want to send traffic to what do you think that approach? Is that a good compromise? If we can’t figure out that exact perfect solution heading?
Make a really strong distinction between what you’re doing with your business and what you’re doing with your marketing. – Lee
Yeah, the more niche you can go, it seems, the better it turns out to be. And but the problem is, nobody wants to just do one thing, you know, especially people like us, where we can build websites for a wide variety of people. And so I like to make a really strong distinction between what you’re doing with your business and what you’re doing with your marketing. So like you can, you can say, I want to build websites for photographers and real estate agents and chiropractors, like everybody, you know, all those things are fine. But when it comes to your marketing, like if you believe that you can do a great job building websites for photographers, put a targeted marketing campaign in that hits photographers, and then having an have a this, this have multiple marketing campaigns all running at the same time if you want to attract multiple clients, but What you don’t want is you don’t want leads coming in saying, hey, Josh, you know, what? Can you like migrate all of our contacts out of MailChimp and like into Salesforce, I feel like we’ve really outgrown MailChimp. And we want to do something more powerful now. And then you’ll be thinking, gosh, Yes, I can. But like, I don’t want it to that that’s that I could do the work. But I don’t want to do the work.
Yes. What What is equally as important is figuring out what you do is what you don’t do and making, making that very clear. Yeah, for sure. Or setting those boundaries. And I know that’s harder for folks starting out because everyone wants to get every job possible. But trust me, the quicker you can say no, the better. And I’m sure you’ve seen that in your journey and a lot of your students as well.
Yeah, that’s actually a good a good segue into the second thing that you mentioned about outcome driven marketing.
Let’s do it. I do I do have a couple ideas additionally with, with the the marketing of as far as like marketing to certain kind of niches within a main service, but we can we can hold on. I’m gonna skip ahead. Let’s look at Okay, okay, let’s let’s hit that. Because I do think that was a really valuable point you said about differentiating how you market your website versus your actual ads and your marketing or legions, whatever it is, I love that because this is something I’m a big proponent of is if you have website design as a primary service course, that could be for any small business or any business if you’re not niching down. Now, I always found that I worked well with certain industries. As I kind of moved along, I worked with a lot of home inspectors, I had some blue collar folks, some auto mechanics and some industries that seem to go over really well. Looking back, what I probably would have advised myself to do is to keep my website, the main services the same, but then branch out and add some more pages that were specific to those niches even if I don’t put them on the front page of the website, they could still be the landing page that I would market to how do you feel about that strategy? Is that what you kind of mean by kind of having some additional marketing that would would lead into more like, targeted type of landing pages and stuff like that?
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. There’s kind of three things that I do. One thing is what you just said, like have some landing pages on your site specific to certain markets that you want to serve. And then if you happen to be talking to somebody in real estate, send him to your real estate page. And it could be like, yourdomain.com, slash real estate, right. So it’s like, super easy to remember. And now I’ve got these landing pages. A second thing that you can do is you can actually spin up like a whole microsite, just for one of the niches that you want to focus on, and even maybe have a domain name that has something about the niche in the domain itself. Sure. And then, then you have like your main site, which is more like general practice web design. And then you have these niche sites. And then at the bottom of every niche site, say this is a product of my main site. So like, if you don’t want to, and this I have made this huge mistake myself. You don’t want to like spin off these little micro sites, and then think that’s all that you do. Like, you don’t want somebody to come and say, Oh, you only have this like one page website. That’s it. What’s that? Yeah, so it’s much better, like in the footer somewhere, say, this is a product of this other big thing. And it’s like I do more than just one thing. So you kind of have your reputation behind all the different things.
I I love that because I think it’s a great compromise between like really going niche and just focusing on one industry, but also leaving yourself open to different industries. I’ve had a lot of people on the podcast who go niche, I’ve got some colleagues who are really good at it, and I see the value in that I totally understand it. However, I personally enjoy working with different industries. I love working with a steel company, and then working with a local family business and then working with I had one of my best clients was like a business safety organization. Like I really enjoyed having these different targets. And it was just kind of fun to switch it up because I couldn’t imagine designing the same site over and over and over and over and over and over again. I think it’s well I guess I just don’t know too many people. Who have gotten a really niche and are like, I just wake up every day loving designing the same type of site over and over.
But I understand the value. And that’s why I think this is a perfect little mix between the two. And the beauty beauty about it is, if you find that you are really resonating with certain groups pretty well, for example, one of my closest students, John, he’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he is, I don’t know, he’s 40s, maybe early 50s. John, if you’re listening to this, I’m so sorry, we’re going to, we’re going later 40s. But he resonates really well, with blue collar guys, just because he’s kind of that mold. He’s, it’s, he used to do a lot of that work. And as a web designer, he just relates really well, to construction companies and the blue collar guys. And this is something I advise to him was create some landing pages just like we’re talking about that are catered towards, towards a construction company, or HVAC or whatever it is, and then again, segue into the main site, that way you leave yourself open.
So all that to say, I think this is a great compromise for kind of like staying a generalist, but also having some niche opportunities. And what a great marketing tool because you can, you know, target those, a little quick technical tip for everybody. If you want to have like a, a URL that’s like real estate website designs, you know, Virginia beach or whatever in your case. I don’t know, if you’ve used pretty links, it’s one of my favorite plugins for just redirecting pages, you can use pretty links and just call it real estate, like you said, Lee, and then that’ll zip them over to the actual page. So a little little tech tip for everybody. But no, I think that’s greatly any final thoughts on this solution? First marketing idea?
Yeah, what? So my whole thing, and I know, this is not for everybody. So I’m not speaking to everybody at the same time. But my whole stick on all of this is how do you go high ticket on it? Like, how do you get a client that’s gonna pay you $10,000 or more over the course of the year, as opposed to just trying to crank out you know, 1500 websites. And the reason that I think people pay you more is because you need to know something special about the industry you’re serving. So for example, like CBD products, yeah, that’s a big thing. And I was just working with Vanessa, she’s got a company where they make CBD products for athletes. And she happens to know a lot about marketing CBD products in terms of like, what payment gateways can you use for these products? What are the age restrictions and state requirements where you can ship them? How do you market this stuff on Facebook without getting your account banned? You know, like, all of these different things come up. Whereas if you just went to a garden variety web designer and said, This is what we do, they might not know those things, and could potentially cause you big problems. Whereas if you do know those things, you should leverage that knowledge charge more and have a have a better outcome for the client.
Yeah, well, that that is well said, everyone I’ve talked to who have been pretty niche always said that they always have an up on everybody else, because they know the industry. And inevitably, you can charge more. And I imagine, it just saves you from a bunch of extra R&D and a lot of time on your design and time to actually man it like planning stuff out and doing copywriting. So that definitely makes a lot of sense. And I guess, would you say one way we could do this is as we start to work with certain type of industries, then just add that in there and that landing page just to make that landing page almost even more valuable than, say, some of our other services? Is that a fair way to go about that?
Yeah, yeah, it really is. In fact, the biggest thing that people struggle with when like when we’re working together is like, what, what target market should I pick. Like, what’s my solution going to be? And one kind of quick hack is to just look at a past project that went really well. Like, even if it was the first time you ever did a website for IMAX movie screen cleaning business or something, it could be completely random. But like, if it went really well, and you liked it, and you like them, you kind of wanna do more, just kind of take the lessons you learn from that and say, hey, these are the things you need to do. If you want to clean IMAX movie screens or whatever, and you kind of have that solution. That’s just a quick hack, cuz you basically already know what works. And they just kind of spread out a little bit broader, you know, they kind of go with that as a solution.
Yeah, and that’s kind of what I found is you tend like when you get a really good project, you tend to get a lot of similar businesses if they refer you or a lot of businesses just see like, for example, I did a retina eye surgical place was one of my favorite clients. And I got a couple leads from people who just saw their site and clicked on the site design by entering the studios, my agency, and that’s how I got those leads. So it was a very warm lead and it was in a similar vein of like medical type of field and same thing happened with all the home inspectors I mentioned a little bit ago, pretty much all my home inspector jobs stemmed off of one dude that I worked with that a really good job and then all of his colleagues saw his website like oh my gosh, who did your website. Then I did their website and then next thing I knew I had people competing with each other in Columbus. So that was interesting. But all going back to the solution first marketing and I think we’ve covered some, some tips to help folks with that and some strategies which I’m glad to hear you say Lee because it definitely backs up what I’ve thought could work as far as kind of having these Like structured, targeted, niche style landing pages that can be in conjunction with your main services. If you want to work with everybody, I would love to dive into outcome driven positioning. That sounds like a cheesy corporate term to me. But I think in the case of web design, I could see this work, do you want to kind of explain, you know, kind of what that is and how that relates to this?
Yeah, so this has a couple of implications. One implication is that you probably have a solution that we were just talking about. And then you say, well, rather than marketing the business, based on the ingredients of the solution, you market it based on the outcome that you get from doing all that stuff. So like, if we were talking about the photography thing. So rather than saying, you know, we’re gonna do branding, web design, Instagram, or whatever, all the different things, you’d say, Well, what do you get out of that, it’s like, well, maybe you get like a six figure business, you can run out of your house, even if you don’t have a studio, you know, just with your camera. And so then you would say, the outcome that I feel like I can help people create would be how to build a six figure photography business, working out of your house with a camera, and then say that on your website, then that allows the client, this causes a kind of a domino effect of really good things to happen for you. The first thing that happens is you’ve bundled together all this stuff that you do the best, because you’ve thought about it upfront, and you feel confident, you don’t get that whole Hey, can you migrate me to Salesforce kind of lead, you get clients, I want you to do your best stuff, presumably in a field that you know something about you that you like. And since it’s your best stuff, you can charge the most for it, because that’s what’s gonna get the best outcomes for people. And so now you’re really maximizing your earning potential, by packaging together all your best stuff all at once, and the client only has to make one decision. Do I want the six figure photography business or not? That’s the decision. And so this so that’s, that’s kind of domino effect number one.
Domino effect number two, is the leads that you get from it. Because if you tell if you say, Hey, Lee, what have you been doing? And I say, Oh, you know, I help photographers build these these home based businesses, and they don’t even need a studio. They just work right out of their house with a camera, then you think, oh, you gotta meet my friend Jessica. She’s been trying to get her business off the ground. And so people start to play matchmaker with you. It’s almost like dating.
That’s true. You know, what’s funny about this is I, I’ve learned a lot in my journey with how to how to phrase like, short descriptions and blurbs. And even like when my podcast my podcast intro, I really really thought out, what the heck should I say on my podcast? Since I do I want to tell people how like how to design sites or to use Divi or certain tools, what I ended up doing was unintentionally having more of this outcome solution based approach, which is I help people build a successful web design business and achieve the lifestyle they want to live. And those two little quotes right there have brought so many people who are like life, and balance focused type entrepreneurs, a lot of people are digital nomads, I’d never thought I would have such a following of digital nomads, because I’m not I’m you know, I have a family here. But most traveling we do is, is a couple times a year. So I’m by no means a digital nomad.
But the tools and the tactics and everything that like you mentioned, are kind of the dominoes behind that all lead to that. So that was just a practical example of how if you do come out with the the outcome, positioning, it really it really makes a big impact. Because suddenly, when somebody sees anything I provide on conversion tips or SEO tips, it’s not necessarily just about website, it’s about what does that lead to it leads to a lifestyle change, it leads to freedom, it leads to all these other big things. So I love that man, it makes it makes a ton of sense. And I think in regards to like the average web designer, I think SEO services are probably one of the easiest to probably talk about outcome because it’s like, you know, we want to help you get better rankings on Google, then how do we do that? Well, then there’s keyword research and on site, all that stuff that could go from there. I still struggle with web design in general, like when it comes to design, because I guess like having a website, you can be proud of having a website to get you more leads. Those are all outcomes. I know that’s a little more tricky, depending on the niche. But yeah, I love it. I didn’t mean to kind of derail us or cut you off. But I definitely stand by kind of the you show show the end first and then talk about how you’re going to get there makes it an easier sell, isn’t it?
Yeah, and I would even from what you just said about about the outcome of SEO, I’d like bumped the outcome even higher than that. So in fact, I just posted something on Instagram, I almost never post on Instagram, but I just posted something the other day yesterday last night about SEO. And it was so suppose you’re an SEO guy, and you feel like you can do an awesome job with link building and improving your rank and all that stuff. And so you also want to get leads for yourself. Do you create like an email opt in You’re like a PDF or something with like your top 10 favorite SEO strategies? And you think well what should the headline be like what do I put on the opt in form to get people to download this thing and start building up the kind of like this warm leads database for yourself. So you think well So my top 10 List of SEO strategy, so I’m going to the headlines gonna be the top 10 SEO strategies that are working now. And we’re gonna put Okay, that’s great, right. And so you’re thinking, it’s great value you spent all this time, your expertise and, and whatever.
But the problem tends to be the people that are looking for the top 10 SEO strategies that are working now are probably not the clients that you want to be hired. They’re probably other SEO guys. It’s like, yeah, and so if you’re like a med spa owner or something like that, you’re not really thinking, Man, I wish I could be an SEO expert. What are the top 10 strategies? You’re probably thinking, How do I get leads? You know, buying these ads, the ads aren’t working, is there some organic way that I can get better leads? And then you think, well, if you’re the SEO person, well, you just made a whole document with like, the top 10 ways to get leads without buying ads. Like that’s the outcome. It’s like, forget about the rankings, forget about it, it’s like I want leads, I don’t want to buy ads. So turn your headline into the top 10 ways med spas generate leads without buying ads. And now you’ve got alignment with your audience, like what like who your audience is, and what your audience is thinking. And you’re kind of using the words that are already in their heads. And when you see that, I call it a hot, sticky headline, you know, it’s like It’s hot. It’s rising above the noise it like sticks in your head. And that’s kind of what I’m talking about with the outcomes, like the ranking is sort of a side effect. It’s like, yes, you get better ranking. But it’s not just the rankings like, Well, what do you do with it? Like, what pages Do you want to rank? And is there some kind of call to action? Is there any funnel in place, you know, there’s other things that kind of need to go into it to make sure you get the leads.
That’s great. That makes a lot of sense. It’s so funny, because we were just having this conversation, we’ve been having it for a while now in my web design club, because a lot of my students are doing more content marketing and lead gen ads and stuff like that. And a lot of them were doing just that they were creating content that was essentially attracting DIYers and other web designers. And we had to talk and I was like, Listen, you, you have to be very, very strategic with how you create this content, make sure it’s towards a business owner, a business owner is not going to want to know the top tips for you know, WordPress, something WordPress related or DB related. I have no idea what that is more than likely, if it comes to getting leads or I still have some ideas on SEO I but I agree like some, you know, getting better rankings on SEO is kind of like the step before the actual end goal.
So yeah, getting more leads through organic SEO, whatever it is, all all those tips are going to be much more appealing to business owners who you want to work with. So having like a strategy behind all that I love, I couldn’t back you up on that more. That’s great.
Yeah, and but but well, I was I was thinking too, because outcome driven positioning, I’m sure there’s different like levels, you could you could take with this, depending on the service. And I think this is where that idea of like having niche type of web design pages, How awesome would it be to have that solution, first type of marketing, backed up by what is the outcome that this is going to provide you we help real estate websites convert, you know, at a 50x higher rate, or whatever it is, if you can back that up with results, like what a What a perfect opportunity to bring this in? What other type of outcomes? Do you feel like what designers are helping clients with that maybe we’re we’re just we haven’t thought about other than the typical getting more leads or website and maybe some Seo? Are there other outcomes that you’ve seen that a lot of web designers that you know, have are helping with that we may not just be, you know, thinking about recognizing that we’re actually doing?
Yeah, I think there’s a lot I think there’s more than, like a surprising number, like more than meets the eye. Because like I almost like over the past probably even 10 years, even for a long time, I’ve almost completely stopped talking about web design. Because like if I walked up to you, and I said, Hey, Josh, you know, I was looking at your website, and like, say, maybe you you do, maybe you’re the photographer person. And I said, Hey, Josh, I’ve been looking at your photos on Instagram, they look awesome. So I checked out your website, and it looks kind of out of date. And I saw some broken links, and it’s not really working on mobile, man, I think we should really update your site, then you would probably say to me, Lee, I don’t even know why I have this. I don’t have any leads to that thing. I don’t want to spend any more money on something that doesn’t work. What if I just shut the whole thing down? And I just use Instagram entirely? Right. So like, when I positioned myself, as someone who offers websites, you tend to get a lot of responses like that where people like, I don’t really want the website. So if you instead said, Hey, let me show you the system that we’re using to to build six figure photography business, and we work right out of your house. Now I’ve got your attention, right.
So it’s like, I’m still gonna build you a website and do SEO and link building and all the other things. I’m not talking about that yet. I’m talking about the thing that you’re struggling with, right? So what, what the end result is you’re going way further upstream, and the person’s mindset. So like if you find that you get clients who are looking for websites, you have to think about where are they in the chain of solving their problem is probably really close to the end. They’re thinking maybe I’ve already got a marketing team in place. You know, I’ve already done a bunch of other stuff in terms of what services and pricing I have. I just need somebody to put it online for me and I want it cheap, right? 500 bucks is the most cost effective way to just get a website? So if you want to do better than that than two ways, how do you get the price up? And how do you get a longer term relationship out of it. So you get recurring revenue, then you want to go way further up the stream and be like, you want to connect with somebody when they’re thinking, Man, I know I take great pictures, people seem to really like the photo shoots, but I’m just not getting the leads that I want. Well, if you had marketing about what let me show you how to build, you know, put the infrastructure in place. So you can actually drive a six figure income just working right out of your house. Now you’re interested, you see what I mean. So like, that’s a different way to do the outcome.
I could see this, instead of just saying, well, I could build you a nice website explaining the solutions and the outcomes. And I do think that would be a perfect segue into the importance of websites, because I’m sure you’ll back me up and say, and websites are more important now than ever before. Because as we all know, if you run your business off Instagram, what happens if you get kicked off or banned or your whatever like this, these stories are happening left and right now. And if you put your entire business on a platform that you don’t own, best of luck, like you can lose everything. So I think that’s I hate to use fear tactics for sales. But I do think in the case of like a photographer, or some other folks who have more big you know, social media type followings. A website is more important than ever. And I do think this is a great way to kind of come in with the website and make make sure clients and leads understand the importance of that. And to that point earlier, because I’ve had those clients who were like, why do I need to worry about my website? It’s not doing anything for me? Well, of course, it’s not doing anything for you. It sucks, like, and I said that exactly to clients. But I have said, Well, that’s true. But that’s because your website’s so bad.
Like, what if you had a beautiful website that converted, and it’s gonna help you get more leads that you would be proud of, and that you’d want to showcase. And then in all of your marketing, instead of marketing to your Instagram, or your Facebook, you could actually market to your website, you get more traffic, you have all these like, that was the approach that I took. And I will say, this is something I still think is very worthwhile, because I was amazed at how many clients resonated with the idea that they would have a website, they would be proud of that statement right? There surprisingly piqued the interest of so many leads that I had, because their websites was so bad, and they never wanted to market it. And they never felt like any of the other mark.
I think there are other marketing was so scattered, instead of having one central place where everything goes back to it was always scattered, it was always going somewhere else, there was always a different landing page builder, or whatever. And I guess I would just implore everyone to maybe try that. And maybe to add that in here somehow. Because it really, there really is a lot to having an online presence that you feel excited about that you want to drive people to. And of course, that’s, you know, really, it’s easier to say when you have like an e commerce site. But for an H back company who might not get the reason why they need a website, something like that as kind of the the home where everything pulls back to, I think that’s where the value is. But again, it stems from the Alp, outcome driven marketing.
So I love that I do want to leave some time here at Lee for value based pricing. Because now that we’ve got all these strategies in place, we get a lead, how I know we’re not going to go too far with actually onboarding and getting clients and proposals. But we this is where like pricing comes into play with these type of projects. Because if we are going to offer SEO and content and whatever else we’re doing conversion based design, along with, you know, all the other things that go into web design. Yeah, let’s talk a little bit about pricing. And it was interesting to hear some of your ideas on pricing. So I’m going to turn it over to you what are your thoughts on value pricing for for these type of jobs?
Yeah, you’re awesome at running a podcast is a great segue, because what you were just talking about, with all the different outcomes, it goes directly into the pricing, because like some of the outcomes can be okay, I built a website, but I also helped them set up a podcast and get the image right for their podcast cover. And I also help to get a YouTube channel and all the graphics that they need for their thumbnails. And I also helped them with their email marketing. And then we’ve got funnels, we’ve got landing pages, and then we have, you know, email opt ins for the landing pages. And we want to try out different ones from time to time to see what converts better. And so you’ve got different headlines and copywriting services and different graphics, maybe blue converts better than red or whatever. And so you’re constantly trying all these things out all the time. And so one of the things that’s kind of an implication of all the stuff we’ve talked about so far, is that you have fewer clients that you work with forever. It’s kind of like the Jerry McGuire approach to like web design. Ever see Jerry McGuire?
Yeah. Sports agent has like, Yeah, one client for a little while. Yeah.
Yeah, he like writes this whole memo about how we want to have more in depth help for these clients and, you know, fewer clients that we really help in this ongoing way. It’s kind of like that. And so there’s implications to that. Which means like, once you get to the point where you have like seven or eight clients, or maybe even like six or seven clients, you’re making like 10 grand a month off of all of this stuff. Then you think to yourself, Well, I probably don’t really need any more leads on So I want to scale up as an agency. But some of the people that I work with are happy making 10 grand a month, and they like the lifestyle of it. And they do like the digital nomad thing, or, or just have a lifestyle that’s working at their house or whatever their family and they’re feeling great about it. And other people are like, man, okay, now that I’ve really got this really firm foundation, let’s start bringing on some people, and you know, scale up to half a million dollars or whatever. But the number of leads that you need is dropped. It’s just dramatically reduced compared to what it would otherwise be like, if you’re just cranking out three or four websites every month. Yeah. So that gets into the value pricing.
So yeah, let’s kind of dive into this model and kind of maybe even rehash what you talked about earlier on. Lee with like, what does this look like I said, we’ve talked a lot about pricing recently on the podcast about the different types of pricing models with fixed pricing, which is what I always did, like website for 3500, on average, are 4000. And then we’ll have hosting and maintenance. And then later on, we can revamp the site for a lesser fee, or I always, definitely encourage the hosting and maintenance to build that relationship. Generally, clients would revamp a site, either partially or totally within about three to five years. So it’d be kind of like a new sales cycle with that around that same amount. A lot of times, they would have spur on projects, like they would have a different company, they would launch or they would have, you know, a competitor that they work with, or a partner that they worked with, and they want to bring them on. So those are all ways that I was able to generate more income with a fixed pricing model with like, lower recurring. But yeah, let’s dive into kind of what you’re talking about here. Because it sounds great. 10 clients paying 10 grand a month. That sounds awesome. But yeah, what what are the implications? What are the practicalities of this? Knowing that again, we already sold the solution in the outcomes before this, which opens the door for that?
Yeah, this is great. So one of the things that I like to add, in addition to hosting and maintenance is marketing. Okay, so like, you can’t charge $1,000 a month just for hosting and maintenance, usually, unless it’s like a gigantic site or whatever.
Yeah. That’s the case, you don’t want that one.
Just offload that someone else. But, but to get the price point up to somewhere around 1000 bucks a month, you need to have like, at least a basic marketing plan in place.
And this has an implication, right? So like, if you’re gonna, if you’re thinking to yourself, okay, I’m gonna sell a website, and I’m gonna sell this hosting maintenance marketing plan. What’s more expensive? Well, the hosting maintenance and marketing plans, like, way more, it’s like, that’s gonna be like, 10 $15,000, where the website itself might just be like, five, right? Or maybe even less, it’s like, most people think websites like $2,000 or less, you know, especially if it’s an affordable website. Right? Right, right. Like somebody comes to you and like, hey, Josh, I want I want to buy an affordable website for me. And you say, Okay, well, here’s something for 2000 bucks, and then you kind of build out the site. And then you’re like, Okay, well, now let’s do this, this maintenance plan? You’re like, Okay, well, what’s that gonna cost me, you know, like, yeah, it’s like, you know, 10 grand over the course, a year or whatever. It’s like, you just tried to take a $2,000 budget, and stretch it into like, a $12,000 project. And that’s just too much stretching for most people. If you can’t go that far, it’s too much.
So we use this strategy called flip the offer. And what that means is, you don’t really sell the website, you sell the marketing strategy and the marketing plan. And so you say, these are the tools that we’re going to do landing pages, you might even do paid ads, and the ad, the ad spend is not part of your management fee, that’s something else. So you yourself are actually making 1000 bucks. And if there’s an ad spend on top of that, then so be it. But it could be it could be that it could be SEO, it could be social media management, could be email marketing, up landing pages, and funnels and drip campaigns. And like all the stuff that you need, when you say this is how we’re going to reach your audience. This is how we’re going to warm them up. And this is how you get new clients. And look, what if we could just do two or three clients a month for you? What do you charge for a CPA client? Oh, yeah, we charge like five grand a year, kind of like that, for average small business CPA account, or whatever. You’re like, Okay, well, you’re talking like 10 to 15 grand a month, and you could just add two or three clients. And then that booms up this, this big value there for you, and then use and so they say, Okay, yeah, that’s where it’s worth 10 grand to make 100 grand kind of thing. And then you say, well, in order to get the best results out of this marketing plan, we’re also going to need to update the website. And then your website, or website,
That’s a part of the marketing plan.
Yeah, but now look what you’ve done, though. So you’ve taken this like $10,000 client and stretch it up to like 12,000, or 15, which is a lot easier than taking like a $2,000 client and trying to bump that up to 12 or 15. And so that’s, that’s the whole flip the offer strategy, and it leads you into value pricing. Because the value is it’s not at how long it took to build the site or what the tech specs are or any of that stuff, the value is and what what’s it going to do for the business. And then you put your your costs in the middle of all of that somewhere. And so it’s gonna be somewhere north of what your real costs are like, you’ll probably have an hourly rate you want to make for yourself and you might even have some outsource costs and maybe you have to buy some stock photos. Something. And so that’s kind of puts the floor as to what you want to charge.
And then you have like, the upper limit is probably, depending on who the client is, sometimes you can go as high as like 50%. Like, if you think you can make 100 grand for him, you could charge up to like, 50 grand? Sure, usually that’s a little too high. I like to kind of shoot marches like 30%. Yes, like if I feel like I could. And it’s the annual value. It’s not like the lifetime value, because that’s not a million years from now, you’ll be a billionaire. Like, that’s, that’s too far. But like, you know, reasonable expectations for where the client wants to go over the next 12 months. And then you kind of what, what can I contribute to that. And if you think you and maybe you can contribute 100 grand to it, you can charge up to like 30,000 bucks. And so you think, well, somewhere between 30 grand, and whatever my costs are, and then you have a couple that usually there’s a there’s a pricing curve that goes into it like a small, medium and large approach.
So like, sometimes people will think, yeah, I just want to do the biggest one, right now, money’s not an issue, let’s do the 30 grand one. And other times people are gonna be like, you know, I can’t really do all of that. But what are the other options? And then you maybe have a couple smaller options as well. Yeah, but here’s the key, let me but let me show you what the key is, before we move on. Sure. You don’t want to water down the outcome. Right. So you don’t want to say well, okay, we’ll do this smaller thing, and we’ll take out some of the features. And then we’re reducing scope, and therefore, that’s why it’s cheaper.
Now, obviously, you are reducing scope and taking out some of the things but the but the way that you present, it makes a big difference, because you’re not really saying we’ll never do the other things. We’re just prioritizing. We’re saying these are the most urgent things to do. Now, once results start coming in with that, then we have a really clean upgrade path to the larger projects to the medium and large one. So what you’re ultimately doing is you’re stretching the timeline, you’re not reducing the outcome, you’re just saying, hey, this ladder, every everywhere on this, this set of stairs or whatever goes to the goal. It’s just like, how high up the stairs are we gonna start? You know, we’re gonna start right at the top of boom, we get it as fast as we can, are we gonna be a little bit further down? And kind of have to do it more incrementally?
Yeah, and I was always such a big fan of doing things in phases, particularly for clients who I really wanted to work with great clients. But maybe they didn’t have a budget right up front for a $10,000 deal. But we’ve we started out at five and then added more on moving forward. That always worked out well. Sounds like that’s the same approach here. If you had to go that route to kind of set the foundation, which in that case, I imagined, you got to figure out the priorities, which again, are going to be the website probably going to be foundational SEO and some of that stuff. And then you might add social media or some of the other things I imagine. Now, kind of what you’re talking about here, Lee are is really a digital marketing agency. I mean, really a full stack type of, you know, agency. What about the designers like myself, who I never wanted to touch Sosele. I had never did ads, never do any of that stuff. Can we still utilize this for just doing websites? And some of the more basic services in regards even like SEO, can this still work?
Oh, apps. Yeah, in fact, it’s better for people like us where we have really specific things we never want to do. Because you just don’t put that in your solution. You just like, you don’t want people to tell Josh man, I really needed to manage my Instagram account, or all of my social media, and a website, I don’t want to do all that other stuff. I want more onpoint referrals, I don’t want people to ask me to do things I don’t want to do.
And this, this is a really important point to when it comes to like if you just do the website and hosting and have these ancillary services in conjunction with that, is because I actually think and I know from myself and my agency, a lot of my students, I think web designers are in a very unique position where we can have those lifetime clients more so than any other industry, particularly if we always maintain the website and do the onsite stuff. Because let’s face it, digital marketing agencies, they come and go, I don’t know what the standard churn time is. But it’s probably three, six months on average, for like most advertising companies that I know of, and digital marketing companies, they would move through clients pretty quickly, like client would use them for three, six months, they’d move on.
Now, the problem that I’ve seen with marketing companies that take over the entire website, is just that, if you move on from them, suddenly, you need to get a new web designer, you need to get a new hosting company, and it’s a nightmare for clients. So I say that to say, as web designers, I think we’re in a great spot because we can still partner with folks who do that. And I am a huge proponent of Co Op petition when it comes to web designers hosting and maintaining the site doing on site stuff. But if your client wants to hire a marketing company to run social media ads, and they need to get into the site for some stuff, that’s fine. I’m totally cool with that. That way, when the client moves through this agency, and they fire them in six months, because they’re not happy with the results. We’re still there web guy or web gal. What are your thoughts on that with how that could transition into more value based kind of stuff because I I’ve definitely found that to be the case. I Always try to always do the website and hosting and maintenance. The other stuff could come and go. Because those strategies will change. But websites for everything you don’t want not gonna want to change the hosting non stop clients are gonna get to know that pretty quick.
Yeah, yeah. So I would say part of the solution first idea that we were talking about, and really the outcome driven position that we were talking about to really everything we’ve talked about. So far, kind of implies that you’re going to create some kind of result for people that has like tangible, measurable business impact for them. And so like we were talking about, like the small, medium and large pricing, like I never want the small pricing to be so small, that it’s not enough to generate some kind of income or some kind of result for them well, so like, I try not to just have a project, say, oh, like, let me just refresh your logo. Or let me only redesign your website. So it looks beautiful. But I’m not going to do anything to drive traffic there anything like that. Because then you end up either missing out on all of that marketing effort, because someone else is hired to do it, or then or Nobody does it. And the clients like, man, I just dropped five grand on this website, and I’m still in the same same spot it was before, because I’m not getting any more results out of it. So I like the smallest package to be something that will create an outcome, even if you can’t redesign the whole site yet, right? So like, maybe it’s this big site, it’s gonna be this big expense to redo the whole thing. So you say, Hey, why don’t we just do a landing page. And we’ll just be really, we’ll do all the fresh branding everything on this landing page. And that way, when you start driving traffic into this page, that one page will look awesome, and start getting you some more leads. And then as that starts working, then we might redesign the whole site after that. So you can reprioritize the order in which you do the stuff. But I always like to have some kind of marketing component to the package, even if you don’t do it yourself, bring somebody else in to help so that you can you can position it in like a value driven way. You see what I mean?
Yeah, that’s a great point. Because whether we like it or not, as web designers, your clients are going to expect you to be in some sort of marketing role. I mean, I can, it caught me by surprise in the beginning, because I built websites, they looked really nice, I got better at conversions as time went on. And then inevitably, they would want to know, how are the leads going? And how, like, where, how are we going to kick this out? like are we going to promote this, I was always called on with the marketing stuff. And that’s when I realized, I don’t want to be a digital marketer. But I do have to at least provide some strategies and partner with some people who do this, because it is much harder to sell a website that looks nice and represents you then a site that is going to get more leads and double your income or whatever it is, or provide a six figure work from home business that that is definitely that is the case.
And I know it might be daunting for some people. But I would say it is definitely worthwhile having some sort of component in there of marketing, because I think that is huge. I was actually going to ask you, if most of my students are doing website design, hosting, maintenance, maybe some basic SEO, what would be another area that most of my students that you would recommend should focus on? I’m sure it could depend on whether they’re interested in social media or video or different types of marketing. Is there something that you’ve seen that is like, just kind of hitting right now that you think is maybe the next most important thing that kind of sits in this marketing seat along with websites?
Yes, email marketing, I think email marketing is the biggest one. By far. I mean, it’s not like it’s not new, it’s been around forever. But in terms of the revenue that it creates for people, at least from from what I’ve seen from my clients, even for myself, it’s like probably 10 times what all of other social media combined, it’s like social media, it seems to be pretty good for kind of getting awareness of who you are, whatever kind of out there. But in terms of actually monetizing the audience and trying to help people, email seems to be great, because like, one of the things about email that’s really important, I think, is people have to choose to do something with the message that they get, like, if you send out a tweet, it just kind of evaporates or whatever. But if you send someone an email, they’re gonna see it, they might not open it, but at least have to delete it, they have to do step two, take some action.
And I think that’s really important to kind of say, Hey, you know, what? Email Marketing, because he and here’s the other thing, why web designer should do email marketing, and not just random email marketers? Because you have to go somewhere when you click the email. Yeah. So like, you get the email, you get some call to action in the email. And so you, maybe it’s just, you know, sign up for a webinar, or maybe it’s, you know, did you know about this other product, and so you make a landing page for the product. So pretty much every time you send an email, you’re either building a landing page or optimizing a landing page, or doing something on the website.
And so if I was a web designer, and you don’t really have to learn anything new to send emails, it’s like, okay, go get a mailer lite account, or a MailChimp account or something. And then just send the emails, but make sure that when you do your you expect the person to do one thing like but one thing you want someone to do in the email and then keep track of who’s clicking what. So like, if you’re a nutritionist, and you send out a newsletter, and you say, hey, look, I’ve got all this gluten free. protein powder over here. And I’ve got stuff to manage your blood sugar over here for people that might be diabetic or something. And then you kind of send out those two things, well click the people that click the gluten free stuff, to have that be like a landing page, like my top 10 gluten free dessert recipes. But you probably wouldn’t send that to the diabetic people gonna whack out their blood sugar. So then you kind of keep track of that. And now you’ve got these segmented audiences. And you can start driving specific stuff like, like traffic to these individual landing pages that you can create for your client. And you don’t have to do it. And it’s not, you don’t have to constantly be on it all the time, like you would with like your normal, traditional, like social media, you get these great stats. And it’s super easy.
It’s very measurable. And I’ll tell you this, if you can help a client grow their email list, that is where you have some leverage on value based pricing, because you get somebody’s email, and have a potential customer that they could do whatever they want with. That’s awesome. I couldn’t agree more. Lee, I love that you said that. Because actually, I wasn’t. I guess I figured that would be one option. But I’m glad to hear you say that that is, you know, the one that you would suggest because I totally agree, I think it’s very worthwhile getting into. And then even if we don’t love email marketing, or renew, it is fairly easy to figure out. I mean, the cool thing about email marketing is a lot of the principles that you can use and MailChimp you can use in ConvertKit or whatever. Like it all transfers fairly easy. It’s a lot easier than figuring out the ad algorithms between Facebook and Instagram or LinkedIn or whatever. So I love Oh, my gosh, yeah, that’s just yeah. Don’t don’t want to do it don’t have to, but…
Especially for web designers. Right? Because like, if you’re if you’re not a web designer, what are you gonna do web designer make these landing pages so that when people click the emails, they go somewhere? Because Yeah, the last thing you want to do is send an email to your homepage or something like that.
Yes, yeah, that’s a great point, too, that really leaves a lot of leverage for adding like more additional work to because if you create a legion that goes somewhere, you can then talk about strategy with the client, say, after they sign up for this, lets really take the level the engagement to the next level, like maybe we send into a customized page that has some more information for them, or, you know, they get more information or maybe an upsell or something while the emails that we set up or like sequence and coming to them, there’s so many things you can do with that. And it’s all replicate-able. So like, if it works really good for one client, you can take those same systems and you know, switch out graphics, text everything else and replicate it for another.
So I think that’s great, because that’s something where whatever is working for one client will likely work with a lot of other ones. And then there you go, then there’s your own email blasts, where you could say, Hey, you know, we did a case study on this recent client, this really helped them boost their leads, do you want to try to There’s your upsell.
So you just said you’ve made a solution.
There’s a solution. That’s awesome. Well, listen, a great man, I really love this chat. Yeah, my gosh, value based pricing stuff we could go on forever. But I love. What’s cool about this is I think this talk, we’re never one we talked about solution. First marketing, number two, outcome driven positioning. And then three value based pricing is I think most web designers struggle with doing this in the reverse order. I don’t know if it was intentional that you have these three set out like this, but most web designers like websites are 2500 bucks, the outcome of this website is this. And then the final solution is this. So it is kind of like reversing it to where here’s a solution. Here are the outcomes. These could be on a macro or micro level, and then boom, here’s the pricing, it’s gonna work for you, depending on what services we need. I love it. That was great, man. I love it. I hope I hope this is inspiring. I mean, there’s this isn’t an exact path, per se, but you can certainly implement all these strategies, you know, as a whole or in pieces. So I really love this. I have one final question for you. Before we get to that, Lee, do you want to let everybody know where they can go to find out more about you or connect with you?
Oh, yeah, absolutely. So a couple places the best place, the best place to go is DoubleStack.net. And the the name is kind of a play on like being like a full stack developer where you have like the tech stack, but you also need like the marketing stack. So it’s like the marketing stack plus the tech stack.
Curious because I said full stack earlier. And I was like, I wonder if that had anything to do with the name? Yeah,
It does. Yeah. So I use, I used to consider myself a full stack developer. And then I kind of got into more marketing kind of do both things at the same time. And it really it kind of need both, though. Because if you’re building websites, you really are in marketing, you know, like it used to be you’re kind of in software development. That’s like a whole nother conversation we could get into. But like, I think one of the big challenges that web designers have is if you find yourself kind of stuck in the software development mindset while trying to sell a website. It just falls apart. Like you can’t do it anymore. Because you really aren’t inventing software creating anything new. You’re just assembling the pieces that people need and more of a marketing perspective. But anyway, that we could maybe have a part two sometime we’ll talk about that. But DoubleStack.net. That’s our website. You can check out the ton of free resources in there, I post like weekly workshops that I do for free, you can check that out. And then I also have this Facebook group. It’s called Building High Value WordPress sites. And that’s also free and I jump in there live on on Tuesdays and do a live workshop or something for a couple minutes and kind of answer live questions and stuff there.
Gotcha. Perfect. Yeah, that’s a great distinction between how web designers are viewed now versus before, I totally agree before it was like, Oh, you’re a tech guy, you can have you come up with email issues, which you still get some of that, but now it’s definitely more marketing. So I think that’s a very, very worthwhile point to keep as an underlying thought moving forward. I certainly have a good final question for you, because we’ve had quite a few but I was curious of all the students you’ve worked with? What are some of the commonalities that go into a $10,000? project? Is it like, is a website always included in that? Is it is SEO a big component of that? Or do you find that email marketing or social media is involved with that as well? Because I’m sure at the 10,000 range, that could probably be like a phase one. And then you would get, you know, go from there. What and I asked that because I wonder for a lot of my students and people listening to this, who are maybe at the two to $3,000 range, and they’d love to get a 10k project. What would that entail, on average? Well, I guess it’s kind of an open ended question. But yeah, like, what, what are some of the commonalities of a lot of like a $10,000 project for web designers?
Well, first, it’s the audience that you’re trying to sell it to. Right. So there’s, let me see if I can summarize. There’s really like three criteria that I look for, for a really good client that can afford this kind of stuff. And there’s also people that you’re not looking for, like, you’re not looking for the side hustlers, I just want you to work for free. And if it works out, maybe they’ll pay you later, you’re not really looking for people that can’t scale. Right? So like, if you’re just doing like piano lessons in your living room or something, then you can’t you don’t need to spend $15,000 a year to market that. I mean, that would be silly. So there’s a couple criteria you’re looking for. One is, it’s really helpful if it’s a business to consumer client, or maybe business to small business. But like nonprofits, government contracts, and like large corporate deals, tend not to be ideal for the kind of clients that we work with most of them. Like, like Samsung isn’t selling iPhone displays to Apple, because someone over at Samsung, like hopped on a webinar one day. It’s like the sales cycle is just too long for the tools that we have to be as effective as they need to be.
I always know when when people or family members would be like, so who have you worked with? I’m like, do you really expect that I like, what, what company? Am I gonna say that I was, you know, working out of my house that you would know, like, you know, I always felt that was stupid. Like, I work with Chase Bank, like, do you think I can handle doing the website for chase? Now? What a stupid question, but I’m sorry. I always got that. It always made me so angry, because I was like, What? What do you expect me to say? You’re not going to know any businesses? I work more than likely, maybe some local ones. But anyway, sorry.
That’s a good point. Yeah, it’s kind of to that point, it’s like, it’s great if it could be like a business to consumer or business to small business. So you’re looking at like real estate, auto mobile detailing or whatever. Med spas, anybody would see an Angie’s List. Anyone in like health and wellness, you know, tends to be pretty good. So you’re kind of looking at that. So business to consumer or business small business. Number two is it’s great if they can, if they can sustain it in like a gross revenue of at least $100,000. Right. So they don’t have to be there yet. Like they can be a startup that wants to get there. But it needs to scale, it needs to be able to scale to at least 100 grand if not significantly more, because you’re going to be asking them for like 15 grand. And so that’s going to be about 15% of their annual gross revenue, which is okay, right. So like, I think most people kind of understand that somewhere around 15 to 25% of your gross revenue kind of goes into marketing. And so that’s okay. But if it’s like 200 grand, then you’re still only asking for 15 it’s like that’s, that’s only half of that, right? So like 7%, or whatever.
So you’re kind of looking for someone who can at least scale up to or has already achieved 100 grand in revenue gross, like total for not what they pay themselves, necessarily, but their gross. And then the third one that I like to really focus on is can the clients clients, like when you get a customer for your client, is the annual value of that transaction at least $1,000. Right, because if you’re just selling like handmade jewelry on Etsy, or something like that, you would have to drive so many leads to it’s just really, really challenging to get enough transactions to make it worthwhile. So it’s not a deal breaker, but it’s nice, even if it’s like lawncare right. It’s like you don’t pay $1,000 to get your lawn mowed unless you live on like a farm or something. But like over the course of the year, it’s like okay, they’re they’re mowing the lawn, they’re doing mulching aeration and seeding and cleaning up the leaves and like whatever like all that stuff over the year, so you’ll probably pay way more than 1000 bucks. And especially if you then hire them to do some landscaping and stuff too. So even like lawn care can can fit it doesn’t have to To be like, you know, high end eye surgeon doctors or something right? You’d be Yeah, it could be. But that’s why…
I even had that same mindset with automotive folks like the automotive, who was my kind of family’s automotive that we use. And then when I did his website, I kind of use that same analogy, I asked him how many you know, how much is your average customer paying, if it’s 500, even if it’s on the low end, 500 bucks per year on average, then if we do a website for 3, or let’s just say $3,000, it would only take six customers for that to even off and then it’s all profit from there. And that’s on the low end. So I could definitely I love this approach of again, I like how you’re thinking outside the box, it’s not necessarily the services that would equate to 10k. It’s what type of clients are willing to pay that are going to be worthwhile working with I love that.
Yeah, yeah. And so quick summary. business to consumer or business to small, like a tax accountant would be fine, basically, is what you’re trying to do is can the person make a decision to buy sometime within the next week? If the answer is yes, good. So that tends to be business to consumer, make at least 100 grand of raw revenue, and the clients worth at least 1000 bucks a year. And then you think, well, what can I do to drive like seven to 10 clients a month is, what can I put together that’s going to do that? And then that’s your package. And so because now you’re saying, Hey, I just added 100 grand to your business, because I’m doing like seven to 10 clients, each one giving you 1000 bucks a year at least. And then what if it’s something bigger like it like a like my CPA like that got like $6,000 last year, but he did a lot like he did bookkeeping, needed a personal filing, a business filing and for kind of quarterly tax estimate meetings along the way. It’s just under six grand. It’s like, Well, okay, well, what if you could get like two of me per month for that guy, right? And just two clients. It’s not a huge thing. It’s just two clients, then you think, Okay, well, if you can put together a system, a solution that will drive that kind of result, then charge 20 grand for it.
Yeah. That’s awesome. That’s great Lee. Well, what a great way to end this man, great way to kind of encapsulate that I really, really enjoyed this talk. I definitely don’t think this will be the only time I have you on we got all kinds of stuff we could talk about moving forward. So thanks so much man for your time and for sharing your expertise. And I’m already looking forward to the next one.
Awesome Josh, thanks for having me on.