​As I look back on my journey from web design, side hustle to full time freelancer/solopreneur and then to an agency owner with a small team, I’m fairly satisfied and fulfilled with the path I took.

However, my journey did come with some drastic challenges, struggles and lows that were mostly caused by me. I do in fact have several regrets that I wish I would’ve been prepared for or, in some cases, I was informed but didn’t listen to the advice that was given to me by people who were more established.

In this episode, I share my top 10 regrets as a web designer so that you can hopefully avoid them or learn from them to help you in your own web design journey!

If you have any big regrets that you’re open to share, please leave me a comment on the post!

In this episode:

00:02 – Prelude to regrets
02:44 – Josh on Instagram
03:38 – A Podcast review
04:34 – Full transcriptions
05:31 – 1) Not raising rates
08:46 – 2) Not joining network
10:14 – The real power
12:09 – 3) Always saying yes
14:39 – 4) Not focusing on SEO
16:35 – 5) Not email marketing
18:08 – 6) Not following up
18:53 – 7) Not asking for referrals
21:10 – 8) Not scaling sooner
25:29 – Just start scaling
26:17 – 9) Not join community
29:15 – 10) No recurring income
32:55 – Bonus: Stopping hosting

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #129 Full Transcription

Josh 0:15
Hey, friends, welcome in to Episode 129, where I’m going to share with you my top 10 regrets. As a web designer. For those of you who don’t know my story, and don’t might don’t know my journey, let me just just give you the quick snapshot of my journey as a web designer, which is going to give you some context for these top 10 regrets. So I started off doing web design on the side, it was more of a side hustle, I then took it full time and became a web design freelancer, worked for some companies built my client base up. And then I became a legit business owner, as a web designer, as a solopreneur. I then started building a small team, and I scaled my business to six figures consistently. And that led me to what I do now, where I teach what I’ve learned. And, of course, I sold my web design agency last year in 2020. And as I look back on my career, as over a decade ago, as a web designer and a business owner, I’m quite fulfilled, and I never look back and realize like I, you know, despite the things I’m about to cover, I’m very satisfied with where things were.

Josh 1:19
However, I did go through a lot of unnecessary hardships. And as a web designer, and just as a business owner, you are going to go through highs and lows, you’re going to make mistakes. But what I want to do, particularly in this episode, is I want to help you avoid some of these big mistakes, because some of the stuff that we’re about to cover I just made on my own and I wish somebody would have told me to avoid. Some of these things I did have people tell me but I was too block-headed to actually listen. And here’s a little quick tip, a little word of advice for you. If somebody who is farther along in the journey, if they’re farther along than you are and you look up to them as a successful mentor or person, if they tell you to do something, freaking do it.

Josh 2:03
Don’t be too ignorant and think, well, I’m just gonna do things on my own. I mean, there’s definitely some some value and doing things, you know how you would do them. But I realized more recently, I’ve applied this from a lot of podcast guests that you’ve been hearing recently, if you’ve been listening to the podcast, if somebody who is really farther along in the journey or is really killing it, if they say to do something, I’m going to take that very seriously. And I highly recommend you do the same.

Josh 2:26
So I just wanted to preface this episode because I don’t want this to be a downer type of episode, I am going to be very open with you and transparent with these top 10 regrets. And again, I don’t regret that much. But these are the things that man looking back, I wish I would have either done sooner or done differently to help you either avoid them or do the same.

Josh 2:44
A couple things I want to mention before we dive in, first off, if you didn’t know I am finally on this platform called Instagram. little late to the party on that. But for those of you who are on Insta, feel free to give me a follow and if you send me a message, I will follow you back. I would love to connect with you there. I’m actually really enjoying it. I did I delayed in creating an Instagram for Josh Hall co because of the time commitment. And because I just I didn’t really use it that much personally, but I know the value of it and I’m already seeing the amazing value and it’s just a fun. It’s a lot less polarizing than Facebook and some other social so I’m really enjoying it. Hit me up on Instagram you can actually go to Josh Hall co slash Instagram and that will zip you right over there. Or if you want to go to instagram.com/Josh Hall co you’ll find me there that way. But yeah, go to Josh all.co slash Instagram. Give me a follow. I’d love to connect with you there.

Josh 3:38
And then the second thing I wanted to mention I wanted to bring up a recent podcast review number one because it was an awesome review. But there’s something really important in this review that I wanted to make sure you’re aware of. And this comes from Trisha from the UK. And this is based off of Episode 124 with Anne Stefanek on Sales Strategies which man if you have not listened to that episode, clear some time and go back and listen to that one. It is value packed Anne is awesome. Anyway, Trisha says “Another brilliantly or another absolutely brilliant podcast. Why I don’t ever have pen and paper ready to take notes. Or why don’t I ever have pen and paper ready to take notes Excuse me? No problem because the content would burn holes through it. I’ve added this session to my favorites as there was so much valuable information. Thanks Josh for this episode and to Anne for taking the time to share her knowledge and expertise”. Yes, I back you up on that Trisha. But one thing I wanted to point out is Trisha was kind of joking about taking notes.

Josh 4:34
I wanted to make sure you knew if you didn’t already know every episode is fully outline and there is a full transcription on the episode number. So on this episode, Episode What are you 129 just go to Josh hall.co slash 129 and that you will find the full transcription there and my VA Kam does an awesome job weekly, making detailed notes detailed outlines that outline each segment of the episode, solo episodes, and interviews. So she’s really working her butt off. And I’ve got some amazing messages from people who particularly don’t speak English as a first language and they’re loving the transcriptions. So I just wanted to make sure you knew, if you are a note taker, and you would like a full transcription to help you, you can go there up, you can copy and paste the transcription If you want, I don’t care what you do with any of that it’s free, it’s public, it’s there for you every episode. So I just wanted to make sure you knew that as a quick note, and of course goes without saying, if you’re willing to give me a podcast review, if you liked the show, it would be so appreciated.

1) Not Raising Rates Sooner

Josh 5:31
All right now, my top 10 regrets as a web designer, and I’m gonna sneak in kind of a bonus regret that kind of ties into the last one. So I am saving the best for last and the most impactful for last. But first off, my number one regret probably isn’t a shocker. And that is not raising my rates sooner, I spent way, way, way, way, way too long, in the 1000 to $2,000 range for projects, when I should have been three, four or $5,000. And I know this because you know, when you’re starting out, of course you don’t, you’re probably not going to feel confident to charge that much, you’re honestly probably not ready to, to charge that much. If you’re if you don’t, if you haven’t gone through any proper training, or you’re just winging it in the beginning, you’re gonna, you know, continue to get better and value up and level up as a web designer to get to that point. But I realized that I was 100%, designing three, four or $5,000 sites for 1000 bucks, and for 1500 bucks. And it all there was like a turning point for me when I was around the 15 $100 range, on average. And I got a lead for a trucking company. And this trucking company had two other logistic companies under this brand.

Josh 6:43
So I knew this was a legit company. I mean, they had like 27 employees, they were legit. So I knew they’re going to be able to afford much more than a 1500 project. And quite frankly, what they needed even though it wasn’t a massive website or too intricate, it was still going to be worth much more than 1000 bucks or 1500 bucks. So I went for it. I shot for the stars, and I put together a $4,000 proposal. Can you guess what happened? You may guess correctly, they went for it. They didn’t blink an eye or bat an eye they were like Okay, sounds good. And then dawned on me Wow. Like there are some clients who are going to struggle paying more than a grand or two grand, in which case there’s template options and phases you can do in projects. But for a really good company don’t undervalue yourself, I kept my rates way too low.

Josh 7:30
This includes hourly stuff to my rate started at 25 bucks an hour, I went to 35. Eventually, I went up to 45. And then I did a big time bold jump, which I move my rate up to 75 bucks an hour from 45. And the good news is almost all my clients who were at the 45 reigns, were cool with 75. Because I was so much more valuable at that point, I had learned a lot in my journey, I started taking courses, I started really getting to know design and conversion and some SEO. So I was worth almost double the rate. So raising my rates sooner, that’s regret.

Josh 8:04
Number one, my challenge to you right now is to raise your rates right now, as you’re listening to the stop this if you’re in the car, maybe you can’t go on your website and raise your rates. But wherever you go, and when you get a chance to get to your computer, raise your rates, you don’t have to double your rates or triple your rates. But just raise him in the same price bucket if you’re charging 1000 bucks start charging 1500 if you’re charging 2000 start charging 2500 little increases will give you that confidence. And if you go through all my courses, I’m going to tell you right now, if you go through my web design bundle, which is all my nine courses together, you should be charging no less than 2497. At the starting point, I want your averages to be three to 5000 on average. So raise those rates my friends.

2) Not Joining Networking Group Sooner

Josh 8:46
Number two, not joining my networking group sooner. That is a big time regret of mine, because I’ve talked about my networking group a lot on this podcast for those of you who have been listening, but my networking group, which was like a b2b, like a business to business group, with all different business owners in different industries accounted for well over 50% of my business from probably 2016 on like it really did. And that’s no joke, because my business was 100% referral base and I didn’t run ads. And I didn’t do too much advanced SEO and Google or anything like that. It was all referral based. So a networking group was absolutely key for me. And here’s the thing about a networking group.

Josh 9:29
Your leads may be in the networking group like they they may end up being some clients for you. But the trick about a networking group is that you don’t want to look at the 15 or 20 people there however, big the group is, as your clients you want to think about their network and who they know. And I realized the power of this because when I joined that networking group, I was a big time giver. I started giving leads out as much as I could and referrals and then it started reciprocating, and yes, a lot of the people in the networking group were worked with me and signed up for my hosting and maintenance plan, I think for a while our group was about 25 people and like 11, or 12 of them were my clients. So it was like half the group at some point. But it didn’t start that way.

Josh 10:11
But the real power was not that. I mean, that was cool. But the real power was suddenly Not only do I have these 20 people in my network that could potentially be clients, but they all know 10s, or potentially hundreds of people in their network. And they’re going to keep a specific and intentional ear out for who needs website help. So suddenly, instead of running Facebook ads, and killing myself hustling, just by getting to know this core group of people who were for the most part, really great people, you’re always gonna get some wackos in there, because people are people. But a large core group was really great. And suddenly my network was expanded.

Josh 10:48
I had 20, some people as my own sales force. And suddenly, I became the trusted web guy for potentially hundreds of people, because of my networking group. And I wish I would have done that sooner. Initially, I got an invite to join a networking group. And first of all, it was a 730 in the morning, and I was like, This is exactly why I’d started designing websites. So I didn’t have to get up at 630 or seven. And I just felt like man, a weekly commitment, it’s gonna be too much time. Well, if you’re going to be selling websites, you’re going to have to do that you’re going to have to figure out whatever sales strategy works for you. And networking groups are one of the quickest ROI. I know it’s gonna pull you out of your comfort zone. I know some of you aren’t super comfortable, but that is okay. Neither was I.

Josh 11:33
The first time I presented in front of a networking group, I was shaking like a freakin leaf. So it’s alright, you’ll get more comfortable, have a serve over sell mentality, instead of going there thinking how many clients can I get today go in there thinking how can I help some people with my knowledge, even if I’m brand new, if you’re brand new at web design, you still know more than the average business owner. So just share what you know, even if it’s a little networking group. Man, I wish I would have done that sooner I would have made I could have made potentially hundreds of 1000s of dollars more had I started my networking group before 2016, or 15. 15, is when I really dove into it. So that’s a biggie.

3) Taking Every Project

Josh 12:09
Number three, my one of my biggest regrets was taking on every project for way too long. Now, when you’re starting out, you will have to take on more opportunities and projects just to get your name out there, you’re often going to find out what type of work you’d like to do and what you’re well suited for and what you’re not well suited for. You’re always going to find out what type of clients and industries you resonate with. So it’s okay to not say no, and to take on every project, but you are going to get to a point. And I wish somebody would have told me this where I would coach myself back then what what I would say would be Josh, focus on what you do best. I because I came from the band world on the print world. I was doing business cards and brochures and flyers and stuff like that I was also doing videography on the side and photography on the side.

Josh 12:58
And while those were really good ancillary services in the beginning, I found myself getting to the point where I had these really big website projects, often several $1,000, or even more, that were sitting on the side because I was working on a business card, or I was driving to a company’s business to do a photo shoot, when I’m not even a great photographer, and the real big thing I took on which I should not have was video stuff. I do a lot of video course now, but I’m not a videographer by any means. And I remember one time I got hired to do this video for this internal company, it was a big company. I mean, I, I think I bid them 1200 bucks, and they went for it, no problem. And it was to do this video. And I had a videographer friend of mine who helped. We spent all day at this company, I split the project with him. And I realized I had all these website projects going on and I took the whole day, I only made like 600 bucks in the video wasn’t even great. It was very clear. Just it’s not my thing I realized I should have focused on what I do.

Josh 13:58
So the moral of the story on this point is, once you find out what you’re good at and what you do, focus on that and start saying no to the other stuff you don’t do. Because if you say yes to everybody and everything, you’re just you’re gonna burn out, it’s going to be way too much. I definitely wish I would have done that early on. Once I solidified my services to website design, maintenance and SEO, and I started referring everything else out. That’s when I was able to specialize in those areas, I can raise my rates, I became more in demand. And I just got better because I was able to keep up with those. So don’t take on every project don’t work on with everybody after a certain point. You’re gonna know when that point is it’s probably right now or it’s probably three years ago.

4) Focusing on SEO Last

Josh 14:39
All right, number four, focusing on SEO last what a big regret that was because I think well first of all, I started in 2010. So SEO was like it was different than I definitely wish I would have kept a closer eye on SEO to realize how important it was and is. But particularly like in 2013 Through 15 or so, SEO really started to change and it became more and more important, as responsive design came into the mix, as sites were moving from mobile versions to just responsive versions. And unfortunately, it’s not that I didn’t care about SEO, but I always felt like it was so daunting, and it was too confusing, and I never wanted to do it. I did hire a and I partnered with an SEO guy for a long time, who was great, but there was a lot of stuff that I just, I didn’t learn on my own when I should have. And I really did, I learned about SEO, pretty much like later on in my journey, it was kinda like the last thing I learned. And I really wish I would have done it sooner because I learned how to build really beautiful sites that converted. But the problem I had was, they were beautiful, and they could convert, but nobody could find them with SEO kind of stuff.

Josh 15:48
So once I started focusing on SEO, even just the basics, I saw such a big difference and where people are pulling up online, I was able to charge more and made clients happier. It’s very measurable and trackable SEO. So and without that goes without saying if you need help with SEO, I that is why I created my SEO course it is basically foundational type, of course to just help you learn the basics and the most important things you need to know. So you can start raising your rates and do an SEO even just basic SEO for clients. Because as a web designer, whether you like it or not, SEO is a massive part of what you’re going to do. So you don’t have to do advanced SEO plans and stuff like that. But you got to know the basics. So I would love to help you out with that, if interested but definitely regret not learning SEO sooner and taking that more seriously.

5) Not Implementing Email Marketing with Clients

Josh 16:34
Number five, not implementing any sort of email marketing with clients. This is something I look back on. And I think man, and this kind of leads into point number six, I’ll merge these two together, this is five and six, which is to circle back around with my a clients, my best clients. And what I definitely wish I would have done was have an ongoing email marketing plan. And it doesn’t mean I would be emailing them every day or every week, but even monthly or even quarterly, just with some sort of I hate to call it newsletter because that’s a data term. Nobody wants to read a newsletter, but your clients do want to know how things are going. And you do want to stay top of mind.

Josh 17:11
So whether it’s showcasing recent projects, or sharing wins, or, more importantly, sharing industry updates, like when with Google makes changes about their algorithms, or they’re reading mobile sites differently, like responsive stuff. If you let your clients know about that, it’ll go a long way. It’ll build your expertise. And they’ll be like, Oh, actually here, Josh and his team reached out, I just forgot I had like a site site I wanted to get created. That can be a really great Legion for you.

Josh 17:40
That would be the other thing too, focusing on free resources and stuff that can you can create for your clients. And that can all be intertwined with email marketing, I definitely wish I would have done that. To stay top of mind because your clients are going to forget about you if you don’t intentionally stay top of mind with them. It’s not because they don’t like you. It’s not anything personal. They’re busy. How many people have you forgot about because you haven’t seen them or heard from them, it really is true, out of sight, out of mind. So I really wish I would have done email marketing.

6) Not Circling Back Around With My “A” Clients

Josh 18:08
And again, that kind of blends in with point number six, which is I wish I would have intentionally circle back around with my a clients not only for email marketing, but also just just personally like just checking in personally to see how things are going not having any sort of upsell. But then if there is an upsell to be really intentional about that, and just saying, hey, look, we’re offering a new service, I would love to help you out with this. And here’s a little little trick, well, not a trick, but a little kind of heads up. If you’re a client’s really like you There’s nothing wrong with letting them know you have a new service or something more premium or valuable because they are going to be more likely to buy than anybody. So don’t be afraid of that. And then also the last thing, actually that Oh, here we go.

7) Not ASKING for Referrals

Josh 18:53
This one’s in a number seven. Wow, I didn’t mean to like these are great segues here, I didn’t mean to actually do that. But this is maybe it’s just how I thought about my journey, every one of these segues but this blends in perfectly with number seven, which a big regret of mine is not asking for referrals, particularly from my A clients. So I wish I would have essentially just utilize my relationship with a clients better I wish I would have followed up with them via email marketing, I wish I would have been a little more personal with them, circle back around with them. And I wish I would have asked them for more referrals because there is nothing wrong with asking a really good client, hey, do you know anybody who might need my services so that I can help as well I really enjoyed working with you. We’re making some great impact here. I would love to help anybody you know as well.

Josh 19:38
Because your vibe attracts your tribe, which means that a lot of your clients are going to know a lot of other people and this can be industry specific to like one of my best string of referrals came from a home inspector. I did his website and then he referred me to two other people and and they referred me to somebody I did like I think five home inspector sites within a year or based off of one guy I did a website for and asking for referrals is huge because people want to support your business, particularly if you are a local business, which more than likely you are, even if you don’t think of yourself like that, if you join a chamber of commerce or a networking group, and you say, I’m a local business owner, I’d love to work with local businesses here, ask for that referral. It doesn’t have to be desperate, but just say I’ve got these services, I love doing this type of work. I would love to work with anyone you know, or anyone you hear that might need my services, feel free to send them my way. If you wanted to do any sort of affiliate program or kickback, you’re always welcome to do that. Most people, though I found don’t really care about that they would just particularly the local biz, and maybe this is just because I’m in a Midwestern state and city here in Columbus, Ohio, but we want to support each other. So it all goes back to asking for referrals. A lot of times your best clients would love to send you work, but they just don’t think about it because you haven’t asked. So that’s a big regret, I wish I would have done that in conjunction with again, the last couple points with following around or, you know, following up with my a clients circling back around with them, and then doing some sort of email marketing.

8) Not Scaling Sooner

Josh 21:10
Now, Number eight, here is a biggie, not scaling sooner. I’m sure I’m not alone, because I guarantee a lot of you are feeling like this. In fact, I’ve been having some deep conversations with some of my closest students who are like asking about this, but they’re really leery and they’re like, they want to do it, but they’re scared. And that is to scale and to start growing a team now, when you hear growing a team, and probably your red flags are going off and you’re like, Oh, I don’t want payroll, I don’t want to be a big time business owner, I don’t want to be a big agency. That’s how I felt like I don’t want overhead, I don’t want to have to do all that. But growing a team in this day an age does not mean that anymore, you can you can do that. And there’s Look, there’s definitely a lot of value with having a team that you do have on payroll and benefits and stuff like that, if you’re at a higher level, because they’re not going to be a subcontractor that could just bail or go somewhere else.

Josh 22:06
But you don’t have to get to that point, if you don’t want to when I scaled my business, it was out of absolute necessity. And I’ve talked about this before, but it was February 2018. And I had, I think it was like 23 projects on my plate, we were expecting our first daughter and a couple months, it was just, it was nuts, which was kind of an awesome problem to have. Because I had some projects that were delayed and they move forward. I just a wave of projects that came in which I found that to be true on in February, almost every year, it seemed like after January, businesses got down to business after the holiday. And on the new year. And it was like February was always booming. And yeah, I had so much I didn’t know what to do, there was no way I could do all these as a one man show. Luckily, I had put the bug out that I was interested in scaling. And I got some amazing people in my corner, who became subcontractors. And then I met my lead designer Jonathan that way who was with me for years.

Josh 23:03
So there there is there is no better time to scale than when you realize or even start thinking I can’t do all this on my own. Now, if you want to be a solopreneur for as long as you can, you can do that. But at the end of the day, the problem with doing everything on your own is your time, you really do get to a point no matter what automations you put in place, you’re going to get to the point where the only way to not work more than, you know, 60 or 70 hours a week is if you have extremely high prices, and you only work with maybe one client a month or something like that. So unless you’re that specialized, and you’re just building sites for 2,3,4 or $5,000 scaling a small team will help you so much it’ll get your time back.

Josh 23:46
Yes, there’s a lot of work to do initially. I’m not gonna lie about that you do have to put some systems and processes in place but man, let me tell you, once you do, it’s awesome. And I do this today I anytime I realize there’s something that can be repeated or replicated. I make a video make some sort of standard operating procedure for it usually in Google Docs, it doesn’t have to be anything special or fancy. And then I send it off and then we get it worked out and then we go that’s exactly the process I took with this podcast The only reason I’m able to produce six podcast episodes a month on average and keep it going and like I said a little bit ago do all the the outlines and transcriptions and emails is because I scaled I have Kam doing all the those type of services for me and then I have Nathan, my editor now who edits the the audio and the video versions and does the graphics. So now all I do with my podcast is is create the schedule, create all the topics, book, The guests, write out the solo episodes, record the episodes and then I just make a few final notes to add my flair to each episode then I send it off.

Josh 24:53
So that’s the only way I’m able to do what I do now, at this level and as a web designer, the only reason I was able to build my business and make some awesome projects go live and build my brand here at Josh Hall co was because I scaled. Now I did some scaling on a lower end before that occasionally I would scale. Or I would start subcontract stuff out, excuse me sub contracting stuff out that I just wasn’t good at, or I didn’t know how to do that was kind of my first taste. And that’s what I would recommend doing for you. If you’re terrified of hiring somebody even part time or a standard subcontractor on a retainer, I would just start hiring out stuff that you don’t want to do, whether it’s email or copywriting, or SEO, there’s Facebook groups, there’s all sorts of resources, I have a web design community that is specific for this. So if you are interested in scaling, go to Josh hall.co, slash web design club one word. And that’ll take you to some more information. You can also contact me Josh Hall, co slash contact.

Josh 25:50
If you have questions about scaling your business, I will personally give you some feedback and ideas on that if you want to hit me up right now with that. But yeah, don’t be afraid to scale. Even if you do on a very low level, I’m going to warn you, it gets addicting. As soon as you start off boarding stuff, it gets pretty addicting. And then before you know it, you’re going to get your time back which is your only infinite resource. So or finite resource gives me it is not infinite whatsoever, or is time infinite Oh, where are we going with this? No, not scaling. Alright.

Josh 26:17
Number nine, a big regret was not joining an online community sooner. I went way too long, feeling like and doing things on my own and feeling alone. I did not realize that there were so many in particular Facebook groups, when I got into Devi, and I did not realize First of all, how many groups there were. So I created my own the Devi web designers Facebook group, which is still kicking today. But once I started joining that community and the word with the wider WordPress community, I did not feel alone anymore. I suddenly had forums that I could go to for support. And of course, you’re going to get that you know, douchey developer every once in a while, who’s going to dog you, but overall, the Divi community and the WordPress community are amazing, super helpful, super supportive. I really wish I would have done that sooner.

Josh 27:07
And now what I what I have on my web design Club, which I just mentioned, is almost like the step above that, because the problem with free groups while I support them, and I, you know I own I’d have one my web, my DB web designers group. The problem with that is it’s 23,000 plus people right now. So when you post something, it’s going to be pretty helpful, but you’re going to get some goofy comments in there. It’s there’s too many people for that not to happen. Whereas the next level up from this, once you can invest in yourself even more is a premium community is something that you invest in. And here’s the trick, here’s the kicker. The reason why this is so powerful, is because when you join something where other people have paid to be there as well, they take it more seriously. And they’re going to be more helpful.

Josh 27:50
This is the same with a networking group, networking groups are not free. Now you can join even Chamber of Commerce’s they’re not free, you can go to some free stuff. But the real power of any of these types of groups, whether in person or online, is that you pay to be there. So you want the most out of that you want to get a return on your investment. And the people there want to get a return on their investment as well. That is the power with any sort of group. And it’s also it’s honestly why myself, I’m in two online communities right now that I pay good money for. I’m in two. So these are amazing. It’s actually a lot of the guests on the podcast, more recently have come from these groups, and you just meet like minded people who are serious, if that’s you if you’re serious about your business.

Josh 28:34
So, again, online community, I wish I would not have waited too long in getting involved with those the free ones and then working my way up to more premium communities, which even aren’t that expensive. Like it’s, you know it if you’re just starting out, start with the free ones. But as soon as you’re ready for more like minded people, and you’re really serious about a six figure business. I’ll tell you right now you have got to be in an online community, you should be in some sort of mastermind, you should find a mentor who can coach you and you’ve got to have a supportive community. Those three things are a biggie. I’m actually in a mastermind now with my good buddy, Jason Grazia who has been on the podcast before, and it’s awesome. So highly recommend that and I wish I would have done that sooner.

Bonus 11) Stopping Hosting Clients

Josh 29:15
Now my last one, which is kind of the the 10th one and the bonus number 11. Here, this is the biggie, not starting a website maintenance plan sooner. I did not think about recurring income. I always and this is where I remember in the beginning where I said, you’re going to hear some stuff that I just didn’t know about, but then that some people told me about but I just didn’t listen. This is one of those cases. Because I did have somebody early on in my journey who was a bit of a mentor for me, who owned like a legit web consulting agency. Now they were doing high end projects, 10 20 30 $40,000 projects and up. But early in my journey he said you should charge Some sort of like maintenance fee for clients, even if it’s 30 or 40 bucks monthly to just do updates on their sites and just update it. And I was like, why would somebody pay 30 or 40 bucks to update their WordPress site when they can do that they could do that once a week on their own.

Josh 30:15
That was my mentality. And I didn’t do that. Well, I didn’t know anything about digital security. I didn’t realize how frequent hacks were happening. Also, a business owner that is serious about their business does not want to edit their website and does not want to update their site. And then when something breaks, what happens then. So it wasn’t until I got serious about this, this wonderful world of recurring income. When I started my maintenance plan that I realized, Oh, my gosh, I have gone years without recurring income, because I was too ignorant and too block headed to just offer it. And that’s the thing. The reality is, and this is a harsh reality, but you got to hear this. The reality is, you could be making a lot more money right now. And you could have been making a lot more money in the past, but you just haven’t asked for it, or you just haven’t started something as a service to provide.

Josh 31:10
Just do it. Don’t be afraid about starting a maintenance plan, or hosting plan or offering a high ticket type of service, whether it’s consulting, or copywriting or SEO, whatever you’re into, don’t be afraid to do that there’s a there’s an awesome rule, it’s called the 10x role, or something like that, where 10% of your clients are willing to pay you 10 times as much as they currently are. And that is 100% true. So cater to those A client’s those best clients. And in regards to recurring income, start your website maintenance plan, a hosting plan right now do it right now I have my maintenance plan course that’s open right now, if you want to join that, you can see my entire process and what we’re doing with the agency, I would love to guide you through creating or building your maintenance plan up to the next level.

Josh 31:55
The good news is, if you have an existing client base, you can still offer the maintenance plan to them. When I started my maintenance plan, I had tons of clients already. And it was just to be some famine, you know, one project at a time, and then occasional updates and retainer of hours that they needed them. But when I had my maintenance plan, I circle back around to all of them one on one. And I offer this and I got like 20 or 22 or 23 people sign up within the first week. So that was when I was like, Oh my gosh, I had 20 some people paying monthly for my maintenance plan. And then on the next month, I started getting the emails that was like payment payment payment payment payment, payment, payment payment, I was like, Oh my gosh, I just got paid, I just woke up to like 20 some payments. And this was something I sold last month. Amazing. That’s that at all changed my life, my paradigm I my business mindset shifted with that. So I cannot encourage you enough to get your recurring income.

Josh 32:55
And then the bonus here, which bleeds into this is hosting. An odd regret that I had was I was hosting clients even before my maintenance plan. I did some basic hosting. But it was super low end. But in the beginning, I offered hosting and maintenance on my plans. And then inevitably, I felt like a middleman with hosting. I was like, Oh, I just want clients to sign up for their own hosting. I don’t want to be, you know, I don’t want to get calls when they have questions or there’s an issue or something like that. I’ll just do the maintenance and I’ll have them do their hosting. Well, you can probably guess what happened after that right? First of all, they would sign up for the cheapest hosting they could find so it made maintenance and website design a nightmare because we will be working on crappy GoDaddy servers that were vulnerable and hacks were happening. And then I lost a little bit of recurring income. And the most importantly, when I stopped hosting, I realized they’re still calling me and they’re still hitting me up for all these domain issues and hosting issues. Whereas I might as well be freaking charging for this stuff.

Josh 34:00
So that was a big regret. I’m kind of kicking myself for stopping hosting a bunch of people and then I had to like get people to re sign up for hosting with me which was like unnecessary work. So that was a big time regret not do it like stopping hosting and uh, not having that a part of my maintenance I highly recommend to do both so so there you go, guys, those are my top 10 regrets quick recap while we wrap this up number one not raising my rates sooner number two not joining a networking group center number three taking on every project not saying no sooner. Number four focusing on SEO last big time regret number five not implementing email marketing with clients. Number six, not circling back around with my best a clients. Number seven not asking for referrals. Number eight not scaling my business sooner and not valuing my time. Number nine not joining an online community sooner both free and premium number 10. Not starting my website maintenance plan which bleeds into the bonus not hosting clients or should I say stopping hosting my clients.

Josh 34:57
So I hope that helps. Again, this is stuff That I hope you avoid and that you you know you don’t have these same regrets you are going to make mistakes you’re going to go through highs and lows with their business but I want to help you out with avoiding as many mistakes as mistakes as possible. So hope you guys enjoyed this one. Again, if you like this and you like the podcast, please leave me a review it really means the world to me. I read all of them and it goes such a long way with people who are interested in checking it out, but they want to know you know, like before I invest an hour listening to a podcast episode, I want to make sure it’s worthwhile. How’s it helping other people? It really does go a long way. I promise you that. So thank you guys. I will see you on the next episode. Cheers.


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