There are endless pros to going niche with your services or the industries you serve. But typically, this comes at a time in your business where you need to pivot and stop offering many of your current services to clients.
This presents a big challenge…going niche without burning your current client base.
I really struggled with this when I dropped my graphic design services and went all in on web design.
And my guest in this podcast episode did something similar, albeit, way more tactful and strategic 🙂
I’m so excited to bring on presentation designer and online educator Adrienne Johnston who shares how she found a sweet spot by going hyper niche and becoming exclusively a presentation designer. All while not burning her current client base as she pivoted her business.
If you’re ready to make a change in your business by dropping a service or going in on one niche, this one is a DO NOT MISS!
In this episode:
00:00 – Introduction
02:00 – Greeting to Adrienne
06:12 – From chaos to niche
08:59 – Adopting the mindset
12:57 – How to rank #3 on Google
15:21 – No backup plan
17:50 – Utilize your network
20:26 – Clear from the start
22:36 – Be sticky
23:35 – Current clients
27:26 – Have a servant’s spirit
31:24 – Concern with freelancers
33:19 – Communication is key
42:00 – How to choose a niche
45: 56 – Change your marketing
51:50 – Design for the user
58:28 – Encouraging thought
Connect with Adrienne:
Featured links mentioned:
Episode #226 Full Transcription
[00:00:00] Josh: what’s up, friends? Welcome into episode 226. I am so excited to bring you this conversation because I remember how excited I was when we stopped recording because we are gonna dive into a topic in this one that I find fascinating and that is how to Go Niche without losing current clients.
[00:00:21] Josh: So I wanna start this by asking your question, how many people do you know who are exclusively presentation design? Now you might be yourself or you may know a lot of graphic and brand designers who do presentation design, but I’m guessing you don’t know too many people who are 100% a presentation designer.
[00:00:40] Josh: And my guest in this podcast interview is just that. This is Adrienne Johnston who built a thriving business by going hyper niche as a presentation designer. But what you’ll find out in this episode is that she did it very tactfully and very carefully coming from a background of more broad design and and kind of a different background that led her to the point where she figured out that she found a sweet spot.
[00:01:04] Josh: And that’s the beauty about going niche or. Niche, depending on where you are in the world. Now, there’s a lot of ways to go about this, and I love the topic of going niche because you don’t, you definitely don’t have to do it. I was a journalist, but you can fast track your journey if you find a sweet spot that you can fill, and my hope for you in this episode is that Adrian will really give you some tactile advice on how to do that.
[00:01:28] Josh: If you see this and figure out like, yes, this is what I wanna dive into. So let’s not waste any more time. We’re gonna dive in. We’re gonna have an awesome conversation in this one, uh, because it’s really, really tricky to change and pivot your business without burning your current clients. That’s what I want to help you avoid.
[00:01:43] Josh: Without further ado, here’s Adrian. Let’s dive in and have some serious fun on this one.
[00:01:54] Josh: Adrianne, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for taking some time to be with us and for chatting for a little while.
[00:02:00] Adrienne: Thanks, Josh. I’m so excited.
[00:02:02] Josh: We were just chatting before we went live. You are a, um, not a unicorn, but definitely in a unique situation as a designer, because you are a presentation designer, are you specifically PowerPoint or do you put yourself out there as a presentation designer?
[00:02:18] Adrienne: Uh, the term I use as presentation designer, but it’s almost exclusively PowerPoint just based on market share. Um, Google sites are starting to get a little bit of traction, um, but I virtually get almost no keynotes. Like one or two year ass. So it was never worth learning keynote in a really intense way.
[00:02:34] Josh: Yeah. We were talking about Canva before we went live because I switched from Keynote to Canva just because it was, I just tried it out and I was like, Oh my gosh, this is so much easier to use. I can just drag all the elements that are available in Canva if I wanted to. And yeah, I just ended up being really good.
[00:02:48] Josh: But it’s such an interesting like opportunity that you have in the presentation world because, I mean, it’s a part of what a lot of graphic designers do, but like anything, if you can go niche and really make a detailed service, your focus, it’s extremely powerful, I imagine. Right.
[00:03:06] Adrienne: Oh, absolutely. Um, and so when we talked about, you know, even what do you call yourself, right?
[00:03:12] Adrienne: You can brand yourself as a presentation designer, and when people are looking for that specific term on LinkedIn, on Google, you are what shows up when you’re that specific. Um, you just have to make sure you’re not getting too specific. , there are no search results or no search terms, but, um, oh yeah.
[00:03:30] Josh: That’s true, but that kind of leads into this topic. We’re gonna have a fun chat on here, which is going niche, but then also not leaving out your current clients, especially. I, I wanna get the backstory of how you got to this point, but, um, I’m in this situation right now personally, where my focus is on the business side of web design and really honing in on that.
[00:03:51] Josh: So I’m kind of even more narrowing down my focus on everything that I put out. A lot of web designers, a lot of my students are in the same boat to where they’ve done a lot of different services and they realize like, this is what I’m really good at. This is what I wanna do, How can I focus on this? But also, I don’t wanna blow up my income and screw over all the people who are currently paying me.
[00:04:10] Josh: So before you got to this point, uh, adriannene to where you, you’re focusing on presentation designs. Yeah. Give us the quick backstory, if you would. Like, where did you start? How did you get started in the design world and what led you to this?
[00:04:22] Adrienne: Yeah, so, um, my background is quite meandering, um, but I’ll be brief. I, uh, I actually majored in chemistry and undergrad and I spent, and I should have known, but you know, it still took another 15 years to figure it out. I spent more time working on my lab reports and making them look pretty than I ever cared about what the results of the lab was , and that was really when I started using PowerPoint and, you know, started getting really comfortable with it as a function of having to do that work all the time.
[00:04:48] Adrienne: Um, but I went into corporate America and I’ll say the chemistry thing seems very, uh, random, but it really does, it shapes how I think about nicheing. It shapes how I think about my business. Everything is a little bit of trial and error, but it’s also hugely, hugely about optimization, right? Like when you’re in a lab, you start with you.
[00:05:07] Adrienne: A hundred grams of something and you’re trying to convert it to this thing so you can do tests on it and each step, right? You’re losing little bits of the product. So you’re constantly optimizing. And that’s how I think about everything, right? How do we optimize it? How do I optimize my life, my business?
[00:05:20] Adrienne: And so as I was in, uh, I started working at Starbucks after college cuz clearly chemistry wasn’t gonna be my thing, but it was very process driven. And then I went and worked in operations and marketing for a series of startups in the Atlanta area, and really was just doing PowerPoints all the time.
[00:05:36] Adrienne: Staff meetings, I mean, you name it, right? Everything, everything in corporate America requires a PowerPoint. And so, I realized though I wasn’t really happy and it was about control, right? I wanted to have my own business, have the clients I wanted, especially after my daughter was born, right? You just suddenly are like, I need the time and energy and I can’t, This business isn’t the most important thing to me. Someone else’s business isn’t the most important thing to me anymore. So how do I really optimize my life? And that was when I was like,
[00:06:05] Josh: Did you do broad graphic design at that point when you got into the design world? Or did you get into presentations pretty quickly?
[00:06:12] Adrienne: Um, within three or four months, I got into presentations, but I started really broadly. I just, I didn’t know what I was doing. I just knew that I had, um, a propensity for doing design. Everybody always loved my work, and so I just dove in. I got on Upwork after I quit my job and I was like, I gotta make money , how am I gonna do this? Um, and so I just started taking on any and every project and it was, you know, complete insanity like, Changing fabrics on curtain mockups, um, Shopify sites, websites on all the platforms, like I was all over the place.
[00:06:46] Adrienne: And, but you know, with my kind of lens of how do we really optimize this, right? This doesn’t scale. This doesn’t get me the revenue or the lifestyle I want. In fact, leaving corporate America, I was making less and working more, completely broken. And I said, You know, I’ve really gotta figure out how to do this.
[00:07:04] Adrienne: And, um, doing a multitude of different things and spending half my time researching wasn’t going to be the answer that was very clear. Um, and so I started looking at what were the projects that I was doing that was making the most money. Um, and that were easy for me. You know, that came naturally and that was presentation design.
[00:07:22] Adrienne: I was just so comfortable in PowerPoint. So few people were bidding for those jobs, that it was easy to win them. Obviously I had like a 50% win rate on jobs on Upwork when I was there.
[00:07:33] Josh: This is a great case study of trying a bunch of different services out and then looking at, well, looking at the data as a chemist, I’m sure I, I’m a little nervous to talk to you cuz I feel like you might use words that are too above my vocabulary, but I think we’re good.
[00:07:48] Josh: But as a chemist, I’m sure you look at the data and you wanna optimize it. So yeah, you can look at your projects at a point and say, okay, what is literally on paper. You know, what am I spending less time on? What’s making more? And as long as you like that, if you have that propensity for it and you really enjoy it, then buy golly, embrace.
[00:08:05] Josh: That’s so funny because it’s a, it’s a practical example of what I tell all my students when they’re starting out and in particular, or if they’re revamping their services, it’s like, you’re gonna try a few different things, likely, and you may have quite a few different services that are hopefully in the same category, but get to that point just like you did Adrian, where you niche down to it and you figure out what you like to do, what pays you a lot of money, and also what your clients are asking for.
[00:08:30] Josh: Was that a part of it for you as well? Did you find that just more and more people were asking about presentation work?
[00:08:36] Adrienne: I pretty quickly started optimizing my title and everything for SEO and LinkedIn, and so I started getting people coming to me asking for that service, but by design. So I wouldn’t say that my existing clients, other than the ones who I’d bid on those projects and one were really asking for.
[00:08:51] Josh: Okay. Another great lesson though. Yeah. Put it title, put it in your messaging, put it everywhere of what you wanna do, cuz that’s what kind of work you’re gonna get. Oh
[00:08:59] Adrienne: my gosh. I think this is one of the biggest challenges most people they’re so afraid of with nicheing is if I change my title to this one thing, all my other clients aren’t gonna wanna work with me anymore. Or I’m cutting off all those opportunities. It’s too small a market. And the reality was, is once I change that title, I mean, people could find me. It was so easy because there wasn’t a lot of competition versus just a, you know, graphic designer or freelance designer in those kinds of terms.
[00:09:24] Josh: And I think that is a natural feeling. I mean, even at the level I’m at right now, I felt those feelings not that long ago when I really shifted this podcast. And a lot of the stuff I’m doing now to the business side of web design, it was always a part of what I’ve done. But I was essentially, I found myself serving two audiences, people learning to build websites and people building and growing their web design business.
[00:09:45] Josh: And I realized where my strengths are and where there’s not near as much competition as the business side of things. Um, and I think it’s a really important note because yeah, there may be less people where you go to, but you can have a much bigger impact. And frankly, you can make a much more profitable business with higher rates if there’s less people. But it’s quality over quantity, right?
[00:10:07] Adrienne: Absolutely. And you’re solving people’s problems. Problems, they can’t get solved in other ways. And so with that comes one. I always look at it as when someone finds you and they’ve got that specific problem, they find you, they perceive you’re the expert, right?
[00:10:21] Adrienne: Especially if they’ve been struggling to find someone. And then with that comes the ability to charge premium rates, right? Like they have this specific problem, they struggle to find someone, and they’re like, Yes, I’ll pay you whatever you want. , just solve this problem for me and make it go away. I have spent, I can’t tell you how many people come to me, like I spent 20 hours on this PowerPoint and it still looks like a train wreck.
[00:10:39] Adrienne: They’re just not designers. Right? And maybe they work in PowerPoint sometimes, but it’s not their gift. And so you think of the opportunity cost that they’ve lost. I mean, there’s so much value in it for. You know that person. The same thing with your business and helping people grow their web design businesses, right? If there’s not enough information on how to actually do that, they’re not gonna be successful regardless of how well they may know to use the different tools like D.
[00:11:04] Josh: Yeah, and, and I think in the case of service providers who are doing a lot of different services, even if you’re really good at a lot of things, there’s a perception about a generalist that just, it’s harder to charge premium rates if you do everything. Like, the case that I see all the time in, in my realm is people basically being a web designer, a social media marketer, a digital agency, and everything in between.
[00:11:30] Josh: It’s like, I mean it’s not uncommon for a lot of people to have videography and photography and graphics and I mean that was a lot of what I did in the early days and it is hard to charge a lot of rates cuz the perception is, well are you a kind of a jack of all trades but master of none? Like if you can really hone it down, there’s so much power to that. So I love that you’re a practical example of how to do that.
[00:11:53] Josh: Now I am curious though, it might be different in your situation because it sounds like you didn’t have a business that was super established for years with broad services. Um, but I’m curious when you decided to niche down to the presentation stuff, Sounds like you started by just changing your title after you figured out what you wanna do, changing your title, all that stuff.
[00:12:13] Josh: Did you do any research or did you do any sort of, even like keyword research or did you look at trends in the industry like, or did you just kind of jump in it kind of hoping? I imagine that’s not the case as a post or a a pre chemist, but yeah. What did you do any.
[00:12:29] Adrienne: Uh, I did. And you know, it’s a, but it’s a little bit of like, I’m gonna do the research and really hope that it works out for me. Right. It is definitely a leap of faith as well. Um, so yeah, I did the research. Part of my thought process at the time was I am an introvert. I know I talk a lot, but I’m super introverted and so I’m never gonna go out and go to networking events and meet people in that way. And so I said, I have to find a way for clients to come to me, and if I’m going to search for a service provider, what do I do?
[00:12:57] Adrienne: And you ask people that, you know, go to LinkedIn or you Google it. And so I went and I said, Okay, like I googled, I Googled freelance presentation designer. I looked at the search results and I said, I see exactly what these people have done to their websites to be landing here. I can go recreate that. And then of course, I took it a step further and got an SEO course and figured that out, which is a lot more robust than what I needed
[00:13:21] Adrienne: But I knew the ins and outs, and so I optimized my page and within three months I was ranking in the top three, and I still continue to stay there, which is amazing. Right? It’s free marketing. For my business. And it’s, so, it’s constantly, I have one to two people a day that just send me an email and say, Hey, we need help with this presentation, can you help us?
[00:13:41] Josh: And I just, I just did a quick search your number. You’re still on the first page for presentation designer without even freelance being on there. Yeah. So that’s awesome.
[00:13:49] Adrienne: Yeah. So, and that’s what happens over time, right? Is you start ranking for all the other associated keywords, um, which is absolutely amazing.
[00:13:57] Josh: I’m not surprised that anyone coming from a scientific background would kill it with, with seo because there’s probably a lot of similarities with how you plan, how you analyze, how you implement. Um, but gosh, what a good point. Like you, you took the leap of faith, but it was a leap of faith. On something that looks to be pretty solid.
[00:14:16] Josh: It didn’t look like you were just like, Well, I hope people need this service. It’s like your clients are paying you for it looked like, I would imagine you got some early results, some quick wins and need, do a little research and bam, there you go. And this is where a lot of people, I think, when going niche, may, may overlook this step, but it is to do a little bit of research.
[00:14:34] Josh: And I, I won’t keep talking about myself, but I just, this is such a timely thing for me. So I’m so fascinated into this. When I looked up web design business coaches, there was really anybody. So it told me, number one, I know that there is a market there just because of the people I’ve coached. Um, but I also realized like not many people are capitalizing on this.
[00:14:56] Josh: I realize I could get to the top very quickly. So I think that’s another good lesson too. If you find something that is untapped yet, go for it. As long as there’s a market to support that is, is that kind of how you view that as well? And, and I guess a follow up question would be, was there a plan B in your mind if presentations were drying up? Did you have like, would I do other design to back that up?
[00:15:21] Adrienne: Uh, yeah. So I would say I definitely went into it that leap of faith. I didn’t have a backup plan. I was pretty confident it would work based on the data, right? So when I looked at keywords, freelance presentation designer I think was getting 50 to a hundred searches per month just in the us.
[00:15:38] Adrienne: Um, but obviously I get all the English speaking countries as well. Um, and so at a hundred you’re looking. But 10% click through rate and another 10%, 20% conversion. So it was at least one client. And I was like, It’s gonna be more than that. And if you go and look at the ads that people are running on Google, you can see that they’re paying good money to be in those positions, which means the organic positions are gonna do even better on a cost per lead basis.
[00:16:07] Adrienne: So yeah, I, I just went for it. And I’ll say, I mean, that’s awesome. I knew the volume was there, I knew the difficulty was relatively low, and I could see that not everybody who was on the front page was really a, their portfolio wasn’t great. Right. Their pages weren’t loading fast. You could tell the ones who just keyword stuffed. And I said, I can, I can do better than this. And so it did well, it. I got my first lead.
[00:16:36] Josh: Ah, that’s awesome. And it’s such a great example of having an introverted personality, but utilizing a different sales strategy. And I see so many people, so many people box themselves in as an introvert and then their business is gonna die because they don’t sell and they don’t market it, but it’s because they say, I’m just an introvert. But the reality is whether you’re introverted or extroverted, it’s likely going to, like, you’ll have aspects of, of what you do that are extroverted.
[00:17:03] Josh: Like I wouldn’t have guessed you’re an introvert right now, but we’re talking on a screen via rural riverside now, or a lot of cases it’s zoom and stuff. Some people are really good in that circumstance, but you put ’em in front of 30 people in a networking group, it’s like deer in the headlights. Yeah. I learned that about myself too.
[00:17:18] Josh: I was good with like one on one small groups, big groups, not necessarily my thing, especially in the corporate world. That makes me feel weird. Um, but what a great example of honing in on Yeah. Yourself. You’re, you’re self aware of your personality and maybe what you know works well for you or not, and then you’d capitalize on that.
[00:17:36] Josh: You go for it. SEO strategy. Great way to go. But I’m sure that referrals, I imagine, are also a huge part of your lead generation. Did you, did you think about that initially or did that come by surprise as you started giving referrals? I did,
[00:17:50] Adrienne: only because of my background. So, um, the job I was in right before I left and started my own business was, uh, a wealth management and venture capital firm. So I kind of knew that those networks existed where. Investors are investing in companies, multitudes of them, and they have their own little networking groups within them. So if you get in one, somebody says, Ooh, that presentation looks great. Who did that? Let me give you the information.
[00:18:14] Adrienne: Um, and so, yeah, I knew that the, if you can get into those little groups, keynote conferences and you, One of my clients was, um, for the Carbon xprise competition, they were in the pitch. They go to the, the presentation, the, uh, I’m sorry, the, uh, dry walkthrough a week before they give their pitch. And everybody’s like, Wait, what? And then the actual conference company was like, We can’t have the rest of these deck floating around, so we need you to do all of them.
[00:18:41] Adrienne: So they hired me for the whole week just to take care of all the decks for this competition, which, Incredible, right? Like, and I still have clients from that, you know, and they go into other companies. So then you’ve got the one company that you initially worked with and a new contact there, but then your person who is now at another company is introducing you there as well. So it’s definitely a very sticky, um, especially being that niche very sticky with clients.
[00:19:05] Josh: Yeah. Well, and it’s easy to refer when somebody’s really niche about what they do. Because I actually learned this in my networking group. We had to tell people when we asked for a referral, because this was a business to business referral group, we could not say anybody who needs a website. It had to be like barbershops that have a bad website and they’re getting terrible reviews like that.
[00:19:27] Josh: That would be what I would say one week and it really trained me the power of referrals when you’re really detailed. And same here, like I have a lot of web design students and they’d probably love for me to refer them once they get to a certain point, but if I don’t know exactly what they do or exactly what they’re really good at, it doesn’t stick with me.
[00:19:44] Josh: You said it, that term stickiness, the more detailed you are, the more sticky you are. That’s what my hope is with the, the slight rebrand of this, the this podcast and the name, and it’s what you’ve experienced being the presentation designer like you can be best believe. Over the coming months. If somebody wants presentation design, I’d be like, Hey, I’ve got somebody finally for that. Like that’s what she does. I’m
[00:20:04] Adrienne: not touching with tenfold pole, but you know who will
[00:20:06] Josh: Adrian . Yes, exactly. Exactly. But gosh, what a, what a great case study about how being niche helps, especially in referrals. The extra cool thing about what you’ve done is it’s warm leads. So you’re not cold calling companies. Did you ever do any sort of cold marketing outbound stuff or has it all been warm? It was all warm.
[00:20:26] Adrienne: So it was like Upwork. I was like, I’m, I know I’m not gonna go out and ask. And I didn’t even, when I started my business, I didn’t even post on LinkedIn. And part of that was strategic. It was, I’m gonna charge a lot and I don’t wanna have to kind of negotiate or take on clients that I have a relationship with directly right now.
[00:20:44] Adrienne: I don’t wanna have to compromise my business around that. Right. Cause friends, family, they always wanna discount. Um, and I was like, I gotta be serious about this business. Um, And so, yeah, it was always, it was always like that, people coming to me, people doing a search for me that was super, super helpful.
[00:21:00] Adrienne: I consider myself a servant spirit, right? Like I want to help people. I hate asking people for things, which clearly I have some mindset work I could do, but the reality is that’s who I am and everything.
[00:21:11] Josh: I think that’s, I think that’s natural. I, same here. I would never wanna ask somebody like, So will you pay this much for a website? It’s like, Here’s what you need. Here’s my offer. I’d love to help. That feels so much better than like, Can you buy this from me?
[00:21:24] Adrienne: Right. And they get to look at my portfolio and say yay or nay, right? And if it’s not for them, they can bounce off the page and go look at the next search result. And so I know when they’re coming to me, they’re already interested.
[00:21:35] Josh: Do you have tiers and packages of options, or is yours more of a bespoke, like custom project by project type of quote? Yeah, I
[00:21:44] Adrienne: generally just charge on a personalized basis now. Um, You can definitely do tiers. Um, I do have a fiber profile and I have tiers set up there since that’s the way they have you structure it. and I have students of mine who do tiers and they have package pricing and all of that. The reality is now with my seo, I, I probably keep less than 10% of the leads that come through my website cause I’m so busy with my existing clients and referrals, um, that I’m only keeping 10% of those. So I took down all my pricing and everything so I could refer them on to my students.
[00:22:17] Adrienne: And to your point about nicheing, like even within presentation design, which we already consider to be pretty niche. there are people who work in Keynote, there are people who work, um, in Canva. There are people who are also illustrators. So if a client needs that, like I can make very specific referrals based on which students are doing which things.
[00:22:35] Josh: Great point. Yeah.
[00:22:36] Adrienne: Your point, like if you don’t tell me, Hey, I’m doing this thing and you’re not really specific about it, you’re probably not gonna get those leads because you don’t come top of mind when I see that. Oh, yes. You know, so and so just saying they do all these events, I’m gonna send them every single person who says they’re working on a conference or an event deck.
[00:22:54] Josh: Gosh, what a good point. Particularly, I mean, I’ve seen that in the web design world with, there’s websites, there’s platforms, there’s builders, there’s themes, there’s plugins, there’s tools, there’s like niche on, niche on niche on niche on niche on niche. And yeah, the, the more niche or niche you go, or US based, so we say niche, but uh, the more niche you go, it’s just so much easier to get work, get more high in paying work and get referrals.
[00:23:19] Josh: So, What a great way to set the foundation. Now, I’m curious, when you decided to really go full-time with presentation, this topic of not screwing over, burning or losing your current clients, uh, the floor is open to you, Adrian, what are the tips for that?
[00:23:35] Adrienne: So I would say, you know, I went into it with, um, my husband is, was still working full-time at the time, so we had a little bit more financial flexibility, but it was still something I, I wasn’t just casting money aside. Right. And so I said there were two things that mattered to me. The first one is that I was making the right amount at the time, so I would design anything for you if you were gonna pay me a hundred dollars an hour. And so I said, Okay, this is one way to like, at least be getting premium clients and, you know, meeting that.
[00:24:04] Adrienne: Um, and then the second thing was, you know, if there were presentations, obviously, like if I’ve gotta charge a little bit less or whatever, I wanna be starting to fit those in. But I would say, you know, It was so important to me not to just cast off revenue, especially with those clients that you like. Now, at some point you’re either gonna have to move them over to this new service or help refer them out to someone else.
[00:24:26] Adrienne: But I think so many people when they think of nicheing, they think it’s black and white, and you flip a switch and tomorrow you’re only offering this one thing and you’re having to say bye to all the old customers. And you can’t most people don’t have the luxury of doing that, right? And so I say, you know, really just make yourself a plan.
[00:24:44] Adrienne: If it’s a spreadsheet, if it’s over a year, whatever it is, say I want this percentage of my revenue to be based on this and what am I doing to get there? And which for the clients, like prioritize them, whether it’s based on how much you like them or how much they’re currently paying. Like prioritize ’em on what order.
[00:24:59] Adrienne: If you had to refer them out, when you’re starting to get busy, what order are you gonna do that in? And I think that visibility to, hey, this weird gray area I’m gonna be in for a while is. If you’re planning it out and you’re just kind of, it takes that stress off of like, I have to do it all at one time.
[00:25:15] Adrienne: But I will say, um, I do recommend just for the purposes of SEO and searchability and your title, and really making that change and making the commitment, you update your titles on your email signature and everything. I never had any clients who, you know, were asking for other things that came back and said, Oh, you’re not doing that anymore.
[00:25:32] Adrienne: They, they didn’t, you know, they wanted me to do it and they were willing to pay for it. Um, and even if you’re looking into, you know, seo, optimizing your homepage in order to rank for those keywords, what I recommend to all of my students is just have a button that says other services, either in the header of your site or, you know, at the end of your portfolio that takes them to all those other things that you can still do so you don’t feel like you’re cutting yourself off from that. And then when you’re ready, You just cut the link to that button and you’re good
[00:26:00] Josh: to go. I love that approach. I also love the idea of having like a schedule, like a timeline to phase those out. I did something similar when I went from graphic design and I had all the graphic design services, business card brochure, PLIs, whatever, and then eventually I whittled it down to web design.
[00:26:18] Josh: Uh, what I did not do was have a timeline. I love that idea. Um, sounds like I took, and a lot of my students are taking this approach, particularly if they’re coming from graphic design to web design is, yeah, first of all, you don’t have to stop all your services cold Turkey. Just like you said, change your title or make your featured services, your web design stuff, and then phase it out.
[00:26:37] Josh: Like maybe keep the other services on your website for a quarter or a couple months, Phase ’em out. And then for your really best clients, if you still, you know, if they’re paying you a lot and you wanna keep them for a certain amount of time, sure, but just hide it from your website, uh, or. I did have some circumstances where people were like, Do you do door hangers anymore?
[00:26:56] Josh: And I’m working on like $5,000 websites. I’m like, No, I’m not doing door hangers anymore. But I made some connections. Here are a couple designers, and I didn’t, no affiliate links, no kickbacks. I just said, Here’s some designers who are help. I wasn’t worried about making, you know, $10 on a referral. Just say like, I don’t do this anymore, but have a, Here’s an option.
[00:27:16] Josh: I think that’s a really, really good point. Did you do that as well? I saw you nodding. Is that, is that something that way, at least that way, at least you don’t stop doing a service and then leave your client in the dark if they can’t?
[00:27:26] Adrienne: Hundred percent. It’s like you feel as a servant spirit. I hate saying no. I always want to help people. And so by finding a different way to help them allowed me to kind of switch that up so I could say, Here’s how I can help you now, and I don’t feel guilty about the fact that I can’t do this for you. And so in many ways it was empowering. I mean, we know how these referral networks, right?
[00:27:47] Adrienne: Like it’s incredible. You meet somebody else and then they go, Oh, you’re a presentation designer and they’re sending leads back to you. And so to your point, I’ve never bothered with any kind of kickbacks or any of that nonsense. Like just meet great people and create this ecosystem of people who wanna help each other.
[00:28:02] Adrienne: And then when you’ve got a bunch of niche designers like that, that create this ecosystem, you’ve effectively become kind of like a non-agency agency for these clients so that they can get everything they need without having to pay those crazy, extraordinary prices. And then, you know, we make a little more too.
[00:28:17] Josh: That’s a good point. You do. I feel like when you become a connector and you have a network of people you can refer your clients to, you’re almost viewed as like a consultant rather than just a task taker, by your clients, which is extremely powerful. If you can start to network and then have other people who can help out your clients.
[00:28:35] Josh: Uh, I, I don’t know if you felt like you reviewed like that, but you do just become. Much more trusted, much more likable, and eventually you can raise your rates more because it’s like, wow, not only does Adrian have the skillset of this, but she’s well connected and she can help in a lot of different areas.
[00:28:51] Adrienne: A hundred percent the value that you’re creating for that client is there. And so when it’s time for a, a rate increase, they don’t bat an eye. Right.
[00:28:59] Josh: And for your networks, like the people who you referred to, how did you meet some of them? Was it online? You said you’re an introvert, so I wasn’t sure if you were meeting person, people in person. was it online groups? Was it forums? Uh, any memberships you were a part of? Anything like that to where you met other designers?
[00:29:15] Adrienne: Um, you know, it’s mostly just kind of online groups, um, and really more marketing groups is interesting and supposed to being in design groups, specifically just other designers who happen to be in those marketing groups as really have met a lot of people. And then from a, a presentation design standpoint, um, I also have students who I help with that. And as they’re transitioning services, if they’re like, Hey, I could use this work, or like, This is what I’m currently doing, websites or whatever, I can say, Okay, here, let me help you as you’re making that transition, cuz I have this thing.
[00:29:47] Josh: That’s a great point. Yeah. Once you start teaching in any sort of role, that’s really amazing what kind of talent you can attract just around you because, because the nature of them wanting to learn something with them, having their own skill sets. Uh, so that definitely, that’s, no, not everyone listening is gonna become a course creator or a coach at any point.
[00:30:06] Josh: But it’s worth saying if you’re doing anything where you have some sort of program or any passion outside of the industry, who knows what kind of people are gonna be around you in your network. So that’s really cool. I’m curious though, Oh, sorry. Go.
[00:30:22] Adrienne: I was gonna say, I even have people like, who just watched my masterclass and then will contact me and say, Hey, I’m not really interested in this, but if you’re ever looking for somebody to do, uh, print design, like I, that’s what I do. And you’re like, they go on a spreadsheet like, it’s great to meet people who are like really working for their business and I’m always gonna support that. Right. Do you find graphic I 30 emails after this?
[00:30:44] Josh: Right. Okay. Uh, do you find graphic designers? How do I wanna word this? I’ve found that most graphic designers are either a little flighty or I’m little afraid to, to refer them because they may not hit a deadline in time or communicate, or a lot of them tend to like do it for six months and then they’re off to something else.
[00:31:05] Josh: Have you experienced that? I don’t want to, I don’t wanna disparage the graphic design world. I came from that world, but it’s also why I think I thrived because so many clients were burned from graphics designers who, you know, couldn’t get something done on time. Have you experienced that as well, or do you think there’s a resurgence in like professional graphic designers who can do.
[00:31:24] Adrienne: I haven’t personally experienced, I do know clients who have that kind of, um, hesitation around freelancers in general just because of the nature of there’s, what kind of commitment is there really to them. And you could just walk away at any time. Um, I don’t know if it’s better or worse. I don’t feel like I hear as much of it, and I don’t feel like I’m as sensitive to it now as I was when I first started freelancing.
[00:31:47] Adrienne: Um, I heard you talk about it with Bonnie on her podcast, and I remember thinking, That’s funny. I haven’t heard of that recently. Um, so I’m not, Maybe it’s not as much of a thing now that we’re all working from home, and that’s true. Expectations, communication have changed.
[00:32:02] Josh: That could be, there could also be maybe because it’s just so dang competitive, there’s more of an emphasis to like do good work. I’m just speaking of that, from my experience, a lot of the graphic designers who I knew, man, they were like, they blew me outta the water with the design. But I even hired some friends who were graphic designers were amazing occasionally, and they just could not get stuff to me on time or I would’ve to like hound them or like tell them like, Hey, communicate like where are we at?
[00:32:27] Josh: Just tell me or tell the client. Uh, so that’s just been my experience with some of the graphic design world. Yeah. And I think a lot of them came from like art schools or theory based stuff where it’s like, listen, this is real world. There’s a real budget, there’s a real deadline. This is, you know, don’t tinker too far past our allotted window here kind of thing.
[00:32:46] Adrienne: Absolutely. And even if things come up right, we’ve all got lives. Just communicate that. Clients I have found to be, we had a crazy year with our family this year and I’ve probably. I’ve had two emergency weeks that I just literally on Monday morning was like, I can’t be here this week. Um, that was unexpected.
[00:33:03] Adrienne: And I’ve not had any clients that were upset that asked me to work like it was, Please go take care of what you need to take care of and let us know when you’re back and we hope everything’s going well. And then emails when I got back, like not asking for their work, not like, How are you? Is everything okay?
[00:33:19] Adrienne: And I think, you know, part of that is the relationship. A part of that is I don’t do things like that, right? I don’t just leave something hanging. And so there is that expectation and I think anytime you can just communicate with a client and say, Hey, Things have come up this week. You don’t need to tell ’em what it is. They don’t wanna know. Just things have come up. I’m gonna have to push this date to the, this date. I know we had a, here’s how we’ll update the whole project plan accordingly in order to stay on track.
[00:33:42] Josh: It’s so, I think some people are afraid of that. Yes, yes. But the problem is, if you’re afraid of that, it always gets worse if you don’t say anything. This gave me a vivid flashback to, I had a print design client to where, I forget how much the retainer was, but we did like 10 to 15 hours a month for, for this, uh, this foundation where we would do a lot of their print design stuff. And eventually, when I was doing web design full-time, I started to phase that ally, a designer friend of mine who was doing the design work and I was kinda overseeing him and he just dis.
[00:34:14] Josh: And he just, I didn’t hear from him like, Is he alive? What is happening? And we were like, a week past our date and he finally got back and said, Sorry, things have just been so crazy. Uh, I really apologize. I’ll make sure I do it within a couple days here. But it was like, where was the initial update? Like I would not have been mad at all.
[00:34:29] Josh: My client would’ve been fine if he would’ve just said, Hey, by the way, things are just, I just, you know, it’s on me, but I just can’t get this deadline done. I hope you can figure something else. Anything, any sort of update, So important in regards to, to keeping your clients, you know, happy as much as possible.
[00:34:45] Josh: And I think this could translate to the, the going niche kind of thing, because when you go niche, it is important to let your clients know before you say, Oh, by the way, I don’t do print design anymore. And they’re like, Whoa, what? Like, I was banking on you to, to do this for, for the next six months. Did you, how did you approach that as well? Did you let clients know? Did you, like what was your process in, in whittling away that the other services that you didn’t wanna do?
[00:35:09] Adrienne: Yeah, it happened really naturally and over time and I think, um, It was just as people were coming back to me, I didn’t have anyone where it was kind of an ongoing, you know, monthly, um, assignment or retainer or anything like that. And so it was just as they came back and needed something else, I would let them know that I, you know, moved into this more specific thing and then introduce them to someone else that, you know, I had confidence was gonna be able to deliver. But I think, yeah, anytime you can give somebody a heads up, I always do.
[00:35:35] Adrienne: If I’m raising my rates, um, a couple of months in advance and I just caveat it as if I’m, these are my rates are going up in this timeframe. If that works for you, that’s great. If you need a referral to someone else, uh, for budgetary reasons, just let me know. Nobody ever takes you up on that. Right. makes me feel better about letting them know, but they also have this timeframe where we can solve that problem for them so they’re not just high and dry.
[00:35:58] Josh: I think there’s also a lot of power in giving somebody an option. and just saying like, Here, here’s where I’m headed. This is where things are going. You can come with me or, you know, if not, we can work out some different options. I’ll try to help out as much as I can without saying, by the way, my rates are doubled.
[00:36:13] Josh: Uh, if you don’t work with me piece, uh, that’s definitely not what I recommend. And I’m sure that you don’t recommend either. Um, but I’m curious, like when you really went niche with the presentation stuff, did you, did you compensate or did you give a little bit for your really good clients? Like were you still doing some other work that eventually you realized, ah, I need to get that off. What, what, what did that look like for you? Yeah, you
[00:36:38] Adrienne: know, I was at about six months, nine months in, it was, and I can remember, you know, a vivid, vivid memory. I was sitting at the dining room table. I didn’t even have an office yet. And I was working, it was six o’clock at night on a Friday, and I was starting to work on, a brochure print design for a client.
[00:36:58] Adrienne: And I was, This is one of those clients, I’m sure you’ve had them, It was like a flat rate fee. It was like a hundred dollars to do this like four page document, but he never proofread it before he sent it. And so it was always like 30 versions of like little tiny typos and edits and you’re just like, And it was a Friday night and I was like, You are right back in the position you were in, in corporate, right?
[00:37:18] Adrienne: You’re working too many hours, not making enough money. Like you have done this to yourself. Like at some point the buck stops with you, so you are gonna have to change things. And that was the one of the clients where I can specifically remember I finished this project that night and I sent it off. And uh, with the email I said, I’ve switched to presentation design.
[00:37:35] Adrienne: And so in the next few months we’re gonna have to transition that out, but I just wanna let you know, right? So it was like, I have to start changing this. And it’s always that thing we were just talking about it, um, on my group call last week. We’re always like, Oh, this is a bad client. I should fire them.
[00:37:48] Adrienne: Like I should end the relationship. If you don’t, they will come back and the pain is a little bit less and you’re hindsight, you’re like, Oh, it wasn’t so bad the rose colored glasses. And so you’re like, Yeah. And you start working with them again. You’re like, Oh, that’s right. This was terrible. I, I last time wasn’t I,
[00:38:06] Adrienne: It’s like somebody who breaks up with somebody and they’re like, You know what, actually let’s give it another go.
[00:38:10] Josh: And then three months later they’re like, This is why I broke up with them in the first place.
[00:38:14] Adrienne: Exactly. And just like, be honest and like, you can say things in a really polite way, right? Like, I’m, I’m changing the direction of my business, um, in a rural line with my business goals and so, you know, effective three months out or whatever the timeframe is.
[00:38:29] Adrienne: And so I just wanted to go ahead and give you that heads up. Clients appreciate that, Right? They far prefer that to three months from now, you’re just like, Sorry, I’m out.
[00:38:37] Josh: Yeah. Again, going back to like, give somebody a heads up on where things are headed within a timeline, rather than just waiting until you’re completely burned out and fuming and you’re like, Screw it. Peace. I’m not doing this anymore. Because then you open yourself up to bad reviews, Bad word spread sometimes if, if it’s an issue, um, maybe there’s a time and place for Yeah, I was gonna, I was just thinking maybe there’s a time and place for a cold, You know, like, all right, we’ve gotta end this. But, uh, more often than not, I feel like a little leeway and a little window there is really important.
[00:39:09] Josh: Did you, um, with, with your, with your good clients who were not an issue to work with, but you still had to get rid of some of those services, how did you handle those? It’s different when you have a project where like, Oh, I just need to stop doing this. This client is killing me. But it’s one thing when you have like a client, you’re like, I really like this client.
[00:39:27] Josh: I experienced this firsthand with quite a few of my clients. One, I did print design first and then eventually they had me build several websites for them. So it was kind of hard for me cuz I was still doing a lot of the print work. But once I went full-time web design, I had to let ’em know like, by the way, I’m kind of phasing this out.
[00:39:45] Josh: I phase it out to where I only did business cards and brochures to at one point because those were the two things that I could get done pretty quickly and it would lead to to web design projects usually. But they were still having me do like these printed guides and stuff and it was really tough for me to let them know like, Hey, I’m actually really focusing on just the website stuff so I can do that for you as best as possible.
[00:40:05] Josh: What, What did the approach look like for you with those good clients that you were still working on? Too many services.
[00:40:11] Adrienne: Um, I, it was just like before, right? It’s just referring them out to somebody that you trust and that you know is gonna get it done. I think a lot of people worry about, Oh, if I refer them to another graphic designer who’s gonna do those things? They’re gonna take over my work and they’re just gonna work with that one person. I’ve never found that to be the case. They still come back to you for your thing, right? They still trust you for that, and as long as that other person worked out, they’re trusting you for that relationship too, right? And so you’re building that value that you are bringing to that company and that organization.
[00:40:40] Josh: That’s a great point. I think that probably leads into like scarcity mindset or feeling like there’s a certain amount of designers if they really like this person, I referred them to what if they start doing their presentation design and stuff like that. I, I could definitely see that being a kind of a, a version to going niche if, if you feel like somebody else is gonna do it, but gosh, I think it’s natural to have those type of feelings, but I don’t know if I’ve ever talked to anyone who’s gone very niche and is like, I just wish I didn’t do that.
[00:41:10] Josh: I just wish I did everything again. It’s like everyone is so glad they did it. That’s at least my experience.
[00:41:15] Adrienne: No, that’s a really good point. I’ve never heard anybody say that. In fact, a lot of my students will get to the point where they, you know, they say, Oh, I get a book design or something, and I’m just like, I’m not gonna make enough money and it’s not gonna be as much fun.
[00:41:27] Adrienne: And like, they actually start to really enjoy the niche stuff, right? Because it is, instead of dealing with all the technical aspects, they’re really doing the fun part of the designing the creative part that they enjoy.
[00:41:40] Josh: So I always, I think I said this earlier, I generally recommend find something that, number one is in demand that you know your clients need something that you’re good at, ideally you have some competence with and something that you enjoy. Uh, do you, do you agree with that or are there any other keys with, when it comes to like choosing a niche that you recommend?
[00:42:00] Adrienne: I absolutely agree with those. And I’d say the one thing I would add is, um, is it a place where their networks or communities kinda, we talk about with presentations, you’ve got like pitch deck communities, um, so they’ve got, you know, incubators for startups, you’ve got the investors, you’ve got different pitch competitions.
[00:42:18] Adrienne: All of those are places where. That, that those networks are kind of grouping together. So if there’s a way to figure out where those clients are that you can go in and then kind of branch out from there, like can lead to some really good referral growth.
[00:42:31] Josh: That’s a good point. And then, I mean, you talked about passing client work off to referrals that you were gonna refer, but what about the referrals that come to you? Like this is a whole nother aspect of being able to put yourself out there when you’re really detailed into a certain niche is like, you can make intentional relationships to let people know, Hey, by the way, I do presentation design and I, I imagine you’re not big like salesy, like everyone you talk to, this is what you do.
[00:42:56] Josh: And it’s not the vibe I get, but there is a really nice place to, to be able to network and you can just whittle it in there that, Hey, this is what I do. And if you’re really niche, there’s again, suddenly they’re like, Oh, Adrian does presentation design. Maybe we’re a digital marketing agency and some of our clients need presentation design. So you become the the referral partner, right?
[00:43:17] Adrienne: Absolutely. Um, I have a client who is a digital marketer and works with financial services firms, and so I do work for her, which then always leads to me doing work for all of her clients too, um, as they have needs and, and specific needs. So it’s really interesting, like how all of that can happen and it doesn’t have to be in a, I have to go out and sell myself kind of way. For those introverts out there.
[00:43:42] Josh: Yeah. And, and again, I just, the re introvert extrover thing is so interesting because there are people who might be introverted in certain circumstances but aren’t, and in another way, it was really interesting. I had a recent guess, um, who, uh, Elizabeth McCrae, who is very extroverted when it comes to public speaking and calls and stuff, but is extremely introverted in some of the other aspects.
[00:44:07] Josh: So like not too many public speakers are, are extroverted, or excuse me, introverted. That’s usually like, Oh, that’s terrifying. She actually loves it. But one thing she recognized is that the next day she’s gonna be wiped out. And I think it’s a really self-evaluation important thing is to know what fills you up, what drags you down.
[00:44:24] Josh: And I’m sure when it comes to choosing your niche, like don’t choose something that’s gonna drag you down. I did not enjoy presentation design whatsoever when I did it. So, um, you know, maybe if my processes were better, maybe I would’ve liked it more. But I, that’s, I’m, that’s why I’m glad that you like that kind of thing.
[00:44:41] Josh: But I think our different backgrounds probably fed into what you enjoy doing, the kind of work you like fulfilling. And same for me, like, it’s gonna be different for everybody. I just think it’s a really interest, uh, important point. It’s like you can, if you’re self aware about what fills you up, And what drains you that will help you choose your marketing efforts that’ll help you choose your services, that’ll help you choose how you communicate with clients. All those things.
[00:45:03] Adrienne: A hundred percent. And you know, I always say too, the way that clients come to me, there’s people that are doing Google searches, right? Or maybe they’re going and searching on LinkedIn. They’re not the kind that are out networking and asking for referrals. So they’re my kind of vehicle, right?
[00:45:18] Adrienne: Like they are, are inherently, if I had different marketing, different ways of marketing my business, I’d be attracting the wrong kind of people to me. That’s a good point. And so instead of feeling like, and I think it gives a little bit of that scarcity mindset, right? Of like, Ooh, I’ll be limiting myself to really think about what you’re attracting to you and is, are you doing the things that are gonna attract the right people?
[00:45:40] Josh: That’s a great point. If you go niche on certain something, it’s likely that you’ll need to change your marketing tactic. Um, my gosh, that’s so true. I was even just visualizing this for myself. Right now with focusing on the business side side of web design, there aren’t near as many people googling web design business stuff as there are web design tutorials and learning kind of stuff.
[00:46:03] Josh: People are gonna like search how to build a D website way more than, how do I grow a six figure design business? And I see that with the amount of resources that I have on both sides of the spectrum, right? However, the client is different and the customer is different. Like where the people like I’ve had to, I’m just sharing this as hopefully a practical example of like tweaking your marketing to the right, like people where they are.
[00:46:25] Josh: I’ve realized that I’m happy to pull the curtain back with business with like my ideal customers. They are listening to podcast. They are in summits, they are in communities where they’re like building businesses, so marketing communities, design communities, et cetera. Again, I’ll get some Google traffic for sure, but it’s not gonna be near as much as when I started this, when I was just doing like how to build website tutorials.
[00:46:50] Josh: Um, so it’s a really interesting point. You’ve gotta really think about where your clients are, where especially if you’re nicheing down and meeting them there. So for you, perfect example, people are searching for presentation designers. You get them through Google, you get warm leads, referrals. Are there any other marketing channels that you have found worked for that have worked for you with this kind of niche?
[00:47:12] Adrienne: I mean, those are the big ones, and then referrals. You’d be shocked at like the big name companies that just go on Google looking for someone, or search LinkedIn, just trying to find people.
[00:47:23] Josh: I would imagine too, in the corporate world, you probably had to have a strategy with social media. LinkedIn sounds like that would be a perfect fit because you’re gonna be connected with much more the corporate world. Whereas if you’re on Instagram or really pushing Facebook or something else, if you’re on like TikTok, I, I don’t know, it could probably work on some level, but I would imagine, you know, do you wanna be working with a 19 year old girl who’s an influencer as much as a corporate, you know, type of client? Probably not. But yeah,
[00:47:52] Adrienne: it’s ex, That’s exactly it, right? Like you have to know your customer and, and who they are. Um, there’s a presentation designer who does the most beautiful work you’ve ever seen. It’s, and it’s not very corporate feeling at all. She’s on Instagram and the, she’s attracting those smaller startup brands who are very visually based.
[00:48:09] Adrienne: They’re doing kombuchas and things like that. And that’s where she’s getting all of her clients from. Instagram. I, my clients aren’t there. Like, I could never do the, she does like the maximalist kind of designs. It’s just not my, I’m more of a kind of a corporate business. Minimal style. Um, yeah, you gotta know like what your strengths are and where you’re gonna fit into the overall market so that you can be there and they can find
[00:48:33] Josh: you.
[00:48:34] Josh: Yeah, no, I would say my only, uh, I would combat that statement just because somebody said this to me and it made a lot of sense cuz I was never on Instagram until recently and I said, my customers really aren’t there. And he was a social media guy. He was, I forget what episode he was on, uh, on this podcast, Eric.
[00:48:50] Josh: And he was like, that’s actually a fallacy is like, they may be there, they’re just likely doing different things. Now does that mean that like all of your ideal customers will be there? Not necessarily. And their actions, it might like you might get a much quicker conversion rate via LinkedIn rather than Instagram because it’s gonna be a little more interruptive.
[00:49:09] Josh: It can add social proof and those extra hits. Like if they’re off of LinkedIn and they’re on Instagram and they’re like, Oh, there’s a thing, you know, by Adrian, then, then awesome. It’s a good reminder. Um, but it. That’s just something I thought about recently. It’s like there are other people, you know, your clients are often in different places.
[00:49:26] Josh: It’s just their actions may be different, but more importantly, I think the moral of the story with this is choose where you’re gonna get the biggest ROI for you. Clearest day. LinkedIn is where you should be and, and again, maybe you could kill it on Instagram, but it would probably take a way different strategy, probably take a lot more work, probably investing in people to help distribute content and, um, but yeah, I just find that fascinating.
[00:49:51] Josh: Just the idea of really realizing, like being serious about where your clients are, what they’re doing, and, and, and the best way to get that return on investment. You’re a
[00:50:00] Adrienne: hundred percent right. Um, because like on LinkedIn they are in work mind, work mode. Right. Versus like when you’re on Instagram and on reels. I was just laughing the other day. Oh my gosh, it’s so addictive. Like I have to set a timer when I start getting on cuz I’m like, I could spend an hour and I’m like, What? I’ve lost an hour of my life and I couldn’t even tell you On what? Um, And are people gonna, you know, as they’re scrolling through, are they gonna click through?
[00:50:23] Adrienne: Oh, I’m, this is me doing my mindless entertainment. Am I gonna go and think about this work thing that I need to take care of? Probably not. And so, to your point, it’s not that they’re not there, really the ROI and, um, how does it make sense for your business? That’s a really good point.
[00:50:37] Josh: Yeah. And even the behavior with different type of socials even versus like communities you’re a part of. Like if you’re on LinkedIn, I don’t know what the stats are with mobile traffic, but I, I don’t know, I would venture sure to say there’s a lot more desktop traffic with LinkedIn as opposed to Instagram where it’s probably like 99.9% mobile. And it’s mostly about reels and it’s, again, it’s more entertainment based, it’s more connection base.
[00:51:03] Josh: Whereas LinkedIn, you’re. Doing your work on your laptop or your computer and you’ve got LinkedIn open and you’re making connections. It’s like part of the networking relationship side. So when Adrian’s resource comes through or a, a video or whatever it is, it’s probably gonna be a lot easier to access and get in work mode and, and, and a really, you know, capture that on your side because they’re on their desktop versus on their phone where I’m like, I don’t really wanna sign up for this on my phone.
[00:51:29] Josh: I I, if I get this like pdf, I’m can just gonna wait until on my computer. That’s another really important point when, particularly when you niche down and you think about what your customer behavior is and where they are. So a
[00:51:39] Adrienne: hundred percent. I love that. And we’ll find this interesting as a web designer. My Google Analytics still say 70% of my traffic on my website is desktop traffic. And just hold in your mind,
[00:51:50] Josh: Oh, you’re speaking my language. Cuz so many people say you need to design mobile first. Mobile first, mobile first. Everything’s mobile. Ish. Like it depends on the term and it depends on the industry. Uh, gosh, I’m so glad you mentioned that cuz this is really important when you focus on your designs. If I’m designing a website for a pizza shop, you best believe mobile is first and foremost. But if I’m an online education site or something that is catered to the corporate world, I’m gonna focus on desktop.
[00:52:21] Josh: I think that it’s around the same for me. Last I looked was about, you know, I’m gonna look it up right now. Let’s do this. Um, it was pretty, it was pretty dang close. So even, hold on. So I’m actually using Fathom Analytics. Oh. Uh, which is, uh, GDPR compliant analytics. Uh, so this year, okay, so, so far in 2022 desktop for me, josh hall.co is over 60%.
[00:52:50] Josh: Actually, let me look at the percentage base. Yeah. Well over 60% is, is desktop. Most people would say, No way. You know, like, that doesn’t, that doesn’t sound right. 100% over 60% on, on desktop. So it just goes to show you, I know we’re kind of veering off the topic, but, uh, the way you put yourself out there, the way you design, the way you niche, it’s all dependent on, you know, the other aspects that followed up.
[00:53:16] Josh: I just went
[00:53:16] Adrienne: and looked. Mines at 81% right now.
[00:53:18] Josh: 81. Wow. For the, how about that? 81. So there you go. I’m so glad you mentioned that cuz it’s such, it just irks me when everyone’s like, ah, you’ve got to do mobile first. Everything. It’s like, uh, depending. It depends. Yeah, absolutely. That’s so good. Adrian, this has been a great conversation.
[00:53:41] Josh: I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you a little better. I’m fascinated that you are, have such an interesting niche that is like, right, I mean, it’s just clear as day, like next time I’m telling you, next time somebody says presentation designs, Adrian. Um, but tell me real quick about, cuz you do, you’ve mentioned you teach and you, so you, what is, what is your teaching rate? Is that design? Design and thrive? Yep.
[00:54:05] Adrienne: And, um, so what I really teach is helping other presentation designers build their presentation design business. So kind of you’re, you’ve done the website stuff and are mo moving into the business side. I don’t really teach people PowerPoint. I teach them how to build a presentation design business using PowerPoint.
[00:54:22] Adrienne: Gotcha. Um, so it’s all of the marketing, um, and the operational components of that. How do you really build it? And it’s, it’s so much more than a one time thing. It’s. Ongoing growth focused, what are the changes and decisions you’re gonna make on an ongoing basis to keep moving that business forward? But it’s the same thing you do in year one.
[00:54:39] Adrienne: If you do it again in year two, you’ll continue to move up. Market to our tire prices work a little less. Yeah. And so, uh, you can get to those email@example.com. Um, so we’ve got a podcast that talks about presentation design, and then we’ve got a masterclass and then some other free resources on how to get clients and things like that.
[00:54:59] Josh: Awesome. We’ll have that linked in the show notes for sure. Your main site is adrian johnston.com, uh, where you have, you know, your actual presentation design stuff, which is really interesting. I’ve had a fun time kind of scooping some of that stuff, Beal, but then yeah. I love that you are teaching it and focusing on again, I mean, it’s so, it’s so funny, you’re like a paralleled version to me, just in a, in a different niche.
[00:55:21] Josh: As my good friend Jason GRA of, of, uh, Swift site says, It looks like you’re going from pixels to profit. That’s what you’re shifting, you’re shifting your focus to helping people, um, from pixels to profit. So I love that. What, how did that come about for you? I’m just curious as we wrap this up, did you, uh, what, what made you wanna start teaching it?
[00:55:40] Josh: Yeah, so I
[00:55:41] Adrienne: was doing, um, a lot of hero. Have you, are you familiar with Hero Help? A Reporter Out?
[00:55:47] Josh: So it’s a no, that, I’m sorry. That is like a, you can contribute for blog stuff, right?
[00:55:53] Adrienne: Yeah. So, um, writers will say, Hey, we need a quote on this, that, or the other, and so you can submit it. And so I was doing that and started getting picked up and quoted in articles for my SEO to get back, links to my site. And then I started having people reach out to me and say, Hey, I’d love your help figuring out how to build my presentation design business. And so I ended up, at one point I had five people. I was kind of coaching independently. I had no structure for this, right? It was just me. Trying to help them out one at a time.
[00:56:20] Adrienne: Didn’t know who I talked to about what, and one day I was like, I gotta, I gotta streamline all this and put it together into a program. And so, um, in 2020 I uh, used the, what did we call it? The, the great pauses. And started working through that cause I’d had notes on it for years and never just actually done anything with it.
[00:56:39] Adrienne: Um, and that’s actually, uh, when I met Sarah Massey, her day rate program, though I never was able to successfully implement day rates in my business. Completely changed my business though. Oh, that’s awesome. I just rescheduled every Friday. I stopped working and started working on in my course and how I could help other people.
[00:56:56] Adrienne: Um, And yeah, I still tell her all the time. I’m like, I’ve never made as much progress in my businesses when I was working with you, even though it wasn’t a day rates, it wasn’t the way you wanted that you thought you were gonna help me, like still hugely successful, um, because of that. So,
[00:57:10] Josh: oh, I’ll have to relay that to her. This little clip. I, I found the same with some of my students who may not follow my stuff to a tee, but they’re like, this is this one nugget. Just like, change the trajectory. I made it my own, but I needed somebody to, you know, say that I needed some, some outside pressure or just a different idea to make me rethink how I’m doing things.
[00:57:28] Josh: That’s awesome. 100%. I need to connect you with Michelle, my, uh, SEO gal. You guys would, you guys would be a dangerous combo because she’s kinda like you. She’s been on the podcast a couple times. Very data driven, re research and words driven. Um, so yeah, my gosh, I would, what? Cause she introduced me to the hero, or I’m sorry, what’s it called?
[00:57:49] Josh: Hero, right? Hero. That’s right. Yeah. She introduced me to that site as well. Um, yeah, I’ll have to after this, I’ll have to connect you to, but, uh, but yeah, my gosh, super cool. A, I think, um, so we’ll have your, your stuff linked in the show notes for sure. Love what you’re up to. Definitely recommend if it looks like you have some awesome, free, free resources as well.
[00:58:09] Josh: If you would like to, would you like to just hit us with like a, I hate to be corny and call it a motivational minute, but just a final thought for people who maybe are feeling like they’re ready to go niche. Like maybe they, they know of a service that they just want to go for, but they’re still like clinging into the old stuff. What would you recommend they do to just, just go for it?
[00:58:28] Adrienne: Yeah, so I’m a big fan of just do it. Like talking about it is just so tired, doesn’t get you anywhere. So just if you are thinking, Ooh, maybe I should try it, just say, Okay, I’m gonna try it for a month, three months, and update your profile and your title.
[00:58:41] Adrienne: I mean, how many times have you seen people switch around their titles? If you even notice it on LinkedIn or anywhere else, you don’t judge them for it, right? We’re always afraid we’re gonna be judged. Or what if we’ve perceived, you know, it’s perceived that we fail, but just go for it. And worst case is, in three months you pivot and say, Maybe that doesn’t work, but at least you know it doesn’t work now.
[00:58:59] Adrienne: And so you don’t have that. Missed opportunity feeling or what coulda, shoulda, woulda like, you tried it, it worked or it didn’t, and now you can pivot and move forward and try something else. Um, and that’s worst case, best cases, it works out for you. And again, we’ve never heard anybody that said , I niche in regret it
[00:59:18] Josh: right?
[00:59:18] Josh: But it, but it goes back to like what we talked about earlier. You don’t have to cold Turkey, call off all your other services and fire your clients. You can add this in very tactfully, very quickly. And like you said, amp it up or pull it back if it’s, if it’s not working for any reason, but 99.9% sure it’s gonna be awesome. So, Exactly. I love that. It’s a great, great kind of inspirational note to leave off of. So, uh, Adrian, thank you for your time. This has been super fun. I really enjoy digging into your experience and thanks for sharing, uh, all the tips with us today.
[00:59:49] Adrienne: Thanks, Josh. I appreciate it. It was great to be here.