I can’t think of a better way to kick the New Year off than with a podcast episode about not only getting web design clients but how to find and land your BEST/ideal clients.

Not only do we have a great topic to dive into but what makes it even better is my amazing guest, Kady Sandel.

While Kady is a business coach for designers through aventiveacademy.com, she also runs a successful design agency based out of Austin, TX and has an amazing perspective on building her business and getting clients all while starting from the ground up as an immigrant to the United States from Serbia.

In this conversation, she unpacks all the strategies she’s learned over the years in getting her BEST clients to help you as web designers do the same. All while choosing the right marketing strategy that suits you.

Comment with your biggest takeaway from this chat as I’d love to hear from you as we kick the new year off together!

– Josh

In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
02:36 – Greeting to Kady
08:19 – Nomad networking
11:48 – Switching to SM
13:35 – Finding ideal clients
15:44 – Utilizing LinkedIn
18:44 – Social media strategy
21:22 – Using time wisely
23:44 – Decide & change to niche
30:07 – Perfecting the process
33:50 – Don’t be exclusive
37:14 – Showcase results
40:13 – How to get case study
47:07 – Empowering clients
52:14 – Working on downtime
53:55 – Cold emailing
1:03:12 – Timing
1:08:42 – Final thoughts

Kady’s Free $12k Client Attraction Masterclass

Connect with Kady:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #235 Full Transcription

[00:00:00] Josh: hello friends. Welcome to the first episode of 2023. This is episode 235, and not only do we have an awesome topic to dive into in this one, but I have an even more awesomer guest.

[00:00:14] Josh: Already making words up in the new year. This is Katie Sandell, who is a business coach for graphic designers, although you also find out that she helps a lot of web designers as well. She is the entrepreneur behind Inventive Academy, which you can check out aventiveacademy.com, and she’s very active on Instagram.

[00:00:36] Josh: I recommend giving her a follow. We will of course, have her profile linked in the show notes, but in this episode, I wanted to dive into how she built her graphic design business by getting the best clients for her. And I had a hard time figuring out the perfect title for this episode because we really dove into a wide range of options for getting really good clients and different ways to do that.

[00:00:59] Josh: So in this episode, we talk about everything from networking. We talk about nicheing, we talk about how to position yourself to charge higher amounts with the ideal clients. That you want to attract. We also get this talk about cold emailing and cold emailing strategies that work, and I had to pause there because that took me by surprise when we had this conversation and Katie was just such a great person to talk to and it had such a fresh and interesting.

[00:01:30] Josh: Perspective on kinda these counterintuitive approaches to getting really good clients. So I can’t wait to hear how this one helps you out. I would love to start the year off with hearing from you and how this episode impacts you and your business. You can drop us a comment@joshhall.co slash 2 35. That is the podcast episode page for this episode.

[00:01:50] Josh: I would love to hear from you and I, again, I can’t wait for you to meet Katie because she is the real deal. She is awesome. She’s also, I totally meant to mention, she’s the host of the Profitable Designer Podcast. So a few links I’m gonna recommend you check out, which is why I recommend you go to josh hall.co/ 2 35 to leave a comment and to check out Katie and see what she has to offer.

[00:02:11] Josh: And for right now, here is our conversation on everything and anything about how to get really good clients and all the different ways you can do that through networking, nicheing, uh, hold emailing, and all these different strategies. Let’s have some fun. Here we go.

[00:02:30] Josh: Kady, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for taking some time and chatting. I just, before we went live, I feel like already we’re super aligned in a lot of areas, so I can’t wait to chat with you for a little while here.

[00:02:42] Kady: Yeah, thank you so much. I can’t wait to chat with you either.

[00:02:45] Josh: we, uh, we have similar businesses in the way of, we’re both like mentors to designers and creatives. It looks like you focus, uh, a large percentage of your teachings for like graphic designers, but it sounds like you also help branding designers and web designers as well. I have to ask you, I’ve been asking everyone, uh, on this podcast, this question, which is when somebody asks you what you do, what do you tell them?

[00:03:09] Kady: Oh my God. I feel like I can go on and on about what I do, but basically I am the c e o and brand strategist, creative director at Adventive Studio, which is my branding and design agency. We are located in Austin, Texas, but my accent is coming from Serbia. We work with clients worldwide and I am also the founder of ATU Academy, which is an online platform for graphic brand and web designers where we help them how to start and grow their own businesses.

[00:03:38] Kady: I also have a podcast called the Profitable Graphic Designer, and I’m an author. I publish the book. So, you know, I feel like I can really go on and on. It’s really hard to say in one sentence or like shorter what is that that we do as entrepreneurs? Um, but it depends, you know, sometimes when I go for a networking event, then I would really like shorten that kind of like pitch.

[00:04:01] Kady: If I go for. Let’s say a CPG event. I will talk about, um, I am a graphic designer specializing in packaging design or whatnot. You know, so, gotcha. I I change it a little bit depending on who I talk to.

[00:04:14] Josh: depends on the room you’re in, right? Depending on exactly what answer they get. Yeah. That, that seems to be the best way to, to go.

[00:04:20] Josh: And the reason I ask that is, so, so many online entrepreneurs and a lot, a lot of folks listening do so many different things. It is hard to succinctly say. Well, yeah, what do I do or do I say my title? Do I say my services? So I think that’s a good rule of thumb, just, you know, depending on the eye or maybe just plan out, like, these are the main three types of people I usually encounter.

[00:04:40] Josh: That’s how, those are the answers. I’m gonna, I’m gonna dish out and I was gonna ask you about your accent. It’s funny you mentioned that because I’m a tennis fan and I’m a, uh, here in like Novak Djokovic, uh, his accent. I was like, I feel like you sound like you’re in somewhere in that area. So I’m, I’m kind of curious, what was your, you’re in Austin, Texas now.

[00:05:00] Josh: How long have you been there? Did you, were you overseas? You know, As a, a new childhood? What, what did that look like?

[00:05:07] Kady: Yeah, so when I was 15, I started, um, a high school for like a graphic design. So in Serbia we don’t have a high school. That’s just like general high school. You have to specialize in something, you have to pick your own thing.

[00:05:19] Kady: So it’s kind of like, you know how in America, like people choose their college and that’s how we have to choose. Um, like early on when we were just 15, so that’s when I started going for graphic design high school in Serbia. After that, I finished the Academy of Arts for graphic design as well in Serbia.

[00:05:35] Kady: And then right after that I got a job in Las Vegas. Actually that was, um, it was like part of the program work in travel programs. It’s for five months, so four months you get like work visa and then fifth month you can travel around America and then you go back to Serbia. So that’s when I first got to America and I was in Las Vegas.

[00:05:53] Kady: I actually had two job offers. One was in Las Vegas and one was summer in North Dakota. So I was like, okay, well I guess I’m going to Vegas, go to Vegas.

[00:06:03] Josh: not against North Dakota, but .

[00:06:05] Kady: Exactly. Um, I mean, I didn’t know anything, like, I didn’t know much about Vegas, but I definitely didn’t know anything about North Dakota and I thought that it would be easier for me to, you know, get into, you know, knowing more people and um, really like getting into the culture of America in Las Vegas, even though we, we could talk more about it, but that’s

[00:06:26] Josh: definitely not, it’s definitely not how things are in Ohio, I’ll tell you that much

[00:06:30] Josh: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:06:31] Kady: And so I got to Vegas and I had a job there, um, for those four months. And then after that I traveled a little bit and back to Serbia and that’s when I was like, well, you know, I felt like I’m gonna go back like maybe for another five. So I went back to Vegas because I already met a lot of people.

[00:06:48] Kady: I knew exactly where I would stay at, what kind of job I would look for, and so on. So in Vegas, I got hired by one science and printing company as a graphic designer. So I stayed, you know, I applied for Visa extension, another visa extension and so on. And then eventually met my husband, . And then because he had a job in Denver, I had to, you know, we had to figure things out.

[00:07:12] Kady: Either he’s gonna quit his job or I’m gonna quit my job and maybe start something else or find a different job in Denver. So that’s when I decided to start freelancing full-time. Moved to Denver, um, you know, started freelancing, met a lot of people, started growing my design business and after I was frozen in Denver, I decided to move somewhere where it’s like a little bit nicer.

[00:07:35] Kady: Um, if you ask me, I love the weather that’s like a hundred degrees, like that’s totally me. And so we, um, we both decided to move to Austin, Texas. So we’ve been here now for about five years. Um, and the total of how long I’ve been in America is like nine

[00:07:52] Josh: or 10. Oh, that’s awesome. Well, also a great story and case study of like, moving around the different locations, but getting clients and ma making relationships and networking. I imagine a lot of it was online now. Is that fair to say? Like, did you have a lot of in-person. Networking and, and a lot of in-person, um, relationships through Vegas and stuff. But then did you start to do more online stuff as you were moving around? Is that kind of how that worked?

[00:08:18] Kady: Um, so it’s, it’s a, it’s kind of a combination of both. I actually started on Craigslist, , so I was Hey,

[00:08:25] Josh: too, Craig. Same

[00:08:26] Kady: here. Yeah, so I was posting on Craigslist. Oh my God. That was, you know, before Instagram was about business before TikTok even existed and all that. So I was posting on Craigslist some days, even like 20 posts

[00:08:39] Josh: a day. is it, do you know what it’s like now? It’s, it’s so funny. My wife and I were just talking about this because I don’t think she knew that I had bit out a couple jobs on, uh, Craigslist. Like, I mean, this was like 2009, uh, or 2010, maybe early 2010. And back then it was just literally like a H T M L text directory. It wasn’t. I have no idea what it looks like now. So when you used it, what year was that and what did it look like?

[00:09:04] Kady: I think that it looks very similar. It’s just text, like nothing else. Cause finally last year we couldn’t find cleaners to help us when we moved into a bigger house and we didn’t have, we just didn’t have time on to outsource that and I couldn’t find cleaners.

[00:09:17] Kady: And that’s when Craigslist came to my mind and I was like, you know what, I’ll go into gigs. And now we have an amazing house cleaner that I found on Craigslist. So I think that for some service providers, Craigslist can still

[00:09:28] Josh: work. Yeah. Yeah. It’s so funny. I, I do wonder if anyone knows, let us know. Like drop a comment on the, on the podcast post here, cuz if anyone’s using it, I would love to know about that and do maybe a case study on that.

[00:09:39] Josh: Cuz I mean it, for me it attracted like, 80 or 90% spam, weird type of or not good fit offers, but I actually did get some good clients from that in, in the early days. So it was just another directory back then. At least that, uh, definitely helped as I kind of started to reach outside of my personal network.

[00:09:58] Kady: Yeah, exactly. So Craiglist worked like really well for me, and I actually got connected to one branding agency who was outsourcing to me. So I was their contractor freelancer, and they were sending me a lot of work. They kept me so busy that at some point I was like, okay, well it’s like I have a night to five

[00:10:16] Kady: Um, just working for them. But it was amazing. It was really, really great. But then at some point I feel that, you know, with Instagram, with other social media platforms like Craigslist just wasn’t, or maybe I wasn’t on that level anymore. I wanted to get like, higher paying clients or better clients. So that’s when I realized the power of like, in-person networking events and in-person networking events were like, my part-time job.

[00:10:40] Kady: I used to go for three to five different networking events a week, but also like, I’m an extrovert, so that’s, that’s where I get my energy from, like from people. So that was like my hobby, meeting people going for networking events, chatting with them. Either that’s coffee meeting or that’s happy hour, or that’s like really formal meeting where I’m a presenter or whatever it is.

[00:11:00] Kady: Like, I loved going for networking events and meeting people and like really like, like getting to the next level off. Like my business was meeting people and um, and just like expanding. So, you know, it’s, it’s a combination of both like Craigslist and then in person. And then on top of that, you know, when I moved to Austin, I already knew what I need to do, so I was just, Busy, like busy going for networking events.

[00:11:26] Josh: And what about the online world? What, what did you start with other than like a listing or a directory, like Craigslist? Did you, did you dive into social media pretty quick to make connections? Or, or, I mean, I know your Instagram is hopping right now. Like wh when did social media come into the play to the picture for you?

[00:11:45] Kady: Um, yeah, so I think that after I realized that I, you know, I’m meeting. People. And that was taking like, a lot of time I was focused more on seo. So we started a blog that’s now like a very successful blog where we really talk about like branding and website designs and whatnot. Like that’s my ideal clients are looking for.

[00:12:06] Kady: So I think that’s, you know, like right now our focus is really on the blog and also on me getting to know people. Mm-hmm. , when it comes to my branding and design agency, we actually never tapped into the social media. But when it comes to my coaching business, where I’m teaching designers how to get to the next level, that’s where I’m on Instagram.

[00:12:25] Kady: And my Instagram has, you know, a large followings because I think that creatives are on Instagram all the time. They’re trying to get clients, they need help. And that’s visual platform where creatives like to, you know, hang out. So that’s

[00:12:39] Josh: a great point. So they, and, and very similar, I. Didn’t use social media barely at all. When I ran and built my agency, I had a Facebook that I would occasionally post work on, but it was lackluster at best. And I, but the good news is, is I didn’t need it. And I hope that’s empowering to everyone who’s daunted by social media. Like you may be there as a creative to connect with others and, and to get training and, and to have inspirational stuff.

[00:13:03] Josh: But, and, and you may get clients that way, but it doesn’t necessarily, that’s mean, that’s where your best clients are gonna be. Like, I agree. I found my best clients were in some sort of networking or some sort of like business setting, um, sometimes on social media, but that just wasn’t always the case for me.

[00:13:20] Josh: Like what do you advise your students as far as if, if, if they identify an ideal customer for them, what do you advise and what, what have you seen work on like how to be where they are and identifying where, where are they actually hanging out, whether they’re in person or online?

[00:13:35] Kady: Yeah, so most of the time I’ve really tried to explain to them that not just demographic is important, but psychographic of their ideal clients, like who they are, what problems they have, where they’re going to look for those solutions.

[00:13:49] Kady: Are they going to Google, are they going to scroll on Instagram to look for a web designer? I don’t think so, especially if they’re like higher paying clients, like high ticket clients. They’re like the, their first thing. What’s, when they’re looking for a web designer or brand designer, they’re going to ask their network.

[00:14:07] Kady: So the more people you know, the better chances of getting those better clients are. And my advice is always to pick one or two social media platforms and you know, like after you know where your clients hang out, after you discovered their. demographic and psychographic and then like really nail down like on that one specific or maximum two social media platforms.

[00:14:30] Kady: And for me that was LinkedIn because I feel that LinkedIn is very similar to in-person networking event, but it’s not in-person. , you know, like social media for, for for example, like for Instagram, you can always outsource, you can hire someone who’s gonna post for you, who’s gonna write captions, who’s gonna do all the things, right?

[00:14:48] Kady: But for LinkedIn it’s a bit harder. Yes, you can hire someone who’s gonna post, but at the end of the day you don’t really give your username and password for your personal LinkedIn to anyone. So it’s you that have to, that you have to read that private message. So, you know, my advice is always like connect with people and not just like posts where you kind of like speak at them, like talk to them.

[00:15:12] Josh: Well, and there’s a big difference too between social media, like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook in a way where there’s a lot of entertainment. and other avenues of like content, whereas LinkedIn is pretty much just business. I mean, I, I haven’t been on it in years, so I, I just, I don’t have the bandwidth for it.

[00:15:29] Josh: I’ve been wanting to, I, I really would love to, I just don’t personally have the bandwidth yet, but it’s something I’ve thought about because of the nature of it being more like, Business focus, like you’re there for a purpose. Is that fair to say? Or is there Yes. Is there entertainment?

[00:15:42] Kady: Okay. I don’t think there is entertainment. And then it also depends like how you create your, um, LinkedIn. When it comes to my LinkedIn and people that I follow, it’s literally all b2b. Mm-hmm. , it’s everything. Business to business. Um, and it’s really weird. I build a network of people who offer similar but different types of services to the same target audience.

[00:16:05] Kady: So for example, I connect with a lot of app developers because that’s not something, it’s, at least it’s not created to me. So that’s not what I want to do. . Ah, yeah. So I connect with photographers, videographers, you know, with other creatives who provide different type of service, but we have the same target audience because that’s where referrals, um, you know,

[00:16:23] Josh: Yeah. That’s awesome. I mean, this is a really great framework for being in and on the online world, but like intentionally and just realizing, you know, what is different between maybe your, your network of creatives and colleagues versus ideal clients where they’re hanging out. I agree. I think LinkedIn is definitely an untapped market for, for most web design.

[00:16:45] Josh: Everyone that I’ve talked to as far as within the web design world who do LinkedIn generally get really good results from it. But it’s like anything, you gotta commit to it. And I do. You hit an interesting point there, which is that LinkedIn is a little more personal and it’s a little more like, it’s, it’s pretty clear that most people on Instagram who have a lot of content going out, if they, whether they’re a course creator or service provider, most of them, myself included now, like we have people dishing the content out or not actually posting all the posts.

[00:17:15] Josh: However, it is different with, with a medium like LinkedIn or, or, you know, maybe some other online avenue, like a forum or something that is a little more personal. I think it’s good to have both. Would you agree? Like, is it, do you think it’s good to have a channel that is a little more directed towards getting clients versus just connecting and just enjoying your, your time instead of always being on business?

[00:17:36] Kady: Yes, definitely. So for my branding agency, we still post on Instagram. I think we post like two posts a week or so. Um, and that’s only because people who land to our website, they always click on, you know, like all those like social media channels, like the, the icons, they would click on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, whatever, whatever we have.

[00:17:58] Kady: They still want to see that you’re active, that you’re around, that you’re maybe taking on clients and so on. But like we never post stories on Instagram. You’re really not active when it comes to inventive studio. Now inventive academies, it’s almost like a different business. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Um, so, you know, it’s, we, we, we post. and, but that’s it. It’s just so that we are active, that people see that we are out there, that we exist. But LinkedIn is where we pull in like all the best

[00:18:23] Josh: leads. And for like the strategy for your, for your agency with that, I’m sure you could feel like sometimes like, why are we doing this? Not getting much engagement or we don’t have a huge following, but is it more about just staying top of mind and just having some sort of presence so they can connect with you?

[00:18:40] Josh: Is that kind of the, the moral of the story with at least having something?

[00:18:43] Kady: Yeah, exactly. And we also, I don’t post anything. I don’t even know what’s going on with that profile cuz I have a social media manager. So, and, and she would tell me that it takes her like maybe an hour to put all the content together for a month.

[00:18:56] Kady: So, you know, it’s like, it’s very easy. It’s a single post. We don’t focus on these like long carousels or reels or anything like that because Instagram is not what we are focused on. So, you know, it’s just to post. Um, Just as you mentioned, like to stay on top of the mind, but LinkedIn and our blog is, um, our focus besides me going for a lot of networking events here in Austin cuz Austin is growing

[00:19:20] Josh: Sure, yeah. Yeah, I know. I feel, uh, the few people I’ve talked to from Austin, it sounds so similar to, I’m in Columbus, Ohio and it sounds so similar to what we have here just on a bigger scale, um, from what I gather, it sounds like Columbus is kinda like a mini Austin with the amount of, uh, tech companies here and booming entrepreneurial scene and everything.

[00:19:39] Josh: So it’s really cool. I mean, we, you and I are fortunate that we are in areas where we can do a lot of in-person networking and I, if I were to start a design agency today, I would potentially just local s e o the heck outta Columbus and just own the, the, the Columbus area, central Ohio area. However, there’s so much benefit in having an online network as well, on a broad network and there’s, there’s different strategies for this.

[00:20:05] Josh: I’m kind of curious. Since you came from Serbia, did you have any connections there in your professional and personal networks that translated into your business? Or was it, was that just like a different world

[00:20:17] Kady: almost? No, it’s a different world. Like completely different. I also, I feel like I always had the goal of like being a freelancer, but I didn’t really try that in Serbia. So I think that actually my first try to, to meet business owners and entrepreneurs and other, you know, freelancers, creatives, and so on, was here in the States. So I can’t say that I, you know, didn’t meet anyone, but I didn’t really try to meet anyone there. Um,

[00:20:42] Kady: also in Serbia, I don’t think that we have that many, like meetups and tech industry is not that big of a deal, like it’s here in Austin. So I think that if I was still in a place where I can’t meet a lot of people in person, then I would definitely focus on LinkedIn because that’s, As mentioned, like very, very similar. It’s just online.

[00:21:04] Josh: I was, I was just gonna ask you in a different parallel world, if you were still in Serbia and never came stateside, what would you do? Yeah. Like what would, would you, so LinkedIn, would you also do like a, would you have a profile on like Fiver or Upwork or something like that? Or what, what would you do? Yeah, I don’t

[00:21:22] Kady: think so because, well, now that I know what I know, I know how hard it is to compete with all other designers, web designers, specifically web designers on Fiber and Upwork. And even though some people have hu have seen like huge success in all those like third party platforms. But I think that for the same amount of time and effort that you put into third party platforms, you can focus on. Either that’s your blogging or maybe even YouTube channel or that’s connecting with people on LinkedIn, like whatever it is.

[00:21:52] Kady: I think that that’s where you will see, um, like more benefits. But again, like I have, I have friends in Serbia who, um, there’s actually one friend who we finished the, the academy far together and he posted like his gig or whatever, I don’t know, I don’t even know exactly how it goes, like when Upwork. So he like posted his profile and the company hired him full-time and then, you know, he was able to travel and work for this company like full-time, nine to five.

[00:22:20] Kady: Nine to five freelancer. I don’t even know if that’s a thing, but you know what I mean, like yeah. He was getting a lot of projects from that one company that found him on one of the third parts

[00:22:30] Josh: platforms. It sounds similar. Yeah. The, the few people I’ve talked to who had success with Upwork similarly gave it a lot of tension, just like you talked about earlier, was like focusing on one or two channels and Upwork was one that they really focused on.

[00:22:43] Josh: You learn how to like position yourself, you learn where the competition is and you learn how to set your profile up. There’s all these ins and outs, whereas I think if you just set up a profile real, real quick and just hope to get a lead, it’s probably not gonna ha It’s just like anything, whatever you invest your time, energy to is, is going to to pay off, but if you disperse it too far, you’re not gonna get very far in all the different things.

[00:23:05] Josh: So Yeah, that’s exactly, that sounds to be the case. Uh, Chris Misre, who uh, previously had a podcast, uh, called um, uh, self-Made Web Designer Podcast. He talks about how Upwork was his biggest thing and it sounded similar to where he got like a couple big jobs that led to other ones just under the umbrella of of Upwork.

[00:23:25] Josh: So it’s interesting cuz there are all, there’s all these options and it just, it can be tough deciding. What to dive in, what to do. Do you have any metrics on that? Like what have you seen work, I have my own thoughts on this, but I’d love to hear from you, Katie. Like what are, what do you tell your, your, your audience and students like how to decide what to, to dive into?

[00:23:44] Kady: Yeah, so most of the time my advice is again, like going back to figuring out who your ideal client is, and I talk about meeting and specializing. Because I think that that’s one thing that helped us get to the next level of our business, to the levels where I never even taught we can get to. And that’s only because I decided, okay, this is the one type of clients that I want to work with and this is my dream client, so I really want to work with this type of clients.

[00:24:10] Kady: And it doesn’t mean that I’m gonna exclude the rest, but let’s like really nail down who, who would be like perfect fit and then go from there. And the other thing that I wanted to mention about LinkedIn is, what I love about LinkedIn is that you can actually find their emails, you can find people’s email addresses on LinkedIn and then reach out to them in their um, inboxes, which is totally different than being on up and fiber. Good

[00:24:35] Josh: point, good point. I’m so glad you brought up, uh, nicheing. Well we say niche and, and my neck with the woods nicheing. Um, yeah, this is probably, yeah, it is 100% the hot topic right now that I hear from a lot of my students. Everyone’s curious about when the niche, how to, how to niche, you know, how all these things, and we’ve had a lot of episodes talking about this and are gonna continue to do more cuz there’s, it’s another thing that is like its own little like industry.

[00:25:02] Josh: Like how do, how do you niche? Um, similarly what you just said, I really like, and that’s my motto is, Not to necessarily exclude everyone outside your perfect niche, it’s just focus on that and then you’ll get some outliers who might be a good thought. But how do you recommend doing that? Do you recommend like just through messaging and case studies and testimonials?

[00:25:22] Josh: Is that how you identify the perfect clients and get them without saying, I don’t work with these, these and these and these and these people. Like what are your tips for nicheing without, you know, like you said, excluding everybody else? Yes.

[00:25:34] Kady: So I think for about like four years ago was when I was so busy. I was getting a lot of clients and I just didn’t know like, how can I get this to the next level in a sense that makes sense, where I’m not like, if I want to make more and I, I don’t have the capacity of getting more clients, but then if I’m outsourcing, I’m not making enough. And so I was just like, it was so confusing.

[00:25:58] Kady: So I decided to hire this one marketing agency here in Austin and I. Told them all my problems and challenges and I was like, I feel I’m close to not like quitting cuz that’s not me, but I’m so close to like just stopping everything and starting all over. Mm. And that’s where they told me, I think that that’s exactly what you should do.

[00:26:17] Kady: It’s very, very hard to stand out if you say that you do brand design, graphic design, brand strategy, web design, web development, like all these services for everyone and anyone who needs them. Like where do you even start? Where do you even look for clients? What events do you attend? Like what do you do when you’re targeting everyone?

[00:26:37] Kady: So they actually help me figure out like who I want to work with. And we had to make like three different like categories of who, like who would be my dream clients. So we selected, I don’t, I think it was like health and wellness was the number one. And then like fashion something, because I love high heels and things like that.

[00:26:54] Kady: So I was like, okay, let’s, let’s do work. Even like on personal interests, you know, like at the end of the day, yeah, we create our businesses. Yeah. Um, and we want to love them. We don’t want to get to the levels of like, oh, I really don’t like what I do. Why did I even start this? Because of the money. No, that’s not a point.

[00:27:10] Kady: You know, it’s so, we created, we created like three different categories that I. Personal, loved. And then from there we wrote down what potential clients I could get in those industries. For example, for health and wellness, those could be spas, skincare lines, um, people who are starting like maybe companies like vitamin supplements, maybe.

[00:27:32] Kady: Um, you know, just like yoga studios, fitness studios, like all those, like health and wellness and then fashion. Okay, sure. It’s dresses like shoes, this and that. And so, you know, once we wrote all that down, I was like, I would actually love, love, love to work with health and wellness businesses and you know, it’s basically just getting this hobby to the next level. You know, like what is that, that I would really and truly enjoy?

[00:27:58] Kady: So like helping health and wellness businesses work on their brand with brand strategy, like helping them figure out what their mission, vision, core values are, and then translating that into visuals such as logos, and then maybe packaging and labels, and then websites.

[00:28:13] Kady: You know, just like all these things when they all come together. This is the niche that I would love when I started working. Um, then on my own brand and like rebranding, my branding agency we, we didn’t do a lot of things. We just change our messaging on our website and a little bit of social media, so not too much.

[00:28:36] Kady: Like, it really doesn’t take a lot to, um, to niche down. And then I also always had my thoughts in a sense of like, if this doesn’t work, I can just go back where I was. Yes, yes. And I am not going to lose anything. I can just go back to where I was or I can change the niche. You know? It’s like it’s not the end, it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t work.

[00:28:57] Josh: Yes. I absolutely love that approach. I think you laid out such a great pathway to do that. And there is this like hybrid model between going all in on one niche and only doing websites for like, Hair stylist versus being a generalist and doing anything for everybody, which I was, I never niched down. I was always a generalist.

[00:29:20] Josh: Although I did end up refining my messaging to small and medium sized businesses, which helped. It got me out of the like, Hey, I’m thinking about starting a business. I have, you know, a hundred dollars to spend. Can I get a website like that? Not ideal. So like that helped me. And one thing that I have been telling a lot of my students to do if they’re interested in this, is to create landing pages for their main target niches.

[00:29:42] Josh: Like their, their ideal industry serve, which is that a part of your strategy as well? And I’m kind of curious, like practically, did you have your main services, like telling on your website, like what you do and the results you get, and then have like the pathways for people to go to for the different categories? What did that look like practically for you? Because that’s generally what I recommend. Like have what you do, the results you. And then bring them out to the correct journey

[00:30:06] Kady: after that. Yeah, exactly. But the, the other thing that, what I did was, um, so when I decided to niche down, I was like, okay, how do I do this? Do now need to like redo my website? And then marketing, um, strategies told me, no, just add the words. So instead of like, we do branding for businesses, we do branding for health and wellness businesses, you know, just, we were literally, we just added few words here and there to see if it’s gonna work. And then of course when I realized that it’s gonna work and that I love it, then we decided to completely change the website and colors and all that.

[00:30:40] Kady: But at the beginning, like we, like, and then as you mentioned, like we literally had like a landing page I didn’t even bother about, like, about page or, you know, anything like that. I didn’t have to change my services. It’s the same type of service. It’s just I’m being more intentional about who I want to work with.

[00:30:56] Kady: And then even though some designers, let’s say that designers would think that working with health and wellness. Businesses is so specific, but it’s not, it’s still very, very broad. You know, at some point I was working, um, with a lot of doctors, then I was working with some hospitals, and then I realized, well, this is actually not what I like.

[00:31:17] Kady: It’s, it’s kind of boring. It’s all like blue, white, gray. Like there I feel like there is no room for creativity. So I was like, well, why do I work with health and wellness? I mean, this is health and wellness, but it’s not what I prefer. Or you know. Then we got a lot of spas and they’re all the same. It’s always like purple, you know, pink, white, brown.

[00:31:37] Kady: It’s the same. So that’s when I realized, well, I actually don’t want to work with service providers. Let’s go even deeper. Let’s focus on packaging and designs. Let’s work with product-based businesses only. Let’s drop the health. Let’s work with wellness, product-based businesses, and you know, just like going further and further.

[00:31:57] Kady: And then I realized then we got. A couple of clients that bring in skincare, um, skincare lines for skincare businesses, and I’ve really loved working on those. So I’m like, okay, well from here we can be wellness in skincare. So you are just changing and playing all the time based on your preferences. So it’s not this like one time thing. You’re stuck forever in health and wellness. No, you are. You keep

[00:32:20] Josh: changing it. Change it. Yeah. And that’s such a like relieving message I’m sure for everyone to hear that you don’t need to blow up your entire site and change your business model and everything to go niche or try something out. You can 100%, like you said, just add to it and literally you could take your homepage right now and just copy it over and then just add the industry terms in there, change the colors and change the photos if you need to.

[00:32:44] Josh: And you could have, you know, three different landing pages, which often I, I think a lot of web designers in particular, just people in general, forget. People are not always gonna go to your homepage, they’re often gonna find the page that has the most details for a service or an answer to a question. So your landing page that is on your website, whether it’s in your menu or not, may end up being the page that they see.

[00:33:06] Josh: And that’s, that’s the sales tool right there. So a lot of great lessons on how to like go niche, practically identify your ideal customer. I have to ask you this, I’m terribly curious about this. How far do you go in like, uh, dissuading clients or not refusing to work with somebody, but like how far would you go in?

[00:33:26] Josh: Like for example, you wanted to stop working with the medical offices. I can’t imagine you’re gonna say absolutely no more medical offices, but how do you do that practically? And did you ever get to a point where you said no or just try to weed them out? Like, I guess the question is how do you go niche and focus on the right people while really getting away from the type of industries you just don’t wanna work with without saying, you know, you can’t be here kind of thing.

[00:33:50] Kady: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it depends. It depends on the person, it depends on the business. Um, so for example, even right now, at this moment as we talk, like four years after I decided to niche down, I am working with a lawyer.

[00:34:03] Kady: So he has nothing to do with, um, it’s like attorney practice. And I’m working on my, my team is working on their logo, on their website, on their stationary. They have nothing to do with health and wellness, but we’ve really liked the. People that work for that agency. So we never told them no. Like they saw our website and it’s all about now skincare lines.

[00:34:26] Kady: It’s all about wellness, self-care, product-based businesses. But they really loved what we do and they decided to contact us. So I never said no to them. But then there was an agency here in Austin, real Estate Agency that they reached out to us and I was like, I’m sorry if you don’t specialize in real estate.

[00:34:42] Kady: We focused on the health and wellness side and, and it’s all good, you know, so it really depends, and that’s what I like about specializing. Like you can specialize in one niche, but that doesn’t mean you’re excluding the rests. It just means that you’re intentional about how you are going to find clients.

[00:34:56] Kady: Because tomorrow, if you don’t have enough clients, I’m gonna think about where, where are skincare clients, skincare business owners hanging out? Where, where are. Are they on LinkedIn? Are they looking for manufacturers? Yes, they are. Okay, let me connect with people who work for different types of like manufacturers.

[00:35:16] Kady: Let’s try get referrals through them. Let’s go for different networking events where my skincare clients are going to hang out so that I can get clients. You know, it’s just like easier and faster way of getting clients when you decide to focus on one type of clients. But again, that doesn’t mean you’re excluding the rest.

[00:35:32] Kady: It just means that you want to work with them. And also the other thing is like, and I know we talked about it, um, via Instagram about storytelling. When you focus on your ideal client, you know exactly what you need to tell them. You know how to sell them, you know what their pain points are. And I mean, storytelling is basically telling stories that people connect with and it’s content that resonates with your audience.

[00:35:57] Kady: So for example, if you’re now talking about legacy airlines, which is like a random example, but like let’s say you have a dry skin and you’re looking for a solution. Someone who started a business that has a skincare line, they can talk about how they were looking for a moisturizer, they couldn’t find it, and then developed a product because their skin was dry.

[00:36:17] Kady: And so it’s walking people from point A to point B and web developers, web designers can do that the same. Like, you’re not making enough sales, you’re not doing this, you’re not doing that. Well, let me help you get to this. You know, and they can use the specific words when, when they’re telling stories.

[00:36:34] Kady: And it’s the same thing, like if they have, let’s say, web designers when they’re creating case studies, you know, A lot of designers make this mistake of having portfolio only. So portfolio is where they have just the visuals and that’s all great, but how does that separate you? How does that make you different?

[00:36:52] Kady: That’s why storytelling and selling through stories is very important because the entire concept here is where you walk your clients from point A to point B, you talk about the ideas, you talk maybe even like you put website sketches in wire framing and whatnot, and then the next thing, and then you include like one image, little bits of text, image text.

[00:37:14] Kady: So you walk them through the whole story of creating that website. And that’s like the power of like storytelling and selling. And that’s where you can also include your niche. And then, you know, it gets, it just gets like to, um, it’s really, really powerful.

[00:37:28] Josh: Yeah, that, and you said it right there too, which is a really, really important point I want to bring back up.

[00:37:34] Josh: Success stories are very different than the portfolio. Like you could have a portfolio and this is the, I wish somebody would’ve told me that earlier on because I had my portfolio page which had reviews and quote unquote success stories on, on the portfolio pages, but I never had a success stories. Page, I had testimonials, but I kind of wish I would’ve really framed it as like an intentional results based success story.

[00:38:00] Josh: Or at least I sh I wish I would’ve at least had like a few of ’em and added those to the testimonials page and called it success stories because that is like a, a, a new thing. This is a hot tip of the day right here. Success stories and a success style page is huge right now. And, and I think that’s where what separates a lot of creatives and designers from others is to showcase results and not just say, yes, here’s my pretty work.

[00:38:25] Josh: Look at this happy client that left a Google Review that said, you know, Katie did great. That doesn’t, that’s not gonna help anyone. Like somebody wants to see results. Like, how did you help grow my business through this branding or through this design, this website?

[00:38:37] Kady: Exactly, because web des uh, clients who are looking for web designers, they’re not looking for an amazing web design. They’re looking for results that that amazing web design is going to, you know, help them get to like, if they want to make more sales, if they want, if they want to get more clients, like whatever. There’s always the end goal. It’s not a predict website. So that’s something that we also need to include in the storytelling and in the case studies.

[00:39:04] Kady: So, for example, one of our case studies, I mean, not one, like all of our case studies start from this is the challenge or this is the problem our client had because then the potential clients relate to that and they’re like, oh, this is exactly where I. and then this is, these are the steps. This is what we did, this was the process, this was the timeline.

[00:39:24] Kady: Like we include like everything in that case study. And then these are the results. This is the testimonial and this is the real client’s website that takes them to the website so that they can check it out. And it’s, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s really works.

[00:39:37] Josh: And I have a two part question for you on case studies, cuz now the question is like, this sounds great.

[00:39:42] Josh: I would love to have a success page with like five or 10 success stories maybe. I mean, you don’t need that many. Probably two or three. I’m sure it would go plenty far. I don’t know how many clients are gonna read past three, but the question is how do you practically do this? Like how do you practically do a case study?

[00:39:58] Josh: Do you do a Zoom call and just record it? Do you do an intentional questionnaire or, and also a follow up question to this is when, cuz if you’re gonna get results, you need to let the website go for a while. So two part question for you, Katie. How and when do you do a case study?

[00:40:14] Kady: Yeah, so the first. So the, to answer the first part on how, basically we would write content on our own.

[00:40:21] Kady: So I have a content developer here on my team, and we would write content for our, um, case study, like for our portfolio where it says, this is who the client was, this is what we did, this is how long it took. Like all those good stuff. And then we would send that to the clients and ask them, does this sound accurate?

[00:40:38] Kady: Can we post this? What do you think about it? You know, just, but also at that point, like, our clients are already like, became our friends. We’ve been working with them for like three months, six months, whatever the like. It doesn’t matter like how long the project was, but we already became like really close to them that now we can literally say like, Hey, we would love to include in our website. Would this work for you? So it’s kind

[00:41:01] Josh: of, I don’t mean to cut you off, it’s kind of like a project breakdown blog. Is that kind of Yes. How?

[00:41:06] Kady: Yes, exactly. Yes. And so, you know, we ask them, do you think this is okay? Can we use this? When they say yes, We put just that, and then we wait three to six months after they have some results.

[00:41:18] Kady: After we know that they’re making sales, after we know that they’re getting more clients or whatever the real end goal is, and then we reach out to them asking for testimonial. So we don’t ask for testimonial right after the project is done, because then we’ll get a general testimonial, oh, it was really great working with you.

[00:41:34] Kady: Okay, cool. But you know, like, what is the next step? So then we ask, did you make more sales? And we already know that because you’re always in contact with them. I’ve really tried to, um, to stay on top of mind. Even, even though we are completing something with one client, we know that that person is connected with other potential clients.

[00:41:55] Kady: So we, we are always like really, um, in contact with our past or current clients. And so, you know, we wait three to six months to ask them about the results. And usually those are great results. Like they’re making more sales, getting more CL customers, whatever it is. And then we include that. Now case study, we just go back and edit it.

[00:42:13] Josh: That’s great. Now my process is very similar except it, it differs in one uh, aspect. And that would be that I actually do request for a testimonial right after a project is done simply because. I like to strike while the iron is hot, when somebody’s fired up about their stuff. So yes, the testimonial will generally be a, a little more general, um, but it kind of gives a lot of testimonials, especially if it’s a Google review. However, I do recommend following up with your plan with the case study. So yeah, I, I view a testimonial different as a case different than a case study. Yes.

[00:42:48] Kady: But I also like, um, I also do give that the same advice for my students to sometimes ask for the testimonial immediately, because sometimes we can create the best website ever, but if they don’t do anything after that, if they don’t focus on marketing, if they don’t post on social media, if.

[00:43:07] Kady: Try to sell, then it’s not our fault that they’re not making sales. You know? So it really depends on what a client like is who they are, what you completed for them, and things like that. So I think that either asking for testimonial right after that, when they’re still like super happy, satisfied, they just got this website, like it’s great.

[00:43:26] Kady: But then also like maybe following up in like three to six months, asking for either another testimonial, but calling it a little bit differently. Like, Hey, we just wanna

[00:43:33] Josh: check in . And, and that would probably be good for clients who are doing well with their website. Like in the case of a client who you made a great website for, but they’re just not utilizing it six months later. Unfortunately, no fault of your own, even if you gave them empowering resources with how to do it, then you may not even necessarily want a case study from them because they’re not doing a great job.

[00:43:55] Josh: you wanna, which is why it’s kind of cool, like case studies are few and far between. You don’t need to do them for every client, just the, the good ones as, as benchmark. So yeah, I love this idea. It’s, it’s extra clear to me now. And kind of backs up why I recommend get a testimonial for as many people as you can initially. Uh, because those do go a long way and you can share it on a portfolio page, on social media and stuff that’s gonna gain interest.

[00:44:18] Josh: But follow up with that case study because the case studies are the results, those, and that at the end of the day, The results are what’s gonna really sell you in the long term. So I’m glad that we, I feel like we came up to a nice little system here, Katie, with how to, yeah. How to really flesh to sell .

[00:44:35] Kady: Exactly. I also wanna mention that, so we worked with more than 200 clients, but we have, I think only seven case studies in our portfolio. First of all, nobody’s gonna look into more than like two or three.

[00:44:48] Kady: Like, nobody’s gonna look even into those seven. Right. But those seven are the most powerful because I think that it’s also important for designers not to overshare. Um, you know, sometimes they feel like, oh, I wanna put all my work, and then there are 300 landing pages and people are confused. Yes. People don’t know, oh, I don’t know, this is too much.

[00:45:07] Kady: And then they go to another website, you know, website designer, and they see seven. Amazing, perfectly done. I mean, not perfectly, nothing’s ever perfect, but like,

[00:45:16] Josh: That’s also the benefit of nicheing. Like you could do a categorized portfolio depending on the niche. So like for you, you may have health and wellness, recent work or featured work. You may have, uh, whatever, like any category that you wanna have in, like, you may have your, your heels or fashion, sorry, uh, like, you know, fast fashion, recent work from fashion, like, you know what I mean? That that’s the other benefit of you could have a lot of portfolio items, but if you’re gonna do that, they have to be categorized.

[00:45:45] Josh: Otherwise, you’re totally right. Katie. Clients are not gonna go to a portfolio page and look through a hundred websites, except I did have one client who literally sent me an email. I, I, I couldn’t read it all. It was a small book. She, I think she went through like 25 projects and just laid out all her thoughts on each one and what she liked and what she didn’t.

[00:46:07] Josh: I’m like, I am not gonna read all this. I’m like, I mean, I appreciate being thorough, but good God. Like , how long did a mistake? Uh, so that’s, you know, that’s

[00:46:16] Kady: gonna be, those are usually the clients who have more time than money. So are those really clients who wanna have ?

[00:46:22] Josh: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So, yeah, Al what a great point though. And the other, the other thing I wanna mention in here that I think will really help with this, this, we’re kind of looking at the window of when you launch a project, getting a testimonial and following up with results. The other missing piece here that I think I’ve. I’ve seen help myself and a lot of other designers is to have some sort of like launch pack that will give clients the push and resources to share their website and, and to share and like to know how to utilize it.

[00:46:52] Josh: Cuz most clients are just not gonna know what to do with their website. Do you have anything like that that’s, uh, in your programs or anything that you’ve seen work well as far as like empowering clients to use their website, which inevitably leads to referrals and sells you and you don’t even me to do anything?

[00:47:07] Josh: Uh, yeah, exactly.

[00:47:08] Kady: So we actually have, so my signature offer when we work with, uh, when we get the potential client is in five phases. So the first phase is brand strategy. Second phase is visual identity. Third one is graphic design, which is labels in packaging. That’s how we call it. And then fourth phase is website design.

[00:47:27] Kady: And then fifth phase is where we send them to other people. So we do have a network of people who help them with, um, we have a photographer, amazing photographer if they have products, which is now my focus, right? So, so we have to have like a photographer. She’s not like on staff, but people hire us because they.

[00:47:47] Kady: but then we have a network of these people they’re going to need right after us. So we have a photographer. We have amazing social media manager, so that’s, you know, that’s how we empower them to then use their website and share it and so on. Then we also have an amazing person who does Google ads, so that’s kind of like the phase five that we don’t have anything with, and I’m not, we are not making money off of it. We are not taking any cuts or referral fees or whatever it is. Like we just send them to our partners. What a beneficial Love that.

[00:48:15] Josh: That is a really cool thing. You are the first I’ve ever heard this concept of, I mean, in a way I did this having a networking group, because I would let them know, like, if you need help in any other areas, just let me know. I’ll connect you with somebody. But this is such a better like, professional approach that’s intentional, that says, okay, now that we’re done, If you wanna do these extra things that we don’t do, here’s our network that is so valuable. I would still recommend folks do a launch pack of some sort, which for me would just be like graphics of like, you know, here’s, here’s a couple Instagram size posts

[00:48:49] Kady: here.

[00:48:49] Kady: We, we do have that. We do, we do have that. We send them, it’s like a photography style guide where we, I think we design like 10 Instagram posts as examples. Mm-hmm. So these are examples that you can post. Feel free to use these 10, but this is something that you can then forward to your future graphic designer who are going to hire either as a contractor or part-time or social media manager or whatever it is.

[00:49:10] Kady: But we send them like examples. Perfect. This is how now you can continue, um, working on your marketing. Cuz we are branding and design agency. We don’t provide marketing and I never. That’s just not what Id

[00:49:21] Josh: like to do. , but, but, but I love, I love what you have set up there cuz then it’s like, even if you give them a launch pack, they still may not do anything with it. So how beneficial to say, okay, here’s, here’s my marketing folks, here’s, you know, my Axio guy, here’s, I know, yeah. Here’s my social media gal. Like, here, here’s the people that we work with and recommend you would like to use them.

[00:49:39] Kady: Oh, that’s changing. And then the other, then the other thing is that, so for example, I think it was last year where my like photographer that I always send my clients to, she called me and she’s like, so I have this client, they have amazing products, but their packaging sucks.

[00:49:54] Kady: Like, it’s so bad. , I like, I can’t make good photos. Like it’s really not working. I think that they need to. Go to you first. Mm-hmm. . So it’s not just like me sending clients to them, but I’m also getting clients from them. So it’s, it works like both

[00:50:08] Josh: ways. That’s, yeah. Networking 1 0 1, right. You help people Exactly. Grow their business and connect with people. They will send you work and then they end up often knowing like really good clients, because if you send them really good clients, it just, that’s the way it works. This is such a good, I’m so glad we’re having this conversation right now, because in a world where so many people ask me in particular, how do I get clients?

[00:50:28] Josh: How do I get clients? How do I get clients? This is it. Like there is nothing magical or revolutionary about this. Like you just, there’s all these different strategies you can employ. There’s different places where you can get clients, like we’ve already kind of talked about in person, online forums, social media.

[00:50:46] Kady: I mean, I think that everything works. Every single social media platform and every connection, like everything works. It’s just a matter of like what you want to focus on and where a Dell client is and what you’re good at, what you want to become a better at. Like either that’s, you know, LinkedIn, social media, like um, Instagram or in person or building that referral partnerships, which was for me, huge.

[00:51:08] Kady: And that’s, you know, I found all these people. I think I found them on LinkedIn because then on LinkedIn, you. Put all these like search, like amazing, like filters where you put the location you put Oh yeah, yeah. Um, their profession and like whatnot. And then from there you can filter them.

[00:51:24] Josh: Yeah. That is cool. And oh my gosh, the, the few times I’ve logged into LinkedIn over the past couple years, it’s definitely like, oh, I’ve been targeted. Uh, which and again, does have its benefit if you want to connect in a genuine way. So, ah, so cool. I, I would love to get your thoughts and insight on the. Economy today, like globally, because we are in a bit of a recession and a lot of people are apprehensive.

[00:51:48] Josh: But I’ll tell you this, like that has not stopped a lot of my students from killing it and crushing it. But it is just a matter of not letting that, like stop them and just keeping momentum going and serving more and educating more. What are the things that have you seen help people like in, in the wake of every session, whatever it looks like, whenever somebody’s hearing or watching this, like what do you recommend people do in down. Especially economically.

[00:52:14] Kady: Yeah. Well, well in downtime, I always recommend improving your own stuff. So like, working on your business, maybe restructuring your offers. You know, not everyone needs a 15, 25, 30 K website design. Like maybe someone needs just a simple template, uh, maybe a project in a day, you know, like maybe that’s a thousand dollars, 1,500, like whatever it is, until they get to the next level and they’re going to come back to you, you know?

[00:52:39] Kady: So it’s not always about like, oh, I need to land these, like high ticket clients. Like maybe you can have a lead offer and then from there, get them to the next level when they’re ready, you know? So I think that that’s, that’s usually like my advice, like just figure out, like restructure things. Again, as, as you mentioned, like some of your students, uh, are killing it.

[00:52:58] Kady: Like, we don’t have, we, we don’t have that problem. Like, you know, even like last month, like my husband mentioned something recession. I’m like, oh, oh, yeah, yeah. We are in that. Oh, I forgot about that. Well, I, I do remember like, uh, that we are in that when I go to grocery store, but when comes to my business, like I don’t, I don’t really notice it. It, and also I think that, you know, this year we were really focused on doubling down on the blog and like reaching out to people.

[00:53:26] Kady: So I think that we are not seeing that because maybe we are putting more effort. Um, so I think that that’s, you know, another thing, um, cold emailing works really well, even though in the past, I have to be honest with you, I was like really against it. I was like, oh my God, I am .

[00:53:42] Josh: I am against it. So I want to hear this, I want to hear, convert me Katie, convert me to the dark side of cold emailing. How, yes. Let’s dive into that if you’re down, uh, yeah. What are your thoughts?

[00:53:53] Kady: I’ll give, I’ll give you a few examples of how I had it people and how I was hired, uh, because of cold emailing.

[00:53:59] Kady: So there was, um, a guy, I think like a year and a half ago, he sent us an email and we get these emails like all the time, right? Um, like all the time. And I don’t even know what his topic, uh, what his, uh, title was. It was something catchy that I opened it right. And he said that he’s a, um, he’s a blogger. He writes on these certain topics.

[00:54:21] Kady: So he, he really puts efforts into knowing me and knowing my website. So it was like very targeted and very specific and I was like, oh, he actually was on my website and it wasn’t dear inventive studio.com . It was a copy

[00:54:34] Josh: and pasted with as name, I guess. So many those. I’m like, I can tell you literally just copy and pasted this.

[00:54:41] Kady: Exactly. Um, and you know, and he even told me it was a template, but he, he knew what words to change, right? And it worked really great. Where he said, I’m gonna write, I don’t know, 200 words for you for free, or something like that. I was like, okay, whatever. Let’s, let’s test this out. And what he wrote was amazing that I was like, yes, I’ll pay you.

[00:55:01] Kady: Let’s do one. One blog post, this is the topic, and he nailed it. It was amazing. He’s been now working for us for a year and a half, like full-time. He is the best blogger I’ve ever seen. Like he, he’s really good. Sometimes he would send me a blog. I mean, I usually, he sends, sends the blog back, and then Kelsey, uh, my manager, she would take it and post it.

[00:55:26] Kady: So I, most of the time don’t have, even, don’t, don’t do anything with it. But like every time when I see an email from him, I open it because I am learning . Ah, how about that? Even though he’s, even though he’s talking about the topics that I should be talking about, you know, but I always learn more about branding it, website designs and whatnot.

[00:55:45] Kady: He’s so, so, So that’s, uh, that’s one story like how I hired, based on the cold email. I also hired my web designer based on the cold email and my graphic designer. So they’re all coming Wow. You know, through cold emailing. Instead of me looking for them, they’re looking for me, I guess. Um, and when it comes to cold emailing, how we got a lot of skincare clients is because we connected with manufacturers.

[00:56:09] Kady: So basically, I went on fiber and I paid $5 to get a hundred email addresses from different manufacturers here in the States. So someone, I think it’s like India or Bangladesh or something like they sent, I mean, that’s, that’s good amount. Like, or at least that’s what they asked for, right? Mm-hmm. for $5, I got a hundred contacts and then used the copy paste.

[00:56:34] Kady: Of course, it wasn’t like me manually doing it, it was someone, uh, who I hired to reach out to all these manufacturers and set up calls. So I had calls with people who. Our sales, uh, in their sales team for manufacturers. So those are the people. I know this is getting like too complex, but No, this,

[00:56:52] Josh: no, this great. we, yeah. Everyone here loves, we love the detail, like get, we want people behind the curtain. We want the, we wanna see how the, you know, the Yeah, yeah. The sausages

[00:57:01] Kady: connected. Yeah. So connected with people who work for manufacturers that are usually on the sales side. So those are the people who directly work with my target. And then I was like, okay, let’s see how we can send referrals back and forth. And I made that connection. So it wasn’t called emailing to my ideal client, it was. Called emailing to my potential referral partners.

[00:57:26] Josh: Gotcha.

[00:57:26] Kady: And then every time when they would get someone like, Hey, I’m trying to start, I don’t know, natural skincare line. Do you have these ingredients? This and that? And when they ask like, where are you in your process? Well, it’s still just an idea. Okay, well you need to talk to Katie about like branding and setting all that up. And then, you know, we are the next step, but they want to know if that’s the right manufacturer for them. So that’s how we get referrals and get clients through them. But that’s

[00:57:54] Josh: call me. Interesting, interesting. , this is great. I’m learning so much in this just cuz it’s a tactic that I tried and hated and I just, I don’t personally know anyone until I met you who has really, you know, at least to, to my knowledge done well using cold, cold emailing.

[00:58:10] Josh: Uh, but. It is interesting because you can use templates for sure. And I use templates for a lot of my repeated emails, like for when a lot of my, some of my students, when they join like all my courses, I’ll send a email and a personal quick video that is a template, but I just swap out the name and, and try to personalize where I can.

[00:58:28] Josh: So I imagine it’s that same approach, but I’m kind of curious, what are some of the other conversion tips for cold emailing? Like do you, is it the subject line, is it the first couple sentences? And also what about personal videos or, uh, like the only cold email I can remember that really actually got me interested.

[00:58:46] Josh: I ended up not moving forward with the service cuz I had no idea what they did in the long run. But they did get me initially because they had a picture. They had a video, like a, a gift that was just going through and it was of my social media and it was actual personal video that was like, Hey Josh, I’m such and such from this marketing agency, um, that they did like get me through the Door.

[00:59:07] Josh: Is it those kind of things that can work as well? Or what are the things that have worked with Cold? Yeah,

[00:59:12] Kady: so what worked really well to me is the title is Always About Your Client. It’s nothing fancy, nothing. You know, like when I’m reaching out to my, uh, to my potential, you know, partners, um, referral partners, it’s always about your client.

[00:59:27] Kady: They always open it cuz it’s about their client, right? So they, they’re like curious, oh, what about my client? Oh, well it’s about my future potential clients. So it’s, it’s, it’s not that I trick them, but it’s like really a catch title. And then from there, I, I usually have, so the first sentence is usually very personal, but very easy to find it.

[00:59:46] Kady: So usually I go to their, not me, but, um, a person who, uh, who’s on my team who does that, uh, she would go to a LinkedIn and then, Find the first, you know, couple of sentences, what is that that they focus on? What did they mention? Do they have kids this and that? Like whatever it is. Just so the first sentence is always personal.

[01:00:05] Kady: And then from there, We work with the same target audience. I see how we can be amazing referral, referral partners. And now I always mention our success cuz, and I literally just had to open that document now in front of me because I would forget all the logos. But what we do is we always mention that we help our clients get into stores such as C v s, Walgreens, you know, Amazon, a b, abc, DoorDash, even Shark Tank.

[01:00:32] Kady: And when they see that, they’re like, oh, this is a really cool branding agency that can send me amazing clients, but I can also send them. And then it goes from there. Here are some case studies I send them to my website. Um, here’s this testimonial. So they have every single thing in that one email. It’s not too personal, but they see me, I position myself as an expert, as someone who works with amazing clients and has amazing results for my clients.

[01:00:59] Kady: And then, you know, from there they respond. , we set up a call and see how we can work together. And for example, even just like few months ago, last month, I sent one of my clients to one of the people that I reached out to because I knew that they have amazing products and amazing ingredients, and it’s exactly what my skincare client was looking for. So it’s not, you know, um, it just, again, it goes back to who you know and how you build that relationship. .

[01:01:28] Josh: Yeah. That is interesting. Well, you’ve made definitely like, uh, a believer or at least a, uh, cautiously optimistic believer on cold email marketing with the framework. And it’s proven like obviously you’re, you’re doing it, it’s working, but it’s definitely very strategic, very intentional, and I imagine you repeat and templatize as much as you can, but you know, like it’s so clear when there is like an obvious template that sometime like I’ve had people get my name wrong, they’d be like, Hey Jeremy, I love your, your po. And I’m like, they need to call me the right name. Of course. I’m like, nope. Delete. So

[01:02:01] Kady: I, yeah. You know, it’s funny, like my name is originally, uh, my name Isen and I go by Katie. But here, I guess like K and Ally’s like really close to always got Hey Lady . Oh really?

[01:02:14] Josh: Well thank God you didn’t go by your, your uh, Serbia name cuz I would not have been able to pronounce that. Probably. I know , but that’s funny. La I, I, I don’t know how many people I get. That’s funny. I guess I wouldn’t think that, but that’s funny.

[01:02:27] Josh: Yeah. Yeah. Hey, lady .

[01:02:29] Kady: Yeah. But also when it comes to cold emailing, I want to like really emphasize this, that we don’t pitch to our target audience. And I think that that’s what a lot of people why a lot of people don’t see any success in cold emailing or don’t like it because they think that now they have to like find their audience and then pitch to them and try to sell.

[01:02:48] Kady: And it’s really not about that. It’s just about building relationships with others who have your target audience.

[01:02:54] Josh: So that’s the big difference differentiator there. That’s a great point. I’m glad you brought that up because I would, I

[01:02:59] Kady: would not like to find the skincare line and then send them a cold email. I don’t even know what I would say , but the

[01:03:04] Josh: blogger and the designer and the folks you have hired, they did do direct, didn’t they? And it still worked. Yeah. So that’s interesting. So it can, it

[01:03:12] Kady: can work, but I feel like, yeah, it can work, but I also feel it was probably the right message at the right time when we were already thinking about getting to, like, getting our block to the next level because our SEO is really working. So I think it was also, there’s so many factors that going to like any, any marketing strategy .

[01:03:33] Josh: Yeah, no, that’s a good point. Time, the right time of, of that kind of thing is, is crucial. So I, I would say for anybody marketing in any way, I don’t, I recommend not taking it personally. Even if somebody’s a really good fit and you thought for sure they’d go for it.

[01:03:47] Josh: Sometimes it’s just not the right time. I, I experienced this when I went into a business coaching program years ago. I originally met with a guy who was in my network and he was a really nice guy and I could tell he really wanted me to join the program, I’m sure cuz he got a good commission out of it too.

[01:04:01] Josh: But it just wasn’t the right time for me quite yet. And then another guy that I had met who eventually joined my networking group, I did join the program then and he kind of asked me, he is like, so what made you join now? I think he was probably like, why the heck didn’t you join last year? And I told him, it was just, it wasn’t the right time. Like, I’m ready for this now. So that is a big point to sales, whether it’s cold emailing or, or any type of sales. So, .

[01:04:25] Kady: Yeah, it is. I mean, even, even when it comes to like online courses or programs or you know, whatever. Like I remember following this one girl for like about two years, and then I decided to enroll in her course. And I do have clients who tell me like, oh, I was following you for a year. I was looking for investors and so on. And then I knew I would work with you, but it just wasn’t the right time. And so I feel that, you know, again, it goes back to like. When is the right timing for people to, uh, to really invest in their website design or whatever it is.

[01:04:54] Josh: And that I think goes back to the idea of just staying top of mind for when that time is. Right. Even if they’re not engaging with your posts, they’re seeing your stuff. And when the time is right, when they need a website, they’re gonna, they’re likely go with you if you’re type of mi top of mind, or are they likely schedule a consultation or take the next steps.

[01:05:13] Josh: Yeah. Same thing for me. Like, I can’t tell you how many students I have, join my courses or my membership and say, I’ve been following you for like a year, a year and a half, and I finally felt like this was the, the time to do it. So it’s a good reminder too. Stay present, stay top of mind. Um, yeah, sometimes it’s a long game depending on the waves of, of incoming clients and stuff, which does tend to even out, I found.

[01:05:34] Josh: But staying top of mind is, is key because you’re not always gonna get everybody right away. I had to learn this when I had course launches. It was like, all right, my SEO course is out. And then if people didn’t buy it, part of me was like, this is so important. Like, you should, you should know what I want.

[01:05:49] Josh: I’m sharing here. It’s really, really beneficial. But I had to remind. . It’s beneficial for a lot of people when they’re ready, but I don’t wanna force somebody to, to dive into this if they’re not fully committed or not ready. And I think that’s the same mindset to have with clients

[01:06:02] Kady: too. Yes. Yeah. And it takes time to build a trust. Um, you know, they’re, they’re putting a lot of money into it, especially like, even it comes to website design and development. You know, sometimes that’s 10,000, sometimes that’s $50,000. Like, so they have to be very intentional about their investments, about growing their business. So, you know, maybe today is not the right time. Maybe they’re looking for, you know, after Black Friday, after they make more sales, then they’ll have more cash flow or whatever it is, you know, so it really depends.

[01:06:33] Josh: That’s a good point. Yeah. Well, Katie, man, what a fun chat. This really, I, I’m kind of glad we didn’t have an exact topic in mind when, when you reached out. We were connected through the designer boss summit that we were both part of, and I checked her stuff out and I mean, it wa it wasn’t a cold reach out, but you just said, Hey, I’m a speaker as well. And, and I’ve done that as well with summit speakers cuz generally we all have similar businesses or similar audiences and yeah, I loved your, your, your stuff and I loved your approach,

[01:06:59] Josh: so I knew we were gonna have a good chat and I, I like that we kind of left it open-ended because we really did cover a lot of really cool stuff about networking, about building your personal network, both in person, online, uh, sales strategies, getting clients, attracting the right type of people.

[01:07:15] Josh: Perhaps my favorite of everything was getting into the cold email marketing because that’s just not an, an approach that, that I, uh, liked, but that it was really eye-opening. And of course we talked about nicheing and a lot of great stuff here. So I, I really, really. Enjoyed this chat. I wanna ask you one final question before we get to that though, Katie, where would you like people to go after this?

[01:07:35] Josh: I know you have a podcast, uh, but you got some other stuff. Yeah. Where would you like us to send everybody?

[01:07:40] Kady: Yeah, they can find me on at Adventive Academy. That’s the online platform, um, that we use for educating graphic brand and web designers on how they can grow their business, raise their rates, get more, and not just more but better clients and, you know, scale to, uh, to the levels of agencies and so on.

[01:07:59] Kady: So I think that Instagram is the best place to reach out to me. Um, also they can go to event academy.com, read our blogs, find our programs, courses and so

[01:08:08] Josh: on. Okay, awesome. And yeah, we’ll, we’ll have all that linked in the show notes as well, cuz Yeah. I love what you’re up to and I foresee many, uh, future conversations with you if you’re down, cuz I really love your style and, uh, what a cool story.

[01:08:21] Josh: Yeah. I’m just double that you have going on. My, my final question is real quick, um, Of all the topics that we talked about, cold emailing, nicheing, networking, social media. If anything that we covered today, is there one particular avenue that you feel like is untapped or has a lot of potential that a lot of people aren’t, aren’t going for right now?

[01:08:42] Kady: No, I think that we covered everything. Uh, I think that we covered a little bit of everything. Of course we can go into details of every single topic. Yeah. Uh, but I think that we covered everything. It is just, um, just know who you wanna work with, have your dream clients. Don’t be afraid of kneeing down cuz you can always change it and you can have a lot of hobbies.

[01:09:00] Kady: It doesn’t have to be business related, you know, you know, people are always like, oh, what if I niche down into this one industry and then I’m losing this or that, or that can be your hobby or you can find them differently, you know, or, How different landing pages, how you said. So I think that that’s, um, that’s kind of like a wrap. Just know who you want to work with and go from there.

[01:09:19] Josh: Beautiful way to end this conversation. Katie, thank you so much for your time, for uh, the first chat of many I think, cuz I would love to pick your brain more about some of this stuff and a lot of other topics. So thanks so much for joining and uh, we’ll definitely stay in touch here.

[01:09:32] Kady: Yeah, thank you so much. And I would love to host you now on my podcast,

[01:09:36] Josh: I was gonna ask you after we stopped recording, so thank you for not making me ask. Yeah, I was looking at your podcast. I was like, wow, I feel like I would love to chat with you about some of that stuff. So let’s do it. Count me in.

[01:09:45] Kady: Perfect. Yeah. Well thank you so much for the call. This was amazing. All right. Thanks

[01:09:49] Josh: for your time, Katie.

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