When you think of niching, are you like me immediately thinking of something like “building websites for dentists?”

That is ONE way to niche down but it’s not the ONLY way. In fact, there are so many ways to niche down your services so you avoid doing everything for everyone when it comes to your work.

In this episode, pioneer of the subscription web design business model Steve Shramm is back on the podcast to share all he’s learned about niching down his services in counter intuitive ways like niching by customer persona, project type and even business model.

If you want to niche down but don’t want to put yourself in a box with only one certain customer type in one industry, these methods are the way to go!

In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
02:39 – Greeting to Steve
06:14 – To scale or find ICA
09:31 – Niching choices
11:08 – Benefits of failing
13:45 – How to get good clients
15:35 – Imposing your will
21:00 – Not niching by industry
24:07 – Should you use a portfolio
29:06 – Serve the Queen Bee
36:24 – Coach Josh
39:03 – Do Success Stories
45:57 – Pricing
51:17 – Website messaging
53:01 – Steve’s favorite niche
58:09 – Discovery mindset

Getting Started with Subscription Web Design

Connect with Steve:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #236 Full Transcription

[00:00:00] Josh: hello, my friend. Welcome into episode 236 of the Web Design Business podcast. In this one, we’re gonna dive into what is absolutely one of the hottest topics in web design, and that is, Nicheing down or going niche.

[00:00:14] Josh: Now, when you think about nicheing, I’m guessing you’re probably like me, at least most of you are like me. In thinking immediately your mind goes to like, I’m gonna build websites for dentists, or I’m gonna build marketing sites for hair salons, or something like that. But what I’ve learned over the years, and one thing that we’re gonna talk about in this episode is that that is one form of nicheing, but there’s actually a lot of counterintuitive ways to niche down.

[00:00:40] Josh: So you don’t have to be a generalist and work with everyone and do everything, but you also don’t have to put yourself in a box. And for this topic, I’m so excited to bring on one of my close entrepreneurial colleagues and one of my students, actually, this is Steve Schramm, who is best known for the subscription web design model.

[00:00:58] Josh: Now Steve, if you have not met him, as I mentioned, he was a repeat guest. He was on an episode 1 0 9 where he really pulled the curtain back on his business model of subscription web design, which come to find out is a form of nicheing down. And he’s an entrepreneur through and through. He’s got a lot of different businesses, all of which he has used the different variations of nicheing to be able to grow a lot of different businesses at the same time.

[00:01:23] Josh: So it is a very effective strategy. And again, what we’re gonna dive into here, Are kind of the counterintuitive approaches that you may not think about or you may not realize are nicheing again. So you don’t have to work with anyone and everyone, but you don’t have to put yourself in a box. So I’m really excited about this conversation.

[00:01:39] Josh: I’m excited for you to, to hear Steve’s point of view and what’s worked for him and his businesses. Um, again, I think it’s gonna help you, no matter if you have never thought about nicheing, but maybe wanna do it eventually. Or if you’re at a place right now where you’re like, okay, I’m doing too many services for too many different people, I need to reel this in.

[00:01:56] Josh: I think this conversation is gonna be the one for you. Now, we talk about a lot of different links in this one. Those are all gonna be linked up at the show notes for this episode on episode 236. You can go to josh hall.co/ 2 36 to get all those. Uh, what I’m gonna recommend is that you check Steve out at Steve Schramm dot.

[00:02:15] Josh: Great extension. And then also his agency site is more north mac services.com. It’s a great example of an agency website with really good intentional copy and a great layout. I recommend checking that out as a, uh, good example to follow. So without further ado, here’s Steve. Let’s talk counterintuitive approaches to nicheing your web design services.

[00:02:42] Josh: Steve, welcome back on to the podcast, my friends. Good to see

[00:02:46] Steve: you, man. It’s a total pleasure to be here. I feel, I feel so lucky to be in the ranks of those multiple, uh, guests, you know, so

[00:02:53] Josh: well, I mean, That feeling is well earned, I guess, because you have done some incredible stuff, man. Uh, it’s been so cool to see what you’ve done even since I interviewed you last, so you were episode 1 0 9.

[00:03:08] Josh: I highly recommend everyone go back to that one because we dive a little more into your story and how you came into the subscription web design models. I don’t wanna necessarily rehash the whole thing here. Um, sure. I, I think what we’re gonna dive into in this one, we could go into so many topics, but the idea of nicheing nicheing, that is so, Prevalent right now and a very hot topic, and you’ve done some really cool things in this, so I figured that’s kinda what we could dive into.

[00:03:34] Josh: But man, Steve, you’ve been on it, dude. I mean, you’ve, you’ve really done some cool things. Your web design agency website, north mac services.com has some really good examples of like the good things to do with conversion-based design. Um, you’re getting into the chorus world now. You kinda have a personal brand.

[00:03:51] Josh: So, uh, I’m gonna ask you the same question I’ve been asking everybody. When somebody asks you what you do now, what do you say? Because you have several websites you can point people to.

[00:04:01] Steve: Yeah. This is getting harder and harder by the day, isn’t it? To answer this question. And I suppose seeing as how you are one of the, you know, few podcasts that I listened to, pretty much every episode, I should have had an answer prepared for this. That’s really, really great. Um, but, but I don’t, I typically say that I own a website design agency, right?

[00:04:22] Steve: It’s, it’s very rare that I get into the. Online coaching stuff, and like, I actually, I own a business now in the music industry as well that helps songwriters and stuff. And so there’s, so I, I basically, it depends on who I’m talking to. It’s just kind of a theme, right? But, um, it’s typically either I’m an entrepreneur and I own a few businesses, or I own a website design and marketing agency. Those are sort of the ways that I go about it.

[00:04:45] Steve: I, I have, uh, gotten away from for a while now saying that I am a website designer, because very rarely is that true, right? Mm-hmm. , it’s very rare that I’m actually doing website design work in my business anymore. I’m mostly just, you know, doing the sales calls and managing the team and, and, you know, creating the systems and processes. And it’s a, it’s a lot.

[00:05:06] Josh: Yeah, you really, pretty quickly it seemed like went fr. I mean, you’re an entrepreneur and a business owner at heart. The first interview that you were on in episode 1 0 9, you kinda shared what was in your past and in your history to bring you to that point.

[00:05:19] Josh: So I’m not surprised that you scaled and that you became the business owner pretty quickly. But the, the key thing to remember, I think for a lot of people when they get to that point is you could not do all of your side hustles and passion projects and other brands if you were doing all the design work in your agency.

[00:05:38] Josh: So it’s like, that’s right. You do kinda have to choose, like, you could do everything you totally can. You know, I, as you know, my story, Steve, I was doing a lot of the design for years, but I, I learned in order to grow this brand, I had to, had to scale and had to not do everything.

[00:05:52] Josh: So, um, that I think kind of interesting leads us to like the, the customer type, because I’m curious, man, with your agency in particular, did you start scaling before you knew your customer really well, or did you figure out your ideal customer and then create the processes and systems in order to scale?

[00:06:14] Steve: Yeah, that is, that is such a good question. To be honest, I feel like it’s more of a, a continuum. So here’s the thing with, with scaling and I’ll, I’ll just come right out and say up upfront, like, I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong way to do this. Some people are obviously more attuned to the business side of it than they are the technician side of it. Plug for the book Em myth, if you haven’t read it, it’s life changing.

[00:06:38] Steve: Definitely a good book. Um, but, but you know for sure not everyone is going to wanna get into managing people and, and doing all of that. I actually took some advice. That I heard from multiple places, so I couldn’t pinpoint exactly where I heard it the first time, but I took the advice that you should start to scale before you feel like you’re ready.

[00:06:58] Steve: Um, and that I can honestly say that piece of advice changed my life. I was looking, I mean, it’s, it’s like you mentioned, oh, it seems like you did this rather quickly. Well, that’s true. Um, as soon as it even started to look like it could, I, I, I could make it work. I started looking for somebody that I could plug into the processes that I had already developed.

[00:07:21] Steve: And I think that’s another thing too that I did, although I don’t know how consciously I did it, but I created some early checklists and processes just for me so that I wouldn’t have to think about it, how to do it every single time. I would just create the system the first time. I’ve always been a template kind of guy.

[00:07:36] Steve: It’s like if I have to do the work once for a template, I’m gonna try to automate. The next time. I’ve always thought that way. And so when it came to scanning, it was sort of natural. From the first day I brought someone on, I was able to point to a series of checklists and videos and things that I had made and say, Hey, look, this is how we do things here.

[00:07:56] Steve: And by we, it’s me, but now it’s you. Right? It’s, it’s, this is, this is how our business has created success in the work that we do. And so we’re, I’m plugging you into that process. And now more than anything, as I’m going forward, I would say I’m just leaning into that even, even more, creating more systems and processes, more SOPs and, and things of that nature.

[00:08:17] Steve: But for, from the beginning, it was more about, yeah, like bring people on before you think you’re ready now to answer your specific question, you know, did I get my target customer sort of nailed down first before I started scaling? How did that work? To be honest, um, I am very much a ready. Fire, aim kind of guy.

[00:08:38] Steve: uh, entrepreneur entrepreneurs tend to be this way. Yeah. Um, I throw a lot of stuff at the wall and see what sticks, and I want to be careful to say this in a way that’s not prideful because it’s, it’s, it’s not me. I mean, I’m, anyway, I’m a, I’m a Christian. I believe the Lord has really guided me through all of this, and I’m really not ashamed of that.

[00:08:55] Steve: At the same time, I would say that all of anybody who hated on me over the years or thought, oh man, why do you, why do you buy all these domain names? Why do you start all these businesses? Why do you try all these different things? Well, the reason is because I wanna see what works and not everything works.

[00:09:10] Steve: And you have to be okay with things that don’t work. So, for example, let’s make this practical for web designers. So I decided, I mean, as you can imagine, the advice to to Niche Down is out there, right? It’s just floating around. It’s been floating around for years. It’s, it’s nothing new. Nicheing is nothing new.

[00:09:26] Steve: Um, And whenever I first sort of decided to do that, uh, I just kind of looked at my current client base and I said, okay, well I have a lot of people who fall into that coach, consultant, online business kind of world. And part of the reason for that is I was in a lot of groups like Michael Hyatts Platform University, uh, Dan Miller’s 48 days, uh, group.

[00:09:54] Steve: Anyway, group groups like this that were focused on online business. And I would just sort of be helpful in those groups, much like the advice that me and others give about being helpful in Facebook groups and stuff like that to help get clients. Well, I was doing the same thing. The difference being these were, um, paid membership groups, uh, much like your.

[00:10:14] Steve: And, um, the difference is again, there is that they’re not web designers. They’re people who are just trying to put together a blog that turns them into a content creator or, or something. And they kept getting hung up with the technical stuff. So a lot of my early clients were me just being helpful in there and then those relationships turning into client relationships. And so I looked at that

[00:10:35] Josh: great example by the way. I got, it’s just, I wanna hang on that just for a second. Great example of like how to find really good clients without doing ads or some, like, join a community where your clients hang out at and you can be the person anyway. That’s a great example of how to do that well.

[00:10:49] Steve: It’s truly one of my top pieces of advice. Um, it’s worked so well for me. It’s, it’s, we could talk about, we could talk for hours on that, um, just itself, but it’s, it’s been a very helpful thing. So, so I looked at my current client base and I said, okay, well it looks like I’m working mostly with coaches and all this, so I’m just gonna go into that niche.

[00:11:08] Steve: That’s what I’m, that’s what I’m gonna do. And so I created, uh, I built a whole separate website, took elements from my current one called Coach Marketing Company. So it was like coach marketing. I don’t even remember their domain, but it was like coach marketing.co or something like that. I mean, it was a pretty, it was a pretty sweet domain.

[00:11:24] Steve: I created the Marketing for Coaches podcast. I mean, I went all in with that and. That ultimately didn’t stick. It didn’t it For some reason it didn’t work. And so did I just give up? Oh, I failed, you know, web design. Oh, it didn’t work. No, I stopped emailing and redirecting and everything from that domain name.

[00:11:44] Steve: I stopped marketing that domain name. I changed the name of the podcast and went back to North Mac services and I figured it out and try it again. Now, today to kind of fast forward and then we can fill in some of the gaps if you have questions about that. Um, today the way that we niche is, is two ways.

[00:12:02] Steve: We niche in the big picture with, um, w w with what would be called category design. Um, and with category design, basically you’re, you’re trying to create a new category. Think Salesforce. Okay, I know none of us are Salesforce, right? But, but just let’s point to that example. Salesforce created the. Category.

[00:12:21] Steve: They named the old thing and called it on-premise. And then suddenly on-premise was, was the old news. The new thing was cloud computing. Right? Which basically Salesforce invented that. They created a new category, right? So in that sense, We’re basically trying to say that we created the category of subscription web design.

[00:12:39] Steve: Now, did we, I don’t know. I sure couldn’t point to another example of somebody else doing it when I started it. So as far as I know, I, I, I created it. I own the domain name subscription web design.com. I’m the only one or one of the only ones that I can find really talking about it. And so here we are.

[00:12:55] Josh: I can’t believe it wasn’t taken.

[00:12:57] Steve: I. I know, it’s

[00:12:59] Josh: really crazy. I heard I didn’t take it and I would’ve charged before. No, I’m just kidding. But that would be credible.

[00:13:04] Steve: Yeah. Yeah. But then, so, so that’s kind of the, the big picture. Yeah. And then I would say from the smaller picture, the way that we’re nicheing down is it actually is still true that most of our clients or some form of coach or consultant or course creator or whatever, that’s still true.

[00:13:20] Steve: And basically, we’re growing a reputation for, um, building more complex websites. Now, we still build marketing websites, but we, most of our websites, if, if they are marketing, typically they’re gonna lead into a sales funnel or e-commerce or some sort of more complex angle there. Beyond that, we’re doing a lot of course creation and membership site, uh, builds, which is a good niche because a lot of people are scared to touch those things. Yeah. So that’s a very long answer to your question. Well, the

[00:13:45] Josh: reason I asked that, it, it’s good context there because I did not realize how involved you were with some of those. Like premium communities where there’s gonna be some people probably paying a decent amount monthly or annually or whatever it is to be a part of these communities.

[00:14:02] Josh: So first of all, that’s like a weed out right there for really good clients as far as like going niche with a certain type of industry, whether it’s a coach or consultant or whatever. But that helped Give me an idea of like, you start with the mar. I mean it really for you. The subscription model came very quickly, again, episode 1 0 9.

[00:14:19] Josh: Go back and listen to that, to hear how you came to that model. But you essentially started your business with the subscription model the next. gap to fill in. The piece to fill in was like, what type of clients are gonna be good with this? I don’t know if hair salons necessarily would go for us. Maybe. I don’t know if like auto mechanic shops, I mean maybe, you know, like, you know, some of those might, but coaches, consultants, people who need the ongoing touch for sure more than a brochure site, are probably gonna be much more interested in a subscription model.

[00:14:48] Josh: And that’s why I was curious. That’s why I was wondering how much did you have in place before you found your I C A? Your ideal customer avatar? Yeah. How much after? Because for you, like you said, you’re getting into complex sites, you’re doing of course, brochure, marketing style sites, but what do those lead to?

[00:15:03] Josh: You just said it, Steve. They’re gonna lead to email marketing, they’re gonna lead to lead generators, they’re gonna lead to downloads, courses, memberships, e-commerce, to put those systems in place that. You know, there’s, there’s a lot to that. So, I mean, what has that evolved for you? Like, did, I guess the question is, a succinct question that I have would be, did your systems start out simple and just continue to evolve?

[00:15:27] Josh: Or did you knew, did you know pretty quickly with coaches and consultants that it was gonna be courses, memberships, complex style sites? Yeah. So

[00:15:35] Steve: that’s a, that’s a really another really good question. So, so let me, let me zoom out just for a second and create a little more context. So I impose my upon anybody who engages me for, for client work.

[00:15:48] Steve: So a lot of my students are of course, coming from the world of traditional, you know, 50 down upfront, 50 on the backend or just whatever those, those traditional models, I’ll, I’ll call them. And um, and so because of that, many of them are, are having trouble, um, not having trouble. That’s maybe the wrong way to say it.

[00:16:10] Steve: Maybe that’s not fair. Many of them are still giving the option, right? Many of them are, are treating subscription web design as an option, option they can add on and offer it to some clients. And, uh, by the way, I think that’s fine. I talk about that in some of my materials. I mean, I think, I think it’s totally fine to add it on as an option.

[00:16:28] Steve: I don’t have that problem because I never had the issue when I, when I was working for, uh, with a buddy of mine again in the, in that studio. And if you go back and listen to that episode, you’ll have more context, but basically we would create sites for the people that we recorded in our studio. I never set those prices and so it was like $500 or something crazy and we had to do like a lot of p h P coding and all that, so that never, I got paid very little and just did what my part of it, which was mostly the content stuff.

[00:16:54] Steve: When I started out for myself, I think I only charged a flat fee, like $400 for like the first website that I did. Literally every other site was subscription web design. Oh, okay. I started, I started the, the company out with that because I was afraid, just to be honest, I was afraid to charge people thousands of dollars, so I started out.

[00:17:19] Steve: Doing it that way. And so from then on, I’ve never had a problem When someone engages me, it’s not, oh, well, yeah, I’ll get you a quote. It’s gonna be, you know, this X thousands of dollars, or I have this subscription model offering over here. It’s not that. I say, so, just so you know, here’s how we do business.

[00:17:36] Steve: And I’ll go right into a sales story. It’s an unfortunate story, but it’s the story of how one of our early sites got hacked and redirected to a pornography site and it was a site for a church, so that’s never good. And Google blacklisted it. And so just a bunch of bad things. And I, I decided that the reason for that is because we weren’t paying attention to the site and neither were they.

[00:17:57] Steve: So, uh, from the very GetGo, I was like, somebody has to pay attention to these sites that we’re putting on the internet. And the only way I’m gonna keep caring about it is if you keep paying me every month to care about it. So I decided that that’s just how we’re gonna work. So I don’t care if you come to me and you’re a hair salon, or you’re a mechanic, or you’re a course creator, or you’re, you know, the president, I don’t care who you are, I’m gonna say, okay, cool.

[00:18:19] Steve: So this is the way we work and here are some of our monthly options. I think you fall into this category. Um, Do you agree? And you know, like I, I mean I’ve got a, a shed company, uh, on it. I’ve got, I’ve got, again, plenty of coaches and consultants on it. I’ve got, um, uh, people in different industries. I mean, I’ve had HVAC people on it, so, um, I think you’re only limited to that if you, uh, I mean if you, if you limit yourself to it, I think otherwise you can sort of impose your wheel and maybe some people won’t sign up cuz they don’t want that.

[00:18:51] Steve: And that’s totally fine. So you’re not, you’re not

[00:18:52] Josh: nicheing though, by like industry, by like a certain type of industry. It’s, is it more, that’s right. Is it fair to say nicheing down for you has been more of like a not a personality, but like a, um, yeah. Well, I don’t know. That’s the question. Like how, what did, well, here’s the question, Steve what does nicheing look like for you? Because again, I, I do wanna follow back on the question about the complexity thing, cause I’m curious about that. But from a high level, what does nicheing look like for you?

[00:19:21] Steve: Yeah. Well, again, it, it’s a, it’s a difficult question to answer because I’ve tried, I mean, so, so I def, I define nicheing, not, this is not how I define nicheing, but like for me, I am, I am nicheing down if the headline in my website calls out the person, right, who, who I’m nicheing down to.

[00:19:39] Steve: That’s sort of the quick and easy, quick and dirty way. So how many times over the years has my headline changed to something like, we build awesome websites for coaches and course creators? It’s been that multiple times and I’ve just changed it out and, and some of the language on the site, so yeah, that’s correct.

[00:19:54] Steve: Right now you’re not gonna come to our website and see something that lets you know that we work primarily with coaches, course creators, consultants, and things like that. In fact, something that we’re testing is, the language on the site right now is actually very geared towards subscription web design.

[00:20:11] Steve: I’m actually trying to, again, carve out the niche in that way, in the sense of the, the business model. Yeah. Is is part of what we’re nicheing with in terms of the complexity though, um, that is a, I would say it’s a nicheing point for us because like for example, we talk on our blog, we talk about WordPress, we talk about, you know, lots of general stuff, but we also have a specific category for e-learning, which we’re populating often with clients.

[00:20:38] Steve: So we do spend it in order amount of time talking about membership sites. Uh, learning websites and some e-commerce stuff as well, because those fall into the more complex categories. Yeah. And so we’re, we’re sort of nicheing down. And that is a way of nicheing by the way, you, nicheing is not just by industry.

[00:20:56] Steve: You can niche in your business model. Um, you can, you can niche in the type of work you do. And so I would say we’re doing more of those things. We’re nicheing down in the type of web design work that we do more of in anything else. And then we’ll still accept projects of all, you know, various kinds. You know, we’ll accept the marketing website and that’s fine.

[00:21:13] Steve: But better for me if you’re like Dee, one of my clients who, yeah, we have a marketing side, but we’re also in the middle of a huge e-learning platform built for her as as well. So I like it when there’s both. So

[00:21:25] Josh: this is fascinating. This is what I was hoping to get to was, was just what you said, Steve, the different ways to niche, because typically I think most everyone in the web design world, especially when you think about nicheing down.

[00:21:37] Josh: most people’s mind goes to like, I’m gonna build template dentist websites where, you know, you just have a template and that’s your, that’s your niche that’s in it. Yeah. Yeah. But no, you’re right. There’s so many different ways to go about it, but that also makes it that much more complex than, I mean, I, I’m answering so many questions and I have myself sometimes, because I didn’t necessarily niche down in, in exact ways that we’re talking about with like, how to do it, when to do it, you know, like do you niche by like, do I just build e-commerce sites?

[00:22:04] Josh: Do I just build core sites? Do you have a hodgepodge like you do? I mean, there’s a lot of different ways to go about it, but I think the key is, To probably do, like you said, throw a few things at the wall, see what sticks. It’s my recommendation. See what you like to do. Some people love doing e-commerce sites.

[00:22:19] Josh: Some people hate it. If you hate it, don’t do it. There’s plenty Partner with you, Steve, send them your way and then vice versa. You know, like you can do what you wanna do, focus on strategy, copy, whatever you wanna do. But you can niche without saying like, Hey, I’m Steve with North Mac services and we build sites for coaches.

[00:22:38] Josh: That’s not the case. Um, your site, right? Depending. I’m, I know you guys are tweaking it, so it’s worthwhile just keeping an eye on it. But I would advise everyone to go to north mac services.com just to keep an eye on like what you’re doing, the, what’s working for you guys, cuz you do have some, some really good things that are more about attracting a person.

[00:22:57] Josh: in a project rather than attracting a category. Correct. That’s, that’s the way I see it. That’s correct. That’s the way I see, mm-hmm. , even if I can just shout out this part of your website, which I absolutely love, there’s a lot of things I love about your site right now. Now for folks, you know, we’re, we’re not looking at this visually, but your headline is web design with peace in mind.

[00:23:15] Josh: So automatically it’s people who are probably nervous or stressed about getting online and are overwhelmed. So it’s like, okay, that’s cool. There’s a video of you. Absolutely recommend that. And then my favorite aspect of what you have right now, Steve, is the, what we’re about section subscription pricing.

[00:23:30] Josh: Talk a little bit about that. Why you do that. Uh, radical overcommunication that is solving a huge need that most people have with web designers. You talk about writing and lots of it, you talk about the, the, the, you know, blogging and, and how you actually do content writing, marketing there. You talk about what you like about marketing and your interest in that, and then education about empowering the client.

[00:23:51] Josh: Those five things right there are a genius way to like attract. The right person, which is a form of nicheing. So it’s interesting. That’s

[00:23:59] Steve: correct. Yeah. The, it’s, I’m glad you mentioned that, uh, because that is very intentionally the purpose of that section. So most, and this is, this is controversial. Maybe, maybe, I mean, I feel like among web designers, we’re among friends here, but this is maybe controversial among web designers, so I don’t have a portfolio.

[00:24:16] Steve: on my site. And actually I have an article in my learning hub, my blog, I call it a learning hub. I have an article in my learning hub explaining why I don’t have a portfolio on my site that I often send to clients when they ask if I have a portfolio. And of course I’m still willing to send them links.

[00:24:34] Steve: Um, but whereas most, uh, designers, and, and by the way, again, I’m not saying this is perfect. I am actually gonna experiment in 2023 with maybe adding a, a little bit of a, of a portfolio, maybe more case study driven portfolio. But I

[00:24:49] Josh: was gonna say, I have a thought on that, but please, please continue.

[00:24:51] Steve: I’ll share. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ll, we’ll, so we’ll see. I’m, I’m not, again, this is a growing thing. It’s not over yet, but what I’m more about, and I, I, you know, I stole this, if you will, from the, from the base camp guys, Jason, free David, he Heiner Hansen. I’m a big fan of their work. And, you know, in, in 1999 when everybody else was doing the same thing, they were building the most flashy complex sites they could, you know, they had a basic text website and, um, they still did like clients with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of a business in 1999.

[00:25:19] Steve: Why is that? Well, they shared their ideas. So my site, north Neck Services is more about, here are our ideas. If you agree with us, do business with us, you’re gonna have a good time. Versus, oh, here’s what we can do. Flashy, whisp bang stuff. And I’ll tell you why. And, and this is the controversial part. Um, in 2023, you do have to have an I for design.

[00:25:44] Steve: Always. I recommend taking Josh’s course on web design. I own it. It’s a fantastic course. Love it. But it’s just not that hard to make a decent looking website with the tools that we have available today. I mean, the, the top tier one. Are like, again, set themselves apart. Like if you’re doing super custom coding and all that.

[00:26:05] Steve: If you’re starting with the foundation of divvy, using good premium plugins and have a good amount of practice, it’s really not that hard to design a good looking site. And with divvy, you’re so flexible. You can make it look like whatever you want to, if the, whatever, whatever the client wants to site to look like, as long as you have the right people in your corner, you can make it look that way.

[00:26:24] Steve: What is different though about everybody is their ideas about the way they see business, about the way they see the world. I’ve got articles on my site explaining how, like thinking through why there’s such a problem with ghosting. I can’t tell you how many clients that I talked to. Oh. That the problem is, the reason they, they started or they, or they found me or they come into me is because the last person that they had, ghosted them, left them.

[00:26:51] Steve: I literally, I had this conversation last Thursday, like, seriously, it’s all. The time. Um, and so I want to build my business around one of the concepts is radical overcommunication. Now you might think, well, that’s not a niche. Steve. Radical overcommunication isn’t, isn’t hair salons. You can’t niche down based on that.

[00:27:11] Steve: But I can, I can because it’s so rare. Nobody, nobody is focused on it. And yeah, not only are they not focused on it, we don’t just say it, we actually do it. So when you onboard with us as a client, you get into our base camp, I’m having conversations, check this out, this is radical. I’m having conversations with clients.

[00:27:31] Steve: I had a client who called me because she’s so overwhelmed by all the stuff that, so we’re building a very complex, we’re about 250 hours into this build Mm Wow. For a very, very complex learning site. Extremely complex. And it’s this particular client’s third try. Wow. She has spent thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars.

[00:27:52] Steve: It is her third try with other people. So she’s used two other people before. We are now building it. It’s her third try, and it’s very, very complex. So I’m getting calls like, oh my gosh, Sam, he’s my web designer. Sam is so amazing. He is so awesome, but like, I am so overwhelmed with what, with with everything that, that he’s got for me to do.

[00:28:13] Steve: And it’s like, she’s like, I, I’ve been working with one-on-one clients and I haven’t had a chance to come in and take a look at things and I’m a few weeks behind. Can you like, can you just help me navigate this? So I’m getting calls, which has never happened as far as I would. I’m getting calls that are like, oh my gosh, you guys are communicating too much.

[00:28:27] Steve: Can you help me parse this a little bit? So, ah, I would rather, I would rather border on that. I would rather communicate and, and feel. , uh, people think, think we’re still here. Uh, rather than leaving them, ghosting them or, or just stopping communication or not having good communication. And that’s a way of nicheing, if that’s something that you’re primarily committed to don’t just like, be afraid of it. Use that in your marketing. Put it out there. Uh, I don’t know if you’ve read Mike Malowitz is Clockwork. Uh, I haven’t yet. It’s on the list.

[00:28:59] Josh: Reading. I really wanna read like two books in the past two years with three. I got you little ones and now, but, uh, I totally

[00:29:06] Steve: underst understand. I totally understand. So Clockwork and Emmy, the one I mentioned earlier, are very similar but very different. Um, both Great books Clockwork, they talk about the concept called the Queen B roll and the Queen B-roll, uh, is not, it’s not like, oh, you’re on web design. Well then obviously designing the websites is your Queen B-roll.

[00:29:25] Steve: You would think that, but that’s not the case. You can actually choose what it is and it’s the thing that moves your business forward. Whatever makes your business different doesn’t exist without this. And you can declare this. So, and then what you have to do is you, you declare the, the qbr r the queen B roll, and then you have to protect and.

[00:29:44] Steve: The qbr R. So what I, so the QBR in our business is radical overcommunication. That is the one thing, even if we’re, if we are a week or two or three late on designs that we’re delivering, if, if we’re not doing even a good job building the websites or whatever, I mean, none of those things are typically true, but let’s just say at least if we’re communicating, then the business is successful as far as I’m concerned, and as long as we’re able to keep in communication.

[00:30:10] Steve: And so this is why I hire people, and I’m very selective with who I hire. I don’t just hire people who can design good. Why? Again? Because my controversial take is that lots of people can design good. I don’t, I don’t so much care if you’re a good designer. Although I do. Cuz I love the design work we’re putting out and certainly we’re doing best

[00:30:29] Josh: ever.

[00:30:30] Josh: You’re you’re looking for the intangibles though, the stuff that you can’t train easily, right? That’s right.

[00:30:34] Steve: I’m, I’m looking for what does, when I reach out to this guy for the first time, what does his reply look like to me? Did he speak great English? Not only that did, did he, was he very thorough? Did he put the minimum that he needed to or did he overcommunicate And so I hire great writers and over communicators and then when they come into my world and introduce them to, Hey, by the way, this is our philosophy and they have to like agree to that and sign off on that to work with me. Um, then it just makes the whole system Yeah. Work. So that’s part of how we’re nicheing. I think it’s very relevant. It

[00:31:06] Josh: definitely is. In fact, I think we just, you helped me come to the perfect title for this episode, which is gonna be counterintuitive Ways to niche in a web. Oh, I love that. These are, these are different ways, again, like we talked about earlier, it’s not generally something you would think about, like the verbiage in your website.

[00:31:21] Josh: You wouldn’t think about that helping you niche, but I’ve actually experienced this on a personal level, level for my site with josh hall.co as soon as I came up with my podcast tagline. So you, you build web design business, so you have freedom and lifestyle you love. As soon as I came up with that, because I dawned on me that for me those were the two things I was after and I achieved with web design is I was free to work when and where I wanted, have an uncapped salary and I could live the life I wanted, which served me in a variety of different, uh, life, life phases.

[00:31:53] Josh: As soon as I came up with that, it has helped me attract the right people who I’m not attracting are the like college entrepreneur douche bags who are wanting to get to seven figures and work 120 hours a week. You know what I mean? Like, that’s not who I’m serving and I, that’s not who is going to be ideal for me. Who I’m serving are people who are like lifestyle entrepreneurs, nomad, digital nomads, people who are working from home, people have families, uh, who are in places where they, they want to build a business that suits them and their lifestyle.

[00:32:24] Josh: So I say that to say unintentionally. Putting that on my website after I came up with my podcast tagline, helped me niche to get the right ideal customer, just by adding that verbiage in my courses didn’t change. The trainings didn’t change. I didn’t change. It was just the, the content. Isn’t that amazing how subtle messaging makes the biggest difference with who you attract?

[00:32:49] Steve: Oh, oh, 1000%. I mean, I, so, um, I, I want to talk about that with respect to the music, uh, business that I have, and I think it’ll, it’ll be a valuable sort of tie into that. But before I do, I just, I feel it’s important to say that your podcast 1000% delivers and, and your courses and your memberships, I’m, I mean, all of it, and it 1000% delivers on that. It’s a really great testimony if that, I told two people just last week, I think it, I forget who it was, but I told two different people in different contexts last week about how important it is.

[00:33:23] Steve: That like this week I have, I’m working reduced hours this week. Now, admittedly yesterday was like ultra busy. I worked more than I wanted to, but um, uh, especially Monday and Tuesday I worked some serious reduced hours and I also plan to try to do that today as well. And, and we,

[00:33:38] Josh: we are recording the week after Christmas, by the way, for

[00:33:41] Steve: everyone.

[00:33:41] Steve: Yeah, yeah, yeah. There you go. There you go. So I’m working. I’m working some reduced hours. And why? Well, you know, I wanted to play some stinking video games, and I don’t do that very often. And I wanted to play some Lego Marvel superheroes too. And it was, I was thinking about this and, and talking with, uh, with people and saying, you know, for me it’s not about the Lamborghini, it’s not about the big houses, it’s not about the fancy cars.

[00:34:07] Steve: It’s not about a huge bank account. Although all of those things I’m sure are nice. For me, building a business is about the fact that if I wanna take the morning off to play sup or, or to play, uh, uh, Marvel Lego superheroes instead of be in front of a place. Now, it’s not to say I don’t have meetings and I don’t have commitments.

[00:34:23] Steve: I have plenty to do, trust me plenty. But, um, if I want to rearrange my day and work reduced hours for a week or whatever, I can do that. And the business. Still runs, and that’s what it’s about for me. Free. Those two things you mentioned, right. Freedom and lifestyle. Um, it is, it is highly about that for me, and it’s just amazing that we’ve been able to build a business that does that.

[00:34:44] Steve: And nicheing and scaling are two of the things that helped us to get to that point. Otherwise. And again, I, like I say, it’s not for everybody, but if you don’t make the decision to do that, then every dime you make will be dependent on you sitting in front of a computer for the rest of your life. Yeah.

[00:34:59] Steve: And if you’re okay with. Then fine. I’m personally not okay with that. I’d rather have the freedom and flexibility to build other things. Okay. So I just wanted to plug your, your resources, if you listen to this, you probably don’t need to plug, but get the courses, join the membership plug in because I’m not the only person who has exactly what I’ve just shared who can say that.

[00:35:18] Steve: Like I, different people that I’ve been working with and that I have got to meet in Josh’s communities are, are seeing the same exact thing that I am as a result of being in this. Yeah. By

[00:35:29] Josh: the way, side note, that’s a benefit too of not just my programs, but anytime you join a community with other designers and entrepreneurs is you’ll start partnering with people.

[00:35:38] Josh: If it’s under the umbrella of a business or a brand, like for, for me, with it being very clear freedom and lifestyle, you love everyone who’s in my courses, a high percentage of them are just like you, just like you said Steve. Yeah. So when you partner with other people, they’re gonna be similar. They’re gonna be on like the same wavelength. So yeah. Great point. I love that you said that. It’s

[00:35:55] Steve: true, it’s true. And uh, he didn’t pay me to say it, I promise, but it, it, it’s, it’s, it’s true. It has been the, uh, it’s been a life-changing really for me. So, um, as

[00:36:04] Josh: it relates to, I’m sorry, Steve, I had one, I had one thought that I just don’t wanna lose. Yeah. Cause I said I was gonna bring it up earlier ahead for you. This goes back to nicheing because you are still technically a generalist as far as category in industries, but you’re more niche in business model and client persona and stuff like that. That’s right. My recommendation, if I can put my coaching shoes on with you, let’s do it.

[00:36:24] Josh: So I’m still your coach. Technically what I would do is a success stories page. This is what I’m working on right now. It’s not a portfolio, it’s not testimonials, and it’s not necessarily, it’s kind of case stu. It’s basically case studies, but it’s just a little sexier. Success stories because with a handful or even just a few success, success stories for you in particular.

[00:36:46] Josh: That is going to so eloquently nail down the persona and the results. So not only will you get the right type of persona of the client and project, but the results that you get with some of the people you’ve been working with. So that would be my recommendation is, yeah. Cause like you said, it’s so funny you mentioned that the episode before this, we talk a lot about this, about how.

[00:37:07] Josh: It’s, it’s beneficial to have portfolio, particularly for more like industry style sites and niche sites. But what’s even better are the success stories, the results, because anyone can have a portfolio like mine used to be, where it’s like, oh, it’s a cool design. And the client said, Josh was great to work with. That’s great, but what’s way better is I worked with Josh and in the year’s time my business grew by 25% or whatever. So that was my recommendation.

[00:37:31] Steve: So I’m wondering what your thoughts are on this, and maybe these are two different things. So I actually had a thought based on, um, some conversations that were happening a, a couple weeks ago or maybe a month or more ago, uh, on Divvy chatt.

[00:37:44] Steve: It was, it was, they were going back and forth and. In between the lines. I saw an opportunity for something that they didn’t say out loud and I thought, oh man, this would fit so well if I did this and I bet I wonder if this is the thing to do. So I had already thought about doing what you just suggested, the success stories.

[00:38:02] Steve: But instead of having like a page with the success stories, I had thought about keeping it in the context of what I already do well, which is writing a blog. So I thought about doing a client spotlight in a sense, not, not a client spotlight, but more of a project spotlight. Yeah, more of a blog story style, you know, long form he, here’s the details of this project, here’s whatever. And it’s good marketing actually for us and for the client. We can get lots of social media content from that. I’m curious your thoughts on. Yes,

[00:38:32] Josh: so I actually experienced this on the receiving end with, this is how I met Pat Flynn in Smart Passive in with smart, passive Passive Income. They did essentially a customer spotlight, which when I say success stories it, this is a version of that.

[00:38:47] Josh: It’s okay. It’s case study client spotlight, client feature, success story. All these things are basically the same thing. Now the the cool thing about this, I would highly recommend it. It does, you know, there’s gonna be time involved with it cuz it’s likely gonna be an interview. You’re gonna pull things out from it.

[00:39:03] Josh: But what a piece of content to be able to use for months and years. I highly recommend that Steve. But then. Your success stories page just is the, the thumb, the blog post that, that they then go to, to listen to the story. Tell, uh, the, when I even eventually met Pat Flynn, it was because this team at Smart Passive Income interviewed me.

[00:39:24] Josh: And did a success story on me. So you could go to, uh, smart face income.com, and if you just search Josh Hall, you’ll see an article there about, it’s called A Success Story. Josh Hall, A designer who’s Changing Lives one online course at a time. They interviewed me and it wasn’t Pat, it was one of the team members at the time Yeah.

[00:39:42] Josh: Who interviewed me for about 45 minutes about where my business was when I came into Pat’s courses and which ones I took, how they helped and, and kind of my story. And then that’s, pat read that and then eventually had me on the, the S P I podcast, which was a huge turning point for, for me in this business.

[00:39:58] Josh: Wow. But it started with that success story, that client spotlight and that got around. So yes, highly recommend that. I’ll make sure we link that in the show notes too. Just as an example, this was our, this was back in, uh, 2020 when they did this. But it is a great example of like how somebody did a success story with me and my business for them, like as, as a testimonial for them. So yes, a hundred percent. Steve, I recommend doing that. Okay. Sweet.

[00:40:22] Steve: Yeah, I’m, I’m, I’m definitely gonna do that then. Yeah. So then let me return to what we were talking about with, as it relates to the messaging. I just wanted to make a simple point. So, you know, we had the same thing. So we, uh, the brief sketch, let’s, let’s see if I can, this is not gonna be an elevator pitch, but it’s gonna be as close as I can get to it.

[00:40:38] Steve: Um, Mia and, uh, uh, one of my oldest friends, uh, the son of the guy who owned the recording studio that I used to work in and go back to the episode 1 0 9, uh, to listen to that one. Nine. Yep. Watch that. Um, I told this story. He’s my best friend in the world. Um, and we started a company together called, uh, I’ll just quick shameless plug called buy demo tracks.com.

[00:40:59] Steve: And, um, we have been, uh, been working on it for about the last year hardcore, and it’s basically what we’ve settled on is it’s basically a marketplace site for independent songwriters to become financially and commercially successful, but also for artists. So it’s a really great place where we’re basically, we’re having songwriters upload their music, um, and give into this library.

[00:41:23] Steve: And then artists, when they’re in an album cycle in the studio ready to record, they can go to our site and filter and find just the song they want. So I think you’ll appreciate this. You know, you come from a music background, but imagine being, now let’s, let’s, a lot of the people we have on there are more like country bluegrass, so we don’t have any metal yet.

[00:41:39] Steve: So you might just have to bear with me on the metaphor, uh, a little bit here. But let’s say, Josh, that you’re in the recording studio and you need a song, In the key of f with a medium tempo that’s about planes and trains and whatever. You can actually come to our website and filter down and find those exact songs that we have in our library.

[00:41:59] Steve: It’s, it’s a really game changing sort of idea, but it didn’t click for us because there’s a lot of, in the music industry, red tape, unfortunately, it turns out record labels, especially like, and God bless ’em, I mean, they have a role to play, but record labels oftentimes are very limiting as to what artists are able to do, um, on their own. And so everything changed for us when we realized that that slight bit of messaging that needed to change was that our focus is on, in. Songwriters Ah, gotcha.

[00:42:34] Josh: Media that, that boy, that just whittled it down to independent freedom based Yep.

[00:42:40] Steve: Musicians. It opened up a new world and there’s lots of those out there, and I don’t have time to explain it today, but actually the way that the model is set up, we think it’s going to, to, uh, pretty quickly extend people who are not independent to people who are on the record label. Yeah. And sort of like the two second reason why is because people are gonna find out that it’s actually easier and faster and better to get paid for your songs the way that we are suggesting that it happened versus the traditional models.

[00:43:15] Steve: The traditional model is very backdoor. It’s very, I don’t wanna, I almost wanna say secretive, even though that’s maybe a little too harsh a word. It’s, it’s very like, you know, deals that happen with people who are connected, like the little guy doesn’t really have a chance to break in is, is what it boils down to.

[00:43:30] Steve: And with this, we think what’s gonna happen is we’re gonna have songwriters getting paid more by artists who are up and coming and want to record their music than they’ll ever get paid with a very commercially successful artist already Sure does it. And so we think what’s gonna happen is eventually, We’re gonna, we created competition where it wasn’t before.

[00:43:49] Steve: We think eventually even a-list artists are gonna be paying songwriters for their songs directly. Um, because why would the A-list songwriter give it to, or why would the songwriter give the, uh, song to an A-list artist that they’re not gonna make any money from if they can sell it to a B or C list artist and make money from it?

[00:44:05] Steve: So we’re flipping the entire game. We think we’re gonna literally change the music industry. You might say, well, that’s crazy, but what’s that? What’s that website, Steve? It’s by demo tracks.com. By demo tracks.com, and it all centers around the idea of, um, of the, the demo, which is basically what a songwriter needs to create a demo in order to pitch their songs too.

[00:44:25] Steve: Artists. So we’re actually allowing people to upload their demos to us, or even record them with us. Uh, just played drums on one yesterday. Um, and we. Making it available for people to actually go find and, and download and use those tracks. Okay, cool. It’s a, it

[00:44:41] Josh: is a cool thing, but it’s a, it’s a testament to nicheing. Like in this one you say, we are direct to creator marketplace that helps independent songwriters and recording artists to become commercially financially successful. So there’s a lot of key. Words in there. Like a lot of key That’s right. Uh, keywords and hot points that are in there that are like triggers and challenges for artists. So yeah, a great, another great example.

[00:45:04] Steve: Yeah. Yeah. If they’re not an independent songwriter or artist right now, yeah, they’re gonna pass on it and that’s fine because we think we’re gonna capture those people later, but Right. We have to grow with the base of people who are the right customer for it, who aren’t shackled by record labels and publishing deals and other things.

[00:45:20] Steve: So it’s pretty cool.

[00:45:21] Josh: I love that. Now, I, there is something I’d love to circle around just briefly on that we talked about earlier, and that is the, like nicheing on the type of project like complex sites versus marketing sites. Do you Sure. Is that something that just comes up organically as you figure out the need of a client and then you’re, you feel like, okay, yeah, we could handle that.

[00:45:40] Josh: Or do you make it clear at any point that you do like these type of, like, I don’t, do you like bucket your types of projects to like, you know, simple. Advanced complex or like, or how does that work for you? As far as, yeah, the knitting process, or is that just internal, like a level?

[00:45:57] Steve: No, uh, we’re, I think it’s fair to say we’re pretty public about it. So on our pricing page, for example, you’ll see two prices listed right there. Uh, they are starting at prices. Thank you. Josh Hall. Uh, they are, they’re definitely starting at prices, but we have the starting at for our, and I, you know, uh, we’ve talked about this before. We’re numbers people, right? We like numbers.

[00:46:17] Steve: And so you could go to my website right now or look at the numbers, so might as well share them here so you don’t have to, we have two sort of start. Packages. And so right now we charge 2 97 a month minimum for a marketing style website. And then on the site we list what, what those are typically going to include.

[00:46:34] Steve: And then we charge 6 97 minimum for sort of the e-learning membership. Sort of site and then set up fees may apply as well. And so that’s a little bit more niche into the subscription web design angle. Okay. But we do on some kind of sites, um, request a set up fee, uh, to help with that. But it’s a small set.

[00:46:53] Steve: It’s, it’s a mu the setup fee is much smaller than what even the 50% down is gonna be for most people selling. Yeah. Um, websites with the traditional model,

[00:47:01] Josh: I like the distinction here between, it’s pretty clear marketing or learning, like those are your two, those are the niches that, that you’ve identified here. As far as persona. And then type of project marketing style sites and learning type of sites. Um, now marketing, would an e-commerce fit into marketing because 300 bucks a month for an e-commerce site sounds awfully I was gonna say no. Like I almost feel like there could be a third tier for some sort of e-commerce or again, is that more of like a level back once you get going?

[00:47:33] Steve: Yeah. Um, it’s a, it’s a good question. A lot of the, um, admittedly a lot of the e-commerce that we do ends up being for the, um, the one of the white label partners that we work with. Okay. So it’s not that we don’t, I don’t, this might be something that needs to change in 2023 because right now, and as you can imagine with by demo tracks, it’s kind of funny because by demo tracks is literally the culmination of everything I’ve learned how to do with a website in the last seven years, sales funnels, membership.

[00:48:04] Steve: Redirection and all of that. We are even adding credits. It’s very mature. It looks like a mature site. Yeah. There’s a, there’s a credit system in place that works with WooCommerce where they can, where people can download or, or they can buy, upload credits and then they burn those credits when they wanna upload a song.

[00:48:19] Steve: Very complex. And so we can do extremely complex e-commerce, but admittedly, it is not a very forefront part of our marketing right now. And I think probably that should change because of how experienced we are. I mean, so we have a site that we. Um, that, uh, it’s not really one just for reasons that we can talk about later, but it, it’s not really one that I can share a link to.

[00:48:42] Steve: Um, but it’s a, it’s a site that is a complex culmination of the two. It’s a learning site, but they also requested that each course be able to be individually purchased. And so it is a huge e-commerce and learning site. Um, right. And so we are so experienced on that, just to be honest, that I think we need to start marketing that more.

[00:49:04] Steve: Definitely e-commerce does not fit into a marketing site by a marketing hub, which I think is how I have the IT language there. A marketing hub is a site that is directed to get people into your product services programs. Um, if you have students, it’s just the marketing side of it. If you want advanced functionality on your site, that’s when you’re starting at that other tier. I see. Be it learning, membership, e-commerce or whatever.

[00:49:28] Josh: Yeah. Okay. That’s interesting. Yeah, so I kind of, I’m looking at it right now. Yeah, so I, and I think for anyone who’s curious about different tiers as, as far as like nicheing by tier, you could probably put learning like as a subcategory under that. Like maybe that is a advanced tier, like maybe you’ll have, um, starting or basic and then like an advanced, and then you could put learning e-commerce, things like that.

[00:49:52] Josh: But either way, yeah, I mean, I, I think because you know, your, your ideal customers at this point, Steve, it’s like you, you, it’s pretty clear you’re helping people with marketing sites or learning style sites, so that’s fine. And it’s working so by golly, if it’s working. Yeah, yeah.

[00:50:06] Steve: We’ve done, and, and so it works actually because we’ve done very little product like physical product based, um, e-commerce. We’ve done a little bit of that again with our white label person. But most of it has actually been just buying people’s courses or buying their membership side.

[00:50:24] Steve: So it’s the sort of e-commerce that sort of, you know, works together with the learning management stuff that we’re doing already. And so that’s where you say on the back end, you said is at a level back? Well, I guess kind of because like in the setup fees, we’re accounting for the fact that we have to add e-commerce to be able to sell.

[00:50:40] Steve: I see the membership site on the website, so yeah, that’s true. That’s happening sort of on the, on the backend. Of course, the client is made aware of that. Um Okay. But it’s not so much a front end thing, it’s more of a, more of a backend thing. Okay.

[00:50:52] Josh: Gotcha. Gotcha. Yeah. Well, that’s fascinating, man. Yeah. I mean, again, this is really we’ve really kind of gone in and around the different ways to niche outside of just by category or by industry. So this has been really enlightening for me. I hope it has for everyone else with just the idea of being able to and having the freedom to like niche buy business model or by tiers or by, you know, types of projects by persona.

[00:51:17] Josh: And again, I wanna reiterate the messaging standpoint. Like messaging and copy have such an impact on attracting the right type of people. Um, oh yeah. It’s huge. So I’m curious out of all this as we get ready to wrap this one up, Steve, Do you have, what is your favorite, like we’ve talked a lot about these different types of, of nicheing options, these counterintuitive approaches.

[00:51:37] Josh: Do you have a personal favorite? Is there, of all the brands that Yeah, if you have multiple sites, I don’t know how you keep all this in track. I’m a little stressed out having all of your websites open, and I’m sure we haven’t and done all of them. On my browser, we have Dot Hill, you have North Mac services.com, your web design agency, you have subscription web design.com, which is right now just to your course, your subscription web design course, which is, well, that’s actually

[00:51:59] Steve: my mentorship. That’s to my mentorship. Mentorship. Mentorship, okay.

[00:52:01] Josh: Yeah. But is the course under that as well, or is the course under Steve

[00:52:04] Steve: Ram it? It should, it should be. The course is under Steve sham.co. I sh I need to move them together and I will one day, but yeah. Gotcha.

[00:52:09] Josh: But then you have by demo track, so of all, you have a bunch of different brands. You’ve, this is a culmination of, you know, years of experience and to this point. And again, we’ve already talked about the fact that you’ve scaled so you have the bandwidth to handle this, but what has been your favorite? I mean, I mean, you’ve, you’ve Ned by we, uh, subscription you’ve Ned by the demo. Yeah. Recording. Like, what’s been your favorite?

[00:52:31] Steve: That’s a good question. So, uh, I will answer that question. Let me also say too, if you want to, if there’s time, I don’t know if there’s time, if there’s time we could talk through at least one way of practically figuring out what your niche might be, given everything that we’ve talked about.

[00:52:44] Steve: If, if you wanted to dive into that. Um, I would say to answer the question as to what, which is my favorite, um, I guess, I guess time will tell the fact that I live at a time, my, I’ll tell you what my favorite thing is overall is the fact that I live at a time that makes all of this stuff possible.

[00:53:01] Steve: The fact that, that I’m, you know, it’s. Um, um, again, one of my, one of my favorite Bible verses says, the steps of the man are ordered by the Lord. And, uh, and he delighted in his way. And, uh, the point there being that I have the freedom and the lifestyle and the ability to try different things and see what works, and that is my favorite thing business.

[00:53:23] Steve: Right is my favorite thing. It’s being able to own this business and own that business and plant seeds over here and watch that grow and plant seeds over here and watch that, watch that grow. Um, it’s, it’s hard not to have a little bit of a special place in my heart for just the straight up North Mac services brand that works on e-commerce and learning and membership sites mostly.

[00:53:44] Steve: Because that’s, if you will, the first thing that worked like, okay. That, that gave me the taste of like, this is a business that now look it, if you saw like, like a lot of people who are listening to this right now, like if you saw when I pay it in, in payroll for people to be able to do this every month, you’d probably have a heart attack.

[00:54:04] Steve: The reality is that I can still pay myself what my family needs to live even after paying for other people to do most of the fulfillment work. And that’s the holy grail right there. And, and still, I’m still handling most of the sales stuff, right? People are still coming to me and I’m very much involved in it.

[00:54:21] Steve: I’m, I’m getting into the technical nitty gritty, although sometimes I, uh, I, I try my best to leave that to, to Christian and Sam and the others who work for me. Um, but it’s the most fun to just be able to lead the team and to hear things like, Steve, like your business has changed my life. Like, like people who are working with me because of how much work I’m able to give them hearing.

[00:54:43] Steve: Like, I had one of my, one of my guys, my project manager had me record a video that they just played it, he and his wife’s, uh, wedding. And they were like so grateful. And he’s like, took, took pictures of like me on the big screen with my video sharing. And that’s what’s cool, helping to develop people and in the, in the service of even your clients and hearing my clients come back to me and say, oh my gosh, like working with these guys is absolutely incredible.

[00:55:09] Steve: This is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. That’s my favorite. You know, that’s what’s, that’s what’s super duper cool. And I love all the businesses. I just love the ability to be in business and start to see things work. And what’s cool about it is the more you do it, the more. It just works. I don’t know another way to explain it. It’s almost like magic. It’s almost like magic.

[00:55:31] Josh: Well, and I think your point of like, this was the first thing that worked. It’s kind of how I feel about my maintenance plan course. It’s still my, it’s per, personally it’s my favorite because it was the first one and it worked. And I’ve seen people like, you’ve like seen you utilize it and you know, like make it their own and thrive with it.

[00:55:48] Josh: So like I feel the same way. I think anyone, I’m sure it’s the same as a web designer. Like I remember some of my first sites that are still there today and they’re like, it still works. It still looks good. It’s not perfect. It’s not like amazing, but it’s damn good. And it’s like it’s, it works. So you have like a soft spot for us. That’s cool. That’s cool to hear.

[00:56:06] Steve: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I do. It’s, it’s neat. It’s, it’s changed my life. I mean, the, the stuff that we’re doing with by demo tracks, for example, just wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve got guy like Christian has been instrumental in, in, in, um, and Christian, by the way, if you don’t know, he does work with Josh and does work with me.

[00:56:21] Steve: He’s amazing. Uh, he’s been instrumental in making some of the more technical aspects of that site work. And, uh, it’s like with, without the experience and the connections and all of, and the, and frankly the time, I mean, I, I’ve, I’ve got probably over a hundred hours of my own time in working just on the site, let alone conversations with my business partner and actually growing the business and, and, and working and stuff like that.

[00:56:43] Steve: None of that would’ve been possible to do if I was either working a full-time job, some. Or, uh, if I was doing all the web design work, all the fulfillment work in my own business. And so it all just sort of works, works together, and I’m just tremendously grateful to be in this

[00:57:00] Josh: position. That’s awesome, man. Well, I do, I, I want to end with maybe like a motivational minute or, or a quick tip on how to niche, since you mentioned that. That would be great. So let’s end with that. Uh, before we do though, I think it’s probably fair to say Steve schramm.co is probably the best place to go. Is that where you’d like everyone to go, particularly for this audience, web designers?

[00:57:18] Josh: Um, you got some resources there. You are my go-to person for learning more about the subscription web design model because I did not go that route. I have a lot of thoughts on it and some high level stuff, but I didn’t get into the weeds of that model, which is why I’m so glad that we connected and I, I’ve seen it work for you.

[00:57:36] Josh: Like early on I was kind of curious. I was like, let’s see how this plays out. Let’s see how this works and has worked really well for you. Yeah. Now you don’t have to go that route. We’ve talked about it before. You mentioned it earlier. It can be an add-on, it can be an option, but Correct. I feel like once you get to a place where you feel like it’s a good fit, it, it is definitely a worthwhile style model.

[00:57:54] Josh: So, we’ll definitely all these will be linked in the show notes, but I’d recommend everyone check out Steve shrem.co to you, Steve. For sure, for, for everyone who’s like, okay, I love these counterintuitive approaches of nicheing, but I’m just not sure like the first step. What, what would be your recommendation?

[00:58:08] Josh: Okay.

[00:58:09] Steve: Yeah. Well, uh, the, the big recommendation would be to start with a discovery mindset. Do that, throw things at the wall, see what sticks. Like. You need to try lots of different things to see what you like to see. What works. By the way, sometimes you’ll find out that, um, the thing that works is not necessarily the thing that you.

[00:58:29] Steve: Like, at least not at first. You might have to grow to like it. One thing, one wake up call you will get in business real quick is that not everybody wants what you have to to sell, right? The thing that you think people want is not necessarily what they want. And in, in fact, another hard lesson that you’re gonna learn is not everything that you want or that your, your clients say that they want is even something that they actually are willing to pay for.

[00:58:57] Steve: You’ll find people raise their hand and say, yeah, I’d be totally interested in that. And you say, well, here’s a sales page, and then you never hear from ’em again. So, um, a lot of times what works is just simply what people will actually end up paying for, um, and, and getting out there. So you do have to start with that discovery mindset.

[00:59:15] Steve: Um, and then the, I guess, I guess after that, the biggest tip I would give is to choose, choose a, a filter. I I have a podcast episode and maybe what we can do is I can just sort of hint at this and then we can link people to that podcast episode if that’s okay with you. Sure. They might be interested.

[00:59:29] Steve: It’s cuz it’s about a 20 or 30 minute podcast where I literally explained the process, how to do this. Um, it’s an episode of my subscription web design podcast and basically I talk. After you start with the discovery mindset, you need to choose a filter. And I’ll explain those on the episode. But the four filters that you can choose from are the passion filter, the data filter, the financial filter, or what I call the logical filter.

[00:59:52] Steve: So you can actually use one of these four filters or multiple to help determine which route of nicheing you could go, or at least ones that, uh, that you should try. And then I have some more things in that episode that you can find. But that’s, that’s a place to start, is to choose a filter for how you’re gonna niche after you start with the discovery mindset.

[01:00:11] Josh: And what episode, I’m looking at the discography right

[01:00:14] Steve: now that, yep. Yeah, sure. It’s episode. Uh, let’s see. It’s episode number. I have this pulled up. Oh. So it’s episode number 14. It’s called The Definitive Guide to Nicheing Down A Practical Three Step Process. Okay.

[01:00:29] Josh: Yeah. We’ll have that linked in the show notes for sure. Cause I think that’s a, uh, a very worthwhile extra add-on to this conversation with how to do it. There we go. I got it now.

[01:00:39] Steve: So yeah, I got this. Yeah. It’s the logical next step to what we’ve talked about here, for sure.

[01:00:43] Josh: Yeah. I love that. I love that. And again, I mean, we could have had a conversation all around that, but I’m kind of glad that we talked counterintuitive approaches because this was a lightning for me, man.

[01:00:51] Josh: I hope it was for everybody. That, again, just to reiterate one final time, nicheing is not just you build dentist websites. It’s like there’s so many layers to nicheing that you can do. I know it’s overwhelming sometimes. By golly. It’s also empowering too, because you don’t have to necessarily niche in one exact way.

[01:01:10] Josh: So Steve, man, thank you for your time as always. I’m so pumped up about, uh, just your passion and fire for what you do. You are very charismatic and uh, on fire, and it’s very clear that you love what you do. You’re a shining example man, of how to do this well, and then how you built your web design business.

[01:01:28] Josh: And then once you got to that point, you scaled and then now you’re a full blown web printer and you’re doing all these different things. Having a good time doing it. So yes man, take some time off the rest of this week, play some Marvel, Lego and uh, man, I’m excited to have round three and we will, we’ll dive into something even more in detail. We’ll have some fun. So thanks again, man.

[01:01:46] Steve: That sounds good. Thanks man. Lots of thoughts about lots of things, so I appreciate your time and I appreciate what you do here for us. It’s awesome. Awesome,

[01:01:52] Josh: man. And did you officially change your middle name to Steve’s subscription? Shia? Is that still?

[01:01:57] Steve: It is it, it is in the, all of my, uh, subscription web design emails that co out from that company have, how old are, I have Steve’s subscription, Shram as the, as the Thing.

[01:02:09] Steve: And then at the tagline at Below that, below Steve’s subscription, Sam is, or Sham is, uh, the best kind of this says, don’t forget, the best kind of client is the one that pays you every month forever. So, um, yeah, that’s kind of the closing signature to all of my emails. So thanks to you again, Josh.

[01:02:24] Josh: That beautiful man. What a great way to end it. Thanks, dude.

Web Design Business

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