Hot dog…this week is the 6 year anniversary of joshhall.co!!

Back on August 22nd, 2017, I launched my first tutorial on joshhall.co. Since then, I’ve build up my YouTube channel to 326 videos and nearly 32k subscribers, I’ve been fortunate to teach over 1,600 students now through my online web design courses and to date have served over 300 members in my coaching community Web Designer Pro™ (which is on FIRE!!)

In this podcast episode, we’re turning the mic over to my close colleague, web designer attorney Ann Kopphuza, who took questions from the community and is fielding them in this conversation.

We cover everything from:

Starting a passion project on the side of a full time business
Whether or not to build an audience first before selling a digital product
How to market online courses, community and digital products today
How to keep up with creating content without burning out
What type of recurring income options are available to web designers nowadays

And much much more.

Even if you don’t have interest in building a course or community, this convo is loaded with answers to questions for all webpreneurs who might want to build additional revenue streams alongside your web design business.

And for those who are considering creating a course, membership or digital product…I’m happily sharing everything I’ve learned (the good and the bad) in this interview!

Here’s to another 6 years at least!

-Josh

In this episode:

0:02 – Building a Web Design Business Reflection
12:16 – Evolution of Josh Hall.co
17:22 – Building Online Courses
26:31 – Web Design Business Advice and Plans
40:02 – Past Experience and Future Approaches
47:18 – Web Design Subscription and Recurring Income
53:01 – Web Design and AI
58:00 – Web Design Industry Evolution and Learning
1:02:05 – Mentors and Coaching in Entrepreneurship

Join Josh’s Coaching Community Web Designer Pro™


Featured links mentioned:

Connect with Ann:

Episode #279 Full Transcription

Josh: 

Hey friends, great to have you here for this episode of the podcast, which is a special one Because in this one we are going to kind of take a trip back here and reflect on the last six years of my brand, joshhallco. This week is the sixth anniversary of when I launched JoshHallco and started doing tutorials, and for this episode I’m actually being interviewed. So the mic is on the other end of the table, if you will, and I’m really excited to have one of my close colleagues and a member of my Web Design Community Web Designer Pro, ann Capuza, who is going to ask some questions here that she has herself but has also been fielded from the wider community of listeners here from the podcast and a lot of members inside my community Web Designer Pro. She’s got a bunch of questions that she had compiled that I was happy to answer in relation to what I’ve learned as a course creator, what I’ve learned in scaling up my web design business and selling it and then pivoting to full-time educator and community builder. So this was a really fun time for me to be able to kind of reflect on what I’ve learned and I hope you get a lot from this conversation and even if you’re not interested in doing courses or being a community builder like myself right now, I still think you’ll pull a lot from what I’ve learned over the past six years, in particular, with marketing online, that you can apply to your web design business today. So even if you’re not a web printer type and you’re not interested in doing courses, I think you’ll hopefully find this really interesting still, and for those of you who are like Ann and you are a full-blown web printer, meaning you’re doing websites and web design services alongside, maybe, coaching or community building or courses I’m really excited to see what you’re able to pull from what I’ve learned over the past six years. So, without further ado, we’re going to dive into the interview here. The last thing I have to say before we jump on is that we did have a technical issue. I actually record my podcast typically through Riversidefm, and Ann was having an issue with the video recording on her end. So I think we recorded the first five to ten minutes on Riverside and we had to bounce over to Zoom for the rest of it. So you might hear a weird break in the beginning there, but that is what that was. Anywho, figuring out tech issues is what I’ve learned in the past six years. You got to just adapt and go with it. So, without further ado, here is Ann, and this is a look back at the last six years of what I’ve learned with launching, building and running joshallco. Enjoy, friends.

Ann: 

Hey, josh, welcome to your show. Thanks for having me on and giving me the opportunity to ask you a bunch of questions about your journey. I find you very inspiring, and so I’m sure that everyone I’m sure that your audience of literally thousands of web designers actually probably web printers, but I had to guess would love to hear more about your story, and I know that you graciously answered all my other questions in the previous episodes about being a web printer, so I really appreciate it, but I have a bunch of follow-up questions for you. So, yeah, if you’d be happy to play along, I have a lot to. Feel free to stop me when you get bored.

Josh: 

No, that sounds great. I know it was funny because when you reached out and web designer pro to talk about like follow-up questions and doing I think some other folks had some questions that you know you would you would feel from them about just the brand as a whole. Because it’s funny today we’re recording this on August 17th, so I think I’m going to get this out potentially the following week, but this is six years to the day that I launched joshallco. So this is literally six years exactly at the time of us talking. I launched on August 17th in 2017. So very timely. So, yeah, happy, happy to you know me and I’m an open book, happy to answer anything I’ve learned over the past six years.

Ann: 

Okay, cool. So let’s start with we’re here, obviously literally on your sixth year anniversary. What did joshallco look like in 2016 and 2017 and what does it look like now?

Josh: 

It’s vastly different in the way of what I teach as like the primary stuff, because when I started, I really started specifically in the Divi community just sharing tips and tutorials on Divi and WordPress and sharing how to build websites. Now I teach how to build a web design business. So it really has moved from pixels to profit, as one of my colleagues termed in I love that term because it’s true. It went from me being really passionate about sharing what I was doing on projects and doing quick little Divi tutorials and Divi hacks and stuff to yeah, I mean now I’m helping hundreds, thousands now of web designers all over the world build a six figure sustainable web design business that they love. So that’s the biggest difference is it is a. Yeah, I went from like teaching technical type of things to now we’re fully into the business business realm.

Ann: 

What made you start joshallco, like how did it get started? I listen to the other episodes but I just want you to summarize for people who may not have gone to check out those episodes.

Josh: 

It. Well, I guess it really all. It initially germinated. I guess now that I’m a lawn weenie and I love having a nice lawn, I’m using like lawn terms on everything. So it germinated from when I was a mentor for a high school program here in Columbus. I was invited to be this in this program. That was for, like this technical program for media students, and I was like sure I’ll give it a go and the few students I had who are really interested in graphic design, web design it just lit me up because they were. I just love teaching them if they were interested. Half of the kids weren’t interested, they just kind of had to be there. But the kids who had a spark in them, who were really interested in what I was doing, I loved teaching them. So that’s really where it all started. And then, as I became more established in my business, I started getting into the Divi community and then just sharing what I knew. And then I found that I had this love of teaching and that’s what made me decide to start officially teaching in the way of having a personal brand in my tutorials, and at that time I was also invited to be a blog contributor for elegant themes, the creators of Divi and that even more stoked the fire. So it was a combination of teaching students locally, being a part of groups and being a blog author. That showed me like, wow, I’ve got a lot of knowledge I’ve learned over the past six or seven years to that point and I love sharing and I love teaching. So that’s how it all started.

Ann: 

Yeah, so you spent that first year really building your audience and then trying to figure out what you want to sell and then it sounds like, based on what your audience asking for, that’s how you decided to sell courses. Is that accurate?

Josh: 

Yes, yeah. So essentially it was not knowing what I wanted to do for sure with Josh Hall dot co, because I thought I might do like plugins or child themes or sell layouts. And then I realized I have such an interest in teaching, I have so many questions coming in about teaching. I was like there’s something here for where I could make a course of some sort, and I had the imposter syndrome that I’m sure every course creator has, which is like who am I to create a course? But then I think I had built up enough confidence and notoriety with my tutorials and my free content that I was like there’s nothing to lose, like I could try a course, and that’s what led to eventually getting into the course side of things.

Ann: 

How long did it take you to build that first course?

Josh: 

The first one was pretty quick. It was kind of version 1.0. The maintenance plan course was my very first course and I don’t remember the exact amount of time it was. I mean that went out was actually crazy quick, consider it was my first course. It was. It was pretty short and the first version, the first iteration, was pretty short to I think it was only a few hours long Total. So I believe I started that in like July and then launched it late August. So it was pretty way in ban it was. It was pretty quick. Oddly enough it takes me longer to do things now than it did back then, but it was also version one of the maintenance plan course in particular was high level. I mean it was still a super impactful course. So one of my popular, most popular ones today, although the new version is out now. But yeah, it was pretty quick it was. It was not like a super robust in depth, like I intentionally didn’t want to make this massive program. I and it’s my recommendation for anyone who does a course just do like a simplistic version one of it, get it out the door, get initial feedback. So I’m kind of unintentionally glad I went with that route, that approach.

Ann: 

So what was the wedded version one? Look like like how many hours was it? Just like? How did you put the parameters to keep it? As someone who, like, is really good at over complicating things, how did you keep it simple enough to execute real quickly on it?

Josh: 

On that one. I honestly think it helped. I go back to this all the time. It really helped having a full time job with my agency, basically because I was limited with how much time I could invest in like parts of the day or evenings occasionally and stuff. So I really was only able to do what I could do in that window. At that time to I think the tutorial series that I was doing on YouTube was done. I was still creating content, but not as much as I was the year prior to that. So pretty much the only thing I did for like a month and a half for Josh, all that code, was work on that course. I wasn’t coaching, I wasn’t, I didn’t have a podcast, so I was really. I was almost able to devote more time back then to just course creation that I then I do now, but it was because I had limited time constraints. That actually helped me. So yeah, it was bare bones. It was version one. I think that course was maybe three, three and a half hours runtime. If I remember correct that. I think it was like four modules with maybe 15 or 20 lessons somewhere in that range, and then that one was screen recording, which takes way less time I found to edit then like face to face and graphic overlays and stuff like that, or even slide sometimes can take a while, like my business course that I recently we did. I mean, I created 43 slide presentations for that course, so it was a lot of work 43 slide presentations like that’s 43 different presentations, 43 different. Yeah, each one of those is basically a master class slash blog post, slash YouTube video all in one lesson. So, but that’s a very different type of course. Then the maintenance plan course. I really showed a lot of like here’s how I do things, the man’s WP, here’s how we do. The reports, those screen recorded type stuff generally, for me at least, go a lot faster. So that helped with the maintenance plan course, although half of that course was on camera to. But yeah, that was just constraints and limitations in a simplistic version of round one, version one of the course.

Ann: 

And how many people did you have on your email list when you launched the course?

Josh: 

Man, I do not remember, probably in the 2000 range, maybe something like that couple thousand, and I think I launched, I think that, the first full wave after about a month of like pre I did a pre sale for the course to gain interest and that was a big discount and then the official launch sale after that and I think I had, like in the ballpark of like 82, 83 students join.

Ann: 

So you have like 2000 list and then use add like 80 people join.

Josh: 

Yeah, that’s probably. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but it was in the low 80s that joined, so it was, and I had a couple of testers, so I don’t count them as far as the profiles that were in there, but like I had a couple of colleagues, you know, go through the process and make sure it worked and gave me their initial thoughts. But yeah, yeah, so those are probably a good estimate on the numbers.

Ann: 

That’s a pretty good conversion rate in the online course world right.

Josh: 

Yeah, I would say so. I mean, yeah, a lot of people have tens of thousands and might get like 50 people joined. And it depends on the price point in the program that course at the time was I think I sold it for. Was it $397 initially? Or maybe it was $297. I can’t remember if I launched it at $297 or $397. And then there was a big like $100 off discount, so it was very fair price for building recurring income with a maintenance plan. Yeah, overall, I mean that’s what stoked the fire for me for courses. And then the real fire came when I started getting testimonials and results from students. That’s when I was like wow, what I’ve learned and what I do is actually working. And Eric, who eventually took over my agency, he was one of the first big testimonials I remember because he was able to adopt two children with the money they made off their maintenance plan. And he sent me like this personal note that was like Josh, I can’t thank you enough because we have recurring income. Now what we’re pulling in, we’re able to adopt two children. I was like holy cow, like how amazing is that? So, yeah, all those things combined, I was like I’m all in on courses. Now, baby, it’s time to go.

Ann: 

Okay. So it sounds like you started Josh Hallco because you were interested in teaching and then you were sharing your knowledge and then, based on that, you realized that people want. You were like, oh, maybe I could start a course. It doesn’t sound like you didn’t have a game plan to start a course. It was just something that naturally evolved, like putting out some feelers out there, listening to your audience and then developing from there.

Josh: 

Exactly. Yeah, it was not. I had no business plan, I had no exact game plan. I just enjoyed sharing what I knew. I knew it was going to lead to something, I just didn’t quite know what. But yeah, courses were not on my radar at all. So what’s? I’m kind of surprised they weren’t. Being that, I enjoyed doing tutorials and enjoyed teaching, but for whatever reason, I just didn’t view myself as a course creator. And then, yeah, once I did that first one, it was downhill from there in the best of ways.

Ann: 

Yeah, what has been your biggest challenge? Building Josh Hallco.

Josh: 

I think the biggest challenge now is because the not the moral of the mission, but the. What I teach now is different for the most part. I mean, I still use Divi and love Divi but, like I said earlier, I’m kind of moved from pixels to profit. So instead of teaching Divi tips and tricks and little things like that, we’re talking business strategy and pricing and offers and scaling and the business side of a web design. So the main explain course was a nice little bridge for me doing that, but I was still kind of had a foot in both both worlds of teaching tech versus teaching business. But the biggest challenge is now, quite honestly, I’m so known Google knows my website, youtube knows my website as the Divi guy, but I’m like I don’t even do that much. I mean, I designed Divi on my own site and I use Divi when I’m building test sites and tutorials and stuff, but I’m not building sites for clients now. So I’m not actually in the weeds of Divi as much. I don’t do that much CSS. I don’t do as much as the tech stuff. I’m like I’m probably 10% tech and design, 90% business strategy and consulting and stuff like that. So I think the biggest challenge now is evolving my brand into this new realm really. So that’s been the trickiest part, particularly because my tutorials are still getting found online. My YouTube channel is most popular for my tutorials, not my podcast or my talking head videos, so that’s kind of the biggest challenge, particularly more recently that I’ve kind of really gone full into the business side of things.

Ann: 

Yeah, it makes sense.

Josh: 

I’m also, by the way, and I’m also platform agnostic now in a lot of cases, like you use Squarespace. Had I just gone Divi and only Divi stuff, we probably wouldn’t be recording this call together. But I do love talking with designers who use different themes, like Elementor, with WordPress, or even different platforms like Squarespace or Webflow or whatever it is. So now that I’m in the business side of things, that’s the. That’s the nice part is, it doesn’t matter what you use. You can use my business course and use my stuff. Yeah, I’ll have some Divi resources and that’s. These are the tools that I personally use, but you can use whatever you want to use and use the methodologies that I teach and everything.

Ann: 

Right, what’s been the biggest benefit, starting at Joshuaco? I think you touched upon this, but I want to just clarify.

Josh: 

So benefit? I guess it would depend on what area of like business or life that would apply to. I mean, the biggest benefit of being a course creator is is sheer time, freedom and lifestyle. I mean I love I love being a web designer and I love my clients. I still love a lot of my clients. I still have close relationships with many of my clients and I am fortunate that when I sold my agency I retained kind of a consultant role in that agency. So I check in with Eric a lot and even though I don’t actively work on sites, he keeps me updated with what’s going on with like safeguard resolutions or safe acts or terrier steals from my clients. But service work is service work is. It is draining in a lot of ways and when I when I started doing courses, I was never burned out from from my, from my web design agency. But I did really struggle with the motivation of doing service work when I started doing courses because I just fell in love with teaching and selling and launching and doing all that kind of stuff that it made the service work. Yeah, just, my passion shifted from service work to to to the new brand Now courses, online programs, memberships are very, very hard work and they’re very hard to sell and it’s a completely different set of skills when it comes to marketing it’s. I will say this it’s way harder to start and build courses and content and memberships and community than it is to be a web designer, cause you can learn how to build a website, you can go to a networking meeting and you can potentially get your first client just like that, whereas it could take months to have somebody join your course for the first time. So but the benefit that suits my personality is I’m doing everything that I absolutely love to do Love doing podcasts, I love teaching, I’m a community builder and a connector at heart. So those three things are what I do every day and I love it. I mean, there’s tons of challenges and struggles but at the end of the day, I love what I do and I love the idea as a web designer. But I love doing courses more, quite honestly. But some people, some people, wouldn’t like this. A lot of people say I’d like to do what you do. I’m like well, are you sure? Cause I’d be careful for anyone who wants to dive straight into courses, you know, and leave a service provider role like make sure you you definitely love every aspect of this before not doing any sort of services.

Ann: 

Yeah, so. So if you were to, if someone like, how would someone know if they would like building courses? One, they should love teaching and sharing their knowledge. Two, they have to like content creation, essentially, whether it’s podcasts or blog posts or YouTube videos or something. And three, they should be someone who likes to talk to people and build like some sort of community around it. Are those the three elements that you need to really think about, or are there more?

Josh: 

Yeah, that’s probably a good three right there. I would also which you could link this into the second one with content creation. You do have to like marketing in some way, whatever that looks like for you, whatever marketing looks like. Marketing could be a podcast, could be a YouTube channel, it could be social media content could be blogging, it could be interview series, it could be being on summits, it could be connecting people with each other, being in a community or leading a community. However way you like marketing, you do, you have to market way more as a as an online, like coach and educator, than you do as a service provider Because, as we all know, as a service provider, as a web designer, you get a couple referrals and that can lead to a swarm of referrals. And, aside from my networking group, I didn’t do any marketing for my business. It was almost purely 100% referral based. So you do have to market more in what I do now that I’ve found and a lot of web designers don’t like doing much marketing or sales, so that is the biggest differentiator, I think. But I’ve learned to approach marketing and trying to be less salesy but also not be afraid to promote. You even told me before went live. I’ve been promoting a lot more and yeah, it’s because I worked my ass off on my new business course. I spent three months on that thing and I think it’s the best that’s ever come out of this brand. So I want to get in the hands of a lot of people and help a lot of people make six figures and beyond with their business. So I am not shy about promoting and marketing like I was maybe six years ago, but I’m also trying not to come across, you know, sleazy or salesy in any way either.

Ann: 

Yeah, Josh, to be fair, I think you promote way less than is justified Speaking up about like how great your products are and how great your courses are to help a lot of web designers to get where they need to be, and teaching the foundational skills. So, like, I still think you’re like well below the ratio of like promotion to education. I don’t even think of it as promotion. Like I actually hate marketing. Like I hate the term marketer. I never, would ever in a million years, describe myself as a marketer. But what you taught me is that, like you don’t have to be sales, you just have to teach. And I’m like okay, when I reframe it like share content, share knowledge, teach that. I’m like okay, this I love to do, but that’s different from marketing in my head.

Josh: 

And I so appreciate hearing that and this is a great lesson. I honestly need to be reminded of this, like every week at least, because I know every time I put a promotion out or a post that says join us on Web Designer Pro or I’ve got a course for this. So to me it feels like I’m marketing a lot, but you just reminded me that not everyone sees that stuff, and even if I write a big marketing email or a promotion email, somebody might just delete it right away and not actually go through everything I wrote in there, but maybe they’ll open up the next one. So it’s a great reminder for me and that I can do that a lot more in a genuine way. And, quite frankly, one thing I love now like I’m sitting on a bulk of testimonials. I can’t wait to get out there because I’ve got all sorts of case studies and success stories and testimonials and I’m putting together that are marketing pieces themselves. I don’t need to say I don’t need to sell anything. All I need to say is, like here’s my student who’s getting this result. If you want something similar, join us on Web Designer Pro and I’ll coach you directly. So that makes it easier too with having testimonials and results and social proof, which is something anyone who does a course in particular I mean this is the same for web designers with clients but get a testimonial, find a result, get a success story and, you know, market off of that. It’s the best marketing tool.

Ann: 

What are you most proud of with JoshLalco?

Josh: 

Oh man, I mean the testimonials and the results of the biggie. Like I have a growing wall over here that I’m going to continue to build out of. Like success stories and little testimonials. I mean those are really what keeps it going, the testimonials and the results that people are getting. Like you’re an example, man. I recently had Leanne on my podcast, a member of Pro, who just told me how the business course helped her redefine her business and now she’s enjoying her work more and she’s just so appreciative. Like those kind of things are huge for me. So many members of Web Designer Pro who I’m getting the results now and I’m seeing like they have close to or over six figure businesses now and I remember some of them who were making like $5,000 and started with some of my first courses, so to see those success stories are amazing because it just it proves that what I learned in my journey and my experience can so translate to everybody else and everyone is making it their own, which is the really cool thing. Like I like to share what worked for me and this is what I recommend. But with Web Design there’s no right or wrong, so you can take what I learned and make it your own. So I think for me that the coolest thing is to see a lot of these Web Designers some that I’ve met more recently and some that I’ve known for years, who are just killing it. And, like I think about April, who’s doing a training here in Web Designer Pro this month and she was one of my first students. I think we found out she was within the first year of my first course. She came in. Now she’s on track to six figures and she’s spending more time with her kids and she’s working from home and she’s thinking about creating her first course. So that’s been really cool. It’s like now that I’m six years into it, it’s coming full circle for a lot of students. It’s one of the many things that keeps me going. But I guess quick answer is yeah, the success stories, it’s the best. That’s why I do it. Money and anything else is cool. I want to provide for my family, but the success stories it’s the best. To be able to make it and earn a good living and do what you love to do and see the impact you’re making. It’s the best. It’s just the absolute best.

Ann: 

What have you found most challenging about running it?

Josh: 

One aspect was like we talked about the shift from teaching tech to teaching business. The other, I think, is honestly marketing. I think keeping up with marketing and trends is really tricky as a course provider, because things that worked pretty well in like 2019, 2020 aren’t working quite the same right now. There’s also different things in the way of promotional emails, for example, like getting into the nitty-gritty. I could send promo emails in 2019 and they would hit every inbox. Well, now, so many email filters block out promotional materials that if I run a sale or I have a launch sale on something or a promotion, a lot of my email list isn’t even getting those. So there’s stuff like that. That’s tricky. And even social media. I don’t have a huge presence on social media, but even that like I could do a real sale or something and maybe like 15% of my audience will see it. So that’s the tricky thing is keeping up, like marketing, with what’s working now and how to market effectively. I guess.

Ann: 

Yeah, that’s a really good point. If you could go back and give yourself any advice in 2017, what would it be?

Josh: 

I would probably. I mean, I’m really am glad in hindsight the route I took with building my audience, first doing it for free. But, like I said earlier, only because I had a full-time job with my web design business was I able to do that. But what I would say is probably would have been nice to have a low ticket offer. Apart from that, first course, I think that would have gotten more people in the door and I probably would have like double or tripled my initial launch if I would have had like a $47 entry course or $97 entry course or something like that, or entry product something like that. So I would have said like focus on maybe and it’s kind of funny because I’m doing this now I’m going back to the basics of casting a wider net and having something whether it’s a $7 product or $27 product something that people can invest in to get to know you and your brand and get some value. But they’re also paying you something. I have for the longest time gone the route of like a bunch of free stuff or like web design or pro for 2000 a year or $199 a month. So it’s a little bit. I’ve kind of I’ve got like a huge funnel for the free stuff and a very narrow funnel for my actual offers in a lot of cases, although you can still buy my courses one off, but even those are several hundred dollars, which can be a lot for somebody starting out. So I’m actually now going back to the basics and offer I’m creating some more like $27, $37 entry points, which are basically just resources stripped from my business course, like probably going to sell, like my proposal, template, maintenance plan, starter kit, stuff like that. That can be a nice little $37 kind of thing. So if somebody’s going to pay it 37 bucks, as long as they get a really good return on that, they’ll pay you 300 or 400 or more or come into a community. So, yeah, I would advise myself to maybe think about some of those low ticket offers that would help people get through the door with some small investment.

Ann: 

Yeah, and I find myself now, before I buy like a large course that’s a couple of thousand dollars, like I’m going to like I do consume all the free content and then if that person has a low ticket course, then like I will buy that low ticket course to see how I’d like it before I invest in the larger course.

Josh: 

Yeah, and that’s. I mean it’s kind of the structure I have currently in place, which is my courses are still currently DIY. You can DIY, do it yourself at joshallco or you can get them in web designer pro, so it’s kind of like that. But there’s still a level of like low ticket offers that I think, for web designers in particular, would be which would be really helpful, which would be in the like 50 and under range for just you know, bite size kind of stuff. So it’s kind of funny. I feel like I’m kind of going back to the basics. I’m almost six years in. I’m going like back to everything I did in the beginning. Just would like this strategy I would recommend. So I’m kind of in the middle of an interesting case study, with backtracking in some ways, just because I’ve got this incredible community, as you know, and with web designer pro and my courses have done wonders for over 1600 students now over the world. But there are thousands of web designers, hundreds of thousands, that could use my stuff. So I realized I got to widen the funnel at the start and I also need to market and get in front of more eyes. I need more discovery channels. So it’s why, moving forward. I’m getting back into more YouTube videos, really continuing on with the podcast, but getting more into YouTube videos and probably running some ads just for, like, some free master classes and stuff like that, just to cast a wider discoverability net.

Ann: 

How do you see Josh Hall of volume next few years Like, are you going to stay focused on what was that? Are you going to ship to weaponers, or what’s the sort of thinking about?

Josh: 

how the next few years will definitely be web design, really really taking it even further into helping web designers start to scale. I think I told you before we started recording my next course that I have the bare bones on and the framework out already on is a scaling course teaching people, because now I’m getting the majority of questions I get is like how do I delegate? Coincidentally enough, a lot of members and pro are so slammed that now the issue isn’t pricing and getting clients, it’s what do I do with all these projects? So what I’ve realized to answer the question is like with Web Designer Pro, I’ve got so many people to the place where they’re swamped. Now I need to offer something to help them once they’re swamped. So I’m going to do a scaling course and then this is a bit fuzzy right now, but I had toured around with having a higher level option for coaching inside of Web Designer Pro for those who are headed towards six figures or above, who want to like talk with me every month, kind of it’s. Just you could just upgrade for a month and then go back down if you want that’s, so it might be an option. So basically, the game plan moving forward here is to offer more of the support for those who are killing it. That’s, I really don’t have too much after my business course as of now. So the scaling course will help and then some intensive coaching options and then, apart from that, it’s casting the wider net to get into the courses and Web Designer Pro. That’s kind of my game plan. That’ll take up a good year to moving forward. And then I mean I would love to get into the more WebPrinner space and folks who are doing Web design and courses. But that is a market that would require a very different strategy and I’ve talked about this on the podcast. Like I did launch a course on creating a course. It’s available on Pro now as kind of an extra, but that kind of flopped. Like I thought more people in my audience would be really interested in that but that was not what I. I mean I got probably a fourth of the amount of students I had expected and anticipated and even though the people who went through it loved it, it just showed me like I don’t. I’m not ready to go full into the WebPrinner side of things for quite a while. I might start getting into that as more like extras and add-ons as opposed to. You know, like having a full brand around it. But I’m really all in on Web Designer Pro. That’s the biggie. So, yeah, that’s over the next couple of years. That’s where the focus is going to be.

Ann: 

I think that you’re a really good example of someone who is listening to their audience and is responding to their audience rather than like something that you are inherently going in, and I think it’s a really smart move to be putting out feelers, hypotheses, testing it and then, based on the feedback, you’re changing your offering. So that’s really cool to hear.

Josh: 

Yeah, and I kind of wish, I kind of wish I would have done maybe a pre-sale for that, for that course, for example. That probably would have showed me like, okay, there’s not that much interest in that. Because I did a pre-sale for my maintenance plan course and I was like, okay, I’d like I don’t know 40, some 30 or 40 people really interested in that. So I was like, okay, that’s enough for me to go off of. But if I did a pre-sale now and only 10 people signed up for it, I’d say, okay, probably not the best thing, I would just refund that or maybe make it a free guide or something like that, or an extra or a training or something. But yeah, you do, you have to listen to your audience and even though I might want to get further into WebPreneur, the questions I get are about scaling and hiring and pricing and, yeah, the typical questions that all WebZarner struggle with. So, yeah, I’m ready to really take all that to the next level, especially now that WebZarner Pro is kicking. We have a really, really nice groove going on in there and I’m ready to make that experience even better. So that’s where my focus will be.

Ann: 

So Elizabeth McCrary, on one of her recent podcast episodes, talked about cancelling her membership, and she’s a part of the reason why she felt like constant pressure to provide valuable content and give her audience access to her. Do you feel any pressure like that and, if so, how do you manage the demands come up with creating access and content?

Josh: 

Yeah, it is tricky. It’s so funny. You mentioned that I literally just DM’d her yesterday because I heard that episode too. I love Elizabeth, she’s great and I want to talk to her. I invited her back onto the show because I wanted to kind of explore that idea of whether to pivot or whether to quit. And yeah, I mean she had a membership of I think like 170 some paying members. It was a low ticket member, I think. It was like 20 bucks or something or 30 bucks, so it was a lower ticket type of membership. But she did, yeah, close that, which is really interesting and I get it. I mean, I actually felt this more when Web Designer Pro was formerly the web design club, because I didn’t have my courses in there. So it was kind of the separate thing and I found it tricky to be able to coach people if they didn’t have access to everything, cause I’m like, well, I can you know? I was like, have you done the maintenance plan course yet? And somebody’s like, no, I’m like, well, you got to get that course, but then they’d have to invest another 300 bucks, or now that course is 500 now. So with all that and Web Designer Pro, it’s made it so much easier because I’m essentially I. What I’m doing often when I’m coaching in pro is just saying like, oh yeah, go to this lesson in this course, and then they’ll be like, oh my gosh, I didn’t even think about that, yeah, let me just go through that whole course. So a lot of what I’m doing in the coaching aspect as far as as far as that is redirecting to a lot of resources that I have, because I do have a huge resource Now this library between podcasts and YouTube videos and all the stuff in pro. So that’s most of my job is doing that. But then the other coaching aspect is looking at people’s services pages and pricing and just giving my honest opinion on where they’re at and what they could do differently. I love that, though I’ve got it to a place right now where that is not all consuming. I mean, it is time consuming sometimes, but with any subscription product I was nervous about having there’s 128 members now in pro. I was nervous about having a hundred people DM me every day, but that’s not what happens. It’s like half a dozen, maybe sometimes 10 if it’s a really busy day, and a lot of those are just quick answers. So I did that for years for free in Facebook groups and on YouTube comments and stuff now. So now it’s just I’m basically doing everything I’ve done for six years. I’m just getting paid better for it. So, yeah, it’s kind of like, as I’ve got more established, I’ve made it so to get direct access to me. I think you have to do this when you get to a certain level to get direct access, you got to pay for it. Basically, I mean, I’m I’m still very active in my DMs and comments and stuff, but in Facebook groups I’m just not able to have the time to to dish out free advice in Facebook groups like I was six years ago. But I’ve also got loads of free content. That speaks for itself. So, yeah, that’s that’s kind of where I stand with that. I’ve intentionally made it so it’s not draining me and I can’t say what Elizabeth’s other service offerings looked like. But this is like the main thing I do. Like everything points to web designer pro and the coaching I do in there, so it’s not like I’m running another business or another a bunch of other things along with it. So that’s also what frees me up. It’s also why I’m pretty mono, mono minded, mono tracked when it comes to having an endeavor focused. Yeah, yeah, like I’m, I’m a one one thing at a time kind of guy, for sure Cool.

Ann: 

All right, now I’m going to ask you a bunch of questions about web design oh right If you want to start your web design business completely over in 2023, what would you do differently?

Josh: 

I well a lot of different areas of that, like maybe marketing or tools or what. What area?

Ann: 

just generally. Maybe we’ll start with like a business overall business and you find a client and things like that.

Josh: 

Yeah, I would actually probably do exactly what I did in 2009, honestly, which is start with the personal network and then professional network and then networking and groups and this depends on personality, for sure, but because I am a people person, I and a lot of members and pro have attested to this it’s like if you get to networking and meeting and people, it’s the quickest ROI for building your business. So I would still do a lot the same, but honestly I would. I would have a focus on in person stuff, especially now. In person stuff, now more than ever, goes even further. So I actually think there’s a resurgence. Despite everyone working remotely and online, you will grow your business way faster meeting in person. So I would actually do a lot of that. The same I would I would. As far as marketing, I would pretty much take that approach. The only thing I would do differently is, from day one, I would build an email list and even if I had 32 clients on there, that would be my email list and I would continue to, at least every month, hit them with a case study, a success story, a recent tip from web design something we’re working on. I would keep better top of mind with clients, because that’s my favorite type of marketing is just staying like nurturing a list of clients or potential clients that are that are right there. It’s the easiest marketing in my mind. So, yeah, I would focus on in person and warm leads and warm relationships, rather than cold or or any of those strategies where you know I mean social media works, but it is a different game and as a web designer, you don’t need that many clients. So that’s what I would do if I were starting today. Those things.

Ann: 

How has your past experience as a service provider shaped your current approaches of course breeder and community builder? Do you think there are skills or just attitudes or anything that you’ve taken from your service provider days to now as a course breeder and community builder?

Josh: 

Yeah, I think there’s definitely communication skills and empathy with being new to an industry, even my networking group. I remember going to networking events feeling terrified and not knowing many people or anybody, and if somebody welcomed me and hung out with me, it meant the world to me. So, when it comes to like running a community, now when somebody joins, I always send a personal video which I don’t know anyone else I think I’m a Kate has been doing it. Who’s who’s awesome at doing that, but there really aren’t many course creator. Have you ever got a personal video from a course creator? No, so there it is. Do something that everyone else is not doing and you will stand out. For me. It’s taken the time to record a personal video and say hey, welcome to pro or whatever it is, or welcome to the course. So that has been key because that adds such a like, warm welcome, especially into a community. Same thing for a course. Like if somebody joins a course, even if it’s more DIY, how amazing would it be to hear from the person you’re learning from? This is a game that’s hard to do at scale If you’re somebody like Pat Flam or Amy Porterfield or somebody with thousands and thousands of students, but I don’t know. It’s an awfully powerful thing that I’ve found. So that idea of like in a group setting, making someone feel welcome, particularly for a community, is huge. So yeah, to answer your question, anne, in that regard, what I learned in my networking group is basically what we’re doing on Web Designer Pro. So similar, just digitally instead of in person at IHOP.

Ann: 

How important do you think it is for web designers to be building some sort of digital product, whether it’s a course, a template, a digital download, something like that?

Josh: 

I do think it’s good to have some diversity in your income streams, but I wouldn’t pursue that initially. I would really focus on I would focus on the income streams for your business and diversifying those a little bit like having a care plan, having hosting, having a retainer type service whether it’s SEO or content or marketing or whatever you’re doing to help grow your clients and then your build services, your redesign and your full builds. Those are three of the different income streams that I teach in my business course that you can really make your own Once you get a handle on those. That’s when I think it’s time to have maybe a side type of income stream, or a digital product, if you want. I don’t think it’s a necessity, but it is awfully nice when I think about, like Steve Sram, who was in pro, who is the king of subscription web design. He’s done a really good job of growing his agency, scaling it to free him up enough to where now he has a course on subscription web design and it’s a big passion thing for him and I’m sending people his way because he’s he’s my go to, because I didn’t do that model and it’s a really nice little income stream for him that he could really take to the next level. We met in person a few weeks ago because he was in town and let’s just say I think he’s got a very, very exciting next few years with that that side of business. So, yeah, I think it’s. It’s not a necessity, but it is a really cool thing to have if you are at a place where your business is solid and you want to add something else. But it is hard to do anything on the side successfully and run your business as a solopreneur if you’re doing it all yourself. That is that’s tricky. So in that case I would say if you’re going to do a digital product, try to scale in some way with your business just to make sure you’re freed up enough to be able to handle handle a digital product.

Ann: 

Yeah, because the thing about creating a digital product is you also have to create content around it, and so I mean that’s how all these digital products are sold, and so it’s essentially adding on content creation and product creation to your work as a service provider, and so sometimes it is easier to get to a point where you’ve already booked out your services and then go into product creation and content creation.

Josh: 

Yeah, any sort of digital product. That’s. The trick is you have to continue to market it over and over and over and over and over and over again. It doesn’t stop. You can do it seasonally, like you could. You could create four blog posts one week and then have those scheduled out for the next month. You could do it like that, you could bulk record and whatever that strategy would look like, but it does require constant marketing for, I mean, I guess, anything, even a service, you have to continue to market in some way. So, yeah, it’s it’s tricky to balance both. I will say that, which is why, when I went full time, I was like, wow, I have so much more time to invest in courses and marketing. And that’s what allowed me to take my podcast to the next level is because I wasn’t doing projects anymore.

Ann: 

In your podcast episode Eric, which is episode 270, Eric talked about having done for you services and done with you services, aka a membership he’s launching. Do you think other web designers should be preparing for a done with you service like a membership as well, on the back end?

Josh: 

Yep, yep, I think that is a. I think that is a new not the new wave of web designers, but it is a very, very powerful, untapped, hidden gym of a service, and a recurring service at that for web designers, because that puts you as the consultant, the strategist, the teacher, the guru is, yeah, to have some sort of community or membership of clients, even if they’re completely in unrelated industries, but there’s still common principles with web design and marketing and what’s. I mean. Clients want to know what the heck is going on. Most clients aren’t going to know what chat GPT is. So if you could say, hey, by the way, there’s this tool, it’s called AI and it just helps us with, with getting content and prompting for thoughts on content and stuff like that, and then here’s how you could use it for your business. There’s and, of course, you could take that with just general content approach, but there’s also something about tailoring it to your clients in a membership. So, yeah, I think there’s a really, really powerful avenue for that. I mean, quite frankly, most everyone listening to this is probably doing this in some sort of fashion for free, one-on-one with, like coaching your clients and giving online marketing advice and website advice. So how cool would it be to, number one, charge for it but just do it in a more controlled manner, like maybe once a month you go live to your clients, even if it’s just Q and A style on Zoom, but you could go live and they could ask you questions. And instead of fielding questions all the time, every day, every week, multiple times with different people, what if it was just more in a more controlled environment? And then if you could share case studies? And then, if you have clients who are in similar industries, how cool would it be to pair them up with each other so they can, you know, work together or collaborate via connector? I do think there’s a lot of value and an opportunity for that.

Ann: 

Cool. All right, I’m going to ask you some of your your thoughts on some other new developments in web design industry. What do you think about subscription pricing, which we just touched on a few minutes ago?

Josh: 

Yep, it’s a great, it’s a great option, it’s a great model, I think for most people. I think it’s a good fallback, unless you’re like Steve and that is your model 100%, which some of the designers and pro are going that route and and it’s great, it is a long game and even Steve will tell you that it takes a while to get enough subscriptions at $197 in a month before you’re making 10K a month. But it is a really, really great model, especially for those clients who maybe don’t have a 10 grand to drop within a couple of months period to be able to stagger that out and like a controlled 18 month plan. So it is really, really worthwhile. I recommend in most cases having it as an add-on or an option or a fallback. So even if somebody doesn’t have $2,500 to start with which is my recommendation for the starter tier of a web design package you could say, well, listen, we do have an option. It’s it’s like $199 a month for 18 months. So it technically is more in the long run, but it’s $199 a month and we can at least do this and this and this and this. We can get it close to that first package just on a monthly subscription and if you include your hosting and maintenance in with that, you’ve got hosting and maintenance client and then, as long as you do a really good job, very, very unlikely is it that they would leave after 18 months with you, and if you’re doing their hosting, they’ll have to take their website down. So, yeah, I think there’s a lot of great options for that. I recommend having it as a fallback or an additional option for those who want it, versus having like the hybrid approach which I took, which is full, one-off projects and then offering hosting and maintenance retainer. Yeah, cause now there are some clients who are really averse to subscriptions. Still, even though we all pay subscriptions for everything from Disney Plus to beauty products, to, you know, razors, whatever there are a lot of clients who still don’t want to pay monthly for something, and some people, quite frankly, some businesses, want to get their marketing budget off the books by the end of the year. That’s one thing to consider too. I had a lot of clients who were like we would sign on in December and we, you know, the project was scheduled to go out for three months. But they would say, jocelyn, we want to pay upfront to be able to get the tax credit and to get our marketing budget off the books. So I’m like, okay, that’s cool, I’ll take 12 grand right now, yeah, so that’s the one thing to consider too. So I like having both options.

Ann: 

In short, Okay, that’s a really good point. What about video? And how about incorporating video onto websites?

Josh: 

Yes, yes, anywhere you think you should do a video. Yes, do video. You do not need to have my studio set up with this big mic or anything like that. You can literally send a welcome video from your phone while you’re walking your dog. I would actually encourage that over like a fancy studio setup. Yes, video, video, video Anywhere you can do a personal video on your homepage, on service pages, everywhere, especially for the love of everything. Everybody right now, send a personal video to your client when they sign on with you. I promise they will just be flabbergasted that you took time to send them a personal video to say hey, welcome, and I’m so excited to start. I’ll send you next steps. But I just wanted to say welcome, super excited to start working with you and to be your web design partner. Moving forward here 30 seconds, you just made a lifetime client. So, yeah, especially those little personal touches, I can’t recommend enough, quite frankly, the web designers now who really want to stand out against commodity web design and Fiverr and AI and everything else. It’s the personal touches, it’s the personality and the authenticity that’s going to help you grow your business nowadays. So I can’t recommend enough.

Ann: 

Cool. What do you think about web designers building recurring income, like memberships, maintenance plans, templates, digital products, anything like that?

Josh: 

Yes, more yeses, yes, yes, yes. Recurring income is huge, because that is truly what ends the feast and famine. Even with a basic maintenance and care plan which is what I teach in my maintenance plan course that corresponds with the business course is you do have a foundation of maintenance and care and support for your clients, even if it’s fairly low cost, like even if it’s 75 bucks a month or 99 bucks a month, you get 20 clients paying 99 bucks a month, you’re at two grand a month every month and as long as you stay top of mine and provide for them, which is very easy to do with maintenance, that’s 2K a month with 20 clients. Imagine if you get 40 or 50 clients. You could be up to five, six $7,000 a month. You could nearly create a six-figure business just with maintenance and hosting, even at $99 a month with that model. So I can’t recommend that enough, at least as the foundational type of pieces. Now, if you do subscription web design on top of that, you can escalate that pretty quickly. But with my teaching and my model of bigger one-time projects, that is the feast and famine type thing where, yeah, you’ll get a $10,000 project, you’ll get a couple of those, but if you don’t have a few of those lined up, you at least have to have some sort of recurring income in there to fill the gaps and to space those out. So, yeah, definitely, those are huge. And then there’s a ton of other plethora of recurring services outside of hosting and maintenance, for more like one-off or retainer work, which that could be everything from copy style work, it could be design updates, it could be. Seo is a big one. It could be any sort of marketing services that you’re into. We mentioned April before earlier. Her biggie for marketing with her clients is email marketing, so she has like setups and nurture sequences, a lot of those she gets paid retainer for every month, which is outside of maintenance and hosting. So there’s just so many options, which is awesome. I mean, how, what other industry do you have like a hundred things you could potentially charge recurring for? You know like not many. So web design and online marketing in particular all that, all the web design side of things, I think is just loaded with opportunity. It’s just a matter of everyone just dialing into what you want to do, what your clients need you for, and offering it.

Ann: 

Quite frankly, what do you think about AI web design bills?

Josh: 

I think they’re good starters, good starting points. There’s so many tools coming out left and right I can’t even keep track of everything DV it’s funny we’re recording this the week after DV instituted and released their DV AI. I do think they’re really good for content assistance, for content generation, lead like any content ideas prompts, things like that. Do I think we’re anywhere close to somebody just clicking a button and getting a full website? That is amazing. I don’t think so. Even those tools that do that. They’re a good starter point. Actually, one of my close colleagues, adam Preiser, they just released WPZip, which is basically, literally, you can create a website in a minute, and he even says with that program it is a starter type point. It is going to create a full website, but there’s going to be more work to do once you get it there. It’s like a template layout with better content than lower MIPSM. That is a good starting point. I’m definitely not afraid of it. I don’t think it’s going to run web designers out of businesses, but I do think we need to use it as web desires. We mean, we play nicely with it and plan to use it in some way, because if you don’t, I do think you get left behind in some ways because web designers could use AI to potentially speed up a web design project three, four or five times faster with AI. For all those reasons, I’m excited about it, but I’m definitely not. I don’t love AI in a lot of ways, I think, contextually and text-wise, a lot of the content just feels so stiff and rigid and sounds like AI. Quite frankly, it sounds like a robot. It’s getting better and better, but yeah, that’s where you know what AI can’t do is send a personal video of you to your client. There may be some tools that get creepily close, but nothing’s going to be in-person or virtual videos and stuff like that.

Ann: 

I think that’s what you were talking about in your episode with Sarah from Sarah does SEO, about how AI means that the video is going to be important. In-person networking is going to be important, doing offline events and partnership stats going to be important. All of these things that no one else can replicate with AI is going to be even more important now, going forward.

Josh: 

Totally agree. Yeah, sarah nailed it on that episode. Yeah, it really is. It’s like that’s the differentiator, I do think. Despite how easy AI is going to make things, I think clients are going to be starved for a personal webmaster and a personal relationship, because a lot of clients, even if AI could figure out things for them, is a client going to know what to ask? Does a client really want to log on to an AI tool and try to get help with their websites down? Probably not. They’re going to want to call somebody. They’re going to want to have a trusted person or a trusted team in their corner. So, yeah, I think we should use it, but I’m not too worried about it, honestly.

Ann: 

How do you keep up with web design now that you’re not personally working on a web design anymore? How do you keep yourself updated?

Josh: 

I’m glad you asked this, because that was my biggest fear when I started doing. Well, it was actually my biggest fear when I sold my agency and it’s why I held on to my agency for a year and a half while I was doing my courses or almost two years actually because I was like, how can I teach if I’m not doing it? But what I realized is I can’t teach effectively while I’m doing it. I just could not do any more than I was doing at that time and I had so much I wanted to do with my podcast and courses. So I wasn’t really worried about that. But what I found out three years later because it’s been three years exactly since I sold my agency is I am 100 times more powerful now as a, as a educator in web design, because not only do I have my experience from 10 years as a service provider, but I still do a lot of web design with my website, like I still do the updates. I still work on my website. My dev, christian, who you know he’s a unicorn, he’s amazing, he’s better than I am A lot of dev stuff. So I learned from him and I see what we’re working on together. I’m learning from all of my students inside a web designer pro, which is a biggie. I’m seeing that I’m doing website reviews. We’re still playing around with code and stuff, so I’m still doing everything I’m doing. I actually just have like hundreds of inputs from people instead of just my experience with my clients. So now I’m like, oh my gosh, this tool called Moxie is really cool. Maybe that would work. Or there’s this CSS tool that just came out that, yeah, I would have never found that on my own, but this makes things a lot easier. So, yes, we can use it. There’s a little extension on Chrome called edit anything and if you install that, you can change text on websites on that on that session. If you do that with clients, they’re going to be like, oh my gosh, you’re amazing, how did you do that? They’re going to pay you right there. I would have never have known that if I wasn’t talking with Michelle, my SEO gal and what was on a pro and she showed me that tip. So and to show me that tool. So, yeah, I’m like a hundred times more powerful than I was. So, I believe, alleviate any of those thoughts of me not being relevant, because I have so much more to pull from now.

Ann: 

Well, that’s a really good point that you’re learning so much from the people probably all the students and web designer pro and all the students on your, all the people who come on your podcast and doing your own web design work that you feel like you’re still pretty up to date in the industry.

Josh: 

Yeah, it’s like market research. Having a podcast, having a community is literally I, just now, I just don’t need to look anything up. I just I just see a cool trick or see a cool tool. I’m like, oh, I want to talk about that or use that. So it really is kind of an odd, it’s an unintentional benefit of having a podcast and a community.

Ann: 

How do you keep yourself evolving Like? How do you learn to think about the next stage in your business?

Josh: 

Mostly it’s listening to the questions I’m getting, listening to what students are asking, what members are asking in Pro Like. The reason the next course I’m going to do is a scaling course is because literally probably 75% of the questions I’m getting now, particularly with the DMs in Pro, are hey, josh, I’m swamped. This is amazing, but I’m also I’m swamped. What do I do now? How do I hire? Where do I start? What do I get off my plate first? So I’m like okay, it’s time for a course on this. I’m repeating myself over and over. Got a couple of podcast episodes that’ll help. I do have a free master class right now. That’s a little outdated. I’ll update that when I have the course out. But now I’m like I could make a nice at least three or four module course with five or six lessons each with scaling. So yeah, that’s how I evolve is really just listening to where the need is and what I see coming.

Ann: 

Is it hard for you to come up with new podcast episodes week after week in terms of ideas?

Josh: 

Not really, just because I do have a list. I’ve had a growing list of it kind of comes from three places. I have a list that I have a Google sheet that I have a podcast idea. So if I’m ever looking like what should I talk about this week, I’ll just go to that list and pull something. Generally, a lot of it comes from my courses. I could probably do a solo podcast episode a week for like five months right now on topics from the business course, so I could do that. A lot of it is Web Designer Pro too, like one podcast I’m going to do coming up here is going to be about how to potentially get a grant when you start your business. So, yeah, get free money that you can invest in a course or invest in your business. I would have never thought about doing that if it wasn’t talked about in Web Designer Pro. Somebody mentioned about a grant and even Eric talked about it when he started his business. He got like a $5,000 grant and I was like we should talk about that, that’d be cool. So that helps. And then, of course, guests. When guests come on, they’ll often have topics or if I get referred by somebody, they might say like, yeah, here’s five things I’m interested in. I’m like, yeah, let’s roll with that. So yeah, that’s actually pretty easy and an absolute worst case scenario. I would go into chat GPT and I would prompt it with like give me 10 ideas or 10 topics that Web Designers are struggling with right now. There we go. There’s 10, 10 podcast episodes we could do.

Ann: 

But while chat you tease great for that, I feel like the current methods you have are going to produce better yeah, More relevant, more interesting, richer in content. Like I do, I think chat you could use a great option for when you don’t have any of those things, Agreed.

Josh: 

But yeah, agreed, yeah, and that’s exactly somebody best as me today in pro and they’re going to start blogging and doing some content on socials and they ask me, what would the type of content be to start out with? And my first recommendation is always to almost just like look at your FAQs that you, your clients, are asking you start with that. Then the next step, if it’s just a blank canvas, is, yeah, just prompt, chat, gpt, but more than likely you’ll get months and months of ideas just off of conversation with clients, so it’s definitely the best place to start.

Ann: 

Have there been any coaches, mentors or key figures have been influential in your entrepreneurial journey?

Josh: 

Oh yeah, great question. My coach, james, james Sramko, has been a big. I’m still with him. I have a DM coaching with him and in his program. So James is the author of Work Less, make More and I came across that book. My friend, jimmy Rose, with content snare, posted about it because he was in his program and he was reading this book called Work Less, make More and I saw that right after I had my first daughter and I was running my agency and I was playing around with doing courses and building Josh Hallco to the next level and I was like, ooh yeah, I would really like to spend a little less time working right now and spend more time with my daughter. So the idea of Work Less, make More was really interesting. So I’ve been in his coaching program since then, which was 2018. So he’s been a big mentor of mine. I basically just ping him when I have high level questions until just give me quick little text-based advice on offers or things I should do that he sees that’s working. So that’s been really beneficial. Other mentors for me Pat Flynn has been a biggie, especially from the course creation side of things. I went through his course to start a podcast, which was a game changer for me. That’s a biggie. I pull a lot from Amy Porterfield too. Her list building course was a great one when it came to thinking through my content and email marketing. So those have been some of the biggest business mentors over the past few years. And then I have some close colleagues who I really really trust and rely on Jason Grasia, who’s been on the podcast a couple of times. He runs a site called Swift Sites who builds websites specifically for online coaches, and we have a mastermind together every month. He is basically free coaching for me, this mastermind. I try to give him as much value as I can, but he gives me a lot of really, really good advice. I’m also fortunate to be in Columbus and be in a like a quarterly in-person meetup with Jay Klaus, who is a up and coming creator, and a Matt Gartland, who’s Pat Flynn’s partner, and those guys are just awesome. So all of those combined have been really incredible mentors for me. And then I have some other awesome colleagues. You’ve worked with Shannon Maddern. She’s kind of in a different level, in a different place where I am with coaching web designers, so I pulled a lot from her. So, yeah, those are some of the tops that come to mind in the way of people who have really helped me over the last couple of years.

Ann: 

Cool, Okay, Josh. Those that wraps up my questions. Thank you so much for doing this. I found this really helpful and interesting, and I hope other people do as well.

Josh: 

Well, thank you, ann. This was so cool because I forget how I came about. I think you mentioned you would love to ask some more questions and I was like, actually, I was like I’m coming up on six years, so why don’t we yeah, we just make it a six year thing. So, yeah, hopefully you know it’s. This business is very different than a web design service business, but there are, like you mentioned earlier, a lot of parallels from being a service provider to being an online coach course creator. So so, yeah, I had a blast. I mean, I’m an open book on this stuff, so I have certainly hoped, hope it helps and it’s at least interesting for folks who are wondering what’s going on behind the scenes and for folks like yourself and you’re a web printer through and through. Yeah, that’s kind of where, like, eventually, I’d love to coach more ands and more web printers. I might, you know, make it a high level thing for a little while on the side and then eventually have some more resources. But yeah, I love this stuff, so I’m happy to happy to share. So thanks for taking the time to ask me the questions.

Ann: 

Thanks, Josh.

Josh: 

All right, thanks, ann. All right, my friend. Well, I hope you enjoyed that little, just kind of not tripped out memory lane but tripped down the last six years and pulling from some things that I’ve learned. With building my brand here of Josh Hallco, building courses, building a community, building a really incredible network of fellow web entrepreneurs and web designers, I just, I have to say personally, I just absolutely love what this has become and what I’ve continued to be able to do and to serve you and to be able to provide this content. I mean, somebody asked me early on are you going to run out of content? Just talking about web design, and six years strong, I’m definitely not run out of the content. So the thing about this industry, it’s not only is it robust in its infancy, but it’s also ever evolving and ever changing. So I will continue to be here for you through this podcast, through my YouTube channel, which is going to be reignited here. I’m going to be doing a lot more YouTube videos moving forward. That is a big push for me through the rest of 2023 and beyond. So if you have not yet subscribed to my YouTube, just go to Josh Hallco slash YouTube to subscribe. Over there I’ll see you with a lot more of YouTube videos coming through and, as we’ve talked about a lot in this episode, my community web designer pro. That is where I do all of my coaching, that’s where all of my courses are and the community of web designer pros I don’t even know what to say. It really is just a top notch, amazing group of people. I would highly encourage you to just try it out. There is a monthly option available now for web designer pro, and just remember, when you join, that investment just for even one month gets you access to everything and right when you dive in, I will send you a personal video and I will give you kind of an action plan on what I would recommend for you, depending on where you are in your business. So just try it monthly. Just try it out. Come join us on web designer pro. No risks, no obligation. You can literally just try it out and you’ll get to speak with me directly. If you just want to try a month, I am totally cool with that and I want to make sure you get all the resources you need to help you grow your web design business as far and as fast as possible, while building the freedom and lifestyle you love. I know it sounds corny, but it is true. It’s. Every everything I do leads to you building a web design business that suits you, your family, your lifestyle, whatever you want. So I’m excited to do it with your friends. Go to joshallco slash pro to join us and web designer pro, and I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did, please let me know. Tag me on Instagram or Facebook at Josh Hall Co. Tag this episode, tag me, let me know what you thought, or you can leave us a comment at Josh Hallco, slash 279. I would love to hear your thoughts on kind of the celebratory episode of looking back at six years. All right, friends, cheers to the next six years and I can’t wait to hear from you and hopefully I’ll see you in a web designer pro so you and I can chat one on one and I can coach you directly. All right, friends, see you on the next episode.

Web Design Business

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