Recently, I’ve been reflecting and looking at the landscape of web design to get a feel where things are headed over the next 3-5 years. I don’t think you can look any further than that for web design.

And while there’s a lot of doom and gloom and anxiousness for web designers because of AI, DIY website builders, cheap designers and developers on sites like UpWork or Fiverr…as a web designer, success really comes down to NOT being viewed as a commodity.

That’s not to say that you can’t create an amazing web design business solely by building websites, you can (see my interview with John D Saunders who ONLY does web design) but most pro web designers and agency owners I work with are offering something more than just web design.

But then you run the risk of becoming a full fledged digital marketing agency…

The good news is, there’s a nice in between option 🙂

In this episode of the podcast, I’ve invited Jen Ellsworth of clickcharisma.com back on the show to share what’s working for her in offering marketing services along with web design and branding for her clients.

We cover:

  • How and when to offer marketing services along with web design and branding
  • Why constraints and limitations are a MUST if offering more than just web design
  • How to offer and sell websites in a day vs custom websites
  • How to continue to sell and handle leads while devoting 100% to one client a week
  • Strategies for batching content creation for your social media and lead generation platforms

Perhaps most importantly, she shares how she manages it all without burning out even as a work-from-home Mom!

Enjoy and if you need some help in crafting your perfect suite of offers, that’s exactly what we do in Web Designer Pro! Join now before we reach our cap of 250 members!

In this episode:

00:00 – Web Design and Marketing Services
05:18 – Web Design Services and Branding Evolution
16:51 – Website and Branding in Marketing
20:00 – Comparing Website Options
32:11 – Expanding Services, Planning for Future
38:51 – Content Creation Challenges and Client Retention
46:28 – Expanding Services and Scaling Business
55:20 – Grow Your Business With Web Designer

Web Designer Pro – Courses, community and coaching. Everything you need to build your web design business fast 🚀


Connect with Jen:

Episode #294 Full Transcription

Jen: 

The most important thing that allows me to do it is that with each project because I have that constraint and I have that cap that time that I have booked that client, that is 110% dedicated to them, and to them only. So that means during that week I have content that’s going out but that’s pre planned. No other clients are getting my attention. I might respond to leads, but other than that they have a hundred percent of my time and dedication, one that makes a client feel really important but that also gives me the ability to go all in with that client and then get it done and they feel well taken care of. Welcome to the Web Design Business podcast, with your host, josh Hall, helping you build a web design business that gives you freedom and a lifestyle you love.

Josh: 

Hey friends, welcome into the show, welcome back. If you are a regular listener, welcome to the show. If you’re a new listener maybe this is the first time listening to the show Great to have you here. I’m really excited to be with you here in this one, because we’re going to dive into a very, very needed topic to really get, I feel, get some clarity on and web design, and that is how to offer web design services along with marketing services. And the reason I think this is so important right now, today, as we head into the end of 2023, is that web designers can so easily be viewed as commodities If we’re not doing something to help our clients grow their businesses. But if you’re like me, you don’t want to be a digital marketing agency doing everything and all their social media and everything else. So the beauty about web design is you can really do whatever you want to do. In fact, I have an episode just a little while back on episode 287, that I highly recommend you re-listen to if you haven’t listened to it yet, about my recommendation and offering services and build, support and grow those three categories. But I want to take that growth category to the next level and that’s what we’re going to do in this episode, and because I don’t have too much experience on the marketing side of things myself, I wanted to invite somebody on who is doing a really good job of doing this well Because, for your reference, if you didn’t know, I primarily did website builds, hosting and maintenance, recurring income, repeat work with clients and a little bit of content and SEO work, but I didn’t do any marketing services for clients. But you can really stand out if you do, but you need to know how to handle it well. So, a long-winded way of saying I’m so excited to welcome back onto the show Jen Ellsworth, who has rebranded her website to click Charismacom. I wanted to specifically have her on to talk about how to offer marketing services along with web design, because she’s doing a really, really good job doing it and she’s also found a really nice balance with how to offer that, when to offer it, whether or not they should be included in the web design package and branding package or whether it should be sell, whether it should be separate. All that and more we cover in this episode. Jen has really done an incredible job at also time management and making sure she stays balanced as a web designer and a stay at home mom as well. So all that to say, so excited to have Jen back onto the show to share what she’s doing well and what’s working for her with offering marketing along with web design services. Again, check her out at clickcharismacom. After this, she’s really active on Instagram. That’s the best place to follow her as well at click Charisma. All right, here’s Jen, let’s talk web design, marketing and web design services together. Well, jen, it’s so good to see you again. Welcome back onto the podcast and thank you for taking some time out of your busy day and scheduled to chat here.

Jen: 

Yeah, Josh, I’m excited to be back on.

Josh: 

So a couple of years ago we chatted last like two and a half years ago I only had two kids. You had just had your daughter, I think. At that point we kind of you were episode 171. We kind of talked about being a mompreneur and being a work from home mompreneur, as a web designer and kind of an online marketer. Your business has evolved since we talked last. You have kind of a new brand, you have a bigger suite of services. So I’m kind of curious to kick us off. What is the difference between Jen now and Jen a couple of years ago? When we chatted last, yeah.

Jen: 

So a few years ago I was a baby in my business, brand new, and at that point in time I was only offering custom design or website design with WordPress. Now my daughter’s three and I’ve been in business for three years. I have also started offering Shopify, show it and WordPress and expanded a lot of my offers into digital marketing as well. So monthly marketing packages, social media strategy and really an all encompassing kind of all inclusive approach to web design, because I think a lot of those pieces work together for small businesses. And then, of course, I also did a little personal rebrand too, as where I was Jennifer Ellsworth web design before, I’m now click Chrisma. So that has been really fun to kind of see me evolve over the last three years.

Josh: 

Okay, so two really important things I want to dig into before we get into the idea of like the website in a day versus custom websites, the personal brand versus a company brand, and then the suite of services. So actually I want to start with the personal brand and versus company brand, because I still have a personal brand, josh Hallco, although I have products and a program under that with my community that’s branded now web designer pro, but I still have everything under Josh Hallco. What are you? I guess? What’s the benefit of having a company name that you found versus a personal brand, or is there? Do you still kind of wish you had a personal brand? What’s that been like for you?

Jen: 

So I kind of consider myself almost as both. I still am very the forefront of my business. What I post on my social media is very me. However, I decided to make the switch because I found myself associating all of my content, all of my work, like way too personally. It was way too close for me to be able to take a step back and look at what the business needed and the content the business itself should be posting or putting out, versus what I as a person should be posting or putting out or what kind of work I should be doing, and that kind of helped me separate the two where I could go okay, this is the business, this is the strategy for the business, and then that has nothing to do with me, even though I’m representing my brand. So it just kind of created that space for me to look at my business more strategically versus through the lens of only myself.

Josh: 

Have you thought about what the future would look like, with scaling and bringing a team on eventually Like it was at a reason, potentially for the name change to in? Case you wanted to make it bigger than just you.

Jen: 

Yes, for sure, because I know in the future right now I am a solo entrepreneur. I have had subcontractors but I am still very much so a one man show, but I know as I scale and serve more clients, I’m going to have to bring on a team to help me. So I really wanted to start structuring a company style brand that had really clear missions and values so that way, when I do start hiring, the people that I hire have a really clear understanding of the company that they are getting into and the values and missions that click charisma stands for. I also wanted them to feel like they’re part of something bigger, versus just working for just one individual. Because I really am like. I want them to feel pride in who they work for and have it feel like collaborative, like a team.

Josh: 

That’s interesting. I didn’t really think about that approach from a subcontracting standpoint, of what it’s like for the people you collaborate with to feel a sense of pride in something rather than just working for someone. That’s a really interesting approach. I hadn’t thought about that. I really like that idea, though I don’t know if anyone has branded a company name with that in mind, but it makes sense when you’re hiring out, to feel a part of something. Yeah, that’s really interesting, yeah, and I think there’s a lot of different brands out there.

Jen: 

But typically I think there’s benefit to doing both, because when you think of bigger names, like, let’s say, grant Cardone, you don’t think of Cardone Ventures. You think of Grant Cardone, but then everyone in his, everybody that works for him, works for Cardone Ventures. That has its own mission and values. So I think there’s a balance. I feel like a lot of times we’re forced to choose between okay, you’re strictly a company brand or strictly a personal brand. I think there’s a world where there can be both meshed together.

Josh: 

Yeah, I like that idea too, because typically with any personal brand, there’s always a business name behind it. But even if it’s a personal name, it’s still like the business entity, like the Cardone Ventures. I didn’t realize that was the case for him, but it makes a ton of sense and, honestly, it’s kind of cool to be able to have a personal brand, be a business, whatever it’s called, and you can still, as the leader and as the person who founded it, be like the showrunner and the face of the business. But, yeah, to your point, the people who work for it’s something different. So that’s really cool to hear about how that’s evolved and worked for you. Services is what’s really interesting to me, and I think this will segue into website in a day because, yeah, I think when we started, when you came on last time, I think I heard your puppy which is he too loud? No, no, I have two in my office. I’m just surprised they’re keeping quiet. Luckily, they just sleep.

Jen: 

I have two lazy golden retrievers that sleep all day and get wild at night, so if you can hear him too much, just let me know and I will go give him a toy, treat, whatever to keep him occupied. He did that last time I was recording and I was like oh my gosh, we’re going to create so many edits for me.

Josh: 

Oh no, that’s all we’re keeping it in. Puppies are welcome in this show for sure. So, no, we’re all good. But yeah, like your services, I think we’re pretty much just website design. Last time we chatted right, Was it? No media, no marketing, just website design, A lot of different services. I think is super beneficial in the way of being more of a full service style shop for clients, Because not only do you do the website but you’re helping out with other stuff. But at the same time, it’s dangerous territory when you become a full digital marketing agency as a one woman show. So how do you balance both, Like how do you? I guess that’s kind of the question I want to lead off with is how do you do a lot and do it well and keep it constrained?

Jen: 

Yeah. So I have to be really honest with one my capacity to be able to fulfill the offers that I’m putting out there. So I do have a cap on the kind of services, or how many, that I take on at a time, and I, over the years, have gotten really good at managing my time and my schedule and knowing what is realistic and how many clients I can take on, because, yes, it does get very dangerous like very dangerous if you take on too many clients at one time, because, yes, you can get them, but you also need to perform for them as well. So just be really honest with your capacity to be able to fulfill them. For example, my custom design, I actually keep it to a week long.

Josh: 

Oh, okay, so you have a website in a day, but even your custom design is still productized, rather than it being a three-month style dragout project.

Jen: 

Yes, exactly. And then for my other marketing services I only take on one social media client at a time, because social media is a very time-consuming creating the graphics, the meetings, and then also my monthly marketing. I only take on three of those at a time and then I always am very detailed with what they’re going to receive in that. So with my monthly marketing they get eight hours a month and one strategy call. So with that I’m keeping track. Okay, how many hours of work did they get, how many meetings did we do? And that way the client knows what to expect. But then also I know exactly with my schedule how many clients I can take on.

Josh: 

There is power and beauty in a capped style situation. It’s weird because it’s like the idea of a cap. As somebody who just loves the online world of financial freedom and sky is the limit I’ve also realized more recently when you have something that is time-intensive, a cap or a constraint is crucial. And the cool thing about this is what you’re doing is you can kind of play around with it, like you could keep your rates at a certain place for a little while and have a capped or constrained style set up with number of clients and amount of services for a little while and then change it and evolve it. Or, as your team grows, you could have a bigger cap. And I’m finding this out with my membership Web Designer Pro. I recently added a cap at 250 members because it includes coaching with me and I can only have so much bandwidth. We’re already at 150 members right now, so we’re out like recording this one, our last leg of that, and then, once we get to that cap, then we’ll look at what the next step will look like to be able to bring more people and have different tiers. So to your approach I think this is really valuable for folks who are managing a lot and you’re worried about having 100 requests come in every day. The capped idea is really interesting. Are these like the social media, the marketing type of stuff you’re doing, seo websites Are these all the same client? Like, are you bringing them through a process? Are you finding that you might have one doing social media, one doing website in a day, one doing a custom website and then one doing email setup? Like, how are you? Yeah, are they different clients or the same client both?

Jen: 

So a lot of them are the same client and all of my monthly marketing clients have been past clients who I built websites for, who are selling their products, but they know that they need a more intensive marketing strategies and they just don’t have the time or the bandwidth to do it or they lack the knowledge of how to do it effectively. So I have gotten a lot of my marketing clients from past clients. My social media clients are typically just a little bit different. Typically they’re smaller businesses, solo entrepreneurs who just need help with the social media piece and the strategy but don’t necessarily need a full website or don’t necessarily need a full marketing strategy. So, like hairstylists, statisticians that are renting out a room just smaller scale businesses that are really pushing social media really hard.

Josh: 

Gotcha. So with the social media marketing, will you take on clients that have not worked with you, or are those more or less like up-sale services, typically for clients who have done websites?

Jen: 

with you. Yeah, so I would take on either. I take on clients who have never worked with me before and I take on clients that want to come back to me for social media.

Josh: 

Okay, do you find that all roads lead to websites? That’s certainly what.

Jen: 

I found when I got a company that comes to marketing. Yes, absolutely 100%. Even if they are a smaller business, I always recommend having a website. But you know some there’s really great schedulers out there for people like hairdressers who maybe are like, oh, like I don’t really need that right now, which in that case I say okay, like that’s fine, but let’s at least get a really solid social media marketing strategy going for you. That way you have that.

Josh: 

Do you plan even social media and marketing and stuff? Do you plan with the website in mind, eventually, like, do you, do you trickle it in or tease it in? Like you know, by the way, we’ll do this now, but the eventual goal will be to bring them to your website and really have a web presence. Have you found that that’s kind of a cool strategy to eventually get them to invest in a website?

Jen: 

Yeah, Of course, and I always explain them the benefits of having a website and just what that does for one SEO, them being found the ability to book more clients and I found that there are a lot of clients who come to me just for the social media strategy and social media marketing aspect of it. But I also have clients who have come to me asking just for social ads and I say all the time, okay, let’s pump the brakes first. I can’t. Why are you wanting to do social ads? And typically it’s because they just think that’s the next natural step in their business, when likely it’s not and they don’t have a website set up and I’m like, okay, where are we going to direct the traffic from these social ads? You’re going to need a website first. Like we’re going to attract warm and convert them through your social ads to your website to make that purchase decision. So when people come to me for that, I always educate them on the benefits of having a website, because it’s going to make add dollars and social media strategy just work so much better for you.

Josh: 

I was just going to say, and the question next question I had was like what if they don’t have a website or have a terrible website? Because that’s of course, going to come into play with social media. It’s like if you want to do ads if they go somewhere, but the website is just atrocious, you’re not going to probably be too successful with the ads, I imagine.

Jen: 

Yes, and with all of my services I really take an all encompassing kind of business approach and sometimes that takes my clients back a little bit because they don’t expect me to look at all the pieces of their online presence, their social media, their website, and no matter what they book with me, I look into a little bit of all pieces of it and of course, whatever they book, we’re diving deep into just that piece. But when they do come to me, I look at everything because I think they all work together. Your social ads aren’t going to be effective if you don’t have a good website. Your content creation isn’t going to be effective if you don’t have a good website. Your website’s not going to be very good if it’s not directing people to a call to action to give them the information that they need to purchase your product or service. So that’s where it kind of all flows together and where I’ve really kind of found my niche is being that all inclusive person who’s going to sit down with you, look at all the pieces and strategize with you how that is all going to work together.

Josh: 

Okay, this is awesome. You’re such a great case study, jen, for like having a lot of different services but packaging them up nicely and it working together. This is a great case study here. One other area I want to dive into before we take a deep dive into website in a day versus custom is the branding elements of what you’re doing. So how far do you go with branding? Do you do logo, design, style, guide, strategy, messaging, copy or what’s constrained in your branding services?

Jen: 

So, with my custom design, I offer a full branding suite. So that is like a branding strategy with a kickoff call where we dive into ideal client, some market research, clarifying their offer and then also, from that, designing brand elements that are going to attract their ideal client or customer and speak directly to them. So they get the logo. They typically get a word mark and a badge logo, topography, colors and a full PDF branding guide, which my clients really love, because then they can pass that on to whoever they end up working with, whether it’s social media or, let’s say, a product designer. They can say these are my colors, these are my fonts, this is what dictates my brand, and then they can run with it. For my website done in a day is I have found that either people are coming to me with a pre-built, pre-established brand and all we do is do like a mini branding suite to dictate that the website is going to be cohesive with the branding that they already have in place Beautiful, yeah. And then with marketing strategies. Typically they already have it or I have created it for them, so then we just work around what has already been created.

Josh: 

So this mini brand style guide, is that like almost like a style guide for just the website? Is that kind of how that works? I mean, I’ve done something similar where a client might have a logo and typical fonts and stuff, but if it doesn’t translate online, I might do like a website version that would at least have their brand colors and main fonts and stuff, but it would be a little bit different in some ways. Is that kind of how that works for you?

Jen: 

Yes, exactly. So it’s really just making sure that what we’re putting on the website is exactly how they want their brand to look and feel. They do get a wordmark logo with that if they don’t have one already, and we’re just making sure that everything is going to be cohesive for them.

Josh: 

Okay, gotcha Very cool. It’s such a cool setup. I don’t think we were going to dive too far into this, but I just I’m fascinated by a lot of different services and how to manage them, because there is no right or wrong way to do all this, but it definitely makes sense in my mind how you’re putting constraints on all this and how it all kind of works together. So, websites, jim, we were just talking websites. All roads lead to websites, especially with digital marketing. I think the narrative, like clients, I think, are starting to understand that not all but some. So here’s the real question With your offers of websites, you have website in a day and then custom websites, which are typically around our week. So how do you help clients decide which one of those are right for them? Is it budget-based? Is it because, again, like I mentioned before we went live, I did not do the website in a day route? It’s nearly unfathomable to me to do a whole website in a day, even with it being productized, and I’m such a like I don’t like using, you know, straight up template kind of guy that it would be really hard for me to do that. So I was more of a website in a month kind of guy, but I had some that were quicker than that and some that, of course, are the nightmare stories of six months and beyond. So how do you differentiate the two, like what’s involved with the website in a day versus the custom websites?

Jen: 

So the websites in a day versus the custom design. The website done in a day is a template-based semi-custom website and it’s lower cost than what custom design is. Custom design is very all-inclusive, so we go much heavier into that marketing strategy. My custom design clients are typically e-commerce owners who want someone to put in their products for them. They are also typically someone who has a lot of marketing integrations as well. So let’s say they’re running complex marketing campaigns on like MailChimp or ConvertKit. They need help integrating those pieces or they have a really like just large website with a lot of blogs and they want something that’s like super unique to them With the website done in a day is that they are template-based and they are cheaper. So I find that the people I attract for the website done in a day versus the custom design are pretty different. So the custom design is typically going to be like the mid-sized business with typically two to four employees who has already established an online presence or they are doing really great. Selling on Etsy is another one that I’ve had a lot of custom designs for, where they realize okay, I have a lot of success on Etsy, I need to be building out a more expansive online store. That’s where my custom design clients are. My website done in a day is are typically beginner and solo entrepreneurs who know they want a website up for either their smaller service or a business that they just started, but they don’t have the investment to invest in custom design just yet.

Josh: 

Yeah, I think that’s a great way to go. It’s a great like fallback plan and it’s also a great entry point. Like if someone doesn’t want a website or can’t swing a custom website or doesn’t understand the value, you could at least have something to get them going. And are you doing hosting and maintenance for both packages?

Jen: 

So it really just depends. So I do, I offer them on every platform. So WordPress Show it and Shopify. So if they’re on Shopify or Show it, they do the hosting. I do recommend that they go get their own hosting if they’re on WordPress. But then typically my website done in a day clients end up being my monthly marketing clients as well. So then they’re coming back to me and we’re doing website maintenance. We’re doing some marketing strategy with that.

Josh: 

Yeah, if I was coaching you directly I’d say like, jim, we gotta get you hosting the WordPress sites, cause you’re gonna get those questions anyway. I’m sure you already are. And then it’s like if they go to GoDaddy and get a really crappy hosting package, it’s like, oh no, now we gotta build a site on there. So, yeah, I wonder if maybe there’s an option to offer the hosting on both of those plans and maintenance. And then, of course, that even if it’s a low ticket type of plan, like a 30 or $40 a month hosting and maintenance plan, that’s a great little like foundational piece of the business that you can build off of with marketing services eventually. But anyway, not to get too coachy but that’s what I see there. Like it’s different with show it and Shopify and Webflow and others that are self-hosted, but yeah, I mean WordPress. It’s still the gold standard for maintenance plans and hosting at least. So I’m curious with these two. How do you sell those though, Do you like? Do you just have a conversation with a client and then provide those different solutions? Or, yeah, how does that work, Cause I imagine a lot of people who might want a custom site if they’re like well, can we just do the website in a day, Like? I guess the question is, how do you sell custom versus website in a day?

Jen: 

So it really depends and I can pretty easily tell, based on when someone reaches out to me, just what their online presence is so far and the information that they give me about their business and what package would be best for them. And then also being really realistic about, okay, what’s the time capacity here, how long is this project actually going to take? And I have had websites done in a day where, okay, that’s all they really need is a website done in a day. But then I also say, okay, we can book an additional website done in a day. So then it’s two days so you can do them back to back If I feel like, okay, it’s not quite a custom design project, but it is gonna require an additional day, and I have gotten no like objections to that at all. So when they reach out to me, I typically look at their online presence first and then determine which would be best for them. And it’s pretty intuitive Kind of once you get a lot of leads coming in of what services are gonna best benefit each lead.

Josh: 

Yeah, that makes sense. So you kind of have your own filters in place to then cater the plan to them, the website in a week. Do you have websites that are huge and it’s like there’s no way we’re gonna do this in a week, kind of thing, cause even if you were to work a big week of 40 hours and dedicated a week solely to them, there are plenty of websites that could take way longer than that. So do you pass those up like a big website, I guess? How do you handle a project that is more than even a week?

Jen: 

So with those, I typically like to book them back to back. So back to back weeks. If it’s two weeks, then we’re doing two weeks. If it’s three weeks, okay, then we’re gonna do three weeks. But I like to do that because one when you keep it in a week it tends to. When clients book you, initially they’re super excited, they are ready to go. They’re in that action phase. So as soon as you get started on their project, as fast as you can get working on it and gathering that material, you’re going to get things so much faster. They’re gonna look at revisions a whole lot faster too, which keeps the cadence of the project being able to be a week. But there are times when I say, hey, this is going to be a little bit more in time intensive. This is gonna require two weeks, in which case they’re booking that custom design back to back.

Josh: 

Okay, so they could essentially just do multiple weeks if need be or that kind of thing. Puppy podcast prep. Jen’s back had a puppy getting a little wild, which puppies are always a welcome, but yeah, he was having fun right there. Max, right, max, the puppy Mac yeah. Mac. Mac got it okay, okay, yeah, I’m surprised mine didn’t hear him. So they’re still sleeping and snoring on the other side here. So yeah, I was just kind of curious about, like, the custom website design and how constraints and limitations work on that. So that makes sense that it’s booked out in that way, and are you capping that as well? Like, will you only take on a certain number of web design clients for both website in a day and custom at any time?

Jen: 

So I only book one custom design client a month and that is my cap for that, because in between that, every Friday minus that custom design week, I am booking website day days. So the other weeks are website day days, and then the beginning of those weeks are dedicated to my other clients, content creation and whatever admin stuff needs to get done in my business too.

Josh: 

Okay, gotcha, gotcha. So the lesson here with all of your services is constraints, limitations and the staggering of projects. What about if a project goes over? I’m always fascinated by the website in a day and this type of model where it’s like okay, you have a week, you booked me out for a week, but I’m still waiting on content or there’s stuff that’s going over. How do you handle the overflow when projects aren’t wrapped up and last they just are, unless you just have such a rock star and every project is out the door on time?

Jen: 

Oh, definitely not, and that was my huge like. My biggest motivator with beginning to add the caps and doing website done in a day’s and then doing the custom design in a week is because I found my projects were taking way longer than they needed to. And for my clients, when they’re in the action mode, they get things to me a whole lot faster, they review things a whole lot faster and it keeps things just moving along. But then also for me, when I book a client, I’m really inspired and I want to get started right away, and that allowed me to be able to do that, and I have ADHD. So it’s like I get excited, I want to dive all in like right now, as soon as possible. But if things are running over, I always like to be like really realistic as soon as possible. As soon as I am like okay, this is going to take a little bit longer than we are anticipating, it’s hey, these are the pieces we’re continuing to work on. It’s going to take X amount of time longer. And then being very transparent with I need these things from you in order to be able to get this done, because of a lot of clients kind of need that like hey, I need this from you to be able to complete your website. Let’s like get on it and do it.

Josh: 

And would they get bumped out potentially a couple weeks of like, if you have a client that’s for website or website in a week and then they’re still waiting on stuff, stuff’s not done, but then you have a bunch of other stuff lined up the next couple weeks, what happens then? To get you know, to get detailed with this Like, are they booked out a month potentially, or or will you fit them in in another segment in the next week or something?

Jen: 

So typically what I do because I only do one custom design client a month if it is running longer that following week, I really only have that website done in a day. For that Friday carved out so I can like kind of push into okay, monday and Tuesday we’re going to wrap this up. That also typically gives them the weekend to like get their content whatever I need. It also gives me the weekend to continue working. If there’s pieces of the project that I am still working on, the only thing it like eats into is like either my content creation time or my admin time. But typically that’s really not a huge deal and it’s more important to like get the client project like done and wrapped up as soon as possible.

Josh: 

Gotcha, gotcha. Okay, that makes sense. Yes, particularly with the. I mean it makes sense that you would take on one a month to give you kind of a buffer, I imagine, with everything else you’re doing. Do you envision a point where you’ll condense your services even more? Do you think? I don’t know, seems like a lot of what you’re doing now is still kind of testing, like the amount of services you’ll do and reach out to not extend yourself too far. But I imagine you’re getting questions about email marketing set up and social and everything. But do you envision another, like the next phase of your business, reeling in any of these services and dropping some potentially?

Jen: 

Right now I feel like I’m really just expanding because I really enjoy the all encompassing aspects of all the different services that I offer. So although I loved just offering web design, I found myself getting into all of these aspects and other services anyway as part of my web design packages and there was no reason not to offer them as separate services because they were already happening as part of my web design. So right now I really just want to expand my services and then also I want to hire team members too. That can be a part of all these services. So right now I’m just super excited to like kind of expand everything out.

Josh: 

So a concise question on this how are you doing a lot of services? Well, is it the constraints, is it the caps? Is it the limited, like time, the time frame for all these different projects? How are you managing all these services? Well, I guess, I mean, you’re doing it. You obviously love what you’re doing. You’re becoming more profitable. Your business is growing. It seems to me like you’re probably on the cusp of delegating and scaling. So, yeah, have you pinpointed, like, what are some of the things that are helping you do this and not burn out or not be overwhelmed?

Jen: 

I think the most important thing that allows me to do it is that with each project because I have that constraint and I have that cap that time that I have booked that client, that is 110% dedicated to them, and to them only. So that means during that week I have content that’s going out but that’s pre-planned. No other clients are getting my attention. I might respond to leads, but other than that they have a 100% of my time and dedication, one that makes a client feel really important but that also gives me the ability to go all in with that client and then get it done and they feel well taken care of, both with the custom design and the website done in the days. I think when I have burnt out. In the past it was I had multiple projects going simultaneously and you’re switching tasks every single day from okay, I got to work on this project for where X amount of time, this project for this amount of time, and that can kind of lead to burnout because you’re just switching gears so fast.

Josh: 

Yeah, that’s true. I mean, I found that to be the case because I didn’t do this type of constrained booked out model. My solution to that was just to be in kind of a weird way. It was kind of the hybrid approach to this, where I had my constraints and limitations on those projects, but I just didn’t label it like that. It was like, okay, we’ll start this in two weeks. So it was kind of like it was a weird hybrid model or version of this model, where I just didn’t label it like booked out. I just said, okay, we’re going to start this in two weeks or three weeks and until that time, this is what I need you to do. That’s how I alleviated that. But I did have those seasons where, quite honestly, I just kind of just did it Like there were seasons where I was super slammed and then seasons where there weren’t as many projects and we’d be able to do more. So it’s interesting because it all kind of works, but it really does depend on the amount of time you can dedicate to your business, the setup, what other things you’re doing inside of your business. So it seems like you’ve struck a really nice workflow and kind of cord with all this. Yeah, with all these different services and everything moving forward, what do you see? Do you plan on doing something new? You think, or do you feel, like this is a really good, healthy suite of services for your type of clients?

Jen: 

I do plan to go into course creation with content creation and like blogging and podcasting. That’s something I first see myself doing. I have had clients that come to me. I had a client recently and this was kind of a unique and fun retainer project where she just wanted me to teach her how to blog and how to create content and then like how to push all the pieces together, how to create calls to action. So that’s something I first see myself going into is offering that to other business owners so they can get started on pulling all those pieces of content creation together.

Josh: 

This is probably prime opportunity to do. What some of my students are now doing, including Eric, the CEO of my agency, is to kind of have a membership option that’s coaching back on top of your services. So it’s an offer for current clients who are doing more ongoing social media online business growth. Whatever that looks like, I could see that working out pretty well for you, especially since a lot of your clients are utilizing a lot of these is to have almost like a client membership, like a click charisma client portal or something, a click charisma coaching, whatever you want to call it. That could be kind of a cool type of option to be able to support them with, like the marketing efforts, how to blog, content creation, all the things that I imagine all your clients are doing at different levels. But to have an offer like that and to have it be subscription based, recurring, that could be pretty cool. Just want to throw that out there, not only for an idea for you, but for anyone who has a lot of different services and you’re getting these requests like can you train me on to do this? By golly, let’s do it, but don’t do it one on one. Do it one to many in a controlled format, whether you make clients a community. That’s a little tricky with different industries. But even if it’s just more of a coaching style approach that’s not super time intensive but just more like course based or like Q&A based, strategy based, there’s a lot of room for that, I think nowadays and I know I know there’s it’s working with a lot of my students who are doing it. So, yeah, I wonder what that could look like for you.

Jen: 

I really like that idea.

Josh: 

Well, now we’re making this a coaching call, which is equally exciting because this is what I love to do, like I love seeing what’s working, love seeing somebody like Eugene, who is a total rock star, who is completely different than a few years ago. I mean, I told you before we went live like your communication is a whole another level, how well-spoken you are. You’ve been on camera a lot over the past couple years. You have your podcast, which has helped you out, like you’re doing a lot of things right in the way of building your brand and taking things to the next level. So I’m kind of curious right now. You’ve done a lot of things well. Things are cooking. What are some of the challenges for you, though, right now? What are some of the pain points that you’ve experienced with? We’ve talked a lot of things that are going well, but is there anything that has been a challenge more recently with just business as a whole?

Jen: 

The biggest challenge is, is always going to be for me, content creation, because it is time-consuming and you want it to be quality anytime you’re putting it out and you want it to be consistent too. And it’s a catch-22 of where you’re able to really, in other people’s businesses, see exactly what they need to do to make it sustainable and consistent. But then when you are doing it for yourself, you are like, oh my goodness, like there’s too many ideas here. Sometimes we are just way too close to our business to be able to strategize in that way. So content creation has always been that piece of it for me, being consistent at it and then just being consistent at it because it’s so time-consuming, but it’s also really important because when you don’t, you are not going to get as any clients Like it’s integral to your business.

Josh: 

I guarantee I’m not the only one nodding my head when you said, sometimes we’re all just too close to our businesses where it’s really hard to get a feel for like the strategy aspect of things, and you’re right. It’s like I mean talking to you, talking with a lot of my students and people I coach with Web Designer Pro, I can very quickly pinpoint like okay, here’s the, here’s the hang up, so let’s do this. My recommendation is to split these out, package these services up to do this and plan this out, and there we go. We’ve got like a good roadmap for the next couple of months here. For me, though, it’s the same thing. I’m like now I can literally coach somebody, and then they message me back and be like oh my gosh, I didn’t think about that. Josh, you’re a genius, I’m on it, I’m working on it right now, and then I look at my business and I’m like why can’t I do this with my business? I’m still hung up on these pieces here, so I’m sure we all feel that. So I love that you said that. I don’t feel alone now hearing that, because it is true. Like what’s the old expression? You can’t read the label when you’re inside the bottle. It’s very, very true. We’re just consumed by our own businesses, and I think the other part you touched on is the ideas. The amount of ideas and options you could do is freeing, as it is in web design in particular, to have no cap and no limit on what you can and cannot do. It’s also a terrifying reality that that can be a paralyzing thing too, if you just can’t decide which way to go or if you’re worried about working on the wrong thing. So, yeah, that makes a whole lot of sense. Have you done anything to help that with the content creation? Have you found? Because then we get into, like, even if you schedule a day for it, sometimes the creative juices aren’t there. Like I always end up getting my best ideas on like a Friday night, when I should be done, working. So like how do you handle creativity and schedules with like content creation?

Jen: 

So, with content creation, what has helped me the most is one having a very clear understanding of what is going to be put out with my content creation. What are things that my content creation should do For me? It should provide value. It should educate or motivate or inspire my audience. So if I’m putting out content that doesn’t do any of those things, then it’s not going to do what I want it to do. With podcasts specifically, it has taken me a while and a lot of trial and error on how to make it sustainable and make it a whole lot faster. So for a long time with my content creation, I was starting from social media and working backwards. You need to think about it the other way, because a lot of people can. They’ll consume your social first and then they’re going to go into the website, but you’re creating it the opposite way around. So keeping that in mind. But then also, how can you make it as sustainable as possible? So if you’re doing just blog posts, you might as well do a podcast, talk about it and then like, take that transcription and then turn it into a blog post, because that took you the same amount of time and now you’re getting twice the content and then it’s like, if you’re podcasting, you might as well do it on video, because then it’s like you have a YouTube video as well and then just you just keep doing it. The more consistent you are, the quicker and more efficient you’re going to be at creating all those pieces of content.

Josh: 

And your content? Is it geared towards your ideal client? Basically Like is the whole purpose of all your social media gen to get clients into your content? Is it to get clients into clickerisma, or is there a bit of a personal brand, like thought leadership type of angle with what you do? Or is there social media 100% for clients?

Jen: 

So there is definitely a personal brand aspect for it. So my podcast Freedom-Based Business Podcast is really to inspire other business owners that they can have the freedom that entrepreneurship provides and then also share knowledge, tools, tips that would allow them to do so and showcase stories that inspire them too. So there’s definitely a huge leadership and a motivation aspect to my podcast and my personal brand. So I share both. And that speaks to my ideal client too, because a lot of my ideal clients are, like I said, in that beginner solo entrepreneurship phase where they’re like, yes, I want to have a life of freedom, I want success, I want all those things. So that speaks to them.

Josh: 

Gotcha, gotcha. I’m always curious about content marketing for web designers because inevitably, a lot of web designers, I found, end up just making web design content and you bring in web designers and DIYers who are not your ideal clients. So, yeah, it’s interesting that Rears is a little more, even the posts that I’ve seen, stuff that you’re doing it’s a little more geared towards, yeah, like you said, business owners, online business owners. That may not be web design specific and do you teach on like do you create any content about tools you use or is it more just online business principles and stuff like that?

Jen: 

In the past I have created some like podcasts and a blog post about some of the tools I have. They don’t perform as well typically as my story based content.

Josh: 

Gotcha, and do you think one challenge not a challenge, but it’s kind of a challenge that I offer a lot of my web designer pro members is to get to a point where you really start to turn the corner from acquisition to retention and retaining your clients who have already worked with you. That was one of the biggest regrets that I ever had is not circling back around with my clients, especially once I got to a Rolodex of like 50 clients. I’m like idiot. Why didn’t I just start to email them once a month and circle back? They would have bought from me over and over and over again. They just they forgot about me if they weren’t hosting on my maintenance plan. So what does that look like for you? Have you thought about retention and I don’t know how many clients you have to this point between the different services, but what are your thoughts on that, with retention over solely just acquisition and worrying about new clients?

Jen: 

Yeah, so that was also a big motivator for me when I started offering some of the social media and monthly marketing packages is because there was an aspect where you’re having that flow, convert, retain so you’re getting the new clients, you’re converting them into a client, but it’s like, okay, how are we going to retain them so your business can continue growing? And the easiest client to get is always going to be your past clients and especially if it was a really good experience and you know it was a really good experience they’re going to be so excited to work with you. So that’s where a lot of my past clients are signing up for like my monthly marketing strategies, and that is on a retainer. So it’s not just one month, it’s actually like months.

Josh: 

Nice, yeah, which could be something you could throw into the Clikrisma client coaching program too, I would imagine, and that could include monthly marketing type of thing. Oh, we’re going to have to have a coaching call now because this is, we get some fun with this. That’s super exciting. Okay, so that makes sense. Yeah, so it’s so. So, really, it’s more of the marketing end of things, that’s your retention, is that right?

Jen: 

Yes.

Josh: 

Yeah, because that can lead to other projects too. Right, like I imagine, if you’re retaining them with a monthly marketing call or whatever that looks like suddenly. Yeah, they’re like, oh, we would like to do a new lead generator or our website is on version one, but we would like to upgrade and do this and this and this. I would imagine any sort of ongoing Strategy or like that term. Monthly marketing call. That’s kind of cool too, particularly for if it is that, if it is opposed to strategy and consulting, if it is more of a marketing approach Because you do social media and help with content creation, I imagine that could be a pretty cool thing too. Yeah, that’s interesting marketing versus strategy. Like I view strategy and consulting more of Website related, which a lot of my students are doing and what I reckon on my maintenance plan course. But for those who are in the marketing end of things, with social media, with graphics, content, that is a whole new opportunity for ongoing, like marketing strategy versus website strategy.

Jen: 

Yeah, it is very different and I have a few different services. So I have social media marketing and social media strategy. Marketing is a done-for-you service strategy as a consulting, I’m planning with you for you, but I’m not creating the content. That is up to you to implement. And then my monthly marketing is a monthly marketing and maintenance. So it includes website maintenance and edits in there, but then it also includes the marketing piece where we’re creating lead generators, email campaigns and then any other graphics that they feel like they need. If they came to me and said, hey, I need a flyer or a menu, I do that for them too.

Josh: 

How the hell are you doing all this, jen, as a one-woman show, literally like I’m trying to imagine what your calendar looks like and I’m getting stressed out. Is it literally the constraints and like? Are you doing? Like, maybe one social media Playing one month and it might be another few weeks before you do another one? Is that how you’re doing all these different things?

Jen: 

I just do them as I come to me with the social media strategy and planning, like I said, I really only keep my social media marketing to one client a month. That is as much as I’ll take. The strategy is a little bit different because it’s less time consuming, so I’ll take on one or two at a time. The monthly marketing I cap at three because I want to make sure that I am available when they do come to me and say they need something. And then I think, always just setting expectations for your clients to with whatever service that they’re off, that you’re like offering or they’re booking with you. And I always say, especially with my monthly marketing Okay, it’s gonna be at least 24 to 48 hours from the time you make the request, from the time of the finished product, dependent on what it is. If it’s like a quick website edit, okay, expect 24 to 48 hours. I always say if it’s an email campaign, you need to tell me as soon as you know when that email needs to be sent so we can plan and we can test beforehand. So giving them as much information as and tools needed to be able to be successful with me is Super imperative and then also, you know, gives me the ability to structure my time accordingly too.

Josh: 

When we talked last time you were a new mom. You were working almost part-time. It kind of seemed like what are your hours like now?

Jen: 

All the time.

Josh: 

What if? Was that? Maybe that’s business booming.

Jen: 

Yeah, it’s, it’s easily 40 hours a week. I don’t track my time, but it’s easily 40 hours a week.

Josh: 

Yeah, so you’re definitely on the cusp of of delegating and scaling. It sounds like yeah let’s see now You’ve got I mean, you’ve done the hard work of creating your services getting clarity on the results that you get and the offers. I Imagine you’ve got some systems in place, even if they’re not documented perfectly. They’re probably in your head a lot. But I would imagine the next step would be systems like systematize everything, productize it in a way that could be repeatable, and then start to chip away at yeah, delegating some of the low-end tasks that, from talking with you here, it looks like that might be the next step. What, yeah?

Jen: 

yes, it is. I’m already like, okay, there’s little pieces here and there that I don’t necessarily need to be doing, whether they’re a tedious part of like a client project that I could easily delegate. So right now I’m like, okay, that’s the next step to okay.

Josh: 

I’m gonna keep you posted on my new course because I’m working on my scaling course, which is called scale your way Really, really excited to help folks like you and your position and a lot of web designers who are at this point where it’s like it’s awesome. It’s an amazing challenge to have your Working a lot. You’re super busy with way beats, the numbers being down, being dry on clients. I would take being too busy if we’re not busy at all any day, but it is a challenge and I know you’re. You know you have. Well, how old’s your daughter now? Is he three? Yep, she’s three and a half and is she in like pre? So is she in preschool or anything? Or what’s the daycare? Like she home a lot with you when you’re working? What’s that look like so?

Jen: 

she does go to school three days a week, so then she’s with a family member on Fridays and then I have her on Thursdays. So Thursdays are kind of like the day where we’re doing a little bit of work and a little bit of playing in whatever we want to do, and I try to keep the weekends as free as possible. But there’s definitely times where I do have to get some work done in the mornings and it’s always just a balancing act. But having her in school helps Significantly.

Josh: 

I only asked that because the difference of where you’re at now versus a few years ago, when she was really Untaking a lot of time, versus where you’re at now, where, yeah, there’s there may be some other hands involved, might be a little more help school, whatever it looks like. So it’s very cool, jen, this has been awesome Like. I really have enjoyed seeing you grow as a Web designer and as a business owner. I’m excited I feel like round three of you and I. You’re gonna be a whole different business owner and Online marketer just with how much progress you’ve made already. So this has been really cool. I appreciate you. It’s kind of just been a case study in a master class on offering a lot of services and growing your business To help your clients, and it sounds like you’re doing a good job of listening to your clients as, like you just mentioned they. They’ve been asking you about marketing help and stuff like that. And as much as I deter web designers or not deter them, but just let them know, like heads up, be careful about being a full digital marketing agency unless you really want to, I think you’re Obviously your. That seems to be like your passion is helping the full suite of services rather than just websites. So to that I say, if you can do it and you love it, and you can constrain it, limit it, go for it. Yes, thoughts on that. I love seeing your journey progress.

Jen: 

Yeah, and thank you for having me on. This has been so fun and exciting, and it’s just exciting to be back on a show that I was on two years ago and get to talk to you again and see the evolution of both our businesses. It’s just so fun.

Josh: 

Yeah, you’re a baby in round one You’re a. I guess you’re probably like. It sounds weird, are?

Jen: 

you a toddler or you’re a little?

Josh: 

business owner now. Next time you’ll be a teen business owner. Now is getting it sounding creepy, but you know what I mean. It’s like, yeah, we’re making our, we’re making our evolutions every phase of the journey here. So I definitely want to, definitely want to see what you do here over the next little while and then round three again We’ll see. Maybe round three will be the case study on scaling after what you do here in your business.

Jen: 

Hopefully that’s the goal.

Josh: 

Alright, you heard it here, folks. Then we’ll be on for round three. Eventually We’ll talk scaling. So, jen, thank you so much for your time today and for being just really transparent with what’s working for you. Already excited for the next one, so thanks again.

Jen: 

Thank you, Josh.

Josh: 

So there we go, friends. I hope you enjoyed this chat I had with Jen as much as I did, because I learned a lot from her about how to do marketing and services ancillary to web design and branding, and hosting and care, but to do it in a constrained fashion that you’re able to manage effectively. Because, like we mentioned in the beginning, web designers do run the risk, if You’re just designing websites, of being a commodity and I don’t want to say you can’t, just do that because you can, but I do think it’s harder. You have to be at a very, very expert level and have so much focus and emphasis just on Web design itself and if you’re not helping clients grow their businesses, that’s that’s really what they want a website for. So even if you just add one of these strategies that Jen and I covered, or maybe even just part of one, I really think it’ll help turn your business around and I hope this conversation gave you some confidence to To do something else outside of just branding, web design and hosting and care. So, with all that said, I would love to hear from you on how this episode helped you out. You can view the links and all the resources we mentioned at the show notes for this episode, which can be found at joshallco, and if you would like some help with figuring out what you want to offer in your growth category and figuring out what works for you based off of where you are in your journey and your skill set, I would love to help you, and we do that through my coaching community web designer pro at the time of recording this, and then we also have a lot of other things that you can do to help you out. So if you’re interested in, if you want to know more about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it I think you can find out in the description below, and we do that through my coaching community web designer pro at the time of recording this. We still have some spots open before we reach our cap and go to a wait list. So to make sure you lock in your spot, go to joshallco Pro. You can join us and immediately I will connect with you personally and I will look at your website, I’ll look at your services and I will ask you what challenges do you have, what questions you have about your services and your offers, and we will do it together, my friends. So go to joshallco pro. I will see you in there and again, I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Jen. It will not be the last time. This is round two of many, I have a feeling. I’m excited to see where she’s at, and just probably a couple years. All right, friends, enjoy and cheers to doing more to help grow your clients businesses.

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