Want to stand out from the sea of web designers that are flooding the market now in 2024?

One of the best ways to do so is to share “who’s behind the business,” specifically on the homepage of your website.

I recommend adding a “founders note” to your homepage which will add personality to your site, build trust and credibility with potential customers and set them at ease knowing who they’re about to work with.

It’s been a hidden gem that’s worked for me and hundreds of members of my community Web Designer Pro with landing more and better clients by simply adding this little section to their homepage.

But what should you include? How should you format it? How long or short should it be?

All of that and more is covered in this episode.

P.S. If you’d like to see the video version of this with more real world and visual examples, that’s available on the post as well!

In this episode:

00:02 – Founder’s Note
05:36 – How to do a Founder’s Note
08:02 – Listing Specialties
11:11 – InTransit Studios
14:47 – Content Creation
21:00 – Boost Your Website and Get Coaching
24:36 – Join Pro, Increase Website Pricing


Featured links mentioned:

Episode #308 Full Transcription

Josh: 

Welcome to the Web Design Business Podcast, with your host, josh Hall, helping you build a web design business that gives you freedom at a lifestyle you love. Hello friends, it’s Josh here, just me with you in this one. This is a solo. I guess we’ll dub this a coaching style episode, because I want to share and guide you through something that is going to help you land more clients. Today, if you implement this I can guarantee it because I’ve seen this work for a lot of my students and a lot of the people I coach in Web Designer Pro that is, to include a Founders note on your homepage, specifically your homepage. We’ll get into where else. You could put this on your website too, but this is something that I see a lot of Web Designers struggle with. I should say I see a lot of Web Designers before putting a Founders note on there, they do this to where and if your website is set up like this I’m casting no judgment on you it’s totally fine, but I want to encourage you to get more Web Design clients by doing this. But it’s a situation where you have your website and there is no mention, particularly on the homepage, of who the heck is behind this company, this brand, especially if it is a business name. If you have a personal branded business, it’s a little bit easier. You can kind of get by with this because you may have a homepage that has your services and copy about what you do for clients. But even in that case, I still recommend that you have a picture of you and what I’ve dubbed a Founders note on your homepage. The reason being particularly if you don’t have a personal brand, you have a business name is because nowadays, friends, in 2024 and beyond, one of the best ways to separate yourself from the sea of Web Design competition is to oh so clearly share who is behind this business. This is really important because potential clients, when they’re looking at a Web Design site or a Web Designer site, maybe they came as a referral, or maybe they see you on social media and they check it out. If they don’t know who is behind this business, you’re leaving it up to their imagination as to whether it’s you, a freelancer, or you with a small studio and some remote team behind you, or you as an agency. They may think that you, if you have a lot of copy and messaging that is talking about, like, we build Web Design Presences, we do agency work and marketing or we build online Presences that grow our Web Design clients. If, especially if clients are used to working with agencies, they may immediately think you are a big agency and maybe that’s the route you want to go or you want to come across that way, but a lot of clients may be turned off immediately thinking that you’re a big agency that has overhead and 25 employees, when in fact it’s just you and a couple subcontractors and it’s a much more personal, real experience. You may be losing clients right now, literally, as I’m speaking to you. You might be losing clients because they think you are coming across as an agency when you’re not a big agency and you don’t have to be a big agency, and that’s not to deter big agencies, because you can totally go that route. And if you are an agency and if you do want to come across as an agency, even more so, you need to clarify who is behind the brand, who is the agency, who is the team is this three people or is this 30 people? And with this idea of a founder’s note, which is what we’re going to get into, I think and I have helped a lot of agency models do this to this point. I still recommend that you have a note from the founder, the CEO, the person who started the business, on the homepage and then if you want to go further into the team page and who’s behind the business, then that is what the team page is for, or a different section on your homepage for the team. But either way, all that to say, no matter what situation you’re in, whether you’re a freelancer, that’s just by yourself whether you’re a solopreneur, whether remote team or a true business owner with an agency, have a Founders Know on your website. Now next question I actually, by the way, I’m not looking at notes on this, I’m just kind of riffing off of what I’ve been talking about a lot inside of my coaching community, web Designer Pro, because one of the first things we do in Pro is I look at your website and I’m. What I’ve found myself doing more often than not is I look at somebody’s website and I’m like, okay, this is really great, I love what you have going on here, but there’s one thing that’s missing. If there’s maybe there’s a few things that I commonly recommend that’s missing, but there’s always generally one thing that for sure is missing on a lot of Web Designer sites, and that is this Founders Know, like, who’s behind the brand. Even for personal branded sites, there’s actually like no picture of them. Or one thing that I’ve seen that’s real common is they’ll have a picture of them working at a computer, but there’s no like them looking at the camera, or there’s no clarification on like hey, by the way, this is the person, like I’m the one behind the brand. So even, by the way, if you have a picture of your work, if you’re working, don’t assume that clients think that that’s you, that they may think that’s a stock photo or they may think that it’s your team. So all the more reasons that you should have a picture of you, ideally looking at the camera. That’s my recommendation because it is a much more direct look. It’s like, hey, I’m Josh, I’m the person who leads this business, even if I have a team. I may not be doing every aspect of it, but you’re probably gonna talk to me at some point in the process, or this is the business baby that I created and this is what we’re all about. It’s a really cool chance for you also to share a little bit about your mission, as opposed to just like what you do, because what you do is likely already gonna be in a different section of your website or at least it should be and it leads to your services pages. But so this founder’s note, this idea I say all that to lay the foundation for what is included in this founder’s note. For me personally, I’ve always done it. This helped me in my business gosh so much with again separating me from everyone else and clarifying who is behind it by just having a picture of me and a little blurb, like a little paragraph, at most a paragraph, one little section, and then you can link to your About page for folks who wanna find out more. If it’s just you as a freelancer and you’re a solo shop, this is the perfect place to have a picture of you with a little arrow or graphic that says this is Josh, ceo and founder. I actually my title was head honcho for the last couple of years as I was scaling my agency. People love that. They were like, hey, it’s the head honcho. You could be creative with your brand, but it’s a picture of you, a little arrow or something that says who you are in your official title and then a little blurb. This could be the mission statement or it could be a little bit about what you do or what makes you different, and I’m gonna share some examples with you on the show notes for this episode. But you could do a variety things in this founders note quote-unquote that Just separate you from everyone else, like what is what is it about you that is your superpower? What is, what is it about you that makes you different from everybody else? I have some members of my community web designer pro who they all have different Superpowers and specialties and that is something that you can 100% put in your founders note without getting too much in detail To where hey, we’re getting into like a blog post. This should be on your about page, but it’s just a paragraph or two at most that just share a little bit about you, maybe the mission behind your business or maybe, again, the mission behind what you do and why you do it in your specialty. Even if you want to include some keywords in there for SEO purposes that could link out to different pages or services, you could 100% do that for you in your business and it’s gonna go a long way. Now the big thing is with these founders notes is that, like I mentioned, they should not be a blog post. It should not be a bunch of paragraphs all in one section. It should be Something that links to an about page. I actually have this at my site currently. If you go to my site at joshallco now I don’t call this a well, I would call it a founders note, but on my page currently at At joshallco being that it is a personal brand my head is all over the place. You know that that when you are exposed to my stuff, you’re probably like, wow, this dude is full of himself, his face is everywhere. But that’s intentional because it’s a personal brand. A lot of my resources are shared separately, by the way. I don’t just have my face everywhere because I just want to look at it all day. It’s because Things are shared in such a way that I like to have a face with my content that people Hopefully resonate with and build some like and trust and credibility, and then they can move forward. Speaking of likeability, trust and authority, all come by having this founders note, because you’ll make it oh so clear that this business, especially if you have a business name, is not just some evil corporation that views clients as numbers. It’s actually Somebody behind this brand and they have a real mission and a real reason behind they do what they do and they have a real care for clients. You can get all that across in your founders notes, but mine right now, before I get off tangent here, on my home page if you go to joshallco, if you scroll down a few sections down, you’ll come to a place that’s called the dude. Currently it’s called that I have a lot of plans to do some revamps on my website, but for now it’s called the dude and it just says hey, I’m Josh, web design business educator, coaching creator. I’m the founding of my website agency in transit studios and then I just personally say, through my online web design courses, coaching, community and In resources, I help web designers build a web design business that gives them freedom in a lifestyle you love. So the tagline of the podcast. And then more recently, I posted a pic with this, because I did previously just have a picture of me and then me presenting, but because I’m so committed to web designer pro my members in there, I have a picture of the recent meetup that we had in person at word camp us in 2023. So that’s the picture I currently have there and I even say here’s a picture of me and my wife with members of my community web designer pro at word camp, us 2023, and then there’s a link that goes to meet Josh for the full story, for those who want to meet me. Now it is different because I have a personal brand as an online coach and content creator. But I did the same thing in a similar way with a founder’s note With my agency site which, if you’re interested, you can actually still access the freelance version of my site in transit studios. If you go to Josh dot in transit studios comm, we have that version of the business completely backed up for reference. I reference this all the time because right now, in transit studios is a full-blown agency and there’s still a lot of ways as an agency to come across With a founders note, like I mentioned, I would still recommend that you have something from the founder and, before I get to what I say, in my agency site as a freelancer and solopriner, if you go To in transit studios comm, we’re the sites at now. At the time of recording this, eric, my CEO, is on the homepage and it’s a video from Eric, so I’ll probably, after this, recommend that Eric listen to this episode and do an image and then a short blurb and then maybe a link to the video or video separately. But Eric is still doing a founders note in a way which leads to a book, a strategy session currently with the in transit studios site. So even that is a good example of a way you can do kind of like who’s the leader, who’s behind the brand, here and again. My backed up version of the site, the freelance version, is Josh dot in transit studios comm and I had a Founders note. That was actually the why work with us section and I said when you work with Josh and his team, you can expect personalized, caring and empowering web design experience to start to finish. And then in my Founders note I had a little quote from myself. I said we truly care about each and every project. We always put ourselves in the shoes of our clients. We understand the fears, confusion, apprehensions you may have in looking for the right web designer and we strive to be the best possible web design experience. Josh head honcho and creative director a little corporatey in that lingo If I was to go back nowadays, because I just give zero F’s on what people think of what I say. I like to talk online like I talk in person. I would be a little more casual. I would be like hey, I’m Josh, I’m the head honcho around here. Before becoming a web designer, I looked for web designers and I was terrified. I didn’t know what to look for. I was worried they were going to run with my money and that’s exactly why, with this agency, we’ll put you at ease through all that kind of stuff. We’re going to help you with personalized web design. We care about you and make sure that you’re set up for success. You know that kind of thing. So I would probably tweak this a little bit nowadays, but I’m keeping it there as is at joshintransitstudioscom because it worked and for people who came to my website, who were referred from clients or came by another way or saw me on the Chamber of Commerce Business Directory or through my networking group, this really helped get across who is behind the brand of in transit studios, which was my business name, because it was not Josh Hall Web Design. Most of my clients called it that because they didn’t know the business name. They forgot it, but that’s what worked for me. So the big encouragement for you is to do a founders note. That again leads to your about page or can even lead to your team page, which may be separate or may be the same, depending on your setup. But either way, I want you as a challenge for you. I challenge my web designer pro members almost weekly on this with our weekly Q&As, and I often, when I’m doing website review and web designer pro if you don’t know, every week I go live. Members can come up for coaching segments. We call them hot seats or like 10 minute coaching calls with me and I also do website reviews and this probably comes up at least 50% of the time on website reviews where I say you got to have a founders note. It’s also one reason I’m doing this publicly for you on this podcast, because I want to be able to refer to this. Well, I haven’t to repeat myself all the time. So little content creation advice for you as well. Anything you do repeated, make it a piece of content, make it a podcast, a blog post, a video they share with clients that you can direct them to. But where was I? Oh, yeah, for web designer pro. I tell the members all the time founders note, founders note, founders note on your homepage. And actually recently one of my members, austin, shout out to Austin, who’s also in central Ohio. He has a business partner in his business and they have that on the about page. But on their homepage when I did their website review for them recently, there was no mention of who’s behind the brand. I didn’t see that until I got to the about page. It would be very nice for Austin to have him excuse me and his business partner on the homepage. That’s like a meet the founders and then you zip off to the homepage where there are the about page, where there’s more information on each. I’m telling you right now I’m speaking in confidence with this because I have seen it work for me and I’ve seen it work for hundreds of my students to great success. For a lot of my members of Web Designer Pro Founders notes will bring trust, authority and it’ll literally help sell you before you even get on a discovery call with somebody just by sharing hey, here’s who’s behind the brand. So I can’t recommend enough that you have your founders note. Again, keep it simple. Phase one, version one a picture of you, even if you don’t have professional pictures, go to somewhere with decent lighting, take your phone clean up, don’t have your couch with boxes and dirty laundry behind you. But you can get creative. Take a picture of yourself if you want to. It could be selfie style. I’ve seen those work out as well. Professional pictures are great, but you also don’t want to be too stuffy. You don’t want to be like is man a suit and tie and I’m a professional. I mean you could, you know, I assume you talk like that if you have a suit and tie on. Like next time I wear a suit and tie. That’s all I’m gonna talk. See how many clients I get. But be yourself, be casual, be real, and that will really come across. And again, as far as what to include in these founders notes, I shared with you the version that I had on my Intransit site. I just shared with you. Right now, eric, my CEO just has a video and under the video is a book. Now session my JoshHallco site right now is a little bit more third person. Well, actually you know that the other one was more third person. This one’s a little bit more about what might briefly my background and then what I offer and then really share, showcasing that I’m community focused with Web Designer Pro, and then it dives in. Then you can go to my story, for example. But again, there’s so many ways to go about this. I could pull up a ton of examples and actually I have some more examples for you that are visual if you would like to see them. I’m also along with this podcast episode, which is a little more long form, and rambly Shaker. I’m also making this a condensed video with some real world examples from students of mine as well, so that’s a little more visual, so you can actually see these in the real world. So you’ll be able to go to JoshHallco slash we have 308 on this one yeah, slash 308. And that’ll have the link to the YouTube video that’s gonna accompany this podcast episode. So head over there to watch the video version of this. But I just wanna share a couple real quick. I recently had my member, sandy, on the podcast, who has a nice Founders Note on her site at sandfirecreativeca. I’m not gonna read the whole thing, but when you go to her website you’ll see this in the video. She says hey, I’m Sandy, I build websites that work. You have enough on your plate without having to worry about a new website from scratch. The thought of writing content, figuring out design, optimizing for mobile SEO is overwhelming, to say the least. That’s where having a dedicated web geek like me in your corner comes in handy, and she has a little more in there. But I just wanted to share that because, sandy, way to go. That is such a great way to come across when they go, when a lead goes to this sandfireca website. If Sandy didn’t have this on there, I would have no idea who is behind this brand. Again, is this somebody who’s working in their parents’ basement? Is this an agency with a ton of employees and overhead? And am I starting at $10,000? I have no idea what’s behind this. So a little founders know this automatically sets a personal precedence, which is again gonna help you stand out from so many web designers who are not doing this. You’re gonna have an edge up on them immediately by just listening to this podcast and implementing this. And again, I can’t stress this enough Don’t overthink this. This is version one. My challenge for you to do this practically right now is, if I were to ask you why should I work with you? Like, what’s different about you? Whatever you would say in 30 seconds, put that as your founders note. Even if it’s not great, it’s better than nothing. It’s better than not having it on your website. So, whatever you would say in 30 seconds with you know what’s different about you. Why should I work with you other than other? You know somebody up work or five, or as a web designer. What would you say? First thing that comes to mind it’s probably gonna be the best and you could optimize it. I would not chat GPT. This don’t AI. Your founders know it because you are not AI. You are you. What would you say? Are you goofy? Are you fun? Are you a little more serious? Are you? We just talked with Jennifer Alfred, my student. Are you a little more passion, like purpose driven business style? You can speak with language that attracts those type of people. Are you one of my other members, rosie of Web designer Pro? She recently got a client that was attracted to her because she was soulful and spiritual in some ways, like those type of keywords you could totally put in your founders note if it’s you like. If you think about what would I put in my founders note If I were to do one today. You’re probably right. I would put like rugged, handsome, beesley things that are gonna attract the right clients who are attracted to me, because I obviously have those. You know those traits. So, whatever it is for you, make that your founders note and I would love to see it. Drop me a comment For the episode show at the episode show notes for this one go to joshallco, slash 308. I want you to comment with your homepage and I want to see your founders note. I read all the podcast comments that come into my website, so I want to see yours again because I would have you email it to me. But I actually would love to like go back and check this out. Plus, side note, you’ll get a little domain boost. You’ll get a SEO boost because your website will be linked as a comment Hashtag backlink win for those who haven’t been through my CS or SEO course yet. But yeah, leave me a comment. I want to see it. I will literally comment and check out your founders note and then, if you would like help with your founders note you guessed it. That’s where I will coach you directly and Web designer pro. That’s what I’ve been doing for hundreds of members. At this point, again with Web designer pro, if you don’t know, it’s my coaching community that has all of my courses. Coaching with me directly in the community is absolutely second to none. We are closing in on our member cap of 250 and I think we are going to be closing in very soon here because I’m doing some big pushes on it and it’s just on fire and it’s working and I’m gonna, for the first time in my business I’m really once I get my scaling course live here. Over the next few weeks I’m going to focus on Marketing better for me in my business, more so than I ever have, because I think I’m more confident than I have ever been, honestly, because the results are there. I’ve got so many members of pro going full-time making healthy six figures, some of them multi six figures. I got some members who are in the two to three to four hundred thousand range plus. So it’s working, guys, and I wanted to work for you as quickly as possible. So if you want coaching with me directly and access to everything I have for you in Web designer pro, you have got to lock in your spot ASAP as possible, as Michael Scott says. So go to joshallco slash pro to make sure you lock in your spot before we hit our member Cap of 250. And I want to say you can just try it out. You can go month to month, which means for 30 days you can try Web designer pro and with your investment in the first month You’ll get access to all of my courses and everything and my coaching, which, if you want to do a one-on-one call with me For people who want to do that, who aren’t a member of pro, I charge 500 bucks an hour to do that. So you’ll get my coaching for a third of that For one month in Web designer pro immediately. So let’s go, friends, especially as we’re kicking off the new year. We there’s so much opportunity that I don’t want you to miss out on. I want to help guide you through that. So, josh Hall dot co slash pro, make sure you join before we hit our member cap and then it’s going to move to a wait list to be able to get coaching with me directly. Josh Hall dot co slash pro and Josh Hall dot co slash three zero eight to send me your home page. I want to see your founders note. Have some fun with it. Keep it simple, friends. Link to your about page where you can go further from there. But I promise you, if you do this, you will see a difference in your business, particularly with people, how people will view you and know you. You’ll find that when they come through your contact form and you do a Discovery call, you’re gonna be like wow, how did they know this about me? And it’s because your founders note with whatever you want to put on there. And again, there’s gonna be some more examples of founders notes for you. I I’m gonna cut that off here, just because it’s kind of hard to just read all of them. I know you want to see them, so I’m gonna have more examples of founders notes in the video that’s gonna accompany this podcast post. This. The video is gonna be a little more short. It’s gonna be shorter. It’ll be a little more straight to the point with, like, the founders notes. So I recommend watching that, which will be available at joshallco slash 308. All right, friends, I hope this has helped you sincerely. Again, leave me a comment joshallco slash 308 and I hope to see you in pro where I can coach you directly. And Gosh, so many awesome things happening in pro guys, so many awesome things. I want you to be a part of it. I want to help you directly. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be charging 25, 5,000, 10k plus for your websites ASAP. So if you want help with doing that I’ll see you over in pro joshallco slash pro. That’s the place to go. Oh, I’m rhyming. That means time to end. All right, friends, see you on the next one, you.

Web Design Business

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