​Josh shares a recent Q&A session sharing insight and honest thoughts on the TheAdminBar 2024 WordPress Professional Survey Results.

This is a good look at what is working (and what isn’t) in web design today regardless if you’re a WordPress user or not.

We cover:

  • Common web design pricing
  • How much income web design freelancers (and agencies) are taking home on average
  • How popular recurring income is for web designers today
  • Which WordPress builders are on the rise and which are falling
  • Most common client acquisition strategies and more

Again, regardless of if you use WordPress or whether you’re a freelancer or small agency, this data is real-world figures that are happening today in web design.

Overall, this report showed me that web designers are fiercely under valued…and some of that is because of pricing, offers and overworking on our end.

My hope is that you can see what’s possible in web design if you’re an early-stager and where you can excel at as a more established web designer.

In this episode:

01:01 – Web Design Business Survey Insights
16:32 – Shifts in Web Design Trends
22:08 – Web Design Income and Success Strategies
27:50 – Building Recurring Revenue With Strategy Calls
34:13 – Web Design Builder Trends
39:55 – The Importance of Web Design Niches
50:53 – Scaling Your Business for Growth
55:42 – Survey Results and Web Design Community

See the results completely free (no sign-up required) here


Featured links mentioned:

Episode #322 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 and a lifestyle you love. So recently, my friend Kyle over at the Admin Bar, which is one of the top communities for WordPress web designers, just did a survey of over 1,100 web designers getting real world up-to-date data on what is working for freelancers and agency owners, and this survey is available for you to check out to help you with your web design business and even if you are not a WordPress web designer, most of all, this information is not WordPress specific, so everything from pricing, services, recurring income, what you’re doing in your business, how much profit you’re keeping, how much paying yourself all that is covered here. He actually invited me recently over on a live panel recently to go over this information, on this survey, and it was a really great time I got to hear some other perspectives, but you know me, I had a lot of thoughts on each one of these and we had four people talking within an hour, so I wanted to dedicate my own little chance to go through a lot of this information, and what I did recently is, every month for students across all my courses I go live for them with a office hours like live Q and a, and we covered the results of this survey in detail. So that’s exactly what I want to show you here Give you a sneak peek at some more insight on all this information here for this survey, which you can find live. You can go and check this out. You don’t have to sign up for anything, you can just check it out.

Josh: 

Again, if you’re a WordPress user, this is going to be very, very tactile. Even if you’re not using WordPress, this is 99% non-WordPress specific. So go check it out. And, while you’re at it, as a thanks to Kyle for putting this incredible survey together, make sure you go to theadminbarcom and join the community if you are a WordPresser. So here are my thoughts on this survey. So let’s look at this together and have some fun. I just posted the link for you guys to check out. If you just joined us, welcome in.

Josh: 

We’re going to recap and give some insight on some of these stats that were surveyed recently. Now, this is a big thing. This is a WordPress survey, but not much of this is dedicated to solely WordPress. So just know if you’re not a WordPress user or if you’re using things alongside WordPress. This is still equally as valuable Because what Kyle did here is over 1100 agencies and freelancers alike filled out this survey. So this is real time data like super valuable. Good on Kyle for doing this and again, it’s completely free, you don’t need to sign up for it.

Josh: 

Links below so most of who were surveyed were from the US, with an average team size of two. So that’s one thing to consider. The next up was UK, australia, then Canada and a handful of others as well. So we’re talking Western price ranges for the most part here. So let’s dive right in.

Josh: 

And if you’re wondering these arrows here from my recollection, excuse me on what Kyle said, if you see a green arrow it means it is up from last year’s results and a down arrow is down from last year’s results. So 72% of nearly 1,200 WordPress professionals are charging less than $5,000 on a website on average. So what’s interesting about this is the range that is below and above $5,000 is what’s striking to me. Below $5,000, $2,500 to $5,000 is up from last year. That sits at 34%, almost 35%. So that tells me that the majority of web designers are in between a $2,500 and $5,000 price point. That’s not bad, especially if you could still get to a six-figure business at this price point. I know that in confidence, because that’s exactly what I did, although my price point ended up being $5,000 plus on average once we got to multi-six figures. That’ll come into play here Now. $5,000 to $10,000 was on average once we got to multi-six figures. That’ll come into play here Now. 5,000 to 10,000 was down from last year, but that’s less than 20% of web designers on average.

Josh: 

And again, while this is WordPress professionals, if I were a betting man which I am, if I have somebody else’s money, but if I were a betting man with my own money I would say that this is probably exactly about the same for Webflow, wix, studio, squarespace, showit, whatever. They may be a little bit different, but I’d be curious to do this same survey with broad agnostic builders. Web Designer Pro. I’m probably going to do. A lot of members of Pro are here today. I think we’re going to do a survey here pretty soon for Pro members as well, and maybe even in my entire email list to get a good sense of this as well.

Josh: 

But, all that to say, there’s a lot of people charging in between $2,500 and $5,000 USD less that are in the $5,000 to $10,000. Now again, if you want to get to six figures, which is going to come into play here this is a good range to be in, where you do not want to go under, for six figures is under the $2,500 range, unless you have a super productized system. All of the other aspects, even if you could knock out a site in a few hours by using templates or AI or staging sites or some sort of child theme, whatever it is. There are so many other components to web design, as we all know very well. There is marketing, there is sales, there is onboarding, there is revisions, there’s offboarding, there are strategies to continue to talk with your clients during a project and off of a project. There’s team members If you have a team. There’s a lot of other things here. So we really I don’t want to see anyone dip below $2,500. It’s no shocker why, in my business course, I recommend that you start at $2,500 for your pricing, even if you have a super productized, templatized web design service. So I’m okay with this.

Josh: 

On average, I would like to see these numbers. I would like to see 26% be the five to 10. Actually, I would like to bump these up. I’d like to see 26 be the 25 to 5,000 and 34 would be the five to 10.

Josh: 

Now, this is also one thing important that I wanted to get some insight on this too, is this depends on whether this is a part of a bigger package. So, if a standalone website is $5,000 or less than even if it’s 3,500 or 4,000, but it’s a part of a bigger package, that includes SEO, might be keyword research, maybe copy messaging work, maybe lead generator type of work, maybe some digital marketing in there, and it might even include, like a year of maintenance and hosting or support. Then that’s where this is a little bit mucky too, which is as far as like, what’s entailed in a website package or is this just website? So factor that into when you’re thinking about your pricing. Like, if somebody asks you, how much does a website cost, which I’m sure we’ve all got that question right. Well, number one, it depends. But it also depends on Well, there’s a difference between charging for a website and charging for a web design package. One more time if you’re multitasking, come back to me, because this is really important for clients to understand. There’s a big difference between charging for a website and charging for a web design package that may be more well-rounded and include a lot more than just a $5,000 website on the high end. So something to consider here.

Josh: 

Again, this is okay, but this leads me to this next, probably the most startling statistic on this entire survey, and that is that 68% of the business owners surveyed here had a gross revenue of less than six figures in 2023. That means nearly two-thirds Actually right, it is two-thirds, right. Two-thirds of all the agencies and freelancers nearly 20, over 1,100 here are top-line revenue. The reason if you’re new in business, there’s gross revenue and net revenue. Gross is what you make. Total Net is what you keep. It’s called gross because you get taxed on it. Ew, that’s icky, it’s gross. That is why this is extra startling, which means web designers as a whole went over.

Josh: 

Did I say this in the beginning? There’s over 11 years of experience on average for these freelancers and agency owners, which means we’re looking at a decade plus of experience on average, and on average, two thirds of those folks are gross revenue, making six figures, which be 100,000, less than 100,000, which means you’re taking home your netting maybe 50, 60, 70. 50 on the low end. If you’re paying a decent amount of taxes, you have any profit in the business, tools, expenses and anything else you’re paying for in your business you’re probably taking home anywhere between 40,000 $50,000 on a decent low end. But top end you’re maybe taking home $70,000, depending on your tax situation and how you have your business set up. And if you’re just working yourself and you don’t have contractors and you have a very, very, very lean and mean tool stack with subscriptions and, of course, if you’re taking home $70,000 out of $100,000, that means there’s probably about $0 going into that really important P word profit. So that’s what’s really starting and that’s what’s sad to me about this.

Josh: 

We’re going to spend a lot of time on these first couple, because this is the thing I’m most interested in 10 years, a decade experience, and you’re probably taking $60,000 to $70,000 home and you’re probably taking $60,000 to $70,000 home. What’s the average US salary for a decent job? What’s the average median income? Let me look real quick. I’ll look off screen here. Average median income. I’m going to look in my area, columbus Ohio, based off of 2022, from what I see, this is just a Google search. There may be more data on this, but median household income as of 2022 is $62,000, almost $63,000 for median household income in my area, but has anyone been in the grocery store recently? Like that’s going to go fast.

Josh: 

I say all that to say like to be, to be a business owner, to work your freaking ass off and to only a decade in, be at a point where you’re at 60 to 70, like just over what everyone else is making working a more quote unquote stable corporate job. I just want more for everyone. I want everyone here to want more for your family, for you, for your freedom, for your legacy as we think about moving forward and building a business, and I just want more for web designers. This shows how fiercely undervalued web designers are, whether that’s unintentional, or whether it’s just by clients or maybe just you not showing the value of what you’re doing for web design clients. I just think you are and I know you are probably 2, 3, 4, 5x more valuable than what you’re getting paid right now. That’s what I’m saying here.

Josh: 

Now is everything about money? No, but one thing I will say is, as you progress as an entrepreneur and as a business owner, you get to a point where you realize we start a business to have freedom and to do the work we want to do, that we enjoy doing. We want to work with the people who we enjoy working with and it is really hard to do that if you’re only taking home $60,000. It’s very hard, at least US wise. Again, everyone’s situation is different depending on where you are in the world, depending on what your family life looks like. You may not have as many expenses as I do with three kids, a special needs daughter, two golden retrievers and a new mortgage. Yeah, you probably don’t need as much as I do if you’re not in that situation. But when it comes to legacy building and wealth building and being a business owner and building a business taking home 60 grand on average, that saddens me because web designers are worth so much more than that and I know how much work hard work, blood, sweat and digital tears go into and real tears go into building websites.

Josh: 

So all that to say, raise your rates, everybody. Raise your rates right now, even if it’s in the same price bucket. If you’re charging $1,500 for sites, bump it up to $2,000. If you’re charging $2,500, bump it up to $3,000. Antoine says my pricing is $2,500 standalone or $2,000 if you’re getting on my monthly recurring digital marketing plans. Monthly recurring plans start at $3.97 for reference. Good on you, antoine. That’s a good price point there, depending on what’s all in there $3.97.

Josh: 

All in there, um, 397. It, antoine, is yours? Um, is yours a? Um, like an 18 month subscription plan? What is it? How does that work for you? Is that a 12 month or 18 month? Because that is one thing to consider with this pricing as well. And again it goes back to this first point of the five thousand dollars like, well, if it is $5,000 website over the course of 18 months, or the course of two or three years on a subscription, then those can stack up and add up the pros and cons to the subscription model as well. But, yeah, let me know how that works for you, antoine. So, real quick, we’ll bust through some of these other ones real quick.

Josh: 

And again, if you just joined us, we are recapping the 2024 survey results from the admin bar, who surveyed almost 1200 web designers on where their income is, what’s working, what’s not, which we’ll get to here. Um, so, way more web designers are now making under 50 grand, which is and this may factor in a lot of people who are just starting to. So all this is taken with a grain of salt. The one that’s really sad to me is folks making in between, and this is interesting too. Folks making in between $50,000 and $200,000 are all down.

Josh: 

Most web designers in this case, almost 50% of web designers are under $50K, and if this is you, I don’t want you to feel bad about this. I want to encourage you to level up and consider charging your worth and your value, because you’ll be shocked at how many clients would pay you double or triple with the exact work that you’re doing right now. I know that too very well because I started doing that and I was like God dang it, why didn’t I do this like three years ago? 22% are under six figures, 12 are in between the 1 to 150 range, less than five, and this is where a lot of folks getting in to the 150 plus range. In a multi-six figures it’s drastically reduced. Um, although more people are from last year, the numbers have crept up into the quarter million and half million to seven figures range, which is good. I love seeing that. That is trending right. But those may be more agency owners who are a little more experienced as well.

Josh: 

Again, this data is based off of 11 years average, so we may have folks in here who have been doing it for longer than that, although let’s get real, if you’re doing web design for over a decade, you started when wordpress was in its infancy likely well, not 10 years now. Sometimes I think 10 years is like 2005. No, it’s 2014, so even 20 years. You know, the internet was very different, as we all know, in 2004. So, uh, yeah, there’s a lot of different metrics into this.

Josh: 

But Stacy said because Wix and Squarespace saying it’s so easy. Yeah, there is definitely a lot of that, stacy. What’s interesting about that, though? We pop off Sharon, the, the do it yourself platforms. I don’t know if you guys have seen this, but, excuse me, I don’t think it’s going well. I don’t think the DIY platforms are going very well right now.

Josh: 

Case in point Wix Studio, which I don’t know if anyone uses Wix Studio here. From what I know, I’m a WordPress guy, so, just like every other WordPress guy, I was like Wix is the devil, anti-wix. That type of marketing is encouraging clients that they could quote, unquote, do it themselves for $5, and they don’t want to pay $5,000 for a website. Yes, that’s certainly a part to that, but what I found is Wix created Wix Studio, which is actually a completely different platform that’s much more advanced, created Wix Studio, which is actually a completely different platform. That’s much more advanced and it’s targeted to us, to freelancers, to small web design shops and agencies. I don’t think Wix would have done that if the standard Wix builder was killing it. And I don’t know if that’s because of the rise of Squarespace or ShowIt, but I know a lot of students in Web Designer Pro, the community. I’d love for you guys all to come over to when you’re ready so you can get coaching from me all my courses in the community. But we’ve got a lot of Squarespace users there and that’s expanded too to where they’re actually marketing to more freelancers and agencies.

Josh: 

Webflow is the same way. Although Webflow is pretty much known as a builder that’s not DIY friendly. An average business owner is not going to open up Webflow, just like they wouldn’t open up WordPress and be like oh yeah, I can figure this out. So I don’t know what’s going on with the DIY market, but it’s in a really tricky spot. It’d be interesting if somebody is, and maybe it’s like GoDaddy builders and hosted builders rather than Wix or some of the others. But I’d be curious to see what an average business owner who’s going to start up their own website, what they would choose. But again, I say all that to say there’s a reason that Wix made Wix Studio and is now approaching freelancers and agencies. I don’t know if those DIY builders are doing great, so, stacey to your point, I wonder if that l is already. I’ve.

Josh: 

I’ve seen that shift a little bit. Maybe it’s just the algorithms and ads I get, but I’m not seeing too many of the build your own websites for for one dollar as much now. Um, some some online, but uh, I think the diy thing is is in a bit of a pivot and change. Uh, anto said for his pricing, it’s no subscription. I’m hoping to provide enough value that they won’t want to leave. So it’s a sales funnel with the ability to run their own ads that I create so they can manage their budget. Okay, so you’re mixing digital marketing with that as well. Yeah, states a good point. Lots of AI websites now, yep, which again, I don’t think it’s anything to be feared as web designers. I think they’re really great starting points.

Josh: 

What I would do, my recommendation for everybody, is to use either AI or templated sites as your productized package the $2,500 range and then custom 5, 10, 15k plus. So you have a productized AI or template staging site option that is very streamlined, very constrained. Those are for the low budget clients. And then you have your custom sites that are going to get into 5, 10, 15 plus. Stacy says not to be doom and gloom. Yeah, no, it’s all right, it’s an important. This is important, though, again.

Josh: 

Yes, you can look at it like, oh, ai is going to run us all out of business, but how long is it going to be before an average business owner is going to do an AI website? And let’s face it, ai is not going to handle all of the components that go in and out of a website project, not only on site but just off site, with content messaging, content acquisition, getting content, content acquisition, getting content Excuse me. So there is a lot that I don’t think AI is going to be able to take over fully. I don’t even want to say for a long time, because, as we know, can AI help a client decide on what colors to choose? And if they want their logo to pop? I don’t know. I don’t want to throw clients under the bus. You guys know that’s not what we’re here for, because clients, they’re business owners, they just know what they see around them and if they’re seeing commercials, if they hear about a way to make a website up faster, they’re going to take it naturally, as they probably should as a business owner. But it’s our job to inform clients and to be the webmaster to know at least a well-rounded knowledge of all this stuff, which is why you guys are here.

Josh: 

So let’s go back into the survey results, shall we? If you just joined us, welcome in. I am diving into the recent admin bar survey results. Sorry, guys, I got a bit of a throat tickle right during the Q&A here. Perfect timing, perfect timing.

Josh: 

So, as we just covered, if you are charging less than $5,000 on average and you just get to six figures, naturally freelancers are going to be taking home on average less than $50,000. For sure, a lot of web designers in this poll are taking home less than $20,000. That’s not even minimum wage. The majority actually no, not even majority and again, some of this may be new web designers. So, all taken with a grain of salt here, but the average experience on this was 11 years. So if you’re making less than 20 grand and you’ve been at it for a decade, you need to come into Web Designer Pro and let me look at your rates and let’s create some packages and let’s freaking go, because you are way more valuable than that. You can literally make more working at McDonald’s. So, 20 to 50K 30% that’s makes sense. With all this, Only 20% are near in between 50 and 100. And then just over. Well, almost 7% are in between six and multi six figures. So that is yeah, guys. I want to see everyone get up here. I want to, because this again, this is what you’re taking home. I think, right, yeah, what you’re taking home. How much did you pay yourself?

Josh: 

Western wise, life is very expensive and I said this on the live panel when we went over this with Kyle and a couple others. But you got to consider inflation too. Inflation is not constrained to just the grocery store and your mortgage and everything else in life and gas. It also needs to affect your business. So as expenses go up in life, so should your web design rates. I am shocked at how many web designers have had the same price points for like a decade. If you’re charging $1,000 in 2010, that may have been a different story than $1,000 in 2024. So inflation also needs to affect your business as well. I’m sure there’s others that may have a different mindset, but I don’t know if those others have three children and a mortgage and health expenses and everything else, or do they go to the grocery store? We’ve got to inflate our business as well.

Josh: 

I’m trying also not to be doom and gloom, just like Stacey said, but this saddens me Overall. I just want to see web designers making more and making what you deserve and what you’re valued at. This is kind of cool. 32% of web design agencies and freelancers are making the majority of their income for recurring revenue sources. This really excites me. My camera I don’t have. My effects aren’t working on my stream deck, but I do have audio effects, so I am going to give a round of applause to everybody for taking recurring revenue more seriously. This is a really, really good sign. You guys probably all know I think most of you have been through my maintenance plan course. I mean that was a life changer, a game changer for me and my business. I know it is for a lot of you, but the cool thing is there’s so many things you could do in and out of recurring revenue sources now is. There’s so many things you could do in and out of recurring revenue sources.

Josh: 

Now you can tack on all sorts of matter of SEO with keyword research on-site SEO, off-site SEO, depending on how far you want to go. You can even do Google business profile setups. You can do local SEO and Web Designer Pro. We just had, a couple of days ago, lindsay Halsey with Pathfinder SEO shed some light on what’s going on with the new Google AI, the generative search experience. So there’s a lot of opportunities in SEO. Even if you don’t want to be an SEO person, you should still stay on the up and up on that. So come on over to Web Designer Pro. Go to joshhallcopro Use your student discount to get in there. Come on over to Web Designer Pro. Go to joshhallco slash pro Use your student discount to get in there.

Josh: 

But overall recurring revenue sources outside of SEO ongoing work like optimization, accessibility, copy messaging, any sort of marketing services that you’re doing to help your clients grow, whether it’s email list building, whether it’s lead generation, landing pages. You can even go further into conversion web design, which may be pages that clients aren’t thinking of, like. What about a contact page? When somebody submits a contact page, where do they go? Do they go to the contact form? Where do they go after that, do they get redirected to a page that has additional resources. I guarantee you could charge for that right now.

Josh: 

Do that right now, guys. Offer your clients a one-off project. Send an email to your email list saying hey, one thing we haven’t considered, or you may want to consider that we can do as kind of an add-on or frame it like a package. We are doing Thank you confirmation pages but built out confirmation pages so when somebody submits a lead, like a form for a lead, they don’t just get a message that says thank you for your message, we’ll respond. No, they go to like a confirmation page that is built out to the brand with free resources, additional stuff they could dive into, maybe an offer, maybe a promo to boost sales for your clients.

Josh: 

If you come to them with that attitude and that mindset, this is a growth, results-oriented web designer we’re talking about, and that could be you, and that’s what separates you from a lot of other web designers who are just taskmasters and pixel pushers, as they say. I hate that term, but it’s kind of true. Are you just doing everything your client tells you? Are you presenting ideas to help them grow their business? Because that is what is going to separate you from everybody else, and even AI, unless they’re prompting AI with their ideas. But somebody asked me if AI is going to talk about confirmation pages or some of the other strategies that we just talked about Maybe a few, but not all of them. I guarantee AI is not talking about strategy calls.

Josh: 

One of our most engaged members in pro, lisa Williams, does strategy calls every quarter for her maintenance plan clients. She’s going to be coming on the podcast soon to talk about this and she offers these on top of her maintenance plans. So if you’re a maintenance plan client, you get a complimentary strategy call every quarter. She opens up a two-week block and she usually takes anywhere between 5 and 10 and 15 clients that jump on those calls, but it’s only a few times a year and then those lead to additional work recurring work, retainer work, website redesigns and she’s made tens of thousands of dollars over the past year and a half just offering strategy calls that build into this recurring income revenue source. So yes, all different ways you can add recurring revenue into your business.

Josh: 

I’m really excited to see that $94 an hour is $2 lower than last year on average, so that I mean again kind of makes sense. If you factor in six figures a year, then it’s likely that you’re going to be around the $75 to $100 range. If you have a team, this should be more for sure, but as a freelancer, $100 an hour is still going to be in a place to where you’re going to be able to provide for yourself more than likely at $100 an hour If you are really really meticulous with that time and it’s not. You know, it’s not something that is like 100 ish, but you’re actually making like 10 ish. But in most cases I’d say between 100 and 200 are probably going to be at the point where you’re going to be able to take home six figures. So if you’re charging 94 an hour, I’m betting you’re taking home $50 personally, depending on your expenses. Again, you’re worth so much more. I know you are.

Josh: 

Accessibility is definitely a huge, huge thing, especially in the WordPress realm. Now, the admin bar is maybe the best source for this. I mean, it’s one of the top sources for me personally that I go to to stay on the up and up with accessibility A lot of accessibility experts in there. Sometimes it’s overwhelming for those of you who are there, and I found out last year that the accessibility world is divided and vicious, to put it lightly. There are people who like overlay solutions and there are people who will track those people down, potentially physically, like my gosh, those, yeah. Anyway, I interviewed people from both ends of the accessibility spectrum Tools like AccessiBe, but also hand coders and hard coders and accessibility from the ground up and, yes, it is very, very important. The cool thing from what I learned I mean I’m not even joking about it being super vicious I got some wild messages from people who were like, basically, how dare you talk to somebody from AccessiBe?

Josh: 

You’re a joke in your industry, stuff like that and I was like, first of all, chill the hell out. Second of all, I’m talking to everybody. I want to get a feel for what’s going on here, because if somebody’s new to web design or a DIY business owner and they’re not experienced with this, they may see something like an overlay solution and be like, oh cool, I can have a plugin that helps people make the fonts bigger and changes the color. Yeah, that sounds like a good plan and that was all the thought. They didn’t know any better, so don’t come down on them. Even when I got into accessibility the little bit I am. That was kind of my mindset too. I was like, oh, I don’t even know how you would hand code this. So there’s things that can be done with a plugin that sounds awesome. So don’t mistake ignorance for malignant intent. There’s your wise wisdom of the day, if it’s, if it can be called that one thing I learned with that.

Josh: 

Anywho, it is cool to see that a lot of web designers are taking accessibility seriously, at least to strive for best practices. Um, wcag, are the the official accessibility guidelines? But yes, those are. It’s kind of like security. You could never be 100% secure and from what I’ve seen with accessibility, especially because things are changing so rapidly, you can never be 100% accessible. But best practices for those who are new to web design or accessibility, it’s mainly color contrast, readable fonts, good hierarchy, basic HTML principles, a navigation that’s easily moved around. You’d be able to tap through websites. I think a lot of the fancy animations and a lot of the different scrolling type features for, like quote unquote trendy websites are often a problem with accessibility. So just a good, best practiced website is going to be the foundation of accessibility. Then you can go further and further with alt text and copy kind of stuff and go down from there.

Josh: 

When it comes to accessibility, 90% of the folks here are doing basic or thorough SEO. Very cool, yeah, most people are doing just the basics and probably those who are more SEO inclined are doing thorough 25% in this case, less than 4% doing no SEO. I mean, there’s rarely a situation where a client wants no SEO unless they just absolutely maybe don’t have a need to come up on Google if they have a social media fall. I mean, well, we all know everyone should at least come up on Google. If you Google something, you want to have a decent representation of that. So I would say you absolutely need to have SEO on a homepage. But in some cases I’ve had clients tell me that before, where they’re like yeah, we don’t really care about that, we just send people directly. I’m like well, but if somebody may not get your link, they may Google you. And clients are like oh, I didn’t think about that. So that’s where yeah, let’s cover at least the basics. My SEO course. If you haven’t been through that, that covers the basics. That is a fundamental SEO course for web designers. So if you haven’t gone through the SEO course, get on it. I will be updating that, by the way, I will be updating my SEO course when Google rolls out officially the new search generative experience. Why didn’t they call it generative search experience? That sounds way better than search generative experience. That sounds like I had a brain fart and couldn’t figure out the right words to say Without paid discovery, yeah.

Josh: 

So here’s what’s really interesting Paid discovery. Is anyone here doing paid discovery? Let me know in the chat of you which this could be. It could be something that is pretty robust and complex or it could be quite simple. It could be basically it just covers an hour of your time for a discovery call or a strategy call. But what’s cool about paid discovery is the idea that it’s a little more of a consultation. It kind of puts you in a console. Jeremy says sometimes Awesome, jeremy, jeremy, you’re in pro right now. I’ll follow up with you on that.

Josh: 

I’d love to see what you’re doing with discovery man, to see your price points and how that’s working for you and how you’re framing that. It’s not something that I did, but in my heyday it really wasn’t something that was talked about in the freelancer side of things. It was more agencies I knew that were doing that, but from what I saw most agencies were charging for just talking to them if they were really high end. But discovery what I would say is don’t tell your clients, hey, we do paid discovery. Tell them we do paid consults and then it’s more of a strategy session and everything we cover. If you’re moving forward with us, you can use this as a discount on your project, or we’ll use it. We’ll give you a credit towards your project. Or if you want to pay us $500 for a consult, a discovery, or even if it’s 99 bucks just to cover an hour or something, then you can use everything we cover and you can use that as your own strategy. You could take it elsewhere. That’s how I would frame that. I love, love, love. Seeing that this is increasing, as always in this case. That’s really cool. So for WordPress users again, this was conducted in the admin bar community all WordPress users, a lot of Bricks users, so not surprised that Bricks was the number one increase over last year. As far as designers checking it, I think a lot of WordPress designers are very, very into Bricks.

Josh: 

Right now. All of the block editors are kind of at war with each other, just like Divi, elementor and other builders were kind of a few years ago. I mean people are like there is like a mass migration from Elementor. Has anyone else seen this Felt kind of awkward because when I was on the live panel with Kyle and a few others, one of the panelists was from Elementor and she was super cool, super knowledgeable, great. I actually might try to get her on my podcast, but I didn’t want to say this there, I didn’t want to make her feel weird.

Josh: 

But I have seen a mass exodus from Elementor. I think they’re just. It seems like month after month they’re rubbing people the wrong way. They’re customers with price increases but not really value increases. And again, I just said you got to raise your rates with inflation, but you don’t want to necessarily do it out of the blue and rub your customers the wrong way, especially if you’re not doing something more, adding more value or just making it make sense. So I’ve just seen a lot of people have a lot of issues with Elementor being really buggy as well. So that’s kind of one thing I’ve seen. I don’t have any personal experience with Bricks, but from what I’ve seen, yeah, it looks super, super strong and I think it’s going to continue to increase with folks like Dave Foy and Kevin Geary and some others who are really taking the reins on that.

Josh: 

Divi is amazing especially with the lifetime license, says Stacy but it’s just so slow and you can definitely get Divi to go super fast with speed techniques and just best practices. But of all of these options, I’m a Divi user but I will acknowledge and say that, yeah, divi out of the gate as of now is the slower option. I don’t know, maybe Elementor might be slower, but I understand Divi can be slow, especially if you’re using a lot of global elements and theme builder elements. However, divi 5 is going to be coming out this year I don’t know when. I am very, very excited to check out Divi 5. Well, I have a beta version of it but it’s still in its infancy so I haven’t really played around with it too much. But I know it’s much faster and much snappier. So that gives me hope for when Divi 5 comes out here. I’m really hoping it’s going to rival Bricks and some other ones like Breakdance and others that are looking pretty sweet in the way of functionality and speed. So fingers crossed, my Divi friends, for 5.0.

Josh: 

And again, the thing with Divi is, I think they’re just working so much on 5.0. They just haven’t innovated Divi itself over the past couple years as much. So much on 5.0. They just haven’t innovated Divi itself over the past couple years as much. They made a ton of innovations about three or four years in a row and then it just kind of stalled when, I think, 5.0 became, because they’re really rebuilding the core behind all the websites. They also don’t want to break however many hundreds of millions of installs are on Divi. So, yeah, I’m excited because I think that’s going to issue in a new era of Divi innovation. And then, yeah, a lot of other builders in the mix, but Bricks is by far the runaway, at least in the Adenovar group.

Josh: 

Hey, noel says absolutely, I have Elementor, but just got Divi. Not sure I’m going to renew Elementor Very buggy. Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard. You’re not alone, noel. You are definitely not alone. It just seems like people left and right I see people be frustrated with Elementor. So I don’t have anything against it, I’m not an Elementor guy myself, but it’s just from the outside. That’s kind of what I’m seeing.

Josh: 

Antoine said my interview with Kevin Gary and Dave Ford convinced me to switch to Bricks. Wow, antoine, maybe I should have done a better job to make sure you stay with Divi. But hey, that’s cool. Hey, whatever works for you, honestly, whatever I am such of the mindset If you find a tool that you like and that resonates with you, go for it. If you build sites working for your clients, you’re profitable, you’re loving, most importantly, you’re enjoying your time as a web designer and web design business owner, then good on you, let’s go enjoying your time as a web designer and web design business owner, then good on you, let’s go. So I’m all about.

Josh: 

Antoine, carolyn said I’m a Divi user. I find it really flexible for my sensibility. What’s the deal with bricks? Is it sections like building blocks? Why is it so popular? Yeah, the workflow is kind of what I’ve heard. So, antoine, yeah, I’m not a Bricks user, carolyn, so I couldn’t say it myself, but it does seem like it’s the words that I’ve seen. A lot of Bricks folks talk, even just global, but are affecting a lot of different areas of maybe tens or hundreds of pages Bricks. Just the way the framework works, I guess it just far exceeds Divi or some others.

Josh: 

As of now, again, divi 5 is coming out. I’m really excited because they have some new features with the actual visual builder, including breadcrumbs and some different things. Even the UX, the visual builder, looks a little bit different, very Bricks-esque, from what I’ve seen. So, yeah, there must just be a lot of that. I mean, from what I’ve seen with Bricks, it just didn’t. The builder didn’t just strike a chord with me, but I’m also a if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it kind of guy. So it would take a lot for me to move from Divi. Hey, seema, is Bricks like Bootstrap? I’m not sure. Maybe if somebody else, if anyone else, is a Bricks user? Antoine, maybe you know that could help.

Josh: 

So, lead Source for Web Designs. If you just joined us guys, welcome in. We are reviewing the Admin Bar 2024 survey results. Almost 1,200 web design professionals filled this out, so I’m just giving some additional insights on this. By the way, this is a Q&A, so if you guys have questions, feel free to jump in the chat and post them there. I want to make sure I get to them. I’m trying to mute myself when I cough. I think my allergies are. I’m loving the spring weather, but my allergies are like, hey, don’t be too happy. Here we come. So now I’m coughing during our Q&A session.

Josh: 

Referrals are the most popular way for agencies to source leads, 71% are listing it as the number one lead source. Now, so this is great. This is what I experienced as well. Again, if you happen to miss this, listing it as the number one lead source, now, so this is great. This is what I experienced as well. Again, if you happen to miss this, up at the top here, this is based off of web designers, on average, with over a decade of experience. So, naturally, if you’re in the game for over a decade, you’re going to be getting a lot of referrals, especially if you are proactive. But for those of you who are early on, you might be like well, that’s great, josh, but what do I do to get clients? And that’s where taking a more proactive approach with things like networking. If you’re in a local area where there are businesses, then absolutely anything you can do in person, even if you’re an introvert. Even if you’re an introvert, there are other introverts who are business owners locally.

Josh: 

One of my members of Web Designer Pro recently talked about how he went to his. I think it was a B&I group. He went to his first B&I session, jeremy, if any pro members remember Jeremy different Jeremy, not this Jeremy, not Jeremy A different Jeremy. But he went to this B&I group and he was super nervous. He was sitting there alone and then this girl comes up and she’s super nervous. He was sitting there alone and then this girl comes up and she’s super nervous and she’s sitting there alone and she said hey, what do you? It’s my first time here, I’m really nervous. What do you think I should do? And he’s like I’m it’s my first time too, I’m also super nervous and they hit it off. And then that ended up being I think it was almost a $10,000 site that he did working with her, so site that he did working with her. So introverts can also come together, even in person.

Josh: 

Anyway, a lot of strategies for in-person my business course. I flushed this out in extreme detail, so make sure you go back through that if you haven’t been through the new version of the business course. There’s a whole module on finding leads, which is finding. It’s actually yeah, people say find clients. You don’t find clients, you find leads. You convert them to become clients and I have all my sales tips and processes in there for you.

Josh: 

Tons of ways to get clients online too, between LinkedIn, different social media platforms where business owners are hanging out. Facebook groups are still key, especially if they are industry specific or types of client avatar specific, types of client avatar specific, even web design groups. You can partner up with folks. A lot of DIYers are in groups, premium communities. There’s partnership opportunities left and right. So whatever you need to do to get the word out, do it. And, guys, don’t neglect your personal and professional network that you have right now. That’s the easiest thing to look past. I have a lot of folks who I help get started in web design and I’m amazed at how many people just post on Facebook saying, hey, I’m building websites now and I think everyone I’ve known who has done that has got either tons of leads or immediately expanded their network or got paying jobs right off of that. So definitely recommend getting the word out. Carolyn just officially joined BNI this week. Really happy that I did, lots of potential leads and great for learning.

Josh: 

The damn elevator pitch. Good for you, carolyn. I want to hear about that too. Message me in pro if you. I tell you what because, carolyn, you’re in pro. Send me your elevator pitch and I will check it out. You can loom it to me or you can type it up. I want to hear your elevator pitch and I’ll give you my sincerest constructive criticism for you to make it better. But maybe it’s great. Maybe you’ll send it to me. I’ll be like dang, carolyn, I’m sold, let’s go. That’s awesome. Yeah, the elevator pitch is actually really good.

Josh: 

For those who don’t know, if you’re not experienced in any sort of networking, elevator pitch means you generally get 30 seconds to share who you are and what you do, and that is like if you can refine that in 30 seconds in person. There’s your homepage copy. There it is. I’m Carolyn, I build websites for such and such catered to this demographic, and this is the kind of results we get. Boom, that’s your elevator pitch. So, yeah, send that over, carolyn, I’ll check it out. I can’t wait. Elevator pitch so yeah, send that over, carolyn, I’ll check it out. I can’t wait. Loom it to me if you want. I’ll pretend like I’m your lead or your B&I partners and you can send that to me or you can just text it out. Again, it’s a really good exercise Share what you do in 30 seconds, and if you’re only like a fourth of the way through, then no wonder your homepage looks like a small book.

Josh: 

We need to reduce that. You can talk in depth on service pages and blog posts, but homepage remember, we skim, we scan websites, so do clients. Cool, cool, cool. 63% of people are doing written content. That could be blogs, video, audio as well. Yeah, I mean, look somebody just recently one of their clients said that social media has taken over SEO. And while, yes, social media is where a lot of attention is, that just means there’s so much more opportunity on SEO. And when somebody Googles a business, what do we see? We don’t see. I mean, you’ll see their social media profiles there, but that doesn’t populate on google like the home page of your website does. So written content blogging more in demand than ever. I’m going to be doing a lot of that moving forward as well, so highly recommend it. That gets into content creation. It’s kind of a separate thing, but that’s cool to see.

Josh: 

Nitching Now this is one of the hottest topics in web design. There we go. The cool thing about niching is it does help. I mean this is actual numbers on how it helps. So 28% of agencies without a niche only exceeded 100K. 41% with a niche exceeded 100K. And it makes sense because you know your customer, you know their needs, you know their challenges. You’re getting results in that industry.

Josh: 

So I always recommend, if you have an inkling to niche and you know an industry well and it’s a proven market, you may not want to niche with I don’t know, a stapler company. If staplers are going down, I don’t know, maybe stapler, maybe the stapler niche is great, but I don’t know Niche into an industry that is a good market, that has a lot of growth opportunities and absolutely you could soar. But I see a lot of people go niche into a stapler market or I’m just a bad example but something that is just not proven or they don’t really know. And then they’re like, oh my gosh, I’m hurting for clients. I’m like, well, what’s your marketing strategy? And they’re like, well, I joined one Facebook group and that’s just a couple of people. I’m like, okay, we need to 100x what you’re doing, just getting the word out and that may not be a good niche.

Josh: 

Go general. I always recommend go general at first, niche a level back. Or if you come into web design and you know an industry super well, then I feel comfortable saying go for it, go niche. But if you niche too soon and you don’t know a market and you don’t have a professional network built up behind you, niching is going to be very, very, very hard. So that’s my uh niching advice.

Josh: 

Okay, so, uh, on this one with web designer, with almost one-fourth of web designers claiming to struggle with not having enough work, only 16 of them are doing outbound marketing. So I don’t think I need to say any of this. It’s kind of like duh. If you’re not marketing, you’re not getting new leads, and if you’re not doing referrals and you don’t have a big client base, then you got to market. You’ve got to get the word out in some way, whether you’re introverted, whether you’re extroverted. In some way you have got to market. You’ve got to get the word out. You got to meet new people. You need to generate buzz, generate some momentum, do something fresh, whether it’s on social media, whether it’s being active in groups, whether it’s being in person, going to new networking events, ribbon cuttings, chamber of Commerce I could go all day. You got to get the word out. So let’s get the word out. So let’s get the word out.

Josh: 

By the way, guys, I do the same thing, like, if you ever wonder at this point, I’ve been able, fortunately, to grow a pretty big size audience and I can continue to serve and you guys here as current students, I’m able to do that, but I’m still meeting a lot of new people through my YouTube channel, my podcast, podcast interviews I’m doing on other shows. Folks like being on the panel. When Kyle invited me to be on the panel for the admin bar results, I was like, absolutely People may have seen my name, but I have to remember I’ve been doing this for a long time now seven years as a web design educator. But a lot of people are just finding me and I have to constantly remind myself. Just because I know what I do and I’ve been doing it for a long time. People are brand new to me, so same to you. You may know well, I do websites and SEO and ongoing support and care, but you meet somebody at a networking event or somebody who’s like I’ve never met Jeremy or Carolyn before, or Antoine before, so absolutely Got to get the word out Treat every day like it’s your first day in the biz. We’ll skip through some of these, cause we’re getting close on time.

Josh: 

By the way, last last call for questions. If you guys have any questions, I want to make sure I hit those for you. This is a Q and a for all students. So I want to make sure I get to any questions, that you have a Q&A for all students. So I want to make sure I get to any questions that you have.

Josh: 

54% of people say that they do not have plans to hire in 2024. If only they had a scaling course that guided them through how to do this, to show them that they can scale their way. Yes, friends, if you have not checked out my scaling course, even if you’re of this mindset, I promise you it will shed some serious light on the true freedom you can have as a business owner. You have to remember everyone who said they have no plans to hire. What are these people doing? They are creating a job for themselves and there is no shame in that game. But when you create a job, you are capped at some point. You can only do so much by yourself. Even with AI, you can automate a lot of things, but delegation is truly where freedom lies for you, because you create a business and there’s been so many stories I’ve seen recently.

Josh: 

Maybe it’s just I’m in my mid 30s now People are starting to have health issues and family emergencies and stuff like that, but if you’re out for like a month of work and you have zero help and support behind you. Can you pay your bills with not doing any work for 30 days plus? If you can’t, then you’ve got to come into my course. Scale your Way, and I’m going to guide you through step-by-step how to do that. And I’m telling you scaling is awesome. I have never turned back. Some of you here have scaled and it’s the best. So don’t be afraid to scale. And again, you can scale your way. You do not need to have a big agency and a lot of overhead. You can just rock and roll one step at a time. You’ll be good to go.

Josh: 

Really good question in here from Matthew, and I think that’ll be it. That was most of the things I wanted to cover. We’ll end with the work-life balance here. Again, I’ll post the link in the chat for everybody, or I think what was it? It was survey, wasn’t it? Here we go. It’s in the chat for everyone.

Josh: 

If you just joined us, the results for the admin bar here. So check that out. And uh, matthew, I’ll get to your question real quick. Work-life balance is one of the biggest struggles. Um, too much work. Let’s see in that. That’s a good look. That’s a challenge, but it’s a good challenge. Keeping up technology that’s one of my main jobs. I’m trying to keep everyone informed, so very, very cool. And then you can explore those results in the air table here that Kyle has put together for everybody. So definitely recommend that. If you want all the details, you want to dive into that in further detail, I hope the insight that I shared there with some of the pricing stuff I mean I spent a lot of time on that just because, again, I think web designers are just so undervalued. It makes me sad. It makes me sad to see web designers struggle when you’re doing such great work.

Josh: 

Matthew, if you were the CEO of Ntransit Studios today, what secondary services would you offer? Would you go all in on SEO? Yeah, I would do a lot of SEO, matthew. I would do a lot of Google business profile work and setups and probably an emphasis in local SEO. I don’t personally love SEO, but it’s so dang important, especially for local businesses. I would really go into that big time. If it were a local business. I would do a lot of local SEO and then I would have a. I would probably personally dip my toe into email A little bit of creating email sequences and lead generation nurturing for clients. Now I would not necessarily do all the setup of the emails and getting into constant contact or whatever they’re doing, but I would do more consultive services for nurturing and for marketing, and I would just position myself to do websites support and care with maintenance, ongoing advanced SEO and growth strategies mainly around copy and SEO and conversions. And then I would personally have add-ons for if you would like me to create a lead generator page for you, a landing page that goes to your email, I’m actually going to create a sequence for you to nurture the leads that come through and provide this. I would have a templatized approach for that and I would customize that to my clients but repurpose that as an add-on, even potentially lump that in with a growth plan if it’s something they would want to implement multiple times over the course of a year or two. I would focus a lot more on results for my clients and growth, because if you position yourself as a consultant, as a strategist, you’re going to make way more so. Again, I hope you enjoyed this.

Josh: 

Just some additional thoughts on the data from this recent survey. Link below you can go to actually see these results yourself. I didn’t cover every aspect, but those are the most important things that I wanted to cover with a lot of my students who are inside of my courses, so make sure to go right up here. The admin barcom slash 2024 dash survey. You can find this live. They do this every year, so I’d highly recommend keeping an eye out for the next one so you can be a part of this and again, go over and check out my friend Kyle with the admin bar.

Josh: 

If you are a WordPress user the number one community for WordPress you can join for free. It’s a Facebook group, even if you’re not a WordPress or a lot of great people here to meet, get an eye on what’s going on, and I’m in the group as well. I’m kind of more of a lurker in the group, but I am there. It’s one of the places that I go to stay up to date on all of my web design and WordPress info. So go check it out and I really hope you enjoyed the results on this and my insight. I hope to help give you some confidence to build your web design business, to see what’s working and what’s not working so well.

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