When I posted a handful of masterclass ideas in our private Facebook group for Rockstars the other day, I had no idea what to expect.
Here’s what I asked my fellow digital rockstars what they’d feel compelled to tune into:
1) How I Turned 2-Hours of Work Into 17 Inbound Website Leads
2) How This One Email Generated $16,626 in Sales
3) What I’d Do To Build $500k Design Business If I Had To Start Over From Scratch
4) How I Made $35k From My 12-Days Of Xmas Campaign
5) How To Get Started With Email Marketing & Write Shit People Want To Read
#3 was a clear winner by at least two strokes.
I’ve often wondered how I’d do things if I had my time over.
But I gotta tell ya… I didn’t think it’d be THIS freaking difficult to sit down and actually map it out!
13 years in business teaches you a LOT of shit.
It teaches you how sell, how to market, how to hustle, how to persevere, how to value yourself, how to be confident, how to negotiate, how to hire slow, how to fire fast, how to fail, how to succeed, how to love, how to ride the tiger, how to lead, how to listen, how to be disciplined, how to inspire, how to handle stress, how to level up, how to resource, how to do deals, how not to do deals, how to be productive, how to ask for help, how to master your mindset, how to surround yourself with positive people always a few steps ahead, (and similarly, how to spring clean those who don’t serve you), and how to get back up and go into the battlefield of business again and again and…. AGAIN — even when you want to run a thousand miles and hide.
Plus probably about another few thousand or so lessons throughout those 4,745 days of going it alone.
I firmly believe that you can do years of theory in University or college but nothing… NOTHING… beats learning neck deep in the school of hard knocks.
So you really challenged me on this one but I gave it 100% and the interaction in the class I think says it all… IT. WAS. AWESOME.
Tune in now to watch the replay. 🙂
P.S. This was 100% pitch-free webinar however I did field a lot of questions about Foxley so I explain a lot more about what Foxley is toward the end. I’m not one to brag but judging by the excitement in the classroom and the problems Foxley solves — you might really want to check it out for yourself. If it sounds like a bit of you, jump on our beta list here, spots are filling up fast. 🙂
Bianca: Get that recording. All right. I will … Move to my other monitor. Shuffle around a bit. Sorry about this. Okay. All right. Just shuffle over a bit here. How are we all? Am I roaring like a lion? Maybe turn your volume down. Let me see. Is that a bit better? Okay. So good to see so many people here. Awesome. Awesome.
Hello, everyone. Sorry, Andrew. I’ve got a snowball mic here. I’ve got that … The input, maybe I’ve got that up to high. There we go. Different browser. Snowballs are awesome, Ashley. Anyway, I did a webinar last week on how to create a killer lead magnet. Actually … Some people were having some issues of hearing audio of other people that came on. Just make sure that you’re using Chrome.
Damn technology. Okay. Awesome. You can all hear me okay? We’ve done a sound check. A lot of people have already popped in that chat box through your phone, but tell me, if you haven’t put it in yet, where are you joining us from today? Just type it in. That would be cool. Maine, London. Oh, hi Susan! Hey Guy! Susie, [Cabra 00:02:26]. Wow, that’s awesome. Dominican Republic. Byron Bay, love Byron Bay. France. How cool. This is awesome. People from all over. Newfoundland. Awesome. Hey Jared, Belgium. Jordy, I can’t even pronounce that. That’s insane. Mexico. I was in Mexico in May, actually. I went over there for about 3 weeks. It was unreal. Canada. Is there a hashtag? Let’s just use “Leslie rocks” for right now. Yeah.
Let’s dive in. This is a master class. It’s just, I’ve got some notes here to the right. I’m going to run through my story. I’m going to talk about how we built, Web123, up to 7 figures. From when I first started 13 years ago, to how we got. We’re mainly focusing on how I do a 500k design business, if I had to start over from scratch.
I’m going to talk about the things that have worked for me, and the things, because technology’s changing so quick. It’s so important to stay current. We’re still changing and evolving. If I had to start all over again, what would I do? I’d do it quite differently, actually. What else? At the end, after I run through how I got to here and what I’d do if I started again, we’re going to have a Q&A. I’m going to open it up. If you want to put your hand up and ask me a question, I’m going to enable the attendee marks for everyone, but I just ask that if I pick you to ask a question, make sure your audio is turned on, but only just turn it on when I pick you, if that’s okay. So we don’t get everyone a load of background noise.
There are no slides. I have had a super busy, crazy week and there are no slides. I suggest you get a pen and paper and take notes. There will be a recording, I just don’t know when. I did one last Thursday and I’ve been touching base with Big Marker and I still don’t have the recording up. I can’t guarantee when that will be up, but I would definitely get you a recording.
There are about 40 people in here now. I will just say, also, that this is a pitch-free webinar. I’m not selling anything. There’s nothing asked for sale at the end. This is completely just me sharing with you, shit that I’ve learned, that I think can help you change your life.
This is really fucking hard to come up with. I didn’t think it would be that hard when I posted it in the Facebook group a couple of weeks ago. What you want to hear from me, what you want to learn from me. It was really, really hard. I’ve literally tried hundreds and hundreds of different marketing tactics over the years. I’m going to run through all the ones I tried. Some are just utterly embarrassing, but I’m going to share them with you anyway. Others have been absolute screamers. They have just been fantastic, so I’m going to share those, too.
Before we get started, I’d love to know how long you have been in business. Where are you at, whether you’re just starting out, pop that in too. If you can just let me know how long you’ve been in business. 3 years, awesome. 2 years, 6 years … 35 years. Wow. 20 years, wow. 3, 17 … 7, 4 months. Oh, Conrad. 4 months. Scary and exciting. 2 years. Awesome. Freelancing. Okay, great. We’ve got a huge mix. 1 month. Wow, awesome. I just want to make sure we can have enough juicy content in here for everyone.
That’s great. I’m going to start by basically sharing with you my story. I have been creating since I was 5 or 6 years old. I remember, whenever school holidays came around, and I didn’t want to wait until the weekend, I would catch a taxi truck out to my grandmother’s property, which was about an hour out of town. She would teach me how to sew, and crotchet, and knit. Her next door neighbor had a dry flower arrangement business, so I learned how to grow flowers, and dry flowers, and do flower arrangements, and all that.
By the time I was about 9, I was making too much stuff. I decided to start a market store, when I was about 10 or 11, I think. That was my first business, would you believe? I was about 11, my mom would drive me down to the market every Sunday, and I’d set up. I could barely even see over the big 12 foot table that I had, but I would sell all my crafty shit. All the money that I made, which is probably like $50 back then, I would reinvest into buying more materials. I got a real thirst for this whole, being able to make something and then make money from something that I created. I’m addicted to creating, but I’m also addicted to learning.
I always knew I was going to be in business. I had grew up in a country town called [Wugger 00:08:22]. I moved to Sidney as soon as I finished my HSC, which is my year 12 high school certificate. I started working as a receptionist, got a cadet-ship, got into design, and then went to college after I’d been working in design for about 4 years.
I kind of went to college to get that piece of paper to feel confident enough to start my business. I was freelancing for a while in Sidney. I was working for the college that I went to, helping them out, freelancing, and also lecturing. Things like that. I thought, “I need to bite the bullet and do this seriously.” I was ready, I was 24, I was shit scared, though. I didn’t want to do it in Sidney because I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills, basically. I was kind of like, I knew I wanted to do this, but I needed some kind of security to do it.
I moved back home to Wugger, much to my father’s distaste, disdain. He was furious. His version of it was that I was wasting my education. It’s not like I did 4 years at Uni- or anything like that, but anyway. He didn’t even talk to me, I don’t think, for the first few months, but I went anyway. I set up shop in the lounge room. I started looking at pretty quickly, how to get clients.
I borrowed a couple grand off my parents. I bought a computer, I bought software. Back then you had to buy it. This is 13 years ago now, I’m 37 now. Basically, everyone told me I was making a mistake. I went through the local business advisory center and they said there’s no … There’s no need for designers here. People just get their stuff designed at the newspaper for free. I had everyone basically telling me, including my dad, that this was not going to work. I was just like, “Screw this.” That just made me more determined.
I didn’t know how I was actually going to get my first client. I was racking my brain. This is before Facebook days. This is way before. I think Facebook were around, but no one really heard about them. There was no social media or anything like that. My mom handed me this calendar and she said, “Here’s this …” It was a school calendar that a school had put together as a fundraiser. She said, “Why don’t you do something like this for [Kringle 00:10:58], which was the suburb that I was living in. There was a whole little shopping village in Kringle. Mom and dad knew a lot of the businesses and stuff around there. I was like, “Okay, this could work.”
The idea behind it was to sell advertising spaces in a 12 page [inaudible 00:11:18] cover calendar. I would sell a strip of advertising across the bottom of each page to the businesses. Then I’d have smaller ones, and then I’d have advertising on the back. I think I had 2 or 3 different sizes. I would then get, with the money I raised from the advertising, I would print 4,000 calendars. Then distribute the calendars around to all of the people in the area. The various businesses were being promoted all year round and they would each get 200 calendars to give out to their customers, and so on.
I decided to go for it. I thought that’s not only getting their business out there. Obviously, I was going to have my business out there as well, on all of those pages. I was actually creating graphics back then. [inaudible 00:12:09] I spelled it with a “K” and an “H”, which is just so stupid. One of many mistakes that I’ve made. yeah, I got printing.
I had to get the [full pass 00:12:18]. It was absolutely fucking terrifying. It was just, I remember how sick I felt going and calling on these businesses. Sometimes you’d walk off feeling like, “What a rude asshole. Why did they have to treat me like that?” You just want to give up and go home. You just have to pick yourself back up, put your face back on, get that confidence happening, and walk into the next one.
I had to, in 2 days, I walked around this whole entire suburb. All this industrial area and everywhere. I ended up going to see … It was actually 1990’s, this is. I had my first 20 clients. I had about a 20% conversion rate on that. I had enough business from that to get my business off the ground. I’ve written a book about that and if you want to read it, it’s how I got my first 20 design clients in under 48 hours, or something.
Anyway, I printed the calendars, distributed them all, and I haven’t looked back. I still have clients today, that are clients from when I did that 13 years ago, would you believe. It’s kind of unusual to do it that way, but I don’t know. Yeah, it really worked for me. That’s how I started my first business.
My first year, I did $55,000 turn over. It was just me. I was doing 2:00 a.m. mornings, 3:00 mornings. I was working around the clock. After 6 months, I decided because I was getting up at 7:00, 8:00, working in my pj’s all day, going out for meetings in the afternoon. Going then to … Working til 2:00 a.m. I had to get out of my parent’s lounge room because of the cycle that I was in. Thanks, Jen. Yeah, I was pretty proud of that $55,000. I tell you, it was fucking hard work, though.
I kind of really burnt myself out. I ended up in the hospital for a week with a kidney infection, which was not fun at all. I couldn’t even drink anything. I didn’t have a laptop, so my whole business just stopped. That was a real wake up call for me. I was like, “Okay.” I didn’t go into this … I have never mapped out what I wanted. I just knew I wanted to work for myself, but I certainly didn’t go into it to create a job like that, and create that kind of pressure and work. I was spinning my wheels. My clients were really, really happy and they loved me, but I was starting to really become a slave to my business.
That’s when I … Where I was one year ago, yeah. I decided after that that I needed to get help, but I was petrified of hiring a designer. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to pay them, and I didn’t know how much I should pay them. How I should find them. The thing I was most worried about was having enough work to be able to pay their wage every week. I started looking for a coach, and I actually started looking for a marketing company to help me do market research. I don’t know why I thought that, but he obviously could identify straight away that I needed a coach. He said, “How about instead of me doing it for you, I will teach you how to do it?”
All of a sudden, I had my first business coach, my first mentor, one year in. I pretty soon hired a contract designer after that. Reese, who was with me for about 10 years, 11 years, I think. Year 2 with me, and a contract designer. I just said, “I will be prepared to pay you a minimum of 20 hours per week,” but it was always 40. I never, ever didn’t have enough work for him. It’s like taking that leap of faith. What is that saying about … Necessity … Maybe some of you can help me out? I’ve got Simon, my partner here, as my back up buddy. Yes! Necessity is the mother of invention. That’s it. Thanks, Kate.
It kind of just kept growing. My second year I did $125k. My third year, I did $330k. It was me and 2 designers then, and a bookkeeper. My fourth year, I did $550k. I cracked the half million mark. That was me, 2 designers, 1 full-time marketing person, a part-time assistant. Just like a PA, part-time, marketing assistant. Building lists, all that kind of stuff. And a bookkeeper. Then year five, I did about $720. It was me, 2 designers, 1 marketing. I had a PA then, and I had a junior designer who we called a “content monkey” because we were making a killing. I was making content upload for our clients. Then obviously, a bookkeeper.
Yeah, Gail. We did mostly web and print. I started off doing print. That’s gross, Ivan. I started off doing print work. Within like 12 months, I was pushed into web because everyone was coming for a logo design and stationary and all that. The next logical thing was a website. I didn’t really want to ever get into web, would you believe, considering where I am now. I actually was kind of pushed into it. I’m grateful for it now because it really stretched me.
What was the profits? Ivan, now you’re testing me. So … Let me think about that. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I’ll try and remember. I did a lot of reinvesting profits back into the business. During those years I started an art business, which was an online canvas printing business. That was called “Art Lounge.” I started that and built that up, turned that into a national company. Got some big names like bringing in containers of art for Fantastic Furniture. The profit that I did make … When I cracked $500, I remember I bought a brand new SF, $105,000 car. We were able to buy property in Queensland, all this kind of stuff. I probably always making between 20 and 30% profit. Maybe more. Yeah.
Then, after that, we started ” Web123″. Obviously, now we’re into 7 figures. Excuse me. The turning point really was, to crack 7 figures, was hiring a dedicated- Not hiring. Simon joined the team. We started, ” Web123″ and he was full-time selling. He is an absolute sales gun, so then we brought on sales people and really started focusing on sales and marketing. Always focused on marketing, though. Marketing, for me, I get a real kick out of designing and marketing, and copyrighting, all at the same time. I love creating designs that actually really sell.
Anyway, today we’re talking about how to get to $500k. Over the years, I’ve literally tried fucking everything. I’ve obviously bald calling is when you just rap up on someone’s doorstep. I did that for those first 100 businesses. I’ve even baked cookies and made relishes and stuff. I love cooking. I’ve even done that and delivered that to people. I don’t know how many cookies I baked, but I got one website sale out of that. I don’t really think that was very wise. That was way back.
I used to spend a fortune on Yellow Pages, and then I got smart one year and tracked it, the whole entire year, how many leads I actually got from Yellow Pages. I only got 2, and I didn’t even convert one of them. Simon, spam ham. Yes, my spam ham campaign was so embarrassing. It was on the advice of a business coach, would you believe? Didn’t really stay with him for all that long after this. He wanted me to send something out. He wanted me to come up with this 17 step sales process, and all this kind of stuff. I ended up sending, I’m so embarrassed about this one. I ended up sending spam ham in a box, and saying something with a card like, “I didn’t want to spam you online. Can we talk?” Or something like this. Yeah, it’s really bad.
You know what? I was thinking about this, and reflecting on this the other day. Yes, Jen, totally. Yellow Pages are a big no, no, no. I’m talking 10 years ago. 10, 12 years ago. The spam ham … Actually, I was talking to somebody about this. The spam ham got me a few web partners. I was approaching web development companies, and offering to do their design. I wanted to do all their designs for all their clients, for those developers that didn’t have designers in house. I picked 2 or 3 really good clients. One of them is still a client to this day, who still sends us all of their design work for all their government clients and stuff.
The other one led me to connect with a designer who then encouraged us to start the reseller model. Wanted to use our software. From that, we started the pilot, which we started the reseller model, which then started [Foxley 00:22:10]. That spam ham is actually, I can trace back, if I didn’t do the spam, I may not be sitting here with you today. Isn’t that so funny. It is a great success.
We tried a PR company. I paid 7 grand a month for the PR company and got nothing. Free website strategies, that’s always worked. We actually even did letter box drops where we went and slid brochures under the door of businesses in our area. That actually worked really well. We’ve done a ton of cold calling. We’ve gone to trade shows, business events. I did a stand, it was really cool. I had green cocktails, my corporate color back then was green. Got my prospects drunk and still didn’t really sell much. That didn’t really work. Everyone had a good time, but that didn’t really work. It was good for brand awareness, but brand awareness only gets you so far. You actually need to make money if you own a business.
Went to all the networking, did that. Went to every letter, I think. Got really jack of networking events because I’m an introvert, really. I don’t really like going out there and pimping my services to people so much, in that kind of environment. Got in bed with Chambers of Commerce. That worked quite well, still does. We did a winner website competition, as well, which did really well in Wugger, in the town that we were. We had the backing of the radio presenters. I went and got interviewed on the radio, talked about websites and all that kind of stuff. Then we tried to duplicate that in another town nearby, and we ended up pulling the whole campaign because we just weren’t getting the results. Obviously we had the backing of the town.
Referral programs, still running that to this day. Referral programs has been one of our top three ways to grow business to $500k. We’ve done Facebook ads. Obviously, SCO, PPC, Google Ad Words, Retargeting, Learning Pages, Sales Funnels, free website audits works really well. Word of mouth, part of referrals. Our website, content marketing, email marketing, blogging and guest blogging.
Out of all of those things, I would have to say, to get to here, where we are, apart from cold calling and our sales team actually calling and offering free website audits, which is a kick ass … Way of generating leads as well. Most people loathe cold calling. It’s really not that scary, although I know how you feel. The top 3 things that have worked for us would have to be email marketing. I’ve sent emails that I’m writing a book about now, all this stuff in detail. I’ve sent emails that have generated 16 grand in one day. Another campaign, I generated 17 website leads and 23k in just a couple hours work.
I have a really, really engaged list now. I don’t even feel like I’ve given it my 100% to build that list. It’s kind of … I started probably 5 years ago. I was dabbling in it with my other design business and sending out an email every couple of months, but I committed to every single Tuesday, about 5 years ago. The first 12 months, I felt like no one was reading my emails or blogs or anything, but I just kept plugging away.
After that, it really started to … I can meet people now, at conference or something like that. I was at a writing workshop in Sidney a few months ago, and 2 people there were like, “Oh my God! Bianca, I always love your emails. I never delete. I get so many and I always unsubscribe, and yours, I always look forward to because you’re just so real and authentic.” I kind of feel like a bit of a celebrity sometimes. It’s kind of pretty work. We love that. Our ego loves that kind of side of it.
Really, people connect with my emails and they feel like they know me. Thank you, Suzanne, about my blog. It’s amazing. It’s feeling a bit unloved at the moment because I’ve been so busy. The other big tactic that has worked wonders if blogging and content marketing. The first ever piece of content I created years ago, was a … I was thinking, “What do people want when they want to buy a website? How can I qualify them? What do they want from me?” It was, if they are starting the process and getting a website, they need a website strategy. Like a starter kit. I created a workbook. I read that book, “Web Design for ROI,” I think it is, way back then. Created a workbook from the stuff that I learned in that book, which then became a … I added in an action plan.
Then I created seven little videos to explain each of the components and turned it into a full kit. This is way back before … That thing now is probably 5 or 6 years old and I still use it now in my business. I still have it for sale now, as part of a [trip wire 00:27:40], which I’m going to talk to you about in a little bit. Honestly, that has just … The content creation and being of service to people, helping people and sending those Tuesday newsletters without trying to flog people products and services all the time. Building those relationships consistently, over the years, that’s what’s really taken it.
I created a … What was it? A conversion checklist, a few years ago. Sent it out to 5,000 people and had 400 conversions. 400 people download that in 1 day, just boom, boom, boom. It was amazing. Definitely blogging and content marketing. The landscape is changing, though. We have to keep up and I wouldn’t necessarily do it the same way. We’ll talk about that in a bit.
The referral program I did post in our private Facebook group the other day. I just saw someone ask about that. We offer a $200 credit for … $200 cash to the person who referred, $200 credit to the client that comes on board. I set that up so that new clients hear about that within the first couple weeks of coming on. That is all in the Facebook group. Really, all we’ve tried to do over the years, and we haven’t always got it right, is just to blow people’s socks off so that we get a ton of word of mouth. Once, a few years ago, we did a survey. 74% of people had actually come to us from referrals. It’s huge. If you look after the clients, and you have something in place to reward them for referring you, it’s just going to be … Totally worth the effort that you put in.
People talk. We get the Yellow Pages out and target a town. Cooktown, I think, Simon mentioned the other day. He got the sales team onto it once. You get one person, and then they tell the business next door, and then they tell the business next door. All of a sudden, you’ve got 10 or 20 websites in one little central hub. Then it just grows from there. I just would love to know, there are all the things that I’ve done. I’ve probably done more than that, but they’re the things that I can remember. Id love to know, if you can just type in the chat box, what is your top lead generation tactic? Where does most of your business come from now?
I’ll have a drink, a breather. Word of mouth, yeah. Cooktown, thanks Simon. Referrals. Google. Is that Google Ad Words, or SCO? Referrals, referrals, pounding the pavement. Yep. Thumbtack? What’s Thumbtack, Gayle? Have I been living under a rock? Word of mouth. Organic. Cold emails. Yeah, cold emails work wonders. Yeah. Anyone doing guest blogging, or any joint ventures? We have relationships with associations, like the chiropractors association. We have them set up as a referral partner, so we write articles for their magazines and they tell all the chiropractors in Australia about us. We have a special deal for chiropractors.
Yeah, word of mouth. Trying to crack Ad Words. Yes, $15 a click, Conrad. It’s up to $25, $30. Have you tried YouTube ads? Youtube ads is shit cheap and it hasn’t taken off yet. You can get clicks for like $1 on YouTube. Set up a little promotional, hand-written video. Cold emails … Cold emails, yes, Conrad. If you just call first. Just give them a quick call and ask them if it’s okay to send it. It is legal.
Ah, Thumbtack. Client requests bids for free. Ah! Okay. I’ll check that out, Gayle. That’s cool. All right. That’s awesome. Yeah, in Australia the cold emails are. We were just looking at this the other day because they’re starting a campaign, hitting different industries for a new product we just created. Direct mail, actually, now that everyone’s gone online, you go offline and go direct mail, and have a lot of success. Direct mail is awesome. Get jobs from people you know. Yeah, it becomes scary to me when … I remember, I would … That [inaudible 00:33:08] cycle. I would get so much work on that I couldn’t handle anymore. I was doing the sales, the project management, the working with the bookkeeper, running the team, going out, doing all the meetings. Doing all of that and doing design.
I was doing all the logo design and all the print work. Then my off-site, everyone else was doing a lot of the web stuff. You’d get sort of, be so busy and have all those jobs and thinking, “Shit. This is awesome. Look at all the money coming in.” Then all of a sudden, they all finish at the same time. Then you’re like, “Fuck! I’ve got to go and get more.” Then you work marketing, marketing, marketing out to people. Then it happens again. It was just up and down, up and down. I think that’s just business.
Were [inaudible 00:33:56] any help? Yes, for the first 4 or 5 years, Conrad, I was doing all the sales. That’s why I stopped doing meetings, because it was just … People were ripping me for my ideas, so I was going … Back then, I was addicted to learning. I was a real thought leader in Wugger, if you’d call it that. I was the only one in town that was really coming at design with a marketing focus. I was talking about, even way back then, before conversion optimization was a thing, I was talking about, “Okay. How are we going to make money from this? How are we going to get you more customers?” I would have meetings with people and they would … I would openly give my ideas and they would just go with the other guy in town that was cheaper.
When we started ” Web123″ though, it was a different story. We sold 300 websites in … Was it the first 2 years, Simon? I think. Yeah, cold calls are still very productive if you get the pitch right. I think we sold 2 or 300 websites … The first year, yeah. The first year of ” Web123″, that was pretty much Marvin that did all of that. The other businesses in town ended up closing down. One in particular was really horrible to me, so I was pretty happy about that. That we drove them out of town. Anyway, we won’t go there. Yeah, [inaudible 00:35:18] meanings. They don’t understand the value. Yeah, yeah. We would be lucky to do one meeting a month here now. That’s something that if someone wants to come in to Melbourne. A lot of our business is done regionally. Yeah, we’re just all on the phone, or on Skype.
As I said, this is really hard. I’m going to run through- Get a pen. I’m going to run through now, what I’d do if I started over from scratch. Yeah, 300 websites in a year. Solid way of getting content. I actually am going to create … It’s on our full Foxley gem. Yeah, very frustrating, Salvatore. Yes, with Foxley … Shameless plug for Foxley. We are creating a toolbox which has all of these systems and processes in it, so you can just take it and plug it into your business. Basically, all the shit that we’ve learned and tested and tried. That goes for marketing as well. There will be different sales funnels and things like that, you can just take and plug into your business.
We’ve always doubled year on year. BRB, not Web123 now, but BRB doubled pretty much for it’s first 3 or 4 years. Web123 doubled in size for its first 3 or 4 years as well. Then we kind of leveled out. Now we’re not doing as many websites because we’re really focusing on the clients that we have and also bringing Foxley to the market, which is a huge resource drain. Were not doing 30 websites a month now. We’re still doing, because we’ve got our recurring revenue up so high, it kind of covers the cost of doing business and then the others we get on top of that.
What I’d do if I started over from scratch. This is so fucking hard to figure out. I thought, okay. Thinking back to when I started and what I’ve learned, the first $50,000 or so … If you are setting up, so … Someone’s in their 4th month or whatever, all you need to do is focus on sales. Selling, basically. Get the fucking money in the door. What I did was I … You’ve got to … I’ll come back to you in a sec, Ivan. You’ve got to really try a lot of things and see what sticks for you. These are the things that I would do if I were starting over, but you may not enjoy doing these things. This is what’s worked for me, and what I would do. It doesn’t mean that you should follow this to the T, I guess, is what I’m saying.
I’ve broken it down into the four phases of business growth. The first is the creation stage. In your first $50k, you pretty much just want to sell. You want to sell as much as you can. You don’t worry about systems, or hiring people, or anything. It’s just get out there, put yourself out there, and sell. The second phase, when you go from $50k to $250k, is when you hire help. That’s so nice. That is too funny.
This is when you get into your concentration mode. You are looking at hiring help. It’s like I said, you go in that phase of cycles, so you’re still doing a lot of it yourself, you’re wearing a lot of hats. You are bringing people on to help you, but you’re still kind of, money comes in, money goes out. You’re on this sort of roller coaster.
Then when you get past the $250k mark, you get into really starting to build some momentum. The $250-$500k, you’re building momentum, you’re starting to see some really good profits. Everyone’s getting paid well, you’re getting paid well. You’re taking … Let’s say you go and buy the S5. You go and get those nice things that you’ve wanted. Once you hit the $500k and onwards, if you do it smart, then that’s where you really hit that independent phase. You’ve really got that freedom.
When we hit that stage, we went traveling around Australia with a caravan for a few months. It was fantastic. Everyone looked after the business for me. We checked in, but we didn’t really have to check our email or anything like that. The whole thing was just taken care of by our team.
How many sites for $500k? Far out. That’s a tough one. Simon, do you know how many sites? Back then, back when I was doing BRB, and hit 500, I was probably doing 1 or 2 sites per months, I would guess. That would range from 4 to 12, 15k. The whole reason I started Web123 was because I had to turn down so many clients that had a budget of 2 or 3k. That’s why we built a software that automated that process and sped it up. Instead of taking 6 weeks to build a site, we could do it in about 6 hours. Probably less than that because it was an actual automated software.
Web123 at our peak, doing 30-40 sites a month, but turning over well over a mil. Maybe 25, we were selling them for a lot less. We were selling them for 3-5k, instead of 5k+. With BRB, I’ve done like $50,000 websites, $30,000 websites, all that. I prefer to work with small businesses every day of the week. That’s just me. That’s me. You may be different and you should do what your dream is.
Let’s dive into what I would do … I just explained those 4 stages and what I’ve done is group those into 2. The first thing I would do, before I would do anything, I would go to the beach, or go somewhere really nice. Somewhere that I absolutely love, like a hammock in the backyard, or a happy place, or whatever. I would do a visioning exercise, and I would ask myself … I would take a pen and a notebook, and I would say, “What do I absolutely love doing? What do I want my business to look like in 3 years?” I would draw it. I would draw what my business would look like in 3 years. I would work out what I absolutely love doing. If I loved doing logo design, I would do logo design. If I hated doing logo design, I wouldn’t do logo design. If I hated it, I would look at that sort of thing.
I would just … You really kind of get clear, and really disconnect. Don’t take your phone, don’t take any kind of electronics. Just go and day dream. Figure out what it is that you love doing, and also that you want to be known for. What are the … Your business is about you. People do business with people that they like. They are doing business with you, not because of what you do, because they can go and get a website, or a logo design, or anything else from someone else. Somewhere in the Philippines, or India, or [Upwork 00:42:45], or freelancer. Whatever. They do business with you because of who you are.
The first thing I would do is just think about how I wanted to build my personal brand. How many hours a week I wanted to work, how I can differentiate myself. There’s only one me. There’s only one Bianca Board. There’s only one you. It’s so hard to differentiate yourself in this game that I would really get clear on all those things first.
Then, what I would do is you get a pen. I grouped year 1 into creation and concentration. I would set some money goals, and for this exercise, I would go for $250k in my first year, and then $500kin my second. Basically, I’d break that then down into 90 day targets. Quarterly targets, and then down to 30 day. I had my money goal for each month. Obviously, it’s going to start off slow and scale up, so I would work at what products and services I was going to offer at what price. Work out how many websites I wanted to do, how much recurring revenue I wanted to generate. I wouldn’t just do web design. I would look at doing other online courses and training and education. Definitely in-person workshops, or online workshops. Support, I would even offer coaching. I would totally look at how I could set up recurring revenue, so that I could get it to a level that it paid all my expenses before I even had to do any actual labor, any actual design work.
I would create a success lab for clients, which I just create … Video keeps freezing. Yeah, are you using Chrome? Thanks, Kate. I would definitely create a client-only area, and I would offer 3 website packages. I’d offer different website packages, but I’d offer different retainer packages. I would have a standard website package that potentially didn’t have any support, or anything like that. Mind you, that’s $20 a month, or $29, or whatever.
I would do a second one which might include access to the success lab, which would be all the monthly trainings and stuff that I’d put in there to help them build their business and get more customers and be successful. Hence the name, the success lab. I’d charge that out, maybe I’d offer support and website support in that. Maybe charge that out at $99. Then I’d have another one where I might do one hour a month one-on-one, or something. It might be $199 or $299 a month. I would try and push clients … Not push clients. I would try and give clients the option of having me support them in a much greater way, sort of like digital coaching, to help them keep goals in their business.
I would sell customers … This is really important. I would sell customers, instead of just websites, and logos, and brochures, and stuff like that. One thing I’m doing at the moment, which I mentioned briefly before is, we’re filling get more customers by Christmas. We’re not even bogging down our clients’ minds, or tying up their time with creating a website and all this sort of stuff. We just say, “If you’re in, you’re in. Just leave it to us. We’ll make … What kind of customer do you want? Who are you targeting? What do you want to sell? Tell us everything and …”
Freezing it up. Sorry, Sarah. Hopefully the recording will be fine. Good, the audio is good. All right. Yeah. I would … What was I talking about. I shouldn’t look at all these chats coming through. I’ll lose my train of thought. Oh yeah, get more customers. Basically, we are saying, “Give us a monthly recurring. Give us $1,000 a month and you pay for the clicks. We’re just going to drive more customer to your door.”
We just go then and it’s quite an organic product where we use YouTube ads, Facebook ads, or Google Ad Words, or whatever. It depends on who they want to attract and what they’re selling. We just set up the landing page and drive traffic to it. We set up call tracking so we can tell how many people call them. We’re just giving them more customers because really, at the end of the day, that’s what they want, right? That’s what they want, so give them what they want.
I would really focus big on marketing. I always have, but I would definitely do that again and if you didn’t want to do that, I’d get in bed with someone who could. Team up with a marketing company that can help you offer these different services. Differentiate myself by selling sales funnels, or actual campaigns, like I just said. I would definitely partner up with councils and associations. Offer their members training on how to build websites that generate leads. Why not … This is what I’m doing at the moment as well. Why not show people how to create a website? Create the website for them, and then have a fixed rate program on how to make it … Shameless plug. On how to make it … A lead generation machine. How to create a lead magnet and how to set that up. How to set up an email campaign, and automate an email campaign, and all that kind of stuff.
I would totally build my personal brand. Yeah, I mentioned that. That’s really big, so people buy who you are. I wouldn’t actually get into selling Word Press. I’d really look for something like Foxley. Again, that’s a shameless plug, but I … I would look at software that’s easier for me to use, and not such a barrier technically. Something that I could also scale, and something that I didn’t have to rely on developers. I’d look at something that I could just have complete control of myself. Keep it in-house, big profits, all that kind of stuff.
I would definitely decide … Evil, yes. We hate Word Press. Start talking to … Decide on a niche market, definitely. I’d concentrate on child cares, or [tracker 00:49:17] centers, or jeans, or [inaudible 00:49:21]. Whoever that might be to you. The more niche you can get, the better. I would start talking to people in that niche. I would work out exactly what problems they have. I’d really get inside their heads. What keeps them up at night? What is it that they really want? How do they want to feel? for small businesses, say a gym, they want more people, but what really do they want? I would really get inside their head.
I would offer free website critiques, or strategy sessions. I’d actually call people. I’d get on the phone, or email them, and offer them my time for free, to talk about how we can improve their business. How we can make them better versions of themselves. I would then … That’s what I’d do to get the ball rolling. A percentage of those would come on as clients. I’d create a free lead magnet check list, cheat sheet, something like that. I’d set up a landing page. Obviously, I’d create a website. I would tell my story as a video. I would tell my big why. If you haven’t seen, Simon [inaudible 00:50:38]. “Start with the why” video. I think it’s a Ted Talk. “Start with the Why” has written a book as well.
I’d definitely start a blog and I’d blog at least once or twice a week. I would definitely start an email newsletter, straight away, even if I only had 3 people on my list. I would start that straight away. I would start a private Facebook group. I’d set up a Facebook page. I do sleep. I do sleep, Sue. Not enough, but I do. I would focus on … Set up a business Facebook page so that i can just set up a [Like 00:51:11] ad. I pay $5 a day and start driving traffic to that, and also traffic to my landing page. That’s not hard, but I would probably pay someone to do that. I’d do the “Like” ads, but I probably wouldn’t set up the other ads.
I’d focus on, for me, for what I love doing, I would focus on video, blogging, email marketing, and then guest blogging or getting interviewed on, or approaching getting interviewed on podcasts and things like that. It’s very important to build your own library of content, but you … You’re never too old, Steve. Never too old. I would definitely pick the medium that- I would suggest to you to pick the medium that you absolutely love. If video is just out of the question, do audio, or do writing, do blogging, but do something. Pick just one thing and do it really well. Be consistent. If you’re going to do a newsletter, commit to doing it every week and do it every week. If you’re going to do a blog, do it every week. If you’re going to do a video, you’re going to do a Facebook page, posting everyday. I’m guilty of not doing that lately, I know. I’ve got a lot going on with Foxley and funding. Super exciting, though. Yeah, I could be better.
We are actually just now about to hire a general manager for Web123. It’s super, super exciting. An operations manager, general manager, which means I can even step back further out of Web123 and 100% into Foxley. Guest blogging works really, really well. Guest webinars, as well. I still get clients from a guest webinar I did years ago. For the Australian Business Women’s Network, I sent out posters. I got everyone to pop in their address and I sent them a poster from the webinar. A client told me the other day, they still have the poster up in their office. It was insane, it was so cool, and that was years ago. We still get a lot of that. Obviously, it’s sitting in their member area. People that come on, it was 9 steps to a successful website webinar.
Gayle, I’ll come back to you for questions at the end. Yeah, want you to fix their website. When is Foxley launching? All right. I’ll come back to these questions, guys. This is the year 1. You’ve heard me say I would do the most important shit first. I would also journal everyday, and I would write out my goal to reach $500k every single morning when I’d journal, 5 times. I would actually hand write it. “I would like to turn over $500,000 and profit $250,000. I would like to generate over $500,000 and profit $250,000.” Every single day.
I wouldn’t get an office. If I had my time over, I wouldn’t actually get an office. I’d hire virtual staff and I would work from home to keep my … To keep my overheads down and so that I had the flexibility of … The freedom to move around as I would want to. I’d probably get a … I’d get a designer around month 6, month 9, and a project manager around month 11. I’d definitely get a VA around 6 months. I would sell, sell, sell. I would hustle my ass off for that first 12 months. I would do everything I could to get to that 250. I would be reminding myself every single morning of my goal, and my why, and how many people I wanted to help. I would have goals around everything and I would check in daily, and then weekly, and monthly on those goals.
Simon, he’ll tell you. We have a big white board in his office and we are tracking our sales by the day. Every single day. We sell a website? We go in and we put on the scale of where we are, so we know we’re not going to get to the third week of the month and go, “Fuck, we’re not going to meet budget this month.” No, we know by the end of week one if we’re not on track, we need to hustle week 2 to catch up, and so on.
How’s that so far? Yes, I can provide notes. Awesome. I’m getting a sore throat from talking so much. All right. I will now go through quickly … Yes, it is a lot. Little steps, just daily habits. It’s not even thinking all this stuff. It’s just mapping out each month we’re going to do, each quarter, each … Yeah. Each 6 months and so on. We work in 90 day cycles, 90 day plans for everyone. [inaudible 00:56:34]. Oh that is so funny! Yes, and always work on a minimum of 30% of sale. Yeah, in an industry that is just getting kind of, a race to the bottom … Australia is only making 5.5%, on average, in web design services, which just breaks my heart. It is seriously wrong and we need to change it. We need 10% to grow faster. Yep, you can go for numbers. We went for volume with Web123 and didn’t make as much margin in the early days. Now we’re in a position where all of our monthly recurring retainers basically pay our overheads.
Year 2. This is where we focus on the mentions. Yeah, it’s hard to compete with a $300 site from India, Lucas, which is why I believe … That’s one of the big reasons that Foxley is the way that it is. You’re going to love it. I believe we need to differentiate ourselves as designers. Why on Earth would a client come to you for a Word Press website for a grand, or 2 grand, when they can go and get it in India? What have you got that they don’t have? That’s what we need to be thinking about. How can we offer more value? How can we have these closed circles, and make our clients feel special, and inspire them, and be a leader? Step up into that … I work naked. Steve. I really didn’t need to know that, Steve. Thank you very much, though.
Okay. It’s already, we’re an hour in. This is a 90 minute class, but I want to leave plenty of time for questions. Yes, Steve. Do you have that on your “about” page? I’d love to see your headshot. Actually, just head shots. Year 2, we’re going to focus on momentum and freedom. Going from 250 to 500, which is about $41k a month. Year 1, we’re looking to get to about $20k a month. If that looks right for you, if you wanted to do 1 or 2 websites. Maybe did a $5k website, you did 2 of those, that’s 10. You’re halfway there, you just need to figure out how to get the other 10. Could be in recurring. It could work out to an Excel spreadsheet on as your clients grow, what your recurring looks like. All that kind of stuff.
I would survey the clients and ask them what they want from me. Why did they buy from me? What do they want from me? How can I help them? How can I be of service? What do they want to learn? I’d really start now, to focus on automation and systems. I would start, and we have all of our systems in a Google site. It’s a free Google site. We do a screen cast video using QuickTime, or Screen Flow, or whatever. Whatever your screen cast recording platform is, of choice. We do little screen cast videos of how we do things so that we have all of those in one area. I would start doing that so that I could start delegating a lot of stuff off my plate and really scaling it.
I’d optimize the shit out of my website so that it produced leads on tap and I could get picky about who I choose to work with. I would really go to town on optimizing every single page. If that meant working with a conversion rate specialist, or whoever, I would. If I didn’t know how, I would learn. I would definitely, definitely look at getting a lot more traffic to the site and making sure that it converted when they got there. I’d put my rates up, for starters. I would definitely put my rates up. I always put my rates up whenever I feel like it’s getting too much work to handle. I just put my rates up. I put my rates up once from 100-150, and I didn’t even lose any clients. I lost one and then they came back anyway.
I’ll come back on that $300 thing. That is really, really relevant at the moment, with how much work we’re losing offshore, as a collective, I mean. Just as designers. I’ve written a blog about this. If a client tells you they can only spend $500 on a website, then that doesn’t mean that they can only spend $500 on a website. I would definitely … It just means that they haven’t seen the value yet, in what you’re offering. A lot of clients come to us still today, and say they have a budget of $500 and they end up spending $5,000. We might do a sales webinar and can sort of talk to you more about that.
I would definitely set up a sales funnel, which we have a lot of different sales funnels now, but I would set up a sales funnel which would consist of a free gift, or a free lead magnet. Then a trip ware. The trip ware is the really cheap product, like $17, or $27, or $7 that really is to weed out the tire kickers. Then you have a cheap product, which is your product. Then product 2, which is your core product, which is your websites to drive traffic. I’d put that on autopilot.
I’d set that up. If I didn’t know how, I’d join the digital market labs to study [inaudible 01:02:05]. They have all the templates in there. I would write the sales pages and then I’d get my VA to set up all the technical stuff. To give you a bit more info on that, the lead magnet master class I did last week, Simon and I did last week … Logan, that was digital marketer lab. The digital marketer group, marketing and conversion gurus. The lead master class I did is part of a funnel that I’m setting up. The workbook that I created is the “Free Lead Magnet”. The master class that we recorded will become the $17 tip ware. If they opt into the trip ware, we then offer a strategy session for $199 to get them on the phone, to build the relationship. Then, from the $199 strategy session, we would then hope to get them into either a landing page, or a website campaign, and drive traffic. A recurring revenue … Drive more customers kind of thing.
That’s how a funnel can work. That’s the digital marketer way. There’s lots of different ways you can set up sales funnels, but I’d really start to look at how I can scale to a larger audience and leverage off all the content that I’ve already created. In person workshops have worked wonders for me. Online classes, webinars, tele-seminars. Whatever your thing is. You can’t beat holding a workshop and getting in front of people in a room, for a day. It’s just magical for connections. Most of them will become clients, I guarantee it.
Get in front of people. Reach out to influences. Social media, email, ask for the interviews, podcasts. All that kind of stuff. If I was targeting coaches, I would go and approach people that talk to coaches all the time and try and get those eyeballs across to my website, and get my free shit so that then they can become clients. I would also, in year 2, I would work on releasing at least 1 signature program online. I’d make that evergreen and I’d also probably do little, smaller, bite-size monthly classes. Just like those little screen cast videos I’ve been doing for you guys and I’ve been doing for clients. I would definitely do that.
I’d write a book and publish it on Amazon. Not to make money, just to grow my list and build authority. I’d hire a company to promote it for me, to get it to a bestseller. I wouldn’t do that myself. I’d offer one-on-one coaching, or group coaching, or even in-person workshops, or VIP days, or … Whatever, but I would absolutely value myself. I would totally, totally value myself and I would have confidence. That’s something that I really struggled with my first few years. I didn’t value myself, I got screwed over so many times by clients. I would definitely … I’ve learned to say no, I’ve learned to get tough. I wouldn’t do meetings. I would probably do Skype or phone hook ups.
I would definitely focus on building my personal brand. I kept doing all the things that I was doing in the first year, but now just scaling it. I’d do a YouTube video each week. I would make sure they were optimized to get traffic. I would do coaching program. All that, but just looking to get more people into my bucket, into my funnel. Then rinse and repeat.
When I get to $500k, I’d take an awesome fucking holiday to reward myself. One other thing I’d do is I would keep a diary of all of my wins along the way. If I was having a bad day, I could go back and look at all of the … There will be a replay, Jody. Yeah. I’m just not sure when. I would keep a diary of all of my wins so that it pepped me up. It’s like a happy folder. I would definitely do that.
That’s what I would of to get to 500. By then, I’d have a designer, a project manager, a VA, and a bookkeeper. I might have a … Copywriter on contract, a marketing person on contract. Things like that, but I’d pull in the people as I needed them and I’d really look after them so that they were loyal to me. The key points … If all the profits are going to you, no one hired, what income level would you be satisfied with? For me, Ben, I’ve worked out what I need to live the life of my dreams. That includes a house [inaudible 01:06:56] on top of a hill that overlooks the island, a beautiful boat I can cruise around the islands. Flying business class, staying in 5 star hotels, all that. Simon worked out, we worked out together, but we have a spreadsheet of exactly what it would cost us to live the life of our dreams and we need about $1 million a year, gross. Net. Cash.
Hire people mostly because I can control their time more than you can a contractor. They could be on contract. The VA in the Philippines would be on 38 hours a week, but I would hire people … Not so much that I could control their time, but so that I could scale. So that I could delegate and scale. I spent far too long in the beginning doing it all myself. In saying that, with contractors, I’ve run into a lot of issues over the years with copywriters. We produce so much copy for our clients, we sell so many, that I … We fill up the contractor’s books and then they can’t keep up with the work. Yeah, good copy-writing is really hard to find.
What happens is, they jack up their rates and then our profit suffers. I have to go and find more contractors again. At one stage, I actually hired a copywriter to work 3 days a week in the office. Then she went off and ended up moving back to New Zealand and doing a PR company, doing her own PR company. Being flaky, not showing up. I’m wondering if I should look at hiring again. Yeah, I’d definitely, you do get a lot more reliability from hiring, Andrew. Definitely, and loyalty.
It really does depend, but with the contractor, they probably are going to go where the money is and the work that they’re enjoying. I would definitely, for the designer, project manager, VA, definitely I’d have full time. Okay, just some key points to recap and then I’ll go back to questions.
Lessons that I’ve really learned is to definitely value self and your knowledge. A lot of you, I’m sure, are intimidated by putting yourself out there and stepping out, being that leader. What I want you to remember is you only really have to be one or two steps ahead of your clients, of the people that you want to teach. You don’t have to know everything, you can’t know everything in this industry. You just have to know a little bit more than what they know, for them to be able to look up to you and be guided by you, and get great value out of you.
Definitely build out your team. Surround yourself with awesome people who share your vision. Hire people that have the same values as you. Not necessarily the people that, technically, can do the job. Four or five … Yeah. Oh, cool. Lot to take in, yeah. That’s a great idea. There’s lots of that coming with Foxley. I’ll just explain what Foxley is, too. There’s a few questions about that.
Definitely keep your eye on the prize. That’s another thing. Every single morning, I want you to remind yourself of what your goal is. Why are you doing this? Is it to work 2 days a week? If that’s what it is, then put that and look at it, and write it down. Every single thing that you are doing this for. Every time you hit a low point, you can just go back to that and go, “You know what? I’m not going to let anyone get me down. This is what I’m doing.”
I want you to embrace mistakes. Really make a lot of mistakes. Mistakes are not mistakes, failures are good. Failures, they’re just all lessons that take you closer to your goal. Not everything is going to work. You could try 100 things and only 2 things work. You’ve got to just keep hustling and keep trying. Take daily action, do the shit that matters first, hustle. Look at it as 1-2 years of short term pain for long term gain.
Celebrate the wins, like I said. Keep that little diary of all your wins. That is so powerful. A coach told me to do that years ago and it’s so powerful to look back. I did an exercise once, I was just feeling really low and flat. I thought, “I’ve just fucked up that many fucking times.” I wrote down all the different times that I felt like I’d made mistakes in business and fucked up. Then I wrote down all the wins that I’d had, that I could remember. Do you know what? There were probably 14 mistakes that I’d made. It wasn’t even … I’m sure there were some other smaller mistakes, but the major mistakes that I thought I was going to be writing for pages, and pages, and pages … There was like 14 mistakes. I was like, “Jesus! I’m actually not that bad after all. I’ve actually done quite well and I don’t know why I’m so bloody hard on myself. I’m kicking ass here.”
Definitely celebrate the wins along the way. Reward yourself, conquer your fear, master your mindset, and don’t let anyone fuck with your dream. They were my key points for today. Now we’ll dive into questions. What is … Morris saying, quite centered around the benefits. Person, to client. Good question, Morris. “Is this a conscious strategy?” Yeah, because I believe that we have to differentiate ourselves. I’ve always been big on educating and it’s much better to get an email from a person than a brand. People connect with people. You build rapport with people. You buy from people that you like, and know, and trust. It has always been a very part of our strategy, that I would be the person behind Web123 and the brand that would kind of … It’s gotten stronger over time.
I would subscribe to Marketing Prof’s Lab. It’s like $200 a year. I used to do a lot of research, or learning, in there about what they suggest. They always said, way back then, that the … It’s better for emails to come from you and to build your personal brand. “I love that your business works around you. I have a small child and need more time to be a mom.” Yes. “My brand is centered around me, but I have a dedicated team. What do you think about a team supporting an image brand of one person, versus a corporate brand?”
This is a really tricky one for me with Foxley, right? I was going to call the Foxley blog, “Freedom Hunter” and the freedom hunter was going to be me. They’re all going to be these designers, chasing down freedom and [inaudible 01:14:29] our dreams into reality and all that kind of stuff. When it came time to start building out the brand, and really, Foxley is … I haven’t got a dedicated designer yet, for Foxley. The stuff that you see is just stuff that I’m doing myself and I really kind of … Not doing a lot of design work there, so it’s kind of stuck together.
I decided that Foxley should be the corporate brand, but I’m still going to stand behind it like I am, like you see me now. I’m going to build it up for the first 3 years and be the personal brand behind it, and share my story with you guys, and help you through my mistakes. We are going to have a whole team, obviously. We’re going to have other people blogging, other people writing, and guest blogs, and all that kind of stuff, but I think when you’re a small business, I think definitely, you should work on your personal brand. Foxley is a software platform. It’s a business building tool box, and I can talk about that if you want. Talk about what it actually is. For it, I think it’s better to have more of a company brand. Me, kind of, on the blog as secondary. For you, in your business, I would definitely say you put yourself out there as the business, as the personal brand.
Gratitude diary, yes. Awesome, Ellen. Pat on the back. No worries, Lucas. I’ll just tell you quickly what Foxley is. Yes, Foxley is a website builder. It is a website platform. It is a CMS website platform, drag and drop, code free … Fucking do whatever you want, e-commerce. All that’s coming. What it also is … We didn’t want to just build another website platform because there’s so many website platforms out there. There’s [Wicks 01:16:36] and why would you try and build another Wicks? Why would you try and build another Square Space.
We recognized a few years ago, or 2 years ago, that there’s a massive problem in this industry and that is that 80% of the websites that don’t … That are designed and built, whether it be here or in the states or in India, wherever. They are not actually making money for the clients. That was the first, and your website as well, is probably not generating as many leads as you want it to. They’re not generating an ROI. That was the first big problem.
The second problem was that designers are not making any fucking money, and that’s really, really sad. We, through our pro partner program, we realized that we had to do something about that. We set out to build a web building platform that has all of the marketing shit that you need to get a result. All of the conversion page templates, conversion optimized page templates. You can just … When you’re building it, you choose a theme, you customize a theme, you pick out what page template you want, and it’s all already optimized. You just fill in the blank for clients. Or you pick all the pages that your client wants, if you’re not doing the content for them, and you deliver the site. Through this really easy editor, your client just has to go in, fill in the blanks.
If you haven’t got a call to action, it’ll say “You haven’t got a call to action.” The whole marketing … It’s kind of marketing and design, head on. It’s everything that I’ve learned doing 3,000 odd website projects over the years. Everything that we know. We’ve got our SCO head, we’ve got all the SCO stuff in there. It’s got this marketing score card in the platform that basically gives each page a score. There’s all different metrics. A target card and then a description, all that yucky SCO stuff. Then also, this page doesn’t have a testimonial, so if you add a testimonial you can increase your score. Each page has a score out of 100, right? Then you have an overall site score. It’s all gammified, so it’s fun. It makes web design and content upload and all that … Fun for you and for your clients.
You’ll always be on the cutting edge. You’re having a fucking blast updating your website. If Google changes something, your score will drop down and it will flag you and alert you to increase your score again so you get more traffic. The whole idea behind the platform is that it’s a … Platform that is designed for designers, to drive traffic and sales. It is not just another website building platform.
The other part of Foxley, there’s 4 main components of it because we know that you guys need help in becoming more profitable, and branding yourself, and building your business, and managing your clients, and up-selling to your clients, and all that kind of stuff. The second component of it is this client dashboard for you. You’ll be able to see, at a glance, how all your client sites are performing. You can see, or we’ll tell you, “This website here, this client’s getting a lot of traffic, but they’re not getting a lot of conversions. We have a marketing sequence if you’d like to trigger that for this client, on how to sell them a redesign service, or a conversion optimization, or whatever you want to kick off. If they’re getting a lot of conversions and they’re not getting a lot of traffic, you can set up on … It’s all automated, a SCO campaign. An email sequence that will go to them and educate them on SCO.”
The last part of it is the actual tool box, which is what I mentioned before, which is all of the marketing systems, and sales funnels, and support, and mentoring, and Q&A’s. Because a lot of you also feel so isolated, and I definitely did in the early days. I didn’t have anyone else to ask these kind of questions or, “How do I build this into a website? How do I handle those objections?” It’s a really awesome community. There will be a community of you guys. All the tools, all the resources, a whole library of shit that you need to run your business better, basically. That’s the tool box.
Foxley is a software platform, dashboard to manage your clients and up-sell your clients. Put your up-sell on autopilot. Then also, all of the support and the business resources and tools. In a nut shell, it’s all of an SCO team, a marketing company, a web developer, everything. They’re all out the window and it puts all the power into your hands as the designer. You don’t have to outsource, you can keep it all in-house. It’s fucking awesome. I can’t wait to bring it to you. It’s so cool.
I missed some things here. “How much is Foxley?” Very affordable. Foxley will start at $97 a month, and the websites themselves will be free to build. The hosting will be around $11 a month for each site that you build. There will be different levels, depending on what kind of tools you want to access in the toolbox, but that will get you into Foxley and the toolbox and the dashboard and everything.
“Chinese food restaurant …” Does anyone want to put their hand up and actually talk to me and ask questions? Yes, Foxley will help you … It’s white label as well, so all this content that we create, you’ll be able to basically label that as your own and become an instant authority, an instant content marketer. The success lab that I’m talking about, that I would definitely … I’m building out now for our clients. I’m also building for Foxley. You’ll be able to, if you wanted to, get that and tack that onto your website. You need the marketing shit … Charge your clients a monthly for that, but it’s all done. That’s why I always “Building digital rock stars” because we basically want to give you everything that you need to make you look like a fucking rock star to your clients without having to do all the hard yards.
“Awesome. Looking forward to Foxley.” Yes, Steve, there will be white labeling. Definitely. The white labeling won’t be $97 a month, but it’s still really affordable. [inaudible 01:23:44]. “Can these be integrated with lead pages?” Do you mean the Foxley websites? Eventually, yes. “Minimum buyer for product?” No, but we are looking to integrate to others. We will have our own landing page software, and in our marketing software, have a thing that we’ll be able to wire things out to Mail Chimp and things like that.
Basically, Jim, Foxley will cut down your build time, your design and delivery time, and imagine in terms of getting content for clients, if you can’t get it, you can just say, “Here it is. Go and fill in the blanks. I’ve set up all the pages for you.” You’d be able to do that in a few hours. It cuts down the time by about 80%, but it gives you ultimate control. Everything that you would have to outsource, or hire an SCO company, or a marketing company to do all the conversion optimization. All that kind of stuff is all built into the software.
Eventually, Steve, yes I do … Billing is coming to basically very shortly after launch. You’ll be able to bill your client through Foxley. Also what it does is, if they need help with something … With the score card, they can learn why they have to, or why you have to add an alt tag and stuff. If they don’t want to learn, they can just skip straight to the results. They can also say, “I’m having trouble with this,” and ask for help. They have the option to pick where they want to go and learn more about it in the resources area, in the learning center where they can watch videos. Or they can say, “I just want someone to do it for me.” That will go to you as a quote request and you can quote them, and then sell them through the portals, through the dashboard. Process a payment and everything. We’re working with Stripe on that currently.
Project management, yes. I don’t want to be all things to all people. This is always going to be a designer’s platform, but I do want to turn it into a CRM. Sort of a part CRM, with project management. Being able to handle the whole project, so quoting right through to delivery. Then, after sales, selling. We forget about selling to the clients that we have.
Kate, “Oh my God. I want this right now.” “What’s white label?” Vance, white label means that there will be no mention of Foxley on the platform, or any of the tools that are in there. You can label it as your own brand. It can be “Vance design, CMS”. You get to upload your own logo and customize the colors of the CMS. All the drawing. Online billing, yes that’s coming. Register for early access button. I’ll check that out, Lucas. I’ll pop you on the list, though. If you want to send me an email to Bianca@foxley.com
Simon, sorry. I forgot you were there. There’s so many things. I just turned the audio on, and Simon … My Simon. I want to make you a presenter. Did I just do the right person.
Simon: Yeah, I think so. I’m here.
Bianca: Yeah, I can’t keep up. Sorry. Someone asked when it was launching. We’re launching the beta on the first of April. There’s 500 places for that. We have already almost 200 on the beta, so if you want to get in on the beta, then definitely … Yeah, sorry Jim. Jump on the beta list, sorry.
The membership website, yes Jim. Definitely. We’re not going to go so heavily into events and things like that, but we are definitely going a very strong marketing sales funnel, conversion optimization. Learning pages, membership sites, subscription sites, all that kind of stuff. That’s all going to eventually come. It won’t be in the minimum viable product, the MVP, that we’re working on now.
Yes, Gayle, email marketing platform will be part of it. The beta, Ivan, we’re not sure. The beta may be $47 or $97. Not quite sure yet. Could it be $197 because it might be the white label. We’re just packaging it up now. Yes, the beta … I had it on the footer of one of the emails. “If a client says, yes, they want SCO help, who will implement this? Us or the Foxley team?” Yes, we are going to have SCO and other additional services available to the higher tiers.
If you’re on a $97 tier, you may not necessarily get access to all of that marketplace stuff and the higher end tools, but if you step up the next level then absolutely, we’ll be able to help you and it will be reselling. It will be white label.
Simon: Everything on our higher models is going to be white label.
Bianca: Yeah, I don’t know why. I’ll have to check that out. Sorry, guys. I don’t know why that’s not working. We banged that website together in a day because I had a meeting. I had to get something up. Have I missed any of the questions? “I just recently [inaudible 01:29:41] USUX design services …” Yeah, Ben. That’s very common. I did that, too. You always think you have to make this big team of people. No, definitely not.
“As a designer it is very hard to brand yourself.” Susan, definitely. “Freedom lancer, or something. A woman in Australia.” I’ve heard of Freedom lancer. Yeah, I think she helps designers, freelancers in business. I think I saw her sight the other day, actually. It’s a lot to take in. I will get these notes to you guys because I do have some notes here. Simon, is there any other questions coming up down there that I’ve missed.
Bianca: All right.
Simon: Yeah, she does seem really organized. You should spend a day with her. She’s a machine. She’d like to actually downplay so much about how she’s so organized, but she’s amazing. To keep up with her is-
Bianca: I’m not in my personal life, though. Let’s get one thing straight. My personal life is all over the place. “Is Foxley Paypal integration or any shopping cart?” Yes, Suzanne, all of them. All the major ones are good. “What do I eat?” I think meat-
Simon: There’s a lot of red wine drinking.
Bianca: I drink wine. I love cheese. I fast, I’m fasting at the moment. Pinot Noir is my favorite wine. I have a glass of red nearly every night, or 2, or 3. I had way too many on Saturday night. I went to Robby Williams on Saturday night. A friend of mine works at Crown Casino, she’s a motion graphics designer. She got free tickets and we all went to see Robby. I had way too much wine Saturday night.
In terms of … I just want to go back to this $300 website thing. It is very, very difficult to position yourself, to sell yourself and your services, if all you’re selling is design. Let’s face it, it is only going to get worse. It is … It is only going to get worse and what the whole … The whole thinking and strategy behind Foxley is to really enable you to differentiate yourself. You are going to be able to offer something that is more than just a website platform. You’re no longer going to be up against Word Press, or Square Space, or Wicks, or [inaudible 01:32:50], or any of those. You’re offering a marketing, it’s a business tool. It’s a marketing tool.
We’ll be teaching you how to position yourself and sell it so that you can charge a premium. Even that $11 a month that you pay us, we’ll bee encouraging you to charge $49.99. Eventually, as we release more features, as we release the membership module and the landing page module and the marketing module, and all those kind of things, we hope to get your recurring revenue up to $150, $200. We’re not going to be in the [incision 01:33:27] soft space. We definitely want to get you up over the $100 a month. We’ll creep up slowly, but we want you guys to profit.
We want you to start off with us on the $97 tier, but we want to help you build your business so that it works with you, not against you. Basically, gives you the freedom to do what the fuck it is you want to do with your life. No one wants to be bogged down in 5% profit. You could earn more money in the bank. The total cost of building this platform, Steve, is about $3 million-
Simon: Don’t ask.
Bianca: Yeah. It’s a lot. A question to the $500k biz. “Would it be okay to monetize the free content to a package for online sales?” I would give away 90% of your stuff for free. Then I would sell the other 10%. If you give away so much incredible value, people are going to go, “Oh my God. This is for free? Imagine what the paid stuff is going to be like. It’s going to be awesome.” Don’t be worried about free, or whatever.
I read reviews of people that get pissed off when they buy a book on Amazon and all it is, is people’s blogs rolled into a book. Things like that. Be careful about what you do as paid, and what you do as free. “Do you agree one should specialize, or does the whole package service also work? Retouching, photography.” I definitely think, in terms of the services that you offer, you should … You should broaden your offering. I’ve read reports on the Australian Design Industry. What they’re recommending is that designers get into education and also diversification.
I’m talking about, I think you should specialize in a target audience, a niche, but I don’t necessarily think you should specialize in those services and products that you offer. Stew, yeah. It’s going to be an awesome product. It is. Yep. “Awesome. Helping creating the ultimate product for us.” Yes, you are! This is all based on your feedback. We’re doing agile methodology. We’re asking people and getting feedback. You guys really do get to shape the product. The pro partner program that we’ve been running for the last few years, we’ve gathered so much feedback from that and this is like the answer to everyone’s prayers.
“Did you focus on a niche?” Yes, Jim, I would if I had my time over. I would. “It’s going to take so long to get to April.” I know! I want it now, too. “She’s so focused on lunch because you’ve got to eat.” Yeah, we might wrap it up. We’ve gone an hour and 36 minutes. I don’t know if this recorded on my computer because I had the whole switching monitor thing going on there, but … Yeah, absolutely feel free to email me. We’re going to do lots of these things. Jump in the Facebook group if we haven’t. If you’ve got ideas for Foxley, what you want to see in there, what you want to see in the software … Thanks, Matt. Did someone ask that question? I didn’t see that one.
Yeah, definitely reach out to me. “Why [stay sharp 01:36:44]?” You can answer that one, Matt. Maybe [inaudible 01:36:48] can answer that one. Maybe you’ll tuck it away for next time. “Webinar integration.”
Bianca: Not on the cards yet, Suzanne. Yeah. Webinar integration, not so much. Perhaps, maybe, it’s not on our product roadmap for right now, for the next 12-18 months. Yeah, thank you so much. This has been an awesome turn out. So glad that … [inaudible 01:37:17]. You guys rock. You’re all fucking rock stars and we’re in this together. We’re going to fucking kill it. So cool. Awesome. Thank you. I’ll get those notes out to you. Thanks guys. Great webinar. Awesome, thanks, thanks, thanks.
Very cool. Okay, now I’m going to eat. Thanks, Simon. Joan, “That was awesome. On your own show.” Vance, “Maybe you can help the [inaudible 01:37:49]”. Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us. Cheers. All right. I’m going to end the recording now. Thank you so much and talk to you again soon.