1-on-1 Web Design Coaching Session | Episode #15 Ivor David

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1-on-1 Web Design Coaching Session | Episode #15 Ivor David

1-on-1 with Patrick is a series of web design coaching sessions for wannabe web designers.

In this episode we have Ivor (Ives) David from London, England! We discuss:

  • Where Ivor is at in his web design journey
  • How Ivor got into web design as a natural extension of his business
  • What questions you should ask a potential web design client
  • Why getting into website maintenance from the beginning is so important
  • Balancing client value vs your time
  • How I priced my hosting and website management services
  • How client retainers work
  • I review Ivor’s current website
  • Ivor reviews MY work

 

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Tools & Resources Mentioned in This Episode

 

Episode Transcript

Where Ivor is at in His Web Design Journey

Ives: How about now?

Patrick: Yeah, I can hear you great.

Ives: Cool, how are you doing, are you alright?

Patrick: I can’t complain, yourself?

Ives: I’m not going to complain, there’s no point.

Patrick: What is there left to complain about?

Ives: Exactly. No, it’s fine. I’m okay, you know, family is okay. How is everyone around doing, are they being protected?

Patrick: Yeah, that’s what’s most important.

Ives: Cool.

Patrick: How did you say your name, is it Ivor?

Ives: Yeah. Ivor or you can call me Ives people call me either, Ivor or Ives.

Patrick: Okay, alright Ives.

Ives: Yeah, Cool.

Patrick: So, we will go with the nickname. So, you’re from London. You said?

Ives: Yeah, I live in Wembley at the moment. So, Wembley in London and you’re in Mexico City, right?

Patrick: I’m in Mexico, not Mexico City. In Puerto Escondido, it’s on the West coast.

Ives: Is that where you, work live or?

Patrick: Everything work, live, play.

Ives: Oh, okay.

Patrick: Yeah, I’m from Toronto, Canada. I just moved to Mexico actually a few months ago. Actually, I just got married last month, so, we’re living here now and yeah, first time in Mexico.

Ives: Congratulations to the both of you.

Patrick: Thank you. Enough about me, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself and like where you’re at in your web design journey and how I can help?

Ives: Okay. So, I’ll go straight to what kind of compelled me to make the request was. I’m never sure how much to charge. I’m a teacher and I teach IT and I teach various different things. And I know how much to charge for my services as a teacher. I do videography as well, so, I can’t figure that out as well, but when it comes to making a website, it’s kind of like, I don’t know, someone asking for a suit to be made, you know, it’s like it depends on how big this person is or how they’re going to wear it. Is it going to work, is going to be a wedding, is going to be, or just go to, you know, there’s very different reasons for the pricing structures, you know, so, I personally, focusing more on my skillset and what I do, but a byproduct of what I do is people say to me, Oh, can you do for me, what you’ve done for yourself instead?

And I’ll say, okay. And then I have to figure out how to charge them now. Pretty much I have work most things out. I’m going to start doing John Lyon drone piloting soon. Because I need it for the video feed that I’m doing. So, I literally just bought my drone so, I can go off and practice, but I wouldn’t know how much to charge for that. So, I’m going to be in the same boat. Where someone ask me recently, they have started working for a new company and they’d been put in charge of helping with the company’s website and whatnot. And so, they said to me, Oh, could you possibly do it right? I initially said, no, because I didn’t want to get caught up into, or go down a rabbit hole away from what I I’m focusing on and get caught up in this whole web sophistication thing.

You know, there’s so many moving parts to websites. This guy, all he wants really is a four-page website that says what they do, a bit about them and that’s about it. And the thing that I’ll be working on was using Wix, Because I’m a designer, it just moves around very quickly. I can get what I want and so, I started working on that and it made me move forward with the website process. The thing is, I wouldn’t know how much to charge for something like that, you know, for a four-page website, with simple images and whatnot. And obviously there’s more things that I could possibly learn from a person like yourself or I might be going down the wrong direction and you can maybe put me back on track. Hope that helps.

How Ivor Got Into Web Design as a Natural Extension of His Business

Patrick: Okay. So, it seems like web design is not the primary service you’ve been offering. Is it?

Ives: It’s not the primary service? My teaching is my primary service. My service is to offer coaching for tutors, teachers and for teaching for like, I literally came off a zoom call before this one, about a half hour ago. And I was coaching a brother and sister, the brother lost his haring four years ago and he wanted to connect with people long distance, but you know, everyone is doing zoom. So, I had to work out a way of doing this. I use PowerPoint so, that he’ll pick up the subtitled teacher, teach him putting it together. And so, that’s one of the things I’m doing, and that’s what I do. I help people with software schools. Web design is something I can do, but I don’t know.

Patrick: Yeah, so, it’s an additional service you’re kind of just venturing into for the first time.

Ives: Yeah, it’s a built on, it’s something extra. I want to keep it simple. I don’t want to get too sophisticated with it because I don’t have time to focus on it.

Patrick: So, I mean the easiest way to decide what to charge for your service and basically be to work backwards and basically be like, well, how much is my time worth? How much do I want to make per hour? And then with each website you build for somebody or you quote for, I should say you estimate just how many hours it will take to build it. And then you just multiply by hours and hourly rate. That is the easiest way. But if you’re just starting out, that could get a little tricky because it might take you longer to build a site. Than someone who’s a little more experienced. And you’ll end up charging a price, that’s higher than the client’s willing to pay. So, it’s not as simple. Like how to decide how much to charge is probably the most common question I get.
Because it’s not that simple, especially when you’re first starting out.

Generally speaking, when I was first starting out, I tried to determine what kind of budget the client was trying to play within. And that’s important because like you said you know, buying a website is like buying a custom suit. You can go out in the materials, like the pockets, the style of the suit, like the prices can go anywhere from a hundred dollars to thousands like suits[inaudible06:44] right? And websites work in a very similar way. How many features are you going to offer or have on the site? How many pages, what type of content, images, video are you going to sell things online? Like e-commerce features all of that adds to the cost. So, I try to get my clients to be very specific about what it is they want and let them know the more concise they can be with their messaging, with their content, with their pages, the cheaper it’ll be for them because you know what the cost is going to be higher if you have to do 10 pages versus 3.

And that’s important to let clients know because it’s actually pretty interesting how they don’t think like that. They actually think they need to have as many pages as possible, like make this big site and fill it with as much things as possible when it’s the exact opposite. It really should be as concise as possible. People don’t have large attention spans anymore. They’re very small attention spans. You need to be very obvious right from the start, right from the homepage, what is it you’re about, what you have to offer them. So, oftentimes I’ve taken someone who’s like, yeah, I want five, six pages. And I look through it and I’d be like, you know, you could actually do all of this with one page. and they’re like really? And I do it for them and it saves them like, you know, half the price. But I guess that’s all just a long-winded way of really saying, being crystal clear and trying to understand what exactly your client needs is the first start and then what their budget is and that can give you a window to play within.

Ives: Well, I’m glad you mentioned the budget side of things, because I obviously trolled YouTube looking for someone to answer the question. And one of the things that I keep in hearing is find out what the client’s budget is but establishing that it’s not always easy one because they don’t always know and two because they’re not always willing to give that information up because they feel a bit vulnerable. You know, they say, our budget is five grands, and you’ll say, well, a website production actually costs, you know, $4,999 pounds.

Patrick: Yeah, exactly.

Ives: It just happens to be that much. You know? So, people are…if it was the other way around, I’ll be like, I’ll hold that close to my chest as well because when I should buy for school and I was given a budget. And when I was asked, what was I needed from this supplier, they will say to me, what’s your budget. I’ll say, don’t worry about the budget. I’ll tell you what it is I’m trying to do. And you tell me how much you’re willing to, you know?

Patrick: Yeah.

Ives: So, I’m on the other side now. So, you can’t always get that information. I need to know if someone asks me for a website, so, I’ll say, Patrick, look, this is what the guys asking me for, can I show you what I’ve done, you know what I mean? And then you look at it and say, well, maybe based on what I can see of you, I’m going to tell you what to do. I’m just saying for me to come up with, because I know you can’t tell me what price to charge. I know I’m not expecting you to do that. I’m just maybe do need another ear on the situation, you understand?

Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. And I guess I should, budget might be the wrong word because I was trying to convey the idea that you really need to find out what their needs are, what what’s most important to them it’s just like buying a car why does anybody buy a car? Because they need to get somewhere. They need a vehicle that can take them somewhere. Everything else in between are just nice to have. There’s the must have, which is basically an engine four wheels and a steering wheel. And then there’s the nice to have. So, all the fancy features, the air conditioning, the electric car, or like, you know, fancy movie, automatic mirrors, or starters, like, you know, it’s endless. So, really trying to converse with them and be like, hey, so, I talked to them like that, listen, like we can do like a bare bones thing that does what you exactly need to do for this price and then try to price out each additional feature and kind of productize things.

Ives: Okay. That’s good. Because then what you’re saying makes sense. All right I get that. And I’m not going to come back with something complex on the say and I get what you’re saying. It doesn’t make sense. And you know, to add on to that, what would be good for me, I suppose, or anybody else who’s in my position is having some sort of, kind of key question, because you said get the bare bones, what it is that you need to know as a web developer, based upon what they want. And so, having some idea of maybe the four kind of key questions, I know what’s your budget is one of them, but you may or may not get answered, but there were other things like, you know, obviously how many pages do you think you need and things like that. What questions would you suggest that I ask? Because I’m going to do what you said, sit my fresh new client down and say, cause he kind of waved at me he said, Oh, you know, we just want four pages, some pictures address, you know, that kind of stuff. I’m like, they’re not sophisticated. These guys are construction workers he’s just a foreman type guy. He’s been given a role and he want to have nothing to do with it. He just wants to give me the money. He trusts me, we know each other and he’s not like if I was talking to you or maybe some of your clients, they’ll have more sophisticated questions to ask about the production, he knows nothing about it. You understand? So, I need to have some sort of way of getting the key building questions outlined. I’m not sure what to ask.

What Questions You Should Ask a Potential Web Design Client

Patrick: The number one question I ask is why, why do you want a website? And that usually people never get asked that because they come to me like, yeah, I’m interested in buying a website. How much to make one and I’m like why you want one, that does kind of puts them back.

Ives: It’s a very cerebral question though.

Patrick: They’re expecting me to pitch right away. Right? But that’s the most important. That is why. Yeah. it’s the ultimate question, but I’ve rehearsed the table. But yeah, you’d be amazed how many people hadn’t actually thought about it. No, but seriously, like what is the purpose of the site, what’s the goal, what’s the objective, what do you want it to do? Do you want it to just be basically an online business card where you present your information, your services, and then an option to contact, is it for lead generation, are you trying to grow subscribers, email subscribers? Are you trying to get more social media followers are you building a brand? Like why do you want a website in the first place?

Ives: Right, I think I can semi answer that, but I’m still going to ask you the question. I think it’s a really good question to ask. I think what they want is what you mentioned is like a flyer, like a business card. They want something obviously. I mean, electronic business card that have pictures, maybe rollovers and a way of people seeing a bit about them and having a presence. I think they just want to start off with a presence and it will build, start adding more and more things to it as it grows. But right now, I think because they’re just starting up with this business. They need to throw something up there and they don’t know anybody apart from me who could possibly do that for them. And I want to use a tool that is quite straightforward, but not, you know, like for a child, but, and then I taught about Wix. So, where am I going to do that? But when I went with Wix, I realized that a lot of people, you got to have some sort of design acumen, otherwise It’s not as easy as people might think, you know?

Patrick: Yeah.

Ives: So. Sorry, I’m drifting off the session. The question you said I should ask is why okay, and then after what’s your budget. What else would you say?

Patrick: So, I’d actually start with why we can even put aside the whole budget thing. Like these questions will actually kind of get you to the budget. They’re all part of just like, you don’t have to be direct and say, Oh, what’s your budget, but you can be asked, why do you want a website? I want, I want to get more leads. I want new customers. Okay. How do you want to do that? How is the next question? Like, well, through my website. Okay. Well, like how do you drive traffic to a website? You know, you can’t just build a website, put it up on the internet and then people are just going to start flocking in. Right. That’s not how it works. So, you can start to get them thinking, well, how do you currently get your leads?

And you start to learn more about their business and the more you know about their business, the better prepared you’ll be to, to build the site for them and to give them something that meets their specific needs. So, if you ask them, how would you like to get more leads? And they walk through the website? Okay, well, there’s a number of ways we can do that we can build the site and then work on improving your Google rankings, SEO. Right. Do you use social media at all to drive traffic for leads? Do you use Google ads or Instagram ads? Paid channels. There’s lots of different channels to bring in traffic. You know, I did a website for someone recently. He’s a painter, service-Based businesses definitely need to have a Google reviews page because when people google for a painter in my local area, the first things that are going to be featured at the top, aren’t just website links.

It’s going to be Google reviews, like local businesses on Google maps. So, little things like that, like trying to understand the client and their business and what their goals are. If you get that stuff, the foundation that core down the rest will come pretty easy. Because once you start figuring that out, you’d be like, okay, well then you if you’re not interested in SEO, then you don’t need a blog. So, you cut that out and save that price, whatever. How many services do you offer? Like what’s your product? I only have two products. Okay, we could probably just stick that on one page, just your products on one page, your homepage you know, do you have a lot of press releases? Like, you know, when you need a news page, which frankly is kind of old-fashioned, but yeah, based from that, it could basically be like home products, contact three pages, and then you can price it out based on how much you want to make per hour it’s usually or you work out, if it happened to kind of open up, sometimes they do mention like their budgets.

Sometimes they mentioned all, I got a quote from this guy and this was like crazy, too much. Or like I had someone come to me recently, like I had someone on Fiverr build my website for me and I don’t like it. Can you fix it. Right away I’m like, well, Fiverr do you mind me asking how much you paid? She’s like $150, I’m like no, I don’t mean this in any way, but you get what you pay for like a $150 for a five-page website. Like you’re going to get junk. Like it’s like, you know, it’s like going to McDonald’s and expecting like a steak, you know, it’s literally that level. And so, but I didn’t say it that way. I tried to like, because she doesn’t… people have tight budgets, small business owners that she has this dream she wants to do.
She has this passion, she has this product she wants to sell, but she doesn’t have the cash to really invest upfront for a good website, a proper website. And that’s such a common problem. So, I’m recommending a lot lately that people I talked to web designers are starting out. And this is what I did from the very beginning is I try to do like a subsidized pricing model where it’s a low upfront cost lower. And then in exchange, they agree to host the website and allow me to host and maintain the website for them and a monthly rate or monthly package.

Why Getting Into Website Maintenance From the Beginning is So Important

Ives: But you see, I won’t be able to do nothing. I mean, I wouldn’t know how to host. I don’t think I can tap into those skills immediately. What I’m talking about right now doing for people is just creating a web presence and you know, what, even figuring out also, the other thing is a price to charge for a monthly subscription where they can contact me or get me to update the website for them a set amount of time.

Patrick: Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about the maintenance.

Ives: But I’m not sure again, how much to charge for or do I charge them like twenty-five pounds, I’m saying pounds, because let’s say Tracy had pounds and then for each month, and then they can contact me, let’s say four times, you know, once a week or four times throughout the month to do changes or well, how does that work if people want to make changes, how do you charge for that?

Patrick: So, I have two separate packages. I have the maintenance and hosting where I host the website on like some really have high performance servers and then I maintain everything. So, I keep everything up to date. I keep WordPress up today, the plugins up to date, everything is secure. I have a premium security service to block like hacks and bots and stuff, spam and it includes VIP support. So, like even just today, someone came to me, and sent me an email. Like my, my site is down. I think I broke something. I was trying to do this. And then I’m like, no worries I have a backup, we’ll just reinstate the backup and within minutes it was fine. There’s so much value in timeliness when it comes to websites because people are used to, if something goes wrong and they have to call you know, a call center in India and wait for hours or speak to someone who doesn’t really understand what their needs are, customer service is huge.

So, my clients often say, that’s their favorite thing about me is that they can just send me a text or an email. And I’m generally very quick to fix something that’s wrong. But yeah, basically updates, backups, reports. I send monthly reports as well. So, they get activity reports to show everything I’ve done to keep their website up to date and maintain properly. All of this I use WordPress. You don’t have to use WordPress, you said you’d like to use Wix, right? I’m not sure if Wix has a, I think they do have a designer. They have a version of their platform that’s made specifically for designers to kind of resell their hosting services. So, that could be something you could look into. That’s what I did with Weebly when I first started out, basically means that Weebly would charge 20, $25 a month for their typical package. But as a web designer, I get to resell it. So, they charged me $8 and then I charged the client $25. So, I get the majority of the revenue and they’re willing to do that because as a designer, I’m bringing in clients to them, to their platform.

Ives: Okay. That’s good then.

Patrick: I’m not sure if Wix offers something like that, but you could look into that.

Ives: What about this? Like I said, I’ll think about the host inside of things, but for now just to say, I made a website for them with this full thing, and I said, I’m going to update your texts every now and then or change a couple of pictures of them every now and then, or, you know, put a video in there for them throughout the month, just for the beginning, that’s what’s going to happen. And then I’ll move on to different type of things, I know I’m like, but on a basic level, you know, what do you think I could possibly charge for that service each month.

Patrick: So, you’re going to offer unlimited design edits.

Ives: Well, that’s what I’m saying. I don’t know. I’m saying I don’t want to do that and the next thing you know, you say is no, don’t do that because I don’t think that’s a good idea.

Balancing Client Value vs Your Time

Patrick: Yeah. Again, it’s balancing the value that the client gets versus your time and whether it’s valuable worth it to you to offer it at that rate. There’s no way I would offer a $30 a month service that includes unlimited edits like that. That will take up so much of your time. You won’t make nearly enough money profit off that because they can basically email or texts or call you anytime, they need something changed. And you’re constantly going in and like for perspective, what I charge for that is 200 a month for unlimited edits, unlimited design and then 300 a month for like e-commerce sites. Because e-commerce sites cost a lot or take a lot more work.

Ives: So, what would you charge for non-unlimited edits? [inaudible24:01]

Patrick: Yeah, I have some clients that rather just kind of go by the hour and based on just contract project basis. So, if they have some changes, they need done like a few times a year, I just bill them hourly. I make the changes, or I quote, based on what the changes they say they need. So, they know what the price will be, and I charge at a rate of $50 an hour.

Ives: So, if a client were to say to me, okay, we’ve done the website, we like the texts. This month we want to change, you know, just this box of texts, a small amount of texts, a couple of sentences and a picture now, what do I kind of say, well, I’ll bill you after a set amount of changes or do I build them for an hour for that change? Each time they offer a change.

Patrick: I mean, in this scenario, are they like a monthly retainer client? Like they have a subscription package, or they go by the hour.

Ives: That’s what I’m saying, I’m not sure. I’m assuming, I’m going to stick with 25 pounds a month because I don’t know, let’s say it’s 25 pounds a month. Do I say to them you get four revisions each month. And then, you know, they[inaudible25:17]

Patrick: You could do that, some designers they’re very clear, like this gets you four revisions, this gets you 10, this gets you 20. You could price it out like that. I’ve chosen not to do that because I find it’s extremely confusing for people when they’re trying to sign up to a service and there’s like this huge list of what it includes and what it doesn’t include and there’s three options. And then they have to worry about like, okay, well four revisions, is that enough? Or am I going to need more than that? Well, 10 revisions seem like a bit much. Am I going to be overpaying and paying for something that I’m not getting? And it creates too much confusion and like they can’t decide. So, they just leave. Like, I don’t think that’s a good way to try to price out web design service.

Ives: So, between that and the unlimited, what is your option then?

How I Priced My Hosting and Website Management Services

Patrick: This is how I decided to do it, the base package that I have doesn’t include any edits. It includes all these other things. There’s a huge list of services of maintenance that It does include, and it gives my clients the ability to make edits themselves. If they want it totally free to do that, they have access to their site there’s that? And then there’s all the way at the other end is unlimited. Anything you want done, and no questions asked. The reason I did that is because web design pricing is far too confusing. People have become accustomed to unlimited things where we live in the era of Netflix and Spotify and Uber eats and like on demand, anything you want unlimited, you know, unlimited speeds on internet, like people have grown accustomed to that.

So, it’s just a matter of finding a price that’s valuable for them. That also makes sense to you that you also make a profit and finding a model where that works. Now, I only started offering this unlimited service just about six months ago. So, and I’ve been doing web design…I’m doing this business for almost five years. So, I grew to the point where I felt comfortable offering that, because I know my skill level is at the point where I can do all these little edits fast, because otherwise you got to think right away. Well, $200 a month, how many hours a month am I going to be spending doing edits for these guys? Am I going to end up losing money? You know, my experience tells me that the vast majority of people just love to have the option when they need it. They’re not going to come to you every single day with, I need this change, I need that done, they don’t do that. They just want the peace of mind and comfort knowing that anytime they need something you’re there.

Ives: So, you’re saying to me what I should basically think about, and then it’s not so much about the $25 lower Version, because they have restricted amount of edits, but increase the price and say, look, you know what, in this price, you get unlimited edits. And that price would work out comfortably for me. I don’t mind that they probably won’t ask for as many edits as you said. You know, you might think about you’re still getting a decent price, but then I’m not sure how much I would charge them each month. You know what I mean? Right for something like that.

Patrick: Well, you have to be open-minded too, because I do have clients where they don’t fit into either one of those packages, they have very unique needs. So, I have one in particular who requires a lot of edits, but more so it has to be done very quickly. There is a very narrow window that they need them done within. So, I quoted them a separate monthly retainer base on those unique needs, because it didn’t fit within the packages that I offer. And even the unlimited design edits package that I offer it’s by application only, I don’t approve everybody that wants it because I know the vast majority of people will be fine, but I will say about 5% will abuse it. And you can kind of tell the type of person as you’re talking to them. You’re like, yeah, I don’t think we’re really a good fit. It also has the added benefit of making it feel like exclusive because it’s by application only, you can’t just buy it whenever you want. I have to say yes to be approved for you when you, sorry, go ahead.

How Client Retainers Work

Ives: I want to ask you about because you mentioned retainer. I don’t want to forget how does this retainer thing work? Like for example, if I were going to do it, what would be a retainer process? They’ll pay me a certain amount and how does that work?

Patrick: Yeah. It basically means you and your client come to an agreement of a monthly retainer, a monthly amount that they will send you every month upfront and in exchange, you have the list for these services that you offer. So, for example, your client says, well, I’d like to have unlimited design edits and I need them done within 24 hours every time. Okay. Well then, I need to price out what that would work out for you. And like, Hey, I can do that for this much per month, this retainer. And it comes in automatically there’s no… a retainer basically means, yeah, it comes in, you don’t have to invoice and wait for them to pay you. It’s a pre agreed upon amount for this specific service and it just comes in every month. The reason why I try to encourage web designers to start thinking from the very beginning, how they can build up their monthly revenue, their hosting, their maintenance any service they can offer that involves a monthly subscription.

Because so, many designers will build a website for someone publish it and send them on their way and that’s it. They never see their client again, when that client, they need so many things, just because the website’s launched doesn’t mean the work is done and needs to be taken care of. And why shouldn’t that be you? Because like they’ll either let their website fall apart or they’ll go find someone else to take care of it for them. Then you’ve just lost out on a monthly revenue that comes in regularly. And the more you can do that, the less you have to worry about acquiring new clients every month, because the quicker you can build your base, your base income that comes in automatically every month, the less you have to worry about constantly getting another client and another client and another client every month just to pay the bills.

Ives: Okay. I had an idea to charge about am going to tell you straight up. I was thinking about 45 pounds an hour because, because of the way I teach my teaching, you can go from up to 60 pounds an hour down to 25 pounds, and now I’m working with a charity. You understand? It just depends on who I’m working with. So, and also the video, it’s the same sort of thing. If I’m doing some work for a charity or if I’m doing some work for someone private. So, for me, I was thinking maybe I’ll charge them something like 45 pound an hour for 20 hours. And I’ve kind of brought that down to how much a day of work. And can I produce a four-page website in Wix with the texts and the pitch in that time that would be about 800 pounds or similar to dollars or better than that. What do you think about that price range for a four-page website for construction company?

Who’s not looking for e-commerce or they are not concentrate on SEO at the moment, which I’ll draw them to, but just a simple, like you said, business card, web presence initially, and then charges them maybe $25. Again, I think of it now you’ve made me change my mind about the revisions throughout the month, but just say, eight hundred dollars for.

Patrick: Yeah, I mean, just based on the limited information you’ve given me, that sounds like a fair price. I definitely would say that’s too much and it’s not too little. Like you could still make a good profit off of that for yourself. And it seems like a good price for the type of work they do construction business. Right? What I would say is since you’re just starting out and I often recommend this for people that are just starting out, be honest and say, hey, I’m looking at offering this service monthly price, whatever 25 pounds a month for this list of things. Does this sound like something that would interest you? Is this valuable to you, get honest feedback. People love to give their opinions on things. And if it’s done in the right way, none of these like, how’d you like our service, please fill out the survey, no one wants to fill out a survey.

Ives: They want to have a conversation.

Patrick: Conversation. Yeah, like, hey, I want to start offering this. I’m not quite sure what’s the right, you know, price, I’m trying to gauge that and see where the market’s at, here’s what I want to offer the list of services. What would that be worth to you? See what they say and start the first early clients just start getting feedback.

I Review Ivor’s Current Website

Ives: Okay. Can I do something, can I show you or I sent you an email? I’m not sure if you got it because it’s last minute, but I sent you an email of the site that I was messing around with you.

Patrick: Yeah, I saw it.

Ives: Okay. So, did you bust out laughing, right?

Patrick: No.

Ives: What was your honest reaction at first? Patrick be honest with me. I know we just met, but I need…

Patrick: I will say the video of the eraser threw me off.

Ives: Oh, that really, you didn’t like that no?

Patrick: No, I wasn’t sure because it’s erasing the text,

Ives: Yeah.

Patrick: So, it makes me feel like I got a rush to read it.

Ives: Oh, I see, the thing was I put it on there and I was timing it for it to be read while it’s happening. And it stays there for a while as well. So, it’s kind of takes a while to write out. Then it’s kind of hangs around there for a while and then it gets rubbed out to draw attention to that area. And then the person might glance over. Read it again because I’ll tell you what it is, the way I’m thinking about it is, when I had there before, I know when you go to some website, you see something, you kind of glance at it, but it’s an important piece of information. That’s the reason why I’m doing it’s my aim and people wouldn’t look at it. So, once I put the writing there people[inaudible35:43] focus group, and most people have said, well, yeah, I’m kind of paid attention to what you did do and I understand why you’re doing it and what the[inaudible35:50] is going, you know, but maybe there race apart, I don’t know how to get rid of it.

Patrick: So, I’ll tell you this it’s far too long. Like I’m watching it now and the guys writing all the words, like, no, one’s going to stick around to wait until he’s done writing to read all of that. It’s too slow, too long. So, the main thing, I I’ll tell you what I thought of when I landed on your site, there’s too much going on. I don’t know what you do or who you are. It takes me too long to figure that out because you’ve got multiple different services. There’s the 50 plus IT, there’s the IT training, social media production, virtual tours, assessments, resources, portfolio. There’s that video that’s going there on the side. There’s a… what was the other one? Oh yeah. T and tech. And then there’s electric biker size, which sounds interesting. But I don’t get how it fits into everything. It’s too.

Ives: Can I share my screen so; I can see you destroy my website. I’m cool, I’m joking, I’m all right about it. It’s disabled. All right. Can you share the screen?

Patrick: Yeah, I’ll turn it on.

Ives: I’d like to see what it is that you’re chipping away.

Patrick: I don’t know why it’s not allowing me to. Okay. Why don’t I share my screen? Because I don’t know why I can’t seem to.

Ives: No, you share your screen because you’re evaluating it anyway.

Patrick: Yeah. Can you see that?

Ives: Oh, yeah.

Patrick: Okay, great. So, I land here and right away we have three buttons, three calls to action appear and then seven links in the navigation menu and then two boxes here. I liked the little videos that play when you hover over it, that’s cool. And then you have this big thing and so, my attention is being drawn to like too many things. When I land on your heading here, your homepage, I should know, within three to five seconds, what you have to offer me, it literally has to be that quick. I love your slogan, sip some tea while you learn IT. And that does tell me what you’re doing, that right there tells me you teach IT and so, that should be your focus, your main feature. There should be like, okay, that tells me what you do, but it’s way too small, I can’t see it, that should be the focus instead. And then like I said before, there has to be one clear call to action for your website. So, what is it that… I’m a visitor on your site, what do you want me to do? Where do you want me to go? What’s the goal, contact you?

Ives: Well, I thought that if I kind of have these, because I don’t like busy websites myself, to be honest with you. Right? So, the reason why I’ve got the assessments there, because like I said, some development. So, if you want to say assessments, resources don’t go anywhere because this is not done yet. Okay, half of my students that are there. And what I do with my students is they’ll go to… I got a resource site that I use, and they will go to that resource site. Do you understand? And then they can do their assessments there. So, I’ll say, go to my website and they’ll go there, but that’s not activated yet. So, I wouldn’t get into do that right now on the assessment sites.

Patrick: Okay. So, that’s for people that are already your students.

Ives: Well, yes and no because somebody might want to try the assessment and see, you know, what level they’re at in their particular thing. So, it’s just an option for them to play around with. But because this website it’s supposed to be a working tool as well. So, for me, when I’m teaching a class, I could tell them to go there and they can click on that and then they can get on with some exercise I’m giving them, or it could be somebody like yourself who might come along and have a look and, you know, want to find out more about what I do. And then I’ve just leave the services up there for them to get a little idea from the text. I know the writing on the sides is annoying, that’s why I put click video to stop it because otherwise you wouldn’t know.

Patrick: But even that is so small, you can barely see that instruction.

Ives: Yeah.

Patrick: I would ditch that it’s too long. But yeah, I would really encourage you to think about if you’re using your website to bring in clients. Is your ideal client, someone who’s over 50 that wants to learn about IT.

Ives: It’s one of my main things, the 50 plus and the virtual tours is now becoming something. So, if you click on the virtual tour that should be active that’s something now. So, I made a little trailer type thing that kind of you know, it’s a montage of all the different virtual tours that I’ve done, to give a person.

Patrick: So, you create these for people.

Ives: But that virtual tours, everything on the site that you’ve seen, I created. So, the tour itself was for a company.

Patrick: Yeah. So, your challenge is really, you have a wide variety of services you’re offering because these are going to be different people that are interested in these different products and services, right?

Ives: You see, but someone, oh sorry go on.

Patrick: I was just going to say someone who’s interested and is over 50 and needs help learning about IT. Isn’t going to be interested in social media production and isn’t likely to be interested in someone creating a virtual tour for them. So, for me, your website has a lot of cool things. No, you don’t have to ditch anything, but it’s your challenge is that because you have such a wide range of services, you could confuse people. I felt confused coming here. Because I really wanted to know what is it, you’re great at? What do you do? The It stuff seems to be the center. And like I said, I do love the sip some tea while you learn IT and make that the focus, you’re almost…yeah, it’s just about kind of clarifying and simplifying if I could put it that way.

Ives: Correct. Click on the 50 plus IT and that is the main thing is the homepage. And this thing here, if you click on the little white board thing at the top, if you scroll up. Yeah,

Patrick: There’s another one.

Ives: Yeah, I’m also going to be offer, doing explaining because I like the idea of it.

Patrick: So, yes this is better. This is definitely better, especially for your target audience.

Ives: And there’s audio as well. Can you click on the audio? Can you hear it? in the bottom line.

Patrick: You know what? I heard it at first and then it stopped. That’s very strange though, it just cuts out. I love the video. I think it needs to be embedded differently, how did you do this with Wix?

Ives: I just dragged it in, just put it in.

Patrick: Video widget or whatever. Yeah, I would actually upload that to YouTube and then just embed the YouTube instead.

Ives: For it to have the controls in it.

Patrick: Yeah, it’d be like this isn’t working quite right. I don’t know.

Ives: What about the Vimeo, put it in Vimeo and do the same thing.

Patrick: Vimeo would be good too, yeah, It’s best. So, any videos, generally speaking, any video it’s best to host it externally and then embedded on your site because it will reduce the server load or reduce the loading for each page. So, yeah, I would take that same video. Just upload it to Vimeo or YouTube and then just embed it, you know,

Ives: Is this page all right? Would you say this page is in the right direction? Because this has to do with the 50 plus.

Patrick: Yes, except for the biker size, electric biker size. I don’t know what that is.

Ives: That’s a thing that will be offered to the older people. It tells you what it’s about on the video. When you watch the video, it says what I do. Why? Because I’m trying to get funding. I’m getting funding to lease bikes and get older people to do exercise. And introduce them to electric bikes as well because over in England it’s a big thing just to get people off the trains, off the buses.

Patrick: Yeah. I’m watching the video now. It’s a good video. It’s a really good video. Did you make this yourself?

Ives: Yeah, just me in the field.

Patrick: No, but I mean like the editing and everything.

Ives: Oh yeah, the editing I did as well. [inaudible44:44].

Patrick: It’s really well done.

Ives: Oh, you like it.

Patrick: Yeah, I love the explainer that you have where like, you see you talking in the camera, but on the other half you also see the action.

Ives: Yeah, I was trying to do a couple of things at the same time, you know, so.

Patrick: It’s very well done. Yeah. So, I would just recommend same thing hosted externally and embedded from Vimeo or YouTube.

Ives: But you see why it’s on that page now because it is for the 50 plus it’s part of that.

Patrick: So, here’s the thing I would say, it’s a good start for this page, but there’s not enough content. You have two great videos, but no text there’s no[inaudible45:23] yeah. Because especially if you’re over 50, they might not figure out how to watch the video right away. So, there might be old fashioned, they just want to read. So, it’d be good to have like actual texts and content, but you said you’re working on that. You know what? I would love to see if your ideal client is you know, over 50, I would love to kind of keep it to the IT and the biker size, like you know, leave the social media production out, leave the virtual tours out, unless those… are those big sources of revenue for you or are those services that people often come to you for?

Ives: The IT buyers are umbrella. Right. And I have the skillsets that I have, I just taught that if I give my business card out in somebody and they come to the IT bar, then there different conversations I have like the social media production that compensation comes from, people wanting me to do what I’ve done for myself. And how do I do it, you just send it just now you said to me, did you do that video yourself?

Patrick: Yeah.

Ives: This is how I presented it, did. I edit it and I did.

Patrick: Add a video editing section to the site.

Ives: Well, that’s why I put it in social media because obviously social media production means that I produce. There are various different skills involved in there, you know. So, the best way to look at the social media, is to go to the homepage, you will see, but I haven’t kind of put it up, go down a bit, yeah go over to the right it’s over to the right there.

Patrick: Here.

Ives: No, it’s say social media. Go up, there you go. If you look on it, you’ll see the videos that I’ve made. I made a little montage of those as well, just so, I can put it on that button. There I am again, it was a photographer that I done a video for, and then this is a fly through I did for a company.

Patrick: So, I would first off, I would change to video production because that’s not really like you can use video for social media. This is great video editing. Great, it’s really good. You made this whole video that you edited together and everything,

Ives: What the montage or the ones you’ve seen inside it?

Patrick: Everything, the montage, and the videos.

Ives: Everything you see there I filmed and edit it. So, them putting their hands up at the studio. Yeah. I just happened to be there. It was a photo shoot I filmed it for the guy and then I put the montage together so, that it will explain the different things that I’ve done. And then you’ll see the fitness video, which is a fitness coach, who is online doing a fitness.

Patrick: And you did that, the kitchen and everything, the text.

Ives: Yeah.

Patrick: Man, that’s really well done. I would put video production, not social media cause you’re a really good video editor and creator, that’s really good. I would almost have like the IT bar, like sometimes you offer a service that doesn’t quite fit under your brand you know, you’d almost be better off like having a separate website for you, like your own personal brand and like these are the additional services I offer. The only reason I say that is because like we were talking about before when building websites for other people. When you think about your website, who are you trying to attract? Because these are very different products and services with very different people with very different needs.

Ives: Now, you know why I’m talking to you, you see why I’m confused.

Patrick: I would recommend you take a hard look at your business and say, what is my bread and butter here? Like what is my primary source of revenue? What do I want to focus on the most? And then go all in on that.

Ives: I’m focusing on the 50 plus and the IT. But I’m growing the virtual tours and the video editing. Video editing is not my strength right now. I mean, I can video edit, but I don’t know how good I am or not until you’ve just said what you thought and that was the first professional opinion I’ve had ever, you know, because.

Patrick: I thought that was really good. Yeah. I think you basically have two businesses here because virtual tours and video editing and production all fall under the same umbrella, you could have… like, that makes sense. And then the IT side. What’s that?

Ives: Can you go to this? open another window and type in www. You have to do that I’ll tell you why in a minute.

Patrick: Okay.

Ives: I know you’re going to say, Oh, you don’t need to. Then just put in iteabarvirtualtours all one word. So, I’m changing this by the way. [inaudible50:37] So, this is where I’ve been told as well by somebody that, you know, the virtual tours I started getting into, I should just focus one website on the virtual tours, but you saying that the video editing is kind of under the same category, maybe I should.

Patrick: I think it could fall under the same umbrella. So, if you have a website dedicated towards your work around video, and then you have dedicated service pages for like video production, video editing, because those are two different things filming, virtual tours, but it’s all centered around video. That makes sense. And that’s kind of like a separate business then your current wine with IT bar still a great idea and I love the kind of fun with the IT and Sip some tea. And yeah, that’s focused towards what you said is your bread and butter, your over 50 crowd who wants to learn about tech. So, those really are two separate things. I would recommend you have actually two different sites for those.

Ivor Review’s MY Work

Ives: Okay. That’s good. Thanks, I really appreciate that. It’s difficult to get unbiased, professional feedback, what you guys are doing. I’m going to tell you now, I really admire, and I don’t know if I truly understand what you guys are doing. I can’t remember how I come, but it worked, and it got me because I do not connect like this, man. I teach online all the time and I’m the person who’s hosting and doing all kind of stuff. So, to have me join you, I’m not saying you’re blessed, I’m just saying you’ve made me adjust the way I do things. And so, whatever it is that you guys are doing, it’s kind of worked for me and I appreciate it as well because your feedback would be very good. I want you to use this as a soundbite as well.

Patrick: Oh yeah. I’m saving all of this from my reviews, testimonials page.

Ives: You know, I say this to people, the truth it’s easy you understand? And I don’t say things unless I really genuinely mean it. It’s easier to defect or sidestep it. So, the truth is, you know, your feedback has been really good, you have be very professional there. And yeah, I’ve got a lot from this, so, I really appreciate it. And you need to know that.

Patrick: Oh, that’s really nice to know that keeps me motivated because the truth is I actually, like I love doing this. I could talk with people about this stuff all day and my business could fall apart because I just love talking about stuff like this. Yeah, it’s amazing to be able to talk to people all over the world from all kinds of different backgrounds and cultures and all trying to do something like this start throwing web design business, especially in this time of so much uncertainty and people looking for alternative sources of income, people have lost their jobs. And it’s frankly, it’s never been a better time because as fast as the world was going with the push towards digital, it’s only gone up 10 times now. So, more and more businesses need to have a digital presence of some kind. So, there’s never been a better time to get started with it.

Ives: [inaudible49:03] rep by thing because the consultancy side of things seems to be growing and people are asking me my opinion on something, or what do you think I should do? My student decides to say to me, can I speak to you separately? I said, okay, why we’re speaking separately? And now she’s saying that she wants me to help her produce her podcasts and her social media presence, because she’s over 50. I think she’s in her sixties, but she’s like a lawyer, you know? But she’s…obviously people leave a huge gap. She doesn’t want to make a website, she wants us to do it, she wants me to do it. You understand? But people don’t talk or take time to listen to what people got to say, truly. It’s always business, business. And I think that there’s a way of balancing that and still making some money.

Do you understand? But being there for somebody at the same time and what you guys have done it make me feel like, hold on, these guys are interested in what I’m doing. And that will pull me in to say, okay, what is it you doing? And then I’m going to focus a bit more and that will draw me in. And somebody goes to me, well, who do I talk to? I say, well, you know, this guy called Patrick are talking to in Mexico. You understand? And that’s good. It’s a very clever move and intelligent, I suppose. Well done. Cool, man.

Patrick: Thank you. Yeah, it’s been a good chat. Actually, this might be a new record; this might be the longest one I’ve ever done.

Ives: How long are we going?

Patrick: An hour.

Ives: I will shut up now.

Patrick: So, it was fun. I look forward to seeing what you come up with, with your new designs and stuff. So, keep me posted.

Ives: No problem, man. Thanks again. You take care.

Patrick: Stay safe.

Ives: Alright you too. Bye.

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