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How to start an offline business for web designing

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by revenue20, May 26, 2014.

  1. revenue20

    revenue20 Junior Member

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    Hi guyz,
    I would like to start an offline business dealing in web design and hosting.
    I am knowledgeable on building wordpress sites and know a bit on creating websites using kompozer.
    My question is:
    Is this knowledge enough to launch my business?
    What platforms do most clients require for their websites? e.g. wordpress, coding etc.
    What is the best way to become knowledgeable on web design? (I appreciate any details on online schools or courses)

    Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  2. Nilsz

    Nilsz BANNED BANNED

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    Please use a question mark in your title!
     
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  3. blackhatdamo

    blackhatdamo Registered Member

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    wordpress is good, kompozer is outdated and unsupported now although may still have its place. If you like wysiwyg look at adobe muse or dreamweaver , i think microsoft have one called expression engine too.

    On another note it would benefit you if you leant how to code, look at w3schools and net.tutsplus.

    Coding html/css is really not hard and will produce cleaner code than the wysiwyg editors out there. For coding i like to use notepad++ as its free and has syntax highlighting.

    IN terms of platforms for clients, it depends what they are after, wordpress is very popular with lots of plugins (learn php and you can code extra functionality yourself too), although for e-commerce some may like magento. It all depends on what you are trying to acheive and what the client is after.

    Hope this helps a little.
     
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  4. ksk71119

    ksk71119 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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  5. SavageX

    SavageX Junior Member

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    The technical skills are the easiest bit. Communication, new business development and pitching to clients is the hard bit. Also learn to use a phone properly
     
  6. StrixMedia

    StrixMedia Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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  7. BreaknBrix

    BreaknBrix Power Member

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    Web design was one of the first things I got into about 2-3 years ago when I joined WF. I had only built 2 websites in my entire life (via wordpress) and decided to start selling my work.

    Let me give you a few pointers that helped me -

    1) In the US, we get lots of Valpak mailers, super coups, and another brand of coupons I can't remember. I would save these pamphlets and go through the coupons one by one checking the businesses websites online. Then I'd find all the crappiest sites, call up the business owners and just promise them the world. That was 1 way I got clients.

    2) Posting compelling, creative, copy on craigslist. I grabbed a list off WF (I hate to mention WF so much but I wasn't a member on BHW back then) and this list had about 100 benefits / reasons why business owners should have a website. It was originally posted by a member named John Durnham. But it was a very compelling list of awesome benefits and I'd tie that list into the ads I wrote on Craigslists. I would average around 3-5 calls a week just from doing this.

    3) This is what helped me the more than anything. It's not a fancy way of getting clients. It's just a smart way to get referrals.

    I had started web design literally about 4 weeks after I lost my job and I told myself "if I don't find a way to make this work, I'm f##ked". I did NOT want to get back into hopeless job hunting and really wanted to be independent. So literally on the first job I got, I charged the guy $600 for a 5 page website. But I delivered him a 15 page site instead, and I put an ENORMOUS amount of time into the copy and design. I literally spent 10 hours a day, 6 days straight working on that first site. The last night I worked on his site I did not even go to sleep. I wanted this site to be the best site I ever made in my life and I was so proud I was actually getting money for it.

    When I delivered that first site the client almost crapped his pants. I remember standing behind him in his office, he was at his computer, I'm asking him "if there anything you want me to change?" and he's just saying "OMG. OMG. OMG" over and over. The guy jumped up, shook my hand and asked me how long it took to "do this". I told him I didn't sleep at all the previous night and put about 70 hours of work into the site within 6 days.

    He said it was the best site he's ever had in his life and offered me an extra $200. I told him "I appreciate that, but what I'd appreciate more is if you just tell your friends".

    And fortunately for me, this guy was a very sociable person who was always going out on the weekends. He wound up getting me *3* referrals over the next month. As I was doing more work for his business friends, I was also finding more clients through the phone and craigslist.

    For about 2 months I worked like a slave using this "overdelivery technique" to make people feel guilty. And I'd leverage their guilt to basically extort them for referrals. It worked like a charm. By month 4, I remember vividly it was the end of June, and I was booked with clients will mid August. Meaning I was putting clients on a *waiting list* that was about 6 weeks long.

    Once I got to that point, I switched from doing 1 site a week and overdelivering, to doing 2 sites a week. And I still overdelivered but nothing like I did for the first few months. I was making sometimes $2k / week but I was working my ass off doing everything on my own. The good news is the more sites I built, the more templates I had in photoshop, the quicker and better I could do designs, and the less and less time it was taking. At the same time, I was always trying to raise my prices.

    So please trust me on this. All you need is 1 client a week at first. And this is extremely easy to do. But work your ass off like a slave. It will be fun at first just cause its novel but after a couple weeks you'll start getting frustrated. Push through that frustration and continue to over deliver and do things your clients didn't ask. Do videos, facebook pages, youtube channels, twitter, vimeo accounts, g+ etc etc. Try to get them some likes on facebook and social proof. Make their home pages look as polished, professional and well designed as you possibly can. Steal catchy headlines and phrases from other websites and remix them. As I was building a clients site I would literally have photoshop tutorials playing in the background just to give me ideas.

    That's really all you need to do. Your main goal isn't to just please your client. It's to get your client bragging and boasting to all his friends about how cool his new website is. And when he shows his site to his friends at the bar you want to make sure none of them are gonna criticize a thing (because friends do that shit).

    Towards the end I was no longer marketing my service to anyone. Literally 99% of my business was from referrals.

    I did that for a little over 8-9 months then eventually I got sick of it. Even though I was making twice as much money as when I started, I just grew to hate it. I was getting sick of working for my money and reached a point where I wanted my money to work for me. I wanted more passive streams of income set up. And that's around the time I got into local lead gen and playing around with Clickbank. :)
     
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  8. tony_d

    tony_d Elite Member

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    95% of the effort exerted in a web design business goes to selling the service, rather than doing the work.

    In all the skills you mentioned, you didn't say anything about sales.
     
  9. igniteimages

    igniteimages Regular Member

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    Read the big long post!!

    The value in that post is massive!!!

    To answer you question it is very simple - clients want a good looking site (significantly better than they have now) and they want to be able to manage it without having to call the website guy.

    Do a good job - don't oversell yourself - don't undercharge! - companies DO have the money to pay for sites.
     
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  10. BreaknBrix

    BreaknBrix Power Member

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    If you're spending that much time selling then you're doing it wrong. Listen to successful people like Mark Cuban, "the best products & services sell themselves". In fact, I'd say the amount of time you spend selling is directly proportionate to how crappy your service is. On the other hand, if you're providing genuine quality for a fair price - you will waste very little time selling at all. That's the right way to run a business.

    The sites I build these days take anywhere between 300-500 hours to create. These are real, functioning sites that I own. They make me a good deal of money and perform the way real websites are suppose to.

    But the designers who sell shitty 3 page wordpress templates for $1200....they're the reason business owners have to get their sites redesigned 16 times before they find something they actually like. It's both hilarious yet pathetic.
     
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  11. revenue20

    revenue20 Junior Member

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    Most of my sales are going to come from SEO as my website has a good chance of ranking on page 1 (the competition is not so much).
     
  12. revenue20

    revenue20 Junior Member

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    Hi BnB,
    Long time no hear. Thanks for the advice and pointers in that massive post. It's good to hear that you were successful in web designing and how you managed the business.
    Just a few questions:
    What method were you using to build sites (you mentioned something about photoshop)?
    What are fair prices to charge for e.g. 5 page wordpress site, html website? Or should I go with current market rates? Here, guys are offering as low as $150 for a starter website and $200 for a html website.
    I plan on ranking my website on Google for "web design in xxxxx" (where xxxx is my country) as the competition appears beatable.
    On a sidenote: have your YT vids taken a hit lately? I have seen huge drops in most of mine, no idea why.

    Anyway, thanks for your input.
     
  13. jeremonster

    jeremonster Regular Member

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    Don't forget Google Adwords. Everyone needs to remember that the whitest hat of all according to Matt Cunts is the might Adwords. If you are ready to put in some hard work I would say that BreaknBrix's advice is about as solid as you can get.
     
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  14. Gimmicgaming

    Gimmicgaming Newbie

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    In all honesty, yes you can start a business online building websites. I started doing it about a year ago and my business has grown rather quickly and i'm doing pretty well now. I would recommend keeping your job and doing it on the side. You'll run into people that want the world but only have the budget for a simple website. I only manage about 4 websites for businesses and I take on about 1 or 2 simple websites a month. I make around 4k a month, which to me, is great money. Granted I'm Motorhead's web designer. I'm on here all the time looking at all the get rich quick schemes and backlink shortcuts, but i've found that persistant quality SEO will shine through and keep a client happy. I would recommend learning the fundamentals of SEO and building rank through content management and quality backlinks through relationships with other businesses in those particular niches. Additionally, learning the basics of promotion through social media is quite important as more people check their social media than their bank accounts.
    When building a website.... I can't stress this enough... Set yourself limits.

    When I first started I was so busy trying to make everything perfect and exactly how I pictured their website, that I would go over by 2,3 days, sometimes a week! Then to find out that the customer would either have not noticed the difference or worse off, liked what you were working to fix. Don't sweat the small stuff, get the project done and move on. Keep them in your email list and email them monthly with tips and tricks to building their ranking on google and search engines. Every once and a while, add in a coupon for SEO monthly services and they will most likely bite eventually.

    Set up contracts for your clients. Make them buy their own domains. Make them buy their own server (through affiliate links), unless you're reselling. Suggest Themes and Most importantly, Be honest. I've noticed that people can smell your BS a mile away and they might not say anything but their trust in you will drop. Offer free Website deals online, Use affiliate links to have clients buy any necessary products and services that would usually be covered in the design package. It's been a while since you posted this, I hope you are doing well. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message, I'm always happy to help people get their start. I've given away hundreds of guides to people to help them build small business websites in their area, at least for some spare cash!
    -Gimmic-
     
  15. gdevpro

    gdevpro Registered Member

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    I think wordpress is good. It easy to operate. and one that important is SEO. good luck!! :)
     
  16. william19510

    william19510 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Web design is an increasingly popular career choice, and competition could be fierce in your area due to a high volume of freelancers in the industry. Whether you are the owner of a firm with multiple employees or a lone freelancer, learning how to advertise your web design business is critical to your success. Since many freelance web designers and firms market locally and nationally, if not globally, advertising web design must be approached seriously and creatively to reach your segment of the market.
     
  17. iAuthority

    iAuthority Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    mate really appreciate you and you have bright feature you need to update your knowledge and get methods to improve your marketing strategy sure it will help your business