Get yourself a better agency process w/ David Darke

When it comes to being profitable, nothing beats a fine-tuned process. As I grew my agency, some 15 years ago, the first thing I looked into was a process kit by friend of the show, Jose Caballer.

David Darke joins the airwaves today to tell us about his unique process to connecting with clients over at Atomic Smash. I can’t emphasize this enough, having a repeatable mechanism to stay in-touch with your clients is CRITICAL.

If you’re doing any kind of long-term work that requires a minimum of 30-60 days, I’d argue a weekly recap call/email that ensures both parties are meeting expectations. Tune in to today’s episode to find out how David and his team has executed on this in a COVID world.

Please say THANK YOU to today’s sponsors:

Lockedown Design & SEO – If you’re looking for help in local SEO for contractors, manufacturers, or anything close to that industry — give a shout to John! – If you’re looking for an alternative to “big box” marketplaces or looking for new opportunities outside of the .org repo — check out Elegant Marketplace!

Read the transcript

[00:00:00] David Darke: so I, co started an agency called atomic smash. We’re a primarily WordPress agency. when we started out, we were a bit scattershot with kind of what we were doing and we kind of fell into using WordPress as our sort of vault content management system. And, and it really sort of took off from there.
[00:00:17]we, we tried to most will not you to different things to try to Magento. We tried hold her to staff, but as soon as we started using WordPress and really kind of got into the community, it really just paid dividends for us massively. And as an agency we’ve grown over the last 10 years, we. Well, we first started was just two of us.
[00:00:34] Now there’s 14. Hopefully there’ll be 15 or 16 of us by the end of the year. And here for us, just using WordPress days, day has been just really, really beneficial. I think that were all key parts of when we started with us a scattershot approach, we didn’t really have a, any sort of niche or any sort of would say direction when it came to how we found our clients, the way we worked with our clients or anything.
[00:00:56] And the real thing that’s been. Good to us recently [00:01:00] has been, the way we work with our clients and this sort of continuous basis. yeah, and I mean, I can go on further. Do you have any questions at this point or any other bits just to roll into
[00:01:10] Matt Medeiros: [00:01:10] Let’s just jump right into the fire about WordPress. This is something that’s fresh on my mind. I was listening to an interview from another podcast, infamous, not a famous and infamous a individual in the WordPress space, who builds a product and he’s been building or press products for quite some time.
[00:01:26] And he was really just, beating up. WordPress’s code base, the community, the approach, and all of a sudden, and here’s a guy who started early, early days selling a premium theme. and, and he’s on this very popular podcast, really just saying boy, in his words, WordPress code based sucks.
[00:01:44] WordPress is terrible yet you’re out there making a living, selling WordPress products and. In my own Twitter feed. I see people constantly saying things like, Hey, check out this flat file, CMS, check out this jam stack thing. [00:02:00] Yeah. And I sat down the other day. I was like, let me give me, let me give one of these CMS as a trial.
[00:02:04] Let me, let me try something else other than WordPress. And it was like, step one, install composer and your local dev environment. And I said, what. I don’t need, where do I begin? Like then I started looking at local dev environments and then I’m down that rabbit hole and I’m back to it. Then it’s like a, don’t forget, you’re going to have to have ploy workflow set up to publish a blog post.
[00:02:23] And I’m like, I don’t want this. So my question to you is, and I’m not foolish. I don’t think WordPress is end all be all, but I mean, in your eyes, WordPress is. It’s here to stay. Like, I, I don’t think it’s a, it’s a bad choice and it continues to grow. I mean, obviously we’re on a WordPress podcast, but what are your thoughts?
[00:02:42] David Darke: [00:02:42] Yeah, no, I completely agree. I think the main parts. But WordPress has been able to do is again, around that committee. See, and even though, there are definite downsides to the way we’re pressing sets up and in the way it’s structured this database, there’s a lot of things that could be improved.
[00:02:57] And I guess we’ll take a loss of [00:03:00] a huge amount of community input to get changed and, and actually iterate and, and, and do well to do to me, there’s moved, but. It’s really around the community and the support which you can get that really sort of sets it apart in my mind, when it comes to content management systems, we, we actually kind of have a quite solid, definitely my framework, which we use, which is, I guess, when you’re just talking about composer, we actually use composer a lot with WordPress.
[00:03:24] And it’s a more of an advanced setup in that regard. And even the way we deploy, we deploy using a Ruby platform called Capistrano, which uses composer as well.
[00:03:33] If that make sense, do some of the more enterprise level sites. But yeah. But for us, it’s the real key thing to our WordPress does well, is, has a really great community. They had an experience if you manage it well, and, and you really curate that it’s in process. It’s really good. And it’s super simple to get yourself on board.
[00:03:53] Yeah. Even though people kind of struggled with Gutenberg at the start and that sort of transitioning process. You can, we can easily [00:04:00] give a Gutenberg sites to someone who’s never really used the web before. And they can kind of get to grips with editing website pretty quickly. I think that’s the key thing for us and the audience we’re trying to, attract is the people inside businesses that aren’t doing this stuff day to day, that aren’t not, they’re not building their own websites.
[00:04:17] They just want to edit the content or websites don’t want to sell the thing they’re doing. They want to. Communicate with our audience. They don’t want to know how the website works or sorry. They just want to use that and be able to utilize what they’re doing day to day. So, so for those people is it’s, it’s a really valuable tool.
[00:04:33] Matt Medeiros: [00:04:33] Yeah, the, the, the technical costs, the costs while, you know, while it may be seemingly high for some look, if you’re selling WordPress into an organization, it’s not just about tool. the CMS in that moment of time, it’s, it’s the decision for, you know, I guess most companies or larger organizations might be making this decision for at minimum for five years.
[00:04:57] Right? So you’re, you’re not just selling WordPress in that moment. You’re [00:05:00] selling that. WordPress site to other staff, that’s going to with it. what happens when somebody in that organization leaves and somebody else comes in and they need to relearn like the resources available, the education around WordPress is so much greater than name your favorite Gatsby
[00:05:15] David Darke: [00:05:15] Yeah, no.
[00:05:16] Matt Medeiros: [00:05:16] don’t know. I’m just throwing out words here, but like, it’s just like this thing that just exists.
[00:05:20] David Darke: [00:05:20] Yeah, no, exactly. And the mean from our perspective, most of the clients we’ve actually worked with have had some sort of WordPress prayer press site before, or they’ve had a personal blog or they they’ve had some sort of touchstone with it. It hasn’t been just this sort of cold thing they just never heard of.
[00:05:35] And another time again, we started about 10 years ago. At that point, it was almost like a struggle to get people to use WordPress. And, they were thinking about Drupal. They were thinking about, I don’t know what a custom or they’re almost expecting this bespoke things to be built for them. whereas now you have people asking for WordPress, it’s kind of, the market has shifted in that regard.
[00:05:56] So people have gone from worrying about it [00:06:00] as much and thinking of it as this security risk to actually demanding it for their, for their project.
[00:06:05]Matt Medeiros: [00:06:05] All right. So you and I previously about, this crazy world that we live in the impact that it’s had on, you know, freelancers agency life, our most importantly, customers, friends and family, and all of this fun stuff.
[00:06:17] I know that you have a particular. A workflow, a certain methodology that you have to work with customers. I want to get into that and I want to get into it through this story of, of, of how you dealt with COVID. has, atomic been able to stay afloat through all this? How have you been able to support your customers through this and what changed that, you know, you’re now sort of living in this new reality.
[00:06:37] David Darke: [00:06:37] Yeah. I guess Cove for us was I think we’re all agencies quite scary time at the very beginning. There’s a lot of stress around, actually thinking about how, if we need to, to adapt and change. And almost our first reaction was just in the first couple of weeks was essentially just testing the waters with some different things we looked at possibly even like how we might.
[00:06:56] Adapts into doing more hosting for example, but the real key thing, [00:07:00] the way we work sort of day to day, which is kind of been really good for us is the level of support or contracts we have. We CA we actually call them continuous iteration contracts. and for us, We have a really high involvement with the clients that we work with.
[00:07:19] We don’t work with massive, massive companies, but the companies that we do work for, they really see us as a, it’s almost like their digital team almost, and we’re embedded in their processes in their, in their workflows and all those things. So when, when COBIT hit, it was obviously quite a, sort of a worrying time, but.
[00:07:37] Definitely found that the companies that we did work with, they can maintains their, their sort of continuous contracts. and when I say we work with them on that sort of basis, we’re working almost 10 days a month with some of our clients to constantly change their site, to constantly improve and constantly update them.
[00:07:52] And we base our whole scheduling. Around that. So we, the idea of our clients are buying a set amount of time a month and they’re getting that amount [00:08:00] of time. There’s no, really any overspend from our point of view, we’re never over delivering on that, on that side of side. So it really, yeah, he is quite an effective and profitable way of, of, of sort of divvying up time.
[00:08:10] And because of that, it was quite predictable. And how much work. Still wanted as long as, as long as the clients actually had the appetite for it. Some of those contracts reduced down in time, but have now been brought back up. So again, it was just sort of compensating internally for, for how we actually, spend that time.
[00:08:27] But I feel like if we were just a regular agency just going between project to project, to project and not having this sort of after service, like high level of our service afterwards, it would have been very challenging for us because most of those projects would have just halted. Just because of, in communication with teams that have been furloughed or just teams that have other things on that plates, they, they, they’ve got to deal with covert themselves and they’ve got the whole, the other process changes have to worry about.
[00:08:54] So, so for us, that was. Super valuable, having this sort of backlog of stuff [00:09:00] we could be working for still billing our clients still sort of tackling the, the challenges start optimizing doing all this stuff. And it was less of a worry for us. And in fact, we’ve, in this time we’ve been able to grow. We’ve actually had to get another two people to help manage sort of the work and the actual structure of how we are.
[00:09:17] We divvy up the time, for example, just because that’s been fairly consistent, we kind of fell into this sort of way of working. Maybe about four or five years ago where we kind of were, we’re working with a couple of clients that they just needed. Someone to sort of take the weight off their shoulders for their websites.
[00:09:35] They really just, they had other stuff to do in their businesses. They had other, other activities. Even just generic marketing stuff, they wanted to just not worry about the website. So we offered simple stuff, like, obviously do all the WordPress updates, server updates, all the sort of technical side of things, but we really started bundling in other stuff.
[00:09:53] Like how could you, Nicole optimizing your as an editor. Sales, pipelines or even just [00:10:00] page speed. that’s an ongoing task in our mind. Websites are never really finished, so there’s always a task to be done. If you’re willing to let your site grow. And, and for us, it’s been real key. The idea of if you’re just changing your sites slightly over longer period of time, you don’t have this massive update every two, three, four years where you’re having to drop, HUD tens of thousands of dollars or pounds.
[00:10:27] If there’s a small changes consistently, and you can evolve your site in a really smooth and methodical way without these massive lumpy bills, maybe like three years, for example,
[00:10:39] Matt Medeiros: [00:10:39] Yeah. Yeah. That’s a fantastic way to, because that’s in fact what, what a lot of people, a lot of agencies and consultants, they actually bank on that. It’s just like, Hey, in three years, revisit this, you know, and maybe we’ll, we’ll knock on that customer’s door and say, Hey, it’s been three years.
[00:10:52] Like, what do you want to do? But in, in your approach, it’s, Hey, we’re, we’re constantly doing something. Even if it’s the smallest of changes, [00:11:00] just keep, the connection made with the customer. But also it’s a, it’s a great. Cost savings instead of just doing this all at you know, we we’ll just do this in iterations too bad.
[00:11:07] You can’t do that with your house. Right. So that expanding your house, like every, every so often, like I’m going to build another room now and just like next year, we’ll build another room off the side. I guess you
[00:11:14] David Darke: [00:11:14] Yeah. Yeah, no, I definitely agree. I think we should do more stuff. I think for us, the key thing of, in three years time with the same client, you’ve got no guarantee that you’re even talking to the same manager or the same person who you were talking to initially, when you actually, did the first site force.
[00:11:31] There’s no guarantee you’d even get that work in three years time. Cause they might just. even some, some companies, especially in a more sort of third sector sort of organization, they, they might require to actually go to tender for other stuff. So there’s zero guarantee. And, and even, if you can basically skip that step and then we’ve been able to evolve our site over this time, this yeah.
[00:11:50] Need for that procurement process, because you’ve updated the site, would their requirements over that time. Anyway. So is it. Definite change. And it’s also, [00:12:00] it needs a lot of work work in the way of communication. That’s a lot of the time, which we, which again, it’s been that sort of struggle of going from a two person agency to having the balls to actually say right.
[00:12:11] We actually need to charge for our time. Effectively, and we need to charge for the time we’re communicating with you. This isn’t just like a luxury. We’re not just, we don’t talk and then just charge for the moment which we’re charging for these communication time. We’re charging for the meetings and all those sort of things and, and our assure ideation side of stuff.
[00:12:29] And that, that definitely takes a lot of, it’s a bravery when you’re a small agency to really. Please afford and say, you have to pay for our time we’re experts and you have to trust us and, pay for pay for our time. And then when you get to that stage of being able to, actually really communicate with the clients directly, actually scheduling in the time.
[00:12:52] So it’s effective, the way you work with us every month, every other week, some of our clients, we talk to every single week. It just [00:13:00] has a bit of an overhead when it comes to actually the scheduling side and just, just, being a developer or being a website designer, the deputy has a mental toll of switching between projects and constantly communicating with clients.
[00:13:11] So. There’s a lot of things to work out and sort of iron out when it comes to working out a good schedule for these things. But if you’re willing to put in the time of, and the level of communication with clients, they really love it. And they really just, they almost think of you as a partner, then you’re not just this sort of ephemeral team of people hold somewhere over there.
[00:13:30] That kind of look after your website. Basically, when they’ve got a new channel, you mentioned they come straight to you and you’re part of the solution as well.
[00:13:38] Matt Medeiros: [00:13:38] A lot of people that are starting out in, you know, they started a consultant, you know, and I’ll raise my hand guilty as charged. You start out as a solo consultant, you kind of grow your business over time. Maybe you partner up with somebody, you bring on some, a small team of people. And a lot of people hear like yours, or, you know, listen to this podcast and other podcasts.
[00:13:54] Well, how did you charge $10,000 for a website? How did you charge $50,000 for how did you charge a hundred thousand [00:14:00] dollars for a website? And that’s. that’s like, you know, the interesting question. It’s not the right question to me. The right question is how did you find that customer? How did you attract that customer who was pay, that much money?
[00:14:14] You remember somewhere along the timeline? atomic, agency of when you started to hit the right cadence of finding the right customer, I’m sure it’s probably not an easy answer. I’m probably sure. It’s like riding a bike. You fell over a thousand times and then you balance. it’s very much like product development to you.
[00:14:32] You launch something, it doesn’t work, you change it. And then it works. When did you start hitting the right customer?
[00:14:37] David Darke: [00:14:37] I think for us, it was really just the case of. The asking the right questions at the start. realistically, we actually turned down a good number of projects for us. The projects have to work for us as well as, as well as the clients. this is, we definitely want to go in this as a two way relationship.
[00:14:53] It’s not just, they’re throwing us work. We’re doing it. And billing them is a two way relationship. So. Actually getting [00:15:00] a bit of a structure around the questions you ask. And even in the first emails, someone fires you an email about possible new website, possibly projects asking the right questions at that point, abounds, what’s the size of their marketing team?
[00:15:12] How much effort are they willing to spend on the website? if you’re going to do a meeting every week, like, are they willing to actually put in the time, every week to have that meeting? it’s all good, you being there, but if they’re not there as well, then there’s no point in doing it. So if you.
[00:15:26] Almost can create this sort of questions and think about the people you want to work with. And it is a really, it’s a challenging thing is also, it takes a lot of, almost a bravery. That’s kinda the wrong word, but just stubborn. This statute actually really just. Be able to turn down the people that aren’t quite right.
[00:15:45] And we definitely had clients, which probably haven’t been right for us. It’s very stars and we kind of needed the money. We needed the revenue to keep the agency going or just to pay the bills, et cetera, et cetera. But as soon as you kind of get the, the, the clients that you [00:16:00] want and you have a good way of growing smoothly, it kind of solves itself in that regard because you’re not taking on the clients that you don’t need.
[00:16:07] Obviously there’s always. Challenges around what happens if you can’t find the clients in XYZ ed, really for us, because we’ve got this maintenance, sort of mentality to, to how we work and the mounts we’re billing them out. We pay our staff, the mounts, we have in offices, all that sort of stuff.
[00:16:26] We kind of have a bit of a buffer when it comes to those things. In theory, we could lose one or two maintenance contracts before there’d be big impacts. We haven’t really lost any clients. I’ve lost one of those things that it’s, it’s just, it is there’s that sort of careful planning and. Again, there’s a lot of challenges in there.
[00:16:45] Even when it comes to the level of work you have to do before you get to that sort of critical mass of, of being able to work in an, a, in a comfortable way that isn’t stressed or strained or no late nights and, and all that sort of stuff, all that’s kind of [00:17:00] behind us now in regards to we have quite good.
[00:17:02] we have really good culture, but when it comes to the amount of people expected to work late and all that stuff, that’s kind of out of the window, people work a regular sort of nine to five, and it really just is a case of, being structured. Be careful. And just getting, just asking the clients the right questions at the start, I think is a key to that.
[00:17:21] Matt Medeiros: [00:17:21] W what’s your thought on? I know a lot of people. Again, this is probably just my own bias. Well, my own Twitter bias, just seeing what’s happening in like in Twitter streams listening to, you know, it’s other prolific designers, developers, agency owners, who are like, Oh, you can never discount your stuff.
[00:17:35] Like never your stuff. You know, charge value, charge as much as you can, et cetera, et cetera. Those of us coming up in the space, it to me like. If you want to achieve a certain type of customer and follow a certain set of policies, somebody wanted to copy exactly what you did, but they’ve, they don’t have the portfolio up their, you know, their, their talk. They don’t have, you know, the clients, [00:18:00] et cetera, et cetera. I don’t see it being bad to say. Hey, mrs. Customer look, normally I would charge you $10,000 for this project, but we’re going to remove, or I’m going to, I’m going to sell it to you for a half. Here’s all the things I would normally do in this process.
[00:18:17] We’re not going to do I just want to let you know, this is how I would normally operate like these like milestones. We have to hit these meetings. We have to do like still being able to present it. If even if you’re not ready to charge for it yet. the customer doesn’t have it there, but you set those boundaries to say, look in a perfect project.
[00:18:36] If here’s how I operate. I do all these things. If you don’t, if you can’t adhere to this, if you don’t have the money for it, we’ll take this off the table. But this is, this is the way we would want to operate. I mean, is that a fair way to do it? Is, is there a better strategy other than just like crossing your fingers and hoping to get to the next
[00:18:53] David Darke: [00:18:53] Yeah, no, I completely get it. And, and from my perspective, we’re kind of even, we’re, we’re not massive agency. [00:19:00] We’re, Bristol relatively small, but we’d still do that regularly. It’s not a case of, we’re not discounting. The amount we charge, but we just delivering less. So, so for us, we have this a more phased approach.
[00:19:11] So most of the time with, with the websites, it’s very hard to get an MVP, like a minimum viable product from websites. It’s like, kind of has to be almost perfect to be, kind of usable, you can’t just, yeah. The half designed website or half bill website, it would just, won’t be, it won’t be accessible for our clients, but if you can start to chunk up some of these features, like maybe the way that.
[00:19:33] The products are sold or the types of subscriptions you’re selling and all those things. If you can, it’s down to features which might be done in the future. That’s kind of how we sort of tackle maybe projects that have slightly smaller budget or clients who just want everything thing for no money. that’s the real thing, that’s a bit of a red flag when they have an expectation where they should be able to get everything for almost no money.
[00:19:53] That’s for one, that’s a red flag, but sometimes. These clients might not actually know how much stuff costs and you just have to really frame. Right. [00:20:00] Right. Actually adding subscriptions to your website is an incredibly laborious task. it’s not just the actual mechanism of taking subscriptions or the payment gateways or the automated emailing.
[00:20:09] It’s all of every X, all that stuff. They might even realize how difficult something is. They might just ask for it. So. Communicating with clients, making them understand how different well, something is to attain, chunking out features, getting a bit of a release schedule for the actual site in a long term is a better way of how we sort of tackle those things for the clients that might have, have either smaller budgets or just, I just have massive yeah.
[00:20:33] Expectations, what they want for the budgets they have. So, yeah, I would definitely say don’t undersell yourself in regards to like having your day rate or those are the things it’s just reducing what you’re doing. And we have definitely done that with reduced day rates in the past, but. Then there’s becomes really difficult conversations two years down the line.
[00:20:52] When you go to just add something small to the site, and then they get shocked by the bill because you charge them X, Y, Z, two years ago. So [00:21:00] being upfront about how much stuff costs is this key there’s one. our UX designer uses a tool called a Moscow document. Have you heard of that?
[00:21:08] Matt Medeiros: [00:21:08] No, I
[00:21:09] David Darke: [00:21:09] No, it it’s a document where you basically specify the must should, could won’t and I think I said words, let me just like, let me just think is must, should, could, and won’t so that’s what it is.
[00:21:23]and that really breaks down every near full wishlist of what’s available. And that really helps you. Sort of divvy up, what’s possible in this, in this round. And then you can isolate stuff for the future that could be in another phase. And that’s a very clear, granular way of getting to what is then feasible for you to deliver in a budget.
[00:21:44] Matt Medeiros: [00:21:44] Yeah. know, I want to tell a quick story and then you tell me if this is something you’ve ever had, you’ve ever to do. first, one thing I do want to say to that on that regard is look, there’s a lot of people out there who. Who are trying to do all of this as efficient, as [00:22:00] possible, as streamlined as possible.
[00:22:02] You know, there’s, there’s a, there’s a lot of good know, automating having people fill out forms and get all the details before you even get phone, have a minimum on your quote request form that says, look, if you’re not. Ready to spend $5,000 or more than we’re not a good fit.
[00:22:18] I look, I’ve done that. I’ve done that 15,000 different yeah. Ways at the end of the day. If you just had a one hour session with somebody. 30 minutes. One hour, one hour is generally really where I feel is the best. And you just talk to them and you really find out whether or not you want to work with them.
[00:22:37] David Darke: [00:22:37] Hundred percent. Yeah.
[00:22:38] Matt Medeiros: [00:22:38] Gets good. It’s going to save you so much time in the future. A lot of people are like, Oh, free consultation for an hour. Let me tell you something. It’s going to save you in the
[00:22:47] David Darke: [00:22:47] Yeah, a hundred percent.
[00:22:49] Matt Medeiros: [00:22:49] learn what you’re
[00:22:50] David Darke: [00:22:50] Yeah, no. And I think the key parts of this is, and especially with the tummy smash in, in general, we’re very open about our process. And if [00:23:00] people want to ask us questions, we’re very, very willing to answer them and will very willing to give away our tech stack and all that stuff.
[00:23:07] We’re not precious about any of that stuff. So if a client’s, wanted to talk through an idea, we’re very willing to do it. And like you say, it’s a case of. you’re spending an hour of your time. Your time is valuable, but the amount that you can get out of just the small, short conversations is incredible when it comes to, the, where they actually work out with the clients, right.
[00:23:27] For you, or whether they’re, whether your right for them as well, but also just the cause a lot of people don’t, aren’t willing to do it. They’ll you’ll just resonate in their mind for a long time around, this person was super helpful. It could be three years down the line where they are.
[00:23:43] They get onto another project, they get employed by someone else, or they have another challenge. They need to sort, you’ll just be at the forefront of their mind when it comes to that person was super useful at a time. Let’s let’s talk something again. So I think for us, like you’re saying, being super communicative for [00:24:00] the runs about people’s requirements, talking to clients, and we don’t really do much in the way call pitching, but when we really have to do it, or we really want to projects, we will just try and meet the clients face to face if we can, if we have to travel or whatever, just so we can get that, I, to I and real communication done, because it is it’s super valuable.
[00:24:23] Matt Medeiros: [00:24:23] What about firing clients you know, at, my agency helping out there with a that that came through the door, it was this high end, you know, I don’t want to say high end. It was a notable customer in our local market. Looked like a lucrative project from the beginning, lucrative in the sense of like, look we knew, we felt like it was going to be you know, that it looked like things were going to be fairly efficient. It was partnering up with another design agency. So this, our agency would only be doing development. And man did that go South quickly? We quickly learned like this, certainly this wasn’t even [00:25:00] the project. We spent that first hour talking about it.
[00:25:04] We quickly realized this is this wasn’t even what we discussed. And we, you know, We sat and we bared it out for a little bit and we started doing the deliverables that they were asking for. And it was just too many different changes, expectations on our side, changed dramatically to the point where we said, you know, what a difference professional opinions on how this project should move forward.
[00:25:25] I think we should like, you know, and everyone actually kind of agreed because there was just so much tension. Every time we, we got on phone calls. Thoughts on firing clients when to
[00:25:37] David Darke: [00:25:37] Yeah, no, definitely. We have done. And especially, cause they’re going back to almost those sort of comments at the start regarding about having your day rates and say, are saying we’ve done those sorts of things. We reduced our day rate in particular instances. And we’ve got to the point now where we have to have a certain day rate because it’s not affordable for us to have a lower day rate.
[00:25:54] So sometimes communicating with those clients and actually coming to them with a newer more. [00:26:00] Realistic day rate. They’re not willing to pay it. So you’re in a bit of a sort of difficult situation there where they want work doing, but you’re too expensive and that’s just a natural break at that point.
[00:26:11] But when it comes to us, sort of moving on, we’d just be super helpful as possible. Try not to burn any bridges or do anything in that regard. Just, just really be. That’s proactive and helpful, even though in theory, it’s a lost client, not going to get anything from them, just being as approachable. And that’s helpful even with the person you’re handing the stuff off to just be as helpful as possible.
[00:26:34] That’s what we really try and do. Again, it hasn’t happened that much, but it’s definitely happened in the last two, three years where we just needed. it just wasn’t either right clients, some we took on when we were a lot smaller. The ratio was slightly different. They had a different expectation of how much we could deliver in a timeframe or, it’s very, it’s very likely that’s going to happen in the lifespan of an agency.
[00:26:57] It’d be very rare for that not to happen. So [00:27:00] I think as long as you approach a lot of those community, sort of, now there’s talks and a lot of that communication around it is with as much grace and as much. positivity as possible, even though it’s a breaking of relationship, I think it would just pay dividends again for the future.
[00:27:14] And. Again, when you’re handing off to that other developer and you’re respectful of their time and, and what you’re giving to them as well. People notice that stuff they really do. And, and if you need a partnership in the future, they might be the people that actually, Oh, I remember working with them or we got this project that was really well set up and really well built.
[00:27:33] Maybe we could use them as a supplier, all that sort of stuff. It just not burning. Bridges is a key to a lot of those things.
[00:27:41] Matt Medeiros: [00:27:41] yeah, Sort of final question here for folks who are again, looking to grow their consultancy or their where do you see opportunity in the WordPress space? I’ll start it where I think, there’s a lot of opportunities still. for me, it’s, it’s still blue commerce, right?
[00:27:57] I still think launching WooCommerce, [00:28:00] still the sleeper in the industry. That there, that there’s still a lot of opportunity in that space. A lot of opportunity to specialize in space. and it’s, you know, going to be hopefully. And you can speak on this better than I can.
[00:28:11] Hopefully it’s a type of customer that is willing to see value in, building out, you know, an eCommerce store or having a better solution, not just a mom and pop restaurant. This is an eCommerce store. That’s going to be earning you money. That’s where I see opportunity. I don’t know what about you. You don’t have to give away your
[00:28:27] David Darke: [00:28:27] No, no, no. Again, I, again, really just around the secret sauce thing, we don’t really, we’re very willing to give away that stuff. that for us, it is our sort of perfect client and this could be a WooCommerce store. This could be a work, just their website, their sales platform. It. It just needs, they need to know, realize the actual potential of, of what their website can be.
[00:28:49] And it’s not just this brochure. It is a platform they can use to generate money for them. And it’s the thing. That’s there 24 hours a day. Like this is the basic setting picture wall [00:29:00] website could be, but it really is a case of if they notice the value and they know the value of their websites. And they they’re willing to invest in it.
[00:29:09] That’s the, that’s the sort of niche of, of where, where we’ve kind of landed, is finding those clients there, understand that websites are never finished. They need evolving to stay on top. They understand that, right? This is almost equivalent. And especially if you’re a shop, this is almost equivalent to having a physical shop.
[00:29:26] You have to be willing to pay rent and you have to be willing to, to work out how you. Manage your stock, all that sort of stuff is part and parcel for only website. It’s not just you launch your thing is then sits online for free. And then you can just generate a load of money. It needs maintenance, it needs optimizing.
[00:29:42] And that’s where I really see a lot of the, for us the value in our, in our clients and where we are. As you got more of that sort of security from is fine. There’s clients that just don’t understand the value of the website and are willing to invest back in it. And some of these people have been membership sites that are [00:30:00] getting a recurring revenue, and that becomes far easier when you’ve got, a number at the end of the month.
[00:30:04] You’re definitely getting in every single month they can say, right, we’re going to put 20%, 10%, 30%, whatever, back into the website to then keep it growing. And that becomes a. Conversation, you can have rounds. You can actually see the budgets that are available for you and all that stuff. That’s what transparency is really healthy and optimization is a real thing for us.
[00:30:25] And, like we paid speed or getting sales, or there’s amazing tools out there. There’s one which we use quite regularly called Metorik, which is a, sales aggregator for WooCommerce specifically. I think they’re just about to get Shopify released as well, but. That’s amazing at producing sales reports, finding out what’s what’s working well on your own.
[00:30:44] Your store has a bit of an AI component for forecasting, all that sort of stuff. Bungling, utilizing a tool like that for us takes hardly any time to install. It sets up. It’s not that much a month, but we help digest the information and, and, and help our clients use that [00:31:00] information to get more efficiencies back in their site.
[00:31:06] Matt Medeiros: [00:31:06] He’s David dark. His website is atomic The Twitter handle at atomic smashes that actually a photo of
[00:31:15] David Darke: [00:31:15] Yeah, it is. Yeah. Yeah,
[00:31:17] Matt Medeiros: [00:31:17] Okay. Not just
[00:31:18] David Darke: [00:31:18] no, no, no, no. I think that is me in the middle, I think. Yeah.
[00:31:26] Matt Medeiros: [00:31:26] that’s awesome stuff. Working folks who, aside from the website, atomic, where can folks find
[00:31:31] David Darke: [00:31:31] Really just Twitter. Just, yeah, I’m on Twitter, David underscore dark and that’s dark with an E on the end, but yeah, just, just say hello on the, on the Twitter. That’d be great. Just to reach out just, yeah, that’d be fantastic.
[00:31:44] Matt Medeiros: [00:31:44] Everybody else’s Join that mailing list. Leave us a five star review on iTunes. Really helps us get found. We are the number one rated podcast for WordPress in the U S you know, I get to switch my iTunes account to London. See what happens. I don’t know. I don’t know what my ratings are in the [00:32:00] UK, but maybe we can, we can help over there as well.
[00:32:03] Thanks for listening everybody. We’ll see you in the next episode.


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