Niching down your web design business

In this episode, Matt Medeiros interviews Sara Dunn from the 11Web Agency. Sara is a website maker and SEO Consultant running a remote business based in Battle Creek Michigan. She talks with Matt about her recent use of YouTube and how she is committed to producing regular content along with creating a niche for her freelance business.

Listen to this episode:


What you will learn from this Episode:

Creating a remote team:

  • Sara’s business team was initially started by hiring a local coworker to do web development and support in the business. (3:54)
  • Another remote coworker was brought on to help with design. (4:11)
  • A Virtual Assistant was added to keep projects and everything organized. (4:22)

Lessons learned:

  • When you are looking to hire a remote worker for your business you can give them a test project to evaluate their skills. (6:40)
  • A remote worker needs to be able to meet deadlines and communicate well. (6:50)
  • You need to find people who are comfortable with the remote working lifestyle and are used to working alone or on the road. (7:15)

Challenges of Growing an Agency:

  • There is a challenge of trying to find the “right” customer who is willing to budget and pay for the level of service that you are providing. (8:26)
  • Many new customers are found through networking events and referrals.  (8:50)
  • The pool of people who want to pay for a great website gets smaller as the prices go up. (9:00)
  • It is difficult to find clients from a wide geographic area when you are working as a generalist. (9:19)
  • It can be very helpful to create an interesting niche for your business where clients take notice. (9:40)
  • Making the pivot in your agency to a specific group of businesses can be scary. There is a lot of training, marketing and adjusting of internal processes when you make a change to specialize. (11:22)
  • YouTube is a great tool to use for personal branding and to create a niche for another industry.  Sara is focusing on wedding professionals and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). (12:26)

Executing a Business Pivot:

  • You still need to pay the bills and collect money so launching another business under a new brand and separate website makes sense. (14:29)
  • Keeping the original brand and business keeps the risk lower and current customers happy. (14:40)
  • There is not a strategy for using YouTube around a personal brand. (16:19)
  • The videos are created with a genuine approach with “this is how I feel.” (16:52)
  • The feedback from viewers has been very genuine and supportive around the pivot. (18:11)
  • Pushing content with a helpful approach can direct the audience to a common thread. (20:06)
  • The audience seems to find the videos coming from a place of honesty and originality and is keeping people connected. (21:16)
  • The YouTube video creation consists of 1-3 hours a week. (24:36)
  • You do not need a lot of equipment to get started with a quality video that is original. (25:01)

Episode Resources:
Sara Dunn
Lunch with Brad

To Stay in Touch with Sara:
Sara on YouTube
Sara on Twitter

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