Don’t Worry, You’re In The Right Place
A lot of these posts were originally on SureFireWebServices.com. So if you found them through search engines or clicking around, this is their new home :). Enjoy!

Podcast

DevBit – WTF Are You Doing?

Seriously? Do you have any idea? You mite. But I’m willing to bet that you don’t. You’ve been doing the same thing for so long, that whatever you do, just makes sense in your head. It may work, it may not, but to you, it makes sense.

I have no idea what I’m doing. At least I didn’t. It took me a very long time, in fact, for one of my businesses, I’m still figuring it out. That business is SureFireWebServices.com. I mean on the front, I think it’s pretty obvious. The site is a blog, and we do development and design for clients, and we sell courses. Do you see where the “I have no clue what I’m doing” falls in?

When you have one focal point on a site, it’s much easier to market and much more effective. For example, wpcurve.com, they only do WP maintenance. OptinMonster only has one plugin to focus on. WPMU Dev – WP Themes and plugins. And the list can go on.

What about us WebPreneurs? WTF Are we doing!? We sell our services. Notice the plural. We do so many things that it’s hard to pin point what’s going to make you stand out or what exactly your going to market.

What about your email list? Why are you building one? Did you even put a strategy in place? Are you planning on eventually selling your services?

My whole point is it’s time to start thinking about WHY we do things as oppose to just doing them. Yes, on occasion, just doing works. But I believe that the ‘just doing’ and having a plan is the difference between a few extra 0’s in the bank.

There are a ton of us that just do. I was definitely one of them and to this day, I will still say that I am. Planning takes time and when you don’t have the time, you tend to just do.

However there’s a mind shift that’s taking place. Pause for a second, and ask yourself, what’s the point.

Using SureFire as an example. I took a look at the business, which I’ve changed 100 times over (exaggerating), and I asked myself, what am I doing.

Why am I still offering a service that will eat up my time?

Why am I continuing to try and get new customers and build new relationships for projects that are undervalued by my lifestyle? Meaning, taking on a $5,000 project but having it last 2 months, which breaks down to only $2,500 a month, which no where near covers my expenses, but still adds all the stress of managing that project.

How many projects do I need to take on in order to live how I want?

Why am I building an email list with no direct strategy in place to sell something?

What am I selling?

Do I expect people to just read the content and that’s it? Do I want my users to take action? Can I expect my customers to hire me after just seeing a few emails? Do I want my users to hire me for service work, or do I want them to buy something?

All of these questions. I have a few answers, mainly money and comfort, but what’s the real reward.

Don’t get me wrong. Some people love this stuff. Some people would rather code for hours and collect a check. That’s cool if that’s what you like. Personally, I’m kind of done with that. I’ve been doing it for 10+ years, and was stuck in the same spot for quite some time.

Once I shifted my thinking, that’s when things started to fall into place and make more sense. That’s where I’m at right now. Coming to a realization that there’s a lot more out there then just trading in time for money in more than just the hourly sense.

There are people out there that are making a TON of money, and can barely use WordPress. As a developer, how many 100k jobs can you take on by your self?

Take a look at David Siteman Garland. He’s the course guy. All his marketing, all his emails, etc., they all have that one thing in common. Amy Porterfield, she’s the FaceBook chick. That’s where all her emails are marketed to.

So the next time you feel annoyed, burnt out, or just wondering if there’s something else that’s out there. Just know that there is and it’s waiting to be discovered. You have the potential to find your passion and make a ton of money doing it.

I made this cheat sheet for you so the next time you go to write your next post, or tweet your next tweet, or even get a new project, ask yourself, why?

Download the Cheat Sheet Below…

wtfyoudoin_poster

Ep. 11 – Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Someone To Hire You Online

I recently posted on another site that I was looking for help with my business (and by recently, I mean last year). I got a lot of replies and looking at all of them gave me a very unique perspective that you only get when you’re on the other side.

By other side I mean the side where you’re not looking for work, but your looking to get work done. The interviewer and not the interviewee. Being an employee most of my life, this is not a perspective that comes by too often, but having a growing business it’s interesting to see why certain people would be selected and others wouldn’t.

Here are a few tips of having someone actually look over your submission as oppose to putting you in the “no way” pile.

1. If they ask you a question, answer it.

When someone is looking to hire you, they know what their looking for. When you avoid answering a question directly it sends out two flags. The first flag is lazy and not caring, the second flag is uncertainty.

Here’s an example: How much do you want to get paid?

Simple right. I just want to know how much you want. Don’t reply by saying, “I don’t know” or “Totally up to you”. Just answer the question.

2. Don’t make the interview do more work.

Similar to the first tip, but in this regard, a user may say something like “To answer your question, go to this link”. That’s not acceptable. The question was asked, just answer it. By making the interviewer have to click your link, browse around or read a post or something like that, it’s a nuisance. Be precise, and take the time out to answer the question thoroughly.

3. Read the description and make sure you understand it.

Sometimes people are so anxious to apply that they don’t know what they’re applying for. The employer took the time out to write a description of what is needed and what is not. Don’t reply with answers that are clearly on the ‘not’ column. It just shows you skimmed the content and didn’t read.

4. Don’t get crazy with your rates.

I always quote fixed prices, but when it comes to hiring, I like to know hourly rates of freelancers. This may be a personal decision, but it’s the way in which my projects are delivered that I do this. In any case, don’t be outrageous with your hourly rates.

If you had a job and you’re not experienced, you’d probably make about 15hr – 20/hr. If you are experienced and are considered a professional, you can start pushing towards $40, $50, and even $60. A full time employee that makes $100k a year makes about $48/hour at 40 hours a week. Now $100k is a pretty damn good salary. I definitely understand as freelancers, we’re not doing 40 hours of straight work, so of course higher price tags will occur. However, if you’re experience is a 6 or 7 for the required position and you’re asking for $75 – $100 an hour, that’s a flag.

As an employer, I would pay 100/hr to someone, but if I do, I would need to know that there’s no 3 hour billed time of trying to figure something out. At the higher rates, you need to know your stuff and know it well.

5. It always helps to know who you are going to work for.

Do a little research. Read a post or two. See what the company is about. Make sure it’s a good fit for you and that you’re not going to regret the decision later or waste the employers time. This also helps in conversation. If you know a little bit about the person/company, you’ll tend to be a better fit. It’ll also make you look more appealing to the person whose going over your responses.

6. Don’t compete with the person/company hiring you.

As a freelancer looking for web work, I definitely understand how this can be hard. The key here is if you’re a freelancer, you should advertise as a freelancer.

In a lot of cases a freelancer will promote themselves as a business, or a web agency or something similar. The hard part is when someone is looking to hire you for THEIR web agency it can look like all your doing is leveraging an opportunity for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but it will raise a flag.

There is an overlook in certain circumstances since the web world is SO big, but I personally think the flag gets drawn when a niche business see’s the same niche on someone their trying to hire.

As an example, one of my businesses is a web maintenance service. Now if someone who is trying to work for me ALSO has a web maintenance service, that’s not good. Granted, all intention may be well, but until we get to know each other, you’re technically in direct competition with me and now have access to my clients.

Ep. 10 – Network Your Ass Off

Hey, what’s up everyone!?  This episode took me 3 tries to finally get done.  The reason is because I initially had no idea what to talk about. So after recording 2 Devbits, I just went for it.  This is the final result and I have to say, I’m pretty proud.

Here’s what you’re going to get out of this episode:

  1. Learn about the benefits of networking and how it worked for my business.
  2. Some updates on what’s going on in my life/business.
  3. My Pet Peeve with Facebook Groups and some more information on mine and why you should join it or any other facebook group for that matter.
  4. Why I haven’t rapped on my outros recently.
  5. BeaverBuilderVideos.com and why this plugin is amazing and how I’m adding more value if you ever use it!
  6. How I validated the BeaverBuilderVideo site.
  7. The benefits of a thank you / confirmation page.
  8. The awesome effects of up-sells.
  9. Let’s be friends on FB.
  10. How I manage all these damn businesses and podcasts and videos.
  11. DevDiaries are coming to this site real soon, but for now, check them out on YouTube.

I suck at show notes and I procrastinate, for those that need everything to be perfect, sorry, not me.  Hope you get some great value from this episode.

As always, if you haven’t had a chance, please review the podcast.  Feel free to to leave a comment below or if you have a show suggestions, feel free to contact me!

You are all awesome and thank you so much for all your support!!

09 – DevBit – Webpreneurs are like drug dealers.

Moral of the story, stack your money! We’re entrepreneurs. Our minds are a flood of ideas and projects that could potentially be the next million dollar hit!  We try and fail, and try and fail, and then try some more, and probably fail.  But it only takes that one time… Read More

Ep. 8 Interview with Carrie Dils

In this episode, I speak with Carrie Dils.  Carrie is such a sweet heart and speaking with her was such a pleasure.  She’s a developer primarily in the Genesis Framework and is currently working at Crowd Favorite. When she’s not knee deep in code, she’s doing an awesome live video podcast called OfficeHours!  Used to be called Genesis Office hours, but times have changed and it’s amazing how Carrie has grown in her career.

In this episode, there’s a ton to take away.  This was recorded last year when Carrie was in the middle of a transition with her career.  She drops some knowledge bombs about freelancers, finding the right audience, and so much more.

I like the fact that this interview is a year old because you can here a lot of what she was doing compared to what she’s doing now, which is a pretty incredible transition.  Applying the right steps, talking to the right people, and networking in general really pays off.

Some TakeAways

  • Are you calling yourself a freelancer?
  • Leverage your Network
  • Leverage your audience! – This was one of my favorites.
  • Importance of Accessibility in Web Development
  • What is mobile first?
  • We get into Dev Talk, tips for all you devs listening 🙂

Carrie also goes over her top 5 favorite plugins, a must use for all developers!

Links

OfficeHours.fm – Carries Podcast

CarrieDils.com – Her Main Site

Utility Theme – Her Starter Genesis Theme

Stream – There’s another one too that I was going to sign up for and totally forgot what it was called.

She also Teaches at Lynda.com

Ep. 7 DevBit – Don’t Believe The Hype

Business is like a puzzle.  You think you have all the pieces only to find that one essential piece missing.  That one stupid piece.

It’s the piece that you need in order to make it over your business hurdle.  The hurdle could be anything.  Maybe it’s breaking a income cap or getting things organized, or getting more traffic.  You need that one thing!

Don’t rush.  You’ll get it.  Everything takes time.  Those overnight success stories that you hear are just not true.  There’s no magic recipe that’s going to get you 1000 email sign ups in 30 days, or 2000 people visiting your brand new site in one day.

Be patient.  I heard a song that said “It took me 15 years to make it over night”.  Even Noah Kagan says “It takes about 5 years to make a million dollars.”  You here all these success stories of people and the “secret methods” but the truth is, you’re on your own journey.

You dedicate yourself to the journey that you want.  In time, things will come, but the key word here is time.  You need to build your network, build your audience, build your brand.  Building is done over months and years.

When you have something that’s finally built or growing, then you can start to leverage it.  That’s when the “overnight success” starts to happen. If you’re just starting out though, don’t be fooled.  You’re going to have to work and stay dedicated.  If you give up, then nothing will get done.  Keep at it. Keep hustling.

Have any tips? Leave them in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review on iTunes!! 😀 Thanks!

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