How to Start a Web Design Business in 24 Hours


– [Patrick] Building my
own web design business is the most fun I’ve
ever had while working. It was also a ton of work. There is nothing easy
about building a business, and the same goes for building
your own web design agency. It takes commitment, persistence,
courage, and consistency. There are no shortcuts except,
of course, when there are. And I want to give you some of those shortcuts right here, right now. I can hear the frustration
in my dad’s voice already. In this video I’m gonna give you a 13 step plan to follow
to build your very own web design business in just 24 hours. Yep, you heard that right, 24 hours. It can take longer, of course, but that all depends on you and the current level of your
web designing skills. Okay, no more idle
chitchat, let’s get to work. Number one, ask yourself why. No, seriously, ask yourself
why you want to do this. As I just finished saying, starting a web design
business is a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong, the fruits of your labor
will be so worth it, but you need to have your goals and objectives clearly defined. When you get stuck in a line of code or have to deal with a demanding customer who has no idea what they want or need to turn down yet another social invitation to meet a deadline, you’ll need to revisit why exactly you’re doing this in the first place. It will keep you motivated and consistent. For me, I wanted to build
a location-independent online business that allowed me to spend more time doing things I love. To do that I needed to keep my life simple and make a modest income. After extensive research, it
became clear that running my own web design business would
allow me to do just that. Two, find your niche. You’re probably sick of hearing
this cliche beaten to death, but do you want to know
why it’s repeated so often? Because it’s 100% true. This is especially the case
in the web design industry. Web design is so incredibly crowded. The competition is fierce. Worse yet, many people have had negative experiences with web designers. For some, just hearing
website design said out loud is enough to coat their brain in molasses. How many times have you received
a broken English phone call or email from India trying
to sell you web design? For some, this is the
first thing that comes to mind when someone
starts talking web design. Between intense competition and negative associations with your work, you’re going to have your
work cut out for you. It’s not enough to
simply be a web designer. What makes you different? Why are you special? What do you have to offer
that no one else does? Answering those questions
will help you carve out your own small piece of
the massive web design pie. While searching for my
own web design niche, I discovered that while
everyone was offering websites that were
beautiful, professional, responsive, and affordable, essentially no one was
selling fast web design. That was my ticket. I built my entire business
around that simple premise. While most designers take
weeks or even months, I can build your website
in just a couple of days. In one case I even built a website for a gentleman in less than 24 hours. Three, establish your brand. You know what I called
this web design business that specialized in fast website design? Rapid Web Launch. Catchy?
No. Sexy?
Not at all. Easy to remember? Not really. But if you had to ask someone what I do based on the business name alone, I’m pretty confident that they’d be able to answer correctly. A successful brand does just that. It effectively communicates your value proposition as simply as possible. Your brand is made up of
things like your logo, color guide, slogan or tag line, and your voice and messaging. Let’s break each of
these down a little bit. First, your logo. If you have the cash, have a professional graphic designer make it for you. But if you’ve got nothing in
the piggy bank like I did, you can make your own logo, but make sure that your logo will look great no matter where it’s placed, like social media channels, for example. Next, your color guide. Pick two or three colors that will be the core of your entire brand. These will be used in
everything from your logo to your website to your
marketing materials and everything in between. Next, your slogan or tag line. Make it simple, but catchy. Mine? Fast and affordable web design guaranteed. And finally, your voice and messaging. Maybe you found this one a bit confusing. See, you need to think of
your brand as a person. What are this person’s
values, likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses,
style of speech, age, gender. It’s important to consider
your target audience when developing your brand’s messaging. If you’re going after the
60-plus seniors crowd, then they’re not going
to want to listen to some beanie-wearing, Frappuccino-sipping, Snapchatting punk like you. Four, register your domain name. Now that you’ve come
up with a company name, brand, and logo, it’s time
to register your domain. Just a quick note here. Some people like to check
and see if their preferred domain name is available before
settling on a company name. So, if you want, you can
reverse the order of steps number three and four if
you’re one of those people. There are myriads of companies that you can use to register a domain with, so feel free to pick
whichever one you like. When I first started out I
wasn’t aware of many of them, so I settled on GoDaddy. Now that I have more experience, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them. Too many little things they do annoy me, but it’s not quite enough to go through the hassle of moving somewhere else. I’ve read a lot of good
things about Namecheap, and many fellow bloggers seem to use them, so you can check them out, if you like. That said, depending
on the web design tool you decide to use, you
may not even need them. Five, pick the right website design tool. Now things are getting interesting. There are so many different website builder tools these days. I’m sure you’ve heard of a bunch of them. Here are some of the most
popular options to choose. Let’s take a quick look
at each one, shall we? First off, Weebly. Weebly is my personal favorite. It is by far the easiest
to use and makes it super simple to allow
your customers to edit their own site when they really need to, a big feature that pretty
much everyone wants. Also, from a business perspective, Weebly has a separate
version of their platform made just for web
designers like you and I. This makes it really easy to white label their products and present
yourself professionally. Some snobby web designers write Weebly off as being too simple, but that all depends on your perspective. My target audience is
small business owners who want to get online
fast and affordably, and Weebly offers exactly that. Weebly is especially useful
if you don’t have a lot of web design skills and
you’re just starting out. When I first started my
business I started with Weebly. Since then, as my skills have improved, I have upgraded to my
new favorite platform and the most popular one
in the world, WordPress. WordPress is extremely
versatile and customizable. You can make WordPress become
anything you need it to be. In fact, my own blog and almost all of my websites run on WordPress. But with that awesome versatility comes increased complexity. There is a rather steep learning curve. If you are a complete web design newb, you will probably find it challenging. If you’re going to become a web designer, you should learn WordPress at some point. Until then, use a simpler tool like Weebly to get some experience under your belt. Shopify, if you’re
specifically focusing on building e-commerce
websites for your customers, then you need to building
with Shopify, straight up. Shopify is the number one e-commerce web design platform in the world. They’re constantly pioneering new products and ideas to make selling
goods online dead simple. And they also have a reseller version of their platform where you
can build multiple sources of income with their various products. Squarespace, I have been advertised to by Squarespace on
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, TV, radio, billboards, and pretty much all of
my favorite podcasts. They’re everywhere. There’s no doubt that they’re popular, but to be I honest, I can’t
say I have an opinion on them simply because I’ve
never used their product. I recommend you check them out for yourself and see what you think. Wix, Wix is another popular do-it-yourself web design platform. Simpler than WordPress, but a
bit more advanced than Weebly, it boasts a number of features that I’ve yearned for on Weebly’s platform. But from my experience, their website loading speeds
can be very inconsistent. Just something to keep in mind. Give it a try for yourself
and let me know if I’m wrong. And Jimdo, I know nothing
about Jimdo, honestly. I know they’re a small player in the do-it-yourself web design
world and that’s about it. So, it didn’t feel right to
not include them in some way. Now of course, these are not your only options to choose from. There are many more options and web design platforms out there to pick from, but I wanted to narrow it down
to keep it simple for you, and I believe one of these
tools would be your best option when first starting out building
your web design business. Six, it’s time to build your website. Whoop, whoop, let’s get building. You now have everything you need to get started on your own website. I can make a gazillion separate videos on what it takes to build
a successful website, but ain’t nobody got time for that. For now, just remember
these core principles. One, keep it simple. Less is more. Clean, minimal, beautiful. Two, your website is nothing without high-quality images and video. They should make up about
70 to 80% of your content. Three, always design
with the phone in mind. The majority of traffic
now comes from mobile. Ensure your site is 100%
responsive for all devices. Four, speed is everything. Make sure you’ve compressed
all of your images to ensure they are all as small as possible without sacrificing quality. And don’t add too much fancy coding or bloated apps and extensions. Five, make it crystal clear what you expect your visitors to do. Guide them down that path. Want them to subscribe to your newsletter? Buy a handmade cup warmer? Call you? Show them how. There’s obviously a bit more involved to building a great website, but this is enough to get you started. You’ll learn as you go, just like I did. Seven, choose your invoicing platform. You do like getting paid, don’t you? You want an invoicing
platform that makes it super easy to design beautiful
and professional invoices, automatically tracks expenses, you’ll thank me at tax season, has automated recurring invoicing for subscription-based products, and can process credit card payments. I use FreshBooks for my invoicing and Stripe for my credit card processing. FreshBooks now has a built-in
credit card processor, but it’s only available
in Canada right now. Plus, they integrate
with Stripe seamlessly. They also have a free version, as well, perfect for when you’re
first starting out. Eight, set up your credit card processor. Like I said, I use Stripe. Don’t start building sites for clients until you have this set up. Almost everyone wants to pay
with credit cards these days. It protects both you and your customer. You’ll also have the ability to preauthorize charges from customers. I don’t start any job until
I receive a 50% deposit. 50% before the job starts,
50% once the job is done. Weeds out all the sketchy folks. Nine, promote your shiny
new web design business. You’ve got your logo,
brand guide, website, and invoicing and payment
processing set up. Now you’re ready to start building websites and makin’ paper. First, set up a profile
on each of these places. Google My Business,
number one and crucial. Google+, yes, seriously. Yelp, just as a placeholder, really. Facebook, if you think need to. I personally hate Facebook
and I’ve deleted it. Twitter, my personal fave social network. Pinterest, great for blog traffic. YouTube, if you’re not
videoing, you’re way behind. Instagram, I don’t use it for
business marketing personally, but more as proof that I
practice what I preach. Reddit, Reddit can be very
useful if you have thick skin. And finally, Quora, mostly
for thought leadership. We’ll leave it at that for now. Remember to only pick a handful of these platforms to invest your time into. If you try to use all of them, you’ll spread yourself thin
and accomplish nothing. Stay focused. Ten, finding new clients. This is the hardest part about
being a web designer, by far. There are a lot of different places online where you can find people
looking for web designers, but let me tell you this. Your most valuable asset is your network. Your friends, family, coworkers, social media contacts,
current or former customers, anyone you have a decent
relationship with. These are the people that
will help you get started. It will take time. You’ll need to be patient and work hard, but you will start to
see a snowball effect as you finish one website after the other. One delighted customer spreads the word to everyone in their network,
and so on, and so on. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, here are some other places that could be good for freelancers like yourself. Upwork, Upwork is the most popular freelancing platform in the world. It has its fair share of both
ambassadors and attractors. You can find some decent
paying jobs on here, just be prepared to put in a lot of work to stand out from the massive crowds of intense Indian and
Filipino competition, especially when you don’t
have experience to lean on. Guru, Guru is like Upwork, just smaller. Enough said. Google Maps. Want new web design clients fast? Go local. Pull up Google Maps, find
all the local businesses in your area and see
if they have a website. If they don’t, go pay them a visit. If they do, but it sucks,
go pay them a visit. I can hear you complaining already. I have to talk to people in person? But I suck at sales. I’m too shy to do that. You know what? The best stuff happens in that little area just outside of your comfort zone. You can do it. Craigslist, it’s old school,
but it can still work. Most people who know
nothing about web design, but know they need a website have no idea where they should turn to
to find a web designer. So, they head to the
same place they look for anything else they need
to buy, Craigslist. Get on there and start
replying to people’s requests. Just be ready to not get paid much. 11, obsess over your customer experience. When you finally land that
first web design client, you need to treat them
like a freakin’ princess. I’m talking mind-blowing levels of good. Your customers will always
be your most powerful asset. From the moment they first find you online to the second they send you final payment, they need to be wowed. Nothing is too small. Every little interaction should be furthering your brand’s message. For example, here is what my visitors see after they submit a request for a quote. You might have to hit
pause to read all this. It’s small, but it’s more memorable than thanks for submitting,
we’ll get back to you soon. And here’s what happens when my blog visitors get a 404 page on my blog. Again, you’ll probably have
to pause this to read it. If you can perfect your
customer experience, you will have no trouble building a successful web design business. 12, implement scaling and automation. Automate as many tasks
and procedures as you can. Things like sending
invoices, payment processing, email communications, lead generation, funnel management, there’s
a lot to unpack here, and I’ll have to talk about
it in separate videos. I’ll post them here as I do. For now, just focus on getting off the ground and gaining new customers. 13, think of additional
services you can offer. Small businesses need websites, but what else do small businesses need? Things like logo design, branding, search engine optimization,
content marketing, blogging, video production and editing, and website management services. Get creative. How many problems can you
solve for your customers? I started out offering nothing
but web design services. As I sharpened my skills, I
branched out into additional products and services like
the ones listed above. At the risk of sounding redundant, be careful not to spread yourself
too thin in the beginning. Start with building
your web design skills, then slowly grow from there. I’m now at the point where I have a small team helping me
to keep up with demand. So, are you ready to start
your own web design business? No matter what, this
will take a lot of work, but nothing in life that
is worth having comes easy. While you can certainly follow this guide to have your web design business built and ready to go in just 24 hours, you can also take your time with it and grow at your own pace. No matter what, just start. I feel like I provided a
pretty clear path towards building a web design
business from scratch. I hope you found it helpful. If you need some help, shoot me an email at [email protected] Thanks for watching. (techno synthesizer music)

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35 thoughts on “How to Start a Web Design Business in 24 Hours

  1. Hey, I just turned 16. Till now I always wrote an entire page with a custom admin panel and everything. I also read a few articles where it said that WordPress isn't so popular anymore and you shoudl rather learn something else.

  2. Great video, man. Seriously. You had some great tips I haven't heard from other similar video, such as marketing your brand as 'rapid' to communicate a specific quality of the brand. It was a simple, straight forward and well done video. Keep up the good work! Subscribed!!!

  3. Thank you for the content! Really helped me planning my web design business. Do you really price your web design $39? I think thats too low.

  4. Hi great video full of awesome content I am interested in starting a small business in web design I am a noob, but have a great interest and am very tech savvy. I am a single mom in need of some extra income, and I am not going into this to "get rich" just get out of living paycheck to paycheck. I have a few ideas for marketing already a target audience and a purpose, however I need advice on this hosting part. So I am really not interested in providing ongoing customer service to clients I know that sounds terrible, but I just don't think I have the time for it and don't want to pitch a "monthly maintenance fee". I don't know if that kills me in this business, but I really just want to build it and pass it on to the client do you think this could work?

  5. Hi Sir, I find your videos very informative. I have a business idea and I think you would be one of those most able to advise me. I wish to use a website builder to build simple responsive websites for small local businesses such as restaurants/takeaways/estate agents, small hotels, cafes, desert cafes, barbers, grocery stores, DIY stores, banquet halls, tradesmen such as plumbers or electricians, … all in the UK. They would need 4 to 10 pages, such as the home page, about page, menu/products page, contact page and some would need a page for events, a page for bookings, faqs, our projects/portfolio and maybe another page for services offered or about other branches. I would definitely have to most of the time add the custom logo and some pictures of the business at hand also. The websites must be secure for paypal and debit/credit card payments, then I get the hosting and domain names. After that I sell the website to the customer for a modest fee compared to others who completely code their websites, then ask for a small monthly fee to cover the hosting, maintenance and modifications. These websites need to be fairly quick and easy to use. Not slow and crashing at times. The website site builder logo must NOT be apparent at all. I need to take the credit but obviously these types of websites won't be very advanced, hence low fees. The main reason I'm considering this business idea is because I see many local small to medium size businesses have no website or they do but it's not mobile responsive website. Most of them don't have big money to pay web designers. Plus they only need simple but responsive websites and some SEO tweaking. All this made me think about reseller programs. Plz help me out, direct me, advise me as I am very hesitant and confused at the moment and don't want to make a massive blunder. Thank you.

  6. I am a full-time software developer. Mostly jAva web development. Also good handson in wordpress,wordpress seo etc. Want to do freelancing. Unable to get client so far. Will this help

  7. What about hosting, for instance Fox's philosophy is to not bother with the business once the site is done, but you charge 39$ monthly, I guess that's some sort of a passive income, and you rent your servers, so how much profit do you see per site.

  8. I am feeling very inspired after watching your video! I've been a web developer/designer for nearly 5 years now working for someone else's business, and I think it's time to start working on my own business now! Thank you so much! 🙂

  9. I have a name for my business, a few logo ideas, and I know my focus. Once I do all of this, what about having a license (LLC?) and making sure no one steals my name and logo? Thanks for the awesome video!

  10. Great video for those who want to startup their business. Also working with small budget clients. Personally I had to go thru everything stated in this video. After years building for those client, thank god im out of that zone. No more cheap clients for me. But great video for those who want to start.

  11. Hey I noticed you only talked about the platforms to create websites .I understand perhaps of the actual context of the video. but were do the people who use text editors stand? I myself started out and learned creating on text editors. Is it necessary or perhaps useful to actually use one of those platforms to work ,if I know "code". What can you tell me about this? thanks in advance.

  12. @t I like your 13-step program in 24 hours. I had to subscribe to your channel and I think we can do some videos together as my channel has similar videos to yours.

  13. I like what you said about brand and I also think it works the other way around where the person him/herself is the brand as well. I also agree what you said about checking the domain ahead of time before reserving the domain name. One thing I do disagree with: You said not using GoDaddy, but I have my clients using them and they are always improving. All web hosting companies are annoying in some way, shape or form and I have had bad experiences with 1&1 which I will never use again, so GoDaddy has been better to me than 1&1 ever was, but that us just me. I also tell my web design coaching clients to use GoDaddy and I signed up for their GoDaddy Pro account.

  14. Squarespace and wix are garbage. Super slow, bulky, and features are minimal and restricted by a pay wall.

  15. Thank you soo much man 🤩am about to start my website design business but I was like confuse 😇 where to start but new here we go 👨🏾‍💻

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