Sagely Wisdom from a Cabinet-Maker-Turned-Web-Designer

Dec 19, 2023

Many of you know my mentor, Josh Hall.

If you don’t, get familiar with his work. You will learn a lot and enjoy yourself at the same time.

Josh recently shared a post on his Facebook page highlighting the commonalities in his students who “never hurt for clients.”

Not a bad position, right?

I wholeheartedly agree with what he shared.

I want to warn you, though, some of it may be a little spicy. Perhaps even a little triggering, because it bucks up against the traditional wisdom.

So each of these points are his, but any commentary is mine.

1. They aren’t the “best” designers – they focus on what they’re really good at and have team or partners for the rest

That’s facts right there.

Any way you slice it, the VAST majority of those I meet who are hurting for clients have a solo shop. Do with that information what you will.

Maybe it’s a time thing. Maybe a fear thing. Maybe something else entirely.

But the ones who are not hurting for clients know their strengths, execute on them, and leave the rest to others who have those strengths.

Speaking personally, I’m motivated to do the work to bring in new business so that my team has work. That in itself is a strong motivator.

2. They prioritize great communication

Oh yes.

In fact, in our agency, “radical overcommunication” is a core operating principle.

We want everyone on the project to know where things stand—especially the client.

In our industry, ghosting clients is a huge problem. And it’s probably because web designers aren’t charging enough. But I digress.

Surpass the client’s expectation in the communication department, and watch your business grow.

3. They focus on client retention over constant client acquisition

Josh, you’re singin’ my tune, friend.

Absolutely. And you know what kind of business allows you to focus on retention instead of acquisition…? 🙂

Ding, ding, ding! Subscription Web Design!

Without a recurring revenue solution, focusing on retention feels moot. Honestly there’s not much to retaining someone on a maintenance plan. Sure, there are value adds and other things you can do. But it’s not the same as building a system where the client pays you every month, forever, as a primary mode of working together. That’s a different kind of focus.

Of course, you need to acquire clients.

But you’ll be on the hamster wheel of client acquisition until you form a foundation of recurring revenue for your business.

4. They have a strong community support system for when they get stuck


I STILL go to Josh’s community often to share wins, help people, and just engage.

I’ve made lifelong friendships there. It’s totally worth looking into.

Whether a paid program like Josh’s Web Designer Pro or my Subscription Web Designer Insiders, or even a free community like The Admin Bar—find where your people are online and do life with them.

Otherwise, it’s lonely out there.

5. They’re constantly branching outside their comfort zone (in all areas)

This is a HUGE point.

Stay reserved, and lose. Get after it, and win.

It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from the book Entreleadership:

Increases in activity should be based on a certain boldness. Timidity and passivity don’t work in capitalism, so you must make the bold proclamation that you and your company have arrived and the market should stand up and take notice.

Now I have to admit, this is not easy for some to do. Including me. I get annoyed at people who only post about their business all the time.

But the fact is, the people seeing success are not afraid to share far and wide that they’ve arrived and are here to serve.

You should break past those fears and let people know.

Seriously, if you’re not following Josh’s work check him out on YouTube. You will enjoy his podcast and it will help you grow as a web designer.

You might even hear from Yours Truly on there every once in a while 🙂

Here’s the Gorgeous link: