Can I Get Rich Working with Agencies?

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On today’s episode: working with agencies is a great way to fill your client pipeline on a regular basis. But if an agency is going to “white label” your services, how does the money work? Who gets what? How much? And when?

These are the types of questions Nathan is asking himself as he grows his business. He’s got a few partnerships in the works, but he’s not sure how to set up the money side of it.

Naturally, we have a few ideas for him to try. Plus, we talk about how much to charge in your particular market and more.

Key Takeaways from this Episode:


  • Don’t give away your processes and expertise. These are valuable assets that make you a unique and valuable service provider. If you give them away, agencies may be able to hire someone else to do the same work for less money, making it easy for them to remove you from their business.
  • Stay away from percentage profit-sharing. Instead, set a fixed fee that you will charge your client. Then they can choose how much to upcharge their client to make a profit on your partnership. You should set the terms of your income, not their ability to sell.

Episode Transcript

This transcript was auto-generated and may have grammatical errors.

00:00.00
Preston Lee
Hello and welcome back to another episode of freelance to founder. My name is Preston Lee with millo.co and joining me on the air today is my friend Clay Mosley from gitrify.com hey Clay I’m ready I’m ready.

00:11.46
Clay Mosley
What’s up Preston you ready.

00:15.71
Preston Lee
And we are chatting with our new friend Nathan who is in Australia he’s up early in the morning to chat with us today. Welcome to the show Nathan we’re excited to have you. Why don’t you start off by telling the listeners and us a little bit more about your business. What are you working on.

00:23.80
Nathan
Hey there.

00:34.74
Nathan
Well, um, over the last ah month I have decided to launch a agency called web astro um I was previously just operating as a freelancer under and gallon online. But um, after listening to you guys as podcasts I thought it might be a little bit of a time for a change. So I’ve been sitting on this project for about a year now and I wanted to make something a little bit more commercial and a little bit more accessible web astro.

01:03.28
Clay Mosley
What what is the name again and you went.

01:07.38
Preston Lee
Why don’t you share your? yeah, what’s your url and people can check it out. We can look at it as well or cha.

01:13.65
Nathan
Ah, so that is Web Astro Dot co.

01:14.94
Clay Mosley
Cool and then you were under What was just your name. Okay, Web Astro sounds really cool. Yeah I was gonna ask? Yeah I was gonna ask how do you spell that but I was like.

01:19.40
Nathan
No is under and gallon dot online. Yeah yeah, yeah, don’t have to spellill it out.

01:24.31
Preston Lee
Web Astro Dot co and it’s It’s definitely easier like you don’t have to tell somehow spell it and yeah, very cool website. Very cool website.

01:34.93
Clay Mosley
You know it doesn’t even matter because I know how to spell Web astro.

01:37.61
Nathan
Yeah, exactly exactly.

01:41.80
Preston Lee
Looks really nice. Awesome. We get to see a picture of you here while we chat. So That’s good. Good man I mean this is this is legit I’m curious like what what did you hear from our show that made that that sort of sparked or or gave you the last push I guess to make this happen. You said it’s been. In the works for a while I’m just curious like like what about the show motivated you to to finally take that next step and launch. Ah an agency.

02:08.63
Nathan
Well, it’s ah just a part of your intro really trying to move away from that Feast Famine sort of lifestyle and trying and create something a bit more sustainable. So um, really just moving towards trying to get more retainer clients.

02:15.12
Preston Lee
Um, ah.

02:27.16
Nathan
Work on getting monthly income through web design and content creation. So setting those sorts of things up because a lot of my previous work has generally been through logos and um print design and that sort of thing. So.

02:39.74
Preston Lee
Ah.

02:43.99
Nathan
Just trying to change things up a bit.

02:44.19
Preston Lee
Yeah, okay, so so previously you’ve done logos and print design and what are you hoping to do now with Web astro.

02:53.44
Nathan
Ah, yeah, so web design branding and content creation and then.

02:54.30
Preston Lee
Okay, yep I see that right on your services page cool and so why why leaving the print design and the logo design behind.

03:04.50
Nathan
Oh man. Um, if you scroll down on the on the on the service page. There’s like I offer like it’s hard to know 20 something services. It’s it’s utterly ridiculous. So I’m really needing to niche down.

03:09.84
Preston Lee
Oh I see I see. Okay so your print and logo actually still falls under branding of course so you haven’t left it behind you’re you’re still offering that. Yeah.

03:20.63
Nathan
Yeah, none. Ah yeah, yeah, because it’s a little bit more inclusive than just making a logo there. So yeah, so um, yeah, definitely been um, a bit of a journey so I actually gave you guys the wrong.

03:27.76
Preston Lee
Yeah.

03:38.23
Nathan
Email originally because I actually had web asster dot com today you and I hadn’t actually even made this website or anything yet. So yeah, it’s been ah, it’s been a busy month.

03:46.35
Preston Lee
Yeah, it must I mean it’s an incredibly well put together website. What did you use to build it have you built it from scratch have you built it on a platform.

03:56.52
Nathan
Yeah, just built it on wordpress with like ah the Divvy builder and just um, Mael man custom graphics and everything.

04:01.46
Preston Lee
Yeah, wow, That’s a lot of work and it looks really really fantastic. You ought a listeners. You’re not getting the same visual treat we are as we look at the website but it’s really well put together. So kudos to you? That’s some.

04:06.39
Nathan
Just.

04:15.29
Clay Mosley
You wait you did ah you did this on Divvy Builder that that’s I’m telling you right now that that’s impressive.

04:19.40
Nathan
Um, yet it.

04:19.24
Preston Lee
It’s advanced that is advanced Divvy work. Yeah.

04:25.10
Nathan
Yeah, so I used a whole suite of different plugins. So I used Divvy Builder and Divy Pixel and um Divvy Pixel adds a lot of extra little bits of fun functionality to kind of flesh it out a bit.

04:29.54
Clay Mosley
Um, yeah.

04:39.10
Clay Mosley
Um, yeah I like this ah I like you guys can’t see it but I like this like all this little where I can mess around with the constellations. Yeah.

04:47.30
Nathan
Yeah, that’s funny if you click you can like they pop out and then you can actually push them into the border and then they reappear on the other side. Yeah, it is it really is.

04:57.51
Clay Mosley
It’s like a game. Wow, there’s a way to increase your average time spent on a website on your Google analytics anyways, go ahead. We’re getting sidetracked.

05:05.19
Nathan
Ah, yeah, and yes, sir.

05:05.26
Preston Lee
Yeah, there you go. Ah, it’s a no, It’s a good. It’s a good looking website and you you know what? like sometimes. Ah sometimes you know we see a great looking website and and it’s like this thing is not going to convert you know the copy is not there. The.

05:11.20
Clay Mosley
I’m in my I’m admiring it out to to be be quite honest. Yeah.

05:23.65
Preston Lee
Layout’s not there the call to action is not there. You’ve actually got a lot of this nailed down I mean you know I could argue maybe some headline work on your main headline. But but like you’ve got a start here button top top front. You’ve got your services clearly laid out learn more buttons on all of them. Got your picture. It looks great. I mean there’s ah, there’s a button under each section. There’s ah, our process and then it says let’s begin you’ve got testimonials I mean you’ve really thought through not just not just a great design which it is ah a great design and fun and engaging and interactive. But you’ve also thought through like. What I would call the marketing pieces of it right? The the pieces that actually matter more than how it looks um in my mind and and you’ve you’ve nailed those too. So Yeah I I mean.

06:13.58
Clay Mosley
Yep.

06:14.40
Preston Lee
Really great, really great example if anyone wants to go take a look webastro dot co and we’ll be sure to link to that in the show notes as well. Let’s talk a little bit about where your business is headed Nathan um, as as most of our listeners know when we have a guest like you come on for a coaching call.

06:17.56
Clay Mosley
Are.

06:31.68
Preston Lee
We ask you to thought this short questionnaire and one of the very first things we ask is on a scale of 1 to 10 one being a freelancer 10 being a founder where would you rate yourself currently right? and um, in that questionnaire you put that currently you’re ah, a freelancer you’re at a 1 but you’d like your business to be at a 5 so maybe closer to a founder have some processes in place um have some systems maybe some repeat clients recurring revenue things like that. But why don’t you paint a picture for us. Let’s say a year from now. Um in ah in a perfect world scenario. Dream scenario for you Nathan what a year from now what does web astro look like as a company.

07:10.84
Nathan
Um, I think one of the things that would be really great is to have a little team working together to do some of these projects So um, particularly when it comes to the services. Um I’ve adopted Of. Similar pattern to you clay in wanting to do the no upfront cost on the website itself and just have it span over a year. So yeah, it’s a fan aspect model model.

07:30.72
Clay Mosley
So yes, finally somebody that comes on here. That’s like actually gonna want to do it.

07:40.68
Nathan
Ah, dude, it’s it’s awesome and um, I’ve just included um, hosting and maintenance as a part of that package and um, yeah, so I’ve I’ve got some questions about that later. But um, yeah, it’s It’s something that I’d love to outsource all of the maintenance side of things. So then I don’t have to once I’ve done the website I don’t have to essentially touch it again and then the client can like interface with um, whoever we’ve got on board. The team. Um I have ah I’ve i’ve. Just partnering with a mate um to do all the via videoy and photography side of things. Um I’ve also jumped on board with ah your idea of going to local networking events and all of that sort of stuff so I went to a chamber and. Met up with somebody that does content creation and copywriting like so um, they’re going to be ah North Queensland

08:33.10
Clay Mosley
So nice. What part of Australia and where I could say you say that but I have to like go Google that where is that in relation to the island like. Is that okay, again have where in you okay is it is it on the east side or they like the central or what east okay okay I was I’m just curious I’m just curious. Anyways.

08:52.22
Nathan
Ah, so it’s near the reef and the great barrier reef up north up North North ah

09:01.79
Nathan
Yeah, yeah, yeah, east.

09:08.87
Clay Mosley
Continue please.

09:09.99
Nathan
Yes, so I got a it’s a pretty small town. Um I don’t know I don’t remember further further. It’s really quite quite remote up there. So I’m in Townsville so it’s ah yeah.

09:15.52
Clay Mosley
Um, is it near Brisbane or no further. Okay, got it.

09:26.64
Clay Mosley
Um, okay, well that’s plenty of people.

09:27.46
Nathan
Pretty far away from a lot of things but how many people 80000 I think something like that. Yeah, not at the moment. No I work online a lot. So a lot of my clients are in Sydney. Um.

09:33.54
Preston Lee
That’s yeah, that’s a good size. Do you do you work a lot with local clients or or do you work whatsapp. No yeah.

09:47.21
Nathan
And that sort of thing. Um.

09:48.66
Preston Lee
So somewhat local I mean same same time zone ah same continent. Yeah good. Well Okay, so.

09:54.76
Clay Mosley
Yeah, same same island.

09:56.50
Nathan
Same continent. Ah.

10:04.79
Preston Lee
I’m hearing a lot of like um, ah words like outsourcing recurring revenue um, putting systems in place and I really love that you’ve come to the show having listened to I can tell a number of episodes and and sort of painting this picture of where you want to be headed because sometimes we’ll have someone come on and. And they’ll ask us these very basic questions and and which is fine. We’re happy to help. However, we can. But what I love is that you have the foundation of some of the things we’ve already talked about in previous episodes. So now I feel like maybe we can talk about some more advanced things. Maybe we haven’t talked about before or we can even just dive deeper into stuff that we haven’t had a chance to dive deeper into. I guess the real question is Nathan from here to take the conversation. Um, what are you seeing as some hurdles or some big questions that you have as you project over the next twelve months okay here’s where I want to be but this this and this are standing in my way paint us a picture and let’s. See if we can’t tackle some of those questions for you.

11:03.70
Nathan
Um, it’s hard to say really?? What are some of those things that I’m going to be bumping into until I kind of bump into but some of the stuff that is come up at the moment is that I have. Um, found a couple of different people that are really keen to work with me. Um, and they don’t want to employ me and they don’t necessarily want to have me as like a contractor because it’s kind of like a part of their team. So It kind of really seems like a white label service. So I kind of come into their business as kind of looking like I am a part of their team but just essentially filling out a whole section of their service. So um, kind of yeah so.

11:46.60
Clay Mosley
And are they agencies?

11:54.52
Nathan
There’s a print company in Sydney that I’m good friends with lovely people and um, just wanting to expand their business. So then it doesn’t just include print. Well they do a lot more than print. But um, yeah, so then it includes more web stuff and marketing stuff as well. So.

12:08.30
Preston Lee
And are are they wanting you to interface with their clients as well or or so when you say they want to white label you What? what does that look like functionally.

12:13.00
Nathan
No.

12:18.95
Nathan
Um, well it’s more my words I’m not exactly sure of the terminology surround that so it’s like I would come in and do all of the like setting up an infrastructure for them to be able to onboard clients to getting websites through them and set up packages with them and.

12:21.33
Preston Lee
Yeah.

12:36.79
Nathan
They would invoice the clients. Um they would ah it’s essentially they would do. So do all the the client work and they just hand me the jobs and I hand them the bill.

12:48.18
Preston Lee
Got it. So So this is really just like a subcontractor I mean is there something I’m missing there. It feels it sounds like it’s just like a subcontractor. Essentially they they work as the as the point between the you know they they interface with the client. You Never really see the client. Um. You do the work and they mark up your cost by 50% or whatever and take the profit for for managing the process.

13:13.15
Nathan
Yeah, totally it’s kind of like that. But except I’m also handing over all the ability and systems be able to replicate it in the future.

13:21.87
Preston Lee
Um, to replicate client projects….

13:23.55
Nathan
Like get I like making making websites and setting up like systems and all that sort of stuff Maybe that is just what a subcontractor it is and I’m just getting it. Yeah in a way. Yeah.

13:29.27
Clay Mosley
Setting it up for them to be able to do without you dude!

13:32.81
Preston Lee
Without you. Yeah, that’s the question. So it’s a one time. It’s a 1 time gig for you continual.

13:39.66
Nathan
No no, it’s a continual continual. So like I’m going to be working with them over a longer period of time. But.

13:44.87
Preston Lee
I Guess I’m not understanding that so it’s like can you give us maybe some concrete and a concrete idea of like what would you be setting up for them that then they would use perpetually.

13:57.46
Nathan
So um, I’m going to be setting up ah like how they would receive a client how they would process all the information to then be able to be used in creating a website creating all of the like.

14:11.61
Preston Lee
I see Okay, okay so you’re going to be working on like onboarding documents client questionnaires which meetings to have when how long it should take based on their needs All of those kinds of processes.

14:15.14
Nathan
Ah, set standard operating procedures for setting up the website and then setting up the website.

14:18.48
Clay Mosley
Um, oh okay.

14:28.59
Nathan
Yeah, all of that sort of stuff. Yeah.

14:31.16
Preston Lee
Okay, okay, and then is there is there vision that then you come in that that piece does feel like a 1 ne-time setup right? And maybe it lasts a year but but you come in and you set that up and you get it going very smoothly is their vision then to bring on 2 or 3 other nathans who follow this process that you’ve set up.

14:49.25
Nathan
I haven’t I haven’t asked actually. But yeah, but I’ll be doing all of the websites as well. So I’ll be building the websites for the clients that they then onboard.

14:50.18
Preston Lee
Um, the yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, the risk the risk is right like you go in and you set up all this stuff for them and then they.

14:54.36
Clay Mosley
Um, I would ask.

15:05.61
Preston Lee
Have all these great processes in place and they undercut you and go find someone who charges half as much as you do because they have now your professional processes and they they think oh like we can maybe find a cheaper actual web designer or someone and then they cut you out of the picture and so by not keeping any of that proprietary to your business.

15:12.24
Nathan
Um.

15:18.37
Clay Mosley
Yeah.

15:26.20
Preston Lee
Um, so I would just I would just consider in your in your agreement or even in your process your processes. How can I give them as much value without um, ah making myself dispensable right? removable from the process and from the from the. Relationship Clay I don’t know if you have more to add to that. So.

15:45.96
Nathan
Yeah, right? yeah.

15:48.11
Clay Mosley
You are You are you charging? Are you charging? um for all that setup and all that stuff or you or you just charging for the website builds.

15:58.75
Nathan
Um I haven’t even thought about charging for all of this setup stuff. So.

16:01.46
Preston Lee
Oh yeah, no, you charge for that.

16:05.19
Clay Mosley
Yeah, you need to this is this is a if I if you keep doing this I promise you it’s inevitable you It’s gonna it’s gonna happen what presing just describeds. Someone’s going to do that. Um, so I think it’s okay that.

16:19.92
Nathan
You’re on.

16:22.76
Clay Mosley
You go and you set up all these these processes and all that stuff I think it just needs to be talked about on the front end and I also think there needs to be compensation for that. Otherwise you’re doing a whole bunch of I think you’re just setting yourself up.

16:31.81
Nathan
Right.

16:42.87
Preston Lee
Yeah I I um I think you know as you look at service providers right? which this is what we are we provide services. Um, unfortunately in many cases and for many clients ah service providers feel like. Um, a commodity like there’s a million of us and in their mind you know most of us do kind of close to the same caliber of work and so it becomes a game of like who’s the cheapest who’s the most affordable but still delivers a great product.

17:17.44
Preston Lee
And what often sets us apart as service. Providers is is the other piece of how we run our business right? The onboarding the client communication. The um, the like how clay sort of etched out these these differentiators like no upfront cost to a website. Unlimited monthly updates things like that those are all differentiators where if people are looking at 2 web designers and 1 of them you pay 10 grand upfront for a website and you get no updates without another charge and then they look at Clay and you get you know at the time what two hundred bucks a month or something no upfront fee. And unlimited changes then they’re going to take Clay’s offer and that’s why Clay’s Clay’s business blew up when he launched that offer because because they weren’t looking like at his talent or they were to an extent but but they’re saying like there’s thousands of web designers that are as talented as clay. But his offering was better his process his business. His system is better. Um, and so I’d be really hesitant to give that away to another business and let them use processes you ideate and come up with and you know, onboarding documents and whatever that you come up with that. Could potentially set you apart I don’t know that that to me there’s there’s some hesitation there because because that becomes then part of your product not just a website but this whole process.

18:42.92
Clay Mosley
I Yeah yeah I’ve done it before um I think I think it’s just a simple question of like whenever somebody you’re talking to somebody and they’re talking to you about like hey like we want to whitelabel you or subcontract you whatever. However. Whatever phrase you want to use but I think the question is oh okay, are you wanting to hire me for you know, ongoing Web Builds or are you also are you looking at me to help build out your your internal systems depending on how that answer that question is answered then you can charge accordingly like okay. If they say we need help with our internal systems. All the bla be now you say okay well I can help you do that? Um, It’s an extra $5000 or however, much you want to charge to do that and then here’s my here’s what I charge for fee for websites be able to do that for you? Um I’ve done that before i’ve.

19:33.90
Preston Lee
Yeah.

19:38.90
Clay Mosley
I’ve had a web agency hire me straight up just for one day um to help them build out their own internal web team. It was literally for a day and I I just charged them $5000 for it.

19:53.33
Preston Lee
See and I think you could charge way more for something like that if they if like if there’s an agency and let’s say they’re doing all this non-web stuff and they want to build a web design arm on their agency that is worth so much money in perpetuity for them. Um, you know I.

19:55.26
Clay Mosley
Are.

20:05.78
Clay Mosley
For sure.

20:11.24
Preston Lee
Depending on your relationship with them. You could risk asking for a percentage of their web business over the next two years you could you know it it for sure does but but like I just think I just think you’re giving so much away by going in and building their business.

20:16.91
Clay Mosley
I Gets messy though.

20:19.81
Nathan
Well.

20:28.21
Preston Lee
For a 1 ne-time fee

20:32.54
Nathan
So Well part of the ah the thought was is that I would be charging like I would charge them ah like ah the cost of the website and I would keep I don’t know whether this even sounds good or not like I would I would be doing 80 I would keep 80% and they would keep 20% like of the cost of the website. So I felt like it was like them just on onboarding clients and this is I guess a part of the other question of like how much should they be like what sort of percentage should I be working out. And how to kind of navigate that side of things because in a way It’s kind of like I am keeping 80% of the web business but are you saying like after I leave then I still keep a certain portion of the web Business. So.

21:23.35
Preston Lee
I was yeah I was saying if they are going to use your processes then you would get a cut in in perpetuity or for you know for a couple of years or something um off of those processes processes that you build for them whether they whether they use you as the web designer or not. Guess my biggest fear is you go and you set up this whole giant process. You get paid 3 or $5000 to do it once and then they start hiring other web designers to use your process and you get cut out of the loop if that’s not a risk if you don’t sense that that’s a risk. Um. And you know, maybe you don’t have to worry about it.

22:03.96
Nathan
I I I don’t necessarily see it as a risk but at the same time you wouldn’t want to put yourself in a circumstance a circumstance where it could be a risk. So um, yeah I’m definitely going to be thinking about that and um.

22:13.93
Preston Lee
Yeah, like yeah or or maybe maybe when when you agree to set up the processes or whatever you’re setting up for them. Maybe that just comes with like a 2 year contract and then you’re you’re going to be their sole web design provider or. You know do a certain number of projects or something over the course of 2 years I just think you want to make I think why do you say that.

22:40.52
Clay Mosley
I See that sounds so messy to me that sounds so messy to me I don’ well because it it just gets like now you have to keep track of um this is almost like a profit share Slash This is almost like a proper your group.

22:53.66
Preston Lee
I like okay but cut out cut out the profit share thing though if he just had I you you can only hire me to do web design work over the next two years is that too messy too.

22:58.36
Clay Mosley
Yeah.

23:06.70
Clay Mosley
Ah, no and I gets kind of I don’t know I think it’s kind of messy whenever you’re talking about percentages and here’s why because um, they are the ones that are selling. It. Not you you know what? I mean. And so it’s there’s so many different variables that come into play. Um, when ah, okay, let’s just say me I let’s just say I’m an agency and I’m talking to you Nathan and I say hey I I want to hire you.

23:44.45
Clay Mosley
To do all our websites right? Um, regardless of setting our systems or you know, whatever today if I sell my websites for $300 a month right? over a 2 year contract we sure we can. We can. We cant. You know we can ah what am I trying to say set up an agreement where you get a percentage but like what if I raise my fees which I have in my agency I think over the span of 4 years. My first agency we raised our fees like 7 times. That sounds like a logistical nightmare to keep track of as far as like how much I need to pay nathan on which website what percentage you know what? I mean.

24:28.77
Preston Lee
Yeah, you’re saying as the agency owner it sounds like a logistical nightmare. Yeah no for sure.

24:32.33
Clay Mosley
Yeah, because like the more because like cost costs go up as as as an agency grows right? It’s like I got to hire more people we got to get an office. We got to get a second office therefore we got to raise our fees now I got to keep track of how much I got to pay. I don’t know I’m thinking of it from ah from an agency perspective I would never pay a a web designer a percentage unless unless they are um unless I do some sort of equity share.

24:50.76
Preston Lee
I.

25:07.46
Preston Lee
Um, yeah.

25:08.96
Clay Mosley
That’s the only way I would do it that now that’s me personally I’m not saying I’m not speaking for every other agency out there.

25:13.19
Preston Lee
So I think you’re I think this is good because I think you’re addressing maybe a second the second question. So so now if we move out of this idea of like I think let’s let’s. Let’s put a pin in this or wrap up this Ah this idea of like the setup fee I think we’ve talked about a couple options there. So. The first option is you just go in you do it for a flat fee and you don’t worry about what might happen in the future. Another option might be you go in you set it up with with the understanding that you’re going to be there. Only web guy or their first web guy contact or whatever for a certain amount of time somehow you got to figure out how that how that looks in your business. What I think Clay is talking about here is now this second question where you said should I you know should I do like an eighty twenty split or what should it look like. And I agree with you Clay I actually think Nathan you should have your rates that you just charge the agency and the agency has their race that they charge the client and it’s not a split It’s like Nathan charges this and we can choose to like let’s say Nathan’s going to charge us $1000 for something. We can charge the client 1100 and take $100 profit or we can charge the client 5000 and take a 4000 profit and Nathan you don’t care because you’ve set your rate already something that’s fair and what you feel like you deserve and they can fluctuate on how much they charge the client and you don’t even have to be involved in that.

26:20.99
Clay Mosley
Ah.

26:34.51
Nathan
Yeah I Really like this.

26:35.32
Preston Lee
And so yeah.

26:36.72
Clay Mosley
That’s the benefit that’s the benefit. That’s why like when you when you originally mentioned an 8020 where Nathan you get 80% and the agency gets 20 that will never happen. You know why they will hate the deal that will never happen because.

26:46.18
Preston Lee
Yeah, first of all, they’ll hate that deal. Yeah.

26:53.94
Clay Mosley
And I will tell you it is a lot less expensive to pay. It doesn’t even matter what your fee is. It’s a lot less expensive to pay you to build a website than it is to obtain a new client. So. That’s why that that’s not proportioned right? it cost. Ah it cost a lot more to obtain a client. Than it does to actually build a website for a client.

27:15.34
Preston Lee
Um I think yeah.

27:16.11
Nathan
Oh yeah I I agree and I definitely thought I was getting the better end of that deal and I kind of was like wait a second I don’t feel like this is fair for them because they’ have my friends and I actually care for them and whatnot. Um, but it’s ah.

27:23.10
Preston Lee
Um.

27:32.20
Nathan
1 of the things that we did talk about which I thought I might throw into the mix is that I’m not going to be charging monthly for their websites. It’s just going to be upfront. So it’s going to be less messy. Yeah yeah.

27:39.22
Clay Mosley
Yeah I do the same thing too I think it’s different I think it’s different when you’re white labeling. Yep.

27:41.83
Preston Lee
Yeah, for an agency. Yeah yeah, and that makes total sense to me and then they can bill it out to their clients. However, they want if they want to do a monthly thing or an upfront thing. Whatever you essentially I think when you’re subcontracting that makes total sense to me, you’re just.

27:51.11
Clay Mosley
Um, yeah, yeah, that’s smart.

28:00.90
Preston Lee
You are an expense on their list of expenses right contractors and it’s like well we need to pay Nathan you know 3 grand for every website that he builds for us or whatever it looks like.

28:04.91
Clay Mosley
Um, well.

28:11.76
Clay Mosley
Well, here’s here’s why here’s why I Nathan I’m glad you did that because here’s why it does not make sense to do it monthly with ah with an agency where you have 0 contact with clients. Is because you cannot control the client service right? does that make sense. Yep they do and I don’t I wouldn’t I wouldn’t do it. Ah I wouldn’t do something over 2 years

28:31.62
Preston Lee
So you go you don’t control the lifetime of the of the client the lifetime value of the client they do? yeah.

28:32.68
Nathan
I Yeah yeah.

28:44.29
Clay Mosley
Unless I had 100% direct control over how that client is treated.

28:47.23
Preston Lee
Yeah, that’s a good point. That’s a good point. Well Nathan where where do we take it from here I think this has been this has been eye opening for me a bit to consider.

28:50.31
Nathan
Yeah, right? okay.

28:56.48
Nathan
So um.

29:02.36
Preston Lee
This? Ah, but but what’s still missing where do we Where do we take the conversation.

29:08.30
Nathan
So um, well the thing is is that I kind of threw this idea around when I was chatting to somebody and then somebody else is essentially come along and wanted to do something very similar to what I’ve kind of worked out with these guys in Sydney. Um i. To me else I’m trying to I find it a bit messy and I don’t really like the whole idea I would prefer to kind of be more partnered and part of a team to kind of make make this sort of happen. Um, what are ways that you can do that as more of or like individually. But not like this white label thing is there a way that you can kind of do this as kind of like an affiliate. So how does that kind of work and like if I get a client from them. Do I give them like like a thank you amount of money that is to say like hey you.

29:52.31
Preston Lee
Um.

30:03.33
Nathan
Gave me this client. Thank you for that and is there like what.

30:04.90
Preston Lee
Yeah, in some industries they might call this like a finders fee or something Um, where you you you give them a percentage of the job or something if they send a client to you is that kind of what you’re saying.

30:16.12
Nathan
So yeah and if so what sort of percentage. Are we talking about.

30:21.45
Preston Lee
Yeah, that’s a good question clave you ever done that.

30:22.33
Clay Mosley
And I you know I tried to do this and it was never successful and when I say that there’s a couple ways you can do this or try to do this one is you can. Come up with like an affiliate program or a finders fee program. Whatever um I think like 10 percent fine if you go anything above that you’re you are definitely eating into your profit margin. Um, so 10% of whatever the entire contract is.

30:59.16
Clay Mosley
I’m not a fan of that just to be honest, um, that’s one way and you can promote the affiliate program to try to get people to refer you here’s the reality people are not going to refer you because you have an affiliate program. They’re just not. They’re going to refer you because you do good work. And you have good service and they actually like you as a person. Um, so just the fact that you have an affiliate program. People are not going to refer you because of that by itself. Um, so I mean people try to do it that way and in in this industry I don’t think it works in general. Um, the other way is. What you could do is you can have it have this program but not publicly. So if somebody refers you business because they just like you and your work is good then you send them. You can send them a check for you know the 10% or whatever as ah as an aftermath like they were not expecting it so that to me, there’s a difference. There’s a difference between someone referring you business because you have an affiliate program. They want to get paid versus someone referring you because. They actually think that it would be a good fit and then they get a a check in the mail that’s unexpected. Um, if you’re going to do an affiliate program. That’s the way I would do it and honestly I wouldn’t even do it that way I would do it this third option if somebody were to.

32:33.84
Clay Mosley
To send you a client I wouldn’t I wouldn’t write a check because if somebody referred to you a client just because you are just good at what you do. They don’t really care about the money now would it be nice to have sure that but they don’t really care. Like they don’t not. They’re not expecting it. What would go a long way instead is to buy them a really really good gift. That’s not a check that goes 10 times further does that make sense.

33:10.66
Nathan
So yeah, yeah, totally? um I think that would work if it was like a one off sort of deal. But um, what the the circumstance that I’m looking at with this affiliate partnership is where. They run an event company and they want to ah Outsource Um, like people that like music artists to come to me to get a website for their touring and all of that sort of stuff so it would be like a continual like.

33:40.74
Clay Mosley
Oh gotta gotta go. Okay.

33:46.96
Nathan
Hey we’ll send you like a client whenever you know, but it wouldn’t you know what? I mean so I’m fine I’m like you know, feeding them.

33:51.31
Clay Mosley
Oh okay, yeah in that case then? um yeah I would I guess an affiliate program would make sense on paper at that point I thought you were thinking about like just in general people trying to trying to get more business.

33:54.10
Preston Lee
Ah.

34:07.99
Clay Mosley
By creating an affiliate brand but for for something like this where you guys share kind of similar target audience. Yeah, that makes sense. Um, yeah.

34:14.92
Preston Lee
So yeah and where it’s already where it’s already set up. Ah and you know you’re like already in in discussions potentially with them and the you know we’re calling it an affiliate program. It’s really just like yeah.

34:25.77
Clay Mosley
To referral program.

34:29.10
Preston Lee
It’s it’s a referral. It’s like a referral partner. We’ve talked about referral partners before on the show. It’s it’s like a finder’s fee or ah, yeah, an acquisition cost or something. Yeah, but I yeah I mean I’d be inclined to just just um, yeah, give them. Give them 10 15 20% whatever you feel like and and then just work it into the price. Um and do a few of them and see if it pans out if the if the musicians actually come your way and want the work and are willing to pay and because you know that can be a tough audience too. Low cash flow and.

35:03.27
Preston Lee
So yeah, it’s definitely worth trying though I don’t know does that answer some of your questions around that Nathan.

35:08.80
Nathan
Yeah, certainly um I just had very little ideas surrounding how to actually engage in these sorts of things because I’ve I’ve not really um, yeah, had these sorts of partnerships. Especially the white labeling stuff I’m like I have no idea. Is very very uncleo for me. Ah.

35:26.99
Preston Lee
Yeah, the white the white labeling I would encourage you to to think through how that might just look like a subcontractor or contractor relationship to me that makes the most sense. Um.

35:38.49
Nathan
Um, yeah.

35:39.18
Clay Mosley
Um, yeah.

35:39.20
Preston Lee
White labeling white labeling when you say white labeling to me that that feels like you’re going to be interfacing with the client and that’s not really what they’re asking I don’t think it sounds like you know what? I mean so you’re really just subcontracting the actual service work. Um, and.

35:47.56
Nathan
Right? okay.

35:53.83
Nathan
Yes.

35:58.10
Preston Lee
And then you don’t have to worry about percentages. They’re just hiring you. You know when I build a house I hire the tile guy and he just has a rate and we don’t split the cost of the house or whatever I just pay him However, much to do the tile and then I pay the paint guy. However, much to do the paint and then I pay.

36:06.28
Clay Mosley
Um, yeah.

36:14.85
Preston Lee
The flooring guy to do the flooring and they just have their rate and I just say great I agree to that rate I’ll pay you that and then I can sell the house for whatever I want right? good. What I mean.

36:23.20
Nathan
Yeah, totally.

36:29.23
Preston Lee
Ah, we’re we’re coming up short on time here but is there anything else Nathan that you want to you want to chat about before we’re done with our call here today.

36:33.91
Nathan
Oh my goodness I got so much to talk about. We’ve only scratched the surface. Oh.

36:37.32
Preston Lee
Ah, lay it on us man. Let’s see if we can do him a little bit quicker here. What can we? What can we do.

36:42.43
Nathan
Ah, um, ah gosh ah well talk Clay ah now ah because um I love your um your your concept of the monthly service and all of that sort of stuff. So I’m trying to really build that into my ah my.

36:53.41
Clay Mosley
It is.

37:01.21
Nathan
My services um and trying to make that all work. Um, so you’re doing because I haven’t really picked up exactly on the the the specifics and maybe you are not wanting to share the specifics of the way that you kind of go about those amazing. So um, some of the ideas that I.

37:13.66
Clay Mosley
I’ll share it.

37:18.90
Nathan
Was looking around is doing the twelve month or twenty four month terms um like what sort of um service are you providing? are you building like a fully custom job every single time or is it kind of like pulling out of the bag of tricks that you’ve already kind of got there and um.

37:21.70
Clay Mosley
So.

37:38.61
Nathan
Kind of adapting it to the particular client’s needs like um I don’t know there’s I’m just really curious about how you’re going about that sort of process.

37:40.77
Clay Mosley
Um, yeah.

37:48.55
Clay Mosley
Yeah, so here’s what I did um so everything I did was on wordpress. Um, so everything’s you know, easily you can easily like replicate things. So what I did was I had a I had a website. That had all the core things on it. So all the core plugins. All the like the theme. All my settings everything that I know is gonna be exactly the same ah for every single website and I use that as a blueprint and that would be my starting point now with. With the a what I would do though is if I have a if I signed up a client and I’m like okay, their style is going to be similar to client a I would actually go and duplicate client a’s website but then change it from there. That make sense. Yeah I wouldn’t I wouldn’t like take that exact same design and say hey like I’m reusing this design. It’s just ah, it’s just an easier starting point that would save me hours and hours and then by the time I’ve done. It looks like a completely. It looks like a different website but like.

38:44.80
Nathan
I Yeah perfectly. That’s what Ah, that’s what I am pretty much doing.

39:02.63
Clay Mosley
You know you know from as well as I do like ah on the backend. There’s just a lot of things that are the same you know so you don’t have to like spend your time duplicating certain elements. Um, but from a client’s perspective. It looks different from from this other website that I duplicated from um.

39:19.75
Nathan
So hundred percent

39:21.85
Clay Mosley
So yeah I would do that? Um, just to speed my my process of actually building the site and then um from ah from a ah like just administrative perspective. Ah did you ask about that or no.

39:38.73
Nathan
I No but I’m all he is.

39:41.81
Clay Mosley
Okay, so I would do a twenty four month agreement now the way I did it was it was not. They were not financially obligated to pay the full full twenty four months this is what all my web friends told me I was effing crazy for um. Among other things but it worked so if somebody wanted to like buy a website for me I’ll be like okay it’s twenty four month agreement however you’re not financially obligated to pay me for the full twenty four months if you want to quit after six months or nine months or three months or whatever you can. The difference is is the transfer of. Ownership on the design doesn’t happen until the twenty fourth month so if they quit because for whatever reason I know life happens right? Maybe their business got shut down or whatever. Um, if they quit then they don’t have. You don’t have to go through the whole mess of like oh sorry you owe me 18 months worth of payments because you signed on a piece of paper that you actually said you’re gonna pay like I don’t I didn’t want to go through all that it just wasn’t worth it to me. Um, and so but the but the the caveat to that was is that. If they quit before the twenty fourth month that design is mine I get to salvage it and perhaps maybe use it on a different project and so they can’t just quit before the twenty four months and say oh yeah I I own the website but I only paid you six months. Worth? Um, so that was that’s the way I did it.

41:11.73
Clay Mosley
Um, and I chose twenty four months versus 12 because twenty four months 2 years is about it’s about that’s a good amount like that’s an ideal amount of time for for a client to say hey it’s time to kind of let’s just like do a little bit of revamp on the website because you didn’t you know you need to give your website a little facelift every couple 2 3 hree years and so that was just another like selling point at that point for me. Um, so they they paid you know x number of dollars a month for twenty four months and then if they if they decide that they just want to keep that same design after that then it just gets lowered. Um, so let’s just say it’s two hundred and fifty dollars a month for for twenty four months and then it would go down to $99 a month after that or at the end of the twenty four months that was an opportunity for me to sell them a re a revamp a redesign. And so we would just renew the twenty four month agreement again and I I would rebuild the site. Um, and so it was a natural to me. It was a natural thing to do um and then yeah I included unlimited ah content updates. That’s the keyword those content updates. Um.

42:23.20
Clay Mosley
It was not design changes. It was not functional changes like ah adding a shopping shopping cart um or ecommerce or a membership site. It was just you need to change some words or switch out a photo or upload a blog just that kind of stuff so that’s the way I set it up in it. It was. Highly successful.

42:46.29
Nathan
That yeah, right? and um, when it came to like ah retaining those clients like how many how many dropped out of that twenty four months was it like a common or uncommon occurrence that.

42:59.76
Clay Mosley
Uncommon about 3% here’s the key though. Um those it it this is this is why I decided to not make them financially obligated in it stuck in a twenty four month contract

43:02.40
Nathan
Wow wow.

43:17.18
Clay Mosley
Reason number one. It’s a hell of a lot easier to sell because if you tell somebody hey sign this, you’re stuck. You’re stuck with me for twenty four months legally right? Um, that’s harder to sell so that’s number 1 number 2 I was confident.

43:19.95
Nathan
I Yeah, definitely.

43:34.23
Clay Mosley
And my ability to be able to keep them over the next twenty four months just based off my service right? I mean everybody is as long as you as long as you’re not going to be a dick and like and just once you once the site gets launched and then you’re you’re a ghost Like. Don’t do that. But as long as you don’t do that You should be. You should be able to keep your your website client for a long time because websites are Sticky. You know people don’t just switch websites every month. Um, you gotta they have to have a really really good reason to leave you? Um, but. That’s why I did unlimited content updates and I comine that with those updates were done within one business day.

44:22.75
Nathan
So Wow Wow. Um, so I’ve kind of gone off something really similar and it’s kind of great because I didn’t actually know about all of those sorts of details that you’ve kind of. Laid out but I kind of just came up with something really really similar except it is a lock in Deal. So I’m going to have to revisit that and have a think about that because that sounds like a much easier sell Um, but.

44:45.39
Clay Mosley
It is yeah I mean as long as you’re as long as you’re confident that you’re going to provide the service. You know to your clients then who cares you know like they’re not going to leave. They’re not. There’s just.

44:51.60
Nathan
Yeah.

45:00.72
Nathan
Yeah, true. So.

45:02.46
Clay Mosley
I don’t know I don’t know why people are stuck on like I need to get my clients to sign a 2 year deal so I can lock them in I’m like why don’t you just lock them in with your service instead of a piece of paper right.

45:13.23
Preston Lee
So I love that mentality I think too when we work in web like it can be really easy to to forget how complicated people feel like the web is like the idea of completely revamping their website.

45:15.67
Nathan
Okay, that’s fantastic.

45:32.49
Preston Lee
Or finding a new web designer or switching like switching anything like once the website’s up and running for a lot of businesses. They’re like don’t touch. It don’t want to break it, you know and and so it is an extremely sticky business Ah people just yeah.

45:33.22
Clay Mosley
Me.

45:43.84
Clay Mosley
Yep.

45:49.11
Clay Mosley
Um, and when they find someone they love. They will never leave.

45:51.78
Preston Lee
Yeah, yep.

45:58.45
Nathan
Well, that’s super super helpful. Um, and then I guess I just have 1 final question around pricing because I know that you’ve got to head off there Preston so we’ve got ah the.

46:01.54
Preston Lee
Yeah, let’s do it.

46:03.22
Clay Mosley
Do it.

46:14.15
Nathan
Um, so I’ve got kind of like these basic sorts of packages on my services page on my website. Um, so I’ve just kind of I don’t know whether this is so I don’t know yeah I don’t even know whether this is like viable. Um I’ve got. I’ve been I’ve worked a lot in um, ah nonprofits and for charities so a lot of the work that I’ve done has been volunteer over the last ten years so pricing for me has always been something that’s been super tricky because I haven’t been. On like client side and been more in-house for a long long time. So I’m really this is something that I think I’ve probably got to work through so especially when it comes to the monthly sort of stuff. Um, so. Um, I was looking at the base price of ah twelve months is ah 218 us dollars a month and then the next one is 383 ah.

47:13.71
Clay Mosley
Yes.

47:24.91
Nathan
Us a month and then a corporate package is 826 a month and then there’s a whole range of different things that those include so um.

47:37.66
Clay Mosley
What what? what web page are you want to get.

47:38.31
Preston Lee
Yes, and sorry you just sorry you just are you just are you just wondering if those prices.

47:43.90
Nathan
Ah, this is on my services page on Web astro.

47:48.10
Nathan
Yeah, they seem like they’re like reasonable like I don’t know like because I think it’s different than like charging an upfront cost for the website. It’s I include hosting I include.

48:02.64
Preston Lee
Yeah.

48:06.90
Nathan
Like your email your domain I wanted to make it as easy for the client as possible where essentially they just pay the 1 thing they get everything so so I just don’t even know like I like what sort of like what? what.

48:10.92
Preston Lee
Yep.

48:15.23
Preston Lee
Yep, and I think got smart.

48:15.61
Clay Mosley
Um, what’s the question.

48:23.22
Nathan
Whether it’s a good price whether it seems like reasonable within the market like because I don’t I haven’t found anybody that charges monthly for websites ever. So.

48:25.69
Preston Lee
Um.

48:26.31
Clay Mosley
Um, can I can I ask you? Um, what makes you ask whether these are reasonable.

48:40.20
Nathan
Ah, whether it sits right within the context of the market because that’s that’s more of where I’m ah not having enough information.

48:46.18
Clay Mosley
What makes you question that though.

48:52.60
Clay Mosley
Are you having are you having pushback have you pitched this. Let me ask you that have you pitched these yet. How is it.

48:55.54
Nathan
About the market.

49:00.65
Nathan
Yeah, it’s been. It’s been mixed.

49:03.71
Preston Lee
What’s your response.

49:09.33
Clay Mosley
Um, what’s okay, how many times have you pitched this how many of you sold.

49:11.69
Nathan
Like 4 times over the last month are like 5050 so 2 clients have picked this up that’s fine.

49:15.26
Preston Lee
Um, and what’s the breakdown. Yeah.

49:21.33
Clay Mosley
Oh you’re fine. Yeah, so let me let me say this. What let me say this about about pricing your if if you so if you are pitching your services. Let’s just say at a 10

49:22.94
Preston Lee
Yeah, hey yep yeah, what? yeah.

49:29.85
Nathan
Okay.

49:41.90
Clay Mosley
And 9 out of 10 or 8 out of 10 are buying it your price too low. But if you’re pitching your services and you’re only pitching or you’re only selling 1 or 2 out of 10 then you’re either price too high or you just suck at sales. Um. So you want something in the middle you want to you want there to be some pushback but you also you know you you need to be selling more than just one out of 10 you know what? I mean so if you’re selling I mean I know I know you’ve only pitched it to 4 people. You know that.

50:08.46
Nathan
Yeah.

50:08.80
Preston Lee
Yeah, this is.

50:16.32
Clay Mosley
Your data sets not very high but based on what you’re telling me like 2 out of 4 like bought it like based off that sounds fine.

50:17.80
Nathan
No yeah.

50:25.68
Preston Lee
Yeah, this is this is always our advice on pricing or at least always my advice on pricing and that is choose a rate that sounds reasonable and then start pitching it a lot like you do need more than four. Um and not no, that’s fine. That’s fine I’m just saying.

50:37.34
Nathan
It’s It’s only been a month’s mind. It’s only been a month.

50:42.68
Clay Mosley
Um, ah.

50:42.73
Preston Lee
And just saying to as as you continue, you’ll have more data. Um, so so the more data you get the better this will be because what you need to do is continually pitch this price and um and like Clay saying if if you start to get too many if if it’s too easy. You raise your price. And then you follow then you start over and you start pitching it again again if it’s still too easy. You raise your price again and then you start over and you collect more data and then if it’s still too easy and you do that until there starts to be pushback and there’s going to be a little bit of pushback. You might be at that fifty fifty mark and so you might be ahead of the game you might depending on. You know if you had 10 more data points.

51:04.86
Clay Mosley
Um, and.

51:18.69
Preston Lee
And it would continue to be about fifty fifty then maybe you’re at the point where you just raise it just a little bit more or maybe you wait a year and raise it or something like that. Um, but but yeah, the idea is we can’t tell you like we wish we could you know magically say here’s what the market will bear.

51:36.88
Clay Mosley
Are.

51:37.40
Preston Lee
Markets are so different. Not only geographically locally um, culturally but also like depending on who your clients are I mean you know a corporate client’s can be able to pay more for a website than ah, a musician a solo musician or something or a small band. Like there’s just there’s so much to consider in it and so you have to start? you just have to start experimenting and then you’ll you’ll eventually start to feel like okay I’m getting way too much pushback I can’t move I can’t move my product basically and and then you got a pullback about that spot I’d say so.

52:09.84
Clay Mosley
Um, yeah, earth.

52:11.52
Preston Lee
I like Clay’s sort of more mathematical approach. But I’ve always just done like raise my prices until the market literally won’t bear it anymore and they just tell me by not purchasing it.

52:19.34
Clay Mosley
If you have some pushback on this I would consider moving to a twenty four month versus 12 Yeah.

52:27.99
Nathan
So yeah, I’m already considering it.

52:29.69
Preston Lee
It is interesting when you buy you know when you buy a phone or a car or anything or even like zillow when you’re looking at homes these days. Everything is. It’s not like what’s the final price. It’s what am I going to pay monthly. People are on a monthly. It’s like the Netflix thing has caused everyone to think.

52:44.96
Clay Mosley
Um, yeah.

52:49.61
Preston Lee
What can I afford month over month and so yeah, it’s it’s like you could say $500 a month for twelve months or you could say $300 a month for twenty four months and and people are going to think that it’s cheaper because it’s lower per month.

52:53.19
Clay Mosley
Um.

53:07.67
Preston Lee
It’s more affordable and it is sometimes like it’s easier to fit into your cash flow and and sometimes makes more sense for Businesses. So. Okay.

53:16.37
Nathan
It’s amazing. Amazing! Well thank you guys so much for your your time I Really really appreciate it. You guys are fantastic and I love what you guys have done with the podcast. It’s been a great encouragement to me and um, it’s really helped me take the step.

53:26.88
Clay Mosley
Nice.

53:33.79
Nathan
And to um, try and to become a founder. So really appreciate it guys.

53:38.57
Clay Mosley
Ah, yeah.

53:39.20
Preston Lee
Well, you are well on your way. We’re excited to see where your business ends up and thank you? Yeah, thanks for the kind words Thanks for listening. Um for everyone else listening to the show. Why don’t you really quickly remind them where they can find you maybe they want to hire you subcontract with you anything like that. Um there you go.

53:54.38
Nathan
Or maybe I could hire you? Um, so ah, yeah, you can um, reach out to me at webastro.co um and and my email is hey at webastro.co and I am looking for a divvy.

53:57.12
Preston Lee
There you go.

54:11.21
Preston Lee
Nice there you go.

54:11.54
Nathan
Wordpress developer. So anyways, um, anyways, ah yeah, totally totally. So anyways. Thanks guys Appreciate a lot.

54:15.32
Clay Mosley
There’s tons of them.

54:17.93
Preston Lee
Great. Yeah Nathan thank you so much for joining us I’ve been Preston with milo.coclaimmosley from gittripify.com thank you so much for the great insight today Clay really appreciate it. Man see you later.

54:28.64
Clay Mosley
Cool. All right guys see ya.

54:32.24
Nathan
You see.

 

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Written by Preston Lee

Editor at Millo.co

Preston Lee is the founder of Millo where he and his team have been helping freelancers thrive for over a decade. His advice has been featured by Entrepreneur, Inc, Forbes, Adobe, and many more.

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Reviewed & edited by Mateo Melgar, Editor at Millo.

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