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From Printing Business to Web Design and Marketing Agency [Podcast]


The Podcast Episode with Jeff Dykema

Success Story from Jeff Dykema

Earth is already a congested place inhabited by billions of people. The web design industry is not far behind with hundreds of thousands web designers and developers all over the world.

Just in 2012 alone, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a total number of 259,500 designers. The number is continually growing as new and young designers hop into the bandwagon filled with exciting and new ideas enough to make you insecure.

Looking at the numbers, you might be wondering how you are able to have a breakthrough as a web designer/developer in this huge industry. Much better, how can you make yourself become the ‘Go To” person whom clients will seek out?

Again, this is an impossibility faced by almost anyone, not only web designers, who wants to make an impact and be successful.

Meet Jeff Dykema

Jeff Dykema is like every typical web designer. He loves coding, designing, and all the things that seem interesting to a web designer. He established his company, JD Design in 2009. Like everyone else in this industry, he has been struggling with the same question or desire: How to become an “influence” or a “Go-To” person in this vast industry.

Like all other 10K alumni, Jeff was able to get past that dilemma and establish himself as the “Go-To” person in the niche he is in by bringing value to his clients. For him, bringing value means making things happen for his clients.

Making Things Happen

The first thing that comes to mind when you want to make things happen is a flurry of activities, cluttered workspace, and sleepless nights. This old-school mindset is actually very wrong because these things are exactly what’s making you less productive and more tired. In fact, you will just end up spreading yourself thinly as you balance multiple projects but not getting enough for your efforts.

So, how do you make things happen? By having a clear VISION where your clients are headed. Jeff mentioned in the interview that in order to bring value to your clients, you need to GUIDE their efforts by providing solutions that work. However, you cannot become a guide if you yourself do not know where you are going.

Remember Alice when she asked about the Cheshire Cat about the way? The Cheshire Cat asked her where she was going and she said she didn’t care much where. The Cat, then, replied that it didn’t matter which way she should go.

You simply can’t be like Alice in Wonderland who didn’t care which way to go because your clients expect results – RESULTS that WORK. And for you to be able to bring them to the place of success, you must already have a clear picture of the way where you’re taking them or you’ll end up getting lost, tired, and frustrated.

Jeff Offers Clear Vision at JD Design

Jeff Offers Clear Vision at JD Design

A clear vision, of course, is impossible if you don’t understand your clients and their needs. Thus, before you map out your game plan, you sit with them and understand where they are coming from. Then and only then will you be able to tailor solutions for your clients that actually work.

Giving Value Means Losing Clients

Providing solutions that actually work requires focus. Providing solutions that actually work adds value to your work. Providing solutions that actually work makes your clients happy. All that is accomplished with a strong and clear vision.

The other side of the coin, however, is that there are some clients that only want the benefit of the value you give but are not willing to pay more for the high value you are giving. Thus, you have a choice to let go and lose clients or retain them and risk being not equally rewarded for what you are giving.

The second choice seems to be the easiest one to make. If you are in a dilemma about the pricing issue, remember this nugget of truth:

A very good example of this is Apple. They most probably are the highest in the market but that doesn’t them. They know that people who are really after quality will never scrimp on paying for high quality.

The same goes for you. You should not struggle with the dilemma of bumping up your rates if you know your value. In fact, you need to let go of those kinds of client in order to make room for those who are willing to pay for high value.

The Big Divide

Another golden nugget Jeff said he learned from the $10K Boot Camp is to begin thinking of himself as a professional web designer rather than a freelance web designer. Well, you might say, aren’t these two one and the same?

This is the problem – professionalism is one of the most difficult words to define in terms of its essence. Not because you have a profession or have a degree does one become a professional. However, this has been the prevalent definition of the word and accepted by many.

That is why you see a lot of talented people who, until now, do not see their value and the work they give. They become underrated and because of frustration, they cease to live up to what they can deliver.

One of the mindset changes presented at the 10K Boot Camp is to view yourself as a professional web designer and not just a freelance web designer. What is the difference? What does it mean?

A professional web designer sees web design as a business rather than a job. When you think about yourself as a professional, then you cease to do the job but you begin to consider HOW to do the job. Because you think of web design as your business, you begin to perform at a consistently higher level than other people. You also cease to think of just getting paid for the job.

Why? Because there is a sense of ownership.

Eric Lippert couldn’t have said it better. He said, that professionalism is about having the integrity, honesty, and sincere regard for the personhood of the customer, in the context of always doing what is best for the business. Those two things do not need to be in conflict.

When you begin to see yourself in this light, you begin to add value to your clients as well. This is what happened to Jeff Dykema and this could happen to you as well.

The Value of Community and Accountability

Learning new thing, especially things that open your eyes to new and exciting possibilities, is exciting. However, there is also that enemy called procrastination. Most of the time, this enemy lives inside its host unnoticed and unchallenged. If you don’t agree, how many times have you let a good idea sit and tell yourself you have plenty of time to do it?

Procrastination is a powerful enemy. However, it can be defeated by accountability – a big word among the $10K Boot Camp community. That is because mentors from the $10K program know that anyone left alone fending for himself will resort to procrastination letting a great discovery go to waste.

On the other hand, if you know that you have to answer to someone else, you force yourself to act in order to accomplish the goals you have for yourself.

This is the truth – human beings need a little push and accountability is that one thing that ensures actions and decisions. Accountability motivates you to keep reaching for the top. It keeps you moving. It encourages you knowing you can keep your own business while running your own business.

$10K Bootcamp's Accountability Board

$10K Bootcamp’s Accountability Board

And here’s the beauty of accountability – when you get used to become accountable, it becomes natural. You become mindful of yourself to become excellent. What more – it also rubs off on other people. That means, you have become an influence – the “go-to” person you want to become.

Accountability does not only come from mentors but also within the community. A community where you can have an honest dialog with other web designers encouraging and pushing each other towards excellence. The real beauty of community is that it does not just provide accountability, but also fresh and new insight to make your craft better.

Conclusion

Becoming a web design professional, a “Go-To” person, in this industry is always achievable if you have a clear vision of where you are going and the accountability to do what you have purposed to do. Vision guides you where you’re taking your client while accountability keeps pushing you.

These are the principles that turned Jeff Dykema around as professional web designer These are also principles that can turn your life and your business around because what worked for Jeff can also work for you.

 

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Article source: http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/printing-to-webdesign/

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