The advice and strategies of 25+ Divi Expert

by | Jun 29, 2016 | Interview | 26 comments

You can try to create a business alone or you can learn from the best and leverage their advice to meet your faster and with better results targets.

That’s why I’ve put together a list of over 25 Web design experts, web marketing and web development that are a constant source of inspiration for the whole community of Divi, and beyond.

Some of them are the pioneers of community Divi, people with their ideas and their skills they did grow, day by day, this great family made up of people ready to help those who need it with a board with a solution or with products and services tailored to the needs of the people.

I asked them how do they get new customers, how to manage their workflow, where they find the right inspiration for a new project, what challenges have encountered early in their careers and finally what advice they want to give to those who want to do this job .

The result and below to your eyes, then you just have to find the answers you have given to experts.

Before you continue reading..

As you can see for yourself, this article is very long and required a lot of effort and work on my part.

So I ask you in return to add your Like to my page Facebook Page with a simple “click” with your mouse.

To you it costs nothing, but for me it will be a great gesture that I really appreciate.

Small note: I was undecided whether to add my contribution to this list because I do not like to call myself an expert, but all of these great professionals that you see in this list, have convinced me to add my contribution and hope it can be of great help for you. 🙂

1. Andrew Palmer

 

andrew-palmer

SEO and Online Digital Marketing Specialist.
Owner of Somebodys Hero and Co-Founder of Elegant Marketplace

Link: Website
Link: Elegant Market Place

What is your strategy to get new customers?

I utilise all sorts of tools from Email marketing, social media and of course face to face communications. I am very lucky having been in the digital marketing world from the beginning and also the print world for over 30 years, I rarely need to go looking for work these days. And of course Elegantmarketplace.com keeps me very busy too.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

I use 17 hats exclusively for my own workflow, project management and invoicing. My teams are all Slack based. Communications are via email, Skype and instant messenger along with well documented briefs to my developers, we rarely have any issues with workflow. I use Zendesk for client support.

What are your sources of inspiration?

I am inspired daily by the people in this industry from my own developer team to – in no particular order – Michelle Nunan, Geno Quiroz, Sean Barton, Corina Darnborough and Colin Falcon AND the thousands of members of all the Facebook groups who make up this great Divination who have proven to me that giving back to the community is paramount and of course yourself Fabio, I have no idea how you come up with such great articles and I am proud to be associated with you. I also have in Eileen Lonergan, the best business partner ever, she is balanced, honest and has built a fantastic community around Divi and Elegant Themes products and makes it look so easy!

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

I have had many jobs, mainly in the advertising, print and web world. I see getting regular payment and project creep as the most difficult to manage. Learning is key in this business and I learn every single day.

 

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

  • Plan, Plan and PLAN!
  • Study
  • Be professional
  • Stay professional no matter what
  • Always have a contract
  • Be careful of what you say in social media as it can come back and bite you
  • Watch your cashflow like a hawk!
  • Learn the basics of Image Manipulation, FTP, Site installation, Site Security and of course READ THE MANUAL!

 

2. Jonathan Bossenger

jonathan-bossenger

Back-End Developer.
Owner of Atlantic Wave

Link: Plugin for Divi
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

Hustle, hustle, hustle 😉

It’s really all about find the right combination of networking and online listings. I left working for a large agency to become self employed at the end last year, so I didn’t have much of a portfolio to speak of. I also don’t have a lot of time for marketing myself. So I got involved in as many WordPress related communities as I could.

From the Facebook groups through to my local WordPress Slack channel. It was hard, because I had to balance marketing myself online with actually working to pay the bills. Eventually I found the right combination of online networking platforms. The Divi Theme Users and Divi Freelancers Facebook groups have been good to me. On the Divi Theme Users group I used to be quite aggressive in offering my paid services, I’ve learned that people there want to do it themselves, so I wait until they ask for paid assistance.

Being active and helpful in the group, as well as posting useful articles and free plugins also helps. I also reached out to one of the admins (Andrew) about posting an article in the group. This led to him suggesting I develop and sell my own plugins through Elegant Marketplace, which has been a great source of income and client work for me. I am also listed on FreelanceCapeTown (http://www.freelancecapetown.com) a Freelancers portal in my home town of Cape Town. They do quite a good job of marketing themselves and their developers so I often get work there. Finally the WordPress South Africa Slack channel has been amazing. There are always people on there looking for developers, plus its a good place to discuss problems and solutions with other WordPress experts.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

First and most important (for me anyway) is having a good development tool. I recently switched to PHP Storm, and I can highly recommend it to anyone who wants to develop applications using PHP. It also has great support for the other open standards web languages (html, css, javascript). I also highly recommend to anyone who is writing any type of code to use some form of version control. I use Bitbucket and Git. For actual workflow I use a combination of tools. All project documentation is done via Google Docs.

I use a Google Form for issue tracking, as you can save form results to a Docs spreadsheet. For managing project tasks and deadlines I use Trello. It’s about the best free online ‘whiteboard’ tool for project management and uses the kanban scheduling system. I use Trello to manage pretty much everything, from managing a specific project to managing client follow ups and even personal todos. For time logging I use Harvest, which also doubles as my estimation and invoicing software. Its great because I can estimate on a project, the client can accept the estimate online, which then turns into a project. I can then log time to that project and turn the accepted estimate into an invoice.

It sends out notifications when I reach a certain amount of hours or when the project has gone over budget. This means its great for doing a project review to see how many hours I estimated. Finally, all of my email accounts are routed through Gmail. The ability to access all my email from any device means that I can be at a doctors appointment and still get and reply to critical client emails (true story).

What are your sources of inspiration?

Being a software developer means I am a problem solver. So my inspiration is the questions people ask about how to perform a specific task with Divi. If I can see that there is a plugin idea there, and I see that the same question comes up over and over, I develop a plugin. Thats the main reason my latest Bloom Redirection plugin exists, I’ve seen people ask how to redirected a Bloom optin over and over. The other place I get inspiration is from clients who want additions to their websites/themes. Sometimes it will be something that I can see will also be useful on a Divi site (for example recently a client asked me to implemented some visual changes to their WooCommerce installation and I think that will also be a cool feature for a Divi site, so I’m polishing up that plugin for release soon)

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

When you are employed at a company, all you have to do is focus on your job. You don’t have to worry about marketing, meeting clients, sending invoices etc. So the hardest part I found was finding the right balance between doing those things (which aren’t billable) and actual development work (which is). It’s also very hard for the first few months, when you have no work coming in and you are marketing yourself like crazy. It’s also hard working from home when you have small children. My four year old doesn’t understand the ‘headphones rule’ and as a developer the interruptions can cause massive dips in productivity.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

I would offer three pieces of advice:

  1. Make sure you can afford to not make any income for at least three months. So have enough saved away to pay your utilities and buy food for at least three months.
  2. Carve out blocks of time and dedicate them to specific tasks. So, for example, I know that my four year old is at playschool in the morning, so I plan my most critical development work then, that which requires the most focus. In the afternoon when he is at home I try to do admin work or site building instead, so that if I am distracted it’s not a train smash.
  3. Find your niche. When I first stated out I had the grand idea that I would be a site builder and all the work would just flow my way. Then I discovered that there are literally thousands of people doing the same thing, so the market is fairly flooded. By switching my focus back to custom development and plugin development I found a fairly untapped market which I am now serving with some success.

Finally, to those who have the courage and determination to do it, quite simply, ‘just keep swimmin’. It may be a hard journey, but the rewards are worth it.

3. Tami Heaton

tami-heaton

Creative Director
Owner of Undeniable

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

I’ve been very lucky that so far, most of my work has come through either personal referrals or folks who find me through search, either on Google or LinkedIn. I get a reasonable number of queries through Facebook groups, but the majority of those turn out to be tire-kickers who ask for a lot of time on my part and then eventually ghost me because they don’t know how to say, “No, thanks,” or “You’re outside my budget range.” So I don’t generally make that a place I prioritize in terms of looking for clients.

My best projects, by far, have been the ones that come through personal referrals. The biggest clients, financially, have come through LinkedIn. I’ve also been doing some active sales work, during the slower months – but I’ll be doing quite a bit more of that in the next six months. The thing about taking whatever work comes your way is that it doesn’t allow you to mold your business in the direction you want to. There’s a very specific clientele I’d ultimately like to work with – restaurants, hotels, wineries, awesome little independent retailers – so I’m pursuing some very specific clients to transform my portfolio and draw more of that work my direction. It’s pretty easy to tell by looking who needs help, if you make the effort. I have a wish list of people I want to work with, and if they end up working with someone else before I get to them, it’s just crushing for me!

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

My background is largely in project management, so I tend to be very formalized in terms of my process. I run things the way I learned to working for companies like Viacom – there’s a reason they invest so much time and money into creating those processes. It’s because they work. When I get all loosey-goosey with things, I always regret it. Always. I use OurDeal for contract generation, Basecamp for communications and asset management, and FreshBooks for accounting and invoicing.

Aside from those tools, my process is my own – I have a series of templates I developed years ago. My scheduling system is based on Microsoft Project, more or less. I have an onboarding system that involves sort of a drip-campaign of documents to walk clients through the early part of a project. And I have Excel docs I’ve made for just about everything, from sales tracking to my annual marketing plan.

What are your sources of inspiration?

I am very lucky that I started my career working as a digital producer in the TV industry, and I got to work with some of the best designers in the U.S. during those years. Incredible, amazingly talented people. So that’s the standard I hold myself to. I will probably never get there in terms of being that good – but I work really hard to try and make my work better every day, because that’s the gold standard to me. The people who inspire me, still, are the ones who push themselves to produce the most high-quality, polished work possible. And the ones who are just so insanely talented it’s not even fair. Jealousy can be an amazing motivator!

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

My personal demons as far as running my own business aren’t at all about the actual work – I’ve had to really face myself in terms of my flaws at a much deeper level than that. I like to say that doing the work is the easy part. When I look at the mistakes I’ve made, they’re all about my own psychology – not having strong boundaries with people, not having confidence in myself, having a sort of fear of success that it took me two years to recognize, because that wasn’t at all what I thought it would look like. I’m at the stage now with my business that I work really hard at examining those types of issues, because it got really frustrating hitting my head on the same walls over and over.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

This is a much tougher path than it might seem, but it’s definitely doable if you really want it. I know talented people who are leaving the industry because they don’t believe this is a sustainable career choice anymore. The bar for entry is incredibly low right now. The market is flooded with people who don’t necessarily know what they’re doing and who are undercutting fair market rates and making it harder for everyone else to get paid what they deserve.

That’s the reality of what you’re stepping into. So first of all, if you want to be taken seriously – don’t be one of the undercutters. It damages your position within the community, and you really want the support of the community. It will also, eventually, come back to bite you, when you’re moving up the ladder. And that said – the cream rises to the top. If you’re genuinely talented, if you know what you’re doing, if you do your work responsibly and don’t burn bridges with clients by not meeting your obligations – which is a huge problem, I have so many conversations about this, all over the place, even at the highest levels – you have a real shot. Hustle like you really want it. I mean hustle. Be very clear on who your ideal client is, be relentless in terms of your sales process, and don’t think that this is a good choice for a “passive income” career just because it’s work you can do from a laptop. If you wait around for clients to find you, you’ll probably find that you’re always struggling. Be proactive about your sales and marketing work, whatever that looks like for you.

Finally, understand that this is a service industry – you’re trading your time for clients’ money. You really have to be good enough, in some fashion, that you can get a good rate – or figure out a way to productize your work so that your income isn’t limited by the number of hours in the day. Focus on your strengths. The truly unsustainable path is undercharging as a method of bringing in clients – you won’t win anything worth having by being the cheapest option. Do the math. Figure out how many projects you need to sell to live the way you want to live, and then think about how many hours all that work takes. Plan, and charge, accordingly. Pursue education. Work to make yourself better every day. And have fun! This is a roller coaster of a career choice, the work ebbs and flows in a maddening way, and working with clients can really take it out of you on the bad days. The hours can be long – designers and devs seem to have some punishing gene that makes them obsess over their work around the clock. So do everything you can to make your work fun. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.

4. Olga Summerhayes

olga-summerhayes

Teacher and Software Programmer
Owner of Infinite Imagination

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

Most of my customers are local businesses and most new customers come by word of mouth. I also post on Facebook and link to new business websites when completed. I sometimes go to business events like business launches, local workshops, expos etc. But most people come to me from recommendations.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

I believe in good communication and understanding my clients’ needs and helping them achieve it. Planning is a key for managing the workflow. I plan jobs out on a calendar and when they are done I just cross them off. I have tried a few different apps but I never stick with them for too long.

What are your sources of inspiration?

My inspiration comes from looking at great designs. I like scrolling through Pinterest, Dribbble, Behance and I looking at other sites on Divi Theme Examples (www.divithemeexamples.com), Awwards (www.awwwards.com) and in Facebook groups. I often bookmark sites if a design stands out. At the end of the day when I work on a business site, I choose design that enhances their established branding (logo, colours, fonts) and the content they want displayed. The main principles I go for is: the site has to be easy to navigate and display clear information, products and/or services. It also has to look good!

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

There were two. First was finding clients and secondly charging my clients fairly for my time (I was working for almost nothing when I started!).

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

Be patient and be prepared to put in the hours to perfect your skills. You should also look at different types of media for inspiration like print, television, advertisement etc., as it will show you what the current trends are. Websites are a form of media after all.

5. Jeremy Brown

jeremy-brown

Web Developer
Lead Developer for Good2bsocial

Link: Web Agency
Link: Website – Portfolio

What is your strategy to get new customers?

There are several strategies I utilize in growing my client base. The most successful has been word-of-mouth and referrals from existing clients. Other clients have been a result of monitoring WordPress job boards as well as participation in WordPress and Divi related Facebook Groups. Additionally, joining a local chamber of commerce and attending local networking events has gradually resulted in some leads.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

The primary tools I use to manage my workflow are Google Apps, Boomerang (Gmail addon), Asana, Slack, and ManageWP. This summer one of my goals is to integrate 17Hats into my workflow for maintaining a CRM and invoicing.

Tips to improve workflow:

  1. Decide on an organizational system that works for you, document it, and then maintain consistency across all tools and clients or projects.
  2. In an effort to keep all involved parties accountable in projects, set deadlines for key tasks or milestones. I try to schedule regular status calls or meetings with clients for all active projects.
  3. When creating a timeline for projects, allow buffer time. Whether it be technical glitches, delays with client providing materials, or other obligations there will often be reasons why a project might fall slightly behind schedule.

What are your sources of inspiration?

My main source of inspiration would be my two young children. I have a son who will be 1 in July and my daughter just turned 4. Being able to be very involved in their lives and not having to pay for childcare was one of my major reasons in deciding to become a freelance web developer. Another source of inspiration would be relationships that I have established with other professionals. Troy Dean’s WPElevation course and community has become a significant resource. I have built up a network of trusted peers whom I can bounce ideas off of or rely on to help work through challenges.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

The difficulties that I have faced as a freelancer have mostly been related to time, finances and finding new business. As part of my week is spent being a stay-at-home dad with two young kids, time is definitely a precious commodity. Therefore, it has been important that I effectively use the remaining time available during the work week for active projects, client communication and new business efforts. Most of my development is done at night, during nap time, and on the weekends.

Another significant challenge for me has been finances. As a freelancer, you don’t have the steady income as a 9-5 job. There have definitely been times over the past several years when things have been tight for me financially. Early on in my career as a web developer, I learned the importance of having recurring income in addition to my active projects. My solution to increasing my recurring income has been offer clients several levels of Hosting and Maintenance/Website Care.

Another important lesson that I have learned regarding finances is not under-value the services that I provide. As my skills have improved and portfolio expanded, it only made sense that I adjust my rates. The third area in which I have encountered difficulties has been finding new clients and winning bids. I shared the strategies I have used to get new customers above. With going after bids on larger projects, don’t automatically think they are only looking for agencies or teams and disqualify yourself on the basis of being a team of one. If I feel confident that I can meet the listed requirements for the project, then I will most often submit a bid.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

The best advice that I could share with those who want to make it work in the field of website design or development is to take the time and effort necessary to position yourself well, add in some extra value on client projects when you can, and do not give up when you hit a rough patch or two.

6. Rui Pereira

rui-pereira

Web developer and Web Designer
Owner of Rui Pereira Web

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

My primary strategy is becoming known and offer not only one more service but a complete and integrated solution that can solve a problem and can help the customer to become visible and reach what he wants, i’m not offering just a pretty website. An integrated solution with website, mailing lists, social media and a full support with proximity to the customer, creating a connection, to learn what he really needs and offer the best solution.

Make the customer happy, when they are happy, the mouth to mouth start working, and is one of the best advertising. I want to support the customers in all the process, from the start to the after sales offering maintenance plans and support for those who need help to maintain their websites working updated and safe. I’m trying to fill the customers needs from the begin to the end of the process. I’m finishing my website in two languages, Portuguese and English in order to be able to help people all over the world. To speed up this process, social networks are the perfect place to promote the website, offers, tips, services. As some Facebook groups may be interesting to get new customers. Above all we must be humble and not fake anything, we should promote what we truly are and do…

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

I’m a very organized person but sometimes it can go out of control… but until now it’s not been so hard to manage my workflow. I have some customers with websites maintenance plans, when they have a problem the priority is to solve it. Sometimes I work on more than one website at time, but don’t like to stop working on a website then go back to work in it after a long time break, breaks the whole process. I organize myself, using pen and paper, writing, drawing and making layouts. For work also use some tools love Dash (mac App) to save snippets of code, ColorSnapper2 to manage my colors, Adobe illustrator and adobe Photoshop are two important tools in my work, and Sublime Text is my favorite app for coding.

Guess don’t use more apps, my to do lists are all on paper. We cannot forget that is very important to establish a connection with the customer, know their needs, make a real budget with no surprises and know the product / service, this will make the whole process a lot easier.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Inspiration is in a cup of tea, in the nature, in everything. I use a lot Pinterest to get some ideas, building private lists for each work, and I “pin” things that are important to me to that folder… Or just grab a piece of paper and start drawing and writing… We can get inspiration in anything at anytime.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

Customers are the hardest part, sometimes it’s hard to make them understand why something has to be in a certain way, and they want to get in the middle of the process. Most of the times they don’t understand how much work this process takes and think it’s all very easy. One time happened to me, finishing a website and the customer destroyed all the work with some changes because sometimes the customer decides not to follow my advice and ruined everything, it is a very difficult task to work this way. A recurrent problem I have is the commitment of the people sending the contents, we establish some deadlines but they never comply with that.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

Be yourself, do what you know the best way you can… Create a method of work and be consistent. Be king and humble, support your customers, your first goal is happy customers.

7. Leslie Bernal

leslie-bernal

Web Designer
Owner of A Girl and Her Mac

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

I’m actually very fortunate to get 90% of my custom site clients through word of mouth and referrals. I do put out facebook ads now and again but I can’t say I really get business from it. I have also gotten quite a bit of white label work from the fb groups!

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

Well I just started using 17Hats but I have to admit I haven’t fully dived into all the features it offers, but it is helping me keep track of invoices and contacts, etc. Other than that I use good ol pen and paper to keep me updated week by week.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Oh gosh, the world LOL. I like to try to bring a lot of print things I see into my web designs. The fundamentals of any type of page design – be it brochure or web page – are really the same, at least they are to me lol. I have a ton of bookmarked sites for inspiration but honestly I forget to look at them. I just remember features I see that I like and try to jot them down in my notebook for use on child themes or client sites.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

At first I had a hard time finding clients. I had no portfolio and no experience. But I did sites for friends like most people and started slowly building it. 2 things happened that helped me get business: Elegant Themes featured me in their Customer Spotlight series (I think I was the 2nd or 3rd person) and then I contacted the owner of a local farmers market and told her she needed help with her site and I was the person to do that. She ended up hiring me and referred me to all the farmers market vendors, it was like a built in network, it was great!

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

Learn first about the basics – child themes, site speed, image optimization, backups, and SECURITY. The loveliest site in the world doesn’t stand a chance if these basics are not learned and implemented first.

8. Geno Quiroz

geno-quiroz

Web Developer
Fonder and CEO of Monterey Premier

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

At Monterey Premier our biggest customer acquisition strategy has been to market our reputation, experience and knowledge of Divi through our tutorials. But this year we have expanded our strategy to reach outside of the Divi community by offering a greater array of services such as monthly maintenance plans, social media marketing plans and a multi-vendor marketplace. We have several more services we will be rolling out through the end of the year. Our goal is to be your one stop resource for all your web related needs.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

We utilize a few project management/communication tools. We utilize Basecamp to keep track of all our projects, due dates, priorities and team tasks. We also utilize Slack to keep track of all our communications. We now have a developer who oversees a majority of our support requests and our monthly maintenance plans. We also have a Social Media Marketing specialist who oversees all our Social Media Marketing plans. And of course my wife has joined the team recently to manage all our own Social Media channels and campaigns saving me a load of time and allowing me to focus on design and project management.

What are your sources of inspiration?

The best source of inspiration for me is the great outdoors. When I am able to get away from the computer and just spend time outside enjoying Gods great creation and design. Whether its enjoying the scenic views from Big Sur, hanging out at the beach watching the ocean waves, sitting in front of my house admiring our flowers and colors, I am more inspired then to do new things. I am also inspired when I work on my own projects, my own child themes, my own tutorials, my own pages for my website. That’s when I can be creative. That’s frees up my mind the most and it carries over back into my clients projects.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

When I started my freelance gig in August of 2012, I did not have any substantial web design clients. So I had to offer a number of unrelated web services to get my feet off the ground as a freelancer. So I offered back-office services such as bookkeeping, administration, computer repairs and of course web design. There was not a lot of money to be made in those other types of services so I had to work 60-80 hours per week just to feed my family and pay the bills. As my web design reputation grew and the clientele grew, I was able to give up the lesser paying jobs for the higher paying web design clients. And as of December 1st 2016, I parted ways with my last back-office service client and now dedicate all my time to our web agency Monterey Premier which has grown substantially.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

Here are 5 tips I would give to anyone starting out on their freelancing career Dream Big & Go Big. Do not be afraid to dream big and be passionate about it. And go for it with all you got! Take That Step of Faith. The biggest failure we can make is not giving it a shot. What do you have to lose? You will never know unless you tried and that in and of itself is worth taking that leap. Bring Others Along. We were never meant to do it alone.

Steve Jobs did not do it alone. Bill Gates did not do it alone. Mark Zuckerberg did not do it alone. We are meant to be a community. Monterey Premier is slowly ramping up to be a great team of like-minded people with some really great things in common. And for me that’s what it’s all about. Believe in Yourself. People will get behind someone who is very passionate & determined about what they are doing.

9. David Blackmon

david-blackmon

Web Developer
Co-Founder of Aspen Grove Studios

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Divi Learning Zone
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

Currently the majority of our clients come from referrals but I am sure that might not make the readers that happy. I guess what might help is how we got to that point. Our strategy to get new customers is and will always be to provide the best service available to a client no matter what we are working on. If it is a plugin, a child theme, or a custom web design project we make sure it is a superior product and experience for the client or customer. We then make sure that we stand behind and support that product or service.

If you do those 2 things well customers will come.

Bonus: Also, very important, do not be afraid to ask for what you are worth, most new business owners make the mistake of discounting their services out of fear of losing a job. Or thinking this is the best way to break into the business, it is not. This is a mistake that is very difficult to break once you go down that road. It’s okay if a client says no as there will be some No’s. Build your reputation on great performance and customer satisfaction and then a lot of times the (potential) clients will not look elsewhere and price will not be a question.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

Aspen Grove Studios uses a combination of Slack, Trello, Skype and Google Drive for our primary means of communication and project management. Slack is a real time messaging tool where conversations can be organized into appropriate channels. We create a channel for each of our projects/products and keep relevant conversations confined within that space. In addition to chatting we can also upload files, images, etc. and easily search for past conversations.

Trello is more of a project management tool that organizes projects and tasks into boards, lists and cards. We create a Trello board for each project, a list for various development stages, and cards for tasks. Essentially we organize the projects into phases of “To-do, Doing, Testing, Done”. In addition, as changes are made to the various Trello boards, a notification is automatically send to that projects Slack channel, so no matter where our focus is, we can stay up to date on our team’s progress.

We use Skype to do conference calls with our team as well as screen sharing sessions to collaborate and solve problems collectively. We use and have unlimited space with Google Drive to store all necessary software so the entire team has access to what is needed. We set up collaborative folders with clients that allows them to directly upload all needed content for the project and the team has access to it. We also sync client backups to Google Drive as well. This is a tool that is invaluable yet not discussed much when people talk about workflow or project management tools.

Cory goes into further detail about this topic in this episode of Divi Nation: https://youtu.be/C6BZhWDEc9g

What are your sources of inspiration?

My 3 main sources of inspiration are God, my family and nature. I love the outdoors and prefer to work outside. My wife and I recently became digital nomads. We sold everything, purchased an RV and live in it full time now traveling the United States and are able to work remotely. It’s not hard to get inspiration from such beautiful places as Yosemite National Park, The Great Smoky Mountain National Forest or the Emerald Coast.

Some times the inspiration makes it very difficult to get any work done! Inspiration for design I use Pinterest, Elegant Themes, Theme Forest and Dribbble to name a few. I also search for category specific sites similar to what we may be working on for inspiration. Inspiration for content I use Unsplash, Pixabay, Coverr, Pexels, Kaboom and many many more.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

Just like anything new, fear of the unknown plays a large role. Will I be good enough? Will people hire me? Will I be able to feed my family? The difficulties I personally faced were overcoming my own insecurities and fears and not sabotaging myself. Honoring what I knew to be true and believed in that. It’s interesting that the people who know me well knew that I would succeed long before I did.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

Always keep learning, do not ever get to the point where you think you know it all. Be humble, humility shines through and it is attractive. Humility does not mean less than, it simply means to know who and what you are with an honest desire to be the best your God wants you to be. Never give up, keep putting one foot in front of the other and have faith that everything is exactly as it should be and it will work out the way it is supposed to. Network, join groups of like minded people and get to know them.

Make sure to make time to help others to be successful by sharing what has been given to you. Volunteer at events such as WordCamps and local meetups and get involved. Mentor others, you will gain so much more than they will. It’s strange how that works but it truly does. Remember to take time off and take care of yourself. I love my job so much most of the time it does not feel like work and that can be a negative thing sometimes, especially if my family suffers from me not giving them what they need, my full undivided attention at times.

10. Cory Jenkins

cory-jenkins

Web Developer
Co-Founder of Aspen Grove Studios

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Divi Learning Zone
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

Our strategy has been, and will continue to primarily entail being helpful and active in the Divi Community. This includes not only answering technical questions in the various Divi/Elegant Themes related groups, but also offering free valuable learning and design resources like the Divi Demo Zone. We have also committed to doing a lot of blogging on interesting topics, which helps to boost our SEO and keep website traffic high.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

Aspen Grove Studios uses a combination of Slack and Trello for our primary means of communication and project management. Slack is a real time messaging tool where conversations can be organized into appropriate channels. We create a channel for each of our projects/products and keep relevant conversations confined within that space. In addition to chatting we can also upload files, images, etc. and easily search for past conversations. Trello is more of a project management tool that organizes projects and tasks into boards, lists and cards. We create a Trello board for each project, a list for various development stages, and cards for tasks. Essentially we organize the projects into phases of “To-do, Doing, Testing, Done”. In addition, as changes are made to the various Trello boards, a notification is automatically send to that projects Slack channel, so no matter where our focus is, we can stay up to date on our team’s progress.

I go into further detail about this topic in this episode of Divi Nation: https://youtu.be/C6BZhWDEc9g

What are your sources of inspiration?

I draw a lot of inspiration from my family, who are all creative and hilarious people. My wife is my rock and is always extremely supportive of all my endeavors. I am also inspired by nature and the area where I live… I love the mountains and this can be seen in a lot of our branding and design.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

Organization and lack of confidence. Looking back and when I first started I lack the tools and knowledge to maintain a productive workflow. Not only that, but I was also oblivious to the importance of detailed contracts, project timelines, etc. Once I gained these tools I became more confident with talking on bigger jobs and a larger workload.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

In order to run a successful freelancing business or agency, you have to be very disciplined and self-motivated. If you are like me and working out of your house, it is very easy to get distracted and lazy. Wake up early, get dressed, and head into your “office” ready to work. At the same time, make sure you are having fun with what you are doing and celebrate your victories, whether it be signing a new client or beating a monthly revenue goal.

11. Tim Strifler

tim-strifler

Web Developer
Owner of Tim Strifler Online Solutions

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

I’m very big on referrals. I think that most successful freelancers or agencies would say the same thing too. I firmly believe that when someone needs a website they want to hire someone that they know and trust, or someone that they know and trust knows and trusts. So I think my strategy is to always do really good work for my clients so they’ll refer me. And secondly, to make sure everyone I know knows what I’m doing, so when the time come that they need a website, or someone they know mentions they need a website, they’ll think of me first

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

I try to schedule out what I’m going to work on and when. And I do this on a daily basis. So for a whole day, or most of the day at least, I’ll work on the same website or project. As a small business owner there’s so many different types of tasks that need to be done and it can be hard to switch between things. So I try to eliminate that as much as possible by sticking to the same type of tasks or the same project for as long as possible.

What are your sources of inspiration?

I like awwwards.com, divethemeexamples.com, and then I’ll do just general Google searches for particular projects.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

Getting clients was for sure tough at first, but eventually things picked up. Also, time management was hard to balance starting out. When you work at home, and when you work for yourself, it can be tempting to work all the time whenever you’re at home. This is never a good idea. To do good work, you need a good work/life balance. You need to take breaks, you need to get outside, get exercise, etc.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

Build as many websites as you can when you’re starting out for practice, to build your portfolio, and to get your name out there. Sometimes it can even be worth it to do discounted work or even free work to build your portfolio and get practice. Or, you can always find local companies that have outdated websites and redo them. Contact them and sell it to them if they’re interested. Worst case scenario you got some good practice, best case scenario a new client.

Second piece of advice: take advantage of tools and other time saving techniques like developing locally (I recommend DesktopServer) and Premium Divi Child Themes (a great design starting point that can save you hours upon hours of time). Lastly, don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Learn from others and don’t be afraid to ask questions (the Divi Facebook groups are perfect for that).

12. Terry Hale

terry-hale

Web Developer
Owner of Mizagorn, Ink

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

My strategy has been pretty much the same since I started freelancing two years ago. I started hanging out in the wordpress.org forums so I could help other people and learn more. I started getting paid work from the people I was helping there. This has continued by being a regular contributor to the various Facebook groups I am a member and admin of. In other words, I rely on referals to generate my clients. I have no advertising budget. Word-of-mouth advertising seems to work well for what I like to do, which is mainly support and development rather than design.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

For really big projects, I will first create a scope of work. The scope includes a breakdown of the work, with costs and timelines for each part of the project. That makes it really easy to follow and keep a schedule, while making sure that anythign not on the scope becomes an extra cost – a “change order”. I don’t use anything fancy for communication with clients. Mostly email, but sometimes phone and/or Skype. I currently bill with PayPal Invoicing, but I’m also looking at other options.

What are your sources of inspiration?

I get a lot of inspiration from the research I do when I am trying to help someone or solve a development problem. When you do that kind of research, you run across all sorts of cool website snippets or pages that give you ideas. Also, the constant stream of website examples coming in from the Facebook groups is also a great way to get motivated. A few of my favorite sites include Stack Overflow, css-tricks.com and Codrops.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

When you adopt a referal process as your client gathering method, you can never be sure about when you will get your next client. This is especially true in the beginning. That means you’re not sure what your income will be, also. However, once you have been at it a while, you will get more clients from referrals – as long as you are doing a good enough job on your work so that your clients are actually willing to refer you to someone else.

Another problem is that you think you know enough about what you do to go ahead and get started. As you progress in developing your skillset, you find that you actually didn’t know much at all and thus your work is not as good as you wanted it to be. The key to overcoming this difficulty is to continue to learn something almost constantly, and always strive to make each project better than your last one.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

Make sure you have some money saved up before you begin, because this industry is fickle at times. Also make sure that you are willing to constantly learn. There are plenty of free training resources out there, but some of the best ones do cost some money. Be willing to take constructive criticism from your friends, peers and sometimes even total strangers.

Most of all – understand that the process of becoming a successful developer or designer will take some time. Few people starting off are already qualified to be on a “list of top designers”. Be patient, otherwise you will be frustrated and then likely decide you made a poor decision. If you love this kind of work, you’ll hang in there and the rewards will be awesome.

13. Colin Falcon

colin-falcon

Web Developer and Photographer
Owner of Simple Design Me

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

Unlike most other web designers I don’t have an actual strategy per se to attract new clients. I give out a lot of free advice on the various ‘Divi’ related Facebook groups & get contacted quite regularly (via Facebook) with requests to quote for ‘white label’ work/site fixes/customisations etc. With my larger clients, again I don’t advertise at all as the work comes in from referrals from satisfied clients.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

Have a ‘default site’ on a DEV domain or sub domain with a basic 5 page setup that you can use as a template for all builds. I always build on a DEV sub domain, never on the clients domain, then transfer the site to the clients domain once all bills are paid & the design signed off. Keep a record of ALL correspondence between you and the client. All builds are given a timeframe & given a slot in my schedule. If the client is late in providing content they get moved to the back of the queue, which I stipulate in my contract.

Use an all-in-one solution like 17Hats (there are others available) to handle your invoicing/client communication. I currently rely on email/manually creating invoices. Test all plugin/theme updates on a DEV site before deploying them to a live client site. I only run updates/backups on a weekend when I know my client’s staff won’t be in the site back end.

What are your sources of inspiration?

The internet, tympanus.net (a css playground) and divithemesexamples.com to see what other designers are producing.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

The biggest challenge I faced was getting my name known. A lot of people simply assume that just by having a website the world (and potential clients) will find you immediately: not so. You need to do a lot of groundwork and be prepared for a lot of disappointments – that’s life sadly.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

Look for a ‘niche’ market, offer advice in Facebook Divi related groups, and be nice. it’s business, never personal. You can have one thousand glowing reviews, but just one bad review can destroy your credibility and your business. Know your own skills, improve your weaknesses; whether by learning online or taking actual classes. Don’t give up your regular job until your income from web design at minimum matches your income from your ‘day job’. We all have bills to pay so you must cover your essentials.

If you work from home be aware of the various ‘tax benefits’ that are available to you in your Country. For example, being able to offset some of your fixed costs like rent, heat, light, broadband against any future tax bill. Enjoy what you do. Nodody enjoys doing a job they hate. And smile 🙂!

And finally, if you can’t afford to lose it, BACK IT UP.

14. Melissa Love

melissa-love

Graphic Designer & Photographer
Owner of The Design Space

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

I’m really lucky that I’ve been focusing on a niche market (photographers) exclusively for more than 5 years, so in terms of getting new clients for custom work, I tend to have much more than I can handle. I never take it for granted though, and always continue to share my new sites and projects on industry forums. I also speak regularly at photography events and write for photography magazines. This year, growing The Design Space (www.thedesignspace.co) is my main focus and I’ll be launching a course for aspiring and existing web designers about marketing to a niche sector.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

In my business, I have a golden rule – never work with more than one client at a time. When I first started out, I was often juggling clients and often fell behind on my work. But with experience, I’ve gained a lot of confidence and now only ever book one client at a time, for an intensive design process that takes place over a few days.

What are your sources of inspiration?

I make a point of not looking at other people’s work. Comparison is the thief of creativity, to borrow a phrase. I use Pinterest a lot for on-boarding but my constant go-to source of inspiration is always magazine and poster design.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

I found it hard to say no at the beginning and overloaded myself with projects. I wish I had moved to my current rapid design model years ago!

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

Find a niche, learn everything you can about it and position yourself as an expert. People are prepared to wait longer and pay more to work with ‘the expert.’

15. SJ James

sj-james

Digital Creative & Developer
Owner of Divi Space and Gritty

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

It may not be the most proactive strategy in the world but I’m a huge fan of referrals and letting the work speak for itself. When I launched a Divi site for healthy food company; Greedie Goddess, I had a shed load of inbound sales traffic. The site was mentioned on a few high profile blogs and from that I was able to convert several new business relationships. I do a little marketing here and there but my other major lead generator is helping people. When you help someone in a group or a forum for free, when they have money to spend they come to you.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

This was a sore subject for me for the first year I went freelance. I know that managing my time is something I find difficult and there were nights that I’d be up until 5am trying to adhere to an unrealistic deadline that I’d imposed upon myself. If you underestimate how long something will take you can only ever disappoint people. If you over-estimate you may occasionally lose out to someone on costs but the clients you’ll get will always be pleasantly surprised when you’re early. In terms of tools, I use OneDrive to keep all my important documents in place and a good old fashioned diary to keep track of my day.

I use 17hats to do all the things I’m terrible at; invoicing, project mapping, lead tracking etc. I’ve also been much more productive since I split my day down. I have specific hours now for design, development, social media, emails, invoicing etc. It keeps me from getting too bogged down in one task while the rest of the business suffers.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Probably not what you’d think. I don’t spend a lot of time looking at other web sites. If I do look at sites for inspiration they are never Divi. I want to do things that haven’t been done and you can’t do that if you’re only looking at things that already have been. I look to architecture, films, nature, print advertising, clothes and fabric patterns. I also spend way too long looking at fonts. Fonts are my jam.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

I was lucky enough to have a client list from the day I went freelance. Where I struggled was finding the time to do anything for them. I had my own site to build, contracts to write, logos to design, products to build. Its easy to spend the first 3 months building your own things instead of concentrating on finding clients and making them happy.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

Just do it. Stop second guessing if you can or if it’s the right time: You absolutely can and it’s never the right time. Focus on building a client list and doing work that makes them happy. Nothing else matters at first. Your site doesn’t need to be 1000 pages of services, your contract can be a copy and paste job from the internet. All that matter at first is doing good work for your clients. Join in on web design / development groups. Help people. Be honest with yourself. Know what you’re good at and find tools or hire people to do the stuff you’re not good at. Have fun. Working for yourself is stressful but it’s also extremely

16. John Lilly

john-lilly

Web Developer
Owner of Awesome Theme Designers

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

One of our strategies to get new customers, is to take good care of our existing customers. word of mouth is powerful, a happy customer who enjoys your product and finds value in your services will gladly share their experience with others.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

I only establish my workflow once a project has been defined, scoped, and I understand what can be re-used, what is new development and what requires me to learn new concepts. First, I identify the project priorities based on deadline / customer priority / customer activity. Next, I assess the amount of effort to complete the project based on time Finally, I evaluate my skill level relative to the tasks to complete the project If a project has a tight deadline and the customer is actively working with me, that project becomes the priority If a project has a tight deadline and a fixed delivery date, that may become the priority If a project has no deadline defined and may also not have any customer activity, this becomes the lowest priority

What are your sources of inspiration?

Usually my imagination albeit derived from site and functions I’ve seen before. I may get my initial inspiration from something I seen or experienced, however, those things generally don’t fit what I’m trying to accomplish, so I create something new form the original idea.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

We had some difficulties when we developed our first child theme, but after we put all of the work into it, and had a great product released on our website we still had to overcome other things such as trust, and marketing. Not only are we asking people to spend their hard earned money on our product, we are also asking them to trust our product on their personal or client websites.

To start developing trust we got more involved in the community and the various Divi Facebook groups, we provided great support to people who did purchase from us, and always look for ways to improve our product as well as after sale experience. For marketing, we started with SEO and writing some blogs and tutorials, as well as some ad campaigns. We also decided to join some great marketplaces to help promote our products.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

There is plenty of room in WordPress and Divi for new, quality products backed by great support. If you have a need for something that does not exist, create it! If you can’t do it alone, then find some people to partner with. As long as you enjoy what your doing, and your dedicated to quality, and the rest will come.

17. Adam Inlay

adam-inlay

Web Designer
Owner of Adam Inlay Web Design

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

Out of the many strategies that have tried, the most successful for me is online networking and even more so local networking. I live in a small community, where a lot of the business owners from surrounding towns live. I go in and introduce myself, not in salesman way but in a neighborly way and let them know what I do. Any time there is a community meeting I try to be there as well. I also network through the community’s facebook groups.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

As far as managing my workflow goes I tend to try to stick to my strength of front-end design and I outsource the rest of it, unless it’s a small job that I can handle myself.

What are your sources of inspiration?

I have a long list of inspiration. If you are talking about inspiration that keeps me going, that is the total love of being in industry where I have the freedom to create something beautiful that can help businesses grow. Being able to work from home and spend time with my kids is another big motivator for me. My inspiration from within the industry it’s self actually comes from two people that I have come to become friends with; Geno Quiroz and SJ James. In SJ’s words, these guys just make epic things happen.

They get the importance of community as well as having the eye for great design. Myself, I am working on the eye for design part but community has always been a important factor for me. When SJ and I started Divi Theme Help & Share our vision was to create a community that got away from worrying about the monetary benefits of the job and instead create an atmosphere which encourages brainstorming on how to create something better for everyone and how to help those just starting out through some of the bumps in the road that we may have encountered.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

One of the biggest difficulties that I faced when I started was putting a value on my work. I see other people charging $99 for a website and then I would see others charging $10k. I was totally lost in that aspect. I felt that I had to compete with the people who were diving to the bottom with their pricing and I was worried that if I didn’t I would lose clients. After a while I found out that was not the direction that I wanted to go.

If you want to be able to pay a few bills and maybe afford to eat more than mac&cheese every night you need to charge for the quality of YOUR work and not based on someone’s else budget that consist of making a penny per project. I now value my time and bill accordly. My other big issue that I over came was remembering to make EVERYONE sign a contract. If you don’t get them to sign a contract there is always one bad apple that will come back to haunt you.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

My advice for those that want to make this work is to continue to learn about whichever aspect (or all of them) of web design that suits them best and don’t stop learning. This industry is rapidly changing by the moment and will leave you behind if take a minute out. My other advice is to push your recurring services (seo, maintenance, hosting, social media marketing and so on…) as much or more so than the actual design projects. Having reoccurring income can be your life preserver when design jobs are hard to come by.

18. Svet Brkan

svet-brkan

Web Developer & Nomad Digital
Freelance

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

I’m very thankful to be in a position now, where people are referred or contact me directly. However, when I first started, I contacted everyone I knew who owned a business and told them I would build them a website for free if they could introduce me to 5 contacts that might be interested in a new website, before I knew it I had over 50 leads. Something that has also worked really well for me in the past, is to pick an industry and understand its specific requirements.

As an example, I learnt about the dentistry and medicine industry and their specific needs including appointment booking and complex contact forms. When a website can act as an additional employee, rather than just an online brochure, it became easy to approach someone new and show them how much value it could add to their business. In a short space of time I built 25 websites in this field.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

I’m very specific in how I manage myself. I have a diary where I write everything down and set my goals over a 3 month horizon. I then break those goals down into what do I need to do this month, this week or today to get to that 3 month goal. It’s easy to burn out being so structured, so I schedule regular breaks, every couple of months, I’ll take a whole week or fortnight off and try to stay fresh. When it comes to clients, I try to only build one website at a time, so dealing with a single job is quite easy. I won’t begin a website until the client has everything prepared and that’s been a key lesson I’ve had to learn.

What are your sources of inspiration?

I get inspiration from a lot of places. I’m constantly reading about design so I come across a lot of information on spacing, colours, types, ratios and after a while you subconsciously start using those lessons on your own designs. I also spend a lot of time on Behance, Dribble, Awwwards and appreciate what some of the premier designers are doing.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

ALL of the classic ones haha. Being too nice. Allowing unlimited alterations. Starting work without a deposit. Finishing work without full payment. Not having a contact in place. Not having all information supplied by the client. Setting unreasonable deadlines. Biting off way more than I can handle. All of them!

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

I would give two pieces of advice. Firstly if you want to be professional, act professional. Draw the line with your clients on what is agreed at the beginning and take pride in what you do. By being clear at the start, keeping your word and dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s you’ll save yourself much heartbreak in the long road and all your clients will respect you.

If you loose some leads because you couldn’t agree on pricing or scope, be thankful because they weren’t the right client for you! Secondly, if you want to be in demand, upskill. Learn, learn, learn! Take the time out to get better even at the cost of making money. Learn design, learn code, learn to develop, learn to sell. Get an edge!

19. Dehn Merrill

dehn-merrill

Web Designer and Developer
Owner and Lead Developer of Best Websites Fast

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

Early on, in the first couple years I was doing this, I blanketed everything and everywhere with ads and my business cards. The result was a lot of computer repair work, and in fact it was laptops, buying and selling, that paid the bills then. I had no idea what the market was or what I would be able to do. At that time, I actually took on jobs that I didnt know how to do….and figured it out after closing the deals. Those early days taught me a couple things, one being…raise my prices…or work on Craigslist crap forever.

And, two…work always followed good work finished. My strategy moving forward then, was to do everything the best I could, regardless of how bad I lost my butt. The result was work coming in. There have been times that were leaner than others, but the real answer here is, I never really looked for work after moving to WordPress in 2007. Work is always there, usually only restricted by my own habits or time-management.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

I’m actually very analog in that. I spent a lot of time in different sales environments before computers were truly in mainstream use. As a result, I learned a lot of things based on Organizers and Paper. I keep notes, emails and other back and forth with clients in a written form to run off of. I have started in recent years to use other tools of the trade. However, it’s been as I was called upon to do so by necessity. The groups in fact have been very good for me, and continue to give me knowledge in areas most take for granted and that I never knew even existed.

I use particular things on many installations, and have favored plugins that include monitoring tools, and in some cases, Project Management tools that help with client interaction. In general, I like to use Proposable for my Proposals, and have been using different project management plugins for the last few months and so far like Taskrocket for the possibilities. Really, the groups I am in on Facebook are creating more need for these tools than I have had up to this point….which is funny, over 10 years full time, and free work has made me have to rethink much of my workflow.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Up until 3 months ago…..searching……running around the internet looking at things, tearing apart code, often spending hours on stock sites, going through psd and more recent years vector art…buying things tearing them up and figuing out how they were made…often just the act of getting out of my own head and into someone else work, gave me more ideas to work with the customer to refine. I take time to get to know every client and business that I work with. It helps me to find the things that they want, and portray my client online in the light that they see themselves in…in terms of their ability, and using my skillset with the internet to do so in a way that gets them seen.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

PRICING. PRICING. PRICING. Though still something I slip on, in the beginning I had no idea what I was doing in so many ways that pricing was a huge issue before I realized it. It took me a couple years to get it under control…and I ended up taking advice from an article that really didnt seem right but turned out to be the best thing I could have done…..I raised my prices, a lot. And regularly. At the time I did a lot of sites in the 1000 USD range, and some under. My higher sites were 2200-2500 at the time. Im higher now. A couple sites last year topped 7500, and most were 4-5k.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

The very same advice that you would expect. Put your all into it, work hard and a lot. Get your skills up, and dont let a day go by where you dont practice or plan. I’m a bad example maybe…my kids are grown and I have time for my passions. It just happens that mine are code and design. Equal. I have no idea if Ill ever be great at either, but I wont fail to be for lack of effort. If you want to make a go at this, you have got to get out there and do it. I volunteer through Catchafire.org and Grassroots.org a couple few times a year…and try to never go still on my work.

20. Tammy Grant

tammy-grant

Web Designer and Developer
Owner of Sunflower Creatives

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

We write blog posts about managing websites and business. This is a resource that brings traffic to our website and engage our prospects. I am active social media and receive referrals from Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. The majority of our clientele finds us from search engine and referrals

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

We use Teamwork and 17hats to manage the flow of work and collaborate with team members. We have been using a schedule that both team members and clients can follow. This helps the client know what to expect at each phase of the project. From the moment we take new clients, the contract, payment process and asset collection is streamlined. Instead of using email, we collect information and project assets from the Teamwork app so that all information is central and communication is easier to follow.

What are your sources of inspiration?

There are a number of things that inspire me. I love being an entrepreneur and the lifestyle it affords me. I have free time to spend with my family. My favorite part is that I can travel and work from any location. This keeps me motivated to keep my business growing in the right direction.

Resources for inspiration:

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

It was difficult finding new clients because I didn’t have a lot in my portfolio. I had to position myself to work as a subcontractor to keep income. The challenge, I was earning an income but was still not furthering my business because my portfolio was still not growing. The portfolio was essential to gaining the confidence of new clients.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

I would give two pieces of advice. Firstly if you want to be professional, act professional. Draw the line with your clients on what is agreed at the beginning and take pride in what you do. By being clear at the start, keeping your word and dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s you’ll save yourself much heartbreak in the long road and all your clients will respect you.

Continue learning your craft and stay on the pulse of current trends. If you blink for a minute you may easily find yourself lagging behind the trends. Make decisions regarding your business that will foster your strategy for growth. Avoid falling into survival mode by taking projects that will provide income but will not benefit your business long-term.

21. Nathan Duvall

nathan-duvall

Web Developer
Owner/Creator of Elegant Child Themes

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

Most people don’t realize this, but I actually still have a full time 9-5 job on top of my GruffyGoat & Elegant Child Themes freelance businesses. Because of work obligations and having a family with 2 growing boys (with their own crazy schedules!), I’ve never spent a ton of time developing a strategy to get new customers. I’ve never proactively marketed my services or spent any money on marketing or advertising. To this point, my business has been built entirely on word of mouth.

So I’m probably not the best person to ask about strategy, ha! However, with that said, I’ve had one simple strategy from the get-go… to offer the best customer support to my clients as possible. I believe that simple strategy has been the key to the success I’ve been blessed with to this point. As “connected” as we all are in this day and age, somehow we’ve managed to isolate our clients with an endless set of processes & procedures, phone prompts and automation or just overwork ourselves to the point that support is a thing we overlook for the “greener grass” on the other side of the fence.

When made a priority, support can be the one thing that sets you apart from all the rest. Sure, there may be more talented designers & developers than you – that’s definitely the case for me – but if you don’t overlook support and instead, make it a priority, you won’t just gain new customers but you’ll win customers for life.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

I keep my workflow super simple. My email inbox is a bit of a to-do list as well and something I don’t overlook throughout the day. I usually take little breaks to knock out whatever support requests can be dealt with quickly. This keeps my clients & customers happy when they receive a quick response. For overall project management, I use Trello and Slack for communication with other freelancers that I partner with. I’m sure there are other tools out there that would improve workflow for me – I’ve tried many over the years – but this is what works for me.

What are your sources of inspiration?

In the early days it was Dribbble. I used to drool over the über talented graphic designers that would post their latest creations. I’ve had to stop going there because it’s easy to become envious when comparing your work to theirs when that’s not really a fair comparison in most cases, due to budget, time & resources. I enjoy browsing through design ideas on Line 25, Awwwards & Pinterest. While some are still lofty aspirations, some are achievable.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

For me, it was coming to the realization of what I was good at and what I was not. It took me awhile to come to grips with the fact that it was ok that I couldn’t do it all. For a long time I tried to do everything myself – from designing logos, business cards & posters to doing web design, copywriting and SEO. While I think it’s good to have a basic understanding and appreciation for all of those things, it’s also ok to focus on the one or few things you excel in so you’re not pulling yourself in so many directions.

For me, I love graphic design… I can go on Dribble and look for hours at other people’s logos & branding work. But as much as I wish I were a great graphic designer… that’s just not my “thing”. Doesn’t mean I can’t hone my skills but it also doesn’t mean I have to be good at it in order to be successful. I’ve got my own set of skills I can bring to the table that others may not have.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

First, identify where your passions lie and what services you want to provide and then partner with others who can help you fill in the blanks. Trying to be all things to all people will only leave you exhausted and wondering why you ever got into this business to begin with. Learn to be ok with letting go of certain aspects of the job that you’re either not good at or just don’t want to do. Finding the right partners that you can trust is invaluable. Second, try to figure out a way to earn recurring revenue.

For me, it’s offering what I call “Lifetime Support” – what most people refer to as their maintenance plans. However, for me it’s so much more than just running updates on their sites. It’s partnering with them for the life of their site to help them succeed online. My clients know they can call, text or email me at anytime and know they’re going to get a courteous, fast response. And as a result, I’ve been able to monetize that into a nice automated, recurring income over the years. Everyone wins! And just one final thought because it’s the thing I’m most passionate about – whatever you do, do not overlook your customer support! It can make or break your entire business overnight.

You could be the most talented designer or developer on the planet but if your customer support skills suck, you might as well call it quits. If you’re not good at it and it’s not your “thing” then you should probably work on that and get better or at the very least, find someone who can help you own part of your business, that you can trust will do a good job at it. Providing good support is literally what built my freelance business and is the reason nearly all of my original clients are still with me today and still refer me to their friends & family.

22. Sean Barton

sean-barton

Web Developer
Owner of Tortoise IT

Link: Linkedin Profile
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

In all honesty I don’t have one. I write plugins that I will use in my own projects and plugins that I think people need. I have never been good at marketing or rather I’ve never marketed myself by conventional means. I’ve always believed that if you do a good job or do a good thing then people will tell their friends. Facebook groups are great for marketing new products of course. Mentioning a new product in a marketplace in a group will certainly get people interested.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

I’m awful at this! I do use Trello to keep a list of my ideas and to keep my client projects in order although with my plugin work I actually follow a two step process. Firstly I write a small proof of concept to show I can do what I want to do. Once that is complete I pad it out with a nice settings page and the full functionality of the end plugin. Once some independent people have tested it then it’s ready for release. Always leave time for support once products are on the market of course. Regardless of how good a plugin is, someone will always break it.. and it’ll be your fault 🙂

What are your sources of inspiration?

I’ve been writing plugins and giving them away for free since around 2008. Each time I did something interesting on a client site build I’d turn it into a plugin and publish it on my blog. Also… I am a member of a number of Facebook groups and Divi communities. Each is filled with members of different levels of experience and skill. When I see the same question being asked a lot it’s an obvious call for a new plugin. I don’t like to charge for every plugin I release either as that wouldn’t be in the spirit of the community. In addition to Divi plugins, WooCommerce is an excellent plugin to support and loads of people really enjoy using it so there’s a huge micro-market there adjacent to that of the normal WP community.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

I’ve always hated risk and, as such, have never done anything that I wouldn’t get some use out of. I’ve been coding in PHP for over a decade and know it extremely well. I rarely find something I can’t do and so my main problem is that I don’t have time to do the things I want to do. My difficulties in general are quoting effectively. I wish I was a shrewd businessman to the extent that I extracted every bit of cash from every client but instead of that I find I am ‘too nice’ and end up doing jobs cheaply for people I like. Over the years this does take it’s toll and I have worked far too many hours in the persuit of getting every project done to make a living. These days I’ve got a lot more experience, things have become easier to develop and easier to quote for and life is good.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

I’d say just to do what you love. This isn’t about making money from an untapped source or some cunning ploy. The way to make things work is to do what you enjoy and do your best. Sometimes people will pay for a basic plugin or a quick fix but I’ve always been a fan of adding features and making people want to use your products rather than just fulfilling a basic need. I think as long as you aren’t doing it to make a few easy dollars then the community will do the rest for you.

23. Corey Creech

corey-creech

Web Developer
Owner of Coreykcreech digital strategies

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

For me, my strategy has always been great relationships and superior quality work, which leads to word of mouth marketing on autopilot. I consider my work to be top notch, and because of that, my clients are all super impressed. When their friends, family, co-workers, fellow employees, etc. see the work I do for them, they can’t help but say “who did that for you?” It’s mainly about relationships. Good relationships will go further than any cold call. That and great work. Don’t be sloppy. Treat your client work like your own, and wow your clients.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

Before I got BACK into the web development space, I did a lot of high level network engineering and administration. Much of what I did was process management, and in all the roles and for all of the new processes I’ve either created or helped to create, I noticed one thing. Most processes take a good 8-12 months to REALLY figure out and get to where you want them to be. Therefore, my processes are in their infancy. With that said, I do use some tools to make things easier. 17hats is what drives most of my business. It does client management, quotes, invoices, contracts, emails, calendar, etc. etc.

There’s a lot that it does, but there’s a lot that it doesn’t do, or at least, it doesn’t do well. Since it was built for photographers, you can tell that some of the stuff us developers would like to see just isn’t there. However, it’s a really good solution to MOST things. Aside from that, Trello is EXCELLENT for using scrum to get a birds-eye view of everything you need to get done. Google Apps, Dropbox for file sharing, and Slack. I love Slack for communication. Every project is different, and therefore, most of the time the process is different too.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Believe it or not, Pinterest is excellent. It takes some getting used to but once you get the hang of it, you can really find neat stuff. Mood boards for branding and color selection are good. A lot of cool website ideas are on there, too. Aside from Pinterest, I’ll check out some of the best-selling themes on the major marketplaces to get ideas from 3-5 of those, and blend them together based on client needs. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of custom jQuery stuff, so places like Codepen.io have been a huge “ahhhh that’s so cool” for me.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

Well, this one is pretty easy. I had recently lost my well-paying 9-5 job, and while I knew I COULD make it on my own, it was harder than I imagined it would be. I had a few clients I was doing random stuff for, but I had no website and no real marketing plan. I had some money in savings, but with a family of 5 to support that was gone quickly. The biggest challenge has been getting higher paying clients. It seems that everyone is always looking for a cheaper way to do things, so when sticker shock sets in you really gotta sell yourself.

I’ve never been an “outstanding” salesperson, but as a business owner you wear all the hats. Recently, my biggest challenge has been transitioning from a business model focused on clients around the US to local small and mid-sized businesses looking for more personal interaction with their developer and business strategist. I’ve had to end relationships with clients of mine that I didn’t see fit to stay in, and that sucks too, especially when you’ve worked with them for some time. Entrepreneurship has its ups and downs.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

Oh, my favorite of these questions. I do a lot of pep-talking with clients and potential clients of mine. At the end of the day, it’s all a mindset game. You really gotta drill in deep and do work. Grind. Hustle. Get it done. You don’t necessarily NEED a plan, but it’s good to have one. Some people like to go in like a bull in a china shop. Some are a mix between a careful ninja and the bull. Some are like CIA operatives – well coordinated and know their mission from beginning to end. If you work better one way over another, do what works best for you. But DO something.

At the end of the day, it’s not easy. You’ll need to be ready to sacrifice time, money, friendships, events, parties, anything and everything you’re WILLING to let go to make it work for you. You have to think about what it is you really want. Wake up every morning, brush those teeth, look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re going to be successful today. Say it over and over until you truly believe it. If you can’t, then it’s probably not your time – yet.

My advice would be to just keep moving the needle forward, and don’t focus on trying to get from A to Z. Instead, worry about what you have to do to get from A to B. Worry about the rest as you go along; you’ll know when the time is right to worry about that thing. Oh, and it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to work. If you drag your feet because of some little thing, you’re going to end up wasting time, which equals money. Just get it out there, whatever it is, and DO WORK. GRIND. HUSTLE. See your success, visualize it, and make it a reality.

24. John Wooten

john-wooten

Web Designer and Drummer
Owner of Artillery Media

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

Roughly 80% of the business we currently receive is from word-of-mouth. You could say our strategy is to take care of our customers to the point where they refer for us. I do offer a separate service providing websites for a certain niche market. For that service, I partnered with a respected leader in that niche market who sends us referrals. We use Facebook Ads to market ourself as well as growing our email list. We market our blog posts on Facebook and to our email list. The blog posts get shared and we gain new customers through that interaction as well. Most importantly, we take pride in providing excellent work and customer service to our clients and customers. We are quick to respond to their needs and we are timely with our deadlines. Those 2 items seem to be huge with repeat and referral business.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

First, we screen/interview our clients just as they are screening/interviewing us. Through 10+ years of doing this, I’ve learned how to spot “trouble clients”. We all have our nightmare client stories… We are now fortunate to be able to choose the clients we work with. Every new project we take gets its own Slack channel. We use Slack mainly for internal communication. Slack has significantly cut down our internal emails. I also keep track of projects and their progress in Trello.

Each project has its own Trello board with cards for all of the items needed for that project. Some example cards are: “Create Homepage Wireframe”, “Gather Content from Client”, “Site Launch Checklist”, etc. We use Dropbox for sharing files and gathering content from clients. We create instructional videos for our clients. At the beginning of the project, we send a few videos showing the client how to create a Site Outline and how to place their content in the shared Dropbox folder in an orderly manner. At the end of the project, we send videos teaching the client how to manage their new website.

Some of these videos we’re able to re-use for every project. When a client falls behind in the project timeline, we send a friendly reminder asking them for the items assigned to them. If they get behind by a good bit, we inform them we need to put their project on hold until we get the items we need from them. This has worked well for us. We use Freshbooks for all invoicing. We’ve only had a couple clients be extremely late with billing. With Freshbooks, we’ve setup automatic late payment emails to go out at 30, 45, and 60 days after the invoice is due. I have definitely noticed we get paid faster since switching to Freshbooks.

What are your sources of inspiration?

I follow a handful of Divi groups on Facebook and I’m always checking out the designs in those groups. Themeforest is also a great place to find inspiration. I check out the Trending items, as well as Top Selling items. I feel this helps give me a good pulse on what the latest design trends are. I also use the Muzli extension for Chrome as my welcome screen when I open a new tab. I’ll often see some Dribbble shots or other design articles in Muzli that I’ll read. I follow several design blogs and get inspiration from them (InVision, Designmodo, etc). Lastly, I’ll check out other CMS services and look at their designs (Squarespace, Wix, Weebly). These companies have poured quite a bit of research and resources into their designs.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

When I first started Artillery Media, I was working full-time for a university. I had to work on Artillery projects late at night and on the weekends. It was hard work, but I loved it. I was single at the time which helped…it’s much harder to work late nights and weekends with a family. I also was in a band when I started Artillery. Eventually, Artillery would become the main income stream to allow me to tour with the band full-time for several years. We had wifi on the bus and I would work late at night and early mornings. Early on, especially when I was touring, I had to take almost every project I could as I needed the money. At the time, I was an expert working with Flash and creating custom full-page MySpace pages for bands.

I must have created 50 or more of those as well as CD artwork. Bands do not have great budgets and expect quite a bit of customization. Although that was great creatively, it was a challenge to run the business effectively. I realized I had to get out of the band market. It was tough to start saying no, but in the long run, getting into small-to-medium size business sites was a great move. I started with a music studio and a local home builder. I charged a very low amount as I needed these 2 sites to start my portfolio. Once I had done 4 or 5 sites, the referrals started to come in and I could charge solid amounts for sites.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

Whether it’s working solely with Divi, or WordPress themes in general, I would highly suggest learning the basics of HTML and become a master of CSS. If you’re wanting to solely focus on design, then I would suggest partnering up with a solid developer who knows HTML, CSS and jQuery. I stress CSS as this is how you can take Divi and really mold it to fit your design vision; instead of being limited with the base style options of the theme.

25. Eileen Corrigan Lonergan

eileen

Web Marketing Specialist
Co-Ownership of Elegant Marketplace

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

My strategy to get new customers is to make sure my current customers are satisfied, as many clients are referrals. The other half of my clients find me through my website. I work hard on SEO and add fresh content to my blog regularly.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

I am always looking to improve this process. I try to meet clients where they are comfortable, email, DropBox, Google Docs. For me, I have tried all the platforms: Trello, Base Camp, Evernote and each has an upside. I always seem to fall back to Moleskin notebooks and a written list. I am not one who takes great delight in crossing things off, but I value to process of thinking through my week, what needs to be accomplished and putting it down on paper.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Gosh, I find it everywhere. I am a big fan of yours Fabio! I love Melissa Love and Michelle Nunan’s work. I love it when people post their newly launched sites into the Divi Theme Users Group in Facebook. In my quiet time I roll through Pinterest which I am crazy about. I have a few Divi website galleries and web design boards. A few people have told me how much they adore http://www.design-seeds.com and I have just begun trolling there for ideas.

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

Finding new clients. Finding my people. It can be lonely doing this from a home office. It is inevitable that you will get stuck and have questions. This was my motivation for forming the Divi Theme Users Group – to create a place where people can learn and share. Andrew Palmer and I take great pride in the group dynamic and how many business relationships have formed from the members and how many issues have been resolved in a quick and respectful manner.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

Don’t give up. Invest in yourself with learning and tools that make your professional life easier. There are loads of WordPress Meetups and WordCamps, go to one or two! Andrew and I will be at WordCamp Boston and would love to connect with as many people as possible. There is no shame in asking questions or looking for strategic alliances.

26. Michelle Nunan

eileen

Web Designer/Developer/Teacher
Owner of Divi Soup & Divi Academy

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website
Link: Academy

What is your strategy to get new customers?

My main strategy is to treat my existing customers exceptionally well. I go over and above the call of duty in terms of providing value and great service which builds a relationship whereby my customers feel confident in recommending me to others. My existing clients also come back to me time and again because they value our relationship. I am lucky in the fact that as I am quite well known in the Divi community, I don’t really need to promote my services and clients tend to find me, but I find it much more effective to communicate the value my services can add to a clients’ business rather than on the actual website or product I am building.

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

I use 17Hats for pretty much everything from CRM and workflow to quotes and invoicing. I also love to mind-map with coggle.it and use this to define the structure and flow of new website builds as well as numerous other projects.

What are your sources of inspiration?

I find inspiration in so many places but to name a few:

  • Pinterest
  • Dribble
  • WP template stores
  • Billboards
  • TV Adverts
  • Print media

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

I have been doing this for so long now it’s hard to remember but probably the most difficult thing was finding that first client. I can’t even remember who it was or what the site was about now but I do remember lacking a lot of confidence in my abilities. I was a lot younger then and the web was relatively new and content management systems didn’t even exist. Although people told me I was good I worried that I wasn’t good enough to charge for my services. I spent a lot of time teaching myself everything and doing some sites for free when I could to build a portfolio, that gave me the confidence to start charging as the feedback was so great.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

To those starting out I would say:

  • Choose a niche you are knowledgeable and passionate about.
  • Define your ideal client and make sure you understand their passions and pain points.
  • Hang out where your ideal clients hang out, whether that be online or offline, and don’t hard sell to them; provide advice, insight and value and people will see you as an expert in your field.
  • Build a few websites for free to improve your skills, confidence and get a portfolio going.
  • Make sure you have a rock solid contract in place and never work with anyone who doesn’t want to sign a contract.
  • Make sure you always get at least 50% payment up front.
  • Invest in yourself and make sure you always put time aside for learning.
27. Fabio Sarcona

fabio-sarcona

Web Designer/Developer/Ux Designer
Owner of Creative Child Themes

Link: Facebook Page
Link: Website

What is your strategy to get new customers?

My best strategy is without doubt the word of mouth and inbound marketing. The satisfaction of my client has always been my main source of new alliances and new projects but also the creation of resources and valuable content are certainly fundamental to show your skills. Being able to create a relationship of trust with your customer to perceive the value that you’re giving to the project, transmit your passion, understand the needs of your customers and propose solutions that give real results, it allows you to be perceived as a professional .

I know it’s not easy especially at the beginning of his career, but it is the main objective to get to if you want to pay monthly electricity bills 🙂

How do you manage your workflow? (Tools and tips to improve its project management)

The tools I use the most are Trello and Slack, are my two best friends when it comes to work :). Trello I use it for my editorial calendar, to add new ideas for my child themes, to add code snippets, to organize step of my projects, to save links to services and tools I use most often, so I can say with tranquility that is my second brain :D..

While Slack I use it for collaboration and communication with other teams.

To improve my productivity allowance precise task to a few hours of the day, for example: in the morning I get up early in the first hour of the day I dedicate to respond to mail, to support requests and messages on social channels. Then dedicate 30-45min to read some articles on my personal feed, because I think it’s important to remain up to date and I also love to go to sleep with the knowledge that you have learned something new. After this “ritual”, I turn off all notifications and I focus all my energy on the job. Then at the end of the day I spend another hour to social and email, so I can complete all the objectives of the day.

What are your sources of inspiration?

My sources of inspirations are many I have a list of favorite sites That are a real gym for creativity, but some times my inspirations are purely spontaneous, in fact I happen to have some inspirations in really weird places. One of the places That gave me creative blackberries for me is the shower! I know you’re laughing, do not see you but I know :D, but there it is. I not really know why but many of the most creative ideas I’ve had are born in the shower.

Then I am also lucky because I grew up in a family of painters. My grandfather and his two brothers were the talented painter, as well as having done many painting, have painted many churches in Italy and perhaps in my blood there is a bit of my grandfather creativity. 🙂

What were the difficulties you have faced when you started your job?

The greatest difficulty was to find the first client and the second was to understand that they have spent 2 months to build a website “Wooow!” without a portfolio to display. I soon realized that you can be the best in your work, but if you have something to show to prove yourself, everything you’re one of the many, and in our work it means losing potential customers.

But I have not given up, I contacted five local business, and I proposed to build their website for free, plus I contacted two local web agency to which I proposed to design the restyling of their website. These two strategies, have allowed me to create my portfolio and get the first customers.

What advice would you give those who want to make this work?

The first advice is to find a niche where your skills and your passion can make a difference, in fact even if you did not, you should read the book “Blue Ocean Strategy” will be very useful to understand the importance of find their niche.

The second advice is to be curious! It just so, you must be thirsty for knowledge, you have to have that flame inside you that makes you right-click to find out the code of a site, I figure out how to solve a problem without asking anyone for help, to discover new methods and tools that can enhance your work. In a word must always have and ready to receive new information.

The third advice, which some binds to the previous one, is to develop their problem solving skills. Very often I read on the internet or questions in the various groups Facebook, help requests that can be answered with a simple internet search. The best way to learn and find out for yourself the answers to our questions and to our problems, this is the first quality that every developer must have.

The fourth advice is to never give up and work hard to achieve your goals. For me my work is my greatest passion, and when at the beginning I had some difficulties I never even thought for a second of throw in the towel. I spent whole day studying, testing, creating, reading books and manuals, or given up on holidays and weekends to devote all my efforts to my goal. It is not easy, that’s for sure, but I think if you have a the right determination, the right willpower and you’re healthy, then you have everything you need to achieve any goal!

The fifth is last advice is to take care of its customers. The satisfaction of your customers and users will be your best business card.

 

Conclusion

As you saw, behind a success there are normal people like me and you who have never surrendered before the obstacles, but they have worked so hard and with passion to achieve their objectives. Now be inspired by each of them and apply these tips and strategies to your business, and maybe one day you will be here to tell your story :)!

quotes

Author | Fabio Sarcona

I am a freelance developer, dad of Creative Child Themes and one a sweet puppy Cocker Spaniel named Camilla. You want to see me happy? You just need a computer and chips! 😀

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