Overview

We all have challenges. There are challenges which hold us back and there are those which call us forward. This week my guest is Justin Meadows and this show is all about how you can have success on your own terms no matter what the constraints are.

If you think you're too remote, isolated, don't have time, money or education to be successful then hopefully this week's show will help open your eyes..

About Justin

Justin Meadows helps growing businesses optimise their websites performance to better leverage your other marketing activities.

The core service he offers at TunedWP.com is full WordPress support, security maintenance, speed optimisation and hosting so that you can focus on other things instead of messing around in WordPress.

He has grown this business over the past 10 years from a small country town of Mansfield in the high country of Victoria, Australia. To grow the current business to serve clients all over the globe with a 24/7 support desk, Justin has an awesome team working with him remotely from the Philippines.
The business has always been built to allow lifestyle freedom, for Justin to spend more time with his kids. This became very helpful when he became a full-time single dad. To grow the business with these time and distance constraints, Justin focussed on white-label to get started then networking and referrals to grow.

Links and mentions

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Automatic Audio Transcription

We all have challenges, there are challenges which hold us back, and there are those which call us forward this week. My guest is Justin Meadows, and this show is all about how you can have success on your own terms no matter what the constraints are. If you think you're too remote, too isolated, you don't have time, money or education to be successful, then hopefully this week's show will open your eyes. Hi there. And welcome back to Amplify the Digital Marketing Entrepreneur podcast.

I'm Bob Gentle, and every Monday I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new, then take a second now to subscribe so you don't miss new episodes. You can also grab some older ones when you're done with this one. Don't forget as well you can join my Facebook community, just visit, amplify me, dot form forward slash insiders. And I, along with lots of other digital entrepreneurs, will be waiting for you there.

So welcome on. And let's meet Justin. This week, I'm delighted to be welcoming Justin Meadows to the show as Justin runs tuned up. And I'm not going to tell you too much about what that is, because, Justin, welcome to the show. Why don't you tell us a little bit about who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do the show.

You know, Bob, pleasure to be on here. Yeah, I'm just scimitars in tune with the business that I've been running for about ten years now. It's the latest iteration of it. I'm based in rural Victoria and Australia, so I'm about three hours drive north of Melbourne, up in the mountains here. Is that the part that would call the outback?

It's not quite it's not quite the outback.

It is the bush or that it's called the high country round here.

So I'm right near a ski resort. Actually, it's it's also the sort of area of the Ned Kelly famous Ned Kelly stories. Kelly.

Yeah. Sorry, I interrupted. That's right.

Yeah. So the business I sort of how how I've got here, I started out making the business about Siao actually and I just sort of stumbled into the online space.

A mate of mine had found some really good, good person that taught them about ASIO and sort of said you should have a crack at this. And at the time I was, I was working, doing promotional products for my old man and I wanted to make a bit of site income and sort of eventually turn that into a business.

So I took the plunge in and had to go.

I started off actually making like a big blog and trying to get money out of that, doing so on it and putting ads on it and that sort of thing. And although that that whole idea kind of failed, I learnt a lot about SEO and then I thought I can help other businesses around me with that sort of thing.

And so I started offering that to the local businesses in my town. I knew that sort of that was a small pool. There's only three thousand people in the town at the time. And I sort of thought maybe I could go with a wholesale model and build a team that would supply this to other marketing agencies in Melbourne and in Sydney. And I could build relationships, you know, take the time to travel to Melbourne and to Sydney and build relationships with a few key agencies that would resell my services.

But I also found around that time that it was hard for me to hire and build a team of other people that could help me with the CEO. And the other thing was that to do the work, we also needed to help people with their website and optimize that website and quite often build a new website for them. And at first I actually hated that. That was that was a big pain in the butt for me. But I eventually found that that was actually a better business model because I could a lot easier, easier to find great developers, but it was a lot harder to find and train good people for NCR.

Yeah.

So that sounds like a fairly a fairly straightforward journey, but it it really isn't. I mean, things like blogging, for example, they really depend a lot on luck. If you're going to if you're going to be successful as a blogger, you're going to have to chip away at that for a long, long time and get lucky. And that's not a plan. It's a great if you can turn a hobby into a business. But it's a very rare thing.

Absolutely.

I found I could get success in terms of rankings and eyes on the page and plenty of visitors, but converting that into money was the hard part.

Turning it into a business and monetizing that was the part that I struggled with.

So looking at your business, now you've got to WPP, which I instinctively think of as a WordPress maintenance business. But that's not really the case, is it? You're you're doing new build websites as well?

No, we are, although it's actually something that I'm doing less of.

And so so we we sort of turned from from doing the SEO. I turned into becoming a full, just focussed Web dev agency and we were supplying white label Web dev actually under a different brand, which I still have called Evergreen Profit. And that was we were doing a lot of. Website development, building the sites and then doing the ongoing maintenance and support and hosting of those websites, but I found it was hard to get people to just sign up just to the maintenance and support without also building the website as well.

And so I sort of felt like I needed to do have both of those two services and and that the building, the websites led into the maintenance and support service, which was sort of what was left over of the old CEO service. We built that into the service at that time was the support and maintenance and hosting of the websites that were doing the CO2. We sort of stopped doing the SEO over time and started focusing on the builds, but we kept that support service and eventually ran into troubles with that business model of being a white label website development company, because I was reliant for most of my income on a few key agencies sending work to me, and it was lumpy income in the form of big projects.

And in Australia, we really just shut down all through January from sort of, you know, a few weeks out before Christmas to the end of January after Australia Day, nothing, not nobody starts any new projects. And so we had one year in particular where we'd have had a lot of growth in the business at heart, a lot of developers and I had a lot more overheads in terms of full time staff that I had in the team.

And we had a particularly bad Christmas period where we didn't get any new projects coming on board from the start of December, all the way through into March is when we started getting them. And that really hurt the business from a cash flow point of view. And that was when I'm like, right, something's going to change. I need to have control over acquiring customers and dealing directly with customers. And so I moved away from that business model. I still have that there.

We still have we still look after a number of wholesale clients in that way and we still have that brand. But I've now focused on building out the tune WP brand over the last sort of three years. And yeah, now we we really focus on taking on existing websites and fixing them up and optimizing their performance and then giving them the ongoing hosting and support.

So for the average, I mean, you focus on WordPress exclusively now, is that correct? Yeah, I always have.

That was always something that I decided that I was going to specialize in that to keep it simple.

So looking at the tuned up side of things now, that's your main focus. I'm thinking about the average website owner that has had a website built by a local web developer. That's usually how it goes to local web developer who's decided they're going to they're going to use WordPress as their platform of choice all the time or occasionally, as is often the case, is sort of what we're going to do this one with.

That's how we approach things, you know, and then it's kind of they're not they're not coming to that project with a word with a WordPress discipline perspective. What kind of performance improvements should you expect when you move to somebody like Hatoon over the company that probably built your website? Yeah.

So there's there's a number of that's a very multifaceted question. There's a lot I'm thinking of myself.

I'm a perfect example. I built my own WordPress website. I'm kind of OK at that. But there's probably all kinds of things I've screwed up along the way. I know if you do an audit on it, there's a lot of red flags I don't know how to fix, but they're not costing me. They're not they're not asking me to put money in my hand and hand over money in terms of lost revenue. But I'm sure that a lost opportunity through lost rankings and lost performance.

Yeah, absolutely.

And that is typically where we can get the best results for clients is where they're at a point where they're spending a fair bit on their marketing and they really want to show that they're growing and they want to really make the most out of that and make sure that their website is really converting and as much as possible of the marketing spend that they're putting into their business. And so plugging up those little leaks can end up saving or making a lot more money.

So I think that when when we look at the performance of a website, we look at eight key areas. And the the first thing we actually look at the design. So the first impression that you get when you look. A website and a number of times I've seen websites that have been built by expensive agencies and they're missing a few key elements, like a strong call to action, or they've still got an image slide or something silly like that.

So so or that. They're trying to add in too many different things that are vying for your attention. And it becomes confusing. And you're not really sure what what this business has to offer when you first look at the website. So looking at that first impression is one of the things that we do. Another thing that we assess is how you're building trust and authority, because trust is a massive factor when, you know, people are handing over money on the Internet.

So you want to prove that you are a trustworthy business and you can get results that they that you promise you you you're going to get and that you are the best business out there to to deal with. So looking at where in the website, those trust authority factors displayed and then looking at how you're tracking the conversions and do you have a strong call to action and are they in logical places on the pages?

That's the sort of leads and funnels aspect is another element that we look at and then things like the page load speed. This has become more and more important over the past two years because Google have been putting a very big focus on it and they've been making that an increasingly stronger ranking signal in the and in the CEO, but also in their ad algorithm with the quality score of the landing page. If you have a slow loading website, you will actually be paying more per click for your bids.

And I believe that is also true of Facebook, but I don't actually have data on that.

And then so apart from that speed aspect of SEO, we look at other things that affect your SEO and we're looking at the broad, you know, the looking for. Is there anything that is glaringly obvious issues and is there some 80, 20 sort of things that we can do, some small tweaks that we can make that can give you the the biggest chunk of your results? We I wouldn't say that we're SEO specialists these days. I certainly don't run SEO campaigns for people anymore.

And so I haven't really been on top of the latest tools and competitive analysis and all that sort of stuff. But we still know the the essentials that a website needs to have to to rank well.

And then the other other sort of areas of performance that we look at the mobile experience, because that is also extremely important. And for some websites, more so than others, depends on the the target market. And then the last thing we look at or not the last but the second last is looking at the security of the website, making sure you using SSL, that is pretty commonplace now, but it's still I still come across websites that are not doing that.

And that is that, again, feeds into your conversions and also your SEO. And so we also look in the back end of the website and look at how how secure your WordPress has been structured in terms of the plugins using and and do you have a firewall in place and those sorts of things. And the last thing we look at is asset control. And that is something that's probably not as tangible sort of thing. But I think it's important when you as a business that you make sure that your website is an asset for your business and it is something that you have control over.

And that is one of the main reasons why I've stuck with WordPress, because I think it's a good platform from that point of view. You do have full control and ownership of your website.

If you go onto other platforms like Shopify, which have fantastic platforms for certain types of businesses and for certain stages of your business, you do give up that control of your asset to a certain degree.

And the other thing is by putting your marketing material, publishing content on your website, you're building up an asset which is scalable and which brings people to you.

But if you're only ever putting content out on your Instagram account and you never putting any of that on your website, then if you lose your Instagram or Instagram becomes not popular or deleted or whatever, then you've lost all of your your content that you've published.

I think that as a control piece is really important. It's often, I think, forgotten about in the glamour of potentially working with a new agency that's not as sexy as the other.

Topics. Yeah, I think somebody contacted me the other day just for some advice to look at his website because it wasn't doing what he needed to do and his developer was giving him a very high price. It didn't it wasn't didn't have an SSL certificate. And he was quoted in the U.K. a thousand pounds to have the SSL applied to it, which I thought that sounds like a lot of money. But the reason it was costing them was because the website had been built in called Fusion, which, you know, nobody should be using cold fusion anymore.

This Web site was only a year old and that client had been completely painted into a corner. He had nowhere to go. And I also see that quite often with people working with their own proprietary content management systems, because they've invested in this as an agency over years, they've built their own content management system. These are two really important things to watch out for, is obsolete technology that nobody will touch or proprietary technology that nobody will let you touch.

Never mind the Shopify and Squarespace of this world. At least somebody can come in and help you with those. Yeah, it amazes me.

But I also see still some businesses that are in that tricky situation where they're at the mercy of this one web developer who is the only person in the world who can make changes to their site. And it's it's not a good position to put your, you know, something that is the most important marketing asset for your business.

So looking at your business now, what you've described as a business that has sort of been through service revenue, through to project revenue, through service revenue, I'm curious to know where that with a breakdown is for you now in terms of the proportion of project to service revenue, in terms of sort of. Yeah, one of lumps of cash as opposed to recurring regular money. Yeah.

So it's now shifted to three quarters recurring and just one quarter one off projects. So and this is where I've been trying to get it to for the last couple of years. So I'm quite happy with that, that ratio as it is now.

I'm curious to know what that's made in terms of a difference to this whole Christmas cash flow problem, because I think a lot of people listening, if they are in agencies, will be listening, thinking, wow, three quarters service revenue. That's a that's a long way off. But how would you describe the rewards of that?

It's fantastic. Just the peace of mind for after that first initial cash flow crunch that I had a couple of years ago that put me personally under a hell of a lot of stress for a long time, because it meant that I went into a fair bit of debt at the time. And then I struggled to come back from that, because in order to come back from that, I also needed to restructure my business. And it was a bit of a juggling act for quite some time.

And also at that time when when I was going through that cashflow crunch, I needed to lay off some staff and that was a hard thing to do. So it was it was a it was a horrible experience. I never want to go through that again, but it certainly has forced me to build a much stronger business. And now I do have a greater peace of mind and also flexibility within the business to make changes to the business, not just things that I need to do now to get money.

You know, I can now start making decisions based on what is best for our clients, what is best for our team, what is best for me personally. And yeah, it is definitely a much happier with my business this year than I have been in previous years.

Yeah, I can totally relate to all of that.

I think I've had some very similar experiences and I think as well it's it's important to talk about it because I think most businesses probably do go through this. But when you're going through it, you feel totally alone and you feel like you're a failure. And I think it is important to realize that it's it you're not the only one that's had these sort of problems. And in fact, most businesses don't come out of it. And so if you can navigate your way through it, then you've done bloody well.

I think so. I think especially in your space, where most people's approach to fixing that problem is just sell harder, sell more. That's the traditional way of fixing it. You just you accumulate more people to deliver more work in order that you can generate more money. And it just becomes this horrible hamster wheel of sales. But to actually adjust the business model and say, well, everybody else is going that way, you know what, I'm going this way.

It's a much better way of doing it. But it is terrifying. Yeah, and it's and it's important that that's one of the reasons why I'm still very much involved in a lot of business communities, and I think that being a part of a business community is very important, because just being able to understand that other people are going through similar struggles or have gone through similar struggles, and it doesn't mean that you're not a good business owner, it's very easy to run into these kind of cash flow problems and that sort of thing.

And, yeah, it's very easy to sort of feel completely like a failure. But that doesn't mean that your business isn't good and it doesn't mean that you haven't got a great service or a great team. You know, there's it's quite often just one one little oversight that can bring you into these kind of problems.

Let's talk about communities a little bit then, because you said you're in quite a remote area and most people in your space, they they're accustomed to local networking, selling to local businesses. Occasionally they might be in a big city where they can grow into a bigger agency. It's like the sort of shellfish grows to fit the shell. But that's not really been possible for you. I'm curious, do you have any competitors in your local town?

I actually don't view there are other developers in town, other people who offer websites and services, but I. I don't view them as competitors. I don't actively compete against them at the start. I you know, that that was it was easiest to go and talk to people when I was working my way through starting out the business. But I quickly understood that that was never going to be a big enough market for me. And luckily, you know, it is a it is a very small rural town, but it is also a tourist town.

It's it's a place where a lot of it's a lot of there's actually a few global businesses in this small town because it's a lifestyle town. People want to live here. And if they can live here and run a bigger business that's nationwide or something, then they do. So it's there is wealth in the town and there was opportunity there. But I, I saw that it was always going to be better for me to be able to reach larger markets.

And so the way to do that was to get involved in other community groups online. I joined a few forums and have gone to a lot of networking events down in Melbourne. There's a regular one that I that has been running monthly catch ups that I would go to and that's a, you know, a three hour drive to go for dinner. But and I don't get down there every month, but it's always been rewarding to do that and to go and meet people.

Certainly we you know, we're obviously doing it, I presume, at the moment, because it's we haven't been able to meet him personally. But yeah. And it was it was hard for me as well, apart from apart from having the the limitation on being remote. I was also a full time single dad at the time that I was getting started with this sort of iteration of the business.

And so I also needed to work out a way to do my business within school hours because I couldn't do any work outside of that and I couldn't really go very far. So I had to be able to do things online and connect with people through through forums and just going on one off trips to networking events and really getting to know people that way.

So that's quite interesting there that you couldn't do other people probably in your situation would have done, which is work harder, work longer hours. You had no choice but to work smarter and find different ways to get better results because you had to you had to close the business probably 3:00 p.m.. Yeah, that's really interesting. So how did you go about this process of trying to think how to even ask the question? You realised you couldn't there wasn't enough business for you in time.

The catchment area was too small. Your niche, if you like, had much broader potential. How did you actually go about executing on some kind of plan to unlock that? Yeah, so I actually did so apart from just participating in in those kind of networking events.

I built my website in my Moggach marketing to to target those kind of businesses and doing the wholesale model. And then I actually did a lot of LinkedIn outreach to get in front of business owners all over Australia. I did targeted sort of LinkedIn outreach to people that I saw as ideal clients. And then since since moving away from that reseller model have now moved into also targeting international and IT clients directly and going to meet people in other parts of the world, going to live events, which is where I met you.

And and that's how I have got to one of my one of my favorite clients is also from Sunny Aberdeen.

Yeah, it's got a problem.

I know the fitness business. Oh, Skype. Apte. Yeah. Scoppetta. Yes, I know.

Yeah.

Crazy world it is. So what proportion of your business now is international as opposed to Australian.

I think it's about 40 percent, 40 or 50 percent.

See, this is this is crazy because that's so unusual for a web developer of any kind. And again, it comes down to you, you had constraints and you had to find a way to still do well within those constraints. So that's really interesting. And again, you had the problem.

Now go on another drive for it. Apart from, you know, you have the necessity to build a business this way in order to grow.

But I also wanted to make sure that my business was stable. I didn't want to be too reliant on any one market.

And that has served me really well, especially this year where a lot of things have happened in my local area. We went through some serious bushfires at the start of the year, which shut down essentially a lot of a lot of businesses through the December to February period locally. And that while that affected just a couple of my clients, the majority of my clients were were in other areas and were completely unaffected. And then when when the pandemic is hit, it hit some industries a lot harder than other industries.

And so while I had some clients that needed to really slow things down or oppose what they were doing or stop projects, I had other businesses that were booming and out of necessity that needed to be doing more and more work with us.

So, yeah, I think it's important to not be not have any points of single point sensitivity.

Yeah, no, that's I think I've certainly seen a lot of people who focus on helping the hospitality sector. They've really struggled. Yeah, I think nursing and vertical markets is something people are often encouraged to do, but even that can be a little bit hazardous. Sometimes it can be.

I think it's it can be very rewarding. But yeah, you want to make sure that you're not vulnerable when you do it.

So in terms of your team, how many people do you employ now? I have 17 people in the team.

And of those, how many are within a thousand miles of.

You want me to tell me that story? Because I think for a lot of people, I mean, you have this constraint where you don't there isn't a vast talent pool in your area. And for a lot of agencies in particular, that can really be an inhibiting factor. But you found a really nice way around that as well. So tell me about that.

Yeah, and so this this, again, feeds into the the constraints that I had early on. I wanted to work from home. I wanted to have a flexible lifestyle and be able to travel. I didn't want to have to open an office. My I've been working in my father's office and I wanted to get away from that and build a business that I could run from home and spend more time with my kids. When I started the business, they were one and two at the time.

So, yeah, that that was something that I focused on. And so to hire people, I look to going overseas and got hired people from the Philippines being in Australia there in.

The not in my time zone, but there in the Perth time zone, and so it's only two or three hours different from me at times of the year, and culturally, I get along really well with them. A lot of them already have a bit of an understanding of Aussie culture, and certainly they're very Americanized. And sometimes I have to, you know, work that out of them, get the data formats right and spelled correctly, please.

Things like that. I hear you.

But, yeah, that that's. They are fantastic people. And I really love my team. I've been well, one of them has been in the team for, I think seven years now, and most of them have been in the team for about five or six.

And we've got a really awesome team culture.

We have a chat every day. We're mostly laughing and making fun of each other in our select channels. And yeah, it's it's a I, I absolutely love working this way.

So I think a lot of people have some. I guess there's a lot of myths around outsourcing. I don't even know where to begin. But I for example, I've heard of people being hired as full time employees remotely and discovering they've got two or three full time jobs. Are that. Yeah. So many, so many things I could go through.

But what is your experience of that pain and how do you how do you how do you manage the fact that these people are remote, that you don't have that the supervision element, I guess is the question I'm asking you to look a little bit of it is just trust.

And and you do need to sort of go for a bit of time with people. And there has to be a bit of that. You have to have a bit of trust that they're not doing stuff. But then also you can you do start to see the signs when things are going wrong, if things change, and also if someone is acting unusual to the way the rest of your team do and that sort of thing, it it's something that I've I've certainly learnt from.

I've been burned a couple of times and had some bad mistakes. And I have. Yeah. That there has been a few people that I've had that haven't worked out. But by and large I think it's it's worked really well. The main thing for me is in terms of supervision, I only really care about the results that are coming out.

I don't care about when they're working necessarily or how they're getting it done. I just care mostly about are they doing the right things or are we getting good results for our clients? Are they, you know. Yeah.

Communicating effectively and things like that.

And so I've always made it a very strong rule that I explained clearly up front with with the people I employ, that I don't accept that they have any second job. And especially because at the start I was a wholesale supplier.

So people were outsourcing to me and I needed to trust that they were not outsourcing to their cousin or giving or having those two jobs that I have had cases where someone has tried to take on a second job and you quickly see the quality of work decline when that happens because they they get burnt out. They're trying to work too many hours this slower to respond because they're thinking about something else. But we have we have very good communication internally within the team.

And so you you spot these things fairly quickly if if they're going on.

So if anybody's listening, thinking, I'd like to explore recruiting in the Philippines. What did your recruitment process look like? How did you I guess, how do you identify talent? What's the admin look like, that kind of thing? Yeah.

So initially initially I hired people for a CEO and then I actually got my first web developer was referred to me from somebody else who had a web developer that that they'd stopped doing web development and said, does anybody want a web developer? And so I was lucky enough to have my first developer be a really, like, absolute star. He's still the main guy in my team and. That, I guess, is a bit of a lucky break, but since then I've had a number come through referrals and also once you get a few people getting referrals from within the team.

So I have a number of brother, sister hire's and husband wife teams, so and and a cousin, that sort of thing. So you can find more people that way once you have one or two great people that you've hired. But to find the first one, I would depend on the role that you're going for sometimes finding a good recruitment agency. I know if want one in particular for VA type roles, but I don't know one for developers, for developers.

We've always had a process of hiring by putting out ads for the position and then making the developers go through an application process, which helps us to weed out a lot of the people who are just spamming resumes. And I don't think that's a Filipino thing that I think that's a global thing. Whenever you put up a job, you're going to get you have to sort of sort the wheat from the chaff. And then then we we we put them through a series of trials.

And I think it's important as well to pay for those trials if you're taking up a fair bit of their time. Don't expect people to spend a couple of hours on something for you just as a free application. So we we do some paid trials and we make them fairly intensive so that we we put people under pressure and we find how they deal with problems. We we can see how they handle different situations. And we I've learned over time and it's something that we've developed over time because we'd have someone come through the process and we found that actually they weren't a good fit because of X.

So they we go, how do we build that into our recruitment process so that that's not going to happen again, so we can weed out that undesirable trait. So yeah, that's a really, really useful.

So looking at your business now, it's 40 percent international and far. A business that really started as a little Web development agency in the high country in Australia, that's quite unusual and that that's just a snapshot of where you are now. But I'm curious to know, what is your marketing look like now? Because you don't bring in 40 percent international business through local networking, no matter how good it is.

You mention Facebook groups and things like that, but in terms of content marketing or ads or things like that, do you do anything like that?

I've done nothing this year.

There are no wrong answers.

I apart from going to networking events, this is the first being on this podcast is the first thing that I would consider marketing activities for the year.

It's the only thing you're going to need to do.

But yeah, now that's that's because I know I did do a lot last year and I we have sort of built up a critical mass of clients and a large number of referrals. Partners and people who refer business to us will come back to us for it. So that that is been the biggest source of new clients at the moment is through word of mouth and referrals and and that sort of thing. And I did I did last year do a lot of video blogging.

So like one one minute videos, I would just just do some performance tips. I put them out natively onto the main social media platforms, as well as putting it onto my website and via YouTube. And we would transcribe that into an article, that sort of thing. So I did a lot of that. I have been on a number of podcasts as well last year. But this year my problem all year has been at capacity. And I really wanted to build out a sort of a predictable and sustainable marketing plan for myself.

But every time I try and sit down to do it, I'm thinking I don't actually want more clients.

I've got to play and sing.

And so actually, yeah, and I sort of because I at the start of the year, I'm like, well, this is the January, February period.

I'm expecting it to not be as as good. So what. Yeah, I wasn't I was expecting to spend that time when I was a bit quiet on, on my marketing, but I ended up getting really busy and not having time to do it then and just went to a few networking events. And then when March hit, I thought, oh, you know, this this pandemic is going to cause a slowdown in my business. So I really need to get into doing my marketing.

But it actually kind of had the opposite effect after after an initial sort of shock and a few few clients being affected, we ended up just slowly getting busier and busier. But I still thought that maybe in like maybe this is just an initial thing. And in two months time, you know, global markets will decline and I should, um, you know, get ready for that. So I didn't I didn't hire any more staff and I sort of held off on that until it sort of was June.

And I'm like, we really need more staff. And I found someone who was great, perfect fit for my team, awesome developer. But then after a couple of months, he needed to move away to a remote province in the Philippines where he didn't have good Internet access and he had to just leave the business. So then I was back to square one. I tried reaching out to my network and getting referrals for developers. I couldn't find any.

We're still getting overloaded with projects and clients at this point, and I realised that I'd have to go back to my old recruitment process. And that was pretty old and dated because I hadn't actually followed it up for a number of years. And so I thought I will do this properly. And it was actually still in the evergreen profit brand and not in the tune once. But that and that took me about two months to actually get around to finishing that because it's just too overloaded.

And then, yeah, I finally just actually today hired two more developers from that process and they often seemed like they're going to be fantastic candidates for congratulations to the team.

Yeah. Cheers. So I'm feeling like finally I'll be able to start doing some marketing in the next two months. Well, I think, to be honest, you're.

Probably one of these people that just needs to show up on his so naturally likable people are going to come to you first anyway. And if you're not friends with Justin on Facebook, you are missing a treat because there's marketing and then there's memes and you have me I mean, you keep me entertained every single day on Facebook. So thanks for that.

Yeah, it's good to hear. I love it. I it's it's something that I've always thought was actually the most beautiful thing about the Internet is having access to the humor of the entire globe.

And you can find all the best funny bits that you and you steal it all from me, you know, and I love doing it.

It's the best part of my day is winding down and just trying to find some funny shit.

So, Justin, I'm looking at the time we should probably bring things to a close because it must be nearly ten thirty pm for you.

Yeah, pretty close.

And here in the center of the universe, it's lunchtime, so we should probably bring things to a close. And I asked you earlier, and you haven't found a way to drop it in organically if there was anything you were actively promoting right now. And although you're not desperate for new work, you did mention something about audit of some kind that people could run.

Yeah. So that that sort of performance framework that I went through before that is the audit that we do of people's website. So we we look at those eight key areas of your business and for for free will, we'll do an audit of your site and give you a bunch of recommendations. And and we can quite implementing those recommendations. Or you can you can join our support plans and and will implement those. They might be we might need to pay a chunk, but a lot of it will be covered by the support plan.

The other thing we do, apart from that sort of general overview of your website, we also do one focus just on website. Spayd So we'll look at look at your hosting your content delivery networks, set up your education, improving the size of your website falls, optimizing your media and improving the loading priority of the elements on your page, making sure that it's it's loading fast for mobile speed. And also looking at the cool web vitals, which are new metrics that Google now measure in terms of your website speed and how it loads.

So those those that's a sort of separate free audit that we can do, just focused on improving the speed of your website, if that is really the only problem that you have.

So, yeah, you can head over to tuned WP dot com tumed with a D dot com and yeah, we've got those two free audits there to check out.

Brilliant suggestion. If people want to connect with you, they can go to dot com. Do you have another favorite method of contactors?

Well, if you're interested in mostly names, you can check out just a Meadow's on Facebook or we could connect on LinkedIn, although I find these days LinkedIn is more spam than useful.

But it's it's still it's still a good way to to stay connected with other business business owners and that sort of thing.

And I guess to bring things to a close. I must ask you the question of trying to remember and ask everyone. And that's what's one thing you do now that you wish it started five years ago.

Yeah. And I think I have sort of touched on this a bit. But the thing that I do differently now is how I've changed my business to have that structure that it has now in terms of the ratio of support versus the projects and something that I've done just recently in the last the last month is start turning away the big projects. So we would often get projects coming to us, which are going to be in the fifty grand range or more, the complex implementations with custom designs and, you know, membership sites and directories or complex custom ecommerce stuff.

Those kind of projects we used to tackle. I used to love the challenge of those projects. However, they took up the time of my best developers and meant that they could not support the bulk of clients that we are supporting. They would be tied up and focused on that one project for six or more months. And I've just it's very hard when you get a project that comes to you like that with a nice big price tag to say no, but you end up compromising long term growth for a short term cash it.

Exactly, yeah. And and I've. The I guess the just recently that was not constraint resolve, I guess, to to to say no to those things. And and I've reached out and sort of found other developers that focus on those kind of things that I can refer people to so that because I still get people coming to me for these projects and I want to make sure that they you know, I can help them at least find the right person.

But yeah, now I don't do those. And I really wish that I had said no to some of those projects a year or two ago that came along that ended up taking up a lot of my bandwidth that could have been better spent on growing my, you know, the support side of my business.

Just a Meadow's from Tuned. You've been a fantastic guest. I've had so much fun. Thank you so much for your time for staying up late. I'll get to see you after this pandemic nonsense for sure. Cheers, Bob. Thanks for having me on. And it's been great to chat to you again. And I am keen to get back to the UK again. One day I'll be waiting. Accepting your limitations and really understanding them is the first step to radically overcoming them, once you really take stock of your constraints and you start applying a little creativity, you can quickly find that the only thing holding you back was your own ego and your own limiting mindset.

Before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe. And if you haven't already join my Facebook group, you'll find a link in the show, notes or visit, amplify me dot com forward slash insiders. I would love for you to connect with me on social media. You can follow me everywhere at Bob Gentle. And if you do message me, let me know so I can follow you back. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love for you to review on iTunes.

It means a lot to me. I say that every week, but it genuinely does. And it's the best way to help me reach more subscribers. My name is Bob Gentil. Thanks again to Justin for giving us his time this week and to you for listening and see you next week.


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