I graduated from college with a degree in Computer Science and Economics and spent the first few years of my career doing bio-terrorism surveillance for the United States government. As important as that was, it wasn't satisfying my entrepreneurial spirit.
In 2002, I launched reality66, my own web design agency. While I continued consulting and developing large-scale applications in the health sector, I also began to focus my attention on serving local businesses providing them with a combination of business coaching and the tech skills to implement my recommended client acquisition strategies.
Both Business Owners and Web Designers Are Suffering
Small businesses have gotten into an odd problem because it seems like we've made such great progress over the last few years in terms of how easy it is to get a website but we've sacrificed results in the process.
I can remember a time when a business would pay over $20,000 for a static website. It wasn't a bad deal either. It took a lot of work to build and it was a new frontier for businesses. Simply having a website gave you an advantage over competitors who weren't online yet. So, yes, it was expensive, but it was also a worthwhile investment for those who could afford it.
Business Owners Aren't Seeing Results
Over time it has gotten easier and easier to get a website but it's been at the expense of results. With WordPress and all the page builders available, all the low-budget developers on Upwork and Fiverr, platforms like Wix and Squarespace… anybody with a budget of a few hundred dollars can get a pretty decent-looking website. The problem is, those websites aren't helping business owners reach their customers and grow their businesses. It's a sunk cost. Their sites are just sitting there with little to no traffic… making little to no impact.
Sometimes these low-budget websites can even have a negative impact. Most business owners don't have the ability to update their own websites. So office hours, contact information, and other business details get outdated. This means that they are broadcasting inaccurate information about their business, when they are open and how to reach them… and they don't even know it.
WordPress Consultants Aren't Earning What They Need
As the technology has gotten easier to work with, more and more developers have flocked to WordPress and are offering websites at incredibly low rates. Hang out on Facebook for a while and you'll see WordPress developers begging to build websites for $50. No, I didn't miss a zero. I literally mean fifty dollars.
There are highly-skilled web designers with degrees in graphic design and years of experience who are unable to land clients willing to pay anywhere near what their skills are really worth. They're trying to compete for work against overseas developers, young kids just getting started, and people who are just dabbling for side-work all of whom can afford to charge ridiculously low rates.
Breaking The Stalemate So Everybody Wins
Right now both business owners and web designers are stuck in a stalemate because we have two contradictory situations happening at the same time.
On one hand, the WordPress and online marketing ecosystem is the strongest it has ever been. The tools that are available today simply didn't exist even a few years ago. These tools can drive rapid and amazing results for businesses. The opportunity for success is the highest it has ever been.
On the other hand, most businesses aren't seeing any results at all because they've gotten abandoned by their low-budget developers who were only providing one-and-done cheap websites.
The truth is businesses are willing to pay for high-quality work provided that their investment produces results. Web developers and WordPress consultants are out there who would LOVE to deliver those results provided they could charge enough to afford to put the time in to generate genuine results.
Why DoubleStack Is The Answer
Most web designers and WordPress developers are struggling to get their clients to see the value of their skills in the midst of all of the low-budget alternatives available today. They are also lost in the noise where everybody is offering the same services – web design, graphic design, branding, social media, hosting, maintenance, etc. Consequently, they are working ridiculously long hours for insulting low rates.
Skills alone will not solve this problem. There are very talented web designers and online marketers who just aren't landing the clients they need. The clients they do land aren't paying them the rates they deserve based on their expertise, skill, and experience.
The solution is for web designers and WordPress consultants to change the way they approach their business by shifting the emphasis of what they offer to their clients. The web designers who are running their own 6-figure businesses have shifted the emphasis off of their technical skill sets and onto the results they deliver.
Showing WordPress consultants how to do this is what DoubleStack is all about.
It's not enough just to have a strong tech stack you also have to have a strong marketing and business development stack as well.
DoubleStack Means Doing Two Things At Once
Today, a self-employed web designer who wants to make over $100,000 per year needs to approach their clients with a results-oriented mindset not just a technical list of skills. This means doing two things at the same time.
They are providing business consulting by showing their clients how powerful today's online marketing tools are and how effective their online presence can be. AND they also have the technical chops to actually implement the things they are describing to their clients.
That's DoubleStack – The business development stack to lead clients to success PLUS the tech stack to pull it off.