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March 14, 2024

A Remote Job Ideal for Digital Nomads – Subscription Web Design Services with Guest Steve Schramm

One of the biggest obstacles to overcome to be a digital nomad is your source of income.  In this episode, Eric is joined by Steve Schramm to talk about the power that starting and scaling a web design subscription model business could have in setting anyone up to be location-independent.

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Full Transcript

I see this asked all the time in Facebook groups, how do I find a remote job? So I can be a digital nomad. Or just even today, I saw someone posting in a group about the digital nomad visa from Spain. She said. My company won’t let me switch to being a 1099. They’re fine with me moving to Spain and and working from there. So so what can I do? Well, my friends, this is just one of the reasons that I believe the best way to find a remote job is to create a remote job that eventually can become a business. And in today’s episode, my bet, Buddy Steve is here to talk about his proven approach. For how I think you can do just this by offering web design on a subscription model. We’re gonna unpack that with Steve in just a few minutes. But first welcome to the digital nomad entrepreneur. Podcast my name is Eric Dingler. I am a full time, digital nomad entrepreneur, traveling around the world with my wife and our 4 kids. And I am coming to you on this episode, recording it from Costa Rica. Now for the last several episodes I’ve been saying that we’re gonna be in Costa Rica until April. And so if you’re in the area, hit me up with an email, Eric at D and E,, and and we’ll meet up, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee, and and we could talk shop. But one of the things you got to be with this lifestyle is flexible, and our plans have changed a little bit. We’re pushing our relocation back to August. And we’re I’m gonna actually stick around in Costa Rica for a bit. So if you’re listening to this and it is in the beginning of 2024, and you’re in Latin America. Costa Rica hit me up, and if you’re just wherever you are in the world, if you’re like. Well, where are you? Let you know? Maybe maybe you’re in my area right now. Maybe you can, you know. Buy me a cup of coffee. Send me an email, Eric at DNE. All right. So with that Steve welcome to the podcast sir. Steve Schramm: hey, man, it’s a pleasure and a blessing to be here with you, man, I appreciate the invite Eric Dingler: absolutely. We’ve got the talks handful of times about other things. We actually, you and I talked about this thing on another podcast episode one time. And so I knew that when I started my own, podcast, I mean, you’re gonna be one of the first 10 episodes. Here, I knew this is something. I wanted people to hear, because, I want to in this episode. I wanna do a bit of a deep dive into this idea of website design Yeah, I that’s that’s what I’m told that that’s what I’m told. It’s hard when you’re you know, when you’re trying to teach other people how to do something on the Internet cause there’s so many people out there. You kinda have to find a lane and and dive into it. And this thing about subscriptions. I just kind of fell into it a few years ago, and became obsessed with it. And now here we are talking. So I like that. And it’s not just theory. I mean, you don’t just teach this. This is, this is a significant part of your business model. Right? Steve Schramm: Yeah, that’s that’s right. And in fact, it’s I would say, if anything, I started teaching it reluctantly. It it’s funny, because you know, you and me are a lot alike in many ways. I am a multi passionate entrepreneur, I mean. Every right around lurking around every corner is a project is an idea is an opportunity, and the funniest thing ever is. I never considered this to be something that I would make any kind of money with right teaching my business model. I mean, I knew it was an innovative business model. I came up with it before there were any influencers teaching you how to do this sort of thing in 2,015, and a mutual friend of ours, Josh Hall. I joined his coaching program in 2020 and we were talking. And you know, he interviewed me for his podcast in early 2021, because, he thought man, you have a really unique and innovative model. And it’s a really popular podcast episode of his. And I kept getting all these questions about when I was gonna put my course together or something to teach people. And I thought, Okay, well, the people are saying they want something. So that’s when I decided to. Kinda I guess. Hang out that shingle and and start teaching others. But right? My practice has been exclusively subscription based web design since the end of 2015. Eric Dingler: And here we are okay. Well, I didn’t realize that it was exclusive for your model. So cool. Well. II guess. Then, you know from you know what what you know about. You know my lifestyle and the lifestyle, the people listening to this that are nomad, you know. Digital nomad, some of us, you know. Some of us are full time travelers like my family. Some are, you know. You know, not full time. They, you know, they have a home base, but they’ll go on a trip, you know, for a month or 3 months, or they’ll go 2 weeks, you know, every other month, and and so we’ve got, you know, part time travelers, full time travelers. We’ve got slow travelers that spend, you know, 3 months, 6 months. 18 months in in in a country or location and then we’ve got fast travelers that are moving every you know, you know. 3 days to, you know. You know, every every month, every every other month. So this lifestyle, there’s a lot of ways to live this lifestyle. So my my first question for you is, from what you know about running a subscription model is well, let me ask you this. Let me just ask you this so surprise question for you. Steve Schramm: Could you, with your business. Eric Dingler: could you? If you chose to? And your wife agreed. Could you be location independent? Could you sell everything you or own, or the majority of it and hit the road and and travel full time. Steve Schramm: Yes, 100. And I’m glad you asked that question. I was going to answer it, anyway. Because in my mind, and I’ll just I’ll just take off from here if you don’t mind, and you can interrupt me. But I II really see this as, too. there’s 2 different things going on here. There’s a subscription model. And then there’s the web design piece of it right? And so what’s interesting is, although I don’t necessarily have being a digital nomad in my Plans. One day, part of the reason that I decided to go into web design is because that in general, as a web designer. you have opportunities to do that kind of thing if you want to. Okay. And so, while I don’t ever have it in my plans to be a digital nomad. It was always in my plans to have the flexibility to work from wherever I wanted, and whenever I wanted. And what more could a digital nomad want than that? I mean, that seems to be like the the foundational sort of basics is yeah, work from wherever you want, and pretty much whenever you want and have true location independence. So for me, just more modestly. I’m not traveling all over the world. But our best friends live in Georgia, not the country, right? The State in the United States, Georgia, which is about 3 and a half hours away. and we like to just load the kids up in the car and take a trip to Georgia whenever we can. And here’s the thing we don’t get to do that very often. But honestly, that’s because we have 4 dogs. Okay? And so it’s not. It’s not my job that keeps us from doing that. In fact, when we go, not only my job, but my team, which is another discussion entirely, but I’ve scaled the business where I don’t have to be the one sitting in front of a computer working to make money at all. But even if I was, I could wake up while we were visiting our friends in Georgia work for a couple of hours that morning, maybe even before anyone else got up, be entirely done with my work for the day and spend the rest of the day with family. you know we. We have a situation in our church where there is a church planter that we sent out from our church about 18 months ago, and they went to a little Residency program. And now they’ve just settled in Boulder, Colorado, here in the States and they’ve asked if you know, just in passing, if we were. Gonna consider going out there. Now, we’re not right now. Okay, just in case anybody were to just, you know, to to see this for some reason and freak out. We’re not. We’re not planning to go anywhere. But the point is is that when me and my wife were talking about it the other night, just the situation immediately, it was like, Well, yeah, like our jobs don’t matter we can. We can do. Both of us could do what we do from anywhere, and if we’re not careful, we’ll take for granted how, in passing, and how brief and how non momentous that moment in that conversation was for us. But just a few years ago, when I was still employed full time building my business on the side. That discussion would have been a real, intense. heavy discussion about our about our jobs, and would be able to make the same amount of money there, you know, etc., you know, instead, the only reason that got that drawn on really at all was to talk about the fact that Boulder Colorado is the most expensive city, literally in the United States to live. And so we have the cost of living a little bit easier where we are in North Carolina. Okay, so let me say one more thing. So there’s the web design side of it as a web designer. You do not have to focus on your local market. Okay? And if you did move and you could focus on a new local market, right? If you’re good at networking and business development. You could do those things. The other piece of it is the recurring side. And this is where a subscription web design really shines, because most people think about a website like a house. In fact, it’s still an appropriate analogy to use real estate when you’re talking about. Well, you need a hosting account. That’s your that’s your your land, that’s your plot of land. And then you’ve got a house, and that’s kind of your website. And you could. Technically, it’s a little bit takes a little bit of doing. But you could technically move your website or your house to a new plot of land or a new hosting account, and you could move it around. But most people think about a website like a house, you build it, and then you pay a maintenance plan to keep it from falling apart. Right? You you pay people to to to keep the website, you know, functioning. We prefer to look at a website like a living organism. When you, when you put a website out into the world. you’ve got things that affect it. And it’s getting. It’s almost like it’s being battered with a storm every single day. It’s got the. It’s got the waves of Mark Zuckerberg and and Zuckerberg and Facebook and all of that. And then it’s got the, you know, the the the clouds and the winds from Google, and how they’re blowing. And they’re changing and everything changes every day. So it’s like a living organism that needs to be managed. And so we do recurring website design. Because that way we are active. We’re an active participant in our customers businesses. We’re helping make sure that their B that their website and their marketing presence are always up to date, looking good, performing well, and that’s the technical details. But the practical side of that is, I know next month. Think about this as a digital nomad or not, I know next month. unless a client leaves the minimum amount of money that I’m going to make now, I might make more because we do some one off work in a particular situation or whatever. But I have predictable income, and, in fact. in this business model that actually is better than some other recurring business models. This is contracted income. So we have an 18 month minimum: contract. Most of our clients stay beyond that, but it’s an 18 month minimum. So when I sign a client today, I know that 18 months from now I’ve got at least 18 months of that person’s guaranteed income contractually obligated, which is almost the Holy Grail of subscription income. So I said all that to say that when you’re traveling all over the world, and you’re going to be in a different place, you know. Maybe maybe on the slower end, but maybe on the faster end. You’re going to be in a different place very often. How cool would it be for your income to not: be something that had to flex with every single place that you were? You know that you were gonna go, or like you had to depend when you move to a new area on your local business development in that area, and you were reliant on what the economy looks like in that particular area, and working with only businesses there, whereas I can work with businesses all over the world. They pay me every single month, and whether I’m in North Carolina or Georgia, or Chile, or wherever I want to be. I get that same amount of income in my bank account every month, and it only grows as I bring on new clients. So I said a lot there. But the point is is that yes, both the recurring and the web design piece of it are huge, and I think provide a fantastic opportunity for digital nomads. Eric Dingler: Yeah, that’s really really great. II hadn’t thought about it being both both sides of of that like that. So that’s really cool. III really like the the house analogy that that you you said as well. And that leads me to another question. Using that, the house analogy? you know a lot of web designers. I don’t know why, but a lot of people, not just web designers, but a lot of people in the digital space of of digital services of around like web design and digital marketing, you know. Maybe they’re maybe they’re a copyright, or maybe they’re an SEO person. Maybe they’re a pay per click person. You know what whatever it might be.For whatever reason people that get into this, they tend to seem to have this mindset, that they have to be the ones that are that are both doing the selling and building the thing they keep turning around and and selling. And so with that real estate idea, you know, real estate agents don’t build the houses they sell. So would does somebody have to have the technical skills to do what you teach on a web design. This, do I? Am I? Gonna have to come in and learn? Css, Php, you know what to do with Dns records of a website like. am. Am I gonna have to know that? Or can I learn to run this type of a business leveraging a small team that that’s doing the things? What’s what’s your thoughts on that? Steve Schramm: Yeah, I have. I have lots. So let me try to keep myself on a leash here and and condense condense my answer by just giving 2 quick stories. Okay, 2 different case studies. Okay. So one case study is Victor. So Victor came to me a little over a year ago, and he still knew. You know I mean a year end. He’s still new in his business. He’s got a full time job a wife. She’s got a few health issues, and so there they have a lot going on. So you know, this case study is not. Oh, Victor built a thriving agency. But here’s what is the deal. Victor’s got? 3 or 4 clients and a few other deals in the works right now that he’s been building up since he started working with me and and learning about this. And here’s the thing. He does not know a single thing about web design. Here’s what he is, though he he does have some technical proficiency. Okay, he does it work. But trust me when I tell you cause I used to do it work, and I spent a lot of time with people who did it work. An it person does not a web designer make? Okay? They are 2 different things, which is hilarious, because, as a web designer I cannot tell you. Even as soon as last night somebody from my church asked me to come to their house and work on their computer. For some reason, people I haven’t done it work for many, many years, and II certainly don’t tell people that I do it. Somehow, people just assume that because I do website stuff that I’m an it guy. Okay, they are not the same thing. And so, anyway, Victor is an it guy he’s like, I’ll be honest, man. I really don’t wanna learn how to do any of the web design stuff he’s like, I mean, I wanna understand what’s happening so that I can, you know, have a good client relationship and sell sell clients on on what they need. But I wanna work with the team to actually implement stuff. So from the lifetime, literally, for I mean, I was there at the inception of Victor’s business. And he’s again. He’s got a few projects under his belt now, and he’s adding more constantly and doing a great job. Contractors have 100% done every bit of the button turning on his websites. Now he looks at it, and he has opinions. He gives design feedback, but he’s relying on them to be the expert at what they do. He doesn’t have to be the expert at it. This is not my second case study, but I’ll just make a point of saying that for me in our team I make it a point to hire people who are better at what they do than I am at what they do, and there’s even some people on my team who entirely have skill sets that I don’t have. The question is not. do I have the skill set, then I can sell it. The question is, am I willing to manage someone or be the go between between someone who does have that skill set and my client so that I can provide value to my client even through a service that I myself don’t know how to fulfill on. I think that’s the question. And then the other quick, actual case study I’ll give you is a deal that me and a a a. He’s not really white label. So white label in our industry basically means doing work under somebody else’s brand. And so they’re getting the brand recognition. But you’re getting paid for doing the fulfillment work. That’s a kind of relationship that happens very often in our circles. This is kind of like that. But in some ways it’s also just like an offshoot brand of our 2 different businesses. And this guy is a business development guy. He doesn’t know anything about websites, but he knows about sales and business development and wants to offer website, design and marketing to his clients. And so we’ve been working together for a couple of months. Now on putting a package together that he’s about to hit the streets within the next week or 2 and start selling. Not only that under him. He’s going to be building a sales team to go out. And we’re actually looking at targeting in the attorney market specifically. But so we’re gonna have not only this guy who’s sort of partners with me in this particular endeavor, who doesn’t know any about the websites. But you know his salespeople are now going to be highly tech proficient. They’re not going to know a lot about the website. And yet they’re going to be the account managers and the people handling the client relationships. So I said all that to say that there is absolutely a distinction that you can and maybe even should make between the technical knowledge and the client and relationship development side. Because a lot of times when you’re like me, you’re a tech guy trying to do you know, sales and marketing, so I like the sales and marketing. In fact, I prefer to stay in that lane. But I’m cursed, Eric. I’m cursed. I know too much about the tech. And so I have that curse of knowledge, and I’ll talk, you know, on a scale of one to 10. I might be talking at a level 6 or 7 or 8 in terms of the knowledge that I know. And I think I’m doing a good job at simplifying it when really they need to be at like a 2, right, or maybe a 3, in the level of language they use. And at this point II have real trouble simplifying what I know to that level, because I have the curse of knowledge. So there. So I think to answer your question. You could argue that it’s a benefit to be less knowledgeable in the tech side of this thing Eric Dingler: II completely agree. I completely agree. You know I I’m to the point now with my web design and and digital marketing agency, where we are now, even starting to transition, I’m I’m at. I’m I’m almost completely transitioning even out of sales. I’m I’m just sitting in the leadership seat now, and research and development, you know, R&D leadership. And I and I’m I’m I’m loving that now. W. What you said reminded me. II just wanted to toss it out in this episode that if somebody’s looking to get started and and wants to have that fulfillment person to help them get going it. A lot of people we figure, you know. Ask, well, where do I find people? Where do I find people? And last episode? A mutual friend of ours was on Stephanie Hudson with focus Wp. and there’s your team right there and you can go over to focus. Wp, in fact, you go to focus or dot co focus, forward. Slash! DNE! She’s got a discount there for nomads, for 20% off their their first set of hours. And so a great way. These are people that are experts in flipping switches and turning buttons like you said. you know. But I don’t. I don’t even know how to know if the person I’m hiring knows. Well, that’s why you work with somebody like this. And this isn’t new to our business. This isn’t new in the digital space. I actually got a master course in. And this concept from my brother, who is a home builder. He. He builds homes in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area, and he’s he’s not an electrician. He’s not a plumber, he doesn’t hang dry. Wall, he he can do some of that. But there’s some things in how he doesn’t. He can’t do any of it. He doesn’t know how to do it. but he builds houses with a team of subs. He’s got all these subs that come in that are experts and their thing. and he doesn’t hire him off the street. He hires electrical contractors that have taken the time to vet somebody train somebody before they send them over to to the job site. Steve Schramm: So they’re fulfillment people out there that do that and and focus Wp. Is just one of them that that that you know I’m I’m aware of. Quick comment about that. So 1 one interesting thing that I find so like, because if you’re listening to this episode, presumably you might decide. okay, I’m gonna get into this web design world. And like any other world. There’s lots of opinions that people have about how you should do things and for some reason, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this, too, Eric. But I think the general contractor sort of idea the general contractor building a home, and then subcontractors who come in to do their specialty. I think this is a great example of something that we can point to, because for some reason, in our space in the digital world, I don’t know if it’s the notion of the laptop lifestyle, or the or the notion of of just like, you know, the stereotype of the of the nerd, you know, listening to music all day coding in a dark cave, I mean, that’s other than the coding part. That’s kind of what I’ve got going on here a little bit but I don’t know if it’s that stereotype or what it is. But for some reason there’s this idea that in web design, if you outsource the work to somebody else. You’re like, you’re less genuine or you’re not a real business or you’re not. You’re not this that, like literally, just earlier today, in one of these Facebook groups I saw somebody whose client asked in a complaining way if the work was being outsourced. And I just wanna like rant for 2 s here and say, like. I’m darn proud of the fact that I can actually hire a team all over the world. I’ve got people in Brazil, in Mexico, in the Philippines, and here in the United States right now, and I’m not ashamed of that for one split second. I’m very proud of it, because the way I see it I can work with whoever I want to work with, wherever they are in the world, and they do fantastic work. They’re loyal, they they’re hard workers, man, I mean, it is a. It’s a pleasure and a blessing to work with people all over the world. And and so I just wanna give you permission. If you decide to go this route, I wanna give you permission to hire permission to scale permission to use other people, because the reality is is that you don’t walk into a single business in your local home town. It’s very, very unlikely that you’re gonna actually talk to the owner when you walk into that business. Now, if it’s a very small business, you might. And this is also gonna matter where you’re at in the world. I totally understand that. And maybe even the type of business you’re in. But 9 businesses out of 10, I would say, maybe that’s wrong, I don’t know. But some high percentage of real actual businesses have employees. Right? It’s just a very normal thing to have an employee and having a contractor is no different than having an employee. Just because I own the business doesn’t mean that I’m gonna do all the work. I don’t know where this misconception. Or this idea in the digital web design world came from. But it’s not real life. And so, yeah, you can have employees. You can have contractors. You can quote unquote, outsource the work, whatever that looks like. You have full permission to do that. And anybody who complains about it just isn’t a good client for you. Eric Dingler: Yeah. Well, to be, I’ll be honest. Yes, that that’s true on the client side, and people in our industry. If they complain about it. They’re they’re jealous, and they’re always going to be small because you can only build so many websites in a day. you know. I mean, I mean you when you, when all you are doing. And this this is where it starts to sound this, this sounds a little crass. And I get that. But what I do, what you do. We trade other people’s time for money. Okay? So we have. We have 3 websites being built right now. I have not seen the initial design. One of the clients I’ve never talked to. II haven’t seen any of it, but they’re being built, and I know they’re being built because I get, I get data from my team. II have a dashboard of numbers I look at. I talk to my team, you know. Daily. I you know, I talked to Peter, our director of Web services daily, so I know he’s got projects in the works with a new developer. We’re a new person that’s in that. We’re in the process of hiring. We have a long hiring process, and he’s on this. This person is in his last stage, which is the testing phase, But yeah, II have no problem with that. And that’s how my business is able to scale, and I’m able to provide a an, A, a living for my team just like you do your team. II have like I have, you know, Peter, and and you know, is in Bulgaria, him and his wife that you know they just had a baby. He! He! They, you know, bought their house. He owns a car. None of his other friends, his age have that, he tells me all the time his friends are always like, how are you making your money? You know. Yeah, like, yeah, they’re like, I don’t. I don’t get it. But you know we’ve got. We’ve got a team, you know. We’ve got team like you El Salvador. Bulgaria. You know, India like we’re in in the United States as well. We’re diverse. and our company is able to do a lot more. We’re able to have a lot more customers. We’re able to give money away. We’re able be able to be, you know, philanthropic. We’re supporting the team because we approach this as a bit. And that’s what I said in the beginning. I think the best way to go for people is to create your own remote job that can become a remote, become a business. so I talk about in Episode 3. I talk about the fact that there there are 6 stages. A digital business that goes through. And I’ve never shared this with you, Steve. I’m kind of curious to see what what your thoughts are. On that. So I believe that most digital businesses, most people in our space go through 6 stages. and and the first is just the dreamer, the ideation. II want to do something. I you know, I’ve got this idea. I’ve got this dream. And and they’re they’re just looking for. Which which way do I go? What do? What do I do? And then from there they become a weekend warrior. They have a full time job. They start a side hustle, you know, and they’re getting up early or staying up late or working on the weekends. And they’re they’re watching some courses, and they’re learning how to do things, and most of them are learning how to do all you know, flipping switches and turn, you know, pushing buttons. But that’s that’s stage 2 weekend warrior. Then they eventually that those people strive to go to all end where they they leave the 9 to 5. They pull the parachute cord, and they’re out there and they’re all in. They’re they’re all in their business, and their business is all on them like they are their their their business. Then the fourth stage is typically team builder. unless people get stuck. I see a lot of people get stuck at all in, because, like, you were just like you just brought up that they have this idea that they have to be the one doing it and and so they don’t make it to to stage 4 team builder. But if if you do, it’s a nice place to be. Then from Team Builder you move to C-suite and in in C-suite. This is the. This is where we’re starting to make the transition for for my company. We’re we’re, you know, solid team builder at this age. working to go into C-suite and and C suite is where you eventually have one layer of leadership between you and the people working on the front lines with your team. So, for example, we, we have a support team. Now. if something happens with a support ticket that one of our team can’t handle. Or maybe there’s maybe there’s customer relation issue, you know. There’s some tension or frustration there. They have a leader. They go to Peter. So I’m one step away. I’m one step removed from the frontline person. Now, I don’t have that in in sales design development, like, if there’s an issue those still come to me. So we’re we’re probably a couple of years away from me, being in in in c suite and then that. So that C suite. And then, after C suite, you move into legacy Builder, where? Where you know you’re just you know you’re you’re you’re working on really massive things you put somebody else in. That’s leading all of your first layer of leadership. You know, you’re you know, you’re really focused on succession planning and and and things like that. So to me, those are the 6 stages of typical digital business goes through. I’m curious real quick before. And then I got another question. What’s your thoughts on those 6 stages? Do you see that as kind of the typical trajectory? Steve Schramm: Yeah, I think so. The the weekend warrior I wrote down next to it more like 4 Am. Warrior. That’s what I was whenever I whenever I was building this thing, you know, I didn’t see my family much. But, boy, I mean I was up at 4, am. I’d work. I’d work before work. I’d work during lunch. I’d work after work, and then I would work on the weekends, too, so that that phase, depending on how, depending on how all in you want to be by stage 3. Yeah, I mean, you’re you’re working pretty hard there there in Stage 2, Eric Dingler: you and I was up at 4 Am. I spent many about 4, 15 in the morning II spent Steve Schramm: many, many mornings with a cup of coffee watching Josh Hall videos. There you go. Yeah, yeah. Bit there. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve been there. I love this. I love this legacy builder phase II definitely so what’s interesting is is II have a confession to make. I’m not terribly passionate about web design, I mean, don’t get me wrong. It’s okay. I like sales and marketing a lot more than I like web design, which is why, like you, I’m more of that transition into the C-suite kind of thing. But honestly, I don’t even like sales and marketing nearly as much as I just like playing the game. That is business. I you know, business is a infinite game. It’s not a game that you ever win. You just are a a continually evolving participant in in the game. And so this idea of legacy builder II do. II really like that. II think there’s kind of a I don’t know if it’s a secondary part to it, or maybe it’s another. Maybe it’s just like for a different kind of person for me, I mean, legacy building is is yeah, it’s absolutely great. But I’m also thinking in terms of the portfolio like, what would it look like for my web design business to just be one of the businesses that I run where somebody’s entirely running the business. But I’m free to think of Eric Dingler: all kinds of other things I’d like to do, and simply consult a, you know, on the business at that point. So I don’t know if that fits with your vision of legacy building, or if it’s just maybe not a typical thing. But yeah, no, totally for me as well. You know, II have got a list of businesses I want to do and start. And you know, constantly looking at that yeah. And I have to constantly hold myself back, because, like you, I see, I have a new business idea every day. But my! My team still needs me to be focused on them and and stuff like that. Not that I don’t dabble with things, you know. II dabble with things and stuff like that. But yeah, very cool. Alright. So with you. What? So you you’ve got a course. What’s what’s the name of your course for the for the subscription web model? Steve Schramm: Yeah. So I’ve got a standalone course that’[email protected]. And that’s called getting started with subscription web design. And that same course is the success path in my mentorship program, which is an ongoing monthly program. That’s a subscription web Eric Dingler: nice. And you get you put out a lot of great content. With that. I know I get your weekly content. You’ve got a podcast so it’s not just a something I get into, and I have to plug away, and I would get lost in. And da da da. You’re you’re involved with your your coaching student, not coaching your Co. Your membership. You’re you’re you’ve got a membership there. You’re really involved with them. I mean, you were like, Oh, Victor, and you know you’ve mentioned some other. So like you’re really involved with that. Steve Schramm: Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a. It is a I’m just trying to walk people through the process that you know that I that I did so. That’s what the course and the success path are. And then we have twice monthly group coaching calls there. But I always say this. So I’m really big on you know, like, what’s the next logical step, you know. I’ll just be honest the next logical step, unless you’re just an all in fast mover. If you want to come, join me in my coaching program. Fantastic like I said. Subscription web Come, join me. I even have some opportunities, some newer opportunities now for one on one more personalized coaching, whereas right now what we have is a group program. But hey, why not spend the first few weeks? Just binging, my, podcast. I mean, just go find the subscription web, design, podcast. That’s free and see, if we vibe, you know. See, if you like, what I have to say, you’d be surprised. I really try to do my best to give a lot away for free in the podcast and so yeah, I mean, I’m thrilled if you would love to come, join the coaching program. But man, I think I think once you get done binging my free stuff, you’ll be like, man. If that was free. I can’t wait to see what it what I’m gonna get to pay for. So that’s my philosophy sounds good. And I’ve seen both of it. And I think that’s a great idea. And what’s the name of your podcast again, I’m I’m gonna link to it in the show notes and and send everybody on my email list. You know the link and everything. But but what is it? One more time for the people listening? Yeah, it’s the subscription web, design, podcast? Real, original name? No, that’s correct. You asked. You asked, do you ask for the podcast name or the or the website link real quickly. I’m gonna skip a couple of. I know, I know I had gave you several questions I was gonna ask, but for the sake of time I’m I’m gonna skip to one of the the latter ones here, and then I wanna share a leadership tip of the week. But before I get to that last question for you is can you share a success story from someone in your coaching pro or your membership program. Really, right, now, any any success, stories jump to mind that you want to share with folks yeah, the the one that jumps to mind for me is april, and and so april full disclosure, she is not one of my coaching students. But she’s taken my course, and we’ve been in contact on, you know, in in in very, you know, for a while now, and I’ll tell you why she stands out to me so. Not only is she very deeply integrated the subscription model with her business, and she still does a regular quote. You know, traditional web design, but she also has the subscription model available if it fits for that certain kind of client. And the reason why I wanted to mention her is well, number one. She has been very successful with it, I mean, she’s added. Ii can’t remember the exact number. I wanna say it was a little over 30, grand to her business in subscription, recurring revenue in a fairly short amount of time, but even that for as great as that is, it was the mindset that she had the mindset change that the shift that happened, if you will, that really makes her stand out to me, and I want you to get that as well. Whenever she came on board she started to get the vision. So I tell my my students I tell people that for a custom I can only I can only give you the the context for me and my in my in where I live, etcetera. So for a custom website design. If you’re doing the subscription model, and you’re in the United States of America with all those caveats, I say, you should be charging, probably a minimum of $200. Excuse me, $300 per month. Okay, that’s just the number I throw out, because everybody always wants numbers, right? So I say for a custom website design that doesn’t count. If you’re doing templates and all the different technical nitty gritty, if you want custom websites. I say you should be doing about $300 per month minimum. And I teach people to do an 18 month minimum contract. Okay? But when you have a subscription model, you don’t look at money and numbers the way that other people do. You start to look at things like annual value and lifetime value. So the mindset shift that April had that I want all of you to have is this, because I’ll just give you this, too, when you sign up when you start doing a subscription based business, you have very low in the subscription world what we call churn. Okay, that churn is simply a percentage of the people who start with you every month versus the people who leave every month. Not a lot of people leave because you’ve got the contractual obligations, and if you’re doing a good job they’ll stay beyond that 18 months. So the mindset shift. The big thing that April April said was, You know, I’ve started looking at my websites like this. It’s not, oh, so and so paid me X dollars for a website. When I take on a client, it’s oh, I took on this client, and now I’ve raised my annual income by at least Alright! Now, if you, if you’re an employee. If you come from the world where you’re an employee, maybe you’re working a remote job right now or something. Think about the last time you got a percentage raise that equal that much in the course of a year, if not more or or if not less. Okay. And it’s so, the reality is is that that’s on the low end of what you can add when you add a new subscription client, it’s not oh, I just got a new client. It’s I just gave myself a raise of at least 3,600 bucks this year. I’ll wonder how many more raises I can get by the end of the year, and let me give you the spoiler. Alert. It’s unlimited. You can give yourself an unlimited amount of raises if you’re willing to manage the team and do the work. Yeah, no? Well, and and I’ll and I love what you brought up. And again, unfortunately, this is one of those things we just don’t just doesn’t get talked enough about in in our space. And and the web design space. there’s so many web designers because they see the big ticket of the number like, I’m going sell a website for $3,000. And II used to be in that like II used to with the very first website I came home and told my wife I was like some schmuck’s gonna pay me $300 to build him a blog like. I can’t believe somebody’s willing to pay that much dude. I wouldn’t even come close to touching that project from $300. I had no idea what was was possible. But the the websites that you’re talking about at that $300 a month. Those are. Probably I’m assuming a a a very healthy, but but basic marketing website, high quality design. Of course, you know, high quality, you know. OP, you know it. It’s fast. It’s you know, it’s it’s responsive. It’s it’s something that. But it’s it’s it’s probably a pretty standard marketing website. Would that be fair? Got it? Steve Schramm: It is there? Yes, but most people go out and sell that for about 3,000 $4,000. Eric Dingler: You’re doing it at 300, which makes it a lot easier for business owner to say yes, and in 18 months that’s $5,400. Okay, yeah. So what people don’t understand your average. And I bet if you do the numbers, you would find it even true for your your business. The average web design client acquisition cost for a new client is about $1,500 per client, and that’s on the low end. A lot of web designers I work with. It’s closer to $2,500, because by the time you put in the amount of time you spend doing the work to get them in, to lead them through your funnel the time it takes the time you work on it because I talk to people, and they’re like, Oh, I don’t. I don’t spend $1,500, you know. II don’t spend. I didn’t. I didn’t spend any money this month, Eric and and I got 2 new clients. Oh, okay, how many hours did you put in into that, you know, into marketing your business and writing content for your website and and no sales meeting, because no, you didn’t. You didn’t put $3,000 out of pocket. But your time, how valuable? Yeah. And so, yeah, it does actually work out time. And I do these numbers all the time with with my coaching clients. It’s $1,500 almost every single time. Minimum for acquisition cost. Well, if I can go out and I sell our website for $3,000, and I invested 1,500 to get it. I mean $1,500 Steve Schramm: right? Eric Dingler: But if I have a initial return of 54, and then, like you said they stay on that. It’s the lifetime value, like, I’ll invest $1,500 to make 15 grand every day of the week. Yeah, there is a there is a time when that where you want is you want to have. I like to be at about a 3 month return on that. So I wanna make my $1,500 back in about 3 months. 6 months. You can’t you? You’re gonna struggle as a business surviving that long be because of the cash flow. You can do it at 5 months. 3 months is about best. And so, you know, you can offset that with some setup, some initial setup fees and and and stuff like that, and still keep it on the the low end. But when you start looking at those numbers. that’s where it starts to be really become a business and not a job. let me just if I have just a minute, let me just make 2 quick comments on that. So one comment would be to, and this is just a teaser, for as you get into some of my content, and maybe if you join the coaching program and stuff. Steve Schramm: This is with client acquisition costs is one reason why I spend most of my time in activities that attract clients, because everybody always wants to know how to get new clients. I’ll just give you the short version. I spend, Mo. I invest most of my time in attraction, not chasing. Now, sometimes you have to chase, especially when you’re early. You have to prospect after do sales meetings. I would venture to guess that I have, because I’ve intentionally done it. I’ve intentionally worked to make my acquisition time lower to where most of my time is spent, not in the marketing, but in the in the actual selling pieces of it, which hopefully can be, you know, fairly reasonable in terms of time investment. But the second part of that is, I’m like, I’m like you. I don’t wanna go 3 months. 3 months is my cut off on a subscription client in terms of profitability, and you have to factor in a even if you’re doing the work by yourself. This is the biggest mistake you’ll make. You’ll make a huge mistake if you don’t factor in what you would have to pay if somebody else was doing the work. Okay, if you are the business owner and you are doing all the work in your business. You think you’re one person. I’ve got news. You’re at least 2, maybe 3. If account a manager, you’re actually a project manager, the business owner, and the technician doing the work. And all those people gotta have a paycheck, and I’d venture to guess that if you’re not pricing appropriately, you’re gonna be vastly under charging, even at that 3 to 4,000. So what’s great about our model is that 15 or that $5,400 you mentioned is recycling every few years as we go throughout this process, and, like I said, most of them end up staying on for the long haul which makes that makes sense. So yeah, I want to be one to 3 months profitability. And like you said, you can offset with some setup fees and stuff. But don’t forget to count yourself as an employee. If you’re the one working in the business right now to get a real sense for your expenses. So that you’re pricing appropriately. And that’s true, whether you’re doing a subscription model or a regular one either way. Eric Dingler: yeah, a hundred percent 100% and and yeah. And now, if you’re if you’re listening right now to us, and suddenly you’re going. Oh, my gosh! I can’t spend $1,500. The good news is when you’re first getting. If you’re somebody that’s first getting started, you do have this amazing thing that I call far friends, family and relatives. And they’re gonna give you a money. But friends, family relatives, I’m talking about your network and and because of social media that even expands out. And so getting those first couple initial clients, you’re you’re able to leverage the relationships you’ve already have established. So you don’t have to go out and build new relationships. I’ve got people in the lead factory that I tell them like, make a list of everybody that you do business with. And I’m talking your dentist, your kids dentist. and all of them within 3 months need to know that you own a web design business or a digital marketing business. Because you’re giving them money. Maybe, you know, and they’re all looking for somebody to do what you do for them. And you’re not somebody that they’re getting bombarded with a Facebook Ad. Or Instagram Ad. Early in the morning, late at night. You’re a real person, they know, and so getting started isn’t as hard as it. We I didn’t want. I didn’t want to scare people off. basically with that and, in fact, that that reminds me of this week’s leadership tip of the week, and and I want to share that. But before I do I wanna say, thank you, Steve, for you being here and also the people that are that are still listening. At this point, if you, if you’ve made it this far into the podcast you know, I know you are already appreciating this. But man Steve needs to know. Steve needs to know that you’re loving it. So leave a review. It’s gonna make Steve feel good? But leave a review subscribe. Do all the nice things share the episode? You you are the DNA, podcast the digital, nova, entrepreneur. Podcast you are. You you’re my marketing. Hope. So do all the nice things leave a review. Subscribe. You can go to Dn, E, podcast I’ve got a a remote work bundle that you can download that has all kinds of assets in it. There it links there. It links to some videos that I just share very openly how I run my business out of a backpack. The gear I use. There’s stuff in there on leading a team and and all the stuff. And so it’s the remote work, success bundle. And and and I’m gonna I’m gonna interact with you. In fact, I wanna read an email, and II I’m gonna follow up with with the author of this email. His name is is Curt and because I’m excited for him to hear this episode with you, Steve. This is what Kurt said in an email last week he said, Eric, thanks for the email. So he had gone to the website, downloaded the remote success bundle and I followed up with an email to him. He said, thanks for the email. I have to say that you’re the first podcaster that has ever sent a direct email to me. Oh, Kurt, thanks. I was planning to leave you a 5 Star Review in the near future. But, to be honest, there’s a good chance that it may have been lost in the shuttle of life and push back for a while. So when I saw your email, I just went ahead and took care of that. Now the review I left is on apple, podcast that is under the stealthy nickname. Curt Underscore M. I have been trying to improve some things, slash habits in my personal life, so that not only will I, be a better person. But when I find the location independent business for me, these habits will carry over to the business side of things. Your email is a great reminder to get things done and stop leaving so many loose ends. Thank you for that. I really am enjoying your podcast and I’ve been listening to some of the episodes again to absorb some of the information the second time round. Thanks, God bless! Now, here’s his review that he left over on on Apple. Kurt, I really appreciate this, he says, as a current W. 2 employee working hybrid, remote again. I just want to say I I see so many people posting on on on Facebook, Steve, how do I get a remote job? How do I get a remote job? And I’m telling you right now you can. There are. There are remote jobs out there that you can get and let you travel, but at any point in time a remote job can be turned into a hybrid. You’re you’re one email away from a new Hr person. Come into the corporation, a new leader, a new board member or something. And suddenly you get an email that says, Hey, starting in 3 weeks, everybody has to come to the office one day a week and you’re on another continent like it’s, it’s just, there’s there’s 2 you you’re losing control of your life and and and I and I don’t want that for you. So Kurt is saying, I’m as a current W. 2 employee work on hybrid remote. I am researching business ideas that will allow me to be 100% location, independent. Kurt wink, wink, nudge, nudge, hit it. You gotta go listen to Steve’s. Podcast he goes on to say, I just recently found this podcast and I’m really enjoying it. Eric not only talks about the nomadic side of the equation, but more importantly, speaks to the business side. He shares his business experience and wisdom in a way that is down to earth with no fluff. I have found that every episode has great actionable takeaways that I can apply to my life right now. if you’re looking for a podcast to learn about how a successful business owner thinks and about personal growth, then I highly recommend that you give this one a listen. Kurt man, seriously. II really really appreciate that. It means a lot. And I’m telling you you’re Gonna want to go. Listen to Steve’s podcast. And get plugged into Steve’s world. Because, I don’t talk in this podcast. About a specific business type. Ii talk about making business work so you can be nomadic. Steve is one of the people you wanna go listen to for a very specific business model, and and you even heard you even heard this, and Everest and and Steve, II love the fact. You said this. you you you are passionate about helping other people. Web design just happened to be how you decided to to to do that. You found a way to do that. But I mean, I also know you. You also teach guitar lessons. You, you also put out other things like you, you like helping people. You say, that’s true. Steve Schramm: Yeah, oh, yeah, absolutely. And there’s so many different ways you can do that. Eric Dingler: Yeah. And so this just happens to be, you’re you’re just leveraging this business. So if you’re somebody that’s looking for a business model, this idea gone, do that alright. So with that I want to share this week’s leadership tip of the week. Now, Steve, the reason I do this at the end of every episode is because, a person’s leadership capacity is the capacity of their business, and leadership is by probably my my number. One favorite topic to to talk about outside of my my, my faith in Jesus. But I love talking leadership. There’s just so much to it. It. It’s so powerful. And I really, really, really wanted to start a leadership podcast. But there’s already so many out there. And I don’t get people emailing me about leadership. I get a lot of people emailing me about digital nomading so that’s why it’s the digital nomad, entrepreneur. Podcast but if I was thinking, as I was getting this podcast ready and and and planning to launch it, what’s the one thing I could talk about that would really help people. And I just kept coming back to leadership. So this week the leadership tip of the week comes from somebody that by the name of Stu. Mclaren Claren is the membership Guy? I’ve I’ve taken his membership program to learn how to run my own membership, the the lead factory, and and all of that. Are you familiar with with him, Steve? With, yeah. When I first got into the membership world. I followed I was learning how to create content online. I followed Michael Hyatt and Sue Mclaren was instrumental in helping Michael Hyatt put together Platform University. And so that was my first introduction to him. And and now Stu just keeps popping up in all different corners of the Internet so dude our, our pathways are so similar. I started out following, doing a lot with Michael Hyatt and Platform University. And that’s how I got introduced to Steve Mcclaren and then stuck. That’s that’s funny. But last year I went through Stu’s membership experience, and it was fantastic. It’s about to open here soon. for for this year he only does it once once a year. It’s absolutely amazing. But in it the one big takeaway that I got from a leadership perspective was, you grow into it? You don’t go into it. And and and and the point of that is that the other way. I used to say it all the time was, don’t compare your your beginning to my middle, like if somebody’s listening to this, and they? They’ve been building the website, or they’ve never been building websites, and and they wanna transition to subscription. Or they wanna start subscription. It’d be really easy for them to look at Steve and go. Oh, my gosh! You know he’s talking about. He’s putting all this time into, you know, acquisition. So that means content. And he’s got a team. And you know. So for me to do this, I gotta have a team. And II need to have you know a podcast and I need to, you know, to have all these things. and that is the furthest from the truth. You don’t go into what you and I do on day one with everything that you and I have in place. You grow it right? It’s a journey. It’s a process. Steve Schramm: yeah. And and not only that, but like, Oh, I was just gonna say so in II realized this right like, and I’m I am never. I never want to give somebody the false impression that they’re gonna be able to just like turn on the faucet of subscription web design. Some magical thing is, gonna it’s gonna happen. So let me say 2 quick things. The first thing is, I can’t believe I forgot to mention this earlier, but I made a coupon code. So just d, and E hey, whether you go to To get the course or subscription web designcom to get the coaching if you go to subscription web designcom, I’ll give you 20% off for your entire first year. If you go get the course, you’ll get 20% off of that. So yeah, absolutely. So II wanted to mention that because in the course, I actually spend a whole module, I’m not sure it’s 15 or 20 min. But I spend a whole module talking specifically about this one question, how do you actually work the subscription web design model into your business? And we talk about it, whether you’re starting it as a side hustle, whether you’re starting this as you’ve already got, you know, clientele on a traditional model, and you’re trying to work it in, or whether you’re brand new. So so you do, you grow into it? You can’t just go into it, because if you got a full time job. You’re trying to build up subscription income that could be hard to do. So that so I wanna say, the thethe grow, not go. That process applies, and the macro, and almost everything in life. But even in the micro, in the very specific, with Well, how do you build a subscription web design model. Well, even there, in that very specific thing there’s a process and steps to take in order to grow into it. And I try to teach you all of that as well. So I just wanted to throw that out there. Eric Dingler: No, that’s that’s really really good. I really really appreciate that. And yeah, good stuff. Alright, my friend. Well, thank you for being here today. And sharing with us. I’m really excited to to connect my audience over to your podcast that that’s really really cool. And to everyone else. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the digital nomad entrepreneur. And I look forward to reading your review in an upcoming. Podcast so until next time, chase the big dream, lead with courage and safe travels.