Join Jennifer for candid interviews with industry experts that supplement the core Profitable Project Plan curriculum and offer fresh perspectives and insights on building a successful web design and development business.
To build a business in client services, you need clients. To get clients (great clients), you need effective marketing. Join Jennifer and Jean for a candid conversation about marketing and lead generation for web designers and developers. Discover strategies to market your own business and learn how you can help clients attract more customers and make more sales so they can hire you for more/ongoing work.
- EXPERT: Jean Perpillant, Co-Owner, Customer Advocate at Design Theory
- BIO: With an affinity for tech and design that runs back to Radio Shack and a Tandy 1000 he had at six years old, Jean Perpillant started Design Theory in 2008 to help small businesses reach their goals of growth and brand reach through digital strategies. As a small business owner himself, Jean uses his creative talents and skills to bring their ideas to life.
Exhausted from selling individual projects over and over again and ready to embrace retainers with clients who value your skills and contributions? Join Jennifer and Jessi as they discuss everything about support plans and retainers, from getting started and packaging services to monthly communication and managing long-term relationships to mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
- EXPERT: Jessi Gurr, Master Penguin at Iceberg Web Design
- BIO: Jessi is an agency owner in Minnesota. Her passion lies in growing the business and creating jobs, and she loves meeting and networking with other growth-minded business owners in the community. Her passion for traveling, speaking, and networking has helped her form many strong relationships in the WordPress community. Along with helping guide her team to success, she loves traveling with her young children, and can’t wait to embark on their next adventure.
Technical Project Management
You started your business because you’re great at what you do, not to manage tasks, timelines, resources, and budgets, but they’re a critical part of sustainable success. Join Jennifer and Alex for a look at what technical project management entails, process details to consider, mistakes to avoid, and how to build strong client relationships at the same time.
- EXPERT: Alex Juchniewicz, Technical Project Manager at Maintainn
- BIO: Alex is the Technical Project Manager at Maintainn. He manages tasks, timelines, resources, and budgets, and works with small business clients on website design and development projects. Previously he worked with Pagely, Pantheon, Valet, cPanel, and SkyVerge, getting his start as a customer success engineer with a side hustle creating websites. Alex is a California native who now lives in Katy, TX, right outside of Houston, with his wife and daughter. He also has a passion for mental health and currently volunteers on the partnerships team at WP&UP.
Sales conversations are pretty clear cut. But what’s isn’t as obvious is how to get someone to a sales call in the first place. Join Jennifer and Kori as they discuss strategic lead generation for your web design business and how to attract the leads you actually want. They’ll also discuss selling new/additional work to existing website clients and how to position yourself as a great choice.
- EXPERT: Kori Ashton, AskKori.com
- BIO: Kori Ashton has been listed as one of seven women who run tech startups in San Antonio, Texas, to watch. She started her first company at the age of 12 and has had an entrepreneur’s heart ever since. She built her first HTML website in 1998 and was instantly hooked on Web design. In 2012, she launched a WordPress development firm which now has 15 employees and is ranked 3rd in the city. She also hosts a weekly giveback to the WP community on her growing YouTube Channel. In every workshop or webinar, Kori is determined to share actionable takeaways. No boring workshops. No death by PowerPoint.
If you’re building and managing websites, accessing and/or storing customer data, or simply logging into client’s platforms, you must make security a primary concern. Join Jennifer and Chris for a candid conversation about website security, avoidable mistakes, and security measures you should have in place. Learn how to protect yourself and your clients.
- EXPERT: Chris Teitzel, Founder, CEO at Cellar Door Media and Lockr.io
- BIO: Chris is an entrepreneur with a background in both science and technology. Originally a molecular biologist, he now works to create mobile strategies for clients based on their future business goals. With over a decade of open source development, Chris has had the opportunity to work with some of the largest enterprises, build e-commerce in the emerging markets of Africa, and even aid work in Haiti and Washington DC. He has worked in both WordPress and Drupal to foster strong encryption and privacy standards and speaks around the world on the topics of security and privacy, teaching audiences of all backgrounds how to keep their sites and data secure.
Sales And Contracts
When it comes to sales, there isn’t anyone better than Steve Zenghut and with 25 years in the trenches selling websites and apps, he’s been in nearly every sales situation you can imagine. Join Jennifer and Steve for a no holds barred conversation about selling website services, pitching your ideas (and value), writing proposals, drafting contracts, and building strong client relationships.
- EXPERT: Steve Zenghut, Founder, Zeek Interactive
- BIO: Steve founded Zeek Interactive in 1995. Under his direction, Zeek has grown from an apartment bedroom to one of Southern California’s leading digital agencies. Steve is the organizer of the OC WordPress Meetup, was a two-time lead organizer of WordCamp Orange County, and served on the organizing committees for WordCamp US and WordCamp Los Angeles. He is a frequent panelist and speaker, is a member of the Producer’s Guild, a past Adobe Advisory Board Member, and a past Advisory Board member at the Art Institute. In addition, Steve has participated as a mentor in the American Film Institute eTV Workshop. Steve has also taught interactive development courses at University of California Irvine, University of Southern California, and California State University Long Beach.
Growing Your Team
If you’re the bottleneck that’s delaying website projects or holding back business growth, don’t miss this interview. Join Jennifer and Shannon as they candidly discuss growing a web design agency from one to many. Get the inside scoop on how to plan and prepare, what to consider before hiring, building a company culture, and empowering your team to show up at their best.
- EXPERT: Shannon Shaffer, Founder/Director, Purple Finch Studios
- BIO: Shannon Shaffer is the founder of Purple Finch Studios. Shannon’s superpower is making sure that the websites and online marketing solutions that she and her team develop have a purpose and are easy for users to follow, use and engage. She is as at home on an agency team, tying together digital marketing, social media and website experience, as she is in a client-direct setting, helping clients achieve extraordinary results. With 15 years in the online marketing space, Shannon thrives helping small businesses create online marketing and websites that convert.
Search Engine Optimization
Every client wants their website to show up on the first page of search results when someone searches for what they offer. Joost de Valk knows how to get it done. Join Jennifer and Joost as they discuss what’s working and not working in modern SEO, the types of SEO you need to know, best practices to improve rankings, and how you can best help website clients get found more often.
- EXPERT: Joost de Valk, founder and Chief Product Officer at Yoast
- BIO: As Chief Product Officer, Joost spends most of his time at Yoast working on Yoast SEO and its addons. Joost has a background as an SEO, digital marketer, and web developer. Early in his career, he worked in several IT companies — ranging from enterprise hosting to online marketing — and in 2010, he founded Yoast to empower people through software (like the Yoast SEO plugin) and training. Yoast currently employs more than 100 people and Yoast SEO is available for four open-source platforms and active on more than 9 million websites.
Copywriting For Conversion
Landing pages, opt-in forms, and pop-ups, oh my! Every website client wants a site that converts visitors into subscribers, customers, and clients, but how do you make that happen? Join Jennifer and Beth as they talk all things website copywriting and conversion, and get tips for creating digital properties and assets that produce the results you and your clients want.
- EXPERT: Beth Hayden, Copywriter at BethHayden.com
- BIO: Beth Hayden has been a copywriter and content writer since 2007, and she is a former staff writer for Copyblogger. She specializes in helping her clients grow their email lists and turn visitors into customers with high-conversion landing pages, opt-in forms, and pop-ups.
When it comes to digital advertising, Facebook Ads are where it’s at. But where do you start and how do you write a great ad? Join Jennifer and Justin for a frank conversation about Facebook advertising, what you need to know, mistakes to avoid, and the truth about ad spends. Plus, learn his secret weapon for writing Facebook ads that get clicks.
- EXPERT: Justin Wise, Founder at Think Digital
- BIO: Justin Wise empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners to escape the prison of word-of-mouth referrals through marketing strategies that work. He specializes in “different is better” marketing. Justin lives in Des Moines, Iowa (by choice) with his wife and three kids.
If your web design and web development business is growing, you need help, and you’re not sure hiring employees is the best next step, this interview is for you. Join Jennifer and Brad for a candid discussion about leveraging partnerships, subcontractors, and white label companies to outsource work, eliminate bottlenecks, and create space for growth and profits.
- EXPERT: Brad Morrison, founder and CEO at GoWP
- BIO: Brad is the founder and CEO of GoWP, an outsourced WordPress service provider for agencies. After owning a web firm for more than a decade, he founded GoWP to help other agency owners scale their growth and increase their profits. Brad is an active member of the WordPress community serving as an organizer of WordCamp Atlanta and coordinator of the North Fulton WordPress Meetup. When he’s not sitting in front of a computer, he’s busy spending time with his wife and daughter or watching the UNC Tar Heels with a bourbon in hand.
Website Design Process
Design captures attention, creates emotion, and shapes perception and as a web designer, how a brand is perceived online is in your hands. Join Jennifer and Rafal, a sought-after designer and UI/UX consultant, for insights on how Rafal approaches a web design project, from strategy and information architecture to wireframing, design, and revisions.
- EXPERT: Rafal Tomal, UI/UX design consultant at RafalTomal.com
- BIO: Rafal has been designing and coding websites since 2005. He has created countless logos, websites, WordPress themes, brand elements, and UI/UX projects with a primary focus on simplicity and conversion. Today he works with well-known brands and thought leaders and builds tools for web designers, like DesignKit and QuickFrames for Figma, and a Web Style Guide and Starter Template for Sketch and Photoshop.
Brand strategy, brand positioning, brand design — showing up aligned and on-brand is key to attracting the right clients and customers without chasing your tail. Join Jennifer and Katie and they share client stories, talk shop, and cover all things related to branding, from strategy to messaging and the design that brings a brand to life.
- EXPERT: Katie Elenberger, Founder & Creative Brand Strategist at Spark 27 Creative
- BIO: All in. Go-getter. Laughs the loudest. Katie excels at developing comprehensive solutions through strategy, design, and messaging that cuts through the clutter and connects with target audiences. Critical design thinking and dedication to developing high-quality strong concepts have earned her and her company 27 ADDY awards for design. Katie has served on the Board of Directors for Lakes Region Arts Council, is a past executive director of the American Advertising Federation of District 8 serving Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, as well as past president and board member of the American Advertising Federation of North Dakota.
Whether working closely with a fellow freelancer, coming alongside an agency, or developing a relationship with a hosting company, strategic partnerships can propel your business forward. Join Jennifer and Mendel as they discuss all the pros and cons of strategic partnerships, critical considerations, mistakes to avoid, and more.
- EXPERT: Mendel Kurland, Agency/Developer Advocate for WooCommerce at Nexcess
- BIO: A software engineer by training and an eCommerce expert by experience, Mendel is the Agency/Developer Advocate for WooCommerce at Nexcess (a Liquid Web company). He loves helping builders solve problems for clients and has been helping store owners build and grow online businesses for over 15 years. Mendel has worked with industry leading public and private companies to build community, customer/product advocacy, and reputation management programs. When he’s not knee-deep in code or helping a store builder or agency build a more profitable business, Mendel enjoys hiking, getting caffeinated, and playing fetch with his favorite feline, Blue.
Sticky Situations And Tough Conversations
When running a service-based web design and web development business, tough conversations are a part of doing business and unplanned sticky situations can cause undue worry and stress. Join Jennifer and Nathan for an open, honest conversation about what to do when you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place with a client and how to handle those tough conversations.
- EXPERT: Nathan Ingram, Host at iThemes Training, Founder at >ADVANCE Coaching
- BIO: Nathan Ingram is the Host at iThemes Training, the creator of MonsterContracts, and the founder of >ADVANCE Coaching. Nathan works with WordPress solopreneurs and business owners, individually and in groups, to help them become more successful in their businesses. Nathan has been working with clients to build websites since 1995. He is based in Birmingham, Alabama where he has been an organizer for WordCamp Birmingham (WP Y’all) for several years.
"Here's the reality — these days people teach what they may have known for 6 months. Or, they share stuff that they can do but aren't great at explaining. Jennifer Bourn not only knows her stuff, she knows how to break it down so others can learn it. More importantly, she's sharing stuff that's worked for more than a decade and giving you everything you need to put it to work successfully in your business."
Chris Lema | VP of Products & Innovation, Liquid Web
Expert Interviews Available On-Demand In The Profitable Project Plan Library
All past Expert Interviews are available on-demand for you to pair with the related curriculum or watch anytime it fits in your schedule.
If the sales process or creating proposals has you feeling perplexed or uncomfortable, or if you're considering a move upmarket, this interview is for you. Join Jennifer and Jake as they discuss the needed shifts in mindset and approach as you move toward larger projects and clients, sales process considerations for enterprise projects, and accurate proposal creation.
Jake Goldman, 10up
Sales And Proposals
When it comes to privacy, data management, and regulations like GDPR, what responsibilities do designers and developers have when building websites for clients? What do our clients need to know? How does all this impact our work? Join Jennifer and Rian as they talk all things privacy, consumer data, and GDPR — and everything you need to know to stay out of hot water.
Rian Kinney, Esq., eCommLegal
Privacy, GDPR, And More
When it comes to financial advice, taxes, deductions, savings, retirement, and all things money, Sean Boyd is the expert you want in your corner. I refer everyone to Sean and I ALWAYS get enthusiastic thank-yous and heaps of gratitude. Join Jennifer and Sean as they talk financials, money, and taxes for freelance designers and developers and growing agencies.
Sean T. Boyd, CA Accounting & Tax
Financials And Taxes
From managing client expectations to running discovery meetings to keeping track of budgets and deliverables, project management is a critical part of running a successful website project. Join Jennifer and Chris as discuss all things project management and get tips to streamline your project management process, save time, and reduce stress.
Chris Ford, Reaktiv Studios
Courses, lessons, quizzes, certificates, gamification, questions, assignments, student uploads, progress tracking, prerequisites, timed content drips… There is a lot that goes into building an online course site! Join Jennifer and Justin as they talk through everything you need to consider (and help your client navigate) when adding an LMS to a website.
Justin Ferriman, LearnDash
Online Course Sites
From user experience design to web design to processes and workflows to where to find design inspiration, this interview will deliver in-the-trenches tips that will improve your web design projects and client relationships. Join Jennifer and Michelle as they talk shop and tools, share client stories, and discuss all things user experience (UX) design and web design.
Michelle Schulp, Marktime Media
While designing and developing websites is fairly straightforward, website security isn't. Join Jennifer and Tony for an insightful interview and Q&A on website security and website ownership, providing website security services to clients, and including security services in your website monthly care plans.
Tony Perez, CleanBrowsing
Are you a web designer who needs to uplevel your development game, or a web developer who is looking for new ideas, tips, and tools? Either way, you'll love this interview. Join Jennifer and Tracy as they discuss all things related to the development phase of website projects and building the actual website.
Tracy Levesque, YIKES, Inc.
If you sell membership sites or have clients requesting membership functionality, don't miss this interview. Join Jennifer and Blair as they cover considerations when choosing membership software, the ins and outs of membership strategy, hazards to avoid, and tips to ensure a smooth membership site build.
Blair Williams, MemberPress
Membership Site Strategy
If you want to learn what ecommerce store owners really care about, this interview and Q&A is for you. Join Jennifer and Beka as they cover the realities of being a store owner and the most needed tools and features you may not have thought of. Plus, gain valuable insights that will help you improve your next ecommerce site project and better serve your clients.
Beka Rice, SkyVerge
If marketing your web design business and talking about what you do and how you can help clients feels uncomfortable or awkward, you're not alone. Join Jennifer and Chris as they discuss expert positioning, marketing, and storytelling, a works-every-time framework, and why it's easier than you think to communicate why you're the undeniable best choice.
Chris Lema, ChrisLema.com
Marketing And Storytelling
Email marketing is something every business should have as part of their marketing plan. Boost your recurring revenue by offering email marketing support. Join Jennifer and Amy as they discuss everything you need to know about selling recurring email marketing services, including what you must consider if outsourcing the work to a trusted partner.
Amy Hall, Email Marketing Expert
Email Marketing Strategy
Offering search engine optimization (SEO) services is a natural fit for web designers and developers, who already have strong client relationships. Join Jenifer and Lindsay as they talk through options for selling SEO services to increase recurring revenue, common mistakes made and how to avoid them, tips for educating clients, and more.
Lindsay Halsey, Pathfinder SEO
Selling SEO Services
If you need to attract not only more leads but better leads that become awesome clients you love to work with, you'll love this interview and Q&A session. Join Jennifer and John as they discuss the ins and outs of lead generation and what prospective clients really want to know, as well as what most agencies do wrong and how you can avoid their mistakes.
John Doherty, Credo
The most valuable asset of any business is its brand. From establishing foundational clarity and building a reputation to understanding the business to designing a logo and creating a brand style guide, join Jennifer and Laura Elizabeth as they talk all things branding and brand design — including common mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Laura Elizabeth, Client Portal
Branding And Brand Design
"This is the program I wish I had when I was starting out as a freelance designer! It would have saved me countless late nights and weekends spent juggling client projects and burning the candle at both ends. After 26 years as a freelancer and educator, I’ve never seen another system that can both improve client communication and free up your time to do the things that matter most to you. Put this plan to work today and get back to enjoying your business — and your life!"
Shawn Hesketh | Creator Of WP101
Profitable Project Plan 2022 Enrollment Reopens In November! Join The Wait List To Save Up To 50%!
Whether you're just starting out, taking your side-hustle full-time, or doubling-down to grow your existing web design business or web development business, Profitable Project Plan will help you move forward faster and avoid the speed bumps along the way.