S28-E3 - Featuring Candy Phelps
June 19, 2019
Web build and design is not often thought of as glamorous or exciting. In the real world it can be a long process taking weeks, if not months. By the end of the project everyone is glad to get the site live and move on.
How can you change all this? How can you make the process exciting, fast, efficient and attractive?
Candy shares how she created a process for web design and development that has really helped her stand out from the crowd and allowed her to grow her agency offering a unique productised service with a flexible team structure.
Candy Phelps is the founder of Bizzy Bizzy, a U.S.-based experiential creative company. Candy is an author, speaker and passionate entrepreneur who aims to disrupt the industry by revolutionizing the way people work together. She is the creator of the 1 Day™ Website and other 1 Day™ digital marketing services.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Welcome to The Agency Trailblazer Podcast. This is your host Lee and on today’s show we are talking with Candy Phelps all about the one day website model that her and her team have developed over the last couple of years. So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Welcome to The Agency Trailblazer Podcast and you are joining aconversation today with me, Mr. Lee Matthew Jackson and we have on the line it’s candy Phelps from Bizzy Bizzy Creative. How are you today?
Candy Phelps: I’m doing great, thank you.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Now I know no one else knows yet, but they are about to find out that you actually got up at 2:00 AM to do this recording, so I’m just giving you a round of applause right now. Thank you for sacrificing your sleep. Absolutely insane, but thank you very much for being on the show. Folks, if you don’t know who Candy Phelps is, you can find out more about her on Bizzy Bizzy Creative and instead of me, Candy doing an introduction and kind of butchering it, what I would really love for you to do is just introduce yourself, let us know a little bit about yourself, maybe a cool fact that you don’t think many people might know about you. Favourite colour as well, favourite drink, anything like that. So we can just get to know you a little bit before we jump in that time machine.
Candy Phelps: Sure. Well thanks again for having me, Lee. It’s very exciting to be on the show. Thank you. My name is candy Phillips. I am the founder of Bizzy Bizzy and we are an experiential creative company in Madison, Wisconsin based in the US so a university town here in the Midwest where it’s very cold. I’m an author and speaker as well and we specialise in branding and web design and we’re the inventors of the one day website and the one day branding are two of our signature services. So we used to have a pretty typical creative agency and just the last couple of years we basically started only doing these services in one day. And I’m sure we’ll get into some of the details about how that works. I actually grew up in Montana and I guess some kind of fun facts, I worked at a police magazine for a few years of my career and so I own a bulletproof vest so that’s kind of a nice thing to own and having in the closet. Also a random fact. I was a pole vaulter in high school on the track team and because I was the first woman in Montana to be a pole vaulter, like they only allowed it when I first got into high school. I had a lot of records at the time for being an amazing pole vaulter even though I was really not very good. But those are, those are some sort of two random facts.
Lee Matthew Jackson: That’s phenomenal. I wish I had some cool things like that. Of course when you said Montana, I instantly had Hannah Montana’s best of both worlds going through my head, which is not related. I don’t think to centre itself.
Candy Phelps: You must have a daughter, I’m guessing.
Lee Matthew Jackson: I do. She is now too old to even watch it and I think kind of Montana was as gone years ago, but it’s embedded in my brain from being on repeat. So wow pole vaulting. So folks, if you have anything in a hard to reach place, don’t forget Candy can pole vault and go get it for you.
Candy Phelps: I might not be able to pole vault anymore actually, that was like 20 years ago.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Okay, fair enough. Well that’s awesome. Let’s jump in that time machine thing cause I’d really love to find out a little bit more probably about that bulletproof vest cause that’s fascinated me and I think that will lead to into how did you get into the creative industry initially? So can we jump in that time machine together and can you let us know how you got into the industry?
Candy Phelps: Absolutely. So I went to school for journalism actually and you know that was partly a random choice. I was definitely one of those 18 year olds who had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. And I chose journalism because I felt like it would be a good way to kind of help the world or you know, make the world a better place. And it kind of ties into today, one of the other things that I noticed when I was in college, like I loved a lot of different kinds of classes, but one of the things that I was really good at was just like doing a lot of work in a short amount of time. So I would typically like procrastinate and procrastinate and then the night before I would just crank out like an amazing 20 page paper. And that’s always how I did it. I always thought, you know, if I was a reporter I could really do well with these tight deadlines and doing kind of high pressure work. It was kind of a random choice but when I started being a reporter, I actually hated it. I really haven’t been skin and I didn’t enjoy like being the person who had to be bothering people all the time. Cause there’s kind of two kinds of journalism. There’s the press that people want to get and then there’s the press that they don’t want to get. And a lot of times I was covering like government agencies and things like that and they did not want to talk to me. So that was difficult for me. So instead I ended up kind of being an editor and a designer and working at the newspaper industry in that area for several years.
Candy Phelps: I was working second shift. So it’s kind of a bummer to work at a newspaper because if you’re the designer and the copy editors, you have to work at night and you get off at like one in the morning and you have kind of a weird lifestyle. So I was looking for something still in journalism where I could work during the day. Then I found myself working as the managing editor at these trade magazines for police officers. So I did that job for a few years. Super interesting in a lot of ways. I learned a lot, but the place was not a great place to work it sort of sucked my will to live to the point where I basically, it was 2008, the US economy was just crashing. There were no jobs. You know, it’s actually kind of a typical entrepreneurial story, but I was just desperate to get out of that job and do something different.
Candy Phelps: There just weren’t any jobs, especially in journalism cause like the newspaper industry was sort of failing at the time. So I ended up just saying, you know, I think I could start freelancing and at least be able to pay my bills and that’s kinda how it started. As soon as I was self-employed and started working, doing freelancing, it became very clear that I am an entrepreneur at heart and this is like who I am. I’ll never go back to work for anyone else. And now it’s not even as much about the creative agency as it is. Just being an entrepreneur and working with other entrepreneurs is my favourite thing. I’m super passionate about that.
Lee Matthew Jackson: I completely agree there. I term myself often as highly unemployable.
Candy Phelps: Yes, me too.
Lee Matthew Jackson: I certainly had a chip on my shoulder.
Candy Phelps: No one would ever want to be my boss ever again.
Lee Matthew Jackson: I was awful. I actually emailed my boss at my old company the other day, few, yeah, couple years ago and just apologised for being such a jerk.I’m sure you weren’t a jerk, I was just so sick of being employed. I was mean.
Candy Phelps: Yeah. I was like the best worker, like I was a workhorse. I would work to death but then I’d be super resentful about it. So then you know that that was a problem for me. I had very little self awareness at the time.
Lee Matthew Jackson: When you were talking about journalism and working under pressure and kind of doing things kind of very quickly because you have to and thinking you’re going into journalism. It kind of reminded me of really funny statement that Dave Toomey made. So we had Agency Transformation Live a few weeks ago here in the UK. It’s an event with the time and Dave Toomey was one of our speakers and he said something along the lines of ‘I apologise about my slides, I put them together the last minute. But as my friend always says, if you leave it till the last minute, it only takes a minute’ It absolutely cracked me up. It’s true though isn’t it with that kind of pressure, when you do have that precious, sometimes you can produce some of your best and most creative work.
Candy Phelps: That has definitely been true for me in my entire life as a student and as a professional. And that is a lot of the journey that brought me to the one day website is just my ability and actually my preference to work in a highly focused manner. Instead of having like these 15 minutes of work on a project here, 20 minutes there, you know, this kind of like project that never ends and kind of just goes on forever. So I prefer it and I for sure do better work when I can just focus and be really intentional about the projects that I’m working on. Instead of, trying to do too many things at one time or spread things out over a long period of time.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Absolutely. And with that as well folks, if you work on some of the bigger projects that can’t be done in a day, maybe it’s cause we’ve got a lot of developers who listen as well and they might be working on a development project that might take several months. There’s a great book called sprints, which kind of allows you to do certain things in like very specific tasks in say a few days of focus sprints. So again, it’s removing the idea of that really long a bit here, a bit there over several months and never really seeing the fruit of all of your labour. And by the time you do see the fruit of your labour, your exhausted with the project anyway and you kind of no longer care. Like, yeah, it’s live, right, see ya next project. Whereas if you can kind of focus on things it is really life changing now with regards to you going alone. So did you go alone straight into journalism or were you then doing design at that point? Cause that was the bit I wasn’t sure on.
Candy Phelps: So I started with doing some freelance writing and freelance design and then I basically, you know, I started building a client list and people just kept asking for more and more different things including web design. So I taught myself, you know, html, I taught myself flash, which was a waste of time. But you know, I do know how to make a flash website and then eventually found WordPress. And so for the last 10 years, I’ve basically been in business for 10 years for myself now and have been doing full on creative services, social media, search engine optimization, all the gamit of that whole thing. So it started, I’m totally self taught though, there’s a lot of my journalism training that is involved with content marketing. There’s a lot of similarities there. And of course just writing is, it is an amazing skill and some design, although newspaper design has never been all that exciting, but some of the tools are the same. So some of the things that I studied in school were applicable, but largely I’m just a YouTube graduate. You know, I watched a million YouTube videos, read a bunch of books for dummies and I’m just learning on the job.
Candy Phelps: In fact, I’m looking at your website bizzybizzycreative.com folks. And one of the slides has a book called CSS secrets that’s on your shelf and I also see the microwave, which is essential in any agency by the way guys. We’ve just bought our new microwave and have been using it like crazy in our agency. So looking at your site, you’re clearly a large team now. So you started 10 years ago with just you, how did you grow the team?
Candy Phelps: Well, I actually started by hiring my sister. So she was the first person after I sort of got the entrepreneurial bug. I spent the next five years trying to get everyone else I know to quit their jobs and start their own businesses. So it’s like a hobby of mine. I like to take people out to lunch who are having trouble with their work and then slowly plant that seed of what could you be doing for yourself? Like maybe self-employment is an option. I made my husband quit his job and start his own business, but my sister was miserably employed at UPS working nights and she’s an industrial engineer, so she’s super smart but has no skills at all in my industry. But after I had self taught all of this, I was like, well now that I know all of this information, I could easily teach you how to build a WordPress site, you know, in much less time than it took me to learn all over those years.
Candy Phelps: So she was my first hire. And in some ways, I mean it was such a blessing cause she was so smart and so talented. She just learned so quickly and became basically my main web developer and worked with me for several years. But in other ways it was actually a problem because she was so good. I had no systems in place when I hired her. I, I’ve never managed people. I was not a good boss on any front. Like I was a horrible employer, but she was just so good at teaching herself things or figuring things out or I could tell her something once and she would remember it. And so then I didn’t realise as I hired additional people that actually that’s not typical. Like you need more systems in place and you need checklists and you need training and all of those things. So the second person I hired was actually my retired aunt Sally, so I did a lot of nepotism and just like hiring anybody who needed some work.
Lee Matthew Jackson: She sounds adorable. It’s the name aunt Sally that just, you have to be adorable.
Candy Phelps: She is a very adorable woman but actually she’s like super young and hip. She’s not like a grey hair old lady, aunt Sally like you might be imagining. But she had retired slash been laid off from the cruise line industry and was super interested in social media and she just kind of reached out at one point. It was like she’d been a big fan of the business and following me a lot closely on social media and she was just so interested and she didn’t really need the money per say. She was just looking for something to kind of keep busy and she liked learning these new skills. So I hired her. But that was where the kind of breakdown of me not having any systems and not having like a training programme cause she also didn’t have any experience. So I learned the hard way in every aspect of my business and the hiring process was something that now I preached to so many other people like don’t do what I did. Like just go hire a bunch of people you know, who don’t actually have any skills in the industry because it’s a lot harder if you do it that way. So I basically, now we have a team of about 12 sub contractors. I’ve had full on employees before and we sort of grew and then we shrunk. And then we have grown now. But, but basically we’re just using subs for the time being. And there’s a lot of reasons for that, but especially for the one day model, it works out really well to have subcontractors versus employees because you can bring in, you know the right number of people depending on the type of project you have.
Lee Matthew Jackson: That’s good. And again, like I said earlier, we’ll go into that, but I do like the idea of not having to have, if you are going to do say one one day website a week, you’d be paying a team of people to be doing nothing. Well not nothing because people would be prepared. There would still be free time on the other days. Whereas when you have contractors, it’s more cost effective as to run a business in that model. And like you said, getting the right people involved for the right projects is phenomenal. Folks, you can actually check out on bizzybizzycreative.com and click on the about page is a really cool page full of all the team members of which I’ve enjoyed looking at all the pictures and looking at all their websites. So go ahead and check that out.
Lee Matthew Jackson: It’s a great page. I do love the idea of bringing family in and it, you reminded me of the book, The e-myth revisited where the lady is selling pies and she brings on an employee who’s amazing and they’ve become great friends, etc. And then suddenly the employee one day hands in her notice and the lady who runs the pie shop is back to working all hours again and realises that she had no systems or processes. So you know, then she was able to kind of come up with that sort of franchise model where she worked on her business in such a way as that she could literally document everything, you know how to make the pies, all that sort of stuff so that in theory someone else could franchise the business off her. She wasn’t going to franchise the business, but it allowed her to employ people who could follow those processes.
Lee Matthew Jackson: And it made a world of difference. But it definitely sounds like you were lucky with your sister. And I’ve got the same with Larissa here. She’s one of those people who just hit the ground running, taught herself loads of stuff and I can just kind of say, hey, could you just go and look at this? And I can see her being at Google power user teaching herself how to learn stuff, which is awesome. But that also kind of can make me lazy sometimes.
Candy Phelps: Yeah it can actually come back to bite you or you know, just make you overly judged other people who aren’t that talented because I feel like the majority of people need a little more instruction or a little more structure. But yeah, it’s nice and it’s very lucky to have have those amazing people.
Lee Matthew Jackson: 100% now with regards to one thing that’s intriguing me, because you’ve got kind of more of a contractor base, which is becoming very common as well for agencies. In the imagery you have a really nice office space. So do you have an office as well that people come and meet with you at, etc?
Candy Phelps: Yes, we do. And you know, for the one day model to work, the big thing is that we work in person with our clients, so we have to have a space to meet, you don’t necessarily have to have your own office, you could easily do this at a co-working space or just rent a space every time you need one. For me, you know, I had worked from home for probably seven years I think and I really enjoyed that aspect of it. But part of the transition into the one day motto was like managing all of these remote people became really exhausting to me. So like aunt Sally was in Florida, Tara was in Montana and we just kind of got building this team of people just wherever they were.
Candy Phelps: To me, working in person, not only with our clients but with our team is a totally different experience that I had found myself at the more I grew, the less of the fun work that I was doing and the work that I love doing you know, the design and the content and all of that. And basically I was just spending 80 or 90% of my day in my email inbox. And that was sending emails to team members, just shepherding emails back and forth from clients to team members and then back to the clients. And it was not fun at all. Like after, you know, I was working a lot of hours it was my least favourite kind of work. So when we decided to get the office, part of that was just being like, okay, I’m tired of just emailing everybody. Like I would just like to be able to turn to someone and discuss a project so that all that doesn’t have to happen in typing and emailing and slack and you know, different project management software. And so there, it was kind of a slow transition kind of to getting everything from this digital marketing agency where everyone’s remote to being back in real life. And to me now that we are doing way more things back in real life my life is changed and everything is so much better. So as much as there are so many advantages of being able to work with anyone in the world, you know, whether they’re customers or somebody on your team. I’ve pretty much gone the 180 on that and now I’m just like, I just want real people who live in my town who I can talk to and go have a beer with after work and we can actually have like really meaningful relationships.
Lee Matthew Jackson: You just said the magic words. I’m totally going to on a plane now to Montana to go and have a beer with you guys. That sounds cool.
Candy Phelps: Yeah, exactly. It’s more fun. Absolutely.
Lee Matthew Jackson: I am seeing a trend as well towards this where people do like to get together. The idea of working online is great. You can work with, like you said, the experts from around the world and that’s how we operate a lot because obviously our clients are actually a lot of our clients now or in the states, so we never ever get to meet our clients and there’s a lot of zoom calls, etc. But when we work with clients in the UK, we do really have a great time when we can all just get together in one space, either at the client’s office or they’ll come to us or we’ll meet halfway or we work or something and we can just all get together and brainstorm and have big sheets of paper on the wall that we’re all drawing all over, etc.
Lee Matthew Jackson: There’s just that energy and that buzz and the excitement and that speed as well of interactivity that you just can’t get from say a zoom call or like you say, from lots and lots of emails, etc. So yeah I think that’s definitely a great move in the office as well from the photographs. It looks phenomenal. I think we can all take an example from you guys. It’s so good to be able to show where your clients are going to be working and the people in the office doing the work, etc. Because people can imagine themselves working with you and that’s one thing that we’ve not done as an agency is actually got our photos up there. I’ve been saying this on the podcast for two years now that I’m going to get our photos up on the website.
Candy Phelps: You gotta do it, it’s the shoe maker shoe though, right?
Lee Matthew Jackson: Exactly.
Candy Phelps: You’ve always got the clients work looking perfect and amazing and then your own website is like outdated and okay.
Lee Matthew Jackson: I’ve got a big stock photo from that free place that I’ve forgotten the name of.
Candy Phelps: Yeah. We’ve had clients say I saw that picture and I just wanted to be sitting at that table with you. You know, having that like human connection of photograph of us having human connection with real clients. These are, you know, these aren’t like fake photos that we took. These are real people that we’re working with and this is our real team. And it’s like, it’s just capturing that feeling that you get when you work person that you cannot replicate via email or Skype or whatever. It’s just an amazing human connection that I think all of us are just losing a little bit of that the more and more attached we get to our screens and the more life becomes digital. So i’m just sort of rebelling against that because it’s sort of funny my parents like to joke and point out that when computers first came out, when I was probably, I don’t know, in junior high I was very against computers and I was like always preaching that computers are not great and then here I am like, you know, years, decades later, like sitting all day everyday at my computer and they’re like, it’s weird that you’re designing websites because remember when you used to hate computers. But it’s funny because now I’m actually kind of coming back to my roots and who I am as a person where it’s like, yeah computers are great, they’re amazing tools. I’m very, very grateful for the Internet, for the technology that we have. It’s amazing. And I’m sure I take it for granted, but really what I want to do with my time and my life on this planet is make connections and work with people and help people. And you just don’t have that feeling when you’re just emailing all day long.
Lee Matthew Jackson: 100%. And again, with the imagery on your website as well, people want to align themselves with your journey. So a good example I often use is the team at Dubsado. I don’t if you’ve heard of Dubsado, they put videos of their team, they’ve got pictures of the team on social media, etc. And even though I’ll probably never meet them, you tend to want to use their tools because you want to align yourself with that journey, align yourself with that team, etc. And very much from, I think my favourite picture is the one where they’re, I think it’s just like writing on the wall because I’ve been able to like check your about page, etc. And I think it’s you at with a client or maybe an under the a team member smiling and it looks like work’s happening but it also looks like it’s fun and it makes me want to be sat at that table having my site then. Again folks, bizzybizzycreative.com for some inspiration. Now what I would love to find out about is this one day a website process. I imagine for 10 years you’ve not been doing this necessarily, you’ll have been doing the longer method that a lot of us do. Take a brief back and forth. There’s some designs, please sign off the designs, yada yada yada. At what point did you think this has to change and how did you go about changing it?
Candy Phelps: Sure. So I think it was probably around year six or seven when I was starting to feel, you know, I was probably getting a hundred emails a day on average. And those are like real emails, not coupon codes from Groupon, like these real emails from clients and team members about work and just feeling like I could never dig my way out of that pile of emails. Like I never could get caught up, couldn’t take a vacation. I couldn’t take days off. Like I didn’t even take a lunch break ever because if I went away from my computer for an hour, it was like the number of emails I have when I got back just felt more exhausting than it did relieve me to take a lunch break. Just feeling like we had way too much work and I could never crawl out of that inbox and the work that I was doing was kind of not fun. It was mostly project management. And so I was just feeling like pretty burnout I guess with the work that I was doing, even though we were successful in business was good. It was just like things had kind of taken a slow turn for the burnout road. I have this industry newspaper experience so I am used to, and I have participated in for years the idea that you start like a newspaper is created essentially from nothing every morning and then you know a 30 or 50 page newspaper is produced overnight. So this concept of like just starting with nothing and making an amazing periodical every day is something that I really enjoy about the newspaper industry and something that I was drawn to that kind of like fast paced, high pressure working style.
Candy Phelps: So I think it was kind of maybe that experience along with you know, Hackathons that I had participated in for charity kind of things where you know, you get a tonne of people in the room and you like do something nice for a nonprofit. I had participated in a couple of those that were horribly ineffective because the idea was awesome. Like bring all these people into a room and everybody make a website together. But none of the people on the teams, like they break people into teams. I would be on a team with four other people and nobody knew who was doing what and everyone was like trying to use different platforms or different WordPress themes or you know, everyone had their different opinions and in the end we just didn’t get very much done because we were not a cohesive team. We had no plan, no systems no checklist.
Candy Phelps: So we kind of built something by the end of the day, but it was pretty crappy. Having that experience it felt like, okay, what if we take this idea, you bring the people in. The other thing that was missing with the client, the client was never participating in that process. They were just receiving the crappy website that we had built them by the end of the day. So I just started thinking like, okay what could we do in a day? Like how many people would we need to get in the same room and what kind of processes would we need to have in place in order for us to accomplish a good website in one day? So, not the things that we doing during the Hackathon, but something that would basically be equivalent to a basic wordpress site that we’ve built a hundred times for other clients.
Candy Phelps: So we started just kind of experimenting. The first thing I did was I had a couple of friends, some of whom I had kind of convinced to quit their jobs and start their own business. And I was just like, you know what, let me just make you a website. You know, I’ll just real quick make you a website, so come over on a Saturday and we’ll do it. So I started by doing that myself. And what I found was like, I can’t do it in a day myself at all. Like there’s just way too much work to do. So, you know, we’ve been tracking our hours religiously in Freshbooks for, you know, a decade basically. So I just broke it down to who’s doing what, how many hours is it taking? And we figured, you know, basic WordPress websites without e-commerce, we’re typically taking us between 30 and 50 hours of work. But that was spread out over two months, three months, sometimes even a year. Even like the client just would never get back to us. We’d be sitting on a project for two months, you know, sending them email reminders and they’re just like, sorry, we’re at a trade show. Sorry we’re busy. I’m sure all of you know, all of your audience has had that experience where the reason why you can’t get the projects done is because of the client. The client is the stopping point, you know you can’t control them or how quickly they get back to you. So it’s very difficult to predict when you can launch the website, where to schedule your workers because you know, you send them the mockups and if the client sits on it for two weeks you can’t get the developers working on it yet. So there’s that whole like dead time scheduling nightmare that happens. When you work in person with the clients and your team. You eliminate all of that. So we don’t remove any of the work like we’re still doing the exact same process, the same output, and the same number of hours. We’re just doing them simultaneously instead of spreading it out over a bunch of months.
Lee Matthew Jackson: So that means you’ve got the client there for the content and you’ve got the different team members that you need to be doing the different elements of that project throughout the whole day.
Candy Phelps: Yeah and so one of the keys is that we actually write the content for the client. So that I’m sure that for anyone that has ever built a website knows if you try to have a client like send you the content that is often the biggest sticking point. A lot of clients aren’t good at writing or it’s intimidating for them or they just don’t have time. So we have an interview process that is a couple hours of the day and we just take them through a discovery process so we can learn all about their business, all about themselves. We have some tangible tools that I have developed, includes core value cards. So we have them like sort through this deck of cards and tell us their core values and all of this is great fodder for the writer who is sitting there taking notes and then they can actually create the content or at least the bulk of the content for a good solid marketing website that’s five, five or seven or eight pages. So they write the content. The developer is in the backend, you know, installing plugins integrating their social media or their email marketing software, whatever. The designer is actually doing a mock up based on the feedback that we got from the clients. We have a set of mood boards, we have some font finder cards, we have a bunch of different kind of design tools that we use to get their aesthetic tastes and help kind of drill down into what it is they like and they don’t like.
Candy Phelps: And some of those physical tools, the reason why they’re so effective is because we’ve probably all worked with a client who said something like, you know, I’ll know it when I see it. Like I can’t tell you, you know what I want in my logo, but just design a million logos and I’ll tell you which one I like. So instead of trying to get them to describe what they like, a lot of clients don’t have that language. They don’t know how to describe like a contemporary font versus like a classic looking font or you know, that type of thing that a designer is looking for. They just don’t know what to call it or how to say the things. But if you show them a bunch of moodboards and you say, this is a contemporary style, like this is something that’s very corporate looking, they can say, okay, I like that, but I don’t like that. And that helps us more quickly get to something that they like instead of just the designer taking wild guesses or designing based on their own personal style.
Lee Matthew Jackson: I love the idea of that. And I recognise the language from clients saying, I know it when I see it. Or just come up with some options. Can you just play around with some ideas? Yeah, I like that but could you make it bigger and could you change everything about it? And I like the McDonald’s logo by the way. Yeah, no, I’m intrigued. So with this business model, obviously it took some time to refine and you’ve now pretty much got what you have now. Got this down to a modele that can be rinse. It’s like a rinse and repeat model that you can do. Obviously I recognise this prep before the day. I assume going to, there’s going to be information gathering beforehand, then everyone gets together for an amazing creative day and then you will have a beer at the end of the day to celebrate the launch. And that sounds beautiful and perfect. Does this limit you therefore to the local area and does it also limit you to certain industries that you can work with or have you find it transcends all of that?
Candy Phelps: Well, at first we thought it was going to limit us to the local area and then we experimented with virtual one days where we would have just an all day Skype with a client and those have been fine. They’re definitely doable. And by the end of the day we still have the same website because you’re still working with the client in real time, which is the key. The only tricky thing about that is if the client is low tech, which this is part of the reason why we work in person is because like sometimes the tricks or the setbacks are like a client doesn’t know how to get the photos from their phone to you. You know, or they, they don’t know how to log in to something. We can just get on their laptop and do that stuff for them. So that’s again why it’s just so much more efficient to work in person. If you’re doing that virtually, you still have that client tech savviness question mark of whether they’re like, how hard is it for them to get on a zoom call? Like it might be hard or it might be something they have no problem with. But lately we’ve actually been really just targeting more of a full on immersive experience where people will fly in for the day and then we put them up at a hotel and we make it into like a basically like a retreat for your website.
Lee Matthew Jackson: I’m not going to lie. I mean I build websites but I would totally pay for this. This sounds cool. I’ve seen the pictures. I want them to be in that room. It looks wicked.
Candy Phelps: We’re trying to make it into like I started with just the process of the website itself, but now we’re designing, we’re designing the experience to make it like even more enjoyable. So the clients love it. It’s, it’s amazing the response we’ve gotten like because what used to be a fairly painful process for clients where we’re sending them 200 emails a day, asking them about their SSL certificate and their domain registrar and just like crap if they don’t want to deal with now they get to come in and we have like yummy breakfast and we bring in lunch and like we have little chocolate snacks in the afternoon and I’m thinking about bringing in a massage therapist. Like, cause it is kind of an intense day just given everyone like 15 minute neck rubs at some point during the day and like really going all out with that experience.
Candy Phelps: It’s super exciting because the clients love it, the team loves it. I mean we’ve solved everyone’s problems essentially. Like I love it. My life is awesome now because instead of sitting there emailing all day long with people, I just get to have these super fun conversations and you get to help people in real life and have like real collaboration where it feels like the project is everyone’s idea and everyone is co-creating this instead of like each person doing their little siloed activities and then handing it off to somebody else. So it’s just so effective and so fun and so successful that yeah, it’s about two years ago where we decided we’re not doing anything else. Like this is all we’re doing. And then we started building out all these other one day services to kind of recapture some of the other things that we had been offering clients.
Candy Phelps: And then we kind of stopped offering for a while while we sort of reconfigured our model. But yeah, there you do have to be limited in some scope, but kind of the business model that we subscribe to now is that any service can be repackaged into another day that a client could purchase. So like we have, we have an eCommerce add on now that if you want to do a one day website with us, you can also book another one day where we will add a store to your website. If you want to do like an online course we can book another day, we’ll add like learn dash to your WordPress site and you have to have the content in that case. We’re not writing all of your course for you, but there’s other things that we can do for you if you want to get deeper into social media or deeper into SEO, there’s additional services that we can tack on either before or after the website day that can really round out like a very amazing marketing strategy in a week or 10 days. If you got every single one of our services, you could really launch your business with extreme, powerful productivity and just the speed and the acceleration of it is so valuable for people otherwise who are waiting for a year for their website to get done.
Lee Matthew Jackson: The great thing there as well is your hyperfocus on each day. I often tell people on the podcast that when I go home, I love to cook because of that instant gratification of creating something and then seeing it being enjoyed. Whereas when I’m here and I’m coding on a website, I’m not going to actually see the end results for potentially several weeks. So I’m loving the idea of this kind of we create something and achieve something each and every day. We do something, we’re going to package one day marketing, one day, ecommerce, one day, etc, etc. One thing that I’m intrigued on, obviously once a website is created, and I might perhaps I’ve gone for several days with you. So I’ve gone from my one day site, I’ve added my ecommerce package, I’ve added a course that I’m going to be selling. So that’s three days. And then I also do a, an extra marketing plan. Do you guys do anything with regards to ongoing maintenance of the website as well?
Candy Phelps: Well at this moment, I actually just refer all of the maintenance to our subcontractors directly, so I’m kind of removing myself from that right now. Honestly, the only reason why I’m doing that is because I’m building out this other business like licencing and all of this so I don’t have the time to manage that, but eventually we will build that back in and I’m going to do it the exact same way. It’s just going to be like a monthly retainer and you come in for a day and work with us and we’re going to do all of your website maintenance. We’re going to do, basically it will be a more of a digital marketing retainer, which will include web, web maintenance. But what I like about that model is every client that we work with wants more from us. They want to work with us. I keep trying to refer people directly to our subs and then they just keep coming back to me being like, but can Bizzy Bizzy do it. And it’s like these are the same people. Like you’re either way, you’re working with the same people. But it’s that relationship that we’re building with them that’s so powerful that you know, there’s definitely opportunity to turn that into an ongoing monthly recurring revenue. We just haven’t because I don’t quite have the bandwidth right now to manage it.
Lee Matthew Jackson: No, and that’s fine, but at least you have it covered though because that was the one concern, like if it’s done in a day etc, that you wouldn’t want your client to be forgotten. You’re then still maintaining an ongoing relationship with them and I love the concept of them being able to come back to you in the future for that one day of e-commerce when they’re ready for ecommerce and or if you then launch this kind of extra service that you’re looking at in the future. That regular marketing where I’m looking at my website every single month that actually looking after this and making the website better, but equally making my marketing and my social or whatever else it is because there’s that accountability side to things as well. Now this has been absolutely fascinating and I’m absolutely loving what you’re doing. I’m loving the website with regards to you guys showing who you are and your energy and the concept of the hyper focus work. Now understand that you have packaged up the one day website as a kind of programme that other people can licence. Can you tell us a little bit more about that please?
Candy Phelps: Yeah, exactly. So like I said, once we kind of started just doing this, my life and my work went from being, you know, I was pretty burned out to now, I am totally in love with everyone of my clients. I am totally in love with my business and like I can’t wait to get to work every morning. So it’s just been life changing for me and I’m talking about it out in, out in the world and it just was resonating so much with so many people who are my peers, other freelancers or other agency owners because we all have the same problems, right? Like we’ve all had those clients who are just like dragging their feet on projects and the projects never end. And these unsatisfying like email relationships that eventually, I don’t know it, it’s been pretty recently.
Candy Phelps: I just decided it was, it was time to share it with the world. I guess part of that too was the physical tools that we’ve developed. We got a lot of people asking if they could buy those from us. So I kind of started the second business, the second website bizzybizzy.bizz. Where we’re working with our peers and other freelancers and creative agencies where they can either buy like individual tools that we’ve developed or you can buy the one day. Right now it’s just the one day website licencing programme. It’s a licencing and certification programme. Eventually we’re going to build that out to have include all of the different services. But right now the website is the most popular thing that we get asked about. So it’s an eight week course and we give you all the physical tools that we use. So there’s like a few ducks decks of cards and this wireframe kit and some some things. And then it’s an eight week course that has live calls and every different module or lesson of the course comes with all of the templates and the checklist and the standard operating procedures. Everything that we’ve been developing for all of these years for our business, we just hand it to you so you don’t have to create it all from scratch. So that includes things like I have job descriptions for if you’re hiring your subcontractors or you’re hiring employees, like there’s just pre-written job descriptions for kind of, you can edit them to your heart’s desire, you don’t have to write all of those yourself. And then of course, just a step by step exactly how we execute a one day website.
Candy Phelps: So who’s doing what at nine o’clock in the morning, who’s doing what, you know, 10 o’clock in the morning, how do we get all of that done? So it’s a one time course and fee and then there’ll be monthly fees for additional support training. We’re just adding tonnes of new training and tutorials that you can even send your team to. So all of this is relatively new, but we have a tonne of content already and we’re building out more and more every day just trying to be a resource for people who want to try this model. Either adding it into their existing business and just offering it as one option or if they want to totally switch and it’s also you’re licencing the brand one day so that, that one day is kind of a house mark that you can use for other services as well. So yeah, that’s kind of what we’re doing. It’s a relatively new thing. We’re working right now with our first cohort of people getting them through the programme and then we’ll be launching again probably in August or September. Phenomenal.
Lee Matthew Jackson: All right folks, you can find out more about that over on bizzybizzy.biz. Take a look at that. If you are interested in this one day model and learning all about it, then you can find out more information as well as fill in a form to apply to be a part of that. So that’s fantastic. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing how and what direction you go with that as well cause I think this is certainly something that uh, I think a lot of people will be getting behind.
Lee Matthew Jackson: It’s certainly not something new, but I’m loving the idea that you’re able to package everything up so that people can be, can be trained on your system and they can then deploy that with their clients as well. So it takes all of the pressure of learning and making all of those mistakes that you might have to make over many years to get that model refined. They can just follow. And like you said, you’re then looking at potentially doing the branding and everything else aren’t you with regards to the the one day model. So like I said, excited to see where that goes and when you launched your new packages you must come back on the show and let us know about them cause that will be wonderful. Awesome. Well all is left of me to do is to first of all wish you all the very best with everything cause it sounds like you’re doing an amazing job. I’m loving it and I’m like I said I’m going to keep in touch and follow where you go. Also just to say thank you very much for coming on the show and teaching us and telling us your story. It’s been absolutely fascinating and then the last thing for me to do is to say good bye and have a wonderful sleep because it’s 3:00 AM now for you. I think.
Candy Phelps: It is. Well thank you Lee so much for having me on the show. It has been a pleasure and let’s stay in touch. I look forward to continuing listening to your show and learning from all of your amazing guests.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Fantastic. Thanks so much. Have a great day.
Candy Phelps: You too.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Cheerio.
Lee Matthew Jackson: And that wraps up today’s show. Don’t forget, if you want to check out that model, then bizzybizzy.bizz. Folks, if you are not part of our Facebook group, then head on over to trailblazer.fm/group and come hang out with all of us crazies as we live out agency life online, making friends, asking for help, sharing help and all of that good stuff. If you are not a premium member and you would like to take part in our weekly calls with myself and our amazing team, then head on over to trailblazer.fm to find out more information and finally there are just a few early bird tickets left. Now that’s the super early bird where you can save £200 on The Agency Transformation live event of 2020 check that out over on agencytransformation.live. If we don’t see you in the communities or at the events, we shall certainly see you in the next episode.
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