Building Revenue Streams with Don Reid, Jr.
Podcast published: June 26, 2020
In what is a jam packed conversation, Don Reid, Jr. shared his own experiences as he works to keep his business afloat amidst COVID-19. As the CEO of a web design company in Delaware County, Coyote Web Design, Don helps businesses with smaller budgets get online with websites. In our conversation, Don chatted through a range of advice and guidance for small businesses to successfully navigate the coronavirus economy.
- Websites: WordPress
- WordPress Theme: Divi from Elegant Themes
- Web Hosting: Siteground
- Email Marketing: MailChimp
What are you telling clients about marketing and design in the coronavirus economy?
- Build multiple revenue streams
- “You need to have a couple streams of income.”
- Don heard a podcast or watched a video from Joe Casabona about the value of creating multiple streams of income talk – and wondered about doing the same
- Use social media to learn and connect with industry leaders
- Don has changed the way he manages his Twitter account: he started following people, businesses, and organizations in the web design and web marketing industry
- Don advises his clients to the same – take the same approach by following industry leaders on social media
- Review and consider what highly successful businesses and see what they’re doing
- Build a distribution list!
- Sign up for email newsletters to see how other folks are using the newsletters – emulate what works
- Don recommends MailChimp to his clients: it’s a free tool for getting started
- Respond to emails and comments to build connections with customers and leads
- Don cited the example of Kori Ashton, who has responded to Don’s communication with him
- LINK: Episode 10
Can you share an example of a client who has embraced change successfully?
- Example – Successful Advice!Told a client to look at email newsletter
- Set up a funnel on their site to build email list
- Respond to the email/comments
COVID-19 forced businesses to pause: Use that time to reposition and improve online marketing efforts
- Use the coronavirus economy slowdown to learn more about digital marketing
- Start a podcast, create some YouTube videos, start a newsletter, or do something to begin building multiple revenue streams
- Create something and put it out there, knowing full well that everything won’t be perfect right out of the gate
- Get involved with affiliate marketing programs with the vendors that we use for our client projects
Intro: Hey, everybody. And welcome to another episode of Start Local, the podcast focused on helping businesses in Chester County, PA and the greater Philly area as they try to navigate through the COVID-19 economy.
My name’s Joe Casabona. And I’m here as always with my co host, Liam Dempsey. Liam, how are you?
Liam Dempsey: Joe? Fantastic. Thank you. How are you doing?
Joe Casabona: I’m doing very well. Thank you. As we record, this is Friday. So I’m happy about that.
And our guest today is Don Reid. He is the CEO at Coyote Web Design. They are a web design firm that supports small businesses, organizations, and nonprofits, as well as new businesses that are just starting out. Don, how are you today?
Don Reid: I’m doing all right. How you guys doing?
Joe Casabona: We’re doing very well. Thank you. Thanks for joining us. Taking the time. I’m excited to talk to you. I don’t think we’ve really spoken since the end of WordCamp Philly last year. I’m excited to catch up.
So, as we are helping small businesses in our general area, why don’t you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Don Reid: All right. So my name is Don Reid. I’m a web designer for the College of Web Design here in Delaware County. And basically I just try to help give businesses who didn’t have the opportunity to get a website created and out to the world for on the lower end of on a lower budget, basically, because I know what it was like when I first started out.
And It’s a gift and a curse because, you know, I know when I first started out with my first web design that I wanted to work on or I needed, I was going to be charged $5,000 for I didn’t have that. So basically, what I did was I figured it out myself. And then when I did, once I, you know, kicked that door open, I kind of held it open for other people to come in behind me. You know, like I said, it’s a gift and a curse because Youy know, I’m slowly, gradually, and in times like now, realizing that maybe I should be charged a little bit more for these websites I was doing. But at the end of the day, you know, I don’t feel like I was being taken advantage of, you know, all the folks that I’ve done work for are, like I said, just starting out and just, you know, getting their things going. You know, this was something that they couldn’t do, and I had the skill to do it. So, you know, I was more than glad to help them out.
Joe Casabona: That’s really fantastic. And just a quick follow up, what tools are you using for that? You know, to create websites. We just did an episode about getting yourself online for affordably.
Don Reid: So, I use WordPress and I use Divi Elegant Themes, and SiteGround is what I funnel everybody to, only because, you know, they’re reasonable. You know, I can stare and compare them with any other firm out there. And they’re, you know, the price is right. And I’ve never had any problems out of them. I love companies, I like working with companies where I can pick up the phone and call somebody. And I usually get an answer really quick. So, you know, SiteGround’s good for that.
And then, other than things, I’ve really never had an issue where I think, you know, if I had to send an email or something, maybe I’ll respond it back..ow I’m using them more often. You know, things go a lot smoother.
Liam Dempsey: Don, I loved the, once I kicked the door open and then I just held it open for the others behind me. That’s absolutely fantastic. That’s very generous of you. And I love where you’re taking your business. And I expect that ties in rather succinctly with much of the work that you’ve been doing in the recent months with COVID-19.
And what I wanted to ask you was really, around the advice and guidance that you share as a designer and as a marketing consultant as the lockdowns hit. And organizations and businesses were looking to figure out how to respond. What advice were you starting to share and have you been sharingw ith your clients and how maybe has that changed from what you were telling them in January and February of this year?
Don Reid: The biggest thing which I learned is that you need to have a couple of streams of income. It’s funny you should say that I had just thought about my business alone along with the business I work with and I had came upon Joe’s podcast on how to make…I forgot what the name of it was, like, How to Make Money Another Stream, and it’s like, well, and he was like, you know, he gave the whole spiel, like, you know, I put my, I stopped my day job, and I’m doing this full time now. And I’m like, okay, well, is that something that I can add? Is that, you know, how much time does this take you? That’s something I can add? So I say, I have to say is that I was depending on one stream to maintain the business. And when that stream sort of slowed down, I didn’t have anything else.
So that’s what I sort of pitched to my clients is that, so, okay, if this doesn’t work, what else, how else are you going to make money on the site? Let’s look to do that. Is it going to be affiliates? Is it going to be Advertising. And so that’s what I sort of try to tell them. And that’s what I sort of like look at as far as in my business is okay, you know, we’ve been through this or we’re going through this. How can I make other streams of income to where when something slows down like this. Again, I’m okay. And that’s the biggest thing that you know, that’s the biggest thing I had. I think anybody for any business needs to worry about is another you need multiple streams.
Liam Dempsey: Yeah, that’s great. And I think you can probably get some kind of affiliate or referral fee from Joe for that plug on the show.
Don Reid: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, it was. Yeah, it was. I mean literally it was, I was just going through something with Danny and I saw it pop up and it was like, well, actually, what I changed about how I acted in my business is that I, on Twitter, instead of following celebrities and athletes and just social stuff, I got tired of the stuff that was coming through my stream.
So I started following people who do what I do. I started following folks like Joe, WordCamps, Divi. I started following them. I started following Google analytics. I started. So, now I get a constant stream of information that helps me with my business when on my phone all day, instead of getting who did this, you know, last night, who broke up with who, you know, instead of getting information, it’s not doing me good. I started following people who could give me data. So now I get a constant stream of data that helps me and my clients. So that was the first biggest thing. And then by doing that, that’s how I came upon Joe. And I was like, well, wait a minute. Oh, really? I could do that? Oh, okay. Well, you know, that seems, you know, easy enough. So that was one of the things.
Now, to go back on your other question that’s one of the things that I sort of changed is, you know, I’ve determined, I just, you know, I’ve discovered that this is a, and you guys notice that this is a business that is ever changing every day. And if you don’t stay on top of this, and to go back to the other question, I wasn’t on top of my game. I don’t think a hundred percent, because I needed to, you have to learn and learn and learn and evolve, evolve, evolve. And if you don’t go out. And now by doing that change with the social media piece, now I’m receiving data all the time on things I need to evolve on, things I need to work on. Google Analytics is giving me this tip. DVC and Obi have this coming out. SiteGround is going to the Google platform. You know, all these guys are constantly giving me data that help my business and help me grow and become stronger instead of me looking up one day and be like, Oh, how do I do that? And having to go Google it. You know, so yeah. I forgot what the question was, but I sort of went on a tangent.
Liam Dempsey: Yeah. So, you’re leveraging social media as an educational tool. People are putting at the content and rather than wondering, you’re having it feed right into yourself. You’re choosing to follow folks and organizations that give you the information that you need to enable your business to not only survive but thrive in Covid-19
Don Reid: Right. And then that what I tell my clients is that you do the same. So, you know, if I want to know the latest trend, I’ll go to Apple, Tesla, BMW, and see what those guys are doing, how they send out stuff, because that’s what they got millions of dollars to pay people to do.
So, whatever profession my clients are in, I sort of tell them that, okay, who else is in your field, you should go out and follow and see what they do, receive that data, because it’s free, you know, it’s sort of free, you know, free gaming, so you don’t have, we, none of us have money to spend to go get these things that we fliverously did before where we could go out and do so.
Now, you have to sort of kind of learn these things now. So why not learn from people who do it every day? And you sort of kind of get it for free kind of because it’s just, you know, you find those people you know, you get bombarded with data, you know.
Liam Dempsey: Yeah. I like that approach. I share that example all the time with my clients. I said, you know, look at Coca-Cola. When you go into the store, you see a sign of your banner. You never question whether or not it’s a coke product. You may never heard of it. They might have some new wacky flavor, but you know, it’s coke.
And to your point, Don, okay. Very few of my clients, if any, have 300 million to roll out a marketing campaign for a new product. But we can take the principles. We can take the best practices. We can take the guidelines and scale them down to 1, 000, 500, 10, 000.
Don Reid: Yeah, great point. The biggest thing and the easiest is the email distribution list that I tell people about that they get. Like, you know, I get these emails from people and then I go back and I respond and I get the email in my box. I was like, okay, don’t delete it. Look at what they did. You signed up for something. They sent you this newsletter. Look how that newsletter is set up. You see how they got the header? You see how they got the body? You see how she has the background color? Just go to MailChimp, which is free. First 2, 000 people. It’s free. Do that. These people spend a lot of money. Just copy. Just do what they do. And then just, you know, recycle the process. So that’s the easiest one I always start out with. Everybody’s like, you want to build a distribution list and you don’t know how. You get these emails and you delete them every day, you know. So…
Joe Casabona: Yeah. That’s man, what a great point on both of those things, right? Because it’s really easy like you said to be frivolous on social media and with your email, like I signed up for the 10 percent discount and now I’m never going to read another email they ever send. But they do it because they work. I get an email every day from e bags or untuck because those emails every day work. So it’s, I think that’s so great to look at people in your industry, try to emulate and see what’s working for them. And kind of learn from your competitors knowledge. You know, information is a lot more free today than it was even 10 years ago. Yeah.
Liam Dempsey: Don I’m gonna put you a little bit on the spot, and I did this to one of our guests John. To her, from headroom a few episodes ago. So i’m going to talk out the question and give you a little time to think. I didn’t share this with you beforehand. You talked about some of the advice and guidance and ideas that you’ve been sharing with your clients as part of your business practices. I wonder if you have an example, and you could feel free to anonymize it if you like, of some advice that you’ve suggested with a client. Some projects you’ve worked on them where they have successfully pivoted or implemented something new and it’s beginning to roof awards, you know, not necessarily, you know paying all the mortgage or all the rent so to speak. But it’s it’s opened that additional revenue stream.
Don Reid: It was the email that’s why and that’s kind of why I spoke on it was because it was too easy. Basically, I had a person who was doing who needed to speak in engagements, and they weren’t getting any feedback or didn’t have people to reach out to. And we set that I guess is what you call a funnel up on their site, and they started getting feed, started getting emails and people reaching back out. And so that they were able to touch, you know, they were able to test those folks.
The other thing was, that’s number one. Number two is the, when they would post a video or something and somebody would leave a comment, I would get them to respond to the person’s comment. Because people think you are like, so, you know, like Joe’s a celebrity, you know, and he, you know, I know this dude, you know, so it’s like, it’s crazy. People get this overwhelming feeling when you respond back to them. And like, you guys know who Kori Ashton is?
Joe Casabona: Yeah.
Don Reid: She responds back to my email. So I’m like, oh, you know, whenever I say something, she always like responds back. So I tell my client.
So I would say the second thing is that when you start responding back and have that interaction with the client, then it’s easier when you try to ask them do they need help because they feel like I know Joe. So, you know, I don’t know it’s like his kids and his what, but I know him on a professional level of what he does. So if you get the conversating with people, so when people leave a comment on your videos on YouTube or whatever, respond back. And then that may initiate some, you know, conversation. And then that way, when it’s time, you know, because most of the time, those people are filling you out. And then if you keep going back and forth, eventually that’ll turn into revenue. And that’s number two.
I saw both of those things happen where, you know, the client was excited like, I got people, I have people that are replying to me. I’m like, well, you got to keep, you know, keep going back and forth more in the conversation. And then eventually those people turned into, you know, revenue because they weren’t friends. But it just wasn’t like a cold call, you know of somebody you didn’t know.
Liam Dempsey: it was the social and social media, right joe, right?
Joe Casabona: Yeah, absolutely. And again, that’s like, that I think is so easy to overlook right? but that’s great advice that you gave your client on. And obviously from your own good experiences, you know, I’ve noticed a lot more engagement, like you said, on my emails because I’ve reached out, I’ve asked questions, they’ve responded. And, it seems like, the people on my list really liked that. I’ve got to be a little bit better about YouTube, like the YouTube comments are like a trigger area for me. I just don’t like engaging there, but, you’re absolutely right that engaging there, people, that’s a very public area, gate engaging on social media. And if you do it the right way, that’s just great advice. You can really build a good following there.
Liam Dempsey: I just want to throw in a note for our listeners because Don is absolutely hitting again, a whole bunch of nails on the absolute head that Joe and I just touched on the show that we published today. And I just want to make it really clear that we did not, we did not specify exactly what he needs to say.
Don Reid: No, no. No, you know, actually I had no clue what the questions were or what you guys did previously. But this stuff, you know, this stuff kind of works. And I will say again, that when I was, you know, when I first started out, I hired, I had the money to hire somebody to do this stuff, and I didn’t do it all like I was supposed to. So, you know, this, you know, this stuff really works. You know.
Liam Dempsey: Yeah. I want to touch on that. I think that’s really valuable for business owners and business leaders, even if they’re not going to run the marketing day to day and the sales day to day, but at least to be close enough and have touched it often enough to understand the power and the flow that it has and that, you know, it’s kind of like when we bring somebody in to do our bookkeeping or help us with our year end accounting or to update our business contracts, we don’t just say the lawyer, get us a new contract, let me know when it’s done. We’re asking questions. Well, this is how I run my business and here are my legal concerns. And you know, we want the lawyer to say, Well, that’s not really a concern in this state and you’re too small or yeah. You should definitely be worried about that. but you should be a lot more worried about this other thing that you’re ignoring and it’s gotta be back and forth. And I love that your example of you didn’t do it and now you’re doing it and you’re paying attention to it. And it almost seems like it’s a bit of a light bulb moment for you, Don.
Don Reid: Right, right. So what, and to go back on COVID is, and I don’t want to jump ahead on one of your questions. Is that…
Liam Dempsey: No, you’re good. Go for it.
Don Reid: COVID for me and my clients put a pause on things. So, for example, one of my clients is a speaker, so she can’t go out and do talks now. So, okay. we need to work on… We could do just some different things on your site to get you ready because you were so busy before Covid that you didn’t have time to do this.
Now, that we have a timeout pause, you need to be recording a video once a week and putting it out. You need it. Make me do a podcast and start that. You know, and try it out. So when things rev back up, you have a foundation of things that are going that you were able to do because you sort of had a break. So, you know, it’s a gift and a curse, so to speak, because along with myself, that’s the same thing I pass it on. No, I try it out. I told you, I just share what my clients, what I’m going through a look.
Now, the time for me is that things are kind of slow. So I try to get more knowledge. I try to understand. Okay, maybe I could do some podcasts. Maybe I can do a video once a week. I need to get a YouTube channel. You know, you should do the same because this is you know, this is I forgot where I saw it. But you know, I heard that, you know, there’s like a billion YouTube videos, but there’s only so many podcasts that’s something.
Joe Casabona: 31 million YouTube channels, less than a million active podcasts. Don, you’re making me blush over here.
Don Reid: But, but, but, but when you’re hungry and things shut you down, you have to dig. You have to figure out what you’re going to do. And so, when your back is against the wall and I need it, and you need free knowledge, you know, or less expensive, so that’s, you know, I’ll go back to saying that was one of the biggest things that with this COVID thing it did was it, for one, it made me realize that I need the multiple, I myself need the multiple streams, my clients need the multiple streams, and then, you know, what do I have to put out to get these multiple streams? Is it a lot? No. Get the camera, put the iPhone up, record three minutes. You know, put it out there, you know, everybody in the world tells you, I know you guys, it’s not going to be perfect the first time you, you know, I know personally, I don’t like how my voice sounds. You know, I have a million excuses of why I don’t do this, but when you’re not making any money and you look for ways, to other ways to do it, you know, the first thing that any expert or, you know, if I came to you guys are going to tell you is that, okay, well done. You need to be doing X, Y, Z. Liam sends out a newsletter.
So, you know, it’s like both of you guys kind of do things that are in your face, but at the same time, you know, it’s just too easy. It’s just too easy. It’s just like, okay, I have everything I need in my home office, you know, it’s not going to be fancy. It’s not going to be perfect out the gate, but I need to get this out once a week. I need to get this out once a month. I need to do this, this, and this, and that’s what I just try to instill in my clients.
And that’s what COVID has done. It has one, giving a break to myself and my clients to understand that what needs to be tweaked and done for when this revs back up and you get back in the groove of things that you can implement into your day to day because, you know, the excuse was, “I’m too busy”. I’m busy. I got this going on. I get, well, you’re not making no money. You’re not busy. That gives you a lot of time to reflect.
Joe Casabona: Yeah.
Liam Dempsey: I love how direct you are.
Don Reid: Yeah. You know, I gotta eat.
Joe Casabona: Yep. And it’s so true what you’re saying, right? Like, I mean, the downtime or maybe the need to, you know, the realization that you need to make a change.
I just started using a CRM. Now, during this time, because I was like, I need to get my sales funnel and my communications in order, you know, when I do like cold outreach. And I think what you touched on about, you know, doing these things, it’s easy. If you do it, getting the motivation to do it is hard. Yeah. For sure. And it’s, you know, and generosity with your time is, it’s a longterm relationship build, but it will pay dividends for you. So getting it out there now, so seeds for, you know, in the future. So, I just love, man, I love what you’re saying right now. It’s great.
Don Reid: And to your next point is that, that’s sort of, cause I don’t really, I wasn’t really advertised. So that helped my word of mouth business because now, you know, clients refer me and it’s sort of like, okay, because they kind of, I sort of know that. You know, this is, I’m not out to, you know, to gouge you or anything, but it’s like, I’m just going to tell you, you know, how it goes. So then, what I did off of something that I learned before that I went to a Siteground and got, became an affiliate. So now when I bring on new, you know, so then, so you’ve got to think of all these now when I bring on a new client. I give them the affiliate link, you know, to get an account.
So now, when you start to sit back and look at these things, it sort of makes sense. But sometimes it’s too easy. You need a hosting plan. You know, I’m going, you want me to build a site for you, I’m going to take you to SiteGround. I can’t, I just kick myself for all the money that I missed for not becoming an affiliate years ago, you know because it was too easy. I just fill out a form and you know, like my tax id stuff or whatever, you had to fill out. And these folks were coming to Siteground anyway. Oh, they’re gonna go to or they would go that or whoever they’re going with, they have to get a hosting plan. That’s you can’t build a site without a hosting plan.
So You know, and a side note on that, another, as far as building sites was, I haven’t gone too far into it, was the fact that you can offer your own hosting plans as another way to generate money, you know, through, you know, so, to get back to your question, Liam, when this COVID stuff came, it was like, look, you know, I, you know, how can we make more money off of the things that we do right now based on the skill that I have? You know, and some of this was, like, too easy. It was, you know, it was no brainers.
Liam Dempsey: Don, we are running out of time, and I think that’s probably not a bad thing in the sense that our listeners aren’t going to have to listen to this episode about three or four times, because you were swinging for the fences every time. Lots of really, really valuable shares, practical ideas that folks, to your point, can implement with, with an iphone and with their computer and with their phone and build the connection sales funnels and the Distribution list so that when they have things to sell, there’s already relationship and a willing audience. Maybe I won’t buy it. But at least it’s a receptive audience.
Before we say goodbye to you Don, I wonder, can you share where people can find you online where they can connect and learn more about you and your business?
Don Reid: [coyotewebdesign.com] is the is the website. Coyotewebdesign. And I’m on Twitter @donreidjr. So is my handle and that’s where you can find me, and we can go back and forth. But I’m active on Twitter now, so I wasn’t before. I had to dust it off. But, I tell people, Twitter’s where it goes down at. Twitter is where, you know, I mean, basically, you know, Instagram and Facebook are for play. But, you know, I just didn’t realize how much, you know, knowledge that people got on Twitter. It’s just, you know…
Joe Casabona: Yeah, for sure. Well, we will link to Coyote Web Design and your Twitter account, and everything that we talked about over on the show notes for this episode at [startlocal.co].
Thanks so much for joining us today. I, we really appreciate you taking the time and, for being so open about everything that you’ve been working on. Cause I think it’s super helpful to the listeners.
Liam Dempsey: Thanks, Don. We’ll see you soon, I hope.
Don Reid: Yeah, no problem. No problem. Anytime.
Joe Casabona: Alright. And thanks to everybody for listening.
Until next time, stay safe out there.