Welcome to another edition of The Lab Report!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what do next with my agency.
In an effort to free up time to create content for NewPulse Labs, I’ve let client work die down quite a bit.
It’s such a weird balance to strike though, because now that I’m not doing as much client work, it feels harder to make content about the grind.
And there’s maybe a little imposter syndrome that comes into play as well.
I’ve been building sites since I was in high school in 2007, so I’m not worried about that, but it can feel strange to talk about about web design when you’re not actively creating a ton of brand new sites.
At the same time, we all know that client work can be a mixed bag.
It ain’t always Skittles.
One option is to build projects for myself.
I like the idea of this. But there’s the potential to spend a lot of time on something that isn’t profitable.
For example, last year I built funnelinspo.com as a hobby project.
It was super fun building it, but it’s kinda at a stand-still now.
At the end of the day, any project requires ongoing focus and marketing to get it going.
The other option is to build a kick-ass, profitable agency that is fun.
I’ve given a lot of thought to this.
I think where client work can get soul-sucking is in the muddy middle.
Working on okay projects for okay clients for okay pay.
If I were rebuilding my agency today, I think I’d focus on the two ends of the pricing spectrum instead.
On the high end: premium, meticulously crafted websites for high profile clients.
Rafal Tomal’s 8px.studio is an inspiration for this.
But obviously this takes time to build up.
Most clients need to come from content, networking, and referrals.
On the other end: subscription-based web design for local service businesses.
(I have a page up on my agency site, but have never really pushed it).
This turns web design into a productized service.
You’re not creating custom branding for every project.
You’re piecing together components from a template library.
And you’re working with a set project scope.
Process is everything here.
You need a good lead gen method, pricing strategy, landing page, follow-up, contract, onboarding, template library, website blueprint etc.
But it can be fun nerding out building a well-oiled machine.
The main benefit here is you’re building a stable monthly-recurring revenue (MRR).
Every month you take on new clients, you’re stacking it on top of the progress you made from the month before.
It’s not feast or famine.
Quick thought: if I were to start a community where we build our subscription web design services together…
All sharing our processes, wins & losses along the way – is that something you’d be interested in?
You can cast a vote by clicking on the link below (it doesn’t go anywhere. I’ll just know you clicked).
Without further adieu, let’s get into this week’s newsletter.
🤖 Cwicly’s Tailwind integration looks really good
Cwicly is releasing their Tailwind integration on Monday, and it’s caused a decent buzz in the Facebook groups I’m in.
When they first announced they were integrating it, I didn’t think too much of it.
I already use my own little hybrid Utopia/Tailwind framework, and the thought of adding a bunch of classes to every block didn’t sound overly appealing.
After the watching the livestream though, I’m intrigued to say the least.
(The livestream is a couple hours long, but the beauty of replays is that you can watch at 2x speed or skip through).
The implementation is what makes this integration.
The classes are integrated with the UI, so if you change the color or select a spacing preset, it will automatically add the Tailwind class for you.
And rather than having 20 classes visible for each element, you can create a “shell” to group your classes.
This feels like one of those features that either 5% of people will use, or will redefine how people use Cwicly.
I’m hoping to record a first impressions video once v1.4 goes live on Monday.
🔎 SEOPress raising their pricing on March 1st
SEOPress announced yesterday that they’re raising their pricing on March 1st.
The Pro plan is currently $49/yr for unlimited sites, but will soon be tripling – going up to $149/yr.
I’ve mostly been using the free version of RankMath, but have thought about switching to a premium option so that I’m not worrying about ads, data being sold etc.
SEOPress Pro is probably what I’d switch to, and I’ve seen a few people say it’s criminally underpriced at $49/yr.
Anyone on this list using it?
Would love to have you share your experience on this FB post.
✨ How to create light streaks in Figma
You might’ve seen this light streak effect on many of the newer ‘dark mode’ websites.
This 1-minute tutorial shows you how you can easily make your own.
Tutorials like these can really help you go up a level in your designs – as long as you actually try them and not just bookmark them 😉
💩 This is the tweet of the week
Oddly, I haven’t been able to get it to work either.
☁️ Closing Comments
That’s all for this week.
Thanks for reading until the end.
If you ever want to discuss any of the topics in this newsletter, I usually post a dedicated thread each week inside of the NewPulse Labs Facebook group.
You can also find previous issues of The Lab Report over at newpulselabs.com/newsletter.