How to grow your web design business

by Mike

Growing a team. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m just not sure how to get there.

I’d like for MJ Media to eventually be comprised of 10 — 15 people with varied skills that work in a lifestyle company. The people can work from anywhere in the world that fits their needs, as finding the best talent locally is unlikely.

I’m very intrigued about the Jellyfish Model that a favorite web shop of mine is pioneering. I wish I were at the space where I could pick and choose my clients, but right now we honestly don’t have that great of a portfolio right now.

I’m not real sure where I was going with this whole post. I guess my biggest question is weather the work has to come before the team, or if there is a way to build the business by adding bodies. Thoughts?

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A little off the top, please.

by Mike

I’ve just finished reading Mike Monteiro’s book, Design Is a Job (which should have been titled Whatever You Do for Money Is Your Job to do). The book was a great read, but it got me thinking about other professions which have similar problems as ours. A hair stylist is a perfect example of this.

My hair grows rather quickly, and if I don’t visit the salon at least once every three weeks, my hair begins to get a bit unruly. I typically go on Sunday’s or after I get out of work. No appointments for me, I’m way too busy to predict when I can spare 15 minutes of my time. Getting my hair did (I went there) at those times usually puts me at a little hole in the wall called JR’s All Star Hair Cuts. It’s a step above Supercuts and a step below JCPenny.

It’s a nice idea; take care of the hair needs of men in a comfortable environment. They have TV’s at every station to make sure that we have something shiny to look at while the cute girls are trying to clean us up. But the conversation always starts the same way:

Stylist: “Mike, I can take you over here.”

Me: saunters over to the station without saying a word

Stylist: “What are we doing today?”

Me: “Number two along the sides and just longer than a knuckle cut on top”

A stylist is no different than a designer. They are presented with a problem of unkempt hair and must work around the constraints of facial structure, widow’s peaks, balding, cowlicks, and desired upkeep. A stylist should be attending conferences, seminars, and keeping up with style trends to stay current in their craft, just as any web designer should. A stylist should be a trusted adviser, someone that you hire based on their merits and prior works.

So why do I stick my name on a list and wait for the next available stylist?

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Desktop Wallpaper: January 2012 [Freebies]

by Mike

This year we are going to be creating a new desktop wallpaper every month. We are mainly doing this as an exercise of our creativity, so please let us know what you think in the comments below. To download, simply right click on the screen resolution you need, and click save as.

Every Single Day

With Calendar
1280x800, 1280x800, 1440x900, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200, 2560x1440

Without Calendar
1280x800, 1280x800, 1440x900, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200, 2560x1440

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Happy New Year!

by Mike

Welcome to 2012!

The past year at MJ Media has been the biggest year yet. With the departure of Josh from the company, and the amount of work we have been able to put out, it’s going to be tough to top the amount of activity we have enjoyed this year.

I feel that it is important for anybody to set goals, both personally and professionally, each year. You might recall from a sentimental post a while back, that I have already set one goal for MJ Media’s upcoming year, but I wanted to use this moment to expand upon that list.

So here it goes, the updated goal list for 2012!

  • Launch an upgraded design and do some organization of the content of our website
  • Rebrand our newsletter and improve the content
  • Make our webinar series a huge success
  • Take on the entire marketing program of a client
  • Bring on some regular hired help
  • Pick up at least 10 new clients
  • Bring in $50,000 at MJ Media

I’d like to thank all of our clients for making 2011 such a great year, and wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2012!

~ Mike

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On Steve & My Dad

by Mike

As I am sure you have heard, Steve Jobs has passed away. I don’t normally get sentimental, but I’ve been literally driven to tears today. So, here I sit, watching Pirates of Silicon Valley, crafting this blog post.

Steve was a great man, and much of what he did during his lifetime has played a role in how I do my work. His passing brought up thoughts of another great man, my dad.

My dad is the same age as Mr. Jobs was. He introduced me to computers with the Macintosh Classic II that he brought home from work. He also introduced me to the internet, where the first site I visited was, the second was not so work friendly (I was twelve).

But more than those things, my father has created me. Not just genetically, but my whole being. He taught me at a young age that the key to success was hard work, and not to expect things to be handed to me. Throughout my life I have pushed and fought to accomplish what I wanted. I’ve worked more 90 hours a week in hard labor in order to buy my first house before I was 20. I helped to start two companies within a year of finishing high school, one of which I sold my share and the other I am now sole-owner.

I feel like I have lost my way, I’ve set the cruse control for the last year to year-and-a-half. My dad would be pissed!

I can’t help but feel that I’ve been letting people down. I’ve let down my wife-to-be, my coworkers, myself, my company, and the whole point of this post… my dad.

So here is what I am going to do to resolve my lazy ways: I will make a pledge.

  • I will be a great man.
  • I will devote more time to my family.
  • I will devote more time to myself.
  • I will kick ass on a daily basis.

To know that I am successful with my pledge, I have set up these goals for the next year.

  • To take my wife to Ireland on our one year anniversary.
  • To get my weight back down to 185 lbs.
  • To play at least 5 rounds of golf.
  • To bring in $50,000 at MJ Media.

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