- The impact of knowing you're about to lose your job
- Why you shouldn't care if you're “bothering” people
- It's all a matter of timing: cold outreach
- Choosing your niche before you start your business
- Launching a business and getting traction right away
- How you can get clients with a small social media presence
- Thriving in a blue ocean
- The value of paying others to handle tasks for you
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[00:00:00] Welcome back to another episode of the six figure creative podcast. I am your host Brian Hood, and we are here now in the month of July. We're pretty far into July actually by the time this episode airs. this is my time to reflect on something.
And I want to challenge you the listener on this as well, or viewer, if you're on YouTube right now, for whatever weird reason, how do you feel about your year so far? This is like a good check in point. This is like a, I call this like my second January. July is the time we have just entered the second half of the year.
And we can look back on the first six months of the year and say, Hey, how do we feel about this so far? Do we like this? Do we not like this? Are we happy about this? Are we, not happy about this? And I don't wanna shame anyone who doesn't feel great about their year so far, but this is a really good time to reflect and just think like, Hey, if I'm not happy, what do I need to change in order to make the rest of my year, the best year it's ever.
I've started doing this recently. And I actually operate in quarters, which is four per year. So I actually have four of these resets per year. I don't expect you to do that. That's fine. That's like nerdy business stuff. That's like corporate crap, but you can at least do two of these resets a year.
[00:01:00] look at your year in two different increments. And this is the second half of your year. This is the second call it a fresh start if you need it. But I just don't. The thought process of not changing something that I'm really not happy about. So if you need to.
Recalibrate look at the second January of the year and approach something new. This is the time to do it. So I'm gonna challenge you right now. Look at your life. Look at your choices. What do you need to do to change things? Do you need to join a course?
Doesn't have to be one of mine by the way, any course out there ever. Like I joined courses all the time. Uh, Do you need to be more participatory in a community, some sort that you're already a part of. Maybe you need to interact with people more. You need to get outta your damn house and go be around people more.
if you're like me, 20, 20, 20, 21 was not a good year for socializing. So maybe we need to shake things up a little bit. So this is just kinda a little wake up call midyear for you, for anyone listening right now, to just to shake things up. It's time to, to do a little change in. So that's all I got for you on my little, uh, my little intro rant today little kick in the butt.
Right? So today we have an interview for you. That's very special because we're talking about something that so many people understand fundamentally that you probably should be doing this, but you're likely not for whatever [00:02:00] reasons is someone who has found their niche. And it's a niche that is very different than any other niche I've ever seen before, which is why we got 'em on the podcast. I'm not gonna tell you what that niche is yet, but it's something that is very nontraditional when it comes to like planning your flag on the ground and saying, this is the niche that I choose or niche if you're American or whatever way you like to say that The guest today's name is Micah woods and he goes by, okay, Micah, you can check out his website at, okay. micah.com. If you want a little preview into what his niche is, but he's a branding and web designer based out of Los Angeles. And He started out like many people who was just working with their friends, working with family were referrals, whoever would pay the money he was in yes mode.
And he worked his way up to now where he has worked with clients that have been featured in men's health, teen Vogue, Vogue magazine Huffington post, I think they go by HuffPost now. I don't know, but he's, he's doing some really cool stuff as a designer now. all of this can be credited to the fact that he chose a very specific niche.
And he did this in a way that I usually don't say to try, which is, he just said, this is my niche now. Hopefully this works and it really did work for him. Whereas most people I say be a little [00:03:00] more broad and try to, to kind of have your niche, choose you. I thought it was a really good interview. Really great guy. And I think you're gonna get a lot of this interview, whether or not you have found the niche that you wanna be a part of whether or not you even think you need a niche. This episode is something you absolutely need to consume.
So without further delay here is my conversation with Michael Woods.
Micah, thank you so much for coming on the podcast,
Thank you for having me so happy to
we were talking off
air before this and um, I just love having people like you on the show because you have done something that so many of our listeners are trying to accomplish, and that is start their own freelance business. Specifically you are a designer and a brand expert, I'm actually, you do branding and web design kind of together.
And you actually started this pretty recently as early as what was it, 2020. And I I'd love to start there in, in your journey of how you got started as a freelancer. the catalyst being COVID the whole COVID wave that came through and what happened there. So start us on the journey there, cuz there's a lot that you've done.
I think the right way. we're gonna get into some of those things that, that have really set you apart from the other designers in your space, which is a. I would say pretty saturated, pretty hard to [00:04:00] stand out nation. You've done an amazing job of doing that, but start us on the journey of where you got into being a freelancer.
Totally. I like to call myself a pandemic freelancer, because like you said, it was because of the pandemic I was working as a songwriter and designer. for a pretty big company, you might have heard of called Sony it was, uh, dream job.
It was like exactly what I wanted to be doing, because it was allowing me to write, which was like the passion that I've always had as well as design, which is another passion of mine. So it was this perfect hybrid. And then the pandemic hit. And I had been one of the more recent hires and pretty much knew that I was gonna get, let go.
So that was really, really difficult at first. And I was like, what am I gonna do? What am I gonna do? And I knew that I had always wanted to sort of freelance. It was something that I had like dabbled with in the past, like for friends, like doing projects on the side, and this was the perfect opportunity that sort of pushed me.
And I don't wanna say forced me into it, but it did kind of force me into it, which in retrospect I'm really glad it did [00:05:00] because it was an amazing opportunity. And I don't know that if I don't think that I ever would've taken the leap, if I hadn't been forced into it. So. I pretty much just decided to go freelance and started tapping into my friends and community and hitting people up and letting them know like, Hey, this is what I'm doing on my own.
Now, if you hear of anything, if you know of anyone and slowly people would be like, sending me like, Hey, my friend's looking for this. Hey, my friend's looking for this. And it sort of just snowballed into turning into too many opportunities coming in where I finally
had to decide who did I really wanna work
Yeah. So you were you're in the spot that so many people are, find themselves in. It is a, a job. Some people hate the job. Some people like the job, you seem to like the job, cuz it was working with a big company that everyone's heard of. And you were songwriting, which is a fun creative outlet.
You were creating apple art and tour art and posters and things like that, which is another creative outlet. So it's not like you were doing some so. Job uh, where you're under, like what's the fluorescent lights in a cubicle pushing pencils and paper and stuff. It was like [00:06:00] something that was pretty fulfilling, which actually made it more difficult for you to ever leave and go pursue something on your own.
So when the pandemic came, the decision was made for you. So what was your mind at when the decision came that they were gonna let you go and did you immediately wanna go jump and find another job just for the stability? Did you know it was coming and you prepared financially? Like where were you at at the point that they had let you go.
yeah, I knew that it was coming because one of my best friends who helped me get the job told me that it was coming and basically warned me and said, just so you know, like I'm in these meetings where they're talking about you and other people, so you should be ready to be, let go. So I knew that it was like, okay, time to not tap into that savings.
Don't go on that, whatever you want to do hold onto that money, because you're gonna need it for the next couple months. So I definitely was prepared in terms of finances, but I wasn't prepared emotionally. Uh, For that. And I wasn't ready to jump back into another job or look for another job because I felt like nobody needed it felt like more work to try [00:07:00] and convince people to hire me than to just hire
talk about the emotional side of things. Cause that that's something that I haven't heard someone talk about when it came to like transitioning out of a full-time corporate job or, or even like, anything that's not doing exactly what you wanna do or anything that's not doing freelance.
I've never heard that emotional transition there. Talk about what that was like and what, what were you expecting or what did you, experience that you didn't expect that was emotionally difficult? Like what, tell me about.
Yeah. I don't think that I expected it to affect image of myself. I think that I thought that I was grounded in my skill set and grounded in my, what I bring to the table and what I offer. But. Feeling like that. I was let go only because I was recently hired I didn't expect it to make me feel less than, as a creative.
And it did. I knew why I was being, let go, but I didn't expect myself to feel like I was being, let go because I was less than, but the story that I ended up telling myself was that you weren't kept on because you weren't good enough. that was really, really challenging.
And it definitely [00:08:00] affected my self image of myself and my mental health and actually like put me in a little bit of a depression. And thankfully the freelance journey was successful and helped me get out of that. But it was really hard at first to even
like, want to get up And look for
And this is the hard part about being a freelancer is that typically you don't have a clear path on like what to do when you feel this way. and like I say, all the time of this podcast, there's no separation between you as a person and your business as a freelancer, or you're soon to be business as a freelancer, cuz you hadn't really made the transition to freelancer yet.
So you were dealing with a self doubt. You didn't have like Colleagues to talk to really? Cuz you had just been let oh like it can feel lonely. So I, I wanna just say just anyone that has is feeling that right now, maybe you are, you're doubting yourself right now. there's a time to feel it.
And I don't wanna say people just to shelf those feelings and shelf that but you do get past it eventually. And, and it sounds like you did, what were some of the things that helped you get past the self doubt? Maybe the, a imposter syndrome, maybe the lack of feeling like you wanted to take action on something, cuz [00:09:00] there may be in a moment where you ate like, you know, ate a pin of ice cream and, and cried or whatever.
Like I'm not saying that's what you did, but like some people like they cope in different ways. So there might have been that moment of like, I'm gonna let this like affect me in a really bad way. And then I'm gonna move on. Or like how was that transition for.
Yeah, I think it was allowing myself to feel that way and knowing that this too shall pass and rather than like getting down on myself or feeling that way or in the moments where I felt like I wasn't doing enough, rather than telling myself I wasn't doing enough, allowing myself to not do enough and just being accepting of it and not judging myself for feeling normal feelings that every freelancer feels.
And even, I feel like I just got over one where I was like, I am so uninspired and like, I don't have the energy to get up and do what I know I have to do. And I'm gonna put it off today and it's okay to sit down and watch check out for a day, like give yourself this space.
I think that that was the best way that I could get out of it and the best way I knew how to get out of it. And I'm really
grateful that [00:10:00] I didn't judge myself for
that's, that's the only way to get out of it. I think the worst thing you can do
is beat yourself up for feeling that way, telling yourself your feelings are invalid and that you shouldn't feel this way. And that usually just makes you feel worse. And then you go to this downward spiral. So like giving yourself the freedom, say, it's okay.
I feel like right now. and I might feel this way for a little bit of time. and my coping mechanism is I'm just gonna play video games, take my mind out of it. And like not do any work. and I go through cycles too. Like I've, I have an app on my all my computers. It's called rescue time.
I dunno if you've ever tried this out. Micah. It's amazing. I subscribe to the premium version have been since like 2015 or 2016 maybe. the coolest thing is this gives myself grace. Is that I can see on there with like red lines that go down or green lines that go up my productivity at a macro scale.
Meaning like when I zoom out, I can see how productive I am. And here's the funny thing is every year there is like a two to three month span where the red just bottoms out. And it's just like, non-productive time wasted time on YouTube, wasted time playing [00:11:00] video games. And I found that that's okay. I call it my recharge time.
And I have to give myself grace when I'm in one of these funks where I don't get anything done. it's not the same as like being, let go. But again, as creatives, we, we just have to accept that we're not gonna be perfect all the time. And the sooner we accept that, the sooner we're gonna get the freedom to be creative and feel inspired and keep moving forward.
So let's talk about getting your first few gigs there, cuz that's a, that's a hard point. Especially when you're in like a low point in your life, when you just gotta let go from a job that you loved and the whole world's kinda a little bit, cuz the pandemic and like, I dunno what the timeline is around this time, but it's probably, you know, spring, summer 2020, when you started to shift to being freelance, what was it like trying to get first few clients cuz some people they might have tried the thing where they're going out and hitting up their friends and no one's seeing them work, but it seems fortunate that you did come from a background.
You probably had a really good robust portfolio to show off your work. You were, were really good at that point. Cause you still are at what you do and what you were doing then. But what was the experience like trying to get your first handful of clients? Cause I feel like those are the hardest ones to get sometimes.
It was really hard. I think that it [00:12:00] was, it was frustrating to feel like even the people that I would reach out to that would just ignore the email or ignore the text was the hardest part. And the first client that I had was actually my best friend's sister who was starting a company. And so that was felt easy because it was like, okay, I already have a relationship with this person.
They know who I am. They know the work I do. So there was a little bit less of a. trying to convince them that I was worthy of the work. I think that will say that was probably the hardest part of those first couple months was just like trying to convince people that I deserve to work for them.
Even though I knew that I did. And I knew that I had the work to show for it and they knew it. They just were like, who is this kid? Like, So I think that it was the hardest part was also remembering that like, I could be creating work without having somebody tell me to create work. And I think that that was what led to a lot of the work that I ended up getting was just.
Keeping myself going and keeping, making passion [00:13:00] projects for myself and working on things on the side when there was nobody telling me to do it. And to let's like have friends who were like, I'm thinking about doing this and being like, I'll just create something for free. Like I'm down. Like, let me show your work.
And so like, let me create something for you. You need this. Like I got you, like, let me help you make your dreams come true. Kind of sort of thing. And so that was a, I think that helped me a lot and just helped me build that more freelance portfolio and more specific to the work that I wanted to be creating rather than, you know, I didn't necessarily wanna keep creating, like tour merch and stuff like that.
I knew that I was more interested in like the brand and web design of things. So I didn't necessarily have the portfolio that showcased that. So I was forced to sort of do passion projects and do work for free or for like very little like my first freelance project, the one, the friend of my best friend.
She paid me like $500 for a full website and brand. And like, in retrospect, I'm like, wow, she's so lucky. but it was what needed to be done. And like she when she has friends starting brands [00:14:00] or whenever they need assets and stuff, like they reach out to and obviously I charge them what I'm worth now.
And she understands that. And I think is grateful for the fact that like, I'm also grateful that she took a chance on me in a way, even though she didn't really, but I try to also give that same courtesy in retrospect of like, you did take a chance on me and you're the reason that I'm even like, kept going.
So let's keep going.
That's great. So you got the first client there. You were getting a bit of momentum. My, my first client, by the way, was, also a friend of mine. It was somebody in my local area who I already had a relationship with. so there was already that no, like, and trust factor there that didn't have to build it up, which is really hard to do for your first handful of clients, especially if you don't, haven't invested anything into content, like social media, or building a website or any way to really like sell without really having a, a one-to-one connection.
, so anyway, so you had this first client assuming
that this led to referrals, which is obviously a good thing, but you were also out there doing work to get more clients on top of that, cuz like, I know you knew this inherently because you're not a you're way more [00:15:00] mature than most freelancers.
When they first start out B you'd already worked a corporate job. And like you knew what it was like to work at a high level. So you knew that you weren't just gonna be like, I'm waiting around for clients to find me, which is the default thing that freelancers do. So what were you doing while waiting for work to come in in order to get more clients you were doing this free work, which I love because people are too proud to do that sort of stuff or low paying work just to get the portfolio built out because you were really completely moving services.
You were going from like poster and merch moving complete to a different like type of client, a different like. Niche, which will even get into your niche a bit more uh, as we get into this. But yeah. What were you doing as far as like day to day actions? Cuz you didn't have someone managing you. That's the difficult part is being a freelancer.
You don't have a manager there watching over your shoulders saying, all right, do this now, Micah.
Totally. I think that, and this is what most people, when they're like, I wanna go freelance, how do I find clients? I was messaging everybody and anyone post that friend, every client I got after that was somebody that I had just messaged and been like, Hey, I'm doing this. I like what you're doing.
Do you need anything? Hey, I noticed on your website, this is a little off, like, [00:16:00] would you be open to having me come in and redesign this? the amount of cold DMS that I sent and the amount of people that I just sort of like. Just showed that I cared about their brand and like my research about their brand and noticed things that I do can help that's.
When I noticed that the ball was really rolling was when I would say for every like 60 to 70 DMS, I sent, I maybe got two responses. but of those two responses, those became clients. So I think that that was the hard learn was that you just can't stop telling people that you want to work.
And I think that that's something that a lot of freelancers forget is the way to avoid the feast and famine is to like market yourself and continually tell people that you want to work. And I think that we forget that and I forget that sometimes. And I'm like, I haven't posted on Instagram in two months.
And so I know two months from now, I'm gonna be like, damn, I need to, I need work. so it's so hard because we have so much to do. And like there's so much more that goes into it than just [00:17:00] like designing. We have to also
be a business and constantly market ourselves and show
all day, every day.
I call it the client acquisition tax. It's like when you're first starting out, it's like, at least a 20% tax of your time and effort has to go into specific like client acquisition strategies as you get bigger. And as you get more referrals and you get a better client pool, that number falls down significantly.
And for some people just goes to zero and you just have client come to you all the time, but people don't pay their client acquisition tax. And the work you do now trying to, to get clients is this, the clients are gonna come in two to three months from now. So it's like that's, the fees are famine.
It's like, I'm going to be broke in three months, cuz I'm not doing anything right now. And, and people don't understand that. So With cold outreach and sending DMS to people. This is an area I see. Some people do successfully. I see some people struggle with, and I see some people refuse to do it and I have mixed emotions about it.
did you feel like you were bothering people? Did you feel like, were you reluctant to start it or were you just like, I am going to make this work no matter what, I will do anything within my realm of [00:18:00] morals and boundaries. I will do anything and DMS I'll do, like, what was your, your thought process when you started doing that?
yeah, I. Don't think I cared that I was bothering people, but I knew that I was, but it was less important to me to worry about what they think and more important to me that like, maybe they actually will want this. And so, I get DMS all the time on Instagram from people wanting to work for me or wanting to do work with me.
That's like, okay, like, cool. I don't have anything for you right now, but I'm glad that you're reaching like doesn't bother me when people do it. So I think that in retrospect, like it was good that I didn't care if I was bothering people. Cuz I don't think that I really was. it's one of those things where it's like,
you want that DM to show up at the right time. it's not so much that the person bothered by you DMing them. It's more. So is that DM coming into them at the exact moment that they are looking for you and if it is, then they're gonna reply, then they're gonna reach out. And it's like, it feels like kismet for them, but [00:19:00] you know, it's not because you're sending this to so many people.
So you're doing the hard work to make sure that when you are reaching out to people that they know you exist so that they
can hire you, cuz they want to hire you. If they need you.
some people may need your service and not even know it, or they know it and they're avoiding it. There's like a lot of things like hiring a copywriter right now is one of those for me, I've done some research. I've found some websites. I've found a couple copywriters.
I got a list together on my, in my Evernote, but no one's reached out to me about copy. And if you looked at my website and maybe some of the emails I send. You were a good copywriter. You would spot some opportunities to say, man, Brian, he's got a, he's got a very large email list in re you know, regards to most people like, 30, 40,000 people.
It's not a tiny email list. You're emailing all these people and your copy sucks, Brian, we could probably improve this a bit. Why don't we sit down and have a strategy session and we talk about how you can improve your copy. And maybe we can work together on some stuff. If someone did that and they were like, genuinely good, I would seriously consider them, but no one's doing that now.
Maybe they will. After hearing me say that, but that's just one of those things. That's like, it's on the back [00:20:00] burner for me. I haven't made actions towards it. But no one's DM me about it. That's for sure. And so it's a need, I have that. I haven't really taken action on that. If someone happened to land a DM in my inbox and we're good, that's the important part, then I might consider it.
And so you were looking at people's websites and you were seeing things that were out of proportion and looked weird or looked wrong, and then you were sending message personalizing it. It wouldn't just spam. You were personalizing saying, Hey, I noticed that your website looks like absolute.
I'm joking. You didn't say that, but you're saying there's some things wrong with it. have you ever thought about redesigning it? You know, that's I like that sort of approach. And the other thing that kind of stood out there is you're sending like 60, 70 DMS to get one or two clients.
I think most people will send like 20 or 30 out. And like, man, no one replied to me, this doesn't work and then they move on. So the consistency, there is a huge part of that as well. So let's move on to like your transition to full time now. somewhere in there, you kind of found a niche and you started planting new flag in the ground sign.
This is what I stand for. This is my niche. This is who I'm going after, but I don't think that probably came immediately. So what was the transition from like I don't wanna call it nickel and dime work, but $500 website is nickel and dime work, you know, like doing [00:21:00] nickel and dime work, like doing stuff for free and for cheap and saying you're in yes.
Mode, like the early phase freelancer, what was the transition like to where you finally started taking this seriously and, go full time.
Yeah. So I think that the, the moment that I knew that this was a full-time gig was when I had people coming to me and I wasn't really needing to constantly be doing cold outreach. So when there came a point where it was like, actually I don't have the bandwidth to take that on. That's kind of the moment that I was like, okay, wait, take a step back.
you've built something here. And you kind of have a wait list of people that wanna work with you and who are coming to you. And so for me, that was the moment that I knew that I could be selective with who I wanted to work with. And. I was noticing trend in the people that I liked working with and that brought me joy to work with.
So that's kind of when I realized that I wanted to niche down and really work with a very specific select group of [00:22:00] people that
felt like fun to me
well, go ahead. Like tell everybody what is, what is your niche? we've danced around it. And I don't know how much I said in the intro, cause I haven't made the intro yet, but like tell our audience, like what is the niche that you've chosen? Cuz it's, it's one of the most unique I've seen.
I haven't seen anyone else say this is my niche definitely talk a ton about this.
so I kind of wanna talk about how it came to be, so I felt like. In the work that I was doing and the clients that I was working with, there was sort of a lack of understanding of who I am as a person. And so it was a lot of dealing with being like mispronounced or words that made me feel uncomfortable, or like a lack of understanding of who I am as a queer person.
But then I was working with queer business owners and there was such a like spark of joy that came from it and being able to be like, did you watch drag race last night? I watched drag race last night. And like being able to like, talk about things that like. Made it not feel like boring and corporate and to be able to have that camaraderie.
And so I noticed [00:23:00] that I did a lot of research before fully diving into the niche of serving queer founders and queer businesses. I just noticed that nobody was offering anything to them. it's tough because I thought at first I was like, this is too broad of a niche. Like, how is anybody gonna think that this is worth nicheing into? Because I feel like most things you see with freelance, it's like, you have to get really granular and you can only on one thing.
And I was like, okay, well, I enjoy making a restaurant website just as much as I enjoy making a beauty bread website. But the part that I don't enjoy is when the founder sucks. so why can't I focus on who the. Person that I'm gonna be working with like that community. I can actually just choose that as a niche rather than feeling like I'm forced to only work with one specific type of business, because that, to me sounds boring.
And if you're just doing kind of like the same thing over and over again, you just probably end up templatizing your workflow. And I'm very much the type of person needs to be constantly challenged and [00:24:00] constantly learning new things. So that felt like an opportunity of like, here's this group of people who probably is also frustrated by working with people who don't understand them.
I can be that person in a sort of like tech bro world who actually understands them and can like talk to them like the human that they are and understands where come from. And there can just be like a sense of community within our working relationship, but also with all the brands that I'm working with and to help them realize.
That they don't have to hide who they are. Cuz I think sometimes as queer people, it's so ingrained in us to hide who we are from such a young age that we forget that even in adulthood and as business owners that we are supposed to like keep that a secret because somebody might not buy our product.
But the reality is do you want that person buying your
product if they don't like who you are as a person?
Yeah. So this is like, I, I would call this what a,
values driven niche, cuz like on your website you say our values, inclusive community quality. and it's more than that. I know that, but I'm just saying like, I [00:25:00] love having something you stand for as part of your niche and kind of talking about what you said there.
Like I grew up in Alabama, so like the expectation, the attitude towards the queer community, how they were treated, how they were talked about was like, I grew up around some really hateful growing up in Alabama. and so like, I've seen all of the worst stuff you could possibly say. and now as like a 35 year old adult, some of my favorite friends and people around me are, in that community in some way shape or form.
I hate seeing people. judged or hated just based on something that they stand for or something that, that is just who they are like. And so I love that this is niche that you have chosen as a designer. And you said like, I'm not gonna just do restaurant websites.
I'm not gonna do real estate websites and I'm not gonna go in it for the money. It's like, I'm in it for the values and like serving a specific community. And serving them really well. And it, in a community that may have been like underserved in some way, shape or form where it's like, there hasn't been a person who I've seen plant the flag on the ground for like that community doing web design stuff.
and I feel like even if you aren't in that community or part of that community, you're [00:26:00] probably still getting clients who love and support that community and support the values that you are standing for and wanna hire you just because of that. And, and I don't wanna put words in your mouth, but you're shaking your head.
Yes. So I assume that that's the case.
It is. I think that like, it's funny, cuz I would say probably 40% of my clients actually are queer business owners and the other 60% are just like good people who come to me because they see the values and they also, I think it's like, there's a lot of joy that comes with my branding and my community.
And I think that the clients that I'm getting want their brand to emote that same feeling. So I think that that's a big part of it as well is like better be allies. I know that they're allies cuz that's like, otherwise they won't wanna work with me. So I think that it's, it's so great to see that they.
It's also that they wanna build brands that include people and like the whole reason, typically why they're starting their business is because they've noticed that like a lot of brands in that world aren't inclusive. And so they're trying to break [00:27:00] the mold or like site says, break the binary and do something different.
So I think that that's a big part of it as well is like, yes, I work with queer businesses, but I also work with people who love the values and the sort of like mold breaking essence
of the queer community and want their
brand to do the
there's, I mean, there's so many different directions to go with this, but when I look at your website and this is what maybe like the second I saw your website, I was like, I've gotta get Mike on the podcast is you said it, it sparks joy. It's like everything on your website is so happy.
There's a disco ball rolling around in the background. It's a colorful, bright website. And your copywriter is incredible. Like the copy on your, site is so fun. Like even for those of you who are who could just go to, okay, mica.com and you go to the work with this tab, I'm gonna try something that I have not tried to do before, and that is if you're watching it on YouTube right now, you can just see the screen.
I'm gonna share the screen here. even your application page is like so fun to work with. Cuz like, if you look at most, designers or any kind of application page for a freelancer, it's usually like, what's your name?
What, what do you need? What services do you need? Tell me like a [00:28:00] little bit about the project. Like it, it's just very dry you've got things like Spill the T on your business. What do you do? And what's your mission? Everyone has a drag name. What's yours. Like you got Barbie brown in there. Is that your drag name?
is my drag name.
Yep. okay. I was
I gotta find out
my what mine is. It'd be Brianna something. I don't know what
the last name. would be. You can just have that percolate in your background, what mine would be. That's great. Actually, I love that banner red writing it. That's great. But I've never seen someone ask a drag name or like put personality into something as mundane as like a typical, court request form even have here. Like if you could click your heels three times and say, there's no place like home, where would you be this sort of stuff to me, is what sets you apart as, as just another freelancer, just doing websites and branding like And you don't get to really do that and be that playful without planning your flag in some sort of niche and being values driven like you are that allows for so much more playfulness, because if that sort of stuff turns you off, you are not the right person for Mike's business So like you have the best, filter that exists as far as I [00:29:00] know of weeding out the worst types of clients for you, And so many people are so concerned with trying to appeal to everyone that again, they appeal to no one. So you've said, I serve this small group and this small group loves me and I love them. And anyone that's not a part of this group.
I say small group. I don't mean, you know what I mean? But in the grand scheme of all people in the world, it's a relatively small group. And if you're not a part of this or you don't support this, then I am not the right person for you. And it's, worked really well for you.
it's the best to not have to deal
how did you get from what I'd call your niche hypothesis to actually like moving forward with that?
Cuz like to me a niche hypothesis is like I would do really well in this niche or wanna serve this market or I wanna work with these types of values or I wanna do this serve, how did you go from this hypothesis that like, this is the community that could serve.
But then this is also going to be a viable business. Cuz as freelancers, we have to have kind of the balance between like the business hat and you know, the service hat or the values hat was your, the process going from this hypothesis to reality.
Yeah, I will be honest and say that I wasn't sure that it was [00:30:00] gonna work and I don't wanna say I was sure that it wouldn't, but I had a lot of doubt in it because it was so different than what anybody else was doing. But I just had this gut feeling that, I knew who I wanted to work with and the type of people I wanted to work with.
So I felt that by sticking to what I felt was the right thing to do was the right thing to do. But I will be the first to say that. In the back of my brain, I was telling myself, you should be only working with beauty brands. cuz that's what I saw everybody else was doing.
So it felt really scary to go from hypothesis to reality, but I just went for it and knew that if it's gonna work, it's gonna work. And if it doesn't, we can always do what everybody else is doing. Cuz we know that works. So I think that it was less about knowing it was gonna work and like trying to see if it was gonna work and more of just like hoping that it would work because I wanted it to.
And I think I put the horse before the cart a little bit and [00:31:00] just sort of went for it and was like, Hey, write the copy for this. Hey design this. Like, it was just like let's build something and hope that people come and I'm
would say in a lot of cases, the building and then hoping doesn't necessarily work out well. But I, I think you listening to your gut in this instance was the right move. I feel like a lot of people, they, they may want to go a direction, but they're looking to their left and to the right. And they haven't seen other people doing it.
And that's the scariest place to be. It is unproven ground. You are now blazing new trails, but the payoff, if you were the one to B blaze the trail, the first one to get to the whatever's on the other side, it can be either bad and you have to backtrack and start all over again.
Or it can be amazing, cuz you're the first one there in this beautiful promise land or whatever. I don't know what kind of picture I'm painting here, but like it can be scary as all I'm saying, you don't, you don't have a, proven path to follow. you were talking about writing copy and designs and stuff.
Like what was some of the steps you took to actually roll out this. Rene or this new niche that you were doing, like, what was some of the, the practical steps you took to say, this is what, I'm, what I'm gonna.[00:32:00]
Yeah. So the first thing I did, which was something that I hadn't really seen anybody else do also was I decided to hire a brand designer to design my brand because I felt like. Everything that I was designing for. It didn't feel, it was like I was trying too hard and I felt like it was easier to have somebody else come in and see me for who I am.
And, and like, it's easy for me to speak to the target audience and all of that, but I was struggling to take myself out of it. So it wasn't in line with what I knew that it should be. So I collaborated with a brand designer, Mackenzie bird, who is absolutely amazing and did such a great job. And then from there I hired a copywriter who happens to also be my partner.
Who's very, very talented and obviously knows me very well. I love his work and I. Hired him specifically because he doesn't do anything like anybody else. And isn't afraid to be like extremely ridiculous and quirky and silly and like [00:33:00] takes risk with copy, which a lot of copywriters, I feel like don't do, cuz they're like too afraid to like do something different, but he's not.
And so I knew that he was gonna be perfect for the job and also easy to hire somebody you love. So knew that if I had somebody design a brand, I could turn that into a website. And I think that it was so much easier for me once they had sort of like done the sort of groundwork for me of like here's the base now take it and run with it.
So it was so much fun to be able to like have those building blocks that I could
then build off of and turn into what a lot of people
see as the
for anyone who hasn't been to, okay. mica.com, just go to a site and play around with it, especially if you're on desktop. Like when you move your mouths around little animations happen, it's such a fun experience. And I, I'm pretty sure you're using web flow for your website, I haven't seen that sort of animation stuff on any other platform besides web flow.
But for those of you who are listening right now, who aren't web designers and, understand web flow, it's not something you just pick up in a day and, and run off with it's it's pretty complex. I've tried to play around with it. It's [00:34:00] not for me, which is why people like Micah have a job in doing this sort of stuff.
So talk about some of the results that you've seen as you this new brand out was it immediately like a smash hit? Was it like a slow burn? Like how did that whole thing pan out.
Yeah, I think it. I'm lucky that it was a smash hit, but the reason that I think it was a smash hit was because of the sort of features that the site got web flow immediately after launching featured it on their showcase page. And like a few Instagram showcased it. And like, it was on like land book or whatever.
I think it's called like a lot of these like, sort of where people go for website inspiration posted the site. So it was very quickly seen by a lot of people. And so the immediate response was like, we've never seen anything like this clients were coming to me and being like, I've the second I saw your website.
I knew that I was supposed to work with you because I'd been looking for this. I'd been looking for this type of site and you have captured it. So I was really lucky that it was an immediate hit and I will say. That I still today [00:35:00] have moments of like, am I doing the right niche? and then I have conversations like this, or co or discovery calls with clients who just like, reinforce like how special it feels.
And like the joy that it brings them. And it's like, yes, you're on the right path. Don't doubt yourself. Like you said, stop looking left to right. And like keep blazing that trail and being different. And I think as designers, we all constant identity crisis where we just like wanna change everything and that's okay.
I try to remind myself, like you've built this brand and like have at this point brand recognition with it, it's not helpful to get rid of that and to change everything. And you have people wanting to work with you
still, and you're still creating work that you love.
don't quit. So.
could be So.
easy for us as creatives to get so bored of our own stuff and want to reinvent wheel, like every three to six months. And it takes a very mature freelancer to look at themselves and think. It's only boring to me. this is only, it's only not fresh to me because there's [00:36:00] still tons of people who this is the first time they're ever experiencing this thing that I created, or this brand that I built, or this business that I've done, or this website that I've wrote the copy for or whatever.
Like this is the first time I'm experiencing it. So to them, it's brand new and fun and interesting. And I've just gotta step back and realize that it's not about me. It's about them. It's about the experience that they're going through. It's about that client experience. So let's talk about some of the things that has helped since then bringing new clients, cuz you said in another interview I heard you on which is another awesome podcast for those who don't know, it's a podcast called being freelance.
We found you on that podcast. so shout out to them. But You said that you had about 40% of your work came from referrals, which is a, a number that I see all over the place actually around 30 to 50% seems to be the standard for most freelancers is just referral work from, from past clients or repeat work.
But you said a big chunk of it from Instagram. Is that from your personal account or your business account or mixture of both?
Yeah, mostly just my business account. When I first started the OK. Micah Instagram, I knew that there was no way that I could manage both or like, I didn't wanna manage both. Like, it felt like too much work to run to [00:37:00] Instagram. So I decided to just go full in, on the okay. Micah Instagram, and just let that be my life.
And still to this day, friends are like, which 1:00 AM I supposed to tag? And I'm like, I don't know. either one, but I will say most of the business that I'm getting comes from the okay. Micah, Instagram I've maybe had like one person go from Micah T woods into the
okay. Micah, Instagram funnel, but yeah, mostly just the, okay.
I imagine that because of the niche that you've chosen, limits you, but also opens you up to the content you're creating. Cuz like you have a clear kind of direction that you would go after. this is the, wonderful thing about a niche is, focus.
and when I see people who are very broad in what they're doing, their content creation, Instagram, if they're doing a podcast, if they're doing like YouTube or like longer form content or short form content like TikTok and Instagram, it's a struggle to create content that's relevant because you could talk about anything for anyone.
And so you can't, you can't decide what to talk about. So talk about like how you come up with things that you're gonna post online to grow that following uh, for, okay. Micah's Instagram.
Yeah, I [00:38:00] will say I totally agree. Like my niche allows me to, it made creating sort of my content strategy pillars so easy you know, it was like, okay, so I can talk about. Community. I can talk about being a queer entrepreneur. I can talk about my services and how my identity services that community.
So it was really easy for me to, and is easy for me to create content fairly quickly. I think that I see a lot of designers, like really struggle to come up with like, what am I, what should I be posting? What should I be doing? And I am lucky that I don't have that problem because I can be like, oh, it's the first day of pride.
Like, okay, create a quick post and post it. And it'll do well because my community expects that for me. And they want that for me. So it's so for me to like look at the month of June and see, okay, which days are special days or like, oh, trans visibility week is coming up. I can create a post for that.
Oh, look at this new queer business. That's actually being inclusive of queer people, this new [00:39:00] non-binary makeup line. Like I can talk about that. So it's so much easier for me to come up with content to create. And I also. Helping my audience find me because they're looking for that. And there's not a lot of people doing that.
So if somebody types in the hashtag like queer business, my posts come up because that's, what's like the algorithm is pushing. So it definitely makes my life easy in terms of social strategy. And it also helps with engagement because people aren't gonna follow me unless they want that content.
So they, when they're following me, they know what they are getting from me. And it only just like helps the algorithm. So nobody's following me. And then not like he might post, I mean, obviously people do, but there is definitely a sense of like, Hey, what is he posted in a while? Like, what are they up to that type of stuff?
So it's fairly simple for me and I try to tell my clients that too, of like, it's important for you to understand your values and the community that you're serving, because that will make every decision that you make in
your business. [00:40:00] 10 times
if you try to stand for everything, then again, you stand for nothing and no one, which is a very difficult place to be. I'm looking at your Instagram feed right now, and it's like, you also do something that I don't see people doing enough of, and you do a, a pretty good job of this is spotlighting other people, not just it being about you.
So I see on, on Juneteenth, you posted black and queer brands to go support. you're helping your community by showcasing all these other brands to your following, which is easy and also the right thing to post for your, social strategy. I see one for, For queer founder, spotlight, in probably people you've worked with or people you wanna work with, which is a great strategy to do.
it just opens up these opportunities that are relatively easy for you to come up with, cuz it's like, I'm going to spotlight these businesses. And so I just gotta find the right ones that I can put my, my stamp of approval on to promote that are doing the right things or the right type of people that I wanna spotlight on here.
and it's just like, to me, that's great place to be. one of my favorite books we've had the author on the show is the go giver. And this is kind of like that go giver mentality of like helping other people, not being all about myself. And, and me [00:41:00] it's about these other people that we're trying to help support or promote or include in our, our social feeds.
with Instagram. Do you have any sort of like strategy that you have found has been effective for growing a following cuz your personal one has. 12 15,000 followers, which is a substantial following your, but your business one has three to 4,000 followers.
Something like that, which is in the grand scheme of, of Instagram is not massive, but it's definitely not small. And it's bringing in clients for you, a, a substantial amount of them. And so I love seeing people that don't have hundreds of thousands of followers on the show who are bringing in freelance clients, because that seems much more attainable to most people.
When I have someone like made by James who has like a hundred, 200,000 followers on the show or Peggy Dean on the show who had, you know, 250,000 followers really hard to say, I'll just do that. You know, but when someone has two or 3000 followers is bringing in clients for the freelance business, that's, that's more attainable.
I'd love to know about some of the things that you've done to facilitate that sort of following above and beyond just being in a, a very tight knit niche.
Yeah, I think it's a common misconception that you need a hundred thousand followers to [00:42:00] run a successful freelance business. I definitely thought that in the beginning, I was like, I'm not gonna have clients till I have over 10,000 followers. But that's not true. And I think that the biggest success that found is just to show up.
I think a lot of people forget that like the number one rule of social media is that you're marketing yourself. So you need to be showing up as much and as often as possible so that people know you exist, the whole point is just the continuation of existing. And I, I will say that I think some of the.
Best things that have come to me have been, like you said, giving and not hope. Obviously you're hoping to get something in return, but like those queer founder spotlight that turned into a client from that, the spotlighting businesses, those businesses reposted my stuff and they have huge, massive following.
So it's just kind of like creating content for. Yourself, but also for your community, I think is the biggest thing. And I think that that's, what's helped me gain the following as quickly as I have, and also [00:43:00] has made the Instagram algorithm into thinking that like, I'm something that people should care about because people are sharing the work that I'm doing and they're saving the work that I'm doing.
And people are like, oh, that's a cool list. I would love to like, support those brands save. So it's, I think it's important to think of it. Like from that point of view is like, how are you giving back to the people that are following you rather than thinking
what You want them to see?
It's like, what do they
What should You be
You are, swimming in the blues of blue
oceans. So there's a book called the blue ocean strategy for those who haven't read it or heard of it to be fairly honest with you, I've never actually read the book, but I understand the gist of it, which is basically there's red ocean and there's blue ocean red ocean is just being a branding or website designer for all people and offering a million services I could go find 20,000 of 'em on, on fiber right now. I could go find 20,000 more on Upwork. Right now I could find 20,000 dead websites of people that tried and failed to be in that market. And that's a red ocean and it's really hard to survive when there's sharks in there and it's just, everyone's drowning.
And it's just [00:44:00] picture that in your head of like how chaotic it's like a scene from jaws or something. Meanwhile, Mike is over here in his blue ocean. And it's a wonderful like, experience. It's like a hot spring, we'll call it that it's like a blue hot spring. And like, it's like a spa, you know what I mean?
Like it's way more, it's a serene, there's like a, a sunrise in the, in the distance with some mist in the air. And it's like this wonderful spa-like atmosphere and that's this area that you've carved out. And it's so much easier to stand out to get engagement in the post because everyone stands behind that small community.
And I, my background was, I played uh, straight outta high school in a heavy metal band, a Christian heavy metal band. And we toured the world and we were in this really tight niche, metal core community. And we would be like all the little.
Seen kids at the mall, you know, would be hanging out a hot topic and we would like give each other nots. Don't know who you are, but we're gonna talk and we're gonna hang out because we're this weird, these weird kids, all my band members stretch their ears and had tattoos. And, you know, they look the specific way.
And so he like that sort of tightknit community is really easy to exist in because it's a blue ocean. It's not this like [00:45:00] oversaturated world where everyone's this just competing and, eating each other. I don't know how else to say it, but the blue ocean thing is, is a wonderful place to be.
And you got there, Micah, because you had the bravery to forge your own path to find that hot spring in the, I don't know where I'm losing the analogy here, but you, you know what I'm saying?
I'm lounging on the gay beach. There's no kids. Everybody's chill.
Everybody's having a good
All right. So, um, to kind of wrap this conversation up here I love kind of going into some lighter topics and something that's not you know, challenging our listeners to find a blue ocean, which is difficult thing to do.
I like talking about tools and things. So let's talk about some of your favorite freelancing tools, things that you use and, can't live without, as a freelancer because again, we were talking beforehand, you're very business minded. I can tell this, I know our audience can tell this, but you're self admitted, like a business owner.
you naturally gravitate towards trying new things out and testing new things and being kind of like me where I'm like a marketing nerd. I like, shelve the creativity for a moment and focus on the fun nerd tech stuff. So let's talk about [00:46:00] that for a minute. What are some of your favorite tools as a freelancer?
You just cannot live.
I would say it's easy for me to think of it, like in process. So the first tool that clients use with me and that I can't live without is DS Sodo, which is that inquiry form that we looked at on the site is through DS Sodo. It's a form. And then it sends me an email that says, Hey, new lead coming through.
And then I love it so much because you can set up workflows where all I have to do is like click a button that says like approve. And if like, I'll look at their inquiry and be like, yeah, they're worth working for, I just click approve. It sends them an email. That's like, book a call with me. you know, I think we're a great fit.
Here we go. And it's. seems like it's an email that I'm typing up every time, but all I'm doing is clicking a button and then they book a call through my calendar and then post that call. I can either be like, yes or no. If I say yes, then it's like, pushes me through like my proposal funnel, which all my proposals go through there.
All I have to do is like select the packages that we about. The [00:47:00] proposal is automatically built for me. It sends them proposal, contract invoice with one link and it's all automated. And I'm onboarding clients in like 30 seconds, rather than like spending hours making proposals, which like, I think a lot of people forget that you can just send people the same thing over and over again, cuz they don't know that they're getting the same thing over and over again.
Templates are amazing. They're so essential. And so then once they sign, once they accept the proposal sign, contract, pay their first invoice, it sends them an email. That's like, Hey, welcome to the fan. Here's a link to our slack channel. everything is automated. So I'm spending very little time onboarding clients.
So that's a huge one. For me, Egypt, Sodo is the best because of the workflows. And then even through the process, it's like, I set the start date. So like a week before our project start date, it sends, 'em an email. That's like, Hey, heads up, we're starting in a week. Like, have you looked at everything in the slack channel?
Like, did you answer these questions? Have you gone through this? So then that's done. Then like the day of the project, it's like, we're here. We're ready. Let's go so excited. Don't forget our [00:48:00] kickoff call this day. So even post the project. so great. And then like I put the end date of the project as well.
So that like a week after the project ends, it's like, Hey, just wanted to check in like, how's everything going since launch? Do you need anything? Hey, if you're feeling up to it, can you write us a review here? Gives the link to the little form that they can fill out. And then again, I have it set up to do like a 30 day follow up after that, where it's like, how's everything going.
I still exist. And then like a two month. So like I have I'm following up with clients without even trying and just like reminding them that I exist, which I think leans into that referral system that I have set up. And then second tool that I is, my second brain is notion I can't live without it. I feel like people are either ever know or notion.
And I feel like I leaned into notion and I've tried, I tried so many things. I feel like, I fell in love with notion because it was the first tool that I felt like clients could manage. Easily on their own without me having to be like, [00:49:00] okay, so now you're gonna click here to look at this. It's like very intuitive for non-technical people.
And it's easy to like check a box to like show things done and like set up a timeline for them to see. But I also have took a really amazing course called the notion mastery, which is this woman, Marie Powell. Who's like the notion, God, I like to say she's incredible. And that course helped me to create a full D.
Forward for myself where like all my tasks are linked. All my projects are linked, everything. I don't have to think anything. Like I can just be like new project and then all the tasks get added to my timeline with exact dates and formulas and all of this complicated stuff that like, if I hadn't had that course, would've been confusing, but has made my life so much easier and like allows me to do things so quickly.
And like, if a client's late rep, giving me feedback or something, I just adjust the date and all of my to-dos get pushed back by a day. So notion is a big one. I also think there's this great app called [00:50:00] markup, which I use for all my web design clients. And it allows you to actually.
put a link on there and then clients can comment directly on the website. So rather than being like, oh, can you adjust this? They can just click exactly with what they're seeing and if they have the Chrome map as well, which I always tell them to do it takes a screenshot. So I can actually see what they're looking at, which has been such a game changer, because it was so difficult before to like, try and understand what exactly they were talking about, what they're seeing.
Like I'm not seeing that bug, but you're seeing it. So like I can't fix something that I can't see. So that's been a big game changer for me. And lastly, Figma, which I am team Figma forever and will always be team Figma because it's such a game changer
and has replaced most of
For those who don't know the design world, Figma is basically like a
competitor for pretty much anything. Adobe things like Photoshop and, illustrator and pretty much anything. And I've seen a lot of designers move to
all of them.
Yeah. And I think it's because [00:51:00] it's nice to just have a one all in one tool, cuz some of my issues with Adobe is like the shortcuts are different between the five different apps. So it's like trying to remember like, is it command parentheses? Is it shift command? Like it's just like too much where like Figma it's like I can shortcut everything so easily.
And it just, I also think that like clients like it as well, it's easy to prototype in there so I can actually make what will look like their website in the design rather than like jumping straight into development and trying to get them to picture what it's like and like being like, and then this will move like this.
It's like, I can show you what that movement will look like. So I would say that those are, those are my tools. Those are my jam. And I've
you're, speaking my
my love language now. It's. I love nerding out about this stuff. And just hearing you talk about, uh Dedo even notion I've tried notion I can't get into it Dedo, I've never experienced that. I do have a coaching client that uses it and loves it, but I have been on the client and of honey book, which is kind of similar.
And I love that experience of just like really well thought out [00:52:00] timeline and, and the process and flow is nice. to me, this is like, I could go on a whole entire episode with you about these sorts of things, like setting up dips, Sodo, setting up notion courses and stuff. But we don't have a ton of time, but I would love to know kind of like going back to dips Sodo, cuz you kind of went through all those I need to go back and re-listen to this cuz like I love that flow. You've already mapped out. How long did it take you to set all that up? Cause it's a lot. It sounded like a lot of steps. A lot of automation, a lot of nerdy tech stuff, wizardry going on in the background, like how long did it take you to get just dips out alone, set up and ready to run in your business.
So I had like a very simple version of D Sodo set up that was like working for me, kind of. And then I had this girl Fran who runs a business called the passions collective called DMI and was like, Hey, I noticed you as DUP Sodo. Like I am a DS Sodo expert. If you ever want somebody to go full force with it, I would love to do that.
So I hired
her to build that really
first of all, call DM working it worked on you and it's worked for you [00:53:00] as well. So
both ways there, which is, which is great. can you give an idea of like timeline, how much it costs? Like just gimme an idea for anyone who might be interested in setting up something like that.
And maybe even, maybe even give her a shout out so people can go hire if they want something similar built.
Yeah. So Fran from the passion collective the best, it was like a two week process. We started with a call where I just told her my client process and she just took a bunch of notes. And then from there she pitched me like, here's the exact workflows I think we should set up. Here's how it would work.
Here's what would make your life easier? Sort of speaking to like the pain points and the opportunities that we could take. And it was, I'm pretty sure. I, she charged me like 1600 in total, which like
considering how much time she has saved me. She's not Fran. If you're listening, you
are not charging
You could absolutely charge more.
Because I think that if I had tried to do it myself, it probably would've taken me like a full two weeks of like sitting down six to eight hours a day [00:54:00] to make happen. And like, obviously she's an expert. It probably doesn't take her that long cuz she has all of this set up and she knows how it works, but it would've taken me that long.
So it was worth paying that to then also have it now where all I have to do is push a button to do something that used to take me like an hour of a day and like all this constant, like where's this at what's happening. It's like, all of it just is done for me and I don't have to think about it.
that something I think too, sometimes we as freelancers forget is like we
can pay other
people to do the
things that we don't wanna do.
was gonna say, that seems to be a
trend for you is like you hired a brand
designer to do
your stuff. You hired a copywriter to write your copy. You hired a SDO expert to set up all your stuff. So it's a one click to do all these amazing things. And we didn't even get to talk about this, but you even hired a Pinterest manager to manage your Pinterest stuff, which we probably don't have time to get into today, but that's.
Just a thing that you, you do, is that just a natural move for you is like I'm gonna hire for this or do you have to force yourself to do it? Like what's your thought process around hiring
it's, it's pretty natural for me. I think that,
like I see value in
that's [00:55:00] actually
It's like, I don't wanna do things that I don't want to do, so it's worth paying somebody do it. So I think that it's very easy and natural for me. And I'm sort of seeing myself, even in the business, like progress towards more of a creative director and being like less hands on and allowing the business to run without me.
Kind of thing and like allowing myself to do the things that I wanna do. And I think it also is that like business mentality of like, there's a great book called like rich dad, poor dad. I don't know if anybody's heard of that, but it's incredible. And it basically just tells you that like the way like rich people think is like, you can just pay somebody to do stuff and you don't have to, and like, let your money work for you rather than like, feeling like you have to do everything.
So I think that I have that mentality in my business as well is like, I don't have to do everything nor do I have to do things that I don't like. So it's worth letting somebody else do it right the first time, rather than trying to figure it out for myself. Just pay somebody to do it well.
[00:56:00] I, I love that book and it was one of my like early formative reads. And like, kind of shifted my brain about being an entrepreneur and specific, like investing in things like real estate. And, in the real estate world, that book is legendary. Everyone has read that book in the real estate world, which is funny, but it really applies to any sort of business This is a struggle for me is like naturally hiring people to do things cuz I'm so self-reliant I grew up so taking full responsibility for everything and I have to do it, there was a book I read, I can't remember the name of it.
That, that kind of helped me line up all the tasks I do day to day. And it was like, it's like a column for all the things that uh, you hate to do all the things that you do that maybe you don't love, but take up time. And then the, the column of things that only you could do. And it's a surprisingly small amount of things in that third column.
Oh, that's, the other column. Things that you're bad at, that was the other column. Getting rid of the things you're bad at or the things you hate to do, or like the first two things that have to go and sometimes you can just eliminate it and be like, I don't actually have to ever do this again and no one needs to do it, but then like just hiring out help.
It's so good to get this off your plate. And in other people's hands, especially when they're better at it than you, like you said yourself with, with do Sodo or de Sodo. I don't know how you's pronounce [00:57:00] it, but whenever you're setting that up, you were okay with it. You could get it going a little bit. You had a little basic set up there, but hiring an expert at a little less than she probably should have charged at 1600 was more than worth getting all that stuff set up for you so that you'd have to think about it.
It was just done and it was working really well for you. On top of that, does that only work if you have like specific packages you're offering, cuz everything has to be TAed around those specific packages or what if you have like a, a crazy one off thing that you're doing that doesn't really fit your normal template?
Yeah. So it's actually, that's something she taught me before. I was like when she came on, I had like 150 different things. Cuz some clients want this little thing or they don't want this or like, oh, change this deliverable. But it's when you set it up, right. you can go directly into your templated proposal and just adjust it for that specific proposal.
So like. It is so easy. And I actually have a few like service based clients who then I've now set them up in DS Sodo as well and made their lives easier. Because I think that like anybody who's offering a service can actually benefit from DS Sodo, because it will just allow you like photographers and anybody, like who [00:58:00] is having people pay them for things, you can set it up so that like you can make adjustments and you can do different services and like just make your life so
you need to get an affiliate link for that,
it's easy. It's Okay. micah.com/discount-codes.
it's got all of my
favorite apps on
again, I could probably nerd out with you all day about this stuff, but we should probably wrap this out, but like,
We, we already gave out your fill link for D Sodo. Is there any, anywhere else you want people to go to learn more about you or connect with you, or like, where do you want our audience to go? If they want to say something to you or say, Hey, or hire you or anything.
Yeah. If you wanna hire me, go to, OK. mica.com and click work with us and fill out an application. And if you just wanna connect with me, I would love to connect on Instagram, which my Instagram handle is. Okay. Micah, with three HS at the end, send me a DM. I'm always down to chat community, all sorts of things.
Just like if you have questions, if you're curious, if you're like is freelance for me, I'm down to talk. We can have a long conversation And, connect.
and this actually leads to a question I forgot to ask in the [00:59:00] interview and we're gonna end with this. What happens when you get a court request in that you deny? Do do you have an absolutely not button that just sends them a polite rejection email or what happens when, when you turn down a project and decide, oh,
Yeah. When I deny them, it sends an email. That's like the subject's like your project inquiry. And then it's like, thank you so much for reaching Unfortunately, I don't think we're aligned on this project. If you need suggestions for other designers that I think would be more in line with it. Let me know.
Thank you so
I love that. cuz I, I always have an issue with that as I do have kind of templates for that sort of stuff, but it feels less intense for me. If I can hide behind a button that just says deny and then let the system handle it and I can just move on with my life.
there's too many times where I didn't reply to a bad inquiry where I should have let them down nicely. And instead I didn't, you know, this old Brian speaking here, but I like the idea of having a, a no button. A no thanks. But anyways, thank you so much for coming on Mike. This is a wonderful conversation and uh, I definitely love to have you back on an, in a future interview.
If you're happy to come back.
I would love to, this was so much fun. You're the best.
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