Reader question from Mike Riley: “Could you have a two-pronged approach?”
Sent by Jonathan Stark on June 6th, 2019
Reader Mike Riley wrote in to ask the following (shared with permission):
This email (i.e., “Solution-first thinking vs problem-first thinking”) got me thinking. Could you have a two-pronged approach (problem-first and solution-first)? As a web developer, I’m open to freelance jobs, contract positions, and full-time positions. I’ve found it difficult to find a happy medium on how I market myself. I want non-technical clients to know what problems I can solve, but I want technical clients to know what my skillset is. I’ve toyed with having two portfolio websites. One that is non-technically focused and starts from a problem-first focus, and one that showcases my skillsets for potential employers/contracts. I’d be interested to know your thoughts here.
Thanks for the email list!
Thanks for the question, Mike!
- For a solo operator, it’s very hard to maintain two different identities on the internet. It’s just a lot of work. Keep in mind that a website is just one small component of your online marketing presence. Having two websites would just be the start. You’d also have to have parallel marketing efforts to drive traffic to each site - e.g., two logos, two domain names, two email addresses, two Twitter accounts, two LinkedIn accounts, two lead magnets, two nurture campains, two email lists, two blogs, two podcasts, two Youtube channels, two ad campaigns, etc. Sure, you wouldn’t need all of the items on this list, but you’ll need at least 3 or 4 to make it worth bothering to have two sites.
- Other than to generate quick cash flow, why would you want to work with technical clients? For someone like you, technical clients will tend toward price sensitivity and micromanagement. It’s like selling shoes to cobblers. They probably aren’t impressed by your skills. They’d probably rather do it themselves if they had time. They probably see you as more or less interchangeable with other people who have similar skills listed on their resume.
- Assuming that cash flow is the reason you’d like to work with technical clients, my advice would be to secure cash flow somehow (e.g., create a runway with six months of savings, or do 20 hours per week of staff augmentation, or land a part-time whale client, or whatever else...) and then double down on one website - and related marketing materials - for your non-technical buyers.
I hope that helps!