How to Double Your Freelancing as a Developer (interview with Brennan Dunn)

How to Double Your Freelancing as a Developer (interview with Brennan Dunn)

July 12, 2019 22 By Bernardo Ryan



hey you what is up this is Kazi from clever programmer calm today I'm here with Brennan done and he's the founder of double your freelancing calm and this guy you know a lot of us on this channel want to learn about freelancing and we're developers and how can we actually increase our income this is somebody who has helped many many developers and pretty much primarily Rovers they're mostly developers increase their income so I thought it would be great to just sit down and chat with Brennan done so thanks so much for being here and welcome yeah thank you we have lots of Python developers and we have people also in lots of different countries now when people are trying to become developers is there sometimes a common objection you here with oh I'm in a different country or there are people competing with us from a different market so we can't really become developers or how do we charge what do you how do you deal with that when people ask you those types of questions yeah so question is and you can even hold us ok cool yeah yeah so I mean in terms of things like you know oh I'm in a certain country or I you know I want to work like the typical one would be I want to work with Americans but I'm out of the US or something like that how do I get American clients is that what kind of what you're getting at yes I mean I think like I I've both hired and worked with and helped a lot of people who are geographically not where their clients are yeah and I think the big concern and I think we're just sometimes correct is there's a you know cultural or language gap or something like that between them of their clients I mean at the end of the day I think the best thing that you can do as a developer doesn't matter where you're located what framework or language you code in or anything else like that is the thing that helped me so my backstory was I was freelance I worked remotely I've never really worked on site or anything for clients it's always been a remote always always been real I've never done on site great which is a good thing I think yeah that's great but you know what a lot of our developers want to be able to do work for a million yeah yeah and typically I mean if you're doing like contract work then you're on site and you might be independent but you're still kind of like you're basically staff augmentation or something like that right you're in-house so I think you know I transitioned out of being freelance to owning an agency and grew that agency to 11 employees we did software evolved that was our thing great the thing that helped the most for us cuz none of our clients were local we were you know we were in the u.s. working primarily with US companies but we worked with companies in Japan we worked with companies and South America and pretty much all over but I think the thing that I think was most beneficial to us to set us apart yeah was we were laser focused on the on what is the problem that they're paying us to solve yes right so instead of just saying oh I'm a good Python dev oh I know Django I know you know this that or whatever the clients that I think you typically want to get are the ones who might not even know what Python is or might not care they just want to they want a problem fixed yeah so for us we shifted away from all right so realizing no one's paying us tens of thousands of dollars for lines of code they're paying us because they need something or indeed they need you know help with the research even though and not just the development of certain products they need help in figuring out how should this be built why should he be built in a certain way and so on and we ended up not only being able to charge a lot more and kind of being able to get to the point where he had this great profitable team and everything else but we were able to really get away from marketing ourselves as a development shop and instead focusing on I mean it sounds really enterprising kind of cringy but you know as the solutions provider who happened at we used I know you brought instance I hate this we were a ruby shop but the you know at the end of the day we didn't describe ourselves as Ruby developers we burn our clients most of our clients do we know we used rails or what rails was or anything like that got it you know okay so that's fantastic so one of the things that I got from that was focus on what their main problem is it doesn't really matter why they're paying you why are they paying you right instead of like focusing on oh this is what I do Python and Django and then trying to look for that now a lot of the people who are watching this channel are either beginners in coding or that's most of the people watching then there's a segment who are developers but wanna start freelancing yeah so what would be your advice on people getting there first so let's say let's speak to like beginners and they let's say how if they want to get their first client right if you have to go back in time how would you approach your coding like picking up the coding skills and then at what point in time would you start going for clients and how would you get the first client if you just had to reverse-engineer that journey good question so with me you know I started freelancing after I was already a senior developer right so I didn't I I didn't need to both acquire skills on how to code while also acquire skills on how to freelance right so I think if I were to go like you know wake up tomorrow have no business and not really great as a developer or even knowing how to code yeah I think like in retrospect what I would probably do would be to immerse myself as much as possible in and again I know this isn't always practical depending on where you live but in the local business community yeah just keep my ear to the ground and listen to what they're up to what do they do and just be really interested in seeing like you know what are they doing maybe they're doing a bunch of stuff with like Excel and they're kind of hitting the upper limits of what but maybe you're talking with people and they're using Excel and they're passing Excel spreadsheets around the office and this is a core part of their internal workflow and I might think well what could maybe I could just do something with zapier or something right like I can I can make it so I can consult with them to say let's use Google sheets and then we'll have zapier that will pick up on row changes and then when certain things are done we maybe shoot off an email where you're kind of you get there's a lot you can do nowadays which words net when I started out none of this stuff is possible and you can do with effectively off-the-shelf things that get you in the same programming mindset right of like like even the stuff we're doing here at this conference the the automation stuff yep I mean you're doing if-else and segmentation and I mean it's pretty much the same kind of mental stuff you're doing as a developer yeah so I think it would help there and then you can obviously get more into code and such as you need to but if the goal is to make money with paying clients as quickly as possible you absolutely I I I would not personally try to dive headfirst into like learning a whole giant Python framework or something day one I would probably start with what can I do to deliver business value in a technical way that just might not be super technical but at least is technical enough that's fast you know and and I'd start with that and then probably go deeper okay so that's a really fascinating answer because what I love about it is it because what happens with people is they're often trying to tackle the complexity of learning how to code with the complexity of learning how to build a business at the same time I think both of those things are difficult when you're trying they're difficult on their own then they get very difficult if you're trying to do them both together right simultaneously and what you're saying is hey break them apart a little bit so do one thing first so for example in this case maybe instead of just diving deep into Python and spending the next six months to three years and still not feeling like a good enough developer to be able to freelance which is most people's like story around it you focus on going and like keeping your ear to the local businesses and seeing if you can provide value in somewhat of a technical way and it doesn't even have to be with Python and what's funny that you say that is when I built my chest business a really long time ago it was called chess tastic and we would I would find schools and I would go to them and I would offer them chess services but how I would find these schools because I was like constantly finding myself googling everything and the googling got really like it was really laborious and really but then I would always looking for certain criteria from these schools like they had to have you know these libraries would have to have ages 8 through 11 year-olds you know for me to be able to teach there there should have like these other recreational programs then I created an excel sheet that would automatically do all this stuff you're like scraping these pages and right so she can excel yeah yup and I didn't even know how to code at that point so I was just using like excel functionalities and then I got off of Excel until I literally maximized it yeah so like I had to get off of it when it said like an A or something because I was getting throttled with API and I didn't even know what that meant so I hired a developer for that so what you learned doing that you learned the mental stuff you would that would help you as a developer later on correct yeah correct so I learned so much of the stuff that would help me as a developer later on so I think that what you're saying is really valuable to the viewers who are watching because if they can right now focus more on the business side of things doing things that are maybe more technical like for example they can go to a place where people there like a lot of old people who don't know how like to install antivirus on their computer yeah you know it's like you can help them you can charge them and then you can get more complex with it depending on what your skill level is maybe you can help businesses with more technical so I've got a an example that actually came from local networking event I went two years ago local to me in Virginia and that was you know I was doing the agency thing and we were just networking and talking with people and just a bar like drink up thing was after a meet-up and the guy was saying oh I'm trying to you know I have all these customers and I want to find out I wanted to get them all to be able to you know fill out a quick little forum thing and then you know pay me for is like a certification that he was selling and then I want to be able to get all that into a spreadsheet and he's like so you guys are developers can you build that for me and you know the coder in me was thinking you know that's that's a lot of early developers start with crud apps right create retrieve update delete where it's basically forms and index lists and you know you're able to view that kind of stuff right whereas in retrospect if I could go back then and I wasn't having my like rails coder hat on I was said like use use like Google Forms he can use zappy or something to push that into Google sheet although that'll do to automatically with Google Forms you know push it in a spreadsheet and then like have a way to then send out an automated email after they do that with like a link to pay powers you know some dumb like that right is really not sophisticated but it solves that problem where the client like the client in this case needs this is what I need to get done and they don't know like most people you look out here in Boise ask anyone like do you know zapier is the thing and that they can link all these different data things you do together yeah you say no like most people most business people don't know this stuff exists so you just say hey I want to learn enough about what I can do with the tool like exactly and off-the-shelf tool and I'm just gonna glue things together and give them what they need and then that at least fund you while he can then go and learn Python or learn whatever and yeah I mean that's what I would do if I needed money and I wasn't technically skilled enough to be able to safely bring on a greenfield project and say I'm gonna code you a Python project from scratch yes so that's what I do okay so that's really great advice because people work backwards which to them seems like the normal way which is like go to college go to college for four years then go get your masters for like two to four years then think about maybe contemplate getting a job I'll probably still don't do that because that's crazy and I feel like it's such a backwards approach but where the job is the goal or being able to provide value as a goal but that nobody spends time thinking about that much great developers I mean even great developers aren't even I mean I know really talented coders who do not ever think how is the code I'm writing making an impact on the business that is using this code Wow you know a lot of the merch is thinking I'm building a really you know they get the geek out on yeah the object-oriented code iing and like test-driven development and that's all good like I remember when we started getting heavily into TDD or test-driven development as an agency I had clients who were trying to sell and they were like why should I pay you all this extra money so you can write these testings shouldn't your code work the first time right yeah and it became difficult for us to like how do we sell testing yeah but then well here's what I did is I was talking to a friend of mine who was running also an agency and he's like excelled as insurance like the idea is a good test suite on a code base is going to be that canary in a coal mine if new features that you've developed broke something else and the most expensive part of software development which a lot of clients don't get is the maintenance costs now the total cost of ownership is not up not always the building it's the maintaining so if you're adding new features and this is breaking that and you know that's like not only does that cost a lot more in development time but you've got if it's in production you're you've got customers using it who are getting error messages and this and that and it's basically an insurance policy where you're saying we can safely naturally develop new functionality in the future without needing to worry about so basically you're buying insurance that will keep your long-term costs down so we sold it like that instead of saying yeah we're gonna spend twice as much time so we can write these tests that are you know they're like I get it why would it client start thinking why why why can't you write code that works the first time right yeah because they don't know and you can't blame them yeah it's just I think a lot of us get kind of arrogant and they're like they should understand the value of testing and they should know why we do object-oriented design and why we do these you know craftsmanship things like in the Ruby community there's big push on code craftsmanship which is good but I think people get so immersed in the code yeah and I think it's you know I think I think the reason developers tend to sell themselves on you know the technicals are that's what they're it's comfortable it's safe yes I've been doing coding for the last many years I'm good at it I'm not confident my ability to help businesses but I'm confident my ability to write code so I'm gonna focus just on the code stuff and then they wonder why am I being priced shopped and why am i you know struggling so much yes it's because the if you can focus on how what is my code doing it and it unfortunately becomes a thing where you need to realize and this is I think hard for people to sometimes get that no one cares about your code no one cares about any that they just want the result yeah it is it is if it's your craft when you want to talk designers yeah when you tell designers about like no one cares about your design they just want to know how does this design increase conversions or they get very sometimes yes yeah brilliant and I love that because eventually a lot of this stuff has to tie down to results a lot of the people who are paying these developers or business owners who need some kind of return on their investment but I feel that the developer who's competing and struggling with a developer in Pakistan or India or Bangladesh charging seven dollars an hour is because they're practical they're commoditizing what it I mean it's think of it like supervised Street right there's probably gas stations somewhere you know often gas stations there's one across the street from the other right if this one's twenty bucks a gallon and that one's too why would you ever go to the to $20 one right and that's why if you're selling yourself as a Python developer and you're saying I want a hundred bucks an hour to write Python code and the clients like but there's these guys over here or seven dollars an hour to write Python code why should I pay you yeah it's like how do you answer that right you're saying I am selling a commodity which is Python code yes and then the client rightfully thinks well what's the going rate for Python code yeah I mean a lot of it when I don't do consulting anymore but when I did you know a lot of what I did would be going to people's email marketing automation stuff writing a lot of JavaScript code and writing copy email copy but I didn't sell that I sold like how I'm gonna help them on board their clients better and sell them sell more stuff and this and that but technically I was writing a lot of JavaScript I was doing some markup stuff on their site and some copywriting and gluing it together and like an email marketing app but I didn't sell I wasn't saying and a lot of it I mean if you fact if you've really liked the last one I did was eighty-nine thousand dollars for something that took about three weeks which the equivalent hourly rate of that is insane and if they were thinking like what's the going rate of a copywriter but instead I position it as here's I you we've talked through your numbers I've seen your company here's what I think you could be doing and here's how I think it can make you you know six figures plus within the first year so then I come in and I'm I bring in my price and I I'm just I'm an investment at the point I'm showing you're spending this but here's what you're gonna be getting because this is a Miss this is a gap yeah and what do you else it up and I think getting confident and they're people's abilities to be able to affect businesses that way that's the struggle that I think people have okay I wanna if I want to like okay I understand maybe I'm a developer and watching this or maybe on a beginner and wanted to get into freelancing watching this and I'm going okay makes sense that I need to be able to position myself like an investment show people there's ROI correlated with what efforts I'm gonna be bringing in but now maybe they're thinking what amount of time am i spending actually learning coding and increasing my coding skills versus learning business and marketing skills yeah so how would that be broken up for somebody who's new yeah good question so yeah the balance of where do you spend your time I think at the end of the day I mean I would treat both I mean I still I'm a coder by harp and I'm running a software company all these other things but I still code and I enjoy it I mean it's therapeutic for me I think a lot of people who were drawn into that still like it right yes yeah so I think like at the end of the day I mean the easy out the easy route with consulting would be to get subcontracted full time through an agency let them get the clients let them deal with the clients you just sit at the coffee shop with your headphones on and write code that's that's the thing but the problem then is they're not your clients though the agency's clients and you've you know you should everyone should be a business of one regardless of what you do I think that should be the goal so I think it's it's it's worth your while to always be thinking well why am I getting paid for this like why are they paying me for this code and getting better bit and this doesn't mean you need to be full on business console like you can still be a developer who is just pragmatic and saying look I want to know why you're paying me and what do you need to get for me yeah like what is the outcome the business outcome you need yeah because the end goal might be like I I remember one of my early consulting clients they were hiring us to build a thing that would match make like bars and restaurants with musicians right so like if you're you've got a bar coffee shop and you want to have a guitarist buying music it would be a way to do that right like a marketplace and early on he wanted he was like oh well what do marketplaces probably have because he'd seen ones online and he wanted private messaging and like groups and stuff and I was like at that point I was like look what you need is you need validation that this works right like you don't have any users on your platform to message each other so why do you want messaging day one so I was able to help effect I was I was able to reduce the scope early on and focus more on what should be built yeah because the client just thought look you know I have like I'm reading hacker news I'm reading all this stuff about like startups that are failing and why they're failing and you know what's doing well and these new frameworks coming out and you know like the heartbleed WordPress issue or what was the the anyway like all these different things right that was I think with nginx but all these different things that the like majority of business owners don't know right so just the fact that I you know I have my ear to the ground in that sense is helpful to people and yeah I mean at the end of the day my job is just to think I want to always be making myself more valuable by getting better coding and a lot of getting better coding comes with experience obviously that's the ultimate thing but also learning new frameworks and seeing where the winds blowing and seeing oh larvell is a big thing I should go maybe check that out or you know this or that so that's that should be something we're always doing continuing education but I think just the fact I mean the best business education I think you can get is to start just going to like the lope you go to meetup.com go find out where business owners congregate whether it's Chamber of Commerce like after party things that they do yeah we're like the networking events at conferences like this what do you think about if they just offered some advice for even offered to help even for free in the start yeah I mean you could I don't like giving anything of value away for free individually I think it's fine at scale so I don't mind you know you can do like weather maybe do a workshop maybe do a a some sort of digital thing like you know my friend Amy who I did a thing on when rails came out back in two thousand six or seven I think is when she did it she did a free pdf about how the internals of rails works it's just a graphical PDF thing and she just learned this stuff through you know whatever I mean look at look at people like Chris coiour of CSS tricks right like any time you google anything CSS related he pops up but if you look at his backstory he was teaching himself CSS and blogging about what he was learning and that's how he came to be what he's doing now yeah so I think the best thing you could do would just be to even if you don't have readers or you don't think you have readers or anything like that just document yourself and put it online today I learned this or I had a client and they asked about this and here's what you know and eventually you have this monster thing of content that ends up yeah I mean making you authoritative to some people and that that's another great way to kind of become a premium consultant as to build up an audience Kathlyn had this lead exam thing you know yeah if worry started and Nathan very that's what Nathan I thought yeah we go we all do that we all I mean half of the reason I just gave a workshop here and was asked to speaker was cuz all I do is talk about what I'm doing lon you know what I'm learning in how this isn't working the way I thought it would and oh this is what ended up working and so on and you know it's all the stuff didn't come overnight it's just a culmination of learning in public yes every yeah so okay so for a lot of the beginner developer beginner developers or developers or experienced I think freelancing it's a really good way to get into kind of the tips you shared like maybe even get in a non-technical way in the start just so you can kind of get the freelancing skill down the business skills down so yeah and you start really focusing on the value right like for example I had this one student who joined our program at profitable programmer he got a client to build her website and then he's like trying to build her website and he's spending so much time using it trying to build it with Python and Django and I asked him like what does she need and he said like contact page and bounce me pitch I'm like why don't you just use Squarespace and then he kind of got in a fight with me almost where he's like well that's what you know Python and Django and that's what the course was about and I'm like nobody who here's what the course was about this is what you should do it'll take you five minutes yeah at the end of the day Django and Squarespace are both emitting HTML and Squarespace is probably doesn't a bit easier and a bit in this case like you said if they need a marketing site they don't there's nothing dynamic about it like what you need Python for dry off like there's nothing you don't need a proper CMS in that sense yes so but yeah I mean you should still like if a client needs that genuinely then by all means yeah yep and I do think there's a bit of like having them having to detach like oh because I'm learning the skill in it must be this way yeah honestly when I started freelancing I kind of got I started very early like three to six months into my just picking up coding alright somebody I posted ads on Craigslist for tutoring somebody called me and like we need a login system authentication system like blah blah they're like can you do it I'm like I'm your man yeah I had no idea what I was doing at that point and I was that's when I actually started learning yeah and I went so Pat Flynn was talking about just-in-time learning so that really resonated with me and a lot of what you're talking about you know it sounds like to take the practical steps first maybe even start earning an income first and then write okay now for people who want to increase their freelancing rate so people who want to be able to charge premium pricing and since there are a lot of developers who aren't like freelancers yet I think what would be a valuable perspective for them is how do you how are you at some point able to charge more than say $35 an hour or $50 an hour or 150 dollars an hour so they could kind of visualize and see what that might look like so starting today they can you know start to frame themselves in that way yeah good question so easiest answer would be don't bill by don't pill for time I think that's the I think the problem is going for time is that you're ultimately reducing it down to how the sausage is made in the factory right like it's ultimately it's it's not focused on the outcome it's focused on the time required to deliver an outcome I always butcher the there's this example people give of like some IBM consultant in the 50s who goes into this thing there's a hammer the hammer hits the thing any charges 50 grand right and they're like why are you charging so much money to he's like all the experience at wouldn'ta knowing where it is women hammer yeah right so it's probably Picasso something like that to where there's a car he throws his painting in the garbage or something a lady comes and picks it up and he asked her to pay for and she'd like you just threw it in the garbage or whatever and she's like I saw you it took you only one minute he said no it took me like 15 years right right exactly exactly so my condensed answer to this is always I have a kind of a process that I guess I teach where the first step is I call it Socratic questioning but it's basically just a way to find out why are you here like so peel back the layers so they come to you and they say they need a website build all right well why do you need this website built well the old website is not working so they're firing the old website well why are they firing like what specifically is making it not work and what led them to this point where they woke up today and reached out to somebody like me so try to feel try to figure out exactly what is the business case behind what they're bringing the table because they're typically not bringing unless they're coming to you as a consultant they're coming and saying I need a new website built or I need an apple or something like that so if you can figure out why and then I move into trying to what I call quantifying the financial upside which is all right so you know if things go if this does change what effect would this have on your business so the example I like to give is there was a I'm probably gonna scrub some of the numbers because it was a while back but basically I had a student of mine who ended up selling a redesign for a rehab clinic okay right so you know he was thinking all right so how I'm gonna sell them on a new website for this clinic so what do you know designer/developer he was I think he was using an off-the-shelf template and just coding it all on WordPress or something so what he did was he worked with them and started with so you know tell me about your business all right you get people come in for like drug rehabilitation and so on what is the value of a patient for you so if you get a new somebody checks themselves in what's what's that worth and it was something like $30,000 right okay so then he then he kind of worked backward and said well I can't affect that that's I can't help them with pricing that so I need to kind of work backwards and find out where do I find intersection with me so then he asked so all right so how many how do you get a new patient and they're like well you know people call in or fill out our contact form and what it was trying to get out is what percentage of people who do that turn into a patient yes for them it was 10% so he's like alright so a lead is effectively worth 3 grand $3,000 for lead right so then he drilled him further and he basically said so if if the job of the website is not just to be a website it's to generate leads that turn into $3,000 contacts yeah that's my goal here right is to help you if I can get you one more lead a month that's $36,000 net new revenue over the next year and he focused on that he focused entirely on that yes so he ended up quoting them 20 grand for a 5 page website or something like that which seems insane but he anchored what he caught what he charged against that and he wasn't selling a 5 page website he was selling $3,000 a month in net new revenue right so I know a lot of people hear that especially developer types they're like oh that's cheating that's Bulova but the end of the day that's what people that's what the job of the website is not just to throw another skin on something it's to say they want a new website because they are hoping the website will get them more patients so if I can figure out how that deal flow works I can then sell to that and say my only job is my job isn't to build your new website my job is to get you more leads you know and focus on that and that's what he ended up doing and that's why everyone else quoting much lower prices like the guy it's funny I I give that story a lot and years ago that's doing my first video course yeah and I just post on Facebook like hey I need looking to do of like a four or five hour video course anyone local anyway do you know anyone local who like does video editing and stuff and you can come in and film it I got all these local people who full-time day jobs and stuff they're like yeah I can edit stuff like charge like 30 bucks an hour to edit or whatever else and I was talking all of them and then I have a student of mine who had heard that I was looking to do a video course because I was tweeting it and he's like hey I want to come in and direct your next video course and I want to tell you when you're going off on a tangent and when you're screwing up and all this stuff my goal is to help you make it so your students are like this was badass and I'm gonna tell everyone I can about this and that you know we're together a badass trailer and it's gonna be like you're gonna get more sales and more referrals and this and that and I was like this guy speaking my language like this is what I want to hear yes and I paid him $22,000 for a video course which at 30 an hour for however many hours of editing would have been a lot cheaper and I just said I need somebody to come in and just sit in front of me with a camera and then go to you know premiere and edit it for a bunch or you know whatever with him II saying I'm yeah I'm doing all that but my job is not my job is to help you make an amazing product not just edit video yeah so I think that's an example of like where that's what I want to hear cuz to me he's low risk I don't need to worry that I'm gonna make a stupid video course that doesn't make any sense to people and I go and I ramble and this and that he's like I want to make I want to keep you from yourself protect you from yourself by making sure you build the right thing yes and I was paid him I didn't even flinch it was like this that's you know I knew he's like so when you're gonna be charging for the course I told him it's like I say you only need like 40 new sales to make this worthwhile yes so that makes it really simple for you yeah right exactly yeah and now you are you know you are a founder of a SAS company so now this is something that a lot of developers want to be able to do it's your dream to be able to build their own software as a service company build their own product and be able to actually sell it so this must be like one you know really amazing experience for you to actually build it out but how did you build it and how do you market this now yeah it's a good question so the SAS is called write message which is just website personalization and conversion software yeah but what's interesting about the backstory is remember I mentioned I built in me publicly I learned in public yeah so I was learning about at the time I was using trip I was learning about what I can do with it for email marketing and so on I'm using convertkit now that's a different story yeah what I did was I didn't say I want to build software I was doing it for myself with custom code on my own site it's kind of working right and I was tweeting about it I was sharing it on public you know and blog post and so on talking about it with just friends violence and so on and so forth eventually dad got some companies saying hey I'd love to you know talk to you about doing that for us so I mentioned I don't do consulting anymore but I was a few years back to in consulting on a limited scale to say I want to see if what worked for me worked for others you know this stuff that I covered like today yeah so I had about ten clients over the span of about a year and a half how I did this with I individually sold them on persons Asian right I I sold them on that yeah that led to a video course that I did so I got people who were seeing that I was doing this and they were like can't afford you as a consultant but can we you know he's do you have any thoughts about teaching me how to do this kind of stuff so I did a video course called master drip which is on automation personalization and have the Yammer session so I did that right and then I'm from that the biggest complaint there was all right I get all this but I'm a marketer and like how do I you gave me some sample code but what I do with this sample code right so that's like right message or my software product didn't come out of a vacuum and instead of came from doing a lot of consulting around the same problem where I was selling it in a high-touch way yeah and then I moved low touch with the video course where now I'm selling the same outcome or similar welcome learn it versus I'll do it for you yeah but you know I did that a bunch of times and sold a few hundred copies of that and then that finally gave me the confidence to say it is worthwhile building of team writing a lot of code and making it so we like I would not have because the mistake I made was I had a sass before this yeah that I started in 2011 called plan scope which is a project management tool that was built for freelancers and agencies because I ran an agency and I hated the tools I used so I did what most agency owners eventually do and they write their own right tool but I jump straight into software and didn't think about how I'd sell it and it just petered along and never did well I think at the most did I think four or five in revenue but that was you know it took I sold it in 2016 but started in 2011 and five years in it was only doing like you know four or five grand a month so like the mistake I made there was I wasn't focused with with what I'm doing now I focused on selling in a high priced consulting engagement the out the same outcome that my you know $79 month SAS delivers you know it's the same outcome I was selling it in a very we'll do it for you I'll do it all for you oh you know I'm a consultant I'll do it for your home break the code I'll think through your segmentation and all this stuff and then I shifted to I'll teach you how to do this yourself because I have experience yeah I've done this for 10 different companies now I have been around the block in that sense and I can teach you how you should do this yourself and then it turned into I want to build software that will do this with you yeah so I'll kind of cover that full spectrum so that's a lot of so basically we went from like beginner which should they should invest their time so if you are a complete beginner like actually start off maybe doing business stuff like learning about local businesses and focusing even on earning the income first and figuring out those skills and then jumping deeper and deeper into more technical coding in order to be able to increase your income to be able to charge a higher price you have to come off as investment you have to be as investment there should be an ROI on you so and not focusing so much on our own features and like what kind of tools and bells and whistles we can provide and we even touch based on you know building a sass or being able to market it which I think for most people that's something to aspire to do eventually I mean I know we have few people who actually have sass like whose we're doing really great with it but that's a lot fewer of the people but that's just something that I think a lot of developers want to think about and I think if they can think of it in terms of how can we provide value and reverse-engineer it like you did I think then it's much more likely to be successful you know I think that's what convertkit has been successful and they're doing 16 million dollars a year and I think that's why right message is getting so much I think a lot of people are jumping on it because there is you're providing a lot of value and there's a lot of human touch in there too right right like you were personally jumping in and helping a lot of people I think that's what convertkit did really well I really on it won't have it won't be a long-term thing but it needs you need to do that don't scale Paul Graham says these are things that don't scale yeah at first which is what you should be doing yep and even Gary Vee says that he says scale the unscalable yeah actually a lot so I think that is really important I think developers sometimes even try to run away from human stuff well people want to have the when I have their out they build yeah with a little signup page and they want to just wake up and have people paying for it that are paying so they can just code on it all day yes and they don't want to talk to anyone yep and unfortunately if you want to do it right you need to start with this just dialogue yet before you can turn it into a monologue so yeah and that's the safer approach I was the your quintessential typical developer who was like I want to get out of consulting I'm sick of clients oh and I just built an app and I just when I like sit back and like code on my app all day I play with cool frameworks and I love that and this is a lot much more of a risk-free approach because you're building things are going your reverse engineering so you kind of know it's gonna be profitable or successful before you even do it but you know it's not a quick thing it does take a long time so I think that developing your skills as a developer being in the market for a while being a consultant and really getting those skills down and then eventually to building us you know and multiple software is service type of businesses to finally get to the point where you are at you know so thank you so much Brennan this was awesome guys I've been following Brennan's material actually since 2016 I've learned a lot from him personally I learned a lot from double your freelancing rate and I think that if you are following me and you are a freelancer and you want to be able to increase your income you definitely want to go to double your freelancing Raycom double your feelings gonna double your feelings never redirect though but yeah they're the main websites double your feelings okay so double your free double your freelancing calm go there check out some of his material it's incredible really gonna help you to be able to charge what you're worth and charge higher premium pricing and I just want to say thank you so much for your time any last words no I just hopefully that's been helpful and yeah I mean reach out on Twitter I'm Brennan done if you want to say hi or just yeah have any questions yep so reach out on Twitter I'm sure he'll reply back to you with that said guys thank you so much for watching this is Kazi this is Brennan we love your face and as always I'll see you in the next