22 search results for “Gavin Ballard”

Announcing The Shopify Commerce Awards — Celebrating 2017’s Best in Commerce Innovation

Announcing The Shopify Commerce Awards — Celebrating 2017’s Best in Commerce Innovation

Shopify Commerce Awards

If you’ve recently wrapped up a commerce project that was unique, innovative, and pushed the boundaries of excellence, we want to hear from you!

Today, we’re pleased to announce The Shopify Commerce Awards — our newest competition celebrating Shopify Partners, Developers, and Affiliates everywhere.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Why we’ve widened the search and skillsets to 16 new awards categories.
  • Who our industry expert judges are.
  • About our VIP prizes, including tickets to Unite conference 2018.

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A Day with Shopify 2017: Announcing Speakers and Sessions

A Day with Shopify 2017: Announcing Speakers and Sessions

A Day With Shopify 2017 speakers and sessions

Curious about who will be talking, teaching, and inspiring at this year’s A Day with Shopify?

Today, we’re pleased to announce the speakers for A Day with Shopify 2017, our series of one-day conferences aimed at helping you become a more successful Shopify Partner.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Which speakers and topics will be presented at each A Day with Shopify tour stop.
  • About pre-event mixers, discounts, and how to register for office hours.
  • How members of underrepresented groups in tech can get free tickets.

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10 Pieces of Advice for Scaling Your Web Design Business

10 Pieces of Advice for Scaling Your Web Design Business

Freelance web design tips

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Are you a freelance web designer? This comprehensive guide will show you everything you need to start fuelling the growth of your business

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We’ve all seen stories of designers who quit their day-jobs to freelance, only to end up building a design empire from the ground up. While those who choose to start freelancing possess an unrivalled ambition, it takes a unique mix of strategic thinking and tenacity to scale a one-person operation into a fully developed business that manages dozens of employees and clients.

Luckily at Shopify, we’ve had the pleasure of working alongside many individuals who have found success building profitable web design firms — all from their humble beginnings as freelancers. And in the supportive nature of our community, we asked ten of them to share the biggest factors that influenced the growth of their businesses to help those of you striving to do the same.

We hope their insights will inspire you to push forward when things get tough, and overcome the growing pains that come along with scaling any business.

You might also like: 10 Successful Web Designers Share Their Best Advice for Aspiring Freelancers

1. Start pushing your limits

“I think testing your bandwidth is so important. We really started growing when we decided to take on a ton of work. We had no idea what we were capable of until we backed ourselves into a corner with an obscene workload. My advice would be to take on more work than you can handle, discover your limit, then use that as a catalyst for growth.”

— Nick van Gorden, Duck & Cover.

2. Provide customer service that people will never forget

“In addition to building a great website, we use tools to make the process really smooth, we set clear timelines, and always deliver on time. After a project completes, we send hand-written thank you cards, and sometimes even a bottle of wine. These small touches have helped immensely with referrals and clients returning for more work.”

— Tristan King, Shopify Ninjas.

3. Position yourself as an industry expert

“The best thing I've done to help grow my business has been simply sharing what I know and teaching others. It was a little counterintuitive at first — it kind of felt like giving away trade secrets — but over time it's positioned me as an expert in the field. Nowadays, clients are often seeking me out specifically because I've helped them or someone they know in the past via a blog post, workshop, or forum comment.”

— Gavin Ballard, Disco.

4. Focus on your client’s needs, not your own 

“I think the biggest factor that has helped us grow is our dedication to our clients. It’s putting the effort into understanding what our customers are really looking for and developing service packages that are tailored to their needs. It is all about what your client is buying, not what you think you are selling.”

— Kim Carruthers, eChic.

5. Specialize your design services

“Finding a focus is incredibly important for freelancers. Existing as a specialist rather than a generalist in the microcosm of creative services means that you will accumulate a great deal of valuable knowledge that goes far beyond what's available via any online resource. This means you’ll have a better chance of winning projects and delivering stronger, better products in less time.”

— Natasha Murphy, Nicely Built.

You might also like: 8 Actionable Tips for Running a Creative Agency and Getting More Business

6. Value people over profits

“As simple as it sounds, it’s affected every single part of our business. We truly believe our success is tied to the businesses we interact with. If we’re making other businesses become better, we’re going to see the long-term benefits of this. We’re proud to have multiple Shopify clients we have worked with going on seven years now. They know we always give honest answers, bill them fairly, and are quick to respond. Our availability and reliability matter more to our clients than any other aspects of the relationship. If you can build healthy relationships, you can build a healthy freelancing business.”

— Andrew Johnson, Rehash.

7. Build the right team

“Having a clear vision to bring in the right people is so important. Hiring my incredibly talented, driven, and passionate team is the best business decision I've ever made and has been immensely influential at fueling the growth of our company.”

— Sara Mote, Sara Mote.

8. Target a niche market

“The biggest change in my business' growth happened when I decided to be more niche. I had been working as a freelance web designer for a few years already, but was trying to get clients that needed a little bit of everything. At first I thought this was a great idea, however I was having trouble getting clients consistently. I came to realize it was better to be really good at one thing instead of good at a lot of things. So I went niche by focusing solely on ecommerce. Through this I was able to really craft my message to speak exactly to my target market's goals, needs, and fears.”

— Elle McCann, Curious Themes.

9. Trust your intuition about clients

“My biggest advice is to trust your intuition at all times. I can tell from the first phone call if the client is going to be too difficult to work with and, trust me, it’s better to walk away from a bad situation than endure it. I've learned that I can be more productive and creative when I'm not limited by the stress and anxiety that some clients are all too willing to inflict. I'm happier and less stressed, and that’s been reflected in the work I produce.”

— Rachel Farabaugh, Bohemian and Chic.

10. Leverage industry partnerships

“For us, partnering with Shopify has been incredibly influential in scaling our agency. We have made a conscious decision to focus 100% on designing and building ecommerce websites on the Shopify platform. From building features to recruiting and project management, sticking to a single, supported platform like Shopify will allow you to hit every pitch, even if it is a curveball.”

— Chris Pointer, Pointer Creative.

What are some of the biggest factors that influenced your growth? Let us know in the comments below.

You might also like: From Freelance to Agency: Advice for Growing Your Team

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The Essential List of Resources for Shopify App Development

The Essential List of Resources for Shopify App Development

Shopify App Development Resources: Email

Whether you’re building a Shopify app for the first time, or you’re an experienced developer looking to grow your business, there are guides, blog posts, webinars, and documentation that can help you along the way.

We've rounded up a list of great Shopify app development resources that will help you through various stages of your app development journey.

Some topics include:

  • Shopify app building tutorials
  • Information on APIs
  • Front end development
  • Launching and marketing your app
  • Customer service

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12 Essential Tips to Get Your Site and App Ready for Black Friday/Cyber Monday

12 Essential Tips to Get Your Site and App Ready for Black Friday/Cyber Monday

black friday cyber monday

Black Friday/Cyber Monday is fast approaching, and it’s time to prepare your clients' stores for the manic shopping extravaganza.

To help get your clients' apps and sites ready, we asked a range of ecommerce experts for their advice on preparing for the big weekend.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • 12 different ways you can plan ahead for BFCM
  • How planning will help you and your client get focused and maximize sales
  • Best practices directly from ecommerce experts

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17 Incredible Ecommerce Trends That Will Boost Your Sales in 2017

17 Incredible Ecommerce Trends That Will Boost Your Sales in 2017

ecommerce trends 2017: email

We've already predicted how the web will evolve in the next 12 months — but what about ecommerce?

We quizzed some of the brightest minds in ecommerce to forecast the biggest trends. Follow these exciting developments, and you will boost your sales in 2017.

In this article, you'll learn:

  • What industry experts see for the coming year
  • How personalization, augmented reality, and mobile ecommerce design will play out in 2017
  • What resources you should be reading and watching 

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The Counter-Intuitive Approach to Getting Your First Client

The Counter-Intuitive Approach to Getting Your First Client

Positioning your design agency

The first client is always the hardest to get. For any new business, no matter how compelling your offer is, if no one has heard of you, they can’t hire you.

No one knows this better than Shopify Expert Kurt Elster. Before running a profitable ecommerce consultancy, Kurt was faced with the challenge of finding new clients and building a business from scratch. 

In this article, Kurt shares what he learned from growing his own design business as well as his advice for designers or developers looking to land their first client.

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Why We Created Timber, Shopify’s Theme Framework (& Why You Should Use It)

Why We Created Timber, Shopify’s Theme Framework (& Why You Should Use It)


I personally talk about the benefits of Timber a lot. Designers and developers that aren’t experienced with Shopify are eager to hear how it can help them get started on our platform and I love being able to help them learn. One area I don’t talk enough about is the process involved in creating the theme framework and how it all came together.

In this blog post, I'll share where the idea for Timber came from, the steps we took to make it a reality, and how you can use it to your advantage as a Shopify Partner.

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