Angelo Frisina has more than 20 years of experience as a professional musician, collaborating with several artists and touring the world. If you are confused since Website Planet
is not a music website, don’t worry: he saw an opportunity designing websites and that was the start for Sunlight Media LLC
, a web & mobile app development firm.
We asked Angelo how he juggled those two activities and what makes Sunlight Media different, serving many clients and winning awards in this decade-long journey. Check out the interview below.
How did you go from being a seasoned musician to web designer?
I toured and traveled all over the world and the US and stumbled into web design because it was an easy job to have while you are on the road.
All I needed was a laptop and an internet connection to allow me to do projects in an airport, hotel room or waiting for a soundcheck. There’s a lot of downtime when you are a musician. So, I was able to take on small web design projects while I was on tour. It was a convenient job to have.
When did you have the idea for Sunlight Media?
While I was on tour. I’d be getting multiple requests for websites or graphic design and other stuff. I was knocking back a lot of work because I was not able to take on multiple projects, since I was just a freelancer.
So, I decided to build a team of freelance graphic designers, web developers and digital marketers and was able to take on multiple projects and focus my skills primarily on project management and quality assurance.
Now, I have several project managers doing that for me and my primary focus is business development. It was a gradual transition from music as a one-man freelancer into building an agency and a reliable award winning team.
What do you think differentiate Sunlight Media from other businesses in its highly competitive environment?
I believe everything is competitive. Being a musician in Los Angeles is competitive, for instance. But it’s about quality of service. If you do a good job, you communicate well with the client, provide competitive pricing and market your services well, then you can succeed. So, I strongly believe in quality customer service.
Our online reputation also speaks volumes for the type of quality services we provide. Sunlight media currently have over 50 five star reviews and have one multiple industry awards. I also focus a lot of attention to organic SEO and Google Maps optimization. Currently, our Google Map listing dominates local search for any Los Angeles location keyword for, website design, web development, website designer etc.
Obviously, you don’t need to share your secrets but what is your main focus to retain clients? When clients reach you, what are your first steps to create a good relationship?
The initial conversations basically determines what clients need, making sure we have a full understanding of their specific needs. If it’s a website build from scratch, we make sure to understand the full scope of the project and the specific features and functions they need. We send them formal quotes and go back and forth, with questions until the project scope is finalized and accurate.
Then, if they approve, we create a formal proposal, listing in detail what they are going to get, what we provide and what they can expect from us. So, it’s important to communicate clearly, to avoid any discrepancies or misunderstandings.
Retaining the client comes down to good quality service. Delivering what we promise on time and within budget. If you can do that, the client will be pleased and will come back for repeat business. We’ve been working with some clients for over 10 years and do our best to retain them through good communication, good quality service and competitive pricing.
You offer a diverse set of services: digital marketing, mobile web design, web design… Which one is bigger or more important?
I’d say our two primary services are custom web design and app development. We do a lot of custom WordPress sites, ecommerce sites. We work with Magento, Shopify, Joomla, custom PHP. We also do iOS and Android development.
Apart from those two primary focuses, our secondary service is digital marketing such as – SEO, social media management, PPC ads, link-building, and email outreach.
What are the biggest mistakes you see companies make when they create a website or establish a digital presence?
Many of them cut corners and hire cheap designers and developers from platforms like Fiverr and end up getting low quality websites that don’t render well on mobile phones, tablets or desktops. They purchase low quality hosting accounts that slow down the site, present security flaws and don’t give the customer a good user experience.
What are Sunlight Media’s plans for the next e to 5 years?
To grow into a bigger company with a bigger team, handling larger scale projects. We’re planning to secure more government contracts in the coming years for web development and app development services.
Government agencies are starting to take note of mobile app services, so I think we’re going to secure larger projects there. I strongly believe we’re going to secure bigger corporate clients, larger scale projects and continue to be successful.