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Dec 30, 2018 13:09:17

launch a design business from zero (Futur notes)

by @flowen PATRON | 703 words | 🐣 | 44💌

lowen flowen

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Video source: How to launch a Creative Business from Zero

Why do you want to start a design business?

Can you afford to fail? Do you have responsibilities? Dependencies? 

Do you want to manage? Are you capable of letting go of the actual work? So instead you'll start managing people and let others do programming, designing, creating, etc.

How risk-averse or risk-tolerant are you?

Have leadership(people)-skills.

Still in it? Let's go. 

You need:

- Portfolio: but it is not enough. 

1. runway
2. legal (business number, bank, permit, etc)
3. #sidehustle

1. Runway

Have 3 months of money to pay for rent, food, utilities, etc. 
Stay lean: buy cheap 2nd hand stuff, rent out a room from your house, basically don't waste any money on anything you don't need.

Now you have power in negotiations. You can say NO to jobs.

Sales & marketing

1. Who are your customers?
2. How will they find you?
3. How will you solve their problems?

Sales & conversion funnel. 

Before a transaction is made, they need to know who you are. 

How can you be in front of the buyer? 

Portfolio sites: Behance, Dribble, Tumblr
Social media marketing: youtube, IG, Tw, FB, 
Articles on Medium, LinkedIn

- How responsive are you when you're contacted?
- How clearly communicate do you communicate?

These were questions from audience and I noted the answers I found interesting:

Best platform for motion designer: Where are buyers looking? 
* Vimeo
* Motionographer
Basically you need a credible person saying it's great work.

Look for 'motion blog'. Find the best sites this way.
If you find the blog, you can find through their network, connections, followers or hashtags.

Create stories around the product you made. Post it. Market it. Share it. Forward it. 

How would you tackle renegotiating rates with old clients?

"Start with gratitude if a client has been paying you for a while. 


"We've been growing and I'm not in the position anymore where I can give you the same work for the same rate. I'm charing you 50/h and all other clients 200/h. that's a pretty big jump and as a token of my appreciation, I want to give you a cold discount loyalty rate of 125/h. If that's what you would like to do, we can continue our relationship, if not, I have other people in my network that I can refer you to."

"Should I specialize in one type of design or should I take every job that comes?"

 Yes. Take everything, hire others, but be selective in what you show to the world. 

T-scale. Go deep, not wide. Have depth in your game, be good in what you do, be a specialist. You will cost more money.

What structures do I need to set in place (finance/workflow/invoicing) so I can have more jobs at once?

1 job at a time should be enough. 

Be good at asking questions. Formulate them well, don't hide multiple questions into one.

If I get a project that I don't have the skills for, how so I contract it out to other designers? 

Contact people how to do it. Figure it out yourself and/or bring in a partner how to do this.

Is it possible to sell assurance to a prospective client without a proven track record of professional experience?

yes, absolutely. Be upfront and honest about it. Convince the client you can. Let them know you need to contact your friends and you'll get back to them with an answer. Make sure you can solve their problem.

Say: that's a really good concern you just raised. I honestly don't have the answer for you right now, but let me contact my people

Never say "don't worry about it".

Give a money-back guarantee - but use sparingly.

Reputation is more important than taking more projects.

If you got loads of projects, bump up your rate until your work averages out.

How to identify market needs?

All companies in the world need:
- identity design
- social media marketing
- web presence

Branding and marketing is the umbrella for all 3.

If you work in these fields, you can work for almost all companies in the world.

  • 1

    @flowen thanks for sharing! cool actionable tips

    Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Dec 30, 2018 13:48:02
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