How Brett of DesignJoy hit $50k MRR (plus a recap of the latest milestones)

In a 12-hour time period, DesignJoy's MRR jumped by $5k, bringing revenue to an incredible $50k/mo. That's 2.5x growth in eight months. And @brettwill1025 did it as a solo founder. Wondering how? Well, I did some digging — here's the scoop:

  • Referrals. Brett says this is the number one tool for DesignJoy's growth. It's all about having a stellar product that people want to talk about — especially big clients like Dave Gerhardt. They also launched a refer-a-friend feature that brought in an extra $1500 on the first day alone. Brett says getting a legitimate referral system set up through Rewardful made the process way easier and allowed affiliates to start referring immediately.
  • Pricing. They recently raised the monthly price for each tier by about 50%. The goal was to manage growth (and workload), but the result was more money and better clients.
  • Timing. Webflow has become popular recently and Brett, seeing the opportunity ahead of time, positioned DesignJoy as one of the best sources.
  • Side-project marketing. Brett has a side project (Scribbbles) on Gumroad that brings a ton of traffic to DesignJoy.
  • Product Hunt launch and Hacker News. Rewinding a bit, Brett hit originally hit $5k MRR through a Product Hunt launch. Later, DesignJoy hit the front page of Hacker News.
  • Hard work. Brett also admits to working an unhealthy amount (and loving the grind). It seems to be paying off. But everyone has their limit, and it sounds like Brett will bring someone else on board soon.

As far as how Brett handles it as a solo founder, it's simple (but a little scary 😱): Focus on output, spend very little time on client communication, admin work, emails, etc. Yes, it does cause some churn, but Brett thinks it's worth it. There's also a zero-tolerance policy for clients that drag the process down. Big asterisk: Your output has to be immaculate for this to work.

🏆 Top Milestones

😬 Struggle Bus

  • @julesmaregiano closed ClapClub after two years. Why? LinkedIn closed their account and got lawyers involved. Plus, it couldn't make money (due to the APIs being used). And Jules didn't feel passionate about it anyway. So it's bittersweet, but Jules is excited to work on something a bit more inspiring.

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  1. 4

    @jamesvandyne Couldn't have summarized it better myself - thanks for gathering those points together so perfectly. 🙌

    1. 1

      My pleasure 🙏 Congrats on all you've achieved!

  2. 2

    Wow, awesome.
    Am tying to think of how I can mimic the referral idea for my project weblister.co.

    1. 1

      Nice, good luck! 💪

  3. 1

    Scribble is a product for designers, why would a designer buy a subscription from a design service ?

    1. 1

      Great question! The side project brings in a lot of traffic to DesignJoy, but I'm unclear on how much of that traffic converts.

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