What a whirlwind of a year it has been. This year, DesignJoy saw massive growth (I'm talking a 268% revenue increase). As concisely as I can, I'll run you through how I believe that happened. And no, not one of these events required a single cent to be spent. Without further-a-do, here we go:
Though I rarely publish updates on this platform, the IH community has been truly amazing to me. The relationships I've formed, the advice I've received, and the opportunity to work directly with dozens of you has been incredible. I really couldn't have done it without you 🙏.
In May of this year, I was fortunate enough to make it to the front page of Hacker News. I've always heard it's like striking gold whenever you can do so, and I feel that the event lived up to my expectations.
My side project "Scribbbles", a free vector set of, you guesed it...scribbles has done extremely well this year, with over 20,000 downloads. I built this collection and launched it in 24 hours, but the impact it has had on referrals to DesignJoy has been very impactful. I recently changed the price from free to $4, and I make about $60-70 per week via Gumroad. Not bad for something that I spent so little time on. But it's like icing on the cake compared to the traffic it sends to DesignJoy.co.
In July of this year, I increased the price of my most popular design plan from $849 to $1149. I also introduced a Webflow option at $1699, as well as an Enterprise plan (really, just a custom plan option). My goal with this was simple; make more money, but work less. Turns out I made more money, but didn't exactly end up working less. What I found here was that the type of clients signing up to use my serviced seemingly changed overnight. I went from working with bootstrappers and indie hackers to high tier agencies and enterprise companies. This is nice because they actually tend to require less, understand more, and have the budget to support an ongoing subscription. I know I have a ton of head room with my pricing.
Just this month I officially launched an affiliate program, and the same day I did I made over $1,500. I had worked with several affiliates before which generated a ton of referrals, but setting up a legitimate referral system through Rewardful has taken the headache out of managing payments, etc. It has also allowed want-to-be affiliates to sign up themselves and start referring right away, instead of having to go through me. I predict this will be a solid revenue generator in 2021.
In July of this year, along with my price hikes, I introduced Webflow support more prominitely on the website, and even created a plan for it. The price currently sits at $1699/m, and this has quickly become the most chosen plan, regardless of the fact it is the highest price option. DesignJoy is one of the few, if not the only, productized service specializing in the platform, and the world is quickly taking note of its power. This was probably the single most impactful thing I did in 2020, and I expect this to only grow in popularity next year.
A few months ago, I recently made the switch from Sketch to Figma for all my design work. I've been putting it off the entire year, but recently decided to jump in with both feet, and I gotta say... I'm never looking back. This has allowed clients to check in on progress of their requests in real time, always having access to the latest versions and assets. It has also made prototyping and collecting feedback a breeze. I honestly don't know why I didn't do this sooner. I'll never be using Sketch again. The experience on my mine and the client's end is soooo much better.
I've actually found myself in a positon to be a little picky with who I work with, and who I don't. When you're trying to grow and drive revenue, often you'll work with whoever you can, whenever you can - even if they aren't the ideal candidate. I'm no longer in that position. If someone signs up for DesignJoy and I realize right away we aren't the right fit, I terminate the relationship immediately. Since I run DesignJoy alone, I have to protect my client base. If I have one client dragging the process down, taking up to much of my energy, or quite frankly being rude - I have zero tolerance for it, and I can't express how liberating it feels. At the end of the day, I only work with who I want to work with, and that makes such a difference.
If you've read this far, kudos to you. I could probably go on for awhile longer, but I think I've hit the high points. Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment with any questions, and I'll certainly address them all. Happy new year, friends!