Productized Services July 15, 2020

Made $60k in 90 days through DesignJoy

Brett Williams @brettwill1025

Hey hey,

It's been awhile since I posted an update here, so I wanted to share what I've been up to.

A few months ago I really hit a wall with DesignJoy, in a good way one could argue. Business was simply overwhelming and demand for my service was greater than what I could provide. For about a 2 week period, I was running on about 2-3 hours of sleep daily. Because of this, I made some difficult decisions and scaled back. Here's what I did:

  • I cut ties with clients whose rate of efficiency was low. I never thought I would find myself in the position to do this, but I had to in order to save the relationship I had with more long term clients.

  • I increased my prices quite drastically. My lowest tier plan was increased 100%, and my highest tier was increased by about 25%. I also added in a premium plan offering Webflow development for double the price of my second most expensive plan.

I was super nervous about raising my prices, but I literally had no choice. I was going to drown in work (actually, I was already drowning). But it was honestly the best decision I have ever made. Has demand lessened for DesignJoy? Hardly. But the clients I am getting now are far better, easier to work with, and most of them understand the design process and have reasonable expectations. Oh, and they have funding which is really really nice.

The last thing I did was get rid of custom plans, and better standardized what my offerings are across plans. This was an immediate decrease of thousands of dollars a month in revenue, but again, it was necessary to keep things moving smoothly.

All that to say, I have reached an incredible milestone: $60k in just under 90 days, still running things completely solo with zero overhead. Also, I STILL haven't quit my full-time job for those of you who have been following. :]

What's next for DesignJoy? Exciting things! I'll soon be introducing add-ons like:

  • Slack communication (previously offered in the higher tier plans but recently removed)
  • Full-stack development
  • Robust motion design

Just to wrap up, I wanted to say how much I appreciate the support this community has show to me over the last several months. I've had the privilege of working with tons of you through DesignJoy, and you all are truly the best.

  1. 5

    Your landing page is extremely well done, no doubt a proof of concept for prospective clients.

    Do you have any books or resources that you'd recommend for someone who wants to learn to design beautiful pages like this?

    1. 5

      Thanks! I think it definitely draws people in. Being self-taught myself, I would recommend two things:

      1. Get really really reallly good at being technically capable of replicating good designs you come across. I don't mean coming up with design patterns and components yourself. I mean literally being able to copy them pixel-by pixel. *Obviously, don't copy other sites for real projects. This is simply for practicing purposes.

      2. Surround yourself with talented designers/designs. Engross yourself in sites like LandBook.com, Dribbble.com, Awwwards.com, etc. Pay attention to the aesthetics and layouts you see, and even create "buckets" in Dribbble where you store them away to reference later.

      Marrying these two things will allow you to produce incredible, orignal designs because you'll have both a solid vision of what good design is through the inspiration you digest frequently, and then have the technical know-how on how to execute on it.

      Both of these steps are crucial for being able to design beautiful landing pages, or anything for that matter.

      1. 1

        That’s very good advice. It’s the same with a lot of creative skills. Imitate until you can originate.

  2. 2

    How is this feasible? Unlimited custom work for a fixed price. I've been working as in a SW and design agency for the last 5 years and would love to hear you pull this off. Our contracts are typically based on hourly pricing.

    1. 3

      Most unlimited design services outsource their work overseas. Design Pickle, the largest design subscription service, outsources to the Phillippines and pays their designers $6/hr on average. DesignJoy, on the other than, is currently a solo operation with a much higher price point. I have zero overhead aside from my time. Obviously, scaling an operation like this while maintaining quality is my largest hurdle I have to get past, which is another reason for the increase is price.

      1. 2

        Cool, thanks. It sounds like in the longer term it really becomes a question of client vetting, making sure you have those clients that like the stability of a retainer, but don't require excessive amount of work. But it sounds like you're doing well and can do that now so good on you man!

  3. 2

    Awesome update on the journey. It's an innovative way to run a consultancy.

    1. 1

      Thanks so much!

  4. 2

    Hey, congrats on the success. How did your customers first learn about your product?

      1. 1

        awesome thanks

  5. 2

    What exactly are you doing with that much money and that little time? xD

    1. 6

      Haha I mean I paid cash for a Tesla? 😂

  6. 2

    Some great lessons here.

    I always appreciate your updates. 😊

    1. 1

      Well thank you. :)

  7. 1

    Okay, you had me at: "still running things completely solo" with a "full-time job"? Huh? What? How? LOL

    How many clients does DesignJoy serve at this point?

    Last but not least, CONGRATS! Wishing you even more success. Your designs look incredible (judging by your site as well).

  8. 1

    Hey Bret, you're a machine :p.
    I would like to launch a productized service myself for mobile app UI only but I'm super hesitant cause I don't know if it's something people would want and I know that it's a hard thing to productize. Any advice on how to pull that off ? Thanks a lot Bret.

    1. 1

      Thats really good Idea, i am thinking of creating a market place where user can order frontend for their Restful app, like to quality reusable UI in modern javascript.

  9. 1

    Do your customers want more or less designs in your own site’s style, or do they also brief you with entirely different styles?

    If so, can you pull off pretty much anything, or are there certain styles you’re just not that good at and would therefore turn down the customer?

  10. 1

    Congrats Sir!

    Somewhat off topic: what do you use to animate the icons on your site? :)

  11. 1

    That is a huge achievement, Brett. How was it working with Kevin O'Leary?

    :)

  12. 1

    Wow you're killing it! Nice work Brett. 😊👍

  13. 1

    This is great. MAny congrats. You filled me with a lot of joy and enthusiasm and made my day.

    You’re in a situation that doesn’t occur to even the most successful entrepreneurs. Enjoy it. Maybe it’s time to go full time.

    May I ask how you got $60k worth of traction in such a short span.

  14. 1

    Love it. I'm thinking about doing this for React UI component work.

  15. 1

    This is awesome Brett. I love DesignJoy! The designs are stellar

    1. 1

      Awesome, thanks @jelanisince94

  16. 1

    I absolutely love what you've built. It reminds me 100% of the story in the book "Built To Sell."

    I can't believe you're working on this product whilst maintaining a full time job.

    How large is your team for DesignJoy?

    1. 1

      @sosa067 It's just been me up until this point, but currently looking to onboard more designers now!

      1. 3

        I just cant wrap my head around how you have the bandwidth to provide unlimited designs.

        I'm guessing that most clients requests are just something really small, and they enjoy the thought of having you on retainer, rather than actually using you 24/7 for design requests?

  17. 1

    Congrats on the success - seems like you hit the ideal conditions for raising prices. I would have quit my day job a long time ago if I were in your shoes! 🤣

    1. 1

      Thanks! I'm about the smallest risk taker there is out there, so...yeah. :]