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100 Comments

My solo design service just hit $50k MRR 🤑

I can’t even believe I just wrote those words. DesignJoy is experiencing absolutely insane growth right now

In the last 12 hours alone, I’ve added 4 subscriptions, which total over $5k/month in revenue.

I think it’s about time I get some help. 😅

Here’s the 3 things that have contributed to my growth the most:

  • Webflow has grown in popularity over the last year and tech companies are finally realizing it’s the future of landing page development. DesignJoy has been positioned to be one of the best sources for it, and one of the few at that. It doesn’t hurt too that it’s my most expensive plan. If you’re looking for your next productized service, hint hint.

  • Two weeks ago I raised my prices:

$1,149 > $1,599/m
$1,699 > $1,999/m

Every time I raise my prices, my reason for doing so is always to manage growth. Ironically though, I only end up making more money and working with better clients. I can hardly complain about that though.

  • Last but most importantly, referrals. The fact that I’ve never paid a cent on marketing speaks to how important this is to DesignJoy. It continues to be my #1 most valuable tool for growth, and that’s simply a result of producing the best work you can get in the design subscription space.
  1. 9

    Amazing to be still running it just by yourself!

    1. 1

      @rosiesherry yes, but not sure how much longer that will be the case!

  2. 4

    Congratulations! Are you working with a team, or outsourcing the work?

    1. 3

      I manage everything myself, actually.

      1. 2

        So impressive! Congrats!

  3. 3

    You said you raised the prices, but your website shows even higher prices crossed out next to them.

    Are you using this technique to show fake higher prices to convey a larger value of your offering?

    Apparently it seems to work for you well.

  4. 3

    Thats awesome! How do you acquire customers?

    1. 2

      Referrals, referrals, referrals.

  5. 2

    Congrats! I think there is still a big opportunity in creating web templates / design kits. A few years ago, while I was still at Froala, we made a design kit and it was hot on PH - https://www.producthunt.com/posts/froala-design-blocks-2.

    What you should be aware is that when you raise the prices, you will go to a new market segment, leaving the previous one. That means that new players can come and enter the segment you left and one day those might be strong competitors. I think it's best to keep a lower tier version as well.

    1. 1

      I’ve had so many ideas around the template space, specifically for Webflow. Just don’t have the time to work on any of them. But I think you’re right.

      In terms of market position, at $1,599/m my prices are still just half of what companies like Superside charge, and the quality is far superior since they outsource overseas. But I think you have a point should I go too far. I’m just not trying to even complete with the lower tier options out there. There is a reason enterprise companies aren’t running to them, and to DesignJoy instead. I’d rather keep it that way.

  6. 2

    I was curious, I see that you have a refer-a-friend option. How many of the new signup is from there?

    1. 2

      I just recently launched that, but it’s done amazingly well for me! Can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner.

      1. 1

        How many of the new signup is from there?

  7. 1

    When you raise your prices, that’s for new clients only or also for current subscribers?

  8. 1

    That's great Brett, I think I'll apply your strategy for Latin America. Thanks.

  9. 1

    Congrats on hitting $50k MRR that's incredible!! Nice testimonial from Kevin btw.

    I'm a cofounder of a SEO firm and I wanted to see if you'd be interested in being referral partners?

    We have a handful of clients a year ask about design, and it'd be good to have somewhere to send them. Plus, we have a 10% referral fee for the life of the client.

    Would you have time to jump on the horn with my cofounder and I this week or next?

  10. 1

    I'm late to the party, I know, but I'll shoot a question anyway.

    When you first started, how do you show people that you know what you're talking about and can actually deliver things?

  11. 1

    Man, this is SICK! I love the idea of messing up the traditional design agency model. Who is your customer?

  12. 1

    I don't totally get it. What are people paying for? Why is it monthly? Are you essentially a produtivized design service? How long do people stay on for?

  13. 1

    Congrats! hope is manageable.
    how do you deal with changes of unlimited requests/revisions etc if things get overwhelming? Also on adding personal designer on slack channel, you do the chats most of the time?

  14. 1

    How is your service different from Theme Forest which sells these designs for $20?

  15. 1

    Congratulations Brett! Your success is inspiring! Maybe a silly question, but do you create everything from scratch or use some other services as well (templates) which you then put together? I wish to be able to build similar designs one day <3 Any learning tips maybe, some resources you could recommend? Thanks!!

    1. 1

      I hate working with templates, so I never do.

  16. 1

    Brett, what is the secret sauce, how can you handle this? I am designer and I discussed your project with fellow designers and it is impossible to handle so many clients like you have. Are you alone or are you work with fellow freelancers and you are more project coordinator?

    Keep it up! :-)

    1. 1

      I have never had help in anyway; design, project management, nothing.

  17. 1

    I love the design of your website! Make me want to subscribe ^^.

    Design matters a lot; it makes sense for your service, but I don't sign up or buy even for other types of services if the website or app design is not appealing.

    How can you manage the workload alone? For example, if one of your customers needs a full web app design, you will probably be full for few weeks, so what about the other customers?

    1. 1

      Hi Julian, I essentially crank out a couple screens every other day for each client. Keeps devs busy.

  18. 1

    Hi Brett, At PM Academy, we train PMs to build products. I would love to explore partnership where we can leverage your design skills to build products.

  19. 1

    @brettwill1025 Hi Brett, are you looking to hire freelancers to work with you?

  20. 1

    Congrats, Brett! Without much context of your business you seem to be at the level when a couple of hires could only accelerate your growth. There are good examples that only confirm that. E.g., today's update from Reilly: https://twitter.com/rchase/status/1361749064275152901?s=20

    Best of luck! To $100k MRR! 🍻

    1. 2

      @fenske ah that's super tempting. :)

  21. 1

    Brett, it sounds like you may need to start looking at accounting! Let me know if you would like have a consult with my Principal Accountant. Please see https://lendahandaccounting.com/. Good luck with your future progress!

  22. 1

    How do you structure selling subscriptions for a service like this?

    1. 2

      @alchemist clients have a design queue and each request is worked through one-by-one. Whatever is completed is completed, and that’s that. 👍

      1. 1

        That sounds like a good way to do it. What I meant was, how much of your time do you owe each of the clients? Subscription access to an infoproduct or software service is simple, but subscription access to your hours is a different kind of thing!

      2. 1

        Wow. That seems like a lot of work.

  23. 1

    This is amazing Brett!

  24. 1

    I was just thinking about this business model recently. Glad to see that it is profitable for you. Nice job putting it together.

    1. 1

      Thanks Josh! Been a pleasure working with you!

      1. 1

        Likewise, I'm always excited to work on your designs

  25. 1

    Mad respect, Brett! Did you take the Shark Tank account in the end?

    1. 1

      Thanks @albertjr Sadly, the Shark Tank account never worked out, though I credit it as a blessing because I don’t think I could have handled that much growth so quickly.

      1. 1

        Ah, that's fine, you're ready when you're ready, right? Hope the whole team dynamic works out for you, I'm very eager to see this new generation of productized services make it. Big.

  26. 1

    Hi @brettwill1025 that's awesome! Do you build in public? I mean, just to learn from your path.

    1. 1

      Yes, I’ve made a few posts here on IH that reveal how I’ve gotten here in a bit more detail. Check them out if you’re interested.

      1. 1

        great, I'll check, thanks!

  27. 1

    Wow truly amazing you reached this milestone without a dime invested in sales/marketing efforts. Lot of growth outthere for you. Keep it up!

      1. 1

        Would be very curious to see how you scale! Any ideas yet?

  28. 1

    Wow well done @brettwill1025! It's insane that you can manage all these on your own. I am really curious on how you do that 😅 Also, I love your website and design taste, keep it up!

    I recently launched a productized service on UX coaching where I aim to empower founders and teams by teaching them UX instead of doing the design for them but I am still working on my positioning and value proposition. Coaching is not so common so it's harder to find clients at this moment https://gumroad.com/l/UFWCR

    If you have any tips/feedback they are more than welcome, and if you want help I am always a DM/email away!

  29. 1

    I LOVE your site and what you've done. GERAT work :)

    1. 1

      You rock, thanks for the encouragement. :)

  30. 1

    Amazing. Congratulations

  31. 1

    Hey Brett! Amazing stats man! I'm actually a webflow developer and designer myself and I would love to help out in your company, I have very high standards and I design fast as well. Let's connect and talk if we can! Cheers, JP

    1. 1

      Thanks, always good to know fellow Webflow developers. We are few and far between. 😂

  32. 1

    Million dollar question:
    How do you manage your time, focus and energy on different projects. Give some practical tips, thanks

    1. 2

      @ghulamkhansaab I wish I had some magic formula for this, but I'm very fast at what I do, and I work way more than a healthy amount. It's a major grind every single day, but I love it.

  33. 1

    Absolutely brilliant. Congrats!

  34. 1

    Is this because of the Shark tank deal? :)

  35. 1

    Congratz ! That's an inspiring project.

  36. 1

    Congratulations! Hope it goes even better from now on!

    1. 1

      Hah yeah let’s hope! Thanks!

  37. 1

    50k MRR solo? You're a rockstar!!!

    1. 1

      Thanks so much! Tons of hustle. 😅

  38. 1

    Outstanding and inspiring! Keep it up!

    1. 1

      Really appreciate that!

  39. 1

    I have no comments but was wondering if you need a shadow 😊 Product designer here mostly working on enterprise trying to up my mobile and web game

  40. 1

    Your design skills are absolutely amazing dude. No clue how you’re able to juggle all those clients & your full time job. Keep up the momentum 🚀 Gonna be 100k real soon.

    1. 2

      Really inspiring to hear that! Thanks my dude!

  41. 0

    I've used Brett's service before and was lured in by one of these 'growth' posts.. all I'll say is I wish I never used his service.

  42. -1

    This comment has been voted down. Click to show.

    1. 10

      Since when did sharing milestones become clickbait?

      1. 4

        milestones are so motivating for others, keep it up!! 💪🏻

      2. 2

        Really Brett, don't you know only struggling artists are allowed to post their progress!! 🤦

        Congrats on your milestone! It's amazing.

        My take from your success is you've not been shy of charging business rates for your work; maybe others can take inspiration from this.

        1. 2

          Hey Rab, thanks! It wasn’t long aho my prices where half of what they are today, but raising them was the best thing I could have done.

    2. 5

      Please keep the shade outta IH. Thanks!

    3. 2

      How is this clickbait?

    4. 1

      Personally, I don't see the clickbait. It's a very inspiring story and makes you stop and think about how you can use similar techniques and apply them to your own business.

      For example, I would love to be able to do something like this with a security-oriented service similar to the product I'm trying to build at cyberblitz.it but with me doing the work manually for clients while I work on productizing it. I might actually try and see if I can do that to generate some revenue.

  43. -1

    This comment has been voted down. Click to show.

    1. 4

      He did not contradict himself. His total MRR is over $50k. The 4 subscriptions added in the last 24 hours represent MRR over $5k. His base price is $1599/month.

      1. 1

        missed it, sorry :)

    2. 1

      It’s both! The post said I’ve added $5k+ in MRR in the last 12 hours, but my total MRR surpassed $50k.

  44. 1

    This comment was deleted 2 months ago.

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