The 3 MOST Unpopular Opinions About Website Design Businesses

see my top biz resources

see my top biz resources

podcast

freebies

template highlight

gabby podcast kit

Oh, you wanna know more?

design

business

marketing

template showcase

personal

listen to the podcast!

I'm Elizabeth, and simply put, I design brands and websites. I mix in marketing strategy, personality galore, and tons of fun to create custom brands, custom websites, and website templates. These designs convert lookers into buyers and take the headache out of the design process. I believe your brand should be a knockout. I'll help you create a captivating + profitable online presence! Join me, won't you?!

Hey there!
of the year

My 3 Most Unpopular Opinions About Branding/Website Design Businesses

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I’ve been thinking about unpopular opinions lately, as I asked a question about this to guests on my podcast, and now I’ve been like, “hmmm… what are my unpopular opinions about different aspects of business?” So, here I’m sharing 3 of my unpopular opinions about branding and website design businesses. So whether you’re a Showit designer, Squarespace designer, Wix designer, brand designer, or maybe you focus on other types of design collateral… this is for you. And aspiring designers, this is for you as well! It is OKAY if we disagree on any of these things, we can still be friends! 🙂 Let me know on Instagram what you think by sending me a DM. 

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE NOW:

Listen & subscribe on your favorite platform:  Apple Podcasts  |  Stitcher  | Google Play  |  Spotify  | iHeartRadio

Search for episode 185!

1. Unpopular Opinion: Selling templates isn’t the answer to a struggling design business.

On the surface, this might make perfect sense to you. However, this is done far more often than you might think. A designer may struggle to book one-on-one clients, and instead of looking at their marketing, design, and current systems; they decide to sell templates. Because it is viewed as an “easy, passive income”, it may seem like a more attractive option. Maybe in your case, it's creating a course, designing premade logos, or offering another product you can sell to the masses.  

The hard truth though? If you are struggling to book clients for a done-for-you service, you likely won't be able that same offer as a passive, do-it-yourself product. This is mainly because there's not an audience or demand yet for your work/working with you. You first need to show your skills as a designer by doing custom work. 

Spending hours creating a $300 template that might not sell doesn't make sense when you could put your energy toward booking a one-on-one client project for $3,000. You won't be selling templates (in most cases) if you can’t book clients for 1:1 done for you work.

Early in my business, I tried to offer products sooner than it made sense. Unsurprisingly, it flopped because nobody wanted that offer from me yet, and it competed with my main product. You can hear more of this story here

Worth noting: I am NOT anti-template. In fact, I sell website templates, which are a large part of my business. Creating a template shop was my solution to a thriving business. It was a growth opportunity, allowing me to switch to a more scalable product model. If you’re starting a template shop though as a hail Mary on a struggling business, you’ll likely miss out on income opportunities through 1:1 work and might waste a lot of time. Of course, every business and situation IS DIFFERENT, but this is generally what I see happen.

2. Unpopular Opinion: Just because the project pays well doesn’t mean it’ll be worth it.

We all know there is much more to business than money. However, we can get distracted by how well a project pays, but there is much more to client relationships than how well they pay you. Accepting a job from a red-flag client can cost your business more money over time through burnout.

I know this is an unpopular opinion because what we most often see from designer educators is a highlight reel of the MASSIVE paychecks they get. We have to ask, ‘Is it really worth the money? Is it worth the headache?’ In the experience of myself and my Booked Out Designer students, a big paycheck does not necessarily equal a good client or project. 

For example, would you prefer having a $10,000 client who critiques your work, draws the project out dramatically, and sucks the life out of your soul? Or, would you prefer a $5,000 client who loves you, respects your time, and refers you to other people? The better, more sustainable choice here is the client who reminds you how much you love what you do.

In my course, Booked Out Designer, I teach about red flags to watch out for with potential clients to help you avoid booking a client that makes you want to quit your business altogether. In the Booked Out Designer Facebook group, many designers share their stories of clients they said no to, clients they fired, and what happened after that. 

(Want more on this? Check out this 2 part blog/podcast on difficult clients: How to Deal wiht Difficult Clients and How to Avoid Difficult Clients.)

3. Unpopular Opinion: You don’t need to niche down immediately.

“The riches are in the niches” is a common phrase we hear in the design world and business in general. Similarly, we hear “jack of all trades, master of none” as a PUSH to niche down quicker! 

I teach an entire process inside of Booked Out Designer for niching down. I approach this both in the sense of WHO you work with (aka ideal client) and WHAT services you do. I believe the process I teach is a great way to do it and a great way to look at these two things. When I say you don't need to niche down immediately, I mean this in the sense of not needing to work with only one type of client or offering only one design service. 

When I started my business, I did social media marketing, logos, brands, websites, brochures, billboards, email marketing copy and design, other print collateral, etc. I did a lot of things. For a while, all of those things were listed on my website as a service option. It may have looked like, “this girl offers a lot of things.” However, If I had niched down IMMEDIATELY, as the typical advice goes, I’d end up not making enough money to get by.

I matched my corporate salary quickly because I did more things, slowly removing them as I decided what I liked/didn’t like and what I was good at. For example, I kept a few social media clients for about two years into my business after I had stopped marketing those services because it was a nice $1k+ consistent monthly income that helped me always know that money was coming in. Plus, I loved those clients!

So I advise you to offer more services to start if it makes sense for your business, and you don’t have to say, “I’m a designer for photographers,” or “I only design on Showit for coaches.” Instead, you can slowly niche as you grow your business and decide what you like and don’t like. 

(Want more details on my business story? Check out this blog about what life *actually* looked like for me in the early days of business.)

Tell me on Instagram which of these opinions you agreed or disagreed with. And, if you want another helpful resource, check out this guide: How to Find Your 1st or Next Paying Client ASAP. It’s free and will give you plenty of client-booking ideas! 

unpopular-brand-web-design-opinions
unpopular-brand-web-design-opinions

October 25, 2022

Explore more categories:  Business, Design, Marketing, Podcast, Web Design

share this post:

Leave a Reply!

brand strategy q's

Get the questions you need to be asking to create a strategic brand!

see my top biz resources

see my top biz resources

podcast

freebies

template highlight

gabby podcast kit

Oh, you wanna know more?

design

business

marketing

template showcase

personal

listen to the podcast!

I'm Elizabeth, and simply put, I design brands and websites. I mix in marketing strategy, personality galore, and tons of fun to create custom brands, custom websites, and website templates. These designs convert lookers into buyers and take the headache out of the design process. I believe your brand should be a knockout. I'll help you create a captivating + profitable online presence! Join me, won't you?!

Hey there!
of the year

@ELIZABETHMCCRAVY

Let's be friends, yo.