loader from loading.io

A Look Back - A Look Ahead - 2022 Edition - RD309

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

Release Date: 12/19/2022

Be Careful What You Ask: A Lesson in Getting Valuable Feedback - RD344 show art Be Careful What You Ask: A Lesson in Getting Valuable Feedback - RD344

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

Welcome to another episode of Resourceful Designer. I'm your host, Mark, and today, I've got an interesting topic inspired by a friend’s podcast. You know, it's funny how ideas for podcast episodes can come from the most unexpected places. Sometimes, I meticulously plan out a topic, but other times, like today, a random sentence can spark an idea. Today, we’re discussing the importance of asking specific questions, especially in our design businesses. This concept hit home for me through my TV show podcasts like Under the Dome, Orphan Black, and The Expanse. When I started asking targeted...

info_outline
Generational Clients, And how to Lose Them - RD343 show art Generational Clients, And how to Lose Them - RD343

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

In this episode of Resourceful Designer, I share a cautionary tale about losing generational clients and the critical lesson I've learned from my mistakes. Whether you're dealing with family-run businesses or companies with long-standing leadership, you'll discover the importance of building relationships with the next generation to ensure client loyalty. Listen as I recount personal stories and offer valuable insights to help you avoid falling into the same trap. Don't miss this crucial episode that could save your client base in the years to come!

info_outline
Redefining Your Introductory Hook To Capture Clients - RD342 show art Redefining Your Introductory Hook To Capture Clients - RD342

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

In this episode of Resourceful Designer, I delve into the crucial aspect of redefining your introductory hook to capture clients effectively. I discuss the significance of crafting a compelling introduction on your website and other marketing materials that resonates with your target audience's "What's in it for me?" mindset.  By analyzing examples of website hooks, I emphasize the importance of conveying the value you offer to potential clients right from the start. Join me as I explore the power of a well-crafted hook in attracting and retaining clients, helping you grow and succeed in...

info_outline
Engage More, Talk Less - The Key to A Thriving Design Business - RD341 show art Engage More, Talk Less - The Key to A Thriving Design Business - RD341

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

Welcome back to another insightful episode of Resourceful Designer, where today's message is all about the art of engagement over trivial chatter. I'm your host, Mark Des Cotes, and in episode 341 we dive deep into the importance of engaging more and talking less. We explore how the wisdom of an elementary school teacher, who emphasizes understanding her students to truly elevate their learning, can be a powerful lesson for us as graphic designers in our own client interactions. I'll share with you how critical it is to connect with clients on a level that goes beyond flaunting our design...

info_outline
Are Your Design Clients Time Or Money Minded - RD340 show art Are Your Design Clients Time Or Money Minded - RD340

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

Welcome to episode 340 of Resourceful Designer. Today we're diving into an intriguing question: Are your design clients time or money minded? We'll unpack the significance of understanding whether your clients value their time over their money or vice versa. I'll share some personal anecdotes, like the time I decided to replace my wife's car backup camera myself to save money, and on another occasion, when purchasing a course on Facebook ads, valued my time more. We'll explore how this distinction applies to your design business, how it affects the way you position your services, and...

info_outline
Accepting Credit Card Payments - RD339 show art Accepting Credit Card Payments - RD339

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

In this episode of Resourceful Designer, I delve into the topic of accepting credit card payments from clients. I received an email from Phil, thanking me for the podcast's impact on his transition from working for an employer to running his own business. Phil's client asked to pay by credit card, and he was unsure how to proceed. I share the simplicity and speed of credit card payments and elaborate on the various options available, from PayPal to Stripe and other accounting software. I discuss the fees involved and the ways to incorporate them into pricing strategies, emphasizing the...

info_outline
Handing Over Your Working Files: Yes or No - RD338 show art Handing Over Your Working Files: Yes or No - RD338

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

Have you ever been in a sticky situation where a client has asked for your working files? In this episode of Resourceful Designer, I delve deep into the topic of whether or not to hand over working files. Join me as I share personal experiences and insights to help you navigate this common dilemma in the design industry. From legal considerations to negotiating with clients, I offer practical advice to help you make informed decisions and protect your creative assets. Tune in to discover the nuances of sharing final files and gain valuable tips on handling such requests in your design...

info_outline
Backing Up: It's Better To Be Safe Than Sorry - RD337 show art Backing Up: It's Better To Be Safe Than Sorry - RD337

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

On this episode of Resourceful Designer, I delve into the critical topic of backups. Through two poignant real-life stories, I stress the importance of not solely relying on web hosts for backups. I share a scenario where a client's website was lost due to an overlooked credit card update and the absence of off-site backups. I emphasize the significance of using plugins like  for WordPress or services like for complete cloud-based backups. I underscore the need to protect valuable data, whether for personal memories or business assets. Join me to understand the pivotal role of backups in...

info_outline
Persistence Will Pay Off - RD336 show art Persistence Will Pay Off - RD336

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

Hey there, it's Mark, and in this episode, "Persistence Will Pay Off," I want to talk to you about the challenges of running a design business. Whether you're just starting out or have been in the industry for years, finding clients can be tough. I've been there myself, going through long stretches without new projects coming in and questioning if my business was sustainable. But I made it through, and so can you. I'm here to share some words of encouragement and actionable tips to help you stay motivated and push through the tough times. From staying persistent and believing in your talent to...

info_outline
Presenting Your Designs To Clients: You're Doing It Wrong - RD335 show art Presenting Your Designs To Clients: You're Doing It Wrong - RD335

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

In this episode of Resourceful Designer, I discuss a common mistake designers make when presenting their work to clients. Drawing from my own experience, I delve into the significance of presentation and its impact on a design business. Sharing insights from my college days to my current approach, I highlight the practice of presenting designs to clients with crucial information included. I explain how this method not only enhances professionalism but also leverages client sharing to attract potential leads. Join me as I reveal how this simple adjustment in presentation can make a substantial...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

A look back at 2022 and a look ahead to 2023.

Thank you for your continued interest in Resourceful Designer. You have no idea how much I appreciate you. Many great resources are available for learning and growing as a designer, and I’m humbled that you chose to spend a bit of your valuable time with me.

I am continuing my annual tradition. This last podcast episode of 2022 is my Look Back, Look Ahead edition. It’s where I reflect and share my year as a design business owner. Then I’ll look ahead at what I want to accomplish in 2023.

A Look Back at my 2022 goals.

At the end of 2021, I set these goals for myself.

FAIL: Talk at more conferences. Even though we were on the downslope of the pandemic, I chose not to travel in 2022. Therefore I wasn’t able to talk at any conferences. I also made the decision not to speak at any virtual conferences. I’ve presented at virtual conferences and found the return wasn’t worth the time commitment to prepare and give my talk.

EVEN: Grow the Resourceful Designer podcast audience. Since the pandemic hit in 2020, my podcast listenership has dropped, but the total number of downloads has increased. I attribute this to older listeners giving up on the podcast while new listeners discover it and download multiple episodes.

ACCOMPLISHED: Grow the Resourceful Designer Community. The Community is my pride and joy. One day, when I’m no longer doing the podcast, I’ll look back at everything I did with Resourceful Designer, and I’m sure the Community will be my proudest accomplishment. The friendships formed and all the freely given help is more than I could have ever hoped.

If you’re looking for camaraderie with fellow designers and are not a Community member, I highly suggest you check it out.

ACCOMPLISHED: Do more consulting work. Several clients paid for my consulting service, both in and outside the podcast space. I added podcast brand audit as a service under Podcast Branding which brought in several consulting clients.

ACCOMPLISHED: Grow Podcast Branding. What started as an offshoot of my main design business has become my main business focus. Podcast Branding is earning me more money than my main business ever has, with much less effort.

Some of my numbers from 2022

Resourceful Designer

  • I released 30 podcast episodes. The lowest in a calendar year since I launched the podcast. As my Podcast Branding business increases, it’s become harder to make the time to produce the podcast.
  • It reached over 710k total episode downloads in 2022. That’s an 80k increase over last year.
  • Resourceful Designer released on Gaana, Boommplay, Deezer, JioSaavn and Resso.
  • Resourceful Designer has listeners in 120 countries around the world.

My design business

NOTE: I didn’t actively promote my design business in 2022. Instead, I concentrated on growing my other business, Podcast Branding. I continued working with existing clients but made no effort to attract new ones.

  • Worked on 43 design projects for 22 different clients (one fewer client than in 2021)
  • Gained one new client in 2022.
  • I lost one client due to closure.
  • I sent out 27 invoices in 2022 (down from 41 in 2021)
  • Revenue increased over 2021.

Podcast Branding

My Podcast Branding business was my moneymaker this year.

  • Worked on 66 different projects for 47 different clients (more projects but fewer clients than in 2021)
  • Revenue increased by 27% compared to 2021. Primarily due to websites.
  • Launched 12 new websites for clients. (up from 9 in 2021)
  • I appeared as a guest on three podcasts to discuss podcast artwork and websites, increasing my exposure.
  • Podcasters hired me for projects outside the podcast space.

A Look Ahead at my 2023 goals.

My previous goals will continue to carry over in the new year. Continue to grow the Resourceful Designer Community. Concentrate more on Podcast Branding and so forth.

New Goal for 2023.

  • Create new partnerships to grow what I offer at Podcast Branding.
  • Expand the Resourceful Designer Community to include even more offerings than now.
  • Do more consulting work.
  • Explore video as a content platform for Resourceful Designer and Podcast Branding.
  • Increase the number of website clients on my web maintenance plan.

What about you?

Did you accomplish your goals for 2022, and What are your goals for the new year?

  • Are you a student getting ready to graduate? What are your goals once school is over?
  • Are you still relatively new to the design world? What are your goals for honing your skills?
  • Are you a veteran designer like I am? What are your goals for continued growth?
  • Are you a designer working for someone else? Maybe you enjoy your job; perhaps you don’t. Either way, what are your future goals?
  • Or perhaps you’re already a home-based designer, a freelancer if that’s the term you use; what goals do you have to grow your business?

Wherever you are in the world, your skill level, and your situation, please take some time to look back at 2022 and think about your accomplishments and shortcomings.

Did you stop after your accomplishments? Or did you plow through them, happy with yourself but reaching even further? What about your shortcomings? Did they discourage you or create a sense of want even higher than before? Think about what prevented you from reaching those goals.

So long, 2022.

As 2022 comes to an end. I encourage you to reflect. Think about everything you’ve learned. Your struggles, the things you fell short on (be it your fault or just the state of the world) and your accomplishments. And come up with a plan to make 2023 your year of success.

I once heard a saying: “It’s easier to know where you’re going if you know where you’ve been.” This aptly applies to growing a design business. Knowing and reflecting on where you came from will help you get to where you want to be.

To help with your planning, perhaps you should listen to episode 55 of the podcast, Setting Goals For Your Design Business.

These past few years have been tough on all of us. I hope that we never have to endure something like this ever again. But you know that old saying, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Remember the lessons from these past few years, and use everything you’ve learned to make 2023 and future years even better.

I’ll be back in 2023 with more advice for starting and growing your design business. Until then, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season. And, of course, no matter what goals you set for yourself in the new year, always remember to Stay Creative.

What are your goals for 2023?

Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.