And I’m copying his business plan

Most designers are trying to make six figures a year — this guy is making that every month. And his clients are on a monthly subscription plan, so he’s not out hunting for new jobs.

Last week, this story popped up in my Twitter newsfeed.

I love reading success stories like this, and I’d just written this article about making $1,000,000 as a solopreneur. So, I can confirm that the Twitter algorithm knows what I like.

As I was thinking about the different possibilities of making 7-figures without a team, Brett’s story showed up. I started skimming through his tweets — he’s brand new to Twitter — and checked out his website:

Brett’s success didn’t happen overnight, but right now Designjoy is growing exponentially, and he just doubled his prices.

Even if you’re not a designer, you can learn from his success and apply some principles to your own business.

Patience 🔗

If you go back and look at the MRR for Designjoy, you’ll see that not much happened for the first 2–3 years. It took a long time to grow to a million dollars.

We can look at this story and believe we can experience similar results.

You could start something similar next week, but you won’t probably see similar results. What’s your reaction going to be when it’s month #4 and you’re earning $800/month and not $80,000?

Are you going to give up?

You could easily look at Designjoy, and every other success story and think they’re an overnight success. That’s not the case at all. It took years of hard work and patience to reach that great level of success.

Make a better offer 🔗

If you want to hire a designer, you usually have two options:

Work with an agency.
Work with a freelancer.
Most agencies make things more difficult and complicated than they need to be. It takes a long time to get new projects started, and it’s expensive. I’m sure some agencies are great, but the majority of them are slow and expensive.

Sort of like a cruise ship. It’s nice, and hopefully you get what you pay for. But, if you need to make a quick turn, they’re not great. And they don’t go from 0–60 very fast at all.

Freelancers aren’t much better. It can be very difficult to find the right person for the job, and they don’t offer the same stability as an agency. They’re like a kayak in the ocean. They can maneuver and change direction quickly, but they’re much less stable.

Freelancers tend to be flaky and unreliable because they lack the structure and systems that an agency has.

If it’s done properly, a one-person agency has the systems and processes of an agency, with the flexibility of a freelancer.

That’s exactly what Brett is doing. He’s been successful in applying the good things that agencies and a freelancers offer.

Not everyone can do this.

It takes a unique skill set and a lot of hard work to stay organized when you’re working with 15 different clients. You need to be great at what you do. You need to eliminate distractions. You need to set your priorities straight.

Brett shared that he only works on a client’s request for an hour or two every week. He can do that because he’s been designing for a long time, and he’s built systems that work. He eliminated the barriers that slow most people down.

Make it ASAP 🔗

ASAP = As Simple As Possible

The idea of Designjoy is extremely simple. You sign up and pay one fixed monthly rate and you can request as many design projects as you need.

It takes less time to join Designjoy and make your first request than it takes to order a t-shirt.

The business idea is simple from start to finish.

  • Simple pricing
  • Simple sign-up process
  • Simple workflows
  • Simple communication

In most businesses, there is a lot of unnecessary friction. If I need to schedule a call with you just to find out how much your services cost, you’ve already lost me as a customer.

Imagine if you needed to call Amazon every time you wanted to order something. That would be insane. Imagine if you needed to find the manager at the grocery store to see how much the eggs cost. The added friction would push customers away.

I know people have mixed thoughts about sharing their prices on their website. I’ve always been upfront about what I charge, so it doesn’t make much sense to me to hide your pricing.

Then, I might need to fill out a contact form and I have no idea when, or if, you’re going to get back to me.

Most people will want to talk before paying for a $2,500/month service, but you need to make that as easy and simple as possible. A lot of freelancers could make a ton more money if they eliminated the friction in their business and made it as simple as possible.

fini 🔗

Customers can pay for a monthly subscription and submit all of their copywriting requests. Social media copy, landing pages, website copy, etc. They get quick and easy access to a professional writer.

I just started this, so I know I won’t be making $100,000 next month. It’ll be a fun side project and experiment.

Richie Bartlett

After reviewing Brett’s business, I can say that this is not scalable nor sustainable in the long-term as a single-man show. He’ll either be forced to sell the business or start hiring people. Neither of which currently appeal to him at this time.