The successful business you see today at Quixotic Design Co. sooo did NOT appear overnight. Man, I wish! Almost 5 years ago, I quit my 9-5 agency job and started Quixotic from my studio apartment* (*see also: with no plan, or income to ease the transition). It was a rough beginning to say the least: I WAY undercharged for my services (think $400 for a logo) and was in the red for the first few months financially. That all changed when I had an epiphany: in order to become a high ticket designer - you know, the kind that gets to work with those dreamy brands, charges $10k for projects, and actually maintains work-life balance - I needed to position myself as a high ticket designer.
Fast forward to today, I’ve more than tripled my corporate salary (woohoo!!) and work with a team of three building obsession-worthy brands for industry-leading female entrepreneurs. Talk about a pinch-me moment. In today’s blog post, I’m going to walk you through my process so you can skip the guesswork and fasttrack your career path. It’s time to position yourself as a high ticket designer, and start getting PAID as one!
Organize a plan.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you walk into Target with the faint idea to pick up deodorant and you walk out of the store $200 bucks short with bags full of stuff you don’t need. This is a perfect example of what happens when we don’t have a clear plan in place: we can get side-tracked by shiny objects!
Detailed plans are incredibly helpful tools to reach your big picture goals. They’ll help you focus on the specific action steps you need to take to successfully turn your goal (ie. positioning yourself as a high ticket designer) into reality. If just thinking about your big picture goal has you feeling super overwhelmed, I’ve got a solution for you. We’re going to use the SMART goals method to help you break it down into smaller, bite-sized pieces. This way, we disperse your goal into small tasks that you can easily check off the list. Here’s the scoop on SMART goals: they need to be clear and specific, you need a way to track your progress, they need to be realistic and achievable, they need to align with other relevant goals, and they need a target date so you have a deadline to focus on. For more detailed information on how to set up SMART goals, check out this article.
Start your plan by identifying your ideal clients. Who are they? What do they do? What are their pain points? What questions do they have? Where do they want to be in 5 years? For an in-depth breakdown of how to identify your ideal clients and align your brand mission to that audience, check out our free Attract Your Dream Clients Workbook.
Next, conduct a competitive analysis. This is the part where you put on your detective’s hat. Create a list of three competitors. These could be other in-demand designers in your niche. Then, take a deep dive into their strengths and weaknesses. Analyze their online presence (ie. website, social media profiles, etc.), check their testimonials, discover their pricing methods, and investigate their marketing strategy. All this research should help you hone in on what opportunities are available to position your services as the stand out option.
Last, create a marketing plan and outline your financial objectives. Turn your research into a roadmap. How will you best reach your ideal clients? How will you measure your efforts? What is your ideal yearly income? How many projects do you need to book at your current price point to reach that income goal? How can you reduce costs? Are there investments you can make to improve your process and workflow? What is the total number of projects you’d like to take on each month?
Perfect your portfolio.
A great way to attract luxury clients (you know, the kind that don’t question your pricing), is through your portfolio. If you don’t feel like your current portfolio is attracting the right audience, I have a solution! It’s called passion projects, and they’re a fantastic way to show off your creative ability. Create a few project “briefs” to execute some different brand and web design visions that align with your ideal client’s style. Pro tip: choose an industry, client audience, and style for each brief. Then, display all of these projects in a portfolio page on your site. Once they see that you can produce the kind of work they’ve been looking for, they’ll be hooked!
Elevate the client process.
If there’s anything you take away from this blog post, let it be THIS: if you want to successfully position yourself as a high ticket designer, then you NEED to provide a high-quality client experience. It took me years to figure out how to create a process that meets my clients’ needs at every step of the project, while maintaining boundaries for my business. Thankfully that time spent wasn’t for nothing. After upgrading my client experience, I saw multiple positive changes: reduced revisions, a higher closing rate, and happier clients (leading to tons of referrals). Even better, my clients were able to get tangible results! Results like: a 300% increase in inquiries, growth by hundreds of followers per week on their social media platforms, getting their products stocked in Nordstorm, and so much more.
Here’s the thing, I don’t want you to have to spend years figuring out how to streamline your client process like I did. That’s why I put together The Brand Designer Toolkit. It’s a bundled collection of our proprietary pitching, onboarding, and process templates made specifically for designers. With the collection, you’ll get access to the high-converting templates that we use in our signature brand process (even a contract written by our attorney, Taylor Tieman). These templates are already designed for you, that you can customize easily, and cover all of the bases (because I’ve been in your shoes, and I know exactly what a design biz needs to succeed).
Raise your prices.
Like I shared in the intro, when I first started my design biz I was majorly undercharging my services. I lowkey cringe just thinking about all of the work I was putting into projects that I should’ve charged thousands of dollars more for. Yikes! You’ve probably seen the effects of undercharging first hand: you’re working with pushy clients that don’t respect you, you’re spending a TON of time working while not meeting your income goals, and you’re SO ready to stop feeling like an imposter and play in the big leagues.
Let this be your sign to raise your rates. Raising your rates will allow you to increase your lifetime earning potential, invest back into your biz, and scale your biz to that coveted high ticket level.
If you’re unsure how to raise your rates with clients, I created an entire masterclass to explain the process. Ready to confidently raise your prices and book those coveted high ticket clients? Watch the free High Ticket Designer masterclass here.
Invest in a course.
Ready to take your biz from struggling solopreneur to luxury agency? Grab my hand, friend, we’re going to do this together! It’s time to step into your CEO mindset, and scale your business without just working more. In my Dream Big Designer course, I provide you with the ultimate guide to build your dream life and net worth with a profitable design agency.
I’m giving you the exact framework you need to:
Consistently book high ticket, luxury clients that respect you as a designer
Get more lifetime value out of each client with a strategic offer suite
Scale your business to the agency level (even if you’re already working too much)
Position yourself as the go-to for your ideal clients and stand out from competitors
Bring in $5K, $10K, and even $20K months with the offers to back up those price points
Create systems and automations to help lighten your workload
Hire a team that’ll help you make more by working less
Build multiple income streams so you can skyrocket your revenue
Surpass your financial goals with financial planning
Sign up here to get on the waitlist. I can’t wait to help you build your net worth and become the go-to design agency in your space!