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Don’t be a generalist

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2017

No. The point is not the very popular viewpoint, that you have to do something 10.000 times before you can call yourself and expert. Surely, practicing something many times makes you good at it. But the point I want to make here is, that being a generalist is a choice that is gonna hold you hostage inside a business model that is very hard to scale.

Building a personal brand

For designers, consultants and other business owners, it is not breaking news you need to develop a visual presentation of yourself and your company that send strong signals of who you are and what you do. Also, most already know online presence is important and the majority have a website and social media profiles. What is not in place for many of my clients when I first meet them is a clear match between audience and offering. This means communication is inefficient, random or quite often non-existing. If you want to build a strong personal brand, you have to decide what your portfolio should look like to get the clients you want. Otherwise, there is a good chance you are chasing whatever client you can get and are struggling to build a strong dominating position in your market.

Inefficient creative work

The inconsistency also leads to inefficient working practices. How similar are your clients? How similar are the problems you solve for them? How much time are you spending on each client to capture and get deep understanding of their industry or problem? If you are making packaging design for a medical company for the first time, you most likely will spend a ton of time investigating the requirements. Once doing it for client number 10 you will not only work more efficiently. You will also be the expert to their problem – not just the person who created the design. By the way: is the problem in this segment the legal requirements – or how the package will fit into the shelves in the pharmacy? Are you doing a banner for a truck or a logo for a food blogger at the same time? What is important for them? Are you doing interior decoration and online branding for restaurants only? Are you a generalist or a specialist? Are you doing what you love doing? How big a percentage of your week are you spending doing what is deeply connected to your passion? If this number is too low, looking into yourportfolio and designing a vision for that, a great place to start.

Scaling your business

If you are currently a small business owner, the first step of growing your business is to look at the above. Get rid of non-compliant jobs. Make room for what fits your strategy and your passion. Develop your digital marketing strategies to attract the clients you want. We can help you get this right. Once you consistently work on clients that are helping you building not only revenue but also your personal brand, there are ways to take your company to the next level, getting you more high-ticket clients and less low-ticket clients. There are ways to scale and improve your production process. There are ways to scale your business far beyond the pay-per-hour model many designers, consultants and service business owners practice. The full potential of a well designed business model is so much bigger.

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