Build a growth engine for your design business

by Tiina Wilen

Most design professionals feel insecure and downright scared about selling their design business services. They love to talk about their passion and expertise, help people, and of course: design amazing spaces. They have years or decades of experience within their fields, yet selling it is uncomfortable and a negative experience for many. What they often lack is a well-designed Growth Engine.

Most PRO marketers tell you to market for ages before you can get a customer. They want to show the most complex funnels, tools, and time-consuming tactics, while you most likely don’t want any of that.

And some creative experts tell you to design a glittering brand, and share your rags-to-riches story, although when it comes to selling your expertise, no one really cares…

What is an expert growth engine, and what can it do for your business?

An Expert Growth Engine helps experts; designers, coaches, consultants, digital or physical product business owners, speakers, teachers, or anyone who is selling ANYTHING of value and based on their expertise, to grow sustainably. It is designed to focus on sales first, to cater to the FAST moving percentage of your audience. It’s a perfect engine to be used together with long-term desire and trust-establishing marketing activities such as brand and community building.

Why an ENGINE?

If you want to achieve freedom with your business, you need to build systems that do the work for you.⁠ A well-designed Growth Engine helps you get customers and clients fast and without you spending your valuable time on sending proposals or never-ending sales calls. Until you have this figured out, your time and effort will go to hunting and doing all kinds of nonsense that most likely doesn’t move the needle for your design business. ⁠

Regardless of your growth goals, an engine that makes your client acquisition easier and more predictable is the #1 improvement you need to build into your business. ⁠The Growth Engine is the most important element of your overall Business Growth System.

Let’s build it

Let’s first figure out the order of implementation. When you launch a new product/service, you might start thinking about how to market it so more people can learn about it and buy it, right? But before that, you need to figure out how to sell your new offering. That’s why, we first design the Growth Engine, and once it gets attraction, people buy your product or service, and you deliver great results to your customers, then it makes sense to engage in marketing activities on a larger scale.

Hyper Targeting

At any given time, there are people in your market who are buying services and products just like yours. If not, then you are in a dead-end market, and you need to keep developing your idea until you find people and other businesses who sell similar products or solve the problem your market has in some way.

The problem with most marketing is that it’s not specifically designed to speak to the right person. The first business essential you need to be very clear on is whom you want to take action on your offers.

Any market has these 3 types of buyers and their buying behavior is very different. Furthermore, at any given time, your business attracts non-buyers too, regardless of how great your messaging and offer is. The fast movers are looking for a solution and are ready to buy if they find the right one, the slow movers take a lot of time to make any move, and the medium movers need to be sure your solution is the right before they move to purchase.

Your engine should be built with the FAST movers in mind,  but you also know that you will attract the other types, whereby your marketing activities need to cater to all of these groups.

Expert Positioning Strategy

The essence of all your marketing and sales is to

However, most experts think that this has to do with the level of expertise they have in the specific topic, which is true to a point, but there are a few key activators you can build to accelerate your expert positioning and make your brand stand out. The key at this stage is to design your expert brand and authority idea. These will give you an advantage compared to your competition.

Design an Essential Offer

Most experts make business quite difficult and inefficient. They approach a potential client with proposals and tailored solutions, which is time-consuming and the sales cycle can become very long. If you can have a long sales cycle, then it doesn’t matter. But if you need to close deals quickly, like in most small business cases, you should have an offer that is easy and fast to sell.

Design a front-end offer that is essential for your customer at the beginning of their journey toward the results they want. We call this the Essential Offer for a reason: it’s designed to take your client from A to D, and get amazing results without long contracts and painful proposals. This is an offer that is easy to sell, easy to buy, easy to deliver, and fun to run. Our preferred Essential Offer has many, if not all of these elements:

  • profitable
  • digital
  • evergreen
  • scalable
  • automated
  • standardized
  • branded
  • part of the journey

Create a Powerful Invitation and a Continuous, systematic sales & marketing engine

Once you know who you want, what they want, what your special sauce is, and what you want to sell at the front-end, it’s time to build your sales engine. We call this the Power Invitation, and it invites the right people to buy from you, quite fast.

This could get super complex, and many marketing software providers want you to think you need all the bells and whistles to make this work. However, our goal is to get you there FAST, so we skip most of the cool tools at this point.

You need:

  • A clear message that invites the right people to take part in your…
  • Specific promise that solves a problem your customer has.
  • A simple mechanism to deliver on your promise, and then…
  • A well-designed sales enabling environment that supports the decision-making process.
  • A reliable and consistent traffic source of your choice!

Build social authority

⁠Most design experts are too shy or self-critical to share their opinions and work publicly. This has to do with a lack of confidence, lack of time, or lack of interest in being on social platforms. However, your customer will check up on you. And if they don’t find any relevant authority-building content, previous work, or endorsements, they most likely think you’re not an expert in your topic. So…

Design a simple system to contribute and share your expertise and work on the relevant platforms. This should be a priority and that’s why you need to create systems and automate your content creation and distribution to be everywhere where your prospects are, without actually spending your valuable time on social media platforms. Do not ignore or skip this when you get busy.

The KEY with our approach: your engine must be simple to build. We know most of our customers are not pro marketers and never aspire to be that either.

While online marketing can easily get quite complex, building your engine doesn’t have to be that if you follow a proven path. Building the engine doesn’t require deep tech skills, and it doesn’t require you to outsource your digital marketing to agencies… once your engine is working and your business is permanently profitable, you can increase the complexity if you like.

Most of our customers don’t and they still keep growing!

Related Posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More