A subscription-based or on-demand graphic design service is basically what a monthly subscription gets you. It is a model that allows graphic designers or design agencies to offer their services on an ongoing basis. One of the main downsides of agency work of traditional freelance is unpredictability. You might be overwhelmed with clients for one month and have a down period a month later.
The good news is that subscription-based design services generate recurring revenue and create more predictability for your business. Additionally, it is easier to sell in packages since you don’t need proposals or scope creeps. Your clients upfront know what they are getting; this saves time and speeds up the sales process of your services. Below are steps to help you get started on your subscription-based design service.
Establish Your Niche
Finding ways to stand out from competitors in this competitive industry is vital. Consider the following factors when finding a niche.
- Size. Is your target audience big enough to build a business the size you want?
- Accessibility. Is your target audience reachable via cold reach, advertising, or content marketing?
- Needs. Do they need your service and money to purchase it?
For example, if you offer graphic design for gyms and fitness instructors at a monthly cost, your portfolio will be full of case studies of your previous work. Therefore, when approaching a gym or fitness instructor to sell your services, you can position yourself as the design solution for gyms and fitness instructors. This sets you apart from other generalist design services, making it more likely for you to win over a client.
Once you’ve found your niche, it is best to test it. The best way to do that is by talking to your potential clients and asking them for feedback. It is a great way to test if your value proposition resonates with your target audience.
Create a Marketing Site
After finding your niche, the second step is creating your market site. The site’s main goal is to explain to people what you offer. The information you put up helps visitors determine their interest in your service. Through marketing, you can find potential clients. There are various website builders that you can use to create your marketing site.
Create Case Studies
A case study will help you build trust and credibility among your target audience and use them in your outreach. If you don’t have case studies, you can ask your designers if they can make one based on their previous work. You can also ask them to create some mockups or redesigns.
Finally, you can also include some resources next to case studies. These may consist of a design guide, graphic illustration, or templates; anything that grows your email list and turns email subscribers into paying clients.
Package Your Services
Once your website is up, decide what you want to offer and at which price. Looking at the competitive landscape is one way to help you price your services. It enables you to decide the margin you are comfortable with. You also want to estimate churn since some clients might cancel.
It is also important to set your expectations upfront since you are selling your services in packages.
Clear expectations help customers be aware of what they are purchasing and will make them more satisfied.
Hire Graphic Designers
If you are not a graphic designer, you want to hire designers and project managers before getting your first client. Designers will be doing the day-to-day work of handling client design requests and communicating with clients.
On the other hand, project managers oversee and assign tasks. They also help in interviewing and onboarding new designers to the team.
Build Systems to Deliver Your Services and Set up Software Tools
Systems are what will keep your company operating. They govern the team members and tell them their steps in the job. Without a system, your team will rely on you for their questions. That means you’ll always be working by their side instead of building a company that can run without you.
When setting up tools to run your business, working with professionals, including a software engineer, is best.
Selling your design service in subscription packages gives you more predictability, thus building a business that runs without you. At first, finding your niche is key, but as you go down the system, the ability to combine a team and use software to run your operations is key to running this model successfully.