In Jane Portman's recent InVision webinar, she outlined three primary points to aid other UI designers in making the transition to the business of consultation.
1. Understand Your Place in the Business Universe
- In the eyes of your client, UI design is never a priority. To her, you and your design services are simply one small part of their larger puzzle.
- By changing your title and mindset you can become a different person, even if you have the same skill set.
- A big part of this is to begin calling yourself a consultant.
Good design increases sales, simplifies onboarding, reduces churn, makes users happy and makes the business profitable.
- You need long form text on your website explaining this to potential clients.
- Talk to your clients about their business. Discuss their target market, problems, solutions, etc.
- Charge 10x what you are right now. There's no such thing as industry average rates.
2. Study Business Essentials
- Copywriting is in many cases more important than visual design.
- Study the business of consulting and define:
- Your ideal client. - Ex. Jane focuses strictly on SaaS startup companies. - When you focus on someone, you can laser focus your marketing materials to their needs. No need to be vague to include everyone.
- Your unique value proposition. - Ex. "We help wine producers sell directly to consumers". Get very specific here. - Always talk about money when you are pitching to businesses.
- Your rates. - You cannot charge too much, it's up to you. Low rates sometimes reflect low quality in the eyes of your client. - Double your rate and see what happens.
- Your work process. - It’s about your process here. Are you formal, prompt and polite?
3. Practice in Your own Product Sandbox
- This way, you can practice the entire business cycle.
- You will build up your personal authority/audience for future projects.
- Get better clients who will respect you for your accomplishments.
- Ideally, you will get some passive income as well.
- research (sales safari)
- observing customers in their natural habitat.
- pricing and subscription models
- product lifecycle
Pretty pictures explain nothing to your client about what you do or what you can do for them.
- Build a marketing website with long-form sales copy.
- Create an email list.
- Have a lead magnet (freebie).
- This can be anything from a PSD template to a free chapter from your ebook, anything.
Start with Productized Consulting
- Sell your services with long-form sales pages.
- Set your own rules and describe your processes.
- This can get you potential recurring revenue.
- Have an automated billing system.
You can learn more on this subject and find Jane at UIbreakfast.com.