Episode 248: 5 Ways To Generate Fast Cash As A Designer During The Holidays

November 23, 2022

The holidays are a time of year when we’re often looking to generate an influx of cash in our design business. If you’re stumped on ideas for how to earn quick cash in this season, I’m walking you through 5 strategies and approaches to generate fast cash as a designer during the holidays.

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5 Ways To Generate Fast Cash As A Designer During The Holidays

If you’re in a season where you want to generate fast cash, I’m sharing a few strategies and approaches that I’ve experienced success with over the years! Before we dive in, I want to remind you that you do not have to do every single one of these approaches or even copy what I’ve done—pick what serves you best!

Check In with Your Past Clients

The first thing you should do is check in with your past clients. Consider the network you already have access to—they are more likely to hire you again! So how do you approach this? Simply ask your past clients if they need any additional design work done for them in this season!

Ask for Referrals

The next thing to consider is asking those same clients if they have any referrals of people who may need design work. If they currently don’t need any additional design work done for them, they may know someone who does! A referral is an amazing opportunity for you to connect with new clients through a solid, trusted connection.

Upsell Your Existing Clients

You don’t need to always focus on going out and acquiring new leads—in this scenario, we’re looking for quick cash. Consider, is there a way to upsell your current clients on work for them? This could be a higher level of service or a completely different service; like additional assets in their brand identity, welcome magazines for their clients, hidden pages on their website, etc. Make sure that you enjoy the things that you’re upselling!

Raise Your Rates

Now, moving beyond your existing clients and considering your future clients, one simple way to increase your revenue is to raise your rates without adding more deliverables. The value you offer is already there—you do not need to add more to offer a value to your services.

Offer a VIP Day or Design Intensive

The final approach to generating fast cash in your business is to offer a VIP Day. We discussed this in detail in episode 243 with Sarah Masci. This will protect your time, but bring in a high ticket offer with a high ticket price.

Triple Your Design Income with Brand Strategy

If you want to learn more about generating consistent revenue in your design business by using brand strategy, I encourage you to check out my on-demand training that I have created that shares about how brand strategy might be the missing piece in your services. By unlocking this new level of growth, you’ll improve your business and generate more cash in your business.

Enroll in Brand Strategy School

In today’s episode, we talked a lot about the brand strategy process! If you’re ready to learn a done for you brand strategy process that is going to help you not only captivate your ideal clients, guide them like the pro you are, and position your self as a brand strategy expert, come join us in Brand Strategy School!

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Hi, friend, and welcome to the Brand Strategy Podcast, a show created to equip you with the inspiration, encouragement, and clarity you need to build the brand of your dreams. I’m your host, Bonnie bti, brand designer, strategist, and founder of thery from Sustainable Strategy to Partel Encouragement. Each episode is designed to equip you with the tools you need to chase after your dreams, because you deserve a brand that empowers you to do what you love, connects with your dream clients, and offers a deep sense of fulfillment along the way. So grab a cup of coffee and join me on this journey, won’t you?

Hey friends. Welcome back to the Brand Strategy podcast, where today we are talking about five ways to generate more money as the holidays approach as a designer. So if you are a graphic brand or web designer and youre in a season where you’re wanting to generate some fast cash, then this episode is for you. Now, as always, what I’m sharing today are strategies and approaches that I have experienced success with. These are actually also strategies that I’ve shared with my incredible, incredible students inside the Brand strategy school, my signature program for graphic brand and web designers. And I’ve seen those who have followed this advice generate more money on demand because it’s important that we remember that we have agency within our businesses and the kind of results that we see are directly impacted by the action that we take. So if you’re in a slow season, if you’re in a season where you want to be generating more revenue for whatever reason, maybe it’s to help with holiday expenses, because I know this is a, you know, expensive time of year for, for everybody.

Uh, maybe it’s that you want to just generate more revenue so that you have a little bit more financial cushion in your bank account. Maybe you want to invest in something going into the new year for yourself, for a loved one, for your business, whatever that looks like. There’s no, I don’t here in this space, you don’t need to make any excuses or justify why you wanna generate more money. Wanting it is enough for me and I support you with whatever you’re going after, which is why today I’m actually peeling back the curtain on a training that I shared inside the brand strategy school. And I’m giving you access to a little, a little sign of exactly how you can start to generate the revenue on demand that you need. And these are five pieces of advice, five actions you can take that will help you on that journey.

And I wanna say also, you don’t need to do all five. This is kind of like a, a pick a pick what serves you best kind of selection. You look at what’s available, you say, Ooh, this feels interesting, or, Ooh, I’m curious about this. I wanna try it out a bit. But you don’t need to do all of it unless you want to. Maybe you love like going all in. And if so, like more power to, Yeah. Um, me, I am a little more like, I’m kind of stingy with my energy. And so I like to approach pursuing something on kind of a one at a time sort of basis so that I’m able to really analytically assess what worked. Like I’m the kind of person where if I’m doing 10 things at once and all 10 of those things are supposed to lead me to the same outcome or the same goal, how am I supposed to tell which one gave me the results that I was looking for?

So what I wanna do is I kind of wanna approach this a little bit like a scientist, so I can look at very clear data and I can say, Oh, I did this action, which generated this result, which tells me that the next time I wanna experience this same result, I can do this thing again. So with that being said, um, as we dive into some of these actions that you can take, again, I encourage you to take what resonates. All right? So looking at your current season of business, for whatever reason, we’ve reached the decision, it’s time to kind of turn up the volume on the revenue that you’re bringing in. We wanna see more dollars in that bank account. We wanna see more clients coming in. We wanna see all of those signs of growth in your design business. So what do we do?

Okay, idea number one that I wanna share with you. You already have access to a network of people who are highly likely to hire you, and that’s your past clients. I know that we’ve all heard that, that kind of adage in the past of how it is, um, so much more affordable to take the leads that you already have access to. It’s so much easier to, um, you know, turn a past client into a recurring client or a future client, then it is to go out and try and like convince strangers on the internet to hire you. And that’s for good reason, right? Because the people that are already familiar with you and your brand and your work are more likely to work with you again. So what you can do when you wanna generate more revenue, instead of like spending a ton of time and energy recording all these videos for TikTok, or you know, like telling yourself that you need to start a YouTube channel.

Why don’t you first kind of go after, uh, what’s already right in front of you? Like go back to the clients that you really loved working with and just check in and say, Hey, how’s it going? Uh, you know, I loved the work that we did together and I was wondering if you needed any more design support in this way, depending on the client. And depending on, you know, what you know about them and their business, you could make recommendations based on what kind of projects you could work on together. Maybe you like the idea of trying out v i p days or, you know, design day intensives. Well, that could be something that you pitch to a past client. You could say, Hey, if you need help updating your website for the new year, if you need help, Like, for me as an example, a lot of my clients are in the wedding industry, and so the winter months are typically a slow season for them.

So this is a great time for me to reach out to them and say, Hey, as we’re going into the 2023 season and you’re looking at booking couples and more events for not only your 2023 season, but also your 2024 season, would it serve you well? Would it be helpful if I updated your portfolio on your website with your most recent work? Would it be beneficial if we took a look at your, your client assets, like your welcome guide, your investment guide, and we may be updated some things, right? That’s something that I could knock out for you in a design day, or I could knock it out hourly or however you personally like to approach that. But what I’m saying here is before you run out onto the internet trying to find new people to work with, before you start hustling anywhere on social media, look at the people that you already have in your corner, the people who already have said yes to working with you because they are more likely to say yes to working with you again.

Or, and this leads me to idea number two, ask for referrals, right? Let’s say your past client comes back and says, Hey, thanks for thinking of me, but I actually don’t need any design work at this time. This is when we follow up and we say, Great, I appreciate that. Do you know of anyone else who’s looking for design support at this time? And of course, based on your unique, uh, specialization, your niche, if you are a brand designer, if you’re a web designer, if you are a presentation designer, there’s a lot of different things that you could, you know, talk about. You could basically say, Hey, do you know of anyone who’s looking to rebrand in the new year? Or do you know anyone who needs, uh, website design going into the new year? Like, you can highlight and be more specific about what kind of service you would like to book so that you make it easier for this person to point qualified leads your way.

So even if that past client doesn’t end up being a yes for you, there’s still value in that conversation because you never wanna sleep on the power of the relationships that are already around you. You know? So like when we are connecting with past clients and they aren’t in a spot where they wanna work with us right now, but they have a friend, they have a colleague, they have a Bisbee who does need our help, then that can be a really organic word of mouth referral that can generate some awesome revenue for you. Okay? So then the third piece of advice that I wanna share, the third idea, again, we’re looking at our current clients. We’re not, Oh, I love this. Okay, so we’re not looking at going out and acquiring new leads, right? There’s a time and a place for that, but the name of this game is quick cash.

If we wanna do this quickly, if we wanna do this efficiently, I believe it is more efficient for us to look at the relationships that we already have around us than it is to spend a lot of time or energy creating content and trying to get out in front of new people. So your current clients, let’s say that you have a handful of folks that you’re currently working with, Is there a way that you can upsell them on a higher level of service? So for example, let’s say that you are doing brand design and you’re doing that full identity work for a client, and you’re like, the client is just obsessed with how their visual identity is coming together, and you’ve done just the whole identity suite in terms of logos and marks and illustrations and type and color and patterns. But maybe you’re seeing an opportunity to create an additional asset to take this visual, uh, identity that you’ve created and weave it throughout another medium, right?

You could pitch to your client, if this sounds fun to you, you could say, Hey, I’d love to create a, a new client welcome magazine for your clients. Or, I’d love to create a hidden pricing or a hidden investment, uh, page on your website if that’s something that you offer. There’s a lot of different things that, you know, you could think of. I, I don’t wanna presume to know exactly what your client would find useful because I know that you know that better than anybody. So look at the relationships, the clients that you’re currently working with, and look at if there’s a way that I can currently upsell this client to a service that helps me generate more revenue right now, um, and that I would enjoy doing. I wanna say, and you know, honestly, there are seasons where we take on client projects that we don’t love because we do need, we do need the resources to pay our bills or to, you know, pay our business expenses or anything.

And so I think that it’s important that we give ourselves grace. If you’re in a season where you are, um, feeling like you need to prioritize taking on whatever comes your way, that’s okay and that’s normal, and you’re doing, you’re doing a powerful thing by taking care of yourself. But if you’re in a season where you have a little bit more of a financial cushion in place, and you’re able to take on clients and be a little, a little more intentional, a little pickier about what projects you’re taking on, please be sure to only pitch, um, upsells that you get excited about offering. So if it’s something that you like, don’t love the idea of doing it, don’t mention it because however much money you’re charging for that upsell, if you hate actually delivering on it, it’s not gonna be enough money. So definitely keep that in mind.

All right, So then now we’re starting to look at ways to generate revenue with future clients or with new clients. An easy way to do this, raise your rates. Just take a look at your website, take a look at your, your, you know, packages guide, your investment guide, wherever it is, you talk about pricing and package details with your clients and bump up those numbers. And the challenge for you, bump up those numbers without adding any other deliverables, because the value of your work is already there. You do not need to add on more value, more, you know, deliverables, more. You don’t need to like stack on more things, more hours, more assets into your packages in order for the value to be there because the value is already there. So raise your rates right now so that every new client that comes to you is booking at a higher price point so that you are generating more revenue and ideally more profit every time you get a new client on your books.

And then my final piece of advice is to offer a v i p day or a design intensive, or whatever you want to call them. This is actually something we’ve talked about on the podcast before with the incredible Sarah Massey, who I think of as like the queen of all things v i p day. Um, and so that’s an episode that I highly recommend checking out and tuning into if you want to learn more about how to set up a v i p day, how to implement that. But that’s a really easy way that you can start, um, taking on more clients in a way that’s still protective of your time. So for example, if you want to be generating more, more income, but you still wanna be mindful about where your time is going, right? Because in my little quarter of the internet, we don’t hustle for our worth.

We don’t max ourselves out. We don’t buy into that 24 7 hustle culture nonstop. You know, kind of like nose to the grindstone mentality. We focus on creating the life that we want to live, and our business fits into that. So vi i p days can actually be a really thoughtful way to do this because in instead of needing to take on a bunch of new clients with, you know, two or three months long, uh, projects, you could take on just a handful of half day or full day, uh, clients where again, like I mentioned earlier, this could be something that you pitched to your past clients. So it could be an easy way to knock out sort of like a design punch list that they’ve created and they wanna work on with you. Uh, or if you are, you know, connecting with new people, if you’re talking about this on social media or you’re finding leads and like a Facebook group or something like that, you’re seeing, I, I am a member of, um, several show it website Facebook groups, and I see all the time people, you know, who need help updating a part of their website or they need help, um, adding a new, a new page and they like, just don’t have the time or energy to do it.

You know, that would be such an easy thing for you to knock out in a design intensive or a v i p day. So, okay, that is that, and I of course could talk about this so much more. Like I said, uh, these are actually a handful of ideas that I took from a bonus training that I did, um, earlier this year for my incredible students inside the brand strategy school where I actually mapped out in depth 10 ways to generate cash on demand as a designer, while giving yourself the power to command the revenue that you want when it serves you best. And this was such a fantastic training, like folks tuned in. And that same, that same day, that same week, they started implementing my advice and like instantly started getting feedback from past clients, started booking people at higher prices, started seeing all this money come in.

And that’s exactly the kind of community that I’ve created inside the brand strategy school where I want for us to have the support and the resources and the tools at our disposal that we need in order to pursue what success looks like to us. And, you know, money isn’t everything, but it sure is nice. And I want you to have however much money you want or you need for whatever reason, because it can be this incredible tool that you use for good in your life, in your business, and the lives of those around you. And it can give you the resources to create this powerful ripple effect out into your community or your home area or your city, or even your country as well. So I’m, I’m a big fan, big fan over here. Um, but I hope that this helps, gives you some ideas on how you can take some intentional action to start generating the revenue that you want whenever you want it, and definitely keep this episode in your back pocket, so to speak, so that whether you need it now or you need it in a couple weeks or a couple months down the road, this is something that you can access.

And if you want to learn even more about generating consistent revenue, not just on demand, but consistently and over the long haul as a graphic brand or web designer using brand strategy as that missing piece of the puzzle, then I encourage you to check out my on-demand training that I have created that shares about how brand strategy can be that missing piece when it comes to your services that can unlock this new level of growth. So, uh, you can go to bees for bonnie design.com/training to check that out. And I know I’ve been chatting a lot about the brand strategy school. If that peaks your interest, then I would invite you to join us inside this incredible, incredible group. I know I’m biased, but, um, it is absolutely the place that you wanna be. If you want to learn a done for you brand strategy process that is going to help you not only captivate your ideal clients, guide them like the pro you are, but it’s gonna help you position yourself as a brand strategy expert who can command high ticket rates for the incredible transformation that you offer.

So you can go to BS for bonnie design.com/brand-strategy-school if you want to check out more about that program. Friend, thank you so much for tuning into today’s episode. I hope that it’s leaving you with tons of ideas to take action on as you intentionally focus on growing your design business. If this is, uh, an episode that really resonated with you and you wanna show your thanks or share your support of the podcast as a whole, then it would mean so much to me if you would do something simple and buy me a cup of coffee. I’ve created an account over on buy me a coffee.com where you’re able to help ensure that I’m able to keep the Brand Strategy podcast up and running. This is something that not only will help keep me caffeinated and hydrated, but also this will help me keep the brand strategy podcast going and I can help ensure that it stays ad free.

Because if you’re anything like me, the ads that we hear on our favorite podcasts are not necessarily the most ideal aspect of the listening experience. And I value your time and your energy and wanna make sure that I’m always able to offer really high value free content, um, in a way that is mindful of your time. And so for me, in this season at least, that looks like not , not including ads as a part of my podcasting strategy. So if you would like to show your support for the podcast for any other of the free educational resources that I’ve created over the 10 plus years that I have been in business, then police consider buying me a simple cup of coffee and it would mean the world. I will have that link in today’s show notes. So you can go to brand strategy podcast.com, click on the latest episode link, and you can find not only that linked by me a coffee, but you’ll find a full recap of all of the resources mentioned in today’s episode, as well as a full transcript of today’s episode in case that would be helpful for you.

So as always, thanks for tuning in. Thanks for being you, thanks for being a part of this community and I’m sharing you on from WinCo.

Thank you so much for joining me today, Friend. Before you go, I would be so grateful to receive your feedback on the Brand Strategy podcast. If you enjoyed this episode or the podcast in general has helped you grow your brand, I’d really appreciate it if you left us a review in iTunes. Your positive reviews enable the brand Strategy podcast to continue to grow and reach like-minded creatives just like you. Thank you for all your support and encouragement as together we pursue building brands with purpose and intention. Until next time, I’m cheering you on from Waco.

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My name is Bonnie – I’m a brand designer, strategist, and writer which all adds up to one eclectic conglomeration of qualities that enables me to serve you well! Past clients have dubbed me "the Joanna Gaines of brand design," and I've had more than a few call me a dream maker, a game changer, and a design wizard (my Harry Potter-loving heart didn't hate that one, let me tell you!). At the end of the day, I'm a big-hearted creative who will get teary-eyed as you share the heart behind your business; who will lose sleep over the perfect font pairings and color selections to bring your brand to life visually; and who will work tirelessly to empower, encourage, and equip you to share your work with the world intentionally. 

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