If You Want Your Design Firm To Succeed, Then Take A Breather.

by Calvin Cox on May 20, 2009

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Ok, we’ve done it. We have now created the ultimate marketing tool on the web… It’s free, easy to use and combines business and pleasure. It’s called Social Media. Social Media has leveled the playing field for many new design businesses. You now have the opportunity to market your product or services for cheap, no TV required. So no longer can you brand yourself by simply having a bigger marketing and advertising budget than your competitor’s… Now you need to do a little more, you need to think, be creative, be smart and be relevant.

Now you have to find a new way to be competitive, innovative and “special” to your demographics. What am I talking about? I’m talking about getting back to basics. That is, focusing on your core asset, your product or service. We are all guilty of seeing a great idea out there, and wanting to improve on it. But if you plan on improving it, improve it in a huge way, or if you plan on providing better service, go all the way – pick up your client’s dry cleaning, if it’s on the way…

Don’t just add 2 more features to your competitor’s product or keep your business open a few more hours than your competition and expect to make a splash. Really give your potential clients something they can sink their teeth in. Spend your time on building a valuable product and less time on figuring out who is following you back on Twitter. Lisa Barone at Outspoken Media wrote a great post on this very topic, A Great Product Needs No Advertising. The market is officially saturated with the basics. We’ve got all the basics we will ever need, seriously. It’s time to go hard or go home.

So here you are, just coming out with a new product probably similar to your competitor’s product – the only difference is that everyone knows your competitor, and no one knows you exist. What is the first thing you do?

Create a website? No!

Sign up on as many social media sites as possible? No!

See if you can get Oprah to interview you? No!

The first thing you do is take a breather. That’s right, sit back, relax and clear your mind…. then make a decision. A decision to jump in without a life jacket. To go for it with everything you’ve got. Because at this point in the game, second guessing your motives is no longer an option. Get your mindset right first before wasting your time and money on something you’d like to “try”.

Find your market and vow to give them exactly what they need and everything they want. Vow to become the go-to brand for your specific product or service. Put your bags down because you’ll be here for a while. Once you’ve made the decision to succeed, everything else, including temporary setbacks and failure, becomes a part of the process, hence managing your expectations, while keeping you in the game until you’ve become branded.


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