Making great money with design is not about raw talent alone. It’s about selling the high-end design. Cathy shares her secrets on how to sell high end design through consultations and on your website.
Hello everyone, this is Cathy Olson and welcome to the Secrets of Gorgeous Design Podcast. Today’s topic is so good. I’m so excited to share this with you guys today and it’s one of those cornerstone pieces that everything kind of goes with and hits the whole idea of how do you sell high end design to people or and slash or how do you make your offers and how do you make your design more valuable to people because that’s really how you raise your prices, right? It has to become worth more. So this is a huge piece that a lot of people were kind of. It’s kind of a head scratcher and no one can see in. No one really can seem to figure this out and I get because he gets. I get this question asked so often, okay, how is this person charging this? And that person is charging that. Like what is the difference in how the heck are they doing that? That is what I’m going to uncover today for you guys. Let’s jump into this episode.
My name is Cathy Olson. I’m part of a group of entrepreneurs who are the founders and creative directors of their businesses who have a discerning eye and a ton of heart. If you ask those get rich quick types, they would say that pretty designed isn’t functional and doesn’t sell yet. We are proving everyday that beautiful and thoughtful details do sell and in fact attract unstoppable beauty and wealth. We believe that we can have it all and that sales can be gorgeous. These are the secrets of gorgeous design and we are here to make creativity, lucrative, build gorgeous brands and sales funnels, and to make the world of business a gorgeous place to be.
There is a huge misconception about talent these days and especially talent in design and being an artist, right? Because I think that people think that talent, that Bingo talented automatically equals that you make more money and the sad reality, I mean that’s Kinda the way it should be, right? Like the more than the heart of that someone works in the more talented than they are, that they should be the highest paid, but we kind of know that to not be true. Right? That’s like a youtube Utopian society that doesn’t exist, so really what, what does make people make more money? What, how do people charge more than the next guy and that is really, you know, kind of obviously, but sad to say that it’s through sales and because a lot of people that are talented or that have raw talent, they just don’t know how to actually run a business.
They don’t actually know how to command these higher prices and I will say obviously talent’s a huge part of it. I think you have to have both, just like you have to have the strategy and great design. You have to be good at sales and go to design. Right? And that’s one of the things that we really focus on inside my mastermind program, that inspired pro. We really focus on both because you can’t be successful without one or the other. If you are not a good designer or you’re not creating a great product, but you’re charging a lot, there’s gonna, you’re gonna have some issues there, right? With a B, basically people being unhappy because you’re not actually providing what you’re selling. And converse the, you know, in the same on the other side if you’re an amazing designer, which a lot of people that are listening to this and are in the industry right now, they’re amazing designers, but they just don’t have the business savvy and they don’t have the sales savvy to actually pull forth that message in order to actually make any great money.
They’re really talented and they’re doing great design and they are missing out. They’re missing the boat and they’re just not sure what they’re doing wrong. And guess what? I’m raising my hand because that was me for really, really long time. I knew, you know, I went to school for design. I’ve, Gosh, I’ve been a designer, like I was raised as a designer. You guys like I have done so much in my life. I was gonna say short life, but gosh, I’m like old now, haha. But I’ve done so much in my life that I should like was so early on it was Kinda like preemptive things. Like just the, the path that I went down, guys, I was doing crazy graphic design stuff when I was a kid and it’s just amazing that, you know, the path that I’ve been on, but now you know, like I’ve been on this business path for the last, I don’t know, whatever, five years plus I’ve been on this strategy and business side pass because I got, I got to be a great designer so early and so quickly.
I don’t want to say quickly I, that was a little over a long period of time, but because I was a great designer and I became known pretty quickly, it served me well, but I also wasn’t charging anywhere near what I should be charging because I had all this talent but I didn’t have the business savvy. I know firsthand what this is like. And it took me a long time to figure out how to finally charge what I want to charge. Because I mean, of course there’s always mindset issues that come with that. You know, about like, uh, especially women, I’ll say too, we have a harder time. I mean, Duh. The whole wage gap, right? We do employee make, what is it like 80 something cents to the dollar that a man does. A lot of it is our fault.
I mean, obviously some of it’s not our fault, but a lot of it’s our fault. We’re not, we don’t ask for raises, right? I mean, we don’t ask for as much money. It’s been proven that if there’s a female, I’m kind of at the helm, not, I don’t want to say it’s been proven because this is not scientific, but it’s been proven in my life that I have of designers and photographers and other creative people that I know of when they were by themselves, they charged a certain amount and then when they brought like if they retire their husband or whatever and they or their husband joined the team, all of a sudden they started charging more. They started making more money. It’s just one of those things that I’ve seen happen over and over and over again. We kind of have those things stacked against us a little bit as far as the mindset piece.
But with that, without, without that piece, right, without the mindset piece, like not even paying attention to that, like let’s pretend that we don’t have any issues with asking for money. How do we actually get the money? Right? It’s one thing to ask for a certain amount and raise her prices to a certain amount, but it’s another thing for people to actually buy it and actually fill our client calendar. That is really what I want to share with you and I’m going to show you, share with you three things that you can do really basically right now to start selling high end design and start booking and closing more high end designs. When I will say as just a little backstory, when I started doing this, I started doing this public a couple years ago, I would say, when I really started focusing on this new kind of system that I’ve developed.
And it worked a little too well at first. I’ve raised my prices significantly. But I started like, you know, really upping my sales game. And I just like, this was like my, what I really focused on for, for a few months to figure out this system. And then I figured it out and I got it, like rolling in. I kind of tested it and tweaked it and played with it a bunch. And then I got it to work so well that I overbooked our business. I was like, boom, boom, boom. It was like everyone was saying yes, it’s like I’d have a call and then it would close, then a call and then it closed, then a call and it goes. I was closing like nine out of 10 calls. And I was like, Oh crap, I didn’t expect that. Well, which I love about now because you know, it’s, you just don’t know what you know until it happens.
Right? I wasn’t anticipating that it would work so well, but that’s what I wanna share. The first thing that, the three things I want to talk about today is basically how to make your, your design more valuable or just, or just to kind of basically tell the story and tell them the message. Because your design is more valuable, what the problem is and this struggle that people have is actually explaining that to people and getting them to see it like they see it. That’s what you need to focus on. It’s not really about proving yourself or saying how long I’ve been a designer. Like no one really cares about you. Right? We’ve heard that before, but nobody really cares about your accolades or you know, your bachelors of Fine Arts degree. Like nobody cares about that. Right? Like nobody cares that I’ve been designing for 18 years or whatever.
Right. They really just care about what, what you can do for them. All of these three things are a very customer focused approach and what you can do for them and why it’s valuable to them. Because I could say, oh my gosh, you know, the Mona Lisa is worth this much money, but like I don’t want the Mona Lisa in my house so it’s not worth that much to me. When you’re talking about value based design, it has to be valuable to them and if it is valuable to them, if it is great offer and it is great deal, and they, they understand the value and they see the value, then they’re going to buy it. First thing you can do is to make you want to make research based decisions. And so what I mean by this is that you want to explain it.
Whether you’re [inaudible], there’s different ways to sell, right? Maybe you’re on the phone call a call with them and you’re actually explaining, here’s what I do and, and why, why it costs what it costs. Or maybe this is on a website webpage, maybe you’re actually selling from a sales page or your actual webpage. But either way you want them to understand that you’re making research based decisions on all of the design. It’s basically a scientific approach to design. That’s what I want you to do once you to take somewhat of a scientific approach and on and, and everything that you explain. One of the features that you agree explaining, explain that they’re based on not on a whim, what people think that design is based on a whim and you might go, you might know that it’s not, but they don’t know that it’s not.
That’s why this first thing, you really have to focus on that I’m making these decisions based on, you know, your, your ideal market, like it did just totally depends on what you’re selling, right? But let them know you’re making those decisions on that you’re making your decisions on like maybe past testing that you’ve done or research that you’ve done or maybe you’re making decisions based on your past experience, right? Your vast experience of what you’ve been through and you’ve and seeing how people react to certain things. And this could be like in the colors that you’re choosing. This could be in the fonts that you’re choosing, like anything, right? When you take the approach that I’m designing in a research based way and I’m making decisions based on like science basically, then they’re going to feel like it’s much more valuable and it’s going to be worth a lot more.
It’s going to last better and it’s going to because it’s going to be a better ROI on their part. All that to say that that’s why they care about this. That’s why they want to make sure that your decisions are backed by something because it will mean that it improves their bottom line, right? That’s not just guessing on a whim, like it’s professional. The second thing you want to do is you want to couple with things with strategy and w and slash or with testing to like Kinda like, like we were talking about on the first one, uh, doing research. But you want them to understand that everything you’re doing that you’re gonna be creating for them or everything that you offer is based on strategy. And it’s not, again, not just not like on a whim, but actually it’s based on strategy, on what you’re creating for them for the future.
Too, so you want to be thinking about and kind of explaining about what their strategy and what and what their goals are. Thinking about when we create for a client, we’re not just creating some really pretty design, we’re creating predesigned that has a great foundation that’s actually going to boost sales or boost conversions or there’s a strategy behind it or maybe it’s a growing your audience. Maybe they want to grow their following, so everything that you’re going to be kind of selling to them, you want to flip it around and say based because you want to do this thing right? Kind of like a goal based thing because you want to fill in the blank, grow your following, right? Whatever it is, we are going to create it, create this in this way because this grows or you know, like you’re following or whatever like that.
So because you want blank, we do blank. So because you want to stand out from the competition, we are going to design something that is cutting edge and you really unique and way more high end than anything else in your industry. Something like that. Right? And there’s kind of off the top of my head. But when you left, when you couple it with the strategy based decisions and and the solutions, then it’s like, okay, wow. I get it. Like everything’s thought through. It’s well planned. Everything is in place for a specific reason and it’s not just, you know, because it looks cool, right? That’s the whole thing. Nobody wants to design because it looks cool because we all know that that’s like flash in the pan. We want design decisions that are coupled with the strategy and that we’re gonna, you know, make sure that is created for a specific purpose.
And the last thing that you want to start doing right now, whether that is in your sales calls or in your website or anywhere where you’re trying to sell high end design, you have to infuse the fact that you care about their success. And I think that this is something so simple and it’s like, well, well, okay, I get, I get it. I, I of course I care. But no, I mean you need to let them know that you are personally invested in their success. This is the difference between, you know, going to McDonald’s and having a personal chef come to your house, right? Like you need to care about all of that. That this is the highest level of service they can get that you care if they say yes or no, right? Sometimes people, I think we’d just throw off, you know, proposals and be like, oh, well let’s see what, see what sticks.
No, you need to care. You need to follow up with them. You need to start following them on social media, right? Like we just, we need to be personally invested in their success in their company. And that is the difference between high end design and not high end design is that we are partnering up. I’m a partner with you in this. We are, we are on the same team. We are going to build this amazing thing that we’re looking for, like I’m a part of this with you. You’re hiring me like as a part of your team. They need to feel that they need to like it needs to. The caring and the love needs to be physically felt from them, that you care about them, that you care about their success, that they’re not just the number, that they’re not just gonna basically be just, hey, we’re gonna work together and they’ll never see you again.
Like they need to know that you’re building relationship and our friendship and that you care about creating really incredible and amazing design for them. That is one of the. If you don’t have a, if you don’t have that, then all of these other things fall flat. Then you’re just selling, right? You’re just selling booking them and getting out of the out the door. But this is what really makes the difference on, you know, high end design is that is this partnership. It’s not, you’re not just a number. It matters to me. It matters to me that we care about your success. You know? And so that’s why all these other things also matter to they, they all go together, you know, you want to make research based decisions on their clients and specific basically making it very custom for them. You want to make sure that you’re making strategic decisions, you know, cold goal based solutions because you want this, we’re going to do this.
And then you want to let them know ultimately you just, you do these things because you care so much and you care about their success and you care about creating the most amazing version of what you’re going to be. What were you going to be creating for them and with them. So those are the three things that you can start doing today that will help you start closing these specifically, you know, whether it’s on your website or through or you do phone calls or whatever. But that’s how you make it more valuable. You make it so that it gets a return on investment, that it’s, you’re, you’re, it’s customized just to fit them and that you care about them every step of the way. So thanks guys. I hope that was helpful. I appreciate you so much.
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