Answer: Which designer makes more money….

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Thanks for your posts about the two designers — one your classic artist and one your classic template developer — and which makes more money.

In this case, Designer 1, the artist-type, makes more money. He is a better marketer than designer 2. While Designer 2 works alone, Designer 1 has built a firm of employees and contractors that work under his guidance. He markets primarily via referrals — from clients who love his work and rave about him.

But wait, before you post to argue…..

There are basically three business strategies that any firm can follow (based on The Discipline of Market Leaders by Treacy et al):

– Be a product leader, like Nike or Intel. Designer 1 is a product leader, with custom, beautiful work that leads the market.

– Be operationally excellent, like Walmart or Southwest. Designer 2 follows this strategy, with repeatable products at a good price, and lots of volume.

– Be customer intimate, like IBM. These firms serve a broad range of their client’s needs. They may not have the best products or best operations, but can handle soup-to-nuts needs of their clients. The person who posted that they are Designer 1 and brother is Designer 2 may be in this category.

Pick one, and be the best at that strategy, while meeting minimum requirements in the other two categories. For instance, the designers noted have some potentially fatal flaws (like meeting deadlines, typos) that are below the market’s expectations. They need to fix those.

Beyond picking one of the three above strategies, here’s the key to making lots of money:

1. Make marketing a top priority. Different designers have different marketing strategies and approaches. But the most successful market, market, and market.

2. Build a firm. That way, you have leverage and earn money independent of your time. You can also create a team. As one reader posted, a team approach gives you the benefit of many more ideas than one person alone can create.

Okay, now post your arguments….

Andrew NeitlichAndrew Neitlich
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