Today our guest is Russ Perry of Design Pickle, an on demand graphic design company. They pair clients with graphic designers who create unlimited graphics charging a flat monthly fee of $370 a month. Russ has a background in running design agencies. He learned how to systemize design and did some consulting work. Then he created a system that eventually became Design Pickle. He wanted a way that was easy and automated for his clients to request work.

Design Pickle launched in January 2015. Russ had to hustle for his first 10 clients. He did guest blog posts and emailed everyone he could think of to launch his business. He got 20-30 signups in that first month. Then he took that money and used it to market. He even dressed as a pickle to market his site at the InfusionSoft Conference in 2015. He was dressed as a pickle and he handed out pickles at lunch time. He didn’t get any business cards with his cartoon pickle hands, but he generated interest.

The pricing strategy was to start at $195 a month, but as the business grew and they added tiers, it was time to increase prices. Russ also discovered that important lesson all entrepreneurs eventually learn. Underpricing doesn’t usually lead to the highest quality customers. They then raised the monthly price to $370 and also started offering different plans. Follow along to find out how Russ started a productized business and scaled it to seven figures in a very short time.

Topics in today’s show:

  • The marketing psychology behind pricing plans and how to simplify the process
  • Customer service issues with turnaround times
  • They operate in one business day creative rounds, but turnaround times aren’t promised because the client needs to do the work of supplying the correct information
  • The pickle brand and how Russ doesn’t wear his costume anymore
  • Russ wanted to have a fun silly memorable mascot. He likes pickles and DesignPickle.com was available. So Russ went for it and Design Pickle is their brand. They even send out pickles and use them in marketing.
  • When sales started happening and the business was receiving positive feedback, Russ knew the company was gaining momentum
  • He started trying different marketing tactics like webinars, sales people, and facebook ads
  • Now that they know what marketing tactics work, they are sticking to their core tactics of live events and facebook ads and live demos
  • He hired a project manager right off the bat so he wouldn’t have to work with the designers
  • Now they have a whole team from the Philippines including management, 18 designers and a customer success person
  • They have 350 clients, so they need people to explain things to customers and get the information and expectations aligned
  • The team uses Slack on a regular basis and Russ went to the Philippines for team building and meetings
  • They aren’t just brokering independent designers, they actually have a Design Pickle team
  • Russ hopes to get the team from 20 to 200 designers in the next 24 months
  • They are a family focused work from home company
  • Their mission is to be the most helpful design company in the world
  • They track key performance indicators, but the math and expenses seem to average out
  • Providing a better experience around design with tracking and software and a support team is their goal
  • Limiting anxiety with tools, automation, checkpoints and good communication is another method they use to create a positive customer experience

Resources Mentioned:

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