If you’ve been dreaming about getting rid of your (annoying) clients and turning your creative service business into a product business, this week's episode of the Marketing Mentor Podcast is for you.
My guest is designer/developer, Justin Putney, who has developed an add on to Adobe’s InDesign called In5. In our interview, he generously shares tips on what you need to get started if you want to launch your own digital product, especially some of the mistakes made and lessons learned, with an emphasis on how to get started.
How did Justin do it?
He had a design problem and at first said, “Somebody should solve this problem.” Then said, “Maybe I should solve it,” and then “I better solve it quickly before someone else does.”
So now, listen here or below…and scroll down for more advice and resources from Justin. (One caveat: We are not financial advisers and Justin's investment strategy should in no way be misconstrued as investment advice. However, if you're curious about his ideas, talk with your CPA and/or financial planner.)
More from Justin:
A few tips to create a product-based business:
- Create a digital “paper trail” of your work online as you go along. That will demonstrate what you can do (it’s how I’ve gotten job offers without interviews).
- Disruptions are opportunities. Really. I once was a highly-prized Flash designer+developer. Then Steve Jobs (with Adobe’s help) killed Flash and made many of my skills irrelevant. That created a void for many people. I created software to fill that void and now I’m better off than I ever was as a Flash expert.
- Consider starting a side hustle. Today.
- Create an audience and tap that audience (don’t guess what they might want, even if you want it yourself —ask them).
- Own your relationship with your audience — don’t be dependent on another platform (like Facebook or Twitter).
- Learn about your investing options (especially a solo 401k if you’re self-employed).
- Think long-term.
- Don’t get lost in learning software.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time 10 years?
- Get outside.
- Be your own advocate.
- Get feedback sooner (don’t work in isolation of your audience).
- It’s never too early to learn about investing.
- Only surround yourself with people of the highest character.
- Learn the long-term legal ramifications of getting married before doing so.
A few favorite books, apps and more:
- Mindset by Carol Dweck
- Influence by Dr. Robert Cialdini
- Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
- Universal Principles of Design
- Bogleheads Guide to Investing
- Great by Choice by Jim Collins
- Any talk or interview by Jason Cohen (Asmartbear and WPEngine founder).
A few favorite software apps
- Google Docs
- Most useful web design tool: Chrome/Safari/Firefox/IE Developer Tools (even for designers, as I discuss in this article.)