Running a Web Design Studio

A look into the differences between Freelancing vs building a Creative Studio

I was just about to pull out the old TV and tell you guys to talk amongst yourselves because these past few weeks have been HECTIC I tell ya. Between client work, content planning for YouTube, and well - more client work; it has been a wild end of August.

By the way, I hit 22 subs on YouTube which is a small W for me this week. I’m looking forward to continuing to create with all of you. Thank you for the support thus far. 🏆

Sub here if you haven’t yet 👇🏽

My YouTube Channel

My Days of Freelancing

Today’s newsletter is inspired by a conversation with a friend I had earlier today. He asked me “do you miss photography work?” my answer to that without hesitation was “no not at all, I have more freedom now”. Looking back on it, I believe I was always meant for a leadership role I just didn’t know that was a possibility without climbling a ladder of some sort.

This brings me to today’s topic: The Upsides of Running a Web Design Studio, and why the difference has many layers to it. If you’re curious as to what it might be like if you expanded your creative venture into a business with a team, my goal is to offer some perspective.

Operations

Breaking out of the mindset of doing everything by myself has help me grow in many ways. One of them is establishing a way for everyone to win through systems; I think of it like a basketball team. In order for us to win we need structure, and in business creating SOPs and a training process is what’s going to help get us to a championship. The purpose of SOPs is to bring everyone up to speed as far as how you connect with clients and do work daily.

Your goal as a leader is to ensure the client doesn’t feel individual underperformances as much as they feel your brand giving them an amazing experience working with you. This is accomplished by giving everyone structure, if they get confused or having an off day - there’s always a reference point to minimize error (even though, we’re humans and make mistakes. That’s okay). That being said, clients praise a smooth service.

Look, I can’t even begin to explain how much this has helped me establish my business. I grabbed some knowledge from my old job at a marketing agency, but another key piece that’s helped me create more free time is this SOP (standard operating procedures) course by John D Saunders.

Check it out here:

Learn Standard Operating Procedures

Speaking of organization, this is why I duplicated all my systems in Notion - to help other creative business owners get their day-to-day operations situated.

You can find out more about that here:

Creative Studio System

Capabilities

“Don’t hesitate to ask for help” is a mindset change I’ve adopted from running a studio. I look at my business now as an “energy company”. Building relationships and helping others is what I do on and off the clock. Giving instead of hording information and opportunities creates a healthy ecosystem, as well as good energy. With that being said, with the connections I build I can strengthen the businesses capabilities to fill in the gaps.

I hope she doesn’t mind me quoting her, because what she said is 100% facts.

I love this part of the business, being able to create opportunities for others or invest in someone’s skill set by buying a course or taking my time out to help them practice their design or developer work. Keeping up with the growth in tech means I always need to improve our skills as a team.

Work-Life

Running a web design studio helps me connect with larger businesses without a large personal brand that I otherwise would have needed 10K followers everywhere to get or a portfolio that only years of experience could create. The studio has a life of it’s own and can pull interest without knowing who runs it.

One thing I do like is having options, and one of those options is to choose if I want to get my hands on a project or not. This gives me room to base my decision to work from a place of want and not a place of need. Being in that space is more than enough of a reason for me to keep reinvesting in my team, my brand, and continue to stay consistent with this newsletter even if I miss a day.

Recap

Those are some of the reasons why I don’t regret my decision to become a CEO. With knowing yourself comes a greater understanding of where you’ll thrive in life. Once you get that clarity, going where your strengths exist and where you’re appreciated becomes an easier decision to make. One thing I do know now is that it’s much better to ask for help, than struggle alone.

What’s Next?

I’m thinking about creating a Figma tutorial - I’m not sure if I want to recreate a site that already exists just to show you the ropes or if I want to start from scratch. Either way, you can expect an announcement about that soon.

Thanks for reading as always, talk soon

-Dexter