Have you ever created something that people paid money for?
I don't mean have you ever done something that people paid money for because everyone with a job could answer yes to that. I also don't mean do you have a skill people have paid for because, again, everyone with a job qualifies.
For example, all Uber drivers would qualify for both of these things. They get paid to do something (give people rides) and they get paid because they have a skill (being able to drive).
But here's the thing: they didn't create Uber, they're just driving their cars.
What's The Difference?
Most web designers – in fact, the vast majority of people in general – have never created anything of value. They have done valuable things with valuable skills but that's not the same thing.
The way I look at web design, I see two things that you could create that have intrinsic value:
Solutions vs Skills
It is common to confuse solutions with skills. To me, a skill is a raw, fundamental thing you can do like branding, web design, copywriting, social media management, etc. When you perform one or more of these skills for someone else it is commonly referred to as a “service” – but that's not what I mean. I'm referring to something more high-level, like a productized service.
For most webs designers, the value is almost always tied to the web designer themselves, not their business. If they leave the business they take the “value” with them. It's sometimes called the Tony Robbins effect. If you remove Tony Robbins from the conference the conference loses all of its value.
I'm defining a product as something you build up front and then can sell without any additional development. For example, a course, design template pack, or WordPress theme. Most web designers don't create products.
When I say “solution” I mean a skill PLUS a strategy that creates a specific outcome. I don't mean simply performing a skill on demand. The difference boils down to leadership. Are you in implementation mode and being told what to do by the client or are you leading the client? That means you're performing skills. Most web designers (I was there once too) operate in implementation mode, not as leaders. If you want to offer a solution you need to provide both the skill and the strategy.
Context And Outcome Dicate Value
Is a hammer valuable?
If you need to drive a nail, yes, but not if you're thirsty.
The context and the desired outcome dictate the value.
If you can't answer who it is for and what outcome it delivers you probably don't have product or a solution. Most likely you just have skills.
Are Skills Valuable?
Yes, but the value depends on the scarcity of the skill. For example, there aren't as many dermatologists as there are primary care (general practice) physicians. Dermatolgists get paid a lot more than primary care doctors.
What about web design? We can see the value is going down as the skills required to create a website become more accessible and wide spread. With all the tools at our disposal today, you don't have to be a highly trainined professional to put a website on the internet.
But, will the website produce results?
Well, who is it for and what result does it need to produce?
Context and outcome dictate value.
Triangle Of Value
To create something of value you have to know:
- who it is for (target market)
- what result is needed (outcome)
- how to deliver that outcome (solution = skills + strategy)
I call that the triangle of value. You have to have all three sides, otherwise it won't hold value. You can't hold anything with only one or two lines; you have to have all three.
Solution First Agency
The purpose of DoubleStack is for you to create your own Solution First Agency by packaging together your pre-existing skills, plus a few additional marketing skills and strategies I can show you along the way. This gives you a business that has intrinsic value whether or not you, personally, are there. In other words, you could sell the business at some point in the future if you wanted to.
There a bunch or reasons why this is so effective, but two of the big ones are pricing (value) and lead generation.
You can charge vastly higher prices – like 10X more. Project prices are usually between $10,000 – $30,000. It's much easier to charge rates like this because the solution is already established so the client's the liklihood of success is vastly greater than just coming up with a “creative” solution for the fisrt time.
It's much easier to attract leads because you know exactly who you are trying to reach and what that audience wants. Therefore, you can develop your marketing around your solution and the outcome you create.
This is a story only you can tell. Everyone else is stuck marketing their skills (web design, branding, social media, etc). and saying all of the same words, everyone else is saying. The market is far more saturated and your skills are being comoditized making them less valuable (Think primary care doctor vs. dermatologist – you want to be the dermatologist.)
Why do dermatologists make more money?
- They know exactly who they serve
(people concerned about skin cancer)
- They offer a specific outcome
(skin cancer screening)
- They know how to do something most others don't
(they are pros at early detection and prevention)
That means, in our marketing world, we'd say have the triangle of value:
- Target market
- Desired outcome
So, do you want to build something of value?
If so, let's talk.