Successful Technology Story w/ Suzi Istvan
Yeah yeah you can't see may I don't think but I can see you owe lola isn't your adorable s o this is suzy ist man she is a designer and she was really amazing high end design for a lot of clients and she's also a client of mine um and one of my star clients you know like you know you have clients that like don't do anything you say to dio and she just does what we say to do which is great and she always asked the questions like before she starts doing all this new crazy legal stuff she's like what do I need to think about before I do that which I love I wish I could teach more of my clients to do that okay s so anyway I really wanted to talk to suzie because susie has a great example of how you sort of reworked the intellectual property that you're creating in your service business and used it to create another source of revenue so tell us let's just start by you just giving us a little bit of background about yourself and about your business uh so I'm is you said I run a creative bran...
ding agency called social susie designs we dio design development and brand strategy for clients typically on a long term basis for about a year or so uh which is also a kind of an evolution too so we should talk about that as well from like the one off service to like a retainer situation right absolutely that that was one of the ways that we kind of evolved this year with your help way we're realizing that as a web designer and I think any other designers can kind of feel this with me is you put kind of your heart and soul into developing not just a pretty website but this entire strategy behind a brand and you get to know your client and your clients clients and then the website it's done and everything's over and it's really it feels sort of sad that to sort of send them on their way on dh typically the businesses we work with then needs so much more they need a class set up they need a brochure they need a book they need all kinds of more design more brand strategy on we wanted to be able to be there with them so as we started to recognize that that's how we work best and that's how the clients were attracted teo work best we sort of evolved into a more long term relationship but that left it so we really couldn't help any startup businesses who needed more simple quick but still beautiful and professional websites so that was where the issue was and that's where we sort of repurpose things into creating a splendid start yeah home thank you I love this because what we've been talking about today is sort of mining the intellectual property that you've already got on dh then turning it into new lines of revenue which is essentially exactly what you did so let's talk about like what is the sort of intellectual property or the knowledge or you know, the sort of intangible assets that you already had from delivering your services that you used to create this new this new thing which is a splendid start so that was that was the most interesting part of all this is one of those people that thought a service based business didn't have intellectual property I thought you know, you know I can't just like take this book I've written and you know, turn it into a web series or something and I was really, really wrong because what we realized was we had friends and family and close even after we stopped doing startup websites and we stopped working with smaller businesses and we stopped doing kind of the lower budget quick turnaround designs we have friends or family or people wanting to start businesses come to us and say could you just do a website for me? Could you just do it in a week and we would and we would and we started to realize there wass we had from doing this so long systems in place to get our clients to a place where they knew what they wanted, we could really narrow down the design process so instead of it being an infinite amount of choices we knew what worked really really well for start up businesses and and their audiences so we could suggest different layouts or combinations of layouts so that we wouldn't be designing from scratch every time this's brilliant I love it okay this is a perfect example of your honor service business of how you can take your systems your processes remember when we went to the mining step we talked about operations right this is your operation stuff it's your step by step process that you take clients through know whether if you've actually britain it down or not there is one you are taking kinds through a process no matter what so you have a process and if you just sit down and actually write down what that process is you realize okay that has value actually and that could be used in a couple of different ways one way it could be used us to work with clients one on one but then it can also be used the way suzy is doing it with a splendid start so tell us until that was sorry good good oh no I got excited oh good I like excitement bagehot bagehot but we have a process we totally you know we thought were just you know coming up with that out of our brilliant spontaneous mind but really doing something for years you do develop a process whether you realize it or not so once we figured out we do have a way that we can get people website and we can get to them quickly and we can do a lot of the work on our end up front because of these processes so a lot of the elements of our states are already coded and packaged up and ready to go yes I yeah waken build a website at like a quarter of the cost of what we charge you know our long term high end ultra custom clients and we can do it in a week and so that's something that in that post splendid start works it's it's it's a lower cost very quick turnaround exactly what you need when you're starting a business because that website when you first start your business is going to be it needs to grow and it needs to change and a cz your brand changes and your business changes you need to be able to have a site that's going to move with you and so that was how we were able to repackage our system to serve that clientele which was great because our boot our business was moving in a totally different direction and now we get to kind of play with people who are different points in their businesses yes I love this this's no awesome I love that you already I don't even realize that that you have I knew you had templates but I didn't know that like basically what you're saying is is that these websites are basically already coded and ready to go all right, so you're taking this one piece of I p and then you can sell it over and over and over again to different clients who then you customize it for so can you tell us a little bit like what does the client get give us the different pieces of this so we can see how we might apply this to other, you know, service businesses or other types of I p sure so the first thing we had to do was figure out what does the client if you're gonna build a website in a week uh, you don't want a cold client who hasn't thought about their brand or design or business needs or anything like that. So what point do we need to get them tio in order to be able tio r job really, really well right? And so we created the first part of a splendid start, which is just a four part um a little mini class we didn't want it to be something people had to like take days off of work forward a quick hitting class that walks you through choosing the calls toe action on your site, the brand look and feel from a visual standpoint, we have you create a pinterest board, we sort of walk you through lots of examples we talk use we talked the clients through figuring out what they need their clients to do when they arrive on their new insight because that's going to inform your layout decisions that so can I just say how smart that is because that's the part that you know deals with issues and if you check out the advanced for designers course one of the things that I said is that my web design clients have had the most issues with their clients okay like I feel like no one has mohr issues with clients and web designers and I don't think it's the designers themselves necessarily I feel like it's almost like the nature of the business where people come to you they have no idea what they want you know like they're totally overwhelmed they wanted to look beautiful but they really it's hard for them to say especially if you're not a visual person how do I want my brand and myself and my personality and my business that I'm building to be represented visually you know so you're kind of bringing them to a place but by the time you're working with them they've already worked through all that so you're sort of forcing them and also making it a benefit of the course that they're walking through that so that by the time you work with them they know what they want you've sort of help them figure that out that's brilliant I love it I think that's something that you could even use in a purely service business and that would be something that you'd be able to charge more more of a premium type of service you know to say all right I'm gonna help you figure these things out ahead of time like in different industries so I think that that has a lot of value in so many different ways this is also something you could teach the other designers you know and say hey let me tell you about how I work with my clients to make life easier for me and to provide more value to them so this is just you know I'm just trying to give them some ideas and get the ideas percolating about how you can apply this type of idea to your business into the I p that you're mining today okay so tell us what else is involved sorry go along with that first part we then developed well then we thought through okay well how do we want them to look deliver this information to us and we don't want you know emails and we don't want essays and we don't want to create more work for them so then we developed an interactive workbook that goes right along with the course so there's no stress they know exactly what we're looking for that's just fill in the blank it's easy for everybody and then they turned that workbook overto us and we schedule their design weak and so it was it's been really, really fun to see people get to kind of go through the course and have so much fun with it on but the same time like you said it makes our jobs easier so exact total win win yeah and then don't you have another expert that you've sort of collaborated with on the service yeah absolutely so we haven't upgraded version of the service again because it was just looking at what we always do, what our clients always need help with and there's an upgraded version where you can get an hour with me and I'll walk you through your designs and then I also partnered with a really good friend of mine aaron or collini who is an incredible business coach and she'll come in and do an hour with the client as well because remember a lot of these air startups so having that extra hand holding that extra confidence boosting is huge because when you are at the point that you're developing designed for a brand you want be at your most confident and your most excited and really knowing the direction of your business not just the pretty features you want on your website way wanted to be an actual tool that generates revenue for us yeah, awesome I love this I'm so excited to see what other amazing ideas you're going tohave I saw that there was I mean, obviously I'm not going to get into the behind the scenes stuff but I saw that there's just interaction about some ideas that you have going forward so I look forward to seeing what else you're going to dio how will be talking about that way sure well uh well thank you so much for coming on and sharing your expertise and honestly you've also shared a great resource for people you know if you're starting out and you need a great new website obviously this is a kick ass resource have you awesome thank you so much susi I'll talk to you soon rachel okay bye awesome so hopefully you've gotten you know out of this section where we're talking about rework you've gotten some ideas about how to use technology had a license with even larger cos you're content and how to take your stuff and sort of repackage it in different ways rework it use design use your sort of systems and processes and create new lines of revenue okay so I hope this is really helping to build confidence and I hope you're getting a lot of ideas and I hope you're taking lots of notes I see here in the audience there is like a plethora of note taking happening right here like that there's a lot of magic happening there like books being filled up there's like pages and pages of e I e I hope at home that you have the same thing going on and that you are really getting a sense of like how you can do this in your business and generate revenue so why don't we you know take a couple of questions we can take some questions online if we have any questions here in the audience or even if you just want to like sort of workshop a little bit some ideas that you're having kate we had talked about this a little bit tell me about your that military and combination of photography project that I've been working on a long term photography project I've called rendering honors yes about the old guard soldiers at arlington cemetery that render the honors to the people who are been been interned teo yeah I was in the military previously myself in the first time I went there in the capacities of photographer was in grad school when I was working on my masters and photography and I was a blistering or not blistering but a freezing cold day in february and at the end of the day I was spent I was emotionally exhausted physically yeah frozen I'm like would have about these guys that you know and women but mostly men that do this every day yeah what is it like for them that's amazing teo kind of I love how you're talking about all right so you're a photographer but then you also have this unique experience with the military background and I love that because that just shows like two different aspects of your life that you could probably join up to create an amazing project which is what you were talking about right so tell us a little bit about the project that you we're thinking about doing or that you're actually in the process is actually right process of but I need to talk to david I'm wanting to turn the project into a book yeah I've been working on for about ten years wow I've got lots of images and lots of texts and um I think it could be a really great hybrid between a fine art book and like a coffee table book yeah we could you know I want to be able to educate people on what people are what soldiers are still doing on this side also just to remind them about the cost of war yes and also it's it will be a great remembrance for people who have been buried at arlington or in the soldiers that work there like everybody in the military knows somebody that's buried there right right I love that that's such a great idea and that's obviously you have a ton of related to it already you have all of these images that you've taken over the years and then you know you also have cem cem copies and things that you've written related to it and I could see how you could use that in a lot of different ways one way is obviously you wanted teo, you know, potentially go the publishing round and put together a book for it this is also something that I could see being used maybe even in a documentary setting where you team up with a filmmaker and a lot of your images and sort of the stories that you ca n't tell are used as part of telling that story you know so that's just two different ways that you could take that I p that you're creating and then also that could be a teaching tool for other photographers to say hey, do you have a passion project something that you really a story that you want to tell with your photography and you can show them a way to not you know you could be you know, I know you do weddings and you do portrait photography so you could be a photographer that's working with clients one on one but then you can also take your artistry and used it towards a cause that you care about right? And this is it goes back to what I said right? It all makes full circle um this is a way for you to make more money it's a way for you to expand your reach and it's a way for you to like hit your mission right? Because this is something that you care about sure it's something that you're passionate about so I love that and thank you so much for sharing that example in us