The Design Business Show 032: Creating and Growing a Successful Design Business with Michelle Martello

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | May 21, 2019
Join me for episode 32 of The Design Business Show where I speak with Michelle Martello about creating and growing your design business!

A passionate advocate for universal education through technology, Michelle Martello has been involved in e-learning and interactive design since the late 90s. She started her company Minima Designs in order to serve others by creating dynamic online and interactive experiences. She’s helped hundreds of clients define and achieve their business goals through custom design, consulting and digital strategy. Michelle’s work has received several accolades, most notably, a 2011 Webby award for her design work on The Architect’s Virtual Capitol.

Michelle regularly shares her knowledge through mentoring and online programs programs to help individuals and small business looking to enhance their online presence through effective digital strategy.

Michelle lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband Zane and her Aussie Shepard Juno. In her down time, she’s a Peloton fanatic, loves sunny hikes around her city and is finally learning how to DJ.

Here’s what we cover:

  • Get the scoop on Michelle’s new hobby and why she thinks doing creative things (away from the computer) and moving your body is so important for designers
  • How she and her friend taught each other web design and she got hired to work on the website for the college she attended
  • Learn how she got her start in design and how that lead to her first internship designing museum web exhibits
  • The type of work she did when she got her next full-time job and how that taught her a lot about the design world
  • The two things she tells the designers she mentors to do when they first get started on their own
  • How she got her first clients and a gig working with MTV
  • Why most of her client work has always been with clients virtually
  • How answering people’s questions in Marie Forleo’s blog lead to her getting featured on one of Marie’s videos and the impact it had on her business
  • Why she specialized in doing websites for health and wellness business owners in the beginning
  • Why Marie Forleo’s mastermind was a no-brainer for her
  • Why she recommends finding people who can help keep you accountable
  • Why she doesn’t want to have an agency
  • Why she tells designers that other designers are their best source for referrals
  • Why web site projects now have to be more flexible than before
  • Why she sometimes refers to herself as a visual therapist – and why hiring a designer is a big step for our clients
  • Michelle’s experience working with a more difficult client and why she doesn’t work with those types of clients anymore
  • Why when you work with clients you should have one point of contact
  • Why she got burnt out in the early days of her business
  • The type of clients Michelle works with now
  • How she makes money today in her business
  • How she does revenue sharing in her design projects and what that looks like
  • What designers should focus on in their early days
  • How she does website reviews in her business and why she doesn’t do anything for free anymore
  • Why she thinks designers should build an email list early on
  • How designers can reach out to their past clients to pitch more work
  • Get the details about her live event happening in June 2019

Links mentioned:

Michelle’s website

Michelle’s event website

Michelle’s live masterclass

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