The Design Business Show 057: The Mistakes I Made with my last Design Retainer Client

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | October 24, 2019
Check out episode 57 of The Design Business Show with to learn all the mistakes I made during my last retainer project.

Great news! Conversion Design School™, my new signature program showing digital product creators + launch service providers how to use conversion design strategies throughout their entire sales funnel to get more clicks and more sales.

And for a very short time, the doors are open, and I’d to invite you to join me. Head on over to to check out the sales page and I’ll see you inside the program!

The doors close on October 29, 2019, so if you want in, make sure you save your spot! One of the reasons I’m so excited about this program is because I know it will help designers become more focused on results!

I’m hosting another Design Masterclass on Monday, October 28 at 1 pm CST all about testimonials and how to get them, write them, design them and more! Go to to save your spot.

And the timing of this episode is amazing, because one of the things I want designers to know how to do is provide high-level services and go from being frustrated with the type of work they’re doing and be a conversion design savvy sales machine.

Here’s what we cover during episode 057:

  • How I got clients when I first started my business, and the type of work I did (check out episode 1 for the full scoop)
  • The type of work I did when I first started, and why I felt like a paper pusher
  • How I got my first sales page project
  • How that made me see how design played a role in the transaction
  • How 2018 and 2019 have been me experimenting with different projects
  • How one of those was a retainer project that lasted 4 months
  • A disclaimer that I am only grateful for this opportunity and the lessons I learned
  • The type of work I thought I’d be doing and why I quoted significantly lower than what I normally charge
  • Mistakes I made when I first took on the project
  • The type of work I ended up doing – it wasn’t everything I quoted
  • Why I kept doing the work, even though it wasn’t everything I thought I’d be doing
  • What happened when the project was over
  • Why I won’t ever take on a project like this and make these mistakes again
  • Why I wasn’t the best fit for the type of work they needed done
  • What happened when I asked for feedback and a testimonial
  • Why more than ever, I’ll be focused on conversion design, sales pages, and high-level strategy with my clients, and why nicheing down is a winning strategy for me
  • Why I’m still a fan of the work this client is doing, and why I don’t blame them for anything, this is all on me
  • If I want to be the boss, I’ve got to act like it
  • How you can learn from this situation in your future (and current) projects
  • Why the work that all designers is important, and my invitation to go from a production designer to a high-level strategist for your clients (join Conversion Design School™)
  • Why if you like production work, and if it suits your life, is perfectly fine to do if you enjoy it and it pays you what you want to be paid
  • Just a reminder that designers do in this world is really important, so keep on doing it

Links mentioned:
My free Design Masterclass
The Conversion Design School Sales Page
Episode 1
Episode 40 with llliah Manger
Episode 56 with Ticora Davis

Like what you heard?

Click here to subscribe + leave a review on iTunes.

Click here to join the free community! 

Let’s connect on Instagram