The Design Business Show 178: An Easy Way To Move The Needle Towards The Thing You Dream About with Melissa Burkheimer

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | March 22, 2022

Hey friends! Melissa here. If you’re new or if you’ve been engaging with the podcast for a while, as always, I’m grateful you’re here.

I want to try and produce a few more solo shows than normal this year – because I’m in the midst of a big transformation in my business and career and I can actually articulate a few things to share that may or may not be helpful for you.

I do have a quick ask first. If you like the show or have learned something from it, leave us a review on whatever platform you listen and/or engage? It helps share our message far and wide, and I would so appreciate it!

I also wanted to let you know that I’m speaking again at the Simply Profitable Designer Summit, hosted by Krista Miller, and it starts this week! This week is March 21, and my presentation goes live March 22, and is accessible for free for 48 hours.

The Simply Profitable Designer Summit is a free event all about streamlining and improving what you’re already doing so you can be more efficient, profitable, and stress-free.

My presentation for this year’s summit is brand new, and the official title is: “Produce a Blockbuster Design Offer That Attracts Dream Clients Who Can’t Wait to Work With You”

It’s the first place I’m sharing a behind-the-scenes look at my process for creating my new business model.

My presentation goes live on Tuesday, March 22 at 10 am CDT on day 2, which is all about simplifying your marketing. You can visit and sign up via the links in the show notes.

As I mentioned in episode 169, in 2022, I was really craving something different for my business.

The thing I was craving?

New design projects, in new industries, that didn’t include the words “sales page design.”

Quick backstory: I built a tiny brand around sales page design. After 7 years of sales page design-ing for my awesome clients, I decided it was time for something new.

I’m still in the thick of making the things I want happen – but thought I could share 3 things that worked to help me land a few new projects in new fields, with specifics on how it’s worked for me, so you have inspiration on how it can apply to your business / career.

1. Aligned connections lead to the best opportunities.

Funnels, emails, and social media are great for building your brand, sharing your ideas and selling your products. Building and nurturing 1:1 relationships, sending referrals, giving testimonials, and connecting with other collaborators you work with can lead to the best opportunities.

I recently finished a branding + web design project for a new social impact brand who’s mission is to empower AAPI women. I got the opportunity as a referral from a friend who owns a web development agency, and now I’m having conversations with them to work with the brand doing more strategic projects.

2. Get really clear about what you want. And tell your connections about it.

There’s a whole big world out there. I was so entrenched in sales-page-design-land I never stopped to think about the bigger things that I wanted to do. So, dream big. Write it down. Think bigger. And then test out the thing to see if you like it.

One of my current dreams? Work with global beauty brands on their big brand campaigns. Right now I’m working with a global nonprofit who partners with a wide variety of beauty and fashion brands. One step closer to where I want to be!

3. Show up and do your best in every project, even if it isn’t the dream.

When you’re hired for a specific thing, let’s pretend it’s sales page design, make sure you provide as much value, along with the deliverable as you can. Get things done on time. Let your expertise shine. And communicate the project details often with your client.

Doing that was how I landed design projects with the clients I was buying courses from early on in my business.

I had an offer that delivered what they needed: a sales page that converted, and more clients and sales. That created lots of referrals. That lead to launch strategy and launch management clients. And now I’m managing a campaign for the global nonprofit I mentioned above. I got that project through an aligned connection, too!

These 3 things are timeless business strategies that helped me get to where I want to be. The key here is not worrying about it being perfect, but instead making it happen and being consistent.

Everyone starts somewhere. Nothing happened for me overnight. And not all of it was pretty or perfect. There’s no secret strategy. I’m not exactly where I want to be yet, but I’m excited for what’s coming my way!

In episode 169 I shared my “Branding Advice That Goes Against the Norm” – which in a nutshell is, testing my offers first to see if I like them. And after that, investing the time and money in the sales page + branding for them.

One way that I got here, and here is not exactly where I want to be yet, was doing a lot of thinking and observing what has worked and not worked FOR ME in the past.

Here’s a really Easy Way To Move The Needle Towards The Thing You Dream About. It involves doing one of my favorite things: Making a list!! 

  1. Create a success list that documents all the things you’ve accomplished.
  2. Do a quick check in with where you’re at right now. What’s working? What’s not?
  3. Circle all the good things from both lists you’d like to keep.
  4. Then, make a list of the big picture things you want to do.
  5. Make a decision on the next best step for your dream – that will get you where you want to be 5 years from now.

Everyone starts somewhere. Make a list. Go for it. See what you like. Get rid of what you don’t. It’s that simple.

There’s one more thing I want to say about moving toward the place you want to be.

It requires owning your expertise in pursuit of your dreams. Owning your expertise can be tricky when you’re not looking at your business from a 360 degree view.

I’ve said for years that “I’m not good at branding.”

I stayed in my little sales page design lane.

I told everyone who came to me wanting brand design and/or web design projects “thanks, but no thanks.”

When I stepped back and looked all the value I was giving (but only charging for the sales page design as a deliverable, not the strategy) that’s when I realized I was, um, wrong

The next time you tell yourself you’re not good at something, I want you to do me a favor and pause.

Is this really true?

Or did you just tell yourself this?

Are you being nice to my friend?

Signed, your friend who said they were “not good” at something for years. 🙂

And remember, be nice to my friend. 🙂

Thanks for reading / listening. I hope all your dreams come true.

Links mentioned:

Episode 169 of The Design Business Show

Sign up for The Simply Profitable Designer Summit (affiliate link)


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