A few weeks ago, this conversation blew up in the Millo Mastermind group.
I can understand the frustration behind watching computer-generated designs get a bunch of attention on big tech websites like The Next Web.
At first reaction, it’s easy to freak out a bit:
- Oh no, design bots are cheapening my work.
- Wait! Design bots are going to steal my clients!
- That means I’ll go out of business…
- And then I’ll have to go back to my 9-5 job (or I’ll never escape it in the first place)!
Once the shock wears off, though, you might just realize what a few others in the Mastermind group already know:
That logo-designing bots are not only zero threat to your business, but they might actually be a good thing for the design industry.
1. Design bots aren’t cheapening your work, they’re allowing you to charge more—if you do it right.
I remember this same thing happening when sites like 99 Designs really started to take off.
People still have the same concerns and complaints: “design is so cheap on 99 Designs, I have to lower my prices just to compete.”
The truth is: cheaper options allow you to charge more.
[Tweet “Cheaper options allow you as a freelancer to charge more for your premium service. #freelancerates”]
Why? Because cheaper options mean less-awesome options. People get what they pay for. And if they only pay $25 for a logo, they’re going to get a horrible logo.
The key to taking full advantage of this opportunity is to make sure your work is worth more than other options.
You can’t expect to do the same quality of work as a design bot and charge way more for it.
If you’re trying to get away with that, then you deserve to be put out of business by technology.
Yes, you have to step up your game. But it also offers a huge opportunity to charge a premium for the work you do.
2. You’ll get less calls from would-be nightmare clients.
If you’re worrying about designer bots stealing your clients, don’t.
Here’s how David Pita put it in the Millo Mastermind:
the people that use these services would have never been your client and if they were, they’d have been the worst clients ever. It’s like a NBA coach fretting about YouTube and the online courses that teach basketball skills. Complete different markets.
[Tweet “Low-cost competitors actually work as filters—helping you weed out nightmare clients. #freelancing”]
In a world where clients are using auto-designing software to get a logo, these services actually do you a favor—they act as filters. They siphon out the would-be-nightmare clients and leave you with clients you actually enjoy working with.
I’m in agreement with the other comments, this will help weed out the “I can do this myself, why would I pay you” type clients.
Now, potential clients who used to fill out your contact form may not even visit your web site.
And don’t forget, in this case, that’s actually a good thing.
Any time you save by not wasting it with dead-end clients means more time you can put into your marketing, passive income, or even your free time.
3. A design bot is not going to put you out of business—yet.
DIY design solutions are not for everyone. There are countless kinds of people who would still rather hire a human being to design something for them than hire a computer. Here are a few of them:
- People who don’t trust software to do a good job.
- People who want to interact with a human being instead of a computer.
- People who understand a brand is more than some text and an icon.
- People who want a premium solution for their business.
A design bot is no more likely to put you out of business than a street taco cart is likely to put a fancy restaurant out of business.
Do they do similar jobs for people? Yes.
But each one offers unique benefits and drawbacks.
Just as there’s room for each of them, there’s also still room for you as a talented designer.
There are tons of places like this. Ignore them. There’s still room for you!
4. In fact, a design bot might actually help your business.
Here’s how a few different members of the Millo Mastermind put it:
Let the untrained and untalented have their “magic tools”… And the charge them double when you have to fix their crap.
I get quite a bit of work fixing people’s crap.
It’s possible—even likely—that potential clients who decide to give it a shot with these logo-designing apps might even come knocking on your door after they realize they have deeper needs than these solutions can provide.
No need to shame or embarrass them. But do take time to explain why your service provides a premium solution for their company and why it’s a smarter decision to hire you in the long run.
The point is this:
The point is this: technology is going to come and go.
It can seem threatening.
And there’s nothing wrong with watching out for stuff like this. I mean, taxi drivers should be watching Uber and Lyft closely. Hotels & Inns should keep a close eye on Air BnB.
[Tweet “Stay ahead: come up with ways your #business can add human value in a way software can’t.”]
But don’t let it cripple you. Move forward. Constantly come up with new ways to add value that a bot simply can’t.
Focus on the added benefits of human-created work and you’ll stay ahead of this. You can do it.
Question: what value can humans add to the design experience that bots simply can’t?
Share your ideas in the comments.
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