listen to my latest podcast episode:
[podcastplayer feed_url="" number="0" excerpt_length="0" hide_cover="false" hide_description="true" hide_title="true" hide_loadmore="true" hide_download="true" hide_search="true" hide_subscribe="true" hide_social="true" hide_featured="true" hide_content="true" display_style="modern" accent_color="#ffffff"]
This image features a smiling person with text overlay indicating the title "PROFITABLE WEB DESIGNER" and a name below, against a teal background.

#95 – 15 Simple Marketing Strategies for Each Stage of Your Web Design Business

One of the biggest challenges that web designers face when trying to create consistent, sustainable, recurring income is marketing.

According to The Admin Bar Survey of over a thousand WordPress professionals, only 16% of freelancers and agencies are engaging in any outbound marketing despite 25% reporting struggling with not having enough work.

And one of the biggest challenges we see at the Web Designer Academy are that web designers are either not marketing at all, or they are using the wrong marketing strategies for their stage of business.

That's why in this episode I'm sharing 15 high-ROI marketing strategies tailored to different stages of your web design business. Whether you're just starting or you're a seasoned pro, these strategies will help you get started with your marketing and stick to it!

What you do now will pay off in 30,60,90 days, and then your efforts will start to compound and create marketing momentum!

If you're tired of the feast and famine cycle, this episode is for you. Stick around till the end, and I'll share a free training that can help you tackle the undercharging and overworking issues in your business.


  • The top three challenges web designers face in creating sustainable income
  • Why marketing feels overwhelming and how to simplify it
  • The importance of one-to-one marketing and how to do it effectively
  • How to transition to one-to-many marketing strategies
  • Advanced marketing tactics for seasoned web designers


  • [00:00] Introduction: Common challenges for web designers
  • [02:15] Simplifying your marketing strategy for high ROI
  • [04:37] Why marketing takes too much time and how to fix it
  • [11:22] Shannon’s journey from corporate to freelance web designer
  • [18:26] Detailed breakdown of 15 marketing strategies


Shannon Mattern (00:00.174)

Hello and welcome to 15 time -saving high ROI marketing strategies for every stage of your web design business. And I'm so glad you're here because there are three common challenges I see with web designers when it comes to creating a consistent, sustainable, recurring income in their web design business. The first one is undercharging. So according to a recent survey done of over a thousand WordPress

professionals specifically, 72 % of people are charging less than 5 ,000 on average for a website. So I have been saying this for years. I see web designers chronically and consistently undercharging and also at the same time overworking, struggling with work -life balance.

And the third challenge that gets in the way of creating consistent, sustainable revenue is marketing. So the WordPress professionals survey found that despite 26 % claiming to struggle with not having enough work, only 16 % of freelancers and agencies are doing any outbound marketing. And so there's definitely a difference between having enough work and making enough money. So undercharging, overworking and marketing are the top.

three challenges that we see web designers struggle with over at the Web Designer Academy. And so today we are going to be focusing on marketing. And I'm going to tell you about a free training I have for you at the end of this presentation that is going to help you with the undercharging and overworking piece of the equation. So I'm going to share that with you at the end of the session. So definitely stick around till the end. I'm going to give you the link to that. So today I'm going to be sharing with you 15 different strategies.

that are going to be broken down by stage of business because one of the biggest opportunities we also see for web designers when it comes to marketing is to simplify. So what we often see is people at the brand new stages of their business trying to implement super advanced marketing strategies and missing some of the basic tried and true strategies, which actually slows down their progress and makes it so that

Shannon Mattern (02:15.534)

they like miss out on some of the opportunities that they could be creating to create results. And then also we see more seasoned designers leaning on more advanced time intensive strategies when they could just plug in a few of the more simple ones and create bigger results in less time. So I am all about helping web designers create profitable, sustainable web design businesses. And that applies to your marketing too. If you are...

You have enough clients and you're struggling with work -life balance, but you want to make sure that you don't find yourself in that feast and famine place. It's so important to simplify, simplify, simplify. So we want you spending the least amount of time and effort for the most return when it comes to your marketing. And that's why I'm talking about the 15 highest ROI marketing strategies. And so there are three common problem areas with

marketing that I often see with freelance web designers, depending on where they're at in their web design business journey. And the first problem that we typically see is that marketing takes way too much time. So what you're doing to marketing takes too much time. The way you're thinking about marketing makes it feel overwhelming. So you don't do it and you don't prioritize it. And you put client work and client projects ahead of marketing. It falls by the wayside. And then you consistently find yourself in

feast and famine mode in your web design business. So if this is you, please just know you are so normal. The way this plays out is that, like I said, we think the things that we need to do to market our business are super time intensive, so we don't do them. And we're inconsistent with our marketing, which equals inconsistent clients and inconsistent revenue growth, regardless of your business model. And so when that last client project ends,

you don't have another one lined up. You find yourself in that famine mode and then you either, you know, think that rebranding or redesigning your website will result in clients. And by the time that next new client comes around, you're feeling a little desperate. So you take on smaller projects or you lower your price and that cycle just starts over and over and over. And we don't want that for you. And we're going to fix that for you in today's training. The other marketing problem that we see,

Shannon Mattern (04:37.294)

is that just newer freelancers just not knowing where to find clients. They might've gotten their first couple clients through personal connections. They built the website, their own website. They might've set up social media profiles. They may have even set up profiles on freelancer platforms, joined a few Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, maybe posting on Instagram, but nothing is resulting in clients. And if this is you, please know that you are so normal. It's like a phase.

that almost everyone goes through. But the problem is that the longer that you stay here without making some changes, the longer you are spending a ton of time doing things that aren't working and not making any money or not making much at all. And so when you're spending your time optimizing lots of profiles and platforms and websites and, and, you know,

building spec websites and doing case studies or demo sites and just waiting for clients to find you. It feels like you're working, but your time is actually being spent on things that don't create revenue or new clients. And so every day that you stay here is a day that you're delaying your results. Okay. The third problem that I see so often with web designers who are pretty well established and all of their clients come from word of mouth and referrals. And while that is awesome,

That's where we want to be. We want to have that as a source. You always, it's like, you never know where that revenue is going to come from. It's like, yeah, sure. You always seem to get a new client when you need one, but a lot of you have bigger goals than that, right? A lot of you want to scale, grow a team. So it's not all on you. You want to make that revenue consistent and predictable so you can know that you can pay people, all of those things. And so,

like revenue coming from word of mouth referrals and recurring revenue from maintenance plans and stuff like that is awesome. But if you want to grow beyond that and really free up some of your time, like that work life balance, you know, overworking stat that I showed you earlier, you.

Shannon Mattern (06:48.526)

will want to add to your team and you'll, but you'll want to also be able to be able to count on the revenue that is coming in every month. And if you have unpredictable revenue, because you never know when that next referral is coming in, that is what can get in the way of really growing your web design business where you've hit that plateau of time and money. And whether you want to grow your team or not, that's, you know, a very personal decision. But when it feels like you're the one doing

all of the things and you're just like, good thing that referral showed up, right? It feels hard to add marketing into the mix. You're already spending so much time on client work. You don't want to have to be an influencer on top of it. And if you've showered before 4 PM on, it's a good day, right? But you know that you need to be intentional about your marketing to create some predictability in your revenue, but it can't be time intensive because you're already...

you know, bogged down with client work. You know, your goal, you've hit your minimum baseline revenue, but your goal revenue, you're not quite there. And you've just kind of maxed out and you've reached the ceiling. And so something's got to shift for you to be able to create that predictable revenue, but it can't be time intensive. So the bottom line is that no matter which stage you are in your business, you need more effective, less time intensive ways to market your business.

And if you are inconsistent with your marketing, if you struggle with it, if you don't know what to do, if it takes too much time, if you have this grand marketing plan that you never do, if you never even know where to start, you are so normal and it's not your fault. Okay. The problem is that we are sold the idea, especially in the online marketing space. And especially with what a lot of our clients come to us asking, asking us to do for them.

is that marketing means content marketing. We think marketing means content marketing, like posting on social media, blogging, podcasting, creating a YouTube channel, Reels, TikTok. We're told that if in order to succeed in business, we need to show up consistently online, get in front of people, add value. And yes, that is absolutely one way to do marketing. And it's a powerful way, but it is not the only way. Marketing does not mean content marketing.

Shannon Mattern (09:10.286)

Content marketing is just one of many forms of marketing and it's a more advanced strategy with a longer return on investment of your time and money. And it also has a high opportunity cost, meaning all the time that you're spending creating content for content marketing is taking away time from other things that you could be doing to get clients. That takes way less time. And what could you be doing with that time to create more money? Okay.

So the truth is you may never even need a content marketing strategy to have a profitable, sustainable, thriving web design business. Okay. You might want to do it. You might like to do it. You might love to do it. And that is totally fine. If you love doing content marketing, you go, you do it. You're probably not even listening to this presentation because you don't, you probably like your marketing strategy, right? But I want to make sure that if you...

are doing it, you're adding it in at the appropriate stage in your journey so that you're creating the fastest result in the least amount of time. So who am I and why do I care so much? Hi, my name is Shannon Maddern. I am the founder of the Web Designer Academy, which is where we help busy women web designers with their marketing sales, packages pricing,

project management and all of the things help them create a more profitable, sustainable business. We help them stop undercharging, stop overworking and put a marketing strategy and sales strategy and closing strategy and project management strategy in place that is sustainable and works well for them. So I am also the host of the Profitable Web Designer podcast. I'm host of the Simply Profitable Designer Summit. And if you love podcasts,

definitely scan that QR code to find and subscribe to our podcast. I talk a lot about all of the topics that I'm sharing with you today on the show. We're closing in on a hundred episodes and stopping no time soon. So definitely check that out. You can also go to webdesigneracademy .com forward slash podcast to get that.

Shannon Mattern (11:22.35)

And I live in Columbus, Ohio with my husband Floyd and my dog Scarlet. We don't have kids, but I am more hands down the best aunt and uncle. and so I started a freelance web design business back in 2014 as a side hustle, but I was undercharging over delivering, really unsure how to like break outside of the friend zone or the friend and family zone. I was letting all my clients be my boss. I was working 24 seven and basically trapped myself.

in my web design business. I was trying to build a business so I could like slide on over and leave my day job because I didn't love my day job, but I created like a worse situation for myself in my web design business. I was like, this is so hard. And I was going it alone and I mean all of the mistakes in my business, all of the common marketing mistakes that I talk about here. So trust me, I have been there, but then...

through coaching and mentorship and hiring people who have already done what I wanted to do and who could like lead me and show me the way. I realized that it was my beliefs about myself and my clients and my potential clients and money that were all keeping me stuck and under earning and not connecting with people and not telling them how I can help them. And so I really got to work shedding those old mindsets and really started creating new ways of thinking.

developing new systems and processes based on new thinking. And I started the Web Designer Academy in 2016 after I started having some success with my freelance web design business and other web designers were coming to me and be like, can you help me? How are you doing this? Can you please help me? And so I started that program to help other web designers break free of the old way of doing things or the way that they think they have to do things and truly create freedom in their business.

And so that comes from not trying to be someone or not. I always crack up from that picture because that's me trying to be like corporate web designer Shannon, who is so professional and is going to drop everything to come save the day for you. And that is just, that is, that is not how my business ended up, ended up working out. Marketing is one of your biggest opportunities for creating consistent revenue.

Shannon Mattern (13:43.118)

Okay. Like, yes, we love maintenance plans. We love subscriptions. Like we love those things, but we need clients for those things. Right. You need to get clients. You need consistent clients to sell them into plans that are going to create consistent revenue. Marketing is one of your biggest opportunities there. And so there are two parts to marketing and mine start to marketing mechanics and mindset. Okay.

And so people don't realize that it's not just the how -to's, it's the how you're thinking about the how -to's that really determine everything. So the mechanics of marketing is the strategy, the how to do it, the exact action steps to take. So there's a bunch of different strategies I listed out here, outreach, content marketing, SEO, networking, speaking, advertising, PR, teaching. There are so many mechanics of marketing and any one of those will work.

Right? Any one of those will work for you. We're going to talk about which ones to implement, and which stages of your business. But the other part about marketing is the mindset behind your marketing. What you believe about yourself, your clients, money, the market for web design that either stops you from marketing altogether. Like no matter the tactics, thinking things like, I don't know enough yet. What if people can't afford me? The market is saturated.

I don't look professional. I've already done this and it didn't work for me. Nobody responded. They didn't want that. I couldn't possibly do this. Those thoughts stop you in your tracks or you can think things actually compel you to take the actions I'm going to share with you today. Thoughts like I know more than my clients and I can find the answers to the problems that they have. There are plenty of people out there who can afford me and some people who can't.

I don't need to look professional to create value for my clients. I can try again in a different way. There's someone out here, there who needs this, there are people out there who want my help. So I talk a lot about the mindset pillar of a profitable, sustainable, thriving web design business on my podcast, The Profitable Web Designer, because it is so important and it's so overlooked and not talked about enough. So...

Shannon Mattern (16:00.43)

If any of that is resonating with you, please go check out my podcast. But today we're going to be talking about the mechanics of marketing. These are the questions I get asked the most by people is like how to do marketing. And I'm going to tell you like the exact plan that we teach in the web designer academy for you if you are, depending on the different stages that you're at in your business. We typically don't work with the brand new people who are in zero to 12.

months, they're not quite ready for us. But by the time they get to like the one year mark, one, three, five years, that's when our strategies can really, really help them. But I'm going to talk about strategies for all of these phases. And your job is to notice your mindset around all of these tactics. What are you thinking about them or yourself or the people out there that's either going to stop you from trying them or compel you to take action and see what happens? Okay. And also,

As I'm listing out these tactics by stage of business, I don't want you to conflate them as being beginner tactics or advanced tactics. You are brilliant. You're more than capable of executing any of these. It's just that the earlier stage tactics I'm listing out have a much smaller time investment and a shorter return on time invested, right? Small amount of time, quicker turnaround time to create money, especially when one of the biggest

barriers to marketing is time. And one of the biggest challenges many of you are facing are lack of balance, right? And inconsistency and all of that. So as you start to create more revenue, as you start to raise your prices and work with less clients to create the same amount of money, which gives you more capacity and more time. And you can strategically then use that time for those more intensive, longer term, longer term return on investment strategies.

that I'll describe when I talk about the later stages of your web design business. So here's the deal. If you're in the earlier stages of your web design business, I advise against stepping ahead to some of the more advanced strategies I'm gonna share with you, even if something sounds really, really fun and exciting, because there's so much opportunity in the early stage strategies that require so much less time. Why wouldn't you take advantage of all of that low -hanging fruit?

Shannon Mattern (18:26.286)

before investing your time into strategies that require more of your time and take a longer timeline for you to get results. Okay. And if you're more advanced, you're in the beyond beginner intermediate seasoned, or you've been doing this forever, but you haven't been taking advantage of the strategies that I'm describing for the early stages. Why not take advantage of them, right? If you're spending time on...

content marketing is stressing you out or you're not seeing ROI permission to stop. Okay. It's not that it doesn't work. Of course it does. But we're talking about low time, high value strategies in this presentation. It really can be that easy. Anything that you don't quit doing and that you're consistent at will work. But if you don't like doing it, you don't have to keep doing it. Okay. It really like you can make this simple.

All right, so let's dive on in to these strategies. If you are brand new in your first 12 months, your goal should simply be to learn the skill of getting new clients. You don't need to worry about niching down. You can work with almost anyone at this stage and your most effective marketing tactic that takes the least amount of time and has the highest probability of creating new clients for you is what I call one.

one marketing. We call this outreach inside of the Web Designer Academy and it is as simple as telling people you already know that you're a web designer and asking if they know anyone who or to keep you in mind or to introduce you to people that they know. You have no idea how much like can come of this and it takes no more than 15 minutes a week to intentionally let people

know what you're up to. But it's also one of the hardest ones for people to do because their mind trash gets in the way. All their thoughts about what people will think about them will get in the way. Like, I don't want to bother people. I don't want them to think I'm just after their money. I don't want to be annoying. I don't want to ask people for help. The way you think about this strategy, will either have you taking simple, powerful action to create new opportunities and create new clients or keep you searching and stuck and hustling and

Shannon Mattern (20:44.846)

you know, telling stories on Instagram or making reels on Instagram, right? If all you did to market your web design business was this strategy, regardless of which stage of business you are in, this is all you would ever have to do if you did it consistently. I want to tell you a little story about how powerful one -to -one outreach is. I was about three years into my web design business.

side hustling when I decided to quit my day job and go all in on my business. And as I was like wrapping up my last few weeks at my day job, I was, I was at a dinner with our marketing agency that I worked with. they were our vendor, their names marketing works here in Columbus, Ohio. And I was chatting with the president, his name's Bill Kiefer. And we were talking about how I was leaving to go out on my own. And he shared with me some advice I will never forget. He's like,

Shannon, I know we are a marketing agency for big corporate clients, Fortune 500, Fortune 100 clients, and we do all these like really strategic, long -term complex marketing, multi -prong marketing and PR campaigns for them. But I built this agency from the ground up, from zero dollars and zero clients through one strategy and one strategy alone, outreach.

And he said, every single day, I personally reach out to one person I know. I might share an article I read that I think is interesting to them or a conference I saw that they might want to attend. Or I connect them with a person that I think that they want to meet just one person every single day with value. And then I might ask them for referrals or if they know of any people I should meet or events I should attend.

And then I started hosting my own events and bringing these people together to learn from each other and learn about the different ways we help our clients. And that is how I've built a multimillion dollar marketing agency from the ground up. And I still do that strategy today. And you guys, he still is. The contact email on their website is Bill's personal email address. Bill will personally email you back. He knows the value of personal relationships.

Shannon Mattern (22:56.814)

And by doing that, his network has grown and grown and grown and grown and grown simply by him adding value to people. So I want you to think about that, especially when you're new. You don't need to have a brand or a niche. All of that will come in time as you gain experience and as you take action. In fact, the more time you spend trying to niche and brand, like create a brand and all of this stuff before you've ever worked with a client, that is like time wasted that you could be doing.

figuring out who you want to work with and how you want to work with and all of that stuff. So this strategy is gold. It is really all you ever need to do if you can get your mindset around it, right around it. Okay. And the thought that I want to offer you to help you create that powerful mindset around marketing, especially that one -to -one marketing is like marketing is not about you. I want to say it again so that you hear me. Marketing is not about you.

It is not about your skills, the platform you build on, your portfolio or lack thereof. It's not about how you learned web design or your process or any of that. Marketing is about understanding what your clients really want and helping them get it or create it. And to do that, you simply need to add value to other people to create opportunities, to ask questions, to find out what they need and then let people know how you can help them. So here are some simple steps that you can get started with.

right now to start your outreach. One, just set up an email signature like in your email with, or your, and you can even update your social media profiles with a clear way to contact you. This is basically your business card. It's your virtual business card. No fancy news needed, no content creation needed, be human. So if you like have your social profiles and you have like a way to connect with you on there, then

When you meet people, you can tell them, like, here's how to connect with me. Right? You don't have to create content on these platforms. Just have stuff there. And some of you are going to be like, well, I have to have my website ready first. Okay. But you're going to slow down your results. Okay. Number two, tell people you're a web designer. How many people do you meet that they ask you what you do and you tell them what you do for your day job? Like tell people you are a web designer. Let people know what you're doing as many people as possible.

Shannon Mattern (25:22.286)

Number three, intentionally meet new people and tell them you are a web designer. Now I'm gonna say this and a lot of you are gonna cringe, but like go to a local networking group. The whole point, everybody there wants to meet new people and find out what you are up to. It's not about you going to pitch, it's about you going to meet new people, add value, ask them questions about what you're doing. They will naturally ask you about you. You don't have to have an elevator pitch ready, just go meet new people.

That's the point. Huge opportunity for you to meet new people and become like the go -to person. Like go and give instead of going and pitching. You know, outreach outside of your inner circle. Like, so we do something in the web designer academy called your top 25. You make a list of 25 people in the different, everyone has these different little facets of their life, right? We have like our work friends and our...

friend friends and maybe you have church friends and you have like college friends, like make a list of all of these people, reach out and let people know what you're doing. And I want you to think about like, if the tables were turned and someone that you used to work with reached out and let you know what they were up to and asked you to keep them in mind, wouldn't you be like, yeah, totally. And then you would probably tell somebody else when they...

you were talking to somebody else like, yeah, so -and -so's doing wedding photography now. Let me give you their info. You probably wouldn't think that much of it, but spread the word. And as you get new clients, ask for referrals. Follow up with anyone you've ever talked to. People always ask me about like, what about being helpful online and Facebook groups? I think that that can work too if you're in Facebook groups, not of DIYers. Don't go join.

Facebook group full of people trying to DIY their own website, right? Go join a Facebook group of small local businesses in your area. If there's like a chamber of commerce and they have an online community, see what questions those people are asking and be helpful in there. Get outside of the online marketing space. If you're going to join groups and not like online entrepreneur, like get out of that space and go into like different...

Shannon Mattern (27:42.35)

different types of groups. As you get new clients, ask them for referrals, like ask them. And we give scripts for all of these asks to our students inside of our program, but like just start telling, be a human. You don't have to form an elevator pitch. Just start telling people what you do. And then as you start talking to people and telling them what you're up to, they're gonna start telling you about their thing or connecting you with other people or asking you how much you charge, stuff like that. And so when this happens,

I want you to remember this magic question. Would you like to set up a consultation to discuss how I can help you with that? Let me say that again. Would you like to set up a consultation to discuss how I can help you with that? That is how you move it out of casual conversation into a formal consultation, but you're asking for permission and you're inviting them to take the next step. They'll either say yes or no, and then you'll know, right?

And then you can quote unquote, build the plane as that flies systems wise. Like if they're like, yes, I'd love to set up a consultation. Great. I'll send you a link, go home, set up your calendar software, send them a link. If you're more advanced, you'll already have that stuff up stuff set up. So don't try to have it all done first. So you look professional. You don't need to look professional. You just need to be professional, which is way easier than it sounds. All it means is like showing up, asking questions and listening.

That's what being professional is. So ask for permission to invite people to take the next step. Be curious, ask questions, create solutions, take the lead, guide the client, follow through on your end. Marketing isn't about you. It's about your client. And it can be a pretty low bar that is really, really effective compared to what everyone else is doing. Just talking about themselves all the time and making people like waiting for people to find them. That's what makes it hard to stand out if you're doing marketing that way. Okay.

So at the beyond beginner stage, the one to three years, you've probably worked with a lot of different types of people. You probably have a good idea of the type of person you want to work with, the problem that you solve. And you're like, I love doing this type of thing for this type of person or company. I want to do more of that. So you're going to continue with your one -to -one marketing, your outreach strategy, your golden strategy of just...

Shannon Mattern (30:07.47)

like telling people how you can help them, asking them questions and inviting them to take the next step, right? But the next strategy you can layer on is one -to -many marketing. And when I say one -to -many marketing, there's a few, these are a couple of bonus strategies that you can add in, right? Now that you know who you're gonna be working with, you can find niche service provider directories that you can be listed in. Chris Badgett of...

of Lifter LMS talked about this in a presentation he did at one of my summits. I was like, that's brilliant. So he's like, if you work for medical associations, as an example, go find their professional association or medical societies, go find their professional association, get listed as a preferred provider. There's so many ways you can do that. And then Dan B. Shin, who's also a business coach for web designers, talked about creating a referral program, like a very...

specific referral program with some rewards for your current clients. It gives you a way to reach out to them and invite them to give you referrals. So continue your one -on -one marketing. You can create a formal referral program. You can get listed in directories, but then you can start one -to -many marketing. And we have a whole strategy for this inside of the Web Designer Academy. We talk about the one -one -one method and creating a shareworthy freebie and building your email list. So...

A share worthy freebie is something that speaks to the stage of decision making that your ideal client is in in the decision making process. So it's not like, here's how to build your website for free as much as it is. Here's how to plot a customer journey or, you know, for your ideal client. So think about what stage your client is in.

what work they would need to do in their business to be ready for you. And you can create something that leads them through that process. If you are established, you probably already have a process that you lead people through. That could be something that you do. And so that's your share worthy freebie. You want to make it super good, super valuable. I call it share worthy because people share what makes them look good. So they're going to share it with other people in their industry. I mean, like, my gosh, this resource is amazing. Let me send it to you. Right.

Shannon Mattern (32:28.814)

then you're going to start using that to build your email list. So you're gonna again, create a list of people who serve the ideal client that you serve, right? So not necessarily like if you're a web designer, graphic designers or copywriters, whatever, but like think outside of that box. Think outside of that box in terms of like, who are the people that are teaching these people? Think one level removed, right?

So create a list of people who serve that and then do what we call the one -one -one method. Connect with them, shout them out and ask, right? So a heartfelt connection, then you share something that they did on social media and then you ask if you can share your freebie with them or if they'll send it out to their list or there's so many different asks that you can.

do to connect and build a relationship? Can I interview you for market research? Can I interview you for my blog, podcast, social media? Would you be interested in having me speak to your clients about X? So that's one way that you can start marketing one, two, many and building an email list.

so that you can let people know what you've got going on and stay in front of them and stay top of mind. So, that's number nine. Number 10 would be creating niche case studies and SEO optimize your site. Right? So Katie Sandel of Eventive Academy talked about this, on my podcast about how it took her a while to figure out what her niche was. But once she did, then she started creating.

case studies about, I think it was like skincare brands, about how she helped them. And then SEO optimized her site and now she's getting a lot of niche traffic that way, but she didn't start there, right? She worked her way there and had a lot of success stories to share. And then you can share your case studies with current and past clients, your email list, let your email list know when you have new offers and openings on your project calendar. There are so many things you can do.

Shannon Mattern (34:43.949)

to engage and add value and just show up and be dependable for them, right? So that's if you are, you know, in the later of the one to three years is to really start that one to many marketing and continue to do your one -to -one marketing. And you may never even have to do one to many marketing. Just wanted to throw that out there. So intermediate, we call this the time when it's time to build your own table.

So you're always going to be doing your one -to -one marketing. You can continue one -to -many if you're doing it. But by the time you're three to five years in, you have such a huge opportunity to build your own table. Instead of trying to find other people's audiences, you can start building your own. And so you can start your own networking groups of your ideal clients and people who serve your ideal clients and be the facilitator and connector. And also remember to ask...

and connect yourself. So that's a great way to do cold outreach, to just be like, Hey, you're in this space. I'm in this space. Would you like to join this networking group I'm building? Here's how it's going to work. Or another example of building your own table could be, Hey, I'm starting a podcast and I'm interviewing people in the industry that I serve to be on this podcast about your business challenges and things like that. That's a great way to reach out to

new people who could be potential clients or no potential clients and interview them either like on a blog or a podcast, right? Whether they're your clients or not. You can host building your own table. Another way is to host in -person or online workshops or summits like this one for your ideal clients and invite people who serve your ideal clients in another way. So imagine this format where you're a web designer and you're hosting a summit for

to help people in your niche grow their businesses. And one of the topics you talk about is web design, right? So building your own table is like really kind of establishing yourself as the leader, the facilitator, the connector. You're bringing people together. You're adding value to all of them in a different way. And you also get to talk about your business and what you do too. You know way more than you think you do that can help your ideal clients. If you're proactive about all of this,

Shannon Mattern (37:05.646)

the clients will come. You can't just build a website and sit back and hope that they find you. Add value, not by working for free, but by sharing your knowledge for free by being a connector and building those relationships. So when you're what we call a seasoned web designer, five years or more, or whenever this sounds fun to you, like continue all of the strategies that we talked about, but also become the guide.

become the guide. And what that means is you can start speaking. You can start pitching presentations. There are summits out there on the topic of the ideal client that you serve. So one of my friends hosting a summit for real estate investors. I don't know who serves the real estate investing niche, but there's a summit for women real estate investors.

You can find conferences, virtual summits, live events, workshops that serve your ideal client. If your process is like dialed and you're like, this is the process I lead wholesale, craft supplies, distributors through to build a brand and a website, then you can go to a conference for that and like present that process, right? And talk about that and why you do that. Like that is of value to people and that's going to position you as the guide.

pitching yourself to be a guest on other people's podcasts who serve your niche or your ideal client. And these are strategies that you can do now. You don't have to wait in order to do that if these sound fun to you and you're ready to do that until you're five years in, right? So if you're earlier in business,

You want clients and money faster, exhaust those early stage marketing strategies that have a very low level of effort for a high return on investment. And the only thing in most people's way is mindset. If you're more advanced and you haven't tapped into or maxed out those earlier strategies, why not? It can be that easy, okay? One -to -one marketing takes less than 10 to 15 minutes a week and can have massive results. Make time for it, prioritize it.

Shannon Mattern (39:20.494)

No matter what stage of business you're in, it can be even more valuable the further you are along. And if people don't respond to you, follow up, reach out again, stay like, just stay dependable, stay consistent. If you post in ghost because you don't get the response that you want, that's not gonna create the consistency that people need to trust you with their business, right? So.

personally connect and add value to one person a day. You don't have to do all of these all at once. Pick one, do it once, do it again next week, create some consistency, some dependability, create momentum. Don't try to do all 15 strategies. Don't expect instant results either. You must be passionately detached from the outcome and willing to follow up, willing to be told no, and willing to let other adults make decisions and let them have.

their own opinions about you. You know, you're acting in an integrity. So stop trying to like, I would say stop telling a story about what people think about you when you don't know that that's true. Right? So if you're having trouble doing outreach, if your revenue is inconsistent, or if you've reached a plateau, we

would love to help you diagnose whether your biggest opportunity is on the mindset side or the mechanic side or a little bit of both and give you steps and strategies for moving forward in your business. And that's why I created a free course just for web designers called Path to Profit. It's going to go deep into some of the mindset stuff. We're going to talk about six common challenges keeping you stuck and overworking. I'm going to break down my...

profitable pricing framework training for high earning web designers, cover my full time income framework, and also talk about how to start implementing. So I talked a lot about marketing today, but if you're undercharging, overworking, over delivering, and could have inconsistent revenue, definitely sign up for this free course, Path to Profit.

Shannon Mattern (41:27.47)

You can go to webdesignerecademy .com forward slash free course, or just scan that QR code to sign up and it'll take you straight to the signup page. Enter your name and email address you're in and you can start learning all of these pieces to a more profitable, sustainable, fulfilling web design business. So thank you so much for being here. I would love to hear from you. You can.

Follow me on Instagram at profitable web designer DM me, tell me what strategies you're using. Tell me what's working for you. I would love to hear from you. And also again, you can get the podcast at webdesigneracademy .com forward slash podcast. So thank you so much for being here for this presentation. I hope you heard something that helped you and I can't wait to connect with you on Instagram and see you in the path to profit course.


I help ambitious women web designers reclaim their time, book web design projects they love, and make more as a freelance web designer than they ever thought possible.

I created the Web Designer Academy to give you everything I wished I would have had when I started freelancing:  step-by-step processes and fill-in-the-blank templates for your messaging, marketing, packages, consultations, sales and project management combined with next-level support so that you have everything you need to create a consistently profitable web design business doing work you love for clients you love.