6 Mindset Shifts to Make to Create a Full-Time Income as a Web Designer

If you’re ready to commit to your business full-time, but not quite sure how to do it without burnout, this one’s for you!

After processing literally thousands of applications for the Web Designer Academy and talking to hundreds of web designers, I know that taking your business full-time without working every hour of the day is a very real problem. The common thread is struggling with overworking, overdelivering, and spinning your wheels trying to figure out how to keep money coming in while actually having the freedom you started the business to create.

This episode I’m digging into the major mindset shifts to take in order to take your business full-time and generate consistent income!

In this episode, I’m gonna cover:

  • How to get clients without having all the skills and training
  • Why even though a client may be able to get the same services you offer for less money elsewhere, charging sustainably actually benefits you both in the long run.
  • How time worked doesn’t have to be tied to the amount of money earned.

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • It’s important to have huge goals for your business, but you have to start off by making enough to survive. Begin with knowing what number you need to make consistently to continue your lifestyle and achieve that, first.
  • Credibility as a web designer doesn’t come from your portfolio, experience, or credentials, it comes from the TRUST you build with your clients.
  • You provide a solution, not a service – and that makes you much more valuable.

Episode Transcript

Shannon Mattern: Hey and welcome back to the Profitable Web Designer Podcast. In this episode we're talking about what it really takes to make a full-time living as a web designer, including figuring out how much you really need to charge and busting through all the reasons why you think you can't charge quote unquote that much. And I'm gonna share with you the top six mindset shifts my clients have made to raise their prices by five to 10 times more than what they were charging before they started working with us inside the Web Designer Academy.

Shannon Mattern: Welcome to the Profitable Web Designer podcast, where we're all about helping extraordinary web designers like you to stop under charging, over delivering and overworking, and finally create the profitable, sustainable, and scalable web design business you've been dreaming of. I'm your host Shannon, mad founder of the Web Designer Academy, where we teach the business side of running a web design business. So if you wanna make a consistent full-time income as a web designer, but you're struggling with things like pricing and boundaries and mindset and marketing and you're just tired of going it alone while my friend, you're in the right place. But before we dive into this week's episode, I wanna invite you to sign up for our totally free profitable pricing framework training that breaks down five mindset shifts to five x your prices without working five times harder. Just go to https://webdesigneracademy.com/pricing and enter your name and email address and I'll send you our proprietary pricing framework that will totally transform what you think about how much you really can charge for web design. So go sign up https://webdesigneracademy.com/pricing and then meet me back here for this week's episode. Okay?

Shannon Mattern: Okay, so I know we're already on episode 12 of the podcast, but just in case you're new to me and new to the show, I wanna introduce myself to those of you who aren't familiar with me and my backstory. So my name is Shannon Mattern and I help web designers create profitable, sustainable, and scalable and successful, steady, stable web design businesses. And I started as a freelance web designer back in 2014. And like many of you, I knew how to build a website. I loved doing it, I was really good at it, but I had no idea how to run a web design business. I had no clue what to charge, no idea how to get my clients to cooperate so I could start net in projects on time. I didn't know I could set boundaries, had no idea how to prevent scope creep, how to market myself so I could get out of what I call the friend zone of working with friends and family and how to make offers and do marketing and sales in a way that didn't feel just gross.

Shannon Mattern: And I struggled for a long time and I figured out a lot of things the hard way and by making a lot of mistakes along the way and as by touching the stove when it's hot as I always used that analogy. But one mistake that I I never made was quitting because my dream of leaving my day job and becoming my own boss was so strong and I was determined to figure it out no matter what. And I finally did. So by the time 2016 rolled around, I started mentoring other web designers on their journey to create full-time incomes as web designers. So if you are listening to this episode that tells me that you want to make a full-time living as a web designer, and I'm guessing that you're not just dabbling in freelance web design either, like you want to make it your full-time gig and you want to make a consistent study full-time income as a web designer.

Shannon Mattern: So to do that, you first need to know exactly how much money it's gonna take for you to make a full-time income as a web designer. And I want you to notice that I'm very intentionally using the words full-time income and not saying something like make six figures as a web designer or 10 extra income because I know you can charge 10 times more than what you're charging today. I know you can 10 extra income. I know you can make six figures as a web designer. I've seen our students do it over and over and over again, and I know it's very possible, but I'm also serious about you figuring out exactly what your numbers are that you need to be able to support yourself and your family. And it may or may not be six figures. Six figures is thrown around as a vanity metric and like this badge of success.

Shannon Mattern: And while I needed to make six figures to be able to replace my day job salary in my business, it wasn't like that. Oh, I'm not successful unless I make six figures. It may very well be that you need to make six figures to support yourself and your family as a web designer. And it's totally possible to do it, but you might not need six figures to make a full-time income as a web designer. It might be five figures for you. It might be $40,000, it might be 80 thou. Like it doesn't matter. Your number is unique to you. And my situation back when I started freelancing was that I needed to create six figures in order to justify leaving my six figure day job and to maintain the quality of life that I had become accustomed to and for my husband to be on board with me leaving my job, right?

Shannon Mattern: So like I said, what I am obsessed with more than any specific revenue number for you at first is your ability to consistently make the amount of money that you need to make to have your basic needs met and be able to maintain your current lifestyle without taking a pay cut. That's milestone number one. We get you a consistent, stable, steady income that you know you can count on first, that you know, you know how to go out there and create clients. You know how to do that. And I call that your minimum baseline revenue. And I talk about this in all of our presentations because it is such an important number to know. And that number is very, very personal to you. If you are like, Oh, I'm not a success. Let's say make six figures or multi six figures or millions of dollars, you might have those big financial goals, right?

Shannon Mattern: And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. And I wholeheartedly support it and I'm here for it and it's possible for you to do it, but we don't start there and we don't need to A put that kind of pressure on ourselves from moment one when we're trying to learn how to actually like run a profitable design business and B, choose a number that yes is our dream life, but like our belief system hasn't quite caught up with yet. Because right now, if you're like most of my students inside our Web Designer Academy before they started working with us, you have been undercharging and struggling for so long that your big dream revenue goal seems so unbelievable, so impossible, and so unattainable that you actually end up self-sabotaging your ability to even hit your minimum baseline revenue that you need to do life. So yes, we're gonna dream big, but our first goal, our first milestone is our minimum baseline revenue.

Shannon Mattern: So once you've defined what full-time income means to you, you need to figure out how many web design projects you need to book every single month to make that happens. So I'm gonna walk you through how to do the math, but more importantly, I'm gonna show you how not to do the math the wrong way like I did back in 2014 when I first started freelancing and why it was an utter disaster and why you should not do the math the way I did mine. Back then, I was making probably about $60,000 a year at my day job 2014, which at 40 hours a week broke down to $28 an hour. So I thought I'd charge $30 an hour to my web design clients and I figured if I can just get enough clients, it would add up to 40 hours a week and I'd just be able to slide right on over into full-time web design.

Shannon Mattern: Like, well a, that's not how that works. I did not take into account taxes, expenses, all the non-billable time. I spent marketing and doing proposals and answering questions and emails that I probably should have been billing for but I wasn't. And I also had all of this imposter syndrome. So when something took me longer than I told the client I would take, I wouldn't bill them for it. It was like a mess. And so if you're like me when you do your own math, you're either gonna figure out one of two things. Yep, the math works. You can actually do that number of projects a month with the time you have available and all you need to do is find the clients and get booked out or , if you're like 95% of people we talk to, it's going to be glaringly obvious that you're undercharging with your current pricing, which is where most people come are when they come to work with us inside of our program.

Shannon Mattern: If you're anything like me back when I started freelancing all on my own with no mentor, no one to guide me, totally acting like an employee, I thought that like the only way to charge is to get paid by the hour and I didn't have like a degree in this so I didn't think I could charge more, et cetera, et cetera. , there was absolutely no way it was gonna be mathematically or humanly possible for me to not only make my minimum baseline to maintain my current financial obligations, but even to meet them with the number of projects that clients I would have to book in any given month. Not to mention that I still had a full-time job. So if you're like most of our clients before working with us, here's kind of like the choose your own adventure path. It's like you can either look at your minimum baseline revenue number, like how much do you need to make and how many clients do you need to book every single month to make that happen and decide it's not possible for you for whatever reason because you haven't figured out how to market yourself or get that many clients or you don't think you can raise your rates and still get clients and you can either quit before you get started, quit, or just keep doing what you're doing and staying stuck where you are and just hope that you'll magically get more clients or people will like offer to pay you more or you decide to do some different math .

Shannon Mattern: So if you raise your prices significantly by five to even 10 times more than what you're charging today, what if you could book only one to two projects every month? And that would completely cover your full-time living. So imagine if when I needed to make $60,000, I charged $10,000 per project and I only needed six clients in an entire year to make that happen, right? Or 10 clients if I wanted to make a hundred thousand dollars, what if that was possible? What if you could increase your price significantly? And what if I told you that it's as easy as literally changing the number on your proposal or the sales page or in your sales process, right? Literally as easy as adding a zero to the price that you tell a prospective client like go do it now, podcast episode over right? , what is your first thought when you hear me say that?

Shannon Mattern: Probably if you're like, Oh wait, are I gonna just like go outta zero to my prices? And it's as easy as that? Like I wanna know why haven't you done it yet? What's holding you back from literally just changing your price to what you want to be making? So when I ask people that like I'll host private trainings or webinars or just different things where I'm like, Tell me why you just haven't raised your prices now. And people always tell me, Well, I can't, I don't have a portfolio or I need more experience first, or I'm self-taught, or my clients can't afford to pay more. And I'm just so glad you're listening to this podcast episode because I'm about to break down for you why none of that is true so that after listening to this you can understand that you can just go raise your price because you've decided to, you've decided that you're worth it and you'll understand how to position your prices as worth it to your clients.

Shannon Mattern: So let's bust open these limiting beliefs or these just beliefs that you've had for whatever reason and get you thinking in a whole new way about what is possible for you in terms of how much you can charge for web design, how few clients you really need to reach those numbers so that you can just completely transform what you think and take these mindset shifts and start to integrate them so that you start to see the path to creating a full-time income. As a web designer, the first most common thing I hear from people is, I don't have a portfolio or I don't have a good portfolio or I need to build my portfolio and I need to work for free or cheap to get more experience to build my portfolio. And I just like this one. We have got to stop thinking this, okay, back when I first started working with web designers on their businesses, I surveyed almost 600 web designers and their top two struggles, are one, finding clients willing to pay them what they're worth because other people are charging less and delivering more.

Shannon Mattern: So they're looking at these freelancer places where people can hire someone for really cheap and they're like, How can I compete with that? And two, feeling like they're worthy to charge what they wanna be able to charge. And it sounds like two different problems, right? Like finding clients willing to pay them more cuz other people are charging less and feeling like they're worthy to charge what they're able to charge. It sounds like two different problems, but here's the interesting thing. When I asked people, Well what's at the root of this problem? Like why can't you? Why? Why is this so hard? They said the same thing. They said, Well, I need a better portfolio. And I'm like, What? That's bananas. But what they're really saying is that they don't think that they have enough credibility to book clients and book profitable, premium dreamy clients. That's what they're saying when they say, Oh, I need a better portfolio.

Shannon Mattern: They're like, I don't have any credibility at all. Those of you with experience who have done this before are finding clients that don't wanna pay you what that experience is worth because they can find someone without experience or without as much experience to do the same job for less. And those without experience don't feel like they can charge more either. So this is the price and this is what people are willing to pay and we're all stuck here and it's a no one's situation, right? But that's not true. And honestly, it seems like the clients are the ones that are winning because they're getting like these design services at a steel, but they're not winning either. They're frustrated, they're getting underpaid. Designers who don't do a good job, don't really wanna work for them. They're inexperience, they don't know how to actually manage projects. So they might be talented but they can't see something across the finish line and they don't know how to like manage their clients and find out what their clients really need to create a stellar result.

Shannon Mattern: So everybody loses in this situation. So if we are going to be successful listening to this podcast, we are going to make the kind of money we need to make. We have got to change the rules of the game. We have got to stop equating the number of websites in our portfolio and the number of coding languages we know and our skills with our credibility. The reason I didn't charge enough or go after the kinds of clients I really wanted to work with was because I had no credentialed certifications or portfolio I was proud of and I felt like I had to pay my dues and work my way into it and work for cheap and work for free. And I could have totally gone about it in a different way that didn't leave me broken, burnt out. I never even put together a portfolio and I was able to work my way into working with profitable web design clients because of credibility.

Shannon Mattern: So let's talk about credibility and what it means. And it does not necessarily mean a portfolio at this point. Like I said, I've surveyed hundreds of web designers, probably thousands at this point. 75% of them tell me I'm amazing at building websites. I'm awesome at follow through, but I don't know, I don't have a portfolio or I don't have that one big client. I can use it as as a testimonial. When you think that credentials a portfolio and social proof are what builds credibility, then you hold yourself back and you put your time and energy and effort in the wrong place to build that. So what I want to invite you to think is that it is not true , it is not true that you need credentials, a portfolio and social proof to get clients. Those things don't hurt, but they are not the end all be all.

Shannon Mattern: And anyone can say that they have those things, but it doesn't mean that they have credibility. I can look at a web designer's portfolio and it tells me nothing about whether they know how to run a project follow through, if that site was functional, if that site met the goals of the client, if it supported the client's customer journey, if it created value for the client, at the end of the day a portfolio tells me none of that. And so when someone is hiring you, there is a level of trust that needs to be created and that doesn't come from a portfolio, okay? It comes from the experience and interaction of talking to you about their project. So when you have a process of like, I'm gonna have a conversation with them, I'm gonna learn about them, I'm going to identify opportunities that maybe they didn't think were possible for them or I'm, they don't know what they don't know and I'm, I'm gonna share some things with them that make them think, oh, I'm the right person for them, right?

Shannon Mattern: What you get to understand as a designer is that your client doesn't care about the specific list of skills that you have. They care if you can deliver on the outcome that they really want. So credibility is trust that you can deliver on your promises. Credibility is asking the right questions of your client to get them thinking in a completely different way. Credibility is positioning yourself as a collaborative partner instead of a pixel pusher. And it literally has nothing to do with having a portfolio. It is our job to educate our clients that a portfolio literally has nothing to do with whether or not you can deliver. It literally doesn't. I created a full-time living from my web design skills without ever having a portfolio on my website. And it is a mindset shift you guys and some people just cannot wrap their minds around the fact there are many, many, many other ways to create credibility in clients without working for free to create a portfolio.

Shannon Mattern: So let's go over a few of them. One way to build credibility is to put yourself on your website and don't say we and us and look like a faceless corporation when you are actually a one person web design studio. Put your face out there. If someone's going to consider giving you tens of thousands of dollars, they wanna see who they're talking to and you're putting your own reputation on the line. That's way more credible than, here's a list of websites I've built another way. It's just make your own website amazing. Make the experience awesome for your clients. Have the whole experience of going to your website, booking a consultation, be just what makes them feel so taken care of, right? So make your own process awesome. Invest in your business and your brand. The third way to build credibility is solve problems for your clients.

Shannon Mattern: Their problem is not that they need a five page website, they need a tool that's going to solve business problems for them and save them time and make them more money and get them what they really want. Figure out what that is and position your messaging and your marketing and content and all of that stuff around and consultation process and the questions you ask around that problem. That's exactly what we do with our clients inside of the Web Designer Academy. And the fourth way to build credibility is your consultation process. How you do anything is how you do everything. When you make this process easy for the client and you ask them the right questions that show that you really care deeply about their business and not just about, well, how many pages is that gonna take? That's a precursor to the client is how it's going to be to work with you.

Shannon Mattern: You're not just a web designer, you're a consultant. You're gonna make recommendations on how to solve certain business problems and get them what they really want. That's what your clients want. That's what creates credibility, not a portfolio of designs that you've done in the past. Okay? So you do not need a portfolio to create a full-time income as a web designer. In fact, you're delaying your ability to do that when you're focused on paying your dues to make this portfolio. So please stop doing that. Okay? So the second mindset shift is to get out of thinking that you're self taught. So you need to learn more and take more classes before you can charge that much . If you ever hold yourself back from putting yourself out there and marketing your web design business because you think you don't know enough or you're worried that clients will ask you how to do something you don't know how to do, stop what you're doing and listen to this.

Shannon Mattern: If you're driving pullover, no, I'm not serious, but this section is for you. If you are that type A personality, who doesn't wanna put themselves out there? Because what if someone asks you a question you can't answer and you feel like I have to know all the things before I can charge that much. I call this the myth of the expert web designer. And if you ever think things like that is one of the reasons why you are having a hard time making a full-time income as a web designer and it's responsible for why you undercharge and overdeliver. One of the biggest problems our clients have when they come to us is confidence. They will have done all these amazing things like being a lawyer, climbing the corporate ladder, raising kids with special needs, volunteering, being in the military, being a parent. I mean I can go on, but they're just like doing life.

Shannon Mattern: And while it might not feel easy all the time, they're getting it done and they're awesome. And then they make a bold decision to start doing freelance web design. And all of a sudden this imposter syndrome just totally takes over. So one of my clients, Robin, for instance, totally felt that way and she re posted in our private Facebook community just for our clients to thank me after being with us for several months because she joined our program to learn the skill of running a web design business and the skill of getting clients. But she had no idea that she had bought into this myth of the web expert web designer and that it was driving her decision making. And she was, when she noticed it, she was like, Oh my gosh, I cannot believe that this is what I thought about myself. So she posted in the group, she's like, Yesterday I got a text from a friend asking if I could recommend a good website developer, she's a website developer.

Shannon Mattern: And in the past I would have recommended someone with more expertise and more experience. She realized that like she was buying into this idea that like, I can't do that. I'm not good enough. I don't know enough. How many of you have felt that way before? Like you totally freeze up? Like, what if I don't know what I'm doing? What if I really can't help them? What if I mess it up and break something and I screw it up beyond repair? Do you know what thoughts like that do to you? They keep you in passive action. If you truly believe you're not capable and that you can screw up that bad, why would you ever want a client? And if you do get one, you better not charge that much just in case you do screw it up. If there's one thing I want you to walk away with after this podcast, it is 1000% true that you do not know enough.

Shannon Mattern: It is not a fact. It's not even a requirement for you to run a successful web design business to know enough. You simply need to know how to figure things out. Do you know how to find answers? Do you know how to ask questions? Do you know how to ask for help? Do you know how to figure things out when they don't go as expected? Do you know how to use Google? Do you know how to call customer service of the hosting company and ask them to help you with this technical issue that's going on with your client? That is all that is required because I can promise you, you are going to go into every single client project not knowing how to do something. And sometimes I think that as entrepreneurs, as as women especially, that we have to figure it all out on our own, that we have to already know it.

Shannon Mattern: We can't ask for help, we can't show that we don't know something and we think that someone has had to had to bestow upon us the title of expert web designer before we can say yes, we can do that. Otherwise we better refer them to someone with more experience or more expertise. Hear me when I say this. Your clients are not paying you to already know everything. They are paying you for an outcome. And that outcome is being a website that works the way that you agreed that it would when you agreed to work together. And the only thing that knowing all the things before you start does for you is make it go faster. like that is it. You are getting paid to solve problems as you encounter them. You're getting paid to research these, these specific solutions and implement them and test them.

Shannon Mattern: You're getting paid to go back to your client and say, Hey, we talked about X, it's not working the way that we talked about. Here are some options for you. How would you like to proceed? That's what you need to be able to cultivate because you will inevitably encounter issues you didn't anticipate and problems you need to solve and things that don't work the way that you thought that they would. And that's what you need to do is understand that you either know how to solve any problem or how to talk to your client about what the next steps are if it's not solvable. So you don't have to be an expert, you just have to be willing to dive in, figure it out, ask for help, communicate. And I'm so proud of Robin because after she noticed she was thinking that she did not refer her person to someone else, she actually was like, Oh yeah, I'm the right person for you.

Shannon Mattern: Here's how we can work together. So that's what we support our students to do inside the the Web Designer Academy. Yes, it's the marketing and the business of web design and the mindset stuff and the community. But like our core beliefs about what we think is right or how it's supposed to be done are really the thing that's going to make the difference between you making a full-time income or continuing to just dabble and have an inconsistent revenue coming in. The third mindset shift is that you have to stop believing that clients can't afford to pay you more or won't pay you more. What if there actually are people out there who are willing to pay you, quote unquote that much? Because I'm here to tell you there are, we see it all day every day in our Web Designer Academy, our students posting that they're booking five figure web design projects with our strategies.

Shannon Mattern: There are people who will pay that much. There are so many people out there, people who invest in themselves and their businesses who have big dreams for their business. And they are so, so tired of web designers who don't fully understand their requirements, can't get projects done on time, completely ghost them, build their website and disappear, don't provide any support and don't build something that's actually functional that aligns with their business. But the mistake that those business owners made was making a hiring decision based on price because that's all the the way that decision was presented to them. And then end up working with a web designer who was undercharging over delivering completely overworked, completely burnt out and resentful and had absolutely zero battery left to support them at the level that they needed. And these business owners and web designers learned the hard way that you get what you pay for.

Shannon Mattern: And I'm not talking about skill level. There are way too many super smart, massively talented people out there who are undercharging. I'm talking about sustainability. You can't deliver an amazing result with a high level of service and support at bargain basement prices you cannot deliver at a high level when you're overworked and burnt out and resentful. And web designers, listen, it's not your fault that you're undercharging until now. You didn't know that you could do it any differently. You didn't think you could raise your prices and still be competitive. You didn't know that The reason that you have such a hard time is because you're simply not charging enough. You probably think you're having a hard time because your prices are too high, but it's because they're too low . And your low prices combined with your compulsion to over deliver, to compensate for your belief that you're not good enough, is it bringing you clients who expect premium service at bargain basement prices, which you ultimately cannot sustainably deliver to them because you have to work way too much to make ends meet and you are exhausted.

Shannon Mattern: So when you don't charge enough to make a full-time living as a web designer, you are doing yourself and your clients a complete disservice. You deserve better, your clients deserve better. And I'm obsessed with helping our students serve their clients at a higher level in a way that's sustainable because that's when everyone starts winning. So yes, you can become more efficient so that you can take on more clients. Yes, you can add things like digital products and other scalable revenue sources, but you have to get your pricing right first. Otherwise you will undercharge for all of that stuff and make it even harder for you to make a full-time living. So to make a full-time living as a web designer, you have to know your minimum baseline revenue, like we talked about, do the math and all of the things. And you have got to raise your prices to align with that so that you're working with less clients and able to serve them at a high, high, high level.

Shannon Mattern: Okay, let's talk about the fourth mindset shift to make that happen. Stop making your price all about you. . This one is huge. And I know because I've been there too. I started out doing freelance web design. I was your classic under charger. Like I said earlier, I didn't go to school for it. I had no formal training. I learned out of necessity at my day job over the course of 10 years. So I had like 10 years of experience building every kind of website you could think of that solved all kinds of business problems at my day job. But because I didn't have formal training and I couldn't code from scratch and no one had ever explicitly hired me to build a website for them, I think like I can't charge that much. Who am I to say I'm a web designer? I figured out all this on my own for free and so could they.

Shannon Mattern: I'm not coding, I'm literally just pointing and clicking. I feel like I'm taking advantage of people if I charge them quote unquote that much for something they could do themselves for free. So many of our clients or students come to us with those same thoughts, whether they're brand new and never had a client before or they're getting clients, but they're massively undercharging, overcompensating for feeling like an imposter by overdelivering and completely burnt out. So what you have to stop doing is stop making your price all about you and what you think about the value of your skillset and how you learned and your perceived experience and start making your price all about the value the client is going to get when they use the website that you build for them. So it's not about you, it's truly not about you. It has nothing to do with you.

Shannon Mattern: It has to do what's possible for them. And you have to do the work to reframe not only how you think about your price, to stop making it all about you and start making it all about your clients and then deeply believe in it too. So you can confidently make the offer to your clients. And that's what we help our students do inside the Web Designer Academy. Your price is not about you. Your marketing is not about you, None of it is about you. And that is such a relief when you get to just shift everything to talk about your clients, it changes everything. Okay? So mindset shift number four, you must stop thinking of yourself as a service provider. This is another big shift that we walked our students inside the Web Designer Academy through say you have someone coming to you because you can provide a service that they need, They need a website.

Shannon Mattern: And you are one of a bajillion people out there who knows how to build one for them. And you think that you're providing a service. And when you market yourself as a service provider, you are now competing against all of the other people who also market themselves as service providers. And when you do that, how do you have to set yourself apart from everyone else that provides that service? Well, there are a few ways. One is price. That could be either pricing higher than them or lower than them. You could be budget or luxury or somewhere in between. The other is turnaround time. You can be the fastest or you can be work more in depth and more long term with your clients or somewhere in between. The third way to differentiate is quality. Maybe you create premium designs or only used the best hosting platforms.

Shannon Mattern: And listen, all of that's great. And I'm not saying those aren't decisions you wanna make, but what I wanna offer you is that you don't even have to play on that field, okay? When you stop marketing web design as a service and you start marketing it as a solution and a tool and a revenue generating asset that your clients can use to help them create 10 times more than what they paid you in their business, that it's an investment that they're going to create a return on, you are playing a completely different game than everyone else. So you don't have to compete on price, turnaround time and quality. When you are positioning yourself as a revenue generating asset that creates an investment for their business. And that's what we do inside the Web Designer Academy. The sixth and a final shift you get to make to create a full-time income as a web designer is untying your prices from time.

Shannon Mattern: And I know we talked earlier about how I charged hourly. We're also even kind of like talking about how, okay, you're gonna shift from hourly to per project pricing. And if you wanna make, you know, let's say 80 grand a year, your project price is gonna be 10,000 and you wanna work with eight clients a year, Easy math, right? But let's take this one step further. I was taught that I make money in exchange for work. Makes total sense, right? Most of us are taught this like I live in the Midwest. I was raised in the eighties and nineties, like super middle class, you know, divorced parents. I lived with my mom and my two sisters and my parents lived paycheck to paycheck to keep us fed and clothed in a roof over our heads. And my mom always told me, I'm not gonna be able to pay for college if, if I wanted to go.

Shannon Mattern: I need to get good grades, get scholarships, and get a job to pay for the rest. And I love that she instilled that like strong work ethic in me. Like you work, you make money, you make money, you can pay for what you want, want you don't work, you don't make money, you don't get to pay for what you want. And that mindset totally works when you are an employee and you're being paid to do a job. But when you decide that you wanna start your own business because you want freedom, flexibility, and financial independence like I did, you need a whole different framework to approach the work money thing. Otherwise you are just going to recreate the exact same circumstances of being an employee at a job. And when you run your own business, you are not selling your time anymore. Even if it takes you time to deliver the thing that you sold, you're not selling time.

Shannon Mattern: You're selling ideas and the value of those ideas to your clients. When you learn how to untie your price from time and that $10,000 web design project that you sold could take you as little as a week to complete and you don't feel like you're stealing from your clients and ripping them off because it wasn't hard for you to deliver or worth it, that's when things really start to take off. And you're able to transcend that whole like work equals money construct. I know I probably just broke your brain on that one, but if you relate to, I can only charge $10,000 if it takes me a long time or it's really hard or it's highly skilled, versus I get to charge that much because I know that when I deliver this revenue generating asset to my client, it's going to enable and empower them to create 10 times more than what they ever paid me.

Shannon Mattern: Everything shifts. And that's what we help our Web Designer Academy students do, is look at how they're currently thinking about and marketing and selling and positioning their services, the thing that they do, and completely shift it into, Oh, this is the value of it. This is the valuable idea, this is the revenue generating asset, This is how to talk to my clients about it. That's when everything changes. And that's what frees you from having to work all the time to make a lot of money, even when you are providing a service. Cause you're kind of not providing a service, you're kind of a consultant. So just to recap these six mindset shifts that our Web Designer Academy students make to create a full-time income as a web designer and increase their prices anywhere from five to 10 times more than what they were charging before working with us is one, they stop trying to build a portfolio.

Shannon Mattern: They understand that a portfolio has nothing to do with credibility, and that they create credibility through caring about their clients and not making it all about them and making it all about their client. They stop thinking that self-taught means that they can't charge that much. And they start thinking that it doesn't matter how you learned, it matters that you can solve the problem for the client. They stop thinking that people won't pay them that much. They understand that low prices actually harm their clients and that their clients don't actually get what they want when their price is too low. And that there are people out there willing to pay more. They stop making their price all about them, and they make it all about their clients. They stop thinking of themselves as a service provider, and they start thinking of themselves as someone who is a collaborative consultant who is selling valuable ideas and they untie their price from time or how hard it is or how hard they work or how intense it is or whatever.

Shannon Mattern: And they, again, they're more client focused. And how much money can my client create when they invest in themselves at this level with me? So that's the transformation. It's unlike anything that you've probably ever considered. And that's what we work on with our students inside the Web Designer Academy. So if you're interested in learning more about that and how we work with our clients to make those shifts very practically through our frameworks, we would love to invite you to learn more about our five P framework that really operationalizes what we talked about here today. And we'll walk you through five simple yet powerful steps we take with our clients to help them stop trading their time for money, raise their prices by five times or more, make marketing easier, reclaim their schedule and book dreamy while paying clients that they love. So all you have to do to get your hands on that is just go to https://webdesigneracademy.com, fill out that application to get your invitation to the complimentary five P framework training, and I can't wait to see your application.

Shannon Mattern: That's it for this week's episode. And we've linked up all of the resources we talked about today in the show notes. So you can go to https://webdesigneracademy.com/podcast to get your hands on those. And we'll be back next week with another episode designed to help you uplevel the business side of your web design business. So be sure to subscribe to the show wherever you're listening. And if you like today's episode, we will be so grateful if you would share it with all your web designer friends. And if you're feeling extra generous, we'd love for you to leave us a writing in review so we can get in front of even more web designers and help them transform their businesses and their lives. So simply scroll off on this episode in your podcast player and tap that, leave a review link or go to web designer academy.com/review and it'll take you to the right spot. Thank you so much for listening, and I'll see you right here next week. Bye.

Speaker 2: This podcast is part of the sound Advice FM network. Sound advice, FM Women's Voices amplified.

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Hi, I'm Shannon!

I’ve been coaching + mentoring web designers on how to package, price, market and sell web design for over 7 years… it’s time to forget everything you think you know about selling web design projects!

If you’re ready to stop undercharging and overdelivering and finally create a profitable, sustainable dreamy web design business, get my free Profitable Pricing Training and change everything you thought about how much you can charge for your web design services.

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