Collecting Objective Data to Drive Results in your Web Design Business with Erica Nash

Listen on your favorite app:

In this image, Erica Nash is discussing how to use objective data to drive results in a web design business. Full Text: profitable web designer EPISODE 40 Collecting Objective Data to Drive Results in Your Web Design Business with Erica Nash

This week I’m chatting with Web Designer Academy Client Success Coordinator Erica Nash about how to objectively collect data and use it for your web design business!

3 takeaways from my chat with Erica:

  • The way you look at things is not the same as everyone else, and the factors that drive you don’t mean the other ones don’t come into play.
  • Things in business are not a pass or fail as in school. Results are just information and what you measure as a success or failure has nothing to do with who you are as a person or your worth as an entrepreneur.
  • It’s critical to have an unbiased mentorship around both the business journey and feelings that come up to help you get back to what’s true during the data collection process.

We also talk about how:

  • Erica followed the thread of her passions to land where she is now, using her talents and expertise to help course creators with curriculum.
  • To look at data objectively without minimizing your feelings and face them head on.
  • You need to recognize the value of the strategy and guidance you provide during the decision making process with a client, and that there is a shared responsibility between what you provide and what the client does for their part.

Connect with Erica:

Episode Transcript

Shannon Mattern: Welcome to the Profitable Web Designer, a podcast for web designers who want to work less and make more money. I'm your host Shannon Mattern, founder of the Web Designer Academy, where we've helped hundreds of web designers stop under charging, overworking, and create profitable, sustainable web design businesses.

Shannon Mattern: Before we dive into this week's episode, I wanna tell you about a brand new training that I have for you that breaks down the exact pricing strategy that the high-earning web designers inside our Web Designer Academy used to confidently charge five times more without having to work more or offer more services. You can watch this free training on demand at slash pricing, and in it I'll share with you the proven pricing framework that has created hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for our students, the biggest barriers to charging more for your services, and how to overcome them, the math behind a profitable, sustainable web design business, the types of clients willing to pay, quote unquote, that much for web design. And our seven step process for five Xing your income over the next 12 months so that you can uncover where and how you might be leaving money on the table and take control of the most powerful growth lever in your web design business. So you can get instant access to that training over at slash pricing.

Shannon Mattern: Welcome back to the Profitable Web Designer Podcast, and I am so excited to get to introduce you to today's guest, Erica Nash. Erica is a curriculum designer who specializes in the helping course creators like me with high-touch programs, simplify and streamline their programs for a more efficient and impactful experience. And she's also the host of the Next Level Course Creator podcast, where she has candid conversations with course creators and industry experts about what it's like to grow a successful program and support students at a high level. And I am also so honored to have her on our team at the Web Designer Academy. She's our client success coordinator. So Erica, welcome to the podcast.

Erica Nash: I'm excited. Thank you.

Shannon Mattern: So can you just share with everyone who's listening just a little bit about like your entrepreneurial journey, like how did you end up here as host of the next level course creator, client success coordinator at the Web Designer Academy serving all your incredible clients with curriculum design and all of those things? What, what's that journey look like?

Erica Nash: It has been quite the journey for sure, in a nutshell. I have always been in the entrepreneurial space. I think I started my first quote unquote business in maybe 2011 or 2013, something like that. It was like art and stuff like that. And so, you know, I've had kind of ups and downs in business wise, but during that time I was a teacher and I taught for 10 years, really loved it. And then in 2021 I pivoted out. And in the time before that, I, you know, I was in the entrepreneurial space, but teaching full-time. But I, I just, I love everything about learning. I love education. And so I was taking a bunch of courses and stuff like that and after I left teaching, I, you know, had a background in, in graphic design and, and stuff like that. So I was doing some of that until I was kind of figured out what I wanted to do next.

Erica Nash: And it took me a little while, but then I realized that in all of my experience with online courses, taking them and then creating courses as a teacher, that those skills were valuable. And so I saw that there was an opportunity for me to, to use those skills and yeah, fortunately I had some incredible support and like you guiding me along the way. And yeah, it has definitely snowballed into this thing where like, now, you know, I have the podcast and I'm on your team and I like serve all of these amazing people and just get to have all of these amazing conversations with people who are like literally changing the world one lesson at a time. And it's just beautiful and like an absolute joy that I get to like be in the space that I am.

Shannon Mattern: It's been so cool to see you kind of follow the thread of all of the incredible skills and talents that you have and watch you like, watch it unfold to lead you right to like the most perfect place for you and your talents and your expertise and your, just your passion for what you do. So it's so cool and I'm, I'm so excited for this conversation cuz Eric and I have a lot of side conversations in chats and slack and we spend a lot of time thinking about our Web Designer Academy students and how we can best support them and how we can help them create results and like all of these things. And I'm so grateful to have her on the team because , I have a tendency to put like unrealistic pressure on myself, , for just for a lot of things that I don't need to be doing.

Shannon Mattern: And so we were just like chatting back and forth talking about some things and I'm like, can you, I think you just need to come on the podcast so we could talk about this because I think it's like really important in terms of our listeners to this podcast who are designers and thinking about like client results and how we think about our student results and just that whole conversation. And then we had like so many other things that we wanted to talk about. So can you share with me just like your philosophy on results? I know that that's like a big general question , but what is your philosophy on results?

Erica Nash: I have so many thoughts on results and you know, I'm looking at results of course on my end from a curriculum standpoint and like thinking about, okay, like if we're teaching people how to do these things, like what do results look like? Like what does that even mean results? And so while I'm looking at it through that lens, it can also be looked at in the same way for people who are, who are working with clients, you know, what, what do results mean? We get to kind of define that. And in the course creator space, in the curriculum space, typically the number one indicator of effective content is a change of behavior. And so that concept is really well talked about in a book called Beyond Satisfaction by Brianne, I think that's how you say her name. And it really kind of allows us to let go of some of the pressure that we put on ourselves for results, but it also helps us to kind of build a framework around that.

Erica Nash: So if we know that the first indicator of results, effective content, whatever is a change in behavior, then we can kind of look at the rest of that stuff. But I also, you know, we tend to look at results in business as just monetary. And I think that we cut ourselves so short when we do that because it's not just monetary. Like typically think about time, what kind of results are we able to create for clients because we are allowing, you know, whatever processes we've developed or product that we've developed or a service that we're providing, we are giving them time back or we're allowing them to collapse their time spent on tasks through like services rendered tutorials, templates, whatever the case may be. And to be quite honest, like I think the sort of new, I don't even like the way this the to say this, but this sort of, the new standard for wealth is time freedom.

Erica Nash: And so everybody is chasing more time. And so it's not so much about the money, but if we look at time as being just as valuable as money, then we might start to kind of view results a little bit differently instead of thinking about, you know, the the monetary i o ROI that might be returned. Obviously though money is a factor, right? So like we do look at money, are we making them money or are we saving them money? And those are two things that like of course we wanna consider. And then the third thing is capacity. So like how are we giving them, well let me back up. Capacity is the, the ability or power to do experience or understand something. So are we giving them skills or knowledge? Are we helping them with energy, whether that's energy preservation or is something that we're contributing to their energy levels or are we removing things that suck their energy levels? Right? Are we doing anything to help them develop their mindset and like the capacity around the way that they interact with their thoughts, with things that happen with, you know, like just their, their resiliency and their ability to like bounce back after certain things or whatever the case may be, right? And so there is a lot more to results than just like this sort of monetary pressure that we put on ourselves.

Shannon Mattern: I needed to hear that so much today, ,

Shannon Mattern: And I know this logically, right? And mm-hmm , I think what I am recognizing about myself, and I'm wondering if we talk a lot about like client results and you know, how can you preframe the value of working with you and transforming deliverables and results? And those are all concepts that we talk about in the Web Designer Academy. And I notice are students getting stuck on like, how do I guarantee that they can make money or all of those things. And some students don't get hung up on that. Others do I find myself getting really stuck there. And when I kind of look internally at why that is, it's just because my own paradigm equates money with safety.

Erica Nash: Mm-Hmm.

Shannon Mattern: And it's not even like a measure of success for me at all. Like it's a measure of safety. And so like some self-reflection for me or for anybody listening who feels the same way is just like, oh, but maybe the way I think about it isn't the way everyone thinks about it. And I can open up my mind a little bit to take some of the pressure off of me and look at, like you said, like time, money and capacity are all of the factors of like the transformation and the results. And it's not just one of them, it's all of them. Mm-Hmm. And just because like you as the business owner for whatever reason are driven by one of them for whatever reasons you're driven by them, doesn't mean that the other ones like don't come into play. And that's just like the big realization that I'm probably having for the third time in my business journey. Like, you know, new levels, same, same devils or same things that you have to overcome in different ways. So I just so appreciated hearing like your perspective on that because I do, like you said, the new standard of wealth is time freedom. I almost like think it's like I, the word that came to my mind was like success, like the new standards of success is time freedom. Yeah. And I think a lot of people, myself included, choose that over money mm-hmm. if they have to saying if they have to make a choice

Erica Nash: Mm-Hmm. .

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. Yeah.

Erica Nash: And I think that it's so important to think about results. Like results are just, it's just information. It's just information. And so metrics like you, you decide what these metrics are, right? And like these metrics that are measuring at a level that you deem a failure is information. The metrics that are measuring at a level that you deem a success is also just information. And neither one of those things have anything to do with like, who you are as a person has nothing to do with your capabilities, with your worth as an entrepreneur. Like, and we internalize so much of that and like, you know, you're talking about like this idea of like, you know, most of the time, like you were talking about, you know, money for you equal safety. And I think that's true for a lot of people, but also the rhetoric that is shared on social media around entrepreneurship and just business in general is money.

Erica Nash: And, and people use it as a marketing tactic and all of that. And so like, it's really just like in our faces. And so I think it's important that we one, recognize that that's not the only way and two, surround ourself with people who are also recognizing that there are other ways that results are showing up. And so that when we do start to make these results mean something about us, they can kind of direct us back to, you know, what's actually true, which is your worth is not found in the results of your work.

Shannon Mattern: All of your, like when you were saying that, I'm thinking about like, you know, just you, you're a teacher, you know, I'm thinking about like my experience in school, I'm 43, so I was in school in the eighties and nineties and it's like the way getting a success, like a pass or a fail or a success or a like, or an A or an f, it really, and I don't know if this is just how I interpreted it or if it actually was this, but it really was about you. It meant something about you. Mm-Hmm. , like it meant that you were smart or you were stupid, or you were this or you were that. It never seemed to mean I'm measuring where you're at and you're learning and these are the interventions that need to happen because these are the results that we would expect at this point in time and there's a gap between where you are and where, where you want to be and here's how we help you get that gap. It was almost just like, here's a performance rating and that's it. Next year you'll just keep going, keep going. And we kind of take that stuff with us in totally everything. I don't know if that everything, I don't have kids, so I don't know how education may be different now. And you're a teacher, so I'm just curious as to what, like your thoughts on that .

Erica Nash: Oh yeah, no, a absolutely. And you know, I'm, I'm two years removed from the classroom and, and I have lots of, lots of thoughts and feelings on public education in the broken system, but I totally agree that, you know, now we're a little bit more aware of some of the psychological stuff, you know, like that with, you know, the performance and, and all of that. But I definitely think that that is something that, that really sticks and we start to tell ourselves these stories. And then unfortunately the majority of people go through the public school system. And so when they then go into business, that's kind of the framework for performance. And so that sort of standard kind of carries into like performance reviews and things like that. And so most of the time entrepreneurs are in corporate careers first, and so they really don't have any other frame of reference for what performance could look like unless they have been part of a community, whether that's part of their family or other communities that they're a part of that are really focusing on results apart from or like your worth apart from results. And that just has to be really intentional.

Shannon Mattern: Hmm. So let's talk about like, what is a new framework that we can help our listeners and me understand and our students, like a lens through which to evaluate results in a way that's not success or failure or pass fail or like, the way I think about this is like, it's so funny because like if I am, I'm doing something technical and I don't get the outcome that I expect to get, I don't think anything about it. I'm just like, oh,

Shannon Mattern: What was that result? What research do I need to figure out what my next step is? Okay, try the next thing. And I, it's so neutral, I don't make it mean a thing, but then in other areas I'm like, oh, okay, here's the result that I wanted. I didn't get there. I must, there must be something fundamentally wrong with me or yeah. Or what I did, or I need to overhaul my whole business. Or what we see people do is like, rebrand, rewrite my copy. Like all of these things that actually don't solve the problem. So how can we use results for us instead of against us? Or like how can we just think about this in a new way? Yeah,

Erica Nash: And I love that you said it that way, using it for us instead of against us because oftentimes we do allow it to work against us, but the data is just information, it's literally just numbers. And so we make it mean whatever we make it mean, right? So first I think it's just really important to u understand and to remember that there are so many factors at play with anything that we do, especially if it's involving other people. There are just so many factors we cannot predict what's going to happen. And something that maybe was successful at one point may not be successful a day later, a week later, a year later. Because so many things have changed, especially when we're in business, we're also looking at economical factors and just people in life in general. And so it's just important to remember that like that's, there's a lot of things at play that are beyond our control and we can only work with the information that we have and change what's within our control because otherwise we're, we're, we're just gonna be like really going around in circles and and causing a lot of harm to ourselves.

Erica Nash: And so, and we talk about this a lot, I'm always talking about making decisions based on data before you make decisions based on feelings. And I'm not saying that it's wrong to make decisions based on feelings because it is important to feel secure, to feel good about what you're doing. But what happens when we make decisions based on feelings without data is that oftentimes we're changing things that don't need to be changed or we're adding things that don't need to be added, which then create more work or problems in the future. And so we want to, as much as possible, allow our feelings to just kind of say, Hey, this is what's happening inside my body right now, and I'm just asking for a little support. Like, Hey, are we okay? And then using the data to kind of guide those feelings and like, oh, you know, this is what the data is saying, this is happening.

Erica Nash: I know you're anxious about this, but we're okay, like we're good or whatever. You know, like we, we kind of can use them in tandem. And so when we make decisions based on feelings, most of the time we do that, it's kind of a knee-jerk reaction. We do it to give ourselves a little bit of relief because we're in this situation where we're uncomfortable. Maybe, you know, it's a situation where we feel like a failure often time I would, I would argue that that's usually the root of it, but it's also like, you know, we're afraid somebody's mad at us. We're, you know, we don't want a negative review. We are uncertain about a response that somebody's written. We're reading tone into an e I mean, like, there's so many different things that come into play here. But again, when we do that, when we go with this knee-jerk reaction of like, oh, I've gotta change this because I don't feel good, and then we change and, and then we feel better, which is a good thing.

Erica Nash: But if we change something that's working now, we've broken our system, or if we change something and we add something new, then we might have created more work for ourselves in the future because now what we did probably has to be updated down the line. Maybe it creates confusion or whatever the case may be, and it doesn't actually need to be there. And so it's a bit of a long game to collect data and it does require some like really intentional work to be able to sit with those uncomfortable feelings during the data gathering process because we're not gonna be able to just like make a change right away if we don't have that data. We've gotta just kind of sit with it and allow ourselves to like, I don't know, just like cope and figure out. And again, like that's why it's so important to have people in your corner that kind of understand the business journey and you know, everything that comes with it so that you can kind of share some of these things with them and allow them to like point you back to what's true.

Erica Nash: And yeah. And then again, you know, like recognizing that like as you collect this data, it is simply just information and it's not a judgment on anything or anyone. It's simply information that you get to look at and make decisions from. So that's one piece of it is like collecting the data and then using it. But on the other side of that, we also have to remember that we have real feelings about the data and the story that we wanted to tell and we have to commit to looking at it objectively. Otherwise we can make the data mean whatever we want it to mean. Like we are smart people, we can manipulate it in a way that supports whatever story we wanted to tell. And so typically there are three things that kind of need to be done when, when we're looking at data in order to look at it objectively, the first is to look at all of it, don't cherry pick anything.

Erica Nash: Look at everything that you've been given. And of course this does require some intentionality in collecting the data and like it may require some backtracking, but it is important to look at every piece of information that you have. And then after that you're going to kind of look at like the stories that are in your head. You know, like what story do I want it to tell? What story do I not want it to tell? Like what am I afraid of? And then you're gonna intentionally seek out the data that supports what you don't want to be true.

Shannon Mattern: Hmm. , I love that. I know like that's so good

Erica Nash: And that's like a really hard thing, but that ensures that you have a really holistic picture of what's actually going on. And then after that it's important to bring in unbiased parties so that they can then also look at it and you have somebody that can kind of confirm what you're seeing or help you to see something that you maybe have a blind spot on.

Shannon Mattern: So can I just say that I have literally done all of the things that Erica described in the journey of, you know, just in talking about like how to look at these results. And I have learned so much from like, I've created so much data, , from doing all of the things the way that like, I won't even say that, that it shouldn't be done. Like I did things the way that I did them. I made decisions based from feelings and not data. I have done all of these things and I've experienced unwanted outcomes because of it. I've experienced like disrupting things that didn't need to be disrupted just to make myself feel better. I've experienced all of these things and it's given me a whole lot of data to actually be like, okay, maybe we don't need to do that. But I love what you said in terms of looking at the data objectively to just be like, what am I afraid of? Or like, what don't I want? What story do I not want this data to tell? And then just like wholeheartedly go after finding the data to support that thing, that just feels like freedom to me for some reason.

Erica Nash: , right?

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. It's just like, okay, like we're gonna face this head on

Erica Nash: Mm-Hmm. . Totally. And it's just whenever you do that, whenever you're intentional about seeking that out, then it really allows you to uncover a lot of the things that maybe you didn't know that you were dealing with and kind of follow that thread and then maybe, you know, that you're able to like solve other problems that way. And then maybe that was even one of the problems that needed to be solved with the data in the first place, right?

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. Like, I just need coaching on this. I don't need to overhaul my whole entire business or program or curriculum or whatever. I just, this data uncovered this thing that I didn't know was going on.

Erica Nash: Mm-Hmm. .

Shannon Mattern: And then I think the other thing that you said that I, I think is so necessary and something I think we do really well in the Web Designer Academy is bringing in an unbiased party to confirm or help you reframe or help you look at things in a new way or help you maybe discover some of those threads that you're following. Because I cannot see my own business. Like I run my programs, I run the Web Designer Academy and I need Erica a lot of the times to help me like pull back and remind me to like, well, okay, I know you're thinking this, but what evidence do we have for this? What data do you have for this? And I'm like, oh, okay. Yep, you're right. And I can't see from the inside these things. I have business coaches, I have team members, I have people to help me navigate these things. I still don't see all of it. Sometimes I have to like, like I always say I'm a stove toucher, sometimes I have to go touch the stove to gather the data, you know, or to, to learn the lesson. But just having, like trying to figure all of that on your own, I think it is challenging because you mm-hmm. , unless you are so intentional about pursuing your blind spots, you just don't know what they are. ,

Erica Nash: Right? Yeah. I mean, and when it's your own business, right? There's just so much emotion attached to it and we just cannot make objective decisions when there's emotion attached. And I would honestly argue, and like, this is kind of a bold statement, but I would honestly argue that you can't make decisions alone objectively, even if you go after your blind spots and do all of the therapy and every, like, I just truly don't know if that is possible. And, and it's not to say that when you make decisions alone, they're gonna all be bad decisions and, and stuff like that. Like that's not what I'm saying at all. But you know, truly, like in order to make the most of the data and make data-driven decisions, it really is important to just have that, just let that backup set of eyes to go through and not even, and sometimes they don't even need to look at the data you, like, you can literally go to them and say, Hey, this thing happened. Here's what I'm seeing. Here's the story that I'm telling. What else should I be looking for? Like, what do you think? And then just let them, just let them, you know, allow you to continue talking or give you a reframe or whatever it may be. But it's just, we are too close to our own businesses to, to make all of those decisions objectively.

Shannon Mattern: I think you ask, like a lot of times when we're doing this either like us together for the Web Designer Academy or just even when we're like coaching our students, you just ask them questions. Like, you're not like, oh, well here's what I think the data is saying. You ask questions to get them thinking in such a different way, and then they have these realizations on their own that maybe you're having an inkling that like, this is the real problem, but I'm, I'm going to ask a very specific question that gets them on that same thread and lets them like integrate all of their experience and knowledge and feelings to resolve that for themselves. And I think that that's just, you don't even necessarily have to have someone like confer. Like, it's not about like, is this a good decision? Is this the right decision? It's about just like letting somebody ask you questions to help you like navigate that decision.

Erica Nash: Yeah, absolutely. My asking people questions is honestly like my favorite thing to do because of that. Like, it, it then helps them because I don't know everything about their decisions and, and their situation and whatever. And it's so important to remember. And that's the same as when we are dealing with clients and, and all of this and going back to results and everything. Like there are just so many factors at play. And so in asking questions it just kind of helps get the mind going and like opens up different perspectives that's really all that it does. And so if you have somebody that can just ask you why, like that is gonna open up a whole new conversation around the decisions that you're making and what you're seeing and how you're feeling, and then you'll really be able to work through some of the more challenging things that may come up.

Shannon Mattern: So I was thinking about that in terms of like our listeners and when they work with clients and this just like, it made me think of a conversation we were having on one of our coaching calls the other day about one of our students being like, but I don't do strategy for my clients. And you know, we had a whole conversation about why all of these things that she does is strategy and is consulting in addition to actually building the website, but just this topic alone of like when you are working with a client to design and build a website for them and you are asking them questions about their business as they are navigating this process and they're making decisions and they're going through the hundreds if not thousands of decisions that need to be made in order to build a website. Like you are serving as that, like that person who is really like the, I don't know, the sounding board, like the lens through which they're able to not make these decisions alone, really have you asking them questions that help them like come to what they want to do, what they don't wanna do, like what's their best guess at the path that's going to create, like help them create the results that they want.

Shannon Mattern: Whether that's time, capacity, or money. Like that's what you do for your clients. And so when we're talking about like making decisions, you serve that purpose for your clients and it's just so valuable and you probably don't even realize the value of just that process beyond what you produce at the end of it.

Erica Nash: Yeah, absolutely. And like asking your clients why they want to do thi, you know, most clients come to you with, you know, a vision and, and these, all of these things that they want you know, I want my website to do this and look like this. And if you just ask them why that really sets you up to be the expert consultant. And so then they're able to give you all of this information, which then again is data, right? And you get to help them kind of distill that down into something that they can understand and present it to them through the lens of, okay, well if you wanna do this to achieve this goal, here's what this needs to look like. And then you get to propose, you know, whatever it is that you're an expert in. And then that's like the beginning of developing trust and all of that stuff.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. And I think like the second part of that then is like, and then here's how you can measure this to see if it's creating the result that you want. Mm-Hmm. . And if it's not, then we can talk about like, okay, what are the next steps that we need to take to, like if it's not, what data do we have to determine why it's not and then we can like take the next step. So I'm just even thinking about like mm-hmm , oh, I'm not getting email list subscribers. Okay, well what are all of the pieces of data that we need to know in order to determine where the breakdown is? Like how much marketing have you done? Like what are your page views? Like, you know, what, what are all the conversion rates? Like what does Hot Jar say? Like mm-hmm. , all of that analysis that you would do to figure that out instead of being like, I suck as a designer, my clients don't get results. It must be me. I should just go back and get a day job again, , whatever, or I need to go learn more design skills.

Erica Nash: Yeah,

Shannon Mattern: Buy new course because I need to buy another course. I need to learn more. I'm not good enough to do this, so I just need to go back and learn until I know everything so that my clients a hundred percent get, get results a hundred percent of the time right out of the gate. Otherwise I can't charge that much and I'm a fraud .

Erica Nash: Oh man, down the rabbit hole we go. Yeah, no, and, and like that, I think that this is a really good spot to talk about the shared responsibility of results, right? Like we are not fully responsible for the results of our clients. Like we are responsible for building or whatever, offering the best product within our ability, like what we've offered them. We get to create the best of that. And then just like there are so many factors involved in people when we work with people. Like there are so many factors involved in clients getting results. And so we have to understand that like that is a shared responsibility that the results of clients, like we get to do our part, but then there is a whole other part that they have to do then do and bring in. And it is not, it does not all fall on us because then we do fall down that rabbit hole.

Erica Nash: And so instead of feeling like, you know, when a client says, oh, I'm not getting any email subscribers, instead of going down this like, oh, well I'm a horrible web designer, I should have known that I should have done this and that. Like no, nobody could have known there's no should have or whatever. Like now we have the information that we know that they're not getting that. So now what do we get to do with that information? And part of that process is also educating your clients on what results are and like where that responsibility lies and how it's shared and, and all of that stuff. And so not necessarily like, I don't know, I guess just being kind of gentle with that, but also just being super transparent in like, I'm gonna help you create this opportunity, but then from there you get to carry this and do whatever it is that you do best and then we get to come back together and collaborate and use the information that we now have to create the next result, whatever

Shannon Mattern: That looks like. Yeah, I mean I love that. It's like the way I think about it's like here's what's possible. Here's the process that I'm gonna lead you through. Here's what you need to do to create the results that you wanna create. And like, here's the process of that. And like it's not necessarily about, I guarantee that if you work with me, you are going to get 10 new clients by the end of the year. Like that's not within our control. Mm-Hmm. , but I guarantee that I will make sure that I listen to you, I ask you questions, I build what we agree to build together, I deliver on time. You understand what your part is and then you get to, to go do that. And I was listening to a podcast literally just this morning from my business coach and she was talking about like feedback and struggle or people not getting results and she said something like, oh, she said I can't be responsible for a result or a problem that I don't know about.

Shannon Mattern: So I thought that that was like, that's also one of your client's responsibilities is to, to reach out and say, okay, hey, like this isn't working as expected or whatever. But when you have a solid process end-to-end in place that takes into account like we have a quality assurance period and your responsibilities during this quality assurance period are to do X, Y, and Z. And if you choose not to do those and then after this project is closed, you come back. I have boundaries and processes around this too that I will absolutely help you with this and here's what that looks like and you can book some time with me and pay me to fix this. Like, so it's this whole concept of like, if you're clear on the process and the expectations and the outcomes and through that you get to tell your client, here's how it works. If you say all of that upfront, then everybody's on the same page. Mm-Hmm. as to what their role is and how we navigate things. When I expected people to get on my email list and they didn't, where is the breakdown? Does that fall into something that like we need to do over here or do you need to go get marketing support?

Erica Nash: Yeah. And I think from there then it's like you know, I, I can hear the question. Well then how do I market my services or, or tell people like what they're able to get right from there. Then I think it's really important to ask very specific questions of your previous clients regarding their transformation in time, money, and capacity. And asking them really targeted questions about those things so that you get really targeted feedback and then you can put those things together in case studies so that it's not just focused on things that you're unable to fully guarantee.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. It's like when we say at the Web Designer Academy, we're gonna help you five x your revenue. Like I didn't just like make that number up as a like, oh that's what I wanna help people do. Like that actually comes from people telling me, I have raised my prices by three x all the way to 18 x and we like averaged out like, okay, on average, like what are we hearing from our clients when they implement our processes versus like what they were charging when they started and what they're charging now. And so I feel confident that that is something that we can help our clients do in terms of like the data that we have. But there's like a whole process. It's not just like you come in and magically that's gonna happen. Like we have a process and we have like here's, and I think we, we always kind of had this process, but we really just formalized it recently is like, okay, here's what we help you with when you aren't creating that result, here's how we help you troubleshoot that.

Shannon Mattern: Here's how we support you. Here's like the process that we go through because it's like you took action, you gathered data, now we're gonna be your objective person to help you analyze that and figure out like what's working, what's not working, is the story you're telling yourself True? What questions can we ask you to, to gather that? So yeah, I was just thinking about that. It's not like the results that you can help people create when you're saying they come from your previous clients. Like that's, that's what we've done. And like in terms that was a money one of course cuz like that's my safety lens, but like the capacity, the time. Like we just interviewed one of our students, Angela, on the podcast and she was like, I go to the gym in the middle of the day now I never used to do that. And that stuff to me is just that time freedom. Mm-Hmm. , I'm like, I don't know if I'd use it in a tagline, but , it's just like you would create a list of all of the things.

Erica Nash: Mm-Hmm. .

Shannon Mattern: So yeah, I think there's just, so one of our biggest opportunities is to not make results mean anything other than mm-hmm . We need to gather data even for what's working. Cuz we might have a story about why something worked that isn't true.

Erica Nash: Absolutely.

Shannon Mattern: Absolutely. And then you go to repeat it with that premise and it doesn't work and then you're like, oh, because I didn't even look at why that worked.

Erica Nash: Mm-Hmm. so important. And thinking about all of the things as tests. We talk about that a lot. You know, thinking about all of the things as tests. Like this is, this is not, it's not anything more. Put it out there. Got like, test it out. I wanna

Shannon Mattern: Pass the test Erica, I want to pass the test. I know

Erica Nash: We have so many a plus students,

Shannon Mattern: But

Erica Nash: My husband always says CS get degrees. So

Shannon Mattern: I love it. Yes,

Erica Nash: We can put out the information, test it, if it doesn't work, we bring it back, analyze the data, change one thing, test it again, repeat the process. And when we do that it becomes just, it just becomes another task and it doesn't feel so serious I guess.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. Yeah. I think there's like patience, persistence, consistency, I think there's curiosity that needs to come into play. Mm-Hmm , all of those things. Yeah. Cuz I hear you like I totally agree with everything you're saying resonates with me and then I'm like, yep, we're gonna attest this. It's gonna be an experiment. But then there's just that like part of my brain that's like, this is gonna work, this is gonna be the thing, I'm gonna ace this test. Like I've worked so hard, I deserve to get the A. You know, and it's just like breaking that like, so I, we talk a lot about the employee mindset, but just breaking that like a plus student mindset too is mm-hmm. really, really important. I think for those of us, that safety also came from getting a's

Erica Nash: Mm-Hmm .

Shannon Mattern: So it's, it's, it was never about status for me. , , it's all about safety

Erica Nash: Challenging stuff.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. So I could talk to you about this for a hundred years and I'm sure there'll be many other opportunities for podcasts, but do you have any like, just final thoughts on this whole topic for our listeners?

Erica Nash: Honestly, I would say that as you begin to look at gathering data, it can be kind of a daunting task. And so just starting small, just start with one set of information and I would say maybe wherever it is that you interact with or find clients most, whether that's like via email or social media or whatever it might be, start looking at that data and gathering those things, doing a little backtracking so that you have some things to lean on. And then just kind of start looking at it as you put it together. Start there and then build into the rest of whatever other data you can collect. But don't let it be so daunting that you don't do it.

Shannon Mattern: Mm. So, so good. So where can everyone go to learn more about you, subscribe to your podcast, get on your email list, all of the things?

Erica Nash: Yeah, I am occasionally on Instagram @EricaNashdesign and on my website at I, yeah, you can subscribe to the email list there. I just released a guide to using Chad BT for course creators and it's got some prompts in it, it's really great. And then my podcast is Next Level Course Creator, and it's, you know, Apple, Spotify, it's on my website as well. So yeah.

Shannon Mattern: Awesome. I'll link all of that up in the show notes. Definitely connect with Erica and also all of the people that you know who are course creators, like send them her podcast. I know all of us who listen to these podcast unit, we are in the entrepreneurial space. We know online course creators like definitely send them her podcast. It will just be everything that they didn't know they needed to hear . So thank you so much for being here and yeah, we'll definitely have you back to talk more about these really juicy topics.

Erica Nash: So fun. Thank you for having me.

Shannon Mattern: Hey, so if you're ready to stop undercharging and overworking, if you wanna take back control of your time, work only with the dreamiest of clients and make more money as a web designer than you ever thought possible, get started now by going to and joining our wait list. We'll send you exclusive teachings from the current Web Designer Academy so you can start applying our concepts now. And you'll be first to know when enrollment opens up again, so that you can work with us to completely transform your web design business.

Speaker 3: This podcast is part of the sound advice FM network. Sound advice FM Women's Voices amplified.

A person is smiling for the camera.
Hi, I'm Shannon!

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

Take our Web Designer Archetype Quiz and get access to our Six Sneaky Places Web Design Businesses Leak Time + Money training.

I’ll walk you through the 6 most common places web design businesses leak time and money, and share how you can leverage the strengths of your unique Web Designer Archetype to pick up the money you’ve been leaving on the table!

get the podcast
Get new episodes in your inbox every week!
Expert interviews, mindset shifts and behind-the-scenes stories from other successful web designers, and SO MUCH MORE, delivered to your inbox to help you go from undercharging and overworking to profitable and free.