Everything You Need to Know About the Web Designer Academy

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The image depicts a person learning about the Web Designer Academy, a program that teaches web design skills to help people become more profitable web designers. Full Text: profitable web designer EPISODE 39 Everything You Need to Know About the Web Designer Academy

This week I’m pulling back the curtain on the Web Designer Academy to show you everything we do to help our students create profitable, sustainable web design businesses!

I talk about:

  • The Web Designer Academy is not just a course to teach marketing and sales (although that is a part of it), but a container to help students work through mind trash to create the results they want in their web design business faster.
  • We support people through holding boundaries with clients once they book them, keeping projects on track, and not overworking simply because the client agreed to their highest price ever.
  • My goal is to teach people to believe in themselves and communicate the value they provide to their clients so that they are always in charge of creating the results they want, regardless of the economy. We teach the skill of resilience and help you troubleshoot when things aren’t working because there are inevitable ebbs and flows in any business.

I also talk about how:

  • The Web Designer Academy began after I hosted a three-part webinar off the backend of a speaking engagement I did and evolved to help female web designers work through their lack of belief in themselves.
  • I restructured the entire Web Designer Academy curriculum in 2019 to provide support through every step of the implementation process and give feedback on every single thing to help students correct mind trash in the moment before it can become a pattern.
  • We take a trauma-informed approach to coaching to create a safe space and the application process helps maintain the integrity of that environment.

Get all the details and apply:

Website: https://webdesigneracademy.com

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 https://webdesigneracademy.com/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 https://webdesigneracademy.com/pricing.

Shannon Mattern: Hey there, welcome back to the Profitable Web Designer Podcast. So I'm actually recording this episode outside of my normal structured batch schedule. I'm pretty scheduled in my business. I practice and teach time blocking. I do certain things on thir, certain days, , but today I was actually really inspired to record this episode outside of my normally scheduled workflow cuz I was like chilling on the couch this morning as I do most mornings like snuggling with my dog Scarlet and drinking my coffee and doing some next level thought creation, which is a process we teach in the Web Designer Academy to like kind of dump out all your mind trash on paper and analyze it and see how it's either helping you create results that you want or how it's creating results that you don't want. And I was just thinking about some things that have been happening in my life and my business and as I was like, okay, I could look at these things one way like through the lens of mind trash , or I could look at them a completely different way through like how is this happening for me and how do I really reconnect to the place where, where I'm just like solid and knowing and certain and sure that like I am on the right path despite what obstacles show up along that path.

Shannon Mattern: And so as I was like thinking about that and processing it, and I'll definitely share more about that in future episodes. I just got really inspired to share with you some of the things that are going on right now in our Web Designer Academy program. We are currently accepting applications and I wanted to do this episode to just answer like not only questions that we get and who it's for and how it works and who it's not for, but to really like dive deep into what we actually do in there when we work on your web design business for an entire year and what that transformation actually looks like. Like we share a lot of case studies on this podcast and things, but I wanted to share like you hear people's stories about like what their business was like before and after, but I wanna break down like here's how we do that.

Shannon Mattern: Like here's exactly. It's not just like joining the program and watching the modules that creates those transformations. There's a lot that goes into it. And so what sparked the inspiration for this episode in addition to my next level thought creation and lots of caffeine and puppy snuggles this morning and just like coming out on the other side of some hard stuff in my business and feeling like wow, I feel like I handled that really solidly. It was also just some comments that I have gotten from our Web Designer Academy students over the past week or so that really just inspired me to share this with you because we have students coming in to our program all the time. You know, people can join when we do open enrollments, they can join Evergreen. Evergreen meaning like when they find us and they want to join, we're not gonna make them wait, right?

Shannon Mattern: We'll give them a a process and an opportunity to apply and work with us and join if their application is accepted. So we have people coming in who are at just different stages in their journey with us and different stages in their web design business journey. And I was just so moved by what the students that I heard from last week are like able to create and by how they are navigating like challenging things that are happening in their business. And so I just wanted to like pull back the curtain and take you behind the scenes of what we're actually doing inside the Web Designer Academy because it might not be what you think a lot of people think. It's like, oh it's just an online course that's gonna teach me marketing and sales and like while yes, that's a part of it that doesn't even scratch the surface of what we do inside of our program.

Shannon Mattern: So I'm gonna like break down for you today like why I created it and how it's evolved to what it is today, who it's for, who it's not for the structure, the process, like all of those things for you and just all of the questions that I get, all of like the juicy good questions that I get about the program, which are always really fun to answer. And so if after you listen to this episode you're like, I must join, this is exactly what I need. It's exactly what I've been searching for. You can find all the the details at https://webdesigneracademy.com just right there on the homepage. But for now I just wanna share with you a little bit about why I created this program. Like where did the idea come from, why did I think it was important and how it really filled a gap in the industry at that time and still today really.

Shannon Mattern: So back in 2016 I was in my probably my second year of teaching like di wires, solopreneurs, just any kind of business owner how to build their own website with WordPress. And the way I was making money from that is that I was doing free tutorials and I had affiliate links in those tutorials for hosting and plugins and branding courses and all these different things that I used in my own freelance web design business. I was like, I discovered that all of the tutorials and trainings that I used to teach myself as a self-taught web designer, people weren't just writing those tutorials to be like, oh let me just put a tutorial on the internet for you to teach you how to do this thing. They were earning affiliate commissions off the backend when people purchased the products program services tools that they recommended and taught how to use.

Shannon Mattern: And I was like, oh my gosh, I could totally do this. I could totally teach people like teach non-techy business owners how to DIY their first website for their business. And I did and I created a training called the Free Five Day Website Challenge. And I knew I had listened to enough business podcasts at that time to know that like I needed to grow an email list. And so I didn't know what I was gonna do with the email list, but the price of admission to the free five day website challenge was your email address. And then I had a five day training that walked people through my process for building a website with WordPress from start to finish. And it was just a process that I had honed for myself and for my clients and for thinking about like if I was gonna teach this to people who are terrified of tech, how would I teach it?

Shannon Mattern: And so that's like how I really kind of got my start in the one to many marketing space. It's the best way to describe it. Like when I was selling freelance web design services, I didn't have to do one to many marketing. I literally just had to tell people, Hey, I'm a web designer. And they'd be like, oh my gosh, can you help me? And getting clients was truly that easy. When I shifted into this d I Y space, I had to learn how to like market to many people. And because I was affiliate commissions at $65 a pop, I needed a lot of people to make the money that I wanted to make. So I put a lot of time and effort into teaching DIYers but also to figure out how to market this thing online. And through all of that, even though I was like doing online marketing, I was doing it old school through relationship building , right?

Shannon Mattern: I'd be like, I would reach out to people that I met online and say I have a business training that teaches your ideal client how to build their first website. You're teaching them how to get their life coaching business off the ground and started and part of what you're teaching them is like the messaging to put on their website, but you're not teaching them how to build a website. I have this training that's gonna teach them how to build a website, would you be interested in sharing this with your students? And there was not even like any kind of like financial arrangement or agreement. It was like I have something that's gonna help your students accomplish what they're after easier than without this. And everyone was like, oh my gosh, yes, this is exactly what I'm looking for. And they would share it with their communities and audiences and that's how it grew.

Shannon Mattern: And so I didn't do any fancy like online marketing funnels and, well let me back up. I did try to do fancy online marketing funnels and I did try to do all of the all of that stuff and that stuff really didn't work. The thing that worked was me just like building relationships with real people and asking them to share my thing with their audience. So I built a lot of relationships in learning how to get more eyeballs on my free five day website challenge. Even though this other part of me was like, I'm gonna be the next Amy Porterfield online marketing, like scaling revenue, traffic explosions, quadruple my email list overnight. Like I'm gonna automate all of it and I'm gonna use tech to do it. Literally the tech didn't do it. It was literally me reaching out and building relationships. And one of the relationships that I built was with a company called One Woman Shop and they were a like a space, a membership for solopreneurs, one woman shops, right?

Shannon Mattern: Women, female entrepreneurs who were solopreneurs and they had a membership and resources and coaching and all of this. And I developed a relationship with them and they reached out to me one day and they were like, Hey, this company called Skill Crush who has a female founder, they're doing like a virtual summit or an online conference, I don't know what they called it at that time. And they're looking for speakers, women who have made a living with their web design skills because Skill Crush taught, they have these blueprints where they teach front-end development and WordPress development and all kinds of different technical skills. And I, I know they're still around today. I think back then they had a freelancer track. I think now they might be more focused on like getting you prepared to like have a job as like a junior developer or something like that.

Shannon Mattern: But back then in 2016 they were focusing on just teaching women the skill of web design specifically like WordPress and development so that they could have freedom, flexibility, and financial independence. And that was why I was teaching mostly women entrepreneurs how to build their own website so that they could have freedom, flexibility, and financial independence. And so I went on that skill crush training, I prepared a webinar teaching them here's how I monetized my web design skills through this affiliate marketing. And I shared all of the things that I did. And at that time I was working with a business coach that was, I had just started working with her because I'm like, I need you to help me figure out how to sell an online marketing course off the back end of this free five day website challenge. Because my theory was after I've taught you how to build the website, you're gonna need to learn how to like market your business online and you're gonna need to understand the tech of that and story for another time.

Shannon Mattern: But talk about like a banging your head against the wall to sell something that like Amy Porterfield's already selling or , you know whatever. I honestly never really figured out how to sell that. And it's so funny to think about like in hindsight I could see I was spending so much time trying to make something work when I had like the thing that was already working just sitting there in my lap and I wasn't paying attention to it. But I do this skill crush training and my business coach at the time was like, hey, you're about to get in front of 5,000 freelance web designers that are women and you have learned how to make money from your web design skills without having to do one-on-one client projects. At the time my business was a mix of one-on-one freelance work and the free five day website challenge.

Shannon Mattern: So it was about, my revenue was about 50 50 coming to that and I was working my way up to replacing my paycheck and she's like, just after this webinar, invite them to a training where you go in depth and explain to them how you have done this because you're only gonna have like 45 minutes to talk about your experience on this thing and they're gonna have questions and they're gonna wanna know and then you can offer to coach them through how to do this. And I was like, whatever this is like I will do it because I'm paying you to tell me what to do , this is how I laugh at myself. I hired you to, to tell me what to do, I'll go ahead and do this, but I'm not trying to coach web designers, I'm trying to coach business owners. And so I did what she suggested and I actually created three trainings, how to do affiliate marketing as a web designer.

Shannon Mattern: I can't remember like how to monetize your web design skills through affiliate marketing. That was one of 'em. How to overcome imposter syndrome as a freelance web designer and how to create credibility as a freelance web designer. So I did after this like skill crush thing, I was like, and if you wanna learn more, I'm doing a three part like workshop series on these three topics and I got like hundreds, I would say almost a thousand people signed up for these free trainings. And I was like, what is happening right now? And that was my first clue that like there wasn't support like that in the web designer space, right? Everybody was teaching the skill of web design, everyone's teaching all of the related skills like UX design, s e o, you know like the actual like design process of using like XD and whatever, you know how to actually build the website, all of those things.

Shannon Mattern: But people weren't teaching like these other things that happened to us as freelance web designers that like keep us from making the kind of money that we really wanna make. And what I would hear and the reason that I chose those three topics, I surveyed the people as they signed up for the first training. The first training was like just gonna be affiliate marketing. And then I asked everybody that signed up, I put a survey on the thank you page of the signup and I was like what's your biggest obstacle to your goals? And they were like, I don't have a portfolio, I'm not good enough. I need to learn new skills. Stop me if this sounds familiar if you're listening to this. And I was like, oh my gosh, okay so here's an opportunity to help people who have all of the skill in the world.

Shannon Mattern: Like they are so talented, they're like million times a better web designer than I could ever be. And yet they don't believe in themselves because they feel like an imposter and they feel like their portfolio's not good enough. Like those things should not hold people back in their business. Like I'm very serious about that and I have been since I started this. So when I was starting to see people tell me these things and I'm like I used to feel that way too. I absolutely used to think that I wasn't good enough because I was self-taught because if I wanted to create a portfolio it was gonna have asphalt companies and nonprofit medical associations and just sites that like they made me money but they weren't fun to build and I had to work with companies that wanted me to like make things ugly.

Shannon Mattern: I'm sure you have all experienced that where you're like, here's what I think it should look like. And they're like, no, no, no. Put comic sand's font back in . I know that's an exaggeration, but we've worked with clients who we give them what we they want and they are happy but we're not proud of the work that we've done. And so people would struggle and they'd say, I don't have a good enough portfolio, I don't have a representation of the type of work that I want to do and that I'm capable of doing and I'm self-taught and all of these things. And so after seeing that I was like okay, I'm gonna teach this affiliate marketing thing but I'm also gonna teach these other things because I feel that so hard. And I have done so much work to shift that in myself to really feel like I can confidently in capably teach someone like why this is valuable in all of this stuff.

Shannon Mattern: So I did that three part workshop series and at the end of it my coach was like just offer to coach people. And I'm like on what she was like on this process. You already laid it out in the these workshops like think about like what did you go through in getting to the place where you could actually like get clients to give you content on time and complete projects on time And like what is this whole process that you had to go through from struggling and overworking and being burnt out and wanting to quit so much so that you decided it would be easier to teach thousands of people to do it themselves than to work with one more bad fit client and one more demanding client to making the transition of I'm gonna teach the entrepreneurs and the fastest way to my goals is to fix my broken web design business so that I can make more money off of one client in less time and quit my day job cuz that's what I really wanted.

Shannon Mattern: And so at the end of this, the third training in the series, I was like hey, so here's what's happening if you wanna work with me to create these results in your business, then I'm opening up a group coaching program and it was called the group coaching program, a 12 week group coaching program for web designers who want to you know, feel more confident, overcome imposter syndrome, create systems and processes, learn how to market their business, learn how to do a consultation, all of these things that I had to do. And so the very first iteration of this was every like, I think it was like every Wednesday at four, I don't know what time it must have, it had to have been in the evening cuz it had a day job at the time. We're gonna meet and I'm gonna teach you something and then I'm gonna like put it in the course and we're gonna also have coaching on it so you can ask me your questions and I can figure out where you're stuck and all of that.

Shannon Mattern: And we did that for 12 weeks and I think I had six people pay me $600 for the 12 week program, which I thought at the time that I was like stealing from these people. I was a ripping them off, I was taking their $600 from them and what if they didn't make their money back and what if they, you know, all of the same. Like it's so funny to think about how I thought my mind trash about a $600 for three months of working with me to now our program is many, many times more of that. And I think that it's just like I feel like I'm giving it away even though there are times where my mind slips back into that old thinking and I have to next level thought creation myself to be like, no that is so not true. It's just something that your brain likes to think sometimes because it just does.

Shannon Mattern: Like sometimes we just have these reactionary thoughts and we have to coach ourselves out of them and we have to realize that we're thinking them and decide to think something different. So I had six students join the 12 week coaching program and then at the end of the 12 weeks I had the curriculum for the program and I created templates and scripts and processes for the program and then I had it like all packaged up as a course and then what I would do was every six months or something I would invite this new list of web designers that I had created from the Skill Crush, the skill crush event that signed up for my webinar and I would invite them to join the program. I would like do that three webinar series and then at the end I'd be like join the Web Designer Academy, you get instant access to the curriculum because it's already exists now and we have weekly coaching.

Shannon Mattern: And so that's what the program was like from 2017 through 2020. And it's so funny because that program was so easy for me to sell compared to me banging my head against the wall trying to sell whatever iteration of teaching you how to market your business online. It went through several iterations story for another podcast. I spent so much time trying to sell that and grow the non-web designer side of my business. But like what the most fun thing for me to do the thing that didn't feel like work, the thing that was so enjoyable and just to see people succeed and watch their transformation, it was like this fun little side project. And so I ended up, after we named it 12 week group coaching program, I decided to call it the Web Designer Academy and the academy I think, and I probably named it Academy at the time cuz I was following Chalene Johnson and she had Marketing impact academy or something and all these, everyone was calling their thing academy.

Shannon Mattern: So I called it the Web Designer Academy and we were like teaching the business side of the web design businesses and the processes and how to overcome the imposter syndrome and how to create credibility without a portfolio and all of those things. And there was a time when there were a handful of the people who learned how to DIY their website for a different business through my free five day website challenge. Were like, oh my god, that was so fun. I actually love web design and I think I could totally get paid to do this. And so they would join the Web Designer Academy. And so at that time it was like it was an online course you would join, you get lifetime access to the curriculum and like lifetime access to coaching, which at the time I did not realize was not sustainable to charge people one price to work with me forever because then when they stopped paying I was still working.

Shannon Mattern: So please don't structure things like that. And that's, that's one of the, we structured things a little bit differently in our program so that we could in how we run it now just so it can be sustainable for us. So we ran it that way as an online course with lifetime access, a Facebook community and weekly coaching calls for about three years. And then like in three years you learn a lot from what questions people are asking. You learn new techniques and new strategies, you meet new people, you, you hear from students and some of their challenges. And I had bubbling inside of me an updated curriculum to bridge some of the gaps where I, I was like people were asking like the same question and needing support with the same thing or or things like that. And I, I also had learned a new pricing strategy from my friend Paul Klein over at Visible TV who who was using this strategy to sell super, super expensive consulting packages to Fortune 500 companies.

Shannon Mattern: And he had heard my old podcast pep talks for side hustlers and invited me to come onto his podcast. I invited him on my podcast, we got to talking and he was like, here's how you could ado like your web designers inside your program could adopt this pricing strategy. And I'm like, oh my gosh, this is like the missing piece of the puzzle. This would actually like solve a lot of the problems that we spent a lot of the time coaching on not just pricing but undercharging, overdelivering boundaries. I was like, I see so much more opportunity for this tool beyond just like how Paul taught it that I was like we have to integrate this. So I spent the end of 2019 updating the entire Web Designer Academy curriculum and then also at the time I realized that I wanted to give people an opportunity to get my eyeballs on the things that they were creating on their packages, on their pricing, on their website because there's nuance to the strategies and what happens is if , this is what we see happening, if you come in and you have some mind trash about your value, about being an imposter, about not being credible, about your level of skill, how you were taught all of these things, you end up like changing our strategy in a way that is going to prove what you think about yourself.

Shannon Mattern: True. It is fascinating to see how this happens. It happens when people are implementing our marketing strategy and they have thoughts about like themselves and thoughts about bothering people and all of this stuff. They'll shift our strategy to make themselves feel more comfortable and they actually end up taking away the part of it that works. And so we'd see this over and over where people would their mind trash would cloud, how they would implement the strategies and then they would need a lot of coaching to like get through it. And I was thinking like how can I head this off? How can I help them? Like before they have to go through the trial and error of it to figure out that's what happened. How can we help them prevent that ahead of time? And so that's when we decided to restructure our program completely and not so we redid the curriculum but then we also changed like the structure of how we provide the support.

Shannon Mattern: So people are like our students are able to like come in, they have an account with us, they're able to submit their sales pages, their marketing copy, their packages, their pricing, the exact words they're using in their outreach to us for review. And we give them feedback on every single piece of every single thing that they're doing as they're implementing our process in their business. And that my friends has been a game changer not only for us as the course creator and the teachers and when I say us, I'm talking about me and our client success coordinator, Erica Nash who who helps me but also for our students because we can save them so much time from being like, oh I just did all this client outreach and no one's getting back to me and we can be like, oh it's because you literally didn't ask them to respond to this email .

Shannon Mattern: Like you have nothing in here that tells them what to do next. And so we spot those things. And so that piece of our program has been completely transformational. So we completely redid all of the curriculum. Our irresistible package matrix strategy is like the, what do they call that? The cornerstone of our whole entire strategy. We teach that and then we also like put our eyeballs on every single asset that every single student creates and we give them feedback and we're like, here's what we're seeing, here's what to change, here's what we think you might wanna get some coaching on. So come to our live strategy call and let's coach you through this assumption that you have that's creating an unwanted result for you. And that's what we do. And so that's kind of the evolution of it from like a very small 12 week group coaching program to an online like a lifetime access online course to a high touch group coaching program that where you get actual feedback on your business, right?

Shannon Mattern: We have all taken online courses where we have access to a coaching call but nobody is like looking at how we're implementing the things that are being taught and it's in that implementation where all of the gold is. And so that's the part of our program that I think makes us really, really unique. So that's kind of the evolution of the Web Designer Academy and how it evolved to where we are today. And so if you're like, oh my gosh, having eyeballs and feedback on my business would be a game changer for me. That is what we do inside of our program that is so, so different than what you might be experiencing out there in other other trainings, whether they're specifically for web designers or not. So let's talk about who our program is for. It is not for people who want to learn web design.

Shannon Mattern: I know that the name is the Web Designer Academy and, and that might imply that we are teaching you how to be a web designer. In hindsight I wish I would have picked a different name, but here we are and and I'm sure you know as a web designer, you know there's a lot to changing a name and a domain name and just, we've been doing this since 2016, the name is here to stay and I will climb that hill every time to explain that we're not gonna teach you the skill of web design, you bring the skill of web design to this program and we help you make it into a business, right? So that's who it's for is like ambitious women, freelance web designers. And I'll talk about that in a moment because I get asked all the time like, is it really only just for women?

Shannon Mattern: I'll talk more about that a little bit later. It's for you if you want to make a full-time income as a web designer. So that's who we work with. You don't have to already be full-time, but that is like your ambition, your goal is that I want to create a full-time income as a web designer. This is what I want to do for a living and I'm not just dabbling, right? That's who we are for because we are, we're a mentorship program for freelance web designers who are running their own business. So we're not gonna teach you web design and we're platform agnostic, meaning you can come to us with a Squarespace business, a show it business, WordPress, webflow, Shopify, whatever it is that however you're designing, that's who we work with because it's not about all of that. It's about just so many things.

Shannon Mattern: Packages, pricing your boundaries, your mindset, how you value yourself, how you talk about what you're selling, who you're marketing to, all of those things. Those are the things that are gonna create more money for you in your business. Not learning more skills. So we love people who are like, I love learning, I love learning new skills, I'm always upskilling, but the value does not come from the act of upskilling. It's how you integrate that into your business. How you talk about what you can create for your clients as a result of having those skills. So that is where all of like the revenue creation comes from and that's what we do. So if you're like, why would I join a program that's not gonna teach me any web design skills, it's because you are going to learn the skill of running a profitable, sustainable web design business.

Shannon Mattern: And that skill never changes. Like the landscape of web design will always change. Like technology is always changing, strategies are always changing. What worked last year doesn't work this year. That's always changing and you get to stay on top of those things. But the skill of running a web design business is the same. Like it doesn't change. And so when you, when you learn that skill, which is what we teach you inside of our program and coach you through and mentor you through that is what's gonna create money for you for years and years to come. So I was thinking about this episode because we had a couple of comments in our live strategy call last week and a couple of posts in our Facebook group that I was like, oh my gosh, like this program is like I know this and I experience it and I hear it from our students all the time and we share all of these stories with you.

Shannon Mattern: But like sometimes things land with me that I'm like, oh my gosh, this program changes people's lives. Like, and it's like, I don't know how to explain it other than it just makes me so happy to get up and do what I do every single day when I, when I hear these things. One of them was one of our students who literally just joined in our last open enrollment less than a month ago and she's already implementing our outreach strategy and already like creating new opportunities and people telling her like, yes, I wanna work with you. And she's like preparing to sign new clients and she is only like three weeks in and she's already like, okay, I'm sold on my prices. Like she came in with a lot of doubt about her prices and a lot of like burnout from working with bad clients and like in such a short time she's like turned a lot of that around.

Shannon Mattern: She's taking massive action and creating opportunities And she said in her post that like this program is changing her life. And I'm just like, oh my goodness. Like it is. That's what happens. And you know when when people like when they, they like, I don't even wanna say do the work, like they are open to what is possible for them. Everything changes. And then another one of our students, she has been in our program for over 12 months. So in her first 12 months we worked like she got clients and everything but we worked a lot on like her confidence and she had a lot of imposter syndrome that we needed to help her work through because it was really holding her back in terms of getting new clients and putting herself out there and like she was really operating from what we call the employee mindset where she just had to like jump when her clients said jump and worked for them like she was there, you know, just assistant just sitting there waiting for them to tell her what to do and when to do it and that she had to say yes to all of it at whatever price they were willing to pay her.

Shannon Mattern: And we worked, we really worked her through that and also worked through like a lot of her, her stuff about time because she's a mom, she has children who require extra care and her her schedule can be unpredictable. And so we worked through a lot of that and then there was a a period of time where she's like, I'm just, I'm not getting clients, I'm not getting clients. And we worked through a lot of that and we have a process that we take our students through for whatever reason they're struggling to create consultations and clients and, and so like she did the work and last week she's like, oh my gosh I just booked my latest client at my highest price ever. And like she just keeps proving to herself over and over and over like that this will work for her. And it's just beautiful to see like everybody moves at a different pace, everybody has a different life, everybody comes in with different mind trash, everybody comes in with different next level thoughts about themselves.

Shannon Mattern: Everybody's experience is different but we help them all the same to create either like more time, more money, more capacity, all of the above, right? More resilience, more belief, more confidence, all of those things. And so it's just so amazing to see. And then , I was like going through the Facebook group trying to find one of those posts and I saw another post from one of our students who like just started in March also about a month from recording this. And she's like, oh I had to leave the live strategy call earlier today for a a consultation and they didn't even blink at my pricing and I know that she's charging five figures for her, her programs and so it's just, or for her five figures for her services. And so it's just one of those things where like even now when people are like, oh the economy, our students are still creating clients at higher prices than they ever thought possible.

Shannon Mattern: And it's because of the process that we lead them through because of how they shift their belief in themselves to know that like no matter what is happening out in the world at any given time, I am in control of my results and I'm willing to be persistent in pursuit of them and create them and I'm not gonna go it alone. And we lead them through this transformation process of really like understanding who they are and why they are so valuable, exactly how they are right now without having to change a thing, who they want to work with and how to speak to those people and how to communicate the value of what they do in terms of time, money and capacity, not deliverables. , right? Not just like you didn't have a website before, now you have a website and that is worth $50,000.

Shannon Mattern: Like that's not how that works. And we teach you how to be able to charge higher prices because you're able to, you're sold on the value and you're, you understand how to communicate it to your clients and then we teach you that irresistible package matrix process and then we review your package matrix to make sure that you have the strategy as intended in there and that if you have any mind trash about that, we get that all cleaned up. You practice doing a consultation with it, you practice saying your new prices, you identify any mind trash that comes up about that. We help you through all of that. You go through the process of getting your next client through our very simple outreach process and you create opportunities and you create conversations and you present your package matrix and you stay out of people's wallets and you let them choose and you don't make people's nos mean anything about you.

Shannon Mattern: I saw another post in the Facebook group from the woman that I was talking about. She said, I just have to share a win. I gotta know this morning for the last proposal that I sent out. So she had two consultations. One she booked at it as a yes at her highest price ever. This one was a no. So she got a no this morning for the last proposal that she sent out. She said, I kept waiting to feel the same way I felt in the past a little rejected feeling like I did something wrong, price too high, didn't make a good impression, et cetera, making it about me. But I've been sitting with this for almost the full day and I feel really okay about this. So even though I didn't get the project like I was hoping, I feel like I should count that as progress.

Shannon Mattern: I did my best and this one wasn't meant to be yay me. I'm like that is absolutely like such growth how what you make it mean even when you get a no, this is the stuff that we on And then after you get the client, you book the project at the highest price you've ever booked, we support you through actually all of your client stuff, right? Because that's the hardest. That's if the first hardest part is like raising your prices and charging higher prices. The next hardest part is like holding the boundaries, leading the client through the project, not letting it turn into a zombie project, which is a a phrase that we have a term that we've coined here at the Web Designer Academy when a project just drags on and on and on because the client is delaying and delaying and like how do you keep that on track?

Shannon Mattern: How do you use the package matrix to keep that on track? How like we go from, okay, you booked the project to how do you run this project in a profitable sustainable way and how do you go through all of that? Because booking the new client is just the first part of the equation. The other place where your business breaks down is when you don't have things starting and ending on time and you're overworking and working way too much and then you start to make less money on the project than what you charge. And we support you through all of that and it's a lot of mindset. It's a lot of like I'm afraid to say no because what if I don't get a referral and I get a bad review and they're disappointed and there's all of this other stuff that happens once you've charged your highest price ever that then you're like, oh, I charged them so much.

Shannon Mattern: I better say yes to everything. Like we help you through all of that and we help you through all of that for as long as you're in our program. And that is why people stay beyond their first year with us. So our program is a 12 month program. You get access to all of the training, templates, tools, coaching, mentorship, community support, all of those things. And then people stay, they re-enroll because they are always going to be getting clients and they always want the support with like all of it and whatever comes their way. And then we also have like our next level. So if they're like, okay now I'm ready to hire and I'm ready to charge higher prices than I've ever have before, then they come into next level and we work with them on that. Or maybe they don't ever wanna hire and they stay in the Web Designer Academy and they stay for the camaraderie in the community and all of the people.

Shannon Mattern: So that's just how we work. And they call them like our community, they call themselves the W D A fam and they are amazing and we do genius chats and they share like all of the cool things that they're learning and doing with each other and just supporting each other and , I'm just like, I'm scrolling through the Facebook group right now and there's like a lot of creek gifts and they're just so fun. And so that's like how this works and what that looks like to work with us and like the gist of what we do inside the program, you can get all the details on like the exact modules and trainings and stuff on the Web Designer Academy homepage at https://webdesigneracademy.com. If you're like, this is intriguing. I've been looking for help with my business and mentorship and coaching, but also like a community, a supportive community of people.

Shannon Mattern: We would love to work with you. We absolutely would love to work with you. And so our program is application only and it's application only because we don't want people coming in who are not ready to implement the strategies that we teach. I need to be able to see that your experienced web designer, that you're not just trying to learn web design. I need to understand that. Like we ask a bunch of questions on the application and they're about like what's your revenue? Like been the past 12 months, what are your goals? All of these things. Because I need to be able to weed out people who either are expecting like to 10 x their revenue in a day, we're never gonna promise that it's a process . We need to weed out people who are like they don't know how to build a website yet.

Shannon Mattern: We don't want you investing in our program unless you know how to build a website and that your goals that we can actually see like, oh, here's how we would help them. Like that's what we're looking for in your application. We only invite people to work with us who are like, I see exactly how I can help them. I may not know exactly how the process is going to unfold and what their journey is gonna be like and the timeline for their journey, but I can see like, oh, here are the bottlenecks. Here's some of the mistakes that we see a lot that they're making just because everybody does these things and they don't work like , we think they will. And we can see those things and we be like, I see exactly how we're gonna help them. I see a little bit of their mind trash that I'm excited to coach them on and I see what we'll start them with first to help them like start creating the results that they wanna create in terms of either time, capacity, money, all of those at some point.

Shannon Mattern: But what each person wants to create more of is unique to them. So we have an application process and that's what we're looking for because we are never going to invite someone to work with us just to like get the enrollment that's not in our values. Like we wanna make sure that we can actually help you and that we see how we will help you if we accept your application. And we wanna see that like we are very serious about like our community and keeping it like a safe space for our our students to be able to be vulnerable and ask for help and not feel ashamed or stupid or a lot of the things that we think about ourselves that prevent us from getting support. Like I don't want people to think that I'm dumb that I should already know this if I ask this question.

Shannon Mattern: We don't tolerate that stuff. And so part of the application process is for us to analyze, like if I invite this person into our program, is it gonna maintain the integrity of the space that we've created? And that's another reason why we have have the application because we're so serious about this being a safe place for you to like work on some of the things that are holding you back in your business that might be really vulnerable for you and that might be triggering for you emotionally. And that's one of the things that we're also serious about in our program is that we are taking like a trauma informed approach to our coaching because we know, I just know from my own personal experience and how I was treated as a woman web designer in the male dominated tech space, how challenging it can be to run a business in that space and the things that we deal with on a daily basis as a woman in a male, male dominated space.

Shannon Mattern: And that is why we're very protective of who we let into our community. And so when people say, Hey, I don't see any men anywhere in your testimonials on your website, anywhere in your marketing, do you allow men in your program? And I also say like, hey, we're four ambitious women web designers who want to make a full-time income. My answer to that is like our program is designed by a woman and it addresses the unique challenges that we face in the web design space. And if you are a man who believes in equal pay for women who values women's voices, who believes in diversity, equity and inclusion and you're for all of that and everything I'm talking about like vibes with you absolutely fill out that application. We aren't gonna discriminate based on gender or gender identity or anything like that. It's all about who you are as a person and the integrity of the space that we're creating.

Shannon Mattern: So if all of everything that we're saying is like resonates with you and that's what you would like help with, we are all for having you in our community regardless of what you look like, what your gender is, what your like, we don't care about any of that. We care about who you are as a person and how we can help you create what you want. So I just wanna be really clear on that. So some other questions that we get about our program all of the time, these are my favorite questions is like how long will it take me if I decide Shannon to apply for the Web Designer Academy? You accept me and I enroll, how long will it take me to create results? And one of the things that I would ask you is like what is the number one result that you're trying to create right off the bat?

Shannon Mattern: Is it more time, more money, more capacity, more resilience, more confidence, whatever? Like you get to get really clear about what your specific result is and you'll put that in your application, you'll put that in your intake form, you'll tell us. And then the answer to that is like, it is so unique to you. Some of our students are able to raise their prices with current clients or book new clients at new prices in days or weeks. Others it can take longer. Some people are just like, I just need to get my life back and get like these zombie projects moving and that's the first thing that we work on with them. So this is not like a one size fits all program. When you come in, we help you figure out what is the first result that you want to create and then we put together like here's your specific plan for creating that result and how long that takes you depends on you and what you're co like what mind trash you're coming in with, what next level thoughts you're coming in with.

Shannon Mattern: Everybody is unique and that's why we work with like we treat our students as individuals, but what I can say is that you'll get results so much faster with us than by trying to figure it out all on your own because it's just having someone seeing what's going on with you that you can't see is just invaluable. So that's one of the questions we get all the time. And then other people are like, okay, all of this sounds amazing, but how will I know it will work for me? And I'm just like, it will work for you if you decide it will work for you. . Like I know that that sounds so like cliche, I don't know. But it's like we will invite you to work with us if we think it will work for you and if we see the opportunities and if you are like meeting us halfway and you're like, okay, yes, like I'm gonna implement this and I'm gonna do it and I'm gonna get some data, we're gonna troubleshoot, I'm gonna take it to the W D A team, I'm gonna get support and coaching, I'm gonna make some adjustments, I'm gonna try it again and try like if you simply don't quit or give up on yourself, you will create results.

Shannon Mattern: We cannot guarantee like the timeline because that's unique to everybody, but we are absolutely there for you every step of the way until it happens. And then people are like, we tell them that and then they're like, but what if I can't get clients? What if I just can't get clients? And what I say to that is like it's inevitable that there will be times in your business that getting clients is easier than it is other times and it doesn't make logical sense all of the time, right? Like it could be, oh, a pandemic. I don't think I'll get clients, oh wait, I'm getting all the clients. Like the ebbs and flows might follow like the greater economy. They might not, they might be unique to who your clients are, they might not. So it is unpredictable when that will happen, but it is inevitable that it will happen.

Shannon Mattern: That there will be times that things are slower than other times. And the skill that we teach, the skill of how to get clients, the skill of troubleshooting when you're not getting them, those are two of the most valuable skills that you can develop. And that is what we teach you is like here's the skill of doing it, here's how to create resilience and here's how not to give up until you create the results. And that that's like what if you can't get clients? We're going to troubleshoot that with you and like help you through that and help you build the confidence and resilience and like learn that skill so that when it happens to you the first time, when it inevitably happens to you again, you know exactly what to do. And then the other thing people say to me is like, but what if I'm the exception and I really like, I join and I work with you and I really can't make any of this work ever.

Shannon Mattern: I do all of the things and none of it works. I'm like, let's talk at that time. Like truly if we accept you in the program, it's because we see exactly how we can help you. And if you do all of the things and you don't create the results, like we will absolutely work with you at that time to come to a decision that's mutually beneficial for both of us. Like, but it's just like, it's one of those things where you know we are committed to helping you create the result. Absolutely. So that's kind of why it's like we have the application process for a reason and we are for people who are committed to making this their full-time business. So if it's something that you're like, I'm not even really sure about it, I don't even know if I wanna do this, our program's probably not right for you.

Shannon Mattern: But if you really are like all in, that's the only decision that you need to make is being all in. So it's one of those things like if you bring the belief, we'll give you the process and it's game on from there truly is. So that's like what I wanted to share with you about our program because we've been sharing a lot of case studies with you from like Rachel and Angela and Lee and Lauren and Caitlin and talking about like their journey. And I just wanted to like share with you like the process of creating that was everything that I talked about with you today. Those women came into our program, they brought all of their mind trash with them, all of their doubts, all of their messiness, all of their fears, all of their worries, all of their confidence, all of their skills, all of their determination.

Shannon Mattern: And they took action and they let us like guide them through the places where things felt hard and they created an incredible transformation for themselves and we would love to help you through that as well. So you're invited to apply to work with us in the Web Designer Academy. All you have to do is go to https://webdesigneracademy.com/apply the application's there. Everything that we ask, ask of you everything that we need to know to determine if you're a good fit for our program. When you apply, I review your application personally and if we think we can help you, we will invite you to work with us. And you have the dis you get to make the decision if you wanna move forward at that time, if you want to work with us, and you'll have a few days to make your decision after we accept you.

Shannon Mattern: And you can get started right away with our 12 month payment plan. So we have a payment plan and all of that. So you can get all of the details on the program and the pricing and everything at https://webdesigneracademy.com and go ahead and fill out the application. Like we cannot wait to see it. It's my favorite thing to do is to review your applications. There's absolutely zero obligation for you to join if your application is accepted. But just give yourself the chance, give yourself the chance to work with us inside a program like this with people, like the students that we, that we teach, and let us help you. Let us like cheer you on through the good times. Let us celebrate all your successes and let us carry you through the times when things aren't as easy. Because every single one of our students has gone through a time when it hasn't been so easy and that is expected and we are here for all of it.

Shannon Mattern: So we can't wait to see your application. And thank you so much for listening this week. If you have additional questions about our program, you can email me directly, shannon@webdesigneracademy.com. I will answer any question that you have. We're not just some automatic robot online marketing course, like we're real people. We , we review everything, we'll answer any and all of your questions as you're making the decision of whether or not our program is right for you. So I look forward to hearing from you. I can't wait to see your application and we'll see you back here next week for an awesome podcast interview with our client success coordinator, Erica Nash. She is a brilliant human, she's a curriculum designer, and we talk about things like client results. And you know, like when you're a web designer and you are talking about the results that you can help your clients create, what are some things to think about and what are some ways that we kind of get in our own way when we're talking about results?

Shannon Mattern: So definitely make sure that you have subscribed to the podcast. Leave us a rating in review. You can do that at https://webdesigneracademy.com slash review. We would love to hear from you and we can't wait to see your application. And we'll be back here next week for our episode with Erica Nash, all about creating results for your clients. All right, bye. 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 https://webdesigneracademy.com 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 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 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.

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