Giving Yourself Permission to Make Money as a Web Designer with Ann Koppuzha of Powerhouse Legal Strategy

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In this image, Ann Koppuzha is giving advice on how to become a profitable web designer.

This week I’m chatting with Ann Koppuzha all about giving yourself permission to make money as a web designer!

Ann Koppuzha is the founder of Powerhouse Legal where she provides legal advice for entrepreneurs. She’s also a multi-talented entrepreneur, web designer, copywriter, and lawyer. I actually met Ann when I had a legal issue and someone recommended her to me. I was blown away by her skills as both a lawyer and a web designer and couldn’t wait to introduce you to her!

Ann Koppuzha isn’t just a writer, lawyer, entrepreneur, and designer—she’s a creative force blending her business and legal prowess with an innate passion for innovation. Her mission is to empower forward-thinking entrepreneurs, dynamic creatives, and influential thought leaders. With Ann, they find a partner dedicated to constructing sustainable businesses that harness their unique talents and passions to illuminate the world. Her holistic approach encompasses legal expertise, digital savviness, and strategic business guidance, all geared toward helping creatives and entrepreneurs live happier, healthier, and wealthier lives.

What’s in this episode:

The origin story of Powerhouse Legal and Powerhouse Strategy [00:01:12]
Ann started off with a traditional legal career, working at the Department of Justice. But she had a burning passion for helping authors market themselves. So, she decided to take a leap of faith and follow her dreams!

Positioning Herself for Clients [00:14:48]
Ann is a master at positioning herself for clients. She’s got this clever strategy of clearly dividing her legal strategy and digital strategy businesses, targeting different audiences, and offering slightly different services. It’s all about finding your niche, my friend!

Removing Ego from the Marketing Process [00:18:26]
Ann’s approach to marketing is refreshingly ego-free. She focuses on helping clients achieve their goals and takes her personal ego out of the equation. This makes it easier for her to suggest solutions and connect with clients. It’s all about putting the client first!

The journey of pricing and money [00:22:53]
Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite topic: money! Ann and her journey with pricing and money as a web designer and lawyer is quite the adventure. She had to overcome limiting beliefs and find that sweet spot between profitability and value for her clients. It’s a balancing act, but she’s got it down!

Differentiating web design from marketing [00:26:01]
Here’s a little secret: web design is not just about creating a pretty website. It’s a powerful marketing tool that brings in sales and revenue for clients. Ann knows the value of this perspective and how it sets her apart from the rest. It’s all about that added value, baby!

Permission to Make Money [00:35:26]
Hey, guess what? You have permission to make money! Ann encourages everyone to embrace their worth and manage their personal and business finances like a boss. It’s time to own your value and thrive financially!

The Power of Thoughts and Self-Talk [00:46:50]
Here’s a little secret: your thoughts and self-talk have a huge impact on your performance and success. Ann knows the importance of working on your mindset and cultivating positive thoughts. It’s time to unleash your inner superhero and conquer the world!


Episode Transcript

Speaker Mattern** ((00:00:03)) - - 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 over working and create profitable, sustainable web design businesses. Hey there. Welcome back to the Profitable Web Designer podcast. I'm so excited to introduce you all to today's guest Ann Koppuzha who's a web designer, a writer, a lawyer, an entrepreneur. She is just an amazing human. I'm so excited to have her on the show today because we had the chance to work together earlier this year. And she's just so incredible that I wanted to invite her on the show so I could ask her all of the questions I wanted to ask her and have everybody here get to know her better. So, Ann, thank you so much for being here today. Thanks so much for having me.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:01:08)) - - Shannon, I'm a big fan of your podcast, so it feels surreal to be on it.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:01:12)) - - So cool. So can you just I would love to know, like, what's your origin story? Like, how did you get started with powerhouse, legal and powerhouse strategy? Like just tell me all the things.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:01:29)) - - So I had a very traditional legal corporate career. I did that for about five years, but at the end of it I was like kind of unhappy with what I was doing, which is not unusual for a lot of lawyers like. And so I ultimately left the last place I worked at, which is the Department of Justice, and I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do, but I knew that I really loved, like working with authors. And I saw this opportunity to help them market their books, like the way I saw online entrepreneurs doing. And so I launched into that. And in doing so, I was like, Oh, I need a contract to give to my clients. And I was like, Wow, I don't like any of the contracts that I'm seeing around and I can draft a better contract.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:02:10)) - - And I realize that like, I can not just draft a contract, but actually make it friendly so that if someone wanted to close a deal, the contract is your final sales agreement. And so I began drafting contracts that are friendly and they include the most important provisions because a lot of the other problems I saw in contracts were that they weren't comprehensive. They lacked a lot of mission critical things. And so anyway, I ended up launching powerhouse legal strategy to help entrepreneurs deal with their legal problems. Some of them are contracts. Some of them are other types of legal issues that come up. But yeah, in general, providing that bridge between the legal world and the creative world.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:02:51)) - - Yeah. So that's how Anna and I met. I had a legal issue. I was, I was referred to her by our mutual acquaintance, Josh Hall, and he was like, I know this, this woman, she's a web designer. She's part of my community and she's also a lawyer. And I was like, Yes, please connect me.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:03:13)) - - Like, I'll talk to anybody about this. I need some support. And he connected me with you. And I was like, How amazing is it that this person is not only a lawyer and powerhouse is such a good word to describe you, but also a web designer? Like I was just like, How is this my life right now? This is like the perfect person that kind of like landed in my lap to help me navigate a challenging issue in my business. So where did the web design piece come into all of this?

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:03:50)) - - I mean, for me, it was something that I thought would be super interesting. I just saw a lack of authors marketing themselves as well. And so, you know, I see I think that a lot of authors don't think of themselves as entrepreneurs, and so therefore they don't actively take a role in marketing. They're like, I like you write my books and then my publishing house will take care of my marketing. And I just want to like help creators of all types be like, You're in charge of your own promotion and that is not something you can outsource to anyone, no matter how much you want to.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:04:23)) - - Or someone says that they can outsource, you can outsource everything.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:04:27)) - - Oh, I totally agree with that. It's like you do have to drive that. That part of the business. Did you know any authors specifically or how did you get that first author client?

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:04:43)) - - Yeah. So I this all started when I built my own blog. Like I had been working on something on the side. And then during pandemic, I was like, okay, now is it time to launch? And so I started working on my blog. I launched it, and I started looking around to be like, I wonder what other writers are doing with their websites? And I was like pretty shocked at the quality. And I was like, Oh my God, I can totally help. And so then I did a friend of mine, her website, and then that has led to referrals. So it's been really fun. I find it, yeah, it's just really fun for me to do that.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:05:17)) - - So you just like you helped your friends and then you got referrals and like, tell me a little bit about your process that you lead people through.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:05:29)) - - Yeah, I mean, my.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:05:30)) - - Process, I think that a lot of designers have similar processes or I don't know that I have too much innovation. The one main thing that I do is I sell and I use Squarespace templates because my clients don't have huge budgets and they don't need super fancy websites. So I'm able to produce, I use templates in order to give them an affordable solution that both meets their needs and meets their budget, which I think is super important. Yeah. So it's a matter of like helping them pick out which template that they want and then helping them understand what kind of content needs to go on each page and then helping them customize that template to make sure it has. It really showcases their work and makes them proud of what they have built. And that's like what I love most about at the end of it. Like, my clients are so proud of themselves, and that's what I really like, helping women be more confident in their work, which I know obviously something you are very passionate about.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:06:27)) - - I mean, it is very true that like, if we are, I don't know, people call it like website shame, you know, or if we feel like. I have kind of like a my opinion on this is like a double edged sword in a way, because I'm just like, you absolutely don't have to like be perfect or have everything like all, you know, perfectionism gets in a way, in the way of people taking action a lot. And at the same time, like when you have something like an online home that you feel really confident in, it can like just unleash you in terms of like going out there and just doing all of the things that that you're maybe holding yourself back from doing because you're like, I can't do this because it's not perfect. So it's a little bit of a weird dynamic between. Yes. Nothing has to be perfect for you to go do the thing. And if you feel really good about what you have in place, you feel unstoppable. I'm curious what your what your thoughts are about that.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:07:41)) - - Yeah. And honestly, it's something that I struggled with myself because I spent a good six months building my legal strategy and my web design strategy websites, and I went back and forth like refining it, doing all of these things. Because until that happened, I didn't feel confident giving out like business cards with my website because I felt like someone was going to look at it and be like, Do you really know what you're doing? But now it's funny because when I send out give out business cards or direct someone to my website, they're like, The immediate response I get is, Oh my God, you're legit, which is super funny to me. Just happened on a call this morning. And you know, for me I'm like, Is my website perfect? It's not perfect, Is it the 70 to 80% solution? I think it currently is. And so that's what I try to tell people. Like it doesn't have to be perfect. Just get it to like 70 or 80% of what you want and then you're good to go.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:08:33)) - - Yeah. And it's also just like one channel in getting clients because like, I'm thinking about this too, like. When I was given your contact information. By Josh I didn't look at your website, I just emailed you directly. I'm like, This person trusts this person. I don't even like I don't need to know more right now. Like, you know, I, I'm being like, so, yeah, like I feel and, and I think about this too. It reminds me of, like, my sister recently got married and we helped her plan. My other sister and I helped her plan her wedding and we knew all of the things that were supposed to happen and all of the details and all of the things and how it was supposed to be. But like, the people who were coming didn't know that things got missed or we forgot this or we forgot to do that. And like, their experience was still. Beautiful and lovely and it's like we almost can be so hard on ourselves to be like, perfect in our eyes is so different than, like you said, of like, it just needs to be 80%.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:09:49)) - - It needs to like get that person from, you know, visitor to whatever those conversion steps are for that customer journey. So yeah, that's so interesting.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:10:01)) - - I rewrote the copy on my website recently and that has increased client conversions already in a month. And so that's like something that I found pretty fascinating. I was like, okay, guess it was like mostly good enough. But then rewriting the copy, I saw an immediate increase in conversions.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:10:17)) - - What do you think that was for you specifically? Like what were the changes that you made?

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:10:23)) - - I just made my copy more engaging, more fun. I've been using ChatGPT pretty liberally throughout the year and it just I do the thing where I'm like, I just the prompt I always use is I ask it to make something, I polish something. I'm like, I read it. I read the first draft always, and then I ask it to polish it and then I ask it to make the copy more conversational. And that really helps take my copy up to another level.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:10:49)) - - So something I would have had trouble doing on my own. But with the help of chat, you can really knock it out of the park.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:10:56)) - - I love that so much. I can get lost in ChatGPT for too much time. And then I'm like, It's one of those things. One of our team members, Erica Nash, It's like a chat GPT prompt like Wizard, she writes the best prompts to like extract exactly what she wants. I'm like, This is genius. Like, so good.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:11:23)) - - Yeah. I have a couple of overall tips on using it that I've developed over the past year or so. That's been helpful.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:11:30)) - - I mean, if you want to share with our listeners, I'm sure they'd love to hear them.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:11:36)) - - If anyone's happy to hear me drone on about ChatGPT Yes, I'm releasing a freebie about this coming soon, so join my email list if you're curious to see. Oh yeah.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:11:47)) - - We'll link it up in the show notes for sure.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:11:51)) - - The overview is one write the first draft.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:11:55)) - - The more you can give something to work with, the better to then ask ChatGPT to polish it that I found really helpful and then ask it to make the copy more conversational or write it like whoever your ideal client is and be like write it like so and so. Like one of my favorites is like, write this like Blake Lively. Um, so that's kind of fun. Yeah. And then the third main step is used in conjunction with other tools like Grammarly and headline schedule. And that really helps clean up the language that chat produces and make the headlines that use your subject lines that write a lot more engaging. Like I know for the post that you develop. Like that title I came up with using ChatGPT or at ChatGPT and headline schedule. So both of them together work really well.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:12:48)) - - Yeah, and I will link that episode up in the show notes if you guys want to go check it out, I'll just give the episode number here. Here in this episode, it's Web Designer academy. Com forward slash 043.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:13:05)) - - If you guys want to go check that headline out. So in terms of ChatGPT and clients like, do you find that it helps you? Well, I guess, how do you use it with clients? Like I was thinking everything that you just said, I'd be like, Oh, that would make it way easier to get kind of. I don't want to say mediocre because I don't want to assume all clients are bad at writing copy, but like mediocre copy from clients and turning it easily, turning it into something engaging and conversational and that their ideal clients would find find.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:13:48)) - - I actually just used it to update the copy on a client's website. And so she was really struggling with trying to figure out who her ideal audience was and how to message them. And so I just took like a section of her her page and then rewrote it and then use chat to refine it. And again, like she put it up and then immediately she started getting clients. And so that was like quite shocking for both of us.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:14:11)) - - It was like a week and she was like, I went from no clients to four clients in a month. So yeah, it was pretty shocking.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:14:18)) - - That's awesome. So when I think about you, you know, when I did the intro, it's like you are a web designer, you are a PR genius, a public relations genius. You're an attorney. When you get a client, how are you positioning yourself for them? Because you have so many aspects that you can really like help them with. How are you positioning yourself with all of the things that you do?

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:14:48)) - - So I have a pretty clear division in that I have my legal strategy business and I have my digital strategy business, and so I promote them to pretty different audiences. Okay. My legal strategy is targeted toward basically entrepreneurs like some creatives, but generally just entrepreneurs in general. So like, you can definitely be a creative, but like I've noticed that there's a difference between people who classify themselves as entrepreneurs and people who don't. And then the second group is I.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:15:16)) - - My digital strategy business is targeted toward authors, podcasters, thought leaders. Those are coaches and consultants. Yeah. And so it's in terms of my how I market my businesses and how I get clients. Like there's a pretty clear division in terms of who comes in through the door. And so the services that I offer, each group are slightly different. And then if I see a need for something from the other business, I can weave that in. But in terms of clients coming to me, it's usually clear what their need is and therefore I can direct them to the appropriate business channel.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:15:49)) - - Yeah. One of the things that I thought was like, just, I don't know, a value add for you or I don't know, that's not the right way to say it, but I noticed that you were really adept at just saying like, Hey, we're here solving this issue and I see opportunities for you. XYZ Would you like more information on that? And I loved how you just like a lot of people come to me and they're like, how do I cold approach somebody about something that I think I could help them with? And I feel like you just very.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:16:31)) - - I'm trying to think of the adjective adeptly, swiftly, like you did it really well to say, Hey, I see this opportunity. Would you like more information about that? Like, would you like me to share that with you? And it can be that simple. I'm curious, like, where does that confidence come from?

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:16:52)) - - Thank you. Appreciate it. Don't usually think of it as confidence. Just think of it as like, I feel like I can provide additional value here. So let me suggest this service. And then if it you know, if that person doesn't want to go with it, then that's fine. But like I want to obviously point out the opportunity so don't know. Yeah, I don't really think there's so much as like value add.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:17:15)) - - I love that though because when I'm coaching people on you know, hey, it can be as simple as they have like a lot of thoughts about it. They're like, I don't want to be pushy. I don't want to be annoying.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:17:26)) - - I don't want someone to think that I think what they're doing is wrong or bad. Like they have a whole lot of mind trash around it. And what I just experienced from you is like, you have zero mind trash around that. You have like really valuable thoughts about it being a value add and they can take it or leave it. So.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:17:50)) - - You know, I don't want to say that I don't. Don't want to claim that much credit for myself. I would let the Donald Miller think story brand where it says, you know, think Josh always talks about Josh Hall, always talks about it, which is like, get yourself out of the way. Like you're the guy to give your clients a solution. So like, yeah, you're just like the conveyor of the solution. So that's sort of how think about it, when I write copy or provide suggestions, I'm just like, This is not about me personally. This is just about me helping my client get where they want to go. And that helps, like take my ego out of the process.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:18:26)) - - So I'm neither like so emotionally invested in it, nor am I, like, so scared or worried to suggest something.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:18:34)) - - I love that so much. Like I'm always saying to our students, that's just a brilliant like. Encapsulation of like I always say, marketing is not about you. Sales is not about you. When we're afraid to do this, it's like we're making it about us. And if we can just remove ourselves from it and focus on what's in it for the client, why you're reaching out, why you're doing that just gets so much easier and it's so much more fun when it's all about like connecting and helping other people get what they want.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:19:09)) - - Yeah, I hate the term marketing. I hate being labeled a marketer. I think it just seems like so the whole word seems so showy where I'm just like, I'm just trying to help you find more clients. Like whatever I need to do to help you find more clients is what I'm willing to do. And when think about it like that, then I'm like, okay, Then I'm willing to like, do lots of things, but I'm not willing to do anything in the name of marketing.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:19:33)) - - Which is like, Yeah, but that's just the way I think. That's how I get around this fear of putting myself out there.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:19:40)) - - I mean, yeah, because there's so much out there that is just like so many strategies and tactics that like don't even really care about who's on the other end of them.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:19:52)) - - Right, Exactly. And that's why I have a very it helps that I have a very niche audience. And because that I know specifically what they need, I know specifically how to help them. And so it feels much more authentic to me to be like, I'm working with this group of people, helping them get to these specific goals and I know how to reach them and communicate in a way that they appreciate and understand. So yeah, that's, I mean, yeah, these are the ways I think about it. But I want to thank you, Shannon, because I feel like you're doing such an important service to the world, which is giving women permission to sell their services and to make money, like feel like that's what you you give women permission to make your money.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:20:33)) - - I was just talking to a female creative and I asked her if she could do this project for a friend. And she was like, Yeah. And I was like, And how much do you think you're going to charge for this? And she was like, Well, don't need to charge anything. I'm just going to add it to my portfolio. And I was like, But you could charge, so how much are you going to charge for it? And then totally channeled you because was like, what would Shannon say right now to this person? And so we work through sort of like a pricing metric and was like, yeah, I think that's a perfectly reasonable thing that you can charge them and add it to your portfolio. So I really want to thank you for the service you do for women because I just think so many women are too afraid to make money or they they just get really nervous about it or it seems unfeminine or seems like they're greedy. And I'm like, Men just don't think that way at all.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:21:21)) - - Me You know, for better or worse, a lot of men are like, the more money I bring in, the better. So I'm not saying that's a great approach, but like, yeah.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:21:30)) - - Thank you so much for saying that. I mean, I really appreciate that and that is what I do. And it just happens to be through the portal of women web designers, because that was my experience and that's what I did. And, and I have such passion for helping women just change what they think the rules are. I guess it's hard to articulate, you know what that is. I think we all have different reasons for thinking we can't charge that much. And I think one of the big ones for me in the early days and I'm curious like what your journey has been with pricing coming from the attorney side and the Web like the service provider side and all of this. But like for me, I felt like I was taking money from people and harming them by charging a certain amount of money because I had this worldview of like, they only have so much money right now and if they give some to me, they're going to have less and therefore I'm harming them and creating a situation that's risky and bad for them.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:22:53)) - - And that was just like my I call it my pricing paradigm. That was just like my paradigm is like it was never that, Oh, there's more money on the way. Like their money is none of my business or my job is to help them create more money. And I'm also allowed to like be profitable and have a sustainable business. And those were all things that I had to learn for myself. And I still have to constantly like reteach them to myself in lots of different ways. What is your perspective on that or what has your journey been through pricing and money? Yeah, the big topic of money, I.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:23:36)) - - Think my first web design project, I think I charged $3,000, which I did that because I just did my research to be like, how much would a write this site? Like five page standard website cost? And that's what I priced it at. And so I guess I would just take a research based approach to everything. So now I'm like always like being like, what is a reasonable range for like these types of services? And I'm like, okay, great.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:24:04)) - - Like, then that's what I want to charge. And then the second thing I did is I developed a service pricing calculator that I use to like assess like how many hours is the project going to take me? What's the rate I'm going to charge based on what do other web designers charge or other lawyers charge? And then how much am I going to price my services at? So I just took like a very objective, factual approach and be like, I'm not I don't think I'm neither high nor low. I think I'm just right in the middle. And that's exactly where I want to be in terms of justifying my prices. I look at like the quality of my work. I look at like how much additional value can I add for my clients? All like proof I have for my clients bringing them positive results. And so that's what allows me to like keep the pricing and also increase it if I want to in the future. So yeah, that's I find a lot of creatives make up a price without doing the research and it's under serves them.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:25:00)) - - Yeah, I feel like obviously time is always a factor because that's what we're trying to create is sustainability and profitability and our time is required to an extent. But I love how you do factor in other things like quality and the value that you create for your clients. And there's so many factors that go into pricing aside from time, and that's where I see a lot of people get tripped up where they're like, Oh, well, it didn't take me that long. It's like, it shouldn't take you that long. You know, like, you know, if it's something that's easy for you, but because you've been doing it a long time or you have strategy around it, or you've put time into finding shortcuts and hacks like. That's still valuable, you know, And I feel like there is that like peace where people get wrapped up in. Well, I can only charge this much because it didn't take me that long.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:26:01)) - - Yeah, absolutely. Think what you said once. Change the way think about it is if if you're selling a website, you can only charge so much if you're selling a marketing tool that's going to bring them client sales and revenue, then you can charge a lot more.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:26:15)) - - So think about how you're positioning your work and your services. Like, sure, someone can go on Viber and hire a website designer for $200 and get a crappy site guaranteed. That's what's going to happen. Or you can be like, I can make you a site that actually works. Like, feel free to go to Survivor if you want, but I can guarantee you it's not going to be good. Or I can make you a site that actually brings you money. So you tell me what you want. And you know, for some people they're like, Yeah, don't have the budget to invest. And I'm like, okay, that's I understand that. And that's why I think web designers can do and sort of think about like other lower priced offers. They can give to clients, whether it's like free YouTube videos, free content or templates, guides, websites, templates, whatever it is. Like, you know, there are lots of people who just can't afford a designer, and nor should they at the start.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:27:04)) - - But like they might still want to like purchase from you and learn from you. So always have those kind of offerings in line as well.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:27:12)) - - I totally agree. I think that hiring a web designer isn't right for every business at. You know, at certain stages. And to have different offers for different types of people depending on like where they're at is is really important. It's like if you want to be able to meet people where they are, some people niche into like really premium. But like I think it's just so important for web designers to know that they just, they get to decide like they get to design their own business, decide who they want to work with, decide how much they want to charge, and then like crafts their mindset and their messaging and all of that stuff and their strategies to go out there and get those those clients. And there's no wrong way to do it. Like it's just and there's.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:28:11)) - - And there's no reason to feel shame about it.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:28:14)) - - Yes. I love that you coached your your friend through charging like that just delights me to know it.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:28:23)) - - I really believe that. No shame to wanting to support yourself.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:28:28)) - - And even beyond that, right? Like if you are, it can go beyond having more than enough, you know? And I think that that's the part, too, where it's like it's okay to receive in exchange for the value that you're providing and it's okay to receive beyond what you need to meet your own basic needs. You know, it's like it's just a value exchange and it's something that I have to like, constantly remind myself of. Even after I think I've learned the lesson, something comes up and I'm like, Ooh, I don't know. I feel bad. And I'm like, I don't need to because as long as the person that I am receiving money from, I believe that they will go on to create many, many more times than what they gave me based on our exchange. I'm good. Yeah. I don't feel bad about it.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:29:27)) - - Yeah. No, exactly. It's no what is reasonable in your industry for whatever your the service you're providing, don't limit yourself to thinking you're just providing this tool.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:29:37)) - - Think about the business impact it's going to have on your clients. And then three just, you know, think what you said once. He said practice like make sure you can like articulate your pricing and be confident about it. And that's like that's really important as well. It's a it's a skill. The more you say it, the more you do it, the better you're going to get at it.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:29:57)) - - Yeah, absolutely. So what are some pivotal moments that you've had on your entrepreneurial journey?

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:30:05)) - - Pivotal moment. Think getting my first client. I think that was like pretty exciting in terms of doing a project and then being able to be like, Oh wow, there is proof of concept. This is something someone would want to purchase from me. That's been exciting. I think being able to work with someone like you who I'm like, Oh wow, you're like an ideal client and being able to be like, I can provide legal services as well and not need to leave the legal profession because I can't find something that I really love doing.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:30:38)) - - But instead I was like, Oh, I can serve this group of people and help them demystify the legal process and make it much more relatable and human. Quite frankly, that's been really satisfying. And then three, developing these web design contract templates has been really helpful because there are tons of people who I know who could use my services, but they can't afford it. And so developing these contract templates for Web designers as well as Squarespace templates for the authors that I work with because I want to be able to give them a degree of the type of services I offer, even if they can't afford me and help them maybe get to a point where they can afford me later on.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:31:17)) - - I feel like one of the things that in my experience of working with you and I talk about the concept of like when we're selling web design projects and even though I worked with you on a legal issue, I think it's still applies. It's like we talk about the premium client experience. And when I say premium, I don't mean money.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:31:38)) - - I just mean like unexpectedly high level of service. And when I met you and just our first interaction of how you led me through the process of. Here. Like, tell me about what's going on. Here's what's going to like step by step by step. I just remember feeling so relieved and supported and taken care of. And I think that our web design clients to like, you know, when they talk to us about this is their business, this is their passion, this is their livelihood, and they want to make sure that it's in the hands of someone who cares and who's listening to them and who wants their success as much as they do. I think that that's like such a important piece of what we can do that you did so well in that interaction that I think a lot of people might be I don't know. I don't know for sure, But I think it's like that intangible that we should give ourselves more credit for.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:32:52)) - - Thank you. I really appreciate it. I'm not going to pretend that I had anything like consciously designed to create that experience because I did not.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:33:00)) - - It's just something that evolved. I think in general, just like Juan, care about your clients and to keep them updated, like just be in contact with them like at least every week and keep them abreast of what's going on and what you need from them. I think that helps create a premium client experience even if you're not actively trying to create it yourself.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:33:22)) - - Yes, And it's one of those things, too, where premium client experience is not that like you are and not when I say you mean the collective you are listeners and everyone. It doesn't mean that you're like dropping everything to respond to the client or saying, yes, it's not people pleasing. It is this sense of, I heard you, I understand what you want. I'm going to spot opportunities for you that you might not see. I'm going to lead you through this. I've got you. And like you were saying earlier, yeah, you can go to Fiverr and get a website built and come out with something that may or may not be as functional as you need and have that experience.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:34:07)) - - Or you can go through this other experience with all of this. And I just feel like there's just so much value in that. So I just want our listeners. To know how impactful that can be for their clients. So it's funny that you're just like, that was not by design. That's just kind of how I roll. I love it.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:34:30)) - - Yeah. Look, I'm a big believer in systems and processes. I don't have a ton of them in my business. I just have guiding principles of, like, communicate with my clients, keep them updated, deliver the product or solution that they're looking for in a timely manner. And that's I don't yeah, that's I can have all the clickup like to do lists I want but like I think the client interactions are really about showing that you care and communicating well and then doing obviously the good work for them.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:35:02)) - - So good. So I just have a couple more questions for you. What is one piece of advice you would give someone who is just getting started in their web design business journey?

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:35:17)) - - Yeah, Listen to Shannon's podcast, Consume all of her materials.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:35:20)) - - I think that's the first thing I would say.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:35:26)) - - It.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:35:27)) - - Give yourself permission to make money like it's okay and it's good, but you're making money and if you don't feel like you deserve it, like you're doing it on behalf of all of womankind, like we have been undermining our male patriots for decades. Millennia, actually. And so take one for the sisterhood and make your money, girl.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:35:50)) - - I love that so much. I was just like, okay, that's the quotable for this episode that we're pulling out. Yeah, no good.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:36:00)) - - I really mean it. I see so many creatives say I'm not good with money. So many female creatives say I'm not good with money. My husband handles the finances, my husband is CFO. He's really taking care of the numbers. And like you, you're listening. You're running a business. I guarantee you you're completely capable of also doing There's nothing to Worry about. And I used to be really worried about money as well. And in terms of not knowing what to do with it, not knowing how to manage it, I read a great personal finance book.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:36:28)) - - I follow a personal finance blogger. The book is called by Ramit called I Will Teach You How to Be Rich. It tells you everything you know about personal finance and the follow like personal finance blogs like Mr. Money Mustache and the Financial Diet. And I got myself like, in a weekend, you can get yourself 80% of the way there. Personal finance isn't that complicated. I'm 100% sure that every listener of this podcast can manage it themselves. And if you can manage your personal finances, you can manage your business finances.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:36:59)) - - Oh so good. I'm going to link up all of those resources in the show notes as well. I watched Remy's Netflix special that he did. I think it's I will teach you to be rich. I think that's what it's called. Yeah, it was really good. I've been following him for a while too, and I feel like you do need to know your. Well, I teach this like you do need to know your personal financial numbers because even though your pricing is tied to your skills and your quality and your services and the value and all of the things, it also gets to reflect like how much you want to contribute to your personal financial situation.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:37:46)) - - It's the same as like going and getting a job and deciding like, you know, are you going to take a job with this salary or the salary? It's like, what are you looking to make? And you also get to factor that into your pricing. And so I don't think of those things as two separate financial equations. I think that like they need to be looked at together and it's important to know those numbers so that you can make sure that you're not under charging and that you are kind of pulling the levers that need to be pulled to get your pricing to be where it is profitable and sustainable for you. And I totally agree. Like. It doesn't have to be scary. And it's definitely I think it's something to pay attention to. And there are people that make it fun. Like Remy.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:38:40)) - - Yeah, the thing we got from Rami was how important is a plan for your retirement? And I've noticed that when I look at financial spreadsheets shared by creatives and sometimes they don't factor in their retirement planning.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:38:52)) - - And since we don't have 401 seconds and things like that, just make sure to allocate. Like when you're figuring out how much you want to make every month, make sure to allocate a little bit that you're putting toward retirement every month, whether it's $200 or $1000. Just factor that in.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:39:07)) - - That is such good advice. And I remember, you know, my last podcast, pep talks for side Hustlers, like while I was still like after I had like before I fully pivoted to Web Designer Academy exclusively when I was teaching like entrepreneurs how to DIY and all the marketing stuff and all of that. You know, I remember saying like my revenue goal was two times my gross salary or my monthly revenue goal was two times my gross because I wanted to factor in my retirement contributions what was being taken out for healthcare. You know, all of those pieces that, you know, when we're at a corporate job, you know, comes out of our paycheck. And then when we are solopreneurs, we're responsible for piece parts of those if we want to keep those contributions.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:39:57)) - - So yeah, that's so important. And my my sister in law is a financial advisor and she's, she's always talking to me about like the different things I can do. And she's just like, we're setting it up to automatically come out of your bank account and go into your I think it's an IRA or something. I'm like, okay, fine. Like just tell me what to do and I'll do it. And I'm like, Do I have to? She's like, Yes.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:40:25)) - - That's honestly what I love about personal finance. It's like, Why love the slow cooker? It's a set it and forget it approach. Like it doesn't require a lot of day to day maintenance, in fact, is better if it doesn't. So you can set it up and have it running in your background for the rest of your life.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:40:41)) - - Yep. Beautiful. So last question that I ask everyone that comes on the show. What is one belief about yourself that you had to change to get where you are today?

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:40:52)) - - Yeah, I think one belief that had to change, I don't know.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:40:57)) - - I mean, honestly think being an entrepreneur and being a solopreneur requires so much self work and working on your mental hurdles as much as it requires working on your business or working on a client project. Like you have to actively be developing your mindset as well. I think two things that have helped me, one believing that I'm capable, that I have some specific value that I can add to people's lives. Think that's helpful. Think when you're when you work in a lot of corporate environments and you're kind of behind the scenes, it's hard to think about the unique role and benefit you could provide to people. And so going through this process and realizing I'm not doing just what I thought I was going to do, it's sort of evolved and grow naturally has been helpful to see that, Oh, I do have individual capabilities, but also it took a lot of effort to come to those conclusions. It was a lot of trial and error and it wasn't it wasn't just so obvious to me. So yeah, that's one thing.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:41:58)) - - And the other thing is I think we see a lot of stuff on Instagram that's like, Look at me, I made $1 million overnight and look at me. My course runs on autopilot and look at me. I have like this fancy car or whatever and think for 99.9% of people, that's not the way it works. It takes a lot of like consistent, dedicated effort, patience and time. And so just because, like, you're not hitting your first six figure month or whatever in the in your first month of business, don't get discouraged. Keep going. You know, focus on iterating little by little every month and that'll, you know, the the quote that I always think about is I think Bill Gates said something. People overestimate how much they can get done in a year, but underestimate how much they can get done in ten years. So think about like where you want to be, you know, in two years, five years, ten years from now. And don't just be like, okay, well, I'm not doing it now, so can't ever make it happen.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:42:53)) - - That is so good. I've never heard that. And I think it is so, so true that we overestimate what we can accomplish in a year and underestimate what we can accomplish in ten. I couldn't agree more. I think I was right. I'm going to say like raised in the era of the online world, and I'm sure it's still this way, but I just don't consume a lot of social media content where that's what it was. And it's like six figure launches this and that, and I'm like, Oh, all these other people are doing this like. Why shouldn't I be able to? And then you don't. And then you're like, Well, I either scrap the whole thing and start over or What's wrong with me? Or what am I doing wrong or whatever. And. I feel like. I quickly, like put like decided to stop believing that. I would say quickly. It took a couple of years of being like, Oh, wait, maybe this isn't how this actually works.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:43:54)) - - To really put it aside. But I think the other thing to add to that is like my experience and all of the entrepreneurs that I have talked to, especially this year, is that that's not always going to be where they where they stay, right? So they could have that six figure year, that six figure month or that million dollar launch. And even my own personal experience has been that this year has been nowhere near in revenue as last year or the year before. And we're not all the way through the year, but I don't see where I'm coming anywhere close to last year. And so I feel like that that is something that people should know too, is just like just because you got to somewhere once. And I'm not saying that like, Oh, you can't stay there. I'm just saying like, don't buy the hype that once you've arrived, you've arrived or whatever. Like it does take consistent effort. And I think the consistent effort compounds to so like to just tie back to what you said, it's like it's the same way in personal finances and investing as it is with growing your business.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:45:07)) - - It's the consistent little things that you do every single day that are going to make it so that random client comes out of nowhere and you're like, I don't even know how they found me. It's like, Well, they found you because you have been planting the seeds consistently without question, for so long. And those things are starting to work and create momentum. And I wish I had like the magic solution that like, Oh, you can do this thing and always know that it'll always work 100% of the time. But that's just not how that's just not how it works.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:45:46)) - - Absolutely. I completely agree with you. I would say if you if you want three things you can do to really set yourself up for financial success, like do good work, communicate well with your clients, and then have some sort of like method of prospecting clients, whether it's staying in touch with past clients or your newsletters, whatever. Asking for.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:46:06)) - - Referrals.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:46:08)) - - Asking for referrals, have some method that you're always doing in the background, even during busy seasons.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:46:15)) - - I think those three things are helpful to set yourself up for some degree of financial stability. Yeah, and the only thing I want to add about a compounding I think a lot about this and I think what what people don't realize is your actions compound, but so do your thoughts. So the way you speak to yourself, the way you what you think you're capable of, like that's going to have a huge effect on your performance as well. And like I said, like that is an area to really think about and work on as much as any other aspect of your life.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:46:50)) - - That is the perfect place to wrap up this episode. I just wrote that quote down because I'm like, Yes, I that's something that I get to remind myself of when I'm getting into the mind trash, which I do from time to time. We go through challenges. Luckily, there are people like Ann out there to help guide us through them. So I'm so grateful for you and meeting you and just my experience working with you.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:47:21)) - - Can you share more with our listeners about where they can go to connect with you? Check out your contract templates, check out everything that you're doing and just get in your world.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:47:33)) - - Yes. The number one place I want to send you is powerhouse legal action for slash resources. You'll find plenty of resources like a contract guide for web designers with three critical but non-obvious provisions you should have in your contract. So think this is really helpful. I know that people promote freebies to get people on the email list, but I'm like, I really want you to have a great contract even if you don't hire me to do it or purchase one of my contract. So this guide has examples of contract provisions as well as sample language. So yeah. Follow me at Powerhouse Legal Resources as well as me on Instagram at Powerhouse Legal and Powerhouse Strategy. Shannon, I want to thank you though, because I really feel like what you're doing out there helping women. Work on their mental limitations about making money and finding success is just so powerful.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:48:23)) - - Remember what I listened to your I remember when I listened to one of your first podcast episodes. I was like, Wow, yeah, this woman really gets it. Like, I really felt like I had that. You gave me permission to succeed. And that's the kind of thing I just feel like that's so powerful. And yeah, I don't even know how to express my gratitude to you for what you're doing for women all over the world.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:48:46)) - - Wow. Thank you so much. I appreciate that. And it just makes me want to continue to do this. And it's just amazing to know that I am having an impact in that, that it is having a ripple effect. So thank you so much. And thank you so much for being here.

Speaker Koppuzha** ((00:49:05)) - - I've had a it was a blast and I've been listening to this podcast since well before we met. And so you're having a ripple effect even if you don't know it.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:49:13)) - - Uh, that is so cool. That is so cool. So I just really appreciate it.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:49:20)) - - If you're ready to finally stop under charging and over delivering, if you're ready to take back control of your time and book more high paying clients you love and make more money as a web designer than you ever thought possible, then book a zero pressure discovery. Call with me today. All you got to do is go to a web designer academy. Com forward slash call. Choose one of the available time slots, fill out the intake form and we'll meet on Zoom to talk about your goals and what's really in the way of you reaching them. And if it looks like I can help you inside the Web Designer Academy, we can talk more about what that looks like. It is super chill. There's zero obligation to say yes to working with us. If you book a call with me, it is simply a chance for you to learn more about how we can specifically help you. You personally, with your unique skills, personality and experience to create a highly profitable, sustainable web design business and create the freedom, flexibility, financial independence and fulfillment that you started this business for in the first place.

Speaker Mattern** ((00:50:21)) - - So just go to and I can't wait to talk to you more about your web design business.


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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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