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January 2024 Income Report

Welcome back to the Profitable Web Designer Podcast! Today I'm bringing you my January 2024 Income Report where I break down what happened behind the scenes of my business, how much money we made, how much we spent, and the lessons learned along the way.

January was a really fun, productive and interesting month at the Web Designer Academy! In this episode I talk about setting realistic goals, I share what I learned from the books I read, I talk about some easy goals that I set, the work we're doing behind the scenes at the Web Designer Academy, some tests we ran that had some not-so-surprising results, our new website refresh, how our customers make decisions and ensuring our offers are meeting their three core needs, our new 30-Day Trial for the Web Designer Academy, and the launch of Profitable Web Designer Premium.

You can check out January's numbers here.

Books I read in January

(affiliate links):

Mentioned in this episode:

Shannon Mattern (00:04.83)

Hey there, welcome back to the Profitable Web Designer podcast. And today I am bringing you my monthly income report for January 2024. So in these income reports, I break down what happened behind the scenes of my business that month, how much money we made, how much we spent, and all of the lessons learned along the way. So we'll start off with the important things that happened in January. Then we'll

go into January's financials, and then I'll wrap up with all of the lessons that I learned. So starting in January, I decided that instead of indulging in my morning Apple News scrolling habits, that I was going to swap that out with reading books on my Kindle. And I cannot believe how many books I read in January by spending that lazy morning.

coffee time reading. So I read six books in January. I read All It Takes is a Goal by John Acuff, which I'll circle back to later because it was so good. I finally read Start with Why by Simon Sinek because so many people had mentioned it to me as like a must read. I read The Big Leap again by Gay Hendricks, which I mentioned in my December income report.

I don't know why I was inspired to read it again. I think it was that whole concept of like, oh, I keep getting sick around important times and I wanna read that again and see if I have any additional insights to that. And then I got curious about any other books Gay Hendrix may have written. And I found this book called The Corporate Mystic 2.0 that he wrote. And I was like, man.

I read the description of it. I read a sample of it and I was like, oh my gosh, I want to read this, but this title really does not describe what is actually in this book. It was so good. I highly recommend it. It's called The Corporate Mystic 2.0 and it just talks about, I don't know, it's a lot of mindset stuff about running a business and it was fascinating. So good. Highly recommend.

Shannon Mattern (02:22.538)

Then I read The Genius Zone also by Gay Hendrix, which was really just kind of like the next, I would consider it like the sequel to The Big Leap of like, how do you stay in your genius zone? There are different zones, like your comfort zone, the zone of excellence, the zone of genius. And I actually used some tactics from The Genius Zone to develop a couple of ideas that I'm super excited to tell you about.

that are already launched because I gave my brain the space to come up with those ideas based on what I learned in the Genius Zone. It's still crazy to me that it works. I'm definitely going to go back again and read Corporate Mystic and Genius Zone again because I just, it helped me progress.

It helped me create progress in my business in a way that was unexpected. Then I read Think Again by Adam Grant, which was really about how when we think we already know something and how that can be harmful to us and how to question what we think and what we believe to be true and the paradigms that we operate with and how, like, why.

that can create unwanted results basically and how to challenge our current thinking. Which one of the things that I notice about myself a lot is like, I'll think I already know that or yeah, I know or something like that. And it really holds me back from the learning that I could gain if I was like, yeah, I can walk into this thinking like.

I probably don't know that already. There's something new to learn here. There's something I'm going to need to hear today and things like that. So, it was really good. But out of that whole list, the three that I would highly recommend, all it takes is a goal, Corporate Mystic 2.0, and either Big Leap or Genius Zone. So that, like every morning with my coffee, reading.

Shannon Mattern (04:40.594)

scrolling those books in my Kindle app and I love to read, obviously. So the other thing that I did in January was at like part of all it takes is a goal is talking about how to set realistic achievable goals. And so one of the goals that I set for myself was to pitch one podcast, pitch myself as a guest to one podcast a week, which to

A lot of people sounds like not that big of a deal, right? Like, how are you going to make any progress if you just do one a week? But it's the act of doing the one a week versus thinking that you need to do 10 and then doing none, that's going to create the progress. And so if you want to relate that to your marketing and outreach in your web design business, if you're like, okay, I have to have this huge marketing strategy and I need to connect with 10 new people a week and I got to do this many posts and this and this and that.

And then you spend like two months planning all of that over which two months you actually did nothing. And then it's so overwhelming when you go to do it, maybe you do it once and then you don't do it again, versus all of the time you just, like think of all the time you just, I wouldn't say wasted, but like spent not doing the thing. And then it's so overwhelming to do it that it's not sustainable. But if you just took tiny bites of it,

you could consistently do it. And so pitching, doing one outreach action a week versus 10 or something simple that doesn't require that much planning and preparation and production, like so easy. So that's the goal I set for myself, pitching one podcast. And it's so fascinating because I used to pitch myself

all of the time. And then I noticed that last year I did not really pitch myself for opportunities at all. And I had the same mind trash that our students have when I was researching places to pitch myself. Why would they want to talk to me? Who am I to reach out? I don't want to bother them. Their website's nicer than mine. I feel like I need to redesign my website. All of this stuff. And I'm like, oh, this is fascinating.

Shannon Mattern (07:06.622)

It doesn't necessarily go away. You just have to shift your mindset and like do it anyway. And so that was really interesting. And so I have, um, I have consistently pitched one podcast a week. Um, I've done follow-up on the people that did not, uh, respond to me. I've gotten at least a response.

from everyone and I still have to pitch my podcast this week as the recording of this episode. I have not done it this week I was doing it on Mondays. I've noticed that I've slipped from doing it Monday and now it's Friday that I'm recording this I need to pitch my podcast this week, so ask of our listeners if there are other podcasts that you listen to that you think that have guests and you're like, oh my gosh Shannon This would be a perfect podcast for you to be on

will you send me an email Shannon at webd and be like, hey, you should pitch yourself for this podcast. I would love that. That would be amazing. Okay. The other important thing that happened in January is that I have been working with conversion rate optimization guru, Leigh Scott. She's one of our web designer academy students and she's been doing like a lot of research, a lot of analysis combined with her own best

practices and one of the many recommendations that have come from our work is just removing a lot of the words from our the pages on our website. And obviously I like long form content. I write long emails, I record long podcast episodes and I want to put everything I think on every page of our website too.

actually counterproductive to how people use websites and consume website content. And I totally get that. And so one of the things that I did in January was just give our pages just like a little bit of a makeover, a little facelift, if you will, a little nip, a little tuck, a little Botox. I gave them a little overhaul. And that was super.

Shannon Mattern (09:33.518)

Excuse me. I'll have my editors edit that out.

Shannon Mattern (09:46.962)

Okay, starting up again, hang on.

Shannon Mattern (10:04.118)

So that was really fun. And it was also one of those things, like in the genius zone, I read like, if you have a problem that you want to solve, instead of like trying to solve it in the moment, you realize that you have the problem and you wanna solve it, just like, ask your brain the question in a way that is like very empowering, like, how can I, you know,

redesign these pages to meet these goals or whatever. And just like don't even try to answer the question in the moment. You're just kind of like giving your brain the command to just start working on it like in the background when you're doing other things or when you're meditating, even when you're sleeping, which isn't is crazy to me. And then so I did that because I this had been on my to do list for a long time.

Every time I would go to do it, I'm just like, I don't even know where to begin. This feels a little overwhelming. I'm not sure how I want to organize this information. So I just kept not doing it, not doing it, doing other things. And then I use the suggestion to just ask my brain the question and let it come up with an answer on its own timeline. And lo and behold, I just get super inspired. And like...

I knew exactly what to do and I literally could not stop myself from doing it. So I was just like, oh, I finally have the vision. Here it is. And over the course of a weekend, maybe less than that, I had new page layouts for every all of the main pages on the website. And so I'm just like, oh my goodness, I could not believe that worked.

So we just refreshed everything and really focused on like what is the promise of working with us. So you can go check it out, webd if you're curious. I am one of those people that I'm like, I'm not a perfectionist. I'm like, let's just get it out the door, ship it, and then I'll deal with any bugs and cleanup and.

Shannon Mattern (12:25.378)

typos and broken links and stuff later. I move fast. And so if you see anything and you want to let me know about it, awesome. Send me an email, shannon at webd I'd appreciate it. So the other thing that we did in January is I hosted a goal setting workshop for our Web Designer Academy students, for the new students that enrolled in December to really

set them up for success. And this kind of circles back to John A. Cuff's All It Takes Is A Goal. Highly recommend reading it because the problem that most people get into, and I'm sure, you know, this episode is coming out at the end of February, but we all just went through the craze of new year, new you, new year, new year goals. I'm going to like January 1st, I'm going to become a different person. Like I have all these goals. I'm going to completely change.

every pattern habit thing I think I'm going to take new actions. I'm going to like just dive right in as a completely new person and accomplish this thing. And it rarely, rarely works. And so that's what I wanted to avoid for the people who joined in December or for our current students who are like, yay, new year, new me to really help them set, like get super focused.

on what is the outcome that they want to create because the outcome is not the goal, the outcome is the outcome. The goal is doing the actions that create the outcome and then getting really clear on okay you have this big list of things that you say you want to do, which are which things on that list are actually going to create the outcome that you want the fastest.

And then how do we focus on that? And then what goals do you have around taking those actions? So that's what we did in the goal setting workshop. And people left that workshop with a shorter list, shorter to-do list than ever before in any other goal setting workshop. And it's actually doable. And it's actually going to create results for them way sooner than if they're like, tomorrow I'm gonna be a new person and completely act.

Shannon Mattern (14:44.494)

180 degrees different than I normally act, which we all know is like, it never works. We try it every year, it never works. So how about we try something different and realistic? And so every time we do a workshop like that, it gets packaged up and put in our bonus vault for Web Designer Academy students. So if you join us in the future, you have access to that workshop and we host something like that every year to kick off the year.

For our next level mastermind, we do an even deeper, longer workshop for our next level mastermind members. We do this in person over three days at our in-person retreat in the fall for our current mastermind members. Then when people join in the new year, we run them through this. When people join on Evergreen, we run them through this where we do a deep, deep dive.

into their vision for their life and their business, what's in the way in terms of actual obstacles, mindset obstacles. We go really, really deep and then get really specific on what is the one thing that if you do this, it's going to create the results you want the fastest, the easiest, and what is in your way at your core.

that is going to pop up. And I think of it as, what was that game show where like, it was like, press your luck, those little gremlin thingies that would like come in and ruin it at the end. Like, what are those things that are going to get in the way of you taking action? Because it's your paradigm, it's what you believe at your core based on your learned experience. We get into that and we start shifting that. So,

So we did that for our new next level mastermind members. It is just like so powerful. They do it together in a small group and then they share what their results are with the rest of the mastermind so that when we're coaching, when we're doing coaching and we're sharing with each other, your other mastermind members can be like, oh, that's the thing. That's your thing playing out here. Like.

Shannon Mattern (17:07.938)

how you're reacting to this specific situation, could that be related to this core belief that gets in your way? And then, you know, it helps you clean those things up and make progress just so much, so much faster. So we did that for the next level mastermind and it was just so good. And then the other thing that I did,

Um, was I just started getting up earlier. I don't know if you heard the podcast interview that I did with Tinesse Shears all about sleep and how it's like one of the most powerful tools that entrepreneurs have in their toolbox for reaching their goals. And for the longest time, I probably all of 2023, honestly, um, and side note, it's just fascinating that I'm like.

noticing the external things that happened in 2023 that I thought affected my business, that did affect my business, but I'm also noticing things I was doing that affected my business. Not pitching myself, not growing my audience, not just sleeping in until whenever I want and then scrolling news in the morning and not really working on.

things like I used to. So I mentioned in my December income report, I think like in hindsight, I think I was like going through some kind of mini depression. And I think it was circular. I think that affected my business and my business affected it. Like I think they were intertwined, but it's just fascinating to see like, oh, here's what I was doing and not doing that created that result in addition to the outside forces that were

putting pressure on the business as well. So I love to see that because I'm like, oh, there are things that are in my control. And so I started to get up at 5.30 on January 3rd after our holiday break. I'm a morning person. I love getting up early. My brain is most creative early in the day but not when I'm sleeping until eight o'clock. So.

Shannon Mattern (19:34.342)

So I intentionally started getting up earlier, going to bed earlier. And I had published an episode on my old podcast, PEP Talks for Side Hustlers, ages ago about how Mondays and mornings are mine. But I kind of let my mornings get away from me. And I wanted to break that habit of scrolling and get back into reading and journaling. So almost every day in January, I either woke up before or with my alarm. I was sleeping really good. And then like I get up.

make my coffee, get back in my warm cozy bed with my planner and my journal and a book on my phone or a hardcover book if that's what I had and snuggle my doggo and read for about an hour. And so that was amazing. I also wanted to reestablish a cadence for all of my responsibilities for the week so that I felt ahead versus feeling behind or like I have to catch up.

Shannon Mattern (20:33.558)

batch, produce the podcast and batch the promotion for an entire month. So I used to try to like set aside a couple of days to do about a month's worth of podcasts and just getting really burnt out on it, like, you know, writing that many emails and show notes and all of that stuff all at once. And creating all the content for the production of it. Like it's the podcast is a big investment.

of my time, energy, and creative capacity. And I love doing it. But the way that I was doing it with batching just really wasn't working for me. So now I'm just like, how about I just do the week's promotion stuff on Monday morning, and it comes out on Wednesday. And it literally takes like an hour and a half to do, now that I have my system down.

And I do it like first thing Monday morning and it's done. Like show notes are scheduled on the website, the email's ready to go out, like all of that stuff. And then I'm also feel like I'm able to kind of like, it's more personal because it's happening in real time. It's not like I wrote it like two months ago or something. So that just feels really good. And that's been a super easy cadence to maintain. And

It was really like, once I made the decision to fall back, to like get up at a certain time and fall back into the time blocks, it was really easy and things have just been flowing. But, you know, like things don't always go perfect, right? By the end of January, I noticed I was not sleeping as good. I was waking up in the middle of the night. My husband is a snore monster. My dog is a snore monster and in the

colder months, she sleeps in bed with us and she just like presses up against you like so hard. And so you like, you're like on the edge of the bed and she's like stretched out in the middle. And so I just noticed that I was just like waking up around 3am every night and then I'd be like wide awake, falling back asleep at 430. And then I would like wake up, I would just turn my alarm off and wake up at 8am.

Shannon Mattern (22:55.686)

and that sleep with like really vivid dreams that doesn't feel restful. So I've like, I let that happen for like a week and now I'm like, okay, I have to be intentional about this if I want the result of feeling rested and having my brain be creative. So I'm, you know, I'm being intentional. I think that's kind of the thing with like goals. It's like, oh, that was easy. I feel good. And now I

don't have to try so hard, right? I see this all the time with web designers, you know, when they're like, oh, I got over, I did some marketing, it felt hard, but I made it easy, I'm so proud of myself, I booked a client, I feel good. Now I don't have to do the hard thing anymore. Like I have arrived and I don't have to do the thing that makes me uncomfortable or be intentional anymore. That's not how that works. You have to maintain doing the thing.

in order to continue getting the result that you want. And so I'm always like, hey, anytime you book a new client, your next priority gets to be outreach for your next one because if not, you're gonna find yourself in that cycle again. So I get to continue to be intentional about going to bed, setting an alarm and sleep because so many good things came out of that in January.

Um, so I'm going to dive into January's 2024 numbers, and then I want to tell you about, like I mentioned, the couple of things that I marinated on, the ideas that happened, how those came to fruition. Um, and I have a couple of really, really exciting announcements for you based on those things. So let's dive into January 2024 numbers.

So in January, we did not have any new students enroll in the Web Designer Academy. We got a lot of applications come through. Those people haven't enrolled yet. So you can apply anytime. And so we had several applications come through in January and I'm still in sales conversations with some of them.

Shannon Mattern (25:14.926)

but we didn't have any new students enroll in January, but we just had recurring revenue from our existing students. Plus I had some money come in from some affiliate promotions that I did. So our total revenue in January, which is not unexpected by the way, I planned for this, $9,838.71. So that was our revenue. Our payroll, 9,586.

dollars and 77 cents, our expenses for all of our softwares and tools and all of the things we use to run the business, $1,292.06 marketing, $2,684.39. That's our conversion rate optimization work podcast production, Web Designer Academy engagement and renewal. We had a couple hundred dollars of testing some ads.

that we're gathering some data on for that. Education and training. So my friend, Dr. Lee Cordell, who's been on this podcast and is in my Columbus mastermind group, is doing this seven week long training called Sell From Your Soul, and it was $277. And I'm like, yes, and I'll tell you more about why I decided to work with her over the next seven weeks.

It's like fascinating. And then I also, the next level mastermind girls, they all work with wild feather creative for Instagram content done for them. And the girl that runs it, her name's Lizzie Mattson, I believe. She, we don't know each other, but I'm a customer now because she did this course about how to like create an Instagram nine grid.

Um, for if you don't post on Instagram, which I don't, and I was like, yeah, I want, I just want someone to give me the steps of like what to do, how to do it. And so I purchased that. So, um, education and training was $474. I think I will get a lot more out of that than what, what I spent. Professional services, um, $1,820 and 26 cents. So, um, my accounting, um,

Shannon Mattern (27:41.522)

my CPA for my taxes for the year 135866. I'm an S Corp. I have some challenging tax issues that I have to deal with based on what I talked about back in episode 43 of the podcast with some fraud, still dealing with the fallout from that on.

income reported on my taxes on a 1099 that I actually never received and dispeeding that. I mean, what a mess. So my taxes, I'm so glad that I have someone that I can rely on to do that for me because I don't know what I would.

I'm sure I could figure it out myself, but not without a ton of time, headache, and worry that I'm doing it wrong. So I will pay Nechandra Moran all day every day to handle that for me. Off-ex expenses, $47. And debt repayment, $860. So if you've been listening to the past income reports, I dipped into my line of credit.

last year to whether to really to pay for my business coaching. It wasn't to like weather any storms. The rest of the negative net profit that we had last year actually came out of our reserves. So our total out our total investments in January $15,905 are

revenue $9,838.71. So our net profit is a negative $6,067, which comes out of our reserves, our revenue ebbs and flows. So looking at like our past, so I'm tracking a couple of metrics here. So I'm looking at like our monthly income and outgo as well as projecting

Shannon Mattern (29:56.002)

Like I have a projection spreadsheet that shows me like based on what's currently in our accounts now, what is the expected revenue to come in that month based on actual payment plan monies owed to us, what our planned expenses are. So I project all of that revenue out. And then I also have a metric that we're looking at in terms of like what's our rolling six-month average. Because

Last month, our revenue was $35,950. This month, it's $9,800. So with such variable swings, I wanted to look at like, okay, like what's my rolling six month average? Is that matching up with our?

with our expenses, with our investments, I call them investments, because every dollar I'm spending on my business should eventually create a return on investment. And if it's not, it gets to be evaluated and potentially on the chopping block. But is that rolling six month average above our investments or starting to dip below? And if it starts to dip below, then it's time to make some...

decisions that last year in 2023, I didn't want to look at because I didn't want to make the hard decisions. And this year I'm like, that's not what a CEO does. So I'm just like, oh, fascinating to just reflect on.

2023 in many ways I'm like, oh, I have really come out of that and grown from that significantly. So those are our numbers for January. And okay, so I wanna tell you now about another thing I did in January, a test that I ran in January, and then kind of like what came out of that test that I'm really excited to tell you about. So,

Shannon Mattern (32:00.41)

What I really wanted to explore further after our December open enrollment and after like interviewing people who had applied for the Web Designer Academy but hadn't made the decision to join, or like are just kind of like hanging out on the wait list, like waiting for the right time, or you know one of the many reasons that they have not take, like have not decided to work with us yet, which I'll talk about in a little bit. I tested out a six

month enrollment option. And this was offered only to applicants who had previously applied, been accepted, and had it enrolled. And the work that I'm doing with my conversion rate optimization people, Lee and Jamie, it's way more than technical stuff. I mean, we've done a lot of research over the past six months about why people enroll, why they don't enroll, if they're planning to enroll, when they're planning to enroll, why they're waiting.

all of those things. And one of the themes that we're noticing with people who are accepted into the program because they're a perfect fit and we see exactly how we can help them but who ultimately don't enroll, it's just a sense of uncertainty. Like, will this actually help me? And if I don't, if it feels like too risky and the reward is unclear or uncertain, then I want to wait.

for a better time, right? Like, I wanna do this, I think it will help me. I see it helping other people, but I don't quite know, I don't feel comfortable taking the risk because I know it's not a sure thing. So I wanna wait until I feel like it's a sure thing, right? They're looking and the way that they feel like it's a sure thing, quote unquote, is that they're like, I want to have these

specific benchmarks in place in my life, which listen, I'm totally fine with you being like, I wanna have this, and this in place before I make this decision. Amazing, it just depends on where it's coming from. So anyway, it's like they wanna work with us, but they want their, this is the thing, this is where it becomes a problem to wait. It's like you want to come work with us.

Shannon Mattern (34:22.21)

but you want your business to look like what it will look like after working with us before coming to work with us because they wanna feel like certain and safe and like it's a sure thing before saying yes. And so they're like, oh, well, I wanna get my business to where it's making this much money before I joined the coaching program that's gonna help me make my business make this much money. Right, so do you see how it's like a catch 22, right? And so instead of like,

just kind of letting go and trusting and letting us do our job, which is to really help you go from where you are right now to that place of like comfort and sustainability and where you are, like creating those results. They're waiting, right? They're waiting until they have that result on their own and then they want to come work with us, which is kind of backwards, right? And listen, like I totally get it. It is a...

big step. I have done a ton of research and the people that do enroll when they're accepted just also definitely want to make sure that they're making a responsible decision for themselves and their families. But ultimately they tend to make the decision to come and work with us because they trust themselves to do the things to create the results, not necessarily because they trust me so much, right? Or trust our program, right? They're just like,

I know that I can do this, I just need help versus I don't know if I can do this. So I want to prove that I can do it before I get help. So that's kind of the difference. It really helps that they have a strong belief in themselves that they'll get what they came for with their guidance and support and the people that join right away and that they like already have.

But the other thing is like they already have a belief in mentorship and coaching. Whether they have experienced it in other areas of their life or whatever, they know that working with a coach will help them go farther faster. So if I can truly articulate the difference between people who apply and don't enroll right away versus the people who apply and do enroll right away. When I say right away, I mean within like the first.

Shannon Mattern (36:42.038)

two weeks of applying and looking through all of the program details and all of that stuff. The first group who doesn't enroll right away believes that psychological safety and certainty come from outside of them and therefore circumstances outside of them must line up in order for them to take action. And the second group believes that they are the source of psychological safety and certainty and confidence.

and they get to work on lining up the circumstances for themselves. And of course that's not always true in every situation, but like that's what our research is showing us. Of course there are other variables to that where it's just like literally black and white. Like I'm in this other thing right now and I wanna wait till that thing's done to join your program.

That's not necessarily what I'm talking about here, but for the most part, that's kind of the difference between those two groups. And listen, I'm not gonna lie. I would love it if 100% of accepted applicants chose to enroll, just like you would love it if 100% of your discovery, calls, and consultations booked a website with you. And so I still have that even though I know, I know

not 100% of people who explore working with us are gonna say yes. But the volume of applications we get versus the number that enroll on the timeline that we like see that they're more likely to enroll if they enroll within the first 30 days than if they don't, right? What we're exploring is like, how can we increase that number? We have people who are interested, what are we missing?

and what we're doing and what we're saying and whatever, how can we close the gap between you wanting to come work with us and you actually doing it, barring external circumstances that are out of both of our controls, right? So the premise that we're testing in our business is like, is this a customer journey problem? When I say problem or like is the solution?

Shannon Mattern (39:01.298)

in our customer journey or is the solution in our positioning and marketing to our ideal clients? Meaning, is there something we can do differently in our marketing or our sales or our offer to help the people who look like a perfect fit on paper but are holding themselves back for whatever reason to like bridge the gap and become the person who believes in themselves enough to come work with us to create the result that they want instead of waiting.

till they have the result that they want to come work with us to help them create it? Or are these just two different types of people and we need to tweak our messaging to speak to the people who are already ready, who have worked with the coach previously, who see that can like shortcut their results and just focus on those people. Because the actual act of saying yes,

to a program like the Web Designer Academy is the first true step on your journey to creating the business that you want before you even dive into any of the parts of the program that are there for you, right? And I want you to think about this for your clients too. Like when, like you all have experienced the difference between a client who wants everything at the lowest,

price possible and how they never have their content ready. It's like, it's such, like the projects are always the biggest projects, they take the most time and they never like feel worth it versus the client who invests at a higher level. And then they're like, oh yeah, I'm on it. I've got the content, let's get this done because they are like committed and they've gone through this like shift of where they're like,

I said yes to this and I am all in, right? So the act of saying yes to the program is like that first transformation, valuing yourself and your business enough to make the decision, plants the seed in your mind that the rest of what you do for your clients is even more valuable than what you've been charging up until now. We have had people that just the act of joining our program makes them

Shannon Mattern (41:25.374)

want to raise their prices because they're just like, I'm the kind of person that invests in myself and that just the, what I've been doing up until now is, um, they just see it completely differently. Now, of course we have strategies and different things in our program to like step by step lead them through that, but like there's, there's like an intangible shift that happens when people actually just say yes to themselves and come work with us.

I've experienced it when I've enrolled in other coaching programs myself, and I've just been like racking my brain around how can I help people understand that waiting to work with us until you have the result that will help you create is backwards or waiting until you feel like you've cleared the runway for an entire year and that you a thousand percent know that the timing is perfect is kind of not possible because we can never predict the future. But without making them feel wrong for feeling that way.

because the same things that hold you back from making those moves in your business at their core are likely the same things that are keeping you under charging and over delivering for your clients. And if I'm gonna like make you wrong for those, which I'm not, I totally understand why you do it, then I can't like help you fix them, I guess.

Because it's like totally normal to want to feel safe and sure and confident. And it's just when we think that comes from the outside, outside circumstances versus cultivating it from within that we really hold ourselves back. And what I just said probably kind of sums up my entire like personal experience of 2023, like circumstances outside of me have to change for my business to change. And it was really like I needed to change.

for things to change. So anyway, that's a whole, probably a whole nother podcast episode as I really integrate that stuff. So I say all of that to tell you that we've come up with experiments to test our theories of, is this a customer journey solution? Is it an ideal client shift? Like, what is it to be able to see, are we going to

Shannon Mattern (43:51.434)

um, turn more of our applicants into students with some of these things, or is it that we just need to work on getting more applicants because the conversion percentage is what it is with what we're doing. And if we want more students, we need more applicants. So one of the tests that we tried was a six month enrollment, and it was a way to test out a shorter commitment to the program. So like, maybe it felt less scary to.

commit for six months versus a year. It was a way to test out a quote unquote lower price, which I'm putting in quotes because it's not actually a lower price. The monthly payment plan amount stayed the same, but the pay in full amount was half the price of the 12-month option. And I knew this test wasn't for people whose reason for enrolling was they literally could not afford our program. You know, I.

I understand that there are those people out there and I'm excited to talk about like what we have for those people who like our monthly payment option is just not in their range right now. And so I have something for you and I'm excited to tell you about that at the end of this episode. But I knew that this wasn't a way to like lower the price because I follow the same pricing guidance.

myself that I teach us teach inside of the web designer academy that our pricing gets to be profitable and sustainable for us. It gets to be based on the value that students go on to create when working with us based on the rule of 10. The money students pay to join our program is an investment in themselves and will continue to pay off for long after they leave our program. So you get to apply all of that to your web design business. Your pricing gets to be profitable and sustainable for you.

It gets to be based on the value your clients go on to create when working with you. It gets to, you know, look at the rule of 10. Can your clients go on to make 10 times more than they paid you over the life of their website or over, you know, in our case, you know, over the life of implementing our strategies or even in the first year.

Shannon Mattern (46:11.066)

and the money that your clients pay you is an investment in their business that will continue to pay off for them long after you launch their website. And on the flip side, not everyone's going to say yes and that's okay. But there are enough people that tell me yes and then there are enough people that tell me yes but not right now that I'm like, is there anything we can do differently to get more of the people to say yes to themselves sooner because I'm like the longer

you wait the longer you delay the results that you want? Or is it just like this is what it is? We put our efforts into getting more applicants if we want more students versus trying to put more effort in getting the applicants that we're getting to say yes. And honestly, I had to get my mind around even testing out a six month enrollment option because I designed the Web Designer Academy to very intentionally be a 12 month program because

We know that it's impossible to predict the future and we wanna give people plenty of time to implement with our support on their own schedule, at their own pace and intensity. And it's not that it takes 12 months to reach the goal. It could take one month, three months, six months to reach the goal, just depending on what your business looks like when you come in. And a year long program gives you that space, like access to us and our coaching and our curriculum.

And everything for an entire year gives you that space to go as faster, as slow as you want. It gives you that space for life to happen around. It gives you that space to take time off. Um, and it also creates for a really engaged community inside of our program and really awesome group coaching calls because you get to see the progression. Like you've got new people coming in who are just, um, just getting started and people who are there.

that are three, six, nine months ahead of those people. And the questions that the, I would say the seasoned people ask helps the new people fast track. Like because they're hearing people who are a few steps ahead get coached on things that they haven't experienced yet, but they know what to do when they do experience them. So I had concerns about a six month enrollment option changing the dynamics of our program.

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I didn't want the six month timeline to cause people to hustle super hard to get through all of the curriculum and content and tools and trainings in six months to get their money's worth and without giving themselves space to take action and experiment and get coaching on outcomes, which is truly what creates the transformation and momentum. But I also know that most of our students do create results in their first six months and I was open to seeing if a six month enrollment option.

would move accepted applicants who said their concern was commitment and timing off the fence onto the side of yes, we wanna work with you. And when I say test, I mean test because I literally had no idea what to expect in terms of people's reaction to this offer. If the lower commitment, time commitment would be a yes for people, move them off the fence, or if they were like, actually, no, I'm like.

That's not why I haven't joined yet. And so I think you could probably hear from everything that I'm saying that I was lukewarm on the six-month idea from the get-go for many reasons. And then it wasn't until reading that book that I mentioned earlier, Think Again by Adam Grant, that I had the realization that the six-month test was...

not necessarily about changes we could make. Like the way I was approaching the thoughts about the six month test was like from the place of, how can I get more people to enroll in the Web Designer Academy?

And that's why I was like, but what I care most about is that the people who do enroll create the results that they came for. And if I'm not a thousand percent sold on the idea that you're best served by a six month container, why would I want you to enroll for just six months? If deep down, I only think that decision will benefit me because it creates more sales and I'm not convinced that it's the best thing for you to.

Shannon Mattern (50:42.602)

I'm going to block it, like either in my words or my marketing email, my follow-up efforts. There's going to be something in what I do or say that is going to make you think it's not a good idea for you either. So I'm like, okay, I'm super resistant to the idea. Here's all the reasons why. If I'm doing this just to get more sales, quote unquote, then what's the point of doing it? But like what I truly think about our applicants when they apply is not like,

Oh, I want you to join the web designer academy so I make more money. Like I'm like, oh my gosh, I see exactly how I can help you. I see the gaps in what you're doing right now. I see how I can lead you to exactly what you want. And the sooner you let me help you, the sooner you can create results, right? Like I can go make money doing whatever else. This is what I love to do. And so before test,

before testing the offer because the conversion rate optimization team was like, we think you should try this, like be open, try it. I really had to like get my mind around like, how is this offer the absolute best thing for these people? Like, how is it good for them versus how is it good for us? Like it had to be workable for us, but it had to be good for them. And I.

do you think I came up with some good enough reasons to get myself to want to test the offer? Like most of our students do create results within six months, you know, if they were holding themselves back by a 12 month container, and this was the perfect thing for them, ultimately I wanna get them in the door so I can help them, et cetera. And so ultimately though, the reason that I decided to test it was

autonomy, meaning if I hold you as a high and capable person, like as just smart and brilliant and capable, which you are, then you will know if a six-month container feels right to you. And I was willing to give people that choice to test out this offer instead of me trying to be like, I don't know, six months, 12 months, here's all the things I'm trying to control with that. Like, and...

Shannon Mattern (53:04.738)

I'm kind of thinking that I know better for you than you know for you, right? And so I decided to test the six month offer. We crafted an email. We sent it out to our previously accepted applicants. And I went, I honestly, I went in with no expectations as to the results. So there was like no success or failure, just data.

And I also did it as a minimum viable offer, which is a philosophy we live by here. Like I didn't build out a big onboarding or offboarding process for six months or a renewal process. I mean, I thought about all these things. Like if people do join for six months, here's how I would do this, but I didn't like operationalize any of it. Or here, I mean, I thought about what some milestones for a six month enrollment could look like, but why spend time on that if you don't know if you need to?

And then I also put a time limit on it because we were just gathering data. We weren't necessarily committed to making it a permanent offer. We were testing it so that, and it needed to have a start and end. Like, hey, we're testing out this new enrollment option. If it feels like a good fit, you have until January 15th to take us up on it. It goes away on the 15th. We may never offer it again, so ask me any questions that you have. So.

I'm not sure if the results of this test surprise me or not. I don't know if they surprise you or not, but none of the 200 people or so that we offered the six month enrollment option to took us up on it. Now, like I said, we didn't offer a lower monthly payment plan price. It was just a six month payment plan versus a 12 month payment plan. And so it's the same monthly price and the pay in full price.

for six months was half of 12. So I can see why people who declined the monthly payment plan at 12 months because it was out of their budget would also say no to six months if they're making the decision purely based on payment plan price versus taking into account how much more money they'd be making after implementing our strategies and really coming at the decision from an expense mindset versus an investment mindset, or just, hey, this isn't in my budget.

Shannon Mattern (55:21.042)

yet at this time. But also I have to take into account that the people that we offered the six month option to have already said no or not right now to the first time that we offered to enroll them at 12 months. And it is possible that they're never going to enroll that no amount of tweaking our offer is going to make them say yes before they're ready. I don't know, right? I don't know what would have happened if we made the six month offer to people for the first time.

But I think you can tell that like I'm not fully sold on a six month version of the program because what I care most about is your results. And I just don't think like, yes, you could create some results and you could create a lot of results in the first six months of the program. But I just, it's been a one year program for.

however many years now and it works and it's amazing. And the full transformation of 12 months is, I don't know. I just am not sold on six months. And what I know to be true is that you cannot sell something that you're not 100% sold on. So that's why we do so much work on selling yourself, on you, your value and your pricing in the first part of the Web Designer Academy. So could I have sabotaged the six month offer?

Maybe. If I'm not sold on it, why would anybody else be? I don't know. I'd be curious. If you're listening to this and you're like, Shannon, I would totally join if you had a six-month offer, email me. Let me know. But until there's actual money that has been created as a result of that, and not just theoretical yeses, the six-month offer is probably not something that we're going to offer again.

And even though I thought a lot about the offer, and I had a lot of like, should I, shouldn't I, why would I, why wouldn't I, is this for me, is this for them? I didn't have any mental drama about no people enrolling. I kind of expected it. And I don't know if it was because I'm like, is it going to move people who have already said no off the fence, and I didn't think it would? I'm not really sure. I'm sure I'll be able to better articulate my thoughts about it.

Shannon Mattern (57:43.55)

as more time passes. But it wasn't like, oh my gosh, I launched something and nobody took me up on it. It was truly like, I'm testing this and I'm gonna see what happens. So I say all of that, long story longer, I say all of that to say that like, I was talking about these results with my local mastermind, the Columbus Change Agents, which is Alicia St. Germain, who you've heard on this podcast, Dr. Lee Cordell.

Um, there is Phyllis Nichols, who is actually our podcast producer, Sound Device Strategies, and, um, Amy, who you won't know because she owns a ballroom dance studio and she's super brilliant and talented and very insightful. And I was talking with this situation and I was like, Hey, here's the deal. We're getting applications again, which is awesome. But.

To be fully transparent, I get super bummed when I see so many people saying no, or not right now to themselves and their goals. And I feel like I'm in a place where I'm 1000% sold on our offer and our container. I didn't feel like six months was the right container and the results of this test backed me up or I created them with my thoughts, I don't know, but I'm sold on every single applicant we accept and I know exactly how I'll help them before accepting them. I tell them that when I accept them.

Like we have proven results, incredible testimonials, case studies for our students. I'm like, what am I missing here? And listen, I do realize I'm being impatient. One of my themes for 2024 is patience. I know all of like, I know that, well here, let me just continue on. And here's what I, do you hear me saying that I know? Like that's the.

That's the think again piece of the book. Do I know? I keep saying that I already know, but obviously I don't already know, which is where my mastermind comes in. And so what Dr. Lee shared with me, she was like, OK, Shannon, I'm sure that you're doing all of the things, but here are a couple of things to consider.

Shannon Mattern (01:00:00.002)

You know all of the things that you're doing because you do it every day. You live it every day. You know every single piece of your sales and marketing process, but your applicants are hearing it and considering it for the first time. And if they're even paying attention to it and they probably aren't hearing processing or remember every single part. And she's like, you're not necessarily factoring in repetition. People need to see and hear things way more than once.

they're going to take in parts different times. And they don't necessarily have the full 360 degree picture memorized like you do. You're acting like they know every last detail and they're saying no to it. And that's very likely what is not what's happening here. And then she's like, you're making the application and offer process the end of your customer journey, but it's not the end for everyone. For some people, it's the middle of their customer journey. For other people applying,

and getting feedback and having a decision put in front of them is the beginning of the customer journey.

And Lee Scott, my conversion rate optimization person, has said this too. But ironically, I need to hear things seven different times from seven different people and then write a podcast episode about it and then record the podcast episode about it for it to like sink into my brain. And so it's so fascinating to be like, oh, if I tell

If I say all the things about the program once, people should realize how amazing it is and just join right away. Like we think for our clients too, right? We're like, oh, if I tell them everything once, they should want to say yes right away. I crack myself up. So when I'm feeling impatient, that means I'm making the result I want all about me. And that is a sign that I need to dig deeper.

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take the focus off of me, put it back on our students and think about what they want and need and really look at everything we're doing through that lens and make decisions from that place. So the false assumption that you are all hearing, reading and processing every word I say about the Web Designer Academy, every word I say and write, every time I say it and have it all memorized and know the offer front and back just like I do is one thing. Obviously that is not

true or possible. The other thing that Dr. Li shared with me is that new research shows that for online marketing, people need an average of up to 60 touch points to make a decision, which by the way, that's not necessarily for one-to-one sales like we teach in the Web Designer Academy because there's like a more personal interaction that like shortcuts that number, but there's still a lot.

And for online marketing, like what we do, selling the Web Designer Academy, 60 touch points. I'm like, oh, I'm like, I should just tell you once and you should automatically want to work with us. Like that's not how that works, right? I just laugh at myself. But then Dr. Lee shared with me something that made me go, oh, I think I'm missing something here too.

And I'm so excited to share this with you because I think that this is gonna be helpful for you too. And I don't think she said these exact words to me, but this is how I like kind of processed what she said. But basically she was like, what I'm doing that's making me impatient is treating what is actually an emotional decision on the part of our applicants as a logical one.

So like the way I'm looking at it from where I sit, it's a no brainer. I'm like looking at it so logically. I'm like the barrier to entry is so low with our 12 month payment plan. We've spread out the financial commitment for you to make it easier. You could make your money back in selling one website, blah, blah. I basically pre-qualified you when you pay, when you apply. So I know I can help you based on what you tell me. I've helped a hundred other people just like you. I'm so confident you can do this. Otherwise I wouldn't have accepted you.

Shannon Mattern (01:04:15.606)

blah, blah. I'm looking at it all through the lens of like, like my logic, like math, right? And then I'm treating someone's waiting or inaction as a no, like binary. It's either yes or it's no. And so like when I say logic, I mean like math, yes or no, black and white binary decisions, right? So what I'm doing is I'm like, oh,

They went through the entire application process, the whole entire email sequence. It ended. They're still bought in. They must be a no. When in actuality they're still on my list, still opening emails, still clicking, still listening to the podcast. And so what Dr. Lee was like, Shannon, you're treating this as a logical decision and it's not a logical decision. She's like, it's not that they're a no, they're a not yet. And when someone is a.

which is actually a yes, right? They're just, it's a yes, but they haven't taken action yet. And when there are a not yet, it's because one, this is the part like get a pen and paper because this is where my mind was just blown. I was like, oh, this is exactly what I'm missing because I'm making this decision binary and like a yes or no. She said, when the thing that is happening,

right now with you or with your scenarios happening. It's because one or more of your clients, your students, whatever, their three core needs hasn't been met. Either a physical need hasn't been met, a psychological need hasn't been met, or the need for autonomy or choice hasn't been met, or something about one of those needs puts the offer in conflict with another one of those needs.

So she went on to tell me that physical needs are resources, time, information, money, and energy. And most sales processes focus just on the physical needs, mine included. I'm like, you're going to gain so much more of these resources and I'm going to give you all of the information you need to make the decision. And here's how I'm going to talk to you about the time, money, and energy that you need to put in. But if you want the thing,

Shannon Mattern (01:06:40.79)

but you don't think you have enough time, energy, information or money, you're never gonna move forward. And so that's what most sales processes focus on is physical resources. But then there's the other piece of psychological needs, right, that's related to like feeling safe once you're in. Like, will I be accepted into this community? Can I show up as my full self?

This is a group coaching program where I have to interact with other people, not just a course where I can hide behind my laptop, which you can hide behind your laptop in your course if you want. Nothing wrong with that. But can you show up as your full self just as you are with a community being accepting of you? Can you like be vulnerable and get coaching without people judging you or feeling like they're going to steal your stuff? Can you feel safe to take what you need without judgment from others, like taking up time on...

uh, getting coached on a call. And so that's why our programs exclusively for women web designers who are not beginners for this very reason to create a safe and expecting, accepting space for you to be your full authentic self, to be able to share your wins and not feel judgment, to be able to ask for help and not feel judgment, but if you don't know that you're going to be safe when you join your program, like your, your brain is going to.

not let you, it's gonna put you, even if you have the resources, time, money, and information, if you don't feel safe to join, you're not gonna join. Because that's like putting you in conflict with another core need. And then the third core need is autonomy or choice. And so I have like, it's so fascinating to me that I'm like, I'm looking at these resources.

I'm looking at these three core needs and I'm like, oh, they are totally like baked into our program, like into the program itself, like autonomy choice. We designed our entire program around giving you autonomy and choice in terms of how you participate once you're in. There's no cohorts. There's no like you have to be here at a certain time. You get instant access to everything when you enroll so you can move at your own pace. You get on demand feedback from me and Erica. Like if you're working at midnight on a Sunday.

Shannon Mattern (01:08:57.522)

and you submit your work for review to us, you'll get feedback on it that week. We don't have to like get on a call together. You can come to coaching calls or not, listen live or on replays, be on camera or off camera, listen only or speak on the call, chat or not chat, whatever. So anyway, I say all this because I'm listening to Dr. Lee and the revelation I had is that, oh, I have put, I have like put a lot of time.

effort and energy into making sure that the program itself meets the three core needs. Like once you enroll, you're going to have time, information, money, energy, psychological safety in terms of being a part of the group and autonomy and choice. But I don't think our offer is meeting the three core needs. Like I don't think how I am selling the Web Designer Academy is checking the

of the three core needs. And so when Dr. Lee was like, I'm doing this thing, it's called Self From Your Soul that talks way more in depth about that. And she was like, I'll send you the link. And I was like, okay, like I'm signing up because I feel like this has been a blind spot for me. Where I'm like, on the inside, it's all of these things, but on the outside, it's not. Or maybe if, I wouldn't say it's not, but I think that there are some gaps that I have. And so I'm like, okay.

I'm thinking about our offer and is there a core need that's missing? Is there a place where our offer is putting the other core needs in conflict with each other? And another thing, like the thing that I took away from a lot of the reading that I did, like the corporate mystic and the genius zone is to like just ask yourself the question and then like give your brain some space to see what comes up. So with this new information from my mastermind about like what

could my blind spot be in regards to this? And Dr. Lee sharing with me that like my blind spot is that while you are meeting the three core needs inside the program, you're not like, between application and enrollment, you're not meeting the three core needs. I was like, okay, I left with the question in my mind of like, how can I, what's missing and how can I meet the three core needs?

Shannon Mattern (01:11:23.198)

And like, what's in my control and what's not in my control? Like my pricing is in my control, but your resources are not in my control. So how can I create safety and autonomy and stuff like that, which leads to way different answers than questions steeped in impatience and frustration. Like I'm doing all the things and nothing's working fast enough for my patience level, now what? So I just gave my mind.

some time to ponder. And while my morning coffee time is my best time for pondering and coming up with new ideas, I had two new ideas come to me. And one came to me so strongly at the most random time. It was like during a Friday night dinner out with my husband and friends. And it came to me so strong that I had to like pull out my phone and like just jot it down in a note. And then as soon as I got home, I opened up my laptop and opened up a Google Doc

a half hour, I had the whole entire plan outlined. I knew exactly what I was going to do, how I was going to do it. Like every step, every piece, every tech, it just like poured out of my brain. And the other idea that I had was more like a seed growing. It was an idea that had come up for me over and over again, but it had never felt safe for me to offer. And so it was like something that I kept like...

bringing up and then pushing, putting back down and picking up and putting back down. And it always felt like it was something that I could never control. So I was like, I can't do this because I really can't control it. And then it felt unsafe for me. But then I was inspired again by Dr. Lee. And when I saw how she was doing the thing that I kept picking up and putting back down, I was like, oh my gosh, this is it. This checks.

all of the boxes of autonomy, safety, and resources. This is so much better than a six month enrollment option. And it was so exciting to me. When something feels so aligned for me, like I cannot stop it from coming into reality. I see all of the pieces. I know exactly how they'll go together and I will all just start doing it. And the best part is, I don't.

Shannon Mattern (01:13:46.55)

I don't know if I caused this and I'm not going to say that I did, but like when all of this coalesced in my mind, right? I was like, this is the light bulb moment. This is the missing piece. I regardless of what the data says, we'll keep this because it feels so good to me. All of our plans got canceled because my husband got COVID. I was just like, I don't know when I would have had time to work on it, but he got sick and then I couldn't and he's totally fine. It was just, you know.

a mild case, but of course we weren't going to like go out and spread it, spread it around. And so our whole weekend, like Friday through Monday got cleared and I didn't get sick. And I had like four interrupted days to like bring these two ideas to life. And so it was just like, I could not stop myself.

I was totally in the zone. Now I don't know if you listened to my last podcast episode about how I always get sick before or during a launch or something quote unquote big in my business, but this time an illness cleared the runway for me to be able to just really dump my brain out on paper and start creating all of the pieces I needed to roll out these.

to experiments, I guess, for not only meeting the three core needs, but making sure that they're aligned and not in conflict with each other. And I don't know if they're gonna work, but I know that I feel so good at work in terms of close the gap from applicant to enrollment. But I feel so good about them that they're staying regardless. And so I'll tell you what they are in a second. But the thing is, I'm so excited about both of them.

They feel so aligned to me, my mission, my vision, my values, that even though I'm quote unquote testing them, like I said, I just can't see myself taking them away. If they don't instantly move people off the fence, I just see them as part of the overall big picture and customer journey. They play their part and that feels so different than the six month offer experiments. Like for that, I was like minimum viable product. I'm not operationalize, operationalizing this.

Shannon Mattern (01:16:02.762)

Like I was just like so lukewarm about it that I wasn't even gonna integrate it in unless it worked. And like upon reflection, I'm like, oh, cause it didn't solve the problem. Like the core needs were still in conflict with each other. So anyway, the first idea that I'm so excited to tell you about that I was so excited to create that I got distracted at dinner and couldn't wait to get home and start working on it on a Friday night

Profitable Web Designer Premium, which is a private podcast of our stash of Web Designer Academy live strategy calls normally tucked away inside the Web Designer Academy only available to our students. I was just like, oh my gosh I cannot like I see exactly how this is going to help people Understand what it's like to work with us create a little more safety about what it's like to be in community with us Give them more information about

Um, about what we teach in the program. I'm like, okay. A here's why I was just like, this is a done deal. I'm like, a almost everyone that applies to work with us tells me that they applied because of our free podcast, this one that you're listening to right now. B I have over 200 hours of coaching call replays that of questions that I've, I would say over a thousand questions that I've answered from web designers.

about their business, their mindset, their marketing, their mentorship, their pricing, their packages, all of the things that I could package up into a premium podcast subscription and drip out to subscribers and I'll never run out. I'd start at the beginning of the archive so that people could follow on the journey of our students through coaching calls so that they can like see, here's the progression of someone coming in like brand new and how they move.

through to creating the results that they're here to create. And then it'll give people who wanna join, it'll get people who want to join more ready to join. Right, like it'll start to create some comfort, fill some of those gaps, like help them see that they will be safe and heard and validated inside of the program. And I'm like, it will also serve people who don't have the resources to join, who may never have the resources to join.

Shannon Mattern (01:18:29.622)

Because the live strategy calls don't teach our nitty gritty strategies. Um, it's not, you're not going to get the tools, the templates, the processes that like the main web designer academy students get, um, they get access to so much of like what we then answer questions about on the podcast. So like when people come to work with us, they're getting

A personalized experience where their hand is held through the process with access to all the tools, templates, curriculum, strategy, the Q and a is answering their questions. It's like coaching them on the mindset when they go to take action on the strategy and all of that. And so the Q and a is kind of, I would say it's, I wouldn't say it's all over the place, but it doesn't necessarily follow the roadmap we'd leave you through if you joined and so, but you get to be out a fly on the wall and.

You will definitely hear some things that will allow you to make some more money for what you're learning. So if you're one of those people who you're just not in a position to ever invest in a high-end coaching program, like the web designer academy, at least I can serve you in a different way.

And that's one of the things that I'm just like, you know, I've been trying to think of like, what else can I offer outside of what's already in the program to people who truly are never going to join, like, and that's okay, but I want to be able to serve them too in a deeper way than just on the free podcast. And so that's why I created profitable web designer premium. And then also for the people who are like, yeah, I do want to join, but I just need to know.

that it's going to be okay, that I'm going to be safe, that like all the things that Shannon says in the emails on the sales page in the webinars are actually true. And when I know that, then I'll feel more comfortable to take the quote unquote risk to join the program, to work with them to get the results. Or I don't know, maybe something else will happen that's completely unexpected. I don't know. I'm trying not to like get myself in these one zero binary.

Shannon Mattern (01:20:44.118)

like lock myself in, like something else could come of this that I don't even know. But what I do know is that I came up with this idea on January 14th and rolled it out on February 7th and had every, like I was like, oh, and I'll just do a minimum viable launch. Like I couldn't even stop myself from building out all of the processes. So when it feels that right to me, like then it's on. Like then it's on.

So I could not think of a good reason to not roll out profitable web designer premium. And the best part is that it's only $10 a month and you can cancel any time. And when you sign up, you're gonna get a drop of the first 10 coaching calls we did in the premium version of the Web Designer Academy and then each week going forward, you'll get two more replays. Twice a week, you'll get a drop of two new coaching calls and you can listen on your favorite podcast app.

iTunes, Spotify, iHeart, wherever you listen. So if that doesn't check the boxes of the three core needs, I don't know what does. And I'm just so freaking excited to be able to share that content with you. People that join the Web Designer Academy get instant access to all 200 replays all at once. And they get the most current calls and they get the latest call every single week. This is different because it's starting you

beginning at the very end of 2020 and taking you through the journey chronologically going forward. But it's still there's still so much goodness in all of those calls and you can cancel anytime. So if you want to subscribe, you can go to profitable or you can go to webd forward slash premium. And you could

subscribe and get those right now. So I cannot wait for you to see what it's like on the inside of our program. Okay, the next idea that I'm so excited to tell you about and then I will wrap up this podcast episode that I was just like, I don't like this feels so good to me. This is what I have been searching for. This is what I've been wanting to do for so long, but I couldn't figure out a way to do it that felt safe and good to me that also felt

Shannon Mattern (01:23:11.646)

I don't know that just like felt like it was giving you some choice in autonomy is a 30 day trial for the web designer academy. So up until February 1st, when you applied for the web designer academy, if you decided to enroll, you were committing to an entire year of the program, non-refundable, whether you paid in full or use the payment plan. And.

I get that that's a big decision for people to make because you're like, I have no idea what this is really going to be like. And I'm committing to this program for a whole entire year. It's like, we just started dating and I asked you to marry me and that's it. Like you have no idea, right? And I can say all the things on the sales page and I can say all the things in the email and I can say all the things in our case studies and show you all of that.

but still it's unknown for you, right? And so what I saw Dr. Lee do for her bigger program, her certification program that's several thousand dollars, is she offered a 30 day trial in a way that still honored her efforts and the value of her program and the time that her team puts in and the fact that she has expenses to run the program.

but also gave people the agency, the autonomy, the choice to leave after 30 days in the program if they didn't decide, if they decided that after that time in the program, the program wasn't right for them. And I was like, oh my gosh, this is exactly what I have been looking for. Like I've seen other programs offer guarantees, right? They're like, I guarantee that if you don't make 10 times what you paid, I will give you all your money back. And I'm just like, I can't guarantee that.

Like I cannot or it'll be like a very complex and punitive refund policy that pretty much nobody could qualify for. They'd be like, if you don't make your money back times 10 and you have done this list of 150 things and I, and then you apply for a refund and I analyze it and then I'm the ultimate arbiter of whether or not.

Shannon Mattern (01:25:32.722)

you get your money back. That also never felt good to me. I'm like, yeah, it could be like you have to come to every coaching hall, you have to do this, you have to do every module, you have to prove that you did this. Like that just felt, that never felt good to me. I'm like, I don't wanna run a business that way. I don't wanna, I'm not your, I'm not like, that's just not how our program is. And because our program is so specific to each person, like it's the same content, like it's the same curriculum.

But when you come in and you're like, I need help with difficult clients and I need to fire some clients and restructure some packages and collect on some invoices versus I'm coming in and I need help with packages pricing and getting clients, that's two different paths. And we don't have everybody go down the same path. We help you with what's gonna help you create the biggest return on your investment first. And so,

I can't be like, oh, you have to check all of these boxes in order to qualify for a refund. And if I don't think you did a good enough job, I'm not going to give it to you. That never felt good to me either. And then I'm also just like, I can't guarantee your results. No one can. If anyone out there is like, I guarantee your results.

Either their business model is unsustainable or they're lying. I'm just, I'm sorry. And so, but like a 30 day trial, I was like, oh my gosh, you can come, you can join our program at the 30 day mark if you do not feel like it is the right fit for you, then you can leave and not have to pay the rest of your payment plan or get a pro rated refund.

of your pay in full amount. So I want to be really, really clear. It's not a free trial and very intentionally not a free trial because this isn't just like a digital product. It's not a course where there's none of our time involved. Our time is most intensely involved in that first month when we're onboarding you, helping you go through our curriculum the way that's going to best benefit you, making sure you have everything you need to be successful.

Shannon Mattern (01:27:49.046)

doing in-person onboarding with you. There's so much that we do in the first 30 days to set you up for success that we're going to be compensated for that. So if you do decide to leave after 30 days, we'll keep that first month's payment, we'll end your payment plan, we'll keep that first month's payment, we'll refund your pay in full. And so for you, instead of committing to an entire year upfront before you know what you're really committing to,

You're committing to 30 days. You're paying for 30 days. And if after those 30 days you want out, cool. We will release you from your obligations, from your contract. If you paid in full, we'll release you from your contract and refund you pro-rated, so minus that first month's payment. And you have full autonomy. You don't have to prove anything. You don't have to do anything but say, hey, guess what? It didn't, this is not for me. Or hey, guess what? I thought I wanted this, but I don't.

You have no justification, no proving, no nothing. And

The other thing that we've considered is like, oh, someone could just apply for your program, be accepted, join, come in for 30 days, steal all of your stuff, and then leave and never pay you. And I'm just like, listen, like, if someone's gonna go through the whole process of like being devious and deceptive and apply and all of that, like.

can't, I'm not going to prevent all of the people who aren't going to be like that. I'm not going to take this opportunity away from all the people who aren't like that to just prevent one person from stealing from me. Like it's not worth taking the opportunity away from you to try our program to like prevent that from happening. Like it's just not. So I feel like to me when I saw that what Dr. Lee was doing, I was like that's, that's it.

Shannon Mattern (01:29:47.766)

That's the thing that feels like I don't know if it is the thing. I know it feels amazing to me because I've always felt like it's a big ask for me to be like, when you're in, you're in, there's no refunds, there's no way out. You're fully committed. That's it. Like

that felt sustainable for my business, but it never really felt super good to me as like a coach. It felt like I wasn't giving you autonomy. So to me, it feels like such a win-win. It's such a sustainable way for us to create that safety for you. Like if you wanna kind of take that concept and apply it to some of your clients for a trial, you certainly could. But the thing is, it's like,

It's not a free 30 day trial because we would never tell you to give your clients a free 30 day trial, right? Like we don't want you to work for free. We don't do it either. And so I know I have the advantage when I invite you to work with us after you've applied. I know how we can help you, but you're walking in blinds. I mean, I give you all the info I can give you. You're probably processing 50% of what I'm telling you, but sometimes you just can't know for sure until you've experienced it.

If that 30 day trial excites you, I'm telling you it excites me way more than a six month enrollment, I'm just saying. But if it sounds like something you're interested in, if you've already applied to our program and been accepted, you should have gotten an email about that 30 day trial. If not, reach out to me. I'll get all the details to you. And if you haven't applied to work with us, that's your next step. And you can do that at webd forward slash apply.

all of the details about what it's like to work with us, all of the details about that 30 day trial. You can make the decision if you're ready or not. I won't put so much pressure on myself to coach you to a decision. I just cracked myself up. I'm just like, my word of the year is patience, not because I have already figured it out. So I'm just like, I am coaching myself through patience. All.

Shannon Mattern (01:32:04.51)

all of the time, but it just cracks me up because I'm just like, it's cool. Like take your time to make the decision and I'm trying to help you make that easier so it doesn't feel so big, so that you have to like know that you're making a decision for an entire year right up front. And if you wanna subscribe to profitable web designer premium and get a taste of what it's like on the inside of the web designer academy.

Get insider access to those coaching calls and like you will hear things that will help you make more money just on that Podcast just go to web designer forward slash premium. It's literally ten dollars a month and you can cancel anytime so though that's everything that happened in January and I'm like reflecting I'm like it was a lot of stuff, but the energy that was coming from was like

and arrested and not hustly. Yeah, there was like a little piece of like, there was a little piece of like, I tested that and it didn't work and I knew it wasn't gonna work. So what am I missing here? And just noticing when the frustration and impatience pops up and like knowing that if I indulge in that, it's gonna take me farther away from where I wanna go and just bringing myself back and bringing myself back and

going after those little goals and all the things. So that's it for my January income report, which is more like Dear Diary. I hope you heard something that inspired you or that was helpful. And we will be back here next week with another podcast episode to help you create a more profitable, sustainable, and fulfilling web design business. All right.



In this episode, Shannon Mattern shares her monthly income report for January 2024. She discusses her reading habits, the books she recommends, and the impact they had on her mindset. Shannon also talks about setting realistic goals and the importance of taking small steps consistently. She shares her experience with pitching podcasts and the results she achieved. Additionally, Shannon discusses her website page makeover, hosting a goal setting workshop, and the importance of getting up earlier. She also shares her January 2024 numbers and the results of testing a six-month enrollment option for her program. In this episode, Shannon Mattern reflects on the results of her six-month offer experiment and discusses the importance of focusing on results and being fully sold on your own offer. She also explores the concept of repetition in the customer journey and the emotional decision-making process. Shannon shares her insights on meeting the three core needs of customers and introduces two new ideas: Profitable Web Designer Premium and a 30-day trial for the Web Designer Academy.


  • Setting realistic goals and taking small steps consistently can lead to progress in your business.
  • Pitching yourself for opportunities, such as podcast interviews, can help you grow your audience and business.
  • Attending workshops and goal-setting sessions can help set yourself up for success.
  • Getting up earlier and establishing a consistent routine can improve productivity and creativity.
  • Focus on the results you can deliver to your clients and be fully sold on your own offer.
  • Repetition is key in the customer journey, as people need multiple touchpoints to make a decision.
  • Consider the three core needs of your customers: physical needs (resources), psychological needs (feeling safe and accepted), and the need for autonomy and choice.
  • Introduce new offers (for example, Shannon introduced Profitable Web Designer Premium and a 30-day trial for the Web Designer Academy) to meet the needs of different customers and provide more options.


  • 00:00 Introduction and Monthly Income Report
  • 00:59 Reading Books in the Morning
  • 02:22 Book Recommendations
  • 04:40 Setting Realistic Goals
  • 06:35 Pitching Podcasts
  • 07:30 Working with Conversion Rate Optimization Guru
  • 09:46 Website Page Makeover
  • 12:55 Goal Setting Workshop
  • 13:52 Creating Achievable Goals
  • 15:43 Getting Up Earlier
  • 18:06 Realizing the Impact of Personal Actions
  • 20:33 Streamlining Podcast Production
  • 22:28 Improving Sleep Quality
  • 24:49 January 2024 Numbers
  • 32:00 Testing a Six-Month Enrollment Option
  • 39:01 The Importance of Autonomy in Decision-Making
  • 49:31 The Results of the Six-Month Enrollment Test
  • 55:51 The Importance of Results and Selling Yourself
  • 59:05 Repetition and the Customer Journey
  • 01:03:19 The Emotional Decision-Making Process
  • 01:09:24 Meeting the Three Core Needs
  • 01:16:32 Profitable Web Designer Premium
  • 01:23:11 30-Day Trial for the Web Designer Academy
A smiling person with a tooth showing on their chin is looking indoors.

Shannon Mattern
Web Designer Academy


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

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