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Make 2024 Your Most Profitable Year Yet

What I’m gonna share with you today could make all the difference for you and your business over the next 12 months…

One of the biggest frustrations a lot of our web designers have before coming to work with us inside the Web Designer Academy is that they’ve taken a bunch of courses to help them get more clients and make more money…

Courses that teach them strategies like choosing a niche or the latest social media marketing trends, or courses that teach tech skills that you think will allow you to charge more, or courses that teach them different ways to sell their time.

And that’s great, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. As web designers inherently love learning, we love strategies, we love new skills…

But if that’s what you’ve been doing to grow your web design business and you’re still not where you want to be…

What if you didn’t need to do ANY of that to make the money you want to be making?

In this episode, I’m gonna break down:

    • 3 pillars of a profitable web design business
    • 3 mindset shifts to create consistent revenue
    • 4 secrets to making 2024 your most profitable year yet

When you have these core pieces in place in your web design business, you’ll notice that you’ll start getting traction. You’ll find that you’ll start creating a return on your investment of time and money in all the things you’ve been learning and doing to grow your web design business.

Learn more about the Web Designer Academy and how we can help you right here!

 

Summary

In this episode, Shannon Mattern shares her best tips on how to make 2024 your most profitable year yet in the web design business. She discusses the three pillars of a profitable web design business: math, mechanics, and mindset. Shannon emphasizes the importance of knowing how much money you want to make and how much time you have to commit to your business. She also highlights the significance of having strategic, intentional step-by-step processes for every client touchpoint and the need for a positive mindset. Additionally, Shannon reveals four secrets to making 2024 a successful year for your web design business.

Takeaways

  • The three pillars of a profitable web design business are math, mechanics, and mindset.
  • Knowing how much money you want to make and how much time you have to commit to your business is key.
  • Implementing step-by-step processes for every client touchpoint is crucial for success.
  • Having a positive mindset and believing in your value as a web designer is essential.
  • Saying no can be more profitable than saying yes in certain situations.

Chapters

00:00 Introduction and Purpose of the Episode
03:10 The Three Pillars of a Profitable Web Design Business: Math
08:43 The Three Pillars of a Profitable Web Design Business: Mechanics
18:15 The Three Pillars of a Profitable Web Design Business: Mindset
35:29 Four Secrets to Making 2024 Your Most Profitable Year Yet
45:06 Recap and Conclusion

Episode Transcript

Shannon Mattern (00:02.318)

Hello and welcome back to the Profitable Web Designer podcast and our first episode of 2024. I hope you had an amazing holiday season and a very happy new year and I wanted to kick off 2024 for you with some of my best tips on how to make 2024 your most profitable year yet.

I did a few Instagram Lives in early December sharing a few different things with people as I was talking about wrapping up the end of the year and a live training that we were doing and the information I shared was like so I don't know I just wanted podcast listeners to hear it because y'all know me I don't spend a whole lot of time on social media.

And so I know that there are so many of you listening to this podcast. And so, um, my first thought was like, Oh, I'll put all three of those recordings together in a podcast episode. And then I was like, no, let's just record a dedicated podcast episode with this information, because what I'm going to share with you today could make all of the difference for you and your web design business over the next 12 months.

because one of the biggest frustrations a lot of our web designers have before coming to work with us inside of the Web Designer Academy is that they've taken a bunch of courses to help them get more clients and make more money as a web designer. So they've taken courses that teach them strategies like choosing a niche or figuring out the latest social media marketing trends to get more leads and more clients or courses that teach tech skills that you think, oh, once I learn this or once I know this,

I'll be able to charge more or courses that teach you different ways to structure and sell your time and services like VIP days or subscriptions or blueprints or all different kinds of things. And listen, that is great. There's absolutely nothing wrong with all of that. As web designers, we inherently love learning. We love strategies. We love acquiring new skills.

Shannon Mattern (02:08.182)

But if that's what you've been doing to try to grow your web design business and you're still not where you want to be, I just wanna offer you, what if you didn't need to do any of that to make the money that you wanna be making and to have the web design business that you want to have where you're working when you wanna be working, you're not working when you don't wanna be working, you don't have any stress about your inbox, you don't have money drama, all of the things.

And so in this episode, I'm going to break down the three pillars of a profitable web design business. And they might not be what you think. Three mindset shifts to make in 2024 to start creating consistent revenue and four secrets to making 2024 your most profitable year yet.

Shannon Mattern (04:54.59)

Okay, so let's dive into the three pillars of a profitable web design business. Because when you have all three of these pillars in place, that's when you'll notice that you're starting to get traction. That's when you'll start creating a return on your investment of time and money and all of the things that you've been learning and doing to grow your web design business. So the first pillar is math. And there are two parts to the math pillar. The first part is how much

Shannon Mattern (05:24.286)

and how much time you have to commit to your business every single week. And I want to be very, very clear that these two pieces of information are independent of each other. You're not figuring out how much money you wanna make and dividing that by how much time you have to work on your business. That is a recipe for undercharging and over delivering. And we have got to get you to untie your time from your money.

So if you're basing your pricing on what you think people will pay or what the going hourly rate is, you are leaving so much time and money on the table. There are two sides to the math equation. There's what's profitable and sustainable for you, the web designer, and the return on investment for the client. And when those two things are in alignment, that's when you really start to see traction in your revenue. And if you are...

running your own business, you are not selling your time anymore. You sell your time when you work for a boss, right? You work 40 hours a week or salary or whatever, you know, whatever the commitment is. You get paid this much to work that much. You are selling your time, right? And when you run your own business, you're not selling your time anymore. Even if it takes you time to deliver the thing that you sold, that's just

part of what you deliver. You're not selling your time. You're selling your ideas and the value of those ideas to your clients. You're not selling your time. So in order to have a profitable, sustainable business, the profitable side means here's how much money I want to make so that I have the money that I need to run my business, pay myself, pay my taxes, save.

Do whatever it is that you wanna do with your money. And the sustainable side is, I'm working this much because this is what fits into my life. Whether you're a parent or you're taking care of aging parents or you are, you know, just you wanna travel, you want a lot of free time, whatever it is that you want. Sustainable means I have enough time to do the things that I wanna do. Maybe you're working part-time and making a full-time income.

Shannon Mattern (07:43.966)

If you untie your time from money, you can do that. And it doesn't have to be because you have a scalable offer. People think, oh, well then I need to sell templates if I'm gonna do that. And like, that's not always the case, right? So you have to learn to untie your price from time. And when you do, that's when things really start to shift and you transcend that whole time worked equals money construct. Shift what you think about that to, I'm selling.

my ideas and my intellectual property and the value of those ideas in the form of a website. So that's the first pillar. That's math. And you need to know how much money you need to make every single month to pay yourself, pay your business expenses and pay your taxes. And if you want any leftover for savings and how much time you have to commit to your business every single week. And

that's the first pillar. And when you focus on that then, and you get that aligned, like your minimum baseline revenue, like this is the minimum I need to make, and you work out your first goal to making that consistently, then once you've created that sufficiency and that consistency, then you can go for those bigger revenue numbers. So that's the first pillar. So pillar number two is mechanics. And

When I say mechanics, I mean the mechanics of how you run your web design business, not the mechanics of how you build websites. There are a million different ways to build a website. There's no one right way. How you do it is totally up to you and your likes and your dislikes and the platforms you like and how your brain works and whether you're a designer or a developer, you do you on that. And what I'm talking about are the mechanics of running your business, right?

that can be standardized across web design businesses regardless of what services you offer or how you offer them. And so inside the Web Designer Academy, we don't teach building a website because our program is for people who are already web designers, who have already learned that skill on their own in their own way on whatever platform, but they don't have the skill of running a business. They don't know the mechanics of running a business. And so the biggest opportunity we see for almost every web designer we work with is to create...

Shannon Mattern (10:09.398)

to help them create a consistent full-time income after figuring out the math pillar. You figure out, okay, how much do I wanna make? How much time do I have to commit to making that? Then it's to put the mechanics pillar in place, to put step-by-step processes in place for every single client touchpoint that serve the broader goal within strategies that are proven that we know work, right? So,

When I'm talking about every single client touch point, I mean the mechanics of your messaging. What do you say to potential clients? Marketing, the actions that you actually take to meet potential clients. The mechanics of how you run a consultation, of how you do your sales process and follow up, follow up to a yes or to a no. How you book projects, like how do you, contracts, deposits, scheduling, all of that stuff.

the scheduling of the project and project milestones, how you handle the feedback process and revisions, how you handle ending projects, how you handle recurring revenue after a project is complete, how you manage your time, the mechanics of all of those pieces. And that is the second pillar to having a profitable web design business. Because when you don't have a very strategic, intentional step-by-step process for all of those pieces, you're just winging it.

You're either sitting back waiting for people to find you or you're over-efforting and learning and trying tons of different strategies to get clients or try to get clients to cooperate, to get content. And you're just trying a bunch of different things with not really knowing what's working and what's not working. When you don't have a strategic, intentional, step-by-step sales process in place, you end up having a bunch of conversations with clients who...

might want to work with you at some point but haven't actually committed, haven't moved forward and you feel super overwhelmed about all the potential work that you might have coming up even if it hasn't started yet and you're making decisions on booking new clients based on people that you've had conversations with but aren't locked in. So the mechanics of those processes are super important. All of these pieces work together.

Shannon Mattern (12:32.278)

And when you don't have, let's say, a strategic intentional project management process in place, you end up waiting on clients for content. Your projects get delayed. You get stuck in scope creep and never ending revisions. You make less money, you get super overwhelmed. Clients come to you right before Christmas and say, hey, I wanna wrap this up by the end of the year. And you're like, hello, I have already planned to take this time off, right? And you find yourself overworking and just trying to...

you know, get these projects wrapped up because you want the relief of having it done. And so you end up overworking, right? So when you don't have processes for that, that's what ends up happening. When you don't have processes for managing scope creep or post-project requests in place, you end up saying yes to doing things and very likely also undercharging because you just want to be done, right? When you don't have processes for every part of your business, you end up reacting

to your clients and whatever's going on with them in their world, and that just multiplies because you have multiple clients, so you're trying to manage everybody, like manage your business around the whims of multiple people, it feels impossible. You're reacting to what's going on with them instead of proactively leading them through your business and your life and your processes and taking control of that, right?

So that's what I'm talking about when I'm talking about the mechanics of running your web design business. All of these pieces for every client touch point work together. Like the analogy I'm thinking of are like the gears of a clock, the gears of a watch. They all work together and it's a well oiled machine when you have them all working together. It doesn't work when they don't work together.

And so systems and processes are there so that your business is proactively designed around your life. They make your business sustainable to run and you create and implement systems and processes that you feel good about, that make you love your web design business, that give you freedom. And when you don't have systems and processes like that in place, when unexpected situations come up, instead of defaulting,

Shannon Mattern (14:52.078)

to the predefined systems and processes that you proactively put in place that align with your unique life and business and are just like, oh, X happened, this is how I react with Y, you end up just reacting and it ends up with a chain reaction. It affects your other clients, it affects your family, it affects your time. And so if you haven't solved the common time and money leaks that we see with web designers that cause problems in their business, like,

employee mindset and people pleasing and perfectionism and imposter syndrome and being afraid to talk about money, then it's very likely that your reaction will be to undercharge, over deliver, overwork, or just get stuck and overwhelmed and then be like, oh, this isn't working. I guess I need to change niches or I need to redesign my website or my

Shannon Mattern (15:50.738)

you never actually solve the real problem. And so when you don't have the mechanics in place in your web design business, you don't have these intentional strategic processes proactively mapped out for every client interaction that are the same for all clients. Not only do you not know what to expect, your clients don't know what to expect either. They don't know what's okay and what's not okay. They don't know what's extra and what's not extra. And then they cross boundaries. We didn't even know we had.

because we didn't take the time to think through them and set them up ahead of time. We're just operating like we're an employee and they're our boss and we have to do what they say to get the money to be safe and secure. And you can't run a business that way. And so when you don't have systems and processes in place that align with how you want to run your business and live your very unique life, because none of us have the same

a home situation and you haven't cleaned up any employee mindset, people pleasing, perfectionism, imposter syndrome that you might have going on, it can be really, really challenging to communicate those boundaries with clients after the fact because we worry about not being liked. We worry about the loss of our reputation. We worry about potential clients being upset with us. We don't want conflict, all the things. And who wants to run a business that feels that way?

It just feels easier to say yes to everything. So when you have a lack of systems and processes in place, you end up working way more for way less money and you don't like it and you start to get overwhelmed and burnt out and all of the things. And so that's just a mechanics is a huge, huge opportunity and almost every web designers business that I've met to put those systems and processes in place from the very first client interaction.

all the way through to the end of the project that empower not only the web designer, but the client to both be adults and make adult decisions every step of the way. So that's what we do. Mechanics is the core of what we do inside of the Web Designer Academy. We help our students not only implement those processes, but be able to confidently communicate those processes. And we can't do that without the third pillar.

Shannon Mattern (18:15.95)

of a profitable web design business and that pillar is mindset. So I'll talk about that a little more deeply coming up here in the podcast episode, but mindset is so important. What you think and believe about yourself and your value, what you think about your clients and how capable or incapable they are or how responsible they are or not responsible they are, what you believe about your pricing, what you believe...

about what other people can and can't afford, what you believe about marketing in general, sales in general, the market for web design, your mindset will make or break your web design business. Learning how to think intentionally in a way that creates the results that you wanna create is a learned skill. It does not come naturally to most people. It's a skill we teach to our students inside the Web Designer Academy because you can have the math pillar and you can have the mechanics pillar

But without the mindset pillar, your business, your web design business is like a stool with only two legs. And mindset is a skill that we teach our students that's interwoven throughout all of the other pills of math and mechanics, because everybody comes into our program with their unique set of stuff, right? Their way of seeing the world, their unique experiences, things that have happened to them in their personal and professional life. And it depends on...

their unique personality and their experiences and their conditioning and so many factors that are unique to them that's going to determine how they react when they're putting their highest price ever in front of a client. Or their client asks for something that wasn't included in the project and everyone's going to react differently based on their stuff. And so if you want to get some insight into what your stuff might be,

Go to webd forward slash quiz and take our web designer archetypes quiz and you'll find out places, you'll find out like what makes you such an amazing web designer. And on the flip side, you'll find out where your web design business specifically yours could be leaking time and money and some of the shifts that you can personally make to fix it. But there are three pretty common opportunities for mindset shifts that we see with most.

Shannon Mattern (20:35.454)

of the people that come to work with us and I'll break them down for you here because when you finally make these shifts like at your core and you truly believe them everything changes. So this first shift, first mindset shift that I would love for you to finally make this year is stop thinking that you have to know everything already or be good enough or be better or be an expert or be perfect to charge more.

So you can call it perfectionism, call it imposter syndrome, call it whatever you want. But if you don't shift out of it, it will keep you undercharging and over delivering and hustling. And it is so interesting. I had a conversation with someone who was thinking about joining the Web Designer Academy and she was like, I hear you when you say this, but I expect my accountant to know everything. I'm paying them to know everything.

And so how could you say that someone who hired me as their web designer shouldn't expect that I know everything? And I'm like, so that was such a fascinating question. And it made me think of this mindset shift because it's like, it's very likely that when you hire that accountant, they don't know everything, but they know enough to figure out how to find the answers.

Everyone that comes to work with that accountant probably has a very unique scenario of what their personal tax situation is. I can almost guarantee you that accountant isn't sitting there with every single client is just like, I have to do no research to figure out what is the right thing to do here. I already know in my mind creative ways to handle their personal tax situation to minimize their tax burden.

They don't already have all of that in their head. They're probably talking to colleagues. They're probably doing research. They're probably trying some things that actually didn't get them the outcome that they wanted. And you're paying them for all of that. So you're not paying for them to already know you're paying them to know how to figure it out. And if you could embody that as a web designer, you could just get out of your own way so much.

Shannon Mattern (23:04.542)

Right. And it's like when you think that you have to know everything, when you think that you could possibly like

I don't know, like you think you're not good enough, you fear messing up, you fear a client asking you a question, you not immediately having an answer. If you fear any of those things, then you get so protective of your reputation, you actually like end up pushing people away, right? You end up, like marketing becomes unsafe when you have to be so protective of your reputation, when you feel like you have to know everything ahead of time.

that you have to be perfect, that your skills have to be on point, that you have to present yourself in a certain way on your website, that your portfolio has to look a certain way. And if not, people will just find you out for the imposter that you are, and they'll find you out for a fraud and all of that. And so what happens is to prevent that, you'll either wait to start doing anything until everything is perfect, which that'll be never.

or you'll undercharge, you'll over-deliver, you'll people please, you'll spend a ton of unpaid time researching and engineering solutions. You will spend five times more on proposals, like before you've even had a sale than you need to. You will give time estimates, like, oh, I think it'll take 40 hours to do this, and it ends up taking you 80, and because you said 40, and it took 80, you'll be like, well, I can't say that it took me longer

then they'll think, I don't know what I'm doing. It's not a sustainable way to run a business, right? So if you believe that is the dichotomy, it's going to be very hard for you to have a profitable, sustainable web design business. So that is the biggest mindset shift that I could offer you, is you must stop thinking that you have to know everything or be better or be perfect to charge

Shannon Mattern (25:11.97)

to stop undercharging in whatever way you're undercharging, whether your prices are too low or you're not charging for all the time that you're working or the million other ways undercharging rears its sneaky little head. And so that's the first shift. The second shift, mindset shift to make is stop. You must stop thinking of yourself as a service provider. I talked about it a little bit earlier in the math pillar. You are not selling a service.

I had to make this shift myself. I walk our Web Designer Academy students through making it too. It's like, okay, yes, you have someone coming to you because you can do something for them that they can't do themselves, right? Or maybe they can do it themselves, but they don't wanna do it themselves. They need a website. You are one of a bajillion people out there who knows how to build one for them. It's not like a, you know, it's not rocket science. We all know that. There's a lot of people that do it.

and you think you're providing a service, right? I provide the service of building websites. But when you think of yourself as a service provider and you market yourself as a service provider, you're now competing against all the other people who also think and market themselves as service providers. And the only way to set yourself apart from everyone else who provides that services, there are a few ways. One is price, and that's what I see most people do is they're like,

okay, well, I'm gonna be the best value for the price. Like, I'm gonna have the best prices, like best meaning lowest, and I'm gonna give the best service, meaning best meaning highest, and people are gonna pick me because they're gonna pay the least amount of money for the best thing, right? That's a challenging way to run a business when you don't have scale, when you don't have scale of like volume, right? Because you do have limited time.

Like that's a fact, you have limited time. The other is turnaround time. You can be the fastest, you can work more in depth or more longterm with your clients or somewhere in between. The trick about that is that now you're targeting clients that value speed and not every client value speed. So you have to make sure that that's what you wanna do. The other one is quality. So maybe you create like Uber premium designs or whatever. All of that's great.

Shannon Mattern (27:40.082)

not saying those aren't decisions that you want to make. But if you're like, oh, I'm a service provider and I need to differentiate myself on one of those ways, price turnaround time quality or whatever, niche, platform, all of that stuff, that's fine. But what I want to offer you is you don't even have to play on that field, okay? Like when you stop marketing web design as a service and you start marketing it as a solution to a problem,

and not something that you're selling for time or whatever. You're playing a completely different game than everyone else. So that's what we help our clients do. We're like, you're not providing a service, you're providing a solution. This solution solves these problems. These problems are this valuable to your clients. And you start thinking of yourself as like, oh, I'm selling solutions, I'm selling ideas, I'm selling you saving time, I'm selling all of these results.

That is so different than like I'm providing a service and I'm differentiating myself on quality, turnaround time and price. It's a whole, it's a completely different paradigm shift. So that is a mindset shift that I would love for you to explore and consider making over the next 12 months if you wanna make the next 12 months or 2024, depending on when you're listening to this, could be 2025, your most profitable year yet. Okay, so the third mindset shift.

that I want everybody listening to this podcast to make in 2024, is to stop making your marketing about you. This one is huge, huge. I know this because I've been there too. I started doing freelance web design. I had tons of imposter syndrome. I didn't go to school for web design. I took like a HTML class in college back when we had Dreamweaver. I had no formal training.

I learned out of necessity at my day job to solve problems over the course of 10 years, 15 years. So by the time, well, 15 years by the time I quit my day job, but like by the time I started working with freelance clients, I had 10 years of experience building any kind of website you can think of at my day job. But because I didn't have formal training and I couldn't code from scratch, I could get in and like mess with PHP templates and like bend things to my will, but I couldn't like build anything from scratch.

Shannon Mattern (30:05.902)

No one had ever explicitly hired me to build them a website before my first freelance client. I think things like the market's saturated. How am I going to stand out? I got to figure out how I can convince them to pick me over all of the web designers out there. I need to niche down. I need to rebrand. I need to rewrite my copy. I need to rebuild my website. I need a better portfolio. And if you've ever thought stuff like that,

It's fine. You're so normal. So many of our clients come to us with the same thoughts, whether they're brand new and never had a client before, like they're switching from a corporate job or a different, like going from designer to developer, or they're getting clients and they're massively undercharging and overcompensating and feeling like an imposter. And so they're overcompensating by over delivering, which totally that was me and completely burnt out.

because I had to prove myself. I was constantly had to prove myself, prove myself, pick me over that person, pick me, like I'm self-taught, but I swear I'll be like the best web designer you've ever come across. And it's like, so many of our clients come to us with all of those same thoughts. And what they were doing before we worked with them and what I was doing was making.

everything all about me. I'm trying to sell you on me and my skill set and I'm trying to prove that I'm worth hiring and that I'm the right person and that you should choose me over other people and you know I won't rip you off and all of this stuff and so that what that turns into is you spending so much time on your own website or trying to research niches and

rewrite your copy and redesign and build a site worthy of that niche. None of that is necessary. Marketing is not about you. I've said it a million times. It doesn't matter if you're a web designer or something else, marketing is not about you. I know it sounds crazy. You're not marketing you. You're marketing the outcome of working with you and the value of the outcome of working with you. And people want the same things, regardless of...

Shannon Mattern (32:11.922)

niche. You might have a niche, you might not have a niche, it doesn't matter. You can have a successful web design business without a niche. Your clients want more time, more money, more autonomy, more capacity, more fulfillment. That's all they want. Whether they're a women-owned business or a local brick and mortar or an e-commerce shop or a large corporation, that's what they want. And marketing is so much easier when you're making your marketing all about what your clients want, what's in it for them, what they can create.

instead of trying to talk about how you're the best web designer out there and trying to sell them on that. You have to shift that conversation completely. And marketing gets so much easier when you're not like, oh, hey, guess what? I'm the most perfect. I'm the best. I'm the cheapest. I'm this. I'm that. Pick me. Like everybody says that. So it's hard for clients to decide. But when you're like, here's what you want. Here's how I can help you get what you want.

That is totally different, right? Totally different conversation. So you need all three of those pillars. You need the math pillar. You need the mechanics pillar. You need the skill of building a website. Like you need to know how to do that. And you need to know how to run a business. And you need mindset. You need mindset. You need to stop believing the things that are keeping you stuck. You need to become aware of those things. You need to notice what you're thinking.

and decide is this thought that I'm having serving me? Is this creating the results I want to create? Or is it holding me back? Is it making things hard? Is it creating things I don't want? What if something else was true? And learn a process for actually shifting out of and believing the new thing. Because you might hear me say these things on the podcast like I get it Shannon.

It makes logical sense. I'm not selling a service for my time. I'm selling outcomes. Marketing is not about me. I don't have to be an expert. All of that sounds great in theory, Shannon, and I believe you. But I just don't believe, I don't believe it in my, like, I don't believe it in my soul yet. Like, I wanna believe you. It sounds great, but I don't. If that's how you feel when I say those things,

Shannon Mattern (34:32.518)

you haven't shifted it at your core and there's a process for shifting it at your core. And sometimes it takes just having a conversation with someone to find your particular flavor of that and having some help shifting it. That's what we do inside of our program. So if you're missing any of those three pillars, that's a place for you to look. That's an opportunity for you to fix that in your web design business so that you can start getting traction.

And so the other thing that I wanted to share with you today to help you make the next 12 months of your web design business, whether that's 2024, because you're listening to this live in January when it comes out, or whenever you're listening to it, the 12 months going forward, I wanna share with you four secrets, I guess, our Web Designer Academy students learn when they come to work with us.

And I guess there are four more mindset shifts. There are four ways of thinking. They're like completely different than what you might think. So that you can make the money you wanna make, work the amount that you wanna work, and actually like it. Like that's why we all are in business for ourselves, right? We want freedom, flexibility, financial independence, fulfillment. We want those four things. And if you don't have those, you...

are allowed to have them, you deserve to have them, and I wanna help you get them. And that's what we help our students do. And these four secrets are truly responsible for the results our students create, whether they're booking five-figure web design projects, creating five-figure months, and getting booked out. It's because they've truly decided to believe these things. And so I'm gonna share these with you, but I just need you to know that our students are not any different than you.

They are mostly self-taught. They work on all different platforms like WordPress page builders, Divi Elementor Beaver Builder, whatever. Squarespace, ShowIt, Shopify, Webflow, Wix. Some are side hustlers, some are full-time in their business, some have been in their business for less than a year, others have been at it for several years. They offer all different kinds of services based on their strengths and what they love. They're brilliant, they're talented, and they wanna be in control of their time and earning potential.

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The only thing that makes them different from you is that they have implemented all aspects of all three pillars. They know what their time and money leaks are. They know the thoughts that they think that create those and they are getting coaching on it to fix it and they're focusing on the things that will create the most traction for their personal goals for their personal web design business. That's the only difference is that they're actually

committed and working to implementing these things day in and day out in their business and they're creating traction. So if you're interested in learning more about what it looks like to work with us on your web design business for the next 12 months so that you can create the results that you wanna create, at the end of this episode, I'll tell you how you can get access to a private, a replay of our private training that we recently held just a couple months ago that will take you deeper into our strategies.

for making the next 12 months your most profitable yet. Okay, so here are those four secrets, mantras, guiding principles, whatever you wanna call them, that we like truly live by inside the Web Designer Academy that come up over and over. Secret number one, stay out of your client's wallets. Instead of setting prices based on what other people are charging or how long you've been in business or what you think people will pay, go back to pillar number one.

do the math, figure out how much you wanna make, how much you wanna work, and then you reverse engineer your business to fit that and that's what we help our clients do. So stop making your pricing all about what you think other people will or won't do, design it around you and then learn how to communicate the value of that to your clients, use processes that allow you to, that's a skill that you have to learn.

to communicate the value, to sell that, to follow through on it without falling back into the overworking trap. It's a learned skill, but you have to learn how to stay out of your client's wallets. So the second secret guiding principle mantra, like thing to do, you must be sold on yourself and your prices before you can sell anyone else. So if you are undercharging,

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It's because you believe that that's as much as anyone will pay. And you can buy all the courses, set up all the funnels, learn all the social media you want. But if you don't feel a thousand percent sold on how you truly help your clients or your own pricing or your services, you'll hide. So you can be charging a number you think people will pay. But if you don't think you can deliver, you won't actually follow through on your marketing.

Or if you know you need to raise your prices, but you don't think you can deliver on that higher price, you won't do your marketing. So sure, you'll redesign, you'll rebrand, you'll sit back. You'll be like, I hope this website's great. People should find me, but you won't take the actual actions required to put yourself out there to create consultations, to make profitable offers, to raise your prices to the point where your business is profitable and sustainable. When you

Go through a process. Selling yourself doesn't just happen because you decide. It can happen that quick, but there is a process of selling yourself on yourself and your prices. We take our students through that inside of our program because we know that if you're not sold on yourself first, that's basically your stopping point. And you'll continue taking on.

low price clients but massively over delivering because you're so good at what you do, you can't help but to over deliver. But when you don't believe in the value of yourself, you'll undercharge. It's always going to be hard for you to get ahead when you don't sell yourself on your own value. So the third guiding principle, mantra, secret, whatever you want to call it is the skill of project management will create more time and money for

your web design business than the skill of web design ever will. Yes, getting that new client is amazing. Getting that deposit, getting that contract signed up feels so good. But let's not dismiss the importance of being able to start and end projects on time without having to babysit your clients or work 24-7 because now you have five active clients at the same time and no one's getting you content and feedback on time or people are blowing the scope creep out of the water.

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a proven project management system that's designed to minimize the amount of time you're actually working on administrative stuff or waiting that frees you up from having a panic attack every time you look at your calendar and you're like, oh, but this person just popped up and wanted something done, but I've got other things I'm doing. When you can get control of all of that through learning the skill of project management, that's when you start feeling that freedom.

you start making more money because you're actually putting your time into getting more clients, you're putting your time into keeping projects moving and getting paid for those projects. There are so many things that happen when you learn the skill of project management. So that is just like knowing that knowing how to run a project is the most important part.

of there's like knowing how to market your business and book the clients and then knowing how to run the projects. Like those things are crucial to your web design business. And then secret number four that will help you make 2024 your most profitable year yet, saying no can make you more money than saying yes. I know this is so hard when you're like

but there's money right in front of me and I'd rather take that than not take it and hold out for something better. Trust me, I understand. But I want you to know that every begrudging, resentful yes to a client is a no to your future self and their dreams and their goals. So saying no to underpriced projects, saying no to doing things without getting paid for them.

saying no to clients who don't have the budget to pay you, but you feel bad because you wanna help them out, that can make you so much more money than saying yes. So if you can stop saying yes to extra revisions or emergencies or just one last tweet, cause I'm in a pinch or because you feel guilty or like you're the only one that can help that person.

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and then burning the midnight oil and then throwing off your whole schedule for days or weeks because you don't know how to say no to your clients without feeling massively guilty or being afraid that they'll get mad and go find someone else. You, when you can learn how to say no in a way that feels good to you and supportive to your clients and when you just start doing that and you start taking back control of your time and your life and your money and your earning potential and it is freeing. I can tell you.

There are some things worth more than money and being free of things that you don't want to be doing that aren't worth it to you because you don't fear the consequences, priceless, absolutely priceless. So to recap, we talked about the three pillars of a profitable web design business, math, mechanics, and mindset.

We talked about some mindset shifts that you can make around your thoughts about being perfect and being ready and thinking of yourself as a service provider versus thinking of yourself as a solution provider and how you market to your clients. And then we talked about four guiding principles that if you can like keep these in your mind as you're making decisions going forward in your web design business for the next 12 months.

stay out of your client's wallets, be sold on yourself and your prices before you try to convince anyone else of your prices or packages or whatever.

The skill of project management will create more time and money for you than the skill of web design ever will. In many, many ways that I could go on from here, but I'll save it for another podcast episode. And saying no can make you more than saying yes, more money, more time, and more fulfilled, and more free than saying yes. So those are the things that I want you to think about as you're moving forward.

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in your web design business if you want to start doing things differently in 2024 to create different results than you've created in the past. If you want to stop undercharging and over delivering and start working towards landing five figure web design projects, if you want to have a proven step by step process, you want all of the mechanics working in place in your business and working together like a well oiled machine.

so that you can reclaim control of your time and go from overworking and overwhelmed and finally break free of that feast and famine, freelance lifestyle, then I wanna invite you to take the next step. And the next step is to go to webd forward slash apply. And when you go there, you'll learn more about what it looks like to work with us. And there's an application.

on that page where we'll ask you a few questions about your web design business. And if we think we can help you, we will invite you to watch a training that goes more in depth on the mindset and mechanics that we teach our students on how to run a profitable, sustainable web design business and way more in depth on how to make the next 12 months of your business your most profitable yet. So if you're ready to.

finally make a change and get your web design business working for you, now is the time. Go to webd forward slash apply, fill out that application. I can't wait to see it and I will see you right back here next week on the Profitable Web Designer podcast, bye.

A smiling person with a tooth showing on their chin is looking indoors.

Shannon Mattern
Web Designer Academy

ABOUT YOUR HOST, SHANNON MATTERN

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.