If you’re concerned about topics like pricing and getting clients in today’s economic environment, this episode is a must listen!
It’s a replay of a live Q&A session I hosted for web designers where I answered all their most top-of-mind questions about how to run a successful web design business. We do a live session like this every single week inside the Web Designer Academy, and in this episode you’re getting a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to have a mentor guiding you as you grow your web design business!
In this Q+A I answer questions like:
- How do I charge sustainably and profitably in an uncertain economy?
- How do I determine what my skills are worth?
- How do I find new clients? I feel like I’ve hit a wall…
- How do I market as an introvert?
- How do I get clients to commit + follow through on deadlines and SO MUCH MORE!
To work with us to transform your web design business into a profitable, sustainable money-maker, get started by joining the waitlist.
We will be sending a weekly email to you with teachings from the current Web Designer Academy, Profitable Web Designer podcast episodes to start applying our concepts now, and advice from our new five-figure month earners on how to make at least $10k every single month as a web designer.
Shannon Mattern: Hey there. Welcome to today's episode of the Profitable Web Designer podcast. And I have a very special episode for you today. You are going to get to listen in on a web design business strategy call. I recently hosted for our community where I answered some of your most burning questions, questions like how do I determine what my skills are worth? How do I find new clients? I feel like I've hit a wall. How do I charge sustainably and profitably in an uncertain economy? That one was so good. I can't wait for you to hear the answer to that one. How do I market as an introvert calling all introverts, listening to this podcast, you were not gonna wanna miss the answer to that question. And how do I get clients to commit and follow through on deadlines? Like the number one question that web designers have and so much more. So I cannot wait for you to listen in and after you do, I would love to hear from you. So head on over to https://webdesigneracademy.com/005. And leave me a comment on the show notes and let me know what questions you have that you would like answered on a future episode.
Shannon Mattern: Welcome to the Profitable Web Designer podcast, where we're all about helping extraordinary web designers like you to stop under charging over delivering and overworking, and finally create the profitable, sustainable, and scalable web design business. You've been dreaming of. I'm your host, Shannon mad founder of the Web Designer Academy, where we teach the business side of running a web design business. So if you wanna make a consistent full-time income as a web designer, but you're struggling with things like pricing and boundaries and mindset and marketing, and you're just tired of going it alone while my friend you're in the right place. But before we dive into this week's episode, I wanna invite you to sign up for our totally free profitable pricing framework training that breaks down five mindset shifts to five X, your prices without working five times harder, just go to https://webdesigneracademy.com/pricing and enter your name and email address. And I'll send you our proprietary pricing framework that will totally transform what you think about how much you really can charge for web design. So go sign up at https://webdesigneracademy.com/pricing, and then meet me back here for this week's episode. Okay?
Shannon Mattern: So for everyone that registered for today's call, I went back and I like looked at your application that you submitted, whether you submitted it in December of 2020
Shannon Mattern: I've been doing this for over 20 years and it's time to make this my main source of income. I've built over 20 websites for an agency, and I see how much they're getting paid. And I am doing all the work
Shannon Mattern: So here's how this call works. This is basically a replica of a live strategy call that we do every single week inside of our Web Designer Academy program. So every Tuesday for an hour, we hang out and I answer all of their questions, whether they're strategic mindset, like logistical process, all of that stuff, we get together every single week. And we answer those questions, hang out, share our wins, share our challenges and just, you know, work together to help people achieve all of the goals that they said they wanted to achieve inside the program, outside of all the curriculum and like workshops and all of the other things. And so that's the format that we're going to do today. And so when I invited you here, I invited you to pre-submit questions for the call. Some of you did that if you did not. Pre-Submit a question for the call and you have a question that you wanna make sure I answer on the call, go ahead and put that in the chat, Eric and Nash, our client success specialist is going to document those for me and put them in a doc.
Shannon Mattern: That's what I'm looking at over here so that we can go through and answer all of those questions. So you have a couple of options here. If you're feeling old and you have a question and we need to talk through it a little bit, I'll probably ask you, like, tell me more about that in the chat. We'll have a conversation. We'll interact. If you wanna come on camera, you can. You certainly don't have to totally freaks a lot of people out
Shannon Mattern: Or you're like, cool. I'll promote you to a panelist and we can talk about it. And maybe we'll have some technical issues with audio and video, but we'll figure it out as we go. So that's how it works in our program. Every single week. We also have several members of the WDA FM right here in the chat. If you are in the WDA FM, could you just like give a shout out in the chat? Like, just let people know that that you're here. We're gonna have a few of them join me for a panel session right. At the top of the hour. And I'm gonna ask them questions like, you know, cuz they're you
Shannon Mattern: So yeah, Kayla's waving. We've got a lot of people here. Kayla, Kate, Naomi, Kim, Leslie Leslie said she loves being a part of the fam. So a lot of people here in the chat to participate because anytime we have a chance for a Q and A like they wanna get in on it. So I'm gonna kick off with our first question from Jamie, Jamie M. So Jamie submitted some I'm basically like Jamie, thank you. Cuz you submitted all the questions that everyone always asks
Shannon Mattern: I don't know if you have to turn your camera on or coming on the mic to talk about this, but if you're open, I would love to chat with you about it. If you'd rather do it in the chat, like you're not in a place where you can talk. That's totally cool too. I'm super curious to know what are you currently doing to find clients because that will kind of help me figure out like what kind of a plan we could put together for you because it's gonna be, well, it's not necessarily different for everybody
Shannon Mattern: Like where is the best place to find them? You do have to go find your clients. The biggest misconception that people have is like, I'm going to like create all this content and SEO and post on Instagram and post on tos. And people are going to find me that way and like me and I will attract clients and they will just come to me and I'm gonna tell you like, sure, that's possible. But it's like the hardest road and the longest road to go down. We don't need to market one-on-one services. The way that people mass market digital products, right? We're doing a one-to-one service, not a one to many products so we can go straight to the source. So Jamie currently does social media engagement, Facebook groups and referrals. So my recommendation is, are you, well, my, I guess my next question is, are you explicitly asking people who you are engaging with on social media, people that you're in Facebook groups and are you specifically saying, Hey, would you like to schedule a consultation with me so we can show up?
Shannon Mattern: We can be helpful. We can provide advice. We can answer questions. We can share client work. We can yeah. Like send out, completed examples of my work. But the next level of that is reaching out. It is like explicitly inviting people to have a consultation with you, connecting with people one on one and saying, Hey, I noticed that you posted that you're doing X, Y, Z. If you're in social media and you're, you're seeing Facebook groups, you know, I have openings for projects. Would you like to schedule a consultation with me and be willing for people to say no? So what we talk about in the Web Designer Academy is we have you make a list of everybody in your network, anywhere like in, in all of these places that you've had any kind of relationship or connection with. And then we give you scripts to specifically like reach out to them, to figure out, to ask curious questions, to figure out like, does it make sense to invite them to a consultation or maybe a market research call?
Shannon Mattern: Maybe it makes sense to ask them if they know anyone who needs anyone you're asking for a referral, maybe you can, we have so many different like angles or opportunities that you take. So Jamie says she also has an email list and send out, completed examples of my work. Start off by building a relationship with them and being friendly. Then I ask them about their business needs. And then from there, I see if they have a website and give advice on how I can make it better. Or if not, I offer a free consultation. Will I offer the consultation either way? So what I'm hearing Jamie is like, you're doing all the things. What's the wall that you have hit. Are you getting people on consultations? And then they're not booking with you? Are they not scheduling consultations with you? I'm curious, like what's the wall.
Shannon Mattern: I haven't been able to get many people to schedule the consultation. So if you were one of our students, what we would invite you to do at this point is we'd say, Hey, first we wanna see a few examples of the asks that you're making. So screenshot some of these conversations send us like copies and emails, submit those to our team for review. Cuz we have like a five, five point framework of like making the ask. So it's not like sleazy, salesy, you know, and whatever. And it doesn't sound like that. That's a thing for you, but we wanna make sure that like sometimes we think we're asking and we're not really asking, we're being very passive. We're like, Hey, so let me know if you're interested or we're sending like communications, like to people in mass, like, right. So we're like, oh I have openings for X, Y, and Z.
Shannon Mattern: If you're interested book of consultation and we're sending that to like our whole entire list or posting that on social media or posting it in Facebook group and it's impersonal and it doesn't speak to what's in it for the client. And it doesn't like talk about opportunities that you see for them. So people are just like, oh, I don't need, like, they just don't even pay attention to it. Right. So, so that's part of it. So that's what we would do if we were coaching you and then the other piece would be, let's get a, like, we would ask you to track your metrics. Right? So Erica our client success specialist is great about this. It's like, okay, so really how many people have you connected with how many people have said yes to a consultation? How many offers have you made? How many people have said yes to that?
Shannon Mattern: Right. And so what we typically find is when people are like, oh, I feel like nobody's doing this. But when we actually look at the numbers, it's like, oh wait, like 30% of people that I talk to are actually scheduling a consultation with me. That's actually really good. And I just need to keep doing this. I just need to keep putting it out there. Keep asking, keep asking for referrals. And the other piece of this though, is making sure that you're talking to what we call your dream client. So we don't want you just talking to anyone and everyone, we have what we call our five dreamium client bullet points that we're like, we help you figure out who your dreamium client is. And then distill it down into these five bullet points. And it's like, is this you like these five things that are very like, we have a formula for it.
Shannon Mattern: If this sounds like you then, and then it's like really super specific who you're talking to and it's not just like, oh, do you need a website? Oh, not right now. Okay. Well I'm just gonna scroll on by. So for you and for everybody, that's like, how do I get, how do I get clients? It's like, you go out and you connect with people. You invite them to consultations. You do it one on one and not in mass. Like if you're posting on Instagram and no one's seeing that and I'm not saying this is you, you Jamie. But then that's not a direct interaction with someone. So let me know if you have any other follow up questions on that, because we're gonna move on to your next question, Jamie
Shannon Mattern: Stop emailing me.
Shannon Mattern: My introvert heart is crying. Can you make a note to talk about like how to market as an introvert?
Shannon Mattern: And so what I tell, tell our Web Designer Academy students is let's go one level up and who is already serving your dream client in a different way. So Jamie, I don't know who you work with, but I'm just gonna use nonprofits as an example, we have a lot of Web Designer Academy students who love working with nonprofits. And so when I'm like, who serves nonprofits, but in a different capacity, I'm like looking at association management companies, I'm looking at like professional associations for associations. I'm looking at all like what publications are they reading? What podcasts are out there for them. And I'm going to go and build a relationship with a person that serves them and figure out like, how can I add value to your community? I'm gonna schedule a market research call or just a chat or whatever with that person and say, Hey, here's what I do.
Shannon Mattern: Here's who I serve. Here's what's possible for them. When they work with someone like me, here's the outcomes they can create when they have what I create for them. Is this something that you think your audience members, clients, whatever would be interested in learning more about, you know, and then you just let that go where it's gonna go and create those conversations with people who are not necessarily your ideal client, but are serving your ideal clients. So start making a list of blogs, podcasts, companies, other types of service providers that are already doing that. And that's a way to kind of like break out of the, oh, I'm just trying to directly connect with people that I think are my ideal client on Facebook and Instagram business coaches that serve them certification programs. Like you get to be creative with that. So such a good question.
Shannon Mattern: So I hope that was helpful. And we can circle back to that at the end, if, if you need more more ideas on that. So artist photographers, authors, and coaches, Jamie, who is serving those people in a different way.
Shannon Mattern: So much of our program is digging into pricing mindset and how to not only shift how you think about your value which we'll get into in a second with the next question, but how to talk to your clients in a way that's completely different than how every other web designer out there is talking to them. So that they're like, oh, I get it. Now. I understand why this costs how much it costs. I understand what's in it for me. And I'm all in on this investment in myself and my business. When they work with someone like you, you to create what you create for them. Jamie said both, I've never had more than three sites at a time. And boy, it was that rough
Shannon Mattern: If you're talking about scale, like there's so many different scaling strategies, but what we highly recommend is that you get your systems, processes, standard, operating procedures, boundaries, dream clients down, and you are running your projects like a well-oiled machine, because then at that point you are able to, there's different things you can do. You can streamline all of that because a big myth that people have, or a belief that they have is that in order to charge 10,000 for a website, I have to build it all from scratch and it's gonna take forever. And that is not true at all. Like not at all true that you have to build from scratch to charge a lot or custom code or anything like that. So it's like your first kind of lever that you can pull for scaling is like super streamlining processes. So that projects take you way less time.
Shannon Mattern: They're still just as valuable for your client. It doesn't matter how long it took you to do it. The outcome is still just as valuable to them. So the first lever is streamlining your processes. And we, we help with that. We have strategies for that inside of the Web Designer Academy, the second lever to pull is subcontracting. So when you have some of these pieces and parts down and you're like, okay, I don't have to be the one doing that anymore. I can hire that out. You can subcontract those things. And when you're talking about like working with subcontractors, me as the business owner, I'm holding all the risk. I sourced the project. I did all the work to like to give the quote and all the admin and all the things. So when someone's subcontracting for you, it is a little more affordable because you're the one holding all the risk and charging that much.
Shannon Mattern: And maybe you can find someone who likes to work, you know, in an hourly, predictable basis. Like I don't recommend any of us charge that way because it's not sustainable for the type of businesses that we run wanna run. But there are people out there that are like, I just wanna clock in clock out, not have to find clients, not have to market myself, just get paid to do this thing. And I'm happy and I don't need to own my own business or do all of this. I just wanna like do this work. And you can find those people and you can subcontract to those people. And then that third way is digital products selling your intellectual property. You know, you can turn it into templates, courses, educational things. There's so many different things you can do. I personally packaged up my tried and true process and strategy into kind of like a hybrid template slash course called site snap.
Shannon Mattern: And I sell that at scale. And that made $60,000 in the first year that I launched it. And that's a full-time income, but that is something that you do not do till you've hit what we call your minimum baseline revenue. We want you making what you need to make to live sustainably from your one-on-one client projects first. And then once you have that going, then you can pull that time away and work on building the audience to sell a digital product, to all the things. Because if you're charging less like $500 an under for this thing, you need to more people to sell it to it's a numbers game. And it's way easier to make $10,000 a month with services than it is to make it with products. But there's, it comes a time in your business where it makes sense to, to do that.
Shannon Mattern: So those are all different scaling strategies that we work with our clients on in year one of our program and in year two, which is the next level, which is an optional, like we love for our students to stay in and like move on to those advanced strategies. And a lot of them choose to do that. So yeah, some big wins in the chat. Lauren says charging more is the way to go. It was the way I was able to hit my first 10 K month. This July, thanks to WDA. It's not even all the way through July yet. Lauren
Shannon Mattern: Well, I'll ask her for you.
Shannon Mattern: So you figure out those three things it's different for everybody. You know, what tools coaching, mentorship, subscriptions, pro like templates, like whatever you use for your business. Plus I always set aside 25% for taxes, just to be a little and I pretty much need all of it, but I pay myself first, you know? So how much do I need to pay myself in order to like, pay my bills, live, like live the lifestyle that I wanna live in back when I was working my full-time job, the number that my paycheck that I wanted to put in my bank account every single month after taxes was $5,000. So that would be like two paycheck, two pays of 2,500 a month. Right? And then on top of that, I needed $2,500 for my business expenses. So coaching, mentorship, all the tools, all the things. And that was a little generous.
Shannon Mattern: I wanted a little bit of also like emergency fund. And then I set another $2,500 a month aside for taxes. And then if I didn't need all of that, when it came tax time. Awesome bonus.
Shannon Mattern: And that's why we can't like put a price on it, right? It's like art. It's like, it could be worthless to one person and worth millions of dollars to another person, right? So we don't help you figure out what your skills are worth. We help you figure out how much you wanna make. We help you create packages of services that reflect that we help you talk about those services in a way that lets your client know what's in it for them. The biggest mistake I've seen on every single one of your websites almost is that you are listing out services and deliverables. It's like WordPress, five pages, homepage about page branding, logo, all of the things that you're gonna do. And you just have this assumption that the client understands how that's gonna translate into a return on investment and goals for them. You get to spell it out for them because they don't know.
Shannon Mattern: They think they're just buying a website. They're not just buying a website. And if you think you're just selling a website, we have a lot of work to do for you to get you to understand what you're actually selling. You're not selling just a website. You are like, I could go on and on and on about what you're actually selling, but you're selling them a tool. That's going to allow them to fulfill their mission, vision and create the revenue that they wanna create, serve their clients, save them time, save them, money, all of those things. And so that's what you're selling and that's what you need to learn, how to sell. And that's what your marketing reflects. And that's so helpful when we get to AR one's question about how do you market as well. She didn't really ask, but I'm gonna answer it. How to market as an introvert.
Shannon Mattern: It's like, so you want to raise your prices from what you want and you wanna charge sustainably and you wanna find clients that are willing to pay. But a lot of people right now I'm hearing is like, how can I even find people that are gonna afford things like everything's so uncertain right now? And I have have a completely different belief system around this. Like, first of all, in my opinion, like there's no such thing as certainty. No one can tell the future. We can try to reasonably forecast based on what's happened in the past, but no one saw the pandemic coming, you know, or maybe people did, but most people didn't see that coming. Right. So nothing is ever certain. And I always feel like I am the most certain thing in my life. Right. I know I can always count on me. I know I'm always willing to do what it takes to create clients.
Shannon Mattern: So I'm in a lot of different business groups and I'm in a high end mastermind. I paid $20,000 a year to be in this mastermind. I've renewed it three times. It is the best money I've ever spent on anything in my life. And I was like, I can't believe I'm spending more on this than like probably my first three vehicles I ever purchased combined
Shannon Mattern: I have been spending so much money on Facebook ads and my Facebook ads are no longer working because of changes with privacy and tracking and the pixel and all of these things. So it's not like, oh crap. I guess I'm gonna shut down my business or just keep doing the same thing. The conversation is what are my opportunities for doing things differently? And that's where we come in. You guys,
Shannon Mattern: Right. There would be a reason why you're too expensive. There would be a reason why, and this week it's the economy and inflation and a recession. And last year it was a pandemic. And the year before that, who knows what it was. And I'm not saying that people not having money to spend on things is not a real thing, but those are not your clients. We don't have to serve everyone. So if you want a profitable, sustainable, scalable web design business, you get to focus on the people who are like looking for all of the opportunities in any climate, regardless of what's happening in the world. And there are people out there who are investment minded, who are like, they have their finger on the pulse and they're looking towards the future. And they're looking at like, how can I optimize? How can I streamline?
Shannon Mattern: How can I make this easier? How can I make the experience for my clients better? So that if things do shift, I have loyalty. Like there's so many opportunities. So we, aren't gonna try to convince the people who always say they can't afford us to suddenly be able to afford us. Even if the economy is bad, we're gonna shift our marketing and our messaging and our targeting and our belief to people who are like, I understand the value of this. Maybe I didn't fully understand it until you explained it to me in the way that you did, but I get it and I'm here for it. And I'm all in. So yeah, Jamie said, I feel like this recession's gonna create a larger need for online businesses. Like the 2008 collapse happened. I don't know how many people I talked to on my pep talks for side hustlers podcast.
Shannon Mattern: And I'm like, when didn't you start your business while I got laid off in 2008 and I decided, Hey, it's now or never to go all in on this thing that I wanted to do, situations like this make people kind of like reevaluate their life. And they're like, well, now's the time to like, make big risks or take big risks. So I just feel like it's not about raising your prices in any certain kind of economic climate. It's about let's focus on who do we wanna serve. What's in it for them. How do I speak to clients that have an investment mindset versus talking to clients that have an expense mindset? How do I create offers for all types of people and let themselves select into that? And that's what we do with our students every day inside of our program. So that is my soapbox about the economy and should I discount and all of those things.
Shannon Mattern: So if you have any other questions like that, we can circle back to this. So next question. How do you get clients to commit on the deadlines? So this was, this is I get questions about this all the time. Do you add specifics in the terms and conditions? Like if no feedback received within next days, it will be considered as validated from Claire. This is such a good question. This kind of ties into, you know, this question of like, how do I get clients to follow my process? Right? So we have a whole, what we call our premium client experience that we teach inside the Web Designer Academy. And it starts with a kickoff call. So when a client books and they pay their deposit, you start with a kickoff call and you agree on all of the deadlines together. You're like, okay, here's the project timeline.
Shannon Mattern: We also give you a calculator for that to figure out based on how long your projects typically are, when are all the things gonna be due. So you plug in the start date of the project, it spits out all the dates, and then you get to get on the call with your client and say, okay, so based on you wanting to go live on this date, here are all of the dates. Things need to happen. You know, does this work for you? And you get their commitment on that first call. And that is where you find out, if they're gonna be like, oh no, I'm on vacation that week, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then you get to start to kind of start enacting, just like exactly what you said. Do you add specifics in the terms and conditions? Yes, you do. So in our contract template, we have all like a lot of the different scenarios that we see people encounter.
Shannon Mattern: And so it's like, oh, okay. If you wanna, like, we always give our clients a choice, right? Like here are your options in this scenario, choice a or choice B, which one would you like to choose? And they're all, they're already choices that I'm okay with. So when a client agrees to a deadline and then does not follow through, then I get to say, Hey, here are options. Like we can reschedule or we can cancel. And your re and your deposit is non-refundable, you can reschedule and pay the rescheduling fee, or we can press pause and you'll get the next available spot on my calendar, which is in a time that is so far in the future, that it's gonna be really uncomfortable for you. So you'll probably just go ahead and make the time to do the thing so that you don't have to experience the pain or the delay.
Shannon Mattern: And should you require further changes that will enact the revisions or clause or like, whatever that will be part of like something paid later on and just let 'em know. And then if they're like, no, no, no, wait, wait, wait, here's my feedback. I'd be like, okay, cool, thanks. Thanks for finally getting
Shannon Mattern: And if you and with our clients, like, then they'll come back into the group and they'll be like, okay, they said this now, what? And then we help them with like the next step. So yeah. Good questions. So our one didn't really ask this, but I'm gonna dive into this. How many of you guys feel like you're an introvert and marketing as an introvert is just like, ah, I just wish clients would come find me and I didn't have to do anything. So typically what's underneath that. And tell me if this resonates is you think you have to talk about yourself and your skills and have this awesome portfolio and brag about yourself and all the things to prove yourself, to compete with all of the other web designers out there to get clients. Most of us that feels gross and not in our personality.
Shannon Mattern: Some of us are like super confident or like, yeah. Like I feel, I love doing that. That's awesome. But a lot of us it's just like, oh no, I can't. The other thing is like, there might be some imposter syndrome going on. Like, what if I say, I can do this? But then they find out I really can't and then like, they'll call me out and it'll be awful and horrible. So there's some of that. And then the third thing is like, I feel like I have to be a social media influencer to market myself online. I need to be doing dances on TikTok and I need to be posting reels. And I need to have like a Instagram worthy office and be hair and makeup every day and be showing up live and like doing all these things. I just can't it's exhausting. Right?
Shannon Mattern: So those are so many of the reasons that introverts hate marketing, cuz it feels horrible and awful. So let me know in the chat, if that sounds like you, I don't see, like I haven't seen anything come through the chat in a hot minute. So I'm wondering if okay, good. Okay. I was like, yes. Ooh. Oh, there's this ask a question feature. Oh, who knew that's where Erica's questions are coming from?
Shannon Mattern: And I don't know how you
Shannon Mattern: Would you like me to send you a link to schedule a consultation? I was thinking about this while I was getting ready. I'm like when someone asks me to do something like I feel obligated, but when someone invites me, I feel like I have an option. And so that is the difference of, you know, like asking someone to work with. You probably feels super like intense, but inviting someone to a consultation. It's like easy to say that to somebody or say it in an email or, or however you're communicating. So all you have to do to market is listen, ask great questions, stop thinking about yourself. Marketing's not about you at all. It's about all of the opportunities that you see for whoever you're talking to, to get what they want and how we can work together to create that for you. And are you interested in learning more about that?
Shannon Mattern: I'd like to invite you to have a conversation about that. Are you interested and not making their no mean anything about you? It's just like, okay, they're not interested. It does not mean that I'm not good enough. Or they found me out or whatever we're introverted. We like to be behind the laptop. We don't like to talk to people. Don't like to answer the phone if people call, but I bet you have friends.
Shannon Mattern: Or is it better to have all these things individually priced? Great question. Jamie, we are packages, packages, packages around here.
Shannon Mattern: I need to figure out how to bring people on the screen. Let's see here, Kayla. I think I'm gonna invite you on the screen. Naomi, inviting you on the screen. Let's see where else? Where oh, two pages of people, Lauren inviting you and Kate. Erica. I don't wanna put you on the spot, but I'd love people to,
Shannon Mattern: So, and I don't know if you're camera ready cuz I was like, I don't have you on camera. It's fine. And now I'm like just kidding.
Speaker 2: Everyone. So basically I've been doing marketing for like 18 years and specifically I just always loved like the design in the website element of it. And I was kind of being like all things to everybody and I really didn't wanna do that anymore. I really wanted to try to get into design, even though I wasn't a formal designer, I was a self-taught web designer. So this was gonna be a huge leap for me. And I was really nervous about it, but you know, it was something that I'm really passionate about. So I decided mid-career or midlife, whatever that I'm make a change. So somebody actually had another group had recommended. Shannon was like, oh, she's the best whatever. And so I just was, I'm the type of person that once I'm psyched about doing something, I just hit go. So that's what I did. And it's been, I mean, totally has changed my business.
Speaker 2: I mean, I'm doing mostly websites now, which is not what I was doing before. A couple of other things, but I market myself completely differently. I had mentioned in the chat, I just had my first 10 K month, which when someone else said that in the beginning of the Web Designer Academy, I joined it in November. I was like, please, like that's never gonna happen. You know? And now I'm like asking for like, you know, thousands of dollars for like one outta four payments, you know? And it feels weird still kind of, but I'm like right. Hope they still wanna keep paying, go for it. So that's been cool. Yeah. So I'm happy that I, that I've been enjoying and the group, I just wanna say really quickly, the group is like unlike any other group that I've experienced. I mean, I literally joined another Facebook group recently for a different purpose and within five seconds I was like, I got one response and I'm like, I don't think so. You know, it's just not the same.
Shannon Mattern: Ugh, that warms my warms, my heart. This is like my favorite. I love hearing all of the wins and the transformations and just that you didn't, you're like 10 K whatever. And then it's like, oh wait, it's happening.
Speaker 3: For me. My business was almost nonexistent. I was operating completely out of fear. I'm Aussie, but my husband and I moved to Mexico to do volunteer work here and there's no safety net here. So it was always a struggle to like in that mindset to try and find clients. And I felt like I had to put myself out there on social media and I'm a huge introvert. So that just did not work for me.
Shannon Mattern: I love that. You're like, oh, there's no safety net. And I think I've said this to you before, like you've become your own safety net and it's just beautiful to watch. So good. Anyone else?
Speaker 4: My backstory is a little different. So I come from an SEO background. So I had been working with clients doing SEO and ultimately I was getting a little burnt out with all the technical stuff. And I really wanted like more of design in my, in my life. So I had started playing around with the idea of doing incorporating web design in my business. But at the time I had no idea how to price anything. I was just kind of going off of other web designers' websites and pricing and had no idea what I was doing. So I found someone recommended Shannon at like a web designer. There was like a week long conference or something like that. And that's how I found Shannon. And I went to her, she had like this whole long strategy call thing, kind of with a presentation and everything she said was speaking to me, like I was pulling my pricing off of other people's websites.
Speaker 4: And when she said that you can charge 10 K for a website, I was like, how is this possible? But she does it. So like, there's a way
Shannon Mattern: Oh, that's so awesome. And I love it that like now we are having conversations with you about like, how do I tell this client that I've replaced them with higher paying clients? And I don't wanna work with them. Like these are now the kind of problems that like we're solving together. So they're like next level problems. And I love it.
Speaker 5: Yeah. Okay. So I started doing my own thing about three and a half years ago now I would say. And I feel like for most of that it was going really well. I had, I was getting clients and my clients were happy and I had completely moved my business to being location independent, as you can see, I work from my trailer. So that was awesome. I really didn't have a lot that I felt like I should be complaining about, but I just feel like I kind of lost my spark. Like I didn't really like my clients anymore and I was doing piddly little updates and charging nothing for them, even though I, I felt like I knew that I was valuable, but I didn't quite know how it was gonna make sense to raise my prices. And then I was scrolling through Facebook in December and I saw this sponsored post talking about web designers.
Speaker 5: And like, I don't even really remember what was in that ad, but I was shook at like how much it was talking directly to me. Like I spend a lot of time online. Like I think we all do, but it was talking to me exactly. It laid out exactly how I felt. And then it sounded like exactly what I needed to kind of overcome my issues. So after a lot of smattering Shannon with questions to make sure it was the right fit and sleuthing her online, wondering why she didn't have Instagram followers or like, I mean, tens of thousands of Instagram followers and such, I just kind of felt like even if it made me feel 10% better about my business, it would be worth it. So I joined and it's just been so amazing. Like we were talking about the community is awesome. I've got two amazing mentors and yeah, I've got my spark back and I just, now I just wanna spend like all of my time working on my I've even really like the client part. That's cool too, but I just wanna like improve my business all the time.
Shannon Mattern: I love that and I need to go find that ad and like start running it again. I'm like, wait, which one was that? Like?
Speaker 5: I know which one it was. I actually went back and
Speaker 3: looked. It was a good one.
Shannon Mattern: Ah, awesome. No, because that's the thing it's like, you know, you're worth more, but you don't quite know how to make the shift. And that's what I was so excited to help you do. And you've, you've really done it beautifully. So thank you for sharing that, Erica. I don't know if you wanna jump in on this, but I kind of, I I'm gonna kick off the next question. I would like you to kind of weigh in on like what some of your favorite mindset shifts or challenges that you've seen people overcome and I'll like circle back to you at the end. So you have some time to think, but I would love to know from anyone that wants to share, like, what is like one of the biggest challenges you had, you know, like after joining and like, what was the shift that like helped you make that transition? So was it like the belief that you could charge that much? Or, you know, something along those lines? Like what was a challenge that you were like, I don't know, like, or getting a client or I don't know if this is gonna work and then, you know, yeah. So Kayla you're like, I got something
Speaker 5: I just think for me it was that whole, what my value is based on. Like, I, I was like, well, if I'm gonna go try to help someone for a couple of hours and try to figure something out, like, I can't possibly charge someone the amount of money that I've, because I, I might not figure it out or like, they didn't know they were gonna have to pay me for hours of research, but there's like, I, how do you word it? Something about like, you, you don't have to know everything that they pay you to figure it out as you go. Yeah. And so, yeah, that, I think that's being a huge mind shift for me is to like, if they don't know how, or if they're not willing to take the time to figure that thing out, then they should be willing to pay me to do it. I shouldn't be doing it for free. That doesn't make any sense.
Shannon Mattern: Yes. Ah, yes. I'm so glad you learned that one
Speaker 3: Mine was similar with the values. Shannon takes you through a whole, like, what are your core values and your superpower and all of that. But the thing for me was the values and how it translated into setting my boundaries. I'm such a people pleaser. And whenever someone would ask me to do something that was out of scope, I would always say yes, just because I thought I had to, but the way Shannon teaches is get clear on your values and what you will and won't stand for, and then build that into your packages and how you work with people. And that's been, the biggest thing for me is I can say yes within parameters, like, and I can give them those options and not feel bad.
Shannon Mattern: Yeah. That's my favorite thing to work on people cuz work on with, because they don't even know they need it. They don't even know that they, that there's another choice. So, Ugh. That's good. Anyone else?
Speaker 2: So I would also say pricing, which
Speaker 3: I think is a big one, obviously.
Speaker 2: But I would also say, I think part of the reason that is because I was self taught, I thought, well, you know, if I compare myself to other web designers, why would they choose me over someone else or whatever. But I realized that two things, one that I'm supposed to compare myself to what a client knows, not what other web designers can do. And compared to the client, there's a lot I can offer that other people can't or that they have no idea how to do. And I can offer that solution. The other thing is this idea of like ours versus value, you know? Yeah. Kind of talked about that has been like tremendous difference in like that'll only take me a couple hours, which trust me, I still go back to as a default and I'm like, no, no, no. Even after like eight months
Speaker 2: You know? And cuz it's just so ingrained that we pay hourly or that we charge hourly. It's not about that. It's the value. How much money are they gonna make off me doing that one page quite a bit. And I've had a lot of expense minded clients, potential clients come to me and I've lost them because I'm just not willing to do that because I always overdeliver because of my personality is just to like, it has to be really good. So why am I at my own expense kind of shooting myself in the foot. Right. So,
Shannon Mattern: Ah, so good. It's like when you're over delivering, it's like, you're like, oh, well I'll just pay for this for you. Like we don't think of it like that
Speaker 4: Yeah. I mean, there's been so many mindset shifts throughout the last four months that I've been in the program. It's, it's hard to pick just one, but yeah, I think a recent one has just been that, you know, I get to choose who I wanna work with and I can, you know, pick if I open up my calendar to allow good clients to come in, they will come in and I don't have to work with with more expensive, my expense, my clients, or red flag clients. And it's nice to be able to let those people go. You know, once their time is over and, and open up my calendar to much more easy to work with people and great people. So it's been great. I've just been getting clients that are just the kindest of people and just people I've always dreamed of working with, which is great.
Shannon Mattern: I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy
Speaker 6: You know, I think like as a whole it's really nuanced of course, but I think that it comes down to when, when we all get to recognize that we get to build a business on our terms that fits our lifestyle and that we don't necessarily have to answer to other people or all of the shoulds, they don't play a part and recognizing that we can honor our own sort of temperaments and personalities in the way we like to do things and being introverted is okay. And like we don't have to do it this certain specific way just because those people that we see do it that specific way. And when people recognize that, I think it's the most powerful shift because they've then taken all of the boundary stuff and all of the pricing stuff and all of the other, you know, mind trash things that we work through. And they've kind of set it aside and, and made this incredible breakthrough that the idea that they have, the dream that
Speaker 2: They, they have of this business is possible for them.
Shannon Mattern: Ah, so good. And it's like such a ripple effect too, because then like they're changing a business owner's life who who's changing their customer's lives and it's just a beautiful thing to see. And I think I will add onto that. My favorite thing is when someone is like they post in the Facebook group, like, oh crap. I just made my most expensive offer ever. I'm freaking out and I'm sweating and I just did it. And then like, you know, later you see the post where they're like, I can't believe someone just paid that much to work with me. Like it happens. And their brain is like a little bit broken when it happens. And then they're like, oh crap. And then we coached 'em through like, it's gonna be fine. We got you. It's all good. And then they go through that experience and then they get to the end and they're like, I didn't charge enough
Speaker 4: I would say that, oh my gosh. There's a lot I could say. But the one thing I think I would say is that everybody here is here to support you and you know, Shannon talks about like, oh, you, you know, we are here to support you so you can make your money back within 90 days. Like if you follow the processes and everything, and that's exactly what happened for me. And I was just like, I knew it from the beginning, just from, you know, hearing her presentations and everything that it was gonna be worth it for me. And it's been beyond worth it to be investing in this program just because I've made my back, my money back and more. And there's just such a good community here. And the fact that they are, they're holding you accountable, we have weekly calls, you know, Erica's here to support us with, you know, reviewing content and things like that. Like we have such team backing you up that there's really no way to fail at this unless you just stop trying. So I think it's just, it's a great community and, and you will not regret it. I agree with what Kayla said,
Shannon Mattern: Kate.
Speaker 2: I mean, obviously if I didn't think it was worth it, I would not have volunteered. We're not being paid to be on student panel. I'll say that right off the bat. And for me, there's this tendency to give up and sort of revert and kind of get in my own way, mindset wise. And so having the year long program for not only accountability and all of the stuff, right. But like teaching how to sell and how to package and all that stuff, which I had never heard before and has been very effective. It's also the consistency of the group and support and right when I'm like about to kind of Teeter off or whatever, it's like, okay, there's a strategy call. Okay. Two people ask a good question on Facebook, you know? So I'm like okay, fine. You know, it kinda gets you over the hump. So that's, what's those have all been helpful for me.
Shannon Mattern: What I love about you is that when you come up against that, like this isn't working, you show up, you show up and you say, I tried this and it's not working. I need some help. And that is a quality that, you know, if you're on the fence about joining and you do decide to, to move forward with our invitation for the summer enrollment, that's what we want. Like whenever you have that resistance of like, oh, I tried it and it's not working. That is when you come and ask for help. That's when you ask for support, because Kate, you have created so many opportunities for yourself to have the shifts that if you didn't put yourself out there and, and challenge like things and ask why, why are we doing it this way? Like, you know, and that you it's been a gift to everybody in the program for you to ask those questions. So it's beautiful to see the result that that has created for you showing up when you're like wanting to give up and you're, you're not going to, and that's what creates the result that you created. So I hope you're really, really proud of everything that you've done. It's amazing. Anyone else nay
Speaker 3: Agree with everything? Everyone said, honestly, I thought I was just getting a course.
Shannon Mattern: Ah, so good. Yeah. So you've been like a, we call you a founding member, like an OG of the WDA fam and like just watching your business grow has been beautiful and yeah, we're, we're always here when you need it. It's like, we always say like, don't feel bad if you haven't asked a question and now you're coming in to ask a question, like that's what we're here for.
Speaker 5: Same general sentiment as everyone else. I was just going to add that. The other thing I really appreciate is that you both really encourage us to, to like make connections outside of, outside of our strategy calls and stuff. So for example, we have a, we have a slack where we kind of shoot back and forth about dub Sodo and Kate's accountability group. And I know people have calls where they practice doing client consults back and forth. And there's just like, it's just so cool to be able to have a group of people that just get it. Cuz I'm, I'm pretty independent and I'm on my own a lot of the time. And I, I like that for the most part. But then when you get to a spot where you're kind of stuck, it's just so nice to have to have these people. And even when you don't know what to say, we like word vomiting.
Shannon Mattern: That is truly like the way I feel about this group is like my very first job outta college, I worked with the best coworkers. We had so much fun together. We always were like getting up and walking to each other's desk and like asking for help and support. And I feel like the WDA fam is like the best coworkers you could ever have without like having to go to work
Shannon Mattern: And I appreciate you being willing to be here to show them it doesn't have to be this way. And that
Shannon Mattern: You can watch that five P framework training. If the page is redirecting for any of you, I forgot to go change the enrollment deadline on it.
Shannon Mattern: And cuz you're all so smart. Co-Working sessions, just so many things we would love to have you. That's why we accepted your application. So take the leap, make the decision to go all in on yourself. If you are committed, we are 10 times more committed
Shannon Mattern: So you can go to https://webdesigneracademy.com/podcast to get your hands on those. And we'll be back next week with another episode designed to help you up level the business side of your web design business. So be sure to subscribe to the show, wherever you're listening. And if you like today's episode, we would be so grateful if you would share it with all your web designer friends. And if you're feeling extra generous, we'd love for you to leave us a writing and review so we can get in front of even more web designers and help them transform their businesses and their lives. So simply scroll up on this episode in your podcast player and tap that, leave a review link or go to https://webdesigneracademy.com/review. And I'll take you to the right spot. Thank you so much for listening and I'll see you right here next week. Bye.
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