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Three Pillars of a Profitable Design Business

Welcome back to the Profitable Web Designer Podcast! Today I'm bringing you the recording of a presentation I made at our 2024 Simply Profitable Designer Summit, an online event where I bring together over 30 of the top design-business industry experts to share creative new ways to make your design business simpler, more profitable and more fulfilling.

In this talk, I'm breaking about the 3 pillars of a profitable design business, what they are, why you need all three of them, and how them being out of balance can cause big problems in your design business.

Mentioned in this Episode

Shannon Mattern (00:00.334)

Hey there and welcome to the very first session of the 2024 Simply Profitable Designer Summit. I'm so excited you're here and my name is Shannon Maddern. I'm your host for this week's event and I'm gonna be talking with you today about the three pillars of a profitable web design business. So if we're just meeting for the first time just to share a little bit of the background about me.

I'm the founder of the Web Designer Academy where we provide business marketing and sales coaching to women web designers. I live in the US just outside of Columbus, Ohio with my husband Floyd and our dog Scarlett. We don't have kids, but we're like hands down the best aunt and uncle ever. So say our nieces and nephews don't tell our brothers and sisters.

I've spoken at several Simply Profitable Designer Summits in the past. It's one of my favorite, favorite events. And I started my freelance web design business back in late 2014. You can see that I was like trying to be all corporate and just not myself. It cracks me up. I was so glad I had that picture that I was trying to take for my website back then.

But I started my web design business back in 2014. I was 35 years old at the time. I'd been in corporate about 12 years. When I started feeling like I was being, I don't know, like parented in a way, like the rules of how life works no longer made sense. I started to crave freedom, flexibility, and financial independence. And I just wanted to have like a bigger impact and not be at the whim of my employer for

how much money I was allowed to make and how I was allowed to spend my time and all of those things. But my early journey in freelancing was challenging. I was undercharging, I was over delivering, I was letting all of my clients be my boss. I was working 24 seven as a side hustle, you know, and really feeling more trapped at my day, like more trapped in my web design business than I felt like I was at my day job.

Shannon Mattern (02:13.326)

And so if you know anything about me, like when I really want something, when something is really important to me, nothing's going to stop me. Nothing is going to get in my way. And I was like, okay, well, I'm the common denominator here, so I need to figure out how to change this. And so with a lot of persistence, a lot of searching, a lot of trial and error and personal growth and shedding old identities and mindsets and ways of thinking and allowing myself.

guidance from mentors along the way, I finally figured it out and I started making more money as a web designer and then I started helping other designers figure it out too. And so there is way more to that story, which I share on my Profitable Web Designer podcast, where I share my journey from a side hustling employee to freelancer.

to what I've been doing now since 2016, which is coaching web and web designers on running the business side of their web design business inside of our Web Designer Academy. So if you love podcasts, definitely scan that QR code or you can click the link below this video. Or if you're listening on the podcast replay, just go to webdesigneracademy .com forward slash podcasts.

and you can subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. I share a lot about the concepts that we teach inside of the Web Designer Academy to help you stop undercharging and over delivering. I share my own journey, my successes, failures, challenges, triumphs, and I also interview other web designers, especially a lot of the speakers that you're going to hear from here this week, and like business experts and all the things with the ultimate goal of helping you create a profitable, sustainable, fulfilling,

design business for yourself. So I'm probably going to say web designer a hundred times throughout this presentation. You'll hear me talk about how the Web Designer Academy is for women web designers, but I just want you to know this presentation is for everyone, whether you're a graphic designer, brand strategist, web developer, UX designer, however you think of yourself, whoever you are, however you found your way to the summit.

Shannon Mattern (04:21.805)

I am definitely talking to you too. So don't tune out just because our program is for women web designers. There is absolutely something in this presentation for you as well. So what I'm going to share with you today are the three pillars of a profitable design business because after working with hundreds of web designers inside of our programs and having the opportunity to have audited over a thousand web design business and taken up a side behind the scenes.

over the shoulder look at thousands of web design businesses, I really got this unique insight into what it truly takes to create a profitable web design business and what stands in people's way a lot of the time. And so I just want to clarify before we start, when I say profitable and sustainable, what I mean is that enough money is flowing into your design business that you're able to pay yourself a consistent steady income of whatever amount

that you decide you want to make it. That number is so unique to you based on your personal situation, your lifestyle, your goals, where you live. We just want to make sure that enough money is flowing into your business so that you can pay yourself consistently, that you can invest in the right tools, team, training, and mentorship. You have what you need to set aside for tax time. And when I say sustainable, I mean that you're in control of your time. You're not overworking.

You're clear on your priorities and the way you spend your time reflects those priorities. Meaning, if time with your family is a priority, you're not putting your clients demands and emergencies and timelines above time with your family. You feel like you have freedom, flexibility, and autonomy. If location independence is your priority, you're not tying yourself down to specific times or locations. And that you do what you love, you love who you do it for, and most of the time it doesn't feel like work.

That is what I mean when I say profitable and sustainable. And that is what I am committed to helping designers create. But what we see is a lot of times we see people who are just completely maxed out on their time and plateaued in their revenue. And that's just the case for so many of the designers that come to work with us inside of our programs.

Shannon Mattern (06:46.222)

And it's like the sustainability side where they have the biggest opportunity. They're undercharging, they're over delivering, they're overworking. And we work with them to make the changes that they need to fix that. Other times, it's creating momentum on the profitability side, whether that's increasing prices or putting systems and processes in place and learning like consistently doing marketing and learning how to have money conversations. So a lot of times people are

you know, spending a lot of time doing things that aren't necessarily creating revenue. And they see this kind of feast and famine thing happening with their revenue. And so it's creating momentum to create that like sustainable business, which is what this looks like, right? We want your business to look like this. We want you to be, it's gonna put some time into the beginning to like recalibrate and reset things.

Maybe you're not quite where you want to be financially. Maybe you are but you want to grow But we want it to be to where the amount of time you're working feels worth it the amount of money you're making feels worth it and you'll you're in control of it all and you're deciding it all so as I share that with you, I just want you to put in the chat since If you're watching this at a scheduled time, I'm here in the chat with you if you're not watching this at the scheduled time

I'm gonna come back and check on it. I wanna know what your biggest opportunity is right now. Is it on the profitability side, the sustainability side, or both? And also, before we dive in, I would love to know a little bit more about you and what stage of business you're in. Are you an agency owner? Do you have a team that's helping you? Are you a seasoned freelancer? And I consider that kinda like you've been in business more than five years.

Are you an experienced freelancer? You're in that two to five year range. You've kind of made it past the first year and you're still kind of figuring things out. Are you a brand newbie? You're like, okay, like I'm still kind of learning design and I'm just starting to start the business. Or maybe you're a newbie who already knows design because you were an employee of an agency or a company and design was your thing. And now you're learning how to like run the business side. Or maybe you've just been.

Shannon Mattern (09:10.862)

side hustling for a while, taking on side projects for people, and you're ready to start getting paid for this and putting yourself on a path to turn this into a full -time business or something else. Let me know in the chat who you are. I love to know who's listening so we can help you figure out what's your biggest opportunity to reach your goals the fastest. Okay, so the first pillar of a profitable web design business,

is mechanics. So mechanics are all of your design skills, your technical skills, the strategies you use to implement, to build websites for your clients, the systems and processes that you use to manage clients, the strategy you walk your clients through, the systems and processes you use to market your design business, your services, the words you say in your marketing and sales conversations.

the methods you use to book projects, how you run projects, who you outsource to, who's on your team, how you package price position and sell your services, like your business model. And that is why I am so, so glad you're here at the 2024 Simply Profitable Designer Summit, because this event is basically an expo for the mechanics of running a web design business or any kind of design business. So you are going to be exposed to lots of different

mechanics, different ways of running many different aspects of your design business from all of our amazing speakers here at the Simply Profitable Designer Summit. And I want you to remember that no one way is right and no one way is wrong. There is simply the way that is right for you and your life and your strengths and your goals and your priorities. And the beauty of this event is that you get to explore different ways of doing things and see what is right for you.

So I invite you to explore as many of these presentations as possible. See what resonates with you based on where you're at in your business journey. I don't want you to go through it thinking like one way is the right way and you're searching for the right thing. Just go at it with an open mind and see what resonates with you. And so mechanics, the first pillar of a profitable web design or profitable design business, are absolutely necessary. Right?

Shannon Mattern (11:34.382)

can't have a web design business without them. They can take you very far in your journey as a business owner on their own. Like having systems and processes in place for every piece of that customer journey makes you more efficient, makes things easier for your clients, helps you build trust, deepen your relationships, helps you create more freedom in your personal life, helps you add more value to the projects. And especially when those systems and processes are all designed

to work together as a holistic ecosystem like the ones we give our students inside of the Web Designer Academy. Systems and processes make things so much easier. Having mechanics that are all designed to work together make things so much easier. But where we see people get stuck is when mechanics are the only thing design business owners are focused on. So a lot of times what we see with designers,

and this can happen in any stage, is that they get hyper -focused on skill -related mechanics, right? Like, they believe that they have to know everything about everything before they can start, like, working with clients or before they can increase their prices. So there's this kind of, like, imposter syndrome thing that happens where it's like you just go into over -learning before you, like, actually...

do some applied learning, like learning on actual projects. Or they're constantly searching for the right mechanics and the right systems and processes and the right way to package and price their services and the right marketing strategy and the right project management tool. And they're thinking that there's a right way to do things. And if they're not creating results, it's because they must not have the right system or process in place. And so they're spending.

tons of time researching, learning, building systems, building out their CRM, which if you think about it is basically like running full speed on a treadmill. You are spending so much energy and you're using up time, but you're actually not going anywhere. You are not creating any results, especially if your goal is to create money, interflow, revenue, right? Or they try something.

Shannon Mattern (13:53.422)

feel like try a new system process, tool, whatever marketing strategy. It doesn't work as quickly as they think it should. And in that space between implementation and results, they get impatient and uncomfortable and start thinking they're not doing it right. Start thinking that's not the right strategy. And start over and like abandon it and start over before seeing results. And then they just keep prolonging.

prolonging the results and starting that cycle over and over and over again. So I see people get so focused on mechanics to like the detriment of their business. It's just one important pillar of three pillars. You absolutely need it, but it's not the only pillar. So the second...

you will be familiar with if you're a regular listener of the Profitable Web Designer podcast. The second pillar of a profitable design business is mindset. Mindset is what you believe about all of the mechanics, about the market, about the people who become your clients, about the people who don't become your clients, about what's possible for yourself and your life and your business, about money, about all of it, right?

Your core beliefs drive your thoughts, your thoughts generate feelings, your feelings drive you to act and your actions create results. Okay, let me say that again. Your core beliefs, like your paradigm, what you believe about the world, influence your thoughts. Your thoughts generate feelings in your body. The things you think in your brain create feelings in your body through hormones and you know,

All of that, your feelings then drive you to act and your actions create results and those results are either wanted or unwanted. And so for example, if you believe what you do is so easy that it couldn't possibly be worth that much because maybe you leverage page builders or AI or whatever you're doing to make your job easier and all of the time that you've spent learning.

Shannon Mattern (16:12.974)

and you think no one will pay you that much, you'll feel like you're ripping people off if you raise your prices. So you'll keep your prices low and the result is that your web design business isn't profitable. And I'm guessing that that is an unwanted result for you. If you believe that you, if a person or a client is disappointed in you, then you will lose.

them as a client and that they will tarnish your reputation, leave you a bad review and never refer anyone to you. It will feel unsafe to say no or assert your opinions or share your thoughts if they don't agree with what your client thinks. That will feel unsafe to you. So you will say yes to everything that your client asks. You'll prioritize their stuff over your own to keep them happy. And

That is how you get into overworking and not prioritizing your self -care or your family or your hobbies or your fun or whatever and guessing that is an unwanted result for you. So on the other hand, if you believe what you do is easy because of your innate brilliance and talent and skill combined with all the time, energy, effort, commitment and money you have put into making it easy for you and learning new tools and skills that

speed you up and make you faster. And you believe that all of that together makes what you do worth 10 times more to your client than what you're charging for it. Then even if you raise your prices, you'll feel like you're giving it away. And the result is that your web design business is profitable. You feel good about everything that you're doing. And...

your clients get the benefit of all of your brilliance and knowledge, and I'm guessing that is a wanted result for you. If you believe that it's okay for you to say no and that you can handle whatever reaction your client has and you are okay with their feelings and you act in integrity, it will feel safe to say no. And then you will prioritize what...

Shannon Mattern (18:28.942)

makes your business profitable and sustainable and keeps you from being burnt out and keeps your brain operating at a high level to be creative for your clients to create awesome valuable solutions for them.

and you're able to navigate boundaries with them so that it works for them and it works for you, I'm guessing that is a wanted result for you. Mindset is a critical pillar of a profitable web design business. What you believe about the value of what you do, what you believe about your clients, some of us have really disempowering thoughts about our clients or potential clients about their ability to...

pay for things, about their ability to follow through on things. Some of us have really disempowering thoughts about our clients and what you believe about your clients, what you believe about money, about your own money, about your clients money, about how the way money works in the world, what you believe about other people's perceptions of you and the power you give those perceptions, what you believe about what makes you a good person, a good designer, a good business owner. All of this is having an effect.

on how you run your business and the results that you create, whether you realize it or not. And what I see so often is that people try to solve a, what is actually a mindset problem with mechanics and it never works. That's where you get stuck. It just delays your results or it puts a bandaid on the real problem. So like back to the belief that what you do isn't worth that much because it's easy. A way we see,

people try to solve that problem is to learn new skills, overcomplicate, add more deliverables, add more services, add more complexity to justify the price that they want to charge. But actually what that does is create more work for you, not only for you, but also for your clients. It makes projects take way longer and it delays everyone's results and there's an opportunity cost involved for everyone. But if we realized...

Shannon Mattern (20:38.638)

that it's a mindset problem and not a mechanics problem, or I would say a mindset opportunity and not a mechanics problem, then we get to solve that with a belief shift or what we call a mind trash makeover inside the Web Designer Academy. And not to get too meta, but we have some mechanics we use to help you shift your mindset. It's a process. It's a system. It's actually, there are steps to it, right? So if you're stuck,

If you've plateaued, if you're burnt out, if you're overwhelmed, if you've been trying to solve that with strategies, systems, processes, courses, templates, it'll work for a little bit because the distraction, the distraction of implementing something new comes with excitement and relief, right? But if you haven't solved the core problem, you will run into the same thing stopping you over and over again. And...

If you're missing that mindset pillar, if you're not examining why you're, why you think you need a new marketing strategy, why you think you need to switch from Notion to Asana or Asana to Notion, like you will continue to delay your results. And so you cannot run a web design business without mechanics. Obviously they're so very important. They will take you very far on your own. They are critical and you're going to...

be exposed to so many different options here at the Simply Profitable Designer Summit. Mindset will take you even farther because it takes way less time to solve a mindset problem with mindset shifts than it does to find and implement a whole new set of mechanics that may or may not solve the problem. So mechanics and mindset can help you take things pretty far, but a lot of times we don't even realize that we have mindset opportunities or problems or

blind spot. We're operating from a paradigm that's like installed in us, like just behind the scenes it's running and we don't always even know that it's there. It's like built from our own set of experiences and beliefs that has us just believing everything we think, like that's just the way it is. The sky is blue. You know, I think this therefore it is. You need other people to help you on your journey. You can only go so far on your own. And I am not talking about

Shannon Mattern (23:05.87)

hiring or building our team or outsourcing, that actually falls under mechanics. And like I said, sometimes we try to solve mindset problems with mechanics, like hiring a team to handle overload. When what we really need to do is set some boundaries with some clients, maybe even let go of some clients, stuff like that. But that's a whole different presentation. It usually takes someone who doesn't live in your brain to be able to like spot your paradigm, your thoughts, your belief systems.

to help you see that, to help you analyze which ones are creating wanted results and unwanted results, and help you do that and help you come up with that on your own and not to tell you what to think, right? To walk you through empowering you to look at it all and decide, what do I want to keep? What do I want to change? What do I want to do new, right? So...

That's where the third pillar comes into play. And it's the third pillar that gives you that quantum leap in your business, and that is mentorship. You need other people to guide you on your journey. You can only go so far on your own. I'm literally recording this presentation, and as soon as I'm done with it, I'm leaving to go to a mastermind that I meet with every single month. Because when you put yourself in the room with a person or multiple people who have created the results that you want,

or have helped others create the results that you want, or can just look at you in a different way and ask you candid questions to help you see what you're not seeing or where you can go to share your ideas, your plans, your thoughts, your concerns, your frustrations. Great mentors will not only be able to answer your questions and guide you because they've been down that road before or walked down it with others just like you.

They'll also be able to see your core thoughts, beliefs, and paradigms that are operating underneath the surface of your questions and bring that up for examination so that you can see why you think what you think, why you believe what you believe, and decide, do you want to keep it? Is it creating wanted or unwanted results for you? Do you want to keep thinking that? Do you want to create new thoughts? And what's in your way of that? So we are all.

Shannon Mattern (25:34.254)

myself included, limited by our current perspective, resources, mechanics, and mindset, all of us. And that doesn't mean we're broken. That doesn't mean there's something wrong with us. I don't even like the word limited or blind spots because I feel like there's nothing wrong with that. And you know how, I'm sure you've experienced like when you have a friend who has a problem and you can see so clearly.

the solution for them are so clearly the next steps, but they can't see it. That's what I'm talking about here. We need someone outside of us to be able to see things. A mentor can see what we can't see. And we know what we know. We have an idea of what we don't know, but there's also a lot we don't know. We don't know. So a mentor can see what you cannot see. They can see.

the gaps in your current thinking, the opportunities that you don't see, the valuable skills you have that you don't think are valuable. And there is an alchemy that happens when you combine the right mentor with a community of other people who are on the same journey as you. When you get to be in the room with a mentor and a community of other people on that same path and you get to like witness someone else have a mindset shift,

that you didn't even know you needed to have to, you upgrade your paradigm without even having to experience the pain of the problem. And that is how a mentor can help you take quantum leaps in your business, especially when you put yourselves in community with others who are at where you're at on the journey and who want to go where you want to go. And that's why I'm so honored to have you here at the Simply Profitable Designer Summit, because I have...

the privilege of being able to invite these amazing humans to come and speak with you this week. And you're not only getting exposed to all of their brilliance related to the mechanics of running a profitable web design business or design business, you're being exposed to a lot of different potential mentors. There are so many people here this week at this event, myself included, that run coaching programs just for designers.

Shannon Mattern (27:58.51)

Okay, we all combine our unique blend of mechanics and mentorship and personality and life experiences and core beliefs that attract the kind of people that we attract into our programs and our communities to work with us. And we're all awesome at what we do. And just like there's no one right way to run your web design business, there's no one right mentor for everyone either. So.

For example, our Web Designer Academy and our Next Level Mastermind work exclusively for women designers. And we coach on the unique experiences and challenges that women have, not only in entrepreneurship, but also in tech, and some of the baggage that we bring into our businesses from corporate or society or life experiences or how we were raised and expectations people have of us or that we put on ourselves.

My friend Josh Hall's Web Designer Pro program is open to anyone wanting to start, grow, and scale their design business. He's built and sold an agency. He's a father of three kids. He has a child with special needs. He's a husband. He brings his own unique background and skillset to his program and his community and his mentorship. My friend Danbi Shen, she's worked for a huge global corporation. She's lived all over the world. She's Korean. She's living in Europe. She speaks multiple languages.

She's an advocate for global inclusion. She has a unique insight on growing a web design business from her perspectives and experiences. Katie Sandels from Serbia living in the US, a new mom, works with graphic and brand designers. Matt Casters, a Midwestern dad who's been freelancing for over 20 years. Chaitra Radhakrishna is a mom of toddlers who took a two -year maternity leave and then had to regrow her business from scratch. I feel bad that I have not named everyone on this slide.

I could go on about the unique brilliance of all of the people here who put their time and energy into being here to meet you this week. And the things that I've shared is not necessarily what they're teaching, but they all, they might be here with a presentation on some kind of mechanics about running their business, but they almost all have some way of working with you.

Shannon Mattern (30:16.238)

on your web design business, if that's what they do. So as you move through the summit, I just want you to notice, who do you resonate with? Whose experiences are similar to yours? Who is helping people do what you want to do? You may have come here because there were certain topics that you are excited to learn about, like the mechanics of running a web design business. You've got those presentations on your calendar. You're going to watch them when they go live, interact with the speakers.

But I can tell you with 100 % certainty, there's something to be learned from every single one of the people who are here this week. And I know it's a lot of sessions. I don't want to overwhelm you or give you FOMO. But I binge listened to every single one of these presentations while I was preparing the summit. And the wisdom contained in all of these presentations just blew me away. So if you have not.

take an advantage of getting your hands on the Designer Power Pack, which gives you lifetime access to all of these presentations, including a podcast so you can listen to all of them on the go, and almost $5 ,000 in additional mechanics, tools, templates, trainings from our speakers. Definitely check that out. There is a button below the video on this page so you can get your hands on that. And just really, it's kind of a menu of different possible people who can help you reach your goals.

Because when you combine mechanics and mindset with your current experience and a community of people that you vibe with, with the right mentor and style of mentorship for you, the sum of the whole becomes greater than its parts and you're able to make progress towards your goals much, much faster than you can on your own. So I want you to think of these three pillars of a profitable design business as the how, that's your mechanics, the what,

is what you think about everything or your mindset and the who is the mentorship is the who can guide me through all of this, who can help me get there faster. And yes, all of the speakers here are talking with you about the how, but I want you to see that some of us might also be your who. You're our guide on your journey to creating a profitable, sustainable design business that enriches your entire life. The person who will help you see what you cannot see,

Shannon Mattern (32:34.67)

help you avoid unnecessary obstacles, who will help you navigate unforeseen challenges and help you learn from failure, which is inevitable. By the way, come to our panel on failing and the lessons learned and help you integrate those lessons. And where you might get stuck, and where I find myself getting stuck from time to time, because the true magic of mentorship comes from actual interaction with the mentor.

I'm sure you all have mentors from afar, if you will, like people you follow online, you consume their content, you listen to their podcasts, you watch their YouTube videos and their TikToks, you read their emails, you take their self -study courses, and you're learning, absorbing, integrating, you're probably seeing things in a new way, having some mindset shifts, right? I have several mentors from afar who I admire and learn from, but the real, deep, lasting,

transformations, those quick shifts, those quantum leaps, those powerful transformations come from being in relationship with your mentors, having conversations with them, saying what you think out loud in front of them, hearing their conversations with your peers, allowing them to understand you, your life, your goals, desires, and what you think is in your way, and giving them the opportunity to use their unique experience and expertise and just

not being the one in your brain and having done what you want to do or having helped others do it to spot where you might be having some mind trash or a thought error or where your belief system might be creating unwanted results for you or spotting some opportunities that you might not have seen to help point you down the best path for you. It can totally shortcut your

your experience when you are in interaction with your mentor. So like I said, true mentorship is a two -way interaction and it comes in many forms. It can be one -on -one coaching, a group coaching program, a mastermind, a peer group. I've personally participated in all of these types of mentorships. I personally get the most out of like group coaching because I am always like, I don't need help.

Shannon Mattern (35:00.59)

I don't have anything today. And then I hear someone else get coached on something and I'm like, oh, that's what I needed help with today. I didn't even know, right? So that's the beautiful thing about group coaching is that if you're like me and you think you've got it all figured out and you never need help, when you hear other people get help, you're like, oh yeah, I don't have it all figured out. I needed to hear that too. So right now I am in a...

a peer mastermind, two peer masterminds. I just wrapped up participation in a group coaching program. Also had a one -on -one coaching component as part of it. The way the Web Designer Academy is structured is a group coaching program with some opportunities for some in -depth one -on -one coaching. So I just want you to think about it this way. Self -study is great for learning skills, right? Mentorship from afar, great for learning skills.

But mentorship, well, like interactive mentorship will help you figure out if you even need to spend time learning that skill, or if you can create the result that you're after in a different way, maybe with some mindset shifts, or maybe you don't even need to do the thing that you think you need to do to create the results that you want to create, right? And so it's not just about finding the right person to guide you. It's about being in community with others who have similar values and goals and challenges.

Because if someone else goes through the challenge first and they can save you the time of having to go through it yourself, they've given you a gift. If you go through the challenge first and you save other people in the room time from going through it themselves, you've given them a gift, right? Put yourself in the room with the people who are on the same path as you and you will make progress exponentially faster than all by yourself.

or if you're in rooms with people running completely different kinds of businesses or who are way too early or way too advanced for where you're at in your journey. So I could talk about this topic forever, but our time together today is limited. So to wrap up the three pillars of a profitable design business are mechanics, the how you run your design businesses, your skills, your processes, your systems, your strategies, your business models, mindset, the what you think and believe at your core that influences

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how you run your design business and creates either wanted or unwanted results for you. And mentorship, the who, the who's that have already been there, who have already gone where you want to go and want to help you get there, whether that's a person like a one -on -one coach or getting that quantum leap that comes from being in the room in a group of peers with a mentor where you don't even need to experience the problem to integrate the lesson. You need all three. You need all three equally.

If you're missing any one of these or putting too much of your time and resources into any one of them without the other ones, the whole thing becomes unstable. Right? So if you already have all three and you're growing and you're reaching your goals and you're taking steps towards it, amazing. Stay put. Don't change a thing. Keep doing what you're doing. You are in the right place. If you already have all three and you realize that you're stuck or plateaued or burnt out, or maybe you're the most successful person in the rooms that you're in,

You might need to expose yourself to new ways of thinking and put yourself in rooms with people who are further ahead of you. So you can learn how they think and how they're creating the results that they have. That's what we do in our next level mastermind. It's for more advanced seasoned business owners who have kind of reached this place where they've gone through the initial program that they're in and they've implemented, created success, and they're like, now what? That's where our next level mastermind comes in.

If you're stuck in this cycle and you don't already have a mentor guiding you through it, it could be that you're missing some systems and processes or some mindset stuff, a little bit of both, right? So that's what we do in the Web Designer Academy. And that's for you, whether you are more experienced or just starting out. And so that's why I want to invite you to our Web Designer Academy open house that I'm hosting on Thursday, March 21st at 7 p .m.

These three core pillars are the core of what we do in our Web Designer Academy program and our Next Level Mastermind. And so if you're interested in learning more about our mentorship programs, I'm hosting an open house during the summit. It's on Thursday, March 21st at 7 p .m. You can scan that QR code to register, click the button below this video, or go to webdesigneracademy .com open house. You are going to get to learn how we help our

Shannon Mattern (39:49.526)

our students create profitable, sustainable, fulfilling design businesses. And this is for you if you're a woman, web or graphic designer, or whatever you call yourself, either in your first few years in business, or if you're an established woman, web or graphic designer, or an agency owner who's been in business for a while. And if you're missing any of those three pillars of a profitable design business, or you're out of balance, or you're just taking things as far as you can take them on your own,

Click the link below this presentation to register or scan the QR code or just go to webdesigneracademy .com forward slash open house to save your spot. And if that's not you, there is a mentor here for you. There's someone here that is just as committed as we are to helping designers reach their goals. And so go explore, go find that person because they're here for you. They are totally here for you. So we are going to...

talk about how to know if your web design business is ready for hands -on coaching through a program like our Web Designer Academy or Next Level Mastermind. I'm going to talk to you about what goes on in those programs. I'll walk you through the curriculum, the training, the process, how it works, both for Web Designer Academy and Next Level and explain exactly what we'll do during our time together. I'll share the financial investment, the time investment, what's

all included when you work with us, how to apply to work with us and give you all of the dates around the application. And then we'll do a Ask Me Anything Q &A, whether that's about the program, about business, whatever. There'll be plenty of time for that. And if you can't attend live, there will be a recording. And so I would love to see you there if any of that sounds like you. And our mission is to help you create the freedom, flexibility,

autonomy and fulfillment, just like our students have been able to create inside of our programs. And so I am so excited for you to attend our live session and just learn more about what it looks like to work with us. So you can scan that QR code, click the link below this video. If you're listening to this on the podcast, just go to webdesigneracademy .com forward slash open house and we will send you the replay if you can't make it live or if the event has passed.

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by the time you hear this. And so thank you so, so much for attending this session. I can't wait for you to experience the rest of the summit. I can't wait for you to meet your next mentor who's going to help you reach your goals, whether that's us or one of the 25 other people here who work with web designers. And yeah, I'm just, I'm so excited for what's next for you. So I'll see you at all of the rest of the sessions. Enjoy the summit.




In this session, Shannon Mattern discusses the three pillars of a profitable web design business: mechanics, mindset, and mentorship. She shares her own journey as a web designer and the challenges she faced in the early stages of her freelance business. Shannon emphasizes the importance of having the right mechanics, such as systems and processes, to run a successful design business. She also highlights the role of mindset in shaping beliefs and creating desired results. Lastly, Shannon emphasizes the value of mentorship and invites attendees to an Open House for the Web Designer Academy.


  • 00:00 Introduction and Background
  • 09:40 Pillar 1: Mechanics
  • 15:14 Pillar 2: Mindset
  • 39:20 Web Designer Academy Open House
  • 42:14 Conclusion
A smiling person with a tooth showing on their chin is looking indoors.

Shannon Mattern
Web Designer Academy


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

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