I recently caught up with my friend Shannon Mattern, fellow web design business coach who has a group coaching program called The Web Designer Academy. We often talk off-the-record but decided to record our most recent catch up, an honest conversation about what’s working for web designers in 2024.

Shannon and I are both in a unique position to be able to oversee many web designers, some early on in the journey making less than six figures and some who are established web biz owners running six and multi-six figure agencies. So we both have a good pulse on what’s working for web designers today. And that’s why I’m extra excited to let you in on our recent catch up.

Some of the topics explored are:

  • What tends to hold web designers back from 100k
  • What designers who are making 250k-500k+ are doing
  • Tips for getting past pricing mind trash
  • Thoughts on niching by gender (or whether you should niche by personality type)
  • Web designer work life balance tips and a whole lot more

Personally, I love having conversations with friends in the industry with no specific topic, agenda and I hope you do as well! If you do, leave us a comment for this one at joshhall.co/329 to share your thoughts.

In this episode:

0:00 – Tips for Successful Web Design Business
4:20 – Web Designer Academy Survey Insights
17:51 – Positioning Yourself as a Founder
30:59 – Empowering Women in Business Culture
39:36 – Setting Boundaries for Business Success
44:22 – Setting Boundaries for People Pleasers
54:53 – Building Relationships in Marketing Strategy
59:44 – Financial Mindset in Web Design
1:11:14 – Engage With Podcast Comments for Responses

Get instant (free access) to Shannon’s Pricing Mindset Workshop for Web Designers


Connect with Shannon:

Links Mentioned:

Episode #329 Full Transcription

Shannon Mattern: 

it’s not your job to save your clients money. It’s your. Their financial situation is not your responsibility. Like you get to help them make more money and you know like, hold them as capable and responsible and able and put your prices out there and if they, if it’s not like, if it doesn’t work out for them, that’s okay. There are plenty of other people on the way that are going to vibe and align with you and your pricing and how you want to run your business. Welcome to the Web Design Business Podcast with your host, josh Hall, helping you build a web design business that gives you freedom and a lifestyle you love helping you build a web design business that gives you freedom and a lifestyle you love.

Josh Hall: 

My friends, welcome into episode 329. It’s so good to have you here. I’m really excited about this one because I love casual, non-topic, no agenda chats, especially with colleagues who are in the web design industry, just about what’s working and what’s going on and what we’re seeing. That’s exactly what you’re going on and what we’re seeing, and that’s exactly what you’re going to get here. I’m inviting you to be a fly on the wall on my recent catch-up conversation with Shannon Mattern, who is a fellow web design business coach. If you don’t know her yet, she runs the Web Designer Academy, which is a group coaching program specifically for women web designers. That’s actually going to come up in this conversation and we often talk off the record, but I asked her if she would be down to just record one and share it with you, because we have a very unique position I should say me and Shannon because both of us oversee web designers those who are earlier in the journey, but we oversee a lot of web designers who are established and who’ve been doing this for a long time and who are killing it right now. So what we really dive into in. This is what’s working for web designers specifically right now, in 2024, although all the lessons we’re going to cover will be evergreen and applicable for many years ahead.

Josh Hall: 

And a lot of this stemmed off of the recent episode I did based off of my thoughts on the admin bar web designer survey. That is going to be linked because that’s going to come up here. So if you’re like what, what is that? Go to joshhallco, slash 329. And there’s going to be a link to my previous episode on that, as well as the survey results and panel that we’re going to mention. But we’re going to get into things like what’s holding web designers back from six figures, what we’re seeing that web designers are doing well, who are making anywhere between multi-six and up to half million dollars plus in revenue tips for getting past some pricing, mind trash trash and getting out of your client’s wallet, as Shannon so eloquently puts it.

Josh Hall: 

Thoughts on niching by gender or whether you should maybe consider niching by personality type. Shannon and I have slightly differing thoughts on this, so I’m excited to fill you in on kind of where we’re at with this new wave of niching. There’s a lot of different ways to niche but, yeah, we’re going to cover some of that, and we’re also going to get into work-life balance tips and a whole lot more. So, without further ado, enter my friend Shannon Mattern of the Web Designer Academy. Let’s talk about what the heck is working well for web designers and maybe what’s not working so well this year in 2024. Let’s have some fun, Shannon. I have to say it’s really good to see you wrapping some pro gear for everyone watching on YouTube Web.

Josh Hall: 

Designer Pro looks good on you.

Shannon Mattern: 

Thank you. Thank you for sending me some swag. It’s awesome. It’s like the comfiest sweatshirt I’ve owned.

Josh Hall: 

I feel like a total jerk. You sent me a Web Designer Academy mug. I don’t have it here.

Shannon Mattern: 

I’ll have to bring that up for the next call.

Josh Hall: 

I you repping some pro gear, though. Uh, really excited to to talk with you, shannon. As always, you and I um are very like-minded and I think what we see in the industry and helping a lot of web designers, I guess, get to the next level for for lack of a better term you had mentioned you know we’re in a monthly mastermind together and you were like, oh my gosh, the survey results I that I just covered recently for the admin bar survey. I know you looked pent up, like you had so much to share, so I wanted to give us both an opera, an opportunity to share some thoughts on this, so I figured that’s what we’ll dive into. That sounds good.

Shannon Mattern: 

Yes, absolutely. And I I appreciate the opportunity to be here and talk to you about it because I saw your panel conversation and then I listened to your podcast about it and I was like, oh my gosh, we are so on the same page with what we know is possible for everybody out there listening, and how passionate we are about just showing them the way to having their business be supportive of their life and helping them make money. And, you know, have that all work. So, yeah, I appreciate getting to talk to you about it. I know you’ve had lots of insight and opinions on it as well.

Josh Hall: 

Well, one thing I’ve thought about more recently is that I don’t think I don’t want anyone to overlook the fact that there were small percentages, but still percentages of people who are making $100,000, $200,000, $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 plus as solopreneurs and small studios, as web designers.

Josh Hall: 

But I feel like so much of the conversation and some of this is to my own fault, because I love helping people get started and I love helping people get to six figures but there is a missing segment of people who are in the several six figure range. And I know it’s not all about money, but the reality is, if you want to have a life of freedom, you’re probably going to need to be doing at least a couple hundred thousand. And one cool thing about where you and I fit in the market is I think you and I are some of the only web design coaches for lack of a better term who help a lot of people in that range. There’s a lot of people who do seven-figure agency model, but that’s a whole different lifestyle mindset. Do you feel that as well? I mean, I feel like that’s your sweet spot for Web Designer Academy as well.

Shannon Mattern: 

Yeah, I feel like what we do is like help people bridge that gap between the beginner like stage that I was in when I first started, where I was just like working like crazy, not charging enough, not making enough and not realizing that I could do it differently. And what I loved about the survey just like what you you said is like there are people doing it and there are people doing it well, and if they’re doing it and you’re not doing it, you can do it too, and I think that it’s just the, it’s showing you the path. And, like you know you know me, josh I’m all about like mindset and like looking at, like what we believe about ourselves, about the marketplace, about money, about value, about all of those things, and looking at that and questioning what we think about those things and what’s possible for us. Is the work right To go from? I don’t think I can make that much, I don’t think I can charge that much. I have to say yes to X, y and Z.

Shannon Mattern: 

All of these things that we see happening in this earlier stage. All of those things need to be deconstructed to get to the place where we see other people in that survey making money. And yes, it’s not all about money. It’s about lifestyle capacity, freedom, flexibility, all the reasons why we would choose to be an entrepreneur over working for someone else. But I totally agree with you Money and value is part of that, especially when we saw that stat about you know, work-life balance was the biggest challenge and I’m like that’s what I’m all about. You charge more, you can work less. That’s just the bottom line.

Josh Hall: 

And for anyone who may be tuning in and is like what server they are talking about the Admin Bar, which voted the number one community for WordPress, a Facebook group. Kyle the founder there did a really really good in-depth survey on that group and then some wider audiences, including my own and some others and, yeah, really really interesting stats. We’ll make sure that’s linked in the show notes. And then I followed up recently on episode 322 with my own thoughts on it. But specifically I was excited to have Shannon on this one because, like I said, we have a unique area of the market that we see. We see people getting started and who are getting to a professional point, and then we’re also seeing people who are doing really well and who are achieving work-life balance and who are doing it well.

Josh Hall: 

One thing I’ve really challenged myself with is I want to do a better job at taking what’s working really well today and filtering that down so everyone can get to that point. So let me throw it to you, shannon, like before. We maybe even look at some of the survey results on your end. Like what, what do you see working well? What are, I guess, what are some of the common traits with the folks who are at a healthy profit percentage and stuff. Maybe it’s personality, maybe it’s services price points. What are the things that are working well?

Shannon Mattern: 

So what I see with what’s working well is a consistent marketing strategy Like that’s. That’s one thing that’s working well. So they’ve created some consistency, not just with, like lead generation, but like marketing to their current clients, marketing recurring revenue services I know that you’re big into that. They never stop marketing. They’re proactive, they don’t wait for work to come to them. I think that that’s a big thing that I see in our community and the people, the women that we work with is shifting from people are going to find me to the women that we work with is like shifting from people are going to find me to I’m going to just go meet as many people as possible and see how I can help them and make offers and be proactive and invite people to conversations and all of those things. I think the other thing is just making a shift in their self-concept to I’m a service provider, to I am actually like co-creating solutions. I’m not building websites, I’m building a revenue generating asset for my clients, like that’s. I mean, and like I said, I’m all about. I’m all about mindset. It’s like, if you think you’re just building a website and this is where I was like listening to your podcast episode last week while I was walking my dog and I was yelling at the podcast Because someone had commented like Squarespace and Wix make it so easy for people to DIY their website and that’s why we can’t charge that much, and I’m like that is just like.

Shannon Mattern: 

That’s just a mindset shift that you need to make. Diyers are not your customer. Not everybody wants to DIY. Just because it’s easy for you doesn’t mean that you can’t charge that much and you’re not selling a website. You are not selling a Squarespace website. And so that’s where I get all angsty, because I’m like the people who are doing well think about what they do completely differently than I’m providing a service. I’m building a website, I’m selling a website. They think I am helping this customer reach their business, life, time, capacity, revenue goals and they think of themselves as a partner in a way, and they also think of themselves as the strategist and the leader, and so they’re looking at the value of those things versus like oh, I just produced a five-page Squarespace site for you.

Josh Hall: 

That idea of being a strategist, being almost a consultant style approach, leads me to one of the biggest questions that I see in my community and in a lot of web design communities, which is people are so unsure of what to call themselves now as web designers, and the reality is it could still work. You could still say I’m a web designer. That’s going to open the doors for everything else. But for a lot of the folks that you’re coaching more intimately, shannon, are you encouraging the term strategist? I know one thing that’s really popular is like a fractional whatever fractional strategist, fractional designer, but I don’t know if the term fractional is caught on with most business owners. What are people calling themselves who are doing it well as a strategist?

Shannon Mattern: 

I might have a totally different opinion on this. I don’t care what you call yourself when you’re talking to someone about what you do. If you’re all caught up in like I’m a web designer, I’m a brand strategist, I’m a, this, I’m a that, you’re making it all about you and it’s not about you. You’re not marketing you. You’re not marketing those things. You can say something like I help businesses like yours do XYZ, get more clients, get found online, whatever it is. You don’t have to call yourself something specific to be able to charge more. So if you stop thinking about what do I call myself? What tech stack do I use? Is what I do easy or hard? And start thinking about who are my clients? What do they want? How can I help them get that, you can call yourself whatever you want.

Josh Hall: 

That’s the least interesting thing about what you do, in my opinion. I also think a good way to frame it. As you were talking, it’s just kind of dawned on me that you almost don’t need to have in your title what you do. You could be the owner of your business. That’s what you do. I’m the founder of blank agency. If it’s a personal brand, you could get around that a couple of different ways. Probably. I mean, I guess you could still say I own a web design business, but even if it’s your name. But I feel like that’s kind of the the almost the better way to position yourself as a business owner, because then you can talk about what you do with your roles in that business.

Josh Hall: 

I’ve thought about this personally too and actually probably learning from you in some ways, because I’ve always struggled with what do I put on my social media profiles, my handles. I’ve had web design business coach for a while, but now I’m getting so many freaking DMs from people who are like I’ll help you get 10 clients this week and I’m like I don’t have clients. That’s not my coaching model. So I’m like I don’t have clients. That’s not my coaching model. So I’m going with moving forward just Josh, founder Web Designer Pro, and then I can talk about within Web Designer Pro it’s community building, it’s coaching, it’s course creator, it’s educator, it’s YouTube, it’s podcast or it’s all those things under that. Similarly to web designers, it can be the same thing. If you’re doing a lot of things, if you’re doing SEO and copywriting and website design and e-commerce and maintenance plans, you can’t have 10 things in your title. So my default now and this is just solidified for me is to just say you are you the founder of your business?

Shannon Mattern: 

Yeah.

Josh Hall: 

What do you think about that?

Shannon Mattern: 

Yeah, I literally just changed my social media tagline, or whatever, yesterday to I help women web designers make more money without working 24-7. That’s what I do, and it’s not like and I did the whole I’m a business coach for women web designers thing. It’s just like well, what does that mean? Do I even need a business coach? But if I just say, here’s, I help this specific type of person do this specific thing, that’s what I do and like I help you solve this problem, like, that’s so much easier to say than like when I meet people and I’m like I’m a business coach for web designers people who like are just, you know, random people off the street, they like like their eyes glaze over, like they don’t know what that means. So I’m just like oh, I.

Josh Hall: 

Do you talk about being the founder of web designer Academy, or have you talked about that in the past?

Shannon Mattern: 

It depends on who I’m talking to. You know, I think back when, like I think it’s just a little bit different for me because, like I’m not a web designer, I’m not like out about meeting people at a party and not trying to get clients, but you know what I mean I think there would be Back in the day when I was a web designer. I’d just say, oh yeah, I’m a freelance web designer. And then inevitably someone would be like oh my gosh, what kind of stuff do you do? How much does it cost? Like all of the things you know, if I just said I’m a web designer, but then it’s my job from there to lead them through, thinking about, like how, what I do as valuable, right, if I’m going to let them be like, oh well, how much does it cost? And then I’m like oh well, for a five-page website, it’s this. It’s like no, you take control of that conversation. You’re like let’s schedule a consultation so I can talk about your business and how we can help you and all of those things.

Josh Hall: 

Yeah, I still have more and more and feeling more passionate about web designers calling themselves the founder of their business or website strategist, simply because if you say I’m a web designer, immediately you’re basically just saying I’m a task taker and if you immediately, you’re positioned differently and and again. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially early in the journey. I mean, I said I was a web designer for a long time, but I was a task taker for most of my years as a web designer.

Josh Hall: 

As soon as I really embraced being a business owner of my agency in Transit Studios, I was viewed differently and it allowed me to get into the 5, 10 to 15 K range projects. So that’s kind of where I’m feeling really passionate about. This is like be the founder as soon as you’re offering strategy and growth services. Do not position yourself as a freelance web designer, because you’re immediately a task taker. Be a strategist, a consultant, but again, you don’t need to have that in the title. Like you said, it doesn’t matter. Just, I think the easiest thing is just to say yeah, I’m the founder of this business, and founder sounds cool. Founder is like oh shoot, did you found your business three months ago?

Shannon Mattern: 

yeah, but you’re still a founder, so embrace it, baby well, yeah, and I also think like you have to think about yourself differently too, like when you make that shift from being like I call myself a freelance web designer to I call myself a founder and I don’t feel weird about it, I’m confident about it, I like know what I do and I know the value of what I do, I think that’s a huge shift to go from like I’m a web designer, I’m a freelance web designer to no, I founded this business that helps these kind of people do these kinds of things. Yeah, I love that.

Josh Hall: 

This topic is probably going to get you riled up knowing you pretty well the thing about that too is I see so many struggles with web designers taking things so damn personally and I empathize with this big time because when you start your own web design business or any design business, it is is personal, it’s your design.

Josh Hall: 

You get feedback and they say they don’t like the design. It’s just knife straight to the heart. It’s like, ah. But I feel like as soon as you position yourself as a business owner, as the founder, suddenly that gives a little bit of a barrier between you and your business in the best ways. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care about your business and your heart isn’t in the business, but it just means that suddenly all negative feedback, all challenges, all client boundary issues, pricing, confidence, all those things are like you know what? It’s not about me anymore, it’s my business. So my business starts at $5,000. That’s our price point. It’s not personal, my money mindset isn’t even an issue here, it’s the business. How do you feel about that, about just having a little bit of separation between you and your business?

Shannon Mattern: 

I love that. I think that if you do struggle with that, if you do take things personally and you can separate yourself from the business and just be like this is the policy of the business, this is the price of the business, these are the systems of the business, if that gives you that separation to not fall back into we call them time and money traps in the Web Designer Academy To help you not fall back into those time and money traps, I think that it’s great. I think where we get in trouble, like you said, is when we make it all about us, when it’s like what do I call myself? How do I feel about this feedback that I was given? It’s all about the client, not in a way where it’s like oh, we do whatever they say to keep them happy, but like this feedback that I got, like how do I, how do I process this?

Shannon Mattern: 

In a way that’s like okay, I want to best serve this client project. Like, maybe they didn’t like something that I did. Like how can I look at that through the lens of like what are the goals of this project? And this is how my business runs, like and and I’m not taking this personally and it’s entrepreneurship, as you know, josh, is like a personal journey of self-discovery and growth in a way that we probably didn’t ever think that it was going to be, and any little trick or hack we can use and I don’t think separating yourself from the business is a trick or a hack I think it’s like really powerful to really see yourself as like. I’m the steward of this thing. It’s my job to make sure that it’s healthy, that it’s profitable, that it’s able to serve the clients well and that both of us are taken care of like me and the client, and I think that that’s a really, really awesome way to think about it.

Josh Hall: 

Yeah, entrepreneurship is a cover-up term for the most extreme personal and professional development you could ever go through. It’s yeah, it’s like the Navy SEALs of business. It’s just, you are going to be choked in the ocean, getting wave after wave after wave at some point and you will be tested. And yeah, I mean, but that’s the reality of any voting, any business and doing anything yourself. There are no rules, there are no right and wrongs. There are shifting markets, changes in the economy. There are personal mindset boundaries there are really. The only limitations are what you set yourself, but that’s very hard to break through.

Josh Hall: 

Like you said, you bring all your personal baggage into your business when you start, which is why, even more so, I think it’s so important to separate yourself from your business. Even if you have a personal brand, you are your own person. You’re your own guy, your own gal and your business is your business, and this really helps with boundaries. I wish I would have heard somebody say this when I had some horrible boundary issues because, yeah, personally, I just allowed clients to call me whenever, wherever, and I was such a people pleaser that it made me resent clients for a little while and I had to catch myself on that. So I think in all areas, if you just give a little bit of barrier between your business, it just it solves everything, or at least it makes running your business and being sustainable a lot easier.

Shannon Mattern: 

Yeah, definitely.

Josh Hall: 

The survey results. What were the most eye-opening things for you?

Shannon Mattern: 

Well, I mean to just reiterate what you were saying with the part that I was just like I’m so glad people like Josh and I are out here doing what we do to help you see, your value is the average number of years in business and how much money people were making. And I had a lot of questions about the data and I totally understand Kyle was like the admin bar, the guy that like put the survey together. He’s like there are so many questions we wanted to ask but we wanted to make sure that we like that we got as many responses as possible and I totally understand that there is a balance to that. So no shade to Kyle on any of the questions that I’m like I wish you would have asked this.

Josh Hall: 

And I wish you would have asked that. I think it was a couple dozen questions. I mean it could have been 200, but yeah, no one’s going to do that.

Shannon Mattern: 

I wanted to know between the breakdown of the people who had been in business you know three, four, five, 10 years and we’re still bringing in full time and still bringing in, you know, between 10 and $20,000, paying themselves between 10 and $20,000.

Shannon Mattern: 

Women web designers and we’ve talked about this off the podcast, where you’re like Shannon, you’re leaving a whole 50% of the population on the table by only working with women web designers. I was like I am so curious in this data how many of these people who I consider to be undercharging, based on just what I’ve seen in the industry, I wanted to know the breakdown of, like men and women, or you know, just just gender in general and, um, how that, what that looks like. And I was just curious because a lot of the survey results validated things that I see our program’s application only and I love that because I get to be nosy and look at what are you doing on the front end of your website, but what does the back end really look like? And the survey results really reflected what I see with our Web Designer Academy applicants that their biggest challenge is that they’re undercharging and overworking and I was just really curious. I’m like I wish he would have asked that question because I’m curious of the differences between how men and women approach business.

Shannon Mattern: 

I find it interesting and that’s why I love being in a mastermind with you and Jason, jason Gracia because you guys think like totally differently than in the masterminds that I’m in with all women, and so I just had questions about that. That I’m like, oh, I wish there would have been, I wish I could have sorted by that and like glean some insights that way.

Josh Hall: 

Yeah, you know, we have cigars. And sit in the big leather chairs and talk about capitalism and industry.

Shannon Mattern: 

Yeah, and we drink Cosmopolitans and wear pink and pet cats and puppies.

Josh Hall: 

Yeah, exactly, that’s what’s so cool, and I have to say, and I totally understand, I think you’re positioned well for women web designers, mainly because of the mindset stuff, and I understand there’s a big difference between a lot of men and women entrepreneurs with some mindset things, particularly with different corporate backgrounds and stuff like that. I personally love having a mix in Web Designer Pro because it’s like there’s a lot of similarities with mindset, regardless. I have to say, though, like the gals in Pro everyone listening like the ladies are showing up in Web Designer pro lately. Like anytime I do a survey or something, it’s like 80 women who are sharing stats and killing I’m like man. The gals in pro are stepping up.

Josh Hall: 

So I don’t know, I don’t, I don’t really have an answer, like I see both working well. I mean, there’s mindset issues, from what I’ve seen, are typically more just personality related or background related, and if they’re coming from a different background and they’re new as an entrepreneur, new as a business owner, new as a web designer, I don’t really I guess. All that said, I don’t really see too many gender specific differences there. I mean, I’m sure there could be, but yeah, I don’t know. It would be interesting to see that data, but I don’t know. Yeah, I don’t have a better answer for you, shannon.

Shannon Mattern: 

Yeah, that’s why I wanted to see the data, because I’m like as a woman in tech and running a program for women and just my experiences, I know the lens through which I view things, or I was conditioned to view things, and I think that is personality. How I was raised, there’s lots of facets, it’s not just binary. How I was raised Like there’s lots of facets, it’s not just, like you know, binary, like that. That’s why I was like curious to see the data, cause I’m like, oh, if it was, I would. I just wanted to see like does this distribute evenly across that? What does that look like?

Josh Hall: 

Cause you’re you are in the market of helping women entrepreneurs and women web designers. Like there’s this whole boss gal culture. But I know that’s not your vibe and it’s funny because I have a lot of women who joined pro who are, so they just hated that culture because that has become, like quote unquote, toxic in its own right. I’m curious, the confidence of the boss lady culture. Do you think that feeds over into the broad, like the world, or do you think that confidence is kind of kept in women’s circles? You know what I mean. Like I just wonder, like if a boss lady feels good about her pricing in the women’s groups, is she going to feel comfortable going to a business that’s run by men? Is she going to have that same confidence, or what do you think about that?

Shannon Mattern: 

I don’t know, like, I’m not entirely sure, like this is going to sound similar. I don’t know what the boss lady culture is. Like I don’t, like, I’m not entirely sure. I’ll tell you exactly what it is.

Josh Hall: 

Yes, tell me why I took my wife out for our uh, our ninth anniversary recently. And next to us was this group of gals who were 100 boss lady. They all had leather jackets and they were like, they looked like they were ready to just I don’t know like it was almost like a biker gang, but gals uh that’s kind of what I yeah, that kind of thing yeah, that’s kind of what I see and I just wonder. Yeah, and I love talking about this with you because we have a close relationship so we can talk about this in full transparency.

Josh Hall: 

I’m just kind of curious by that, because I don’t you know me, we’ve talked about this. I don’t like niching by gender, I just I like personality fit, that’s, that’s my thing. But you know, I’m not a woman and I haven’t had a background where I felt intimidated by dudes, so I’m empathetic towards feeling that. So I would just wonder from your perspective but yeah, I didn’t know if you had ever been in any circles like that with the boss. What is it like? The boss lady, the boss bitch, vibe, that kind of stuff.

Shannon Mattern: 

I don’t really vibe with that.

Shannon Mattern: 

I don’t vibe with with that like that, um, I don’t vibe with like not being who I am.

Shannon Mattern: 

So if it’s like a circle where I’m gonna have to like dress a certain way and always like be accessorized and like show up like I I don’t know, I’m just not that, I’m just not that person, um, I mean, but I also, like I run a business full time, like I, uh, I believe in like the time that I spend, like being well compensated, like all of those things.

Shannon Mattern: 

And so I have heard people saying like the, the um boss, lady culture is a lie, and I think that that has to do with, I think it has to do with like okay, make enough money so that you can pay for someone to like help you take care of your kids and help you clean your house, so that you can like not do any of that stuff and just focus on like growing your business and growing your empire and all of that. And I’m like okay if that’s what you want. But I think that what we’re seeing is that most people want to just have freedom, flexibility and financial independence and that they don’t need to grow this whole giant empire and be a brand and constantly be creating content to do that. And there’s this pulling back of, okay, what actually is required for me to have a profitable, sustainable business without me having to be a personality online, and I think that that’s the.

Shannon Mattern: 

I think that, like when you’re, I’m trying to think like what does that even mean to me? Like that boss lady thing? I think that it means like I’m portraying externally that like I’m killing it in business, versus like I’m just actually. I’ve built a business that supports myself in my life and I’ve designed it in a way that works for me and feels good to me.

Josh Hall: 

Yeah.

Josh Hall: 

And it seems like there’s in that culture. Just from what I see, I feel like there’s. I think that all leads to just women being the CEO of their own business and really I mean it’s similar to any business where entrepreneurs are enticed to be like the CEO or to grow a multi seven figure agency. But regardless, it’s like we know where that ends up. It leads to burnout over home and it’s like, yeah, like you said, do you want to be a CEO of an agency or do you want to just build a business, to have freedom and lifestyle you love? That’s because if that’s it, that culture, stuff, it doesn’t matter, it’s all bullshit. Exactly, run your business, it doesn’t matter. So, did you, do you ever drive on 315 through campus? Cause we’re both in Columbus.

Shannon Mattern: 

Rarely.

Josh Hall: 

Cause I live way out in the boonies now.

Josh Hall: 

So the only reason I ask is there is a billboard I think it might be down now, but it was it was a it was like a boss, lady, CEO billboard that was advertised and it was very much so that like almost like female alpha, like be your own boss, kind of thing. And again I I just my question with the, the idea that we stem from here with like the confidence, the mindset thing. I just almost find that to be a trap with with a lot of people, if they don’t want to be a ceo, like yeah, maybe they do want to be a mom, but just have a business and be able to have time to to be a mom and do that and help with kids and also build your business.

Shannon Mattern: 

I think that’s where I I see a bit of a shift there for sure at least from my perspective, at least in pro well and, like you know, I do work exclusively with women web designers in the web designer academy. It hasn’t always been that way, but that’s how it is now. But it’s not about that. It’s about, like making sure that you, as you are there’s nothing wrong with you as you are now you don’t have to become someone different to be successful. You can have whatever personality you have. Every personality has strengths and opportunities, right, and we I want to help you stay who you are and get what you want.

Shannon Mattern: 

And I think that that’s maybe the difference of like this hustle boss lady culture is like you have to be this to get this, and I think that that’s maybe the difference of this hustle boss lady culture is like you have to be this to get this, and I don’t agree with that. I think you get to be you and figure out how to design a business and pricing and all of that around, what is important to you, what you value, what your value is, and you get to be you and do that. And I think that that it’s kind of like how you were talking earlier about like separating yourself from your business. You know, you, you get to just accept your whole self and not have to think, not have to be different, to have anything that you want and once you break, like, I think, of me when I was in the very beginning of starting my web design business.

Shannon Mattern: 

my website said we, it talked corporate. I was trying to hide the fact that I was like a one woman show doing it, and I was trying to hide it because I thought that it was not the way to do things or whatever. And business is just so much easier when you just are yourself and you can separate yourself from, like you said earlier, from the business.

Josh Hall: 

I’m really glad you mentioned that, though, because while I am firm with that idea of separating yourself from the business, I also don’t want anyone to feel like they need to show up differently for their business. In fact, I think today, in the age of AI and chat, gpt content, slop and everything that’s just blah, the more you can be authentic and real and stand out and talk like you on your website, like you would talk in person. I think that is more valuable and more important than ever, which is why I’m starting to release my newsletters with some spelling mistakes that I didn’t catch, and why I’m saying like hot dog and good gravy and being really personal and open about numbers and stories and everything else now I think that’s actually helped me.

Josh Hall: 

I mean, I’ve always been very transparent and real, but even more so today. I’m trying to tell all my members of Pro exactly how you and I would talk. That’s how you talk on your website without corporate speak.

Shannon Mattern: 

Yep, absolutely, and I do think AI is awesome for a lot of things, but it’s still, as much as I’ve tried to train a GPT to like take a podcast transcript that is all me and turn it into something that sounds like me, it’s still like washes my personality out and replaces it with jargon and I’m like, okay, we’re gonna, I’m gonna keep training you until you stop saying I don’t know like delight I can’t even think of like all of the buzzwords that throws in there, and I’m like, just stop, I don’t talk like that.

Josh Hall: 

Anything with unveiling success or unlocking your potential, yeah, Anything like that is like. Oh guess who used chat GPT.

Shannon Mattern: 

Yeah, exactly, exactly.

Josh Hall: 

So money, obviously mindset and again you know the stuff we, that kind of segment we just came from is really just all mindset and obviously you know both of us talk about that in great detail. Work life balance is something you mentioned was one of the biggest parts of the survey. I forget if we were live or off off camera or off record here. You mentioned that was something big, obviously your passion about, so did that surprise you? That work-life balance was one of I think it was the biggest issue, right? What are your thoughts on that?

Shannon Mattern: 

Yeah, no, it didn’t surprise me at all, especially because of all of the applications that we get for Web Designer Academy, where people share their biggest challenge and they are just like share their biggest challenge and they are just like they’re under charging. Yeah, that’s a that’s a problem. But the over delivering is a more insidious problem, in my opinion. The overworking, um, the, it’s like, even if you’re charging, like appropriately, if you then like start to not charge for all parts of the project or allow scope creep to happen, or like you and I did allow your clients to contact you at all hours of the day, or you’re like you hate your clients and you’re thinking about them when you’re not working because you’re so resentful of the situation that you’ve created, because you didn’t know any better, like, why bother? Like just go get a job, you know. That’s kind of where it’s like.

Shannon Mattern: 

That’s the part where you get to the point sometimes and this is where we help a lot of women where, like, they’ve figured out the pricing piece, they value what they do, they don’t see themselves as building websites anymore, but they cannot like drop this whole. I have to be the best employee and I have to jump when my clients say jump, and I need to make sure they’re happy so my reputation doesn’t get ruined, so that I keep getting referrals and all of this stuff. And that’s the part that I think is like you solve that, then you’re going to have the energy to go market yourself. Because if your work-life balance is all out of whack and this is the other stat that I was just like that makes total sense If your work-life balance is all out of whack, why would you market your business?

Josh Hall: 

Why would you want more of that? That’s the end of the road. That’s literally the end of the road. Yeah, I know I should be marketing, but I don. You want more of that? That’s the end of the road. That’s literally the end of the road.

Shannon Mattern: 

Yeah, I know I should be marketing, but I don’t want more of this. So you’re you’re going to protect yourself from getting more of that by, like, not actually taking the action to market your business. So you’ve got to clean that side up so that you can um, so that you can go do your marketing. And also, that has a lot to do with pricing too. Yeah, you’re like oh, I finally have the confidence to charge between $5 and $10 for all that I do. But now I feel like, in order to justify the value, I have to basically make myself available to you 24-7.

Josh Hall: 

It’s like no, you don’t. You need to get that in check. Yeah, I feel like where your position in the web design market for folks who come to Web Designer Academy is the people who are They’ve already started, they’ve already built their business and they’re at a point where they’re trying to get to the next level, trapped by their success. Trapped by their success. That’s exactly what I see with a lot of people who are in that stage in pro too, where it’s very timely, because we did a recent pro meetup and I got to meet up with one of my students. So they’re actually a married couple and the reason I mentioned this is because that mindset of the boundary issues that is not limited to the gal web designers either.

Josh Hall: 

It was funny because he’s like this big kind of burly dude. I would never expected him to have those issues, but he was the one who struggled with the boundaries and the people pleasing His wife, who has come into the business and is more of the almost the. She’s the operator in a lot of ways and kind of the CFO, financial officer. She’s actually a little more strict and a little more sturdy with that, but he’s kind of client facing. So it was the same conversation where I basically just told him like guys, you are a great team, but if he does not have the boundaries in place, you’re literally stuck.

Josh Hall: 

You’re literally not going to be able to grow the business and move forward unless you’re working 80, 90 hours a week, which that was the position he’s found himself in. He’s working so much. Yes, they are in multi six figures range, which is awesome, but working 90 hours a week, that’s not awesome. So what are some of the tips that you provide for folks, as a starting place with that, who are working a lot in their yeah, like you said trapped by their own success? I know this, you know could go a lot of different ways, but what are some of the core things that you’ve seen help people get out of that rut?

Shannon Mattern: 

The first place that we look is like are you charging for all of the work that you’re doing? So, how much of these 80, like, how much of these 80, 90 hours? Of course, a lot of that’s like admin, running the business, stuff, but like, when it comes to actual client work, like, are you just like saying yes to stuff and throwing it in to keep the client happy? Like. That’s the first place to look, because you’re like your job as the, the guide for your clients is to, yes, they’re going to make requests, but to educate them on the impact of that request. So it’s like, and especially if you’re a people pleaser, which, hello, I definitely have those tendencies. People pleasers like to say yes. So I’m always like okay, people pleasers, here’s the way that you can say yes to everything. Yes, I would love to do that for you. Would you like me to send you an invoice? Like, just you know, or, yes, I would love to do that for you. Here’s how that’s going to impact the project. It’s going to push our start date out by two weeks and it’s going to cost this much. Would you like to move forward with that and giving them the choice?

Shannon Mattern: 

Because if you don’t, if you just do the stuff and you fit it in and you add eight hours to your week to do this too, like just because the client asked for it. Like you’re, you’re creating a situation and when I say you, I’m like I did this too. So you know, I, I know from experience you are just grinding yourself down, you’re tired, you’re burned out, you’re resentful, you can’t. When you’re working that much, your like ability to even like be creative in problem solving gets tamped down. Your ability to even be creative in problem solving gets tamped down. And so I’m like, if you’re a people, pleaser, just say yes and give them the opportunity to decide if they want to commit the time and resources to that. You don’t have to work for free, it doesn’t have to come out of your calendar or out of your pocket, it just doesn’t, and I think a lot of people pleasers.

Josh Hall: 

I say recovering people pleaser, but I still am a people pleaser. What I’ve learned, though, is to get to the place where you reserve your people pleasing for your A clients, your best clients. There’s already a level of trust, loyalty and likability there, so it’s not really as much of an issue with boundaries. If you keep people pleasing everybody even before they pay you God forbid no wonder you’re completely stressed out and burned out and doing everything for everybody, Kind of. What I’ve learned over the years and what I’m trying to do in pro is I don’t want people to kill the people pleasing aspect of them, because it is really good. That is what keeps clients coming back. The goal is just to to limit it, constrain it and reserve it for the folks who are paying you or the people who are really close to you in life.

Shannon Mattern: 

You can provide excellent customer service and delight your clients and have it not be at your own expense, like it is totally possible to do that, and that’s the difference is when it’s at your own expense and it’s harmful to you and your business and you’re tired and burnt out and resentful. That’s when you have to look at it. It’s not people pleasing if it’s not harming you to do it that’s good it’s just yeah clipping, it’s just providing it’s just doing what you love and yeah, you know, that’s so true because, yeah, if you, if you are people pleasing and it fills you up, then that’s not a negative term.

Josh Hall: 

Like that’s not a negative thing. I don’t think the boundary says negative either.

Shannon Mattern: 

I don’t think of like. When people say like I got to set boundaries in my business. Now they think they have to become this like person who says no, that’s not in the scope, and change order and and and like that’s not how you do it. If you’re, you’re not going to love your business If that’s how you think of boundaries.

Josh Hall: 

That’s a great point, as I’m thinking about that conversation I had recently with one of my members, because he’s such a people pleaser. It was only an issue because of boundaries, it was only an issue because he was taking calls whenever they would call and he even said, like I’ve been missing my kids’ soccer games and stuff in an effort to please my clients. I’m like, yeah, you want to please your clients in boundaries, in constraints, like absolutely you can be. I mean, people pleasing is almost like fire. It’s like it’s awesome and it warms people up, whatever goofy puns we want to use, but if it’s not in a fireplace it’s going to go out of control. That’s kind of the way I’m envisioning this idea of people pleasing. It really is something that’s great and powerful when constrained and when in boundaries.

Shannon Mattern: 

Yeah, and, and you know, what we do is like we help you get to the core of, like, why you feel you need to do that and okay, like, if you’re doing it for these reasons, how can we get you to change while not feeling unsafe to change those behaviors, to change while not feeling?

Josh Hall: 

unsafe to change those behaviors. That’s good. What was something? What was something else that uh stuck out to you in the survey that you know? Got got the Shannon gears going.

Shannon Mattern: 

Um, no, it really, it truly was like it was the like per project price and how much people were paying themselves. And I had so many questions because I was just like well, one, it was a 2023 survey. So I was very curious, like you know and I know that he tracked changes from previous years I was like, you know, you and I have been very public about, like, we had challenging 2023s, so I was just curious if that was like a reflection of, like, how people are running their business in general, or just like a reflection of what 2023 looked like for a lot of people. So that was one of the things, but I but I was, yeah, it was like the same thing that jumped out at you and I kind of filtered. I filtered just down to the United States because I was like wanting to just see what that picture looked like here. It was just the number of years people have been in business and what they’re charging and how much they’re paying themselves and if they’re, if they like that, like if they’re satisfied with that, or or if they think that that’s just the way it is.

Shannon Mattern: 

Um, if they like, how do they really think about what they do? Do they think that they’re building a website, or do they think that they’re I mean, you’re, you’re helping people build a business, like? And I know that a lot of people like they step back cause they’re like, oh, I don’t want that responsibility, that’s not what I’m doing, like, but it’s, it’s part of what you do and there’s a lot of value in that. There’s so much value in that we talk about the rule of 10 in the Web Designer Academy. Can your client go on to make 10 times more than what they paid you over the life of their website? Probably many, many, many, many, many times more than that.

Josh Hall: 

A thousand, yeah, 10,000.

Shannon Mattern: 

Because you created this tool for them. That is the engine of their business, depending on what they do. And I’m just like why?

Josh Hall: 

do you not think that?

Shannon Mattern: 

that’s valuable.

Josh Hall: 

If you want a client to understand how important their website is, take it down for a day. I don’t literally do that, but but yeah, you’ll be shocked at how people realize, oh my gosh, my website’s super important. If it’s not there, yeah. Or if it’s down, yeah.

Shannon Mattern: 

The other thing that jumped out at me though I was we were chatting about this beforehand is just like the conversation between like page builders are getting so much easier for diyers to use, and I am just of the opinion that if someone’s talking to you about you building a website for them, they don’t want to do it themselves. There are people who are always going to be DIYers. They are never going to pay somebody to do something for them and that’s okay. That’s not your customer. There are people that are just never going that, no matter how valuable what you do is, they just don’t value it. That doesn’t mean everyone doesn’t value it. We have to get out of these black and white thinking cycles that, just because we got feedback from one client that had sticker shock and was like, no, I’m just going to go build it myself in Squarespace, that that means that your prices are too high and what you do isn’t valuable. Like DIYers are not your market. It’s okay. Like that. They’re there. You’re not in competition with them.

Josh Hall: 

Like they’re just they very well may become a client when they try it themselves and have terrible experiences and like I’ll screw it, okay, fine, I’ll pay you whatever.

Shannon Mattern: 

I had some of those, or they do it themselves. It’s good enough for them. It got them through the first couple of years where they were like trying to figure out their business, and they’ve had some success, and now they’re in a place where they’re ready to work with a professional Like I think that’s okay too.

Josh Hall: 

Yeah absolutely, I mean and honestly, the, the, the cure and the, the end to that is what we talked about in the very beginning here, which is to just position yourself not as a web design task taker, because then they won’t understand the value of you, versus just building their own template, but if you are a yeah, the founder of your business and you offer web design and support and growth plans and strategies to help them succeed online. Now we’re talking. Now. That’s a whole different perception of this web designer. The other thing that I think is kind of interesting is there are more. Just like there are more businesses opening up every day who are going to need web designers, there’s also more web designers, which means there are people who are nervous or insecure about the idea of there just being a lot of web designers an oversaturation. I want to ask you this because I recently talked to Katie Sandell, who you’ve had recently on your podcast, I think, too and I asked her. I want to ask you too, shannon, how many realtors have you met in your life?

Shannon Mattern: 

Oh gosh, I um probably five Ballpark?

Josh Hall: 

you know not exactly.

Shannon Mattern: 

Like in person. I mean just of all time.

Josh Hall: 

Like how many realtors have you ran across in all of your your past corporate background networking groups, events? Oh yeah, a ton I’m like thinking of that. I’ve had a personal like transactional relationship yeah, no, just like you know, yeah oh, tons, tons, tons, tons yes how many, honestly are, would you personally work with of all the realtors you’ve ever met, who would be like I would work with that person um, I can think of two off the top of my head that I’m like yeah, aaron, like he’s my guy, I’ll call him next time.

Shannon Mattern: 

And there it is Honestly one, it’s same for me. I have one banker, Patrick, like he’s my guy.

Josh Hall: 

All of those industries are exactly the same as web designers. So for anyone who’s worried about oversaturation, there are thousands of bankers, thousands of realtors, thousands of home inspectors. Same thing for me, shannon. I know one realtor who I love dearly and she is our family realtor. She helped us buy our first home. She sold that home and helped us build our new home. She’s our realtor and she was in my networking group and she is trustworthy and honest and a fighter. She’s awesome. And it is exactly the same for web designers. Yes, there are a plethora of web designers, but clients probably know one or two that they honestly trust working with. So be that person, be that web designer, and then that’s it. That’s really how I’ve escaped the fear of saturation for web designers.

Shannon Mattern: 

And I think it. I love that you said that because I think it has to do with how you are marketing yourself. If you’re, like, the way to get clients is to create content on social media and compete for eyeballs with all of the other web designers competing for eyeballs, of course you would feel like the market is saturated. And it’s when you go build personal relationships with people and you take a genuine interest in their business and what they’re doing and how you can help them and what their opportunities are, and you’re curious and you’re helpful and you get excited. They might not be ready for you right now, but when they and you maintain the relationship, you don’t just post and ghost like we do on social media. You maintain the relationship. You don’t just like post and ghost like we do on social media. You’re going to be their go-to person for themselves. Or when they meet someone and you don’t.

Shannon Mattern: 

Marketing doesn’t have to take all of this work. When you’re just like proud of what you do, confident in what you do, you’re genuinely curious about other people’s businesses and how you can help them, you become the go-to person without having to put a whole lot of thought into, like, what do I call myself when I talk to them, and you know how do I present myself. Is my portfolio right? Like all of those things great, we those things will come, but the relationship is the most important thing that you can put time into creating.

Josh Hall: 

Yeah, the foundation In the beginning you talked about. A common trait of successful web designers is an ongoing marketing effort, but I imagine that doesn’t mean marketing to new clients all the time. It’s maybe more than half is marketing to current clients, which is a whole different, fun strategy, because you don’t need to be like hi, I’m Josh and I’m a web designer. It’s like hey guys, Google’s changing. The new Google AI stuff is rolling out. Here’s what I’m learning about it and they already know, like and trust you. You have just opened up a whole new wing of services or upsells that you could do with current clients, that you could do with current clients. That’s how I view marketing, because I feel like marketing is often viewed as like cold marketing or outbound marketing, and the reality is you get a couple dozen clients. Your marketing shifts from hi, this is me and what I do, to hey guys, here’s something new. Here’s how I can help you even further. Is that kind of what you’ve seen with some of your WDA students as far as marketing goes?

Shannon Mattern: 

That’s all we teach and it’s so. It’s interesting. I say the same thing on my podcast. We have several episodes on our marketing strategy. I detail it. I lay it out in the podcast in detail. The only thing missing is the spreadsheet that you could use to track your outreach efforts.

Shannon Mattern: 

We’ve talked about it before. We’ve talked about it before, we’ve talked about it on other panels. The marketing strategy is no secret. And more and more and more, as I’m talking to other business owners who did do a lot of social media and now they’re like oh yeah, relationships, and I’m like, yeah, like it’s the, it’s the easiest way, and I’m just curious, like what holds people back from doing it? That’s where, like that’s where I come in, because I share the strategy. If you’re not doing the strategy, what do you think about yourself? What do you think about the people? What do you think about the market? Are you worried you’re going to annoy and bother people? We got to get over that stuff to have you take the action to do the thing, because it’s no secret what the strategy is.

Josh Hall: 

And it’s interesting, because it’s so much harder to land a new client. I mean, that’s like a classic business adage it’s 10 times harder to get new clients than it is to serve your current clients over and over and over again. Maybe it is that. Do you think it’s the mindset of like well, they already paid for something, I don’t want to bother them again? Is that kind of the mindset trap that you see?

Shannon Mattern: 

Yeah, or like. The thing that I see the most is like I don’t want people to think I’m just after money. Like they’ll say things like that. They’ll be like ah, I’m not, I’m worried that they can’t afford it. Like they’re, they’re still again. They’re like making it all about themselves instead of like what’s possible for this person when we work together on this and and like work together on this and and like you get to be happy, fulfilled, like have a lot of time when you’re serving your clients because you’re charging appropriately, like it’s just, it’s a win, win. But yeah, there’s a lot of mindset of like I don’t want to bother them, I don’t want them to think I’m just out for money. Um, you know.

Josh Hall: 

I don’t want to ask for anything.

Josh Hall: 

What you had just said is like you offer something new or an add on or occurring service, but you don’t ask them or pressure them to sign up. You just say, hey, this is what we’re offering If you’re ready, here’s the next step. If not, no big deal. The best thing, too, about already having a relationship with a client base, because if somebody has paid you once, they’re going to be, I would say, a hundred times more likely as long as they’re happy to pay you again for something else. So, yeah, I feel like the cure to that mindset is just there’s no pressure, it’s not an ask, it’s not a request, it’s a here, it is, here’s what we’re offering. If you would like to join, awesome. If not, no big deal. We’re here for me when you’re ready. Like sales can be so chill if we would just get out of our own way. I feel like and I am reminding myself of this daily with how I’m marketing Web Designer Pro and my courses and everything Like I’m reminding myself I don’t need to ask somebody to join my course or join Web Designer Pro. I’m going to say here’s the results. These are what people are doing. Here’s the offer. If it works for you now, awesome If not. No biggie, no pressure, and I’ve learned that. I’m sure you’ve learned this too.

Josh Hall: 

When you have a membership and there is churn, people do step out.

Josh Hall: 

What I’ve seen now, running this thing for almost well, three and a half years now, is I’m seeing a lot of people come back, which, well, three and a half years now is. I’m seeing a lot of people come back, which is really cool. And I’m reminded I’m so glad, number one, I didn’t take it personally when they left and I’m so glad that I left the door open and I’m so glad that I stayed in touch with them and I kept them on my email list and I continued to market and they’re continuing to listen to my podcast. Same thing for web designers If somebody uses you but they don’t sign up for your maintenance plan, instead of being like, well, screw you, good luck, good luck getting your site hacked, you can say no problem at all, you are responsible for this and this, but I’m here for you when you’re ready and we’ll keep you on an email list, a newsletter and, by golly, a couple years down the road they might come back and they are a super fan at that point.

Shannon Mattern: 

Yeah, and when you’re thinking of the money your clients spend with you, are you thinking of yourself as an expense or an investment, Like that’s the? That’s the thing. If you know that the work that clients hire you to do is going to come back to them and then some, why would you ever hesitate to let them know how you can help them?

Shannon Mattern: 

But if you think, that you’re taking money from them and that you’re harming them. You’re going to hold back from it because you are thinking of yourself as like an expense, like, oh, they’re paying me, but they’re not getting like anything in return. Like, don’t think of yourself that way, Like every dollar your client spends with you helps them make more money.

Josh Hall: 

So that I feel like the the the survey results that were shocking for both of us with how many people are a decade plus into their journey with taking home only 20, 30, 40,000, that’s it, right there. They’re probably just expense minded, and they’re and they’re,000, that’s it right there. They’re probably just expense minded. Uh, and they’re presenting themselves as expense minded uh, instead of using terms like investment in your online presence or website, they’re like it’s going to cost you $2,000 or $10,000. Yeah, that’s it. It’s investment or expense minded, uh, and, and a lot of it is how we put ourself out there. I know, you know, that’s a huge part of what you do with your podcast and with your, your program.

Shannon Mattern: 

So, um, I’m on a mission to help web designers not think of themselves as an expense. Yeah.

Josh Hall: 

Yesterday at one of our coaching calls and pro a member said I know Shannon Mattern says to. Or he said I’m constantly reminding myself, as Shannon Mattern says, to keep my hands out of my client’s wallet. So I don’t know if you took that from somebody or a training you heard or if you coined that yourself, but that should definitely be a tagline that is associated with you, because I’ve used that a lot and it’s so true, especially if a client has already paid you. Yeah, they may have paid you 10 grand, but you know what? I did not come up with that.

Shannon Mattern: 

I will have to credit one of my business coaches, mariah Cause, for that. When she coached me on that, when I was figuring out how I wanted to structure pricing for the Web Designer Academy and I was going through like here’s everything that we do and putting the price on it, and then I’m like I’m worried, people can’t afford it. And she’s like stay out of their wallet, stop thinking of them as uncapable or unable. They are brilliant, they’re capable and don’t make that decision for them about what they value and how they want to spend their money. Set pricing that’s profitable and sustainable for you and sell people on the value. And so I really took that to heart.

Shannon Mattern: 

It was a transformational moment for me and that’s what I remind my clients of all the time, and I think I’ve said this on the podcast before too. It’s like it’s not your job to save your clients money. Their financial situation is not your responsibility. You get to help them make more money and you know like, hold them as capable and responsible and able and put your prices out there and if they, if it’s not like, if it doesn’t work out for them, that’s okay. There are plenty of other people on on the way that are going to like vibe and align with you and your pricing and how you want to run your business.

Josh Hall: 

Do you think too many web designers come across like financial advisors?

Shannon Mattern: 

Tell me more about that. Trying to help everybody save money.

Josh Hall: 

Yeah, you know, like, it’s just the way you said that like stop trying. You said, stop trying to help your clients save money. It’s like, yeah, like we’re almost like a financial advisor. We’re like, ah, let’s save some money here and there. It’s like that’s not our role. We’re here to help them grow, to make more money, to grow to, to have a better online presence, to grow their business. Yeah, and not at our own expense. Yeah, yeah, so well said, I think that may be the perfect cap for this conversation, shannon, um, yeah, I mean, at some point, I feel like we need to have like a co-hosted podcast, because we could go for a while.

Shannon Mattern: 

I know, whenever we talk, we talked for like a half hour before we even pushed play on this. Josh, I just appreciate you letting me be here. I appreciate our conversations about, like the differences between men and women in web design. I appreciate when you are just like Shannon, there’s not that big of a difference, like you know, and you’re like I’m not, like some I don’t know like jock over here that never has any emotions or feelings about like business or anything. So I just want to say I appreciate being able to have these candid conversations with you about, um, about these things.

Josh Hall: 

So well, likewise, yeah, that that in particular, is something that’s not talked about, probably because it’ll get flagged on YouTube and because it’s a tricky subject and I’m not a girl and I’m not a guy, and there’s also.

Shannon Mattern: 

You know there’s it is. It can be like sometimes I feel a little nervous talking about it. I’m not gonna lie.

Josh Hall: 

Didn’t you say recently that Jason and I may have been on one of your podcast episodes? Uh, gave, like shed new light on the fact that, like yeah, not all guy entrepreneurs are like jock douches that are just in the profit you know I did not say that, but uh, and I don’t have. I know that was my spin.

Shannon Mattern: 

Like you know, as as humans, like it’s a, it’s a, you know, a thing our brain does. And I definitely don’t want any of the guys listening to this to think that I’m just like you’re all horrible and you, you know, like I don’t. I don’t think that at all, um, and that’s why I’m just like I get nervous talking about it, cause I’m like I don’t want people to think that I don’t like have a whole lot of respect for the men entrepreneurs out there. I absolutely do. I mean, some of the first people I followed were like Pat Flynn and you know all of those people. So, yeah, I just I’m like.

Shannon Mattern: 

I’m having a little like vulnerability hangover moment here where I’m just like did I say something?

Josh Hall: 

No, that’s good, I think.

Shannon Mattern: 

I think the and potentially the rise of like the boss lady culture probably stemmed from the like, douchebag, entrepreneur like you know, lamborghini yacht kind of movement, honestly, and then there’s just all the normal rest of us in the middle, just not in either of those camps, which is which is really cool so yeah, yeah, I’m more of like minivan.

Josh Hall: 

Yeah, I’d like to have a boat one day, but I’m like cheap.

Josh Hall: 

We don’t have that many lakes here. Yeah, jeep camper yeah, that’s where it’s at. Well, shannon, same to you. I always appreciate your insight and, um, yeah, I really love chatting with you and all of our talks. I know they’re really valuable because I get a lot of people who say, like, when’s the next time you’re talking with Shannon? So, thank you, as always, really appreciate your insight. Where would you like folks to go after this one to connect with you? I know you’re doing a lot more. You have a premium podcast that’s like a coaching podcast. Where should somebody go after this?

Shannon Mattern: 

Yeah, just webdesigneraacademycom. I have a new free course all about undercharging and over delivering. You can check that out. The Profitable Web Designer Podcast Check that out. And then we also have our premium podcast where you just get to like listen in on coaching calls of the Web Designer Academy. So you can get that at webdesigneraacademycom. Forward slash premium.

Josh Hall: 

We’ll have it all linked in the show notes. Thanks again, shannon, until next time, which I’m sure will be very soon. Thanks, josh, hope you enjoyed that one friends. Again, big thanks to Shannon for coming on to the podcast. She is an open book and it always is so transparent and holds nothing back on the way she’s feeling about things. So I really appreciate that and I appreciate her perspective. I hope you did as well.

Josh Hall: 

You can check Shannon out at the webdesignercademycom. Make sure you check out her podcast, which is the Profitable Web Designer Podcast, and we did mention quite a few links here, including the survey results that we covered, the previous episode and even the panel that I was on. So go get the links to all those at the show notes for this episode which is going to be at joshhallco slash three to nine. There’s also a full transcription there and some other goodies for you as well. So I will see you over at joshhallco slash three to nine.

Josh Hall: 

If you did enjoy this episode or if you have some shots, some thoughts to share, leave a comment. I read all those and when comments do come in for the podcast, I relay those to the guest as much as I can. So I will let Shannon know to maybe bookmark this episode show notes and be vigilant, because I’m sure I can guarantee Shannon will respond to you if you leave a comment. So do that. Josh, how’d I go? Slash 329. I will see you guys on the next episode. A lot of great ones coming up, friends, so we’ve got some fun stuff in store. Have a great one.

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