let me guess... you're here because...
...you have big goals. You want to be your own boss. You want freedom. Flexibility. Financial independence.
And you want to leave behind your day job (without taking a pay cut).
You know that you need a website, and you know you need to learn how to market yourself online, but…
- You don't know what you don't know.
- You're worried you might make the wrong choices.
- You think you're not techie.
here's how I can help
Learn how to build a website.
Sign up for the Free 5 Day Website Challenge and get lifetime access to this free, on-demand DIY web design training. You'll learn:
- How to build your site the right way so that you can strategically connect with your ideal client online.
- How much everything costs to DIY (it's way less than you think!)
- How to set up your website address + a business email address.
- How to make sure your site is backed up + secure so that you don't have to worry about crashing or hackers.
- How to create a logo + choose fonts and colors.
- How to design pages and add a blog to your site.
- How to put an email opt-in form on your site + give away a freebie so that you can build an email list.
- How to make sure your site complies with local + international laws.
- How to go live + let Google know you exist.
- And much, much more.
Learn how to get found online.
Sign up for How To Market Yourself Online and I'll send you straight to a video that breaks down how to get started marketing without ads, algorithms or already having an audience.
By the end of the training, you'll stop feeling overwhelmed, clueless and like you’re constantly bragging about yourself and start spending time on things that will actually get you website traffic (and customers).
- The “secret” 5 step formula for getting website visitors and turning them into customers.
- 5 marketing myths keeping you busy, stuck and broke.
- The only 4 things you need to market yourself online.
- 5 common marketing mistakes (and what to do instead).
- How you can get started authentically marketing yourself right away!
Get success stories, strategies + actionable advice to help you grow.
Subscribe to my podcast, Pep Talks for Side Hustlers and hear exactly how successful entrepreneurs making 5, 6 and 7 figures built their businesses and quit their day jobs.
You'll find out:
- How they market themselves and get clients.
- Mistakes they made along the way and what they'd do differently.
- What their transition from side-hustle to self-employed was like.
- Their best advice for you if you're struggling to grow your side hustle.
- The beliefs about themselves that they had to change to get where they are today.
Need to hire a web designer?
I no longer accept 1:1 projects, but I just might know the perfect person for you!
I've put together a directory of web designers + developers who:
- Get online marketing.
- Geek out on building websites.
- Guide you throughout the entire web design process.
But what they are most passionate about is your success.
Find vetted web designers and developers you can trust ready to help you with your full web design, development & branding projects, mini-projects, online shops, content strategy, website updates, maintenance, support and more!
and if you're a web designer:
Create a profitable, sustainable, scalable web design business.
Apply to get access to our private training all about how to make a full-time income as a web designer.
If you love web design and are considering starting a freelance web design business…
If you've been freelancing for awhile and have trouble getting consistent clients…
If you've been overworking and undercharging and are on the road to burnout…
Hello!!! We would love to work with you to create a profitable, sustainable, scalable web design business that gives you freedom, flexibility and financial independence.
Apply to work with us today and we'll send you an exclusive recording of a private training available just to accepted applicants.
I'm gonna let you in on a little secret.
The people that reach their big goals, run profitable business and quit their day jobs take imperfect action. They start BEFORE they're ready.
It doesn't matter what web hosting you choose. It doesn't matter what theme you choose. It doesn't matter what email service provider you choose. What matters is that you choose. The only way to do it wrong is to not do it at all.
And then you get to work, build a strategic website designed to help you build trust with your ideal client. And then you STOP working on your website and START marketing yourself online.
places you can hear my story...
Mondays and Mornings are Mine
Ohio IT Director Earns $31,000 Setting Up WordPress Sites
From Side Hustle to Self-Employed: How I Turned My Online Business into a Full Time Income
Selling an Online Course through an Evergreen 5-Day Challenge with Shannon Mattern
How She Built Up Her Biz Enough to Quit Her Job
How to Start Your Side Hustle
Membership Sites That Scale: From Side Hustle to Full Time Business
Ditching Client Work and Going All-In on Courses with Shannon Mattern
Shannon Mattern on Lessons on Entrepreneurship
From Scaling a Design Business to Offering Only Group Programs – without ANY Mass Marketing
Inseparable Nature of Business Growth & Personal Growth
Your Ultimate Side Hustler Pep Talk
Building Websites and Marketing Yourself on a Tight Budget
How I Started A $10K/Month Business Selling DIY Web Design And Marketing Courses
Transitioning from 1:1 Services to Products
5 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Blog
From the Marketing Dept to Pep Talks for Side Hustlers
Pep Talks for Side Hustlers Shannon Mattern Talks Podcasting and Websites
Running a Business as a Side Hustle
How to Get a Higher Paying Job Without Going Back to College
here's why I give all this training away...
One day back in 2014, I was sitting in my beige, windowless office under fluorescent lights for the 2555th day in a row, finishing up a financial report that I dreaded doing every month, when I overhear this conversation outside my office door:
“Have you ever had 7-UP salad? It's got lemon Jell-O, lime Jell-O, marshmallows…”
And I literally started to have a panic attack.
“OMG, I cannot DO this for the rest of my life!!! I'm 35 years old! Is this really all there is? Is this why I got good grades and went to college and got a good corporate job??? So I could waste away in this dungeon doing a job that slowly kills my soul?”
I felt trapped. I wanted freedom. I wanted flexibility. I wanted financial independence.
But most of all, I wanted to have a bigger impact. To do something that mattered. Because each day that passed, I felt more and more panicked that I was wasting my life. Going to college, getting a job, making money for someone else and having finite earning potential – all of that’s great if what you are doing excites you. If it’s your passion. If you feel like you’re really making an impact in the world.
But what if it doesn’t? What if you realize that you're made for more?
And I felt so guilty about not being happy. Because I had a good job, made great money and I felt like I should just be satisfied with what I had because so many others aren’t as fortunate. But I just couldn't shake the feeling that I was meant to do something more. And the one thing I loved about my job was marketing + web design.
So I decided to start a freelance web design business on the side.
No one was calling it a side hustle back then! Anyway, I started building websites for small businesses and entrepreneurs while still working full time. My goal was to make enough money to replace my day job income so that I could be my own boss. And so I spent every single evening after work and all day on the weekends working on client websites.
And I quickly burnt myself out.
I wasn't charging enough (thanks, imposter syndrome). I didn't have good processes or boundaries in place. I calculated that I was making about $4 an hour from my side hustle, 75 cents less than I'd made at my very first job in high school.
“This isn't worth it…” I thought. “I'm going to wrap up these projects and just forget about owning my own business.“
And I truly almost gave up.
But if you know me… you know that when I get my mind on something, I'll make it happen. I won't take no for an answer, even from myself.
So I was listening to Chalene Johnson's Build Your Tribe podcast one day where this random guy was talking about how he earns money by showing people how to set up web hosting… but they didn't pay him to show them how to do it, the web hosting company paid him when people purchased the web hosting he recommended and showed them how to set up.
That guy is Pat Flynn of the Smart Passive Income Podcast, by the way…
It was one of those record-scratch moments.
“Wait, so instead of building websites for people, I can teach them for free how to do it themselves, and when they buy the things they'll have to buy anyway to build their site, I'll make money from those companies?!?! No wonder there are so many “how to build a website” tutorials out there! I can make a waaaay better tutorial, and give it away for free and still make money!“
And so I immediately got to work and recorded the tutorials that would become the very first Free 5 Day Website Challenge.
But these weren't gonna be anything like the other WordPress tutorials out there. I'd taught myself WordPress over the previous 10 years in my marketing and IT roles at my day job. Back then there were two ways to learn:
- Trial and error
- WordPress forums full of dudes who were more interested in proving how much smarter they were than everyone else than actually helping people.
I'd make the mistake from time to time of asking a question in a WordPress forum… the responses I'd get were always along the lines of:
“If you have to even ask that question you have no business building a website.”
Duly noted, bro. I'll figure it out myself.
When I think back on it now, no wonder I had such doubts about my abilities. I probably internalized that stuff more than I realized, and I didn't want to be called dumb for asking questions so I figured it all out on my own – with great success! My crowning achievement was building a continuing education website that brought in over $10K a month in revenue for my organization – so I wasn't totally worthless when came to building websites…
So when I decided I'd teach people how to DIY with WordPress instead of doing it for them, I put in place some core values that had my past-self in mind:
- There will be a safe space for people who are not techie to learn so that they aren't eviscerated online when they ask questions.
- No jargon, no trying to explain how it all works behind the scenes. No one cares. They're not trying to be a web developer, they're just trying to get their website up so they can move on to getting clients and making money.
- There are NO stupid questions.
- There are several key things that online business owners need to have set up on their website to be successful beyond just the design. Teach them how to do it all in one place. Don't make them figure it all out themselves.
- When someone asks a question, answer it with the exact steps they need to take to do what they're trying to do. Don't just tell them what to do, tell them how to do it too because chances are they won't know how to do it.
Three years and lots of mistakes later, I was FINALLY earning enough money from affiliate commissions, courses + 1:1 client work to replace my 6-figure day job salary.
I quit my day job on January 2, 2018 and I now teach entrepreneurs how to DIY their websites and market themselves online full time. And while I no longer work with 1:1 web design clients, I teach web designers how to market themselves online, get clients and complete projects (without losing their minds!)
If I can do it, anyone can do it.
I want to empower and show you that you CAN understand it, that you CAN do it, and that if you commit to taking the action, you can make a huge change in your life.
It is totally possible to turn your side hustle into your full time job. I know because I've done it, and it's changed my life. It takes a major commitment, massive action and willingness to try things that don't work, and make mistakes and keep iterating. It's not gonna happen as fast as you want it to.
There are enough obstacles to overcome, and the one thing that I don't ever want to stand in your way is the tech.
Imagine going to bed on Sunday night and not dreading Monday morning. (It's an amazing feeling, by the way…)
Imagine being able to wear whatever you want every day and not have someone telling you where to be every second of the day.
Imagine being so excited to open up your laptop, jump online (from anywhere that has internet) and help people transform their lives that work doesn’t even feel like work anymore.
If you want to create a life where you can design your own schedule, help others achieve their goals and experience the financial freedom that comes with not being just another employee ID on the payroll sheet, then you’re in the right place.