august income

Ep. 356: August 2021 Income Report

Welcome to my August 2021 Income Report! 

Each month I publish an income report to take you behind the scenes of my online business and reveal how much money the business makes each month, how we make it, how much we spend, and all the lessons I learn along the way.

If you’re new to the show and to online business and this is one of the first episodes you’re listening to… I’d LOVE to invite you to go to shannonmattern.com/podcast and click on the Income Reports category and go back to those early income reports to see what the journey has been like for me over the past few years and how I got to where I am today. 

So back in my July Income Report, Episode 353, I shared with you my experience of closing down my Website Marketing Lab program, completely overhauling it and making my debut offer of a totally new program called Subscriber to Sale Blueprint, and how we successfully got that entire project done in 30 days without overworking and burnout. 

And at the end of Episode 353, I told you that I’d break down the results of that offer in my August Income Report because it might not be what you’d expect…

So let’s change things up a little bit for this episode and I’ll share all my numbers with you first, and then I’ll share with you the results of the debut offer of Subscriber to Sale Blueprint and all the lessons I learned along the way.

August 2021 Numbers

One of the things I’m super passionate about is helping you create a consistent, full-time income in your business. That’s why I’ve been completely transparent about all of my numbers since I started writing these income reports back in January of 2018. 

It’s not to be like “Oooh, look at me, look at how much money I make…” It’s to show you that it IS possible and that it might not look like what you see everyone else talking about online – you know, five and six-figure launches and funnels that make money on autopilot while you sleep and crap like that.

I want you to figure out exactly how money your business needs to make to pay you a consistent, full-time income, whatever that means to you, and if you haven’t listened to last week’s Episode 355, be sure to put that one on your list because it walks you through how to figure out what I call your minimum baseline revenue – which is how much your business needs to make every month to pay yourself, pay business expenses and taxes.

My first minimum baseline to quit my day job back in 2018 and I was flying solo was $10,000 a month – $5,000 to replace my day job paycheck, $2500 for expenses, and $2500 for taxes.

Now, as I’ve made the transition from solopreneur to CEO and I’m leading a team, our minimum baseline to pay our expenses, the team, me, and our taxes are around $30,000. 

 

With that frame of reference, here’s how much money we made and spent in August 2021:

Total Revenue: $31,761.09

  • Affiliate Income: $4881.18
  • Site-in-a-Snap Templates + Trainings: $1572.91  (that’s my portion of the total sales after paying out my partners but BEFORE paying out my affiliates)
  • Web Designer Academy: $24,000.00
  • Subscriber to Sale Blueprint: $1208.00 (we’ll talk more about this number in depth later…)
  • Side Hustle to Self Employed Summit: $99.00

Total Investments: $22,233.30

  • Tools I use to run my business: $2707.75
  • Training, Coaching + Mentorship: $522.00
  • CEO Salary (that’s me!) $8831.04
  • (includes payroll taxes – $7,000 is my monthly take-home pay, and then I pay quarterly income taxes on the quarterly business profit)
  • Team: $9447.00
  • Affiliate Payouts: $725.51
  • Facebook Ads for WDA: $0
  • Travel: $8.00

Net Profit: $9527.79

Get the full breakdown of income, expenses, and net profit month by month here.

August felt like a slow month revenue-wise, and the numbers reflect that. My affiliate income and Site-in-a-Snap and Tech Masterclass bundle sales were about half of what they were in July, but my expenses were also much lower too, and our net profit was actually more in August than it was in July even though we made less money in August!

Lessons Learned

Okay, so let’s talk about the elephant in the room… Subscriber to Sale Blueprint.

You can go back and listen to Episodes 348 and 353 to get the whole backstory about why I decided to close my Website Marketing Lab, a self-paced online course that taught solopreneurs how to market their business online without ads, algorithms, or being on social media 24/7, and how I replaced it with Subscriber to Sale Blueprint, a 12-month high-touch group coaching program to teach how to create a proven offer that converts and how to market and sell it online without ads, algorithms and being on social media 24/7. 

I wanted to take the framework I created for the web designers inside my Web Designer Academy who were having massive success with it and use it to help all the other types of business owners I already serve through the Free 5 Day Website Challenge to actually create a full-time income from their online business… and not just teach them how build a website and leave it at that, right?

Long story short, I’d been wanted to redo the program for a long time not because the tactics I was teaching were out of date, but because the mindset I had when I was teaching those tactics was out of date, and I knew there was so much more I could offer and I could help people get way better results with my new knowledge and mindset. 

And also the way I’d structured and priced that program by giving people lifetime access to a coaching call with me with a one-time payment or a one-year payment plan was proving to be unsustainable.

I’d been putting off redoing the program for a long time because of how much work I knew it would be, and I was still living in the world of being a lone wolf and doing everything myself. 

But then I went through a leadership training program that changed everything, and I decided that not only were we going to redo this program, but we’d also make it happen in 30 days, and I wouldn’t overwork myself or burn myself out in the process.

So I document all of that in Episodes 348 and 353 if you wanna go listen to get the full backstory… 

This leads me to what we’re going to cover in this episode of Pep Talks for Side Hustlers… the debut offer of Subscriber to Sale Blueprint and all the lessons learned along the way.

I decided to host a live webinar to make the debut offer for this program called “Create Your 12-Month Marketing Roadmap,” which broke down what a 12-month marketing plan for an online business looks like using the strategies we teach inside of Subscriber to Sale Blueprint, and then at the end, I shared all of the details about the program and how we help our students create, price, market and sell proven offers that convert so that they can create a full-time income from their online business.

I hosted the Create Your 12-Month Marketing Roadmap” webinar on July 29, 2021, and gave people 6 days after the live event to watch the replay and join the program. So  here’s a breakdown of the stats:

 

# Invited to the Webinar 6094
#Registered for Webinar 377 (6%)
#Attended Live 76 (20%)
#Opened a Sales Email + Clicked onto Sales Page 197 (52%)
#of Sales 1 – COACHING

0 – COMMUNITY

0 – Self Study

Conversion % 0.5%

 

And to be 1000% honest… these are NOT the results I was hoping for.

Not even close.

I was super disappointed.

It’s like I’m two different people inside!

On one hand, I’m the COACH who can look at these stats and the whole process very objectively and coach myself and say:

Shannon. You’re still in the validation phase. You made this offer for the very first time. You decided to take the calculated risk of creating the program before you validated it, and that’s totally fine (look how amazing that experience was for you) AND just because you made this offer one time doesn’t mean it’s over. You still have the whole next part of making your debut offer to go through, which is finding out why those 197 people that looked at your sales page and chose not to buy made the decisions that they made. It’s what you’ve done with your other programs, it’s what you teach your students, and THAT’S how you make decisions – you make them based on data, not on emotion, and you see the process all the way through to the end and THEN you decide whether you’re gonna just shut this thing down for good or if you’re gonna continue marketing it and making the offer.

On the other hand, I’m that impatient entrepreneur who still secretly hopes for a huge windfall launch!

Even though I’ve been through this before, even though I know better, I got hooked back into looking at this debut offer as a LAUNCH with a capital L  instead of what I call a “Quick + Dirty Validation.”

I didn’t even need a windfall of money, but I was secretly hoping for one. I’d had successful debut offers before, and I got arrogant thinking that I’d cracked the code on it – which in hindsight feels so bizarre because I don’t even teach that in my programs. I teach that you go through this validation process with every single offer regardless if your last one worked or not!

I was honestly so disappointed in the results and my lizard brain was going, “See? See!! You knew this couldn’t last forever. You knew this whole online business thing was too good to be true. Here it is, the other shoe dropping!

But here’s what’s even more messed up:

The whole time I was going through this process of updating the curriculum and having a blast working with my team to put this whole thing together…

I was secretly hoping that no one would enroll.

Yep, you heard that right. 

I was secretly hoping that no one would enroll.

Deep, deep down, I was thinking, “If I go through all of this and then no one buys, then it will prove once and for all that people don’t want to learn marketing + sales strategy from me… and fewer people will need me and rely on me and I’ll get to keep all this new time and freedom I’ve finally created.

So there are a few things I got to unpack with my coaches about this whole launch experience, because you guys, I totally created that result of just one person enrolling during the launch period. I am 100% responsible for it.

Sure, I could blame it on the time of year. Or I could say “August is a slow month, people are wrapping up summer and getting ready for back-to-school, they’re not ready to invest time and money into a program right now…”

I could blame it on the price. Or blame it on the sales page or the copy. Heck, I could even blame it on being a validation, and justify the results by saying “You know, that 0.5% conversion is actually right in line with what you’d expect from the number of people who registered for the webinar…”

But the truth is… I created the result I created for a few reasons:

First of all, I wasn’t ready to handle more students than I was currently supporting. I was ALL IN on the process of redoing the course and enrolling my team to help me, and all in on making the money that would come from selling the program, but at the end of the day, I personally wasn’t ready to provide the level of support to my students that I was offering. 

Bottom line: It didn’t feel SAFE for me to take on more clients.

I had started to experience the freedom of having the right team members in place in my business, I’ve been needing to hire someone to support me with the Web Designer Academy program for months and have just been putting it off and putting it off… so to bring on more students at that level when I’m the only one on the team to support them felt like going backward instead of forward.

We actually had a really fascinating conversation on one of our Web Designer Academy Live Strategy Calls about this exact same topic where I shared with them this exact thing that I’m sharing with you because one of our students was feeling super maxed out and overwhelmed in her personal life AND she was hustling super hard to market her business but it wasn’t resulting in clients… and we were talking about how we do little subtle, sneaky things to self-sabotage our results when it doesn’t feel safe deep down to get those results even when our logical brain really wants them.

So I’d think things like, “You know, I’m totally fine if no one enrolls. I’m so happy with how I ran this project, if at the end of the day no one buys, it’s okay. I feel like I’ve made huge strides just asking for help to get the project done.

And that feels like a feel-good thought, right? No harm in thinking something like that, right?

But honestly, is that really why I’m in business?

Just to create a full-time income and freedom for myself?

That’s another big shift I’ve been making this year that I’ve talked about in other income reports – that my vision isn’t just about creating financial freedom and security for myself anymore… and I lost sight of that vision with this whole “get this project done in 30 days with joy and without burnout” goal.

I’d made it all about me and my vision for myself and my team and my results, and not about my students and my vision for them and the results that I can help them create for themselves and their clients.

It’s a sneaky little slide out of generosity and abundance mode and back into self-protection and scarcity mode, and it’s no wonder I created the results I created.

And yes, it’s also the first time I made this offer, and yes, it’s the first time people are seeing it, the first time they are being asked to make a decision, and their timeline isn’t always my timeline, and I hadn’t even completed my validation process and I KNOW that… but if there’s all this other mind-trash (as one of my fave podcast guests Jasmin Haley calls it) rolling around up there, I still get to shine a light on it and clean it up before I move forward so that I can create the result that I really want to create – which is to help as many people as possible be their own boss and be in control of their time and their life AND create a consistent, full-time income while doing something they love to do that has a positive impact on others.

And here’s the other thing…

If I really, REALLY was okay with no one enrolling and not offering this program anymore, why would I have gone through all the trouble and expense to retool it and relaunch it?

Why wouldn’t I have made the bold, unapologetic decision to shut down the Website Marketing Lab altogether and deal with whatever disappointment may come from my students.

Did part of me just need to go through a dog and pony show to prove to myself that it’s not MY decision to shut it down, the people don’t want it, so NOW it’s okay to close the program and move on?

Maybe.

Or maybe I truly believe that Subscriber to Sale Blueprint can change lives, just like the Web Designer Academy has, and the 5 Day Website Challenge has, and to shut it down would be abandoning all the non-web designers who also want to create a full-time income with their products, programs, and services.

And maybe it’s the next level in my growth, in my transition from solopreneur to CEO to do the thing, to go through the process, to not have it be a home run, to look at the results, identify how I’m 100% responsible for them and address that thing, and then keep moving forward.

So without even finding out why people didn’t buy, I know that I was holding myself back because I need to hire someone to help me support the students inside both of my programs so that it wouldn’t be all on me – which is not just good for me, it’s what’s best for my students too. I’ve been putting off that level of my growth for months too, so I get to do that in September and I’ll tell you all about that process in future income reports.

And I gotta tell you, having that budgeting tool, YNAB, set up is making that decision so much easier!

The other thing I did was follow the exact process I teach inside of Subscriber to Sale Blueprint is to pick the brains of people who were considering enrolling but didn’t to find out what was confusing about my offer, why they chose not to buy, whether or not they were even a good fit for the program and so on and use that data to make a decision about what changes needed to be made to the program or offer in the future to turn that no into a yes.

What I found was that 88.5% of people who saw the offer for the program said YES, they would definitely enroll in the future, that they saw the value of the program, they believed it could help them reach their goals and they also gave me tons of insight into their mindsight on why they are holding themselves back from getting help – which will help me tweak my webinar, my sales copy and my offer to speak directly to those YES, BUT… people and help them trust themselves more.

Because the coach in me knows that it’s not over when the offer expires, that the first time you offer something is an experiment so that you can gather data, make changes and make the offer again, but I’m also human and I’m just like you and I get impatient and I want instant results and I get disappointed when I don’t feel validated by my results.

AND I know how to shift out of that version of me and back into the version of me that’s grounded in data, and grounded in my vision.

I did have a few more people enroll during the month of August once I made the replay of the training available to anyone on evergreen – meaning people can sign up to watch the replay any time, and once they sign up they have like 5 days to decide to join us or their invitation expires.

Then I went on vacation for the first time in two years, and after marinating on all the ways this first offer worked well and broke down and the feedback I got from the people who didn’t buy and looking at the characteristics of who did buy and doing some soul searching about my vision and getting some advice from my coaches, I decided to redefine how I wanted to market and position this program in the future, and so I’m gonna test that out also, and this time it’s gonna come from me truly believing in what’s possible for YOU, rather than me wanting to create something for me.

I know that sounds woo-woo, but it really does make a difference. Every time in this business I’ve shifted my focus away from people and into numbers, my results show it. Seriously, every single time. Now I just notice and course-correct faster 🙂

I guess I just want you to know that even at this stage of my business where we’re making multiple six figures and we’re on track for half a million this year, there are always challenges and always opportunities for growth, and I’m gonna keep sharing those with you on this podcast as I move through this journey with you.

So that’s it for my August Income Report.

I hope you heard something in here that was helpful to you, and if you did I’d LOVE to hear about it – you can head over to my Instagram @shannonlmattern and leave your biggest takeaway on this episode or you can go to shannonmattern.com/353 and leave a comment on the show notes.

And if you haven’t already, I’d love for you to go to shannonmattern.com/review and leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. It helps our show get found by people who need to hear our weekly pep talks for side hustlers!

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Hi, I'm Shannon!

If you want to learn how to build a website (or a web design business), market yourself online and get traffic + customers so that you can go from side hustle to self-employed, you’re in the right place!

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