Ep. 248: July 2019 Income Report

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Welcome to my July 2019 Income Report! Every month I publish an income report to take you behind the scenes of my online business and reveal exactly how much money I make, how much I spend and lessons learned along the way!

View all of my income reports here!

Important things that happened in July

  • I set a goal to complete all course content creation for the rest of 2019.
  • I launched the all-new 2019 Free 5 Day Website Challenge
  • I created a companion workbook for my Free 5 Day Website Challenge.
  • I booked two new clients

Review of my goals

My target revenue goal is $15,000 a month.

My minimum baseline is to make around $2500 to cover my normal monthly expenses, I set aside $2500 a month for taxes, I pay myself $5,000 a month and I want to build up a reserve so that I can invest in my team, give myself a raise, have a cushion to cover the ebbs and flows of revenue and eventually cover my husband’s salary.

So my minimum baseline is $10,000 a month, and as I mentioned in my income report last month, I want to hit that first $15,000 month by March of 2020.

What I focused on in July

So I pretty much cleared my schedule of as many meetings as possible in July so that I could give my undivided attention to creating content.

And I had a massive amount of content to create.

I recorded nearly 100 modules inside the Free 5 Day Website Challenge with tutorials for two hosting companies, two email service providers and three different themes – plus an entirely new dashboard and design.

I wrote a 300-page companion workbook with step by step instructions that’s available for purchase inside the Free 5 Day Website Challenge that my students had been asking me to create FOR YEARS.

I recorded the final 6 marketing experiments for my Website Marketing Lab students, and held a live pricing workshop for my Web Designer Academy students because I needed to update that module.

I pretty much put the brakes on any meetings except for pre-scheduled client meetings, podcast interviews and web design consultations.

And by the 2nd week in July I’d launched my new free 5 Day Website Challenge, and by the 3rd week in July I released the workbook, and the 4th week I spent tying up loose ends on both of those and recording those Website Marketing Lab experiments.

Total Revenue: $12,291.81

  • Affiliate Income: $1,636.70
  • Courses: $5156.11
  • Done For You & Consulting: $5499

Total Expenses: $2850.68

Net Profit: $9441.13

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

Biggest Lessons Learned

Last month, I said my biggest lesson learned was to keep doing what I’m doing.

This month, my biggest lesson learned is that when you listen to what people want and create what they ask for and not what you think they want, that it pays off.

The 5 Day Challenge Workbook generated over $2000 in revenue over a weekend. That’s a huge win. And totally worth the hours I put into it.

The other lesson I learned is that it’s okay to clear my schedule to work on my own stuff, and that I’m way more productive and efficient when I batch it all together like that.

But the final thing I realized is that I’m actually done creating content for awhile. When I first started my business and creating the Free 5 Day Website Challenge, I launched immediately into creating a marketing course called WPOMG (Operation Marketing Genius – because I was trying to play off the BFF theme and be clever) but no one asked for it, and no one bought it. Then I changed it to the BFF Academy and added a few more courses, and I had some sales, but not many and again, it’s because I made what I thought people needed next, not what they wanted. Then I turned that into the Serious Side Hustlers membership, because I was in transition from side hustle to self employed and added a few more modules, and then I finally did a survey and found out that most of my audience didn’t think it was for them and had no idea it was about marketing. I also launched a course called “Websites That Make Money” which teaches people how to monetize from day 1, but there was still something missing because again, I created what I THOUGHT people needed next, not what they had asked for.

So last year I did some surveys, and I discovered that what people want to learn is how to market themselves and be found online.

And that’s exactly what every single one of my other attempts taught, but I never presented it that way.

And that’s how the Website Marketing Lab was born. And THIS TIME, I actually pre-sold it and went through an entire validation process to make sure it had what people wanted to learn, and made it a step-by-step, super actionable course that wasn’t just learning a bunch of stuff and then being left on your own to figure out how to implement.

And it’s doing massively well. Students are getting amazing results.

And for all that time, I was in constant course creation mode. And you know what I wasn’t doing?

Marketing.

I talk to my Website Marketing Lab students about going from Research and Planning Mode to Create Mode to Do Mode.

Research and planning is when you’re taking all the free trainings and webinars you can get your hands on, and maybe you even buy courses and actually get into them and watch the trainings.

It seems like you’re doing a lot, but you’re not getting any results from it because you’re just stuck there. You never move to doing the work or making the thing.

Some people move on to making the thing, but that’s where they stop. They build the website, they write all the blog posts, they set up their freebie. But they never “Launch”. They think they have to have all their ducks in a row and then they’ll plan this big “launch” but they have no audience to launch to so they get stuck in confusion and overwhelm and in create mode.

Or if you’re like me, you create, create, create but you never do the work to find out if what you’re creating is anywhere close to what you should be creating. You want to skip ahead to the end where the money tree grows so you can feel the relief of everything being okay.

That money tree doesn’t exist, by the way.

You gotta just move from Create Mode to Do Mode.

Stop working on the website, stop working on the blog posts, stop building the course that no one has asked for because you don’t have an audience yet, and start doing the work to build your audience.

And Do Mode is really uncomfortable. Because now you have to put yourself out there. You have to share what you’ve created.

You have to talk to other people.

You worry they might say things like “Who do you think you are to teach me how to build a website? Show me your computer science degree and your extensive portfolio of uber-professional websites for millionaire business owners and MAYBE then I’ll take your free training.”

But here’s the secret I’ve learned. Do Mode is where we learn the most. Do Mode is where we learn what we’re made of. It’s where we get to connect with the people we want to serve and find out how we can REALLY help them. It’s where we find out that our worst fears about ourselves either aren’t true, or that if it happens we can handle it. It’s where we stop using the excuse that we don’t have enough time or we’re overwhelmed and we just get to work. And it’s where we feel the fear and do it anyway. And Do Mode is where we get actually feedback from people who are actual potential customers and we can go back into Create Mode armed with real data about what our ideal client needs instead of creating from a place of fear and insecurity and doubt.

I finally was in a Create Mode driven by data instead of “that last thing sucked, maybe this will work”.

And now it’s time for me to get back into Do Mode and put it all out there.

I’m Shannon, I can teach you to build a kickass website and I can show you how to market it too so that you can have whatever it is that you want out of life too.

So if you’ve been stuck in research and planning mode for too long, it’s time to get to work and start creating.

If you’ve been stuck in create mode, it’s time to give yourself a deadline to move into Do Mode.

And if you want someone to hold your hand through all 3 phases, well, I’m your girl.

Sign up for my free mini-course, “Jumpstart Your Website Traffic” at www.shannonmattern.com/jumpstart

So that’s it for my July income report. I’m getting reading to shift into full DO MODE for the rest of the year, so you’ll be seeing a lot of me!

And if you or someone you know needs a website for your side hustle but you have no idea how to get started, then sign up for the free 5 Day Website Challenge where I walk you through the whole process step by step. You can sign up at www.free5daywebsitechallenge.com