july income report

Ep. 353: July 2021 Income Report

Welcome to my July 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 lessons learned 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 like always, before we dive into the numbers, I’ll share with you the important things that happened in July, then I’ll break down exactly how much money the business makes, how we make it, how much we spend to make it, how much I pay myself, and all the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

So let’s dive in!

Here are all of the important things that happened in July:

And this month, we’re gonna do something a little different because there’s really only one important thing that happened in July!

Back in Episode 348 – my June Income Report, I shared with you how I decided to close down my Website Marketing Lab program, update it and launch a new program called Subscriber to Sale Blueprint within 30 days – without burnout, without stress, without working evenings and weekends, and without doing it all myself.

So this month I’m gonna take you behind the scenes of the launch of my Subscriber to Sale Blueprint program and break down exactly how it went down.

It was my intention to run my business completely differently than I have in the past – with joy rather than with overwhelm. With help rather than doing it all on my own. With all the focus on taking action on what’s in front of us, and not on how much there is to do, and without me getting hooked back into overworking and doing everything myself before my team even has a chance to do it.

So, before we go any further, I wanna talk for a second about the word LAUNCH and what I mean when I say it vs. what the rest of the internet means when you hear people talking about LAUNCHES or LAUNCHING.

Back in the day one of the first books I read, when I was trying to figure out how to actually make money in my business, was Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula.

It’s the model I was seeing everyone I was following online do – they’d make some sort of “quick win” freebie, spend a crazy of money running Facebook ads for the freebie to build a huge email list, and then do some version of inviting that list to 3 days of pre-recorded video trainings with the 4th day being a pitch for their program. Or inviting the list to a challenge or a webinar where at the end there’s a pitch for their program.

And the idea is that you spend months leading up to this one big launch running ads to build a huge email list, and then you make this one big debut offer and IF it's successful, you’ll make all the money you spent on ads back and also make a profit.

And that’s why you see people say they had these five, six, and even seven-figure launches… but you don’t hear them say “And thank god it worked out because I was able to pay off that ginormous credit card bill that I used to pay for all those Facebook Ads and hopefully there’s some leftover for me…

And you certainly don’t hear from the people that say “Yeah, that totally didn’t work out for me at all and now I’m in debt up to my eyeballs from this failed launch.

If you want to learn more about the pitfalls of running your business that way, go listen to Episode 303 with Ines Ruiz about the truth behind running a million-dollar business.

I mean, I’m sure it works out for people, but those people have a totally different money mindset than I do right now, and that’s okay. Go on with your bad self! 

But if you’re listening to me on this podcast, I’m guessing it's because you want to do things differently.

I mean, think about the word “LAUNCH” itself… We have this image in our mind of a rocket blasting off into space super-fast right? But if you think of what it really takes to get a rocket into space, it’s literally years of research, testing, coordinating the effort, mind-blowing amounts of money all put into one rocket that, come launch day,  literally could just blow up on the launchpad!

That’s now how I run my business, and that’s not how I want you to run your business. To me, the rewards aren’t worth the risks. I’d rather create consistent, steady revenue and grow in stages than work all year to hope to make a windfall once or twice a year!

When I say the word LAUNCH throughout this podcast episode, I simply mean that I’m making this specific offer for this new program to my email list for the first time. 

Because in order for that whole big launch model to make sense, you need a PROVEN OFFER THAT YOU KNOW CONVERTS!

Website Marketing Lab was a proven offer that converted. Subscriber to Sale Blueprint is a new offer that I didn’t know if or how it would convert.

So I decided to take a calculated risk, and do something that I actually recommend against for my students, and create the Subscriber to Sale Blueprint program BEFORE selling it.

And I made that decision for a few reasons:

  1. I wanted to shift my current Website Marketing Lab students into the new program.
  2. The proven curriculum already existed, it just needed to be updated and a few new modules needed to be added.
  3. I’d been spending so much time dreading the mechanics of the project that I just wanted to get it DONE, and it was worth it to me to take the risk of the offer not validating to be able to close the door on the Website Marketing Lab program.
  4. I wanted to see if it was possible for me to run my business in this new way, with me showing up as a leader, delegating, asking for help, encouraging the team, and not working nights and weekends to make it happen!

And I’m really, really proud to say that we did it!

Not only did we go from decision to launch in 30 days, but we also did it without stress, overworking or overwhelm, and without letting everything else we do in the business each month fall apart!

In this month’s income report I’m gonna break down for you the exact steps we took to launch our new program in just 30 days, and then in my August income report, I’ll share with you all of the results of the launch.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let’s talk about what you’re all here for… my numbers for July!

July 2021 Numbers

One of the things I’m super passionate about is helping you create a consistent, full-time income in your business. Not that feast + famine, launch-once-or-twice-a-year-and-hope-for-a-windfall model. 

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 I’ll have a whole podcast episode coming up in just a couple of weeks in Episode 355 that’s gonna walk 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 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 July 2021:

Total Revenue: $42,952.45

  • Affiliate Income: $8492.88
  • Site-in-a-Snap Templates + Trainings: $2982.57  (that’s my portion of the total sales after paying out my partners but BEFORE paying out my affiliates)
  • Web Designer Academy: $24,697.00
  • Website Marketing Lab: $4783.00
  • Subscriber to Sale Blueprint: $1997.00

Total Investments: $33,795.45

  • Tools I use to run my business: $2250.04
  • Training, Coaching + Mentorship: $607.09
  • 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: $10,903.50
  • Affiliate Payouts: $8862.78
  • Facebook Ads for WDA: $0
  • Travel: $16.00
  • Copywriting: $1650.00
  • Graphic Design: $625.00

Net Profit: $9157.00

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

And now that I have YNAB set up as I talked about in my May 2021 income report, that profit just stays in the business to fund future months. At the time of this recording, all of our future planned business expenses are fulled fully for the next 3 months, through the end of October. 

And I can’t even tell you how much more calm and confident that makes me – because it’s not just me now. I have contracts with 5 incredible team members who are in it with me long term to support me. So the money we make in August will fund November, and the money we make in September will fund December, and so on.

Behind the Scenes of the Subscriber to Sale Blueprint Launch

So before I break down for you step by step exactly how it went down, if you wanna get all the details behind WHY I decided to close the Website Marketing Lab and replace it with Subscriber to Sale Blueprint, you can go listen to Episode 348 – my June Income Report where I open up and go deep on why I made that decision.

Okay, so let’s dive in!

Step #1 – Get Organized

So the very first thing I did was create a Google Doc that was going to be THE place where every last detail of Subscriber to Sale Blueprint would live.

One of the reasons that I historically decide to do things all by myself is because the HOW of how they are done is all in my head and the pieces and parts are all scattered around through all these different programs, like ConvertKit and Deadline Funnel, and Vimeo and Google Docs and AccessAlly and my Courses website.

And because I do stuff like this ALL THE TIME, I know where everything is and how it all fits together like the back of my hand – it’s like driving home from work. You just know how to get there and you don’t even have to think about it.

And so I’m always like “It’ll take me just as long to show you as it will to do it myself…” and then I end up burnt out and overwhelmed and overworking. 

Not anymore, my friend! Not anymore!

Since my team cannot just access my brain on demand (yet, I’m sure that technology is coming someday), from moment one I made a commitment to document everything I was doing in one giant, super organized document.

And this document has EVERYTHING. 

It outlined my entire plan for this project down to the tiniest detail.

It has our launch calendar with all the dates and what happens on each date…

It has our pricing and offers details, all of our Flash Sale email copy, webinar invitation emails, sales emails, the script for the actual 12 Month Marketing Roadmap webinar I did…

It has links to everything, like the email automations we created in ConvertKit for the live webinar and for, our presentation slides in Canva, sales pages, checkout pages…

It has all of the details about how the program is delivered to our students, the automations that give them access to the course on our website, welcome emails, reminder emails, links to all the course assets.

And it has an index of all the course modules, what’s in it, the link to the video, and the transcript of that module – which leads me to step 2.

Step #2 – Enroll my team

If I was really gonna pull off getting this project done in 30 days, there’s no way I’d be able to do it alone.

I needed the buy-in of my whole entire team to make it happen. And not everyone had a role in the actual project, but I needed everyone to be on board so that I could focus on doing the things only I could do, and I needed them to be enrolled in all the tasks + due dates I was about to assign to them.

What I love about how I run my business is that I try to minimize the number of meetings we have. We use Asana to communicate and collaborate, and we also make Loom videos. And that’s how I communicate with my team every week – on Monday I make them a Loom video of what’s on deck for the week, what I’m working on, what they need to know, and about what’s coming up in the next few weeks and what happened the prior week since our last update. And then they can watch a 10-minute video at 2x speed on their own time instead of us putting ANOTHER thing on our calendars.

So I made a Loom video for my team breaking down my vision for this launch, my plan, and their roles and got everyone on board to get this new program completed and launched in 30 days – and they are so freaking awesome they were ALL IN.

Speaking of team, in one of my previous income reports I’d mentioned that I had one of my VA’s doing admin work that drained her soul, and that we brought on a new team member, Skye, to manage my inbox and all the admin stuff that comes with handling all the emails that I get – because it’s not just responding to emails it’s DOING the things that are required to be able to respond to the emails, and it’s been life-changing to have all the right people in the right roles. 

Skye and I communicate on how to answer emails through a Notes add-on for GSuite, and Loom videos, and we use labels on emails to communicate back and forth on what we need from each other to respond, and she documents how to handle responses so she knows how to respond in the future. And me not doing all of that has given me 10-15 HOURS of my life back every week.

So even though Skye and my community manager Wendy and my project manager Bree weren’t specifically working on this project, they kept everything else going while Laura, Natalie, and I worked on it. 

And that meant that when I was done, I wasn’t behind on everything else, which is an amazing place to be.

Step #3 – Outsource + Delegate

Once I had my team enrolled, I went ahead and created a webinar registration page + automation and wrote the invitation emails because I wanted to make sure that as we were building everything else for this launch out that people were able to register the whole time. 

And then  I wanted to start building out the other parts… and then I was like “NOPE, STOP. This is not where you need to be spending your time! This is why you have a team! Just because you CAN do it and you’re good at it doesn’t mean you need to do this part!”

One of the challenges I’ve historically had in my business is outsourcing and delegating – for a couple of reasons:

  • I could never get far enough ahead to give someone a reasonable timeline to complete something, and because I hate when people ask me to do things last minute, I’ll never do that to my team. So before building my team to where we’re at now and going through this Leadership training, I’d just do things myself because I was “so behind” that it wasn’t actually going to help me to ask for help. Now that I have my Project Manager Bree and my Marketing VA Natalie on the team – all I gotta do is write the thing or make the video and give it to them, and they handle the rest. We’ve been ahead for a couple of months now, so now I can delegate and give my team the runway to get stuff done on their own schedule.
  • I didn’t trust my team. So what I mean when I say that is not that they aren’t TRUSTWORTHY – they are all incredible, talented humans who are great at what they do, who are all in on this business and our vision and show up for me like bosses. The trust problem was something deeply rooted in me – up until recently I had a limiting belief that it’s all on me, that I can’t trust anyone else to take care of me and therefore I can’t fully hand anything over to anyone else to do because it’s not safe. After going through my Leadership training, I know now that’s SO not true, and I intrinsically trust my team members and I’m glad to let them help me!

So for this project, I made it my goal to outsource and delegate as much of the project as I possibly could.

For the first time ever… I hired someone to write my sales page copy and my sales emails.

I love writing. I love writing sales copy. I love writing sales pages and sales emails… and I also know how long it takes.

So one of my team members, Laura, who is an amazing web designer, told me about the person she’d hired to write her own website copy, Nicole Kepic. 

Laura’s website copy was awesome, and so I reached out to Nicole to book a VIP day for my sales page and then decided to add on another one for my sales emails as well.

Hiring Nicole for copywriting saved me at least a week, because I know I would not have been able to do it as efficiently as her, especially with all the other things I was doing to complete this project.

And because I asked for so much help, I was actually able to go camping for the 4th of July, take a long weekend and visit my BFF in Colorado Springs, host my brother in law and sister in law for a weekend, not work nights or weekends, and have more of a life than I’ve had in a long time while I had a huge project going on.

It felt amazing, and it’s how I want to run my business from now on. I don’t have to be the one to do everything! 

I mean, and this is gonna sound super arrogant when I say it, but I’m a jill-of-all-trades, I love all the parts of running a business like this, and I’m really good at all of them. So when people say to outsource things that aren’t in your zone of genius, it doesn’t resonate with me because it’s all in my zone of genius!

But when I can find a trusted partner who can do something as well as I can if not better, and they save me tons of time, sign me up!

I also hired my mom to put together the workbook for the program – I had her compile all these separate PDF workbooks into one big editable Google Doc, and I taught her how to edit all the course module thumbnails in Canva and upload them to my videos on Vimeo – two things I normally would have just done myself in the past because they’re easy. But they take time, and my mom loves that repetitive admin work that most people hate. It’s in her zone of genius to show her how to do something and then she’ll repeat it 50 times and knock it out.

So that’s what I outsourced, and then I delegated lots of the things I’d normally do to my techie right-hand woman Laura Kamark. She creates the new course in AccessAlly, set up all the course modules, added all the new videos to the course modules, set up all the automations + tech for our 3 different levels of support, set up the payment tech and order forms, and designed the sales page.

Her role was to get everything to about 90%, and then hand it back to me for my finishing touches – and she’s just incredibly efficient, and she thinks about details that I don’t think about, and she also saved me about a week of time too!

Step #4 – Content Audit

After getting my team on board and my resources aligned and the big things delegated, the next thing I did was an audit + index of the existing Website Marketing Lab program. 

And honestly, this was the part of the launching of this new program that I was most dreading because I did not want to watch all of the videos and take notes on what needed to be edited out or redone…

And then I had what I think is a pretty genius idea (if I do say so myself…)

We use a transcription tool called Temi to make the first draft of transcripts for all of our podcasts and summits and stuff, and Temi not only transcribes, but it also puts timestamps on where in a file those words were said.

So I transcribed every video, and then I was simply able to scan the transcription, make a decision on whether the video needed to be edited or not, or if it needed to be removed from the program altogether. And if it DID need to be edited, I knew exactly where in the video the content was that needed to be removed based on the timestamp.

And, I didn’t load all the videos into Temi myself as I would have normally – I asked my mom, who does all my transcription and already knows how to load my videos into Temi, to prep them all for me so that when I went to do it, they were already all in there. 

So yes, it cost me a couple of hundred bucks to do it, but the amount of time it saved me was priceless!

Step #5 – Update Content

So my next step was to edit the videos that needed to be edited, make new videos for the new lessons and frameworks that I was adding to the program, and re-order and rename all the modules so that I could hand the final content over to my team member Laura to actually build it all out in AccessAlly, which is the membership plugin for WordPress that we use to run all of our courses. 

If you wanna learn more about AccessAlly, you can check it out at https://shannonmattern.com/accessally – yes that’s an affiliate link and yes, AccessAlly is amazing, and no, I don’t think you should buy it if you’ve never launched a course before ever, I want you to validate and sell your course or membership idea first before you go build it, but once you have a proven offer for a course or membership that converts? AccessAlly is the bomb.com and I think it’s hands down the best tool to offer an online course. Do you need to start there? Nope. Do I want you to end up there? Yep.

So I updated the content and handed it over to Laura for her to build out the course modules in AccessAlly, using page layouts that I’d already designing using the Elementor Page Builder plugin, which is what I use and teach in my Free 5 Day Website Challenge.

Step #6 – Write the Webinar + Make the Slides

I decided to make the offer for Subscriber to Sale Blueprint using a live webinar. I’m a student in Mariah Coz’s Accelerator program which teaches a webinar strategy for making offers, and so I’m really well-versed NOW in doing webinars, and I have a big enough email list to invite to my webinar, and I have the team and the tech chops to execute the tech of a webinar very easily.

Do I think YOU have to make offers for your programs with a webinar?

Absolutely NOT. 

In fact, inside of Subscriber to Sale Blueprint, I don’t teach webinars – I teach how to make offers via EMAIL only which is a much simpler way to validate and sell your offer, especially if you’re not a techie! I’ve had a lot of success making offers via email without webinars. 

Webinars and video courses and challenges are advanced strategies that take a LOT of work to put together, and I don’t want you doing all that work if you don’t have a proven offer that converts! Do a webinar when you KNOW you have a proven offer that converts.

Now… I’m 7 years into this… and I decided to do a webinar even though Subscriber to Sale Blueprint technically isn’t a proven offer that converts… and I did it for a couple of reasons:

  • We’ve got our webinar system DOWN. We’ve done them so many times, we just clone and edit our webinar pages and automations, edit a few emails, and boom, it’s ready to roll.
  • I’m super comfortable presenting + making offers on webinars now! 3 years ago? No! I was super weird when it was time to make the offer, I over-delivered and overwhelmed people… Now I feel like a pro!
  • I already had my presentation slides mostly designed! I’ve been talking about this marketing framework and roadmap from a web designer perspective for 6 months now, and that’s what I really wanted to start teaching with Subscriber to Sale Blueprint. So I just needed to take my presentation for web designers and edit it to talk to coaches, services providers, and course creators.
  • I was okay with whatever the outcome was gonna be. If my offer didn’t “convert” the first time, I know what the next steps are to adjust until it does, and so I knew that building out all my systems now instead of waiting would only benefit us in the end. And I’ll share more with you what the actual results were in my August income report. Because at the time of writing this, the results are in… to be continued on that front.

So if it’s your first time, keep it simple! Make offers via email as I teach in Subscriber to Sale Blueprint. Once you have a proven offer that converts, I highly recommend Mariah Coz’s Accelerator Program to learn how to sell your offer on evergreen with webinars – and be sure to tell her I sent you 🙂

Step #7 – Feedback + Finishing Touches

Because I delegated lots of things to lots of people, I got to stay on top of who was doing what by when and make sure I was giving them feedback on time so that no one was waiting on me to be able to complete their part of the project.

And it was SO COOL to see everything come together in that final week. And then I got to spend a little bit of time doing what I love to do, which was basically connecting all the pieces and parts, tweaking little things here and there, and just making sure everything was tied together. 

I’d literally just be laying in bed, with my laptop, Downton Abbey on in the background, totally in the zone going through all the steps and making little tweaks along the way. As I said, my team took it to 90%, and then I took it over the finish line, which satisfies my urge to be in control! 

One of my goals for the future is to let my team take it to 95%, then I’ll give them feedback and coaching so that THEY can take it over the finish line, and I feel like when that happens, I’ll have finally made that full transition from solopreneur to CEO in my business!

Step #8 – Go Time!

The final step in the process was to invite my list to the webinar, do the live webinar, and then send out the replay and the invitation emails to join Subscriber to Sale Blueprint.

We started the promo one week before the live webinar, and then gave people the opportunity to enroll for just one week after the webinar.

And for the first time ever, all my tech worked! Emails went out on the right days, we had all the right links, we didn’t have anyone emailing to say they couldn’t join the live webinar or get the replay.

And that, my friends, is because I didn’t try to do it all myself! It’s because I had all hands on deck making sure we had the important details right! When I do stuff myself I screw all that stuff up! I get dates wrong, I don’t double-check my work, I just blaze on to the next thing.

And the webinar went so well – for the first time ever I didn’t need a script, I was so confident in what I was saying and I wasn’t trying to be perfect. There are definitely things I want to change about it for next time, but I was really happy with how it turned out.

The live webinar happened on July 29, so I’m actually gonna wait to give you the stats and the results of it in my August income report, so you’ll have to wait for that to hear what happened next because it might not be what you expect…

Lessons Learned

The way we ran this project to close down the Website Marketing Lab and launch Subscriber to Sale Blueprint in 30 days was the epitome of how I want to run my business.

I was HAPPY. I wasn’t overworking. I didn’t work nights or weekends. I wasn’t burnt out by the time it was time to do the live webinar. I was like, “OMG, THIS IS HOW ITS SUPPOSED TO BE.”

And I kept thinking “I honestly don’t even care what the results are, whether anyone enrolls or not, I am so, so proud of what we accomplished in the past 30 days!

Last month I shared with you that I’ve been going through this leadership training that truly has been transformative for me. And without it, I know we would not have accomplished what we’ve accomplished.

I’m still in the midst of the training, but what I’ve learned so far is not only how to enroll my team in my vision, but also how to lead myself. How to trust myself and love myself unconditionally. How to keep my commitments to myself. How to stretch myself out of my comfort zone to prove to myself that no matter what, everything will be okay. How to be joyful, and generous, and connected. How to create time. How to break through all the things that have held me back my entire life.

I truly feel like I’ve created what I’ve been chasing ever since that life-changing day in 2014 that I was sitting in my beige office under beige fluorescent lights thinking “Is this it? This can’t be all that there is. I can’t do this for the rest of my life…” when I made the decision to start my side hustle and the declaration that no matter what it would succeed and I’d quit my day job. 

Now I know that the missing piece wasn’t ever outside of me. I always talk about how I wanted to create freedom, flexibility, and financial independence, and I did, but the part I didn’t realize is that I thought those things would make me happy. And external circumstances can’t create happiness. It’s how I think about those circumstances and how I’m being that creates the joy and happiness I was seeking. 

It’s a little sobering to realize that I could have created all of this without ever having to change a thing about my situation… I could feel this way even while sitting in that beige office under those fluorescent lights doing that stupid financial report that I hated. And it’s not lost on me that I still do a financial report every single month – now it’s just for my own business and I love it.

Could I have the impact on the world that I want to have if I was still doing that job? Not a chance! And that’s what’s next, now that I know how to run a business, how to create consistent revenue for myself and my team, and how to do it all with JOY… is to really dive deep into my vision for the future of this business and what's truly possible…

So that’s it for my July 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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