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Welcome to my June 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.
My business has come a long, long way since I started it back in 2015 from ZERO.
Zero clients, zero dollars, zero website traffic, zero email list subscribers.
It took 3 years to go from side-hustle to self-employed when I quit my day job in 2018, and now in 2021, I’m transitioning from being self-employed making six-figures to being the CEO of a business that makes multiple six-figures and is on its way to its first million-dollar year!
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 June, 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 June:
June was one of those “business-as-usual” months, with a couple of exceptions.
We didn’t do any live trainings, we didn’t do a big call-for-applications for the Web Designer Academy as we did in May, we didn’t participate in any summits or collaborations.
The majority of our revenue in June came from seeds that had already been planted, like affiliate revenue from the Free 5 Day Website Challenge which comes in pretty consistently month, payment plans from the Web Designer Academy students – which is why I LOVE payment plans because they are a win-win – they let my students spread their payments out and make it more doable for them (and they also help ease all their mindset stuff that prevents them from investing in themselves) and they generate consistent revenue for me in my business. I mean, sure, if everyone paid in full every month it’s not like I’d go spend every penny every single month and have to start from scratch every month, but it’s just nice to be able to project that revenue each month and know I’ve got enough money to cover all my business expenses and my salary.
Speaking of, setting up YNAB (You Need a Budget) at the end of the month last month has been a game-changer for me mentally. I didn’t worry at all about having enough money to cover everything in June because I knew exactly what I needed to cover in June and I knew we already had it covered.
So back to those couple of exceptions that I mentioned…
I forgot to turn my Site in a Snap Deadline Funnel back to evergreen!
So we use Deadline Funnel to facilitate the deadlines we put on our sales, and we had done a flash sale for Site in a Snap back in May, and I forgot to change the deadline funnel from whatever that hard deadline was, let’s say May 15 for example, back to a 5-day deadline depending on when people join the Free 5 Day Website Challenge.
So what I mean by that is someone joins the Free 5 Day Website Challenge, and for 5 days they have the chance to buy Site in a Snap at its sale price. And then after 5 days, they can buy it for the regular price.
Well, for the whole month of June, anyone new to the 5 Day Website Challenge just saw the regular price on Site in a Snap. And we do have people buy it at the regular price because it’s so awesome, but we’ve done a lot of testing and we actually make more sales and more money at the lower price.
So anyway, we missed out on a bunch of sales in June because of that mistake on my part. I accidentally did that in December too and you can see the difference in sales on my tracking spreadsheet.
We usually end up making up for that in flash sales when people who wanted to buy it but not at the regular price get the opportunity to, but it’s always a bummer when I forget!
I launched Store in a Snap to my email list.
Last month I shared with you how I created a hybrid training/template to teach people how to sell digital products, physical products, subscriptions, memberships, and online courses with the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress.
It’s called Store in a Snap, and it also includes Elementor templates for your Shop and Products page, plus all the in-depth click-by-click training on how to set everything up, how to set up the money piece, the products the delivery of the product, the customer accounts, all the things.
In May, I made it available exclusively to Kayse Morris’s community because one of the things she teaches them is how to sell their teaching curriculum online as digital products, but she doesn’t teach the actual tech of how to make that happen.
Well in June, I launched Store in a Snap to my email list with a 3-day Flash Sale where people could get it for only $100, which is super, super cheap for all the value that I include in that training. I mean, to get your money back all you gotta do is sell $100 worth of whatever you’re selling and then the rest is gravy, right?
We sent the email to 6127 people and had 34 sales which means the offer converted at about 0.5%.
Our benchmark for an offer that’s $100 or less is 1% to 3%, which means that if this is a product that we want to keep offering, we gotta figure out what’s in the gap. Why did people not buy? What would have to change about the offer to make it a yes? Why did the people who bought buy?
What we did is something that I call a “Quick and Dirty Validation” inside my “Subscriber to Sale” training.
We already had a product that we’d created for someone else’s audience that we decided it was worth creating not only because we had a pretty good inkling that we’d sell enough to make it worth my while to take the time to create it and pay my team to help with the setup and delivery and all that… but it was worth creating for the RELATIONSHIP that I have with Kayse and how mutually beneficial that relationship is for both of us.
But I didn’t create it for MY audience. If I had, I would have done what I call a “Tried and True” validation and researched whether it was something that my audience would have even wanted in the first place, I would have figured out any gaps before I ever made the thing, and I would have made the decision on whether or not to offer it before it ever even existed!
A Tried and True Validation is what I recommend that my students do too, but sometimes they’ve already created the thing by the time they start working with me, or like in this situation for whatever reason, they already have THE THING they are selling, but they just need to test out the offer, which is HOW they are talking about the thing.
So I make this Quick + Dirty offer for Store in a Snap to my email list, I make $3400 on it which is freaking awesome, don’t get me wrong, but my benchmark for anything I sell is for it to convert at AT LEAST 1% to 3% (and to figure out the conversion percentage you take the number of sales divided by the number of people on your email list) and Store in a Snap did not hit that benchmark.
So now I get to decide…
Do I even want to keep making offers for Store in a Snap to my email list?
I could simply decide that the answer is no because I don’t want to continue updating and supporting this product, it doesn’t light me up and I want to spend my time elsewhere. That’s totally an option, and I get to make that decision with or without data.
But if the answer is yes, before I make ANY changes, I get to do a Tried and True Validation where I go deeper and do some research with real people on the offer, figure out what the gap is and decide if it’s something I want to change about the product or not, and make the offer again and measure the results again.
And maybe I make the offer in a different way. Maybe instead of just email, I do a live webinar training because I find out from my validation that people have a lot of questions that would be best answered in a live training prior to making the offer.
Who knows? I can’t know until I do the research to find out.
But what I don’t do is make a whole bunch of random decisions based on emotion or trial and error. I mean, I CAN do that, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s taking a whole bunch of shots in the dark and it takes WAY longer to figure out how to make a successful offer that way than it does to do some direct research and hear directly from the mouths of your ideal client what would make your offer a HECK YES for them!
As for me… I don’t know what I want to do with Store in a Snap right now… I’m putting it up on the shelf because I made another really, really big decision that I’d been putting off for months in June.
I agonized over it, made pros and cons lists, kicked the can down the road a few times so I wouldn’t have to think about it… and then I was challenged by one of my coaches to just make a decision and move forward.
I decided to close down my Website Marketing Lab program.
After having worked with over 200 students over the past two years, so much has changed.
Not the strategies and tactics that I taught inside the program. Those still work, it’s what I do in my business every day (and it’s part of the reason why in May of 2021 I made 7 times more money than I did in May of 2020).
It’s massive mindset shifts I’ve personally made in my business that have resulted in mind-blowing results.
That’s what’s changed.
And that’s what I want for you too.
So the Website Marketing Lab is getting a re-design.
The curriculum itself won’t change, because like I said, the strategies and tactics still work and it’s unlike anything anyone else is teaching about how to market yourself online.
But it’s getting reorganized for maximum results.
And all the places where people got stuck? GONE.
I’ll be sharing new ways of thinking about marketing.
- New frameworks.
- New bonuses to help you with your marketing mindset.
- New opportunities for deeper support.
And a NEW NAME that truly reflects the journey you’re taking your customer on.
(More on that later)
And with all of that comes an entirely new pricing structure that lets students choose the level of support they need on their journey.
Because one of the things that was really tripping me up about the program was that the pricing structure I’d set up for it was based on the 2018 version of me’s pricing mindset.
And what I believe and understand about pricing now has undergone a fundamental transformation.
And what I realized is that my pricing model for the Website Marketing Lab was unsustainable.
The way I set things up was almost like a Ponzi scheme!
You know, like how Bernie Madoff took money from new investors to pay old investors because there weren’t actually any investments, he was just spending all the money on himself? And Ponzi schemes fall apart because the number of new investors you have to bring in to be able to pay all the old ones or the people who want to pull their money out is unsustainable – they run out of money and people start getting mad when they don’t get paid and the whole thing unravels.
Well, when I’m charging $997 for lifetime access not only to the curriculum but to ME showing up in a Facebook Group and on Live Q&A’s after one year has passed, the burden to support those costs – and yes, there are ongoing costs to running a program – goes to the new people coming in. And if you don’t have enough new people coming in, then you end up supporting your program beyond the point where it’s making money. Then you shut it down because it’s unsustainable, and everyone loses.
I offered lifetime access to my programs because I had a busted money mindset and I thought I was charging way too much and the only thing that would make it really worth it to people is lifetime access.
Well, my friends, that’s a bunch of crap.
What makes it worth it is the results people get when they implement what I teach and go on to quit their day jobs and make a living doing what they love.
When they spend $1000 with me and go on to make $5000, and do that over and over and over again.
So please, please don’t ever offer lifetime access to your programs. I now know that lifetime access is just as harmful to you as it is to me.
My coach and mentor Mariah Coz talks about how there needs to be a deadline on things, otherwise there’s no sense of urgency to get out of your comfort zone to do the work to get the results. She’s vehemently against lifetime access to programs for the exact same reasons. It took me a minute to really deeply understand why, and now I totally understand.
There’s some tension that happens when you see something that you really, really want to buy because you think it’s going to solve a pain point for you, right? And the funny thing is that simply the act of BUYING the thing creates relief, and if there’s no sense of urgency for you to do anything with the thing that you buy, you are at risk of not getting results.
So if we were all shady internet marketers around here, that would be fine with us, right? If all we were interested in were making the sale, that would actually be perfect. You’d buy our thing, we’d take your money, you’d get relief, we’d buy our Lamborghini, you’d still be struggling, you’d buy the next thing, we’d take your money, you’d get relief, we’d go on vacation.
I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in you solving the problem forever so that you don’t need relief. I’m interested in transformation. I’m interested in you getting results.
I need to create some more tension for you, some urgency for you so that you get to work and get those results. And giving you a limited amount of time in my program is the answer.
So one of the things that was holding me back on what to do with the Website Marketing Lab was the pricing.
I’d re-tooled and re-launched the Web Designer Academy about 6 months ago as a high-touch, high-ticket group coaching program, and at $5,000 per enrollment, the program is totally sustainable. It allows me to hire a team to take over all of the other things I was doing in my business so that I can dedicate the majority of my time to supporting that program.
And I’d say about 70% of the time I spend in my business right now is spent on supporting the Web Designer Academy.
If I wanted to be able to support the Website Marketing Lab students at the same level, I’d need to charge enough be able to hire and train someone to support me with supporting our students.
But charging $5,000 for that program just didn’t seem like the right price point. To go from Free 5 Day Website Challenge to $5,000 program seemed like too big of a jump.
The other option I’d considered was to remove myself and my team from the program completely, and make the entire curriculum available as a self-study and keep the price the same.
That also didn’t seem like the right answer, because I know that no matter how many videos I make telling people exactly where they are going to get stuck with their mindset and how to overcome it, they still need to talk about it because they think their situation is unique. They hear me say, “When you get to this point in your marketing where its time to put yourself out there, you’re gonna have all kinds of impostor syndrome and hold yourself back, and here’s what to think instead to get yourself to do it anyway…” they think I’m talking to someone else! And then they get stuck, as predicted, and then we talk about it, get them unstuck and they move forward and have massive results. Every single time!
So to take that support away just also didn’t seem right.
Or I could double the current price, keep in the support components that people need and use, and limit the access to one year so that there’s a timeline for people to take action, get results and get a return on their investment in the program to make it sustainable for us and profitable for them.
And again, I’m like “But I see the crazy success people in the Web Designer Academy have when they invest in themselves at that level and get the high-touch support we provide… but to provide that support at this price isn’t do-able… so I don’t know if this is the right thing either…”
And then I had an epiphany.
“Let them decide. Offer all 3 options and let them decide.”
Once I had that realization, the floodgates opened. I knew exactly how to restructure the program for maximum results at any level, I knew exactly what the price points were going to be, I knew exactly who each option would be perfect for and how to talk about it, I knew what the new name was going to be, and I got more work done on the program in 3 days than I ever thought humanly possible.
Part of that work was deciding to do one final sale on the current Website Marketing Lab as it currently existing to people who had already seen the offer in the past but have not made a decision. I wanted to give them one last chance to enroll as a founding member which would give them access to the new program also.
So I did a 3-day final flash sale just to people who had seen the offer before, and we had 8 people take advantage of it, and then we shut the whole program down forever.
So like I said earlier, June was a business as usual month in terms of revenue except for the Store in a Snap offer and that final sale on the Website Marketing Lab.
Oh, and I decided to re-tool and re-launch the new program in just 30 days. More on that later because first I want to talk about June’s numbers.
June 2021 Numbers
Remember back in the early days of this podcast when I used to talk to you about my minimum baseline revenue, and how I needed to bring in about $10,000 every single month to cover paying myself, paying expenses and paying taxes?
Then it grew to about $15,000 when I wanted to make sure we could cover my husband’s paycheck in case something happened to his job (which something did), and then when I starting seriously investing in mentorship in early 2020, it increased to probably around $20,000 a month to cover what I was spending on those programs.
Now, in the second quarter of 2021, since I’ve made this transition from solopreneur to CEO and I’m leading a team of independent contractors, our minimum baseline to pay our expenses, the team, me, and our taxes is around $30,000.
With that frame of reference, here’s how much money we made and spent in June 2021:
Total Revenue: $35,650.53
Affiliate Income: $6087.88
Site-in-a-Snap Templates + Trainings: $6026.65 (that’s my portion of the total sales after paying out my partners but BEFORE paying out my affiliates)
Web Designer Academy: $18,894.00
Website Marketing Lab: $4642.00
Total Investments: $24,761.00
Tools I use to run my business: $2013.71
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)
Affiliate Payouts: $720.30
Facebook Ads for WDA: $0
Net Profit: $10,889.53
June was a transformational month for me personally and in business.
As I mentioned a couple of months ago, I’m going through a Leadership Training, and my intention for that training was to help me learn some leadership skills so that I could be a better leader for my team.
Well, I’m getting so much more than I ever bargained for out of that training. Not only is it helping me become a better leader for my team, but it’s also helping me be a happier, more joyful, calm person overall.
I tell you guys all the time that I created my business for freedom, flexibility, and financial independence, and while I’ve created all of those things for myself… there was still something missing.
I still felt empty. Unfulfilled. And deep, deep down, I felt unworthy.
Unworthy of having all the success I’ve created and all that comes with it.
I’ve done a lot of coaching and mindset work especially through my work in Corrine Crabtree’s NO BS Weight Loss program and Alecia St. Germain’s Immunity to Change coaching, I know that any time I’m feeling something it’s not because of anything I’m doing or not doing, it’s because of how I’m thinking and something I subconsciously believe deep down.
In the past whenever I’ve felt this way I’ve tried to change my circumstances. I started a side hustle and quit my day job.
Don’t get me wrong, starting this business is the best decision I ever made, but it was coming from trying to fill a hole in myself that could never be filled with a business.
And maybe some of you can relate to this – you change jobs, you change relationships. You change locations. Maybe in your business, you change ideas, niches, products. You don’t stay the course and dig deeper to figure out what REALLY might be going on underneath that’s causing this emptiness, because you’re afraid to look at yourself in the mirror and take the time to immerse yourself in healing it so that you can live your life exactly as it is and feel fulfilled and worthy of having it.
So Alecia spotted this missing piece in me way before I ever did, and saw me trying to fix its business goals… and looking back on some of our conversations now I can see her trying to help me understand what was missing, but I just wasn’t getting it.
So she recommended this Leadership Training to me and told me she thought it would really help me actually enjoy this incredible life I’ve created and feel worthy of having it. I knew she’d been going through it herself, I knew there were a few multi-day immersive trainings that I’d need to clear my schedule for, but that’s really all I knew about it.
And you guys, I didn’t ask how much it cost, I didn’t ask what I’d learn, I was just like, “When are the sessions? Give me the link, my schedule’s pretty full right now but I’ll sign up for the first one that works with my schedule.”
I just trust Alecia. At that point, I’d literally never even met her in person even though we live in the same city! I just knew that she wouldn’t steer me wrong.
And I was right. Because what I’ve gotten out of this training has been life-changing.
What I discovered is that I didn’t need training on how to better lead my team… I needed to learn 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.
As a result of making the decision to immerse myself in the training, go all in and trust the process and participate even when it felt super uncomfortable, I found what’s been missing.
I was talking to my sister about my experience, and this is the only way I could think to describe it:
“You know in your chest where your heart is? The only feeling I’ve ever felt there for as long as I can remember is either nothing or tightness, nervousness, fear, frustration, or anxiety. After going through this training, I actually FEEL joy there. It’s a warm, buzzy, glowing feeling that I didn’t even know existed. Sure, I could think happy things, I could think something was fun, but I never really felt anything. I feel like a real human again.”
What was missing up until now was joy, connection, generosity, trust.
And that’s one of the reasons why up until now I felt guilty every time I made more money than I “needed” and felt bad building a house that’s bigger than I “needed” and all these other judgments I made about myself that keep me playing small.
Up until the training, one of the things that I didn’t even realize had been holding me back is the belief that because I don’t have kids, because I’m not trying to support someone else’s life, or ensure someone else’s future or leave a legacy for someone else… that all the things I have are selfish because they are just for me.
It’s no wonder that I felt guilty about it. That I held myself back from a lot of things, or that I wouldn’t let myself fully enjoy anything.
Now I get it. I finally get it… I get to create it and share all of it.
- I get to create the business that generates a full-time income and freedom, flexibility, and financial independence and share all the knowledge on how to do it.
- I get to hire and pay team members so that they can make money doing what they love.
- I get to build a house with an extra bedroom and lots of space so that we can have my husband’s entire family stay with us when his cousin passed away unexpectedly across the country so that they could watch the funeral online together instead of at home alone – or so I can have my entire family stay for a weekend and celebrate all the June birthdays.
- I get to finally buy my dream car, the Jeep Wrangler I’ve wanted since I was 16 years old but never thought I should have because I don’t “need” it and take my niece for a ride to go get coffee with the tops off and the music up loud and see the smile on her face because it’s her favorite car too!
The list goes on and on.
So remember back in Episode 345 of Pep Talks for Side Hustlers where I talked to Jessica Thiefels of Mindset Reset Radio and she challenged me to make a list of what I can let go of to open up more time?
Well, I also had this realization during the Leadership Training that I don’t need to let go of things to create more time… if I’m being joyful and connected and generous in everything that I’m doing, I won’t feel like I need more time.
So I’m not changing anything, and in fact, I challenged myself to re-launch the Website Marketing Lab in just 30 days – this time without burnout, without stress, without working evenings and weekends, and without doing it all myself.
I get to show up as the joyful, powerful, connected, supportive generous leader that I am to get it done, and at the time of writing this income report like I said earlier we’ve accomplished more on this project in the past week than I ever imagined.
And it’s all because of how I’m showing up and being for myself and the team – not stressed, not overwhelmed, not go go go all the time, but calm, encouraging, and focused on how it CAN be done rather than what might go wrong.
So I’m transforming my relationship with time also, which is awesome and fascinating. I get to have it all, I get to have time for it all, and I get to share it all – and I get to help you transform your life this way too, which is so fulfilling and rewarding.
And by the way, if you’re at all interested or intrigued by this Leadership Training I’m going through and think it’s something you might want to do for yourself, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know – I’d be happy to chat with you about it and give you more information.
So that’s it for my June 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 leave a comment below 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!