How I Set Income Goals Using Post-Its

While many people set their goals on January 1, I was giving birth. So when it came to setting my goals in 2020, I had done some pre-planning in November and December but then made them clear in February once Christian was born. I’ve shared on Instagram Stories that I use the post it method to set my goals and many of you asked exactly how to do it.

With Coronavirus changing the trajectory of the year, I recently refreshed my goals by tweaking a few Post Its. 

The Post It Method is basically using Post It’s to organize the goals in your head and the steps needed to achieve. It’s like a pre-Kanban - where you identify all the things you want to do before implementing it in a process.

In this post, I’ll be sharing the Post-It Method I used for Income Generation Planning in 2020. For the Mattie James brand, the categories are:

  • Courses & Classes
  • Products 
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Brand Partnerships
  • YouTube
  • Coaching & Accelerator

For me, my categories are based on my streams of income - whether existing or tentative.

I designate a color to each category and then I go through each category and speed brainstorm for 5 minutes by writing down all of my ideas for monetization for each category. After 5 minutes is up, I move on to the next category and repeat. I do this until I’m done with brainstorming all the categories. Then I clean up my ideas and organize them. Organizing simply means keeping the best ones (the ones that mean the most to me or work best for me).

Let’s break this down further.

Courses & Classes

I started teaching online masterclasses and courses in 2015 when I started blogging full time. It was never anything I thought I would do long term, but it ended up being a really lucrative part of my business. In fact, I made 60% of my full time income in 2015 & 2016. Then there was a shift in my streams of income. But as of 2019, my info products (courses, classes and workbooks) make up for 20% of my income. I’d like to get that number closer to 35-40% so I don’t have to rely so heavily on checks from brands. 2017 & 2018 have been my most profitable years as a full time influencer and I’d like to keep the trend going up.

At the end of 2019, I decided to eliminate all the other courses that I offered and only focus on Pitch Please - my signature course. However, with COVID-19 making a shift in all of our plans, I may offer a few masterclasses to serve my audience who are in the beginning stages of their influencer journey. Debating on whether or not I’d like the masterclasses to be one offs or a monthly membership where I offer live classes on a monthly basis. Looking to make a decision and execute in Q3.

On my Post-Its I wrote: the names of my classes and courses, the prices of each class or course, how I plan to promote


Similar to courses, my online workbooks have been successful as well. There’s a standout one - First Paid Kit - which sells more than the others, so I’ve decided to make that the only workbook I offer my audience. Narrowing down my offers creates clarity for my audience and allows me to really focus on promoting only one thing clearly and becoming known for it vs. promoting a bunch of things and creating confusion. It’s important to me to make sure that this year I make 6 figures with this workbook vs. the $20k I made with it last year. I plan on it being the only digital workbook I offer and getting wildly strategic and intentional with the marketing of it.

The only way I plan on offering more digital products or resources is if I do move forward with a membership community.

I also plan on relaunching my physical products - mugs, t-shirts and planners towards the end of the year.

On my Post-Its I wrote: the names of my workbooks, the prices of my workbooks, how I plan to promote

Affiliate Marketing

My audience is very engaged and they always respond positively to resources that I share, especially if it happens to be an affiliate link. Affiliate marketing has always been something I wanted to be a viable stream of income, but I never put the work behind it. In 2020, I shifted my mindset behind it. 

For my style and beauty content, sharing where I get items is very important. I know this. Most content creators do. But it’s very time consuming to insert the links and photos in every single post (especially now that I post on a daily basis). But no matter how tedious and time consuming it’s going to be, I’m committed to being successful at affiliate marketing. What’s important to me is that affiliate marketing is an organic fit in my content and not just me shoving links in my readers and followers’ faces. So far, I’ve improved my conversion by A LOT. The power of intention goes a long way.

On my Post-Its I wrote: the companies I’m an affiliate for, where I plan to put affiliate marketing links

Brand Partnerships

In 2019, paid brand partnerships were 82% of my income. It was a really good year. I understand that COVID-19 could change how much I make and how many partnerships I have, I’m optimistic that influencer marketing will not only still be lucrative, but be on the upswing because of how much retailers are relying on their e-commerce business and need to market it. 

While I still expect brand partnerships in 2020 to flourish, I would like it to be 60-65% of my income and put more efforts into my online course and workbook sales. I haven’t noticed brand partnerships stopping or slowing down at the moment, but because I was already planning on making courses a bigger stream of income, I feel prepared in case COVID-19 does affect brand partnerships negatively. I plan on pitching consistently every month and being strategic with partnerships that will really speak to my audience during this time.

On my Post-Its I wrote: who I want to pitch, how I plan on pitching


Growing my YouTube following and posting consistent videos is a priority in 2020. It’s all about being consistent. It’s certainly a little harder to film with all the kids home throughout the day, but it’s certainly not impossible. 

I’ve paid close attention to my YouTube analytics and my following tends to respond to vlogs, beauty and product based videos. So I’ll be making videos with that in mind. At the end of the day, the more consistent I post, the more subscribers I get. Being very intentional about SEO and keywords in my video titles and shooting videos over 10 minutes are the goal. Right now, I’m committed to posting once a week and increasing once I master that rhythm.

On my Post-Its I wrote: how often I want to post, what to post

Coaching & Accelerator

Last but not least is coaching. What I’ve realized is that I really enjoy coaching people who want to become full time influencers. What I learned is that I do that best in a small group setting. One on one coaching is great, but I honestly don’t have the time budget for that. Serving a group of 10 or 20 people is really the rhythm for me. 

When I coach this year, I plan on offering an accelerator group coaching style where I serve a small group once a quarter. It’s not overwhelming for me, which will not overwhelm them, but I can still set a solid income goal. I’m currently working on it and planning on an end of Q2 or early Q3 launch, but what’s most important is that it’s done right.

On my Post-Its I wrote: each coaching offer, when to launch, the price of offer

And that’s how I plan my income goals (and other personal and professional goals) using Post-Its. 

What’s one major goal you’re looking to accomplish this year?


  1. SUCH, a helpful post. And timely as always! Especially for those of us who've been doing this for a little while and are now buckling down on monetizing. Thanks for sharing!

    Posted 4.8.20
  2. Domonique Townsend wrote:

    This post is amazing. As an engineer and strategist, the layout of setting the groundwork using pre-kanban and drilling down brings me joy. I am inspired by your post in so many ways. It leads into one of my big goals and that is being more consistent with my behind the scenes so that I can launch a 6-8 week masterclass with 20 moms who own businesses and are seeking to improve their systems, how they operate and how they allocate time to perform processes while having a quality life at home.

    Posted 4.9.20
  3. Kacy wrote:

    Love this! One goal I'm looking to accomplish this year is to make at least $10k in my business by the end of the year.

    Posted 4.14.20
  4. Nakeya wrote:

    Hello. I’m a long time Mattie James follower back from the days of Mattieologie. This post (it) was exactly what I needed to read to get myself back in gear. Great content and as always great instructions. xoxoxo.

    Posted 4.15.20
  5. Oh- and as far as one major goal I'm looking to accomplish (for 2021), it's to become a full-time entrepreneur as a

    -NASM Certified Personal Trainer (selling customized workout guides and offering online personal training services),
    -Fitness & Lifestyle Content Creator (blogger, YouTuber, TikToker, etc),
    -Influencer (including RewardStyle and Amazon; I'm partnered with both already)

    I have ideas for multiple streams of income! I also have a lot of work ahead of me to achieve this, all while still working 40 hours a week. But I am tired of wishing/hoping and allowing my anxiety to cripple and control me. I know what I want and I need things to change so I can live my best life!

    Posted 11.18.20
  6. Alexis Holloman wrote:

    I plan to get my first paid partnership the first quarter of 2021 along with deciding on a theme for my IG page.

    Posted 12.11.20
  7. Nia W wrote:

    This is such good stuff here. I've read this post multiple times but to come back to it AFTER the live puts it into better perspective for me. I'm so grateful for your influence and all that I've learned throughout the year. Thank you! Let's go 2021.

    Posted 12.18.20
  8. I'm a post-it note queen, so to see you organize your thoughts using them really got my creative juices flowing. Can't wait to use this helpful tool to color coat my wall. Looking forward to working with you and learning from you in the near future.

    Posted 12.29.20
  9. Tashana wrote:

    I am so excited to use this method. I saw your live on IG breaking this down and it has truly inspired me to look at my blogging business in a new light. One of my main struggles is not having a system in place to operate my business learning this has made it more clear and possible that I too can get a bag out in these content streets!

    Posted 12.30.20
  10. I have a goal of pitching to 3 brands in Jan. I'm so excited to keep going further in this journey!

    Posted 1.3.21
  11. JAY wrote:

    Insightful post. I'll be implementing this with my new lifestyle blog, but using Asana instead of Post-its—simply because it's more efficient for me.

    Looking forward to reading more productivity tips!

    Posted 1.7.21

Comments are closed.