Freelance Income Report: December, 2015

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2015 is officially in the books!

It was my first year as a full-time freelancer and it treated me well.

Despite the holiday season, I had goals to hit (namely a large annual revenue goal), so even though I took more time to spend with the family and celebrate with my loved ones, I didn’t let it slow me down.

I’m planning a little 2015 recap/2016 goals post soon, so I won’t spend too much time reflecting here. Instead, I’ll get into the meat of what happened in December.

A Little Freelance Income Report Backstory

I keep a profit-and-loss statement for each month, as well as a rolling total for the year. I enter in income as it is received (rather than as it is billed) and do the same for expenses.

2015

Dec YTD Chart

2014

I started looking into freelancing in April, 2014. I launched this site in May and secured my first client in June, 2014.

My total income was $16,512 – $3,782 expenses = $12,730 total profit for 2014. During this time, I also worked full-time at my day job.

Additional Deductions

Taxes: 25% of net income

I continue to transfer 25% of my net monthly profit into a separate savings account for taxes. Horkey HandBook was established as an S-corp in May and we recently began payroll practices. (Guess we’re legit, huh?)

Tithing: 10% of net income

I split my tithe to our church and this missionary family in Costa Rica. Both are extremely important to me.

The latter makes a direct impact into the community, as they have established a daycare to take care of children, so their parents don’t have to bring them with to pick coffee beans, which surprisingly can be very dangerous!

December’s Results

Gross Income: $16,503

An 11% decrease month-over-month.

Business Expenses: $8,216

I changed some of my processes (i.e. processing affiliate payouts on the last day of the month vs. the first day of the month following) and doubled up on some payments to wrap up my 2015 books. So expenses are largely inflated for a “typical” month.

Net Income: $8,287

(After expenses, but before tithe/tax.) This is a 38% decrease month-over-month. What goes up must come down? 😉

Income Breakdown

This was another solid income month for me. My focused efforts seem to continue to pay off.

  • Writing: 16%
  • Virtual Assistance Work: 33%
  • Course Sales: 38%
  • Coaching: 9%
  • Other: (Affiliate, MM Svc, etc.): 4%
  • Consulting (former office): 0% (This officially ended in May of this year.)

Services (writing/VA work):

The services side of my business continues to be status quo. I did a large writing project for one of my VA clients (and will write one profile for him per month going forward in 2016) and did a trial project for another potential new client that I’ve been talking to for much of 2015.

One reason this month’s VA revenue is higher, is because there were five weeks in which I got paid for client A. The other reason is that client B gave me an unexpected (and very much appreciated Christmas bonus!).

I also communicated with some of my other writing clients to see about a more consistent schedule. I.e. I’d love to know I was writing one article per week (or every two weeks), rather than randomly getting assigned articles. It works better for planning my schedule, my income and my type-A brain!

Course Sales

The products side of my business continues to remain strong, despite the slow down around the holidays. The overarching theme for the year has been growth and I hope to see that continue in 2016 as well.

I launched a free 7-day email course, called Kickstart Your Freelance Writing Biz towards the end of December in hopes that it would increase conversions to my paid course, 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success. Honestly, I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner!

Coaching

My coaching earnings are growing too. I took on one new coaching client in December and will be mentoring for Brennan Dunn’s, Double Your Freelancing Clients course again starting this January.

Another way this is/will be growing is through the the Mamapreneur’s Mastermind, a paid mastermind group that my girl Ariel Rule and I just launched. The group is especially for mama entrepreneurs ready to do big things in 2016.

Since it’s hard to scale 1:1 coaching and I LOVE working with and helping others to succeed and grow their businesses, this seemed like the best way to go. We’re really excited about it.

(If you’re a mamapreneur you might want to check it out – doors close for the initial round on 1/15/16.)

Other

And my own affiliate earnings continues to grow as well. This coming Monday I’ll be officially launching 7 Days or Less to Branded Website Success, a free 7-lesson course hosted on my website to help newbies start and launch their own blog and website quickly.

I’m excited because it’ll be a step-by-step guide with a ton of super helpful tips on getting a professional looking site launched quickly. Plus, you’ll learn a lot about WordPress along the way!

Freebie alert! Get my bootstrapper’s guide to starting your own freelance business for less than $200…

Learn how you can get your business up and running quickly and for as little as possible. I did it and you can too!

Click here to get the bootstrappers guide.

Expense Breakdown

December was a really expensive month.

I mentioned why above (changing my payment processes with affiliates, etc.). It also seems like I have a high expense month followed by a moderate one and then the cycle starts over again. It’ll be interesting to see if this is still the case in 2016 or if it evens out more.

An atypical expense I had this month too was client gifts (and shipping). It was fun though and I kind love buying and giving gifts. 🙂

What’d I spend it all on?

  • Tools (Subscriptions, Books, Training): 2%
  • Advice (Coaching, Marketing): 27%
  • Support (VA, Writing, Website): 22%
  • Affiliate Payouts: 36%
  • Fees (PayPal/Stripe): 4%
  • Miscellaneous (travel, etc.): 9%

Goals from December

  1. $120k+ in total annual gross revenue. $120,143 – PASS! It came down to the wire, but I made it!!
  2. 2,500 newsletter subscribers. 2,554 – PASS! And this doesn’t even count the leads that we haven’t yet imported from the epic giveaway.
  3. $10,000 in personal savings. $8,100 – FAIL! You can’t always reach them all, right? I didn’t anticipate how expensive this month was going to be business wise and then you throw Christmas in the mix… I don’t feel too bad about it and will work on more than doubling our cash reserve in 2016.

Goals for January/2016

Again, I plan to do a whole post on this itself, so I won’t double up with writing them out here. I didn’t solidify my goals until this week though (so glad they’re in place).

I will say I’m STOKED for 2016 – how about you?

And Remember…

If you’re currently hustling to build a freelance business, we’re in this together. I’d love to support you, if you’re willing to do the same.

Leave a comment letting me know we’re in the trenches together or a place that I can go to support you. Fan my FB page, connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Google+ to stay in touch! We’ve got this!

How did you fare in December? What’s one thing you learned that you’ll take into 2016 with you?

16 thoughts on “Freelance Income Report: December, 2015”

  1. Your income reports continue to inspire! I’m looking forward to the 7 Days or Less to Branded Website Success course! I have my blog but it has been a steep learning curve and it seems like as I figure out one thing, 2 more things that I need to learn pop up! Keep rocking and rolling! There’s no doubt that you will continue to succeed!

  2. Hey Gina,

    Glad to see you’ve continued your success all the way through to the end of the year! Your income reports continue to be an inspiration to lots of people (including myself) and I’m confident that next year will be even MORE awesome!

    The one thing I’m taking into 2016 is the importance of HARD WORK and sacrifice to get where I want.

    Happy 2016! And best wishes for the rest of the year

  3. Gina, thank you for sharing your monthly reports with us. I find it encouraging and motivating to see you have both wonderfully successful ventures and areas that you are still tweaking as the months tick by. I recently found you from some of your guest posts on paid to blog and have been stalking your site and resources ever since. I just finished your 5 day email guide and can see what a smart idea that was for you. I am now hooked and want to jump in the deep end! I want to know what you recommend is best. I am interested in both the 30 day program toward becoming a freelance writer AND the Mamapreneur Masterminds. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind taking the VA course as well just to see if it is a fit for me. What do you recommend is the best first step? Or is there a package deal that can be purchased? I know I only have 2 days left for MM so any feedback on options would be GREAT! Thanks in advance and for all the inspiration and guidance you provide.

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