Welcome to my seventh freelance income report – for the month of March, 2015.
March treated me well. In fact, I earned $6k for the first time this past month! Curious to know how? Read on!
A Little 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.
Here’s what it’s looked like since I started:
- 2014: Income $16,512 income – $3,782 expenses = $12,730 total profit for 2014*
- January: Income $5,080 – $753 expenses = $4,327 profit ($4, 327 YTD profit for 2015)
- February: Income $5,272 – $978 expenses = $4,294 profit ($8,621 YTD rolling profit for 2015)
*I started looking into freelancing in April, 2014. I launched this site in May and secured my first client in June, 2014. So really the 2014 total is for June-December (or seven months). During this time, I also worked full-time at my day job. I’ve since quit my job and have been freelancing full-time since the first of the year.
I take 20% of my net monthly profit and transfer that into a savings account for taxes. Since I now do this full-time, I plan on setting up and paying quarterlies this year.
I also believe in tithing. Since I sold my business, I’ve decided to tithe to our church on that income and continue to support the missionary family in Costa Rica on my freelance income for 2015.
It makes a direct impact into an amazing mission (they’re setting up 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!). It’s also a fun reason to try to make more money!
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Income: $6,595, a 25% increase month-over-month!
Expenses: $1,084, right on target.
Net Income: $5,511 (after expenses, but before tithe/tax). This is a 28% increase month-over-month.
Virtual Assistance Work: 38%
Course Sales: 31%
Consulting (former office): 7%
My base expenses are now about $800 per month. Here’s what it includes:
- Job Board Membership
- FreshBooks (accounting program)
- Website Support
- Marketing Support
- MailChimp Subscription
I treated Wade to a nice dinner from my business income due to hitting 100 total course sales to date (this was our goal from the beginning). That was a fun expense:-)
Of course, there are still those pesky fees when getting paid, but I’m continuing to try to limit them as much as possible. Last month they amounted to ~$174, which is 16% of my total expenses. I certainly could find another way to spend that money, couldn’t you?
Lastly, I did a little advertising on Facebook. It all adds up – I’m doing my best to keep it in check. After all, it doesn’t make sense for me to work harder and increase my income, if the difference is just eaten up in expenses, does it?
Thoughts on the Month
March was an awesome month for my business. I revised my client list and let go of a couple of writing clients (my decision). I also took on a new VA client. It’s always my goal to beat the previous month’s numbers and I was glad to be able to do that again.
Launching my affiliate program in hindsight was a good idea. It’s at least paid for itself at this point and even though almost all of my sales came from one person, it shows how when you appropriately position something/leverage relationships the right way, it can pay-off.
I’m also excited to be diversifying my income further. A large chunk comes from my two VA clients monthly, which means I can be selective on who I bring on as writing clients and spend time coaching others as well. Having my course as a product offering, is a great way to increase revenue without having to expend much more effort.
That whole goal of passive income is in part coming to fruition. I by no means am striving for full passive income – I just wouldn’t mind a portion of it being represented in my income pie.
Goals for April
I had the goal of selling 50 course subscriptions in March. I came in at 49, which I’m more than happy with. It was a pretty aggressive goal (my biggest sales month prior to that was in January before I raised the price and amounted to 27) and I was excited to come in close. I have the same goal for April and plan to continue to invest in advertising in hopes of helping get me there.
I’m also going to work on keeping my current clients happy. I haven’t done much pitching in the past couple weeks and I probably won’t do much outbound marketing this month either. I feel good about my current client roster, but wouldn’t turn down the right client if they came around. I’d also like to add a few new clients to my coaching business – it’s really fun for me to help others launch their businesses and learn how to grow them.
My main concerns continue to be around being productive (enough) and enjoying the work that I’m doing. I want to make sure that I continue to build my business one piece (or article) at a time and avoid burnout.
It’s always going to feel like there’s more to be done or more money to be made. I don’t want to get caught up in that, but rather feel good about the work I put out and the effort I put into it.
Keep Your Head Down
If you’re currently hustling to build a business, we’re in this together. I’d love to support you, if you’re willing to do the same.