Man, August was set up to be the PITS!
I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do. I had mega expenses, but not the income forecasted to compensate.
I literally wondered if I’d net $5,000.
Which would be a record low for the year AND less than I took home at my day job. Sad stuff, peeps. But I figured out a way to pull it out and gross an additional $6k+ in the home stretch!
So what happened? Read on for the full lowdown.
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 & 2016
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.
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, 2015 and we began payroll practices later that year. (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 of which are extremely important to me. The latter makes a direct impact into the community – in 2014 they opened a daycare to take care of migrant farm worker’s children, so their parents don’t have to bring them with to pick coffee beans, which surprisingly can be very dangerous!
Fundraising update: We’ve raised almost $29,000 of our $50,000 goal – thanks guys! Still a ways to go and would appreciate anything you’re able to contribute. (PS: We’ve committed to dates to going down there and should be booking our trip today or tomorrow – whoop!)
Gross Income: $22,982
A 14% increase month-over-month!
Business Expenses: $10,953
A little on the high side… (See the expense section for the full breakdown.)
Net Income: $12,029
(After expenses, but before tithe/tax.) This is a 36% increase month-over-month!
I’m still digging my current income breakdown overall.
The affiliate side continues to grow, which I’m excited about. No complaints here!
What’s amazing is how I can influence my income (see the courses section) based on past efforts. I.e. If I never would have written/launched my free email courses, I wouldn’t have been able to employ the strategy that put me over the top this past month!
Morale of the story? Past results = present (and future) income!
Here’s what the breakdown looked like for August:
- Writing: 4%
- Virtual Assistance Work: 32%
- Course Sales: 49%
- Coaching: 5%
- Other: (Affiliate, MM Svc, etc.): 10%
Writing: If you’ve been reading my income reports for awhile, you’ll notice that freelance writing, which used to make up the majority of my income has continued to decrease (this year at least). The reason for this is that I’m not really pursuing new projects, have paired my client base back and instead do a TON of writing for myself. I still enjoy writing and when I decide to ramp it up again, will probably focus on sales pages and funnels – they’re kind of my favorite!
VA: My VA income is up, but my client count has stayed the same. One of my VA clients that I did regular writing for has asked me to do social media for him instead. So I switched that portion of my income from the writing column to the VA one. Same income, different tasks and categorization. It was also a five week month for the VA client that pays me weekly, which always skews it higher.
Course sales equated to over $11,000 this month, which is an amount I’m more than happy with.
Here’s the thing though, if I wouldn’t have employed the strategy I’m about to share with you, it would have been about half of that!
Why? August is traditionally a slow month online. People are you know – outside, vacationing and doing much more fun stuff than hanging out online! 😉 (Me included!)
So what happened? Well, when we were in Yellowstone last week, I was contemplating taking the writing course off the market. I didn’t want to keep having people sign up and then release a new version with a super awkward transition.
And since I was planning on taking it off the market, I thought that maybe I should do a “last call” at the current price knowing I was going to increase it (since there will be more than twice the material, quizzes, a bunch of enhanced resources, etc. in the next version).
So that’s what I did. I sent out two emails to the people that took my free course on freelance writing and one email to current students to give them a “last call” upgrade notice. I’m giving all current/former students access to the newest version for free, and I think that and the reduced price point gave people the incentive to pull the trigger and take action!
I’ve wondered for sometime if the evergreen (always for sale) model hinders or helps. I don’t know that I still have a definitive answer, but I’m open to experimentation!
So basically, if I would have never started the free course last December (which has seen almost 3,000 people through it) and if I wouldn’t have sent a few emails, my income would be in the pooper this month! And I’m really glad it wasn’t, because we did quite a bit of traveling in August and that stuff ain’t cheap!
I picked up a couple of new coaching clients last month, which is fun. I also had a few one-off calls, which I really enjoy!
Coaching isn’t really about the money for me anymore – I just really enjoy learning about and looking at someone’s business from the outside and helping them find opportunities to act on. Charging them ensures they have some skin in the game and are motivated to execute. This works well as I only want to work with highly motivated individuals that are actually going to take action on what I tell them to do… 😉
Want to schedule a one-off coaching call with me to level-up your freelance business? You can do so here.
Later this year my coaching income should pick up pretty significantly as I will be the subject matter expert on messaging for The Academy <–affiliate link. I’m really looking forward to this and will be rebranding this site in preparation of what I’ll be teaching students. (I like to practice what I preach!)
My other column is for affiliate income (which I probably should break out into it’s own now that it continues to grow) and a catchall for everything else.
Affiliate income was solid and came in at $2,466. I’m pretty sure this is an all-time high and have my girl, Michelle’s affiliate course <–affiliate link to thank for part of it. I’ve been inspired by her journey from the get-go (she consistently makes over $50,000 PER MONTH in affiliate income) and her course has been helpful in picking up some new tips and tricks for affiliate marketing and even more importantly for making sure that I’m following the rules. 🙂
September is going to be chalk full of launches and fun projects. Which ones?
As I said, I’m relaunching 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success. It’s currently off the market, but you can hop on the waitlist here to find out when it’s available again and get access to some special launch bonuses and an early-bird discount.
Want to see the new logo?
Cute, right? (My girl Mickey is AMAZING at graphics – remember this post?)
Here are a few things that will be coming up in prep of the relaunch:
- My friend Sally Miller and I co-authored an ebook titled, Make Money as a Freelance Writer which will be available September 12th.
- I’m breaking out of my comfort zone and trying out webinars – eek!
- There’s going to be another EPIC GIVEAWAY for aspiring freelance writers. I <3 giveaways and this one should have another $1,000+ in prizes!
August’s expenses were again a bit higher than “normal.”
What’d I spend it all on?
- Tools (Subscriptions, Books, Training): 10%
- Advice (Coaching, Marketing): 38%
- Support (VA, Writing, Website): 25%
- Affiliate Payouts: 14%
- Fees (PayPal/Stripe): 5%
- Miscellaneous (Travel, etc.): 8%
The main “out of the ordinary” expenses were related to the “misc” column, which covered a portion of our recent trip’s hotel costs (the ones associated with the client portion anyway). We went to Salt Lake City, UT where one of my VA clients sponsored a conference. Part of my “work” included hiking and white water rafting… not too shabby, right? 😉
The other “other” expenses were associated with the advice column. I started working with a new coach on branding and put a deposit down to potentially work with a company to strengthen my sales funnels.
2016 Goals Progress (as of 9/1/16)
My ‘A’ Goal: $125k+ NET income; $89,116 – on track!
My 3 ‘B’ Goals:
- Get land loan under $10k; current balance = $19,132 – needs some attention.
- $15,000 in savings; current balance = $11,100 – needs some attention.
- 10,000+ newsletter subscribers; current balance = 7,830 – on track!
If you read my recent post sharing my business thoughts, you’ll understand the reasons behind me modifying my goals halfway through the year. I’m glad I took the time to reflect on my business as a whole and make the necessary changes to align my goals with my current values.
Remember, We’re Totally in This Together
If you’re currently hustling to build a freelance or online 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!
What did August look like for your online business? Share in the comments!