July was SO much better than June!
Not just form an income standpoint (although that’s a biggie!), but also from a peace of mind standpoint as I figure out “what’s next?” for Horkey HandBook.
What’s amazing is it was also probably our busiest month so far this year as a family when it came to travel, taking vacations and spending time with family and friends. That just goes to prove that business results are often reflective of past actions, not current ones.
If I have one piece of advice for you today, it’d be this:
Do consistent and focused work on what produces the highest ROI in your business.
So if you’re looking to build a service business, consistently pitch for new clients. If you’re looking to build a products business, consistently build relationships with your peers and influencers and market your offerings. If you’re looking to build an affiliate income stream, consistently blog and share relevant and helpful resources with your audience.
Gina drops the microphone. 😉
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 2015 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: Due to a VERY generous donor, we are more than 50% to our $50,000 fundraising goal to build a preschool in Costa Rica. SO EXCITING!
Gross Income: $20,025
A 28% increase month-over-month!
Business Expenses: $8,772
Pretty inline with last month’s. (See the expense section for the full breakdown.)
Net Income: $11,253
(After expenses, but before tithe/tax.) This is a 59% increase month-over-month. That’s what I’m talking about!
Basically, I’m digging my current income breakdown.
Here’s what the breakdown looked like for July:
- Writing: 8%
- Virtual Assistance Work: 30%
- Course Sales: 41%
- Coaching: 8%
- Other: (Affiliate, MM Svc, etc.): 13%
Writing: Writing isn’t a huge income stream for me anymore and one reason is because I do SO MUCH writing for myself. I.e. for this site, via course creation, newsletters, etc.
One of the reasons that I diversified to virtual assistant services not long after I launched my freelance writing business was because I knew I didn’t want to write for 40 hours per week. Writing is a wonderful and creative experience, but if I did it 24/7 I knew I’d be forcing it more than enjoying it. (I know some people that strictly write and they love it, so do you boo!)
VA: My VA income didn’t change at all, which isn’t a surprise. One of my VA clients that I write for has asked me to instead manage his social media, so that portion of our retainer will be reflected in this column going forward. It’ll make the writing column look smaller and this one larger. I didn’t really know where to categorize it at first (cuz social media is still often writing), but figured it made the most sense (to me) this way.
Course sales were much better in July. Part of that was because we paid ourselves out from The Course Course launch and part was that my writing and VA course sales just picked up. I’d be happy with July’s level for months to come, but of course wouldn’t mind seeing it grow too. 😉
More than the money that course sales bring in, I find satisfaction from results like these:
In July I only worked with two regular coaching clients (both of whom have been with me for over a year now). I also had a few one-off calls, which I really enjoyed. I have one new coaching client as of yesterday and don’t plan on growing this part of my business, but would take on the right fit (i.e. highly motivated and ready to get shit done) if I came across such a person.
Want to schedule a one-off coaching call with me to level-up your freelance business? You can do so here.
The rest of my coaching income came from The Freelance Writing Intensive, which was a one-day writing workshop that I put on with my gal pals Sarah and Andrea. The last part came from my final mentoring payment for a peer’s course.
Later this year my coaching income should pick up pretty significantly as I will be the subject matter expert on messaging for The Academy. 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 good and came in at $1,806. I’m a little more than halfway through my girl Michelle’s affiliate course <–affiliate link, which 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. 🙂
Besides that, I had an enrollment in my VA MatchMaking Service (I <3 matching quality VAs with entrepreneurs that need help to continue scaling their businesses) and got reimbursed from a VA client for some purchases I fronted the bill for.
Sally and I are just wrapping up writing our first ebook together, Make Money as a Freelance Writer. What a whirlwind these last few months have been – I’m so glad to have taken this on with a partner who’s a fabulous writer herself, uber organized and has done the whole Kindle publishing thing before.
We’re actually looking for a few folks to join our launch team, which means you’d get a FREE, advance copy of the book in exchange for leaving an honest review on Amazon. If you’re interested, please sign up and join our team!
July’s expenses were “normal.” How almost $9k is normal is still a little bit beyond me… 😉
What’d I spend it all on?
- Tools (Subscriptions, Books, Training): 7%
- Advice (Coaching, Marketing): 14%
- Support (VA, Writing, Website): 39%
- Affiliate Payouts: 16%
- Fees (PayPal/Stripe): 5%
- Miscellaneous (Travel, etc.): 19%
The only “out of the ordinary” expenses were some flights and conference tickets. This is an area that should be decreasing over the next few months as I implement the changes to scale back my online business and go “back to basics.”
2016 Goals Progress (as of 8/1/16)
My ‘A’ Goal: $125k+ NET income; $77,087 YTD – on track!
My 3 ‘B’ Goals:
- Get land loan under $10k; current balance = $19,132 – needs some attention.
- $15,000 in savings; current balance = $12,750 – needs some attention.
- 10,000+ newsletter subscribers; current balance = 6,695 – a hair behind.
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!
How did your online business fair in July? Was it better than June like for me?