HOW I MADE $36,205 IN APRIL
Plus what my strategy was and a list of things I got accomplished. BONUS: Questions & Answers linked at the end of this article!
The month of April was wonderful, and it seems like the month of May is going to be even more incredible. I officially booked our flights to Maui and set in place a lot of things for next month. April showers brings May flowers, and I think that stands true for business as well.
As I was completing my monthly income report, I'm calculating everything, and that's when I see it. $1,007,325
I just hit 1 million in overall income! There's not a lot of things that make me want to jump up in joy, but hitting this milestone is huge for me. It isn't about the money for me. It's about the belief that it was possible. I am the only person who knows the hard work, dedications, failures, triumphs, doubts and setbacks that came with making this happen. Believing in myself enough to lose all sense of limitations and realize that the possibilities are endless for me as long as I never quit. A girl with a dream who decided to go for it. These last few years have been incredible and it seems like every day I wake up, something exciting is happening.
I'm sure you all are ready to read about this months income report, here's a little bit about me for those who are new...You are totally welcome to skip this part, haha.
I am a mother, wife, business coach, product creator, and photographer who specializes in naturally styled portraiture. I started Modern Baby Photography & Modern Bride Photography with a passion in documenting real moments. My passion grew more and more over the years, and I realized that I also loved creating products to help make it easier for me to run my business. I started sharing these products with other photographers, and that's when Modern Market came about. It's now the largest online marketplace for professional photographers around the world with products ranging from pricing tools, marketing templates, blog themes, educational resources and so much more. I love dreaming big and helping fellow creatives turn their dreams into a reality through personal online business coaching.
Once a month I take the time to go over my personal business finances. I write down what I made, as well as how many expenses I had. It's a great way for me to hold myself accountable in reaching my personal goals and showing others that owning your own business by doing something you are incredibly passionate about is absolutely possible.
In addition to writing down my income and expense report, I will also go over what strategies I plan to implement, what I am currently focusing on, as well as my goals for the upcoming month. By reading these income reports, you'll get a front row seat to watching me run my business, so that should hopefully be interesting. Hopefully, I don't put you to sleep with talking numbers and showing you graphs.
The following numbers are gross income from my entire business which includes sales from my online store, my portrait, wedding, and product photography. I look at my business as a whole and have used the same business success steps and marketing strategies for all aspects of my business; these are the same strategies teach to other creatives in my Business Success Class.
Let's get started!
MONTHLY GROSS INCOME: $36,205
Gross Sales: $33,705 (Net Sales $31,016)
Photography Business Class: $2,350.00
Essential Studio Manager: $150
MONTHLY TRAFFIC REPORT: 36,795 Visitors
I wanted to add this display graph to show you how increased traffic = increased sales. The problem isn't usually that people don't know how to make more money, they just don't know how to increase what's working and have that translate directly to their income. If you look at what you are currently doing and think to yourself; If I could DOUBLE everything that's working, it would certainly increase your income right? It comes down to being a numbers game regardless for what industry you are in. If you can increase what's working, increase traffic, it will in the end also increase your outcome.
MONTHLY EXPENSES: $14,098
Paypal Fees: $898
Website Payment Fees: $170
Post Planner*: $19
Social Login: $2
Quickbooks Bookkeeping: $29
(Anything with an * next to it is an affiliate link)
GROSS INCOME TO DATE $1,007,325
(income in graph below is only for January 2015 - now)
FACEBOOK, E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTION, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST GROWTH
- Facebook: 98,093 +1085
- E-mails: 51,708 +95
- Instagram: 8195 +512
- Pinterest: 5567 +93
TOTAL GROWTH: +1785
It was important for me to add this information into my income report because I do use social media to grow my business. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and e-mail subscription is what really made it possible for me to build my business so quickly. If you compare starting a business to the time before social media was in our life, it was hard. Someone had to open up an actual store business to be found and then count on foot traffic and phone books to be found by potential customers. We live in an incredible time where we have tools such as social media to make it easier than ever to connect to the right people. For me, using these social platforms has helped me grow my businesses and reach hundreds of amazing clients & customers. Below I'll go over how I personally love to use each platform. They each unique, and I have different things I love using about each of them.
MY STRATEGY BREAKDOWN:
BOOKED OUR FLIGHTS TO MAUI
We finally booked out flights to Maui, and it made everything so real. We decided that since we are only booking one-way flights to upgrade to first class which I think will be a ton of fun for us. It's three flights total, and each flight is between 4-5 hours long, so I'm REALLY looking forward to the extra leg space and free snacks!
DESIGNED MAUI OFFICE SPACE
Living in an empty house makes you realize what you really need, and what you end up missing. I've been daydreaming of my new office space. I wrote up a whole article on what I plan to do with my new office space. Imagine beautiful white planked walls, huge white tables & summer hats. I'm all about keeping my space, bright airy and neat! If you'd like to see some picture inspiration you can do that HERE.
FOUND OUR MAUI HOME
We also finalized our Maui home which I'm really excited about. It's the prettiest hillside home with lots of natural light and a quick drive to the beach. It checked off all the things on our home wish list. If you want to get a quick little sneak peak, you can do so HERE. Can not wait to make this feel like home. And I'm really looking forward to sleeping in a regular bed. (We have been "glamping" on air mattresses in our very empty house for weeks!)
LAUNCHED A NEW PRESET COLLECTION
I shot the most beautiful sunset maternity session. My client has a horse, so I figured it was a no-brainer to incorporate Arthur into the session. It turned out so dreamy and inspired me to create a new preset collection, inspired by beautiful lush greenery. If you're looking for some beautiful presets, take a look at the LUSH collection. Bonus - My Lightroom preset collections are also available for Photoshop now!
FULLY EMBRACED LIFE AS A WORKING STAY AT HOME MAMA
As a mother and business owner, I am guilty of not always feeling like the most professional business woman out there. I've spent years balancing a business while raising two children and all too often in these past years have I felt that being a mom has made it harder to feel like one of those polished business women that are at the top of their game all the time. I'm saying goodbye to feeling less than because I'm a mom who's also a business owner and saying hello to real life as a mama who's raising her kids while also chasing her dreams. It's hard, incredibly rewarding, and messy. I want to step into a new direction, one that shows other moms out there that it IS possible. It's not something they should feel they need to hide; it's something they should be proud of. I wrote more about this in depth over HERE.
OVER 600 PHOTOGRAPHERS SIGNED UP ON THE ESSENTIAL STUDIO MANAGER
We had over 600 amazing photographers sign up on the ESSENTIAL STUDIO MANAGER during it's first initial month of being live. The basic plan is 100% free for photographers to use and the pro plan is $5 a month. Our goal was to make a site that is functional and affordable. Seeing so many photographers sign up and put it to use seriously made our month.
PRETTIED UP MY BLOG
I'm going to add this here, because I know it doesn't sound like much, for anyone who wants to tweak something minor on their site knows how time-consuming this can be. I changed up my sidebar, made it more organized and although it might not look like much, it took me a solid few days to create.
Between selling the biggest collection, crushing yearly income goals, opening a studio space, dealing with mistakes, and going full force in the direction of your dreams we are celebrating some BIG things together! I'm so INCREDIBLY proud of the ladies in my PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS SUCCESS CLASS. Every month I write a blog post to celebrate together, and it's been a fun way to take the time to celebrate each month. This isn't just for those in my class; it's for anyone who is crazy enough to pursue their dreams. That includes you! :) Make sure to always take the time to celebrate not just the goals you reach, but every step you take that gets you closer.
I DECIDED IT'S TIME TO START HOMESCHOOLING
Now I totally get how you might read this and think that this has nothing to do with my business. But if you know me, you know that I do everything for my business singlehandedly and that although I try my best to balance between family life and work life, the two have found a way to co-exist with one another. Anything that happens in my personal life can affect my business life, and that's why I'm adding this to the list. You can read all about WHY I decided to call it quits with public school HERE. I'm so excited to start this but so scared at the same time. It means I not only have to manage 100% of my business but also need to learn how to homeschool my daughter and do that at the same time. I sort of have a vision in my head on those two things working together. I'll write more on that when we get started, but the decision took a ton of thought, and I'm excited about getting that started. I'm also excited for my daughter to get a front row seat to watching her mama and dad work for themselves on something they are passionate about. I love that she gets to see this in real life and hope that whatever path she chooses for her life, that she knows the importance of chasing her dreams.
WROTE MY HEART OUT
It always feels like a productive month when I take the time to write out my thoughts. Anyone who has a blog knows how hard it is to stick with a blogging schedule. Since I started writing about my own personal thoughts, the process has become second nature.
Blogging used to always be about using the right keywords, SEO, optimization, ranking on page 1 on Google and although I completely understand why all those things are important, it sucked the life out of blogging for me. It felt so forced, and I didn't enjoy it. And like most things I don't enjoy doing, they usually get pushed aside.
Instead of focusing so much on SEO and keywords, I started writing from the heart. I have no idea how well those blog posts rank, but it's much more important to me to get my message out there. The fact that people take the time to read my words means a ton to me, and I try to deliver as much helpful content and advice as possible.
I've connected with so many incredible people through sharing my thoughts, and it's made me fall in love with writing. Seeing that others out there struggle with the same things, seeing that people can relate to my stories is amazing. The people who I've gotten the pleasure of reaching me inspire me to do more, give more and continue encouraging. Big thanks to anyone who's ever read something on my blog. It really means a lot to me!
Here are Aprils articles:
MAUI OFFICE INSPIRATION
SNOOPING ON THE COMPETITION?
CHEERS; HERE'S WHAT WE'RE CELEBRATING IN APRIL
THE SECRET TO SUCCESS IS...
LIFE IS NOT A JOURNEY - REMEBER TO DANCE AND SING
SHOUTOUT TO THE WOMEN WHO RAISE BUSINESSES AND BABIES!
PROFESSIONAL PRINTING LABS THAT PHOTOGRAPHERS LOVE TO USE!
DECIDING NOT TO DECIDE IS A DECISION IN ITSELF
KISSING BALANCE GOODBYE
WE BOOKED OUR FLIGHTS!
WHY WE'RE SWITCHING FROM PUBLIC SCHOOL TO HOMESCHOOL
MAUI HOME SNEAK PEAK!
That sums it up for this months income report and Q&A. I had a lot of fun answering all those questions so if you have any at all, feel free to leave a comment below, or in a comment on facebook, or message me personally on facebook, so I can be sure to answer it in the Question & Answer post!
I teach photographers how to build their dream business, with strategies they can implement right away to build a striving business that has an income they can count on! I cover everything you need to turn your passion into a profitable reality. I'll show you the process that helped me go from making 10K in a year to one that made me over $105,000 during 90 days! This class is for photographers who are truly ready to build the business of their dreams and learn the important steps in developing a strong business, brand, and client base. If you have any questions then please feel free to reach out to me. I'm always happy to answer additional questions about joining my class!