HOW I MADE $32,338 IN FEBRUARY
Plus what my strategy and goals are for next month. BONUS: Questions & Answers linked at the end of this article!
If I had to pick one word for February it would be: S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L
February has always been an off month for me and I'd be lying if I told you that these past few weeks haven't been a little stressful. Between paying $36,000 in taxes (yes you read that right) trying to get everything lined up smoothly for relocating my business to Hawaii, selling out home here in Florida so we can make the move over spring break has been a lot to deal with. But as always, creating plans and being driven forward by my goals is something I Iove to do. Focusing on the future.
In addition to my income report, I also go into a little more detail on how I like to use different social platforms to grow my business. I had so many questions about it and wanted to be sure to include that information in this report.
So if you've been dying to find out how I use them then you'll love reading February report. I know they are all really long so take your time to go over it.
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!
FEBRUARY GROSS INCOME: $32,338
Gross Sales: $30,057 (Net Sales $28,021)
Photography Business Class: $2,226
JANUARY TRAFFIC REPORT: 52,568 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.
FEBRUARY EXPENSES: $15,128
Paypal Fees: $986
Website Payment Fees: $224
Post Planner*: $19
Social Login: $2
Quickbooks Bookkeeping: $29
Accountant: $500 (increase here for filing our 2016 taxes!)
(Anything with an * next to it is an affiliate link)
GROSS INCOME TO DATE $932,823
(income in graph below is only for January 2015 - now)
FACEBOOK, E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTION, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST GROWTH
- Facebook: 96,008 +1246
- E-mails: 51,329 +1410
- Instagram: 7229 +415
- Pinterest: 5349 +145
TOTAL GROWTH: +3216
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 AND GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH:
PORTFOLIO REVIEW - CHOOSING MY BEST WORK
I am pretty terrible at posting my work on Facebook, I have so many great photos on my computer that never get shared and I decided it's time to make a change. I went through all my work, and choose only my FAVORITE photos. I wanted to see how many I would end up with and then find a way to schedule those photos online. I want to make sure to put my best work out there to make sure I'm attracting the right client. 119 total images made the cut. I'm not sure if that's good or not but it looked absolutely beautiful in a folder. It was amazing to see so many different types of sessions but see my style in each of them. It reminded me what I love most about my work and I'm excited to share more of my favorite work online.
Here's a quick look at some of my favorites.
If your a photographer or artist, take time to do a portfolio review. Make a folder of your favorite images and figure out what specifically you love so much about them. Then go create more of that magic!
CREATED NEWSLETTER SCHEDULE
This one was hard. I've been trying to do a better job sending newsletters, and decided to create some kind of schedule to keep me accountable throughout the year. Fingers crossed that this helps! I managed to send a few newsletters in the month of February and I'm hopefully that continues in the upcoming months.
CREATED A 365 POST PLAN
Consistency is so important when it comes to social media. It's hard to post enough and I decided to sit down and create a plan for every single day of the year. It's something I plan to continue adding on to as the time goes by but the great thing about it is that the more I add to it, the greater the overall plan is and I'll be able to use it in the future. Creating a plan for the next 365 days will help me be more consistent and connect with more amazing people on social media!
Oh boy, I'll add this to the not fun list of February. I'm still in the process of figuring this one out, so I won't write too much about it yet, but transferring a business to a new state and figuring out the new tax brackets for it has not been fun.
Another one for the naughty list. Reviewing taxes is NEVER...EVER fun. But it's part of running a business. So far, ever year I've been in business I've increased the amount I make, which means I owe more in taxes every year. This year I paid over $36,000 in taxes. My business is filed as an s-corp so I only get taxed on the amount I pay myself, and not the full amount that I make. I have an incredible accountant that makes sure everything is filed correctly and although taxes stress me out, at least I know we are doing it right.
Tip: If you run your own business, you have to make sure to put enough aside for taxes. A safe amount to put aside is around 30% of what you make. Depending on how your business is filed (LLC vs S-Corp vs C-Corp etc) and how much you make per year will determine how much you end up having to pay in taxes. If you're a small business I highly recommend connecting with a great accountant who will explain everything to you and make sure you're filing everything correctly.
COLLECTING RESEARCH WITH HEATMAPS
This was something AMAZING that I found so I'm super excited to pass this on to you guys. If you have a business, you have a website, and you'll love it probably as much as I did! This company is called HOTJAR What they do is help you figure out what's working best on your website and what is causing confusion or problems. By installing a little snippet into my website I was able to see exactly where my potential clients were clicking on my website. Hotjar makes these heatmaps where you'll see what gets clicked most. And then you can take that information and make it better. (I had no idea that my slideshow buttons was one of the most clicked on parts...note to self...put something good on slider #2!)
Heatmaps isn't the only thing they do. You can also set it up to record what your site visitors are doing! It's as if you were watching over someones shoulder as they are going around your website. You'll see what pages they visit, if they had trouble finding pricing or information, and see if there is something that made them leave the site. You might have something on your website that is causing people to X out and you have no idea what it is! Now you can find out what it is and improve your website.
You'll be able to watch recordings from people visiting your website that are using a computer, a iPad or Cellphone. You'll instantly see how your website is working on their end and then can make the user experience even better!
There is a 10 day free trial on the site. That's really all I needed to see what was broken on my site, or wasn't working great. I don't have a need for a paid plan right now, but if I ever change my site again I would 100% sign up for one of their paid plan because it seriously pays off to know what works and what doesn't.
Watch the video below!
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!
Turning dreams into reality is my specialty! I teach photographers and creatives 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! 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. When I first start my photography business I had to learn a lot of important things by trial and error. After years of building a business of my own I'm excited to share all my business knowledge with those of you that are ready to build something you are truly proud of. Something that will make you independently strong as a person and as a business owner. If you have a dream and are willing to work hard at it then you'll absolutely love this class -- It will completely pay for itself over and over again after implementing my business plan and strategies!