JUNE INCOME REPORT - $36,752 + NEW STUDIO SET UP!

HOW I MADE $36,752 IN JUNE

Plus what my strategy was and a list of things I got accomplished. BONUS: Questions & Answers linked at the end of this article! 

June was the month where I was finally able to dive in and start shooting again here in Hawaii. I finished setting up my new studio space (watch the set up here), I photographed a beautiful maternity session at the beach, and started offering in studio sessions for little ones. I didn't give myself a ton of time between working hard in Florida and then moving my entire life here to Hawaii and although it was hard to get here and set everything up as quickly as possible, it feels incredible to have everything done and now have the time to start shooting more. 

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. 

Important Notes: 
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: $36,752

Gross Sales: $34,072 (Net Sales $31,507)

Photography Business Class: $2,330.00

Essential Studio Manager: $350

MONTHLY TRAFFIC REPORT: 37,952 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: $15,952

Vendors: $1225

Paypal Fees: $830

Website Payment Fees: $140

Facebook: $11,929

Pathwright: $114

RetargetingApp: $1068

Post Planner*: $19

GoDaddy: $2

Rare.io: $39

Pixieset: $50

Social Login: $2

Privy: $24 

Adobe: $10

Quickbooks Bookkeeping: $29

Accountant: $290 

 (Anything with an * next to it is an affiliate link)

 

GROSS INCOME TO DATE $1,083,600

(income in graph below is only for January 2015 - now) 

FACEBOOK, E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTION, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST GROWTH

  • Facebook: 100,081 
  • E-mails: 51,753
  • Instagram: 8,736 
  • Pinterest: 5,683

TOTAL REACH: 166,253

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: 

FACEBOOK STRATEGY
I have facebook listed first, aside from my own websites, this is what I love spending most of my time. I love it over other platforms because I feel like it allows me to engage with people on a deeper level. The people that follow me on there. (photographers, creatives, and my amazing clients) are extremely involved and I love that it feels more like a community than a fan page. My strategy on Facebook has always been to be as authentic, helpful and encouraging. I love inspiring others to pursue their dreams and share my own work with people who truly care and have that same positive mindset as me. 
I try my best to put out as much good content as possible and give people a place to learn and connect. I love giving people direct answers and advice on their own path and love how easy Facebook makes this. I get a ton of messages and comments every day and do my best to respond to each of them. I love it when I get personal messages from other dreamers, and love chatting with them. It's really time-consuming to stay on top of all of it but it makes me happy knowing that people can come to a place to get more encouragement. 
A really great way that has allowed me to grow my client base is uploading client photos and tagging them directly. I'm friends with all my clients and love seeing comments on their page. (you can only see them if you're actually friends with them). I might get 10+ comments on my fan page, but there's usually another 50+ on my clients page. There's usually a few people asking for more information and I'm glad to always see my clients tag my page or me personally under the comment which allows me to connect instantly with another potential client. 
If I was to draw out my client base and add a line between the ones who know each other it would be a huge spiderweb of lines. They all know each other in some way and I love that about it.
I spend money on Facebook boosted posts and feel like it's a great way to reach more people who are looking for a photographer, or love to connect with another photographer. 
Other social sites are great but Facebook works really great for me since I do have so many aspects of my business. My portrait photography business, wedding photography business, store & business coaching. Facebook makes it really easy for me to have all those on the same page. 

E-MAIL STRATEGY
Growing an email list has been something that I've been working on over the last few years. I find creating newsletters extremely time-consuming, but know what an awesome way it is to reach all clients or customers at once. So although I don't enjoy it as much as Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest I do my best to still stay on top of it.
The way I collect email address is by giving away free content, or some sort of giveaway. For my portrait business, I have done monthly giveaways for people to enter and have collected email addresses that way. For weddings, I have done a wedding package giveaway. For those I will usually only do one giveaway a year, and only if I want to book more weddings. For my store side and business mentoring I giveaway one business class seat each month.  
Giving away free content, advice, products, sessions etc is a great way to get a long list of potential clients or customers. Once I have those collected I reach out on a later date to see if they are still interested in the service or product. Collecting email addresses is a great way to open communication with hundreds of potential clients. 
One of the reasons I collect email addresses for newsletters is because I have no idea where social media will be in 5-10-20 years. I might not use newsletters a ton, but I know that those contacts will be on my list forever, regardless of where social media goes. So growing that list long term is a great way for me to ensure I have a direct contact with the right people. 

INSTAGRAM STRATEGY
I use Instagram for my portrait and photography business. Instagram strives on visuals and using my photography on there has been a great way to reach more potential clients. Connecting with other businesses has also been a wonderful way to rasise more awareness on my own brand. I don't most a ton of content to Instagram but use it to showcase more of my work. 
In 2016 I split up my personal and business page to help create a 'prettier' Instagram. I love sharing my little personal life moments on Instagram but hated how it just didn't fit into my photography style. For those who follow my work know my work is very bright and airy with lots of white. My personal life is a little messier and has a lot more color. I share lots of pictures of my two kiddos and our little adventures. Splitting the two apart has helped me share more personal moments while keeping my business side nice and pretty. 
Here's a quick look at my business Instagram. @modernbabyphotography
And here's my personal Instagram. @Mrs_Ringo

PINTEREST STRATEGY
I use Pinterest for gathering ideas and inspiration. I showcase my own photography work on there, as well as link my blog post content and products. I often use it to create vision boards for upcoming sessions and love the amount of knowledge that is available on there. I also use Pinterest to find other vendors to work with. One thing I do like to do is keep my Pinterest page really organized and pin only things I personally really love. Overall I keep Pinterest pretty simple. I love using it, who wouldn't. 
The next few things are tasks I started in the month. Some are on going and some have been completed. 
SETTLED IN
We have called Maui home for a little over a month now, and we have finally started to settle in. I'll be honest, the first two weeks here felt like we were running a marathon between taking care of everything important. Moving into our new home, getting our car registered, figuring out where what is. A month in things have really slowed down, and we really love the slower pace of life Maui has to offer. I still feel like I am balancing a million things, but things are coming together how they should. I got a ton of things done in the month of June and really proud of that.

SET UP OUR OFFICE
As you might know, I spent the last few months working on a laptop from a kitchen counter in a house that had nothing but an air mattress in it and believes me I am glad those days are over. Setting up an office here was at the top of my list facebook and I'm glad I have a nice 97-inch shiny white office table. (big enough for my husband and me to share the space). It's so nice to sit at a table and get my work done again.

STUDIO SET UP
If you follow me on Facebook, you know how much I love my studio sessions. I used to have a beautiful white studio space and when we moved to our beautiful farm house with a huge wrap around porch surrounded by huge oak trees I never had the space and natural light that worked great for a studio space. So the last two years I've had to do without that space and missed it so much. I missed having a space that was set up, ready to go whenever I wanted to shoot and was so ready to have that in my life again. I spent a full day setting the space up, and it's exactly what I need. Already in love with it!
I recorded the setup process because I always get a lot of questions regarding how I have things set up. I have a list of items I use, what my floor is made of, what I use as curtains, literally everything you see is listed in the article! You can read that article HERE.

FIRST SESSION IN THE NEW SPACE
To test our the new space, I photographed the most adorable baby. The session was to check on the lighting, space, see how it worked in use. Good news - it worked perfectly, and I can not wait to start booking more baby sessions here!

FIRST BEACH SESSION
I also got to shoot my first beach maternity session here and had so much fun with that. The portraits from that turned out beautiful, but I did learn something important on lighting here on Maui. The sunsets are stunning here and to get the most our of sunset sessions it's best to shoot from 6:30-7:30. I feel like I started shooting a little early for the session which gave me lots of beautiful, backlit images, but I'd love to get more of those colorful skies in my session. Next time I'll start shooting a little later and closer to sunset. TIP: Learn and adjust. If you're shooting a session and something didn't go as planned, take that and adjust. Take time to play around with different types of lighting to see what works best for you!

LOCATION SCOUTING
More location scouting! I'm pretty sure this will never end because there are so many beautiful locations here on the island.

COLLABORATING WITH WOOLBORO
I got to work with the company Woolboro, who specializes in hand made knit baby items. I photographed some of their adorable baby hats, and little animals. You can find all their items HERE. As a professional photographer I not only offer portrait sessions but I also love working with companies and get their items photographed. I would love to add more of that to my calendar. I always look for companies who's items line up with my vision. (you'll notice lots of whites, lace, and pretty natural textures) This way it lines up with my style, and I can create some beautiful images for them to use to showcase their products. It's a win-win for both sides!

ADDED NEW FEATURES TO THE ESSENTIAL STUDIO MANAGER
My hubby has been hard at work adding additional features to The Essential Studio Manager. If you're currently looking for a site to help manage your business, then take a look! He made the site free to use on the basic plan to give everyone a chance to see how easy it is to use. If you love it, you can upgrade to the $5 monthly pro plan. Our goal with this is to continue adding more features that are being requested from all the awesome photographers we have in our private facebook group. Getting more feedback from the people who are on there every day using it is the strategy behind making it the best site for photographers. I think when it comes to launching a new product or idea, connecting with your actual clients or customers is the absolute best way to figure out how to improve it.

HIT 100,000 FANS ON FACEBOOK
How amazing is that?! I remember when that number was only 10, and only included close family members who tried to show their support and now it's grown into a community of over 100,000 and connected me to people from all over the world. People who have the same passion as me for photography, clients who trust me to document special moments in their life, fellow entrepreneurs that love growing their business. I remember the day Facebook first launched, sitting in my dorm room as a freshman in college (when it first started it was only open to college students). I had no idea that this social platform would become something so big, and make it possible for a small business like myself to connect with so many incredible people. Pretty amazing if you ask me.

As always, questions are welcomed!  

 

BONUS: CLICK HERE TO READ THE QUESTION & ANSWER SECTION

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!

JOIN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS SUCCESS CLASS TODAY

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!

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