HOW I MADE $38,880 IN MARCH
Plus what my strategy and goals are for next month. BONUS: Questions & Answers linked at the end of this article!March was a blast. I completely changed gears, learned to put my feet up and realized that due to the amount of work I have put in in the last few years and the way I have my business set up allows me to do that. Years of hard work has gotten me to a point where when I need to take a month to slow down a little everything continues just how it should. I launched some BIG new ideas, one of them being opening up a private facebook group to add free lightroom tutorials to every month (if you want to join click HERE). I went on a mini vacation and swam with dolphins. And did some deep thinking about what I'm doing with my business. Overall it was a good month and I'm excited to tell you more below.
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!
MARCH GROSS INCOME: $38,880
Gross Sales: $36,530(Net Sales $34,000)
Photography Business Class: $2,350.00
MONTHLY TRAFFIC REPORT: 46,000 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: $17,974
Paypal Fees: $943
Website Payment Fees: $206
Post Planner*: $19
Social Login: $2
Quickbooks Bookkeeping: $29
(Anything with an * next to it is an affiliate link)
GROSS INCOME TO DATE $971,705
(income in graph below is only for January 2015 - now)
FACEBOOK, E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTION, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST GROWTH
- Facebook: 97,008 +1000
- E-mails: 51,652 +323
- Instagram: 7683 +454
- Pinterest: 5474 +125
TOTAL GROWTH: +1902
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:
I TOOK A MINI-VACATION
February was a little stressful and when Spring Break came around I knew I wanted to take a week off from working. For me, my biggest triumph was taking time for myself and my family and turning everything off. I don't take a lot of time off work. 1. Because I love what I do, and 2. I work from home so it always feels like work is around me. Recently I've have had more stress than usual and I knew that I needed to slow down a little, spend a more quality time with family. I took an entire week off, focused 100% on being in the moment and told myself not to worry about work. I hung out with my family, we went on a little mini-vacation, swam with some dolphins and made memories. I turned everything off and took a break. Coming back from taking time off I realize that business goes on, even when we take a little break. Taking time off is just as important as being productive while at work. My goal for the remaining part of the year and upcoming years is to schedule actual time off, and then really put my feet up when I do. Oh, we also went strawberry picking which was a blast.
My last scheduled wedding in Florida is May 20th and with that, it means I've had to really change my focus, but more focus on other aspects of my business for the time being of getting transitioned over to Hawaii. I've had to turn down so many session requests in the past few months because of my move to Hawaii. This means slowing down and not shooting very much and although it's been really great to have the time to re-focus on the direction I'm going with my portraits I am so excited to get to Maui and start shooting again because man I miss it! My mind has been on over drive on ideas that I'd like to do when I get there and I know right now I just have to sit and wait to get there to start.
OPENED UP A PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP FOR FREE LIGHTROOM TUTORIALS
A huge part of my business is giving back to those around me. I try to create helpful articles, encourage people and help them with the things they struggle with. Sometimes it's hard to figure out how to do that. I had been asked to start a private group for those who use my presets and loved the idea. I loved the idea even more because it would give me a place to share free tutorials that I create. When I hear that people struggle with using Lightroom I want to hop on a plane, fly to their house and show them how to use it because it has helped me so much in creating consistent work. The first video I created was a 25 min long video on HOW TO USE LIGHTROOM. It goes over how to import your images, how to keep everything organized, how to cull a session, edit, bath editing, and goes over some of my favorite tools. There's so much you can do with Lightroom and I wanted to help others learn. Over the last few weeks I've also created some requested videos and will continue to help those in the group learn.
If you'd like to get access to the free videos I'd love to see you in the group!
(if you want to join click HERE)
WENT LIVE WITH ESSENTIAL STUDIO MANAGER
My husband has been building my 11-in-1 Essential Studio Manager into a fully functioning website and we FINALLY went live with the site last week. Free for life and upgrade when you need to. If you're a photographer who's looking for a convenient way to manage your business then sign up and take a look around because your life is about to get a whole lot easier. You can see that here!
I LEARNED TO SLOW DOWN
So the truth is that I really learned to slow down in March. For the last 8 years, I've literally hit the ground running and have not allowed myself to walk. My mindset has been focused on pushing myself as hard as possible in the right direction. I feel as if I've been sprinting for 8 years straight and kind of forgot how to walk. After taking 10 days off for spring break I realized that my overall business was doing just fine. For some reason, I've alway had this fear of everything falling apart if I slow down a little as if my momentum was holding everything together. I've realized that I've done such a great job as a solopenuer that even when I take a break, my business is doing great. Nothing fell apart.
I don't have a team of people who work for me, I think that's actually one of my struggles. Hanging on to controlling every aspect of my business but it's also something I'm very proud of. I understand all aspects of my business like the back of my hand because I manage it myself 100% of the time. So finding out that even as a solopenuer I can take the time to slow down if I needed it was a great re assurance in what I'm doing.
Raise your hand if you hate dealing with emails! Ahh...dreadful emails. They just come flying in and then I feel stressed out about not replying to people quick enough. I want to make sure to respond to every email coming in as quickly as possible but here's the thing. It's just me working and email is something I'm not overly excited about. So I decided it was time to come up with a solution to deal with emails constantly flying in.
I sat there and looked at my inbox and realized that I get three types of emails:
- Junk emails I don't want. (whoa there's a lot and they do a great job at cluttering up my inbox)
- Emails I love to get
- Inquiries or people needing help with something.
Here's what I did. I took my entire inbox and started making folders;
- Inquires Sessions
- Inquires Weddings
- Customer Support
- Newsletter Love (a folder designated for all the newsletters I get)
Next, I created rules for my email inbox that would automatically organize emails that came in directing the into their designated folders. The only ones that I see in my inbox are the urgent ones (Session Inquires, Wedding Inquires & Customer Support.) So now my entire inbox is organized and I see the ones that need my attention without having to go on a hunt.
And for the first time in forever, I actually enjoy dealing with my email inbox!
RE-EVALUATED MYSELF AND MY BUSINESS
I'm sure I'm not the only one who is on the constant search for balance between keeping my business professional and sharing enough personal to still feel like I am part of my business. Over the past few years I have gone from sharing lots of personal things, so switching to sharing more of just my work. And today I realize that although my Instagram and Facebook feed is finally looking perfectly styled like I had always wanted it to be, something is missing. I felt like I was missing.
I wrote all about it on my recent blog post HERE and go in more detail on my struggles as well as what I want to get better at. One of them is putting myself more in front of the camera and sharing more stories with the world.
CHEERS - I start to celebrate!
I've decided that we all need to celebrate a bit more. I noticed that many small business owners such as myself spend a whole lot of time working, and very little time celebrating their accomplishments. I want to change that for myself and for those around me.
So this week, I asked the amazing ladies in my Photography Business Success Class what they are most proud of this month and my goal is to put together a monthly article to celebrate with them because they deserve it! They need to know that they should be so proud of themselves for the things they are getting done. And if you have something your proud of this month then join us! Anyone who is crazy enough to pursue their dreams and spend countless hours investing into making it happen needs to take one day to raise a glass and give themselves a pat on the back.
From now on I'll be putting up a monthly blog post on the 26th and list out everything we're celebrating as a way to remind us ALL to take the time and celebrate our accomplishment. If you like champagne you're welcome to join us ;)
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!