HOW I MADE $30,586 IN OCTOBER
Plus what my strategy and goals are for next month.
This is the FIRST month where I publish my personal business income report. I spent all day creating these graphs to display all the data in a way that makes sense. I'll be honest; I got a little nervous about hitting that publish button. By making this information public, I hope that fellow photographers, entrepreneurs, and business owners can follow along and get inspired to pursue what they are passionate about. I manage every aspect of my business myself. I do not have a team that works for me or an assistant to help with the little things that need to get done. Everything you see is done by me personally. I hope that these income reports help inspires entrepreneurs to go after what they love. Remember, anything is possible with the right type of plan
a little bit about me for those who are new...
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 jump in!
OCTOBER INCOME: $30,586
Photography Business Class: $2,700
OCTOBER TRAFFIC REPORT: 70,090 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 in 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.
Now you'll also see that there was a HUGE spike in September, but sales stayed about the same. This is because of a blog post I wrote 30 EMOTIONS EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER CAN RELATE TO and it gave plenty of people a good laugh. I wrote it out of complete boredom one day avoiding a long to-do list, and it ended up increasing my traffic (which will help me get ranked better). But aside from that, it didn't get me any more clients or customers. I had a blast creating it so that spike in traffic was really just a fun bonus. Remember to add a little mindless fun into your work schedule.
OCTOBER EXPENSES: $10,054
Post Planner*: $19
Paypal Fees: $838
Website Payment Fees: $314
Social Login: $2
Quickbooks Bookeeping: $29
(Anything with an * next to it is an affiliate link)
INCOME TO DATE $749,676.42
(income in graph below is only for January 2015 - now)
FACEBOOK, E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTION, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST GROWTH
- Facebook: 88,581 +5279
- E-mails: 32,365 +1419
- Instagram: 5,543 +67
- Pinterest: 4,600 +491
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 in order 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. I'm sure there's plenty we all dislike about running a business with social media, but don't kick it to the side by underestimating it's potential.
MY STRATEGY AND GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH:
November is usually one of my busiest months. Ever.
Juggling between running my business, family time, portrait sessions, and getting ready for the holidays means I have a full plate. I have a never ending to-do list that just keeps on growing so here's my list of TOP things I want to tackle in November:
GETTING READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS AND BLACK FRIDAY
November is my time to plan for big events like holiday sessions and black Friday. If you have a business then black Friday is an awesome time to reach out to past clients and customers and treat them extra special with a nice of discount. I have a few fun things planned myself. If you're booked solid with clients then careful on how much of a discount you give away. I've noticed over the years that I've had to adjust my session discounts on holidays due to being booked enough. But remember - you can always offer discounts on special products, maybe your clients have a gallery up and are thinking about ordering more prints, albums, canvases etc. This is a great time to discount those items because it won't require too much additional time on your end to prepare those for your clients.
NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH
My photography site is getting an overhaul right now and I am planning to launch it in November. It takes so much time organizing a site and making it as efficient as possible and I'm super excited to get that big project completed. It's one of those things that is really time-consuming but soooo worth it. For anyone who's worked on their own site you can completely understand how much goes into. Since I have so many aspects to my business it's really important for me to have a way that they all go together.
EXTRA PINTEREST ATTENTION
I'm in the middle of focusing more on Pinterest. As you can see the growth from last month jumped up + 491 so that made me happy. I don't utilize Pinterest as much as I should and made it a plan to keep focusing on this platform. I organized my Pinterest page to reflect my Modern Market store. If you'd like to see what it looks like now, you can see it here. There's not much on it right now but I plan to continue adding more great content to it this month.
I published the new photography business printable planner in October (turned out so pretty!), and I'll be spending this month getting ready for next year. I like to start the year with a blank planner, file everything from my past year and then I'll be ready to go for next year! If you have a business then take this time to put away everything from this year, and get ready for the upcoming year.
WORK ON COMPLETING THE NEW MODERN MARKETING MASTERCLASS
Super excited to be working on a new class that will be available to anyone who is passionate about building a successful business. This is a little different from my Photography Business Success Class (which is focused on building a successful photography business). This new marketing class will help absolutely anyone. There's a ton of content, so I'll be spending a good amount of time adding it in.
CONTINUE TO GROW MY E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTION
Managing newsletters is something I would love to get more organized with. I've built a decent size list using my marketing strategies. What I would like to get better at is setting up newsletters on a schedule. For the month of November, I plan to create at least three new newsletters. It's one of those things that takes a lot of time. (I've always been a perfectionist when it comes to styling them) so they often take me way longer than they should.
PLAN OUT AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
There are so many incredible companies that I love to use personally. I have worked with other companies in the past but want to spend a little more time studying how exactly affiliate programs work and how I can go about helping other companies I love while using my own site. Note: Affiliate programs are available everywhere. Most likely the companies you love yourself have affiliate programs you can sign up for. Ex: there's a dress company I LOVE recommending to my clients for their session. I have so many favorites from them and my clients love using their items for their sessions. If I was signed up as an affiliate and one of my clients purchase a dress from them, I make commission on that sale. Pretty neat right?
SCHEDULE MORE CONTENT TO FACEBOOK WITH POST PLANNER
Post Planner (affiliate link) is an awesome little tool I love to use when planning my Facebook posts ahead of time. I spend lots of time managing my Facebook page and using a tool that helps me plan ahead is an awesome way for me to maximize the results I get from it. With the holidays right around the corner, it's time for me to think ahead and start planning. Every year I do 25 days of Christmas giveaway. (a fun way for me to give back to those who follow me on my fan page). Although these giveaways are a ton of fun, there's a TON of planning that goes into them. I have to create graphics, text, and content to post for every day without missing a beat. Using Post Planner makes that really easy.
ADD MORE CONTENT TO MY PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS SUCCESS CLASS
One of the main reasons I moved my Photography Business Success Class online was to make it more convenient for photographers to learn the ins and outs of running a successful business. Another big reason was because I wanted to have the option to easily add more content to the class when needed. I'm constantly learning new things, and social media is always changing. It's crucial for me to keep the class up to date so those taking the class get the latest, most relevant information. When I learn something new that works, I find a way to add the new material to the class. With that said, there's a few new topics I want to add which will be added to the online class as well as shared in the private online facebook group. (those that are in my class are also part of this private group because I want them to have a place to ask me questions.) I've met some incredible photographers in the group and being able to see them put in the hard work in learning the important steps and making real changes is so rewarding. If you're currently in the class, keep an eye out for that new content, it's coming!
CREATE FREE BUSINESS CONSULTATION
There are so many creatives that don't know where they stand with their business. They're not sure what changes they need to make in order to see real results. This got me thinking about creating a free business consultation that would help people see exactly what areas they are doing good in, and what areas they have room for improvements. I'm not 100% sure how I'll do this yet, but hoping to get started on the planning process.
BETA TEST NEW TOOL
For the last year, I have been working on a tool to help photographers. I can't say much about it yet, but I'm so close to going live with it. In November I'm planning to beta test it with a select group of people to ensure that there aren't any crazy glitches. Launching a new idea is hard, and I'll be honest, you find a lot of road blocks when you try and build something that's not yet out there. To be this close to going live is really exciting though. If you're a photographer, then keep an eye out for the announcement!
START PLANNING FOR THE UPCOMING MOVE
If you follow my fan page you might have seen my big announcement about moving to Hawaii. If you missed it you can read it HERE. I'm beyond excited about my upcoming adventure but realize this is going to be hard. I have to move my entire family, and business from Florida all the way over to Hawaii. I have never had to switch locations for my portrait and wedding clients so I'll have to manage that switch as gracefully as possible. I know it will be hard work but I know I can get it done. I can't wait to get there and start building up my client base with those that are local to the islands of Hawaii. I'm sure I'll learn plenty of things about the ins and outs of relocating a photography business, and I'll happily pass that information to anyone who had to do the same.
Well, that sums it up for November. This article ended up being WAY longer than expected. For those of you who made it to the end, you get a virtual high five from me. Thanks for reading. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Turning dreams into reality is my specialty! 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 change your life.