HOW I MADE $39,015 IN JANUARY

Plus what my strategy and goals are for next month. BONUS: Questions & Answers linked at the end of this article! 

While putting together this income report I realized that I just hit $900,000 in overall gross income which is pretty incredible. For me running a successful business is so much more than just a simple number and how much I make but has everything to do with creating a dependable income that allows me to do what I am wildly passionate about every single day while also giving me financial security and freedom of time to pursue a life I love. 

January was great, I felt really in control of how everything was going, inspired by shooting more, excited about my upcoming move to Hawaii. I overshot my overall income goal a little bit for this month which was a great way to start of 2017. I'm guilty of setting big goals, sometimes a little too big and then struggle with not getting all the way there. One of my personal goals for this year was to not over set goals, as much as goals are important it's just as important to be realistic about them and then celebrating them as they come and go. 

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 Januarys 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. 

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!

 

JANUARY GROSS INCOME: $39,015

Gross Sales: $36,981 (Net Sales $36,263

Photography Business Class: $1,985

Affiliates: $46

JANUARY TRAFFIC REPORT: 52,847

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. 

 

JANUARY EXPENSES: $15,264

Vendors: $1615

Paypal Fees: $1,039

Website Payment Fees: $269

Facebook: $9,698

Pathwright: $239

RetargetingApp: $2049

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 $900,485

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

FACEBOOK, E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTION, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST GROWTH

  • Facebook: 94,762 +2402 
  • E-mails: 49,919 +6719 
  • Instagram: 6814 +625
  • Pinterest: 5204  +169

TOTAL GROWTH: +9915

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: 

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. 
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The next few things are tasks I plan to complete or are in the process of getting done...

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SCHEDULING AHEAD 

I have been writing my heart out with the goal to finish writing helpful/inspirational posts for 365 days straight. Sound time-consuming? Oh yes, it is, but post planner helps me schedule those posts a little faster. I have days where I could write all day (like today) and others where I sit at my desk staring at a blank page. I think tha'ts just part of running your own business, you have on days and off days. A great way I have made up for my off days are optimizing my on days. When I have a day where I feel inspired to write, I usually will put my other tasks aside and work on as much writing as possible. Then I'll use that content on days I need it. 

I still make sure to stay on top of all my important work but let's be real, there are a ton of tasks we have to get done. Some require that creative mind, and the other just need to get done. I don't have to feel inspired or creative to reply to emails or work on updating important information, or create a budget for the next month. But I need to feel inspired to write something that will inspire others. 

So with that said, when you feel creative or inspired, write, draw, create. Use that work on the days you don't feel creative.   

CREATE A FREE LIGHTROOM CLASS

I'm super excited about this but have to find the time to complete it. It probably won't be as perfect as I want it to be, but what it will be is incredibly helpful for someone who feels a little bit overwhelmed by using Lightroom for their editing. I've already recorded going over how to import, export, in lightroom and covered all the important tools I personally love using in Lightroom. I'm thinking of making some sort of private facebook group and upload the videos there. This way if anyone has any questions along the way they can easily ask me. LR has really changed my workflow and I know it could help others as well. I also know how hard it was to make the jump from photoshop to lightroom and hoping that this free class with help those who are new. Information on this class will be posted on facebook, so if you're thinking 'YESS! I NEED THIS!' Then keep an eye out for the announcement!  

SELLING OUR FLORIDA HOUSE

It's February, which means our closing date on our house is happening this month! We spend the end of January clearing out the house and selling literally everything we had. Once we are done with closing at the end of the month our plan is to wait for spring break and then fly over to Hawaii. You can read all about that adventure on the personal section on the blog. HERE

FINISH ALL FLORIDA SESSIONS & PREPARE FOR HAWAII

I have my last sessions scheduled this month before making the big move. So sad that I can't pack all my amazing clients with me. Looking back on the past few years I've had such an inspiring time creating sessions for those clients. Each of those clients and sessions is special to me and the feeling of appreciation is something I will be bringing with me to my next home. 

TAKE TIME TO RELAX

Something I have been trying to do every day is to proactively take a few moments to myself. It's amazing how quickly time can go by and one of the first things I often allow myself to give up on is my own time. Between a busy work time, having two kids, making dinner, going to the playground, conversations with my husband the one thing that's often at the bottom of the list is just a few minutes to myself to relax and disconnect. Put everything away, including my phone and just let it all go for a few minutes. 

RELEASED NEW LIGHTROOM PRESET COLLECTIONS

For those that follow me on facebook probably saw that I released two new lightroom presets. They are an absolute dream to use. Creating LR preset collections is something I have a lot of fun doing. Editing photos for me feels like therapy and as much as I wish I could help everyone in the world edit their own photos, creating lightroom presets allows me to at least share my adjustments with the world. 

You can see all my lightroom preset collections HERE. For the last two I recently released you can also see a video click through of each preset. 

Here are some of my favorites, edited with the Lightroom Preset - The Pure Collection

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!

 

 

GET FULL ACCESS TO MY PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS SUCCESS CLASS

TODAY FOR $37!

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!

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