Ep. 225: March 2019 Income Report

Welcome to my March Income Report! Every month I publish an income report to take you behind the scenes of my online business and reveal exactly how much money I make, how much I spend and lessons learned along the way!

My March Goals

So in my February Income Report, I talked about how instead of just saying I want to make $10,000 so I can pay myself $5K and have $2500 for taxes and $2500 for expenses and then being frustrated every month when it didn’t pan out that way because it pretty much never does, I decided to plan ahead for a realistic month in detail instead.

Just like I’ve been doing for years with our personal budget, Dave Ramsey style. Write down all the known expenses, think about what other expenses might come up based on what I’ve got planned for the month, and then write down all the known income that’s coming in that month and see how it all shakes out. And then I know if I need to do any extra promotion of my products or do some extra outreach to book a new web design client instead of just crossing my fingers and hoping that it all works out!

I mean, I wasn’t actually doing that, I had revenue goals and expense targets, but honestly they always left me feeling totally out of control.

So I still have revenue goals, and it’s still $10,000 a month now, with the goal to have that up to $15,000 by the end of the year, but now, I feel like I’m in control from the start of the month, and I feel so much more confident.

And just like my food plan and my exercise plan, if it’s not on the plan, it can’t just be added willy-nilly. The Shannon that sat down and planned out this month had her reasons why she decided this all ahead of time, and it’s my job to honor that plan.

If you want to learn more about this planning mindset, go check out the podcast Losing 100 Pounds with Phit N Phat – even if you’re not into weight loss, seriously, its really really good and you can just take everything she says about weight loss, substitute business or marketing and she’ll blow your mind wide open.

What I Focused on in March

In March, I kicked off the month speaking at the Thrive Conference for bloggers, which was so amazing.

I got to see all the girls in my mastermind again and spend time with them, I got to present on Google Analytics and what metrics to shoot for when monetizing your blog, and I got to meet some of the listeners of my podcast and 5 Day Website Challengers in person, which is always so awesome and humbling every time I meet someone in person who I’ve helped build a website and start a business.

Also in March, I launched the latest iteration of my online course, The Website Marketing Lab.

I kicked it off with the free 5 Day Freebie Challenge where I taught my method for creating a freebie that helps you grow your email list on autopilot.

Then after that 5 Day Challenge I opened up enrollment into the Website Marketing Lab, which teaches how to actually market yourself online in a way that feels authentic, how to find your ideal clients online, get them back to your website and eventually turn them into your best customers.

My big focus in March was creating all the content for the 5 Day Freebie Challenge, marketing it and getting as many signups as possible.

And I’ll break down my launch strategy for you with all my numbers and results in a future episode.

The other thing I focused on in March were the few open Done For You client projects I had open. I shifted around my yoga schedule so that I’d have bigger uninterrupted blocks of time to work on those projects, and I moved as many meetings as possible to start at 3PM or later so that I could have more uninterrupted time during that day to focus on getting that work done as fast as possible.

Also, the fruits of my Partnership Accelerator labor were totally paying off in March because I did a TON of guest interviews for this podcast, and you’ll hear those all throughout the month of April!  You may have noticed that I’m up to two episodes a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays, because I’ve had so many guests on the show if I spread them out weekly you wouldn’t get to hear from them til June – and they are SO GOOD, you guys, I don’t want you to wait to learn from all of my guests!

Finally, I made the decision to continue on with the Growth Tools Team after the Partnership Accelerator, and I made a really big decision to invest in Growth University.

And when I say I, I really mean we, because it’s one of those investments that’s more than just a normal online course, and I felt like rose to the level of having a conversation with my husband about it, because it’s very possible that in the short term I might have to pay myself a little less each month to cover it.

So of course I took him to his favorite place to get craft beer, and then imagine telling someone who understands what you do for a living on like a very surface level – just like I know what he does for a living but I have no real grasp of the details of it – that you want to pay some guy you met online thousands of dollars to help you grow your business.

So I’m answering questions like,

“Okay, who is this guy?”

“Bryan Harris from VideoFruit.”

“How do you know him?”

“Well, I heard him a few years ago on a podcast that I listen to with this other guy, Pat Flynn who’s the one that gave me the idea to start this business in the first place? I heard him on Pat’s podcast and I started following him, and taking action on all of his free advice and every single thing he ever recommended worked really well for me. So then I joined his Partnership Accelerator in January and that’s why I’ve been having so many interviews with guests on my podcasts and collaborating with all these people, and they invited me to their coaching program and I really, really think it’s going to be the thing that takes me to the next level.”

And then he gives me like a long stare and is like, “I trust you, but I don’t want you to pay for it all up front just in case it turns out to be a scam.”

And you guys, in that moment I felt such a wave of relief. Because this is unlike any other business coaching or program I’ve done.

So when I enrolled, I had to fill out this like, super comprehensive form telling them everything about me, my business, my customers, my pain points, my goals and my dreams, my numbers, my revenue, and then they went away for a couple weeks and reviewed all of my stuff, and then came back to me with a personalized step-by-step roadmap of all the steps I need to take to reach my goal.

Like, I don’t have to guess anymore. I don’t have to wonder if I’m doing the right things anymore. I know exactly what to focus on and where to put my time in order to get where I want to be.

And the other really cool thing is that all of my students inside the Website Marketing Lab are getting the benefit of me going through my own process as I lead them through theres. It’s pretty awesome and I’m very excited about it – so I’ll keep you posted in future income reports.

Total Revenue: $11,846.18

  • Affiliate Income: $1815.80
  • Courses: $5098.00
  • Done For You & Consulting: $4932.38

Total Expenses: $4714.32

Net Profit: $7131.86

Get the full breakdown of income, expenses and net profit month by month here.

Biggest Lessons Learned

As I reflect on March, for I think the very first time, my online course revenue exceeded my 1:1 client project revenue, and that, my friends is SUPER exciting. That is totally my plan. I’m not abandoning my 1:1 client work, but I want the majority of my income to be from scalable sources and be consistent, recurring revenue every month that I can count on. And so I think I’m definitely on the right track.

And like I mentioned last month how I felt like I was really getting behind, paying myself late and from money that’s really next month’s money to pay paychecks this month, that cash flow is easing up a bit.

I’m still working a lot of hours simply because I’ve decided to take on all the client work instead of outsourcing so that I can improve my cash flow, because sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

But the difference between now and last year when I burnt myself out overworking is that I’m making time for me. I’m working out every day, I’m getting good sleep, I’m drinking lots of water, I’m planning my healthy meals ahead, I don’t feel super stressed out all the time.

The planning method my business coach Vicki Fitch taught me – I feel like it’s finally become second nature. I’m planning ahead, I’m showing up like a boss, I don’t always feel behind and like everything’s on fire, and I have a solid plan and roadmap ahead of me. And we’re only 3 months into 2019!

My Website Marketing Lab launch was so much fun, you guys. Instead of doing a webinar, or just doing it all via email, I did a Facebook Challenge where every night for 5 nights I went live in a special facebook group just for this promotion, and I taught something about how to create a shareworthy freebie that helps you grow your email list on autopilot – and the engagement and participation I had in that group was like, mindblowing! It was a total blast. And then after those 5 days, I opened up the cart, continued giving feedback and teaching in the Facebook group and then anyone that wanted to continue with the next steps in the program joined the Website Marketing.

It was one of the first programs and promotions, aside from the Web Designer Academy that just felt, right. Like, not everything went right, I messed some things up and whatever, but I felt totally solid in the value I was delivering and that’s in the program. And I’ve honestly always felt a little shaky on that with the other programs I’ve done, I think because I hadn’t framed a clear outcome for my students. And in the Website Marketing Lab we have a clear goal – your first or next 500 email subscribers – with really actionable steps to get you there. I can’t wait to do it again in May!

But like I mentioned earlier, I’ll do a whole separate episode for you breaking down my whole launch process.

So that’s it for my March income report, and I’ll see you right here next week where I’m talking with Sarah Morgan of XOSarah all about how to experiment your way to success.

3 Responses

  1. You are doing great, Shannon. And feeling in control of our corporal selves makes us feel more in control of everything. Plus, exercising and eating better gives us more energy to be in control. Kudos to you! You look fab!
    I don’t know what your expenses are, and you are a smart lady, so probably have it figured out, but it seems to me (without seeing an actual breakdown) that your expenses are a tad high. You’ll have more money in your pocket if you can whittle those down a bit. But I’m just talking out of my hat here.
    Thanks for all that you do. You have been such a help to me, and you make it all fun.

  2. Hi Shannon, you are awesome in showing what you do, how you do it and be transparant about costs and income. I have some gails in showing that but you are inspiring .
    Cheers from Amsterdam (NL)

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Hi, I'm Shannon!

If you want to learn how to build a website, market yourself online and get traffic + customers so that you can go from side hustle to self-employed, you’re in the right place!

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