OCTOBER 2020 INCOME REPORT! (Transcript)

Every month, I’m peeling back the curtain and sharing the ins & outs of my monthly revenue.

Today, we’re looking back on October 2020 and I’ll give you ALL the details on these new funnels. Because (::hint, hint::), if you aren’t making money in your business, it might be because you don’t have an effective sales process…

This is a transcript of Work Less, Earn More, Episode 45. Listen to the episode here.

We became entrepreneurs because more than anything, we want freedom. We want to be in control of our own schedule, income, and life. But unfortunately that isn’t always the reality of being a business owner. I’m Gillian Perkins, and I’m on a mission to take back entrepreneurship for what it’s supposed to be. In every episode, I’ll share with you how to get the most out of every hour you work so that you can work less and earn more. Let’s get to it.

Diving into October’s numbers 

Hey, there, in today’s episode I’m going to share with you the income report for October of 2020, and I am so excited to share this with you today because October was a really fun month. It was an exciting month. It was a very productive month. We got a lot done, a lot of meaningful things done, without working an enormous amount. Let’s get on into it. First of all, let’s talk about numbers, looking at the profit and loss, I can see that our revenue for the month of October was $36,199. So just shy of $36,200. And that money came in from primarily these sources. We earned about $2,300 from affiliate programs that we are partnering with, primarily Teachable. We earned $5,500 from our ad revenue from YouTube videos.

From various small Tripwire products, these are affordable products that we sell to actually convert people from being just passive people in the audience to actual paying customers. From those affordable products we earned $1,723. From new sales of the Channel Launch Program, our YouTube strategy course, we earned $7,951. Our program to teach people how to create high quality videos for their YouTube channels brought in $3,500. And then Startup Society, the membership program we run for online entrepreneurs brought in $14,849. So altogether that brings us to just shy of $36,200 in revenue for the month of October.

Expenses we had in the month

Now let’s talk about some of the expenses that we experienced this month. Our biggest expense by far was the money that we spent on Facebook advertising. We spent almost $11,000 on Facebook advertising this month, and it was kind of in an attempt to give it one last hurrah to figure out what was really working, do some major testing before we decided to slash some of our Facebook ads and prioritize the ones that are really bringing in a profit. At this point we have found some that are consistently bringing in new customers at a pretty good rate and others that are not really having much of any results. In November, we’re going to be making a big pivot to, like I said, slash about half of our advertising campaigns, really refine, and we’re going to take a step back from testing for a little bit.

And the reason why is for the business development for Startup Society and the entire company, the area where we are the weakest and we really needed to prioritize our efforts and our energy and our focus is in sales, and Facebook ads primarily serve to attract new customers. They’re mostly focused on marketing and not sales, so they shouldn’t really be our focus right now. Now the reason that we have been working on them and have been doing the AB testing is because we really wanted to find some campaigns that were successful, that were bringing new customers into the business, so that we weren’t completely reliant only on one traffic source, YouTube. We wanted to diversify a little bit to make the business more stable for the long run. I’m really happy with the work that we’ve done there so far, but now that we have found some winning campaigns, it’s time to take a step back from that. We spent $11,000 on those ads in October, but you’re probably going to see that number go down quite significantly next month.

Going down my profit and loss, the next expense I see is banking and merchant service fees. These are all the fees that we pay to PayPal and to Stripe for transactions and things like that, and that amount was just shy of $1,400. I paid a little over $800 for continuing education. I spend money every single month on courses and new learning for myself. There is this one course that I’ve been in for a year, and I’ve just made the last payment on that, so I’m kind of excited to have that off my books since I have gotten all the value from that course that I will be getting, but I did buy a couple smaller programs in the month of October as well, because I don’t know if you ever do this, but sometimes I like to buy my competitor’s programs to make sure that there’s nothing that they are offering to their customers that I am not offering to my customers, because I want to make sure that my programs are the very best out there.

Another $750 went towards graphic design services. We brought on a new graphic designer this month, who I’m really excited about. Her name’s Emily and I am excited about her because she is a very marketing focused graphic designer. She really understands marketing psychology and sales psychology, and she’s going to help us create some designs that really help us to provide more value with our free content. So instead of just having designs that promote other pieces of content, so for example, a design that we share on Instagram that says, “Go watch the latest YouTube video.” Instead, I really want every piece of content that we share, even the promotional content, to provide value in and of itself. And Emily is able to do that, so I’m excited to be having her on board.

She also did a bit of a brand refresh in this first month that she was working with us. And I have to say, I’m really pleased with the results. She refreshed our logo and our color palette, and just really brought all the different design elements together to make the brand look a lot more cohesive. I’m not going to get into this too much right now, but long story short, the branding that we use in the business is something that I actually DIYed after a series of design challenges that we faced, and I’ve been pretty happy with it, but it wasn’t nearly as cohesive as I wanted it to be, so I’m very excited to have that done, and just the Emily did such a great job with it.

I also want to say that sometimes stuff like design can feel like the frilly, the external, like it’s not really going to have a big impact, but I can say that at least in our business where this will have an impact is it is going to make everyone inside the company, everyone’s lives just a little bit easier because we’ll have more consistent brand standards, so we’ll be able to create better designs more easily and with less effort. Then a few other services I spent money on were bookkeeping $367, and then tax preparation, this is money paid to my CPA, $825. And yes, I was paying for tax preparation services in the month of October, because, well, this is kind of maybe a long story, but due to COVID and many other things, and the fact that last year, we went from being an LLC to filing taxes as a corporation, and I didn’t realize that when you file taxes as a corporation, you don’t pay in April, you pay in March.

I walked into my CPA’s office a few weeks before March 15th, and I thought I had plenty of time on my hands. I thought I had a month and a half or more before taxes were due. But it turned out I only had a few weeks, so we had to file an extension, and then ever since then, because of COVID, the accountant has been behind because half of his staff can’t come into the office. They’ve been going through things slowly. So finally in the month of October, my taxes are paid, which I am very excited to report. I spent just over $600 on office supplies, a large chunk of this was some new furniture to decorate a new filming area in my office, as well as other regular office supplies.

I spent $1,752 on this podcast. We spent $1,750 on website expenses, software, and subscriptions, and this amount is higher this month than it has been the last few, and that’s because there were a few annual subscriptions of things that renewed this month. Overall, I’ve noticed our monthly expenses as far as software and subscriptions definitely going down because we have switched to these annual subscriptions, which is saving us money overall, but it means that every once in a while that amount is significantly higher on a particular month because those annual subscriptions renew. As usual, 4,700 was paid out to me in wages, and then we spent $360 on payroll taxes for that amount paid out to me. I spent $6,300 on various contractors. These are our internal team of customer service people and my operations manager, all those people.

And then I spent another $900 on video editing services. And this is probably the lowest this amount has been in a while. We’ve kind of stepped back our video production and just made things a little bit simpler. I realized things were getting over complicated. It was taking more of my time than I wanted it to. And we were spending a lot of money on the video editing, but also we didn’t produce a lot of course material, new course material this past month, and this is largely because a lot of it was done ahead of time in the previous months, so we’re just kind of caught up and a little bit ahead of schedule right now. So this amount will definitely increase a bit sometime in the next few months.

And the final expenses on my profit and loss are $310 spent on telephone and internet and then $296 which was spent on a plane ticket for one of our team members to fly to our team retreat that we’re doing later this month. Most of the other expenses for that are already taken care of. I already have paid for the Airbnb and for most other people’s tickets, so we’ll probably only have food and then Uber expenses in November for that. But we’ll see at the end of this month with the next income report.

Grand total of expenses for the month…

Altogether, our expenses were definitely higher than normal this month. In fact, I believe that this is the highest our expenses have ever been, but I do expect this to drop very significantly next month, as we scale back on advertising and we readjust a few positions in our team and things like that. But in the month of October, our expenses were $32,475. This means our net income was $3,723, but then if we add in the money paid out to me in wages, which I consider to be part of my profits from the business, then together, that would mean that our profits were $8,400.

In a few minutes here, once we talk about the hours that I worked, I’m going to be talking about some different projects that we completed that have increased the income. I’m really excited to see where things go in these next few months, because what we’ve done is going to, like I said, increase the revenue especially, and now that we’ve already spent the money on these various expenses, the expenses will be going down. I’m pretty sure that our profitability is going to be increasing significantly over these next few months.

Startup Society

This episode is brought to you by Startup Society. If you run an online business or you’re thinking about starting one, then Startup Society is the place for you. It’s a boot camp training program for entrepreneurs plus an incredibly supportive membership community. If you’re looking for a framework to make building an online business as simple and straightforward as possible, then that’s exactly what you’ll find inside Startup Society. Every month we create a step-by-step action plan for our members to follow to create a specific result in their business so that they can keep moving forward and growing. Past action plans have helped our members write their websites, launch online courses, and hire their first employees. And when you become a member, not only will you get access to our future action plans, but you’ll also get access to our entire library of past action plans, including the ones that I just mentioned.

You’ll also get business coaching directly from me during our live monthly coaching sessions. During these sessions you can ask any business questions that you have so that you can make sure that you get the answers you need in order to be able to keep moving forward and not get stuck. As a member, you’ll also be invited into our membership community where you can connect with other online entrepreneurs who are crushing it so that you can be inspired and make some lasting connections. If you’re interested in becoming a member of Startup Society, then there’s no time like the present to make that happen.

To sign up, just head to gillianperkins.com/startupsociety. Again, that’s gillianperkins.com/startupsociety. And as a listener of this podcast, I have a special offer for you. You can become a member of Startup Society for $10 off every single month. Just use code EARNMORE when you are signing up. Again, that code is EARNMORE, all one word, and it will give you $10 off your monthly membership costs. If you want to turn your online business into a success as quickly and as strategically as possible, then I would love to work with you to make that happen. And now let’s get back to the episode.

How much I worked

Let’s talk about the time I and the team worked. I worked 77 and a half hours in the month of October, which works out to just about 18 hours per week, considering that there were 4.4 weeks in the month. This is less than I worked the previous month, but we got a whole lot more done. I think it’s because last month I took care of some of just the kind of boring regular day-to-day staff, just management stuff. This month I was poised to be able to take on some big projects that really affect the bottom line. The thing that I spent the most time on was launching a new webinar funnel for Startup Society. This is something that I didn’t even plan to do at the beginning of the month, but mid month I realized it was something that was really important for us to do.

I’ve actually never sold Startup Society with a webinar before, but it was time to try something new and figure out a way to start bringing a lot more members into the program. And it has worked really well. All told, I spent just shy of 13 hours working on this webinar, and that includes everything related to the funnel. Not just the webinar itself, but this is me writing the webinar and presenting the webinar. It’s also me writing all of the emails to go along with the webinar, both to promote the webinar and to promote Startup Society after the webinar. So all of the setup altogether was 13 hours of my time. It would have been significantly more, but I did outsource the design of the webinar slides. This probably would have taken me anywhere between 5 and 10 hours, but I outsourced it to a designer who did a really good job. She got the entire thing done in just a few hours, so it costs me only $300, which is much better than me spending 10 hours of my time.

I’m not going to go through an entire launch post-mortem here, on this episode at least, because I think that would take too long, but I will give you a couple of quick numbers and you guys can let me know via Instagram DMs as usual if you want to hear even more details about this launch. But basically the team and I spent about two weeks prepping for this launch. Like I said, it was kind of a last minute decision. I’m really pleased that we were able to get it completely off the ground and have it be a success with only two weeks of our work and nobody really working crazy hours. A total of 2,500 people signed up for the webinar and we had 1100 people attempt to attend live.

This brings us to the biggest problem we ran into with this launch, and that was that our webinar software glitched out on us. And in hindsight, I realized that I could have seen this coming because we actually experienced the same problem last year, but then because we haven’t been doing any live webinars, we all completely forgot about it. Long story short though, the webinar software capped our attendees at 500, so everyone beyond the first 500 people who tried to show up was not able to get into the webinar room. This was a big problem and cost us thousands and thousands of dollars, I know for a fact, but despite that the webinar was still overall a big success. We had 500 people actually attend live and of those 500 people, 7.6% of them bought live during the webinar, which I believe was 38 sales.

This is a great conversion rate for a webinar, so I was super pumped about that. And now we are most of the way through the post webinar launch series and we’ve seen another 50 people sign up. Now today is actually the last day, so honestly I really wanted to wait until tomorrow to record this episode so I could give you the final number. I’m expecting it to be well over a hundred, but I just have no idea how many people will sign up, but I needed to get this recorded so that it can be published on time and you can listen to it on time. But overall, the launch was a big success and we are bringing in over a hundred new Startup Society members, thanks to those 13 hours of work that I did, plus obviously some hours of work for my team.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly how many hours, because Courtney, who does a lot of the work for this, she tracks her time in bigger chunks than I do, so she just has project management as one category that she tracks her time on. I don’t know exactly how much of her time was spent on this webinar. My guess is that it’s a bit less than my 13 hours. Maybe 10 hours would be my very loose guess. It might be less than that though. but long story short, we didn’t have to spend that much time and we got a big result of a hundred new Startup Society members, probably significantly more, which is really moving us toward our goal of getting more people into the program and teaching them how to create profitable online businesses so that they can go full time with their business idea.

Beyond working on that webinar, I’m going to quickly share with you a few other things I spent a significant chunk of time on, but then I’m going to talk to you about two other projects that we worked on that also brought in more Startup Society members and increased our revenue. I spent 11 hours on YouTube video production. I spent nine hours on email marketing. And then I spent seven hours working on this podcast, five hours in executive meetings, and from there on it’s less than two hours per category. Two hours on administration, one and a half hours on miscellaneous marketing tasks, one hour on team management, one hour on channel launch course management and things like that. As far as these other projects go, I spent about six hours total on these two projects, maybe a couple more, because I think that probably some of those nine hours I spend on email marketing actually was used for these other projects, but there are two main ones, and they are both other Startup Society funnels.

Growing the Startup Society

As you know if you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, growing the Startup Society membership and reaching more people in this way, helping more entrepreneurs become successful with their businesses, is really my top priority, but we haven’t been doing the most effective job of getting new members into the program, and this is largely due to the fact that we had an idea for a new strategy that we started implementing right when I was getting ready to go on maternity leave. A few months before I was going to take the time off, we came up with a new strategy and we decided to try it. We tried that strategy all throughout my maternity leave prep time, and then because that is the strategy that we were using and I was out of the office on maternity leave, we couldn’t change the strategy.
The strategy continued to be used throughout the entire summer, and then the first month or two, after I came back into the office, as we were gearing up to try different strategy. But spoiler alert, that strategy we were using for that entire time was not working very well at all. Basically the difference between strategies we’ve used in the past and the strategy that didn’t work was we took away most of the scarcity. We made it so the Startup Society was open all the time and the only incentive to join was the latest content, no sort of deadline. And like I said, this just didn’t work. I would love for it to work because I really want people to join at any time when it is most useful to them, but the fact is that people just are not motivated enough to buy without some sort of deadline motivating them to take action now, rather than putting off their dreams for another day.

Because of that, we were seeing only about 20 new people join Startup Society every month, where we need that number to be significantly higher. The two other projects that we did that are new Startup Society funnels, one of them is called a value ladder funnel. Now we talked about this fairly extensively in last month’s episode, so I’m not going to go into great detail about this, but to explain briefly, this is a funnel where we directly present an offer, typically via Facebook ads, but it’s a low cost offer, and then after that, we upsell them various other products and we have them on our email list so we can sell them other products afterwards as well. We got this funnel completely set up very quickly and easily. It only took a few hours of the team’s time and my own time, and mostly I was just very pleased with how smoothly this project went down. We didn’t overcomplicate it and it is up and working well.

Now, quite frankly, this one is actually not bringing in a lot of new Startup Society members. However, it is growing our list and it is bringing in revenue. This funnel is selling our Plan Your Business For Profit program, which is a short program that guides people through the process of creating a profit plan for their business. We used to offer a very similar program for free, but it was so successful and so many people told us how valuable it was to them that we decided to add onto it a little bit and to make it a paid product because we really want people to take it seriously and get the full value out of it.

15 Minute Funnel 

And the final thing I’m going to discuss on this episode is the 15 minute funnel. This is one of my favorite things we’ve created recently. Basically it’s a lot like a webinar funnel, but instead of asking people to attend a two hour long webinar and giving them a hard pitch at the end, we have a short 15 minute training that people can sign up for and watch immediately, and then we immediately present them with a low cost offer. And the reason this is so good is because people are so busy, they’ve got a lot on their plates, and asking them to commit that much time is a big ask. And a lot of people, they’re not ready for that much commitment for something that is free, something that they don’t really know the full value of. So we’ve launched this 15 minute funnel and we are seeing a seven and a half percent conversion rate on this funnel. Right now we are sharing a very low cost offer, so we are interested in testing other offers in the future that may be more expensive and seeing how those convert.

But right now I’m just really happy to report that a lot of people are interested in it and are actually watching the training videos. I feel like they’re getting value even if they don’t buy. And a lot of them are being very engaged and at least purchasing the affordable offer at the end of it. It was also a very easy funnel to set up. I was able to record that training video in a very short period of time. I didn’t have to do a lot of planning for it or write webinars slides or design slides or anything like that. I just talked to the camera and wrote on a whiteboard and was able to find some valuable information that is very accessible. If you happen to be interested in checking out that workshop by the way, it is all about how to predict your profits for the next 12 months so that you can make your income more stable, you can work on increasing your income, and you can feel more confident in your business so that you can trust your business more and rely on it more and it can be a more valuable asset to you in your life.

Connect with me

All right, so that brings us to the end of this income report. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode. I hope that you found this interesting and valuable, and I hope that you can learn from my mistakes and you can also learn from the things that are working in the business right now to be increasing the revenue and that you will join me again next month for another income report, where I talk with you a little bit more about these funnels and how they are performing and I give you some updates on those conversion metrics. And I also, I hope, get to share with you that our expenses have gone down.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Work Less, Earn More. Now here’s what I want you to do next. Take a screenshot of the episode you’re listening to right now and share it on Instagram Stories, and when you do, make sure you tag me @gillianzperkins So I can see that you’re listening. Sharing on Stories is going to help more people find this podcast so that they too can learn how to work less, earn more, and take back their lives. And if you really love the show, then head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a review to give it a boost. Not only will this help the show out, but it’s also going to give you the chance to win a 12 month membership to Startup Society. Each week I’ll be picking one winner. To enter, all you need to do is post a review on Apple podcasts and be sure to include your Instagram handle so we can send you a DM if you win. Okay, now let’s wrap this up. I’m Gillian Perkins, and until next week, stay focused and take action.

    Sean McMullin

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