Ep. 261 - October Income Report


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By Shannon Mattern. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

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Welcome to my October 2019 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!

Important things that happened in October:
  • I intentionally starting reducing my work hours.
  • I did a photo shoot since my last real one was in 2016.
  • I traveled to Colorado for a long weekend to visit my best friend and celebrate her 40th birthday.
  • I hosted another partner webinar with ConvertKit.
  • I recorded 9 podcast guest episodes.
  • I hosted the third 5 Day Freebie Challenge to promote the Website Marketing Lab – and I’ll break down all the stats for you that in this income report too.
Notes I found to myself in my planner:

“I’m ahead!”

“OMG I finally love everything I’m doing in my biz right now, I have butterflies in my chest!”

“How can I show like up a boss this week and over-deliver for the 5 Day Freebie Challenge? How can I make this the best experience they’ve ever had from a live challenge?”

Review of my goals

My target revenue goal is $15,000 a month by March of 2020.

My minimum baseline $10,000 a month – $2500 to cover my normal monthly expenses, I set aside $2500 a month for taxes, and pay myself $5,000 a month – two paychecks of $2500 each.

Total Revenue: $12,018.50

Affiliate Income: $2027.86

Courses: $7490.64

Done For You & Consulting: $2500

Total Expenses: $2192.83

Out of the ordinary expenses:

  • Facebook Ads to promote “5 Day Freebie Challenge” – $436.78
  • Annual fee for EasyWebinar – $500

Which means I ran the bare bones of my business for just $1256.05 in October. Good to know in case life hits the fan, and that will also help me meet some of the goals I set at my mastermind retreat, which I’ll talk about a bit later.

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

Net Profit: $9825.67

I paid myself $6K of my profit – which I may not have mentioned this in prior income reports, but I’ve actually been paying myself $3000 a paycheck since I think June to repay myself for the Growth University investment.

I now have a cushion in the bank where I’m one paycheck and one month’s expenses ahead, and the rest of my profit goes into my tax account – and after I pay taxes every year, what’s left is mine to put back in the business, do something fun, invest, whatever.

Biggest Lessons Learned

In September, my online courses earned more money than ever before in the history of my business.

And then in October, I beat that number by $931.

In September, my passive income and courses combined accounted for 76% of my revenue.

In October again, passive income and courses combined accounted for exactly 76% percent of my revenue, whereas in previous months it’s never accounted for more than 50%.

And I’m so pumped about that…because one of my goals when I joined Growth University was to make enough money from passive income to cover the $2500 monthly consulting gig that I have, planning ahead for when that revenue goes away because it was 25% of my month. And I’m just a few dollars shy of making that happen on the revenue side, but I’m currently totally fine on the expense side because I’ve pared my expenses down so much.

Not only have I decreased my expenses, I’ve decreased the amount of time I’m working every week.

I mentioned that I made a commitment to my mastermind gals to reduce my work hours, stop working on weekends, vacations and holidays and I truly did put that into practice in October.

Here’s how much I worked each week:

  • Week 1: 38 hours, 5.5 of that on the weekend (including my photoshoot).
  • Week 2: 25 hours, Monday – through Thursday morning, then left for Colorado, didn’t work at all there.
  • Week 3: 30.5 hours, started work late mornings, about 6 hours a day, no weekend.
  • Week 4: 41.5 hours, 5 Day Freebie Challenge week, started later in the day, worked every evening and a couple hours on the weekend – all on the Challenge.

Total Hours Worked: 135

I went to Colorado for a long weekend and while I brought my laptop with me, I didn’t even open it.

For four days it sat untouched in my work bag. This is probably a first in the history of me starting this business that I didn’t open my laptop for that many consecutive days.

It wasn’t easy, because I’m a workaholic in recovery, but I was able to do it because I planned ahead. I made a list of all the things I needed – not wanted – needed to get done or scheduled before my trip, scheduled time to get them done, planned time to get my inbox down to zero, put a vacation message on my email and let my students know I’d be offline for a few days.

And then I practiced relaxing and unplugging, and I just told myself that what I wanted for the weekend was to be PRESENT.

I’m usually distracted. I’m usually working in the mornings while everyone is sleeping… and then they get up and I’m like… “I just gotta finish this one thing…” and I wrap it up… but the damage is already done. My brain is in work mode for the rest of the day. I’m distracted. I’m checking my phone. I’m not fully there. I’m talking about work with my friends who don’t really want to talk about work, and I never feel recharged or relaxed.

So this time, I planned ahead to do NOTHING. And it was AMAZING. And I came home relaxed and ready.

And I know this might sound lame to those of you who aren’t planners or chronic overworkers, but that mini-trip was a test.

Because I’m going on vacation for a week for my 40th birthday in less than 2 weeks at the time of this recording, and I don’t intend to open my laptop for 8 days. I don’t intend to be in any of my Facebook groups for 8 days, or responding to email for 8 days.

I feel like I’m finally ready and prepared to take advantage of the life I’ve created…to go on vacation and choose to not work, to practice doing nothing, and to reap the benefits of giving my brain some downtime, and to just be PRESENT with my husband and our friends.

Also in October, I ran the 5 Day Freebie Challenge for the third time, which is one of my FAVORITE things to do.

I talked about this a little bit last month, I go live in a Facebook group nightly for 5 days, and I teach some core concepts about online marketing and give people action steps to take to get started, and then I give them feedback on their homework and stuff – basically giving them a taste of what it’s like to work with me inside my program.

And at the end, I share more about the Website Marketing Lab and how people can continue to work with me after the free live Challenge is over, and then I’d give them a week to enroll, and then I’d close the doors and start walking the new group through the lessons.

For the first time, I ran Facebook Ads to promote the Challenge – and I did that as a test. I wanted to see how much they would cost me, how many new signups I got, and how many of those signups actually became customers.

So here are all the stats for the 5 Day Freebie Challenge:

Total # of Signups: 641

Signups from Facebook Ads: 208

Signups from Email Invitation: 233

Signups from Courses Site: 298 (overlap on signups from email + courses site)

Signups from Main Website: 40

Signups from Pep Talks for Side Hustlers Site: 8

Total # of Email Recipients: 600

(bounces, unsubscribes)

# of people who joined the Facebook Group: 277 from 10 countries

  • 3.1K likes, comments and reactions.
  • 258 posts
  • 249 Active members

# of people who joined the Website Marketing Lab: 19

Conversion Percentage for all signups: 3.2% Conversion Percentage for active participants: 6.9%

Total revenue in October from NEW Website Marketing Lab Signups: $4843 (doesn’t include future revenue expected over the next 9-12 months for everyone that opted for a payment plan).

So this year, I spent $436 on Facebook ads, and again, I used Claire Pelletreau’s Facebook Ad Spend calculator to figure out my budget and my expected return on investment.

I talked to Claire back in episode 231 all about when is the right time to use Facebook Ads in your business so you can go back and listen to that one here.

The calculator NAILED IT when it came to my ad spend, the cost of my course, the cost per lead and expected ROI…

But here’s the interesting thing about this launch – none of the people that signed up for the 5 Day Freebie Challenge via a Facebook Ad actually joined the program this time around.

I mean, I know why… It’s because they don’t know me yet. I haven’t built the know, like and trust factor yet. Our relationship isn’t solidified. I’ll be interested to see if the people that signed up for those ads make a purchase in the future.

If I didn’t dig in to my numbers deep enough, I might think that my Facebook Ads were successful.

Because I could sit here and tell you that I 10x’d my return on investment for my ad spend…

But I didn’t.

I spent $436 on Facebook ads and not one of those signups became a customer.

My Facebook Ads were successful in terms of growing my list and filling my challenge…

So the next Facebook Ads test I’m going to do is run ads to my free content in between launches and see if that brings me my ideal client, and see if those people stick around on my list and eventually become a customer.

But they had nothing to do with the results of my launch.

I think what made my launch so successful is the relationship I’ve cultivated with my subscribers over time, and the live engagement in my challenge. Just like last month with the Web Designer Academy, I showed up in a Facebook group every night for 5 nights, interacted with everyone in there, shared everything I could share in 60 minutes a day, and answered all their questions and gave feedback on their homework..

I didn’t do a big sales presentation, and I also gave people a chance in every step of the way to opt out of learning more about the Website Marketing Lab.

And just like I said with the Web Designer Academy – It’s so much easier to get customers when you’re not trying to sell. And that’s what I teach people to do inside my programs too.

And I’m not knocking Facebook Ads at all, but it’s not like they’re magic. I still have to gain the trust of those people. And I’m still going to test out different strategies to see what if anything gets me results…

So these Facebook Ad tests that I’ve done the past couple of months, they are just telling me that I’m on the right track.

Because you wanna know the strategy that IS bringing me subscribers that turn into customers?


One of the core strategies I teach me Website Marketing Lab students how to leverage.

Yep, building relationships with people that serve the audience I serve, creating opportunities to get in front of their audience and deliver value to them, and in the process getting new subscribers – but these subscribers aren’t coming to me not knowing if they can trust me… because someone they already trust is introducing them to me, I’ve shaved off a big chunk of the time it takes to build that trust vs. people that come in through Facebook Ads.

It’s fascinating. And building relationships is free and priceless all at the same time.

So that will continue to be my focus throughout the rest of 2019 and 2020 – instead of creating new courses or programs or products, I’ll be creating new relationships.

Thanks so much for listening – and I’ll see you right here next week where I’m talking to Sylvie McCracken all about how to create a profitable side hustle as a health care professional.

And if you need a website but have no idea how to get started, go to http://www.free5daywebsitechallenge.com and sign up for the 5 Day Website Challenge and learn how to create a website for your side hustle.

And if already have a website and you want to learn how to get traffic to it, go to www.jumpstartyourwebsitetraffic.com and sign up for my free 6-part mini-course that’ll walk you through how to get started getting targeted traffic to your website.

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