Updated: Apr 21, 2019
Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links. I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Moment of honesty, I’ve NEVER done an income report before. I don’t even really know how these things are supposed to go but I’m pulling inspiration from other reports I’ve seen and felt that starting these would be necessary as I do believe transparency is extremely important not only for building trust but to hold myself accountable.
I’m happy to share my progress with you but note that this isn’t about gloating or bragging on my success. It’s about showing you the endless possibilities that can come from being a social media manager and the income it can bring into your household.
I’m going to keep it all the way 💯 which means the showing the good with the bad.
Now, before I start I figure I should share some background to set the tone.
My very first clients
I’ve been a social media manager for 2.5 years now. My first client came in April or May of 2016 (can’t even remember which one honestly) but I do know it was the tail end of spring or front end of summer when I got my first two clients.
One client was a mortgage lender receiving Instagram Management and Growth for $75/mo and the other was a fintech company receiving Instagram Management, Community Engagement, and Growth for $300/mo. “How did you come up with those prices Eric?” That’s probably what’s going through head as you read that. Honestly, they were completely arbitrary. The first one I just came up with it on the spot not knowing what to charge and the second was client suggested so I rolled with it.
For more background, I really wanted to start a web design only business as many people complimented me on my financial literacy website. But I discovered something neat in the Rule of 3 which I created after started two businesses. It simply means if three different people ask me the same question, I can probably make money from it.
Low and behold, here I am managing social media accounts for entrepreneurs 2.5 years later turning a side hustle into a full-fledged business.
Now, even though I’ve been doing this for sometime I’m not going to back track back to the beginning but I am starting with the month of September as it was pivotal for me in regards to the direction that my agency should go and here’s why...
The tipping point for my business
Every year I attend FinCon, the largest financial bloggers conference in the world. This was my third year going and my first year as a speaker. My topic was on Instagram and how to thrive with all the algorithm changes. I had one of the first talks and even though the room started out light it was packed out halfway through.
After it was over, I spoke to numerous people about Instagram and social media in general leading to a list of potential clients and three that I’ve actually booked services for with one more on the way. The takeaway here is that if you can ever display your expertise in front of a crowd, do it. It can be a solo speaking event, a panel, or virtual live session but getting in front of people will always help build your authority and client list. That’s why I created my [Insta]nt Mastery masterclass for those who didn’t attend the conference.
Another thing I gathered from the conference was training other people how to be social media managers. Going back to the Rule of 3, I had three different people tell me that I would be a good teacher and should consider adding it to my list of services. That led to me creating Social Side Hustle. I also decided to start doing some one-on-one coaching too.
So that sums up my events for September, now onto to why you’re here. I typically make about $3,000 a month and September was just above that. Let’s dive in!
September 2018 Income
PayPal Cash Back: $8.91
Product Sales: $0
Affiliate income: $0
TOTAL INCOME BEFORE TAX: $3,408.91
September 2018 Expenses
Independent Contractors: $150
The Chrons: $330
ConvertKit*: $49 (client service)
Transportation / Uber: $180.57
Meals / Entertainment: $567.99
Omnistar Interactive: $47 (client service)
Sprout Social: $137.08
Google Cloud Storage: $0 (free until 30 GB)
Wix*: $0 (annual fee already paid)
Onlypult*: $0 (annual feed already paid)
TOTAL EXPENSES: $1,786.65
Net profit: $1,622.26
Profit Margin: 48%
My Salary: $1,363.56
* = affiliate link
That’s it! My first income report is in the books.
As you can see, my profit is almost half of my sales which is great. That means for every $100 I make, I keep almost 50% of it. Also, I traveled this month and covered many expenses that aren’t regular expenses so my profit margin is typically higher than what you see shown above. The goal is always have at least a 30% profit margin but strive for 50% or more.
In regards my salary, you might be wondering how I decide what to pay myself. I read a book recommended by many of my business friends called Profit First. It’s a great book and I highly suggest it to all business owners but if you’re just starting out it can be even more helpful so you can start your business finances off on the right foot. The goal according to Profit First is to have your salary equal 50% of your income but you have to start somewhere so I chose 40% to start so if you divide my salary into my total income it’ll equal 40%. Every three months I reassess all of my business finances and decide if I’m able to give myself a raise or not to get me closer to the 50% salary goal.
One thing I implement is that I have automated deposits from my business checking account that go into my personal checking account every week to make sure I get paid a salary. I still pay myself even if one month is slower than another but I build up my account pool of funds to early on to make sure this is covered.
Here are a few takeaways based on my income report that you can learn from:
Leverage your business money to pay for things like conferences and travel when you can and turn it into a mini vacation for you and your family (my wife and kids came to Orlando with me and all we had to pay for was their flight expenses)
Create some structure in your business so that you can still pay yourself even in the slower months
Want to learn how to start your own social media management agency?