My First Ever Income Report Revealed: November 2015 37

My First Ever Income Report Revealed: November 2015 - letsreachsuccess.com lidiya k

Hey guys. If you’ve been following the blog for some time now, you know this type of posts is something I’ve never done before.

Well, here we go.

Of course, the credit goes to one of my favorite bloggers and entrepreneurs Pat Flynn, whose famous for quite many things, but also his detailed monthly reports. And while he’s in the 6-digits each and every month, that’s not where I – and most of you – need to be.

It’s no coincidence that I produce content mainly for beginners. I’ve read and experienced and learned from trial and error a ton of stuff over the years. And an approach I praise but which I haven’t started doing so far, is documenting the journey.

Something Gary Vee suggests everyone doing something big online should be following.

That means sharing exactly what you’re doing and going through. It’s the best way to build your personal brand and show authenticity, and it’s the type of content people love. It means revealing the numbers, the failures, the hurdles.

The real picture isn’t as good as it looks from afar.

It’s one thing when people find out I work whenever I want to, and it’s completely another when they stay at my place and see me wake up early or stay late on the laptop being focused like they’ve never been in their life.

It’s one thing to look at where I live and how I travel and all the things I’m able to do, it’s another when you see the numbers and realize I prioritize and say ‘no’ to tens of other tempting things.

Also, there’s the thrill of not having a boss, to wait for a salary, or to be told what to do when working. But there’s also the uncertainty, the fear that you won’t meet your budget next month, that you may not find new clients, and that the new business idea you’re investing tens of hours in weekly, might lead to nothing.

I love every single one of these aspects of working for yourself, though :)

And while I’m not making big numbers, I do have the freedom and independence which looked like a distant dream just 2 or so years ago.

So, what’s my deal?

I was stuck back in my home country, Bulgaria. Completing a degree in Economics, specializing in Marketing.

I didn’t like formal education at all. I didn’t like the environment.

But was constantly working on some side projects, reading about the lifestyle of self-employed people that I admired, and the so-called digital nomads.

Now, 2 years later, (although the whole process began a decade ago when I turned to personal development, but now we’re covering the money and action part), I’m living in my favorite country in Europe – the Netherlands. What’s more, in one of the best cities (and most expensive ones) here – Amsterdam.

I run every single aspect of my work, which is a real online business, although the money won’t mean much to most people who read my income reports. But I know I raised the standard of my lifestyle, and have every element the way I want it. Nothing less, nothing more.

Constantly working on new things, of course. Each of which can turn into something big.

I’m also traveling. Spent a few weeks in Thailand this winter. And visit friends in different places in Europe.

I structure my day the way I want to. Wake up when I’ve found out works best, dedicate the next 4 hours to work, then do others stuff I enjoy the second part of the day. Then, in the evening, I do some administrative stuff related to work, read, research, or else.

That’s in the casual period, of course. There’s also the one that’s solely for work. It’s usually after a big trip or break, or a phase of being less responsible. Which is followed by a period of hustling every day, all day, to get back on track.

So, after checking out Pat Flynn’s report for last month, I got encouraged once again. Reminded myself that my work matters and there’s so much more to achieve, but also a lot to share.

By creating a monthly reports section on the blog, I’m getting out of my comfort zone once again.

It’s good for me, and I believe it’s good for you.

The content will be for members only, as it’s as personal as it can get.

I’ll be optimizing these every next month, and I’m beginning with how things were before I moved to Amsterdam, went to Thailand, or had higher expenses.

This and the next few reports are from when the business first took off. It was exhilarating to finally see all the hard work pay off.

I was back at home, not sure if I could ever move to the country I wanted to, or get out of there somehow. But what made the difference was that every single morning, no matter what, I woke up and got to the laptop. If there wasn’t any project to work on that was for profits directly, then I’d go research a new way to make money online and take action upon in.

There are so many things to share that have to do with the amount of money I was and am making now, but think it’s best if I share a bit in the beginning of each report. This way it won’t be overwhelming.

So, thanks for the patience with the long intro, and here’s what I made back in November 2015:

Note: I’m including some business costs as well. That’s the structure of my income reports for now. Will definitely be making changes with each next post.

November 2015

Date        Product/Service       Where/How      Price

03.11      Sponsored post         PostJoint              15
03.11      Sponsored post         PostJoint              15
04.11      Freelancing               UpWork               57
10.11      USB mic
for podcasting           eBay                32 (expense)
17.11      Freelancing               UpWork              160
19.11      Books                        LRS                      2
21.11      Audio                       Audio Jungle   12 (expense)
22.11      Freelancing              UpWork                 19
23.11      Freelancing              Freelancer              80
26.11      Articles                    Client                     20
26.11      Freelancing             Freelancer              155
26.11      Freelancing             UpWork
, JobHatch  60
27.11       Book                       eBay                15 (expense)

 

Total:

Earned: 583
Spent: 59 (mic, audio, book)

Revenue: $524

Summary

Money earned from sponsored posts: $30

Sponsored posts are a big thing for the blog and me. Will share a lot more on the topic in future income reports. So stay tuned.

Some say making money blogging is one of the hardest things. Yes. And I’m doing that.

While niche and affiliate marketing are some of the easiest ways to monetize your new skills (you can learn it all by yourself), but it’s something I struggle with more.

The amount of money earned from sponsored posts is quite small here, but I think you’ll like it in the latest reports.

Although the monthly revenue isn’t impressive for those chasing checks, it shows that I’ve found ways to make money doing exactly what I want to, and don’t have to answer to anyone.

Money earned from freelance writing (from online platforms only): $531

I’m a writer before anything else. And freelance writing on platforms like UpWork, Guru and Freelancer is where my very first dollars came from back in the days. So I’ll always be grateful for that.

Now, I do less client work and more for my projects.

I mention this amount is from online platforms only, simply because over time you start avoiding these as there’s too much law quality competition there, it’s hard to stand out, and people value time over quality of the content. Also their fees are high.

Luckily, because personal branding happens over the years as you keep appearing on as many platforms as possible and working on your own projects, you start being found by clients via email and they come ask you to do some freelance work for them :)

Final notes

That’s it for the very first income report I’m sharing.

Phew!

Hope it helps.

Look out for the next one. Might be posting one weekly now as I’ve got old ones to show to you, before I analyze my current profits.

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 11

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

How to Use Content Marketing to Boost Your Business 6 Marketing Influencers You Must Follow

You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

***
Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.