Excitingly, December - my 6th month earning income solely from online sources - was my highest earning month yet.
I earned $1,877 NZD ($1,263 USD).
That brings the total amount I've earned, since I quit my corporate IT job in June - to $5,710 NZD ($3,847 USD).
VA/website creation work
Like last month, almost all of my income was generated from "VA" work. In reality this is website design - and I've decided to niche down in that area because I enjoy it so much (more about that later).
I'm currently building a 3rd client website using Thrive Architect. With this project well past the design phase and into implementation, my headspace is clear to take on new work.
Related: Thrive Architect
The beginning of a website design project - especially with a brand new client - is always more intense and focused than the end of it. That's because I'm thinking and creating and trying to find creative solutions to my customer's problems.
I've been part of project teams building large scale websites and applications, so I can draw on all of this experience when building a small website for one of my clients.
If you're thinking of freelancing, just ask yourself: what do you enjoy doing, and what experience can you draw on? Both of these factors are essential for choosing an appropriate freelancing service to offer.
Total income for December 2018
|Virtual Assistance (service)||1,736||1,170|
|Total income for December 2018||$1,878||$1,270|
Conclusions and expectations for next month
Last month I mentioned that I was going to put some website creation packages together. I did this and updated the website that fronts my VA work.
How I put my website packages together
I've now delivered almost 3 websites for clients, so I have a pretty good idea about what kind of effort is required to create a custom designed brochure site.
I keep track of all of my client work and tasks in Trello, so that they can see what tasks are coming up, and my estimate of the time required to complete the task.
When I do projects billed by the hour, I also track my time against tasks.
This means I can go back and look at the time I spent, and figure out if the pricing I've put together for my website packages is going to be a) doable and b) profitable.
So to put my packages together, firstly I did a bit of research on the Google. I looked around for other 'VA' type people offering website packages, to get an idea of what they were charging.
A side-note on pricing
BEWARE: I would not ever advise basing your pricing on what others are doing.
Women in particular, have a very hard time charging what they're worth, and understanding the value they offer. I could quickly become extremely disheartened if I looked around and found that there were a lot of cheap packages. This is NOT the market rate.
I came across this when I tried to launch a newborn photography business. It cost thousands to get set up with equipment, props, the correct lenses and accessories. I spent hundreds on learning about newborn photography techniques. Then the time spent planning the sessions, executing the sessions, then processing the images - it cost a lot.
I found MANY women charging really low prices that didn't reflect any of the cost, time and energy put into the end result. They had many reasons for charging that low - but I bet that they didn't truly understand the value they offered AND, that they had done some market research, and based their prices around other women's (low) pricing.
Back then, I simply didn't have the marketing skills to access the market that would pay what I felt I was worth. So I threw it in before I spent too much money.
Back to pricing my website packages. Checking out others' pricing for custom designed website creation gave me a sense of what was going on in the market. But I didn't base my package pricing on this.
I based my pricing on what I felt was a good exchange of value. All of the experience and skills that I bring to my work enables me to deliver a higher quality product, than those with a different skill set.
Things I’m grateful for this month
My online business - built from scratch with very little funds - won't start earning really decent money until a few more pieces of the puzzle are in place.
I know that persistence is going to help me get through that and past all the obstacles that will come up along the way.
It would be easy to give up and run scuttling back to my IT career with my tail between my legs - because I know for certain that I can earn six figures in a year.
While I don't know for certain that I can earn six figures in my online business, I believe that I will.
I could quit, or I could persist.
In the words of Napoleon Hill from the book Think and Grow Rich:
"If you think achieving great heights of success will be easy, you either don’t understand at all how the process works or you have your sights set too low. Reaching the top of any field is difficult, time-consuming, and often tedious. The reason it isn’t crowded at the top is that most people won’t do the things that are necessary to achieve success. They are all too willing to give up when the going gets tough. If you need inspiration to persevere, read the biographies of men and women who have achieved greatness in their lives. You will find that they prevailed because they refused to quit. They continued to toil alone long after the masses had given up and gone home."- Napoleon Hill.