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Oh heyyyy! I see you, 2nd best month of 2017!!

I DID say that my business seems to go in cycles, right?

So here we go again, following up one of my worst months with one of my BEST.

November came in just about $300 shy of my best month ever (which was September) – 4th quarter represent!!

So what exactly happened to get me here? Well, lot's actually :). Let's review!

November 2017 Income Sources

1. Virtual Services ($3,255)

  • Private Practice ($1,225)
  • Freelance Writing ($1,000)
  • Recipe Development ($1,000)

2. Recurring Revenue ($2,066.68)

  • Functional Nutrition Library ($2,066.68)

3. Advertising ($59.75)

  • Gourmet Ads ($34.28)
  • Google Adsense ($25.47)

4. Affiliates ($2.52)

  • Amazon ($2.52)

Virtual Services

1. Private Practice ($1,225)

This month I enrolled another package client (paid in full upfront – sweet!) and had one 90-minute appointment with an hourly paying client.

The rest of my appointments were with people who had already enrolled in packages during the previous few months.

In total, I was only working with 4 clients this month and that was a-okay with me! It left a lot of room to work on some other exciting projects that had popped up. (See below!)

At this point, I was feeling pretty maxed out w. all the projects I was working on (seeing clients, freelance recipe development, freelance writing, running a FB group, blogging, AND running a membership site – phew!) so I wasn't putting any effort at all into attracting new private practice clients. Hence, the low #'s this month.

(Keep reading for more info on what happened w. my private practice!)

P.S. If you want to learn more about how I ran my virtual private practice, you can check it out in my “Inside Look: Life as a Certified LEAP Therapist” e-course. 

2. Freelance Writing ($1,000)

Okay, this is the topic I am MOST excited to write about!!

Getting PAID to WRITE!?!?! Please pinch me!! Is this real life???

I love love love writing. Which may explain why I've been blogging for fun (and basically zero dollars) since 2010 – or…. really since the 2000's if you count Live Journal! (anyone?).

In case you missed it, I had actually applied for this freelance writing position with Authority Nutrition back in February 2017, but didn't get the gig 🙁 I was really really bummed, but kept on trudging on.

Over the summer I kept in touch with Authority Nutrition and let them know I was still super super interested in writing for them if they were ever hiring again.

Well, they weren't hiring over the summer when I checked back in… but guess what, they reached out in October with an offer to join their team!!!

And, DUH, I said yes, yes, yes! In just a few short days I was all set up w. my first article topic & was officially a freelance writer!!! (Here's my 1st ever freelance article, in case you want to check it out.)

If I'm being honest, it felt totally surreal to receive the same amount of money for writing one article as working with a 1:1 client for several months.

Writing was… dare I say, easy?? AND it paid well? Talk about a dream job!

I didn't know it at the time, but getting this writing gig kicked off a HUGE change in my career path.

After a few months of juggling private practice work, freelancing, blogging, and running a membership site, it got to be too much. I was spread too thin. I was resenting being so busy. Something had to give.

So after a month or two of introspection over the holidays… I made the (SCARY) decision to shut down my private practice.

It was a tough decision to make at the time because I knew how much my practice was helping people.

I believed so strongly in the power of functional nutrition and its ability to get people well, and I struggled with feeling like I was being selfish by shutting down this avenue for helping others.

But after some soul searching, I came to the conclusion that I had to listen to my gut on this one. I can STILL help people by spreading information through my writing and blogging.

In fact, I honestly think my sweet spot IS in writing and education (vs coaching people 1:1), so I'm actually doing myself and my audience disservice by not leaning into those unique strengths.

Not everyone has to work 1:1 with people, and that's okay. It doesn't make me any less of a dietitian or less of a professional.

So with a little reframing, I was able to push through and make that tough decision. And now, flash forward about 1 year, I can honestly say I'm living the location-independent dream life I envisioned back in 2011 when I made the decision to go back to school to become a dietitian.

Soooo long story short – trust your gut! Don't be afraid to switch gears or make big moves. Even if you're worried about what others might think, always follow your heart and do what feels right for you.

3. Recipe Development ($1,000)

Okay, I have to say, this was ALSO a dream opportunity!!

In October I happened to see a job posting on Facebook for a freelance recipe development & photography gig offered by another dietitian.

Well, of course, I applied because I absolutely LOVE doing recipe development & had a decent amount of experience in this realm.

To my surprise, I got the job! Yay!! (For some reason, I'm still always shocked to get new gigs lol).

It was a contract job for a project happening over the holidays, so received the 1st half of the payment in November, and would receive the rest when I finished the project in January.

This type of work honestly doesn't even feel like work to me. It was one of the best, most fun projects I've worked on 🙂 I'm so thankful for the opportunity!

So, basically, it's always worth throwing your hat in the ring for projects that are exciting to you. You never know what opportunities and connections they might bring!

Recurring Revenue

1. Functional Nutrition Library ($2,066.68)

Shut the front door!!

This was BY FAR my best month since launching the FNL.

For reference, here's how my 1st 6 months of the library went:

  • June (pre-sale period): $257
  • July (pre-sale and launch): $2,027
  • August: $322
  • September: $644
  • October: $323
  • November: $2,066.68

So, what caused this spike in sales in November?

I went WAY out of my comfort zone and decided to do a Cyber Monday sale!!

I had this little niggling idea in the back of my head… “What if I did an insane offer where everyone who signed up for an annual FNL membership on Cyber Monday would get EVERYTHING I create in 2018 for free??”

I was thinking big at this point. I had plans for 2 online summits, a revamped version of the FNL website, and an online course.

So, on Cyber Monday, I posted the following in The Unconventional RD Facebook group & sent it to my email list :

At the time, my FB group had 1,500 people in it and my email list had 219 subscribers.

It ended up getting roughly 110 clicks from Facebook (7% click rate) and 21 clicks from my email list (~10% click rate).

That resulted in 15 sales (~1% of my audience) at $119 each. That's $1,785 basically pulled out of thin air from a flash sale! That's ALMOST as good as my initial launch!

I was so so happy and thrilled that I decided to offer the deal. I would have been happy with 5 people enrolling, so to get 15 was a dream!

I also think it's important to note how I handled annual members who had already subscribed. 

For reference, I am SUPER conscientious about how I treat my members & customers.

I really didn't want my current annual members to feel like they were missing out or were at a disadvantage by purchasing early. That's the OPPOSITE of how I want them to feel! They were my very first and most special customers, and I want them to feel that way.

So, I ALSO extended this offer to all of the people who were current annual members at the time. (I think in total this was like 35-ish people).

The response I got from extending the offer to current members was incredible. So many people messaged me saying they appreciated my generosity and ethics in making this decision, and it felt good to know that my customers knew that I cared about them.

Again, I'm so glad I followed my gut on this one & made decisions that were authentic to me, vs just thinking about business or profits.

In case you're wondering, no, I'm not doing this deal again in 2018, but I will offer a different type of sale on Black Friday or Cyber Monday!

And… in case you're also curious about how everything progressed in 2018, the only thing that has launched so far is the FNL website revamp. 😂

BUT, I have been hardcore planning one of the online summits and the e-course, both of which will be launching in early 2019! Things always take longer than expected, but yes, I am still honoring this deal into 2019 for everyone who purchased that Cyber Monday deal 🙂

So, long story short, being a business owner on Black Friday or Cyber Monday is AWESOME! 

I highly recommend dabbling in it if you have a product for sale. 🙂

Advertising

1. Gourmet Ads ($34.28)

2. Google Adsense ($25.47)

So this month I actually made decent money on ads AND had a record-breaking traffic month.

My blog hit 14k pageviews (and 9,643 sessions) for the 1st time ever (woohoo!), despite not having posted anything new since the end of September.

This was thanks, in part, to getting TWO recipes featured in Yummly's newsletter – Slow Roasted Tomato Basil Soup and Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps.

Together, those 2 recipe features brought me 5,600+ pageviews. That's HUGE!

(Are you starting to see the importance of building your audience to bring more pageviews?? I don't know how many people Yummly has on their email list, but it must be quite a few to drive that amount of traffic to my site! Now imagine if my OWN list was large & I could drive thousands of pageviews every time I posted a new recipe or article. That would be a GAME CHANGER.)

I got another 1.3k visits from “direct” traffic (usually people bookmarking a page on your site), 1.1k from organic search, 900 from social media (mostly Pinterest, followed by Facebook), and 300 from referral traffic (the #1 referring site was FoodGawker).

If anything, this month just reinforced the importance of promoting and sharing your work, and not getting TOO hyper-focused on content creation.

I mean yeah, it's important to be consistent and create good content, but your efforts might be better focused by creating 1 killer post every week and spending the other 6 days getting it out into the world, vs posting 2, 3, 4+ times per week and not sharing effectively.

Affiliates

  • Amazon ($2.52)

Oh heyyy, this is actually a pretty good monthly income from Amazon for me. 😂

I had SEVEN purchases (high roller here!), but since the Amazon commissions are so so low (usually <5%), that only resulted in a few dollars of income.

What did people buy this month?

Mostly food-related stuff, which makes sense! Oh, and a floppy hat. A must have.

What else happened in November?

1. I watched the FREE online Teachable Summit (and it was AMAZING!)

What is the Teachable Summit? It's a FREE 3-day online summit hosted by Teachable, featuring kick-ass interviews and tutorials from successful entrepreneurs who sell online courses.

I'm not joking when I say this event was totally worth watching. In fact, I would have happily paid for it, it was that good.

The summit was actually where I got the idea to start asking people for their email addresses when they requested to join my FB group.

I mean, DUH, such an obvious idea. I can't believe I wasn't doing it sooner!! That was over 1,000 people who could have been on my list, but weren't, simply because I didn't ask! {*Face Palm*}

My other main takeaway was the importance of building your list FIRST. 

One of the speakers suggested that you really shouldn't be selling anything until you have a list (or, in my opinion, at least an audience somewhere) of at least 1,000. THEN you can focus on creating a moderately priced product (<$100) for that audience.

Once your list reaches 5,000 subscribers, you're even better positioned to create a premium-priced product or service (worth several hundred or even thousands of dollars).

If you skip over these steps or try to implement them out of order, it's highly unlikely that you'll see the same level of success.

I know. It can be frustrating to hear but TRUST ME, you are so much better off spending time honing your niche & getting at least a mini-audience before you try to sell something (see this post for more about my experiences with that…)

The 2018 Teachable Summit is actually happening again in just a few weeks (October 23rd – 25th). You can sign up here to get access to the free summit!

**Please note that the links to the 2018 summit are my affiliate links, which means that I will earn a commission if you choose to sign up for a paid Teachable plan within the next 90 days (at no extra cost to you).

2. Submitted a FNCE Proposal

Towards the middle of the month, I was invited to submit a FNCE proposal with Maryann Jacobsen, the co-author of one of my favorite books 🙂

We drafted a proposal for a talk on passive income streams for dietitians & hoped it would get accepted! (Spoiler alert – it didn't. But hey there's always next year!)

That's it for November!

I look forward to capping off the 2017 income reports w. a December post & year-in-review. 🙂 See ya soon!

–Erica

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