fbpx
Financial Tips For Writers

Let me start by saying that writers don’t have to be starving artists to be successful. Today, in this blog, we’ll be talking about financial tips for writers.

financial tips for writers

 

The fact is, you’re a business owner, you are self-employed, and you’re actually running the business of you. To run a business, you must have some money. When people say they just want to write and not worry about the money, what they’re saying is, I’m not interested in, protecting, growing, and developing the business of me, which is the income and revenue-generating source of my business.

 

 

With that in mind, here are some financial tips for writers

 

 

Have a monthly budget and put away enough of your advance or royalties to cover 3-6 months of expenses

 

In the book writing world, your royalty checks are held anywhere from 2-6 months after books are sold. That’s a long time to wait to get paid. I know that many writers have a feast and famine cycle in their financial lives for this reason. One of the best ways to break that cycle is to make sure your personal expenses are covered every month and the money is in the bank. This will bring some security and can support your ability to create by removing financial stress. Calculate the costs of your food, utilities, rent or mortgage and transportation every month and squirrel away the amount you need to pay a few months of your expenses.

 

If you are freelancing or writing for a magazine or other organization that pays regularly, know what you need to bring in every month, and price your articles and projects accordingly. Make sure you can cover your monthly expenses. As soon as possible create an emergency fund and squirrel away a few months of income to prevent the feast and famine of the publishing world.

 

 

Think of your labor in a book as a sunk cost  

 

It is very hard sometimes to imagine recovering some financial benefit to all the hours you put into developing your work. It is much more difficult than somebody who, say, a jewelry designer, who knows that it takes an hour and a half to make a certain piece, and we can put a direct dollar figure to what they want to recover. So, I’m going to start by saying I understand that writing is hours and hours and hours and having an hourly rate that you recover actually could be very difficult to calculate. This may give people a little bit of a pause about using a formula because it may seem more complicated.

 

But just pricing a book and hoping to sell a bunch of copies isn’t necessarily the best business model, because you don’t know whether or not you’re actually making back what you’re putting in to generating the work. It’s smart to have a sales goal; a financial goal, for the work.

 

think about pricing accordingly

 

There are two considerations you can use for this. The first one is you need to know how much you need to recover for your personal money. During the time you spent writing, on average, what do you need each month for food for your rent or mortgage for your transportation for all your utilities? Having that as a base as an operating figure that you would use?

 

Then, how many months did it take you to write this particular piece of work? How many months of operating expenses? Did you basically put out during the time that this was in development and being written, so having that number there gives us a place to start for you to recover money for your personal needs. If you were to consider your operating costs, let’s say that it took you five months to develop this particular piece of work, and your operating costs every month are $3,000, you’re looking at $15,000 as the minimum that you need to make back in order to cover your own time. Time that in reality you “loaned” the book to write it.

 

The second consideration is to come up with a number or percentage of costs that are profits. Adding a little bit of extra money to the cost of a book for profit is important, but in all honesty I get a lot of pushback from creatives on generating profits.

 

 

Don’t let your love of writing overshadow your need for profits

It isn’t just writers. For some reason, many creatives want to be the altruistic entrepreneur.  The fact is that the more profit you make the more impact you can have. Price your books and services and deals for profitability.

 

If you’re not making a profit, you can’t have a level of impact above anybody else. How can I say this? Well, how can you be insanely generous and donate to the causes that mean something to you?

 

How can you create opportunities or hire people? Whether it’s a cleaner for your home, or an editor, or an assistant? You can’t do those things without making a profit. In some ways, profit is your duty. As a business owner, you really are the only engine that is going to generate additional money in the marketplace; support other people and causes, or allow you to do volunteer work. When you look at profit as an impact you can see that it’s okay to make a profit.

 

Writers have unique gifts and storylines to bring to the world. But the vision of the starving artist does a huge disservice to craft. Follow the tips I had discussed to make sure you make money while doing what you love. 

 

 

Author’s Note: 

Did you enjoy reading Financial Tips for Writers? If this is something that resonates with you and you need further assistance to take your business on to the next stage, visit my RESOURCE CENTER

business strategy meeting

As entrepreneurs, we are often asked if we have a “business strategy” for just about everything. Social media, marketing, growth, operations, and on and on. But what does it mean to have one? The word strategy, as defined by dictionary.com means, “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.”

 

business strategy meeting

 

In all honesty, it can feel a little overwhelming to think about everything that needs to be planned in your business. On the other hand, operating without any plan, that is, just winging it in your biz, will cost you time, energy, and money because you will be trying to hit your targets in the dark. The truth is that you need an overarching plan for your vision, then mini-plans in each of the action areas.

 

 

 

 

Must Fit Into Your Bigger Vision and Goal

 

You want to go from New York to Los Angeles in the car. That’s the goal, get to LA. There are so many different routes to get there, but we can probably agree that you need to have a starting road and you need to be going west. Without looking at a map or GPS or having a strategy to get to your destination you could end up anywhere else costing time and money.  It is true that your starting route may change, and you may end up on a different interstate- but as long as you hold the vision of getting to LA, you will be ultimately moving west. Make sense?

 

My question to you. Where are you going? What does this look like in the future? What is your vision? This is your very first strategy assignment, create a picture of where you are going. This is where people look out 3 months, 6 months, a year, five years. But for now, just pick a timeframe within 2 years and grab the picture in your mind. Now we need to hold that vision to create a plan to get there. Write down this vision and your goals.

 

 

 

 

Must Lead Into Action Plan

 

Some of us love to plan. I do. Unfortunately, sometimes we replace action with planning. Planning is preparation, and I am so guilty of this when I have any fear or resistance around taking the next step. The best use of strategy is to translate your plan into actions that you take every day, week, month, towards your vision.

 

This is where multiple strategies are developed. For example, the social media strategy, marketing strategy, and webinar strategy must nest within the bigger vision. To do this, look at your written vision and goals and describe what each plan needs to do to support your journey. If your business is product-based you may have a strategy that includes sales to both wholesale and retail audiences, so your sales strategy needs to address how to support both.

 

The actual number of plans will vary by business. If you are in manufacturing, you will have strategic needs that aren’t necessary in the coaching world. At a minimum, however, I think just about every business needs:

 

  • A marketing strategy (with a social media plan)
  • A sales strategy
  • A customer acquisition, service, support, and retention strategy
  • A clear strategy for delivering the products and services to market

 

With these four strategies defined for your business, you can make decisions and take action every day aligned with your bigger vision.

 

 

 

 

Must Be Reviewed At Least Twice A Year  

 

It is so true that businesses start with one thing and ultimately evolves. You may start with a single idea and grow it into several lines of revenue. You may need to meet your customer a different way as the industry changes. The strategy will also evolve and grow with your business.  So, creating your strategy isn’t a “one and done” event.  Reviewing it twice a year is a great way to see if your goals and vision are still aligned based on the daily real-world business things.

 

If you aren’t a natural planner, I get it. I hope you see how important it is to have an overarching map and strategy to get to your vision.  You’ve been given a vision, and your entrepreneurial purpose is to reach it. If you need some help with planning your next moves, grab a spot on my calendar for a chat, I have an intensive 3-hour session available that is intended to get your plan reviewed and if needed, back on track to support your goals.

Creating your signature offer is one way you can be sure you reach the right audience and hone your message. One that you will be known for.  One that people will seek you out for.  Your signature can be a course, program, flavor, color, packaging, template, the sky is the limit. 

 

No matter your business or industry, your voice, your values, and your point of view are unique to you. Your message will resonate with some people, and not with others. And that’s just fine.

 

Creating Your Signature Offer

 

The one thing about creating your signature offer is that it needs to be on-brand. It needs to be cohesive with your voice, message, image, and values. Make sure you know these things for yourself before you start creating your signature offer. To start crafting your signature offer, answer the questions below.

 

 

 

What do you want to be known for?

 

It’s the Profit Accelerator for me. The programs, the (upcoming) podcast, the book, all of it. I want to be the go-to for entrepreneurs who want to make more money and keep more profit by starting with their numbers. I know profit creates impact and I want small business owners to have a tremendous impact in their communities and in society.

 

 

 

 

What change or transformation do you want your clients to have through your signature thing?

 

I want people to be empowered with their money. Confident in making financial decisions. I want them to walk away from my signature Profit Accelerator experience with positive permanent changes that make entrepreneurship better for them. You need to be very, very clear about what your clients will experience through your signature thing. Your answers in this step will help you define the actual offer in the next step.

 

 

 

 

What’s the best format for your clients to get that change?

 

In the program I created, it is a hybrid between 1:1 sessions and group coaching for a six to twelve-week timeframe with the singular goal of generating revenue and keeping the profit. For some of you, it will be a course, whether online or live. For others, it will be with your products. You know your audience, make sure you are meeting them where they are so you can help them get to where they want to be.

 

 

 

 

What feels good for you to deliver?

 

The final question has to do with alignment. Your signature offer must represent you and you must feel good delivering it to the world.  If you are not a webinar and PowerPoint person, you can’t force your signature offer into that format. Really think about this. The way you deliver your signature thing is the way people will remember you.

 

There are still two weeks left for 2020, why not take a little time and create the thing you want to be known for in 2021. Daydream a bit if you need to. Visualize it, feel it, and outline whatever you need to in order to bring your signature thing to the world in 2021.

 

Did you enjoy what you read today? Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more useful content!

Recurring revenue creates business stability through renewable products and services.

 

Do you know why memberships, subscription boxes, and automatic renewals are so popular? Because people love to be a part of something and to receive new things regularly.

 

And where there is predictable RR the business owner can relax a little bit because a certain amount of money will be flowing in each month without their having to make any more sales.  This is also the reason payment plans are so popular for entrepreneurs as well. Yes, there is a risk someone won’t meet their obligation, but most of the time people do. As a result, recurring revenue streams can be a great way to grow your business and have “guaranteed” income each month and I recommend having at least one offer to many of my clients.  

 

 

How to Set Up Your Recurring Revenue:

 

1. Create an offer that people want every month.

Many people join memberships and subscriptions because the offer has something new each cycle. I belong to a few memberships where each month has new trainings that I love.  There may be a members-only masterclass, new members-only bonus, some accountability, or other “new” perk that keeps the subscription fresh.

If you don’t already have something that would support a regular renewal, create one. Start with the outcome. What is the client going to receive with this offer? Sales support? A Product box? A new course or masterclass? Why would they choose to work with you each month, what are you giving them?

 

2. For subscriptions, use membership software to minimize your tasks.

 

There are a lot of different kinds of membership software available that will automatically “renew” your members each month and keep your client’s payment information secure.  I don’t recommend manually invoicing or running cards for small payments in a membership. It is labor-intensive and there is a risk of making a mistake, double charging, invoices not being sent, etc.

Invest in a membership portal or software to automate the billing tasks.  I have personally used a single purchase of Memberpress for my WordPress website linked to PayPal for my monthly recurring membership for non-traditional law students. I know that there are other platforms and software products available for you to explore.

 

 

 

A note on payment plans.

You can still have recurring revenue with payment plans for your products and services.  You can decide how many payments you want to receive for each offer. I don’t recommend stretching the payments too far out past the end of your program or service. And I always recommend adding to the monthly payment enough to cover your additional fees and to reduce the risk of someone not paying.

For example, I have an offer that is $697.00. I have a plan for two payments at $365, or $730, and three payments at $250.00, or $750.  The little bit extra in each payment offsets both the increased interchange fees and the risks that someone won’t make all of the payments. Payment plans can be a great way to have a regular income for a few months on a single sale.

 

It doesn’t ever feel good to make goals, work hard towards them, and miss them. A lot of people like to use the “miss the moon, fall amongst the stars” analogy to describe missing your goals, but the fact is, most of the time, it hurts. However, sometimes missing your goal can be a great thing. It opens your creativity. It forces you to look at your path, planning, and approach. Missing and reaching goals teaches a valuable lesson in every attempt and every victory. And with the right perspective, you will see that in your efforts you either meet your goal or learn something that changes you.

 

Why We Need Goals

 

First of all, goals tell us our desires. Goals help us to separate the wishes and dreams from the thing we are willing to work towards.  Without goals, we can’t channel our ambitions. And goals are often tangible, so we can stay motivated through the progress, as we reach different milestones on the path to the ultimate achievement we want to attain.

 

If you aren’t in the habit of setting goals, I encourage you to do so. Start small if you like. A financial goal. A project goal. An increase in followers. More people visiting your website. Pick one to get started. One of my favorite sayings is, “if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

 

How Do We Set Goals?

 

I don’t align myself with the “SMART” goal strategy exactly.  That approach requires all goals be “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound.” I have no problems with the specific and measurable parts of this style because progress is motivating. I think if we talk “achievable” too narrowly, people won’t undertake a “stretch” goal, one that is just outside the obvious reach and forces us to work a little harder or be a little more creative to hit.

 

Personally, I start from the end state of what I am going to do and backwards plan, putting steps on the calendar and wherever else. I do give myself a deadline, but in reality, I have realized that rigorous time limits can stifle creativity and the ability to add a valuable step or process into the mix. My approach isn’t always great for very time specific goals. I’ve become a little “soft” on deadlines as I’ve spent more time as an entrepreneur. If I am not striving for a project goal, I would rather work in “windows” of time. I am padding the calendar at times to leave room for those sparks of inspiration.

 

Once the goal is set, however, it must become non-negotiable. I recently started reading, “The Audacity to Be Queen” by Gina DeVee, and she explains it as, “being unavailable for anything else.” When you have your goals set by your desires rather than working from a position of “I wish, I want” we start from “it’s happening, this is what I am doing.” We commit to taking each action step with unwavering determination and belief. And then start moving.  

 

When we miss goals

 

There are people who believe that if you don’t hit a goal, you didn’t want it badly enough. Maybe. I think if you don’t hit a goal, any number of things could have happened. Have you ever gotten halfway to a goal and then lost your passion for the result? How about external forces that interfered? Ever have a goal that you reach at another time? How about something that needed to be tweaked- something you will correct for the next round?

 

Whatever we discover our reasons to be aside, when we don’t hit our goals, it cannot be the end of the world. Because we made the goal non-negotiable and we are unavailable for anything else. Any perceived “miss” is a timing issue. Or an approach issue. We need to find the lesson. We need to evaluate what went well, what didn’t work, and we need to be willing to make adjustments and to continue moving forward. And we need to replace any disappointment with a celebration of our progress. A genuine celebration.  Happy Entrepreneuring!

It is the last day of the first quarter 2020, and I wanted to share some numbers with you , statistics really, to show you just how special and amazing you are as an entrepreneur. Read these, and feel free to puff up a little. You take the ups with the downs and show up day after day. That needs some celebration.

So here are some stats about the beautiful group to which we all belong to:

 

  • 62% of US billionaires are self-made
  • In 2016, there were 25 million Americans who were starting or already running their own business
  • 60% of people who start small businesses are between the ages of 40 and 60.
  • There are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world.
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) also reports that 1 in 12 businesses closes each year.
    • 5% of small businesses fail within the first year.
  • More than 70% of all small business owners ranked their happiness level higher than 5 on a scale of 1 to 10
  • From 2000 to 2017, small businesses created 4 million net new jobs
  • Currently, 9 million people are employed by small businesses
    • This is a 1.1 million increase from 2016. This currently makes up 47.8% of U.S. employees
    • More than half of small business employees say they feel happy with their job
  • 64% of small businesses currently have a website

For the Ladies:

 

Pretty great, right?

Print this article out and keep it somewhere you can see it on challenging days. Every day you get up and show up to serve you are a Rockstar. Thanks for bringing your passion project to the world.

Happy Entrepreneuring!