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    May's monthly business breakdown

    By Kieran Drew
    💡
    This is an edition of my old newsletter Digital Freedom.

    It's lightly edited but otherwise untouched. I've kept them on the site to show how the journey has evolved.

    Welcome to May's business breakdown.

    If you're new here, each month, we take a peak under the hood of my business.

    Today we'll mostly discuss the product launch. But I'll also breakdown the 3 areas of focus for the biz:

    • Freedom (leverage)
    • Revenue (income and expenses)
    • Growth (social media and newsletter)

    This one’s a 5-minute read.

    Let’s dive in.

    The Freedom Metre

    The business goal at the start of 2023 was to become more 'leveraged.'

    The reason being most of my income was from selling my time.

    Which was lucrative, but not the long-term goal.

    When I quit coaching & consulting there was a big dip in earnings, but it also freed up time to focus on other activities. Namely, product building.

    In January, 43% of my total revenue was 'low leverage'.

    Here's the updated figure now:

    FREEDOM METRE

    The aim is 10% by the end of 2023.

    It's still gonna take a bit of work to hit the goal.

    The hard part, as always, is saying no.

    Let's unpack the numbers.

    May net income: $163,173.81

    Gross Revenue

    MONTHLY REVENUE BAR CHART

    As you can see, May was wild.

    The downside to doubling your revenue in 4 days is the graph looks silly going forward.

    The plus side, well, I don't need to explain that =)

    But let's chat about April first.

    I didn't do a revenue report last month because I went 'all in' on High Impact Writing.

    It was one of the worst months at $4,669.97.

    I bring this up to highlight an important point:

    Sometimes, you gotta throw away the plan.

    I wrote no threads or tweets (just scheduled old ones). I wrote no emails. I stopped affiliating and taking ad slots.

    I pulled the plug on everything.

    But it broke a lot of false beliefs because I rarely break consistency. Missing threads made me feel like I was failing. Watching every number drop was terrifying.

    However, I now know the truth.

    Consistency is a gift and a curse.

    Yes it'll get you going.

    But the real upside comes from making asymmetrical bets.

    Stuff that requires more risk and sacrifice - but can lead to 100-1000x the result.

    My girlfriend and I spent a ridiculous amount of time on the product.

    But it paid off.

    ...And not just financially.

    For authority too. I've now booked on 4 popular podcasts. I used to study these ones as an early creator so it's pretty cool to be a guest.

    But most importantly...

    The feedback from High Impact Writing has been insane.

    So the real benefit is more happy customers - which is the backbone of a creator business.

    Ultimately, the more time & effort you put into assets you can replicate for no cost, the bigger the upside.

    Asymmetrical bets is now a mental model I'm fascinated by.

    With the rise of AI, it's important to do something different to the crowd.

    To quote Peter Thiel, "Asymmetric bets are the secret to unlocking extraordinary opportunities in an uncertain world.".

    I'm not sure what my next will be.

    But I'd love to build more authority as a writer so perhaps an indepth guide or case study that I'lll release for free.

    I'll share another newsletter exploring that in the near future.

    Let's take a look at the revenue breakdown.

    Table of earnings

    As a last minute decision I added an upsell for a 1-1 call and content review to the product launch for $997.

    I know I know my friend,

    I said I didn't want to sell my time, but hey - I'm only human.

    Aside from the money, I wanted to speak 1-1 with customers because close contact with your buyers is important. You get feedback from your course. Plus, you can identify the 'next big problem' for a future product.

    For the launch, I also set up an affiliate team.

    This decision grossed an additional $15,592 in product sales.

    An extra 10% bump was great.

    But the real aim was to establish long term business relationships. So it will be interesting to see how that pays off down the line.

    Finally, I did my first proper (simple) funnel.

    I used my original product, Viral Inspiration Lab, as an optional add on after someone had given their card details.

    This grossed $8,650 in additional revenue for zero extra work.

    I'm beginning to see how the creator business compounds.

    Stack assets. Grow bigger. Build a better reputation.

    Let's talk about the less fun side of a business.

    Expenses

    Pie chart May expenses

    The brilliant part about digital products are the margins.

    I paid ~$600 (lifetime payment) for Thrivecart.​

    Which, by the way, is an absolute steal.

    It feels great to have one place for sales, funnels, and hosting courses.

    Plus it integrates well with ConvertKit.

    The only other one time costs for the course were education. I bought courses on copywriting, email marketing, and course building.

    But this was last year.

    I reckon the product margins were around 90-95% overall (so far).

    Which ain't too shabby at all.

    Audience Growth

    Newsletter

    Newsletter growth bar chart

    Newsletter growth should've been the worst in a long time because I put the breaks on content.

    So this is a brilliant result - and I have ConvertKit to thank.

    I was worried about their competitor, Beehiv.

    I had serious FOMO with their referral network.

    But I love Convertkit, and as usual, they pulled it out the bag.

    Their 'Creator Network' is now responsible for 70% of my growth.

    And it's only getting better.

    So I'm back to fully singing ConvertKit's praises.

    It's by far the best investment for building my creator biz.

    Audience Growth

    Audience growth line graph

    Another interesting result.

    Prior to the launch my Twitter growth completely stalled.

    But on launch week the algorithm gods smiled on me. I was everywhere. I got messages from friends saying they couldn't scroll the timeline for a few minutes without hearing about the product.

    (sorry for the spam)

    So I ended up growing a shit tonne that week.

    Plus, we've also got LinkedIn ticking away in the background.

    I was toying with adding Instagram to the mix soon.

    But honestly?

    hate the idea of more social media.

    I've realised a lot of creators around my level care way too much about building an audience and not enough about doing something impressive with it.

    I'm a firm believer that less is more.

    I might outsource IG down the line.

    The content is ready regardless.

    But for now, I'm back to doubling down on Twitter, LI, and the newsletter because the product launch reconfirmed something I lost in the blur of business:

    I f*cking love writing.

    Plenty of people reached out saying I should launch the next big high ticket and make loads of money.

    Lessgo.

    Scale hard.

    But it's never been about that (although it's very tempting).

    I became a creator for 3 reasons.

    1. Freedom
    2. Mastery
    3. Impact

    Money should be by-product of pursuing your purpose. Not the purpose itself.

    So for now, it's back to the plan.

    Keep writing.

    Share ideas to help you win.

    Invite you to invest in products I believe in.

    Cheers for reading,

    DF SELFIE


    Kieran Drew

    About Kieran

    Ex dentist, current writer, future Onlyfans star · Sharing what I learn about writing well, thinking clearly, and building an online business