Income Report – July

Income Report - July 2014 //

Uhm, oops. I kinda forgot to post this because I was on vacation in July. Also, I made almost no money because I was in vacation in July. Oops.

July Income Report

  • Affiliate and Advertising Sales: $55.96
  • Consulting/Mentorship: $0.00
  • Design Work: $0.00
  • Development work: $750.00
  • E-course Sales: $0.00
  • Maintenance Work: $425.00
  • Refunds: $0.00

Total: $1230.96 (before expenses)

What these things mean

Affiliate & Advertising Sales: Affiliate programs I’m a part of (Studio Press, Gravity Forms, etc.), and Google Adsense. I only count this as income AFTER it is deposited in my bank account. I don’t do a ton of affiliate marketing or ads, so sometimes my earnings sit in the program for months before I ever get them. Any earnings listed here are likely an accumulation of several months’ earnings finally being deposited in my bank account.

Consulting/Mentorship: Consult calls and mentorship for designers and small business owners.

Design work: Anything that involves me designing something. A website, header, graphics of any kind, etc.

Development work: Full site development, theme development, etc.

E-Course sales: Sales of my e-course, of course. Most customers have purchased at a discount. I receive payment approximately two months after the sales occur. For example, in February I received payment for my December course sales.

Maintenance work: Hosting setup, coding, plugin installations, etc. I lumped these all together because I often do coding/website tweaks as part of clients’ monthly maintenance packages. I will possibly break this down further in the future to distinguish between new coding projects and actual maintenance work, but for 2014 they’re all lumped together in my accounting software.

Refunds: Money I get back from business expenses that I get refunded on. Like training programs, software, etc. Not really income, but for the sake of the blog post…

July Expense Report

  • Advertising: $0.00
  • Contractors and freelancers: $100.00
  • Domains/Hosting: $0.00
  • Licenses: $21.42
  • Meals and entertainment: $0.00
  • Office expense: $0.00
  • Other expenses: $270.70
  • Paypal Fees: $23.08
  • Training: $0.00

Total: $415.20

What these things mean

Advertising: Any ads I purchase, to promote my business, blog, and/or specific products or services.

Contractors and freelancers: Anyone I hire to do something for me, or finder’s fees for client referrals.

Domains/Hosting: Any new domains, hosting plans, or renewals. I typically pay for an entire year, not month-to-month, so some months this may be non-existent and others it may be crazy.

Licenses: Plugins, fonts, software, or any other type of licenses for my business or a client websites.

Meals and entertainment: Meetings with clients or to network.

Office expense: Anything I need for my office; furniture, paper, etc.

Other expenses: Filing fees, random stuff.

Paypal fees: This one is pretty obvious, don’t you think?

Training: Courses or books to improve my mad skillz and my business.

July 2014 total income: $815.76 (before taxes)

Notes: My biggest expense in July was a smart phone. Yeah, I’d totally been using a circa 2006 flip-phone, but it kept dropping calls and really didn’t even work in our basement apartment. So… I upgraded to a smart phone. Which is pretty fun, as long as I remember to pause my inbox at the end of the day so I don’t constantly check my emails!

I was on vacation for about two weeks in July, so really didn’t get much work done.

Pro tip: When you’re self-employed, vacations don’t just cost you a plane flight and a hotel–you give up your paycheck for as long as you’re on vacation.

So vacations, although fun and required for sanity, can be quite expensive when you work for yourself.

But it was worth it.

How’d you do in July?

Designer Scripts – Email templates for sticky client situations

Designer Scripts - Email Templates for sticky client situations //

I don’t do these kinda posts often (because being constantly sold to sucks!) but I’m super-excited to announce the official launch of my e-book: Designer Scripts – Email templates for sticky client situations! I’ve put a lot of work into this book and am really proud of it–but mostly I hope it really helps you tackle those difficult-to-write client emails! Let me tell you all about it!

Ever have to write a difficult email to a client?

Where you’re so frustrated, all you really wanna do is type a bunch of curse words and pound on your keyboard?

Let’s not do that.

I created this e-book/swipe file of email templates for situations where you just don’t know what to say… whether it be about a late payment, or you accidentally deleted the client’s entire website.

Because sometimes all you can string together when you’re stressed out is a stream of curses, and that’s not good for your business.

Unlike other swipe-files I’ve seen, this e-book is very simple. You won’t find flowery language that doesn’t fit with your brand (though you can add it if you want!). Instead, these emails are polite, yet to-the-point and designed to get your message across in a clear way without offending anyone.

And they said I’d never use my communication degree!

Included in this e-book are 24 problem situations, and 68 responses that you can copy + paste and tweak to send to your clients!

Designer Scripts - Email Templates for sticky client situations //

In this e-book, we’ll cover what to say when…

  1. A potential client thinks you’re too expensive
  2. A returning client is unhappy about your price increase
  3. A returning client wants something right away but you’re already booked
  4. A returning client wants to work with you again (but you don’t want to work with her)
  5. A client wants more revisions than outlined in the contract
  6. A client wants something not included in the contract
  7. A client asks to extend a timeline
  8. A client wants a service you don’t offer
  9. A client wants part of their site/branding/etc. to look “different” from the rest
  10. A client HATES everything you’ve sent them
  11. A client tries to tell you how to do your job
  12. A client insists on something and then hates it
  13. A client wants to be friends on Facebook (and you don’t)
  14. A client isn’t a good fit
  15. A client is rude to you
  16. A client threatens you
  17. A client goes MIA
  18. A client doesn’t want to make final payment (no explanation)
  19. A client tells you that they are unable to make final payment
  20. A client asks to cancel their contract
  21. A client asks for a refund
  22. A client doesn’t want you to show their project in your portfolio
  23. A client wants you to remove your credit in the footer of their site
  24. You make a mistake (did you think you were perfect?)

And with 68 responses, you’ll be able to choose whatever works best for your situation! (click here to see a sample!)

Designer Scripts - Email Templates for sticky client situations //


As a bonus, I include links to my favorite resources for contracts (because having a killer contract is vital to standing your ground with difficult clients!), and include notes with tips along the way!

Oh, and because I HATE e-books that use an entire cartridge of ink on each page (making them impossible to print) I designed this e-book to be totally printable and use very little ink, for those of you who like having hard-copies around (you know who you are)!

What others are saying

Testimonial - AmandaThis book has many excellent examples, is clear and direct with a simple copy and paste format.

Erin has a great sense of humor and a firm grasp of the frustrations web and graphic designers face with clients. My only complaint is just that I wish there were more to read! The ebook left me wanting to read more of what she had to say!

Every bit worth the purchase many times over. Thank you for such a great resource, Erin. Keep writing!

- Amanda, My Amanda Design

Testimonial - TiffanyPurchased my copy yesterday and I have to say, this e-book is awesome. It makes things so much easier when I get stuck on what to say in my emails!

- Tiffany, Beautiful Dawn Designs

Testimonial - RitaI bought my copy too and loved it. It was very helpful and I know it will be used in the future. Thanks, Erin!

- Rita, Brainy Girl Designs

Testimonial - NicoleHey Erin just bought my copy. I just used the MIA one for a client I hadn’t heard from in a month.. and guess what they actually replied! Woo hoo!

- Nicole, Picasso Media

Testimonial - AlleIn a world where things like Clients From Hell and the Sharp Suit project exist, this killer resource empowers designers to respond efficiently and appropriately to potentially *facepalm* situations with clients.

Erin’s scripts take all the guesswork and stress out of the balancing act between being warm and professional and not letting clients take advantage of you. This is a must-have for any freelance designer!

- Alle, Finding Eden Media

Ready to make sending emails easy-peasy?

Then buy Designer Scripts! It’s just $17 for a limited time!

This price WILL be going up in the near future, so grab it now!


(If you’re viewing this in a reader, you might need to come on over to my site to buy it!)

Bought it and loved it? Join my affiliate program!

August 2014 Goals

August 2014 Goals //

It’s August! Time for some new goals! But first, here’s how I did on July’s goals!

  • Go on vacation - Done! Had a lot of fun!
  • Launch Morgan’s new site Launched!
  • Finish that e-book! - Almost–finished it in early August!

August Goals

What are your goals for August?

The #1 question every designer asks me

The number one question designers ask me //

Can you guess what the number one question I get asked is? It’s not about what platform to use, or how to create WordPress themes…

The #1 question I am asked is, “how do I get clients?”

If you haven’t noticed, we’re in an INSANELY saturated field.

There are thousands of designers, and anyone with a blog and a hacked copy of Photoshop thinks they’re a designer nowadays.

It’s honestly kind of ridiculous, and impossible to compete.

Which is why I don’t. Instead, I network with other designers, get referrals, and THAT is where I get my clients. (I also get some from hanging out in small business communities–and that’s a great place to look too–but nowadays, most of my new clients are actually referrals from other designers)

So yup, I’m gonna keep this post ridiculously short and simple, and tell you to stop competing with every other designer out there, and start networking with them.

That way, when you get a project that’s not up your alley, but is the perfect fit for Designer X, you can pass it along to her, and she’ll likely do the same when she comes across a client who is a better fit for you.

You can read more in this article I published in my newsletter (you should subscribe too!), but after you’re done, I highly recommend you get to networking–a fun place for designers to network is my Designers Unite Facebook group!

What’s the number one question YOU get asked?

You’re too expensive!

What to say when a client thinks you're too expensive //

If you’ve been in the design business for a while, you’ve likely heard this from potential clients before, “you’re too expensive!” or something to that effect, anyhow.

So what do you do?

You’ve got a few options! Here are some handy-dandy email scripts I’ve created that you can copy+paste, and tweak to send to those potential clients!

What to say when a potential client thinks you’re too expensive

Option One – Educate Her on Why You’re Awesome

Hey ____!

I realize that this is a large investment, but I can assure you that I am delivering top-notch service that you won’t receive with a low-cost alternative. I have ____ years of experience and do more than just ____. Included in my services is ____, ____, and ____. I work with you to really make sure that you’re receiving a design that works for you and your brand. By hiring me you’re sure to see results like ____, and ____!

If you’re not ready to invest in your brand, I understand. Please keep me in mind for the future!



Option Two – Ditch Her, She’ll Haggle the Entire Project Anyhow

Hey ____!

I realize that this is a large investment and it sounds like you’re hesitant to invest that much at this time. If in the future you are ready to take your ____ to the next level, please feel free to get in touch!



Dig these scripts? I’m creating an e-book FULL of them! Stay tuned!