293 - Influencer Profit Reports with Austen Tosone
On today's episode I chat with fashion and beauty content creator about the importance of tracking your revenue streams and how she uses that information to set goals.
Austen started her career path in college when she interned at Nylon using a writing sample from the blog she had launched. A creative since birth, Austen was always looking to fashion magazines for inspiration. This led to her working at NYLON after college.
In 2012 Austen started content creation on the side for our blog while starting college in NYC. Over the years she filtered through offers for blog content in exchange for free product, choosing only the ones she liked which in 2016 led to her first paid brand deal with ASOS. From there she focused on brand deals for the next three to four years because she saw brand deals as the way bloggers made money.
She started getting a lot of questions about how she was getting these brand deals as a small blogger so she created her first e-book about the pitching process which became an income stream for Austen.
Today, Austen has eight income streams, adding about one a year since 2019. In 2019 it was brand deals, affiliates, the e-book and ad revenue from a partner program she had finally qualified for. Now her income streams include those four with the addition of consulting creators one-on-one, a Patreon community, education which is workshops and the digital course she just released in January with the occasional workshops for companies about working with creators, and the last one is what Austen calls platform incentives and includes Reels bonuses, TikTok creator fund and tipping on Twitter or Clubhouse. In addition to the e-book, Austen's digital products now include an invoice template and a brand campaign wrap-up template.
Breaking down these streams as slices of a pie, Austen's income looking at the full year of 2022:
- Brand deals: 25% (In 2019, this was 80% in part to it being her main source of income and also there being a smaller pool of creators to choose from)
- Affiliates: <5%
- Ad revenue: 8%
- Digital products: 7%
- Consulting: 4.5%
- Patreon: 2% (Membership levels are a low price point between $1-$5)
- Education: 16%
- Platform incentives: 30% (This will not be as high this year as last year the Pinterest creator fund was paying high rates as an incentive to join)
Looking at 2023 and further forward, Austen is looking to focus less on platform incentives, she views these as an added bonus and stays focused on creating the content she wants to create. She also loves teaching to companies and has taught on a variety of topics from SEO to TikTok.
Austen has an LLC and all of these income streams are housed under one business though she has a DBA under her LLC for her blog. She plans to look into an S Corp in the future for tax savings. She does her bookkeeping in a Google sheet and offers the sheet template in her Patreon community. Each year she sets percentage goals for her income streams.
Looking at expenses, Austen's biggest category is contractors. The best thing she has outsourced in 2023 is video editing, and also outsources photography occasionally and a VA for three months during her course launch. Her second highest category is software and tools.
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