Get Familiar With Your Finances With Erin Armstrong!
Attention bloggers and stylists! Have you ever looked at all of your financial data and thought, “is this even in English?!” From deductions to expenses, money is a lot more complicated than the green piece of paper we hold in our hands. And, for those of you who are still scarred from that General Accounting course you were forced take in college, the thought of crunching numbers is worth the price to get someone else to do it for you — But not anymore!
Our Simply Stylist LA Breakout Speaker Erin Armstrong of The Accounting Sage has created ‘A Course About Money for Fashion and Beauty Bloggers / Stylists’ and we couldn't be more thrilled to share it with you! The 4-chapter course goes over everything you need to know about business financials, how to apply them to the digital world, and tips and tricks to keep your finances in check!
Need to know more? Check out our Q&A with Erin and keep reading for a special bonus offer!
Q&A: Erin Armstrong, Founder of ‘A Course About Money for Fashion and Beauty Bloggers / Stylists’
Tell us about yourself and how you came up with ‘A Course About Money For Fashion & Beauty Bloggers / Stylists’? It all started about 6 years ago when I started working with a celebrity stylist. She had recently been flagged because she wasn’t showing a profit and had claimed over 60k in wardrobe deductions for the year, so she immediately needed my help prepping for an IRS audit. This instance made me realize that a stylist’s tax deductions and legit business expenses look odd to people outside the industry — and how this negatively affects the advice that’s given out by accountants. It also emphasized the importance of really understanding how tax law is set up and has held up in court.
Since then, I’ve worked with many more clients in the fashion and beauty industry (bloggers, PR companies, content makers, & stylists) and I see the same confusion about unusual tax deductions (such as wardrobe, props, commissions, home office, etc.), as well as questions regarding other basic accounting principles. So, I thought it’d be fun to create an online class just for women in the fashion and beauty industry that can clear up all their business accounting questions!
What’s your favorite business accounting tip? Just one?! Okay, well my number one tip is to be engaged with your financials. For most people, money is a little scary. But, in reality, understanding your business numbers is really empowering—both on an emotional and practical level!
Number two: Keep the money separate. It’s tempting to mix your personal and business expenditures, but it can create a lot of problems down the line. So, even if you’re just starting out, make sure you keep a separate bank account and credit card for business income and expenses — and keep everything personal out!
At your Simply Stylist LA breakout session, you said women don’t meet their full earning potential because they don’t recognize their value. Do you want to elaborate on that? Yeah! This last year, the discussion about the gender pay gap has had a huge place in our society. One of the major reasons suggested for this pay discrepancy is that women aren’t as aggressive in negotiating a higher salary (or when you’re working for yourself, you aren’t as aggressive in commanding higher pay).
So, the real questions become why are we not as aggressive and what can we do to change that? I think when you step back from the gender wage conversation and just look at practical, well-accepted business models and pricing ideas, it’s clear. If you want to charge more, fine, just give more value. That’s repeated over and over again by business gurus: just add more value! But, I think women already give this value—they just don’t recognize it. Generally speaking, men don’t have as difficult a time accepting the value they give and expecting likewise compensation. However, women (for cultural, relational and sometimes even spiritual reasons) find it more difficult to value the services they provide, the effort they output, the time they spend and the huge benefits they give their clients. We’ve got to start valuing ourselves, and what we do if we want to make more money.
There are many ways to value the work we do, but a great starting place is to get really clear on all the benefits you give your clients and then articulate that to them (can list these benefits on a website, in proposals, contracts, conversations, etc.)!
What’s your life motto?
I have a few! But, the first that pops into my head: Gratitude is the root of all good. I find that the more time I take to appreciate all the things that surround me (material, relational, experiences), the more the “good” seems to multiply.
Also, I’ve learned over the years (and often remind myself) that everyone has their own personal journey. This belief makes all viewpoints valid. It’s all about acceptance!
To learn more about Erin or ‘A Course About Money for Fashion and Beauty Bloggers / Stylists’, visit their website!
Also, if you purchase ‘A Course About Money for Fashion and Beauty Bloggers / Stylists’ before midnight on March 31, 2016, you’ll get to attend a free live bonus call with Erin & amazing legal coach, Lisa Fraley. Together they’ll take your questions about all things accounting and legal regarding your business! Buy yours HERE!