15 episodes

On the business of Drag Podcast, I interview guests about how they make money as a drag queen, artist, or creative. I also share tangible financial, tax, and legal tips on the solo episodes.

Business of Drag Braden Drake

    • Business

On the business of Drag Podcast, I interview guests about how they make money as a drag queen, artist, or creative. I also share tangible financial, tax, and legal tips on the solo episodes.

    015 - Bookkeeping for Your Drag Business is a MUST - Here's How to Make it Easy

    015 - Bookkeeping for Your Drag Business is a MUST - Here's How to Make it Easy

    On today's episode of the podcast I'm wrapping up my intro series of the Unf*ck Your Biz framework to put your finances back together with legal and tax strategies. Today we'll be covering systems to take care of your bookkeeping.

    If you're new to the series, take a pause to check out my intro episode and then Lesson 1 of the series. Missed the most recent lesson? Check out Part 7.

    Prefer to watch your podcasts? Check out the Business of Drag podcast on YouTube. 

    _____________________________________________

    🤓 Get a free copy of my bookkeeping template

    📘 Grab a copy of the book 

    _____________________________________________

    As I've shared in previous episodes, LLCs are like a magic bubble of legal protection for your business. They protect your personal assets from business liability. That is one layer of protection. Other layers include insurance and contracts. 

    In my other business, where I work with service providers like planners, coaches, designers, etc., they are typically the ones providing the contracts and insurance. For drag professionals, things are a bit different because you are usually on the receiving end and have a contract provided to you unless you are organizing a drag show/hiring talent. To learn more about contracts, grab a copy of my book or check out my bank of contracts for just $30. 

    When it comes to systems, in addition to setting up your cash flow systems (for example, paying yourself regularly) you also need to customize your tax systems including bookkeeping and setting aside money for quarterly estimated tax payments. During today's episode I'm walking you through my bookkeeping template so grab that free download here. Once you get that free template you'll also get access to buy my Business of Drag course for just $30. 

    The IRS says "You may choose any record keeping system suited to your business that clearly shows your income and expenses. The business you are in effects the records you need to keep for federal tax purposes. Your record keeping system should include a summary of your business transactions. This summary is ordinarily made in your business books. For example, accounting journals and ledgers. Your books must show your gross income as well as your deductions and credits for most small businesses"

    The most common way small businesses do this is with Quickbooks, but you don't have to. You can use a simple spreadsheet or even a pen and paper (though I do not recommend that). If you're relatively new in business you typically don't need fancy bookkeeping software, unless you find you're selling a lot of low-ticket items like merch, that way those transactions can be automatically pulled from your bank account into your Quickbooks. Once you hit about $150,000 - $200,000 a year in revenue, that's typically when I recommend you hire a bookkeeper, which I offer as part of my Drag Tax business. You can book a call here to learn more about that. 

    Now to dive into our bookkeeping spreadsheet and show you how to use it. Be sure to download the spreadsheet to follow along. For a visual walk through, check out this episode on the Business of Drag podcast on YouTube where I share my screen as I discuss the spreadsheet template. 

    First we start with Income categories. Let's assume as a drag professional one of your income categories is gigs, paid posts for sponsored Instagram content, and wig styling/salon services. We want our spreadsheet to break down our revenue sources by category and month to give us important financial insights further down the line.

    Then, we'll go through our expenses and the Business of Drag tax deduction guide to decide all of our categories like makeup, storage, clothing, etc. (called Chart of Accounts). We'll log this at the end of each month when we open our monthly bank statement and log our expenses. This is why it really helps you to have a business bank account so you don't have to comb through every personal transact

    • 21 min
    014 - Cash Flow Management - How to Properly Save for Taxes and Pay Yourself

    014 - Cash Flow Management - How to Properly Save for Taxes and Pay Yourself

    On this episode of the podcast I dive into Lesson 7 of my series on the tax basics and legal fundamentals for drag queens and LGBTQ+ entertainers. Today's lesson is about cash flow management, or as I like to call it, the client to piggy bank pipeline. 

    If you're new to the series, take a pause to check out my intro episode and then Lesson 1 of the series. Missed the most recent lesson? Check out Part 6.

    Prefer to watch your podcasts? Check out the Business of Drag podcast on YouTube. 

    _____________________________________________

    🤓 Get a free copy of my bookkeeping template

    📘 Grab a copy of the book 

    _____________________________________________

    The client to piggy bank pipeline explains cash flow management best. Someone hires you or gives you a tip, you get that money, and then what happens to that money? Does your cash get caried around and spent? Does it (hopefully) go into a business bank account? Are you setting a certain percentage aside for taxes? What about savings and retirement? Are you paying yourself from your business account to your personal account? This system is the goal of cash flow management and is what we're diving into today and what I cover in my book which you can order here. Want to dive deeper into cash flow management and taxes? Get the Business of Drag basics course. You'll be prompted to buy it at checkout when you download my free bookkeeping template. 

    The first step in Cash Flow 1.0 is to put your tax savings on autopilot and built a habit of paying yourself regularly, not just transferring money to your personal account when you need it. 

    To set up your tax automation, you want to set aside money from each paycheck or money you collect in tips towards your taxes. If you sign up for my preferred banking system, Novo (not sponsored though I do get a referral fee) you can easily set aside your tax flow savings in their Reserves system. Reserves are basically folders to organize your money and earmark it for certain things, like quarterly estimated tax payments so all that money will be saved when it's time to go online and pay the IRS each quarter. Novo is free and does not have a monthly cost. You can even automate the savings so a percentage of each deposit goes directly into your reserves. 

    I have 25% set aside for taxes and 5% set aside for savings in my own business bank account. The purpose of the business savings is to have a slush fund for big projects like redesigning your website. Earlier in my podcast I showed you how to calculate how much to save for quarterly taxes. This is where you would apply that to save a percentage from each of your payments. I cover this in greater detail in the Business of Drag basics course. 

    You want to pay yourself on a set, regular basis. I recommend every Friday be pay day. On pay day,  multiply your revenue for that pay day by your current profit percentage. Calculate this percentage and then transfer that amount. What's left in your business bank account is what's left for expenses. Don't reinvest your personal money in your drag, use the money you left for expenses to buy your wigs and new outfits. When we allow our personal payments to suffer when we need money in the business, it's time to make more money so we don't get complacent in bad habits of not paying ourselves. 

    To recap: 

    1. Open your bank account

    2. Estimate how much you should be saving for taxes and set up your saving automation

    3. Every Friday, do your cash flow system, log your bank balance, run your cash flow

    If you're going to take anything away from this series, I want you to take away this lesson as I think it will be most impactful to your business. 

    _____________________________________________

    𝗖𝗢𝗡𝗡𝗘𝗖𝗧 𝗪𝗜𝗧𝗛 𝗠𝗘

    📷 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dragtax 

    🐦 Twitter: https://twitter.com/dragtax 

    🤳🏻 TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@dra

    • 18 min
    013- The Business Blueprint Every Drag Queen Needs For Financial Success

    013- The Business Blueprint Every Drag Queen Needs For Financial Success

    On this episode of the podcast I dive into Part 6 of my series on the tax basics and legal fundamentals for drag queens and LGBTQ+ entertainers. Today's lesson is covering the Small Business Blueprint you need to legally set up your drag as a business. 

    If you're new to the series, take a pause to check out my intro episode and then Part 1 of the series. Missed the most recent lesson? Check out Part 5.

    _____________________________________________

    🤓 Get a free copy of my bookkeeping template

    📘 Grab a copy of the book _____________________________________________

    In my book I teach what I call the "Unf*ck Your Biz Framework," a five part framework to put your finances back together with legal and tax strategies. So far in these lessons we've gone through about half of the book and covered general tax systems, business liability, how much you should be saving for taxes, and back taxes. Today we're talking about the Small Business Blueprint. 

    With drag entertainers I find that there's a gap between those who view their drag as a business and consider themselves freelancers, and those who don't. If you're trying to make some money, you're doing yourself a disservice not treating yourself like a business. 

    The Business Blueprint is made up of 14 steps and you can download your own copy of the Blueprint here. 


    Get a registered agent
    Choose business name and check availability
    Determine entity and file articles
    Get your employment identification number (EIN)
    Get your seller's permit
    Get your Business License or Tax Certificate
    Get your Fictitious Business Name License (DBA)
    Set up Operating Agreement
    Take Meeting Minutes
    Determine if you need a Statement of Information
    Pay Annual Franchise Tax/Fee
    Become an S Corp if applicable
    Set up Business Bank Accounts
    Run payroll

    _____________________________________________

    𝗖𝗢𝗡𝗡𝗘𝗖𝗧 𝗪𝗜𝗧𝗛 𝗠𝗘

    📷 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dragtax 

    🐦 Twitter: https://twitter.com/dragtax 

    🤳🏻 TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@dragtax

    🖥 Website: https://www.dragtax.com 

    📧 E-mail: braden@dragtax.com

     ___________________________________________ 

    𝗗𝗜𝗦𝗖𝗟𝗔𝗜𝗠𝗘𝗥𝗦

    THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE - Everything contained on this channel is meant solely for entertainment and informational purposes. Nothing herein should be considered legal advice nor does anything on this channel create an attorney-client relationship of any sort. Please seek guidance from a licensed attorney before making any legal decision.

    COPYRIGHT - Any use of copyrighted content on this channel constitutes fair use pursuant to 17 U.S. Code § 107 as it is utilized for the purpose of criticism, comment, or news reporting allowed under that statute. See, e.g., Monster Communications, Inc. v. Turner Broadcasting Sys. Inc., 935 F.Supp. 490 (S.D. N.Y., 1996); SOFA Entertainment, Inc. v. Dodger Productions, Inc., No. 2:08-cv-02616 (9th Cir. Mar. 11, 2013); Equals Three, LLC v. Jukin Media, Inc., 14-09041 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 13, 2015).  

    AFFILIATE LINKS - This description may include affiliate links that allow me to make a small profit (at no extra cost to you!) on purchases made through them. I only include links to products I genuinely recommend.

     

    • 20 min
    012 - Niching Down to Increase Income - How Kyne Makes Money on TikTok with Drag Math

    012 - Niching Down to Increase Income - How Kyne Makes Money on TikTok with Drag Math

    On this episode Business of Drag episode I chat with Kyne about how she makes money from TikTok, why you need a business bank account, and the importance of bookkeeping and tracking your ROI.

    _____________________________________________

    🤓 Get a free copy of my bookkeeping template📘 Grab a copy of the book 

    _____________________________________________

    On today’s episode of Business of Drag, I sit down with Kyne from Season 1 of Canada’s Drag Race.

    Diving into our lightning round, Kyne shares her favorite queens, go-to lip sync song, favorite time of the year for drag and if you can find her out or at home on a night off.  

    Known as Kyne both in and out of drag (she/her or he/him), she started her makeup YouTube channel in high school shortly after coming out. She started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and saw that the queens were doing what she was doing with makeup, but taking it to a new level with costumes and wigs. She went to her first drag show during university and slowly just added to her makeup looks to evolve into full drag.

    The audience on Kyne’s YouTube tutorial channel grew to over 100,000 subscribers before she was on the show. When COVID came, Kyne stopped her tutorials and eventually moved into making math videos. Studying math in university, she used to keep her math and her drag separate, until she noticed it was performing well, especially on TikTok, when she started merging the two. Social media is now Kyne’s primary source of income.

    Prior to being on Drag Race, Kyne had been doing drag for about three years. When Canada announced Drag Race was coming, she applied to challenge herself. The season aired during July 2020, in between UK Seasons 1 and 2.

    Kyne’s TikTok generates income with a few brand deal videos a month interspersed between her math content, attracting a wide audience including Gen Z and teachers. She likes working a few days a week and the flexibility and potential that comes with TikTok.

    As a freelancer, Kyne started filing taxes in 2017 for her YouTube channel. She went to an accountant and during the start of the pandemic switched to trying TurboTax because she heard it was easy. She now has an accountant that focuses on entertainment clients.

    Currently, Kyne has one personal bank account and two credit cards. I recommend she open a business bank account and then ideally open a business credit card linked to the business bank account, but in the meantime use one of the personal credit cards for business expenses and one for personal so it’s easier to differentiate on bank statements and better categorize business expenses.

    If Kyne could go back and give herself one piece of advice, it would be to treat drag more like a business and keep better track of the finances. Too often queens are spending money to avoid wearing a look more than once when they could repeat looks to cut down significantly on expenses.

    At the end of the day, it’s all about the ROI. If you invest $50,000 but those looks that get you to the Top 3, you will see a greater ROI than spending a ton of money than if you don’t make it as far.

    Currently at 1.3 million followers on TikTok, Kyne is negotiating brand deals with the help of her manager for brands such as DoorDash, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Proactiv and more. She said she saves a lot of her money because you never know when TikTok won’t be what it currently is and the brand deals won’t be there anymore.

    _____________________________________________CONNECT WITH OUR GUEST📷 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/onlinekyne/🐦 Twitter: https://twitter.com/onlinekyne🤳🏻 TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@onlinekyne🎥YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@onlinekyne_____________________________________________CONNECT WITH ME📷 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dragtax 🐦 Twitter: https://twitter.com/dragtax 🤳🏻 TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@dragtax🖥 Website: https://www.dragtax.

    • 51 min
    011 - Do I need to worry about back taxes as a drag queen?

    011 - Do I need to worry about back taxes as a drag queen?

    On this episode of the podcast I dive into Part 5 of my 8 part series of the tax basics and legal fundamentals for drag queens and LGBTQ+ entertainers. Today's lesson is covering back taxes and if you have them, you are certainly not alone.

    If you're new to the series, take a pause to check out my intro episode and then Part 1 of the series. Missed the most recent lesson? Check out Part 4.

    _____________________________________________

    🤓 Get a free copy of my bookkeeping template📘 Grab a copy of the book _____________________________________________

    To kick things off, let's check in on your current tax situation,. Would you say:



    I'm absolutely crushing it



    I'm doing pretty okay



    I'm paying quarterly taxes and keeping my books up-to-date but my systems could likely be improved



    I'm not paying quarterly taxes but I've filed my tax returns on time each year and don't owe any back taxes



    My tax filings are up to date and I'm already on a payment plan for back taxes



    My tax filings are up to date, I owe back taxes, and I currently don't have a solid plan for them



    I'm behind on filing taxes



     

    The IRS provides a Taxpayer Roadmap. While it looks like a complete hot mess, if you owe back taxes it may become your best friend.

    Zooming in on the Collection section, we can see a caution symbol labeled "Notice of Intent to Levy and Right to Collection Due Process Hearing." If you get an IRS form in the mail you can search it on the roadmap. When you click on a box, it will give you more info on the letter, where you are in the process and how you can respond to that letter. This roadmap will help you keep track of how close you are to going into collections.

    I made a simplified version of the taxpayer roadmap that covers your tax payment whether you're prepared and processed on time or examined and sent to collections if you have back taxes.

    Appeals and litigation is what you go through if your tax return got examined and you don't agree with the result so you appeal or file a suit in tax court.

    During the processing phase is when the Information Returns Program (IRT).

    The point of sending a 1099 is so the IRS can match tax deductions to your tax return. Not reporting the 1099 will result in you getting a letter saying you're estimated to owe that much and you need to make a payment for the 1099 you didn't report.

    Other types of informational forms are K1s which are issued by payment processors like Venmo or Paypal. When you go to file taxes, go and look at every place online where you get payments and see if they have a form for you as they don't typically send them in the mail.

    A lot of places that hire drag entertainers don't often send a 1099. That's a them problem, not you because you are still legally required to report the income regardless, but make sure you ask if they are going to send one before you file because if you file early you will have to go back and edit your return which is a pain.

    A CP 2000 is the form you will get if the IRS says they didn't see you report the income they have record of. Don't always assume a CP 2000 is correct because the IRS can be wrong about them. For example if you reported the income without having the 1099, you can submit proof you already submitted the info on the 1099.

    There are three types of audits that may happen.



    Correspondence Audit - You get audited via letters and is the least serious type of audit.



    Office Exam - You bring all your tax documents to the IRS office to review



    Field Audit - The IRS goes to your place of work to review your tax information. Self-employed people don't usually get pulled for field audits,



    If you're listening to this episode because you already have back taxes, you are most likely in collections. You can end up in collections if:



    You owe taxes and you don't pay when you file



    If the IRS makes a swift assessment through the IRT program



    You owe taxes through the examination process i.e. you are

    • 28 min
    010 - Hard Front or Lace Front? - How Fena Barbitall Makes Money from Drag and Wig Styling

    010 - Hard Front or Lace Front? - How Fena Barbitall Makes Money from Drag and Wig Styling

    On this episode of the podcast I chat with Fena Barbitall about her multiple sources of income and answer her tax questions.

    _____________________________________________

    🤓 Get a free copy of my bookkeeping template📘 Grab a copy of the book 

    _____________________________________________

    We kick off the episode with a lightning round of questions including her favorite season of Drag Race, what she's doing on a night off and her go-to lip sync song.

    If you see her in public you can call her Fena, or Ryan, using he/she/or they pronouns.

    Learn more about Fena and how she got into drag on the Sloppy Seconds podcast.

    Fena currently has multiple sources of income. In addition to drag shows and tips, Fena styles wigs and works behind the scenes styling Trixie and Katya and has been known to make costumes here and there. Fena also has a YouTube channel that she may be monetizing in the future. Working with Trixie and Katya are the biggest money makers for Fena, and costumes is the smallest slice on the revenue pie.

    Throughout the years, Fena has changed her pricing structures and costs, having done hourly and sliding scale models. Depending on the turnaround time and supplies, Fena may charge a rush fee on wig styling.

    Fena explains the difference between lace front and hard front wigs and what goes into the cost of styling a wig. Hard front wigs are making a comeback due to COVID and factory shutdowns impacting lace wig production.

    Having auditioned for Drag Race 10 or 11 times, Fena viewed it as a stepping stone for her career, saying she she didn't want to wait anymore so she started her YouTube channel to get herself on people's screens.

    Fena shares what it's like to work with Katya and Trixie on Netflix's "I Like to Watch," and how she balances styling for the show with her other projects.

    To wrap up the episode Fena asks me questions about what the financial side of her busines should look like to buy a house in the next 10 years including saving or a mortgage, checking her credit score regularly, and be able to provide at least two years of tax returns, and maintaining your bookkeeping.

    _____________________________________________CONNECT WITH OUR GUEST📷 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fenabarbitall🐦 Twitter: https://twitter.com/fenabarbitall🤳🏻 TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@fenabarbitall🎥YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWZA0ofPI4lnfiG5F0bjZtQ💰Venmo: https://account.venmo.com/u/fenabarbitall_____________________________________________CONNECT WITH ME📷 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dragtax 🐦 Twitter: https://twitter.com/dragtax 🤳🏻 TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@dragtax🖥 Website: https://www.dragtax.com 📧 E-mail: braden@dragtax.com_____________________________________________

    𝗗𝗜𝗦𝗖𝗟𝗔𝗜𝗠𝗘𝗥𝗦THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE - Everything contained on this channel is meant solely for entertainment and informational purposes. Nothing herein should be considered legal advice nor does anything on this channel create an attorney-client relationship of any sort. Please seek guidance from a licensed attorney before making any legal decision.COPYRIGHT - Any use of copyrighted content on this channel constitutes fair use pursuant to 17 U.S. Code § 107 as it is utilized for the purpose of criticism, comment, or news reporting allowed under that statute. See, e.g., Monster Communications, Inc. v. Turner Broadcasting Sys. Inc., 935 F.Supp. 490 (S.D. N.Y., 1996); SOFA Entertainment, Inc. v. Dodger Productions, Inc., No. 2:08-cv-02616 (9th Cir. Mar. 11, 2013); Equals Three, LLC v. Jukin Media, Inc., 14-09041 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 13, 2015).  AFFILIATE LINKS - This description may include affiliate links that allow me to make a small profit (at no extra cost to you!) on purchases made through them. I only include links to products I genuinely recommend. 

    • 57 min

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