Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Social Media for Money Seminar


Well, not quite. 

I always thought that making money from social media meant showing a bunch of very annoying ads to readers of my blog and taking the risk of turning them away. How wrong I was!! Making money from social media can be done in all sorts of ways, but before you launch there is some vital information you need to know first. Thanks to Kylie Travers' 'Social Media for Money Seminar' I am now armed with a wealth of information, and  a ton of exciting avenues to explore. 

During the seminar I heard from the following savvy folk:

Hairul Lutfi a coffee loving accountant from The Firm, an accounting company based in Braddon
Nicholas Tebbey a senior associate from Snedden Hall & Gallop, legal eagles based in Deakin
Ben Hanson from MGA Insurance Brokers, based in Phillip
Travis Longmore a professional photographic storyteller, and
Kylie Travers an all round wordsmithy sort and savvy CEO

Hairul started the seminar off with a catchy (definitely not boring) presentation about the tax aspects of social media. First question you have to ask yourself is... am I running a business, or is this a hobby?  For me, I blog, I tweet, I Facebook (yep, its a verb!) and I dabble in Instagram.  Do I make money from any of these? No, therefore I cannot claim any additional income, nor can I claim any related expenses. 

Hairul went on to demystify the various tax entities of Individuals, Partnerships, Trusts and Companies, plus stressed the importance of record keeping. If you claim income, or claim for expenses you have to have sufficient evidence to back this up, or the tax man will come a probin'. 

Next up was Nicholas who talked about your identity in social media, and the benefits of intellectual property protection. As a blogger I have an identity that might just be worth protecting. I can do this by lodging a Trade Mark for my blog name (or logo if I had one!). The industrious folks at IP Australia can assist you with this, and applying for a Trade Mark is done through their eServices online system. 

My words, thoughts and images are my own. How do I protect myself from others using my material? Some handy tips are:

- Writing a statement on my blog (yep, still have to do this!) that states my permission is required before anyone shares my material;
- Disabling right-click on photographs, so others cannot save the image; and
- Placing a watermark in my photographs.

The same courtesies are expected in return. If you wish to quote content or images from other sites, generally seek their permission first, and if granted acknowledge that they are the author. Think of it as a bibliography when writing an assignment... if you use material from others, cite it. 

Ben was up next, and delved into the land of insurances. A whole raft of insurance issues arise if you have a website that sells products, or keeps personal information. Goods need to be safe, and customers are covered by the Trade Practices Act. You need to provide a cyber safe platform for customers to do business with you, and you need to keep their information safe. Another tip from Ben was around your content, and if it has the potential to impact others. What do I mean by this? Well, will it defame someone? Will it slander their character or their business? A good test is... would you print the same material on the front page of the newspaper? If the answer to that is no, then it probably doesn't belong on a website.

Travis then provided a detailed presentation about the ins and outs of the various platforms of social media. The key tips I took away for some of the major platforms was: 

- you can use boosted posts to reach a wider audience;
- you can narrow the audience that your post is targeted to, to hit specific interest groups;
- Facebook algorithms are always at play, and the more likes and interactions a post has, the more prevalent it will be in news feeds;
- there are things called dark posts, that allow you to post something to a very targeted audience, but don't show up on your own timeline; and
- Facebook itself will give higher preference to a post containing video, as opposed to one containing images. 

- This is probably the last most "open" platform that has the least restrictions; 
- It is still limited in character size, but use of tiny urls will gain you extra character space; and
- Twitter lists are a great idea to categorise those you follow, to give some order to your incoming news feed, and you should aim to set up lists early, before you follow too many accounts. 

- Hashtags rock! (Travis made this pretty clear)
- Only use a few hashtags on your initial post... then go to town on your first comment and fill it with hashtags. Hashtags increase the likelihood that others will find your post when they search. 

Travis also provided some great insight into finding your 'voice', and got us thinking ... know your audience... know your platforms... know your message... and figure out your story. One main thing I took away from Travis' presentation was that 'content is king'. Its all well and good to be the most savvy social media user, but if your message isn't thought through, and you don't have something meaningful/interesting/thought provoking to say.. who's gonna listen? 

Last up was Kylie, who began by stating the importance of first building up your online community, before thinking about how money can be made. Kylie is the CEO of Occasio Enterprises which is a firm 'all about increasing your online presence'. Some of the ideas Kylie provided about how to increase your community reach, and possibly make money from social media included:

- Purchasing websites and Facebook pages, ones where the authors have stopped producing content. The sites Kylie focuses on appear to have content and messages that are close to her heart, being finance, travel and motivation. Money can be made by resurrecting these sites, displaying advertising, increasing user reach, sponsored posts and affiliated sales to name a few;
- Becoming an author, maybe with content from blog posts, and seeking to have a book published;
- Checking sites like Problogger for writing jobs;
- Approaching companies that pay for sponsored tweets through Twitter;
- Using Facebook to run events and sell tickets;
- Using Facebook, and getting paid to promote other businesses;
- Getting paid to photograph products and publish images on Instagram; and
- Product reviews via YouTube.

Suffice to say, a ton, nay a wealth of information was gained from this seminar. Thankfully Kylie will be sending a resource pack out to participants that contains all the fine details and sources of information, as there was just too much to note down. 

The really fun part of the whole seminar was the ongoing tweeting!  Throughout the seminar, participants were actively involved in tweeting comments and thoughts to the presenters, with a popularity competition held to see which presenter gained the most tweets! This was a load of fun, and allowed participants to see and follow each other, adding to the networking aspect. It was great to be part of a group of like minded Canberra folk all involved in various aspects of social media, and all with a unique story to tell. 

Thanks also go to Smoque Woden for the catering (mmm.. sliders), the Abode Hotel for hosting the event, and Lerida Estate wines for the delicious door prizes. 

Hats off to Kylie and her team for an informative, thought provoking and very enjoyable seminar. If you get the chance to hear Kylie speak, go for it. She has a wealth of information to share.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting... note to self, check this out again when back home in Australia. Thanks Kirsty.