Manage your business brand on Facebook

If you’re already in business you know the importance of building and managing your brand. And you’ve probably heard of Facebook and Twitter. But have you started to harness the power of these communities to interact with your customers, both current and prospective? You may be thinking that since you already have a website for your business you don’t need a Facebook page. Well in this article you’ll discover why it may be handy to have both plus get access to a free guide to setting up your Facebook business page.

If you’re pursuing business or self-employment as a money making strategy you know the importance of building and managing your brand. And you’ve probably heard of Facebook and Twitter. But have you started to harness the power of these communities to interact with your customers, both current and prospective?

Peter Fletcher has written this very useful guide on “How to build a vibrant business community using Facebook Pages“. In his introduction Peter explains why you may consider a Facebook page for your business:

Facebook presents a powerful opportunity for business. At one stage it was just for college kids. But that’s no longer the case. As this is written the social networking platform has well over 200 million active users. If Facebook were a nation it would be one of the earth’s most populous. Over 100 million log on at least once per day and these users upload over 850 million photos every month.

But, importantly for business, Facebook’s fastest growing demographic is 35 years of age and older. They’re connecting, they’re communicating, and they’re spending. It’s fertile ground for business.

Early in 2009 Facebook released a new version of Pages. Business Pages, or Fan Pages as they’re also known, harness the power of some of Facebook’s most popular applications. Previously these applications were only available on personal profiles, but today they’re being used by business to leverage connections and engage and interact with their community in new and creative ways.

First, I hope to demonstrate how Facebook Pages provide a unique opportunity for marketers to build active communities around their business. Second, I plan to reveal some of the new skills that are essential to online marketers in order to create engagement and dialogue, and to tap into trends and fashions. Finally, I hope to show that the development of a vibrant business community is within reach of anyone with the passion, will and drive to create outstanding results.

A Facebook page as a compliment to your website

You may be thinking that since you already have a website for your business you don’t need a Facebook page.

Firstly I ask how often is the content on your website updated and is it easy to do so? You can post new information, articles, photos and videos very easily to your Facebook page. And even better people can interact with them – and you can interact back. It’s great to have such a conversation with your customers.

Secondly, my thought is that if Facebook is where people hang out then I want to make it easy for them to interact with me where they are. I don’t want to force them to come to me. Sure I’d love for everyone to come back to my website, but most importantly I want them to be able to get value reading my stuff wherever they are.

Time to get started

Even, and perhaps especially if you are brand new to considering social media as part of your business brand management I recommend you read Peter’s book. It is easy to read and includes a step-by-step guide into starting your Facebook business page. It’s already helped me tune my Facebook page.

While you are on Facebook setting up your page you are welcome to connect to my Facebook page. I look forwarding to discussing personal finance with you there or in the comments below or wherever you like to hang out. 🙂

Make money from niches

Recently I’ve written a little about my belief in profiting from your passion and that now is a great time to be able to do that. If you’re early in your journey of exploring this possibility then you may be wondering “why is now a good time?” and “how can I make money from it?” I get that questioning because that curious nature is just like me – I want to learn more and deeper.

In 2006 Chris Anderson published an insightful book called “The Long Tail: How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand“, which delved into both the why and the how.

You can instantly discover the key elements of the book by reading this excellent book wrap by Geoff McDonald the BookRapper. I love Geoff’s BookRaps and highly recommend you check them out – they’re free.

Geoff’s quick summary of The Long Tail is:

There is money to be made in very small niches. The big shift has been in access to the Internet. Previously to make a good profit you needed high production volume and a best-selling product. Now, through our PCs it’s easier to create things and the Internet gives us all access to global distribution. There is almost any market, for any product, somewhere. Let your customers find you on the net.

Read Geoff’s BookRap of The Long Tail below or download a copy for free from the BookRapper site.

P.S. I am currently reading and loving Chris Anderson’s latest book “Free“. Check it out too.

Protect your personal brand with your own domain name

Building your personal brand is essential to earning more whether you’re an employee or self-employed. If you haven’t heard that already then you will when you explore career and professional development, and I will be writing more articles about it too. (Check out “Crush It! Why now is the time to cash in on your passion“)

But this tip could not wait for any precursor articles about personal brand as time is of the essence. Plus it is super quick and cheap to implement so you can and should take action now.

You know the internet is massive in its reach and influence so protect your personal brand on the internet. One way to do that is with your own domain name like

You’re probably already familiar with this concept as celebrities and experts in the media tend to all have their own domain.

Luckily I didn’t wait…

Don’t wait until you’re famous or even just recognised as being prominent before getting your own domain name. It’ll probably be too late.

Fortunately I took action within a week of being given this advice in May 2003. I later discovered there is a prominent Canadian author who shares my name. Now he includes another word before his name in his domain name.

I wonder how many of his fans land on my site by typing into their browser out of habit? Don’t let that happen to you some time in the future. If I had waited until I started my own business then I would have missed out on my own .com domain name.

Your own domain name is useful right now too

Having your own domain name right now can give you your own dedicated e-mail address that you will have for your lifetime. Say goodbye to being shackled to your internet service provider because so many contacts have that e-mail address.

Plus next time you apply for a job you put that personalised e-mail address on your CV. Looks much more professional. And given it is not that common (yet) I bet it stands out to recruiters and makes them curious.

Later that domain will be the home of your blog. But that’s for another article.

Register your children’s names too

Immediately after they were born I registered domains for my two children, Sophie and Isaac. Plus I’ve registered domains for my wife and sister.

One day they will all thank me for protecting their personal brand. (And if they don’t thank me I’ll sell the domain name to the celebrity or other enlightened person of the same name. 🙂 )

Quickly and cheaply getting your own domain name

You probably realise that .com domains are the most popular and recognisable. So if available buy The great news is that you don’t need to be a registered company to do so.

I use GoDaddy, one of the largest domain registrars. The domains are low cost, easy to register and come with a free personalised e-mail address at your own address. (Awesome!)

Buying .au Australian domain names

Australians may also like to buy the address, but there are restrictions in that you need to be a registered business with your own ABN. If you have an ABN then get your domain as well. (Unfortunately my uncle beat me to as he already had his own business.)

Don’t pay hundreds of dollars per year to register a domain. You can get them for about $30 to $40 for the minimum two year registration. (I’ve used Intaserve and Smartyhost. They are no frills but that’s ok for now since you just want to own the virtual real estate of your domain name.)

Got it? Now go register your name as a domain name and protect your personal brand.

Why now is the time to cash in on your passion

Crush It!: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your PassionIf you would love to be pursuing and profiting from your passion then I am excited to be sharing this book with you. I’ve just finished reading Crush It! by Gary Vaynercuk.

Gary Vaynerchuk passionately believes that now is the time to be cashing in on your passion, and I wholeheartedly agree with him. In Crush It! Gary gives you an insight into his story of how he built his personal brand with great success through Wine Library TV. Plus he shares tips and strategies for how you too can cash in on your passion.

If you are seeking inspiration and motivation to profit from your passion then this is a great book to start with. (It certainly inspired my wife to get cracking.)  Crush It! is very big picture but also includes some of the “How To”s.

Watch my brief video review below for a summary of the tips Gary shares for how you too can Crush It! and cash in on your passion.

Identifying your passionate career

I am often asked by clients and seminar attendees how I changed careers and how I found my passion for financial education and planning. In this article I share some of my story and recommend two resources for identifying your passion.

This week marks the tenth anniversary of my career crisis. I am often asked by clients and seminar attendees how I changed careers and how I found my passion for financial education and planning.

My career crisis lasted much longer than I week. I had been getting progressively more miserable in my career as a petroleum engineer as I cycled through each placement on my graduate program with BHP Billiton Petroleum.

Then my 25th birthday arrived. This was a birthday that during high school had been one about which I had wondered what I would be doing. My life didn’t much resemble the high school fantasy.

My thoughts turned to one of the other future milestones – age 50 when I would have doubled my lifetime. I realised that I had worked with many people around that age who moaned about a lack of fulfillment and enjoyment in their jobs and careers. It suddenly dawned on me that if I continued my current path I would likely become one of those people at age 50.

Then I realised that if at age 50 I was one of those people and was still working in my first career as an engineer then my 50 year old self would want to go back and kick the butt of the 25 year old for not having the guts to do something about it.

That was my catalytic moment!

Finally I acted on the oft-repeated advice of my mentor at the time, Roger Dingle to read the book “What Colour Is Your Parachute?

The job hunter’s and career changer’s bible

What Color is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers: 2010What Colour Is Your Parachute?” by Richard Nelson Bolles is a fantastic resource. The first half you read and learn about some fantastic processes for identifying the job of your dreams. The second half of the book is systematic exercises that work through each element of a dream job including industry,  type of work, environment, responsibility, income, geographic location.

To complete the exercises you often start by thinking about what you have enjoyed in your life to date and methodically identify the characteristics that made it enjoyable. It takes time but the investment is worth it.

This is your fulfilling life we are talking about. Invest time now and you reap the rewards over your lifetime.

If you are pondering what career may be your passion then I strongly recommend you buy a copy of this book. Don’t borrow it from the library. Make the investment, write all through it and own the process.

If I had my time over I’d get help

Knowing what I know now I would go much further than the book. I should’ve also enlisted professional help with a career coach or counsellor.

But I was too tight! That ‘s the main reason I didn’t speak to a professional. I was young and didn’t yet appreciate the immense value of professional guidance. The biggest value is intangible but it is there in spades.

The value includes:

  • Enlightenment – discovering what I didn’t realise I needed to consider.
  • Clarity – filtering out the irrelevant and lasering in on what is applicable to my circumstance.
  • Direction – a road map of steps to do next and even resources to access.
  • Timeliness – discovering all of the above much sooner, quicker and easier than if explored on my own. Time is limited for all of us. I love it when others can accelerate my progress to greater success and fulfillment. That reward is immense.

It was tough but the rewards followed

I almost halved my salary when I changed jobs from working as engineer to a paraplanner. Plus I had the extra costs of funding my post-graduate study. Yes, that was hard.

But within two years I was promoted to a role with a salary package that exceed my former engineering package. And I was much happier.

You can do it too

I was able to handle the drop in income because I had been a reasonable saver and had planned ahead. You can do it to.

If you ponder a career change in your future life plan don’t let money be your hand brake. Start planning and saving now to have the financial resources to support you in pursuing your passion and a more fulfilling life.

Pursue your passions and wealth follows.

Discover my other recommended books here and read other book reviews here.

Make Money From Your Ideas

money from ideas in your head

My last article on Making Money Writing About Your Passion prompted this enquiry from regular reader, Nick:

“how can you generate an income stream from e-marketing and even sales of products of your expertise and knowledge”

You can make money from your expert ideas in your head – it’s called thought leadership. (I also recently wrote about Bernard Salt’s suggestion to become a thought leader.)

You make money from your thought leadership both online as Nick enquired and also the traditional offline methods such as speaking, mentoring and consulting.

One of the best thought leaders I know in the area of making money from your thought leadership is Matt Church. If you are interested in making money from the ideas in your head, as reader Nick is, then I strongly recommend you start by reading these two resources from Matt Church:

If you like what you read then I recommend you also join the Australian Thought Leaders Community. (WA readers who want to be thought leaders should contact me directly as I have some guest passes to our Perth based monthly member events.)

Making money writing about your passion

Ever since I was in high school I have striven to discover how to pursue my passions and make money doing so. Technological and social advances in the last decade have made this possible for us all with very little investment of money. You just start out investing your time, which is fine because you love spending time on your passions.

Today I came across two really useful articles about doing this.

Why Now is the time to Cash in on your Passion

Crush It!: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your PassionFirst I came across a review by BookRapper Geoff McDonald of the book “Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuk. Crush It is about “Why Now is the time to Cash in on your Passion”. I’ve been a fan of Geoff’s BookRaps for a couple of years and this review of Crush It! is just as insightful.

I recommend watching the video of Gary Vaynerchuk in Geoff’s article. Vaynerchuk passionately expresses that you should pursue your passion and that you should be able to make money doing so. In the video Vaynerchuk talks about starting a blog about your passion. Then once you build a community of regular readers you can start to monetise the traffic.

How one Australian has made money blogging

Secondly I just read an article by professional Australian blogger, Neerav Bhatt in which he reveals how he makes lots of money from blogging. He makes enough that he quit his former salaried role, which is something almost all of my financial planning clients dream of doing. As Bhatt reveals he writes about his expertise, his experiences and his passions.

I’m sharing my passion with you right now

This site is me writing about my passion. I wasn’t always a financial planner – I started my working life as a petroleum engineer for BHP Billiton Petroleum. But all the time I was reading and learning about managing and making money.

When I eventually changed careers and started studying financial planning I constantly thought “why didn’t anyone tell me this about money and wealth creation?” I just had to tell everyone I knew. At the time my outlet was dinner parties. Now I write and speak.

I am passionate about sharing the simple, easy to understand things about money that have a high impact on your lifestyle but at also are low effort to implement. In that way I dream for us all to have enough money to pursue our passions. Plus you’ll have more time to pursue your passion because you’ll be spending less time managing and stressing about money.

What’s your passion? Time to start sharing it with people via a blog? You’ll discover other people as passionate as you living all over the world. For the next steps read the above resources.

Try to make your passion a business

Today, KPMG partner Bernard Salt is a well known commentator in the media as a perceived expert on demographics, especially in relation to its impact on property.

In his article in The Australian today Bernard Salt shares some of his lessons from his media journey, which started twenty years ago at the age of 32. It may seem glamorous but it has not always been easy and has taken “perseverance” in the face of well meaning advice from other “experts”.

 I strongly believing in identifying, pursuing and profiting from your passions so I recommend you read Salt’s article “Try to make your passion a business“.

(If the direct link has expired you can read the article here.)