The mobile phone means different things to different people. To some, it is a status symbol. It announces their class in society. It has become an addiction for many; the first thing they interact with, in the morning and last thing at night. They could go into a panic attack if they forget their phone at home. I have seen friends and families sit at restaurants each glued to their screens while waiting for their order.
The mobile phone has become a weapon of mass distraction. We are inundated with information virtually 24/7. I have come to realise over time that there is no correlation between the tons of stuff we consume online and the increase in wisdom. Most of the information we take in from social media are either not actionable or not acted upon. There is so much noise but little action.
There are also groups of people that have turned their smartphones into a tool for doing business and making money. It ranges from artisans to employees making money on the side to self-employed business people and entrepreneurs. It has become a tool to reach people or markets they otherwise would not have been able to. The phone has also become a powerful time-saving device.
Before smartphones became mainstream, my plumber or electrician had to make three trips in order to purchase a fitting for installation. This includes going to the market to get the price, coming to me to collect the money and going back to the market for the actual purchase. This has now been reduced to one trip: go to the market, confirm prices and send me pictures, I give the go ahead and make a transfer and the purchase is made. This frees up time to service more clients that can be acquired by referral without meeting face to face.
There are limitless possibilities when it comes to using your phone to make money. I will look at just a couple of them.
Many trainers are going online, using apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, etc, to deliver their training. Promoting events on social media is relatively easy and costs nothing if you do it yourself. All you need to do is find a way to make it go viral.
There are many closed groups on WhatsApp you have to pay to join. It ranges from fitness and nutrition boot camps, seminars on various subjects, coaching, etc. With the Internet, you can get clients from all over the world. They can join the live session or access transcripts and other content like videos, pictures, etc. They get to interact with the facilitator, one on one, who answers their questions and holds them accountable for agreed-upon goals. The training can also be delivered vial video apps like Skype, Zoom, etc
2. Selling your products and services
You will be amazed at what you can do with your business, products and services if you gain the right skills or involve the right people. While others are busy on Facebook, Instagram, etc, putting their lives in the show glass, informing friends, foes and thieves what they are up to, you can build a good following and create a platform to put your products and services in front of those who need it. You can also get instant feedback, which you can use to improve your goods and services.
There is a strategy for each online marketing objective, ranging from brand awareness, lead generation, growing sales, foot traffic, app installation/growing traffic etc. You can spend your time learning the skills to promote your business (if you cannot hire a social media-marketing professional), instead of spending time consuming and arguing over recycled fake news.
3. Stock trading
You can now trade directly at the Nigerian stock market from your phone. Most stockbrokers now have apps you can use on your phone to enter and exit live trades at the Nigerian Stock Exchange. To buy stocks, all you need is to have your account with your stockbroker adequately funded. You no longer need to send an e-mail to your broker, follow up with calls and wait for the outcome of your instructions. You can do everything online and real-time through your phone. That means you can buy a stock that goes up in the morning and sell for a profit in the afternoon. You can set it up to happen automatically without leaving what you are doing to watch the market.
Gone are the days of buying stocks in 1995, waiting for dividends and bonuses and handing them over to your children when you die. You can profit from the daily movement of stock prices. You can make as much as five per cent on a trade in a day if you pick the right stock.
4. Forex trading
You can also trade forex global at the Sydney, Tokyo, London and New York trading sessions from your phone. The interesting thing about forex is that you don’t need to come up with all the money you need to trade. You simply have to open a margin account with your broker who offers advantage ranging from 1:50 to 1:1000. All you need is to invest in gaining the skill to trade profitably. There are forex training schools online. Some schools have tools through which their experts share their trades with you by sending you trade signals. In effect, you are entering the same trades the experts are entering into.
You can set up your order and go to do other things and check back later in the day to see if your order closed in profit or loss. It requires continuous learning and improvement. To set aside time to do this, you have to stop doing other things that may make you feel good but does not improve your life or move you towards your key goals.