When social media is business – that’s today’s world on the internet. Digital entrepreneurship is changing the way women are embracing opportunities, finding resources and earning money and exploring new and innovative ways to spend it. At the Women Writers Fest in Hyderabad, the panel Digital Entrepreneurship: Why Social Is Business presented by Citibank put the spotlight on how some of the country’s top influencers are embracing the new economyThe speakers included award-winning poet and author Devika Das, Bhargi Madhu, author Mounica Alamuri and Charu Dhyani, Digital Entrepreneur at WudWorks, who were in conversation with Swati Rai, a well-known blogger.

Content Is Commerce

When asked how she reaches out to people, Charu Dhyani said that she does so via her content. “As far as social media is concerned, content is king. If you have original content that your audience relates with, that’s the best method of reaching out to them organically. For us, we’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. What we’ve observed is that you have to be good in terms of content. If it is good, it will trend. There are various methods – posts, stories. Influencers and bloggers play a huge role. Personally, I wasn’t big on social media before starting the business. I used to laugh at people who were always on their phones. But starting the business made me realize that social media is it. So we have, in fact, collaborated with many influencers.”

As far as social media is concerned, content is king. If you have original content that your audience relates with, that’s the best method of reaching out to them organically.- Charu Dhayani

Dhayani also revealed some concrete ways to set digital goals. “The first step to establish SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) Goals is to look at historical patterns. When we set our goals for the coming year or months, we look at the trends in the past and current year, what our resources are going to be etc. The goal must be specific and has to be a definite number. It can’t be that “I want to earn more from Instagram”. You have to define how much… 19 percent more or 35,000 or a number like that. And the goal should be measurable. You should be able to clearly measure achievement through an online or offline tool otherwise you will not know whether you have achieved the goal or not,” said she.

Also Read: Sophie Johari On Her Embroidery Brand SoSophie And Entrepreneurship

According to Dhayani, as an entrepreneur, you are essentially wedded to your dream. “You are so passionate about it that you will do everything that it requires to make it come true. It is therefore important to know that personal and business financials must be different because these are two separate parts of your life. You don’t want to use up your personal finances to fund your dream and you don’t want business financials to splurge on personal leisure,” she said further adding that her investment approach is understanding based. “I invest only in channels that I understand and that interests me. If I don’t understand a particular type of investment, I would rather stay away.”

Blogging As A Career

Devika Das said that today many people are into blogging and that can definitely act as a source of income. But it takes a lot of time to make income online. She explained, “First, you have to create your online brand. It is time-consuming. You can’t just launch a blog and start earning from it instantly. But if you are consistent and you post regularly then you can. There should also be some consistency in the posts so that you can backlink and generate traffic.”

For the brand, you should not lose your principles and ethics. You should remember why you have started this blog. You should collaborate with the brands that are matching your interests. – Bhargi Madhu

Also Read: Five Habits Of Successful Content Creators 

Brands And Monetization

According to Bhargi Madhu said that one should indeed monetize their brand or blog. But sometimes brands ask for things which can become big challenges. She gave the example of fashion brands that might ask you to” look very pretty.”

Madhu emphasised on the fact that it is important for bloggers to find their voice. She said, “I know so many bloggers who started out as freshers and are now using their voice to meet the demands of the brands. For the brand, you should not lose your principles and ethics. You should remember why you have started this blog. You should collaborate with the brands that are matching your interests.”

Choosing The Right Brands

Mounica Alamuri sheded light on how crucial it is to make your content interactive. “Whenever we post any content, we make sure to post it in an interactive way. We make memes and such to relate to students. From there, it branches out to their friends. And we mainly interact with millennials,” said she.

When it comes to collaborating with brands, she too reiterated the importance of choosing the right brands. “The brand’s objective and your blog’s objective must align. So, if you’re a literature blog, you can’t collaborate with a brand that’s about films.”

Also Read: Print vs Online: How Content Creation Has Changed 

On Handling Your Finances

Blogger Swati Rai, spoke on the importance of setting up SMART financial goals. “We already know that building a business is an excellent way to achieve financial stability. I put in SMART financial goals by setting short term targets, monthly or quarterly and then vis a vis the expenditure, I measure the outcomes in light of the deliverables expected. Reviewing and redrafting, measuring the result within a fixed period of time is a must for me,” she revealed.

Most people regret the financial decisions they made in their youth. The three financial hacks Swati said she would give her younger self were to stop using the card, and instead carry cash. The second is to invest in a recurring deposit and the third is to utilise deals and sales judiciously. Your personal and business finance are two separate matters and they must not overlap. “So it’s important to keep these two separate as one may tend to overdraw from the other, tilting the scale of balance. Also, the investment has to be done keeping in mind immediate and long term goals, liquid cash requirement and also disposable income.”

Finance Hacks

Most people regret the financial decisions they made in their youth. The panelists revealed three financial hacks they would give their younger self. For Swati Rai, it was to stop using the card, and instead carry cash. The second is to invest in a recurring deposit and the third is to utilise deals and sales judiciously. Devika Das stressed on the importance of starting early; right from your first job, you can start investing in SIPs. Second is to create a monthly budget plan of your income and savings to get a fair idea about your investment pattern. The next important tip is to keep your spending pattern under check. Lastly, start a PPF with any national bank – after seven years of regular investment, you are eligible to withdraw 50 percent of your investment.

 

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