There is so much you can do with your phone

Tuesday January 26 2021
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Beyond making calls, there is a lot more you can do with your phone. PHOTO | Edgar r Batte

By Paul Murungi

Losing your house keys can be worrisome, but it’s nothing equal to losing your phone in this day and age.

A phone by default is a liability and depending on your lifestyle choices, it can seep into your daily income through buying data, airtime and other maintenance costs. 

However, with the evolution of digital age, there are several features on the modern day smartphones that can be utilised to make money.

Turning a phone into an asset is a personal finance goal which is a big deal in the information age.

Personal finance is more about managing your money, so you can meet your financial goals using whatever is available for you. 

American businessman and author Robert Kiyosaki in his book ‘Beginner’s Guide to Personal Finance’ puts it this way, “assets put money in the pocket. And liabilities take money out of the pocket.”

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Therefore, today we shall look at how you can leverage on the digital revolution to make money. Of course expert advice will suffice in this regard.

Digital marketing and content creating

Mobile devices have helped to grow digital marketing, leveraging on an increase in Internet penetration.

For Uganda in particular, a recent report by Uganda communications Commission indicates that 50 per cent of Ugandans now have access to the Internet, which definitely plays into the possibility that a digitally marketed product will at least reach half of 50 per cent audience.

Digital marketing and content development hugely depend on the Internet. Therefore, the growth in both directions gives you as a mobile phone owner an opportunity to make some money.

John Ssenkezi, a digital strategist, describes the growth of the digital marketing ecosystem under two prongs.

Firstly, he says, on one end, we have companies that want to advertise, and on the other hand, an individual can introduce themselves as an influencer for them to make money by helping and growing brand awareness.

A good phone with a good camera can take decent videos and pictures, and such phones have the ability to accommodate applications to edit such videos. 

Many businesses that seek to establish their digital brands, Senkezi says, need people who can create fairly good quality content at a competitive rate.

 “If you know how to shoot and edit, you can use your mobile phone to actually do business,” he says. 

For instance, if you are promoting a product on social media, it’s not simply about promoting the product, but also adding some graphics to entice clients.

Your phone should have high processing power to download applications. In that way, you can be able to maximise your phone as an asset.

At a personal level, Ssenkenzi says, you can grow your brand on social media by being a thought leader on an opinion, which you can monetise to become an influencer or an ambassador by simply using your phone.

You can also position yourself by reading and making research, networking or running company social pages.

On the business side, your phone can take your business to markets using social platforms.

You can, therefore, use your phone to do e-commerce through social platforms where clients look at your product, deliver and you get paid.

The new office

Beyond communicating with loved ones, a phone has become the new office, and it is what Jon Freidman, the Microsoft corporate vice president, design and research, describes on his blog as ‘putting the incredible power of office in your pocket’.   

Phone manufacturers have been quick to adapt and introduce new mobile office apps combining Word, Excel, Power Point, and Photoshop, among other apps with exclusive features.

Depending on the nature of your career, many office apps are easily accessible for download and use.

David Kuteesa, an app and software developer, explains from personal experience his phone has turned into an office, especially ever since Covid- 19 happened.

“My phone has turned into an office,” he says, “I use it to coordinate meetings on Zoom, and during the festive season, I recorded simple voice adverts to send season wishes to my clients.”

For journalists, being mobile fast is what makes you relevant to broadcast or publish news.

This means your phone will need to keep records such as audio, photos and videos, especially when you are in the field.

Some media stations and online news platforms buy content from journalists, which therefore requires having apps for quick sharing of information.

Mobile wallets

The contribution of the mobile wallet in the digital space is a critical area to make money off your mobile handsets.

The most basic is working with app developers to make referrals and encourage people to download their apps.

This can be made possible through your string of networks across social platforms. For every download made, one is entitled to a referral bonus.

For instance, every person you refer to Cheaper Cash, a Ugandan made application, you are entitled Shs4,800, which means that if you obtain 10 download referrals, you walk away with Shs48,000.

Using your phone to make money largely depends on your creative abilities, but as Ssenkezi puts it, “a phone remains a very powerful tool if it’s connected to the World Wide Web that someone can use to make some good money from it.”

Tit bits for a good phone

Right before investing in a good phone, it would be important to look at the specifications to determine how much value your phone holds.

When you intend to buy a phone that you want to turn into an asset, the first thing is to look at the megapixels of the phone camera.

Pixels determine the digital image resolution and quality. This means the higher the number of pixels, the better the quality of the photos.

A good quality phone camera will save you the cost of hiring a cameraman.  For business, Kuteesa recommends at least between 16 and 28 mega pixels.

Storage and processing power

Many businesses, including media, will need to store records, especially audio, videos and photos.

Your phone needs good processing power to accommodate more storage. A good phone, therefore, should have between 32 and 128 GB of internal storage and a minimum of 4,000 AMP of battery life.

How good is your Internet connectivity?  Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social platforms, which in turn require speed because of the nature of content. The 4 Generation network remains the speediest for the Internet.

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