Use Our Platform to Boost and Reach Out to Your Target Audience
target audience

Our members all have a target audience in terms of their business objectives or individual projects. As you get started in business, you may not have worked out yet who to aim your product or services at but sooner or later you will narrow it down or even select a niche to target. There are lots of ways to reach new people online and offline these days but actually anyone can be your customer in most cases.

Opus Matrix has a growing list of members from different backgrounds and offering varied skills to the table. A simple update from your profile can be seen by our active community and this could help to boost your brand awareness and generate discussion. It may not initially result in a direct sale but it can help to generate interest and knowledge of what you do. Posting regularly also means that your messages, blogs and other content posts will go out on our Twitter feed reaching thousands of people looking for new products or services and we have good engagement on our social channels.

Social media is obviously effective for outreach purposes and Opus Matrix is another network that you can take advantage of for linking back to your website and your social media channels.

Simply go to your profile and you will find the update box. Share your latest update about what's new, as you would a tweet on Twitter, include hashtags if you wish and you can mention other members with the @ symbol before their profile name. This goes out into our Twitter stream and reaches our wide audience who will click through to interact with you on the site.

We also have the 'secure handshake' feature on our website, which allows you to get value from working with others by contributing your skills and tasks in exchange for someone else's services. This can work well to help you get started, especially with new projects or business ideas and Opus Matrix is a secure platform for organising a work project with skillsharing.

We look forward to your updates and love to hear what's new with our members.

Check our recent activity from our members:

Dental Implants

Handcrafted Jewellery

New Members

The OM Team

4 Easy Steps For Promoting Your Next Event on Social Media
event

With 1.6 billion users on Facebook, social media is an obvious platform for event promotion. Social media allows you to use organic and paid advertisements to broadcast information about your event to a wide audience. As such, social media should play a key role in any event marketing strategy.

However, it pays to know what and how to post or, in other words, have a strong strategy behind your social media posts. An effective strategy depends on gaining an in-depth insight into your audience. What platforms do they use? When are they online? What type of content do they engage with?

 

Step 1: Select the Right Platform

Your choice of social media platform will largely depend on the type of event and ideal audience members. However, the majority of social media strategies use a mixture of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Every platform has its own strengths. For example, LinkedIn is best for promoting a B2B event, while Snapchat can help attract a younger crowd. Before deciding, make sure to properly evaluate the audience you're trying to reach.

 

Step 2: Prep Your Accounts

Prior to creating any social media content, it's important to build some foundations. Make sure that your social media pages are updated and linked to your website. You want to put your best foot forward to appeal to the widest audience.

At this stage, it's also important to create a unique hashtag for your event. Feature this hashtag in your cover photo and make sure to use it in all social media posts. During the event, make sure that your hashtag is clearly displayed so that guests know to use it in their posts.

 

Step 3: Create Content

Social media content should go beyond a conventional sales approach and seek to meaningfully engage with potential attendees. Typically, event content falls into three categories: before, during, and after.

 

Before

While you may think that social media activity peaks during an event, Eventbrite reported that 40% of overall engagement occurred before the event. Of this 40%, 17% involved anticipation-focused content.

To help generate buzz about your event, social media content should focus on promoting speakers or special guests, providing attendees with event teasers, and can even involve special promotions/competitions.

 

During

Social media engagement is obviously at an all-time high during the event. But, Eventbrite has helped shed some light on the type of content that people are most likely to share and engage with during an event. They report that 85% of this engagement consisted of multi-media (video, images, and quotes) content, while only 15% was text based.

To ensure maximum engagement during an event, help guests capture the perfect image with a fun photo booth, tweet/share thought-provoking quotes from guest speakers, or provide a look behind the scenes with videos or photos.

 

After

While only 18% of content is generated after an event, it's still a great way to build brand awareness and capture leads for your next event. Social media is also an ideal platform for sharing your accomplishments and bragging about how epic the event was. Make sure to post any press coverage and ask for crucial feedback from attendees.

 

Step 4: Measure & Evaluate

Throughout this whole process, you should constantly be measuring and evaluating your social media engagement and process. Data can help ensure that campaigns are effective and address any issues before it's too late. Helpful social media KPIs include engagement, ticket sales, ROI, and CTR. By closely monitoring your social media progress, you'll be more likely to sell every ticket for your stellar event.

socialant.co.uk

How to Inspire Action from Others as a Leader
inspire

Have you ever noticed that some leaders can naturally inspire actions, while others can't? Or wonder why some people have achieved remarkable feats that defied expectations?

Simon Sinek has a theory. It's called the golden circle. Almost every individual and company know what they do and how they do it. However, few can accurately explain 'why' they do it. As a result, most mission statements fail to capture the why.

Yet, as Simon explains this 'why' is absolutely crucial for not only driving sales, but for inspiring others. People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

We can logically understand what and how something is done, but we emotionally connect with the 'why'. It is this emotional connection that motivates us to take action. For example, when asked 'why' we took a certain action, most of us report that it “felt right” or “our gut instinct told us to”. Or in other words, we resonated with a company or individual's “why” and acted to confirm our own self-identity.

As Simon explains, Martin Luther King was not the only great orator of his time. Nor was he the only African American that suffered under America's laws of segregation and racial hate. Yet, when Martin Luther King marched on Washington over 250,000 people from across the country marched with him. In the pre-Internet days, this turn out was an amazing, incredible feat. How was it accomplished?

Simon claims that MLK was able to motivate people because he didn't start by explaining what was wrong with America, but with “why” America was flawed. His most famous speech wasn't titled “I have a plan”, but “I have a dream”. MLK was able to express his “why” and this “why” resonated with other people that had suffered from America's segregation laws. People joined him on his march on Washington, because this fundamental truth reflected an aspect of their self-identity. In other words, people marched for their own beliefs – not Martin Luther King's.

While Simon's theory may sound inspiring, it isn't easy to find your “why” and put it into practice. And it certainly requires some self-reflection. Most of us live our lives by accident and are simply reacting to our environment. However, we can only attain fulfilment once we understand our purpose or our 'why'.

Discovering our why gives us the clarity and confidence to pursue careers that inspire us and to inspire those around us. It helps us to accomplish things that may seem impossible to others and change the status quo.

To discover more about finding your 'why' and begin the journey towards self-enlightenment, check out Simon's website or listen to his TedTalks.

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks: Reinventing Yourself in Retirement
retirement

If you're reading this blog, chances are you're recently retired. Are you struggling to fill each day and miss work? Is your pension not providing enough income for you? Whatever your reasons, you're not alone.

In fact, the Office of National Statistics reports that the amount of employees between the age of 50 to 64 has increased by 60% over the last 15 years! They estimate that nearly 8 million people within this age bracket remain employed. Within the last 10 years, employees between the age of 70 to 74 have nearly doubled. It is speculated that this trend will only continue as people increasingly fail to put enough funds aside for retirement and state pensions diminish while prices increase.

Older workers face a number of problems and some are even forced out of employment due to age discrimination, carer responsibilities, or health issues. If you find yourself prematurely retired or are considering returning to work part-time, we'd like to offer some ideas of alternative forms of income.

By thinking outside the box, you could easily afford a comfortable retirement AND take care of your loved ones.

 

Become An AirB&B Host

AirB&B is a fantastic way for anyone with extra space to make some extra income. All you have to do is create a free profile featuring yourself, location, and space and then welcome your doors to travellers.

AirB&B is becoming more and more mainstream. At last count, they list 168,000 active listings and AirB&B reports that hosts (on average) earn £3,000 per year. This figure may be slightly low as most hosts only host 36 nights per year (roughly 3 nights per month). Hosting more frequently would obviously increase this amount, but it's important to balance personal space with hosting.

Based on a demographic report from AirB&B, most hosts are, on average, 43 years old, which suggests that a large percentage of people may also be using AirB&B to earn extra money for or during retirement.

 

Become An Independent Consultant or Freelancer

It's likely that after decades in your career and industry, you've become a bit of an expert and made some excellent connections. These two factors are essential for successfully establishing yourself as a freelancer. Freelancing allows you the flexibility to balance care responsibilities while also earning some income. You can work when it suits you and take longer breaks without issue when it doesn't.

Therefore, it's not surprising that many people in retirement are choosing this route. In fact, the National Office of Statistics reports that nearly half of people over 70 in employment are employed on a self-employment (i.e. freelance or independent consultant) basis.

If you decide to pursue this route, Opus Matrix is a great platform for finding freelance opportunities and building your professional network.

 

Become A Child Minder or Nanny

Childminding is another common option for retirees as chances are you have tons of experience looking after children. Most people have raised children and may even have grandchildren of their own. Childminding harnesses these skills and provides a flexible work environment.

In fact, a US start-up has created a platform called Hire A Grandma. While there isn't a UK platform targetted exclusively at the older generation, there are tons of websites like childcare.co.uk or care.com that help connect childminders with families.

These are just some of the ideas for alternative income to make retirement possible. Feel free to add your ideas in the comment section.

How I Became La Jefa (The Boss)
debbie davis project

Dear OM Network,

Every so often, I like to write the network a personal letter about my experiences with Opus Matrix. When I moved to Spain, I only really had one skill. Singing with bands is my passion and I gained a wealth of experience before moving out here.

Opus Matrix helped me to connect with other musicians. While these connections only started as conversations, they eventually led to multiple collaborations. All that networking really paid off as I now find myself with 5 bands. My career is really excelling! Who would have thought?

Moving to Spain has truly been a life-changing experience. It taught me a lot about myself and even life in general. One of the most important lessons is that money isn't everything.

In the UK, I had been consumed by the hustle and bustle and as a result, spent many years stressed out. While I didn't realise it at the time, I was only a few steps away from a nervous breakdown and struggled to find happiness. I wasn't getting enough sleep or achieving a work-life balance. Without the personal time, I felt that I didn't have enough time to REALLY live.

What was all the stress actually for? I wasn't even really enjoying my job. In fact, my work was all about making someone else money.

When I moved to Spain, my priorities changed. I now place myself and my happiness first. At a certain age, we all reach a stage where we realise that our time on this planet isn't infinite. I think that I've certainly reached that stage. I am now 4 years away from retirement age and I have finally found my dream career (of my own making) doing EXACTLY what I love to do with people I love to be around. And best of all, it pays the bills!

I can't help but look back and criticise myself for my stupidity in believing that there was no life to be had after corporate. When I look back now, I see my post-Spain life and career as a big con. I was “bought” by the fact that my employer provided a nice car and computer. When in retrospect, this wasn't important and in fact, the computer turned out to be one of the cheapest models on the market. I had a nice salary and got to attend a conference once a year to some hotel during the off-season (i.e. when the weather was likely to be bad and the prices were the cheapest for my employer). I find this existence to be very sad.

But, as they say, “best to let bygones be bygones”. My life has completely changed for the better. I'm my own boss and I can, at least, recognise that my ex-employers gave me corporate skills for effectively running my own business. You see there IS life after corporate.

I hope that all Opus Matrix people are actively chasing their dreams and don't fall into the same trap I did. We only get one life so make the most of it.

Lots of love,

 

Debbie

Opus Matrix

Everything You Need To Know About Self-Assessments
February 20, 2018
0
self assessment tax

The tax deadline of January 31st has passed and many sole traders are wiping the sweat from their foreheads after scrambling their books and payments together. It’s this time of year that many business owners tell themselves to get super organised to avoid issues next year and there are several methods for ensuring that you avoid penalties and budget correctly for 2018.

With some proper planning, come next January you won't need to panic over last-minute self-assessments or stress to pull together large sums.

What are Self-Assessments?

 

All freelancers and limited company owners must file a self-assessment. This basically takes account of all of your profits and expenses and calculates the amount you owe in National Insurance contributions and taxes.

It pays to complete the self-assessment early as it will give you an idea of the amount you owe.

Tips for Filing A Self-Assessment

 

The first step is to create an online account at HMRC. It can take up to seven days to receive your activation code in the post and you can't log-in without it so it's best. If you already have an account, you can just sign-in online.

You will need to sort through your paperwork to determine your profits and expenses. Remember that profits also include any accrued interest on bank accounts and dividends.

You can charge all business expenses onto a debit card. This makes determining expenses slightly easier as there is a paper trail. Each year you can then go through bank statements and highlight all profits or expenses. This information is then entered into an Excel document. The final amount that you have to pay taxes on is then determined by deducting the tax-free allowance (£11,500) and expenses from the profits.

Most information about self-assessments can be found online on HMRC's help page. This page includes everything from how to register to property tax. It can be far more effective to find information online than attempting to call HMRC. Though I have occasionally found their staff to be helpful and it isn't that difficult, unlike some companies, to access a human representative.

How to Budget for Taxes

 

If you make over the HMRC profit threshold of £1000, then you'll also be expected to pay half of next year's taxes in advance. As a result, you can often face a hefty tax bill.

One of the best ways to determine how much you will owe is by using HMRC's tax calculator. Once you have a good idea of what to expect, you can budget accordingly. The HMRC Tax Reckoner Tool can help you determine how much to set aside each week or month.

It may be easier to set-up another bank account and then save your tax money into this account.

Tax Penalties and Fines

People that fail to pay their taxes on time, don't pay enough tax, or make a mistake on their form can face fines and penalties.

One of the easiest ways to receive a penalty is by failing to submit your SA by the January 31st tax deadline. Even if you only submit one day late, you can face a penalty of £100. Once payments are more than 3 months late, you face additional penalties which start at £10 per day.

If you do owe taxes and fail to pay these taxes by the 31st deadline, you'll also face a penalty. If the outstanding taxes aren't paid by the 31st of February, the penalty is 5% of the amount. After 6 and 12 months, you'll face an additional 5% fine. Overdue taxes also accumulate interest at a rate of 3%.

Mitigating Circumstances

 

Most people fail to submit or pay their taxes on time for the simple reason that they forget. However, you can avoid the penalty if you missed the deadline due to a mitigating circumstance such as the death of a partner or close relative shortly before the deadline, unexpected stay in a hospital, serious or life-threatening illness, or unexpected postal delay. The full list of “reasonable excuses” can be found online.

How to Avoid Penalties

 

The best way to avoid tax penalties is by planning ahead. You can submit your SA any time after the start of the tax year (April 5th), which gives you nearly 9 months to get your paperwork together. With such a long window, there's truly no excuse to leave it to the last minute. Get your paperwork together early and submit your SA to avoid penalties and stress.

 

The OM Team

New Year, New Opportunities
2018 new year

The New Year creates the chance to reflect over the last year. With the start of the New Year, it's the time to review 2017. Did you accomplish your goals for 2017? What changes did the last year bring you and your business? And of course, what do you hope to achieve in 2018?

Each year, we all set New Year resolutions. Whether your resolutions are personal or professional, we have some tips for helping you reach your goals.

 

Three Tips for Keeping Your New Year Resolutions

  • Set realistic and manageable resolutions
  • Break your resolutions into smaller weekly goals
  • Stay motivated by measuring and celebrating your progress

 

Recent Blogs

 

For a more in-depth read, check out our recent blog post on New Year Resolutions. The New Year is also a fantastic time for trying new things and our blog Discover Hidden Talents by Trying New Things may just provide the motivation you need.

Remember, Opus Matrix can help you achieve your resolutions. Whether it's networking to find the perfect job, connecting with your next business partner, or opening new opportunities, we're the perfect platform for achieving big things. Read more about it with our blog Achieve Big Things With Opus Matrix: The Ideal Platform for Collaborating.

 

Hall of Fame

 

Here’s our Hall of Fame at the moment. As you know, our recent competition is coming to an end and there are only 2 weeks left before we announce our new winner. Click here to get started sharing your posts.

At the end of January, we will announce our winners. For our current competition we are offering a £50 prize for the best fully completed profile and £50 for the most active user of the site. The winners will receive the prize as an Amazon voucher. Good Luck!

Position Name Points
1 Toni Charles 350.00
2 Tonia Hall 210.00
3 Jane Quinn 190.00
4 Anita Oleksy 174.00
5 Novelette Ellis 132.00

 

 

Happy January!

The OM Team

 

New Year Resolutions: How to Become A More Effective You
January 16, 2018
0
new year resolution
Have you set your New Year resolution yet?

 

According to a poll conducted by YouGov, most people have set New Year resolutions aimed at improving their self. The top five include eating better, exercising more, spending less money, taking better care of themselves (such as getting more sleep or eating better), and reading more books.

 

Switch Off

These goals all align with becoming a more effective you. Self-care is essential for increasing your productivity. Perhaps the biggest barrier to proper self-care is our constant connection to our phones and e-mails. It's hard to have personal time to destress when your e-mail is always within reach. As a result, we often struggle to feel refreshed or even get a good night sleep.

In order to start focusing on yourself, it's important to switch off. In fact, I find an hour of no-technology before bed helps me have a better night sleep. To do this, designate one or two hours every day to turn off all your technology devices. Yes, even your Netflix.

 

Reduce Stress

Another side effect of always being switched on is increased stress levels. When we cannot escape work, we cannot reflect and relax. Even social media platforms and online news outlets have been proven to increase stress.

Decreased stress is just another reason to TURN OFF your technology!

 

The Perfect Balance Between Sleep, Diet, and Exercise

When we get busy, we often sacrifice one of the three ingredients that are essential for well-being: sleep, diet, and exercise.

We're all guilty of sleeping less so that we can exercise more or eating bad food as its quicker than making a healthy meal. Our wellness depends on achieving the perfect balance. We cannot be truly healthy or as effectively lose weight without this balance.

 

A Healthy Life is a more Productive Life

Wellness and self-care are essential to being productive. We are not as efficient when we haven't slept well or our bodies hurt from a lack of exercise. Our wellness is the foundation that our personal and professional success is built on.

Being healthy makes us happier and as a result, helps us to see the world differently. It helps us have a can-do attitude and ultimately achieve big things!

 

The OM Team

 

Discover Your Hidden Talents By Trying New Things
December 30, 2017
0
barry white

We get it, taking risks by venturing into the unknown can be scary. What happens if you try something new and it turns out that you're rubbish at it?

 

Well, as contemporary poet Erin Hanson once wrote:

There is freedom waiting for you,

On the breezes of the sky,

And you ask "What if I fall?"

Oh but my darling,

What if you fly?

 

The only way to discover hidden talents is by taking the leap and trying new things.

 

Discover Similar Skills

 

One of the safest ways to discover hidden talents is by considering skills that are similar or related to the skills you currently possess.

 

Channel Your Inner Barry White

 

For example, Barry White entered the music industry as a producer, but is most widely known for his musical talents.

As Barry White had a good ear for music and clearly a passion for it, his career as a producer often included writing and even singing songs. In fact, it's his voice that truly propelled his career leading to several awards and international recognition.

Barry White's career included many hidden talents – even voice over work in animation films. From singing to writing songs to producing and everything in-between, White truly explored all the options of his smooth, soulful voice.

 

Final Note

So, be like Barry White. Take the leap. Explore new horizons. You never know, you may just discover a hidden talent that launches your business in a new direction.

 

The OM Team

 

Achieve Big Things with Opus Matrix: The Ideal Platform for Collaborating
debbie davis project

We are all seeking online engagement with our target audiences on various platforms. There are lots of techniques to reach people, but true engagement takes time, patience and an eye for detail. Like composing a new song, each individual element plays an essential role and needs to be played at the right time to gel with the singer and other instruments. Whatever project you are working on, you’ll need to spend time working on each element and ultimately how they will fit together in the final delivery.

Our founder, Debbie Davis, was a well-established singer in Scotland before moving to Spain. As she settled in there, she wanted to continue her passion for music by singing gigs. This can be very difficult without the right connections and, so she began to reach out to other musicians in the area.

She used the principle of collaboration developed with Opus Matrix to connect with people and share ideals. She found musicians that suited her style and began to discuss her love of disco. Initially this wasn’t something the others had experience in but once they realised they could use their skills to achieve something special, they were all on board.

Debbie is now part of four different musical groups and it wasn’t seen as business initially, nor did it happen overnight. It began with a passion for music that allowed her to build personal connections with like-minded people. She was able to engage with musicians to discuss how they could be involved and how their top strengths could be used. After chatting about their interests and skills, Debbie invited Denis from Plan Bee to be her bass player and sing on some tracks. In return, Denis invited Debbie to join his Plan Bee band and sing under his plans.

Check out the Debbie Davis Project:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9lHTkiwRJo

Debbie believes that the best way to collaborate on Opus Matrix is by finding people with complementary skills to yours. This can be achieved by talking to business connections and once realised can be the driving force behind big projects. With a bit of patient and time work, amazing things can be accomplished.

Debbie made personal connections that led to conversations about business plans and eventually created business opportunities for Debbie. Opus Matrix is an online community that helps people connect and eventually collaborate with one another. It is a place where people can share ideas, skills, and much more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6njD61FDUgk

Debbie would have never accomplished her goal of singing in Spain without the help of connections. Whether you're looking for personal connections to fuel a passion or business opportunities, Opus Matrix is the ideal platform for meeting like-minded people, sharing ideas, discovering other's plans, and eventually building the relationships necessary to make ideas happen.

Follow the Debbie Davis Project on Facebook

ENGAGEMENT

Engage is the key to success in business and we want to facilitate this for our members. Try the skill finder tool and find people with similar or related skills or interests. Find out what they are doing and what they are trying to achieve and you may find some common ground. It could be the key to your success!

Different people bring different influences and the best businesses often emerge through chance meetings of individuals.

The OM Team