How to write a professional LinkedIn profile

In this quick interview with Judy Parsons (the LinkedIn Lady!) you’ll get some great tips on writing a really effective and professional LinkedIn profile.

I caught up with Judy last week at the end of the Women On The Business Stage Social Media Fest training where we were both trainers.

Here is Judy’s LinkedIn profile:

And here’s mine:

I made a second LinkedIn video with Judy, so watch out for that next week.

Here’s a handy tip for making quick videos – ask the speakers business events if you can record a quick tips video, as I did here with Judy. Mostly, speakers will say ‘yes’ because it’s a great opportunity for them to be introduced to new viewers. It’s also good for you because they will often share the video with their audience.

Most speakers don’t get around to making as many videos as they would like, so it’s an easy way for them to get a video made and uploaded to YouTube!

Plus it’s great for networking. “Can I video you?” is a very effective conversation-starter as well as a great reason to follow-up with that person after the event.

Of course, you don’t have to stick to the speakers. Events will have delegates who are experts in their own fields too. Delegates will be more relaxed than the speakers which may make them more open to you videoing them.

For more tips on making videos, get my e-course How to make your first YouTube video

And for more social media marketing tips, sign up for my e-zine.

VAT Changes in January 2015 for digital product suppliers

For me, a good chunk of the last week has been taken up by trying to understand the EU VAT changes which will apply to me as a digital product creator from 1st January.

I’ve not blogged about this until now because I didn’t feel qualified to do it. I’m very cautious about giving any legal or financial advice because I’m not a lawyer or an accountant.

But I’ve gathered a list of good articles about this problem and I wanted to share it. So here goes.

First, here are some of the best articles I’ve found  explaining the significant problem faced by any of us micro business owners who sell ebooks, membership sites, software or any other digital product or service that could potentially be bought by anyone in the EU:

New EU VAT rules threaten to kill UK micro firms from The Telegraph

New EU VAT regulations could threaten micro-businesses from The Guardian

The horrible implications of the EU VAT “Place of Supply” change from Rachel Andrew

EU VAT Changes – What you can do by accountant to solo business owners, Rosie Slosek. HMRC claim that the vast majority of micro businesses will not be affected because we use third-party marketplaces such as app stores, which isn’t true  in my experience. Rosie’s article explains why using a marketplace isn’t straightforward as it first appears.

Advice and information from HMRC:

Guidance from HMRC about supplying digital services – if, like me, you’re planning on using a marketplace to sell your products from now on, pay close attention to HMRC’s definition of a marketplace in section 1.2

EU VAT Changes: Top tips

How you can keep up to date

Follow the #VATMOSS and #VATMESS hashtags on Twitter

I’m most active on this subject on Twitter (as @HelenLindop) but I’m also sharing info on my Facebook page

This Facebook group has some very knowledgeable members – Digital VAT 15

Follow the campaign to Uphold the VAT Exemption Threshold for businesses supplying digital products and sign the petition.

Where to get help

Talk to your accountant, if you have one.

Phone the HMRC if you don’t have an accountant, but I’ve heard that some micro businesses are sometimes being given contradictory information from the HMRC so be cautious. Write down who you spoke to and the date/time if you can.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there in Facebook groups and other forums, so be careful where and who you get your information from. This change is horribly complex with lots of grey areas that still need to be cleared up, and if we fail to comply then we could risk a big fine.

If you’re based outside the EU this still applies

The best info I’ve found if your business is based outside the EU is here.

And finally…

I will update this post as I find other good sources of information.

Despite the campaigns going on at the moment, this EU VAT change won’t go away (at best it may be made a little easier for us). So please do get informed from reliable sources so you’re ready for the change on January 1st

How to grow a successful Facebook group

At the end of the Women On The Business Stage Social Media Conference last week I grabbed WOBS founder Claire Godwin to ask her top tips for growing a big and successful Facebook group.

Claire has has grown her very active and popular WOBS Online Facebook to almost 2000 members.

In this quick interview, I ask Claire for her tips on growing such a large, active and valuable group:

Watch out for more social media tip videos from the conference coming later this week!

If you enjoyed this video, you might like to sign up for my social media e-zine where I share even more top social media marketing tips! Just click here :-)