Sunday, May 23, 2010

Stay At Home Moms ROCK Social Media All The Way To The Bank

Social media platforms have been an incredible outlet for those of us who have spent time as "stay at home moms".   I have "stayed home" with my kids for more than 10 years and have loved every minute of it.  I've had a lot of opportunity to be very involved at the kids' schools, I've done everything from simply being a room mom to managing large fundraisers.  I was excited about using my business and project management experience to make lots of money for the school.  DING DING Heads up though, running a school fundraiser like a business is social suicide. 'nough said.

Social media was a part of my life before it was even called social media.  I joined message boards while trying to conceive and made "friends" with other women who charted their cycles and stocked up on pregnancy tests, only to be disappointed by the 50 discarded negative pregnancy tests.  After a miscarriage I spilled my guts to other virtual strangers about the horror and pain I felt at not being able to carry a baby to term.  Later I joined a group with due dates in the same month as my sweet baby.  We shared the joyful heartburn, weight gain, and other nasty things about pregnancy you'd never actually discuss in the polite company of IRL friends.  That group actually stayed together for more than four years before slowly dissipating as life led us to other things.  I'm a member of a group on Ebay that began when we were all selling children's clothing.... 7 or 8 years ago!  They've seen me through some of the most difficult times and there is a sense of safety in being able to share the deepest darkest and ugliest secrets with people that aren't here in my "real life". Although, they are very real in my life, I've even met several of them in person.

Enter blogging... I started blogging in January of 2009, yep just a year and a half ago.  People ask me all the time how I grew my online presence so quickly.  I'm sleuth by nature.  When I am interested in something I will hunt down every little piece of information and suck it up and savor it as the yummiest piece of buttered toast ever.  With blogging it was no different.  I started a blog and as soon as I realized that blogging was actually a way I could communicate ideas and converse with other, I set out to make my blog successful. I read all the "how to"'s, followed (nay stalked) the "experst", joined every network, webinar, and started using every tool there was and eventually got gutsy enough to start engaging people on Twitter.  I haven't been swept up with all of the reviews and giveaways but you can bet I've been paying attention to how the bloggers and brands are working together. In my quest to learn more, I traveled to conferences and began networking all over the sphere, with PR people, businesses, branding experts etc.  I dig it.  Honestly, I just like talking about business - I love marketing because it is what drives business, makes money and proves relevance. I could do nothing but just follow people around listening to them talk.   That gets a little creepy though, so I try to keep my stalking to a minimum.

The emergence of social media tools has given many women the opportunity to transition from staying at home with their kids to getting out and starting their own businesses.  Everything from consulting to turning their blogs and social communities into full fledged revenue earners.  I was fortunate to be able to turn my local marketing consultant gig into a full fledged business working with companies all over the country. I would never have been able to apply for a job after 10 years at home and been able to convince someone to give me a chance at the level I have created for myself.  I'm fairly proud of what I've been able to do and I'm proud of what we SAHMs are doing every day!

What are some ways that you are using social media tools to grow as a person or as a business?  


14 Responses to "Stay At Home Moms ROCK Social Media All The Way To The Bank"
  1. Christina - Rant Rave Roll said...
    May 23, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    Love it!

    I agree.... we SAHM do rock! Social Media is an asset for us, but we are also an asset to Social Media.

  2. Anonymous said...
    May 23, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Thank God for Ebay! And it's not about the selling or buying, although that's been good, too. To find friends in such a random way (although I'm sure it wasn't really random)that you can share everything with and know they'll like you anyway is pretty amazing!

  3. Ginny Marie said...
    May 23, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    Building relationships with other moms through blogging has been a lot of fun! The more I blog and reach out to other women, the more fun I have. This SAHM is grateful for social helps me stay sane!

  4. Anonymous said...
    May 23, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    I'm with Dixie! If it weren't for eBay, we in our little group never would have met...and we've been friends for a very long time now. What a blessing! And I'm so out of the loop I didn't even know it was called "social media."

  5. Stacy Uncorked said...
    May 24, 2010 at 6:16 AM

    I was just mentioning to my hubby yesterday that I really need to start getting active on Social Media, because it's something I've avoided like a plague. Why, I don't know, probably because by nature I'm painfully shy and averse to rejection. :) I need to suck it up and just do it, though. :)

  6. reener said...
    May 24, 2010 at 7:54 AM

    OMG, we're living parallel lives here! I was EXTREMELY involved in my kids school activities, including the newsletter (a 4 or 5 page work of art I must say), flyers, chairing activities...loved every minute and miss it terribly! And the message board thing...omg, how many can you be a member of! Coordinated a car show and thank god for the internet!
    And I'm still learning about the internet. Just when I thought I had it licked....

  7. Barb said...
    May 24, 2010 at 8:05 AM

    I am completely with you! The phenom. is amazing to watch. Because of SM there are so many more opportunities open to us all.

    BTW--have I told you that you rock today :)

  8. * TONYA * said...
    May 24, 2010 at 8:25 AM

    You are fabulous Fiona.

    I got started in Social Media in a similar way. Through chat rooms and parenting forums when I moved to the US and when I was looking for support when I was pregnant with the twins. Some of us are still in an on-line group together and still organize meet-ups in different cities as often as we can. And just like you have used my previous skills in the corporate sector to provide help within my kids schools and in the military community. I guess it helps keep me feeling like I can still contribute and that I can still 'do it' even though I'm not working full-time.

    I think you are an amazing woman. I hope I get to see you again soon. Great post.

  9. Anonymous said...
    May 24, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    You totally Rock Fiona! So glad I got to know you thru the Cocktail Gals. You have accomplished so much since we first met. We are so impressed and proud of you!


  10. Linda S said...
    May 25, 2010 at 6:59 AM

    If someone told me a year ago that chatting online all day would lead to paying consulting positions, I would have laughed. But now I'm doing it. Being yourself and being respectful online, protecting and nurturing your brand will gain you the trust of key influencers. And as you said, learning everything you can along the way! I think blogging rarely makes a house payment but if you can leverage your knowledge of the space, you can fine other paying avenues too. Congrats to you Fiona! Love to hear the success stories!

  11. Funkidivagirl said...
    May 25, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    You are right; I never thought about it before, but I was online in chat rooms and on email loops when my son was born. The breastfeeding online community was a lifeline for me when I didn't have in real life support. As far as my life in social media goes now, I love being on Twitter and engaging with my blog readers, although they don't leave comments hardly ever (I wish that they would!). I haven't figured out how to make money with this thing yet because I don't have a niche and I mostly write just for the sake of writing, but nevertheless I enjoy it.

  12. babyrompersandonepieces said...
    May 25, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    Follow me! Followed you!

    Thank you,
    Paislea Carlson

  13. Kerri Olkjer said...
    May 27, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    I just started blogging in December and Twitter in January. Loving it. Still learning.

  14. Lisa said...
    June 3, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    Ahhh I did the same thing I think the board was justmommies or something like that. I am always on twitter, facebook, or other boards I belong to. I am just social period


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