Some of my most insightful, inspiring and innovative friends are my fellow baby wearing, story telling, photo capturing mombosses. You see, we have this crazy commonality of being social media savvy while juggling a few kids, a camera, and a handful of contracts. We've created a career and a brand around making the most of motherhood, and I think we do a pretty good job of capturing the good, the bad, and sometimes even the ugly. We boomerang our best moments with cheesy champagne toasts, and then we blog about our setbacks - the spills, the sleepless nights, and the daily attempts to lose those last ten pounds. At the end of the day, we've all worked countless hours to turn motherhood into a stay-at-home career that allows us to hold onto and capture the fleeting moments with our little ones.
My Mompreneur Path
Like many moms, after having my first child I couldn't picture returning to my nine-to-five job. This motivated me to channel my inner creative, and explore a number of fun projects, most of which became solid - albeit temporary - sources of income. I flipped lamps, had a photography business, and I even owned a pregnancy fitness franchise for a while. Being a New York City Girl, I had grit and street hustle, and nothing was going to change that, not even four babies. When we opted for a lifestyle change, leaving the Carolinas on the East Coast for the sunny and chill side of Southern California, I started a blog.
Long Live The Mom Hustle
Stay at home mom businesses have been on the rise for quite some time. Whether it's a product, a service or a blog, we all have to lean on our friends, followers and fans for our businesses to grow. And social media has become a fantastic way to develop a network and create influence around the things we're most passionate about. Some may find this hard to believe, but as moms, there are actually things out there (besides our children) that motivate us, make us tick and give us purpose. For me, it's being able to interact with other moms, offer tips on products I love, share stories and give virtual high fives to the other hardworking parents out there who tune in.
Having a strong social media presence is every marketers dream, and it's the new powertool for moms seeking a flexible schedule while working from home. For us, the equation is quite simple. If we can sell it on a flexible schedule, and stay at home... we're in! Having the opportunity to Mom, wife and create a revenue stream around something we love, is the new American dream. And only those who are highly motivated, who are consistent in brand and social engagement, and who don't give up before that moment of motivation becomes a mindset will succeed.
3 Steps To Joining The Stay At Home Geniuses
1. Create a Multi-Dimensional Approach with a Blog
I recommend starting with a blog, no matter if your business is a product, or your product is your blog. Some say it's a dying space. I say it's here to stay. Once you find your niche, stick to it, be creative, and whatever you do, be "real." Contrary to popular belief (aka, many fans of the Kardashians and reality TV), people are drawn to authenticity, and are looking for others to which they can relate.
Here's how mine works. My blog chronicles my life, my love of family, fashion, food and more, and my social media channels amplify the blog. And these days, it's become so much more than just writing a couple of articles every week. Through my blog, I've been able to take my love of photography and videography - on both sides of the lens - to the next level. So, ask yourself what your strongest points are in this space. Is it photography, staging, videography, your writing chops? And build upon that.
2. Make it Personal
As crazy as this sounds, your identity and personal story should be part of your business strategy. You want to have a consistent message - and not be all over the place. If you are a mom who specializes in children's behavior, don't review sunglasses. It doesn't work. Stick with your specialty, but organically weave in other facets of your life. If you're a mom who sells essential oils, your own success will be determined by your experiences with the products and the testimonials of your family and friends. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. Don't be afraid to share.
3. Create Your Own Style and Stick to It
Treat every image you post as if it's a piece of art. Be thoughtful about it. Is it aesthetically pleasing to the eye? Some influencers focus more on the perfect photo, shot with an uber expensive camera, while others use their iPhone, and do just fine. Whichever direction you take, create your own style and stick to it. Establishing a consistent brand makes it all the more easy for others to relate, to preach what you're preaching and to buy what you're selling. I was a photographer long before blogging became mainstream, so I prefer to share professional images. That's just me. There are several great mobile apps, however, that can create a similar effect from your smartphone photos. It's just a matter of preference and convenience. Just be consistent!
Don't Sweat The Small Stuff
Naysayers will be naysayers, but I'll continue to spread the gospel of awesome products, business and organizations that I believe in. I'm really proud of the community that I've cultivated around my stories in parenting. And while some choose to spend their energy picking apart the personal triumphs of others, I choose to celebrate those triumphs, and getting paid to do so it's a win/win.
As with anything, it's not easy, and success does not happen overnight. Although part of my job is to share picture perfect moments of mommyhood, truth be told, I am putting in more hours of work now than I ever have. And that's not even counting the hours mothering! The only difference now, is that instead of students, my children are my focus, and when I'm not focused on them or my husband, the social aspect of my business truly fulfills me.
I am beyond blessed to share this endeavor with women around the world. This has been the most fulfilling and rewarding job I've ever had. And this is just the beginning. The rise of the stay at home 'mompreneur' has not even come close to reaching its peak. Brands all over the world consider us a powerful vehicle in reaching their audience. We all know that moms hold the purchasing power - at least that holds true in our household. So, to all the women out there entering into or mastering the stay-at-home hustle, I salute you. And I believe there's room for all of us to thrive here.