Helen Neale our Working Parents round-up editor is chuffed to pieces at having reached the top 20 of Mums in Business with the help of social media and so she should be we wish her all the best for a prolific future, hear what she has to say
I love blogging.
I blog for fun and I blog for my business. However, until a few weeks ago I didn’t quite appreciate how powerful blogging and other social media could be as part of a small business’ marketing plan.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for offline marketing particularly as its a fact that people don’t buy from you unless they have “seen” your name a good few times in their daily lives.
That’s where social media comes in very handy though; it gives you another way to capture your audience rather than just using the printed word.
Potential customers could be chatting to a friend on Facebook, looking at the latest updates on Twitter, or just searching on the t’interweb. Social media sneaks into their lives allowing you to use its omnipotence to get your small business message out there.
Two weeks ago, myself and two other lovely business mums in the Cambridgeshire region made it into the MumsClub Top 100 Business Mums in the UK. I am not kidding myself a lot of this was down to the use of social media. I am not saying my business isn’t a great idea; but it’s still in its infancy. A Snooze Shade I am not (yet).
I am a prolific blogger on my site KiddyCharts, which sells personalised reward charts and other charts for kids, I asked for votes on my business blog perhaps I was a tad cheeky doing so but I have no shame as anyone that reads the blog regularly will know. Public voting competitions do still make me feel a little odd; its the online equivalent of a beauty contest isn’t it? And no-one wants to see me in a swimming costume…
My fellow business mums, Kelly Compton and Anna Bowkis are Facebook friends. Kelly runs my local Saffron Walden fabulous business mums Facebook group, as well as her own business, Saffron Crafts. The lady she runs it with probably spends far too long moderating it – it’s not an easy task. All ladies together can need a little bit of moderating, particularly after the odd glass a red wine
Anna is a photographer, and tapped into her considerable clout on Facebook too. She has a hell of a lot more friends than I do; over 1,000 to be precise. Our combined girl power created waves in the business mum world when we were all unashamedly
begging asking for votes using social media. My 2,600 twitter followers probably came in a tad handy too.
In the end, all three of us made it into the Top 20 because so many people took time out of their busy lives and voted for us. Thanks so much to everyone that bothered we honestly do appreciate it.
We may all be starting out but we have seen how social media can give you that all important marketing leg-up.
Anything that can help your small business survive in these difficult times is worth that little bit of extra investment. Particularly when the majority of that investment is just the ability to find the time to do it. Working parents don’t necessarily have the biggest marketing budgets for their businesses do they? I know I don’t, every advertising dollar I spend is critical.
And no, just because I made it to number 13 does not mean I shall be getting my bikini on. It’s bl**dy freezing and that’s not an image I want for my brand…
How have you used social media to help your small business as a working parent? Do let us know.
Helen is the editor of the working parents round up, a freelance writer and owner of personalised children’s chart business, KiddyCharts. She was a business analyst, and then a tweed-skirted school librarian as she tried to find work that fitted in with the demands of motherhood. Mummy’s Little Stars is where you will find her sometimes funny musings about life as a working parent, and mum to some over exuberant small people. She has only been blogging since January 2012, so go gentle with her; she might break. You can find Helen on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn; where she probably hangs out a bit too much.