MomForce Blog

January 26, 2009

Companies…What Mom Will You Sponsor at a Conference This Year?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Jessica Smith @ 1:57 pm

There’s no doubt about it. Even in this down economy, moms are still making the purchasing decisions and well, they’re still purchasing. Albeit, more prudently, but because every purchase gets a second look brand loyalty is more important than ever.

Companies have realized the value of moms in the blogosphere but many companies are still looking for something offline and conversational that can still be translated into the buzzworthy online world.

The answer is easy. Conferences.

Yes, every year there are a few more conferences for Moms to choose from. And most of them revolve around social media, writing, blogging, and BONDING.

For a lot of moms, the anticipation of the event starts months before the conference actually happens. They share excitement online via their blogs, Facebook, on Twitter. Why wouldn’t a company want to be part of this buzz?

Think about it. Your brand could be woven into all these conversations before, druing and after these conferences. And to sponsor one person is usually less than $2000…a drop in the bucket compared to some PPC or online advertising campaigns.

Are you thinking about it now? Need some tips for finding the best mom for your sponsorship?

Here are some things to keep in mind:

* Read their blogs. Does their “voice” resonate with what your brand is all about?
* Talk to a few on the phone…you’ll be amazed at the energy some of these women. You’ll feel it through the phone lines! I promise.
* Ask for a bio or portfolio of their work. You might also want them to send a sample video they’ve done in the past…live vlogging at conferences will get you the most bang for your buck.
* Look at it as a relationship. Chances are, when you sponsor a mom for a conference, she’ll become your biggest fan and, in a lot of ways, the perfect spokesmom. Leverage this relationship by giving her advance notice about new products, special promotions, and offer giveaways on her blog all year round.

Don’t underestimate the power that having a Mom represent you at conferences. Everday life for a Mom is filled with keeping the kids happy, making meals, cleaning house, working virtually in some capacity, and social networking. When they are at a conference, they are there to learn from each other, to network, and to socialize. Get in the game! Have an authentic voice as these Moms converge and talk non-stop all weekend.

Looking for a great place to start? There are a ton of brilliant and marketing savvy moms on MomForce.

Moms, want to know the best way to approach companies and get sponsored? Check this out.

January 19, 2009

Time-Saving Online Services for Work at Home Moms

Filed under: Working Virtually — Jessica Smith @ 1:43 am

Time-Saving Online Services for Work at Home Moms.

Check out this great post by Alyssa Gregory, owner of a virtual assistant firm and a mom who clearly knows how to outsource her tasks while she provides outsourcing for others.

December 17, 2008

MomForce Badges! Show Your Support for MomForce

Filed under: Marketing Yourself — Tags: , — Jessica Smith @ 3:55 pm

Show your MomForce support and pride with our MomForce badges.  Just copy and paste the code in your blog or website.

badge_hired<a href=”http://www.momforce.com” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f48/jessicaknows/badge_hired.gif” alt=”I Got Hired”></a>

badge_hireme<a href=”http://www.momforce.com” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f48/jessicaknows/badge_hireme.gif” alt=”Hire Me”></a>

badge_join<a href=”http://www.momforce.com” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f48/jessicaknows/badge_join.gif” alt=”Join Me on MomForce”></a>

December 16, 2008

Companies…How to Work with a Mom Virtually

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Jessica Smith @ 4:33 pm

Companies, especially traditional corporations with dedicated HR departments, might like the idea of hiring a mom for their marketing team, but logistically, it poses some problems.

Here are some ways companies can work with moms and how marketing teams can improve the odds of getting a job request to hire a mom approved.

  1. Map the job title to one that exists in your organization already.  Think about what the mom’s job title would be if it were an on-site full-time position and use that as your guide.  This will help when submitting job requests as the job title will be familiar as will the corresponding job functions.
  2. Make expectations clear and in writing before offering the job.  By providing this to both the team and the potential mom hire, you can avoid confusion later.  This will also make a huge difference retention-wise.  Points to include:  hours per week, sick/vacation policy (paid vs. unpaid), weekly/monthly meetings days and times, communication protocols, etc.
  3. Contingency plan.  Flexibility is key.  Moms are some of the most flexible beings in the world.  While they add a lot of value to the companies that target them, those companies should expect to allow for some flexibility from their end as well.  Temper tantrums, spills, and fickle nappers are all par for the course.  Putting a contingency plan in place should the unexpected arise will decrease stress levels and ensure seamless execution of projects.
  4. Growth plan.  Even though the roles many MomForce Moms will take on will be part-time and virtual in nature, a plan for growth is a good idea.  Set benchmarks for promotion whether it be monetary or responsibility in nature.  Moms will be even more productive and results-oriented as a result.  Win-win for both.

Low overhead, high return, and an authentic voice are all reasons to work with a Mom.  When hiring, make sure you and the Mom are on the same page.  A synergistic relationship between moms and companies can be achieved and the results?  Phenomenal.

December 11, 2008

Writing a Resume If You’re Returning to Work

Filed under: Marketing Yourself — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Jessica Smith @ 7:18 pm

For many of MomForce’s members the thought of working virtually is an exciting prospect.  Writing a resume after not working for a few years…not so much.

Fortunately, when employers are looking to MomForce to find high caliber marketers, they’re looking for Moms (and Dads) to reach the parent target market.  Most of them will expect that some time has been taken off and won’t penalize because of it.

But you still want your resume to sparkle, right?

The best way to achieve this is to be creative and think outside the box.

Have you been blogging on your own blog or a blog network?  Say so.  And if any of the following apply, you’ll want to include them too:

  • Meeting deadlines.
  • Writing reviews.
  • Developing relationships with brands and PR reps.
  • WordPress/Blogger skills.
  • Graphic design.
  • Newsletter execution and delivery.
  • Using social media tools to share posts and create buzz.

You’ll find, that as a blogger, you already possess a lot of the skills companies are coming to MomForce to find.  So don’t discount anything.

What if you haven’t been blogging?  Perhaps you’ve chaired a committee or taken a leadership position in your local Moms Group.  Or you’ve volunteered at your child’s school.  Think about the kinds of skills associated with these responsibilities and include them on your resume.

No matter what we do on a daily basis, we all have our strengths and weaknesses.  Take the time to create an inventory of all of your skills and strengths.  Use the profile creation page at MomForce to get ideas for skills the employers are searching.

Finally, don’t be shy!  To be a community manager, a brand evangelist, or a marketing manager you need to be confident and outgoing.

December 5, 2008

Parents…Why Do You Want to Work Virtually?

Filed under: Working Virtually — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Jessica Smith @ 1:36 pm

Moms and Dads everywhere are making the decision to leave the 9 to 5 corporate world to stay home with their children.  Meanwhile, the economy is forcing some companies into being more creative with their human resource management due to tightening budgets and increases in insurance costs.  Because hiring virtual part-time workers is a way to maintain productivity while lowering the cost of overhead, companies that might not have considered hiring virtual employees are taking a second look.

However, there are many other reasons why companies hire people for virtual roles just as there are many reasons why parents choose to work virtually.

Companies, what is your motivation?

Parents, tell us what drives your decision?

December 2, 2008

What You Can Do to Make Yourself More Accessible to Publicists

Blog? Check. On Twitter? Check. LinkedIn? Check.

You’re working really hard to put yourself out there, but so far you’re just hearing crickets. Chances are that those publicists for your favorite brand of cereal or your child’s favorite toy brand would they’d love to talk to you, but they don’t know how!

Huh?

Because of fears of privacy and personal security, a lot of moms prefer not to make their contact information readily available. I totally get that. In fact, for a long time, I didn’t provide a means for contact on my blog either.

But let’s look at the other side of the coin. If no one can easily contact you, how do you expect to contribute to marketing campaigns, product reviews, or even…wait for it…work virtually for a company? {gasp!}

Now I am certainly not recommending that you just broadcast your home phone number or explicitly put your email front in center so spammers can come scoop it up. I am however, advising you to use a few free and totally useful tools that will allow those that you want to talk to, reach you.

Do any one (or a few!) of the following:

  • Add a Google Talk chatback badge, that way visitors to your site can see when you’re available and instant message with you immediately. This has been an awesome addition to my blog and my ability to connect with those that want to talk RIGHT NOW.

  • Sign up for a Skype. With Skype you can talk to anyone else on Skype all over the world for free! Have a rambunctious toddler in the background? Skype is great universal instant messaging platform as well. You can even do video conferencing if you so desire.

  • Include an email contact form in a conspicuous place on your blog. Google contact form and the word blog and you’ll get lots of options.

  • Better yet, dedicate a page on your blog or website with ways visitors can contact you. After I added a contact page to my site, it was amazing how much more people reached out to me.

Readers, potential clients, publicists, and brands you’d like to partner with can’t propose their ideas or invite you to work on projects with them if they can’t get in touch with you. So do yourself, and them, a favor and make it as easy as possible.

Still don’t feel comfortable about it? Never fear. At MomForce.com you can make your contact information available in a safe and secure environment so that you control who can contact you and how.

Being a Mom Executive Means More Than Just Money

Filed under: Mom Inspiration — Tags: , , , , , — Jessica Smith @ 3:00 pm

One reason I pursued working virtually and part-time from home was so I could spend more quality time with my son. However, when I started blogging and networking with moms, it sure didn’t feel like work. I am genuinely passionate about making the connections, supporting and promoting others’ ideas that I’m passionate about, and getting those creativity juices flowing.

Getting paid for it? That’s just the icing on the cake.

The other day I was on the phone with a woman I consider one of my allies, Arianne (who writes To Think is To Create) and we were talking about “paying our dues” while cutting our teeth, so to speak, in marketing. We had this blind faith for that old cliche -

Do what you love and the money will come.

That somehow if we didn’t give up and had an open mind, the perfect opportunity would come along. Now for some people, this happens sooner and for others it takes a little longer. However, Arianne and I both agreed that – cliche alert again -

Everything happens for a reason.

Arianne and I both made the decision to stay home to be moms, but we’ve found that blogging, creating buzz online, and working with companies to strengthen their brand among moms is what makes us tick. It’s something that’s just for us, as individuals. We’re wives, we’re moms…and she’s Arianne…and I’m Jessica. Doing what we love makes us feel whole. I think Arianne said it best when she gave me the following analogy:

It’s like we’re living in a house that we always thought had only one floor. Then suddenly one day we find out the house goes 10 stories high and there are all these places we never realize existed, but were there all along. These places to discover and explore and love and pursue about ourself were always there, but we were just living in one tiny corner of the house, not realizing how much more we could have.”

When she said that to me, I asked her to write that down because it resonated with me so much. Marketing, establishing relationships and fostering community are the things that get our motors running. But to work virtually and be successful, that doesn’t have to be what makes you tick. Come out of that tiny corner of your “house” and explore those passions you have, combine those with your talents and skill set, and find out who needs YOUR skills to succeed.

At MomForce we make it easy to showcase all of your marketing skills so that companies know right away the value you will add to their marketing campaigns and strategy.

The Shocking Blue Green Theme Blog at WordPress.com.

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