We're excited to welcome Jodi Dillmon, Senior Director with Pampered Chef to the MOB blog. You can learn more about Jodi and how to connect with her at the end of the blog post.
I started out as quite possibly the worst cook ever!! I was the queen of “charred” food before I started with Pampered Chef. I had zero confidence in the kitchen and a home-cooked meal for us was hamburger helper or rice-a-roni. After falling in love with the tools and recipes from Pampered Chef, I learned to cook without setting off the smoke alarm.
I have been on a mission to teach my kids how to cook from a young age so that when they become adults, they will have that confidence in the kitchen.
Here are a few tips on how you can get your kids involved in the kitchen at an early age, too.
Let them help in picking the recipes for the week. You pick what you want and then simply give your kids a choice between those items.
When I first started doing this, my hubby and I sat down and created our meal plan for the week. We mentally had decided what meals we wanted and then we let the kids each pick a day and they picked the meal for that day.
Let them help prepare the meal.
I have found when my kids help prepare a meal, they are way more likely to eat it. Then as they are helping, of course, praising them up and down about what an AMAZING job they are doing.
They also feel more empowered since they were able to choose the meal they wanted to make and now helping to make it. First it was just letting them measure things, then I started letting them stir things, and then I started letting them chop things (with my supervision of course).
Praise them AGAIN and AGAIN throughout the entire process and especially with eating the finished meal. Words of affirmation help to keep them excited about helping and they will want to help again.
Those not helping cook that night, are the ones who set the table.
Whoever helped to prepare the meal does not have to do the dishes.
Each family member takes their own plate to the sink and share in the responsibility of cleaning up.
We sit as a family for meal time.
Even with busy schedules we are very intentional about this time together. Mealtimes are such an incredible way to make lasting memories with your children. Create topics to talk about. A GREAT one we love is each person goes around the table and shares something good that happened to them that day. Even if someone had a bad day, we must think of something good that happened.
Setting Yourself Up for Success
There are a few things we had to let go of in the beginning to ensure we created the culture we wanted with this experience:
We had to be OK with a bigger mess being made. This was so HARD for me and my hubby at first. No crying over "spilled milk."
We also had to not be in a huge hurry. This does take more time in the beginning and a lot of patience. However, the time spent is so worth it.
Your kids will LOVE LOVE LOVE the time you are investing with them.
This is one of the BEST MEMORY MAKERS!!! Since we have 3 kids, this was 3 days a week we committed to. You get to choose the days and how you can make it work with your family. Even if it is just 1 day a week, start somewhere.
Jodi Dillmon is a Senior Director with Pampered Chef and has been with the company for 11 years. She has helped hundreds of families find easy mealtime solutions.
Jessica George, a Rodan + Field representative and graphic designer, grew up in a small town, but says she’s always been a city-kid at heart. “Small town living was too boring for me. Funny how life changes though. I love going back to visit and really enjoy the slower pace now,” she explains.
She currently lives in Las Vegas with her husband and young son, Mason. Prior to having her son, much of her work was done in the advertising world. She still does some freelance design when she has the time.
After having her son, she realized she was ready for a change.
Jessica says, “The fast-paced advertising world was super fun when I was in my 20s and single, but after moving into my 30s, and getting married, that environment just wasn't doing it for me anymore. After almost 15 years in the industry, and having to think of about a billion different ways to design the same things over and over and over, and telling people that white space IS important, and no the logo does NOT need to be bigger, and all the competition and egos — I was burnt out.”
The final straw was when she learned she was making significantly less than her equal male counterpart. “That was what put me over the edge. I was done, but I had no clue what I wanted to do if I wasn't a graphic designer. I had my son at 35 and while on maternity leave realized that there were so many more important things in life than working so hard to climb this "ladder" to success. I knew I was good at what I did and wondered if I could build a business from home. MY business. No more doing what the boss wanted. I wanted to be in charge and do what I thought was the right thing! I decided I had to figure out how to work from home but still didn't really know what I wanted to do. It was important to me to be present for my husband and son and work around our family's life. It's still chaotic, but I don't feel like I'm missing my own life anymore,” she explains.
While on maternity leave, she decided to start her Rodan + Fields business. “I saw the massive potential for growth. I knew the power behind these doctors having the Proactiv name attached to them. If advertising had taught me anything it was that brand recognition was GOLD. It would allow me to be in charge of myself and I could work my day around my new little family. It just felt right to me.”
Jessica still loves design and enjoys the chance to be creative with her own things, but her Rodan and Fields business gives her the freedom to be with her son and create her own work schedule. “R+F is easy to fit into my toddler mom life and it helped me with my tired-looking mom skin. I'm in the middle of figuring out how to have a graphic design business AND my R+F business together,” she explains.
She says she is inspired by people like Rachel Hollis lately. Mel Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, Ellen, Oprah, and Buddha. “These are people who talk the talk AND walk the walk. People who share love with the world and help people become better versions of themselves,” she says.
Jessica says one of the biggest struggles in her business has been being unsure of the next steps and not being where she feels she should be at this stage of her business.
“I don't have a professional headshot yet. I don't professional copy written. I don't have everything perfectly so, and that's really hard for me. Working as a designer for so many years I feel the need to have everything perfect before it goes to the public...but you know what? I'm a work in progress, and I can't help that I don't know what I don't know. I'm learning.”
She advises new business owners to go for it because no one knows what they are doing at the beginning. “We just have to follow our gut and keep trying until we get where we want to be,” she says. Jessica would also remind them to celebrate the small victories. “Even though I don't feel like I've made much progress, I look back and see just how far I've actually come. Be gentle with yourself. You're doing a good job!”
The best referral for Jessica is someone looking for skincare products that give transformative results or someone looking to make an extra income around their already busy schedule. She says many reps begin using the products and then realize how using the products sells the products because people see the change in your skin and then want to know how you did it.
Jessica says the best part about being a part of the MOB Alliance is the relationships she has made. It's really nice being around like-minded people. We all know the struggles and benefits of being a mom with a business.”
She mentions being listed in the MOB Nation Directory as a favorite benefit. “I appreciate all the publicity the MOB pushes to it,” she explains. Jessica also likes the meetups and the chance to get in front of people as a Spotlight speaker or Presenter. “Meeting new people and building meaningful relationships is seriously my favorite thing to do. I love hearing everyone’s stories and how they came to be where/who they are today.”
Jessica offers MOB Alliance members a reimbursement of their setup fee when they become Preferred Customer. Preferred customers also receive 10% off purchases and free shipping on orders over $80)
Connect with Jessica online at:
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, we asked a few of our members (MOBs) to share what self care means to them and what advice they would give other MOBs who are growing their businesses while raising their families.
Get Serious About Taking Care of Yourself
Sarah Nelson, LAc, co-owner of Ancient Fern Medicine
Self care is such an important topic and one that I think gets misrepresented in the name of selling expensive products and services.
Self care is ultimately about the relationship you have with yourself and how you care for your mental, physical, and emotional well being on a daily basis. It's about making choices every single day that are in line with the person you want to be and the goals you want to accomplish.
Some of the most commonly overlooked areas of self care I see in my patients are simple things like not having good structure and boundaries around things sleep, nutrition, exercise, and stress management. No amount of indulgent pampering will cancel out the damaging impact of an erratic sleep schedule, chronic sleep deprivation, or lack of proper hydration and nourishing food.
Another super important area of self care is the quality of the connection in our daily lives. Are you connecting with people who make you feel seen, valued, inspired, and ready to go out and conquer the world? If not, then your first self care assignment might be to look at your patterns in relationships and take steps to invest in connections that leave you feeling energized and great!
By all means, take the fancy bubble bath, get the pedicure and massage, but don't forget about the basics when it comes to taking care of you.
Avoid Decision Fatigue
Anna L De Salvo, Health Mentor and Time Strategist
Every day we make so many decisions that drain the energy out of us! Those little things daily add up to exhaustion at the end of the day. This exhaustion is what leads us to do things like overeat, binge watch tv, and prevent us from taking on our self-care as an intentional act. While some of these are downright fun, they usually lead to lower energy levels and lack of productivity.
How do you avoid decision fatigue? Budget your energy with routines. Set up daily routines that save your energy for the important ones in a day. A few easy routines: keep your daily wake up time consistent, set out your clothes on Sunday night to avoid riffling through the piles of laundry the morning of, and only schedule one night a week to do your laundry. Your energy is worth conserving. When you limit your daily decisions, you have more energy to make positive choices for your health.
You are worthy your own love
Julie Allen, Owner, Mary Rose NW Boutique and Founder, Mary Rose Foundation
Loving yourself means taking care of you. Carving out time every day to do something you need. As a mom and business owner, that can be more than a little challenging, but learning what you need and then allowing yourself the freedom to give it to yourself goes a long way.
Self-care starts with learning what you need. It is easy to get so caught up in mom and work life that you are no longer a priority. It can be easier to ignore what you really need than to find the time and energy to give it to yourself.
Caring for yourself, loving yourself, nurturing yourself, will benefit everyone. Believing you deserve the same time and attention you give so readily to everyone else, will greatly benefit you, your family, and your business.
It takes time to learn what you really need. It takes patience, self-compassion, and the courage to put yourself first. But caring for yourself, truly loving yourself, is something you deserve. You are worth the time. You are worth investing in. You are worth your own love.
Get Some Sleep!
Abbi Wood, Wordsmith & Communication Strategist
When you have a lot on your plate, and a lot to get done -- like, there's no end in sight -- what's the first thing to go?
Whether it's late to bed or early to rise, sleep deprivation will take a toll on your health, mentally and physically.
Set your home lights, phone, alarms (or whatever you need) to go off at a certain time and jolt you with a bedtime reminder. Aim to be in bed before you actually need to go to sleep (because those brains don't turn themselves off). Rinse and repeat until your mind and body acquiesce to the safety of this routine and habit.
Can't do it? (Me either!)
Backup self-care: Check in with yourself in the middle of the day or whenever you find yourself going off-track or spiraling, and fill your bucket -- aka invest in yourself.
Whether it's 5 minutes to yourself or 30 seconds: check in with yourself and
p-l-a-n a chunk of time that you'll take to do whatever fills your bucket: reading, goal-setting, house cleaning, Netflix, a cuppa tea... Maybe check in with a friend and have a good ole chin wag. And stick to the plan.
And get back to trying to go to bed on time. It's like they always say: try, try again. In the meantime, there's always Netflix (for me).
Find Ways to Recharge
Aloma Murray, owner, Eugene Mindworks, Coworking Space and Business Incubator
Self care can look different for everyone and even change over time. I have been pushing myself a lot this year to go beyond my comfort zone and put myself out there in a way that I have resisted previously. While it’s been really exciting, it’s also scary and can really drain my energy quickly.
Through the process I’ve learned new ways of boosting my energy and practicing self care! I realized that using my voice recorder on my phone while driving to work to just talk stuff through and record my thoughts has been really satisfying, in a similar way as journaling has been in my life. I try to pay attention when I start to feel burnt out. I know getting outside, having quiet time, reading a good book and spending quality time with my family playing games are great options for me when I need to get grounded and refresh my energy.
If you know what feels rejuvenating for you it’s a great idea to keep a list so you can refer to it when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. Sometimes we forget what to do in those difficult moments.
Self care doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Simple things like taking 5 minutes to practice breathing exercises or mindfully drink a glass of water can be really powerful and help you reset.
Kim Ludeman, Captivatingly Confident Confidence Coach
Self-care doesn’t have to require leaving your house, finding a sitter or spending money.
It can be something as simple as taking your time getting ready in the morning. It can be giving yourself a foot rub at night before bed. It can be dancing to music that puts a smile on your face. Find something that takes five minutes or less and feels indulgent or pleasurable.
Focus on Mind, Body, and Soul
Heather Payne, Rodan + Fields
Self care for us moms us beyond important. There are so many aspects that go into self care. I always try to complete my self care by focusing on mind, body, and soul.
Mind - I utilize daily affirmations and self-growth books to maintain my self care in the mind.
Body - I get up at 4am to go to Crossfit every day, eat healthy and put my juicer to work I also take care of my skin, hair and nails to feel beautiful and enjoy looking in the mirror every day.
Soul - There are so many things you can do to stay connected. I like to use my oils every day and keep myself grounded and mindful. Breathing techniques are a massive bonus in my life.
Self care isn't selfish, it is necessary!
Self care has to exist.
Sarah Akey, Owner, Sarah's Sweet Treats
I'm finding that self care, is not always pretty. As I've traveled through deep personal struggles this past year and trying to keep businesses afloat, my view on the subject has changed a little.
I had always looked at it as a bubble bath, glass of wine and a good book, even give minutes in the bathroom with no interruptions. However, I've learned that sometimes, self care is allowing a good cry right before I go to sleep. Or even the simple act of admitting that I'm not okay. Letting the flood gates open, and allowing other people to stand in the gaps for me, has been a hard transition to make.
I kind of like to have control and put up a good strong front. Yet, I've found freedom and release in the "messy" type of self care. Self care is a process. A practice. And it can look different all the time. But it has to be there. Self care has to exist.
Mandy, the owner of Tiny Times Photography in Vancouver, Washington, grew up in Southern California, then moved to Las Vegas and lived there for 11 years, before moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2016.
Her business and her first baby were both born in 2009. “Four years later we had a story of loss. I was just shy of 9 months pregnant when we lost our first baby girl, my Brie Lynn. She is always in my heart. After some healing, we knew we still wanted another baby. Our story then leads into a beautiful journey of adoption and that brought us our daughter now. She is an amazing little girl. We are lucky,” says Mandy.
She says her artistry thrives from her story, raising two kids, and growing a business. “Photographing babies when they are the tiniest they will ever be, is my favorite thing to do, besides being a mama. I just celebrated my 10th year in business and I have recently, and proudly, won the title of Best Newborn & Family photographer in my local area,” she explains.
Mandy was inspired to start her business because of the passion she has for photography and loving the level of artistry needed to take photos newborn.
She says her grandparents were her mentors. Her grandfather helped her with technical side of things and her grandmother fueled Mandy’s creative, artistic side.
Her ideal referral is a client who loves her work enough that they prioritize once-in-a-lifetime newborn photos.
Mandy says being a MOB Alliance member has opened opportunities for her. “Before the MOB, I actually would go door- to- door to connect with other businesses and meet new people. The MOB has only given me an endless chance to meet and connect with other like-minded business women who help each other grow on a daily basis. It takes a village to raise a business, the MOB is a big part of my village,” she explains.
Her favorite MOB Alliance benefit is the ability to connect, help other MOBs, and be featured locally. She is grateful for the chance the MOB gives her to be seen, heard, and supported.
She advises new business owners to not compare your beginning to someone else’s middle and would tell a younger version of herself to keep learning.
When asked what her favorite part about working for herself is Mandy says “The control of knowing that "I DID THIS.”
Mandy is offering an exclusive special to MOB Alliance members: $50 print credit when you book a session
Connect with Mandy:
Rebecca Flanagan is a Portland business, tax, and estate lawyer. “I am the proud child of two small business owners -- a veterinarian and a log home builder -- and granddaughter, niece, and sister to many other small business owners. It's in my blood that I'm my own boss,” she explains.
She is also a third-generation Washington State University alumnus who continued the family tradition of meeting her future spouse while at college. She and her husband, Andrew, recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary, and have two little boys. As a family they enjoy finding adventure hiking, skiing, camping, biking, and exploring Mount Tabor.
Rebecca describes herself as a self-confident woman that seeks to better her community, and a lawyer who seeks to use her unique background (working poor family as a child to middle-class as an adult) and privilege (white, educated family) to lift-up those around her.
Giving back to her communities is important to Rebecca. She runs a free tax site that prepared taxes for low-income and elderly taxpayers, volunteers with her sorority mentoring college women, coordinates the endowment of two academic scholarships, and serves on local bar association committees
She went to law school with the goal of helping people like her parents - hard-working individuals that are masters of their craft. While at law school she found tax law intriguing. “I learned it can impact every aspect of a small business from entity formation to growth decisions and employee matters to sales and marketing. I also realized that to serve small business owners, I would need to understand estate planning as the family assets can all be held within the business. That's how I came to the beautiful trifecta of my service offering: business, tax, and estate,” she explains.
Her clients range from professional service firms to construction companies, household employers (aka parents that hire a nanny) to educators and artists, individuals to corporations, LLCs, S-Corps, partnerships, and sole proprietors.
Rebecca says she looks to mentors that foster growth in different phases of her life. “My mother, Dr. Maurine Dufault Fritch, is a role model for managing a successful career, motherhood, and running a business. My tax mentor, Valerie Sasaki, literally taught me all I needed to know about state and local tax to thrive at my first legal job -- tax associate at KPMG -- when she was an adjunct professor during my final semester of law school. My leadership mentor is a dear sorority sister, Angela Guillory, past national president of Sigma Kappa Sorority; she challenges me to be a better leader, a stronger leader, a compassionate listener, and a creative problem solver.”
Her biggest business struggle has been managing her own expectations. “I am a perfectionist by nature and strive for flawless execution in all I do, from baking cupcakes for my bon's birthday to drafting a legal document and presenting a workshop on intersectionality to constructing a balloon arch for the Walk to End Alzheimer's. There are instances where 95% isn't good enough (legal analysis for example), but many times it is more than enough (public speaking, sewing projects), and sometimes 80% is plenty (balloon arch).”
She advises new business owners to focus on progress over perfection. “I adopted this mantra in the early days of starting my business, when I felt as though I was ‘drinking from a fire hose.’ Even as the extreme hustle of building the foundation of my business wanes, I still return to this phrase.”
Her ideal referrals are family business owners who are ready to do those tasks that need to be done - transitioning from sole proprietor to a corporation of some sort to limit liability; drafting an estate plan that syncs up with their business succession plan; working through a tangles tax issue be in multiple years of unfiled federal returns or how to apportion income between multiple taxing jurisdictions; setting up a system that ensures all nanny compliance tasks are completed in a timely manner; or even a review of business contracts to ensure enforceability.
Rebecca enjoys being a part of the MOB for the support and energy. “That synergy that comes from having a group of passionate women empowering each other. Even amongst MOBs of the same industry, you see the building up, supporting, cheerleading, sharing best practices, and support. This is rare in the professional world. By lifting each other, we are making a real, tangible difference in bettering our community,” she explains.
Working for herself allows Rebecca the opportunity to help dreams become a reality for other small business owners and build genuine, sustainable relationships. “In serving clients that are also my neighbors, I am relieving them of a stress or burden which in turn allows them time to engage with their family, commit to growing their business, or volunteer in our community. The ripple waves radiate out from the work I do with family owned businesses to impact the broader community. Additionally, I am setting an example for my little ones. My two boys will watch their mother further her career, build a business, serve with integrity, and grow relationships through genuine and authentic communication. As mothers our actions when parenting have a great impact on our children, and our actions when not in the active parenting role (e.g., at work, volunteering, interacting with our adult friends) are also influencing what they learn about the world, how we interact with those around us.”
Rebecca’s exclusive offer to MOB Alliance members is a free 30 minute consult via phone or in person at her office.
Connect with Rebecca:
Let's face it, being a mom is hard. Owning a business is hard. When you combine running a business and being a mom, you might wonder how anyone does it.
There is no one secret to balancing work and motherhood, so we asked several entrepreneurial moms to share their tips for planning your 2019 and beyond.
Choose to be you!
Melissa Jensen, owner of Legacy Images
"People buy from those they know, like and trust. So I'm putting myself out there, and stepping into this new year with boldness and confidence. I started the new year with my own personal branding photoshoot, which can be a rare thing for a introverted photographer like me to get in front of the camera!
I have started planning out weeks of social media captions, all with the goal of letting my followers get to know me better. I will be sharing personal insights, behind the scenes, how I stay productive, what motivates me, and my "why", because customers connect with these type of stories, not sales pitches.
What sets you apart are all the unique things that make you you. By showing up as our authentic selves we are able to build connection and trust by allowing people to get to know us."
Use Your Calendar
Jessica Hansen, the Systems Magician
"When you’re a MOB, life and business lines often are blurred and you’re doing both momming and businessing at the same time. But there are a few things that can help you take control of your calendar.
1) Put EVERYTHING on your calendar. Electronic or paper. Scheduled or listed. Write it down - if you don’t, you’ll forget.
2) Pad your schedule. Especially as a mom, you know doing things with kids in tow really does take twice as long as you planned. So don’t schedule your appointments or errands back to back.
3) Forgive yourself when something goes undone. We’re under intense pressure to do all.the.things, and sometimes it doesn’t happen. Apologize to yourself, and start over tomorrow. You got this!
Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First
Dr. Alicia Hart, Vitality NW
Take a minute to check in with your body.
Are you tired? Put yourself down for a nap. Sleep is nonnegotiable, and so often the first thing to go to the backburner. Adults still have to sleep, ideally 7-10 hours every night. At least 4 of those hours need to be in a row to count as a decent chunk of sleep.
If you’re consistently not getting enough sleep because of kids, you might consider some creative sleeping arrangements like sleeping at a friends house or swapping childcare nights with your support network. If the kids are sleeping but you’re not- maybe it’s time to check in with your doctor to rule out other causes of poor sleep like thyroid issues, sleep apnea, anxiety, blood sugar problems, etc. Getting enough sleep is critical for your health!
Setting the scene for sleep can be an important first step to getting some zzz’s- routine is key for many. Have a bedtime, and actually go to bed! Try to avoid using screens 1 hour before bed, as the blue light disrupts brains making the sleep hormone, melatonin. Soft music or white noise can be a helpful buffer, as can listening to a guided meditation via an app like insight timer, or an audio book.
Did you eat something healthy? What do you need to eat to get strong? You can’t make a body out of missed meals and stress chocolate.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do you need some low sensory input space so you can think? A glass of water? More movement? Less screens?
What things are you telling your kid to do for their health that you’re not following as guidelines at all?
Make a habit of treating yourself like someone worthy of care, because you are.
Picture Your Future
Selena Maestas, Life Coach and Speaker
"Creating a plan is like having a map to your gold treasure. And we all want to find our treasure! Like any good adventure, the most important step is believing you will make it. Now, before you roll your eyes at what sounds like “magical thinking”, understand that when you believe in yourself, your service or product, and your client, you will have laser focus to allow you the most direct growth.
One of the most powerful ways to guide your planning is to use the perspective of the woman you are trying to become. What will this woman look like, act like, think like, speak like, and what will she believe about herself and her business. Once you have her in mind, you can begin to create goals and find the belief to take massive action! She’s got your back! Cheers to your best year yet!"
Outsource Where You Can
Jamie Schertenleib, 503 Clean
"So many mom business owners are trying to juggle every aspect of business and family life and seem to be barely treading water.
Many women have found that by outsourcing things such as house cleaning and other tasks they can free up more time to be able to work on things that can keep forward momentum going for the growth and profitability of their business.
Remember while outsourcing helps free up your time you are also provided with the opportunity to help support another local mom owned business in the process!"
Susan Bender Phelps, Odyssey Mentoring
"Most of us have multiple competing commitments.
We run a business and have a family - BOOM! We might also have a day job - BOOM! If we are doing either of the above and taking care of a chronically ill child, spouse or parent - BOOM! If we have our own chronic health problems - BOOM!
Thinking we can balance it all is a nasty myth. It’s easy to achieve balance, but once you do, you can only sustain it if you stay absolutely still. If you’re really talented, you can move but veeeeerrrrry slowly. Trying to balance it all causes more stress and reduces our focus to standing still. Harmonizing keeps us in motion. When you are planning and taking action – consider how what you want to accomplish can be done in harmony with your life. The freedom will be worth it!
Prioritize Self Care
Sarah Nelson, Ancient Fern Medicine
No matter what your goals are for 2019, you can bet that planning ahead for your self care will go a long way in helping you achieve them.
I recommend scheduling ahead as many aspects of your self care that you can. Waiting until you're sick, in pain, or suffering from burn out to schedule care for yourself often leads to injury, illness, and a resulting lack of momentum in whatever it is you're hoping to achieve.
Sit down with your calendar and schedule weekly things like exercise, social time, quiet time, and any other ongoing aspects of your self care routine.
Schedule weeks and even months in advance for appointments like massage, acupuncture, and follow ups with your doctor. Not waiting until last minute to schedule will ensure that you stay feeling energized and ready to take on whatever you have planned for 2019. Future you will thank past you for prioritizing your self care.
We're excited to welcome Gwen Montoya, marketing strategist and MOB Nation CMO to the MOB blog. You can learn more about Gwen and how to connect with her at the end of the blog post.
Are you finally ready to get a handle on your marketing in 2019? Let’s look at the six steps you need to ensure your 2019 is as fantastic as you want it to be!
Define Your Audience
If I ask you “Who is your audience?” and your reply is “Everyone!” – it is time to narrow it down. Your audience isn’t everyone.
Although that may sound scary (are you turning money away??) it is actually a good thing. You can’t talk to everyone, but you can talk to your very specific audience who is eager to hear what you say.
How do you define your audience?
Sometimes you can look at demographics and understand that some ages and personalities are more interested in what you sell – it makes sense to then target your marketing towards that expected audience.
But you can also look at that same information and see who is being overlooked and why. That ignored demographic may be exactly the right fit for your business!
Ask yourself who YOU want to work with – what kind of client would make you jump out of bed the morning of your appointment because you are so excited to work with them? Reach out to those people through your words and images and you’ll have a calendar packed with clients who put a smile on your face.
Make a Plan to Reach Your Customers
Once you’ve determined who your audience is – how do you want to reach them?
Which social media platforms will you use?
Will you blog?
Will you need Pinterest?
Will you need to make videos?
Will you use Facebook advertising?
Do you need to meet your people in person?
Or, more importantly, where do your ideal people hang out? What inspires them? What makes them pay attention? How do they take in information?
Go back through the list of marketing options listed above and ask yourself if the people you want to work with are hanging out in those spots.
If your people aren’t on a social media platform, you likely don’t need to be there either. If, on the other hand, your people love (and I mean LOVE) a platform – it makes sense for you to invest some time there.
Create a Content Calendar
Before you get sweaty palms thinking about a content calendar, let’s break it down into what it actually is – a plan for what you’ll post and when.
That’s it. See? Not so scary, right?
Think about what kinds of content your favorite people to work with would enjoy. What will make them click on your link or video?
Is it “how to” types of content? Is it humor? Is it something that makes them think?
Chances are, it is a mix of all of that and more.
Start collecting, or creating, things your ideal person would respond well to and start scheduling it out via Facebook and other platforms.
Create Long Term Fans
It is one thing to work with someone once. Or have them buy your product or visit your business. It is something else entirely to create a fan who can’t wait to work with you again and tell all their friends about you.
Your service needs to be memorable. That doesn’t mean fireworks, balloons, and grand gestures. It means standing out from what anyone else around you is doing. Be thoughtful. If you were in your client’s position, what would you want from someone who does what you do?
How can you be just a little bit better than you were last week? How can you improve the service, communication, or experience of the NEXT person you work with? And the one after that?
Look for Collaborations
Your business shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. Collaborating with another business is a great way to support another business and expand outside your own audience at the same time.
When thinking about who would be a good collaborator for your business, first pick someone who is just as invested in the collaboration as you are.
Then work with them to create a collaboration that is beneficial to both you. Be aware of any extra time or money required to make your collaboration work.
Show up Consistently, Not Just When it is Easy
Finally, one of the keys to marketing is simply showing up consistently. I know it sounds too easy, but it is true!
If you are consistently planning your marketing and thinking ahead throughout 2019.
If you are consistently reaching out to your audience and listening to what they have to say.
If you are consistently looking for opportunities to connect and grow.
If you are consistently striving to improve different aspects of your business.
Where do you think you’ll be in a year?
Gwen Montoya is a marketing strategist who is passionate about making marketing not scary for small business owners.
When she's not meeting with clients, you can find her hanging out with her kids, her dog, and the neighborhood peacock, Steve.
Connect with Gwen:
Kelley is a Portland native who loves sandwiches, ice cream, the Great British Bake Off, and struggling through beginning ballet for adults. She is also mom to two little boys and a writer.
She says she has always been a writer and editor at heart. “I was a freelance writer on and off for years, and a blogger just as blogging has been a thing. But after looking at my skill set and the market, I decided to focus on copywriting for small businesses. Now I get to build other women up, help small business owners thrive, and do what I love at the same time,” she explains.
Her biggest business struggle is a common struggle among MOBs – lack of time. “I'm a writer, and my husband is a musician, so we juggle childcare. Our schedules are different every week. I have to be careful to prioritize and spend my work time wisely,” she says.
She advises new business owners to make the leap, but also ask for help. “You can’t do it all on your own, so allow yourself to offload professional concerns like marketing, design, childcare, house cleaners... whatever you can afford, as well as personal ones. Find a network (like the MOB) to help expand your skills, business, heart, and mind.”
Kelley’s ideal referral is a business owner with a marketing budget who has a website but wants it to be rewritten to attract their ideal client.
Beyond websites, Kelley can help anyone who wants their written communication to be clear, helpful, and inviting.
She says the MOB has impacted her business because of the support she receives. She says “You can be yourself as a mom and business owner, be vulnerable, have questions, and celebrate successes. It's awesome.”
Kelley loves working for herself. “When I was at my last desk job, I would have KILLED to have one Tuesday morning where I could take a walk with my kids in the park or sit in a coffee shop working. I was stuck at a desk for 40 hours a week, answering the same email over and over. Now I get to make my own decisions about how I spend my time, I get to help people, and do what I love to do.”
She has an exclusive offer for MOB Alliance members – a Content Quick Fix for just $79 (usually $125-150).
Connect with Kelly online:
Anne is a life-long lover of food and creativity. Over the years, this passion has taken her in several directions including co-authoring two cookbooks with her fellow foodie mom Donna, attending Boot Camp training at the Culinary Institute of America, writing a long-running food blog (also with Donna), and appearing on The Food Network's first season of the Ultimate Recipe Showdown with her Ultimate Veggie Chili.
She began throwing themed parties almost 15 years ago. The unlikely start was a Halloween party with an infamous Kitty Litter Cake that caused horrified hilarity and sparked Anne’s love of balancing all things delightful AND delicious.
She says “I love entertaining and throwing theme parties, and guests at my various shenanigans have been nudging me to start doing it professionally for years. What finally got me to take the leap is the fact that I simply can’t continue to fund all of my events out of my own pocket, but I love doing it so much that I had no choice but to make an honest business out of it at last. I’m so glad that I did, because it synthesizes so many of the creative things that I love: food, fandoms, humor, and a whole lot of terrible, terrible puns,” she explains.
She says her birth mom, who she reunited with in 1999, is a mentor and influential figure. Anne says “When we were getting to know each other, we immediately started bonding through our shared love of food and cooking, and eventually went on to have all kinds of culinary fun together, including writing to cookbooks, running a food blog, going to CIA boot camp, and of course eating our way through every city we visit. She continues to write cookbooks in her spare time when she’s not working as an award-winning prosecutor, advocating for victims of sexual assault. As someone who has to juggle many different aspects of her life, she is a constant inspiration to me.”
Anne says her biggest struggle in her business is the cost of starting a business like hers. “I have huge dreams and plans for bringing them to life, and am still struggling with finding the resources.”
She advises new business owners to invest in professional help for things like websites, marketing, graphic design, accounting, and legal advice. “It’s so worth doing it right the first time if it all possible!”
Her ideal referral is someone who is looking for catering for a big event and wants something delicious and fun at the same time. Anne works with her clients to develop their perfect menu and loves to work with clients who have a whimsical and fun side.
Anne says having the support and encouragement of others who really understand the balancing act of being a mom and a business owner has made a huge difference for her. She also enjoys the creative freedom she has working for herself.
Anne offers MOB Alliance members 15% off my per person rate for events
May the Fare be with you.
Find Anne online at:
We're excited to welcome Jessica Hansen to the MOB blog. Jessica is a Systems Magician and knows how to streamline her clients' tasks so they have more time to focus on their business! . You can learn more about Jessica and how to connect with her at the end of the blog post.
When you’re a mom with a business, life can turn into chaos in a hurry.
I have two businesses and 4 kids. Man, can I relate. (And let’s be honest, when it’s not the kids, it’s the dogs causing the chaos!)
But, over the last few years, I’ve discovered some simple holiday hacks that can really save your bacon, so you can actually enjoy the end of the year.
Don’t underestimate the power of a lowly little list.
Lists will save your life - IF you use them, and don’t lose them (read as: don’t write them on the back of a receipt that you’ll end up tossing when you clean out your purse).
Luckily, there are a ton of ways to make lists in your phone. Personally, I prefer to use a paper planner, and keep my separate lists in movable sticky notes. (out of sight out of mind hits me hard when I try to live completely digital!) Either way is fine, as long as you make them.
But what lists should you even make? Short answer - one for everything. My life gets busy enough that I forget things within 10 minutes sometimes when they’re not written down. Especially when every 5 minutes one of the kids interrupts me. (I’m sure you don’t have that issue, and can remember everything much better than I can.)
The holiday-specific lists I keep during this time of year are: gifts - who are we buying for, and what we’ve already bought (and the dreaded budget); events - what do we want to do, and what would be fun if we have time and what have we committed to already; decorations - what are we missing for our events, what’s the theme of our Christmas tree, and what would be cool to get when it goes on clearance after Christmas; desserts - which events do we need to bake for, and what do we want to make for the annual cookie plates; Holiday dinner menus; and grocery lists.
Listing saves your life because you won’t forget anything when you finally get to the store - unless you left your list at home...ahem...not that I’ve ever asked my husband to snap a pic of it and text it to me from the fridge door…
I schedule EVERYTHING.
It might feel a bit restrictive, but in this season, it’s especially important to write everything into your calendar. Events, shopping trips, baking, meal prep, school parties, decoration making, buying and decorating the Christmas tree. Yes, everything. This practice will give you a true overview of what you have going on any particular day, and you know if you’re making too many commitments in any week. Especially when you finally hear that the kids have a holiday performance or caroling with the scout group they need to be at. It’s much easier to coordinate and find rides for them if you know ahead of time where you’ll be.
While we’re talking about planning in your calendar, pad your scheduled times. It’s winter weather, and driving will potentially take you longer than you think. More people are out and about, so checkout lines are slower. (Why don’t some of the major stores open more lanes up anyway?) If you have kids along, you know someone will have to stop for a snack or a potty break. If you over budget your allotments of time, you’ll be less likely to find yourself in a crunch.
We’re bombarded with media, advertisements, music, notifications, emails, phone calls, texts, reminders, and alerts all day, every day.
f you want to minimize your chaos this holiday season, take a few days and actually unplug. Spend time with your family or loved ones, and replenish yourself for the new year ahead. Self-care is last on the average mom’s list of to-dos, so plan for it - by adding it to your calendar.
Listing, Calendaring, and Unplugging are the real secrets to keeping a hold on everything when you feel like it’s whirling out of control. But most of all, keep in mind that if you forget something, chances are, it won’t be the end of the world.
Jessica Hansen is an Efficiency Expert and Productivity Professional, turning chaos into order, overcoming obstacles, and creating resilience in life and business. She is also the MOB Columbia County chapter leader.
Learn more about Jessica at www.thejessicahansen.com and her non-profit community space The Jubilee Collective.