This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Type A Mom blogger conference in Asheville, NC. One of my very smart clients, Creative Memories, sponsored the conference, and it was a great opportunity to network with some of the influencers in this important demographic. It’s one thing to read about blogger moms (digital moms)…it’s an entirely different thing to spend time with them, and really get to know their needs and desires. After all, a lot of companies are investing in the influence these women have built to help promote their brands, and direct sales companies should be paying attention. It was really interesting to explore how digital moms want to benefit from the experience of helping to promote brands, and I highly commend Creative Memories for investing the money and time resources to be educated on how to work with digital moms correctly.
For direct sales companies, as well as independent direct sellers, I see many opportunities here. This is a demographic of influencers that it pays to spend some time getting to know. The key to working with digital moms is to work with them in a manner of mutual respect. There are varying levels of business skills among this group, but those that are seeking to monetize their blogs seem to have certain things in common: they want recognition for the influence they’ve built (anyone who has built a blog knows that doesn’t happen overnight…it takes targeted actions and nurturing), they want respect, they want you to have read their blogs and know their story, and they want to be compensated fairly.
I think direct sales companies will do best working with bloggers that have some business skills. We speak the same language, and that helps manage expectations. So if you want to begin to work with this community, look for those digital moms that have developed a business plan, who have business experience, who may have created a media kit, and can provide you with a specific proposal about what they would do to help promote your brand. I met some incredibly vibrant, intelligent women this weekend who can provide the site statistics and demographics, along with proven results for other companies, and who would make very good partners for direct selling companies.
Independent direct sellers may be interested in providing small sponsorships for smaller blog conferences, buying advertising on well-established blogs targeted towards their key demographics (some digital moms even offer discounts for mom-owned businesses), and providing product for product reviews. There was one consultant with a direct selling company at the conference this weekend, and she participated in the “Mom Market” where mom-owned businesses could sell their products, as well as scheduling a private time in her room where people could try out the product line.
The key here is to read the blogs targeted towards your market, get to know the influencers, and develop relationships first. Begin by searching Technorati for top blogs in your niche. Then be prepared to fairly compensate the owners of these sites when they promote your brand (you’ll need to get proposals from these digital moms, because “fairly compensated” has different definitions, depending on who you talk to.)
By developing strategic relationships with business-minded digital moms, direct sellers can tap into a digitally-connected marketplace much more quickly than if they tried to do it in isolation. And that can be good for your brand.
What do you think? Are you a blogger mom? Are you a direct seller that has worked with the community? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.