20% of all new businesses started in the UK last year were started by mums according to a recent study published in Grazia and last Friday at a Tots100 Bristol BlogCamp I got a glimpse of the realities of this new age of 'Pramstarters.'
Approximately 80 bloggers gathered at M Shed in Bristol for a day of talks around getting back on the career ladder, going freelance and utilising your blogging skills in the world of work.
For me there are some simple things you can do to build your brand if you are in the business of building an online persona and these ladies have really got to grips with theirs through their blogs and social profiles.
Identify your goals
It was clear from chatting to all the bloggers that each of their blogs had a clear vision or purpose whether it was talking about the latest things going on in Portishead, inspiring a new generation of self-published authors or creating simple recipes for delicious affordable food. This is a really important step when you are starting to build an online presence, whether its a blog, your Twitter feed, or a Pinterest page, as having a clear road map for your future online brand-building efforts will allow you to publish exactly the kind of content that will serve your mission.
In light of the latest hidden gem the internet has thrown up, Tom Hardy's Myspace account, it is always good to know what is basking below the echelons of Google images or Bebo with your face or words attached to it. While the majority of these bloggers are completely on top of this, it is always wise to take a moment to think of the content you are about to share and ask yourself would your future self or maybe more importantly would my child want to see this in ten years' time.
The key to branding yourself online is a very simple one: repeatability. Use the same name across all your channels, where possible use the same image and always interlink your social channels, so you become infinitely more discoverable.
It is also important that you choose your channels wisely in that you pick the channels where your audience are and you have complete knowledge in getting the most out of the channel. Pinterest was a very important channel for a lot of the bloggers there last week particularly those who worked in food and crafts.
Pitching your blog to businesses
Recently, we developed the Hiive Creative Canvas to help our users articulate their digital ideas and content. The bloggers on Friday really saw the value of using this tool in not only helping them plan out their work but also positioning their worth to potential clients. Through using the canvas, they could describe what they were creating, how it would work and how they would resource it. Then they would use the canvas to sense check their idea to see if their idea was original and whether the end user/reader would really bother to consume it. Finally and most importantly for the client, they would complete the canvas by articulating their idea in a few words, telling us why a reader would share their work and explaining the return a client should expect from the work e.g. more followers, click throughs, product sales etc.
In the dawn of having everything measured and tracked, if you have an online presence or blog it is vitally important for you to monitor and analyse every piece of content you create as you need to be able to sell yourself via your statistics.
1.2million British women are now their own bosses and I fully expect this figure to grow as maternity leave starts to take on a whole new meaning. For anyone interested in hearing more about the Bristol BlogCamp, all the talks are in the Tots 100 Bristol Blog Camp swarm where you can download them and also get in touch with some of the community from Friday.